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Staring at the drain……… 3 December 2007

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.

      Frida Kahlo

       Frida Kahlo – What I Saw In The Water – 1938

I don’t know, seems to me Hagel wants to be an honorary Democrat, or something.  Running all over, giving rise to chit chat… think he said yesterday Hillary was capable and he’d run iwth her.

Or Bloomberg… or whomever asks.  How often can this motley crew bare their conservative souls to one another and French-kiss?  Too often is my guess…

What a strange season, but just the one we have been working toward for 3 decades or more.

“I have to say this is one of the most arrogant, incompetent administrations I’ve ever seen or ever read about,” said Hagel, according to a report on the meeting that appeared in the Washington Post.

Speaking of Bush, Cheney and those around them, Hagel said: “They have failed the country.”

Honey, everybody failed the country.  The country failed the people.

John Nichols gives Hillary advice.  Seems messy to me.  I think NH hostage taking was a wash for her.  She would be falling anyway just now.  Most of what Nichols says doesn’t even make sense to me…

I pulled the Rove memo to Obama forward, I just get a big kick out of reading it…

But her record is weak, her personality off-putting and her support thin. If she wins the nomination it will be because her rivals – namely you – were weak when you confronted her and could not look her in the eye when you did.


I have spent months thinking the games between Hillary and Obama were drama, to some extent.  Tho I couldn’t really see, and do not see, what Bruce Dixon and Glen Ford at BAR have written about for months, that he would, or could, be a VP for her… now however it really is looking like it might be a bitter, somewhat nasty fight. 

Obama has to appear a lot stronger tho, just my view….

Meanwhile back in the 90s (as it comes ’round again), Newt goes after Clinton character

“He is fundamentally dishonest on a routine, regular basis,” said Gingrich. “It’s just his personality. He tells you the version he needs to be who he is to get through this week. And he just did it in Iowa over whether he used to be against the war in Iraq.”

I feel I am in a tub of congealing mayonnaise when I read that stuff again… 

Hillary says she will step up attacks on her rivals, and … right off the top…

Cedar Rapids, Ia. — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ramped up criticism of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama today, and said his positions on health care and handling of campaign finance rules have begun to reflect on his character.

The Republicans are opening their oppo files.. “character”… hmm.   I really think her slipping numbers are to do with character, hers, and a sense of unease people have with The Package.

Think I mentioned a few threads back that I am seeing ads for Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance.  How can the 90s be two decades long.  It seems fundamentally unfair.  Fleetwood Mac should do us all a favor and NOT re-re-issue Greatest Hits.  No.

Just catching the rerun of MTP with Webb… he says it is time for the Reagan Democrats to “come home”…and, must hunt up the transcript, I think he said they left for “social justice” reasons.

JesusFuckingChrist (as salient a political observation as anything I am hearing from Eugene Robinson, David Gregory, Brody of CBN and Michelle Norris on MTP) here is the transcript, he did say that:

One of the things that I was very strong about when I decided to run was that it was time for the Reagan Democrats to come home, the people who, on issues of economic fairness and, and, and social justice moved away from the Democratic Party and who, who have a reason to come back.

hmm Now the boychicks and girlchick on MTP are speculating on the ‘Oprah factor’.  I read somewhere that Oprah introduced McClurkin to Obama.  If there is a hair’s breadth between these awful people, I sure do nto see it.

Be nice to see them all fall…. go down the drain, or wherever.  Flushed, that too would work.



1. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

The Most Anti-Tech Organizations in America

Their names keep coming up over and over again in courtrooms and corridors of power across the country–those groups whose interests always seem to run counter to those of technology companies and consumers. They come in many forms: associations, think tanks, money-raising organizations, PACs, and even other tech-oriented industries like telecommunications.

The tech issues that they’re concerned with are what you might expect: digital rights management and fair use, patent law, broadband speed and reach, wireless spectrum and network neutrality. I talked to a good number of tech and media policy insiders in Washington, D.C.–mostly off the record–to find out who these groups are, how they operate, and who pays their bills. We’ll start with the biggest offenders first and work our way down.

Sorry, off topic … oh, wait, it’s not.

2. Miss Devore - 3 December 2007

Excellent visual. And a Kahlo I hadn’t seen before.

I had a withering hope for Obama, when I read, in his first book, his experience when watching a movie with his mother–can’t think of the name but set in Brazil–when he realized his own damn mother cherished the idea of black people as exotic others.

And I still might vote to squash Hillary’s inevitability. “In to win” No mention of letting the “people” decide. Leona Helmsley, instead.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

Krugman this morning:

Credit — lending between market players — is to the financial markets what motor oil is to car engines. The ability to raise cash on short notice, which is what people mean when they talk about “liquidity,” is an essential lubricant for the markets, and for the economy as a whole.

But liquidity has been drying up. Some credit markets have effectively closed up shop. Interest rates in other markets — like the London market, in which banks lend to each other — have risen even as interest rates on U.S. government debt, which is still considered safe, have plunged.

“What we are witnessing,” says Bill Gross of the bond manager Pimco, “is essentially the breakdown of our modern-day banking system, a complex of leveraged lending so hard to understand that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke required a face-to-face refresher course from hedge fund managers in mid-August.”

The freezing up of the financial markets will, if it goes on much longer, lead to a severe reduction in overall lending, causing business investment to go the way of home construction — and that will mean a recession, possibly a nasty one.

Behind the disappearance of liquidity lies a collapse of trust: market players don’t want to lend to each other, because they’re not sure they’ll be repaid.

The conmen conned each other, and they’re taking everybody else down with them … though I’m sure there are a few who have moved their money out early and who will get fabulously wealthy buying up the scraps as “buying opportunities” with the cash they stole and moved.

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

Human Rights Crusader Michael Ratner: We’ll Keep Going After Bush and Cheney When They Leave Office

Ratner: That issue is somewhat different from the Guantanamo issue. Only the Supreme Court can determine whether the Guantanamo detainees get habeas corpus rights, because they’re in U.S. custody. But Guantanamo isn’t just about detention — there’s torture involved. And other courts can determine the issue of accountability. So we’re trying to get rights for the detainees to test their detentions, but at the same time, torture, and other related activities, is also a violation of the law.

So the second question is how do you get accountability for U.S. officials who have violated that law? And in that sense, we’re living in a closed system in the United States. There is absolutely nothing on the horizon indicating that accountability is going to be there for what Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney have done. We’re talking about torture, the illegal war in Iraq, for what’s called “extraordinary rendition” — sending people to be tortured — for the disappearances, for holding special military trials. These are a series of fundamental human rights violations that we at the Center have in the past sued other dictators for when they entered the United States.

So if I — or the Center — want to get accountability for Rumsfeld’s torture techniques, which are open and acknowledged, or waterboarding, which is open and acknowledged — these are clear violations of the universal right to be free of torture, and of our own convention against torture, passed by the United States — we could not do that in the United States.

Look at the avenues. Congress has been milquetoast, even under the Democrats. There’s not been one serious hearing on the origins of the torture program, not one serious hearing on waterboarding in which they’ve brought people to task. So Congress, sad to say, is dead in the water in terms of accountability. Certainly nobody at the Justice Department is going to do anything about it.

In the courts, there have been a series of cases filed directly against Rumsfeld and others for torture and on all of them so far, the courts have found that those people are either immune from suit or the cases would expose “state secrets” and you can’t litigate them.

Lastly, the population is very quiescent on these issues, although there are strong grassroots groups working against torture. So the country is basically a hermetic system — there’s nothing we can do in the short term, and maybe not in the long term, to get accountability here, so what we’ve had to do is go abroad.

There are now two kinds of cases going on in Europe. The cases against Rumsfeld are universal jurisdiction cases, where torture can be prosecuted anywhere in the world. And I’m feeling pretty good about the Rumsfeld cases, because they’re getting notoriety and people are understanding what’s going on. We’re making the world smaller for Rumsfeld — he’s not going to go back to France or Germany — and in January or February we’re looking to file in Spain, and in Spain you have Guantanamo detainees who were tortured under Rumsfeld’s program and that gives the Spanish an extra incentive — they can’t just bury the case because there were Spanish citizens involved.

Ratner: Well, we didn’t name Bush or Cheney in any of these cases because they, as current office holders — as essentially heads of state — have immunity from national courts. They wouldn’t be immune from a U.N. court, if there were ever a kind of Nuremberg Tribunal — but they are from national courts. So while we have them named as unindicted co-conspirators, we don’t list them as actual defendants. But we certainly will, afterwards, and …

Holland: Wait, let me make sure I got that. You’re saying that after 2009 — January of 2009 — you will be adding them to the complaints?

Ratner: Oh, absolutely. They’re on the hook then. And it’s going to be a hot world for them, because the world knows this — this is an emperor’s new clothes situation, because everyone in the world knows that the U.S. is running a torture program. You have to remember, this wasn’t kept secret. And in my view, it was purposely exposed either because there was a desire to get vengeance, or because of machismo, or just to say to the Muslim world: “If you fall into our hands, we’re going to take you to Guantanamo and we’re going to torture you” as a way of controlling that population. It’s been done intentionally and openly, and they’ve gotten the American public, somehow, to go along with it. They’ve convinced many people that they’re safer, or that these are just a bunch of Muslims, and we don’t give a damn what happens to them.

5. marisacat - 3 December 2007

LOL Bob Reich wonders why Hillary is stooping so low. Have to laugh, it ends up an ad for obama… despite Hillary being his “old friend”.

This is the man who, without a trace of shame, said on Labor day 2005 in San Francisco, that NAFTA had had no effect on US jobs. Gavin, thoroughly DLC, tried not to let his lower jaw hit the floor.

I found that at Drudge……….yes here in the last month, I will def read Drudge………


6. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

Will Durst

I blame George Bush and his imbecilic economic chicanery for subjecting us to these indignities. Spending $2 trillion on an unnecessary war. Silly boy. Lowering taxes during that same unnecessary war. Sillier boy. Policies that have prompted OPEC to make noises about following Brazilian supermodel Giselle Bundchen’s lead in asking to be paid in euros. Euros, hell, the lady should choose to be paid in clothes, because to look at her she doesn’t seem to own any. Somebody throw this girl a jacket. She must be cold.

The dollar has sunk lower than a strip show flyer stuck to the undercarriage of a leased Lamborghini Murcielago. The pound is up to two dollars, levels not seen since the 1950s. The euro is at its highest level against the dollar … ever. When? Ever! French President Sarkozy spent his summer vacation in New Hampshire. “400 francs and that includes everything, including zee servants.” Things have gotten so bad Russian mob bosses are back to using 5,000-ruble bills to snort lines of cocaine off of hookers’ chests. It’s like the October Revolution all over again.

7. marisacat - 3 December 2007

The former North Carolina senator was answering a question from Debra Koenig, an undecided Algona Democrat who said she is worried that Republicans will continue to draw many Christian voters.

n’t afford another Republican in office,” she said during a forum in Fort Dodge

Edwards told her he believes many people who have voted for Republicans in the past could be persuaded to vote for a Democrat next fall.

“If we have a candidate for president who’s direct and honest and truthful, who tells the truth about what’s happening – I promise you it will work,” he said.

Afterward, Koenig said she is a Catholic who wants to hear Democratic candidates talk more about faith and values. Too often, she said, the party has ceded such issues to the Republicans. The leading Democratic candidates should distinguish themselves that way, she said.

I have a plan. One should walk around constantly vomiting several versions of the Bible, King James AND the Red version, with only Jesus’ words in red. For good measure, they can also drool the Baltimore Catechism. All hard bound copies.

Another can constantly vomit St Terese of Avila. On alternate Sundays they can vomit up St Francis, wtih a bevy of birds and small forest animals.

Another can walk around with a Hologram attached of Ratzy. And Robertson and Rick Warren and Td Jakes and also all disgraced religious leaders from Swaggert and Jim and Tammy forward. Haggard and McClurkin. (think this one is for Obama)

Few of the assholes out there begging for more “faith and values” (choke on it) reads Sloan Coffin or Paul Tillich, let’s give them the shit religion they love.

So sick of it.

And don’t miss her ignorant wonderment:

“I think everybody knows they all want to end the war in Iraq, they all want universal health care. What’s the deciding factor?” she said.

Maybe really wanting it and managing to know that no politician out on the meat route is offering any of that, not really.

8. aemd - 3 December 2007

“What a strange season”

Hmmm, maybe “our” candidates realize the power (more power than anyone has ever held) of true empire and are willing to go to extremes to wallow in it.

Sorry, caught up in the whole interesting times shit…but it is interestin’ , ain’t it. 😉

9. marisacat - 3 December 2007

The pound is up to two dollars, levels not seen since the 1950s — Durst via Madman

When I saw that a couple of weeks ago, it ws stunning.

I love hearing the financial shit gurus talk up how great this is for us.


10. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

speaking of vomiting up religious crap:

New York Archdiocese’s anti-pedophile coloring book

Is it just me, or is the Priest in the background snapping on a latex glove?

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007
12. marisacat - 3 December 2007

That archdiocese cartoon is just downright weird (it sure looks like he is snapping on a glove… with an angel looking on).

And ugly graphics too.


13. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

That whole comic is kinda twisted. There is a blaming the victims edge to it as well.

Found this video over at Reason mag’s website. Cops busting VFW poker games in TX. Think maybe working class whites will begin to face what they voted for now that the security state is coming after THEM?

No, me neither.

14. JJB - 3 December 2007

Bad news for the “Bomb, bomb, bomb/Bomb, Bomb Iran” crowd:

U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work

A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to be major factor in the tense international negotiations aimed at getting Iran to halt its nuclear energy program, and they come in the middle of a presidential campaign during which a possible military strike against Iran’s nuclear program has been discussed.

The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran’s ultimate intentions about gaining a nuclear weapon remain unclear, but that Iran’s “decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs.”

“Some combination of threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige, and goals for regional influence in other ways might — if perceived by Iran’s leaders as credible — prompt Tehran to extend the current halt to its nuclear weapons program,” the estimate states.

The new report comes out just over five years after a deeply flawed N.I.E. concluded that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons programs and was determined to restart its nuclear program. The report led to congressional authorization for a military invasion of Iraq, although most of the N.I.E.’s conclusions turned out to be wrong. The estimate does say that Iran’s ultimate goal is still to develop the capability to produce nuclear weapon.

The national security adviser, Stephen J. Hadley, quickly issued a statement describing the N.I.E. as containing positive news rather than reflecting intelligence mistakes. “It confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons,” Mr. Hadley said. “It tells us that we have made progress in trying to ensure that this does not happen. But the intelligence also tells us that the risk of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon remains a very serious problem.”

“The estimate offers grounds for hope that the problem can be solved diplomatically — without the use of force — as the administration has been trying to do,” Mr. Hadley said.

Chris Floyd also has a link to something very interesting. It seems that these days the most popular TV program in Iran (which of course is a sink of anti-Semitic depravity comprable to Nazi Germany) is a domestically produced television show dramatizing a true story about an Iranian diplomat stationed in Paris during WWII who had an affair with a Jewish woman and, more importantly, saved a number of Jews by giving them forged passports. This is from the BBC story Floyd links to:

The central character is an Iranian diplomat, who provides false Iranian passports to enable Jews to flee the Nazi-occupied France, a sort of the Iranian Schindler. He even has a love affair with a Jewish woman.

The writer and director of the series, Hassan Fathi, says he used a true story from World War II to show the outside world they have the wrong impression of Iran.

“In those terrible years there were many people who could help the Jews, but they didn’t because they were afraid they would be arrested,” Mr Fathi explains.

“But some Iranians, when they saw they could save some Jews, they left their fear behind and did so – because of their character and their culture, their beliefs and their traditions,” he adds.

Mind you, this is a program produced and shown on Iranian state television, and it seems impossible that this is not a response, however indirect, by the ayatollahs to Ahmadinejad’s disgusting attempts to suggest that the Holocaust never happened. As autocratic and narrow-minded a bunch as the ayatollahs are, this program ain’t Jud Süss, anymore than Iran is Nazi Germany.

15. aemd - 3 December 2007

Stunning. Ahhh, Phtt, I’ll give ya some stunning 😉 .

Stunning is a 60% drop in the dollar in less than a decade. Stunning is Citadel buying Etrade (Heloc based with 73% rated prime rated loans) for 26 cents on the dollar. Stunning is watchin’ a dozen medium eggs jump 50 cents in 3 weeks. Stunning is debating how much torture is, cracks gum, ya know, like, really torture. Stunning is anyone, in their right mind, thinkin’ health insurance equals health care (cha-ching). Stunning is confusing democracy with a resource grab.

Stunning is diggin’ out from a winter storm, laughing, slipping, sliding and talkin’, trashin’ politics with the neighbors and realizin’ they really think a savior will rise from these streets.

Jumpin’ Jesus, 😯 , we are fucked.

16. marisacat - 3 December 2007

JJB out of moderation.. sorry!



I had not heard of the etrade sale… wow. And wow again.

GREAT list by the way…….. love it!

17. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

the most popular TV program in Iran (which of course is a sink of anti-Semitic depravity comprable to Nazi Germany) is a domestically produced television show dramatizing a true story about an Iranian diplomat stationed in Paris during WWII who had an affair with a Jewish woman and, more importantly, saved a number of Jews by giving them forged passports.

Compared to our ally Turkey, where the most popular movie is an anti-semitic bloodfest.


18. aemd - 3 December 2007

Link to Citadel/Etrade deal. There are some estimates that the deal was as low as 11 cents on the dollar but can’t bring myself to consider… somehow that’s too frightening. 😯


If those idiots pull another rate cut outta their asses this month, gods know what the dollar will do….

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

Heritage Foundation on Hunger: Let Them Eat Broccoli

But the Heritage folks are looking beyond semantic tweaks: Far from having too little to eat, they argue, poor people are eating too much. By the time the USDA report went public, Heritage had readied its own salvo, titled “Hunger Hysteria: Examining Food Security and Obesity in America.” In recent years, the U.S. media and public have become increasingly obsessed with the “obesity epidemic.” And what better way to attack the idea of deprivation among the poor than to note that they are getting fatter? Rightly or not, people still associate obesity with the sins of gluttony and sloth, which jibes nicely with the concept that welfare recipients are lazy people who would rather feed at the public trough than get an honest job.

“Hunger Hysteria” is the work of Robert Rector, Heritage’s senior domestic-policy man and a main proponent of welfare “reform.” He argues that while the USDA’s numbers might sound “ominous” on the surface, “the government’s own data show that the overwhelming majority of food insecure adults are, like most adult Americans, overweight or obese.” While “they may have brief episodes of reduced food intake, most adults in food insecure households actually consume too much, not too little food.”

His next step is to attack proposals that would give the poor more cash for food “despite the fact that most…already eat too much.” More food money, he suggests, will only make them fatter. Instead, Rector says, they ought to be encouraged to “avoid chronic overconsumption of calories” and to simply “spread their food intake more evenly over the course of each month to avoid episodic shortfalls.”

Rector goes on to attack common “misconceptions,” such as the argument that “poor people become obese because they are forced, due to lack of financial resources, to eat too many junk foods that are high in fat and added sugar.” Junk foods, he counters, aren’t particularly cheap—for example, Coke and Pepsi cost more than milk. “Snack foods such as potato chips and donuts [sic] cost two to five times more per calorie than healthier staples such as beans, rice and pasta.” In other words, if the poor want to eat junk food and get fat, fine, but let’s not finance such behavior. The solution, Rector argues, resorting to the perennial trope, isn’t a more-equitable society or expanded social programs, but greater “personal responsibility” on the part of poor people.

There’s another side of the story, of course, that addresses realities Heritage and its followers choose to ignore. Adam Drewnowski, professor of epidemiology and director of the University of Washington’s Center for Obesity Research, believes diet is determined by economic and social factors far more than by personal choice. “Healthier diets are more expensive,” he says flatly. It’s easy to point to specific exceptions like doughnuts vs. beans or Coke vs. milk (well, not always; my local Safeway charges 40 cents more for a half-gallon of milk than for a two-liter bottle of Coke). But research generally has shown that “energy-dense foods,” which often are high in refined grains and added sugar and fat, “provide dietary energy at a far lower cost than do lean meats, fish, fresh vegetables, and fruit,” as Drewnowski wrote in a 2004 article for Nutrition Today. Processed foods also dominate store shelves in poor neighborhoods, are quick to prepare, and simply taste better to some people than some nutritious foods available on the cheap—think cabbage, condensed milk, and canned fish.

Drewnowski calls Rector’s arguments “rubbish, written from a position of class privilege—let them eat broccoli, indeed.” He cites the suggestion that the poor should purchase cheap, nutritious foods rather than processed stuff. “When you suggest that people buy rice, pasta, and beans,” he says, “you presuppose that they have resources for capital investment for future meals”—since these healthy staples come in large bags—”a kitchen, pots, pans, utensils, gas, electricity, a refrigerator, a home with rent paid, the time to cook. Those healthy rice and beans can take hours; another class bias is that poor people’s time is worthless. So this is all about resources that middle-class people take so much for granted that they do not give them another thought. Not everybody has them.”

On the other hand, he says, “buying a doughnut for dinner does not involve any of those middle-class resources. You pay 55 cents for this meal only and there you are. Yes, rice would be cheaper if only people had the time and were not working two jobs on minimum wage.”

20. BooHooHooMan - 3 December 2007

I have spent months thinking the games between Hillary and Obama were drama, to some extent. …now however it really is looking like it might be a bitter, somewhat nasty fight.

Obama has to appear a lot stronger tho, just my view……..

I agree, its getting bitter, the BO true Believers actually think he’s goin to the show…. A lot of his ops have round trip tickets back to Hillary’s nest…He Never was gonna get the Veepership. NEVER. No matter what kind of encouragement dangled out there for “healthy engagement” with intimations of “great prospects” beyond…

A Woman AND A Black Man? With the Clinton’s political judgement?

The wasteland of the NorthEast will go her way regardless.. if she does’nt disturb the Democratic Catholic Pud-Heads who are Not, not, NOT gonna vote for her with Him on the ticket….Casey type Democrats in PA , the half who aren’t using the n word are referring to “the moulie” in the race…Disgusting, but true….

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007


Democrats bought into a version that was only nominally kinder and gentler. In the 1990s they signed on to President Bill Clinton’s famous welfare-reform bill—the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996”—suggesting that the causes and the solution to poverty lay with the poor themselves. At times these pious and punitive ideologies have taken a more inventive, supposedly scientific turn, hiding behind statistics and the seemingly disinterested policymaking of such things as risk-benefit analysis. But they have seldom been seriously challenged by either party.

Indeed, President Bush appears determined to cut funding to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. The program, which provides healthy foods, nutrition counseling, and healthcare referrals to some 8.5 million low-income pregnant and post-partum women and children under five, heretofore has had bipartisan backing in both Republican and Democratic governments and has been considered quite effective. But Bush has threatened to veto the 2007 farm bill unless cuts are made to discretionary spending, including WIC. If Bush prevails, local WIC centers will have little choice but to turn women away, putting some on a waiting list and cutting others from the rolls—more than 500,000 mothers and young children would be dropped from the program.

The fate of food stamps is also tied to the farm bill. “Cuts Congress enacted in 1996 are shrinking the value of food stamps more with each passing year, making it increasingly difficult for millions of poor families to afford a healthy diet,” says Robert Greenstein, director of the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “Right now, food stamps average only about $1 per person per meal, well short of what these families need.”

The House has passed a version of the bill with measures to help food stamps keep pace with inflation, but the legislation—problematic in many other ways—is stalled on the Senate floor. “The single biggest thing we can do to improve the diets of food-stamp families,” Greenstein says, “is to raise their food purchasing power so they can afford more nutritious foods instead of having to rely on cheap high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.”

This is the context in which Heritage is attacking better funding for food stamps and other nutrition programs for the poorest Americans. Instead of having well-off taxpayers feel for poor people in New York or Los Angeles trying to survive on a buck a meal, the organization has them think about all those fat people they saw last time they drove through a low-income neighborhood with the windows rolled up. But even the comfortable may not remain forever distant from the realities of hunger in America. Of the food supplies and resources middle-class people take for granted, Adam Drewnowski remarks, “Given the current economic situation, many people may not have them for much longer.”

22. BooHooHooMan - 3 December 2007

In fairness, Re Hill Obam ticket, , plenty of Catholic Pudheads will defect over the Almighty Fetus any way .. but the racial aspect is not to be discounted and will never read accurately in formal polling….

23. marisacat - 3 December 2007

Casey type Democrats in PA , the half who aren’t using the n word are referring to “the moulie” in the race…Disgusting, but true….

agree, it is getting bitter.

But also these games with Bloomberg (tho i say, please: go play in the window! for a less than 18 dollar breakfast on the East Side, let’s advertise how FUCKING CHEAP AMERICAN LABOR IS AUCTIONED OFF AT).

…can you imagine the blowback amongst certain groups if Obama ran at the head of the ticket with Bloomberg as VP (tho it is but a stunt pipe dream)???

And for nothing. For change, incremental or not, even change to open up the possibility for change I woudl live thru a lot – even in a wrecked personal state already.

But I would live thru NOTHING to advance Obama.


24. marisacat - 3 December 2007


Any time they attack weight, as in human flesh, they need, if they want to be honest (which they don’t) to include a TIMELINE of spread of franchise fast food.

Salt intake, processed preserved food intake, not just fast food, but grocery store food (with salt and karo syrup, corn derivative, hello! Archer Daniels Midland!!) frozen meals intake…

I have a single frozen processed food weakness, macaroni and cheese from Stouffers. And so I see the promotions at Safeway on frozen single meals and sides. I also see the prices on promotion for the big “party” sizes

Often offered at 2.00 each or 5 for 10. 5, 6 and 7 dollars for the big family or party size.

Poor people are driven to eat what they can afford.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

Salt intake, processed preserved food intake, not just fast food, but grocery store food

And don’t forget school lunch programs and vending machines in public schools.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

Kucinich on HR 1955

Speaking to a crowd of supporters in New York City Nov. 29, Kucinich took several questions from the audience, including my question on why he voted against the bill. Kucinich was one of only six representatives to oppose the bill, which passed the House 404-6 on Oct. 23.

“If you understand what his bill does, it really sets the stage for further criminalization of protest,” Kucinich said. “This is the way our democracy little, by little, by little, is being stripped away from us. This bill, I believe, is a clear violation of the first amendment.”

Kucinich referred to the bill as the “thought crime bill,” when he explained in a joking fashion that, “We have freedom of speech. Thoughts, sometimes, proceed speech. There is usually a unity in thought, word and deed.”

He pointed to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) of 2006 as an example of another bill that, he says, also “criminalizes dissent.” According to the bill, anyone who engages in acts of “force, violence, or threats” that would interfere or cause damage to businesses engaged in animal enterprise, could be charged with a felony. This includes acts that could cause a “loss of profits” to the business. The businesses noted in the bill include, “a commercial or academic enterprise that uses or sells animals or animal products for profit, food or fiber production, agriculture, education, research, or testing; a zoo, aquarium, animal shelter, pet store, breeder, furrier, circus, or rodeo, or other lawful competitive animal event; or any fair or similar event intended to advance agricultural arts and sciences.”

Interestingly, like H.R. 1955, the AETA was also passed under the “suspension of the rules,” a provision that allows the House to quickly pass non-controversial bills. When the suspension was requested Nov. 16, 2006, only six members of the house were present for the vote. Kucinich was the only one to oppose the bill. He noted that the bill was, “written in such a way as to have a chilling effect on the exercise of the constitutional rights of protest…”

27. marisacat - 3 December 2007

From Angry Arab (and BBC)

“Nearly 20 people have now been killed in Gaza by Israel in less than a week, mostly Hamas gunmen. Israel says it is responding to security threats.

The incident comes as medical officials in Gaza say hospitals are beginning to run out of vital fuel supplies.” (thanks Cheryl)

Posted by As’ad at 8:10 PM 24 comments

28. BooHooHooMan - 3 December 2007

Mcat re Obama / Bloomies prospect

Also WRT For change, incremental or not, even change to open up the possibility for change I woudl live thru a lot…

As has been the case prior to 2006…

What a false charege that the “Left” has capriciously deserted the Dems. …Sellouts ignorant and arrogant to boot….I’m going to take my votes, my clockwork campaign contribs , my influence however small in my place on the planet , and with a lack of helpful engagement stick whatever I can right in their ass….

I agree with Erna Burnett’s holding in the vid series I linked to

yesterday re parliamentary i.e.Electoral matters (re the Activist Left in UK dealing with the Labor Party ) really being of peripheral concern…I just can barely contain myself to refuse this slop, to disrupt this farce…..I will actively try to deconstruct the Bullshit …Of the D’s I would only advance Kucinich if by miracle I suppose he emerged from a Debate as the sole survivor of an Asteroid crashing through the Auditorium.. The Air force probably already has the contingency scripted out…..

29. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

In fairness, Re Hill Obam ticket, , plenty of Catholic Pudheads will defect over the Almighty Fetus any way .. but the racial aspect is not to be discounted and will never read accurately in formal polling….

You know, I’m not sure how huge a factor it’s going to be. I don’t know how to put this in a PC way so let me just come out with it.

Obama’s an extremely “white” black man.

Hard core racists won’t vote for him but your typical northeastern Catholic pudhead? I dunno. I don’t think Obama pushes a lot of racial buttons.

And, as mentioned above, the rightest wing Catholic pudheads will go Republican over abortion anyway.

30. marisacat - 3 December 2007

AETA is agaisnt people who release lab animals.. or probably soon, even report on animal treatment issues.

31. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

Of course the right wing noise machine hasn’t hit him yet.

Harold Ford was pretty non threatening too.

Huh, that would be fun, if Obama chose Harold Ford as his running mate.

32. marisacat - 3 December 2007

A morning after take at Counterpunch from Tariq Ali:

What is to be done now? The President is in office till 2013 and whatever else Chavez may be the description of ‘lame-duck’ will never fit him. He is a fighter and he will be thinking of how to strengthen the process. If properly handled the defeat could be a blessing in disguise. It has, after all, punctured the arguments of the Western pundits who were claiming for the last eight years that democracy in Venezuela was dead and authoritarianism had won.

Anyone who saw Chavez’ speech accepting defeat last night (as I did here in Guadalajara with Mexican friends) will not be in any doubt regarding his commitment to a democratically embedded social process. That much is clear. One of the weaknesses of the movement in Venezuela has been the over-dependence on one person. It is dangerous for the person (one bullet can be enough) and it is unhealthy for the Bolivarian process. There will be a great deal of soul-searching taking place in Caracas, but the key now is an open debate analysing the causes of the setback and a move towards a collective leadership to decide on the next candidate. It’s a long time ahead but the discussions should start now. Deepening popular participation and encouraging social inclusion (as envisaged in the defeated constitutional changes) should be done anyway.

33. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

Atrios actually writes a good post about Chavez.


34. marisacat - 3 December 2007

Oh I am so entertained, WHoIS dropped in at Booman Tribune….He calls him “KaBooMan” LOL

Anyway, I’m interested in the excerpt above because of its, how-you-say, head-crushingly ahistorical conviction that Jimminy Carter represented some sort of break with practices of the American empire. Fortunately, Carter gave this great speech, from which I’ll just give you the highlight:

Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.

Scruggs has a good comment right at the top of the thread, too…………..


I took a swing by BMT about a week ago and it was gagworthy… same old same old. Still pushing Blooooooooooooo Dogs and New Newer Newest Dems, but with caveat, this one is not so bad, this is the best we can do here… and the odd knockout of a BD or ND to look “prog”.

Or something.

35. Miss Devore - 3 December 2007

“outward” not “outside” sign. (venial sin.)

36. marisacat - 3 December 2007

oh wow, it is even more DELISH (waiter! Bring me a BIB!)

Poor Martin has decided to “reply” to some of Who Is’s dissections of Glenn Greenwald…

Butterknife, escargot fork! caviar spoon! bib!

37. Miss Devore - 3 December 2007

hey, I still know some of my Baltimore Cathecism:

1. Who made me?
-God made me.
2.Who is God?
-God is the Supreme Being.

can’t remember the number but it was in the quiz leading up to First Communion:

What is a sacrament?
-A sacrament is an outside sign, instituted by God, to give grace.

Oh and I am the stereotypical fallen-away Catholic who tried to hang in with Tillich, Kierkegaard & Teilhard de Chardin. Then they booed my anti-war priest off the pulpit–on the weekend where all in the diocese were suppose to read the cardinal’s letter on abortion, he told the assembled, they could look that up in the church bulletin, but he thought it more important to stand up against the war (Vietnam) at that point in time–it was just after Kent State. He was interrupted mid-sermon, and he bargained to continue the discussion after the official mass ended. But they shouted him down anyway afterwards, and I remember parishioners getting up to the pulpit and getting cheers for supporting the deaths at Kent State and it was the first time in my life that it occurred to me what a Nazi rally sounded like.

38. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

Pretty funny

Greenwald’s schtick is increasingly terrifying. His neverending epiphany, which arrives each day and without fail, like the rising of the sun–is that, holy shit, the media propogandizes on behalf of the government. (The government, Glenn, not the GOP.)

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007
40. marisacat - 3 December 2007

just realising in the above link I am catching up to some of HCfM links of yesterday…. longish post for WHo Is…

41. marisacat - 3 December 2007


Miss Devore, what a tale.

42. Miss Devore - 3 December 2007

39-loved it, Mitm.

43. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

I remember parishioners getting up to the pulpit and getting cheers for supporting the deaths at Kent State and it was the first time in my life that it occurred to me what a Nazi rally sounded like.

I’ve been reading about the “hardhat riots” in “liberal” New York. Pretty intense. The construction workers union (mostly Irish and Italian Catholics at that time) had a pro-war rally of 100,000 people (take that Gathering of Eagles).

Everybody’s heard about how they beat up some high school kids at Federal Hall on Wall Street but what I hadn’t known was that they marched on City Hall and forced Lindsey to raise the flag (at half mast for Kent State) back up to full mast in support of the war and Lindsey backed down.

My own religious background? I went to a “mainline” protestant church and only agreed to go because my mother took my brother and me to Burger King after it was all over. That was my communion wafer, a bag of French Fries.

44. marisacat - 3 December 2007

Just saw this at the top of the ABC Political email:

Tuesday’s NPR debate, which gets underway at 2:00 pm ET in Des Moines, will be the first debate since slight changes in the Iowa horse race altered coverage in Barack Obama’s favor. It will also be Obama’s first encounter with Hillary Clinton since his kindergarten years – and his character – have come under new scrutiny from Camp Clinton.

45. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007
46. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

42 – It made me smile, too.

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007
48. marisacat - 3 December 2007

how much Darfur is doing to deflect attention from death, starvation, rape, diaspora and genocide in Iraq.

I caught Mia Farrow, who fronts for her “friend” (I mean she uses that word) Holbrooke, during the night on radio. So between Farrow and Clooney and Eric Prince who can “help”…

Darfur whould be over run by US mil by close of this decade. Just a wild guess.

49. marisacat - 3 December 2007

ooo very good post from Scruggs at UFO Breakfast… touches on a lot, from HR 1955 to the fact Digby knows water is wet, the impotence of third party and the Dem party view of that……………….

First, the blatantly obvious: It is narrowly true that there is no effective place for the left to cast an anti-war vote. Of the “mainstream” candidates, Kucinich and Paul are unlikely to get nominated. Paul may or may not go indie. That remains to be seen. He’s not likely to pull off an upset even if he does. The Greens are highly unlikely to win a presidential election. The micro-parties can’t get on the ballot in most states. Digby, with the sagacity that goes into observing water is wet, is therefore correct that the left is electorally impotent. That’s nothing new. The saner liberals have even managed to observe that the much touted Nader spoiler legend is only a legend. Why should the Democratic party should care at all, in any way, about people who are demonstrably impotent? In the last election, most of the anti-war left’s leadership pushed for the “safe state” strategy, affirming and embedding the impotence. The odds are most of them will do something similar this time around.

50. marisacat - 3 December 2007

One born every nanosecond (and that would be pinche tejano and his Paul love):

Hey I actually have been wanting to talk to you- (0.00 / 0)

what kind of SCOTUS noms do you think Paul would make?

What Would Pinche Boitano Do?
by Pinche_Boitano @ Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 14:29:27 PM PST

Constitutional Scholars. (0.00 / 0)

Ive been a talk with him about this, he said knowledge and expertise of the Constitution and COnstitutional law should trump any agenda or policy of the executive.

by pinche tejano @ Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 14:34:37 PM PST

asdf (0.00 / 0)

The Supremes decide a fair amount of cases that don’t involve the Constitution at all.

by coyote @ Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 14:53:42 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy | none0: FUCK YOU AND
To post this comment click here:

*[new] Example please. (0.00 / 0)

I wasnt aware the government was suppose to act outside of our social contract.

by pinche tejano @ Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 15:15:03 PM PST
[ Parent |

*[new] asdf (0.00 / 0)

For example, last term the Supremes decided National Association of Homebuilders versus Defenders of Wildlife. The only issue was whether the Endangered Species Act imposed requirements on the EPA when implementing the Clean Water Act. This was purely an issue of statutory interpretation–no constitutional issues were involved at all.

by coyote @ Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 15:18:25 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy |

*[new]asdf (0.00 / 0)

Where did the statutory come from?

by pinche tejano @ Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 15:23:30 PM PST[ Parent |

*[new] asdf (5.00 / 1)

As I said, there were no constitutional issues in the case whatsoever. If you want to argue that the Constitution underlies every act of Congress, fine, but that doesn’t make Constitutional scholarship relevant to this case.

by coyote @ Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 15:27:53 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy |

*[new] Damn, you escaped the logic trap. (0.00 / 0)

by pinche tejano @ Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 16:07:46 PM PST
[ Parent | Respond to this Idiocy |

belief can be so unimformed.

51. Miss Devore - 3 December 2007

41-and it wasn’t the voice of an embittered working class-it was Northshore Chicago where all the sons were exempt from military service (I went to same high school as rumsfeld)

43-I remember the hardhat stuff.
I had a vague memory of Lindsay walking the streets of Harlem and keeping NYC cool during a urban riot period in the 60’s. And I thought he was a Republican. Not finding confirmation of that on Google. They seem to say he ran against Elizabeth Holtzman for Dem. rep, after the mayor gig.

52. marisacat - 3 December 2007

Lindsay was a Republican.

53. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

and it wasn’t the voice of an embittered working class-it was Northshore Chicago where all the sons were exempt from military service (I went to same high school as rumsfeld)

The cheering on of the Kent State deaths by an upper middle class Catholic church reminds me a little of the cheering on of the Rachel Corrie bulldozering on the web on some of your nastier zionist blogs.

Same shit. Different decade.

FWIW, the guy down the block from me scraped off his “Jane Fonda Traitor Bitch” sticker off his bumper a few months ago. No other changes. He just took that off.

54. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

Lindsay was a very liberal Republican (far more liberal than Chaffee or Jeffords). He was basically a left wing Democrat who ran as a Republican.

55. Hair Club for Men - 3 December 2007

In short, it was cowardnice, not his being a right winger that made him raise the flag back up to full mast.

Benito Giuliani presided over the sequel to the hard hat riots in (I think) 1991 when he led a march of 10,000 drunken NYPD over the Brooklyn Bridge. They trashed city hall and terrorized everybody in sight.

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007
57. marisacat - 3 December 2007

I’m ususally the last to know sexual innuendo that is mainstream.. but if I know MILF… then most people do.

And how I learned it? A quite insightful take on those news readers on FOx News. And it was pretty on target too, with a couple of them.

To be fair (or unfair) I heard it used w/r/t Meredith Vieira as well.

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

M. J. Smith:

Anyway. All this by way of prooemium. I was listening to NPR in the car this evening and they were interviewing some suspiciously understated Baptist preacher in Iowa (that is the place where they have the caucuses, right? Or is that Kansas?). The interviewer circled and circled again, in a narrowing gyre, and finally clenched her talons and fell like a bolt upon the all-important, world-historical Fetus Question. “Just how important is that to your congregants, Pastor?”

Pastor: “Well, it’s pretty important. It’s kind of a make-or-break issue.”

Interviewer: “So suppose next fall there’s a pro-choice candidate on both tickets. What would those… that is, your… I mean, erm, Christians do?”

Long pause. Long pause.

Interviewer [in tones of horror]: “Would they… just… not vote?”

Pastor: “Well, now, y’know, it’s… Some of ’em might not.” [Eager, earnest] “I mean, I personally think that’s wrong, a serious mistake, and I would never, never advise that… But some of ’em might not.”

Interviewer [with the satisfaction of a Dante, having just revealed to us the horrors of the Pit]: “Thank you, Pastor Frammistat.”

Pastor: [His fifteen seconds of fame are over; heartfelt] “Thank you!”

Now here’s my question. How many pwogs are there out there to whom the Iraq war is as important as the holy fetus is to Pastor Frammistat’s fold? How many bold, emancipated, enlightened, highly-educated, deeply-unsuperstitious Darwin admirers are there who are willing to go as far for what they say they believe as Pastor Frammistat’s poor benighted God-fearing fetus-worshipping pew-sitters — so far as to, gasp, stay home on Election Day?

If my own acquaintance is any guide, the answer is, not very many. Pastor F’s flock have planted their standard on ground that seems ill-chosen to me — the sanctity of the fetus, the horror of same-sex sex — but damn if they haven’t planted it. These are the things they really believe in, and if they can’t advance their cause at the voting booth, then the hell with the voting booth — they’ll go elsewhere.

59. marisacat - 3 December 2007

These are the things they really believe in, and if they can’t advance their cause at the voting booth, then the hell with the voting booth — they’ll go elsewhere.


from war: I’m agin it, til they fly me to Eyeraq with Murtha and John McCain and then I’m for fundin’ the troops, but I will tell you part 2 after I am elected._

to abortion: smile broadly and say one of two things, Like ol’ Bill said, “safe legal and rare rare rare’ — and as Hillary said, ”by rare I do mean rare”

OR alternatively say the totally misleading,

I am for government staying out of peoples’ private lives…and by god the little ladies get to choose!

Anyway, that is all the poor, sodden, suffering cow, lie down and die Democrats have to hear to pull the trigger on the gun to their heads. I am sure I meant to say “pull the lever”.

You may have surmised I am wandering around the websites and ActBlooooooooooooooooooooo
pages of the dullest and dumbest heading for congress.

Oh yes, prayer meeting for rain and blooooooo elections results at 4, look for a cross on fire on top of the nearest Catholic Church…. Be there or be somewhere better.

60. marisacat - 3 December 2007

I landed on this at a Reuters campaign 08 blog… and I don’t know why anyone is surprised (they quote the R pollster, but not the Dem pollster who shared in the polling):

Republican pollster Bill McInturff said the biggest surprise were the new isolationists.

“Isolationism for me has always been a kind of Robert Taft (idea), that strain of the Republican party,” McInturff told a briefing of U.N. correspondents in New York.

“The new isolationists are liberal, moderate-to-liberal, younger (Sen. John) Kerry voters who don’t want America doing much of anything around the world. That is so counter-intuitive to what I would have thought before I started the research,” he said.

“The reason we call them new isolationists is it wasn’t just Iraq. They’re also really ticked off about trade agreements, and there’s other stuff across this data that makes them very, very surprising.”

“They really want a retreat about America’s role around the world, and it’s just not something we expected to find or see.”

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 December 2007

Is he being stupid or disingenuous?

God, just TALK to people.

62. wu ming - 3 December 2007

it hasn’t even occurred to the idiot that there are ways that human beings can interact internationally besides bombing them to pieces or destroying their economies and selling them off for parts.

where do they get these guys?

63. wu ming - 3 December 2007

additionally, from a diary at eurotrib, FDR’s fed chairman explaining what caused the last depression:

As mass production has to be accompanied by mass consumption, mass consumption, in turn, implies a distribution of wealth — not of existing wealth, but of wealth as it is currently produced — to provide men with buying power equal to the amount of goods and services offered by the nation s economic machinery. Instead of achieving that kind of distribution, a giant suction pump had by 1929-30 drawn into a few hands an increasing portion of currently produced wealth. This served them as capital accumulations. But by taking purchasing power out of the hands of mass consumers, the savers denied to themselves the kind of effective demand for their products that would justify a reinvestment of their capital accumulations in new plants. In consequence, as in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped.

That is what happened to us in the twenties. We sustained high levels of employment in that period with the aid of an exceptional expansion of debt outside of the banking system. This debt was provided by the large growth of business savings as well as savings by individuals, particularly in the upper-income groups where taxes were relatively low. Private debt outside of the banking system increased about fifty per cent. This debt, which was at high interest rates, largely took the form of mortgage debt on housing, office, and hotel structures, consumer installment debt, brokers’ loans, and foreign debt. The stimulation to spending by debt-creation of this sort was short-lived and could not be counted on to sustain high levels of employment for long periods of time. Had there been a better distribution of the current income from the national product — in other words, had there been less savings by business and the higher-income groups and more income in the lower groups — we should have had far greater stability in our economy. Had the six billion dollars, for instance, that were loaned by corporations and wealthy individuals for stock-market speculation been distributed to the public as lower prices or higher wages and with less profits to the corporations and the well-to-do, it would have prevented or greatly moderated the economic collapse that began at the end of 1929.

The time came when there were no more poker chips to be loaned on credit. Debtors thereupon were forced to curtail their consumption in an effort to create a margin that could be applied to the reduction of outstanding debts. This naturally reduced the demand for goods of all kinds and brought on what seemed to be overproduction, but was in reality underconsumption when judged in terms of the real world instead of the money world. This, in turn, brought about a fall in prices and employment.

Unemployment further decreased the consumption of goods, which further increased unemployment, thus closing the circle in a continuing decline of prices. Earnings began to disappear, requiring economies of all kinds in the wages, salaries, and time of those employed. And thus again the vicious circle of deflation was closed until one third of the entire working population was unemployed, with our national income reduced by fifty per cent, and with the aggregate debt burden greater than ever before, not in dollars, but measured by current values and income that represented the ability to pay. Fixed charges, such as taxes, railroad and other utility rates, insurance and interest charges, clung close to the 1929 level and required such a portion of the national income to meet them that the amount left for consumption of goods was not sufficient to support the population.

This then, was my reading of what brought on the depression.

creepy similarities. i guess this time is farce.

64. marisacat - 3 December 2007

he other thing is they have let the sub prime (and whatever other attendant events) roil for many months.

AFAIAC there has been no real effort from a Democratic congress to do anything.


Now I see a report that Hillary mentions the word on the hustings.

I mean god forbid the American middle and struggle to get to the middle class SHOULD STND UP AND DEMAND ANYTHING… but more prisons and anti terror laws

65. wu ming - 3 December 2007

it boggles. it’s so damn obvious what’s coming down the pike.

no doubt they will all act surprised when the gun goes off in the third act.


66. marisacat - 3 December 2007

ABC has done an extended report on a neighborhood in Fairfield CA, in a subdivision that was initially sold two years ago at the top of the market. Some of it popped up on Nightline and also on the local and Evening News…

Values, for those who camped out for one or two nights, were 570 for 3 bedrooms. A few weeks later, after the initial offering some houses sold for over 700k. Now heading for 400k and that won’t be the bottom.

1 in 4 in that area is in foreclosure. Apparently the overall numbers for CA is one in 88.

At least no one is saying, as they were a few months ago, that it would be over in a “few months”.

67. wu ming - 3 December 2007

yeah, things are ugly out here (we’re doing better in davis because of the university, which creates a bit more of its own housing demand than your average city), and i fully expect it to get worse. the 80 corridor and sac suburbs are going to be a bloodbath, if the levees don’t fail and just wash them away first.

it’s all linked together, the crash and the lack of housing at the point of employment and the stagnant wages and rising cost of living and this damnable propaganda on the teevee to buy your way out of maiaise and downward class mobility. the bay area exported its housing problem to the commuter burbs, as people fled east along 80 and 580 for houses they could get a subprime to “afford.” hell, we’ve got both white flight and black flight here, as everyone cashed in on coastal equity and filled these burbs up.

gonna ruin a generation of people, perhaps permanently. the mcmansion set i have less sympathy for, but a whole lot of people in places like fairfield were just trying to find some housing somewhere that the landlord wouldn’t kick them out of for a condo conversion, that they could know was theirs. rent control doesn’t exist outside of a few cities, after all.

the first clue that something was terribly wrong was when houses got that expensive in the central valley. i mean, yeah, it’s home and all, but anyone paying a half million, much less a million and a half (which i have seen in my own neighborhood, in horror) for a crappy ranch house in an area with 115 degree summers and a 2 hour exclusion zone for anything of interest is batshit insane.

great tomatoes and peaches, and nice people occasionally, but a million? madness.

it’s gonna be the grapes of wrath here before it runs its course, and noone looking remotely like new dealers on the horizon.


i guess we can all be sharecroppers. i hear the farmers are having trouble finding the labor now that the xenophobes have shut down the border and deported families into those gulags down south.

68. BooHooHooMan - 3 December 2007

From the Clintonia …. […something sure to be accorded its own standing in Academia…]

[on] abortion: smile broadly and say one of two things, Like ol’ Bill said, “safe legal and rare rare rare’ — and as Hillary said, ”by rare I do mean rare”—Mcat

You’d think they were ordering fetal filets..

69. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007
70. bayprairie - 4 December 2007

Charles Krauthammer outed as an idiot by the very researchers he uses to try and justify Bush’s stem cell policies.

face meet egg.

71. marisacat - 4 December 2007

just saw this at Danny Schechter’s News Dissector (he did not include a link… but said it was from the Guardian):


Some people fall off the wagon. The Guardian reports that Iraq War booster Richard Perle may have fallen off message:

International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.

Also saw a report at Laura Rozen that the WH told Israel about the new Iran NIE info before congress.

Gee what a shock.

72. wu ming - 4 December 2007

hurricane-force storm pounds pacific northwest.

120+ mile an hour winds on the oregon coast, 12 inches of rain in bremerton, flooding all over the place, and 70 foot high waves offshore. damn.

hey ms_xeno, you guys ok?

73. marisacat - 4 December 2007

gosh wu ming… even tho they reported some on the storm tonight on our local news, they were nto clear on the severity.

74. marisacat - 4 December 2007

I linked to the original Reich blog post… yesterday I think (the “stooping low” one… LOL). it now is at CNN.

… payback is a bitch.

75. BooHooHooMan - 4 December 2007

Mcat ,above….belief can be so uninformed

The story of my life as it turns out, as a Democrat, as a U.S.Citizen….ugh….

Bra-freakin’-Vo! to wu ming and mcat in convo above on the consumer economy and evaporated rainbows….more!
Bra-freakin’-Vo wu ming!

it’s all linked together, the crash and the lack of housing at the point of employment and the stagnant wages and rising cost of living and this damnable propaganda on the teevee to buy your way out of maiaise and downward class mobility. the bay area exported its housing problem to the commuter burbs, as people fled east along 80 and 580 for houses they could get a subprime to “afford.” hell, we’ve got both white flight and black flight here, as everyone cashed in on coastal equity and filled these burbs up.

gonna ruin a generation of people, perhaps permanently. the mcmansion set i have less sympathy for, but a whole lot of people in places like fairfield were just trying to find some housing somewhere that the landlord wouldn’t kick them out of for a condo conversion,

Wu Ming, You could be livin’ in the middle of South Jersey or especially down along the Jersey Shore…In the post summer, shuttered resort towns, a good coupla hundred thousand units built bought and soon to be repossessed all along the carnival coastline…..

Alot of older coastal residents, The poor saps who moved inland , sold beautiful Queen Anne structures to Happy, McSlappy, & Erstwhile Development Co.’s for tear downs in the Shore Towns. They thought they found inland bargains, paying 400 a square foot for post WWII chicken coops built of 2×3 exterior wall construction in some cases , that they , in- turn, could remodel or tear down for a brand new McSlappy of their own….They figured with their now found bubbly of Jed Clampett equity here, a shyster mortgage there, then they’d have their Manse and lotsa lotsa MUHNEEEE!.too….

The only small concession was abandoning their lives and a visual reflection of the beauty of the Atlantic. They had foregone the inhale of Ocean Air in their coastal hometowns, and traded it in for the ass end whiff of the dumpster behind the mini marts and fastfood joints in the WareHousevilles offshore. For Money and Consumer Goods , and the unquestioned belief in them, they came come greedily, if not unwittingly, to warehouse the remainder of their lives there….Many thought it was a mere stopover before purchasing yet another home in Florida or out West …They got as far West as 10 miles inland, somewhere off Route 9 in New Jersey…

SO VERY VERYfucked. As wu ming ref’d above the private debt in margin and broker accounts prior to the great Depression….Well, alot of these people here, when selling out to house flippers and tear down condo spec builders, took back effectively*** non-recourse private second mortgages that were subordinated to the fly by night “developer’s” Liar Loans …(Developers here is best understood as anybody with a hammer , an 8-cent business card, a cell phone, and an episode of “Flip This House” under their belt…) Now, Because of the Belly up small time operators in these towns, Gramma and Grandpa aren’t getting their payouts neccesary for their new digs 20 miles away in New Refugeeville Acres, the semi sold old venture near where Chernobyl Village was going up – “Come for the Lifestyle!”

I’ve wrtten about this before re Jersey Coastal towns. All the local cops, their wimmins with the Housewifes Master’s Degree, the Real Estate License, all the town muckety -mucks, alll were in on a mania to sell off their towns —-their older neighbors along with it….

lt’s something that would make a great book if it weren’t so sad and revolting (<<<the right word, really)

It all has occurred with local attorneys, title companies, and shyster loan originators all to willing to sup at the troth of delusion, they themselves heavily invested in it…..I have a 700 buck a month house payment there and anyone who is similarly situated who is solvent is approached daily to buy someone’s detritus….One perc when I resituated to temp work was not having to hear for 60 hours a week about all the easy money being made on speculative investments. Now, you can’t go anywhere without somebody offering you half of their chicken coop if you can only prevent them from losing their stuffThe local cops now are the worst — putting the bite on anybody who visits — “would you be interested in….” a great deal on a two year old SUV , a half share of a condo for picking up just a few back payments and providing guarantee…how about a fishing boat ?? Though ,I know it sounds heartless: GMAFB……It’s really a fucking mess…..Somebody sneezes , at least here, and the lower half of Jersey will fall off, and be born out to Sea…..

76. wu ming - 4 December 2007

i didn’t see much mention of it until i checked weather underground, and then looked at the local papers (oregonian, seattle times, etc). looks like a mess, and IIRC another one’s headed down our way from alaska later this week.

once again, called an “unprecedented weather event.” eventually they’re going to have to drop that unprecedented business, as these sorts of things pile up one after the other.

77. marisacat - 4 December 2007

wu ming

it started to rain here 20 mins ago. They had said the storm would likely go north of us… I hope for us, it pours for days.

and surfers are watching for the Mavericks, the big waves to come in down the coast… should be 18, 20 foot waves…probably come in during the night or tomorrow…



Well I don’t feel for anyone who flipped for profit or leveraged a good mortgage for profit but there are some REAL tragedies out here.

One of the worst I heard of was an old retired postal worker… Think PBS profiled him on TNH… he bought at an acution 30 years ago a BedStuy brownstone for 34K… should be worth… they said, 750k now, modest improvments inside, modern but small modest kitchen… nothing flashy… he lives alone with a cat. he borrowed on the house to pay off a few smallish credit cards… he makes in retirement a little over 1k a month.

All i could think of is he might rent rooms. Just so sad.

78. marisacat - 4 December 2007

oh I should add, he may get lucky, he had a very nice young atty who spoke with TNH. Some will be saved.

Over and over when I read of some of the stories, at least SOME of this was intentional, not only to defraud, but also to shut out and shut down marginal buyers.

79. BooHooHooMan - 4 December 2007

In no small way, Part of the desire I’ve personally had to go ex-pat has come from stymied efforts to act locally here, something I’ll share below…

They won’t give you a Cert of Occupancy for “rooming house” in a lot of the areas…. No CO= no Fire Insurance, itself becoming a crisis as the INs Co’s are aboandoning coastal markets for increaed risk — as much, I’m convinced, because of increased Storm damage as the prospect of dereliction or people torching their places intentionally or inadvertantly….

In discussion here with confreres, we had an idea to aquire a particular place, either for purchase or leasehold in one of these coastal towns , the particular prospect would bail out two retirees alllowing them to stay afloat in the place theyhad moved to ( not an issue of displacement, they didn’t want to return, ) … The idea was to set up a shared housing , with broadband, a few laptops for comm and activist webcasting etc.. a starter apartment within for people in transit between the streets to a pemanent place of their own . Rooms were to be provided to activists, writers visual artist etc in furtherance of their work..

Without knowing the bent of our plans, the fucking PTB in Boro Hall would have NONE of it, given the deviation of “Property Values” supporting zoning being the concern… These idiots are presiding over a sinking shiptheres a hundred people in their town in similar sits, yet when faced with people with the skill, wherewithal, and ability, literally, to craft wooden boats as well as shelter from stormy seas, they’d rather steer you to “a great “business opportunity”…The cops wivescall incessantly for THEIR “deals” . Fuck it., and FUCK THEM. (said with the same phoney smile they present in their pitch) We have the door open, have kept the wolf at bay thus far for two retirees, but are looking in a town further down the coast….

80. marisacat - 4 December 2007


that is so interesting to hear… I don’t know much of rules and regs for habitation… but I have thought for years, one of th few ways to survive, I mean for more people to manage to survive the coming years, would be a resurgence of the old rooming house system.

My grandmother did that immediately when she was widowed, a big old Queen Anne on Front St in Trenton. Of course there was no one to tell her “No”.

Over and over they make it too tough for people to survive.

81. BooHooHooMan - 4 December 2007

Well it will devolve that way. The cops wives will end up with recently released inmates as indentured servants whose sole purpose in residing in one place or other is to turn over the waffle and food stamps to prop up Mr. and Mrs Sgt. Jackboot’s or some corrupt Judge’s speculative investment…. Nothing to perhaps share with such an individual, not as a human being, only a consumptive tube from mouth to anus to extract resources from…it is what is so utterly degrading about the medical profession BTW…

It won’t be much of a surprise when what’s left of the retirees subsistence is stolen, their tenuous abodes broken into…

the arrest can be made, the commendation awarded, a room available for the exploited soul who takes their place…

NOTHING humane, nothing encouraging to share with their M.O.

82. BooHooHooMan - 4 December 2007

Going to e.

83. JJB - 4 December 2007

Miss D, no. 51,

John Lindsay was a liberal Republican. There actually used to be such beast in the urban jungles of NE cities. Moreover, a lot of Democrats were a good deal more conservative than these GOP liberals. Lindsay defeated two such Dem candidates in his runs for mayor, first Abe Beame (who ended up succeeding him as mayor 8 years later), then Mario Procacinno, a voluble and decidedly conservative politician. This was fairly common in big city politics at that time. Frank Rizzo, the Juan Peron of Philadelphia, was elected mayor twice running as a Democrat. And for a number of years Los Angeles had a Democratic mayor named Sam Yorty who was about as loony-tune right wing as it was possible to be. As a young politician, Yorty had been extremely liberal and a supporter of the Spanish Republic. By 1960, though a Democrat, he back Nixon against Kennedy, then supporter Reagan against Pat Brown in 1966, and Nixon once more in ’68. He constantly indulged in the worst sort of Red-baiting. He was extremely hostile to RFK’s campaign, so much so that Kennedy joked that Yorty had called to warn him of violating curfew during the victory speech he made just before he was shot.

Anyway, w/r/t Lindsay, allthough a liberal, he got elected by promising to effectively break the city’s municipal labor unions. The moment he was sworn in as mayor, the city’s transit workers went on strike, and he was forced to cave in to their demands after just over a week. This lead to his having to make similar concessions to all the other unions, a number of whom also went on strike during his first term.

84. Miss Devore - 4 December 2007

I can’t remember ever having experienced extreme weather in the Pacific Northwest. Lotta rain but never anything that rose to the level of an event.

It rained here and the gutters were quite flooded.

We need to buy a town somewhere. Call it Clitlick. Institute democracy.

Did anyone notice that Ted Turner one-upped dubya on buying a prime aquifer? bush had to go to Paraguay, Ted grabbed the US Midwest.

85. JJB - 4 December 2007

I wasn’t expecting the Bush administration to acknowledge that Iran poses no threat to this country, but this is an extreme example of disingenuousness even for them:

Bush Says Iran Still a Danger Despite Report on Weapons

President Bush said today that Iran was still a danger despite the new assessment by American intelligence agencies that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Speaking at a White House press conference today, Mr. Bush said he saw the report as “a warning signal” of a continuing threat from Iran, and he insisted that it vindicated his administration’s “carrots and sticks” approach to the Iranian nuclear question because Iran had halted its weapons program.

“I still feel strongly that Iran’s a danger,” Mr. Bush said, in his first comments on the report. He added: “I think it is very important for the international community to recognize the fact that if Iran were to develop the knowledge that they could transfer to a clandestine program, it would create a danger for the world.

He said that he had learned of the new intelligence findings only last week, and that no one in the intelligence community had urged him to step back from his tough warning, made in October, that a nuclear Iran could pose a danger of a “World War III.”

BTW, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley says that Bush was given this news back in either August or September, well before that ludicrous WWIII claim.

86. JJB - 4 December 2007

Josh Marshall makes a good point here:

We appear to know now that the Iranians shuttered their nuclear weapons program in 2003. The president apparently had strong indications this was the case back as far as last summer and the intelligence became progressively more clear in the fall. And yet here he was through most of the fall escalating his rhetoric against Iran and rattling the sabers for a potential military confrontation.

Yet, as several readers have noted, when you look back at his speeches, there’s evidence that the president was shifting his terms because he knew that the intelligence on which his push for war was based was likely too collapse.

If you go back to his October 17th press conference, the one where he spoke of ‘World War III’ he changes his wording. It’s no longer the need to prevent the Iranians from getting the bomb. Now it’s the necessity of “preventing them from hav[ing] the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

That’s the tell.

That change is no accident. He wants claims that will survive the eventual revelation of this new intelligence — while also continuing to hype the imminence of the Iranian nuclear threat that his spy chiefs are telling him likely does not exist.

Which for no reason reminds me of a thought that’s occurred to me every now and then over the course of the last 20 years or so. How many people possess the know-how to create a nuclear bomb, i.e., actually understand and could describe or write down the process? I would think that most, if not all, of the people who possess doctoral degrees in physics would fit into that category. Surely, a sophisticated society such as Iran has at least a few such people. But possessing that knowledge and actually being able to do it are two very different things. It’s an extraordinarily expensive process that requires enormous amounts of material (not merely of the radioactive sort either). An architect can design and build a model of a huge skyscraper, but without someone to provide land and the money to pay for vast amounts of steel/glass/concrete, there’s no way that building will ever get built. It’s the same with nuclear weapons. And even if the Iranians did get all the things needed to turn out workable nuclear weapons, there’s no guarantee their attempts to produce them would be successful. Sometimes even knowledge and ample resources fail to achieve the desired end.

BTW, it’s nice to see a blogger giving credit to his commenters the way Josh does in that piece. I could name one prominent website where the blogger and his FP assistants prefer to pretend they discovered and/or realized something all on their own.

87. marisacat - 4 December 2007

all three of JJB’s out of moderation… (sorry for the delay!)..


88. mattes - 4 December 2007

From your Reich link:

Truth Detector said…

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.” Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

Hmmm, maybe it wasn’t all GW’s fault…
10:39 AM

89. marisacat - 4 December 2007

yes her floor speeches and her commentary (which I called ‘loosest pillow talk for war in ages’, she constantly said “I know [things] from my years in the WH”) needs to be spread around.

Saddest thing, people who oppose all war, or just the Iraq War are going to vote for her. Not that Obama or Edwards will do anything other than War AGenda.

One born every nanosecond.

90. marisacat - 4 December 2007

hmm I don’t want to be agreeing with Beinart (god no) but he has a point here in the Wapo (embedded links at the article):

And that’s showing up in the polls. Between June and November, according to NBC and the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of Americans citing Iraq as their top priority fell eight points. A Post survey recently reported a six-point decline since September. When a CNN/WMUR news poll asked the same question of likely New Hampshire voters last month, it found that the percentage of Republicans citing Iraq had dropped 14 points since June. Among Democrats, the drop was 16 points.

and an earlier piece from Beinart on how Obama has to constantly remind, inform his audiences that he made a speech against the war… fwiw.

yeah the war so matters….

91. mattes - 4 December 2007

U.S. Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd called on Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to answer questions about Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s role in the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.

Dodd, a Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement today that he was “deeply concerned” by questions about New York-based Goldman Sachs that were raised in a column by Ben Stein in the New York Times on Dec. 2.

The column asserted that Goldman, the world’s biggest securities firm, sold bonds backed by subprime mortgages to investors and also profited from bets that they would fall in value. Paulson was chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman from 1999 until he became Treasury Secretary last year.

92. marisacat - 4 December 2007

Schechter at News Dissector has been hinting that a big Goldman Sachs scandal was to break… as in, how did they make so much money when others were losing.

There have been some puff pieces over the past couple weeks, appearing to laud GS for being so smart to survive so well in certain sectors.

Be nice if they all served time for fraud and misrepresentation and for literally walking away from any shred of fiduciary duty.

93. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

The pleas for attention just never end:


94. mattes - 4 December 2007

In a radical about-face, White House officials suddenly “discovered” Monday, Dec. 3, that Iran had halted it nuclear weapons program four years ago, but has continued to enrich uranium and could have enough material to build a bomb between 2010 and 2015. This “discovery” appeared in the latest National Intelligence Estimate, together with the comment that Iran seems less determined to develop nuclear arms than previously believed and is more vulnerable to international pressure.

This finding caused astonishment and dismay in Israeli political and military circles, particularly in the light of the close Israel-US rapport over last week’s Annapolis conference on the Middle East and the close Olmert-Livni-Barak lineup behind the Bush vision of Palestinian statehood.

Monday, too, even the “moderate” Arab turnout at the Middle East conference proved to be an illusion when Saudi King Abdullah walked into the GCC conference hall in Doha hand in hand with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian president was invited to the Gulf summit for the first time. The “moderate” Arab front against Iran, proudly presented by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and prime minister Ehud Olmert, melted away to nothing.

So predictable….

95. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007


Even though Democrats enjoy majorities in the House and Senate, the GOP still monopolizes all the earmarks.

96. marisacat - 4 December 2007

hmmm someone kindly emailed me this… LOL just trade out the names for the other side of the Two Party Bed…

sounds soooo familiar…….

97. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

Anybody see Lou Dobbs on Democracy Now?

Basically they came at him with a bunch of Media Matters talking points and he revealed himself to be a thoroughly unlikeable asshole, and a stiff, robotic one at that.

His major points seemed to be:

1.) Oh I was only joking
2.) That was a long time ago
3.) I didn’t know who (choose your hate group) was
4.) You two are both a couple of commies

98. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

Does anybody know what Obama’s organization in Iowa is really like? He’s ahead in the polls (ie like Howard Dean) but how do we know his ground crew’s ability to caucus won’t be as bad as Dean’s?

99. marisacat - 4 December 2007

I just pulled up the Dobbs transcript from DN!…


I read various things about his organisation in Iowa.

I just read the other day, Yepson of DMR slapped him down for his org attempting to organise out of state Univ of Iowa students to caucus for him. that does not inspire confidence.

I DO know that for a long long time Obama did not have ANY California office, then opened a “for show” office in Oakland (about three months ago). He was not even here for the opening and it is not on street level. (Think he later opened a LA office, LOL they need to do the minimum…)

So I am unsure he plans, expects to fight on past Iowa.

Who the hell knows.

I read, as an example, in the TimesOnline blog that in all of last week Thompson did one campaign event.

Not all races are real…


100. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

Yepson of DMR slapped him down for his org attempting to organise out of state Univ of Iowa students to caucus for him. that does not inspire confidence.

This is partly what killed Dean in Iowa. He simply didn’t know how to play the caucus system.

Well, Edwards might come in second again. Deja Vu.

Pretty good for a guy who’s father worked in a mill.

But my gut feeling is that Ker..er Hillary has more money and better organization plus she has Tom Harkin’s machine in her corner (the same one that’s completely frozen out Kucinich, which, I have to add, I find odd, since Kucinich would take votes away from Obama and Edwards, not Hillary).

101. marisacat - 4 December 2007

oh I meant to add, if you look at the way the Obama camp is running the Oprah appearances, I think it is to get people to sign up for his precinct offices. That might indicate his org is thin on the ground.

Tickets go [first] to the leads in his offices. And I have read to get tickets you offer to volunteer 4 hours or take caucus training…

Just reading in The Note that Huckabee has NO ground org in Iowa, he is relying on a network of churches, etc…

102. marisacat - 4 December 2007

well Hillary also has Mr and Mrs Vilsack.

But yes I am guessing there is a teaming up again… and hell why not Kuc and Edwards again. LOL right the anti war matters so much to Kuc that hw will fall in with a IWR yes vote.

What a sham it all is…

And who knows who will caucus on Jan 3 in bad weather.

103. marisacat - 4 December 2007

This is partly what killed Dean in Iowa. He simply didn’t know how to play the caucus system.

well I hold Dean, as the candidate responsible, but I would say that Iowa was very complicated. And it would be unwise to assume where Trippi’s loyalties stood… and I think that is in play again, this go round.

104. Balloon Animal - 4 December 2007

The Leader of the World’s Only Superpower is going to be decided by white folks livin’ in the sticks in Iowa and New Hampshire. Why not just save the rest of us a lot of bother (and money) and cancel the just for show primaries and caucuses in the other 48 states?

At least New Hampshire has a primary rather than a damnable caucus. I’ve caucused and it’s not an experience I recommend because of the peer pressure and the ability of a few people who understand the procedures to manipulate the proceedings.

Why don’t we have the primary in a place where there are some Latinos and blacks? And city dwellers? Why can’t the first caucus or primary be held in California or Michigan or New Jersey? Why are pickup-driving hicks in flannel shirts picking the Leader of the Free World? Why does no one question this system?

105. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

Why are pickup-driving hicks in flannel shirts picking the Leader of the Free World? Why does no one question this system?

Because the United States is populated with low information voters. Besides, why should the educated have a chance to articulate their desires?

106. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2007

Schechter at News Dissector has been hinting that a big Goldman Sachs scandal was to break

Well, apparently they were shorting the very same exotic mortgage securities that they pushed (and bought) so aggressively. Ben Stein (yes, I know, but he wrote it as a shareholder, and frankly from the pieces of it I read he had some points) wrote something about it over the weekend that has pissed some people off. .

UK Telegraph story about it.

107. marisacat - 4 December 2007

oh gee.. I jsut saw I-5 up north in the storm, completely flooded. Also parts of the freeway from Seattle to Portland.

108. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2007

JJBSurely, a sophisticated society such as Iran has at least a few such people. But possessing that knowledge and actually being able to do it are two very different things.

From what I remember reading about them, they’ve had strong traditions in mathematics, physics and engineering (much like Pakistan). It’s not like there aren’t MANY resources in libraries around the world, not to mention the web about the fundamentals of a basic nuclear device. The hard parts are:

– making enough fissionable material of high enough quality.

– machining the device so that the triggering explosion implodes the nuclear fuel precisely and powerfully enough for the nuclear fuel to reach critical mass (or produces enough high-energy neutrons to create the right conditions, see the link above).

– delivery.

Most of that, beyond the basic physics, is precise engineering, from what little I understand it (I wasn’t the world’s most disciplined physics undergrad, and frankly my brain has replaced that stuff w/ politics and pop culture ephemera).

Saying that you have to stop a PEOPLE, especially a well-educated sophisticated people, from having KNOWLEDGE of the bomb requires that you kill them.

109. wu ming - 4 December 2007

um, we’ve got pickup-driving hicks in california, michigan and new jersey, for that matter. there are whole states outside the big cities, y’know.

and i know it’s hard for some to imagine, but not all educated folks are urban or urbane (or liberals, for that matter). things aren’t as black and white as our rhetoric assumes.

(disclaimer: i’ve got flannel but no pickup. not sure where i stand on the hick part, depends on the context)

110. wu ming - 4 December 2007

yeah, 5 is closed because the chehelis river is overflowing. they said it’ll be a couple days until it’s passable.

same thing happened with 80 last new year’s out in solano county, and with 5 north of sacramento in the winter storms of 93, when the drought finally broke.

the coastal communities look like they got thrashed. a lot of those little highways are probably washed out, power lines downed in many places. huge mess.

and another one coming down the pike for thursday afternoon. we ned the rain, but it’s gonna suck for oregon/washington as it goes by.

111. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2007

I tossed up a quick piece reflecting my comment above at LSF:

Stuffing the Djinn Back Into the Magnetic Bottle

I turned off NPR at my desk when he made that comment about how “knowledge” is the problem. That’s fucking nuts, and if that’s the case then a whole lot of people will need to be killed, and you can start with Israel, Pakistan and South Africa.

112. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2007

Wilfred was kind enought to forward this interview with Philip Pullman

Pullman clearly enjoys an argument; Bernard Shaw, after all, is one of his favourite authors. He draws the line at discussing issues with fundamentalists. “You can’t communicate with people who know they’ve got all the answers.”

113. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2007

I think a link to an excellent Philip Pullman interview went to spam. Another good piece from it:

After the soup and cheese, he returns to his armchair in the study and his anger mounts again, when our discussion about climate change (“without question the biggest issue of our time”), leads to the war on terror and Iraq. He says that George Bush is “a moral criminal”, and Tony Blair has “a great deal to be apologetic for. Not that he ever will [apologise]. Armoured with his self-righteousness, he will never admit, even to himself, that [the Iraq war] was a ghastly mistake. A terrible, terrible error.” Pullman has particular contempt for the sloganeering. He says “the war on terror” is “an utterly stupid phrase. Utterly, ridiculously foolish phrase. No one should ever have used it. Certainly no British politician should ever have repeated it.”

link = http://www.moreintelligentlife.com/node/697

114. melvin - 4 December 2007

108 Common assumptions on the blogs, reaching its apotheosis at the orange.

And our cities are also full of ignorant hicks. And quite a few are black and brown.

115. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 December 2007
116. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

Why can’t the first caucus or primary be held in California or Michigan or New Jersey?

The Democratic Party is so authoritarian and tightly controlled in New Jersey that it wouldn’t be a primary but a coronation.

Californians are easily stampeded (as the recall a few years ago demonstrated).

I don’t know too much about Michigan.

What you really need is a shorter election season, a national primary for both parties, and (most importantly) the end of the electoral college).

117. bayprairie - 4 December 2007

#104 said

Why don’t we have the primary in a place where there are some Latinos and blacks? And city dwellers? Why can’t the first caucus or primary be held in California or Michigan or New Jersey? Why are pickup-driving hicks in flannel shirts picking the Leader of the Free World?

perhaps you would be much better off if you were in Sweden.

118. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

we should have a national primary with a runoff if no candidate garners more than 50%. and the runoff period for the primaries should last no longer than 12 days. this will keep the parties and the candidates honest. it will also force candidates to run negative advertisements immediately after the first round of voting. moreover, it provides a short window during which they will be forced to build coalitions with the supporters of the losing candidates. positions cannot be modified during this period, and voters will actually cast votes for policy stances and not for personality.

119. wu ming - 4 December 2007

i dunno. i wouldn’t mind a more drawn out election schedule as long as the drawn out part was as the candidates moved from state to state, not just spending years in iowa.

mostly, as a californian, i resent never ever being deemed worthy of casting a meaningful vote in the primaries. every state in the nation ought to be campaigned in, they ought to rotate them or something, but NH and IA should be stripped of first in the nation status just on principle.

start with small states if you must, but enough of this oracular democracy.

120. Balloon Animal - 4 December 2007

#109–wu ming–

Hickdom is nationwide, but anyone who thinks that Iowa and New Hampshire’s lily white, rural populace even begins to resemble the rapidly-shifting demographics of the United States has got rocks in their heads.

I repeat: pickup-driving, flannel-clad hicks are choosing the Leader of the Most Powerful Nation on Earth.

The question remains: Why do Iowa and New Hampshire get to be first in choosing the presidential candidates? Why are these two rural, lily white states given such disproportionate influence in the process?

That’s what the law dogs call a “leading question”. I rest my suitcase, your honor.

121. Balloon Animal - 4 December 2007

#117–Bayprairie–is that your version of “America, love it or leave it?”

I’d “be happier in Sweden”.

Why don’t you just call me a Communist and have done with it?

122. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

I repeat: pickup-driving, flannel-clad hicks are choosing the Leader of the Most Powerful Nation on Earth.

I think you’re buying a little too easily into the “red state vs. blue state” meme set up by the corporate media. Believe me, you don’t want the “sophisticated liberals” of Manhattan (those people who elected Rudy Giuliani twice) to have the final say any more than you’d want people in Iowa and New Hampshire. You think there’s a lot of saber rattling about Iran now? How about we have the Brooklyn Primary as the first in the nation?

Why do Iowa and New Hampshire get to be first in choosing the presidential candidates?

To be honest, I don’t know the history. But according to Wikipedia, it was the McGovern campaign that helped engineer it.

Democratic operative Norma S. Matthews, state co-chair of the George McGovern campaign, helped engineer the early January start for Iowa. McGovern finished second to Edmund Muskie in the first early Hawkeye state caucus, but the momentum was palpable for an ultimate Democratic nomination in 1972 for McGovern in Miami. Four years later, perhaps jealous of the publicity the Democrats received, the Iowa Republican Party scheduled its party caucuses on the same date as the Democrats.

123. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

For New Hampshire, it began earlier and in the Republican not Democratic Party.

New Hampshire has held a presidential primary since 1916, but it did not begin to assume its current importance until 1952, when Dwight Eisenhower demonstrated his broad voter appeal by defeating Robert A. Taft, “Mr. Republican,” who had been favored for the nomination, and Estes Kefauver defeated incumbent President Harry S. Truman, leading Truman to abandon his campaign for a third term.

And it seems to have been elevated in order to let the East Coast “moderate” Republicans beat back a challenge from Taft and the Ur Goldwaterites.

124. marisacat - 4 December 2007

Balloon Animal…

not sure where you are but had you seen the Recall here, it was not pretty. All sorts of hordes – all colors too – were spun by that and put Arnold in. And I was not a Gray fan, at all. I had never voted for him, not even for Comptroller in the 80s… (might have been late 70s, kind of a blur)

As for California/pick ups/red necks/whatever… LOL you have not seen the valley, nor most/many of our small towns, North AND South in the state… or the neo nazis/white supremacists up around Ukiah.

125. wu ming - 4 December 2007

the problem isn’t the flannel or pickup trucks, hell it isn’t even the lily whiteness of it, as much as it is the fixedness of the whole game. iowa and new hampshire are safe, everyone’s got operatives there sitting like sleeper cells, and the process is gamed to exclude actual citizens (esp. in iowa) to as large a degree as possible.

i agree that the primary system needs serious overhauling, but it isn’t the hicks that are the problem. it’s the system that uses those two states as a fig leaf to cover a rotten democracy.

there are plenty of very reasonable hicks with flannels and pickup trucks. i know several. no small group of citizens should have the only say, in a democracy it’s supposed to give every person a voice. hicks and urbanites all deserve one vote in the national conversation.

126. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

How about the Vermont primary being first in the nation. Plenty of flannel. Plenty of pickups. Uber Liberal. Much better than New Jersey or California.

BTW, I own a pickup……..

127. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

i also believe the iowa economy relies on all the revenue it receives every four years in order to sustain itself. just imagine all the companies that receive large sums of money from all the campaigns for everything from gallons of milk to porn videos to slabs of beef to pillow covers to condoms to cigarettes to gas to pens to rented office space to commercials to toilet paper to hotel rooms to coffee mugs to tourist kitsch to tampons to cheap lipstick to antacids to more porn videos.

128. marisacat - 4 December 2007

as much as it is the fixedness of the whole game. iowa and new hampshire are safe, everyone’s got operatives there sitting like sleeper cells, and the process is gamed to exclude actual citizens (esp. in iowa) to as large a degree as possible.

i agree that the primary system needs serious overhauling, but it isn’t the hicks that are the problem. it’s the system that uses those two states as a fig leaf to cover a rotten democracy.

———- wu ming

well there it is precisely… I don’t know about the R, I assume it is the same, but the Dem party operates as a thug operation in each state. Ably assisted by Governors Senators and whoever else.

Let’s nto forget Harkin is clearly emerging as less than a good guy this go round. Didn’t he shut Kucinich out of hte summer Harkin Steak Fry?

And the Vilsacks were fully a part of the Dem party hard moves on Dean in ’03.

And yes the states are not oging to give up the huge (and now bigger than ever) cash infusion every couple of years… with a blow out couple of months…

I do think all caucuses should end, and all should be secret ballot primaries. The first time I had watched the cuacus system was 03/04 due to dean… that is not (imo) small d democratic… nor does it have a chance to be democratic.

129. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

Let’s nto forget Harkin is clearly emerging as less than a good guy this go round. Didn’t he shut Kucinich out of hte summer Harkin Steak Fry?

Have you read Walt and Mearsheimer?

A lot of interesting stuff about Harkin and how he got his Senate seat.

130. marisacat - 4 December 2007

Harkin also stood iwth R senators on stages and in press Q and A during Schiavo… claimd it was to support his “great work” for disabled.

GMAFB. Pro life Dems from the House did the same.

131. bayprairie - 4 December 2007

#121 said

Why don’t you just call me a Communist and have done with it?

why don’t i just call you veronica?

132. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

why don’t i just call you veronica?

A new American identity? Veronica the Virginian?

133. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

The Harkin Steak Fry is nothing more than a convocation of national operatives. Obama operatives from as far as Maryland travelled to Iowa for the sole purpose of manufacturing local support for their artificial candidate. And Harkin will not object, as the tickets the Obama campaign purchased on his supporters’ behalf will be stored in the coffers of Harkin’s reelection campaign.

How many Iowans do you believe voted in the Ames straw poll? Probably 5, as the rest were Romney operatives from Wall Street.

134. Hair Club for Men - 4 December 2007

Probably 5, as the rest were Romney operatives from Wall Street.

Well if Romney gets all his wives to vote……

135. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

but i wonder how much the churches in iowa net during the presidential election cycle. i am sure many altars will have the name huckabee inscribed on their surfaces.

136. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

I guess the Mormon Church is a source for wives and for cheap labor.


Saenz is a legal immigrant from Colombia who met Romney by attending his Mormon church. Saenz did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press placed to his company headquarters.

“As soon as we were given credible information that people assigned to work on the governor’s property were not of legal status, we acted,” Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said. “The governor has been on the road almost constantly since the beginning the year and hasn’t interacted with the people working on his lawn.”

137. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

A transgendered politician loses a runoff as a result of a frivolous lawsuit:


138. marisacat - 4 December 2007

I cannot stand Obama, but let’s get real, Clinton operatives were like grass in the meadow at the Harkin Steak Fry.

139. antihegemonic - 4 December 2007

Every campaign had its operatives at the Steak Fry. But according to local Iowa reports, every operative from Chicago and its surrounding suburbs have invaded Iowa with their audacity of hype. I am sure the unions ensured Edwards had supporters at the convocation of carnivores.

140. wu ming - 5 December 2007

do they pan fry, chicken fry or deep fry the steak?

141. antihegemonic - 5 December 2007

Full disclosure: I do not own flannel, and I do not know how to drive.

142. marisacat - 5 December 2007

Well this site does not support any Dem candidate… none. And has near equal antipathy for all the candidates. Some special revulsion for the Clintons as they have the whole party in a boa constrictor stranglehold.

Being as anti Obama as you are antihegemonic starts to look suspicious.

Not interested in my site being used to drop off nearly bot-like reactionary stuff.

I said the same to Francis l Holland, that he could link his stuff here if he liked, but he had to individually comment and not all but spam my site.


As for Balloon Baby… your one dimensional anti Americanism betrays you. Seems to come thru all your entities…

Why not retreat to the high queen screaming antics of The Blogging Curmudgeon [real queens and drag queens do it better and with real courage, but you can try try try] and beg forgiveness from the invalid and go back to WIngless and Pyrrho.

LOL I am sure they will take you in, as would PFF with a new moniker and a new game…

143. antihegemonic - 5 December 2007

140 – i believe they grill the steaks. or at least i saw large grills when viewing it on c-span. but what would i know? i am a vegetarian who does not wear flannel. maybe you should write one of the writers at daily kos if you are seeking an answer. i am sure there are plenty of fraternity boys cum metrosexuals who were flannel when seeking comfort during their many crises of authenticity.

144. Miss Devore - 5 December 2007

wondering how you would deal with these two.

145. antihegemonic - 5 December 2007

i am reacting to two news articles on the iowa caucuses. regarding the candidates, i will disclose my true opinions unless asked. but i will say that i did live just blocks from the obamas, and i do have an unrestrained animus for them for reasons that are both personal and political. whether or not this makes me into another francis holland is disputable, as i do not fashion myself as a rabid hillary supporter. in fact, i may not even vote in the democratic primary, as my vote must be earned. and if i may be frank, none of the candidates have pandered to me or to my interests during this election cycle. perhaps cynthia mckinney may articulate something that resonates with my true beliefs. but i am not holding my breath, for she too has her problems.

and how do you define reactionary?

146. marisacat - 5 December 2007

new post / thread / something…


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