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Mark Steyn- Forget it boys: you won't pin this one on the President
The Sunday Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 07/14/2002 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 07/13/2002 4:37:51 PM PDT by Pokey78

I was interested to read last week of Ulf Buck, a blind German psychic who claims to be able to predict the future by feeling people's naked buttocks. That's more or less what the American press and their chums in the Democratic Party are trying to do.

No sooner does the bottom drop out of WorldCom or ImClone than the press psychics insist they can detect in its dimples and crevices all sorts of gloomy portents for George W Bush's political future. Somehow these collapsing corporate posteriors are supposed to be connected to the President, and indeed his responsibility: the butt stops here.

Some readers may recall what I said in these pages the week the Enron scandal broke. Other readers will have difficulty recalling Enron at all. C'mon, you must remember, it was a H-U-G-E Presidency-detonating scandal just six months ago, back when CNN's graphics department were dusting off everyone's favourite suffix and running up little "ENRONGATE" logos, and the New York Times was assuring us that "questions were being raised". As I wrote in January: "The only 'question' really being 'raised' is: How can we pin this on Bush? Short answer: You can't."

And so it proved. And what went then goes triple this time round. Enron was comparatively easy: it was an energy company, from Texas, whose rise had coincided (more or less) with Bush's governorship. Connect the dots, implied the Dems, and what you have here is the worst example of the Texas wildcattin' business culture from which this oil stooge President emerged.

But they couldn't make it stick. And the terrain is far less favourable in the current crop of scandals. For one thing, it's not a shady energy company, but a diverse portfolio - telecommunications, biotech, pharmaceuticals, and even Christmas spice balls and cockscomb topiary (among the fallen corporate idols is America's happy homemaker Martha Stewart, supposedly being investigated for insider dealing - or, as she would say, "Here's a stock deal I made earlier").

So suddenly you're not attacking energy and polluters and Big Oil and Texans but just business in general. And, while Ralph Nader and other cheerily unreconstructed workers' champions may be happy to do that, that puts the Democratic Party a little bit further to the Left of where they want to be come election day this November. Of course, if you wanted to fine-tune the attacks not to sound like you're totally anti-business, you could blame Martha, Enron and the rest on Nineties boom culture, but, given that Bill Clinton spent eight years taking credit for that, it's hard to see why it's now Bush's fault.

So Bush critics have instead dragged up a low-interest loan the President got from some oil company he was a director of over a decade ago. "President Bush likes to preach responsibility," said the Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe. "When it comes to his own records, the motto is: 'The buck stops over there'."

"It is hard to lead when you haven't done the things that you're asking others to do," tutted Dick Gephardt, the House Democratic leader. This is the same Terry McAuliffe who founded the Federal City Bank, which was deemed by regulators to be using unsound banking practices and which, while Mr McAuliffe was also serving as finance director for the 1988 Presidential campaign of one Dick Gephardt, gave said Gephardt an "unusual and unsecured" loan for $125,000.

So, if the low-interest loan won't jump, the only outrageous Bush-toppling scandal left in play is the fact that in 1990 Harken Energy Corp was a few months late filing a routine letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission confirming that Mr Bush had divested some stock and was blah-blah-blah . . . growing drowsy . . . zzzzzzzz . . . impenetrable technical violation . . . losing the will to type.

Oh, pardon me, I dozed off in the middle of the sentence. For the last three readers who haven't skipped ahead to the the books section, the danger for the Democrats here is in over-reaching. By the end of the week, the ethics bores were whipped up over the SEC's latest investigation - into Bristol-Myers Squibb for practices that "inflated sales by $1 billion".

What this boils down to is: Their sales guys went around saying hey, you should buy our products now because they'll be going up next year. According to the New York Daily News, "critics charge the company knew the resulting, incentive-driven sales exceeded demand but encouraged the stockpiling anyway as a way to meet profit projections." "Bristol-Myers may be forced to restate its revenues," said Steven Tighe, a drug analyst at Merrill Lynch. What for? No one is suggesting they didn't sell the stuff. Actual product changed hands: the customers have the drugs; the drug company has the money. In what sense is this "inflating" sales? Talk about a damp Squibb.

More to the point, it's exactly what my local post office (proprietor: the United States government) did to me a few months back. Quite out of the blue, my postmaster, Mike, suggested that I renew my bulk mail permit three months early as the rates would be going up on July 1. Was the US Postal Service thus "inflating" sales? Who cares? Arthur Andersen is a model of rectitude compared to what passes for auditing in your average Federal department, especially the "sensitive" ones (Office of Civil Rights, Bureau of Indian Affairs, etc).

No accountability? Missing billions? Meaningless annual reports? Pick any Federal agency you like. WorldCom's $4 billion is less than one sixtieth of the new US $248 billion farm subsidy bill, three-quarters of which goes to a bunch of multimillionaire play-farmers like Ted Turner and David Rockefeller. Take any G8 member. Okay, let's exclude Russia, and Italy, and stick with the semi-respectables. Say what you like about Enron's Ken Lay but he's no Jacques Chirac. In Canada last week, the Liberal Government more or less admitted giving millions of taxpayer dollars to advertising agencies which never made any actual advertisements but instead were grateful enough to give some of the money back - not to the taxpayers, but to the Liberal Party. The great thing about government money laundering is you don't even need to go to the trouble of opening an offshore account in Bermuda. At least, the market is always, eventually, self-correcting. Given the choice between government scrutiny of business or business scrutiny of government, I know what I'd opt for.

But the media must be allowed their fun. On Wednesday, Judicial Watch launched a suit against Dick Cheney, the Vice President, over past business practices. Judicial Watch, according to the BBC News, is an "anti-corruption group". "Anti-corruption": how noble! A couple of years ago, when Judicial Watch were suing Bill Clinton every other week, the BBC described them only as "a Right-wing lobby group" and the US media, when they mentioned them at all, did so only to dismiss them as a bunch of crazies.

Enjoy it while you can, boys. Sometime in the next two months President Bush will be invading Iraq. After that, any Democrat who wants to fight an election on "It's the accountancy, stupid" would be advised to re-think.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: marksteyn; marksteynlist
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1 posted on 07/13/2002 4:37:52 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...
Ping for the MSPL.
2 posted on 07/13/2002 4:38:29 PM PDT by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
Love it.
3 posted on 07/13/2002 4:45:57 PM PDT by Grig
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To: Pokey78
Don't you just love this guy? He is always so on the mark! He just laughs at the antics of the RATS and the media and the good part is he always turns out to be right. I wish he was one of our President's speech writers! LOL!
4 posted on 07/13/2002 4:47:43 PM PDT by Wait4Truth
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To: Pokey78
Given the choice between government scrutiny of business or business scrutiny of government, I know what I'd opt for.

No question there!

Speaking of business scrutiny, whatever happened to the Grace Commission Recommendations that found hundreds of billions worth of waste/fraud/abuse in the Federal Government? And this was in the '80s before Bill Clinton ever got hold of the levers! Would some posturing politicians like Gephart or party hacks like McAlliffe care to answer that query of what "reforms" came out of those?

5 posted on 07/13/2002 4:50:41 PM PDT by Gritty
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To: Pokey78
Great Post...Glad I stopped by.
6 posted on 07/13/2002 4:55:46 PM PDT by tubebender
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To: Pokey78
Judicial Watch, according to the BBC News, is an "anti-corruption group".

I guess that's better than "that flipping idiot", No ?
Good to see "lawsuit Larry" is moving up in the world.

7 posted on 07/13/2002 5:00:35 PM PDT by dread78645
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To: Pokey78; Howlin; Miss Marple; PhiKapMom; dubyaismypresident; Wphile; Lorena; Oldeconomybuyer; ...
Mark Steyn- Forget it boys: you won't pin this one on the President

Excerpt:

I was interested to read last week of Ulf Buck, a blind German psychic who claims to be able to predict the future by feeling people's naked buttocks. That's more or less what the American press and their chums in the Democratic Party are trying to do.

No sooner does the bottom drop out of WorldCom or ImClone than the press psychics insist they can detect in its dimples and crevices all sorts of gloomy portents for George W Bush's political future. Somehow these collapsing corporate posteriors are supposed to be connected to the President, and indeed his responsibility: the butt stops here.

< snip >

But the media must be allowed their fun. On Wednesday, Judicial Watch launched a suit against Dick Cheney, the Vice President, over past business practices. Judicial Watch, according to the BBC News, is an "anti-corruption group". "Anti-corruption": how noble! A couple of years ago, when Judicial Watch were suing Bill Clinton every other week, the BBC described them only as "a Right-wing lobby group" and the US media, when they mentioned them at all, did so only to dismiss them as a bunch of crazies.

Enjoy it while you can, boys. Sometime in the next two months President Bush will be invading Iraq. After that, any Democrat who wants to fight an election on "It's the accountancy, stupid" would be advised to re-think.


So hard to know what to excerpt.......it's all so good! Pings to everyone!

Please let me know if you want ON or OFF my ping list!. . .don't be shy.
8 posted on 07/13/2002 5:16:03 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Wait4Truth
Yep! He's good. Da** good, especially since 9-11!
9 posted on 07/13/2002 5:22:11 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: dread78645; maxwell

Judicial Watch, according to the BBC News, is an "anti-corruption group".

I guess that's better than "that flipping idiot", No ?
Good to see "lawsuit Larry" is moving up in the world.


My note to Larry Klayman and Judicial Watch!:

http://151.200.3.8/~vze29k6v/you.html

10 posted on 07/13/2002 5:29:35 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Pokey78
"And the terrain is far less favourable in the current crop of scandals. For one thing, it's not a shady energy company, but a diverse portfolio - telecommunications, biotech, pharmaceuticals, and even Christmas spice balls and cockscomb topiary (among the fallen corporate idols is America's happy homemaker Martha Stewart, supposedly being investigated for insider dealing - or, as she would say, "Here's a stock deal I made earlier")."

Priceless! One of his very best!

11 posted on 07/13/2002 5:33:02 PM PDT by A Citizen Reporter
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To: Pokey78
I wonder if the author lurks in here. Most of what is said looks like parahprased replies in several message threads going on here...
12 posted on 07/13/2002 5:34:31 PM PDT by Keith in Iowa
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To: dread78645
Judicial Watch, according to the BBC News, is an "anti-corruption group".

I guess that's better than "that flipping idiot", No ? Good to see "lawsuit Larry" is moving up in the world.

But he was "that flipping idiot" only as long as he was going after dems. As soon as he went after Cheney, his credibility miraculously improved. What a coincidence.

13 posted on 07/13/2002 5:35:21 PM PDT by Bob
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To: MeeknMing
Steyn rocks!
14 posted on 07/13/2002 5:36:21 PM PDT by Let's Roll
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To: Let's Roll
Steyn rocks!

Yes he does!

15 posted on 07/13/2002 5:43:19 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: summer
fyi.......
16 posted on 07/13/2002 5:44:00 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Pokey78
This Steyn is our kind of guy.

DNC operatives McAuliffe and Gephardt are outed as hypocritical shameless whores, in the Clinton tradition.

Come to think of it, all Socialists are by definition hypocritical shameless whores.

But the left-wing are shocked and paralysed by the militant right-wing renaissance taking place across the globe.

In America, starting with the Florida recount, active grassroots Conservative activism is making the difference.

In the face of Socialist lies and terrorist ties, no more 'turn-the-other-cheek' Christian piety - it is time to unleash the Crusaders.

Free Republic bravely leads the charge.

17 posted on 07/13/2002 5:47:37 PM PDT by Enduring Freedom
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for the ping! This one is quite positive, isn't it!
18 posted on 07/13/2002 5:51:16 PM PDT by maica
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To: Pokey78
the press psychics insist they can detect in its dimples and crevices all sorts of gloomy portents for George W Bush's political future.

LOL. This is hitting the nail on the head. Great article. Never heard of Steyn before. Thanks for the post!

19 posted on 07/13/2002 5:54:09 PM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: JohnHuang2
Hey, JH2! Can you throw a megaping here? I normally don't ask but I likes this one!
20 posted on 07/13/2002 5:58:08 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: nicmarlo
Never heard of Steyn before

Given that statement, I recommend two things:

1) Pokey78 is gracious enough to maintain a Mark Steyn ping list. Send Pokey a FReepmail requesting you be added.

2) Do a search on "Steyn" and read all the back columns that appear.

You won't be sorry. He's perhaps the best editiorialist writing today. I wish I could write 1/10th as well.

21 posted on 07/13/2002 5:59:42 PM PDT by FreedomPoster
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To: FreedomPoster
Thanks for your suggestions....I'll do that (to both). He writes clearly and articulately. And he's right on the money. Refreshing to find today.
22 posted on 07/13/2002 6:01:46 PM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: MeeknMing
I was interested to read last week of Ulf Buck, a blind German psychic who claims to be able to predict the future by feeling people's naked buttocks.
________________________________________
This butt guy is for real. On the internet.
23 posted on 07/13/2002 6:03:11 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: FreedomPoster; nicmarlo; Pokey78
Hey, nicmarlo. I'll second FP's note. About 80% or more of Steyn's stuff
is a hit-the-nail-on-the-head commentary. Get on Pokey's MSPL !
24 posted on 07/13/2002 6:03:29 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Pokey78
"Enjoy it while you can, boys. Sometime in the next two months President Bush will be invading Iraq.
After that, any Democrat who wants to fight an election on 'It's the accountancy, stupid' would be advised to re-think." - Mark Steyn
"Sometime in the next two months?" BUMP!
25 posted on 07/13/2002 6:04:50 PM PDT by RonDog
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To: FreedomPoster; nicmarlo
2) Do a search on "Steyn" and read all the back columns that appear.
Here is a link to a search for FR threads with "Steyn" in the title.
26 posted on 07/13/2002 6:08:28 PM PDT by RonDog
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To: RonDog; MeeknMing; FreedomPoster
Thanks Meekie and RonDog (for the link) and your seconds. I did a search, the old fashioned way, lol, and just read "whatever you do, don't call it a hate crime" before your posts. That was another good 'un. I look forward to reading more of his articles.
27 posted on 07/13/2002 6:13:00 PM PDT by nicmarlo
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To: Pokey78; terilyn; deport; Howlin; Clara Lou; RedBloodedAmerican; DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet; ...
But the media must be allowed their fun. On Wednesday, Judicial Watch launched a suit against Dick Cheney, the Vice President, over past business practices. Judicial Watch, according to the BBC News, is an "anti-corruption group". "Anti-corruption": how noble! A couple of years ago, when Judicial Watch were suing Bill Clinton every other week, the BBC described them only as "a Right-wing lobby group" and the US media, when they mentioned them at all, did so only to dismiss them as a bunch of crazies.

Then we have Ol' Larry's web site...Made a little visit to the JW site last night. I found this tidbit:

A CNN poll, featured on the Internet web site of Lou Dobbs, the anchor and managing editor of “Lou Dobb’s Moneyline” – the prestigious and authoritative financial and business news program – revealed that 95% of the respondents answered “Yes” to the question, “Should Vice President Dick Cheney answer questions about accounting at Halliburton?” A similar poll on the Judicial Watch web site (www.JudicialWatch.org) shows 83% of respondents answering “Yes” to the question, “Should Vice president Cheney be required to answer accounting questions about Halliburton?” Interestingly, both the “Moneyline” and Judicial Watch web sites are likely frequented by large numbers of economic and social conservatives. This proves that conservatives are as concerned as liberals about Cheney’s alleged involvement in stock fraud.

And the actual poll results (it's closed now, no more voting):

Judicial Watch Poll Center

Results

Should Vice President Dick Cheney be required to answer accounting questions about Halliburton? (3880 votes)
Yes
1645 (42%)
No
2234 (57%)

Inspires real trust in Larry's integrity, huh? Maybe he ought to wait until his polls CLOSE before quoting the results?

28 posted on 07/13/2002 6:14:13 PM PDT by Amelia
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To: MeeknMing
I think he must be deeply hated by his so-called colleagues. Mark "clouds" thier message, so to speak. LOL!
29 posted on 07/13/2002 6:20:24 PM PDT by Wait4Truth
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To: Amelia
I was only able to vote NO once. However after getting a new IP, I was able to vote YEs many times. what gives?
30 posted on 07/13/2002 6:22:13 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: MeeknMing
Thanks for the ping Meek. Mark Steyn never ceases to amaze. His subjects are always "hot" buttons and his style is, well, to die for...

FGS

31 posted on 07/13/2002 6:26:19 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake
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To: PhiKapMom
LOL! Check out the last reply by RedBloodedAmerican. Should be just above this one. You'll get a laugh!
32 posted on 07/13/2002 6:26:52 PM PDT by Wait4Truth
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To: Pokey78
I was interested to read last week of Ulf Buck, a blind German psychic who claims to be able to predict the future by feeling people's naked buttocks. That's more or less what the American press and their chums in the Democratic Party are trying to do.

Oh my God. This... this... I just don't even have words. Mark well this day, Jonathon Spectre rendered speechless. Steyn is just so great it's almost disturbing.

33 posted on 07/13/2002 6:26:58 PM PDT by Jonathon Spectre
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To: aristeides; The Great Satan; Mitchell; thinden; mancini
Enjoy it while you can, boys. Sometime in the next two months President Bush will be invading Iraq.

We shall see, but I have my doubts.

34 posted on 07/13/2002 6:27:08 PM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: Amelia
Um...you used "Larry" and "Integrity" in the same sentence.

Bad Amelia, go to your room ;)
35 posted on 07/13/2002 6:36:36 PM PDT by terilyn
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To: RedBloodedAmerican
You are incorrigible. Keep it up!
36 posted on 07/13/2002 6:43:53 PM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: Amelia

Well the 'eww' has been taking his cues from his latest sponsors and keeping the 'polls open late'. Only he hasn't learned you're suppose to have your buds from the watch lined up to do the voting......

37 posted on 07/13/2002 6:46:00 PM PDT by deport
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for the ping to Steyn......this is one of his best!
38 posted on 07/13/2002 7:02:49 PM PDT by JulieRNR21
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To: Pokey78
but, given that Bill Clinton spent eight years taking credit for that, it's hard to see why it's now Bush's fault

Yes, very hard to see why Bush is to blame, and even harder to see why Albert should get any credit.

39 posted on 07/13/2002 7:07:34 PM PDT by dano1
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To: ForGod'sSake
...a routine letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission confirming that Mr Bush had divested some stock and was blah-blah-blah . . . growing drowsy . . . zzzzzzzz . . . impenetrable technical violation . . . losing the will to type.

Mark manages to mix incisive satire with the most astounding sense of humor. He actually makes me laugh out loud. I read his work with deep pleasure. Thank God that we see eye to eye. LOL!

40 posted on 07/13/2002 7:13:51 PM PDT by foreshadowed at waco
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To: MeeknMing
http://151.200.3.8/~vze29k6v/you.html

Let's leave the name calling to the DemocRATS!

41 posted on 07/13/2002 7:22:09 PM PDT by JimRed
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To: JimRed
FYI Larry IS a Democrat.
42 posted on 07/13/2002 7:27:35 PM PDT by RedBloodedAmerican
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To: Pokey78
a blind German psychic who claims to be able to predict the future by feeling people's naked buttocks.

No sooner does the bottom drop out . . .

Sorry, it's late, and I've been up since 5:30 a.m., but I laughed so hard that I'll have to finish this EXCELLENT post tomorrow!

LOL, LOL

43 posted on 07/13/2002 7:29:07 PM PDT by mombonn
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To: MeeknMing; Pokey78
Thanks for the flag, interesting article. I am still waiting for Terry McAuliffe to show teachers how to take a modest investment of $100,000 and turn it into an $18 million profit, like he did. That would certainly be an infomercial I'd watch....
44 posted on 07/13/2002 7:33:48 PM PDT by summer
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To: Wait4Truth
Yes he does! I'm amazed how he can whack back-to-back homers so many times!
45 posted on 07/13/2002 7:41:53 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: ForGod'sSake
You're very welcomed. Steyn is the best!
46 posted on 07/13/2002 7:43:25 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: RonDog
why not 9/11?
47 posted on 07/13/2002 7:46:20 PM PDT by rabbitdog
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To: Fred Mertz
I suppose it's true that news of military victories would cancel out bad economic news. But that would not be a good reason to attack sooner than military prudence dictates. Even if you're just concerned with politics, it would be an unreasonable risk: news of military defeats, combined with bad economic news, could lead to a real electoral disaster.
48 posted on 07/13/2002 7:48:13 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: Pokey78
That McCauliffe would dare open his mouth about 'business practices"! Remember when he was in Spain, and was going to be indicted? That didn't faze Bill Clinton who appointed him head of the DNC anyway.

What I like especially in Steyn's article is when he describes businesses getting questionable contracts from liberals in government, and those businesses then returning part of that money....to the liberals' party --- here, that's the Democrats.

All through the nineties there were charges that money disappeared into federal agencies without a trace....as Steyn says -- the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and remember all the missing money at HUD with Cuomo at the head of it?

Bush is honest through and through. Those Democrats, including girlfriend-killer Ted Kennedy, have NEVER even PRETENDED to be honest!

They steal our money, they steal votes, they steal our freedoms at every opportunity.
49 posted on 07/13/2002 7:48:56 PM PDT by WaterDragon
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To: Pokey78
I used to feel slightly guilty about not responding to Judicial Watch's fund appeals. Now I thank God I never did.
50 posted on 07/13/2002 7:52:57 PM PDT by WarrenC
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