Tuesday, March 24, 2009

AIG at Home

I really don't like covering protests in the paper anymore because of the bias. If the MSM supports them (like the global warming crazies, the illegals, and the gays) they get glowing reports. If they despise them (antiwar, Palestinian, or any others opposed to the agenda) they are either ignored or subtley denigrated.

Case in point: This item was on page B7 in the Globe business section after weeks of antitax, antibailout protests. We only had 10 show up over at BoA, but the local front-paged it anyway!

"Bailout discontent hits streets; Hub protest centers on actions by AIG, Bank of America" by Erin Ailworth, Globe Staff | March 20, 2009

Umbrella in hand, Heleodora Caraballo marched through the drizzle yesterday afternoon outside Bank of America's downtown Boston offices to protest what she called the misuse of taxpayer money by failing financial institutions.

"There's a lot of workers being left without jobs and ways to support their families," Caraballo, a contracted janitor at Logan International Airport, said in Spanish. "The [bailout] money belongs to the public, the workers."

Roughly 150 people gathered alongside Caraballo on Federal Street, reflecting the growing discontent with companies that got federal funding. Carrying signs with the message "Stop Corporate Greed," demonstrators began their rally at Bank of America and ended it at the offices of insurer American International Group on High Street. Those institutions were major recipients of taxpayer dollars.

Yesterday's march was part of a coordinated effort by several organizations, including the Service Employees International Union, Rock the Vote, MoveOn.org, and the Coalition of Labor Union Women, to rally people across the United States. Nearly a dozen protests occurred in Massachusetts alone, including in Worcester, Lawrence, and Andover. The largest gathering, organizers said, was in Chicago, where 1,200 people turned out.

Not important enough to front-page; wouldn't want to give Americans encouragement or ideas, would they?

Public furor has been mounting this week, since it became known that about 400 AIG employees, including some in its troubled financial products unit, got $165 million in bonuses. The insurer received $182 billion in taxpayer-funded bailout money after the government determined the company's failure would devastate the nation's financial system.

There they go again with the AIG thing. It's like the MSM version of how many people can you fit in a phone booth: how many AIG references can you make in a given paper?

On Wednesday, AIG chief executive Edward Liddy was grilled by the House Financial Services subcommittee. Liddy said he has asked employees who received bonuses of more than $100,000 to give back half the money. Yesterday, the House passed a bill that would tax most of the bonuses at a 90 percent rate....

AIG spokeswoman Christina Pretto said the company recognizes that people are angry. "We're really trying our very best to repay taxpayers."


Bank of America spokeswoman Anne Pace said the bank is lending more after receiving $45 billion from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program. The bank also has reduced bonuses for senior executives. "We're using the TARP funds responsibly," she said.

Yup, even at a protest they gotta get the corporate talking heads views fully represented. The frikkin' selective bias is enraging, folks!

Kevin Monahan, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, was among a big group of union workers at the Boston demonstration. "Our tax dollars are going to bolstering up these banks," he said. "We're interested in making sure our dollars aren't going to bailouts that aren't helping the economy."

The paper picked this guy to make it sound like the public is for bailouts in genereal, but not this one. I love the agenda-pushing propaganda, don't you?

Caraballo, the janitor and a member of SEIU Local 615, marched, in part, to represent several colleagues who had been laid off recently. "They lost their jobs, their healthcare," Caraballo said, blaming Wall Street's risky decisions that have hurt the economy. "That angers me."

Yup, we are angry and therefore illegitimate. Meanwhile, you can be calm and evil and that's fine.

Paul Anderson, a consultant who works across the street from the Bank of America offices, said he's frustrated by the bailouts and executive bonuses but is pragmatic about the situation.

"I do not like the idea of bailing out people for mistakes they've made," Anderson said. "But I think we've got to do it. . . . What affects Wall Street affects Main Street, unfortunately."

They even found this guy who is PROTESTING BAILOUTS that he is FOR!!!! Can the AGENDA-PUSHING from the PRO-CORPORATE, PRO-BANKS, PRO-RICHER PAPER be any more surreal, folks?


Answer: Yup!

"Protesters pay visit to AIG executives' lavish homes" by John Christoffersen, Associated Press | March 22, 2009

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - A busload of activists representing working- and middle-class families paid visits yesterday to the lavish homes of American International Group executives to protest the tens of millions of dollars in bonuses awarded by the struggling insurance company after it received a massive federal bailout.

About 40 protesters - outnumbered by reporters and photographers from as far away as Germany - sought to urge AIG executives who received a portion of the $165 million in bonuses to do more to help families.

"We think $165 million could be used in a more appropriate way to keep people in their homes, create more jobs and healthcare," said Emeline Bravo-Blackport, a gardener.

She marveled at AIG executive James Haas's colonial house, which has stunning views of a golf course and the Long Island Sound. The Fairfield house is "another part of the world" from her life in nearby Bridgeport..... News of the bonuses last week ignited a firestorm of controversy and even death threats against AIG employees.

Yup, that's why they covered this agenda-pushing piece of shit. Maybe those guys should feel some heat for the looting and lying they have done. Otherwise, when will they ever stop?

The company, which is based in New York, has received $182.5 billion in federal aid and now is about 80 percent government-owned, while the national housing and job markets have collapsed as the country spirals into a crippling recession.

American International Group Inc. has said it was contractually obligated to give the retention bonuses, payments designed to keep valued employees from quitting, to people in its financial products unit, based in Wilton. Congress began action on a bill that would tax 90 percent of the bonuses, and the company's chief executive urged anyone who received more than $100,000 to return at least half.

AIG has argued that retention bonuses are crucial to pulling the company out of its crisis. Without the bonuses, the company says, top employees who best understand AIG's business would leave.

And GO WHERE? Aren't you TIRED of the WEAK and LAME EXCUSES for LOOTING, Amurka?

Besides Haas's home, protesters yesterday also visited the Fairfield home of AIG executive Douglas Poling. They were met both times by security guards.

With swastika armbands?

They left letters that acknowledged that some executives, including Haas and Poling, are giving up the money but asked them to support higher taxes on families earning more than $500,000 a year.

"You have a wonderful opportunity to help your neighbors in Connecticut," the letters said.


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