Thursday, September 25, 2008

A quick roundup of this afternoons news:

I listen to the news, I have violent reactions...its just been one of those weeks. Today's crop:
--- what seems to be the problem? ---
After listening to NPR try to explain exactly what IS the problem Bernanke and Paulson want us to be in a panic over....I paraphrase but lets see if I got it at all right:
All liquidity was based on confidence of repayment, not actual deposits. And not just for a few mortgage issuers but the entire system. So, its supposedly not the beach-house-in-the-Hamptons, $20 million severance package, Armani clad class from wall street we are saving, or their firms but rather the quantity of cash in the money pool that can be lent/spent to found, expand or just run businesses. In plainer English, we are to swallow the claim that to save our own jobs, we have to save the CEOs and CFOs and the bundlers of moldy mortgages.
I have to ask: if that is how fragile the US financial machinery really is, why on earth did the Bush money mavens leave it so exposed to default? Why did they administer what is in a sense a confidence game in a way that made it so easy for a little greed to undermine a lot of confidence? I read commentary saying Paulsen is no where near as dumb as his boss...but that ain't saying much.

--- republicanism going down in frames ---
Where is Rove when they need him the most? Lakoff pointed, for years, to the way the neoconservatives always got the drop on their opponents, the middle class, by staking out the high ground in the framing of issues in the early rounds. Boy has framing discipline gone to hell in the Bush league! The mess in the markets and the dire measures Paulson and Bernanke offer to clean it up are almost universally referred to in the news stories I hear as some variation of a discussion about how taxpayers are going to bail out billionaires and brokers on wall doesn't matter what answer you come up with if that is the question! McSame can't put enough distance between himself and Bush Buck Bailout Boys if this is the setup. [not saying it shouldn't be the setup, just noting how the chickens have come home to roost for republicans]

--- if he were executive material, he'd have executive class excuses ---
And speaking of McCain's inability to distance himself from Washington, why, at 3pm on Thursday is his campaign saying the debate is still on hold until there is a bailout deal [as if captain crash had anything to do with that!] when as of Wednesday afternoon, Barney Frank...who is calling the shots more than McCain, said the compromises overturning the worst of the P&B bailout's anti-middle class and pro-corporation giveaways were nearly complete? Implicit in that timing is a serious question about McCain's ability to process information or his sincerity in the excuse he gives for postponing the debate: How come mere me out here in the internet boonies knew yesterday the deal would be done and McCain, a senator and presidential candidate with oodles of staffers is STILL claiming he isn't really sure if there is a deal.
What does McCain know that I don't know? He knows the Republicans are going to, or at least he is going to scuttle the agreement...why should Barney Frank get any credit?

--- if not a manufactured crisis, one harvested when ripe ---
I want to point to a modest little post in a diary over at Agonist because it puts facts to a suspicion I find obvious and disturbing: Paulson, Bush and Bernanke have given congress an ultimatum and said there was no time to ponder and yet, they have been drafting their ransom note for months! This makes the power grab accusations more plausible. hat tip to Agonist diarist LeePenn

--- so who ARE the 43% that polls claim favor Capt. Crash ---
People who didn't like Bush, don't like McCain. That should leave McCain at the 30% level. And they think the only way McCain can say something about the economy [or health care or social security, for that matter] that will gain him some favor among voters is to imitate Bush's positions on those issues. But he is imitating Obama's slogans. If Obama can't get a copyright on the words "Change" or "Hope", McCain can certainly dilute their political worth by appropriation and misuse. On the other side of the spectrum McCain has not been able to nail down the votes of racist and religious bigots among America's peasantry or the "no regulation" fundamentalists among America's most greedy Republicans. The unappealing history of his varying positions on abortion/choice are only partly repaired by his choice of bare-knuckles Palin. His moment in the sunshine for having once tried to legislate the lobbyists out of their powerful and often corrupt jobs long since completely eclipsed by his well publicized embrace of lobbyists as advisers and campaign managers, there is nothing left of his record: at 14% behind on polls asking about economic competence, he is regarded at home and abroad as a nincompoop on the economy.

What is left? What has he done repeatedly in his career with some form of success? He's crashed airplanes and lived to tell about it is all I can find. That is why I call him Capt. Crash. Keep him away from the capital lest some horrendous accident might allow him to act out his delusions of being able to pilot our nation.

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