In 2000, many of us Californians who weren't willing to lie and say anything in order to get George W. Bush elected and Gray Davis removed from office tried unsuccessfully to explain to the Power Hungry Partisans on the Right how the "Power Crisis" in California was a hoax run by Enron and others.
Of course, the Ditto Heads would have none of it and Rush Limbaugh instructed them that it was all due to the short-sighted tree-huggers in the Land of Fruits and Nuts who had only themselves to blame for not building enough power plants or something.
And of course, the Ditto Heads believed it as usual.
And as usual, they were all entirely wrong to do so. Not that it mattered. Not that they cared.
Smoking gun audio tapes obtained by CBS (you can listen to a few tapes here) show precisely how Enron and the other crooked market manipulators manufactured the fake "Power Crisis".
"Will you rephrase that?" asks a second employee.
"OK, he, um, he arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day," replies the first.
The tapes, from Enron's West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS reported years ago: that in secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants shut down.
"If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?" an Enron worker is heard saying.
"Oh, it's not something you want to just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way," another says.
"Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down."
Employee 1: "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?
Employee 2: "Yeah, Grandma Millie man.
Employee 1: "Yeah, now she wants her f-----g money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her a—for f-----g $250 a megawatt hour."
Employee 3: "This guy from the Wall Street Journal calls me up a little bit ago…"
Employee 4: "I wouldn't do it, because first of all you'd have to tell 'em a lot of lies because if you told the truth…"
Employee 3: "I'd get in trouble."
Employee 4: "You'd get in trouble."
Eventually, the lies unraveled and traders scrambled.
"I'm just --- f--k --- I'm just trying to be an honest camper so I only go to jail once," says one employee.
And the tapes appear to link top Enron officials Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling to schemes that fueled the crisis.
"Government Affairs has to prove how valuable it is to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling," says one trader.
"Do you know when you started over-scheduling load and making buckets of money on that?"
Before the 2000 election, Enron employees pondered the possibilities of a Bush win.
"It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay Secretary of Energy," says one Enron worker.
That didn't happen, but they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices.
"When this election comes Bush will f------g whack this s--t, man. He won't play this price-cap b------t."
Crude, but true.
"We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse and that's why I oppose price caps," said Mr. Bush on May 29, 2001.
In the bargain, Enron and the other manipulators bilked the state out of some $9.8 Billion in one of the biggest gang rapes ever perpetrated on a state government.
So far, Bush's Federal Energy Regulation Commission (FERC), the commission responsible for keeping this sort of thing from happening, or at least holding the rapists accountable after they do, has done --- predicatably --- nothing.
Meanwhile, Bush got into office, Davis was recalled, California is nearly bankrupt, and Enron CEO Ken Lay, who Bush barely knew, still lives large. The deal is done.
Matt Drudge, who ran "siren" alerts all summer in 2000 during the fake "crisis", and from whom Rush and Sean and the Ditto Heads and most News Outlets receive their assignments each day, has had almost nothing to say since the release of the tapes.
Anyone surprised? Any Ditto Head readers of the BRAD BLOG courageous enough to admit what sycophantic, disingenous, partisan suckers they were? (Paul?)
We're still holding our breath waiting for the new Governator to beat up the bad guys over this. Perhaps later in the movie. Sometime after November 2nd perhaps.