Monday, March 16, 2009

Grassley Wants AIG Execs to Quit or Commit Suicide

Just how fired up did you get today when you heard that AIG was handing out about $165 million in bonuses to executives? Especially, when you recall, your tax dollars, 175 billion of them, are essentially all that have been keeping that company from collapsing. Iowa Senator Charles Grassley...well, to say he is fired up may be an understatement.

Here's what he told an Iowa radio station, WMT, “The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they’d follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things — resign, or go commit suicide.”

Later, an aide said Grassley didn't mean his comments to be taken literally.

Hear for yourself here.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it any better!

Anonymous said...

Uh, yeah he could have... Instead he chose to suggest that people should kill themselves. That's a horrible and inhuman thing to say about anyone, no matter how crooked or sleezy they truely are. Another thing that the media, or anyone has yet to bring up about Grassely's statement, is that it's unbridled rascisim. To say that all Japanese people would kill themselves if put in that situation. I agree that those AIG people responsible should be locked away for a very long time, if not forever, but ending their own lives? C'mon. I expect this kind of language from a shock jock or some blow hard commentator but a U.S. Senator? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Stumbled upon this comment from an Iowan over on MSNBC... 3 young people recently commited suicide in the CR area days before Grassley went on WMT and made his ridiculous statment. He needs to apologize to these families and all who have experienced suicide in their lives...

"Chuck Grassley I heard the tape of the WMT broadcast, you not only said your comments with all seriousness, even if they were made rhetorically, they were wrong, and you need to apologize. Grassley actually should resign immediately. He won't but he should! Grassley knows that people in Iowa are angry, I was the first person to call his DC office this morning, long before his interview with Schuster. I told his aide about the 3 youngmen in the WMT listening area who committed suicide in the last 11 days, and he still can't apologized. PATHETIC, just like when he used to cry in the Iowa legislature when he couldn't get a bill passed!

AIG's actions are indefensible. But regardless of what any executive at AIG did or didn’t do for Chuck Grassley to publicly recommend that AIG executives commit suicide is indefensible. Yesterday Grassley in an interview on WMT radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa about AIG executives said “I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they’d follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or commit suicide.” He continued “And in the case of the Japanese, they usually commit suicide before they make any apology.”

I’ve never supported Chuck Grassley, and have often been embarrassed at his lack of command at the English language, but this morning was the first time I was so angry at anything the intellectual midget said to call his DC office, and to send him an e-mail. For any US Senator to suggest American executives should kill themselves, and to state he’d feel “a little bit better” if they did is beyond sick. I would love to see anyone with AIG who broke any law imprisoned, I would love to see Congress pass legislation taxing the bonuses of any employee of a company that received bail out funds at 100% of the bonus received. I’m as angry as you can get with the corporate greed, and unlike Chuck Grassley I never voted in favor of deregulation that made this conduct possible.

However to publicly suggest anyone should commit suicide is beyond the pale! However, as usual Grassley had impeccable timing!!!!!!!! Not only would his remarks be indefensible at any time, they came at a time, and in a community that is reeling from 3 recent suicides. In the 10 days prior to Grassley’s radio interview 3 young men in Cedar Rapids committed suicide. The first happened on March 7th. A wonderful young 16-year-old boy hung himself. He was a 10th grade student at Xavier High School; my son in 11th grade at Xavier was his friend. I’ve known him since he was a kindergartener at All Saints Elementary School. His death has caused great pain to his immediate family, his friends their parents, his teachers, et cetera. On Friday the 13th (3/13/09) two recent graduates of Linn Mar High School (one of 6 public high schools in the Cedar Rapids metro area) committed suicide. I don’t know these young men, but no doubt those who knew them are in pain.

Watching Morning Joe this morning my daughter and I heard Grassley’s comments, we could not believe he would say anything so horrible. I then read the AP story in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, where Grassley’s spokesman attempted to claim he wasn’t calling for AIG executives to kill themselves. The correct response would have been the Senator regrets his remarks; he got carried away, instead of attempting to insult our intellect. Apparently Casey Mills (Grassley’s spokesman) believes Iowans are as intellectually challenged as his boss.

Grassley should resign, but he won’t. At a minimum he should immediately apologize to all Iowans, and anyone who has ever been hurt by suicide, and this apology shouldn’t be a written press release, but on the public airwaves where he made the statements. A man with a minimum of heart, and any class would do so immediately, but Chuck Grassley has neither!"

Anonymous said...

What is the previous blogger's point??
I don't recall anything on WHO about three suicides in the Cedar Rapids area?? Must be just somebody wanting to rant.

Anonymous said...

If you had read the article, you would have understood that this comment was found on the MSNBC site and that this did not happen in Des Moines but in the Cedar Rapids area.

Anonymous said...

This person on the main WHOtv blog on this topic put it the best... Also, lets not forget about the recent suicides in the CR area that happened just days before Grassley went on CR-area airwaves and threw out his condemnation with such reckless abandon. Grassley should be ashamed of himself...

"I understand what he was trying to express with his comment, but I am quite bothered by the number of people who have posted and don't see any problem with his statement. Any comments that make light of suicide, or portray it as a rational choice rather than the fatal consequence of mental illness, are simply inexcusable.

Suicide is a national health problem that takes an enormous toll on families, friends and entire communities. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness, most often depression, at the time of their deaths. More than one million people make a suicide attempt each year in our country and more than 32,000 will die by suicide; more than homicide and AIDS deaths combined.

Furthermore, this problem has touched Iowa in a particularly brutal way, as Southeast Polk High School has lost four students to suicide in the past year. Between April and November of 2008, four high school students took their own lives. The families and friends of these students must be particularly shocked and outraged that their own Senator has shown such a lack of compassion in making this statement.

Rather than glorifying suicide as a choice one makes with "honor," let's work toward prevention so families do not have to go through the devastation of losing a loved one this way."