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March 17, 2009


Rick Ballard

I don't believe its "bitter" to note the brainless bellowing of the dumb as a sack of hammers Muddle. I agree with Ranger though about the foolishness of stirring up that vast pool of ignorance. It's actually easier to drown dirty socialist politicians than faceless AIG employees once the water is moving.


I'd also like to add, that I don't think Rich's arguement that "Unless they paid them the bonuses they would have tanked the company" argument, makes folks MORE likely to think said payment was deserved.


This whole thread is just another reason why bailouts never should have been embarked upon.

And, make no mistakes folks, the CONSERVATIVE position would be to let these companies fail and the chips fall where they may and pick up the pieces and go again. No scare quotes required.


Yeah, Pagar, and we've got a vicious child on our end of the MAD games. O'Bummer.


Oh, sure, I'm bitter too, Rick. But that's where the sentiment comes from. These confused muddle will probably muddle through correctly eventually. Remember, it was only 53-46. I'm bitter and optimistic.


There was a rock solid aliquot of good sense, there. The more reasonable of those who were hypnotized by Axelrod's hype will come around, eventually.


JM Hanes-

My comment about the claim is here.

Rove included it in an Op-Ed in the WSJ back in November and in other forums since.

I dug up the law and that part appears to have been amended by the Lobbyist Disclosure Act and various guidence of the tax code. In short, the way Rove reads the law is right-what Obama is doing is illegal-but with the IRS guidence and the LDA it is unenforcable.



It is a moot point because it seems that quite a few have been spooked so it should make for an interesting few days as it all shakes out. A place like that needs good morale, even though they are losing money while unwinding the positions, not a target on their back.

My point was with the Fed using a "systemic risk" test for AIG (and authority they had before TARP or any of the other goodies we've seen these last couple of months) they moved far away from economics and shotgunned it into international policy. For me, international policy includes the possibility of Unrestricted Warfare and making enemies we don't need.

I'm not so sure a conservative position would be to tell a foreign central bank (or a US State, or those "Too Big to Bailout" Euro-zone banks which are interwoven into the Euro political system about as badly as Japan's banks are), which bought AIG's products in good faith based on a US AAA credit rating and (in the case of Agencies) the implied guarantee of the underlying assets, to piss up a rope or to get in line. This is about US dollar credibility and global dollar velocity.

As I said before, I doubt that the Obama Administration will get the international politics or the economics right.

Rick Ballard

How to be SAFE and sorry at the same time. Gotta love this:

The bulk of Safe’s holdings remain in US Treasury bills and much of the loss on its riskier assets will be offset by gains on long-term bills, according to Mr Setser.




Will the Chinese nickname him "Wrong Way Wen"? Those folks are as shrewd as Larry Summers and the Harvard Endowment.

BTW - that's what Wen's threat was about. All the little balls keep falling off the Chinese checkerboard.

Rick Ballard

OK - now Guffaw.

Stupid TyphusPad.



Along with Rich's terrific research, I might add this troublesome and inappropriate use of "the situation room" run by the NSC for political strategizing: White House Stonewalling on the Situation Room

It makes you wonder what other White House resources are being used to campaign for the DNC. And they were outraged at Rove's use of email. (We haven't even touched ACORN and the U.S. Census.)

By the way, JOM, if you haven't been over to Quasiblog you are missing out. JMH has added some of her beautiful photos which match her intellect.

Rick Ballard


I don't know if you read this guy on China but I think he's pretty good. (As a reporter, as an economist he's way too close to Krugman.) Interesting about the "hot money" aspect.


Hey, JMH, that stereopticon looks like Chimpy McHellonRebs.



Cue the outrage. For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn't until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.

Why the sudden furor, just weeks after Barack Obama's team paid out $30 billion in additional aid to the company? So far, the administration has been unable to match its actions to Obama's tough rhetoric on executive compensation.

Sorry if this has already been linked, but this is not the AP I thought I knew.




Not familiar with his work and did like his column on the hot money flows. I'll bookmark it for future reference thanks.

JM Hanes

Thanks Rich -- I've done a Cavalry Update with a quote from Rove's article. I'd be happy to give you a hat tip, but I wanted to check back with you first. Are links to specific posts persistent now? Unfortunately, I think Organize for America was specifically formed to avoid the problem Rove mentioned and the kind of questionable White House involvement described by 18 USC 1913. In the kind of irony that is now our daily fare, the brazenness of the partisan political operation now being run out of the White House is just astonishing.

Ditto for the abuse of secure facilities, Ann. It's that casual lawlessness that Rich was talking about.

Thanks sooo much for the encouragement above! And over at QB too.

JM Hanes


The stereopticon Lincoln is one of my favorites, although the first time I zoomed in on the early daguerreotype I was really a little startled at how different he looked.

JM Hanes


Seems I posted too soon myself. :-)

I updated my update to link back to the comments you made on Cavalry I. I appreciate the contribution!


JM Hanes-

A first blush the organization seems to get around 18 USC 1913 (in a too cute by half sort of way); however, I don't see how it could get around the collusion of the DNC, the Organization, and the White House which would violate FEC and IRS rules because they are collecting electioneering information, fundraising, and engaging in a "grassroots lobbying campaign".

There isn't a way for the White House (either the EOP or WH Staff) to wall off their influence of the organizations and Obama Administration appointees would have to report the contacts per the IRS and LDA, and federal ethics guidelines (and maybe the Hatch Act) would limit the political activites of an appointee (remember the heartburn about the DOJ appointee maybe hiring based on political criteria) to those aspects which only fall within the scope of their duties (eg. an Interior appointee making a speech in support of funding the National Park Service would be proper; an Interior appointee requesting his audience email their congressman to pass the entire budget would not).

I can work on it this weekend, but I would go so far as to say, by what I've read so far, that the current operation is more egregiously illegal than if the Obama Administration sent the emails out from the White House servers and had his staff running the thing. Obama has the bully pulpit and can request air time on TV. He can do the political work to pass his budget, it was what he was elected to do.

JM Hanes


I suspect the White House has superficially conformed to the letter of the most obvious laws -- while violating the spirit in every possible way. As I recall, when the air has been thick with insinuations about past administrations, one of the main issues has been whether fundraising and/or party business was being conducted from White House offices/phones etc. or using official email accounts (or personal accounts using the White House server?). The DNC actually is allowed to conduct such campaigns, I believe, which I'm sure is why Organize for America is being sold as a DNC "project." What's qualitatively different from the past, is Obama's total control of the party's central committee. Whether that makes it legally different, I don't know.

The one thing I can't see Obama ever agreeing to do, however, would be ceding control of his database to a third party. That's why I've been thinking that the question of who actually owns it may be key. That strikes me as Obama's likeliest Achilles heel.


Obama is a far sight better than Bush, call him names if you like but Bush dug us in really deep.



Obama is a far sight better than Bush, call him names if you like but Bush dug us in really deep.

You're a dumbass. The financial crisis is housing based so Fannie, Freddie, and ACORN- all Dem controlled- and big Obama supporters should get in line for a heaping serving of blame.

But isn't it sad and pathethic that Zero is so weak and ineffective even at this stage of his presidency that he has to go and cast about blame for his incompetence. It will get worse (eventually he'll blame his most loyal followers) and no amount of loyalty pledges secured by his fascist followers will be able to take the lights off his failure. He is both the Head of State and the Head of Government and he thinks he just won American Idol.

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