Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html en-gb 30 Sun 21 Dec 2014 21:43:01 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html dennisjunior1 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=99#comment165 It is true, that Americans are usually taking serious. Thu 25 Dec 2008 04:01:33 GMT+1 jcputn5349 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=98#comment164 What I saw was Bush and Paulson needed McCain's base to support the bill. I heard on the radio Paulson called Graham, a friend of McCain, and asked Graham to speak to McCain about supporting the Paulson Plan. As you know, McCain did not. But, he didn't run away from dealing with the problem, either. He's a senator. He has responsibility to his constituents from his home state. Q: How [Gingrich] can oppose the deal but approve of McCain's effort to get it passed is beyond me, though. A: Gingrich opposed the two-page Paulson Plan. Republicans had a rare opportunity to add their ideas to a house bill. Gingrich was hoping one or two of those ideas would accidentally stick to the bill. It's going to pass with or without. As you know, Dems in the house are the majority. Gingrich may oppose the final draft. He'll give us his opinion, no doubt. We're lucky to have him. What is beyond me is why Democrats (Barney Frank, Dodd, Pelosi, Reid, and other names who worked on the bail-out bill) resisted the warnings of a housing meltdown from McCain and certain other Republicans earlier this decade. McCain said in 2002 (see Congressional record) "If congress does not act [on Freddie and Fannie], the American taxpayer will continue to be exposed to enormous risks..." Dems circled the wagons around Freddie and Fannie. Obama is the number two recipient of campaign contributions from them. Dodd is number one. Eventually, transparency catches up because this is NOT Cuba.Your comments about American exceptionalism are insulting, as you intended. But, you say more about yourself than us. You mention your form of government moves too quickly. People here do complain sometimes about how slow Congress, and every other level of government, moves. I've heard it from time to time all my life. One side desperately wants speed bumps in the neighborhood because they have small children, and the other side opposes them because it would hinder ambulances on their way to the elderly. As you say, change is slow. It is also confrontational. But, it's messy for good reason and was purposely structured that way. Three years later, the neighborhood has a new stop sign, more speeding tickets, and a new park for the kids. You might even say, we are exceptionally messy.Nope, self-government is not a burden, it is a personal responsibility no different from paying your bills on time. Mon 29 Sep 2008 02:21:50 GMT+1 frostysunnygirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=98#comment163 Is there a real difference between the notion of exceptionalism and the notion of Uebermensch? (I am not German.) Sat 27 Sep 2008 07:16:57 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=97#comment162 #142Candy,Fridays are for firearms. No running today, the only day I skip.=) But thanks, today was better than yesterday.Relaxed Sam Sat 27 Sep 2008 00:47:09 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=96#comment161 #159. allmymarbles: "Ease of reading was a prime concern with designers of type faces. That is why we have the serif."Surely you mean the sans-serif - without any decoration - as this blog is presented. I disagree with you both about paragraph breaks - a new paragraph is usually shown by an indentation on the following line, not by a space of one or more lines. I have seen both - the space/s plus the indented line. Overkill I think! Similarly, fourteen paragraphs, as in #134, is rather too much of a good thing.I could have put a break between the first and second sentences of the above paragraph, but I trust that you and Ed are capable of reading it without a problem. I suppose the size of one's computer monitor must make a difference; I use a rather large iMac, but for those using something smaller I recognize that consequently the text may be harder to read. I have no idea what this looks like on another screen or with another browser.Despite the foregoing (new subject!) we are on the same page with regard to the election and I feel sure you will both have an opinion about tonight's 'debate'. I look forward to reading them on another thread. Sat 27 Sep 2008 00:15:16 GMT+1 chitlins http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=96#comment160 148, Joe sends his regards Ed. I think Joe spent most of his best years in the military where paragraph breaks were a must if you wanted anything read, considered and acted upon and one sentence paragraphs were a death sentence. I think the style is also recommended by most modern style guides for writers. James Joyce is no longer considered modern.BTW, Medicare was passed in 1965 as someone else commented. Joe has a piece that admits he may not have all the exact facts straight as he has been writing in haste from memory and that he may well be attacked by those who dodge the issues by attacking the messengers. Such is the state of the world. We entertain ourselves with delusions of our own brilliance while ignoring the fact a pyre has been lit at our feet. However, this is the third such cycle Joe has seen and his memory is probably better than most text books, or at least those who try to teach from them. Age does have its rewards. One is knowing that at some point the cycle ends.JAK, Salaam, Regards, etc.chitlins Sat 27 Sep 2008 00:00:41 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=95#comment159 150, Ed.Amen. I love paragraph breaks. Fri 26 Sep 2008 22:26:56 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=95#comment158 155, David.I would disagree with your teacher. Although surely a change in tone, or subject, or approach would suggest a new paragraph, we should not discount ease in reading. I am sure you have seen a post that runs uninterrupted by any break and your eyes have bugged. It is hard to process. (You might even decide not to read it.) Ease of reading was a prime concern with designers of type faces. That is why we have the serif.It is the business of rules meant to be broken. For instance you have written a sentence that for some reason is hard to read. Often it just needs a comma, although there is no specific rule to cover it. Fri 26 Sep 2008 22:24:33 GMT+1 LadyBobbieBea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=94#comment157 Nos. 156 and 157Stecha,Thank you! I used to be so blissful in my ignorance, now I, like a lot of other Americans, am sickened with my new found knowledge and understanding!b Fri 26 Sep 2008 21:59:07 GMT+1 stecha http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=93#comment156 oops not 150% profit 100 dollars turns into 150 dollars which is not a 150% profit :P Fri 26 Sep 2008 19:19:29 GMT+1 stecha http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=93#comment155 LadyBobbieBeaNo laws were broken, and it is the regulations that caused the problem.The U.S. government created "Safety Nets" for the corporations. These Safety Nets gave the banks the chance to give out very risky loans, sometimes loans they knew the people could never pay. The way the credit system works in the U.S. the loaners are almost always guaranteed to get their money even if the person defaults.In fact, many creditors purposely seek out people with bad credit or a bankruptcy. The reason for this is after 180 days a default loan is "covered" through tax deductions and they can sell the debt to someone else as a "charge off". So they get their money plus make an additional profit by selling the debt, then the people who bought the debt can make a profit as well. Usually earning about 150% profit off of a loan which was never paid between the two companies.In the end it is the government who messed everything up (as usual) and now it is seeking to create a massive safety net with these bailouts. Fri 26 Sep 2008 18:47:14 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=92#comment154 #150. Ed Iglehart: "Although Chitlins might have seemed a bit longwinded, he isn't 'langweilig' in the sense of 'boring'" Tedious perhaps?I've always considered German to be a most unfortunate language since English has so many more descriptive words. As I recall, even you have suggested that such long pieces belong to another blog. As for paragraph breaks (and I note the sarcasm) I was taught (in England) that such breaks should come with a change of subject - not for the visual convenience of the reader.#141. allmymarbles - Seconded!! Fri 26 Sep 2008 16:43:31 GMT+1 LadyBobbieBea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=92#comment153 Another blog I was reading had a poster who compared the failed bank executives to Enron executives. He didn't expand on his comparison, only suggested none should receive compensation, but should be fired and then prosecuted.Have laws been broken or did deregulation allow freedom for irresponsibility? I can think of them as crooks, but are they really?Are they being protected from the consequences of their actions or inactions?How much protection does the corporate veil offer in such situations? Is there any fear that their personal assets will be seized?Thanks,b Fri 26 Sep 2008 16:13:05 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=91#comment152 #149LOL. Thanks Ed. One of my guys is looking at that. We still can't figure out the chemistry . . . .Academic Sam Fri 26 Sep 2008 14:52:08 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=90#comment151 #111 He's so not afraid he won'tshow up and face him?Helpful Sam Fri 26 Sep 2008 14:51:15 GMT+1 chitlins http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=90#comment150 # "I can't see that a change would be in the least beneficial."1. An insufferable government would not be allowed to continue unabated.2. The perverting influence of corporate campaign contributions might be blunted because there would be hundreds that must be bought and not just two corrupt parties.3. Most importantly, the voice of the people might actually be heard. Today, 80 percent or more of America’s electorate is ignored to cater to the special interests who buy the winner. Consequently, we can’t develop a coherent policy on anything and the frustration of the average American has just about reached the point of violent boil over.As I said, there are many options to consider. I simply suggested a parliamentary option might be the first one. Regardless, I think our State governors should consider calling a constitutional convention to restore democracy and the rule of law in America. Our political system today is dead and its rot is infecting the entire world. Fri 26 Sep 2008 13:51:17 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=89#comment149 David, lthough Chitlins might have seemed a bit longwinded, he isn't 'langweilig' in the sense of 'boring' and, at least, he didn't need to be told the value of paragraph breaks, like some I might mention.Salaam, etc.ed Fri 26 Sep 2008 10:42:28 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=89#comment148 Sam, Thanks so much for doing the honourable thing and apologising to JohnAAA. Sometimes it's best to admit one's mistakes.If you do get involved with EPRIDA, I'm sure we can agree a modest finder's fee - perhaps in Liffey WaterSlainte!ed Fri 26 Sep 2008 10:39:20 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=88#comment147 Chitlins, Right On! And my kind regards to Joe, too.Salaam, etc.ed Fri 26 Sep 2008 10:26:01 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=87#comment146 Goleoo, "We are all afraid, but you forget, this has not happened before. "Ah, but it has. Many times.Salaam, etc.ed Fri 26 Sep 2008 10:12:29 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=87#comment145 Sam, "Ironic given that McCain wants to put Buffet on an 'impartial panel' to handle the bail out. I'd be impartial too if I had $60bn in the market. To be fair to Buffet, he'd probably say 'NFW'"Possibly Buffett made his investment to clearly disqualify himself? A very cannie man.Remindered Fri 26 Sep 2008 10:05:34 GMT+1 Ed Iglehart http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=86#comment144 Threnodio, "When it comes to fixing stuff, nobody does it better than the guys who screwed it in the first place."This may be an old saying, but in this case, I have my doubts, and the conflicts of interest are manifest.Salaam, etc.ed Fri 26 Sep 2008 09:43:55 GMT+1 tuairimiocht http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=86#comment143 This post has been Removed Fri 26 Sep 2008 09:36:48 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=85#comment142 108. At 02:15am on 26 Sep 2008, AndreainNY wrote:I don't see how Obama's showing up to a debate by himself will enhance his image. "You can't see that.Well let's make it clear, it shows he is not running away. Like his increasingly bizzare opponent."Under these extraordinary circumstances, he might even be asked about the bailout. Maybe they can ask him about the mysterious deal that the democrats had --but forgot to mention to the republicans -- before McCain arrived in DC. I'm sure the American public would like to hear all about it."Maybe mcCain should ask this, he is supposed to be debating.You have to ask if McCain needs medical aid, his behaviour has gone off the wall - bellowing at his own president!A failed candidate and a lame duck, muist have been quite a pillow fight.Complain about this comment Fri 26 Sep 2008 09:30:20 GMT+1 Candace9839 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=84#comment141 Letterman feels like an ugly dateNo lipstick for youMcCain is still campaigning, and Palin still argues that just being near Russia and Canada gives her foreign policy credentials.Re:#103. Hopefully Sam managed to get his trainers on this morning. Spinning this end. Fri 26 Sep 2008 08:53:54 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=84#comment140 129, 131, chitlin.If you want all of us to read your comments, you really should try for brevity. Fri 26 Sep 2008 07:42:17 GMT+1 stecha http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=83#comment139 America is not finished, it will continue on despite the current gloom and doom atmosphere Bush has promoted with his speech. The idea that this issue will some how end the most powerful nation on earth is a bit odd.However...People pointing to our history must realize this is not the nation George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson founded. It does not hold the same values as Thomas Paine so elegantly wrote about. The Republic died long ago and has been replaced by a Democracy. So any references to that lost past are irrelevant anymore.That is the sad truth, the United States of America past it's torch to America as the Federal government gained power through populist rule. So in one sense America was finished long ago, but on the other side a new America was born. That new America will not falter do to this one crisis. Fri 26 Sep 2008 07:28:32 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=83#comment138 #129/131: chitlins - Time for you to have your own blog - those are hardly "notes"!Incidentally, Medicare started in 1965 and Medicaid shortly thereafter. Life for most people in the USA has benefited enormously because of the foresight of Lyndon Johnson.You propose to change the way America is governed, but propose nothing. Apart from anything else, because of the sheer enormity of the USA, a parliamentary form of government, based on the Westminster model, would be impractical. British Members of Parliament represent small geographical areas (constituencies) and for a state the size of, say, California, there would be dozens, if not hundreds of MPs. I can't see that a change would be in the least beneficial. Fri 26 Sep 2008 06:47:55 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=82#comment137 135, guns.There are plenty of people eating the loaves and fishes, just not us. And it's not a miracle. Just business as usual. Fri 26 Sep 2008 06:27:44 GMT+1 DavidD http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=81#comment136 58. At 7:30pm on 25 Sep 2008, threnodio wrote:#46 - Ed IglehartAs I posted elsewhere - that's why far more hackers end up working for software houses than in court.When it comes to fixing stuff, nobody does it better than the guys who screwed it in the first place.threnodio, you're confusing cause with effect. Does the name Robert Oppenheimer ring a bell? Fri 26 Sep 2008 06:16:00 GMT+1 chitlins http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=81#comment135 Post 133. What is your point? The time for personal attacks is over. We should appreciate the fact that we even have a different point of view or at least an opinion that causes Americans to get off their couches. Personally, I don't particularly care for the BBC or The Economist. But I listen or read them just the same...just to stay sane. In all my travels around the world they were the only things I could count on to be there...and today, I'm glad they are here now. Now get to the point...the future of America...if there is one. Fri 26 Sep 2008 05:58:19 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=80#comment134 #98, Ms. Marbles, I'm looking forward to the daythat one of our politicians reinterprets the parableof the 5 loaves of bread and two fishes as it appliesto the fractional banking system. Fri 26 Sep 2008 05:54:39 GMT+1 Cameron http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=80#comment133 Is America finished? Not yet, but I think the finish line is nearly in sight. 8 years of Bush/Cheney/Rice have just about ruined the economy, going from a surplus under Clinton to a massive deficit. Great choice America, although I have little sympathy for you because you had the chance to toss them out 4 years ago after 4 years of lies, corruption and gross incompetence. But you kept them in office and you are now literally going to pay the cost of that.It astounds me that the Iraq war alone has cost the US at least 2 Trillion dollars and that doesn't seem to register. You should be outraged that your government spend millions, billions and trillions, destroying a country on the other side of the planet while your own country falls apart.Zbigniew Brzezinski brags about the Afghan trap he set for the Soviets in 80's by drawing them into a prolonged conflict which drained their economy and demoralised their military. And that it also contributed to the break-up of the USSR.But the USA has gone one better than the Soviets. You guys set your own trap and not just one but two, and then promptly walked into them in Iraq and Afghanistan.So a war that Rummy said could be over in weeks or months is still going. I guess he didn't specify how many weeks or months it would last. And now your economy is doing a face plant and George the Idiot looks like he has been caught asleep at the wheel again just like Sept 11. If America continues on it current course internationally then this bailout will be like a band aid for a melanoma, it will just be a stay of execution because you can't continue to poor billions and trillions into Iraq and Afghanistan and expect everything at home to still be rosy.McCain/Palin will offer you more war and then some, and they also offer a Bush like stewardship so at least your fate will be swift.Obama/Biden will probably offer you more war too, although I think there is half a chance that they at least might end your Iraqi nightmare. And with that, maybe the economic and military blinkers will come off.So just to be clear on my sway, I think America should go for Obama/Biden despite Obama's slightly aloof persona and Biden’s gaffes.With Obama/Biden I think America and the world would wait with bated breath to see what sort of America emerges under their stewardship.With McCain/Palin there will be no anticipation and I think you can expect more of the same and maybe even worse. One thing you can expect is more war which will cost you....more money. But is it better the devil you know?I certainly hope not. Fri 26 Sep 2008 05:22:05 GMT+1 okievet http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=79#comment132 Justin Webb, though I have a Anglophile mentality and a love of foreign views of the inept American system, is a not very bright, overly verbose reporter who renders entire subjects moot by his own inability to hit the point. People lose interest. People get offended at British effete lack of understanding of the modern world. Please replace him with Tony Blair or a Southend hawker--anyone would do. Fri 26 Sep 2008 05:17:03 GMT+1 Cameron http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=78#comment131 *** Fri 26 Sep 2008 04:31:04 GMT+1 chitlins http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=78#comment130 Regarding post 129. Joe also sent this to me last night. I apologize for his rank language.++++++++++++++++++++++++US Financial/Economic Crisis and President Bush's Speech Tonight--Imperial Extortion_________________________________Update:- Russia sailed a naval battle group to Venezuela last week for joint exercises--we can't respond- Russia had already deployed a two plane strategic/anti-submarine bomber group to Venezuela in the week previous--we didn't respond- North Korea has announced intent to resume nuclear fuel reprocessing--we can't respond- Iran has gained legitimacy for its nuclear program at the UN General Assembly in NY--the world is silent--we can't respond- US has had to restructure the command structure for the war in Afghanistan (today) because democracy is losing--that's our best response--shuffle paper--in other words, we can't respond- Al Qaeda attacks are up in Iraq--duhPakistan is firing on our troops and aircraft that approach their borders--we can't respond- The National Bank of Australia intends to file claims of $1B US against our recovery plan (tonight)--they are responding in ways we probably don't want--more will follow- Chris Matthews on Hardball tonight suggested perhaps we consider a parliamentary form of government--we are confused- John McCain runs away from presidential debates--he can't respond coherently- Congressional leadership and presidential candidates are called to bleak house for a bi-partisan leadership meeting tomorrow--the riot act will be read and puppet masters will be given instructions on what strings to pull to continue the charade of American democracy--the people don't know how to respond because we are cluelessSummary: We're screwed._________________________________P.S. The world senses our weakness and the vultures are circling.... Fri 26 Sep 2008 04:29:10 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=77#comment129 127, Lady.I couldn't kill meeses because Wasilla is only a one-mooses town. Fri 26 Sep 2008 04:26:58 GMT+1 chitlins http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=77#comment128 "In the British parliamentary system, we sometimes take the quick action route and always regret it."Yes, but you don't allow a failed administration to continue for 8 years. Here is a not I sent to friends from another friend named Joe.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++If you want my opinion on how all this American financial mess got started you can trace it back to the Johnson Administration and 1969. That was almost 40 years ago and a time when we were fighting in Viet Nam. It was also when Johnson launched the ‘Great Society’ program providing Medicare, Medicaid and a whole host of other social programs. I’m not against social programs to help those who need help and serve the general welfare of the people. However, you cannot fight a war and expand social services without raising taxes. Johnson didn’t. Since that time both of our political parties have found the key to getting elected and power is to promise the American people everything and tell them there is no cost. Most of us have been dumb enough to drink the Kool-Aid. And, our current President and both our Presidential candidates are offering us more of the same.A lot has gone on since then but where does that put us today? Several weeks ago, I think it was after our bailout of Bear Sterns, I heard a media ‘news’ reporter ask a financial expert what would have happened if we hadn’t done the bailout. The expert responded, “Our government would collapse.” That statement went right over the reporter’s head and there was no follow-up question. But, it didn’t go over my head and I started thinking. What does it mean to say our government would collapse? I think it means exactly what the expert said; but, unfortunately, I don’t think our Constitution offers any guidelines on what to do if the federal government does collapse. If you read The Federalist, Paper No. 28, Alexander Hamilton outlines a strategy for addressing a federal government out of control. I hope we don’t have to go that route as it would have all true power revert to the States and charge our respective Governors to take up arms in a confederation to defend our rights against Washington; in other words, civil war. In case you didn’t know, that is why we have State militias defined by State Constitutions.So, what do we do? I don’t know but we better be thinking about it. It took almost 12 years for our forefathers to hammer out our original Constitution and the flaws in that one resulted in our first and only Civil War. We won’t have 12 years to come up with another plan and a collapsed United States will be viewed by the rest of the world as the most dangerous failed regime on the planet. Remember all those Nukes we have? They won’t give us much time. We need to understand that if we don’t get this right and restore sanity to our financial markets, our political system and our federal government, we are in deep wheat and the rest of the world will be angry as hell because as we go, so do they; except perhaps China and India who are on the verge of self-sustaining economies like we once had. It’s always easier to take a fall when you aren’t falling very far. They won’t but we will.If this all goes to hell in a hand basket I think we need to consider the fact we will probably have to change our form of government. I think the States should remain intact and we should maintain a strong federal government and a democratic Republic based on free market capitalism but our legislative and executive institutions will have to change. If the worst proves true, rather than continue our current, self-defeating partisan divide, we will need to admit we can no longer afford a system that allows politicians to lie to us and then gives them between four and eight years in power before we try to correct the error. The world moves too fast for that today.What are our freedom-based, democratic options? There are many but I think we should consider a parliamentary form of government like the British have. It took them hundreds of years, many of them bloodied by civil war, to craft it, but it has withstood two World Wars with them fighting to survive on their own soil. It isn’t perfect, it lacks a true constitution and Bill of Rights but it also doesn’t allow an administration to linger on once it becomes perfectly clear it has run off track. We can and should keep our Bill of Rights and many other elements of our current Constitution if we do make a change, but we must recognize that change may be necessary to our survival as a nation.I hate to be writing these thoughts but I think all Americans need a reality check. Our current path is unsustainable even if we dodge the bullet today or next week or escape paying the Piper for a few more years. But, there is no free lunch and we need to admit reality. Fri 26 Sep 2008 04:13:17 GMT+1 Xie_Ming http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=76#comment127 # 103Sam,This posting was, I think, inspired.Could you please re-write so that Andrain and I cannot mistake what you are saying?_____________________________-Can this be true?"according to results of a new ABC News-Washington Post poll released Wednesday. Fifty-three percent of the likely voters responding expressed a preference for Obama; 43 percent favored McCain. Two weeks ago, McCain held a 49 percent to 47 percent lead." Fri 26 Sep 2008 03:52:05 GMT+1 LadyBobbieBea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=75#comment126 No. 113 Ms. Marblesoh, please don't kill the meeses. They're innocent bystanders.b Fri 26 Sep 2008 03:51:36 GMT+1 chitlins http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=75#comment125 BBC: Please consider resuming short wave radio broadcasts to North America. I have a battery operated short wave radio..."This is London calling"...it would be so reassuring. Fri 26 Sep 2008 03:25:40 GMT+1 british-ish http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=74#comment124 117That's very funny. Especially:"Couric: I'm just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation. Palin: I'll try to find you some and I'll bring them to you."But then, Obama proclaiming he is "monitoring the situation" is almost as inept.There are some things that are so satirical in themselves you just can't satirise them, aren't there? Fri 26 Sep 2008 03:17:34 GMT+1 TimothyR444 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=74#comment123 But America cannot afford to rest its hopes in the hands of old rich white cowboys who no brains. Goleooo:I am no fan of Bush, but insulting and offensive remarks about anyone's race are not acceptable. Bigorty is still bigotry, no matter how you express it - and there should be no place for it in civilized society. Fri 26 Sep 2008 03:17:06 GMT+1 U12831485 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=73#comment122 In a desperate attempt of not being off-topic, let me quote Justin :"So is America finished?"That said, has anyone watched the CBS interview of Palin ?I can't provide any constructive criticism, my apologies, as her demeanor is beyond anything worth an evaluation.Or maybe I just don't know what to say about such a display of - what ?Sorry about my poor English, too, I'm trying hard, but at least I'm not running for VP.Please watch it, it's disheartening.As for being off-topic, this person was chosen to be his #2 by the Republican candidate, and it's the future US government which is going to handle the finacial crisis.Everyone can have a bad moment, say something stupid, which is blown out of proportion, but this, it's bizarre... Fri 26 Sep 2008 02:53:31 GMT+1 Grrrlie http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=72#comment121 While some folks are wringing their hands, Obama supporters like myself are taking voter-registration forms and info with us everywhere we go - talking to folks on our buslines, our disability-van rides, on the corner waiting for the light to change, in lines at the grocery store - you name it: we're registering voters for OBAMA. We've absolutely had it. This week's McPain-o-drama is the last straw. Palin was an insult, the debate-duck maneuver is absolutely unforgiveable. The only reason McPain needs to actually show up in Washington is to get a new RUBBER STAMP from Dick Cheney and his puppy, Prez Dubya.I'm having "drop-in for Obama" gatherings in my apartment for my building neighbors who need absentee-ballot applications, voter-registration forms, or need to know where to go vote. Made up a simple leaflet, posted in our laundry rooms in my building. SIMPLE: grassroots people power.USA VOTERS ARE HAVING A REVOLT - and IT AIN'T FOR MCCAIN. Time to tell the truth about it!!!!! Fri 26 Sep 2008 02:45:11 GMT+1 LadyBobbieBea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=72#comment120 No. 53 GaryI have now read much of Wikipedia's information and stand better informed.Thanks!bobbie (continuing to learn and grow) Fri 26 Sep 2008 02:42:04 GMT+1 british-ish http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=71#comment119 "Is America finished?"I think it probably is, despite those contributors here who rather naively assume that some kind of "exceptionalism-cum-optimism" will get them out of any trouble, or that somehow the rest of the world depends on the US, or that its current economic troubles can be easily fixed by making everything Americans need in America . . .In reverse order: returning manufacturing to the USA is simply impossible, unless the same citizens who want cheap gas, cheap clothes, cheap food and Walmart prices for everything suddenly become willing to live off Third World wages. Or forget that 2000 mile fence and set up an internal third world economy of illegal immigrants to do that. (Oh, come to think if it, doesn't that exist already?)Some parts of the world are not all that dependent on the US economy any more; viz. China and India: I have already heard today an Indian economist pointing out that even the EU is rapidly becoming less economically important to Indian manufacturing and exports than it was just two years ago. So no doubt the same would be true of the US.And believing America is somehow blessed isn't going to sort out this current financial mess. (By the way, this crisis is not "severe", it's "serious". I do wish people would stop confusing the two words.) It requires some fundamental changes which simply aren't going to come from anyone by the look of today's events. (A little chat between Dubbya, McCain and Obama really achieved a lot, didn't it? Oh, dear, how utterly pathetic. It's so much easier to start a war than fix an economic crisis, isn't it?)So far, the only proposal appears to be basically the same old short term one US administrations have been using for years: keep industry afloat when it's actually near bankrupt by having a war and throwing Pentagon money at it. (How else do Boeing and the car manufacturers survive? Certainly not on domestic sales.) America has already become in effect a state-controlled manufacturing economy.And then there is external politics. Forget Iraq, Iran, Syria, Georgia. Look to what is happening in Africa and, nearer to "home" South America. Both China and Russia are cementing energy and commodities contracts all over the place, while the US rants about the "War on Terror" and tries to implant military bases on some kind of perversion of the old saying about General Motors: "What's good for the Pentagon is good for the USA."The next few years is looking pretty messy; and the last week seems to have shown the rest of the world nothing other than people in a oanic heading towards an abyss at full speed with their eyes shut and their minds firmly fixed on half-a-dozen words on a piece of paper concocted under the influence of European philosophers over 200 years ago in the hope that that represents some kind of code for managing an economy in the 21st century.I'm still waiting to hear exactly how long it will take to pay the Chinese the interest on all those trillions of dollars that are blithely being thrown about. It won't be coming out of American taxpayers' pockets, as so many seem to think. Not unless they suddenly become willing to pay Scandinavian rates . . .It'll be financed from government bonds bought by other countries around the world who will be collecting billions in interest on them. Wouldn't it be amusing if Venezuela buys in? Especially as that country is now going to go nuclear too with the help of Russia. Unless, of course, the Americans can get the Israelis to bomb it after Iran . . .You see. you can't sign nuclear agreements with India, say you can forget about the non-proliferation treaty, and then expect other countries not to do likewise. American foreign policy over the last fifty years has showed paucity of thought and blithe disregard for consequences. They're coming home to roost, yet again.(That reminds me; Chavez "the dictator" was elected too . . . It's no good pontificating about democracy when you want cheap petrol. The US supports one or two very nasty reall dictatorial regimes in Africa just for that, by the way, just as communist China does . . .)That will precipitate, inevitably, another financial meltdown in the US; it's just a matter of when.I've thought for some years that the "American Imperium" was bound to collapse as, historically, despite the notion of "exceptionalism" they all have. America hasn't actually brought history to an end. It just seems likely now to be likely rather earlier than I expected, maybe in the next decade. And it's self-inflicted.And why aren't either of the candidates coming up with any ideas other than just posing and sounding baffled? I might stay up to find out if they come up with anything on Friday, if that goes ahead, of course, but I won't hold my breath.If it does, and they stick to wittering about terrorism, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iraq, Venezuela, fences to keep Mexicans out, then I will despair of your presidential candidates, neither of whom seem at the moment to be showing any more grasp of any situation, let alone the current financial one, than your average goldfish. How about a coup? The Pentagon and the CIA have had plenty of experience in mounting them elsewhere. . . Fri 26 Sep 2008 02:41:03 GMT+1 LadyBobbieBea http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=71#comment118 No. 80 John in DublinThank you, John. I stand corrected.b Fri 26 Sep 2008 02:26:44 GMT+1 goleooo http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=70#comment117 DougTexansocialism and fascism are not the same thing. If you think we are better than Sweden, Norway, Danmark, you are greatly mistaken. You seem to fear something that has been engraved in your brain as being evil, when you know nothing about it. This is the end of American's financial ruling of the world, and now we are about to become slaves of our own economical problems. This time I feel for Bush, and McCain is doing everything to stop this from happening for political reasons. We are all afraid, but you forget, this has not happened before. Noone has answers, and it is not like Bush or Paulson are trying to test the congress on the issue. but it is clear that this is about politics and saving McCain to the republicans, and they will do everything they can to stop Bush from doing this, even though as of this moment the Republicans did not have an alternative. This is economical suicide, and I am ashamed that such people call themselves American. Perhaps today's definition of American is very different than what it set out to be. And McCain is the example of the sort of American one should not be. Fri 26 Sep 2008 02:12:59 GMT+1 cyrilcroydon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=69#comment116 http://blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2008/09/palin-debacle-on-cbs-evening-n.htmlPalin is imploding before our eyes. This critique is from a conservative who used to like her. Her interviews with Katie Couric have got to be the most damning evidence yet that this woman is clearly out of her depth. Fri 26 Sep 2008 02:05:33 GMT+1 DougTexan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=69#comment115 105. At 02:04am on 26 Sep 2008, DominickVilaYou nailed it. Even in tho other direction ie: Democrats do or don't rather than Republicans, neither want to be called socialist/communist or fascist Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:54:39 GMT+1 John Conrad http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=68#comment114 So you people think the Rothchild's coup on the London Exchange after Wellington's defeat of Napolean was brilliant eh? Well, with the wisdom of hindsight that was small change compared to the deal the Indians pulled off when they dumped Manhattan and got $24 into the bargain. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:46:48 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=68#comment113 I wouldn't be surprised if one of the main reasons for the urgency in solving the Wall Street banking and financial crises is because the FDIC doesn't have enough funds to cover massive losses if the 100+ banks that are on the verge of being declared insolvent go belly up, in addition to those that have already failed. Can anyone imagine the panic that will spread throughout the country if people realized that their bank deposits, investments, pensions and credit lines are in jeopardy?I expect the DJIA to tank tomorrow. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:40:52 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=67#comment112 106. Dominick.Good suggestion. However because it is the crystal meth capital of Alaska I am afraid I might turn violent and kill all the meeses (plural of mooses). Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:38:10 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=66#comment111 105. DominickVila:"Ref 102I think the large number of House Republicans that oppose the bailout have put themselves in a box. If they acquiesce and approve the bailout they will be accused of supporting a "socialist" program by their constituents, if they reject the plan and Wall Street, our financial and banking institutions, and the economy collapse they will be blamed for blocking a rescue plan that would have prevented the meltdown of our capitalist system. "Most Americans don't want to bail out Wall Street. Republicans may very well be perceived as the ones who ultimately changed the deal to better suit Main Street. The democrats are claiming they had a deal before McCain arrived, but can't provide proof of any such deal. No one's talking of a democrat deal right now. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:26:31 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=66#comment110 107. SamTyler1969 :"Because he is running away? Gnerally speaking that is reason to say 'you are running away'."I hate to be the one to break it to you, Wishful Thinking Sam, but McCain is not afraid of Barack Obama. Obama's still in diapers when it comes to McCain. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:18:10 GMT+1 zebrahost http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=65#comment109 David_Cunard I bow to your superior calculator. I'll still take the 425 bucks in a selfless act to save the global financial system. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:16:57 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=65#comment108 #88Doug,I hate to differ, but the $85bn for AIG is a loan and as such is not taxble.That deal is a very smart one. It balances risk and confidence. If AIG are screwed they can get $85bn for 80% of the company as immediate liquidity, the US of A gets 80% of the company in return. It stops speculators because any firm will take the laon before going bankrupt. Taxpayers because we would get a company, and AIG because the short sellers are out of the equation.I am Sam Tyler and I approve this approach. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:16:56 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=64#comment107 I don't see how Obama's showing up to a debate by himself will enhance his image. Under these extraordinary circumstances, he might even be asked about the bailout. Maybe they can ask him about the mysterious deal that the democrats had --but forgot to mention to the republicans -- before McCain arrived in DC. I'm sure the American public would like to hear all about it. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:15:06 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=63#comment106 #92,Andrea,Because he is running away? Gnerally speaking that is reason to say 'you are running away'. Apparently he is now 'hopeful' he will be able to attend the debate because he won't be needed to do something he isn't needed to do and has actively disrupted.Ironic given that McCain wants to put Buffet on an 'impartial panel' to handle the bail out. I'd be impartial too if I had $60bn in the market. To be fair to Buffet, he'd probably say 'NFW'.Sad Sam Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:13:01 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=63#comment105 Ref 99Are you sure you want to buy DC? I think Wasilla is a better deal, if nothing else because you can see the Russians from afar, if you are wearing the right kind of Japanese made glasses that is. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:07:52 GMT+1 SaintDominick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=62#comment104 Ref 102I think the large number of House Republicans that oppose the bailout have put themselves in a box. If they acquiesce and approve the bailout they will be accused of supporting a "socialist" program by their constituents, if they reject the plan and Wall Street, our financial and banking institutions, and the economy collapse they will be blamed for blocking a rescue plan that would have prevented the meltdown of our capitalist system. What bothers me the most about this whole episode is that our leaders - especially the President - have not articulated the severity of the problems facing us and are simply asking us to trust them with our money...or the Chinese...I realize they are trying to avert panic and a run on the banks, but I think they should be more forthcoming. Fri 26 Sep 2008 01:04:47 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=62#comment103 #101. zebrahost "the Birk math is flawed" - By more than you say: $85,000,000,000 divided by 200,000,000 is $425.00 Fri 26 Sep 2008 00:54:09 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=61#comment102 Fellow Blog Members,I find myself in the unenviable position of apologizing to John AAA. But as a matter of honor I must do so. I must also apologize for the tardiness of this posting, since I have been distracted. Due to some pressing customer needs I missed my morning work out and did not read USA Today until this evening.For over a week now JohnAAA has asserted that there is a scandal related to lobbyists, the 2005 bill proposed by Senator Oxley, Freddie Mac and Fannie May and lobbying on their behalf. I insisted if such an issue existed, the mainstream press would cover it. Today they did.In 2005 an amendment to Senator Oxley's bill was proposed that would have prevented Fannie and Freddie from investing in sub prime mortgages. This would have stopped them from collapsing recently. I still maintain this would have precipitated the current crisis earlier. That is opinion.As JohnAAA pointed out, one of the presidential candidates voted against regulating Fannie and Freddie, one for. John points out that in his opinion that vote was influenced by Fannie Freddie lobbyist connections.It turns out Obama voted for the amendment, McCain against. McCains cam[paign manager and several others associated with him were taking payment (until last month) from Fannie Freddie. There is potentailly a scandal that mcCain tookmoney and voted to create the current crisis.I apologize to John without reservation. there is potentially a scandal here. That he believed the scandal was associated with obama and not McCain, and that he had the voting record backwards are minor details that should, in my opinion be forgiven.The greater scandal here is the factually inaccurate attack ads aimed at Obama. i think Obama was wrong, the ads attack him for doing exactly what McCain claims he didn;t do, but did.As Spongebob would say: Baaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!Sorry JohnApologetic Sam Fri 26 Sep 2008 00:35:24 GMT+1 Candace9839 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=60#comment101 Obama's plan should McCain not show up for the debate is to hold a town hall style meeting or a one-on-one interview with the moderator Jim Lehrer (who is excellent). He will shine and show that the cheap tricks and games are not the fiddling about we are need or are interested in as Rome burns. The Republican law makers are facing re-election and if they vote to bail out the fat cats, they risk further ire from an already stressed and angry electorate. My hope is that the electorate are angry enough to carry through and vote. Fri 26 Sep 2008 00:34:32 GMT+1 zebrahost http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=60#comment100 DougTexan, in America $1billion is One Thousand Million $1,000,000,000 so the Birk math is flawed. The payout would be $4,250 each not $425,000.Even so that sounds like a better idea to me than bailing out the bankers! Fri 26 Sep 2008 00:18:01 GMT+1 David Cunard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=59#comment99 Despite all his bluster, Mr McCain appears not to have had and meaningful input as this illustrates. Fri 26 Sep 2008 00:12:52 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=59#comment98 94, Doug.I promise to sell my vote for $350 million. I would even sell it to Palin. Then I would get my huge extended family together and we would buy DC and depose her, and put me in her place. Thu 25 Sep 2008 23:51:35 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=58#comment97 89, guns.Make that Sermon on the Mount, the musical. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:59:34 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=57#comment96 70. AsaScot:"One thing that has me baffled; why would McCain want to associate himself with the bailout package? I mean lifting $2300 dollars out of every American's pocket is hardly a vote winner and if/when something goes wrong, like one of these finance houses turing a profit off of bailout money, or handing out bonuses, then the politicians associated with it are going to get it in the neck.Surely far better for McCain to leave this as the Bush bail out plan rather than trying to turn it in to the Bush/McCain bailout plan?"***********************You do realize that if our economy tanks, every single politician will be voted out of office by some very angry Americans?Bush will be long gone. This is not about Bush, despite people's fixation on him. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:59:25 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=57#comment95 65. OldSouth:"Short form: We're just stupid hicks who don't understand that the world is best run by the elites from New York, Washington, London...Wait a minute! Let me think here in Tennessee for a moment....wasn't the current economic debacle brought about by all those 'smart people' who devised all those 'sophisticated financial instruments' that turned out to be worthless?And WE are supposed to entrust our futures to the likes of THEM??? "*****************And don't forget all those Ivy-educated congressman and senators who were supposed to create laws to regulate that behavior.A voice from "fly over" country is always refreshing. Your comment brings to mind William F. Buckley, Jr., who said that he would sooner “live in a society governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than in a society governed by the two thousand faculty members of Harvard University.” Hard to argue with him. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:54:07 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=56#comment94 Punkin101(#64) and Gary_A_HillWhen you announced independence there was one small nation who recognised it, newspapers and public here saluted you, and volunteers went to fight on your side.Guess who. Russia. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:50:24 GMT+1 DougTexan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=56#comment93 700 Billion divided by 200 million equals 350,000.00Sorry about the last post, didn't check them numbers first Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:38:19 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=55#comment92 83, ukwales.I am so glad you read the note about my father. Actually his greatest gift was humor and he had a marvelous sense of the absurd. That has touched all of us. I have lived through earthquakes, a hurricane at sea, a revolution, and coups d'etats. Looking at these events from his point of view (and mine, I guess), there were funny bits in all of it. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:36:33 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=54#comment91 52. Gary_A_Hill:"I'm not given to pursue conspiracy theories, but I wonder if this crisis hasn't been stage-managed to some extent to interfere with the campaigns and debates. "Or maybe Warren Buffet's really behind it. Why people think McCain would run away from a debate with Obama on foreign policy is beyond me. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:35:28 GMT+1 threnodio http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=54#comment90 #74 - Gary_A_HillI take your point but do not forget that we are talking about pre-revolution France - still then an absolute monarchy.The idea that the French were interested in democratic idealism half way round the world is a bit naive. They wanted an excuse to beat up on the Brits and the American Revolution fitted the bill perfectly.Ironic really that it was the French Revolution that gave the Brits the opportunity to redress the balance. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:33:11 GMT+1 AndreainNY http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=53#comment89 39. doctor_steve_usa:"I watched President Bush last night and was reminded of the exact same type of rhetoric that escaped his lips regarding the Axis of Evil, Iraq, WMD and mushroom clouds... "And this is why you are also part of the problem.Bush was not talking about Iraq, WMD, etc. He was talking about a very serious problem facing our financial system. Yet, you liken it to a made-up threat of mushroom clouds? Who is it, then, who is stuck in the rhetoric of the past?Time to move on. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:28:00 GMT+1 gunsandreligion http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=53#comment88 #63 Robin, this mind-numbing Palin quote reminds meof a singular passage in film making history. The next thing that we'll be hearing is the political version of the Sermon on the Mount. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:23:56 GMT+1 DougTexan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=52#comment87 THE BIRK PLANI'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a We Deserve It Dividend.To make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00. My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ as a "We Deserve It Dividend".Of course, it would NOT be tax free. So let's assume a tax rate of 30%. Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes. That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam. But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket. A husband and wife has $595,000.00.Invest in the market - capital drives growth Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care improves. Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or elseIf we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( "vote buy" ) economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion "We Deserve It Dividend" more than I do the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC . And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:23:43 GMT+1 seanspa http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=51#comment86 Allymarbles, agreed, short-selling is gambling of the worse kind and it beggars belief that it is seen as a legitimate transaction. It is merely a device to screw a great many people. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:18:15 GMT+1 regular_josephina http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=51#comment85 OOOOO!! Watch'a bet McCain sends Palin to debate in his place?!? OOOo OOO oooo... that could be so fun to watch! Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:12:08 GMT+1 regular_josephina http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=50#comment84 After so many months of every expert and their dog denying and refuting the fact that yes, we are actually in a recession, it's kind of funny to see the same experts running around trying madly to convince everyone that we are now near financial apocalypse. Thu 25 Sep 2008 22:07:14 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=50#comment83 The SEC never enforced effectively the practice of naked shorting. Some pundits even claimed it was beneficial to the market. How manipulating stock prices can be beneficial to the market is beyond me.With the failure of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the SEC had finally to own up to the problem and called a halt to the practice. For some reason known only to the SEC it addressed only financial stocks.I have watched a couple of fine companies (nonfinancial) whose price is continually manipulated by short selling. When prices for a stable company are erratic and out of sync with its sector, look for short selling. Thu 25 Sep 2008 21:48:34 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=49#comment82 # 347 Allmymarbles.. Thank you for 347. Your dad was just like Ihave always felt you to be. Thu 25 Sep 2008 21:41:53 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=48#comment81 Here is an interesting excerpt from FDR's first inaugural address: " ... Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind’s goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. ... " Franklin D. RooseveltThe difference today is that the "rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods" have not "admitted their failure, and abdicated." Thu 25 Sep 2008 21:30:08 GMT+1 allmymarbles http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=48#comment80 41, Galeooo.Maybe McCain is trying to duck out of campaigning because he doesn't want Palin to face off with Biden. That would surely be an unequal contest. The old man is a very tricky guy. Thu 25 Sep 2008 21:24:22 GMT+1 john-In-Dublin http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=47#comment79 #43 LadyBobbieBea wrote:"Political and historical scholars, please corrent me if I'm wrong...Eisenhower also graduated at the bottom of his West Point class."According to Wikipedia, "Eisenhower graduated in the upper half of the class of 1915" Thu 25 Sep 2008 21:21:30 GMT+1 aquarizonagal http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=46#comment78 To#67GaryahillYou have totally 'NAILED IT! When things start to hit the fan, a scapegoat is needed, but in this case the seeds of disaster were sown long ago by more than one party.Perhaps, WE THE PEOPLE, should take our own responsibility for not keeping better EYES and EARS on those we elect. It is not enough to just vote, we also need to pay some real attention to what the people we have elected are doing.Eternal vigilance....etc Thu 25 Sep 2008 21:09:40 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=46#comment77 Punkin101 (#64), and don't forget that the UK held the Nazis at bay alone among our western European allies for two or three years while the US got adjusted to the idea that we would have to go to war. Fortunately, the Japanese gave us an "attitude adjustment" (conveniently reinforced by the Nazis). Thu 25 Sep 2008 21:04:11 GMT+1 hms_shannon http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=45#comment76 #64 Punkin 101.Spot on, America has not decended from frightened men or women... Thu 25 Sep 2008 21:02:46 GMT+1 Orville Eastland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=45#comment75 America has lost much of her greatness. Much has been squandered over many years, with a great deal happening since 2001. There is still hope, but it's unlikely to come from Obama and it certainly won't come from McCain. It will likely come from the "fringe" members of the Left and Right. Those who are willing to admit America is not perfect and should hold itself to the same standards it holds others. Those who are pacifists or noninterventionists. Those who favor ending government subsidies to corporations. If they play their cards right, the fringe candidates for Congress could do well this year. Who knows? If they make an issue of it, the third-party presidential candidates could get a great showing based on their opposition to the bailout.Unfortunately, barring a miracle, it's likely to come down between McCain and Obama, both of whom promise change and reform, but won't bring either. Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:57:31 GMT+1 bena gyerek http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=44#comment74 a prediction: if this election goes as close as it did 8 years ago, and there are any suggestions of vote rigging, constitutional coups or the popular vote is not reflected in the electoral college vote, there will be riots in america.this election matters for voters much more than in 2000. add to that the racial dimension to any possible "cheating" of obama out of a win, and you get an explosive mix.i am not saying republicans are the only ones that use dirty tactics, and i am not saying that obama should be the winner. i just think that there now exists a real tinder box of public opinion. half of the us population has been disenfranchised by the winner-takes-all system of presidential election in the usa under bush. if the same people feel they are cheated again, after what has happened the last 8 years, and particularly in the last two weeks, i think they will take it onto the streets. Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:55:13 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=43#comment73 Punkin101 (#64), the French came to the aid of the colonies during our war of independence from Great Britain. Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:54:59 GMT+1 Simon21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=43#comment72 64. At 9:00pm on 25 Sep 2008, Punkin101 wrote:Jason,Say what you want.When the stock market crashed in the past, what nation came to America's aid?When America has had ANY major catastrophe, who has come to America's aid?Er WW1 WWII like every nation. Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:53:31 GMT+1 aquarizonagal http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=42#comment71 To#52GaryahillWe have sometimes not agreed but this time I think we are on the 'same page.' Your post was excellent!And #53, as well, perhaps I am getting very old but I also believe that Eisenhower was an excellent president, who took us through some trying times. He was a leader that people trusted.To#60BilltyroneYour words are so very eloquent, as well. I hope people are reading them and really thinking about our future.Lastly, FEAR has been used to manipulate our votes for too long. We must say NO to FEAR and use reason to determine what is best for our country.We DO have a very REAL financial crisis but it is being made worse by fear-mongering.Please, all voters, really look at what is happening here. Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:52:42 GMT+1 exserviceman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=42#comment70 This post has been Removed Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:46:58 GMT+1 Mike Mullen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=41#comment69 One thing that has me baffled; why would McCain want to associate himself with the bailout package? I mean lifting $2300 dollars out of every American's pocket is hardly a vote winner and if/when something goes wrong, like one of these finance houses turing a profit off of bailout money, or handing out bonuses, then the politicians associated with it are going to get it in the neck.Surely far better for McCain to leave this as the Bush bail out plan rather than trying to turn it in to the Bush/McCain bailout plan? Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:43:44 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=40#comment68 DominickVila (#61), "gaffes" are not examples of poor "judgment." Anyone who talks as much as Biden, and over such a long period of time, is likely to make a gaffe now and then. Before the era of YouTube and a camera phone in every pocket, this wasn't a problem anyone noticed. Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:32:47 GMT+1 SamTyler1969 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=40#comment67 #60I say 'Amen to that'Honest Sam Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:30:43 GMT+1 Gary_A_Hill http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/justinwebb/2008/09/american_seriousness.html?page=39#comment66 BillTyrone (#60), I say that's a rather idealized picture of presidential dynamics. Certainly, when a president has served two terms, he must take considerable responsibility for things which happen on his watch. On the state of the economy, however, things can take long time to develop. My view is that our current problems started in the 1980s, with the Republican ascendancy led by President Reagan, and the attacks on New Deal regulations. The Democratic Party controlled Congress for most of the past quarter-century, however, so they cannot avoid a share of the blame. And it was much earlier, in 1968 in the Johnson (Democratic) administration that Fannie Mae was "privatized," which was when the foundations of the problem were laid. There are so many people involved over such a long period of time, that there are copious opportunities to lay the blame. Thu 25 Sep 2008 20:29:00 GMT+1