Mad As Hell About AIG Bonuses? Then You’re a Chump

Perhaps you’re frog-stomping mad about AIG bonuses. Guess what? You’re being played like a fool by your own government. Congress authorized those bonuses. Barack Obama has known about them for weeks. Indeed, according to Obama’s administration, they were last year’s news. This is all part of theater of the absurd, a massive distraction mean to divert your attention as a bipartisan bunch of clowns who aren’t reading the bills they’re signing and who haven’t read the U.S. Constitution since junior high chip away at the very foundations of this country.

What about Congress’ perks and bonuses? What about the pay raise they voted themselves this year? What about Washington’s complete and blatant disregard for tax laws that would get you or me audited in a heart beat? People who’ve been sucking off the government teat their entire adult lives and have the mathematical abilities of a brain-damaged monkey are trying to work you into a froth while they grab more power and more cash for themselves. They’re piling up massive debts as, under the guise of “stimulus,” they pass through every big government project that had been rejected over and over again for the last 40 years.*

Michael Goodwin, writing in the Daily News, says it best:

The very people, Republicans and Democrats alike, who can’t balance America’s budget now claim the expertise to run banks, insurance companies and automakers.

If we let them, we’re dumber than they are.

Note that a photo of Barney Frank runs with that piece. If any one member of Congress should be dragged out into the street along with execs at AIG for an old-fashioned beating, it’s him. Over and over again he declared nothing wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Over and over again he resisted Bush administration (remember them?) moves for more oversight and regulation. And now he’s grandstanding? By the way, did you know that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac execs are getting bonuses as well?

As Goodwin writes, “The real outrage is that the bonuses represented a fraction of the $180 billion of public money pumped into AIG without any real oversight.”

Not coincidentally, AIG covered its bases pretty well during election season, spreading the cash around. But guess who the top two recipients of AIG cash were. Go on. Guess. Chris Dodd and Barack Obama. Funnily enough, both Dodd and Obama are blaming each other for inserting the language into the bailout bills that allowed AIG to honor its bonus contracts.

*Gripe all you want about defense spending. At least there I know my tax dollars are going to things that a) keep people employed; b) work as promised (those bombs and planes kill the shit out of people); and c) generally keep insane jihadists busy getting their asses killed in some other part of the world rather than in downtown Manhattan.

ISM Will Solve All Your Problems

It’s like an anti-stimulus cartoon … created in 1948. Tell me that ISM snake-oil salesman doesn’t remind you of a certain set of politicians currently promising that the magnum-powered idiocy of Capitol Hill can solve our problems for us.

By the way, if you’re curious as to how all of this will play out in the future, just look at California in the present. Broke and getting broker by the minute. (Via Instapundit)

Love of self is … masturbation

So there’s a display of student art work in the local Starbucks and inscribed on one of these pieces is the following: “Love of self is the answer to all problems.” That, my friends, is a lie. And not just any lie. It’s a damn lie.

“Love of self is the answer to all problems.” If only the slaves had known! If only the Jews in Germany had known. A few positive mental affirmations and it would have all gone away. Problem solved! Imagine me doing a Chris Rock impersonation when I say, “love of self” doesn’t answer shit. You know what answers problems a lot of times, though? Despite what you read on Volvo bumpers? War!
Continue reading “Love of self is … masturbation”

New York State Stuck on Stupid

Apparently Gov. Dave Paterson isn’t the only blind one running things up in Albany. According to Bloomberg, the New York Lottery is proposing to move its $1.3 billion prize fund into investments such as stocks, corporate bonds, real estate and hedge funds and out of the safety of U.S. Treasuries.

Wait, it gets even better. “New York would be the first state lottery among the 20 largest to shift to pension fund-style investments.” You know, because that’s working out oh so well as underfunded and overgenerous pensions across the country teeter on the brink, threatening to make things even worse for those of us who, unlike government employees, actually work for a living and suffer immediately for foolish financial transactions. (Do a search on Instapundit for pensions and you’ll get a raft of bad news.)

But I guess I shouldn’t expect more from New York State, which is probably only second to California in its inability or unwillingness to comprehend fiscal reality and where at the government is doing its damnedest to set up a plantation system in which it and its employees are the master’s family and the private sector is just the help. Of course, we also know how well California is doing as the state goes broke, businesses continue to flee the high taxes and ludicrous legislation imposed by the masters and the state gets set to release 58,000 prisoners onto the streets.

I have an even better idea. Why not go all in and put the MTA in charge of the lottery funds?

Better yet, considering the state of the stock market recently, why not just reinvest all the New York State Lottery in MegaMillions and Powerball tickets?

Update Welcome Instapundit readers. You know the drill. Look around, etc. Follow me on Twitter as well! @kenwheaton

How About an Obama v. Coburn Debate?

If Barack Obama wants to sell this stimulus package to an unwilling consumer, how about he make his point on TV via debate? Prime time. On all major networks.

Sure, he’s going to go on TV anyway and have a one-sided talk with at the American people, trying to scare the hell out of them, convince them that the money currently in their wallets will literally go up in flames if Congress doesn’t act now and pass a trillion-dollar wealth shift that violates at least two of his so-called campaign promises — no earmarks, no bills being passed without Americans having five days to view the thing. (Let’s also overlook the tax cheats appointed to cabinet positions, the lobbyists now scurrying around the White House and the complete inability to vet people.)

What we should have is Obama debate either a rabid House Republican — one of those guys who tried to stop the excrement-filled TARP bill from passing — or Sentator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma. That guy’s about as anti-pork as you can get. (McCain’s had his chance to not prove any of his points for the last two years, so let him rest.) The Democrats are whining that they’ve allowed the Republicans to “define” the argument. Well, this would be a chance to make the case to the American people without sounding like you’re whining about evil Republican tactics or, worse, sounding like you ARE taking one great leap forward to half-assed Socialism. We’ll overlook how much whining you do — even when you have the majority. (And while we’re overlooking things, we’ll also overlook the fact that George W. Bush’s ridiculous spending habits and the passage of TARP and auto bailouts–helped along by some Congressional Republicans–set the whole ball rolling.)

At any rate, Obama needs to convince people that this recession isn’t going to be over by the time the money in this bill–which does indeed look like 40 years of back-logged liberal pet programs–starts rolling out into the economy. Is that too much to ask when insisting that we give you a trillion dollars of our money. Hell, I’d like you to convince me that you realize that the trillion dollars actually comes from us and not from some magical government piggy bank that is replenished by fairies.

And if it is too unseemly for a President to debate a Senator or Representative, I get that. There is protocol. There is tradition. In that case, put Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi on the podium. In prime time on the three major broadcast networks (then again, this would be a killer ratings coup for CNN, FoxNews or MSNBC). Of course, that wouldn’t even be close to a fair fight.

UpdateWelcome Instapundit readers. Look around. Follow on twitter at @kenwheaton. And if you remember my name come January 2010, by my first novel, “First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival” from Kensington Books.

New York Times Hops on 25 Random Things Bandwagon

I told you 25 Random Things was lame, loser-ville and so 1999 (remember that chain email?). Now I have proof. If the Times is writing about it in its Fashion section, that means it’s about as cool as Australian rock-band Jet. The Times devoted over 1,200 words to this. All the news that fits, indeed.

One Random Fact about Ken: I’m a total hater.
One Random Fact about The New York Times: I hate it for ruining its real estate section.

The Curious Case of a Stupid Academy (updated)

Wow. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button gets nominated for Best Picture. If this wins, it’s Crash all over again — proof positive that Academy voters are drooling morons. To be clear, Benjamin Button was only mildly annoying — it wasn’t aggresively stupid and bad as Crash was, but it suffered from missing every opportunity to go deeper. And it certainly doesn’t strike me as best picture material. If you’re going to go with special-effects laden movie for the category, why not Dark Knight or Iron Man?

Crash, of course, was much worse — a case where the voters were so easily impressed by supposedly deep themes that they awarded Best Picture to one of the worst films I’ve ever seen, a film so bad that I think someone finally “succeeded” with that 100-chimps-with-100-typewriters experiment. Actually I guess I’m insulting the chimps by comparing them to Paul Haggis.

Be sure to check out The Curious Case of Forrest Gump.