The rocks that might wreck the ship of state

The AIG mess

Alexander Cockburn believes the Obama administration now courts serious trouble. The highlight of his account:

Rough though the week has been, there is a silver lining for the White House. It stems from the very word that has landed Obama and his team in such trouble — "bonus". A bonus is something people can relate to. You hope to get it at Christmas. It's a reward for working hard. You don't give bonuses to thieves and deadbeats. Yet at the same time as the uproar over $165 milion in bonuses is in full spate, Obama has approved bailout of AIG to the tune of about $200 billion, much of it passed on to the infamous "counterparties" like Goldman Sachs and foreign banks.

Among those who have pointed this out is former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who contributed an acrid column to the Slate website. It's his first surfacing since he was politically destroyed in a sex scandal, certainly contrived by major Wall Street players, worried that when the roof fell in — as it did — he would be telling his attorney general to issue indictments. The fact that Spitzer feels secure in entering public life again, lashing the Wall Street gangsters, shows how vulnerable Obama and his administration are to charges that they have no serious plan beyond bailing out the big Wall Street banks, and no intention of asserting control of the assets they substantively own, by formally taking them over. Obama is dancing on the edge of a volcano.

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