16 September, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

With our economy in meltdown, McCain wants us to believe he's ready to leap to our rescue. There's just one problem with that: he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about:

With Wall Street’s financial institutions in turmoil, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) argued in a series of interviews today that his experience on the Senate Commerce Committee meant he knew “how to fix this economy.” “I understand the economy. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee that oversights every part of our economy,” McCain told CNBC’s Squawk Box.


But, as the Washington Post points out, the Commerce Committee doesn’t oversee “every part of our economy,” let alone “the very areas now in crisis“:

In fact, it is the Senate Banking Committee that has oversight of “banks, banking and financial institutions; control of prices of commodities, rents and services; federal monetary policy, including the Federal Reserve System; financial aid to commerce and industry and money and credit, including currency and coinage.”

According to its Web site, the Commerce Committee oversees 13 areas, beginning with the Coast Guard, and continuing through “regulation of consumer products and services … except for credit, financial services, and housing” — the very areas now in crisis.

He doesn't know what his own committe does. He was on a committe charged with regulation, but he's anti-regulation, as Obama points out:
Perhaps most importantly, Obama contrasted his specific record with McCain's: "In February of 2006, I introduced legislation to stop mortgage transactions that promoted fraud, risk or abuse. A year later, before the crisis hit, I warned Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke about the risks of mounting foreclosures and urged them to bring together all the stakeholders to find solutions to the subprime mortgage meltdown. Senator McCain did nothing. Last September, I stood up at NASDAQ and said it's time to realize that we are in this together -- that there is no dividing line between Wall Street and Main Street -- and warned of a growing loss of trust in our capital markets. Months later, Senator McCain told a newspaper that he'd love to give them a solution to the mortgage crisis, 'but' -- he said -- 'I don't know one.' [...]

"This March, in the wake of the Bear Stearns bailout, I called for a new, 21st century regulatory framework to restore accountability, transparency, and trust in our financial markets. Just a few weeks earlier, Senator McCain made it clear where he stands: 'I'm always for less regulation,' he said, and referred to himself as 'fundamentally a deregulator.' This is what happens when you confuse the free market with a free license to let special interests take whatever they can get, however they can get it."

Note that Obama doesn't have to break a sweat using McCain's own words and actions against him.

McCain not only loved him some deregulation, allowing greedy fuckers to take outrageous risks and dump us into this mess, he kept his head in the sand while the economy spiralled into chaos:

Yesterday, after two of Wall Street’s major banking institutions had just collapsed, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) declared that he “still” believes “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” As MSNBC’s First Read notes today, yesterday was only the most recent occasion that McCain has called the economy’s fundamentals “strong” as the economy worsened throughout 2008:

And, perception-wise, McCain didn’t help himself when he said the “fundamentals of our economy are strong” — words that Obama’s campaign yesterday pounced on and McCain later backtracked from. In fact, the Obama camp is up with a brand-new TV ad today (airing in “key states”) that whacks McCain for saying that. However, it’s worth pointing out that those words from McCain weren’t new. By our count, he has used that phrase at least 16 times between Jan. 1 and June 5th of this year.

In August, McCain told right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham, “I still believe the fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

Perhaps that's why former HP high mucky-muck Carly Fiorna wouldn't trust him or Palin with a major corporation:
Earlier today, McCain spokeswoman Carly Fiorina told a St.
Louis radio program that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK)
was not qualified to run a business.
This afternoon, she reiterated her comments on MSNBC, this time clarifying that
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — or any other presidential candidate — couldn’t run a
major corporation either.

You know, I could think of several candidates in our history that could successfully run a major corporation. She can't sugar-coat the poison pill by telling us otherwise.

And one of McCain's top advisers isn't too popular with the reality-based economic crowd:

Last night on MSNBC’s Countdown, New York Times columnist and Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman pinpointed Phil Gramm as one of the architects of the current financial crisis, and the “odds-on favorite to be the Treasury Secretary” in a McCain administration. Asked by Olbermann what Gramm’s nomination would mean for the economy, Krugman suggested it could lead to another Great Depression:

KRUGMAN: Ben Bernanke and I think Hank Paulson understand that we could manage to have another Great Depression if we work at it hard enough. I think Phil Gramm might be just the guy to do it.

But we can trust McCain to rescue the economy. Really. After all, he invented the Blackberry:
Speaking to reporters today, McCain campaign adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin claimed that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is responsible for the “miracle” of PDAs. Waving around his Blackberry, Holtz-Eakin said:

He did this. … Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committee so you’re looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that’s what he did.

ThinkProgress received a response today from former FCC chairman Reed Hundt, who sharply criticized Holtz-Eakin’s claim:

John McCain is so out of touch with America his economics adviser says he deserves credit for creating the Canadian company that invented the Blackberry. Message to Republicans: it’s American entrepreneurship our President is supposed to encourage.

If this jackass gets voted into office, we'd better hope we've got enough room in our yards for a truck garden. We're gonna need it.


Cujo359 said...

I don't think claiming to have overseen the destruction of the economy is a good way of establishing one's economic bona fides, do you? The next obvious question would seem to be "While you were overseeing this economy, particularly when your part controlled both Congress and the White House, why didn't you fix it?"

Anonymous said...

Carly Fiorina doesn't have much room to say that Sarah Palin (or McCain or Obama for that matter) couldn't run a major corporation. Carly Fiorina couldn't run a major corporation either. She tried. HP stock ended up dropping 50% and the board dismissed her, though she did collect $21.4 million on her way out the door.