Thursday, May 25, 2006

Kenny Boy Goes Down, Immigration, Bush & illegals, GOP Not Playing Well With Itself and FBI to Investigate Pols.

Ken Lay's and Jeffrey Skilling's guilty verdict is the big news today. Though, it's hardly surprising.

The sentencing will be on September 11.

HOUSTON, May 25 -- Jurors in the Enron trial made it clear that it would have
been better for former executives Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling if
they'd kept their mouths shut and stayed off the witness stand.

While we're on the subject of being too stupid to keep your mouth shut, gives us Bush's connections to Enron in Bush's Enron Lies.

--Bush personally joined the fight against imposing caps on the soaring price of
electricity in California at a time when Enron was artificially driving up the
price of electricity by manipulating supply. Bush’s resistance to price caps
bought Enron extra time to gouge hundreds of millions of dollars from
California’s consumers.

--Bush granted Lay broad influence over the
development of the administration’s energy policies, including the choice of key
regulators to oversee Enron’s businesses. The chairman of the Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission was replaced in 2001 after he began to delve into Enron’s
complex derivative-financing schemes.
Enron's gone, how many other corporations are ripping us off? Are Lay and Skilling the just the bones they're throwing us to get our attention away from what's still going on?

It's what I think, but then I'm a cynic. Daniel Gross at Slate must be a cynic too. Lay and Skilling Aren't the Only Guilty Ones

It would be nice if this vision of a sparkling clean corporate America were true. It would also be nice if everyone could have a pony. Alas, the accounting games and executive-compensation excess that began in the 1990s are still very much with us. Some of the most obvious offenders have been caught, but huge amounts of corporate corruption remain.

The Senate passed their immigration bill yesterday. Bush got pretty much what he laid out in his immigration speech. Now it goes to the House, when they get done it will probably a very different bill.

The Senate yesterday approved legislation that would trigger the biggest changes
to U.S. immigration policy in decades, by strengthening border security,
establishing a guest-worker program, and providing the means for millions of
illegal immigrants to stay in the country and possibly become citizens.

The product of a tenuous bipartisan coalition that faced tough
conservative opposition, the measure calls for 370 miles of triple-layer fencing
along the Mexican border, a complicated three-tiered system for determining who
can stay and who must leave the country, and more jail cells for those awaiting
deportation. It would declare English the country's national language, a gesture
that many advocates found insulting but accepted in hopes of helping millions of
undocumented workers achieve legal status.

There's other critics besides the right. Many are saying the Senate bill will do away with due process for immigrants. Just wait until the House gets done with it.

The legislation approved by the Senate yesterday would offer many illegal
immigrants a chance at citizenship. But advocates of expanded immigration rights
complain that "hidden traps" woven through the bill's 300 pages erode
significant due-process protections for all foreign-born people living in the
United States.

A coalition of civil rights, religious and legal groups
says the legislation would make it easier for the government to detain or deport
immigrants -- whether in the country legally or not -- while making it more
difficult for them to prove they deserve asylum or naturalization.

This whole immigration thing is putting the Republicans in a squeeze. On one side they have their xenaphobic base that don't want any border crossings, on the other they have Big Business, they want the cheap labor and they fund the party. What's a poor pandering Republican to do?

Why Bush Needs "Illegal" Immigrants from

"Some in this country argue that the solution is to deport every illegal
immigrant, and that any proposal short of this amounts to amnesty," said Bush.
"I disagree. It is neither wise, nor realistic to round up millions of people,
many with deep roots in the United States, and send them across the border."

Nevertheless, that is exactly what many Republicans, in their wettest of
dreams, wish to do because that is what their constituents want.

According to the WSJ the Republican party has lost it's lockstep and is in the process of falling apart. Rotten things have a tendency to do that.

Sandwiched between the news conference and the budget fight was Thursday night's
debate on a natural-resources bill -- an annual battleground for Western lands
and energy issues. On a series of six amendments, environmentalists won easily
as scores of Republicans broke ranks.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Don Young (R., Alaska), who helped
engineer last year's costly highway bill, couldn't save relatively modest sums
for logging roads in Alaska's Tongass National Forest. And House Resources
Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, who faces a primary challenge June 6 in
California, first helped to strike a provision related to oil royalties on
federal lands; he then backed the substitute seeking to accomplish the same
California Rep. George Miller, a Democratic veteran of many environmental
fights, smiled in recalling the palpable agitation in the air that evening. "You
could start to see, they smelled meat cooking here. The atmosphere is changing."

And some good news. The FBI is going to do something they should have been doing for quite some time now. They're going to start investigating election and political shenanigans.

Federal law-enforcement officials say they witnessed a dramatic jump in
campaign-finance and other election-related crimes in the 2004 presidential
election year and are determined to beef up their policing of candidates running
for federal and local office around the country this year.

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I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.

John Stuart Mill (May 20 1806 – May 8 1873)