Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Obama and Constitutional Law

The President is a former constitutional law professor, briefly but still, in Illinois. When the ridiculous bill in the House of Representatives passed declaring that those who received bonuses at AIG would be taxed at 100% - 90% federal, 10% state - President Obama said nothing. He allowed the smokescreen to play out for several days. The media? Asleep at the wheel.

The tax would be a bill of attainment. It is clearly unconstitutional. The President clearly knew this fact. Much of the House of Representatives probably knew this, too, yet voted to pass such a measure. If they didn't know it, why didn't they? We seem to have quite a low standard for elected officials. They passed the measure purely for political theatre. The folks back home are steamed and they wanted to act as though they were doing something. The President was thrilled with the distraction - even dispatching some of his union supporters on buses to the homes of AIG executives in Connecticut to protest the bonuses. All on the day he appeared on the Jay Leno show with all the eyes on that stunt.

Did any buses go to the home of Senator Chris Dodd, (D-CT)? No. Did they know Chris Dodd wrote a provision into the bill no one bothered to read that specifically protected the bonuses? Or that Mrs. Dodd sat on a corporate board that supervised an offshoot of AIG? She was paid for that plum gig, too. Would she have begun her own "consulting" firm to get this type of business if her husband were not the Senator from Connecticut and recipient of big campaign donation dollars from, say, AIG?

"I look forward to receiving a final product that will serve as a strong signal to the executives who run these firms that such compensation will not be tolerated." That from the constitutional professor in chief. Then the Attorney General of CT got into the mix for his own publicity and shamed and threatened the executives until 9 out of 10 have now given back their bonuses. Hopefully, the 10th one is telling the Attorney General to stick it.

The Treasury Secretary was on Capitol Hill testifying before Barney Frank's Banking Committee today. The same Barney Frank who was a driving force in the economic collaspe with his entrenched support of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and his campaign contributions from banks that fell into the arms of the bailout. Secretary Geithner, tax cheat, would like to have even more power over large corporations to reign in salaries and bonuses that the administration doesn't approve of. Imagine that power grab. Where would it stop? Who's next?

It is interesting, all the silence from the press. They are truly accomplished in turning the other way when it comes to covering this administration. Not a peep to question the constitutional question of this tax. They are perfectly content to let this administration and Democrat majority Congress chose who will win and who will lose, even to the point of using the U.S. tax code.

Throughout the Bush administration there was daily coverage of complaints of how that administration was trampling on the Constitution. The sustained outrage of the perceived power grabs to keep our country safe after the murderous attacks on 9/11/01 was a constant in press coverage. So what happened? The journalism community completely surrendered to this administration before it was even this administration. It was all political theatre. The country reaps what it sows.

Now it is known that Senator Cardin is looking for co-sponsors for his newspaper bailout bill. Newspaper bailout. Rewarding more failure. Rewarding journalists for looking the other way for their favorite politicians.

The administration marches on.

2 comments:

srp said...

Did you see the change in verbiage... from the "global war on terror" to "overseas contingency operation"? My mouth is still hanging open and I haven't been able to collect my thoughts yet, except to say three words... ridiculous but typical.

My mood: Disgusted with the press, disgusted with the federal government.... yes, just disgusted with the whole mess!

Karen said...

Roxanne:
Yes. However, now they are walking it back. They are hanging it on a "mid level staffer" who wrote the memo suggesting the term Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) be used.Supposedly this "staffer" is a career public servant, so that makes it all the worse. His stupidity will be there the rest of his career.