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(Slate)   Conservative pundits test the limits of credibility while trying to blame liberals for Enron's demise   (slate.msn.com) divider line 74
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2371 clicks; posted to Main » on 22 Jan 2002 at 8:37 AM (13 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2002-01-22 08:40:14 AM  
Attention Newsmax!
 
2002-01-22 08:43:15 AM  
American democracy, the best money can buy.
 
2002-01-22 08:46:06 AM  
The political flamewar may now continue...
 
2002-01-22 08:48:31 AM  
Looks like both parties got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. No suprise there. Now it's come down to who can shift the blame the fastest. Would that these stupid, greedy assholes who run this country would get a farking clue. It's not like we don't know that they're money grubbing liars to start with.
 
2002-01-22 08:50:17 AM  
Well... I guess the conservatives are wrong then, and all of them will read this article and vote Dem. next time. So sad, I will miss all the pointless bickering between the two main parties.
 
2002-01-22 08:52:05 AM  
You want to know what I blame the downfall of Enron on? Karma.
 
2002-01-22 08:54:23 AM  
I beg you, please read the article before posting.
 
2002-01-22 08:58:27 AM  
Sheesh. The Enron thing isn't a conservative-versus-liberal battle. It amounts to top management being a bunch of white-collar thieves, plain and simple. The collapse would have happened regardless of who was in the White House. Stupid, idiotic pundits!!
 
2002-01-22 09:01:25 AM  
And the fact that this bunch of "White collar theives" paid to have your president elected isn't political?
 
2002-01-22 09:09:35 AM  
If you want to look at it that way, then they paid for Clinton, too . . .
 
2002-01-22 09:18:10 AM  
So all your politicians are corrupt

How comforting.
 
2002-01-22 09:26:42 AM  
It's gonna be funny the day government paranoid Americans wake up and realize that their lives are not controlled by the government but by the corporations that buy the government.
I'll sit back with my bag of popcorn.
 
2002-01-22 09:30:23 AM  
Hope thats not corporate popcorn there WC ;)
 
2002-01-22 09:33:20 AM  
Harmonia, "And the fact that this bunch of "White collar theives" paid to have your president elected isn't political?"

9/10, "If you want to look at it that way, then they paid for Clinton, too . . ."

This is great stuff. It gets to the heart of the matter. The question isn't why Enron failed. Companies fail all the time. That's the business equivalent of natural selection, the reason does not really matter except that industry learns from it. The real question is for all the money Enron spread around in government what did it get for it. Enron donated lots of money to Democrats and Republicans. The Clinton Administration gave them a 300 million dollar sweetheart deal with India. The Bush administration wouldn't bail them out even when they asked for help. I know Harmonia will say "But the Bush administration let Lay have too much influence in deciding energy policy." Well, if Enron had the power to craft policy in it's favor then why isn't it the biggest, richest company in the energy business instead of bankrupt?
 
fb-
2002-01-22 09:34:23 AM  
Can't we all just blame this on the 9/11 attacks or Gary Condit. That's what we've blamed every single problem in the world on for the last 4 months and that seems to be working out alright for us.
 
2002-01-22 09:37:42 AM  
Harmonia: I live in Indiana...I can walk out into a field and just steal, er, I mean, pick some popcorn to watch Rome burn. :)
 
2002-01-22 09:38:30 AM  
Although, most of the fields are now owned by corporations...damn it to hell! I'll start my garden.
 
2002-01-22 09:45:54 AM  
You know, it would reduce the effectiveness of campaign money 'contributions' if we reduced the power of government itself. It's the handing over of more and more control to government that makes it cost-effective for people to try to buy favor. If someone can't do anything for you, you aren't going to bother to bribe them.
 
2002-01-22 09:47:52 AM  
Weird a disapeared post.

I just said that Fb, you could always use my name if that would help,

Why the delete oh moderator?
 
2002-01-22 09:48:30 AM  
OK, we've got these thieves who, by talking a good game and being really good con men, managed to rip off a lot of shareholders, employees, and customers, destroying the organization in the process.

You realize, in the socialist America some people want to create, the only source for illbegotten goodies is the government, right?

Thieves are thieves. Bonnie and Clyde were not arguments against banks. bin Laden is not an argument against skyscrapers. Leah and his cronies are not an argument against capitalism.
 
2002-01-22 09:48:58 AM  
Jjorsett, so just leave everything in the hands of the people who brought you the .com collapse, Enron and K-mart?
 
2002-01-22 09:49:15 AM  
Now, about that educational policy...
 
2002-01-22 09:54:51 AM  
So all your politicians are corrupt.

You mispelled "So all politicians are corrupt".

Hope this helps.
 
2002-01-22 09:56:36 AM  
Can't we all just blame this on the 9/11 attacks or Gary Condit.

Or Robert Blake. Whatever happened to that bastard?
 
2002-01-22 10:00:27 AM  
Harmonia, "Jjorsett, so just leave everything in the hands of the people who brought you the .com collapse, Enron and K-mart?"

and IBM, AT&T, Exxon, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Microsoft, GE, GM, EDS, Universal Studios and AOL to name a very few. Your right Harmonia, the American People have created thousands of profitable companies many of which are great investments to this day. Of course we could go socialist and then we would have great companies like the USSR produce. What were they again?
 
2002-01-22 10:01:11 AM  
Damnit, your supposed to wait for the flag to start the flamewar. I'm calling a do-over.

[image from www1.umn.edu too old to be available]

Now let the flamewar begin! :)
 
2002-01-22 10:07:25 AM  
Harmonia, darling, don't stoop to copping that "I'm so above it all" attitude.
"So all of your politicians are corrupt?"
My love, 99% of ALL politicians are corrupt, and that does include the UK. The US doesn't have the monopoly on corrupt politicians.
 
2002-01-22 10:07:54 AM  
Of course we could go socialist and then we would have great companies like the USSR produce. What were they again?

Capigula, you really shouldn't be so brutal with facts. It tends to cloud up the waters and Harmonia can't see through his whine colored troll glasses anymore.
 
2002-01-22 10:09:50 AM  
BTW BaShildy You start a flame war with the green flag. Checkered flag comes at the finish....doh!
 
2002-01-22 10:12:05 AM  
Hotdog,

OK,Sorry about that.
 
2002-01-22 10:14:58 AM  
Standing up for one's own kind is understandable, but am I the only one who thinks the kinds of tenuous arguments that appear in these Wall Street Journal articles are downright hysterical? Why are the same people who constantly preach about personal responsibility so willing to depart from their own advice when faced with an opportunity to blame something on the Clintons or the 1960s?

"It's not our fault! Those nasty liberals made us do it!"
 
2002-01-22 10:20:09 AM  
Hotdog Damn, now i'll have to find an animated green flag :(
 
2002-01-22 10:24:54 AM  
"There was the same hearty cheering as before, and the mugs were emptied to the dregs. But as the animals outside gazed at the scene, it seemed to them that some strange thing was happening. What was it that had altered in the faces of the pigs? Clover's old dim eyes flitted from one face to another. Some of them had five chins, some had four, some had three. But what was it that seemed to be melting and changing? Then, the applause having come to an end, the company took up their cards and continued the game that had been interrupted, and the animals crept silently away.

"But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble appeared to be that Napoleon and Mr. Pilkington had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.

"Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. "

George Orwell
 
2002-01-22 10:27:16 AM  
George Orwell who fought for the POUM in the spanish civil war and remained committed to Socialism his whole life.

What Orwell was attacking was Stalinism and how the whole concept of Socialism was betrayed in Russia.

Still they probably never told you that at Junior High.
 
2002-01-22 10:28:05 AM  
Can you even imagine what this country would be like without PACs and other government suckholes of money? I used to believe that we needed fiscal reform in our government in order to counter the way money influences desicions. Now I think that's rather laughable and if we did reform the way PACs and other contributions worked, our government would fall into a heap and never recover. They just wouldn't even know where to start running a nation without the grease for the wheels...

[image from previewit.net too old to be available]
 
2002-01-22 10:30:14 AM  
It's gonna be funny the day government paranoid Americans wake up and realize that their lives are not controlled by the government but by the corporations that buy the government.I'll sit back with my bag of popcorn.

Which is about all you'd be getting each week in the way of groceries from your "socialist government controlled economy". Bon appetit.
 
2002-01-22 10:35:08 AM  
The reality is that neither party is responsible for Enron's collapse. Enron engaged in some questionable business practices and they imploded. There is no political scandal here.

But since the Democrats are desperate to bring Bush's popularity rating they're trying to treat ordinary, non-controversial things as scandalous. Oh the Bush people took campaign contributions! Shocking! Someone from Enron called the White House! How controversial. Actually it isn't controversial at all and the Republicans are firing back using the Democrats own flimsy logic that any sort of contact is scandalous.

The reasonable thing would be for this to be investigated as what it is, a business scandal, not a political scandal.
 
2002-01-22 10:38:20 AM  
Well said Archfiend
 
2002-01-22 10:42:49 AM  
Archfiend, well said. It looks like you and I are on the same page(see my Boobies on this thread).
 
2002-01-22 10:49:16 AM  
Harmonia, "George Orwell who fought for the POUM in the spanish civil war and remained committed to Socialism his whole life.

What Orwell was attacking was Stalinism and how the whole concept of Socialism was betrayed in Russia.

Still they probably never told you that at Junior High."

No, I was absent on the day they covered the all important "What does George Orwell think about Stalinism as opposed to Socialism" part of the cariculum. Arguing your point on the basis of what one author thinks about how socialism works in Russia is not very convincing.
 
2002-01-22 11:20:17 AM  
The whole piece is so littered with logical fallacies, I don't know where to begin. Black/White fallacies, non sequiturs, and ad hominems are a good starting point. Is there a fact in there somewhere?
 
2002-01-22 11:24:09 AM  
Enron contributed to both parties, true.

But to equate the paltry amounts they gave the Democrats to the truckloads they gave the Republicans is silly.

That said, there is not yet any evidence of governmental wrongdoing in the traditional sense. There were high-level meetings between Bush cabinet members, including vice-president Cheney, leading up to the collapse; but we don't know that anything improper happened there.

The Enron scandal, what there is of it, will probably sit in the lap of Bush. The company donated over $500,000 to him over the course of his political career-- far more than it gave any other politican. The president and many of his friends are wealthy oilmen--peers of the Enron executives. Three of his cabinet memebers were meeting secretly with the company as it went down in flames.

Vice-president Cheney met with Enron behind closed doors to develop our current energy policy. He has repeatedly refused to release transcripts of those meetings, so that the public could be reassured that no secret deal was made to benefit a single company.

There should be an investigation, the same that there was into Whitewater. There is already much more to go on. We may well find out that nothing improper happened with the Bush administration. That would be fine with me. Perhaps there is no scandal on the government side. We just need to check it out. That's common sense. There are just too many ties between the current administration and Enron.

Then the real issue becomes, "Did Enron do anything illegal?" The answer is probably "yes." You don't generally go on a document-shredding frenzy unless you have something to hide.

The fact that the Enron executives lied to their shareholders and their employees about the health of the company so that the executives could benefit from artificially high stock prices is probably insider trading. That's illegal.

If somehow nothing is declared illegal, we need to look closely at the regulatory laws surrounding how businesses must report their assets. Creating dozens and dozens of shell companies in Third World countries to hide your debt is not good business for anyone. Stockholders, the real owners of the company, need to feel that they have an accurate picture of the corporation's finances.

The other regulatory change that could come out of this is that perhaps we need a law tht would forbid companies from using their employees' pension fund to prop up their stock. The executives made millions while the average worker for Enron lost his job and had his pension rendered worthless overnight.

A side comment: I haven't been very impressed with the level of political debate on Fark. Most people seem to have little clear concept of the issues and just snipe at each other with labels like "socialist" and "right-winger." That's not political discussion. That's just name-calling.

Sad.
 
2002-01-22 11:34:22 AM  
But to equate the paltry amounts they gave the Democrats to the truckloads they gave the Republicans is silly.

You can't get 'half pregnant'. If the Democratic agenda is to launch a witchhunt, cry foul regarding political campaign contributions and that they aren't guilty cause they didn't get as much cash,
forget it....
 
2002-01-22 11:42:59 AM  
Hipnerd, trust me, what Enron did (as well as Arthur Anderson) is absolutely illegal. Not reporting those shell companies breaks a whole book of regulations. The insider trading is obviously a crime. Fraud laws definitely come into play here.

There may be a need for more regulation in the handling of 401k plans. I think what they did may have been illegal under current regulations, there is a requirement that the funds be managed to the advantage of the employees that was broken, but something specific. At a minimum, a 401k plan where the employee contributes and a company matches, the employee contribution should be able to be put in any investment desired. There is a legitimate advantage in making some of the match be company stock (I'm a big believer in employees being partial owners of the company) but to have it all in the stock is wrong.
 
2002-01-22 11:43:38 AM  
1) Enron gave more to the Republican party, by quite a large margin. Why?

2) Because republicans back a kind of laissez-faire capitalism, loosened regulations and the argument of 'let our corporations make money and the rest of you will get rich too'.

3) The Democrats ALSO take money from unions. Admittedly, taking money from both large corporations and unions results in schizophrenic policies at times, but at the least, one side tempers the other.

Truth be told, I'd like to see some high level conservatives push to put some of the execs into jail for a significant amount of time. Jail time isn't always a deterrant for everyone, but it sure is if you're a CFO.
 
2002-01-22 11:49:57 AM  
Hipnerd,

It's funny that you say, "The Enron scandal, what there is of it, will probably sit in the lap of Bush. The company donated over $500,000 to him over the course of his political career" but can't sight a single instance of wrong doing. But still you make the assumption that the Scandal will sit in the lap of Bush. Clinton also benefited from Enron's largess. After the former president helped the company win a $3 billion contract for a project in India in 1997, Enron cut the Democratic National Committee a $100,000 check. And that was a one time deal. "Here is your deal Enron. OK, Here is your check Bill"

Here are some more interesting facts. Democratic Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Martin Frost (Texas), Chet Edwards (Texas), JohnDingell (Mich.)and Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) were also among the top recipients of Enron donations, and Dingell is the ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating Enron.
 
2002-01-22 12:04:31 PM  
Skwidd: Sorry, no boobies to see. What's up with that filter?! . . .
 
2002-01-22 12:12:10 PM  
and Dingell is the ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating Enron.

There can't possibly be any conflict of interest here!!!...Dingell got less than 25K. *chortle*......
 
2002-01-22 12:36:37 PM  
a system should be put in place so that all funds/donations given to gov'ment campaigns would become anonymous by the time it reaches the respected party and make it illegal for for recipients to inquire otherwise.

and there you have it, campaign finace reform and people/companies can still show their support and politicians can still "spread the word".

ofcourse this idea would get rejected (by both parties). which would concurrently show what their primary interests are.
 
2002-01-22 12:38:43 PM  
[image from jivie.com too old to be available]
 
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