The Blue Raccoon

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Where's Matthew Lesko when you need him?
Uncle Sam should be wearing the question-mark suit

Dressed as Uncle Sam, Miko Sloper holds a sign that reads "No Bailout" while standing in front of the U.S. Capitol October 1, 2008 in Washington, DC. Later, the U.S. Senate voted on a revised version of the financial rescue plan that failed to pass in the House of Representatives on September 29. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America) via

You know Matthew Lesko because you've been annoyed by him. His infomercials have popped up at odd hours in the middle of your movie or comedy show for years. He's the question mark guy who wants you to find ways to have the government pay you to open an ice cream store, or go mountain climbing, and so forth.

Well, now, all of Wall Street is going the Lesko route. See his version of the economic stimulus package here.

You can otherwise see him do his thing, here.

This is what it has coming to: hucksterism has eaten its own head and swallowed the country whole.

And so we've come to the vaunted Biden-Palin debate, in a rigged set up bought and paid for by the corporate-owned Presidentail Debates Commission, which sounds like a quasi-government office, but isn't. Wonder why you don't hear about the non-partisan, non-profit League of Women Voters anymore?

The debates aren't debates. They are informercials -- just like Lesko.

Quoting Fred Barnes from (of all places) the Weekly Standard online...

"There aren’t many outfits as arrogant, self-important, and aggrandizing as the unelected Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), sponsor of tonight’s debate between Barack Obama and John McCain. When John McCain said Wednesday the debate might have to be delayed so he could work on the financial bailout, the commission responded, in effect, “Sorry, John, the debate must go on, whether or not financial markets collapse. The debate is more important.”

That was just the latest example of high-handedness by the commission, which has hijacked the debates from the candidates, the campaigns, and the news media. The commission picked the sites for the debates (three presidential, one vice presidential) and charged the colleges involved $1.5 million for the honor. Then CPD announced the moderators for each debate without consulting with Obama or McCain campaigns or even informing them ahead of time.


The CPB took over the debates in 1987 after the League of Women Voters was sacked as the sponsor. The league had often irritated the campaigns, especially the campaign of President Carter in 1980. Carter aides privately mocked the league as “the plague of women voters” and “the league of women vultures.”

The commission ran the show in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004. One of the biggest complaints this year was the selection of sites in Mississippi, Tennessee, and New York--not battleground states..."

Or, from the opposite extreme, Ralph Nader:

"The debates are controlled by the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates, a private corporation which was created by the Democratic and Republican Parties in 1987.

The Commission is headed by Frank Fahrenkopf -- the former head of the Republican National Committee, and Paul Kirk -- the former head of Democratic National Committee.

Fahrenkopf is a lobbyist for gambling interests, Kirk for pharmaceutical companies.

Debate sponsors have included Anheuser-Busch, Phillip Morris, Ford Motor Co., Yahoo Inc., 3Com, among other companies who gave soft money to the two parties’ national committees.

In 2000, some in the press dubbed the debates as the “Anheuser-Bush-Gore” debates.

In a memo by the CPD, the avowed goal for forming the commission was to "strengthen the two parties."

In 1988, the Commission seized control of the debates from the League of Women Voters.

The League had a history of allowing third party candidates to participate in the debates. In 1980 the League invited Congressman John Anderson to join Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in the debates.

Anderson was given a boost from the public debates. At one point the polls had him at 21%. He won 7% of the vote."

You can read more here.

Snagged from The Daily Pitchfork.

One Good Aspect of Financial Crisis News Reporting

This is Michelle Caruso-Cabrera who reports on money matters for CNBC. Say her name soft, and it's like purring, say it aloud, and it's like proclaiming love for a Latinate poet.

Here she is, wearing red, in the hope of attracting a bull market.

Watching her explain complicated market gyrations in her exuberant and illustrative manner reminds me of having a debate with this girl you with whom somehow you managed to finesse a date but won't be able to keep dating because she's going places you're not. There would be a pitcher of beer, and she should be explaining in terms you could understand complicated financial matters while gesturing with a chip full of nachos. You just love watching especially when she's all fired up with a topic for which she possesses such passion and knowledge.

She's much better looking than that bald, bearded yelling guy, and probably knows more, too. And, below, giving us the business. Both images from reportercaps.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home