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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Prez Shrub's Fat Cat Buddy Donor Kenny Lay Dead, Convictions Will Be Tossed!

as the powerful and rich get obscenely richer half or america is in a collective stockholm syndrome scenario -- you can buy this poster at iww.org/en/store/collectablesLatest Update: Don't expect even symbolic justice for the victims of Kenny Boy. Because Lay died before the appeals process was exhausted, not only will he never do jail time, his convictions will now be set aside. That's according to lawyers I just heard discussing this topic on MSNBC's Abrams Report.

ABCNews included this in the online photo caption announcing Lay's death:
The Disgraced CEO suffered a massive heart attack at his Colorado home.
While there's some type of karmic cosmic justice in his unexpected death, it also means he escapes earthly justice. It means the working people he robbed of pensions at Enron (and other places that were over-invested in the cheating, conniving purveyors of the faux money-making machine) likely will continue to receive no justice other than knowing he was convicted of being a major lying, thieving scumbag.

If I believed in heaven and hell, I'd sure hope for hell being his final place of unending torture -- along with so many of the gangsters and criminals (Bush-Cheney, DeLay, et al anyone?) that helped each other become obscenely richer while also helping to buy their way into elected office.


News excerpts, starting with ABC:
Prosecutors in Lay's trial also declined comment Wednesday, both on his unexpected death and what may become of the government's effort to seek a $43.5 million judgment from Lay that they say he pocketed as part of the conspiracy. Lay's death will not affect their case against Skilling.

Both were scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 23. Lay faced decades in prison, as does Skilling.

Lay led Enron's meteoric rise from a staid natural gas pipeline company formed by a 1985 merger to an energy and trading conglomerate that reached No. 7 on the Fortune 500 in 2000 and claimed $101 billion in annual revenues. Lay traveled in the highest business and political circles.

For many years, his corporation was the single biggest contributor to President Bush, who nicknamed him "Kenny Boy."

But Enron collapsed after it was revealed the company's finances were based on a web of fraudulent partnerships and schemes, not the profits that it reported to investors and the public.

When Lay and Skilling went on trial in U.S. District Court Jan. 30, it had been expected that Lay, who enjoyed great popularity throughout Houston as chairman of the energy company, might be able to charm the jury. But during his testimony, Lay came across as irritable and combative.

Both he and Skilling maintained that there had been no wrongdoing at Enron, and that the company had been brought down by negative publicity that undermined investors' confidence.

Lay also defended his extravagant lifestyle, including a $200,000 yacht for wife Linda's birthday party, despite $100 million in personal debt and saying "it was difficult to turn off that lifestyle like a spigot."
From NYT -- who could forget seeing and hearing this on the day of the verdict:
"We believe that God in fact is in control, and indeed he does work all things for good for those who love the Lord," he said outside the courthouse in Houston after the verdict.
From the LATimes:
The son of a Baptist minister....[c]harming and well liked, Lay was a popular figure in corporate and political circles.

"Just about everyone who met Lay for the first time liked him, from world leaders to the ministers from Houston's poorest neighborhoods," Enron whistle-blower Sherron S. Watkins wrote in a memoir. "The crowds parted for him with something like awe, and he, in return, shook every hand and knew every name, and business could proceed with a feeling of the very best intentions."

Lay was close to former President George H.W. Bush and his son, President Bush, who dubbed the executive "Kenny Boy."
From Fortune's editor-at-large, Bethany McLean:
Ken Lay's chance at writing another chapter is now over. It remains to be seen, though, if his death softens some of the anger toward him, both in his hometown of Houston and elsewhere. For his family's sake, let's hope that's the case.
NOW I understand what 'compassionate conservatism' is all about!!!! While I can understand people 'softening' their hearts in sympathy and empathy with the family of Ken Lay -- (presumably) innocent, unknowing of his misdeeds -- why the hell should anyone whose lives were devastated by this creep feel any softening or sympathy toward him?

Did he ask for their forgiveness? Did he proactively make amends (by giving them his hoarded wealth and riches)? Did you see him doing anything to assist the people whose retirement funds and investments he robbed?

HELL NO! He denied anything and everything about his crimes, took no responsibility, and avoided accountability. He deserves no sympathy or softening. But McLean actually (unwittingly) reveals exactly what compassionate conservatism is really about:
Letting the rich greedy law breaking fat cats remain at the top of the heap, in control while they continue to do more of the same.
That's what COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATISM really is and has always been about (and what better sheep than fundamentalist gay-hating, immigrant-bashing, job-exporting, fear-based christians and uneducated, entrained flag-waving racists?)

Some of those descriptions of Lay could easily match the profiles of quite a few sociopaths and well-known serial killers (not to mention invaders of oil-rich countries, bombers, murderers and rapists of women and children*).

ABC story here. LA Times here. WaPo cover story here, NYT here, Fortune here. LAT also has "A Glance at the Top Players in Enron Saga" while NYT has an interactive graphic, "The Rise and Fall of Enron."

*Footnote: turns out the animal, honorably discharged from the army, who was just arrested at a relative's home in North Carolina for rape and murder in Mahmudiya, Iraq grew up in Midland, Texas -- Shrub's adopted hometown -- land of low levels of political awareness, high teen pregnancy rates, low wages (for working class people), big-time bible-thumping fundamentalist believers and macho swagger extraordinaire. Oh yeah: there's also an awfully high rate of alcoholism, hidden prostitution, extra-marital affairs, illicit drug use, addiction, and general fucking around. And they, like most of Red State 'merika have a major EHARHQ (Extremely High American & Religious Hypocrisy Quotient).

I myself grew up (during teen/early adulthood years) nearby and used to spend time there in case you're a new reader.

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