by Gene Lyons December 5, 2001

If Senate Democrats wanted to spend all their time investigating their opponents like another political party I could name,

the Bush administration provides a growing list of suspects. The spectacular collapse of the Houston-based Enron Corp., whose stock was valued as high as $63 billion last spring when California officials accused it of rigging a phony

“energy crisis” to drain hundreds of millions from that state’s electrical ratepayers, could keep an infinite number

of congressional committees busy indefinitely.

Think of it this way: The Whitewater real estate deal involved a total investment of about $200,000, roughly the cost

of modest Hillcrest fixer-upper. The Clintons lost $45,000, not quite enough to buy a new SUV with all the trimmings. Whitewater itself never cost the taxpayers a dime, but the demise of Jim McDougal’s Madison Guaranty S&L reportedly

cost the taxpayers maybe $65 million. Probing this fathomless mystery required months of House and Senate hearings,

and kept Kenneth Starr and his sleuths busy for six years, at the end of which poor, sick McDougal had died in prison,

and all Starr had to show for his trouble was a stained dress and a ruined reputation.

Now Republicans are reminding us what a real financial scandal looks like. With the value of its stock plunging from $94

a share to 26 cent.


I want to see a full investigation of these crooked oilmen and their paid political puppets. By saying so, I am undoubtedly running afoul of some Patriot law, but so be it.

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