September 24, 2008
Right now Henry Paulson probably has, with Paul Bernanke, the most intellectually and emotionally fraught job in the world. So much has gone wrong and so much more can go wrong to the tune of trillions of dollars. Bernanke is a convert from the academy to public life, although he did serve on the board of education of Montgomery Township in New Jersey while he was a professor.
What's Mccain Up To?
If you haven't seen the news, John McCain announced that he's suspending campaigning to negotiate the economic bailout in Washington, and asks Barack Obama to postpone his debate. I don't want to automatically assume the worst here. It's possible McCain feels that he can't handle negotiations and debate prep simultaneously. On the other hand, I wonder if it's a strategic ploy. The thinking: McCain is behind in the polls, largely because the economic crisis is dominating the campaign.
The President Who Wasn't There
When all the banks have been bailed out and all the debts paid off, the big takeaway for the historians from the financial crisis will be the complete and utter failure of President Bush as the nation's leader. Set aside the blame for the mortgage meltdown. Set aside whether the Paulson plan is a good idea. At a time when American taxpayers and global investors need to see a strong, confident president in the White House, they simply don't have one. This morning, finally, comes word that President Bush will go on television to address the country tonight.
September 23, 2008
The Wrong Emergency
Congress should think long and hard before giving Hank Paulson $700 billion to buy fallen mortgage securities. Paulson has draped his bailout plan in the cloak of a national emergency. Much as George W. Bush demanded expedited action from Congress to help fight terrorism, the treasury secretary wants his war-chest pronto.
WASHINGTON--Liberal Democrats are in agony over bailing out Wall Street. Conservative Republicans are in agony over massive government intervention in what they like to call the free market. Yet neither side wants to be blamed if the financial system implodes. It gets more complicated: An administration whose critics believe it abused the power it grabbed during a different kind of national emergency after the 9/11 attacks is asking for unprecedented authority over the financial system.
"Nostalgic" derives from the Greek words meaning a painful longing for home, and I suppose it describes my feelings for Yankee Stadium and why its demise this week makes my heart heavy. Having first entered the place 50 summer seasons ago, I’ve felt at home there as I have in no other place I regularly revisit, some of them far older in actuality as well as weightier in my own experience. But this may be because the Stadium (capital “s”, always) was for me a twice-found home--first, during my childhood, and later, after a long hiatus, during my children’s childhoods.
Rick Davis Learned A Lesson Today
Namely: If you're GOP operative with a lucrative lobbying business, you probably want to lay off attacking a Democrat for connections to a firm that skews Democratic. It just never ends well. To wit: One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr.
A Matter Of Trust
Clay Risen is managing editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas and a contributing editor at World Trade. His first book, A Nation on Fire: America in the Wake of the King Assassination will appear in January. It's tempting to watch today's Senate Banking Committee hearings, with Democrats and Republicans alike tearing into Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, and feel pangs of sorrow for the beleaguered duo.
September 22, 2008
Elitism Done (By The) Right
It’s official: You’re allowed to disparage Sarah Palin because she “does not have a repertoire of historic patterns” or “the ability to engage in complex deliberations and feel which arguments have the most weight.” But it is absolutely forbidden to question her qualifications on the grounds that “she has never summered in Tuscany.”So declares David Brooks, the latest conservative to snipe at the GOP vice presidential nominee.
As long as we're talking about meat consumption, I wanted to mention the (controversial) recommendation made a couple of weeks back by IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri, who suggested that everyone give up meat one day each week in an effort to curb the massive impact of livestock farming on global warming.