17 March, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Were we a real cantina here, we'd be serving green drinks in honor of St. Paddy's Day. And then we'd probably stain the floor green spilling them.

This is truly a spit-take moment:
He's baaaack. Rick Santelli, the right wing hero and the man who too cowardly to represent CNBC on The Daily Show is now calling the payouts of bonuses to AIG executives nothing more than a bathroom product compared to other monies being spent. He says he's outraged as anyone over it though, but a contract is a contract.
SANTELLI: Now, think about it this way. Maybe I'm missing something. But the outrage seems to be about M's, millions of dollars, right? $165 million, OK? But I would think that it should be looked at as a pretty big positive, because when you go from the M, maybe you should try to go to the B's, which is the billions of dollars, and maybe that's going to even enlighten it for the T, trillions of dollars. You know, $165 million is like worrying about 16.5 cents, while $165 maybe necessitates a little more outrage. What do you guys think?

Well, Rick. We think you're a great big fucktard.

Just like all of the hypocrites who've jumped on the populist outrage bandwagon, in fact:

As outrage mounts over the $165 million in executive bonuses paid to AIG staffers, many Republicans are trying to tap into the widespread public anger by striking uncharacteristically populist tones. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Banking Commitee ranking member Richard Shelby (R-AL) have said the following in recent days:

MCCONNELL: “Well, it is an outrageous situation. I wrote Secretary Paulson back in October complaining about the way AIG had been doing its business. […] This is an outrage.” [ABC News, 3/15/09]

SHELBY: “We ought to explore everything that we can through the government to make sure that this money is not wasted. […] A lot of these people should be fired, not awarded bonuses. This is horrible. It’s outrageous.” [AP, 3/16/09]

However, when Congress debated limiting executive pay last month, these same key Republican lawmakers stood firm in opposing such caps. McConnell argued against the “temptation” to “dictate” business practices when it comes to salaries and bonuses:

MCCONNELL: “I really don’t want the government to take over these businesses and start telling them everything about what they can do. […] We have to resist the temptation to basically dictate to these businesses how to run every aspect of their operation.” [ABC News, 2/4/09]
Similarly, Shelby demanded a laissez-faire approach to executive compensation as Congress pressed Secretary Paulson for details of the bailout plan:
SHELBY: “It should be up to the board of directors of a private corporation to set the compensation of an executive; it shouldn’t be Congress’s role.” [Washington Post, 9/23/08]

Y'know, guys, we do keep video and audio clips around. And September wasn't all that long ago.

Dana Perino, of course, doesn't have any idea what all the fuss is about:
On C-Span’s Washington Journal on Sunday, Perino defended the bonuses:
PERINO: And the people who are working there that are middle-class people, are expecting to get this bonus. If they do not get it, maybe they won’t be motivated enough to try to help the company turn around and getting the company to turn around and be more profitable is important for all of us.

Perino then chastised the “rhetoric in Washington” that “can try to make things so black and white, and make things sound so easy — demonize people when I don’t think that that’s fair.”


It appears that Perino either doesn’t know who is set to receive the bonuses or is unaware what it means to be “middle class” (i.e. those American households that generally make between $40,000 and $70,000 per year). In fact, while as of Sunday, it was unclear what the salary range is for the executives who are set to get the bonuses, as The New York Times reported at the time, some of them will receive more than $3 million in bonuses alone.
Last I checked, that kind of money wasn't part of the description of "middle class." I don't know what rock this ignoramus crawled out from under, but I'd suggest to her that she put a sock in it before she ends up looking any dumber. If it's even possible to look dumber at this point.

Well, if anyone could, I'm sure Ms. Perino would find a way.

Speaking of dumber, South Carolina governor Mark Sanford continues to present himself as an absolute ass. He's busy trying to find ways to either not accept the stimulus money for his state, or if he's forced to take it, use it to pay down debt rather than keep people employed. The problem for him is that other South Carolinians know he's a world-class dumbshit:

To help capture just how incredibly foolish Sanford is acting, South Carolina's largest newspaper, The State, had a helpful editorial the other day, describing the governor's ideas as "bankrupt."

When you're starving and someone offers to buy you lunch, you don't say, "I only want your money if I can put it into my 401(k)." But that's essentially what Mr. Sanford wants to do. [...]

We'll start with the claim that using federal stimulus funds will dig the state deeper into debt. That simply is not true. Now, if the state were using federal funds to expand or create new programs, he would have a point, because if the economy hasn't recovered by the time the money runs out, we will have to either raise taxes or cut those programs. But the money is being used to sustain programs that we already have -- or, at most, restart programs that were cut back in the past few months. That is, to delay cutting programs that otherwise would be cut now. Sort of the way that lunch delays the moment you die of starvation; you hope it will buy you time to find a job. We hope the federal funds will buy us time for the economy to start recovering.

It's almost as if Sanford has something against South Carolinians. One wonders what they did to offend him.

For what it's worth, the DNC has launched its first ads since November, and they're targeting Sanford's bizarre recklessness. The governor called on the White House yesterday to pull the DNC's ad from the air, saying it stands in the way of "a productive dialogue on the merits" of Sanford's ideas.

What "merits"?

Well, that's rather the problem with holding a "productive dialogue" regarding "the merits." His ideas haven't got any.

I know the assclowns will always be with us. I just wish there weren't quite such an abundance just now.

1 comment:

Cujo359 said...

That link that defines the "middle class" as being in the $40k to $60k range strikes me as specious. What the author did was decide that the middle class is all the folks in the middle - arbitrarily, he chose three fifths of the country as the middle class, then applied the income ranges associated with those people.

The obvious question anyone should ask would be, if the middle class is 60 percent of the population, how can it be shrinking? What defines being in the middle class, or whatever class you are, is more a functional one than statistical, I think. Are you wealthy enough to afford your own house? Are you able to send yourself or you kids to college? Can you be unemployed for a while and not be destitute? These are all functional questions, and the answers to them, among others, would determine what class you belong to.

While it's hard to imagine that anyone earning $40k in this country could be considered poor, it may be possible. There are places where earning $100k would still be in the middle class, like any place where real estate prices are out of sight. If you can't afford to buy a house or live in a comfortable rental space, you're not rich, in my opinion.