Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Le Roi est mort! Vive le Roi!

(Updated below)

Well, according to the latest news, the trillion dollar bailout has ground to a halt. Now, the Fools on the Hill (i.e., the Democrats) are laboring mightily to resurrect the stinking, rotting corpse. To that I say, “Le Roi est mort! Vive le Roi!”

It is more than middling odd to see Sellout Pelosi prancing and preening for the cameras, promising that the bailout WILL be finalized before the end of the weekend. I say more than middling odd inasmuch as both congresspersons and senators, both Democratic and Republican, are reporting that they have received an avalanche of e-mails and faxes in the past few days. And, according to these representatives and senators, that avalanche of correspondence is running 100 to 1 AGAINST the bailout. And yet, here is Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Congressman Barney Frank, Senator Dodd et al., all strutting around, pleased as Punch that they are crafting a bailout package that their constituents are adamantly against! And people wonder why Congress has a disapproval rating between 73-78%?!

This is supposed to be a “representative democracy”, right? So, just who are the Congress critters and senators representing? It is most obvious that they are not representing the people who voted them into office! Perhaps they are representing their true constituency, the mega-wealthy and the FIRE sector, the people who have bought and paid for their representatives (both Congressional and Senatorial) and by God, their bought and paid for shills had better produce!

We hear, repeatedly, just put the Democrats back in charge and all will be well. What a crock! In 2006 the voting public massively voted against the Republicans and, by default, for the Democrats. Have they ended the occupation of Iraq? No! Have they dismantled the so-called “Homeland Security” apparatus whose prime concern seems to be the persecution of domestic dissent? No! Have they ended the disgrace that is Guantánamo? No! How about holding the telecommunications giants as well as the Bush (mal)administration to book for the blatantly illegal spying on the American public! Hah! The Democrats bent over backwards to bend over backwards! Even though on that issue as well, the public was clamoring NOT to grant blanket retroactive immunity, our “representatives” discarded any appearance of representing their voters.

We are told by the Pelosis and Immanuels that the most important thing is “to elect more Democrats”. To what end? When the positions held by the Democratic establishment are virtually indistinguishable from the positions of the putative opposition, the Republican establishment, why bother to “vote Democrat”?

As The Who said so well back in 1971:

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution

Take a bow for the new revolution

Smile and grin at the change all around me

Pick up my guitar and play

Just like yesterday

Then I'll get on my knees and pray

We don't get fooled again

Don't get fooled again

No, no!


Meet the new boss

Same as the old boss

Smile; we've been so fooled again!


Shock! Seems some of the Fools on the Hill may not be as foolish as I thought. In response to a veritable flood of e-mails and faxes the “bipartisan” bailout of Wall Street as gone down in flames.

As Speaker Pelosi pointed out, "The legislation may have failed; the crisis is still with us." This is true, but, that being the case, I would offer the following as a basis to rectifying that crisis.

  1. Scrap the Paulson plan, period. From its inception, the Paulson plan has been of Goldman Sachs, by Goldman Sachs, for Goldman Sachs. There is every good reason to believe that Paulson's rushing to the rescue of AIG was owing to the fact that, had AIG folded, Goldman Sachs would have gotten pennies on the dollar. Nuff said.

  2. Any bailout plan for Wall Street MUST include a rollback of personal bankruptcy protections to the status quo ante of the punitive Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. Or, going one better, analogous provisions of that Act should now be imposed on the CEOs and executives of any Wall Street entity seeking a government bailout.

  3. Provide for at least a foreclosure moratorium for homeowners earnestly attempting to retain their homes and attempting good faith efforts to continue to pay at least payments with which they were enticed into purchasing/refinancing their homes.

  4. As part and parcel of any government bailout, executives of any entity being bailed out must return to the Treasury any monies in excess of $1,000,000 per annum in pay or compensation received for each of the preceding 7 years. If that means they must divest themselves of that “cute” ski chalet in Steamboat Springs or their summer “cottage” in Gstadt, so be it.

  5. For the duration of the bailout, all CEOs and executives of any of these entities would be required to work for minimum wage until that entity is stabilized. If it's good enough for California's public servants, per Herr Schwarzenegger, why then, it should be fine and dandy for the high flyers who, through their own actions, caused the mess from which they now beg to be bailed out.

  6. Start a pool to which Wall Street firms will “voluntarily” donate contributions to aid in the bailout. As we are so often told, our taxes are “voluntary” payments to fund the government; let Wall Street “voluntarily” aid themselves.

The above is far from a comprehensive list, however, it does provide a basis from which the Congress can start crafting some semblance of a viable bailout which will not favor the same gimlet eyed gamblers who benefited so handsomely while driving the economy off the cliff while further impoverishing the already stressed and strained taxpayer.

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