Thom Hartmann Comments

Saw these over at Thom Hartmann’s blog

Reclaiming the Issues: Bring Back the Elites

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews Friday suggested that Barack Obama is “elite” in part because Obama was wearing sunglasses:

Can Barack Obama, a man of elite education if not elite background,break into the middle class and talk regular? Can he talk to regular people in their kitchens tonight, in their living rooms?


Everybody thinks Barack is too cool. In other words, there he is with the shades, getting on the plane. A little bit too elegant, a little bit too proud of his own bearing. Is that a problem, that he’s just too cool for words. In other words, elite.

Chris Matthews is wrong. [more]


How Wall Street Can Bail Itself Out Without Destroying The Dollar

For Grover “Drown Government In The Bathtub” Norquist, this bailout deal will work out very well. At a proposed cost of $4,780 per taxpayer, it’ll further the David Stockman strategy of so indebting us that the next president won’t have the luxury of even thinking of new social spending (expanding health care, social security, education, infrastructure, etc.); taxes will even have to be raised just to pay for the bailout. It’ll debase our currency, driving up commodity prices and interest rates, which will benefit the Investor Class while further impoverishing the pesky Middle Class, rendering them less prone to protest (because they’re so busy working trying to pay off their debt). It’ll create stagflation for at least the next half decade, which can be blamed on Democrats who currently control Congress and, should Obama be elected, be blamed on him. [more]

Like the Thrashing of Dying Dinosaurs

Dave says he ‘makes this shit up’ which may well be true. I respect him more for that. He also says, “I know not whereof I speak.” And that, I think, just shows how full of shit he could be. 😉

Which is all to invite you to go read.

Competing Messages: Credibility Crisis

Why should we believe anyone in this administration? These are the guys who told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction so they could advance their radical ideological agenda. Might they not being lying to us now?

Maybe we should not act on what they tell us might happen, and instead respond to what actually does happen. Then do so in a responsible way.

I don’t wish to be a conspiracy theorist here [that has never stopped me! –Hal], there’s plenty of evidence there is a genuine problem. But it isn’t clear to me that the only solution is to saddle the government with $700B of debt that’ll take decades to resolve. Which basically ties our hands in dealing with any of a myriad of other competing problems and priorities. In that context, this almost feels like a scorched earth retreat by the Bush administration. Actually, scorch and salt the earth.

I don’t trust these guys. They don’t think and act like pragmatically rational people. They’re ideological purists who’ve failed spectacularly, and I think they’re lashing out as the sun sets on their ignominious legacy. I think we should wait and see, and then act on what really happens.

I think we might just need to take the hit as well. I strongly suspect that these dinosaurs see their 65MKYA meteor equivalent in the sky and are trying to transfer a generation’s worth of prosperity from the public into their coffers.

Sometimes I feel as though we are poised on the crux of a change of millennial proportions. Sometimes I think they want to sink back into the primordial ooze.

Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.

The F.A.Q.’s of Lehman and A.I.G. re: What the Hell Just Happened?

Seen over at both Rafé and Susan’s [via Megan McArdle] blogs:

In a guest post at the Freakonomics blog, economists Doug Diamond and Anil Kashyap explain the current financial crisis in FAQ form. For example, here’s the nut of the problem with Fannie and Freddie:

Fannie and Freddie were weakly supervised and strayed from the core mission. They began using their subsidized financing to buy mortgage-backed securities which were backed by pools of mortgages that did not meet their usual standards.

Elsewhere at the New York Times, Paul Krugman explains why the bailout plan the Treasury Department is floating is a bad idea: see No deal and Thinking the bailout through.

We live in interesting times…