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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

December 29, 2008


The Trouble with TARP

Every plan and policy made and implemented by our political leaders , whether they be local, state or federal, needs to teach us something in the end. Many a plan has been created with good intentions only to see its effectiveness ruined by loopholes or the lack of gumption to actually see it through to its goal(s).

Certainly the TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) fund Big Finance bailout plan designed to keep our economy going is, at best, in that category.

Giving President Bush and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson the benefit of the doubt isn't easy for me, but I'll give it a shot. Most of us, with the exception of Far-Right fiscal Conservative Libertarians and Far-Left "let the bastards die" Liberals felt that something had to be done to stem the tide of bank failures and the resulting job losses that would have occurred had nothing been done. Looking back at the last couple of months and $335 billion already spent (out of $700 billion), one has nowhere else to go but to the realization that this money was not well spent.

And that money didn't even include the billions "loaned" to the likes of AIG and Citigroup.

Paulson originally came out and told us all that the money was necessary to save our nation from financial collapse. He and Bush even allowed the demise of Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers, along with the loss of its 25,000 employees, to be used as a warning of things to come unless we increased our national expenditures by a minimum of twenty-five percent. (The federal budget is approximately $2.9 trillion - $700 billion is an increase of close to 25 percent.)

After failing to get the plan passed without Congressional oversight or judicial review attached to it, Paulson got his money. This money, it was promised, was going to be used to purchase mortgages and putting dollars back into the financial industry to allow banks to loan money to their customers so they can keep the doors open going into this holiday season.

But instead of using the bailout and other money for the stated purposes of keeping our economy going and keeping jobs from being lost, Big Finance used it to bolster their books, make sure bonuses to their CEO's and upper echelon-types were paid and to throw parties for their most important people.

It disgusted and angered the rest of us.

And to add insult to injury, when the Big Three US auto-makers - the only real big manufacturers left in our nation - came to DC to ask for money to help keep them afloat, they came in three separate private jets.


Over one million jobs have been lost this year alone with the lion's share coming after the September collapse of the Bush Economy. And, by the way any of you still thinking that Bush and Company were the right people for the right job right now, it is the Bush Economy.

The only reason, in this writer's opinion, to loan/give our middle class tax dollars to save giant companies was to save jobs... and they failed to do so.

My hope is that a new administration - the Obama Administration - will put the restrictions back on the rest of the $700 billion or simply not turn over any more money to those thieves. They haven't kept their part of the bargain and deserve a fate like Lehman's.

While the Bush Administration and the GOP Filibusters on the Right in the US Senate try to place the blame for everything on the UAW and other various trade unions, the truth is that they screwed up. Fixing the economy on the back of labor is an answer only a Right-Wing-Nut could love. And no matter how much Kool-Aid they mix, most of us aren't drinking it.

The failure of our economy falls on the Right, plain and simple. And that group is represented by Bush, Big Finance, the former GOP majority/ rubber stamp in both houses of Congress and those in the Right-Wing media (Fox News and crew) who allowed themselves to be used by those few who wanted too much.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to, "Then Fey almost single-handedly ruined Sarah Palin’s political future with her over-the-top impression of the VP contender. Many credit Fey’s impersonation with making it more difficult for voters to take Palin seriously as a political choice," Eddie Konczal writes:

I'm not sure how over-the-top Tina Fey's impression was. Most of her biggest laughs came from simply repeating lines that Sarah Palin really said. Her imitation was not a caricature, but an uncannily accurate rendering of Palin's accent and mannerisms.

In response to, "Go on... say it... Al Gore was right. Consider it therapy," Pat Thompson writes:

I have long known Al Gore was right. I bought his book Earth in the Balance early in 1992, and was very impressed. When Bill Clinton picked him for Vice President, I was thrilled. But I have to admit that things changed only a little, and very slowly, during the Clinton years, and Bush quickly undid everything they had done.

My main issue now is COAL. There is no such thing as "clean coal". It's a dirty medieval fuel. Men are trapped and killed underground mining it, and whole mountains are taken down to get out the coal with big machinery, which pollutes the creeks and rivers, and then pollutes the skies when it is burned to create electricity. With China building a new coal fired electric generation plant every week, blue skies will be a thing of the past. We rarely have a bright dark blue sky any more. Solar panels covering a portion of the desert in the American southwest would produce the nation's electricity in 40 minutes a day, so says Al Gore.

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-Noah Greenberg