January 9, 2012

Apple CEO made $328 million in 2011 - a 1%'er but Liberals LOVE Apple

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Tim Cook could well end up being the highest paid CEO in America in 2011, after Apple Inc. granted him a million restricted stock units last August for taking the reins shortly before co-founder Steve Jobs died.

An Associated Press review of a securities filing shows Cook's pay package was valued at $378 million. The vast majority came in a grant of a million restricted stock units worth $376 million at the time. Half of the stock units will vest in August 2016, the other half in August 2021.
His salary and performance bonus, about $900,000 each, made up much of the rest. He also made $16,520 from company contributions to a 401(k) retirement account and company-paid life insurance premiums.

In comparison, Jobs accepted a $1 annual salary for years and owned about 5.5 million shares, worth about $2.3 billion today.

In total, Cook has about 1.36 million restricted shares that haven't yet vested and 13,754 regular shares worth a combined $580 million, the filing showed.

Cook's award is well above that given to Philippe Dauman, the Viacom Inc. chief executive who led the top paid CEOs of 2010 with an $84.5 million haul based on a new contract that granted him shares and stock options.

Cook's pay package was also valued at more than all of the next nine highest paid CEOs of 2010 combined, or about $356 million.

Apple said that its compensation goal is to encourage long-term results above short-term risk-taking, and the 51-year-old former chief operating officer won't begin to reap the actual benefits of the stock award for another four years.

But Securities and Exchange Commission rules compel companies to book a share grant's value in the year it is granted, making Cook's whopper of a pay package unlikely to be beat.

Cook's share grant was already known last year. The filing disclosed that the company also decided in November to raise his base annual salary to $1.4 million and double the bonus target for paid executives to 100 percent of their annual salary.

Apple said it raised the bonus target to keep its executive pay more in line with that of other technology and entertainment peers like Google Inc. or The Walt Disney Co.

The filing was released the same day Apple shares reached a new high in midday trading, briefly hitting $427.75 before falling back to close at $421.73.

The AP formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the SEC.



(blackmediaSCOOP) Now that’s just disrespectful! Christopher Knight writes for the “Culture Monster” a column at the L.A. Times, and guess what he sees when he looks at this political cartoon of First Lady Michelle Obama:
Believe it or not, Knight sees an “uppity Negro.” Those aren’t our words, they’re his:
The caricature of Obama as a profligate queen relies on the racist stereotype of an “uppity Negro[.]“
Who other than someone with their own disturbing prejudices would look at that obvious piece of political satire hitting the First lady up for her excessive and lavish vacationing and think “uppity Negro”?
Naturally, though, like all bigoted leftists, Knight attempts to project his own troubling racial issues on others. The racist image appeared Tuesday on the right-wing blog Gateway Pundit; the slur was later called out by Media Matters for America.
The doctored painting also turned up in August 2010 on the right-wing Instapundit website, where it apparently originated.
Sorry, Mr, Knight, the only one flying the flag of bigotry here is you!
This mess just never ends!
What do you think?

Hillary isn't going to fade away.

Just the Ticket

THE beginning of a new year is a time for resolutions, and Hillary Clinton’s admirers are already busily, lovingly resolving on her behalf. On one sideline, her friends tell me that after a few years of hyperactive globetrotting what she really needs is to put her feet up and dictate another volume of her memoirs while nagging Chelsea to deliver grandchildren. (“She’s tired; she needs some time off,” her husband told ABC.) At the other extreme, a couple of Democratic consultants, Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen, propose to draft her right now as the 2012 Democratic presidential candidate, whether she likes it or not. (“Not only is Mrs. Clinton better positioned to win in 2012 than Mr. Obama, but she is better positioned to govern if she does,” they wrote in The Wall Street Journal.) Other helpful devotees have noticed that Brown University is looking for a new president, or have imagined her creating a clone of the Clinton Global Initiative focused on empowering women. Or maybe Ruth Bader Ginsburg will decide to put her feet up, opening a seat on the Supreme Court.
Nicholas Blechman


Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Bill Keller

Readers’ Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
The right choice is none of the above.
Hillary Clinton is 64 years old, with a Calvinist work ethic, the stamina of an Olympian, an E.Q. to match her I.Q., and the political instincts of a Clinton. She has an impressive empathic ability — invaluable in politics or statecraft — to imagine how the world looks to an ally or adversary. She listens, and she learns from her mistakes. She was a perfectly plausible president four years ago, and that was before she demonstrated her gifts as a diplomatic snake-charmer. (Never mind Pakistan and Libya, I’m talking about the Obama White House.) She is, says Gallup, the most admired woman in America for the 10th year in a row, laps ahead of, in order, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin and Condoleezza Rice; her approval rating of 64 percent is the highest of any political figure in the country.
So it’s too early to hang up the big ambition. And a lot of us would be deeply disappointed in her if she did. This would be none of our business if she had taken the off-ramp after her time as first lady. (Nobody is thinking very hard about what’s next for Laura Bush.) But she moved on to the Senate, to a near-miss presidential campaign, and to a credible term as secretary of state. She raised our expectations.
The proposal to draft her in place of President Obama this year is preposterous. It exaggerates his vulnerability and discounts Hillary’s loyalty. But the idea that she should replace Joe Biden as Obama’s running mate in 2012 is something else. It has been kicking around on the blogs formore than a year without getting any traction, mainly because it has been authoritatively, emphatically dismissed by HillaryBiden and Team Obama.
It’s time to take it seriously.
I know the arguments against this scenario, and we’ll get to those. But the arguments in favor are as simple as one-two-three. One: it does more to guarantee Obama’s re-election than anything else the Democrats can do. Two: it improves the chances that, come next January, he will not be a lame duck with a gridlocked Congress but a rejuvenated president with a mandate and a Congress that may be a little less forbidding. Three: it makes Hillary the party’s heir apparent in 2016. If she sits out politics for the next four years, other Democrats (yes, Governor Cuomo, we see your hand up) will fill the void.
She would bring to this year’s campaign a missing warmth and some of the voltage that has dissipated as Obama moved from campaigning to governing. What excites is not just the prospect of having a woman a heartbeat — and four years — away from the presidency, although she certainly embodies the aspirations of many women. It’s the possibility that the first woman at the top would have qualifications so manifest that her first-ness was a secondary consideration.
The biggest obstacle to this scenario is, of course, President Obama, reinforced by the people around him. The Obamas have long regarded the Clintons as representing the tawdry side of politics: the deal-cutting, the calculating, the endless schmoozing, the permanent campaign — in short, the things that this professorial president could have used more of in his first term. The Clintons — Bill, at least — have tended to see Obama as politically na├»ve, steeped in youthful arrogance, a loner, happier to be right than successful. The mistrust may have abated a little, as Hillary has proved herself the most faithful of allies. And Bill has been a pretty disciplined defender of this administration, though his endorsements tend to come with a helping of paternalistic (and public) advice. But the Obamas and Clintons remain a marriage of convenience.
The Obama inner circle believes the president doesn’t need Hillary to win a second term. Just now, when the Republican field looks like a bug-spattered windshield and the most likely nominee strikes many in his own party as an empty suit, that confidence is understandable. But Democrats should not get too cocky. Mitt Romney, as I’ve argued before, has a case to make to voters and the resources to make it. In Iowa, exploiting the Supreme Court’s laissez-faire ruling on campaign spending, he brought down Newt Gingrich with an “independent” attack machine of considerable firepower.
Moreover, even if Obama can win without Hillary, there’s a lot to be said for running up the score. If she can do in 2012 what Obama did in 2008 — animate that feeling of historic possibility — the pair can lift some House and Senate candidates along with them. One reason Republicans did so well in the 2010 Congressional elections is that they overcame the gender gap and carried women voters 51 to 49. Those voters will flock back to Hillary, the more so if the Republican ticket is locked into a culture-war agenda. So, by the way, will Hispanic voters, securing such endangered states as Florida, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado.
Vice President Clinton would be a formidable asset in governing as well as campaigning, both as a political calculator and as an emissary to Capitol Hill. She has, to put it mildly, an ability to navigate the world of powerful, problematic men.
In the event that Obama has the good sense (or, if the economy fails to perk up, the sense of desperation) to offer her the vice president’s slot, some of her closest friends will implore her to decline. They will tell her that it means tarnishing her reputation by playing the second’s traditional role of campaign attack dog. But that needn’t be the case. Like Romney, the Democrats can outsource to a super-PAC the wet work that used to be the job of the running mate, letting Hillary stick to the high road. And whatever her friends say, there’s no way the dutiful Methodist schoolgirl would turn down an I-need-you from the president.
THAT leaves the delicate question of ditching Joe Biden. He is not a dazzling campaigner, and — five years Hillary’s senior — he is not Obama’s successor. But he is a loyal and accomplished public servant who deserves to be treated with honor.
A political scientist I know proposes the following choreography: In the late winter or early spring, Hillary steps down as secretary of state to rest and write that book. The president assigns Biden — the former chairman of Senate Foreign Relations — to add State to his portfolio, making him the most powerful vice president in history. Come the party convention in September, Obama swallows his considerable pride and invites a refreshed Hillary to join the ticket. Biden keeps State. The musicians play “Happy Days Are Here Again” as if they really mean it.
Of course, this is more exciting if it’s a surprise, and now I’ve spoiled it. Sorry. But not as sorry as I’ll be if — as I fear — it’s just a fantasy.

Michelle distressed about power of 'white Irish Catholic'...

Michelle Obama: "Distressed" about Daley, Madigan, Hynes clout

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WASHINGTON-- When Michelle Obama worked in Mayor Daley's City Hall in the early 1990s, she was "distressed" by how a small group of "white Irish Catholic" families -- the Daleys, the Hynes and the Madigans -- "locked up" power in Illinois.
And as she prepared to become first lady, Mrs. Obama naively wanted to delay a move into the White House for six months, so her daughters could finish the school year. Her initial thought was to "commute" to the White House from her South Side home.
And Marty Nesbitt, one of President Obama's best friends, had been recruited to run for Chicago mayor by African-American leaders -- but never ended up challenging Rahm Emanuel, who was Obama's chief of staff who went on to win City Hall.
Details about Mrs. Obama's initial reluctance to embrace her new life, her time in City Hall, the influence she has in the White House, tensions between Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Emanuel and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs -- are in a new book about the first couple by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor.
The Chicago Sun-Times has obtained a copy of The Obamas, to be published Tuesday. Kantor hits Chicago for an East Lake Shore Drive book party on Jan. 16; the next day, Jan. 17, she headlines a 6 p.m. event at the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State.
Mrs. Obama worked in the Daley administration between Sept. 16, 1991, and April 30, 1993, according to City of Chicago personnel records. She was hired by Jarrett, then Daley's deputy chief of staff.
Kantor writes Mrs. Obama "disapproved of how closely Daley held power, surrounding himself with three or four people who seemed to let few outsiders in -- a concern she would echo years later with her own husband.
"...She particularly resented the way power in Illinois was locked up generation after generation by a small group of families, all white Irish Catholic -- the Daleys in Chicago, the Hynes and Madigans statewide."
When Jarrett was forced out of City Hall in 1995 -- even though she was close to Daley -- "the Obamas were horrified, their worst suspicions about the world confirmed."
Jarrett, Gibbs, Obama's top strategist David Axelrod, Mrs. Obama's former chief of staff Susan Sher and Chicago pals Eric Whitaker and Marty Nesbitt "gave me many hours of interview time each," Kantor wrote in her acknowledgements. In all, Kantor got the cooperation of 33 current and former members of the Obama administration and close friends.
Still, with reports about issues in the administration -- and an Emanuel who did not welcome Mrs. Obama's influence -- the Obama White House gave the book a frosty reception.
"The book, an overdramatization of old news, is about a relationship between two people whom the author has not spoken to in years," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. "The author last interviewed the Obamas in 2009 for a magazine piece, and did not interview them for this book. The emotions, thoughts and private moments described in the book, though often seemingly ascribed to the president and first lady, reflect little more than the author's own thoughts. These secondhand accounts are staples of every administration in modern political history and often exaggerated."
Camille Johnston, Mrs. Obama's former communications chief, told the Sun-Times, "We had some disagreements over how certain things would be handled, but in the end we all got back to the place Mrs. Obama had set at the onset: nothing on my agenda is more important than what's on his."