Friday, January 09, 2009

A corollary to yesterday's post about political bedfellows

George W. Bush Bush dumped $848,000 worth of Harken Energy stock back in 1990, two months before the company announced a $23.2 million loss; he was 34 weeks late in filing a form the Securities and Exchange Commission required to record the sale... According to Time Magazine, "...Harken concealed losses by selling most of a subsidiary to an off-the-books entity controlled by company insiders. Bush was on the audit committee, which, at least in theory, approved the deal. It's the same tactic used by Enron—on a massive, more pernicious scale..."

Time reported in the same issue that "Halliburton, while Cheney was CEO, greased the books to boost the firm's flagging fortunes." Creative accounting.

Dennis Kozolowski, Ken Lay, Merrill Lynch, Enron, Andersen, Halliburton, Adelphia, R.J. Reynolds, Tyco, Bristol-Meyers, Global Crossing, the list goes on and on of individuals and corporations involved in abuse and corruption during early part of Bush's FIRST term. It's as if there was no S.E.C. no accountability or transparency or ethics of any kind in business, finance, and government.

The Bush years were a new gilded age or cancer-stage capitalism. A culture of corruption flourished.

Is it any wonder that we're now dealing with the likes of Bernard L. Madoff, Goldman Sacs, Lehman Brothers, the entire mortgage-based-securities, and auto executives flying in on private jets to ask Congress for bailouts?

Obscene greed. Yet Conservative Christians only get worked up about abortion and gay marriage. When I wrote columns scrutinizing John McCain's connection to the "Keating 5" and the S&L bailout scandal of the 1980's and how his role in deregulation of the financial sector may have helped lead to our current meltdown I was raked over the coals as some kind of unpatriotic, America-hating, abortion promoting liberal.

Transparency and accountability, and a whole lot of self-discipline is what America needs now.
Time for Relief, Recovery, and a whole lot of REFORM.

But what do I know? People have labeled me a "liberal" and now I have to wear that label like a scarlet letter.

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