The Geithner Plan

The reviews are in on the leaked Geithner plan, and we are going to do something different here for a change. We are not going to listen to people who have been wrong about everything, and instead are going to listen to people who have been more right than wrong. The administration might learn from this approach. First up, Yves at Naked Capitalism:

And notice the utter dishonesty: a competitive bidding process will protect taxpayers. Huh? A competitive bidding process will elicit a higher price which is BAD for taxpayers!

Dear God, the Administration really thinks the public is full of idiots. But there are so many components to the program, and a lot of moving parts in each, they no doubt expect everyone’s eyes to glaze over.

Calculated Risk:

With almost no skin in the game, these investors can pay a higher than market price for the toxic assets (since there is little downside risk). This amounts to a direct subsidy from the taxpayers to the banks.

Oh well, I’m sure Geithner will provide details this time …


The Geithner plan has now been leaked in detail. It’s exactly the plan that was widely analyzed — and found wanting — a couple of weeks ago. The zombie ideas have won.

The Obama administration is now completely wedded to the idea that there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the financial system — that what we’re facing is the equivalent of a run on an essentially sound bank. As Tim Duy put it, there are no bad assets, only misunderstood assets. And if we get investors to understand that toxic waste is really, truly worth much more than anyone is willing to pay for it, all our problems will be solved.

If this were a medical emergency, it appears it would look something like this:

The Illness- reckless and irresponsible betting led to huge losses
The Diagnosis- Insufficient gambling.
The Cure- a Trillion dollar stack of chips provided by the house.
The Prognosis- We are so screwed.

If these guys are right, this will be the undoing of the Obama administration. Better enjoy this four years, libs.

Zombie lies never die

No one could have predicted that former Bushies would use a discredited Charles Krauthammer piece to bolster their anti-stem cell arguments:

A few days before Obama announced he was abolishing Bush-era limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, Bush supporters who frequently appear on TV received an e-mail from an adviser saying: “I wanted to send you the following two documents on President Bush’s record on stem cell research: 1. a Bush White House fact sheet on President Bush’s record of advancing stem cell research in ethical, responsible ways and 2. a November 2007 Washington Post column by Charles Krauthammer, ‘Stem Cell Vindication.’”

Here’s what two scientists wrote a few days after Krauthammer’s column appeared:

Since 1998, many strategies for addressing sanctity-of-life concerns have been pursued. While commendable, these efforts remain preliminary, and none so far has suggested a magic bullet. In the same way, the recent tandem advances in the United States and by Shinya Yamanaka’s team in Japan are far from being a Holy Grail, as Charles Krauthammer inaccurately described them. Though potential landmarks, these studies are only a first step on the long road toward eventual therapies.

Krauthammer’s central argument — that the president’s misgivings about embryonic stem cell research inspired innovative alternatives — is fundamentally flawed, too.

How To Be A Hack and Secure a Lifetime Position at the NRO

Andy McCarthy in 2004 discussing the 9/11 commission:

Analyzing the intelligence failures attendant to 9/11 is a twofold process. First, the counterterror system designed during the Clinton administration, which was at the helm for eight years while we were under attack by militant Islam, was a prescription for disaster: reducing counterterrorism to a strict law enforcement matter, putting the Justice Department in charge of it, and institutionalizing, as official government policy, a wall that forbade criminal and intelligence investigators from pooling information. Second, that counterterror system was largely maintained by the Bush administration during the eight-month run-up to the attacks. As to the latter, Bush officials have been aggressively questioned for actions they took, or failed to take, between January and September 2001, including the failure to tear down Gorelick’s wall prior to 9/11. This is entirely appropriate. Indeed, it is essential if the commission is to be at all a useful exercise in helping us avoid future 9/11s.

But for a sizable faction of the commission, that exercise is not what this is about. It is, instead, about myopic focus on the eight Bush months as if the preceding eight Clinton years had never happened.

Andy McCarthy today, discussing the stock market:

Veronique, with due respect, it is absolutely preposterous to blame our president for the nearly 3000 point plunge in the stock market. I don’t know how you or Businessweek can sleep at night after repeating such a baseless, slanderous canard.

He is, of course, responsible for today’s rally …

Putting aside the fact that 2000 of the 3000 point drop that McCarthy is attributing to Obama happened under PRESIDENT BUSH (not to mention the entire cause of the collapse and the several thousand point drop during the rest of 2008), a pithy observer might remark that it is almost as if he wants to pretend the preceding eight Bush years had never happened.

Any luck uncovering Obama’s birth certificate yet, Andy?

Notes From An Alternate Reality

It just never stops:

“The president certainly remains popular, but his policies are becoming less and less popular,” Boehner said, citing the continuing slide in the financial markets. “Certainly the stock market hasn’t acted very well” since Obama’s inauguration.

As the markets continue to falter, Republicans are becoming more confident in their criticisms of the president — some have already taken to using the phrase “the Obama economy.”

Yeah. About that “Obama economy,” Rep. Boehner:

Ironically, Obama’s high marks come at a time when Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the state of the economy. Only 7% say they’re satisfied about the economy, which is an all-time low in the poll. Moreover, 76% believe the economy still has a ways to go before it hits rock bottom. What’s going on here? The public doesn’t blame Obama for the economy — even as critics try to attribute the Dow’s decline to Obama, and also even as Obama yesterday gave stock advice (!!!). Per the poll, 84% say Obama inherited this economy, and two-thirds of those people think he has at least a year before he’s responsible for it.

They aren’t even trying any more. This has gone beyond silly to just sad, and what is even worse for the Republicans is that as they keep saying things that the public knows to be completely untrue, it erodes what little trust they have in them. Think about it. If somebody keeps telling you things you know are false, eventually you just write them off altogether. At the risk of Godwinning this thread, the Republicans really do seem intent on testing the reaches of the Big Lie.

The other thing that strikes me about that poll is how, well, reasonable the American people are. Maybe a year is too long, maybe it is not long enough. But the fact that the majority of the public is willing to wait a while before casting judgment seems exceedingly rational. It is almost if the American people understand how big a deal this current mess is, even as the Republicans continue to play games.

Imagine a Massive Highway Pileup. Now Imagine Clown Cars. Awesome, Isn’t It?

This just keeps getting better and better:

In a little-noticed interview Saturday night, Steele dismissed Limbaugh as an “entertainer” whose show is “incendiary” and “ugly.”

Steele’s criticism makes him the highest-ranking Republican to pick a fight with the popular and polarizing conservative talk show host.

But the new RNC chairman’s extraordinary comments won’t sit well with the millions of conservative listeners Limbaugh draws each week, and Steele aides scrambled to limit the damage Monday morning by trying to change the subject.

And Rush fires back:

Yes, said Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I’m incendiary, and yes, it’s ugly. Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC. You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the RNC and right now they want nothing to do with it, and when you call them, asking them for money, they hang up on you. I hope that changes. I hope the RNC will get its act together…

It seems to me that it’s Michael Steele who is off to a shaky start….

Now, Mr. Steele, if it is your position as the chairman of the Republican National Committee that you want a left wing Democrat president and a left wing Democrat Congress to succeed in advancing their agenda, if it’s your position that you want President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid to succeed with their massive spending and taxing and nationalization plans, I think you have some explaining to do.

Why are you running the Republican Party? Why do you claim you lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it that President Obama succeeds? I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda…

I am wondering how Mark Halperin will spin this as excellent news for John McCain.

*** Update ***

This is my mental image of the current inner workings of the Republican party:

Follow me! Follow me to Freedom!

*** Update #2 ***

More here.