the talking dog

June 1, 2004, The Bush Administration AGAIN Weighs In to Protect the American People

The veep sends along this gem, care of CBS News, which re-played tapes of Enron traders rooting for forest fires in California, knowing that transmission lines would be effected, and as a result, California utilities and customers would have to pay that much more for Enron controlled electricity.

The Bush Administration (via the Justice Department) has fought tooth and nail to prevent these tapes (which document how Enron "stole" millions of dollars a day from California-- in their own parlance) from coming to light. The tapes will help West Coast utilities in their lawsuits against what's left of Enron and its principals, among them the still-unindicted-and-eventually-to-be-pardoned Kenny Boy Lay.

Now, you might say, that seems awfully suspicious for the government to have intervened on the side of a private party AGAINST the interests of a state government, when there is clearly no national security or other compelling national interest in the secrecy of these tapes. But there is, of course, an explanation: the language on the tapes sounds like "Barnacle Bill the Sailor".

I KNEW IT! There WAS a good reason after all! Once again-- the Bush Administration shows that whether it comes to the sensitivities of people traumatized by Janet Jackson's boobie, or those who might be horrified by the Abu Ghraib pictures (not because of their CONTENT mind you, but because they are... kinky)-- its priorities lie in protecting the American people-- from things that might offend our tender sensibilities (and those of our mythical children, whose college graduations we'll be skipping because, hey-- why couldn't they go to school in a SWING STATE?).

Or of course, its interest in protecting vulnerable bin Laden relatives from irritating and annoying questions, say, within 2 or 3 days of 9-11 (when they participated in the ONLY civilian flight permitted in American air space) just shows HOW sensitive the Bush Administration is to protecting people from having... their feelings hurt.

That is, of course, if those people it is protecting fall into its tri-partite "base": Saudi royals and others most likely to have planned and financed 9-11 itself (who WERE NOT QUESTIONED while we hold stupid schmucks picked up in AFghanistan or Iraq and torture them FOR YEARS without legal recourse), corporate criminals, like Ken Lay of course, and the religious base, i.e. mostly Southern, often rural, bigots and racists and blowhards.

The Bush Administration has been pretty straightforward about saying that the rest of us can go fuck ourselves-- or in the case of we in New York City, we can literally DIE-- at the hands of at least one or more of its constituencies, btw-- and Californians-- you can die too-- as far as the Bush Administration is concerned. But hey, we all know we kind of deserve it-- Janet's boobie and the salty language probably just didn't bother us enough. We're just not moral and decent enough to warrant the protections of our government. We know it...

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In this as in every case, the right wingers feel that the true danger lies in the image, or the symbol. Not in the reality. hence the banning of cameras among soldiers in Iraq, while prison abuses almost certainly continue. Hence the comments from the wingers that the Abu Ghraib photos are morally equivalent to Mapplethorpe's photos of consenting adults having SM sex. And so on.

As long as the image, or the symbol, or the information, is suppressed, all is well in the world.

Pathological, really.

Posted by rorschach at June 1, 2004 10:18 PM

In this as in every case, the right wingers feel that the true danger lies in the image, or the symbol. Not in the reality. hence the banning of cameras among soldiers in Iraq, while prison abuses almost certainly continue. Hence the comments from the wingers that the Abu Ghraib photos are morally equivalent to Mapplethorpe's photos of consenting adults having SM sex. And so on.

As long as the image, or the symbol, or the information, is suppressed, all is well in the world.

Pathological, really.

Posted by rorschach at June 1, 2004 10:18 PM

In this as in every case, the right wingers feel that the true danger lies in the image, or the symbol. Not in the reality. hence the banning of cameras among soldiers in Iraq, while prison abuses almost certainly continue. Hence the comments from the wingers that the Abu Ghraib photos are morally equivalent to Mapplethorpe's photos of consenting adults having SM sex. And so on.

As long as the image, or the symbol, or the information, is suppressed, all is well in the world.

Pathological, really.

Posted by rorschach at June 1, 2004 10:18 PM

Sorry about that. It was giving me an error message, so i multiposted! Please purge at will.

Posted by rorschach at June 1, 2004 10:19 PM

Actually, the really interesting things on those tapes are not the fact that they rooted for a forest fire, which apparently they didn't actually start -- it's all those other passages in which they crow about the things they DID do to manipulate the price of power by ordering strategically useful power plants shut down at strategically useful times:

"He just fucks California. He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."

"Will you rephrase that?"

"OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day."

"If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?"

"Oh, it's not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way."

"Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down."

"They're fucking taking all the money back from you guys? All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"

"Yeah, grandma Millie, man."

"Yeah, now she wants her fucking money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her ass for fucking $250 a megawatt hour."

"Do you know when you started over-scheduling load and making buckets of money on that?

On a possible Bush win in 2000: "It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy."

That didn't happen; but, as they then agreed, Kenny Boy would at least be there in spirit: "When this election comes Bush will fucking whack this shit, man. He won't play this price-cap bullshit."

Listening to all this -- by the way, CBS hasn't told us yet what official reason the Justice Department gave for not wanting it released -- all I could think of was G.K. Chesterton's line: "The rich are the scum of the earth in every country." As true now as it was a century ago.

Posted by Bruce Moomaw at June 1, 2004 10:22 PM

And, speaking of the nexus of corporate and governmental power without any sense of responsibility that is the Bush administration:

"Mr Feith had approved the multibillion-dollar deal "contingent on informing WH [the White House] tomorrow. We anticipate no issues since action has been co-ordinated w[ith] VP's [vice-president's] office," read the email. The magazine reported that Halliburton won the contract three days later, although no other bids had been submitted. "

juxtapose that with this:

"Mr Cheney has denied interest in the company. "As vice-president, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the federal government," Mr Cheney told NBC television's Meet the Press in September, Time reported."

Posted by rorschach at June 1, 2004 11:13 PM

I will kiss Bill Keller's ass on 42nd Street if the NYT covers this and mentions in the same article that Marc Racicot and Ed Gillespie are former Enron lobbyists.

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