First Barney Frank, in response to former investment banker and current Bush SEC chair Henry Paulson’s whining about how unfaaaaair it was to impose any conditions on his efforts to bail out his buddies, gave Paulie Walnuts the Soprano treatment: “ ‘Hank says it’s a poison pill,’ Frank said. ‘I say I don’t think it’s very patriotic for someone to not give up his golden parachute when we’re trying to save the markets.’ ”
Then Barack Obama told Paulson what he could do with his proposed trillion-dollar payoff to bad bankers who rate Club Fed berths more than they do golden parachutes from the Treasury.
Now Nancy Pelosi’s joined in with a dope-slap to Paulson: “We will not simply hand over a $700 billion blank check to Wall Street and hope for a better outcome. Democrats will act responsibly to insulate Main Street from Wall Street."
Heck, it looks like even the press is starting to show some evidence of calcium deposits in their bones. Check out the opening graf of this story on Paulson by McClatchy’s Kevin G. Hall: "Making the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson repeatedly said today’s financial problems were long in the making. He should know. He was part of the Gold Rush that has brought the global financial system to the brink of collapse." Wow! The lede, for once, is front and center, as it should be.
In keeping with his tradition of following where Obama leads — and as a way to both put fake distance between himself and Bush as well as to bury news about things like his campaign manager Rick Davis’ getting $2 million over five years in lobbyist salary from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so that he’d convince McCain to go easy on them — McCain is now suddenly pretending he doesn’t like Paulson, either, by expressing "serious concerns" and calling for the formation, according to his campaign staff, of a "high-level oversight board" staffed with famous rich people. Um, John, we already have one of those, and it comes equipped with regulatory teeth. It’s called "Congress". McCain’s true attitude is shown in his utter refusal to admit that his longtime backing of deregulation wasn’t a factor in the financial fracas occurring now. Nice try, John, but thanks for playing! We have some lovely parting gifts for you.