Having previously slammed AIG for its creative use of public bailout money, Public Citizen calls attention to outrageous executive compensation at Lehman Brothers, which is actually worse than spending taxpayer money on pedicures. The bank arranged for over $23 million in payments for three executives (two of whom were getting fired) four days before going bankrupt. I'll bet we could have used that money to fit more than 250 houses with solar power, but we'll never know now. And clearly executives don't deserve all that money because they take all that risk. The main risk they take is that if they screw up, they'll only get a few million dollars' severance. From my vantage point, that's not a risk.
Meanwhile, Warren Buffett bailed out Constellation Energy in September, but in doing so also acquired UniStar, which wants taxpayer loan guarantees to pay for four nuclear reactors in four states. Some folks are pushing nuclear power again because it can be done in the U.S. and because of its low emissions, but there are, er, safer ways to do all of that. I would rather the taxpayer subsidize solar and wind power than nuclear power, and I suspect many taxpayers would agree. Anyway, Warren Buffett is a pretty good guy, so he deserves politeness when you petition him to shut down UniStar.
In other news, Mr. Bush is trying to get his Attorney General -- whose name, as you may recall, is not-Alberto Gonzales -- to investigate as many as 200,000 Ohio voters. These would be the same voters Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner refused to challenge on the basis of the smallest database inconsistency. If you know anything about databases (and chances are in this age you do), you know that database inconsistencies are so common that no reasonable person would use them to accuse hundreds of thousands of voters of voter fraud. Mr. not-Gonzales may require prompting -- a lot of prompting -- in order to act reasonable.