The big three come out for AIG bonuses

This is kind of interesting, given the negative reaction from GOP Congressional leaders (from Greg Sargent via Sully):

Rush Limbaugh recently said: “I am all for the AIG bonuses” and attacked the Obama administration for trying to undo them. He also blasted Dem efforts to get the names of the AIG bonus recipients as “McCarthyism.”

Fox News followed suit, also comparing Dems to “Joe McCarthy.” And Sean Hannity has now derided efforts to tax the execs by saying: “In other words, we’re going to just steal their money.”

And here’s Glenn Beck:

They have a contract. You want to break a contract, then you file Chapter 11. You let the company fail. If the government can just break a contract, well, then how do you know you’re safe? It’s their contract with AIG that they would have to break first! They would have to break two contracts, the one they made with AIG that Christopher Dodd wrote and then they would have to break the contracts that AIG broke. They have to break two contracts. “Well, if I can’t trust the United States government and their contract, why should I trust their money. Why should I trust the treasury. Why should I trust the Fed. I know I can’t trust Washington and congress and the White House. I haven’t been able to trust them for years.” Why should you trust the contract that you have with your boss? Why should the unions be able to trust their contract?

By the way, is everyone as excited about Glenn Beck as I am? I don’t just mean the 9.12 stuff, I’m talking about stuff like this:

The audience for Beck’s Friday night special were each given copies of two books. One of them was Cleon Skousen’s Five Thousand Year Leap. Skousen, who died in 2006, is one of the legendary cranks of the conservative world, a John Bircher, a grand fantasist of theories about secret conspiracies between capitalists and communists to impose a one-world government under the control of David Rockefeller.

I’ve become jaded about wingnuttia. Yeah, Erick Erickon’s an idiot, but even this kind of thing is starting to bore me. Secret conspiracies between capitalists and communists to impose a one-world government? Now that’s something I can get excited about.






103 replies
  1. 1
    beltane says:

    If the communists and the capitalists form a one-world government, does that mean we get free dental insurance? Or is this the same conspiracy involving lizard people and the British royal family?

  2. 2
    blahblah says:

    Here’s a combined comment I posted to DKos about the Rush statement today:

    I wonder how long Rush’s dittohead listeners can accept that kind of cognitive dissonance before their heads explode from anger. He’s marginalizing his own show with claims like that. It’s not like the conservative intelligentsia bothers to listen to Rush; his listeners are the populist social-conservative masses pulling their own pitchforks out of their barns, and getting ready for their own march on Wall Street.

    As for the argument that the dittoheads can’t handle disagreement with Rush, I just can’t accept that they are fundamentally different as human beings from anyone else. His listeners are people with cultural biases just as entrenched as are those who frequent liberal web sites. For every anti-gay anti-abortion Christian fundamentalist position, there is an opposite liberal position that both sides hold onto for dear life in the so-called "culture war". It happens that I prefer equal rights for all citizens – gay or not – as well as abortion rights for all women. But I recognize that others disagree. Those others might well like Rush because his radio chamber echoes back and forth with the sounds of their agreement. Just like Dailykos, Redstate, Huffington Post, Human Events, Talkingpointsmemo, and the Cato Foundation.

    Don’t rail against the dittoheads unless you’re willing to look within yourself at your own dittos to policies you may not have though through as well as they haven’t. They’re people, subject to the same intellectual frailties as all human beings. You set a terrible trap for yourself if you think they are fundamentally different from you.

    My point is not that Rush is wrong (there’s a duh, certainly from my point of view), but that his listeners may well find him wrong. And he can’t take much of that before his may well leave enmasse. His whole stick is about handing out red meat. However, that idiotic defense of AIG executives will sound more pate de fois gras and caviar those executives like. Hell, we don’t even eat duck liver or salmon eggs; we also like to BBQ. We have more in common with Rush’s dittoheads than the dittoheads and we have in common with those Wall Street executive assholes.

    When we find a way to talk to them like Rush does, this whole game of institutional rip-offs by bribing government officials (sorry, I meant "campaign contributions") will collapse under the weight of a citizen supermajority. And then the top .5% really will be fucked.

    I honestly do think that liberals need to form a coalition with social conservatives to throw the elites out of power. Then we can go back to fighting about God, Gays, and Abortion in relative peace.

  3. 3
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Someone should suggest to Beck that if pours gasoline all over himself and then lights a match his audience share will go through the ceiling.

  4. 4
    AhabTRuler says:

    Someone should suggest to Beck that if pours gasoline all over himself and then lights a match his audience share will go through the ceiling.

    Hey, believe in something, even if it is wrong!

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    I honestly do think that liberals need to form a coalition with social conservatives to throw the elites out of power.

    I sometimes think that too. But their definition of elite might differ from yours.

  6. 6
    Comrade Stuck says:

    does that mean we get free dental insurance?

    Yes, but only 4 teeth are covered.

  7. 7
    blahblah says:

    @Dougj:

    I sometimes think that too. But their definition of elite might differ from yours.

    For decades they have been voting against their economic interests. I fully expect that with corruption this obvious, there will be opportunities to peel off the social conservatives one hungry and cold family at a time.

  8. 8
    clone12 says:

    A capitalist-communist order, that’s when everyone owns shares in all the companies.

    That’s sounds suspiciously like Bush’s ownership society…

  9. 9
    4tehlulz says:

    a grand fantasist of theories about secret conspiracies between capitalists and communists to impose a one-world government under the control of David Rockefeller.

    In other words, TEH J00Z

  10. 10
    Mark S. says:

    McCarthyism? I thought Ann Coulter proved in one of her idiotic books that Joe McCarthy was an American hero.

    Was McCarthy part of the conspiracy as well?

  11. 11
    JL says:

    Did Glenn Beck cry? I don’t think it means what he says unless he sheds a few tears.

  12. 12
    Martin says:

    Their definition of elite definitely differs from yours.

  13. 13
    JSpencer says:

    Joe McCarthy? Ah yes, another conservative in the fine wingnutter tradition of… well, Beck, Rush, Sean, etc. Don’t they recognize one of their own?

  14. 14
    Zach says:

    We Surround Them is beyond parody, but luckily it serves to overshadow Glenn’s "War Room" segment that presupposed the collapse of American society into anarchy on the backs of gun-toting, anti-immigrant, racists who Glenn Beck totally isn’t like but totally can understand where they’re coming from. That seemed reasonable enough (in the mindset of a small subset of Americans) to be genuinely frightening. Case in point, Tea Party protesters in Olathe, KS showing off their nutball We Surround Them signs. I bet that dude’s at least somewhat ashamed of that sign today if Shep Smith showed him the light.

  15. 15
    SpotWeld says:

    ..at this point the GOP is officially reactionary.
    They have no real ideas, just "the opposite of whatever the President just said".

    I mean even the dems, in all their disorganized glory, are attempting to work out some variations in process, some ideas!!

  16. 16
    Martin says:

    I know I can’t trust Washington and congress and the White House. I haven’t been able to trust them for years.

    So what makes him think he can trust the courts, part of the same government, to enforce the contract that he swears is so critical to enforce? What an asshat.

  17. 17
    Zach says:

    Anyone who thinks pairing moral majoritarianism with populist economics will work doesn’t need to look any further than Mike Huckabee to see how wrong they are. Huckabee didn’t get the GOP nomination because plenty of God-fearing Republicans recoiled in absolute terror and started e-mailing all of their friends begging them to donate to McCain en masse when Giuliani and Romney simultaneously collapsed.

    That strategy worked for Jimmy Carter, but it’s absolutely dead in the post-Reagan, free market = Jesus era thanks to the faction of GOP supporters that provide all of the party’s money and make all of its decisions. Huckabee and Lou Dobbs have enough of an audience for a successful cable television show, but not enough to be elected President. Also note that they’re even less successful if you strip away their anti-immigrant positions, which makes it a little difficult to woo anti-elitists on the left.

    At the moment, Republicans in Congress and in the media are employing populist rhetoric against the bailouts, stimulus, etc because it’s ultimately toothless. If McCain had been elected the stimulus would’ve been essentially identical in terms of spending (less to cities/states, more to defense) and probably larger with additional corporate tax cuts and payroll tax cuts.

  18. 18
    Texas Dem says:

    Rush and his gang are just following free market orthodoxy. It may be politically tone deaf, but at least he’s consistent (on this). The GOP leadership in congress, on the other hand, is trying to position itself as a tribune of the people, but it’s difficult to be both pro-business and populist at the same time.

  19. 19
    PeakVT says:

    “In other words, we’re going to just steal their money.”

    Well, the crooks at AIG are stealing our money, so fair is fair….

  20. 20
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Remember: if it’s Detroit, breaking their labor contracts is an absolute requirement before we can give them one cent. If it’s Wall Street, their labor contracts are irrefutably sacred, even when begging for hundreds of billions of dollars.

  21. 21
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    As for the argument that the dittoheads can’t handle disagreement with Rush, I just can’t accept that they are fundamentally different as human beings from anyone else.

    They listen to Limbaugh, over and over again. The believe Limbaugh, even as he continues to tout the party that fucked them over every day of their lives. If Limbaugh told them that shit sandwiches would make them big and strong we’d have four million deaths from e coli poisoning.

  22. 22
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Did anyone else see the Town Hall tonight? Don’t want to gush here, but it is so nice to see a regular (yeah smarter than all of us) guy, talk to folks, like they are folks, explain stuff to them in words they can understand, give reasoned and rational fixes for the clusterfuck we find ourselves in and do it with humility and humor. Personally I think the POTUS hit it out of the park tonight. (And probably stage craft but the taking off the jacket thing and rolling up his sleeves was brilliant).

  23. 23
    jim says:

    There’s no need to withhold anything from the AIG hammerheads – simply famialize them with the concept of paybacks. A law taxing any & all bonuses issued by failing companies at a rate of 100% would be both perfectly legal & some sweet poetic justice.
    *
    Logic dictates that if (like this pack of chuckleheads) you buggered up your company, the last thing you deserve is a bonus.

  24. 24
    Ricky Bobby says:

    Remember, every white trash Republican in the trailer park thinks that they will be the next super rich Republican. It’s the evil side of the American dream, keeps them voting against their own interests for generations.

  25. 25
    NonyNony says:

    @blahblah:

    I honestly do think that liberals need to form a coalition with social conservatives to throw the elites out of power. Then we can go back to fighting about God, Gays, and Abortion in relative peace.

    Ah, the Iranian model.

    Good luck with that. I can’t see anything that could possibly go wrong there…

  26. 26
    Comrade Stuck says:

    It’s the evil side of the American dream, keeps them voting against their own interests for generations.

    That, and boys holding hands, mooslisms sucking air, and Massachusetts .

  27. 27
    Ninerdave says:

    Ok I’m sorry that Erick thing really cracked me up.

    Shuster replying that he has no idea who Erick is, yeah Shuster is really scared and bawling his eyes out.

  28. 28
    DougJ says:

    Ok I’m sorry that Erick thing really cracked me up.

    Me too.

    But it was just funny, not “Doom Room” funny.

  29. 29
    MikeJ says:

    Be it David Vitter or Erick, "don’t you know who I am" makes for the best comedy.

  30. 30
    Ninerdave says:

    @DougJ:

    But it was just funny, not “Doom Room” funny.

    I’ll give him a year, before he starts that. Maybe sooner if he starts taking his cues from Beck.

  31. 31
    NickM says:

    Shh — you’re breaking the boycott on discussing him! Odd that I’ve read few comments about this — Colbert even has been silent about "We Surround You."

    Thank god that guy is way more crazy than he’s smart.

  32. 32
    Cain says:

    “In other words, we’re going to just steal their money.”

    Well, the crooks at AIG are stealing our money, so fair is fair….

    One could say there is some kind of re-distribution of wealthy going on. When someone is taking my money for the good of the country you better fucking right I’m going to be pissed if it ends up in the other guy’s wallet. Especially when he’s already swimming in money in the first place.

    cain

  33. 33
    NickM says:

    When someone is taking my money for the good of the country you better fucking right I’m going to be pissed if it ends up in the other guy’s wallet. Especially when he’s already swimming in money in the first place.

    Now, now! — pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

  34. 34
  35. 35
    satby says:

    See, I think this is a loser for Rushie, Hannity, et al.
    Their fanboys may dream of someday being rich, but they ain’t right now, and for some AIG f*ck to get a bonus that the average dittohead would have to win the lottery to equal just highlights how rich Rush and his buddies are.
    Dittoheads don’t want THEIR money going to anyone else: welfare queens, or Wall Street queens, it’s all the same to them.

  36. 36
    lutton says:

    >> “Well, if I can’t trust the United States government and their contract, why should I trust their money. Why should I trust the treasury. Why should I trust the Fed. I know I can’t trust Washington and congress and the White House. I haven’t been able to trust them for years.”

    Wait, is he going Ron Paul on us? Gold Standard, you’re on deck.

    ANd we haven’t been able to trust the White House for years? Now you tell us, ’cause we’ve all been soooo slavishly trusting the last decade or so.

  37. 37
    Tsulagi says:

    I’ve become jaded about wingnuttia. Yeah, Erick Erickon’s an idiot, but even this kind of thing is starting to bore me.

    I hear you. While they’re still furiously cranking out the stupid at RedState, quality has suffered. While they have the occasional Operation Leper and RSSF formation gem, almost all else now is disappointingly cheap mass production knockoffs.

    However, sounds like Beck may now have his finger on The Base and how to connect with them after his ratings disaster at CNN Headline News. Blend one part Jimmy Swaggart with two parts Rush then pour into a Big Gulp cup over iced loony cubes. Good chance the nutters will drink deep. Ratings will soar, fat contracts with bonuses to be protected will ensue. It’s looking good for Glenn if he can consistently deliver quality crazy stupid.

  38. 38
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Comrade Stuck: If its not made by AMC, I ain’t flying in it.

  39. 39
    The Moar You Know says:

    @blahblah: You were probably troll-rated into oblivion.

  40. 40
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @AhabTRuler:

    Amen to that!

  41. 41
    bayville says:

    More from Outer Wingnuttia: Tom Maguire says we need more credit-default swaps.

    And he gets a big Hehindeedy from putz.

    Proof again, these jokers really have no clue what this financial crisis is all about.

  42. 42
    Shalimar says:

    Glenn Beck: They have a contract. You want to break a contract, then you file Chapter 11.

    Ok, who wants to bait Glenn Beck and the rest of the wingnut hierarchy with a fake news story saying the AIG executives are members of a heretofore unpublicized union that negotiated these contracts for them?

  43. 43
    Ed in NJ says:

    I’m absolutely convinced that Glenn Beck is a catastrophe waiting to happen. Either he or one of his followers is going to do something so outrageous, and the media will spend weeks talking about how no one could have seen it coming.

  44. 44
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Proof again, these jokers really have no clue what this financial crisis is all about.

    That’s because every neuron, both of them, are on a full time Snipe hunt to find the real culprits, which, of course, as always, are fiendish liberals. Gazing for ultimate truth is hard work, with navels the size of Jupiter.

  45. 45
    jl says:

    @1 Beltane,
    If the communist / big capitalist / Royal Family drug ring / Lizard overlords are taking over, I need to brush up. Any info people can supply me would be welcome.

    Are the lizard overlords space aliens, or the hyper intelligent descendents of the dinosaurs emerging from their underground labyrinths? I keep getting that mixed up.

    Was David Hume a British spy or an enforcer thug who broke kneecaps. Lyndon explained it too me once but I forget.

    How the gnomes of Zurich fit in? They’re not all Jewish Banker fiends, but gnomes are not lizard people, or are they little lizard people? But then what does that make the Leprechauns in the Hood.

    What happened to the Replicants? Who cut them out of the action?

    Confused Glenn Beck listener

  46. 46
    LD50 says:

    So I guess this means that the GOP senators who denounced the AIG bonuses will now have to apologize to Rush?

    After a while, I think the GOP will just come up with a standard form letter for this occasion.

  47. 47
    jl says:

    Also, the We Surround them logo is a Capital ‘G’ surrounded by a weird radioactive warning sign, and I take those lines to be the righteous masses surrounding something.

    But… they are surrounding G, which stands for GLENN Beck!!??

    Does this mean that Beck himself is the secret mastermind of of the galactical lizard overlord / communist/ big money corporation conspiracy!!!!?????

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

    And note, what is after 9/12? 9/13! And 13-4 = 9, which is TWICE 11-9 =2, and ALSO 2 squared.

    Think about it.

    It’s all in one of the Dicks.

  48. 48
    Bruce Baugh says:

    So we can look forward to the following:

    Republican Congressional leaders will change their tune to match the talk show folks’ lead.

    Republican stalwarts and self-described reasonable Democrats will continue to insist that we’re making too much of the talk show folks.

  49. 49
    NickM says:

    Ok, who wants to bait Glenn Beck and the rest of the wingnut hierarchy with a fake news story saying the AIG executives are members of a heretofore unpublicized union that negotiated these contracts for them?

    What? That would be a great advertisement for unions!

  50. 50

    We should really put on the antilock brakes and think this issue out before we start screaming at people who mean no harm to us, The MSM, which yearns for all news to be presented like a gnarly old mother would present her all-star high school basketball child, naturally wants to start a revolution. However, revolution against those that have protected American security for years and years would be anathema to freedom. If you want a group of people who protected you from deer accidents to be left for dead, then you are part of the problem in America.

    Think of how these executives are stimulating the economy before you bash them too much. Note that they can stimulate the tourism industry, the boat industry, the Big Three, the aircraft industry, the wine industry, the beer industry, and so on. Unions, on the other hand, use their money for bribes and campaigns. Which do you think stimulates the economy more, Leftists?

  51. 51
    MikeJ says:

    I think the AIG folks will stimulate the pitchfork industry unless they cough up the dough.

  52. 52
    Shibby says:

    @Ed in NJ:

    I think you will be proven correct. You can’t encourage this type of anger without some sort of significant and violent repercussion. People are likely going to get shot (heck they already have) and perhaps we will have another domestic bombing. I can even forsee future outrage at the fact that Obama failed to protect America, even though it will have been carried out by crazed right wingers and not crazed jihadists. I really hope I am simply being pessimistic and not clairvoyant. Time will tell.

  53. 53
    AhabTRuler says:

    even though it will have been carried out by crazed right wingers loners

    Conservative Americans do not commit acts of terror, they commit acts of protest.
    [/Patriot]

    Dave Neiwert preserve us.

  54. 54
    Comrade Stuck says:

    Thomas Gober, a former Mississippi state insurance examiner who has tracked fraud in the industry for 23 years and served previously as a consultant to the FBI and the Department of Justice, says he believes AIG’s supposedly solvent insurance business may be at least as troubled as its reckless financial-products unit. Far from being "healthy," as state insurance regulators, ratings agencies and other experts have repeatedly described the insurance side, Gober calls it "a house of cards." Citing numerous documents he has obtained from state insurance regulators and obscure data buried in AIG’s own 300-page annual reports, Gober argues that AIG’s 71 interlocking domestic U.S. insurance subsidiaries are in hock to each other to an astonishing degree.

    If this breaking story turns out to be true, then AIG is likely fucked and an unrevivable zombie corporation. Obama will take a big hit as well for pouring so much money into it, even though he inherited this mess and likely didn’t know the insurance side of AIG was insolvent, or nearly so.

    What a friekin’ nightmare.

  55. 55
    mcd410x says:

    If this story that Atrios links to is true, AIG is going to make Enron look like a bunch of nickle-and-dimers.

    I really hope I’m illiterate. Because if I’m not, AIG not only owes billions to everyone else, it owes billions to ITSELF.

    I can’t find an adjective that’s strong enough to describe this.

    (Apologize for not reading the previous post — I blame utter shock)

  56. 56
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @mcd410x:

    Here is what Digby says about this.

    The implications of this include the invalidation of up to 30 million insurance policies in the US alone. If there’s anything regulated worse than the financial services industry over the past decade, it’s the insurance market, where no federal regulator exists, and the various state agencies have limited reach.

    It’s beginning to look like our entire economic system is nothing more than a ginormous Crime Syndicate.

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    However, sounds like Beck may now have his finger on The Base and how to connect with them after his ratings disaster at CNN Headline News. Blend one part Jimmy Swaggart with two parts Rush then pour into a Big Gulp cup over iced loony cubes. Good chance the nutters will drink deep. Ratings will soar, fat contracts with bonuses to be protected will ensue. It’s looking good for Glenn if he can consistently deliver quality crazy stupid.

    The really scary part about this is that the reason the other guys weren’t tapping into the base is that they weren’t crazy enough.

    This is like the inverse of Peak Wingnut – the media pundits were too sane. So, the real question is whats the peak on Glenn Beck’s whackadoodle Laffer Curve, and how many lone gunmen can we expect it to produce?

  58. 58
    Bill Arnold says:

    It’s beginning to look like our entire economic system is nothing more than a ginormous Crime Syndicate.
    One sometimes has the impression that the big financial players are greedy amoral people who were not lucky enough to have been born into an organized crime family.

  59. 59
    gbear says:

    Think of how these executives are stimulating the economy before you bash them too much.

    OK, so I thought about it.

    By the way, nice job of ‘stimulation’. Kind of on the level of date rape ending in robbery.

  60. 60
    Surreal American says:

    @jl:

    Does this mean that Beck himself is the secret mastermind of of the galactical lizard overlord / communist/ big money corporation

    The words "Beck" and "mastermind" do not belong together in the same sentence.

    Unless we’re talking about the Two-Turntables-and-a-Microphone guy; who at the very least is a better candidate for mastermind than the ol’ Glennster.

  61. 61
    ericvsthem says:

    Beck’s going to keep stirring up the crazies until they do something dumb and pointless like vandalize a local DNC office. And then the media will try to figure out what Obama did to push them over the edge.

    Of course, when DFH’s light a trash can on fire while protesting something stupid, like, a pointless war, it’s calledvandalism "violence," and people are beaten, detained, arrested, and hauled in front of a judge.

  62. 62
    The Raven says:

    Y’know, if Rush and Fox keep this up, they’ll lose a lot of their audience. Cool!

  63. 63
    Surreal American says:

    @lutton:

    Wait, is he going Ron Paul on us? Gold Standard, you’re on deck.

    Glenn Beck had a brief flirtation with Ron Paulism in the 2008 campaign. However, Ron Paul’s decided lack of eagerness to kill Ayrabs and other suspicious foreign types living overseas was the deal breaker.

    Like too many pathetic denizens of Wingnuttistan, he believes that the Drilla from Wasilla is now the "Real Deal."

  64. 64
    binzinerator says:

    @Martin:

    how many lone gunmen can we expect it to produce?

    Jesus, been thinking about that only in the past month. Sure there was shit going around since O. was elected but it seemed so unlikely to me as to be in the realm of snark.

    I hadn’t been afraid before. Now with nuts like Glen Beck I am.

    Odd. We use the word ‘nut’ so easily around here. We use it for hyperbole, mostly. We use it loosely, casually, figuratively. We don’t usually mean the person is truly deranged.

    But look at any recent vid of Beck and tell me he isn’t a genuine nut. You know he’s not faking it, you know it down deep.

  65. 65
    Martin says:

    But look at any recent vid of Beck and tell me he isn’t a genuine nut. You know he’s not faking it, you know it down deep.

    Ever since the TVUUC shooting manifesto came out, I’ve been worried about more of these. I can’t recall any previous shooting tie themselves so directly to the rantings of pundits (left or right) since the 60s. It should have been a sign to pull back, but Beck seems to have doubled down since then on the crazy – and he’s really pushing hard around the edges of the armed revolutionary set. I’m a little surprised both that Fox is giving him this much rope, and that almost nobody from other media outlets has called him out on it – just the usual -Stewart/Colbert/Olberman/Maddow.

    But I agree that Beck is the real deal.

  66. 66
    Original Lee says:

    @Comrade Stuck: Ack!

    My car insurance is with AIG. The AFL-CIO cut a special deal with them about 8-10 years ago for union members, which lowered my insurance payment by almost $500 a year from what it was with GEICO. The rate has climbed steadily ever since, so now I’m paying roughly what I was before I switched to AIG. I shudder at the thought of having to shop for car insurance again, so I hope this is wrong.

    /selfish take

    Seriously, when will Obama start pointing out that at least part of the problem is that we’re not done peeling the onion on the fraud yet?

  67. 67
    jl says:

    I saw clip of Beck, not sure if it was during the ‘surrounding’ or not. He ostensibly choked up a few times, and had a couple of momentary manly-man inspirational crying jags.

    I think he was totally faking. I’ve read that conservative media is in big trouble in places. Their Daddy Warbucks have lost a bundle in the panic. Some bland business as usual regional conservative stations have had to lay off some of their nutcases.

    Beck is a survivor! He is juicing the ratings with his antics. I don’t think he believes any of it.

  68. 68
    Surreal American says:

    It should have been a sign to pull back, but Beck seems to have doubled down since then on the crazy

    Not just Beck. It seems to me that large chunks of Fox News have turned the crazy up past 11. Hannity’s show has managed to slide further downhill in quality; something I thought was an impossibility. Who even knew that Alan Colmes was holding him back?

    As far as Beck is concerned: In all absolute seriousness, an intervention is long overdue.

  69. 69
    Martin says:

    Seriously, when will Obama start pointing out that at least part of the problem is that we’re not done peeling the onion on the fraud yet?

    Not until things unwind more. The point of taking over AIG was to backstop the CDSs because that was a market set to implode. Screaming fraud in that situation would be apocalyptic.

    This is now the second massive deregulation catastrophe we’ve had in a decade. Obama better have the mother of all finance regulation packages put together at the end of this, because this is just insane. The financial engineers are just jumping from market to market, and they’ll jump again…

  70. 70
    Surreal American says:

    @jl:

    Beck is a survivor! He is juicing the ratings with his antics. I don’t think he believes any of it.

    Beck doesn’t strike me as that smart or skilled. Sure, Limbaugh and Hannity will throw all sorts of fecal matter against the wall hoping it will stick. They’re political con artists. That’s what they do.

    I have the impression that what Beck says today is what he truly believes. Even if it contradicts what he said yesterday and what he will say tomorrow

  71. 71
    Ninerdave says:

    @binzinerator:

    I hadn’t been afraid before. Now with nuts like Glen Beck I am.

    Nuts like Beck existed in the Clinton etc, the Bush era, and now the Obama era. True, Beck has a TV show, but before that was the Internet (Bush) and talk radio (Clinton).

    There are tin-foil hat people on all sides. It’s just Beck has a larger microphone and a network interested in ratings to back him up.

    Yeah he might have had large ratings last week, but how many people tuned in to LOL…I did. I’m sure I wasn’t alone.

  72. 72
    TenguPhule says:

    It’s beginning to look like our entire economic system is nothing more than a ginormous Crime Syndicate.

    The Mafia and Yakuza would like to complain about this insult to their good names.

  73. 73
    jl says:

    @71 Surreal American said

    "I have the impression that what Beck says today is what he truly believes. Even if it contradicts what he said yesterday and what he will say tomorrow"

    Maybe. If he is sincere, and trapped in some kind of washer-dryer timed cycle of fugue states, then he is fakiest looking sincere man I have ever seen.

    It is strange times. Maybe, Beck is so scrambled up, he can be fake and sincere at the same time.

    Maybe his lizard overlord Leprechaun in the Hood, Swiss banker union thug alien communist big banker masters are messing with the electrodes they’ve planted in his head.. just because they can!

  74. 74
    Ninerdave says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    You were probably troll-rated into oblivion.

    Of course, outside of Kos himself DKos is a leftie echo chamber. Useless imho except for raising money of progressives (Which I’m glad exists)

    Kos,, is still willing to call bullshit where it’s needed. Diarists…other front page-ers..not so much. He’s the only reason I still read the front page, I wish he’d post more in his diary so I could just rss him and skip the rest of the bullshit.

    Oh and most front page diatribes are way too long. Break it up with a "more" link.

  75. 75
    Maus says:

    When we find a way to talk to them like Rush does

    What a stupid idea. Seriously, if Olbermann ever gets that big of an ego, he would similarly need to be destroyed as a bloated "authority" figure.

    I don’t need false heroes, and I don’t want to reach Conservatives that are only looking for infotainment and reinforcing existing beliefs, rather than truth, or as far as we can get towards objectivity and suppressing useless ideology.

  76. 76
    wilfred says:

    The big three come out for AIG bonuses

    Who gives a shit?

  77. 77
    Shalimar says:

    Seriously, if Olbermann ever gets that big of an ego,

    Olbermann has a segment on himself any time he is mentioned anywhere in the media. You really don’t think he has that big of an ego already? I love the show, but the man still has a massive ego that occasionally gets in the way of better segments.

  78. 78
    bago says:

    Those under the big 3?

  79. 79
    kay says:

    ‘Since before his confirmation in late January, Mr. Geithner has juggled a crushing workload: overhauling the Bush administration’s discredited financial bailout program; helping with Mr. Obama’s nearly $800 billion economic stimulus plan; and managing the government effort to salvage the auto industry.

    Mr. Geithner is now fashioning a new federal regulatory structure for the financial industry to replace the one that failed. He has developed a housing program that aims to avert up to nine million more foreclosures, and programs for getting credit flowing to small businesses and consumers as well as the major financial giants."

    It’s now fashionable to trash this guy. Just some perspective.

    Again:

    Mr. Geithner is now fashioning a new federal regulatory structure for the financial industry to replace the one that failed.

    That alone, with nothing else on his plate….

    He works 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’m not piling on.

  80. 80
    bootlegger says:

    Nobody fed the Scrotum troll, so I’ll throw him a morsel and choose "b" since it is really "a" by just switching union for Richy Rich.

  81. 81
    camchuck says:

    Top AIG bonus recipient to give back $6.4m bonus. Will he apologize to Rush?

  82. 82

    @The Raven: I look forward to their increasingly desperate claims that the threat of the Fairness Doctrine is to blame for their plummeting ratings.

    Any bets on when Rush etc will claim that if you don’t listen to them the terrorists win?

  83. 83
    Xanthippas says:

    This WaPost article requires us to ask the question, is it possible for every single rationale for the bonuses to collapse?

    The work of defusing the most dangerous bets placed by American International Group was largely concluded by December, according to documents and interviews, long before the company gave bonuses to employees it said it needed to retain to avoid a financial meltdown.

    The answer being a not-so-tentative, yes.

  84. 84
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Meanwhile;
    Our Must-Win War
    The ‘Minimalist’ Path Is Wrong for Afghanistan
    By John McCain and Joseph Lieberman

    The political allure of such a reductionist approach is obvious. But it is also dangerously and fundamentally wrong, and the president should unambiguously reject it. Let there be no doubt: The war in Afghanistan can be won…

    These two were among those clapping their flippers the loudest when Bush pulled critical resources from Afghanistan to facilitate his Iraq vendetta. They are modest about that to the point of not mentioning it in their detail-free exhortation.

  85. 85
    harlana pepper says:

    Glenn Beck has got to be the stupidest fuck to ever have his own TV show. Guess his ratings are "through the roof" because of his insane ramblings. Some people who don’t even buy this shit just want to take a look, just like you look at animals in a zoo.

  86. 86
    harlana pepper says:

    @Martin:

    But he’s just funnin’ doncha know? Just like Jon Stewart! All that shit he talked to Jim Cramer about, well he just made it up, just like Glenn Beck pulls this stuff outta his ass! It’s all just good clean entertainments!

  87. 87
    jibeaux says:

    I think it should be pointed out more often that the law takes what you could basically describe as an amoral stance on breaches of contract. Breaches of contract happen all the time, and sometimes they further the efficient functioning of our capitalistic economy and are actually the right thing to do. This doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for breach of contract, there are. But the law does not behave as if every contract was signed in blood and cosigned with your immortal soul to Lucifer. So of course what AIG could do, and what they almost certainly won’t, is to say, "yup, we’re breaching your contracts. Bring suit for damages. Those of you suing for retention bonuses when you’ve already left AIG might want to get the more expensive lawyers."

  88. 88
    kay says:

    @Xanthippas:

    The Federal Reserve printed 1.4 trillion dollars yesterday, and it began leaving the building.

    Meanwhile, Republicans and Democrats in Congress held a late-night press conference on THE AIG BONUS fake-issue , and how Tim Geithner forced them (at gunpoint?) to write enabling legislation with no safeguards in it.

    I expect Congress, in 3 months, to express surprise and outrage at how yesterday’s Fed infusion of massive amounts of cash possibly happened, and blame Tim Geithner. But only if it blows up.

    Do Congress recognize how ridiculous they sound? They are abandoning responsibility for legislation they wrote and passed. The Treasury doesn’t write enabling legislation. Tim Geithner can’t force Chris Dodd to add language. Tim Geithner certainly can’t force Dodd to appear on CNN and lie about the provision he drafted.

  89. 89
    Tim H. says:

    it would appear there’s a job opening for Karl Adam Marx-Smith.

  90. 90
    Xanthippas says:

    @kay

    I agree with you in general about the incompetency and ineptitude of Congress, but Glenn Greenwald thinks you’re wrong about Dodd.

    The point was — and is — that Dodd was pressured to put that carve-out in at the insistence of Treasury officials (whose opposition meant that Dodd’s two choices were the limited compensation restriction favored by Geithner/Summers or no compensation limits at all), and Dodd did so only after arguing in public against it. To blame Dodd for provisions that the White House demanded is dishonest in the extreme, and what Dodd said today on CNN about the White House’s advocacy of this provision confirms, not contradicts, what I wrote.

  91. 91
    Rick Taylor says:

    Off topic, but at this point there is one question on my mind. Are we taxpayers directly or indirectly paying off people or companies who were betting the housing market would fail? If so how much, and to whom?

    To clarify, when I first learned about AIG’s guarantees, I thought of them as insurance (after all, AIG is an insurance company). Some other company would buy up a bunch of securities that had a high return but also some risk, and AIG would guarantee some percentage of the principal if they collapsed.. The company got the benefit of the high returns, reducing it’s risk at the cost of paying some of those returns for insurance. But after reading the New Yorker article I understand it doesn’t work that way. It’s more accurate to think of what AIG sold as bets. You pay a few million dollars, betting against some sort of security. If the security maintains its value, you loose. But if the security tanks, you win billions. If you actually buy the security, then this isn’t any different than what I described before; you’re placing the bet to reduce your risk. But there’s no requirement that you actually buy the security in question. If you’re a smart investor playing the market, you might have reasonably expected the housing market to tank (I did and I’m not an investor at all). You could then wager a few million with the prospect of winning billions if your prognostication was correct.

    So now I want to know, is any of the money we are sending to AIG going to people like this? Because while there’s nothing wrong with a smart risk taking investor selling the housing market short, I see absolutely reason why I need to be the one to pay him off if the firm he made his bet with is unable to cover it.

    Now I have no idea if this is happening. Perhaps there is some mechanism in place to prevent it I’m unaware of. I’m writing about matters I am ignorant of and only just learning about. If someone more knowledgeable would correct me, I’d be grateful.

    But it disturbs me at this point I don’t see what would prevent this. The bonus scandal illustrated AIGFP’s current attitude. Liddy said he was disgusted just like we were, but gosh darn it, a contract is a contract. Why they’d even run it by outside counsel, and found it would cost more if they litigated, so they were saving us money. So what other contracts do they have they feel bound to honor with our money that might make us wretch if we were aware of them? Yeah, he sure does feel bad about paying off billions to that wealthy investors club, AIG was foolish to offer them such generous terms, but a contract is a contract. Why they’re saving us money buy paying them off, because they’d be up for all sorts of penalties if they didn’t.

    This is further complicated by the secrecy AIG’s dealings. Originally, they wouldn’t even tell us where the money we gave them is going. Now we have a list of companies, but we’re informed the money doesn’t stop there, these parties were frequently third parties for AIG with yet other entities. So we have no public accounting for where our money is going. Everyone who believes Geitner and the feds are doing due diligence to be sure the billions we’re paying are going to unfreeze credit markets and save the economy, and not to small wealthy investors to make them wealthier, raise your hands. . . Geitner was caught flat footed by the bonus scandal and I have no confidence in his oversight.

    So unless I’ve missed something, and I certainly hope I have, and if I have I certainly hope someone more knowledgeable corrects me, it seems like there is a mind-boggling scandal just waiting to happen here, something that will make the bonus scandal appear to be peanuts in comparison. I very much want a detailed accounting of where are money is going, and yesterday; or at the very least I want to be sure representatives in congress are getting such a breakdown and pouring over it asking the questions I am. Because if some of it is going to clever investors who shorted the housing market, it will be far easier to prevent more of it going out, than to get it back once its gone.

    Further, the more I look at this, the more I’m persuaded that the people who favor nationalization are correct. Trying to avoid that by propping up private institutions while keeping them private means that we become responsible for all of their bad decisions, which is not a position I want to be in.

  92. 92
    blahblahblah says:

    The Moar You Know:

    @blahblah: You were probably troll-rated into oblivion.

    Nope. Not this time. However, I’ve nearly had my low digit UID nuked on several occasions. One thing that has saved me was that I called out Armond for his abusive threats of account nuking and censorship some time back right after Ben Domenich got caught plagiarizing and was fired by the Washington Post. I wrote this:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....Dishonesty

    which insulated me from arbitrary account nukes after Redstate immediately nuked my account over posting that diary there. The admins at dkos – I assume – wanted to prove their relative intellectual honesty. Which since Armond left, I have to admit they have mostly done.

    I also admit that I can be a pill there, posting opinion that often radically diverges from Democratic talking points. One thing I don’t do, though, is post Republican talking points. I just write my opinion. And I don’t give a fuck if it pissed people off.

    One of these days, if I keep that up, they’ll probably nuke my account. Huffington Post nuked my account after my first comment when I challenged a blog author over uncited scientific claims he had made. One comment, account nuked. And then, when I posted a youtube video on the subject, my HP account mysteriously accumulated numerous troll comments I had never written. Dailykos is filled with liberal ideologues – which is fine by me. Huffington Post, on the other hand, in my opinion is run by outright unethical editors and policy.

    Here’s that youtube vid, BTW:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBF_D-VDVds

  93. 93
    Rick Taylor says:

    I found this page by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about discussing AIG, together with what seems to me to be an intelligent discussion in comments. It’s complex.

  94. 94
    kay says:

    @Xanthippas:

    I don’t share your belief that Glenn Greenwald has the last word on process. He’s become an unimpeachable oracle. He’s one lawyer. Can we get a second opinion? It disturbs me that nearly all of his posts end with "I was right". I’m a lawyer. I’m questioning him. I think Greenwald was flat-out wrong on Eric Holder’s intent and strategy regarding any number of issues. How the hell is Glenn Greenwald determining intent anyway? He should know better.

    Tell me, what was Treasury’s leverage with Dodd? The bill had passed.

    Congress is covering it’s ass. Worse, it’s covering it’s ass at the risk of scuttling the whole legislative agenda, and tanking the financial system.

    It is the job of Congress to provide oversight on the money they allocate. Period. They work maybe 4 hours a day. They have worked harder on covering their ass on this single issue than on anything in the last 3 years.

    Geithner is both an ineffective incompetent AND in his spare time running the Senate? I have an idea. Congress can start doing their job, and let Treasury do theirs.

  95. 95

    @bootlegger

    Nobody fed the Scrotum troll, so I’ll throw him a morsel and choose "b" since it is really "a" by just switching union for Richy Rich.

    Wait, that was a troll and not an At A Tuna Jar spoof?

  96. 96
    kay says:

    @Xanthippas:

    Here’s an alternate scenario, and I can write it without using the word "scheme" and attributing nefarious intent to career Treasury officials.
    Dodd drafts provision. Provision is passed. Treasury reviews, advise Dodd that provision is (in their view) unenforceable. Dodd adds language suggested (even advocated) by Treasury. Not ordered, because Treasury can’t order Dodd to do anything. Thing blows up, Dodd appears and lies about inserting provision. Treasury release statement that says Dodd inserted provision at the urging of Treasury. When Dodd lied, what were they supposed to do? Let the lie stand?
    That could happen, and it could happen without anyone "scheming".
    Not everything is a plot. No one in the administration or Congress saw the potential political risk of the compensation issue, understandably so, because they allocated 170 billion dollars, and 55 million in bonuses went out in December with nary a peep from anyone. They all screwed up.

  97. 97
    iluvsummr says:

    Looking at AIG info I see the following:

    CEOs: Edward Liddy (September 2008 – present), Robert Willumstad (July 2008 – September 2008), now COO of Citibank, Martin Sullivan (2005 – 2008), Maurice (Hank) Greenberg (1968 – 2005).

    I never thought to ask this earlier, but given that there were 3 different CEOs in 2008 (during AIGs meltdown), how many of the executives getting the bonuses were retained recently and not part of the group that actually caused the problems? Does anyone know?

  98. 98
    kay says:

    @iluvsummr:

    It doesn’t matter. It’s upside-down-world. A world where Hank Greenberg can appear and pontificate on what a great CEO he was, when Greenberg was forced out over an accounting scandal, and then SUED AIG for his bonus. He won. Greenberg got paid. I just saw him on tv. He wants Liddy fired.

    AIG was also investigated in 2006. 2005 investigation, 2006 investigation, it implodes in 2008.

    But Liddy, who arrived 6 months ago, is the problem. Congress say Geithner is the problem. Yeah, right. The problem with AIG is the two people that arrived 6 months ago. Lynch mobs are irrational.

  99. 99
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    I have to admit I kept waiting for Orly Taitz to stand up and grab the mic.

  100. 100
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @bayville:

    Show some respect, please. Maguire is a former uhm, "Wall Streeter."

    Whatever the hehindeed that means.

  101. 101
    Bob says:

    Rush and the Repub’s taling heads are against breaking contracts? Since when?

    They are all for breaking the contracts the big three have with their retirees to provide health care.

  102. 102

    The AIG bonuses are really distasteful, but totally legal. The real problem is how Congress’ reaction to it will effect other politically targeted groups like real estate investors.

  103. 103

    Chris Dodd Hearts Unwarranted AIG Corporate Bonuses…

    It’s my favorite Democratic piece of shit, Christopher Dodd, explaining how he lied about being responsible for the language in the stimulus bill that allowed corporate bonuses to companies receiving bailout money! Because of his insertion into …

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  1. Chris Dodd Hearts Unwarranted AIG Corporate Bonuses…

    It’s my favorite Democratic piece of shit, Christopher Dodd, explaining how he lied about being responsible for the language in the stimulus bill that allowed corporate bonuses to companies receiving bailout money! Because of his insertion into …

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