Power Grab

The AP has come out with a story that provides details showing that Treasury Secretary Paulson “forced” at least nine banks to accept TARP funds. The most damning pieces of evidence are meeting documents “obtained and released by Judicial Watch, a nonpartisan educational foundation, the documents revealed “talking points” used by former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during the October 13 meeting between federal officials and the executives that stressed the investments would be required ‘in any circumstance,’ whether the banks found them appealing or not.”

Two thoughts immediately spring to mind after reading the article.

First, this kind of strong-arm power grab should make people think twice when they start talking about wanting more regulation in the private sector. I’ve been accused by a friend of acting as if we can have a world where the free market works perfectly and unfettered without consequences. I don’t believe that, but I do believe that the free market is the best system we have and that although some regulation is necessary, in general, the less regulation the better. If the TARP and housing bust situations have nothing else to teach us, they at least show us that government is just as corrupt and greedy, if not more so, than private actors in the free market.

My second thought could best be described as disappointment. It it no secret that I have admired George W Bush. I have always thought that history would be kind to him for exactly the reason the present hasn’t been. He dealt with a situation that was entirely new and foreign to our nation. He had to decide how to prosecute a unconventional war against not another nation, but rather, several groups that arguably don’t even believe that nation-states should exist and are bent on nothing less than the destruction of the Western way of life. But now, even if history does vindicate his positions on the war on terror, I don’t see how it can vindicate the fact that it appears that GWB, a Republican, began the largest expansion of the Federal Government into the private sector that our country has ever seen. I remember at the time of the Auto Bailouts and when TARP was being debated, GWB came out and said something like, I had to set aside my free market principles for the good of the country because we couldn’t let these businesses fail. Well first off I call BS on that. There are no businesses too important to fail. And really if we had just refused to help these companies and let them hash things out in bankruptcy court their road to recovery would be all the more speedy. Secondly, principles aren’t very principled if you can set them aside. And if you have to set them aside for the “good of the country” maybe they aren’t the principles you should be subscribing to in the first place. I don’t know to what extent Bush knew what Paulson was doing. But it seems he allowed himself to be flim-flammed by Paulson and Bernanke into agreeing to all this. For me that will forever taint my otherwise high opinion of him.

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The Myth Of Impartiality – Part II

At the time of the “Tea Parties” (which I was not for) I wrote my original Myth of Impartiality post that commented on the deplorable behavior of Susan Roesgen of CNN.

Well here’s a more subtle example (written about the Catholic response to Obama’s invitation to Notre Dame) of the media bias that Conservatives have to deal with on a daily basis.

Our Car-Salesman-In-Chief

I don’t know why, but more than anything else Obama’s mucking about in the Auto industry bothers me more than his other follies. George Will has some insightful commentary (as is all his commentary) on this particular topic.

I definitely agree with his injunction toward the end, that if you’re looking for a car and want to buy American, buy a car from the Ford Motor Co. who have thus far avoided jumping into all these shenanigans with our current Car-Salesman-in-Chief.

Magnificent Monday Quotes – Anglosphere Edition

Since I’m currently reading The Decline and Fall of the British Empire, 1781-1997 by Piers Brendon, I thought that I would do a post of quotes about and from the Anglosphere.

“God bless America. God save the Queen. God defend New Zealand and thank Christ for Australia.”– Russell Crowe

“Seldom have so few done so much for so many” – Winston Churchill

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will Lose its freedom: and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that, too.” – William Somerset Maugham

“None can love freedom heartily but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license.” – John Milton

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” – Thomas Paine

Breathes there the man with soul so dead

Who never to himself hath said,

This is my own, my native land!

Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d

As home his footsteps he hath turn’d

From wandering on a foreign strand?

Sir Walter Scott

Our hearts where they rocked our cradle,

Our love where we spent our toil,

And our faith, and our hope, and our honor,

We pledge to our native soil.

God gave all men all earth to love,

But since our hearts are small,

Ordained for each one spot should prove

Beloved over all.

Rudyard Kipling