Upper-Crust Wingnuttery at the WSJ Op-Ed Page

Wingnuttery isn’t restricted to Renew America and The Rant– you can also find it at the Wall Street Journal Editorial PageThe Journal has two classics this morning, one by the editors and one by Leslie Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Above: The Wall Street Journal’s All-Star Editorial Panel.

First, let’s take a look at the editors’ piece about the fraud conviction of former WorldCom C.E.O. Bernard Ebbers:

Bernard Ebbers was convicted yesterday, and our first thought was: Does this mean Sarbanes-Oxley will go poof?  Now that the man at the center of the biggest accounting fraud in U.S. history will pay for his own crimes, it is only fair that the rest of American business shouldn’t have to…

The WorldCom scandal served as a catalyst for politicians to jump into the fray in 2002 with the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, one of those Washington "fixes" that imposes new costs and regulatory burdens on the entire economy rather than punishing the guilty few.

So the Journal’s pissed that Sarbanes-Oxley forces their buddies to endure greater scrutiny and oversight in their accounting practices.  I guess it’d be much better to wait for fraudulent companies to collapse before taking any action.  Similarly, airports shouldn’t check people for weapons before boarding aircraft, since it makes travel less efficient.  We can throw someone in jail if they hijack a plane, but why punish every passenger for the actions of a guilty few?

Next up, Leslie Gelb writes one of those annoying "Advice for the Poor Demi-cwats" pieces that advises stealing Dick Cheney’s penis (or something like that):

Cheney Envy

by Leslie H. Gelb

The Democrats need a Dick Cheney, especially on foreign policy.

This is not to say they need someone who let U.S. forces march off to smash Saddam without a plan to win the peace, or someone whose contempt alienated our closest allies needlessly.

Which is kinda sad, since incompetence and contempt for our allies are two of Dick’s better qualities.

Nor does it mean the Democrats don’t also need a Karl Rove to forge a coherent political strategy.

Yeah, we need someone to start vicious whispering campaigns involving rumors of lesbianism and illegitimate children.

But to put themselves back on the road to reality in thinking about foreign policy, they have to have a hard-head like the vice president.

So to get back on the road to reality, we should ignore all evidence and insist that Saddam and al-Qaeda were in cahoots, or that two weather balloon trailers were "conclusive proof" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

As colleagues attest, Mr. Cheney harbors a bleak view of humankind, especially of Democrats and non-Americans.

Well, that’s got "future party slogan" written all over it- "Democrats: The Party with a Bleak View of Humankind."

While well aware of American hypocrisies, he conveys the clear sense that other countries are worse, much worse.

The Democrats could do a better job of holding other cultures in contempt- that’s something the G.O.P. is uniquely good at.  I say if Hillary gets elected president, her first action should be to go to the U.N. and say, "I’m well aware of American hypocrisies, but the rest of you are worse… much worse."

A lot of Americans just feel safer with a guy who will stick up for America, hold other countries to account, and talk about the world realistically.

OK, this just makes fun of itself, so I’m gonna stop reviewing it now.

However, I will take Les’ advice and start scouting around for the Democratic version of Dick Cheney.  The qualifications for prospective DemoDicks are:

1.) A bleak view of humanity

2.) A willingness to slap around ungrateful foreigners

3.) A frightening, grim demeanor

I’ve come up with three candidates, all of whom sing for metal bands:

1.) Ozzy Osbourne

Pros: Songs like "Paranoid" and "Diary of a Madman" portray a bleak portrait of human nature.  And like the Real Cheney, Ozzy’s bitten the heads off small animals.

Cons: His anti-war song "War Pigs" hurts him in the "slapping foreigners around" category.

2.) Oderous Urungus of GWAR

Pros: Regularly feeds unworthy GWAR fans to the all-consuming "World Maggot."  His stated ambition is "to view the shattered boiling mass of planet Earth from outer space, rapidly disappearing from sight."

Cons: Since Oderous hails from the planet Scumdogia, he’s probably not eligible to run for president.  Also, his pro-Saddam song ("Saddam a Go-Go") wouldn’t play well in the Red States.

3.) Chris Barnes of Cannibal Corpse

Pros: His songs (including the charming ditties "Meat Hook Sodomy," "They Deserve to Die" and "Hammer-Smashed Face") are already staples on Cheney’s iPod.  Plus, his throaty vocals are so indecipherable that "values voters" wouldn’t get offended.

Cons: None that I can think of.


Comments: 13


Personally, I think you gotta consider Phil from Pantera. I think the loss of his friend and guitar player, Dimebag, would earn a lot of sympathy votes.


SOX is more than just holding accountants responsible. It is a huge burden on IT departments, HR departments, etc. SOX needs to go. Transferring liability to low level managers is not a solution to the Ebbers of the world.


And did you see yet another instance of the WSJ op-ed rangers freely contradicting their own paper’s reporting?

To wit (we can’t put in any links, but we read this in the print edition): the editorial begins by saying “In the end, the jury believed Scott Sullivan,” yet the front-page lead story prominently subheds the idea that the jury believed neither Ebbers nor Sullivan, and convicted because they found it inconceivable that Ebbers, as CEO, would not know everything going on in his own company.



It’s exactly the kind of fix that’s proposed by hard-nosed Repubs want to “reform” a city that, remarkably, is in the red after Federal funding is cut.

“The City employees are inefficient. Efficiency demands that each employee spend a week justifying/explaining his job…without actually doing it that week.” Brilliant.


I don’t doubt the SOX has a lot of stupid bureaucratic procedures that are a giant pain in the ass. But WSJ wasn’t talking about reforming or amending it- they wanted the whole thing thrown out becuase, apparently, Ebbers’ conviction by itself was enough to deter corporate fraud.


I say Ozzy for President. I think it would be great to have 1/3 of the State of the Union bleeped out and the other 2/3 incoherent mumbling.


WSJ just says what every fat bureaucrat with an MBA and exceutive-class envy is thinking: Ebbers got caught, which makes me look bad, so now they should just lay off the scrutiny of my shady skimming.


Jizzy Pearl hasn’t aged well, and obviously hates humanity or he wouldn’t have contributed to Ratt. And he likes Tom Clancy, which means he’s keen on smacking down A-Rabs. He should be the Democrats’ Wanted Man.

Freedom Camp!


That’s some fantastic logic from the WSJ. I guess because of all of those people who’ve gone to jail for shiplifting, we no longer need cameras in department stores.



The WSJ op-ed writers, Ayn Rand “parroteers”, and the “self-loathing” minority conservatives of this nation all make very lucrative careers out of offerring up their own weak rationalizations of how commonly held beliefs and attitudes amongst the ignorant and exploitive portions of our populace are in “reality” good for everyone.

People (non-sociopaths, of course) really do hate feeling bad about themselves….even when they constantly do bad things (things that they, at some level, may even recognize as actually being bad in a conventional moral senses). It’s modern-day version of the whole indulgences scam of the catholic church of yore. One does/thinks/feels/believes things that are harmful to others, but they may yet remain confident of their ultimate rightness (and virtue) by simply paying another to torture their own logic in order to rationalize how “bad” is really “good” and how those that will ultimately suffer deserved it.


The Penguin would never contribute to the WSJ’s op-ed page – after all, he needs to appear as an honest, upstanding citizen!


ozzy didn’t write any black sabbath lyrics. the bass player wrote them. so it follows that ozzy’s only drawback is that he wasn’t born american. otoh, if the repubs change the law to allow ahnold to run, the we have the perfect candidate/spoiler.

Professor Schooly D

I’d like to read the entire editorial. Could someone point me to a non-subscriber only link? Thanks


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