Saturday, July 13, 2002

Political Notes beat Counterspin in suggesting Lee Bass by a few hours...
The Senate Democrats have been absolutely stupid in helping to block legislation to change accounting rules of stock options. Aside from the merits of that - and such a change does seem to win on the merits though someone could convince me otherwise I suppose - it is a complete political fumble.

Counterspin has a pretty good guess about who the mystery Harken stock buyer is.

One intriguing possibility is Lee M. Bass. He was a Bush Pioneer during his Presidential run, and a big supporter of his during his Gubernatorial campaigns. More importantly, as Texans for Public Justice reported:

"When Bush’s ailing Harken Oil suspiciously won exclusive offshore drilling rights in Bahrain in ’90, the Basses bankrolled the venture."

In fact, according to a May, 1999 New York Times Article, Bush's Lawyer, Robert Jordan, the current Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, argued that Bush thought he was selling his shares on the impending "good news" of the Bass investment in the Bahrain drilling venture.

UPDATE. Digby adds more analysis:

If it's Bass, then the ground shifts from insider trading to actual pay-off and Poppy becomes much more implicated.

Tiny nowhere company, Harken, gets huge Bahrain contract because Junior is on board and it will curry favor with 41. Bass, big time contributor to 41, gets most of the actual work from that Bahrain contract. Bass fortuitously buys Junior's stock just before it's set to tank (after having been pumped by the phony Aloha deal) thus allowing him to cash out and pay off his Texas Rangers loans, a deal which also allowed him to invest almost nothing and emerge a multimillionaire.

Now what could be suspicious about that?

Someone brought Jeff Gerth out of hibernation.

It's late, someone give me the synopsis...

UPDATE: Okay, I'm up. Here are the good bits.

In Tough Times, a Company Finds Profits in Terror War


WASHINGTON, July 12 — The Halliburton Company, the Dallas oil services company bedeviled lately by an array of accounting and business issues, is benefiting very directly from the United States efforts to combat terrorism.

From building cells for detainees at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba to feeding American troops in Uzbekistan, the Pentagon is increasingly relying on a unit of Halliburton called KBR, sometimes referred to as Kellogg Brown & Root.

Although the unit has been building projects all over the world for the federal government for decades, the attacks of Sept. 11 have led to significant additional business. KBR is the exclusive logistics supplier for both the Navy and the Army, providing services like cooking, construction, power generation and fuel transportation. The contract recently won from the Army is for 10 years and has no lid on costs, the only logistical arrangement by the Army without an estimated cost.


By hiring an outside company to handle much of its logistics, the Pentagon may wind up spending more taxpayer money than if it did the work itself.

Under the new Army contract, KBR's work in Central Asia, at least for the next year, will cost 10 percent to 20 percent more than if military personnel were used, according to Army contract managers. In Uzbekistan, the Army failed to ascertain, as regulations require, six months, were available to work when it brought in the contractor, according to Army spokesmen.


The Army contract is a cost-plus arrangement and shrouded in secrecy. The contractor is reimbursed for its allowable costs and gets a bonus based on performance. In the past, KBR has usually received the maximum performance bonus, according to Pentagon officials. Though modest now, the Army contract could produce hundreds of millions of dollars for the company. In the Balkans, for instance, its contract with the Army started at less than $4 million and turned into a multibillion-dollar agreement.

Mr. Cheney played no role, either as vice president or as chief executive at Halliburton, in helping KBR win government contracts, company officials said.
MWO...say it isn't so....


Now how will I know what the next left wing terrorist targets are?


Ann gets Scoobied!
Blogger broke all day. Lost a couple posts. Ah well, not like the Great Library of Alexandria burning or anything.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Where'd Drudge's big scoop about Gephardt go?

Today's daily dose of Mucilage..
Anthony York has got the goods.
Hey, I hit 50K visitors. You like me! You really like me!

But, if Andy Sullivan gets more hits than me, then the terrorists have won!

Thursday, July 11, 2002

In its original French, entrepreneur means literally someone who undertakes--not an undertaker in the sense of a funeral director, but someone who undertakes an important task or project.The term soon came to be associated with venturesome individuals who stimulated economic progress by finding new and better ways of doing things. The French economist Jean Bapiste Say summed it up at the turn of the 19th century when he described entrepreneurs this way: "The entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of an area of lower and into an area of higher productivity and greater yield." In other words, entrepreneurs create value. "


"With pen and ink, Adam Smith made the entrepreneur invisible. J.B. Say brings him back to life and to the center of the stage."


"Say also developed a noted theory of markets and the concept of the entrepreneur."


The French have a word for entrepreneur, "l'entrepreneur," and they (in particular, Say) are responsible for giving it its contemporary American, and French, meaning.

How about them apples?

Man, just when I was going to name Musil my favorite Right Wing (Self)-Parody site, Andy Sullivan comes in with this winning post:

BUSH AND THE MARKETS: I've been asked why I haven't blogged much on the current attempt to inflict political damage on president Bush because of the accounting and business scandals of the last few months. I haven't written anything because I don't
think I have anything interesting to say. (Yeah, I know that's no excuse for a hack. But hey, I wrote a column about it.) The truth is: I'm really not qualified to make a judgment about what technically-speaking would be the best solution for punishing the guilty and preventing further abuse. The president's balance seemed fair to my instinctively anti-regulatory impulses. But I'm open to other arguments. But I do think there's something strained about the attempt to hold Bush personally accountable. The Harken stuff seems trivial to me. Almost all the worst corruption happened on (surprise!) Bill Clinton's watch. Much of it can be attributed to the ethical temptations of a bubble economy and the root causes aren't as salient today. I'm repulsed by the greed and dishonesty of some of the characters, but I don't actually enjoy the thrill of class-warfare. That's one thing that separates me from, say, Paul Krugman and Howell Raines. So let hem have their story. I'll take a pass on their agenda.

Oh this Musil guy is hilarious! Check this out:

Similarly, one can understand Mr. Bush's need for caution in the company of self important but narrow-minded liberals such as most American media representatives, or European derigistes such as Blair and Chirac. And yet he clearly senses his own power, not just by virtue of his office but because he feels powerful, in his inner estimation of himself and his interactions with many American communities, including people of faith. Indeed, Mr. Bush defeated Al Gore, a man of many intellectual pretensions whose supercilious bearing and approach, and that of his campaign and especially some of his supporters, at times suggested that he and they believed him to be running for President of France.

It bothered the Europeans and those of similar mind then, and it appears to bother them now. [he links to me here]

You have to work to achieve this level of parody.

Check out Counterspin.
Check this spot soon!

Scoobie Davis interview with Ann Coulter!
The issue of whether or not to arm pilots is getting far more attention that it should. It just isn't that big of a deal. But, I was a bit disturbed by the fact that from what I understand the House Bill would force airlines to allow their pilots to arm themselves if they wished. That's a far cry from allowing the airlines to choose, as was the case until July 2001.
Conason points out that the White House communications office is disobeying Junior.

Spokesman Dan Bartlett said that the White House doesn’t have the records, although Bush himself certainly once did, and as President could surely request them again. The Harken board minutes would show whether and how he participated in the deceptive purchase of a company subsidiary, Aloha Petroleum, by a firm that included the Harken chairman and other insiders.

On Monday, Bush seemed to indicate that he couldn’t remember his view of the Aloha scheme. Maybe he enthusiastically endorsed it, which wouldn’t look so good right now; or maybe he was the kind of "independent director" who yawned, collected his fees and stock options and rubberstamped management, which wouldn’t look so good now either. If he had opposed that Aloha deal, he would probably remember it well. And if he or his lawyers are keeping those yellowed board minutes in an old trunk anywhere, that’s one Pandora’s box they’re not opening.

Still, there are clues to be found in the publicly available documents. Harken’s proxy statement for its annual stockholders meeting on November 18, 1990, mentions aspects of the Aloha Petroleum sale. In a footnote on page 20, the statement explains that "the sale price was…approved by independent directors of HMC," or Harken Marketing Company, then a subsidiary of Harken Energy. Weren’t the "independent directors" of HMC identical with those on the board of Harken Energy, including George W. Bush? A glance at those proxy statements, available at the SEC’s EDGAR site , might refresh the President’s dim recollection.

I wonder if the whores will ever get embarassed for ignoring this stuff in the year 2000.

Amnesty condemns Palestinian attacks on civilians.
Chilicheeze notes that Michael Kinsley had written about the Cheney-Andersen video over a month ago.
To steal a phrase from Moynihan, can we STOP DEFINING TERRORISM DOWNWARD, please?

TAPPED picks on Howard not-so-Fineman. What a total hack.

Does anyone read Newsweek anymore?

Instapundit is upset about a building evacuation due to a smoke grenade.

No word if the alleged perpetrators (none have actually really been alleged yet) had recently paid a visit to MWO.

Fair enough.

I'm upset about a Planned Parenthood clinic getting the crap shot out of it.

Maybe it's time to start keeping score. Lefty nutballs 1, righty nutballs 1. Tie game! Let's see who wins July!

Public Nuisance calculates when 2002 Tax Freedom Day for some of our favorite companies will be.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Someone tell me if this post by Robert Musil is humor or simply evidence of advanced stages of sycophantic psychosis. I can't tell.

(permalink broken -it's the one about Bush and "entrepreneur")

MWO explores further what I wondered about in my post below below about the Times looking into a sinister liberal advocacy group. While not necessarily a thorough exploration of the subject, MWO notes that the New York Times hasn't mentioned Richard Mellon Scaife or Grover Norquist in connection with his Club for Growth in the past year.

I honestly can't remember any similar recent Times investigation into front groups on the Right, though an alcohol-addled brain's recollection isn't necessarily any kind of proof. Unless you're Bernie Goldberg, that is.
Thanks to them long term contracts, California's doing fine as Ann Salisbury notes.

The real story is that Davis went to the Feds and said do something. They didn't. Then he went to the power companies and they said - we're going to keep doing this and there isn't much you can do. If you sign these obscenely priced contracts we'll stop it.

They didn't actually come right out and say that, of course, but it was understood.

The contracts were too expensive - but at that point there probably wasn't anything he could do. The only reason he wasn't instantly vindicated was the fact that the following summer was unusually cold.
Peter Beinart shines as he occasionally does.

Yes, that's right: Respected conservatives are actually suggesting that Enronand WorldCom cooked their books because Bill Clinton lied about a blow job.It's not an argument that takes a lot of deep thinking to rebut. First of all, corporate fraud wasn't invented on Clinton's watch. The United States endured a wave of financial scandals in the late '80s as well, at the end of the last Wall Street boom. When Ivan Boesky was arrested for insider trading, Michael Milken was busted for market manipulation, Charles Keating was running a fraudulent savings and loan, and Gordon Gekko was declaring that "greed ... is good," Bill Clinton was an obscure Southern governor, and the man setting the moral tone "at the top" was Ronald Reagan. Maybe Boesky and Milken lost their moral bearings because the Gipper was a divorcé who neglected his children.

I thought this latest round of Blame Clinton would be laughed off the pages, despite its promotion by liberal media elites like Howard Kurtz. If they had wanted to blame it all on Clinton they could've found more creative ways to (try and) do it than bring up the blowjob. Even Kate O'Beirne had a bit of trouble reading her blastfax with a straight face.
Adam Magazine (yes that is his real name SO STOP ASKING) notices that Jonah Goldberg needs a few whacks from a cop.
Signorile on The Gay Mafia.
Down 283. Oof.

Poor Brent Bozell.

Damn, Rudy settles.
I wonder if Republicans will accept a twice-divorced family falues candidate?

Mike Kinsley on the whole Iraq issue.

There are two reasons to not have a serious public debate about invading Iraq (Well, two real, if silly, ones and plenty of ridiculous and/or cynical ones).

1) Surprise attack! Obviously it isn't going to be much of a surprise.

2) If we debate it then that demonstrates our lack of resolve. Well, if we have a lack of resolve, then...
I guess 'the Street' didn't like Bush's speechifying too much.

I remember during the 2000 campaign and post-election fiasco, the liberal media would attribute daily fluctuations in the Dow as a response to favorable campaign news for Gore (if it went down) or favorable campaign news for Bush (if it went up). Not that there usually was any real news of this type.

Someone with way more time on their hands than me (well, if you compile the data I'll do the rest!) should look at the DOW's response to Gallup's tracking poll from the last campaign and see what the reality is.
A note on email policy:

I consider anything sent to me by email (As well as in the comments) fair game to post, with attribution - unless otherwise requested by the author in which case I'll happily oblige. As for attribution, I never publish anything other than initials unless it's pretty clear to me that the author doesn't mind (such as another blogger). I'm not likely to post emails that have any real personal content to them, but so I don't screw up just let me know if you definitely don't want me to run something. On the other hand, if you definitely DO want me to print your name, and/or a link, etc... feel free to tell me that too.

Point is - I try and use my best judgment leaning heavily towards maintaining anonymity and not airing personal notes, but I can't always be sure what people's wishes are.
This was an interesting choice of backdrops for Bush's latest speech:

(thanks to Blah3)
"From the first day of this campaign I have talked about the goal of a responsibility era for America. ... For too long our culture has sent this message: If you've got a problem, just go ahead and blame somebody else. Each of us must understand that's not right."

October 26, 2000.
Time to place your bets:

Who will be the first Borg member to lament the rise of liberals in Blogistan because it has led to increased factionalism?

or maybe someone already has..
I'm all for the New York Times doing a bit of investigatin' and pointing out where ad money comes from, but I don't remember them doing the same for the Latest Grover Norquist Front Group -- they're actually easy to spot, they all operate out of his kitchen.
Tim Francis-Wright of Bear Left writes in to say:

Dear Atrios,

Someone needs to put the kibosh to Bush's claims that he LOST money on his infamous Harken Energy transaction. First, there's how ho bought the shares in the first place, by exercising options
at below-market prices. Second, he claims that if he had held onto the stock for another 12 months, he would have sold at $8 per share. That's right. But only if his timing were as impeccable as it was when he sold in 1990 at $4 instead of at $2: from April 1992 through December 1996, the stock never hit $4 per share.

After a bubble in 1997 and 1998, Harken went stright into the metaphorical wastebin: the shares Bush sold at $4 are now worth less
than a nickel each.

Take a look at the historical HEC price (be forewarned: they had a 1-to-10 reverse split, so the Harken stock that Bush sold at $4 now shows on the chart as $40).

Tim F-W

UPDATE: Ted Barlow, back from his travels, has more on this.
Brad DeLong fact-checks the Borg Queen.
On the way home I heard on NPR some guy expressing something I've been meaning to post for awhile.

He made the not-entirely-new-point that travelling on roads and highways works because most people obey the rules. It doesn't necessarily matter so much what those rules are - we can drive on the left side, the right side, whatever, but unless we all agree on what those rules and most of us obey them, well, just because, the whole system will fall apart.

The cops can provide some incentive for us to behave. But, unless most people follow the rules essentially because they want to, no amount of cops in the world can make it work.

Being that I'm one of those immoral (or is it amoral? can't keep track.) liberals, this isn't going to a Bill Bennett-style lecture on morality.

What I want to bring up is that there are certain notorious Chicago-School Law and Economics types who have argued that corporations (and their managers) have an obligation to their shareholders to break they law if it will increase their return. That is, if the expected cost of disobeying the law is less than the benefit of disobeying it, the managers have an obligation to do break it.

On second thought, maybe Bill Bennett should get on this one after all.

Digby disagrees with me and agrees with Kaus. Maybe he is onto something:


Mickey is on to something very, very important. Media Whores Online, with it's 97 regular readers, is just one of the players that makes up the dangerous Mighty Casio of the Left.

Each day the venemous call to arms is also shot over the internet to more than 622 people on Mike Malloy's radio program. Every morning at least 1236 Americans scan Buzzflash's snide headlines. Those who read the subversive rantings of number literally in the 100s. And that's just the tip of the ice cube.

Granted, commercial radio hosts like Rush, Hannity et al, who rail daily to their tens of millions of listeners against "the liberal media" "feminazis" "leftists" "fifth columnists" etc, are usually thought to cater to the most likely nutjobs to go-off-the-deep-end, but that is no longer operative.

This is because Mickey sees something that the rest of us have missed. He recognizes that Rush's continued attacks on liberals actually belies a new sense of lighthearted contentment on the Right. If, for instance, Rush claims that "socialists" like Tom Daschle are trying to confiscate all guns and turn children into homosexual terrorists, his highly sophisticated audience sees this claim as a playful jibe. None of those tens of millions would ever take such a clearly affectionate jest seriously. They are filled with love.

All 1300 readers of the powerful and malevolent MWO and Buzzflash, however, are so mindlessly deranged because "Bush is getting away with it" that a fair percentage of them are simply incapable of controlling themselves. Media critique and political criticism of this kind, where journalists are given derisive nicknames and readers are asked to write faultfinding e-mails, is just the kind of incitement that could push a fair percentage of these scribbling Leftists to do something really dangerous.

Mickey is right to alert other concerned and committed liberals like himself to the frightening emergence of Left Wing Hate and the Mighty Casio that fans the flames of it's rage. It behooves the love- drunk flower children of the Right and the complacent apathetic center to wake up before it's too late.

Lives are at stake here, folks.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Note to CNN:

Bush was not cleared of charges over Harken SO STOP SAYING THAT.

CNN should inform us a little more often than they do (never) that Bill Schneider is a fellow at AEI.
I used to (you know, like a month ago) pick on Kaus quite a bit. I stopped doing it so much because:

a) I couldn't cope with reading through his horrible writing and wasting brainpower wading through his pretzel-illogic.

b) I thought he'd become so ridiculous that any opinion I'd be likely to sway has been swayed already.

I'm glad to see that Charles Kuffner has stopped bothering with him. [permalink broken]
There are so many ways to mock (and I mean mock, not critique, it's hardly worthy of serious consideration) Kaus's ridiculous "concern."

I think as vaara put it in my comments, a slight rephrasing of Kaus's comments gives us something along the lines of:

How dares those stupid jackasses insult us!

Kaus can be credited, I suppose, for admitting that the angry invective inciting violence (see that, Timmah?) has been on the Right in recent years, though I missed all the column-inches he's devoted to this newfound concern of his.

His attempt to link MWO in any way to the "Left" is laughable, but part of the standard tactic to link anything to the left of Rush Limbaugh with the dangerous violent anti-American leftists islamo-fascist environmental terrorists. Or something. Since the terrorist left has been such a disappointment (why can't those environmental terrorists get their act together, damnit! We need a good enemy!), they've resorted to arguing that everyone from palestinian suicide bombers to Ted Kazcynski to Tim McVeigh (a tool of those leftist islamo-fascists, dontcha know) to well, everything just plain ICKY, is a leftist. Then people like Kaus come along and argue that people like MWO, who are really the centrist Democrats that Kaus always claims to be (which makes him a liberal in the eyes of the media), are going to be responsible for yet-to-be-seen acts of violence by Al Gore voters.

MWO doesn't represent the angry left. It represents the angry center.

Besides, people like Kaus (and Timmah, and Instapundit, everyone over at NRO, Fox News, and their more obvious pals on the hate radio circuit) are quite heavy on the snide remarks, personal insults, and hyperbole (just kidding! of course), that feed the red meat crowd.
Timmah Blair, known for his use of the kind of dangerous invective that Mickey Kaus is concerned about, has this to say:

Vaaara is off to Fiiinland, leaving in his wake a link to someone who equates talk-back radio with terrorism.

Hey Timmah - talk to yer pal Mickey about this.

Oh Mickey! Stop! You're killing me! This is so funny!

I do worry that the crude, hyperbolic, ad hominem, preach-to-the-converted invective of anti-Bushies in places like Media Whores Online -- promoted by theoretically respectable people like James Carville and Paul Begala -- creates an atmosphere in which a few especially zealous followers might do something. That worry is real even if MWO's determinedly un-nuanced rhetorical style is simply giving the right a taste of its own medicine. That is, again, the point -- that a danger that was mainly on the right is now in large part on the left.

Beware Media Whores! The horseheads are coming for you!

Monday, July 08, 2002

Hey, Joe Conason joins the Blogosphere. Well, sort of anyway. Salon Premium.
Step aside, Churchill:

Q Good afternoon. Since shortly after September 11, you said that you would like to see Osama bin Laden dead or alive. But you've also said that America is after justice and not revenge.


Q Could you please tell us, to your way of thinking, what is the difference?

THE PRESIDENT: Between justice and revenge? I think it's a difference of attitude. I mean, I seek justice for the deaths done to American people. And it's -- you can be tough and seek justice, Ed. And you can be disciplined and focused and seek justice. But it's a frame of mind. We don't take -- we take lives when we have to, to protect the people and to hold people accountable for killing thousands, is how I look at it.


He did take more than two questions, exceeding expectations once again. Much like the time he didn't jerk off on a cracker at a public campaign event.*

* thank you for the joke Jon Stewart .

Apparently Bush will take two questions after his speech today.

Instapundit calls Hugo Chavez a dictator. This guy is a law professor?

I wonder if that means he approved of the attempted takeover of the country by Opus Dei.

Apparently, U.S. culture has now become some sort of psychotic death cult.

“Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is, the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral. Abolition has taken its firmest hold in post-Christian Europe and has least support in the church-going United States. I attribute that to the fact that for the believing Christian, death is no big deal.”

-Tony Scalia

UPDATE: Tony T provides link to transcript of complete fun-filled session here.
Note to All Media Whores (And this includes YOU Cokie Roberts, you ignorant...):

Bush was never exonerated by any SEC investigation.


The Tubesteak Messiah -Now a Get out of Jail Free Card for White Collar Criminals!

From Unreliable Sources

KURTZ: Now conservative commentators, Martha Brant, Rush Limbaugh and others, have tried to blame some of the recent corporate scams and meltdowns on Bill Clinton. They say well he set a bad example for the country. He showed he could lie and get away with it, so is that a reverse kind of "let's drag in the political figure we don't like and pin the tail on him." BRANT: I think that's a ridiculous argument, that somehow, you know, tying in these moral - I - you know I love it. Ben (ph) - the WorldCom ...

KURTZ: You're saying there's no parallel ...

BRANT: I don't ...

KURTZ: ... situation between Monica Lewinsky and WorldCom's $4 billion of misstated profit.

BRANT: I just - I think that is a ridiculous argument to try to link the two. Certainly malfeasance is malfeasance and there is a moral element to this, but I just think dragging in, you know, Bill Clinton and saying well, he got away with it. Therefore, this - you know we should be looking the other way and this, you know, corporate malfeasants, which are - yes I see the connection, but I don't think that that's a reason that we should be letting these guys off the hook.

Proof that EVERY nutty idea can be launched from the right wing echo chamber, at least as long as it revolves around Clinton's dong.

As Jon Stewart would say....


"A second thought provoked by [the July 4th LAX gunman] is whether Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle bears some responsibility for this attack. If the attack was not initiated by any terrorist organization and was indeed the work of a lone gunman desiring to advance the Islamicist cause, is it not probable that the government alert about a July 4th attack actually inspired his actions? And isn’t it the Bush Administration’s fear of being demagogued again by Daschle and the Democrats that caused the warnings to be issued even though there was no evidence of a specific plan for an attack? This very possibility illustrates the dangers of partisan demagoguery by national leaders in time of war. Let’s hope Mr. Daschle thinks about this incident and has second thoughts as a result."

One can only hope Crazy Davey Horowitz has established the lower bar in the LAX Shooting Blame game.

[Thanks to B.N.]

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Maybe we can take a break from bashing Lefties-Against-Israel, and turn to bashing Righties-Against-Israel(and lots of other things).

Delenda Est Judaica ! says the World Church of the Creator!

They also say:

Dedicated to the Survival, Expansion, and Advancement of the White Race

CNN Ticker:

"Anti-Gay Protester carries 'Thank God for September 11' sign in Idaho."

I'm a bit behind on responding to emails, particularly ones requiring a more personal reply..apologies..
Dear Newsweek:

I will happily do what Michael Iskikoff does, putting his name on Karl Rove's essays, for 1/2 the price.

Email me if you are interested.



ON A RECENT Friday George W. Bush sat down with O’Neill and a handful of senior economic advisers to work on the details of the president’s upcoming speech laying down the law to corporate America. Angered by news of yet another major accounting scandal, this time at long-distance-telephone giant WorldCom, O’Neill urged Bush to make greedy CEOs pay for their crimes. “A kid caught with half a pound of marijuana gets more jail time than a corporate executive,” he said. “That’s not square.” Bush emphatically agreed. “You’re absolutely right,” he said. O’Neill went on to detail how WorldCom executives played with the numbers, hiding nearly $4 billion in losses. “Can you imagine that?” he asked. The president frowned. The two men sat, shaking their heads.


Font too small, too large, or just right?

In comments..

I hope Krugman is back on Sundays permanently.

That's exactly what happened at Harken. A group of insiders, using money borrowed from Harken itself, paid an exorbitant price for a Harken subsidiary, Aloha Petroleum. That created a $10 million phantom profit, which hid three-quarters of the company's losses in 1989. White House aides have played down the significance of this maneuver, saying $10 million isn't much, compared with recent scandals. Indeed, it's a small fraction of the apparent profits Halliburton created through a sudden change in accounting procedures during Dick Cheney's tenure as chief executive. But for Harken's stock price — and hence for Mr. Bush's personal wealth — this accounting trickery made all the difference.

Oh, and Harken's fake profits were several dozen times as large as the Whitewater land deal — though only about one-seventh the cost of the Whitewater investigation.

Fun Google hit of the day:

republican hypocrites sucking cock.

Updated my Blogroll, and added some categories....
Mother Nature is also angry at Instapundit.

Who can blame her?