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AIG and the Bail Out

Original post made by Sharon on Mar 17, 2009

Things are heating up all over the place

1/ Anger Over Firm Depletes Obama's Political Capital

President Obama's apparent inability to block executive bonuses at insurance giant AIG has dealt a sharp blow to his young administration and is threatening to derail both public and congressional support for his ambitious political agenda. Web Link

2/ Senator suggests AIG execs should kill themselves

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley suggested that AIG executives should take a Japanese approach toward accepting responsibility for the collapse of the insurance giant by resigning or killing themselves.

The Republican lawmaker's harsh comments came during an interview with Cedar Rapids, Iowa, radio station WMT on Monday. They echo remarks he has made in the past about corporate executives and public apologies, but went further in suggesting suicide.

"I suggest, you know, obviously, maybe they ought to be removed," Grassley said. "But I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.

"And in the case of the Japanese, they usually commit suicide before they make any apology."Web Link

3/ The real crime of the larger bail out is that we will be forcing our children to sign a treaty of Versailles with crippling debt and reparations spanning generations which will destroy their hope of a better future.
The difference is that unlike the Germans in WW2 our children never declared war on us.

4/ Of course there is always this possibility.
They won't be required to pay crushing debt, not if they live in a Republic.
They'll just vote it null and void.
Don't think for a minute that any generation can saddle the next ones with debt they decide not to pay.
The Chinese are fools to loan the money, as is anyone who has any sense of history.
Ask the folks who hold Czarist and Confederate war bonds.
Debts that can't be payed, won't be paid.

Comments (66)

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:23 am

How long did you have to troll for that story from the Washington Post, Sharon? It must have made your day--anything that will undermind Obama's administration is okay with you--regardless of the impact on the country--as long as Obama fails.
Found a 12 step program yet?

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:27 am

correction of typo-----

The Treaty of Versailles and the crippling debt on Germany was of course imposed after WW 1, not 2.
Actually after WW2 we bailed them out withe the Marshall Plan.

Posted by Margin Call, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:31 am

AIG - taxpayer money, my money your money given to the unemployed Enron traders that were hired at AIG to write worthless paper to legally scam the financial markets.

We learn now these tricksters are getting Obama's treasury secretary's permission to take more tax money from you and me. Where is the transparency? Where is the disclosure? Where are the promises fulfilled?

Me thinks the empty suit is running out of hot air.

If Bush was the worst - Obama so far has proven to be the dumbest.

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:44 am

Margin Call--Is that you, Gary?

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:50 am

An alternate view then the joy expressed by Sharon and Margin Call Gary over their view of Obama's "failure":

Web Link

Posted by Ben, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:57 am

The AIG bailout was George Bush's fault. He threw money at them with inadequate safe guards about how the money would be used. I suppose poor regulation of financial companies is George Bush's lasting legacy. Now Obama is stuck with cleaning up the mess.

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 17, 2009 at 10:50 am

It's funny how the Obama worshipers can see no wrong-doing in their Obama god. How unfortunate when the entire economy collapses as Obama continues to tax and spend, tax and spend, give away easy money to strippers like AIG and GM. Let's see how you feel next year when the Dow is at 3000, your children cannot find jobs, and then in another 4 years when we begin to see the perils of both hyperinflation, high interest rates, lack of jobs, and a depressed economy.

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:26 am

Another thing that gets me is that all this new Obama bailout money could have been spent on venture capitalists funding improvements in clean technology. I just don't understand why Congress keeps wanting to throw good money after bad and reward failed companies.

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:32 am

Resident--it is funny how we have a daily cacophony from a select few who continually bash Obama and seem to get some kind of enjoyment and/or thrill for his perceived "failure".
Is that your wish, resident, that the Dow will be at 3000 next year??
Think about how ridiculous your claims are given that Obama has been in office for only 7 weeks or so.

Posted by Kate, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:53 am

Obama should have done more to prevent the AIG executives from receiving any bonuses earlier in the month when he was dishing out the 30 billion to them. Now it's too late and I find it hard to believe that Obama and his administration did not know that undeserving employees of AIG would benefit in this manner if he did not insist that clear restrictions be included in the terms of the recent 30 billion dollar bailout. I was hoping for more from President Obama.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2009 at 11:58 am

From Todays WSJWeb Link

"Washington doesn't want you to know that various arms of government approved, enabled and encouraged AIG's disastrous bet on the U.S. housing market."

This is the most important piece on AIG outrage you'll read today.

Posted by Margin Call, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Marvin - you must be joking? That CNN report is laughable.

Jack Cafferty....That's not to say President Obama hasn't stubbed his toe here and there. Signing that omnibus spending bill with all those earmarks in it after campaigning so hard against pork was probably a mistake....

PROBABLY? - NO IT WAS A BROKEN PROMISE. Obama promised no pork. Then not the third or second but the VERY first Omnibus Spending Bill he signs is full (over 8,500 specific commitments to pet projects) of pork. In my world that is call a lie or perhaps he is so dumb he can't remember what he said yesterday or the day before.

Marvin - when will the war in Iraq end? I recall that as another promise something about day one.

If you forgot. Obama said, "That on my first day in office I will give the military a new mission: ending the war in Iraq."

And leaving 50,000 US soldiers in Iraq means Obama as commander-in-chief is still putting US lives at risk. Roughly the number of every person living in Palo Alto.

I want a leader not a liar. How about you?

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm

From Sharon's web link: "After months of government stonewalling, on Sunday night AIG officially acknowledged where most of the taxpayer funds have been going. Since September 16, AIG has sent $120 billion in cash, collateral and other payouts to banks, municipal governments and other derivative counterparties around the world."

Months of government stonewalling, huh? Since September 16, eh? Who was president then? Couldn't been a guy named Bush, could it?

Which president outed this outrage? Was it Obama? Couldn't been Bush.

It's gonna take more than a couple of months to undo the Republican disaster that began 28 years ago with Reagan.

I think Sharon's peeved because her idol Bush was repudiated last November, and has just now been exposed and repudiated again.

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 17, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Margin Call--clearly you are unaware of Obama's plan to remove troops from Iraq and end our involvement which goes along with what he said (and you quoted above)--or did you expect an immediate pullout on inauguration day???

"I want a leader not a liar. "--then how did put up with Bush for so long.

The CNN report is laughable to you since you cannot stand Obama--you are just against everything he does--that is clearly the case with the insults and scorn you heap upon him/ Clearly you are also in the minority.

Say hello to your alter ego, Gary.

Posted by Comments, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 17, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Marvin-your comments mean nothing when you are such a blatent hypocrite. You can't stand Bush just as much Margin-Call can't stand Obama.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Paul and Marvin: Please remember that we have, still, a balance of power between branches.

This economic mess was regulated by CONGRESS who has been controlled by DEMS for over 2 years, and before that with enough Dems to filibuster any changes not wanted by Dems ( since Dems have no problem flexing their muscle, which I wish Repubs would learn to do). The BAILOUT of AIG was pushed through, unfortunately bipartisan, by virtually everyone in Congress AND BUSH, yes..( much to Conservative dismay yet again..the guy was too far to the left on almost everything)...with almost no oversight built in to it, and against the vast majority of people's in the USA will. And, last and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Chris Dodd specifically wrote into the Bill that ALL CONTRACTUAL BONUSES WOULD BE HONORED by AIG. He, and the entire Banking and Finance Committees knew what the bonuses were, and specifically excluded them ( how many friends were there to the Committee members?)..and he is now going around BASHING AIG?

This is just to divert attention from the REAL crime, which was 2fold. A Government run amok trying to have a bunch of lawyers run a private business, and this same Congress allowing over 1/2 the bailout, something like 90 BILLION DOLLARS, be lauundered through AIG into other banks here and around the world.

It is smoke and mirrors.

All with the media complicity in sinking our economy.

What would have happened if we let AIG FAIL like it should have? Guess what? Bankruptcy would have nullified these contractual relationships, private investors would have decided whether or not to invest, and AIG would have either risen from the ashes better, leaner, stronger from PRIVTE funds, or not. wasted taxpayer money!

When are the people going to learn that government lit the flame that started this meltdown, did everything wrong to fan it into a wildfire, and is still doing everything wrong to keep it burning?

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Comments--and you base that on what?? The fact that my comments mean nothing to you mean nothing. But thanks for letting us know where you stand
I base my comments regarding Bush on Iraq and WMDs, as one example.

Posted by Lois, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2009 at 2:38 pm

If you've heard the most recent news this morning; one of the CEOs of a large bank that received bail out funds from the Government was asked about the huge AIG bonuses. His reply was that if Congress passes a law limiting bonuses, we'll just give out the money up front as part of our executive's salaries!!!

Now, how do you legislate against that?

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2009 at 4:37 pm

"This economic mess was regulated by CONGRESS who has been controlled by DEMS for over 2 years"

... with Repubs filibustering everything in sight. And aren't you overlooking the inconvenient truth that Repubs had controlled Congress since 1995, 12 years? (Remember the Clinton impeachment silliness - it wasn't the Dems publishing the porn.) And that "free market" Reagan and Bush controlled the executive branch from 1981 to 1993, then Bush 43 from 2001 to 2009? They were Repubs, as I recall.

Bush 43 had the Sadim touch from the start. Remember his bosom buddy "Kenny-Boy" Lay, head of Enron, who soon became "Kenny-Boy" Who? as Enron tanked in 2001 and took tons of pensions and Arhur Anderson down with it? It was the Repubs dress rehearsal for Lehman Bros and AIG, ca 2008.

Your try at CYA is understandable, but it won't work. Too many of us out here know history.

Posted by sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm

In the history of the USA the next 25yrs has always been more prosperous than the preceding 25yrs, Aurthur Rock knows this well and he has been through more than 3 of these cycles.

However, 25yrs from now a great many people reading this will not be alive.
As Keynesian economics is now the new old fashion, we should remember his words---

In The Long Run We Are All Dead!

Posted by resident, a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm

The Democrats pushed through and passed the bailouts! The Democrats! The Obama worshipers are so blind and naive, or just stupid.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 17, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Marvin, furthermore that the Dow will drop to 3000 is a mathematical certainty. There's no Democrat-led bailout big enough to stop this.

The best Obama and the democrats can do is stand aside and let the market take care of itself. When you have a real-estate bubble as large as the one we just had it's better to let prices fall than to artificially try and prop them up with taxpayer money. The effort is doomed to fail and will only aggravate real inflationary threats down the line. Inflation, high interest rates and a depressionary economy is much worse.

Or are you too religious to see this?

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm

"The Democrats pushed through and passed the bailouts! The Democrats!"

Get real. The record shows that Bush was 100% behind both attempts to pass the bailout bill during his administration - a rare moment of lucidity for him. Likewise his Treasury secretary Paulson. The bill needed Congressional Repub support to pass. It got it.

Now surely you're not accusing Repubs of kowtowing to Dems, are you?

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Paul, Funny, without the Demorats the bailouts would never have passed. This AIG problem rests squarely on the Demorats' shoulders.

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 17, 2009 at 8:44 pm

You say the bailout is a problem. I don't. It is necessary and it must be properly administered.

Since you are evidently totally ignorant of even recent history (hence your need to invent it as you go), I will remind you and both of the other readers on this thread that the world economy cannot afford another shock like the Lehman Brothers collapse that was the immediate cause of the autumn panic. The Bush administration characteristically screwed that one up, then immediately flip-flopped and uncharacteristically did the right thing by propping up the next domino, which happened to be AIG.

The AIG bonuses are unconscionable, a holdover (hangover?) from America's Reagan-era Wall Street idolatry. Obama intends to scotch them, or at least shame the participants, and I hope he succeeds with both.

Obama, like FDR before him, has inherited the trainwreck from a Republican orgy of excess and incompetence. And like FDR, he has to fight Republican whining and obstructionism while he puts the country back together. But FDR succeeded, and in the process he marginalized the Repubs for two generations. I expect Obama will do the same.

Posted by OhlonePar, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Mommmyyyyy, the Republicans made a big mess and the Democrats haven't fixed it yet!!! WAHHHH!!!!

Course, the obvious solution to AIG and all is to really nationalize 'em. It is sort of weird to see our local conservatives be tacit socialists . . .

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2009 at 9:42 pm

John Maynard Keynes is the new fashion for obama, but Hayek and Friedman saw him for the fraud he was so did Churchill

"Winston Churchill was quoted as saying: "If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three opinions."

I see ACORN will now have a major role in the next Census, G-G help us from that.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 18, 2009 at 5:47 am

Goldman Sachs contributed $million to Obama's campaign and they just got tens of millions in payouts from AIG. Wow, what a nice return on investment!

Nationalize the banks Ohlone Parent says, so we can continue to keep the criminals who created the toxic assets on payroll? You can put up some of your savings to do that my friend, but not on my dime.

Obama an FDR? Hah! He looks more like a fool in a banker's pocket.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 6:39 am

This is what happens with a bunch of lawyers trying to achieve "social goals" through mucking about in the market, rather than a bunch of individuals and business people setting business markets straight, which would LET THE SOCIAL GOALS HAPPEN NATURALLY.

You want less poverty? Get more work opportunities. You want less expensive health care insurance? Let insurance companies sell across state lines. You want to fix AIG or an Auto Company? Let it fix itself, or fail trying so it can rise up without the deadweight that destroyed it. You want better education opportunities? Let parents take the tax money and choose the school they want for their kid, instead of being forced to go to the school in the house they can afford. You want fewer poor kids? Stop paying women to have babies they can't take care of. You want to improve an economy? Throw away the completely disproven Keynesian book you are following and stop mucking around in an economy.

Well, like all petulant children who refuse to learn from others, we are going to have to learn through living with our choices. Hopefully we will come out on the other side least for a few years.

In the meantime, we will enjoy our French-like economy, security and foreign policy forays. We will shove private enterprise aside in favor of govt subsidies, double the entire national debt, quadruple the budget deficit, lower access to good health care by socializing it, double our unemployment ( already happened in California, ever the leader in trends), take away poor kids' ability to choose their schools ( just happened in DC..good job Dems!!), demonize contractual law of mortgage lenders and executive bonuses while passing bills requiring absurd lending and pay, and sit by while dictatorships grow in the world and some nutcase decides to hurt us on our soil again.

etc etc.

All under the notion that the Obama was going to cause us to be loved, have a great economy, help the poor and improve education.

Ok, any takers on this question? How long, if ever, before our country recovers from this next 4 years?

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 6:45 am

OP, blame the Republicans for the mess all you want...had you been paying attention to any of these blogs, you will find that we blame 1/2 the Repubs and Bush also for the economy, having NOT STOPPED the full court Dem press in all these areas, and NOT STOOD UP TO the absurd CRA which lit this flame of burn-out.

But, in the end, the policies which caused this mess and have made it ever worse are Dem policies, or if you prefer to be a bit more esoteric, and it pushes your buttons less...Socialist/Social Outcome based policies, not sound economic-outcome based policies.

Whatever you want to blame, let's get back to good economics, not this voodoo Keynesian stuff that most of Europe learned in the last 10 years (finally) doesn't work. Bottom line, if it is true that you get back 1.5 dollars for every dollar of money taken from you and spent by a bureaucrat, the China, Russia, Cuba, and France, if you want to include a democracy, should have been the economic leaders of the world for the last 30 years, not us.

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 18, 2009 at 6:47 am

"furthermore that the Dow will drop to 3000 is a mathematical certainty"

Really, resident? So you will be disappointed when that does not happen.

The daily whinings about Obama are getting more and more amusing. It is fun to watch the Limbaugh acolytes squirming

Posted by Resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 18, 2009 at 7:00 am

No Marvin, I will be disappointed to see it happen. I don't want to see my country go down in flames, but I'm afraid this is what will happen and Obama isn't helping one bit. He's fanning the flames.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:02 am

Resident, I hope you are really really wrong. I suspect we won't drop much more, if at all, more of a steady state of stuff at this point..

unless there is a security crash for us..

or we finish nationalizing several industries..

or taxes rise even more than most people expect...

or we actually go down the road of detroying contractual law..

But, I am starting to think that the Obama team is getting the hint that there is no confidence in continuing down any of these paths.

So, I am back to thinking that we have probably stabilized out, for the most part. A little more unemployment still coming down the pike as the last remaining businesses finish leaning out, but aside from that, more or less steady.

Once the nation finally learns and understands what the root cause with corrollary root causes were in this economic quagmire, perhaps we will finally start fixing the root causes and we can start climbing back out.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:04 am

PS, this won't happen until we get an Admin brave enough, or at least one party brave enough, to convene a 9/11-Commission type study.

Who is taking bets for when, if, this will happen?

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:22 am

Web Link

I am shocked, simply amazed and surprised, that Obama and Dodd got the most money from AIG last year!! I am sure it had nothing to do with the provision Dodd put into the bill to protect contractual bonuses, nor Obama being committed to using your tax dollars to bail out bad business, of course not.

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:29 am

There's that word again "hope" and stock market. Why do people place so much "hope" in the stock market?

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 8:29 am

Web Link

Cool!! Let's cost businesses 2 trillion dollars in Cap and Trade legislation..during a recession!!

Determined to become FDR, a president who resided over a Depression, Obama is making good progress!

BTW, someone needs to get this Admin the memo that shows that we were 3rd of all the nations in the world to comply with Kyoto protocols ( though we didn't sign it, like the 15 or so countries below our outcomes who did). And, someone also needs to inform this Admin that an economic downturn AUTOMATICALLY lowers CO2 output.

He is getting what his ideology demands, fewer rich people, a lessening gap between rich and poor as the top of the boat sinks faster than the bottom, and less CO2 output. Quite good achievements!

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 9:02 am

For the first time since last fall's election, Democrats and the Obama administration are backpedaling furiously on an issue easily understood by financially strapped taxpayers:
$165 million in bonuses paid out at bailed-out AIG.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., won passage of a provision earlier this year that they said would have prevented the type of payments now at the center of a storm.

It was dropped without explanation in the final compromise on the economic stimulus measure, replaced by a less restrictive set of conditions backed by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and accepted by the White House.

"The president goes out and says this is not acceptable and then some backroom deal gets cut to let these things get paid out anyway," said Wyden.Web Link

This just sounds like Chicago politics as usual, but without any visible mobters.

Where is Elliot Ness when you need him?

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 18, 2009 at 9:15 am

You must have been thrilled about the AIG Bonus story, Sharon. I guess in some mysterious way this waste of money makes you feel good for it helps achieve your purpose in life--bashing Obama. Poor Sharon
Of course, I am not sure why you use the term "Democrats and the Obama administration are backpedaling furiously"--are you suggesting that they knew about these AIG bonuses?
Oh, now I see--you are cutting and pasting from articles on the web but doing it in such a way that it looks like your writing. Tricky

Posted by Margin Call, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 18, 2009 at 9:46 am


I want to be very clear as a taxpayer and a citizen. I did NOT like Bush, period.

The war was over stated and the reasons lacked justification. The results too costly in all metric categories. Bush is out of office and that is the end of that.
Now we have a bag of promises seeking to correct that past. Yet, today we see the same-old smoke of obfuscation. Each day we have Obama spouting off daily as if he knows what he is talking about.
Yes, Marvin there are people out here that are very knowledgeable and do not suffer fools lightly.

If you examine the facts you will realize that Obama has hired Mr. Geithnerr who DID know better when it came to paying or in his case NOT paying his taxes. He choose NOT to pay them.

Obama after learning of this failure still pushed to have Mr. Geithner appointed to Treasury Secretary.

Obama now wants to do something about this? His people have known all about these facts before he was even sworn in as president.

- And where was Timothy F. Geithner when this bailout mess started?
- When the first agreement to bailout AIG was decided?

FACT: He was at the head of the table in the room where the first words were spoken.
>>He was the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York <<.
Mr. Geithner knew every word of the bonus rewards scheme as far back as the very beginning of this mess.

Harry Truman said the buck stops here. Obama seems to not know where the buck is located or at least is failing to find out why he does not know. Either way the image is clear for all to see he is an empty suit and in-way over his head.

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 18, 2009 at 9:56 am

Margin Call-are you Gary or do you just like to copy his "terminology"?
It may be clear to you--but not to the general public--unless you think that the AIG bailout will be the only issue that Obama will be judge on AT THE END of his term in office.
Clearly you enjoy this daily bashing of Obama--if it would not be the AIG issues, it would be the DVDs given to the British OM (another non-issue)--it is clear that you and your fellow travelers (or alter egos) care more about seeing Obama fail then the US being restored to it's former glory. That is abundantly clear from you and your fellow travelers daily cacophany of whinings, complaints and insults directed at the Commander-in-Chief.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:06 am

American Thinker also has the Dodd line of the day:

"Dodd is such a bum when you buy him he doesn't stay bought."Web Link

Isn't Patrick Fitzgerald supposed to be the new Eliot Ness?

I see Fitz is busy chasing Chicago mobsters linked to the political machine at the moment.
He will follow the money once the birdies start to sing and then the AIG kickbacks will seem like very small change.

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 18, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Hey. Bush refuses to criticize Obama. Don't you people respect your idols anymore?

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 18, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Margin Call--hope this helps:

Web Link

Posted by samuel, a resident of Stanford
on Mar 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm

more disasters coming from obama and friends

President Obama's climate plan could cost industry close to $2 trillion, nearly three times the White House's initial estimate of the so-called "cap-and-trade" legislation, according to Senate staffers who were briefed by the White House.

Web LinkWeb Link

"The last thing we need is a massive tax increase in a recession, but reportedly that's what the White House is offering: up to $1.9 trillion in tax hikes on every single American who drives a car, turns on a light switch or buys a product made in the United States," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Minority Leader John A. Boehner. "And since this energy tax won't affect manufacturers in Mexico, India and China, it will do nothing but drive American jobs overseas."

The next generations of American will be much poorer as a result, and they will be very, very angry, with very good reason.

Posted by Margin Call, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm

>>>> Obama, in a defiant tone, once again lashed out at the controversial bonuses given to executives at AIG, which received $173 billion in government bailouts over the past six months. (Marvin your links are hilarious.)

Talk, talk, talk. This is starting to sound like a carnival barker trying to get me to go into the tent and watch Obama feed a fat man a hamburger and then tell me with some lame messianic oration his has put the fat man on a special Obama diet.

Pal, I have been outraged again and again. But it is not me that signed the back of the $101,332.00 Bonus Check from AIG.

No No No it was not me!

Posted by Paul, a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 18, 2009 at 4:41 pm

I sense a frenzy of Repub desperation here.

C'mon people, get real. Blaming Obama for this debacle is like blaming the street sweepers for the mess the elephants left on the road. And this particular elephant parade has been going on for 8 years.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Web Link

At last, something I can admire in Dodd..he admitted, finally, today that yes, indeed, he IS responsible for putting the caveat into the bill that AIG employees get their contractual bonuses ( after claiming he was clueless since this story broke, I gotta give the guy credit for at least admitting he was responsible). He also tried to squiggle out of some of the "blame" by telling us all that Obama pushed for it, but at least he owned his part.

Now, if only we can start getting some honest admissions from others responsible for their parts in the whole mess, maybe we can start to heal, fix the causes, and move on. ( Obama, are you man enough?)

Thank you Mr. Dodd! My hat off to you! Now, work toward admitting your part in the CRA, ( and every other Congressperson who fought regulatory changes of mortgage lending) and work toward fixing the root causes, making more responsible, accountable bills come out of Congress, and you will begin to redeem yourself!

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 19, 2009 at 7:04 am

Margin Call--glad that you are amused.
You whine that the buck does not stop with Obama--I give you a link with a story that it does. Clearly you have no response you so you claim my links are hilarious. Need I say more.
BTW, did you see the story that Bush said he would not talk about Obama--maybe it is time that you Obama-bashers take a lesson from your hero.
How is Gary????

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2009 at 7:36 am

You might recall that I wrote that I had NO DOUBT that Bush would not diss a sitting President, because he is a class act ( unlike Clinton and Carter). Why are you surprised?

We don't bash Obama's clothes, lifestyle choices, vacation places and timing ..nothing that is "Obama", unlike Bush haters, we are not Obama haters.

We despise the job he is doing, and the policies he is railroading through. He is a nice guy, I am sure, just completely incompetent and bad for our country. Please note you have not heard anybody wish him any harm, for example, and I certainly haven't heard of any movies about his assassination being made.However, I doubt any Bush haters will be able to discern the difference.

Posted by Marvin, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 19, 2009 at 8:28 am

Perspective--on the contrary--you are Obama haters--you have been bashing him since day one in office. A daily cacophany of complaints, whinings, insults and derogatory comments. You base your claims that he is "completely incompetent and bad for our country" on less than 2 months in office? How can you bash Obama about his vacation places when he has not yet taken vacation?
Clearly you are worried about him doing so well that you have the need to unleash this daily torrent of complaints.
BTW, the movie you refer to was made in Great Britian.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2009 at 9:34 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Bush and Obama share the burden of bypassing the laws meant to correct poor management - bankruptcy. When the body dies any attempt to reanimate it creates a Zombie.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Web Link

Even Europe ( once again) is crying foul on the punitive taxation of contractually bound bonuses to try an end run around CONTRACTS.

Think about it..EUROPE is saying we are too socialist and on the path of destroying our financial institutions!

Oh, wait a minute..we have much smarter people in charge now, AT LAST, smarter than any of the European socialists of the last 60 years, and know how to do socialism better than all the other socialist failures in the last 400 years.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

4 months since he was this point in Bush's first Presidency, we were already starting to level out from our 2000 recession because of BUSINESS confidence. Even 9/11 didn't wipe out our BUSINESS CONFIDENCE as much as Obama and his cadre has since 1/20, let alone since his election. Have you checked out the economic confidence of the people lately?

Yes, the buck stops with Obama.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 20, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Yet more, please note we stick with POLICY and BILL proposals, breaking of campaign promises, results of his speeches on the market and on international relations and security, fundamental beliefs espoused by him..I have seen nothing that I would classify as "hateful". If I were focused on "hateful" I would have been slamming the number of "uhs" in any given unteleprompted speech, the utterly foolish off the cuff comments he makes when off teleprompter that reveal who he really is ( his comments on special olympics and on kids not choosing to be investment bankers being the last 2 appalling ones last night on Leno for example, or a couple days his revelation that he thinks COOs of companies just push paper around), his necessity to be on TV all the time as if he were still campaigning, the actions of his wife concerning redecorating the White House ..well..enough. Just giving examples of hateful harping would be.

But if you insist, I CAN go down that path, I just don't think it is horribly useful to concentrate ad nauseum on such things, preferring to comment on issues of substance, ie bills, proposals, and results.

Posted by samuel, a resident of Stanford
on Mar 20, 2009 at 4:56 pm

well will we are at it why not spend like there in no tommorrow

the latest

"In the latest dramatic move by federal authorities to prop up the nation's banking system, regulators late Friday seized control of the two largest wholesale credit unions in the U.S. after finding that their losses on mortgage-related securities were even larger than previously thought.

U.S. Central Corporate Federal Credit Union and Western Corporate ...

Great. $57B in book assets. Assuming they are "only" 20% under water, that's $12B right there.

We now doll out billions of dollars without batting an eye.

Posted by Sun and Sand, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 21, 2009 at 12:14 am

Probably the best thing I've read about this fiasco.
Web Link

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2009 at 8:48 am

Call me old fashioned, but when the first sentence drops the F bomb, I give the rest of the article a very low probability of being 1) informed, 2) intelligently put together and 3) in any way correct.

So, I didn't read it. If this is the best thing you have read, S and S, may I recommend reading, daily, the free editorial pages of Costs you nothing, and you get a free education.

Posted by Sun and Sand, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 21, 2009 at 11:49 am

Perspective, Heaven forbid! A word used in the vernacular, entirely within context, as a rhetorical device has offended your WSJ-loving sensibilities; how tragic! However, wasn't it the WSJ that missed the whole thing in the first place? Maybe that's why you and the WSJ are still in the dark, and don't get what's really happening here - i.e. a slow settling-in of government bailing out its cronies, radically changing the nature of market-driven risk, and saving well-connected thieves from consequences (including jail)? That's what the article addresses, in far better fashion than anything I have read in the WSJ, Economist, AWSJ, Fortune, or any number of other rags that repeat the same old talking points. Broaden your reading horizons; perhaps the diversity of opinion that you get exposed to will make your arguments stronger, instead of leaving you to lean on something so flimsy as the weak emotionally-based excuse you made to avoid educating yourself above.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Administration Seeks Increase in Oversight of Executive Pay

The Obama administration will call for increased oversight of executive pay at all banks, Wall Street firms and possibly other companies as part of a sweeping plan to overhaul financial regulation, government officials said.Web Link

In fact they intent to regulate pay at all publicaly traded companies----a a start.

In the USSR they used to joke, they pretent to pay us and we pretend to work.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2009 at 6:54 pm



And then we will regulate the pay of everyone else in this nation! It isn't fair that some doctors make more than others! It isn't fair that teachers make more than restaurant managers! We will make sure everything is fair!!

Thank God for the (still remaining) right to vote we have in this country, or we would be heading for a revolution. 17 1/2 months until Congress changes. Hope begins there. Then just 3 years 5 1/2 months until hope returns to the nation and the world when we throw this guy and his ideology that is so far left, it is even scaring Europe, out the door.

The only good news is that we are getting a very public, open, harsh lesson in what the Democrat party has become, and I believe America is going to backlash.

If you aren't scared yet, you should start considering it.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 21, 2009 at 6:56 pm

By the way Sun and SAnd, might I recommend a movie called "Idiocracy" to you? I think you might enjoy it. I am being serious. That is the name of the movie and the President of the USA speaks quite fluent vernacular.

Posted by Sun and Sand, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 21, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Perspective, All your appeals to emotion still don't change the fact that your horizons are very narrow - in fact, narrower than I thought given your rant above. So narrow, in fact, that much of what you say could sit on the "fringe" of an idea shelf. You get my drift. Read the article, if you dare, and then come back and refute it. You're beginning to sound like someone who also believes in Intelligent Design. If you are, don't bother responding, because your mind is made up. Prove me wrong.

Posted by resident, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 22, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Paul, desperation? I voted for Obama and these bailouts simply disgust me and the unbelievable complacency and complete trust without doubt you and Marvin put into Obama is remarkable. Obama has already spent 4 times the amount of George Bush in the 2 months he's been in office!

Can you say debt bubble? Weimar republic? Finland?

Obama's laughter on Jay Leno about the bailouts simply wrong. This nation will probably pass another bailout since the majority of Americans like you don't see the other side of the coin, nor do they want to.

Posted by Perspective, a resident of Midtown
on Mar 23, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Yes, trying to call it "gallows humor" as they are trying to pass it off as is falling completely flat. You have to actually BE in the gallows to use gallows humor, and that dude has done nothing but ride up while the nation is riding down. Sorry, bro, you have no right to "gallows" humor, cuz we know you are doing just fine.

You had nothing in the stock market, so you lost nothing there, you bought your Chicago house at 30% less than the value through a little Rezko kickback, so your mortgage now accurately reflects the current value, not less, you didn't have a business to go under, you had nothing in capital gains, so you've lost none of that..So, you have had to live with nothing you have done to us..

You have the highest paying job you could ever have dreamed of, with speaking engagements for the rest of your life and books etc worries there, you are on the Federal Retirement plan, not the Social Security plan you insist on keeping the same for teh rest of us instead of letting the rest of us peons use our SS money the same way all the Feds do ( including Postal employees), you signed a $500,000 children' book deal 5 days before you took office, so that was pretty nice for you ( congrats)..

no, sorry dude, you simply do not qualify as someone who can use any gallows humor.

Posted by Sun and Sand, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 28, 2009 at 10:58 pm

and here's another story for those like "persepctive" who find a problem with urban vernacular

This is from the Atlantic. America will never be the same. Start adapting now.
Web Link

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