Quote of the Decade, and Other Stuff

From an article written by John McCain and published in the current issue of the journal of the American Academy of Actuaries:

Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

I’m starting to look forward to the debates.

At Salon, Joe Conason writes,

Now that we’re all about to take on hundreds of billions or perhaps a trillion dollars in new public debt to redeem the nation’s super-smart corporate financiers, there is one thing I hope we can expect in addition to postponing the apocalypse. Will they all please shut up about the wonders of the unfettered free market and the horrors of big government?

The die-hards will not shut up, of course. I just dropped by Lew Rockwell to see if there were any lights in the attic. Nope. They will all go to their graves believing that free markets solve everything.

Going by Memeorandum, right-wing bloggers aren’t saying much about the financial crisis. Today the leftie blogs are all over it. The top three concerns of rightie blogs are (1) Charlie Rangel said something nasty about Sarah Palin; (2) Sandra Bernhard said something nasty about Sarah Palin (she’s a standup comic, people! that’s what they do); (3) liberals hate God.

Yesterday there was some shrieking from the righties about the bailouts and how taxpayers (i.e., them) are getting soaked. There was not a glimmer of recognition from any of them that they had anything to do with what caused the financial crisis. They sounded like juveniles who had a party that trashed their parents’ house, and now Mom and Dad are telling them they have to clean it up and do without an allowance. Poor babies.

Speaking of Sarah Palin — Kos posts Palin’s favorability trajectory. Enjoy.

Democrats are better for the economy than Republicans. The record is clear. I especially liked …

The Ranking of the Last 13 Presidents by Job Creation (as of 2002)

1) Roosevelt (1933-45): +5.3%

2) Johnson (1963-69): +3.8%

3) Carter (1977-81): +3.1%

4) Truman: (1945-53): +2.5%

5) Kennedy (1961-63): +2.5%

6) Clinton (1993-2001): +2.4%

7) Nixon (1969-75): +2.2%

8) Reagan (1981-89): +2.1%

9) Ford (1975-77): +1.1%

10) Eisenhower (1953-61): +0.9%

11) Bush (1989-93): +0.6%

12) Bush (2001-present): -0.7%

13) Hoover (1929-33): -9.0%

Looks like a pattern to me.

21 thoughts on “Quote of the Decade, and Other Stuff

  1. Great post. It is a bit weird: is John McCain actually proud of the effect of liberalizing the financial sector? And of the government now having to bail out the banks? Do the US people really want more of that kind of problem in their health care?

    Seeing this from across the Atlantic it’s really weird.

  2. Katinka, it’s really weird on this side of the Atlantic, too. Possibly weirder.

    Part of the problem is that, for all the concern people have about health care here, there has been next to no substantive discussion about what to do about it outside of blogs and academia. Mainstream media, especially radio and television (from which most Americans get their news and political commentary) simply do not allow for any substantive discussion of anything. It’s all little “sound bites” and political hacks screaming talking points at each other, with no attempt to sort truth from lies.

    McCain’s health care proposals are absurd, and I keep saying that his ideas on health care by themselves ought to cost him the election, if the American people were to find out what they are. So far, the only people who know anything about them are us politics nerds.

  3. Wow, those jobs-creation numbers are amazing. Please pardon me if I indulge in a brief moment of “In your face, Republicans!” this morning.

    There. Over it. Now back to muttering, “$700 billion…. $700 freaking billion!” over and over.

    Gasoline’s gone down a couple more pennies per gallon, though.

    And it’s Saturday. I’ll go buy some chocolate. Chocolate cures all.

  4. We need innovative products alright…..
    We need to make things to sell the rest of the planet to pay the debt we will never crawl out from under. The scary thing is the Republicans have won their game. They always wanted to “drown government” and they have now succeeded. Drowned us all. Drowned in a sea of debt they created. Now Bill Clinton and Robert Rubin went along with alot of this but the ball started rolling with the Republican presidents and the Republican congresses since 1980. Those of us who are old enough to know of something else at least can remember- I know I sound like an old coger but- The corporate media and the billionaires who have controlled the message for over a generation have created a population that knows nothing else but free market mantras and 3 word phrases that they invoke with knee jerk regularity to keep from thinking.
    It has been a funny week . Not only am I enraged but alot of “conservatives’ are enraged and it is funny to watch their projection- sort of like the republican convention- a group of people who bought into something they now despise and are incapable of looking in the mirror to see who drove this bus off the cliff.
    We are already 315 billion into executive branch appropriated funds( Congress ,what is Congress?) . Now Bush wants Congress( why does he bother with them now?) to ok 700 more billion to bail out the top of this problem:( what about the people who need real conventional mortgages based on the realistic value of their houses so they don’t get forclosed?). In the panic to stop a financial panic again we watch while the ones who created the mess get theirs sucked and the lowly individuals pay pay pay. We have lost 600,000 jobs this year, foreclosures are rolling along, banks are going under and not just investment banks, China and Japan own us( not to mention a few oil sheiks)….. I am just glad it happened before little Georgie left office. We in the blogging community have seen this coming for years and I have wondered why this took so long really. Hard to imagine there are people who did not see it coming. We knew the next Democrat president would have one hell of a mess to clean up. We are just beginning to see how big a mess. At least it is now and not January25,2009. I want Bush Cheney Paulsen Snow and the little dried up previous head of the fed to own this debacle.

  5. Off topic but I have to point it out:

    I followed the Sandra Bernhard link and noticed an ad on the site for conservative T-shirts. The problem was, I couldn’t read what the T-shirt said because the sexy blonde model wearing it appeared to be in the process of taking it off as she stared with promise at the camera. Obviously, the image of a beautiful woman removing her clothes sells T-shirts better than what conservative message is written on the shirt.

    Conservatives really can’t stop thinking about sex, can they?

  6. And one other note: our system of government has played itself out. We need a constitutional convention and perhaps a parliamentary system

  7. A couple of really great observations from k and Bananaphone:

    Not only am I enraged but a lot of “conservatives” are enraged and it is funny to watch their projection- sort of like the republican convention- a group of people who bought into something they now despise and are incapable of looking in the mirror to see who drove this bus off the cliff.


    Conservatives really can’t stop thinking about sex, can they?

    And yes, I think the observations are related.

    Remember that old Reagan TV ad, “It’s morning in America”? This week came the Reaganauts’ wake-up call: Good morning, suckers! It was all bullshit!

  8. k,
    Not a bad idea at all…

    I’m willing to pay much higher taxes – but not to pay off the scum of Wall Street.
    Unfortunately, that is part of out Faustian bargain – that we have to support the very people who have bankrupted us; that, if we are to gain anything, before we help the ‘least among us,’ we have to help ‘the most among us….’
    Who knew that Bush would turn out to be a Socialist?
    But, now that we have the precedent, that WE, the PEOPLE, have to help each other out, the rest may be easier. I don’t happen to think it will. Republicans will fight it kicking and screaming. But, it might.
    They love to help Corporations. People? Uhm, not so much…

    Peace. Out!

  9. This is the end
    Beautiful friend, The end.
    Of our elaborate plans,
    the end.
    Of everything that stands,
    the end.
    No Safety or Surprise,
    The end.
    Can you picture what will be? So limitless of free
    Desperately in need of some strangers hand.
    In a desperate land.
    Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain,
    And all the children are insane,
    all the children are insane.
    Waiting for the summer rain……….

  10. Ooops!
    Forgot Rule # 1:
    Nothing is the fault of conservativism! Not EVER!!!
    Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, the Not Totally &@*#ing Horrible, and Bush II, the &@*#ing Worst EVAH!!! (aka, Caligula – or is it Nero? Nah, Caligula! Wait, Nero had a crush on his mother. Nope, Caligula!), were not TRUE CONSERVATIVES!
    They were all big-spending Liberal’s.

    The ‘Conservative Love Song:’
    Oh, Barry G, WHERE ART THOU?
    “When I’m calling you,
    Ooh, woow-woow;
    Ooh, woow-woow…”
    “Will you answer true?
    Ooh, woow-woow,
    Ooh woow-woow…”

    If “Conservativism” isn’t bankrupt after leaving us bankrupt, then there is no reason to think American’s, as humans, are at all rational.
    Republican Descartes: “I deregulate, therefore I am…”

    The 21st Century “Ownership Society” for all to see: Privatize the profit’s, socialize the losses…
    But, “no” to Health Care. It’s “Socialized” medecine!

  11. McCain was proud of loosening the regulation of the financial sector, until Monday. Since then, he’s been trying to pretend he’s ready to fire some people and create some order and throw all kinds of government weight around the markets, which is why the words of this healthcare piece, written before his conversion, are so embarrassing.

    That is, if he is even capable of embarrassment anymore. Given the ads he’s approved, he seems to have lost all scruples.

    If there is a silver lining in the financial crisis, it’s that it has given us all a chance to see how John McCain would handle a crisis. On the first day he’d deny it was happening, on the second day he’d agree that things he’d just said were wrong were right, on the third day he’d accuse his political opponents of being responsible for things he and his friends had done, on the fourth day he’d announce a nonsensical plan to deal with it that shows he has no idea what he’s talking about, and on the fifth day he’d claim he’d always been against things he was always for, and promise to fire people and fix stuff so it would all be better real soon. Along the way he’d get confused about which agency was which, and try to fire people he doesn’t have the power to, and in general seem several steps behind developments, and really sleepy. Or maybe senile.

    Oh, and did I mention accidentally giving insult to an allied country without realizing it?

  12. Lots of good comments on this thread! I particularly liked what k said.

    In a way, here’s the ‘bottom line’ (favorite phrase of the business types who got us into the mess): Bush and company have severely damaged the financial credibility of the United States. The current crisis will be patched over, at least for a few weeks, but our credibility has no real chance of being restored until Bush leaves office. If McCain is elected, our financial credibility will remain in tatters. If Barack Obama is elected, things might ease up but there will be some really hard work to do for the next few years.

    Remember all the fuss about offshore drilling? There’s a problem. Developing offshore drilling can take hundreds of millions of dollars. That requires loans. Those loans are going to be hard to get in the current climate. In fact, any large scale energy project in the world, fossil fuel or alternative, is suddenly more iffy than it was a few weeks ago. The Republicans have royally screwed up.

  13. But, don’t you know, the cons and their libertarian simps think there was still TOO MUCH government regulation, and THAT is why we are in this mess.

    No kidding…

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  15. #12 Wow! What is that about? Do they think we are coming after them for making such a mess? Are they setting everyone up to think there is a security problem on the horizon?
    Does anyone know more about the reasons for this?

  16. # 17
    I have pondered this all day as I hacked through my personal jungle.
    The conclusion: either the powers that be saw this coming long ago and are preparing for an insurrection by hoards of pissed-off displaced, out of work/ unable to afford gas to look for work peasants, OR the powers that be fear a trained army returning home to their country with little hope for employment, broken promises, and again rediculous gas prices.

  17. re the Job Creation numbers: what Republicans have always wanted is cheap labor. Offshoring and having people here fight for fewer jobs means cheap labor. To a Republican, those numbers are not a bug, they’re a feature.

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