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March 17, 2009 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-17

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2 - Tuesday, March 17, 2009

MONDAY: TUESDAY: WEDNESDAY:
In Other Ivory Towers Campus Characters Explained

THURSDAY: FRIDAY:
Before You Were Here Photos of the Week

The king of sing-along

While most students may go to
Good Time Charley's on 1140 S. Uni-
versity Ave. to loosen up after a hard
day of classes or to have a wild night
after a long week, Ann Arbor resi-
dent Tim Smith goes to Charley's for
one reason only - to experience the
Tuesday night karaoke.
Smith, a Jackson, Mich. native,
has been singing at Charley's on the
bar's Tuesday karaoke nights for
about eight months. He moved to
Ann Arbor in July to be closer to his
girlfriend.
Smith, 49, was part of a band in
high school and said that music has
always been an integral part of his
life. A member of three local bands
in Grand Rapids for about a decade
during the '90s, Smith was lead sing-
er for both Nervous Habit and Exit
and later a guest singer with Tril-
ogy.
Smith eventually became a kara-
oke host in Livonia.
Now the new business develop-

ment manager for Yarema Die &
Engineering, a metal and industrial
supply company based in Troy, Mich.,
Smith first started hosting karaoke in
the early '90s to keep himself busy at
night. He eventually developed a pas-
sion for the spirited performances.
"One week you see someone get up
to sing a song for the first time and
within a few weeks they are singing
five songs and you can heartheir voic-
es develop," Smith wrote in an e-mail
interview. "It really is a lot of fun to
watch and sing."
Smith said he enjoys Charley's
because of its fun and lively atmo-
sphere.
"Good Time Charley's is a great,
clean place for people to come sing
and hang with the college kids," he
said. "It gets crazy, but not out of con-
trol, great food, and the sound system
is good."
Smith said he's drawn to karaoke
because every night is a new experi-
ence with the new faces and voices

who grace the bar with their stage
presences..
"The whole thing about karaoke is
to get people who sing in their show-
ers and in their cars to get out and
sing," he said. "Every night at karaoke
is justunique. It's pretty much always
fun. You get a lot of fresh people to
sing all the time."
Smith, who prefers karaoke to
other forms of nightly entertainment,
said music is a feeling that allows
people to express themselves and be
more in touch with their emotions.
"Music itself is a mood-changing
type of media," he said. "You can be
in a bad mood, and listen to a song
you grew up with - doesn't matter
howold you are - itjust changesyour
mood."
Ifyou're ever at Charley's on aTues-
day night and you hear some Journey
lyrics blaring from the speakers, stay
and have a listen - Smith might be
singing "Don't stop believin'."
- NICOLE ABER

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TheMichiganDaily(ISSN745-967)ispublished MondaythroughFridayduringthefallandwinter
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DAVID MERIAN/C
Tim Smith, who moved to Ann Arbor last year, has.
become a regular at Charley's Tuesday karaoke nights
CRIME NOTES

CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES

DPS in pursuit Window busted, Free film on Lecture on the
of parking thief purse stolen family genetics misconceptions

WHERE: CVC Parking M-85
WHEN: Sunday at about 7:30
p.m.
WHAT: A parking device was
used by University employees
to access free parking during
a prohibited time, University
Police reported. There are no
suspects, but the incident is
under investigation.
Black iPod

from parked car
WHERE: Matthaei Botanical
Gardens
WHEN: Sunday at about 3:45
p.m.
WHAT: A purse valued at
$100 was stolen from a parked
vehicle, University Police
reported. The vehicle was
entered by breaking the rear
passenger window.

swiped from the Unattended bag
Dud dt taken from Grad

WHAT: The documentary
on "In the Family," will be
shown. The film follows fam-
ilies dealingwith cancer and
other genetic risks. A discus-
sion will follow the film.
WHO: UMHS Comprehen-
sive Cancer Center Commu-
nity Outreach Office.
WHEN: Tonight at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: 242 South FifthAve.
Art exhibition
on sports
WHAT: Oil on canvas paint-
ings and lithographs by artist
Jeff Joseph will be on display.
His work covers a range of
subjects dealing with sports.
WHO: University of Michi-
gan Health System
WHEN: Today from 8a.m. to
8 p.m
WHERE: University Hos-
pital, Main Corridor, West
Floor 2.

of child birth
WHAT: A lecture on the cul-
tural, social and legal issues
that have influenced modern
obstetrical practices in the
United States.
WHO: Institute for Research
on Women and Gender
WHEN: Today from 3:30 to
4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Lane Hall, Room
2239
CORRECTIONS
* A news article in yester-
day's edition of the Daily
(MSA presidential candi-
dates to square off in debate
tonight.) incorrectly reported
the date of the event. The
MSA debate occurred yester-
day in the Palmer Commons
Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
. Please report any error
in the Daily to correc-
tions@michigandaily.com..

A New Jersey man stopped
his Toyota Camry in the
passing lane of a Philadel-
phia highway yesterday and
stripped out of his clothes, on
the side of the road, the Phila-
delphia Daily News reported.
The nude man jogged about a
mile down the highway before
police responded.
Last Wednesday Presi-
dent Barack Obama
announced he would
appoint Gil EKerlikowske as
the nation's new "drug czar."
>FOR MORE, SEE OPINION, PAGE 4
A Canadian health com-
pany has developed a sys-
tem similar to an ATM to
dispense prescription drugs,
the United Press International
reported. The machines will
dispense 340 different kinds
of widely prescribed drugs
and require a pharmacist to
verify the machine's choice.

WHERE: Duderstadt Building
WHEN: Wednesday at about
3:45 p.m.
WHAT: An unattended black
iPod valued at $300 was stolen
from the computer station on
the second floor of the library,
University Police reported.
There are no suspects.

WHERE: Harlan Hatcher
Graduate Library
WHEN: Sunday at about 8:15
p.m.
WHAT: An unattended bag
with a wallet was stolen from
the cubicle area of the library
between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.,
University Police reported.
There are no suspects.

WANT TO WORK FOR DAILY MULTIMEDIA?
E-MAIL DAVAZAD@UMICH.EDU

Obama vows to block
1 $165m in AIG bonuses

a

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President angry over
AIGs "recklessness
and greed"
WASHINGTON (AP) - Joining
a wave of public anger, President
Barack Obama blistered insur-
ance giant AIG for "recklessness
and greed" yesterday and pledged
to try to block it from handing its
executives $165 million in bonus-
es after taking billions in federal
bailout money.
"How do they justify this out-
rage to the taxpayers who are
keeping the company afloat?"
Obama asked. "This isn't just a
matter of dollars and cents. It's
about our fundamental values."
Obama aggressively joined
other officials in criticizing
American International Group,
the company that is fast becom-
ing the poster boy for Americans'
bailout blues even as it protests
that the bonuses were required by
employee contracts.
The bonuses could contribute
to a backlash against Washing-
ton that would make it tougher
for Obama to ask Congress for
more bailout help - and jeopar-
dize other parts of the recovery
agenda that is dominating the
start of his presidency. Thus, the
president and his top aides were
working hard to distance them-
selves from the insurer's conduct,
to contain possible political dam-
age and to try to bolster public
confidence in his administration's
handling of the broader economic
rescue effort.
David Axelrod, senior adviser
to Obama, said in an interview
with The Associated Press that
there was no question that the
bonuses and the public's anger
over them could run many things
off the rail. "People are angry
because they've seen exhibit after
exhibit of irresponsibility and
people walking away with money
in their pockets," he said. "It's
undermined the discussion that
we have to have."
Obama had scheduled a speech
yesterday to announce new help
for recession-pounded small busi-
nesses. But first, he said, he had a
few words to say about AIG. He
lost his voice at one point and ad-
libbed, "Excuse me, I'm choked

up with anger here." It was just
a light aside, but he meant the
sternness of his remarks to come
through.
"This is a corporation that finds
itself in financial distress due to
recklessness and greed," Obama
declared.
He said he had directed Trea-
sury Secretary Timothy Geithner
to "pursue every legal avenue to
block these bonuses and make the
American taxpayer whole."
Later, White House spokesman
Robert Gibbs said the adminis-
tration would modify the terms
of a pending $30 billion bailout
installment for AIG to at least
recoup the $165 million the
bonuses represent. That wouldn't
rescind the bonuses, just require
AIG to account for them differ-
ently.
Axelrod called the bonuses
"spectacularly tone-deaf."
He said the administration
hopedthetoughtalk wouldresultin
voluntary action on the part of AIG
and its bonus recipients, although
that remains an open question. "All
we can do is administer this thing
going forward," he said.
A call to AIG's corporate head-
quarters in New York seeking
comment was not returned imme-
diately late yesterday.
On a separate track, New
York Attorney General Andrew
Cuomo said yesterday he would
issue subpoenas for information
on the bonuses after AIG missed
his deadline for providing details.
Cuomo said his office would
investigate whether the employ-
ees were involved in AIG's near-
collapse and whether the $165
million in bonus payments were
fraudulent under state law.
AIG spokeswoman Christina
Pretto told The Associated Press,
"We are in contact with the attor-
ney general and will of course
respond to his request."
One reason that the AIG bonus
giveaway is such a compelling
story " and a politically troubling
one for Obama if not neutralized
- is that it offers a simple story
line that appears to sum up ways
in which the federal bailouts have
gone awry.
"This is just the kind of issue
that galvanizes public outrage,"
said Paul C. Light, professor of
public service at New York Uni-

versity. "It's always the tangible-
stuff, the things that ordinary
Americans can relate to."
Bailout steps for AIG totaling
over $170 billion since September
have effectively left the federal
government with an 80 percent
stake in the faltering insurance
giant.
Obama's comments came on
the same day a new poll showed
slippage in his approval rating.
The poll by the Pew Research
Center showed it dropped from
64 percent in February to 59 per-
cent this month amid divisions of
opinions over his economic pro-
posals and what the pollsters said
was a growing perception that the
president is listening more to his
party's liberals than to its moder-
ates.
Still, those surveyed. gener-
ally gave the president favorable
marks for doing as much ashe can
to try to fix the economy, and few
blame him for making the econo-
my worse.
Andrew Kohut, Pew's director,
said in an interview that people
are most angry with banks and
companies but there's also "push-
back against Washington gener-
ally. And, of course, the buck stops
with Barack Obama these days."
Obama's sharp words contin-
ued an insistent administration
drumbeat over the past few days
designed to pressure the bonus
recipients to forgo them. Thus far,
American International Group
officials have refused to rescind
the payments.
In a letter to Geithner over
the weekend, the government-
appointed chief executive of AIG,
Edward Liddy, said the bonuses
were legally binding obligations
and the firm's "hands are tied."
Still, pressure was building on
that issue - and on the government
to rework ith AIG bailout to make
sure the company repays as much
of the $170 billion as possible.
So far, the company has been
honoring its contracts with U.S.
and foreign banks, paying out
more than $90 billion in econom-
ic bailout funds to big banks and
others. The government agreed
to uphold those contracts when it
seized control of AIG in Septem-
ber, contendingthat failure would
bring even worse global economic
problems.

J

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