Tuesday, September 30, 2008

clap clap clap

Well, Nancy.  You got your wish, I suppose.

 

No, I’m sure you didn’t PLAN for the Republicans to balk at your partisan rant against them.  And the few who were going to “go ahead and vote for the thing” because it was “good enough” quite possibly decided to change their mind at the last minute because you just couldn’t keep your mouth shut.  And you can have Barney Frank condemn them for “punishing the country” ‘till the cows come home.

 

But what it boils down to is a failure of YOUR leadership.

 

And you want us to put your guy in office and let you control the legislative and political atmosphere in this country?

 

But hey…  you got your wish.  Economic turmoil trumps keeping your big fat mouth shut and ACTING like a leader (because we all know good and damn well you can’t actually BE a leader) so, the argument goes, your guy will get some extra votes because Democrats (allegedly) fare better in struggling economies.  Gin up enough fear and you just might win this election.

 

Because, you know, fear sells…  fear we can believe in and all that.  That is, after all, how the Republicans won the last election and the mid-terms back in 2002, isn’t it?  A terrorist under every rock!!  Run for the hills!!!  It’s the same fear that scuttled immigration reform, which is a perfect lesson in the law of unintended consequences.

 

You have now scuttled a bill that might have been good enough, though it was certainly not perfect, and emboldened the very people you revile because in a couple of days, when the 777 point loss is mostly recouped and the fear has subsided to a loud drone in the background, the next bill will have MORE free market mechanisms and FEWER pure government oriented solutions.

 

Fear itself is, after all, the only thing we have to fear.  And time helps to alleviate fear.  ESPECIALLY if the market is able to adjust and accommodate the reality that YOUR congress is likely far too fucked up to do anything of substance on ANY issue.

 

Because you can’t keep your big, fat mouth shut.

 

clap  clap  clap

 

Good job.  I guess.

 

As an aside, word is that McCain was calling representatives and twisting arms trying to get them to vote for the bill so that the good wouldn’t be held hostage to the perfect.  Who were the representatives Obama was trying to sway toward the bill?  Oh?  None?  Really?  Oh, they’re accusing McCain of having a hand in scuttling the bill?  Some of those calls he made were actually to representatives he was trying to convince to vote AGAINST the bill?  Really?  How would that help McCain?  How would inflaming economic turmoil help the man running for President who is seen as weak on the economy?  How would economic turmoil help the Republican candidate when Democrats are viewed favorably when it comes to economic issues and Republicans are viewed unfavorably?  That makes a lot of sense.  A LOT of sense.  But I suppose when absolutely zero legislative and executive accomplishment makes you qualified to be President, anything makes sense.

 

Finally, to set a couple of things straight:

It’s NOT a $700 Billion bailout plan.  It’s a $250 Billion distressed debt purchase plan, with an additional $100b available to be used.  And should an additional distribution of $350b be needed, Congress has to authorize the distribution (or they can reject the distribution, I can’t remember, but the second distribution is not exactly certain).  Representatives who are “listening to their constituents” who call up and say “I DON’T WANT TO BAIL OUT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WITH A $700 BILLION HANDOUT” are akin to people calling up and saying “I don’t want to bail out financial institutions by sending kittens into space”.  The bill is neither a $700b handout nor does it require kittens to be sent into space.  LEADERSHIP is doing what’s right even if you constituents are mad as hell for a reason which has no bearing on reality (which is why linking Iraq to 9/11 as a justification for the attack was so…  very…  wrong).  It is YOUR job, as a representative, to inform your idiot voters of the contents of the bill and vote accordingly, not merely listen to the mob that is demanding that we not send another little kitten into outer space.

The bill allows for the government to buy distressed debt for pennies on the dollar (and gives the feds an equity stake in the companies that participate—a prospect that makes me a little uneasy).  The feds could then, presumably, refinance these notes into either conforming loans (Fannie or Freddie backed loans) or hold them until they become performing loans (that is, payment again are being made by either the current or future debtors), and then resell the conforming and/or performing loans back for, presumably, a profit.  Yes, yes, I know.  The government has NO CLUE how to turn a profit or keep a balanced budget, but the alternative is asking the financial institutions, who created this mess, to fix the mess.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result (GOT THAT NANCY!?!).  Taking the notes and putting them into a pool under management whose sole task is to refinance these notes is known as “doing something different than what got us in this mess”.  The alternative is insanity.

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