Thursday, October 2, 2008

Baby, The RAIN Must Fall

A Rose by any other name Still Stinks

Bailout – a real crisis solution or prestidigitation?: Wall Street sneezed and the country caught pneumonia. Our elected officials began to run around bumping into each other just like so many Chicken Littles warning that the sky is falling. Our esteemed leader of the free world decided to take a page from his second in command and retire to an unknown location. Our Hero fiddled while the economy burned. Finally he made an appearance. After crawling out from whatever rock politicians hide when the going gets too tough around election time, he made an announcement well after the economic earthquake and several aftershocks. His reassuring comments were as follows: "Without immediate action by Congress, American could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold,"

Let the folks who broke it try to fix it: The Treasury Secretary, on whose watch the economic sky fell, endorsed a plan put forth by the President. And we were told that we had better pass it or else! Or else we’d all lose our homes, retirement, and first born sons. Some of the text of the first fiasco is as follows:
(b) Necessary Actions.--The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:
(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;
Other highlights allow the Secretary to ignore the law and issue any regulations that would allow him to carry out the Act. But the most bizarre, arrogant part of the proposal was section 8 which reads as follows:

Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

In other words, the President was doing his best to use the same politics of fear that got us into Iraq to give us the bums rush to get the bailout bill signed and give total control to the Secretary. After watching the erosion of civil rights and control of the constituency over Washington, this fit into what we’ve become used to seeing, but it is as wrongheaded in this case as it has been in the invasion of Iraq, tax cuts for oil companies, spying on citizens, constantly moving more power from the citizenry to the Whitehouse.

Irony of ironies – Bailout gets dumped by Bushies: The bailout bill was pushed by the president with fear-mongering tactics and as usual the spineless members of the Democratic Senate were tricked and fooled into supporting it. Ironically the right wing conservatives who got their candidate elected twice were the ones to scuttle the bill. Guess what? The sky didn’t fall. The country did not complete its trip to Hell in a hand-basket, and the world as we know it did not come to an end. But still the economy shook and shivered so the bill was rewritten. This despite the fact that calls were running as high as 200-1 against the bill’s passage. The bill was gutted and “whored up” to make it passable to those who voted against the first try. The biggest two changes were the increase in FDIC insurance on savings in banks, and providing authority of securities regulators to suspend asset-valuing rules. I’m not sure if the latter is a good thing or just so much more hocus pocus that has been the standard in Washington for decades.

Bipartisanship or capitulation rules the day: After the bill passed the Senate 75-24 on aq late night vote, Senators spent the next couple next couple of hours patting themselves on the backs and announcing how the group came together for the common good of the country. If you believe that one I know of some nearly new FEMA trailers in New Orleans that you could get for a song. The very nature of the political process in Washington is designed to enhance one’s own position economically and politically, and of course get reelected. This is most efficiently accomplished by pandering one’s own beliefs in an effort to continue to get reelected. The system is corrupt and it corrupts those who enter it.

What they promised to do in ‘92: If you are old enough to remember the 1992 elections you will remember a group of young, idealistic, mostly Republican political novices who ran on the platform “one term and out.” They believed that, as stated above, professional politicians get sucked into a corrupt system. They promised to serve one term and leave just as the Citizen Politicians did during the countries early years. The group for the most part were swept into office and within four years, nearly every single one became drunk or corrupted with power and continued to run for reelection. The concept was right but the naïve, uninformed (dare I say STUPID?) public who makes their decisions based upon 10-second sound bites, voted for them over and over. Perhaps the American voting public has finally become so disgusted with the mismanagement, corruption, and graft spawned by lobbyists, and promoted by politicians who make laws conducive to corporations and big business at the cost of the rest of the population. Perhaps the weighty burden of the few who have been enriching themselves by raping, pillaging, and looting the average citizen has become so heavy that a rebellion is in order.

Dirt, scum, grime, and puke can be washed away by RAIN: As one who has lived in the desert for the past half century I can tell you that nothing is so fresh as the air and ground after a good rainstorm. In the desert they are often referred to as “gully-washers,” and they take with them everything in their path. Street grime is gone. Chocking dust is washed away. Everything that impedes progress becomes so much flotsam that rolls downhill and into a lake. Of course, some items of value are lost as well but the calm after the storm allows for rebuilding a stronger and better place than had existed before. With that thought in mind I will offer a solution to the Washington corruption and call it RAIN. Be sure to read my next post but in the meantime remember what your Congress has done for/to you.

A little blogging music Maestro... “Rescue Me” by the Von Bondies.

Dr. Forgot

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