Thursday, March 19, 2009

Krauthammer Nails Geithner, Dodd, Obama on AIG

Charles Krauthammer wrote a must-read column for tomorrow's Washington Post (dated March 20, 2009). Krauthammer hit the nail on the head (get it?) when he mocks Obama's Regime of Stupidity. What makes it all the more powerful is that the column is so damned accurate. He starts of with this: A $14 trillion economy hangs by a thread composed of (a) a comically cynical, pitchfork-wielding Congress, (b) a hopelessly understaffed, stumbling Obama administration, and (c) $165 million. In case you've been hiding under your bed for the past week, that $165 million is a reference to the controversial bonus money paid out to AIG executives. Krauthammer continues: AIG debt manipulators who may be the only ones who know how to defuse the bomb they themselves built. Now, in the scheme of things, $165 million is a rounding error. It amounts to less than 1/18,500 of the $3.1 trillion federal budget. It's less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the bailout money given to AIG alone. If Bill Gates were to pay these AIG bonuses every year for the next 100 years, he'd still be left with more than half his personal fortune. To watch Barney Frank chair his kangaroo court of a committee as it grilled AIG's CEO Edward Liddy is to watch an overproduced, melodramatic slight of hand by the worst bunch of magicians to ever attempt to pull rabbits out of hats in the history of Washington, DC. Liddy, by the way, inherited the lousy contracts that allowed the huge bonuses. Liddy himself got no bonus, and in fact he only get $1.00 (that's one dollar) per year for his task of cleaning up the AIG house. Liddy testified yesterday to Frank's kangaroo court that he is not financially vested in AIG in any way. The Obama Regime approved the bonuses for AIG. In fact, Treasury demanded that they be allowed, for fear that not allowing them would ignite a firestorm of lawsuits. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn) initially denied having anything to do with the allowance of the bonuses to stay in even as the government was about to give AIG about $180 Billion in bailout money. Dodd also denied that Treasury officials asked him to change the bailout legislation. CNN, however, reports that "Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner confirmed Thursday that the department did talk to Sen. Chris Dodd about a clause he put forth in the stimulus legislation that would have strictly limited executive bonuses." Ah ha. So Dodd lied. Treasury, which is overseen by Obama appointee Geithner, urged that the AIG bonuses be allowed. So, does that mean Obama himself knew about the preservation of the bonuses? If not, does that mean that Obama doesn't know what's going on? Perhaps both. Back to Krauthammer, who takes that into consideration and notes that Obama "too, has been out there trying to lead the mob" in calling for an investigation into the AIG bonuses and for the return of the bonus money. It's slight of hand, as I said. Obama & Company don't want you to know that the AIG bonuses were approved by Geithner, a top administration official. So by pretending to be outraged, Obama is hoping you'll be distracted from the fact that, well, he's really not outraged and undoubtedly knew that Geithner had urged the bonuses to be allowed. "But it's a losing game," writes Krauthammer, "His own congressional Democrats will out-demagogue him and heap the blame on the hapless Timothy Geithner." Thank God for hapless flunkies like Tim Geithner. They're handy to have on hand when one needs a scapegoat. Right now, Dodd is running for re-election in 2010. The news of his lies and deception about his role in the AIG bonus mess has not helped his polling. His Republican challenger is former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons. According to The Hartford Courant's Stan Simpson, Simmons is now ahead in early polling agains Dodd. Simpson notes this about Dodd in his March 19 column: This latest story of [Dodd's] flip-flopping about his role in approving language to allow these shameless AIG bonuses may be the last straw for CT's senior senator. His election is in 2010. His credibility, when you factor in his deception and delay in forwarding info about his financial dealings with Countrywide, is near shot. If only there could be another presidential election next year. Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Cool Stuff...