Archive for the ‘Dodd’ Category

For Obama and Geithner: Action Would Speak Louder Than What We Have Now

March 27, 2009

“People have confidence in Obama and generally want him to succeed,” says Frank Luntz, an experienced pollster. “But they don’t necessarily translate that confidence into his policies or the government.”

Bingo.

Treasury is a confidence black hole.  Why?  Because despite many efforts to point the blame at Wall Street and greedy executives, nobody has said, “The regulaters screwed up.”  Instead we have been told “we inherited this Bush mess and Bush decreased regulations so we need more regulations — we need more government.”

We don’t need more government.  We need better government and more accountability: from the President through Barney Frank and the rest in congress and to Geither and all the other bureaucrats.

Who among us thinks Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd screwed up?  Who has trust and confidence that Barney and Chris and Tiny Tim Turbo Tax and even Obama can get us out of this?

Yesterday it looks like Mr. Geithner actually fired — or at least sent into the penalty box — one of his top deputies.  Now we are getting to the issue.

Scott Polakoff at Treasury’s  Office of Thrift Supervision  is on ice: and Treasury needs to explain why and take responsibility for him and his actions and fast.

Maybe we don’t need to make more rules: maybe we need to enforce the ones we have and enforce accountability.

Recovery will be about trust and confidence.  Without that, investors hold back, businesses don’t hire and workers don’t spend.

A government mea culpa would be a good first step: and continuing this line of “we inherited” is now more than paper thin it is a sign of impotence.

“What we need today is more optimism and more confidence,” Larry Summers said.

“Consumer confidence is slightly up. The market is slightly up,” Biden said.

“We need confidence to make this recovery work,” President Obama said.

Confidence can’t be produced with fairy dust or a magic wand.  We get it the old fashioned way: we earn it.

President Obama has to take dramatic action: not giggle through an appearance on Leno and “60 Minutes” or jabber on an Internet town hall.  That may work with tweens but it is not so good with real adults with real money.

Campaigning is for wannabees.  Those with real responsibility and accountability have to act to be credible and earn trust and confidence.

Now’s the time.

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/27/
the-strange-sacking-of-a-top-treasury-official/

Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

Obama Buys Into Anger, Fear as Political Tool
Obama, Geithner, Summers Plan for “Toxic Assets” May be Toxic Itself

Obama’s public overexposure

Obama Still Thinks After Economy Recovers; Bank, Finance Good Times Can Return?

 Obama’s Economic “Rescue;” “The plan is very, very clever. Maybe too clever.”

 Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

 The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

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Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

March 26, 2009

The stimulus cost taxpeyers $787 billion.  It was rushed through congress to create jobs.  Few in congress even admitted to reading its 1,000 plus pages.  The stimulus authorized the AIG bonus payments that nearly eveyone since saw as “outrage.”

Thanks to Chris Dodd and Tim Geithner apparently….

Now the president said he will use that anger and outrage that he himslf and congress fueled to sell more spending: his budget.  The $3.6 trillion budget.

Did we get jobs from the stimulus or will we?

Calvin Woodward of the Associated Press said it pretty well today, “If space exploration were conducted like the job forecasts under the government’s new stimulus law, man surely would have missed the moon.”

Related:
 Stimulus: Way Fewer Jobs Than You Thought

 The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

 President Tries To Harness Public Anger To Move His Budget

Obama Dead Wrong On Stimulus, Caterpillar Company Jobs, Recovery

File:Gator and Python.jpg

********************

CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press Writer
.
WASHINGTON – If space exploration were conducted like the job forecasts under the government’s new stimulus law, man surely would have missed the moon. But this isn’t rocket science.

No promise from President Barack Obama is more important to the wounded economy than his vow to save or create some 3.5 million jobs in two years. In support of that bottom line, the government even tells states how many jobs they can expect to see from the spending and tax cuts.

But precise trajectories are impossible to plot and even approximations can be wildly off, as the authors of these forecasts acknowledge, usually more readily than the policymakers who use them to promote the plan.

Flip through the stacks of economic analyses underpinning the stimulus plan and you find a lot of throat-clearing qualifications and angst:

–“Very uncertain.”

–“Difficult to distinguish among alternative estimates.”

–“We confess to considerable uncertainty.”

–“Subject to substantial margins of error.”

In other words, who really knows?

Economic modeling may prove to be a haywire navigational device in this crisis.

“Large fiscal stimulus is rarely attempted,” Douglas Elmendorf, director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, told lawmakers. “For those reasons, some economists remain skeptical that there will be any significant effects, while others expect very large ones.”

Zero to nirvana? Even for economists, who routinely differ among themselves, that’s a range beyond the norm.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009
0326/ap_on_go_pr_wh/stimulus_
jobs_numbers

Read Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/26/
now-they-tell-us-ap-admits-that-porkulu
s-numbers-are-bs/

Chris Dodd: Lots of Smoke; Is There Fire?

March 25, 2009

Whenever we hear that an elected official has a house on the beach in Ireland we should be interested.  How about a loan from Countrywide?

Chris Dodd doesn’t smell right….

****************

From the New York Post

Senate banking-committee Chairman Christopher Dodd who has received $280,000 in campaign contributions from AIG isn’t the only person in his family to benefit from a relationship with the embattled insurance behemoth.

His wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, worked as an outside “director” for a Bermuda-based company affiliated with AIG, according to a report.

The Connecticut Democrat’s wife worked at IPC Holdings Ltd. for three years, beginning in 2001, according to a proxy statement obtained by Real Clear Politics.

She was paid $12,000 a year for her job, plus an extra $1,000 for every directors and committee meeting she attended, according to the Web site.

AIG was one of the original IPC shareholders but sold its 24 percent stake in 2006, two years after Mrs. Dodd stopped working there.

“To try to connect the AIG bonuses and my wife’s service on the board of this company, which ended five years ago, is nothing more than a cheap political attack,” Sen. Dodd said.

As chairman of the Senate’s influential Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Sen. Dodd has been smack in the middle of the furor surrounding the $165 million in bonus payouts to AIG execs.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/032520
09/news/nationalnews/dodds_wife_
_too__had_money_link_to_aig_161237.htm

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. ...
Dodd took more AIG money than anyone.  Obama was second. 

*******************

A former congressman who is taking aim at U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd told Bristol Republicans Friday that his opponent “used his office for personal gain.”

Rob Simmons, the likely GOP candidate in 2010 for the Senate seat held by Dodd, said that Connecticut’s senior senator has taken sweetheart deals from mortgage companies he regulates and failed to oversee the housing and financial markets that his banking committee has responsibility for keeping an eye on.

Dodd “flip-flopped” this week on the question of whether he approved a bill that allowed AIG executives to receive large bonuses after receiving billions in taxpayer aid, Simmons said, and ultimately said he merely took orders from the treasury secretary.

“Since when does the powerful chairman of the Senate banking and housing committee take secret orders from the administration to protect millions of dollars of bonuses for bailed out executives?” Simmons asked.

Read the rest:
http://bristolpress.com/articles/2
009/03/25/news/doc49c457f3a3
628463990808.txt

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/25/
and-another-bites-the-dust-epa-nominee
-withdraws-over-grant-fraud-scrutinyc
onflict-of-interest/

GOP sees signs of life in Northeast

March 24, 2009

In the Republican graveyard of the Northeast, the region where the party all but ceased to compete over the past decade, there are signs of GOP life in places that as recently as November seemed to have none.

By Josh Kraushaa
Politico

In Connecticut, there is an unexpected opportunity to unseat veteran Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) in 2010. In New Jersey, incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine (D) trails his Republican challenger in the polls. Several House races seem promising in neighboring New York, where Democratic Gov. David Paterson’s bungling of a recent Senate appointment has jeopardized both his seat and the one now held by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

It’s not exactly a rebirth, but the combination of some self-inflicted Democratic wounds, the economic downturn and the departure of President George W. Bush has shell-shocked Northeastern Republicans cautiously optimistic about their fortunes in 2010.

“To predict there is now a groundswell of support for Republicans is a little pretentious,” said former Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), who lost a reelection bid in 2006. “But clearly the traditional voter in the Northeast is looking more closely at Republicans with Bush and the war in Iraq not on the front burner anymore. Now the Democrats have their scandals, they have their problems, and the American people are looking back and thinking we need to balance things out.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/po
litico/20090324/pl_politico/20394

Republicans Must Hang Together, or One By One

March 23, 2009

“We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Didn’t Ben Franklin say that in the dawning days of our nation?  Back then, the King of England could really use the noose.

Today, the Republicans in congress might need some reminders that they’ll still die election deaths if they keep going down the road they are on.

Last week’s vote in the House to impose a 90% tax on those getting AIG bonus money is a good example of Republicans failing to vote against a brainless but popular idea of the majority — and miss an opportunity to explain why the majority might be making bad law.

Eighty five Republicans joined the “public outrage” instead of engaging their brains and asking, “What should principled Republicans suggest?”

Hint: we are against taxes.  Especially confiscatory taxes: no matter how bad a guy we are chasing.  And we are against making laws, especially tax laws, to punish.  And we think the House should stay millions of miles from any legislation that even might be unconstitutional.

Last week there were lots of tagets beside AIG employees: Senator Dodd, among them.

You dogs chased the wrong car.  You joined ACORN in vilifying AIG employees who had signs reading “Capitalism is organized crime.”

And Republicans in the House, you added your names to a witch hunt that was border-line lawlessness.


ACORN activists at the homes of AIG executives on Saturday

Arch liberal Bush hater Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) was on the conservative Fox News Channel awhile back to say, “Our country is being looted.”

If he can get this: so can all Republicans.

This is time for Republicans to stand united or die trying.  And for some that are on the fence like Maine’s Snowe and Collins and Arlen Specter of the Keystone state: we say adieu or seppuku.

Looks like Specter will leave the GOP anyway….

Health care?  Good luck: but try to stand united. If we can’t afford it, maybe we can’t afford it.  But make your care.

Schools should be federalized and the White House is writing the legislation?  No brainer.  Money has rarely made schools better but has often enriched bad teachers and entrenched unions.

Spending at the rate of $1 billion an hour?  Unsustainable generational theft.  Even China is worried.

Energy: are you with Al Gore or against him?

Foreign policy?  Do you believe Iran, China, North Korea and the Taliban will play nice?  Sending videos will do, do you think?

Terrorism: a word Obama has removed from the lexicon, is still maybe a threat?  What say you?

What happened to drill, baby, drill?  Too hot to even discuss now?  We shall ignore all our natural resources and be the wind powered nation?  When? At what cost and when will the grid be ready?

Corruption: Republicans want an end of corruption and total truth and honesty in government.  Right?  Pass a new Dodd Law that prohibits his kind of conduct.  Better yet: pass a law punishing those that don’t even read legislative proposals and then vote for them.

Time to ressurect the Newt style contract with what’s remaining of America before it is too late guys and gals….

DO NOT allow Rahm Emanuel to define you.  You are not Rush and maybe you are not Steele.  Abortion still matters?

Time to unite.

Or hang one by one.

********************

Politico Defines Republicans

Watching the various spats among conservatives, it’s difficult to tell whether one is witnessing a series of lively political disagreements or an episode of “Monday Night Raw.” 

In one corner, there’s former Bush administration speechwriter David Frum versus talk radio king Rush Limbaugh. In another ring, Limbaugh is taking on former House speaker-turned-conservative guru Newt Gingrich. And in the Royal Rumble, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is battling, well, pretty much everybody in the GOP

Liberals have shown no small measure of delight in this fracas, and understandably so. Taking political advantage of conservative fratricide makes perfect sense, as it’s the strategic execution of Henry Kissinger’s observation about the Iran-Iraq War: “It’s a pity both sides can’t lose.” Fueling the intra-party fire weakens the GOP from within. Even the White House has gotten in on the act with senior figures like spokesperson Robert Gibbs and chief of staff Rahm Emanuel launching attacks on administration critics ranging from Limbaugh to CNBC personalities Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer

But as liberals engage in multiple rounds of schadenfreude over conservative wrangling, what’s noticeable is that the burgeoning civil war we’re witnessing on the right could not play out on the left, at least not rise to the level of gravity that would attract front-page articles in Newsweek or the instigation of partisans on the other side. And that’s because liberals — unlike conservatives — do not have a “movement” over which to fight. 

Given the Barack Obama phenomenon, the rise of the liberal blogosphere and overwhelming Democratic congressional majorities, the proposition that liberals lack a movement might sound strange. But while the Republican Party comprises three steadfast pillars (free marketers, defense hawks and the religious right), the Democratic Party remains a coalition of a vast and diverse assemblage of interest groups (minorities, labor unions, academics, trial lawyers, etc.) rather than an ideological enterprise. As such, the Democrats, up until very recently, have long had more intense internal squabbling than the Republicans, whose various factions learned to reconcile. 

The conservative movement began to take form in the 1950s as a reaction to the then-regnant statist consensus. It was firmly anti-communist, opposed the New Deal and the further expansion of government programs, and later launched a harsh critique on many of the social changes that took place in the 1960s and 1970s. What further distinguishes the conservative movement from the liberal coalition is that conservatives built an array of institutions to sustain their ideological apparatus. In Washington and across the country, there exists a constellation of think tanks, like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. In the 1980s, conservatives took to the airwaves and now attract tens of millions of listeners every day on talk radio. Perhaps the most important feature of the movement was its recruitment of young people through organizations like Young America’s Foundation, which identifies and trains conservative students on campuses across the country. 

To see the vitality — if not reasonableness — of the movement, one only had to visit last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual ritual that attracts conservative activists, politicians and celebrities from across the country. There is no liberal equivalent of this confab. Indeed, the relative influence of the conservative movement on the GOP versus any liberal parallel on the Democratic Party can be seen in the vast number of Republican politicians who proudly call themselves “conservative.” By contrast, few Democrats publicly identify themselves as “liberal,” opting for the more vague and voguish “progressive,” if at all.

Liberals are belatedly constructing themselves a movement akin to the one crafted by their ideological adversaries. In 2003, John Podesta founded the Center for American Progress, a partisan think tank explicitly modeled on Heritage. Media Matters aggressively attacks any perceived anti-liberal media bias in the same way that conservative watchdog groups have been monitoring the mainstream press since the 1980s. POLITICO’s Ben Smith has reported on the daily conference call in which the heads of more than 20 major liberal interest groups participate to shape a coherent message for the day, as well as Unity ’09, a coalition of groups ranging from MoveOn.org to the American Civil Liberties Union “aimed at helping President Obama push his agenda through Congress.” Never before have the disparate organizations of the American left been so well-coordinated.

Does the nascent liberal movement portend good or ill? Judging that question depends in part upon whether or not one agrees with the agenda. If scaling back American commitments overseas, increasing the power of unions, and building a more left-leaning Supreme Court, among other goals, of course, are your thing, then the means by which these ends are achieved will presumably matter less than their attainment.

But the answer also lies in whether or not movement politics is itself a healthy feature of the American electoral system. There is something ironic in the tendency of liberals to denounce the staleness and conformity of the conservative movement and relish in its apparent demise while constructing something of their own that is just as ideologically rigid.

James Kirchick is an assistant editor of The New Republic.

 See Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/23/a
-question-for-the-85-cya-on-aig-house-rep
ublicans/

****************

There’s More Room For Rahm In AIG Bonus Abomination

March 23, 2009

With the nation in what the president has called a financial “crisis” and even a “catastrophe,” Obama is moving away from his top financial advisors at least on some issues, and sticking close to the advice of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and policy advisor David Axelrod.

“Those guys know politics.  They are listening to the Hill and watching the media and the polls.  That’s driving Obama’s policy right now,” a top political analyst told us.

****************************
From The American Spectator:

Over the past ten days, as the furor over AIG retention plan bonuses has focused on Sen. Chris Dodd and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, the White House has undertaken a PR offensive to protect the highest ranking Obama Administration official who was involved in the House and Senate negotiations over the stimulus bill, in which the AIG waiver language was inserted.

“Right now, you get the feeling this is all about protecting [White House Chief of Staff] Rahm Emanuel,” says a former Treasury Department lawyer, who worked in that department’s counsel’s office on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) before joining a D.C.-based law firm in February. “At the time, we were led to believe there were basically three or four people from the Administration at the table when the final deals were cut and one of them was Emanuel.”

Informal advisers to Geithner are growing increasingly frustrated, they say, that Geithner is being held up as the straw man for the public anger over the bonuses. “Just over the weekend you saw a new guy added to the target list, [White House economics adviser Larry] Summers,” says a longtime Geithner colleague at the New York Fed. “You have Dodd, Geithner, Summers, but there were other, more senior political people involved in this mess, and their names aren’t being mentioned. Why isn’t anyone asking Rahm Emanuel, ‘What meetings were you in?’ ‘What did you and the President know and when did you know it?’ Tim has some culpability, but he’s not the guy who signed off on the Dodd language. He wasn’t that empowered to do something like that.”

Yesterday, Obama supporter and New York Times columnist Frank Rich fingered Summers as a key player in the AIG bonus mess. “Summers is so tone-deaf that he makes Geithner seem like Bobby Kennedy,” Rich wrote.

Summers currently serves as head of the National Economic Council in the White House, and has been mentioned as someone who might be forced to return to the Secretary of the Treasury post he once held in the Clinton Administration should Geithner not survive the political storm he finds himself in.

It isn’t just Rich, though, who has placed Summers in the center of the controversy. Last week, Sen. Ron Wyden, who was led to believe that language he was inserting into the stimulus bill, which would have heavily taxed such payouts as the retention bonuses, told reporters that it was the “Obama economic team” that stripped his and Sen. Olympia Snowe‘s provision from the bill. When he was asked about who he dealt with during the February negotiations over his language, he said, “Secretary Geithner, Larry Summers, and I’ll leave it at that.” He declined to name other names, though he indicated to reporters present that he was aware of others in the negotiations.

Senior Democrat leadership aides in both the House and Senate, however, insist that both Emanuel and Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag were present at the meetings where the decision was made to strip out the bonus taxation language and insert the Dodd waiver.

Read the rest:
http://spectator.org/archives/2009/0
3/23/plenty-of-rahm-at-the-aig-tabl

Visit Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/23/tarp-taxpayers-accounts-recycle
d-to-politicians/

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Politicians Who Took AIG Money Should Give It Back

Two-out-of-three Americans (67%) believe that politicians who received campaign contributions from American International Group (AIG) should return the money. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 21% disagree and 13% are not sure.

The belief that the politicians should give back the money is shared by a solid majority of every measured demographic group except one – America’s Political Class. In that elite group, just 29% think the contributions should be returned while 63% reject that idea.

Among America’s Populists, 77% believe the campaign cash should be returned, and only 14% disagree. Most Americans have Populist attitudes. and their perspective can reasonably be considered the perspective of Mainstream America.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_conte
nt/politics/general_politics/67_say_politician
s_should_give_back_aig_contributions_polit
ical_class_disagrees

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. ...
Dodd took more AIG money than anyone.  Obama was second. 

Obama threw Dodd under the bus:
http://nobamablog.wordpress.com/200
9/03/23/obama-sells-out-a-friend-fro
m-connecticut/

Related:
Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?

Financial Advice, Recovery, Trumped by Obama, Congress, Media, Polls

Obama “Strongly Approve” Number from 42% to 36% in Last 60 Days; Geithner 24% Or Less

March 23, 2009

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 36% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-one percent (31%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of +5.

From Rasmussen

At the time of his inauguration, Obama’s approval rating was above 40% with only about 16% stongly disapproving.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publi
c_content/politics/obama_administratio
n/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

************************

Geithner’s Poll Numbers March 23

America’s Political Class gives Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner rave reviews: 76% have a favorable opinion of him. Two-thirds (66%) of the Political Class say Geithner’s doing a good or excellent job handling the credit crisis and federal bailouts.

However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that America’s Populists see things from an entirely different perspective. Just 12% of Populists have a favorable opinion of Geithner, and only 11% say he’s doing a good or an excellent job.

Most Populists (53%) rate Geithner’s performance as poor, but not a single Political Class survey respondent said the Treasury secretary is doing a poor job.

The findings are especially telling as calls increase for Geithner’s resignation following the disclosure that American International Group (AIG) paid its executives $165 million in bonuses after receiving a $170-billion taxpayer bailout to stay in business. Geithner was aware of the bonuses and did little or nothing to stop them.

Overall, among all adults, 24% have a favorable opinion of Geithner, 44% have an unfavorable opinion, and 33% are not sure. Twenty-one percent (21%) of adults say Geithner is doing a good or an excellent job while 40% say he is doing a poor job.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_conten
t/politics/obama_administration/march_2009/p
olitical_class_gives_geithner_good_reviews_m
ost_americans_disagree

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D- Ohio, pauses in the elevator after arriving on Capitol
Geithner

******************************

Politicians Who Took AIG Money Should Give It Back

Two-out-of-three Americans (67%) believe that politicians who received campaign contributions from American International Group (AIG) should return the money. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 21% disagree and 13% are not sure.

The belief that the politicians should give back the money is shared by a solid majority of every measured demographic group except one – America’s Political Class. In that elite group, just 29% think the contributions should be returned while 63% reject that idea.

Among America’s Populists, 77% believe the campaign cash should be returned, and only 14% disagree. Most Americans have Populist attitudes. and their perspective can reasonably be considered the perspective of Mainstream America.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_conte
nt/politics/general_politics/67_say_politician
s_should_give_back_aig_contributions_polit
ical_class_disagrees

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. ... 
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. took more AIG money than anyone else.  Senator Obama was second……(AP photo/Harry Hamburg)

Obama, Dodd and Faked “Outrage”

March 23, 2009

Are you outraged by these AIG bonuses? No, no. For Pete’s sake, you’re an A-list congressional bigshot. Try to get a bit of feeling into ?outraged.? The president’s teleprompter puts it in italics, bold, capitalized and underlined — OUTRAGED!

That’s better. Don’t forget to furrow your brow and fume. No, not like a camp waiter when you send back the arugula salad drizzled in an aubergine coulis. We’re looking for primal, righteous anger: You’re outraged, OUTRAGED that bonuses are being handed out at companies the American taxpayer is bailing out.

By Mark Steyn
The Washington Post

Yes, to be sure, the bonuses were specifically provided for in the legislation, but, like all busy senators and congressmen, you don’t have time to read every footling trillion-dollar bill before you vote in favor of it.

And yes, true, the specific passage addressing these particular bonuses was, in fact, added to the bill in your name, but that was nothing to do with you. You just did that because the White House asked you to. And just because their people called your people and some intern in your office drafted some boilerplate with your name on it…

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/ne
ws/2009/mar/23/steyn-shocked-sh
ocked-bonuses/

Financial Advice, Recovery, Trumped by Obama, Congress, Media, Polls

March 21, 2009

Last week when news came that AIG was paying huge bonuses to employees even after the federal bailout, the president’s two top financial advisors knew what to tell the president.

“Pay the bonuses.  We can’t void a contract.”

That advice came from Larry Summers and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner: Obama’s top economic advisors.

“Summers is the head dog.  He’s Geithner’s mentor.  Geithner is the protoge.  I don’t know how Obama fires one and keeps the other,” a top man in New York financial circles told us.

So maybe that is why Obama has not yet fired Geithner.

Obama Talks Too Much: Time For Action
(Time to Fire Geithner and Summers Too?)

US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits ... 
US President Barack Obama, seen here on January 29, 2009, sits alongside Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.  Obama has to get his face out of the same photo with Geithner’s face….

And maybe that is why the stimulus contained a provision to allow the AIG bonuses: Geithner and Summers made sure it was put in.

Dodd would know but hasn’t named names.

Heck: Dodd has a house in Ireland to make his retirement happy and secure.

With the nation in what the president has called a financial “crisis” and even a “catastrophe,” Obama is moving away from his top financial advisors at least on some issues, and sticking close to the advice of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and policy advisor David Axelrod.

“Those guys know politics.  They are listening to the Hill and watching the media and the polls.  That’s driving Obama’s policy right now,” a top political analyst told us.

Last year, while still a senator, Obama voted for the bailout for AIG….

Meanwhile, Ben Bernanke is taking heat from media folks.

Bernanke released  more money into the nation’s money supply this week and the price of gold went up while the value of the dollar dropped…..

****************

Dodd under fire in his home state:

Dodd’s decision to move his family to Iowa to campaign for a doomed bid for president, his initial refusal to release documents of his two controversial mortgages with Countrywide, criticism of how he financed a vacation cottage in Ireland, and now his involvement as Senate Banking Committee chairman in the bill that ultimately protected bonuses for executives at insurance giant AIG have all taken their toll.

Read it all:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009
0321/ap_on_re_us/aig_outrage_dodd_3

Related:
Wall Street Journal: “Geithner Incapacitated;” President Voices Support

Government To Have Bigger Role in All American Lives; Obama Seeks to Increase Oversight of Executive Pay
Bankers Press Case Against Punitive Tax 

Obama, Geithner, Congress Squandering Confidence Needed For Recovery

Bonus backlash hits Wall Street

American Democracy With Checks and Balances is Broken; Media, Congress Failing

Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Stock Market

 Obama Spending, Tax Plans Likely Out The Window As CBO Predicts Much More Debt

Obama: Why Are We Saving Geithner and His Incestuous Relationship With Wall Street?

Finance, one of America’s great industries, being destroyed by Congress during crisis?

For Cuomo, AIG, Financial Crisis Is His Political Moment

 Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?

Dodd Caper, House Vote on 90% Tax, Highlights Founders Hopes; Modern Reality

March 21, 2009

When the House voted last week and passed a 90% tax on those rascals who got bonuses after the federal government bailed out their companies, many thoughts went through my mind.

The furor over $165 million in bonuses American International Group Inc. paid some of its employees while receiving billions of dollars in federal bailout money has tarnished Senator Christopher Dodd, certainly.  It seems he was caught in a lie, first saying he added a measure to protect the taxpayer by removing the bonuses, and then saying he protected the bonuses but under pressure from others.

And people in his state are making noise that he should be removed: which I’d be doing if I lived there.

But people forget and Dodd has done a lot for many voters in his state which may decide to retain him in the future.

Unfortunately, a Republican member of the House, Rob Simmons, may have already decided to take on Dodd in the election due to the AIG snafu….

For Dodd, too bad he wasn’t just elected last November…then his reelection would be six years away….

Dodger Dodd Dogged By AIG
From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/03
/21/aig.dodd/index.html?section=cnn_latest

Dodd’s Stock Way Down Even Before AIG
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
321/ap_on_re_us/aig_outrage_dodd_3

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. ... 
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. listens to witness testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 19, 2009, during the committee’s hearing on bank regulation and supervision.(AP photo/Harry Hamburg)

And although my consitituional law and American history lessons are a little vague, here is what we might discuss about the House action on the 90% tax…..

John Marshall believed that the greatest danger to a strong Union would be the state legislatures, which were too likely to be swayed by the people’s fleeting and irrational passions.

I love that notion of fleeting and irrational passions.

This is one of the reasons the Founders wanted a strong federal government and also one of the reasons that Senators serve 6 year terms while House members serve two year terms. 
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It was understood that members of the House would stand closer to their people, through reelection, at all times.

Thus, members of the House are more subject to the fleeting and irrational passions of their people.Of course, the Founders had no idea how much our modern media including the Internet, You Tube, cable TV, et al could fuel and fan those fleeting and irrational passions…..

 

This explains why the Senate slowed down action on the House’s 90% tax measure in their chambers….

Wkipedia says this about the Senate, which is subject to debate but worth thinking about: “The Senate is a more deliberative body than the House of Representatives because the Senate is smaller and its members serve longer terms, allowing for a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere that is somewhat more insulated from public opinion than the House.”

On the 90% tax itself, I am reminded of these quotes:

“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy,” said Daniel Webster, in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland.

John Marshall said this just a bit differently: “That the power to tax involves the power to destroy … [is] not to be denied.”

It should also be noted why many commentators have said that the tax, used as a punishment, is illegal.
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Punishment by tax is unconstitutional becaue that is the kind of trickery pulled to punish our Founders the colonists: by the King of England.

There could be a legal challenge to this bill: telling us again that rushed legislation is often bad legislation….Like the stimulus….

The Senate has to decide next week what it thinks of this 90% tax…..so just taking a ‘time out” over the weekend may be the only modern relief from the fleeting and irrational passions.

Related:

See Michelle Malkin:
Calls For Dodd in Conn.
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/21/liveblogging-the-lexington-k
y-tea-party/

Experts Say Courts Would Uphold Congress on 90% Tax
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi
d=20601087&sid=aC_hgTeumc70&ref
er=worldwide