Lying Through His Damned Teeth

I am sitting here grading, with CNBC international on in the background because they are giving uninterrupted testimony, and I was only sort of paying attention, when Paulson said something in his testimony that gave me whiplash. I do not have the transcript of it yet, but will update this post when it goes on line, but (I have video, coutesy of Jed) Paulson added an ad hoc comment not in his prepared testimony that he was aware there would be a need for oversight and there would be a need for regulation, and that the reason he did not include any in his three page proposal the other day is he thought it would be presumptuous and just knew that he would have to work with congress. Thanks to Jed, here is the video:

Don’t be confused. This is a flat out lie. A whopper. An untruth. A grotesque fib. Bullshit on wheels. Nonsense on stilts.

Here is the Paulson proposal from the other day. Note the following:

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Krugman reviewed Paulson’s plan this way:

But Mr. Paulson insists that he wants a “clean” plan. “Clean,” in this context, means a taxpayer-financed bailout with no strings attached — no quid pro quo on the part of those being bailed out. Why is that a good thing? Add to this the fact that Mr. Paulson is also demanding dictatorial authority, plus immunity from review “by any court of law or any administrative agency,” and this adds up to an unacceptable proposal.

In his testimony today, while asking for 700 billion dollars, Hank Paulson lied through his teeth. It was so blatant that I am still kind of in a state of shock that not one person on the committee called him on this bullshit. This was a out and out lie. Period.

*** Updated to add video.

*** Update #2 ***

All I have to say isI was first. :P

48 replies
  1. 1
    El Cid says:

    Yes, but this is an emergency, and we are all feeling a great deal of shock, and so surely this is the best time in the world to trust a Bush Jr. administration official with absolute unquestionable power!?

  2. 2
    Eric U. says:

    I hope they can balance the possibility that the dollar will tank against the possibility that our credit markets will freeze up. I’m pretty sure they would choose hyperinflation over deflation, but I’m thinking that significant inflation is in our future anyway.

  3. 3
    Stuck in the Fun House says:

    Sec. 8. Review.

    Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

    Yea, that sen off my bullshit detector to the max, too. This is how these people think. They are infallible, they are smarter than anyone else, they are entitled to their own reality. It.Never.Ends

  4. 4
    gopher2b says:

    This is astonishing. One thing is crystal clear from this hearing: this is NOT an emergency. Just so we are clear, “we need to encourage as many banks as possible to participate and cannot do that if we attach conditions, including the issuance of equity in exchange for the bailout, then they will not participate and that is bad” is the biggest pile of bullshit I have ever heard in my entire life.

    Here is the code:

    Loss of jobs = WMD

    We’ll make money = war will pay for itself
    If we attach conditions, the banks won’t come = we’ll be greeted as liberators

  5. 5
    gopher2b says:

    This is astonishing. One thing is crystal clear from this hearing: this is NOT an emergency. Just so we are clear, “we need to encourage as many banks as possible to participate and cannot do that if we attach conditions, including the issuance of equity in exchange for the bailout, then they will not participate and that is bad” is the biggest pile of bullshit I have ever heard in my entire life.

    Here is the code:

    Loss of jobs = WMD

    These securities are too complex to explain to you simple minded taxpayers, so you just have to trust us = we cannot reveal our sources for national security reasons, so you will just have to trust us

    We’ll make money = war will pay for itself
    If we attach conditions, the banks won’t come = we’ll be greeted as liberators

  6. 6
    jibeaux says:

    I don’t really understand what he was saying there. It kind of reads like he was saying that he knew the negotiations would end up in the middle, but he started from his strongest position even though it wasn’t defensible.

    In other words, he started with a gun to our heads demanding a trillion dollars or he’d kill us all, but we knew we’d discover the gun wasn’t loaded and we’d give him $20 and call the cops.

    No?

  7. 7
    Svensker says:

    Sorry, wrong blog. I was looking for Word Press Error.

  8. 8
    Spartacvs says:

    may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency

    Doesn’t exclude Congressional oversight, that’s my plain reading.

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    In his testimony today, while asking for 700 billion dollars, Hank Paulson lied through his teeth.

    I remember when it used to be a crime to lie to Congress.

    Oh well, Paulson has his queue in line for the wall when the revolution comes.

  10. 10
    JL says:

    The Bush Administration waits until everything is a crisis so they can push through their bullshit. With Iraq, Patriot Act and Fisa, it was about how we are all going to die. Now with the financial industry, we might live but will be homeless and poor without a job.

  11. 11
    montysano says:

    Paulson @ 11:41 AM:

    In response to a question, Secretary Paulson sought to clear the air about who the bailout was supposed to help. “This is all about the American taxpayer,” he said. “That’s all we care about.”

    Once again, Balloon Juice is HQ for the shrill, ungrateful, Angry Left.

  12. 12
    Svensker says:

    Once again, Balloon Juice is HQ for the shrill, ungrateful, Angry Left.

    We’re not ungrateful. We’re just asking for a little KY on the next bend over.

  13. 13
    SnarkyShark says:

    Dear God John do something about wordpress. Its like I only catch glimpses of it as it drifts in and out of the alternate universe that is wordpress servers.

    I can only assume the space time continuum is temporarily aligned enough for me to post this.

    I had many clever and witty things to say, but that all went down a wormhole.

    Stupid digital univers. /homer

  14. 14
    El Cid says:

    Paulson: “And this is all about puppies. And little girls. And old Mr. Johnson, with his cute corner store. That’s what we’re all about. How can you not believe that? We’re only asking for a $700 billion rotating credit account that I can give my former and future colleagues at Goldman-Sachs to keep them comfortable for a few more months ’til we need the next trillion for our new worthless debts.”

  15. 15
    Jeffrex says:

    “no-stings attached”. Jesus, it’s the McArthur Grant of bailouts

  16. 16
    nicethugbert says:

    I know what’s going on. Here’s the explanation.

  17. 17
    trollhattan says:

    I’m certain mister Cole will be pleased to read he’s now a lefty (commie pinko baastaad). And ungrateful at the opportunity to peel off enough dollars to stack past the moon, and hand them off to the mismanaged, needy financial industry.

    As are we all. Ungrateful that is.

  18. 18
    Bullsmith says:

    Well I’m certainly grateful. Owning my own home was a real burden. Things are way less stressful at the shelter. Thanks Republicans!

  19. 19
    nicethugbert says:

    OK, HERE is the damn link I meant to post. And, you’ll love it. It’s proof that this is all just a video game.

  20. 20
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Best comment I’ve seen so far on the ‘tubes, posted in a comment thread at Yves Smith’s nakedcapitalism (and BTW if you aren’t reading that blog on a daily basis then you aren’t paying attention):

    Dear American:
    I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

    I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

    I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

    This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

    Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

  21. 21
    nicethugbert says:

    Incidentally, Paulson sounds a little worried. How’s his $600M golden parachute doing today?

  22. 22
    Rick Taylor says:

    It was so blatant that I am still kind of in a state of shock that not one person on the committee called him on this bullshit.

    Ever since Bush said on multiple occasions that we went to war with Iraq because Saddam wouldn’t let the inspectors in, and hardly anyone in the main stream press batted an eye, this sort of thing doesn’t surprise me anymore. The President (and others) can justify policy by saying something that is false that everybody knowledgeable knows is false, and there’s a hardly a peep. We’re in 1984 territory, and have been for a while.

  23. 23
    Scott H says:

    Paulson, it seems to me, is a man with some severe conflicts of interest – which is not unusual in this Administration where, f’rinstance, a guy is appointed to head OSHA whose previous experience was defending corporations from OSHA regulators. Paulson is not there to rescue the American worker, or the US economy except as that ‘economy’ is exclusive to his former pals. Perhaps I am being ungenerous.

    I’d like to be sitting with a group of federal regulators, watching this, as they get blamed for this crisis. The Executive sets the priorities of federal agencies – pot would be essentially legal if it come down that enforcement would be relaxed regards cannabis – and regulators can’t enforce what their bosses tell them to ignore.

    This has been happening across the board which is why the federal government has been bleeding talent for the past few years. Let’s call it, “Can You Trust Your Lunch?”

    The next President’s first job will be building a functioning government (if it is McCain, I doubt if he will be interested much, but I can imagine what Palin would have in mind).

  24. 24
    OriGuy says:

    Why is it that the only people who can ask the hard questions of people in power are the women on The View?

  25. 25
    nicethugbert says:

    Ha! McBush is a Nigerian Agent! Damn foreign powers! Damn Austin Powers!

  26. 26
  27. 27
    SnarkyShark says:

    El Cid-

    Don’t forget the demand for complete control and immunity for whatever he decides to do!

    Never has so much been asked of so many for so few

  28. 28
    montysano says:

    Best comment I’ve seen so far on the ‘tubes

    Yes, it’s hilarious, but why am I suddenly weeping?

    The last few days, we’ve all seen variatons of:

    “Give me $700B, now muthafucka, or the economy may suffer an unfortunate “accident”!

    I’m beginning to think it’s:

    “Give me $700B, now muthafucka, or the economy may suffer we’ll make sure the economy suffers an unfortunate “accident”!

  29. 29
    r€nato says:

    “Nice economy you got there, be a shame if something happened to it…”

  30. 30
    mynameishusseintoo says:

    Has anyone noticed how fucking easy it is now for people to LIE right on TV and not worry about anything. Ms PAlin has been lying to us now for the past month….welcome to the worls of crooks and liars…

  31. 31
    gopher2b says:

    Wall Street is basically threatening America at large. Do this or we’ll fuck you. I say tell them to piss off.

    This is a crisis for Wall Street. If they do not get a bail out, they will lose MASSIVE amounts of wealth. MASSIVE.

    In the short to medium term, credit will be very hard to get and it will be very expensive. Jobs will be lost for sure-in industries that are highly leveraged and need to credit to continue operations (e.g. automotive) or are in the business of giving credit (e.g. credit card companies). And people who shouldn’t have their retirement in stocks will be wiped out (I imagine you would see a 20-25% decrease in the stock market).

    But, this country has been living well beyond its means for two to three decades and there are two ways to solve the immediate problem: (1) ride it out with 5-10 years of suck, or (2) borrow against a generation that is already on the hook for trillions of dollars in entitlement payments.

    I vote for #1.

  32. 32

    This morning Rep. Mike Pense (R-OH) was on Washington Journal discussing the Paulson bailout proposal. I was flabbergasted to hear him claim that: “Democrats are trying to socialize the economy with the bailout plan.” No one, not a caller or the moderator, pointed out that Secretary Paulson was nominated by Bush and confirmed in September of 2006. BEFORE DEMOCRATS WON CONTROL OF CONGRESS.

    Unfuckingbelievable. They just lie through their teeth. And nobody calls them on it.

  33. 33
    r€nato says:

    a month or two ago I was bitching about the Faux News-programmed rightbots I know, who kept saying that it was a mental recession and if people would just shut up about it everything would be fine.

    I don’t hear that much anymore. Sooner or later reality comes crashing through your reality distortion field, and the more you resist it the harder it hits you when it finally gets through.

  34. 34
    nicethugbert says:

    OriGuy Says:

    Why is it that the only people who can ask the hard questions of people in power are the women on The View?

    Because they have many years experience raising children?

  35. 35
    scott says:

    John: Are you following Markos’ front page entries over at Teh Orange? It sounds like the two of you are “on message”.

    I mean that in a good way.

    It’s a giveaway to handcuff an Obama Administration plain and simple.

  36. 36
    El Cid says:

    From Roll Call, via Digby, via Emptywheel:

    Administration has been planning this coup for weeks or months, but intentionally brought it up last minute for immediate approval.

    Fratto insisted that the plan was not slapped together and had been drawn up as a contingency over previous months and weeks by administration officials. He acknowledged lawmakers were getting only days to peruse it, but he said this should be enough.

  37. 37
    DonnaInMichigan says:

    Sorry to interrupt your blogging schedule

    with this very important statement:

    Whoever has the KY jelly..please pass it on…

    Thank you
    Carry on…

  38. 38
    pharniel says:

    I e-mailed senetor Levin (because his webpage is fucking useful and well designed) and faxed stabenow and dingle.

    hopefully they’ve got a stream of ‘what the fuck are you thinking’

  39. 39
    Stooleo says:

    Yo bitches the FIX is in.

  40. 40
    Rick Taylor says:

    Atrios adds:

    And when people asking you for 700 billion dollars to give to their friends are lying about it rather obviously perhaps you should reconsider.

  41. 41
    Adrienne says:

    “Give me $700B, now muthafucka, or the economy may suffer an unfortunate “accident”!

    Or: “Bend over and take it like a man bitch. We can do this gang anal rape the easy way or the hard way.”

    Really, this entire thing sounds like a collossal bait and switch – Or like Dave Chappelle and his “Gotcha Bitch” routine.
    It’s like a teenage boy wanting to do his girlfriend so he asks her, “Just let me put the tip in, just to see how it feels.” So her dumb ass lets him, thinking, “Well, that’s not so bad”. Next thing she knows she being bent over in the back seat of his Camaro getting rod in her dookiechute. Yep, that sounds about right. GotchaBitch.

  42. 42
    ...now I try to be amused says:

    Bush must have some powerful kind of reverse mojo to make so many people squander what honor, integrity, and reputation they may have had: Rice, Powell, McCain, and now Paulson. I’ve probably forgotten many others.

  43. 43
    Tax Analyst says:

    Incredible. Well, it certainly gives me the warm fuzzies to ponder the prospect of having our nation’s financial future in the hands of a lying, posturing hypocrite.

    You know, the sort of thing SHOULD be nearly unbelievable and a gigantic shock, but given the past history of these characters it is indeed, fully credible and not really even a mild surprise.

    The whole thing gets more galling by the minute. Paulson is “concerned” that if there are restrictions on executive salaries some of these firms won’t participate in the program. Wait…let me see…these firms that are supposedly awash in bad paper will walk away from this deal over executive compensation? Why would that be a problem, at least as far as Joe Taxpayer is concerned? If they are in as bad a condition as they claim they NEED this deal…that’s USUALLY not the time one makes non-negotiable demands and walks away upon not having them satisfied.

    Shorter version. Fuck these guys. Don’t threaten us with this shit, just make the rules and let them decide what they want to do, I’m certainly not in favor of begging any of those clowns to stay on. There’s little evidence of any real level of fiduciary acumen or acuity that any of these characters can claim considering their current involvement in this massive and gut-wrenching fiasco.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    TenguPhule says:
    Oh well, Paulson has his queue in line for the wall when the revolution comes.
    What? Where the fuck are you going to get the money to fly to the South of France? Or to GWB’s family ranch in Paraguay?
    Face it, these motherfuckers will take every last penny, piss right in your face and then take the private jet off to wherever it is people take private jets to.
    Nobody’s going to stop this. It goes back to the general premise most here at BJ have – That the Dems are weak or spineless or afraid, etc. Clearly, CLEARLY, by now it should be excruciatingly obvious that the Dems do the things they do because they agree with the envisioned outcome.

  45. 45

    […] Lying Through His Damned Teeth […]

  46. 46
    TenguPhule says:

    Face it, these motherfuckers will take every last penny, piss right in your face and then take the private jet off to wherever it is people take private jets to.

    Revolutions start when least expected.

    They won’t live long enough to get to the jets.

  47. 47
  48. 48

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