What is the big rush? Why a bailout ‘within days’?

What is the big rush? Why ‘within days’?

–In other words, how fast is the FBI investigation moving?

McCain suspends campaign

Somehow, John McCain’s abruptly canceling out of the first presidential debate, scheduled for this Friday, and ‘suspending’ his campaign to return to Washington reminds me of then-Sen. Phil Gramm’s abruptly announcing back in 2001 that he would be retiring from the Senate. Nobody had thought of Gramm as anything but one of the top GOP movers & shakers in the Senate–well, people thought him plenty of other things, but none that could affect his party standing–and the news came as something of a jolt inside the Beltway. Seeing signs that Gramm’s wife, Wendy, had been crying, some even speculated that she had health issues, perhaps breast cancer.

Turns out the problem was Enron, from which Gramm was not in a position to distance himself.

Re McCain’s possibly skipping the debate–there are obvious reasons why he would want to be not present. For one thing, Obama will be there, and McCain handles Obama best from a great distance, in front of select audiences, where he can criticize the other candidate without rebuttal. For another, we have new news not only about the huge issues facing the economy–including a raft of unanswered questions about the bailout–WHO EXACTLY WILL GET THIS MONEY? AND WHY DO THEY NEED IT? WHY DON’T THEY COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK NOW, INSTEAD OF KEEPING THINGS MYSTERIOUS?

AND ARE THEY WILLING TO APPLY FOR THE MONEY ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, SO WE CAN ALL SEE WHAT’S GOING ON? (“transparency,” remember.)

–we also have new problems on the Sarah Palin front, with the National Enquirer (one corporate structure notably not in need of a handout) doing its thing.

Plenty of good reasons for McCain not to be there. No question. No questions.

Still, for a candidate for president to skip a televised debate is out of line by any reckoning, including in the GOP. It will be illuminating to see what falls out from this FBI investigation of some two dozen major lenders including Lehman Brothers, AIG, et al.

It is premature, of course, to speculate. And officials cannot comment publicly on an ongoing investigation.

But I do not believe that there is any fiscal reason why this massive bailout has to be pushed through Congress by Friday.

I do not believe that Monday will usher in Great Depression II.

Going on what we have been told, I see no reason to believe that some major bank will fail on Monday, or next week. If officials know otherwise, they have an obligation to tell us. The public has repeatedly shown that it can do the arithmetic at least as well as Wall Street and K Street (combined), given the correct numbers.

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