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Late Night: A Poetic Respite

It’s been a long hard slog through this long presidential election cycle. The primaries were exciting. It was so much fun watching Hillary beat the pants off Barack in the debates. But now that Hillary has been banished to the Senate cloakroom or sent out to the territories to try to convince bitter, gun-toting working people to vote for The Anointed One, the election seems interminably dull. Thank goodness it will be over soon.

Tonight, to break the monotony of the campaign, and to soothe those Conflucians whose nerves are frazzled by the precarious state of our financial system, we have a snarky poem by regular commenter John in CA that reviews the what we’ve all been through in the past many months.

Epic Madness: Story of the 2008 Election
by John in CA

Back in time, over two hundred years,
By documents which a nation reveres,
A more perfect union’s foundations were laid
By which we once a Republic were made.

Lest all the power be seized by the one,
A rigorous separation was done,
So that three branches all power would share,
And no man to seize the totality dare.

Our founding fathers, though it’s little discussed,
For popular vote had exiguous trust,
Lest a democracy mob rule denote,
Instead, they ordained the electoral vote.

Securely in history, then, you will trace
This madness of the quadrennial race,
Hardly new were the campaigning or strife,
Only the actors were larger than life.

A senator has clearly established her fame,
When she’s known sufficiently by her first name,
One named Hillary let the gambit begin,
Announcing that she was in it to win.

From Chicago her chief competition emerged,
Whose popularity had recently surged,
With fanfare announced was his candidacy,
Though he spoke from Springfield, no Lincoln was he.

Opposing them, an old warrior with scars,
Who had been tortured for the Stripes and the Stars,
A maverick known to all parties was he,
Though few thought the final triumph he’d see.

The toast of the big town, America’s mayor,
Not long took his candidacy to declare,
He seemed to have vanished some time in the fall,
One wondered if he’d been campaigning at all.

The governor of Massachusetts declared
Himself in the race but unevenly fared,
With much money spent and few primaries won,
He exited promptly– like father, like son.

By custom, Iowa winnowed the field,
A folksy Arkansan the victory sealed,
But when other victories he could not secure,
Naught but his own loss he’d proved to ensure.

The maverick senator prevailed after all,
His party’s standard he’d carry this fall,
The other side still had no nominee,
Barry or Hillary– who would it be?

In caucus and primary, victory they sought,
In epic manner the battles were fought,
When Barry’s soldiers overpowered their foes,
Hillary’s quest was doomed to its last throes.

So Barry emerged on top in the race,
His party’s majority gave him the embrace,
A gun to a knife fight he said he’d bring,
Like Virgil, “of arms and the man” must we sing?

The voters, to whom the definitive voice
By tradition belongs, now establish their choice,
Their country’s fate in the balance now hangs,
Of anguish, patriots groan in their pangs.

The poet, perhaps, but an idler seems,
Of goodness and beauty abstractly he dreams,
And as the heart moved him, so did he relate
The epic campaign of two thousand and eight.

Quadrennial madness now having braved,
Naught but his country’s salvation he craved,
And howbeit seekers of office behaved,
Heaven he prays that the Republic be saved.

Thank you so much for sharing your poem with us, John.

This is an open thread.

Conflucians Say: Would you buy a used car from this man?

Heidi Li has the latest ad from Democrats for Principle before Party up.  And now that I think about it, I do see a certain resemblance:

Naaahhhh, Tricky Dick was a crook, not a used car salesman.  I think Heidi must be thinking of this guy:

His teeth!  Bright light!  Bright Light!!

Heidi could use a little help getting this ad on the air.  You can make a donation to The Denver Group here.

And what else happened today, boys and girls?  Did you read about what Hillary said about the bailout?  Have you called your congresscritter or did the fall in the Dow leave you shaky?  And why are the banks being so greeeedy?  Why isn’t the obscene wealth they already have enough?  Does it have anything to do with drowning in a bathtub?  Check in with Conflucians Say tonight at 10PM EST on PUMA United Radio and we’ll shine a light on it.

The REAL Story of the Financial Crisis: A Play in One Dishonest Act.

(Happy New Year to all you Joooz out there! May it bring health, happiness and the strength to make it through the tough times ahead.)

Trust Me!

Trust Me!

SCENE I: The Oval Office. GEORGE W. BUSH is sitting behind his desk, staring at the ceiling, bored. There are two chairs on either side of his desk; one is a wing chair, and one is a chair that swivels. The back of that chair is facing the audience; light snoring issues forth from it, but we cannot see who occupies it.

BUSH is waiting for HENRY PAULSON, his Secretary of the Treasury, to come in and tell him what to do about the credit crisis. He amuses himself by spinning in circles in his leather executive chair.

A knock is heard at the door.

BUSH: Come in, Paulie! (continues spinning around in his chair)

PAULSON (entering with a smile): Mr. President!

BUSH (stopping the spinning to look at PAULSON): Geez, Paulie, am I glad to see you! (Tries to get up from the chair to shake PAULSON’s hand, staggers and puts his hand on the desk to recover)

PAULSON (indulgently): Now, George, I’ve warned you about spinning in that chair – it always makes you dizzy!

BUSH (petulantly): Then they shouldn’t make it so much fun! (refocusing, gesturing for PAULSON to sit down) Anyway, Paulie, what’s goin’ on in this here economy?

PAULSON (sitting in the wing chair beside BUSH’s desk): Mr. President, we’re in a heckuva mess, I tell you. The credit market is completely frozen. No one will lend businesses money so that they can continue, well, doing business. It’s all because of that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae stuff. They went a little crazy with those subprime mortgages.

Continue reading

Tuesday: Nancy and Barack- Perfect together!

Way to go, Nancy!  Not only have you participated in constructing a bailout bill that Treasury and the companies affected privately admit has no punitive elements they can’t wiggle around and screw the taxpayers, but you have failed to get your ducks in a row to pass it.  And the Republicans have very carefully maneuvered you into a corner: Congresspersons are putting their seats at risk if they vote for this turkey.

But Obama is hardly off the hook.  Last week, just before he was called back to Washington, he decalred that he expected to he back on the campaign trail by Thursday:

“If we get consensus and everybody is popping champagne, then I’ll probably go back to campaign with folks who are having a tough time in Ohio and Michigan,” Mr. Obama said. “If this ends up being a close vote or a vote where the outcome is at all in question, then obviously this is a top priority.”

So, Obama conveeeeeniently skirts another politically expensive vote on the measure, consistent with his habit in the past to avoid them.  BUT, it seems Ok with him to plunk $700 billion in front of Wall Street, presumably so he can scream in outrage against it after the deed is done.  Or does he make it a priority and acting like it is an emergency, he votes for it?  Either way, he behaves like he is completely detached from the whole thing.  Not his problem.  It’s Congress’:

When Obama, the party’s new leader, learned of the plan’s rejection, he spoke about Washington almost as if he weren’t a member of Congress.

“Democrats and Republicans in Washington have a responsibility to make sure that an emergency rescue package is put forward that can at least stop the immediate problems we have so we can begin to plan for the future,” he said.

He didn’t say how he might lead or what role he’d play. “Step up to the plate,” he told Congress. “Get it done.

Neither Pelosi or Obama have shown any gift for leadership in this mess.  Both are very anxious to get this financial bailout out of the way.  They don’t seem to be particularly concerned for the fate of the homeowner tied to a predatory loan and on the verge of losing everything.  They’re not vexxed by the idea that the Treasury will be depleted by this move, that taxpayer money will be given to greedy, incompetant Wall Street executives for not much in return.  It’s all Kabuki to them.  Ehhh, so what if there’s no money left to enact new programs for health care and education.  It’s actually *worse* than that.  Obama still plans on a tax cut for middle class families, like that will ever happen if this deal is ever approved. The US Government will be flat broke. But the obscene amount of money involved in the bailout never gave him pause; it was only the terms, which we now know the companies involved considered no great burden.

No, what we have here is some kind of plan to give Wall Street exactly what it wanted.  Nancy and Barack were in on it.  Neither one of them found the money number so outrageous that they couldn’t resign themselves to forking it over.  Neither one fought very hard for protections for the homeowners or taxpayers.  It was going to be a gift from the Democrats to Wall Street.  And neither seemed very concerned that this bill would be incredibly unpopular or that it would put downticket Democrats at risk of losing their seats.

But what do we expect from these two?  Pelosi created Barack Obama. She threw all her support behind him, gave him her coalitions, helped whip superdelegates and delegates into his corner for the nomination.  She calls the shots, he follows her lead.  He had nothing to say during the summit last week at the White House and couldn’t wait to bolt DC as soon as it was over.  The future leader of the free world is not losing sleep over it.  It’s not his problem.  Nancy will take care of it.

Heidi Li has more in The Pelosi-Obama Style – Not so much the rage at the moment

Money Quote


If you think the Big Shitpile is a reason we need to elect Obama, think again: 

OBAMA: Well, I think there are a whole host of areas where Republicans in some cases may have a better idea.

WALLACE: Such as?

OBAMA: Well, on issues of regulation. I think that back in the ’60s and ’70s a lot of the way we regulated industry was top-down command and control, we’re going to tell businesses exactly how to do things.

And you know, I think that the Republican Party and people who thought about the markets came up with the notion that, “You know what? If you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives, for businesses — let them figure out how they’re going to, for example, reduce pollution,” and a cap and trade system, for example is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient. (4-28-08)

Can we have Hillary back now?

(h/t Makana44)


At a campaign rally Monday, September 29, in Denver, Colorado, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama once again charged his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, with being a supporter of deregulating financial markets that have since collapsed. “He’s fought against common-sense regulations for decades … and he said in a recent interview that he thought deregulation has actually helped grow our economy. Senator, what economy are you talking about?” Obama said.

BTW – Obama lied