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March 20, 2009

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Charlie (Colorado)

My question - which Senate hero will allow that august body to play its historical role of deliberating while passions cool? Dodd? Kidding. McCain? Maybe.

Jon Kyl. He already refused unanimous consent to allow it to be fast-tracked.

narciso

Here's the thing, Blodget is right on the other hand, much like Spitzer, he's one of these vermin that never goes away, I do recall he was one of those who were talking
up stocks at Merrill Lynch right, that he knew were overvalued.Well almost all of them voted, and frankly became 'early adopters' for this trainwreck. On the other hand, Obama's policies are finally causing the brain slugs to wither if not die, for a while at least.

Neo
Now, in the scheme of things, $165 million is a rounding error.
Charlie (Colorado)

Here's a citation:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to pass a Senate version to recoup the bonuses by unanimous consent but Kyl said not so fast, arguing more time was needed to review the legislation which was introduced earlier Thursday.

"I don't believe that Congress should rush to pass yet another piece of hastily crafted legislation in this very toxic atmosphere, at least without understanding the facts and the potential unintended consequences," he said.

"Frankly, I think that's how we got into the current mess," he added.

glasater

According to Grassley--the D's in both houses in conference wrote/whatever--the legislation on the stimulus bill and the R's had about nineteen hours to read and no input whatsoever--what had been cooked up and voted on.

Ranger

Well, given that we now have visual evidence that Both G-man and Congress knew this was coming weeks before they admitted knowing, I think its time to call them out to explain. No special tax bill unitl the Dems have been humiliated for dishonesty, or incompetence, or both.

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/03/20/video-congress-geithner-knew-about-bonuses-on-march-3rd/>Video: Congress, Geithner knew about bonuses on March 3rd

DebinNC

Sen. Judd Gregg thinks it's">http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aJElYIOG3f7Y&refer=homeunconstitutional">it's unconstitutional. Will the constitutional law "prof" sign it?

bio mom

Just read at NRO that a bunch of executives and others at AIG have just resigned giving their reason: fear for their safety. (George Stephanopolous posted it on his ABC blog. Also, read the story posted on-line right now at NYTimes about the situation in Fairfield Connecticut where execs who had little to do with what happened at AIG are being threatened and fear for their children's safety. What country do I live in?

Charlie (Colorado)

I'd bet serious money -- $5, writing doesn't pay as well as geeking -- that the bill never makes it to Obama.

clarice

"There is no problem with Kabuki that can't be solved by more Kabuki"

I'm needlepointing this for my children.

I think for every action there is an equal and positive reaction and the news of the resignations and the fear of decent folks just doing their jobs is about to stick like bullseyes on some Congressional assholes.

verner

I agree with Gregg. Using the IRS as a weapon against private citizens is dangerous ground. And who is more to blame? Those who TOOK the money, or those who GAVE it to them?

The real solution is to punish the elected yahoos who allowed this to happen at the ballot box.

As for AIG execs resigning--Obama has just officially instituted his first "enemies of the people." Who is next? Walmart? The oil industry? Gun Owners? Bloggers who oppose his administration?

Dangerous times my dears.

glasater

Bernanke is speaking in Phoenix.

He opened his remarks with "I'm glad to be back in America".

Am assuming that Washington DC is not?

If I'm right, this is the most political statement Bernanke has ever made. Amazing.

kim

Demagoguery is great campaigning and poor governance. Who, here is surprised? The question is; Do they have any other arrows in their quiver? I think not. And the three C's, Climate, Capitol, and China will not demagogue.
=============================================

Neo

I am starting to get the feeling I had about the time the Republicans were digging a hole over the Terri Schiavo "thing" and lost the confidence of the voters.

I wonder if Speaker Pelosi has a clue what she is about to unleash.

Charlie (Colorado)

stick like bullseyes on some Congressional assholes.

An image I didn't need this morning.

Charlie (Colorado)

I wonder if Speaker Pelosi has a clue what she is about to unleash.

That sentence could be considerably shorter and still make sense.

MayBee

I'd bet serious money -- $5, writing doesn't pay as well as geeking -- that the bill never makes it to Obama.

I'd take the bet, but I agree.
Obama can't possibly sign this bill- he wrote in the protections! And he can't not sign it- he created the outrage!

Furthermore, I think it gets killed before Dodd has to humiliate himself by voting on it.

Dave

I find it very interesting that twice now when there are serious events taking place inn Washington that our Commander-in-Chief leaves and goes to Ohio and now California...interesting!!

Appalled

Actually, the way to fix the situation would be to tie the excise tax to executives who are subject to IRC 162(m). It allows Congress to continue posturing, while accomplishing absolutely nothing. (162(m) denys deductibility of comp over a million of executives of publicly traded companies.)

The alternative is that people start calling out by name the leaders of the lynch mob, and make it clear what they have done to individuals who made the mistake of not quitting when they had the opportunity.

Charlie (Colorado)

Obama has dispelled his mystical (and entirely unproven) aura of competence with breathtaking rapidity.

Beldar is good today. No surprise, I know, but still.

Charlie (Colorado)

Furthermore, I think it gets killed before Dodd has to humiliate himself by voting on it.

I think the notion that Dodd has a sense of shame on anything assumes facts not in evidence.

Kevin B

Dave, the next serious event he goes to Cuba, and the one after that to Venezuela.

To stay.

(We can hope.)

clarice

Chaco:'An image I didn't need this morning'
Don't get me started.
Appalled, calling out by name the leaders of the lynch mob? Isn't it Pelosi and Frank and Obama? Of course there were others, but these were the highest ranking and most outrageous.
If only Corn were working on our side, there'd be a big feature about innocent children in Fairfield hiding behind barricades because the nasty president and hie men and women unfairly outed them.

It's long past time for a reprise of the Welch-McCarthy hearing "Have you no shame, " moment.

Fresh Air

So we all wondered how bad the Mediacrats could behave, given unlimited running room, their own private echo chamber and Zero in the White House. I guess we know now. The bottomless depravity and quantum stupidity of these people is off the charts. Smoot & Hawley should sleep more soundly this evening.

DebinNC

How would you like to find these folks in your driveway? The accompanying NYT story is about AIG suing its majority owner (us) likely with public money supplied by us. I fear we may soon become inured to shock, and absurdity now will seem normal then. That's scary.

MayBee

Ha!
Obama on tv promising if any member of his administration meets with a(n evil) lobbyist about TARP projects, the information will be on the web.
Not mentioned: Tom Balanoff of SEIU and Blagojevich fame, was at the WH St Patrick's day party.

The best way to hide is behind transparency.

MayBee

I think the notion that Dodd has a sense of shame on anything assumes facts not in evidence.

Perhaps he has a sense of what will get him re-elected in Connecticut. Also, what will get him campaign donations.

I don't know. This situation is absurd to me.

Appalled

clarice:

I was thinking Frank and Obama. Missed Pelosi's comments.

If one of te AIG folks would actually step from the shadows and speak (unfortunatlely, that's likely dangerous), it would help. The lynch modb thinks these people are Masters of the Universe, rather than the folks left to clean up the mess after the Masters of the Universe were done with their party.

Bringing the coercive power of the US government on the head of private citizens just to make a mob happy is the worst thing an elected official can do, and it does deserve a big fat "Have you no decency."

Also, I wish for too much, but I wish people would make an effort to understand what a retention bonus is. Most of the stuff I have seen on this simply misrepresent it.

Danube of Thought

Greetings from Telluride.

I think Gregg is wrong re bills of attainder--the prohibition against them only applies to criminal penalties.


Good news from Ras today. Approval at new low of 55%; index at +4. Repubs lead for congress, 42-40.

Very lovely here.

bad

Hey DoT, hope you are having a great time.

Jane

Chaco - you have been on fire for days. What a pleasure to watch!

bad

via TOTUS:

Holbrooke also led the board's public policy and social responsibility committee from 2005 through July 2008. The committee assesses how political and public policy issues might affect the company's business operations, performance and corporate reputation, according to AIG.

Literally, killing me, literally....

DebinNC

The best way to hide is behind transparency.

The WH is hiding who it was that Dodd deferred to in axing the Snowe-Widen amendment in favor of the WH alternative. I think it's Larry Summers. In fact, I saw video several days ago of a beleagured Dodd mentioning working with Summers on the revision.

Charlie (Colorado)

Chaco - you have been on fire for days. What a pleasure to watch!

Thanks. I've had another visit from the black dog, feeling some better now.

Charlie (Colorado)

Oh, btw, DoT, I was born just east of there. nice area, isn't it?

hit and run

Greetings to Telluride.

The JOM tradition is to go streaking through Telluride, DoT. We look forward to your report.

Porchlight

Hello DoT! Hope you're having a blast.

Can't wait to see what Ras has for us tomorrow, post-Special Olympics gaffe...

Pofarmer

But what venture capital firm or hedge fund is going to parnter with the government now that COngres has demonstrated a willingness to retroactively change the terms of a deal?

If the number is ZERO, then it all worked out for the best.

hit and run

To paraphrase candidate Obama: America cannot afford the same failed policies of the past eight years weeks.

Porchlight

Also via Rasmussen, we have a new low - "Strongly Approve" (read: true believers) at 35%.

matt

I wonder if Obama will refuse to sign this bill. It is patently unfair. I simply cannot believe that our legislators have become so vindictive. And wrong headed.

Charlie (Colorado)

XKCD is pretty good today. I'm not sure I think it's dishonesty -- I honestly don't think that the newsies understand the difference between a million, a billion, and a trillion -- but it's good.

Jane

Greetings from Telluride.

I was there in 1980. My guess is that it has changed a bit since then.

fdcol63

For alleged intellectuals who love France, Obama and the Dems failed to remember French history in their desire to incite a class civil war here in America:

After liberating the masses from the oppression of the French aristocracy, the French Revolution devolved into the orgy of chaos, tyranny, and brutal bloodshed known as "Le Terreur".

Or perhaps they didn't forget .... perhaps they are counting on it.

For out of the ashes of this kind of upheaval, despots and authoritarian regimes often emerge.

bad

Friends of Angelo:

Holbrooke’s wife, author Kati Marton, received loans totalling $1.4 million to refinance two properties in 2002. “Look for these,” one Countrywide manager wrote in a September 27, 2002, email, alluding to Marton’s loan applications. “These loans are incredibly important to Angelo and as such they are incredibly important to us.”

The next year, Holbrooke borrowed $1.2 million to refinance a vacation home in Telluride, Colorado. Countrywide waived at least 1.25 points, or $15,000. “Per Angelo, this loan is to be at zero points,” a Countrywide manager wrote in a February 20, 2003, email. Also in 2003, Holbrooke’s son, David, and daughter-in-law Sarah received a half-point discount on a $559,500 loan, or about $2,800, when they refinanced their Brooklyn high-rise co-op, and five-eighths of a point discount on a $428,000 loan, or about $2,600, when they bought the floor above it. Neither Holbrooke nor his wife and son returned messages.

An AIG board member through the stupid years AND a friend of Angelo. What's next?

LUN

clarice

I hate all psychobabble and healing speech..It appears that Obama called Maria Shriver from AF1 immediately after the Leno taping to apologize for his gaffe and Maria says it's a treachable moment..BARF..I don't need to be taught anything about what is bad manners--the president does...And it isn't Maria who's covering for him that'll be the teacher.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/03/20/shriver-obamas-special-olympics-quip-is-teachable-moment/>Obama and the "teachable moment"

DebinNC

It's been 60 mistake-riddled days since The Special Olympics Presidency began.

Appalled

clarice:

If all this results in more donations to the Special Olympics, that's probably to the good. Though I do feel your BARF.

DebinNC

Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous bus tour in CT. I hope they swing by Dodd's house too.

Charlie (Colorado)

It's been 60 mistake-riddled days since The Special Olympics Presidency began.

Better news: 1401 days left.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Why would anyone believe that the TOTUS is capable of being taught? He's easily trained and indoctrinated but there is no evidence that he was ever capable of being educated.

The RAS Trend indicates the need for a new Enemy of the State. I wonder who will be next?

Perhaps the mob citizenry need to be called to the Capitol? Maybe a Potomac Tea Party is in order. I wonder how much the EPA pollution fines would come to for throwing legislators into the Potomac? Speaking of "toxic"...

Jim Ryan

Clarice, we all need to work through the psychological distortions implanted in us by the capitalist system. It's a process. Nobody has gone undamaged by these economic forces and everyone needs the therapy. We need more teach-ins and a bill funding government-paid psycho-economic therapy would be welcome. --BARF!--

Fresh Air

IMPEACH NOW!

Just getting warmed up for the April 15 Tea Party.

matt

Michael Lewis, one of my favorite writers, has an excellent op/ed on the AIG lynch party on Bloomberg, and I I had any idea how to LUN i would....

Don't forget Grassley and the rest of the asses calling for their heads. Another example of Congress trying to get us to focus on the shiny object over there while they plunder our country.

Jim Ryan

Unbelievably, there is even going to be a Tea Party here in Charlottesville. The pinkos will pelt us with rocks and garbage, no doubt.

Neo

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

Peter Orszag, 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.

However, Orszag said he wouldn't rule it out. 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.

verner

I still think the special olympics kids should challenge him to a bowling match.

And did we hear, as I just did on Fox, that even Maxine Waters doesn't think Obama is "up to speed."

Good golly miss Molly.

Combine that with the projected 9 trillion dollars of debt that his proposed utopian social engineering will incur.

I would say impeach him, but jeez, then we'd have Biden!

fdcol63

Obama, the Super-Hero, has turned into a parody of Handi-Man:

http://www.stickergiant.com/Merchant2/imgs/450/him2082_450.jpeg

clarice

A Potomac Tea Party's a great idea if the muddle could only remember who they are supposed to be protesting. As you know that dear Mr. PUK and I have the corner on the sharpened pike business here in D.C> and are moving to expand into pitchforks.

DebinNC

View from Canada on Drudge with scary graphic.

DebinNC

Will BO send swarms of get-in-their-face "pledgees" to counter protest some of the tea parties? Yes, he will.

verner

Hee Hee, it seems thare is a special olympian who has bowled three perfect 300 games--and has challenged Obama to a match!

LUN

Just like the O man, overselling himself yet again.

Soylent Red

Clarice, Appalled, et.al.:

As a bowler, a bowling coach, a SA volunteer, and a generally human being, I chuck my metaphorical shoe at this pompous frat boy ass, and his smirking apology.

But...you are correct Appalled.

The silver lining is that this will likely generate a great deal of vengeance donations from the ever growing list of people who CAN'T STAND THIS MAN. And that's all good.

As an aside, I'd wager a year's pay that any one of the athletes I've met over the course of my involvement has more character, heart, and grit than Barack Obama.

clarice

I'd never take that bet, Soylent.

fdcol63

" ... As an aside, I'd wager a year's pay that any one of the athletes I've met over the course of my involvement has more character, heart, and grit than Barack Obama. ..."

Soylent - and more ability to govern, too.

Obama can't govern ... thus he has reverted to what he does best:

CAMPAIGN

clarice

Jim, I know you're kidding but could we just have -um- closure on that?

Rick Ballard

"Will BO send swarms of get-in-their-face "pledgees" to counter protest some of the tea parties? Yes, he will."

Then we'll just have to have Tea Parties in celebration of the 2nd Amendment with a focus on open carry. If I worked for AIG in CT, I'd show up with a visible holstered weapon today. I would also say that any action taken by an AIG employee in response to physical intimidation should be considered to have been taken "in fear for my life". I favor the "judged by 12 rather than carried by 6" approach to responding to dirty socialist street trash.

clarice

verner, I do so hope we all get to watch that match. No matter how it's resolved..and I'd bet on the challenger--Obama loses.

RichatUF

DebinDC-

No, Zero is sending out his brownshirt army to knock on doors (this weekend I believe) to collect names and information of supporters of his budget bill. Should be an interesting weekend if a few of them try to "get in people's faces" while trespassing.

kim

Every one of them, Soylent, has been challenged far more than Obama ever has been.
=============================================

Jim Ryan

-um- closure on that?

Heh.

GMax

Hugo Chavez is most certainly laughing outloud. The US is following his lead! Contracts mean nothing, the sovereign will do what the sovereign does. Why should I pay you anything when I am the King?

Everyone should buy themselves a gun, as it appears we are back to reliance only upon yourself to protect your property. A court can not be relied upon to adjudicate a contract if the contract can be annulled by the sovereign for any old interest.

I am appalled ( although I am sure a certain poster with that moniker is not).

Pofarmer

that even Maxine Waters doesn't think Obama is "up to speed."

aye Carumba. I don't even know how to parody that.

RichatUF

Rick-

As far as a new enemy of the state, the banks that were AIG's counterparties. Goldman had a conference call today to clear up the relationship-haven't delved into it and haven't seen anything posted up on their website yet.

For the Obama Team to be the smartest people in the room, they sure didn't handle this well. The took over AIG to prevent its collapse, now uncorked a bunch of rage directed at the clean up crew, who are now all leaving, so AIG is in danger of collapsing again. I know that the Fed and Treasury are worried about "systemic risk" but after shoveling in over a hundered billion dollars into AIG and then leaving the work half done would seem to be the worst of both worlds.

Wonder what market action will look like once AIGs books become exposed to every raider in every financial district in the world?

Jane

Let's pretend that America comes to its senses and demands that Congress repeal the Porkulus bill. And then let's pretend that Congress which knows it is heading toward complete unelection next term and realizes they better comply. So how would that work? Would they just have to pass a law nullifying it?

(Is this something I should know?)

ben

"Also via Rasmussen, we have a new low - "Strongly Approve" (read: true believers) at 35%."

Wow, getting down pretty close to the number that even Hugo Chavez would get running as a Democrat.

hit and run

Soylent:
I'd wager a year's pay that any one of the athletes I've met over the course of my involvement has more character, heart, and grit than Barack Obama.

I'll take that bet!

Oh, kidding, my annual salary right now is $0, so go ahead, forget the bet, here, you can have it all right now.

Oh, look at the time! I have a phone interview in 15 minutes...gotta run.

Old Lurker

"and brutal bloodshed known as "Le Terreur"... For out of the ashes of this kind of upheaval, despots and authoritarian regimes often emerge."


...or, gasp, France!

Pick your poison.


bad

Hit, remember, a call to a 900 number is not a JOB interview...

Appalled

gmax:

No, actually, I am pretty appalled.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

I wonder what the reaction will be when they find that Citi is right in there next to GS wrt counterparty exposure and collateral "received"? The list has to be JPM, C, GS, BAC, HSBC and WFC (because of Wachovia). Plus the tottering EU and Asian banks, of course.

I'm still waiting for someone to report that all this counterparty stuff has a temporal parameter. If AIG hangs on to the end of the contract without an "event" being declared then I believe that their collateral comes home. I'm not positive about that by any means, so don't take it to the bank er.. insurance company no, I mean stock broker damn... - pawn broker.

Neo

uncorked a bunch of rage directed at the clean up crew, who are now all leaving

I bet they would argue with the placement of the firetrucks trying to put out a fire.

Appalled

I am not going to buy a gun, though. I'd end up shooting my dog, my wife, or my foot.

Extraneus

Thanks to our stupidity bailouts, we now own major stakes in these firms--at mind-boggling expense. So it's not clear why we want to destroy them. But that's what we seem determined to do.

No, it's not 100% clear, but that doesn't mean it isn't the plan.

From the Leno transcript:

MR. OBAMA: Well, and part of what happened over the last 15, 20 years is that so much money was made in finance that about 40 percent, I think, of our overall growth, our overall economic growth was in the financial sector. Well, now what we're finding out is a lot of that growth wasn't real. It was paper money, paper profits on the books, but it could be easily wiped out.

And what we need is steady growth; we need young people, instead of -- a smart kid coming out of school, instead of wanting to be an investment banker, we need them to decide they want to be an engineer, they want to be a scientist, they want to be a doctor or a teacher.

Not only does the great man continue to attack the financial sector, he's already trying to choose our children's careers.

Charlie (Colorado)

Drudge is interesting: three links above the photo.

clarice

An ungrammatically at that, extraneus.

bad

I'm still torn between O screwing us by design and screwing us by incompetence.

Or is he straddling this question as well...screwing us incompetently by design.

Fresh Air

Bad--

I'm convinced it's 70 percent evil, only 30 percent incompetence. This guy is as close to Satan's Spawn as we've seen in the White House.

clarice

Jane, I can't imagine why Congress could not repeal the Act.

GMax

Didnt we listen to a whole bunch of nonsense about an authoritarian state and being a nation of laws when Bush was in office. He did not attempt to ever usurp existing contracts.

We need to man the ramparts, they are not going to get mine unless I run out of ammo.

clarice

Wonder how The Won will manage to read off the teleprompter and bowl at the same time..Maybe he could bowl sideways.

SukieTawdry

As for AIG execs resigning--Obama has just officially instituted his first "enemies of the people." Who is next? Walmart? The oil industry? Gun Owners? Bloggers who oppose his administration?

Oh, definitely Walmart, in retaliation for this:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. handed out $933.6 million in bonuses to its rank-and-file U.S. workers on Thursday, an increase of 46.7% compared to last year.

The company, the largest retailer in the nation, said it will pay bonuses to about one million of its hourly workers. Its U.S. work force last year grew by about 33,800, to 1.45 million, the company said.

The Bentonville, Ark.,-based company has been a strong performer throughout the recession, posting solid sales and earnings gains while many other retailers have been suffering double-digit percentage declines.

Mike Duke, who took over as chief executive six weeks ago, announced the bonuses in a memo to employees Thursday.

Including profit-sharing payments, 401(k) contributions and merchandise discounts, Wal-Mart says it is giving workers a record $2 billion this year, an increase of about 11% over last year's $1.8 billion total. LUN

While I've never held Congress, nor most of its members, in particularly high regard, I've come to actually despise both them and the sway they hold over the lives of ordinary Americans. They're revolting and should be run out of town on the prongs of a pitchfork along with the clowns across the way in the West Wing. A pox on all three houses.

fdcol63

Obama: " ... Well, now what we're finding out is a lot of that growth wasn't real. It was paper money, paper profits on the books, but it could be easily wiped out. ..."

Ummm, yeah ... just like the vaunted Clinton surplus that Dems still tout that were based on projections made during the Dot-Com Tulipmania (TM) that never materialized.

MayBee

a smart kid coming out of school, instead of wanting to be an investment banker, we need them to decide they want to be an engineer, they want to be a scientist, they want to be a doctor or a teacher.

Or an author, a politician, or a talk-show host.
I understand those are very lucrative careers. But not greedy.

centralcal

Sukie: I am so with you on the despise front!!!!

Porchlight

Maybe he could bowl sideways.

He'll throw the ball in the lane to the left, then in the lane to the right, but never in the lane right in front of him.

bad

LOL Porch

Porchlight

"We need them to decide"? How about the kids just find work that interests them? It used to be a free country, after all.

bad

I understand O's lust for innovation. Imagine how much better his life would be if someone could figure out how to put TOTUS's words in his mouth without the physical presence of TOTUS.

glasater

Everyone should buy themselves a gun, as it appears we are back to reliance only upon yourself to protect your property

I've always believed in gun owners rights but never owned a gun myself.
Over a lot of soul searching yesterday I went to my buddy the pawnbroker and ordered two guns and have to say it breaks my heart to have to resort to this action.

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Wilson/Plame