Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Big Dan's Big News Oct 8, 2008

Special Update:

Big Dan: This story gets a special lunch time update. This is the HUGEST FUCKING STORY OF ALL TIME!!!!! Several foreclosed houses could have been paid off for this amount of money!!!!! They took a HALF MILLION DOLLARS OF YOUR MONEY after the bailout and went on a luxury vacation!!!!!!

AIG Execs Held Luxury Vacation Days After $85B Taxpayer Bailout

On Capitol Hill, the House Oversight Committee continued hearings into the financial crisis with testimony from executives of the trouble mortgage giant AIG. Investigators revealed AIG executives held a week-long retreat at a luxury resort just days after receiving an $85 billion taxpayer bailout last month. The $440,000 vacation included $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals and $23,000 in spa charges. Democratic Congress member Elijah Cummings of Maryland took issue with the timing of the retreat.

Rep. Elijah Cummings: “We contacted the resort where AIG held this week-long event, and we requested copies of AIG’s bills. We learned that AIG spent nearly half-a-million dollars in a single week at the—at this hotel. Now, this was right after the bailout.”

AIG has already used up $61 billion of its $85 billion government loan.

"Less than a week after the taxpayers rescued AIG, company executives could be found wining and dining at one of the most exclusive resorts in the nation," Waxman said.

After getting $85 billion dollar bailout, AIG execs take HALF-MILLION DOLLAR VACATION!!!

Rep Cummings has questions about A.I.G. Luxury Spa Visit. I like when Cummings, going through the specifics of the manicures, massages, etc...says, "CHECK THIS OUT!"..."LISTEN TO THIS ONE!"..."..."THEY SPENT another $10,000 ON...I DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS...LEISURE DINING???" Cummings is GREAT!


Naomi Klein: author of the "Shock Doctrine".

The book and film argue that the free market policies of Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics have risen to prominence in countries such as Chile under Pinochet, Russia under Yeltsin, the United States (for example in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina), and the privatization of Iraq's economy under the Coalition Provisional Authority not because they were democratically popular, but because they were pushed through while the citizens of these countries were in shock from disasters or upheavals. It is also claimed that these shocks are in some cases, such as the Falklands war, created with the intention of being able to push through these unpopular reforms in the wake of the crisis.

Naomi Klein:

I also think there’s something else at play in the kind of politicians that are attracted to this particular ideology. You know, Reagan was the first really to embrace it, and Nixon was the great disappointment to Friedman. I’m sure you all know that. You know, he writes in his memoir that when Nixon was elected, he was euphoric. I mean, he couldn’t imagine an American president more closely aligned ideologically than Richard Nixon. But Richard Nixon insisted on governing, and he wanted to win elections, and he imposed wage and price controls. And Milton Friedman sort of had a bit of a temper tantrum and declared him the most socialist president in modern American history. But, you know, it was—so it was really Reagan who campaigned, you know, with his copy of Capitalism and Freedom on the campaign trail, who was the first person to really put Friedmanism into practice.

"And I raise this because, you know, one of the things that we hear about McCain is that he doesn’t really know about economics, and so I think that makes us inclined not to take his economic ideas seriously, not to think he would be a really serious economic force. I think just the opposite. And I think if you look at his campaign platform, you see just the opposite. He wants to privatize Social Security. He is saying that in the first 100 days they’ll look at every single government program, and they will either reform it or shut it down if it is not serving taxpayers. I mean, they are talking about a sort of hundred-day economic shock therapy period. And I think it’s the fact that he doesn’t know about economics, and that Sarah Palin, I suspect, knows a little less, that actually makes them so dangerous.

And I don’t—you know, I don’t think it is—not to be too flippant—I’m sure that I’ve, you know, offended everyone, so I may as well just say bad things about Ronald Reagan—but I do think that, you know, that it isn’t a coincidence that, you know, a movie star president champions these ideas, or a body-builder governor, you know, who says, “Dr. Friedman changed my life”—I don’t know if you’ve seen Arnold Schwarzenegger’s introductions to Freedom to Choose, but they’re good. You should. YouTube them. But the appeal of these ideas, I think, to politicians who are actually in over their head on economics—and, by the way, this goes for military dictators, too, like Pinochet—who get control over a country and are totally clueless about how to run an economy, is that it lets them off the hook completely. It says government is the problem, not the solution. Leave it to the market. Laissez-faire. Don’t do anything. Just undo. Get out of the way. Leave it to us."

Naomi Klein: Wall St. Crisis Should Be for Neoliberalism What Fall of Berlin Wall Was for Communism

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Naomi Klein on the Colbert Report:

Special commentary by Keith Olbermann on Sarah Palin trying to tie Barack Obama to terrorists:


Evil head of the Blue Meanies, in conjunction with Big Dan, help turn Pennsylvania blue.

As Pa. deadline passes, Democratic registration at all-time high

Stolen from BlueBear's blog and 99's blog:

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