Tuesday, September 30, 2008

working breakfast

I’m going to try something new. One thing I have enjoyed in life is meeting people that view the world so completely differently than I do. It’s viewing something together and then comparing notes: I see a woman in a dress and think whether it is a business or formal-social occasion; the other person said, “She’s wearing yellow.” The color never entered mind; for the other person, the color was the only important thing – it spoke the loudest. I never saw it.

It’s not an issue of right or wrong. It’s purely a matter of viewing through a different lens.

I am viewing the collapse of Fannie and Freddie purely through economic logic. I see the political history from the Clinton Rules requiring risky lending practices (and don’t entirely disagree) to the poorly designed public/private entities that F&F were (the off couple of benefits of equity investment and financial non-disclosure (whoops!)). I view this situation, it seems, purely from a logical perspective. I don’t get emotional about macroeconomics or even politics. I may seem emotional at times about the latter, but that is because I truly hate being lied to. It’s a trigger for me. At least I know mine, eh?

So I need to view the F&F freefall from an emotional perspective. I need to try to set logic aside. Yes, this will require me to ignore facts. Let’s see!

Dateline – ABC/CBS/MSNBC/ChrisMatthews/DavidLettermen/AP/WaPo/NYT/LAT

Headline – American Economy in Freefall. President Bush Eats Breakfast.

While every homeowner in America fears that their homes, pensions, jobs, and children are at risk of being taken away from them, President George W. Bush (Republican) sat down to a hearty breakfast served to him by slave-decedent Zachariah Cotton. Three times slave-decedent Mr. Cotton was compelled to refill the president’s coffee cup.

Although the breakfast was prepared at his request, the kitchen staff slaving over hot toasters and steaming pans, the president left portions of the breakfast uneaten – and in a state that could not be distributed to local food kitchens.

Also attending the breakfast was The Honorable House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (A member of the progressive Democratic Party from the wonderful State of California where she owns a delicately appointed home in dreamy San Francisco). She wore an appropriately simple blue dress with lushingly soft, matching pumps. Bush wore slippers.

Her breakfast was minimal, a bagel with Kosher cream cheese, indicating her unwavering support for the State of Israel and a two-state solution. She poured her own coffee.

The president spoke haltingly, in barely audible terms to those witnesses in the hallway thirty feet and a closed door away. Mrs. Pelosi spoke in the elegant manner which matches her station in life, at times softly as if to underscore the importance of her words, at other times with the gruff sternness necessary to convey her message to the presidential pupil opposite her. All of her words were clearly understood by those witnessing from within the room.

The topic, of course, was the trajectory of the economy established under the Bush Regime. Mrs. Pelosi constructed a cogent argument pulling facts and opinions from a dizzying array of world-wide scholars. She spoke at length about the plight of dockworkers, farmers, single-parent families, and carbon-conscious citizens. Bush mumbled something about his farm in Texas and how it was hard to get good illegals these days. Mrs. Pelosi quoted the United States Constitution several times, pointing out the differing uses of the words “citizen,” “resident,” and “person.” Bush said he had heard about that document, but couldn’t find the audio version. Mrs. Pelosi gingerly took his hand and said that she worked with illiterate people as a volunteer, and reassured Bush that his inability to read was nothing to be ashamed of.

Mrs. Pelosi detailed the credit crisis and the impact it would have on everyday working Americans. She said, “We must solve this problem you created. People may lose their homes. It will be Reagan all over again.” Bush responded by showing his credit cards and saying, “This one got a $5,000 limit on it!” He also said, “My dad told me I could live with him if things got bad.” Mrs. Pelosi expressed her sympathy.

As the meeting concluded, Bush stood and dragged several dishes on the floor. It seems he tucked the tablecloth into his shirt, mistaking it for a bib. Mrs. Pelosi graciously waved off slave-decedent Mr. Cotton’s offer of help, instead cleaning the Bush-created mess herself, including using a spot remover on the carpet.

Mrs. Pelosi assured Bush that she would solve this problem that he created. Bush looked dazed as he said, “That’s a good idea. Wanna play a game of cards?”

Bush pointed to a door and said, “I think that’s the one to get out. Not sure. Hey, Cotty, little help?”

There. I think I got it. That’s about the tone and substance of the reporting I am reading these days. It’s different looking through their eyes. I have this cavernous feeling between my ears. Drafty.

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