Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 26, 2008

The Dems Have Been Had - Again

The Democrats have been had, again, by the Republicans.

After Paulson delivered his scare show to Congress leaders last week, demanding a $700+ billion check without checks and balance, it were the Democrat leaders in Congress, Pelosi, Schumer, Frank, who immediately stepped forward and agreed in principal that such a lunatic plan was needed.

Blinded by Wall Street contributions to their campaigns, they publicly declared that 'something must be done' and followed the lead of the most despised president ever like the sheep they are.

They attached a bit of window dressing to the Paulson plan but left out any real issue progressives should care about like the mortgage modifications in bankruptcy courts.

Yesterday evening the Republicans pulled the rug and the deal is off.

These Republicans and McCain will now be able to tell their constituency that it was them who protected the taxpayer and that the Dems and Obama were indeed the people who wanted to throw money at Wall Street.

This was a huge ploy and the Dems fell for it.

Karl Rove must be laughing his ass off.


This is not a crisis over liquidity and providing liquidity, while in some cases necessary, will not relieve the blocked interbank credit markets. This is a solvency crisis where many financial entities are suspected to be bankrupt. The people in bank A know how they fudge their own balance sheets to hide the losses. They correctly suspect that bank B does the same. That is the reason why A does not want to lend to B and B does not want to lend to A. Those who have money prefer to stay liquid instead of taking the risk to lend it to some bankrupt entity.

That situation is not good and it will eventually lead to trouble for Main Street. There are ways to get out of this, but the Paulson plan was about the most ineffective and wasteful way one could think of.

People need to sit back, and think through the issues to come up with something comprehensive. Paulson pushing the panic button or Cramer screaming on TV is no reason to favor giveaways.

The Dems should prepare a real stimulation program, several hundred billion dollars of infrastructure investment, and be prepared to lend to Main Street when the banks fail to do it. Buy up foreclosed homes and destroy them to relief the housing market of excess supply that further pulls down the housing market.

Help the people, not the banks. Those, over time, can and will sort out the solvency issues themselves.

There are many structural issues that must be tackled by the next congress.

J.P. Morgan just took over the failed Washington Mutual in a quite lucrative deal. It is now the biggest bank in the U.S. with Bank of America being number two. This giants will have to be split at a point. Companies that are 'too big to fail' must never be allowed to exist. They disturb the markets by the implicit government insurance that comes with the 'too big to fail' status.

The whole finacial system must be renovated. But that is nothing that can be done within weeks and by giving away money.

Posted by b on September 26, 2008 at 8:04 UTC | Permalink


Ach! Would that it were so, and this parade of horse poo would cost us no more than bruises and eggs on the faces of our Democratic Party factotums.

But alas! the scent of money is strong in the air. The hounds have it now, and they will chase it down no matter the obstacles.

You may rest assured that there will be a huge, huge bailout in the very near future, a bailout of 'Wall Street' generically, and then of the FDIC specifically. This finger pointing and taking of hard stances during the negotiations is to spin the blame, to point public anger toward the Democratic Party instead of the crooks who caused the bust, and are now begging for free and unaccountable monies to put their fat wallets right again.

The fight over who the public blames is because these so called leaders of our nation know that the public will be more riled over the abject failure of any bailout than they have been in decades. Nothing gets Americans angrier than being kicked in the balls when they aren't looking. Pearl Harbor, and shit like that.

And this bailout is a contemptuous kick right in the national nuts. People won't forget, forgive, or fail to find vengeance for it.

Posted by: Antifa | Sep 26 2008 9:00 utc | 1

Pearl Harbor, and shit like that.
People won't forget, forgive, or fail to find vengeance for it.
Weirdly, I don't think the US would throw an actual tactical nuke on Wall Street - which should be the logical conclusion of a comparison between WW2 against Japan and the current economic mess and robbery.
Heck, as long as no one goes out there and shoots a banker or a CEO, I can't take seriously any claim of "American people finding vengeance for this".

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 26 2008 9:22 utc | 2

Scary evidence of your hypothesis b:

From Naked Capitalism

I understand that the explosion in the OIS spread is a reflection of the fear banks have for each others solvency. And it makes sense that it exploded right after the bankruptcy of LEH--it was not the bankruptcy per se, IMO, but the fact that $110b of senior LEH debt went from trading .95 to .12 in a matter of days that concentrated the market's attention. If you include the less senior debt that is trading at essentially zero, LEH had $110b hole in its balance sheet. And just days before this, the market was being told and was believing that the $10b disposition of Neuberger was going to solve their funding problems.

Now is there a precedent in this history of bankruptcy--excluding cases of accounting fraud--where bonds collapsed like this once a bankruptcy court opened up the books? I'm thinking the answer is 'no.' Which then makes you re-evaluate the premise that there wasn't fraud at LEH in marking the value of their assets.

Now extrapolate this reasoning across the entire banking system and, voila, you have the seizure of the interbank lending market.

Now this leads me to the question: if the OIS spread represents eminently legitimate fears of inaccurate marks on banks books, how is a commitment from the treasury to buy hundreds of billions of distressed assets from the banks any assurance to a counterparty that that bank will not still become insolvent. Obviously it helps on the margin, but the staggering hole in LEH's balance sheet that was revealed after bankruptcy creates profound fears about the true solvency of C or UBS. Until the market is convinced they are solvent--and TARP does not do this--the OIS spread will remain elevated and lending will remain frozen.

Posted by: jeff65 | Sep 26 2008 10:19 utc | 3

I should clarify, I was referring to your solvency hypothesis. The investment banks are not only bankrupt, there was certainly accounting fraud.

Posted by: jeff65 | Sep 26 2008 10:24 utc | 4

McCain just makes it up as he goes along. That's why the campaign looks totally chaotic. The likes of Palin have problems answering even the simplest questions because McCain's position depends upon time of the day. However it was a brilliant move on his part to punk everybody in the room. If he is lucky, the market will not crash horribly tomorrow.

Dems need to put together a serious plan that unravels the bad loans at source. It appears even to my amateur eyes that the structure is designed and implemented so that it can not be taken apart at the end of the securities. I believe Obama made a mistake ruling out changes in bankruptcy as that rather than foreclosure would be the better event to begin to unravel the securities. Value would also be more easily established as real estate on its own even when inflated is better reference and would rid the question of risk premiums and arbitrary interest charged in the original mortgages. Dealing with the securities in bulk is to pay compensation against accounting entries that are probably more difficult to interpret than the original mortgages. It shouldn't take any longer to untangle these than it took to put them together in the first place. So two to three years and it can be cleaned up.

Posted by: YY | Sep 26 2008 10:27 utc | 5

If there were real leftist politicians in the USA, they would be calling to end the private property of the land right now. This would put a stake straight through the heart of the investment / speculation beast.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 26 2008 10:37 utc | 6

The trouble with the angle that it was all a trap from the start is that it presupposes the rethugs are all working together when in fact they are behaving more fragmented than the dems have for an age.
The most likely cause is that McCain who deliberately delayed the closure of the TARP so as to make it seem he was the main man on the white horse who rode into town to rescue the virgin, created enough space with the his delay, that other rethugs heard back from their constituents what a bad idea they thought this was.
If McCain was liked or even respected the rethug legislators would have sold the bail-out but he isn't and worse the polls don't give him a snowball's chance now that the Palin 'bounce' has quit bouncing.
So rethug legislators were being asked to risk their own seats for a man they neither like nor respect who prolly won't win. That call was easy.
But as Antifa said the whiff of free money is out there and won't stop until it has been doled out.
Worst of all, now that the dems are so tied the this dumb and greedy notion, they have to make it work ie sell it to Wall St as well as their constituency.
That allows the Wall St sharks to start playing hard to get until the dems strip off the meagre controls over the new executive cash for the rich dispensary. The prez will end up with total control over the money-tap bossfella appointment, which the dems will go along with cause they think it will mean before long their man Obama will have unfettered power over the cash faucet.
trouble with that idea is January 09 is a while away and by then shrub will have handed out most of the $700 billion to his cousins and in-laws, skull and bones men and the usual old texan ass bandits.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 26 2008 10:47 utc | 7

Many of the securities are really and truly worth nothing. I recall an article about bragging how they were designed to suit different investor risk profiles, which means they were internally geared. Anything geared is dead, dead, dead.

Unfortunately the most prudent thing to do is to use the money to protect depositors and start over.

Posted by: jeff65 | Sep 26 2008 10:48 utc | 8

Senator Shelby was on the record as against this bail out before McCain pulled his stunt.

If you are an American, fax and phone your Senators and Congressmen. They need an economics lesson, but there isn't time so just scream at them. It's working.

Posted by: jeff65 | Sep 26 2008 10:55 utc | 9

Bush is Lucy, setting up the political football.

The Congressional Democrats are Charley Brown, moronically convinced they have no choice but to once more try and kick the ball.

But this time, instead of Bush snatching the ball away, it’s McCain who intercepts the play, grabs the ball and runs with it to the opposite goal line.

The score: Bush and the Democrats look like a losing “team” while McCain boasts of saving the taxpayers’ $700 billion.

And Reid, Pelosi, and Frank are once again revealed to be capitulating tools.

Posted by: Lish | Sep 26 2008 11:36 utc | 10

Oh, come on, get off it. Why does it always have to be the unwitting dupe, incompetence, get out of jail free card for the Dems? Paul Krugman has it right. This will be the end of both Political Parties. They have never been more transparent. They're positively naked in their complicity with the criminals, and they must be punished with extinction for their transgressions. Their heads on sticks lined up and down Pennsylvania Avenue would be fitting and just....the world would cheer as the citizens of the U.S. finally got off their Lazy Boys and took back the country from the thieves and murderers who have traumatized the planet and its inhabitants unrelentingly.

Posted by: Babalu | Sep 26 2008 12:12 utc | 11

I actually disagree with your political analysis here, B. I think McCain comes out of this looking like an egotistical and out of touch spoiler while Obama looks statesmanlike and more reassuring to voters in a troubling world. Remember that it was McCain, not Obama, who pushed for the negotiations to get 'politicized'-- this, at a time when as he admitted he hadn't even read Paulson's original 3-page proposal let alone the draft legislative language developed by Frank, Dodd, etc.

There are obviously huge problems with the content of the proposal Frank, Dodd, and Co were developing, and Obama needs to speak forcefully to those, to prevent McCain being able to claim that he alone represents "the popular sentiment." He can do that. McCain has certainly not won this round so far.

Posted by: Helena Cobban | Sep 26 2008 12:16 utc | 12

This is a case where the Republican idealised small-town America works against them. Palin was supposed to represent that: the small-town hockey-mom, who represents middle America. However, it was allowed to become clear to small-town America that it is them who are going to finance the bail-out of those big-city cheats in Wall St. That was a big mistake. Small-town America is never going to be happy with that. The Palin play is being completely reversed. And I don't think Bush going on TV and talking about national crisis is going to help. He should have done it quietly, so small-town America didn't understand what was happening.

Posted by: Alex | Sep 26 2008 12:29 utc | 13

Obama's going to win the election and he's going to get a Republican Congress. There will be a stalemate for four years as the American Empire crumbles precipitously. It will be one calamity after another. It will be the death of the Democratic Party, in the least. The Dems will never recover from it. They will be scapegoated into extinction. Time to start thinking about what should fill the void created by these has beens before someone else does.

Posted by: Carter | Sep 26 2008 12:51 utc | 14

@Helena - I think McCain comes out of this looking like an egotistical and out of touch spoiler while Obama looks statesmanlike and more reassuring to voters in a troubling world. Remember that it was McCain, not Obama, who pushed for the negotiations to get 'politicized'-- this, at a time when as he admitted he hadn't even read Paulson's original 3-page proposal let alone the draft legislative language developed by Frank, Dodd, etc.

You and I know the above. But how many people who get maybe 10 minutes of news per day recognized that.

They saw:
a. Bush and the Dem Congress leaders cooperating to bailout Wall Street with THEIR money.
b. McCain and Republican 2nd class Congress critters preventing that.

Who will they vote for?

There are obviously huge problems with the content of the proposal Frank, Dodd, and Co were developing, and Obama needs to speak forcefully to those, to prevent McCain being able to claim that he alone represents "the popular sentiment." He can do that. McCain has certainly not won this round so far.

Frank, Dodd and Co made two mistakes:
- they went, in principal, with the Paulson plan - a huge giveaway - instead of presenting an alternative. Dumb, dumb, dumb - but no wonder because they depend on Wall Street campaign money.
- the only issue the Dems really pressed was diminished CEO income - irrelevant in the bigger context.
- Obama more or less agreed with the bailout - he never spoke out against it but spoke out against putting the mortgage bankruptcy reform into it, something that would a. help and b. be a sensible social policy.

The Washington power elite, including the media, have badly misread the public opinion on this and have badly underestimated how much the back benchers in Congress were subjected to pressure from home. In the blogging world I have seen no positive reaction to the Paulson plan AT ALL. Liberals as well as paleo-rightwingers were deeply against this. That tells you something.

Laura Rozen posted some inside view from Congress that marveled at that.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2008 13:16 utc | 15

It must be catching, the Australian government has just announced it will also start paying cash for trash aka the war on Error.

Damn and blast!

Posted by: Bokonon | Sep 26 2008 13:18 utc | 16

"The people in bank A know how they fudge their own balance sheets to hide the losses. They correctly suspect that bank B does the same. That is the reason why A does not want to lend to B and B does not want to lend to A."

This means they don't believe each other anymore. Credere = to believe. They have no credit. And you can't "create credit" anymore. Whirly Ben thinks he can run the printing presses and "create credit". In fact this destroys our credit because it is one more sign that American is no longer credit worthy.

Arrest Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson and Bush while you're at it. Then the US will once again get the credit it needs to survive. Allow Wall Street to crumble. The real economy will survive, nay THRIVE, without the big banks.

Posted by: rusty | Sep 26 2008 13:54 utc | 17

After what's just happened - btw, collapse of WaMu, biggest disaster in US banking history just slid by under the radar; are we already bored of failed banks? What's it been, like, three weeks of that? Sheesh, what's on Dancing with the Stars? - I'm fully convinced that there's no plan whatsoever. The political system is entirely staffed with incompetents who refuse to take responsibility for anything - see Katrina - and who thrash from one soundbite to the next like dead frogs being jazzed by a flashlight battery. The operating force is greed - unplanned, opportunistic, corporate greed, that works something like a staph infection, just piling into the slightest nick in the socio-politico-economic immune system. If you can call Staph aureus conspiratorial, I guess there's a conspiracy. But just watching Palin's Couric interview, or any of the souped-up wankers in Congress - or god forbid one of the actual candidates - it's hard to identify any presiding genius at all, or indeed anything that makes sense except for Paulson's Goldman Sachs link.

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 26 2008 14:32 utc | 18

Bush says bail-out will be passed

Yeah, Yeah. Sounds like Condy Rice in Baghdad in July telling us the SOFA was about to be signed.

Posted by: Alex | Sep 26 2008 14:43 utc | 19

Very entertaining developments. At bottom what we are witnessing is a comedy, the comedic aspects based on everyone taking a role that does not represent their true being but merely an assigned activity. We have the Cassandras, the wise bloggers, the saviors of the country, the profound economists, the politicians full of wisdom and these and other comedic aspects are raised to the level of tragedy a fake tragedy because in tragedy the outcome is ineluctable and here we are all looking for a happy comedic ending. But in the process the comedy is raised to the level of tragedy and when that happens what we obtain is farce.
Who is going to lose billions? Do those billions exist? not at all, they are mere entries in books they have no reality, our children and grand children will not be paying these debts, the debts will disappear from consciousness. What has happened to the tsarist bonds? Nothing is real except to the extent that we want to suffer or make others suffer. The whole world is a joke.

Posted by: jlcg | Sep 26 2008 14:45 utc | 20

"The political system is entirely staffed with incompetents who refuse to take responsibility for anything - see Katrina"
Well, in all seriousness, the fallout fron 9/11 had already shown that. I mean, heads should have rolled. With the tens of billions that already went yearly on security, it's just insane that no one actually paid for this. People should have resigned en masse, high-level officials should've been fired, and probably some people should have been sued for such a breach in the defense system.
And I know some will claim it's proof it was a conspiracy. But *even if it was* a conspiracy, the masterminds should've set up a few expendable underlings that would've been sacrificed to the people's anger. The mere facts nothing was done, and American people wasn't even pissed off at such an absolute incompetence are quite telling.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 26 2008 14:52 utc | 21

To quote from Laura Rozen's post linked in 15, it is indeed exactly the same as in Baghdad, identical language.

Watching the coverage remains quite weird, because there is this enduring assumption that a deal is going to be done, that it will be, fundamentally, Paulson's plan with modifications, and that that is the right thing.

I tell you, as I said on the Iraq thread a few days ago, this is the return of people power, even if not quite as socialists would like it. It is public opinion which stopped the SOFA, and public opinion which is blocking the Paulson plan. From what I can see, the bail-out is not going to pass easily, or immediately. That is really important for people who like contorted conspiracy theories, and "Great Games". It is quite hard to do something which is strongly opposed by the public.

Posted by: Alex | Sep 26 2008 14:59 utc | 22

I'm fully convinced that there's no plan whatsoever.

There is no plan that will do any good but still there is a plan of course and that is to rob AmeriKa as much as possible...which in a sense is good having in mind what USA has done around the globe from WWII to a present day.Of course bad thing is that little people in USA will suffer and those bandits on top will cheer.Talking about justice on Earth...

Posted by: vbo | Sep 26 2008 15:00 utc | 23

Thanks b

We get more accurate information here than all of American corporate media which is desperately trying to keep their owners intact but failing after the House GOP revolt.

The huge Tyrannosaurs Rex in the room is the 43 trillion dollars in housing derivatives which are totally worthless. They have to be taken off the books; but, how? That is more value than all the money in the world. There are really only three options:

1) Try to keep the current structure intact and flood Wall Street with money in the hope it will survive - The Bush Democratic plan,

2) Give Wall Street Tax Cuts - The McCain/House GOP plan, or

3) Nationalize Wall Street [The Swedish Example].

The Bush Democratic plan is standard kick the can down the line. The McCain House GOP plan is only good for demagoguery. Their ideology "Greed is Good. Government is Evil" caused the explosion of worthless derivatives. Their belief in being the Chosen People and the coming of the imminent Rapture insures the US economy will crash and burn. It's the Prophecy.

Given the rampart political denial and lack of transparency, nationalization will occur only once the depression hits America.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 26 2008 15:16 utc | 24

Someone please explain to me how you can have a credit crisis with real interests rates near zero!?! Give me a break! If they need money, let them simply raise interests rates and price in the risk. Let the free market work.

This smells like a gigantic fraud to me.

The only explanation I can think of is that Goldman-Morgan-Citi-BofA are trying to shake the banking system so that there is only a handful of market makers left--an hugely profitable oligopoly.

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 26 2008 15:24 utc | 25

I can understand some of the arguments against government interference in private business, but basic financial oversight and control are not meddling any more than installing a traffic light at a busy intersection is impeding the flow of traffic.

Unless you're in a hurry to get to the airport to fly to Washington to fix a financial crisis...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 26 2008 15:30 utc | 26

@VietnamVet - The huge Tyrannosaurs Rex in the room is the 43 trillion dollars in housing derivatives which are totally worthless. They have to be taken off the books; but, how? That is more value than all the money in the world. There are really only three options:

There is a fourth one: Declare All Credit Default Swaps Null And Void

Simple to do and with precedence and supreme court legitimization.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2008 15:35 utc | 27

SImple, but not with this supreme court.
So, that leaves the 5th option. Go bolshevik on their asses until there's no one left to work for investment, finance and commercial law. Basically, the (movie) Tyler Durden option, but with all the people in the buildings when they go down.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Sep 26 2008 15:59 utc | 28

Heckuva job Pauly.

Posted by: drongo | Sep 26 2008 16:18 utc | 29

Mission Accomplished!

Posted by: drongo | Sep 26 2008 16:19 utc | 30

I have to disagree with the contention that the Democrats have been "had." On the contrary, I think the Democrats are the primary instigators of this massive act of theft. They control the Congress after all, and indisputable hold ALL of the cards here. The millionaires who control the Democratic party all stand to make enormous fortunes off of this ripoff, and that is what they are trying to do. They know exactly what they are doing, and they know exactly who's going to profit from it and who's going to pay. They're just pulling a giant "good cop-bad cop" scheme. But there isn't the slightest difference between the parties any longer. Notice how quickly Obama is to jump on the bandwagon, despite the quite obvious and enormous political benefits he could gain by opposing it.

Posted by: mike | Sep 26 2008 16:41 utc | 31

I do not understand why the US cannot follow the Swedish banking bailout model. The amount of money is the same as a percent of GDP. The Swedish bailout qworked and according to some the taxpayer might make some money off of it. As I understand it, there were three main planks to the bailout:

1. Banks must full declare all their losses, ie, full transperancy.
2. The govt. will become a shareholder in the banks that get the bailout.
3. Create independent agencies to manage the bailout.

I do understand that there is a cultural difference between sweden and the US that might pre-empt that from working, but it seems to be the best option right now. It will not give the money for worhtless assets, ie, no waste of taxpayers money, and it will make profits for the taxpayers in the long run when the govt sells the banking shares that it holds.

Posted by: ndahi | Sep 26 2008 16:47 utc | 32


Squealing in delight, the swine head straight for the trough.

Posted by: Tantalus | Sep 26 2008 17:33 utc | 33

"I do understand that there is a cultural difference between sweden and the US that might pre-empt that from working, but..."

You mean like>American Exceptionalism?

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 26 2008 17:36 utc | 34

I agree with ndahi. The fact that we're in a meltdown with real interest rates near zero, combined with the fact that they refuse to adopt the obvious solution--the Swedish model, leads me to conclude that there is something really, really fishy going on here--a hidden agenda, just like the Iraq War, etc.

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 26 2008 17:38 utc | 35


You are correct but the masters of the universe will not give up the last penny of any housing derivative unless forced to by the government. That is nationalization to Wall Street.

From the time immemorial, especially during cold war on, nationalization is the evil deed that the others, the enemy, the communists did to great American businesses. To work, the bail out needs transparency. Wall Street and its bought representatives will fight against accurate accounting tooth and nail prolonging the crisis.

The USA could well end up with two gigantic banks that control Congress; a cooperative duopoly that in essence becomes the governmental banking system unless there is a depression so severe that the New Deal is reborn and the financial system is torn apart and rebuilt all over again.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 26 2008 18:09 utc | 36

leads me to conclude that there is something really, really fishy going on here

I think one has to ask if the fire sale of Washington Mutual yesterday was accelerated to put more pressure on the bailout actors (such stuff is usually done on Friday nights).

Also - how much the signs of trouble in the interbank credit market real and how much are they created to put up pressure. LIBOR and other measuring instruments certainly can be manipulated if some big banks that might profit from the bailout really want it.

Another open question: Wachovia stocks dropped 20+% today. Hey, they forbid mighty me to sell such stocks short, and we still see such drops? The big banks surely have the ability to use other instruments than naked shorts to make a profit form that demise. (I described how to short without shorting here a few days ago.)

It may be all conspiracy theory but with $700 billion on the table I would be astonished if those who will benefit from that will not pull more than a few strings.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2008 18:09 utc | 37

Conservative commentator Kathleen Parker calls on>Palin to quit the race.

Uh Oh.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 26 2008 18:15 utc | 38

While Helena does not agree to my take of the situation - i.e. the Dems lost in this.

What do others here think about it.

A Fox News guy writing at Huffington post sees the same issue that I see and will sure promote it in his media. The Bailout: Why Are Bush and the Democrats Combining Against Congressional Republicans?

In Washington, it's a showdown between the representatives of Wall Street and the representatives of Main Street. But have you noticed that the old partisan alliances are reversed? It's the Democrats who are now the Wall Street Party. And Republicans -- with the conspicuous exception of President Bush -- are now the Main Street Party.
That will play well to 'the base' and to anyone who is angry about the bailout - which is about everyone.

Posted by: b | Sep 26 2008 18:15 utc | 39


what i see is the concentration of wealth shifting - perhaps from one elite to another - or an interelite squabbling. gangsters control completely the polity of those united states. it is also true that their system is in complete collapse. it is revealed for what it is in a way even their agressive & illegal wars do not

it is a shabby & sordid affair

what is exceptional however - is the publically expressed madness, the publically expressed fury, the publically expressed panic - paulson almost in tears, bush babbling between barking & mccain - quite, quite mad - making decision even within the insane context are even crazier - as if the elections do not matter & perhaps they don't

i wouldn't put anything past the elites who want to maintain control on their power & on their interests

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 26 2008 18:39 utc | 40

they can sream about zimbabwe all they want - but washingto is not so different from harare & the economy just as fucked up

they think they are all georgians but in fact they are all zimbabweans

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 26 2008 18:40 utc | 41

bush can't help himself - in his statement today he wanted to say 'suspect' instead of 'substantive'

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 26 2008 19:02 utc | 42

Hey man, it's socialism. It is a chance to keep some US banks out of foreign investor control. But it is also not designed to give a return on the dollars, and in the end will likely come up very short, which makes it like Oceans 11000 or something. That's what pisses me off - to make it not look like socialism, the taxpayer has to get the short end of the stick. WTF, is that logic? We could nationalize all kinds of things right now and get not just out of trouble, but ahead. We needs us some socialism. Not single payer type, where everyone just drinks all day since the rent is paid, but governmental profit to benefit the broad expanse of people. Nationalize goldman sachs and tell mr buffet thanks for the recent contribution. Nationalize Exxon, it's just tooooooooo obvious.

Posted by: aumana | Sep 26 2008 19:21 utc | 43

it's a set up. at first i thought they weren't going to burst the full extent of the damage to the economy until after the election because it would hurt the gop. now i see they are using it as a set up. this theatrics right before the debate is telling. if obama goes into a commitment position pro bailout during the debate, mcCain can run as the candidate who is saving the little guy from his taxes being stolen to bail out the criminals.

my guess, this whole shinanigans could take place after the election. it is being hauled out now to trap us into more draconian crap. the entire thing is a force fed nightmare. even if no resolution occurs it creates a fog of war that makes for a much better stage to steal another election.

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2008 19:23 utc | 44

b--Are you aware of any people in a position to actually do something who are addressing the underlying problem of the CDS's (credit default swaps)?

I did hear the CDS phrase use on NPR yesterday or the day before--with no explanation whatsover, just as an example of complex financial instruments or something akin to that.

The MCM (mainstream corporate media) coverage of this whole mess--after the first gasp and appearances by the likes of Nouriel Rubini on Charlie Rose and The NewsHour, probably some I missed, where I think he scared the interviewiers--has been increasingly congealing around the line put out by BushCo. Katies Couric's intro to Bush's evening televised speech "to the nation" could have come out of the mouth of one of the WH press secretaries.

It's all frighteningly similar to the runup to the Iraq Invasion, when the MCM ran with the WH line, even when some of their own reporters would produce information which was contrary to the WH line. That info would go on Pg 18A, buried somewhere deep in the body of the aricle, never in the opening or closing paragraphs. If it was a whole article speaking truth to power, it would be ignored.

So, who is there who can bring sanity to this rush over the cliff, this lemming-like (well, the lemmings of legend) running over a cliff in deadly follow-the-leader mode?

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 26 2008 19:46 utc | 45

dito dito dito, CluelessJoe
there were no simple towers that went down that day... maybe we could call them 'morale et ethos' towers...

Posted by: rudolf | Sep 26 2008 19:48 utc | 46

"The only difference between Obama and Osama is the B.+ S."
"Being President is hard work, when you're (McCain) dead!"
"The Bailout is all about healthcare, tax reduction and stuff!"
"I want my MTV (iPod, whatever)"

That's Main Street: Team Spirit with a Bad Shopping Attitude.

So regardless of the facts surrounding the mortgage.con bank/broker meltdown,
regardless of the facts that the bank/broker meltdown is not self-repairing, and
that regardless the Chinese and Saudis have stopped interbank and Treasuries
and we're as frozen as the North Atlantic, in the end what we'll get is political
theatre, team spirit, hooliganism, and an upside-down November 4th elections.

Conspiracy to complete GBs Mission Accomplished trifecta?
or incompetence before a Perpetual Katrina Event-Horizon?
when really, isn't">"">isn't that the same outcome for all of US?

Posted by: Keepa Dollahenyapocket | Sep 26 2008 19:53 utc | 47

But this time, instead of Bush snatching the ball away, it’s McCain who intercepts the play, grabs the ball and runs with it to the opposite goal line.

don't count your chickens before they hatch.

mike , I think the Democrats are the primary instigators of this massive act of theft. They control the Congress after all, and indisputable hold ALL of the cards here....... there isn't the slightest difference between the parties any longer.

so which is it? is there no difference in the parties or is it all the democrats fault?

also, if it is so indisputable dems hold all the cards how is it they need to sign legislation w/these pesky republicans.

Posted by: annie | Sep 26 2008 19:56 utc | 48

Conspiracy to complete GBs Mission Accomplished trifecta?
or incompetence before a Perpetual Katrina Event-Horizon?
when really, isn't that the same outcome for all of US?

Posted by: Keepa Dollahenyapocket | Sep 26 2008 19:56 utc | 49



American Nuclear Bases In Iraq

If you try [to] remember that [a] few days ago Chalabi said something about secret US bases in Iraq.

Bahraini newspaper akhbar-alkhaleej said today quoting anonymous Iraqi MP about a secret document [that] never appeared in all SOFA's drafts about American nuclear sites in Iraq saying:

The Americans are determined to establish at least two nuclear sites in Imam Ali Base - Nasriyah and Al-Bakir - west Iraq, contain long-and-medium range missiles which are probably will target Russia and regional countries.


Posted by: An Evil Fat Gout Ridden F*** | Sep 26 2008 20:08 utc | 50


Eerie similarity between Bush on bailout 2008 and Bush on Iraq war 2003

Posted by: bea | Sep 26 2008 22:41 utc | 51

As one who lives, as it were, in the shadow of Baucus and Shelby, I can say that they've made their careers by paying careful heed to the needs of their constituents in the financial services industry--owners (mostly local owners) of small to mid-sized banks. Clearly these people feel greatly endangered by Paulson's proposal, for technical reasons that I don't understand (having to do with questions of liquidity).

These, I suspect, are among the most furious voices raging at their Senators and Congressmen; Baucus and Shelby, at least, will never disappoint them.

Posted by: alabama | Sep 26 2008 22:59 utc | 52


the other eerie similarity is the price tag, $700 billion is about what the war in Iraq has cost us to date, and the meter is still running...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 26 2008 23:24 utc | 53

I have this vague suspicion that the Whitehouse is trying to ram this through right now because they finally realize that there really is a serious problem, of course. But, also, and more importantly, they need to knock out the knees of the next Administration (probably Obama) on this issue, by raping the taxpayer to the tune of somewhere around $1 trillion dollars. That may actually go some distance in limiting any future financial reform, because, for one, how can we afford it, and, for another thing, action has already been taken. Or at least they can claim so.

Obama has also called his party "the party of Franklin Roosevelt", which would send shivers down the spines of many in power.

And, I totally agree that the Democratic leadership if fucking this up royally...

Posted by: Jesse | Sep 26 2008 23:59 utc | 54

The timing of all of this is being driven/manipulated by some faction of the republicans to preserve their hold on power and sway the elections. "Country First" is about the crudest and most cynical slogan ever conjured up by a political spinmeister - they have clearly demonstrated it is "Me and my pals first, party second, and country bound and gagged in the corner."

The democratic "leadership" in Congress predictably felt that they couldn't appear too unyielding when el jefe and his henchmen ratcheted up the national fear-mongering campaign or they would pull some levers to further strain the economy and blame the dems for not responding to their calls for action. Step two was for McCain and the republican crazies to dump all over the plan and show that McCain truly is a maverick, willing to buck his own leadership for the good of us all no matter what price he has to pay (including the terrible price of distancing himself from Bush!), and the crazies could go home and campaign against the dems and Bush and try to restore the mantle of the true free-market believers. Sadly, the dem leadership is now paying the price of not at least allowing for an objective consideration of an impeachment process, of capitulating on other critical national issues like FISA, and not having a coherent alternative agenda.

Posted by: Maxcrat | Sep 27 2008 0:11 utc | 55

My objective conclusion, after running through the whole gamut of emotions and 8 stages of denial, and after listening to BR's Big Picture and running the numbers myself, is that this Republican Bailout Proposal, all 3 pages of it, is partly a magician's slight of hand diversion for the political theatre, as a way to ensure that the beneficiaries of the taxpayer's largesse, (as doled out by Reichscommissar Paulson to his former ex-Glass-Steagall Era broker-banker associates), shall we say "agree to engage services" of "outside marketing consultants" who are in reality flaks for "independent PACs," disgorging their "consulting fees" for some good old Down Home FundyLast Days cookin'.
All of MoA discussions have been cerebral and homogenous. Now go back and reread those bailout comments, considering America is 5<->95 elitist and 6<->4 apartheid.
It saddens me to think how the Democrats are so easily led, knowing how craven the Red States are, mad to cling to power, even if it means crash-carting a race war.

Posted by: Shari Jacob | Sep 27 2008 1:08 utc | 56

the dominant discourse is so demonic that in this debate - it is a debate between monsters - of which the most insane spokesman mccain is winning. it is a repulsive affair

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 27 2008 2:20 utc | 57

mccain with his diabolic smirk & giggling was like freddi kreuger - playing with an innocent

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 27 2008 3:38 utc | 58

i didn't catch the whole thing - i hadn't even wanted to waste my time on it at all - but, given the insane "debate" where both participants proved how little disagreement there actually is between them on matters of complete miscomprehension of factual analysis, there i was eating dinner in an iranian restaurant surreally sitting under the boob tube as the staff subjected themselves, and their patrons, to complete nonsense. laughs all around, esp as mccain struggled to pronounce ahmadinejad, but mostly tensions as the two deluded demagogues debased the very concepts of debate, discourse & the direction of this country

Posted by: b real | Sep 27 2008 3:45 utc | 59

If Obama is president with a Dem Congress, I do not see those Dems in any way holding Obama's feet to the fire on domestic progressive issues nor on militaristic endeavors.

And tonight at least, Obama seemed to indicate he would not mind some real military ass kicking in the "right places" against the "right foes."

Amazingly, in addressing US troops crossing into Pakistani territory to chase down Al Qaeda types or go after Taliban or even go after tribal groups, McCain showed more restraint than Obama, who seems to think Afghanistan is just the right place for him to make his bones as Commander in Chief . Obama was arguing for premptive/preventive attacks better than BushCo did for invading Iraq! McCain said it was important to work with the Pakistani government. Very interesting.

On Iran, Obama talked about meetings (arguing that preconditions did not mean having low level meetings prior to meetings at chief executive levels--or something, I think--it got kind of tall weeds there in the back and forth) and diplomacy, while McCain was fairly bellicose. Russia, especially concerning Georgia, it seemed Obama was trying to outdo McCain in establishing that he would take on the Russian bear Big Time (to echo Cheney). He tossed in some words about trying to "work with" Russia, but, overall, both seemed pretty belligerent and demanding. Obama has clearly swallowed the MCM*/White House line on Russia being at fault for "invading" Georgia, which kind of scared me. Either he has done no research and reading or he's being very cynical in his use of the established MCM line of thinking.

*MCM--Mainstream Corporate Media

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 27 2008 3:48 utc | 60

M of A - The Dems Have Been Had - Again

1. Banks must full declare all their losses, ie, full transperancy.
2. The govt. will become a shareholder in the banks that get the bailout.
3. Create independent agencies to manage the bailout.

That is about right.

Just for the record I would like to point out that the crisis of the early 90ies in Sweden was used to convince the leading politicians across the board that the old economic model with full employment as a key goal was no longer functioning. Instead there had to be an independent central bank with low inflation as the goal. That transition - especially during a financial crisis - caused massive lay-offs in both private sector (a wave of bankrupcies) and public sector when shrinking taxes was met by cutting down services. Essentially it was the shock doctrine at work, though we did not know it at time.

But I would agree that the banking crisis was handled about right, even considering its setting. And one other thing, early on in the swedish banking crisis the governement raised the deposit guarantee to infinite, that is if your bank crashes you get back whatever money you had deposited in your account. This prevented runs on the banks, limiting the need for bailouts.

Later on, the swedish government has sold off the bank stocks. In the end, it did not turn a profit but not all losses either.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Sep 27 2008 4:30 utc | 61

Theater of the absurd, with that debate thing - both of em' thrashing around in an exceptionalist hall of mirrors, completely divorced from factual reality. But essentially the same old daddy party nonsense challenged by the faster more articulate upstart. Obama is a fool in not being creative enough to smack down McCains farcical "national security" narrative as being the root cause and association with the monumental Bush failures. Al in all an insufferable display of the late stages of decay, destitution, and decadence - as expected.

Posted by: anna missed | Sep 27 2008 4:32 utc | 62

I think Helena got it right.

Just saw this article:

Credit crisis hobbles N. Carolina counties
By David Bracken and Michael Biesecker | Raleigh News & Observer

Wake and Durham leaders say the national financial crisis is making it nearly impossible to borrow from banks to pay for schools and other projects. In the past two weeks, Wake County delayed plans to sell $454.5 million in bonds, while Durham County's attempt to borrow $30 million failed because no lenders bid on the offering.

Their struggles are notable because both counties enjoy the highest AAA credit rating -- meaning they are among the safest institutions to lend money to.

"That is an extremely cogent indication of how deeply this financial crisis has spread," said Jay Gladieux, a principal with Smith Breeden Associates, an investment firm in Durham. "Instead of just impacting Wall Street, this is impacting the very foundation of our economy."

Wake County Manager David Cooke said the county has enough cash that the delay in selling bonds will not have an immediate effect on projects already under way. The bulk of the bonds, $370 million worth, would be for school construction and renovation projects approved by voters in 2006.

If problems in the national credit market persist for months and the county is unable to borrow money, the planned construction of schools, county libraries and the expansion of Wake Technical Community College could be delayed. Continuing credit problems also may raise borrowing costs.

Read the complete story at

Posted by: Sam | Sep 27 2008 5:17 utc | 63

I watched the presidential debate tonight with dear friends; and we were screaming at the television. It produced revulsion; and McCain was in command every step of the way, and argued with confidence using every myth at his command before a tepid Obama, who said McCain was right as a preface to scoring some wonkish point. McCain used classic emotional appeal directed at the lizard brain, and probably swayed hundreds of thousands of those who are classified as "The Undecideds".

On one level, it seemed that Obama was unprepared for the McCain who showed up for the debate. The psychological engineering of this successful "sucker punch" began a few days ago when McCain announced that he was "suspending his campaign", and flying off to Washington to fight a rear-guard action against the Wall Street bailout. The initial impression spreading through the US media, was that McCain was fleeing the scene of the debate, was showboating, pulling a transparent stunt; and drama was built up around the idea that McCain was waffling. Obama might be expected to show up in Mississippi, and McCain would be AWOL.

This was a set-up; and the McCain who has been consistently ridiculed for his senior moments, and the gaffes that have undeniably marred his campaign, showed up in full possession of his faculties. And while Obama handled him with kit gloves, McCain smirked throughout his opponent's comments, and almost continuously avoided looking at Obama.

McCain was coached, it seems to me, and had made intensive preparation for the debate; while a diversion was presented to the Democratic side of an old man who was coming unglued and would arrive, less than prepared, to meet a statesmanlike Obama.

But this was not the worst of the debacle. Obama studiously avoided challenging the emotional appeals to popular US myths surrounding our supposed enemies and the widening of the war. The myth about Iran being an existential threat: this narrative that is agreed to by the elites of both parties. The lies about Iran. And the lie about the Russian-Georgian war,--just who the aggressor was,--got tossed like a softball by Obama, and McCain hit it out of the park.

McCain took over where Obama left off, and completely commanded the debate with a politically resonant (if wrongheaded) appeal to American fears about big, bad, resurgent Russia. McCain did more than appeal to the gut; he smirked dismissively at Obama, dissed him smartly, treated him like some pathetic well-meaning novice, untested by life, and too green to be president.

Posted by: Copeland | Sep 27 2008 5:31 utc | 64

It's kinda touching to see that some people take these prez debates seriously. Consider that you can't push a cigarette paper between either major party candidate on any major issue. Both want to keep killing people on the other side of the world for no real reason other than "they are there", neither is prepared to undertake any major structural change to amerikan society, a society that is failing as a socially cohesive group, an efficient place to breed and live (Infant Mortality 42nd not counting the much worse 'colonies like Guam, P. Rico, or American Samoa much less the newest Iraq). Just across the northern border in Canada the average life expectancy is nearly 10 years longer for both genders, you'd think that one fact would be sufficient to motivate a change to decent health care but it hasn't and Obama won't try much less succeed in getting any sort of meaningful health coverage instituted for all amerikans.

Not least of all because it is too late. The asset base, skill sets and community infrastructures had to be built up before the baby boomer bulge over-strained the resource. But even if that weren't so he wouldn't succeed because the fundamentals of amerikan society are too askew. Peeps can be persuaded that idiotic issues like the spread of communism, rise of islam or whatever are more important than the health and well-being of their own family.
Not only do people accept that lunatic suggestion a substantial number of amerikans will try and ram that stupidity down the throats of anyone who attempts to disagree. The oppression has become self-service. Amerikans race to institute more and more laws defining more and more types of criminal act that can be committed by the poor while they destroy any restraints on the criminal behaviour of the rich and powerful. . . Willingly. Not because they were told to but because they imagine it will be better that way. better for who?
Grey nonentities struggling for the right to commute to servile labour in order to scrape together the means to buy pre-packaged nutrition free food?
Certainly not for the millions of amerikans who will spend their entire lives in 'the prison system' fully 25% of people on this planet who are in prison are incarcerated in amerika in the sadly misnamed 'amerikan justice system'. (amerikans make up about 4.5% of the world population and have 25% of the world's prisoners yet they believe other countries want their freedoms? It would be funny if it weren't so sad.)

Neither candidate would have been prepared to substantively discuss any of those issues during the great debate or any of the myriad other major life effecting issues that amerikan society has slipped outta a humane resolution of.
Instead they will have uttered platitudes about a meaningless court case from last century Roe V Wade that amerikans have never really grasped anyhow, or debate who was having the best 'withdrawal' from Iraq when the withdrawal either would create isn't a withdrawal, it is a permanent occupation.

I suppose 'energy independence' has become the latest meaningless distraction away from the real issues. That prolly got an arcane, jargonistic but clichéd pounding during the debate.

And now they are competing with each other to give the tiny skerrick of amerika's wealth that hasn't already been swallowed up with murdering foreigners or supporting the mind-bogglingly complex corporate welfare system that guarantees every rich amerikan will be made richer - small sum set aside for public school education and basic health care for the elderly is now going to be diverted to the mega rich in a completely new way.
The reason for this plan appears to be that if amerikans don't accede to this extortion they will lose their right to commute to servile labour in order to scrape together the means to buy pre-packaged nutrition free food.

A decent leader would call the banks' bluff. Of course McCain isn't going to do that he will give as much away as Obama but he wants to try and shame Obama in in front of Obama's 'core constituency'.
How the rich must laugh at the sight of the two candidates for people's choice arguing over the degree of obeisance they have shown the rich. Guffaw safe in the knowledge that the candidate who has promised less to the rich and more to the voters will be rewarded with defeat.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 27 2008 7:03 utc | 65


what you described in North Carolina is the Free Market gone mad: it had become more profitable to loan money en masse to bad private credit risks than to loan it to established, highly rated institutions.

So now we have swathes of tract houses that nobody can afford while our schools and infrastructure are languishing.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 27 2008 8:27 utc | 66

copeland fyi

McCain used classic emotional appeal directed at the lizard brain, and probably swayed hundreds of thousands of those who are classified as "The Undecideds".

Uncommitted voters said Obama won the debate

Posted by: annie | Sep 27 2008 9:41 utc | 67

b at 15 is absolutely right. I reckon about 80% of Americans were against the P. plan. (Well maybe that is a bit high. Anyway.) Those for: a few sheeples and a whole bunch of middle-class Dems. This is straight and simple basic politics. Fleece the tax payer to save some fat scoundrels? Who could possibly be for that except die-hard state interventionists, Socialists!, or Communists!, or Fascists! - all three liking to meld with the dirty Gubmint and steal freedom from the people? No way...And that number, 2000 or more dollars from every man, woman, child in America...Who cares about Wall Street Bankers? They are fraudsters, they fleece people.

(And yes, WaMu on a Thursday! Goodness me.)

The Dems lost. Or rather, the Dem. leadership lost. They are shown up to be what they are - centrists with fascist tinges, aspiring wannabees on the teat for all kinds of goodies. And Obama is a creature of Wall Street, as many understood before, look at his donators and supporters (beyond some internet sites I won’t mention.)

9/11. Buildings fell....quite a few, not 2 or 3 as most think. Now, symbolically and even materially (Lower Manhattan), it is not the walls themselves, but what the walls contain. Huge wealth and power - Poof. The two are of course connected, but I have to go shopping (literally.)

Posted by: Tangerine | Sep 27 2008 10:18 utc | 68

well annie, I may have let my animus toward the uncommitted get the best of me. Obama was making fine distinctions, which in the past have proven to be lost on millions of Americans. We can hope that voters this year are more attentive.

But when Obama lies down for an agreed upon myth, he helps McCain, as seemed to happen last night, and so the lies get repeated one more time.

My friends and I agreed that McCain dominated the discourse in a way that was unsettling. And Obama said "John McCain is right about that" far too many times as a preamble to his own reponses. Obama came off cool alright, but the responses were intellectual without much fire in the belly. McCain went as hard as he could with emotional appeals, which often can sway the jury.

It's not that Obama was intimidated at all, but there didn't seem to be much punch in his retorts. McCain was slyly disdainful and relentlessly aggressive during the whole exchange. He upstaged Obama.

Posted by: Copeland | Sep 27 2008 10:33 utc | 69

Copeland, perhaps you are misovererestimating the US electorate. I did not watch the debate and really don't care. It has truly become the most shallow of spectacle and the candidates positions will surely not be revealed by a carefully scripted two minute sound bite. If I were to watch the debate I would watch it with the sound off and that would probably tell me which of the candidates "won".

I was actually quite shocked when I found that a coworker had absolutely no idea that there had been a FISA bill passed and that Obama had voted to grant the telecoms immunity for past lawbreaking as well as pretty much trashing the 4th amendment. He really had no idea what I was talking about until I sent him a couple of links. It is truly sobering to find out that the vast majority of voters have no clue what is going on and even worse don't want to take the time to find out.

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 27 2008 11:22 utc | 70

McCain was slyly disdainful and relentlessly aggressive during the whole exchange. He upstaged Obama.

upstaging w/distain does not a win make. polls recently released (except on drudge!) indicate obama has been perceived as the winner of the debate.

regardless of what you and your friends thought.

McCain was in command every step of the way

one would think if this were the case it would be reflected in msm reports, it isn't. i saw the debate. what sticks with me was my disgust w/the foreign policy issues, but that is beside the point. at no time did i ever get the impression mcCain was 'ahead'. the only myth he dispelled was the idea he was senile. wrt mcCain what stood out the most was his failed attempts to skirt around his abundant record of deregulation. i can't say i recall ever specifically thinking, 'he's lying', but i knew he was avoiding admitting the way he would 'solve' the economic fiasco, ie gramm etc.

anyway, if you have any links reflecting the slam dunk reactions of you and your friends i would be interested in reading them. fyi , this just out from cnn, the others will follow Round 1 in debates goes to Obama, poll says

this one's going down as an obama win. not in an overwhelming way, but a win none the less. what were you and your friends drinking?

Posted by: annie | Sep 27 2008 11:34 utc | 71

from my last link..

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey is not a measurement of the views of all Americans, since only people who watched the debate were questioned and the audience included more Democrats than Republicans.....The results may be favoring Obama simply because more Democrats than Republicans tuned in to the debate. Of the debate-watchers questioned in this poll, 41 percent of the respondents identified themselves as Democrats, 27 percent as Republicans and 30 percent as independents.

what they (virtually all msm) fail to say is the american electorate is composed of more dems than republicans. 27% ? where have i heard that % before? that's the gop base.

The economy, which has been Obama's terrain this cycle, dominated the first half of the debate. Debate watchers gave him a 21 percentage point edge -- 58 to 37 percent -- on the question of which candidate would do a better job handling the economy.

mcCain doesn't sound like he knows what he's talking about wrt the economy.

Posted by: annie | Sep 27 2008 11:48 utc | 72

here's what time magazine (not a bastion of of liberal thought) reported in contrast to your McCain was in command every step of the way assertion.

Substance: His arguments were hard to follow at the beginning, but he found his voice as the debate progressed, although he never seemed fully in control of his message.

Style: Cluttered, jumpy, and often muddled. Frequent coughing early on helped neither his arguments nor his image.

meanwhile....the one you claim was 'upstaged'

Style: Polished, confident, focused. Fully prepared, and able to convey a real depth of knowledge on nearly every issue.....came off as cool as a cucumber.

Posted by: annie | Sep 27 2008 12:02 utc | 73

Annie, you are such a liberal, and your own worse enemy. The only satisfaction I get from reading your comments is knowing that your vaunted soon-to-be Hispanic majority will be left holding the bag (of debt) when the white man has long left the building....kinda like what's happened in the cities all across the U.S.

You, Annie, are the reason I am not a Democrat. I certainly could never be a Republican, there was a chance, once upon a time, for me to be a Democrat, but it's too much like a religion....a religion of which I want no part.

You go ahead and cheer Obama into office. Go ahead and lie to yourself. The next president of the U.S. is going to be a lame duck and a permanent scapegoat, along with the party he represents.

Krugman was right. This is the end of the Political Parties as we knew them, and know them. Good riddance, I say.

Posted by: Hugo | Sep 27 2008 14:23 utc | 74


Maybe I'm way off base here, but it seems to me that Shelby isn't going along with Paulson's plan in its present form because he wants to see a few clauses added to it which call for further deregulation of the financial sector. After all, Shelby and his ilk believe wholeheartedly that Big Government is the Work of the Devil and the Invisible Hand is the Hand of the Lord God Almighty.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 27 2008 17:05 utc | 75

lol, i got a laugh out of your post hugo. still moaning about loosing the hispanic demographics argument? a racist asshole by any other name still stinks like shit.


You go ahead and cheer Obama into office. Go ahead and lie to yourself.

no copy paste?? comeon, i dare you. use b's search engine, you should be able to drag up some quotes of me saying obama is going to solve all our problems, unless you can't.

well i gotta go for now, i'm off sending my donations to the democratic party to support all my heros. lol.
i'm really excited about how we're gonna be winning the war against the terrorists in afghanistan when they take over from the neocons.

Posted by: annie | Sep 27 2008 17:19 utc | 76

Unfortunately Hugo, you make a good point but there is no reason to gore annie in the process.

Lately as I've heard Obama getting all aggressive about Taliban, alQaeda, Pakistan as if he's ready to go punch out the bully down the street based on a rumor he heard, I lose faith (not that I had much to begin with). It is incredible to me that Obama, or anyone else with a brain for that matter, still believes brother Osama and his Islamic buddies hijacked those four airplanes.

Now it is just barely possible perhaps, that he rides along with that lie so he can get elected. I do understand that telling the whole truth (if he knows it) would be suicide in a national election. Maybe we will find out, if he has the balls to turn around and say "just kidding" after the election. I doubt it.

Both of these candidates should know, along with their campaign staffs, that our system of hedge funds and debt swaps is in freefall and that there is no way to fix it back, tuck everybody in and make em all comfortable again. Ain't gonna happen.

And yet they both refused to talk about any of it last night, as if...millions of constituents are too stupid to notice. Lehrer asked each of them several times what he'd do about that, and got no answers. Oh maybe I am the stupid one; perhaps a trillion newly printed dollars will patch everything up enough that somebody can take credit for making it happen, and get out of Dodge before the crash becomes unstoppable. Um I really doubt that too.

I have accepted the fact that no matter who does what, within this system of ours, it will crash. As it should. I agree with those who said this debate was pointless, but it wasn't really a waste of my time to watch it; I gained the advantage that my fears are confirmed.

Posted by: rapt | Sep 27 2008 18:02 utc | 77

Right. Let's go in with a wrecking ball to destroy surplus housing units. It's not like that housing represents wealth or anything. (Nevermind whether or not this would even be feasible, considering that this housing is mostly all privately owned.)

So many incompetent retards posing as though they had any expertise in economics... It disgusts me. All of a sudden its as though every dullard with a liberal arts degree thinks themselves qualified to opine on the current state of the financial markets, now that it's become a political issue. Only thing is, they're not qualified. First of all, an asset swap is not tantamount to an out-of-pocket expense...

When Bernanke and Paulson are proven to be correct, I'm going to indulge in a hearty, vindictive, sadistic laugh. They may not be infallible, clairvoyant prognosticators of asset bubbles, but they're a hell of a lot more prescient than Joe Blow Public when it comes to understanding what it means with the TED spread is 300 basis points higher than it has been for the past 28 years. Chumps and fools, all of you.

Posted by: George W. Haws | Oct 1 2008 6:48 utc | 78

George, I may know fuck-all about economics but what I do see, because or despite of my liberal arts degree, is a country - yours - in the shitter courtesy of hearty, vindictive sadists like your good self. If you need a hand flushing yourself down the s-bend of history, do just ask.

Posted by: Tantalus | Oct 1 2008 13:16 utc | 79

nice comment George - without any substance and full of ad hominem.

So many incompetent retards posing as though they had any expertise in economics... It disgusts me.

Let me check my CV: - some 15 years of economic study, research and teaching on university level in there. But what do I know.

Supply destruction is by the way a quite valid economic concept. Supply for horse drawn carriages was pretty much destroyed at a time because no one wanted them anymore.

Artificial supply destruction is also well known, for example in regulated agricultural markets. Take a look at EU agricultural politics which. during a structural crisis. payed for the physical destruction of supply (butter, sugar).

Supply destruction in the U.S. housing market will happen. If you want the prolonged 'natural' version fine with me. If you rather want a shorter pain period, artificial supply destruction is a necessity.

Posted by: b | Oct 1 2008 13:21 utc | 80

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