JAMES PETHOKOUKIS: How Paulson Just Picked the 2012 GOP Nominee. “Here is, I think, a pretty safe prediction: The Republican presidential nominee in the summer of 2012 will have come out against the Paulson-Bernanke bailout plan in the fall of 2008. Conservative rage against the $700 billion ‘rescue’ attempt, as President Bush terms it, has been stoked white hot by Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, and the powerful pundits of the right-wing blogosphere such as Michelle Malkin and Jonah Goldberg.”

Personally, I’m skeptical of the bailout plan, but willing to be convinced. Another case of me “lacking fire,” I guess. Oh, well, other people can be white-hot.

UPDATE: A reader named Eric emails: “I’m glad that while the financial world around falls apart, I can find a bit of respite and humor through your website. Here’s a toast to you from the deck of the Titanic!”

Thanks, Eric. Well, the people on the Titanic who stayed calm probably did better in the end, anyway.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Why is ACORN in line to get money?

And a reader named Matt writes:

Since when did Republicans stop believing in monetary policy? Yes, the plan is expensive…but the idea that allowing asset deflation on a massive scale is good for the economy in the short or long term because its “markets working their magic” isn’t just asinine; it’s been disproven. The Great Depression went from a correction to a Depression because the Federal Reserve applied a laissez-faire attitude to bank failures all across the country, thinking it would cleanse the bad, inefficient players from the market like any other market. Except it didn’t. All that’s different now is that no one keeps their money in banks anymore; it’s all tied up in pension funds, money market accounts, and 401(k)’s, so we need more than just the FDIC and the Fed now that we’ve been caught off-guard. This isn’t a failure of capitalism, nor is the rescue plan a form of socialism. Its monetary policy, the same kind every capitialist since Milton Friedman has articulated. Credit is not a market like any other. Credit is the lifeblood of capitalism, and America needs a transfusion.

Sorry. I’m a long-time reader, love the site, but the Republicans don’t realize the madness they’re advocating.

I favor cooler heads. Meanwhile, I note that the Wall Street guys give a lot of money to Democrats. I wonder if they feel they’re getting a return on their investment.

MORE: But is this a Martingale strategy?

And Hugh Hewitt thinks the House Republicans should chill a bit.

Plus, ‘Man, These Negotiations Could Use a Community Organizer Right About Now.’

Meanwhile, Jesse Walker notes: “At this point the dominant D.C. Democrats seem less interested in blocking the bailout than in attaching various add-ons to it. (Kinda like an ’emergency’ war appropriations bill.)”

EVEN MORE: Reader Nathan Branch writes:

So I’m sitting here watching Harry Reid on CNBC, and he slams “the interjection of Presidential politics into this process,” saying that it has been “harmful rather than helpful” and then goes on to say that they are moving forward with Senator Obama’s proposal in that it’s the best proposal, and one that keeps in mind the troubles on Main Street and not just Wall Street.

I’m watching this with my mouth just agape . . . if I were a Republican senator, I would walk away from the negotiation table. right. now.

The clown show is on overdrive this week, isn’t it?