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Editorial: Grassley has right to be angry

Sen. Charles Grassley had strong words for AIG executives Monday -- probably a little too strong, but we can appreciate his anger.

The Republican lawmaker backed off Tuesday morning from what he said the previous day to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, radio station WMT, the Associated Press reported.

"I suggest, you know, obviously, maybe they ought to be removed," Grassley said Monday. "But I would suggest the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide. And in the case of the Japanese, they usually commit suicide before they make any apology."

Grassley's remarks were both inaccurate and poorly chosen, but we believe in what his spokesman, Casey Mills, said his point was -- to aggressively chide those, such as AIG executives, "who accept tax dollars and spend them on travel and bonuses," the AP stated.

Grassley said Tuesday that he "obviously" doesn't want people to commit suicide, but that Americans "have not had statements of apology, statements of remorse" from CEOs of manufacturing companies or banks. He also stressed that Americans should "start demanding more responsibility" from its corporate executives.

Those both are excellent points, and -- even better -- each left suicide out of the equation.