The utter arrogance of the CEOs of the Big Three auto companies was on full display last week when it was pointed out that they came to Washington with their hats in hand for a bailout by flying in on their individual corporate jets.
This was not lost on the members of the House Financial Services Committee, before whom they appeared, who rightly tore them new arseholes for their self-indulgence. As US Representative Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) said: "It's almost like seeing a guy show up at the soup kitchen in high-hat and tuxedo. . . . I mean, couldn't you all have downgraded to first or jet-pooled or something to get here?"
Actually, Phillipe + Jorge would have gone to more extreme lengths, such as having them all beaten to within an inch of their lives with a tailpipe in front of a full house of laid-off auto workers at the Pontiac Silverdome. But there seems to be some Congressional law that P+J have yet to unearth that does not permit a CEO — even one of a company that he or she has run into the ground — from being fired without a golden parachute.
This despite a jaw-dropping display of cluelessness in the face of total incompetence in the exchange between US Representative Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Richard Wagoner when Roskam asked if they would work for a dollar a year, as Chrysler's Robert Nardelli has supposedly said he would do (in which case he would still be overpaid): "I don't have a position on that today," said Wagoner, who in 2007 made $15.7 million. "I understand the intent, but I think where we are is okay," replied Ford's Alan Mulally, who is taking down $21.7 million annually. "I'm asking about you," Roskam responded. "I think I'm okay where I am," Mulally said.
P+J, and we are sure many others, think you would be OK where you are — only if it was in a burlap sack full of concrete at the bottom of Lake Michigan.
The number one thing that Congress should be asking for from any company to which taxpayers' dollars are given to bail them out should be for the immediate firing of their CEOs, and a restriction on the salaries and bonuses of any top-level executives and managers to no more than $200,000 per year, and even have all of those earnings justified by annual performance.
Can't get by on that, boys? There's the door. Don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out. And happy job hunting, with those resumes.
You can't top the Catholic Church for being right on top of things in a timely manner. (Oh, OK, so maybe that Galileo guy did make some good points.)
Fans of the Beatles will be delighted to know that they can finally sleep soundly, knowing that the Vatican's semi-official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano (which translates to "Ooh, hello, young man" in English), has forgiven John Lennon for saying "We're more popular than Jesus now."
This rapid response addressed the Lennon comment made just yesterday — in 1966 — so have no fear since the boys in robes are on top of things. L'Osservatore Romano decided that Lennon's comment, which upset only reactionary imbeciles at the time, was merely a "boast." Although we do believe the Beatles were outselling most of the Vatican's discs in those days.