Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout Bill Fails Amongst Partisan Bickering, And Sarah Palin Starts Losing Conservative Support Amongst Being Totally Unqualified

Hi everybody. Oh, dudes. Normally this is the part where I wish you a happy new week, but I think we can probably all agree that initial reports show this week isn't going to shape up to be all that happy. Where to begin? You know that big bailout bill that Congress was supposed to come together on to save us from financial ruin? Yeah, well, that didn't happen. And while that was not happening, the Dow tanked 778 points, losing us $1.2 trillion. Good lord. I think we should all just go back to bartering.

A Jessica Yellin piece breaks down the House's no good, very bad day. In a vote of 228 to 205, the bailout bill died a sad death in the House of Representatives, not even getting a chance to be voted on in the Senate, where it was expected to pass. Two-thirds of Democrats supported the legislation, while only one-third of Republicans wanted their name attached. Let's be clear, the bill was fairly sucky, and I'm way too confused and way too inexperienced on economic issues to really give any analysis on whether we just got screwed over, but I think I've finally been convinced that this bailout is necessary. More on that later.

So what the heck happened? Well, it depends on who you ask. The general rule is not to hold these kind of votes unless you know the legislation is going to pass, and apparently, House leadership thought they were good to go. The problem is, at some point during the process, 12 Republican votes they thought they had, poof, disappeared. (Although wouldn't they have needed more than 12?) According to House Minority Leader John Boehner, this is all the fault of Nancy Pelosi, who made an, oh my God, partisan speech, and hurt the Republican's poor widdle feelings. I'm playing a tiny violin for them right now. Seriously, what the hell? Is everyone five years old? Barney Frank treats us with an excellent smackdown. Way to put country first, Republicans. After her piece, Jessica tells us that the Republicans aren't giving up the names of the 12 vote-changers. I'm so very shocked.

Next up, Anderson Cooper notes that representatives who currently hold unsafe seats were more likely to vote against the bill. They have to face angry voters in November and if there's one thing Congress knows how to do, it's cover their own ass. Makes me want to, like, wave a flag or eat apple pie. From here we're thrown to an Ed Henry piece, which details how McCain's campaign seems to be paralleling the country's financial meltdown. The dude is all over the place on this! First he takes credit for the bill before it loses, and then he turns around and blames Obama of all people. All the while, the Republicans are praising his leadership on this issue, when in reality, he literally phoned it in. This stuff would be hilarious if he wasn't running for president and the country wasn't falling apart before our very eyes. After his piece, Ed tells us that no one knows what happens next and pretty much everyone is scared. Sleep tight, kids.

For discussion of the disastrous vote, we're joined by Ed Rollins, David Gergen, and Roland Martin. The Gerg thinks the Democrats who voted against this bill should feel shame, but it's the Republicans who get to wear the albatross of blame. He scoffs at the notion of Republicans changing their vote because of feeling slighted by Pelosi, and gets himself so worked up that he almost gets into the vicinity of thinking about raising his voice. Whoa, steady there, Gerg. Ed blames the poor leadership of Bush, which is pretty much, you know, duh. I guess it's still a revelation for Republicans.

Roland thinks most Americans are against the bailout because they don't truly understand all of what's happening. Being an American, I can back him up on this--I am without understanding. But you know what? I don't think this is my fault. I've been waiting for someone to get on the teevee contraption and do some splaining, but all I get is, "The sky is falling! We have to do this now, now, now! Oh, you want details? Er, come back later." Anderson is all disturbed by the fact that many in Congress are putting their own re-election ahead of the country. Aw, he's so principled. Somebody's gotta be.

Moving on now to Ali Velshi and Suze Orman joining us to lay down their financial expertise. And ruh-roh, Ali is at the big graphic wall again, which lately has not meant good news. Not near as fun as John King's Magic Map, I'll say that. Anyway, he's showing us the Dow drop, but what I take particular interest in is his explanation of the effect of the credit market freeze. Ali actually did a short blog post about this today, and the subject is pretty much why I think I'm now behind the bailout, though reluctantly. This diary on Daily Kos further breaks down just what a mess we're in and how the crisis can easily touch those not even invested in the stock market.

Suze gives us the same advice she's related the last few times she's been on the show (stay in the market if you don't need your money for a long time) and also notes that we might not recover from this disaster until about 2015. *gulp* And for those that have their money in safe places, like a savings account, the interest rate now blows. Anderson then reads Suze some financial questions from viewers and she reminds me why she kind of scares me a little. The first question is from someone named Mickey who fails to give enough information about his/her personal situation and whoa, Suze goes off. Damn. Poor Mickey is never going to ask another question again. There's a couple more questions after this, and in all honesty I think she gives some good advice, but man, if she was sitting across from me as my adviser, I would so be backing away from her right now. Intense.

Transitioning to the news that Sarah Palin is dropping in the polls. Gee, I wonder why? Perhaps it's because Caribou Barbie can't even articulate a coherent thought. A Randi Kaye piece details her fall from grace. It's not just liberals anymore who are wondering what the hell John McCain was thinking. Even conservatives like George Will and David Brooks are turning on the hockey mom, with Kathleen Parker going so far as to say she should step down. And can you blame them after that Katie Couric interview? (The SNL parody is, of course, mentioned. For more fun, check out John King and the Wolfbot having a chuckle over it.) Plus, now Palin is going around contradicting McCain on Pakistan. The campaign must be pulling their hair out.

Not all of the GOP is abandoning their VP pick though. Anderson reads us a quote from Bill Kristol, and I know I've said this a billion times, but why do they keep rewarding that idiot by airing his thoughts? He has been wrong about literally almost everything. Most people with that track record would be shunned . . . or hired by the Bush administration. Anyhoo, we then bounce back to our panel, where the general consensus between Ed and The Gerg is that Palin has lost her confidence because she's being overly coached. I don't understand why they can't admit that she's just not that bright. Now there are reports that there is more of the Couric interview in which Palin couldn't name any Supreme Court case besides Roe vs. Wade. Seriously? Brown vs. Board of Education? Plessy vs. Ferguson? Bush vs. Gore? Bueller?!

Next up, we get a clip of someone who actually has credibility: Fareed Zakaria. He believes Sarah Palin is "utterly unqualified," and "it's not that she doesn't know the right answer; it's that she clearly doesn't understand the question." I love Fareed. Be sure to check out his great piece in Newsweek. So anyway, if you can believe it, Palin actually sat back down with Couric, this time with McCain playing chaperone. This has reached levels that are beyond weird. The whole Pakistan controversy comes up and what's their excuse? Well, gotcha journalism of course! This is particularly amusing because the original question had been asked by a voter at a town hall. Are they even listening to themselves anymore?

Even The Gerg can't help but shake his head at that. Ed thinks the scenario looks like a father taking care of his daughter. Exactly. They're in the principal's office, where Ms. Couric is sternly explaining how little Sarah is falling behind in her studies. It's ridiculous. Roland wants them to stop friggin blaming the media, especially when the media isn't even who asked the Pakistan question. Honestly, in their heads, I don't think it matters anymore. The talk then turns to Thursday's debate, which will be held here in St. Louis and I sooo want to go. I've been trying for weeks to figure out how I might get tickets, but ultimately it looks like scoring one of those is going to require killing a man. And hey, I'm not ruling that out. Right now though it looks like I'll be watching on my boring TV just like everyone else. So close, yet so far away.

"The Shot" tonight is Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, which I've already mentioned and linked to further up. Anyway, while we've all been pitching a fit over our looming financial doom, there's a bit of disturbing news you might have missed. You remember how we're paying Sunni insurgents to play on our side? Yeah, well, the money stops on Wednesday. Whether Maliki will do the right thing and continue on where we left off remains to be seen, but if they feel slighted, well, our economy might not be the only thing that implodes this week. Man. You know what? I think this news requires an animal video. I give you Ninja Cat. That'll do it.


Anonymous rosephile said...

Don't worry, they're gonna keep getting paid.

12:46 AM  

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