THE TEETERING CREDIT EDIFICE

‘The superstructure of credit is now too vast for the foundation. It must be gradually brought within more reasonable dimensions or it will tumble.’

Yes? No?

I put that in quotes but thought it could be fun to give you a little time to consider the source.

(Democrat? Republican?)

A GRAND OLD PARTY INDEED

‘This is not about morality – this is about winning,’ says Allen Raymond, GOP Consultant, in his new book, How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative. Publisher’s Weekly: ‘Raymond achieved some notoriety when he plead guilty in federal court to jamming Connecticut phone lines in a 2002 Democratic get-out-the-vote effort – small potatoes compared to what he had gotten away with for more than a decade, vividly and hilariously chronicled in this outrageous career retrospective. For 13 years, Raymond worked his way up the ranks of GOP operatives by smearing opponents and worse in campaigns across the country. . .’

For balance, you might also want to pick up, Confessions of a Political Hitman: My Secret Life of Scandal, Corruption, Hypocrisy and Dirty Attacks That Decide Who Gets Elected (and Who Doesn’t) by Stephen Marks, another Republican operative. Publisher’s Weekly: ‘Marks’s tone and language drip with sleaze heightened by passages about his womanizing. In fact, that and often poor treatment of candidates and staff members might lead readers to conclude that Marks fell lower than his clients. Marks has written an important book that fills a gap in the popular literature about American politics, but it is not a pleasant read.’

Okay, so that’s not exactly balance. But in recent years – say, from Nixon’s attempt to bug Democratic National Committee headquarters through the subversion of the 2000 election by people like Katherine Harris, who supervised the process even as she served as Florida co-chair of the Bush campaign . . . and the Swiftboating in 2004 . . . and the politicization of the Justice Department to subvert the 2006 elections (ultimately firing 9 U.S. Attorneys who had the integrity not to play along) – I think the Republicans really dominate this field. And my preference would be to see us never give them any competition. (The occasional indictment might be in order, however.)

SO? HAVE THEY PARDONED GOVERNOR SIEGELMAN?

Speaking of subverting Justice, did you find time to watch the ’60 Minutes’ report I wrote about a couple of weeks ago? Every day that goes by without this man being released from prison with an apology digs the hole of Republican dishonor deeper. If that sounds pompous or sanctimonious, you haven’t watched the report.

Has no one in the White House a television set?

UPSIDE DOWN TEXT

If I only I knew the html command for ‘upside down’ text, this would be showing up like the answers to the brain teasers in My Weekly Reader.

Anyway, the source of the market commentary at the top of the page was neither Democrat nor Republican but Federalist – yes, I am still listening to the life of Alexander Hamilton – and he wrote those words, as Treasury Secretary, to William Seton of the Bank of New York in 1792 on the brink of a financial panic. Some people were ruined (perhaps most notably a wealthy, prominent friend of Hamilton and junior founding father named William Duer who spent the next seven years – and then died – in debtor’s prison), but Hamilton engineered some smart psychology-boosting market transactions and our fledgling nation righted itself. The situation today is 10,000 times more complex; but the basic idea may be somewhat the same.

 

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