Last evening, the US Senate passed Bailout Part Two with some so-called “sweetners” to soothe the savage throats of House Republicans who shot down Bailout One two days ago, and to keep the hole-of-an-ass financial situation in the presidential campaign, both Jackboot John McCain and Barack Obama voted for it amid little speeches with bowl-clenching antidotes of helping “Joe Six-Pack.”
This entire financial meltdown — officially just two weeks old, but the final spark’s been lit for awhile, especially last year, or maybe the year before — is just another primo example of how no one really knows what the shit they do or say.
Last December, York professor Peter Spencer, chief economist for the ITEM Club, one of the UK’s best-known independent economic-forecasting groups, predicted major problems ahead.
He told the UK’s Telegraph:
- “The central banks are rapidly losing control. By not cutting interest rates nearly far enough or fast enough, they are allowing the money markets to dictate policy. We are long past worrying about moral hazard,” he says.
“They still have another couple of months before this starts imploding. Things are very unstable and can move incredibly fast. I don’t think the central banks are going to make a major policy error, but if they do, this could make 1929 look like a walk in the park,” he adds.
That was now 10 months ago.
Just this past July — less than 90 days ago — Hank Paulson, Wall Street huncho of this whole friggin’ mess, had no freakin’ clue about what was about to happen.
He just wanted to reassure all US peoples:
- “But remember, our economy has got very strong long-term fundamentals, solid fundamentals. And you know, your policy-makers here, regulators, we’re being very vigilant.”
The crumbling ‘House of Cards‘ (as so wonderfully framed for so-many occasions by Decider George) is paid homage.
Although McCain cast his first vote in the Senate since April, he didn’t have any remarks prepared for the big signing.
His did display his now-and-always good humor.
From the International Herald Tribune:
- The presence in the Senate of both presidential candidates in the final weeks of the campaign gave weight to the moment.
The political tension was clear as Senator Barack Obama walked to the Republican side of the aisle to greet John McCain, who offered a chilly look and a brief return handshake.
Obama with some eloquent bullshit:
- There will be time to punish those who set this fire, but now is not the time to argue about how it got set, or did the neighbor sleep in his bed, or leave the stove on. Right now we want to put out that fire, and now’s the time for us to come together and do that.
I understand completely why people would be skeptical when this president asks for a blank check to solve this problem. I was, too, as was Senator Dodd and a whole bunch of us here.
If this is managed correctly — and that’s an important “if” — we will hopefully get most or all of our money back and possibly even turn a profit on the government’s intervention, every penny of which will go directly back to the American people.
McCain has been in bad humor a lot lately — maybe for the last 72 years — and it appears he can’t cope with all the backlash off his lying.
He became overly-irritated this week during a Q&A with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register when they started popping him with questions about his various misspoken antics during the past few weeks.
See the grinding, contemptuous show-me-where-I’m-wrong smile here.
The good senator also unceremonious kicked Maureen Dowd off the campaign airplane, leaving her stranded.
Dowd could use the exercise — she used to be a favorite, but she’d started getting off into some kind of candy-land bullshit in her columns and most of the time didn’t have a point at all, other than, I guess, to just impress with slick verbiage.
Dowd’s only good piece in months was Obama’s visit with the West Wing’ President Jed Bartlet.
Jackboot John has been so blubbering out of the side of his ass, he can’t keep with all the shit that suddenly piled up around him.
He contradicts his campaign, calls Obama a liar even while his own people are lying, and shitfire, Sarah Palin has caused him much, much grief.
TalkingPointsMemo has a well-constructed timeline for Jackboot John’s exploding bullshit.
( Postcard above can be found here — ‘Vietnam Vets Against McCain’).
Jackboot John seemingly has always been an asshole.
My oldest daughter and I used to kind of like the guy, but this year we have been shocked at his behaviour, aghast at his lying — I figured in 2004 it was a hard thing for Jackboot John to endorse Decider George, considering the history of the two.
Boy, was I freakin’ wrong.
The problem was the public persona vs the reality.
Rolling Stone magazine has a detailed look at this major, major problem.
Although there have been many stories about his past, especially appearing the last few months, but a main factor in the Rolling Stone piece is a little-known episode during the Vietnam War.
Jackboot John had his first encounter with the news media and it would lead to the chameleon effect that would influence people for decades — including my daughter and I — which pisses me off to no end.
The incident aboard the USS Forrestal led to meeting R.W. “Johnny” Apple, big-apple reporter for the New York Times.
- It was July 29th, 1967, a hot, gusty morning in the Gulf of Tonkin atop the four-acre flight deck of the supercarrier USS Forrestal.
Perched in the cockpit of his A-4 Skyhawk, Lt. Cmdr. John McCain ticked nervously through his preflight checklist.
Now 30 years old, McCain was trying to live up to his father’s expectations, to finally be known as something other than the fuck-up grandson of one of the Navy’s greatest admirals.
That morning, preparing for his sixth bombing run over North Vietnam, the graying pilot’s dreams of combat glory were beginning to seem within his reach.
Then, in an instant, the world around McCain erupted in flames.
A six-foot-long Zuni rocket, inexplicably launched by an F-4 Phantom across the flight deck, ripped through the fuel tank of McCain’s aircraft. Hundreds of gallons of fuel splashed onto the deck and came ablaze.
Then: Clank. Clank. Two 1,000-pound bombs dropped from under the belly of McCain’s stubby A-4, the Navy’s “Tinkertoy Bomber,” into the fire.
The son of admiralty surviving a near-death experience certainly made for good copy, and McCain colorfully recounted how he had saved his skin.
But when Apple and other reporters left the ship, the story took an even stranger turn: McCain left with them.
As the heroic crew of the Forrestal mourned its fallen brothers and the broken ship limped toward the Philippines for repairs, McCain zipped off to Saigon for what he recalls as “some welcome R&R.”
And even into the current financial shitstorm:
- Indeed, if the current financial crisis has a villain, it is Phil Gramm, who remains close to McCain.
As chair of the Senate Banking Committee in the late 1990s, Gramm ushered in â€” with McCain’s fervent support â€” a massive wave of deregulation for insurance companies and brokerage houses and banks, the aftershocks of which are just now being felt in Wall Street’s catastrophic collapse.
McCain, who has admitted that “the issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” relies on Gramm to guide him.
“He’s going to be Bush on steroids,” says Johns, the retired brigadier general who has known McCain since their days at the National War College.
“His hawkish views now are very dangerous.
He puts military at the top of foreign policy rather than diplomacy, just like George Bush does.
He and other neoconservatives are dedicated to converting the world to democracy and free markets, and they want to do it through the barrel of a gun.”
Read the entire Rolling Stone article here, and although it’s a long piece, it’s well, well-worth the time and effort.
I wish there’d been such a story a decade ago.
(The photo above of the burning deck of the USS Forrestal can be found here).
Also in that Rolling Stone piece is a snapshot of the mean, shitty asshole that has been a part of Jackboot John’s personal mantra for his whole, emotionally-corrupt life.
- Growing up, McCain attended Episcopal High School, an all-white, all-boys boarding school across the Potomac in Virginia, where tuition today tops $40,000 a year.
There, McCain behaved with all the petulance his privilege allowed, earning the nicknames “Punk” and “McNasty.”
Even his friends seemed to dislike him, with one recalling him as “a mean little fucker.”
And the horror is he might become be the US head fucker.