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March 19, 2009



I think there are a couple of interesting things, here. One is that Geithner told Axelrod instead of the President. The other is that Axelrod says people are sitting around the kitchen table worrying about jobs, rather than the mess being made with their tax dollars.

Elroy Jetson

Is Alexrod the go to guy in the administration, Kim? Perhaps he should be the one doing the presser next Tuesday in prime time.


his pose as the angry yet impotent President.

That explains MO...May I recommend Mr. Squiggly?


"People are not sitting around their kitchen tables thinking about AIG," Axelrod said.

His own axelturfers can tell him differently.

My personal muddle contacts are furious about the bonuses, and the banks, and DC.

Gabriel Sutherland

I fail to see how AIG taking bailout money and flipping it to British, German, French banks and US Investment Banks is a distraction.

What not is AIG other than an entity that feeds at the Fed trough, yet legally is not able to Fed lender of last resort status since none of these firms are shareholders in the Federal Reserve System?

The picture is now painting itself. AIG is a conduit for US taxpayer money directly to foreign banks.


I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry. I'm angry.

Yeah, well, it sounds like Batman is about to kick your ass, so maybe you oughta back off of the anger kick for a while.


TypePad would make the Dalai Lama sound like Christian Bale.


Right, bad. So is Axelturfer making a mistake or is this just bafflegab to call it a distraction. Does he mean what it says he says here, or was he spinning? I'd like to know.

He's the brilliant message man; is he telling the truth and in error, or does he know the real story and is spinning it?

This is the real problem with Obama and Axelrod. They are so adept at political spin that they'll fail at the things that can't be spun. Like the three Cs. Capital, China, and Climate.


Now WaPo is blaming the Fed for not telling Obama about the bonuses. Now, wait. The Fed is supposed to be independent, right? And Treasury officials knew about this well before Obama did, right?

Something is rotten and I can smell it all the way over here. Why should this be Bernanke's problem?

Jim Treacher had a good one at HotAir. He called Jon Stewart the leader of the Democratic Party.


Is it Gates? It's taken two months but the Administration has finally made a decision I like. They are going to pour money into Afghanistan. It's peanuts compared to what they are pouring into banks, but it looks like they might have decided not to just give up over there.


I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry. I'm angry.

So what will I do about this anger? I'm going to hop on Air Force One and visit the Jay Leno show. I'm going to accept a $500,000 bonus for my next book, a children's story about my life. "I'm not going to return all the campaign contributions I got from AIG, and most of all I'm gonna hope that the retention bonuses being issued for Fannie and Freddie do not come in my BFF the press.

hit and run

Jim Treacher had a good one at HotAir. He called Jon Stewart the leader of the Democratic Party.

I'd have to go back and check -- but I think that MayBee maybe came up with that first.


Kudlow reported today that the Obama Administration apologized for not notifying and inviting the Republican Congressman of the Orange County District to come to Obama's Orange County Speech. Kudlow said that the Administration spokesman said "It was an oversight."
"Move along", say's the Teleprompter, "Nothing to see here."

hit and run

"It was an oversight."

How many times did Democrats demand greater "oversight" of the executive branch when Bush was in the oval office.

Now that Obama is there, we are getting plenty of "oversight" from the oval office.


Heh, I wouldn't be surprised, h&r; I only read the 4th page of comments.

Right, about executive power, too. Where are the Democrats who screamed about Bush?



1. This is hilarious. AIG is an -insurance- company. What does an insurance company do with money? It either invests it, to pay future payouts, or it -pays out the money to policyholders-.

Did people in the administration think AIG was going to sit on the money like a chicken with an egg?

2. Are there any adults in this White House?

It's increasingly reminding me of Mayor David Dinkins. The eternally surprised former mayor of NYC.

3. There are still a huge number of unfilled positions at the Treasury. So is the dysfunction a surprise to anyone?


Obama appears to like being President with all the hoopla and trappings. But he doesn't like doing the -work- of a President. Which is why he hands off the day to day work to Rham and Axelrod and takes off.

Oh yeah. That's the sure road to success.


"Oversight." Such a nice, fuzzy, bureaucratic word. I've heard it used regularly at work when people are trying to explain to the boss why they f***ed up.


Yeah, sure, I'm pretty sure we can agree that Emmanuel and Axelrod are running the government. Emmanuel is probably good at legislative liaison and infighting in general, and Axelrod is the message machine and probably has executive and administrative talent. Can crooks like this actually run the show? On some level integrity must count for something. Where, in this construct?


Maybe I was distracted but didn't I hear Obama the other day use the phrase "big whoop"?
If so then please get the teleprompter up and running and have it mobile so he won't be caught without it.
It is a big whoop when a president uses such pitiful slang.

hit and run

Here's MayBee...

Is Jon Stewart the new leader of the Democratic Party?
11:33 AM Mar 13th from Web

(she twitters)


If it was a disdainful 'big whoop-de-doo', and he was speaking of the populist anger he and his are trying to deflect, then I'll call it a war whoop from painted savages. Pitchforks are fine in their place, but what about Tomahawks?


Fine research, h&r, and an excellent line. Too bad Stewart's instincts are so leftist.


Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged: 'Watch money,' . 'Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done not by consent, but by compulsion – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice – you may know that your society is doomed.----

The Constitution can not help those that allow violators to continue in power.

Old Lurker

Words to live by, Po.

Old Lurker

The stupidity of the muddle is exceeded only by that of our leaders (both sides).

Just behind the "outrage" at the bonuses is outrage at the AIG payments to foreign banks.

What am I missing here? The point of the AIG bailout was to maintain it as a going concern and to keep it out of bankruptcy. Going concerns by definition must honor all of their obligations vs one in BK for whom the BK Trustee can pick and choose. Having made that strategic election to avoid BK and therefore the ability to payoff selective creditors, paying all obligations was then required. In this case that meant having to honor all those counterparty obligations including those stemming from the CDS. Duh.

Like it or not, we collectively used those things (all those derivative based finance tricks) to encourage a flood of foreign currency into the US, and at a very low cost of capital.

Not getting that basic fact is part of the stupidity. The other part is the failure to appreciate the massive permanent damage that derives from the temporary convenience of repudiating one's obligations on the ability to attract new investment capital in the future. Fool me once...etc.

This is all so depressing.


What am I missing here?

That the vast, vast majority in the U.S. were against the bailouts in the first place.


Old Lurker, you should read Roubini about the Ponzi Nation, today at RCP.

Old Lurker

I did, Kim.

Also saw the depressing links on Drudge about:

Hansen claiming democracy is obstructing his ability to fix the climate.

The push for a Global Currency to replace the dollar.

The UN guys that wants a UN tax on the GNPs of selected nations to pay for fixing the climate. (An idea Obama supported as senator...I think a 1% tax on US GNP paid to the UN).

Who sees these clowns objecting to any of that?

Verner's list of depressing news on the other thread could be much longer.

Tom Bowler

Obama learned of the bonuses March 12, the day before they were paid out, from Axelrod, whom Geithner had briefed on the situation.

I have to wonder if March 12 is the day Obama learned of the bonuses or learned that knowledge of the bonuses would become public. The outrage routine is just way too hypocritical.


You want an excellent primer on climate and economic geopolitics read Vindal K. Dar from last June. He originally wrote the paper for a Houston energy journal that was reprinted in Right Side News. It is long and excellent.

Hansen has gone crazy. The physics isn't there to support his delusion and he is getting more and more desperate. But both Holdren and Browner are committed alarmist idealogues who believe in transnationalism, and Chu is a confused physicist, now promoting trade war with China over carbon control. It's madness, and it may be the first failure of Obama's trilogy of health, education, and energy.

Maybe it is Vinod K. Dar. Google should be your friend.


Oh, sure, Tom, they hoped to sneak it by. I think Thursday is the day they realized that the political storm was going to Cat 5, and they could no longer predict its course. Note that they were all on the same page on Sunday. By Monday and Tuesday, the cyclone had made landfall and they were reading from different scripts, and still are. Like I said before, I hope Dodd gets the settled opinion that he was targetted by the Administration, and I hope all the rest of the Democrats in Congress absorb that lesson.


Thugs, they are; thugs. We don't have to put up with it.


That's interesting, because WaPo reported here that AIG had disclosed its "retention-payment program more than a year ago, and the amount of the bonuses — more than $400 million for Financial Products alone — had been widely reported."

Dorothy Jane

I started Atlas Shrugged this weekend - WOW - all I can say is WOW.

Old Lurker

DJ, that is required reading here.


William Teach

Say, I wonder when Obama will start putting his speeches and talking points on his Blackberry, so that he doesn't sound like an idiot when his teleprompter is not around.


Well, I haven't read Ayn Rand, and I've argued with enough libertarians to know they don't have all the answers, either.


Some clever wag has started a blog by the teleprompter:

Tom Bowler

Thursday is the day they realized that the political storm was going to Cat 5

Good way to put it, Kim.


I started Atlas Shrugged this weekend...

That book was very influential in my life, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone paying attention to politics these days. I read it as a teenager, I think, and I'd read The Fountainhead before it, which was also good. Are you already putting new names to her characters?

Old Lurker

Kim, you are missing a real treat. Ext is correct, read Fountainhead first then Atlas.

Atlas will scare the carp outta anyone watching the news today.

Fresh Air


It gets worse. Some clown at the Christian "Science" Monitor is claiming Glowball Warming is an "empirical fact," and that Michael Steele, who evidently said it was hooey while guesting Bill Bennett's radio show yesterday, is some kind of Luddite.

I will note the CSM is or will soon be online only. Gee, wonder why?


Atlas Shrugged is stilted and significant, but the BEST BOOK OF THE DECADE is still P. J. O'Rourke's "On the Wealth of Nations" because it makes accessible Adam Smith's 1756 book "Theory of Moral Sentiments" and his 900 page 1776 book "On the Wealth of Nations".

Must read. Must. Must. Must!

It is not a prescription for what to do. Rather it gives examples of what has never worked and never will.


Okay, got it. Next trip is Fountain Head, Atlas, and then maybe P.J. if the Libraries got it.

And on a literature note;

Dorothy Jane,

Last night was reading a new volume of Charles Darwin's Beagle Voyage Letters back and forth to his sisters in 1829-1835, and the sisters keep referring to characters from Jane Austin and Joseph Fielding novels. Question, since I have been to your website and imagine you probably know about this stuff: Does it surprise you that Darwin's sisters in Sept 1831 are loading there letters up with references to Naval guys who resemble Captain Frederick Wenthworth of Persuasion, or a flirtatious young gal being another Lydia Bennett of Pride and Prejudice, or does that all make perfect sense?

Captain Hate Maryland's up by 8 in the early going!


The hand that rolls the 'prompter rules the world.


Maybe Congress should subpoena Obama's teleprompter so we can get to the bottom of Dodd's Amendment?
So it looks like Axelrod is the real Chief of Staff if Geithner has to go through him to relay messages to the President. Imagine if Paulson or Secy Def Gates had to go through Karl Rove to relay messages to the President (Bush), the media would howl at the politicization of the Office of the President.
Haven't heard any libtards wailing, but it's only sixty days and counting.


I started Atlas Shrugged this weekend - WOW - all I can say is WOW.

I started re-reading Jeanne Kirkpatrick's "Dictatorships and Double Standards" yesterday, and have a similar reaction when holding it up against the foreign "policy" being conducted by this administration.



If you don't understand the "science" in CSM, you need to understand the phrase: Christ, scientist. And think of the protestant denomination derived from same. And then date the origination.

The science and the religion didn't mix so good back then.

Doesn't explain current closed-mindedness, but it's a start.


Daddy: Does it surprise you that Darwin's sisters in Sept 1831 are loading there letters up with references to Naval guys who resemble Captain Frederick Wenthworth of Persuasion, or a flirtatious young gal being another Lydia Bennett of Pride and Prejudice, or does that all make perfect sense?

Not at all. Shared history is the anchor of conversation and their literature was the common evening entertaiment. Dickens read before the firelight. I regularly refer to almost contemporary TV or film to reference behavior -- i.e. someone who acts like Colonel Winchester in Mash.

And, if you are bored in a hotel room waiting for your flight, throw in a DVD of Pride and Prejudice... the one starring Colin Firth is so well done.

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