Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is Now a Good Time to Rise Above The Politics?

Sarah Palin has told Katie Couric we may face another Great Depression unless we quickly find a solution to our current economic crisis. Lightweight or not, she may very well be right. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke believes a major reason for those dark days is the Fed's failure to support to support the banking systems, which resulted in public panic, stock market crashes and restrictions on the money supply. Hence, his proposed $700 billion bailout.

I'm certainly no expert on high finance or any finance, if truth be told. But it's very clear that we are in serious trouble. Lehigh County Commissioner Dean Browning, who does understand high finance, calls it a "raging fire."

Now might be a good time to forget about the politics.

I could see that yesterday in Congressman Charlie Dent's hastily arranged telephone press conference. He believes Congress should remain in session to resolve this matter instead of applying a quick fix on Friday. He's running in a Democratic district, but politics was the last thing on his mind.

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain have issued a rare joint statement. "Now is a time to come together - Democrats and Republicans - in a spirit of cooperation for the sake of the American people. The plan that has been submitted to Congress by the Bush Administration is flawed, but the effort to protect the American economy must not fail."

McCain has actually suspended his campaign to return to Washington, something Obama is strangely unwilling to do. David Letterman, miffed that McCain exalts governance over an appearance on late-night TV, snarks "You don't suspend your campaign. This doesn't smell right. This isn't the way a tested hero behaves."

Actually, it is.

Obama and McCain have been running for President for two years. We've been inundated with ad after ad from both of them, sitting U.S. Senators who were elected to govern. The nation is in turmoil. Both of them belong in Washington right now. We need them both.

Believe me, we'll survive with a week's less campaigning. But if we go into another Great Depression, people will die.


Anonymous said...

John McCain has suspended his campaign to monitor a hurricane and now to monitor legislation on a financial crisis. Where was his attention to this crisis for the last 18 months when analysts were saying that it was looming?

Here's my concern, McCain is always operating in panic mode. I don't want my president to panic. There are times to put aside political rhetoric. But there is never a good time to suspend the discussion of the future of our country. That's what McCain is doing. The fact that his campaign sent around a talking points memo to campaign surrogates about how to discuss the suspension of the campaign tells me that he is not at all interested in rising above politics.

not so casual observer said...

Actually, he did try to handle this in 1993, 2003, and 2006 and was ignored in the senate. He is not operating in a a panic mode. His job is US Senator. He is doing his job if he faces trouble when it arises. He has returned to Washington several times for important votes and then gone back to the campaign.
Once agin McCain is puttting Country First

Anonymous said...

McCain supposedly canceled his spot on Letterman to "rush back to the airport". If you watch the Letterman clip:

McCain blew Letterman off to do an interview with Katie Couric.

Politicians, ya gotta love 'em.


Anonymous said...

If country was first, he wouldn't need talking point memos for his campaign supporters.

the campaign hasn't suspended anything. They just took the candidates off teh campaign trail and are doing all of their talking through spokesman. This campaign is still operating 100%. Don't full yourself into thinking otherwise.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Where was his attention to this crisis for the last 18 months when analysts were saying that it was looming?"

One can ask the same question about Obama. There's a time to point fingers and a time to fix things.

I am aware of and saw the talking points memo. A major campaign that puts on the brakes has to give aides reasons.

As far as Letterman goes, no offense, but I think that interviewing a journalist has a little more relevance than a comedy stit, but that's me.

McCain is doing the right thing.

The candidate who advocates "change" and who claims we need to come togther curiously refuses to do so.

Anonymous said...

BOH:"As far as Letterman goes, no offense, but I think that interviewing a journalist has a little more relevance than a comedy stit, but that's me."

I agree if McCain had been honest about where he was going. He was not. I'm getting very tired of every politician spinning and lying. I'm a Republican and just don't believe the crap any more from either side.


Chris Miller said...

Meanwhile while this crisis goes on the Express-Times has a story on page A3 today on a $600 billion dollar spending bill with over 2 thousand "pet projects" in the bill. This is the price Pelosi put on drilling for our oil while keeping money out of the hands of the states that could have been used for infrastructure. Call her and give her hell today.

Anonymous said...

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."-- H.L. Mencken

Gene said...

Republicans are trying to stampeded Congress into passing the Bush Admin package so our elected reps don't have time to consider HOW taxpayers should bail out Wall Street. It's not a question of whether to do it. All sides agree something must be done. But Congressional push-back has already produced limits on the unrestricted power Bush proposed giving Paulson and on taxpayer giveaways in the form of golden parachutes to the Wall Street scoundrels that we're bailing out. Beware Republicans taking care of their own -- especially at taxpayers' expense.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Gene, If this is true, then all the more reason for Obama to return to Washington. But that's not my point.

The Great Depression killed people. It scarred many others. If this is in the making ,we really need to drop the partisan crap and come together and solve this problem.

Joe Hilliard said...

The problem is that we can't fix things if we don't admit what caused it.

The GOVERNMENT created this whole fiscal mess by backing high-risk mortgages. Because liberal advocates thought it was a good thing to promote home ownership.

Dems and too many Reps looked at polls and supported the inane policy.

Wall Streeters could offer loans to anyone, because the government guaranteed these loans and encouraged such loans. Sell more, earn more. They sold all they could.

The fix must include getting the government out of private enterprise. Why is the government in the mortgage business?

Conservative "whackos" warned about the consequences of such policies - more than a decade ago.

All the "reasonable" and "moderate" politicians ignored reality - and pandered.

We need a "separation of business and state."

Meanwhile, last night, in the midst of this major crisis, the House of Representatives passed a $25 billion bailout, er, loans, for Detroit automakers!

oh, for pete's sake said...

I personally want to hear from these men right now. I need more information from each of them, not just as candidates for the next presidency, but as U.S. senators working to fix the problem.

Yes, go to Washington and work your tail off to fix this. But, please, clearly and specifically address as a presidential candidate in front of the voting public how you plan to lead this nation out of this. We need to know this before we vote, and before the current Congress and the administration get too far involved.

Shorten the length of the debate. Move the location or push the date back a few days. Change the format so that it is less combative and more informative. Work something out so that the candidates can be heard right now, while we see some semblance of bipartisanship in our elected officials on this issue. It might actually be a more substantive discussion, one less muddled with abrasive soundbites than the usual campaign fare.

Anonymous said...

These knuckleheads have no business acumen whatsoever. We're about to federalize a trillion dollars of the US economy by handing overa major portion of the banking industry to the same clowns who've given us the postal service, Amtrack, the VA system and the Hurrican Katrina response.

We're already so screwed, we don't even seem to realize it.

Bob Jr. said...

Let's let Palin handle it. She'll straighten out those Wall Street good 'ole boys. Laura Bush says Palin's "a quick study." And the head of Pakistan thinks she's a hottie!

Anonymous said...

Even Bill Clinton agrees with you...

Anonymous said...

Bill Clinton was impaling interns with big 80s hair and 40 extra pounds in the trunk. His standards are demonstrably low.

Anonymous said...

For $700 billion we could provide every qualified American with their first two years of Collage or trade School tuition free, for the next 20 years!

Please explain how buying worthless debt is a better value to our economy than the suggestion above.

You really don't need to be an expert on this stuff. A bit of common sense and street smarts is all you need to know we are being hustled.

Anonymous said...

Gene -

The only ones I hear opposing the bailout are conservative Republicans.

The Democrats and liberal republicans appear happy to go along with it, provided they all get a little bit of $$$ for their pet issues.

I for one don't see why taxpayers should overpay for something the private market won't touch.

Valima said...

That bailout, as originally propsed by the former CEO of GS, current treasury secretary is nothing but another way for the Rich to f' the poor and working class of this country.

The same people who did not want big government to get involved in the free market NOW want that same big government to give them a blank check.

I know greed cannot be regulated but my goodness!!

I'm not interested in having my grandchildren pay back this debt, because that is what it is...More Debt!

I have not had a chance to look at the legislation as it was passed earlier today but in the moral words of Ahnald "I'll be back!"

Valima said...

**Correction** I briefly saw the headlines earlier and thought legislation has passed.

I'm elated to find out that the discussions have fallen apart.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the post's question, the answer is, "no."

There is blame to be assessed and it should be. How can we expect to fix problems if we don't address them by name. Now IS the time to say, "I told you so," because lots of people warned of this disaster and were called insensitive and racist for daring to ask if borrowers were qualified to pay back that which everybody knew they weren't.

And the Clinton gang (now Barry's team leaders on economics) cashed in and screwed us all.

The answer is no.

Anonymous said...

Yeah -- it's from Fox News. Still, how come no other channel is showing Barney Frank's own words?

Joe Hilliard said...


As an "evil conservative" I am glad to see that the talks have fallen apart also.

Greedy Wall Street types don't deserve a bail out.

However, will you admit that the government policies to guarantee such foolish loans are to blame also?

If so, we can all realize and admit to the problems that created this mess.

If not, then "We the People" will continue to suffer from poltical incompetence.

Dave said...

ENOUGH..with the finger pointing! Find a solution even if only temporary and get going! Peoples finances and jobs hanging by a thread! This is America..time to put our heads together and wage war on greed yet again!

Valima said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valima said...

Bernie, why can't I edit my comment? I can only delete them.:(

It's do or die on blogspot I suppose.

Joe Hilliard,

I agree with you 100%.

We've allowed the government to become the incompetent institution that it is today.

Vivá la revolucíon!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Valima, It's weird. Far right and left often end up agreeing with each other for totally different reasons.

Valima said...

Bernie, this is not a left-right issue.

This is an issue that must be of concern to everyone on this soil.

Valima said...

Gene said...
"Republicans are trying to stampeded Congress into passing the Bush Admin package so our elected reps don't have time to consider HOW taxpayers should bail out Wall Street."

Gene, that statement is somewhat untrue. Some of the most conservative members of Bush's party are against this package as was originally presented.

The Papier Boy said...

Bernie, I agree that the partisan crap needs to stop and they need to come together and solve this problem. However, the debate and solving the financial crisis are not mutually exclusive. These debates need to happen and they need to happen now. This is political posturing by the McCain camp trying to make Obama look bad and himself look good. I'm seeing right through it.

McCain reminds me of my grandmother; she can only do one thing a day. She'll go to the grocery store but she can't go to the grocery store AND the hair salon on the same day. That would be crazy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, isn't it?

The Papier Boy said...

No, it isn't. Because the grocery store and the hair salon are right next to each other.

cckeiser said...

> Dear American:
> I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship
> with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
> I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country
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> of 700 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer,
> it would be most profitable to you.
> I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my
> replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you
> may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation
> movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.
> This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the
> funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds
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> reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so
> funds can be transferred.
> Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund
> account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to
> wallstreetbailout@... so that we may transfer your
> commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I
> will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be
> used to protect the funds.
> Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Anonymous said...

Cultural Hegemony is very strong in the valley. Finding truth anywhere here is known world wide that this little area called the "valley of the stupid." Feeding on the middle class and poor is a daily routine.

The so called lack of morals ruling class, protected by law enforcement enjoy a daily meal of food has drawn a cancer across America and it's citizens are sensing it's death for lack of folly.

It's time to stand up, realize your value of middle class and poor. Demand to be represented in the media everywhere. Were not stupid just uninformed. Crush the gatekeepers that lock you out the picture discover the tools in which they use to distract your own interest and begin to focus on what is rightfully ours.