Archive for the ‘resignation’ Category

In AIG flap, it’s not just about bonuses anymore

March 19, 2009
Scrutiny of bailout terms expands as critics question federal officials’ longtime ties to aid recipients.
By Tom Hamburger and Janet Hook
The Los Angeles Times
March 19, 2009
Reporting from Washington — The firestorm over American International Group is spreading beyond executive bonuses, with lawmakers and policy experts now questioning virtually all aspects of the taxpayer-financed rescue package for the insurance giant.

Among other issues, critics are asking why AIG was allowed to use federal bailout money to repay $13 billion in debt obligations to Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs, as well as debts to foreign banks.

Prominent Republicans, joined by some Democrats, suggested that the answer could be found in longtime ties linking Washington to Wall Street.

Former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson was once chief executive of Goldman Sachs, for example, while AIG’s chief executive, Edward M. Liddy, was a member of Goldman’s board. The Treasury official who is in charge of the bailout, Neel Kashkari, is a former Goldman executive.

“Look at where the money went: Goldman Sachs, Paulson’s firm, foreign banks,” Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) said Wednesday. “AIG gave more money to foreign banks than we gave in loans to the auto industry.”

“The real outrage over the AIG bailout isn’t executive bonuses, it’s that billions in taxpayer funds intended for AIG have been passed through to benefit foreign banks and Wall Street behemoths like Goldman Sachs,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote in an e-mail letter to conservatives Wednesday morning.

Gingrich and Republicans on Capitol Hill unleashed their anger on the current Treasury Secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, saying he bore responsibility for being overly generous in providing aid to failed companies like AIG.

Two outspoken House Republicans — Darrell Issa of California and Connie Mack of Florida — called for Geithner’s resignation, saying the AIG bonus controversy on top of existing doubts about the bailout made such a move necessary.

Other Republicans, including the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, Alabama’s Richard C. Shelby, offered caustic criticism of Geithner but stopped short of calling for his resignation.

Read the rest:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi
-aig-bailout19-2009mar19,0,2707699.story

Advertisements

Obama Rejects Blagojevich Senate Appointment

December 31, 2008

Barack Obama says Democratic senators should reject the man proposed by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to replace Mr Obama in the US Senate.

Mr Blagojevich is the subject of a criminal inquiry and has been charged with attempting to “sell” Mr Obama’s now-vacant seat to the highest bidder.

The governor defied pressure and picked Roland Burris, the state’s former attorney general, to fill the position.

BBC

Above: Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, right, named Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the Senate. Photo: Amanda Rivkin for The New York Times

Democratic senators have vowed to veto anyone appointed by Mr Blagojevich.

The president-elect said he agreed the Senate “cannot accept” a new senator chosen by Mr Blagojevich, adding that Mr Blagojevich himself should resign.

Mr Blagojevich denies wrongdoing and has rejected previous calls for his resignation.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7805412.stm

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

The New York Times reported:
.
Mr. Obama, on vacation in Hawaii and who, aides said, was surprised by the news of the appointment, issued a statement condemning the move.

Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat,” Mr. Obama said. “I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Governor Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008
/12/31/us/31illinois.html?_r=1&hp

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

Obama issued the following statement:

“Roland Burris is a good man and a fine public servant, but the Senate Democrats made it clear weeks ago that they cannot accept an appointment made by a governor who is accused of selling this very Senate seat.  I agree with their decision, and it is extremely disappointing that Governor Blagojevich has chosen to ignore it.  I believe the best resolution would be for the Governor to resign his office and allow a lawful and appropriate process of succession to take place. While Governor Blagojevich is entitled to his day in court, the people of Illinois are entitled to a functioning government and major decisions free of taint and controversy.”

Somali Pirates: Living The High Life While Neighbors Suffer Extreme Poverty, Government Collapses

December 29, 2008

Despite piracy, seacoasts of Somalia are mired in poverty.  The money paid to pirates in ransom benefits only a few….Any thought you had of “Robin Hood” style pirates helping their fellow countrymen is not supported by the facts….Meanwhile, President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed of Somalia has resigned….

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

From the Maritime Global Net

A Voice of America journalist has filed reports from Hobyo in the Galmudug region of central Somalia which indicate that ransom money [paid to pirates] is not being diverted directly to Islamic terrorist or rebel groups, despite some media reports to that effect and that the main Islamic militia, Shabab, is clamping down on pirates. Hobyo, which has been a pirate stronghold is now under Shabab’s control. Also, contrary to some reports, Alisha Ryu found that local people did not support the pirates at Hobyo and that virtually none of the ransom money was being used to their improve living conditions or benefit the local community. The growing strength of Islamic groups in the coastal area may, she says, be tied to local anger over piracy and deepening poverty.

Pirates shoot on the deck of the Chinese ship "Zhenhua ... 
Pirates shoot on the deck of the Chinese ship “Zhenhua 4” in the Gulf of Aden December 17, 2008 in this photo released by China’s official Xinhua News Agency.

Ms Ryu also reports that the Shabab Islamic militia which is doing much of the fighting against the central government and is is control of large areas of southern and central Somalia is strongly opposed to piracy. It fought a pitched battle with the pirates who have been operating out of Hobyo on 22 December and took control of the town.

The VOA reporter quotes a pirate as saying that all pirates in central Somalia are under severe pressure from Islamists to disband. He says that, in recent months, pirates trying to go ashore in any area controlled by the Islamists have been threatened and chased away. She says that Somali sources tell VOA that the Islamists’ tough stance against piracy has prompted many poor people in coastal communities to quietly begin supporting the return of Islamist rule.

Ms Ryu notes in one of her reports: “While the loss of Hobyo to the Shabab has dealt a clear blow to piracy, it raises another troubling question, especially for the United States and its western allies. They must now decide which, pirates or militant Islamists, pose a greater threat to global security and economy.”

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

Somalia’s transitional president has resigned amid a power struggle with the African nation’s prime minister and parliament, sources told CNN on Monday.

From CNN

Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed tried to fire his PM this month but later lost a confidence vote.

Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed tried to fire his PM this month but later lost a confidence vote.

Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed announced his resignation Monday before parliament in Baidoa.

Ahmed’s resignation is the latest turn in the political crisis in Somalia, which is already struggling with an Islamist revolt, a refugee crisis and rampant lawlessness that has fueled a wave of piracy off the Horn of Africa.

Somalia has been without an effective central government since 1991. The U.N.-backed transitional government has the support of Ethiopian troops that ousted an Islamist government at the end of 2006, but it controls little of the country outside the southwestern city of Baidoa.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa
/12/29/somalia.president.resigns/index.html

Illinois Lawmakers Intent on Ousting Governor Blagojevich

December 15, 2008

Republicans and Democrats alike are calling for Illinois lawmakers to begin impeachment proceedings against Gov. Rod Blagojevich, saying the step is necessary to restore public confidence in state government.

“The General Assembly must move to impeach Rod Blagojevich immediately,” said DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett, a potential Republican candidate for governor in 2010.

“We should have started yesterday,” agreed Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat.

Legislators were to meet Monday afternoon for the first time since Blagojevich was arrested last week on charges he shook down businesses seeking state deals and tried to profit from his power to choose a replacement for President-elect Barack Obama‘s vacant Senate seat.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he leaves a downtown ... 
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich waves as he leaves a downtown office building Sunday, Dec. 14, 2008, in Chicago. Blagojevich was arrested this week on federal charges that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The session’s focus was supposed to be about considering a special election, but impeachment is likely to be the chief topic of conversation.

Read the rest from the Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081215/ap_on_re_us/illinois_governor

Blagojevich: “No Resignation”

December 14, 2008

Scandal-plagued Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will not resign Monday, his spokesman said Sunday, but pressure to do so continued to grow on the governor to step aside before he is impeached.

Blagojevich was arrested last week on charges of conspiracy to swap political favors for cash, including an attempt to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Barack Obama following his November presidential election victory.

“We have heard that there is a possibility that tomorrow he will make an announcement where he will step aside,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

But Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero Sunday denied the governor planned to resign on Monday: “I can confirm the no resignation.”

By Peter Bohan
Reuters

Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich talks with Northern Illinois ... 
Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich talks with Northern Illinois University President John Peters (not in the picture), in DeKalb, Illinois in this February 15, 2008 file photo.(Kamil Krzaczynski/Files/Reuters)

The controversy over Blagojevich has been a distraction for Obama and his team as the president-elect announced Cabinet nominations and tried to lay out plans for dealing with the recession and other crises after his January 20 inauguration.

The charges against Blagojevich come after years of investigation detailed by court-approved wiretaps.

But the governor has not been indicted and remains governor with full powers including being the only person who can name a replacement for Obama in the Senate. Through his lawyer, Blagojevich has denied doing anything wrong.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_blagojevich_madigan

Illinois governor ignores Obama’s call to resign

December 11, 2008

His career in shreds, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich clung defiantly to power Wednesday, ignoring a call to step down from President-elect Barack Obama and a warning that Senate Democrats will not let him appoint a new senator from the state.

“Everyone is calling for his head,” said Barbara Flynn Currie, a leader in the Illinois House and, like the governor, a Democrat.

One day after Blagojevich’s arrest, fellow Illinois politicians sought to avoid the taint of scandal-by-association.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said at a news conference in Washington that he was Senate Candidate 5 in the government’s criminal complaint — a man Blagojevich was secretly recorded as saying might be willing to pay money to gain appointment to Obama’s vacant Senate seat. Jackson said he had been assured by prosecutors he was not a target of the investigation, and he emphatically said he had not engaged “whatsoever in any wrongdoing.”

Other Democrats in Washington edged away from calls for a special election to fill Obama’s place in the Senate, hoping that Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn would soon become governor and fill the vacancy on his own. That would assure the party of holding the seat, and on a far faster timetable than any balloting would allow.

Ensconced in his downtown office, Blagojevich gave no sign he was contemplating resigning, and dispatched his spokeswoman, Kelley Quinn, to say it was “business as usual” in his 16th-floor suite, situated a few blocks from Obama’s transition headquarters.

“At the end of the day, the top priority for our office is to serve the people, and we have not lost sight of that, nor will we lose sight of that,” Kelley Quinn said.

One day earlier, federal prosecutors released a thick document….

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081211/ap_on_re_us/illinois_
governor;_ylt=AmS6rlOG3q.eTVMtIjIYJh6s0NUE