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July 10, 2002

Bringing Forth a Mouse

At least the liberal establishment has lost patience with Bush's big words backing no real reform. Just look at today's NY Times headlines:
* Tough Talk and Softer Plans
* Bush's Dance: Moral Outrage Without Pain to Loyalists
* The Task Force: Big Names But No Authority to Prosecute

Probably the best commentary on the speech was last night's Daily Show by John Stewart (who has probably been the most savage and funny Bush critic for months). I'll post the clip when they do, but the gist was simple. Looking at Bush's speech, when Dubya waxed eloquent on forcing the corporate criminals to give back the money when caught or barring those convicted of fraud from just running over to another firm, Stewart could only ask wasn't there any punishment for these guys already in place.

The reality of course was that Bush was carefully avoiding dealing with the areas of corporate malfeasance where there are currently weak sanctions -- you know those non-"black and white" areas of law that he and Dick Cheney and Army Secretary White et al have violated. The creativity of Wall Street means that any narrow rule changes will just create a new set of different schemes to rip off the public. The only real solution is the proposal sponsored by Senator Leahy to create a felony for using any "scheme or artifice" to defraud shareholders. Bush merely wanted to double the punishment for traditional wire fraud-- pathetic.

Posted by Nathan at July 10, 2002 08:43 AM

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Jon Stewart also had the best summation of WorldCom and other corporate wrongdoers:
after a monotone synopsis of WorldCom's accounting fraud, he intoned, "Yes, it's boring. That's how they get away with it."

Enough said.

Posted by: Tim Francis-Wright at July 11, 2002 11:21 AM

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