Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bad News For Hank Paulson's "Slam Dunk" Wall Street Bailout

Signs that Congress may have possibly awakened from its 8-1/2 year stupor

This text snippet from

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill seem determined to work together to pass a bill that will get the credit markets churning again. But will they do it this week, as some had hoped just a few days ago? Don't count on it.
"Do I expect to pass something this week?" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., mused to reporters Tuesday. "I expect to pass something as soon as we can. I think it's important that we get it done right, not get it done fast."
And we believe Democratic U.S. House Representative DeFazio gets it exactly right:

The U.S. banking cartel has essentially told the U.S. taxpayer to "Pay up now... or else," the kind of message you'd expect to hear from people like John Gotti...

Time now to find out what Congress is really made of.


one good one on the hill said...

Here here Representative DeFazio .

monotreme said...

What he said.

Curmudgeon said...

I note with some pleasure that Rep. DeFazio is a D.

I also note with some disappointment that Rep. DeFazio's sensible advice is, according to the latest wire service reports, not being taken by the D. house leadership or the D. senate leadership either.

The only thing that is giving me some hope is that a key player in hammering out some kind of bill is Barney Frank, who has intelligence, and wit, and a very highly developed crap detector. Whether that's enough to succeed against the timorous quaking crowd of the gutless [both parties] collectively called The Congress of the United States of America is... doubtful.

Monotreme said...

Senate filibuster, anyone?

Monotreme said...

What does it mean to "suspend" your campaign?

Curmudgeon said...


It means "we have to think of some way to get media attention off Sarah's disastrous interview with Katie Couric and off the fact that I haven't said a word in 26 years in the Senate about strengthening government oversight of Wall Street. We can announce I'm suspending my campaign... without really suspending it, of course... and the press will focus on that instead of Sarah and me. My poll numbers are cratering. We have to get the press's attention off my record and her lack of knowledge about anything but field dressing a moose. Otherwise we're toast with only a month to go."

That's what it means, Mono.

Marky said...

Sorry to get off track, but thought I'd post this link to a SL Trib streetcar article. How would it be to live a City w/ leaders who have vision?

Monotreme said...

"It's not true — he's still competing for the presidency," [Democratic consultant Jonathan Prince] e-mails. "So he ought to show up for the presidential debates. You don't get a hall pass for hyperventilating."

I loved that quote, from the link above.

Rebel With a Cause said...

Curm, Perhaps you never heard,and I hate to have to contradict you, but in 2005 John McCain tried to get a bill passed in Congress to do something to oversee and restrict the activities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, warning that we would be in big trouble if the government didn't do something then, but Barney Frank opposed it, saying they were doing fine, and we needed them so people could get homes. How smart was that?

Monotreme said...


McCain is in the Senate, and Frank is in the House. Are you sure of your facts? Citation, please.

Monotreme said...

Another good quote:

"It [$700B] is not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

Billium said...

Archive for Monday, May 31, 1999

Minorities’ Home Ownership Booms Under Clinton but Still Lags Whites’

"In 1992, Congress mandated that Fannie and Freddie increase their purchases of mortgages for low-income and medium-income borrowers. Operating under that requirement, Fannie Mae, in particular, has been aggressive and creative in stimulating minority gains."

Rebel With a Cause said...

Monotreme: I heard this on TV yesterday. Each had spoken in his own jurisdiction at the time, I would presume. The current program had just looked back in their files and caught these revealing facts.

Monotreme said...


Okay, that's a little more to go on. I believe you refer to S.190, The Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005.

Never made it out of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs (chaired by Sen. Dodd), so it may have been blocked by Sen. Dodd, but not by Rep. Frank. Rep. Frank would not have ever had a chance to see it.

Nitpicky said...

One little nitpicky point. This statement should read Democrat not Democratic

And we believe Democratic U.S. House Representative DeFazio gets it exactly right:

RudiZink said...

Well let's see now, nitpicky. You're saying that the national Democratic Party, which is chartered as the "Democratic Party," and has long been known by that title, should be properly referred to as the "Democrat Party"?

Please provide your reasoning on that.

No offense, nitpicky, but I'm sure your statement leaves many of us scratching our heads.

Thanks in advance.

Curmudgeon said...

Note to an Earlier Thread and an Apology:

Some threads down, I noted that SE quoted a state official in a front page story this week to the effect that households in Utah with combined incomes of no more than $52K a year were eligible for rent subsidies from the state. I thought this unlikely, noted that state tax forms limit eligibility for rent aid to households with incomes under $27K. And I suggested this was an example of the SE not checking statements of government officials.

I've since learned that an editor at the SE did find the $52K number unlikely, and that the SE's Davis bureau contacted the official who was quoted to ask about it, that he said that under some circumstances a household with $52K in income might qualify for some kind of rent aid. Given that, the SE thought no correction was necessary.

The phrasing of the original article gives the impression, I think, that nearly any household with less than $52K income would be eligible to apply for aid, when in fact what the official apparently meant was only that under some circumstances some households with income of that kind might qualify for some kind of aid... a different thing, I think.

But in suggesting that the SE did not question the number it printed, and did not check it out, I was wrong. My apologies to its editors in Ogden and Davis who did check the number out.

danny said...

Good news.

The wealth transfer to Wall Street is hitting more bumps.

Click Here

But things are still going downhill.

Click Here

Note the severity of the problem cannot be fixed by government. This bailout will only insulate the rich financiers, loot the commoners, and insure a decade of depression. Let the guilty pay for their sins, I say.

And Bush is simply trying to line up a slush fund for his financial cronies as he goes into retirement.

Your and my calls and letters are making a difference.

Please call or email Orrin Hatch or Rob Bishop, as they are listening. Addled Bob Bennett is doing nothing but sucking up and grabbing photo ops as always.

Curmudgeon said...

My god....

K. Couric asked Palin yesterday about the 700 billion dollar bailout. Here is Couric's question and Palin's answer, verbatim. If anyone can figure out what the hell Palin said, or meant, please let me know.

One heartbeat away....

COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it’s got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade — we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation.

danny said...


I wanted to say your lengthy historical outline from yesterday was pretty good, although your solution was less so. I believe we do need government to balance wealth concentration and to apply some regulation.

What it comes down to is policies that are wise, good, and honest.

This bailout fails on all three counts.

And you watch, more Dems than Reps will vote for it.

A Heartbeat Away said...

CBS Sarah Palin interview

Jay Asquith Cavendish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Curmudgeon said...


At the moment, there is no bail out. Wire services report that McCain on arrival learned that the House and Senate Republicans, and the White House, had agreed on the terms of one, and he quickly offered a different plan [for partisan election purposes], and the fragile bipartisan agreement that had been worked out instantly died. Boy, he REALLY must want to avoid that debate tomorrow. If there was an agreement, he would have no reason not to appear.

I don't know precisely what the terms of the compromise agreement were, so I hesitate to come down on it pro or con solidly. I'm leaning con and would have to be convinced otherwise. But what has been released so far, or leaked, make it plain that what the bipartisan agreement was was not the initial Paulson/Bush nonsense. The part about none of this being subject to law and legal challenge was gone. The initial grant of money would have been substantially less... I think about 100 billion now, with 250 billion on immediate tap, and 350 billion more possibly available later with congressional approval. There was something in there... it's a little vague... about executive compensation limits being set by "the secretary" --- I.e. Paulson. That for me is wholly unacceptable. And something too about taxpayer "participation" in the future profitability of companies that get bailed out... but no specifics. I'd want to know of what that "participation" consisted. And this is all leaked generalities in any case.

So there is no agreement at the moment, thanks [according to wire service reports] to Mr. McCains intervention for campaign purposes.

I want to see the text of any plan before I decide if its a good idea or not. But you ought to at least consider this: that Paulson and Bernecke's presentation to both houses, both parties, was convincing to the extent that the members, both houses both parties, believe the situation is serious and that some kind of government action is necessary to avert greater problems. The disagreement is over what kind of action.

If Democrats conclude, as a body, that a particular plan is necessary for the good of the Republic, then I expect they will vote for it, even at the cost of putting their elections at some risk. It's called putting country first. It's what John McCain did not do this week when he dropped in at the last minute to politicize the process for own advantage. Just as he did not put country first when he named poor Ms. Palin as his Veep candidate. [Did you see the Couric interview? My god....]

WWW said...

I am now dumber for watching that Palin video.

Wow - could one be more stupid???

Life_Faith_Family said...

A little off the momentary topic..but this video (one obviously designed by Catholics) holds what I think is a great message for anyone of faith. Worth a 2 minute watch.


haven't we seen her before? said...

With regard to Mrs. Palin, haven't we seen her type before? Listening to her is like listening to Miss Teen South Carolina try to explain why 1/5 of the population can't find the US on a map.

If you haven't seen the video of Miss Teen So. Carolina, search "the Iraq" on youtube. (I'm not computer savvy enough to post the link).

Tough week to be a Republican, ain't it?

Bush Watcher said...

History of U.S. Gov't Bailouts

Note how $1.3 trillion of those bailouts happened while a Bush was on the Oval Office.

"If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched." -- George H. W. Bush

drewmeister said...


Bravo on your parroting the faux noise channel's spin.

First of all, McSame didn't sign on as a co-sponsor to the bill until May 2006 - 10 months after it had died (officially or unofficially, it hadn't been touched in nearly a year.)

Secondly, in 2005, to my knowledge, both Senate and House of Reps were controlled by Republican majority. So at that time, both the Legislative and Executive branches of the federal government. (and arguably, at least IMnotsoHO, the Judicial as well) Neither Congressman Frank or Senator Dodd would have had the power to kill the bill. (Particularly Frank)

What you're probably referring to is Hannity's latest spin about Barney Frank saying in 2003 that Fannie and Freddie were not in any financial danger. They point the finger at him being the gunman that shot down reforms introduced by the president.

Also at that time, Republicans controlled the Legislative and Executive branches of the federal government. Seems pretty tough to pin that on him, regardless of his faulty opinions on the matter.

But, if O'Really and InsHannity say it's the case, well, hey, then I guess it must be true.

drewmeister said...

My apologies for neglecting to include these links in my last post.

Senate bill info (monotreme's link didn't work for me)

109th Congress (2005)

108th Congress (2003)

Curmudgeon said...


Nice work. But you realize you're playing dirty: actually looking up the evidence, drawing on facts to reach conclusions. As we now know, the McCain/Palin campaign believes it's unpatriotic to ask questions and unfair to bring facts into any public discussion about policy. You should be ashamed of yourself....

drewmeister said...

-hangs head in shame- ;)

fly said...


Nice work. But you realize you're playing dirty: actually looking up the evidence, drawing on facts to reach conclusions. As we now know, the McCain/Palin campaign believes it's unpatriotic to ask questions and unfair to bring facts into any public discussion about policy. You should be ashamed of yourself

Sounds a lot like a local Mayor that we all know and dislike

Curmudgeon said...

Yup. Come to think of it, it does.... [grin].

Dorothy Littrell said...

I am sure that you have an opinion on the proposed $700 billion bailout of wall street investment bankers and the mortgage companies that created the current financial crisis.

Make your voice heard on this issue. I have talked to all 3 Utah offices today and the office personnel are very interested in getting our opinions on how the Senators and Bishop should vote our interests.

Please call Senator Hatch Salt Lake 801 524-4380
Senator Bennett Salt Lake 801-524-5933
Representative Rob Bishop Ogden 625-0107

I urge you to ask that a lid be put on executive salaries and perks on the companies being bailed. Criminal charges should be brought against the employees that ignored banking rules to create this crisis.

There should be no blank check given at this time. More time is needed to look at the solution to the problems. This is the most critical vote on national finances in my lifetime. Please use your influence.

Exercise your right of input. Those of you not in Utah please call your congressional delegation.

Curmudgeon said...


On the question of where do we go from here? How do we deal with the mess seven and a half years of Bush Republican "leadership" has landed us in, I came across two things on line that seem to make sense.

The first is a comment by Warren Buffet. He said we can teach Wall Street a lesson, or we can try to avert an economic catastrophe for the entire nation. But we can't do both at once. I wish that were not so, but I suspect it is.

The second is Paul Krugman's column in Friday's NYT. Link here. It's entitled "Where Are The Grown Ups?"


ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

I am mystified as to why you directed your last comment to me?

This whole thread has been way over my simple little Ozmoid head and as far as I know I have not weighed in on this subject.

Hey, I sound dumb enough writing about stuff I think I know about, but I am smart enough to not write about stuff I don't.

I'm putting all my money in Ice Cream in case the economy all goes to hell in a hand basket. At least here in Zion I know my investments will pay off after the crash.

Curmudgeon said...


I'm sorry, Oz. My bad.

Just can't stop thinkin' about ya, I guess. [grin]

Bill C. said...

Speaking of ice cream, Peta has formally suggested to Ben & Jerry's that they stop using cows milk and start using human breast milk in their products.

big betty said...


Great news! I know a couple of cows that used to hang out at Angelos (gal pals of Rudi I believe) who could keep the whole town supplied!

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