Fake Obama And Fake AIG In The Age Of Fake

In this Age of Fake, Fake Obama and Fake Dimocrats will try once again to razzle dazzle and bamboozle Americans about Fake AIG.

In 2008 Chris Dodd was the #1 receiver of AIG money ($103,100). Barack Obama was the #2 AIG money recipient ($101,332).

Chris Dodd (Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs), anticipating a possibly already lost tough election in 2010 is a FAKE in regards to his anti-AIG proposals. The fake Chris Dodd outrage about AIG bonuses is a coverup for the fact that it was Chris Dodd who enabled the AIG bonuses.

While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. That amendment provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax.

The amendment made it into the final version of the bill, and is law.

Fake Obama, like Chris Dodd, is an AIG fake too. Obama appointed tax cheat and AIG fake Tim Geithner. Geithner helped turn the dead AIG into a fake AIG looting the American economy:

He will effectively lead the team Mr. Obama has chosen to mend a crippled economy. [snip]

But Mr. Geithner’s involvement in several ultimately ill-fated efforts to buttress the American financial system is the very reason some Wall Street C.E.O.’s — a number of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of piquing the man who regulates them — question whether he’s up to the challenge.

“We have only two things to say about Tim Geithner, who we do not know: A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers,” said Christopher Whalen of Institutional Risk Analytics. “Throw in the Bear Stearns/Maiden Lane fiasco for good measure,” he said.

All of these ‘rescues’ are a disaster for the taxpayer, for the financial markets and also for the Federal Reserve System as an organization. Geithner, in our view, deserves retirement, not promotion.”

Ouch.

He was in the room at every turn of the crisis,” said another executive who participated in several such confidential meetings with Mr. Geithner. “You can look at that both ways.” [snip]

Behind the scenes, Mr. Geithner was the point person for weeks of sleep-deprived Bailout Weekends. It was Mr. Geithner, not Mr. Paulson, for example, who put together the original rescue plan for the American International Group.

Fake Barack Obama is faking AIG outrage but still supports and has “complete confidence” in tax cheat Geithner.

Hillary supporter Senator Robert Menendez warned Geithner earlier this month about corporate bonuses with taxpayer money but tax cheat Geithner did nothing.

“I am writing to express my concern regarding reports of financial firms that have accepted government loans adopting compensation policies that may circumvent restrictions on executive compensation,” Menendez wrote. “I urge you to investigate these reports and ensure that companies accepting taxpayer dollars comply.”

Menendez also did a pretty good job anticipating AIG’s legal argument for maintaining the bonuses — and predicted that some firms would back-date big cash payments to execs after they had returned their TARP funds to the feds.

“Awarding excessive bonuses to executives who have driven their companies to the brink of collapse would seem to be fundamentally backwards, Using taxpayer funds to make these payments would be offensive and illegal… I urge you to examine whether this action is in fact an attempt to circumvent the law and public scrutiny.”

Barack Obama is the biggest AIG FAKE:

Here’s something neither Obama nor Grassley answered in their bellicose remarks Monday: Why did it take so long for the president and senior lawmakers to get so worked up? More troubling, why did it take so long for them to discover AIG planned to give huge bonuses in the first place? [snip]

The bonuses were essentially a nonissue when AIG got its initial bailout money, almost $150 billion under President Bush in the two months surrounding the presidential election. Joe Biden, then the vice presidential nominee, came out strongly against the bailout. Obama did not.

Timothy Geithner, then at the New York branch of the Federal Reserve, was a huge proponent and architect of the AIG bailout. So if Obama had strong private opposition to the idea it did not affect his pick for the person who would oversee all bailouts.

The bonuses were again a nonissue when Obama himself increased the bailout to $173 billion last month.

Obama is now faking outrage along with Senator Dodd. But Obama and Dodd took the most AIG money in 2008 (John McCain and Hillary also took AIG money but they have integrity and a record of fighting for what is right and they have very little to do with the current scandal – if they had anything to do with these scandals Big Media would incinerate them) and then aided and abetted AIG in looting the American economy and American taxpayers. Big Pink, like Joe Biden, opposed the bailout scams at a time when it was difficult to just say “no” due to the fearmongering demands that the bailouts proceed.

There were other solutions to the financial situation (such as the one former AIG chief Hank Greenberg proposed) which made more sense that the plunder bailouts. Teacup Socialism for rich Obama friends and cutthroat capitalism for the poor and the middle class is what we have opposed and what the bailouts represent.



AIG is now fear mongering again about potential collapse.

Fake Obama will loot the American economy and taxpayers and continues to support tax cheat Geithner even as he continue to express FAKE outrage. Fake Obama – he proved Tuesday that he knows something about rear-covering as well.

FAKE Barack Obama cannot be trusted…. Obama is faking outrage because, like Chris Dodd worried about his own imperiled re-election next year, Obama and Dimocrats are afraid Americans are waking up:

The outrage spurred on Capitol Hill and among the public at large by the $165 million in bonuses — and the haste with which the White House rushed to respond — underscored a new reality: This is President Barack Obama’s bailout now.

AIG’s woes threaten to severely complicate Obama’s hopes of returning to the well — again — for more bailout cash. His administration has already hinted at another $750 billion in bailout funds, but public opinion and congressional resistance will make that a tough sell. [snip]

But there are parts of Obama’s current political predicament that look like self-inflicted wounds.

Just two weeks ago, for instance, Gibbs told reporters that he was confident that the administration knew where the previous $150 billion in AIG bailout funds had gone.

And Monday, administration officials scrambled to come up with a way to get the $165 million in AIG bonus money back — after insisting repeatedly Sunday that they had done everything in their power to do so but simply came up short.

It wasn’t clear yesterday why the Obama administration hadn’t tried to stop the bonuses in its March 2 agreement with AIG — which sets out another $30 billion in bailout funds.

What did Obama know and when did he know it? Americans know Obama is now responsible for the mess the economy is in:

As Bush fades in the rearview mirror, Obama’s eight weeks in office seem like plenty to start making the economy’s wins and losses his own, at least in the public mind.

If there’s a sense that Obama didn’t wisely manage the AIG bailout, or any other, the public is more and more likely to associate the controversy with Obama himself, which could sap his credibility as he continues to try to manage the economy.

And for all of Gibbs’ talk of Bush, Obama’s moves Monday made clear that he knows what’s at stake politically.

The Obama outrage is fake:

That’s a much different tone than that adopted by Obama’s economic adviser Lawrence Summers just 24 hours earlier. On the CBS program “Face the Nation,” Summers said that AIG had ironclad contracts guaranteeing the payments to its employees, and that Treasury had little power to break the deals. “Secretary Geithner has negotiated very forcefully with AIG. He has done everything that is legally permissible for the government to do to limit the payment of bonuses,” Summers said Sunday.

Why are there “ironclad” contracts for Obama friends and yet union members have to renegotiate their contracts in order to get bailout money? Obama and the Dimocrats are afraid the American people are waking up:

Still, a new poll out from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press showed that voters, too, are increasingly angry about bank bailouts — even more so than about money going to homeowners in default on their mortgages.

Forty-eight percent said they were “angry” about the bank bailouts, and 87 percent said they were at least bothered by the spending. Even many people who support the bailouts told Pew Research Center pollsters that they’re angry at the banks. [snip]

“It’s absolutely partly their fault,” said Peter Morici, a professor of international business at the University of Maryland. As Congress did with the automakers, the administration should have conditioned its aid to AIG on renegotiation of its labor contracts, he argued.

Obama’s AIG outrage is absolutely fake as demonstrated yesterday:

Obama seemed to acknowledge that he knew his role today was to come across as outraged as possible as he denounced the AIG payments. After a brief cough, Obama offered a smile and an unscripted aside: “Excuse me,” he said. “I’m choked up with anger here.”

Obama coughs mildly then smiles and fakes his outrage about being “choked up”. It reminds us of when George H.W. Bush used to read the cues written into his speeches “Message: I care.”

Americans are waking up to Obama’s fake “choked up” bamboozle:

President Obama’s apparent inability to block executive bonuses at insurance giant AIG has dealt a sharp blow to his young administration and is threatening to derail both public and congressional support for his ambitious political agenda. [snip]

The populist anger at the executives who ran their firms into the ground is increasingly blowing back on Obama, whom aides yesterday described as having little recourse in the face of legal contracts that guaranteed those bonuses.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, peppered with questions about why the president had not done more to block the bonuses at a company that has received $170 billion in taxpayer funds, struggled for an answer yesterday afternoon. He explained that government lawyers are “looking through contracts to see what can be done to wrest these bonuses from their recipients.” [snip]

But the damage control did not seem to satisfy incredulous lawmakers in both parties, who said the image of financial executives taking huge bonuses from a taxpayer-funded rescue puts the president in a politically impossible position.

I warned them this would be met with an unprecedented level of outrage,” Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), the chairman of the banking committee and part of a group of senators who pressed Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to stop the bonuses, said yesterday.

We are in the Age of Fake for sure when we hear Chris Dodd “warn” Tim Geithner about AIG bonuses.

Next, we’ll hear Obama warn Caroline Kennedy about Antoin “Tony” Rezko.

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182 thoughts on “Fake Obama And Fake AIG In The Age Of Fake

  1. REPOST FROM PREVIOUS ARTICLE:

    # djia Says:
    March 17th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    ANYONE REMEMBER READING THIS????? I SURE DON”T !

    Key witness in passport fraud case fatally shot

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    A key witness in a federal probe into passport information stolen from the State Department was fatally shot in front of a District church, the Metropolitan Police Department said yesterday.

    Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., 24, who had been cooperating with a federal investigators, was found late Thursday night slumped dead inside a car, in front of the Judah House Praise Baptist Church in Northeast, said Cmdr. Michael Anzallo, head of the department’s Criminal Investigations Division.

    Cmdr. Anzallo said a police officer was patrolling the neighborhood when gunshots were heard, then Lt. Harris was found dead inside the vehicle, which investigators would describe only as a blue car.

    Emergency medics pronounced him dead at the scene.

    City police said they do not know whether his death was a direct result of his cooperation with federal investigators.

    “We don’t have any information right now that connects his murder to that case,” Cmdr. Anzallo said.

    Police say a “shot spotter” device helped an officer locate Lt. Harris.

    A State Department spokeswoman yesterday declined to comment, saying the investigation into the passport fraud is ongoing.

    The Washington Times reported April 5 that contractors for the State Department had improperly accessed passport information for presidential candidates Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain, which resulted in a series of firings that reached into the agency’s top ranks.

    One agency employee, who was not identified in documents filed in U.S. District Court, was implicated in a credit-card fraud scheme after Lt. Harris told federal authorities he obtained “passport information from a co-conspirator who works for the U.S. Department of State.”

    **********************************

    so is this still an on going investigation???

    now put this together with this:

    Kucinich Calls For Congressional Investigation Into Cheney “Assassination Unit”
    Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has called for a formal Congressional probe into allegations by investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that former Vice-President Dick Cheney had his own SS-style political assassination unit.

    AND THEN THIS ONE:

    Saturday, March 14, 2009

    Revelations that a political assassination unit which reported solely to Dick Cheney was in operation during the Bush administration are absent the fact that the unit in question, the Joint Special Operations Command, has been active for decades, has been deployed domestically in the U.S., has killed U.S. citizens, and is an integral part of Barack Obama’s expanded wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Seymour Hersh dropped a bombshell when he told a University of Minnesota audience on Tuesday that the Joint Special Operations Command is, “An executive assassination ring essentially, and it’s been going on and on and on,” Hersh stated. “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That’s been going on, in the name of all of us.”

    Subsequent media coverage of Hersh’s comments, such as a special feature on last night’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, has framed the story in the inaccurate context that the JSOC was a personal hit team acting on behalf of Cheney alone, when in reality the unit was created in 1980 and continues to play a central role in Barack Obama’s continuation of the so-called war on terror.

    prisonplanet.com/cheney-assassination-unit-still-active-under-obama-including-domestically.html

  2. More Obama fake today other than AIG. Remember when we wrote about Obama faking it and promised more Caterpillar jobs?

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/2009/02/13/barack-obama-lies-lies-and-more-lies/



    Today we have this:

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D96VT8RO0&show_article=1

    Caterpillar Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to lay off more than 2,400 employees at five plants in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia as the heavy equipment maker continues to cut costs amid the global economic downturn.

    Jobs lost include those at the plant Obama bamboozled workers at.

  3. oh my achin’ ass, what kind of dope is this guy smokiing ??!! do people actually believe this horse-shit??
    —————————————————————————————————

    Jack Cafferty :NEW YORK (CNN) — What a welcome change to feel like someone is running the country instead of running it into the ground.
    President Obama has done more in eight weeks than George W. Bush did in eight years — unless you include starting a couple of wars.
    While the armchair quarterbacks second guess the new president, he gets up every day and does things, lots of things.
    Whether it’s creating commissions for women and girls, ordering the investigation of President Bush’s use of signing statements, or jamming a huge stimulus package through Congress, the man is working his tail off. And he seems to be loving every minute of it. It’s almost as though our president was born to do exactly what he’s doing. He’s leading, and boy, is that refreshing.

  4. ADMIN to the rescue!
    Thanks for the AIG lessons. UI’m slowly starting to ‘get it.’
    But why, if AIG can’t ‘break iron-clad contracts’ would judges and courts be able to amend the terms of a defaulting homeowner’s mortgage?????

    On a slightly different topic, ADMIN, what do you think about this wikipedia entry on Geitner’s father having known BO’s mother and having worked with her on micro-finance in Indonesia?????
    CHECK THIS OUT!!!!!!!!

    Geitner’s father knew and worked with BO’s mother! Here’s an excerpt from Geitner’s wikipedia page.

    Geithner’s paternal grandfather, Paul Herman Geithner (1902–1972), emigrated with his parents from the German town of Zeulenroda to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1908.[1] His father, Peter F. Geithner, is the director of the Asia program at the Ford Foundation in New York. During the early 1980s, Peter Geithner oversaw the Ford Foundation’s microfinance programs in Indonesia being developed by Ann Dunham-Soetoro, President Barack Obama’s mother, and they met in person at least once.’

  5. Alcina……that would be a BIG A$$ BONG FILLED WITH HOPIUM LACED…to be legalized for California sake Maryjane he’s smokin

  6. ‘City police said they do not know whether his death was a direct result of his cooperation with federal investigators.’

    Ya think there’s a connection? ❓

    Reminds me of the i million currently on the BO ‘no’ fly terrorism list.

    A couple of weeks ago a 5 year old kid and his mom were denied passage on an airline coz the kid’s name was on this list.

  7. at what rate will all our names be on that list?? Will American’s be ultimately be denied passage out of this country?

  8. I just don’t ever remember hearing about this main witness being murdered…..not in april or since

    have any of you??

    is there any way of finding out when was this article was really posted to their website ??

  9. djia,

    I never heard about it either until you posted it.

    I guess we’ll being hearing about less and less if BO has his way.

  10. Obama, Hispanic Dems to huddle on immigration
    By Jared Allen
    Posted: 03/17/09 03:15 PM [ET]

    Hispanic Democrats will have their first West Wing meeting with President Obama on Wednesday morning to discuss immigration reform, according to Democratic sources.

    SNIP

    CHC members came away from a recent meeting in the Capitol with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano — a day after her Senate confirmation hearing — very encouraged that the workplace-raids policy would be fully reviewed and possibly altered.

    SNIP

    Hispanic Democrats are continuing their nationwide tour of cities where raids have been conducted to drum up public support for curtailing the practice. During an event in San Francisco earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the raids “un-American” and spoke out on the need for comprehensive immigration reform.

    thehill.com/leading-the-news/obama-hispanic-dems-to-huddle-on-immigration-reform-2009-03-17.html

    AND FROM M.M’S SITE:
    Obama is on board. His DHS secretary is on board. The question is not whether, but when. He spoke to the massive illegal alien shamnesty march in Chicago in 2006, where he boasted of standing “shoulder-to-shoulder” with the open-borders mob. Here’s a flashback:

    youtube.com/watch?v=Of1ivCvWEDE&eurl=

  11. On another note, BO now has a plan to make vets pay for thier battle injuries through private insurance.

    What a POS!

    And MO, who recently ‘visited’ Fort Bragg said tha ‘like most Americans she had little understanding of what military families went through.”

    POS2! No, MO, WE get it and you don’t speak for most of us!

  12. DO YA THINK like i do?

    the O’ Admin [dnc] are going to open the flood gates on our boarders to legalize all the hispanics and drug cartels!!
    so that the illegals and the minorities become the majority in this country and they will vote to keep them in power in 2012?

    White man/women will be the NEW MINORITY??

  13. This quote by Thomas Jefferson in an 1802 letter says it all. (IMHO)

    Quotation: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

  14. djia,

    I don’t think that will happen. Blacks and Latinas hate each other and I’ll bet the loudest protests over such a plan would come from AA’s.

  15. BMERRY is HOT & up to date on current events today……… great info!!

    therealbarackobama.wordpress.com/

  16. Russia announces rearmament plan

    President Medvedev wants to increase the combat readiness of Russian forces

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Moscow will begin a comprehensive military rearmament from 2011.

    Mr Medvedev said the primary task would be to “increase the combat readiness of [Russia’s] forces, first of all our strategic nuclear forces”.

    snip

    President Medvedev’s remarks also appear significant for what they say about the diplomatic game between Moscow and the new administration in the United States, says the BBC’s James Rodgers in Moscow.

    Both sides are looking for a solution to issues – such as US missile defence plans in Europe – which bitterly divided the Kremlin and the White House during the Bush administration. Neither, though, seems willing simply to abandon previously-held positions, our correspondent adds.

    The Russian Security Council is currently developing a new military doctrine which is expected to reflect current and forthcoming international developments, including any changes Nato may set out this year, missile defence deployments and WMD proliferation.

    “The Security Council will approve Russia’s national security strategy until 2020 in the near future,” President Medvedev said.

    news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7947824.stm

  17. basil

    do they need to like each other in order for them to WANT to vote for the same political party??

  18. Last thread I said somebody needs to connect the AIG mess which is attracting so much populist ire to Obama. I think Admin had done it, and if anyone on this blog is inclined to be tactical, then this one really should go viral. This one should cascade into the blogosphere.

    Hank Greenberg. He was the fall guy in the case brought by Spitzer. I have no doubt that his successors came in and pissed on his grave. Loyalists I am sure got word to him. He doesnt need the money. He is suing to reclaim his reputation.

    I find it very interesting what he is saying. Why not a guarantee, a minimal equity position and a long term loan? Why did they opt instead to bring in wheel barrels of taxpayer money and a 79% government position.

    I will try the benign explanation first. They were not trying to loot the treasury. They were not trying to reward their cronies. They were not trying to establish goverment ownership over a private financial institution that reached into 132 countries for some broader purpose. And, yes, there is a tooth fairy.

  19. Russia announces rearmament plan

    President Medvedev wants to increase the combat readiness of Russian forces

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Moscow will begin a comprehensive military rearmament from 2011.
    —————————————-
    If I were sitting in his shoes looking at a weak indecisive American leader like Obama I would do the same thing the United States did to Russia when they had Yelsin: make hay while the sun shines.

  20. djia,

    Well, no, but what i’m saying is that i’ll bet there would be a lot of AA protest if BO tried to open the borders.

  21. I had a dream last night. I dreamed we–those on this blog–where transported back to Concorde Green, and were staring acoss the battlefield at British Troops and the redcoat commander was prescious and his aid de camp was big media. Then I remembered Nathan Greene and frontiersman and guerilla fighter Dan Morgan who whipped their asses all in the course of time.

  22. Well, no, but what i’m saying is that i’ll bet there would be a lot of AA protest if BO tried to open the borders.
    ——————————-
    When James Jones told his followers to drink the Koolaide, when David Koresch told his flock to stay in the compound and be incinerated did they rise up in protest, or did they do as he said?

  23. basil……..I hope their is a lot protest on that by everyone of any color

    Wbboei

    Thank you for your benign explanation…..it paints a extremely clear [scary] picture to someone like me who get’s lost in all the mumble jumble sometimes.

  24. If memory serves, Christopher Dodds father was also a Senator and got run out of Congress on ethics charges. If so, then they brought the brought the right baby home from the hospital.

  25. wbboei

    makes it extremely difficult for obama to get away with reducing our nuclear weapons and cutting funding on our military now doesn’t it

  26. about AA’s and Latino’s = when there is advancement for both with each thinking they can out maneuver each other to supremacy, then there will be cooperation.

  27. dija: I dont think so. Based on what I am seeing this guy would huff and hed puff and he spechify . . . and then he will say because I deplore nuclear weapons (unless GE makes them), I will take the first step toward non proliferation and unilaterally disarm the United States arsenal, provided they agree to give me the Nobel Peace Prize in return. And the Swedes will say ya sure youbetcha.

  28. about AA’s and Latino’s = when there is advancement for both with each thinking they can out maneuver each other to supremacy, then there will be cooperation.
    ———————
    Isnt Miami the test case for that one. I just dont see it. The ploy of Obama is to turn them both against the whites. Think of the campaign, the statements by Dean, by Richardson, by the head of the state democratic party in South Carolina. I think there is a strategy here. That is why we must try to head them off at the pass. I do not place my future with any race but with the idea that scapegoating is wrong and we are a multi racial country that protect all.

  29. A further thought on this one. One of the strategic questions both parties have been wrestling with is how to adjust their platform to the changing demographics of the United States. I can tell you for a fact this was one of Roves central concerns. The Obama group have taken the low road on this and I think it is another example of bad leadership, and bad karma.

  30. jeswezey

    I just read your comments from earlier today and I must say you did not read my comments correctly at all. But I do think it is a waste of time to continue any dialogue with you. Your comments seem quite anti semitic to me. There is just no comparison between the behavior of the Israelis and the behavior of the Palestinians. There have been no Jewish suicide bombers, etc. etc. Prisners in Israel are well treated. The Palestinians abuse prisoners and so on and on.

    I log onto this site for current political information. I have no time to convince you of something you obviously refuse to see. If these kinds of posts persit, I guess I will just have to find another source of information.

  31. Leap’n lizards how can this be? Oh, thats right, it runs in the family (supra).
    ———————————

    Two Faced: Dodd Protected Bonuses, Now He Wants Them Out

    Tuesday, March 17, 2009 2:30 PM

    By: Jim Meyers Article Font Size

    Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd on Monday criticized the bonuses given to executives of American International Group Inc. and suggested that the government could tax the recipients to recoup some or all of the payouts.

    But it was Dodd who inserted language in the $787 billion stimulus bill that exempts the bonuses from taxation.

    AIG lost $61.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, the biggest quarterly loss in corporate history, and has received $173 billion in federal aid. But the company is paying $450 million in bonuses to employees of its financial products unit.

    Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, thundered on Monday: “This is another outrageous example of executives — including those whose decisions were responsible for the problems that caused AIG’s collapse — enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers.”

    While the Senate was constructing the stimulus package last month, however, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill, which provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax, Fox News observed.

    That amendment is law.

    Incredibly, Dodd has now demanded a full briefing from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury on why “clauses weren’t attached to the four AIG bailouts to halt bonuses,” according to the New York Daily News.

    “Why wasn’t the Fed putting conditionality four different times they provided resources to AIG?” Dodd asked.

    Fox News also noted that one of AIG’s financial products unit’s largest offices is based in Dodd’s home state of Connecticut, and that he was the largest single recipient of campaign donations from AIG during the 2008 election cycle.

    Dodd received $103,100 from AIG, more than presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain got, and nearly three times the $35,965 Sen. Hillary Clinton received.

    Meanwhile, the News is reporting that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said his office will investigate whether the bonus payments are fraudulent because they were promised when AIG knew it wouldn’t have the money to cover them.

  32. Carol Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 7:16 pm
    jeswezey
    **************************************

    I understand your frustration Carol, but we are not going to agree on all fronts of all issues. To leave this site because we are not in lock step, well good luck in finding Camelot.

    I come here to learn. There is amazing cornucopia of knowledge and experience (dirty word) on this site, but I do not expect to be in agreement 100% of the time.

    Israel is a special place for a lot of people on this site…I understand. It is for the World. It is like the moral compass in one respect. So goes Israel, so goes the World.

    I do think if we lose Israel, we will lose humanity

  33. Toe sucker has some good points here even if you discount his blatant partisanship.
    —————————-

    Obama Spending Plan Failing Miserably

    Monday, March 16, 2009 1:17 PM

    By: Dick Morris & Eileen McGann Article Font Size

    The furor over the huge federal spending under President Obama — a $1.75 trillion deficit — obscures an even more basic question: Does he know what he is doing?

    That is, Does he know how to do anything other than spend?

    His stimulus package, of course, took no special ability: He left the details to Democrats in Congress. But his two other major initiatives, banking and mortgage-relief plans, are both flawed and unlikely to solve their respective problems.

    Indeed, they’re so wide of the mark as to prompt questions not of Obama’s ideology but of his basic competence.

    The bank-bailout plan seems to be largely stillborn. Having wished that the private sector would flock to invest in toxic assets if offered the right incentives, the Treasury secretary is still hoping. Crossing his fingers seems to have replaced effective policy in his planning.

    To date, no massive infusion of private-sector capital seems in view and Washington is doing little more than writing checks to prop up the failing banks. That doesn’t take a genius. But the difficult task of relieving the banks of toxic assets so they can rekindle the flow of loans seems to be beyond the ability of the president and his administration.

    Perhaps Obama privately isn’t so concerned about the banks or the businesses that need the credit markets restored. Those are Republican interest groups, right? But surely he must want his mortgage-rescue plan to work — the homeowners facing foreclosure tend to be Democratic constituents.

    But this plan, too, falls far short of the mark.

    Incredibly, it excludes those who have lost their jobs and can’t afford to make their payments even if they were to spend 31 percent of their income trying to do so. If you can’t come close to affording your mortgage, even if only because of a (hopefully temporary) loss of employment, forget about it: Obama is not going to help you.

    Nor will he help you if your mortgage exceeds your home’s value. One out of 5 mortgages now falls into this category, and the continued fall in property values will put more and more homeowners in it. But they can expect no help from Obama’s rescue plan.

    Why would a liberal be so callous?

    Why would he leave so many out in the cold?

    Could it be that the administration simply can’t figure out how to help these folks? That the president couldn’t devise a counter to his financial advisers, who presumably wanted to exclude these folks? (snip)

  34. Dear wbboei,

    When news broke that insurance giant AIG planned to dole out more than $165 million in bonuses to company executives, I, along with the rest of Public Citizen, was outraged.

    We immediately got to work determining how to respond. We developed a plan – and we need you to take action today.

    Tomorrow, AIG CEO, Edward M. Liddy, will testify before a House subcommittee examining how AIG got into its current ecomonic mess and why it needs so much taxpayer bailout money.

    wbboei, we know you have thoughts and opinions about AIG’s behavior, and we want to hear them. E-mail us by 10 p.m. with the message you would like to send to Liddy.

    Tell AIG what you think!
    Public Citizen staffers will personally deliver your messages to a House subcommittee hearing tomorrow.

    Public Citizen staffers will print out the messages and personally deliver them tomorrow to Liddy, Congress and members of the press. That’s right. This is your chance to tell Liddy and policymakers exactly what you think. We’re also going to post them on our Web site. We’ll publish your first name only (or let us know if you prefer us to keep your comment anonymous).

    It’s time to put an end to this era of irresponsible behavior and wasteful spending. The fact that companies like AIG are taking taxpayer money – YOUR money – while handing out millions of dollars in bonuses to people who oversaw the company’s downfall is an outrage.

    We need all the support we can muster to send a message that this is unacceptable. Please send us your comments today, and forward this e-mail to your friends and colleagues. Urge them to send a message to Liddy too.

    We must make our voices heard loud and clear tomorrow at the hearing.

    Thank you for all you do,
    Maureen Backman
    Public Citizen

  35. wbboei: I think Dodd and all the other congress people need to be impeached and/or voted out of office. This is disgraceful and harmful to the citizens of this country. The tentacles of AIG run very deep and around the world.

  36. Carol,

    (((Hugs)))

    I got caught up in this earlier today and thank god I had back to back meetings afterwards that forced me to walk away. I felt bad about the back and forth on the board for which I was partly responsible, so I apologize to everyone. I was at work at the time and just doing fly-by postings and getting angrier and angrier by the moment.

    I’m going to stay away from that person’s post from now on. Much healthier that way.

    There are a few of us on this board who are Jewish and are very concerned about Obama…not Hillary…but Obama. There are others who support Israel as well.

    Please stay. I love your posts.

  37. Tauscher to State
    By Al Kamen
    Word is that Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic forces and a staunch superdelegate for presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, is in line for a top post at the State Department, most likely for the undersecretary for arms control and nonproliferation slot.

    It had been widely reported that highly regarded arms control guru Robert Einhorn, who had been assistant secretary for arms control in the Clinton administration, was penciled in to move up to that post, but we’re hearing he has turned it down for personal reasons. And Secretary of State Clinton did, after all, win the California primary.

    Einhorn will likely be named to a senior adviser position on nonproliferation matters.

    voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/03/17/tauscher_to_state.html?wprss=44

  38. I apologize if this has already been posted…

    White House may seek to bypass filibusters in Senate

    By STEVEN THOMMA

    WASHINGTON — A top White House official threatened Tuesday to use a congressional rule to force some controversial proposals through the Senate by eliminating the Republicans’ power to block legislation.

    Peter Orszag, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the Obama administration would prefer not to use the budget “reconciliation” process that allows measures to pass the Senate on simple majority votes. Orszag said he wouldn’t rule it out, however. The legislative tactic is being considered to push through Obama’s global warming and health care programs, and perhaps his proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy. “We’d like to avoid it if possible,” Orszag told reporters at a luncheon in Washington. “But we’re not taking it off the table.”

    Members of Congress are bracing for a political donnybrook should the Democrats use the reconciliation process to sidestep the Republicans and their power of the filibuster in the Senate. Under normal Senate rules, it requires 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to shut off debate and force a final vote. Democrats currently have 58 Senate votes. Under reconciliation, 51 votes can force anything through. There is plenty of historical precedent of using it by both parties, including Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, who used it to force through big tax cuts.

    “Pretty much every major piece of budget legislation going back to April 1981, April ’82, April 1990, April 1993, the 1990 act, the 2001 tax legislation, they were all done through reconciliation. Yet somehow this is being presented as an unusual thing,” Orszag said. “The historical norm as opposed to the exception is for a major piece of budget legislation to move through reconciliation.”

    Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the senior Republican on the tax-writing Finance Committee, said: “I’d have to say the possibility is very great” that the Democrats will use a coming budget resolution vote to signal their intention to use the reconciliation process later in the year. If the Democrats proceed that way, it could be a genuine move toward using reconciliation later, or it could be merely a threat to force Republicans to the bargaining table to ensure that they have any voice in drafting legislation.

    Orszag said that President Barack Obama is aware of the objections from Republicans that the reconciliation would cut them out of the loop on major legislation. He said the administration would prefer to get “major legislation without it.”

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was discussing the option with top Democrats Tuesday, apparently including White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, but declined to elaborate. “This is a long process,” he said.

    Rep. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, warned Orszag last week that Republicans won’t cooperate if Democrats try to push a massive “cap and trade” carbon emissions program through the Senate using reconciliation.
    “(W)e would be concerned that if we step into this exercise, we will be blindsided with reconciliation exercises and there’s no point in stepping into this exercise if we’re going to be shut down in our ability to influence it.”
    Finally, Gregg, who last month withdrew his nomination to become commerce secretary, turned to Orszag and said, “I think that’s a concern, not that you really care.”

    miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/954771.html

  39. wwboei says: “if so, then they brought the right baby home from the hospital. Good one wwboei, lol.

  40. Tauscher to State
    By Al Kamen
    Word is that Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic forces and a staunch superdelegate for presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, is in line for a top post at the State Department, most likely for the undersecretary for arms control and nonproliferation slot.
    ——————————-
    EXCELLENT

  41. Peter Orszag, the director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said the Obama administration would prefer not to use the budget “reconciliation” process that allows measures to pass the Senate on simple majority votes. Orszag said he wouldn’t rule it out, however.
    ————————–
    Robert MacNamara Jr. We know he is no good with numbers. Now we know he has bad political instincts too.

  42. wbboei: I think Dodd and all the other congress people need to be impeached and/or voted out of office. This is disgraceful and harmful to the citizens of this country. The tentacles of AIG run very deep and around the world.
    —————————-
    I agree. He should follow in his fathers footsteps.

  43. basil9 Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 6:17 pm
    wbboei,

    I dunno – maybe you’re right
    ————————
    I dont know if I am right. I just know I am worried.

  44. Even though, as we documented, Senator Menendez wrote to Geithner about bonuses on March 3 and despite many, many, many news reports, Geithner and officials allegedly in charge say “we did not know”. This is not believable:

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/03/obama-adminis-1.html

    Sources in the Obama administration Tuesday said that despite previous media reports administration officials did not know until a couple weeks ago that the officials of the controversial AIG Financial Product Division were set to receive $165 million in bonuses on March 13.

    It wasn’t until Monday, March 5, 2009, administration sources told ABC News, that officials of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York informed officials of the Treasury Department of the full extent of the $165 million in bonuses pending for the controversial Financial Products Subsidiary. [snip]

    As ABC News’ Capitol Hill Correspondent Jonathan Karl reported, in February, the Senate unanimously approved an amendment restricting bonuses over $100,000 at any company receiving federal bailout funds, but during the closed-door House and Senate negotiations the provision was stripped out and replaced with a measure by Dodd exempting bonuses agreed to prior to the passage of the stimulus bill on February 11, 2009.

  45. Here’s a little tidbit for you guys:

    Ya know the “Dodd Amendment”, that supposedly has the administration’s hands tied over those bonuses, and prevents them from doing a damn thing to stop them? “Tut tut, legally we are powerless”, they say.

    Here’s the actual wording, emphasis mine:

    “(iii) The prohibition required under clause (i) shall not be construed to prohibit any bonus payment required to be paid pursuant to a written employment contract executed on or before February 11, 2009,

    as such valid employment contracts are determined by the Secretary or the designee of the Secretary.

    Now, I’m no lawyer, but doesn’t that sound like the SOT has the power and sole discretion to decide whether any of those contracts are valid? And to declare them invalid if he so wishes?

  46. wobbei, recall what ‘won’ the state of FL for the Huckster? This is a state with a Republican, very popular, Governor and he promised to ‘deliver’ his state for McCain.

  47. Down with Dodd and them all. VOTE THEM ALL OUT!!!!!
    It sort of serves the traitor Republicans who voted these things in to have the Huckster state “THIS WAS A BIPARTISAN [THING]. Republicans voted for it tooooooooooooo.

  48. Gah. I just had an Obot trying to make excuses for Bambi, saying, quote “he means well”.

    NO! NO NO NO NO!!! Even granting that he did mean well (I personally don’t think he does, but leaving that aside), still NO!!

    Here’s the thing. This was my problem with Obama from the beginning. I knew this presidency was going to be a gargantuan, thankless slog of a job. Many of us did. So we questioned whether he was up for it.

    And oh boy, did he and his bots get PISSY. And OFFENDED. And HUFFY, that anyone would even DARE question his readiness!

    So guess what? Mr “Ready on Day One, I Can Handle It, I Have the Chops, I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Experience” does not get credit now for “meaning well”. Neither does my neurosurgeon. Some jobs are too important to skate by with that sort of allowance.

    He wanted the job, he got PISSY when anyone dared to suggest he might not be up for the job, so now he can DO the damn job or take his lumps like a big boy.

  49. I had to log in on a new computer and forgot word press is case sensitive, so a word to the wise.

    HillaryforTexas,

    I hate to say it, but he might be use to having a special standard. He was ready to lead from day one using his standards. Remember, everytime he screwed up during the election, he was like the teflon kid.

    The questions is will the Kool Aid drinking groupies be so forgiving if they are collection unemployment, have no medical coverage and no job in sight. Add to this a total disappearance of their nest eggs.

    Good to have you back on the blog.

  50. The DNC should be indicted for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.. and Conspiracy against the American People. Anyone interested in starting a petition?

  51. Sorry, came in later and had to quickly backpeddle reading the posts. Going back to read Admin post…

  52. Mrs. Smith Says:

    March 17th, 2009 at 11:26 pm
    The DNC should be indicted for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.. and Conspiracy against the American People. Anyone interested in starting a petition?

    I’d be happy to sign.

  53. Thanks, NMF. My eldest son moved back in shortly after the election, and now his 2-year-old daughter has arrived as well (he got custody.) So I’ve been caring for grandbaby, getting them settled in, and it is keeping me busy!

    In other news, the parade of incompetent boobs continues. Seems Geithner is finally going to get some help at Treasury. From Lewis Alexander, CitBank’s chief economist!

    Wow, let’s find ALL the losers who orchestrated this fiasco and drove their companies into the ground, and give them ALL a job at Treasury!

  54. In other news, the parade of incompetent boobs continues. Seems Geithner is finally going to get some help at Treasury. From Lewis Alexander, CitBank’s chief economist.

    CitiBank?

    Wow, let’s find ALL the losers who orchestrated this fiasco and drove their companies into the ground, and give them ALL a job at Treasury! Woohoo! Party time for the hedge fund boooooyz! BYOB, and a funnel for those tax dollars!

  55. The thing is, you don’t vote people like this out. They all should be indicted under the RICO statute for Racketeering. I don’t know the protocol for who would be called upon to bring the indictment, the US Attorney(?) yeah, right! A Special Grand Jury comprised of citizens?

    There must be something in the law books for a remedy- or if this malevolent Congressional activity is so egregious, it is an unprecedented event. My only comparison is the Tale of Two Cities. Chicago and Washington.

  56. UH……OH…………WE’RE SCREWED

    ACORN to Play Role in 2010 Census
    The U.S. Census Bureau is working with several national organizations to help recruit 1.4 million workers to produce the country’s 2010 census, including one with a history of voter fraud charges: ACORN.

    The U.S. Census is supposed to be free of politics, but one group with a history of voter fraud, ACORN, is participating in next year’s count, raising concerns about the politicization of the decennial survey.

    The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now signed on as a national partner with the U.S. Census Bureau in February 2009 to assist with the recruitment of the 1.4 million temporary workers needed to go door-to-door to count every person in the United States — currently believed to be more than 306 million people.

    A U.S. Census “sell sheet,” an advertisement used to recruit national partners, says partnerships with groups like ACORN “play an important role in making the 2010 Census successful,” including by “help[ing] recruit census workers.”

    The bureau is currently employing help from more than 250 national partners, including TARGET and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to assist in the hiring effort.

    But ACORN’s partnership with the 2010 Census is worrisome to lawmakers who say past allegations of fraud should raise concerns about the organization.

    “It’s a concern, especially when you look at all the different charges of voter fraud. And it’s not just the lawmakers’ concern. It should be the concern of every citizen in the country,” Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland, R-Ga., vice ranking member of the subcommittee for the U.S. Census, told FOXNews.com. “We want an enumeration. We don’t want to have any false numbers.”

    ACORN, which claims to be a non-partisan grassroots community organization of low- and moderate-income people, came under fire in 2007 when Washington State filed felony charges against several paid ACORN employees and supervisors for more than 1,700 fraudulent voter registrations. In March 2008, an ACORN worker in Pennsylvania was sentenced for making 29 phony voter registration forms. The group’s activities were frequently questioned in the 2008 presidential election.

    ACORN spokesman Scott Levenson told FOXNews.com that “ACORN as an organization withhas not been charged any crime.” He added that fears that the organization will unfairly influence the census are unfounded.

    “It will be the Census Bureau that determines the role and scope of its 300 national partners. ACORN is committed to a fair and accurate count,” Levenson said.

    The census is an official count of the country’s population mandated by the U.S. Constitution. It is used to determine distribution of taxpayer money through grants and appropriations and the apportionment of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. Every U.S. household unit, including those occupied by non-citizens and illegal immigrants, must be counted.

    Westmoreland and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, a member of the House census subcommittee, said the panel has held hearings to make sure the penalties for census takers committing fraud are clearly defined.

    “I feel fairly confident that the penalties for an individual manipulating the count are pretty severe,” Chaffetz said. The penalty for any fraudulent activity can be up to five years in jail.

    Westmoreland said he hopes the Census Bureau will maintain its measures to ensure an accurate report.

    “I feel comfortable right now with the people at the census department that they’re going to put forth their best effort to have a fair count,” he said.

    The U.S. Census Bureau has refuted any suggestions that ACORN or any other groups will fraudulently and unduly influence the results of the census.

    “The Census (Bureau) is a nonpartisan, non-political agency and we’re very dedicated to an accurate account,” bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner told FOXNews.com. “We have a lot of quality controls in place to keep any kind of systemic error or fraudulent behavior to affect the counts.”

    Buckner said the bureau received an overwhelming number of qualified applicants — more than 1 million — for the 140,000 census taker jobs filled to complete the first phase of the effort. Each applicant, he said, must take a basic skills exam, which includes reading a map and entering data into a handheld computer. Applicants are also subject to an FBI background check, he said.

    But Buckner acknowledged that it is difficult to track an applicant’s political background.

    “I have no way of tracking any of that information,” he said. “If somebody comes in to a position with a political agenda and their work exhibits that, there are rules against that,” he said.

    Buckner stressed the need for organizations like ACORN to assist in the effort, saying that “any group that has a grassroots organization that can help get the word out that we have jobs” is helpful.

    In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau had 140,000 partnerships from “national organizations to local and community organizations to elected officials,” he said. “The list is as broad as the phone book.”

    foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/17/lawmakers-concerned-role-acorn-census/

  57. Shorttermer, I do not live in Florida but I have spent a substantial amount of time there over the years-Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Tampa, Orlando, etc. I never heard of Crist until the primary.

    I have a generally negative impression of him. I do not like the way he screwed up the democratic primary, contributed to the disenfranchisement of florida voters, embraced Obama and flunked the bar twice.

    I think he is more of a bot than a Republican. I know he has presidential and or vice presidential aspirations, but so did JEB.

  58. Leap’n lizzards, Dodds latest story is that he did exclude bonus contracts from the bailout bill, but a bat flew out of Transylvania, and into the Senate Chamber, changed the bill when he was not looking, and flew away never to be seen again. Not surprisingly, he failed to get the name of the bat. But if Chris says that happened that good enough for me. Have you ever known a reptile to lie? I haven’t.

  59. Leap’n lizzards, Dodds latest story is that he did exclude bonus contracts from the bailout bill, but a bat flew out of Transylvania, and into the Senate Chamber, changed the bill when he was not looking, and flew away never to be seen again. Not surprisingly, he failed to get the name of the bat. But if Chris says that happened that good enough for me. Have you ever known a reptile to lie? I haven’t.

  60. Four times he was on tv today. Tomorrow he will be on Jay Leno. Telebami. A little excessive.

    He needs to get off the boob tube, plant his ass in the Oval Office and solve this economic problem.

    Yes, know he is the messiah. But a problemsolver he is not. So he spends his time trying to convince people this is Bush’s problem, trust him, these things take time–time he does not have.

    But ever since he promoted this stimulus bill the entire economic mess belongs to him now. Lots of luck, Bambi.

  61. There has got to be a way to redirect this populist outrage over bonuses to AIG to the faux stimulus bill, and to tie obambi to the whole mess since he is the one who orchestrated it.

  62. Have been very busy with my first cold in several years but I am back and more intent than ever to see that Hillary is protected from this new kid on yhe block,MSM and that group of bloodsuckers called our representatives in foggybottom.I am now convinced that we are well on our way to a civil war in this vulnervable country.There are evil forces at work planning and executing some very dangerous moves to divide and conquer and they are pushing the black citizenry out in front and baiting them with dreams of wealth and political power by dangling the Retribution bait in the form of share the wealth and follow the leader,a.k.a Telebama.It is so sad for me to see this great democracy being rendered a toothless,bankrupt and hapless cesspool of the greediest political and financial crooks that the world has ever seen.To add insult to injury,ACORN (already stole the presidency),is going to have a crooked hand in arranging census figures to their advantage.Just like Telebama,they cannot be trusted.

    BY ABM90 THere are large numbers of concerned and honest young and old citizens out ther that must take on this
    smothering race card and fight back with every ounce of energy and patriotic drive they can muster.

  63. Janh
    I’m going to stay away from that person’s post from now on. Much healthier that way.

    Thank you. Yes…I agree

    To me, this is more than about being Jewish. This subtle but noticeable trend to compare Arab aggression and indisciminate violence to the behavior of Israel is dangerous for everyone.
    Every neighbor of Israel who wanted peace has made peace….and Israel has made concessions to make that happen.
    Israel has worked harder to conduct a humane defense of its country than any other country in the world, including the US.

  64. Veterans get another White House meeting to discuss benefit cuts

    By DAVID GOLDSTEIN

    Angry advocates for veterans will return to the White House on Thursday to try and talk the Obama administration out of cutting health benefits.

    The plan has ignited a political firestorm in the veteran’s community, and a meeting Monday with President Barack Obama failed to tamp it down. But the same veterans groups that met with Obama have been asked to come back to meet with his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, for more discussions.

    The plan to save money by cutting veterans’ benefits remains sketchy, but the Obama administration is weighing whether to make veterans use private insurance to pay for treatment of combat injuries and other health problems that resulted from their military service. Veterans currently are responsible only for health-care costs that are unrelated to their time in the military, with some exceptions. Several veterans’ advocates suggested that the White House was unprepared for the political backlash to its plan from veterans and their supporters on Capitol Hill and might be looking for a graceful exit.

    “Why pick a fight that’s going to consume time and energy that doesn’t need to happen?” asked Doug Vollmer, a lobbyist for the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

    White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said “no decisions have been made” about changing benefits for veterans. Gibbs said they “can be assured that the president understands any concerns that they would have.” Obama on Monday told the advocates that the government could save $540 million by making veterans use private insurance for all medical care. But to veterans and their advocates, government-financed health coverage is their “third rail” of politics. They believe that upon enlistment, the government pledged lifetime coverage for injuries sustained on the battlefield or elsewhere.

    Reversing that “cuts to the quick of the covenant between the people and those who take the step forward, pledging life and limb, often at great cost, in defense of the United States,” said Rick Weidman, a lobbyist for the Vietnam Veterans of America. Still, veterans’ advocates said they were open to discussing alternatives, which is likely to be the topic Thursday. One option could be to have some veterans use their private insurance for treatment of service-related injuries, but without requiring co-payments. Another option could be allowing the Department of Veterans Affairs to bill Medicare for an eligible veteran’s coverage. Currently, if a veteran eligible for both Medicare and the VA and uses the VA, the agency is not allowed to bill Medicare. “This, we believe, would more easily meet the president’s financial goal,” David Rehbein, the commander of the American Legion, said in a statement

    Apart from the tempest over private insurance, several veterans’ advocates said that Obama has been a supporter of their concerns. His proposed budget for 2010 of nearly $113 billion for Veterans Affairs was more than $1 billion more than the plan they had been pushing. But many said they were surprised by the ham-handedness of the private insurance effort because it seemed that no one in either the White House or the VA took into consideration how veterans would react. Or the Congress, where several members have called the plan “dead on arrival.”

    Paul Rieckhoff, the executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, likened it to the problems Bill Clinton faced in 1993 at the outset of his presidency when he proposed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about gays in the military. “The president needs to drop this,” Rieckhoff said. “The longer we wait, the more it hurts his relations with the VSOs (Veterans Service Organizations) and with vets, this is a no-brainer. … We don’t understand why he’s picking this fight.”

    kansascity.com/news/nation/story/1092512.html

  65. ABM90

    I had to put a friend in the hospital for 3 night with it. I am not sure what is going around, but it is powerful. I am glad you are feeling bettr.

  66. Obama Thanks Himself, Irish PM Repeats Speech in Teleprompter Meltdown

    Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen reads word for word a speech that Obama had just read from a teleprompter, while the president apparently thanked himself for the invitation.

    WASHINGTON — Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was just a few paragraphs into an address at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House when he realized something sounded way too familiar. Turns out, he was repeating the speech President Barack Obama had just given.

    Cowen was set to speak twice at the White House on Tuesday night because there were two different parties going on at the executive mansion. No matter — he would give the same speech to the two different audiences.

    But Cowen was 20 seconds into his second address when it dawned on him that he was giving word for word the speech that Obama had just read from the same teleprompter.

    Cowen stopped and looked back at the president to say, “That’s your speech.”

    Obama laughed and returned to the podium to offer what might have been Cowen’s remarks. In doing so, President Obama thanked President Obama for inviting everyone over.

    Earlier, the president claimed an Irish ancestry to Ireland’s leader and joked to Congress that his genealogy could have helped him as a once-unknown Chicago politician.

    White House fountains and sparkling wine both ran green as Obama courted Ireland’s prime minister and political leaders from Northern Ireland. As Obama sought to tamp down violence in Northern Ireland, he announced Tuesday a key campaign backer Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, as his choice to fill the post of U.S. ambassador to Dublin.

    “Not all Americans are Irish, but all Americans support those who stand on the side of peace and peace will prevail,” Obama told Prime Minister Brian Cowen in the Oval Office, praising the two countries’ deep ties.

    On tap for the evening’s festivities — which Obama described as “rambunctious” to East Room guests — was green sparkling wine from a California vineyard.

    The White House cocktail reception featured Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon from Northern Ireland and Maggie McCarthy, a traditional Irish dancer and musician from Cork, and the vocal group Celtic Thunder. The Shannon Rovers, the official pipe band of Chicago’s St. Patrick’s Day festival, also were set to perform.

    Obama joked about the free-flowing bar and warned his guests not to wear lampshades on their heads in front of the cameras. He later went off his remarks to get laughs about Ireland’s popular stout.

    “Guinness tastes very different in Ireland,” Obama said. “It is much better. You guys are keeping the good stuff for yourselves.”

    foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/03/18/teleprompter-gone-bad-obama-thanks-irish-pm-repeats-speech/

  67. wbboei

    Fox news just had a dr guest on talking about how celebrities [actors] are narcissists and that “reality tv stars” are the worst.

    but in general every thing he was saying was so easily applied to obama and could help but remember the McCain ad that painted obama as a “CELEBRITY” LMAO!

    I have heard fox use the word narcissist over the last few days quite a bit ……..wonder if this is a planned lead in to discuss
    obama’s narcissism?

  68. oh and just for the record……. snobama is photographed during the PM speech with his nose in the air [ of course ]

  69. Good Morning djia

    O always has his nose in the air like that. He swaggers when he walks. He really has a very high opinion of himself.

    Yet, the other day he was just talking, trying to answer questions, and there were all the ahs etc going on. He sounds you know what when he just tries to talk, which is why they don’t let him do it often.

  70. I saw where Bush said he would not voice an opinion, or criticize O. Well we all know, he does not need to. He will self distruct on his own.

  71. Good Morning NMF!!

    yes i seen the bush comment too…i found it “odd”

    what is he thinking?? why does obama deserve his silence?? i say.. bull pucky!

  72. Diebold Admits ALL Versions of Their Software Delete Ballots Without Notice

    prisonplanet.com/diebold-admits-all-versions-of-their-software-delete-ballots-without-notice.html

  73. While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. That amendment provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax.
    The amendment made it into the final version of the bill, and is law.
    *************
    This is turning out to be more pass the blame by the sociopath in-chief.
    “That is simply not what happened. What actually happened is the opposite. It was Dodd who did everything possible — including writing and advocating for an amendment — which would have applied the limitations on executive compensation to all bailout-receiving firms, including AIG, and applied it to all future bonus payments without regard to when those payments were promised. But it was Tim Geithner and Larry Summers who openly criticized Dodd’s proposal at the time and insisted that those limitations should apply only to future compensation contracts, not ones that already existed. The exemption for already existing compensation agreements — the exact provision that is now protecting the AIG bonus payments — was inserted at the White House’s insistence and over Dodd’s objections. But now that a political scandal has erupted over these payments, the White House is trying to deflect blame from itself and heap it all on Chris Dodd by claiming that it was Dodd who was responsible for that exemption.”…http: / / http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/17/dodd/

  74. djia

    I really think it made him look good (Bush) and that is why he did it. He is not running for anything now.

    Diebold – having been a part of the general election here in 2006, and having run a caucus in 2008, I don’t see how people know that these elections are run correctly. They bring in the ballot readers, and we are suppose to varify that it is 0, but the young lady did not even know how to put the machine on let alone make sure it was 0 and she had been trained. Then I saw all kinds of holes in their internal controls. The counting machines should have been checked every morning to make sure the count had not neen changed overnight (this is early voting in which the vote last about 2 weeks ahead of the regular). Then they transported all of those counters to the warehouse (I was there also), and had us observe the tablulation of the machine. They just pick us at random. We had no idea if the count that left the voting place was the same as the count that the machine had in the warehouse. Certainly all of them could have been altered in transit.

    Then at the caucus 2008, we did count them manually. I was at the warehouse again (glutten for punishment again), to count all of the provisional ballots. However, they bent over backward to count and validate every ballot. I don’t disagree with that. Even though we gave o every possiblility, HRC beat his butt. I think in the end they felt NM just was not worth it. You should have seen us with memory sticks looking at spoiled ballots, and matching them to people by birthday if we could, as the addressses did not match. The HRC group was flying by the seat of our pants (If I did not normally just carry my memory sticks, and had some good computer skills, we would have been a lot slower). Of course Os group seemed to have advanced notice of everything in this State compliments of JUDAS.

    For the most important part of our Democracy, we lack all kinds of internal controlls. But then, even if you do win the Popular vote, it does not matter. I WILL NEVER GET OVER THAT.

  75. djia,

    It was a “checkmate” moment for Bush. By taking the high road, he makes obama look stupid, mean, and petty by continually attacking him. Besides, there are plenty out there who will defend Bush, so he can sit back and just smile.

  76. While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. That amendment provides an “exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009” — which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax.
    The amendment made it into the final version of the bill, and is law.
    *************
    This is turning out to be more pass the blame by the sociopath in-chief.
    “That is simply not what happened. What actually happened is the opposite. It was Dodd who did everything possible — including writing and advocating for an amendment — which would have applied the limitations on executive compensation to all bailout-receiving firms, including AIG, and applied it to all future bonus payments without regard to when those payments were promised. But it was Tim Geithner and Larry Summers who openly criticized Dodd’s proposal at the time and insisted that those limitations should apply only to future compensation contracts, not ones that already existed. The exemption for already existing compensation agreements — the exact provision that is now protecting the AIG bonus payments — was inserted at the White House’s insistence and over Dodd’s objections. But now that a political scandal has erupted over these payments, the White House is trying to deflect blame from itself and heap it all on Chris Dodd by claiming that it was Dodd who was responsible for that exemption.”…salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/17/dodd/

  77. REPOST from yesterday.
    What do you all think about this?????????

    Geitner’s father knew and worked with BO’s mother! Here’s an excerpt from Geitner’s wikipedia page.

    Geithner’s paternal grandfather, Paul Herman Geithner (1902–1972), emigrated with his parents from the German town of Zeulenroda to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1908.[1] His father, Peter F. Geithner, is the director of the Asia program at the Ford Foundation in New York. During the early 1980s, Peter Geithner oversaw the Ford Foundation’s microfinance programs in Indonesia being developed by Ann Dunham-Soetoro, President Barack Obama’s mother, and they met in person at least once.’

  78. Rasmussen just out says that the REPs had pulled slightly ahead in their favor of REP Congressional Candidates.

  79. Don’t forget the fake loyalty that Mr. Obama pledges, right before the bus rolls over you. Mr. Gibbs swears that Mr. Geithner’s job is safe. Hopefully you haven’t had time to unpack your boxes in the corner office at Treasury, Tim…

  80. i did realize bush took the high road….and i think that’s good!

    I am just saying that i don’t agree that obama “deserves” his silence.

    I say…….”let er rip! let er fly!” and “i am not ready to make nice”

    why is it the dixie chicks always have the best lines? LOL

  81. djia

    I would have liked him to let it rip also. But I still think that the silence is deafing, and getting much more attention.

  82. the exact provision that is now protecting the AIG bonus payments — was inserted at the White House’s insistence and over Dodd’s objections. But now that a political scandal has erupted over these payments, the White House is trying to deflect blame from itself and heap it all on Chris Dodd by claiming that it was Dodd who was responsible for that exemption.”…
    ____________________________
    Leap’n lizards! Dodd’s innocent! Baracks to blame! Where’s the proof? White House made the change! Who in the White House? Bwaaak! How do you know? Follow the money! Yea? He got the Wall Street loot! Why would Bwaaak rape the taxpayers like that? Three little words: quid pro quo. So you think it was him? Yup-or someone acting at his behest? Then what was the bullshit about a bat from Transylavania? You mean the one on the cover of Vogue? Yea. Dunno. You can be sure she knew bout it.

  83. Clinton’s Help Sought In Marine’s Killing Case

    By Scott Sarvay
    March. 17, 2009

    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – A congressman from Ohio is asking Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for help with extraditing a Marine accused of killing a pregnant colleague. Rep. Mike Turner wants 22-year-old Cpl. Cesar Laurean returned from Mexico to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach of Vandalia, Ohio. Republican Turner has written to Clinton, asking her to intercede. Laurean fled after Lauterbach’s charred remains were found buried in his backyard near Camp Lejeune, N.C., in January 2008. The 20-year-old Lauterbach had accused Laurean of rape, and was pregnant at the time she was killed.

    Laurean, who has dual citizenship, was arrested in Mexico last April but has fought extradition.

    msnbc.msn.com/id/29738228/

  84. White House computer chief reinstated after raid
    By MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN – 17 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s computer chief is being reinstated from a leave he was put on after an FBI raid at his old job. At the same time, the White House is labeling as a “youthful indiscretion” a misdemeanor theft the man committed 13 years ago.

    White House spokesman Nick Shapiro late Tuesday announced the reinstatement of Vivek Kundra as White House chief information officer in charge of federal computer purchasing. Shapiro also said Kundra had done community service for the 1996 theft and the White House was satisfied that he had fully resolved the matter.

    Kundra was put on leave March 12 after the FBI raided the District of Columbia technology office that he headed until recently. Two people arrested on corruption charges.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g3uoipS51MznjrWG47Kkh-Qsen0QD97028UO0

  85. JanH

    During my tour of Williamsburg, many years ago, they said that legislatures even accused of minor crimes, whether they were innocent or not, we not allow to serve the country. How far we have fallen.

  86. Senate votes to scrap lawmakers’ annual pay raise
    By ANDREW TAYLOR – 16 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday voted to scrap the system that awards members of Congress an automatic cost-of-living pay raise every year. The Senate’s move to abandon the annual pay increase came on a voice vote, but it doesn’t mean that the pay raise is dead. Earlier Tuesday, the No. 2 Democrat in the House came out in opposition to the bill.

    “I’m not for it, so I’m not going to commit to bringing it to the floor,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

    Still, with the economy in a recession, pressure is certain to build on the House to vote on the measure. “Especially in this hour of economic crisis, the overwhelming majority of Democrats and Republicans would agree that we should end this practice of automatic adjustments,” said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

    Congress has raised its own pay in stand-alone bills more than two dozen times, according to the Congressional Research Service. But in 1989, it passed a law providing for annual cost-of-living adjustments unless Congress votes otherwise. At the time, the idea was to avoid politically difficult votes every few years on larger raises.

    Until Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., last week abandoned the current system of automatic raises, congressional leaders in both parties had stood behind it. Lawmakers say the system helps make sure that Congress is not dominated by wealthy people. They often meet with lobbyists making far more than they do. Lawmakers voted to skip their annual pay raises for several years in the 1990s and in 2007. They voted to forego next year’s pay increase because of the recession. Their latest pay raise of $4,700 took effect in January and brought congressional salaries to $174,000.

    In the Senate, Tuesday’s action was orchestrated by Reid, who followed through on a pledge to bring the measure up as soon as possible after working to kill the idea last week in a battle with Louisiana Republican David Vitter. The battle between Vitter and Reid centered on whether the pay raise issue should have been resolved in an omnibus spending bill. Reid said no, arguing that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had announced that the House wouldn’t accept any changes to the spending bill and that adding the provision would have killed it. Last week, Vitter argued that the House would never take up the freestanding measure to kill the pay raise. But on Tuesday, he said pressure from voters could do the trick. “The House leadership has made clear that they don’t want to bring up this matter,” Vitter said. “The American people can change that and call their House members and demand that the leadership have a fair vote and pass this into law.” Both Reid and Vitter are up for re-election. Reid is a top target of Republicans, while Vitter has gotten bad press lately after a run-in with an airline employee at Washington Dulles International Airport. In 2007, he acknowledged a “very serious sin” after his phone number was discovered in the records of a prostitution ring.

    Last week, Pelosi stood behind the current system, saying that there is usually an annual vote in relation to the raise. But that vote is always a tightly choreographed affair — coming on a procedural motion on whether to permit a direct vote on the issue — that allows lawmakers to duck an up-or-down vote on the pay raise.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gsbcXJsNZlmEtGg4v49pm3SA706AD9702Q9O1

    ——————————————————

    “Their latest pay raise of $4,700 took effect in January and brought congressional salaries to $174,000.”

    Way to go! Raises to congressmen! Bonuses to AIG and the likes! And all while people lose their jobs, homes, and are hungry.

  87. Maybe the congressmen should look at giving their own pay raises back. Would be a huge amount of money but it would sure make a statement.

  88. Dija: he is a megalomaniac to begin with. Now he has supreme power on top of it.

    “The effect of power and publicity upon all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends up killing the victims sympathies; a diseased appetite, like a passion for drink and diseased tastes; one can scarcely use expressions too strong to describe the violence of egotism it stimulates”–Henry Adams (son of one president, grandson of another).

  89. On my way into Philly, I saw in the freebie Metro daily a few interesting tidbits (and they, similar to MSM, but they being SSM, small stream media, were prObama during the campaigns):

    An Arianna Huffington quip: “It’s a battle to see who is more tone-deaf, the AIG execs pushing for bonuses despite running the company into the ground or the members of the Obama administration who didn’t realize this would inspire such outrage”.

    And:

    metro.us/us/article/2009/03/18/00/4738-72/index.xml

    Obama’s defining Moment: It’s Time to Stop the Bleeding

    (There’s a vote here link to sodahead.com asking, “Do you regret voting for Obama?”)

    And, I can’t find the link to this, but:

    People Ask: Where’d O go?
    ————————————

    (snip)

    “Wasn’t Obama supposed to fix this?”, said Maria Panza-Villa, a mother of two in Hillsboro, Ore. She said she has lost three jobs since November as one employer after another folded.

    &&&&&

    Yup, they love this guy.

  90. People Ask: Where’d O go?
    ————————————

    Geez, do we have his travel schedule since Jan 20th?

    Camp David
    Ohio
    Here
    there
    anywhere but 1600 Pennsylvania Ave (except when there’s a photo op.)

    Or if meant metaphorically, Where’d O go?:
    into hiding
    curled up into fetal position
    hiding behind Michelle’s skirt
    MIA
    AWOL
    out to lunch
    out for a cigarette break

  91. “Three little words: quid pro quo.”
    ***********
    “Combine Politics” arrive in DC. Can’t let political parties screw things up. Larry Summers pushes through the “Commodity Futures Modernization Act” in 2000. One result being there are more than $60 trillion in toxic default-credit swaps in the market..AIG generates huge “virtual” profits from CDS’s….AIG execs get real bonuses from virtual profits…Geithner “negotiates the payout and bonuses for AIG…Obama gets the most $$$/year from AIG….Geithner and Summers now calling the shots at Treasury..etc…etc..

  92. SHV: congratulations. You are hitting on all cylinders. I am getting an education just reading your posts. The Horseman would be proud.

  93. SHV an wbboei, I think we should rewrite the lyrics to the famous SouthPark “Blame Canada” song for Oblama:

    “Should we blame the president?
    Or blame his treasury?
    Should we blame Oliar on TV?

    No, Blame Anyone!

    Blame Anyone!”

  94. ——–
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said AIG stands as a symbol of “greed and perhaps corruption.”

    Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., scoffed at AIG’s claim that the money represents retention pay. “There are enough bright people in this country that would do the job for an honest salary, and enough honest taxpayers demanding that we put an end to this stuff. You can bet I’ll make sure justice is served,” he said.

    But the bonus payments occurred on the Democrats’ watch, and for Republicans, AIG seems politically providential
    ——

    Way to go!!!!!!! BO, Ried, Poopy Loopy Fancy Pansy Nancy, Baucus, Doody Dude,

  95. Rep. Tauscher leaving House for State Dept.
    By Jared Allen
    Posted: 03/18/09 11:35 AM [ET]
    Congressional sources have confirmed that Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) is going to be tapped for a top State Department post under Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Tauscher, the current chairwoman of the centrist New Democrat Coalition and chairwoman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, is set to become the undersecretary for Arms Control and Nonproliferation.

    Tauscher was a Clinton superdelegate during the Democratic presidential primary and is a close ally of the former New York senator.

    But Tauscher is also a key ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Earlier this month, Tauscher was instrumental in saving a mortgage reform bill — a top Democratic priority — from obliteration from the more conservative wing of the Democratic Caucus.

    thehill.com/leading-the-news/rep.-tauscher-leaving-house-for-state-dept.-2009-03-18.html

  96. O’BAMA MAKES GOOD ON ONE CAMPAIGN PROMISE.

    Nice to see he has his priorities straight. So let me get this straight, this is what he does when he is actually sitting at his desk in the Oval Office?

    This is also from the Metro paper, and again, not easy to find links, but I’m sure AP has this story.

    The “First” Bracket?
    ————————-

    The president promised ESPN’s Andy Katz that he’d fill out an NCAA tournament bracket if he were elected.

    Well, he was. And he did.

    With Katz on hand, the president filled out the NCAA tournament bracket yesterday in the Oval Office. His Final Four picks include No. 1 seeds Louisville, North Carolina, and Pittsburgh, along w/ No. 2 Memphis.

    &&&&&&&&

  97. “Wasn’t Obama supposed to fix this?”, said Maria Panza-Villa, a mother of two in Hillsboro, Ore. She said she has lost three jobs since November as one employer after another folded.
    ————————–
    Dear Maria-

    I said I would fix things. You thought I would fix your problem. You missed the double meaning of the term fix, and that is not my fault.

    Maria, if you have any time left after you complete your third parttime job then you need to contemplate the wisdom I am about to give you, towit:

    “ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU. ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR ME!”

    Notice how I did that without a teleprompter.

    Which brings me to the real point of this letter. I hope I can count on your support in my third and fourth term.

    By then we will be bankrupt and it won’t hurt so bad. In the meantime just remember three little words:

    No, no, no, not “hope and change”. The new words are simple: “quid-pro-quo”. Remember them and we will get along just fine Marie-or whatever your name is.

    Cordially,

    BHO

  98. Can a pharmacist refuse to fill a prescription for birth control pills because of his ‘conscience’? Or refuse to sell condoms?

    A change in the law is pending. Comments are being taken here:

    h…./….w
    sba-list.org/HHS

    Presumably these comments will be relayed to the official agency. But sba-list.org is an anti-choice site, so better comment elsewhere as well.

  99. birdgal Says:

    March 18th, 2009 at 12:55 pm
    Rep. Tauscher leaving House for State Dept.

    —————————————

    Yes!!!

  100. “With Katz on hand, the president filled out the NCAA tournament bracket yesterday in the Oval Office. His Final Four picks include No. 1 seeds Louisville, North Carolina, and Pittsburgh, along w/ No. 2 Memphis.”

    —————————————

    Must have been a busy day for the President of the United States.

  101. HillaryforTexas, we know where the buck stopped in the Truman White House–with the President. Where will it stop in this White House? My sense is it stops at cabinet level. But even if that is true, he is the one who told us in the debates that he had the uncanny ability to pick good people, and to achieve results. Ergo, it stops with him.

    If we accept the premise that the President is not directly responsible for the mistakes of his administration then there is zero accountability during his term of office and then it is only a matter of time before the system fails.

  102. From Pumapac.org

    protesters in pink…

    If it’s CODEPINK they used to hang giant “pink slips” and wear pink slips in order to suggest firing someone.

    Hey…if the PINK SLIP FITS, I say pink slip all the robber barons!

    =====================

    That should stimulate the lingerie industry!

    I think it’s a great idea! A slip is easy to carry and will get attention when you hang it. You could also carry a folded fishing pole for putting it up out of reach.

  103. That was an unsettling picture of Carter leaving the West Wing today. Obama truly is the next coming of that failed man.

  104. “With Katz on hand, the president filled out the NCAA tournament bracket yesterday in the Oval Office. His Final Four picks include No. 1 seeds Louisville, North Carolina, and Pittsburgh, along w/ No. 2 Memphis.”
    ———————–
    More evidence he can fiddle while Rome burns.

  105. Or if meant metaphorically, Where’d O go?:
    into hiding
    curled up into fetal position
    hiding behind Michelle’s skirt
    MIA
    AWOL
    out to lunch
    out for a cigarette break

    ===========

    All of the above. Interestng picture.

  106. NewMexicoFan Says:
    During my tour of Williamsburg, many years ago, they said that legislatures even accused of minor crimes, whether they were innocent or not, we not allow to serve the country. How far we have fallen.

    ==================

    Huh? Ken Starr, anyone?

  107. But Tauscher is also a key ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Earlier this month, Tauscher was instrumental in saving a mortgage reform bill — a top Democratic priority — from obliteration from the more conservative wing of the Democratic Caucus.
    **********************************
    That is unsettling!

  108. dija said:
    “i am not ready to make nice”

    why is it the dixie chicks always have the best lines? LOL

    ==================

    I know it’s meant differently, but it sounds like “Some day I WILL be ready to make nice, after I ‘get over it’.

  109. bedbug Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Don’t forget the fake loyalty that Mr. Obama pledges, right before the bus rolls over you. Mr. Gibbs swears that Mr. Geithner’s job is safe.

    ===============

    If they’re scapegoating Geithner (as I suspect) they’ll want him around as long as possible to blame for more things.

  110. The tragedy is not so much that he would fail, but that in failing he would drag the rest of us down with him. This is a terrible time to have an incompetent leader.

    If that proves to be the case then it is the fourth time big media has made a bad call which has adversely affected the welfare of our country. I mean Bush 1, Iraq, Bush 2, Obama.

    We all make bad decisions in life, but if we are half way smart we try not to make a habit of it.

    But it isnt just the fact that they are wrong that is the problem, or even the fact that they are consistently wrong, so much as the fact that they put their thumb on the scale and thereby force the American People to make decisions that are against their interest.

    If one is inclined to look for root causes for the decline of this country, big media would be at the top the list.

  111. Billions of AIG’s federal aid went to foreign banks

    American International Group has used federal bailout funds to pay about $105 billion it owed to U.S. municipalities and U.S. European financial companies, starting when it received its first bailout last September through Dec. 31. Companies receiving the largest amounts, in billions:

    Bank Amount Based

    Goldman Sachs $12.9 USA

    Bank of America/Merrill Lynch $12.0 USA

    Societe Generale $11.9 France

    Deutsche Bank $11.8 Germany

    Barclays $8.5 USA

    UBS $5.0 Switzerland

    BNP Paribas $4.9 France

    HSBC Holdings $3.5 U.K.

    Dresdner $2.6 Germany

    Total payments to top 10 $73.1

    Source: AIG

    By Pallavi Gogoi and Barbara Hagenbaugh, USA TODAY

    Lost in the hoopla surrounding news that $165 million in bonuses were paid out to executives at American International Group (AIG) is a bigger, sobering question: Did the U.S. government cover for losses at foreign banks?

    AIG disclosed Sunday the names of banks and entities that received a total of $105 billion of its bailout payments made from September through December. Some of the leading recipients of American taxpayer money are France’s Societe Generale, $11.9 billion; Deutsche Bank of Germany, $11.8 billion; and Barclays of Britain, $8.5 billion.
    The expansive list of international entities — including UBS in Switzerland and Banco Santander in Spain — shows the broad tentacles of AIG’s dealings and why the U.S. government believed that saving AIG was important to the global financial system.

    “It shows how widespread this interlocking web of financial contracts was,” says Raymond Hill, who teaches finance at the Goizueta Business School. “And without government intervention, that web would have collapsed, creating havoc in the global financial system.”

    However, lawmakers question why other countries didn’t get involved in bailing out this wide network of global institutions. “The U.S. cannot bail out the financial system of the world,” says Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee. “Other nations have to be part of the solution in securing the viability of their institutions that are too big to fail.”

    However, Duke University finance professor Campbell Harvey says it’s better that the U.S. take care of its own companies, even if that means financial firms abroad are benefiting. “If we start asking European governments to kick in for AIG, then (they will) ask us to pitch into their problems, which are way worse than ours,” he says.

    At the heart of these large payments and losses is AIG’s financial products unit, which sold insurance to protect dozens of banks against default on all kinds of debt and securities. AIG then invested the premiums in residential mortgage-backed securities, the market for which has collapsed since the real estate downturn. When AIG originally sold the insurance, it had a AAA credit rating. However, everything started to unwind on Sept. 15, when the major credit-rating agencies downgraded AIG.
    The lower credit rating meant AIG had to come up with tens of billions of dollars in collateral for the extra risk other banks were taking buying its insurance. And AIG didn’t have the cash for the many requests for collateral it faced. So, the U.S. government came up with the cash, four times for a total of $180 billion, and took a 78.9% stake in the company.

    The amount AIG has paid is substantial — Goldman Sachs received a total of $12.9 billion, and the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch combo received $12 billion — and some are wondering why the government didn’t let the banks eat those losses. “Would taking a $13 billion loss have wiped out Goldman Sachs? I don’t think so,” says Peter Cohan, president of management consultant Peter S. Cohan & Associates. “This whole argument that unless the taxpayer bails them out, these large banks would collapse seems like a whole lot of crock to me.”

    Duke’s Harvey says repeated taxpayer involvement has created too much uncertainty about when the government will say enough is enough. But David Smith, associate professor of commerce at the University of Virginia, says the release of the information shows how widespread the losses from an AIG failure could have been and bolsters the case that the Fed and Treasury needed to get involved. “It’s a piece of evidence to suggest that if the government turned its back on supporting AIG’s obligations that it would have meant big losses,” he says. “Some of the … largest institutions were in danger of suffering even bigger losses if we didn’t do anything for AIG.”

    AIG CEO Edward Liddy has said he heads a global franchise that is symbolic of the interlinked global financial system. “Nothing was to be gained — and there was much to lose — if AIG were not allowed to develop a global restructuring plan to resolve our financial difficulties,” said Liddy, in a speech to the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in December. Now, he will have to try to explain whether that’s true and more, during Wednesday’s hearing before a House subcommittee.

    Part of the taxpayers’ money, or about $12 billion, also went to municipalities of several different U.S. states. That’s because AIG sold guaranteed investment contracts, which guarantee a fixed rate of return. Many municipal bond issuers don’t use the entire proceeds of their bonds for projects and enter into these contracts to earn that rate of return. This confirmed worries that municipalities might have to face losses because of AIG’s shaky finances.

    usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2009-03-16-some-aig-billions-went-to-banks_N.htm

  112. Can anyone comment on the accuracy and significance of this?

    1 – Geitner is head of the Federal Reserve, a PRIVATE organization, during the initial AIG bailout and helps orchestrate it.

    2 – Geitner becomes Treasury Secretary and continues the AIG bailout he helped initiate and orchestrate.

    3 – There is some huge cover-up going on. Whose involved? Was Geitner appointed treasury secretary to buy his silence?

  113. SHV, 12:29,

    I just read your post. That’s where I was going but I didn’t have knowledge of the chain before Geitner.

    So you agree it’s a cover-up, a shell game for real money paid out on virtual information, another ponzi scheme like Bernie Madoff’s?

    ‘Geithner “negotiates the payout and bonuses for AIG…Obama gets the most $$$/year from AIG….Geithner and Summers now calling the shots’ at Treasury..etc…etc..

  114. Sorry,

    And now, with the info that Geitner’s father worked with BO’s mother in Indonesian micro-financing, the trail heats up even more, no?

  115. Basil: the USA article posted above provides the answer to your question why does an insurance company get a bailout, and my response because of the global fincancial interests it represented, and if we could find out who they were alot of this would come into focus–or words to that effect.

    They were doing business in 132 countries and were insuring major foreign banks against the risk of losses from securities including no doubt the mortagage instruments concocted by the Wizards of Wall Street, and if they failed to pay those losses then those banks would collapse and the global finacancial system along with it.

    The United States taxpayer–present and future thus becomes the ultimate guanantor of the world financial system. N.B. Who is sitting on the sidelines and not involved in this scheme. There is a reason for this–they will never play ball with the Rothschildes, the Morgans, the Lord Highcrosses–oil and water.

    What got AIG into this mess. It is like I was saying the other day. Like all insurance companies they survive and prosper by finding the right balance between underwriting and investing. In this case both went south. The collapse of the mortages killed their invesment portfolio, and that same collapse caused losses which they were forced to pay.

    The irony is their former CEO Hank Greenburg (see above) was forced to resign because he was getting payments from both ends (insureds and underwriters), and his replacement got tanked because he sufferered losses from both ends (underwriting and investments).

    But thats okay because we are here to cover their losses, and Obamas Secretray of Treasury, who has had trouble paying his owned taxes has warned the rest of us in no uncertain terms that the Obama Administation will come down hard on those who do not pay their taxes.

    I am not a devotee of Bob Dylan myself, but many others are. He got one thing right: Masters make the rules for the wise men and the fools.

    As G-20 approaches, there sits China. If I were in their shoes, I think I know what I would do.

  116. MoDo WAITS (IN VAIN) FOR OBAMA TO MORPH INTO A “VERTEBRATE”, BUT ALAS, THE SPINE IS MISSING.

    If she wanted a president with Testicular Fortitude, well, she helped undermine Hillary last spring. The puppy that MoDo brought home from the pound was neutered.

    Another Bot who deserves this warning: You barack it, you bought it!

    nytimes.com/2009/03/18/opinion/18dowd.html?_r=1

    No Boiled Carrots
    ———————–

    Barack Obama even needs a teleprompter to get mad.

    On St. Patrick’s Day, the president spoke a bit of Gaelic, dyed the White House fountains green and talked about his distant relatives in the tiny Irish town of Moneygall, aptly named since money and gall are the two topics now consuming him.

    But Mr. Obama is still having trouble summoning a suitable flash of Irish temper at the gall of the corrupt money magicians who continue to make our greenbacks disappear into their bottomless well. He’s got to lop off some heads.

    As he watches the fury of ordinary Americans bubble up at those who continue to plunder our economy, he should keep in mind one of my dad’s favorite Gaelic sayings: “Never bolt the door with a boiled carrot.”

    His lofty team of economic rivals is looking more like a team of small forwards and shooting guards. At the White House on Monday, the president read reporters some tough talk from the teleprompter about the chuckleheads at A.I.G., accusing them of “recklessness and greed.”

    But it was his own boiled carrots who acted shocked at bonuses that they should have known were coming, and should have dismantled before handing A.I.G. another $30 billion two weeks ago. It is bad enough that the billions are being laundered through A.I.G. to the likes of bailout double-dippers Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America, not to mention foreign banks.

    Mr. Obama belatedly tried to stop the tumbrels that began rolling toward the Potomac after Larry Summers went on Sunday talk shows to assert that there was nothing the administration could do about the blood-sucking insurance monstrosity’s venal payout.

    Summers, who inspires lusty dreams of A.I.G. tormentor Eliot Spitzer, asserted that the government “cannot just abrogate” contracts with financial vampires. It seems as though it would be pretty easy to upend a bonus contract that must read something like: “If you ruin the world economy, we’ll pay you an extra million.”

    As Andrew Cuomo pointed out on Tuesday, 11 of the A.I.G. executives who received retention bonuses of $1 million or more — including one who received $4.6 million — were not even retained. They’re no longer working at A.I.G. Bonuses were paid to 52 people who have left the company.

    At first, on the nutty bonuses, Team Obama thought it could get away with the same absurd argument used to justify the nearly $8 billion in unnecessary earmarks it allowed Congress to jam into this year’s overdue spending bill: It was written last year; we’re just signing off on it; we’ll do better in the future.

    What President Obama should have said to the blood-sucking bums at A.I.G., many of them foreigners who were working at the louche London unit, was quite simple: “We stopped the checks. They’re immoral. If you want Americans’ hard-earned cash as a reward for burning up their jobs, homes and savings, sue me.”

    He also should have saved a dollar a year and fired Ed Liddy. There must have been ways to avoid rewarding the perpetrators of our financial crisis and Liddy seems to have seriously explored none of them.

    Barney Frank told reporters: “I think the time has come to exercise our ownership rights … and then say as owner, ‘No, I’m not paying you the bonus. You didn’t perform. You didn’t live up to this contract.’ ”

    Cuomo, who seems far more intent on transparency than Mr. Obama, and Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary who reluctantly signed off on the bonuses, issued subpoenas for the names of the bonus babies. Cuomo started an investigation of whether the payments were fraudulent because the company knew it did not have the funds to cover them.

    The president needs to brush back the arrogant, greedy creeps who kneecapped capitalism, rather than cosseting Wall Street for fear of looking like an avatar of socialism.

    Geithner, who comes from the cozy Wall Street club, and Liddy believe it’s best to stabilize the company and keep on board the same people who invented the risky financial tactics so they can unwind their own rotten spool.

    Isn’t that like giving bonuses to the arsonists who started a fire because they alone know what kind of accelerants they used to start it?

    “Their mythology starts with the false premise that these are irreplaceable geniuses,” says Cuomo.

    Boiling mad that A.I.G. made more than 73 millionaires in the unit that felled the firm, Cuomo called the company’s counsel on Monday to demand that she stop payment on the checks. Cuomo was informed that the money had already been direct-deposited in the accounts of the derivative scoundrels with the push of a button.

  117. Thanks, Wbboei.
    I’m slowly getting a grasp of this.
    ‘The United States taxpayer–present and future thus becomes the ultimate guanantor of the world financial system.’

    BTW, what do YOU think about the Geitner papa BO mama connection?

    Also, on another note, didya hear about teleprompter-gate? Evidently the Irish PM was making a speech yesterday at one of the WH St. P parties when he realized he was reading BO’s speech.

    He sheepishly turned to BO and said i think this is your speech. Bo took the podium and began reading from the First Teleprompter and ended up THANKING HIMSELF coz the teleprompter had switched back to the Irish PM’s speech and BO didn’t even F***ing REALIZE IT!!!!!!

    The First teleprompter is gonna need a way to shock BO whenever he strays off message, reads erroneous material or loses his place. BO. The first Stepford Prez.

  118. Addition to above posting.

    Note: Lord Highcross= City of London=financial core of the British Empire.

    The non-player alluded to above is of course China.

  119. # turndownobama-com Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    From Pumapac.org

    protesters in pink…

    If it’s CODEPINK they used to hang giant “pink slips” and wear pink slips in order to suggest firing someone.

    Hey…if the PINK SLIP FITS, I say pink slip all the robber barons!

    =====================

    That should stimulate the lingerie industry!

    I think it’s a great idea! A slip is easy to carry and will get attention when you hang it. You could also carry a folded fishing pole for putting it up out of reach.
    **************************************************

    I am going to a tea party on april 15th……… this gives me a sign idea…….or should i say a pink slip flag idea LMAO!!

  120. He sheepishly turned to BO and said i think this is your speech. Bo took the podium and began reading from the First Teleprompter and ended up THANKING HIMSELF coz the teleprompter had switched back to the Irish PM’s speech and BO didn’t even F***ing REALIZE IT!!!!!!
    ——————————–
    That was the teleprompters fault.

  121. Cuomo will ride the AIG mess to the Governors Mansion. If we are lucky, Teddie is mixed up in it. Wherever you find evil uncle ted is never far away.

  122. Barney Frank told reporters: “I think the time has come to exercise our ownership rights … and then say as owner, ‘No, I’m not paying you the bonus. You didn’t perform. You didn’t live up to this contract.’ ”

    There it is folks…….the real reason for the secrecy of the purposely hidden amendment that allowed the AIG bonuses to be paid and unstoppable!!!

  123. Barney Frank told reporters: “I think the time has come to exercise our ownership rights … and then say as owner, ‘No, I’m not paying you the bonus. You didn’t perform. You didn’t live up to this contract.’ ”
    —————————-
    And what about you Barney?

  124. I think obama’s penchant for blaming everyone and the kitchen sink is rubbing off on his lackeys. I would bet that they will only take credit when the good stuff comes and never mind if the “hidden heroes” did the backbone work or not.

  125. US Government= The new world bank…….. and coming up soon…..the G20 to discuss one world currency = NWO

  126. JanH Says:

    March 18th, 2009 at 2:34 pm
    ********************************************

    I think that is really what it is all about, the Foreign money. We are so owned by Foreign money we are terrified they won’t invest in us, pull out their money and our Economy will fall straight into a Depression. We are paying Foreign investors to keep investing in America. How FU is that?

  127. Analysis: White House, Dems backpedaling on AIG
    By DAVID ESPO – 2 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time since last fall’s election, Democrats and the Obama administration are backpedaling furiously on an issue easily understood by financially strapped taxpayers: $165 million in bonuses paid out at bailed-out AIG.

    Republicans, struggling to regain their political footing, are content to let Democrats try to dig their way out of this mess on their own.

    Professing shock at the bonus payments, Democrats have embarked on a hurry-up effort to impose what amounts to confiscatory taxes on the bonuses, a maneuver that almost surely will be tested in the courts. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner won a strong vote of confidence Wednesday from President Barack Obama, whose administration has been struggling with the controversy since the weekend. But the mood is less charitable among congressional Democrats. And Republicans have made Geithner their top target, not surprising given Obama’s continued high approval ratings.

    “It’s shocking that they would — the administration would come to us now and act surprised about these contracts,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate GOP leader. “This administration could have and should have … prevented this from happening. They had a lot of leverage two weeks ago.” That would be when the Treasury Department decided to make an additional $30 billion available to American International Group Inc., the huge insurance conglomerate deemed too big to fail by two administrations.

    Which goes to the crux of the Democrats’ current political problem. Gone are the days when they could merely bludgeon the Bush administration and promise to seek bipartisan solutions to the nation’s economic problems. Now, in control of the White House and Congress, they are struggling to come up with an explanation for what no one in either party seems moved to defend.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said AIG stands as a symbol of “greed and perhaps corruption.” Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., scoffed at AIG’s claim that the money represents retention pay. “There are enough bright people in this country that would do the job for an honest salary, and enough honest taxpayers demanding that we put an end to this stuff. You can bet I’ll make sure justice is served,” he said. But the bonus payments occurred on the Democrats’ watch, and for Republicans, AIG seems politically providential. Their overwhelming opposition to last month’s stimulus bill appeared to be gaining little traction as Democrats showcase every shovelful of dirt that is turned — all in the name of economic recovery.

    Criticism that Obama and Democrats are embarking on a new era of tax-and-spend is undercut by the lack of a budget alternative from Republicans — the party that presided over a historic run-up in the federal debt earlier this decade when it controlled both the White House and Congress. Less than 100 days into the Obama administration, polls have brought little good news to Republicans.

    While a recent Pew survey found some slippage in Obama’s support, it also registered only 28 percent approval for the job being done by GOP congressional leaders, the lowest in nearly 14 years. And a separate survey by CNN and Opinion Research Corp. put support for the president’s handling of the economy at nearly 60 percent. Against this backdrop, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sought to explain AIG. He told reporters that Geithner “last week engaged with the CEO of AIG to communicate what we thought were outrageous and unacceptable bonuses,” and “received a commitment to lessen some of the bonuses for senior executives.”
    Asked directly if Obama is satisfied that he found out about the bonuses in a timely fashion, Gibbs said: “Yes, the president is satisfied.” The president “has complete confidence” in his Treasury secretary, Gibbs added, although Geithner’s early tenure has been anything but smooth. The Cabinet official’s introduction of a new plan to bail out the financial industry was widely panned, and his confirmation was held up earlier when it was disclosed he had paid $34,000 in back taxes.

    Obama himself has been vocal on the need to do everything possible to recoup the money paid out in bonuses, and so far, no Democrats in Congress have tried to hold him to account. But the Treasury Department isn’t immune, even from Democrats.
    “I’m outraged by this,” said Baucus in a statement. “At one point the Treasury was in a position to stop these bonuses. Those were the terms of TARP, terms that I helped draft.” But talk of legislation only leads to more uncomfortable questions for Democrats.

    Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., won passage of a provision earlier this year that they said would have prevented the type of payments now at the center of a storm. It was dropped without explanation in the final compromise on the economic stimulus measure, replaced by a less restrictive set of conditions backed by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and accepted by the White House. “The president goes out and says this is not acceptable and then some backroom deal gets cut to let these things get paid out anyway,” said Wyden.

    google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i_UD-JXKdu-VTol7TWR05G9yp02AD970IQQG3

  128. ‘That was the teleprompters fault.’

    I bet the First Teleprompter is thinking there’s a defective human reading it and wants a recall. 👿

    BTW – Here’s a great article from the UK Telegraph.

    No He Can’t. Check the UK Telegraph’s article No He Can’t: Perhaps he can’t fix it.
    sident-Barack-Obama-Perhaps-he-cant-fix-it.-.-.

  129. yahoo.com/s/ap/aig_outrage

    AIG CEO says employees starting to return bonuses
    ——————————————————————–

    WASHINGTON – The head of battered insurance giant AIG told Congress on Wednesday that “we’ve heard the American people loudly and clearly” in their rage over executive bonuses, and he appealed to employees to return at least half the money. Testifying under oath at a congressional hearing as intense as any in recent memory, Edward Liddy said some workers already have stepped forward to give money back.

    The company became the target of a political firestorm after the disclosure over the weekend that it had paid $165 million in “retention bonuses” to its employees at the same time it was accepting bailout funds from U.S. taxpayers. Some of the payments were made to the same traders and executives whose risky financial behavior caused the company’s near collapse.

    Meanwhile, President Barack Obama said Wednesday he wants legislation to give the federal government vast new powers over financial institutions like AIG to protect the public.

    Obama, speaking to reporters at the White House, said the powers would be similar to those now exercised over banks by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. It would be part of the administration’s broader package of new finance regulatory steps, he said.

    Since AIG is an insurance company and not a bank, it is not subject to the same oversight.

    “We’ve got a big mess that we’re having to clean up,” the president said. “Nobody here drafted those contracts” that resulted in the bonuses being paid out to AIG employees, he added.

    Obama also defended his administration — and specifically Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner — against questions about its handling of the AIG fiasco.

    “Nobody here was responsible for supervising AIG and allowing themselves to put the economy at risk by some of the outrageous behavior that they were engaged in,” Obama said.

    Now, however, “the buck stops with me,” he said. “And my goal is to make sure that we never put ourselves in this kind of position again.”

    Liddy told a House Financial Services subcommittee that, while the bonuses were a legal obligation of the company that is now 80 percent owned by the federal government, he had “asked those who have received retention payments in excess of $100,000 or more to return at least half of those payments. Some have already stepped up and returned” 100 percent.

    He provided no further details.

    Under questioning, Liddy said he allowed the bonuses because he believed to do otherwise “could have brought down the whole corporation. … We thought it was wiser to err on the side of caution.”

    Asked if AIG could survive without additional government money, Liddy said, “I believe we are adequately capitalized, particularly with the ability to draw down on the additional $30 billion” in bailout money in the pipeline. Survival “is very much a function of what happens with the capital markets around the globe. If investment values, if asset values continue to go down, it will be a problem for everybody in the life insurance industry.”

    Responding to a question, Liddy also said the Federal Reserve knew in advance of the bonus payments and acquiesced in them.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has been publicly critical of the bonuses, as have Obama, Geithner and congressional leaders from both parties.

    Despite Liddy’s announcement that employees were stepping forward to return bonus money, he ran into a wall of criticism from committee members.

    Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the Financial Services Committee, demanded that the company submit to Congress a list “of people who received the bonuses, whether they paid them back or not.” If the names were not provided “without restriction,” Frank warned, he would ask the committee to vote to subpoena them.

    Liddy said he would “comply with the law:” but was “concerned about the safety of our people.”

    He said he would give the names of the bonus recipients only on the basis of confidentiality. He read aloud threats that AIG employees had received, including one that suggested that all bonus recipients should be “executed with piano wire around their necks.”

    Another one read: “If the government can’t do this properly, we the people will take it in our own hands and see that justice is done. I’m looking for all the CEOs’ names, kids, where they live, etc.”

    Frank said he would consult with security officials, but that his request for the names would stand.

    Rep. Scott Garrett of New Jersey, the senior Republican on the subcommittee, complained that the administration still has no strategy for disentangling itself from the insurance giant.

    “Part of me wants to say to some of the loudest critics, ‘What did you expect and why weren’t you asking more questions before?’ I would argue that the real outrage now is the $170 billion of taxpayer money that’s been pumped into this company and to what effect,” he said.

    Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., said there was a “tidal wave of rage” throughout the country.

    Meanwhile, the agency that oversees AIG said that, while its criticism of the company’s practices had sharpened over the past five years, it had failed to recognize the extent of the risk posed by the exotic financial instruments the insurance company offered, many of them tied to a housing market that had long been rising.

    Scott Polakoff, acting director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, said regulators failed to accurately predict what would happen to AIG’s so-called credit default swaps — a form of insurance — if housing values collapsed, as they have. “There are a lot of people walking around who failed to understand how bad the real estate market had gotten,” he said.

    AIG is under fire for $220 million in retention bonuses paid to employees in its troubled financial products division. The most recent payment of $165 million began to be paid last Friday.

    The retention payments — ranging from $1,000 to nearly $6.5 million — were put together in early 2008, long before then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson asked Liddy to take over the company. Liddy, the retired former chief of Allstate Insurance Co., is not getting a bonus and is drawing only $1 a year in salary.

    “No one knows better than I that AIG has been the recipient of generous amounts of governmental financial aid. We have been the beneficiary of the American people’s forbearance and patience,” he said. But he also said that “we have to continue managing our business as a business — taking account of the cold realities of competition for customers, for revenues and for employees.”

    The clamor over compensation overshadowed AIG’s weekend disclosure that it had paid out more than $90 billion of the federal aid to foreign and domestic banks, including some that had multibillion-dollar U.S. government bailouts of their own.

  130. What got AIG into this mess. It is like I was saying the other day. Like all insurance companies they survive and prosper by finding the right balance between underwriting and investing. In this case both went south. The collapse of the mortages killed their invesment portfolio, and that same collapse caused losses which they were forced to pay.
    *********
    What got AIG in the mess is credit-default swaps:

    “The bonuses will be paid to executives at A.I.G.’s financial products division, the unit that wrote trillions of dollars’ worth of credit-default swaps that protected investors from defaults on bonds backed in many cases by subprime mortgages.”
    .nytimes.com/2009/03/15/business/15AIG.html?_r=2&hp
    If it is true that they wrote TRILLIONS of dollars of this worthless paper then the “bailout” is really a joke. This stuff was so toxic that the Larry Summers backed, “Commodity Futures Modernization Act” protected this stuff from State anti-gambling laws.

  131. BO has ‘complete confidence in his Treasury Secretary’ according to his press conference today.

    How soon before Timmy’s under the bus?

    I give him 10 days.

  132. SHV,
    From Liddy’s testimony today I got the impression that the thing that brought AIG down was not the insurance portion of the business but the AIGFP (Financial Planning) division.

    He said that’s a small portion of AIG but the losses were so huge it affected the entire company.

    I’ve also heard something about ‘derivative’ something or other.

    What do you think?

  133. “The head of battered insurance giant AIG told Congress on Wednesday that “we’ve heard the American people loudly and clearly” in their rage over executive bonuses, and he appealed to employees to return at least half the money.”

    ————————-

    Too little too late! Where was their moral outrage? Why did they take the money in the first place, knowing the mood of the nation. Why were they even offered the money in the first place?

    Greedy monsters the lot of them!

  134. ‘If it is true that they wrote TRILLIONS of dollars of this worthless paper then the “bailout” is really a joke.’

    That’s what I meant upthread – that it was ‘virtual’ trading on ‘virtual’ assets, eg a ‘virtual’ ponzi scheme ala B. Madoff.

  135. jan h,

    The problem is 165 million pales in comparison to the 100+ billion AIG got, not to mention the 700+ billion stimulus package, the 400+ billion omnibus package and the proposed $700+ billion new budget.

    It’s a distraction, IMHO, to keep everyone off the real trail which I suspect will lead directly bnack to BO.

    I felt sorry for Liddy when I watched earlier – he was named by the gov’t as acting head of AIG just 5 months ago.

  136. WRGB PRESENTS:

    AS THE BOTS SOUR

    Various NY Times readers express disappointment with O and his team. I especially like the one self-professed Obama supporter who’s deeming this Obama’s “Katrina moment”.

    The A.I.G. Bonuses: A National Furor
    ————————————————

    Re “Obama in Effort to Undo Bonuses Granted by A.I.G.” (front page, March 17):

    Supported by American taxpayers’ money, the American International Group is a quasi-bankrupt company and as such should have no contractual obligation to pay bonuses.

    If for not receiving their bonuses, the so-called best and brightest leave A.I.G., fine: American taxpayers’ return on investment in A.I.G. will be better off in the hands of a new generation of financial wizards who are willing and able to restore integrity to financial engineering.

    Memo to A.I.G. bonus-seekers: Your prima donna days are over; you are on America’s team now, and you are expendable.

    Wever Weed
    Long Lake, Minn., March 17, 2009

    To the Editor:

    President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.

    This is a defining moment for his presidency, and how he responds will determine the trajectory of his term. He needs to deal with the excesses within the financial industry with the same toughness and conviction that President Ronald Reagan brought to bear during the air traffic controllers’ strike. To date, he is sorely wanting.

    We are not interested in the level of outrage the administration is feeling, but in the effectiveness of its response. So far, it has come across as hapless and completely ineffectual. This Obama voter would like to be spared the speeches and the posturing on the Sunday morning shows — action is what is needed.

    Paulette Altmaier
    Cupertino, Calif., March 17, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Re “At A.I.G., Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout” (front page, March 15):

    If A.I.G. contracted with its employees for bonuses and these contracts cannot be broken, how can employees be awarded bonuses when A.I.G. doesn’t have any money?

    The bonuses were contracted with A.I.G. at a time when the company could pay them. If the stimulus money is removed from the table, what money is left for A.I.G. to pay the bonuses?

    A.I.G.’s bonus agreement with its employees was based on A.I.G.’s money, not the taxpayers’. Let A.I.G. pay bonuses from money it has without taxpayer dollars. If there isn’t any A.I.G. money, then there can’t be any bonuses.

    Paul E. Cahill
    Westport, Conn., March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Despite owning 80 percent of A.I.G., our government says it can’t prevent payment of bonuses to the business unit that hollowed out A.I.G., reducing it to a delivery vessel for bailout funds.

    Here’s an idea: Hold A.I.G.’s top management personally liable for corporate waste of every dollar paid. Believe me, they will find a way to stop payment.

    Bevis Longstreth
    New York, March 16, 2009

    The writer was a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, 1981-84.

    To the Editor:

    I thought that bonuses were paid for doing good things for your company. Now we hear that A.I.G. executives were promised bonuses in their contracts and they must be paid. For doing what? Showing up at work every day?

    If these are “the best and the brightest,” as Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G., stated in justifying the payment of bonuses, then perhaps A.I.G. ought to hire the worst and the dumbest. Why should A.I.G. or taxpayers pay bonuses to people who helped sink their company?

    Mary F. Ryan
    Lancaster, Tex., March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Here’s how the Obama administration should handle the A.I.G. bonus situation: Withhold the bonuses, then challenge the A.I.G. executives to sue. Let’s see how many of them would be willing to stand up in a courtroom, face a judge and a jury, and explain exactly why they deserved all that money.

    John Holmes
    Austin, Tex., March 16, 2009

    To the Editor:

    I don’t accept that there’s no legal way out of this bonus scandal. Show me a corporate lawyer who couldn’t find a loophole.

    Marion Lewish
    San Diego, March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    The current controversy over the A.I.G. bonuses will remain an enigma until two pieces of critical information are made available. One is disclosure of the actual contracts that provide for the bonuses. The administration should demand these documents before another penny of taxpayer money is given to A.I.G. Any claim of “confidentiality” in these unusual circumstances falls of its own weight.

    Re “Obama in Effort to Undo Bonuses Granted by A.I.G.” (front page, March 17):

    Supported by American taxpayers’ money, the American International Group is a quasi-bankrupt company and as such should have no contractual obligation to pay bonuses.

    If for not receiving their bonuses, the so-called best and brightest leave A.I.G., fine: American taxpayers’ return on investment in A.I.G. will be better off in the hands of a new generation of financial wizards who are willing and able to restore integrity to financial engineering.

    Memo to A.I.G. bonus-seekers: Your prima donna days are over; you are on America’s team now, and you are expendable.

    Wever Weed
    Long Lake, Minn., March 17, 2009

    To the Editor:

    President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.

    This is a defining moment for his presidency, and how he responds will determine the trajectory of his term. He needs to deal with the excesses within the financial industry with the same toughness and conviction that President Ronald Reagan brought to bear during the air traffic controllers’ strike. To date, he is sorely wanting.

    We are not interested in the level of outrage the administration is feeling, but in the effectiveness of its response. So far, it has come across as hapless and completely ineffectual. This Obama voter would like to be spared the speeches and the posturing on the Sunday morning shows — action is what is needed.

    Paulette Altmaier
    Cupertino, Calif., March 17, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Re “At A.I.G., Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout” (front page, March 15):

    If A.I.G. contracted with its employees for bonuses and these contracts cannot be broken, how can employees be awarded bonuses when A.I.G. doesn’t have any money?

    The bonuses were contracted with A.I.G. at a time when the company could pay them. If the stimulus money is removed from the table, what money is left for A.I.G. to pay the bonuses?

    A.I.G.’s bonus agreement with its employees was based on A.I.G.’s money, not the taxpayers’. Let A.I.G. pay bonuses from money it has without taxpayer dollars. If there isn’t any A.I.G. money, then there can’t be any bonuses.

    Paul E. Cahill
    Westport, Conn., March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Despite owning 80 percent of A.I.G., our government says it can’t prevent payment of bonuses to the business unit that hollowed out A.I.G., reducing it to a delivery vessel for bailout funds.

    Here’s an idea: Hold A.I.G.’s top management personally liable for corporate waste of every dollar paid. Believe me, they will find a way to stop payment.

    Bevis Longstreth
    New York, March 16, 2009

    The writer was a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, 1981-84.

    To the Editor:

    I thought that bonuses were paid for doing good things for your company. Now we hear that A.I.G. executives were promised bonuses in their contracts and they must be paid. For doing what? Showing up at work every day?

    If these are “the best and the brightest,” as Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G., stated in justifying the payment of bonuses, then perhaps A.I.G. ought to hire the worst and the dumbest. Why should A.I.G. or taxpayers pay bonuses to people who helped sink their company?

    Mary F. Ryan
    Lancaster, Tex., March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Here’s how the Obama administration should handle the A.I.G. bonus situation: Withhold the bonuses, then challenge the A.I.G. executives to sue. Let’s see how many of them would be willing to stand up in a courtroom, face a judge and a jury, and explain exactly why they deserved all that money.

    John Holmes
    Austin, Tex., March 16, 2009

    To the Editor:

    I don’t accept that there’s no legal way out of this bonus scandal. Show me a corporate lawyer who couldn’t find a loophole.

    Marion Lewish
    San Diego, March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    The current controversy over the A.I.G. bonuses will remain an enigma until two pieces of critical information are made available. One is disclosure of the actual contracts that provide for the bonuses. The administration should demand these documents before another penny of taxpayer money is given to A.I.G. Any claim of “confidentiality” in these unusual circumstances falls of its own weight.

    Re “Obama in Effort to Undo Bonuses Granted by A.I.G.” (front page, March 17):

    Supported by American taxpayers’ money, the American International Group is a quasi-bankrupt company and as such should have no contractual obligation to pay bonuses.

    If for not receiving their bonuses, the so-called best and brightest leave A.I.G., fine: American taxpayers’ return on investment in A.I.G. will be better off in the hands of a new generation of financial wizards who are willing and able to restore integrity to financial engineering.

    Memo to A.I.G. bonus-seekers: Your prima donna days are over; you are on America’s team now, and you are expendable.

    Wever Weed
    Long Lake, Minn., March 17, 2009

    To the Editor:

    President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.

    This is a defining moment for his presidency, and how he responds will determine the trajectory of his term. He needs to deal with the excesses within the financial industry with the same toughness and conviction that President Ronald Reagan brought to bear during the air traffic controllers’ strike. To date, he is sorely wanting.

    We are not interested in the level of outrage the administration is feeling, but in the effectiveness of its response. So far, it has come across as hapless and completely ineffectual. This Obama voter would like to be spared the speeches and the posturing on the Sunday morning shows — action is what is needed.

    Paulette Altmaier
    Cupertino, Calif., March 17, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Re “At A.I.G., Huge Bonuses After $170 Billion Bailout” (front page, March 15):

    If A.I.G. contracted with its employees for bonuses and these contracts cannot be broken, how can employees be awarded bonuses when A.I.G. doesn’t have any money?

    The bonuses were contracted with A.I.G. at a time when the company could pay them. If the stimulus money is removed from the table, what money is left for A.I.G. to pay the bonuses?

    A.I.G.’s bonus agreement with its employees was based on A.I.G.’s money, not the taxpayers’. Let A.I.G. pay bonuses from money it has without taxpayer dollars. If there isn’t any A.I.G. money, then there can’t be any bonuses.

    Paul E. Cahill
    Westport, Conn., March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Despite owning 80 percent of A.I.G., our government says it can’t prevent payment of bonuses to the business unit that hollowed out A.I.G., reducing it to a delivery vessel for bailout funds.

    Here’s an idea: Hold A.I.G.’s top management personally liable for corporate waste of every dollar paid. Believe me, they will find a way to stop payment.

    Bevis Longstreth
    New York, March 16, 2009

    The writer was a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, 1981-84.

    To the Editor:

    I thought that bonuses were paid for doing good things for your company. Now we hear that A.I.G. executives were promised bonuses in their contracts and they must be paid. For doing what? Showing up at work every day?

    If these are “the best and the brightest,” as Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of A.I.G., stated in justifying the payment of bonuses, then perhaps A.I.G. ought to hire the worst and the dumbest. Why should A.I.G. or taxpayers pay bonuses to people who helped sink their company?

    Mary F. Ryan
    Lancaster, Tex., March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Here’s how the Obama administration should handle the A.I.G. bonus situation: Withhold the bonuses, then challenge the A.I.G. executives to sue. Let’s see how many of them would be willing to stand up in a courtroom, face a judge and a jury, and explain exactly why they deserved all that money.

    John Holmes
    Austin, Tex., March 16, 2009

    To the Editor:

    I don’t accept that there’s no legal way out of this bonus scandal. Show me a corporate lawyer who couldn’t find a loophole.

    Marion Lewish
    San Diego, March 15, 2009

    To the Editor:

    The current controversy over the A.I.G. bonuses will remain an enigma until two pieces of critical information are made available. One is disclosure of the actual contracts that provide for the bonuses. The administration should demand these documents before another penny of taxpayer money is given to A.I.G. Any claim of “confidentiality” in these unusual circumstances falls of its own weight.

    Second, seeing the contracts will provide the contractual basis on which the bonuses are allegedly being paid. What “performance” standards are provided for in these contracts? Until we have this vital data, there can be no informed judgment about their validity.

    Jay S. Siegel
    Hilton Head Island, S.C., March 17, 2009

    The writer is a former chairman of the Labor and Employment Section of the American Bar Association.

    To the Editor:

    I have a simple solution to the unwarranted bonuses paid at A.I.G.: a salary freeze. Since the company won’t rescind the bonuses — and since we now own 80 percent of the company — let’s just freeze the pay of those who have received the money until they’ve worked it off.

    What’s the downside? They might quit. And that would be a loss to whom?

    Hannah S. Hess
    New York, March 16, 2009

    To the Editor:

    As an investor who lost a substantial amount because of A.I.G. mismanagement (my “bonus” is a “minus”) and as a taxpayer, I have a modest proposal.

    A.I.G. claims that it must pay millions in bonuses (using our stimulus dollars) because of contractual obligations to managers who made terrible decisions. I doubt that this is true, but the managers could simply do the right thing and refuse their bonuses.

    If our financial system is to recover, it needs integrity more than money.

    David Spiegel
    Stanford, Calif., March 16, 2009

    To the Editor:

    All across America executives are asking workers to take pay cuts instead of being laid off. Why not ask the same of these executives? They either forgo their bonuses or they go.

    The greater question, however, is how our government, the government that is presumably going to lead us out of this financial crisis, could have allowed this to happen in the first place. I think the answer is obvious — it’s just the rich taking care of the rich.

    Jeff Gewert
    Stamford, Conn., March 17, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Re “The Case for Bonuses at A.I.G.,” by Andrew Ross Sorkin (Dealbook column, March 17):

    Much has been made about the sanctity of contracts as a justification for paying out huge bonuses to investment bankers at A.I.G. and other bailed-out financial companies. It would be a terrible precedent, it is argued, to revisit the terms of agreements made under different circumstances. Funny, however, that when it comes to the working class, no such compunction about forcing contractual givebacks seems to prevail.

    Witness, for example, the repeated “renegotiations” of the terms of the labor contracts between the United Auto Workers and that other group of bailout recipients, the American automobile industry.

    Gary A. Alexion
    Brooklyn, March 17, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Re “Bracing for a Bailout Backlash” (news analysis, front page, March 16):

    Here is a solution for the bailout money being used for outrageous bonuses at A.I.G. and other companies. Congress could pass a law stipulating that recipients pay a tax of 90 percent on any bonuses exceeding $50,000 received in the year 2009 from a company receiving bailout money from the government.

    Ramaswamy Viswanathan
    New Hyde Park, N.Y., March 16, 2009

    To the Editor:

    Why can’t we ask the A.I.G. bonus receivers to make the sacrifice of rejecting the money in the same spirit that we ask our soldiers to make greater sacrifices?

    Garry Meyers
    Long Island City, Queens
    March 17, 2009

  137. WRGB PRESENTS: “AS THE BOTS SOUR”

    NY Times readers vent about the mishandling of the AIG largesse and lack of oversight:

    Here’s the link:

    nytimes.com/2009/03/18/opinion/l18aig.html?ref=opinion

    and here’s one of them:

    To the Editor:

    President Obama may not realize it yet, but his Katrina moment has arrived.

    This is a defining moment for his presidency, and how he responds will determine the trajectory of his term. He needs to deal with the excesses within the financial industry with the same toughness and conviction that President Ronald Reagan brought to bear during the air traffic controllers’ strike. To date, he is sorely wanting.

    We are not interested in the level of outrage the administration is feeling, but in the effectiveness of its response. So far, it has come across as hapless and completely ineffectual. This Obama voter would like to be spared the speeches and the posturing on the Sunday morning shows — action is what is needed.

    Paulette Altmaier
    Cupertino, Calif., March 17, 2009

  138. Actually, I did not like “Reagan’s toughness” regarding the union busting move that endangered our country by removing thousands of experienced air traffic controllers…

    I’d prefer Theodore Roosevelt standing up to the trusts as a better indicator of presidential fortitude.

  139. # basil9 Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 3:07 pm
    SHV, 12:29,
    I just read your post. That’s where I was going but I didn’t have knowledge of the chain before Geitner.
    So you agree it’s a cover-up, a shell game for real money paid out on virtual information, another ponzi scheme like Bernie Madoff’s?
    ‘Geithner “negotiates the payout and bonuses for AIG…Obama gets the most $$$/year from AIG….Geithner and Summers now calling the shots’ at Treasury..etc…etc.
    *********
    I don’t buy the conspiracy theories..I think it is another example (Tulip bulbs, Ponzi. dot.coms, credit-default swaps, etc.) of greed, public gullibility, two bit cheap politicians who may have really fu*ked up this time. Cover-up?? I think they are scared sh*tless and the pathetic pointing fingers and placing blame isn’t going to work the extent of the problem and how to fix it is unknown. The paper value of credit-default swaps and other worthless financial derivatives is many times the paper value of the world stock exchanges. The paper value of the credit-default swaps is >$60 trillion and at least 80% is junk. That four times the US GDP!!!

  140. “This Obama voter would like to be spared the speeches and the posturing on the Sunday morning shows — action is what is needed.”

    —————————————

    Well you voted for the toad! It’s a little late to be whining when he starts showing his ineptitude.

  141. SHV,

    So what do you think BO’s involvement is?

    BTW everyone, the cic has a new title.

    TOTUS.

    Teleprompter of the US. ROTF.

  142. COnnie Mack of Floirda calling for Geitner to resign.

    Vitter and DeMint want to subpoena the banking committee’s AIG docs and want to know where the language granting AIG bonuses that everyone says they didn’t write came from.

    Dodd says he didn’t do it and everyone else said they didn’t know anything about it.

  143. # basil9 Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 3:51 pm
    SHV,
    From Liddy’s testimony today I got the impression that the thing that brought AIG down was not the insurance portion of the business but the AIGFP (Financial Planning) division.
    He said that’s a small portion of AIG but the losses were so huge it affected the entire company.
    I’ve also heard something about ‘derivative’ something or other.
    What do you think?
    *********
    I presume the insurance part was doing OK but OK doesn’t result in BIG bonuses. It was the “Financial Products Unit”, located in the UK that wrote the trillions in worthless credit-default swaps. The politicians are pathetic saying that they will tax the bonuses etc. 1) it would be un-constitutional and 2) the company is in the UK.

  144. HMMM, NOT A GOOD ADMINISTRATOR, WE KNEW THAT.

    ALSO NOT A SMART POLITICIAN? YEAH, WE HERE AT BIG PINK KNEW THAT TOO.

    …THE REST OF THE WORLD SLOWLY STARTS TO CATCH UP.

    yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/axzwbisa10zk

    Obama May Find Anger Over Bonuses Backfires on Agenda
    —————————————————————————–

    March 18 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama’s attempt to harness public anger over bonuses paid by American International Group Inc. may backfire on him as Republicans try to redirect that anger toward his administration.

    Obama’s spokesman yesterday was forced to defend Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the administration’s response against attacks by Republican lawmakers, some of whom threatened to block any more bailouts of struggling companies.

    The public furor over the $165 million in bonuses AIG handed out to employees gives administration critics a new weapon to thwart Obama’s agenda, from his budget to plans for financial-market regulation. It’s also sparking a new round of legislative proposals to penalize — and potentially tax — executives who receive bonuses at rescued companies.

    “Two weeks ago, the president’s spokesman said they were confident that they knew how every dime was being spent at AIG,” House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio told reporters yesterday. “They didn’t know what they were talking about,” Boehner said.

    “This is outrageous, and I think the American people are rightly outraged.”

    Republican leaders in Congress said Geithner and White House officials should have been aware of the bonuses sooner and acted quicker. They’re also seizing on AIG’s revelations as fresh evidence that Congress should oppose future rescues.

    Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, the third-ranking Republican in the House, said the party’s first step should be to say “no more bailouts.”

    Geithner’s Letter

    Geithner, who has drawn most of the fire over the administration’s response, told congressional leaders yesterday he will ensure taxpayers aren’t footing the bill for the AIG bonuses and indicated the firm’s “wind down” may accelerate.

    “We will continue our aggressive efforts to resolve the future status of AIG in a manner that will reduce systemic risks to our financial system while minimizing the loss to taxpayers,” he wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers. “We will explore any and all ways to accelerate this wind-down process,” he said, referring to the restructuring that’s already taking place at the insurer.

    He said the government will force AIG to pay the Treasury the amount of retention rewards just doled out.

    White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Geithner reached out to AIG Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy last week “to communicate what we thought were outrageous and unacceptable bonuses.” Congress shouldn’t “doubt the genuineness” of the administration’s outrage, Gibbs said.

    Telling Obama

    Geithner first learned of the bonuses on March 10 and spoke with Liddy the next day, according to an administration official, who requested anonymity.

    Obama was informed of the bonuses on March 12, before they were paid. After the funds were disbursed, the president ordered his economic and legal teams to determine if there was a way to recoup the money, according to the aide.

    Still, lawmakers are moving quickly to take the initiative in responding to the public outcry. Montana Democrat Max Baucus and Iowa Republican Charles Grassley, the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, proposed taxes totaling 70 percent on companies and individuals getting bonuses at firms that receive federal aid.

    The tax would apply to bonuses over $50,000 paid out beginning on Jan. 1, 2009, and to the full amount of any retention bonuses, the two senators said.

    Pelosi directed House committees to draft several alternatives and said her chamber may consider a bill as early as this week. Other lawmakers introduced their own plans.

    ‘Full Explanation’

    Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the Obama administration needs to provide a “full explanation” about how $30 billion in new government aid was approved by the Treasury Department earlier this month for AIG, yet officials “didn’t have any idea that this outrage was going to occur.”

    “That’s the question that needs to be answered today,” McConnell said in an interview. “What I’d like to know first is how it happened, when we had extraordinary leverage a mere two weeks ago when we handed over $30 billion.”

    Obama aides said that in addition to exploring legal options on how to recoup the AIG bonuses, the president will rely on the bully pulpit to press financial companies to behave more responsibly.

    Wall Street is plagued by a “bit of myopia,” David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, said in a Feb. 16 interview. “I am not sure everyone gets it, why people are so angry.”

    ‘Play Defense’

    Obama, 47, must now “play defense on economic populism,” said pollster John Zogby. That can be a “deadly” posture in American politics, Zogby said.

    “We are not a hate-the-rich country,” he said. “There’s got to be a fine line here between going after the rich versus going after the venal greedy.”

    Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, said the party will try to take advantage of the bonus issue to weaken the president.

    “The real target for the Republicans is to bring Obama back down to earth,” Reed said. “The AIG issue over bonuses lies at his feet.”

  145. Actually, I did not like “Reagan’s toughness” regarding the union busting move that endangered our country by removing thousands of experienced air traffic controllers…
    ——————-
    RGB: a few days back I provided some first hand knowledge on that one. That toughness was a myth. He wanted a deal. But Poli wouldnt take yes for an answer. In the end Poli just fell on his sword. Dutch was scared. Not defiant. Also, he was a former head of the Screen Actors Guild. So much of what the public understood about that was Bif Media fabrication.

  146. basil9 Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 4:08 pm
    SHV,
    So what do you think BO’s involvement is?
    **********
    Other than being a lazy sociopath who is hiring the same clowns that helped get us in this mess; very little. He is a two bit, corrupt Chicago politician and doesn’t have a clue about the games the “big boys’ play. If I wanted to place blame I would start with Reagan..”Big Gov’t is bad” and started the removal of regulation. That is one reason why you have to treat chicken and other food like environmental toxins.

  147. Agreed. Esstentially, Reagan had a “TV Series” that lasted 8 years where he portrayed a tough-sounding president.

  148. Scott Reed, a Republican strategist, said the party will try to take advantage of the bonus issue to weaken the president.
    ——————————
    The man is an idiot. He makes it sound like this is just one partisan game. This is not about taking advantage of an issue, weakening the president, etc. It is about holding a president accountable for what he promised the American People. This is to problem when you get these stategists out bantering to the press. This one deserves to be fired.

  149. Agreed. Esstentially, Reagan had a “TV Series” that lasted 8 years where he portrayed a tough-sounding president
    ——————————–
    Death Valley Days (20 Mule Team Borax)

  150. The Obama admin is trying to scapegoat Geithner. Pls remember he is a friend and ally of Hillary, and the two of them were going to work together on the world econmy.

    If Geithner is fired, who will Obama replace him with? No friend of Hillary, I bet.

  151. wbboei Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Agreed. Esstentially, Reagan had a “TV Series” that lasted 8 years where he portrayed a tough-sounding president
    ——————————–
    Death Valley Days (20 Mule Team Borax)

    =============

    I read that as “20 Mule Team Botox”

  152. basil

    So Dodd says he didn’t do it?

    The original provision to prevent the bonuses to that division was written by Olympia Snowe and Ron Wyden for the legislation wih lots of support. On Feb 11 the the bill came out frm behind a closed door WH session and their provision was gone, replaced by one written by Sen Dodd, allowing bonuses that had been contracted for before 2-11-09. I will find the story. Just read it this morning.

  153. We are not interested in the level of outrage the administration is feeling, but in the effectiveness of its response
    —————————-
    This? From a Bot? Glory halleluja! I think we have found unity!

  154. basil9 Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    SHV, 12:29,

    I just read your post. That’s where I was going but I didn’t have knowledge of the chain before Geitner.

    So you agree it’s a cover-up, a shell game for real money paid out on virtual information, another ponzi scheme like Bernie Madoff’s?

    ‘Geithner “negotiates the payout and bonuses for AIG…Obama gets the most $$$/year from AIG….Geithner and Summers now calling the shots’ at Treasury..etc…etc..

    ==================

    Pls remember that Geithner was being set up as a bad guy — and Axelrod as a good guy! — by the usual ‘anon sources’ at Obama’s admin — in a NYT puff piece in Feb iirc. REcently posted it again.

  155. I read that as “20 Mule Team Botox”

    You must be talking about Dear Nancy. Good name for her: 20 mule team botox.

  156. Henry Adams said:
    “The effect of power and publicity upon all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends up killing the victims sympathies; a diseased appetite, like a passion for drink and diseased tastes; one can scarcely use expressions too strong to describe the violence of egotism it stimulates”–Henry Adams (son of one president, grandson of another).

    ================

    I can’t help wondering how he knew….

  157. basil

    From this morning:

    Analysis: White House, Dems backpedaling on AIG

    By David Espo, Ap Special Correspondent – Wed Mar 18, 11:01 am ET

    Obama himself has been vocal on the need to do everything possible to recoup the money paid out in bonuses, and so far, no Democrats in Congress have tried to hold him to account.

    But the Treasury Department isn’t immune, even from Democrats.

    “I’m outraged by this,” said Baucus in a statement. “At one point the Treasury was in a position to stop these bonuses. Those were the terms of TARP, terms that I helped draft.”

    But talk of legislation only leads to more uncomfortable questions for Democrats.

    Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., won passage of a provision earlier this year that they said would have prevented the type of payments now at the center of a storm.

    It was dropped without explanation in the final compromise on the economic stimulus measure, replaced by a less restrictive set of conditions backed by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and accepted by the White House.

    “The president goes out and says this is not acceptable and then some backroom deal gets cut to let these things get paid out anyway,” said Wyden.

  158. There is a lot of net chatter in the last 2 hours by Dodd supporters that it was not Dodd, someone else must have done it, even as there are contemporary blogs from 2-11 and 2-12 saying that Dodd did it.

    I think Dodd people, including Bobo, are going to let Geithner take the fall, for that as well as a ton of the other stuff.

  159. Emjay Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    There is a lot of net chatter in the last 2 hours by Dodd supporters that it was not Dodd, someone else must have done it, even as there are contemporary blogs from 2-11 and 2-12 saying that Dodd did it.

    I think Dodd people, including Bobo, are going to let Geithner take the fall, for that as well as a ton of the other stuff.

    =================

    Yes, and if they succeed, HIllary will have one less ally to help her with the international economy.

  160. basil9 Says:

    March 18th, 2009 at 3:56 pm
    jan h,

    The problem is 165 million pales in comparison to the 100+ billion AIG got, not to mention the 700+ billion stimulus package, the 400+ billion omnibus package and the proposed $700+ billion new budget.

    It’s a distraction, IMHO, to keep everyone off the real trail which I suspect will lead directly bnack to BO.
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    It is a distraction. 165 million versus how many BILLIONS of dollars. What are they diverting attention from????

Comments are closed.