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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Busy. Busy. Busy.

Forgive me. blogging has been light the last couple of days. And will be so through Saturday. I'm putting in hours like you wouldn't believe.

Gotta keep Obama happy.

Poor Creigh

He just doesn't get any respect.

How pathetic is this?
Creigh Deeds makes Roanoke stop on campaign tour
By David Harrison, Roanoke Times

State Sen. Creigh Deeds spent 15 minutes at a Roanoke coffee shop on Monday touting his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor.

Deeds, who is locked in a three-way race for the spot, spoke to about 20 supporters near the door of Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea downtown, one of five stops on a daylong and rain-soaked statewide tour that started in Bristol and was to end in Northern Virginia. [link]
20 "supporters" come out to greet the man who could be our next governor. There were probably more "supporters" than that across the street pumping gas.

How many of those "supporters" were reporters, I wonder?

And he gave them all of 15 minutes? Why bother?

20 people. I had more in my car going to lunch yesterday. And I didn't offer to throw taxpayer money at any of them.

More of the same

The Washington Post decries the fact that HIV/AIDS is running rampant in the nation's capital.

See "From Bad to Worse."

The reason that 3% of the citizens of D.C. have AIDS? Bureaucracy.

Their solution? More needle exchanges. More condom exchanges.

A helpful hint: Any time you hear someone suggest that the solution to any growing problem is to provide more of the failed solution, be a bit skeptical of its potential success.

Quote of the Day

From Investor's Business Daily:
President Obama once scolded John McCain over veterans' benefits. Now the White House that condemns the AIG bonuses plans to charge wounded soldiers for the costs of treatment. Which is worse?
"Wounded Vets Under Friendly Fire," March 17, 2009

Obama's Butt Boy

Tell me if this bit of propaganda that appears on the New York Times editorial page makes sense to you:
Obama’s Real Test
Thomas Friedman

Let me be specific: If you didn’t like reading about A.I.G. brokers getting millions in bonuses after their company — 80 percent of which is owned by U.S. taxpayers — racked up the biggest quarterly loss in the history of the Milky Way Galaxy, you’re really not going to like the bank bailout plan to be rolled out soon by the Obama team. That plan will begin by using up the $250 billion or so left in TARP funds to start removing the toxic assets from the banks. But ultimately, to get the scale of bank repair we need, it will likely require some $750 billion more.

The plan makes sense, and, if done right, it might even make profits for U.S. taxpayers. [link] [my emphasis]
Does it seem more than just odd that a plan that nobody has seen yet - including Friedman - does, in his mind, make sense? How does one make sense out of that which doesn't yet exist?

Wishful thinking? A need for ingratiation? Is he on the payroll?

Someone needs to get with Friedman and tell him that he should hold off on providing glowing praise for his boss - and the boss's wonderful plan - until it's actually written.

Amen, Brutha

This pretty much captures the mood of the average American taxpayer these days. A letter to our president:
Dear President Obama,

I wish to thank you for helping my neighbors with their mortgage payments. You know the oneʼs down the street that in the good times refinanced their house several times and bought SUVʼs, ATVʼs, RV"s, a pool, a big screen, two Wave Runners and a Harley. But I was wondering, since I am paying my mortgage and theirs, could you arrange for me to borrow the Harley now and then?

P.S. They also need help with their credit cards, when do you want me to start making those payments?

P.P.S. I almost forgot - they didn't file their income tax return this year. Should I go ahead and file for them or will you be appointing them to cabinet posts?
* Author unknown.

Falling All Over Themselves

I guess, because bonuses have been part of my world for many years (perform to a certain level and earn a targeted amount of income over and above one's salary), that I just haven't been able to work myself up into a blind fury over the A.I.G. story. And, because we're not privy to A.I.G.'s side of it, we just don't know enough details to make an informed decision (this is the insurance business; doesn't it make sense that most of one's earnings would be in the incentive category?) (special note: THEY ALL NEED TO DIE!!! just doesn't inform a whole lot).

So I've avoided mentioning it.

But I will mention those who seem to be most apoplectic about the news that A.I.G. used federal bailout money to pay huge bonuses. It was done with their tacit approval. This is unbelievable:

The Stimulus Bill Explicitly Guarantees Contractual Bonuses Executed Before February 11

Senator Chris Dodd's challenger, Rob Simmons, was just given a golden, golden issue to run on.

Who in their right mind would codify in law that bonus payments to executives at bailed-out companies could not be prohibited?

Well, Chris Dodd.

[Section 111 of H1412 is found here]

That's the amendment that Dodd got placed in the Obama stimulus bill. You know, the one that passed with no House Republican votes, and only three Senate Republican votes. [link]

I heard Dodd on the radio last night trying to paint a whole different picture. It was HE who tried to put language in his amendment that would have prevented A.I.G.'s actions. He sounded like he had a hot poker up his butt the whole time he was talking so I think he knows he's in big trouble.

The whole thing is amusing, if you ask me.

Constitution? What Constitution?

This story will be told in contract law classes for years to come. Can Congress single out one company's employees for retribution when all they did was meet the obligations set forth in their employment contracts that brought them their income? Can Congress shred those contracts?

From the Washington Post:

Congress Moves to Impose Hefty Tax on Executives Who Don't Return Money

The key word being "return." Both sides met the terms of their contract. Bonuses were paid accordingly. And Congress wants it all to be made null and void.

In a different era, I'd say they have no right. But this is the Obama era. So there are no rules anymore.

Will they come for us next?

If Only The Obama Team Were As Classy

Bush refuses to criticize Obama in Canada