Being a Republican Means Never Having To Know What the Hell You Are Talking About

Not to be left out of some cheap populism, Bob Owens takes to the pages of Pajamas Media with this exclusive titled “Contributions to Obama Campaign Track Bailout Money“:

Barack Obama’s lack of leadership in a down economy has now hit crisis proportions, as his claimed inability to block millions of dollars in bonuses for executives of bailout recipient AIG has caused even his supporters to turn on him.

But while the ire of Congress and the media focus are on the $165 million that AIG paid out in bonuses to their executives, the president is hoping you won’t notice the $100 billion in taxpayer bailout dollars that AIG paid out to other banks, including $58 billion to foreign banks and $36 billion given to French and German banks alone.

The Obama administration is allowing AIG to bail out the rest of the world with your tax dollars.

Putting aside the silly notion that it is Obama’s lack of leadership that has caused this crisis, Owens then goes on to build the case that Obama is just shoveling money to these companies because of campaign contributions from those corporations. He then links to Open Secrets, which has the following in BLARING RED LETTERS:

This table lists the top donors to this candidate in the 2008 election cycle. The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organization’s PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

Next, our dimwitted friend apparently didn’t even read the Businessweek piece he linked to, because if he had, he would have seen the .pdf file that they used as the basis for their report. I can’t blame Owens for not reading it, as it was a massive document.

It was six pages, two of which were graphs and charts.

“Hidden” in page one of the document is the following:

Using funds from the emergency loan, financial counterparties listed on Attachment A (all attachments are posted online at http://www.aig.com/Related-Resources_385_136430.html ) received a total of $22.4 billion in collateral relating to CDS transactions from AIGFP between September 16, 2008 and December 31, 2008. This amount represents funds provided to such counterparties after the date on which AIG began receiving government assistance. The counterparties received additional collateral from AIG prior to September 16, 2008.

On November 10, 2008, AIG and the FRBNY established Maiden Lane III, a financing entity, to purchase the securities underlying certain CDS contracts from the counterparties to such contracts, allowing the cancellation of the contracts. Attachment B lists payments made by Maiden Lane III to such counterparties.

Municipalities in the states listed on Attachment C received a total of $12.1 billion from AIGFP between September 16, 2008 and December 31, 2008 in satisfaction of Guaranteed Investment Agreement (GIA) obligations. GIAs are structured investments with a guaranteed rate of return. Municipalities typically use GIAs to invest the proceeds from bond issuances until the funds are needed.

Public aid was also used to satisfy obligations to financial counterparties related to AIG’s securities lending operations. Securities lending counterparties listed on Attachment D received $43.7 billion from September 18, 2008 to December 31, 2008.

The time period of September 18, 2008 to December 31, 2008 was mentioned not once, not twice, but three times on the VERY FIRST PAGE OF THE DOCUMENT. Apparently concerned that some folks might miss those dates, they included them in large bold letters at the top of their charts and graphs, as well:

Now, if you read Bob Owens during the campaign, you would have thought that Obama’s first priorities as President would have been to institute Sharia law, unionize ACORN and pay them 100 dollars an hour to go door to door taking away shotguns from white people, and then burn down every small business and build a mosque in its place. But, the times have changed, and now Owens informs us that President Obama is looting the treasury to send your tax dollars to companies that were by law forbidden from contributing to his campaign but he is sending them the money anyway, and even better, Obama managed to do it while Bush was President.

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61 replies
  1. 1
    Mwangangi says:

    So what exactly are you trying to say here? Oh that’s right… he couldn’t’ve possibly read it… well, I’m shocked… shocked I say.

  2. 2
    MS-4 says:

    OT. If there was ever a time to nationalize the banks, now is it. The public is very angry and that anger will, I believe, give enough cover to do pretty much anything right now as long as it looks like these banks are getting the shitty end of the deal.

  3. 3
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Now, if you read Bob Owens during the campaign, you would have thought that Obama’s first priority as Presidentwould have been to unionize ACORN and pay them 100 dollars an hour to go door to door taking away shotguns from white people, and then burn down every small business and build a mosque in its place. But, the times have changed, and now Owens informs us that President Obama is looting the treasury to send your tax dollars to companies that were by law forbidden from contributing to his campaign but he is sending them the money anyway, and even better, Obama managed to do it while Bush was President.

    And that, as they say, is connecting the dufus dots.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    This made me laugh.

  5. 5
    TenguPhule says:

    But, the times have changed, and now Owens informs us that President Obama is looting the treasury to send your tax dollars to companies that were by law forbidden from contributing to his campaign but he is sending them the money anyway, and even better, Obama managed to do it while Bush was President.

    And then comes mandatory Gay Sharia law with stem cell abortions.

  6. 6
    p.a. says:

    Does anyone else see these ‘bonuses’ as hush-money payments to buy silence from the ‘captains and lieutenants’ for now and also when the subpoenas/indictments come down? Although God knows prosecution is not a certainty with an apparently invertebrate government in charge.

    Even better, it’s hush money supplied by us, not the crooks themselves! God bless the USofA.

  7. 7
    geg6 says:

    Just when I think I’ve seen maximum stupid, they turn it up to eleven.

  8. 8
    TR says:

    Now, if you read Bob Owens during the campaign…

    … it would mean I’d had a frontal lobotomy.

  9. 9
    TR says:

    OT. If there was ever a time to nationalize the banks, now is it. The public is very angry and that anger will, I believe, give enough cover to do pretty much anything right now as long as it looks like these banks are getting the shitty end of the deal.

    I said the exact same thing to my wife an hour ago. When a Republican senator from Iowa is calling on the heads of banks to commit hari-kari, you know the time is right to take that step.

  10. 10
    Brandon T. says:

    I’m waiting for Republicans to talk about all the donations Obama got from the "OMG liberal extremist research institution!!1!" (i.e. myself and coworkers) in San Francisco, which clearly proves he is in the pocket of Big Fetus Farm…

  11. 11
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Browsing the comments at PJ from the Owens link, and came across a comment from "Vigilante" that pretty much captures the spirit of stupid.

    Cancel newspapers, cancel cable TV until after 2010 elelction is over to take away the liberal press megaphone.

    Then use the savings to buy yer own hole in the sand/

  12. 12
    Walker says:

    I said the exact same thing to my wife an hour ago. When a Republican senator from Iowa is calling on the heads of banks to commit hari-kari, you know the time is right to take that step.

    When they say there is no political will to nationalize, they do not mean voters. They mean Geithner and Summers.

  13. 13
    JasonF says:

    But while the ire of Congress and the media focus are on the $165 million that AIG paid out in bonuses to their executives, the president is hoping you won’t notice the $100 billion in taxpayer bailout dollars that AIG paid out to other banks, including $58 billion to foreign banks and $36 billion given to French and German banks alone.

    Does this moron understand AIG’s role in the world banking system, or why it was considered imperative to ensure that AIG didn’t fail?

  14. 14
    demkat620 says:

    stem cell abortions

    I thought they were gay abortions.

    Damn, we wuz robbed!

  15. 15
    bootlegger says:

    Just when I think I’ve seen maximum stupid, they turn it up to eleven.

    Cowbell, I need more cowbell!

  16. 16
    Montysano says:

    @JasonF:

    Does this moron understand AIG’s role in the world banking system, or why it was considered imperative to ensure that AIG didn’t fail?

    Anyone? Bueller?

    No, Bob doesn’t. Not at all. Not even close. This is Confederate Yankee’s MO: make wild claims, get proved 180 degrees wrong within minutes of posting, then print a half-assed correction.

  17. 17
    MikeJ says:

    Calendars have a well known liberal bias.

  18. 18
    KG says:

    every damn day i read something that makes me wonder if there is a place somewhere in the world that I can move to that has the following basic necessities:

    1. white sandy beaches with good surf
    2. Cuban Cigars
    3. English Ales
    4. Beautiful women
    5. Top shelf liquor

    I’m leaning towards Belize.

  19. 19
    KG says:

    wow, my first time getting sent to moderation purgatory. and I didn’t even use the "c" word.

  20. 20
    Ninerdave says:

    @geg6:

    Just when I think I’ve seen maximum stupid, they turn it up to eleven.

    HA! Obama’s only been in office for about 2 months. They’re just getting warmed up.

  21. 21
    kay says:

    John Edwards got this going during the primary, and it was widely believed. People repeated it to me, regular voters.
    He repeated it in debates. He’d turn to Clinton or Obama, and announce a figure. Donations from "big pharma" or "the health care industry" or "Wall Street". Huge numbers. Clinton and Obama would stutter out this lame, multi-paragraph explanation… "those were INDIVIDUALS in those INDUSTRIES"……
    I knew it was bs, John Edwards certainly knew it was bs, yet it was accepted as fact.
    Many individual health care workers would donate to Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards would then aggregate the numbers, and accuse Clinton of being owned by the health care industry. He did the same with Obama and Wall Street.
    It will probably fly again.

  22. 22

    Yep. Obama is an incompetent n00b but prior to being elected he forced several intelligence agencies and at least two states to suppress the truth about his citizenship and controlled the U.S. Treasury and a major corporation. Good thing he was elected, there’s no telling what else he’d get up to otherwise.

  23. 23
    Thoughtcrime says:

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.c.....ease_1.php :

    Cassano started out at Drexel Burnham Lambert under Michael Milken, which I believe is that major investment house to go under, at least in the last generation prior to the current crisis (someone tell me, am I forgetting one?). He apparently got hired away from the rubble of Drexel to start AIGFP.

    But here’s an interesting little nugget I’d like to hear more about …

    Company auditor Joseph St. Denis became concerned about the Financial Products unit, but Cassano barred him from checking.
    St. Denis later quoted Cassano as saying, "I have deliberately excluded you … because I was concerned that you would pollute the process."

    Kept the auditor from reviewing the books? If that’s even close to true, that’s a real problem.

  24. 24
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Huge numbers. Clinton and Obama would stutter out this lame, multi-paragraph explanation… "those were INDIVIDUALS in those INDUSTRIES"……

    Obama was still on Dagobah learning the ways of the Force back then. Dude’s a full-fledged Jedi now.

    Exhibit A: Look at what he did to Jabba the Rush with one sentence.

  25. 25
    Nellcote says:

    Does this AIG "tick-tock" via Tapper seem accurate?

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/polit.....nis-1.html

    ===

    btw "President Obama has chosen Louisville, North Carolina, Memphis and Pittsburgh in his Final Four bracket."

  26. 26

    One of the things that this post helped me track down was AIG’s position with regards to collateral, particularly prior to the initial government bailout. I can’t find anything specific, but the general impression I got is that the whole thing was prompted by AIG running out of assets that it could pledge. It’s not entirely clear to me whether it was out of assets that it could convert to cash, or whether it was just plain out of assets. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be able to post other assets as collateral, but maybe that’s what the contracts specified.

    This is an important question. If AIG had pledged all its assets, then, absent a government bailout, all of the general insurance policies were worthless.

  27. 27
    Church Lady says:

    @Nellcote: Well, of course Memphis is one of Obama’s final four picks. They should be a final four pick for anyone with anyone with any sense. I can’t wait for them to go up against Louisville. Go Tigers – Wooooo!

  28. 28
    kay says:

    @Nellcote:

    It’s handy. I have no idea if it’s accurate.

    I’m completely baffled by AIG as a company, legal and populist outrage issues aside. Who needs employees like this?

    The well-compensated top-tier employees have turned the name of that company into a cuss word. Don’t they actually have to sell insurance at one or another AIG division? When they’re not inventing exotic debt instruments, and tanking the world economy?

    I thought ‘the brand’ was everything to an insurance company. I guess not. What can that name be worth, at this point?

  29. 29
    TheOfficialHatOnMyCat says:

    Fine post, John.

    Kudos.

  30. 30
    Comrade Jake says:

    The thing that made me laugh about this post is the notion that his supporters are turning on Obama over this AIG stuff. I’ve seen this more than a few places on the right lately. I mean, I guess they just think this is another one of those lies that if they repeat enough will become true.

    Turning the stupid to eleven, indeed.

  31. 31
    jenniebee says:

    He’s sneaky, that Obama. He does things back in time before he had the power to do them. That’s what makes him so dangerous and we should all be concerned about the time-travel witchcraft spells that he learned as an infant in Kenya. That, and his eerie mind control powers that turn everyone who hears him speak into zombie cultist Obaminions unless they have been inoculated against his liberal powers by listening to 15 hours of Rush Limbaugh a week. Also. Though. Because shut up, that’s why.

  32. 32
    Tsulagi says:

    Being a Republican Means Never Having To Know What the Hell You Are Talking About

    Hey, as long as they’ve got linkys in their drivel they’re serious adults. Known truth.

    I think they’re just so proud to have learned how to insert a link they think that alone gives them instant cred. Never mind that if you actually follow their link half the time it may have nothing to do with their post or even contradict what they wrote.

    RedState is really good at that. I remember one particularly inane bloviation from a front pager on the GWOT and Iran’s role sponsoring terrorism. Three of the links providing support for this dweeb’s “in-depth analysis” went to his own personal blog. Where he had put the stylings and musings going on in his head to print.

    After one linked excerpt (didn’t identify it as from his blog), he wrote “Wow.” Guess he was surprised and somewhat amazed that he and himself were thinking on the same wavelength.

  33. 33
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Comrade Jake: the notion that his supporters are turning on Obama over this AIG stuff.

    Jesus, I am just trying to survive until graduation, much less find a job, much less thinking about putatively not voting for Obama in the next fucking Presidential election. At this point he would probably have to skull-fuck MY kitten to alienate me right now.

    EDIT: So what, did preview finally slink out back and shoot itself?

  34. 34
    liberal says:

    Putting aside the silly notion that it is Obama’s lack of leadership that has caused this crisis, Owens then goes on to build the case that Obama is just shoveling money to these companies because of campaign contributions from those corporations.

    Certainly the single human most responsible for the mess is Alan Greenspan.

    Bush is partly responsible, as are some Democrats, though it’s pretty reasonable to claim that Obama is much less responsible than other Democrats.

    On the other hand…Obama’s leadership did fail when he put Geithner, Summers, and Rubin in his administation. (Hmm…did he actually appt Rubin? Too sleepy to verify R has an actual position, but anyhoo his influence is there.)

    Let’s not forget Geithner’s connection to Goldman Sachs.

    Finally…this whole thing reminds me of Clinton being read the riot act by the finance guys in his administration, and his claimed unhappiness that he was a slave to bond traders. Not sure Obama is even unhappy.

  35. 35
    liberal says:

    @JasonF:

    Does this moron understand AIG’s role in the world banking system, or why it was considered imperative to ensure that AIG didn’t fail?

    Just because there’s a possibility that bad things would happen if AIG flat-out failed doesn’t mean that we should just be dumping hundreds of billions of dollars into that rathole without an examination of what the hell is going on.

    A rational start on this problem would be to seize every freakin’ large insolvent institution—and by "seize," I don’t mean "inject enough capital to own stakes that give nominal control which isn’t exercised," but actually seize the damn things. Then, in addition to the usual nationalization/receivership/preprivatization/whatever you want to call it, start analyzing the damn thing and understanding the relationships.

    The notion that we’re going to save the day by shovelling some amount of money through these holes without asking any tough questions, an amount so large we don’t currently even roughly know the goddamn logarithm of/order of magnitude of, is bizarre.

  36. 36
    liberal says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    I’m not sure why they wouldn’t be able to post other assets as collateral, but maybe that’s what the contracts specified.

    A priori we should figure they quickly ran out of assets, because they were minting money by selling CDSs. Which insured against events which they thought were never going to happen.

    If they actually had the assets to cover these bad bets, they wouldn’t have been so extraordinarily profitable in the days before the sh*t hit the fan.

  37. 37
    John Cole says:

    @liberal: Exactly.

    There is plenty of reason to be pissed and to stop what we are doing and ask the tough questions. I doubt that happens.

  38. 38
    Delia says:

    Here’s the latest twist: Ron Wyden says that he and Olympia Snowe had the whole AIG bonus issue covered in the stim bill, but their clause got stripped out in conference. So he’s saying the Obama team just didn’t care enough at the time to push it through. He was also on Rachel’s show tonight talking about it.

  39. 39
    Genine says:

    now Owens informs us that President Obama is looting the treasury to send your tax dollars to companies that were by law forbidden from contributing to his campaign but he is sending them the money anyway, and even better, Obama managed to do it while Bush was President.

    Wow…

    He’s good.

  40. 40
    Martin says:

    Here’s the latest twist: Ron Wyden says that he and Olympia Snowe had the whole AIG bonus issue covered in the stim bill, but their clause got stripped out in conference. So he’s saying the Obama team just didn’t care enough Republicans were too obstructionist at the time to push it through. He was also on Rachel’s show tonight talking about it.

    Fixt

  41. 41
    Cyan says:

    To be perfectly fair to Bob Owens (actually, more than fair, generous, even), he isn’t asserting that Obama did anything to affect the 2008 bailout. He’s saying that Obama is now happy to let people focus on the bonus money because it means they won’t be thinking about the scandal (?) of AIG having paid off its counterparties. For some reason, we’re meant to think that this was a bad thing. Also, we’re meant to think that Obama was motivated to run interference because many of the employees of the counterparties donated to Obama.

  42. 42
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Cyan: Too generous by far. Right now, around the world there are conspiracy theorists saying "that’s stretching things."

  43. 43
    JasonF says:

    @liberal:

    Just because there’s a possibility that bad things would happen if AIG flat-out failed doesn’t mean that we should just be dumping hundreds of billions of dollars into that rathole without an examination of what the hell is going on.

    I would put it at much higher than a "possibility" — I would say it was extremely probable that very bad things would happen if AIG flat-out failed — but I do agree that we shouldn’t be dumping hundreds of billions of dollars into it without a close examination of the company. None of that, however, has anything to do with Owens shock that there is "$100 billion in taxpayer bailout dollars that AIG paid out to other banks, including $58 billion to foreign banks and $36 billion given to French and German banks alone." That’s like being shocked that the food stamp money you gave to poor peoplle is winding up in the hands of grocers.

  44. 44
    Pennypacker says:

    Proudly banned from Confederate Wankee for bringing up similarly unpleasant facts. Note: You’ve been warned if you’re planning on commenting there.

  45. 45
    Et Tu Brutus? says:

    The wingnut plan is to just keep hammerin’ away at this sort of nonsense- say it loud and long enough and it will become the ‘truth’ to the disgruntled masses.

  46. 46

    A priori we should figure they quickly ran out of assets, because they were minting money by selling CDSs. Which insured against events which they thought were never going to happen.

    If they actually had the assets to cover these bad bets, they wouldn’t have been so extraordinarily profitable in the days before the sh*t hit the fan.

    This is a complete non-sequiter. How many CDS they wrote has nothing to do with the distinction between pledging all of their assets in collateral, or only pledging their liquid assets in collateral because those were the only assets that qualified. You really have no idea what you are talking about, do you?

    Further, please tell me why you believe that an AIG bankruptcy wouldn’t be more damaging to the financial system than the Lehman bankruptcy was, given that AIG is about an order of magnitude larger. Until someone gets around to answering this question, there is no reason to take their pontificating seriously.

  47. 47
    Sophists says:

    …and even better, Obama managed to do it while Bush was President.

    This can only mean one thing — the Mussulmen have achieved timetravel! Christendom is soooooo boned.

  48. 48
    bago says:

    Correction. Was so boned.

  49. 49
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Oh look John, Bob noticed you.

    Twice, in fact.

  50. 50
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Zuzu’s Petals: Actually, that makes it even funnier. The fact that he is running through the comments here and picking individual commenters to respond to is gold, baby, gold!

  51. 51
    Comrade Dread says:

    Some days I’m almost tempted to go back to being a Republican just to mess with people and watch their heads explode as I make up crazy stories or come up with the most insane interpretations of news stories which somehow manage to blame polio on Democrats.

  52. 52
    r€nato says:

    Now, if you read Bob Owens during the campaign, you would have thought that Obama’s first priorities as President would have been to institute Sharia law, unionize ACORN and pay them 100 dollars an hour to go door to door taking away shotguns from white people, and then burn down every small business and build a mosque in its place.

    Yeah, when is Obama gonna get around to that part of his platform? That’s the change I voted for!

  53. 53
    r€nato says:

    the president is hoping you won’t notice the $100 billion in taxpayer bailout dollars that AIG paid out to other banks, including $58 billion to foreign banks and $36 billion given to French and German banks alone.

    it was inevitable that someone would demagogue this.

    Leaving aside the issue of who was president when this money was paid out, the reason the banks received this money was very likely the fact that they were counterparties to derivative contracts which they purchased from AIG, of which European banks purchased quite a few.

    So if you want the European banking system to collapse, yes by all means let’s insist that AIG cannot use any bailout money to satisfy contractual obligations to those nasty furriners.

    And if you think that the collapse of European banks won’t affect us and our current crisis, you probably also think that experiment in privatizing our electricity markets was a brilliant idea.

    This is not to say that US taxpayers should be expected to support foundering European banks; surely the EU is going to have to bear some of the pain too. Just saying that this is more complicated than populist eurobashing would have you believe.

  54. 54
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Gay Sharia

    This would be an excellent name for a queercore band.

  55. 55
    AhabTRuler says:

    @r€nato: Yes but by the time you get to:

    given to French and German banks alone.

    You already know that you are dealing with someone who is:
    a. disingenuous
    b. a moron (or, if you like, a moran)
    c. both

    Hint: You don’t get any points for not picking ‘c’.

  56. 56
    r€nato says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    what DOES piss me off, is that these counterparties were paid 100% of what they were owed. What? For pete’s sake. They would have gotten nothing if Uncle Sam had allowed AIG to fold. How about we offer them 50% or even 75% and tell ’em if they don’t like it, they can sue?

  57. 57

    […] Cole surveys a new batch.   […]

  58. 58
    Clearcreek says:

    The new administration still benefits from the media blindly going along with their lies and deceit. There is so much corruption going on and where is our President when we are faced with a crisis? Jay Leno and ESPN.

    This mess begain several years ago because the Democrats opposed tighter credit controls on Freddy & Fanny (subprime loans) during the old administration and that is about 90% of where our problem orginated from. The Democratic leadership (miss-direction) along with Dodd and Obama blocked attempts to bring changes for what we feared would come and is now here. Folks you had best open your eyes before it is to late. Our country is on the brink of total collapse.

  59. 59
    Mark says:

    Getting a Republican to review facts is like getting a cat into a bath tub. It’s possible, but you’ll end up with a lot of cuts and scratches …

    Every time I ask a Republican at work, "On what facts do you base that judgment?"… they inevitably look at me like I’m stupid for wanting confirmation. Of course, maybe that look is one of fear because they realize they don’t have any facts… just heresy quotes from a blog about another blog about a no-name pundit… etc…

    Some Democrats are the same, of course. They echo the cry of anything that offends their sensibilities. Just seems to me that there are a lot more Republican criers than there are Democrat criers.

  60. 60
    gwangung says:

    This mess begain several years ago because the Democrats opposed tighter credit controls on Freddy & Fanny (subprime loans) during the old administration and that is about 90% of where our problem orginated from.

    You’re proud of your innumerancy, aren’t you?

  61. 61
    Mark says:

    @Clearcreek:

    In 2003 and 2005, bills were introduced to "reform" oversight of Fannie & Freddie. The reform boiled down to moving oversight responsibilites from Congress to the Treasury. Not exactly ground breaking reform. Both times, Republicans had control of the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. Despite this, they exclusively blame the Democrats for blocking the bill… despite 17 Republican senators being investigated for $2 million in payments by DCI Group (a Republican consulting firm) to defeat the 2005 bill.

    In short:

    A) the "reforms" were nothing more than a power struggle for control
    B) As many Republicans opposed it as Democrats

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