September 24, 2008
What's More Is That She Cannot Put Together A Sentence Or, For That Matter, A Thought; Is This A Conspiracy To Make George Bush Seem Literate And Coherent?
Well, the first wisdom of the pundits was that the choice of Sarah Palin for vice president was inspired. All over the country Democrats had a sinking feeling that McCain had outfoxed them. Biden seemed to have evaporated. Palin, Palin, Palin was on everybody's lips.The Obama ticket fell in the polls.A few weeks have passed. The American people have had occasions to see her, hear her and read about her. Apparently, they did not like what they saw or what they heard or what they read. Katie Couric has been with Palin for some time. Here's the first installment.
Detroit Gets A Bailout, Too
It's stunning that $25 billion is no longer considered a lot of money for Congress to fork over to corporate America, but the House just approved $25 billion worth of low-interest loans to Ford, GM, and Chrysler, along with some of their suppliers. Okay, in fairness, this had been authorized in last year's energy bill, but, it's still noteworthy that there aren't many strings attached to the loans.
How To Keep Ceo Pay In Check
You know things are seriously bad when even the Bush White House is open to negotiation. This afternoon brings news that it will accept a Democratic proposal, put forth by Senator Chris Dodd, on the issue of executive compensation.
Yet Another Mccain Gambit Thought
It occurs to me that McCain's gambit is likely to delay the bailout negotiations, not speed them up. Why? Because now, if the administration and Congressional Republicans can't make a deal without undercutting McCain's claim that the negotiations are failing and a campaign suspension is needed to rescure them. All the reporting I've seen suggests a deal was in the works. Now it's going to be in limbo, unless Republicans are willing to kneecap their own candidate. --Jonathan Chait
Breaking: Mccain Suspends Election!
Tomorrow's news today: (AP) - Saying the issues confronting America "are too important for partisan politics," Senator John McCain today suspended the 2008 presidential election and said he would assume the presidency on Monday to begin the hard work of governing. "At this time of domestic and foreign peril, the American people deserve better than a nasty partisan campaign," McCain said in a statement today. "That is why I am suspending this race with Senator Obama and moving into the White House this weekend.
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.