Washington DC - (AssoCIAted Mess): President George Bush and his VP Dick Cheney are said to be in a state of "extreme shock at the sudden and totally unexpected death" of convicted ENRON fraudster and fellow Bonesman Ken Lay at his home in Aspic, Colorado this morning.
According to his layers, Lay suffered some form of seizure late last night and never fully recovered from the ordeal.
Reports that this seizure may have been of 'vital new private documents, the first draft of an autobiography, numbered bank accounts, video-tapes of meetings with the Taleban and assorted KGB-related Skull 'N' Bones memorabilia' by FBI special investigators have not been denied, but at present there is little news confirming that the seizure may have been mostly medical by nature.
Conspiracy theorists have been quick to remind the public that this sudden demise by ENRON's top dog comes almost to the day on the fourth anniversary of the 'suicide' of former ENRON executive Cliff Baxter who was found slumped in his brand new car in 2002, a gun clutched in his left hand and three bullet holes lodged in his wallet - "clear indications of a severe manic-depressive suicide condition aggravated by extreme weather patterns", according to the subsequent coroner's inquest report.
Lay was awaiting sentencing for his part in the corrupt collapse of the Texan energy giant a few weeks after the 9/11 disaster and was expecting a lengthy custodial sentence along with fellow Bonesman and ENRON executive Jeff Skilling - who so far is still looking extremely healthy and remains odds-on to attend the sentencing hearing later in September.
A spokesman for the White House this afternoon could hardly conceal the broad rictus grin on his features as the President prepared to celebrate his official 6Oth birthday tomorrow - an event that is being commemorated accross the world by adoring admirers and emulators.
In London, the Bush/Lay double-whammy is to be marked by a huge celebration in London's Trafalgar Square organised by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowl's department.
The recent ballistic missile testing experiment in North Korea may well be another example of global celebrations to mark the happy event.
Meanwhile, lawyers acting for convicted Washington DC fraudster Jack Abramoff have asked for urgent medical reports on their client following concerns that the seizure that killed Lay may be contagious and spreading - possibly related to the sudden and also most unexpected demise of former PLO leader Yasser Arafat who also exited the world stage at the most propitious time possible in Republican White House terms.
Meanwhile, fellow Bonesmen have asked for an official period of 30 days of mourning as a mark of respect to Lay's widow, creditors and former chums.
Lay may lie in state at Capitol Hill, according to rumours, which await confirmation later this week.