Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Real Reality

Earlier, I posted about some of the mind-numbing garbage that passes for entertainment these days on Network TV. Here is what real life is about:

Merrill Lynch lost $27.6 billion last year. While that ship was sinking, Merrill managed to figure out how to split $10-million in cash bonuses among 11 executives, and another $3 million in bonuses was shared by 149 more.

New York's State Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, is now asking questions about $3.6 billion in bonuses Merrill bestowed to its minions in the days before it was taken over by Bank of America.

This was not re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. This was ordering new deck chairs from Neiman Marcus for front row seats on the Poop Deck from which to watch the iceberg pass by.

Merrill’s not the only entity that’s counter-productive if you’re on blood-pressure medication: Yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke professed his level of piss-offedness at AIG:

“If there is a single episode in this entire 18 months that has made me more angry, I can’t think of one other than AIG,” he fumed. (Fuming by Ben is a big reaction, by the way.)

Gentle Ben ranted-on, AIG exploited a huge gap in the regulatory system, there was no oversight of the financial- products division, this was a hedge fund basically that was attached to a large and stable insurance company.”
I am certain Mr. Bernanke was even more livid to learn that AIG still has four PR firms on its payroll. (Of course, if I was in as much doo-doo as these dodo's, I'd need help with my public relations, too.)

Now, let's add insult to injury.
What does Senator Ted Kennedy have in common with former President Ronald Reagan, General Norman Schwarzkopf, and movie meister Steven Spielberg? U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to announce Queen Elizabeth II’s intention to grant Teddy an honorary knighthood during his address to a joint session of Congress today.

Mr. Kennedy is thought to be deserving of the honor for his “services to the U.S.-U.K. relationship and to Northern Ireland.”

This is a big deal, to be sure, because since the Queen took the throne in 1952, only 85 distinguished U.S. citizens have been awarded the honor.
I’m sorry, Mrs. Queen, but I don’t agree.

While Mr. Kennedy’s performance on matters of education have been laudable, the idea of knighting this cousin of Camelot is a bit off-putting.

Knights defend honor.
Knights rescue maidens in distress.
Knights render aid.
Knights do not leave the scene.

Ted Kennedy is many things…but a knight he is not.

It's enough to drive you to primetime Network TV for solace.

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