Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Money Talks

I went to a gathering of liberal bloggers in Seattle last night. They were STILL talking about Sarah Palin. She is so over.

The financial collapse on Wall Street is bad for all of us, but it sure makes Obama looks good. The swing voters, the independents, are thinking about their money today -- forget Sarah.

Money talks -- it's screaming.

What do you know about investment banking and hedge funds? Probably as much as I do. But surely, if they accept the bailout money from the federal government, then they must likewise accept sterner regulation.

Now, you and I COULD understand the arcane workings of Wall Street if we put our minds to it, and it might be necessary for us to study this problem in a serious way, so let's get off the lipstick wars.

McCain's seat of the pants style will not serve, but Obama's professorial style inspires trust. Competence is not a virtue, or the highest good, but it does come into play at this point --- a calm, deliberate manner, a sorting out, a "taking stock."

ONE MORE DIG. All right, I can make one more comment about Sarah Palin. I live in the country where a gun-totin' redneck mama is a common sight. You city folks might get scared the first time you meet one, but I've seen them around for years. I just go Fffft !

CHICAGO RULES. Obama is in league with the power players of Chicago politics, especially His Honor, Mayor Richard Dailey. Chicago Rules are as follows: "Do unto others before they get a chance to do unto you." Obama's friendly critics have urged him to talk tougher, but he's already there. Do not underestimate Obama's steel.

MISERY ON THE GULF COAST. My attention has been on Chambers County, a lightly populated area near Galveston, but on the other side of Trinity Bay. Little hamlets in the vast coastal wetlands -- Double Bayou, Oak Island, High Island -- no longer exist. Hundred of vacation homes on the Bolivar Peninsula are destroyed. I was thinking that maybe people just can't live there anymore -- it's too dangerous, it's too expensive for relief to help them out over and over again.

But that would be very hypocritical for me -- I live on Fir Island, a diked and drained farming territory fronting on Skagit Bay -- plum at sea level. If the dike wasn't there, I'd be standing in a foot of water right now -- on a calm day. It's true we don't get hurricanes this way. But theSkagit River could drown this island anytime it chooses. It's true that not many people live on the island and that's good, but the farm land is so valuable and important. When the whole island flooded in 1991, many homes were damaged, but the farmland itself was quickly restored to productive use.

On the Gulf Coast, Houston reports a morning temperature of 67 degrees -- unusually cool for this time of year, and a great relief for thousands of people living without electricity or air conditioning. I hope they make it.

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