Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin, Lehman Brothers, The McRib Sandwich--Who's Smarter?

My money's on the sandwich.

Today the markets came crashing down. Today I went to McDonald's for the first time in... Today I had to hear about that Hockey Whore again. I don't know which item was worse. Okay, yes I do. Even I can't joke about what a horrific event for the economy of the US and the world the bankruptcy filing by Lehman was. Very bad. Very very bad. I guess I should say more than that--this is a blog, right?

I didn't get my McRib. I'm starting with this one because it has the most immediate impact on my life. I don't like McDonald's. I NEVER go there. Except when they have the McRib. I'm not going to say that it's great cuisine or anything. McRibs complete garbage, but they are delicious. I order mine without pickles. Who ever heard of pickles on barbecue? I'm pretty barbecue deprived. I'm from St. Louis and grew up eating delicious barbecue. Now I live in the so-called city of Seattle. I saw the McRib advertised yesterday, so I drove to McDonald's and ordered one. The lady at the drive through didn't know what I was talking about. This is the second time that it has happened to me in a year. Seattleites must have no concept of barbecue (not that I'm claiming that the McRib is barbecue), so McD's doesn't carry the McRib here. Seattle sucks. I feel very strongly about barbecue. I'll get back to politics now. That's why we are all here.

Lehman Brother's collapse, yea the collapse of the modern financial system itself can be laid in some measure at the feet of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Alan Greenspan will get most of the blame, but I think it's only fair that old W. and Slick Willie assume a fair share. Why? Well, first and most obviously, George Bush fucked the finances of the country to the point that the government's hands are somewhat tied. The Iraq War, the medicare drug bill and other disgusting government handouts (BTW, I don't begrudge seniors healthcare, but that bill was a handout to drug companies and private insurors), and huge tax cuts have left this country unable to cope with an economic downturn.

Bill Clinton Slick Willie Bill Clinton on the other hand is responsible for some serious errors in banking regulation:

  • 1994 Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act helped to reduce predatory lending practices on low income home owners but also relaxed capital requirements and other regulations to encourage the private sector secondary market for small business loans and contained more than 50 provisions to reduce bank regulatory burden and paperwork requirements.

  • 1994 Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act permitted adequately capitalized and managed bank holding companies to acquire banks in any state one year after enactment.

  • 1996 The Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act reduced the record keeping requirements on banks and amended the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 to streamline the mortgage lending process.

  • 1999 The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act modified portions of the Bank Holding Company Act to allow affiliations between banks and insurance underwriters. While [it] preserv[ed the] authority of states to regulate insurance, the act prohibit[ed] state actions that have the effect of preventing bank-affiliated firms from selling insurance on an equal basis with other insurance agents.ref

I guess a Republican congress can share the blame as well.

As to the Palin, I despise her. She epitomizes what is wrong with this country. She is completely unqualified to be Vice President. As governor, she hired her brother-in-law as a state trooper and then fired him when he divorced her sister. She is pro-life and does not believe in evolution. 'Nuf said.

But even worse than Sarah Palin is the fact that she is accepted as a candidate for VP. If Americans weren't so stupid (this is becoming a theme here, hmmm) she would have been laughed off the stage at the Republican National Convention. The 'every man syndrome' is at work here. Americans would rather vote for the super soccer mom than a brilliant editor of the Yale Law Review (for those who don't know, Yale Law is one of the toughest programs to be admitted to). They value familiarity over accomplishment. That's perfectly fine choosing a friend or lover, but this is the Presidency of the United States of America, the MOST POWERFUL JOB IN THE WORLD. ARRGH!!! Even worse, they didn't learn from their mistake. They chose George Bush. The stupidest, laziest, president that reminded them of their favorite drinking buddy and they got fucked over for eight years. You want more, voters? Feel free. I'm moving to Vanuatu.

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