Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."



  • 74%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?





  • Google

Blogs I love and/or learn from

« House Votes Nay on Bailout Bill! [UPDATED AGAIN] | Main | "Our country is not facing a choice between government action and the smooth functioning of the free market." »

Comments

Michael Reynolds

As I note below, Donna doesn't get the politics of this. Blaming Pelosi is ludicrous. Go read Dave Schuler. This was a GOP refusal to support a GOP president's plan -- a plan supported by the GOP presidential candidate and the GOP cabinet.

Blaming Pelosi is pitiful, desperate stuff. But not the lowest -- that's still developing.

The Dems needed cover. They couldn't be seen to be rescuing Bush's plan all alone. Boehner had undertaken to provide 100 GOP votes. When it was clear that he would fail it became impossible for Democrat leadership to twist arms. Dems were not going to take this on by themselves, there had to be bi-partisanship.

The idea that Pelosi gave a partisan speech so Republicans had no choice but to destroy the economy? Try that out on Main Street USA.

Pelosi gave a partisan speech that was mild next to McCain's partisan speech. And small beer next to the foul GOP attempt to pin the blame for this melt-down on working class minorities.

Make no mistake: coming off Krauthammer's lead, the GOP line has become: blame the negroes, not us.

That's what is going on here. If there's evil afoot it isn't the ineffectual Ms. Pelosi. The GOP is feeling its way toward scapegoating African-Americans.

And Annie, if you think that in the end the scapegoating won't spread from blacks and liberals to Jews, you have a short historical memory. The GOP is deliberately playing with fire in order to deflect blame for this disaster.

Michael Reynolds

The Wall Street Journal editorial page:

House Republicans share the blame, and not only because they opposed the bill by about two-to-one, 133-65. Their immediate response was to say that many of their Members turned against the bill at the last minute because Ms. Pelosi gave her nasty speech. So they are saying that Republicans chose to oppose something they think is in the national interest merely because of a partisan slight. Thank heaven these guys weren't at Valley Forge.

Even those tools at WSJ aren't buying this line.

Meade

What about your own racism, Michael?

Simon
Blaming Pelosi is pitiful, desperate stuff.
Yeah. It's not as though she's the leader of the majority party in the chamber in which this failed or anything! Boo Republicans! Blaming Pelosi - how irrational!

It's a fairly desperate partisan spin you're putting on the motivations of the no voters, too. You're assuming that they came in for the bill, heard a speech, and feeling miffed decided to change their votes. That's inconsistent with what those no voters were telling us before the vote. Far more rational to conclude that they came in desperately hostile to the bill, dubious that it would in fact help the country, but persuaded by the leadership that they had to hold their noses and vote for it anyway. And then what do they find? Pelosi giving a speech that amounted to (as Althouse commenter Blake memorably summarized yesterday): "You scumsucking Wall Street-lovin' Rethuglicans caused this disaster all on your own, with absolutely no help or interference from us. Now, sign this regardless of what your constituents say and shell out $700B so we can blame you if it doesn't work." Astonishing that that would push them back over to the "no" camp! When someone desperately wants my help doing something I think is a mistake, I would certainly feel more inclined to help out despite my misgivings if they insulted me a little first.

Peter Hoh

Can we replace both parties without having to go through an economic collapse?

Pastor_Jeff

Personally, I blame the bill's failure on the racism and intransigence of the 95 Democrats who voted against it.

It makes as much sense as Michael's rant, anyway.

Melinda

Donna, thanks for sharing your experiences. (I will now hit myself with a tire iron for spouting hackneyed New Age phrases.)

Peter, I'm with you again. Where are the grown-ups?

Pastor_Jeff

And Annie, if you think that in the end the scapegoating won't spread from blacks and liberals to Jews, you have a short historical memory.

Michael, of all the stupid and ugly things you've ever written here, that has to be near the top of the list.

If you listen quietly, you can hear the sound of jackboots in distance, right?

Pastor_Jeff

Can we replace both parties without having to go through an economic collapse?

Sounds good to me. There's not a handful of responsible adults in either party in Congress.

PatHMV

I just posted something at Stubborn Facts calling for some political accountability along with any fiscal accountability (like the caps on executive pay) included in the bail-out bill. Neither party has behaved well in the matter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the ultimate cause of this fiasco. The Republicans have behaved slightly better than the Democrats, but that's not saying too much.

It was a Republican, Richard Baker, who spent the last decade of his career warning about the perils of the unwritten government guarantee of those two risky entities whose failure was inevitable. But the Republican leadership, the Tom DeLay and Denny Hastert crowd, gave him little support and rather than reward him for his work exposing the corruption of Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, denied him a well-earned leadership promotion after the 2006 elections.

If we pass a bail-out bill without a REAL political reckoning (not the one-sided ranting that Michael is so fond of), with the leadership of both parties resigning in disgrace for their being asleep at the switch, if nothing else, then we're just guaranteeing ourselves more of the same.

Glenn Reynolds likes to say he'll believe it's a crisis when they people calling it a crisis starting acting like it's a crisis. When a few politicians have resigned in disgrace, then I'll accept the need for a massive bail-out. Until then, no.

realpc

Aren't you all assuming it's too bad the bill didn't pass? What if it was a lousy bill? Just because it's a desperate attempt doesn't mean it's a worthwhile desperate attempt.

The bill failed to pass because the public was against it and called their congressmen. Now we're hearing that the public just doesn't understand, isn't letting the great experts go through with their plan.

Wait a second, wasn't it the great experts who caused and/or enabled this disaster to happen? And now we should refrain from questioning their expert judgement, because we are just the ignorant public.

PatHMV

I will agree with Michael on one small thing, that this collapse is not pinned on the failure of working-class black people to pay off mortgages banks were forced to give them. Of course, the Republicans aren't saying that nearly the way he claims they're saying it, he's just reflexively parroting the Democrat party line about Republicans being racist.

The problem, though, does stem from the Community Reinvestment Act and the political pressures placed on banks to make loans to poor people with little credit. One of the consequences of that was that people who before rented or bought a $50,000 house now could get a loan and buy a $75,000 or even a $100,000 house. So they did, not irrationally. That meant that the demand for $100,000 homes went up, allowing sellers to charge more. Pretty soon, the poor people were buying the same house they would have bought for $60,000 a year or two before for $100,000 with their big, government-guaranteed mortgage. The people who WOULD have bought the $100,000 home now had to buy $150,000 homes, which is what the old $100,000 homes were selling for after the increased market demand. And so on up the food chain.

Today, much of the bust has undoubtedly been with upper-middle-class folks who bit off more than they could chew and should have known better, although poor folks defaulting on smaller loans is undoubtedly also a chunk of the problem.

But the bottom line is that the government provided a subsidy which increased demand, causing prices to rise. The government subsidy (combined with political pressures to reduce lending standards) led to lenders making bad decisions, and greed on Wall Street led to clever packaging to make a quick buck by getting in on the housing market without having to actually buy and sell real estate.

Then, well-intentioned accounting requirements led to those mortgage-backed security assets being valued accurately under current market conditions, which significantly weakened the balance sheets of firms holding a lot of them. These accounting rules may have been too rigorous, because the long-term value of those assets probably is higher than their immediate value. So a couple of big firms suddenly became insolvent, people panicked, more firms started going under because they couldn't weather the panic, and here we are.

So there were a lot of mistakes and ample blame to go around to both the political and the financial class. But it pretty much all started with the government's policy to subsidize risky credit decisions.

PatHMV

Exactly, realpc.

Simon
Aren't you all assuming it's too bad the bill didn't pass? What if it was a lousy bill?
I think the most offensive thing is seeing Paul Krugman, Sandy Levinson and their ilk - who ably demonstrate that even the highly educated can be idiots - saying that this shows that the Constitution doesn't work. Those who assume that because Obama taught conlaw (he didn't, but that's another story) he must have some particular understanding or respect for the Constitution should look to Levinson as a cautionary tale that this isn't necessarily so. The Constitution's role in this affair was to say which part of government would make the decision. The decision was made, by the branch of government specified in the Constitution. Regardless of what the decision was, the Constitution functioned just fine.
Pastor_Jeff

Pat -- excellent summary. Yes, there's plenty of blame to go around.

At the foundation, there were too many people at all income levels taking out too many loans they couldn't really afford. It was an easy way to pump up the economy, as long as home values continued to rise and nothing went wrong. But you knew there was trouble coming when people were buying homes 0% down, taking out huge interest-only loans and ARMS, or going back for 2nd and 3rd equity loans. People were leveraged for 100%+ of their home value. And it seems that most of that money not in home equity went to consumer spending, not investment. So when rates went up and the bills came due, we started seeing increased defaults and foreclosures.

The situation was created through cheap money, loosened lending rules to encourage more home ownership (a worthy goal, btw), serious mismanagement at the GSEs which were covering half the mortgage debt in the US with the implicit promise of government backing, and lack of political will to stop the party.

As you've said, Pat, there deserves to be some major political pain for those who encouraged this mess and ignored the warnings.

realpc

So, now I am starting to wonder ... did this all really start with good intentions that backfired? Is is possible that, as so often happens, the real villains were compassion and good intentions? Is it possible that greed and corruption were involved but were not the original main driving force? Is it possible that neither party should take all the blame?

It's real easy for Democrats to scream about the greedy rich Republicans and their friends on Wall Street, but is their anger justified?

PatHMV

realpc... it was as often the case a combination of all of the above. Good intentions, which served to mask a great deal of greed and corruption, along with a healthy dose of self-deception by a lot of folks. Please go over to my latest post at Stubborn Facts to see that these risks were NOT unforeseen. Alas, nobody ever listens to Cassandra.

I'm used to seeing Republicans and Democrats scream at each other. The fact that they're screaming at each other doesn't convince me that this is a problem justifying the proposed solution. What WOULD justify it to me is to see the Democrats yelling inwardly, ousting their own people who got them into this mess and to see the Republicans doing the same thing.

amba

The GOP is feeling its way toward scapegoating African-Americans.

Good point, though I think it's the white liberals who enabled the CRA that they're scapegoating.

I do take your point that neither party could afford to pass this alone and become a scapegoat when it fails to prevent all pain. They're both treating it like a hot potato. The buck doesn't stop, these days.

I'm about to post something possiby apropos.

Melinda

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/30/opinion/30brooks.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin ">David Brooks has a good take on it today, meaning that I agree with him so he must be a genius.

Pat, I'll have to meet this Cassandra woman. We'll have a lot in common.

wj

This was indeed a bad bill. And the original was worse. The question for me is: to what extent was this a bad bill because all the options available were bad? And is there a better (even if perhaps still bad) option somewhere that we could get to?

So far, most of what I am hearing from those opposed is that the right thing to do is just let nature take its course. If they were, at the same time, at least trying to repeal some of the perverse incentives that the Congress has enacted over the years (some of which they even cite in their opposition), they would be more convincing. Who knows, they might even propose an alternative which looks like it is actually better and might even work.

amba

However, I still don't find it at all implausible that the Dems are using this crisis to engineer/assure Obama's election and their return to full power. Both parties are talking about how it's a bipartisan crisis and they must act for the good of the country, while frantically maneuvering to get it to throw the election their way.

huxley

Pray 'em, if you got 'em.

Melinda

So if the WPA comes back, we can all go paint murals.

amba

poor folks defaulting on smaller loans is undoubtedly also a chunk of the problem. But the bottom line is that the government provided a subsidy which increased demand, causing prices to rise. The government subsidy (combined with political pressures to reduce lending standards) led to lenders making bad decisions

I don't know enough to know whether the Community Reinvestment Act is at the root of the problem. What I am sure of is that plenty of subprime loans were pushed to unqualified homebuyers in places outside of CRA neighborhoods. The instruments Wall Street devised to diffuse the risk temporarily insured against -- which is to say, postponed, deferred -- the risk of default, allowing it to accumulate and build up like the stresses on a seismic fault until the whole economy defaulted at once. At least, that's my ignorant take on it.

PatHMV

That's an excellent point, Annie. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did not limit themselves to buying or guaranteeing sub-prime loans for poor people; they subsidized sub-prime loans for middle class and wealthy people, too.

amba

It's really interesting the way realpc thinks, isn't it?

Pastor_Jeff

Amba -- yes.

As I said above, there were too many people at all income levels taking out too many loans they couldn't really afford. And I keep coming back to F&F not because of the CRA primarily, but because these GSEs were invovled in almost half the mortgage debt in the U.S. -- with the implicit promise of government backing if anything went wrong. It's gone badly wrong because of that promise and F&F's unnatural quasi-governmental involvement in the market with no proper oversight.

And as Pat keeps pointing out, the very people who created and ignored the mess are the ones claiming they should be trusted to fix it. No thanks.

huxley

Yeah, I have a friend who took out $150K in home equity loans to cover a period when he was out of work and his wife was taking care of the young ones. Then, at the peak of the bubble, he rolled over his first house into a much more expensive one, and now he's thoroughly underwater, but at least he's working.

RW Rogers

Sad to see Michael Reynolds aka Michael Grant continue to engage in race-baiting.

Charlie (Colorado)

Aren't you all assuming it's too bad the bill didn't pass? What if it was a lousy bill?

And what if you really needed that case of smallpox?

huxley

The instruments Wall Street devised to diffuse the risk temporarily insured against -- which is to say, postponed, deferred -- the risk of default, allowing it to accumulate and build up like the stresses on a seismic fault until the whole economy defaulted at once.

That's my impression. Mortgage-based securities (MBS) and credit default swaps (CDS), and collateralized debt obligations (CDO) did a fabulous job of spreading all sorts of risk all over the globe.

During the dotcom bubble, a financial expert was asked why so many other experts were joining in on the irrational exuberance of that market. He shrugged and said, "The pigs were dancing."

amba

"The pigs were dancing."

That should be the title of one of these books. Maybe it even is.

huxley

Yep. A great line, if only I could remember where I read it.

Meanwhile, Larry Kudlow speaks well of the bailout as not being a bailout but a win-win scenario, in which the banking system is unfrozen and the taxpayers will eventually be paid back, maybe even with profits.

Michael Reynolds

It's a fairly desperate partisan spin you're putting on the motivations of the no voters, too. You're assuming that they came in for the bill, heard a speech, and feeling miffed decided to change their votes.

No, Simon: that's the GOP's spin. Didn't you get the memo?

Michael Reynolds

If you listen quietly, you can hear the sound of jackboots in distance, right?

Not in the distance, Jeff: from you. It's the one thing that is guaranteed to render you hysterical: any suggestion that Republicans may have had, or currently have, a race problem.

Krauthammer was race-baiting. Mona Charen picked it up today. It's the Willie Hortonizing of the economic crisis.

I'm not accusing the GOP of actually beingracists. I'm accusing Krauthammer, Charen and others of using race-baiting to designate a scapegoat. Sort of like when John McCain supported the display of the Confederate flag when it was useful to him politically and then, when it was no longer to his advantage, suddenly came to Jesus and publicly admitted that's what he'd done.

Or when Ken Mehlman admitted the GOP had a race problem.

Or are you going to deny that's what happened, Jeff? Because I know that in your world racism isn't a problem, only denouncing racism is.

Michael Reynolds

However, I still don't find it at all implausible that the Dems are using this crisis to engineer/assure Obama's election and their return to full power.

Evidence? Logic to support this?

60% of Democrats voted to support Bush's bill. Only a third of Republicans did. And it's a Democrat conspiracy? WTF?

Pastor_Jeff

Not in the distance, Jeff: from you. It's the one thing that is guaranteed to render you hysterical: any suggestion that Republicans may have had, or currently have, a race problem.

No, Michael. What justifiably angers me is your accuastion that I am a racist. And you just did it again.

Show me where I've blamed poor black people for the financial crisis. Show me where I've ever evidence any anti-semitism.

You have absolutely NO evidence or reason to posit that I harbor racist attitudes. It's a slimy piece of political slander which you throw around far too readily. It's juvenile, pathetic, disgusting, and inexcusable.

I'm not Krauthammer, Charen, Mehlman, the GOP, or any of the other people you like to tar conservatives on this blog as being. I'm me, Michael.

You can either engage me on what I've actually written, or you can slander me based on what somebody else said.

Let me guess which you'll choose.

Michael Reynolds

I just did engage you, Jeff. And let me be clear, I harbor no suspicions that anyone else here is a racist. I think Simon's a young Republican tool, but I don't think he's a racist.

As for being an accusation "I throw around," really? Where? When? Show us all where I've thrown that around.

I'll repeat Jeff: every time race comes up you become unhinged. You refuse to accept even the suggestion that race is a problem. All you do is deny and attack anyone who suggests it may be.

The tape you have up at your blog shows a series of white Republicans calling for greater limits and opposing them with black Democrats. It's not a coincidence. You obsess over race-oriented political correctness, you deny the GOP's role in past race-baiting, you become abusive and hysterical when I suggest that the GOP has used race to prosper electorally.

It's not racist to deny racism, it's not racism to deny a particular episode of alleged racism, but to deny the very possibility of racism? That is racism.

Pastor_Jeff

What accusations have you thrown around? How much time do you have? Here's a good one for starters. And you just told me I'm wearing jackboots.

The video at my site is not about black Demcorats and white Republicans. It's about Democrats resisting reform and oversight of an out-of-control GSE and themselves making it a racial issue!

Lacy Clay said that a Republican investigation was a "lynching" of Frank Raines. Raines was an incompetent crook. What the hell does his skin color have to do with it? In your world Michael, a white guy accusing a black guy of criminal negligence means he's a racist.

Can there be no political issue that isn't suffused with race? That says more about your sad worlview than it does about me.

I don't deny the reality of racism. I've differed with you over the extent to which it exists and what influence it continues to have. But because of that, you want to paint me (and all conversatives) as denying the reality of racism.

That narrative forces you to deny the reality that supercharging the CRA and lack of oversight at F&F did in fact contribute to the crisis. It lets you ignore my statements that more minority home ownership is a good thing, and that the crisis was caused by people at all income levels taking out loans they couldn't pay back.

You're full of BS, Michael, you're deeply dishonest, and it's your insistence on seeing every issue through a racial lens that makes honest political discussion impossible, deepens distrust, and fans the flames of racial animosity.

PatHMV

To be specific, Michael, you said: "Make no mistake: coming off Krauthammer's lead, the GOP line has become: blame the negroes, not us."

The entire Republican party, according to you, is just looking to racistly blame black people for this crisis. Up yours. I've said before I won't tolerate it, and I meant it. I'm done with you, Michael. When you can engage in political discourse without denouncing all Republican actions as being motivated by either racism or sheer stupidity, then maybe it'll be worth while debating with you again. But until then, that's it. I'm not even going to bother to read another word you write. This type of bull is poisoning the debate in this country. You have long claimed to be a fairly moderate guy. You're not. You are contributing to the political problems of this country (from your villa in Tuscany) by attributing, falsely, to your political opponents evil, nasty motivations. Racial relations won't improve in this country until people like you stop that crap, Michael.

Pastor_Jeff

Let's look at that horrible, racist post of mine: I blame Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, and Frank for blocking efforts to reform GSEs and state explicitly that I don't trust them (a bunch of white people!) to fix the mess they created. The top of the post features a frightening picture of a bunch of smiling, self-satisfied white Democrats. The video at he bottom illustrates the Democrats' responsibility for the mess, not black people's.

I care about policies. You're obsessed with race.

The reason I get so upset is that 'racist' is one of the ugliest and most destructive charges that can be made against someone. You throw it around because you know that and find it politically useful. You rant about Republican racism, but you're willing to slander people and poison the well in order to score cheap political points and feel morally superior.

It's disgusting and inexcusable.

huxley

Michael's link to his lynching blog post some months back was the end of my ability to take his writings as anything more than agit-prop.

Ron

I've long quit listening to Cassandra because there are Cassandras about everything, in every possible direction. If they turn out to "predict" how things happen, they wail and beat their breast crying "Oh no one listens!" But if it doesn't happen that way? Nobody gets outta the Cassandra business.

Simon

Michael:

No, Simon: that's the GOP's spin. Didn't you get the memo?
That's the leadership's spin. Why not ask the people who actually voted no why they voted no? They want you to know that the leadership is full of it. (You remember the leadership - these guys.) Is it your contention that we should trust the motivations ascribed to the naysayers by the very leaders who the naysayers' votes embarrassed and repudiated, over and above the naysayers' own stated reasons?

Melinda

Ron: Anybody who looked at a real estate Web site five years ago could have been a Cassandra. Just call me Mama Cass!

When you start seeing one-bedroom apartments in non-descript high-rises go for $750,000 each, something's going wrong somewhere.

karen

Cassandra goes around saying- "No one listens to me!"? Holy crap-- i do that every day here at home:0).

It's a true story.

It bothers me, too- that everyone that mentions Palin's baby calls him her ~Down Syndrom~ baby. Isn't that bigotted, too?

Hey Mamma-- i LMAO whenever i hear Rusty. It's not just his voice, it's his entire ~way~. He's got a couple of videos out- one when he went to NYC. The only thing w/him is that he talks so fast and he breathes very hard-- i hyperventilate watching him, myself.

I'm praying for an effective bill. My folks have $$$$ caught up in this mess, hard earned(like most) and i just want them to rest easy.

Donna B.

Michael writes:
"The GOP is feeling its way toward scapegoating African-Americans.

And Annie, if you think that in the end the scapegoating won't spread from blacks and liberals to Jews, you have a short historical memory. The GOP is deliberately playing with fire in order to deflect blame for this disaster."

WTF?

Michael, you have the audacity and gall to write that *I* don't get the politics of this?

I'm not so blinded by racism that I can't see the politics of BOTH sides.

Instead of acting grown-up and doing the job of trying to keep this country out of a depression, Pelosi et al are playing presidential politics with our laws and our money.

They are trying (and so far, succeeding it seems) to make John McCain and the Republican party villains in this mess and claim moral superiority and political points in their having to fix it.

The longer they take to fix it - ie, pass meaningful legislation, the better the polls are going to be for them.

Or so they think. I'm not sure they haven't overplayed their hand again.

And you accuse Republicans of racism because they do not wholeheartedly and 100% back a plan being presented in such a way to insure them political loss?

You have the weakest grip on politics I've ever witnessed.

You don't even get the politics of racism right -- that is that some black politicians and most far left liberal whites consider it racist to question the goals, motives, and actions of any black DEMOCRAT politician.

That's got to stop.

That has allowed Barack Obama to become the likely next president of this country without questioning his goals, motives, or intended actions.

Those are things that every politician running for any office whatsoever should be extensively questioned about!

sheesh...

RW Rogers

Michael is busy race-baiting here because his candidate thinks it is a fine idea. His candidate's winning campaign will be one for the history books. The smears and lies from his candidate will come to rank among the worst in American politics/

Meade

McCain: Country first
Pelosi: Party first
Obama: Me first

realpc

"the very people who created and ignored the mess are the ones claiming they should be trusted to fix it. No thanks."

CNN, which I think is doing a good job of covering the crisis, showed Bernanke a in recent months instilling confidence and saying how wonderfully the economy is doing. And now we are supposed to appoint him god of the bailout?

The plan failed to pass because congress listened to public opinion. Now they're trying to convince us the public is too stupid and ignorant to understand why this bailout is urgently needed. Well, maybe we are stupid and ignorant, but so are they!

The point is, no one knows what action should be taken or not taken. The experts just pretend to know, so they can instill confidence. Because the economy runs on confidence.

Yes the economy runs on confidence, but it gets destroyed by over-confidence. So we need the right amount of confidence, and that means not listening to the experts who are merely playing psychological games with us.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

New on FacTotem, my Natural History Blog

Jacques' Story: Escape From the Gulag

The AmbivAbortion Rant

Debating Intelligent Design

Ecosystem


  • Listed on Blogwise

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 08/2004