Posted tagged ‘democrat’

Obama and Geithner Take Responsibility…a Bit Too Late

March 19, 2009

This morning it was reported that President Obama has taken responsibility for the AIG bonus mess:

“Listen, I’ll take responsibility. I’m the president,” Obama said at a “town hall” meeting in Costa Mesa, California, where his bid to sell his economic revival policies was swamped by news coverage of the bonus fiasco for a fourth day.

“We didn’t draft these contracts. We’ve got a lot on our plate — but it is appropriate when you’re in charge to make sure that stuff doesn’t happen like this,” he added, amid outrage across the United States.

(Source)

I’m willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt as far as how much specific information he had about all of this.  That doesn’t change the fact, however, that he signed the stimulus bill into law and should have known exactly what he was signing.  Therefore, he should have known about the “Dodd amendment” and dealt with it before it got to this point, and he seems to be acknowledging that.

Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner also took responsibility for the mess today by admitting that the Treasury Department did indeed work with Chris Dodd to add the amendment to the stimulus bill:

In an interview with CNN’s Ali Velshi, Geithner said the Treasury Department did talk to Sen. Chris Dodd about a clause he put forth that would have strictly limited executive bonuses.

The Treasury Department was concerned that legislation that would restrict contractual bonuses would not hold up to legal challenges, Geithner said.

“We expressed concern about this specific version. We wanted to make sure it was strong enough to survive legal challenge,” Geithner said.

(Source)

This confession from Geithner comes only after Senator Chris Dodd (who previously lied about his role) admitted to inserting the amendment into the stimulus bill at the urging of the Treasury Department.  Geithner still claims to have not known the full scale of the bonus issues until last week, but it’s quite clear that he foresaw a problem over a month ago when requesting that the amendment be inserted into the bill.  The fact that this issue was singled out and addressed by Treasury would seem to indicate that it was known then that bonuses would be paid, therefore the government should have begun working with AIG then to come up with a reasonable solution.

As I said in last night’s post, AIG may have indeed been contractually obligated to pay these bonuses.  Let’s assume for a moment that they were.  In that case, the “Dodd amendment” was necessary to preserve rule of law.  Had Geithner and Dodd (and any other Democrats) done their duty and publicly addressed the issue earlier, this whole ordeal probably wouldn’t have gotten so out-of-hand.  Instead, they wasted time covering it up and lying about it and let it just spin completely out of control.  By not taking responsibility earlier, they’ve given fellow Democrats the opportunity to play dumb about the law that they passed and pretend to be furious about it, contributing greatly to the unhealthy mob mentality that has taken hold.

A product of this mob mentality is the bill just passed in the House today (by about every single Democrat and sadly with significant Republican support) that would enact a retroactive 90% tax on any bonuses received since December 31,2008, by employees with family incomes of over $250,000 at companies that have received at least $5 billion in bailout money from the government (Source).  Of course, this would include the bonuses paid by AIG.  But if these bonuses were indeed part of legally-binding contracts (as Democrats apparently believed considering they passed the bill containing the “Dodd amendment”), then they have absolutely no business taking this money from them.  This is nothing but an excuse to pass socialist legislation to take money from those who they believe made too much.  I don’t like the fact that people at a horribly performing company that has received a lot of taxpayer money are getting bonuses, but if they were legally entitled to them, so be it.

Even if these contracts didn’t really obligate AIG to pay the bonuses, this is not the way to solve the problem.  The truth is that the problem was solved last week:

In a letter sent to congressional leaders, Geithner said he persuaded AIG Chief Executive Edward M. Liddy last week to scrap or cut hundreds of millions of dollars in future salaries and other compensation after determining that the bonuses already granted would be “legally difficult to prevent.”

Geithner said the company would be required to pay the $165 million from corporate operating funds as part of the final terms for a previously announced $30-billion line of credit from the government. In addition, the credit line will be reduced by the same amount.

(Source)

The Treasury has already worked out a way to recover this money!  Democrats in Congress knew this, but they saw their opportunity to pass some socialist legislation to take even more money and took advantage of this mob mentality to do so.  This really only strengthens the case that some conservatives are making that this may be a bill of attainder (one intended to punish specific individuals), which is prohibited by the Constitution.  They no longer have a noble excuse.  This bill was obviously designed with the sole purpose of punishing the receivers of the AIG bonuses.  I can only hope that this bill doesn’t get any further and that the American people will see all of this for what it really is.

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Thank Democrats for the AIG Bonus Mess

March 18, 2009

[Updated 03/10/2009]

I’m sure anyone paying the least bit attention to the news has heard everyone talking about how upset they are about AIG and the bonuses they are paying.  It’s understandable…it’s upsetting enough that our government has given them bailout money three separate times.  That AIG thought it would be okay to pay undeserved bonuses with taxpayer money should make any reasonable person nauseated.  Why were they able to do this?

Fingers have been pointed at Senator Chris Dodd lately, attributing to him an amendment to a section in the February stimulus bill placing limits on executive compensations at companies that had received bailout money that exempted any contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009. Of course Dodd did what any Democrat put in this situation would do…denied responsibility:

“I can’t point a finger at someone who was responsible for putting those dates in,” Dodd told FOX.  “I can tell you this much, when my language left the senate, it did not include it. When it came back, it did.”

(Source)

Now he’s done a complete reversal and admitted to adding this amendment.  His explanation:

Dodd told FOX News that Treasury officials forced him to make the change.

“As many know, the administration was, among others, not happy with the language. They wanted some modifications to it,” he said. “They came to us, our staff, and asked for changes, and the changes at the time did not seem that obnoxious or onerous.”

(Source)

So the Obama administration pushed for this change…  But I thought Obama was supposed to be appalled by these bonuses.  Straight from Obama’s mouth:

“Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay. I mean, how do they justify this outrage to the taxpayers who are keeping the company afloat?”

(Source)

Of course, it’s been confirmed that Dodd is a liar, so can we really believe that he was pressured by the administration to do this?  I can’t wait to hear what Obama has to say about this.  I will be surprised if he doesn’t try to blame it on the Bush administration like he does for all of his problems.  But regardless of what led to the amendment’s insertion into the stimulus bill, the bill was passed with the approval of just about every single Democrat in the House and Senate (and three RINOs) and signed into law by President Obama.  The Democrats put this law into place, and now they are feigning outrage about it.

Now it’s debatable whether or not AIG was actually obligated to pay these bonuses, especially considering that it appears those that received them hardly deserved them:

“A.I.G. made more than 73 millionaires in the unit which lost so much money that it brought the firm to its knees, forcing a taxpayer bailout,” Mr. Cuomo wrote in the letter. “Something is deeply wrong with this outcome.”

(Source)

James P. Tuthill, a lawyer and lecturer from the law school at the University of California at Berkley, had this to say:

Every contract has certain implied provisions and terms that are not specifically spelled out but presumed to be part of the agreement because such terms are so fundamental to a reasonable agreement between two parties. So with a payment of a bonus, it must be presumed that an implied term is the employee won’t destroy the company and shareholders for whom the employee supposedly works. If the employees’ acts have been so contrary to the interests of the shareholders, as is the case with A.I.G., then payment of the bonuses is unconscionable and the obligation can be voided.

(Source)

Others feel that the contracts must be upheld, while still others have mixed feelings on the issue.  Unfortunately, we don’t even know what these contracts said.  For all we know, they could have laid out specific performance requirements that had to be met in order for the bonuses to be paid.

Maybe this “Dodd amendment” was necessary to preserve rule of law or maybe it just provided AIG with an excuse to dole out these bonuses to undeserving employees.  Either way, this issue should have been addressed long before now.  They clearly knew that there was an issue with bonuses, so the Democrats should have at the very least stepped up and said, “look, we’re inserting this provision into the bill because of so and so and we believe it is necessary because of this.”  But, as always, they apparently just thought they could sneak it in there and no one would notice.  That didn’t work out so well, though, and now Democrats are playing dumb and shamelessly jumping into the angry mob when they’re the ones who were responsible for this being written into law to begin with.  Now it’s just a big confused mess of people pointing fingers every which direction and no one knowing what in the world is going on, and we can thank the Democrats for that.  It’s politics as usual in Washington!  Change!  You gotta love it!

Another reason you shouldn’t vote for Obama… (Updated 10/08/08)

October 1, 2008

Because this is just so disturbing…

(This is a copy of the original video posted by Kathy Sawada, the musical director. The video she uploaded is still blocked to anyone not on her friends list, as you can see here.)

This video was featured on Little Green Footballs and other sites yesterday, managing to draw enough attention that it was featured on FoxNews.com’s You Decide. The decision was between cute or creepy. I don’t think there’s really much of a decision to be made there. After many comments on the video made on YouTube drew reasonable comparisons to Hitler’s Youth and communist indoctrination, the ability to post comments was disabled. Following that, the contact page on the web site http://www.singforchange.com was removed as well.

I guess the video didn’t get the heartwarming attention they had anticipated. And it definitely shouldn’t have. The thought of parents dressing their children up in Obama clothes and getting them to sing Obama worship songs when they are too young to even understand what they are supporting just turns my stomach. Actually, no matter who the politician is, how old the people singing are, or how well the singers understand politics… if you’re singing songs about how a politician is going to save the world, you have a problem. But the fact that these are brainwashed children being made to serve the interests of the Democratic Party just makes this all the more sickening. Apparently enough people felt the same way because the people responsible for the video were so overwhelmed by the negative reaction to this video that they began to do whatever they could to prevent people from leveling further criticisms at them (at least directly).

Another interesting thing to know about this video is that the director is Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC. The credits page that originally showed this at singforchange.com is also gone now. That’s probably because it also listed the names of the parents and children involved and they didn’t want to embarrass them anymore than was necessary, as the video did a fine enough job of that. However, the “About Us” page is still available and credits Jeff Zucker with involvement.

Update (10/03/08): Today I noticed that the video was no longer available. I checked the YouTube page for it, and a message was displayed saying the video was private. Apparently, this video has been such an embarrassment for her that she has blocked access to it. Not only that, but when I went to a link to another copy of the video I had previously seen on YouTube, I received this message: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Kathy Sawada.” You can see that for yourself here. In addition, the web site singforchange.com has been taken down completely.

There are other copies of this video available on YouTube, but since this has become a copyright issue, I’m going to respect that and not post one. This is typical of the left, though. If you do something that embarrasses you or backfires on you, pretend it never happened and get rid of any evidence that it ever did. As far as Kathy Sawada is concerned, if we don’t have a video to show to those who know nothing about this, we have no proof that it ever happened.

Update again (10/03/08): I just noticed something. The link that I provided showing a video that was removed at the request of Kathy Sawada due to copyright claims was not an exact copy of her video. It was a video response that someone posted on her video page called “Sing for Change Obama Part II.” I can’t remember at this point if that was a video that used the actual video feed from hers with Nazi or Communist music dubbed over it or if it was just a video of Nazis or Communists singing. Either way, she apparently had it removed on the basis that it either used her video or simply the title of it.

So I do not seen any evidence that she is having exact copies of her video removed for copyright infringement. That means that there is nothing to support my claim that she is trying to keep anyone from seeing the video. Don’t you wish you got that kind of honesty from Washington? You’re definitely not going to get it if Obama wins.

Anyway…it is clear that she is still doing what she can to silence the criticism of her video. I’ll watch to see if any copies of her video get removed from YouTube and update again if something happens.

Update (10/08/08): As you can see, I decided to post a working copy of the Sing For Change video.  I kept an eye on four different copies of it over the past few days, and none of them have been removed.  It would seem that Kathy Sawada is not seeking to make a copyright claim on exact copies of her video.  The only video that I’ve seen removed for copyright reasons so far was the spoof that I mentioned previously in this post.  I guess she was just being spiteful with that one, as it was posted as a video response directly on her page.  Now you can once again be repulsed by this horrifying video!

I hate to say it, but Obama said it best…

September 25, 2008

“The American people deserve to hear directly from myself and Sen. McCain about how we intend to lead our country,” Obama said this morning via satellite to the Clinton Global Initiative. “The times are too serious to put our campaign on hold, or to ignore the full range of issues that the next president will face.”

( Source -> )

This statement is referring to McCain’s plan to miss the first presidential debate if legislation to bail out the failing financial institutions is not passed by then. I’m going to be furious if he doesn’t show up tomorrow night. He needs to get out there and remind America why Obama isn’t qualified to be president. Instead he seems to be content to give up the stage to Obama. I don’t know how a debate with only one participant works, but Obama plans to be there so I’m assuming it will be an opportunity for him to have the spotlight all to himself and exploit the absence of McCain.

Not only is McCain considering missing the debate, but he also says that he is suspending his campaign until this legislation is passed. Maybe it’s just me, but the idea of a Republican presidential candidate putting his campaign at the mercy of a Democratic Congress just doesn’t seem like a very bright one. Sure, the crisis on Wall Street is an important issue, but so is the fate of our country for the next four years in regards to every other issue. McCain needs to just focus on winning this election. I do agree with McCain’s “Country First” attitude, but he needs to realize that doing everything he can to keep Obama out of the White House is probably the biggest service he can provide for our country right now.