Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's Still The Economy, Stupid.

As the battle goes back and forth over our ailing financial system and what Congress should do about it, I have formulated just a few brief thoughts.

1/ Congress is certainly living up to it's approval rating now, isn't it?.

2/ Nancy Pelosi is a bitch.

Yes, I realize that is potentially a sexist remark, but the fact is that no one on the Democratic side - man or woman - has been as partisan and unreasonable as the Speaker of the House. She says on the one hand that she is working in a bipartisan manner to try and find a solution for the crisis, and then with the other, she proceeds to blame the entire crisis on the Bush Administration and her Republican counterparts.

Ms. Speaker - you have plenty of Democratic colleagues who have dirtied their hands in dealings with Wall Street, so your side is certainly culpable in this mess. And by blasting the administration one last time before the vote, you needlessly stoked the flames. If passing this bailout package is the best thing for America, then why did you potentially poison it? Were you more interested in protecting America, or protecting your party? You caused a problem instead of helping to solve one. Oh - and while "supporting" the bailout, you also managed to NOT get the votes of 95 Democrats. That shows a certain lack of leadership within your own party, doesn't it?

3/ The Republicans have to grow a pair - and then they have to grow up.

The biggest reason the vote on the bailout package failed had nothing to do with the "criminals on Wall Street" and everything to do to the November election. Every single member of the House is up for re-election, and they - especially the Republicans - are afraid that a vote in favor of the bailout package will cost them their jobs. Our representatives should be representing us, instead of worrying about keeping their seats. The Republicans are quick to shake their fists and say "we're not going to reward those criminals who ruined Wall Street by handing them more money!" That's all well and good, but it's akin to being angry when you find out you have cancer, and then refusing to undergo chemo just to show the cancer who's boss! Finally - to those Republicans who claim they voted no because of Nancy Pelosi's remarks - it's time to graduate to big boy pants.

4/ President Bush gives a new meaning to the term "lame duck".

Can anyone tell me the last President who had this little amount of power in his final months in office? Even his worst enemies are embarrassed for Bush, I think. He couldn't scrape together a boy scout troop to support him at this point, and I hear his dog hates him, too!

5/ We are all to blame for this.

Look, there's plenty of reason to be pissed at Congress, and pissed at Bush, and pissed at Wall Street... But where was the outrage when the economy was booming, and everyone was able to buy a house, and go on fancy vacations, and spend money like crazy? Before our broken financial system put us in this current mess, it also allowed America to go on an extended binge, and now we're struggling to find the aspirin bottle to soothe our mounting headache. It is human nature to celebrate the good times when times are good. But we need to recognize that, going forward, Americans need to do a better job of paying attention to what's going on in the world. And that means more regulation.

I think it's only a matter of time before the economic bailout package is passed in Congress. If the party leaders can't convince their GOP and Democratic colleagues in the House to change their minds, another day or two of falling stock prices oughta do the trick. Of course, by then, our 401k plans will really be in the toilet, but what the hell! At least we'll have shown Wall Street how ANGRY we are! That'll teach 'em!

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