Michael Moore on Bush and Enron

in General Discussion edited January 2014
I really enjoy Michael Moore's rants. .

An Open Letter to George W. Bush from Michael Moore

[quote]Dear George,

When it's all over in a couple months, and you're packing up your pretzels

and Spot and heading back to Texas, what will be your biggest regret? Not

getting out more often and seeing the sights around Rock Creek Park? Never

once visiting the newly-renovated IKEA in Woodbridge, Virginia? Or buying

your way to the White House with money from a company that committed the

biggest corporate swindle in American history? I got a feeling you didn't

miss much by not spending an entire Saturday afternoon assembling a

Swedish bookcase -- but you should have known that there was no way you

would ever finish your term by hopping into bed with Kenneth Lay.

It's kind of sad when you think about it. Here you were -- the most

popular president ever! -- the recipient of so much good will from your

fellow Americans after September 11, and then you had to go and blow it.

You just couldn't stay away from your old cowpoke friend from Texas,

Kenneth Lay.

Kenny has always been there for you. You needed a way to fly around to all

the primaries and campaign stops in the 2000 election -- so Kenny gave you

his corporate jet. Did you tell the voters when you arrived in each city

that the bird you flew in on was from a billionaire who was secretly

conspiring to give the bird to all his employees and investors? He flew

you around America on the Enron company jet, and for that favor you

touched down on tarmac after tarmac to tell your fellow citizens that you

were "going to restore dignity to the White House, the people's house."

You said this standing in front of an Enron jet!

Man, you loved Lay so much, you not only affectionately referred to him as

"Kenny Boy," you interrupted an important campaign trip in April, 2000, to

fly back to Houston for the Astro's opening day at the new Enron Field --

just so you could watch Kenny Boy Lay throw out the first pitch. How


I mean, you loved this man so intensely that, when you were awarded a set

of keys the Supreme Court had made for you so you could live in the White

House, you invited Kenny Boy to set up shop -- at 1600 Pennsylvania

Avenue! He interviewed those who would hold high-level Energy Department

positions in your administration.

You not only let Kenny Boy decide who would head the regulatory agency

that oversaw Enron, you let him hand-pick the new chairman of the

Securities and Exchange Commission, Harvey Pitt -- a former lawyer for his

accountant, Arthur Andersen! Kenny and the boys at Andersen also worked to

make sure that accounting firms would be exempt from numerous regulations

and would not be held

liable for any "funny bookkeeping" (don't you wish you were this


The rest of Kenny Boy's time was spent next door with his old buddy, Dick

Cheney (Enron and Halliburton, as you'll recall, got the big contracts

from your dad to "rebuild" Kuwait after the Gulf War). Lay and Dick formed

an "energy task force" (Operation Enduring Graft) which put together the

county's new "energy policy." This policy then went on to shut down every

light bulb and juicer in the state of California. And guess who made out

like bandits while "trading" the energy California was in desperate need

of? Kenny Boy and Enron! No wonder Big Dick doesn't want to turn over the

files about those special meetings with Lay!

The only thing that surprises me more than all the Enron henchmen who

ended up in your cabinet and administration is how our lazy media just

rolled over and didn't report it. The list of Enron people on your payroll

is impressive. Lawrence Lindsey, your chief economic advisor? A former

advisor at Enron! Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill? Former CEO of Alcoa,

whose lobbying firm, Vinson and Elkins, was the #3 contributor to the your

campaign! Who is Vinson and Elkins? The law firm representing Enron! Who

is Alcoa? The top polluter in Texas. Timothy White, the Secretary of the

Army? A former vice-chair of Enron Energy! Robert Zoellick, your Federal

Trade Representative? A former advisor at Enron! Karl Rove, your main man

at the White House? He owned a quarter-million dollars of Enron stock.

Then there's the Enron lawyer you have nominated to be a federal judge in

Texas, the Enron lobbyist who is your chair of the Republican Party, the

two Enron officials who now work for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and

the wife of Texas Senator Phil Gramm who sits on Enron's board. And

there's the aforementioned Mr. Pitt, the former Arthur Andersen attorney

whose job it is now as SEC head to oversee the stock markets. George, it

never stops!

My fingers are getting tired typing all this up -- and there's lots more.

Don't get me wrong, George -- I do not think you're an evil man. You don't

need any crap from people like me -- heck, you got mother-in-law problems!

Now, I have a very good relationship with my mother-in-law, but then, I

never told her to put $8,000 of her money into a company my administration

knew was going belly-up.

You say you didn't know? Your bag man -- Don Evans, the man who squeezed

all that money for you from Enron as your campaign finance chairman (and

is now collecting his reward as your Commerce Secretary) -- has admitted

that he got calls from Enron begging for help last year because they were

going under. Didn't he tell you this?

Then Paul O'Neill, your Treasury Secretary, admitted that Enron and Kenny

Boy called him, too, for some special favors to save Enron. Didn't he

mention this to you? They claim to have called your chief of staff, Andrew

Card, and he said he didn't bother to inform you. What does your

mother-in-law think about these boys her daughter's husband consorts with?

I love watching the O'Neill and Evans show. What a couple of cut-ups!

They're, like, all proud of themselves for "not doing Enron any favors."

Actually, I think it's more like they didn't do your MOTHER-IN-LAW any

favors. Enron got LOTS of favors. And why not? Kenny Boy has been your

number one financial backer since you ran for governor. No other American

or Saudi has given you more money than Kenny Boy and his gang at Enron.

O'Neill, Evans, Cheney, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham -- ALL of them

gave Lay and Enron special favors from day one. The New York Times last

May was so concerned about how Kenny had the run of the place (1600

Pennsylvania Ave.), they referred to Lay as the "shadow advisor to the


And what advice! Who was it that wanted you to deregulate the energy

industry further? Kenny Boy! Who was it that convinced you to explore the

sick idea of PRIVATIZING our water supply and then allow private

corporations to "trade" it in the future? Kenny Boy! Who was it that

wanted Social Security to be tied to the stock market? Yup, Kenny Boy!

(Imagine, if you will, what would have happened to our precious Social

Security funds had they been invested in Enron stocks as you, George,

suggested be done

during your campaign as yuppies everywhere clucked along in agreement over

that genius idea.)

O'Neill's and Evans's admission that they "did nothing" when Enron told

them of the company's shell game and impending collapse is reason enough

for you and yours to hit the Beltway and never return to that sacred trust

we call Our American Government. They are proud of "doing nothing?" By

doing nothing, millions of Americans have been swindled. Tens of thousands

have lost their jobs. Thousands more have lost their savings and their

retirement. Yet your cabinet secretaries gloat over what a "good job" you

and they did by "doing nothing."

Let me ask you this: If someone was setting a house on fire, and they

called you to help them set it on fire, and you said no you wouldn't help

them -- BUT then you also DIDN'T call 911 and inform the police that

someone was going to burn down a house, do you think you would have

committed a crime?

Of course you would have! You had prior knowledge and then you knowingly

and purposefully HID this information from the authorities and the people

living in the house! You only admitted that you knew a house was going to

be torched when you were confronted by the police. Are you complicit? Yes!

Are you an accessory? Yes! Who would even think of going around boasting,

"Hey, look what a great guy I am -- a friend of mine told me he was going

to commit an act of arson, and then I decided NOT to tell ANYONE about



Enron and Kenny Boy bought your silence and the silence of your cabinet

members. You yourself didn't have to actually raid the 401(k) accounts of

those poor people in Houston (many of whom probably voted for you every

time your name was on a ballot). All you had to do was remain silent,

change the government regulations that let them get away with it, and

install their hand-picked cronies to sit on the "oversight" boards which

were supposed to be keeping an eye on them.

While doing all this, you told the American people that these rich friends

of yours were not getting any special breaks -- when, in fact, Enron had

already scammed their way out of paying NO taxes in four out of the last

five years. Your economic "stimulus" bill that you got the House to pass

after 9-11 had a section that would give Enron a gift of $250 million of

our tax money. You were pushing this bill in November and December, long

after your administration knew that Enron was raiding the vault and

screwing its workers and investors.

You and your Republican friends are quick to point out that Enron had

their claws into the Democrats as well. Yes, they did, and thank you for

making the case why we not only need an alternative to the current make-up

of the Democratic Party, we need private money removed from our electoral

process ASAP.

But, George, let's be real -- the Democrats only got a pittance from Enron

compared to the millions you and the Republicans received. Democrats just

don't have the killer instinct to do anything right, and they certainly

don't know much about making money the old-fashioned way, one off-shore

tax shelter at a time. I would expect nothing less from a Party that

couldn't even put their candidate in the White House after he had already

won the election.

The Democrats are like a Yugo -- you know it won't last long or work well,

but it will occasionally get the job done. Fat cats know they can buy the

Democrats at discount prices, and so they do. Anyone who tries to deflect

this scandal away from you, George, or away from the Republicans, or away

from the whole dirty way we elect our leaders, is someone who is

desperately trying to cling to what's left of a very crooked system that

has to go and go now.

The saddest part of this whole affair was the day the scandal was revealed

-- and you denied that you even knew your good friend, Kenneth Lay. "Ken

who?" you said. Oh, he's just some businessman from Texas. "Heck, he

backed my opponent for governor, Ann Richards!" was your way of trying to

deflect the truth that was hitting you like a Mack truck. You knew that

he, in fact, endorsed YOU and gave you THREE times the money Ann Richards

ever saw

from him.

I hardly ever talk to the guy, you said. You were like Peter outside the

walls of Herod after they grabbed J.C. from the Garden of Gethsemane.

Three times he denied he knew Jesus, and three times the cock crowed. But

Peter, unlike you, felt shame and wept, and then ran away.

What shame do you feel tonight, George, for the lies you have told? What

shame do you feel using the dead of 9-11 as a cover for your actions,

hoping that our sorrow for those lost souls and our fear of being killed

by terrorists would distract us from what your boys and Kenny Boy were up

to during those horrific weeks in September and October?

It was during those very days, while the rest of us were in shock and

sadness, that the executives at Enron were selling off their stock and

shifting assets to their 900 phony partnerships overseas. Did they notice

the remains of the dead being pulled from the rubble while they were

downloading their millions, or were their eyes glued only to the bottom

third of the TV screen as the stock ticker with the rigged Enron price

crawled across the images of firemen desperate, in tears, to find their

fallen brothers?

The country was behind you when you said you were fighting the evildoers

who did this. In fact, all the while, the real fight your friends at Enron

were conducting was the fight against the clock, to see how fast they

could transfer all the loot to their personal accounts and run away. Those

were the evildoers, George, and you knew it. And because you, by design or

negligence, allowed this to happen, it is time for you to resign. The cock

has crowed for the last time.

At the very least, your mother-in-law deserves better.


Michael Moore<hr></blockquote>

[ 01-31-2002: Message edited by: Samantha Joanne Ollendale ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 32
    tobytoby Posts: 3member
    [quote]Originally posted by Samantha Joanne Ollendale:

    <strong>I really enjoy Michael Moore's rants. .

    An Open Letter to George W. Bush from Michael Moore

    [ 01-31-2002: Message edited by: Samantha Joanne Ollendale ]</strong><hr></blockquote>
  • Reply 2 of 32
    tobytoby Posts: 3member
    oh do please promise me that you clever people in the US are going to eject the dweeb from your oval office.

    Please please please make the world a safer place.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,503member
    I read about 5 paragraphs and realized that I did not care about his snide rant. It will all come out in the end and no, Bush will not be impeached. Sorry toby.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    jrcjrc Posts: 817member
    My wife and I loved Michael Moore and his funny little TV show. But since then, he's become such a childish, ass, regardless of his politics. His crap just isn't funny any longer. It's petty, snide, sophomoric, and has sunk below comedy to what appears like is just hate, plain and simple.

    It's sad. I used to like him a LOT.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    trick falltrick fall Posts: 1,271member
    I thought it was a great rant.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    Great rant,

    though I must say that I find it funny that when the attention that he gives shifts you cease to find it funny.

    I always thought that Michael Moore was the equivilent of Rick Mercer and Marry Walsh up in Canada (impressive, one man the equivilent of 2)
  • Reply 7 of 32
    He should change his name to Michael Boore.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Rants are always better when you allow yourself a little flexibility in the fact/assumption department.

    I got tired of all this shit when they were grilling Clinton about extra-marital affairs. No more patience for witchhunts.

    Sorry. Michael Moore used to have a cause (downsize this! and Roger & Me were fantastic), now he's become YET ANOTHER Hollywood Conscience.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    folks, this is not about whether Bush gets impeached or not or whether this chap Moore is a snide twerp or not; it is about the moral obligation we have to demand more honesty and transparency in Government and to commit ourselves to withdrawing support for dishonest little shits.

    E.E. Cummings once observed that 'a politician is an as upon which everyone has sat except a man'.

    Why are most of the population so weak and disinterested as to leave these people free rein? If we create our own destiny then we're not doing a very good job.

  • Reply 10 of 32
    [quote]Originally posted by toby:


    Why are most of the population so weak and disinterested as to leave these people free rein?</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Disinterested? What planet are you on? Do you have any idea how many people are investigating this? You can't turn on the news without hearing something about Enron. They even try to fit it into stories that have nothing to do with the issue. (I heard one about the "interesting" ways people are now using the word Enron.) There's a good chance somebody will go to jail over this. It's hard to see how fraud wasn't committed here. But Bush had nothing to do with that.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    more than 2 dozen paragraphs longer than the average attention span

    this little rant strives to make plain what will likely only be further obscured from here on out..

    [ 02-01-2002: Message edited by: killboy ]</p>
  • Reply 12 of 32
    [quote]But Bush had nothing to do with that.<hr></blockquote>

    So far there's is no public evidence of direct wrong-doings by the White House re. Enron. In making such a definitive statement, are you privy to everything that goes on in the White House? If there had been any solid evidence, it would have gotten shredded a long time back.
  • Reply 13 of 32
    I highly doubt that Bush had anything to do with the Enron scandal...

    Bush may have had some campain help from his friend but that HARDLY indites him for being involved in a scandal.

    Michael Moore is just a flamboyant inflamitory writer that obviously has a beef with the fact that algore ain't in the White House.

    Get over it... it was a YEAR AGO!!!

    Mac Guru
  • Reply 14 of 32
    Samantha Joanne Ollendale wtf do you think, or can dream up that, Bush did? First we hear that Bush is in trouble because he helped Enron. We find out that he didn't help Enron. So then they say he's in trouble because he didn't help Enron. On the same day you had two Dem's on the hill arguing those different points. Come on Dem's get the fscking message straight before you go on camera.

    Then we hear that the White House is in trouble because the knew Enron was in trouble. What would Bush do with that information? Go on TeeVee and say "Enron is in trouble sell your stock"? That's insane and may just be illegal?

    Please just dream up something that you can get Bush in trouble for? I doubt you can do it. You can't even tell anyone what you think someone did or did not know or do or anything at all and how that may be illegal or unethical or anything.
  • Reply 15 of 32
    Scott H....

    If you actually *read* my post, I stated:

    [quote]So far there's is no public evidence of direct wrong-doings by the White House re. Enron<hr></blockquote>. Should I have suggested something like "if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck etc etc"?????

    Maybe an independent special prosecutor should take this case, with a budget of &gt;$60 million. If *they* can't dredge something up, then I will be satisfied that the White House is innocent. Having the Justice Dept. "investigate" this is like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    But the Justice Department investigates corporate crimes. There is zero zero zero indication that the Justice Department can't do this job. So what's the rub?
  • Reply 17 of 32
    But Bush had nothing to do with that.

    *must* remember poster... special olympics... ARGH!

    This is the problem with making promises to your self, you feel no true shame in breaking them.

    Ok, one little comment wont hurt...

    Read the letter, and trust me, M. Moore does his homework really, really well.

    Yes, Roger&Me, Downsize thi, and The Big One were terrific.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    I posted this a week ago - I've revised it a little since then.

    This is for those of you who think Enrongate is not a political scandal, but purely about private business.

    All this comes from articles I found on the web, mostly various reports from the New York Times, but also the Center for Public Integrity for campaign finance info, and other places. Apologies for the length, but I tried to put it all together:

    1. Bush and his administration have unusually strong ties to Enron,

    2. the Bush admin gave favorable treatment to Enron,

    3. they knew of the imminent collapse of Enron but did nothing to prevent ongoing illegal actions, and

    4. Bush and his people are lying about it now and stonewalling investigations.


    1. Ties between Bush and Enron:

    1. Enron was not just any Bush contributor, it was Bush's largest contributor. They gave Bush at least $750,000, not including other money Enron gave to the RNC and Congress.

    2. They lent Bush the Enron corporate jet 14 times during the presidential campaign.

    3. Yes, they gave money to Dems, too. $13,000 to Gore - less than 2% of what they've given to Bush. And as Scott_H points out, Enron even gave to Hillary - a grand total of $950.

    4. Lay (Enron's chief) let Bush use the Enron box to go to Texas Ranger's games. The Houston Astros play in Enron Field, named that after a deal with Bush when he was governor of Texas.

    5. Bush even had Lay sleep over at the White House. Not sure if it was the Lincoln bedroom, though.

    6. Mark Racicot, Bush's point-man on the Florida post-election and now Bush's chair of the Republican Party, was a registered lobbyist for Enron. He has an arrangement where the RNC pays him $1 in salary for being RNC chair, but he gets his "real" salary from the lobbying firm, even though his RNC job is full time.

    7. Ralph Reed, after resigning as director of the Christian Coalition, supported Bush for president in 2000. But he wasn't paid as an advisor to Bush, he was an over-$10,000/month consultant to Enron. It appears to be an under-the-table campaign contribution from Enron to Bush.

    8. Just over a week ago, even after the scandal became public, a former Enron president hosted a fund raiser for Jeb Bush in Florida.

    9. Arthur Andersen is the accounting firm that was supposedly keeping watch over Enron's books, but instead were shredding Enron documents. The Arthur Andersen exec who was in charge of the Enron account? He was a Bush "Pioneer," meaning he was in the top category of Bush campaign fund-raisers, raising and personally giving at least $100,000 to Bush. Arthur Andersen the company has given over $200,000 to Bush.

    10. Fourteen top-tier Bush admin appointees were shareholders and/or recent employees of Enron. Did they all lose money like the workers and other investors in Enron, or did they profit like Enron's execs? We don't know, but we do know that at least some knew of the company's financial troubles in advance (see below).


    2. Bush gave favorable treatment to Enron.

    Bush defenders say that Enron went bankrupt, so that proves there was no quid-pro-quo between Bush and Enron. But does Enron's bankruptcy really prove the Bush admin didn't do anything for Enron? No, it could just mean that Enron was so incompetently run that even favorable treatment from the White House couldn't help them. A few examples:

    1. Curtis Herbert, the chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, was criticized by Lay, and shortly afterward Bush replaced that chair with Lay's choice, Pat Wood from Texas. The FERC has primary oversight over Enron, an energy trading firm.

    2. Lay recommended the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Harvey Pitt. He came from a firm that represented Arthur Andersen.

    3. During California's energy crisis, the Bush admin received a request from California for federal intervention. Enron, which had played a large role in California energy before and during the crisis, would have lost money, and opposed the plan. The day after Lay met with Cheney to form energy policy - the Bush admin refuses to release information about the meeting - Bush came out and opposed federal intervention. Pat Wood (see above) in particular was publicly strongly opposed to California's request.

    4. Enron people met with Cheney's secret energy group at least six times to shape Bush's energy policy.

    5. Enron - despite being one of the largest companies in the world, has paid zero income taxes for years because of tax sheltering - would have gotten a check of over $250,000,000 under Bush's economic stimulus plan. But the stimulus plan hasn't passed through Congress yet (and may never).

    6. Bush personally lobbied Penn. governor Tom Ridge, who is now Bush's Terrorism Czar, to let Enron into Pennsylvania's energy business. Ralph Reed, former Christian Coalition director who worked for both Enron and as a campaign advisor for Bush, also worked on the Pennsylvania contract.

    7. The Clinton admin's crackdown on overseas tax havens, the same ones Enron used to hide under, was very publicly abandoned by the Bush admin right after they got into office.

    8. Cheney personally talked to gov't officials in India about repaying money India owed Enron.


    3. The Bush admin knew of the imminent collapse of Enron but did nothing to prevent ongoing illegal actions.

    Law enforcement doesn't investigate crimes only after everyone else knows about them - they investigate after they themselves know about them.

    The Bush admin has proudly said that Lay asked for a financial bailout, but was refused. And Lindsey, the former Enron employee and top economic advisor to Bush, wrote a study about Enron's financial troubles. So they knew of Enron's financial difficulties before the rest of us.

    So why didn't they initiate an investigation at that time? And why didn't they do something about Enron execs' false public statements about their financial health? And why didn't they do something about Enron execs raiding pensions, preventing their employees from selling stock, and secretly selling their own stock?

    Now, the Bush admin wants a criminal investigation of Enron. But if what Enron did was so bad, as they now say it was, how come they didn't do anything until after the rest of the country found out about it too?


    4. Bush et al. are now lying about and covering up the scandal.

    1. Ari Fleischer said "I'm not aware of anybody in the White House who discussed Enron's financial situation." We now know that Lay asked the White House for a financial bailout. The administration brags about that now, in order to prove that they refused to help them.

    2. The Bush admin said they didn't know Enron was about to go under, but it's now known that Lawrence Lindsey, Bush's top economic advisor and yet another former Enron employee, wrote an internal administration study of Enron's financial difficulties a month before it collapsed.

    3. Bush says Lay supported Richards, his opponent in 1994. But Lay himself says he supported Bush over Richards, and public records support that: he gave $150,000 to Bush vs. $12,000 to Richards during that election.

    4. Bush said he didn't know Lay until 1994. But Lay says he was a personal friend of GW's before 1994.

    5. Bush refuses to release details of Enron's energy-policy meetings. The General Accounting Office has now sued the Bush administration to make them release records, but they still refuse.

    6. Bush has invoked executive privilege on other matters in order to avoid revealing information.

    7. Attorney General Ashcroft had to recuse himself from investigating Enron because he received so much money from them (BTW, why didn't he stay out of the MS anti-trust suit for the same reason?). So he handed the investigation to Larry Thompson, a Deputy AG. The problem is, Thompson himself was a partner in Enron's law firm before joining the Bush admin. It seems like you can't go anywhere in the Bush administration without running into Enron. So why not have an independent investigator? The Bush admin refuses.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    Care to correct some of the errors in your list? I found at least one. Why not fact check them all and make sure they are correct

    [ 02-01-2002: Message edited by: Scott H. ]</p>
  • Reply 20 of 32
    Why not start a thread on Jesse Jackson? That race pimp pusher took Enron money too. Now he wont give it back. Funny think is all Enron has to do is give him more money and he'll STFU
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