Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bush Incites Global Financial Panic

...should be tomorrow's headlines. As I called earlier, Bush's speech was completely over the top.
"Our entire economy is in danger," Bush said, urging Congress to take quick action and outlining his rationale for the bailout.

Failing to pass a rescue plan, Bush said, would create the risk of a "long and painful recession" -- meaning more foreclosures, lost jobs, business failures, stock losses and difficulty getting loans.

"I'm a strong believer in free enterprise, so my natural instinct is to avoid government intervention," Bush said. "These are not normal circumstances. The economy is not functioning properly. ... Without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic."

What sitting President utters words like that? Most importantly how and why did Bush and the GOP let the situation get this bad in the first place?

The true panic here is in the McSame camp. They are out of their minds right now. They are seeing the end of their run six weeks before the election.

And Here's The Thrust, Kids

...and now it all makes sense.
McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.

In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday.

Graham says the McCain camp is well aware of the position of the Obama campaign and the debate commission that the debate should go on as planned — but both he and another senior McCain adviser insist the Republican nominee will not go to the debate Friday if there's no deal on the bailout.

>Plan B is to force Plan A, with the added bonus of no Palin-Biden debate and John McSame Saves The Universe, with an assist from Preznitman.

Here's my take:

  1. I guarantee you there will be no VP debate now. The McSame camp will hem and haw and then finally say the debate format/media/Obama is unfair and call it off.
  2. Preznitman will go on TV tonight and give a speech designed to do one thing: scare the shit out of America. He will say that unless the UberBailout is passed immediately, we're doomed.
  3. Tomorrow the GOP will get their marching orders for Plan A and repeat Preznitman's line. Cheney and Bush and now McSame will lay it out: get this deal done, vote for it, or we'll skin you. The airwaves will be full of the GOP inciting absolute panic.
  4. The GOP will then blame everything on Obama and the Democrats: every day we don't have a deal, is another day closer the Democrats are bringing the country to ruin.
  5. News tonight that both Obama and McSame have agreed to a White House meeting with Congressional leaders tomorrow. We'll see a day of GOP bashing and a done deal by Friday afternoon, if not earlier.
  6. The final goal is mutally assured destruction: a plan that both McSame and Obama must both vote for, taking the economy off the table as a campaign issue.
That's the path for McSame out of the economy picture as charted by the geniuses at his campaign. I'm already seeing evidence that Obama once again sees the trap and is going to be able to get out of it by taking the initiative.

The Plan Falls Apart, Time For New Even Worse Plan

The GOP Plan on the UberBailout is coming undone. The GOP is fleeing from this bill as fast as they can scramble. Nobody wants to pass this thing especially in the House where all 435 of them face judgment in six weeks. The Plan was to get Obama and the Dems to vote FOR the bill, and McSame then would have cover to vote against.

That has failed miserably. McSame is getting killed in the polls today.

Hence, you're now seeing Improved GOP Plan B:
  1. McSame heroically suspends campaign to save Wall Street, displaying Real Leadership among those horrible Washington Insider types that he is not a part of nope can you smell the maverick.
  2. McSame saves America from Second Great Depression.
  3. Obama has no choice but to go along (IOKIYAR) and is crucified for it.
  4. McSame, having saved universe, now must be your President.
The obvious counter is to point out, well, the obvious. This is a stunt. If McSame was really concerned, he should have dropped things Monday. The reality is that the UberBailout is pretty much doomed right now.
NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports, advisors say they are also reaching out to Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe to discuss pulling ads as well. (That can be difficult once they are in station traffic rotations.)

McCain advisors say they will do all the debates but the schedule is up in the air.
They also deny that there is a political calculation in this and say without action the country could slide into a Depression by Monday and added "we'll see 12 percent unemployment" if action is not completed. GOP sources say they believe the current deal is dead on the Hill and reject suggestions that without McCain's vote Democrats would not support a package.

McCain advisors won't speak for Obama's side of the phone call but describe it as a "good conversation." Advisors also say this is not a response to sliding poll numbers and insist this is "an even race."

Yeah, Obama up 9 is an even race to these guys. Please note that while the bolded section up there is "not a political calculation", the entire paragraph indeed describes a cynical political calculation.

I mean c'mon, Depression by Monday? Not even I believe that. (For the record, 12% unemployment is coming either way folks...bailout or not...but not by Monday.)

McCain Senior Adviser Mark Salter briefed reporters just now off camera on the decision. He told us the following:
--McCain will suspend airing all ads and all campaign events pending obama agreement
--McCain called President Bush today and told him of the plan. He would not characterize Bush reax.
--McCain talked to colleagues on the Hill during last 2 days and learned that passage of the Paulson plan was going to be next to impossible
--McCain would partake in debate if they passed agreement by Friday morning
--Salter will get back to us on whther mccain is suspending fundraising
--Salter says they are confident if all parties get together--they can agree on a plan by Monday.

...which again, all supports Steps 1 and 2 of the GOP Plan B along with Preznitman's speech tonight. He's going to say that if there's not a deal by Friday, there's no debate and that Obama needs to stop being lazy uppity black man and work through the night and weekend. If there's no deal by Monday, the economy is DOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED and we'll be living in refridgerator boxes and shit by Monday night. UberBailout is dead. Long live the UberBailout.

So The Plan now is to scare the world into praying we spend $700 billion to save Wall Street, or DOW 5000 by Monday night. They are going back to the "smoking gun of a mushroom cloud" tactics.

They think you're stupid, you know.

Change The Rules

GOP Politics 101: When you are losing the game, take your ball and go home like a pussy.

John McCain will say later today in New York that he's suspending his campaign in response to the economic crisis, and is calling on Barack Obama to delay Friday's debate. From the prepared remarks just sent out by his campaign:

Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night's debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

It's not immediately clear what this means in practice. Will all of McCain's ads come down? Will the campaign stop sending out statements? Will campaign aides all leave headquarters and turn out the lights?

Here's a question. If Obama continues his campaign, how will McSame complain about it if he's suspending his campaign?

Also from TPM:

At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal. At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama's call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details.
Nice. Obama's ahead, and McSame is desperately trying to drag him down to his level.

I don't get it. Why is Obama falling for this? You have him by the nuts, on the ropes, back to the wall. KEEP. PUNCHING.

Can you imagine the uproar by our liberal media if Obama decided he was going to do this? You'd see same day McSame saying Obama was a Washington insider working on a plan to give your tax money to Wall Street while POW Man was out there listening to real Americans.

[UPDATE] More on McLosing.

[UPDATE 2] Obama 2008 KEEP PUNCHING plan for the keeping up of the punching of McSame is GO!

ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos and Rick Klein report: Sen. John McCain on Wednesday said he would “suspend” his presidential campaign to come to Washington to help negotiate a financial bailout bill, a dramatic move designed to seize a powerful issue.

However a senior Obama campaign official said Obama "intends to debate."

"The debate is on," a senior Obama campaign official told ABC News.

Screw you old man. We're taking your lawn gnomes.

Cartoon Of The Moment

Ed Stein, Rocky Mountain News, from

The UberLie

Digby has an excellent roundup of the GOP's Ultimate Weapon: the massive lie that somehow, magical poor black people caused the Crash of 2008 with their ironclad control of Wall Street lending practices.
It's hard to believe they can say this stuff with a straight face considering the pending trillion dollar bailout of their rich friends, but shame isn't part of their personal reality.
But saying it they are, because it's all they have: N*gga stole my economy.

The GOP knows the revolution is coming. They want to simply redirect the pitchforks.

Even More Epic Campaign Manager Fail

The NY Times is fighting back against McSame by bringing a machine gun to a knife fight.
One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a remark by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the two people said.

They said they did not recall Mr. Davis’s doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than to speak to a political action committee of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the approaching midterm Congressional elections. They said Mr. Davis’s firm, Davis Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of his close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House.

Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis Manafort for the presidential campaign, but as an equity holder continues to benefit from its income. No one at Davis Manafort other than Mr. Davis was involved in efforts on Freddie Mac’s behalf, the people familiar with the arrangement said.

A Freddie Mac spokeswoman said the company would not comment.

Rick Davis is becoming quite the albatross on McSame's neck here. I give it until this weekend before he steps down as McSame's campaign manager, ala Phil "mental recession" Gramm did as McSame's chief finance adviser.


So What Does TOPM Think?

Time to check in on The Odious Patrick McHenry (NC-10, Douchebag), especially since he sits on the House Financial Services Committee that will be hearing testimony from Helicopter Ben and King En-Er-Eee de Eighth I Yam I Yam today. What does he think of UberBailout?
While the Bush administration and congressional leaders on Capitol Hill sweat out the details of a $700-billion rescue package for failing financial institutions, the debate over the bailout is heating up in North Carolina's 10th District.

U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry of Cherryville sits on the House Financial Services Committee that on Wednesday will listen to and question Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

"I hope to hear in much greater detail the specifics of their proposal," McHenry told television news reporters, "and I look forward to the opportunity to question them on my concerns."
Many congressmen on both sides of the aisle, including presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, want close congressional oversight of any bailout proposal.

"Ultimately," McHenry said, "my responsibility is to the American taxpayer, who will be the underwriter of this dramatic proposal."
Ahh, but this means there's a big fat opening here for his Democratic challenger Daniel Johnson to attack.
But his opponent, Democrat Daniel Johnson of Hickory, faulted McHenry for already siding with the financial institutions against the interests of home owners and families.

"Time and time again, McHenry, who has accepted campaign contributions from subprime mortgage lenders like Countrywide, has taken the side of big Wall Street banks over the families of Western North Carolina," Johnson told political blogger Howie Klein on The Huffington Post. "(He) not only didn't lift a finger to take action before problems in the mortgage industry rose to crisis level, for years he advocated for subprime lenders ... and argued against 'burdensome regulations' on such lenders."

Johnson pointed out McHenry voted against "a comprehensive, bipartisan response to the current mortgage crisis that would have empowered more families to stay in their homes and prevent further disclosures (American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act, HR 3221). McHenry and 13 other House Financial Services committee members also urged President Bush to veto the bill designed to strengthen regulation of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Banks.

"One of the reasons that I am running for Congress is because the economic trends of the past 10 to 15 years — from unfair trade deals to the rising cost of food and fuel to the increasing unavailability of healthcare — has stacked up against the working families of Western North Carolina," Johnson told Klein. "The implosion of big banks like this will make it even more difficult for the people of our district to get the funding to expand their small businesses or buy their first homes.

"The financial meltdown ... shows the great damage done by politicians like Congressman McHenry who abdicated their responsibility to crackdown on abuses in the housing market. While the subprime crisis was caused by the actions of irresponsible lenders and irresponsible borrowers, failure to act to stabilize the housing market affects all homeowners and drags down the entire economy."
Now more than ever we need to get lobbyist-controlled scumbags like Patrick McDouchebag out of office for good. If the Dems can win NC-10, they can win any district in America.

Check out more info on Daniel Johnson and make a donation. Lord knows the folks back home in Hickory need a better Congressman than Odious.

And I'm Taking You With Me

Nancy says if the Dems are going to walk off the cliff into the UberBailout trap, they're taking the GOP with them.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling Democrats that she will not support President Bush’s $700 billion bailout of the financial sector unless there is significant Republican support for the controversial plan.

The politics of the bailout are tricky and dangerous for both political parties, particularly since it comes weeks before the presidential and congressional elections.

As a result, Pelosi (D-Calif.) has effectively sent the message that if she is going to jump off a cliff to rescue Wall Street, she wants House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and George W. Bush holding her hands when she leaps.

Pelosi made this scenario clear at a lengthy closed-door meeting of House Democrats on Tuesday. Many of those present said they took Pelosi’s message to mean that a “majority of the minority” needs to support the bill before she will bring it to the floor.

Good for her. Here's the interesting part however:
To get that kind of support, President Bush needs to go on television to speak directly to the public, and get on the phone to rally his fellow Republicans, said House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.).

“If it’s a crisis,” Clyburn said in a statement, “and we all need to come together, then as leader of this nation, the president needs to take the lead and bring the country together.”
Oh please please please let Preznitman go on prime-time national television and plead his case to Americans on why he has to take a trillion of our taxpayer dollars or so to save Wall Street CEOs a few weeks before a Presidential election.

That would be awesome. It would be followed by, oh, 50 million Americans going "Screw you and the Republicans" simultaneously. It would probably be noticeable in Washington.

[UPDATE] Yep! That's exactly what Preznitman's gonna do, get up in front of America and tell them that you need to give King En-Er-Eee a thousand billion dollars and stuff or America gets it!
President Bush may make a prime-time speech as early as Wednesday night to put pressure on Congress to approve a $700 billion plan to bail out Wall Street, a senior administration official told CNN.
Oh yes. PLEASE remind everyone the Republicans want to steal from the poor to pay the rich.

A Little Political Jujitsu

The first step in defeating a trap is knowing it's there.
The second step is getting somebody else to fall into it:(emphasis mine)
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos reports: If Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain doesn't vote for the Bush administration's $700 billion economic bailout plan, some Republican and Democratic congressional leaders tell ABC News the plan won't pass.

"If McCain doesn't come out for this, it's over," a Top House Republican tells ABC News.

A Democratic leadership source says that White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten has been told that
Democratic votes will not be there if McCain votes no -- that there is no deal if McCain doesn't go along.

The third step then is to make sure you leave your opponent a way out, and that the exit is right where you want them to go, in this case the Bush-McSame Wall Street Welfare Bill.

Yes, I know. It's a huge game of political chicken with the country at stake here. It's pretty scary stuff, really. But it's precisely because the stakes are so high that the Democrats need to fight back, and this is exactly the way to do it. Take the hideous stuff out of the bailout, force John McSame to vote yes, have Obama say no, and then deal with the problem in January.

Better yet Democrats, forsee the obvious GOP counterattack that John McSame will then try to "heroically block the bailout" by putting such pressure on Bush that the corporate interests pull McSame aside and have a little talk with him. He has to vote yes, then you have him cold.

Nobody in Congress has come out for this bailout as is. Nobody. That's got Wall Street scared, and they are likely to do something stupid like force Bush's hand on this. When that happens, make sure Obama's on the right side of history...and McSame isn't. Make the House and Senate GOP rank and file not only run against Bush, but McSame too, y'dig?

[UPDATE] Scott at LGM isn't impressed with the GOP's The Plan at all.

I agree that as long as the plan that passes is acceptable, the fact that Republicans will run against Dems for passing it isn't a big deal. (Just as they shouldn't even consider Bush's "give me $700 billion to arbitrarily dispense" plan irrespective of the politics.) The additional thing to add is that if the election is focused on the economy McCain is going to get massacred, so if this is the big Republican strategy I'm not exactly cowering in terror.

Point taken. Obama still wins (and wins big) if this becomes an issues election. And right now there's 700 billion plus reasons to believe this is an issues election.

A Fighting Or A Challenge

Yesterday BooMan asked people to come up with a paragraph explaining to people what the stakes were this November. My response:
Over the last eight years, our response to 9/11 ended America's world political dominance, in turn the Iraq and Afghanistan wars ended our world military dominance, in turn our response to Katrina and Rita, Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib ended our world moral dominance, and in turn the Crash of 2008 ended our world financial dominance. In November we must decide between the people that squandered everything that made America great, or the people who can restore that greatness.

And that's true. We've got one last shot to get out of this hole, because another four years of this will end America as we know it, maybe for good. Obama or McSame, what's it going to be?


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