Glenn Beck: Where is AIG $$$ going?


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GLENN: You know what AIG is? It's a money laundering system and the government is -- they're a bunch of gangsters. It's the mob. That's what it is. They're just, they're using AIG to funnel money so you don't really notice. If you would have let AIG collapse, then the government wouldn't have had to bail out all of these other companies. But because AIG didn't collapse, they can funnel money -- we're just giving money to AIG. That one damn company, why are we -- we're saving that company. Why? We shouldn't have saved that insurance company. No, no, no, we're spending money -- how much money have we put into AIG and how much money has gone to American banks? Do you know how much American money has gone to American banks? Take a guess, Stu. To AIG, how much money have gone to American banks? How much of that has gone to American banks?

STU: Half?

GLENN: Okay. 44, $44 billion has gone to American banks. How much has gone to foreign banks?

STU: More than $44 billion?

GLENN: $58 billion.

STU: How did I know that?

GLENN: $58 billion has gone to foreign banks. Now, why isn't America outraged by that? Because America doesn't know that fact. America isn't talking about that fact. If we would have let AIG fail, then these other banks would have had to come to us and said, hey, what are you going to do on these. And we would have then had to have the discussion, do we send money over to France, do we send money over to Germany, do we send money over to England? And that we couldn't have won. The people in Washington, they would have never gotten that past you.

STU: We're not that into stimulating.

GLENN: We're not that into stimulating. We're not into shifting wealth from our continent to other continents.

STU: That's where we draw the line.

GLENN: That's where we draw the line.

STU: Of all the stuff we do, that's where we draw the line.

GLENN: So what do they do? They save AIG. They give $44 billion to American banks, $58 billion to foreign banks. Why do they say they have to do that? Because there are contracts. These are contracts. They had a contract with AIG. They can't break that contract. $58 billion goes to foreign companies in foreign lands. $165 million goes to executives. Now everybody's outraged. How dare these people take a bonus. Well, let's do the genealogy on that bonus, shall we? Let's go back in a time tunnel... tunnel... tunnel... tunnel. How did we get these bonuses? Why do we have them? Why are people paid these outrageous bonuses? Oh, I remember. Because congress said these salaries for some of these executives is outrageous and you shouldn't pay these people this outrageous salary; that's not right. But companies like AIG and CitiBank and everybody else paid, had to, had to pay people or they wouldn't get the best people.

Now, the argument is, "This is the best people." Really? AIG went under? AIG is a gigantic corporation. Most of its divisions were profitable. Most of the divisions were worth a lot of money and making a lot of money. One or two of its divisions failed. Who's running that now? The federal government. Who's running the failed part? Who is now running AIG? Somebody that congress put in. What laws are they living by? They are living by the bailout laws. Who wrote that? Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Chris Dodd is proud that he wrote it. In it there's a specific date. Bonuses and contracts must be honored if they were signed before this date. These contracts were signed long before that date.

Now, there's a couple of ways we're going to go on this. Barney Frank once again is saying, "This is outrage, there should be some oversight." You wrote that! If you didn't want to pay those bonuses, you shouldn't have written that into the bailout bill. By the way, the Fed has known and has been studying these bonuses for a very long time. Congress has known about these bonuses since the getgo and there's been a debate inside congress and the Fed and the treasury and the White House for months. The Fed has come out and said there's no way -- after studying them, there is absolutely no legal way we can take those bonuses away. They must be paid. Remember, requests this is an outrage. We shouldn't be paying any of these people any of this money." This was said 10 years ago. So congress says, "You can't pay them; it's got to be a certain salary cap, it's got to be all this blah, blah blah.

What happens? Because the companies have to pay people money to be able to be competitive, they come up with a bonus scheme so people are paid very little but then get a bonus at the end of the year. They're not paid like you. It's not like -- it would be like if you were working all year -- let's say you make $50,000 a year. You made $1 for the whole year and at the end of the year they give you $50,000, or $49,999, okay? That's the way it works on the Wall Street and in the banks because... they were trying to avoid all the hassle with congress!

So now imagine you've done your job, you have a contract, and the person that's supposed to pay you $49,999 comes to you now and says, "You're not getting anything but that dollar." Now, I know the numbers are different, but the concept of the principle that we have a deal is not. We have a contract. How is this solved? If you have a contract, how is this solved? This is solved through Chapter 11. When you let a company fail through Chapter -- there's Chapter 7 and there's Chapter 11. Chapter 7 is, "We're closing the doors; we ain't ever opening up again." Chapter 11, "We need to reorganize." Why? Because we have contracts we can't afford.

So then the judge comes in, the bankruptcy judge and says, okay, these contracts, you're going to have to slash this, you're going to have to slash this, you are going to have to put this aside, you're going to pay this one overtime. That way the company can get back on its feet. But no, no, no. Congress doesn't want anyone to file Chapter 11. Chapter 11 is the way that companies reorganize, change their contracts, fix the problem and do it all legally and orderly. But because that just can't happen in today's world, Paulson and Bush and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, they decide to bail out AIG, and they decide to write in there that contracts will be honored.

So now they're making a big deal out of $165 million in contracts that they knew they were going to have to pay, they left that in there, there's no way out of that unless you allow the government just to make up rules. Contracts are no longer valid, if the congress decides they are not valid.

Let me ask you this: What does that do to contracts? You see the slippery slope? What does that do to contracts? If the government doesn't have to honor my contract, do I have to honor a contract in the other direction? Do we have -- I'm sorry. I seem to remember George Washington and the pesky Constitution, that everybody abides by the law. "Oh, no, we don't do that anymore. We pick and choose around the laws. If one's convenient, one's politically correct, we can just enforce some laws and not others so we become a society where we can enforce this contract but not that contract, we can enforce the GM contracts. Oh, the union contracts? Oh, no, no, we've got to have the union contracts. We could never come in and bust up the union contracts. Of course not, that's crazy. That's an ironclad contract. But the AIG contracts, oh, those people are just evil. They're bankers, you know."

We have become a respecter of people and not of laws. Meanwhile Barack Obama is going to be on the Jay Leno show this week. Why is he on the Jay Leno show this week? He's on the Jay Leno show this week to feed you more cake, to show you another circus. We are facing some of the biggest problems, and the media is right in bed with the government. They are not telling you -- they are not doing their job. There is -- of course, of course the New York Times gets this wrong.

I got up this morning and I thought Grassley, who said the people at AIG should commit Harry Carey, he wasn't joking. He was serious. They should commit Harry Carey because there is no honor. Well, wouldn't it be nice if there was some honor... Senator. There's no honor there. Okay, no honor there. Hmmm. The New York Times says we have to honor these contracts because if we don't, these are the people that can come out and they will know how to dismantle it on the outside and they'll take AIG down and we'll lose all of our investment. Of course the New York Times thinks that we should deal with terrorists. Of course they think that we should give in to the demands of people who are extorting money from us. That's completely consistent for the New York Times. They've made it about extortion instead of the rule of law. How could all of this have been avoided? Chapter 11. Time-tested, mother-approved Chapter 11. And now what they're talking about is going in, just put into either the House or the Senate a bill to tax these bonuses now, 95%, that the -- a special law, a special law just for AIG executives, and there's no outrage on the street at congress. A special law. After you've made the money, they will pass a bill to then go back and reach back into time and take that money from you. You tell me I'm crazy that the government is out of control. You tell me that I'm crazy because there's no common sense whatsoever.

Ryan: Bernie at the disco

Photo by Sean Ryan

Saturday at El Malecón, we waited for the Democratic socialist. He had the wild white hair like a monk and the thick glasses and the booming voice full of hacks and no niceties.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The venue had been redecorated since we visited a few nights before when we chatted with Castro. It didn't even feel like the same place. No bouncy castle this time.

Photo by Sean Ryan

A black curtain blocked the stage, giving the room a much-needed depth.

Behind the podium, two rows of mostly young people, all holding Bernie signs, all so diverse and picturesque and strategic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Lots of empty seats. Poor showing of Bernie fans for a Saturday afternoon. At one point, someone from Bernie's staff offered us seats in the audience, as if eager to fill up those seats however possible.

There were about 75 people in the dancehall, a place built for reunions and weddings and all those other festivities. But for a few hours on Saturday, August 10, 2019, it turned serious and wild for "Unidos Con Bernie."

Photo by Sean Ryan

People had been murmuring about Sanders' speech from the night before at Wing Ding. By all appearances, he had developed a raving lust to overthrow Trump. He had even promised, with his wife just out of view, that, were he elected, he'd end white nationalism in America. For good.

El Malecón lacked its previous air of celebration. It had undertaken a brooding yet defiant spirit. Media were sparse. Four cameras faced the podium. Three photographers, one of whom had been at nearly all the same events as us. A few of the staffers frowned at an empty row of chairs, because there weren't that many chairs to begin with.

At the entrance, Bernie staff handed out headsets that translated English to Spanish or Spanish to English, depending on who the speaker was. The translators stood behind the bar, 20 feet from the podium, and spoke into a lip-ribbon microphone.

Bernie's staff was probably the coolest, by far. As in, they looked cool and acted stylishly. Jeans. Sandals. Careworn blazers. Tattoos. One lad had a black Levi's shirt with lush crimson roses even though he wasn't a cowboy or a ranch-hand. Mustaches. Quirky hats. A plain green sundress. Some of them wore glasses, big clunking frames.

Photo by Sean Ryan

The outfits were distinctly Bernie. As Bernie as the tie-dyed "BERNIE" shirts for sale outside the club. Or later, at the Hilton, like a Grateful Dead cassette stand.

Immigration was the theme, and everyone in the audience bore some proof of a journey. Because America offers life, freedom, and hope.

Sanders' own father emigrated from Poland to America at 17, a high school dropout who could barely speak English. As a Jew, he'd faced religious persecution.

Within one generation, Bernie Sanders' father contributed to the highest stratum of American society. In one generation, near hopelessness had transformed into Democracy, his son a congressman with a serious chance at the presidency.

Photo by Sean Ryan

That's the beauty of America. Come here broken and empty and gutted and voiceless. And, within your lifetime, you can mend yourself then become a pillar of society. Then, your son can become the President of the United States of America!

Four people gave speeches before Sanders. They took their time, excited and nervous. They putzed. Because how often do you get to introduce a presidential frontrunner?

All the native English speakers jammed their earpieces when the woman with the kind and dark energy took the stage.

Photo by Sean Ryan

She mumbled in Spanish and did not look up and said that, when her parents died, she couldn't go home for the funeral. She fought back tears. She swallowed hard to shock herself calm. And the room engulfed each silence between every word.

It felt more like a therapy session than a political rally. A grueling therapy session at that. Was that what drew people to Bernie Sanders, that deep anguish? That brisk hope? Or, rather, the cessation of it, through Sanders? And, of course, the resultant freedom? Was it what gave Sanders a saintlike ability to lead people into the realm of the confessional? Did he have enough strength to lead a revolution?

Photo by Sean Ryan

While other frontrunners hocked out money for appearances, like the studio lights, Sanders spent money on translators and ear-pieces. The impression I got was that he would gladly speak anywhere. To anyone. He had the transitory energy you can capture in the writings of Gandhi.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'm not saying he's right or wrong — I will never make that claim, about any of the candidates, because that's not the point of this, not the point of journalism, amen — what I'm saying is he has the brutal energy of someone who can take the subway after a soiree or rant about life by a tractor or chuck it up with Sarah Silverman, surrounded wherever he goes.

Without the slightest fanfare, Sanders emerged from behind the black curtain. The woman at the podium gasped a little. The room suctioned forward when he entered. In part because he was so nonchalant. And, again. That magnetism to a room when a famous or powerful or charming person enters. Not many people have it. Not many can keep it. Even fewer know how to brace it, to cull it on demand. But several of the candidates did. One or two even had something greater.

Photo by Sean Ryan

I'll only say that Bernie had it with a bohemian fervor, like he was a monk stranded in a big city that he slowly brings to God.

"We have a President who, for the first time in my lifetime, who is a President who is a racist," he shouted. "Who is a xenophobe and anti-immigrant. Who is a sexist. Who is a religious bigot. And who, is a homophobe. And, what is very disappointing is that, when we have a President, we do not necessarily expect to agree with him, or her, on every issue. But we do believe that one of the obligations is to bring people to-geth-ah. As Americans."

Photo by Sean Ryan

After listening silently for several minutes, the audience clapped. Their sweet response felt cultish. But, then again, what doesn't feel cultish these days? So this was cultish like memes are cultish, in a striving-to-understand kind of way.

"The essence of our campaign is in fact to bring people together," he said. "Whether they're black, or white, or latino, or Native American, or Asian-American. We understand that we are Americans."

At times, this meant sharing a common humanity. Others, it had a slightly more disruptive feel. Which worked. Sometimes all we want is revolution. To be wild without recourse. To overthrow. To pass through the constraints of each day. To survive. The kind of rowdy stuff that makes for good poetry but destroys credit lines. Sanders radiated with this intensity, like a reclusive philosopher returning to society, from his cave to homes and beds and fences and maybe electricity.

Photo by Sean Ryan

But, as he says, his revolution would involve healthcare and wages and tuition, not beheadings and purges and starvation.

Seeing the Presidential candidates improvise was amazing. They did it constantly. They would turn any of their beliefs into a universal statement. And Sanders did this without trying. So he avoided doing the unbearably arrogant thing of pretending to speak like a native Guatemalan, and he looked at the group of people, and he mumbled in his cloudy accent:

"My Spanish — is not so good."

Photo by Sean Ryan

This is the same and the opposite of President Trump's Everyman way of speaking English like an American. Of speaking American.

Often, you know what Sanders will say next. You can feel it. And, anytime this happened, it brought comfort to the room.

Like, it surprised no one when he said that he would reinstate DACA on his first day in office. It still drew applause.

But other times, he expressed wild ideas with poetic clarity. And his conclusions arrived at unusual junctures. Not just in comparison to Republicans. To all of them. Bernie was the Tupac of the 2020 election. And, to him, President Trump was Suge Knight, the evil force behind it all.

"Donald Trump is an idiot," he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Everybody loved that. Everybody clapped and whooped and some even whistled like they were outside and not in a linoleum-floor dancehall.

"Go get 'em, Bernie," someone in the back shouted.

This was the only Sanders appearance with no protestors.

"Let me say this about the border," he shouted. And everybody listened to every thunking syllable. He probably could have spoken without a mic. Booming voice. Loud and clear. Huddling into that heavy Vermont slug accent.

They'll say many many things about Bernie. One being, you never had to lean forward to hear him. In person, even more so. He's less frail. More dynamic.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Despite the shoddiness of the venue, there was a sign language interpreter. Most of the rallies had a designated interpreter.

"If you work 40 hours a week you shouldn't be living in poverty," he shouted, provoking chants and applause from the audience, as if he were talking about them. Maybe he was.

An anecdote about the people at an emergency food shelf blended into the livable wage of $15 an hour. He shifted into his spiel about tuition-free college and pointed at the audience, "You're not doing well," then at the kids behind him, "they are." He craned his head sideways and back. "Do your homework," he told said.

Laughter.

Half of the kids looked like they hadn't eaten in days. Maybe it was their unusual situation, a few feet from Bernie Sanders at a stucco community center.

Before the room could settle, Sanders wove through a plan for how to cancel debt.

Did he have a solution?

Tax Wall Street, he shouted.

Photo by Sean Ryan

And he made it sound easy. "Uno dos trey," he said. "That's my Spanish for today."

A serious man, he shoved through his speech like a tank hurtling into dense jungle. He avoided many of the typical politician gimmicks. Proof that he did not practice every expression in front of a mirror. That he did not hide his accent. That he did not preen his hair. That he did not smile for a precise amount of time, depending on the audience. That he did not pretend to laugh.

Photo by Sean Ryan

He laughed when humor overtook him. But it was genuine. With none of the throaty recoil you hear in forced laughter.

"I want everyone to take a deep breath," he said. And a palpable lightness spread through the room, because a deep breath can solve a lot of problems.

Photo by Sean Ryan

Then he roused some more. "Healthcare is a human right," he shouted. "A human privilege," he shouted. He told them that he lives 50 miles from the Canadian border in Burlington, Vermont, and healthcare works better up north.

Each candidate had a bad word, and Sanders' was "corporate."

Photo by Sean Ryan

At every speech, he mentioned "corporate media" with the same distrust and unpleasantness that conservatives derive from the term "mainstream media." Another would be "fake news," as popularized by Sanders' sworn enemy. Either way it's the same media. Just different motivations that irk different people.

But the discrepancies varied. Meaning two opposing political movements disliked the same thing, but for opposite reasons.
It sounded odd, Sanders' accusation that the media were against him. The media love Bernie. I can confirm this both anecdotally and judiciously. Yes, okay, in 2016, the media appeared to have sided with Hillary Clinton. As a result, Sanders was publicly humiliated. Because Clinton took a mafioso approach to dealing with opponents, and Sanders was her only roadblock.

Imagine if a major political organization devoted part of each day to agitating your downfall. And then you fail. And who's fault is it?

Sanders wanted to know: those negative ads targeting him, who paid for them?

Photo by Sean Ryan

Corporations, of course. Corporations that hated radicals like him. And really was he so radical? He listed off the possibilities: Big pharma, insurance companies, oil companies.

Because he had become a revolutionary, to them. To many.

He said it with certainty, although he often didn't have to say it at all. This spirit of rebellion had become his brand. He would lead the wild Americans into a utopia.

But just as quickly, he would attack. Trump, as always, was the target.

He called Trump the worst president in American history.

"The fates are Yuge," he shouted.

The speech ended as informally as it had begun. And Sanders' trance over the audience evaporated, replaced by that suction energy. Everyone rushed closer and closer to the man as Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin in the Free World" blared. Sanders leaned into the podium and said, "If anyone wants to form a line, we can do some selfies."

Photo by Sean Ryan

It was like meeting Jesus for some of the people.

There he was, at El Malecón. No stage lights, no makeup, no stylist behind the curtain. Just him and his ideas and his erratic hand commotion.

Then a man holding a baby leaned in for a photo. He and Sanders chatted. And, I kid you not, the whole time the baby is staring at Bernie Sanders like he's the image of God, looking right up at him, with this glow, this understanding.

Bernie, if you're reading this, I'd like to suggest that — if this election doesn't work for you — you could be the next Pope.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Monday, Harvard Law professor and lawyer on President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team Alan Dershowitz explains the history of impeachment and its process, why the framers did not include abuse of power as criteria for a Constitutional impeachment, why the Democrats are framing their case the way they are, and what to look for in the upcoming Senate trial.

Dershowitz argued that "abuse of power" -- one of two articles of impeachment against Trump approved by House Democrats last month -- is not an impeachable act.

"There are two articles of impeachment. The second is 'obstruction of Congress.' That's just a false accusation," said Dershowitz. "But they also charge him, in the Ukraine matter, with abuse of power. But abuse of power was discussed by the framers (of the U.S. Constitution) ... the framers refused to include abuse of power because it was too broad, too open-ended.

"In the words of James Madison, the father of our Constitution, it would lead presidents to serve at the will of Congress. And that's exactly what the framers didn't want, which is why they were very specific and said a president can be impeached only for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors," he added.

"What's alleged against President Trump is not criminal," added Dershowitz. "If they had criminal issues to allege, you can be sure they would have done it. If they could establish bribery or treason, they would have done it already. But they didn't do it. They instead used this concept of abuse of power, which is so broad and general ... any president could be charged with it."

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On Friday's radio program, Bill O'Reilly joins Glenn Beck discuss the possible outcomes for the Democrats in 2020.

Why are former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama working overtime to convince Americans they're more moderate than most of the far-left Democratic presidential candidates? Is there a chance of a Michelle Obama vs. Donald Trump race this fall?

O'Reilly surmised that a post-primary nomination would probably be more of a "Bloomberg play." He said Michael Bloomberg might actually stand a chance at the Democratic nomination if there is a brokered convention, as many Democratic leaders are fearfully anticipating.

"Bloomberg knows he doesn't really have a chance to get enough delegates to win," O'Reilly said. "He's doing two things: If there's a brokered convention, there he is. And even if there is a nominee, it will probably be Biden, and Biden will give [him] Secretary of State or Secretary of Treasury. That's what Bloomberg wants."

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On the "Glenn Beck Radio Program" Friday, award-winning investigative reporter John Solomon, a central figure in the impeachment proceedings, explained his newly filed lawsuit, which seeks the records of contact between Ukraine prosecutors and the U.S. Embassy officials in Kiev during the 2016 election.

The records would provide valuable information on what really happened in Ukraine, including what then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter were doing with Ukrainian energy company, Burisma Holdings, Solomon explained.

The documents, which the State Department has withheld thus far despite repeated requests for release by Solomon, would likely shed light on the alleged corruption that President Donald Trump requested to be investigated during his phone call with the president of Ukraine last year.

With the help of Southeastern Legal Foundation, Solomon's lawsuit seeks to compel the State Department to release the critical records. Once released, the records are expected to reveal, once and for all, exactly why President Trump wanted to investigate the dealings in Ukraine, and finally expose the side of the story that Democrats are trying to hide in their push for impeachment.

"It's been a one-sided story so far, just like the beginning of the Russia collusion story, right? Everybody was certain on Jan. 9 of 2017 that the Christopher Steele dossier was gospel. And our president was an agent of Russia. Three years later, we learned that all of that turned out to be bunk, " Solomon said.

"The most important thing about politics, and about investigations, is that there are two sides to a story. There are two pieces of evidence. And right now, we've only seen one side of it," he continued. "I think we'll learn a lot about what the intelligence community, what the economic and Treasury Department community was telling the president. And I bet the story was way more complicated than the narrative that [House Intelligence Committee Chairman] Adam Schiff [D-Calif.] has woven so far."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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