- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 7, 2009

Did you see that Wall Street Journal report about Citigroup Inc. reneging on its promise to pay former executives?

The banking giant told a half dozen of its former top executives that it won’t pay them tens of millions of dollars in severance payouts.

Citigroup, which has received $50 billion in federal bailout funds, has paid about half of the $100 million it had promised to the former executives. It is reneging on the rest to avoid public criticism.

It’s nice to know that when your bank promises to pay you, it follows through no matter what — excepting public criticism.

Now that the federal government owns a big chunk of Citigroup, we’re going to see some fiscal discipline there. Because nobody knows how to manage a big pot of public money like the federal government.

Nobody.

•••


Joe Curl reported last week that the Obamas’ trip to New York City may have cost as much as $250,000. That’s $250,000 for a flight, a dinner and a Broadway show!

Next time, they should use Priceline. William Shatner could negotiate a much better deal.

•••


Nadya “OctoMom” Suleman has signed a deal to put her family of 14 children into a reality TV show.

Her attorney, Jeff Czech, says the show will be a “quasi-reality TV series” that will follow the family around during big events, such as her octuplets’ first birthday. Czech would not say how much Suleman will be paid.

Suleman, who had herself artificially inseminated to give birth to octuplets, signed the contract with the Eyeworks production company, which is seeking a network deal for the still unnamed show, according to Us Magazine.

I’ve got some possible names for the OctoMom’s show:

• “Mother Knows Best.”

• “Eight More Is Enough.”

• “My Big Fat Freakin’ Family.”

• “It’s Going to Take a Village.”

• “Nadya Plus 6 Plus 8 Plus …”

Suleman’s attorney said her show won’t be like “Jon and Kate Plus 8.” That’s not surprising. She’d need a husband to make that show work.

Admit it. From the first moment you heard about a woman having a litter of children, you’ve known this was going to happen. The question is: What took them so long?

•••


I just discovered that there’s six degrees of separation between me and my other personality. He’s so much cooler than I am.

•••


Reuters reported last week that Chinese health authorities are cracking down on restaurants that serve chickens that have been bitten to death by poisonous snakes and cooked up for a supposedly detoxiyfing meal. This is true.

The dish, which was being served by eateries in the southern province of Guangdong and the southwestern city of Chongqing, has generated a storm of controversy in the Chinese media and among bloggers.

A video showing a cook holding a snake and forcing it to bite a live chicken until it dies has been widely circulated online, generating mostly angry comments.

Although “snake-bite” chicken is off the menu, “dog-mauled” chicken is still there and selling like hotcakes.

I’m guessing it’s the poison that makes the dish a detoxifying meal. So maybe if you eat regular chicken and let the snake bite you, you’ll get the same effect.

•••


If taxpayers own a big chunk of General Motors and Citibank, how come I can’t get a bank loan for a Cadillac?

Shouldn’t we get some kind of corporate discount?

•••


Former Vice President Dick Cheney said that CIA intelligence he cited to connect Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 attacks was wrong.

Even though the information “turned out not to be true,” Cheney said Saddam had a history with terror groups, including al Qaeda, that necessitated the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

“I thought it was strong at the time and I still feel so today,” Cheney said at the National Press Club. “There was a relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq that stretched back 10 years. That’s not something I made up.”

Well, it’s nice to know he didn’t make it up because, you know, that would be wrong.

Whew! I’m just glad we got that information before we did something dangerous in Iraq.

To tell you the truth, I forget why we invaded Iraq in the first place. Something about women of mass demonstrations or something.

•••


President Obama has made a second cheeseburger run, this time spending about $80 to feed an NBC crew that was doing a day-in-the-life documentary on him.

I wonder where cheeseburgers and fries fit in his health care plan. If his plan includes BACON cheeseburgers, count me in!

He spent $80 for burgers? What, is this part of his stimulus package?

The first time Obama made a burger run, he got slammed for ordering his with Dijon mustard. Now he’s going to get slammed for spending $80 for burgers. Nobody spends $80 for burgers — unless they’re treating their kids’ soccer team after a match.

You can contact Carleton Bryant at 202/636-3218 and cbryant@washington times.com — but only when his other personality isn’t around.

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