I have little sympathy for Wall Street at this point, but the pseudo-populism of some liberals is getting annoying. We’re not being asked to rescue Wall Street fat cats. Those people are going to be just fine regardless of what we do. They’re rich, they have a cushion. The smarter ones have probably already taken off.
You know who’s not going to be fine? The people who depend on the financial markets not being seized up. You know who that is? The fucking rest of us. The people who need the services state and local governments are struggling to provide. It goes beyond just the stock market.
I realize the bailout isn’t perfect. I’m hardly an expert, but it does seem like there are better ideas. But there’s a reason smart people think an imperfect bill is necessary. It probably won’t just be a sweetheart deal for Wall Street, either. For all the whining about Democrats caving to Republicans, the fact remains that they exist and they can fight legislation. Thinking Democrats can get a significantly better bill through in this environment is fantasy. This is how our system works.
And while I’ve veered into partisan politics in this rant, the entirety of the Republican party is a joke. Boehner blames his failure to secure enough Republican votes on a speech by Nancy Pelosi. This is pathetic. Regardless of whether or not you’re for it, that was a monumentally important vote and House Republicans were swayed because a speech hurt their feelings. Are they a bunch of third graders? How fundamentally ridiculous the current Republican party is has never been laid out so clearly.
The final thing is, I wish people would stop saying this is going to cost us $700 billion. It’s not. It’ll be less than that. How much less we don’t know, but no one thinks these toxic mortgages are actually worth nothing.
So sure: we should all hope that after the election we can pass legislation that attacks the roots of the financial crisis. This includes financial market regulatory reforms, macroeconomic stimulus, and broad relief measures. Maybe it even includes a better bailout program if this one isn’t enough. But right now, we have what we have, and complaining about it is like refusing to turn a fire hose on a burning building because you’re afraid the water is flouridated. It’s time to pass the bill.
I hate you.
Obama debated McCain tonight. McCain, inexplicably, debated the floor, Lehrer, the camera, and the crowd at Ole Miss. What the hell was up with McCain not looking at Obama?
In any case, I only watched the first hour or so. I think Obama won, but I’m pretty sure I’d think Obama won unless he ate a baby on stage. The polls seem to show that most people thought Obama won, which is all that really matters (the media looks like they’re going with Obama won, so at least they won’t overturn those polls).
One last thing, McCain seems to want a “surge” in Afghanistan. Now, maybe more troops would be good, but as McCain points out, the “surge” is a new strategy, not just more troops. It was the idea of clearing and holding in Baghdad. I could be wrong, but I don’t think we can do that in Afghanistan. Are we clearing and holding caves? Random rural tribal villages? How would that work? I don’t think rural Afghan villagers are as annoyed with the violence as urban Iraqis were and have far less incentive to cooperate. Of course, the other issue is that the reduction in violence in Iraq was a combination of other factors as well, factors that aren’t relevant in Afghanistan.
On to the VP debate. It’ll be awesome. Sarah Palin will single-handedly defend Alaska from a Russian incursion. Biden will inform us that during the great depression FDR dealt with greedy bankers by shooting their computers with a shotgun.
Quote of the day:
In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.
“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”
Did they really say that? That’s…incredible.
My understanding of all of this is generally fuzzy, but I know it’s so important that John McCain suspended campaigning and wants to call off the Friday debate. Or McCain’s that desperate. The fact that it’s a foreign policy debate and the performances will be drowned out by economic news and that he wants to move to the VP debate slot points to the latter. I suppose it would be hard for McCain to swoop in and grandstand, then debate with Obama for a couple hours, but I think he could do it. It’ll build character.
I’ve been slacking off as far as blogging goes. Not sure why, but oh well.
People are claiming Palin is finally becoming less popular with the electorate. I gotta say, according to the chart in that link, it looks the McCain-Palin ticket has dropped. Her drop started earlier, but for the most part it mirrors McCain’s. So I hesitate to say it’s really about her. Not that I’d feel bad if I’m wrong.
Schweitzer spoke on the MSU campus the other day. A pretty nice turnout, too. There were some anti-Schweitzer protesters there, too. Five to ten, maybe. Signs included “Election fraud isn’t funny” and “Bully” (a couple with that). Sounds like hand-wringing pussy talk, but what do I know. There were also people handing out some kind of literature on the Federal Reserve. Ron Paul-types, presumably. Nice timing, if nothing else.
Working for a university gives me certain benefits, one of which is discounted tuition and fees. So I’m taking suggestions for further education. A CS master’s? History or philosophy? Underwater basket-weaving? My future is in your hands.
This is greatly amusing. There are charts rating U.S. states by personality traits.
Montana ranks at the bottom (lowest quintile, at lease) in extraversion and agreeableness and towards the top in openness. We’re middle of the road regarding neuroticism and conscientiousness.
I don’t quite understand how we’re open but introverted; seems like those should be correlated at least weakly.
In any case, give us your poor, huddled, quiet contrarians, yearning to be left the hell alone. It’s just like the Northeast, except without the inconsiderate neurotics.
So apparently there’s been some sort of frenzy over McCain’s VP choice. She’s some sort of right-wing religious crazy person, among other things. So we get to make fun of statements like this:
11. Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
SP: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.
Bzzt! Thanks for playing, but your vapid fundamentalist bluster is not correct.
Plus, she’s apparently in favor of teaching creationism in public schools. Which has been rejected in all forms by the courts so far.
Now, those two points don’t really matter that much, except for the second one, insofar as it affects what judges would be nominated by a McCain/Palin administration (or a future Palin administration). Still, they’re standard religious right talking points and don’t indicate that she’s done much in the way of critical evaluation.
In any case, convention speeches are controlled enough that Palin will probably do well tonight. The real problems will come when she’s asked actual questions. Which I assume has to happen at some point.