Monday, September 29, 2008

Congress Saves Rubber Stamp for Another Day.

Today's vote on the $700 billion dollar bailout planproved to be a stunning example of emotionally potent oversimplification, executed with classic split-screen tech narrative cut and paste. Fox News, the guardians of irrationality, showed the electronic vote tally from the floor, alongside a ticker ticking out the rapid descent of the DJIA. All the while, a manicured talking head repeated rhetorical refrains of "Despite the fact that they were told by the President . . ." And when it turned out that it was overwhelmingly Republicans who shot down the plan, quick fingers pointed hysterical blame at Speaker Pelosi. Her charge? It seems that Nancy stands guilty of persuading a dozen or so Republicans that being members of the GOP typically means that you don't go in for quasi-socialist nationalization programs. Fancy that.

Brazilian President Lula Da Silva was quoted today as saying that developing nations such as his own should not be made into 'victims of the casino erected by the American economy." I'll go him one further and say that the American people should not be left to pay the house either. Clearly, the financial system is in tatters, and the reverberations will be felt for some time to come, as well as some distance. Already, banks in Germany, Iceland and the UK suddenly find themselves in the grip of national bailout schemes. However, I for one think that for seemingly the first time in a long time, the congress might have doen something right. Now, dear reader, before we get ahead of ourselves, don't for an instant think that I have suddenly become a believer! No. It just seems that for once, despite the jarring repetition, the oversimplification and the fearmongering, Congress today voted to look for an alternative solution to the first one put in front of their rubber-stamp-in-hand faces.

Now, if we can come up with something better . . . say, giving the money to the the people defaulting on loans, so that they,um, don't default, and then the mortgage backed securities that have created the bad debt for the financial intitutions will no longer be, um, like, bad debt . . .?