With Congress all atwitter over AIG's $170-million bonus payout, with taxpayer money, to the same people who wrecked the company and helped spark the financial crisis, one can perhaps imagine this conversation between two senators, as they tweet each other via Twitter:
"R U as outraged as I am?"
"so. ticked. off."
"let's grab some pitchforks. and march in protest to AIG HQ."
"yeah. and demand that either they give us back the money..."
"right, because this is the taxpayer's money"
"...or maybe they should just all kill themselves."
"better yet. i will personally stick my pitchfork into their greedy capitalist hearts"
"my armpit itches, hang on. OK im better now. but i do have to admit something"
"don't tell me. yer butt itches too."
"no seriously. my conscience hurts a tiny bit. it's about wyden and snowe. know who i mean?"
"duh. Ron Wyden, our Oregon Democratic colleague. Olympia Snowe, our Maine Republican colleague."
"yer forgetting something. remember the Senate amendment that they sponsored?"
"who cares. that was so five weeks ago"
"dude. focus. we could've stopped the AIG bonus payouts right then, and U know it. snowe said her amendment would close 'an escape hatch for golden parachutes,' and she was right because..."
"LALALALA i can't hear U!"
"...that provision would have forced all bailout money recipients - past recipients as well as future recipients - to cap their executive bonuses at 100 grand..."
"this coffee is vile. i need to find a john"
"...and if these companies busted that 100-grand ceiling, they would've been required to repay, to the government, all the bonus money that exceeded 100 grand. and they would've been forced to do that within four months..."
"what a nice restroom. complimentary colognes."
"...or face an excise tax of 35 percent on all the excess bonus bucks!"
"this shoeshine guy is angling for a tip. LOL."
"and U remember what happened next? we OKed that provision! and for good reason. we knew what was coming. AIG did an SEC filing last November, telling us that it planned to hand out fat bonuses. So anyway. That provision went right into the stimulus bill. we passed that 61-37. then we start bargaining with the House..."
"this guy slaps a damp rag on a pair of $1500 Amedeo Testoni shoes, U believe that?"
"...and somehow, the provision just disappears! nobody knows what happened, not even Wyden. clearly the Obama team didn't try to save it. or fight for it. the wall street lobbyists got into the act somehow somewhere, to help kill it. and republicans who sound so outraged today clearly didn't care if the provision stayed. so POOF"
"OKOKOK, give those fingers a rest. OK,i get it. we coulda stopped AIG in its trax, 5 wks ago, if we had only grown some stones and done our job. U happy now?"
"finally. thank U"
"so do us a favor. shut up about all that. U don't want the public to know that. pray they dont find out"
"yeah. why complicate things. i guess its much better for us to just yell and scream and rush to the front of the mob. hey. U got your pitchfork ready?"
"soon. maybe after my manicure"