Saturday, October 21, 2006

A Prick From Beyond the Grave

I feel like Steven van Zandt playing Silvio Dante impersonating Al Pacino as Michael Corleone: Every time I think I’m out, they pull me in again.

For several months I have made a conscientious effort to avoid overtly political posts. There’s already too much ill-conceived, unproven garbage accepted as Truth on the Internet, creating enough heat to melt Barbara Bush’s heart, but not enough light to see Dubya’s frat boy smirk from three feet away.

The Crazy Like Me Correspondent has goaded me in covert, deniable ways for several weeks. Others have wondered recently what I thought about certain news items. Blame them the next time I piss you off. I was willing to let things go along as they were.

What pushed me off the fence (with some coaxing from the Low Brass Correspondent) was word that Ken “Kenny Boy” Lay had his convictions set aside because he’s dead. There’s no conspiracy or back washing here. His appeals had been filed, and your day in court extends until all actions have been resolved. The presumption of innocence remains in effect while the appeal process moves forward. Since Lay’s death rendered his appeal moot, the court action could not be completed, and, since he’s not a Presidentially-declared enemy combatant, he must be presumed to be innocent. Let’s just say “not guilty.” Ken Lay’s innocent like Britany Spears is a natural blonde.

The primary effect of the ruling will be to make it a lot harder for those Lay screwed out of their life savings to get any of it back. The reimbursements were going to be spread pretty thin in the first place, with anyone getting ten cents on the dollar looking like a lottery winner. Now extra hoops will have to be navigated, as the civil plaintiffs will not be able to use Lay’s conviction as proof of his culpability.

The real winners are the lawyers. (Now there’s a shocker for you.) Extra hoops to means bigger fees. Plaintiffs who receive three cents on the dollar now should consider themselves luckier than Paris Hilton was in her choice of parents.

It’s only a matter of time before we start to hear anew that Lay isn’t really dead. With $44 million he can afford to make Howard Hughes look like Donald Trump in the publicity department. Maybe Lay can bunk with Elvis and Princess Anastasia for a while, keeping an eye on Kennedy’s brain.

Get over it folks. The term is “screwed” for a reason. Once your cherry’s gone, all that’s left is the pit. And that’s what you’re going to get for your trust in Enron.

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