Let’s Parse: Backin’ the Bailout

by |
09/29/2008 10:53 AM |

Hey, ya’ll, have you nursed your debate hangovers yet?! Good, because it’s time to talk about a $700 billion rescue plan. The Times‘s David M. Herszenhorn and Carl Huse had the story as it developed on Sunday, and in Let’s Parse, I’ll flip my shit at some of their hard-won quotes and newsy nuggets. Long live shoe-leather reporting!


"If we don’t pass it, we shouldn’t be a Congress," Mr. Gregg said Sunday afternoon.

That’s sort of the equivalent of saying, “If you don’t like Pavement, you don’t like music.” Come on, guy. Not everyone’s a Malkmus fan.

"This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward
with," Mr. McCain said in an interview on ABC’s "This Week." "The
option of doing nothing is simply not an option."

Sounds like someone’s super cranky after waking up from his weekend-long nap!

Mr. Obama, in a statement, said: "When taxpayers are asked to take such
an extraordinary step because of the irresponsibility of a relative
few, it is not a cause for celebration. But this step is necessary."

What, you mean people didn’t throw Greatest Depression parties in the
1920s? They should have! We’re all totally stoked about it in the 2008!

Saturday’s intense negotiating effort followed a tumultuous week,
including a contentious meeting at the White House with President Bush
and the two presidential candidates.

That meeting had moments of
drama, including a blunt warning by President Bush. "If money isn’t
loosened up, this sucker could go down," he said. It ended with angry
recriminations after House Republicans scotched a near-agreement from
earlier in the day.

Weee! It’s like Bush is Leonardo DiCaprio, the Titantic is America, and
Iraq is Rose. He’ll never let go! Awww. Wait, did Mo-Do already
write that column
?

Mr. Paulson scrambled to revive the talks, and they resumed almost immediately.

The real question is: did he scramble ON BENDED KNEE? Because that’s pretty much how I picture him doing absolutely everything from now on. But get your minds out of the gutter.

Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the lead negotiator for the House Democrats, said that there was no expectation of making anyone smile.

Aides described a tense meeting on Saturday afternoon that included Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, shouting at Mr. Paulson about executive pay caps.

Outside,
stunned tourists visiting the Capitol watched as camera operators
shoved one another to get footage of lawmakers talking outside of the
meeting room.

At one point, when too much information was leaking
out, staff members’ BlackBerrys were confiscated and collected in a
trash bin.

They must pass out the B-berrys like M&Ms on the Hill. Those poor, befuddled tourists, just trying to learn a little bit about What Makes America Great.

The money will disbursed in parts, with an initial $250 billion to
get the rescue effort under way, followed by another $100 billion upon
a report by Mr. Bush to Congress.

The president could then
request the balance of $350 billion at any time. If Congress
disapproved, it would have to act within 15 days to deny the Treasury
the money.

Lulz! Yep, definitely not “happy” about this. Cat pictures, anyone?

In a brief speech on the Senate floor, Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat
of North Dakota, said: "It’s not just going to be Wall Street. The
chairman of the Federal Reserve has told us if the credit lockup
continues, three million to four million Americans will lose their jobs
in the next six months."

Steal all your office supplies NOW. But…

The ultimate cost of the rescue plan to
taxpayers is virtually impossible to know. Because the government would
be buying assets of value — potentially worth much more than the
government will pay for them — there is even a chance the rescue effort
would eventually return a profit.

Does this mean we all get post-bailout stimulus checks?