Liberal View (6/5)
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Arthur Andersen Vindicated?: This week the Supreme Court reversed the accounting/consulting firms conviction on the grounds that the lower court’s judge gave the jury instructions that were too vague. Many reporters and former Andersen workers have used the “V-word” (vindication) in regards to Andersen and they’ve even gone so far as to suggest that this company was some how wrongly persecuted.
This is typical republican spin. The Supreme Court in no way pronounced Andersen innocent. In fact, they didn’t discuss the evidence of the case at all. They simply felt that the judge had set the conviction bar to low. However, the republican spin masters are quick to use this to their advantage and push for less government regulation. Keep in mind, it was Andersen’s failure to apply GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) that allowed Enron to bilk its shareholders, lenders and employees out of hundreds of millions of dollars. There is NO dispute that Enron cooked their books, hid their debt, and deceived the public about their financial position, and it was Arthur Andersen’s auditors who allowed them to do it.
What sickens me is that these pundits use our public airwaves to mourn Andersen’s fall, but rarely do they discuss the thousands of Enron employees who face retirement without the pensions they spent a lifetime creating….but had stolen by the Enron brass (Lay, Skilling, White and Fastow).
Why doesn’t Bob Novak talk about the hardships that the former Enron employees face? Why doesn’t Hannity cry for the California tax payers who were price gouged? Why isn’t O’Rielly looking out for all of us American tax payers who were swindled out of millions by Enron, Andersen and the Bush Administration?
Yep, those are rhetorical questions.
Comparing Watergate to Whitewater: Since Felt has come forward and admitted to being Deep Throat, the Right has gone to great lengths comparing Watergate to Whitewater, which to me is downright laughable. After all, Whitewater was a land deal where the Clinton’s lost $48,000 and it occurred over a decade before they came to the White House. Further, the republican’s witch-hunt led to five separate investigations and resulted in five separate victories for the Clinton side. In fact, the Republican Congress has spent 10’s of millions of tax payer dollars investigating numerous fake charges and trumped up scandals (Travel-gate, File-gate, etc.), but has yet to find the Clinton’s guilty of any of them.
Meanwhile, Nixon’s attorney general, chief of staff, top domestic affairs adviser, White House Counsel, and Special Council all went to prison for obstruction of justice. Woodward and Bernstein proved that Nixon was using his office to spy on his political opponents by “…following members of Democratic candidates' families and assembling dossiers on their personal lives; forging letters and distributing them under the candidates' letterheads; leaking false and manufactured items to the press; throwing campaign schedules into disarray; seizing confidential campaign files; and investigating the lives of dozens of Democratic campaign workers.” Of course, this illegal espionage included placing wiretaps in the Democratic Committee’s offices in the now infamous Watergate office complex.
Additionally, Nixon developed an enemies list of some 50 reporters and he had them secretly taped and their tax returns audited. He filed anti-trust law suits against all three major broadcasting networks, and his Attorney General also threatened Woodward and Bernstein’s publisher, Katherine Graham, by saying that she was, “…gonna get her tit caught in a big fat wringer.”
Therefore, Watergate and Whitewater are more an exercise in “contrasts” than in similarities, but I’m glad the Republicans are comparing the two because it just draws more attention to how corrupt Nixon really was.
By the way, there are some similarities between Nixon and Reagan (Iran-Contra Affair), Nixon and Bush Sr. (Savings and Loan Scandal) and Nixon and Bush Jr. (trumped up, ill-advised wars), but don’t expect our media to make those comparison’s anytime soon.
Pro-Life?: Perhaps the Republican’s pro-life stance would ring true if they followed their pro-life verbiage with some actual pro-life actions. Take their opposition to stem cell research for instance. There are an estimated 400,000 pre-embryos created each year for in vitro fertilization that are in excess of their donor’s needs and only about 11,000 are set aside for research purposes.
What happens to these unfertilized embryos if they aren’t used in research? That’s right, they’re thrown away. The point is, opposition to stem-cell research doesn’t in any way save lives…it only prevents the discovery of medical techniques that possibly could because the pre-embryos are discarded regardless.
Besides, this collection of cells isn’t friggen life! Do these freaks mourn the loss of an egg every time they menstruate?
I don’t get it. Republicans spend so much time trying to debate cells, but what about real living, breathing humans who can talk? Who have lives? What about the people in Darfar who are being starved, dehydrated, or murdered to the tune of 30,000 per month? What about those people? If the Republicans are so pro-life, why aren’t they screaming every day about that genocide?
Oh…that’s right, republicans only care about life that is unborn. Once you flop out of your mother’s womb you’re on your own.
So, are Republican’s pro-life, or simply pro-division?
David L. Phillips, a former State Department consultant on Iraq: “It's dangerous when U.S. officials start to believe their own propaganda. I have no doubt that they genuinely think that Iraq is a smashing success and a milestone in their forward freedom strategy. But if you ask Iraqis, they have a different opinion.”
Bob Novak on Hillary Bashing: "I don't bash Hillary because I think she's weak. I don't bash her because I think she is strong. I bash her because I like to." (Well, thanks for admitting your criticisms have no merit.)
Democrat Diana DeGette: “We've forced a frank debate (on stem cell research) and we've shown that the leadership of the Republican Party is controlled by a small slice of right-wing zealots.” (Sometimes the obvious needs to be stated.)
Richard Perle on Iraq (8/02): “Saddam is working feverishly to acquire nuclear weapons. Iraqis who know him are convinced he would not hesitate to use them.” (Perle had said this despite having read the NIE (National Intelligence Estimate from 9/02) that stated it is unlikely that Saddam would be able to produce a nuclear weapon for another ten years as long as international sanctions were in place.
So this begs the question, “Were the Bushies fabricating a need for war?”Hmmmm…)
What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?