MEANWHILE, IN THE GAMMA QUADRANT….Really, they have no shame. Lee Raymond, the CEO of Exxon, recently received a retirement payout estimated by experts at $4.3 kazillion, and here’s what Dennis Hastert’s spokesbot had to say about it:

“The speaker is very concerned about compensation packages given to executives like Raymond at a time when families are facing choices between putting food on the table and filling their car with gasoline,” [Ron] Bonjean said. “We met with Exxon Mobil and several companies last fall, and it seems that the message hasn’t gotten through.”

….”Having a profit is good. We believe in that as Republicans,” Bonjean said. “But when you’re making this kind of money and American families are being affected, there should be appropriate things done to bring prices down. We’re going to be asking them again: What are they doing with their enormous profits?”

Yes indeedy. The Republican party is now deeply concerned about corporate executives making unseemly amounts of money. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Next up: Tom DeLay criticizes corporate lobbyists for spending so much money entertaining members of Congress.

UPDATE: In case you’re interested ? and why wouldn’t you be? ? Exxon Mobil was the largest campaign contributor in the Oil & Gas sector during the 2004 election cycle. 89% of their contributions went to Republicans. I think we can safely expect Speaker Hastert’s bark to be considerably more menacing than his bite.

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