Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Sept. 14th, President Obama has now kept the nation safe from terrorist attack 3 days further into his Presidency than Bush did. In another anniversary of Bush’s unelected reign, Republican pundits this morning were congratulating the Bush Adm. for its skillful handling of banking collapse of one year ago. They went on about how close we came to all the ATMs not working and presumably the end of civilization. What they really did was just sweep it under the rug and pretend that huge lump wasn’t there.

That lump is still there and it’s getting hungry. So far in September another eight banks have gone under bringing the total this year to 91. These banks cost upwards of two billion to clean up but that doesn’t include about four billion in assets that the FDIC couldn’t sell. Made up of condo projects in the most over built bubble areas they will probably never be worth anything. The FDIC is estimating that banks are carrying at least a trillion in toxic assets on their books as if they were still worth something. They are not counting the home mortgages that are under water but so far making payments, at least until the next interest rate adjustment or wave of layoffs.

Republicans have been going around saying that the Klan rally on the Washington Mall drew a bigger crowd than the Presidential inauguration. According to the space they took up a generous estimate would be 60,000 and that included as many as third Obama supporters. With two million plus who came to see Obama’s swearing in, it would be reasonable estimate that at any given moment there were more than 60,000 people waiting in line at the porta johns to say a symbolic good-bye to Bush.
The problem with using space occupied to estimate the crowd is that it didn’t take into account all the scooters belonging to people who got them free from Medicare. You know the government health insurance they all want to do away with. Of course they could all have two or three scooters for what the government paid for each one. The Republicans long ago put in no bid contractors to supply Medical equipment and have so far blocked any reform.

Obama did something encouraging Friday by raising the tariff on cheap Chinese tires to 39% and this follows a similar move against imports of steel pipe last week. I mentioned this to a Reagan Democrat I met today and it took about five minutes for him to wrap his head around the idea that Obama wasn’t giving anything away.

The deathers will soon be riding scooters with American made tires. Not that they care as long as they keep getting their government checks and benefits.