3/18 Roundup: Outrage and the Outrageous, Fireside Chats 2.0, There's No One As Irish As Barack O'Bama

Million Dollar ClubLeader: Outrage and the Outrageous

- The A.I.G. saga grew ever more infuriating yesterday, particularly to members of  Congress, it seems, who are cooking up myriad ways to punish the recipients of bonsus at the insurance giant.  The $165 million in bonuses were paid to just 418 employees last week, including 58 who no longer work at A.I.G.  Seventy-three people took in bonuses of $1 million or more.  Nearly everyone in the financial services unit responsible for ruining the company got a bonus.

- The White House says they didn't hear about the bonuses until Thursday, and they've made clear that the burden of the kerfuffle sits squarely on the shoulders of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. He has said he will work to take the bonuses back from the recipients.  Congress has their own designs to do so, with most plans something like Senator Dodd's idea of a 100% tax on bonuses paid by A.I.G.  Punitive, yet satisfying.

- For Slate,  Eliot Spitzer writes that the real scandal here is not the bonuses but that A.I.G. is repaying its trading partners in full. They all took a risk, it went south, they should feel the burn...

- Edward Liddy, the white knight chief executive of A.I.G. has an op-ed in today's Post, acknowledging that "mistakes were made, but arguing that "In America, when you owe people money, you pay them." Ehh.

Politics

- A year ago today, Senator Barack Obama gave a speech on race in Philadelphia.  Since then, say Nia-Malika Henderson & Carrie Budoff Brown in Politico, he has been too silent on the subject.

- Rep. Ellen Tauscher is on her way to a new job in the State Department. We wish her the best of luck in this new endeavor!

- President Obama will be undertaking high-tech fireside chats to explain his policy goals to the American people.  

- Ben Smith and Manu Raju write on Obama's "big bang" theory of politics. Is he moving too fast even for fellow Democrats?

International

- The Obama administration is considering seriously expanding its strikes in Pakistan, even potentially going after targets in Baluchistan.  

- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev "struck a Cold War tone," writes the WSJ, as the country announced plans for a serious rearmament to balance the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe.

New From NDN

- Zuraya looked forward to the President's meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus slated for today.

- Dave O'Donnell celebrated St. Patrick's day with a salute to our new ambassador to Ireland (who doubles as the owner of Dave's favorite football team).

One More Thing

- Senator Grassley's suggestion that AIG execs take their own lives was purely hyperbole.  Or so he says.

- Last, I should have posted this yesterday, but as we all recover from yesterday's St. Patrick's festivities, it's worth remembering that we have an Irish president: