The Bailout, Part 4

15 12 2008

Bernard Madoff made off with at least $50 billion dollars in a high stakes low concept ponzi scheme.

Really can’t make up better names than this.

How Very Dickensian.

The Campaign Part 2

8 11 2008

Far be it from me to get involved in the sniping between the Vermont Dems and Progs about who is a spoiler and who is the standard bearer of the left (of center).  Dems suffer by the nature of their big tent stereotype and the Progs suffer because they are run by personality and not by organization.  Dems wanna be Dems and Progs want respect.

A comment on the radio indicated that the Progressive Party is not interested in winning as much as campaigning for the right things and demanding that the Dems follow suit.  Unfortunately, change at that level can’t happen unless you do win.  Those who have can tell you that.  Those who aren’t can tell you what the outcome of losing is.

Many moons ago, a friend of mine’s mother listened to us criticize the American Government, in the guise of Reagan at the time — or worse, Weinberger, Schultz, etc. etc. — and she issued this challenge:  If you are going to criticize, what solution do you put forward?  This simple edict has honestly driven my involvement in almost anything I have done since.

Spoiler this, backstabbing that, terrible candidates, terrible leadership, big egos, friends losing.  Boo hoo.  And the last lonely Republicans look at us, light another cigar and appoint who they want to lower the morale of the rest of us.

If we’re going to criticize, let’s throw the actual running of the campaigns into the mix.  Both Clavelle and Gaye would have been far better governors in terms of experience and skills, but both ran campaigns that emphasized their negatives.  Their campaigns were closed shops and they did not have skillz at the top.  The other side did.  Let’s hire a pro, and let them help us win.  In the meantime, if we don’t find detente in our sandbox, it’s going to be lonely for a long time.

We lost the opportunity to ride a big tidal wave.  If we can’t find common cause and fault in that…

The Bailout, Part 3

31 10 2008

The name of the Interim Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability is Neel Kashkari.

How Very Dickensian.

The Bailout, Part 2

30 10 2008

That was a huge success.  Who would have thought investment banks would have used that money to provide bonuses to folks who failed?  What a precendent.

Bonus:  Now everyone can say, in parentheticals, (in these uncertain economic times), and not know what they mean.

Double Bonus:  Alan Greenspan:

“In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology was not right?” Waxman asked. “Yes, I found a flaw,” Greenspan said in response to grilling from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “That is precisely the reason I was shocked because I’d been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”

“Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder’s equity (myself especially) are in a state of shocked disbelief,” said Greenspan, who stepped down from the Fed in 2006.

Bound to found in Dickipedia any moment now.

The Bailout, Part 1

22 09 2008

So says Paul Krugman, of the New York Times (and if we must read any columnist from the NYT about economics, politics and the crossroads of power, please make it Paul Krugman (or Bob Herbert and some days but not always Frank Rich) and not Dowd, Brooks, Kristof or Kristol):

But I’d urge Congress to pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and try to seriously rework the structure of the plan, making it a plan that addresses the real problem. Don’t let yourself be railroaded — if this plan goes through in anything like its current form, we’ll all be very sorry in the not-too-distant future.

In my own little world, I think this is the first step toward universal health care and preschool for all and fully funded special education.  If we can blithely add what is now considered One Point Five Trillion Dollars to the “debt ceiling” for the top One Percent of the Population, we can seriously add the rest for the rest of us.

And then what?  Those liberal programs like Debt Forgiveness in Third World Countries?  Alternative Energy Subsidies?  CapiSocialism?

When you tear the fabric of the universe this severely, the rules change. Let’s hope the Gang of 535 does it sort-of-right for a change.

In the meantime, I’m gonna go play Wii…

The Campaign

15 09 2008

It is a strange thing, this salesmanship.  During a primary, you are knocking on doors of friendlies, people who have a known history of voting, voting Democratic, and probably voting for someone like you.  This is like having a sales route for Coke given to you and all you have to do to begin is meet everyone because the Coke will sell itself.  This proved successful, and I, as the new Coke, found my way on to the fall ballot.  The Republicans (ye whose brand is closer to Shop Rite cola) failed to run a candidate under their own banner, but known Republican operatives worked to get an “independent” on the ballot, who is none other than the person who ran against us in the primary.  Oh well.  Competition is good in a democracy, no doubt, but it would have been nice to run as if it were not a democracy.

Oh. Right.

And so we will go on.  I’ll wait a couple of more months to get myself measured up for that new suit jacket at Men’s Wearhouse and to pick out the legislative Merrells.  I was hoping that our signs wouldn’t be contributing too much to the wasteland of politica, but we’ll be out there, every quarter mile or so, whether we need to be or not.  I’ll be out there kissing babies with the rest of them.

The Lieutenant Governor

12 06 2008

Excuse me.  Brian Dubie does not have competition in the lieutenant governor’s race?

Excuse me.  What exactly did he do to deserve this treatment?

Excuse me.  In 2008, when the Democrats should expect a huge turnout (Woo hoo! I can vote for a black guy for preznit and a lady for gubnor!) coupled with an unenthusiastic Republican base (Woo hoo!  I can vote for an old confused guy and an automaton!), they don’t have a candidate?

Excuse me.  Is this where the Opus Dei/Mason/Star Chamber thing kicks in?

Excuse me.  Brian Dubie is running unopposed.

My lord.

Vice President Douglas

5 06 2008

It makes sense.

For years Douglas has been able to avoid being tarred with his deep and intense connections to the Bush Administration — from his unrepentant support of Nixon in his youth to his Karl Rove-trained non-partisan secretary of transportation campaign head to his desire to demoralize the entire state workforce to his inability to compromise (and succeeding!) with a frustrated legislature to supporting John McCain, whose New England campaign is run by the old Mad Dog, another ankle-biter trained by the best. He also looks like he is thoroughly disengaged from his job, hating every minute of having everything he does questioned by a press corps which is auditioning to be the next spokespersons hired. Watch him in debate with anyone. He looks like he’d rather be fishing. Baiting his own hook.

The Governor is one of the few people left in the whole of the Republican party who is seemingly immune to Bushcancer. Is he a better candidate than Mitt? Rudy? Yes! Wind him up and he stays on message! Can take him anywhere! Self-deprecating! Better public speaker than McCain! Competent looking! Didn’t sign the civil union law! Aside from the maybe prochoice stance, everything about him fits a McCain VP profile.

Sounds like a slam dunk to me.