Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mercury retrograde

It was a long day at the dentist. I posted to DetNews when I got home and by the time I published my second post, one of my long standing critics put up a comment called "Libby made me puke in my mouth a little bit."

I think my job for the day is done. I'm taking the evening off.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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Using the Shock Doctrine for good

I'm off to the dentist again for the afternoon, so I give you Digby, who has the must read post this morning. It's so good I'm going to quote it extensively, but definitely read the whole thing and send it to every Democratic leader you can.
But if a new plan is to be presented by the Democrats, it means they are going to take ownership of the crisis and they'd better start thinking about passing it with a progressive argument. The Republicans are not going to be on board. I wrote after the debate that I wished Barack had made the point that all of his plans for investing in alternative energy, infrastructure and health care are not only the right thing to do, they are going to be necessary for revitalizing the economy. For several decades now we've been working under the false premise that the only thing the government can do to stimulate the economy in a time of recession is tax cuts. That's just not true. In fact, it is inadequate at times like these, as we are seeing. Action in the way of creating jobs and direct government activism is required.

7. A new version of the New Deal would create a Democratic majority for years to come. That's why the GOP has fought so hard for so long to dismantle the old New Deal. Democrats could emphasize that this is a temporary, emergency program - just as the Wall St. proposal allegedly is, but after the program's sunset there would be a strong new constituency supportive of extending this (and other progressive programs) and expanding the Democratic base of support.

8. McCain is trying to pose as a populist (and bank on Democrats floating a "compromise" bill he can oppose). Shifting the debate with an actual wholesale alternative puts him in a very difficult position, and at the very least prevents him from scoring cheap political points.

But the Democrats are failing to take advantage of the complexity of the situation and use simple politics to sell it. They should say that the economy is failing and we need massive government action to solve it. That's what Democrats do in a crisis like this. But they need to make the political message about the Democratic agenda for restoring the economy not about rescuing "the financial system" which nobody understands anyway.

Let's have the argument and let the American people decide. If the Democrats win it they will have a mandate for real progressive change in the middle of a crisis that demands it. If they play their cards right they'll end up neutering the failed conservative ideology for a generation, put in place some important and long neglected structural changes and mitigate the worst of this downturn at the same time. There's no reason that the Shock Doctrine can't be used for good.
This crisis is the opportunity to redefine the Democratic agenda that we've been waiting to see arrive for generations. Digby is right. The Democrats could use this turn of events to explain to the voters that it's not big government that is bad; it's that big government has been used for the wrong reasons, mainly to prop up the corporatocracy at the expense of the working class.

The Democratic party has an opportunity to lead here and offer a bottom up plan with no apologies for failing to bow to Republican demands for phony bi-partisanship. Paging Barack Obama. We don't need bi-partisanship. We need another FDR. We need a leader willing to boldly risk everything to really change the world.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

You're no one if you're not on twitter

I guess I'm doomed to obscurity...



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Fed waits for no one

So tell me why did Congress bother to vote? I guess McCain was too busy holding Sarah's hand on Couric's show tonight so it's Helicopter Ben to the rescue.
Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve will pump an additional $630 billion into the global financial system, flooding banks with cash to alleviate the worst banking crisis since the Great Depression.

The Fed increased its existing currency swaps with foreign central banks by $330 billion to $620 billion to make more dollars available worldwide. The Term Auction Facility, the Fed's emergency loan program, will expand by $300 billion to $450 billion. The European Central Bank, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are among the participating authorities.

The Fed's expansion of liquidity, the biggest since credit markets seized up last year, came hours before the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a $700 billion bailout for the financial industry. The crisis is reverberating through the global economy, causing stocks to plunge and forcing European governments to rescue four banks over the past two days alone.
So we're going to bail out the world with fake money while Congress dickers over how to give this administration another 700 billion? I'm told this will lead to staggering inflation.

Meanwhile I hear some executive of one of the failed companies walked away with millions for 17 days work and Bush will be rising early to address the nation at 7:45am tomorrow. Be sure to set your alarm clocks to red alert.

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Bailout fails on first vote

Buckle your seatbelts folks. It's going to a rollercoaster ride for a while. The House vote on the bailout surprisingly failed, 228-206 are the latest figures I saw. Reading around the 'tubes, the chatter says the camps are entrenched but they will hold a second vote soon. The basic dynamic seems to be - Yeah we need it, but I'm not going to vote for it; you vote for it. My constituents are too pissed off.

Obama made a statement urging calm and asking the Congress to get it done already. No word yet from McCain at the time of this posting. Marc Ambinder wonders if McCain will accept any blame for the failure, since he was taking a lot of undue credit for its success when it looked like it was going to pass.

Me I'm just waiting for McImpulsive to suspend his campaign again to 'rescue us' and of course he'll need the expert advice of his supremely qualified VP so maybe she won't be able to have that silly little debate after all. Or something like that.

Meanwhile, the Dow immediately tanked 700 points but last I heard it was rising again. No point in getting too excited until the COB to see where it all shakes out. I have to admit I'm surprised the deal didn't hold. Guess we'll find out just how serious this crisis really is after all. Glad I took some cash out of the bank yesterday -- just in case the doomsayers were right.

Update: Un-"effin"-believable. The Republicans are saying they couldn't pass the bill because Pelosi hurt their feelings with a 'partisan' speech. Read it for yourself. This was so egregious they had to torpedo the deal? What bullshit. It's like I said. Everybody wanted to give Wall St their perks but nobody wanted to put their name on it. They're all disgusting, on both sides, for worrying about who gets the bloody credit, instead of really working to find the best solution.

Update 2: I think they're all being ridiculous but you have to love Barney Frank's comeback.



Update 3: Speaking of lame, the official McCain response to the failed vote.

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MoDo kicked off the bus

I've pretty much stopped reading the Very Wise Pundits. They're nearly always wrong and they irritate me to the point of raising my blood pressure which I do not need. Besides if they say anything worth reading, some blogger will pick it up and tell you. Such is the case this morning. Ari at FDL flags this unnoticed item.
Howard Kurtz drops this tidbit into his column:
The company may have been more pleasant than that of McCain aides, who have barred Dowd from the candidate's plane.
Hardly surprising given the McCain campaign's on-going effort to discredit the NYT for allegedly being in the tank for Obama. As they say, we all know that facts have a liberal bias. But Ari is right in this observation. "If the Obama campaign banned a FoxNews Reporter from the plane, I'm sure it would be the greatest crime against the first amendment ever committed. MoDo banned -- one sentence, no explanation."

I'm more interested in how MoDo will react to being exposed as an outcast. So far, from what I hear, she's still flogging her Obambi theme.

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I get mail - Worthy causes

Even though I'm just a B-list blogger I get asked all the time to review books and pitch worthy causes. I often don't get around to even reading them before it's too late but this one is a really worthy effort and you still have one day to participate.
The International Medical Corps has been named as a finalist in a contest sponsored by American Express. International Medical Corps has been matched to one of the Top 25 in American Express’ Members Projects, ‘Saving the Lives of Malnourished Children.’

Chosen out of 1,190 projects, “Saving the Lives of Malnourished Children” is now eligible to receive up to $1.5 million in funding. The project with the most votes receives $1.5 million, 2nd receives $500,000, 3rd $300,000, and 4th and 5th $100,000. The funding – made possible by your votes – would bring a vital lifeline to hungry and malnourished children around the world.

We need your help between now and September 29th. Voting is easy and doesn’t cost a thing! In just a click, you can save the lives of thousands of malnourished children. Click here to vote:

For severely malnourished children, we offer a step-by-step treatment program that gives them what they need to recover, including nutrient-dense food supplements like the peanut-based product, Plumpy'Nut. Our comprehensive monitoring system saves more than 90 percent of children being treated in our feeding centers. Being one of the Top 5 would mean our nutrition could reach more children around the world who need our help.
It's a little complicated to vote, you have to join the group first, but I checked out the greater project and it's legit. You won't be charged any money and of the 25 projects, I liked this one the best. So if you have a few minutes, it's good way to spend it to end world hunger.

Another project I've been asked to promote is Ban Cluster Bombs. They don't seem to be involved in any time sensitive project but with the world at perpetual war and seeing our country is also an offender, it's worth a few minutes to check out their site. It's an eyeopener.

Finally, I don't generally pitch books I haven't read, but this request was so polite, you might want to check out Oxford University Pres who are promoting a book on the Bush Doctrine that looks interesting based on the review they posted.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

McCain campaign goes for shotgun approach

If this is true, it will go down in the history books as the singlemost dunderheaded campaign ploy in the history of the United States.
In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

. . . McCain is expected to have a front-row seat at Bristol’s wedding and to benefit from the outpouring of goodwill that it could bring. “What’s the downside?” a source inside the McCain campaign said. “It would be wonderful. I don’t know that there has ever been a pre-election wedding before.”

“What’s the downside?” Besides trivalizing the electoral process to the point of rendering it as irrelevant as a carnival sideshow? Nothing. I can't imagine anything more important to the future of the country than suspending the campaign -- again -- for a shotgun wedding. But that could be just me.

Meanwhile, Lindsay Graham was on the bobblehead programs today defending Palin's bumbling performance in the Couric interviews. He has a great defense. When asked to translate whatever Palin said about her experience with Russia, Lindsay said Joe Biden makes mistakes too.
"If we're not going to judge Joe by one sound bite in one interview, which is fair to Joe, and we're not going to take a mistake that he's made and say that that's a death-defying blow, let's don't do it for her."
Oh Lindsay. If only it was just one isolated mistake out of over a hundred press avails, you wouldn't look like such an hapless tool when you make that argument.


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Palin's popularity plummets

That rumbling you hear in the distance is the foundation of Sarah Palin's Village Elder support crumbling. Fareed Zakaria posts today at Newsweek and calls her eminently unqualified.
....In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true.
Kevin Drum at his new digs at MoJo finds that as startling a development as I did.
I don't want to overstate the importance of this, but it's definitely a sign that Palin's jig may be up. Zakaria frequently writes astutely, but he's something of an establishment weathervane, reluctant to state firm opinions unless he's got plenty of company. So if he's willing to say flatly that Palin is "utterly unqualified," it suggests that the center-right establishment pretty unanimously agrees about this. I don't know for sure that this will have a noticeable effect on the campaign, but when you add it to the growing list of conservatives who have taken similar stands (George Will, David Frum, Rod Dreher, Kathleen Parker, Ross Douthat, David Brooks, Charles Krauthammer), it suggests that dismay over Palin may be reaching critical mass.
Add to that this poll showing Palin with -10 favorability ratings and I'd say the people who have money on her not making it to November have a pretty good bet.

Poor Sarah. If she's forced to drop out, her homecoming to Alaska is likely to be less warm than before she fell into the clutches of the Beltway spin doctors. Be sure to check the photo gallery of the protest.


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Amused to Death

Just because it's Sunday; I love Roger Waters and the song so fits the politics of the moment.



Bonus links:

Kleiman is right. McCain is just as clueless as Palin. In terms of substantive content, they're about the same. Mark has video of a Couric interview on Thursday and the only real difference, as I mentioned yesterday, between McCain and Palin is that McCain pronounces the words without dropping his g's and saying things like, "I'm gonna have to get back to ya on that thar one."

Palin quote generator. Refresh the page for new quotes. [via trifecta]

A great cartoon on McCain at the debate. [via Diane]

And while I put no stock in polls, this is amusing. Palin's favorability rating is now at minus ten.

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Everybody's working for the weekend

Compare and contrast. The real Sarah Palin at the bar in Philly on Friday night.



Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on Saturday night. [The video embed seems to be glitching out so if it's not coming up, you can get it and the transcript here.



You know, if the McCain campaign was smart, they would hire Tina Fey to impersonate Palin at the debate. Considering how little media exposure Palin has had, I doubt many people would notice the switch and unlike Palin, Tina Fey actually knows something about current events.

[h/t for Palin video to the alleged Libertarian in the comments here.]

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Wrong way McCain

While I take issue with the notion that the debate was deadlocked, Frank Rich has a good column worth reading today. Here's the opener:
WHAT we learned last week is that the man who always puts his “country first” will take the country down with him if that’s what it takes to get to the White House.

For all the focus on Friday night’s deadlocked debate, it still can’t obscure what preceded it: When John McCain gratuitously parachuted into Washington on Thursday, he didn’t care if his grandstanding might precipitate an even deeper economic collapse. All he cared about was whether he might save his campaign. George Bush put more deliberation into invading Iraq than McCain did into his own reckless invasion of the delicate Congressional negotiations on the bailout plan.
Shorter version: McCain would rather crash the economy than lose the race.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Media Bytes - Eve of Destruction edition

Song in my head. It certainly fits my week. Two people I know died in the last few days. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

So it's been a while since I've done one of these posts. I haven't been getting around Blogtopia much with the election heating up and I've been posting my fingers to the bone over at DetNews trying to sway that swing state but people have been sending me stuff that I'm remiss on posting so here's some links old and new for your amusement and edification.

For your reading pleasure Dan at Pruning Shears dissects the failure of conservatism.
Conservatism as practiced for the last quarter century has produced the mess we all must now clean up. It has also produced a horrifically costly war based on lies and fear, and crippled our bureaucracy to the point of incapacity in the face of natural disaster. We are now living with the logical result of the authoritarianism, militarism, corruption, fearmongering, callousness and greed that conservatism has meant in practice. It is understandable that its defenders want to change the subject, or feebly claim that we now need some kind of post-ideological paradigm or are reduced to farcical attempts at distancing. But that is no reason for the rest of us to accept such silliness.
On the flip side, here's an interesting article on Rachel Maddow and the rise of liberalism on the teevee.

Hart Williams gets his rant on about our idiot media and right wing utopia.

Julia at FDL reports from the Clinton Global Initiative Summit in midtown Manhattan where both Obama and McCain spoke.

Over at Making Light they have good news and bad news about the GOP's ongoing plot to steal the vote.

From Hilzoy comes the quote of the day, even though this is yesterday's post. Read this one if you read nothing else. It will especially resonate with those of you who love to travel.
What I mind about Sarah Palin is not, and has never been, her small town. It's her small and incurious mind.
Speaking of Palin, I posted about this project a few days ago and $760,000 was raised for Planned Parenthood in Sarah Palin's name. The McCain campaign should get about 70,000 thank you cards. PP now has a open letter to Sarah saying she's not our candidate. You can sign here in a 30 seconds or less.

Which brings us to the debate and McCain. You may have noticed the old POW has a little problem with eye contact.

In the spin room afterward, Palin was noticeably missing but Joe Biden was on fire.

And anybody who played the debate drinking game according to John Cole's rules is probably dead from alcohol poisoning this morning.

Speaking of dead, this is so sad. They're tearing down Shea stadium. Regular readers know I've been a life long Mets fan and I've never had the chance to go there and see them play. Now I never will.

Moving on to lighter fare to end this edition on higher note, this is cheering. The Economist is running a global electoral vote poll. The current score is 7,999 for Obama to 12 for McCain.

The bailout bill isn't that amusing but Wanda Sykes on the bailout made me laugh.

These drunken patriots also made me laugh but more in horror than amusement. One can only hope they're too sloshed to get to the polls.

And finally for the eye candy, the thousand ruby galaxy. It makes me wish I could live long enough to be a space traveler.

[hat tips to Avedon and the Atriots in the comment section at Eschaton.]

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Lowering the bar for Palin

The big story about last night's debate wasn't in Mississippi at the podiums, it was in the spin rooms after the event. This is when the big gun surrogates customarily provide the campaign talking points and of course the biggest guns in the rack are the VP candidates. Oddly, although not unexpectedly, Sarah Palin was no where to be found. She wasn't even in Ole Miss. The McCain camp deployed Mr. 9/11, Rudy Guiliani, to do the on air honors while the pit poodle put on her lispstick and dressed up in local baseball garb to hit a Irish pub in Philly.
Palin appeared at the bar on 20th and Walnut streets last night to shake hands with her fans for about an hour before the first presidential debate. While the crowd inside was friendly, hundreds of people lined the street outside in protest with signs that read things like "Palin is Santorum With Lipstick."

Palin did not take questions from reporters nor did she talk policy. She posed for pictures and chatted with supporters, many of whom were from outside the city limits, and made an approximately minute-long statement.
Meanwhile the networks were flooded with hate mail from McCain supporters demanding to know why their overheated hockey mom wasn't invited to the party. My guess is the campaign will encourage the notion that this was all a result of 'liberal bias' of the hateful media rather than admit they won't allow her to speak in public. One doubts the deluded who believe sharing a maritime border with Russia "is too" foreign policy experience, will put two and two together themselves.

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RIP Paul Newman

Paul Newman died Friday at age 83 at his long-time home in Westport, Connecticut. He was always one of my favorite actors. I loved almost every single one of his movies, but I think Cool Hand Luke will be the role that defines him for me. That came out just as I was old enough to have teenage crushes on movie stars and would dream that someday we would meet and fall in love.

Truthfully I haven't thought much about him in years, but I'm going to miss him all the same. He was areally handsome man and an accomplished actor. A good liberal with a great big heart. The world is a poorer place for his absence.

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The debate: Morning after analysis

I liveblogged the debate and put up my initial analysis and roundups at the Detroit News last night. Of course, I was spinning hard for Obama but here's my unspun morning after thoughts. Obama did a good job of drawing a pretty bright line between himself and McCain on the issues. I would have liked him to challenge McCain harder on the maverick reformer meme. I thought Obama missed a lot of opportunities to do so.

The best moment was when Obama brought up his actual voting record and McCain almost boiled over. I think if he had pressed harder, we would have seen a McCain meltdown. I'm hoping he's just saving that strategy for the last debate so it will be fresh on the voters' minds when they get to the ballot box.

I've always hated that Obama is adopting the "surge worked" and "Iran is teh big scary evil" themes but I don't really see how he can avoid that and still win over the low info voters. We can only hope that reflects political expedience and not so much his mindset. Not that it's a dealbreaker in comparison with bomb, bomb, bomb McCain.

Biased as I am, I tried to be a neutral observer and I thought McCain came off as mean, cranky, evasive and lost in the past. I don't know how much his inability to make eye contact is going to hurt him. I suspect not much with the low info voters but it was widely criticized in the high info crowd. Obama came off as cool, collected, knowledgeable and ready to lead into the future.

As for who "won" I'm not sure it makes any difference since there weren't any dramatic moments for the punderati to obsess over for the next few weeks. In the immediate response they were pretty much calling it for McCain with the exception of KO and I assume Rachel, although I never caught her response. Tweety was kind of the fence. Initially he was saying McCain but then I saw him later and he was leaning more towards Obama. I read this morning the media are now calling it for Obama. I suspect that's in reponse to the voter polling which overwhelming was going to him.

For myself, I'd say it was Obama's night. He didn't hit it out of the ballpark but McCain didn't score either and this was supposed to be his night to prove his superior foreign policy creds. Obama was a little too wonky but he demonstrated his creds well enough and goes into the next debate on the economy with the advantage. It will be interesting to see if he gets a bump in the election polls from it.

[cross-posted to The Reaction and Newshoggers]

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Debate

I live blogged it and gave my verdict at Detroit News tonight. Link below. To the extent that I think it's worth talking about winners and losers. Obama won, McCain is a tired old POW with an stale schtick and our elite media punditry are idiots. I'm going to bed.

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A well adjusted couple in the White House

I was over at HuffPo looking at something else when this photo caught my eye. One of the things I really love about the Obamas is how obviously they love each other. The word authentic is way over-used but I can't think of a better word to describe their relationship. The authors of this piece notes the contrast with previous White House couples.
For example, Michelle and Barack do something we've never seen before in a presidential couple: they actually look directly at each other when they're speaking to each other. They also laugh at each other's humor, and they allow their sexual attraction for each other to be visible. [...]

Michelle and Barack speak clearly and openly. You know she won't bullshit you or embarrass you by playing the demure little wife. We're ready to see that kind of relationship, and we hope you are, too. The question is: are we as a nation ready to end our national addiction to duplicity, phony adoration and Stepford wifedom in the White House?
This isn't high on my list of criteria for electing a president but the way a man treats his wife does speak to me a great deal about his character. I don't know where that photo came from but it reminded me of the convention when Obama did something similar after the speech was over and they were all on stage. There is something innately comforting to me about seeing that kind of open display of affection.

In contrast, I'm often struck by the body language of John and Cindy McCain. I searched for about half an hour trying to find a similar photo for them but it's rare to see them even touching, much less showing any warmth towards each other. Most often she's three paces behind him and he almost never is looking directly at her. I found a couple of shots where he's holding her arm up like this. Maybe this is from when she sprained her arm and he's helping her wave but still it speaks of someone showing off a trophy, not so much cherishing a relationship.

Putting aside the fact that I thought the big deal with POW McCain is he can't raise his arm at all, I have to think that a man that treats his own wife so coldly, won't be the kind of man that feels any empathy for the regular Americans whom he seeks to 'lead.' That carries a lot of weight with me as a disqualifier.

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When you've lost Kathleen Parker...

As Steven Benen notes, "Kathleen Parker, a columnist syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group, is not exactly a moderate." In fact she's one of the GOP's best water carriers and she wrote this today.

Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
When Parker can no longer defend Sarah, it may really be time for Ms. Palin to discover she needs to "spend more time with her family." I don't see how this ticket has a prayer if the right wing noise machine abandons them.

Of course, I probably shouldn't push the idea. If she stays in, all the easier to beat them in November, no matter how many dirty tricks the campaign pulls.

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Palin on Kissinger

I have to admit I'm starting to feel sorry for Sarah Palin. The campaign's insistence on reducing her to the role of arm candy for McCain has clearly broken her confidence. She's melting down under the media kleig lights, as evidenced by her interviews with Katie Couric. This bit is so painful, I'm hurting for her.
Couric: You met yesterday with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is for direct diplomacy with both Iran and Syria. Do you believe the U.S. should negotiate with leaders like President Assad and Ahmadinejad?

Palin: I think, with Ahmadinejad, personally, he is not one to negotiate with. You can't just sit down with him with no preconditions being met. Barack Obama is so off-base in his proclamation that he would meet with some of these leaders around our world who would seek to destroy America and that, and without preconditions being met. That's beyond naïve. And it's beyond bad judgment.

Couric: Are you saying Henry Kissinger …

Palin: It's dangerous.

Couric: … is naïve for supporting that?

Palin: I've never heard Henry Kissinger say, "Yeah, I'll meet with these leaders without preconditions being met." Diplomacy is about doing a lot of background work first and shoring up allies and positions and figuring out what sanctions perhaps could be implemented if things weren't gonna go right. That's part of diplomacy.
To be fair, maybe she and Henry didn't discuss Iran at their little tete-a-tete but for crying out loud, is it too much to ask that she reads a newspaper once in a while?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five former U.S. secretaries of state said on Monday the next American administration should talk to Iran, a foe President George W. Bush has generally shunned as part of an "axis of evil."

Engaging Iran is important because Washington's military options against Tehran are unsatisfactory, said the diplomats, who worked for Republican and Democratic administrations.

The five -- Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, James Baker and Henry Kissinger -- all said they favored talking to Iran as part of a strategy to stop Tehran's development of a nuclear weapons program.
Not to mention that Katie opened the interview by noting that Henry supports talks. It's like she didn't even listen to the question because she was so intent on following the campaign's script but she hasn't quite memorized the lines yet.

As Atrios said this morning, the problem isn't so much that she's talking gibberish, all the politicians do that, it's that she's not using the accepted syntax. I'd add that the folksy speaking style that Bush used to great effect, doesn't work for her as well. The difference being I suppose is that Bush used it sparingly and deliberately, while it seems to be her real style. Where Bush came off as unpretentious, she just looks inarticulate. Worse yet, she no longer looks defiant and assured. She looks like a kid that got lost at the mall. One gets the feeling this campaigning thing isn't turning out to be as much fun as she thought it would be.

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McOops - ad runs too soon


I've been doing my blogging on McCain's lame stuntmanship over at Detroit News (link below) but I want to archive this moment here. This ad couldn't make more clear how insincere his promise was to skip the debate if there wasn't a bailout agreement by today. This ran in the Wall Street Journal today, apparently a day too early. But since these buys have to made in advance, one can only conclude that he had intended to attend the debate all along and this whole charade was once again simply designed as a short term strategy to steal the news cycle for the free air time. Well that and to dilute the focus on the embarassment of his running mate's relentlessly blithering remarks in Couric's interviews.

The WaPo puts the ad in context with this screenshot grab from the WSJ page it appeared on.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

The cult of the crazy church of Palin

I haven't had the stomach to watch this. I've seen these sort of people before and I'm already grumpy enough today, but I'm posting the video for future reference. It shows Sarah's spirtual advisor casting out the demons and performing some kind of rite to protect Ms. Palin from witchcraft.



Max Blumenthal bravely did some undercover work at the church, attending the services and he posted this video of Sarah's redemption. I understand she's on at about 7:00 minutes in. Sadly No has also bravely viewed it in its entirety and gives you the shorter version highlights in their own inimitable style.

I'm just confounded that this isn't a dealbreaker, even for the drooling guys who love her for her ass and don't give a flying leap whether she has a brain.

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Just another rainy Thursday

Well it's Thursday so I have a post up at Art Of The Possible. It's such a bleak post, no one even wants to comment on it, but it fit my mood on this cold and gloomy day here in the south. I've been posting away at Detroit News (link below) on the bailout and I don't have much to add to it here. It's clear that nobody knows WTF is going on or what this bill will actually do, but by golly, the idiot Democrats are going to pass some piece of corporate ass kissing garbage that will piss everyone off except the lobbyists on K Street and somehow allow the Republicans to come out of this looking like they were the ones fighting against the corporate giveaways.

Palin's second interview with Katie Couric is circulating. Her take on Russia is especially enlightening.


Watch CBS Videos Online

I'll cede the snark to Steve Benen since I already posted on this at DetNews. And you may as well see Steve for the demonstration of her 'vast' knowledge on the bailout. Jeez, you need a translation guide for her remarks. She doesn't even speak in complete sentences.

This isn't even close to partly skilled double talk, it's just plain dumb as a brick blathering. The only real question left is why in the hell is anyone with two brain cells to rub together supporting this ticket? Or alternately, who are these people who the pollsters claim are going to vote for Clueless McCain and his ventriloquist dummy VP? Are there really that many suicidal Americans?

But to prove how ready Ms. Palin is to meet the press, I understand she took four questions today. She managed to answer two of them without tripping over her lipstick. I pretty sure they wrote the first answer for her and made her practice it before they her out alone in public.

Meanwhile, this is worth a read. I blogged it at DetNews too, but it's noteworthy that The Hill commited an act of actual journalism today and posted on the candidates record in the last incarnation of Congress. The score Obama 5 - McCain 0.

And finally, McChicken is still using his fly-in photo-op as an excuse to avoid having to debate Obama and of course the larger goal of that flim-flam is to get Palin's debate cancelled altogether in order to avoid having the public at large hear her speak on the issues for a whole hour. That would kill the campaign for sure. If they pull it off, they can still probably hold the deluded demo that apparently believe a presidential race is just like American Idol through November. I can't decide whether that scares me or depresses me more.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Breaking - McCain suspends campaign

[Graphic via Fox]


McCain just announced he was suspending his campaign to return to DC and save Wall Street. He wants Obama to do the same, in "the spirit of bipartisanship." Oh, and he wants to cancel the debate on Friday. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the polling today that shows Obama taking a major lead with a majority of Americans saying they trust Obama more to handle the economy.

The campaign denies this is politically motivated.
McCain advisors say they will do all the debates but the schedule is up in the air. They also deny that there is a political calculation in this and say without action the country could slide into a Depression by Monday and added "we'll see 12 percent unemployment" if action is not completed.
Hmmm. That's what Bush and Paulson are saying too, but we've seen no evidence of that being true. It's also useful to note that McCain hasn't been seen on the Senate floor since March or April, but now, all of sudden, after dodging the question for days, only he can swoop into town and save the day? More likely he wants to save his lobbyist pal's livelihoods.

McCain says his advisors just convinced him we were in a crisis this hot minute and that's why he's calling on Obama to pull the plug on campaigning. I'm not buying that story and apparently, according to the CNN quick poll, neither is most of America. At the time of this posting 69% see it as a political stunt. He doesn't look like a leader on this, he looks panicked and scared of losing the race. And it gives creedence to something I read earlier that he tends to act on the advice of the last person he talked to, rather than weighing all the options and making a considered decision. Hardly what we need in a president.

The other possibility, that seems pretty credible is that he's just suffered some kind of neurological event. Look at the photo closely and check out the left side of his face. It's drooping, which would be consistent with a mini-stroke or a stress related palsy. I certainly hope that's not the case, but if it is, it just increases my genuine concern that he is not physically up to the task of the presidency. It certainly would help explain his sudden urge to cancel the debate.

Of course, the alternate explanation, that he's simply afraid of facing Obama in an unscripted format and willing to pull any grandstanding stunt to get out of it, and trying to break Obama's momentum by asking him to suspend his campaigning, isn't much better for him politically. Either way he ends up looking old, weak and foolish.

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Set Sarah Palin free

Of course, I was saying this two weeks ago and no one paid attention, but nonetheless, it's good to see it on the teevee coming from a notable talking head like Campbell Brown.



Really. While her over-all knowledge and qualifications are an issue, there is no doubt that Palin is very experienced in dealing with the media. There's absolutely no reason for the McCain campaign to be resigning her to the sole role of McCain's arm candy.

It's damned insulting to her and to all women. Not exactly what I call crashing the glass ceiling to protect her like she was some little fragile china doll.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Palin's Great Drive-by Diplomacy tour

(Photo: Stan Honda/ AFP-Getty Images)(via The Caucus)

I guess we can add SUV stop and drop-ins to Palin's metaphorical foreign policy credentials. After initally refusing to allow reporters to attend Palin's really awesome meet and greets in New York today, the national press staged a mini-revolt and told the McCain campaign no reporters -- no cameras.

Well of course, that would have defeated the purpose of the staged photo-ops so the campaign relented and allowed the print press limited access. The Caucus has been chronicling the heady meetings. Here's a couple of the more profound moments they were allowed to witness.
Ms. Palin and Mr. Kissinger sat on blue couches, separated by an end table with photographs of President Nixon and President Reagan on it. As photographers were led in, Mr. Kissinger could be heard saying that he gave someone “a lot of credit for what he did in Georgia,” according to a report who was allowed to watch.

“Good, good,’’ Ms. Palin said. “And you’ll give me more insight on that, also, huh? Good.”
And the day started with this earth shaking conversation about Karzai's son.
“What is his name?” Ms. Palin was heard to ask, as she met with Mr. Karzai in the suite of a midtown hotel, according to a pool report.

“Mirwais,” Mr. Karzai replied. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.’”
“Oh nice,” Palin responded.

“He is the only one we have,” Mr. Karzai said.

Then the pool of journalists was escorted out, and the meeting began.
For those of you who are keeping track at home it has now been 40 days since McCain has had an open press conference and it's been 24 days since he introduced his "pit bull with lipstick" Veep to the American public and she has yet to be let off her leash to face the press in an unscripted format.

I guess when the McCain campaign said they weren't going to run a campaign based on the issues, they really weren't kidding.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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Obama offers specifics -- media isn't there

While McCain promises to name the earmarkers and sic his pit bull Palin on DC, Obama is quietly detailing his specific plans for reform. Unfortunately, the media -- new and old -- don't seem to find substance all that newsworthy. This should be plastered over the blogs at least. It says something about what has become of Blogtopia that it hasn't been. It seems almost everyone is more interested in polls and horserace analysis than the issues so the only way to spread this stuff is one person at a time.



Pass it on. [Via TMV]

[cross-posted to The Reaction]

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Palin's first campaign ad

From her mayoral campaign in Wasilla



I'm not sure what to say about this. Supply your own punchline. [via]

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Billionaires - rescue thyselves

Well the bailout plan wasn't polling well so now they're calling it a rescue plan. Talk about putting lipstick on a pig. The more I read, the more pissed off I get and so far the best suggestion I've seen so far is at FDL. Read it all but this is the key point.
"The most important condition to put on any bailout proposal is to impose a tax surcharge on the incomes of the wealthiest Americans to pay the bailout's cost. "

Moreover, we should leave that tax surcharge in place for as long as it takes to recoup the total bailout costs, which are still undetermined. If, for example, Paulson gets another $700 billion, to add to the $800 billion increase in the debt limit Congress gave him last July, we're up to $1.5 trillion that needs to be recovered.

Tying the surtax to full bailout repayment will provide a strong incentive for those who don't like taxes to insist on bailout approaches that actually work and minimize taxpayer exposure. They'll insist on effective oversight and accountability for any bailout approaches and actions, as opposed to the Bush/Paulson approach of giving Paulson a blank check to spend at least $700 billion with no accountability whatsoever."
Also read Avedon's post, Why the rich should pay higher taxes.

As far I can see this attempt to legalize the looting of the treasury is just as likely to make things worse than not. It will only delay the inevitable to spare the poor little billionaires from having to bear the losses of their own bad business practices. I don't care anymore whose fault it is, the bottom line is those that made the big bucks on the bubble, should pay the price.

My email today to my Congresslizards is going to simply say, No bailout without a complete rollback of all Bush's tax breaks for the multi-national corporations and the top 1% of US wealth holders. Feel free to copy and send it to yours. It only take a couple of minutes to email your Congresspeople. If you haven't done it yet, please do it today.

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The real costs of Bush's excellent Iraq adventure

I have a longer post at Detroit News this morning on the history of the White House's misspending of funds extorted under the same panic mode they're now creating over the Wall St meltdown but I want to flag a couple of current items of interest for context.

I'm not sure if this is addition or just part of the already documented misplaced funds, but I suspect it's the latter.

A former Iraqi official estimated yesterday that more than $13 billion meant for reconstruction projects in Iraq was wasted or stolen through elaborate fraud schemes. [...]

While many of the projects audited "were not needed -- and many were never built," he said, "this very real fact remains: Billions of American dollars that paid for these projects are now gone."
And, no surprise here either but Maliki just confirmed that the decisions over the continued deployment of our troops in the occupation without end was strictly political.
[D]uring an interview with Iraqi television last week (according to an Open Source Center translation), Maliki suggested that the U.S. presidential elections played a role:

Actually, the final date was really the end of 2010 and the period between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011 was for withdrawing the remaining troops from all of Iraq, but they asked for a change [in date] due to political circumstances related to the [U.S] domestic situation so it will not be said to the end of 2010 followed by one year for withdrawal but the end of 2011 as a final date.
And yet, McCain and his pet pit bull Palin still draw crowds that chant USA in the misguided belief that anything resembling a 'victory' can be acheived. It occurred to me last night that outside of the cultural wedge issues, the single biggest thing driving McCain's support are people who still believe that Iraq is somehow instrumental in solving terrorism and winnable by any meaningful metric.

One might ask these folks, whom I'm sure are well intentioned, what good victory would do anyway, assuming it could be declared in some meaningful way, if our troops ultimately come home to a country in complete economic and social shambles. In the end, the economic meltdown and the occupation are still inextricably entwined as far as I can see. I don't understand why so many fail to see it as well.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Palin's metaphoric rise to readiness

This would be really funny if this woman wasn't actually a serious candidate for Vice President of the United States. And by serious, I mean the GOP was seriously insane when it made her one. I keep waiting for the punchline of this joke. I guess this is it
Since Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, both he and Palin have argued that her state’s proximity to Russia counts as foreign policy experience. Noting that this claim “stands on flimsy ground,” CBS News’ Scott Conroy tried to get the McCain-Palin campaign to provide “practical experience Palin had with Russia.” While the campaign largely stonewalled Conroy, one anonymous “senior campaign aide” argued the experience was “metaphorical“:

A senior campaign aide who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity admitted that Palin’s knowledge of Russia may be limited to the way someone from Miami might obtain a general feel for Latin America.

“It is very much being able to look off the tip of Alaska,” the aide said. “Metaphorically, I’m talking about.”
Metaphorically, they're slaying me.

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The Village Elders rip McCain

This got lost in the bailout mania, but it's somewhat significant that even George Will doesn't think McCain is looking very presidential these days.



It's kind of like a Zen koan though. If the elders criticize the candidate and nobody listens, did they really say anything meaningful? Of course, I guess that would apply even when people are listening.

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DC bickers over bailout

Well, the good news is that the Congress didn't just hand over a blank check in a fit of panic and is calling the White House bluff on the bailout plan. Dodd has a proposal that some people like. I gave you Reich's plan yesterday.

Meanwhile, the White House appears to be moving to some extent from their initial carte blanche position but Paulson insists that curbs on CEO payouts are not on the table. I'm not sure what to make of it all, but I tend to agree with John Cole. Less than completely horrible doesn't make an already awful plan, a good one.

Meanwhile, Matt Stoller asks some good questions.

1. What will prevent the bill from allowing both parties to use the guise of purchasing worthless mortgages to further enrich their largest campaign donors?

2. How are Americans and investors supposed to feel confident that the crisis will be solved, if the very people who engineered the crisis are being relied on to solve it?

3. How is this meltdown a failure of "oversight" if it has almost nothing to do with illegality?

4. When did a crisis suddenly mean that giving away taxpayer cash to campaign donors is laudably apolitical, but spending taxpayer money on taxpayers is inappropriately "political?"

5. How are we going to pay for this?
The bottom line for me is still why the hell should we bail them out at all? It will only forestall the inevitable crash to after Bush skulks out of town. Maybe it's just time to let it fail and reset the whole market value system. This bailout approach strikes me as being like sinking thousands, bit by bit, into a cobbled together computer server system that doesn't really support the database rather than biting the bullet and paying all at once for a whole new system that's designed to the job right.

In any event, the people are mad as hell and they don't want to take it anymore. If you haven't yet contacted your Congresslizards to let them know where you stand, here's a new petition that just started circulating. You can sign it in ten seconds and it's going to be presented to the all various parties inside the Beltway.

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McCain: A risk we can't afford to take

Back from the dentist and just catching up the news, so here's something to cheer you up while I collect my thoughts.



[Via Creature]

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Reich on the bailout

I'm off to the dentist this morning, but I hope everyone is planning to contact your Congresslizards today about this bogus bailout. Bob Reich posted an alternate plan at TPM yesterday with more good talking points.
1. The government (i.e. taxpayers) gets an equity stake in every Wall Street financial company proportional to the amount of bad debt that company shoves onto the public. So when and if Wall Street shares rise, taxpayers are rewarded for accepting so much risk.

2. Wall Street executives and directors of Wall Street firms relinquish their current stock options and this year's other forms of compensation, and agree to future compensation linked to a rolling five-year average of firm profitability. Why should taxpayers feather their already amply-feathered nests?

3. All Wall Street executives immediately cease making campaign contributions to any candidate for public office in this election cycle or next, all Wall Street PACs be closed, and Wall Street lobbyists curtail their activities unless specifically asked for information by policymakers. Why should taxpayers finance Wall Street's outsized political power - especially when that power is being exercised to get favorable terms from taxpayers?

4. Wall Street firms agree to comply with new regulations over disclosure, capital requirements, conflicts of interest, and market manipulation. The regulations will emerge in ninety days from a bi-partisan working group, to be convened immediately. After all, inadequate regulation and lack of oversight got us into this mess.

5. Wall Street agrees to give bankruptcy judges the authority to modify the terms of primary mortgages, so homeowners have a fighting chance to keep their homes. Why should distressed homeowners lose their homes when Wall Streeters receive taxpayer money that helps them keep their fancy ones?

Wall Streeters may not like these conditions. Well, you should tell them that the public doesn't like the idea of bailing out Wall Street. So if Wall Street doesn't accept these conditions, it doesn't get the blank check.
We need to stop the bum's rush in Congress before they hand over the money. Even if you just email and tell your reps, "no blank checks" it will help. Get the links for the contact info here.


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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blasting the bailout out of the water

Okay, I've just spent the better part of the day on the bailout at Detroit News. I have seven posts in a row on it. If I haven't convinced the Motor City citizens to barrage their Congresscritters, it won't be because I didn't try hard enough.

If you feel like plowing through the rhetoric, I wouldn't mind some feedback about how you think I did in building the case for outrage. If you don't feel like reading through it all because you probably don't need to be convinced, the bottom line is -- no deal as it stands right now. Clearly Bush's agenda here is to bankrupt us so the incoming adminstration is prevented from funding any progressive programs while allowing his cronies to loot the treasury down to the last penny. Best quote comes from one of Kevin Drum's friends who said, "It's like the Iraq War all over again -- Shock & Awe, followed by an occupation of Wall Street, and all with no exit plan."

Needless to say, time is of the essence. Contact your Congressman and your Senators and tell them no deal. Contact Obama here or here and ask him to take a leadership role in this.

Important Update: If you need help with talking points, Cernig posts a letter from the Agonist's blog, that spells out what's at stake very clearly, proposes a great solution and can be copied and sent with the permission of the author. I doubt I could state it better, so that's my plan. I remind you that you can send up to two free online faxes a day through freefax but any kind of contact will work. We need big numbers of outraged citizens to stop this before it's too late. Our future literally depends on it.

[cross-posted to The Reaction]

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Quick bytes - Who am I edition

Happy Equinox everyone. Here's the song in my head. One of my favorites by Country Joe and the Fish. Seems to fit my mood today as I contemplate the end of civilization as we know it.

I'm unpacking the financial sector breakdown at Detroit News today. I expect to be the only one posting so you can probably just start at the top instead of messing around with the archives. Meanwhile here's some reading for you on a Sunday afternoon.

Under the heading "holding them accountable", Jay Rosen proposes a project called Spine Watch. It's good as far as it goes, but I'm not sure you can shame the media into doing their jobs. I've been mulling over some other ways to accomplish the same thing, but with the current econ crisis, I'm not ready to unveil it yet. This is at least a start.

I found a new blog via the comment section. Check out Shrimplate. I especially like her Republican Dictionary post. This first definition seems especially appropriate today. "'Capitalism' means flushing billions of dollars down the drains of failing corporations and allowing the perpetrators to walk away with their golden parachutes." Read the rest at the link.

The financial meltdown has everybody pissed to the point of profanity. Even the always civil, Dan at Pruning Shears, drops the F bomb on the bailout.

On a completely different note, and unfortunately, likely to be lost in the bailout coverage, is this very important bill making taxpayer funded, government research unavailable to the taxpayers under an odious interpretation of the copyright laws and against the wishes the authors of the studies. We pay for it, we should get to see this stuff. If you have a moment, contact your Congresslizards and tell them to kill this bill. Contact info on my sidebar.

Moving on to some comic relief, the Ron Pauliacs have taken a step beyond cooperative cluster living. They're creating their own utopian society in the rural reaches of Texas with Paulville. It's actually rather pretty, in a bleak sort of way.

And they say art therapy is good for stress so it's make your own eye candy today with this fun little art pad. The tools are little limited but I find the results rather satisfying. I've done a couple of paintings that look pretty good for someone with no talent whatsoever. Try it out. It's soothing.

[More posts daily at The Newshoggers and The Detroit News.]

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

GOP defangs Pit Bull Palin debate

You know, I read something like this and think I must have fallen into an alternate universe. This isn't a presidential race. It's a SNL skit with bad actors. Apparently they had to wrangle concessions from the Debate Committee, to set narrow parameters for the VP debate in order to make it easier for Palin to participate.
At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.

McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.

But her view of Russia left her well informed. She's going to meet Karzai next week. She 'commanded' the AK National Guard. Plenty of experience to be a VP who could be potentially in charge of foreign policy, but not enough to debate it in an open format? Is this a joke? Somebody turn on the canned laughter.
McCain advisers said they were only somewhat concerned about Ms. Palin’s debating skills compared with those of Mr. Biden, who has served six terms in the Senate, or about his chances of tripping her up. Instead, they say, they wanted Ms. Palin to have opportunities to present Mr. McCain’s positions, rather than spending time talking about her experience or playing defense.
So let me get this straight. They pull this hockey mom out of a snowbank three weeks ago and say she's qualified to be second in command of the country, but she not equipped to defend her qualifications? Nobody knows who the blazes she is, but she needs to protected from having to outline her experience? She's running with a 72 year old man with recurring cancer and permanent war injuries. Her ability to perform under pressure is material and her grasp of the issues is of vital importance.

Not that I blame them for wanting to limit her national exposure. Her 'off the cuff' delivery on the economy fails to impress.



This is the most knowledgeable person in the US on energy policy? Then we're in very deep trouble.

[cross-posted to The Reaction]

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Crimes and no punishment

Update: As I've gathered my thoughts, I have a more cogent post up at Detroit News, No way. No how. No bailout. What really set me off is this provision in the terms of the bailout.
"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."
So not only are we supposed to hand over a blank check, we're not allowed any oversight in how they pass out the bucks. If Congress passes this, then I'm really ready to throw the whole lot of them out.

Original Post:

As the shock begins to wear off and I'm assessing the situation as best I can with my limited knowledge of macro-economics, I'm wondering where's the penalty part of the bailout equation? Best as I can I figure, they're going to bail out the perps whose criminal negligence and unfettered greed caused the mess and no one is going to be held responsible. Bush is gravely asking for a blank check for 700 billion tax dollars and what do the taxpayers get out of it, except a load of backbreaking debt?

No money for homeowners, no money to help victims of natural disasters, no money for national health care insurance, no money to rebuild our infrastructure and create jobs, no money for any social programs but the Bush regime can suddenly find billions to bail out the biggest mismanagers in the business world and still fund the ongoing folly in Iraq.

I try to avoid the f-bomb here, but Atrios puts it so succinctly, that I'm going to quote him anyway.
Any member of Congress who looks at the plan to give Hank unchecked power to transfer $700 billion from the Treasury to his friends' companies and has any reaction other than "You've got to be fucking kidding me" does not deserve to hold office.
I have nothing to add to that except this from John Cole.
"I do not ever want to hear another damned word about the free market. I don't want to hear another thing about letting the market regulate itself. I don't want to hear about the free flow of capital. I don't want to hear about government getting out of our lives. None of it. From superfunds to super-bailouts, I am tired of other people getting rich being irresponsible and then being told I have to pay to clean it up. I didn't read one punitive aspect of this new plan. Not one punishment for the people who did this."
Exactly the point. They didn't want to bail out homeowners who were tricked into houses they couldn't afford by aggressive predatory lenders because it would encourage bad behavior. The implication being the little guy has to take his lumps to learn his lesson.

So where's the equivalency here for the big guys who screwed it all up? No matter how much money they lose, they won't be homeless. They won't worry about how to pay their bills or maintain their health insurance payments. At worst, they may have to sell one of their Hummers and give up a fancy vacation to some exotic locale this fall. Hell, rock bottom for these people would look like a huge step up for most of the working class.

Before the government asks us to pay, these people should have to kick in their ill-gotten gains first.

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Fundmentally wrong

I'm watching our economy meltdown and I'm thinking this is what Bush meant way back when he told us he was going to create an ownership society and make us all part of the investor class. They get the money and we get to own their debt when the deals go south. It's scary and it's irritating and I'm not encouraged by the continous bailout. Too much reaction, not enough reflection going on here.

On a brighter note, word has it Obama hit 50% on the polls today with McSame at 44%. Maybe there's hope for the sheeple yet. Meanwhile, this ad is cheering.



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Friday, September 19, 2008

McCain's health care scam


Paul Krugman finds his inner snark. From the current issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries, McCain on "the wonders of market-based health reform."

"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."

So McCain, who now poses as the scourge of Wall Street, was praising financial deregulation like 10 seconds ago — and promising that if we marketize health care, it will perform as well as the financial industry!
That's the first true statement to escape McCain's lips in months now. [graphic - Huffington Post]

[cross-posted to The Reaction]


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