Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Out-Of-Towner

I spent the last half of this past week in New York, amazingly sealed off from the rest of the world - this despite the fact that the seat back ahead of me on the plane out was equipped with a TV set (small charge for earphones - one more advantage to learning to read lips).

Anyway, I was pretty much in isolation for a few days, so I spent much of yesterday figuring out what happened while I was gone. Here's what happened.

- WaMu went under and was picked up by the government in the largest bank failure in history. The government then turned around and sold the banking end of the business to JPMorgan Chase. So your money is safe - its just been moved to another town, like your basketball team.
- It turns out we still have a president, who spoke the country on the dangers faced by the current economic situation, and asks that everyone open their hearts and wallets to an unsupervised money wallow on the behalf of Wall Street.
- Candidate McCain declared that in light of the crisis, he had to go back to Washington and suspend campaigning. Apparently when he went back to the capitol, he had to wear a name tag so they would recognize him.
- Apparently in announcing he would have to go back to Washington, but not leaving immediately, he cheesed off Dave Letterman. Not a good thing, that.
- And McCain wanted to cancel the debates in light of the fact that Republicans don't look so good right now. When it became clear that this was a bad idea, he flipped again.
- I'm not quite sure if he's running for president or not right now.
- McCain's VP choice apparently screwed up another interview and has been sent to be tutored by Prof. Henry Higgins, who has promised to turn her into a proper political candidate by the time of the Embassy Ball.
- Meanwhile, Obama was merely campaigning and talking to people, which as everyone knows, is bad television.
- The debates did occur, and either Obama won or it was a tie, depending on who you support. Then again, maybe the debates were not held, and they just ran a rerun of the Nixon/JFK debate, remastered for HDTV.
- There were debates for the Washington State Governor's race as well, in which both candidates told us what they would do about a deficit the state currently doesn't have. The big panic, however, is that we WILL have a massive shortfall soon, since most of our tax money comes from things like the Sales Tax, a regressive little monster that produces less funds in times when people stop buying things. Like, um, now.
- And while Washington State has been more insulated from the economic disasters in the rest of the county, the fall of WaMu has brought it to our doorstep. I'm starting to see "flash car lots" more now, on my return.
- And while all eyes have been on the fall of the Western Markets, the Chinese managed their first space-walk. And of all of the above, that may be the most important thing that's happened in the past week.

More later,