Friday, October 3, 2008

The TR: Economic Exigence, Combat Communications and Belittled Bulldogs

Great Tina Fey impersonation last night, Gov P! Or was that a Stepford Candidate robotically throwing out canned talking points no matter what the question? "Maverick!" "Hockey mom!" "Drill, baby, drill!" "You betcha (wink)!" Put on the popcorn, SNL may be the best thing that happens this week.

Forecast

Don't expect the stock market to calm down any time soon, and start the countdown to other countries' major market meltdowns. This, and all details related to the bailout, will continue to dominate the news, as well as the "I was against the bailout before I was for it" U.S. representative pre-election CYA.

If it weren't so damned scarifying, it would be funny. This roller-coaster ride ain't over anytime soon, so stock up on the Dramamine. It's bad, folks... so bad that even amusement-park company Six Flags may have to get off soon to vomit.

With his campaign in a post-suspension tailspin and Michigan now off his electoral map, we're anticipating more craziness with John McCain in the approaching 9th inning of the campaign. (Hat tip goes to First Read for a nice run-down of the status of the other battleground states.) Expect more attention to McCain's Mitten State bail-out, both in analysis and bizarre "new" news to try to distract our attention.

The Week That Was

Feeling seasick as the world economy teetered on the brink all week? For those of you who expected your government to work for you, you're either delighted, outraged or both. Did Speaker Pelosi scuttle the initial bail-out plan all by herself, or was it the two-thirds of Republicans who didn't vote for it? Then the Senate rode in to the rescue with a more expensive plan that Paulson still can't fully explain. Aaaaah -- hard to know what to do with a gun to our heads, dear reader. Bail out Wall Street? Or watch the world go down in flames? Do tell us what you think. And, in the mean time, run out and get one last home equity loan to pay off those credit cards.

Post-debate, Palin must be feeling QUITE relieved. No campaigns suspended, no MAJOR screw ups, and Biden/Ifill were too afraid of looking mean to force her to actually answer questions. Gotta love the the Gov's support for the Cheney-like extra-legal extra-Constitutional expanded VP role. And adore even more that Biden not only has read what the U.S. Constitution (!) but can quote the part about the VP post live on TV. If you missed it (really?! Where WERE you?!), here are some bite-sized pieces, and don't miss the TR Staff analysis on the Turner Blog.

Global opinion of the U.S. may be in the toilet, but at least we're an absolutely riveting Technicolor spectacle for the rest of the world. Everyone is watching us, from the vultures to the hapless masses (except for JK Rowling, who's busy trying to punch an airhole through the avalanche of money falling on her). In addition to harshly criticizing the slow-motion trainwreck that is the American financial system, Russia's planning the largest military exercise since the Cold War, named (get this) Stability 2008. In Mother Russia, a financial crisis is great news.

And finally, oh yeah, there's still a war going on. The Defense Department has hired private contractors to ramp up its PR efforts in Iraq (it's called "PSYOPS" in Army-speak). It's not a new tactic but it's certainly now a well-funded one. Hey Pentagon -- we can see the White House from our office windows, at least during the cold months when the trees are bare -- and yet you haven't called us! Not that we would take that gig. So there.

Scorecard

Still going strong. Hope you toasted the media madness that was this last week! Now we're gonna go sleep off this hangover. Have a great weekend.

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