Thursday, July 08, 2004
Speaking of electioneering, David Callaway of CBS' Marketwatch website brings up some interesting points about the timing of Ken Lay's perp walk. Keep in mind that federal prosecutors have had a case against Lay for months, at least since Andy Fastow caved. The administration is trying to walk the thin line between not being seen as soft on greedy corporate executives and not revealing the extent to which Cheney pandered to these energy execs in developing the Energy Department's regressive policies. Furthering the cause is the White House press corps in a seperate news brief on the site:
WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- Following the indictment of former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay on 11 federal criminal charges, the Bush administration distanced itself Thursday from a long-time political suporter. At one time, Lay was President Bush's top career politicial patron, earning himself the nickname of "Kenny Boy" from a grateful Bush. On Thursday, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush and Lay were never particularly close, saying the two had not spoken "in quite some time." Lay "is a past supporter," McClellan emphasized to reporters. McClellan said the White House took no role in the indictment. "Cracking down on corporate wrongdoing is a top priority for this president," the spokesman said. Bush has always been most concerned for the workers and shareholders, he said.
The betrayal will no doubt bring out much in the way of damaging evidence against Bush, watch for federal prosecutors to quickly move to prevent such leaks to the media by whatever means available.
Of course Bush's "concern" for workers and shareholders can be seen in the effects his administration has had on both, over a million net jobs lost and stock prices that are still on average nearly 20 percent down from the day he took office, this despite assurances that he has stewarded America to a robust recovery.
And what of that recovery? As I and many others predicted, now that the fed has finally decided to stop giving money away and raise rates, the wheels are coming off. Worse, after losing their savings in the stock market, Americans should prepare to also start losing in property value now that the cost of mortgages will begin to normalize. Though I'm not quite as pessimistic about the impending burst of the real estate bubble as The New Yorker's John Cassidy in this comment on Alan Greenspan, I am nonetheless certain that America two years from now will be in far worse financial shape than it is today thanks entirely to President Bush's policies.
Which brings me to my final point, the election for 2008 will almost certainly focus on the coming economic doldrums with a lot of finger pointing as to who deserves the most blame. If Bush wins this November, the GOP will have a hard time convincing voters it was the Democrats' fault, opening the door for a second Clintonian era. However, if Kerry wins, the coming dip will need to be short for the Dems to hold onto flip-flopping public opinion. Either way, don't expect to hear either candidate talk frankly about the storm clouds on the horizon in this campaign, but instead expect to hear the usual rosy promises that neither candidate will be able to fully keep.
Bran 9:52 AM : |
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