Intravenous Caffeine

Totally Unfair and Completely Unbalanced

GM CEO, Rick Wagoner, gets Das Boot

Dialog to man being booted in the butt: 'Banker?' 'No, automobile CEO. Bankers don't punt well--they just kinda stick to your shoe...'

Obama practices his drop kick with an automobile exec who doesn't look anything like Rick Wagoner of GM

We are still pretty much under-the-weather here, so we are still taking it easy on ourselves in the art department–so says the man with a staff of one, himself…can you even call that a staff? Dammit, I need a graduate assistant. I’m really wanting to do Madonna since I haven’t done a religious painting in a while–but I know it’s something I’m going to need a lot more intestinal fortitude to accomplish, and I’m tired of Tim Geithner, but let’s face it, the economy IS the story of the moment–and the last moment–and the foreseeable moments to come, when suddenly I get a lifeline and Barack-baby tells GM CEO, Rick Wagoner, he’ll only bailout General Motors if Rick quits, and guess what? Rick Does.
Now that’s an incredibly unselfish move on the part of a CEO, actually putting his money where his mouth is to save the company. Granted, Rick has been paid a great salary considering he’s been helming a company that’s been hemorrhaging cash for some time…but nowhere NEAR the amount our banker bandits have been paid. On the other hand, GM’s losses, while substantial, have not been in the trillion dollar range and threatening to nuke the world economy when they hit ground zero. But you have to ask, like Detroit-area Congressman Thaddeus McCotter, if there isn’t a double standard being applied here. I mean, have any bank CEOs or Board Chairmen been asked to take a long walk off a short pier? Surely, the masters of the universe over there have been responsible for WAY more problems than the automobile industry–which actually provides real employment to a significant portion of the American people instead of parasitically creating more and more phony wealth to divide further the haves and have-nots. And speaking about employment–why did the autoworkers have to re-negotiate THEIR contracts when the banking contracts were held so sacrosanct that we had to pay millions of dollars to a bunch of high-class grifters while being told that it was impossible to do anything about them because contracts are sacred. Weren’t the autoworkers contracts sacred?
According to Peter Morici, U of MD economist (as reported by CNBC), “…the administration has a “PR problem” regarding unpopular corporate bailouts. “They are bailing out just about anybody that shows up and says they need cash. The public has grown weary of it and instead of throwing a banker to the wolves they have decided to throw Wagoner to the wolves,” Morici said.
Maybe it’s the idea that ANYONE can run a car company, but only people with knowledge of the arcane swindles the banks practiced can extricate them from the rubble of their own making. I got news for you–if they got caught under the rubble, they didn’t understand them either. Let’s see what happens when you recruit some A-students instead of these high-rolling crapshooters. Hey, administration. How about throwing the wolves a banker–I’m sure they could use a little watercress salad.
P.S. Yes *sigh*–I know “das boot” means “the boat” in German. I was trying to make a joke–but i guess it was a pretty *lame* joke for someone getting “the boot”. Next time, I’ll *float* one that doesn’t “sink” so bad (or should that be stink?).
(Wash Post) GM Chief to Resign at White House’s Behest
(NY Times) U.S. Moves to Overhaul Ailing Carmakers
(Huff Post) Rick Wagoner, GM CEO, Will Step Down At Obama’s Behest
(CNBC) GM CEO Forced Out as US Readies Autos Aid

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Taking Today off because of the flu–BB next week

Caricature of Barbara Walters explains to a 'gacking' Mika Brzezinski about feminine toys

BaBa WaWa explains to Mika Brzezinski about toys...

Been down with a horrible flu or something since Sunday–started one antibiotic on Monday and when that wasn’t working, my doctor prescribed a different one yesterday. I’ve only been able to be out of bed for maximum stretches of 3 hours, so I haven’t even been reading the news carefully, let alone come up with any ideas on how to lampoon it.
However, one thing DID catch my eye on the Huffington Post. There appears to be this minor kerfuffle going on between two shows on two different NBC cable channels. Seems the ladies of THE VIEW had a nice little discussion about female toys which gave the gacks to Mika Brzezinski on MORNING JOE, much to the amusement of Joe Scarborough and “guy who isn’t Joe Scarborough”. Well, led by the “legendary” Barbara Walters, the VIEW girls cooked up something for Mika. It’s all publicity, of course, and publicity, as the saying goes, should always be horned in on, and what the heck, I haven’t done a caricature of Barbara Walters in a while–I wanted to do Mika too, but in my sad condition–where my best friend is a roll of paper toys because kleenex just don’t hold up to my noseblows–a skinny blonde running away was the best I could offer.
BTW, if I am reticent about saying certain things here, it’s not because I’m a prude, but because there are little gremlins on the other side of the net saying, “Ah-HAH! here’s a naughty word–restrict this entire website in strict filtering!” And since most people do not know that their search engines default on “MODERATE” filtering and don’t know that you can turn it up or down or how to do it, I prefer to stay below the gremlin radar…
Now Back to Bed.

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Obama AIG Gaffe: Heck of a Job, Brownie– errr I mean, Timmy

President Obama praises Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's job performance to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, only it seems that Tim Geithner is actually Timmy from South Park.

Obama suffers a Katrina moment--got a Twix?

President Obama appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno late last week to try to restore public confidence in Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, after Geithner’s royal screw-up over the AIG executive bonuses. While he was there, Barack and Leno had some playful banter about Obama’s lousy bowling skills, which Obama said was on a par with people from the Special Olympics. Indignation spread all over the internet. There were so many articles expressing outrage at Obama for making a remark that most of our children would make and find funny (not to mention many adults) that I couldn’t find an exact quote of what he’d actually said. I had to watch the video–bloggers either assumed that you already KNEW what the offensive statement was or else they were so busy expressing their own feelings about the gaffe that the thought that someone might not have been watching Leno never occurred to them. Even Sarah Palin, still running for vice president–apparently, no one has told her the election is over–weighed in on it. Thank God for YouTube.
I’m not going to post the YouTube video–if you haven’t seen it by now, you’ve probably just returned from an expedition to the source of the Amazon, and dammit, they’ve got a search engine there, find it yourself. Obama started apologizing even before the segment AIRED, as well he should: champion Special Olympic bowlers are WAY better than he is. Special Olympics bowler: I can beat the president! But although that was one great gaffe almost worthy of Joe Biden, who’s SUPPOSED to make the stupid statements in THIS administration, it wasn’t the BIGGEST gaffe of the evening. The BIG one was telling everyone how great a job Tim Geithner was doing and then NOT “accepting his resignation” the next day!
Maybe someone forgot to tell him. TIMMEH! When your boss says what a great job you’ve done after a colossal screwup–that’s a signal that you need to spend more time with your family. You’re supposed to offer him your resignation. He can decline to accept it–if he’s an idiot! Perhaps Obama didn’t make it clear enough–he couldn’t possibly think you really are doing a great job, could he? If he does, he could be facing, as Frank Rich opined in the NY Times (in an article I read after I’d already sketched my cartoon–GMTA), his Katrina moment Frank Rich: Has A ‘Katrina Moment’ Arrived? “Heckuva Job, Brownie”, George Bush said while most of New Orleans was under the Mississippi. “Heckuva Job, Timmy,” Obama may as well have said. Frankly, South Park’s Timmy may be able to do a better job than Timmy Geithner. Perhaps there ought to be a Special Olympics for solving economic crises!

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AIG: Are you SURE this was the first you knew about bonuses, Mr. Geithner?

Chris Dodd wasn't about to take the fall for Tim Geithner's insistence on softening the bonus language in the bailout bill. Parody of a Maltese Falcon movie poster

Coming to a Congressional Hearing Near You

Well, this HAS been an interesting week. The news about the AIG bonuses broke late Saturday, early Sunday. The liberal bloggers picked up on it immediately, but the conservative bloggers didn’t touch it until Tuesday. Evidently, they don’t read the liberal blogs and had to wait for someone else to digest it and hand them a party line. The moderates joined in and there was a firestorm of protest, best summed up by Chuck Grassley as a general demand for resignations or hara-kiri. Personally, I’d like someone to leave a gun on their desks and tell them to “do the right thing,” but what can I say, I’m an anglophile. Obama said he hadn’t heard about the bonuses until a few days before the s**t hit the fan. Tim Geithner said he’d only heard a few days before that. HOWEVER, Ron Wyden revealed that when the bailout bill passed the Senate, there was a strong provision putting caps on executive bonuses for companies being bailed out. It wasn’t there when it hit the House. As Rita Rudner once put it, where did the glue go? Treasury tries to put the blame on Chris Dodd, claiming he added a clause granting exemptions for bonus agreements already in place. But what REALLY happened, as Jane Hamsher has documented is that Dodd et al had inserted a provision placing caps retroactively on executive compensation…and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers, head of the National Economic Council, put pressure on Dodd to remove or seriously weaken this provision. And Senator Dodd pointed the finger straight back at Geithners–who, you will remember claimed like Sergeant Schultz, “I knew nuzzing, NUZZING!” Obama then said, in one of his less-than-sterling statements, that the administration will use every legal means to try to recoup these bonuses–which have already been paid. Well, hell, Barack, did you think we expected you to use ILLEGAL means?
Obama’s appointment of Tim Geithner to head the Treasury was an iffy deal to begin with. The charismatic young president’s strong points do not include economics and Geithner’s appointment seemed an attempt to look like he was putting one of the adults in charge. After all, a banker should know about banking, right? It also looked like a safe place to put an opposing viewpoint. Well, Mr. Geithner has just demonstrated that his loyalties run with the banking community, not with the people of the US, and his appointment, far from placing one of the adults in charge, actually was putting one of the foxes in charge of the henhouse. It is time for Mr. Obama to reconsider this appointment. No, screw that, it’s time to ask for Timmy’s resignation. Geithner was going to follow a timid course, the tried-and-true, which in this situation is neither tried nor true. Let’s get someone like Paul Krugman in place so we can get an economic policy with balls, not cronyism.
Oh and AIG has decided on a new strategy to save the company. It’s changing its name…
Check out Glenn Greenwald’s Salon column on this for more information on the legal ramifications of the AIG stink.
BTW I think Timmy Geithner makes an excellent Brigid O’Shaunessy–he’s about as honest, dontcha think?

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AIG: Robbing Us Blind to Preserve the American Way of Life

As a crook wearing a Dept of the Treasure shirt, robs a line of taxpayers, he hands the money to the AIG Bonus Fairy, who then gives it out to the top executives..

And guess whose pockets the money is coming out of...

Friends, by now you know the story. Uncle Moneybags has given $170 Bn to AIG to prevent them from going under because of mismanagement. They in turn are paying bonuses to the very executives who mismanaged them in the first place. They say they’re contractually obligated. Well, if they’d gone bankrupt, these same executives wouldn’t have gotten a dime.
They don’t get it. They just–don’t–get it. They really don’t understand that we’re no longer in “business as usual mode.” That they can’t buy expensive drapes or parchment wastebaskets on the taxpayer’s nickel. But–I’m owed this money–it’s in my contract. Jumpin’ Jehosophat, didn’t it ever occur to the lawyers who drew up these contracts to write in–”If the company tanks, no bonuses will be paid”? Even if AIG didn’t go bankrupt, why should anyone want to pay these guys for screwing up so bad? In the words of one dope earlier this year, “Well, if we don’t pay our best people, we won’t be able to keep them.” Best people??? You want to keep these jerks? No, let them join the ranks of the unemployed. Let them suffer the utter humiliation of driving to the unemployment office in last year’s BMW. “Well,” said the lawyers, “if we don’t pay them, we might be subject to litigation.” Let ‘em sue. You say, “the government of the United States gave us orders not to pay these bonuses.” Then let them sue the US Government.
But you say–it’s only a couple of hundred million–compared to the $170 BILLION we bailed them out with, that’s a drop in the bucket. True, but that’s not the point. It’s the principle of the thing–people shouldn’t be paid for screwing up. If you pay a plumber to unstop your drain, and he fixes it by removing the clogged pipe and letting the water out all over the floor, are you going to pay him? Hell, no–he screwed up. So why then should these dopes be rewarded for crashing our economy? And why should it be US that pays them. The kind of reward these guys really deserve cannot be expressed on a general audience website, but I have it on good authority that Pongo and his gorilla buddies are all hot to give it to them.
(NY TIMES) Bracing for a Bailout Backlash
(NY TIMES) A.I.G. Lists the Banks to Which It Paid Rescue Funds
(WashPost) Millions in AIG bonuses draw chorus of outrage
(Reuters via WashPost) Millions in AIG bonuses ignite bipartisan fire
(AP via WashPost) Frank assails bonuses paid to executives at AIG

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