Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who's To Blame For AIG? Well, How About California Congressmen Serving Big Business' Special Interests Instead Of Their Own Constituents'?


Who does Dan Lungren really work for-- when he's working?

When you think of rubber stamp Republicans in the House who worked most closely with the Bush Regime to dismantle our nation's regulatory system on behalf of the predators and parasites who have financed-- and continue to finance-- the GOP, you would normally think of John Boehner (R-OH), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Frank Ryan (R-WI), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Spencer Bachus (R-AL), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), and Roy Blunt (R-MO). But here in California a gaggle of right-wing Republicans is no less guilty and today the DCCC begun an initiative to make sure voters in nine California districts with representatives who have been especially negligent in their duties and towards their constituents. These are the members:

Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46)
Brian Bilbray (CA-50)
Ken Calvert (CA-44)
David Dreier (CA-26)
Elton Gallegly (CA-24)
Dan Lungren (CA-03)
Buck McKeon (CA-25)

Since the fish rots from the head, let's start with Bush and work our way down to Lungren. Unless you're world is all about Britney Spears' heroic struggle with Adnan Ghalib this week or Meghan McCain's three-way with dread duo, Coultergeist and Ingraham, you're probably aware that everyone else in the country is seething with anger over the giant rip off of American taxpayers by corporate behemoth, AIG. Oddly enough, even the authors of that giant rip off are expressing outrage and indignity.

The GOP spin machine is working overtime trying to blame a mess that took years of hard work from the Bush Regime and their congressional rubber stamps to accomplish, on President Obama and the congressional Democrats. Yet when Democrats tried putting a cap on executive compensation-- when Bush was still president-- he and the champions of unregulated capitalism and unfettered markets drew a line in the sand. They'd play Samson and bring down the whole economy if Democrats tried to impose communism by regulating compensation for the GOP's donor base. Alabama reactionary Richard Shelby (who has gobbled up $4,384,492 in legalized bribes from the finance/insurance/real estate sector) was especially vituperative that anyone would presume to tell Big Business how to spend their our money. "It should be up to the board of directors of a private corporation," he drawled, "to set the compensation of an executive; it shouldn't be Congress's role." He had earned his keep for the week.

Similarly, the GOP's biggest hypocrite on all matters financial, Eric Cantor-- who managed to suck down $3,121,188 in legalized bribes from the very same sector-- more than any Republican in the House other than Big Business' favorite shill, Spencer Bachus-- never stopped defending Big Business' "right" to set their own compensation scale (with our tax dollars). Of course, now they're singing a different tune-- one that's even at odds with the last remaining right-wing bastions of Law of the Jungle Economics, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.

Now the Republican talking points have leaked out about how they plan to undermine America next-- read 'em now so you won't be surprised when you hear Hate Talk Radio, Paul Ryan, and Fox "News" all ablaze with 'em for the rest of the month.
* “The budget is a radical proposal that will change the character of our nation, trampling on freedom and liberty.”

* “The only approach that has not been tried is the conservative approach-- limited bureaucracy, lower taxes, and responsible regulatory structures.”

* “The administration is disingenuous, unfocused, and reckless.”

Well at least if you're in one of the districts in California represented by the list of kooks and nuts above, you may also hear a discussion of how, for example, Dan Lungren, has worked for years-- with Bush-- to block any and all efforts to limit the outrageous salaries and bonuses of corporate executives. If Lungren hadn't interfered these kinds of outrageous bonuses and compensation packages-- with taxpayer money-- would never have been on the table to begin with. DCCC: "It’s easy for Republicans to play to angry Americans and say they’re offended by bonuses during a firestorm, but the reality is that Representative Dan Lungren’s offense rings hollow after years of being part of the problem that led to outrageous executive pay and bonuses.” And they document Lungren's-- and the rest of the monkeys-- ritual obstructionism and unwillingness to stand up for their constituents' interests over the special interests of their contributors. (Lungren, by the way, has scooped up $519,067 from the finance/insurance/real estate sector.) First the obstructionism:
Republicans unanimously opposed eliminating all future golden parachutes for TARP senior executives, stopping incentives for top executives to take unnecessary risks, and cracking down on future bonuses, retention awards, and incentive compensation for all TARP executives.

In 2007, when House Democrats passed a bill, 269-134 to allow company shareholders to vote of executive compensation, Lungren, along with Gallegly, Bilbray, Calvert, Dreier, and McKeon all voted no. (McClintock wasn't in Congress yet and Rohrabacher was surfing or talking on the phone with the Taliban when the vote was taken.) That same year Lungren, along with rubber stamps Bilbray, Calvert, Dreier, Gallegly, and McKeon (Rohrbacher out with the Taliban again), all voted for an amendment by Georgia sociopath Tom Price attempting to strip investors of the right to have a say in executive compensation and golden parachutes in the companies they own.

Is it any wonder that the finance/insurance/real estate sector has rewarded their diligent servants so very, very handsomely? Here's what some of California's worst corporate whores have taken in legalized bribes from the sector.
Brian Bilbray- $1,242,506
Ken Calvert- $773,076
David Dreier- $2,118,538
Elton Gallegly- $737,201
Tom McClintock- $353,294
Buck McKeon- $1,015,098
Dan Lungren- $519,067
Dana Rohrabacher- $467,795

Don't interpret the relatively small amount that McClintock has scooped up with any kind of dissatisfaction from Big Business. Just give him a little time. He's only been in office two-and-a-half months.

Oh, and if you want to see how a real congressman represents his constituents' interests, instead of the interests of the crooks, watch this clip of Alan Grayson of Orlando grilling career criminal Edward Liddy about the two dozen losers who ran the credit default swap business that has destabilized the country's, and the world's, financial system.


The GOP was completely splintered over this with half the caucus sticking with Rush Limbaugh's demands that the AIG executives deserve their taxpayer-funded bonuses and half agreeing with the Democrats that the bonuese were basically stolen and have to be returned. The California Republicans who stuck with AIG and Limbaugh were the worst corporate shills in the state:

Dan Lungren
David Dreier
Buck McKeon
John Campbell
Duncan Hunter
Darryl Issa
Kevin McCarthy
Devin Nunes

(The cowardly Gary Miller was afraid to vote and stayed away from the House floor.)

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At 12:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alan Grayson is by far my favorite politician.

Whatever party is populated by people like him is a party I would seriously get behind.

We know its not the Democrats...

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any commentary on Article One, section 8 regarding the uniformity requirement. Also, any commentary on the requirement that taxation be for the general welfare, and not for punitive purposes?

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that video.. That guy has only been there the last 6 months, trying to fix the company, isn't it? How can they blame him I don't really get. All he did was that he got the worst job on Earth possible.

Take care,


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