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President George W. Bush has not thus far granted many pardons, but he has been generous in coming to the aid of one particular constituency group: S&L executives and others who swindled thrifts in the mid-1980′s. A few of these guys, coincidentally no doubt, hail from Texas.
So far Bush pardons have gone to:
John G. Smith, “a former officer of Vernon Savings and Loan, a Dallas thrift that collapsed in 1987 after making millions of dollars in bad loans.”
Kenneth Foner, who had been convicted of “conspiracy to impede the functions of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.” and committing “embezzlement as a bank officer.”
David McCall Jr., “a former Plano, Texas, mayor who was pardoned on his deathbed [in 2004] for his role in a savings and loan fraud case.”
Mark Hale of Henderson, Texas, an S&L executive who had been sentenced to three years in jail for fraud of at least $5 million.
William Hoyle McCright Jr. of Midland, Texas, who was sentenced in 1986 to two years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for making “false entries, books, reports or statements of bank.” McCright, who just got his pardon yesterday, was a minor donor ($300) to John McCain’s presidential campaign.
So Bush is handing out pardons to a group of people who helped produce the last financial system meltdown just as a new crop are under investigation.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”