LLR Pages

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Left Brings Back the Culture War

The biggest problem that the Left, including "libertarian" Real Time host Bill Maher, has is that it has played right into the GOP's hand of demonizing the culture war, which has always been a Republican talking point. Their recent attack of Sarah Palin on her family background (including Bill Maher's obtuse and not-so-funny smear conflating Palin's Down Syndrome-stricken infant son Trig with former Senator John Edwards because of his infamous affair with a campaign employee which he later admitted but denied being the father of her child) and claims that the "lack" of government regulations on Wall Street, corporations, and business in general is tantamount to "lawlessness" and all free markets are inherently evil are just moronic to the nth degree.

As of recent they have been idiotically bashing Palin's retort on Obama's alleged experience as a community organizer, saying, "Well, Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor." Come on now! Is this the best they can do in a politically-charged climate, thanks to the government media's over-hyped election season?

Do leftists really want to lose this race? In a predictable fashion the rightist pundits have berated the Left for this, asserting that the liberal talking point per se is highly strange, unnecessary, and implausible. But, as I seem to recall, the Right was doing the same thing when they deified Bush by comparing him and his troops in Iraq to Jesus and His sacrifices, all the while implying that the Democrats were equivalent to Satan. Apparently, as Anthony Gregory pointed out on the LRC blog, there is a clear-cut double standard here, like so many other culture wars.

My advice to the Left is this: please shut up! You're egging on the Right to moan about the culture war, which seems to be its favorite past time. Stop pushing it! Just stop for once!

Fed Finally Bails Out Wall Street

Following the recent fall of the government-subsidized financial industry, the Fed's claim that it wouldn't bail out Wall Street has been short-lived.

NEW YORK: Global markets plummeted on Monday after investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection, rival Merrill Lynch agreed to be taken over and the Federal Reserve threw a life line to the battered financial industry.

As a deepening crisis took new, bigger victims, The U.S. Federal Reserve said for the first time it would accept stocks in exchange for cash loans and 10 of the world's top banks agreed to establish a $70 billion (39 billion pound) emergency fund, with any one of them able to tap up to a third of that.

As always, the government (and the Fed is a big part of it) will willingly continue to process worthless fiat called "money" and disperse loans in its guise. Message to Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke: the problem has nothing to do with liquidity but has everything to do with colossal malinvestments that need to be liquidated.

Shattered AIG

In the wake of the fall of Wall Street's banks, the American International Group (AIG), this ridiculously government-leveraged insurance firm, has been downgraded by Moody's Investor Service from Aa3 to A2 and Standard & Poor's from AA- to A-.

Bloomberg, which reported on this latest move, also points out:

S&P said it cut the rating of the largest U.S. insurer by assets because of a "combination of reduced flexibility in meeting additional collateral needs and concerns over increasing residential mortgage-related losses."

S&P also lowered AIG's short-term counterparty credit rating by two levels to A-2 from the top A-1+ rating, and cut its counterparty credit and financial strength ratings on most of AIG's insurance operating subsidiaries by three notches to A+ from AA+. The ratings remain on watch for a possible further downgrade, S&P said.

I think S&P's rating is highly unrealistic, simply because it's far too moderate. Moody's is somewhat more sensible than S&P's. Here's my rating for AIG: SHATTERED. That seriously destroys the illusion that the government, especially the Fed, can "save" free enterprise. Considering Leviathan and the Fed are not bailing out Merrill Lynch and the Lehman Brothers (or at least those organizations say they won't do it, at least not directly), the people who had those accounts with those banks or had FDIC securants and would have otherwise lost their deposits would have the Fed create that money out of thin air and deposit it into another bank, despite the fact that money had already been created out of thin air in the first place. Interestingly enough, the FDIC has already approached the Treasury and said they need more money because they can't insure all the deposits.

This political and financial quagmire shows the reality of the damage done by the Greenspan-Bernanke boom. How exciting it is to see the Fed and the Treasury being helpless to "save" their biggest subsidized pals!