Bullying of CEO Ken Lewis and pay “guidelines” for non-TARP banks prove ObamaDems don’t care if TARP funds are repaid
DeVine Law had planned to weigh in on the ongoing debate over the constitutionality of executive branch “czars” since dueling Pro & Con (Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson vs. David B. Rivkin, Jr. and Lee A. Casey) columns on the subject appeared in my October 1 edition of the AJC.
I concluded, at the time, that Rivkin/Casey had the better argument in the all-Republican debate that President Barack Obama’s czars did not exercise the “significant authority pursuant to the laws of the United States” that U.S. Supreme Court precedent determined is required for U.S. Senate confirmation under the “appointments clause” of the U.S. Constitution.
But as the end of October approaches I am persuaded that the Halloween masks of Czar#1 (Obama) thru Czar#33 (and counting) need to be removed, given the specter of thuggish Czarist “pitchfork” threats against TARP and non-TARP companies, akin to those leveled in the Chicago Way against Bankers last April:
“These are complicated companies,” one CEO said. Offered another: “We’re competing for talent on an international market.”But President Barack Obama wasn’t in a mood to hear them out. He stopped the conversation, and offered a blunt reminder of the public’s reaction to such explanations. “Be careful how you make those statements, gentlemen. The public isn’t buying that.”“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”
Persuasion, Coercion and Lawmaking
The “czar” that made the above thuggish mobster-type threat against Bank of America’s (BAC) CEO Ken Lewis, after he jokingly complained about rumours of draconian cuts in executive pay, didn’t have to be confirmed by senators. He was chosen by the Electoral College!
Lewis, who had already agreed to work for $2 for 2008-2009; invested millions of his own money in stock after the credit crunch and who was coerced to go thru with the Merrill Lynch deal after learning of their massive debt; has now been rubbed out by Obama’s pitchforks and forced to resign.
It seems that Lewis committed the unpardonable sin when he miraculously turned the Merrill deal into a profit-maker for BAC, thus frustrating the Obama-Geithner goal of nationalizing the banks. Earlier this year, Lewis also tried to return all of the TARP funds that former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Obama’s Tax-cheat Treasury Chief-in-waiting had forced BAC to take, alleging the bank was “insolvent.” The problem with that allegation is that BAC has never missed one payment to creditors.
Therefore, before Obama had appointed the first czar, this government had already crossed the line between persuasion from the Bully Pulpit of the executive branch and its execution of the laws responsibilities to the usurpation of the lawmaking responsibilities of Congress and the coercion of Judicial mandates interpreting the law.
One might want to go back as far as the Fannie Mae gangs of Democrats that coerced banks to make loans to those that could not afford them since the late 1990s for earlier coercions as well. One might want to re-visit attempts by President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain to break democrats’ filibusters that kept Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with the czar-like power to guarantee the toxic loans that, combined with Democratic Party policies after they took over Congress in 2007, that introduced us to the Great Recession Obama’s Rahm Emmanuel now uses as the crisis to justify the end of the rule of law and free market capitalism, but I digress.
Special Master please, not Czar
I chuckled two weeks ago when I saw that AIG was “asked” by Kenneth “Pay Czar” Feinberg, to reduce scheduled contractual bonuses. Asked? Then the chuckle reached belly-laugh this past week when Feinberg “announced” that all TARP recipients pay would be cut by 90%. No word on AIG et al’s answers after being asked and no word if pitchfork releases were threatened.
Feinberg says that these cuts are a “balance” of public outrage vs. making it more likely that the TARP companies pay back the loans from the taxpayer. He also “hopes” that the best employees of these companies won’t leave for better pay with non-TARP companies.
Feinberg was appointed by President Obama as “Special Master” on executive pay, and Feinberg insists that he not be referred to as a “czar”. But “master” is a term of art used by the Judicial Branch to refer to judges that make impartial decisions based on law and equity.
We missed his judicial appointment and the only jury we saw was one man with large ears not listening to We the people, nor the Congress. Had Obama been listening, he would have remembered the U.S. Senate’s refusal to pass the 90% tax on AIG months ago and had he been listening to We the People, he would have washed away that Big Government Kool-Aid taste with Party Tea.
So you see, whether Obama’s czars are unconstitutional or not (even if the Roberts-Alito Supreme Court would declare them so), the problem of the ongoing transition from a Republic and the Rule of Law to Obama’s preferred rule by men won’t be solved.
Not a Slippery Slope? The slope done slipped.
We are also told by Master Feinberg not to fear a slippery slope that would have the federal government determine salaries in non-TARP funds-receiving companies. Yet, the very day cuts of 50-90% in TARP company pay are announced, Obama’s government issues suggestions for ALL banks and the FEd has now followed.
All this comes after Obama took over GM and Chrysler that now function as premium day care for the UAW workers with no work to do making cars no one wants to buy.
Had they cared about “saving” GM and BAC, (and about taxpayer money being paid back) they would have let GM survive in bankruptcy and let BAC pay their money back months ago. So the Obama motive in the present circumstance is made clear by their takeover of GM and refusal to accept BAC’s money: Obama wants to own BAC and keep GM as a permanent taxpayer funded Democratic Party operation.
Feinberg speaks of having CEO and other executive pay tied to long-term stock options, and that would be fine if Boards of Directors weighed such a choice in the free market against similarly-situated firms with whom they compete.
But Obama, like czars, mobsters and Chavez-like dictators, eschews competition. He prefers to clear the field with Valentine’s Day brass knuckle massacres akin more to Halloween tricks after he takes the treats.
He was ACORN’s lawyer after all, even if he is loathe to admit it, and we can’t count on clearing any more ACORNs absent prostitution ring revelations.
We the People must wield votes in 2009-2012 like pitchforks
Don’t count on any action from a Congress, either, as some of their Blue Dawgs try blocking the cap and trade energy tax assault on the poor and middle class as Obama uses executive bureaucratic interpretations of the law to begin imposing such tax without their Blue Dawg representation.
We face a lawless gang in Washington whose czars may not face Senate scrutiny, but whose head Czar and his party ObamaDems will face We the People scrutiny in Novembers hence.
It has always required courage for conservatives, branded by the Drive-bys as criminals for being Republicans, to oppose the liberal status quo. The Chicago ways of Obama has made a Rush-like courage even more necessary given his pitchfork intimidation tactics.
Fortunantly, when the pitchfork thug ObamaDems slipped down the slope, they landed on Tea Partyers heads, who are poised to play Eliot Ness.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson
Originally published @ Examiner.com, where all verification links may be accessed.