If we might revisit perennial cementhead Brian Lemon ever so briefly, as he proclaims the good news from the rooftops:
Against all odds, and despite the usual drumbeat of criticism, President George W. Bush has had a very good year. The troop surge in Iraq is succeeding. America remains safe from terrorist attacks. And the Goldilocks economy is outperforming all expectations.
Ah, yes, that kick-ass U.S. economy. Ignore, of course, the staggering subprime mortgage fiasco:
Mortgage mess has government scrambling
A look at the moves needed to ward off recession and foreclosures in 2008.
December 24 2007: 11:12 AM EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- After a slow and stumbling start, Washington is scrambling to prevent the unfolding mortgage crisis from pushing the country into recession during an election year. There is a strong feeling, though, that the government will need to do more to avert a financial disaster.
Former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers advocates temporary tax cuts and emergency spending on the order of $50 billion to $75 billion. Such action could help the U.S. from slipping into what Summers, who served under President Clinton, fears could become the worst downturn since the steep 1981-82 recession.
Yes, let's just put that aside for the time being, because now we've got other problems:
Credit card defaults alarmingly high
Rate of credit card default seen surging as fallout from the subprime meltdown is spreading.
December 23 2007: 6:54 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year and prompting warnings of worse to come.
An Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country's largest card issuers also found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears.
Experts say these signs of the deterioration of finances of many households are partly a byproduct of the subprime mortgage crisis and could spell more trouble ahead for an already sputtering economy.
And, hey, what's a mortgage meltdown and record-setting credit card defaults without an unprecedented national debt to go with it:
For the fifth time since 2001, Congress is raising the debt limit, increasing it by $850 billion to $9.815 trillion. The Senate approved the plan on a 53-42 vote Thursday night. The House of Representatives has already signed off on the plan, without a direct vote.
According to the folks who follow this stuff closely, the national debt has been rising by an average of $1.36 billion per day since September of last year.
And each citizen now has a share of nearly $30,000.
But Congress has an easy solution to deal with the mounting red ink. Instead of fretting over it, members simply allow the government to borrow more money, much to the consternation of some critics.
“American families don't have the luxury Congress has,” said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who opposed the increase. “They can't get a new loan or new credit cards after they have maxed out their capability to borrow. Yet instead, every day in this body we do essentially that.”
But it's not like Brian's all that worried. After all, Larry Kudlow over at Clown Hall says things are going swimmingly, and if Larry says it, it's good enough for Brian.
All joking aside, now, how many of you out there take the Blogging Tories seriously? I'd really like to know so I can avoid whatever it is that made you so fucking stupid.
Call it self-preservation.
BONUS TRACK: Yes, things are just ducky, aren't they?