Why Won’t Obama Stop AIG Bonuses?

AIG logoBarack Obama has shown no hesitation to wield the power of the state, but he claims that he’s unable to stop these outrageous AIG bonuses, even though taxpayers now own 80% of AIG.

Obama wants the government to dominate the health care and energy economies. He’s proposed huge new taxes to help finance expansion of the federal government. More to the point, he would allow bankruptcy judges to abrogate contracts as part of his mortgage bailout. His automaker bailout contemplates the setting aside or revision of UAW contracts.

It is astonishing that these bonuses will be paid to executives at AIG’s financial products division, the unit that wrote trillions of dollars’ worth of credit-default swaps. AIG placed bets on derivative trades that it could not possibly pay off if it lost. This is called fraud. These bad bets were big enough to bring down the financial system.

Instead of claiming … Read More ➡

More Scrutiny for Murtha as Investigative Noose Tightens

Politico reported on March 11:

Over the course of the past decade, Rep. John P. Murtha has earmarked millions of dollars for the Electro-Optics Center at Penn State University — money that has, in turn, gone to clients of the PMA Group, the Murtha-linked lobbying shop that was raided in November as part of a federal criminal probe.Murtha Pelosi photo

PMA may soon be Murtha’s undoing. The firm was founded by his top operative Paul Magliocchetti, who is now reportedly under investigation for making campaign donations in the names of other people. Campaign finance violations are not treated seriously by prosecutors, except for this one. The result can be prison time and big fines. If faced with the prospect of jail, would Magliocchetti turn on Murtha?

PMA has collapsed as most of it’s lobbyists have quit. It’s quite a fall from last year when it ranked as the 10th-biggest Washington lobbying firm … Read More ➡

Rep. Mollohan’s Foundation Got Free Rent From Earmark Recipient

WVHTC buildingRoll Call reports today:

The West Virginia High Tech Consortium has provided more than $75,000 in free rent and administrative services to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation, according to tax records, while receiving millions of dollars worth of earmarks from Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W. Va.), who serves as the family foundation’s secretary.

Questions about Mollohan’s foundation are not new. Michael Forsythe of Bloomberg News reported on June 22, 2006:

Mollohan helped funnel at least $179 million in U.S. government contracts over the last six years to companies that gave to the West Virginia Democrat’s family-run charity, tax records and other documents show.

The money went to 21 companies and nonprofit groups that contributed $564,427 to the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation from 2002 to 2004 — almost half of the charity’s revenue, according to the documents. The congressman, an Appropriations Committee member whose finances are under federal

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Will Bailed-Out Companies Shell Out for Sharpton?

GM logThe 11th annual convention of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) will take place April 1-4 in New York City. Last year’s event in Memphis had heavy corporate sponsorship. Of course, a lot has changed since then. Sponsors like Citigroup, Chrysler and General Motors have gone broke, kept alive by billions in taxpayer funds.

Healthier 2008 sponsors include Abbott Laboratories, Allstate, American Honda, Anheuser-Busch (since acquired by InBev), Chase Foundation, Colgate-Palmolive, Continental Airlines, Entergy, FedEx, Ford, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Pfizer, UPS Foundation and Wal-Mart.

At the event, Colgate-Palmolive accepted a “corporate excellence” award, prompting NLPC to ask the company to give it back. In a letter to Reuben Mark, the company’s Chairman, NLPC President Peter Flaherty called the award “a dubious honor indeed.”

In an April 22 letter defending the award, Mark asserted that the NAN convention was “broadly attended by a number of elected officials and … Read More ➡

Obama Should Focus on Bank Crisis Rather Than “Fake Populism”

NLPC President Peter Flaherty said today, “Excessive executive pay and perks are indeed a problem, as NLPC sought to highlight way before the financial meltdown. But the real scandal now is bank bailouts without end.

Citi logo

Instead of engaging in fake populism by trashing corporate travel to Las Vegas or the Super Bowl, Obama should produce a plan to deal with the banking crisis. Throwing more taxpayer money at AIG and Citigroup as they lurch from crisis to crisis is not a plan.  I am worried that by the time Obama and Timothy Geithner come up with a strategy, there will be no money left.

The tally for AIG is now $175 billion with no end in sight. AIG placed bets on derivative trades that it could not possibly pay off if it lost. This is called fraud. These bad bets were big enough to bring down the financial system. Obama … Read More ➡