As we come to a time in the history of America where the two most common beliefs are that you can tell when a Republican is lying if his or her lips are moving, and that all Wall Street financiers should be horsewhipped to within an inch of their lives on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange, isn’t it comforting to know that Dubya II McCain’s top economic advisors are Phil Gramm and Carly Fiorina?
Yes, the same Phil Gramm who recently called American citizens “whiners” and said we were just experiencing a “mental” recession as the bottom fell out of the US economy, and who as a senator pushed through deregulation of the financial institutions we taxpayers are now bailing out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars (!!!!) but that benefited him and his wife. And the same Carly Fiorina, who as chair and CEO of Hewlett Packard nearly ran it into the ground, but after being forced out walked away with $21 million in severance pay. Yeah, the Republicans really care about you, Mr. and Mrs. America.
On the other side of the coin, while the economy-challenged McCain was listening attentively to Phil and Carly, here’s what Barack Obama was saying back on March 27, as noted by Robert Scheer in his September 16 Truthdig column, “Earth to McCain: It’s a Crisis.”
[Obama wasn’t listening to Robert Rubin] when Obama delivered his main economic speech blaming for the meltdown the Gramm deregulation that Rubin had helped make law. Referring to the repeal of the Depression-era regulations, Obama stated all too correctly: “Unfortunately, instead of establishing a 21st century regulatory framework, we simply dismantled the old one — aided by a legal but corrupt bargain in which campaign money all too often shaped policy and watered down oversight. In doing so, we encouraged a winner-take-all, anything-goes environment that helped foster devastating dislocations in our economy.”
That was six months ago, when someone actually saw this horror show coming, and knew why. But the “fundamentals of our economy are strong,” right, Senator McClueless? We’re glad we have the brains of Sarah Palin backing you up, along with Gramm and Fiorina. God help us.
Straight from NOLA
P+J recently praised Ian McNulty’s new book, Season of Night, a post-Katrina memoir about rebuilding a life in the Crescent City. Now he will be appearing with P+J’s guardian angel of the arts, Judith Swift, at the Gamm Theatre, on October 6 at 7 pm, where the company’s resident director will give the public a first look at a new play she’s developing about agencies and people caught up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In this staged reading, based on more than 90 interviews with Katrina survivors from New Orleans and surrounding parishes, Straight Talk: The NOLA Project “gives voice to the voiceless in all of their pain, suffering, steadfast determination and joy.” And as its playwright Ms. Swift informs us, “And through it all, New Orleanians echo the same refrain: ‘We feel betrayed.’ ”