Thursday, March 19, 2009

Told 'Ya

Demagogue AIG? Lie about it? Use it to try to take down Obama?

John Kyl (R-Hypocrisy) decried using AIG for political purposes. That was a couple of days ago. This was today. And here's a rare admission that it has nothing to do with fairness or facts.

Frankly, I think the White House and many Congressional Democrats have mishandled it as well. There was an argument to be made that the bonuses had to be paid, by contract. In fact, while driving to a lecture by Scott Simon while listening to NPR (thereby doubly showing my liberal credentials), I heard someone being interviewed who explained:

The money in question was in the form of "retention bonuses." Those occur, so he said, when a company is in trouble and is worried about losing key people. They offer a specific amount of money to be paid if the person stays with the company for a specified period of time. Common practice in certain circumstances, he explained. The payouts were not tied to performance (there were contractual performance bonuses as well, which were NOT paid); rather, they were in the form of a contract, signed, sealed, delivered, to certain people, who did what it was they agreed to do; namely, they stayed. Nor is it, this apparent expert stated, unusual to leave after the contractual time is up: after all, the company would likely be in the dumps. Better prospects elsewhere. Finally, these contracts were made before the government money was received; or so I recall.

I wish this had all been clearly laid out by the White House, and let the chips fall. Had they done so, I have no doubt the people of ill intent (i.e., the entire Congressional Republican gang and their screaming supporters) would still have lied, cried, and tied up the process. John Kyl would still be a hypocritical assh*le. (How can politicians like him do that: say one thing one day and completely another on another? Without batting an eye or showing the least bit of embarrassment? Their perfidy knows no bounds, quite literally.) But it would have been cleaner.

As it is, marshalling all their cynical self-interest and abject mendacity -- which they have in shameless and unrepentant abundance -- the minority party will use this tempest to try to bring down the president, and lots of people, eager for simple focus, will eat it up. Just as I said.



  1. "I think the White House and many Congressional Democrats have mishandled it as well"

    Yeah--they completely screwed it up...and continue to screw it up and lie about it. Can't fire Geithner--he's the only one at Treasury to answer the phones.

    Not Obama's fault--how can he be expected to run a large organization with no experience?

    But you're right--I'm sure it's the Republicans' fault. Just 'cuz.

  2. BB: you're getting to be just like Frank. I guess there's a reason you keep repeating the same lines over and over.

    And tell me where I said it was the R's fault. All I said was that they're behaving like assholes. Hmm, I'm beginning to understand your posts and reposts.

  3. You seem like now you're okay with the bonuses--but in this you disagree with Obama and the Dems who decry them--and have arranged to take them away. Which is it?

    And in this post which would seem to be a good place to admit that your team is behaving as amateurs, you can only continue to bad-mouth every Republican.

    You are Frank, right?

  4. Not every Republican. Just the ones in Congress and the ones who comment on this blog. Neither group has anything positive to say or adds anything useful to the conversation, much less deals in the world of reality.

    And unlike you, or them, I'm both able to evolve my thinking when I learn new things, and am willing to criticize my own party and its leaders when they deserve it.

    You'd rather make vapid and irrelevant and non-sequitur points than be a useful participant. It's getting pretty tiresome. I think my first step is to stop wasting my time responding. The next, if you can't start providing useful commentary, is to vote you off the island.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Frank, the kindest thing I can say is that you've gotten really boring.

  7. Sure, Comrad Sid, censor my witty comments, making it look like I'm promoting Gay Porn or something...
    I's YOUR blog, you can white me out just like your commie heros did to party hacks in the Stalin days...these are the limits of your life man, Ruler of your little Kingdom, all for freedom of expression except when it involves you...

  8. Frank, if you ever come up with witty or new -- or even better: interesting -- I'll let it right through.

  9. Cencorship?

    Sorry, I seem to have missed the bit where dr Schwab got the Internet Overlords to shut down your blog.

  10. I question the motivations of the administration for allowing and condoning such outrage over these bonuses. They(congress) voted to bail out AIG, they didn't read the damn bill and now they try to incriminate individual citizens for their mistake. Then a 90% tax on said bonus? It's like congress is the Orwellian Ministry of Truth. Here is what I am afraid of, that this is only the beginning that soon things will be so bad that we will be taxing the bonus of everyone(they are rich they can afford it right?). That people that saved money in 401k's and IRA's will be handing it over to the government in exchange for a promise. I think even lay people like myself can see the slippery slope here. I think Gerald Ford's quote is very appropriate for these times "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have."

  11. anonymous: I agree with much of what you said. I think the administration is making a mistake condoning the outrage, too; but they're hardly the only ones. On both aisles in both houses of Congress there are plenty doing the same. And I said as much in this post, ie, that there was a case to be made. Meanwhile, it's very small potatoes in the order of things, crisis-wise. Passing stupid 90% laws is a waste of time and energy; but Congress is no better than everyone else in wanting something easy to worry about.

    Where we diverge is in your slippery slope worry. I'm keeping my eyes and ears open, but so far I've seen nothing to suggest such dire views of Obama (it's right up there with Glenn Beck's concentrations camps). I think he's committed to doing what's right, and that includes making the environment propitious for business and workers alike, which would preclude such craziness as you propose.

    He has, however, let the politics of the bonus bullshit get to him, and I wish he hadn't.


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