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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.

BUSH: Jeez, was that what McCain was babbling about in 2006? I thought he was havin’ a senior moment!

(PAULSON and BUSH chuckle manfully)

BUSH: Anywho, what should we do about it?

PAULSON: Well, some are calling it a crisis, but I call it an opportunity. This is the chance we were waiting for – the chance to give your friends one last big check before you leave office and take refuge in, um, I mean, retire to Paraguay!

BUSH: Yeah. Say, did I tell about how great that place is? So much prettier than that goddamn dusty ranch in Texas. We’re talkin’ green, green mountains and –

PAULSON (interrupting): Yes, Mr. President, and it sounds absolutely wonderful! But if we could focus on this great opportunity now?

BUSH (magnanimously): Sure, sure. Tell me more, Paulie.

PAULSON (getting up and pacing): Mr. President, when you got Congress to pass the AUMF, the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act; when you got them to approve retroactive immunity for your warrantless wiretapping program; when you were able to keep the war budget off the books each and every year; what did all those things have in common?

BUSH (smiling): I kicked some ass, Texas-style! I punished the evildoers and killed the man who tried to kill my daddy! And, of course, I made those idiot Democrats look like a bunch of wusses.

PAULSON: Absolutely true, Mr. President! But what else?

CHENEY (turning around in the swivel chair, where he has been napping) We expanded executive power and made our friends very, very rich.

PAULSON (surprised): Mr. Vice President! I didn’t know you were here. Great to see you! (strides over to shake CHENEY’s hand)

PAULSON (sotto voce to BUSH at the desk): I didn’t see his translator on your desk – I assumed he wasn’t coming to this meeting!

BUSH (sotto voce): Yeah, well, that thing kept malfunctioning. So, we had the inventors make it smaller and install it with his latest Pacemaker. Works like a charm! Heh-heh.

PAULSON (back in his wing chair): Yes, well, Mr. Vice President, you are exactly right. And I figure, you scared the Congress into doing what you want all those other times – why not do it again?

CHENEY (snarl-grinning): I like the way you think, young man. Please continue.

PAULSON (with confidence): Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to panic the American people and Wall Street. The stock market will go crazy! Then, we’ll tell Congress their ONLY ALTERNATIVE is to buy out those bad mortgages from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And, we’ll also tell them that they have to do it NOW because otherwise, the entire economy will be destroyed!

BUSH: Heh. So, we’ll scare ’em and rush ’em. I love it! But when’s the part where me and all my friends get richer and more powerful?

CHENEY: Henry means to tell Congress to entrust him, and him alone, with this bailout. No oversight, all the power he needs to, shall we say, “fix” the mess? And of course, all of our friends will keep their hard-earned golden parachutes and comfortable lifestyles. Isn’t that right, Henry? (looks impishly at PAULSON)

PAULSON (admiringly): Got it in one, Mr. Vice-President! My proposal is only three pages long. It’s got more holes than your Van Halen t-shirt from 1985! If we get this passed through Congress, there won’t be any penalties whatsoever for all the folks who drove their companies into the ground with predatory lending practices and loan bundlings. It will be awesome – we’ll get the taxpayers to bail out the people who tricked them into buying mortgages they couldn’t afford!

(ALL sit in stunned, happy silence at the brilliance of PAULSON’s scheme. BUSH grins and walks over to PAULSON, who stands.)

BUSH (clapping PAULSON on the shoulder): Well, Paulie, you’ve really outdone yourself this time. Congratulations. I say, go for it! Go talk to Congress and see if we can get this thing through. What do you think, Dick?

(CHENEY has fallen asleep and is snoring again.)

BUSH: Well, heh-heh, anywho, go to it and report back to me when you’re done.

PAULSON (happily): Yessir, Mr. President, sir!


SCENE TWO: The Oval Office, the next day. BUSH is spinning in his chair, and CHENEY is snoring in his swivel chair.

A knock is heard at the door.

BUSH (stops spinning): Come in, Paulie!

(PAULSON enters, looking stunned.)

BUSH: What’s the matter, Paulie? They didn’t go for it?

PAULSON: Um, I’d say that’s an understatement, Mr. President. The Republicans hated it. The Democrats threw a bunch of crap in there, then still voted against it. And Americans, well, they don’t know what to think.

BUSH: Well, SHIT. What do we do now?

PAULSON: Mr. President, I have no idea.

CHENEY (waking briefly): Oh, for Pete’s sake, you morons! Just take a couple of days off for the Jewish holidays, then come back with the same plan. The Democrats will cave eventually. They always do.

PAULSON (in awe): Wow, Mr. Vice President, you are absolutely right! Don’t you think, Mr. President?

BUSH: Well, hell yes! Dick, you’ve done it again. They are just putting on a show. As soon as they know we’re serious, they’ll fold like a cheap tent. It’s what they do.

CHENEY: And kickin’ ass is what we do. Right, gentlemen?

(ALL THREE chuckle manfully.)


229 Responses

  1. Spot on.

    You know, MadamaB, I don’t even think this is satire anymore. Are you sure you don’t have a bug in the Oval Office?

    Either way, almost too true to be funny.

  2. I somehow can’t laugh this time…:-(

  3. madamab: Fantastic! I am so addicted to these plays now that I am always champing at the bit for more, more, more. Of course, in all honesty, they have given you such a rich treasure of ideas that it makes it that much easier.

    I swear, you are an operative since you capture so well the conversations and settings. Love it as usual!

  4. Little do you all know that I have a secret life. I am known as the Jewish Mata Hari! That avatar is not me, but a carefully crafted amalgam of Julia-Louis Dreyfus and Juliana Margulies! Mwahahahahaha!

  5. The most amazing part of this blog is that by throwing ideas back and forth we manage to cut through somehow and find the answers. In less than 24 incredible hours we were able to finally put all the pieces together and I think we are as close to the truth as there is.

    This is what makes this blog so, so special. Ideas, conversations, theories, all coalesce around a viable outcome.

    No blinders here!

  6. oh madamab, you never disappoint us! But that photo of Shrub really gives me the willies. Ick ick ick

  7. madamab: Don’t disappoint us and tell us you are really Jackie Mason.

  8. cal, That picture is a picture of his inner being. That is how I imagine he really is.

  9. Bush, the GOP’s answer to Fredo Corleone.

  10. New video ad by The Denver Group:


  11. PJ – Nonsense. I am a lot taller.

  12. madamab: lol

  13. PJ – Seriously, I saw him on the street. He is almost a little person!


    Atypical – nice ad! Thanks for linking!

  14. I just posted this in the last thread, but I think the holiday may have caused more harm to the plan, than good. People were waiting for the sky to fall and it didn’t. The market is coming back up and no one (so far) has jumped out of any windows. People are really asking now, just why the hell we needed it. Now I know, some here scream that we just have to have the bailout, but I am not so sure madama’s play is pure fiction.

  15. important

    I just got an email from:


    with ‘HELP HILLARY NOW” in the subject box.

    I think it’s a scam.

    Anyone else see this?

  16. catarina: I would ignore it. Just another piece of spam.

  17. madamab — I’m constantly amazed how you are able to capture the essence of the situation in such an entertaining way. Brava!

  18. The caption of that picture of Bush should read:

    “Thanks to those damned Dems, I am leaving office with more money then when I came in. Is this a wonderful life or what?”

  19. If nobody has jumped out of any windows yet, let’s send Capt. Spaulding to give them a hand.

  20. myiq: If Capt Spaulding has no plans for New Year’s could I possibly borrow him for a few hours? He is beginning to grow on me.

  21. PJ – Has Carol kept Ed for too long? Seems like Capt Spaulding would be a poor substitute.

  22. Madamab:

    Ever seen the size of a clown’s shoes?

  23. PJ – Bush is certain of his own rightness at all times. He sleeps like a baby despite all his many crimes against our country.

  24. He cries and wets the bed?

  25. myiq – LOL!

    Not taking that one any further…

  26. …but yes, I can see Bush crying and wetting the bed while he sleeps. Pathetic, no?

  27. Well the market is better today but the loses still hold in my accounts. 😦

  28. madamab, would you be so kind as to de-spam me?

  29. I am having the same problem…it is on all wordpress sites? What’s up?

  30. MadameAb: Another Tony Award.

  31. Another great play madamab – thank you!

  32. House of Representatives’ Web site overwhelmed
    WASHINGTON (CNN) — The servers hosting the Web sites of the House of Representatives and its members have been overwhelmed with millions of e-mails in the past few days, forcing administrators to implement the “digital version of a traffic cop” to handle the overload — for the first time ever.

  33. Politico quotes Clyburn as saying he hadn’t started whipping yet because the speaker of the House didn’t ask him to and he “does what he’s told”…

    Along those lines:

    American Spectator
    Washington Prowler
    Democrat Leaders Played to Lose
    By The Prowler
    Published 9/30/2008 12:50:21 AM
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered her Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn, to essentially not do his job in the runup to the vote on Monday for the negotiated Wall Street bailout plan, according to House Democrat leadership aides.

    “Clyburn was not whipping the votes you would have expected him to, in part because he was uncomfortable doing it, in part because we didn’t want the push for votes to be successful,” says one leadership aide. “All we needed was enough to potentially get us over the finish line, but we wanted the Republicans to be the ones to do it. This was not going to be a Democrat-passed bill if the Speaker had anything to say about it.”

    During the floor vote, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and House Democrat Conference chair Rahm Emanuel could be seen monitoring the vote on the floor, and gauging whether or not more Democrat votes were needed. Clyburn had expressed concerns, says the leadership aide, of being asked to press members of the Black and Hispanic caucuses on a bill he was certain those constituencies would not want passed.

    “It worked out, because we didn’t have a dog in this fight. We negotiated. We gave the White House a bill. It was up to the Republicans to get the 100 plus votes they needed and they couldn’t do it,” said another Democrat leadership aide.

    Emanuel, who served as a board member for Freddie Mac, one of the agencies that precipitated the economic crisis the nation now finds itself in, had no misgivings about taking a leadership role in tanking the bill. “He was cheerleading us along, mothering the votes,” says the aide. “We wanted enough to put the pressure on the Republicans and Congressman Emanuel was charged with making it close enough. He did a great job.”

    Pelosi and her aides have made it clear they were not going to “whip” or twist the arms of members who did not want to vote, but they also made no effort to rally any support for a bill they attempted to hijack over the weekend.

    Further, according to House Oversight Committee staff, Emanuel has received assurances from Pelosi that she will not allow what he termed a “witch hunt” to take place during the next Congressional session over the role Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in the economic crisis.

    Emanuel apparently is concerned the roles former Clinton Administration members may have played in the mortgage industry collapse could be politically — or worse, if the Department of Justice had its way, legally — treacherous for many.

    My NOTE: Rahm is from the Chicago Machine. Isn’t it telling that Pelosi won’t punish those on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who were complicit in the crisis?

    Mass Lib: sorry but this finished it for me re: democratic party. It’s a cover for their greed. This makes me recoil.

  34. Here’s one I got by email, so unfortunately I cannot source it, but assume it is making the rounds. This is a package I can really get on board with:

    Dear Wall Street,

    Hi, we are The Taxpayers, Debtors, and Insured People of the United States. Now that we’ve rejected the first bailout plan, I’m sure that in the spirit of tough, free market capitalism, and spirited negotiations, you’ll consider our second offer. Here are some terms that I’m SURE you will find reasonable:

    1) We are willing to loan you money at a very low, introductory rate of 8.9%. If you are even one nanosecond late on your payment, your rate will go from 8.9% to 32.9% instantly. You will have no right to appeal this. The interest rate increase will be retroactive. None of this “but I mailed it out Friday” nonsense. We must get it, and the check must clear, for your payment to count. A reminder: transactions that occur after 2pm are not credited until the next business day, so be sure to make your payments before then.

    2) If you are late on any of your other payments to your other creditors, your rate will also be spiked to 32.9%. I know it has nothing to do with us, but if you are late paying someone else, then OBVIOUSLY you are a bigger credit risk to us.

    3) We will send you onerous terms and conditions 148,000,000 pages long in 6 point font. Of course, those terms can change on a whim, at any time, so we’ll be sending you hourly updates to the contract, which we expect you to read and keep up with. Sorry, we will be the only ones that can amend the contract; you cannot.

    4) You will have a predetermined credit line, and if you go over it by even $1, your interest rate will spike to 54.9%. Sorry, it’s in the contract on page 109,209,392.

    5) The bankruptcy laws have now changed. If you get into a bind, I’m afraid you won’t find much sympathy; no more silly excuses will be accepted. We are going to have the titles to all of your buildings and physical assets put in our name, so when the inevitable time comes and you trip up, we’ll simply take everything from you. There will be no court hearing.

    6) We’ll be conducting a background check, driving records check, drug test, and disease risk check of all of the top executives of your firm. After all, you’re a riskier loan if you have any of those afflictions, aren’t you? Well, if we find ANYTHING wrong, your interest rate will skyrocket, instantly, and without notice.

    7) If your business is located in a “bad neighborhood”, or a “poor city”, or a “hurricane zone”, or “flood plane”, or “terrorist targeted city”, as defined by us, we can raise your interest rates at any time, to any rate we choose.

    For the last quarter century or so, you’ve imposed these terms, or some variation of them on us, when loaning us money or insuring us… arguing every single time that it’s “necessary” and that these sorts of changes “will result in more profitable companies that will pass the savings along to consumers”. Well, now that we’re in the role of lender, and you’re in the role of borrower, we’re sure that you’ll find these same terms fair.

    Best regards,


  35. It’s started. Obambam, on the stump in Nevada has reportedly said”

    “To the Democrats and Republicans who opposed this plan yesterday, I say: Step up to the plate and do what’s right for this country,” he said. “And to all Americans, I say this: If I am president of the United States, this rescue plan will not be the end of what we do to strengthen this economy. It will only be the beginning.”

  36. Ok, yeah, but first, I do think Freddie and Fanny need regulation. Frankly, they should be completely public, not quasi-private. But, I mean, I do think there should be some path to low income home purchase. Look, the Dem establishment are a bunch of toothless hags, but they still beat the republican party.

  37. Bravo perries! Seems like a fair plan to me. Karma is a b*tch, is she not?

  38. “Looking for Integrity”
    Thanks for your entry.
    Yesterday I said Rahm Emanuel is like the Tom Delay of the democratic party. He’s always behind the scenes “pulling the strings”. I didn’t get many on this site to agree with me. After reading your piece, my opinion remains the same.

  39. He’s swooping in to solve the crisis that this buddies in the Black Caucus among other odd bedfellows helped the Dems to set in place.


    Obama’s Teleprompter goes on strike:

  41. Karma is only a bitch if you don’t treat her right

  42. Brilliant, madamab!

  43. Pale Lion – Haven’t they (Obama and co.) noticed that all the people calling in are demanding No Bailout or No-Bailout-as-presented-in-the-current-bill? Oh er, perhaps he was speaking to a Wall St. audience of contributors and bundlers to his campaign?

    Heh, I liked that one too kenoshaMarge. If only, eh?

  44. Madamab…

    Wonderful as always [[[[ clapping energetically ]]]]

  45. So, Fancy Nancy was up to her neck in this bailout failure. How come I do not doubt that? Why would we ever think that she might just put her relentless grasp for power aside to kind of do the right thing and get us out of this mess before we lose the farm.
    Weeeell. NO. At first I thought that Pelosi just dropped the proverbial ball but I have come around to see that she (they) did it on purpose. We sort of have to grow up now and face the world without the Democratic Party at our backs. They are too busy stabbing us in the back. The Democratic party that we knew is gone. Gone like a freight train. Gone like yesterday. They truly area just another bunch of scoundrels. I would not give them the time of day let alone my vote.

  46. perries, I LOVE the email! I’ll be sending that one around.

  47. I agree Kateliz. I wouldn’t hang out with these yutzes under any circumstances, nor let anyone I care about associate with them. They are the proverbial Bad News.

    Got to make tracks. Have a great evening and thanks from this mostly-reader for the company and good fellowship.

  48. I agree Kateliz. I wouldn’t hang out with these yutzes under any circumstances, nor let anyone I care about associate with them. They are the proverbial Bad News.

    Got to make tracks. Have a great evening and thanks from this mostly-reader for the company and good fellowship.

  49. Well, we all know that the old “good for the country” argument will eventually mean some sort of stop gap bill, the voters be damned. And of course, Barky will take credit for it (right before AND after he votes present).

  50. Mazel Tov to you MadamaB & to all Conflucians! May this New Year be a happy, safe, healthy and prosperous one for all! (especially the “prosperous part” after all this bailout mess.)

    I’m just getting back from the work gig and unfortunately, it’s moved off-site, so I can’t work from home anymore.

    Now gotta run out for an hour to run an errand, but I’ll be back. LOVE THIS PLAY!

  51. I agree with Charles. Further, I agree with Hillary. She said this was coming down the pike two years ago.

  52. charles can you explain then, why nobody saw this coming? I mean it is a little hard to believe anybody on this issue no matter what your pedigree. we were hearing yesterday that the dow fell almost 7% and that was 10 years down the tubes. then it rebounded over half that today, so what, we’re now at 3 years? Berating people because they’re not panicking at the level you think appropriate isn’t very productive imo

  53. OT, but just had to report this:

    I just received my California sample ballot in the mail today, and I immediately opened it to the first page. For President, the order of choices is VERY interesting.

    John McCain and Sarah Palin are AT the TOP. Barky and Biden are buried down toward the bottom, sandwiched between Nader and Barr. And…for those who are somewhat visually challenged, it might be easy to miss the Barky box and check Nader above or Barr below…remember the butterfly ballots in FLA?? These names and boxes are very scrunched together.
    I’m surprised the Dems are not listed toward the top.
    ROFL. I hope some people “miss the box”! Here is the order:

  54. gary, the market is reacting to news that something will be done. That’s a separate issue than the credit crunch. Banks unwilling or unable to loan to other banks is what is causing the crunch and it’s happening already.

  55. Charles,

    I think that was an needlessly nasty and condescending post. I am merely trying to lighten the mood a little. I am not trying to be a financial expert.Furthermore, I do not see how anything I wrote denigrates trhe seriousness of this issue. I think the bill will probably pass in its current form in any case.

  56. Charles, please give us real-life examples of where credit has dried up for innocent stake-holders (or has prohibited U.S. businesses outside of the financial industry from operating how they should) rather than just saying, “Trust me, the sky is falling!”

    Company names and examples. We won’t deny there is a problem if you give us the evidence. So far, no one has proffered *any* evidence to the public. Hence the public reaction.

    I see a lot of hand-waving saying the availability of credit is bad, but the so-called credit problems haven’t affected *any* business I know of outside the financial industry itself (which has been acting recklessly with other peoples’ money for their own sordid gain, thus credit of those players *should* be drying up)

  57. Charles, I am not quite sure where you are coming from but these playlets are done as parody first and foremost and are posted entirely for our enjoyment. No one is disputing the facts, many here are not quite as well versed as yourself in the ins and outs of finance however, that being said, to attempt to put down someone else whose only attempt is to see the humor in what we otherwise well know is the dark side to this issue is totally offbase.

    madamab is gifted. She “plays” to her audience. She injects a much needed dose of humor into her plays, plays that she takes time to compose. Do we understand everything from your perspective? Hardly. None of us here would even dare to attempt to lay challenge to your brilliant work.

    But you must come to see this playlet for what it is. A welcome release to all the doom and gloom. The blame can be spread far and wide for this travesty but let us not forget that humor can provide the balm for otherwise very trying and frightening times.

    We all accept that we are in for some uncertain times but without expression we are trapped within ourselves. A relief in any form should be viewed as just that.

  58. I agree 100% with Charles. I understand it is fun to express your views, however, if you are not entirely sure how financial/capital markets work, I would first read up on these issues before demanding how it may be fixed. While this may sound harsh, most of us who have an understanding of the financial system are serioulsy worried as we could be facing an economic meltdown.

    This is like being at a beach and seeing a tsunami coming and joking that it is actually not as big as some people make it out to be. Well, we can discuss this later, we better move fof the beach!

    What I would like to add to Charles conmment is that this is not only a national but an international problem. Various gov’tsaround the globe have already stepped in and saved their banks. So it is time that the US snaps out of its self-absorbtion and views the bigger picture.

    Who do you think owns all the equity and debt of these banks? Rich individuals? Maybe some, but often it is the big investment funds which manage savings and pensions of (surprise, surprise) the main street. If this is not getting fixed the biggest loser will be anyway main street.

    So, stop listening to the politician which try to turn this into a Wall vs Main Street thing as Nov4 is just around the corner – they just take you for a ride. There are no alternatives and the key to the packag is speed. The US leadership (across all parties) looks like boy scouts on this – maybe above their pay grade??

  59. vivienne westwood: Let me reiterate, no one here is making light of anything substantial. There are degrees of panic and perhaps we all do not respond in the same way but a little jolt of humor should not be denigrated since we need some of that along with an open perspective.

    We have been lied to, misled, mismanaged, misdirected. There is not a voice out there any longer that any of us completely trust. Please do not lose sight of the fact that a sense of humor is a much needed and healthy commodity to exercise. And it comes without a pricetag or a stamped by special interests.

  60. Charles, please explain how it helps the average American to rescue all the banks when the “rescued banks” will not lend money — because that is what will happen — we will throw 700 billion at the banks and end up with banks that still do not lend — exactly what happened in Japan in the 90s.

  61. “garychapelhill, on September 30th, 2008 at 6:41 pm Said: charles can you explain then, why nobody saw this coming?”

  62. After reading the post by Charles, why, oh why, did Pelosi play such deadly politics with our country’s well-being and that of its citizens? Can someone please explain that to me?

  63. well then we’re a stupid fucking nation….we see evidence of WMD where there are none, then we don’t see years of lack of oversight of freddie and fannie. now the same people that made both of those mistakes is saying “c’mon, trust me”…..Idiocracy here we come!!!

  64. you use water for more than just toilets….

  65. This current crisis has been brewing for a few years yet everyone was taken by surprise. This is something like fixing the dikes moments before the storms, that make yearly visits to the same areas, hit the coast. Stupid.

  66. I guess we are not considered “serious enough” if we don’t sit around proclaiming gloom and doom and the end of the world as we know it as we post. Jeebus, if I could not afford to laugh every once in awhile I would go stark raving crazy.

  67. New post at Klownhaus regarding partisanship:


  68. madamab, by the way, I’ve had exactly the same thoughts in my head about what might be going on. It’s sad that I no longer trust my own government, for cause. Thank you for the play.

  69. Charles:

    Chris Bowers speaks for me:

    “Being one of the roughly one hundred and eighty million Americans who opposed the bailout bill today, I have to say that I can’t remember being called stupid so often in a 24 hour period so many times in my life. Like the many other lobotomized zombies that compose, or decompose, the slathering, brain dead hordes who simply don’t understand economics, it is important to speak to me slowly, remind me that I should abrogate all of my decision making to academic experts and, if I don’t, that it will be an example of how democracy itself has failed.


  70. Great post myiq!

  71. Come on, do you all think Hillary has turned crooked? She has warned where this was going for two fricken years! She’s not a liar.

  72. Lou Dobbs talking about how Biden’s gaffes are ignored but Palin’s aren’t.

  73. perries: I will be only too happy to climb onboard with your proposal.

  74. Who’s calling Hillary crooked?

  75. Dodd asked if Biden should be asked to step aside because of all of his gaffes.

    How about BO, I think he should step aside because of all of his gaffes.

    Erin Burnett pretty much inferred BO was a liar regarding how he was going to pay for his $800 billion spending program. Joe just laughed.

    These are sick son’s of bitches!

  76. And where is Mornin Joe coming from lately? Has he swallowed the Kool Aid and been influenced by Mika?

  77. “birdgal, on September 30th, 2008 at 6:58 pm Said:
    After reading the post by Charles, why, oh why, did Pelosi play such deadly politics with our country’s well-being and that of its citizens? Can someone please explain that to me?”

    Consider the source, but here’s one opinion on that:

  78. How old are Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, Franks? Is there any chance that natural selection will be able to rid us of these that have way over stayed their usefulness?


  79. Bob Somerby b*tch-slaps Atrios:


  80. Exactly, I have been sleeping through most of Joe in the Morning because he has turned on McCain/Palin. He was actually on this afternoon hosting a show.

  81. From the essay linked above:

    “Now, I think what happened — this is pure politics — the Republicans in the House are sitting there watching the vote go, and they’re seeing all these Democrats vote “no.” Do you know that 12 members of Barney Frank’s committee voted “no”? Barney Frank wasn’t running around trying to change any votes. So the Republicans are watching all these Democrats vote “no” after being told all week it was their responsibility to join with Democrats to make this happen, and after knowing full well that the Democrats really wanted this to happen, they could have passed it on their own without Republican help. That was the spin. And then they sit there and they see all these Democrats voting against it, voting nay, and they say, wait a minute, what’s happening here, and they figured it out. They figured out that the vast majority of public opinion around the country is dead set opposed to this, isn’t even close, and they see Democrats in crucially close districts voting against it so they can run around and campaign, “I voted against that bailout, I knew it was the wrong thing to do, but our Republicans voted for it.”

    “The same people who want us to rush into this so-called bailout accuse Bush of panicking and rushing everybody to war when it took nine months to a year! “

  82. Gotta love Dobbs — so what that’s he wrong on immigration — so far this election (including the primaries) he’s been the only one who consistently makes sense.

  83. I enjoyed the play and even if this is as serious as they say, I still like that the American people are calling their congressmen and voicing their opinion. If more people had called and marched and yelled about wea-pons of m-ass des-truc-tion, maybe the invasion of Iraq could have been stopped.

    It’s like the immigration issue. Business wants the foreign worker here, the average joe wants him back home. The little guy has to stand up and yell sometimes to get the guy at the top to listen.

    And the next time we have a president who wants to follow Coolidge and Harding, maybe the greedy guys at the top will think in the long term instead of for short term market gain.

  84. Shhht! Don’t say “bailout” anymore! Obama is pushing it and the “pitch is massaged” by removing the name “bailout”. Watch for the media to administer that “massage” too

  85. charles,
    I think you are missing a fundamental problem. The idiotic press is calling it a “wall street bailout” . No one in the press, as we well know, is willing to deal with the issues. “Wall street” is sexy but credit issues aren’t.

    I’m looking forward to your post.

  86. Saw Morning Joe this evening interviewing Austan Goolsbee, who was identified as “Obama’s Senior Economic Advisor”. I thought Obama had thrown Goolsbee under the bus. Has he been dragged out from under it now???

  87. None of the Obama “advisers” have ever gone too far away from him. When you have 300 people “advising” you, what’s one more no matter how tainted.

  88. edgeofforever – I was wondering just this am when the Dems would call Frank Luntz and ask for “new words” to use instead of bailout. I guess they called Frank last night.

  89. Lou Dobbs is not too hot about the bailout either. And he doesn’t look like a poor guy to me.

    The thing is, it’s good to be informed from both sides of the argument, not just from the throw-money-at-wallstreet-NOW-or-we’re-all-damned point of view.

    Economist after economist, with whom I’ve spoken, CEOs, they acknowledge that there are far better ways to deal with the issues confronting our financial system than this bailout. And it’s absolutely obscenely irresponsible of House Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, Treasury Secretary [Henry] Paulson, President Bush, Sen. Harry Reid, the leader of the Senate; for these people to be clucking about like hysterical — so hysterically. It really must stop.

    What we are watching are business — quote, unquote — leaders who won’t surface and put their faces before the American public who are hysterical. Absolutely hysterical. These are not leaders of moment. They are not leaders of great character or vision. Only Warren Buffett has had the courage to step forward. And that’s after he puts $5 billion into Goldman Sachs.

    To watch our political leaders, they have no idea in the world, Kiran, what they’re doing. Literally. And the arrogance with which this administration asks for, not only money, almost $1 trillion, and surely more in the months ahead. But the absolute power for Treasury Secretary Paulson. Give me a break. The American people want this stopped. Those Congressmen and women at home right now, in their districts, are getting an earful because this is an absurdity and it has to end.

    Well, the first thing we need to do is return to a traditional role of regulation. … The problem here is not simply the housing market. … But $700 billion and nothing in that bill deals with the foreclosure crisis, if you can imagine that. That’s arrogance. That’s stupidity. That is your leadership in Washington, D.C. Democratic leadership in Congress and Republican leadership in the White House.

    So that’s an absurdity. The first thing that has to be dealt with is mitigating the foreclosure crisis, period. Secondly, in terms of instilling confidence in the banking system and in our credit markets, the first thing to do is to deal with those institutions that are wildly out of balance, whose balance sheets, frankly, are a joke. And the regulators who should have been tending to them over the years are also a joke.

  90. atypical:

    Don’t read too much into that story. The voters have overwhelmed the HOR email server giving their representatives holy hell over the bailout.

    50% said “no” to the bailout, the other 50% said “HELL NO!”

  91. I think it is safe to reason at this point that “mediocrity” has definitely risen to the top. The Best and the Brightest were written about by David Halberstram over 30 years ago. Since then, very few have taken root with the exception of both Clinton’s. We have come to expect nothing much more and they deliver.

  92. I am falling in love with Lou Dobbs.

  93. Just coming across the wires…

    US Senate to vote on plan tomorrow night.

  94. About Sarah and gay folk – In her interview with Katie she said that her best friend of 30 years is gay. Does Obama have any gay friends? Even for the past five minutes?

  95. Personally, I see the word “massage” as code for what some of us may be reduced to performing if this crisis looms even larger.

  96. Dee: He even refuses to be photographed with them. Tells you something right there. And I doubt he has any real friends outside of his benefactors and mentors. This guy is aloof.

  97. And, madamab, keep writing. Writers write, actors act, even in war, even if it has to be done underground. It keeps otherwise desperate people sane.

  98. Can I be Bristol Palin’s gay best friend?

  99. Britannia: And freedom of speech should not begin here. madamab is one of the best.

  100. Regency: She would love you! Just as we all do.

  101. Pat J: Hope so!

  102. Way off topic but our paper had the numbers for the McCain/Obama debate – 52.4 million. Ten million less than the first debate with Bush/Kerry according to Nielsen Media Research.

  103. I should have said that the “denial of freedom of speech” should not begin here. I’m tired!

  104. Pat – there ya go dragging the dikes into this…. I for one am shocked.

  105. indigogrrl: Some of my best friends…………..

  106. Actually the the cracks were evident several years ago.

    Four years ago I helped a friend of mine do research as she was involved in the development of housing market related indexes by an investment entity. I did a lot of research. I also relied to an extent on knowledge plus gut – the mortgages that were being doled out were being given to many who could barely, or not afford it. Even prime loans. just because people were earning 60K and making their (30% of gross pay) mortgage payments, it did not mean that they had enough savings to cover tem in case of an upheaval in their lives. As the economy began to turn even these had trouble – losing jobs etc. At the same time house values were skyrocketing. I kept thinking of the internet bubble and those events.

    I went to her as the voice of doom and gloom and said (I was looking at my notes yesterday) we may have a market for a few years but here’s why it won’t last. Two years later I did an enormous amount of research on the derivatives market for a firm that wanted to develop and market pricing software and services for hard-to-value securities including the now infamous mortgage related instruments.

    I was non-plussed by the fact that there were numerous pricing methods, some based on Black-Scholes, some not, and quite a bit of disagreement between experts. That was already an issue for me. Coupled with numerous articles discussing the need for better pricing models, regulations, standardization or else there would be serious problems down the road, it was obvious that experts in the industry were already foreseeing major problems.

    Many wrote about the need for greater regulations for derivatives, especially hard-to-value instrumnets and hedge funds (who are invested in risky instruments to a greater extent than other institutions), and it was fully expected that that would occur down the road. Institutions began to invest in multi-million dollar platforms for the trading and pricing of derivatives of every sort.

    There were too many players vested in the success of each component of this mess from home owners to Wall Street Banks to politicians to warn the public of impending doom and to do something about it. One would think we would have learned from the internet bust when start-up received millions for an idea on paper and not much else. But maybe it is because we came out of that relatively unscathed that new warnings were ignored.

    Charles is right – credit is drying up, howver you won’t hear the names of firms because they do not want it known that they are having issues. It could mean that their survival would be threatened.

    Overseas they are blaming us for the debacle. Governments have intervened to save major banks so that the economies don’t crash and most have resigned themselves to the fact that they won’t be seeing their loans paid by the US soon.

    Why the German media thinks that Obama will save them – or the US is unfathomable to me. As a Chicagoan who has driven through the Hyde Park area and surrounds for years, I can say that if he couldn’t save Hyde Park, how will he save the world?

  107. Hillary said this afternoon that the senate should take action and was rejected by other senators (I read it earlier and posted it on an earlier thread). Now the senate is taking up the issue. I guess leaders lead….

  108. GCH: Not only do leaders lead. Leaders are followed. BO? They followed him nowhere.

  109. From CBS –

    The governor told us though she’s not a member of any church, she visits a couple of them regularly when she’s home. She took issue with news reports that one of them, The Wasilla Bible Church, sponsored a conference where gays could be made straight through prayer.

    Palin: Well, it matters though, Katie, when the media gets it wrong. It frustrates Americans who are just trying to get the facts and … be able to make up their mind on, about a person’s values. So it does matter.

    But what you’re talking about, I think, value here, what my position is on homosexuality and you can pray it away, because I think that was the title that was listed on that bulletin. And you know, I don’t know what prayers are worthy of being prayed. I don’t know what’s prayers are going to be asked and answered. But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships. I have one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years happens to be gay, and I love her dearly. And she is not my “gay friend,” she is one of my best friends, who happens to have made a choice that isn’t a choice that I have made. But I am not going to judge people.

  110. I like Palin but she must come to realize that homosexuality is not a “choice” but is biological. Thinking otherwise assumes that the person can “change” that lifestyle that they have “chosen”. Unfortunately that view is held by many more than she.

  111. Palin’s view is a matter of personal belief. I don’t think we’re in any better position to change it–nor do we have anymore right to change it–than she does to try to change her best friend.

  112. Dee – I heard Sarah just also declared that she has a degree in Journalism and she finds journalistic integrity to be different now days from what she learned in journalistic ethics.

    She is good at “slap them down”. I love this woman.


  113. You’d better stop heaping praise on her, Carol, or Eddy may just stage a walkout.

  114. She used “choice” for both herself and her friend.

    I don’t think she meant it in that fashion.

  115. Why if the bailout will “only” cost $700B did the bill raise the federal debt ceiling twice that amount?

  116. Eddy is in PA working for Palin/McCain. He’s letting them know that the Catholics had better be voting pro-life.

  117. Wasn’t $700 Billion just an arbitrary amount to start with ?

  118. Carol — I think you are right about Palin and her use of “choice” there — I don’t think she meant it as “choice” v. “biology” either.

  119. The fact Sarah has had a lesbian friend for 30 years says way more than her comment about choice. Also, the choice comment is in the context of praying it away.

    Sarah’s last sentence speaks volumes. Obama could never make that statement as he actually does it all of the time. He has judged gays, women/girls on abortion decisions, boomers, Bill Clinton, etc. I am sure I have missed at least 5 groups that Obama has judged.

  120. Damn Regency, now you are saying I have to mark that amount out of of my checkbook??????//

  121. Yes Regency — that # was pulled out of thin air by Paulson.

  122. carol, I just heard her in a clip talking about Biden and saying “I never met him, but I remember hearing him giving speeches when I was in 2nd grade”….LOL

    Sarah Haka 👿

  123. the only gay “friend” obama could come up with in his one and only advocate interview was a professor he liked because he didn’t “prosteltyze” to him. He’s not only not gay friendly, he’s a homophobe. and so is michelle. If you saw her on ellen you know. she couldn’t even use the word marriage whenshe was talking about ellen and her wife.

  124. gary – add a Sarah Haka 👿 to my comment above regarding journalism. Please and thank you.

  125. Well done as usual, madamab.

    The guy who did Burning down the house video has another one with some new info in it. The new video is Covering Your Fannie. I put up links to the articles included in the video.


  126. Newt on ACORN now on Fox

  127. gary — and if I’m not mistaken, Obama couldn’t even remember his non-prosteltyzing gay prof’s name.

  128. I read Palin’s words to mean the choice of living a gay lifestyle. There are plenty of gays around the world who chose, or are forced, to live closeted lives. Fortunately, many cultures are becoming more tolerant and gays can “chose” to live openly. Considering that the supposedly liberal Presidential candidate is not a gay rights supporter, I think it’s great that the conservative VP candidate has stated that it’s not her place to judge others regarding sexual preference. But that’s just my take on it.

  129. gxm — that’s how I read it too — not a choice to be gay, but a choice to come out of the closet & live “openly” as a gay person.

  130. Social Security has been ‘tweaked’ many times, and yet we had to hear Republicans and Bush harping that it was “in crisis”. Their plan to privatize it would have cost money up front.

    If this is such a great crisis, why did the exec at WaMu still walk off with 12-l8 million for less than three weeks of work?

    Since the American people don’t trust congress and they don’t trust Bush, why wouldn’t they want this looked into more carefully. Congressmen can read and understand the bill, vote for it, and come home and explain exactly why they voted for it. That’s their job.

  131. Sarah Haka 👿

    “HH: Now Governor, the Gibson and the Couric interview struck many as
    sort of pop quizzes designed to embarrass you as opposed to interviews.
    Do you share that opinion?
    SP: Well, I have a degree in journalism also, so it surprises me that so
    much has changed since I received my education in journalistic ethics
    all those years ago. But I’m not going to pick a fight with those who
    buy ink by the barrelful. I’m going to take those shots and those pop
    quizzes and just say that’s okay, those are good testing grounds. And
    they can continue on in that mode. That’s good. That makes somebody work
    even harder. It makes somebody be even clearer and more articulate in
    their positions. So really I don’t fight it. I invite it”

  132. I don’t care if she thinks its a choice, biology, or a magical spell, as long as she doesn’t judge me or try to deny me my rights, which from the rest of her statement doesn’t sound likely.

  133. Carol: If I were you I’d just throw out the damned checkbook.

  134. I think she is a good and kind person. I don’t see any evil in her. Pelosi – that’s another story.

  135. I just got off the phone with an old friend from several states away. He called to tell me about the CBS interview with Sarah and her gay friend. We had talked about the Charlie Gibson interview a while back and I told him to watch it closely because Sarah checked herself just in time to stop from revealing that she had either close friend(s) or family member(s) that are gay.

    My friend just wanted to make sure I had heard the news. I think before the Katie interview Sarah checked with her friend to see if she could reveal their friendship and in doing so – out her. I am sure the friend’s pic will be in some rag or tv show within a few days.

  136. Charles:

    We aren’t questioning the crisis. We are questioning the proposed solutions.

    It doesn’t take a PHd in economics to know when we’re being screwed.

  137. Wow, that really says a lot about Sarah. She’s no whiner.

  138. My company is in the middle of all of this financial crisis – fortunately, they are the strongest.

  139. I think she is involved and searching to improve things, not find blame. I love her personality.

  140. http://www.gretawire.com has a great photo of Sarah practicing for her debate. She looks cute.

  141. O’Reilly going to do body language in one minute.

  142. Did everyone leave?????

  143. Here, Carol!

  144. I went to look at the picture!

  145. Charles, I like your 2nd post a lot better than your 1st!

    I do think it’s a serious situation, and I think that Bush and Paulson’s first proposal was a total joke. The House’s reponse was not good enough. Hopefully, the Senate will just do what Hillary says and we can start resolving the crisis.

  146. “Can we yet avert a full blown catastrophe? Probably but time is of the essence because things move quickly. ”

    George Washington crossed the Delaare on Christmas Eve 1777 with a few hundred colonial troops, wading through ice to attack the British and Hessians at Trenton.

    If there is such a looming catastrophe why is Congress taking two days off for a holiday now?

  147. Because Congress sucks.

    They’re voting on the bailout bill tonight, I believe.

  148. newt gingrich said “nancy let her emotions get the best of her”…hows that sexism feel nanc? don’t expect me to lose any sleep over it….

  149. I would have thought they’d choose a sit-down format with the Palin-Biden debate, but I guess not, judging from the photo.

  150. poplicola – yeah, take it out on the Jews!

  151. I like Palin but she must come to realize that homosexuality is not a “choice” but is biological. Thinking otherwise assumes that the person can “change” that lifestyle that they have “chosen”. Unfortunately that view is held by many more than she.

    Actually Pat, no one really knows what is nature and nurture at this point. They have not found a “gay gene,” though there are bigots who use the “choice” argument to discriminate. I don’t get the sense from that quote that Palin views it that way. We will have to hear more.

  152. Stephanopoulos: Independent Voters Hold White House Key

  153. NYT

    I…n this election cycle, the 140 House Democrats who voted for the bailout bill collected 78 percent more from the FIRE industries than the Democrats who opposed it. Over their careers, they collected 88 percent more, the data show.

  154. God- Did Obama really have to go to a gay professor to find a gay connection?? That is crazy, who sits in class and says ‘oh this guy is gay’. I can see ‘Hey, this guy will be an easy A’ or ‘This guy is going to be a bitch. ‘. But why would anyone care about the sexual preference of their professor?? God, I hate this guy.

  155. Senate will vote on the bill Wednesday evening.

  156. We aren’t questioning the crisis. We are questioning the proposed solutions.

    It doesn’t take a PHd in economics to know when we’re being screwed.

    That’s what I think myiq. I don’t think anyone is saying there shouldn’t be a solution, but the panicked, “Don’t ask any questions and trust us!” approach makes the American people feel like they are being forced into something that is not being explained to us in detail. And why should we trust this cast of characters? I’m not worried, because I KNOW they are going to come up with a deal. They have to.

  157. Same bill that the house rejected. Same $700 bn. House is adjourned until Thursday noon.

  158. Bush thinks the stock market is the economy. As he followed the lead of the 1920’s and as economic indicators suggested there might be a problem, his Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao (married to Mitch McConnell, the Rep leader of the Senate) said that the final arbiter of the economy was the stock market.

    When I would mention to anyone that we were repeating what some think lead to the crash in 1929, I was told safe guards were in place to stop that from happening.

    And apparently, the safe guards are. . . . Congress and the American people coming up with $$$. Bail it out and my husband and I will still be sitting high on the hog – it just annoys the heck out of me that in the end of this it just seems the rich will still get richer and the poor will still get poorer.

    Yes, I understand we have to do something, but Charles, it’s still annoying.

  159. Carol – are you serious?

  160. I heard Hillary’s voice on the radio today…sigh. I love that woman.

  161. does anyone else here live in NC? the latest Dole ad has a picture of hagan that makes her look like she is about 105. I don’t even think it is her. anyone else seen it?

  162. Fif: Is she not the most fabulous political specimen ever?

  163. I am a firm believer that the Devil is in the details. This rush to pass a bill, any bill, is dangerous, IMO. But then I don’t have a PhD in Economics, so what do I know?
    I am just a country girl. I know what a cowpie looks like and when I see one out in the middle of the pasture, I go out of my way not to step in it.

  164. Maybe I’m not remembering how the bicameral Congress works, but I thought the House held the “purse strings.” And if that is so, why the heck is the Senate voting on the bill?

  165. I’m in Charlotte, NC gary — I’ve seen that ad — talk about looking like she’s been “rode hard and put away wet.” I think they have altered that picture or took it after Hagan literally hadn’t slept for week. It is shameful even by political ad standards.

  166. poplicola – I’m kidding. I’m Jewish.

  167. I know what a cowpie looks like and when I see one out in the middle of the pasture, I go out of my way not to step in it.

    LOL! We sure know there’s plenty of sh*t in Congress.

  168. angie, I agree. I chuckled at the fibber kay ads,but that is just over the top.

  169. A bill has to be passed in both houses. It can fail in the House but be passed in the Senate. However, a bill identical to that passed in the Senate must be passed in the House eventually for it to take effect.

  170. I live in NC and I can smell that cowpie from here!

  171. Thanks, angienc. Besides, if it has already failed in the House, what good will it be for it to pass in the Senate? Are they going to rewrite it in conference? Is the senate trying to give cover to the House, I already heard that they are trying with a whole new bill? Sorry, I know that I am rambling, but inquiring minds need to know and this is total politics and very little statesmanship. That is why we are all suspect..

  172. Regency: the best. I was thinking about it today. Would there be ANY ambivalence or hesitation if Hillary was the nominee/president. She would be utterly pro-active, clearly explaining it to the people, and working 24/7 to forge an agreement. What a *(#%^*!!@ waste!

  173. Apparently, there will be some tweaks to the bill that the Senate will be voting on.

    Clinton says it would be good for Senate to go first.

    Senate to Vote Wednesday on Bailout Plan

    WASHINGTON — Senate leaders scheduled a Wednesday vote on a $700 billion financial bailout package after agreeing to add tax breaks and a higher limit for insured bank deposits in a bid to attract enough votes to reverse a shocking defeat in the House and send legislation to President Bush by the end of the week.

    The Senate tax bill would cost more than $100 billion and extend and expand many individual and business tax breaks, including tax credits for the production and use of renewable energy sources, like solar energy and wind power. The bill would also extend the business tax credit for research and development, expand the child tax credit, protect millions of families from the alternative minimum tax, and provide tax relief to victims of recent floods, tornadoes and severe storms.

    Members of the House and the Senate say the bill would create tens of thousands of jobs and reduce the nations’ dependence on foreign oil. But the two chambers have been at odds over whether and how to offset the cost of extending the many tax breaks covered by the legislation. The major obstacle has been Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, and other centrist Democrats.

    Senate and House leaders had been debating whether the Senate, where support for the proposal runs deep, should vote first to provide some momentum for a second vote across the Capital Rotunda. Some senators were leery of going on the record if the legislation could not prevail in the House, but others backed the idea of the Senate taking the lead.

    “I would support the Senate going first, which we would be willing to do as early as tomorrow if that would make this process successful,” Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, said in a conference call on Tuesday.

  174. Whatever Hillary approves of, I’m on board with!

    She is my Leader, I am required to follow!


  175. Carol: that picture of Palin is so cute. I was thinking they should have her sparring with Rudy. He can be such an obnoxious, aggressive, bombastic jerk–good practice for Biden.

  176. Regency — I know that part, but I was under the impression that funding bills have to originate in the House before the Senate can vote on them.

  177. As long as ACORN is not in it, I’m on board.

  178. Angienc: You know what, that’s the part I didn’t study.

  179. fif – I think they should have sent in Newt and Rove.

  180. But like I said, I could be wrong about that — it has been more years then I care to relate since my high school civics class.

  181. It looks to me like Charles just dropped his bomb and then left. I like and respect Charles, but I wonder why he won’t answer any specific questions after he posts one of these angry comments. I have asked him questions the past few days and gotten no answers.

    Here’s another question for vivienne or whoever of the “you’re not panicky and depressed enough” crowd is still here: Why don’t any of the eminent economists I hear on the radio and TV and read in the newspapers agree with your assessment? Today on NPR, Ben Stein (right winger) and a liberal economist from Columbia each agreed that the bill is a very bad one and that instead of rushing into a solution, Congress should hold hearings and vote on a bill after Nov. 5. They also argued that it is far from necessary to solve this problem on the backs of the poor and middle class.

    Frankly, I’m not surprised at all that this has happened. I expected it to happen sooner the way Bush has robbed the treasure and poured it down the drain in Iraq. But I getting very tired of being lectured because I’m not suicidal and freaking out enough to satisfy some people. I don’t think that freaking out and severe depression are good methods for handling emergencies, thank you very much.

  182. Great, Hillary is working. If only O and McCain would call in so Hillary could tell them about the bill.

  183. madamab,

    I loved your play and I’ve really appreciated Gary’s efforts to cheer us all up for the past couple of days too.

    Thank you both very much.

  184. I listen to Hillary because she’s convinced me that half-measures are a stepping stone to full measures. Take her stance on UHC. Single-payer might be superior but she realized after trying it back in the 90s that a radical shift in the medical system would not be practical. Gradual steps are progress, just slower than most of us would like.

  185. The Senate tax bill would cost more than $100 billion and extend and expand many individual and business tax breaks, including tax credits for the production and use of renewable energy sources, like solar energy and wind power. The bill would also extend the business tax credit for research and development, expand the child tax credit, protect millions of families from the alternative minimum tax, and provide tax relief to victims of recent floods, tornadoes and severe storms.

    I’m confused. Why aren’t they just dealing with the mortgage fragility which is integral to the Wall St. meltdown? Aren’t the issues above part of a much larger debate on Congressional spending? No wonder they can’t pass a bill–they are trying to decide on too many issues at once. Can’t they just focus–or do these tax breaks need to be incorporated now?

  186. Honora: On the last thread Jangles said that O did call Hillary and Bill and asked them what to do. What’s wrong with this picture?

  187. fif, because they want to get enough support from the house. I think it’s called compromise.

  188. Fif: He didn’t listen, looks like. That or they sabotaged that bastard with bad advice.

  189. Angie,

    The House controls the pursestrings. The Senate has no ability to fund a bill. If a bill orginates in the Senate, the appropriations will have be approved in the House committees and then the House will have to vote on it.

  190. bb- I agree. I was just in Philly doing the history thing with the family. The First Constitutional Convention laid the foundation for the Second Constitutional Convention. If memory serves me (which it often does not ), they were a few years apart. We have time to do this correctly.

  191. Honora,

    Remember how they rushed the FISA bill through and said they would fix it in 6 months? They didn’t fix it. They made it worse.

  192. bb: I completely agree. Charles’ insight is highly valued here, but between regular pronouncements of a certain Obama win 30+ days out from the election (and the required severe depression we need to feel), and the insistence on suicidal economic anxiety, it’s not helpful for me. We will all manage our way through this in our own ways. One day at a time.

  193. The only reason the market did not crash again today is based on hope and some people buying good stocks and bonds. Russia has closed. Major bank in Ireland – Nationalized. Other world markets are crashing. Fifth Third, National City and Soverign Banks are going to go under tomorrow if their stock goes down any further – it is at about $3. The first 2 have some of the largest Merchant Services CC portfolios – if they can’t pay the merchant – hell will have frozen over. Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells can’t own the entire bank debt of the US or they could fail. If we wait until November, we will have crashed and burned.

    My 401k is down 12% for the last 30 days, 25% for the last 12 months.

    My friend with Amex told me his friends in California have been fired.

    This is an emergency – we are hanging on by a mere thread. It is not a joke.

  194. Ha! They’re going to have the kids singing for Obama on Hannity.

  195. My God fif- It is just like the SNL skit, where O keeps calling Hillary at 3am. If it weren’t so true it would be funny.

  196. Thanks bb — I think I was confusing all appropriation bills with tax bills, because the US Const. does provide: “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” Also, I know that the House of Representatives believes that the Senate does not have the power to originate appropriation bills, or bills authorizing the expenditure of federal funds. The Senate has disputed the interpretation advocated by the House. Usually though, from what I remember, whenever the Senate originates an appropriations bill, the House simply refuses to consider it, thereby settling the dispute in practice.

  197. I’d love all the people who are saying we aren’t taking this seriously enough to explain what we are supposed to do. Do they want us to slit our wrists? Should we run into the streets screaming? Or are we just supposed stop all our daily activities and mope around refusing to distract ourselves in any way?

    I’m waiting for guidance. I guess it’s forbidden to just be a basically optimistic person who lives life one day at a time and deals with crises as they come up. I don’t know if I’m capable of getting as depressed as some people want me to be. It just isn’t in my nature.

  198. 2 Democratic reps were on Lou Dobbs tonight discussing their alternative plan called the “No Bailout Act” — Kaptor of Ohio and DeFazio of Oregon. As best as I can recall and explain, it is based on the model of the RTC of the late 80s/90s. Here is a summary: http://www.thenation.com/blogs/thebeat/366595/the_no_bailouts_act

    I know next to nothing about economics but this sounds interesting. What do you all think? Kaptor and DeFazio asked that people call the Senate switchboard tomorrow at 202-224-3121 to express support for this measure.

  199. Personally, if you’re old enough to remember the great Stock fallout from the S&L fiasco with Reagan – AND YOU LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT, then this bailout will be a reminder of those days.

    Both were/are at the tail end of a failed Republican leadership and spineless Democratic pols who are too scared (or in on the game as well.)

  200. angie,

    The House does have the control. They don’t have to act on something just because the Senate sends it to them.

  201. fif, because they want to get enough support from the house. I think it’s called compromise.

    Britannia: but all those other tax breaks and credits are not necessarily going to appeal to conservative Republicans who do not want to pad the bill right?

  202. bb — thanks!

  203. bb- I agree. Our ancestors, both here and abroad, have gone though much worse. We will survive (singing like Donna Summer), we can not make legislation. We can watch and hope for the best. In November, the power is once again ours.

  204. Hannity is showing the FannieMae & FreddieMac congressional tapes. (For the 137,293rd time, I can’t believe I’m watching FOX)

  205. FOX is really pounding away on ACORN these days. Potential voter fraud in Ohio. Great. Are we sure Obama isn’t a Rove Republican?

  206. I still want to know why what Ironman said earlier can’t happen? If need be why couldn’t the Fed directly loan to businesses? I mean they opened the window to investment firms. Why not let the banks who made horrendous decisions fail?

  207. Hannity is going to show the bogus “Ohio – same day registration – absentee voting” fraud that is underway.


  208. fif — Dobbs had a story about potential voter fraud in Ohio too. Ok, lets put Ohio in BO’s column from here on out as a given.

  209. fif, they’re doing a balancing act right now, trying to get more votes without losing support they already have.

    The article also had these paragraphs:

    On the morning after the sell-off, Congressional offices reported a shift in angry calls from constituents, with some demanding that lawmakers take some corrective action — a distinct change from the outpouring of public opposition that contributed to the defeat of the plan.

    “I started hearing from a lot of people who lost money on their investments thanks to the big drop on Wall Street yesterday,” said Representative Steven C. LaTourette, Republican of Ohio, who voted against the plan.

  210. New RD thread up.

  211. They are failing. Who is going to pay the FDIC – that is you and me. This is an American problem, it is an international problem.

  212. How can we as Americans,still have voter fraud in our Presidential elections??

  213. Carol,

    I’m not laughing. We’re talking about my kids future too and the people asking for the money don’t even know where they got the $700 billion number from? Let’s see are we up to part 23 yet of how to fix our economy? First ,it was stimulus checks. Then, it was Bear stearns. Next, came Fannie and Freddie. Then AIG. Now, we are being told $700,000, 000, 000. Doesn’t it make sense to at some point say what the Hades, do you even KNOW what you are doing? Let’s start holding some hearings with some experts and with the banking system openly since we are asking taxpayers to foot the bill?

  214. Honora — it is the new America baby — Obama transcends votes.

  215. BB

    What I resent is that there is more open and transparent discussion about steroids then there is about this $700 billion dollar bailout. When the majority of the conversation occurs behind closed doors I get suspicious.

  216. It’s pretty crazy in here, no? I’ll stay in lurkage class for a bit.

    I’m reading Edith Wharton.

    Still no job on the horizon.

  217. Madamab – thank you so much – I needed a little levity.

    Charles – I for one believe we need to do something – we need a plan – just not this plan – it had lots of pork – the American people are hurting enough -we dont need to take money from them to give to some local yokle’s program or community organizations – we need to bail out those really in trouble.
    We have some brilliant economists in this country – why don’t they include them in the mix to find a solution instead of a bunch of political hacks arguing with each other?

  218. Arabella: I recently finished The House of Mirth. Sometimes you just have to go back to a different time to get away from the present.

  219. Charles,

    Just because we want to leave their 700B White Elephant at the flea market doesn’t mean we don’t take the credit and liquidity issues seriously.

  220. See that! Leaders Lead.

    Show them how it’s done Hillary.

  221. ok everyone did any more banks or brokerages houses or pillars of what is left of american industry go down the crapper while I slept?

  222. BB — don’t slit those wrists; you’re much too important to us to do that.

  223. I think your giving too much credit to the republicans, and not enough to the CARE ABOUT NOTHING DEMS.

    Hillary is in the WRONG PARTY.

  224. Can someone answer this: I’ve heard the next bill would contain a proposal to raise the FDIC insurance limit from $100,000 to $250,000 per account. I’ve also heard the FDIC cannot even begin to cover what is out there now at $100,000. So how is raising the amount to $250,000 going to help anything?

  225. I just want to correct a few points of the discussion. The Bush administration tried to rein in Freddy and Fannie with a bill submitted in September 2003. The Democrats in Congress shot it down. McCain tried again in 2005, after the blistering testimony about Freddy and Fannie in 2004, same result. This isn’t just something that all of a sudden managed to wake Bush and Cheney, the Bush admin. and some Republicans in Congress have been trying for years to put Freddy and Fannie under some controls in the way that Sarb-Ox did to private industry, but it would have required home loans only to people who could reasonably have been expected to make the payments (I know, what a novel concept) and Freddy, Fannie and the Dems in Congress would hear none of it.

    As for WMDs and AUMF have you gone back and looked at the more-than-a-dozen reasons for AUMF that are listed there? WMDs are a way for people to attack AUMF with the “Bush lied, people died” meme, which wasn’t true at all. And WMD didn’t just mean actual on-hand usable weapons, but programs to develop such weapons. After the fall of Iraq the Polish army was buying nerve gas-filled warheads on the black market, and did anyone happen to notice the 500 tons or so of “yellow cake” that was recently shipped from Iraq to Canada? That was part of the program to develop nuclear weapons.

    Let’s assail the bailout and the nincompoops in Congress and the Bush administration all we want, but when we don’t get the facts straight it gives opponents an opening, which somehow doesn’t seem to me to be a good idea.

  226. […] When Politics Fails The Washington Independent » Obama Demands Bailout in Major Address The REAL Story of the Financial Crisis: A Play in One Dishonest Act. &laquo.. Graziadio Business Report Blog » America’s Financial Crisis Economic Crisis Government […]

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