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I Am Now Officially Furious - Elf M. Sternberg
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elfs
I Am Now Officially Furious
For the past few days, we've been reading about the meltdown on Wall Street. We've heard vague details about how these huge companies have pumped up their on-paper value with "toxic" credit, much of which has been blamed (fairly and unfairly) on a mortgage mess where some matrix of irresponsibilty, gullibility, incompetence, desperation and greed met a similar matrix on the other side. In the middle, rating agencies illicitly or incompetently certified these "bundled" collections of mortgage paper as "guaranteed not to fail," and those guarantees were used to create more credit. The whole house of cards has now come crashing down, and you and I are left to pay the bill.

We are in the hands of an operation that must make the Mafia green with envy. Wall Street is now telling us, "That's a nice economy we had there, but it's turned sour. Give us $700 billion dollars or I'll have to hurt you much, much worse."

Bastards.

And now Congress is scrambling, shouting "We have to do something!," even while they admit they have no idea what will help, and Henry Paulson is telling us he needs that $700 billion dollars now. Or else.

This will raise our national debt, put a huge hole in the national budget, and condemn you, me, all of us, and all of our children, to repairing the damage caused by, well, by pretty much everything that's happened since the Contract On With America. It will destroy businesses, slow down the credit market, and trash our economy anyway. "Just not as bad without it." Oh, and we're being sold this bullshit in Augean volumes, as this morning Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) said, "The government could make 10 or 20 times what it pays on this." Where have we heard that before?

So what do we learn today? In a short, almost unnoticed article in Roll Call, "The official newspaper of Capitol Hill," I read this:
[White House Deputy Press Secretary Antonio] Fratto insisted that the plan was not slapped together and had been drawn up as a contingency over previous months and weeks by administration officials. He acknowledged lawmakers were getting only days to peruse it, but he said this should be enough.
Re-read that. "Ought to be enough," every square inch of my festering colon.

All of this "emergency powers" stuff that Henry Paulson says he wrote up this weekend, that he needs now, that you don't have the time to review or the wisdow and training to comprehend, has been in the works for months.

Forgive me, I'm losing it. I winced last night when I dialed past Mark Levin trying to blame "regulation" for this problem (go read Roubini's analysis of what's happening to the unregulated "shadow banking" system this week and see if Levin is even on our world) and hit Randi Rhodes claiming that this was the neocons' last act of class warfare against the American working class, indenturing us to their rulership for generations to come.

But Fratto's little confession makes me realize that she's probably right: this is an opportunistic moment when those with the power see their vast reserves of cash as the best way to ride out the coming disaster, at the end of which you and I will still be responsible for paying off the debt with which our political leaders saddled all of us, just so their oligarchal masters can keep their personal Lear jets.

Tags:
Current Mood: disgusted

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Comments
topbit From: topbit Date: September 23rd, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
... had been drawn up as a contingency over previous months and weeks by administration officials. He acknowledged lawmakers were getting only days to peruse it, but he said this should be enough.

Yeesh - what do they think it is, the PATRIOT act?
mouser From: mouser Date: September 23rd, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
He acknowledged lawmakers were getting only days to peruse it, but he said this should be enough.

I think they do.
bellebonnesage From: bellebonnesage Date: September 23rd, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Or even the invasion of Iraq?
shunra From: shunra Date: September 23rd, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
How recently did the gonnifs-in-chief say that our economy was fundamentally sound? Before or after the drafts of the bill shafting us taxpayers were finalized?

And yes, it *does* look feel so much like the way the PATRIOT act was railroaded upon us while we were still reeling in shock. To obtain a one-to-one equivalence, though, we'd need to have neocon assertions about how the banking crisis was engineered by one of their enemies - the Russians, or maybe Iran. Is Iran being blamed yet?

:: headdesk ::

That section eight, which is misleadingly titled "review" (as in "there won't be any and you can't make us subject ourselves to it, neener-neener"), directly clobbers the separation of powers: as far as I understand, courts inherently have the power to review the legality of laws. That's what the whole checks and balances system was about. Was. Now it's bounced checks and skewed balances.

Greenwald called it a "pitchfork moment" the other day. I've had nightmare scenarios bouncing around my head: what if Poulson feels it's necessary to hire mercenaries in order to quash pitchforked processions? Would such mercenaries have the same lawless status as they do in Iraq? Would they act as though they do, wreaking havoc here in the U.S.?
sirfox From: sirfox Date: September 23rd, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
To obtain a one-to-one equivalence, though, we'd need to have neocon assertions about how the banking crisis was engineered by one of their enemies - the Russians, or maybe Iran. Is Iran being blamed yet?

Oh, that was the bit from Mark Levin about awful regulation. We don't want any of that, since it's what got us here, right? too much regulation. um. or something. Hey! look over there! an obvious distraction! *signs into law*
From: (Anonymous) Date: September 23rd, 2008 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the most telling, and chilling, aspect of this fiasco is that the White House is opposing controls on the bailout (such as CEO bonus caps and warrants requiring stock to be given to the government in exchange for capital) on the grounds that -- get this -- it would discourage non-failing companies from participating.

Yes, the administration wants even banks which remain fiscally solvent to be given "emergency" funds at taxpayer expense. That alone speaks volumes about their motivations and goals here.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/09/20080923-6.html

Anonymous Blog Reader #127

rhonan From: rhonan Date: September 23rd, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think any proper resolution to this crisis will include CEOs hanging in irons from lampposts on Wall Street.
tagryn From: tagryn Date: September 23rd, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
It bears mentioning that Gingrich is one of the most vocal opponents to this bailout plan.
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