Thursday, September 25, 2008

Congress Passes Wall Street Relief Act of 2008

At a news conference held a short time ago, a bi-partisan claque of Congressional leaders stood before cameras to declare, “We have a bailout!” Let the puff of white smoke rise from the Capitol’s chimney.

Except none of them said exactly what is in the deal. How much money are we putting on the table? What kind of controls, other than some vague comments about an “oversight” group, is written into the measure? How much will compensation of Wall Street CEOs and other executives be regulated? Will besieged, hard pressed, home owners be spared from mortgage defaults and repossessions?

Who, besides Wall Street barons, will benefit from The Wall Street Relief Act of 2008?

Most importantly, since Hank Paulson – Goldman Sach’s $34-million a year guy at Treasury and a true man of Wall Street – is going bail us all out of the financial disaster visited upon us by Wall Street, exactly how will we know to whom he’s handing out our money, on what terms and at what price?

Details, son, just details. Mere trifles.

Trust us, they proclaimed solemnly. This is a good deal. We’ve saved America from disaster.

Trust us, the Congressional leadership said this afternoon, overlooking the fact that these were basically the same people who said “trust us” when they passed the (un)Patriot Act, the Iraq War resolution and the authorization for the NSA (and God only knows who else) to spy on all of us.

Once again, Congress drank the George Bush Kool-Aid. After all, he stood in the White House last night and used words like “Great Depression” and “panic” and calamity. So, Congress rolled over on its back and did the bidding of a man who us believed by less than 20% of America.

If you're ready to buy this deal from a trusted used war salesman like George W. Bush, his cronies on Wall Street and the panicky leaders of Congress then, as Joe Galloway said, I have a deal for you on a bridge to nowhere.

UPDATE: Sarah Palin: Witchcraft Free At Last!

After scouring the world's newspapers, I finally found one with front page coverage of Muthee-Palin witchcraft story. Unfortunately for American voters, it's in the United Kingdom's The Guardian:

Sarah Palin: Witchcraft Free At Last!

I’ve finally found a positive quality Sarah Palin might bring to the vice presidency: She would be the first veep guaranteed to be witchcraft-free, thanks to Rev. Thomas Muthee.

This would be a refreshing change from Dick Cheney who clearly is a warlock; it’s one of the few things that can explain adequately his darker-than-the-night eight years in office.

A video went up on YouTube yesterday showing Muthee imploring Jesus to protect Palin from "the spirit of witchcraft." It would be hysterical if it weren’t so scary.

Best of all, Palin gave her own personal testimony to the power of Muthee’s prayers, saying publicly after she was elected governor what a dramatic effect he had on her election.

While maybe it’s time we have a vice president we know is free of witches and witchcraft, there’s a serious point being made here.

After the broadcast and cable network newscasts pelted us for days with the same 14 second clip of Rev. Jeremiah Wright giving a vitriolic sermon when Barack Obama wasn’t even in the church, why is it that we’ve barely seen Rev. Muthee laying his hands on Palin to protect her from witches – or her “testimony” in the Wasilla church to his purported power?

Why isn’t the footage leading every cable news segment, the way the Wright video did? Where are the bloviators speculating that this might end her chance of being elected, as they did with Obama? Why isn’t she giving a major speech to discuss witchcraft in American politics the way Obama responded to the Wright controversy by talking about race in America? How come no one is calling the video a “bombshell,” and wondering “what might come next?”

When the Rev. Wright controversy broke, somber publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post gave it front page prominence. I’ve yet to see any coverage of the Muthee-Palin nonsense anywhere in either paper, not even a few column inches way in the back, wedged between wedding announcements and the obits.

Maybe it’s because the Muthee business is so ridiculous the video almost comes across like a Saturday Night Live sketch. Or a parody of an SNL bit. Maybe it’s because the news media doesn’t poke fun at the mentally unbalanced.

But, still, this is noteworthy stuff.

It can’t be that newspapers, magazines and networks “got religion” – pardon the expression – and turned serious in the months since the Wright tempest in a teapot bubbled and boiled. Rather, I suspect it’s because we’re seeing a prime time, front page, living, breathing, spell-casting example of just how frightened much of the media is of the right, and the religious right in particular. We’re also seeing the myth of the “liberal media bias” laid bare.

Mary Todd Lincoln and Nancy Reagan communed with the spirit world when their husbands were president, but neither woman ever ran for election. Sarah Palin wants to be Vice President of the United States.

Come to think of it, if she and McCain happen to win it might just be because there are witches and warlocks flying around on broomsticks after all. So much for the power of prayer. Still, I can't help wonder if religious "re-education" centers are too far behind.