• When and how are we going to reinvent our economy so it works for the people and not the bankers?
  • The right wing has begun to spin, going after Chris Dodd. He put into the original stimulus bill a provision to limit bonuses.
  • Article: Amid AIG Furor, Dodd Tries to Undo Bonus Protections in the 'Dodd Amendment' Rules.
  • Article: Fox, Drudge falsely assert Dodd put "bonus protections" into stimulus bill.
  • Article: Wyden: My Bill Could Have Prevented AIG Mess.
  • "The buyer of a CDS does not need to own the underlying security or other form of credit exposure; in fact the buyer does not even have to suffer a loss from the default event. By contrast, to purchase insurance the insured is generally expected to have an insurable interest such as owning a debt."
  • Bumper Music: The One, Foo Fighters (video).
  • Letter to Henry Paulson from David Baris, Executive Director, American Association of Bank Directors, November 3, 2008 on Section 5 3 of Securities Agreement.
    "Section 5 3 of the Securities Purchase Agreement - Standard Terms (the "Agreement") posted on Treasury's website on Friday, October 31, 2008 will permit Congress to make any changes it desires in the Agreement, without limitation, now or in the future. All participating institutions will be taking their chances that this Congress or future Congresses will not place onerous restrictions or obligations on them for having participated in the program. Section 5 3, headed "Amendments", states in part that "the Investor [meaning Treasury] may unilaterally amend any provision of this Agreement to the extent required to comply with any changes after the Signing Date in applicable federal statutes. "This provision grants carte blanche for this or any other Congress to change any of the terms of the Agreement, which, we understand, must be executed by all publicly traded institutions that participate in the program (agreements for non publicly traded or reporting companies have not yet been posted). So for example, if Sen. Bernie Sanders' idea to put caps on executive compensation at firms that accept Treasury investment in the firm's senior preferred stock becomes law in this Congress or future sessions of Congress, it can apply unilaterally and retroactively to all of the participants in the program. Congress could do just about anything it wanted. ...

    We strongly urge Treasury to delete this provision and reassure prospective participants that they will not be subject to changes to the Agreement subsequent to the parties executing the Agreement.

  • Clip:
    "The "porkulus" bill has an executive compensation pay limit, as you know. We're limiting executive pay. Chris Dodd put in his own bill -- his own amendment -- that exempts bonuses from this limitation."
    Rush Limbaugh.
  • Article: Conservative Movement Divided on Two Fronts Over AIG.
    [Sen. Mel Martinez]: "What executives have done is troubling, but it's equally troubling to have government telling shareholders how much they can pay the executives."
  • Article: .
    "Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said that he is "one of the chief defenders of Obama on the Republican side" for the president's efforts to reach across the aisle. But, said Inhofe, "as I was listening to him make those statements I thought, is this still America? Do we really tell people how to run [a business], and who to pay and how much to pay?" ...

    Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) agreed: "If we do such a good job of running the federal government, what business do we have telling them how to run the banks?"

  • Sen. John McCain.
    "I think the best thing that could probably happen to General Motors, in my view, is they go into Chapter 11, they reorganize, they renegotiate their -- the union management contracts and come out of it a stronger, better, leaner and more competitive automotive industry."
  • Bumper Music: The Mail Must Go Through, Larry Groce & The Disneyland Children's Sing Along Chorus (clip).
  • Suggesting to Arlen Specter that he become a Democrat.
  • Article: Bankers Face Strict New Pay Cap: Stimulus Bill Puts Retroactive Curb on Bailout Recipients; Wall Street Fumes, February 14, 2009 .
    "The giant stimulus package that cleared Congress Friday includes a last-minute addition that restricts bonuses for top earners at firms receiving federal cash -- including those that already received it -- more severely than the Obama administration's previous pay limits.

    The most stringent pay restriction bars any company receiving funds from paying top earners bonuses equal to more than one-third of their total annual compensation. That could severely crimp pay packages at big banks, where top officials commonly get relatively modest salaries but often huge bonuses.

  • Article: Bayh Forms Moderate Working Group.
  • Bumper Music: You can leave your hat on, Randy Newman.
  • Article: The Top 10 Craziest Sex Laws in America.
  • Thomvision is up, over at KPOJ.
  • Clip:
    "Some of the anger is now targeting Capitol Hill, and here's why: Apparently, when senators debated the stimulus package, Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd -- he created a loophole that allowed AIG to give out these bonuses. "
    Trace Gallagher.
  • Article: Fox, Drudge falsely assert Dodd put "bonus protections" into stimulus bill.
  • Guest: Craig Shirley. President & CEO, Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, which he founded in 1984. The firm is internationally recognized among public opinion leaders and the national media as a leading marketer of right of center thought. His firm books many of Thom's guests. Author of "Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All", which detailed Ronald Reagan’s pivotal 1976 presidential campaign.

    Section 5 3 of the TARP bill. Chris Dodd's amendment. The free market. Am AIG purchase would be communism. Are the police department communist? Football without rules analogy. Anarchy in the marketplace. Adam Smith defended the law that cotton could not be turned into cloth in America. Barter market. Employee Free Choice Act.

  • Bumper Music: Gotta Serve Somebody, Bob Dylan.
  • Article: Paulson buys into AngloGold.
  • Article: Trade Barriers Could Threaten Global Economy: World Bank Finds Protectionist Trend.
  • Bumper Music: Somebody's Knocking At The Door, Paul McCartney.
  • Article: My name is Rip Van Winkle and I can't sleep.
  • Book: "History of the United States ", Charles & Mary Beard.
  • Article: Horses tamed earlier than thought.
  • Article: How weight can affect your lifespan.
  • Article: Statin study: Lower cholesterol, diminished joy of sex linked.
  • Article: Old-boy Networks Hard-wired?
    "Men are more sociable than women when it comes to tolerating members of their own sex, according to a study published this month in Psychological Science. ... Psychologist Joyce Benenson of Emmanuel College in Boston and colleagues at Harvard University and the University of Quebec tested the common notion that women are the more "sociable" sex. In a survey of 60 college students with same-sex roommates, they found that twice as many men as women were "satisfied" with their roommates."
  • Article: British teenagers have lower IQs than their counterparts did 30 years ago.
  • Guest: “Everything You Know is Wrong”: Steven Johnson. Author, "The Invention of Air: A Study of Science, Faith, Revolution, and the Birth of America".
    "The book is centered on the life of Joseph Priestley, the 18th-century British polymath who most people know as the discoverer of oxygen, though the story of that "discovery" is a very complicated one. What drew me to Priestley originally is another, less contested (and much less recognized) discovery: he was the first person to realize that plants were creating oxygen, in 1771. So in a way Priestley lies at the very beginning of the ecosystems view of the world: the air we breathe is not some inevitable fact of life on earth, but something manufactured as part of a wider system by other organisms on the planet. But Priestley turns out to be bound up with the American Founding Fathers in all sorts of fascinating ways: he was best friends with Franklin for the last ten years or so that Franklin lived in London, and his writings on religion -- Priestley also helped establish the first Unitarian Church in England -- had the single most dramatic impact on Thomas Jefferson's eclectic Christianity. Priestley's radicalism ends up provoking the Birmingham Riots of 1791, which ultimately drive him to emigrate to America, where he becomes a central figure in the Alien and Sedition Acts, and the falling out -- and ultimate reconciliation -- between John Adams and Jefferson.

    In a real sense, Priestley was a kind of lost Founding Father: a hugely important figure to Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson who is barely mentioned today in most accounts of the revolutionary generation. To give you some sense of his role: in the final correspondence between Adams and Jefferson, starting in 1812, Priestley is mentioned 52 times, while Franklin is mentioned five times, and Washington only three. And when you see the Founders through the lens of Priestley's life, it changes the way we think about the values of the revolutionary generation. (For one, it makes it clear how thoroughly integrated science was with their political worldviews.) So this is, in a sense, my version of the Founding Fathers genre: a Long Zoom history of that period, with chemistry, thermodynamics, information theory, neuroscience, and cultural history onstage along with the usual Great Men.

  • Bumper Music: We Built This City, Starship (video).
  • Guest: Larry Scott, founder and Editor of VA Watch Dog. "The American Veteran's On-Line News Magazine". Veterans' issues. Wrong message, White House picks a fight it cannot win. Billing insurance for service related problems.
  • Bumper Music: Start Me Up, Rolling Stones.
  • Bumper Music: Crazy, Gnarls Barkley.
  • Article: Perino Defends AIG Bonuses: They Are ‘Middle Class People’ Who ‘Are Expecting To Get This Bonus’.
  • AIG CEO who is accepting $1 year is testifying, said many of the bonus recipients said they would give at least half back.
  • Bumper Music: Mr. Blue Sky, ELO.
  • Every problem is a seed of opportunity. We will get through it in a lot better shape.
  • Victoria Jones of Talk Radio News. Liddy testimony, he seems out of touch. We are seeing lawmakers at their best. JP Morgan Chase spending $4m on expanding Indian IT workforce, not getting any coverage, but some politicians sent letter. Seymour Hersch on Cheney's assassination wing, Dennis Kucinich asked for investigation, now General Richard Myers says he does not know what Hersch is talking about. But CIA was bypassed. The Pentagon will stop using stop loss. Gates has lifted the media ban on photographing coffins arriving. 
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