A couple of things have come across the newswires that have caught in my craw today.
First, the former CEO of AIG, a company that received $182 billion from the taxpayers to stay afloat during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, has sued the U.S. government. His claim, filed in 2011, is that when we were paying AIG to stay in business, we didn’t pay enough.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, asserts that the government didn’t provide shareholders fair compensation when it took a nearly 80 percent stake in the insurer as part of its bailout. As a result, the government violated the Constitution, Starr claims.
Now, I never agreed with the bailouts passed around by the Bush and Obama administrations. All of the companies that were in trouble, from GM to AIG and beyond, were in that situation because of their own stupidity and avarice. Yes, allowing them to fail and be broken up would have hurt, but then it would have been over. All we’ve done by keeping them on a slow drip of money after the initial infusion is to keep the pain going. Yes, we didn’t crash as hard as we might have, but we’ve also bumped along the bottom and the people who caused the situation in the first place didn’t lose anything.
Be that as it may, some feel that we cheated them on the deal. Apparently $182 billion isn’t enough to pay for 80% of a failing business. I’m guessing they would have gotten less if the assets were sold on the courthouse steps, but since they weren’t, they feel they should have been paid top dollar for virtually worthless paper.
The board of directors at AIG have to decide in the next few days if they will either take part in the lawsuit, try to stop the ingrates from suing the government for more of our money, or just passively let the lawsuit go forward without their assistance or hinderance. I hope for the sake of decency that they choose to actively try to stop the lawsuit. My little mind can’t imagine a sum of $182 billion dollars not being enough for much of anything outside of buying whole countries. I seriously can’t see how someone could ask for more.
I never thought I’d find myself agreeing with Maxine Waters and Elizabeth Warren, but in this case, I do. The people behind this lawsuit should be ashamed of themselves and if AIG doesn’t oppose it, then they should pray that they never have to come to us with their hands out again.
The next thing to get my back up was a report from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, that the spouse of a gay Army lieutenant-colonel being excluded from the local military spouses club. The excuse given by the club is that the lady doesn’t have a military ID card, regardless of her legal marriage to an officer, so she can’t be in the club. Basically, because the Defense of Marriage Act prevents the military from issuing the ID, these ‘ladies’ won’t let her be part of what is normally a big part of any military community.
You all know my opinion of gay marriage, in that I believe that if I can be allowed to screw up two marriages and then try again with Irish Woman, then I have no business telling other consenting adults that they can’t have the chance to do the same. The law for me is the law for everyone. If my marriage is recognized, then the marriage of my gay son should be recognized when he finds someone with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life. I’ve always thought that if President Obama was willing to burn political capital picking fights with Congress over the color of the sky on a particular day, then he ought to spend some of it to either get DOMA amended or repealed.
To use a bad law as an excuse to exclude the spouse of one of our soldiers is despicable. A gay soldier is still a soldier, and their spouse is still a military spouse. Clubs such as the “Association of Bragg Officers’ Spouses” ought to be ashamed of themselves for doing such things. Military spouses, gay or straight, provide support to and receive support from such groups, and excluding someone goes beyond the pale.
When I was in the Army, I had a garrison commander who kicked a club off post because it was found that it discriminated against non-white soldiers and dependents. He decreed that military personnel were forbidden from taking part in the club in any way, and that post facilities could not be used for its meetings and activities. The commander of Fort Bragg should take just such a step now.
I’m going to climb down off the rant box now and go back to trying to make weak jokes. Some things just get me up on that box.