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Obama Knew About AIG Bonuses Day Before They Were Paid

By Scott Wilson

President Obama was informed about the $165 million in bonuses due to employees of the American Insurance Group the day before they were paid out last week, the White House disclosed late Tuesday.

Obama has expressed outrage that the company, which has received about $170 billion in government bailout money, proceeded to pay out the bonuses. He said the idea of a company rescued with taxpayer money awarding bonuses runs counter to "our values."

The timeline released Tuesday marked the first time the White House has acknowledged when the president was told about the bonuses, which have prompted calls from Congress for the administration to recover the money.

Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, has said the president has ordered White House and Treasury Department lawyers to find ways to block the bonuses, which were paid out Friday under contracts signed last year.

The president did not publicly express anger over the bonuses until after they were disclosed Sunday in The Washington Post.

By Washington Post Editor  |  March 17, 2009; 9:09 PM ET
 
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Comments

I read the article but I just couldn't get my mind around it. Obama proposed to send our military into combat, and when they return without a arm or leg, they would be required to bill their private insurance company, assuming they could afford to have one.

Folks, a fiction writer couldn't make this stuff up, but oompp, deh it is . . .

The Democrats created and signed off on the bailout to AIG with bonuses okayed by Dodd, Frank, Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party, and then personally demonized the AIG people to the point they are getting death threats.

America, who did you put in charge of guarding the hen house??? Shame, it is your childrens' lives that are being mortgaged. Shame, shame you lame liberals, you are such self-loathing America haters . . .

Posted by: lclifton | March 18, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Rooster,

And there lies the essential difference between you and me. You're one of these guilt-ridden types who's been told for so long that America is racist, jingoistic, xenophobic, homophobic, etc., that you LOATHE what America stands for and its place in the world. Sorry we don't live in a perfect society, Rooster, dry your eyes and get over it. There is one thing everybody of your ilk has in common. It's easy to pick at America's imperfections, but not one of you can offer an example of a superior alternative. Anywhere. On balance, there is no better place. The U.S. Constitution still represents the pinnacle of modern political thought, and capitalism still represents the greatest opportunity for escape from abject poverty, as the historical record clearly indicates. But there's still greed and suffering, so you're willing to trash it all for some unattainable socialist utopia, which is still fueled by greed and corruption, and just spreads the suffering around. But you're just certain it can work this time! If freedom really frightens you that much, if you're so terrified to take responsibility for your life and need the philosopher-kings to direct you, move to China or Cuba. They'd be glad to provide everything you need to be happy. Just get used to feel of the boot across your neck...

Posted by: LucidThought | March 18, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Jack from Indy and LucidThought-
It's you guys who are uninformed.
Maybe you should read some of the Chomsky et al that you offhandedly dismiss. Do you guys get all maudlin like Glenn Beck when your starry-eyed notions of American supremacy due to the virtues of ethnocentism and greed get challenged?

I've read the and listened to the jingoistic hogwash that continually reinforces your will to hold the rest of us hostage to you intransigence ad nauseum. You guys are afraid to look into the depths of the arguments that challenge you. You react with fear dressed in the guise of good old boy wisdom. You don't know anything about the countries you look down upon, and you only investigate what you think you already know.

Go ahead and cling to your precious illusions of superiority. I know better.

Posted by: rooster54 | March 18, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Whoever posted the following comments is truly uninformed.

The bulk of AIG execs contributions were FROM democrats TO democrats. The data is there.

Just look it up and be correctly informed.

Enough of HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL.

Get educated, take off your blinders, and get your fingers out of your ears..

Jack from Indy

==================================

1. The Reagan revolution led to letting the foxes guard the henhouse.
2. Bush gave steroids to the foxes.
3. Obama'a mistake may be assigning wounded hens to guard the henhouse while it's still overun with 30+ years of accumulated foxes.
4. I'd be willing to bet that nearly all of the greedy AIG executives involved in this mess are republicans.


Posted by: jindy60 | March 18, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Katerina,

Again, if you think the bulk of the blame lies with the Bushies, I encourage you to search YouTube for a variety of C-Span clips featuring B. Frank, C. Dodd (hey, those guys are Dems...) and others, telling advocates of greater oversight for FNMA & FDMC that there was nothing to worry about. It's all there for us to see, you just have to WANT to see it. Franklin Raines actually called the assets that secured all that rotten paper "virtually riskless," if I remember the quote correctly. No single party failed us, people, it was our GOVERNMENT. All of it. It's time to wake up and realize that in the current system, there are no good guys.

Posted by: LucidThought | March 18, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Rooster,

The single most important characteristic that distinguished the USofA from other nations, the ideal that made it better than every other political system, was its commitment to personal freedom. Individual liberty is what made America great, and that's the America I love: the one our founders intended. We could debate the merits of a system that places greater value on collective responsibility, but don't think for a moment that collectivism holds any hallowed place in the fabric of American greatness. It is distinctly and explicitly ANTI-American to promote collectivism, because it must always come at the expense of personal liberty. If you love what this nation has become, then you have a great deal more in common with Marx than with any American founder.

And Rand was not wrong. The notion that wealth only resides with the "entitled" is a fallacy. The vast majority of the "rich" achieved their wealth by earning it. There is nothing-- nothing-- preventing workers from taking the same risks and building wealth of their own, it happens every day. Ours is a fluid economy, and minimum wage workers don't remain minimum wage workers forever, people continuously move up and down the economic scale. It isn't perfect, no system is, but I'd prefer to be a wage slave in an economy where there's at least an opportunity for advancement. Keep listening to Noam Chomsky, and we'll end up wage slaves of The State. Then you'll really be stuck.

Posted by: LucidThought | March 18, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

0Bama is a fraud. I know it, you know it.

Posted by: bdcaruba | March 18, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Who, then, in Washington, is to blame? As it happens, it’s many of the same people who were behind Gramm-Leach-Bliley. The Clinton administration and Congressional Republicans failed to create a strong framework in place of Glass-Steagall. Democrats pushed for riskier mortgage lending, in an effort to expand home ownership. But surely the bulk of the blame lies with the policy makers and regulators who were on duty while the housing bubble inflated and Wall Street went wild — the Bush administration and Alan Greenspan’s Federal Reserve. Their near-religious belief in the powers of the market led them to conclude that the mere fact that a company was willing to make an investment made that investment O.K.

Posted by: katerinaDeligiannis | March 18, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Observer44 was right:
"Wall Street, at this point, is crawling with now-unemployed, but very smart people, who had little or NO hand in creating this Gordian Knot, but who would be overjoyed to take the job of unraveling it...at salaries FAR less than the millions we are now paying (thank you very much) to the very 'wizards' who brought us to this juncture..."

Furthermore, the extraordinary action of "Bailing Out" AIG with a quantity of $$$ only a government could offer obviously puts the US government in an extraordinary position. At a minimum, the involvement of the US Bailout negated any previous promise by AIG of paying bonuses to employees of AIG. It's hogwash to pretend that action by the USA at this juncture would somehow similarly permit a future, ordinary actor to also renege on a contractual promise re pay. Terminating any bonus now would not create a precedent for ordinary entities to break a contract.

Apparently there's no-one actually representing the interests of the US government against any of the culprits of finance. Rubin, Gaithner, Summers, Paulson, etc. all are in the same $ Club with the culprits &, at best, seem only to seek a grand intellectual solution that avoids any hard bargaining.

Here's a suggestion for the men acting as representatives of the US government. Pretend to be a prosecutor seeking changed behavior from culprits who engaged in risks to the very foundation of our economy ("risk-to-the-foundation-of-our-economy" was the rationale for bailing 'em out, right?). Threaten consequences like fines & imprisonment, and then those AIG employees would see why they should work to resolve their mess.

Instead the US government has just perversely increased the incentives to the AIG culprits (and any future financiers) willing to engage in future unethical or illegal or fiscally-subversive behavior.


Posted by: CassandraML | March 18, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Dear Lucid-
Government does very well when there's consensus and minimal outside interference.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-social-welfare-state

Reagan revolution anti-government hysteria has caused our governmet to be a house divided when it comes to using our legitimate power to take on problems created by economic anarchy. So the "government-can't-do-anything-right" sentiment becomes self-fulfilling.

How can you say you care about your country while advocating an every-man-for-himself society?

Ayn Rand was wrong. It's the workers who are carrying the entitled rich, and we're being crushed like a turtle named Mack under the incessant demands of Yertle the CEO.

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2008/03/17/1928-resemblances/

Posted by: rooster54 | March 18, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Rooster, if we leave it to the likes of Nader and Kucinich, our federal govt. will control the entire economy. How do you think that's likely to turn out? I mean, they're so good at everything else...

Posted by: LucidThought | March 18, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama's dilemma:
It takes a thief to catch a thief, so it's difficult to have non-thieves solve these problems, since they've been too long outside the loop. So we either get experienced tainted people who must have been part of the problem, or we get earnest outsiders who don't know the ropes or can't elicit cooperation to solve the problems.
Under these conditions it becomes easier to understand why revolutions have almost always been followed by purges.

If trying to get these corrupt institutions rehabilitated fails, with this soft and generous approach, then we need to take off the kidd gloves and fill the cabinet with hard-core reformers like Nader and Kucinich.

If requiring fail, we should compel.

Posted by: rooster54 | March 18, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

You people kill me. Again, the blindness of your party devotion (on both sides) has led you to believe that your party is all goodness and light, and that corruption and ineptitude must belong exclusively to your party opponents. As a member of neither putrid party, it's really quite laughable. Do any of you Dems honestly believe that ONLY Republicans are corruptible? Chuck Schumer took AIG money! Are you shocked?! Do you think your heroes don't take the same filthy money from all the same corporations, and make the same idiotic decisions as a result? You're either stupid or deluded, take your pick. NEITHER party is there to do the people's work, they do the party's work. If you believe otherwise, you're a hopeless rube.

Posted by: LucidThought | March 18, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Bush did not Deregulate any Banks. This is total Hogwash. Wall Street is no longer controlled by Waspy Republicans like the 60s. Wall Street is controlled by Left Wing Democrat Jews like Robert Rubin and former NASDAQ Chairman Bernard Madoff. This is the reality you must deal with.

Posted by: dencal26 | March 18, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

AIG BOARD

Robert B. Willumstad - Stephen F. Bollenback - Marshall A. Cohen – Martin S. Feldstein – Ellen V. Futter - Richard C. Holbrooke - George L. Miles - Morris W. Offit - Michael H. Sutton - Frank G. Zarb - Stephen L. Hammerman - Fred H. Langhammer - Virginia M. Rometty - James F. Orr, III - Edmund S.W. Tse


Richard Holbrooke? Obama Administration and a long list of New York City Liberal Jewish Democrats. NICE TRY rooster

Posted by: dencal26 | March 18, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

One Big Ass Mistake America

Posted by: BobBumleg | March 18, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

LucidThought

Nice try.

When did the GOP majority propose re-implementation of Glass-Stegal?

Was it before or after former Senator and paid UBS lobbyist Republican Phil Gramm finished off banking regulation?

Posted by: JohnQuimby | March 18, 2009 12:53 PM | Report abuse

1. The Reagan revolution led to letting the foxes guard the henhouse.
2. Bush gave steroids to the foxes.
3. Obama'a mistake may be assigning wounded hens to guard the henhouse while it's still overun with 30+ years of accumulated foxes.
4. I'd be willing to bet that nearly all of the greedy AIG executives involved in this mess are republicans.

Posted by: rooster54 | March 18, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Some of you Obama followers need to do your homework. The deregulation that allowed financials to invest our deposits in derivatives (repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act) didn't happen under Bush's watch, but under Clinton's (1999). The Treasury Secty. at that time was none other than Robt. Rubin, the very same Rubin that's advising your brainiac hero of a president right now. Even Keith Olberman has conceded this point. Yes, Obama has entrusted our economic recovery to many of the same people who created the problem. Genius! The problem with blind devotion to a political party is that you come to believe that the OTHER party is responsible for every mistake ever made. Just not true, Obamanites... but you were never interested in truth too much to begin with.

Posted by: LucidThought | March 18, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh, really?

How come the information that AIG intended to rename 'bonus' to 'retention bonus' was out before the money was handed out?

We are not a naive populace.

If I knew, then the President's men knew.

Posted by: olgaolivia | March 18, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Several people (including YoungatHeart)have made this observation:

"Every tax payer should be much more worried about the $100B+ the government put in to AIG than in $165M in bonuses. Today we learned that 73 "experts" who were paid over $1M each in retention bonuses are the only ones that can unwind the complex derivatives that created the mess in the first place."

A perfectly reasonable argument...and I agree with the first point (that billions of dollars, obviously, matter more than millions of dollars). But I'm not convinced that the "geniuses" who concocted these derivative schemes ARE the only ones (or even the best suited) to unravel them...can't help but expect that the people who made the mess are going to be more interested in covering their own behinds than cleaning up the mess, no matter how much you pay them.

Wall Street, at this point, is crawling with now-unemployed, but very smart people, who had little or NO hand in creating this Gordian Knot, but who would be overjoyed to take the job of unraveling it...at salaries FAR less than the millions we are now paying (thank you very much) to the very 'wizards' who brought us to this juncture.

Posted by: Observer44 | March 18, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

FUn FaCts:

(Courtesy of HuffPo 2/6/09)

GOP Opposes Pay Limits On Bailed Out Bankers

President Obama has proposed capping compensation for executives at banks that take taxpayer bailout money at $500,000. Republicans hate the idea -- a position puts them uncomfortably on the side of people currently about as popular as child-porn producers and subprime mortgage brokers.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) blamed the "tone deaf" bankers for creating the political environment that allows Obama to call for a cap.

"Because of their excesses, very bad things begin to happen, like the United States government telling a company what it can pay its employees. That's not a good thing in America," Kyl told the Huffington Post.

"What executives have done is troubling, but it's equally troubling to have government telling shareholders how much they can pay the executives," said Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL).

Posted by: JohnQuimby | March 18, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Scott Wilson wants to publish items that embarrass the president. In the process he left out information that would have placed some context to this subject, the op-ed piece in the WaPo which Liddy wrote. Yellow journalism is not only jaundiced but it is inept.

Posted by: Gator-ron | March 18, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

You all are surely the most ignorant people i've ever seen. Obama knew about the bonuses the day before they were paid. What were the specifics of the information relayed to the president. Until you know this information stop making stupid uneducated comments. Obama is trying to clean up the mess created by the deregulated Bush administration. He has not been in office 90 days and people think things are going to change over night. This economy is a lesson to all of the greedy who sat back and smiled when the simulus check was put in your mailbox, you wanted the Bushes stimulus money so now it's time to pay the piper for how he got it. How did this country go from a surplus to a deficit( larger than the surplus) in 8 years. Let's ask the GOPers who want to point fingers at Obama. Obama didnt create this mess give him time to straigten it out ( and he will) As far as the Messiah comment my only Messia is Jesus Christ.

Posted by: samorris404 | March 18, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I voted for Obama because I felt that this country needed to move in a new direction. I am one who believes that there may be a justification for some of these bonuses but a retention bonus given to employs that left the company is not justifiable or at least should have been explained in Mr Liddy's op-ed piece in WaPo.

Obama's appointment of Geithner seemed suspect from the beginning and Summers who has been allied with Rubin was also questionable but I had faith in Obama. Geithner demurs to nationalize the banks which apparently seems like a good idea to many prominent Americans. He caters to Mr Liddy. How are we going to get a different culture in banking if we do not get rid of those who got us in to this? My question is logical but not necessarily practical. But the the thinking that led to bonuses to those not in AIG's employ has to be extirpated from the system. We still do not have the banking industry's attention and we need to have it.

Posted by: Gator-ron | March 18, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

WORLD’S GREATEST ANAGRAMS OR PROOF THERE IS A GOD - Read # 47


1- GEORGE BUSH rearranged is HE BUGS GORE
2- AL GORE is LA (Spanish for “THE”) OGRE( a monster who eats people.)
3- GEORGE SOROS translates to SOS OGRE GORE
4- DORMITORY becomes DIRTY ROOM
5- EVANGELIST is EVIL’S AGENT
6- PRESBYTERIAN turns to BEST IN PRAYER
7- DESPERATION is A ROPE ENDS IT
8- THE MORSE CODE rearranged is HERE COME DOTS
9- SENATOR TED KENNEDY turns out to DONKEY RAT NEEDS NET
10- SLOT MACHINES becomes CASH LOST IN ME.
11- ANIMOSITY turns to IS NO AMITY
12- MOTHER-IN-LAW (This one is good) WOMAN HITLER
13- SNOOZE ALARMS becomes ALAS! NO MORE Z”S
14- A DECIMAL POINT turns to I’M A DOT IN PLACE
15- NANCY PELOSI is A CO-LENIN SPY
16- SEN. HARRY REID becomes A DINER SHERRY(yuck)
17- THE EARTHQUAKES is THAT QUEER SHAKE
18– ELEVEN PLUS TWO becomes TWELVE PLUS ONE
19- PRINCESS DIANA changes to ENDS IN CAR SPIN
20- JOHN KERRY becomes HORNY JERK
21- SEN. JOHN EDWARDS is WE- DR. DEAN’S “JOHNS”
22- NANCY PELOSI becomes - LIE’N CYAN(blue) POS
23- SENATOR DURBIN - becomes - SENORA TURDBIN
24- SENATOR DICK DURBIN- changes to - A SENOR TURDBIN DICK
25- KATIE COURIC - changes to - CIAO CUTE IRK
26- CHRIS MATTHEWS - becomes - SHH -SCREAM TWIT
27- TIM RUSSERT - changes to MISS TURRET (def-spindle tool )
28- NATALIE MAINES( DIXIE CHICK) turns out to - INANIMATE SEAL
29- VALERIE PLAME - becomes - LIVE EEL PARMA(cheese)
30- TED TURNER - changes to - TREED RUNT
31- TERRY McAULIFFE - becomes - A RECTUM FIRE-FLY
32 - SENATOR TOM HARKIN - changes to - A TIN-HORN MAKES ROT
33 - BELINDA STRONACH - becomes - A RIBALD STENCH - NO?
34 - JOE SCARBORO - changes to - COOR’S BAR JOE
35 - KEITH OLBERMANN - turns into - A TINKLEN HOMBRE
36 - KEITH OLBERMANN - changes to - ILK BORN METHANE
37 - KEITH OLBERMANN - becomes - ENEMA BROTH KILN
38 - MOVEON-ORG - changes to - MOON GROVE
39 - SENATOR BARRACK OBAMA - becomes old hillbilly saying - “A RACK-O-EARS TAN BOOB-MA ! ”

40 -BILL SCHNEIDER - changes to - RED’S LIB LICHEN (a fungus)

41 - COLIN POWELL - becomes - PEW ! ILL COLON
42 - BERNIE MADOFF - turns into - OFF - BIRD ENEMA.
43 - SENATOR CARL LEVIN - becomes - A CLAN’S LIE’N VOTER.
44 -SANDY BERGER - turns to - GRABS RED YEN
45 - WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON
becomes -JAIL MRS CLINTON:FELON WIFE
46 - PRESIDENT CLINTON OF THE USA
becomes -TO COPULATE HE FINDS INTERNS

AND THE GRAND FINAL

47 - PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA - becomes - AN ARAB BACKED IMPOSTER

Posted by: billpowdrell | March 18, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The one thing that reading this commentary is that we the people are just as polarized and polarizing as we have been over the last eight years. What's most disturbing, in my humble opinion, is that everyone seems to show the same penchant for blaming someone, whether it by President Bush or President Obama, other than themselves. We all could see the country being looted in front of our eyes and most people didn't care because they wanted to profit from immoral and reckless economic policy just like the really big looters. Blame yourselves.

Posted by: gregoryrtate | March 18, 2009 10:39 AM | Report abuse

2003-BUSH ADMINISTRATION

Would you or anyone be able to answer this question? What was the ‘Administration-wide effort to bring 'new tools and resources' to would-be homeowners…’ after June 13, 2003?

In 2003 what were these 'NEW TOOLS AND RESOURCES' implemented ADMINISTRATION-WIDE?

National Homeownership Month, 2003
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 13, 2003
By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
Homeownership is more than just a symbol of the American Dream; …
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is leading an Administration-wide effort to bring new tools and resources to would-be homeowners. (Cont.)

Posted by: sasha2008 | March 18, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

The WaPo and MSM are leveling forests tracking down these bonuses, but nary a word on where the rest of the $170 billion is going. WSJ reports $13 billion to Goldman Sachs (who said they were fine), $20 billion to offshore banks. They are laundering taxpayer money through this insurance company.

Posted by: silverbyte | March 18, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

WaPo and the rest of the mainstream media have leveled forests disclosing these bonuses, but nary a word about where the $170 billion went. How about this taxpayers: $20 billion to European banks, $13 billion to Goldman Sachs (who said they didn't need help)! AIG is a conduit laundering taxpayer money to other financial institutions who may or may not be able to survive fine without it. We are paying their insurance settlements.

Posted by: silverbyte | March 18, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

the real villians are those de-regulated financial agencies (thank you mr. bush) who got us into this mess prominently last year.....and you're all screaming that obama didn't act 'outraged' enough for you 24 hours prior to the pay out? where the h+++ have you been? I've been outraged by the previous administration 8 years now....get over you really bad losers! now you have some idea of how most of us have felt for the past 8 years..you get to whine about 24 hours not responding fast enough or loud enough,,,,may you grow up soon. yes, this cockroach bed of rush limbaugh wannabes need a reality check. i am outraged by your whining when we need to pull together. hello? we are in a crisis started years ago by mr bush and his croonies...get a clue!

Posted by: fiscusja | March 18, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

"bwahahahahahahahahaha, gotcha!!"

love, your prezidizzle, barack obama

Posted by: paul21 | March 18, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Obama is as honest and forthright on this issue as is dodd who was for the bonuses before he was against them. Dodd wrote the amendment on these bonuses, obama signed the bill into law,now these buffoons are "outraged"? Thank goodness barney frank is there to lend integrity to this morass...

Posted by: jsanderssr | March 18, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Obama never says anything unless his teleprompter tells him to. Heck, he even used it for St. Patrick's Day remarks, to hilarious effect when the Irish PM started reading off it accidentally:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090318/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_speech_mistake;_ylt=Aoci6qlXyDlnE1TD2YD.LSgD5gcF

So while he personally knew about the bonuses ahead of time, he couldn't say anything until his teleprompter finally scrolled to:

"[Increased inflection and outrage]: These bonuses are shameful and an outrage to the American people. And I'm Ron Burgundy. Go **** yourself, America."

Posted by: zippyspeed | March 18, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

What the big deal? Didn't Geithner over see this deal in his previous job at the SEC, bonuses included? Didn't the Demcracticly controlled Congress craft this no strings attached bail out? Didn't AIG lavish campaign contributions on key Senate and Congressional members? Isn't the President Obama at little to coy on the outrage?

Posted by: MichiganMan73 | March 18, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

If he had read the Bill (or been adequately briefed on its contents) before he signed it into Law, he wouldn't have been so surprised, now would he!

Posted by: bridges12932 | March 18, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

By electing Obama I thought we were getting another Lincoln? Instead we're getting Robert Mugabe. He's going to take a prosperous nation and run it into the ground.

Posted by: tombt | March 18, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Obama please resign

Posted by: mlrtennis | March 18, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Please ask Obama to resign before he totally destroys the country

Posted by: mlrtennis | March 18, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I am generally impressed by the incurious WaPo actually picking up on this.

Keep up the mediocrity.

Posted by: ii00 | March 18, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I believe the blinders are starting to fall from the eyes of the mainstream media and normal democrats.

Everything Obama says comes with an expiration date. EVERYTHING he says will later be changed by his teleprompter to the exact opposite- depending on what polling tells him to do.

Wake up

Posted by: LMC3 | March 18, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Obama received an AIG bonus of $101,332 in the form of political contributions according to Opensecrets.org.

Posted by: coffee260 | March 18, 2009 5:59 AM | Report abuse

The Bush zombies have gathered here and they all are after Obama's brain.

Posted by: seemstome | March 18, 2009 5:30 AM | Report abuse


The guy behind 911? Why do we always have to blame bush?

Posted by: seemstome | March 18, 2009 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Chris Dodd wrote the part of the bill that secured the bonuses for AIG. Obama knew about it. He knew about it last week. He is outraged now because the public found out about it.

Sigh.

Posted by: AceTomato | March 18, 2009 5:01 AM | Report abuse

Forty four days in, the empty suit has been exposed. Maureen Dowd began her column today declaring that Obama tried to act angry ``reading from his teleprompter.'' I've yet to see the Obama Quislings address this one. If the Chosen One is so brilliant, how come he needs a teleprompter to answer press questions, with his staff pulling the strings and giving him long-winded answers. Remember the conspiracy theories about Bush getting the answers sent to him by a magic electronic black box hidden in the back of his suit during the Kerry debate? Obama does it openly. He's a puppet on a string. Bush traded blows with the press mano a mano. Empty suit Obama can't face the music without his masters pulling the string. This guy is somebody's Manchurian Candidate. Who are the commie bastards pulling his strings? George Soros, the guy behind the 9/11-type attack on America's financial system?

Posted by: hedgehog1 | March 18, 2009 4:15 AM | Report abuse

LOL you guys are truly funny I have read so much nonsense from the right from hopes the President fails to out and out wanting to see him dead..............I can understand your dislike of him because he is so smart and 2 steps ahead of the game (unlike his predecessor)so go on vent your frustrations watch but learn and he'll fix the mess you guys left and the democratic party will keep control of the Government for the next 40 yrs............ you know what you all sound like that grown-up in a charley brown movie that’s right no one understands you not even your children

Posted by: yourabsolute | March 18, 2009 3:33 AM | Report abuse

"The president did not publicly express anger over the bonuses until after they were disclosed Sunday in The Washington Post."

Of course not -- his Teleprompter didn't tell him to be outraged yet.

Posted by: accentmark | March 18, 2009 1:46 AM | Report abuse

I see the braindead Obots are still unable to question their Dear Leader

Posted by: google_censors | March 18, 2009 12:53 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how many made contributions to his campaign and that of Schumer, Pelosi, Rangel, Dodd, Barney, and all the others.

VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com
NO MORE SCHUMER
NO MORE PELOSI
NO MORE RANGEL
NO MORE ENGEL AND HIS MILLION DOLLAR HOME IN MARYLAND

Posted by: VJMachiavelli1 | March 18, 2009 12:22 AM | Report abuse

THE LARCENY OF DISTRACTION


While the manufactured economic crisis effectuates the fleecing of the middle class by the clever plotting of the power elite, and manufactured controversies distract the masses from the root causes of this global transfer of wealth...

...freedom also is being stolen from the people; but the mainstream media "watchdogs" are too busy chasing the manufactured tale of the day to notice who's making off out the back door with the coin of liberty.

And who concocts the distractions and distortions that keep the media away from doing the people's business? The disinformation agents. But not all of them are so skilled, as evidenced by this "memo" to the intel "community":

***

TO: All intel analysts/agents/operatives [EYES ONLY]

RE: "Target" surveillance/profiling


For cautionary example of what unrepentant dissidents term "lame psy ops," you are directed to recent entries in "comments" section of internet "blog" "articles" linked below.

When analyzing said humint responses to "target" postings, reference this exigent statement of inquiry:

Is this statecraft?


http://www.nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-targets-terrorizes-u-s-citizens
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | March 17, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama did not know about the bonus maybe becuase he also signed the bill without reading it??!?

Or Obama knew but signed it anyway, because
Obama "Received a $101,332 Bonus from AIG" (http://www.examiner.com/x-268-Right-Side-Politics-Examiner~y2009m3d17-Obama-Received-a-101332-Bonus-from-AIG). Is Obama going to return that money?

We got too many crooks in the White House and Congress!

Posted by: lynnL123 | March 17, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

The real story here is the bailout of AIG. Our beloved politicians including the FED chairman are telling us peasants that the failure of AIG would be catastrophic for the global economy. They say that AIG is a 'systemically' imporant financial institution. Well, then they must have used their magical formulas and economic models to tell them how the world will come to an end if AIG was allowed to fail. But these same bozos who have put over $170 billion to prop up this septicemic institution are unable to use these same magical formulas and economic models to tell us how much more additional taxpayers monies are still required to prevent its failure. So what our policitians are telling us is that they have no idea if the choice of saving AIG was even a sound decision. GOD HELP US!

Posted by: trueblueforlife | March 17, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

How's this for a lie?
"Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past."
Or this?
"Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."
Let's not forget who told these lies for profit and personal gain for himself and his benefactors during his administration.
This is why we are near bankruptcy today.
This is why we and Obama have a very steep climb out of the hole we are in.
Stop shaking the ladder.


Posted by: seemstome | March 17, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I've stumbled upon another cockroach nest of dissatisfied Bush voters. Let's see where did I put that can of Obaminator?

Posted by: seemstome | March 17, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Every tax payer should be much more worried about the $100B+ the government put in to AIG than in $165M in bonuses. Today we learned that 73 "experts" who were paid over $1M each in retention bonuses are the only ones that can unwind the complex derivatives that created the mess in the first place. What if they all left before those derivatives were unwound because of the nationwide lynch mob now at AIG's door? Goodbye $100B. Populist rage is useful up to a point. Beyond that it burns everything in its path including any bridges leading back to stability.

Posted by: YoungAtheart | March 17, 2009 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama, you got some 'splaining to do!

Posted by: pd0769 | March 17, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

They all knew. All of the outrage is staged hysteria and posturing for the voters who don't know better. Perception trumps truth with these buffoons.

Posted by: jlbs123 | March 17, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

"why don't we just take back from AIG an equal amount to the bonuses"

I believe that's the solution that's being worked on by the administration, though it doesn't solve the problem of feeling it's unfair for the very people who caused this financial meltdown to get a bonus.

Posted by: mpl2 | March 17, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Here's a quick solution:

Instead of garnishing the bonuses or somehow abrogating their contracts (contracts being a fundamental basis of our commercial and social system), why don't we just take back from AIG an equal amount to the bonuses? That way, the taxpayers can be said not not have paid a dime towards them, and we can move to actually fixing our economic problems instead of grandstanding, which does nothing but spill bile.

Posted by: weimerrj | March 17, 2009 10:24 PM | Report abuse

If President Obama knew about the bonus', why didn't the President of Transparency and Change hold another press conference, (we all know how he loves the camera) and tell the American people? These politicans are out of control. I am not loaning anyone billions, unless, there are clear conditions for the loan. From what I am reading, if you don't give these bonus', nobody will work for a company??!! How about there be NO BONUS CLAUSE, with all these bail outs. How about someone have enough GUTS to tell them, their job performance stinks and in reality they all should be fired. And conclude, they better fix things or they will not have their big salary position.

Posted by: virgosiempre | March 17, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

14:59 and the clock is ticking on the messiah

Posted by: noquitter | March 17, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse


"Change as usual."

I sincerely regret my vote.

Posted by: T-Prop | March 17, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Maybe the Madoff boys can come over and get a new job for millions, now that Dad is going to prison. They seem to have the right experience....One family gets to steal $50 Billion while it takes a whole international conglomerate to waste away enough to get bailed out with $170 Billion from the taxpayers.

Posted by: benighse | March 17, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a disgrace!

Posted by: davenp35 | March 17, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Plausible deniability is what we get from our so called leaders. They arranged the AIG bail out, allowed the bonus money to go through and then when the public gets wind of what is going on, our leaders who put the whole program together are outraged. Is Senator Dodd going to give back the campaign contributions he got from AIG? Is Obama? That money has an oder to it as far as I'm concerned. We need to clean house in Washington. We are in a mess because of Dodd, Frank and now Obama. America will never survive with the conniving, duplicitous leadership we now have. They make public policy that benefits them and keeps them in office. When things go bad, they deny everything and shift the blame to others. The only difference between our politicians and Judas is when they sell out, they make sure the payment is worth more than 30 pieces of silver.

Posted by: saelij | March 17, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

This is outrageous!!!!!
Obama, pelosi, reid, frank, all of these democratic party creeps knew. They pushed this bailout through knowing all the while about the bonuses. we have voted for the wrong people. i read that obamna just proposed having wounded combat veterans bill their private insurance companies for their war injuries.
AMERICA, shame on you for putting these basturds in power!!!

Posted by: lclifton | March 17, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a liar. A lying liar.

Posted by: goaway41 | March 17, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

My bad, the name of the specific AIG division involved in credit default swaps is "AIG Financial Products" not "Financial Services".

Posted by: mpl2 | March 17, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

That's $165 million, of course, in my last post.

Posted by: mpl2 | March 17, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

People quoting the AP need to be aware that there are several different issues here. The issue that caused the outrage over the weekend was the specific $165 in bonuses going to those in AIG's "Financial Services Division", which is the part of the company (based in London) that dealt in credit default swaps and precipitated AIG's (and the economy's) downfall. The rest of AIG was simply an insurance company. People were aware that there were contractual bonuses in general but (at least claim) they were unaware until last week of the specific bonuses to the Financial Services Division. That's the cause of the outrage.

Posted by: mpl2 | March 17, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Why is the AP reporting that Obama (and Congress) has "known for months"?

Posted by: aquavivadellafonte | March 17, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

IT'S THE ECONOMY YOU STUPID CHIMP !!!

Posted by: ObamaBiden | March 17, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

It looks like the Associated Press is actually doing some reporting on this instead of believing what the liar in the Whitehouse are telling them like the Washington Post does.

Associated Press: Cue the outrage. For months, the Obama administration and members of Congress have known that insurance giant AIG was getting ready to pay huge bonuses while living off government bailouts. It wasn't until the money was flowing and news was trickling out to the public that official Washington rose up in anger and vowed to yank the money back.

Posted by: robtr | March 17, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Scott Wilson, but you lost all journalistic credibility last week with your "Obama's New Tack: Blaming Bush - President Points to 'Inherited' Economy" article. "Inherited" in quotes? Bah. You're a hack. You could write 2+2=4 and I wouldn't believe you.

Posted by: mpl2 | March 17, 2009 9:31 PM | Report abuse

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