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Friday: “I’m shocked that there’s gambling going on in here”

Obama is asking his Wall Street buddies to ease up on the bonuses this year.  It’s unseeemly.  By the way, what is it with the pictures of Obama and his administration that annoys me so much?  Is it that he’s always surrounded by men?  There is a significant concentration of testosterone in the White House that may be reaching toxic levels.  Remember how Bill Clinton promised an administration that looked like America- and then delivered on that promise?  Ahh, those were the days.  But I digress.

So, in the picture, he’s sitting with his legs spread like he’s practicing for some cheerleader split, junk dangling over the edge of the chair.  I’m sorry but he just looks stupid.  And Joe Biden is on his left, Tim Geithner on his left.  Tim Geithner, you may recall is the guy who has a problem with Sheila Bair, the head of the FDIC, preseumably because Bair has ideas in her pretty little head.  You know, ideas like getting investor who own tranches to be realistic about their returns and putting a HOLC like entity together to get homeowners to pay their mortgages?  Silly stuff like that.  Geithner probably thinks, “I’m sure glad you could never be my wife” whenever Bair opens her mouth.

These braintrusts think it is “shameful” that Wall Street bankers rewarded themselves using our money.  But they are wagging their fingers:

Should Mr. Obama have to go to Congress to seek more money for the bailout fund to avert the failure of more banks, he would most likely encounter opposition within both parties and demands for tighter restrictions on pay for executives of institutions that receive government assistance.

Mr. Geithner has already signaled a willingness to impose stricter compensation limits as part of a revamped approach to dealing with the banking crisis, but with his strong words on Thursday, Mr. Obama seemed intent on reassuring Congress and the public that he would step up the pressure on bankers before granting them additional assistance.

Well, that’s telling them. They will get a sternly worded letter saying, “Don’t do it again or Congress will have to regulate you.”  I’ll bet that put the fear of Gawd into them.  The bankers are going to have to court some more Blue Dog Democrats to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Change!™  Ain’t it grand?

81 Responses

  1. There was an interview yesterday regarding the huge banking bonuses and the gist of the interview was that it was unlawful to include language regulating salaries and bonuses in the bailout. So the only option Obama has regarding these bonuses is rhetoric. But the Senator or whoever the hell they were interviewing said Obama’s stern language was working because it deterred the purchase of a 50 million dollar corporate jet by one of the banking companies.

    This really angers me, regular people are unemployed and losing their homes, while Obama wags his finger and says “no-no” on a private jet.

  2. While it may not be legal to regulate wages, it may be possible to regulate the usage of these funds e.g. only for loans made to public or even to regulate the usage as one might for a scholarship. In other words, a scholarship may be available to students who are from families with an income of x dollars a year or less, so might these funds be given to firms that have an executive comensation rate of x or less.

  3. Spot on, RD. I am so not reassured by the “naughty, naughty” finger waving of the White House. Get some teeth in those “bailouts” or stop the gravy train. “Too big to fail” is just another phrase for “too big.”

  4. There was already a response from some banker. He basically said: “Eh, we know it’s something the President has to say for politics’ sake.” (Kind of sounds like Rev. Wright, doesn’t it?) They’re not concerned about Obama’s annoyance.

  5. Okay, so we can’t regulate wages and bonuses, but since so many are out of work, why not set up a regulatory group that approves disbursements of the bailout funds? Maybe some of the people who lost their positions, due to the corporate greed, would like to oversee how the funds are spent.

  6. Ha!Ha! I was making an entry on the same hypocrisy, using dueling tablid covers on this

  7. […] get shamed while the big boys – the ones who own the banks et all, get the bailouts anyway. More thoughts on this circus from Riverdaughter Well, that’s telling them. They will get a sternly worded letter saying, “Don’t do it again […]

  8. Remember way back in the days of 2006 and 2007, when we were so sure we’d get a Democrat in the White House in 2009? Those were the days!

  9. I’m sorry — i was so annoyed by him sitting there with his legs open like some maco-ass stud. Fuck him.
    I already knew that what he was saying was bullshit.

  10. ” A bonus is 20 to 50 percent of a person’s annual salary”

    Are you f$cking kidding me?!?!?! On what effing planet?!?!?! Oh, that’s right, Planet Wall Street. They’re not like the rest of us.

  11. Whenever I think about my tax dollars going to pay huge bonuses to the boyz rather than to pay for contraceptives for low income women it make my blood boil. I may just go live in a shack in Idaho and quit paying taxes altogether.

  12. Blago videos from yesterday

    This blog can’t really capture the long-form style of Blagojevich’s swan song, but he’s going down swinging, with a call to fire Rahm Emanuel for being as guilty as he — according to a theory under which he is being impeached for fighting for citizens right to cheap prescription drugs.

    Lawmakers should “demand that President Obama fire Rahm Emanuel” because he favored the program. Blagojevich suggested Sens. McCain and Kennedy be “indicted as co-conspirators.”

    “I followed every law and never, ever intended to violate any law,” Blagojevich said. “I’m here to give every possible explanation to every one of these allegations. Who knows, maybe you’ll reconsider and allow me to call those witnesses.”


  13. bostonboomer, on January 30th, 2009 at 9:15 am

    More pressure from real Democrats might turn him into a Democrat. His media friends say he needs all the help he can get.

  14. I think (I may be wrong) that for a lot of executives, most of their pay is in the form of “bonuses”. I don’t know if this is some kind of tax thing?
    The usual excuse is that the company needs to pay their high performers or they will leave for another company. I guess using bonuses lets them give money only to star employees (or teh ones best at s*cking up to the boss).
    But if the industry is in such dire straits that they are begging for taxpayer handouts, what company would be hiring at this point? They need to do a bonus freeze or something.
    And an audit.

  15. Obama sez: “There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses,” Mr. Obama said during an appearance in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.

    Yes, and that time is now, dipsh&t.

  16. As far as I’m concerned, these companies handing out billions of dollars worth of bonuses after they’ve gotten billions of dollars in tax-payer money is no different than buying a new corporate jet. They don’t have the money, right? They got some new money from us, right? What gall to give out our money as bonuses to Wall Street. (I will say this: New York State is happy about it because they get to tax these bonuses.)

  17. BB, the only problem Obama has is that the timing embarrasses Him. They should have layed low until after He was done vacuuming taxpayer money from congress.
    Thou shalt not embarrass The One.

  18. DYB: you don’t think one penny of those bonuses to go to taxes, do you? Tax shelters, darling — it’s all the rage.

  19. I thought bonuses were supposed to be a reward for good performance?

    If you need a govt bailout, you ain’t performing so hot.

  20. OT
    Ani has a post over at NOQuarter about Jessica Simpson’s weight gain and her sister defending her. I don’t think she has gained that much weight. I thought she had gotten to skinny before.

    This is the Way Women Are Graded and Degraded

    This is how she looks now

  21. That’s enough logical thinking from you, myiq. Take a sip of kool-aide and you’ll begin to understand the complexities of Wall Street.

  22. Votermon, you are corrrect. And the reason is in part because exective bonuses are, in any sane world, related to the company’s profit for the year. The tax reason is that the employee, that is, the executive, has to pay the FICA part of the bonus. So in effect the executive’s compensation is a part salaried, and part as if self-employed.

    This, by the way, is why Geither had to have known that he was supposed to pay the 15% tax on his overseas earnings. There is nothing unique about it.

  23. As far as I’m concerned, these companies handing out billions of dollars worth of bonuses after they’ve gotten billions of dollars in tax-payer money is no different than buying a new corporate jet.

    Then they will fire the taxpayers that help bail them out. Maybe there should be a rule that any company that is bailed out shouldn’t fire anybody.

  24. StaunchWoman> I’ve never been fashionable. How do you get one of those haven thingies?

  25. OT

    Paul Krugman yet again holding Obama’s feet to the fire. Love it!


  26. I just sent my boss an e-mail asking for an $18 billion bonus. Seriously. (I hope he gets the joke!)

  27. way OT–i woke up this am to an earthquake. just a small one, 4.6, but it ratttled my bedroom door for awhile and I woke up terrified that someone was trying to get in.

    earthquakes are so bizarre.

  28. Where, joaniebone?

  29. janicen,
    here in seattle.

  30. I was there for the 2001 quake. Where was the epicenter this time?

  31. shallow quake in kingston-nw of here in my neighborhood

  32. I have to go to work—have a great day all!

  33. What would Molly Ivins think?? Well, her “assistant in charge of stuff” seems to know…

    More on Molly, who died 2 years ago tomorrow…

    Molly Ivins: 2 Years After Her Death, People Who Knew Her Are Putting Words into Her Mouth (Are They Holding Seances?)


  34. And to think I am always thrilled with my one full paycheck as a Christmas bonus. WOO-HOO!

  35. on the way out:

    go Paul K, go! I love that guy.

  36. Dowticket…re: weight loss

    I LOST weight and yet…I’m being degraded with the rest of us! LOL!!! Of course, I AM over 50 and female and smart…which means I am in the class that is targeted for degradation in addition to my intelligence being INSULTED every day in Obamaland!!

  37. “DEMOCRATS IN EXILE” says the tile above.

    This is supposed to apply to us. Those of us who cling to the tenets of what the Democratic Party once stood for. Those of us who refused to climb aboard the “Obama Express to Nowhere” because we saw what was awaiting on the horizon. Those of us, who if we truly cared to admit it, still harbor a seed of expectation that somehow, some way, those original ideals we held close will someday return.

    What we fail to articulate is that there no longer exists an “aisle” that separates the two parties. These people co-mingle without conscience. Neither party has our interests at heart. They face one another right now, conjuring up numbers. Those numbers translate into nothing more than 2010 and 2012. For anyone to look at the GOP as the answer to the ills that confront us needs an immediate intervention.

    This is the same party, still populated by some of the same figures, who brought us the Clinton impeachment. The same party who gave us Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. The same party who blocks women’s rights and stem cell research. The same party who stood idly by while our constitutional rights were eviscerated and permitted our own government to spy on its own citizens. The same party who brought us the Schiavo mess. The same party that fought against UHC and stood by while Bush refused to insure children. The same party who allowed us to be lied into a bloody conflict which has no end and gave license to torture in our names.

    I am not in the mood to give credit to this party who will, no doubt, buckle under and hand Obama what he wants. Why
    Because deals are made, promises exported, winks and nods are the issue of the day.

    We had our chance to elect a superior candidate to lead. Instead we were handed four mediocre choices at best. We dug deep to find reasons to jump ship and vote the opposition as our only means of protest. Some of us had to take smelling salts into the voting booth as it was the first time we were faced with voting against our own. Not pretty.

    I long for a Democratic Jim Jeffords to step to the plate and announce that he/she has had enough of the babble that emanates from the Halls of Congress. Both sides are playing a “chess game” with our lives and futures. And for us to consider the GOP and their disgusting talking heads like Rush, Hannity, Coulter, Savage, to be the ones speaking out for us is ludicrous. They do not and never have.

    A willing and compliant congress, consisting of both parties, has led us to where we are precariously perched today. Let us not forget that for one moment. Those that represent us do not. Where were these governing bodies at the SEC and those elected to oversee the running of this government that would have saved us from the abyss we now look down into? Nowhere. There may have been a few voices raised here and there but overall they were dismissed by both parties.

    We had our chance. It was stolen. But I will continue to speak out against both sides and the nonsense they each spew. I am not interested in links to the “right” or to the “left” to shore up my resolve. They are equal partners in our downfall, and I will hold them responsible in equal measure.

    But I am not interested in avoiding stepping on toes just to maintain parity and goodwill. Those days are far from over.

    No more excuses!

  38. Could my “rant” be rescued from moderation?

  39. OT but in response to the weight gain thingy above, Jessica Simpson is still a size 4. How is a size 4 fat?

  40. Molly Ivins was a baby boomer and from the South. Chances are she would have loved the idea of an Obama in the WH. As much as I loved Molly and read her faithfully, something tells me she would have been an Obama cheerleader in the end.

  41. Endangered species: Female, over 50, and smart.

  42. The outfit is doing her no favors, but she still looks absolutely gorgeous.

    I try to avoid the tabloids but my subscription to Radar got canceled as it’s gone under (yet again). They’ve replaced it with Star magazine! I might just have to have a peek at the cheese.

  43. There’s a populist rage building in this country, as Americans see bankers getting huge bailouts while American citizens suffer”

    Yep, we are a cauldron, and hopey changey will fly out the window, as more people are affected by this depression. I know, the correct term is recession, but I think we have reached the point of depression. IMHO

  44. I don’t get bonuses at all! I’m a freelancer; I’m glad to find the next job!

  45. I sneak to TMZ every morning, and I know Pat Johnson reads Perez. BTW, they broke into Amy’s house again Pat and took some of her guitars.

  46. PatJ: And therein lies the rub. As a Southern Boomer I now see that we have two clear and distinctr choices: be a r@cist and don’t support Obama, or be covered with white guilt and do support Obama.

  47. Well I am 50, so-so intelligent, wear a size 6, take care of myself and think I am cute. Anybody who disagrees, can just go f*ck themselves.

  48. Obama the do as I say not as I do President with his pal Tim I don’t have to pay my taxes Giethner are just the latest example of the hypocrasy that runs rampant in the new Obama Administration.

    Oh and btw our local paper, the Sun Sentinel reports today that our Broward County Mayor, Stacy Ritter, has ethics problems. She was a huge Obama supporter during the primary. Seems that while she was in the Florida state legislature she voted for bills that were beneficial to her husband’s clients (he was a lobbiest making $20,000.00 a month) and for her husband’s friend (they co-owned a 63 foot yacht together). Why are all these Obamacrats ethically challenged?

  49. FLVoter: Isn’t Broward Co a fun place to live? Our sheriff just got out of Federal prison, one of our former sheriffs invaded the Bahamas in a chris-craft committing an act of international piracy while he was at it, and one of mour mayors is committed to building gay-proof public restrooms (buzzkill!)

  50. Britgirls. Good article by Krugman although I disagree about the Clinton reference. The politics failed then because of the idiot Gingrich neocon Republican Congress.

    In another 10 years I’ll be facing mandatory retirement . I can deal with just about any kind problem that might come up except a major healthcare expense. That’s what keeps me up at night and one big reason I supported Hillary. Nobody else seems to understand the vastness of this cirsis.

  51. Chat, or be true to ourselves and say that we can be free to chose our candidate. I will not be shamed into supporting an empty suit simply because I am southern.

  52. WTF?!?!? I am in moderation and I didn’t say anything

  53. What’s with all the slamming on the over 50s? Don’t the ‘bots realize that Dear Leader himself will be FIFTY in two years?

  54. Get me outta here PLEASSSSE!

  55. I know, wasn’t it absurd when you read that Obama “called them out” for their “shameless and irresponsible” behavior! Meanwhile, he’s funneling money to them, so they can give him big fancy inaugurations, and an overflowing campaign fund. It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.

    I’d also like to ask Conflucians to take a second and vote in a poll. These things can seem silly, but the NYC powerbrokers are using their famous character assassination tactics on Kirsten Gillibrand–trying to smear her with mischaracterizations, and lies about her record in order to defeat her before she’s had a chance to prove herself. Please take a second when you can and vote for her!

    VOTE IN THE POLL “Do you approve of Governor Paterson’s pick of Kirsten Gillibrand to the US Senate?”


  56. ABG heard my southern drawl

  57. A gay-proof bathroom? How does that work? Ugly wall paint?

  58. Damned if I know. I am a straiight female and this was a men’s room in Ft. Lauderdale.

  59. fif> The link doesn’t work.

  60. DYB – Shag rug bathmats and matching toilet seat covers.

  61. (I’m the other Sheri): RD and StaunchWoman: It’s funny how many of us basically reacted the same way. I was telling my husband about it yesterday (he’s traveling); BO sat in that chair as though he were doing a fireside chat right in our living rooms; legs spread open, hands dangling. As though he is all cozy with all of us – he’s one of us and by God, he’s gonna tell ’em how to behave. He makes me sicker every day. Then, when BostonBoomer posted that YouTube “Pledge Allegiance to Obama” (produced by Harpo Prod btw), I was even sicker. All those Hollywood people – they will be a servant to Obama? Isn’t HE the civil servant?

    Jessica Simpson looks just fine! This is what a woman should look like; not a Twiggy size 0. Watch out those of you with pre-teens. Mine is 21 now and we’ve gotten through it but “thin is in” is still the mantra. Keep your eye on the ball and tell your daughters how beautiful they are just as they are; let them know about anorexia/bulemia every chance you can.

  62. NEW POST!

  63. I’m guessing the bathroom stalls wouldn’t have a gap at floor level … to avoid the foot nudging thing. Someone help me out here … I don’t know the right name for it.

  64. chatblu,

    The only thing that I am grateful for is the we elect a new mayor and city commissioners on February 10th. No more Naugle! Problem is that I really don’t care for any of the people running. Oh well!

    What is really sad is that the Sun Sentinel opined that while what Ms. Ritter did was legal, it did not pass the smell test. So the story dies.

    What is funny is that some Republican legislator called Miami a bannana republic, if he only knew that Broward County qualified for that title also. Hey, but at least the weather is good.

    And lastly for all you Floridians, I also read a few weeks ago that Citizens was unfreezing its rates and that their rates will start increasing to match the market place. With State Farm threatening to leave unless they get a 67% increase for property insurance looks like we in Florida are SOL again.

  65. LOL dyb ugly wall paint!!!

    thanks for the link, fif
    I voted for Kirsten, my gun totin blue dawg hero!!

  66. Ahem … I think the term is cottaging. Sound so quaint!

  67. OT but in response to the weight gain thingy above, Jessica Simpson is still a size 4. How is a size 4 fat?

    Their problem is that she was a 2 now she is a 4. How dare she be a size 4?

  68. Fif, I voted.

  69. Pluuuueeeeese get me of of moderation!!!!!

  70. (Other Sheri): Downticket – for one thing, she has on the old fashioned jeans – the 7 inch zipper that comes over the waist instead of the 1/2 inch zipper that has been so popular the past several years; also the camera angle is not a good one. But, it goes without saying – if one doesn’t look stick thin, they are fat. Period. It’s a shame and very difficult for young girls to live up to. I’m not sure what a woman is supposed to look like anymore – and I’m from the Twiggy days (the 60’s).

  71. That Newsday write-up is absurd. The headline reads that New Yorkers think Paterson did a “weak” job choosing Gillibrand. But the poll they cite very clearly states that majority of people think he did “fair” and “good” and “excellent” job.

    “The Siena College poll released Thursday says 33 percent of voters thought he did a fair job, while 29 percent thought it was poor. Only 27 percent said the process was good, and 6 percent rated it excellent.”

    Let’s see
    Poor: 29%
    Fair + Good + Excellent: 33 +27 + 6%

    How does this translate into most New Yorkers think he did a bad job??

  72. Sheri, on January 30th, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I thinking she is trying out country style. Jessica Simpson wasn’t skinny when she first came into the spot light. It was during the reality show that she began to loose weight and that made her more famous.

  73. AMEN PAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wow – that was a blog post unto itself!

  74. I voted and wrote two comments.

  75. Obama didn’t find it shameful when they gave him all that money to run his coronation either or for that matter to make campaign contributions.

    The bailout funds went to that too.

  76. Pat> Absolutely. And where was the Democratic through all that? Jogging right alongside Republicans.

  77. bonuses: shameful
    contributions to coronation and campaign:

    uh, uh, uh,

  78. APparently the bonus figure being cited by the media and obama administration includes bonuses from wall street banks/firms that did not take any TARP money. I would like to know how much the banks that did take TARP were paying in bonuses, and to whom, before slamming all of wall street for bonuses, exorbitant or not. Many on wall street basically are compensated practically by bonuses alone, so it matters to what extent top execs were the sole recipients or if, for example, the bonus pool was massively divided among, for example, traders, etc.

  79. Being simple minded, I only have simple ideas. When I was a kid, we only got extra (bonus) chicken when everyone had gotten theirs, ergo bonuses come out of what’s left over. There’s a simple fix (see previous comments on simple mindedness) anyone who receives TARP funds can’t take a tax reduction for the bonus as a salary. There would be some major bald pate scratching over the award of bonuses at that point.

    The thing that is really stomach souring about all this is that a firm could take TARP, award outlandish bonuses and then turn around and take the deduction. There’s little wonder that these folks are aroused when they see a picture of Dr. Doolittle’s push-me-pull-you.

  80. I just read where Biden is the big fix (supposed) for the economy.

    To quote RD “Ruh Roh” — ?

    Let’s see now, perhaps Ms. O could weigh in sometime soon on that before more families in LA or Ohio off themselves due to the economy.

    Oh, and, it is sooooooooo “non-smart” isn’t it, to take away BIRTH CONTROL from women in a time when there are no jobs, isn’t it!

    I mean, go ahead and have babies — but raise them on the streets!

    Wow. The male brain nevah ceases to amaze.

    You know RD & Co. It is Michelle’s time to shine. In fact, if you read her wikipedia entry — she’s like most of us.

    I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of FEMINIST she actually is.

    Personally? She should really come to the FOREFRONT — given her gen and the women who are watching…

    DEM women, I might add.

    We expect a lot. Not another silent Stepford in pearls. By the way, hopefully by now she realizes she was accepted by her peers — which cures the whole concept of her thesis at Princeton.

    Doesn’t it?


    Let’s see her be REALLY STRONG AND TRUE right now.

    Not just on the Lily L thing.

    And not just on the military families thing.

    American women are waiting — because?

    She’s our gen. Just like he is.

    Biden? OMG. I have more faith in HER.

  81. Oh ps: yesterday that little so and so who called Hillary a monster now has to work with HER.

    Apologise, babe.

    To all the PUMAS. Our eyes are on her as well after what she said about OUR HILLARY! Aren’t they!

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