Enron's Other Pet Names

Recently released documents show that Enron deliberately manipulated prices during California’s energy crisis, something company officials had, until now, steadfastly denied. During the price spike, California governor Gray Davis, a victim of his own untrustworthiness, was scoffed at by the Bush administration when he accused the now-infamous corporation of the kinds of devious tactics since proven true.

Trying to lend video-game excitement to the dry and tedious world of energy trafficking, Enron traders tagged nicknames onto each of their unscrupulous trading strategies that helped drive California energy prices into the stratosphere. Fat Boy, Death Star and Get Shorty were, essentially, code for Pillage, Rape and Run.

What has received little attention in the mainstream press, however, are the other nicknames utilized by Enron -- and the Bush administration -- that represent different undertakings in their gassy little world. Below is a list of schemes alongside descriptions of their objectives.

Eye of the Beholder Pretend that price manipulation is actually unfettered capitalism at its best. Watch a corporation tumble, taking thousands of employees and shareholders with it. Call it "the beauty of capitalism." Scour want ads for lucrative job after anticipated firing from Treasury Secretary position.

Smog n’ Mirrors Blame the sudden, steep price increases on environmental regulations that have been in place for years. Refuse to set price caps until after your friends and campaign donors have reaped the benefits.

More Is Better Insist the high natural gas prices are a result of shortages and environmentalism, not corruption. Advocate building more pollution-spewing power plants in poor neighborhoods. Deny that high cancer and asthma rates in similar neighborhoods have anything to do with such policies.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuse Again, insist the high natural gas prices are a result of shortages and environmentalism, not corruption. Advocate drilling in a pristine wildlife refuge in Alaska. Don’t mention that the drilling is actually for oil, not natural gas.

(Army Secretary Thomas) White Out When asked whether your role as vice-chairman of Enron Energy Services provided some knowledge of what that company was up to, look serious when saying, "When I read about it in the newspaper, I was appalled as anyone else." Refuse to return the $31 million you "earned" in 2001 from Enron’s ugly maneuvers.

Kenny Boy Harness the massive amount of energy spent by the Bush administration obscuring its obvious links to Enron. Produces enough electricity to power the smirk on President Bush for four to eight years.

David Turnley (davidturnley@hotmail.com) writes satire for AlterNet.

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