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Archive for March, 2009

Change

Let’s talk change, folks.

When I say change, I don’t mean the forces in our own lives – I mean the political buzzword that’s been adopted by supposed progressives nowadays. How about some word association? Be honest: what was the first thing that popped into your head when you saw the title of my post?

Was it Obama?

I admitted to liking Obama before, but when I looked over that post of mine for a refresher, I felt a bit uneasy about some of my claims, being that my politics have evolved in the year since that was written. Although my blog as been silent, I’ve always been reading news feeds from several different sources, and my skepticism continues to grow.

This morning, Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing brought up an excellent article from the New York Times , published in 1999, about the original legislation that deregulated the banking system. Please read it. It’s both hilarious and sobering in hindsight.

“The measure, considered by many the most important banking legislation in 66 years, was approved in the Senate by a vote of 90 to 8 and in the House tonight by 362 to 57. The bill will now be sent to the president, who is expected to sign it, aides said. It would become one of the most significant achievements this year by the White House and the Republicans leading the 106th Congress.”

“The decision to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 provoked dire warnings from a handful of dissenters that the deregulation of Wall Street would someday wreak havoc on the nation’s financial system.”

”I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930’s is true in 2010,” said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota.

The concerns that we will have a meltdown like 1929 are dramatically overblown,” said Senator Bob Kerrey, Democrat of Nebraska.
Ridiculous, isn’t it?  We can have a laugh at the “expert opinion” in 1999; perhaps some of us will look at this in a mindful light and take what passes for an “expert opinion” nowadays, too, with a grain of salt.

That’s all OK, but it’s not what I’m trying to point out (well, maybe a little bit).

This is the third paragraph of that article, if you haven’t already had a look at it:

”Today Congress voted to update the rules that have governed financial services since the Great Depression and replace them with a system for the 21st century,” Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers said. ”This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy.”

Lawrence H. Summers?

Larry Summers ?

As in, currently the appointed Director of Obama’s National Economic Council, that Larry Summers?  Yes!  The very same!

Wondering what else I could find out about him (aside from his infamous remarks as Harvard’s President that women may possibly have a lower aptitude than men for math and science), I did some research.

To quote :

“During the California energy crisis of 2000, then-Treasury Secretary Summers teamed with Alan Greenspan and Enron executive Kenneth Lay to lecture California Governor Gray Davis on the causes of the crisis, explaining that the problem was excessive government regulation. Under the advice of Kenneth Lay, Summers urged Davis to relax California’s environmental standards in order to reassure the markets.

Doesn’t that fill you with confidence?

Aren’t you glad things have changed since Clinton and Bush and all those crazies were in the White House?  Aren’t you glad new people with new ideas are running the country?

I know I am.

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