Thursday, July 06, 2006
What ho. We were deeply saddened earlier today to read of the passing of one of the principal architects of our national energy policy. But there is a lesson to be learned from even the bleakest of tragedies, and our distinguished colleague JurassicPork (of Welcome to Pottersville) here explains why the premature death of Ken Lay should be appreciated as a sterling example of sound, if inadvertent, financial planning:
Before his carcass had started to cool off, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow was trying to downplay Bush’s closeness to the guy who was the single biggest contributor to his re-election campaign and was on such friendly terms with Bush that there was even talk around Enron of him making Lay alternately Secretary of Energy and Secretary of the Treasury (according to Ken Eichenwald). In fact, Lay allowed Bush and Cheney to use his personal jet during their first presidential election campaign in ’00. Kind of generous and trusting for a guy who wasn’t more than a casual acquaintance of George Bush, eh?
But don’t listen to therestofus.org: Go to wikipedia and see their up-to-the-second account of the life and death of Ken Lay. Here’s an ironic postscript to his life of near-total unaccountability: “As a result of Lay's death prior to exhausting his appeals, his conviction is abated, and Lay is legally considered never to have been indicted or convicted of criminal charges. Civil suits are expected to continue against Lay's estate. However, claimants may not seek punitive damages against a deceased defendant, only compensatory damages.”
They say you go out the way you live. And, estate tax or no estate tax, this is the next-best thing to taking it with you. So, bottom line, Ken Lay has a cleaner record than most of us because, in true Republican fashion, he escaped justice without even getting anywhere near a jail cell.