Bush to address nation to push bailout – CNN.com

NEW YORK (CNN) — President Bush will deliver a prime-time televised speech Wednesday night to pressure Congress to pass a $700 billion plan to bail out Wall Street, the White House announced.

Bush’s speech is set to begin at 9:01 p.m. ET and will take just less than 15 minutes.

Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke warned Wednesday that the Wall Street crisis is the worst the nation has faced since the end of World War II and urged Congress to take action on a proposed bailout package.

Congress is considering whether to allow Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to use federal funds to buy up to $700 billion in mortgage-related securities and other assets that have caused turbulence on Wall Street and have undermined credit markets worldwide.

But Paulson and Bernanke faced deeply skeptical lawmakers, including members of Bush’s own party, when they pitched the plan before congressional committees Tuesday and Wednesday.

This will be interesting … it’s time that someone attempted to explain the plan to the average American citizen.

I’m hardly an expert, but I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on over the past few days to try to find out what’s going on, even going so far as to contact one of my company’s economists to try to get a better explanation.

I believe the effect will be short-term pain and eventual recovery, versus what I think will be the long-term pain if we don’t do anything.

The economy is not healthy. It’s not going to heal itself, no matter how much Art and Julie want it to.

I also question Barack Obama’s decision not to step back from the campaign, at least for a few days, as did John McCain. I think that Obama needs to do the same thing ASAP; for appearances sake, if nothing else.

This is not a time for campaign bickering, but for the parties to come together and hammer out some sort of agreeable plan. The economy is sick, and unfortunately some intervention is necessary. It needs more controls than in the original proposal, but those compromises should be fairly easy to come by if both sides stop thinking in a partisan manner, and start thinking about Americans.

Regardless of McCain’s motivations, if Obama doesn’t step back as well, I know the Republicans will use his decision for political fodder … “see, we put ‘Country First’, while Obama put Obama first” …

We don’t need that.

The most important thing is to put some sort of review/oversight over Paulson’s actions once the bill is hammered out and passed.

The former Section 8 (the “32 dirty little words”), which is now section 12 in the 9/21 draft proposal (and now “39 dirty little words”) needs to be addressed. There is no way that Paulson’s decisions under the act should not be subject to review …

The speech just started. More thoughts later.