America’s governance mind: FUBAR

by divorced one like Bush
UPDATED: Jim Watt  Remember him?

If you did not see it, go watch this weeks Bill Moyers Journal.  Part 2 is here.

From the second part we get all we need to know about where we’re going regarding government for, of and by the people and how little regard there is at the top for the seriousness of such a declaration and its implementation in perpetuity.

BILL MOYERS: Let me show you something that Ben Bernanke said to the annual meeting of economists earlier this week, last Sunday, I think it was.

BEN BERNANKE: The best response to the housing bubble would have been regulatory, not monetary. Stronger regulation and supervision aimed at problems with underwriting practices and lenders’ risk management would have been a more effective and surgical approach for constraining the housing bubble than a general increase in interest rates.


BILL MOYERS: Whoops what?

DAVID CORN: Well, now he’s saying what a lot of us said earlier? That we should have had better regulation, you know, rather than just fiddling with interest rates?…

BILL MOYERS: You have a great chart in your story in “Mother Jones” on that.

DAVID CORN: I mean, my favorite one that I wrote about, and I don’t know him personally. He could be a great guy. Never even met him. I tried to interview him, but he wouldn’t consent. Mark Patterson. He’s the chief of staff for Timothy Geithner, the Treasury Department Secretary. He was a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs. What did he do as a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs? He lobbied against a bill in the Senate to restrain it was a very modest bill, to restrain CEO compensation.

Basically, gave shareholders the right to say, “We think you’re paying them too much.” It wasn’t even mandatory. It wouldn’t even cut back pay. He you know, Goldman Sachs would have none of that. He lobbied against that bill. Who authored that bill? Barack Obama, when he was a Senator. So, the guy who fought Barack Obama on CEO pay, an issue that Barack Obama says he cares about. And I believe he does. Is now running the Treasury Department for Tim Geithner. I mean, this really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

Yeah. Makes no sense to me either. In fact, the only mind that can make sense of such dichotomy in purpose and intent is a schizophrenic mind.

In responding to a comment by Guest who I assume is Cantab (we forget to check our sign-in names, Oh well), I mentioned James Watt.

Jim Watt’s experiences during and after his term as Secretary of the Interior is the perfect book end to Mark Patterson mentioned above. Back when Jim boy was Secretary, he got his ass booted. Sure, he created some messes. He was after all, the prototype for what we have in our administrative offices of our government.

From Wiki:

For over two decades, Watt held the record for protecting the fewest species under the Endangered Species Act in United States history… According to the environmental groups, Watt decreased funding for environmental programs,[5] restructured the department to decrease federal regulatory power,[5] wished to eliminate the Land and Water Conservation Fund (which had been designed to increase the size of National Wildlife Refuges and other protected land),[5] eased regulations on oil[5] and mining[6][5] companies, and favored opening wilderness areas and shorelands for oil and gas leases.[5]…In 1983, Watt banned The Beach Boys from playing a Fourth of July concert on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., saying that rock concerts drew “an undesirable element”; the group had played each year on the Mall on the Fourth of July from 1976 to 1981.

But, unlike Bush’s Metal of Freedom winners, Watt’s got booted. Sure, it took this to do it:

A public controversy erupted after a speech by Watt on September 21, 1983, when he said about his staff: “I have a black, a woman, two Jews and a cripple. And we have talent.”[13] Within weeks of making this statement, Watt submitted his resignation letter.[13][14]

but at least it was done. Not now though. Such countervailing, diametric behavior is apparently immune to public desire.

Worse though, is the loss of memory when people acted up-front. Jim Watt’s never hide his ideology. Also is the loss of memory of what justice used to mean in America:

In 1995, Watt was indicted on 25 counts of felony perjury and obstruction of justice by a federal grand jury.[15] The indictments were due to false statements made to a grand jury investigating influence peddling at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which he had lobbied in the mid to late 1980s. On January 2, 1996, as part of a plea bargain, Watt pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of withholding documents from a federal grand jury. On March 12, 1996 he was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and perform 500 hours of community service.[16]

Now we call it “politicizing government”.