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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
It’s no wonder George W. Bush is having fainting spells. Everyday he has to worry that Osama bin Laden’s angry young men are stalking him. But it’s Dick Cheney who is in hiding. And now Bush is just a bombshell memo away from political oblivion. You could see that W. was unraveling late last week […]

Bush, Enron and the Pretzel

by Jack McCarthy

It’s no wonder George W. Bush is having fainting spells.

Everyday he has to worry that Osama bin Laden’s angry young men are stalking him. But it’s Dick Cheney who is in hiding.

And now Bush is just a bombshell memo away from political oblivion.

You could see that W. was unraveling late last week when, like a child caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar, he nervously claimed that Enron’s Willie Sutton, Kenneth Lay, supported Democrat Ann Richards in his first Governors race.

That turned out to be a bald faced lie. The truth is that Lay did contribute some money to Richards, $12,000. But most of Lay’s largess went to Bush, to the tune of $37,000.

The New York Times’s William Safire, who used his column to fire one Republican Whitewater prosecutor for another Republican prosecutor because the first wasn’t aggressive enough, claims this is “no Whitewater.”

Well, maybe he’s right. When you think about it Bush was more like Ken Lay’s Monica Lewinsky. For Bush has been going down on Enron for quite awhile now.

For all pratical purposes, Bush has been a personal lobbyist for Lay and Enron since his days as Texas governor.

Bush’s fainting spell could well have been precipitated by his knowledge that documentation will surface showing that he did more on Enron’s behalf than he’s admitting.

By lying about something as basic as who Lay supported for governor, Bush is showing signs of panic. Or in sports parlance, the president is blinking.

And now he’s choking.

To Bush’s disadvantage, the Washington media is giddy that they have something other than Afghanistan to write and talk about. And although the press corps will go out of their way not to be too antagonistic they may have no choice.

By all appearance, the administration and the dozen or so Enron connected staffers, have been recklessly available to provide economic hum jobs for Enron.

There could be many smoking gun memos floating around or being shredded and deleted as I write this. And maybe W. knows it.

And that could be why he was taken down by a lone pretzel.