It's time to call these bailouts what they are -- corporate welfare. Obviously I don't speak as some free-market ideologue -- for one thing, free market ideologues don't think about the word "welfare" without also thinking about black people, and for another thing, these bailouts are as precise an inversion of free market ideology as you can imagine. No, I speak as a simple American sick and tired of the government showing me the back of its hand -- are corporations the only entities deserving of government help, which is really the people's help? A healthy society doesn't shovel money to undeserving corporations without even asking for better behavior; a healthy society restrains its most powerful members from destroying the commonwealth. I've long argued that aggressive government regulation (of which Robert Kuttner gives three examples here) would pre-empt a lot of these troubles. But unless you're hiding Coxey's Army in your basement, don't expect a happy ending. A CNN crawl informed me yesterday that Mr. Bush had cancelled appearances in two Southern states so he could monitor the state of the economy, which I don't think is good news. Only crazy people believe that George W. Bush cares about anything but his own hide now. And at least Herbert Hoover was a humanitarian; all this dope is good at is getting away with failure.
Also, from our "danger danger Will Robinson!" file, the News Dissector suggests that the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, which has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq, will be coming home in October to train "as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks," and (here's the kicker) "(t)hey may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control." Can you say domestic pacification, kids? If a Coxey's Army were to march on Washington in the wake of the financial armageddon we all think is coming, do you think Tha Bush Mobb would hesitate to call them "terrorists" and annihilate them? And these soldiers -- might they be a little shell-shocked from being used and abused in Mr. Bush's war? Maybe that is Mr. Bush's October Surprise, designed to remind the populace that you must vote Republican or die! and so deliver the White House to Senator McCain and Governor Palin. But, as usual, the more times we repeat it to our friends and family, the less likely such a thing will be. Just don't tell Dr. Smith.