My Friends

by Kieran Healy on September 26, 2008

Let me be clear. As I say, inaction is not an option. We have got to shore up our economy. This is crisis moment for America, really the rest of the world also, looking to see what the impacts will be if America were to choose not to shore up what has happened on Wall Street because of the – the ultimate adverse effects on Main Street and then how that affects this globalization that we’re a part of, in our world. So, the rest of the world really is looking at John McCain, the leadership that he’s going to provide through this, and if those provisions in the proposal can be implemented and make this proposal better, make it make more sense to taxpayers, then again, John McCain is going to prove his leadership. … But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping the – it’s got to be all about job creation too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reigning in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And trade, we’ve got to see trade as opportunity not as a competitive, scary thing, but one in five jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part of that.

Thank you, and on to your Debate Thread.



mpowell 09.27.08 at 12:00 am



Colin Danby 09.27.08 at 12:47 am

The “reigning in” isn’t her fault.

“reducing taxes … has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief” I missed that part the first time.


Righteous Bubba 09.27.08 at 12:48 am

As someone who enjoys text manipulations I gotta say Markov chaining Palin’s piffle doesn’t really change much:

We do not believe in American ideals, and they are violent and they are our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska. We have got to keep good relation with all of these leaders without preconditions being met. Barack Obama is going to find you some and I’ll bring them to you. I’m all about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed. And we have to look at track records and see who’s more apt to be cognizant of what the desire is in this terror. They need to pursue those and we have got to be, a military strike, a last option. Perhaps so. I mean, that is the group that can be looked to… As that leadership, that light needed across the world. I’ve never heard Henry Kissinger say, Yeah, I’ll meet with some of his government are extremely dangerous to everyone on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state. We shouldn’t second guess their efforts. Well, it certainly does, because our, our next-door neighbors are foreign countries, there in the state of Alaska, our international trade activities bring in many leaders of Israel and I would hope that’s not the case. No, I’ve worked all my life until I had kids. I was – I answered him yes because I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me a lot of perspective on the table. I believe that they, too, want to rid not only their country, also. They understand the dangers of terrorists having a stronghold in regions of their country, also. I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, yes.


P O'Neill 09.27.08 at 1:01 am

I thought we knew the outer limit of the lengths Republicans will go for power but clearly the limit needs revision.


Colin Danby 09.27.08 at 1:02 am

I like the desire in terror bit, Bubba. A couple more iterations and you’ll have Gilles Deleuze.


Stuart 09.27.08 at 1:46 am

I guess the people in charge of the Republican party were insulted by the assertion that Bush was the most inarticulate idiot that could possibly be elected to high office, and have scouted around until they found someone worse than him.


Antti Nannimus 09.27.08 at 1:59 am


Could you please restate that in a different way?

Have a nice day!


Mike 09.27.08 at 3:27 am

Wait, is that a direct quote?


Kieran Healy 09.27.08 at 3:34 am

Wait, is that a direct quote?

From Palin, yes.


Kieran Healy 09.27.08 at 3:34 am

(Except for “Let me be clear.”)


Antique 09.27.08 at 4:41 am

You really should italicize that or something. At first I thought you were serious. And possibly crazy.


riffle 09.27.08 at 5:32 am

I didn’t watch all the networks but the reports I’ve seen say that Biden was on quite a few outlets after the debate representing Obama, but Palin was no where to be found. McCain resorted to other people (including Rudy Giuliani) to carry his message.

Considering that quote above, no wonder.

But McCain thinks she’s ready to be President in 2009 should he succumb to illness.


nick s 09.27.08 at 5:41 am

I don’t think that Kieran understands the seriousness of these matters.


Katherine 09.27.08 at 7:38 am

I thought it was Bush when I starte reading it. ‘Nuff said.


bad Jim 09.27.08 at 8:14 am

Anyone who doesn’t immediately recognize the uniquely Palinesque flavor of the quote ought to avoid commenting.

One TV channel – CNN, perhaps – asked viewers to text “1” for Obama or “2” for McCain. That cladder-for-brains poll (let’s ask what the kids think!) put number 1 at number 1.

I’d agree, though, that the debate made McCain look old.


Katherine 09.27.08 at 8:38 am

I did say when I started reading it. Sheesh.


Frank 09.27.08 at 11:24 am


Ben Alpers 09.27.08 at 11:50 am

I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill about this position that we have been put in.


Smiley 09.27.08 at 11:56 am

A quote from one of Paul Krugmans friends:
“We’ve become a banana republic with nukes”

Scary isn’t it! :?


Frank 09.27.08 at 1:22 pm

She does look and sound ill; maybe it’s the position she’s been put in—either that or she was having an Amsterdam white-out. The question now is not: Who would you most like a beer with? but: Who would you not want to do a blunt with?


Ardee 09.27.08 at 1:24 pm

I fail to see the humor in poking fun at a Special Olympics competitor. Sara Palin has certainly not allowed her serious deficiencies to have kept her from creating a well rounded life. I am certain that, should a number of strange and awful coincidences occur, and she becomes our President, she will do the best job that her handlers permit. Should those coincidences occur I will certainly be back to say I told you so, of course I’ll be reporting from the South of France!

P.S. “Markov Generators”..Bubba, you is one sick fellow!!!!!!I love it.


Frank 09.27.08 at 1:24 pm

delete: Amsterdam; insert: Alaskan (does it grow there?)


Walt 09.27.08 at 1:50 pm

Frank: Oh, yes.


ehj2 09.27.08 at 1:52 pm

I’ve been hoping we’d get some glimpse of the IMF opinion:


ehj2 09.27.08 at 1:57 pm

Possibly too late, but you might want to throw an extra dollop of Courvoisier in your corn flakes before reading (regarding 22).


P O'Neill 09.27.08 at 2:17 pm

She’s trying to top:

GIBSON: And you didn’t say to yourself, “Am I experienced enough? Am I ready? Do I know enough about international affairs? Do I — will I feel comfortable enough on the national stage to do this?”

PALIN: I didn’t hesitate, no.

GIBSON: Didn’t that take some hubris?

PALIN: I — I answered him yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can’t blink.


abb1 09.27.08 at 2:33 pm

Nice accent though. I just love her “huntin'” and “weddin'” stuff. “I’ll brin’ it to ya”. I bet when she says “poottin’ it back on the right track”, it sounds beautiful.


ehj2 09.27.08 at 3:17 pm

It’s quite painful to watch the Republicans put up two of the dumbest people imaginable and rub my face in the fact that even so, 40% of the country will choose them. My problem is not McCain/Palin, who are just dangerous idiots oblivious to my disdain, but my country, dangerously idiotic.


J. Bogart 09.27.08 at 3:43 pm

Isn’t this a violation of copyright? You socialists, always stealing property.


a 09.27.08 at 4:25 pm

“…but my country, dangerously idiotic…”

What’s special about America is that even a large subset of the supposedly smart people are dangerously idiotic – see the crisis on Wall Street.


J Thomas 09.27.08 at 5:00 pm

What’s special about America is that even a large subset of the supposedly smart people are dangerously idiotic – see the crisis on Wall Street.

It was the rules of the game.

The players mostly don’t get to make the rules. So the rules said, you could do this stuff that would cause trouble later and make a lot of money, or you could do safe things and make a little bit of money and then get fired because you didn’t make enough money.

A whole lot of people knew there was trouble coming. But *this quarter* you either made your money, or else you got out of the game. And if you got out of the game five years ago when it was clear the trouble was coming eventually, that was five years of bonuses etc you didn’t get.

Is it worse than our military guys who’ve known for 30+ years that MAD won’t work in the long run and we’re going to eventually have a global thermonuclear war?


virgil xenophon 09.27.08 at 9:23 pm

Once again, J Thomas @29 gets down to where the psychology of financial institutions’ rubber hits the road. A classic precursor to all of this–pre-dating even Enron–was the AAA -rated issue of WPPSS (Washington Public Power Supply System) muni bonds, or “WHOOPS” bonds as they were called on Wall Street. (a more apt acronym was never created) Merrill Lynch and Dean Witter flogged them for all they were worth up until the day of the collapse of the power authority, and the ratings agencies maintained their triple A rating to the very end also. Tens of thousands of retirees put their life’s savings into these bonds and lost everything–while brokers raked in the fees–WHOOPS?!

How did the WHOOPS thing happen? As J Thomas says–Rules of the Game. Their AAA rating was based on a supposedly iron-clad “take-or pay” legal contract that municipalities had signed to buy power from a series of 5 nuclear power plants being built. Despite constant reports of cost overruns and the likely-hood that some would be canceled, the bond’s ratings were maintained with the “iron-clad” contract cited as the reason. And bond sales continued likewise, citing their AAA rating as a reason. Brokers who voiced fears that if the project went Tango Uniform those contracts would be broken no matter what the words on the paper said were told that: “theirs is not to reason why.” etc., i.e., KEEP SELLING! Naturally, the project failed, the municipalities went to court and won, and the value of the bonds went to zero–along with the value of thousands of retirement accounts worth of life’s savings–WHOOPS! A perfect example of the way life really works according to J Thomas.


virgil xenophon 09.27.08 at 9:24 pm

How did that happen? Didn’t intend the strike-out.


ehj2 09.28.08 at 5:55 pm


Given your academic interest in economic sociology, even though I’m off topic here, this is probably the place (and time, in a thread winding down) to post this.

I have the impression generations have to learn things anew, about war, about class-conflict, about anti-intellectualism.

I harbor an optimism that this election, because of the complex involvement of economics and class and war, might be a turning point. This is now an election in which gut instincts about national security and foreign threats don’t cut it.  The economic crisis is riveting and personal, and forces people to observe that governance is complicated, that real knowledge is essential, that having good advisors is critical — and that the morons on television are useless at explaining what’s going on and we must demand better.

Maybe, hopefully, possibly. We need an end to anti-intellectualism, and perhaps the confluence of this economic crisis and this election frames a beginning.


elementaryteacher 09.28.08 at 7:24 pm

I think Tina Fey just lifted it word for word in her skit ( the fact that she didn’t change a word for a parody says so much.


ehj2 09.29.08 at 12:28 am

3QuarksDaily has just posted a link to economist Robert Skidelsky, who is giving the economic “case” for my hope in comment #34, and even some support for the “generational” cycling.


Andrew 09.29.08 at 7:19 am

This economic malaise is not going to be solved by more debt, afterall no one is putting up hard assets, its just more cash from the paper factory, which ultimately goes on the taxpayers account. What does that mean? The economy will be more leveraged than last week. This approach however is necessary, as bank collapses need to be avoided. As long as you hang on to hard assets no problem!

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