Skip to comments.Bush Will "F--- Whack This S---" for Enron, "Crude, But True"(CBS Rather Blathers Enron Bush Tie)
Posted on 06/02/2004 3:18:52 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
CBS on Tuesday night resurrected the Enron scandal and made sure to tie it to President Bush. Playing some audio tapes of conversations amongst low-level Enron sales staffers, CBS News reporter Vince Gonzales maintained that back in 2000 "they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices." Gonzales also claimed that some inarticulate vulgarity by an unidentified Enron staffer, about how Bush will "f------ whack this s---, man. He won't f------ play this price-cap bull----," was "crude, but true."
Anchor Dan Rather set up the CBS Evening News story which led the June 1 broadcast: "Good evening. We begin tonight with a CBS News exclusive. You are about to hear the shocking words of Enron employees as the company was boldly ripping off the state of California and consumers high and low, manipulating gas, oil and electricity markets. Market manipulation in this country and elsewhere is at the heart of criminal charges still pending against former Enron executives, the first of whom go on trial next week in Houston. CBS News investigative correspondent Vince Gonzales obtained the audiotapes the U.S. government had kept under wraps hoping, along with Enron, that you would never hear them."
Maybe government lawyers wanted to keep them private so they could be used in criminal proceedings. By Rather's logic, all prosecutors, who don't divulge to the media all the evidence they've gathered, are in collusion to hide valuable information from the public.
Gonzales began, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "When a forest fire shut down a major transmission line into California, cutting power supplies and raising prices, Enron energy traders celebrated."
Audio clip of Enron employee: "Burn, baby, burn. That's a beautiful thing."
Gonzales: "Four years after California's disastrous experiment with energy deregulation, on audiotapes obtained by CBS News, Enron's energy traders can be heard gloating and praising each other as they helped bring on and cash in on the western power crisis."
Audio clip of employee #1 [Text on screen, with ---- and parts of words bleeped, over video of electricity meter]: "He just f---- - California. He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."
Audio clip of employee #2 in the apparently recorded phone call: "Will you rephrase that?"
Employee #1: "Okay, he, arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day."
Gonzales: "The tapes, from Enron's West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS News reported years ago. In secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants to shut down."
Audio clip of employee #3 [Text over picture of power plant]: "If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?"
Audio clip of employee #4: "Oh, it's not something you want to be just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way."
Employee #3: "Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down?"
Gonzales: "Officials with us in Snohomish public utility district near Seattle received the tapes from the Justice Department."
Eric Christensen, Snohomish County Public Utility District: "These tapes prove beyond a doubt that Enron was engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy to defraud the rate payers of the entire West Coast."
Gonzales: "That utility, like many others, is trying to get its money back from Enron."
Audio clip of employee #5 [Over picture of power lines]: "They're f------ takin' all the money back from you guys? All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"
Audio clip of employee #6: "Yeah, grandma Millie, man."
Employee #5: "Yeah, now she wants her f------ money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her ass for f------ $250 a megawatt hour."
Gonzales: "And the tapes appear to link top Enron official Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay to schemes that fueled the crisis."
Audio clip of unidentified female "executive": "Government affairs has to prove how valuable it is to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling."
Audio clip of employee #8: "Okay."
Same unidentified female executive: "Do you know when you started over-scheduling load and making buckets of money on that?"
Gonzales, over video of balloons dropping on George and Laura Bush at the 2000 Republican convention: "Before the 2000 election, Enron employees pondered the possibilities of a Bush win."
Audio clip of employee #9: "It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay be Secretary of Energy."
Gonzales: "That didn't happen. But they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices."
Employee #9, with "Enron Phone Recordings, CBS News Exclusive" on screen and text of audio over a shot of Bush on a dais: "When this election comes, Bush'll f------ whack this s---, man. He won't f------ play this price-cap bull----."
Gonzales: "Crude, but true."
George W. Bush in a speech, May 29, 2001: "We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse. And that's why I oppose price caps."
Gonzales concluded: "Both the Justice Department and Enron tried to prevent the release of these tapes. Enron's attorneys argued they merely prove, quote, 'that people at Enron sometimes talked like Barnicle Bill the sailor.' Vince Gonzales, CBS News, Los Angeles."
For the online version of this story: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/01/eveningnews/main620626.shtml
What's the smoking gun here? That traders wanted the prices to go up or down?
Gee, I wonder how many stories CBS has done on Oil For Food. If they care about big time graft, corruption, screwed American taxpayers, and brutalized Iraqis....Oil For Food has it all.
It should be Hillary's panties, the ones that, unwashed, lie beneath "old crusty"!
It's almost like the whole "power shortage" line was concocetd by a buch of con artists who were joking around in private about sticking it to grandma.
Yeah, just joking around.
Hey Dog, know why this guys account was just banned? He seemed pretty legitimate to me.
I "rather" feel they made the point that Bush would have nothing to do with the price fixing that went on previously.
Seems like MRC may have read between lines that weren't there..??.. Perhaps I am an optimist. Maybe you get "Bush" and "Enron" together in the same sentence enough it rubs off.
Thought you may be interested in this Ernie....
Actually CBS radio surprised me today (6/2) about this. They said "this occurred during the end of the Clinton adminstration, and was one of the first issues addressed by the Bush administration in 2001." I almost drove off the road.
I've noticed the same. We've visited a lot of assisted living facilities and nursing homes lately, checking them out for my 80-year-old mother. At 6:30 every night - like clockwork - you can hear every TV tuned to RatherJenningsBrokaw (mostly Rather, from what I've seen and heard). One assisted living facility even has a little "club" of women who get together at 6:30 every night to watch Dan Blather together (*gag*). And I know for a fact these places do get Fox News. Most seem unaware of FNC... It's sad.
My mother is a huge Brit Hume fan, BTW. :-)
"The fiscal disaster and the energy crisis in California were easily predictable. The policies of the state made it almost inevitable. Bush shouldn't be bailing states out from themselves."
I absolutely agree. There is no issue involved other than a media attempt to create an issue. The issue of Enron is long forgotten by voters, and will remain so unless the media can create a new issue. I merely hypothesized that the media would attempt to link Enron and the California recall election with Bush's deciding not to bail out California.
I have no idea. If he was banned, I think his posts would automatically be removed, so it's apparently a suspension.
Blaming the Bush administration for the California power crisis is flat out stupid Democrat rhetoric, though, and that's the path he was heading down.
I didn't see anything to cause his suspension. Did you? He seemed fairly credible.
Excuse me, no. We didn't deregulate our energy market. It was an elaborate government-control scheme that Steve Peace (the author of the plan) and Pete Wilson (Governor at the time) called deregulation.
If we'd actually allowed the free market - the only system of regulating prices that has ever worked - to operate, Enron wouldn't have had the opportunity to manipulate us.
Dammit, is that right? Man, I hate to think you can be banned just for being a lib. We're better than that. That's the kind of Nazism that DU is obsessed with.
You might ask the moderator. I had nothing to do with it. I'm not going to vouch for his credibility, especially since I was about to disagree with him.
Oh brother, don't call the moderators "Nazis." Geez, tell me that you're smarter than that.
I had never heard before, during a commercial break on radio, Dan Rather promoting his evening newscast. It didn't even "sound" like a canned commercial, but rather like a breaking news alert.
I came home, after hearing the commercial on Tuesday, expecting this to be a huge, breaking story.
Okay. Now do the research on Ken Lay and Clinton, or any Dim for that matter. Let's see it. In all fairness.
Dude, I'm not calling the Admins Nazis, but I really think we should tolerate dissenting opinions as long as they're not abusive, or don't break any posting rules. I'm confident in my conservative ideals, as I'm sure you are. Banning libs just for disagreeing with us makes us look like chickens. To quote a great man: "Bring it on."
Er, no, wait... that applies to Lurch, too...
Whoops, to late. LOL.
By credible I meant he only had a dissenting opinion, I didn't see any violations.
Well, I will say his posts were quite interesting, and he only linked sources, so I don't have a clue what happened to the gentleman.
Yes they were, and I live in San Diego so I know.
Also .. it was Joe Lieberman who set up a commission to investigate Enron. His comments were .. "this will bury Bush". Hmmmm? What happened that commission ..??
It got shut down by Lieberman because when he started investigating Enron .. it led straight back to the Clintons.
So we are to believe the Clinton was bumping bellys with ENRON from Texas, and Bush had no interest? Lieberman starts exposing Clinton so the whole thing disappears, and the Republicans stand in silence?
LOL! This picture is all crooked.
The media realizes that have to resurrect another dead horse to try to beat on the President again.
It's not the first time SeeBS tied the shenanigans of Enron with Bush, ignoring the Chinese deals, the screw over of California residents, and the close ties to the Clinton administration in their SeeBS Sunday Movie "The Big E" shortly after Bush was sworn in.
Yep, Enron led back to the Clintons, and Ken Lay was an adviser to then CA Governor Grayout Davis.
Only to you!
You're assuming that because the guy was in TX he was cozy with Bush .. bad assumption.
And .. who turned Enron away when everything began falling aprart and some Clinton hack approached the Bush admin and wanted favors .. they didn't get them.
You're wrong about another issue .. Lieberman didn't expose Clinton .. he just shut down the investigation so he didn't have to.
There's a new book out about the murder of Ron Brown .. and low and behold, involved in that is a trip Ron Brown arranged for Enron .. it was an exclusive .. as there were no other energy companies involved in the deal. But .. remember .. these are the very same people who are whining that Bush was showing favoritism toward Halliburton. The real deal on that is that Halliburton and Bechtel had the original plans for the Iraq oil refinery and that's why they were chosen. And .. just a little more data for ya .. Iraq put over $10 million in the bank in May from the sale of their oil so far this year.
Must be some history we are not aware of.
So the Republicans decline to pursue this? You stated the investigation led right to Clinton. You're words.
LOL, I guess.
Oh, my gosh. Dan Rather must be a Democrat activist.
But, no, how could I think that? He denies it, so it can't be true.
*If* what you posted was the reason you were banned, at the risk of being axed, I tend to agree. Opinions, regardless of their positions or politics, should not be eliminated or silenced, and can be debated with facts or other opinions.
"So the Republicans decline to pursue this?"
I don't run the repub party so you'll have to check with them.
"investigation led right to Clinton"
It was common knowledge the investigation was going to lead to Clinton .. Rush was talking about it the moment Lieberman announced he was going to start an investigation into Enron - and "bury Bush". If you don't know that info, that's not my fault.
"You're words." Your words!
It official, California is actually in play! At least that's what I glean from the Christian Bashing Station's piece.
For the record, Investor's Business Daily predicted the fiscal crisis back in May, 2001:
Sort of like "I did not have sex with that woman......."
These people were all about ripping off the consumers, stealing from the rate payers and the stock holders at the same time, and all we get on this forum...."Tell Michael it was only business...."
The so called free market does not seem to be so free after all. The greed market however is well and prospering.
As to the foul mouths, I have been in sales meetings were folks like to draw analogies to hunting and killing their competitors by making sales and watching brand X's employee have their homes foreclosed on. I feel such talk is "over the line" and not good buisness practice. Time is money and meetings should be about exchanging needed information, not about posturing and shooting one's mouth off.
It is clear from the government relations tape that someone was trying to justify their job and contribution to Enron's bottom line, in the hopes of either getting a bonus or staying employed. As such they were fishing for straws they could grasp at to make their point to the home office.
As for the sc@#&^!ing aunt Millie, that is just trash talk, that while not illegal, will do much to impress a jury and more importantly draw public scrutiny away from the utility with the highest retail rates in Washington State that released the information & tapes publicly.
I understand that this utility is despirately trying to find any reason to allow a court to nulify a $100 million obligation they have to Enron. I wish them luck. They may get a jury (but not a bankruptcy judge or FERC Administrative law judge) to throw out the contract cancelation feature of their contract with Enron, due to some of the trash-talk tape language.
Now as to the can this powerplant be shut down. That gets to an interesting area of anti-trust law. The real question with those comments is, "who are the folks talking and what is their possition? What kind of plant were they talking about?"
Shutting down a power plant is not something that is done lightly at a utility (at least in my experience). With the exception of peaking plants, shutting down a plant is a big deal. For example, when I designed base load plants at Bechtel Power, we did something call "hot springing" the steam lines. Steam lines and boiler tubes will expand in length as the temperature and power level increases. We often made sure that the pipe was cut so that mechanical stress on the pipe was at a minimum when the plant was near full power production. This meant that when a plant was shut down, you had huge mechanical stress on the piping. That meant that things were more likely to break during a shut down as forces increased.
Similarly, in figuring out maintenance on a combustion turbine or deisel generating peaking unit, each start-up and shut down is counted as many hours of operation in the "hours of operation between major maintenance outages."
Because of these kinds of factors, often times shutting down a plant is something that requires plant managers approval and a review of maintenance impacts and requirements, as you usually try to do maintenance when a plant is down, if at all possible. If nothing else, you usually want to have maintenance people on hand to make sure nothing bad has happened and help you get it back up and running again.
Therefore, the question on the plant shut down, is did the folks doing the talking have the ability to get the plant to shut down? If they did then this might be an anti-trust violation showing market manipulation. If their positions were such that they were just asking questions about options and or just doing wishful thinking (if x happens then the price I can charge for Y will go through the roof and I will get a bonus), it is just bad PR.
With all the investigations that occurred on the part of California and FERC over the maintenance shutdowns at certain powerplants during the Cal Power Crisis, I would be surprised if there were now "new reasons" for the shutdowns. I seem to remember that plant managers and the responsible officials were grilled pretty harshly on those shutdowns as California officials were sure that was the smoking market manipulation gun. Again, I see this part of the tapes as likely "old news" but could influence a jury over a contract cancelation clause.
Stir it anyway you like, these guys are crooks and give conservatism a bad name. You want protectionism to prevail, just let the crooks have a free rein and it will come.
Yes. When Ron Brown's plane went down in Croatia, he was on an errand concerning Enron.
I don't know how they give conservatism a bad name. How do you know their political affiliations?
Some of the Enron Accountants were crocks.
Some of the bankers and investment companies Enron dealt with were crooks.
Some of the politicians that Enron tried to buy were crooks.
Some of the Enron employees were crooks.
As to "these guys" (being associated with the questions on plant shut downs), I would like to know a little more about what there positions within the company were, before, I would call them crooks. The reason is that there were several well publicized cases where various California officials said that energy marketing firms had illegally held their plants off the market.
In the several previous investigations (if my memory is correct) of this by State officials and federal officials what was generally found was needed maintenance, air pollution control limits, gross failure to pay the power plant operator to the point that the operator could no longer affort to maintain the plants and had to shut them down (lots of small renewables including windfarms) and bad information provided by the California state agency responsible for generation scheduling were why the plants had been shut down and not available to deliver power.
And it was Clinton butt-boy Robert Rubin who tried to get the Bush administration to ease off on Enron.