Who knew that Paul Krugman would become a YouTube darling?
From Face the Nation March 22, 2009.
Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told CBS News’ Harry Smith on Face The Nation Sunday that the executive branch ought to use its leverage as a majority shareholder in AIG to sue the company for its wrongful use of retention bonuses.
Retention bonuses are to a great extent extortion, Frank argued. “I think there was an element, frankly, with some — not all of them — of almost extortion, where they said, 'We know what you need to know and we will quit if you don’t bribe us,'” Frank said.
He argued that there is a large pool of very talented people who have lost their jobs in the financial crisis and that AIG could replace the bonus recipients (some of whom are responsible for creating the firm's now-toxic assets) rather than bribe them with retention bonuses.
Rough transcript to follow.
Christine Romer, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told Fox's Chris Wallace that she was confident that the economy would begin to grow again in the next year.
WALLLACE: In 15 seconds, how confident are you that if we sat down here a year from today, and it's a date, that you'll be able to say, you know what, our policies have worked?
ROMER: Incredibly confident. I -- I truly believe that's why we're taking them. We absolutely think that they are going to do the job for the American economy and so I'm happy to see you a year from now.
WALLACE: And that a year from now we'll see the signs.
ROMER: We will -- I feel very confident we'll be seeing the signs that the economy is -- has turned around and is growing again. Of course, it will take time before we're really back to normal, but I think we will absolutely see signs that everything is working.
The spectacularly stupid and offensive Fox News show Red Eye with host Greg Gutfeld (above) sunk to new depths this week by belittling a neighbor and ally in the so-called war on terrorism. Although Canada opted out of involvement in Iraq, they have been in Afghanistan since 2002. Originally slated to leave in 2009, the Canadian government has extended the Afghan mission to 2011. At least one of the guests claimed he didn't know Canadian forces were in Afghanistan, which is typical of the expertise on the show. Certainly, conservative radio host Monica Crowley wasn't out of place.
An ill-considered and ill-timed bit of idiocy it was too, as yesterday four Canadian soldiers were killed and eight wounded near Kandahar.
Master Cpl. Scott Francis Vernelli (28), Cpl. Tyler Crooks (24), Trooper Jack Bouthillier (20) and Trooper Corey Joseph Hayes (22) were killed Friday in two roadside bomb blasts in Kandahar province. Eight Canadian soldiers were also wounded. (Department of National Defence)
If you have the stomach for it you can view a clip of the aftermath of the explosion, here.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg told NBC's David Gregory that Secretary Geithner was "absolutely" the right person to head the Treasury. "Tim Geithner is the guy I would want there. He's smart. He is a work-a-holic. He's been there. He's been part of the financial system for a long time. He understands how things work, markets work, how people react," said Bloomberg.
Gregory posed the question to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "You said you supported Secretary Geithner. You still have confidence in him?" The governor simply answered, "Yes."
You Tube (entire segment)
Rachel Maddow reminds all of us just what got us to where we are in the first place with this financial crisis. Deregulation.
For anyone who would care enough to know (and be completely disgusted with) just how big of a mess we're actually in, go read Matt Taibbi's latest article for Rolling Stone: "The Big Takeover: The global economic crisis isn't about money - it's about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution".
Maddow: There would be no outrage about AIG's bonuses if AIG hadn't needed bailing out, right? I mean sure people get mad at fat cats with high salaries when everyone else is broke. But it's the fact that this company was using our money, taxpayers money to pay those bonuses that caused the entire country to grind our teeth down their nub ends to rage at these guys.
So there would be no outrage about AIG turning taxpayer bailout dollars into executive bonuses if there hadn't been a bailout. AIG wouldn't have needed bailing out if it weren't too big to fail, too integral to all these other parts of the financial industries. AIG wouldn't have become too big to fail if they hadn't become a big hybrid complicated uber-financial everything company that made all sorts of arcane financially engineered moves that got them squirreled into every kind of financial related business that you can think of.
AIG wouldn't have become a big hybrid complicated uber-financial everything company if there hadn't been, and this is key, deregulation of Wall Street that allowed firms to get like that. And massive deregulation of Wall Street wouldn't have happened without the rise of a political movement that preached that regulation was inherntly evil and deregulation was inherently wise and virtuous and would make everyone rich and it would be free well behaved puppies for every family.
Do you want an example of how this deregulation thing worked? You can totally use this at the high school dance or a bar or whatever to try to impress someone. Somebody starts complaining about the bailout. Complaining about AIG. You tell them actually the real villain here is Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Just say it with total confidence. Watch. You will get dates.
This week thank goodness Bill Maher went back to his regular format of bringing all of the guests in together unlike last week's stinker of a show. Thank you Bill. The panel of Andrew Ross Sorkin, Kerry Washington, Bernie Sanders and Keith Olbermann discussed the hatred and outright craziness that's coming out of the likes of Glenn Beck and others on the right and the danger of whipping up some of the fringe elements of our society with their rhetoric.
Maher: Listening to people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck these days, I cannot figure out whether these right wingers are more dangerous when they're in power or when they're out of power, because when they're out of power, you know their paranoid, their paranoia goes off the charts. This Glenn Beck guy, I wouldn't even give him the time of day except he's a big star now on Fox and a lot of people believe, and he's talking about FEMA concentration camps.
Maher: He says we are headed toward socialism, totalitarianism...
Maher:...beyond your wildest imagination, but apparently not beyond his wildest imagination.
Washington: Right, right.
Sorkin: Did you see what he said about that? He said I can't prove these FEMA concentration camps, but let me tell you about them anyway.
Washington: Yeah, yeah.
Sorkin: You'd think it would be the opposite.
Olbermann: Can I quote Madeleine Albright?
Olbermann: He's nuts.
Maher: You know I would never be the person who says that you have to watch what you say because some borderline nut...no really...I'm not for that. No, no, that's an argument that's given a lot. You can't say this because a borderline might take it and then do this. I'm sorry but that's the price of living in a free speech country and I do want to live in one because I make my living at it. Okay. But you know I must say Tim McVeigh in 1995 if you recall, this was the same kind of talking that made him blow up that building.
Olbermann: The guy who walked into the church in Tennessee said in his statement to the police that he did this because he could not shoot the liberals who were on the lists from Bernie Goldberg, and Bernie Goldberg has proceeded to come out with another list of liberals and this time I'm on the list so this is even more vivid in my mind now. So yeah you're absolutely right about that. I think what you're seeing with, I mean I have been accused occasionally of sort of bordering on Howard Beale. Hey I got nothing on this guy for Howard Beale.
This is, you know in the last major economic crisis of this nation we spewed forth Father Coughlin. Well this is Father Coughlin with a crew cut. This is Father Coughlin on TV. This is, he's, who knows what he's going to say next week because if we can't understand what he's saying now he also has that same threshold. He doesn't know what he's saying now. It just sounds great. It's wonderful. It is a manic depressive high.
They go on to discuss how irresponsible Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes are and just how much of what comes out of their mouths some of these right wing yappers even believe, and how much is them just being willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder.
From the White House blog: A Budget Equal to the Task Before Us.
The President reflects on lessons from his time spent outside Washington recently, which only reinforced the core principles in his budget. The budget will be his central focus throughout this week.
Full transcript to follow.
David Shuster calls out Michelle Bachmann for her double talk on earmarks. After claiming that she requested zero earmarks for her state Bachmann now admits she requested millions of dollars in earmarks, but now says she took them but it's not a big deal:
Bachmann: Well, the average earmark I think for the state of Minnesota for the members of Congress is somewhere around 70,000– $70 million, so mine is very, very small on that level and that’s in the first two years that was in. After I saw the way that the process worked, after being a freshman, I saw how corrupt it was and took an earmark pledge and that’s why I personally have no earmarks in the current budget bill and the stimulus bill that was passed this year.
As David Shuster notes:
Shuster: The problem is, that level is wrong. According to Legistorm in 2008 Minnesota's Congressional delegation delivered 158 earmarks costing $330 million. The average earmark from Minnesota members was not $70 million as Bachman claimed but $2.1 million which is less than the $3.7 million Bachman earmarked.
Congresswoman, when you insist that your record be put in perspective and then you mislead people about the record of your colleagues, that's hypocrisy, and it's wrong.