Published August 13, 2002
To watch "The Memo" click here.
Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks you for watching us tonight.
A crossroads for the Bush administration. That is the subject of this evening's Talking Points Memo.
Well, the dog days of summer are here. The president is down at his Texas ranch, the vice president at his Wyoming home and millions of Americans are wondering if the tottering economy will implode. While Mr. Bush remains popular, Americans are patiently waiting to see if the government will deal with the Wall Street criminals or whitewash the entire scandal. That is the key to Mr. Bush's future, in my opinion.
First, some nauseating facts. The Global Crossing company is bankrupt, but not before former CEO Gary Winnick took out $734 million after selling his stock when the price was high. Winnick's golfing pal, DNC chief Terry McAuliffe, made about $18 million on Global Crossing stock and sold shortly before its dissent.
Qwest Communications is falling apart, but not before its founder, Philip Anschutz, sold $2 billion worth of stock while the price was high. WorldCom is bankrupt, but CEO John Sidgmore is $87 million richer because of it. You know about the Enron weasels, but have you heard that JDS Uniphase insiders unloaded $1.2 billion worth of stock before that company collapsed? I can give you hundreds of other examples thanks to reporters like Dennis Berman of The Wall Street Journal.
The point is that under President Clinton, greedy executives told the public things were great while dumping their own holdings. What they did was apparently legal on paper, but extremely dishonest and immoral. Now, President Bush has to find a way to punish these people because they hoodwinked the public.
I realize many of these prosecutions are difficult because the executives basically exploited a flawed system. But aggressive action must be taken and the president has to be the point man on it. Millions of us are furious that money we worked hard to save and invest has been lost because of the three-card monty game many executives were playing. That money is irreplaceable in many American homes, and we the people are expecting an aggressive investigation.
President Bush has to become like the legendary lawman Elliot Ness. He has to go after the Al Capones of business, like Ness did with the real Al Capone, get them on anything, but get them. Insider knowledge is one thing. There's nothing a capitalistic system can do about that. But deliberately misleading stockholders while you were selling is fraud.
The president of the United States had to lead on this. Mr. Bush has to become emotionally involved in this massive injustice. If he does not, if he tries to stay above the fray, he runs the risk of losing the trust of everyday Americans. We believe the system was fair. It was not. Justice must now be done.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day."
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers, a minor league baseball team in Ohio, is holding a Congressman Jim Traficant night. All fans with toupees will get in free. And if you mention that you're the son of a truck driver, which Traficant often does, you'll also get a free seat. No mention if convicted felons will get in free as well. That might, after all, be ridiculous, but it's also in context. And about the toupee, who knew?
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