When is Being “Reasonable” Simply “Unreasonable”? (Especially When It Comes to Our Money?)

~~By Kenosha Marge

There have been a few voices speaking quietly amongst all the shrill voices playing “Monkey Pile on AIG”. At first glance these seem to be the voices of reason. They don’t pile on and they don’t suggest Hari Kari. They simply, and of course reasonably, tell us that we must at times swallow the bitter medicine if we are to get well. Bitter pills to swallow must sometimes, unhappily, be swallowed. The very reasonableness of their words makes one listen.

These are the people that routinely tell us the yes, yes the financial institutions that screwed the pooch so egregiously are bad but allowing them to go down would be worse. We simply must prop up, bailout, and otherwise help them with taxpayer dollars because they are just too big to fail. As many smarter than me have said, too big to fail is too big to exist.

However those quiet, reasonable voices continue to whisper sweet nothings in our ears. Yes, yes, dear little taxpayer who is getting screwed, this is just too, too terrible. But what be must be. Feel that condescending hand patting you on your pointy little head yet?

The voices of reason tell us that we must pay those financially ludicrous bonuses to those at AIG who failed their company so completely. Ran it right into the ground they did and now they get “retention bonuses”? You mean we actually are supposed to want them to stay? WTF?

Then comes the part I like best, the part about retention bonuses being such a small part of the monies being spent. Hey, lighten up people; it’s only $165,000.000.00 or so, just a drop in the bucket. Just chump change as it were. Their idea of “chump change” is my “hallelujah I’m rich beyond my wildest dreams” change.

“Politicians say they’re beefing up our economy.  Most don’t know beef from pork.”  ~Harold Lowman

These quiet reasonable voices frequently tell us not to worry about such small sums when so many much larger sums are being misspent. That certainly seems reasonable. Unless you happen to be old enough to remember when sums like these newly named small amounts were considered large.

I remember back when we thought that a million dollars was a large amount. In fact, I still do. That is a whole lot of money that is taken from taxpayers. For most of those taxpayers, a million bucks is more than chump change.

Those little “porky” projects and sums that Senator Chuck Schumer seems to think citizens aren’t concerned about DO concern many of us. If those sums and little piglet projects are so meaningless then send some of them my way. I am not a spendthrift, live within my means and would love to have a million dollars to spend. I promise I would spend it far more carefully and reasonably than the pinheads sitting in Washington.

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery.  They’re the kind of people who’d stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire.  I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy.

The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn’t bother to stop because they’d want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.  ~Dave Barry

Now according to what I’ve read many experts are pooh-poohing the idea that an outraged citizenry should be worrying about “chump change” like the $165,000,000.00 in retention bonuses that AIG handed out using our money. In fact all those freewheeling, free-spending politicians were caught flat-footed by the anger of the taxpayers. Then their own self-serving, self-preserving hypocrisy kicked in;  fingers hastily pulled from their butts and now held in the wind told them the natives were getting restless.

Their primary concern, re-election kicked in and every pinhead that could rise to their feet on the Senate or the House is now expressing his/her faux-rage. Media seeking pols like heat-seeking missiles looked around for the nearest microphone. There was a sudden need to express their shock and rage at this travesty and throw their own phony little hiss-fit.

If the politician in question did vote against the porkulus bill and did have a conniption fit because no one was reading it,  then they have at least a right to half a faux-rage. They are only half as hypocritical as their fellow pols. Well la-dee-da.

Senator Chuck Grassley even joked that perhaps the people in charge over at AIG should resign or commit suicide. Ha-ha.

There ought to be one day – just one – when there is open season on senators.  ~Will Rogers

My point, and yes, I do have one, is that I believe that if you have any integrity, if you are a tiny bit honest, if you are even half of a decent person, you would take seriously the vast amounts of money that is taken from the American people and use it carefully. Use it for the greater good. Now I do realize that this suggests that the people we elect have some character. And therein lies the real problem.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.  ~Aesop

Most Americans now seem to know that we have a bunch of free-spending, lying, and good-for-nothing hypocrites in our government. Some are out and out crooks. Others are so stupid-silly that you wonder how stupid-silly must be the people that voted for Senator/Representative Silly-Stupid.

Voters have been known to vote for Senator/Representative Silly-Stupid even when those folks are under indictment or under investigation for criminal activity.

The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.  ~Oscar Levant.

Now that the cat is out of the bag all the Silly-Stupid Politicians are in a faux-rage over the $165,000,000.00 in retention bonuses over at AIG. The public is in lynch mode and the Silly-Stupid Media smells blood in the water and is going into shark mode.

All the rage and hysteria will soon have people all tired out. The media will find the next shiny object to hyperventilate about while ignoring real outrages committed by our government every single day.

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.  ~Doug Larson

The media, like our elected officials are cool insiders that find the concerns and well being of your average citizen slightly less interesting than the cost of their next overpriced lunch at a trendy restaurant where all the other cool folks hang out to show how cool and trendy they are.  And the reasonable voices will speak soothingly of the small amounts of money being spent on little porky projects.

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.  ~Texas Guinan

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21 Responses

  1. Marge,

    You are definitely on the money here. Many distractions are being tossed out these days to divert our attention from the real crap being pulled in Washington. We range from Fauxbama rage over AIG to the “soothing” voices you reference, but you’ve hit the nail on he head – it’s all part of the same distraction.

    There is only 1 solution – the 100% Solution. We need to throw each and every member of the House and every Senator that’s up for re-election out on their collective behinds. There can be no “but this one did some good” or “this one’s bringing home my bacon”; everyone must go.

    At this point I’d rather see Charles Manson in Congress than some of the whack-jobs we’ve elected time and again. That being said, I think we can do much better than Charlie; there are hundreds of millions of Americans and you’re trying to tell me that this lot of refuse is the best that we can do? It’s time to take action – we need a movement that makes America understand that it’s Congress that’s the problem. Taxation without Representation goes against the Constitution, but that is exactly what we have right now. It’s time to stop typing and start acting. Run for office. If you can’t do it, find someone that will. It’s not hard – just find a friend or neighbor that pays their taxes, knows what it’s like to work for a living, and isn’t a drug addict or a pedophile (which I believe are the current requirements by the 2 major parties to run for office).

    Great rant!

  2. Clean House and Senate with Term Limits is what I want to see. But will never happen without an honest media. IMO. In the mean time we can at the very least put the fear of re-election in the grandstanding a-holes pretending to represent us.

  3. Well said, Marge.

    This AIG scandal is over the top., but there is even worse down the road. While the country is up in arms and focused on AIG and the bonuses TPTB are standing in the wings getting ready to pull their next fast one. Every time they are getting ready to act behind that curtain one of their toadys creeps out with an announcement that makes you wonder just what is really going on.

    This time it is Alan Greenspan slithering out of his hole stateing that another $750Billion will still be needed for the rescue of the banks. Watch closely folks, as Grail would say, watch the left hand while the right hand is practicing the magic trick. The left hand (literally) is getting ready to sock it to you.

    While the Hitler Youth Corps bill was passed by the congress under the cover of the AIG scandal, something even bigger is on the horizon.

    Speaking of the Hitler Youth Corps (adding the elderly to it this time) I got another notice from WAM in my email this morning. I hope everybody signs this petition and follows through with the faxes, phone calls, letters, etc. If enough is thrown at them they might actually pay a little attention to some of it.

    My biggest fear is that many people don’t recall just how bad the Hitler Youth Corp was. Our history books have been rewritten to the point that the students have no idea the details of what actually went on in the early 1930’s. Some people are accepting this bill as a very good thing. God help us.

    If it passes and becomes law, the creeping dirty tactics of the Nazi’s will be coming to your neighborhood. Neighbor will be reporting on neighbor, and God forbid, as they did in Nazi Germany, family will be informng on family. ACORN will look like the F Troop compared to this.

    We haven’t heard much from Alan Greenspan lately. To have him sidle into view just worries me. But then, maybe it’s just me. My mother should have named me Cassandra.

  4. Lee, my mother nick-named me “Worry-Wart” when I was very little.

    Nothing much has changed except I now have so many things to legitimently worry about I don’t know what to worry about first.

  5. I am far from an economist. But we have to face facts – AIG is bankrupt. So auction it off like you do with an estate sale. Start with the art and antiques, then move on to the cars furniture and appliances. Eventually you are going to come to the junk. Pile a bunch of it into a big box and have people bid on it. Someone will make an offer for it because they will believe that something in the box is worth the $7.50 they bid. People are not going to be made whole on AIG. Investors (especially the corporate ones) need to remember that investing is risky and past performance does not insure future performance. Maybe it would help if they looked at AIG like one of those overvalued firms that that they bought with junk bonds and sold off in pieces back in the 1980s.

    • Sorry, but that’s not the way TPTB are playing this. If it’s designed to launder trillions of US taxpayer dollars to the uber-wealthy central banks, it will be saved (at 100 cents on the dollar, nonetheless). It’s only you and I that sell stuff for $7.50. They look at AIG as a big fat cash cow, and we’re the ones supplying the cash!

  6. I too am far from an economist.

    But what is so difficult about the fact that when a person is broke and cannot fulfill their obligations and must file bankruptcy and AIG and these other banking entities doing the same? Same for the auto industry.

    Filing for bankruptcy doesn’t always mean going under. My SO works for a restaurant that filed for bankruptcy before he was hired and he’s worked there for 3 years.

    Constantly saying they are too big to fail is nonsense. They have all ready failed. Since we own AIG and some others, lets break them up into smaller entities, fire and replace ALL the upper management and get on with it. This dragging things out day after day, week after week while pols search for the nearest microphone to tell us how on top of things they are is nonsense. These clowns couldn’t organize a two car funeral!

    • Marge, that would be the sensible thing to do, but if, as I believe, this situation was created for a reason, and the many tentacles of this AIG octopus encircling the globe are being used by TPTB to further the same situation in other countries. When it all crashes and burns, the evil ones will walk in and take over the money, the business, the people and the religion.

      We don’t have to let it happen. As I have stated elsewhere, I’m not afraid of anybody any more. No more worrying if I’ll get tracked down and get carted off to the caboose if I say or do the wrong thing. I got a second lease on life and I don’t intend to spend it sitting idly by while some usurper, and his puppet masters, takes my country over.

      We’ve typed, phoned, faxed and talked ourselves hoarse. Now we have to MARCH, which I intend to do.
      And if I get so tired that I can’t march, I’ll have someone push me in a wheel chair, chanting and carrying my sign. The Lord kept me around for a reason. Maybe it was this.

      April 15th should be interesting. I foresee a groundswell of angry taxpayers marching on Washington to protest these give-aways of their money and also Turbo Tax Cheat Timmy.

      This pushing through HR1388 with Cloture, just shows you how brazen they have become.

      • Spot on, Lee! This ain’t no ordinary failure! In fact, it’s not a failure at all. It was manufactured to look like one, but did you see any of these companies actually failing to do anything except pay dividends? Something tells me as soon as they’ve tossed off all us lowly working class investors, all these companies will begin posting record profits.

  7. IA, I am receiving reports that the mexico drug cartel has entered Albequerque and that US troops have been sent there. Do you have any info?

    • I thought I heard a passing news report on what you ask…but only see this small item at the ABQ Journal site…(which I also saw in print).

      http://www.abqjournal.com/abqnews/abqnewseeker-mainmenu-39/11405-sheriff-says-violence-spills-over.html

      Sheriff Says Violence Spills Over
      By Nancy Tipton
      Tuesday, 17 March 2009 08:13

      Office seeing spike in drug trafficking

      Bernalillo County Sheriff Darren White says violence from the Mexican drug wars in Ciudad Juarez is spilling over into the Albuquerque area – some 250 miles away.

      He says his office is dealing with a spike in drug trafficking, and he says that the drug cartels are behind at least one murder in his county.

      ***

      In these parts, we hear more about Juarez and Palomas. In Palomas, where the sr. citizen bus used to take people for drugs, there were killings last year……Which includes this section on El Paso and Juarez:

      http://www.abqjournal.com/news/state/15111058state03-15-09.htm

      Excerpt:

      No spillover
      Across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juárez, the city of El Paso remains one of the safest in the nation.
      In February alone, Juárez, a city of about 1.3 million, logged 230 killings. El Paso, a city of about 700,000, saw 18 murders in all of 2008, and there has been one homicide so far this year.
      “There have been people transported to El Paso hospitals for gunshot wounds from Mexico, some of whom required law enforcement resources” for security at the medical center, said El Paso police spokesman Chris Mears. “But no direct spillover of violence from Juárez into El Paso.”
      David Cuthbertson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s El Paso office, wrote in the El Paso Times recently that the agency was involved in two investigations of kidnappings with ties to Mexican drug traffickers in 2008. In both cases, the victims were recovered alive, and one case resulted in a conviction.
      “We’re not seeing it,” said FBI spokeswoman Simmons of a spillover of violence, while acknowledging that about half of the nation’s illegal drug supply passes through the El Paso corridor, which includes West Texas and New Mexico.

      ***
      AP says this about things in general (From Feb. 10) about all the cities where there IS spillover: Including Atlanta, Phoenix, Anchorage, Sioux Falls, Boston, Birmingham Alabama…Atlanta is being called the “New Southwest Border”. The article also says the El Paso has a lot of law enforcement and Border Patrol, which probably makes it safer than other cities.

      http://www.abqjournal.com/news/state/apspills02-10-09.htm

      • There are check points (as in Check point Charlie) on roads in Southern Arizona and New Mexico — the north/south Interstates (and state routes). All vehicles heading north are stopped — I expect that anyone who is dark will be asked to prove that they are a citizen. The boarder patrol is staffing the road blocks. “Are you a US citizen”? Sorry but this pisses me off — to be stopped within the US border and asked if we are citizens. “where were you born?” etc.

        I’d hate to see the bill for all the staff and equipment at the check points — NEW vehicles. And mostly newly minted boarder cops.

        It will be an easy step to demand “papers” and proof. Meanwhile the real bad guys have already figured out alternative routes.

        I didn’t see any US Military personnel at any of the Check Point Charlies — Just US Boarder Patrol — however there were some guys in plain green uniforms — no badges.

        Our Chihuahua who thinks he’s a pit bull/watch dog — did not like the attitude of the “guards”.

        This is an eye witness report — on two check points — one in Arizona and one in New Mexico. Not close to the US/Mexico boarder at all.

  8. thanks! can you keep me informed if you run across anything that states that troops are on the ground. I am trying to confirm something I have seen.

  9. NW Rain….we’ve had to stop as we approached White Sands National Monument (park) for years…

    We have a Border Patrol station just a couple of miles from us, at I-25 and Route 70,next to Walgreens! The trucks are always around town…

    • Up in Washington — Homeland security doesn’t have much to do — so they’ve put up road blocks on rural roads in the Olympic Peninsula– stopping everyone and in general causing a lot of trouble. The Sheriff is none too pleased.

      I don’t like being stopped WITHIN the borders of the US and have some nitwit demanding to know my citizenship. That is probably a Northwest attitude — we tend to be a tad bit cranky about questions of who our parents are/were.

      I grew up dealing with check-points — living on a military base. I won’t set foot on a military base — and don’t expect to be stopped and questioned by psudo-military wackos in uniforms (without any badges).

      • Deming, N.M. was full of Border Patrol. BP seems to be the major employer (and we tax payers are picking up the tab — to the tune of several million for each of the check-point Charlies).

        They BP strikes me as para-military.

        But then in WA our neighbors are Canadians — and THEY are trying to keep US out!!! In fact the Canadians kept Bill Ayers out!

      • NW Rain,

        I don’t think it a cranky northwest attitude to resent being stopped without a damn good reason. A year or so ago here in Wisconsin the police were making random stops and searches on highway I-94 looking for drugs being sent from Chicago to Milwaukee.

        Fortunately we weren’t one of the cars stopped because I would have been more that cranky I would probably have let my displeasure be known beyond and shadow of a doubt.Who knows where that could have led. But what the hell ever happened to “probable cause”? Random stops and searches seem illegal to me. But what the hell, half of what’s going on anymore seems illegal or unconstitutional to me these days.

        The sad part to me was that many people I talked to saw nothing wrong with the random stop and searches because “they had done nothing wrong”. And that made me angrier than the stops.

  10. Thanks for your explanation.

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