Monday, October 06, 2008

Ignorance is bliss

It's nice to not be informed. It lets you go about your day happily unaware of what the hell is going on in the world.

It allows you to crack uninformed quips about how dumb Sarah Palin is. It makes it easy for you to say "Vote for Obama, he's totally different from every other politician."

Of course, while this obliviousness pretty much means you'll be completely wrong on all of your blustering ramblings, at least it means you'll be happy.

And I'm all for happiness, which is why I encourage you NOT to listen to the most recent episode of This American Life.

It's a follow up to an episode I mentioned a couple of months ago, in which Ira Glass, Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson explained how this global meltdown got started.

In this episode, they continue to discuss just what the hell is happening and how absolutely screwed we all are (hint: a $850 billion bailout is a squirt of piss compared to the estimated $60 TRILLION in outstanding credit default swaps).

So whatever you do, DON'T listen to this top notch reporting. Go back to your blog and write something snarky about how the Republicans screwed the country and if we only vote Democrats (more of the same) everything will be sugarplum fields and candy cane forests.

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  1. Oh! Thank you so much for this post. Nothing is more harmful to our country's future than the half informed voter!

  2. no matter who the next president is he will preside over the giant mess likely to start recovering by the end of the first 4 years. so the winner is likely to become jimmy carter 2

  3. You're trying to associate ignorant bliss with criticism of Palin - in this case that she's dumb.

    Not gonna work.

    Sarah Palin is a strange, no more than averagely intelligent conservative political hack and opportunitist from a very strange state, selected by McCain because he was forced to select a pro-life running mate against his own judgement.

    Our financial mess is bipartisan.

    Everybody has culpability, and the Republicans have a litle more culpability, because their mantra is "GOVMINT! GIT OUT DA WAY!"

    Well, that philisophy in this case didn't work so well. We democrats think in grays, not black and white - so we say "sometimes it makes sense to have the government step in, sometimes not".

    At least I say that as a Dem.

    And believe it or not, as a Democrat I believe in personal accountability, and it was irresponsible private transactions that are the root of this mess.

    (And the Commodities Futures Modernization Act that, on Jan 3, 2003 created unsupervised credit default instruments, sponsored by Phil Gramm)

    Let's say, Emaw, you were the chief executive of Ad/PR agency, and in an effort to boost earnings you asked your sales reps to get the business of companies with credit ratings below 500. After a while bad debt climbed through the roof, and bankruptcy was eminent. Who do the owners/Board blame? The government? The businesses who signed up as clients?


    They would and should blame the executive who made that decision, because he's paid to be smart.


    That's why they make all that money.

    A business client received services with no intention to pay? Shame on them, and secondary blame goes to them. But they had a credit score of 500.

    Shame on the high paid executives lending money, selling and buying instruments based upon such a flimsy basis.

    What happened to personal responsbility in the Republican Party?

    Blame Fannie Mae? WTF? Of course it created the environment for the crisis. A gun shop creates an environment for a crisis, but it's the people who use the guns in bad ways that actually create the crisis.

    And mortgages are FAR LESS LETHAL THAN GUNS, at least in the short term.

    And exactly how does Palin fit into all of this, other than being the figment of a brainwave originating in Sedona, AZ a month ago?

  4. Anyone else think "mainstream" needs his/her own blog?

    "Blame Fannie Mae? WTF? Of course it created the environment for the crisis. A gun shop creates an environment for a crisis, but it's the people who use the guns in bad ways that actually create the crisis."

    As a Republican, I have absolutely no problem taking responsibility for how I use the "guns" I happen upon in life. I cannot figure out WTF you're trying to say here...Fannie Mae created the environment for crisis like a gun shop creates an environment for crisis...but it's not the borrower's fault for fucking up with their money, even though it's the gun user's fault if they go out and shoot shit up? Huh?

    This is why analogies are just, using a word you like to use randomly, "strange." Say what you mean, man. Don't dance around it...just spit it out!

  5. Mainstream is always welcome to comment here. As is everybody.

    In fact, I'd like to say good for you Mainstream for taking my advice and NOT listening to the TAL programs and remaining happy.

    You rightly avoided the reporting and learning about the 100% bipartisan Clinton-era effort to pass legislation to NOT regulate the CDS markets.

    You should probably also avoid looking into the 1993 rewrite by W.J. Clinton and Robert Rubin of the Community Reinvestment Act rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Doing so might force you to acknowledge that this current and coming crisis was an inevitable and 100 percent bipartisan effort.

    By avoiding any kind of objective viewpoint, you will be able to continue treating American politics like its the NFL. You will be able to remain a cheerleader for your side, blindly rooting for whatever ill-conceived policies they put forth.

    And let's face it, that's what both Democrats and Republicans want you to do.

    As for your question about Palin's roll in all of this, well it's the same roll as Obama, McCain and Biden of course.

  6. "Mainstream is always welcome to comment here. As is everybody."

    Oh, that wasn't what I meant...sorry! I just think it's funny that Mainstream always has soooo muuuuch to say on everyone else's blog, but doesn't have one of their own. It's interesting to me, is all...

  7. In everybody's rush to partisanship, they lost my point:

    I said it was a bipartisan problem;

    but I also said the first people to blame are the people who made the loans to unqualified borrowers;

    and the second people to blame are the unqualified borrowers who took the loans.

    But Republicans seem content to blame "the system".

    Sound familiar?

    The misjudgements in private transactions are the root of the problem.


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