As all the politicians, left and right, run around feigning indignation at the bonuses paid to a few AIG executives I am reminded of the scene in the movie “Casablanca” when Captain Renault closes down Rick’s Café American. As his deputies empty the casino in the back room he exclaims with stunned surprise, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” He says this just as one of Sam’s employees brings him his winnings.
I am not sure what makes me angrier, that absolutely bogus attitude or their overwhelming incompetence, but that’s not what I want to write about today. I’m not going to write about a lot of stuff here. I am not going to write about fact that Chris Dodd wrote the rule that allowed these bonuses and in perfect Clintonese quasi denied it when he said, “I can’t point a finger at someone who was responsible for putting those dates in. I can tell you this much, when my language left the senate, it did not include it. When it came back, it did.” Then when confronted with his lie he owned up to it. I won’t spend time on the fact he took a ton of campaign dough from AIG, headquartered in his state.
Let’s over look the fact that the total amount of money all these phonies in the House and the Senate have their shorts up their collective crack about is about one tenth of one percent of the money we have flushed down the rat hole that is AIG. That it is less than one half of one percent of the forty billion sent to a French bank by AIG. Are they trying to get that money back with a special law? Let’s put aside the fact that this amount is less than one ten-thousandth (.0001%) of the total bailout. It is also far less than the 8 or 9 thousand earmarks in their last spending bill. Could they pass a special law to get that money back?
Let’s forget that while a number of people who are living large on the largess of the American taxpayer are clutching their chests in their best Fred Sanford impression for the TV cameras they continue to throw untold trillions into the nation debt and continue to fill legislation with pork and earmarks while they think we are distracted. Maybe Senator Grassley and a few of his friends could resign or commit suicide over that.
I haven’t got time to write about these same grandstanding politicians who pass unconstitutional laws and waste time while real issues need attention, like finally reading the stimulus bill and seeing what else is lurking in there. I will not bring up the fact that Obama could create five million jobs for American citizens by simply making employers follow Federal law.
Today I will focus on Mr. Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury. This is the guy who was supposed to be so brilliant that we needed to overlook the fact he cheated on his taxes. Without him we had no chance of recovery from this black hole of an economy! After hearing how he was the only person in America who could save us I was praying he didn’t have a heart attack or stroke for then we would be lost. If he died who would replace this irreplaceable man? Perhaps America would simply vanish without him. It seems all his friends have vanished rather than take a job alongside him. Then again the may have used the same tax system the Secretary used.
I will focus on something he said that is often used by public figures that have either failed miserably or been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, “I take full responsibility!” Sometimes they use the “personal responsibility” variation. If they want you think they are really serious they will take “full and personal responsibility.”
In a move that is a favorite among incompetent politicians, failed and greedy CEOs and religious leaders caught with their pants down, Mr. Geithner has stepped up and taken, “full responsibility” for this AIG mess.
Just once I would like a reporter to ask any of these scumbag CEOs, politicians, and assorted others who run to this position to explain exactly what that means. Does it mean you were the one who committed the acts and you are now ready to face the consequences? Does it mean that these acts were committed by those who you are supervising and since you did not or were not able to do your job you are stepping down?
Generally speaking it means; “I have been caught and there is so much evidence against me that only the feeble of mind would buy my defense, so I admit it was my fault. Can we now forget about it?”
Perhaps, the only thing phonier is when someone above the person taking “full or personal responsibility” states that they have “full confidence” in the person who is under fire. Usually the axe falls a few days later. Mr. Geithner, I think AIG is hiring but the bonus structure sucks, you might want to try Fannie Mae.