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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Your 401(k) is like New Orleans

It's becoming apparent that the Bush administration is screwing up the economic bailout effort, in large part by clinging to its hard-core aversion to government ownership in private companies. The feds should have started nationalizing some banks several weeks ago, but they're just getting around to it now after explicitly refusing to do it.

Comments (19)

The bailout was a knee-jerk reaction by President Bush. In every crisis he automatically tries to enrich his base and seize more power for himself. He used 9/11 to ram through his agenda of less freedom and war with Iraq. He did it with Katrina by trying to gain federal control over state militias, and he tried doing it now with the original bailout language that gave him total power with no oversight by the courts or any agency. In all 3 there was an unlimited supply of taxpayer money for his buddies on Wall Street or Cheney's buddies at Halliburton.

With the bailout, it's as if he had gone to New Orleans and told the people, "If you just give me 700 billion, Katrina won't come ashore." It's not going to work.

This financial storm is coming ashore anyways.

The wonderment of our new socialist government, invented by the Milton Friedman repugs, is indeed puzzling. Before and after the Reagan fiasco years, there was the spewing by dimmos and repugs that there could be no help with infrastructure because of lack of government money.So Joe Six-pack was to pony up the funds for water and sewer charges that was astronomical and devastating to families across the nation. Roads were neglected and our cars took a beating. All of a sudden the rich folk, that were the masterminds of financing and fiscality are being funded by the government. So all those Ayn Rand repugs are all so quiet, proving once again that " There is no honor among thieves".

In addition to the financial struggles that we will face in the years ahead, there will also be a struggle to record what happened here.
It's already taking place. I've heard right-wing talk radio wash their hands of these problems. Apparently, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were running the country these last 8 years, and the reason Bush couldn't move to stop this crisis was that they hadn't given him the okay yet.

Excuse me, but I thought those 3 lame-looking dudes who walked out to the Rose Garden to beg for the 700 billion were from the Bush administration. Why weren't they out there sounding the alarm years ago and preventing us from arriving where we are? Oh, that's right. Barney Frank hadn't okayed it yet.

You mention Ronald Reagan. Billions of dollars have already been invested in the myth of Ronald Reagan. They have made him into their God. I hope in the cold light of history, it will be noted that Reagan was the starting point for our decline. He was the deregulation king. He was the first "talk small government but run up trillions in debt" king.

it will not be easy for a portion of our population to get this. What they have heard from the right wing amounts to decades of mind control. Joe has been drinking his famous Sixpack, while they've been sipping champagne, and now Joe won't even be able to afford a 40-ouncer. Will Joe Sixpack wake up? Maybe. There's been a constant stream of voices talking the American Public out of realizing what's really going on, but it's hard to talk your way through economic chaos. Even Rush Limbaugh has to eat. It's not enough for him just to be full of BS.

One positive thing I want to come out of this, is a full understanding of who the real culprits are. Right now the conservatives - the fiscal responsibility crowd - are in the process of denying everything. To hear them, Bush was just strolling by the White House and dropped in for a cup of tea. Then those damn evildoers Chris Dodd and Barney Frank chased him out and took over America. It ain't going to fly. It better not because the anger is going to be huge and they'll try and direct it at their enemies. This can't happen. They should pay for what they've done.

I hope that one byproduct of the turmoil ahead is a clear understanding that the conservative movement - while sounding quite reasonable at times - actually destroyed America as we knew it.

Rush, Sean, and all the other cookies from the cutter, were not patriotically helping this country. They were helping to destroy it. That's why they're talking faster than ever now, before you figure it out.

Are our officials just responding, ineptly, to events that are moving too fast for them?

Or are these series of shocks something that is part of an overall direction?

I sure hope it's not the latter, but I have to wonder after reading some Naomi Klein. I mean look at the results of the last couple of decades. Perhaps we truly are witnessing the destruction of the middle class through the evaporation our assets (as in Argentina) and the complete repudiation of the New Deal.

Where is our FDR?

"Apparently, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were running the country"

No just the Senate and House finance committees. Like Bush a year ago they could have said/done something/anything about the sub-prime issues, but nothing ever gets done until there is drama involved. I don't know if that means the issue is more complex than any of them know (Barney thought FNMA was just fine six months back.) That's politics.

Hold onto your hats. If this is the financial Katrina, we've seen some rain and wind, but the levees are still holding. They should be topped and broken this week, when the credit default swap payments are triggered by Friday's Lehman bond auction. We don't know who owes, or how much. It's just a given that if those contracts are enforced, there will be any number of defaults and bankruptcies with shareholder values going to zero. For once, I'm not unhappy that the treasury dep't has been a little slow, because the rescue plan has evolved from a wasteful giveaway to something that might possibly offer some help to the system. There are thousands of land mines out there -- they just haven't been stepped on yet.

It's more than a little dissapointing that it takes a financial catastrophe to create the environment that might quiet the spewing blowhards of the right.

Joe Six pack is so last week, this week it's Joe no pack.

No, this week it's Joe Backpack.

"the conservative movement - while sounding quite reasonable at times - actually destroyed America as we knew it."

Whereas the liberal bastion Portland is shinning example of Good America.

Is Portland the model of governance you would like to see extended to the country?

jimbo: It's more than a little dissapointing that it takes a financial catastrophe to create the environment that might quiet the spewing blowhards of the right.

Won't happen. Throughout the 1930's, conservatives likewise denounced FDR's New Deal as the end of civilization as we knew it.

Ben: Is Portland the model of governance you would like to see extended to the country?

The issue with Portland isn't one of liberal versus conservative. It's competence versus incompetence.

"The issue with Portland isn't one of liberal versus conservative. It's competence versus incompetence."

Well that's rather convenient.
Never mind Portland IS 100% Liberal Democrat in every way?

IMO Portland is the perefect example of how liberal democrats want their people in power. Once in, besides maintaining the few liberal agenda items, what at they actually do is seemingly irrelevant.

What's important is to make sure no non-liberals are allowed to share any of that power or policy making.

if the 6pacs were not dumb and greedy they would have moved their 401k into an annuity or mmf last year. i have to tell you that being up 2-6% sure beats being down 40%.

The problem with Portland's government is that it's so reminiscent of the Bush administration: They cater to the wealthy and powerful while digging themselves a gigantic financial hole. Then, when the bill comes due, they'll turn to Joe Latte to bail them out.

However, as far as I know Portland has never launched a preemptive strike on another country and then said, "Whoops, all the reasons we did it turned out to be wrong." That's a level of incompetence our city council can only dream about.

Throughout the 1930's, conservatives likewise denounced FDR's New Deal as the end of civilization as we knew it.

ohhhhh yeahhh..on second thought I guess there was a bit of conservative spew flying around the U.S. in the 30's.

Let's hope that 4 yrs from now the righties haven't convinced the public this whole mess wasn't the dems fault--we shall see if they have it in them. It wouldn't suprise me.

Ben: Never mind Portland IS 100% Liberal Democrat in every way?

The council races are nonpartisan, but I suppose you're suggesting that members leaning toward the conservative side could do better. I think not, judging by Bob Koch and Charlie Hales. The bigger issue here is that we're set up with a system that has council members managing bureaus, budgets, and people, and these assignments are at the discretion of the mayor. Regardless of political affiliation, most CoP council members lack the management experience to carry out the day-to-day tasks of running a bureau - and that's a competence issue.

I was going through my garage yesterday and guess what I Y2K survival supplies. First I laughed at the sight of them, then I cried at the realization that I might need them.

On another note, I am taking reservations for my cave. It can hold 8-10 comfortably. Let me know.........

Restraint on greed and incentives for sustainable growth are worthy of govt. enterprise, we need to learn to balance these against unbridled freedom of the marketplace. Sorry Friedman. It's back to pay as you go, except we're too far in the hole.

KISS wrote, "Before and after the Reagan fiasco years..."

Fiasco years?

You mean like the defeat of Soviet Communism?

A rise in the DJIA from 777 to 3,000?

A decline in mortgage rates from 20% down to 9%?

Restoring the pride and prowess of the U.S. Armed Forces?

The authorization of a 600 ship blue water Navy?

A 10% rise in real median family incomes?

What part of that was a fiasco? Surely you're not comparing Reagan's accomplishments to the Carter years?


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In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
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Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
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Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
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Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
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Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
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Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
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