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Eddy Liddy Doesn’t Get It

Anyone know if he’s related to the infamous G. Gordon Liddy?

Sooo – Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) just asked Liddy if AIG had not received bailout funds, would those bonuses been paid out?  “No.” he said, “Probably not.”  With an explanation about going into bankruptcy.

Last night on Rachel Maddow’s show, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) was on explaining the amendment he and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) had in the stimulus bill.  Below:

MADDOW:  Back in early February, you and Senator Snowe added an amendment to the stimulus bill that, I think, would have prevented AIG from giving out these millions of dollars worth of bonuses.  That amendment was taken out of the bill.

Am I right that your amendment would have stopped what we are experiencing right now?

WYDEN:  You are right.  And that‘s what‘s so sad about this situation.  It simply didn‘t mean to happen.  What happened, Rachel, was we got it through the United States Senate and then like, with so many issues, all the lobbyists came out in droves and somehow magically, the amendment disappeared.  It seems to me now we‘ve got an opportunity to get this job done right but it didn‘t have to happen.

In talking to my boss just a bit ago, she said this is the kind of stuff that drive people to get guns and kill people.  I’m not so inclined myself, but I do think there are undoubtedly people who are desperate enough to not give a rat’s ass or one shit.  Mr. Liddy may need to be a bit more careful than usual.

In watching for the few moments just now, it seems Mr. Liddy is more determined to let ‘everyone know’ what he thinks or how he views this fiasco.  The thing is – we don’t.  Liddy just told the representative  battering him with questions, Mr. Lynch (D-MA), he wasn’t there yet – sooo – it’s not HIS fault.  See?  Emptywheel is live blogging at firedoglake, and Jane – being Jane – has this up on Mr. Liddy.

books

If I have the timeline correct, Mr. Liddy was CEO of Allstate during the Katrina debacle when Allstate refused to pay claims.  Have to check that out.

Update-1:  It was Rep. Lynch from Massachusetts who was battering Eddy Liddy with questions.  The funniest exchange, I swear, was when Mr. Liddy said he was offended, and Mr. Lynch replied, “Offense was meant.”   A real laugh-out-loud moment, and here’s a bit on that exchange with some other observations.

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Irony Isn’t Dead – Really

Who the fuck said irony was dead?

So the CEOs of Ford, Chrysler, and GM flew to D.C.  in private jets  – “luxury jets” nonetheless.

beggar“There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they’re going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses,” Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, told the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

“It’s almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high hat and tuxedo. It kind of makes you a little bit suspicious.”

He added, “couldn’t you all have downgraded to first class or jet-pooled or something to get here? It would have at least sent a message that you do get it.”

Ballsy is what I call it.  But you know what – Hank got away with it, so they figured: “Why can’t we?”  Others weren’t impressed either.

It was mentioned the CEOs fly private jets as a matter of “security.”  Oh fucking pleaseeee!

Jump!

I found the perfect picture for the $700 billion bailout

Len Hart has an article up about the constitutionality of the ‘bailout.’

I’m Tellin’ Ya – Stepping Up to the Plate Isn’t IT!

And the Senate passed it – 74-25.

Finance Bill Passes in the Senate

The Senate approved the bill on the federal intervention in the financial markets by a vote of 74-25. Sen. McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Obama (D-IL), and Sen. Biden (D-DE) voted for the bill.

Whoa – just alerted to this by some fellow Agonistas.

“Paulson has made it clear he will recommend a veto of any bill that contained a clear provision that said if Americans did not own the asset on September 20th that it can’t be sold to the Treasury.

Hundreds of billions of dollars are going to bail out foreign investors. They know it, they demanded it and the bill has been carefully written to make sure that can happen.”

Video from CNBC….  it’s about foreign investors.  It’s not about us at all.   (More information from an Agonista talking about it all here.)

Barack Obama has this SO wrong; they all do.

Step Up to the Plate?

The TV is on in the living room and Obama is in Lacrosse, WI stumping an ‘economic message.’   I’m in ‘the office’ in the back but it’s up loud enough for me to hear.

I heard Obama say that Democrats in Congress need to step up to the plate and vote for this economic package being presented today.  Not this one, Barack.

Dennis Kucinich was on Rachel Maddow’s show last night;  Raw Story has the video. He explained his reasoning in voting against the bill and how he thought it could be ‘fixed.’  Kucinich has more on his website as well.

Grandstanding Over

Ohhh…. Guess Big John will be going to the debate after all, un-huh.

As Blue Texan at Firedoglake aptly describes: ‘McCain Inserts Self into Financial Crisis, Fails Miserably, will attend debate.’ BT references this remark from Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) regarding McCain’s involvement:

He goes to a meeting and all of a sudden, we lose all the Republicans who have been working with us for the last five days.

Good looking out at putting ‘Country First’ ya dumb fuck.

Oh – and wander over and read what Digby writes today as well, quoting CNN last night about the ‘economic crisis’ and the ReThugs..

That’s pretty scary stuff that they’re thinking about party right now and not country, is that what you’re saying?” responded host Anderson Cooper.

“I think they’re, yes, they’re thinking about themselves,” said Rollins. “I think they don’t think that the threat is as great as a lot of other people do.”

Because as the question Digby poses, as always and has been – At what point to progressives put away the kumbaaya and recognize that we are not dealing with people who act in the nation’s best interest?

Don’t Know Much About …. the Economy

(Written the other day)

The other day my 12 year-old nephew’s social studies class (middle school) took the same citizenship test those who are to be naturalized U.S. citizens.  Of the 17 or so in his class, he was one of three who passed it.  For their efforts, each student passing received a red, white, & blue ‘rubber’ bracelet.  There was some ‘patriotic saying’ etched onto it as well.  But the thing that caught his attention was where the bracelet was made – where else?  China.  But then what ARE we producing anymore?  What?  Financial strategies? SUVs? Genetically altered seeds/food?  War weapons?

Like many other people my eyes will often begin glazing over as soon as Paul Krugman or anyone else for that matter starts talking about finance or the economy.  It is not that we or I don’t understand.  For me, I just think a lot of it is a bullshit, made-up game that’s just too testosterone-drenched for me to pay attention.

Ever since the news of $700 billion being needed to “bail out” Wall Street, I’ve been absolutely livid.  The Friday before last, there was the crash of the commuter train in the San Fernando Valley in California, Sept. 12th.  During a press conference in one of the days immediately following the accident, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, Kitty Higgins, spoke of a safety system that could’ve, would’ve stopped these two trains from colliding.  The cost?  Two billion dollars – $2 billion dollars.

The accident brought new calls on Tuesday to expand greatly the use of “positive train control,” collision-avoidance systems using satellites, transponders and other technology to automatically stop a train headed for a crash. Such systems are in use on a small fraction of the nation’s rail lines, mainly on high-speed segments of the Amtrak Washington-to-Boston run, and are being tested in several other states.

The National Transportation Safety Board has lobbied for years for these systems and has accused the industry of foot-dragging over the cost, which could exceed $2 billion to put on major lines nationwide.

Now here was a dramatic example of how our infrastructure needs updating, reinforcing, and revamping while that goddamned ‘war’ in Iraq rages on at an estimated $12 billion per month and the cost to be incurred in implementing it.  And yet we “can’t.”  I paraphrase Ms Higgins inquiry: Just how many deaths are acceptable before the technology is utilized?

“We regulate in this country by counting tombstones,” said Barry M. Sweedler, the former director of the NTSB’s office of safety recommendations. “If you don’t have enough people dead, not much gets done. The pressure isn’t there to do it.”

And just today Senators Boxer & Feinstein worked to get a railway bill readied for the vote and “grilled officials with Metrolink, the Federal Railroad Administration and Union Pacific in a briefing earlier in the day in Washington.“.

While the Commerce Committe with Senators Boxer and Feinstein were busy in their grilling, the Senate Banking Committee were raking Henry Paulson (Secretary of the Treasury) and Ben Bernanke (Chair, Federal Reserve Board) back and forth over red-hot coals.  Paulson appeared bored during many of the opening comments from senatorial members on the Banking Committee while Bernanke had the good sense to look interested with his attention usually focused on who was speaking.

We can bail out the greedy misfits who suckered up people to the tune of $700 billion dollars, but cannot reinforce, rebuild or otherwise insure the stability of our infrastructure to the tune of a mere $2 billion.  $2 billion vs 12 billion vs $700 billion.