Most of you won’t be interested in this 25-minute dog and pony show, especially because it has no actual dogs or ponies. Worse, you have to register (free) to listen and view the accompanying slides. But there are two reasons to watch:

  • If you own the stock, it may give you a sense of what you own. I have zero expertise in geology (or much of anything else beyond punctuation; I live for semicolons, sometimes to excess) . . . and yet I felt I got a sense of it. And a little more comfortable with the implications of their unexpected loss last quarter.
  • If, more likely, you don’t own the stock, but want to eavesdrop on ‘industry and finance,’ it’s kind of like the trip we took to the Wonder Bread factory in third grade, when we were eight . . . only now it’s to a meeting of financial analysts watching a PowerPoint about injecting steam into tar sands to make oil. See how we’ve grown up?

Either way, few of us will understand all the lingo (dough? yeast? how does it build strong bodies 12 ways?) . . . and either way, you have to press the ‘clicker’ yourself to move from slide to slide, more or less by trial and error. But in case this intrigues you – perhaps you’re a Popular Mechanics kinda gal – it’s the March 21 A.G Edwards webcast you want to click. (And for ‘company name’ I just put in my own name and it worked fine.)


Yesterday, I mentioned the New Hampshire Republican phone-jamming. Turns out, that may have been linked to the current ‘prosecutors’ brouhaha.

N.H. Dems want fresh look at phone-jamming

Associated Press

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

‘State Democrats want Congress to investigate whether politics delayed prosecution of a Republican phone-jamming plot in New Hampshire until after the 2004 presidential election. The national furor over alleged politics in the firings of eight federal prosecutors prompted the move, state party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

‘The scheme devised by state and national Republicans jammed local Democratic ride-to-the-polls and a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote phone bank for about 90 minutes on Election Day 2002, the year of a hotly contested U.S. Senate race between then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, and then-U.S. Rep. John Sununu, a Republican, who won. The case resulted in four criminal convictions, including that of strategist James Tobin, of Bangor, Maine, who was New England chairman of President Bush’s re-election campaign two years later. . . .

☞ The question: Why did the federal prosecutor wait so long – until after the 2004 election – to bring his indictments? Could politics have been the reason?

If so, is it okay to have federal prosecutors determining whom to indict – or, say, IRS agents determining whom to audit – based on their political party?


The Republicans describe as ‘show trials’ Congress’s effort to hold hearings and get to the bottom of this. They would never conduct themselves in such a crass political way.

Well, the DNC’s research department offers some background. In part:

Over the years, Republicans have held hearings on Bill Clinton’s Christmas card list and called for answers on Socks the Cat’s fan mail. Yet they continue to stonewall attempts to question key players in the scandal surrounding the apparently politically-motivated firing of eight U.S. Attorneys. Despite emails showing that top White House advisers such as Harriet Miers and Karl Rove were involved in the decision, the White House has cited executive privilege and placed restrictions on their cooperation with Congress such as demanding closed-door hearings with no transcripts and even refused to place the advisers under oath.

The same Republicans that previously spoke out strongly on the importance of candor in our government officials are strangely silent now.


Democratic White Houses Have Historically Cooperated: A Congressional Research Service report identified 62 instances of Democratic presidential advisors testifying before Congress in recent decades, 54 of them during the Clinton administration. [CRS Report RL31351]

  • 30 Clinton aides testified 54 times [CRS Report RL31351]

Republican Advisors Appear Less: In contrast, the CRS report found zero instances of such testimony during the Reagan or Bush I administrations, and nine in the first term of Bush II, all of which involved Thomas Ridge and homeland security before the formation of a cabinet department. The only three instances in the last 30 years of an advisor refusing to testify were since 2002, under George W. Bush. [CRS Report RL31351 (emphasis added)]

Attorney General Reno Stopped the Politicization of Prosecution — This Administration is Stonewalling to Guarantee It. “I simply have to draw the line and stand up for what I believe to be a very important principle,” the former Dade County prosecutor and lifelong Democrat said. “Prosecutions in America must be free of political influence.” [Miami Herald, 8/7/98]


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