Remarks From Remarksman

October 1, 2008

There’s Still Plenty of Hypocrisy

Filed under: Uncategorized — BrianB @ 4:10 am
Tags: , , ,

(This was written on Sept. 23 but somehow did not get published then.)

Even though we should all be busy wondering how things will go now that the clever financiers, their lobbyists, and the lax regulation overseen by ex-financial-company-CEO’s have brought the economy to a manufactured disaster, there is still plenty of hypocrisy to make fun of.

First a note on the bonuses paid to the people asking for the big bail-out. From ABC News:

In 2007, Wall Street’s five biggest firms — Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley — paid a record $39 billion in bonuses to themselves.

That’s $10 billion more than the $29 billion loan taxpayers are making to J.P. Morgan to save Bear Stearns.

Those 2007 bonuses were paid even though the shareholders in those firms last year collectively lost about $74 billion in stock declines — their worst year since 2002.

As MojoBlog (how I discovered the story) points out, the bonuses paid by these five firms averaged $201,500 per employee. Can there be any question about whether the bail-out plan should limit the salaries and bonuses paid to these financiers?

Now to the naked hypocrisy. First we have Rush Limbaugh in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal complaining that out-of-context quotes make him look like a racist bigot, so he provides the full paragraphs from these quotes to supposedly prove that he is not. Again, from MojoBlog.

Supposedly out-of-context quote:

“…stupid and unskilled Mexicans.”

Supposedly exculpatory context:

“If you are unskilled and uneducated, your job is going south. Skilled workers, educated people are going to do fine ’cause those are the kinds of jobs Nafta is going to create. If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people, I’m serious, let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do — let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work.”

Second supposedly out-of-context quote:

“You shut your mouth or you get out!”

Supposedly exculpatory context:

“And another thing: You don’t have the right to protest. You’re allowed no demonstrations, no foreign flag waving, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. You’re a foreigner: shut your mouth or get out! And if you come here illegally, you’re going to jail.”

Yeah, Rush, that really proved something.

In the looking stupid while trying to prove how smart I am department, we have Sarah Palin claiming that, once elected, she and McCain are “going to do a few new things also. For instance, as Alaska’s governor, I put the government’s checkbook online so that people can see where their money’s going. We’ll bring that kind of transparency, that responsibility, and accountability back.”

That’s a great idea! In fact, it’s such a good idea that Senators Barack Obama and Tom Coburn created the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act to do exactly that in 2006 and 2007. You can see it at No other candidate can match your spending transparency kung-fu, Gov. Palin!

Maybe I should just link my whole blog to MojoBlog. Here is a telling sequence of quotes from MojoBlog regarding McCain campaign manager Rick Davis.

John McCain, yesterday [Sep. 21] on CNBC:

My campaign manager has stopped [lobbying for Fannie Mae], has had nothing to do with it since, and I’ll be glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it.

The New York Times, today [Sep. 22]:

Senator John McCain’s campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say.

The McCain campaign, today, in response to the Times:

“Whatever the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization…. [it is] an organization completely, totally 150-percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate.”

That’s only $1.8 million, probably not much as lobbying goes.


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