Thursday, July 16, 2009

Isaiah Poole

Poole, normally a clear-eyed realist, recently wrote at the Campaign for America's Future blog, an essay "hoping for the best" from the latter-day, soi-disant "Pecora Commission" being created to address the egregious, criminal, probably (in a just world) treasonous activities in the financial sector, the collapse of which nearly (and we're not out of the woods yet, by a long chalk) precipitated the worst economic calamity of the last 75 years. Four Pukes and six Dims--led by former LA County treasurer Phil Angeleides--will compose the committee whose job it will be (allegedly, ostensibly) to reveal the mis-steps which led to, enabled, and precipitated the recent, disastrous "real-estate" bubble, and to name the mis-steppers who were accomplices in its development and responsible for its collapse. The original "Pecora Commission" was created by Roosevelt to assign "blame" for the Great Depression.

Named to lead the obstructionist claque is
Peter J. Wallison, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. One of his latest acts of intellectual dishonesty was an op-ed for The Washington Post attacking the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency as "elitist." Wallison doesn't appear to see anything wrong with the widespread practice, for example, of mortgage companies selling subprime loans steeped in obfuscatory language, and doesn't see why companies should be held responsible when consumers are taken in by the subterfuge. Wallison also authored an article for Bloomberg last year that brazenly argued that financial deregulation had nothing to do with causing the financial crisis—an extremist view that even former Federal Reserve Chairman and deregulation apostle Alan Greenspan abandoned.

Another Republican appointee, Keith Hennessey—who was the last White House chief economic adviser under President George W. Bush—was a chief architect of the very troubled Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and presumably has a vested interest in defending the Bush administration policies. Bill Thomas, the former Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, was a longtime, reliable protector of corporate interests in Congress who helped architect the Republican tax cuts that are now key drivers of the nation's deficit. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a top operative in Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, has advocated some populist positions on breaking up "too-big-to-fail" banks.
Poole's hopes for anything other than another "Lee Hamilton-led committee report" rest on Angeleides' a hard-nosed LA County pol, and the ever-evanescent progressive activists alliance. Thinnish gruel.

Poole seems to me possibly fatally anosognosiastic in his summary:
It is clear, though, that if progressive activists are not shining a bright light on this commission and its work, it could —despite the best intentions of people like Angelides— become nothing more than another stage for Washington blather, resulting in yet another pile of paper to collect dust on the policy shelves. With the damage that has been done by the policy missteps of people in both parties, we cannot afford, and cannot tolerate, having this commission be anything less than the springboard for bold changes in the financial sector.
Trust me, Isaiah, ain't nobody gonna be doing 'gainers' off the results of this kabuki-esque travesty, no matter the diligence of the panel or the comprehensiveness of the inquiry. The 6-4 composition of the group might be seen to be a guarantee of a certain partisan bearing, but that majority will function only to ensure publically 'bi-partisan' nature of the eventual whitewash. Nobody who matters is going to feel even a slap on the wrist, much less the sting of any lash other than ineffectual public opprobrium.

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