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Former Governor of Texas Says No More Stealing, You Guys
July 10, 2002
By Doug Pibel

With a predictability rivaling, say, the rising of the sun, the dispensers of public wisdom have discovered the source of the corporate crime spree which is taking up far too much valuable headline space these days. This naughtiness, of course, originated, just like all other ills currently afflicting America (not, mind you, that I would intimate that there is one single thing wrong with America) behind Bill Clinton's zipper.

It goes like this: Ken Lay, Bernie Ebberts, and all those other fine captains of industry were perking along, making piles of money through their industry, thrift, insight, and many other heroic characteristics. Then, one day, they learned that Bill Clinton had, um, well, oh, read the Starr report; it's all in there. Whereupon, they threw up their hands in existential despair, proclaiming as one, "If the President of the United States can get away with having an intern tootle his skin flute, I'm done with probity. From this moment forward, I'll just go ahead and rob from the public."

It makes perfect sense, if you think about it right. I mean, just by being forced to think about that randy presidential member, I'm inspired to, well, what? I don't have the capital to set up a good stock scam. But, hey! I could rob a bank! I've said, "skin flute" and "member," and I bet most of you are already itching to get out there and commit some crimes. See how it works?

The former Governor of Texas (FGOT) is truly exercised about this issue. Apparently, the little problem WorldCom had, the one with putting $3.8 billion into the wrong column, was just about almost the final straw, pretty close. He got onto the teevee and was downright snappish, and proclaimed that this sort of chicanery just has to stop. Especially if people are going to keep getting busted. OK. He didn't say that last part. He also didn't burst out laughing when he found out what they were making him read.

In today's surreal world, that should have been the end of it. Next day headlines: "Former Governor of Texas Says No More Stealing, You Guys."

But some suicidal reporter had the temerity to ask the FGOT how he squared his outrage at this corporate chicanery with his own history of wee securities peccadilloes. The FGOT, as is his wont, did not answer the question, responding instead that all he has ever done has been vetted.

Which is true, at least as to securities transactions. The SEC vetted four things the FGOT did before he was the GOT, and found that, at least in terms of SEC rules, his actions were, oh, what's that word violations. The SEC, in a move having nothing to do with the fact that they were investigating the eldest son of the sitting president, took no further action.

I eagerly await the announcement from Ari Fleischer that this inaction by the SEC constitutes exoneration. That inevitable pronouncement will conflict with a directly contrary statement by the SEC. It will also conflict with the well-known truth that, although microscopic examination of every allegation ever made against Bill Clinton (Waitress: "He didn't even tip!") yielded a total of zero convictions, he was not exonerated of anything.

Which brings us back to where we must always return in modern American political discourse: To Bill Clinton's zipper.

The odd part is the timing. Dick Cheney, for instance, has clear access to the zipper defense. When he was busy running the good ship Halliburton onto the shoals, the rules had already been Monicaed out of existence.

The FGOT, however, presents a bit of problem. It seems this may be the only instance in that fella's charmed life where he actually led the curve, since, when he was engaging in a little harmless insider trading, Bill Clinton was still governor of some insignificant cracker state, not yet having stolen America from the proud and moral leadership of the rightful holder of the office of president.

There's really only one possible explanation for this. The FGOT knew ahead of time where everything was going to end up, and decided to get his licks in before sacrificing himself to a life of public service. He's been telling us lately about his visions Switzerland on the Gaza and such and he just hasn't been called upon to share that earlier one: "Suddenly, I knew that, in a few years, the president would unzip in the oval office, and this stuff would be excused."

It is those precognitive skills, I suspect, that got the FGOT the title of president, while Uncle Dick only gets to be vice.

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