The Fed announced a $200,000,000 bailout to the unfortunate banking dildos caught up short by the current housing foreclosure/subprime mess. Immediately following, the Stock Market took a shit (again). Greg Palast has a very good article about this , much better written and researched than a lowly nyuck like me could do (and that is why he gets paid for what he does, though often ignored by the mainstream press). But isn't it coincidental that Eliot Spitzer gets nabbed in a prostitution ring sting right before the Fed pulls off this megapayoff at the expense of...US! That $200 Billion wasn't private money. It was ours. We, in effect, paid off the very banks and lenders that instigated this type of predatory loaning and flexible APR. Countrywide is now "under investigation" by the "Justice Department" for its immoral and (not quite yet) illegal actions. Countrywide is now, also, owned by Bank Of America.
Spitzer was the main man in charge of attacking these greedy bastards and stopping them from raping those of us who, through ignorance or lack of any other opportunity, agreed to what we thought was a fair and above-board deal. He was hated by the lenders, the banks and George Bush. He stood in the way (not very well, actually) of those entities and Saudi Arabia of making hundreds of Billions individually and walking away with none noticing.
Most of what Greg Palast writes in his newest missive I knew about in general. I did NOT know that B of A had bought Countrywide.
I DID know that Congressman Greg Vitters ( a Republican, by the way) had been caught in the same kind of sting and was being treated with kid gloves by the Feds. In fact, they tried to keep his name silent. He still hasn't been convicted as far as I know of whatever it is that Johns get convicted of. And he was using public money to get his rocks off. Unlike Spitzer who paid out of his own pocket.
What was my first thought when I read that Spitzer had been connected to a call girl ring?
Answer: What a dumbass dickhead!
Unlike the so-called "moral" morons who sprinkle this country with their holier-than-thou attitudes and "I read it in the Bible, so it must be true" tripe, I don't care what a man or woman does on their own time so long as no one is injured by it (and by "no one" I mean "other than themselves", and by "injured" I mean neither physically, financially or empirically). You might say "But Fishstick, his wife and children WERE injured".
To that I reply: yes, but so what? He is as human as human gets. More so in one sense of the word. Those who do not fuck up are, in my eyes, less than human, so caught up as they are about being better than everyone else and closer to "perfection".
Spitzer fucked up. But his true sin (if there is such a thing) was to do it as a Public Figure dedicated to rooting out crime and corruption. He committed crime and it showed us the perception of corruption. He let down so many of the wage earners who believed that he was "better" than them and those he was after. He disappointed all of the blue collars hoping for justice against all those who benefited from deceptive legal practices and the protection of the government. He had stood up to the powers that be and spit in their eyes as a mouthpiece for us.
And, because of that, he was watched. And he knew that. And, still, he partook of pleasures forbidden by law and the Puritans who have ruled our country for too long. Puritans who, in turn, break these very laws and expect to get away with it. Who know they will get away with it so long as they have the proper walls and buffers in place. Spitzer forgot that rule: when you run afoul of those making the money, you will be crushed on the reefs of their power.
And it's a shame. He was doing good for us the taxpayers. He was shining a spotlight on the greed still espoused by the same small cabal for so many, many years.
Did he succumb to the pressures of the job? Did his homelife suffer from the demands of his calling? Probably yes to both. Did he use good judgement while hiring a prostitute? Definitively NO. The corrupt and immoral can get away with this type of activity much easier than the torch bearers for they have set the groudrules.
And the ground rules are simple: those who speak out against unlawful or unethical or immoral actions will be the first to get caught in these actions, because that is part of the ground rules set forth by those who have the money and power to engage in them. Those who speak out against must held to a tighter leash by the very ones who are for.
Spitzer gets caught for being a John and the Bush government then allows the Fed to ship $200 million of our money to banks and lenders who raped us. An action Spitzer was trying to point out and not allow.
And yet. Does Spitzer deserve a rebuke for being a dumbshit? Yes. Does he deserve to feel the wrath of his wife and family? Yes. Did he do well to admit he let down the people he claimed to represent? Yes. Did he take the higher moral road in quitting his office? Yes.
And yet. Was he caught with thousands of bribe dollars in his freezer and then claim immunity (Jefferson)? Did he claim that he would wait until all the facts were in before saying that he was being taken out of context just because he had a "meeting" with a known hooker and still manage to serve more time in Congress (Vitter)? Did he plead guilty and then try to retract his plea, because of a misunderstanding about public bathroom behavior (Craig)?
Also, why was Spitzer outted so quickly? Vitter wasn't. Craig wasn't. The press had to actually dig for those. Spitzer was handed to the press immediately on a silver platter. By whom? The only enemies he had were those in the banking business and the Bush administration. So who blew the whistle? Who had access to an undercover federal sting operation? Well, that would be the Feds, wouldn't it? And why would they want to blow the whistle on a major player?
Sort of smells like a Don Seigelman whitewash. And I want to know who the other major players are who the Feds have names for in this sting. So far, only Spitzer, even though the UK papers are saying that member of the Queen's family is involved (but if he had relations with a female hooker, then they are probably breathing a huge sigh of relief).
So, who else? Or is Spitzer enough for the Feds? Or is Spitzer the only one they wanted? I don't defend him, because he's a Democrat. I don't defend him at all. It's been a long time since I really differentiated the two parties when it comes to corruption and personal lust for power at the expense of all others (see Clinton v. Obama v. McCain). What I want to know is how many others of notable repute were caught up in this web? And why are they not being trotted before the fawning press corps? I will not believe he is the only one who should come tumbling down. This was a very discreet (so they thought) and expensive prostitution ring spanning two continents and numerable countries. So, where are the others?
And why are we not screaming for their heads as we did when we found out about Eliot Spitzer?