Sunday, September 21, 2008

McCain: The Maverick Becomes a Mackerel

In British slang, a mackerel is a fool. If we only look at McCain's actions over the last week, he qualifies. If we include his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate, he's close to the cliff. If we try to visualize the man in charge of the economy if he wins the election, we see him and the nation in free fall.

I've been watching the news closely for weeks while working on a large editing project. Part of my current assignment in the project is to update an assessment of the world's condition. My gut reaction is that things have been happening so fast it's a bit difficult to keep up. But I can summarize the current situation in this manner: in a time of crisis, as we face a series of crises both at home and abroad, the people at the top who are currently in charge of our foreign policy have no credibility and the people in charge of our economic policy, largely the same crowd, also have no credibility. Folks, this is not how the United States normally operates.

The idea that a fading, out-of-touch McCain is somehow going to restore credibility is too painful to consider. If our nation were a bit more rational than it is at the moment, there would be a push to honor McCain for his services 35-40 years ago while urging him to retire to his ranch in Sedona where he can enjoy his millions, his houses and a steady stream of visitors. But these are not sane times.

There is far too much to summarize in a post but here's some items that catch my interest:

Everything is fine. Or not. Here's an item from Businomics:
It's OK: We've got a guarantee. The owner of an office building in London has a lease with Lehman. But don't worry. They have an insurance policy to protect them if their tenant cannot pay the rent. The insurer: AIG.
Here's a reminder of the bail-outter-in-chief's track record so far: Bush's Legacy of Squandering Taxpayer Money.

Talking Points Memo has a number of stories on the bailout proposal. Here's some gallows humor from a TPM reader:
Considering as how the proposed Wall Street bailout will be one of the most intensely lobbied efforts in American history, will there be anyone left to manage John McCain's campaign?

So far, not many economic blogs think much of the zero oversight that apparently is part of Bush's bailout. I mean, isn't the lack of oversight what got us into trouble in the first place? Here's more from the Economic Populist.

Brad DeLong, the economist from Berkeley, sometimes puts things succinctly. Here's the issue for the next five days if not the next six weeks:
John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his vice president.

There is a 40% chance John McCain will be president on January 21, 2009.

There is no way in hell that anybody should give any extra power to any Treasury Secretary chosen by John McCain.

I beg the Democrats in congress: write a bill that makes sense.

Nightmare scenario: McCain, just looking for a trophy for his Hall of Fame, steps down if he wins the election. Sarah Palin is a poor choice for president but she takes instruction well and follows the party line. Cheney remains in town and stays at his secret location while he runs the show.

Okay, I'm joking but eight years ago our nation had a surplus, we were at peace, and Wall Street wasn't completely overrun by crooks. (sigh)

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