(Copyright 2002 Al Aronowitz)


Subject: softskull-announce message
Date: 29 Jan 2002 02:08:41 -0000
From: "softskull-announce" <>
Organization: softskull-announce

Message from

Two things you should know?

A lot of people on the list asked if the Enron report would be published somewhere online. It DID get picked up at

Have you heard?according to the New York Times, two days before he was found dead, Enron's Cliff Baxter stated that he wanted to get a bodyguard. Hmmm, that doesn't sound too suicidal, does it?

Also, the video for revolutionary hip hop group Dead Prez's track "They Schools" has been banned from all television stations and even the mainstream hip hop sites. I DID find it for yall recently at  and scroll down.

Check it out. It's well worth viewing and rocking to.

S  ##

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Subject: molly ivans
Date: Sat, 02 Feb 2002 16:09:35 -0500
From: Tom Todd <>
To: Address:

She has gone over the line with her commentary on the status of the criminals in Cuba.  

Insisting that they be called POW's is really an act of treason on her part. Granted, her agenda is very political, like so many others on the left and right, but the thought that she would want these thugs to be POW's boggles even the most liberal of minds. Giving them POW status would almost assure they be freed at some point in the near future. Can even liberals take that chance? I think not. She in essence wants to have these people let go to commit further acts of terrorism. Lets get real with our priorities, keep the politics out of the war on terrorism.

* **


Date: Sat, 26 Jan 2002 20:49:36 -0500
From: "Trace Richardson" <>
To: <>

So do you live in NYC? How's life these days? I've enjoyed your writings.  


* **


Subject: WE NEED REFORM!!!!
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 18:32:20 -0500
From: "vanna" <>


------- Forwarded message follows -------

 Checkbooks and Balances

 January 29, 2002

 By Margie Burns

 In the stampede of scandals associated with Enron, the issue of campaign

 finance has fallen behind, in a cloud of dust; the topic of Bush's

 nominations for judgeships may fall there too. But these topics should not

 be lost sight of, especially when a law-lobbying firm that both supported

 George W. Bush financially and represented Enron in court is also poised

 to produce a federal judge. The nominee in question is Texas Supreme Court

 Justice Priscilla Owen, for the Fifth Circuit, which covers Texas,

 Louisiana and Mississippi and which used to be a good court.

 Notwithstanding all the publicity over trial lawyers' donations to

 Democrats, numbers from the Center for Responsive Politics show that the

 big winner in donations from lawyers in the 2000 election was George W.

 Bush. Contributions to Bush from attorneys and firms totalled almost $6M

 -- $5,948,854 -- edging out even Al Gore, #2 on the list of top

 recipients; Bill Bradley, 3rd; Hillary Rodham Clinton, 4th; John McCain,

 5th; and somebody named Rick Lazio, 6th.

 In fact, lawyers and law firms topped the CRP list of "Top Industries" for

 Bush; his only higher donor category was "retired," often a code for

 managers and/or attorneys who prefer not to specify corporate affiliation.

 Predictably, Houston lawyers donated copiously. Houston firm Vinson &

 Elkins ranks 17th on the list of top 20 contributors over-all, with

 $529,263 reported so far, 68% of it to Republicans. Vinson & Elkins also

 ranks 2nd in donations to Bush individually ($202,850)-- with Baker Botts

 (another Houston law firm, the one with which Andrews Kurth is most

 closely affiliated) 9th, and Jenkens & Gilchrist 15th. Partners Joe B.

 Allen, Robert H. Whilden, and Thomas P. Marinis, Jr., of Vinson & Elkins,

 were Bush "Pioneers" -- volunteer fundraisers who, according to the Bush

 campaign, raised at least $100,000 apiece. Members of Haynes & Boone,

 Bracewell & Patterson, and Jenkens & Gilchrist were also Pioneers.

 At least neither Vinson & Elkins nor Baker Botts is netting a federal

 judgeship. But in a quid pro quo of Texas-sized obviousness, Bush has

 nominated at least six of his campaign donors, including one from Houston,

 to the federal bench.

 Houston's nominee, Priscilla Owen, practiced commercial litigation for

 seventeen years, according to her bio, as a partner in the Houston firm of

 Andrews & Kurth. As is typical for this batch of nominees, she gave $1000

 to Bush individually. But the $1000 legal maximum is just the cover

 charge; Andrews & Kurth also gave $4500 to Bush and $6300 to Republicans

 through its PAC (0 to Democrats), and $20,000 to Bush through individuals.

 That's $38,000 to Bush and the GOP, not counting other individual


 The firm's donations are dwarfed by those of its major clients. According

 to public records in the Lexis-Nexis database, Andrews-Kurth clients in

 federal courts include Aetna, Occidental Chemical Corporation, American

 Express, Amway, El Paso Energy, Salomon Smith Barney and - is anyone

 surprised? - Enron.

 Can-of-worms time. Predictably, George W. Bush was the top recipient of

 oil & gas contributions in the election, with $1,889,206 in donations

 (Rick Lazio was 3rd; oil men must really hate Hillary). On the CRP top 20

 list of oil & gas donors, Enron was #1 ($2,237,598 donated; 72% of it to

 Republicans), Exxon Mobile second, BP Amoco third, and El Paso Energy was

 #4 ($1,116,495 donated; 83% of it to Republicans).

 Since 1997, Enron has given over $2.4M in soft money, over $1.8M to

 Republicans; it has given over $520,000 through its PAC, and over $100K to

 Bush through individuals; not surprisingly, Enron ranks 12th on the list

 of top Bush contributors. Kenneth Lay, of Houston, is also a Bush Pioneer

 from Enron, and just to put the icing on the cake, Enron managers also

 contributed at least $300,000 to the Bush inauguration, including another

 $100,000 from Kenneth and Linda Lay.

 El Paso Energy has given $460,395 to the GOP in soft money, $383,755

 through its PAC, and another $90K to Bush through individuals. Salomon

 Smith Barney was a piker in comparison, giving $63K to Republicans in soft

 money, $107K through its PAC, and $36K in individual donations to Bush.

 Anything Salomon Smith Barney didn't give, however, Amway did --

 $1,138,500 to Republicans in soft money, another $20,000 through its PAC,

 and at least $12,000 through legal-max individual donations to Bush,

 totalling about $1.17 million. Then there's Aetna -- $315,90 to the GOP in

 soft money, another $50,000 through its PAC, and at least $10,000 in

 individual Bush donations, totalling $375,000. American Express rings up

 at over $315,000; Occidental Chemical at $40,000. J. Roger Hill of

 Occidental Chemical is another Bush Pioneer.

 Mindboggling as it is, let's tote up some of these numbers. At a

 conservative (if that's the word),

 bending-over-backward-to-the-point-of-neckbreaking estimate, Enron gave

 over $2.4M to the GOP/Bush; Amway $1.17M; El Paso Energy $930K; Aetna

 $375K; American Express $315K; Conoco $313K; and Salomon Smith Barney

 $206K. With the comparatively dainty contribution from Andrews & Kurth,

 that's a corporate halo effect of over $6M for Justice Owen, coming in for

 Bush and the GOP. This list does not include other Pioneers, friends, deal

 partners, relatives and spouses.

 In anybody's book, this is buying and selling a judgeship - regardless of

 whether the judgeship is a reward, an inducement, or simply an enabling


 Barring some of the oil company donations, this is par for Bush's judicial

 nominees. Not all of them are six-million-dollar women (most are not

 women), but at least six of them are down in the public records as

 contributors, along with their law firms and their firms' major clients.

 Justice Deborah L. Cook of the Ohio Supreme Court is nominated for the

 Sixth Circuit (KY, MI, OH, TN). She donated $1000 to Bush and $6700 to

 other Republicans. (Bush relatives have deeper ties in Ohio than in

 Texas). With her husband, Robert F. Linton, also a Bush donor, Justice

 Cook was a longtime partner in Akron law firm Roderick, Myers & Linton,

 whose clients include Ohio Edison, Provident Life & Accident, and Aetna.

 Aetna is also a client of Los Angeles-based law firm Gibson, Dunn &

 Crutcher, in which DC attorney Miguel A. Estrada, nominated for the

 federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, is a partner. Estrada donated

 $1000 to Bush, among other contributions; Gibson, Dunn donated $28,000 to

 Bush through individuals, $5000 through its PAC, and another $11,000 to

 the GOP. Gibson, Dunn partner Theodore Olson is now Solicitor General

 (endorsed, incidentally by the Washington Post, a former Gibson Dunn

 client); Mr. Olson donated $1500 to Mr. Bush (circumventing the $1000

 legal max by donating through two "committees"), and about $23K to

 Republicans over-all. Mr. Justice Scalia's son Eugene, in the same firm,

 gave Bush another $500, not that that was Bush's largest gift from the

 Scalias. Eugene Scalia is now Solicitor of Labor, the government's top

 lawyer in the Labor Department.

 Other Gibson, Dunn clients include Intel Corporation and Enterprise

 Rent-A-Car. Intel's PAC has donated $231,088 to the GOP since 1997, and

 Intel executives gave $10,000 to Bush individually. Enterprise Rent-A-Car

 donated $130,000 in soft money to Republicans, another $118,992 through

 its PAC, and another $22,000 to Bush through individuals; executive Ray

 Wagner is also a Bush Pioneer. When Enterprise Rent-A-Car was sued in

 Tampa's federal court by its employees over unpaid overtime, its attorney

 was (Gibson Dunn's) Eugene Scalia.

 Gibson, Dunn partners are also on the boards of directors of both 3M

 Corporation and Transocean Sedco Forex, called the world's largest

 offshore drilling contractor. With Olson as solicitor general, it will be

 interesting to see what cases get ushered into court, concerning drilling

 offshore or drilling in a "harsh environment," Transocean Sedco's other


 From vetting Richard M. Nixon's finances in preparation for the famous

 "Checkers" speech in 1952, to offering an LA internship last year to the

 "muy guapo" young George P. Bush, the president's nephew and son of

 Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Gibson, Dunn has been connected.

 It's not the only hive of lawyer-lobbyists to serve as a talent pool for

 the first round of judicial nominees, however. Utah law professor Michael

 W. McConnell, affiliated with Mayer, Brown & Platt (his resume with the

 Justice Department lists him as a "Special Consultant" for Mayer, Brown

 since 1989), is nominated for the Tenth Circuit (CO, KS, NM, OK, UT, WY).

 McConnell also donated $1000 to Bush individually, as well as to Orrin

 Hatch (and Rick Lazio). Mayer, Brown & Platt made CRP's list of top 20 law

 firm contributors in 2000, donating at least $478,505 in the last

 election, 44% to Republicans, with over $20,000 to Bush by individuals and

 $61,000 to Republicans in soft money. Mayer, Brown's clients include Dow

 Chemical Corporation ($241,000 to Republicans in soft money, $150,000

 through its PAC) and Novartis AG (parent to crop dusting companies;

 $256,180 in soft money, $120,000 through its PAC).

 Another Mayer, Brown client is giant accounting firm Arthur Andersen, now

 famously linked with the Enron debacle. In a particularly smarmy

 connection -- without even the excuse of happening in Texas -- Arthur

 Andersen and Mayer Brown also signed off on the peculiar arrangements of a

 Tulsa- based company called Commercial Financial Services, controlled by

 Andersen and Mayer Brown. CFS filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

 in 1999; the Bank of Scotland sued Andersen and Mayer, Brown among others,

 with allegations of fraud, in federal court in Oklahoma. (CFS seems to

 have had good and sufficient reason to go bankrupt, since its assets were

 accounts receivable from bad debts; this corporate venture was signed off

 on by Arthur Andersen and was represented by Mayer Brown as counsel; where

 are those hardnosed, rockribbed business types when we need them?)

 Any case of this sort heard in Oklahoma, if it goes to the appeals court

 -- inevitably -- will be heard by McConnell if he's appointed and doesn't

 recuse himself.

 Arthur Andersen was also a Gibson, Dunn client. Speaking of bankruptcies,

 Gibson Dunn is also counsel of record for a Cayman-based bankrupt wireless

 company with big investors called NextWave Communications, in ongoing

 litigation with the FCC in federal courts. (NextWave hit its last wave

 when it bid billions on airwave frequencies in a federal auction, and then

 went bankrupt when unfortunately it noticed it didn't have the money to

 pay for same. See hardnosed, rockribbed above.) However, the court noticed

 -- and commented on -- the fact that a former partner at Gibson, Dunn is

 now a judge on the appeals court there, and initially dismissed the firm

 rather than have the judge recuse himself.

 NextWave's counsel in this effort, by the way, was Houston-based Andrews &

 Kurth - home to Justice Owen, 5th Circuit nominee. Two of the Gibson, Dunn

 lawyers brought on board were Theodore Olson and Miguel A. Estrada.

 NextWave's investors/creditors in the ongoing litigation are represented

 by, among others, Jones, Day - home to Jeffrey S. Sutton, Bush's nominee

 to the 6th Circuit. Other creditors are represented by Hogan & Hartson -

 home to Bush's other nominee for the DC Circuit, John G. Roberts, Jr. At

 stake are billions of dollars in value in the publicly-owned airwaves;

 NextWave, designated in print as a "makeshift" corporation by that notable

 pinko Robert Novak, has now been awarded $5B by the courts for the

 licenses it was never in a position to develop.

 Were you beginning to believe that this large country of ours was divided

 up into hopelessly separate regions?

 John G. Roberts, Jr., the Hogan & Hartson partner nominated for the DC

 Circuit, also donated $1000 to Bush -- this really is starting to look

 like a cover charge -- with $3000 to other Republicans and $3900 to Hogan

 & Hartson's PAC. The PAC gave $136,000, aside from individual donations,

 and $30,000 in soft money. Roberts then donated $1000 to the Bush recount

 effort. Hogan & Hartson clients include Mobil Oil Corporation, 3M, and

 Hartford Accident & Indemnity.

 Ohio attorney Jeffrey S. Sutton, the partner in Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue

 nominated for the 6th Circuit, also donated $1000 to Mr. Bush. Individual

 donations to Bush from Jones, Day attorneys total over $38,000. Jones, Day

 clients include RJ Reynolds Tobacco, Sherwin-Williams (think: lead paint),

 and Eli Lilly -- all Bush contributors, for obvious reasons. At least Bush

 didn't appoint Sutton to consumer safety or the EPA.

 In a recent development, the Andrews Kurth law firm has now merged with

 Houston law firm Mayor, Day, Caldwell & Keeton (announced June 19, 2001;

 final on October 1, 2001). The combined firm, operating under the Andrews

 Kurth name with 335 lawyers, will be the seventh largest law firm in

 Texas, according to its statements by press release and public contact

 Donna Anderson. It will also join Andrews Kurth clients with those of

 Mayor, Day, including Kaiser Aluminum, KCS Energy, and Charles Hurwitz's

 Maxxam Corporation.

 Imagine walking into a courtroom knowing, from public record, that your

 judge gave money to George Bush and got his/her judgeship immediately

 afterward. Funny; it seems like only yesterday that Republicans were

 criticizing President Clinton for "renting out the Lincoln bedroom" --

 giving VIP treatment including invitations for White House overnights in a

 quid pro quo for campaign contributions. Assuming they were right, does an

 overnight at the White House even begin to compare to a lifetime as

 federal judge?

 If we're going to reform campaign finance, it only makes sense to limit

 benefits received by the donor, along with limiting donations received by

 the candidate. Instead of always placing the burden on the public of

 having to prove some perhaps-nebulous influence, surely federal law could

 more easily just prohibit self-evident benefits like federal jobs or

 contracts from going to campaign donors in the first place.

 If donating is going to be called "free speech," then let's keep it free

 of White House jobs, ambassadorships, judgeships, and cabinet positions.

 By all means, let's ensure that it be a form of expression rather than

 payola: no federal contracts for the donor corporation, no federal hiring

 from the donor law firm.

 Some parts of campaign finance reform are easy: give if you wish, but --

 as Seinfeld's soup Nazi would say -- no judgeship for you.

                                   * * *

 Contributed by BuzzFlash Reader Margie Burns

 Articles by Margie Burns have appeared in Legal Times, and the

 Chronicle of Higher Education among other places; she has a BA and

 doctorate from Rice; and she lives in Cheverly MD.

------- End of forwarded message -------"Experience declares that man is the

                         only animal which devours

     his own kind; for I can apply no milder term to...the general prey

  of  the rich on the poor"                                       -- Thomas



        "We can have democracy in this country or we can have great

    wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."


                               Louis Brandeis


           "[This country is headed toward a single and splendid

      government of an aristocracy founded on banking institutions and

    monied incorporations and if this tendency continues it will be the

      end of freedom and democracy, the few will be ruling and riding

     over the plundered plowman and the beggar... "  -- Thos. Jefferson


         "I hope we shall take warning from the example of England

            and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed

         corporations which dare already to challenge our Government

           to trial and bid defiance to the laws of our country."


                               Thos. Jefferson


          "I sincerely belive that banking establishments are more

       dangerous than standing armies"             -- Thos. Jefferson


    "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and

      causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.  Corporations

      have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will

        follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to

       prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people

     until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is


                                 -- Abraham Lincoln


         "The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one

         of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country

          has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media

  all objectivity -- much less dissent."                     -- Gore Vidal


      "Who are the oppressors? The few: the king, the capitalist and a

        handful of other overseers and superintendents. Who are the

        oppressed? The many: the nations of the earth; the valuable

      personages; the workers; they that make the bread that the soft-

   handed and idle eat."                                     -- Mark Twain


         "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something

          to be thankful for. As for me, I rejoice that I am not a

Republican."                                                 -- H.L. Mencken  ##

* * *


Subject: The last few are hilarious |
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 13:28:07 -0500
From: "Julian Tepper" <>
To: <>





UNBELIEVABLE!  These are from a book called Disorder in the Court. These are

things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now

published by court reporters - who had the torment of staying calm while

these exchanges were actually taking place. Some of these are excellent

don't miss the last one.

Q: What is your date of birth?

A: July fifteenth.

Q: What year?

A: Every year.


Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.


Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?

A: Yes.

Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

A: I forget.

Q: You forget? Can you give us an example of something that you've



Q: How old is your son, the one living with you?

A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.

Q: How long has he lived with you?

A: Forty-five years.


Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that


A: He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"

Q: And why did that upset you?

A: My name is Susan.


Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the

occult? A: We both do.

Q: Voodoo?

A: We do.

Q: You do?

A: Yes, voodoo.


Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he

doesn't know about it until the next morning?


Q: The youngest son, the twenty-year old, how old is he?


Q: Were you present when your picture was taken?


Q: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?

A: Yes.

Q: And what were you doing at that time?


Q: She had three children, right?

A: Yes.

Q: How many were boys?

A: None.

Q: Were there any girls?


Q: How was your first marriage terminated?

A. By death

Q: And by whose death was it terminated?


Q: Can you describe the individual?

A: He was about medium height and had a beard.

Q: Was this a male, or a female?


Q: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice

which I sent to your attorney?

A: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.


Q: Doctor, how many autopsies have you performed on dead people?

A: All my autopsies are performed on dead people.


Q: All your responses must be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

A: Oral.


Q: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

A: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.

Q: And Mr. Dennington was dead at the time?

A: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy.


Q: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?


Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

A: No.

Q: Did you check for blood pressure?

A: No.

Q: Did you check for breathing?

A: No.

Q: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the


A: No.

Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

Q: But could the patient have still been alive, never the less?

A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law

  somewhere. ##  



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