Friday, April 24, 2009

Rell Makes History! : Gay Marriage Legislation Signed

From the ConnPo

On Thursday, Gov. M. Jodi Rell became the first governor in the United States to sign gay-marriage legislation, less than 24 hours after the House and Senate aligned state statutes to last year's historic state Supreme Court decision.

Rell signed the bill without comment.

The two chief proponents of the legislation, Sen. Andrew J. McDonald and Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, said they were appreciative of the governor's swift approval of the legislation, which was voted in the House and Senate on Wednesday night.

"Four years ago this week, Gov. Rell signed our ground-breaking, civil-union law, which had broad bipartisan support," McDonald, D-Stamford, recalled. "Today she signed another landmark piece of bipartisan legislation affirming the rights and dignity of all Connecticut's citizens. Today, all three branches of Connecticut's government speak with one voice: Discrimination has no place in our state and will be eradicated wherever it appears."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Chrysler bigs; The Hell with cheap loans if it effects our pay!

I guess when you know your company is going down the smart thing to do is suck the bones dry!

From the WaPo

"Top officials at Chrysler Financial turned away a government loan because executives didn't want to abide by new federal limits on pay, according to new findings by a federal watchdog agency.

The government had offered a $750 million loan earlier this month as part of its efforts to prop up the ailing auto industry, including Chrysler, which is racing to avoid bankruptcy. Chrysler Financial is a major lender to Chrysler dealerships and customers.

In forgoing the loan, Chrysler Financial opted to use more expensive financing from private banks, adding to the burden on the already fragile automaker and its financing company."

............ Snip ................

The Treasury Department previously lent Chrysler Financial $1.5 billion, when less stringent requirements on executive compensation were in place for recipients of federal bailout money. But since that first loan was announced on Jan. 16, the Obama administration and Congress have toughened the rules.

During March, when it seemed that the first loan would run out, the Obama administration began working on a deal to lend the company an additional $750 million.

It did not take long for most of the agreement to fall in place. But on April 7, the Treasury asked Chrysler Financial to have its top 25 executives sign waivers regarding their compensation, according to the special inspector general's report.

Those waivers would have barred the executives from suing the Treasury or Chrysler Financial over new pay restrictions. As part of the economic stimulus package, Congress approved compensation limits, and the Treasury is working on clarifying what the firms must do to comply with the rules.

In other words, the executives were asked to sign the waivers without knowing what specific limits the Treasury might set.

Within a week, Chrysler Financial responded that "it was unable to obtain waivers from all 25 executives," the report said. By last week, the report added, "the request for additional funding was denied."

Instead Chrysler is taking loans from JP Morgan and Citi, at considerably more expense to the company.

Outsourcing Local Police (but not for the white folk)

After all, Blackwater worked out so well in Iraq!

Via the WSJ

"Hiring private guards is less expensive than hiring new officers. Oakland -- facing a record $80 million budget shortfall -- spends about 65% of its budget for police and fire services, including about $250,000 annually, including benefits and salary, on each police officer.

In contrast, for about $200,000 a year the city can contract to hire four private guards to patrol the troubled East Oakland district"