Here are a few highlights from President Bush's brief speech this morning. (Below is pretty much the entire thing; it was less than five minutes long):
We need a rescue plan.
We've got a big problem.
We also need to move quickly.
There is no disagreement that something substantial must be done.
The legislative process is sometimes not very pretty, but we are going to get a package passed.
Not pretty and hardly reassuring. The speech does nothing to comfort markets. They're lower today, with bank stocks leading the way down.
Economists opposing the Paulson plan have been embraced by Sen. Richard Shelby, who told CNN he's turning his back on the plan. (He also mentioned he didn't now how long Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke would be at the helm of the Fed, which seems a little irresponsible, given the state of fright on Wall Street.)
Finally, the Associated Press had this from last night:
In the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to "blow it up" by withdrawing her party's support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.
"I didn't know you were Catholic," Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson's kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: "It's not me blowing this up, it's the Republicans."
Mr. Paulson sighed. "I know. I know."