Section 8

Here’s 32 disturbing words buried in the heart of Bush’s $700 billion ‘bailout’: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” It’s literally a blank check to Secretary Paulson who can spend it however he chooses without any oversight or answering to anyone. Isn’t this exactly the sort of thing that led to this mess?

It is at times like this that comparisons to Republican Rome are inevitable. These are the sorts of shennanigans that the Consuls and Senators played to fleece the government for their own profit and protect themselves against prosecution. ‘Legal’ transfers of enormous wealth from the public to line private pockets is nothing new, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.

The very people who allowed this crisis to happen with their blind ideology of deregulation are now demanding a solution that would be as ogliarchic as it is socialist and give them vast new powers over the economy without any check on them. To offset the balance in favor of the Executive has certainly long been one of the primary missions of the Bush Administration and this proposed Act is a bookend to the Patriot Act in that regard.

Tom Tomorrow has an excellent take on the situation. A good political cartoon can articulate the most complex situations more clearly than a thousand clever pundits. Clearly something must be done, but panicking and throwing gasoline on a fire is stupid. Handing yet even more power and money without oversight or legal recourse to the most irresponsible Administration in modern history is indescribably stupid. That would be like jumping in the fire. But what do I know?

A discussion of current events would be remiss in not mentioning McCain’s hasty withdrawl from Friday’s debate under the pretext of rushing through the above plan. Isn’t a moment of national crisis the perfect time for a serious public debate of the issues? Even though this was slated to be the foreign policy debate why not just switch it to the economic policy debate? Let the two candidates discuss the situation and propose their solutions right there in front of the nation. It seems to be an appropriate and necessary conversation this nation needs to have right now. McCain’s campaign has engaged in Orwellian tactics and he has shown remarkably bad judgement in his choice of VP. Now he is willing to manipulate a national crisis to serve his political ambitions. Crazy grandstanding and evading public debate of the issues is not what this country needs now.

6 Responses to “Section 8”

  1. Sir Winston,

    Actually, it looks like that whole “absolute control” thing will be dropped in favor of Congressional oversight, thanks both to Democrats and some very principled Republicans. The price, sadly, is going to be giving up a bailout package for homeowners–something that may yet be pursued later, but which would be a non-starter right now. (There may also yet be a provision that forbids those “golden parachutes” for the very execs who started this mess…we’ll see.)

    At long last, Congress is actually doing something. Which is rather good, because we are treading on dangerous ground right now, and if we go down, the whole world goes down with us.

  2. As it turns out, I stand corrected. I

  3. Prof-
    It’s amazing how events can be so mercurial over the course of a day. I’m finally getting a chance to get back to you 12 hours later and it looks like the whole deal is off for the moment. It seems the very principled Republicans have been tied up and put in a closet by their brethren.
    Time for bed. Give Aurora a kiss. All is well?
    Winston

  4. Prof-
    Good evening. It scans like I cut you off. Hilarious.

  5. Winston,

    Yes. I made a mistake. I am very tired, doing prof things as I am wont to. My most advanced student writers are obsessed with sex and murder. And sexual murders, and murderous sex.

    I am so very, very tired.

    But I did watch the debate: if we’re grading the “wrestling match,” as it were, one has to score it to McCain–however, if one looks at form and actual substance, it’s Obama all the way. McCain looked and acted like someone put ex-Lax in his coffee a few minutes before the debate and he was looking for an excuse to take a potty break.

    I do so love politics.

  6. Prof-
    Our contemporary literature is quite Roman in it’s coarse discourse. If the meat is rotten extra salt and spice won’t give it savor. American Pop Culture numbs the senses like extacy flattens emotions. After endlessly punching the orgasm and adreneline buttons of our minds with film and television, the subtleties of fiction become hammered flat as every story becomes a variation on the structure of slasher films, sitcoms, and porn scenes. The artificially simplistic conflicts and copulations of ‘reality’ programming is Orwellian in it’s crude caricatures of human behavior. Who needs the spectacles of the Circuses when you have daytime tv to debase humanity?
    We need a good dose of theology and geometry.
    WD

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