Pelosi shoots off mouth- hits ecomony in the head

Posted on: September 29, 2008

The wise falcon never shows its claws. Add to that, “until after the vote”.

Unfortunately Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, just had to stick her tongue out at the Republicans just before todays momentous and historic vote for a $700 billion credit crisis bailout and blame Bush and his party for the mess.

On such pivital moments does the political world spin. Who knows what the vote would have been had she not made that unnecessary speech?

The Republicans stuck it in Pelosi’s ear, 133 Republican members of the House of Representatives- the chamber where money bills must be passed- voting it down. So did 95 members of Pelosi’s own party.

On September 11, 2001, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 684 points following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. It would be nice if that was still a record. Today the Dow dropped 777 points. In Canada, following the news the bailout vote was lost, the Toronto Stock Exchange lost seven per cent of its value.

Politicians like to make the speech for the momentous moment. The times when they get it right are thankfully more famous than the times they get it wrong.

Neville Chamberlain’s showing his piece of paper signed by Adolf Hitler and declaring he had brought “peace for our time” comes to mind as another misstatement made by a politician.

Less tragic was Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau’s statement that the Montreal Olympics could no more have a deficit than a man could have a baby. No stock market crisis loomed in that case, but cartoon storks were marketed as well as a cartoon of a pregnant Drapeau. The deficit was paid on for two decades.

The fall seems like the time for these mistakes. Back in October 1929, Irving Fisher, one of the most famous economists of the day, declared, “Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.” Days after Fisher made his pronouncement, stock prices plummeted, not to recover for decades. Fisher’s then-eminent reputation suffered along with it.

Fast forward to a more recent October. In 2003, on an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf, U.S. President George W. Bush declared “MIssion Accomplished” in Iraq beneath a large banner that declared it again in case anyone missed it. Five years later, the Iraq war rages on.

Another fall day that became a nation’s winter. In an open car the wife of a Texas governor said to the president sitting in the back seat, “You certainly can’t say that the people of Texas haven’t given you a nice welcome, Mr. President.” Enough said about that November 1963 event.

Newspapers can get facts wrong, too, but few apologies were so late in coming as this one. In 1920, rocket pioneer Robert Goddard pioneered on paper the science of the escape velocity of rockets and the use of rockets in space. The New York Times skewered Goddard’s work, saying he lacked the “knowledge ladled out daily in high schools” and ridiculed the idea that rockets could operate in the vacuum of space. After the Apollo 11 moon landing the New York Times printed an overdue correction: “..it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as in an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error.”

One more to end on. Playwright Henrik Ibsen, told by a nurse he was looking much better, declared to her, “On the contrary!” and promptly died. The poor nurse.

“..it has created chaos,” said Nancy Pelosi in her speech today on the deregulation of the now-vanished great American investment banks and the chilling spillover effect into the world financial markets. Today, more chaos. Tomorrow and Wednesday we may see even more.

An amendment to the bailout bill which could be voted on again Thursday or Friday may include the unwritten clause that Pelosi keep her mouth shut.


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  • wordbeeps: No, he doesn't deserve an apology. Who tweets during a funeral? If you do, expect feedback. I didn't say the mourners were faking it. I think they we
  • Holly Stick: Look you fuckwit, are you too stupid to realise that Ghomeshi was an actual friend of Layton's, when you tweeted to him that the mourners were faking
  • aardvarkcola: Thank you. I see the rest of your message now. i'm honoured to to have your words on my blog. That alone is a delight. Lawrence


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