I'm sure it wasn't the window dresser's intent. But when I saw this vitrine at Selfridges, London, the first thing that came to mind was a storm trooper or robot stomping on the pages of the US Constitution. Read this post for more on the Bush administation's latest attempt to defy legal scutiny.
Despite all evidence to the contrary - uh, that would be that $1 trillion government bailout - Sen. John McCain - the Republican presidential candidate continues to insist that deregulation of Wall Street "was probably helpful to the growth of our economy." Read more here about McCain's interview on 60 Minutes.
McCain's Keating Five scandal taught him nothing
From Newsweek's Jonathan Alter:
"[Y]ou remember the Keating Five scandal that he was a part of, which, by the way, it's crazy but there's been very little about it in the press in the last few weeks. And McCain thinks he's getting a hard time, he's really getting a free ride on the fact that he was in the middle of the last great financial scandal in our country. But his reaction to that, you would have thought, would have been more regulation of the financial services industry. Instead he moved forward on campaign finance reform after being caught in that scandal, but did nothing – nothing – to try to prevent another savings and loan crisis from happening down the road. He was missing in action when it came to even learning the basic lessons of a scandal that he said taught him all kinds of things that he would never forget."
Obama disputes McCain's Iraq claims
Also on 60 Minutes, in response to the attack ads being run by the McCain campaign and McCain-sympathetic 527 groups, Barack Obama reminded 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft that, contrary to the McCain mythology, the Iraq War didn’t start in 2007 with the surge.
Kroft: "The McCain campaign, the last day or two, has been running nothing but ads talking about you and the surge…that you were opposed to the surge."
Obama: "That’s all they had to talk about. You notice that, according to the McCain mythology, I guess the Iraq war started with the surge. They seem to forget that there were five years before that where they got everything wrong, where they anticipated that we would be greeted as liberators. Where they said this would be easy. These are John McCain’s quotes. That this would all pay for itself. Because the Iraqi oil revenues would more than cover it. The fact of the matter is that John McCain has been consistently wrong on Iraq. And now’s the time for us to bring this to a close. Even the Iraqi prime minister and the Iraqi government recognize it’s time to have a time frame. The Bush administration has talked about time horizons. And John McCain, moving forward, is the only one who stubbornly clings to reasons to stay in Iraq."
McCain not interested in Middle East peace process
Meanwhile, two McCain advisers told participants in a weekend retreat that his administration would discourage Israeli-Syrian peace talks and refrain from actively engaging in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Sounds just like George Bush, who ignored the situation for six years, then tried to push hapless ideas. It didn't work too well for him. Just ignoring a region and letting it simmer until it bursts into flames is never a good idea.
Palin still unaccountable
From ABC's Jake Tapper:
"The woman seeking to be to a heartbeat away from the presidency without ever holding a press conference remains on the same relatively unaccountable path.
"McCain-Palin campaign officials apparently feel the American people should trust her with the button and the world's financial markets without ever taking questions from reporters."
Salon reports Palin has run very mean-spirited campaigns, deliberately distorting facts and alienating her closest friends.
In case you missed it
For John McCain, the panel discussion on This Week with George Stephanopoulos was brutal.
Conservative columnist George Will declared that McCain was decidedly un-presidential in calling for the firing of SEC Chairman Chris Cox. And Sam Donaldson of ABC said McCain's erratic message on the economy again raised questions about his age.
"I suppose the McCain campaign's hope is that when there's a big crisis, people will go for age and experience," said Will. "The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and un-flustered? It wasn't John McCain who, as usual, substituting vehemence for coherence, said 'let's fire somebody.' And picked one of the most experienced and conservative people in the administration, Chris Cox, and for no apparent reason... It was un-presidential behavior by a presidential candidate."
Donaldson noted: "It was two days after the he said the fundamentals of the economy were strong. His talking points have gotten all mixed up. And I think the question of age is back on the table."
Of course McCain's call to fire Cox was dismissed right off the bat, as the president does not have the authority to axe an SEC chairman. The criticisms that Donaldson raised referred to McCain beginning the week saying the fundamentals of the economy are strong, before pivoting into fits of populist mantra and calling for increased regulation of the markets - position at odds with McCain's traditional economic philosophies.
"When I say age," Donaldson explained, "I don't know the difference between finding your talking points and not delivering the right ones, we have seen him do this frequently but this last week was the worst. Between two stops in Florida, as you say, he had to revise his thinking about what he wanted to say about the economy, wanted to feel the pain suddenly than say everything is great."
Will replied, "John McCain showed his personality this week and made some of us fearful."
Bush's proposed bailout's lack of accountability
"...Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
True to form, the Bush administration's bailout, which will transfer at least $700 billion taxpayer dollars to buy the distressed assets of several failed financial institutions, will be unchallengeable by courts and ungovernable by the People's duly sworn representatives. All decision-making power will be consolidated into the Executive Branch. The measure will increase the budget deficit, with no guarantee of recouping expenditures and no real means of insuring accountability.
How much more damage can Bush-Cheney inflict while still in office?