Wednesday, October 1

Is the House bailout revolt still on? John Batchelor has latest. Meanwhile -- shock of shocks! -- pork shows up in bailout bill.

By John Batchelor, posted on October 01, 2008 at 6:26 PM

House Fight Review

Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who has his bowie knife on his belt, is reported unhappy with the ornament of the AMT fix in the Senate bill, and he leads 13 Blue Dogs in the House who voted "yes" on Monday and are now disgusted with the trickery that is sending a loaded up bill back to the House.

George Soros wrote in opposition to the Hank Paulson plan in the Financial Times, and his voice is determinative to the Progressives in the House, including the CBC, all of whom voted no on Monday.

Republican Brad Sherman of 27th California noted in the Hill that his "no" vote on Monday did not make the sky fall. Republican Chris Shays of 4th Connecticut noted that since his "yes" vote on Monday, his constituents, dominated by the hedgies and bankers, are decidedly running against the plan that has already been defeated.

Then there is the fact that Mrs. Pelosi believes she was humiliated on Monday when she delivered 140 "yes" votes and yet afterward claimed she was only supposed to deliver 125.

Meanwhile, the story goes, John Boehner was supposed to deliver 75 "yes" votes and only delivered 65.

The numbers don't add up. It is all smoke. Capitol Hill smoke. The leased Senate vote tonight, with Harry Reid (right) promising a sideshow of popinjays and presidential candidates, is supposed to pressure the House to revote in the affirmative likely on Friday.

None of this means the deal is done

There are missing pieces in all this. For example, I note that my colleague Larry Kudlow, CNBC, told me distinctly on air Sunday 28 that what was wrong with the Paulson package was that it was too much -- that $700 billion was too much, that Hank Paulson didn't need that much, and that it had been "whittled down to $250 billion" in the legislation to be voted on.

Larry Kudlow is well informed; he was speaking with the confidence of a man who negotiates and confides closely to House leadership -- including Eric Cantor and Roy Blunt -- and to the White House and Treasury, including the weary, needy, unhelpful Hank Paulson.

Larry Kudlow speaks candidly and clearly. What happened to the $250 billion number? Why did the House have to vote on $700 billion? Why is the Senate voting on $700 billion? There is a problem here. A disconnect of a half a trillion dollars? That is more than the smoke, more than the bickering leadership and the assassination teams in the Democratic caucus, more than can be explained right now. There may be deception. Or, to be diplomatic -- there may be miscommunication.
Deception on Capitol Hill? Shocking! Shocking!

And isn't it nice to see that George Soros became the fountainhead of helpfulness once regulators in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany imposed a ban on short selling? The US ban is set to expire tomorrow night, but bets are that it will be extended for 30 days.

See also the transcript at No Quarter for the Lou Dobbs show on CNN last night. (Lou Dobbs is the only good thing about CNN, according to several, including Pundita.) Dobbs and his Independents represent a key voting bloc, and they still ain't buying what Paulson is selling.

I love this tidbit from one NQ reader:
Comment by doctorate | 2008-10-01 13:27:24

Some of The New Bailout Bill Provisions [via Count Us Out]

The bill started at 3 pages, grew to 106 pages, and is now 451 pages.

Film and Television Productions (Sec. 502)
Wooden Arrows designed for use by children (Sec. 503)
6 page package of earmarks for litigants in the 1989 Exxon Valdez incident, Alaska (Sec. 504)
Virgin Island and Puerto Rican Rum (Section 308)
American Samoa (Sec. 309)
Mine Rescue Teams (Sec. 310)
Mine Safety Equipment (Sec. 311)
Domestic Production Activities in Puerto Rico (Sec. 312)
Indian Tribes (Sec. 314, 315)
Railroads (Sec. 316)
Auto Racing Tracks (317)
District of Columbia (Sec. 322)
Wool Research (Sec. 325)

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