Property Grunt

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Oliver North Defense

If they are not going to return the bonuses, then it does not matter what you say.

A.I.G. chief asks bonus recipients to give back half

WASHINGTON: As the lucrative bonuses paid to employees of the American International Group fueled fresh outrage at the White House and on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the embattled chief executive of A.I.G. said that he had asked some recipients to give at least half the money back.

The chief executive, Edward M. Liddy, made the announcement during his testimony on Wednesday afternoon before a congressional committee investigating the problems at the company.

"I have asked the employees of AIG Financial Products to step up and do the right thing," Mr. Liddy told lawmakers. "Specifically, I have asked those who received retention payments of $100,000 or more to return at least half of those payments."

Half? Half? Are you f**king high? Give it all back!

NOTEBOOK: AIG chief warns bashing out of control

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of a House subcommittee lined up Tuesday to administer AIG chairman Edward Liddy a public flogging for allowing his executives to accept more in post-bailout bonuses than most Americans earn in a lifetime.

Liddy responded with a warning to cool the rhetoric.

He told the lawmakers he wants the executives to give the money back, an answer that took much of the sting out of lawmakers' criticism. But then he unloaded the text of ghoulish threats the bonus-taking AIG executives have received.

"I'm just really concerned about the safety of our people," Liddy said.

Public shaming and Congress' hyperbolic outrage had failed to inspire all of the bonus-receiving executives to return the money. So House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank demanded their names. And if Liddy doesn't provide them, Frank said, he'll subpoena them.

Liddy was ready. He paused in his general assessment of AIG amounting to good capitalism gone bad and pulled several sheets of paper from a stack of notebooks. From them, he read what he said were ghoulish threats made against those executives by members of the public.

Naming the executives wouldn't just jeopardize their lives, Liddy said, but those of their innocent children. Surely, he said, no one's in favor of that.

"'All of the executives and their families should be executed with piano wire around their necks,'" Liddy read into the microphone, apparently from the text of one of the threats his company had received since news of the bonus payments exploded into the headlines over the weekend.

Liddy solemnly read from another:

"'My greatest hope: If the government can't do this properly, we, the people, will take it in our own hands and see that justice is done. I'm looking for all the CEOs names, kids, where they live, etc.'"

Frank had a legitimate request, Liddy said. If AIG is required by the force of a subpoena to reveal the names, he added, AIG will do it.

"But I want to protect the well-being of our employees," he said.

It was a damage-control tour de force, a lesson in how to humanize public pariahs — in this case, 418 bonus-taking executives of AIG, according to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

These executives, Liddy was suggesting, are people who had made mistakes, people with families.

Liddy succeeded somewhat in calming the hysteria.

Frank appeared genuinely surprised by the existence and tone of the threats Liddy described. He immediately called them "despicable" and warned his colleagues to be conscious of the effects of their rhetoric.

Liddy had other messages for the lawmakers. One was: AIG's failure may be yours.

"We, at AIG, want to believe that we are all in this together," he told the panel.

Motherf**ker don't even try to pull a Gaius Baltar. You don't have his accent, his charm and you have never banged a Cylon.

What Liddy is doing is the Oliver North Defense which is standing true to his beliefs no matter how screwed up they are and blaming others for the situation. Oliver North was never convicted because Iran Contra occurred during the Cold War.

These tactics are not going to work for him. First of all his company, AIG, put themselves and others in harm's way. They were the ones f**king with this financial black magic and look where it got us.

As for this phony call to arms.

"We, at AIG, want to believe that we are all in this together," he told the panel

Douchebag, you are not Admiral Adama.

You don't even compare to the actor who was able to lead the United Nations for a day.

Yeah. We are all in this together, but not by choice. And since we are all part of this situation then you better do your part and get your act together. Figure out how to fix this mess instead of thinking of yourselves.

Words like socialism and populism are being thrown around. It has nothing to do with that. The only words that should matter are "Common Sense".

We are living a FUBAR and we need to take drastic action to get ourselves out of this mess. A primary directive that needs to be followed is to make an effort not to make the situation worse than it is.

It is really that simple.

If these a**holes don't want to follow that rule and are unwilling and unrepentant to change their ways, well I have no sympathies for them and for what they reap. There are no surprises and tricks. Everything has been laid out for all to see.

So if you play the 800 pound gorillia and sit where you want, you will sit in a minefield. Want to blow yourself up? Fine. But like our buddy Edward M. Liddy says, we are in this together. So if some shrapnel comes in the way of the people, there will be a reckoning.