Saturday, February 7, 2009

Rush Limbaugh Defends John Thain

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By Liz Wolgemuth

Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain's reported $1.2 million office makeover--said to have been done in early 2008, after Thain was hired to help save the ailing brokerage, and months before an agreement to sell Merrill to Bank of America--has really bugged taxpayers, since billions in TARP funds have been handed out to BofA to help the bank absorb Merrill and its bigger-than-expected losses.

But conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh had his own take on Thain's redecorating. He responded to comments reportedly made by President Obama--telling Republicans on the hill that they "can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done"--in a statement to National Review's Byron York, where Limbaugh focused on his issues with the massive stimulus package.

Some of his comments:

Obama was angry that Merrill Lynch used $1.2 million of TARP money to remodel an executive suite. Excuse me, but didn't Merrill have to hire a decorator and contractor? Didn't they have to buy the new furnishings? What's the difference in that and Merrill loaning that money to a decorator, contractor and goods supplier to remodel Warren Buffet's office? Either way, stimulus in the private sector occurs.

LImbaugh compared Thain's redecorating with that done by the First Family: "How much money will the Obamas spend redecorating the White House residence? Whose money will be spent? I have no problem with the Obamas redoing the place. It is tradition."

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