The fact is, the MSM has been looking for someone to pin this debacle upon, and it now has conveniently focused on Sen. Dodd, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee. Dodd now has a huge problem as he becomes the principal fall guy for the snowballing nationwide outrage.
When asked by the Connecticut Post, Gary Rose, a Sacred Heart University professor of political science, said this could open the door for someone to challenge Dodd's hold on his Senate seat.
"It continues to raise the spectre of preferential treatment and it may not be true, but the perception, in politics, is reality," Rose said. (emphasis mine)People should keep in mind that while the bonuses ARE abominable, they account for merely one-tenth of one percent of the TOTAL bailout for AIG. I can only hope that the MSM works as diligently to oversee that the OTHER 99.9% of the money is being spent wisely.
(This post below is by CaptCT cross-posted from My Left Nutmeg this morning)
Hey folks, it was Chris Dodd who wrote the provision in the bailout bill to DENY AIG Executives their bonuses.
Let me repeat that. Chris Dodd wrote the provision to DENY AIG Executives their bonuses.
The Obama Admnistration's Treasury Department then demanded that Dodd change the language, and Dodd reluctantly modified the language. Then yesterday, some lowlife in the Treasury Department blamed Dodd for writing the watered-down restrictions.
The facts surrounding this story -- not the ones CNN and the NY Times have been reporting -- have been covered by Jane Hamsher at FDL, by Glenn Greenwald at Salon, and by Arianna Huffington.
All of them document in detail how Dodd fought to restrict bonuses for AIG executives, and how the Obama administration fought to water down or eliminate those restrictions. As Greenwald makes clear ...
It was Dodd who did everything possible -- including writing and advocating for an amendment -- which would have applied the limitations on executive compensation to all bailout-receiving firms, including AIG, and applied it to all future bonus payments without regard to when those payments were promised. But it was Tim Geithner and Larry Summers who openly criticized Dodd's proposal at the time and insisted that those limitations should apply only to future compensation contracts, not ones that already existed. The exemption for already existing compensation agreements -- the exact provision that is now protecting the AIG bonus payments -- was inserted at the White House's insistence and over Dodd's objections. [...]This is a reminder that Dodd has a huge bullseye on his back -- from Republicans and banking interests. And as Dodd looks at how the financial industry and health care industries need to be reformed, he is going to be attacked relentlessly by friends of the banking and insurance industries. Get used to it. If you thought the "Dean scream" hysteria and the "Gore invented the internet" smears were ridiculous, well, this is going to be just like that.
The point was -- and is -- that Dodd was pressured to put that carve-out in at the insistence of Treasury officials (whose opposition meant that Dodd's choices were the limited compensation restriction favored by Geithner/Summers or no limits at all), and Dodd did so only after arguing in public against it. To blame Dodd for provisions that the White House demanded is dishonest in the extreme...