Friday, October 31, 2008


Quick! Before Halloween is over...


Only a few more weeks of you, Georgie. Don't let the door hit you on the way out. kthxbai.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

How times have changed

Isn't it wonderful?


And here is the article.

Hunker down

Get snug, and wait for the storm to blow over:
Roughly speaking, consumers have two modalities: surging and dwelling.

In the surging modality, consumers have momentum. We have a vivid sense of forward motion. Life is getting better. Each purchase is an improvement onthe last one. Clothes change with fashion. The material world teems with new features, new things, new opportunities, new excitement. We look ahead constantly, keeping one foot in the present, putting one in the future. The good life is America is always a better life. That's the fundamental promise of the consumer society.

In the dwelling modality, the consumer is not forward looking, but concentrated on the here and now. Now most of life's pleasure comes from counting one's blessings. This is a dwelling modality, because the individual is no longer in transit, racing towards a better tomorrow. Now the consumer is focused on what is good about what one has. The consumer stops anticipating and starts savoring.

Of course, ceasing to buy will bring the entire global economy to a crashing stand still. Because we need to be constantly buying more and more stuff.


We won't help you live a little longer

But we will help you die faster:

The 64-year-old Oregon woman, whose lung cancer had been in remission, learned the disease had returned and would likely kill her. Her last hope was a $4,000-a-month drug that her doctor prescribed for her, but the insurance company refused to pay.

What the Oregon Health Plan did agree to cover, however, were drugs for a physician-assisted death. Those drugs would cost about $50.

This occurred in early summer of this year. Her doctor was able to arrange giving her the medicine for free. In googling her story, it seems that she has since died.

Don't let this happen!!

Vote as if your life depends on it.

A discussion of zero percent interest rates

And no where does the word liquidity trap come into it. Fascinating.

Edmund Andrews of the New York Times

A growing number of analysts now predict that the economy is so weak that the Fed will have to reduce its official target to zero if it wants to jumpstart the stalled economy.

Japan’s central bank reduced its benchmark interest rate to zero for five years, from 2001 to 2006. It did so mainly to combat a particularly persistent case of deflation, a broad-based decline in consumer prices, and to revive economic growth.

Some analysts see signs that the United States faces a similar threat. Like Japan’s, American banks have become so decimated by losses in real estate that they are either unable or unwilling to resume normal lending. And as prices for oil and many other commodities have crashed during the past two weeks, some analysts now warn that deflation might be a threat here as well.

With the Fed funds rate already down to 1 percent, and below one percent on many days, the central bank is fast approaching what economists call the “zero bound.”


The real question for policy makers is what to do if they reach a zero rate and still want to rev up the economy.
Which is the exact description of a liquidity trap, Mr. Edmund Andrews:

Liquidity trap
In monetary economics, a liquidity trap occurs when the economy is stagnant, the nominal interest rate is close or equal to zero, and the monetary authority is unable to stimulate the economy with traditional monetary policy tools. In this kind of situation, people do not expect high returns on physical or financial investments, so they keep assets in short-term cash bank accounts or hoards rather than making long-term investments.
For those who are able to read economic papers, Paul Krugman's papers on Japan and liquidity traps.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince

Reserve Fund shut out, cutting rates, and liquidity traps

Start burying your gold in the backyard....

The national “bank holiday” that ushered in the New Deal in 1933 locked up the public’s cash for four days. The crisis that hit last month at the Reserve Fund, the nation’s oldest money market fund, has frozen hundreds of thousands of customer accounts for more than six weeks — with no sure end in sight.

At least 400,000 people, and perhaps as many as a million, can’t get access to their savings, a problem that has quietly persisted in spite of widely publicized federal efforts to restore confidence in money-fund investments.

Some of these customers — who, like most Americans, assumed their money funds were as safe and accessible as bank accounts — are getting desperate.
And on the subject of money.... The feds just cut rates again:
NEW YORK ( -- The Federal Reserve cut a key short-term interest rate by a half-percentage point Wednesday and expressed continued worries about the damage being done to the economy by the ongoing crisis in the financial and credit markets.

The rate cut put the central bank's federal funds rate at 1%. That matched the lowest level for this overnight bank lending rate ever -- the last time it was at 1% was from June 2003 to June 2004.

Investors had been expecting a half-point cut and some were betting that the Fed would even cut rates by three-quarters of a point to 0.75%.

The Dow Jones industrial average, which had been higher ahead of the Fed's decision, turned lower shortly after the announcement.
Is anyone in charge thinking about a liquidity trap?:

Here’s why these events are distressing: When the Fed douses the monetary system with cash but banks hoard it, monetary policy no longer works and the economy starts to crash. This is called a “liquidity trap” and it occurs when interest rates are at or close to 0 percent and monetary policy is no longer effective. Newly minted money is injected into the banking system but trapped by financial institutions that are paralyzed by fear. When banks don’t recycle their money through normal lending activity, it doesn’t matter how much the Fed increases the money supply. Monetary policy just won’t work. Failing monetary policy usually means that we are going to have a recession, or worse.

This is what happened at the beginning of the Great Depression and during the Japanese banking crisis of the late 1990s. In both cases, economic activity slowed dramatically and deflation occurred. No matter how hard the central bankers tried to pump money into the economy, it wouldn’t work.
Use plastic mayonnaise lids on the jars, the metal ones rust.

Or better yet, let's all go to Zimbabwe!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From someone who has been there

Via Susan G of the Daily Kos

How the Right Wing Smear Machine works

With pictures and everything!

Why do we do this to our politicians?

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Couldn't we change our Constitution and/or the rules and have a 'no confidence' vote instead of impeachment, and have somehow a faster campaign time? Our news media won't know what to do with themselves the day after the election.

Republicans do not want!


(edited for clarity)

Obama, the constitutional law professor, will undermine the Constitution

Not by signing statements like Bush, not like getting rid of Habeas Corpus, not like infecting the judicial system with rightwing bias and disregarding the rule of law, not like playing the semantics game so medieval torture could be practiced, not like ignoring the will of the people and silencing critics, not like anything the Bush administration has done for the last eight years.... but apparently because he's a liberal, will appoint liberal judges and he said he'd spread the wealth around...

Maha of Mahablog:

Today the righties are screaming that Obama would undermine the Constitution, never mind that the current GOP administration did more to undermine the Constitution than the previous 43 administrations put together.

And for all their hysteria about “redistribution” of wealth, I second biggerbox — “Pallet loads of cash to Iraq? No-bid contracts for Haliburton, and so many others? Jack Abramoff? Dick Cheney? Ted Stevens? Seven-house McCain?” While the GOP controlled the federal government the Republicans redistributed wealth wholesale — to their supporters and themselves.

Gary Kamiya of Salon:
There's something surreal about how fast the GOP has gone from arrogant triumphalism to its death throes. Just yesterday, the GOP's mighty Titanic was cruising along, its opulent decks lined with fat-cat financiers and neoconservative warmongers, all smoking cigars, drinking champagne and extolling the deathless virtues of their fearless captain. The compliant media issued glowing dispatches. Karl Rove cackled with glee as he plotted out a permanent Republican majority.

Then the luxury liner hit an iceberg known as reality. The biggest damage was done by the Wall Street crisis, which happened just in time to tilt a close race toward Obama. But the economic meltdown was only one of the disasters for which the GOP is largely responsible. The war that was going to establish American hegemony forever turned out to be one of the worst foreign-policy blunders in our nation's history. The GOP's free-market idolatry led to the gravest financial crisis since the Depression. Its ideological insistence on cutting taxes for the richest Americans ran up a record deficit. Its embrace of torture and denial of due process assaulted the Constitution and eroded America's moral standing. Its doctrine of the "unitary executive" concentrated unprecedented power in the hands of the executive branch. Its anti-scientific denial of global warming endangered the entire planet.

It's a historic shipwreck, and the American people are diving off the foundering GOP hulk in droves.


But the problem isn't Bush, it's American conservatism itself -- or at least the debased, intellectually bankrupt and utterly failed thing that American conservatism has become. For McCain to truly renounce Bush, he'd have to renounce the tax-cut ideologues who have bankrupted the country. He'd have to renounce the neoconservatives who led us into a catastrophic war. He'd have to renounce the culture-war attack dogs like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin who have coarsened conservatism's soul.

In short, he'd have to renounce the Republican Party -- and himself.

George W. Bush IS the Republican party. They own him and his entire avidly supported eight years in office.
"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"
Tell me again just who threatens the Constitution?



McCain's indifference to women is obvious

Monday, October 27, 2008

America says enough!

Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama
Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."

Williams' daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it's located in Hobart, IN.

Vote for Joad!

Old, Grizzled Third-Party Candidate May Steal Support From McCain

May he go in peace...

Tony Hillerman, whose lyrical, authentic and compelling mystery novels set among the Navajos of the Southwest blazed innovative trails in the American detective story, died Sunday at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, The Associated Press reported.
I will try not to be sad:
According to traditional Navajo beliefs, birth, life and death are all part of an ongoing cycle. It is the natural course of things. Crying and outward demonstrations of grief are not usually seen when someone dies. This is not to be interpreted as a lack of caring; according to Navajo burial customs, the spirit's journey to the next world can be interrupted if too much emotion is shown. It is believed that the spirit can attach itself to a place, an object or a person if this important part of the process is interrupted.
But thank you, sir, for wonderful tales of Lieut. Joe Leaphorn and Sgt. Jim Chee. You educated us all.

Up is down, far is near

The presidential race is tight. Tight. Squeaky tight. So tight that cheating at the electronic voting machines will tip the campaign to McCain. So tight that scaring off Democratic voters in swing states will tip the campaign to McCain. So tight that dropping voters off poll sheets, placing police at the voting booths, swamping the airwaves and flyers with misinformation will tip the campaign to McCain.

All McCain has to do is hang tight.
GOP nominee John McCain said Sunday that the presidential race will be close by Election Day despite a bevy of polls showing him significantly behind Democrat Barack Obama.

“We’re doing fine,” Sen. McCain (Ariz.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. “We have closed in the last week... You’ll be up very, very late on election night.”


Like a clown suit in line at the soup kitchen

Fluff like lipstick on a pitbull just doesn't distract voters like it used to.

Paul Krugman:
As someone who’s spent a lot of time arguing against conservative economic dogma, I’d like to believe that the bad news convinced many Americans, once and for all, that the right’s economic ideas are wrong and progressive ideas are right. And there’s certainly something to that. These days, with even Alan Greenspan admitting that he was wrong to believe that the financial industry could regulate itself, Reaganesque rhetoric about the magic of the marketplace and the evils of government intervention sounds ridiculous.

In addition, Mr. McCain seems spectacularly unable to talk about economics as if it matters. He has attempted to pin the blame for the crisis on his pet grievance, Congressional budget earmarks — which leaves economists scratching their heads in puzzlement. In the immediate aftermath of the Lehman failure, he declared that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong,” seemingly unaware that he was closely echoing what Herbert Hoover said after the 1929 crash.

But I suspect that the main reason for the dramatic swing in the polls is something less concrete and more meta than the fact that events have discredited free-market fundamentalism. As the economic scene has darkened, I’d argue, Americans have rediscovered the virtue of seriousness. And this has worked to Mr. Obama’s advantage, because his opponent has run a deeply unserious campaign.


The McCain campaign’s response to its falling chances of victory has been telling: rather than trying to make the case that Mr. McCain really is better qualified to deal with the economic crisis, the campaign has been doing all it can to trivialize things again. Mr. Obama consorts with ’60s radicals! He’s a socialist! He doesn’t love America! Judging from the polls, it doesn’t seem to be working.

Will the nation’s new demand for seriousness last? Maybe not — remember how 9/11 was supposed to end the focus on trivialities? For now, however, voters seem to be focused on real issues. And that’s bad for Mr. McCain and conservatives in general: right now, to paraphrase Rob Corddry, reality has a clear liberal bias.

Oh yes we can!

MCCAIN: You’ll have to tell me what’s changed. I love it when they say, “Oh McCain has changed.” And I say, “What have I changed on?” They can’t name a single issue or they’ll name an issue and its false. I’m the same guy. I’m proud of our campaign.
Let me count the ways...

Think Progress' list of 44.

Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report's list of 76


Was Georgie drinking again?

Or is it Cheney trying to hand over a smoking ruin to Obama?
Syria has said American troops carried out a raid inside Syria along the Iraqi border, killing eight people - if the claims are true then this will be the first military incursion by the US into Syrian territory from Iraq.

But its timing is curious, coming right at the end of the Bush administration's period of office and at a moment when many of America's European allies - like Britain and France - are trying to broaden their ties with Damascus.

Whatever the local military factors involved in this US operation, it would be unthinkable to imagine that an incursion into Syria would not require a policy decision at a high-level.

The movement of insurgents and foreign fighters from Syria into Iraq has long been a bone of contention between Damascus and Washington.

The US argument has always been that the Syrians are not doing enough to control the border. The Syrians have always countered that they are unfairly being blamed for turmoil inside Iraq that is not of their making.

Quite apart from their differences over Iraq, Washington sees Syria as unhelpful in Lebanon and as far too friendly with Iran.
The idea of blowing up the Middle East if Obama wins isn't just imagination:
WASHINGTON - Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said on Tuesday that he believes Israel will stage a raid against Iran's nuclear facilities if Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama wins the upcoming presidential elections.

I just don't see why Proposition 8 is so threatening to Mormons

The LDS First Presidency announced its support for Proposition 8 in a letter read in every Mormon congregation. Since then, California LDS leaders have prompted members to sign up volunteers, raise money, pass out brochures produced by outsiders and distribute lawn signs and bumper stickers. Bishops have devoted whole Sunday school classes and the weekly Relief Society and priesthood meetings to outlining arguments against same-sex marriage. Some have pointedly asked members for hefty financial donations, based on tithing. Others have even asked members to stand or raise their hands to publicly indicate their support.

Gary Lawrence, writing in the online Meridian Magazine, compared opponents of Proposition 8 to those who sided with Lucifer against Jesus in the pre-mortal existence. Others have questioned such members' faith and religious commitment, accusing them of undermining the prophet.

Literature written by Proposition 8 proponents is freely distributed in Mormon wards, giving the impression the church approves it, but much of it is "misinformation," said Morris Thurston, an LDS attorney in Orange County.
Thurston has circulated a point-by-point refutation to an anonymously authored document that has been widely disseminated by Mormons, "Six Consequences . . . If Proposition 8 Fails." Thurston argues that most of its arguments are either untrue or misleading.
He welcomes critiques of his analysis, but some have been hostile and many question his motives.
"I feel like I am entitled to my opinions, especially when they involve legal matters," Thurston said, "and I don't think I should be compared to Satan's minions."
From someone who was a Mormon:
My point is this: the Mormon Church is pulling out the stops. These kinds of wedge issues help them retain members by engaging them in "causes" that make people feel special and on God's side. There is no discussion in church or outside about fairness, the Golden Rule, and Unforeseen Legal Ramifications. Being part of a crusade is exciting... and never mind who gets hurt!
Update 10/27: Steve of SteveAudio has a wonderful post on the people who are against Proposition 8.

Update 10/30: Emptywheel of Firedoglake tells the story of her experience with Mormons and their hatred of gays.

John Aravosis of Americablog notes: Legal Adviser to Prop 8 Campaign Compares Gays Who Want to Get Married to Nazi Germany.

Update 11/3: Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors posts a video.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Roast beef!

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Lightning struck only once — but 52 cows are dead at an Uruguayan ranch.

The newspaper El Pais reports that the cows had pressed against a wire fence during a storm when the lightning bolt struck in the northern state of San Jose.

The newspaper said Friday that veterinarians at the scene confirmed the cause of the deaths, which happened Wednesday.

Hot dog!

She said with relish:
Tokyo, Japan (AHN) - Japan's No. 2 meat processor has planned to expand its meat recall decision after millions of wieners and other products were taken off the shelves across the country on cyanide contamination scare.

Itoham Foods Inc. recalled 2.67 million packs of sausages and pizza sold across the country following discovery of the poisonous chemical, cyanide, in the well water used at one of its plants.

The Japan-based company, which manufacture and sale of processed meat products, raw meat and other food products, said in an independent inspection of the underground water used at a factory near Tokyo found cyanide levels up to three times the recommended limit set by the authorities.

But... I thought she was the most popular state governor around?

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska's largest newspaper, has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president.

The newspaper said Sunday the Democrat "brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand."

The Daily News said since the economic crisis has emerged, Republican presidential candidate John McCain has "stumbled and fumbled badly" in dealing with it.


(via JJ of Unrepentant Old Hippie)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

That will teach you that God is Love!

Jesus' General:
Gov. Palin's witch-fighting network had it's first big success in Alaska, five years later, when they took on a witch who worked in the Alaska State Prison System. Here's how Gov. Palin's witch-fighting mentor, Mary Glazier, describes their victory:
As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense
altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left
eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer.
So remember! God loves you!

That's not what came to mind when I read the header...

Depressed astronauts to find high-tech comfort:

Clinical tests on the four-year, $1.74 million project for NASA, called the Virtual Space Station, are expected to begin in the Boston area by next month.

The new program is nothing like science fiction's infamous HAL, the onboard artificial intelligence that goes awry in "2001: A Space Odyssey." The Virtual Space Station's interaction between astronaut and computer is far less sophisticated and far more benevolent.

In the project, sponsored by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute, a recorded video therapist guides astronauts through a widely used depression therapy called "problem-solving treatment."

I was thinking more on these lines...
US and Russian astronauts have had sex in space for separate research programmes on how human beings might survive years in orbit, according to a book published yesterday.

Pierre Kohler, a respected French scientific writer, says in The Final Mission: Mir, The Human Adventure that the subject is taboo both at Nasa and at mission control in Moscow, but that cosmic couplings have taken place.

"The issue of sex in space is a serious one," he says. "The experiments carried out so far relate to missions planned for married couples on the future International Space Station, the successor to Mir. Scientists need to know how far sexual relations are possible without gravity."
People have wondered about it for a long time. Greatest therapy of them all....

The joke wrote itself at the convention


And it turned out to be true:
Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin "going rogue."

A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to "bust free" of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.

McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls -- recorded messages often used to attack a candidate's opponent -- "irritating" even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign's decision to pull out of Michigan.

A second McCain source says she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

Looking out for herself and not giving a shit about anyone else? Isn't that what a maverick is supposed to do? How on earth can anyone be surprised?

Guess who's coming to dinner?

And breakfast and brunch and lunch and tea and snack and supper and dessert....


Paul Krugman:
While the manic-depressive stock market is dominating the headlines, the more important story is the grim news coming in about the real economy. It’s now clear that rescuing the banks is just the beginning: the nonfinancial economy is also in desperate need of help.

And to provide that help, we’re going to have to put some prejudices aside. It’s politically fashionable to rant against government spending and demand fiscal responsibility. But right now, increased government spending is just what the doctor ordered, and concerns about the budget deficit should be put on hold.

Before I get there, let’s talk about the economic situation.

Just this week, we learned that retail sales have fallen off a cliff, and so has industrial production. Unemployment claims are at steep-recession levels, and the Philadelphia Fed’s manufacturing index is falling at the fastest pace in almost 20 years. All signs point to an economic slump that will be nasty, brutish — and long.

How nasty? The unemployment rate is already above 6 percent (and broader measures of underemployment are in double digits). It’s now virtually certain that the unemployment rate will go above 7 percent, and quite possibly above 8 percent, making this the worst recession in a quarter-century.

And how long? It could be very long indeed.
Welcome to the new/old mantra to lead us into the 21st century and the wonderful neocon vision of the future!: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Oh noes! My flat screen monitor! My HDTV!

SAN DIEGO, California, October 24, 2008 (ENS) - A gas used in manufacture of flat panel televisions, computer displays, microcircuits, and thin-film solar panels is 17,000 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, and it is far more prevalent in the atmosphere than previously estimated.

The powerful greenhouse gas nitrogen trifluoride, NF3, is at least four times more widespread than scientists had believed, according to new research by a team at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.


Solar panels??? Can't win for losing....

Can't argue with the facts...

Since 1929, Republicans and Democrats have each controlled the presidency for nearly 40 years. So which party has been better for American pocketbooks and capitalism as a whole? Well, here’s an experiment: imagine that during these years you had to invest exclusively under either Democratic or Republican administrations. How would you have fared?
Click the link to see the charts they've designed.

Nice to see that Democrats are better for the economy.


Project much, Senator?

SARASOTA, Fla. – Republican John McCain on Thursday spiced up a cross-state bus tour aimed at keeping Florida from swinging to the Democrats by accusing rival Barack Obama of saying "anything to get elected."
Just keeping track of McCain's ability to saying anything even if it's the opposite of what he just said....

McCain! The Flipflopper Express!


crossposted at SteveAudio

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Clickable terror

Palin as president.

I hope she's around to celebrate election day

Annie, get your gun


What do you mean foxes can't guard the henhouse?

The inmates can't run the asylum? ... Corporations can't self-regulate?

I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you!!

In opening statements, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., committee chairman, said the current economic crisis could have been prevented "if regulators had paid more attention and intervened with responsible legislation. The list of regulatory mistakes and misjudgments is long and the cost to taxpayers and the economy is staggering."

Waxman put Greenspan on the spot, asking if he made any mistakes during his tenure as Federal Reserve chairman that may have contributed to the mortgage crisis.

Greenspan said he made a mistake in presuming that lenders themselves were more capable than regulators of protecting their finances. He said he was "shocked" when that system "broke down."

"I still do not understand exactly how it happened," said Greenspan.
Well... you see, Mr. Greenspan, it's like this.... human nature by default is self-obsessed and greedy. We must assume that those who know they won't be caught will do things that benefit themselves, ignoring the cost to others. We need checks and balances built into the system. When you take those away, you see the wreckage before you as an illustration of the end result.

Will this lesson take? Nah, I give it ....oh... another twenty years or so before we hear the pleading for deregulation again... long enough for the next generation of neocons to spawn and for voters to forget.

crossposted at American Street

Proposition 8

Steve at SteveAudio smacks it around:
But Prop. 8 will give the Government the right to screw with your churches. Didn't think about that? The Government can, if Prop. 8 passes, tell your church:

* who it can marry
* who it can ordain
* who may attend church-sponsored schools
* how it spends your donations

In other words, the wall protects both sides. Did you forget that? Water flows both ways, and so does power. If you think you can control the Government, the Government can control you and your churches.
Here's Lynne Cheney of all people!:
In response to the legalization of same-sex marriage in California, Dick Cheney's wife Lynne tells Harry Smith that she wishes for her daughter Mary, the same freedom and choices of every American.

It's about love not exclusion:

Didn't Jesus have something to say about love?
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Well... they were going to die anyway...

This will make it happen just a bit faster:
New York, NY (AHN) - The pill popping days of Americans will soon be over, another victim of the economic crisis. After a number of cancer patients in the U.S. have reported cutting back on medical treatments due to soaring costs, the next item in line for cost cutting are prescription drugs.

Dr. James King, chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians confirmed seeing patients who no longer buy Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering drug, due to its high cost. "People are choosing among gas, meals and medication," King told the New York Times.

Pfizer, which man manufactures Lipitor, confirmed the dip in the sale of the world's top-selling prescription drug in the U.S. by 13 percent for the third quarter of 2008. IMS Health, a research company that monitors prescriptions, added that for the first eight months of the year, number of all prescriptions filled out in the U.S. went down compared to last year.

This is gonna hurt...

For John McCain.


'It seemed a good idea at the time' department

And now for something completely different....

Wild pigs:

Madison, WI (AHN) - The trial of a former Texas man charged with bringing 31 wild pigs into Wisconsin and illegally releasing them in 2000 will resume on Friday.

Robert Johnson, a former Gays Mills elk farmer, allegedly released the pigs near the Kickapoo River in an effort to establish a pig population for hunters. But officials say the animals cause environmental damage by uprooting trees and eating crops and they want to fine him $1,000 per pig.

Wisconsin has declared feral pigs to be an unprotected wild animal with no closed hunting season or harvest limit because of the damage they do.

A twenty pound hamburger: Man eats 20.2lb burger in five hours. (With before and after pictures. He does look a little... odd at the end there.)

Chasing a rolling cheese:
Every year a bunch of fearless men and women hurl themselves down a near-vertical English hill in pursuit of a giant rolling cheese. Although gravity ensures they all make it down the slope, not all competitors do so in one piece.
And then there's Greece:
The one-day pagan fertility festival in this town of 15,000 people near the central Greek city of Larissa marks the beginning of Lent, the fasting period before Easter, and is one of the most famous carnivals in Greece.

Come prepared. Passersby tend to be grabbed and rocked over a pot of boiling "bourani" spinach soup while a ceramic penis is placed between their legs. They must kiss the phallus, then drink tsipouro -- a strong local spirit -- from its tip, and then stir the soup before they're let go.

Phallus-kissers are rewarded with ash-streaks on their face, which presumably absolves them from having to go through the procedure again, unless of course they would like to.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sundays are for church, not voting?

Apparently Sunday is also a day for heckling voters and disparaging opponents. Who knew?

Nice Christian values, I must say.

Can we just get through the election first?

California Is Due for a Katrina-Style Disaster
When the next big earthquake hits the San Francisco Bay Area, it will be a catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina proportions. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people will die, and hundreds of thousands will become homeless. Economic losses will be on the order of $200 billion, the vast majority of it uninsured. Outside help will be desperately needed, but difficult to coordinate and execute.

And just as before Hurricane Katrina, scientists have been sounding the alarm, warning that the disaster is inevitable. It's not a matter of if, but when the "Big One" will strike.
If you live in California, it is talked about constantly, imprinted onto our consciousness. We know the mantra: Be prepared, don't hang mirrors over beds, strap your furniture to the wall, put by food and water, have a meeting place for separated family members.... but every time we have a temblor, people remember what they haven't yet done and rush out for water bottles and instant food. At least with hurricanes, you have a season. Earthquakes are an unpleasant surprise party.

Be prepared, be wise.

Vote first.

THEN go out and buy water bottles and stuff.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Git off my lawn!!

You damned kids!

Tengrain does it again!! Go and see.


Quavering sanctimony

That is the essence of Joe Lieberman.


As the climate changes

We're going to see more of this:

Hundreds of Humboldt squid have washed up on northern Oregon beaches in the past few days in a rare die-off attributed to their coming too far north in search of food.

The squid, about 3½ feet long, have been reported as far south as Cannon Beach. Most of the deaths, however, were reported in the Columbia River at Astoria. A number of dead squid also washed onto rocks at the boat basin in Westport, Wash., last week. Because of the large number of squid available, the Aberdeen Daily World reported the state Fish and Wildlife Department lifted its five-squid daily limit for several days.

See an amazing deep sea contact with a Humboldt squid in this video.

Pinata politics

Steve Benen of The Washington Monthly:
The attacks from McCain have been more haphazard. Obama's a rookie. That didn't work? OK, he's a "celebrity." That didn't work? How about, he's a partisan Democrat who won't stand up to his party. Nothing? All right, he's insufficiently supportive of the troops. Or he's a pervert who wants to bring sex-ed to kindergarteners. Or a terrorist-sympathizer. Or he's a socialist. All the while, the subtext of McCain/Palin rhetoric vacillated between Obama's race, patriotism, and/or being "foreign," but it's never come together in a coherent way.

I labeled all of this "pinata politics" back in August, hoping to capture McCain's habit of appearing blind-folded, swinging a bat wildly in every direction. The effect, though, has been the same -- by struggling to come up with a consistent line of criticism, and ratcheting up the hate and fear whenever one line of attack failed to move the needle, McCain's position as the sleaziest candidate in a generation is secure.

Get your goggles, umbrella, and a bottle of bleach

It's going to get fugly out there.

Josh Marshall:
But you need to play close attention to the McCain campaign's final weeks' strategy under and just above the radar. McCain's final strategy relies on two pillars. The first is aggressively playing to voters' fears of electing a black president. Make no mistake: not just his campaign in a general sense, but McCain himself and his top handful of advisers, are banking on the residual racism in a changing America to get them over the finish line. The second is an aggressive use of innuendo to convince casual voters that Obama is in league with Islamic terrorists bent on killing Americans.
(Notice how they've tried to keep Bridget McCain out of the conversation?)

Roy Edroso of the Village Voice:
But there was one area in which this drive to lower the tone was a resounding success: among the Republican candidates themselves.

On the stump, both McCain and Palin suggested that Obama's plans for America amounted to "socialism." Palin also said she loved visiting the "pro-American parts of the country," presumably more than she enjoyed the anti-American parts. And a McCain advisor told MSNBC that only the Republican parts of her home state were the "real Virginia," because they were "more southern in nature, if you will."

Rightbloggers were beside themselves with glee. "McCain finally calling Obama what he is… a Socialist!" crowed Tennessee Talk. They rushed to defend their newly wised-up champions. Michelle Malkin explained what Palin meant, showing shots of obnoxious protests in San Francisco, Chicago, and Portland, Oregon. (Don't worry, she still hates New York, too.)

Mustang Bobby of Bark Bark Woof Woof notes Bill Kristol's denial of anti-Islamic rhetoric:
That right there should tell you that Mr. Kristol has obviously taken leave of his senses. The anti-Islamic rhetoric, demagoguery, and hysteria that took over this country after September 11, 2001 is not only well-documented in case after case of vandalism, threats, physical assaults, terror alerts, and other acts of mindless hysteria, it has never stopped. It is still going on today and is playing a major role in the presidential campaign -- Obama is a Muslim! His middle name is Hussein! For Mr. Kristol to say that there was no "Islamophoba or xenophobia" is pretty much the same as saying that there was no popular hysteria or scapegoating of the Japanese after Pearl Harbor.
The political rhetoric of the McCain campaign has loosed the rabid hounds:

The Right Wing Smear Machine going after ACORN has led to very predictable violence. David Neiwert:
John McCain has played a leading role in whipping up this frenzy of hatred. In Wednesday's debate, he charged:

We need to know the full extent of Sen. Obama's relationship with ACORN, who is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.

This is consistent with the hateful language being spewed from the right by the likes of Lou Dobbs, who has taken to routinely characterizing ACORN as a "radical left-wing activist group" as well as "a Democratic Party adjunct".

In fact, the hysteria's being generated across a broad spectrum of the Right, from Outer Malkinite Wingnuttia to Inside Beltway Villagers, from McCain and Palin to the frothiest freepers.

And we can see what's coming, too: We're being set up for a running yammer from the right after Obama wins questioning his legitimacy because of a supposedly "tainted" vote. Conspiracy theories and talking points from the right will circulate, driving up the temperature and feeding the right-wing populist frenzy.
Neiwert points out why this hateful focus on ACORN:
Sometimes you have to wonder what Republicans have against democracy.

Because that's what this whole "voter fraud" foofara is about. John McCain and Sarah Palin and Lou Dobbs and the rest of the right-wing torch brigade that have been after ACORN and the Ohio Secretary of State aren't concerned about protecting people's right to vote -- and in fact, their efforts largely go toward directly stripping citizens of their legitimate voting rights.
Glenn Greenwald discusses Colin Powell's disappointment over John McCain's demonizing Muslims and makes this observation:
A major enabling factor in convincing the population to support unnecessary and brutal wars -- and to perceive the "need" for endless expansions of federal surveillance and other police powers -- is the demonization of large groups of people both inside and out of the country. The Right's ongoing, intense obsession with demonizing Muslims and Arabs is, for that reason, not only repulsive but also quite destructive. The core of the Republican Party has degenerated into the unrestrained id of its worst impulses, and it was good to see Powell specifically cite (and condemn) those elements as a principal reason why he is turning away from the party he has served for so long, and instead supporting the Democratic nominee.
Via Morse of the Media Needle:

Remembering the good old days of McCarthyism, Rep. Michele Bachmann:
In a television appearance that outraged Democrats are already describing as Joseph McCarthy politics, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann claimed on Friday that Barack Obama and his wife Michelle held anti-American views and couldn't be trusted in the White House. She even called for the major newspapers of the country to investigate other members of Congress to "find out if they are pro-America or anti-America."

Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball, Bachmann went well off the reservation when it comes to leveling political charges against the Democratic nominee.
Take hip-waders to the polls, but vote. Vote as if your life depended on it!

Update: A horrific example of voter intimidation.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

No, no, no! It's supposed to be DEMOCRATS who cheat at voting!

SACRAMENTO -- The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario late last night on suspicion of voter registration fraud.

State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California.

Jacoby's arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department comes after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by his firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM. The voters said YPM tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters. The firm was paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP.

The Los Angeles Times endorses Obama

Oh my.

The Times without hesitation endorses Barack Obama for president.

Our nation has never before had a candidate like Obama, a man born in the 1960s, of black African and white heritage, raised and educated abroad as well as in the United States, and bringing with him a personal narrative that encompasses much of the American story but that, until now, has been reflected in little of its elected leadership. The excitement of Obama's early campaign was amplified by that newness. But as the presidential race draws to its conclusion, it is Obama's character and temperament that come to the fore. It is his steadiness. His maturity.
I am very impressed. Go read for an interesting assessment of Obama's presidential qualities.

Friday, October 17, 2008

If a candidate is running an ugly campaign

It reflects his desire to run an ugly campaign. John McCain is not an honorable man forced to do what he doesn't want to do. That would indicate a) he's not even able to control his own staff and campaign aides or b) he has no clue what is being done in his name or even worse 3) he's totally clueless because of the onset of senility.

John McCain clearly knows what he is doing. He is playing both sides and playing them for all they're worth.

John McCain may have been at one time honorable. He is no longer.

Glenn Greenwald:
Time's Ana Marie Cox, in a Bloggingheads discussion with Ann Althouse, does an excellent job of expressing what is still, amazingly enough, the prevailing media view of John McCain: namely, that this deeply honorable and principled man is vehemently opposed to running an ugly, dirty campaign against Barack Obama, and that is happening despite McCain's deep opposition to such campaigns and the way it profoundly violates his code of honor.


The national press corps continues to revere John McCain despite what is widely acknowledged to be the toxic and ugly campaign he's running because they still think that this campaign is being run despite McCain's character and wishes, not because of them. The idea that someone should be judged by their actual conduct never seems to occur to them, nor do they accept what ought to be the rather self-evident proposition that someone who repeatedly does dishonorable things is, by definition, dishonorable. By their fruits ye shall know them. Or, as former/long-time McCain lover Andrew Sullivan put it:

I'm afraid that [Atlantic Editor] Jim [Fallows] is dealing with what we're all dealing with: the fact that the myth we had of McCain is, in fact, a lie. The real McCain - dishonest, dishonorable and despicable - is now in plain sight. To say I'm disillusioned would be an understatement. The last six weeks have shown us all something we'd rather never have found out. But we can't ignore it now, can we?

Some obviously can -- and are.

Exactly. People in the media would come away from an interview with George Bush declaring he was really a nice guy. As if they couldn't see that both Bush and McCain are ultimate professionals who know how to finesse the media. We who stand back and watch are stunned that the media falls for this trick every single damn time. Cox is just the latest one to fall.

The essence of the last debate.

Fearguth has it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

There are thousands and thousands more....

Just like him.

Via Atrios.

Always going off half-cocked


Obama will cut taxes for 95% of American taxpayers

Found via Carrie, Uncensored.

I can't believe we're still having to explain this.

Thank you for being brave enough to make this video. It breaks my heart.

Update: Why we need doctors to know how to do late-term abortions.

Why the Alaskan secessionist group matters

It exposes Palin's governing style and intentions.


David Neiwert:
Not only did Palin conduct her office in just such a fashion -- trying to appoint Patriot-movement followers to vacant city-council seats -- it's clear that Clark, Chryson, and many others within the AIP continue to view Palin as "one of theirs." This is no doubt why they urged their members to support her in 2006. However, their belief that she is "infiltrating" the Republican Party is more likely than not simply part of their long-running delusional belief system.

What's not delusional, however, is the cold reality that Palin has a real history of empowering these extremists, and pandering to their conspiratorial beliefs, from her position of public office. And the question is whether that would continue from a position of real power in the White House.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lizard brains

Digby of Hullabaloo:
But the impulse lives on inside people like Limbaugh and his listeners, who make up a non-trivial minority of population. That the first black president comes out of the liberal tradition creates a terrible threat to their worldview, and this whole ginned up controversy with ACORN registering minority voters, Ayers, Wright and the rest subsequently feeds into a very old narrative of blacks exacting revenge against their white oppressors.

It's ridiculous, I know. But the history of this (thankfully) shrinking number of Americans is bloody and violent and they should be taken seriously. Limbaugh is inciting certain very ugly, primitive beliefs in his listeners and there's nothing "entertaining" about it.
Entertaining the unspeakable. Hope the FBI cracks down hard on these people.

Digby's post does address the deeply unacknowledged thoughts racists have, that what they believe, what they do to others reflects back on them and would be done to them in a blink of an eye. Hate is often fear projected outward. Maybe they realize the world has moved on and this makes them more angry and afraid. Their comfort zones are being threatened.

But we can thank the young for keeping the country moving forward. To my daughter's high school crowd, a black president would be cool and not at all remarkable.

Bush's legacy: Femafication

Paul Krugman: (my bold)
Meanwhile, the British government went straight to the heart of the problem — and moved to address it with stunning speed. On Wednesday, Mr. Brown’s officials announced a plan for major equity injections into British banks, backed up by guarantees on bank debt that should get lending among banks, a crucial part of the financial mechanism, running again. And the first major commitment of funds will come on Monday — five days after the plan’s announcement.

At a special European summit meeting on Sunday, the major economies of continental Europe in effect declared themselves ready to follow Britain’s lead, injecting hundreds of billions of dollars into banks while guaranteeing their debts. And whaddya know, Mr. Paulson — after arguably wasting several precious weeks — has also reversed course, and now plans to buy equity stakes rather than bad mortgage securities (although he still seems to be moving with painful slowness).

As I said, we still don’t know whether these moves will work. But policy is, finally, being driven by a clear view of what needs to be done. Which raises the question, why did that clear view have to come from London rather than Washington?

It’s hard to avoid the sense that Mr. Paulson’s initial response was distorted by ideology. Remember, he works for an administration whose philosophy of government can be summed up as “private good, public bad,” which must have made it hard to face up to the need for partial government ownership of the financial sector.

I also wonder how much the Femafication of government under President Bush contributed to Mr. Paulson’s fumble. All across the executive branch, knowledgeable professionals have been driven out; there may not have been anyone left at Treasury with the stature and background to tell Mr. Paulson that he wasn’t making sense.

Luckily for the world economy, however, Gordon Brown and his officials are making sense. And they may have shown us the way through this crisis.

Forrest Gump Explains Mortgage Backed Securities

An email making the rounds...


Mortgage Backed Securities are like boxes of chocolates. Criminals on Wall Street stole a few chocolates from the boxes and replaced them with turds. Their criminal buddies at Standard & Poor rated these boxes AAA Investment Grade chocolates. These boxes were then sold all over the world to investors. Eventually somebody bites into a turd and discovers the crime. Suddenly nobody trusts American chocolates anymore worldwide.

Hank Paulson now wants the American taxpayers to buy up and hold all these boxes of turd-infested chocolates for $700 billion dollars until the market for turds returns to normal. Meanwhile, Hank's buddies, the Wall Street criminals who stole all the good chocolates are not being investigated, arrested, or indicted. So far
nothing is back to normal.

Mama always said: "Sniff the chocolates first Forrest".

That's all, folks!


Because waterboarding is like going swimming?

My bold:
Sacramento County Republican leaders Tuesday took down offensive material on their official party Web site that sought to link Sen. Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden and encouraged people to "Waterboard Barack Obama" – material that offended even state GOP leaders.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has pushed the party to try to broaden its appeal, took issue with the site. "In the governor's view, it's completely and totally inappropriate," said Julie Soderlund, a Schwarzenegger spokeswoman.

Hector Barajas, a California Republican Party spokesman, said Democrats have been playing the race card, but that the local party went too far in this instance.


Taking credit for the site ( and its content was county party chairman Craig MacGlashan – husband of Sacramento County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan.

The Bee asked MacGlashan about the content after seeking his reaction to hate-filled graffiti that was spray-painted over an Obama display on a fence at Fair Oaks Boulevard and Garfield Avenue.

In recent weeks, MacGlashan, an attorney, joined local Democratic party officials in condemning vandalism to political displays.

The vandalism to the Obama display appeared to have been done overnight Monday. A racial epithet, profanity, "KKK" and the words "white power" were clearly visible from the roadway. Six of the nine fence panels were defaced.

"What you are describing to me is not free speech, it's vandalism. We don't condone it," MacGlashan said.

But he defended his Web site. "I'm aware of the content," he said. "Some people find it offensive, others do not. I cannot comment on how people interpret things."

MacGlashan said he would "consider people's complaints" before taking any action.

By Tuesday night, much of the questionable material – which ranged from depicting Obama in a turban to attacking Michelle Obama – had been removed, replaced with political cartoons attacking Obama.

Gee. I wonder how they would react if any Obama supporter posted the same thing about McCain? I bet they'd claim it was torture then...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tacitly inciting lunatics to violence

What do we really know about Senator John Sydney McCain III? I mean REALLY?

Nobody fucks with John McCain!

See more Hayden Panettiere videos at Funny or Die

Found via Sinfonian at Blast Off!

Since it worked so well the last few times...

It's going to be used to explain how Obama's election and presidency are a sham:
Let's be clear about what this is. These are random stories about fake vote registrations. The Drudges and Fox scoundrels of the world seem to think that if someone fills out a voter registration card for Mickey Mouse, that Mickey Mouse might show up and cast a vote they're not entitled to cast. It doesn't and there is zero evidence of any voter fraud or anything that would make voter fraud more likely. The level of lying, bad faith or at best ignorance of the people making these claims is really beyond imagining. This isn't vote fraud. There's no evidence of vote fraud. Nothing. This is an effort of a losing political party to a) lay the groundwork for challenging their defeat at the polls b) lay the groundwork to pass laws to make it harder for poor people and minorities to vote.
And in the 2004 election:
The Republicans making these claims argued that these problems with registration cards were opening the coming election up to widespread vote fraud. Logically, this makes no sense. And, more importantly, all evidence shows this has never happened, certainly not in any widespread sense. Every person who claims otherwise is either ignorant or speaking in bad faith.

Nonetheless, CNN and other national news outlets and especially local media outlets, either out of ignorance or bad faith, ran hard with these stories -- just as CNN is doing now.

After the election, there was a lot of pressure from Republicans in states like Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, etc. (not surprisingly, all key swing states) to have local US Attorneys prosecute these cases. The word came down from Washington, DC, particularly the political office at the White House that this was a top priority. And the local US Attorneys launched into it.

But there was a problem. Most of these were ethical prosecutors. And when they looked into it there just wasn't anything there. Most of the stories weren't even true. And those that were, were obviously isolated and in most cases not done with malice. The number of people who could actually be prosecuted could be counted on one hand. Local Republicans got angry; Karl Rove got angry. And the US Attorneys got fired.

That's the real story of the US Attorney firing scandal. And what we're seeing today is textbook -- exactly the same as what we saw in 2004 and 2006. It's a scam. And the very recent history should be enough for news networks like CNN and others not to let themselves become complicit in this disgrace.
Republicans lose if everyone votes. Democrats win if everyone votes. Guess what the Republicans will do?

It gets worser and worser

NEW YORK ( -- The credit market freeze has added to an incredibly tough sales year for U.S. retailers, and analysts warn that these challenges are just the beginning of what could be a brutal 2009 for merchants.

"The worst is yet to come," said Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., a retail consulting and investment banking firm.

"We'll see some tried and true [retail] names disappear," said Marti Kopacz, managing principal with corporate advisory and restructuring firm Grant Thornton.

Prior to the credit crunch, retailers were already struggling with softening sales as higher gas prices and falling home equity forced Americans to curtail purchases.

Last month's sales at stores open at least a year, which is a key measure of a retailer's performance known as same-store sales, rose just 0.8%, according to sales tracker Thomson Financial. Forecasts were for a 1.5% increase, according to Thomson.

Analysts say same-store sales of 3% or higher typically reflect a healthy U.S. consumer. Since consumer spending fuels two-thirds of the nation's economy, such a low same-store sales number is a bad sign.
Nouriel Roubini, the professor who predicted the financial crisis in 2006, said the U.S. will suffer its worst recession in 40 years, driving the stock market lower after it rallied the most in seven decades yesterday.

But we KNOW you listened to this ad!

So you obviously want to buy our product!
A company called IMMI is perfecting software that goes in your cell phone and catches every snippet of audio you're exposed to, then automatically determines which ads you heard. And more!

To get a handle on the effectiveness of a given ad, IMMI's data can show, for example, when a panel member is exposed to a movie trailer on TV and whether that same consumer later goes to see the movie. Similarly, IMMI data can show if a panelist watching a promo for a TV program will later watch the show, either on TV or online. IMMI thinks it can expand that idea from films and TV shows to consumer products like shampoo or toothpaste. It is testing its technology with a national grocery store chain.

"We follow the same person from end to end," says Tom Zito, IMMI's chief executive.

I would recommend that IMMI start working on developing a cute, non-threatening mascot right now, because they are frankly talking about some scary shit. People volunteer to carry these phones for just $50 a month.


The credit crisis as Antarctic expedition from Marketplace on Vimeo.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Train travel in China Japan

Found via daranee at the Implied Observer.

Fannie and Freddie found not guilty

WASHINGTON — As the economy worsens and Election Day approaches, a conservative campaign that blames the global financial crisis on a government push to make housing more affordable to lower-class Americans has taken off on talk radio and e-mail.

Commentators say that's what triggered the stock market meltdown and the freeze on credit. They've specifically targeted the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which the federal government seized on Sept. 6, contending that lending to poor and minority Americans caused Fannie's and Freddie's financial problems.

Federal housing data reveal that the charges aren't true, and that the private sector, not the government or government-backed companies, was behind the soaring subprime lending at the core of the crisis.
Try pointing the finger somewhere else, like at yourselves, guys. Blaming the victim is not going to work.

Not everybody got the memo

That McCain was going to reverse course and run a positive and clean campaign from now on after such a disastrous week...
RICHMOND -- The chairman of the Virginia Republican Party has compared Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden because of the Illinois senator's past association with Bill Ayers, who has confessed to domestic bombings as a member of the Vietnam War-era Weather Underground.

More like hanging your head over the cliff edge

And seeing which way up the bus lands:

Nate Silver at notes that Matt Drudge is hyping the smallest of poll upticks for John McCain and suggests Drudge is "priming a McCain reboot narrative":

Something is a little bit funny when Matt Drudge is treating 1-2 point gains for McCain in the Rasmussen and Zogby tracking polls as "BREAKING" news. Naturally, Drudge ignores other results like the just-released ABC/WaPo poll that show Obama continuing to gain ground.

Drudge has a nose for news, and he knows that a one-point gain in a tracking poll is not news -- unless someone desperately wants it to be.

Drudge's headline, under a picture of a smiling McCain, is "READY FOR COME BACK?" That headline links to a Politico article by Mike Allen headlined "Struggling McCain debuts comeback speech."


To help start your week with excellent news, read Phila of Bouphonia's Hope post.


Congratulations, Mr. Krugman


STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Paul Krugman, the Princeton University scholar and New York Times columnist, won the Nobel prize in economics Monday for his analysis of how economies of scale can affect trade patterns and the location of economic activity.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Late night movies are usually scary


Go and see.

Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor

he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. Proverbs 21:13 KJV


Georgie, what you did to everybody excepting your cronies and minions has finally come around to bite you in the ass.

When you talk about the economy, markets crash.

When you meet with world leaders at the G20, they are deliberately vague and uncommitted as they hold out for the next president.

When you speak, people realize they've gotten used to hearing complex sentence structures with multisyllabic words debating profoundly difficult situations spoken by a quick and intelligent mind. You can't leave the White House soon enough.

People can see clearly now you've gutted the Treasury for your glutinous corporate friends; you've shredded the Constitution you swore on the Bible to protect; you started a vanity war in which the blood of innocents is being shed. Whatever you've put your hand to, you've ruined.

And now we're going to be poor. Poor in a way that Americans have not experienced since 1929. Poor because you and your cronies really didn't give a shit about the people you had sworn to protect.

We'll survive this as we have with other market crashes, but the real person who's impoverished is you, George. You had the chance to be great. You had the chance to lead when we would have sacrificed and followed you without question. You had the chance to show what Americans can do in adversity and strife.

And you threw it away.

You are the really poor one, Mr. President.

Will the ray be turned against citizens who protest the coup?

After years of testing, the Active Denial System -- the pain ray which drives off rioters with a microwave-like beam -- could finally have its day. The Army is buying five of the truck-mounted systems for $25 million. But the energy weapon may face new hurdles, before it's shipped off to the battlefield; a new report details how the supposedly non-lethal blaster could be turned into a flesh-frying killer.
Via Gandhisxmas of Pygalgia, Naomi Wolf reminds us why we should be concerned:
...the First Brigade of the Third Infantry Division, three to four thousand soldiers, has been deployed in the United States as of October 1. Their stated mission is the form of crowd control they practiced in Iraq, subduing "unruly individuals," and the management of a national emergency. I am in Seattle and heard from the brother of one of the soldiers that they are engaged in exercises now. Amy Goodman reported that an Army spokesperson confirmed that they will have access to lethal and non lethal crowd control technologies and tanks.
The article finishes with an interview with a retired Air Force colonel:
I interviewed Vietnam veteran, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and patriot David Antoon for clarification:

"If the President directed the First Brigade to arrest Congress, what could stop him?"

"Nothing. Their only recourse is to cut off funding. The Congress would be at the mercy of military leaders to go to them and ask them not to obey illegal orders."

"But these orders are now legal?'"


"If the President directs the First Brigade to arrest a bunch of voters, what would stop him?"

"Nothing. It would end up in courts but the action would have been taken."

"If the President directs the First Brigade to kill civilians, what would stop him?"


"What would prevent him from sending the First Brigade to arrest the editor of the Washington Post?"

"Nothing. He could do what he did in Iraq -- send a tank down a street in Washington and fire a shell into the Washington Post as they did into Al Jazeera, and claim they were firing at something else."

"What happens to members of the First Brigade who refuse to take up arms against U.S. citizens?"

"They'd probably be treated as deserters as in Iraq: arrested, detained and facing five years in prison. In Iraq a study by Ann Wright shows that deserters -- reservists who refused to go back to Iraq -- got longer sentences than war criminals."

"Does Congress have any military of their own?"

"No. Congress has no direct control of any military units. The Governors have the National Guard but they report to the President in an emergency that he declares."

"Who can arrest the President?"

"The Attorney General can arrest the President after he leaves or after impeachment."

[Note: Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi has asserted it is possible for District Attorneys around the country to charge President Bush with murder if they represent districts where one or more military members who have been killed in Iraq formerly resided.]

"Given the danger do you advocate impeachment?"

"Yes. President Bush struck down Posse Comitatus -- which has prevented, with a penalty of two years in prison, U.S. leaders since after the Civil War from sending military forces into our streets -- with a 'signing statement.' He should be impeached immediately in a bipartisan process to prevent the use of military forces and mercenary forces against U.S. citizens"

"Should Americans call on senior leaders in the Military to break publicly with this action and call on their own men and women to disobey these orders?"

"Every senior military officer's loyalty should ultimately be to the Constitution. Every officer should publicly break with any illegal order, even from the President."

"But if these are now legal. If they say, 'Don't obey the Commander in Chief,' what happens to the military?"

"Perhaps they would be arrested and prosecuted as those who refuse to participate in the current illegal war. That's what would be considered a coup."

"But it's a coup already."