Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fiddling While Rome Burns

While McCain whines that Obama was referring to Palin when he used the phrase "lipstick on a pig," and the federal government refuses to step in, Lehman Brothers is going down the tubes, possibly pulling AIG with it, while Merrill Lynch will apparently be acquired by Bank of America.

According to,

"Reports this month point to a heightened risk of a recession. Unemployment rose to a five-year high of 6.1 percent last month, and retail sales fell 0.7 percent, excluding autos, the biggest decline this year....

'Financial conditions are extremely fragile,' said former Fed governor Lyle Gramley, now a senior economic adviser for the Stanford Group Company in Washington. 'With the Lehman situation deteriorating, this tends to have knock-on effects.'

In a sign that creditors don't expect Paulson to blink, the cost to protect against defaults by AIG, Merrill, WaMu and Wachovia Corp. reached records. Credit-default swaps on Seattle- based WaMu are trading at levels that imply a 75 percent chance the company will default in the next five years, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. valuation model shows."

This may only be the beginning. According to the New York Times, there is concern that the wave of failures will inspire certain fund managers to look for other weakened financial institutions and try to make a fortune by selling them short.

So where do we go from here? Is this the start of a new Depression, or will the wizards of Wall Street manage to stop the dominoes from falling? Only time will tell. But I do know it is a sign that something is very seriously wrong with our economy, and despite all of these important issues, the only thing the media can talk about is the "lipstick on a pig" controversy.

I am starting to lose hope for this country. The latest polls show that McCain continues to gain on Obama and now the electoral vote is no longer in Obama's favor.

If the American public doesn't wake up and start realizing that the McCain campaign is playing them for fools - just as George W. Bush has done for 8 years - we may get McCain and Palin in the White House. And here we thought maybe, this time, they wouldn't be so stupid.

But as H.L. Mencken said, "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

He also said:

"The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth."

Unfortunately, Mencken was apparently a very wise man.


Fran said...

It is bad- really bad.

Great post Mauigirl, thank you.

I am afraid however that Rome has burned.

Anonymous said...

Some days I lose heart and then other days I feel good about things. I guess what I really want is for November to get here already so we can just know the outcome.

I'm hoping that Palin's flame goes out soon. I understand that she was at an appearance in Nevada and McCain was barely mentioned.

I wonder how long it will take before that kind of thing sends McCain over the edge.

Billie Greenwood said...

By Mencken's word, people will hate you, Mauigirl, because in this post you have not spared us from the truth. When will the American public, the media,....WAKE UP?

Thanks for making it very plain.

Christopher said...

I'm at a loss to understand the bump in white women support for McCain and McCandy.

Every issue that women say they care about: healthcare, day care, choice, services for special needs kids, well funded libraries, equal pay, and ending the Iraq war, McCandy is opposed to and her record proves it.

If this country elects the Old Coot and McCandy because McCandy is a woman, then I throw in the towel. There's really no hope for the American people or this nation.

Mauigirl said...

Fran, I tend to feel the same way - I think we may have already peaked, just as Rome did in its day, and are in our decline. These things are just moving it along.

DCup, I hope the media realize Palin is just a distraction from McCain so they don't notice his mistakes, his uncertainty. If people realized how dimished he is in capabilities compared to a few years back, they wouldn't elect him. Even Reagan seemed to have a better grasp on things when he was first elected.

Border Explorer, thanks, being hated by the ignorant part of America would be quite the honor!

Christopher, I totally agree. I can't believe that so many people even here in New Jersey have switched to McCain since the Palin nomination. And I'm sure most of them must be women. What are they thinking????

Dave Dubya said...

All Americans are not stupid. Unfortunately enough of them are dim enough to vote with the quarter of the population that are brain-dead authoritarians.

Because half of us choose not to think, and the media is doing their best to facilitate that, we are a nation in decine.

BTW the media likes having a republican president.

Republicans give them the kind of FCC that will not regulate their efforts at monopolization.

Comrade Kevin said...

The first debate will show some clarity.

The race is within every poll's margin of error. The economy, as you noted, continues to tank.

It's still a toss up. If Obama were a weak candidate, I could chalk it up to that. But the only thing I can think of right now is my fear that people in this country will prove to be their own undoing, no matter what we think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

drat, ate my comment. Again, You have ruined a perfectly good mood Maui. LOL. Actually I think things are looking up, the bump is starting to disappear, the print media is starting to really go after McCain and I don't believe the polls are accurate. But fran has convinced me to get involved NOW.

Mariamariacuchita said...

Bad bad day...fiddling while Rome burns sums it up very well.

Randal Graves said...

christopher's last paragraph sums it up. If after eight years of this bloodthirsty joker, you vote for more, then the entire world would be well within their tights to forcefully and obviously shun us for generations.

On the bright side, think of all the crazy shit we'll be able to post on!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I tried to comment on this the other day, but I couldn't. I was too down.

I'm trying very hard not to assume the worst, but not to be complacent. It's a terribly difficult balancing act.

Tom Harper said...

I think that post-convention bounce is starting to wane. (I'm commenting 3 days after you've posted this.)

The one silver lining in this whole economic mess is, the economy is front and center again. That's gotta be bad for McCain.

Mauigirl said...

Dave, you're right, I'm sure their laxness on FCC regulations does make the media owners prefer the GOP. Makes you wonder where the whole "liberal media" canard comes from. We know it's not so.

Kevin, let's hope the debates go well for Obama and Biden. I can't imagine that they won't be more intelligent and well-spoken than their competition. Unfortunately that can sometimes backfire - remember Gore? Hopefully Obama and Biden will know better than to show their exasperation with the opposition's responses! ;-)

Feather, me too. I don't know what I can do to work for the cause (my area of New Jersey is true-blue) but I can certainly work the phones on election day to make sure all those Jersey Democrats go to the polls and actually vote.

Maria, I don't think it's over yet. We'll see what happens today.

Randal, you are right - if the GOP pulls it out again (shudder) we'll have lots of blog fodder. I mean after all, if Obama wins, what will we talk about then? ;-)

Ruth, I know - we're so used to being in this situation that we fear the worst even when our guy is ahead.

Tom, you're right, the people don't think McCain would be good for the economy - so as Bill Clinton's "War Room" said back in '92 "It's the Economy, Stupid!" is the right motto for Obama. He's got to keep hammering on the failed policies of the last 8 years.

Anonymous said...

Sorry..I'm a little late to this one. But I'm beginning to sense that now that we U.S. citizens are bailing out AIG, it seems that no one is buying the McCain/Palin bullshit. Not even Chuck Hagel who skewered McCain for picking Palin as his running mate.

Candace said...

I'm late commenting on this one, too. I can't believe I saw a Palin bumper sticker the other day. It said "Palin 08" in large red letters - I couldn't read what it said above that - small blue letters. Ick.

Mauigirl said...

Hi Spartacus - Yes, I heard that the pundits have been criticizing McCain for his muddled reaction to the economic crisis; and I'm sure the citizens are feeling the same way. I'm sure it's good news for Obama.

Candace, that is really creepy. To think that someone wants Palin for president (which is what that bumper sticker seems to imply) is even creepier than wanting McCain!