Where Are We, And What Are We Doing In This Hand Basket?

BOOM, CRASH, THUD!  That was the sound of the NY Stock Exchange and any of your investments in the Market made today as Congress failed to pass the $700 BILLION Bail Out Bill and the Market tanked 778 points.  Want to retire early?  Sorry, take that second job and practice saying the words, “Would you like fries with that?”.  Want those home improvements?  Sorry, continue bailing out the water from your basement and set the buckets up under the leaks in the roof.  (Yes, I know the metaphor was a little thick there, but purely unintentional).  How about that new TV for the World Series?  Unless you already have credit, you’ll have to watch it on your aging 12 inch Sony Trinitron from 1986 or go to the local pub.  Oh, and don’t be so secure thinking that just because you have a credit line today that it will be available for you tomorrow.  Make room in that mattress, because you might just be getting some extra padding.

Yes, it is that bad.

What the so-called patriots, who have the honor and distinction of serving in the United States House of Representatives, have done today is put this nation on a Financial equivalent of DefCon 2.  By failing to pass that Bill, as flawed and unfair as it was, they have entered the launch codes into the computer and have basically aimed those missiles at the rest of the world’s Financial Markets, because all hell is coming tomorrow.  While it may be the Jewish New Year (Happy 5768, by the way) tomorrow and Congress will not be in session, the Markets are still open.  Life continues to go on.  We have one of the worst possible situations looming now, as there is no political action that is being taken as the rest of the world waits for something to be done and trading continues.  If you thought your 401K was toast today, it will be cinders tomorrow.  (I am laying on the metaphors WAY too think, aren’t I?).

Who was at fault?  Certainly The Bush Administration was for 8 surreal years of incompetence and self-destruction that featured financial deregulation as the second centerpiece after the War on Terror.  Certainly that Champion of Main Street (OOPS!  Wrong Street…make that Wall Street), John McCain who spearheaded drive toward deregulation.  Most incredibly, I save my most extreme displeasure toward Speaker Pelosi for not only ensuring that she had the votes to pass the Bill BEFORE putting it to a vote on the House Floor, but for making a partisan and incendiary speech before the vote that cost her (and US) the necessary votes needed to get this thing passed.  While I agree with the content of her speech (squarely laying blame at the Bush Administration), IT WAS THE WRONG TIME to make it.  You make those sorts of comments AFTER the Bill is passed and sent to the Senate.  Quite honestly, I think I’d be pretty pissed off if I was a Republican who was about to eat a little crow and vote for the thing; I didn’t need a bunch of feathers shoved down my throat too.  And yes, they should have sucked it up and dis the right thing and voted for America, and lambasted the Speaker afterward.

John McCain has more to do with this fiasco than he should have allowed himself to be, unless he was going to be helpful.  He accused Barack Obama of “phoning it in” today at an Ohio rally as Obama’s participation in the process; something Johnny Boy was doing himself over the weekend from his Campaign HQ in Virginia.  Instead of joining the Congressional Leadership for pizza out of cardboard boxes huddled over desks trying to work out an acceptable deal, he was having dinner with Cindy, and JUDAS…er… Joe Lieberman and his wife at a posh Washington eatery on Saturday.  A deal was all done, right Johnny Boy?  We had our nice little photo op on Friday; the Bill was going to pass today.  Hell, Johnny Boy…you were so confident, you even had your surrogates claim you all but wrote the damned thing on every Sunday news program and railed against Obama’s failed leadership.  Even after McCain knew of the Bill’s failure, he outlined “his” principles that were a part of the Bill and continued to press on Senator Obama.  Unlike the calm reassuring tones Senator Obama took and stated to an audience in Colorado today, your continued erratic behavior is starting to call your very sanity from even those on your side of the aisle.

What you don’t SEEM to UNDERSTAND Johnny Boy, is that finger pointing may look great when you’re on stage at a political rally smiling like you know the guy, but it doesn’t do anyone any good when the lives of millions of Americans are at risk.  When people might be laid off as a result of this, or the small businesses you champion cannot make their payrolls because they have no credit.  When people stop buying things, and even more mortgages go into default.  When the economy begins to spiral so out of control in a tailspin so that even an old Naval Aviator like yourself can’t even save that plane from crashing.  You have experience with that, don’t you Johnny Boy?  After all, you lost 5 planes in your Naval Career and pulled the eject ring every time.  Nice to see that you made it safely, but those machines were costly.  And so is this economy, and these are Americans who don’t have the luxury of an ejection seat to move them safely away from the crash.

There’s plenty of blame to go around today, but I know one thing for certain Johnny Boy:  You should have had the pizza on Saturday Night.

“In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a Congress.” – John Adams