Call Their Bluff?

With the Conservatrons blaming Pelosi for the failure of the bill to pass, should Democrats write their own “bailout” bill? Tightening credit should be real to people shortly. Wall Street needs this done. Why not write a bill that is designed to pass with just Democrats? Tax executive pay, bail out actual homeowners, reregulate the industry, revive Glass-Steagal, let the taxpayers have ownsership of these banks’ best assets, and include a broad stimulus package to boot… and other items that people who know more about this than I do say are sage and progressive. Perhaps Congressman DeFazio’s ..25% per financial trade tax?

It’s a political risk, but I think people will go along with this if they get bailed out along with Wall Street.

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Good for Congress.

There’s simply no way that such an “emergency bailout” was needed this minute. Either it was needed when investment bank Bear Stearns failed or when commercial bank IndyMac failed, months ago, or it is simply not a problem right now.

Economists I respect like Brad de Long and Paul Krugman were willing to go along with this, but not me. First of all, there are non-economic reasons for letting this fail.

First, there is a moral hazard not just to the billionaires but to us as well. If the government is in the business of saving but not taking over failed institutions, there is no limit to what the next generation of sharks might do with other people’s money. Second, and this is not a politically smart point to make, but Americans have permitted the cleptocrats to rule, and for that they should have to live with the consequences as well. They should have to see how hard it will be to buy a house or a car now, even one where they can afford the payment. They should have to see how hard it will be to retire now with their 401ks destroyed and learn the hard way what their grandparents already did: old age pensions should not be left to the whim of markets.

On a more positive political note, the solution should not be mandated by the people who got us in this mess. It should simply never have been allowed to go that way. Quite the contrary, President Obama and the leaders of the next Congress should address this in a package like a New New Deal that includes a “bail out” for main street first.

Why Obama Won the First Debate

Bush Patsy “Diva” McCain’s silly histrionics scuttled a substantial amount of the usual expectations setting pre-game. Because of this I think that the punditocracy forgot that most undecideds or persuadables, at this point, are people that have not paid a lot of attention to the campaign yet. For these folks, Obama is, reasonably, far newer and ill-defined than he is for the rest of us who have been following the campaign intently for 20 months.

To win then, Obama had to hold his own with Bush Patsy McCain on foreign policy and withstand the “seems presidential” test. He did this, and scored on the economy where Bush Patsy McCain’s war on spending is not as relevant to people struggling with their mortgages as Obama’s note that it is the Conservatron ideology, which Bush Patsy McCain supports, that largely got us into this mess in the first place.

Obama was crisp and confident. McCain was witty and intelligent, but seemed a little grouchy and didactic. I’d have liked Obama to have called Bush Patsy McCain out on his Diva behavior. I think that could have been a knock out blow, but he still got done what he needed to get done: he seems more plausible as President by the hour; the weirder Bush Patsy McCain acts the less plausible he seems — to say nothing of “Brain to Nowhere” Nilap.

VP debate expectations game

Of course no matter what happens, the spin will be that Palin wasn’t that bad. If she manages not to self destruct it still may not change the narrative of her as an idiot and an extremist.

But will it change the polls? I doubt it. Her negatives might go down, but it wont have a lasting effect past the next presidential debate.