EMAIL PAGE FOUR
COLUMN SEVENTY-FOUR, AUGUST 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
TWO BY MOLLY IVANS
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THE BUSHIES: STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES---OR DOESN'T DO!
FW: Miz Molly: Stop digging
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 09:58:04 -0700
From: "venire" firstname.lastname@example.org
Stance on Global Warming
by Molly Ivins
June 6, 2002
Texas - Throwing around words like "fantastic" and
"stupefying" is considered bad form outside the tabloid press. But I'm
damned if I know what else to say about the news that the Bush administration
has decided that global warming is indeed taking place and they are planning to
do exactly nothing about it.
we are in the middle of wallowing in this maddening, haunting and probably
useless exercise in "Why didn't somebody do something?" debate. Sept.
11 left quite a bit of spilt milk on the floor, but even that disaster will pale
against the consequences of unchecked global warming.
here are the Bushies announcing right here and now that they know this disaster
is coming but will not do anything to stop it. They will not even do anything to
slow it down or soften its impact.
to The New York Times, the United States has reported to the United Nations that
global warming will substantially alter our climate in the next few decades, but
the report "recommends adapting to inevitable changes. It does not
recommend making rapidreductions in greenhouse gases to limit warming, the
approach favored by many environmental groups and countries that have accepted
the Kyoto Protocol, a climate treaty written in the Clinton administration that
was rejected by Mr. Bush."
the first time, the Bush administration acknowledges that global warming is
mostly caused by humans burning fossil fuels, but it proposes to do exactly
nothing about it.
to the inevitable changes"? The changes are not inevitable. The changes,
according to scientists, can be mitigated, the effects ameliorated, and at the
very least we can stop aggravating the potential catastrophe. The First Rule of
Holes is that when you are in one, you should stop digging. To keep right on
doing what is already causing disastrous consequences is either insane or
do not underestimate the difficulties the United States faces in trying to wean
itself from fossil fuel. Pretty much our entire transportation grid is based on
the gasoline engine. "Lay rail" is one thing we could do. Switch to
cars with hybrid engines, increase fuel efficiency standards, change as rapidly
as possible to renewable energy sources - the menu of alternative behaviors is
already long and it works. We can cut greenhouse gases; we can even do it
dramatically. We are not helpless.
are, however, currently governed by an administration of oil executives and
people whose main guiding principle seems to be opposing anything Bill
an idea. Under the right-wing legal doctrine of "takings," whenever
the government does something that reduces the value of your property, you have
a right to sue. Mr. Bush is in fact busily appointing judges who uphold this
doctrine. One thing global warming will do is destroy an awful lot of property
value. So let's sue the government now.
fail to take action in the face of a recognized threat is not only incredibly
stupid, but also legally actionable. Misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance
can all be alleged, reckless, irresponsible conduct, failure of duty ... a
litany of charges.
the next few decades," says the report. Let's call it 20 years, so most of
us can expect we'll still be here. We'll live to see the meadows and the
marshlands gone, the coasts going under and blasted by hurricanes, the Southwest
dead of thirst and the whole problem getting worse because nothing has been done
to stop it.
when they hold the great congressional investigation in 20 years to find out who
knew and who should have done something about it, they won't have to subpoena
documents from the CIA and the FBI, no energy company will need to shred the
evidence, the White House won't have to stonewall, no cover-up will be needed -
because we will find that it was all on the front pages 20 years ago.
whom will we blame then for not doing something in time?
Molly Ivins is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. ##
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WHY ISN'T CHENEY BEING INVESTIGATED LIKE CLINTON WAS?
FW: Miz Molly: Why no Whitewater treatment over Halliburton?
Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2002 12:29:46 -0700
From: "venire" email@example.com
on Sun, Jun. 09, 2002
Why no Whitewater treatment over Halliburton?
- The Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating Halliburton -- the
company formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney -- for accounting
irregularities. What took so long?
Cheney's record at Halliburton is one of the most under-covered stories of the
past three years. When you consider all the time and ink spent on Whitewater,
the neglect of the Cheney-Halliburton story is unfathomable.
proximate cause of the SEC investigation is an "aggressive accounting
practice" at Halliburton approved by the accounting firm Arthur Andersen --
a little matter of counting revenue that had not yet been received, $100 million
New York Times reports two former executives of Dresser Industries, which merged
with Halliburton in 1998, say Halliburton used the accounting sham to cover up
its losses. Dresser may have thought it got a bad deal in that merger because of
that $100 million "anticipation" on the credit line, but the deal
turned out to be much more sour for Halliburton.
bought himself a former Dresser subsidiary facing 292,000 claims for
asbestos-caused health problems. He said at the time the merger was "one of
the most exciting things I've ever been involved in" and predicted it would
benefit Halliburton's customers, employees and shareholders.
first thing that happened was Halliburton eliminated 10,000 jobs. (It was always
amusing to hear Cheney on the campaign trail in 2000 claiming he had been out in
the private sector "creating jobs.")
to executives at Halliburton, Cheney knew about the asbestos liability before
the merger and considered the risk. Because of the liability, Halliburton's
stock has fallen from more than $60 to under $20.
January, the company had to deny rumors it was going into bankruptcy. In other
words, Cheney pretty well ruined the business. Of course, what the company wants
to do now is have Congress pass a new law limiting asbestos liability.
more interesting is Halliburton's governmental record under Cheney. In an August
2000 report, the Center for Public Integrity noted that Cheney had said publicly
the United States should lift restrictions on American corporations in countries
listed by the government as sponsoring terrorism.
that was then, this is now.
repeatedly claiming his company would not do business with Iraq -- he was
defense secretary during the Persian Gulf War -- Halliburton racked up $23.8
million in sales to Iraq in '98 and '99. It did so by using two European
subsidiaries, so Halliburton was not directly violating the sanctions against
it was business.
striking another blow for freedom from government interference, Cheney led
Halliburton into the top ranks of corporate welfare hogs, benefiting from almost
$2 billion in taxpayer-insured loans from the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the
Overseas Private Investment Corp. In the five years before Cheney joined the
company, it got a measly $100 million in government loans. Cheney also
specialized in getting government contracts for the firm. During his five years
as CEO, Halliburton got $2.3 billion in contracts, compared to only $1.2 billion
in the five years before he took over.
of the government work was done by Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root, the
construction firm, thus reinstating a fine old Texas tradition. Brown & Root
was Lyndon Johnson's major money source: It was to LBJ what Enron was to George
brings to mind a famous story from the Kennedy-Johnson campaign in 1960 relished
by Texans. It's after the election, and the Democrats win. Kennedy and Johnson
are sittin' in the Oval Office the first day, and the phone rings. It's the Pope
of Rome (Texans used to specify "of Rome," lest you should confuse him
with some other pope) on the phone. He says, "John, my boy, the Vatican
roof is leaking something fierce, we were hopin' y'all might fix it for
course, Mr. Pope, sir. Just let me check with my vice president. Lyndon, the
Pope's on the phone and wants to know if we can fix the Vatican roof for
fine with me," says Johnson. "Just make sure Brown & Root gets the
to see tradition reassert itself.
Ivins writes for Creators Syndicate. 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los
Angeles, CA 90045 ##
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