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Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008, 10:43 am
the slow and the supreme

Hey wow! Chuck Schumer finally did something other than shove old people to the ground for standing in front of his camera! Way to ask the simplest of simple dumb questions, Chuck!
“One of you mentioned that you will use about $50 billion dollars a month. If that’s the case, and you’re certainly not going to use all $700 billion immediately, and as you can see there are a lot of questions about whether this will work, we understand you’ve done your best and you think this will work best, but it’s clear we’re in uncharted waters. But what about doing this in tranches? Why couldn’t you ask us for $150 billion, and on January 15th or January 20th we would come back, we would assess how this worked and grant some more money if it’s really working?”

And, hey, Paulsen refused to give any sort of reasonable answer.

I haven't really been talking about this because, frankly, I don't understand a word of it. I can't even balance my damned checking account because of too many impulse buys of Chocolate Funyons or whatever completely useless thing it is I'm wasting my money on. But this I understand. It's a simple enough idea: just tell us how the money is going to be spent. Open government. Accountability. Oversight. And they're refusing. One last goddamned time, they're refusing.

I read somewhere that, in the end, 700 billion clams works out to about $2300 for each of us, man woman and child. I don't know about you, but I haven't bought a new pair of jeans in about a year and a half. I'm wearing the same sample contact lenses I got at Lens Crafters because I can't afford to order a box just yet, because I'm still paying off other assorted bills and things. The bottom line: MY COOKIE JAR IS MOTHERFUCKING EMPTY, WALL STREET.

I think it would be different, I think my Class Consciousness Urban Trench Warfare thing would be dialed back down to "1" or "2" if we didn't live in New York City. If we didn't interact with these people all the time. New York is a unique place in that you can live in a shitty rat-infested walk-up in Harlem and have daily interactions with millionaires, billionaires even. Millionaires who are our age. And I mean without trying. We're all in essentially the same stew. Hell, being at that Yankee game, scoring some free tickets from dumb luck, being low enough to hang with the rich crowd, I said over and over to Jeremy, "It's a crime the way rich people live."

And, no it's not a crime. They earned it, we're told.

Anyway, you deal with these people all the time. You see them, you serve them. They eat in your restaurants, you send their faxes. You reserve their tickets for them. We know these people, and we know that most of them are horrible.

And, yes, there is jealousy involved, hanging out with bankers/lawyers that I've known here and seeing them prance around with watches that cost more than a year of my rent. Being in their fancy apartments, their huge impeccable lofts or expansive studio apartments overlooking the park. There is great money to be had.

So I have a hard goddamned time thinking that I should have anything to do with bailing these slick motherfuckers out of a jam. As far as I'm concerned, having that amount of money, going for it that aggressively, should maintain a certain level of risk and responsibility. Sorry, obscenely rich asshole, your taxes should go up. MASSIVELY. Because I'll be goddamned if I have to pay a single red cent more just because Bush deregulated and you went hogwild. I'll be goddamned.

These Chocolate Funyons aren't gonna pay for themselves, City Boy.

Anyway, and it's been said a jillion times already but I like joining the chorus: isn't it completely hysterical to see so many conservatives having honest debates about exactly how much of this billion dollar bailout is acceptable, when a national health care plan that costs a fraction of the bailout is MARX-FASCI-COMMU-CHE-STALIN-STREISAND horrible? Like, we can't spare a penny so your kids can go to the doctor but, OH God you libtards don't understand that the CEO of Goldman Sachs has a standard of living to which he's grown accustomed and if he doesn't have gold flakes in his eggs in the morning he'll have a heart attack and die and you people will be THE MURDERERS AND WE WILL HUNT YOU and you will blame the one armed man and when the train derails you will run run run through the woods but Tommmy Lee Jones is on to you and "I didn't do it!" "I don't care" and then Batman Forever is fucking UNWATCHABLE.


Above: There is no much a man can tell you, so much he can say

I feel like I got off track there slightly, but my point remains. And I'm not brainy about this sort of thing, but I've got common sense. There is simply no reason whatsoever that we should commit so much money without regulation or oversight at one time with no strings attached. None. And proposing a Biblically destructive bailout deal, and then countering with a different deal that's only Biblically terrible, is not the solution.

There is only one reason that the Bush administration, after a long history of doing so in other areas, is so hot and bothered over getting that money and getting it quickly with no strings attached and no oversight whatsoever. They've got one last fast one to pull on us on their way out. And, hell. They're essentially saying, "We don't want the Government interfering with these financial institutions." Which is a song we've heard before.

And, anyway ha ha ha hah it's going to pass no matter what we write on our little blogs. So thanks America, for that war we knew was wrong, that spying we knew was happening and was wrong, those weapons we knew weren't there, and that War on Terror we knew was a crock of shit. Centuries from now they'll find all of our correct assumptions on blogs all throughout the internet. We'll be like little Emily Dickinsons, but penniless and charred by The Nuclear War Over Jesus.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 03:56 pm (UTC)
popelizbet

God, Chris, I love you. I'm tempted to metaquotes you yet again.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 04:03 pm (UTC)
christastrophe

Shucks.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
popelizbet

Damn the torpedoes, I'm gonna.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
shakespearesgrl: (also, I totally agree)

It was "STREISAND" that made me spit my lunch across my computer screen.

The Tommy Lee Jones rant made me snarf my water.

I need to stop reading your blog when I'm eating my lunch.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
daily_good_news

You know, it's not like even about the bullshit any more. It's almost like they are just trying to amuse themselves with trying to see how much they can get away with.

I am reminded of something that George Carlin said when talking about Americans their government and their "Rights".

To paraphrase: "Rights? You have no "Rights", they will fuck you when they want to and there isn't a goddamn thing you can do about it?"

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
christastrophe

They need to re-animate George Carlin, is what they need to do.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
daily_good_news

The great thing about that that I failed to mention is that Sharon and I saw that live and Carlin was saying it to a heckler who was chanting USA...USA...USA... in objection to his mocking the government and Governor Bush.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
shakespearesgrl

WHO HECKLES (heckled - sad face) GEORGE CARLIN? WHO DOES THAT?!

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 06:25 pm (UTC)
motolove

$700 Billion would do it.

Thu, Sep. 25th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
(Anonymous)

Sadly, in a defeatist way, I agree with you. But, being the ever-persevering-idealist self that I am (double Aquarius w/ Sag. rising) I wish it wasn't so...
~M

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
sweill

Here via metaquotes
This was so friggin' RIGHT ON and made choke on my soda and me miss New York so much and.. and...
made me friend you, if that's okay...

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
christastrophe

Right on. Thanks for the add, and "howdy".

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
brightlotusmoon

Here from Metaquotes.

This quote from that Steve Chapman link made me cry and actually, physically headdesk:

"The plan conceived by Paulson and Bernanke stems from the oldest bureaucratic imperative: cover your backside. If they had not acted and the inaction turned out to be a colossal error, they would have been tarred, feathered and roasted on a spit for their misjudgment. But if the rescue ends up a mess, they can always say, without fear of contradiction, that the alternative would have been even worse.

Not only that, but the ultimate judgment of whether the plan is wise or not may be years in the future, by which time they may both be beyond the reach of angry congressional committees. Blame tomorrow is always better than blame today.

That's why Congress is unlikely to stand in the way of the bailout."

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 07:11 pm (UTC)
mitejen: WERD

Wandered over from etcet, who quoted you in his LJ from metaquotes

Bless you, you speak such magical truths in this big paragraph of truthyness. Batman Forever IS unwatchable.

Would you be weirded out if I friended you?

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
christastrophe: Re: WERD

Not weird at all - glad you enjoyed my profane ramblings. I promise to continue to ramble and be profane.

Thu, Sep. 25th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
mitejen: Re: WERD

Yay!

And I totally stalker-scanned a bit of your journal, you had a post a little while ago about how the 'net (to use my old person abbreviation) makes it so easy for young people to find out about subcultures or significant moments in subcultures, and I am TOTALLY with you on that. I grew up in West Palm Beach Florida, I remember how it was. If you wanted to find out about a subculture you had to go to an alternative culture store or show, and to get there you had to catch a ride with someone's older brother or friend who had a car, because the store/show wasn't in the mall. Not saying it's better or worse, but just sayin' it's different.

Thu, Sep. 25th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC)
christastrophe: Re: WERD

As a musician whose particular brand of music (Built to Spill/Pixies/Malkmus) will never be the number one album in America, I think it's far worse. The subculture, pre-internet, lived and died by its loyal fans, the type of dedication and lifelong fandom that came from having to hear about a band from your older sister at college or that one cool guy at school who smoked filterless Camels and one day threw you a tape or took you to a show. You earned it, it became personal. And, as a result, the fans became more dedicated, a true grassroots thing, so the bands could make a living touring around.

This could just be my age showing, but I don't know of a lot of bands I've found through the new channels that have really stuck with me. And the culture seems to be infected by it. Everybody's raving about MGMT or whatever right now, but nobody will give a fuck by next summer.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 07:24 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): Wow

This is probably one of the best posts/right-on-rants I've seen you write in awhile, Chris. For not being brainy on the subject, your common sense speaks volumes.

It is writing like this that made me a fan of your LJ in the first place and I am so glad to see this here.

This conundrum of us regular folks being regulated to the gills-- voluntarily turning in our bank statements, criminal records, credit reports, health records, even MVD reports to gain public assistance, credit cards, or a stupid job that won't pay the bills; answering to strangers about our activities (personal and work related) so that we can acquire an education, a small business loan/grant, or keep our jobs; being spied on in our homes when we use our phones and computers... and we cannot expect for this kind of huge bailout, for someone's else's mistakes, to be regulated?! It's disgusting, to say the least.

~Melanie

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
christastrophe: Thanks, Mel!

Yeah man. Disgusting is a polite word. I'm so sick of hearing how it's such a destructive thing to talk about class in this country (a la John Edwards's Two Americas). Like, not talking about it doesn't make it disappear. It's there, for anybody with eyes.

I was thinking about it the other day when we were watching "Cops", and some guy on his third strike for coke possession was gonna be put away for life. And these guys, these white collar criminals from Ken Lay on up to now, who destroyed millions of lives and will end up costing their country trillions of dollars--for these guys, the big punishment is that their multi-million dollar golden parachute might be somewhat reduced in value.

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
(Anonymous): I Do TRY to Be Polite On These Things

What you said in the last paragraph is a whole other subject for me. Another subject that I am quite passionate about. But, I definitely see how they are related.

I have known (and loved) several people put away for a long time for marijuana and other street drugs (in small quantaties, no less!); it's one of the reasons why I support the legalization of marijuana (in spite of me not using it). Why should they be incarcerated for it for so long when other more powerful people are screwing us (MILLIONS!) with much wider consequences and they get off? It's nuts.

If this conservative administration is really all about less gov't. control (what I admire about the republican party), then why are the regular folks who make stupid mistakes pay the greatest of consequences over the far ranging mistakes of the more powerful (and thus, more harmful) people that can mess up our whole economy? These things affect millions of people. These petty crimes that my loved ones have made in their youth are nothin' in comparison.

Now I'm ranting... Anyway, still an amazing original post you made.
~Mel

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
ext_84511: Well at least someone's working on the economy

I trust you have seen this, right?

http://gawker.com/5054325/mccain-bails-on-first-debate

Wed, Sep. 24th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
christastrophe: Re: Well at least someone's working on the economy

I saw the headline in the gym and just started laughing out loud. I just can't believe, of all the desperate bullshit he's pulled...

I mean, they're not raising a fucking barn, for Christ's sake! Like they need extra hands or something. It's not like they'd have this thing figured out, if only there were more politicians in Washington.

I love Obama so much for refusing to fall for this bullshit. Debate on, motherfucker. If you want to just give Obama two hours of free prime time Q&A while you desperately shove Chris Dodd off a podium, go for it.

Thu, Sep. 25th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
special_karen: Re: Well at least someone's working on the economy

If I was on metaquotes, I would totally metaquote your barn line there.

Maybe I should be on metaquotes, if your metaquote submissions keep disintegrating into Twilight-bashing. I suffered through one reading of Twilight and that was more than enough.

Thu, Sep. 25th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
atlanta06

Here via metaquotes. Mind if I friend you?

Thu, Sep. 25th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
christastrophe

Of course, yo. Thanks!