Politics and Media Headlines 3/19/09


New York Daily News

House passes bill taxing AIG and other bonuses (AP)
WASHINGTON - The Democratic-led House overwhelmingly approved a bill on Thursday to slap punishing taxes on big employee bonuses from AIG and other firms bailed out by taxpayers. The vote was 328-93. "We want our money back and we want our money back now for the taxpayers," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

MORE MORE MORE

So President Obama Is Finally Pissed Off? So What? (by Glen Ford at the Black Agenda Report)
The President's public display of anger at AIG is a cover for well-deserved political embarrassment. He and his bankster advisors have dedicated trillions to rescuing the criminal corporations of Wall Street from the consequences of their actions. He acts disappointed that they're still gangsters. "The logic of bankster capitalist enterprise, which AIG was created to protect and serve, is take the money and run - every chance you get."

Outraged Americans Want AIG Bonus Money Recovered (Gallup)
Three in four Americans (76%) want the government to take actions to block or recover the bonuses insurance giant AIG paid its executives after receiving federal bailout funds.

TONE DEAF? (by David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo)
Yesterday, Rahm Emanuel called the AIG bonuses a "big distraction." Today, David Axelrod says: "People are not sitting around their kitchen tables thinking about AIG," Axelrod said. "They are thinking about their own jobs." I honestly don't get what up-side they see politically in taking this tack. Thoughts?
My comment: Of the last two candidates standing in last year's Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton was the one attuned to ordinary people and our concerns.  Barack Obama has had, all his life, only to tell people how special he is because of his multiracial heritage, to have people fawn all over themselves to give him benefits they wouldn't even consider giving to most people.  George Bush is tone deaf because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but Barack Obama is tone deaf because people shoved silver spoons into his mouth.  How can either one of them have any inkling of what ordinary people face?

Hillary, on the other hand, has had to fight for everything.  But TPM savaged her relentlessly, using the most vicious right-wing lies that have dogged her for almost 20 years.  And you put Obama on a pillow, refusing to credit any concerns about him.

Don't talk to me now about worries that he might not be up to the job.--Caro

FLASHBACK: In October, Obama Said That AIG Executives `Should Be Fired' For Their Excesses (Think Progress)
Last fall, as Wall Street crumbled and just one week after the federal government bailed out AIG, the firm's executives spent $440,000 on manicures, facials, pedicures, and massages at a luxury resort in California. At the time, Obama was a vocal proponent of firing AIG executives. During an October 7, 2008 presidential debate with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), candidate Obama declared, "those executives should be fired".
Click through to watch the video.--Caro

The Public Wants Justice (by Froma Harrop)
Brush aside the congressional theatrics about taxing the bonuses to their eyeballs. Let's talk jail time. William Black, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, envisions a federal investigation into AIG's past accounting, securities disclosures and executive-pay program. Black was the litigation director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and helped bag the "Keating Five" lawmakers during the savings-and-loan scandal in the late '80s and early '90s. As the bottom was falling out of its derivatives trading, AIG was reporting healthy profits, he told me. That's not allowed... "If you're publicly traded, the SEC rules require that you follow GAAP," he says. "If you don't follow GAAP, then it's securities fraud." The excuse that the auditor gave the accounting a green light won't fly. Enron and the infamous Lincoln Savings & Loan had clean opinions, too.

The "buzz on Wall Street" is that the bonus-deprived AIG employees might leave, then "simply turn around and trade against AIG's book," writes Andrew Ross Sorkin in The New York Times Dealbook column. "Why not? They know how bad it is." (Trading against book involves using what is known about weaknesses in what a company owns to presumably short sell the stock.) I asked Black about this scenario. He almost laughed. Using that inside information would be securities fraud, "and everyone that hires them would be frauds." It's time that the Obama administration stopped issuing statements of shock as it coddles the Wall Street bankrupts. The public wants more than the bonus money back. It wants justice.

Happy Hour Roundup: Cantor Agrees With Boehner That Geithner Is "On Thin Ice" (by Greg Sargent at The Plum Line)

  • Are Republicans getting closer to calling for Tim Geithner to get the push over the AIG mess?...
  • Newt Gingrich test-drives a new phrase: The "Bush-Obama-Geithner policy of bailing out failing companies."
Every day I become more convinced that the Republicans wanted Obama elected so they could blame all of the problems from the Bush administration on him.--Caro

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Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Tags: Media, Politics (all tags)

Comments

14 Comments

After that little diatribe about Hillary and Obama

I think I now know your perfect theme song, Caro:

Really dont mind if you sit this one out.
My words but a whisper -- your deafness a shout.

I may make you feel but I cant make you think.
Your sperms in the gutter -- your loves in the sink.

So you ride yourselves over the fields and
You make all your animal deals and your wise men dont know how it feels

to be thick as a brick.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-19 03:26PM | 0 recs
Its all true..

Hillary had to be stopped. The right and the center right joined together with their caucus-grab strategy to select Obama.

Now we will never have universal healthcare (of course, its "not on the table") and the AIGs of this world are looting whats left of Americans equity while they still can.

Thats the ugly truth.

Is Hilary back from exile yet?

by architek 2009-03-20 07:13AM | 0 recs
Silly.....

Come one Arc....

SOS Clinton has moved on, I can't believe you are still in the same boat with Caro here, still pushing this Right and Center Right meme.

How do you explain the fact all the PUMAS then jumped to backing McCain/Palin?  

That's pretty FAR right to me?

Sheesh, I am a boderline Commie, and I backed Obama....

And, I also believe, as much as I want Single Payer, trying to go directly there is going to deep six ANY substantial first step?

There was no vast deep conspiracy, and you can see that Senator Clinton got as much or MORE money from Big Pharma as Obama....

Really, you are smarter then Caro, why do you want to reinforce her crazy?

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-20 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Silly.....

I KNEW it!!!

WashStateBlue is a pinko!  A commie!  

This just proves that we've been had.  Obama is a socialist shill for corporate America...oh, wait.  I'm confused suddenly.  I feel sort of, dunno, PUMAish.

by Strummerson 2009-03-20 09:57AM | 0 recs
You caught me....

Just too fat to wear my Che tee-shirt anymore, and I lost my copy of the Little Red Book sometime around 1979.

And, somewhere along the line I became a shill for corporate America...

Those I am still really an amatuer Jazz musician in my heart, this is just my day job!

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-20 10:10AM | 0 recs
Woah!

"Barack Obama has had, all his life, only to tell people how special he is because of his multiracial heritage, to have people fawn all over themselves to give him benefits they wouldn't even consider giving to most people."

A new spin on the "inadequate black male" line... is it early 2008 again?  I once jokingly asked if Caro was actually Harriet Christian.  Now I'm serious... is Caro actually Harriet Christian?

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2009-03-19 03:48PM | 0 recs
She is certainly letting her inner Harriet out...

more and more..

For a while, I think she was trying to reel it in and kind of pass...as if that would fool us?

Now, she thinks there is this opportunity with the bail-out crisis to join in the throng.

Oh Obama is really going to fall now!

She is so clueless, and always a day late and a dollar short.

I kind of almost feel sorry for her..almost.

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-19 03:52PM | 0 recs
More and more and more?

In all seriousness, holding on to this much anger each and every day can't be good for anyone.  I'd be lying if I said that I didn't feel the least bit sorry for someone like Caro, which is why I've been trying to meet diaries like this with a bit of humor rather than outright condemnation.

That being said, the racist undertones of comments like the one I cited above don't belong anywhere on a progressive blog.

by thatrangeofshadesbetweenredandbluestuff 2009-03-19 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: My favorites are

'fawn all over themselves' - and the image of people 'shoving silver spoons into Obama's mouth'.

Caro is Shakespeare on crack. The world would surely be a lesser place without him/her.

My comment: Of the last two candidates standing in last year's Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton was the one attuned to ordinary people and our concerns.  Barack Obama has had, all his life, only to tell people how special he is because of his multiracial heritage, to have people fawn all over themselves to give him benefits they wouldn't even consider giving to most people.  George Bush is tone deaf because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but Barack Obama is tone deaf because people shoved silver spoons into his mouth.  How can either one of them have any inkling of what ordinary people face?

Hillary, on the other hand, has had to fight for everything.  But TPM savaged her relentlessly, using the most vicious right-wing lies that have dogged her for almost 20 years.  And you put Obama on a pillow, refusing to credit any concerns about him.

Don't talk to me now about worries that he might not be up to the job.--Caro

by QTG 2009-03-19 03:56PM | 0 recs
We shouldn't have to put up with

this ignorant racist pig-sh!t on a progressive blog.

PUMA: The New Grievance Culture!

by Strummerson 2009-03-20 03:15AM | 0 recs
Race has nothing to do with it..

Its basically about what the American people need, but have had stolen from them.

Real democracy.

I thought this said it..

"Long ago, I heard Joseph Califano, President Carter's secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (later to become Health and Human Services), tell an audience that real health care reform in this country could not become a reality until we accomplished the goal of enacting campaign finance reform at the national level.

A report issued last week by Consumer Watchdog, a California-based organization, reminded me of Califano's remarks. The report found that over the past four years the health care industry and drug companies have showered the top-ten recipients in Congress with $5.5 million in campaign contributions. Taken together, the health care sector has contributed just-under a whopping $1 billion in the past two years alone."

by architek 2009-03-20 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Race has nothing to do with it..

No.  That's a crock.  This is racism:

Barack Obama has had, all his life, only to tell people how special he is because of his multiracial heritage, to have people fawn all over themselves to give him benefits they wouldn't even consider giving to most people....  Barack Obama is tone deaf because people shoved silver spoons into his mouth.

If a republican said that about a black democratic candidate who hadn't beaten the PUMA all or nothing object of idoloatry (whom I deeply respect but without the delusional PUMA devotion) we'd all recognize it as racism.  But PUMAs have gone over the cliff.  If this isn't trumped up racial resentment then nothing is.  I consider arguments to the contrary moral and intellectual bankruptcy and statements such as this should be confronted everywhere, particularly in a progressive forum such as this one.

I'm generally committed to civility.  But racist pig-sh!t is racist pig-sh!t.  Defend it to someone else.  I draw the line here.

by Strummerson 2009-03-20 07:55AM | 0 recs
Shorter Caro

Stealing this from a commenter on my blog...

SHORTER CARO: "Those bi-racial kids with single mothers get all the breaks."

by Rumproast 2009-03-20 08:10AM | 0 recs
Caro, are you a high-level D&D player?

because this is an EPIC FLAIL.

by steampunkx 2009-03-20 08:51AM | 0 recs

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