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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Little Lord Paulson critiques his new surroundings

An alert reader writes:

Go out and waste the $5.00 on this, it's worth it for the chuckle and the idiotic quotes.

The New June/July Mix Magazine has a goofy profile of Merritt Paulson on where he likes to eat, why Portland should give "rich sports owners" money for soccer, the typical lamenting of ex-pat NYers on not being able to find a good bagel in Portland, his favorite Lake O restaurants --- you know, that kind of thing.

It's priceless for its absolute stupidity. You know, my brother and sister went to pretty exclusive private schools back east. Paulson reminds me of those preppy privileged d****e bags they went to school with. Arrogant, out of touch and entitled to the core. HATE.

Now, now. We peons are lucky to have him talk to us.

Comments (42)

Thank you. It's always a miracle when anyone finds anything on OregonLive.

OMG, it's a schmear campaign.

I love how he uses the royal "we".

Paulsen claims you need public investment in pro sports. How much money did we give Paul Allen to build the Rose Garden and keep the blazers here?

Gotta love how he equates public funding for (last I checked) PUBLIC libraries to public funding for privately owned sports franchises.

The piece reminds me of Lewis Lapham's awesomely derisive term "achievetrons."

I don't know why they put "rich sports owners" in quotes. I mean, he IS a rich sports owner, is he not?

Breaking News: son of multi-millionaire jerk also a jerk.

Just for the record, H&H bagels are on the breakfast menu at Mother's Bistro.

Who profits from public libraries and zoos? The public. Who profits from professional sports teams? The "rich sports owner", douche bag.

Thanks for the link above. Now please advise me on how to erase the image of his leer burned into my memory...

MP: Oh, unequivocally. It's Soccer City, USA. The authentic atmosphere we have at Timbers games is international: it's people standing, waving flags, painting their faces. Portland's a little anti-establishment, and I think the fans appreciate the global nature of soccer.

BB: I can't remember the last time I went to a Timbers game, niether can my wife!

Now, now: Little Lord Paulson is teaching us something valuable. At the very least, he's showing us what an MBA is for: it's so that the serious party animals in college get something after eight years of keggers besides a coke habit and syphilis.

“That straw poll is worth a whole lot of nothing to begin with,” Paulson said. “The fact is irrefutable that anytime there’s a squeaky wheel, somebody who’s against something, they’re predisposed to show up at a meeting. It’s much harder to get a supporter to come to a meeting.”

"I've said it before and I'll say it again--democracy doesn't work!"--Kent Brockman

Makes me want to hang up the blue shirt & khakis that I've worn since my days at The Parkrose School (Parkrose Senior High).

Little Merritt Three-Sticks needs to bone up on the differences in ownership structure between libraries, zoos and sports teams. The government also funds a military - does he think we should buy him one of those, too?

Merritt Paulson to Mix: ". . . this has not been a city that's embraced pro sports like other cities have . . ."

So why are you asking Portlanders to subsidize your sports teams?

Straight out of Papa's playbook: privatize the profits; socialize the risks.

Merritt, while you're answering question could you tell us what your Daddy did with the first 350 billion of the TARP money?

If Roman Number 3 knows that Portland hasn't embraced pro sports teams in the past, and is unlikely to do so in the future, how will he make money off this deal? Is there a tax write-off he can take to balance out his losses?

I can forgive a "jr" -- but once you get to the III and beyond you KNOW that person is going to be a d-bag. (not sure if b-jack's the one who starred out the letters above)

He's not planning to take any losses! He's planning for us to take the losses, and also for us to absorb the payoff of the last PGE park remo he wants us to tear out and redo for him at our expense before the last one is paid off. Also for us to absorb the loss of value in having single-purpose facilities.

The single-purpose business is the stupidest part of the whole mess. It's like building a library that is only for books with red covers, and a separate one that is only for books with blue covers.

If I'm remembering correctly, III doesn't expect the soccer franchise to turn a profit until 2015 or later, and I think the projections were made before the economy tanked. I hope Randy is not planning to abandon his insistence on the vaunted Paulson Family Guarantee, because he hasn't mentioned it lately.

Didn't Daddy Paulson demand and get Congress to make sure he is lawsuit and Congressional-oversight-proof regarding how he "spent" the 750-billion in TARP funds?

Thought that was reported last fall but you know I get my government rip-offs mixed up at my age.

Yeah millions of dollars IS a huge deal but something about arrogant, idiotic
ex-New Yorkers lamenting the (supposed) "lack of bagels" in the Rose City makes me want to launch into a window smashing rage.

Okay, okay so its the billions PLUS the looney "bagel" nonsense.

You've got him all wrong regarding that look on his face. This is the Doug Neidermeyer look.

Seriously though, you really have to admire Paulsons audacity/chutzpa. Try to put the biggest costs of your business venture on the taxpayers shoulders. That in turn gives you tons of weight in the future for demands. And if it all goes South, taxpayers get stuck with the tab. Seriously, this guy is brilliant, albeit, not the slightest bit original when it comes to this sort of thing.

I've given up fighting the influx of New Yorkers and Californians because it's a lost cause, but for the love of god, can you please stop bitching about the bagels, and your floppy pizza, and whatever else you think we do wrong here?

You chose to move from your homeland to Portland, so if you really don't like fleece or people wearing jeans to a restaurant, don't tell me about it. Just pack it up and move back.

I first became aware of Elizabeth Warren when she appeared on Bill Maher's show last week. She made so much sense that I wondered how she got put in charge of TARP. I'm going to paste a news article. See if you can detect what she thinks of Henry Paulson:

"Interview with Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, Chairwoman of TARP Congressional Oversight Panel (Bloomberg News)

In the interview, Warren reveals that her own calculations show the government is secretly getting only 66 cents worth of stock and warrants for every 100 cents of TARP funds "invested," despite Paulson's claim to her, to Congress, and to the American people that the government is getting "par" (100 cents).

So far, this equates to $78,000,000,000 of secret under-the-table giveaways, direct from the pockets of taxpayers to the banksters who caused the crisis. It makes the AIG bonuses look like peanuts -- $78 billion is 455 times the size of the $165 million in AIG bonuses.

This is not some wackjob conspiracy theorist saying this, she is the person the government appointed to oversee TARP (at this point they surely wished they picked someone else). Can you imagine the phone calls she is receiving from a panicked Treasury Department at this point?

(By the way, the AIG bonuses, as outrageous as they were, were "legal" in the sense of they were based on existing contracts. If Warren's calculations are correct, the government and banks are involved in a highly illegal, and much more expensive, game of taxpayer manipulation. Yet the American public has no idea. TARP is too complex for most to attempt to understand, which is exactly how Paulson wanted it.)

reddit comment: She was very clear: Paulson just flatly and knowingly lied to the public and to the congress that the money that was put into the banks was 'at par', i.e 100 dollar's worth for every 100 dollar put in. It was only 66, she calculated.

Isn't that against the law? Just giving away many billions of public money to your cronies at the banks and using all kinds of pretext to keep that a secret? This is Goldman Sachs (Paulson), looting the treasury in plain daylight!"

Okay, back to me. These are the people we're supposed to do business with? Where did the 65 million for the soccer deal come from? Is that taxpayer money too?


I feel like I have to add that I don't see anything particularily bad about Paulson's interview.

You can hate the business deal he's trying to get the city to sign off on, but I can't see much to argue with in what he's saying in the interview. It's all softball questions. He seems like a pretty normal, down-to-earth guy - just one who lives in a nice part of town because he's rich.

And while the ex-NYers complaining about the quality of Portland bagels can get annoying (personally, my pet peeve is when they complain about how much time PDX newscasts give to covering the weather), I don't think there's anything wrong with a person stating that some foods were better where the person used to live. Unless your old dwelling was in Guantanamo Bay, anyone who moves is going to notice differences and pros and cons about their new home. It's what makes the US so great - each area's got its own specialties. Talking about that doesn't make him an a****le, it makes him normal.

RE: Bill McDonald's post.

Shouldn't looting the public treasury be considered a form of treason? It sure feels like a betrayal of the principles our country was founded on.

Anyone up for a Constitutional amendment?

You wrote, "It's all softball questions."

Why is that? Why has our paper not shown any gumption in tracking down how this bid right here in Portland ties into the TARP picture, if at all.

This became relevant when Merritt described selling some hard-to-sell bonds to fund this through his friends at Goldman Sachs. That's one of a handful of firms that just blew up the economic universe. That's also one of the firms that received billions in TARP money through AIG, according to news accounts.

Are we being asked to fund both halves of this deal through bailouts and also through the money our city council throws at it?

I just can't believe the newspaper editors here aren't more excited about this. We have a hook into the biggest economic disaster of our times. We have out city council acting as virtual agents to try and get more for the son of the guy who was out in the Rose Garden with President Bush asking for 700 billion dollars with no strings attached. Eventually that was modified but to hear Elizabeth Warren tell it 350 billion of this money went out and we, as the providers, have no accounting of where it went. The banks won't tell us.

This is huge and we have a Portland tie-in. It's a way to explain a big story locally - the type of thing the Oregonian editors should be thrilled about, in a Pulitzer way, but what do we get?

A hard-hitting look at Portland bagels.

As someone who was raised here, then lived back east for 10 years, then moved back, I can with absolute certainty say that the bagels here SUCK. And there's no apparent reason for it unless you believe the wild yeast in the air around NYC is responsible.

It reminds me of the great gelato mystery. For decades, Americans traveled to Italy and spoke of this strange, ice-cream like concoction that seemed to only be available in Italy. Only in the last 5-10 years have legitimate gelato shops become more widespread. What the hell took so long?

I was going to keep quiet on this but I can't. There hasn't been one word about Moesler's bagels, formerly from Moesler's Bakery (not sure about the spelling) on 4th, next to my aunt's family's former Henry's Pizzeria (now Dominos). Now that was a bagel. True to old country form of boiling and baking in a way that has never been locally challenged. Yeah, old man Moesler took his recipes and procedures to his grave... The salt sticks, the "sounds-like-bay AH lees (sp?)," and the dark scarey industrial interior, kind of David Lynch-like... I remember green walls.

Anyway, Portland HAD a world class bagel then. Right around the corner from the world class Mrs. Neushin's garlic dills.

Maybe I should have kept quiet.


I 100% agree with you, and your comment is right on the money.

My comment was more directed to the fact that not a single one of the 29 comments above mine attacked the paper for not asking the tough questions or doing a proper investigation - instead they called Paulson a "d*****bag," a "jerk," and "arrogant", seemingly because his answers to the questions involved Lake Oswego and his bagel preferences.

Let's focus on the deal; let's focus on what the city would lose or gain; let's focus on the substance; let's focus on whether the reporters on the city hall beat are properly informing the public.

But instead of that, it seemed like people's distaste for the man's business deal were leading them to making these crazy conclusions about his answers in the interview - answers that make him seem pretty normal. I just was trying to point that out - didn't mean to comment on anything more.

"You've got him all wrong regarding that look on his face. This is the Doug Neidermeyer look." ???
Nope- it's the Andy Weiderhorn look.

It's not an either/or scenario. The Oregonian is nearly entirely bereft of journalistic integrity AND Paulson is a d****e bag.

Two great tastes that taste great together.

I actually did fall out of my chair laughing at the specious comparison of libraries, colleges, and zoos to his stadium. The sad thing is he probably actually believes the nonsense that comes out of his mouth.

A few thoughts:

1) There's no such thing as a good bagel. All bagels taste like crap. New York can keep their sugerless donuts.

2) I don't blame Paulson for trying to get a soccer team in Portland. I just think the City Council needs to get there act together and recognize a shi**y deal when they see one.

3) I love Portland. But Jesus Christ we act insecure sometimes. Who cares how rich this guy is or where he went to school. He doesn't have some special power or magic potion. He's just a businessman trying to make a buck. I lay the blame with our City Council, who get so caught up in the big projects that they lose site of what actually makes a city work.

It is the food/beverage/restaurant pullout of the Oregonian, correct?

Maybe our expectations are too high.

This was a fluff piece on a par with granting Lord Paulson large amounts of space twice in one week on the O's editorial page to promote his bid for stadia.

MIX is yet another upscale glossy magazine produced and marketed by the Oregonian and targeting the well-to-do and wealthy in Portland. They apparently perceive an exploitable niche market there which they hope will help staunch the hemorraging associated with newspaper losses. It's apparently OK to abandon the general public and journalistic responsiblity to brown nose rich ass.

I got my copy of MIX out of the recycling bin and after I got over the full page portrait of Merritt, all I could picture while I read the interview was an Oregonian reporter dressed up in a Regency gown with a powdered wig and arched eyebrows, fluttering a fan, tapping her interviewee on the knuckles playfully and crying, "Fie, fie, Mr. Merritt!"

Oh, and MIX is no pullout. It's a separate large, glossy, full-color magazine, sold on the rack with other magazines for $4.95 an issue.


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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
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Rick Moody - Garden State
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