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White House meeting on Bush + Reid + Pelosi + Frank + Obama + McCain bailout ends in disarray as House R's balk. [09/25/2008]

Via McClatchy. (Let me say that McClatchy blames McCain's grandstanding in the headline, which let us remember that editors write, but the story makes clear that (a) all the blame is being cast by Dems, big surprise, and (2) it's the House Republicans who are really the cause of the trouble, because they don't buy into the famous "principals." I mean, these are the guys who kept the House open to do some political theatre for drilling even after Pelosi turned off the cameras and the lights, and Pelosi ultimately caved, so why on earth would they give in now? To help Bush? To help McCain? Haw.)

"That agreement is obviously no agreement," said Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., as he emerged from the White House meeting.

The lawmakers spoke after spending an hour in what was supposed to be a somber show of bipartisan unity at the White House.

Haw. No kabuki for you!

The session, hosted by President Bush and featuring the two presidential candidates as well as House and Senate leaders, came hours after the Democratic and Republican negotiators had issued a one-page "agreement on principles."

After the House Republican rebellion at the White House cast doubt on the agreement's fate, negotiators reconvened Thursday night, hoping once again to find common ground. But they were uncertain how to handle the Republican alternative, whose chief feature would permit the government to provide insurance to firms to buy troubled assets rather than spend taxpayer money on them.

"We feel it is best to resort to private capital first," said Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who led the effort. Taxpayers "should not have to pay to bail out Wall Street."

Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Banking Committee, sat in on the negotiations Thursday and said he was not sure that House GOP members would embrace the package, though, "I think we're closer."

Also complicating final agreement was the presidential campaign. McCain said that he's suspending his campaign to help draft bipartisan legislation, and Obama's camp boasted that he'd played an important role in the executive pay negotiation.

But Banking Committee staff said that while Obama's staff stayed in touch with negotiators, the senator had no apparent role in brokering any deal.

Haw. Both Obama and McCain were as useless as tits on a bull for this whole charade. Quelle surprise.

Our representatives really do need to come home to the district and do some serious listening before doing anything. And they especially don't need to draft and pass legislation throwing a trillion dollars at Hank Paulson's golfing buddies in less than a day. Shit, at least they took a few weeks to cave on AUMF!

So, the House Republicans are definitely doing the Lord's work, here. More power to them. If only outcomes matter, than stopping this bill is good.

UPDATE The Times, in late reporting, describes the White House meeting as a verbal brawl. Exciting!

The day began with an agreement that Washington hoped would end the financial crisis that has gripped the nation. It dissolved into a verbal brawl in the Cabinet Room of the White House, urgent warnings from the president and pleas from a Treasury secretary who knelt before the House speaker and appealed for her support.

“If money isn’t loosened up [a trillion? That's a lot of loosening!], this sucker could go down,” President Bush declared Thursday as he watched the $700 billion bailout package fall apart before his eyes, according to one person in the room.

Heh. Apparently, Hank "Sucker" Paulson is going down!

Meanwhile, Bush is still at square one, the only way he knows how to "negotiate":

Mr. Bush was holding fast to the approach that Mr. Paulson has championed. “In case there’s any confusion,” Mr. Fratto, the deputy press secretary, wrote in an email message. “The president supports the core of Secretary Paulson’s plan.”

Good. Let the thing die. If we have to take a hit, let's take it now.

No votes yet


Submitted by jawbone on

Blame. He wants to make sure the blame gets spread to someone other than just BushCo.

The Paulson Fix Is In is not going to work--and Bush wants to say not only was it bipartisan, it was bi-administration. Heh. If it can be bipartisan, so very much the better. Heh.

Bush is not very bright, but he's canny. And sly. And vicious.

But, how 'bout them Recalcitrant Repubs? Hang in there, gang. Please keep that wrench in the spokes. You intend to be in office long after BushBoy is back in Dallas (or wherever), right?

Do not fuck over the public--and pull those spineless Dems along with you, OK?

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I'm just glad it got stopped. I'd rather nothing than this impending disaster. Although I fear that the only real result of this entire mess will be an even worse bill as the Democrats start giving everything up to gain Republican support for...the Republican Administration's bill. Only the Dems could get to the point where this mess looks like it's their idea.

What's really been annoying about this whole thing is that an awful lot of Democrats were willing to go along with some sort of plan that fucked over the country so long as the Republicans went along too so no one could be held accountable.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

the Federal Government will provide the insurance. Paul O'Neill (Bush's first Secretary of the Treasury - the one whe went and said those mean things about Dubya) was on Brian Lehrer on Wednesday talking about a plan that sounded very similar.

He had a number of interesting things to say (including a conversation he had with the CEO of Countrywide prior to the meltdown there) and the segment is definitely worth a listen. To my economically challenged brain he seemed to be making a great deal of sense -- probably why he didn't last very long.

ElizabethF's picture
Submitted by ElizabethF on

as Al Gores said in a speech at the GGI. He was talking about the push for more coal mining but fits here .

To The Streets!

Submitted by lambert on

Or did I miss an earlier one?

[ ] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

...still has some tricks up his sleeves. He knew he could get Nance, Harry and Obama to come to diffuse the pox that would have otherwise only been on his White house, and his White house only. All he had to do was play President for a day and get the others in the room to soil themselves by arriving.

Seriously, does no one realize that McCain and Bush are tag-teaming and trying to (and succeeding in) running circles around the Dems? McCain's running around displaying his trademark erractic behavior shouting in the wilderness at nothing. Obama is doing what he does best: getting along to get along and looking completely inconsequential and ineffective. And all Bush has to do is sit back, play president for a few hours of the day, and do what he does best: scare the shit out of the American people.

I'm hardly convinced that Democrats gain anything from this crisis that can't as quickly be lost. It'd have been different if they've have manuevered succesfully to the top of this, but they haven't, and all Republicans have to do is hold on and not let go.

We're all losers.

jackyt's picture
Submitted by jackyt on

In the last few weeks, Grover Norquist's stated ambition has been haunting my perceptions of the meltdown. What this "bail-out" would achieve, it seems to me, is strangling the U.S. government for generations to come, negating any ability of future incumbents to introduce anything like UHC... or infrastructure re-development... or support for green tech development... or anything remotely supportive of the common good.
It may be tin hat, but that's the way this looks to me: a very dark plot driving a deceptive farce. And just to complete the theatrical frame, The End is curtains for the American Dream. (I tried to type "American Democracy" but realized that has always been just a dream!)