Bush pleads for bank bailout
President Bush took his case for bailing out the nation's banking system to the American people last night, and I was less than convinced. Yes, I agree that the Federal government must take action to forestall a financial panic, but we don't need to stoke the fires any further. The note of dire alarm was uncharacteristically blunt for Bush, who often talks in upbeat terms. See Washington Post.
One thing was missing from his speech, however: a call for national sacrifice for the greater good. It's just like his risk-averse approach to waging war in Iraq, not wanting to impose any hardships on the folks back home, for fear they might vote for the other party.
Meanwhile, the House Republicans are refusing to go along with Bush's proposal, citing free market principles. Ordinarily, I would agree with them, "in principle." In practice, however, you sometimes have to make adjustments, and this is probably just such a time. The reaction on Capitol Hill was quite a paradox. Democrats such as Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank seem amenable to some kind of bailout along the lines Bush proposed, as long as they get their way on peripheral issues such as executive pay caps. Buried amidst the devilish details is this item: the Democrats want to provide Federal government funds for ACORN, the left-wing voter registration organization that has been complicit in numerous cases of voter fraud. See Employment Policies Institute; hat tip to Stacey Morris.
In sum, I share Daniel Drezner's sentiments: "I'm in a surly mood right now." Dan is disappointed in John McCain's shifting response to the crisis, first suspending his campaign and then agreeing to hold tonight's debate after all. Dan is also disgusted with the House Republicans' rejectionist approach, saying their alternative is unrealistic.
Speaking of which, I would like to make one modest proposal inspired in part by free market ideals that is probably quite unrealistic: Rather than directly spending Federal money to provide the necessary funds so that the insolvent financial institutions can be smoothly liquidated -- which would unduly politicize the economy -- why not just allocate an equivalent amount of money to provide matching funds for individuals who wish to participate in such a buyout? Let people themselves decided which institutions are worth saving and which aren't. That would "democratize" the economy in a dual sense, satisfying one of the Democrats' biggest objectives (redistributing wealth) without having the process be controlled by the government in Washington.
Well, the Great (?) Debate just started...
Charlie Daniels on Barack Obama
That good ol' "long-haired country boy" from Tennessee has a few choice words for the Democratic presidential candidate, who derided small-town Americans who cling to God and their guns> See Charlie Daniels' blog, located via snopes.com; hat tip to Stacey Morris.
Michelle Obama on white racism
Many people are aware that Michelle Obama's undergraduate thesis at Princeton University contained some extraordinarily harsh anti-white language, sounding almost like a Black Panthers manifesto. What many people don't know is that the University officially embargoed the thesis until after the November election, evidently trying to cover up something even worse. See snopes.com; hat tip to Patrick Carne.