ITEM:

parispinkbentley

PARIS HILTON is having a £200,000 diamond-encrusted dashboard made for her pink Bentley. [...]

Paris bought the Bentley in December as a Christmas present to herself.

She had it sprayed pink and the Bentley badge replaced with her own initials. The upholstery, grille and hubcaps are also pink and the car has a tint on the windows to prevent photographs being taken of her inside.

She gushed: “I’ve just always wanted a pink car.

“I think when you’re a little girl and you have the Barbie Corvette you’re always like, ‘Oh, I wish I had a car like this one day.’

“I think it just comes from being a fan of Barbie for so long.”

So, was it the empty plastic head or the absence of a human soul which touchedyou so deeply?  Enquiring minds want to know.

ITEM:

He was often a man of malaprops — e.g. “Is our children learning?” — but former President George W. Bush will be getting $150,000 a speech when he hits the hustings later this month.

Bush is charging a six-figure fee, plus private jet transportation or first class for a party of four – when he launches onto the lecture circuit. The former president’s first gig, entitled “A conversation with George W. Bush,” is scheduled for March 17th in Calgary, Alberta.

We got Gretsky.  Seems fair.  If you can’t get to Canada, you can catch the comedy stylings of Marty Peretz when he opens during the Hell leg of this tour, which will last from Not Soon Enough until Forever.

ITEM:

We learned over the weekend that AIG had, last Friday, distributed more than $160 million in retention payments to members of its Financial Products Subsidiary, the unit of AIG that was principally responsible for the firm’s meltdown. Last October, AIG agreed to my Office’s demand that no payments be made out of its $600 million Financial Products deferred compensation pool. While this was a positive step, we were dismayed to learn after the fact that AIG had made multi-million dollar payments out of its separate Financial Products retention plan on Friday. [...]

As you may know, my Office yesterday subpoenaed AIG for the names of those who received these bonuses, and we plan to do everything necessary to enforce compliance. American taxpayers deserve to know where their money is going, and AIG’s intransigence and desire to obscure who received these payments should not be tolerated. Already my Office has determined that some of these bonuses were staggering in size. For example:

• The top recipient received more than $6.4 million;

• The top seven bonus recipients received more than $4 million each;

• The top ten bonus recipients received a combined $42 million;

• 22 individuals received bonuses of $2 million or more, and combined they received more than $72 million;

• 73 individuals received bonuses of $1 million or more; and

• Eleven of the individuals who received “retention” bonuses of $1 million or more are no longer working at AIG, including one who received $4.6 million;

Again, these payments were all made to individuals in the subsidiary whose performance led to crushing losses and the near failure of AIG. Thus, last week, AIG made more than 73 millionaires in the unit which lost so much money that it brought the firm to its knees, forcing ~ taxpayer bailout. Something is deeply wrong with this outcome. I hope the Committee will address it head on.

Things are tough all over, it would appear, though perhaps some have it tougher than others.  Who are we to judge?  As Christopher said:

Somehow it’s always reasonable to hurt the poor as a way to make them shape up. Tougher bankruptcy laws, welfare reform, it’s all good social engineering.

But if you talk about hurting the rich to make them reform, it’s terrible. Taking money away from a guy with plenty more to spare is worse then taking money away from a person with none left.

Have I mentioned “fuck them”?  Have I?  I only ask because fuck them.