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Wednesday, September 24, 2008


paulson plan support waning

naked capitalism passes on the reportage of weak and dissipating support on capitol hill for the paulson plan.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling Democrats that she will not support President Bush's $700 billion bailout of the financial sector unless there is significant Republican support for the controversial plan. ...

Pelosi (D-Calif.) has effectively sent the message that if she is going to jump off a cliff to rescue Wall Street, she wants House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and George W. Bush holding her hands when she leaps. ...

{But] It's hard to find even one Republican ready to publicly pledge his or her vote. Democratic leaders are speculating that GOP leaders can count on no more than 40 votes. A Republican aide said if Pelosi needs a Republican majority to bring it to the floor, she won't be bringing it to the floor.

Perhaps sensing the trouble, Vice President Dick Cheney trekked to Capitol Hill to lobby his fellow Republicans for the plan.

But the meeting brought no public converts. Republicans leaving the hour-and-a-half-long meeting said Cheney was told that the plan lacked the details they needed.

Things don't look much better on the Democratic side, though some members are starting to think about what they might ask for in exchange for the vote. Reid predicted that Democrats will be ready to approve it as long as there is adequate oversight, executive pay limits and accountability.

one of the hazards of lacking effective leadership in the lame-duck white house -- really, who cares about cheney now, so close to the end of a widely loathed administration?

there's a confluence of reasons, but amidst the fray congresspersons must weigh the outpouring of man-in-the-street opposition to what many perceive (rightfully) to be both inordinately geared for the benefit of risk capital and a naked power grab by the imperial presidency. and not a little schadenfreude colors the very righteous anger of main street americans, as evidenced in rep. kaptur's rant. we are very close to the first tuesday in november, and support for a wildly unpopular bill will not be forgotten between then and now.

but it won't go down without the administration's best efforts, and this is why president bush will be addressing the nation this evening. i would count on having the crap scared out of you regardless of what bert ely thinks.

i still think something gets passed -- the contingent liability in doing nothing could be spectacular.

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