Tuesday, October 7, 2008

AIG - All Inclusive Greed

That snapping sound you just heard? Yeah, that was me finally twisting off. Ah, it's OK. I saw it coming. After the whole $700 billion economic fiasco over there in the House? And then I saw the reptilian Nancy Pelosi almost break her own arm from patting herself on the back and all of the other self important House members congratulating themselves for finally doing their job (albeit, doing it poorly and not without making sure there was something in it for them), I knew it was only a matter of time before I snapped. And here's why:

(But first, I was noticing that I haven't heard so much as a peep out of Hillary since this whole thing has been going on. You know, the whole economic system on the verge of collapse thing. Yeah, that. I couldn't figure out why Hillary hasn't shown up anywhere. I think now I know why. I think she must have given all of her clothes to Nancy Pelosi. She's looking like a Hillary clone these days. Though she does have a more dramatically forked tongue than Hillary. But I digress. Back to my twisting off.)

AIG, the massive insurance company that, on the afternoon that it was filing for bankruptcy, was offered/given $85 million by the Federal government to bail it out of the ridiculously deep and unnecessary hole it had dug itself has been putting that $85 million to use immediately. Yep, according to the semi-competent folks over there at ABC News, last week (and by "last week" I mean "less than a week after receiving $85 million dollars to save their sorry, greedy asses") "online executives of the giant AIG insurance company headed for a week-long retreat at a luxury resort and spa, the St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, California, Congressional investigators revealed today." Wait. WTF??!

According to the too little, too late Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), "Rooms at this resort can cost over $1,000 a night." That bit of information he provided this morning as his committee has continued to believe that now is a good time to begin investigating what in the hell the Wall Street companies and their CEOs have been doing over the past 10 to 15 years. An action that, if you're asking me, might have been more effective if they had been doing all of their investigating and, more importantly, all of their PAYING ATTENTION, the ENTIRE TIME! What in the hell do you Congressmen/women who are on these "oversight" committees DO if you're not "overseeing" things?! Inquiring minds want to know! Angry hands want to wring your necks!

You know, while I agree that trying to figure out what in the hell went on is important, in the end it's going to be pointless. Sure, we'll know who knew what (maybe) and who was responsible for what (maybe) and who made off with a Scrooge McDuck sized pile of cash (definitely), but so what? Then what? Then we know. Um, yay? It will have no effect on those who were primarily responsible for the whole ordeal, so what good is it? And where is the committee to investigate the committees? THAT is the one that I would be MORE interested in seeing go forward. All of these Congressmen/women who were supposed to be watching these things? Where were they? Why is it that now, NOW they are shocked, just SHOCKED that this is happening? How could they NOT know that this was going on? OK, but I digress. Where was I? Oh, right $1,000 a night rooms with MY MONEY!

According to "AIG documents obtained by Waxman's investigators show the company paid more than $440,000 for the retreat, including nearly $200,000 for rooms, $150,000 for meals and $23,000 in spa charges." And this was a week after the bailout which was around September 16, 2008. So, they took their pricey little jaunt around September 23 and it lasted for a week, which would put the end of it right around September 30, 2008. Today is October 8, 2008. That's a week later. Now THAT is efficient! Why couldn't you have been THAT efficient BEFORE everything was in the tank?!? And now that you know, what are you going to do about it?!!?

Oh, but wait, before you answer that (because I already know it's nothing) let's take a look at this resort that we paid for, shall we? Behold! A resort that YOUR money paid for that YOU are NOT staying at!

The view from the Lounge Terrace

Here we have the main pool

This is your money having caviar at sunset.

A view of the main pool and the resort.

One of the rooms you won't be staying in.

Another room you won't be staying in.

Wow. I had no idea my money liked to be spent at such posh resorts....and not even spent on me! I am apparently very generous with my money. And so are you! Did you know that you had such high standards for where people that you don't even know stay when they need a hotel? I didn't think you did.

And here is where I become frustrated with the pathetic attempt of ABC News at passing themselves off as a news source. That's about all the story says about this ordeal. Then it completely drops the ball and morphs off into a couple of lines about the hearings. Oh, it does mention that Henry Waxman said "I find that very disturbing" when Robert Willumstad, a guy who was CEO of AIG for three freaking months, said "I honestly don't remember" when asked "about a former AIG auditor who claimed he had been blocked from reviewing the books of a London-based division that has since been blamed for a large share of the company's downfall." You find that "disturbing", do you? Is there some reason that you're not calling this guy on his BS if that's what you believe it is? Do you think he's going to go lock himself in a men's room stall at the break and weep because you found his statement "disturbing"? Well, if he does, I'm sure he'll find solace in that he can blow the snot bubble out of his throat onto one of the gazillions of hundred dollar bills that he's walking with.

Disturbing. What in the hell is wrong with people? Oh, and I'm not referring to Henry Waxman. I'm referring to the morons who keep voting time and time again to elect this man to office!! Seriously. This guy has been in Congress since1975. And I'm sure that he must have done a few things that are commendable enough to cause people to re-elect him. I do believe that. However, I cannot tell you how sick I am of seeing this guy's face at every damn hearing to investigate something at the Federal level. Perhaps, sir, if you did a little bit more investigating like the kind that allowed you to find out that the AIG guys were off getting manicures and pedicures with MY MONEY less than a week after I was forced to lend it to them, then you wouldn't need so many of your WTF hearings, now would you?

So there they are, holding their WTF hearings and screaming at the guys who once ran the company, while the guys who are currently running the company are at a resort that costs $1,000 a night. Good. That'll help. Veeerrry effective, I'm sure. I'm sure that $700 billion is going to go to good use as well. I mean, after hearing this, what could possibly go wrong?

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