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Ron Wyden
  • Ask Ben Bernanke a Simple Question, Ben Bernanke Gives You a Simple Hey Look at That Walrus

    benbernankeFederal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was on Capitol Hill today, testifying before the Senate Budget Committee. The official theme of the hearing was "Economic and Budget Challenges for the Short and Long Term," which, let me check… yes. We have those.

    Luckily we also have Ben Bernanke's trademark straightforwardness

    “Mr. Chairman,” Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, asked at the outset, “at what point will the taxpayer no longer be on the hook for the massive A.I.G. failure? What is the end game for American taxpayers?”

    Mr. Bernanke replied that nothing had made him more angry during the months of the sprawling financial crisis than the episode involving the insurance giant that has reported astronomical losses and has been given financial lifelines worth billions of dollars.

    “A.I.G. exploited a huge gap in the regulatory system,” Mr. Bernanke said. “There was no oversight of the financial products division. This was a hedge fund, basically, that was attached to a large and stable insurance company.” And this quasi-hedge fund, Mr. Bernanke went on, to nobody’s surprise, made irresponsible bets and took huge losses.

    Uh, okay. So can we assume next Thursday for the taxpayer-off-the-hook thing?

    Because next Thursday's good for me.

    Tags: AIG, Ben Bernanke, Economy, Ron Wyden, Senate
  • Welcome Back, Clinton!


    Join former United States Senate Pages Dylan and Ethan Ris as they bring you the dish on not just the presidential race but all the exciting triumphs and disgraces inside, outside, and below the Beltway!

    Home Sweet Home! Well, it's finally over. The voters have voted, the superdelegates have committed, and Terry McAuliffe has been put back in cold storage for Chelsea's presidential bid. And the results are now clear: Barack Obama goes on to five more months of choking down swing-state diner food, while Hillary Clinton returns home to the U.S. Senate.

    Of course the Senate is a veritable retirement home for failed presidential candidates. You might say it's the spleen of the federal government. Knowing this, the Senate Pages will now reveal how our old bosses plan to greet Hillary upon her return:

    *Joe Lieberman (I-CT) — Congratulate Clinton on her "two-way tie for first."

    *Robert Byrd (D-WV) — Mistakenly assume Clinton has died and weep on the Senate floor.

    *Harry Reid (D-NV) — Using powers as Majority Leader, appoint Clinton to chair the Senate Select Subcommittee on Menopause.

    *Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) — Rattail Clinton in the girls’ locker room and make her sing the French National Anthem.

    *Claire McCaskill (D-MO ) — Stare straight ahead and keep walking.

    *Jim Bunning (R-KY) — Confide in Hillary that he always thought Obama was limp-wristed and looked like one of Saddam Hussein's sons.

    *Ron Wyden (D-OR) — Use Hillary's newly lowered self-esteem as his chance to ask her out.

    *Mike Gravel (D-AK, retired) — Phone in a bomb threat to the Capitol.

    Tags: Barack Obama, Barbara Boxer, Claire McCaskill, Congressional Confidential, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Jim Bunning, Joe Lieberman, Mike Gravel, Olympia Snowe, Robert Byrd, Ron Wyden