. . . and it is not the one between the two presidential candidates. It is between the financial folks with hats in hand and all the rest of us. At Memeorandum the New York Times' Paul Krugman calls it "cash for trash." Wall Street has the trash and all the rest of us have the cash, or more accurately, we'll have the debt.
It is not yet a done deal, however, because the two presidential candidates as well as some of the key decision makers are saying, "yes, but . . . what about pay limits for finance C.E. O.s?" Politico.com, via Memeorandum explains it this way: "CEO pay emerges as bailout barrier," written by DAVID ROGERS & PATRICK O'CONNOR on 9/22/08. To quote:
As markets reopen Monday, the issue is a surprising flash point between Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and House Democrats, who have drafted a bill giving Paulson much of what he wants but requiring that Treasury also demand “appropriate standards for executive compensation.”
Treasury argues that such requirements would make it harder to persuade companies to sell their troubled assets to the government. But Democrats, who otherwise admire Paulson, say that the former Goldman Sachs chairman is blind to the politics of the situation and the huge divide between the average taxpayer and the financial world now seeking relief from bad debts that have clogged the credit system — and that threaten the entire economy.
A senior aide to John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, told Politico on Sunday that the Arizona senator also favored compensation limits as part of the package, as does the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama, according to a campaign spokesman for the Illinois senator.
Several things have come together to reinforce the head-spinning nature of this financial crisis. We are acutely aware that an inept and cold hearted administration presided over it. This may be final stage of the coup of the Bush family through intentional deregulation and the triumph of business interests. Can we label the Republicans as "the party that wrecked America?" One recent thing that brought some very unsettling facts into stark relief was the publication of Bartin Gellman's book, “Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency.” Marked by law-breaking and inordinate government secrecy, particularly by Vice President Cheney, the nation risks losing the historical record of what actually happened leading up to the current state of affairs. Another thing to add is the unholy alliance of the pharmaceutical industry and right wing religious ideologues. My regular contributor, "betmo" provided the links in this paragraph. She finishes with the suggestion that we "take some time to read this," just because the authors are so good. "Leave No Rapacious Twit Behind: Soft Landing for the Elite, Hard Cheese for Everybody Else," at Empire Burlesque, 9/21/08. Quote:
I've been intending to write about the astonishingly shameless plan to sell the birthright of our children and grandchildren for a mess of pottage reserved exclusively for the muck-encrusted snouts of today's brutal and stupid elites. But I find that Arthur Silber, with an assist from Mike Whitney, has already hit every point I wanted to make, and more, in a series of remarkable posts in the past few days.
"Unaccountable Secret Government: Most Serious Constitutional Crisis in American History" is a fine essay on the argument for prosecution for crimes in the administration-- torture, etc. It is by Sherwood Ross at Global Research (9/15/08). Hat tip to my regular contributor, Jon for it and for this: "FALLING INTO FALL," by Jim Kunstler, a wonderfully articulate and fierce writer. To quote a bit from his opening and closing:
Last week's ripe moment turned out to be the Thursday night Washington photo op when Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chief Bernanke emerged from a huddle with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and just about every other legislative eminentissimo in an attempt to reassure the nation that its financial system had not turned into something like unto a truckload of stinking dead carp. I don't know about you, but I got two distinct vibes from the faces in that particular tableau: 1.) abject fear, and 2.) a total lack of conviction that they knew what they were doing.
. . . Mr. Obama isn't kidding either when he alludes to the change America faces, though history has not yet rhymed enough for his rhetoric to really set forth the terms of this change in its stark particulars. And even if he is able to articulate these things, he won't forestall the convulsion anymore than Lincoln held back a war between the states. That prior crisis was when America learned good and hard how tragic life could be, and it colored our national character for a century -- until we chucked it all to become a society of overfed clowns, with God Almighty replaced by Ronald McDonald. That pageant of happy idiocy is now ending. Like everyone else in this fraught and nervous land, I'm standing by to see what transpires in the days just ahead.
And from the Department of Homeland Apology, to conclude: Sign the petition. The Department of Homeland Apology urges you to sign the petition DEMANDING that George W. Bush apologize for the past eight years. We’re not asking for money, we’re not asking for the past eight years to disappear–we’re asking for a an apology, an apology acknowledging the wrongs done. We the people of the United States deserve justice–let your voice be heard!
View my current slide show about the Bush years -- "Millennium" -- at the bottom of this column.
(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)
My “creativity and dreaming” post today is at Making Good Mondays.