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Thursday: A Series of Unfortunate Events

There has been plenty of finger pointing in the past couple of days.  Tim Geithner is getting his under-the -bus moment this morning on the front page of the NYTimes.  What did Tim know about the AIG bonuses and when did he know it?  The WH is starting to float the “complete confidence” meme, which is sort of the equivalent of “Have you thought about resigning?  No, no, take your time.  We’ve got about a week as these things go.  Has anyone seen Sheila Bair?”

In the whole scheme of things, the $165 million is drop in the bucket, as those who like those drops are quick to point out.  But people who have studied scandals know that at some point, they have a life of their own.  This scandal has legs and it’s getting the royal treatment in the media.  Unlike the more esoteric scandals of the Bush administration where the offense had something to do with some obscure violation of historical significance, this scandal is one that the common man can relate to: Those finance guys are getting money for royally f^&*ing things up and while we’re forced to give up compensation benefits.  Our hard earned money that could have been used to fund major healthcare reform and badly needed infrastructure projects, is getting sucked up by the same obscenely rich people that got to do whatever they wanted under the Bush administration.   We voted for a Democrat who turned out to be *what* exactly?

(It was all sadly predictable but we won’t go there for our new readers who may have voted for the messiah.)

Planet Money was busy yesterday trying to put the anger in perspective.  There are three possible culprits for the accelerating meltdown: Washington, Wall Street and the macroeconomic moment complicated by the “Greenspan Put”.  I’m not sure I totally understand this last concept.  Maybe Dakinikat can unpack it but from what I gather, Alan Greenspan brought the Fed interest rate down to something like 1% so the Giant Pool of Money that investors had back in the late 90’s and 00’s couldn’t make money off of US Trearsury bonds.  The money had to go somewhere so it got rolled into risky instruments.  At some point in there, Alan Greenspan hinted (obscurely to us but loud and clear to people in the know) that the US would guarantee these risks.  And Voile!  Here we are, guaranteeing like there’s no tomorrow.  It’s rather puzzling coming from a Randian fan like Greenspan to have the government step in and bail investors out but finance has a logic of its own.  There’s probably internal self-consistency to Greenspan’s philosophy that our small minds simply cannot grasp.

Well, that is why we are the little people and are not given the power to do anything.  We might use it recklessly.  For instance, did you know that even though we taxpayers own something like 80% of AIG, guardians have been appointed on our behalf to actually administer the company? Yep, there are three trustees who are supposed to look over AIG lest we get our grubby, unsophisticated mitts on it and take away all of the bonuses.  And we aren’t allowed to say what happens to the rest of the money that went to Goldman Sachs and other banks either.  We might put a stop to it, doncha know.  It would be unseemly.  Wasn’t it nice for the Bushies and the Obama adminstration to appoint these Mr. Poe’s of Mulctuary Money Management for us?

Don’t worry your pretty little heads.

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114 Responses

  1. Chris Dodd is the messenger and they are shooting him.

    Geithner, Summers, Emmanuel and Obama are to blame.

    Chris being a Senator, put it in writing for legislature since neither Geithner, Summers, Emmanuel and Obama are no longer in the legislative branch.

    It’s the same as a contract murder. Dodd held the gun, pulled the trigger, but he was sent to do the hit job by higher ups.

    I’m no attorney, but the people who ordered the hit are more guilty than the person they hired for the job.

    And Geithner, Summers, Emmanuel and Obama are GUILTY.

    • heh they may have literally shot Dodd-in the night.

      Last night it sounded like Dodd was going to sing today, about how the *Treasury* made him do it.

      But that story has disappeared from the front pages of the major news outlets.

      I had to go looking for this:


    • sm77, I agree with you 1000% so I researched it and did a post about it. This wouldn’t even be close to being a “gotcha” if stupid Dodd hadn’t lied to CNN about it. The Feb. 11 date was included in Politico’s Feb. 14 report about Dodd’s provision:

      “Additionally, the rules in the stimulus bill apply not only to companies that receive bailout funds in the future, but also to those that have received TARP money in the past – although executive bonuses doled out in contracts signed before February 11 would not be impacted.”


      • I just read it Cinie, and it’s PERFECT.

        I have to go back & read the links you provided, but defintely on point.

        So is Dodd the new Oliver North?

    • Where is the Dodd story today?
      I think they’ve got him bound and gagged somewhere.

    • I agree that Dodd may end up taking the fall for this, however, I think he should be investigated. Based on his sweetheart mortgage deal and the contributions to his election campaigns, it appears he’s become a little too close with the industry he was supposed to be overseeing. Frank is another one who should be investigated as well. (And, who knows, perhaps under the pressure of an investigation one or both of them would start naming names.)

      • I don’t think Dodd gets a pass on everything just because he’s being scapegoated on this. But. the media is just as complicit as anybody else. A simple Google search brings up multiple links to stories where the Geithner opposition and the Feb. 11 out to Dodd’s provision is mentioned. When even they don’t check their own archives, the media is either lazy and inept, or criminally complicit.

        • I vote for complicit. The stories from Dodd and media kept changing yesterday about every ten seconds. I heard Dodd say that he tried to add a provision stopping extra exec compensation, and that the Treasury didn’t want that clause. The interviewer (I think it was Greta) said who in the Treasury, but he wouldn’t name names. You could tell he was freaking out at that point. Interviewer asked if it was Geithner, and he kind of mumbled yes.

          Since then there’s nothing else. I would think that would be a very big story – as in coverup. But nothing on it today. Criminally complicit.

          And though I don’t like Geithner, he’s becoming the scapegoat, but no mention of his boss, who’s strutting around (I hate his arrogant walk, hate it) being a TV star. WTF!

          • Screw Geithner. He’s a corrupt, ineffectual elitist just like Obama. Go to Cinie’s World blog and connect the dots.

            Obama’s mom used to work for Geithner’s dad. Palsy Walsys doing their quid pro quo.


        • or all of the above!

  2. Ultimately O is to blame – because indeed the buck stops with him and he signed the frappin paper.

    Once again, RD – you’ve put things into perspective -Thanks 😀

  3. RD — LOL

  4. My obot friend at work was complaining yesterday about folks blaming Obama for all this. He was going on and on about how it’s only been two months and that everything is Bush’s fault. It took every tiny scrap of self control I have left not to blurt out: This one is on Obama’s watch. The amoral idiot you put into office owns this one.

    • Bush had NOTHING to do with the writing or influencing stimulus package and had nothing to do with the AIG bonus structure.

      This was ALL under Obama’s watch.

      Obama is to finance/bankers what Bush is to Oil.

      • I know. Obot logic is so warped. I think I’m gonna have to break down and just tell it to him straight the next time he brings it up. During the election, I was trying to keep my head low. But at this point if I don’t say something I’m being an obot enabler.

        • “Obot logic is so warped”

          Just like Bushites during 2000-2006-ish.

          • I know what you mean,. One of my right wing buddies told me in 2004 that Mr. Bush deserved a second term. I told her that we didn’t deserve another 4 years of Bush,

          • The similarities in the supporters are frightening.

            Both groups fail to recognize arrogance, petulance, smugness and deceit when they’re smacked in the face with it., for instance.

        • “Obot logic” – now there is an oxymoron. And I do mean moron.

  5. I had the same thing happen to me yesterday, an obot said, “But its only been two months.” He sounded so damn whiny, I had to grit my teeth. Then he continued with blaming Bush. I had to remind him, Bush isn’t there now, he is in Texas and I want to see this guy do something that doesn’t remind me of Bush.

    • This is a great time to shove back the “get over it” phrase.

      You dealt it, now smell it!

    • Whiny is the perfect description. I just wanted scream. I’ll have to remember your comeback. That’s a good one!

    • I’ve been hearing the same crap from them.
      “Bush did this, Bush did that…” and oh yes, the whining..

      I don’t want to hear about Bush. Nuff about him!
      Let’s talk about Obama, k?

    • I point out to them that this ENTIRE election was all about what a big mess Bush would leave, and who had the experience and work ethic and smarts to clean up that mountain of mess.

      Obama and his supporters assured us all that he was fully aware of the scope of the task, and could do the job. Could do the job handily, with great success, like no other! So no use now whining “But…Bush left such a huge mess!” Yeah, dipshit, we knew that. Cleaning up that mess is the job he APPLIED FOR, and wanted so badly, and insisted he was qualified to do, so STFU and do it or face the people’s anger.

      • He absolutely applied for it (active). He did not inherit it (passive). Big difference.

      • Woo hoo: sing it sister!

      • well put, as always! lol!

      • No kidding. I want his behind on the job 24/7, doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Not planning his basketball bracket, not on Leno, not making campaign stops–at work running this country.

        Too bad he doesn’t have the integrity, know-how, commitment, drive, or intelligence to do so. Hillary has everything it takes, and then some. Our so-called leadership screwed us completely during the primary, and I am furious about it.

    • Help! I’m in moderation!

    • I got the exact same line last night: it’s only been two months and everyone is criticizing him!

      You hear it on the talk shows a lot–people call in and keep pleading: “Give him a chaaaaaance!”

      A friend of my mother’s, a cultured, intelligent man, barked: “When they start criticizing him, I just turn it off!”

      I can’t wait until the Kool Aid disease has passed–it’s so noxious.

      • fif, I predict in Jan 2010 they will say “it’s only been a year” ….and then for the truly kool aide pickled, it will be on to ” it’s only his first term! “

    • yeah, here’s another Obot meme: “Well, it’s going to take some time to clean up the mess that Bush left…”


  6. Do you know what NationalBarackChannel (via the Today show) was gushing about this morning? That Obama is again breaking ground by being the first sitting president to go on a late night talk show.
    Srsly, they were saying this like it’s a mark of his awesomeness.

    And they had Meredith Viera putting Cramer on the carpet — trying to make him say the financial meltdown is all his (as rep of business media) fault. Cramer was like — if you’re saying whoes responisble you sure missed the ones with the greatest responsibility — wall street and the govt.

    • I just can’t get over how jumping on Cramer is going to solve anything. It’s preposterous.

      Cramer is not president. Cramer is not a legislator. Cramer is not in the House of Reps. Cramer is not on the Cabinet.

      • I know, it’s ludicrous.
        Cramer is the kid saying the Omperor has no clothes.
        Off with his head!

      • I thought Cramer was just a loud media guy, amusing the people and giving alternately good or bad advice on stocks. Sort of like the horserace handicappers or sports channel armchair quarterbacks – entertaining and taken with a grain of salt by reasonable people.

        Who knew he had so much POWER, to be the focus and cause of the meltdown of an entire national economy? Wow, I thought he just had a bouncy TeeVee show.

      • We have a positive carousel of scapegoats twirling around. Look there goes Cramer, there’s Rush, there’s HRC, there’s Santelli, here comes Dodd, there goes Blago and Burris. Round and round. Where she stops, nobody knows.

        Okay, bit of a mixed metaphor between roulette and a carnival merry-go-round. But only a mixed metaphor can really capture the unreal sort of carnival crazy nature, mixed with seriously risky gambling behavior.

    • “the first since JFK” per Politico….

  7. The last I heard, there was a negative interest rate on some Treasuries. Anyway, we are very likely headed for hyperinflation now, because Bernanke is printing at least a trillion dollars, according to the NYT this morning.

    Goodbye U.S. dollar. Hello Weimar America.

    • As outrageous as the AIG bonuses are, the one thing that annoys me about the intense media focus on them, is that no one seems to be paying attention to anything else.

      • I think that might be the point. Obama is trying to shift the blame onto just about anyone he can think of, and the ones he is blaming are throwing the blame around like a hot potato. Meanwhile Obama is going on the the Tonight Show???! He needs ot get his a$$ back to DC and find some better advisors.

        I wonder if Obama understands what could happen now that Bernanke is going to just magically print money by guaranteeing to back up anyone who buys Treasury bonds? I don’t want to have to take a wheelbarrow full of paper money to the store to buy a loaf of bread. This is how Hitler got into power in Germany–hyperinflation.

        • Or like Zimbabwe’s billion dollar notes just to by a shirt or milk.

        • Obama has been dashing all around “my neighborhood” since yesterday… If I didn’t have to go to WORK and do my JOB, I would have loved to stand outside one of the venues with a sign that said, “Quit Joking Around and GET TO WORK!”

          on the other hand, I figure he’s got nothing to actually add to the situation, so an appearance on Leno is about all he’s capable of…

        • bb: I don’t think your analogy is correct. I think we need to have dakinlat do a post on the fed buying up treasuries. This whole thing on AIG is a political distraction that has been enormously fueled by The One We Have Been Waiting For. Where was Obama and his team when it counted. I think Bernanke is the only sane, intelligent and halfway responsible person out there. I would add Bair to the list. Geithner is in way over his head along with Obama.

  8. I’m having a hard time picking just one answer.

    It seems like this economic situation resulted from a perfect storm, or a combination of factors. My vote would be split among the following factors:

    (a) actions of the Federal Reserve (Alan Greenspan),
    (b) deregulation,
    (c) lack of oversight (we didn’t enforce existing regulation), and
    (d) the combined irresponsible and perhaps downright criminal actions of some players of Fannie, Freddie, Wall Street and the banks.

  9. Oddly enough, during this past election many of my friends who were Hillary supporters morphed into Obama supporters when November came around, for the good of the party ya’ know. Well, these unfortunate slobs are defending our Presidents actions, or lack thereof. So sad to see people who vote “for the good of the party” become yes men to an inexperienced, untested junior senator who would rather make speeches and go on talk shows than sit down in the oval office and do the hard work. But that’s been his MO from day one.

    • damn shame they did not vote for the good of the country.
      Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?



  10. The only good guy in all this is the guy actually driving the outrage bus, Andrew Cuomo. I wrote about him yesterday, and today, CQ has a story.


    • Andrew Cuomo kicks ASS and doesn’t give a sh!t what the Frds say.

      Now that’s a guy I can support if he ever decides to run for office someday.

      He’s the only one doing his JOB.

      • He’s going to run for Governor against Paterson next year.

      • Andrew is one of the few not bloviating, he is rolling up his sleeves and working at what he was elected to do. We need more like him.

      • If the blowback on the “New Dems” becomes really devastating, Cuomo is well-positioned to be a survivor. I think that here and there, other dems are sniffing the winds and coming coming to similar conclusions.

        • You know, I’m beginning to suspect Obama is piggy-backing on the “New Dems” thing like he did on Howdy Deany’s 50 state strategy. Co-opt the good parts, flatter the originators with your “imitation,” knowing full well when you’ve squeezed the life out of them, under the bus they go. We shall see.

          • Hey, that’s very plausible. Your insights are always so astute Cinie – I feel sure you’ve got your finger on the pulse there. Be interested to read a piece on it down the road if you feel inclined.

    • WOH! Hold on, I read Cuomo was involved not so long ago big time with the makers of that mess. I do not remimber but I think it had to do with AIG.

      He may be growing a conscience now. But it was not always the case.

      • Got a link? There are no saints here, so if there’s something we should know, have at it. I just haven’t come across anything linking him to the mess on the down side.

  11. Hold on folks! You are asking about Dodd–it looks like he’s not quite so willing to be pitched under the bus:

    Dodd Blames Obama Administration for Bonus Amendment (Update1)

    March 19 (Bloomberg) — Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said the Obama administration asked him to insert a provision in last month’s $787 billion economic- stimulus legislation that had the effect of authorizing American International Group Inc.’s bonuses.


    • Hang on to that bumper, Chris. It’s gonna be a ride.

    • yes-that’s what I’m screaming about!

      Last night I heard Greta say that Dodd was accusing the “treasury dept” of pressuring him to insert the provision that protected the bonuses and that he would release more info today.

      I hope there is not going to be an unfortunate accident involving Sen. Dodo.

      • Why am I still in moderation? (comment above)

        Re Dodd, they don’t need an accident. All they need to do is contact their friends at the media and warn them not to cover something. I know this is way paranoid, but it seems that way. I heard that interview with Greta, and it seemed a very big story. Now this morning, not one word about it.

        It seems that we’re talking coverup here. And it also seems that the media has become one more arm of the government.

        I’ve noticed also that people like Keith and Rachel, though they have to cover AIG, spend only a few minutes on it, then move on to more stories about Bush, Cheney (didn’t we finally get rid of them?) and Gitmo (all 259 prisoners). Not that Gitmo isn’t important, but the coverups are what’s happening today. And what isn’t happening to help the economy. Housing? Nothing. Or so little that it won’t do anything.

        The AIG story is very important because it reveals where the new admin is truly coming from. People get it. It needs to followed, but media will probably will try to drop it. Hopefully, viewers won’t allow it.

        • I heard something on the radio this morning
          … but the “headline” was “Dodd CHANGES his story” … and then went on to say yeah he admits he put the clause in but was pressured to by the Treasury dept.

      • Can anyone tell me why I’m in moderation again? Is it something I wrote or spammy playing again? That makes two now.

      • like Donald Young?

    • We were wondering if it was going to be fight or flight for Dodd. Looks like – Fight!

  12. Count Olaf is W. He is now disguised as Obama, just check the eye tatoo on his ankle – it’s him! (only the kids were able to recognize him in all his disguises in the books).
    Anyway, didja know Obama is funny? He is too, so stop saying that!

  13. my former comment is in moderation…

    please release me let me go (sung to the tune of)

  14. My biggest concern, and this is not just for Obama, is where is the accountability????? No one is being held responsible. Is this why criminal charges against him were taken off the table? So that our dear leaders can do any f*cking thing they want and no one is ever held responsible.

    If I send people out to do a job and they die, I am facing some serious charges. If I don’t do my job, I get fired, without a huge bonus.

    Why is our government operating on a different level than the common man? What kind of signal is this sending to our children and grandchildren? Two sets of rules, and if you are political bigwig or a gazillionaire, you get a buy, no fines, no fees, no charges, pass go, collect your bonus and retire happily.

    This is not the country I was brought up to be proud of, I am disheartened and saddened.

    • I echo your concerns about accountability. With everything that has happened, it is obvious that some individuals in power either had to be incompetent, negligent, corrupt or a combination of the three.

  15. http://www.forbes.com/2009/03/18/american-economy-housing-bubble-madoff-opinions-columnists-ponzi.html

    “A government that will issue trillions of dollars of new debt to pay for this severe recession and socialize private losses may risk becoming a Ponzi government if–in the medium term–it does not return to fiscal discipline and debt sustainability.”


    Interesting article, although I don’t think all Americans can be blamed for the ponzi scheme, as not everyone took on more debt than they could pay off, additionally, those with power and those who set up the scheme deserve the lions share of the blame.

  16. Damn, one whole sentence was left out of that comment, the criminal charges statement was directed at Dubya.

  17. “The WH is starting to float the “complete confidence” meme, which is sort of the equivalent of “Have you thought about resigning? No, no, take your time. We’ve got about a week as these things go. Has anyone seen Sheila Bair?””
    RD -well done!
    This is exactly my take on the noise coming from the potus.

    • My paranoid side is wondering if Geithner was picked specifically to be the fall guy for Treasury/WH corruption?
      I mean, that would explain why he hasn’t bothered to hire anybody, why he’s been MIA … if he knows he’s just there to take a fall, why bother, right?

  18. The NY Times article is pretty forgiving to Geithner…almost sounded like schoolyard diplomacy.

    Went too easy on him.

    • It’;s like Obotulism. These are his fans, moreso than hers taking his side against heres, and they are GIRLS.

      I talked to my daughter about this) she’s 11 yrs old) and she said some but not all of the kids at school were saying the same thing.

      I told her that NO MAN has the right to put their hands on a woman, EVER. EVER. EVER. I went into my story with her dad, how I left & did it because all I wanted was to be at peace, then she said. Oh no mom, any guy that dares to hit me is going DOWN!

      What’s sad is that Rihanna took this criminal back. Supposedly.

      • I agree – My father (who would have been 100 this year!) was a wise man – he always told my sister and me (before it was fashionable, I might add!) that if a man – any man – every lays a hand on you turn and walk immediately out the door. Always. No matter who the creep was.

        I’ve passed that advice onto our kids – son and daughter.

  19. Sec. Hank Paulson did not want any stings attached to those receiving the TARP money because the execs might not take it. So the logic goes as follows. We must be generous and lenient towards those that almost destroyed the world economy, because if we do not, they really will destroy the world economy. Paulson, Geitner, Bernacke, Greenspan and the rest are acculturated to this delusional belief system. Politicians receive substantial funding by those living in this alternate reality. Therefore politicians accept and benefit from this until the serfs figure out the game and begin to revolt. This started under Paulson and W. and continues with Obama since they are all the same players. They have actually convinced themselves that saving bad bankers will save the financial system because the bad bankers told them so.

  20. Hill Democrats blame W.H.

    Congressional Democrats took aim at the Obama administration Wednesday, blaming the president’s economic team for creating a loophole that allowed AIG to pay its employees millions of dollars in bonuses and then not doing enough to stop the bonuses when it could.

    And their warp-speed effort to get the money back made it clear that congressional Democrats don’t think the White House is moving fast enough to solve the problem now.


    • “The public confidence in our ability is being adversely affected — not just mildly, but seriously,” Dodd said.

      Should have thought of that before you all rushed that porker through without proper review, debate and negotiation.

      Does anyone think, like me, that there are going to be more recriminations to come from various unpleasant surprises in the stimulus? Congress, I feel, completely sabotaged itself right out of the gate, by acting with outrageous irresponsibility in the use of their own power. They threw themselves away.

      • good. I hope they all lose their seats in 2010.
        because many of them threw away the chance we had to have a real president

        • The House That Obama Built is imploding at the speed of light.

        • That’s right. They threw her away, along with the voters of the majority of the dem party. The dem leaders manipulated the primary, ignored the caucus fraud, cheated for him at the RBC meeting, and forced his ‘win’ at the convention.

          All his congressional supporters, the DNC, Reid, Pelosi, the paid for super delegates–they all ushered this crisis in.

          Hillary said that at a time in our country’s history, when so much was at stake and so much could careen out of control, it was most important to choose someone with experience and the right plans–someone who could go to work from day one. She was the voice of truth, and the rest are lying bums, if you ask me.

      • Or the “don’t blame me, I voted for Hillary!”

      • I don’t even believe the crap about how they didn’t read the screw-u-louse bill before they signed it.

        They all knew what they were doing.

        Can’t wait for 2010.

  21. Did anyone see the story last night about a group of Dem Senators led by Bayh who were criticizing potus? I only heard the tail end of the story, but it was some kind of letter or petition, with signed names of Senators.

    Seems like another big story that was dropped.

    And printing more money – that sounds very scary. Dakini, can you explain what could be good about this? That could be the scariest of all.Even now it seems that food prices go up 10% every time I shop.

    • a couple of people have asked me about this so I’ll do a thread about it today. basically, it can be inflationary. we learned that in the 60s with the massive increase in spending by the LBJ administration on the great society and the vietnam war that was not accompanied by an increase in taxes. it was the first of many inflation spirals that characterized the 60s and the 70s. we had that painful recession in the early 80s started by Volcker that put an end to it.

  22. HA! More populist rage, in 5,4,3,2…:

    13 firms receiving federal bailout owe back taxes

    WASHINGTON – Thirteen firms receiving billions of dollars in federal bailout money owe a total of more than $220 million in unpaid federal taxes, a key lawmaker said Thursday.

    Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, chairman of a House subcommittee overseeing the federal bailout, said two firms owe more than $100 million apiece.

    The House Ways and Means subcommittee on oversight discovered the delinquent taxes in a review of tax records from 23 of the firms, Lewis said in remarks prepared for a hearing.

    Banks and other firms receiving federal money were required to sign contracts stating they had no unpaid taxes, Lewis said. But the Treasury Department did not ask them to turn over their tax records, he said.

    The revelation is sure to spark outrage on Capitol Hill, where the House is expected to vote Thursday on a bill that would impose steep taxes on employee bonuses at firms that have received bailout money.

    To date, the Troubled Asset Relief Program has paid out more than $300 billion to private companies, with billions more on the way.

  23. These fools owe back taxes!?!?! The sh!t just keeps on coming. It is flying at Americans at warp speed.


    • Apparently Timmy took the companies at their word since the article says they had to sign paperwork saying they didn’t owe taxes.

      Not really surprising that the tax thing would be overlooked. It isn’t like Timmy himself didn’t owe back taxes.

  24. NEW POST

  25. http://www.reuters.com/article/americasRegulatoryNews/idUSN1939374620090319?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=10112

    “….Fury over the AIG bonuses threatens to undermine Obama’s efforts to solve the credit crisis and pull the economy out of a deep recession. He has said he might have to ask Congress for money beyond a $700 billion bailout fund approved in October….”

    Ugh. Boston Boomer said Weimar above. Maybe so.

    It’s just disgusting, all of it.

  26. Great post RD. The “Greenspan put” I believe means the expectation of a backstop in the form of lower rates and cheap money from the Fed when there is a national crisis, financial or otherwise. Most definitely the case following 9/11. Bernanke is following that tradition to try and avert a depression. Like steering into the skid, I guess. Greenspan, Frank, Dodd have become the bad guys for sure, in retrospect. Though I don’t believe their motivations were to line their pockets, with campaign contributions, votes, or anything else truly sinister. They were trying to distribute the wealth down, not up, but in the process lost sight of fiscal discipline. Like most everyone in the country, they believed real estate would not go down. They should have been thinking about regulation, but they (including Bill) focused instead on access to the American dream for everyone, the little people. The bankers obliged, and here we are.

    In the meantime while the post 9/11 economy was humming domestically, the wingnuts on the right, all they cared about was war and revenge, wherever they could find it in the Middle East. Our nation is experienced when it comes to detente. We learned from the Cold War. But we are still naïve when it comes to deterrence. When we were attacked, we went nuts. We attacked the wrong people because they *appeared* guilty or close enough. We tortured. We payed off terrorist insurgents. We negotiated with them. Hell we’ve even been known to arm them if they happened to be on our side at the time. We don’t do deterrence well, yet. We will still payoff the serial kidnapper if we can save one life. All the more reason we should stop playing the pious world cop, unless we’re prepared to commit ourselves all the way. Who among us were there, on the ground, to stop the genecides in Cambodia, Rwanda, or Dafur today if we care so much about corpses. Aside from promoting peace, we should get our noses out of other people’s GD religions and fix or neuter our own disfunctional religions.

    California should be returned to Mexico. It was Mexican long before we got there. Name a non Spanish town. And for that matter, what would we do if Native Americans began rocketing our homes and bombing our malls from their reservations. Call up the National Guard, roll in some tanks. Nah, we wouldn’t be that GD hypocritical, would we. Try saying this three times: until we completely remove our border with Mexico, America today does not have any right to exist, period. Oil rich nations of the world agree, and as we default on our national debt, these nations move in to take over. Americans, take a boat to Australia.

    You can usually see r@cism coming from a mile away. Prejudice and xenophobia are better disguised. I speak from some experience. Soft historical words like sympathizer come to mind. In that respect, not too different from blatant misogyny versus implicit patriarchy.

    Sorry for over-ranting. Not directed at anyone in particular. Well, maybe one or two.

  27. Photo 1: ” You were right, Colonel Custer, sir. Here comes them Injuns.”

  28. Oops, wrong thread. Sorry.

  29. we pay our taxes..but they don’t.wtf??

  30. […] how many are you going to make?  I’ll leave to WMCB to comment on that: WMCB, on March 19th, 2009 at 8:15 am Said: I point out to them that this ENTIRE election […]

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