Meh Culpa

What should happen to McChrystal: In case anyone was wondering. Or not.

When  Congressional subcommittees or committee-committees chew you out, it doesn’t mean anything.  It’s only PR masquerading as a consequence when nothing bad is really going to happen to you. Bad things don’t happen to the Big People, they happen to the Little People.

For instance, the American auto execs were chewed out for flushing their businesses (and lots and lots of jobs) down the national toilet.  The chewing-out did not stop the same execs from taking private planes to their meetings (hadn’t they heard of carpooling?) or from standing up the President of the United States.  One executive head rolled, but only one.  Not that bad.

The heads of Banks Too Big To Fail might have squirmed a little when they were introduced to a new orifice courtesy of a committee hearing, but nothing happened to them either. They continued to collect vast bonuses and so did their underlings. We could probably balance the budgets of several states using the money they doled out to themselves. OK, so Ken Lewis might get a little hand slapping for not talking about the problems with Merill Lynch’s balance sheet, but then again maybe not.   Lewis has already portrayed himself as a patriot doing his civic duty, as not having a choice because Hank Paulson said so.

Fast-forward to Tony Hayward’s testimony before yet another freakin’ committee looking for air time so its members can emote righteously and pretend that it means something.  Because it doesn’t.  There isn’t going to be any meaningful regulation on the oil industry any more than there were regulations sicked like rabid dogs on the bankers, who were then free to do everything they did before the recession, which will bring our economy land in even more do-do.  Nope,  most if not all of our politicians are basking in the well-lined pocket of  industry, like tanning addicts bake in the sun, no matter what that industry’s name.  BP has been and/ or will be penalized, but the industry itself will keep on chuggin’ like the little engine that could.  I mean,  a Federal district judge just lifted the President’s moratorium on drilling because the administration hadn’t proven that all of the new offshore rigs in question were bound to fail as BP’s Deepwater Horizon did because of a faulty assumption.  The thing is, I’m not sure it can be proven that any or all of the rigs are not bound to fail.  The point is that it’s more important to secure the oceans and shores from spills extending for months, and perhaps years if the relief wells don’t work, than it is to generate oil.  The environment depends on it; our people’s livelihoods depend on it.   What we can’t depend on are the courts,  the oil companies, and the politicians to make sure it never happens again.

So, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, what should happen to McChrystal after the disaster that is the snarktastic  Rolling Stone article?  The same thing that happens to everyone else–a little public humiliation, then back to work for the sucker.*


* I don’t really care about McChrystal.  He was ineffably stupid to be that free and easy around a journalist, but I don’t really care.  But as a rule I am against war.  I’m against the Afghan War on  that principle as well as on the grounds that we can’t win. Trying to win in Afghanistan bankrupted the Soviets.  Then their government crashed and burned. Who is to say we’ll be any different? (Hint: it takes a big helping of hubris to assume we won’t be.) So as far as I’m truly concerned, we can just end the war and bug out while out soldiers still have an intact country to go back to. No matter how many millions of dollars in minerals we succeed in letting corporations dig up, prolonging this war just isn’t worth the cost.

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June 23, 2010 Posted by | Afghan War, Afghanistan, automakers, bailout(s), banks, Congress, Economy, Foreign policy, House of Representatives, politics, Russia, Senate, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Feeling stabby-stabby over the almost erstwhile public option

What is it with [progressive] Democrats?  Can they not step up for their constituents–who, by the way, are composed of more than the 55 to 60-year old population–or are they permanently cowed?  Our country is bleeding from the eyes over health care, yet Dems dither around as if most of us can afford to have  sub par or zero  insurance coverage.

Yes,  I said “dither. ”  So shoot me.

I would really like to know why Lieberman still has a chairmanship, why no one is sitting on the Blue Dogs until they howl for mercy.  Because someone should.   You know, a leader.  If we have any leaders to speak of anymore.

I feel stabby-stabby that our elected officials are such wusses.

Obama wussed out on health care such that he can’t be seen or heard in leaks ever saying he’d ram it through Congress come hell or high water even though Americans voted him into office for just that.  He would rather be all “bipartisan”  (which is a joke when the hard right Repubs remain so rabid) and take presidential  credit for a vote that could be construed as remotely positive than do what’s best for the citizens of this country.

Pelosi has muchos cojones when it comes down to it, but I don’t think she’s got a majority as Reid does.  Nope.  Pelosi would have to scrounge 32 votes for a majority.  Reid not so much.

Reid totally wusses at almost every opportunity. It makes me sick.

I saw Howard Dean on CBS earlier this morning and he seemed resigned to the slight expansion. Sure, Rockefeller’s all happy because he’s wanted to include 55+ year olds in Medicare for a racoon’s lifetime, but that bit of reform excludes  so many people it’s tragic.

I wonder how other progressive Dems feel about their elected representatives’ behavior during the health care debacle.  I know I’m all stabby-stabby, but I wonder whether they are or not.  Maybe most of the people who voted Obama into office don’t even notice.  Maybe they think their part is done so the new-ish administration and the Democratic Senate should have a handle on things while they’re not watching.   Guess what, folks?  NOT.

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Congress, Democrats, far right, Health Care, House of Representatives, liberal, Obama, political parties in the US, politics, Republicans, Senate | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Still My Beating Heart: Another Quickie

No, this post is not about sex.

Ha.

Gotcha.

Actually, I’ve been off writing a  paper and taking an Anatomy & Physiology  final.  I’m between classes right now, so I thought I’d pop in for a short chat.  (I’m not like some of my friends who can multitask.  I can walk or chew gum, but not do both at the same time.)

I’ve got to say I am not surprised by Jake DeSantis’ resignation from AIG’s Financial Products division.  I rather liked his letter detailing his reasons for leaving the company, too.  When I heard that the House had agreed to impose a 90% tax on bonuses, I thought the amount was excessive.  Forty-five or fifty percent I could see, but not ninety.  That was just counterproductive, knee-jerk politics at its worst.  I also can understand why DeSantis and other members of AIG-FP view AIG CEO Ed Liddy with distrust after he trembled before Congress, and I think DeSantis is  right to say that Congress is going after the wrong people.

The Man in Orange--a prohpetic color

The Man in Orange--a prophetic color

We should be tracking down The Man in Orange, Joe Cassano.  Just haul him in!  After all, he’s the one whose [alleged] shenanigans brought down AIG, so he should give back the money he made–$280 million during the last eight years.  That’s $35 million every year! (Who really needs that kind of money?)  Cassano  also should return the $1 million consulting retainer AIG paid him for five or six months after he “left” the company.

And another thing: don’t imagine Americans are only enraged about AIG bonuses.  Such salaries and bonuses, of the sort American companies have paid for ages, are egregious, and they don’t seem to be ending anytime soon.  But they should.

No one else in the world pulls in as much compensation as high profile American executives and Wall Streeters.  I keep wondering why.  We hear the bit about the need to pay insane prices to retain the best talent–as if these guys have their bosses in a choke hold.

What are those bosses afraid of?  Aren’t those the same scare tactics the last administration used when peddling the Iraq War?  Ooooh: We’ve got to be afraid, very afraid, and do everything these overpaid execs dictate, even when what they tell us nearly bankrupts our economy.

I mean,  let’s just say it: there is speculation abroad that we’re pretty close to falling in the pit with Iceland,  so close the Chinese are watching the Fed print more money,  seriously worrying about their investment and the nosedive their own currency may take as a result of all that American paper floating around.   Hence, the suggestion of a new international currency that’s not based solely on the economy of one nation.  A pretty good idea that was, too.

I think Obama and Congress should consider limiting executive pay like the Brits are planning to do.  It’s not as if these executives know anyone else in the world willing to pay nearly as much in compensation.  They’d have to be like everyone else, and take what the market can bear.  Right now, the market can’t bear a whole lot.  But that’s capitalism for you!

Besides, think of the money we taxpayers would save.  😀

March 25, 2009 Posted by | AIG, bailout(s), borrowing, Congress, Economy, Executive branch, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, National Security, Obama, Obama administration, politics, recession, Treasury | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments