Monday, June 29, 2009

Jackson, Fawcett, and McMahon

McMahon: “Mighty Karnack, here is the answer. ‘Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and Mark Sanford.’ Can you give us the question? “

Carson: “Yes I can. Name a bizarre Thriller, an Angel, a Top Banana, and a schmuck.”

Jackson, Fawcett, and McMahon, who died within 48 hours of one another--were superb entertainers, who--thank God--brought more joy and happiness into their fans lives than the pain and heartache associated with the ditzy governor, who garnered so much media last week. Notably Jackson can lay claim to being the King of Pop, as well as the King of Weird, but he was a helluva performer/entertainer. The final scenes of “Thriller” still shake me.

Here’s hoping that MJ’s father, Joe Jackson, gets absolutely nothing from Michael’s estate, which certainly will grow exponentially following his death. It’s my impression that most of Michael’s family played blood suckers to his host role.

And, don’t get me started on another Jackson, Jesse. My mother, who grew up in the early part of this century and whose father sold fruits and vegetables form the back of his horse drawn wagon, used to have a saying that was real life for her.

“He’s like horse s__t. He’s everywhere!”


A GOP long time friend responded to the Mark Sanford story by telling me, “The Republicans need a dose of saltpeter.”

As tempting as it was to agree with that statement, I countered, “Bulls__t. John Edwards, Elliot Spitzer, etc. etc.

MSNBC documents 23 sexual peccadilloes involving Governors, Senators, Congressman, and Mayors, since the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal.

Sanford’s personal stupidity and rambling “confession” has nothing to do with partisan follies. This is just the latest example out and out political egotism.

It is behavior wrought of years of being called, “Governor, Senator, Mr. Chairman, the boss,” and the toadyism that goes with it.

I don’t care how “quiet and mellow” the candidate is, you have to be an egotist to seek public office and when they win, the phony adulation and automatic institutional respect blind some of them.

As I wrote to a few friends, some pols believe that they are invincible and the normal rules don’t apply to them, because they are “_________.” (You fill in the blank!)

If you can believe Governor Sanford, this romantic “spark “ ignited, shortly after he vowed not to take the federal stimulus grants, so desperately needed by the unemployed in South Carolina and the state’s sagging economy.

I am sure that there is a ribald connection somewhere between “stimulus” and “spark,” but—right now—I don’t care to know it.

I can’t counsel a man leaving his wife and children, but if Sanford’s real feelings are anywhere near what he expressed in those steamy emails to “Maria,” his family ties seems barren and he should figure out a way to be with his Argentinean lover.

His very together wife, Jenny Sanford (kudos to your Madam), says she’ll take him back, but doesn’t seem to overly interested in the prospect.

I am betting that he resigns the governorship and heads south.

What others are saying. From Charles Blow of the New York Times:

There are Democratic sex scandals to be sure, but Democrats didn’t build a franchise on holier-than-thou moral rectitude. The Republicans did. They used sexual morality as a weapon and now it’s shooting them in the foot.
Sanford voted to impeach Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky saga. According to the Post and Courier of Charleston, Sanford called Clinton’s behavior “reprehensible” and said, “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally” to resign. “I come from the business side. ... If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.” Remember that Mr. Sanford?

Russia, China, and Iran

Once again, our “friends,” the Russians and the Chinese, seem to been protecting Iran from world condemnation and censure, while China weighs in with more help for North Korean and its Munchkin dictator.

Some of my conservative friends think a few well placed nukes can solve all of our problems, but I doubt an American-blessed military attack--to take out the two countries nuclear capacity—likely isn’t coming.

But, I sure hope the Obama Administration doesn’t forget the Chinese and Russian behaviors when we truly have a chance to return the favor. We can’t be that powerless.

Sorry, but the Russians never will be anything but thugs. Their national characters hasn’t changed dramatically since the end of World War II. No matter who runs the place, it’s a thieving conniving nation and many of its citizens behave the same way.

(“How do you know a Russian diplomat is lying? You can see his lips move.)

The Chinese—since they own some much of our debt and therefore our country—can truly be meddlesome and manipulative if they chose. We can’t shut them out of our markets or open theirs to our products, and we need them to buy our government IOUs.

But, once or twice, I would like to rub their noses in it.

Go get them, Hillary!

Financial Re-Regulation

The facts are that nobody in the financial regulatory community did a very good job of stopping subprime lending or the complex securities and hedges Wall Street created to "protect" both sides of the deal.

Nobody did very much regulating or whistle blowing, not the Fed, SEC, Treasury, Comptroller, FDIC, OTS, or the GSE regulator (OFHEO/FHFA), the President's economic advisers, the Congressional Budget Office, the two congressional banking and finance committees, or the Joint Economic Committee.

That doesn't mean individuals at those institutions didn't see some problems or even anticipate what would be necessary to stop them before they hit full throttle.

The problem was--and will continue to be, even if a new "systemic risk" agency is created or that portfolio is given to the Fed--how do you get the rest of government to believe you if you see something “bad,” early.

Given all of the conflicting economic and political interests, how do you quickly implement ameliorative policy changes??

Look how hard it's been for this President, when so many sectors, save the diehards in the conservative community, agree that there is need for federal financial relief and economic intervention.

Who will believe any existing or new financial agency of our government, before disaster hits?

Solve that little problem and you’ve found where to put the maximum amount of the nation’s new financial oversight and regulation.

Maloni 6-29-2009


Anonymous said...

Bill, Have you heard about Treasury's plans to include a recommendation about the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their 2011 budget? If so, is it true that the plan should come out in February of 2010?

Anonymous said...

There are some indications, check the article by Bloomberg below. However, keep in mind that Bloomberg may have an ulterior motive to see the GSE's demise