Elmer Fudd Nation

If I was an oligarch and I wanted to buy my spoiled little shit of a son a toy that would make him laugh and laugh for hours, I’d buy him a middle-class American. Because Americans are funny the way all dupes and chumps are funny. You can trick today’s Americans time and again, and they always fall for it. And when you trick them, they stomp around dramatically and make a lot of blustery noise about “the people” who allegedly “aren’t going to stand much more of this” because “our founding forefathers bla bla bla” and of course the ol’ “you can fool some of the people some of the time, buttcha can’t fool bla bla bla…” Basically, if you’ve seen your Elmer Fudd, then you’ve seen your American sucker in all of his cartoon comic-foil glory: a sentimental buffoon, a harmless chump whose guns don’t fool anyone but himself.

Every day, Americans play the role of Elmer Fudd to the oligarchy’s Bugs Bunny–if you look at it from the oligarchy’s point of view, at least.

Exhibit A: Multigazllionaire scumbag Angelo Mozilo v. American Suckers.

Tuesday it was reported that Mozilo, the guy who destroyed millions of Americans’ lives and now faces fraud charges, is making American taxpayers—his victims—pay for his legal defense. Yup, Bank of America, which only exists thanks to tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, is using YOUR MONEY to defend Angelo Mozilo against YOU, the victim.

Bank of America paying Mozilo’s legal fees
Tue Jun 9, 2009 3:59pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp said on Tuesday it is covering the legal fees of Angelo Mozilo, the former Countrywide Financial Corp chief executive charged with securities fraud and insider trading.

Lawyers for the former executives last week said they planned to fight the SEC’s claims.

Bank of America has taken $45 billion from the U.S. government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program.

What makes this really funny is that Mozilo doesn’t even need your money, because he’s already stolen at least half a billion from you suckers… But he’s taking taxpayer dollars to defend himself anyway, for the same reason that dogs lick their balls: BECAUSE IT TICKLES!

Mozilo’s Monster Payday
JANUARY 11, 2008
By Dana Cimilluca

According to the LA Times, Mozilo stands to get a severance package valued at more than $110 million. That would be on top of $140 million of his Countrywide stake that Mozilo sold in 2006 and 2007, as the housing wave crested and then crashed. (In fact, as the Wall Street Journal points out, from 2004 through 2007, he sold a total of about $414 million of Countrywide shares – sales that drew the attention of the SEC.)

In 2006 alone, Mozilo, who built Countrywide into a thriving mortgage institution over nearly 40 years, got paid $48 million, according to the company’s last proxy statement.

Yup, he gets over half a billion dollars, and you, the victim, pay him to defend himself from you. And what makes it so funny is that no American will ever do a thing to harm a hair on Mr. Mozilo’s head. No matter what, even if you’re the guy who’s living in a Sam’s Club tent, you won’t do a thing about it. AHHH-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!

A human-like lizard

Mozilo is a prankster on and off the stage–what showbiz comics call “a true professional.” He screwed over everyone he could–not just American homeowners and taxpayers, but even his own employees at Countrywide:

Countrywide Sued by Workers Over Retirement Losses

The employees suffered ”hundreds of millions” in losses when Countrywide’s stock plunged, they said.

”I think the record is crystal clear that the CEO knew this company was highly risky, that it was engaging in risky behavior and that this was no longer a prudent investment,” Steve Berman, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in an interview. Berman said about 50,000 people are invested in Countrywide’s retirement plan.

This is where the Mozilo as Bugs Bunny metaphor stops working–not that it ever did. Because the suckers, the comic foils, the ones who get bashed in the head with the giant sledge hammer–you don’t really laugh much at their misery:

Plaintiff Marc Cruz, like many Countrywide employees, deferred a portion of his salary and invested in the company 401(k) savings plan, which Countrywide augmented with a 50 percent match, up to six percent, paid entirely in company stock during calendar years 2005 and 2006.

Mozilo wasn’t trying to be funny at all, let’s face it. He was doing everything he could to try to get people to kill him. He stole from their futures, and he stole from their present–he stole years, money, happiness, dignity. He even turned his employees into slaves. Not metaphorical slaves but real slaves:

According to the lawsuit against Countrywide, some sales agents worked at least 10 hours a day, five days a week, without meal breaks “in order to meet production demands and pressures.”

The 400 Countrywide employees who sued claimed that they worked an average of 16 hours of overtime a week, including weekends, from 1998 to 2004 without premium pay.

Craig Strah, a former sales agent in Countrywide’s Rosemead office, wrote in a court declaration that “in order to meet production demands and pressures,” he usually worked “at least 10 hours per day, five days per week without any meal breaks. Approximately three times per month, I worked an additional nine-hour day without any meal breaks.”
Countrywide maintains that its sales agents are exempt from overtime laws because they are management… an increasingly common tactic to give rank-and-file workers fancy titles to lull them into thinking they were executives and thus not entitled to overtime.

Mozilo’s response:

In an August interview with CNBC, Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo complained about the high cost of doing business in California.

“Anything over eight hours a day, you have to pay overtime, even though it’s less than 40 hours a week,” Mozilo said.

If Mozilo were Bugs, he’d snicker and gnaw on his carrot. But he’s not. He’s just a mean, vain old fuck in love with his tanning salon.

The settlement, excluding attorney fees, amounts to an average of about $50,000 per employee.

So Mozilo steals 6 years of their lives, and for all that they eventually “win” a $50,000 settlement-or just over $10,000 per year per employee. Or roughly what Mozilo earned in the time it took him to wax his back.

Anyway it was no skin off of Mozilo’s …back… Countrywide picked up the $30 million lawsuit settlement tab, just like taxpayers are picking up his legal fees for the fraud suit. So who won? Put it this way: he’s worth half a billion, and Countrywide employees are worth nil.

And all these Elmer Fudds do is whine:

Countrywide critics slam board’s pay

By Kathy M. Kristof, Times Staff Writers and E. Scott Reckard, Times Staff WritersNovember 09, 2007

Countrywide directors had become conflicted by their own “excessive pay” and stock options that had allowed five members of the board to cash out more than $20 million in stock gains over the last two years.

That headline is a knee-slapper. “Critics! No, not the critics, Doc! Please, I beg ya! You gotta do somethin’ about them critics, Doc! Why, they’re bound to critic-size me! It’s moiduh, I tell ya! All I gots is half a billion dollahs, you can’t do this to a half-a-billionaire, Doc!”

At this point, all the blustering, armed-to-the-teeth American suckers lower their guns just like Elmer Fudd would, allowing Mozilo-Bugs to kiss them on the forehead, and then slam them with a giant 100 lb. sledge hammer. Because today’s American chumps never shoot the people who ruin them. Instead, they bluster in anonymous message boards and comments secitons about how they COULD shoot them, and then they quickly turn to their favorite fist-shaking theme: their beloved second amendment… And this is where the comedy routine gets downright tiresome. Because every time these Fudds should focus on shooting the real enemy, the oligarch-thief who ruined their lives and stole their savings and pension and their child’s education, instead of hunting down and shooting this real-life serial murderer, they go a-huntin’ for wiberaws and big govuhment sociawists and gun contwow fweaks. In vaudeville that sort of buffoonery gets the crowd a-hootin and a-holerin. The blustery buffoon always hunting a non-existent threat while the real villain, standing right next to him, robs him blind.

Let me illustrate this point by way of compare & contrast. In this case, emails. First, an email sent by a Countrywide employee to a CNBC reporter in January, 2008, when the company was going under:

“I, like many others, am outraged. We broke our backs keeping this place floating–bailing out the Titanic with thimbles while our executives made off in the life boats. Mozilo could afford to give every one of its remaining employees in the trenches $10k a piece for our efforts. There are no answers coming from anywhere about the merger, and no one even knows if their job is safe once BOA’s bean counters are done looking into CW operations with a microscope. Some great teams disappeared like farts in a hurricane, and dedicated, hard-working employees were discarded and regarded as fat trimmed off of a steak. It is heartbreaking to see…”

A guy like Mozilo would read that email and think, “He said ‘fart.’ How disgusting! I have class!” No, Mozilo never says “fart” when he steals. In fact, he plays the hunted victim, while the real victim above plays the earnest Elmer Fudd with a touch of modern irony. This is an email from Mozilo sent to Countrywide shareholders in October 2006, when they started to complain about Mozilo’s insane $120 million package:

“I appreciate your input but at this stage in my life at Countrywide this process is no longer about money but more about respect and acknowledgement of my accomplishments…. Boards have been placed under enormous pressure by the left wing business press and the envious leaders of unions and other so called ‘CEO Comp Watchers’ and therefore Boards are being forced to protect themselves irrespective of the potential negative long term impact on public companies. I strongly believe that a decade from now there will be a recognition that entrepreneurship has been driven out of the public sector resulting in underperforming companies and a willingness on the part of Boards to pay for performance.”

Nope, it isn’t funny anymore. He’s not a zany prankster, and we’re not loveable dupes. But then again, there always something really depressing about Elmer Fudd.

MARK AMES is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine (Soft Skull) and co-author of The eXile: Sex, Drugs and Libel in the New Russia (Grove). He writes for The Nation, Playboy and Exiledonline.com. He cab be reached at amesexile@gmail.com