Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Dodd in deep kimchi

And let me say it couldn't happen to a nicer @$$hat. Chris Dodd brought this on himself. Between the deals with Countrywide, the Irish cottage deal he got, and the fact he received $103,000 in campaign contributions from AIG, it's no wonder why he's in hot water especially with people in his home state: (HT to Glenn Reynolds)

Across Connecticut, anger is erupting against Mr. Dodd, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, whose stature in Washington once reflected the state’s beneficial ties with the financial industry. Now, he finds himself a symbol of the political establishment’s coziness with tainted corporations and a target of populist wrath over their excesses.

On Thursday, the senator sought to defuse the furor over the latest revelation, holding a conference call with reporters to explain how legislation meant to limit executive compensation was changed at the last minute. That change exempted bonuses protected by contracts, like those at American International Group, a big campaign contributor to Mr. Dodd that received billions in federal bailout money.

Mr. Dodd said that his staff revised the bill at the urging of Treasury officials, who he said were concerned that the compensation limits, which he had written in the original legislation, went too far and might invite lawsuits.

While he knew the language was being rewritten, the senator said he had no idea the revision would allow for the bonuses at A.I.G.

“Had I known at the time that there were any A.I.G. bonuses involved — that this was somehow going to assist in that matter — I would have rejected it completely,” he said.

First things first because the media keeps distorting this little detail. The bonuses were RETENTION BONUSES paid to employees who knew they were likely going to be laid off. I really wish the media would get off this "executive compensation" meme because it's not true. The top executives at AIG didn't get these bonuses. These bonuses were paid to midlevel managers and workers. But God forbid they tell the truth. It might cool down much of this ginned up faux outrage.

Secondly, as Marcie explained a couple days ago these bonuses were "contractually obligated" meaning that to deny them via congressional edict (Congress seems to be passing quite a bit of those lately) would open up AIG to bigger headaches called lawsuits (maybe the monkeys in Congress have heard the term "breach of contract"?) which would only hurt the struggling financial insurer. But Congress never thinks that far ahead. They just look to see what sort of outrage they can stir amongst their lemming supporters so idiots like Chris "Tingles" Matthews has a story to run each night.

The outrage over the AIG bonuses shows just how stupid the masses are in accepting the media narrative without looking behind the curtain. They take fools like Dodd at his word one day, and excuse him when he admits lying to lie to them again.

We're happy to see the voters in Connecticut ticked at this loser. Whether that furor can last through 2010 and bounce him from office is anyone's guess. But if we were Dodd, we wouldn't be going home anytime soon. The torch and pitchfork crowd might be waiting foe him at the airport.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: I'm not the only one seeing trouble for Chris Dodd. Victor Davis Hanson lays out all nine of the proverbial lives that Dodd seems to have spent:

1. He claimed that he had not the slightest involvement in the AIG bonus exemption that he in fact helped insert.

2 He got more AIG money than anyone in the Congress — more even than Barack Obama, who came in second.

3. He got a sweetheart deal on an Irish "cottage" from a crooked stock-trader.

4. He got two preferential discount mortgage interest deals from the now-bankrupt Countrywide.

5. He was one of the Fannie Mae-enabling overseers at a time it was going broke and giving senators like Dodd himself campaign cash — he topped out near $134,000 higher than anyone else.

6. He got a sweetheart profit deal from a condo joint-buy with crook Edward Downe, Jr.

7. He intervened with the Clinton administration to get the felon Downe pardoned.

8. He misrepresented the value of his Irish cottage that he obtained via the agency of the dubious Mr. Kessinger.

9. He is the nation's premier hypocrite as he lambastes Wall Street crooks and insiders from his collapsing soapbox.

Well, those are the proverbial nine lives — so, Senator Dodd, time to go: "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and lets us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

For those unaware of the quote, it comes from Oliver Cromwell.

Publius II


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