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Gathering together… 14 September 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, WAR!.


I found this photo at an eccentric Italian site, while looking for images of “seawall”… but it offered no information at all about the photograph..

Other than that, wasn’t Obama supposed to bring us together? HA!

I can’t pass it up, from Dennis Perrin…

[T]he GOP’s political necrophilia is more inspired, and thus more tasteless, than what the Dems offer, but then, the mule party always seems hesitant to get Grand Guignol. As I’ve been saying in recent interviews, I don’t know why this is, considering the Dems’ rich, murderous legacy. At times I think Democrats are like Don Knotts: “The Shakiest State Terrorist In The West.” They’ll eventually kill you, but given all the bumbling before the act, it seems like a miracle that they can.

I think this is why Obama can’t shake McCain. For all of his soaring rhetoric and historic purpose, he’s now entering crunch time, and some stress is starting to show. Obama doesn’t look like a guy who can whip your ass, and for countless Americans, that’s a bad sign. Granted, Nixon didn’t appear all that imposing, but he surrounded himself with known gangsters and con men, which beefed up his profile. McCain’s old, yet he gives the impression that he’d get in a few solid shots, maybe bite off a piece of your ear or nose, before you finally took him out. And Sarah Palin? The woman looks crazed, and kills large animals from a fucking helicopter! A lot of Americans clearly love that, and on this front, Obama can’t compete. All he has is Joe Biden playing Harold Hill from “The Music Man.” Not the sidekick you want when boasting about your desire to kill hajji scum.

I believe that Obama can and will murder his share of poor people, but I’m not the one he needs to convince. As days go by, the prospect of a McCain/Palin administration seems more and more realistic. Obama better start strangling badgers if he wants to win this thing.


…from an interview with Perrin over at Lenin’s Tomb:

Obamamania among eager Democrats is perhaps being replaced by Palinoia as you read this. The panicky sense that this gun-toting Alaskan separatist upstart is ruining something wonderful is ubiquitous. As Obama dives in the polls, I can’t see much beyond the radical samizdat media suggesting that BHO’s policies might share some of the responsibility. He cannot be to blame, even in part, because He has been pre-humously canonised, if not crucified and resurrected. Well, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of reading Savage Mules. It is quite unlike anything else I’ve read on the Democrats. To take one example, LBJ is described as a “blood-caked jackass” who “made Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy look in comparison like the provincial amateurs they were”. I like this. Every liberal luminary is thoroughly trashed in a similar way, and one gradually gets the impression that the Democratic party is more of an extended crime dynasty than a party of progress. Their most hallowed leaders even helpfully talk like mafiosi below the media radar. (Think of dear old Bubba waxing humanitarian about Somalia: “I can’t believe we’re being pushed around by these two-bit pricks.”) So, I got in touch with the author of Savage Mules and asked for an interview. This is it.


But, surely, Obama will change everything?

Ha! Yeah, well, we’ll see — or not. Obama must be elected first. At the moment, that’s not at all guaranteed, and you can hear liberals whistling past numerous graveyards, fearful that yet again, their fellow Americans are too stupid to know that Democrats are better for them. I confess a certain delight in watching them squirm, but in the end, I want Obama to win. The Democrats will have the grand stage to themselves, and finally we can see what the modern savage mules are made of.

Onward ObRama. To the Saving Land that awaits us.

All I can say he better get busy and kick ass. I am with the pigeons on the old seawall, up top. Let’s see what crashes to shore from this weather


Meanwhile, back at the western badlands, we are very busy out here… preparing to bury, and probably have the funeral cortege of hundreds – if not thousands! – of Hell’s Angels go thru the City sometime Monday afternoon. A member of the Mongols, a Southern California biker gang with a club house in Modesto, shot and killed the declared leader of the San Francisco Angels. In front of a bar on a pretty tough little block in the Mission… 24th and Treat…


Earlier this month, a makeshift memorial marked the spot where Mark “Papa” Guardado was shot dead on a Mission District street. (Michael Macor / The Chronicle)

Of course we are almost, but not quite, yawning. Why? Because we have done this so much over the past decades. Big Biker Funeral… bury him with his motorcycle… a big Angels cortege thru the City… done it.

We are so liberal out here..

The big bad biker shooter?

Ablett is a freelance electrician who lives with his parents in a suburban neighborhood of Modesto, Lynch said. Police searched the home Thursday morning and seized his 2005 Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Ablett’s two children also live in the home.

Obama can’t say daddy, either of them, abandoned the kids. At some point this evening I dropped in on a HA biker bulletin board, in between the killing they lambasted the state leg up in Sacramento, for how lame brained they are (upcoming elections could be interesting)… what a hoot!!

Approval ratings for California Legislature hit new low 09.11.08

i had no idea that the legislatures rating could go below -00000000000000%. but not to worry guys these turds will be back to screw up the state next year.

We all agree!

Whatever it is we are out here, we will be staying it, far from the old Eastern cities. A Land’s End, of a sort. Sometimes that seems the best description of what we are. Here, not there.

Bet most people feel that way, where ever they are….



1. aemd - 14 September 2008

Interesting article from the Telegraph.

“The Sunday Telegraph has learned that senators, governors and union leaders who have experience of winning hard-fought races in swing states have been bombarding Obamas campaign headquarters with telephone calls offering advice. But many of those calls have not been returned.

A senior Democratic strategist, who has played a prominent role in two presidential campaigns, told The Sunday Telegraph: “These guys are on the verge of blowing the greatest gimme in the history of American politics. They’re the most arrogant bunch Ive ever seen. They won’t accept that they are losing and they won’t listen.’ “

More interesting is the comments on how Palin is taking a toll on Obama’s Democratic base. I don’t see it as a campaign plus that Democratic presidential candidate is running against the Republican VP candidate.

“A senior aide to one of the most powerful Democrats in the House of Representatives voiced the fears of many: “Palin doesn’t just play to the Republican base. She has much broader appeal.”

The aide said that her repeated mockery of Mr Obama’s boasts about his time as a community organiser in Chicago are “the most effective criticisms of Barack Obama we have yet seen.” He said: “Americans in small and medium size towns dont know what the hell a community organiser is. Real Americans graduate from high school or college and get a job that pays a wage. Campus radicals go off and organise a community.’ “

2. marisacat - 14 September 2008

senators, governors and union leaders who have experience of winning hard-fought races in swing states have been bombarding Obamas campaign headquarters with telephone calls offering advice. But many of those calls have not been returned.

Fineman is a jerk but the close of his piece on Obama a couple of days ago was on target. Carried some quote from an ‘anonymous’ that Obama is an arrogant SOB, but if he wants to win, he and his are gonna have to admit even they need a little help.

And yeah… the race now is Palin v Obama. And Obama and his handlers can thank themselves. They solidified her to a movement icon by their sheer stuck-in-the-mudness – then their rabid reactionary crap. More than two weeks later and …….???

I know a red patent stilleto thru the appendage hurts, but damn, get over it!

Good luck to someone.

3. Heather-Rose Ryan - 14 September 2008

That is a very beautiful photograph.

Whatever it is we are out here, we will be staying it, far from the old Eastern cities. A Land’s End, of a sort. Sometimes that seems the best description of what we are. Here, not there.

Yes, but it’s because of the “old Eastern cities” that you exist in the way that you do.

“The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” contains that story of Toklas’ father who liked a view but wanted to sit with his back to it.

4. Heather-Rose Ryan - 14 September 2008

I apologize, I didn’t put the requisite html marks in there.

5. marisacat - 14 September 2008

I am not rejecting anything.. I am speaking for a viewpoint. And I consider myself a citizen of just about every city I love. I am a city person, but I don’t automatically reject other places for other people.

I long ago wrote here,. it’s over in the sidebar, with banned books and Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg, that my mother consciously chose to raise neither a Westerner nor an Easterner.

But I see my city, which in many ways fits in with no one… on its own.. for what it is.

6. Heather-Rose Ryan - 14 September 2008

I know, MCat, I understand. Believe me.

7. NYCO - 14 September 2008

As a resident of Old Eastern America I actually do not see California (or SF for that matter) being strange foreign territory. The “New West” is what I feel most estranged from – the McRanched, Panera’d, Targeted West. Maybe that’s because I spent a lot of time traveling through and staying in the West (Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico) as a kid 30 years ago, and probably wouldn’t recognize it today, whereas my image of California (which I also visited) and SF (alas which I have not!) seems mostly the same.

8. NYCO - 14 September 2008

Re politicians, attitude and change: The notion that a politician will “grow” and “mature” thanks to the responsibilities high office is mainly starry-eyed Schlesingerian bunk. There is a hard core of behavioral tendencies inside of each of us, which perhaps doesn’t change, so much as we drift into situations where our behavior doesn’t hurt ourselves or others quite so much, or where the situation makes our personal behavioral patterns produce interesting or beneficial results. We achieve enlightenment about our personal patterns later in life, maybe, which is a good thing.

I have always enjoyed checking out politicians of interest and observing patterns in their lives and careers. Knowing them in this way is more important to me than what issues they claim they stand for, or seeing their voting records. When I know what patterns they seem to have, that gives me more confidence about them – even if the patterns are silly or crazy. Because some patterns are relatively harmless, others are not.

For instance I noticed how Howard Dean had a persistent pattern of either pushing conflicts to a fine and increasingly smaller point (to the point where he won a small political victory but expended a great deal of energy); or pushing them and pushing them until he was outright owned — and then he would jump up and claim moral victory, which was more amusing than inspiring. Although he would never admit defeat, his behavior (when he was beaten) would show otherwise — that he understood he was defeated. He did know how to back down, but not how to shut up. He struck me more as a great crazymaker who left serious and valuable discussion in his wake, than as someone who was going to be a two-term president. But I thought we could do well with someone like that in the White House for four years, which is why I supported him. And because his behavior demonstrated that on some level he knew when he was beaten, he seemed a safe choice.

But some traits, like an unrelenting “cocooning,” are not good and bear watching. I don’t know why some Democrats — who have been on the losing end of the stick forever — get these messianic complexes. As for Obama, what doesn’t sit well with me is a sort of diffidence he has, kind of a “I don’t care what people say about me. You can take me or leave me. I’ll just go on without you. Your choice, not mine.” His off the cuff responses to challenges are peppered with this sort of talk, and I find it very off-putting, although maybe many people find it to remind them of God-like serenity.

9. marisacat - 14 September 2008

Cass Sunstein has a very dishonest piece in bostom.com on abortion. Geesh.

[R]oe v. Wade has been established law for 35 years; the right to choose is now a part of our culture. A decision to overrule it would not only disrupt and polarize the nation; it would also threaten countless doctors, and pregnant women and girls, with jail sentences and criminal fines. As Ginsburg has also urged, Roe v. Wade is now best seen, not only as a case about privacy, but also as involving sex equality.::snip::

Too late. Thanks to Casey and Cathcart and PPFA vs Clemente, the “pba” SC ruling.

10. marisacat - 14 September 2008


Just read this in Wapo, a very quick overview of swfit boatians headed to port. BUT it leaves out that Obama, quite forcefully, discouraged and then saw disbanded all sorts of groups that planned to do 527 work this season. On his behalf.

11. marisacat - 14 September 2008

NYT looks west… LOL

Competing ideas about the West have dominated our politics for many decades now. No candidate was so synonymous with the regional ideal as Barry Goldwater of Arizona, who spoke Navajo and posed, like Governor Palin, in rugged outdoor outfits, sometimes with a rifle. “We didn’t know the federal government,” he said of his forebears who came to Arizona in 1860. “Everything that was done, we did it ourselves.”

But, as Rick Perlstein pointed out in “Before the Storm,” his history of Goldwater’s 1964 presidential campaign, the land Goldwater’s grandfather traveled “to follow a gold strike,” in fact “developed as a virtual ward of the federal government,” and the money for the first Goldwater general store in 1872 “came largely from contracts for provisioning Army camps and delivering mail.” Barry Goldwater, who was born in 1909, grew up with “a nurse, chauffeur and a live-in maid,” Mr. Perlstein added.

…probably several maids. And a cook too.

12. NYCO - 14 September 2008

If you believe that a candidate’s pop-culture appeal (even if negative) is an indicator of electoral success, this doesn’t bode particularly well for Democrats:

Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

(Kind of lame though… mine was “Filter Skate Palin.” I think I’d prefer to go by “Skate”)

13. marisacat - 14 September 2008

hmm well at least it is different.. Politico looks at her 2002 loss for Lt Gov in Alaska… and some other stuff along the way this decade.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

Thanks to lucid for trying in the last thread, but you might as well try to sing “I Am Woman” into the winds of Ike as it came ashore.

HRH, I’ve attacked Palin for being a wingnut religious fanatic w/ little gov’t experience. I’ve attacked Obama for pandering to religious fanatics and for misrepresenting what he is and what he will do. I’ve attacked Hillary Clinton for for being … well … a Clinton. That is, a slimey and corrupt corporate hack.

You’re like those kool-aide drinkers who see racism in every critique of Obama. Like Obama, Palin is using America’s backwards attitudes on women to sell herself (it was a press release about her bio where I first saw “beauty queen”, NOT an attack on her. It was HER who trumpeted how many children she had and paraded them before a camera), then cries foul when people say anything about it.

As for the humanism thing, I think being a feminist is PART of being a humanist. If you think all people should be treated equally under the law, if you think past wrongs due to racism & misogyny should be made right, you’re probably a humanist. I am a humanist (though admittedly a misanthropic one). When I’m discussing women’s health issues or equal pay or some other issue involving women, I happily claim to be a feminist. The creativity and input to the world that is lost because women aren’t treated equally is a crime.

I, as near as I can remember, did not attack Palin for her gender. I attacked her for being a fucking rightwing nutjob.

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

9 – wow, Sunstein is a bigger moron than I already thought. Tired of worthless donks beating us over the head with a court system that is already gone.

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

11 – the entire west EXISTS because the federal government gave away the land and mineral rights they stole from the people already living there, by way of mass state-sanctioned murder.

I lived in CO for several years, and the whole “self reliant, self made” myth they jerk off to always stuck me as patently dishonest.

17. marisacat - 14 September 2008

Peter Camejo died… I noticed it just now over at Angry Arab… who mentions that PC had tried to get him to run for US senate from CA on the Green ticket…

18. lucid - 14 September 2008

17 – that’s too bad. Always liked him. He was great in the CA recall election debates.

19. Heather-Rose Ryan - 14 September 2008

lucid, from the last thread:

I’m actually flummoxed as to why you see Palin as remotely redeemable…

Hello, try paying attention – nowhere have I said she is “redeemable” nor have I supported her in any way. What I have done is decry the braindead Two-Minute Hate criticisms of her that stem from ignorance, hypocrisy and prejudice.

I mean, come on, lucid, wake the fuck up. It should be clear to anyone with rudimentary reading skills that I am not defending Palin, I am attacking lazy wrongthinking criticism of her.

Why should any of us be limited in the scathing critique we give Palin, when it’s fine to gut the other political chattel?

Because so-called “liberals” thoroughly blew all the political capital they may have had early in this process when they fell all over themselves fantasizing about her sex scandals, pregnancies etc. and dredging up charmingly retro antifeminist concepts like the idea that women with young kids shouldn’t have important jobs because they can’t be trusted.

They are still talking like this, actually. It’s amazing.

By the way, everyone, who here has read Thoreau’s The Maine Woods? Who here has even read ANY Thoreau, outside of school? Just checking to see who the philistines are. I have to keep a little list, you see.

20. Heather-Rose Ryan - 14 September 2008

14, Madman: you didn’t get it before, and you still aren’t getting it. As I said in an earlier thread, the Palin episode has been very revealing – it has shown people up for what they really are, just as a black light reveals a counterfeit bill.

21. marisacat - 14 September 2008

well I am pretty sure my head is on a stake at the entrance to town. But i have no idea who put it there. Could have been the Philistines (I was a small job after killing moose), could be the brigades of useless two atty ivy league households (and boy are they fucked up). Who knows.

Probably a bi cameral group came after me. By now.

That’s probably a rhetorical question but I read his writings on John Brown, just a few years ago, 10 or so. Because John Brown has always made great sense to me. Other things I read were 30 years ago — or longer if in school, and not Maine Woods.

22. NYCee - 14 September 2008

All in this post re: Last thread:

Diane, thanks for your nice comment re my “Winners” comment.

Madman, your # 7 is, in my opinion, perfectly appropriate scorn, never mind if Sarah or her congregation dont literally handle snakes (too cold in Alaska for snakes!) while they speak in tongues. I say leave the arrow where it landed (which is NOT in the foul zone).

Diane – (I think I am addressing your #8’s intent here): Yes, others have their own particular religious-fairy tale views, or new age fairy tales. Secular fantasies, too, by jove! I think it’s very very VERY rare to find a human who is completely immune to believing in the unproven, who doesnt believe, in some form or fashion, in what feels so right to them…

But some religious wackos are more dangerous than others, ie, Christian fundies. They tend to really really really get LITERAL and really really really promote creationism (and demote science), war for the lord, armageddon/endtimes (Left Behind series; who buys it?); adopt settlements in Israel and encourage antiPalestinian behavior, antiMuslim behavior; encourage authoritarian govt (your womb and your books are under our control); act to stamp out ‘homos’ (make em choose the right way… or eternal damnation) etc etc etc and so on.

And these people have been, in large large large part, voting BUSH/R and increasingly insinuating themselves into the political landscape. Sarah is their gal. She went to the endtimey preacher’s church for 3 years of his tales, including a beaut where he claims Alaska as refuge in endtimes. She wants a raped daughter to have the kid, not the choice not to – as I’d wager the entire congregation would echo. Is that not worthy to note and to criticize? I say YES. Good lawd a mighty, YES.

I think it is rather helpful to analyze and distinguish various strands as they manifest in our on the ground reality, rather than conflating and entangling them into one big indistinguishable mess – all the easier to become ensnared by the worst, and thus, experience the hardest of falls.

23. NYCee - 14 September 2008


90 degrees is high here, in the 80s in Long Beach. Missed a beach day. We’ve gone every weekend of the last 3. Has been great. 50 minutes on the train and you are in the dunes.

24. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

Who here has even read ANY Thoreau, outside of school? Just checking to see who the philistines are. I have to keep a little list, you see.

Put me on your little list. I don’t know if Palin has ever read Thoreau but I’d make the assumption she may not have considering how radically different her political views are from his. I don’t know, however.

You seem to be including the guys here (MitM, lucid, and wilfred) in the crowd of so-called “progressives” at dkos (they’re not “liberals” by any stretch of the imagination) who slobbered over the idea that Plain’s son was her grandson, how she can’t be VP with 5 kids etc etc etc. If you want to go after people based on their sexist attacks on Palin, you’d do well to spend your time over at the Big Orange Hatefest which has morphed into nothing more than an angry mob of losers who couldn’t organize a useful protest to save their lives. And if they actually had a clue, they’d figure out how to do that quickly since their lives are actually at stake come November. All they know how to do is send money now. Guess what, kiddies (and some of you fogies who’ve bought into that charade)? Money is NOT going to buy you rights. Can you imagine if all of those millions spent on this campaign had gone to help the poor instead?

By seeing sexism in too many actual righteous attacks on Palin’s political beliefs and stances, you’re crying wolf – just as people did when they saw racism in practically every criticism of Obama. It’s a zero-sum game. There’s been sexism. There’s been racism. We need to be intellectually honest about where and when if we’re actually going to talk about those very urgent issues. And let’s not forget ageism as well – something I’m sick and tired of hearing and seeing in this campaign. It’s like America has been turned upside-down and it’s ugly underbelly is now there for all to see. And I thought the torture and militarization was bad enough. As Tom Friedman said on CNN’s GPS today of Americans: “We are not who we think we are.” But the denial is absolutely extraordinary.

25. marisacat - 14 September 2008

However it is language from the Catholic Bishops that made it into the SC ruling on so called partial birth abortion. It is Cathlolic groups that now for the third time are putting parental notification on the ballot in CA.

Frankly, I reject them all. Mainstream pro life who wish to dictate and restrict (this includes the too cute Biden, who has claimed over and voer in the past few weeks he “has never voted to restrict abortion”, when, as I boringly point out, HE HAS, along with other Catholics and Mormons and various and sundry in congress…). And fundie and whoever else.

I don’t like invasive small town white peoples’ churches, from Holy Rollerism to whatever else. Clocking who shows up for public prayer and who does not.. Really don’t. But guess what, the Obama Born Again-ness is very distasteful and worrisome to me. As is his cadre of preachers and pastors and Doug Kmeic – a fucking ORIGINALIST. His / Obama’s extensive plans to extend and BROADEN (Bush the cynic just mailed the checks to the pastors, imo) the WW offices of faith based outreach.

There was a strand of chiding on Dkos for years now, that the conservative Dem black voter had to be taken care of and coddled. Oh the little scolding cadres would arrive, we must be careful not to offend them… women’s rights (that would be abortion, frankly) and gay issues. A fall back.

Bullshit on them all. From Wasilla to Oakland. And out to the hamlets and valleys of small town America. And the big big Catholic money in CA. In San Francisco too…

Shove them all off the cliff.

26. NYCO - 14 September 2008

Wow, I guess Lehman has screwed the pooch finally. Monday on Wall Street should be “interesting…”

27. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

As for the discussion here about religion, I’ll leave you with this as I head off to nap:

The common error of ordinary religious practice is to mistake the symbol for the reality, to look at the finger pointing the way and then to suck it for comfort rather than follow it.

– Alan W. Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity

The same applies to politics of which partisanship is just another form of religion.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

I went out … did something new and even worse come out about Lehman today? gonna go look …

29. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

It’s been VERY wet and blah here, but not as bad as our friends in Chicago just to the south: Record rains drench Chicagoland

After the rainiest day in recorded Chicago history, residents across the area faced more storms, closed roads and flooded basements Sunday as the remnants of Hurricane Ike were expected to arrive.

Saturday’s rainfall, as measured at O’Hare International Airport, was at least 6.63 inches, breaking the city calendar-day record of 6.49 on Aug. 14, 1987. Records have been kept since 1871.

The storm, which was blamed for at least one death, also clogged dozens of roads and stranded motorists from Evanston to Schaumburg to Naperville. The Edens Expressway was closed for hours, and access to O’Hare blocked by both road and train.

An additional 2 to 4 inches of rain are forecast, compounding the damage to a waterlogged region where record flood levels are expected along the Des Plaines River. Prospect Heights officials declared a state of emergency, and Riverside residents were put on alert for possible evacuation as the river rose. Water also edged higher on the Chicago and Fox Rivers.

30. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

25. I don;t see how any Democrat who’s been paying attention can think that Barack (apologist for those who voted to confirm Roberts) Obama is going to be the champion of the pro-choice movement.

Btw, here’s what he said in that 2005 diary as well:

According to the storyline that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists – a storyline often reflected in comments on this blog – we are up against a sharply partisan, radically conservative, take-no-prisoners Republican party. They have beaten us twice by energizing their base with red meat rhetoric and single-minded devotion and discipline to their agenda. In order to beat them, it is necessary for Democrats to get some backbone, give as good as they get, brook no compromise, drive out Democrats who are interested in “appeasing” the right wing, and enforce a more clearly progressive agenda. The country, finally knowing what we stand for and seeing a sharp contrast, will rally to our side and thereby usher in a new progressive era.

I think this perspective misreads the American people.

As Dr Phil would say, “How’s that working for ya?”

31. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

One more quote from 2005 Obama:

And I firmly believe that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, or oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose.

Forewarned should have been forearmed but, hey, if you want to reduce yourself to the petty attacks you’ve been lobbing lately, be my guest.

32. marisacat - 14 September 2008


Madman and catnip out of Moderation… one each.

I was eating in the kitchen…

33. NYCO - 14 September 2008

28. Barclay’s backed off from taking over Lehman. No one wants Lehman. They’re going down.

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

Wow, thanks for the heads up NYCO. I was tuning out the news today.

Big mess. Add to that the gas prices thanks to Ike and tomorrow morning could be something.

35. NYCO - 14 September 2008

35. Furthermore, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are in merger talks. I think they are afraid Merrill is the next to die.

36. NYCee - 14 September 2008

Lucid said:

Why should any of us be limited in the scathing critique we give Palin, when it’s fine to gut the other political chattel?

To which Heather replied:

Because so-called “liberals” thoroughly blew all the political capital they may have had early in this process when they fell all over themselves fantasizing about her sex scandals, pregnancies etc. and dredging up charmingly retro antifeminist concepts like the idea that women with young kids shouldn’t have important jobs because they can’t be trusted.

Heather: Do you actually believe what you served up is an adequate argument, a spot on, savvy rebuttal to Lucid’s point?

Hey, what’s scarier, to be on Heather’s “little list” or in her “doghouse”? I’d go for the doghouse myself. Dogs make great company and “in X’s doghouse” means X will ignore you.

Pleasant thought!

37. marisacat - 14 September 2008

Well I just read the 5th report (Tapper) in 10 days on the Obama (MRO) black rabbi cousin. Rabbi Funnye.

I think the political writers are out of ink for Ob. Either Obama gets soem new energy and scripts in the coming week.. or times will get thin. he’s also been officially off the trail more than 6 days in the pst two weeks. The story around is that MO is returning to the trail, after being out all but one day last week, and only her usual couple of days or so a week, the week after convention.

It’s up to them.

38. marisacat - 14 September 2008

BofA is considered to be in good shape… Tho in fact it is Nations Bank of NC. A merger (or whatever it was) that anyone in town with a brain opposed.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008
40. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

No victory in Iraq, says Petraeus

The outgoing commander of US troops in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, has said that he will never declare victory there.

In a BBC interview, Gen Petraeus said that recent security gains were “not irreversible” and that the US still faced a “long struggle”.

When asked if US troops could withdraw from Iraqi cities by the middle of next year, he said that would be “doable”.

41. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

Corn Flakes. Peeing. I’m just sayin’…

42. NYCee - 14 September 2008


But Biden hasnt voted as Palin would in every Avenue of abortion issues (anti, she would) and neither does the Dem party vote en masse as the Republicans do.

I saw a Cspan recorded mtg around 2002, of the GOP party having an informal chat, elected officials, Gingrich, et al… where a moderate Repub beseeched Gingrich, wasnt it time to change the party platform on choice, saying that he was becoming increasingly uncomfortable over having his party tell a woman what to do with her body. Gingrich shot him down hard and quick with a flat, unadorned NO! Anti Abortion is WE the GOP, no ifs, ands, or buts. Stray at your own peril.

So it is not all the same exact thing, all the strands in the ball of wax you’d shove off the cliff, Marisa.

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

42 – no, NYCee, it’s worse. They use vague promises to protect women’s health to fundraise, then roll over on judges and laws that restrict women’s freedom. They do it over and over again. They are backstabbers, betrayers, feckless used car salesmen that say one thing to your face while they high five the other cons once the paper is signed. They laugh at their base while they pander to the right. You can thank Biden for the current makeup of the court, worthless as he was running the judiciary committee. You can thank the donks for most of the levels of the federal courts being appointed by Republican Presidents, and most of those appointees being movement conservatives or corporate lawyers who’ve never practiced law in a courtroom.

44. marisacat - 14 September 2008

I am equanimous. I see both parties as disinterested in serving anyone but interest groups, venal ones, and each other, whoever owns the seat they park in..

I want Obama in office with good majorites. As Lott has said, they depend on Red State Dems for their votes. I don’t see Democrats wishing at all to really increase the so called (but utterly useless) Progressive Democrats.

Let it play out. After all, I can use the silly dodge many Democrats use. Silly and dumb: I am in a blue state, in a liberal city. So what do I care.

Read the leaked dox from HHS (posted here several times, once a link to the full text since leaked in June), and try to figure out if the Democrats have any fight left at all in them. Because I see NONE, at all. The R will relentlessly work toward the goal of the HHS dox… slow but sure. And those will be FEDERAL exceptions, not just for religion, not for moral conscience but for a mere personal preference as to who medical practitioners and suppliers will bother to care for.

After all, why don’t the Democrats discuss it now? Fear of offending the all powerful religious voter. IMO the parties long ago agreed to sue abortion in elections for fundraising and GOTV, but the HHS dox would be new ground for the electorate. Gosh, Dems might really have to discuss not just a gay visiting a dying partner, but a gay being refused medical care for the personal distaste of a provider.

As they choose not to vote on Schip but plan to vote on off shore drilling this coming week. MY own quiet guess on withholding S chip from the vote, thinking onit over night, is they are WORRIED too many Red State and Blue State R would vote on it as an election issue. Dems need to make it seem they are the only line of defense.

How long hve they played that one.

I am very sincere. Obama should win and have good majorities. LOL After all, none other than Artur Davis has ALREADY said there will be no vote on immigration, the press of mid terms is the excuse. There is plenty of other similar commentary around from congress critters who should know how dead empty, black hole like the 111th will be.

People should live wiht the Jesus they bargained for.

45. NYCee - 14 September 2008

If you round up the judges appointed by Dems and Rs, I think you would see a difference. Do the Rs block most of the Dems picks, or do a bunch of them get thru too? Dont Clinton’s appointments to the court uphold choice?

I too wish more of the conservative judges were blocked… very much so.

I dont see it as even-steven yet, in my journey. Not on this. Sorry.

I am yet to be convinced it is.

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

Dont Clinton’s appointments to the court uphold choice?

MOst of Clinton’s choices were blocked, and the ones that weren’t tended to be more conservative, IIRC. I read recently (I’ve looked, I can’t find the link now) that something like half the justices on the Courts of Appeals were appointed by Bush, due to the backlog built up over eight years of Clinton.

And the donks let them.

47. marisacat - 14 September 2008

Clinton agreed to put into nomination the ones from his list that Hatch permitted him to put forward. Think a R would do that?

Yes Ginsberg and Breyer uphold choice (tho we don’t live under ROE we live under the Casey ruling from 1992 and the recent ruling that banned a medical procedure and specifies criminal penalties for doctors), as does what the R call “Sununu’s pick” whathisname, the NH judge. Stevens, Breyer Ginsberg and the NH one… Souter. Kennedy in my book leans ever closer to Roberts and to the rest of the Catholics.

HOWEVER, I have put up legal writing here that indicates for 20 years, Dems have rubber stamped a boat load of pro life judges to the federal circuit. Where do many SC noms come from?

The huge flap over a few judges in 2004, that precipitated the whole Gang of 14 so the Dems wouldn ot use the filibuster for the small number of judges they had held up… Jones-Brown, Owen, Pickering and a couple of others.

There were such easy ways to fight them, in the public arena. Owens had used Rove as her advisor in her judicial races in TX, I said then, call her “Rove’s pick” or Rove’s own personal judge”. Brown was known to be opposed to the commerce clause. I said then, advertise her as “Supporting Child Labor”… as iirc the laws to protect children depend on the Commerce Clause.

no, with one exception the Dems approved them all. And crawled back to their caves.. to come out each election and promise to protect choice.

NARAL just had their biggest fundraising week (118,000) during the election. They and the R are fundraising like crazy off Palin.

48. diane - 14 September 2008


how are you doing? Have you lost your living place? Not trying to be crude…don’t know how alse to express a familiarity of feeling about to lose a home ground…yet not reallly fealing comfortable telling somewhat strangers that I’m scared to death…and rather hungry…if you have an address to send a few bucks too…to help, I know more than a few of us would do what we could…and yes I totally understand the dangers of posting addresses, since I’m so fearful of it myself…this is the thing I so despise about internet communications…they leave so much to be desired….

Speaking of which marisa, I haven’t forgotten the gathering I posted of…still pondering how to bring it to fruition,,,,,


Lucid…I left you a comment on the last thread,….no harm meant, so please don’t construe it that way………..



Thank you for the thank you……love the Atlantic Ocean…went swimming there with my mom two falls ago, after her younger sister “died.” Thankfully we were unbeset by jellyfish swarms..that seem more prevalent in August – September….ha…my mom in her eighties…….and my, many times funky (so many times, not?), uncle holding her hand after everyone worried she might drown………

49. NYCO - 14 September 2008

Banks seen offering plan to restore confidence

As the outlook for Lehman Brothers’ future appeared to dim Sunday, U.S. and foreign banks joined forces to create a plan aimed at inoculating the global financial system against the investment bank’s possible failure, a top investment banking official said. Banks are in tense talks to create a pool of money worth up to $50 billion to lend troubled financial companies, the official said on condition of anonymity because the discussions were ongoing.

Holy crap. Run for the hills. Every time Wall Street and the government have “joined forces” over the past year to come up with some sort of “containment plan,” it hasn’t worked out.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

McKinney’s interview is finally showing on C-Span.

51. NYCO - 14 September 2008

Some wind gusts are tossing the trees on and off here in Syracuse. Former Hurricane Ike is passing by.

52. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

‘Alaska Women Reject Palin’ Rally is HUGE!

I attended the Welcome Home rally for Sarah Palin this morning. Hooo. It was an experience. About a thousand (maybe) hard-core Palin supporters showed up to hear her speak at the new Dena’ina Convention Center in downtown Anchorage.

After shaking it off with a good double shot of espresso, and a brisk walk back to my car, it was time to head to the Alaska Women Reject Palin rally. It was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men. I had no idea what to expect.

The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It’s probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally “a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots”, and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received many nasty, harassing and threatening messages.

So, as I jettisoned myself from the jaws of the ‘Drill Baby Drill’ crowd and toward the mystery rally at the library, I felt a bit apprehensive. I’d been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it’s a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren’t sent by Eddie Burke, we’ll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing “socialist baby-killing maggot” haters.

It’s a good thing I wasn’t tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody’s trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn’t honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn’t happen here.

53. diane - 14 September 2008

I should of clarified above, I don’t think of Alligator shoes when you post Madman…never will…It’s unfortunate how things can be said that can cause great harm, and the one who is caused the harm will pick themselves to death over it and never even let out a peep that it was not a just call…….

Like I Bystander,……I was kidding……I don’t equate you with alligator shoes….

54. marisacat - 14 September 2008

hmm WSJ sounds like liquidation for Lehman. Geesh… A GREAT BIG OL’ LIQUIDATION SALE.

Oh we are in good shape. Well here is an opportunity for Ob. New subject thsi week.

Barclays Walks from Lehman Deal;
Likelihood for Transaction Narrows

September 14, 2008 6:52 p.m.

The fate of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s darkened early Sunday afternoon after Barclays PLC, the sole remaining bidder for the 158-year-old Wall Street firm, told federal regulators that it is walking away from a transaction, people familiar with the matter say.

With Barclays ending talks and the government balking at putting any taxpayer money at risk for Lehman, the likelihood of a transaction was dimming. That would leave an orderly liquidation as the most likely scenario, a dramatic outcome for a once-powerful firm.::snip::

55. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008


aimed at inoculating the global financial system against the investment bank’s possible failure

Globalization. The cure for everything. Greenspan even mentioned it when he was on This Week today – not that I listened to everything that he said because I find economists boring – but the interconnection of the global financial system is obviously creating huge problems (an understatement). Maybe everybody should just get a Cayman Islands acct or a fireproof mattress and be done with it.

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

no problem.

57. diane - 14 September 2008


58. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

52. Awesome turnout. Thanks for that info.

59. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

No sex please, I’m Canadian.

60. diane - 14 September 2008


just caught the post marisa, ………….hmmmm hon….John Brown certainly illuminates a path toward something much, much better……rather than molds….and so shall you….fuck em

61. diane - 14 September 2008


boysenberries smothering cheescake!

62. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

Re: the integration technology discussion – it struck me that that’s one of the main arguments I have with Obama’s one size fits all solutions that he’s selling. Yes, if the VCR breaks down, you have to take in the teevee it’s connected to at the same time. And if a gov’t policy is broken (ie. it’s too generic to suit special needs – let’s say, for example, in the AA community or in the case of NCLB) again you’d have to overhaul/teak the whole system. I didn’t explain that well – I’ll blame after-nap foggyness – so I hope you get my point.

63. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

“teak” = “tweak”

I’m watching a decorating show. 😉

64. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

61. boysenberries smothering cheescake!


65. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

McKinney was pretty good on CSPAN (replay about 9:30 ET). Despite repeated attempts to talk about the Capital Hill cop, she stuck to her message and spent a lot of time talking not only about what was wrong, but about Green Party values and how she came to realize that she shared them. One of the weekest parts of Nader’s run in 2000 was his unwillingness to use what little attention he was getting to help present the parties values and to build something. She laughed at the stereotypes and said she was proud to hug trees.

Her interview is followed by the press conference last week held by Ron Paul, Nader, McKinney and Baldwin.

66. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008
67. NYCO - 14 September 2008

Went to see a movie today and before the previews started, the audience was subjected to a 5-minute long, hard-rock National Guard recruitment music video whose basic message was “America, Fuck Yeah.” It was so 2003, but I actually noticed several people in the audience mindlessly banging their heads to it. I normally weather these commercials fine but this one went on so long and was so dumbheaded that I almost ran out for a bathroom break.

The very first film advertised in the previews, however, was the Harvey Milk biopic. Several minutes of full-on gay pride. And there must have been a few people in the audience who found such an inspiringly gay-friendly film as questionable and offensive as I found the National Guard video, but also bit their tongues more than usual.

It makes me wonder if we’re really a society that can encompass all these extremes, or if we’re just quietly pretending we are. Who knows what evils lurk in the hearts of men.

68. CSTAR - 14 September 2008

# 35 Bullish on America? Not so much, anymore. Looks like Merryl will be eaten up by B of A,

69. NYCO - 14 September 2008

Holy crap, I’m getting brownouts from effing ex-Hurricane Ike up here. And it’s not even here – it’s in Canada.

70. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

69. All your power are belong to us.

71. Intermittent Bystander - 14 September 2008

Doghouses? Blacklights? WTF?

When you’re done with that tarbrush, can I borrow it, Heather-Rose?
There’s a spot in my driveway that needs fixing.

Loved the Alison Brown/John Doyle link, last thread! And then one YouTube led to another, so these here are for bayprairie (and Madman and lucid and wilfred and catnip and and and . . . .)

Solas (Nashville-based, now I think), Coconut Dog / Morning Dew.
Crooked Still (Boston-based), Little Sadie, and with guest Laurie Lewis, Wind and the Rain / Can’t You Hear Me Calling?

72. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

“Only in America…”

On the final night of the Democratic convention, at the conclusion of the nominee’s acceptance speech, Barack Obama beamed and waved to 80,000-plus supporters as they danced and sang along to…”Only in America” by Brooks & Dunn?

Wow. Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Willman (author of Rednecks & Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music) has outlined the background of that musical selection in a blog entry I highly recommend. As Willman notes, the Brooks & Dunn hit has been a staple of Republican campaigning for several years: Dick Cheney exited the podium to the song at the 2004 Republican convention, and George Bush frequently used it to pump up supporters at campaign rallies. The Democrats’ appropriation of the number, then is either a supreme example of pandering or one more iteration of their convention’s consistent plea to “take back America.” Or both.

“Only in Amerca” is an odd selection, though, for Democrats and Republicans alike, and one that may well anticipate the lesson many will draw from the Obama nomination, whether he wins or loses. In his blog entry, Willman notes parenthetically that the song (written by self-declared Democrat and longtime Mavericks producer Don Cook) actually expresses “an ambivalence about the American dream.”

Or worse. After the record’s crunchy opening power chords (I love the sound of the thing; it’s a Hot New Country version of the Bottle Rockets!), Ronnie Dunn describes kids on a school bus, “the promise of the promised land,” then sings:

One kid dreams of fame and fortune, one kid helps pay the rent
One could end up going to prison, one just might be president

Those are some scary options in that last line, huh? Though the phrasing suggests the chances of becoming an inmate or a president are something like even odds, we know the current ratios are far grimmer: One in every one hundred Americans is in prison today while one in every three hundred million Americans is president. Good luck!

Willman quotes Ronnie Dunn as saying “[‘Only in America’] was apolitical.” I’d argue it’s actually anti-political. It doesn’t rally listeners for any sort of better world or more widespread opportunity, however defined. Rather, to redeploy Christopher Small’s characterization of the American musical, “Only in America” merely “reinforce[s] the dreams that support the status quo.”

I fear this might just be the lesson many take from an Obama candidacy. If a black man can be nominated for president here, and especially if he can become president, then why does America need to dream of change at all? This country is great, or at least good enough, just as it is.

Only in America…

73. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

one in moderation, I think

74. wilfred - 14 September 2008

What a weekend, my family still has no power (and none coming soon it seems) and there is bad damage to 2 of their houses by falling trees. They haven’t been getting good local news on the radio so the ones with phone service were calling me for more info. Some are evacuating north or west now that the roads are passable until power is returned.

Lucid and Liberalcatnip- Thanks so much for the very kind words, they are much appreciated. I’m sure the bully will be out for you both now, but nice to see people stand up to it. And now I see a list is being kept so we get bully and hall monitor in one, lol. And you’ve been branded too Madman? How does someone who was cherished at OurWord as the best example of a thinking/feeling guy get trashed too? The mind does reel.

NYCO, what movie did you see today? I have seen that National Guard song more times than I can remember (and you can download it for free dontcha know!). I also saw the preview for “Milk” and I can’t tell you how impressed I was, Van Sant may turn out to be exactly the right director for this piece. I haven’t been a huge fan of Penn’s recent work but he looked wonderful in it.

75. wilfred - 14 September 2008

Doghouses? Blacklights? WTF?

watch out IB! The hall monitor is taking names, you may be asked to stand under the dreaded BLACK LIGHT!!! Be afraid, IB. Be very afraid for you may be deemed……. cue the organ music…. Counterfeit!

How ever will you sleep tonight?

76. NYCO - 14 September 2008

CNBC just said the president is “closely monitoring the situation” on Wall Street…

FAIL! FAIL! DEFCON 1, klaxons turned up to 11… because when Bush notices something, it’s long since past being screwed.

Wilfred, I saw Burn After Reading. Milk looked pretty good.

They also showed a trailer for Frost/Nixon, which just looked contrived.

77. Intermittent Bystander - 14 September 2008

You may be asked to stand under the dreaded BLACK LIGHT!!! Be afraid, IB.

NO problem, wilfred! A quick spritz of Feminist Hygeine Product should get me through the detectors.


78. NYCO - 14 September 2008

More on today’s doings…

An extremely rare Sunday afternoon Wall Street trading session, held with the intention of reducing systemic risk posed by a potential bankruptcy by Lehman brothers, descended into chaos, said one participant. Organized by ISDA, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the session was done via a massive conference call involving dozens of firms from all over the world. “Yelling and screaming,” occurred in the session, said one participant, with many participants unaware of the rules.

(source: CNBC)

79. wilfred - 14 September 2008

NYCO, what did you think of Burn After Reading? I was supposed to see it Friday night but we’re seeing it later this week.

80. Intermittent Bystander - 14 September 2008

FAIL! FAIL! DEFCON 1, klaxons turned up to 11… because when Bush notices something, it’s long since past being screwed.


One more Palin link, just for the documented record. WaPo did Wasilla due diligence too: As Mayor of Wasilla, Palin Cut Own Duties, Left Trail of Bad Blood.

81. NYCO - 14 September 2008

79. I’m not a huge Coen Bros follower (saw Fargo and Raising Arizona, that’s about it). It’s not as good as Fargo, but reminded me a lot of the old Bette Midler movie, Ruthless People. I enjoyed it. Brad Pitt was hilarious and Clooney was pretty funny too.

82. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

70. “Bad blood”? That’s sexist!! How dare they?

Just getting in the spirit. Sorry. 😉

83. wilfred - 14 September 2008

I’m hearing from my friends who work in the financial end that they’re worried about Washington Mutual next. It’s a complete mess.

As for the market, it’s been like that the past few months. It’s like whiplash, 300 points up one day, 250 down the next, over and over and wild swings within the same day. The graphs look like the Sawtooth mountain range.

84. Intermittent Bystander - 14 September 2008

74 – PS, best wishes to your family for short evacuations and safe home soon.

85. wilfred - 14 September 2008

If you liked it that much NYCO then I’ll probably love it. I’m a big Coen brothers fan, love most of them and like the rest. Their comedies usually reduce us to a puddle in the theater, half the time we’re stifling giggles because we’re laughing more than the crowd. That of course makes us laugh even more.

86. wilfred - 14 September 2008

Thanks IB, some of them like my aunt really don’t have the finances to be gone long at all but as she’s 83 a place with AC may be necessary. We’ll all pitch in if need be to keep her safe.
My brother said that in his building they are all bringing food down to a communal room at dinner and sharing what they have, so nice to hear stories like that when things get bad.

87. Intermittent Bystander - 14 September 2008

81 – Everyone wants to get in on the act, eh?

Wind is picking up a little over here, too. Ike-oh Ike-oh!

88. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

There was an interesting piece in the local rag about why we don’t have light rail here in Milwaukee, and a sad history of lost opportunities it is:

In late January 1997, then-Gov. Tommy Thompson and aides showed the two-county transportation plan to local officials and asked them to support the package even if they disliked one or another element. As policy director to then-Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, I attended the meeting at which Thompson made his pitch. Though opposed to special lanes, Norquist agreed not to attack the plan.

Light rail already was controversial: The late business leader George Watts said publicly in late 1996 that light rail could deliver “strangers” into unsuspecting communities and threaten their property and children – a remark some felt was racist. And “light rail” was and continues to be aimed as a partisan, fear-laden phrase against Milwaukee and its urban, Democratic majority on conservative talk radio and in some Republican-dominated suburbs.

The pattern continues to this day, with statements like the one above used to push for school vouchers, for cutting transit, for any number of other things. It’s depressing to see how effectively it derails change.

89. marisacat - 14 September 2008

Bank of America Reaches Deal for Merrill

September 15, 2008

In a rushed bid to ride out the storm sweeping American finance, 94-year-old Merrill Lynch & Co. agreed late Sunday to sell itself to Bank of America Corp. for roughly $44 billion.

The deal, which was being worked out in 48 hours of frenetic negotiating, could instantly reshape the U.S. banking landscape, making the nation’s prime behemoth even bigger. The boards of the two companies approved the deal Sunday evening, according to people familiar with the matter.

Driven by Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis, Bank of America has already made dozens of acquisitions large and small, including the purchase of ailing mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. earlier this year. In adding Merrill Lynch, it would control the nation’s largest force of stock brokers as well as a well-regarded investment bank.

A combination would create a bank of vast reach, involved in nearly every nook and cranny of the financial system, from credit cards and auto loans to bond and stock underwriting, merger advice and wealth management.

It would also show how the credit crisis has created opportunities for financially sound buyers. At $44 billion, or roughly $29 a share, Merrill would be sold at about two-thirds of its value of one year ago, and half its all-time peak value of early 2007. Merrill shares changed hands at $17.05 each on Friday, after falling sharply in the wake of Lehman’s looming demise. ::snip::

90. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

88 – I can’t imagine how their compliance department is going to keep their affiliated transactions straight and properly documented.

On a related note — Meltdown.

I found it amazing that both Democrats and Republicans could hold their national conventions without speaking about a word about the meltdown in the nation’s financial markets, but as Ben Smith notes, the likely collapse of Lehman Brothers is “going to make it hard for the candidates to talk about anything else this week.”

With no bidders emerging for Lehman over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal notes “that would leave an orderly liquidation as the most likely scenario, a dramatic outcome for a once-powerful firm.” This follows the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last week, and of Bear Stearns earlier this year.

The financial markets are in more serious trouble than we’ve seen since the Great Depression, yet we’ve heard very little from Obama or McCain.

91. marisacat - 14 September 2008

Well Fannie and Freddie was a Dem party patronage system. Kinda tough.

My guess less will be said about this… some burbles. Be interesting to see of people in the audience push it, they should.

92. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

Where are your relatives, wilfred?

93. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

Why Rednecks May Rule the World By Joe Bageant

The fact is that we American rednecks embrace the term in a sort of proud defiance. To us, the term redneck indicates a culture we were born in and enjoy. So I find it very interesting that politically correct people have taken it upon themselves to protect us from what has come to be one of our own warm and light hearted terms for one another.

On the other hand, I can quite imagine their concern, given what’s at stake in the upcoming election. We represent at least a third of all voters and no US president has ever been elected without our support.

Consequently, rednecks have never had so many friends or so much attention as in 2008. Contrary to the stereotype, we are not all tobacco chawing, guffawing Southerners, but are scattered from coast to coast. Over 50% of us live in the “cultural south”, which is to say places with white Southern Scots-Irish values — redneck values.

They include western Pennsylvania, central Missouri and southern Illinois, upstate Michigan and Minnesota, eastern Connecticut, northern New Hampshire …

So when you look at what pundits call the red state heartland, you are looking at the Republic of Redneckia.

As to having our delicate beer-sodden feelings protected from the term redneck; well, I appreciate the effort, though I highly suspect that the best way to hide snobbishness is to pose as protector of any class of folks you cannot bear. Thus we are being protected by the very people who look down on us — educated urban progressives.

And let’s face it, there’s plenty to look down on. By any tasteful standard, we ain’t a pretty people.

94. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

The Independent also uses the word “meltdown” in its headline.

95. marisacat - 14 September 2008

Wapo on Freddie Fannie:

How Washington Failed to Rein In Fannie, Freddie
As Profits Grew, Firms Used Their Power to Mask Peril

In 2003, Richard Baker, left, obtained executive pay information on Fannie and Freddie but was pressured not disclose it. In 1999, Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers publicly signaled that Fannie, Freddie could be a hazard.
By Binyamin Appelbaum, Carol D. Leonnig and David S. Hilzenrath
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 14, 2008; Page A01

Gary Gensler, an undersecretary of the Treasury, went to Capitol Hill in March 2000 to testify in favor of a bill everyone knew would fail.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were ascendant, giants of the mortgage finance business and key players in the Clinton administration’s drive to expand homeownership. But Gensler and other Treasury officials feared the companies had grown so large that, if they stumbled, the damage to the U.S. economy could be staggering. Few officials had ever publicly criticized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but Gensler concluded it was time to urge Congress to rein them in.

“We thought this was a hand-on-the Bible moment,” he recalled.

The bill failed. […]

Fannie Mae, and to a lesser extent Freddie Mac, became enmeshed in the fabric of political Washington. They were places former government officials went to get wealthy — and to wait for new federal appointments. At Fannie Mae, chief executives had clauses written into their contracts spelling out the severance benefits they would receive if they left for a government post.

The companies also donated generously to the campaigns of favored politicians. The companies’ political action committees and employees have donated $4.8 million to members of Congress since 1989, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

But Fannie Mae wasn’t just buying influence. It was selling government officials on an idea by making its brand synonymous with homeownership. The company spent tens of millions of dollars each year on advertising.

96. CSTAR - 14 September 2008

I woke up in a different universe

After a weekend of tense negotiations between White House officials and officials from the People’s Liberation Army, the Bank of China agreed to acquire the United States of America in exchange for cancellation of all outstanding debt obligations held by the Bank of China and other Chinese financial institutions. Obligations held by creditors in other countries will have to be worked out in separate arrangements following an agreed template called “worker export agreements”, whereby able-bodied legal residents of the United States between the ages of 15 and 70 will be required to perform at least two years of service in a foreign country at nominal pay.

An economist at the Milton Friedman University of Dubai (MFUD), who helped broker the deal, said, speaking anonymously, that given the massive debt acquired by the US, that was the only realistic solution.

MFUD is a conglomerate of american universities including the University of Chicago, Harvard, Brown and Stanford formed after the banking collapse of 2009 to protect the endowment of these institutions from the obliteration of the dollar. According to Sarah Palin, president of the university, the endowment of these institutions has expanded to nearly 2.0 trillion dollars after the transition. Noted faculty include former president George W. Bush and former presidential candidate Barack Obama.

97. Intermittent Bystander - 14 September 2008

Man says he had right to carry gun to rally (Beaver County Times, Aug. 30)

INDUSTRY — An Industry man insisted Saturday there’s nothing in the law that prevented him from wearing a loaded handgun to Friday’s presidential election rally in Beaver.

“I have it for protection, to protect my wife and my children,” said John A. Noble, 50. “I never gave it a thought. I wasn’t doing anything illegal,”

Noble, a horse and cattle fence builder, said he was simply standing with others at the rally, a Bible in one hand, and an apple in the other.

But it was the Glock 19 handgun holstered at his side that drew the attention of local and federal law enforcement. State police said just wearing the gun disrupted the event.

Noble said he had a handful of fliers that he wanted to pass out, spelling out gun rights.

Those fliers list Noble’s basic argument, citing a Pennsylvania statute that says a person may “openly carry a handgun in plain sight with no license.” Exceptions include in vehicles, in Philadelphia, and convicted felons.


When questioned as to the wisdom of wearing a firearm to a rally with metal detectors, Secret Service agents, and dozens of local law enforcement, Noble replied, “His (Obama’s) rights do not trump mine.” He added he’s worn the gun in public for several years without incident.

Noble says he has an attorney, but said he’ll wait and see what charges he might face before deciding what course of action he’d take.

In the news release, Schexnaildre described the nature of the incident as disorderly conduct, and wrote that Noble faces misdemeanor grade charges that will be filed by state police; no federal charges have been filed.

Noble said his only previous criminal offense was “a speeding ticket while driving a church bus.”

“If it was that serious of an offense (Friday), I would be in jail,” Noble said.

98. marisacat - 14 September 2008

Open Secrets on who Fannie and Freddie give to in Congress… 1989 – 2008

99. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

99 – I wonder how supportive people would be if that guy was a Black Panther instead of a winger? For that matter, do you think Mr. Noble would be as enthusiastic if a Black Panther was standing next to him with a holstered weapon?

100. wilfred - 14 September 2008

#92 Brothers, sister, cousins and aunt live a bit north of downtown and nieces and nephews live north, west and southwest Houston. Some now are talking this week about moving to eastern TN where a sister and a cousin have moved. The rest of us live in NY, NJ and CT and I wish they’d all come up here and forget the south!

101. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

Not just the banks … AIG, facing liquidity crunch, reaches out to regulator

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Insurer American International Group Inc (AIG.), working to stave off rating downgrades and shore up the capital of its holding company, has made an unprecedented approach to the Federal Reserve seeking short-term financing, media reports said.

Chief Executive Robert Willumstad reached out to the Fed late on Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal and business news channel CNBC.

The Fed normally oversees monetary policy and supervision of banks, but CNBC said AIG was seeking the funds as a temporary measure and planned to repay the Fed with the proceeds from asset sales.

AIG officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The company, until recently the world’s biggest insurer by market capitalization, has been attempting to hammer out an emergency strategic plan after its shares fell nearly 50 percent last week on fears it faced a liquidity crisis.

AIG has been negotiating with various parties including officials from the New York Insurance Department and private equity firms as it seeks ways to free up capital, raise new capital and protect policyholders.

Regulators including New York Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo have been holed up at AIG’s New York offices over the past two days trying to hammer out a plan.

“We are working to craft a solution to protect the company and policyholders,” said a person from the New York Insurance Department, who asked not to be named.

Wasn’t Lehman going to save itself by selling off assets?

102. wilfred - 14 September 2008

Wasn’t Lehman going to save itself by selling off assets?

Lol, Madman. That was SO three days ago 🙂

103. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

I only asked b/c in the AIG story:

planned to repay the Fed with the proceeds from asset sales.

Jus’ sayin’.

104. Intermittent Bystander - 14 September 2008

99 – I bumped into that while trying to find a Redneck Comedy Tour star’s mugshot (I might have that name wrong, but was a DWI, IIRC) in response to your #93, ’cause it mos’ definitely wasn’t as “pretty” as Tom Delay’s!

As for the dude with the Glock and the apple, your point is precise. Nonetheless, I found myself momentarily impressed, in our modern world, by how discreetly the incident was handled. In that today was the first that I’d heard of the whole thing. One false move on any side, and surely that ball of wax would have topped “AP – Most Viewed,” in a national minute.

105. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

Misses the real point, but not that it’s wrong … Democrats may have thought that the disastrous Bush years killed the GOP’s favorite tactic. The Palin effect shows they were wrong.

Palin represents the reappearance of the one part of Bush that never died — the culture warrior. Democrats may have forgotten about the notorious red state-blue state divide, or hoped that the failures of the last eight years had made it go away. But it hasn’t. It’s been there all along. If Palin catapults McCain to victory, it will be revealed to be the most powerful and enduring force in American politics. And that fact will raise serious questions about the viability of American democracy itself.

It’s terrifying that so many Americans are so driven by resentment that they will vote against more qualified candidates simply because they seem “different” from them. For what this means is that anyone with expertise, unusual intelligence, mastery, special knowledge, is likely to be rejected by voters who are resentful of “elites.” This constitutes a rejection of the very idea that it matters if someone is better at something than someone else.

The peculiar thing is that this only applies to politics: Voters who would not dream of taking their car to an incompetent mechanic or their body to an unlicensed physician have no problem electing totally unqualified candidates to perform the most difficult and important job in the world, simply because they identify with them.

Resentment explains some of this. So does a widespread lack of respect for government itself, and ignorance about what it is and what it requires. Most insidious, perhaps, is the fact that more and more Americans seem to see politics as just another reality TV show. You vote for Palin the same way you vote for a designer on “Project Runway.” As Katharine Mieszkowski reported for Salon, Palin’s rapturous supporters embrace her because “she represents me.” It’s the politics of sheer narcissism.

Except that it isn’t just that. It’s that there isn’t an alternative. The donks offer NOTHING, so why shouldn’t they keep falling for this?

106. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

100. Sounds like you had a lot of relatives down there to worry about. Good to hear things worked out okay.

107. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

Oops. I take that back. I reread your comment about the damage they suffered. Sorry.

108. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008


For what this means is that anyone with expertise, unusual intelligence, mastery, special knowledge, is likely to be rejected by voters who are resentful of “elites.”

Is that supposed to be a description of Obama? I hope not.

109. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

Comrades Bush, Paulson and Bernanke Welcome You to the USSRA (United Socialist State Republic of America)

The now inevitable nationalization of Fannie and Freddie is the most radical regime change in global economic and financial affairs in decades. For the last twenty years after the collapse of the USSR, the fall of the Iron Curtain and the economic reforms in China and other emerging market economies the world economy has moved away from state ownership of the economy and towards privatization of previously stated owned enterprises. This trend was aggressively supported the United States that preached right and left the benefits of free markets and free private enterprise.

Today instead the US has performed the greatest nationalization in the history of humanity. By nationalizing Fannie and Freddie the US has increased its public assets by almost $6 trillion and has increased its public debt/liabilities by another $6 trillion. The US has also turned itself into the largest government-owned hedge fund in the world: by injecting a likely $200 billion of capital into Fannie and Freddie and taking on almost $6 trillion of liabilities of such GSEs the US has also undertaken the biggest and most levered LBO (“leveraged buy-out”) in human history that has a debt to equity ratio of 30 ($6,000 billion of debt against $200 billion of equity).

So now Comrades Bush, Paulson and Bernanke (as originally nicknamed by Willem Buiter) have now turned the USA into the USSRA (the United Socialist State Republic of America). Socialism is indeed alive and well in America; but this is socialism for the rich, the well connected and Wall Street. A socialism where profits are privatized and losses are socialized with the US tax-payer being charged the bill of $300 billion.

This biggest bailout and nationalization in human history comes from the most fanatically and ideologically zealot free-market laissez-faire administration in US history. These are the folks who for years spewed the rhetoric of free markets and cutting down government intervention in economic affairs. But they were so fanatically ideological about free markets that they did not realize that financial and other markets without proper rules, supervision and regulation are like a jungle where greed – untempered by fear of loss or of punishment – leads to credit bubbles and asset bubbles and manias and eventual bust and panics.

The ideologue “regulators” who literally held a chain saw at a public event to smash “unnecessary regulations” are now communists nationalizing private firms and socializing their losses: the bailout of the Bear Stearns creditors, the bailout of Fannie and Freddie, the use of the Fed balance sheet (hundreds of billions of safe US Treasuries swapped for junk toxic illiquid private securities), the use of the other GSEs (the Federal Home Loan Bank system) to provide hundreds of billions of dollars of “liquidity” to distressed, illiquid and insolvent mortgage lenders, the use of the SEC to manipulate the stock market (restrictions on short sales), the use of the US Treasury to manipulate the mortgage market (Treasury will now for the first time outright buy agency MBS to manipulate and prop up this market), the creation of a whole host of new bailout facilities (TAF, TSLF, PDCF) to prop and rescue banks and, for the first time since the Great Depression,to bail out non-bank financial institutions, and a whole range of other executive and legislative actions (including the recent bill to provide a public guarantee to mortgage for banks willing to reduce their face value).

110. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008


As Katharine Mieszkowski reported for Salon, Palin’s rapturous supporters embrace her because “she represents me.” It’s the politics of sheer narcissism.

I don’t agree with that. It’s the politics of hysteria and that makes wingers happy.

111. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

110 – I’m constantly amazed how liberals/progressives can kind of see what is happening yet completely misunderstand it.

112. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

Nouriel Roubini in moderation, I think.

113. Intermittent Bystander - 14 September 2008

Got it – Blue Collar Comedy Tour’s’ Ron White arrested in Vero Beach.

And apologies to Mr. White. It was a pot and paraphernalia charge. And he was busted by an anonymous tipster as he was flying in, on a small plane, for a gig.

114. diane - 14 September 2008

Sorry to read how many family members you have who were affected by Ike wilfred..I especially hope your aunt, in her older age, is able to resettle quickly in a place that’s comfortable and safe. It’s really fucked up that such awful shit has been happening weather wise at the same time that the government has collapsed to the point that the citizens it was created to serve have been told in so many ways, to get fucked and fend for themselves.

115. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

110. Moi?

116. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 September 2008

no, the guy who wrote the article. I was clumsily agreeing w/ you.

117. baypraire - 14 September 2008

diane, im touched, thats a very heartfelt offer. i certainy misjudged you, which i suppose its a fault of mine, quick on the trigger. i don’t know much at this time. what i do know is that my area is without power, reported “minor” damage localized flooding, the potable water is still considered safe, so there is no boil order in effect. this wouldnt negate possible water damage to my home, but i assume that it’s still standing. i am a bit worried about oaks in the back yard though. i have three, they’re somewhat large and and two are the live oak types, which are more prone to blowover. however we had no rain in the area prior to the storm so they were anchored in mostly dry ground when the storm blew in.

79. I’m not a huge Coen Bros follower

hate to be a hick but the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack alone is worth the cost of admission. of course that might have less to do with the cohen brothers and more to do with T-bone burnet


also great links up at 71. love the crooked still link and its nice to see laurie lewis still in action. i remember her from a long time ago. i think she used to play at kerrville?. she still has the magic as well as the high harmony. the vocals are to die for.

and best wishes wilfred. if i hadnt scooted out of town i’d be in the same space as your relations. im an old enough hand to be worried about the dang trees. the pines are the worst but the water/live oaks blow over like sails in a stink as well. im sure i have little oak branches all over. if the house is still extant ill use the leaves for their tannins and make crunchy pickles!

118. diane - 14 September 2008


I seriously doubt you can be quicker on the trigger then I can be, I misjudged you on a bad day, and I’m sorry for it.

I really hope your house is okay and you don’t suffer any horrendous financial blowback, if so, it wouldn’t be much but the offer I made stands.

How do you make pickles with leaf tannin?

119. baypraire - 14 September 2008

one quart water, three tablespoons of sea salt, half a gallon of cukes, three of four dill heads or 3 tablespoons of seed plus grape or oak leaves, garlic, peppercorns, hot pepper or two. ferment in a crock under a plate and a weight, cukes always submerged, for a week to a month depending on temps.

yum! the tannins in the oak leaves, or grape leaves, keep the cukes crunchy.

im pretty sure they do the second ferment of wine in oak barrels for the same reason, to expose the wine to the tannins. something going on about fermentation and tannins.

laurie lewis and tom rozum doing a tribute to vassar clements in 2006


120. diane - 14 September 2008

mmmmm, it sounds yummy. thanks for the recipe, I love pickles.

and thanks for the link.

121. baypraire - 14 September 2008

of course as soon as i remember vassar clements i get stuck in a reoccuring rut. vassar used to play with norman blake. norman blake rules.

in the comments to this clip someone uses the phrase “religious grimness”. that’s about it.

norman and nancy blake

122. baypraire - 14 September 2008

the only flatpicker i love better than norman blake is

clarence white

death took his talent away far too early. this is the best that i know of clarence white on youtube.

123. liberalcatnip - 14 September 2008

115. I was clumsily agreeing w/ you.

Okay. Just thought I should check.

124. lucid - 14 September 2008

NYCO – I second Bay on ‘O Brother Where Art Thou’ [also because it’s an adaptation of the Odyssey]… Also I’m rather fond of Barton Fink – the drunk, washed up Faulkner character is hilarious.

Wilfred – sorry to hear of your family woes. And I’m hoping the best for you as well Bay.

125. lucid - 14 September 2008

Oh – Diane – no worries, I was in a bit of a prickly mood the other night.

126. liberalcatnip - 15 September 2008

Sure. Whatever all of that means.

127. liberalcatnip - 15 September 2008


In one of the most dramatic days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell itself on Sunday to Bank of America for roughly $50 billion to avert a deepening financial crisis, while another prominent securities firm, Lehman Brothers, said it would seek bankruptcy protection and hurtled toward liquidation after it failed to find a buyer.

128. marisacat - 15 September 2008

Two of bay’s out of Moderation… 121 and 122

Sorry for the delay…

Glad everybody is safe in So Texas… but with electricity said to be off for as long as a month, what will people do?

IB’s brother is lucky to never have lost his lights…

129. Intermittent Bystander - 15 September 2008

122, etc. – Glad you enjoyed Crooked Still, and thanks for the great morning flat-picking concert.

128 – Very lucky.

New phase of disaster plagues Ike’s survivors; Texas shelters grow crowded after nearly 2,000 rescued; death toll at 28.

130. marisacat - 15 September 2008

I heard over night that shelters are turning people away. hmm


new thread.


……………….. 8) ………………

131. NYCO - 15 September 2008

Ike kept me up all night last night… nasty wind gusts and rattling… streets are littered with leaves and small branches today.

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