Friday, November 17, 2006



Earlier I made reference to the guilty plea from Shaun Hansen, one of Ken Mehlman's and Karl Rove's little helpers in the 2002 theft of the New Hampshire senate race by John Sununu. He could face 7 years in the slammer, although even if he gets a harsh sentence, this is another one Bush is sure to pardon on his way to historical infamy. And Bush will be very busy that last week in office.

Some interesting developments at the Republican Party's biggest former money machines: Abramoff and Enron. Abramoff (aka- Federal Inmate No. 27593-112) headed off to start serving his 6 year prison sentence for the fraud-- though not the murder of Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis-- in a Mafia-riddled cruise ship scam that involved both Ney and DeLay and has been made to look benign by federal investigators. Abramoff has more trials, more convictions and, no doubt, more prison sentences ahead, many for bribing Republican congressmen.

A few weeks ago Jeff Skilling, the #2 crook at Enron, was sentenced to 24 years in prison and the court denied a request for him to remain free pending an appeal. He's now residing at the Butner Correctional Facility in North Carolina.

Although 24 years is the longest term received by any of the Enron crooks, it was at the lowest end of federal sentencing guidelines. "Officially" the size of Skilling's fraud was considered by the court to be $80 million, which pointed to a sentence of between 24.3 years and 30.4 years in jail. In reality, the Enron fraud involved much greater sums. Thousands of jobs and $2 billion of pension funds were lost while the 2001 bankruptcy wiped out $60 billion of Enron's market value. Skilling also faces fines of $18 million, a fraction of the $100 million in reparations and fines sought by federal prosecutors.

Yesterday Richard Causey, the former chief accountant for Enron Corp. received a 5 1/2 -year prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to one count of  securities fraud and got a sweet deal, although he and his wife were forced to forfeit $1.25 million in a bank account, and he gave up the rights to about $250,000 more in deferred pay from Enron. The last two Enron crooks, Mark Koenig and Michael Kopper, get sentenced in Houston today.

But I heard the most interesting news from the Enron scandal when I woke up this morning and switched on CNN. The talking moron playing the reporter role botched the story completely but managed to convey something and I found it at USAToday in a report about a bipartisan bit of legislation from Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and right wing extremist Jeff Sessions of Alabama, something dubbed "The Ken Lay Law". Basically it would disallow the automatic vacating of a conviction if the guilty party dies (as supposedly happened in Ken Lay's case). This would allow for the restitution for the victims to be pursued. According the CNN the law would be retroactive so that Lay's huge stash of ill-gotten gains could be forfeited. I somehow can't imagine Bush signing that one into law.

And just to round out the report on future recipients of Bush presidential pardons, the state of Florida has opened a criminal probe into Republican Congressman Mark Foley's case. Remember, Republicans and their media allies are still desperately trying to spin this as just some "naughty e-mails" and they take every opportunity to claim-- falsely-- that Foley never had any sex with any of the boys. That is sure to all come out in the wash... unless he does a plea bargain to some minor charges and the whole thing just goes away. Emanuel worked hard to make the Foley thing happen so he could get his shill into the seat. Now that's Mahoney is a congressman, I suspect Emanuel will be just as happy to see the whole thing just go away before the game splashes all over him.

Oh, and let me end with a tale of redemption. Crooked Republican ex-governor of Lieberman's state, John Rowland has served his 10 months in prison and is now serving... Big Tobacco, just like recently re-elected Republican minority leader John Boehner, 168-27. He was a speaker of the U.S. Tobacco convention in Florida last week. (Rowland, not the other crook.) And speaking of re-elected crooks, the Republicans rejected all their "reform" candidates and also re-elected corruption king Roy Blunt (minority whip), 137-57. And Blunt's puppet, the Howdy Doody nimrod guy was elected as Conference Chair, 100-91.


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