Possibly the Most Terrifying Headline of the Week

From the MSNBC Web site:

BREAKING NEWS: Bush says administration is ‘on top of the situation’ in dealing with the economy 

Yes, I have no doubt they will handle this with all the competence and confidence-inspiring action we’ve come to expect from this crew over the last seven years.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the basement, checking my supplies of bulk beans and rice, and also crossbow bolts.

64 Comments on “Possibly the Most Terrifying Headline of the Week”

  1. We’re in the same spot, John. I’ve been sweating this badly. I’d already been thinking about buying a couple of bulk containers of beans and rice.

    And the Administration’s reassurances that they’re “on top of it” lead me to believe that they’ve drugged it with date-rape drugs and are currently at it in the missionary position with no lube and no condom.

  2. God help us all!

  3. Sorry, Katherine, but it won’t be fixed in ’09. It may not be fixable for a long, long time — that’s what causes me nightmares.

    (Don’t get me wrong. I’m planning on holding a party at Noon EST Jan 20th 2009. I’ll buy the best champagne I can. Since I don’t drink alcohol normally, I’m open to suggestions for that :).)

  4. … good f*cking lord.

    I am frightened now. Especially since… okay, now I’m really appreciative of all the stuff my company’s doing to stretch out into other branches of profit and going overseas.

  5. I’ve had the beans and rice for a while. If you can afford it, they’re more cost-efficient when you buy in buik. I do it as a matter of course since they keep forever and will not be wasted.

    Pity that I know next to nothing about archery. I have gone target shooting, but I don’t pretend that I know enough to actually use a firearm for any reason.

  6. Adam J. Whitlatch – Bonaparte, Iowa – Adam J. Whitlatch is the author of over sixty works of speculative short fiction and poetry, as well as the young adult science fiction novel E.R.A. - Earth Realm Army and the urban fantasy novella Retribution: Book I of the Blood Raven Saga. His work has appeared in Six Sentences, Northern Haunts: 100 Terrifying New England Tales, Dead Science, Shroud, Crossed Genres, The Drabbler, and Vicious Verses & Reanimated Rhymes just to name a few. Adam lives in southeastern Iowa with his wife and two sons. He is currently studying to become an English teacher.
    Adam J. Whitlatch

    Better review the ol’ “Zombie Plan” too. lol

  7. They’re probably figuring out how to help more companies off-shore. Getting the rats off the sinking ship is their highest priority.

  8. Well hey, lookit that — right after the man uttered such gems of wisdom, dollar to euro ratio dropped 1,5770 to 1.

    This is… indeed scary. And I live in euro-area. Because whatever happens overseas will also happen here as well, and I’ve already gone through two economic recessions during my lifetime, both of which screwed me really badly.

  9. Come on, John. They haven’t screwed up EVERYTHING. They got Bush re-elected in 2004, after all.

    Yes, everything ELSE they’ve screwed up royally, I must admit. Too bad that keeping and holding power is the only thing ‘loyal Bushies’ seem to care about.

  10. Anne C.:

    Well, they’re more environmentally friendly. And once you dig them out of someone, you can use them again!

  11. Did y’all see that the Federal Reserve loaned JP Morgan the money to buy Bear Stearns? (Like they needed a loan, really…) Oh, and they’re going to guarantee up to $30 billion of JP’s “less liquid assets.” Uh huh.

    Bear Sterns was trading at $57 a share last week. JP’s price to buy them out is $2 a share.

    So basically, one of the biggest and “most prestigious” financial firms was rendered almost worthless by their exposure (read: bad bets) on the mortgage mess, and were bought out not by another company risking its own money, but by the central bank “printing” several billion dollars for them to use instead.

    Something like $6.5 BILLION just went “poof” and disappeared there – except that the Fed made it go “poof” and reappear with a magic loan. They’re throwing bad money after bad.

    Essentially, one effect of this is that the rest of us are paying to bail out the big finance groups by having our money devalued.

    Yep. Right on top of things, our Bush team. *shakes head* Keep bailin’ out those billionaires.

    I’m good on beans and buckshot. Also water; I live in a desert.

  12. John, I would recommend the shotgun first. That way, as the battle begins, you can kill the guy with the crossbow and then take it for your own. Pluses include, one less person to worry about, minuses include you don’t get the brand you want, and who knows how well they stocked up.

    Plus you need to get the right bolt heads to have the survive the digging out, and you need to be careful about it.

  13. Why do I feel like I should be taking everything out of savings and spending it while I still can?

    I go to Japan periodically and just got a very visceral feel for the way things are going. When I went last July, it was 116 Yen per dollar. Currently, it is 100 yen for dollar. In less than a year, from the perspective of Japan, my dollar is worth 14% less.

  14. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang at the gates!

    Oh. Joy.

  15. shaunduke – Shaun Duke is a podcaster, a reviewer, a blogger, and a writer. He is a host on the Hugo-nominated Skiffy and Fanty Show, a blogger at The World in the Satin Bag, a freelance editor at The Duke of Editing, and a co-owner of Young Writers Online. He also co-hosts Totally Pretentious, a movie discussion podcast, with David Annandale. Outside of fandom activities, he is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Florida, where he studies science fiction, postcolonialism, and Caribbean literature.

    The thing that gets me is that they still say that after 7 years of saying it and obviously failing miserably. “We’re on top of it”. You’d think they’d learn to say something else. Maybe “we’ll see what we can do”, case at least then you can’t really say they promised you anything.

  16. I don’t know if its a fundamental flaw in my personality, but I’ve actually been freaking out lately about all of this. I once thought I had job security, but if companies continue to downsize and the dollar continues to deflate, I’m concerned we won’t be selling as much product in the States and more cutbacks will be needed if we don’t get bought out ourselves.

    I hate living in fear like this.

  17. I think the one thing that Cormac McCarthy taught us, is that in the post-apocalyptic wasteland a good shopping cart is more important than any specific type of weapon. Make sure you don’t steal the cart with the gimpy front wheel.

    Also, be on the lookout for backyard bomb shelters. And stay away from the cannibals. Staying away from the cannibals might actually be more important than even the shopping cart.

  18. Kate Baker @ 22: I feel the same way – the company I work for (for some values of work) is doing exactly that – downsizing and outsourcing our way to greatness?! At the rate we’re going I will soon no longer be able to afford to be part of anyone’s 1KTF.

  19. I’ve maintained for years that no one really knows how finance works. Remember those jackoffs that were praising the internet stocks and after the stocks crashed like tulip bulbs way back when then these same douche bags were still on the tube pretending they know what they are talking about?

    What scares me is that after Katrina, here in Charlotte, people got into fist fights at the gas station when there was a rumor that there may be a slight gas shortage for a couple of days. God forbid these yuppipe assholes have to face a real emergency. I’ll have to make one of those post apocalyptic “The Road” type treks to Michigan and my Dad’s 75 acres.

  20. Adam,

    I too noted that John’s “Bush Survival plan” closely resembles his “Zombie Survival plan.” Perhaps he’s on to something…


  21. Along with our beloved chief executive’s comments on what great adventures Afghanistan and Iraq represet for the young people of this country, this suggests that it’s time to up the meds…his that is.

  22. Adam @ 9!
    Excellent idea!!

    But really folks…Not that newly printed cash has been infused in the banking market us Americans can borrow more! Thus increasing debt, thus defaulting on debt, thus having the feds infuse more cash thus…
    Like a house of cards it all comes down.
    Meh! Screw this! I’m moving back to Austria.

  23. I am hoarding beans, rice, and pet food (Myrddin, Kitteh to the Stars, does not care for rice and beans). I am also making the front garden a “victory garden,” and will be growing most of our own produce.

    HATE this. Hate it A LOT.

  24. I missed it. Did he mention again how he’s for a strong dollar?
    Aren’t you glad that Bush didn’t manage to privatise social Security?
    I have to get back to whittling clothyard arrows now. Much better range.

  25. Brief recap – First rule of gunfights: have a gun. This is very, very important.

    Second Rule: Anything worth shooting once is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap compared to life.

    Third Rule: Hits count, misses don’t.

    Fourth Rule: The faster you win, the less lead you receive

    Fifth Rule: If you can choose your weapon, choose a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

    With apologies to the Marine Corps Rules of Gunfighting – look it up for a grin.

    Why is this relevant? I commented once to a friend of mine about the supplies I stashed for emergencies. He said “I’ve got guns, so I will always have supplies.” Pay attention, Mr. Scalvi!

  26. I am actually kinda surprised to be the calm one here but I suppose it is because I’ve had more time to deal with this.

    First off – stagflation absolutely sucks, and that is what we are heading into. On top of that is peak oil so energy prices will continue to rise.

    But the real bad deal is not here. Not yet. It is coming – but not yet.

    There are some really good things people can do RIGHT NOW.

    Take honest stock of your situation. What if the power goes out? What if food prices double? What if gasoline prices double?

    Obviously gardening is a great idea no matter what. Learning how to home can is useful too. Living close to work or telecommuting will also be great.

    Shotguns are nice for close quarters because they pack a huge punch close in but won’t travel much through walls and won’t kill much at farther distances, so in that sense they are safer. Outside one can bounce the shot off the pavement to scatter a larger group of people without killing them. At least that is what I’ve heard.

    On the minus side they can’t shoot much ammo without reloading.

    As I said in an earlier comment I take my preparations very seriously. There is no need for paranoia but there really is no excuse for being surprised by any of this either.

  27. I think history will show Bush and the neocons’ handling of the economy to be just as disastrous as the Iraq mess. Three million manufacturing jobs lost, one in every six, since Bush was elected, the dollar collapsing, gold one-thousand dollars an ounce. Printing more money out of thin air… at least Bush failed to get his domestic version of Iraq passed (“comprehensive immigration reform”). If a Democrat can’t win this time around, they are beyond help (although they’re both idiotically, along with McCain which is no surprise, still pushing for Bush’s domestic version of Iraq).

  28. Our economy’s hitting the skids, Bush is still warning against intervention to prevent the housing market from collapsing any further, but they have no problem at all fronting more loan money so Wall Street firms can finance their outsourcing!

    Oh, just brilliant!

    Glad we installed those murder holes and reinforced the central keep last year…

  29. coo1b1ue – Vermont – I'm a software engineer within the aerospace industry as well as a father of four (mostly) grown children, one of which served in Iraq (OIF2) as a combat medic.

    An Apocalypse? Again!?

    “I find myself needing to know the plural of ‘apocalypse’.”

  30. Has anyone in the Bush Administration issued their standard, “No one could have foreseen this” explanation yet? It just never seems like an official disaster until they do that.

  31. Don’t worry! He’s bringing Brownie back to do one more heck-of-a-job.

    Remember all those oil shiekhs love Arabian Horses.

    Rick York

  32. A friend pointed out: remember, Snippy wanted to put Social Security funding into the stock market?

    You can look at that one of two ways: either he had no idea the economy was collapsing, and he’s an idiot; or he knew, and he was — as the GOP always seems to be trying to do — trying to kill SS.

    It’s possible multiple factions were involved, so I suppose both could be true.

  33. Sorry to get oogy boogy here but the big picture is this:

    “Big Money” ™ sees the end of cheap energy coming and is grabbing whatever they can before things collapse.

    Goodbye social security. Goodbye middle class. Goodbye welfare. Goodbye good public schools. Goodbye Medicare.

  34. KIAon on 17 Mar 2008 at 2:24 pm wrote:

    “Second Rule: Anything worth shooting once is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap compared to life.”

    Family wisdom: If you have to shoot it twice you should not have shot it the first time.

    Family diet code: If it gets away you can’t eat it.

    Family fighting style: Grab your opponent and hit large trees and rocks with them. If in town, buildings may be used.

    I think I am at least in the proper mind set to survive.

  35. @ #50: Actually, I believe the rule is “if you had to shoot it twice, you really need to give the gun to someone with some training.”

    P.S. Will work as a hired gun, post-apocalypse. Extensive experience with assault rifles, pistols, and long rifles. M-16A2 with M203 grenade launchers preferred. Excellent camoflage skills, good with squad-level infantry tactics, and am a competent teacher. Good at foraging and scrWill work for a healthy diet, a roof over my head, and medical care.

  36. Whoa there folks it is no big deal we can get out of this by golly by gum…we just have to sell/buy more realestate. You know you can never have too much of it and with my method you can…ouch not so hard.

  37. Frank:

    “I find myself needing to know the plural of ‘apocalypse’.”

    I believe the correct pluralization of “apocalypse” is “second term.”

    To all:

    When the zombie apocalypse comes, I say we all converge on the Scalvi compound. Lots of room, lots of open ground with no cover, good growing climate and dirt. Between us all, we have a fair mix of skills and attitudes, plus the current resident is a well-regarded bard, and thus will keep us from going bat-shit insane during those long winter months locked behind the palisade.

    All Hail Tribe Scalvi!

    Motto: Hideous arsecandles, unite!

  38. “They’re on top of it”

    Cue footage of Slim Pickens on top of the bomb.

    Yee haw! All the way down, baby!!!

  39. SEF wrote: “Sorry, Katherine, but it won’t be fixed in ‘09. It may not be fixable for a long, long time — that’s what causes me nightmares.”

    Ah, but the Bush administration has until 09 to make things far far worse.

    An attack on Iran, maybe? Or maybe the hedge funds will borrow a $trillion from the Fed (now that they’re allowed to, without the Fed having any visibility into their books or regulatory power over them) then go bust.


    SEF also wrote:

    “You can look at that one of two ways: either he had no idea the economy was collapsing, and he’s an idiot; or he knew, and he was — as the GOP always seems to be trying to do — trying to kill SS.”

    Alternately, perhaps the idea was to use privatized SS as the next bubble. What do you think stock prices would do if all that money was being irrepressibly channeled into the US stock market?

    It would certainly help offset equity sales by retiring baby boomers.

  40. Shauna – I just spent four years in college and now I've finished. I work in a cubicle which i have filled with data, charts of sorts; in this cubicle i am meant to do marketing for a software company, but sometimes I listen to NPR and Stumble. Sometimes the phone rings-- I answer it, "This is Shauna"; when I wander around the office it rings four times and goes to voicemail. This convinces me to pursue younger ventures for exciting companies. I am enthusiastic about politics, human rights, writing, advertising and law; also, slurpees, tacos, the color green, and ambient music. At 22, i am living the american dream? This blog is meant to document my likely inherent struggle in conquering my debt. Considerations: -I've always hated math. -Up until now, I was a just-above-minimum payment kind of girl.

    Agreed. I’d like to amend the headline, “Bush says administration is ‘standing next to the situation’ in dealing with the economy smirking and musing, ‘Bomb it or have the creative department word something that sounds progressive?'”

    Economic stimulus package–errr….$600 is NOT going to kick start the economy when we’re borrowing it from another country.

  41. If any of you in the Illinois area are seeing dust devils, it’s my grandfather attempting to roll over in his grave – difficult when one is reduced to ashes and scattered. Perhaps I should mention, his name was Stearns – yes, that Stearns. (No, the family hasn’t had anything to do with the company in over 50 years.)

    God, we are so, so screwed.

  42. Generic Cajun spices go well with rice. I haven’t started using bulk rice, though: I’m still indulging in minute rice. Ramen noodles are way too expensive these days. I don’t currently have the patience to soak beans overnight, either, so it’s going to be canned chicken for protein until I run out of that.

  43. We need to update that bumpersticker that came out after the Gulf Coast Unpleasantness of late 2005. The new version should have a photo of Bush smiling cluelessly, and say:

    Fixed Iraq.
    Fixed New Orleans.
    Now I’ll fix the economy!

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