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Crash 18 September 2008

Posted by marisacat in Abortion Rights, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Italy, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Paris, San Francisco, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health, WAR!.


Dollar Bill Origami Scorpion by Nano

A few days ago, before all that has been stewing and brewing hit big, I read that US visitors to Paris are running 20% off usual numbers. Prepare for fewer visitors I would say…….
Dollar sinks

The dollar fell sharply Wednesday as Treasury yields collapsed, despite getting a boost from the Fed’s rate-holding decision Tuesday.

“Foreign governments move trillions of dollars into Treasurys, but now they have yields that don’t make up for inflation,” Sousa said. “Everyone is worried about systemic risk, so they are investing in countries that offer higher yields.”

The 15-nation euro cost $1.4349, up from $1.4120 in the previous session. That’s a whopping 1.6% drop – the dollar usually trades in a range of just tenths of a percent on a daily basis. The British pound bought $1.8211, up from $1.7831 Tuesday – a 2.1% drop.

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to ¥104.80, down 0.8% from ¥105.65.

Wall Street’s woes also weighed heavily on the dollar. Investors feared that the rising number of government bailouts will force the government to print more dollars, devaluing the U.S. currency.

“The market is concerned that the Fed will intervene if there is a new AIG,” said Sousa. “Investors are worried that the Fed will run out of cash.” To top of page




And… apropos of nothing to do with Wall St turmoil, but this dicey opinion piece ran in the San Francisco Chronicle. So far, just one comment (pro).

The last grafs:

[A]nd yet, Catholics for Choice has the audacity to challenge the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the church’s teaching related to abortion. O’Brien’s final line states that “the bishops would better serve American Catholics by acknowledging their true priorities.”

It is the responsibility of Catholic bishops to teach clearly what Christ in his church teaches about faith and morals, and to oppose erroneous, misleading and confusing positions when they are advanced. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, willed either as an end or a means, is grossly contrary to the moral law.”

In matters of faith and morals – proclaimed either “fallibly” or “infallibly” by the Catholic Church – the bishops have an authoritative role as teacher. The faithful have the responsibility of accepting the teaching and adhering to it with a religious assent. The reason for this is eternal salvation. The idea that politicians can usurp this teaching authority is ridiculous.

Vicki Evans is the Respect Life Coordinator for the Office of Public Policy & Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

I don’t even know who is Archbishop of San Francisco anymore*… Our last was Levanda, now ascended to the spot Ratzinger used to hold in the Vatican, global doctrinal enforcement. It was said that Levanda and Ratzy-Nazi are “close”. Levanda was sent to keep a lid on us (because thru the parochial schools here the Church has more power than merely over the Sunday parishoners and collection plate donors). And Levanda’s job was to clean up and clean out the diocese swamp after the Archbishop before him, John R Quinn.

You can search high and low there is no written, accessible record of what Quinn did while in office. I originally heard about it, as it was ongoing around ’91, from gay friends.

Quinn was not a paedophile (well, at least I never heard that he was) but he had a taste for very young looking, tough young men. Not just a passing fancy, or a night out in a controlled and private place… oh no. Quinn had quite a few he kept, several of whom he set up in private homes, dotted around the Bay Area. Why he had a taste for suburban enclaves I will never figure out. But he did. He did not just rent them homes on the Catholic collection plate ticket, oh no. He BOUGHT them homes. Talk about leaving a trail…

Eventually the outflow of monthly cash for mortgages was a visible drain, and a crisis developed, a cash crisis, for the Catholic Church in San Francisco. Much wailing and crying for many months… as what was available to sell to recoup the lost money? Did they sell their investment rental property in some of the poorer parts of the City? Noooooo… they wrangled for months, contentious meetings with parents and priests over which parish properties, some with beloved parochial schools attached, to sell – not necessarily of value in themselves, but large plots in good locations, often on corners.

Quinn had been approaching retirement and had planned, as he was known to be “close” to JPII, to finish his days in ducal luxe at some fabulous ancient property in Italy, was, instead, summarily off shored to………. Oxford. And recently, at least part time, shared a very comfortable home [scroll down] on the premises of a peninsula seminary, south of the City, with a paedophile (oh just “accused”) priest who also consults for the church on abuse cases. Well, no real surprise there!

But.. you know, we should conform to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops… whether or not we are Catholic. Who cares if the pope is Catholic – or Italian or Polish or German – the Supreme Court is.


Listening to chatter about Morgan Stanley and Wachovia in “talks”, sounds a lot like the Church… all you can do is laugh. I am also hearing Jim Cramer (why is he credible? about anything?), that screaming loon, say, “if you can’t take the pain, it’s OK to sell something”. You “can take something off the table”, just don’t leave the church.

Permission permission. Fucking stop needing their permission.


* I see it is Niederauer, a former HS classmate of Levanda. LOL Here is a quote from Archbishop Niederauer, via Wikipedia:

Our belief is that we have to hold up the standard of abstinence, and we do that in all of our teaching about sexuality by saying that sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong. Now that’s a very high bar to set and I understand that. And I don’t regret that – I subscribe to it and I teach it. I understand why people find it difficult and disagree with it. I understand why they do. I don’t agree with them…. What I would say is that people who disagree with us can disagree without being disagreeable.

Oh I don’t know… I feel like getting out a broad brush of “disagreeable”, Just for .. FUN.


In my inbox tonight is a beg… yes a beg, from Keenan of NARAL, to please contact congress so that:

Right now, members of Congress are writing next year’s budget bill, and determining what programs get funded at what levels. We need as much political will behind pro-choice priorities as possible, given President Bush’s persistent veto threats.

Call on your lawmaker, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to continue standing firm for these important initiatives:

  • Fix the birth-control price crisis. Congress must bring down the price of birth control to $5 or $10 instead of $50 or more for students and low-income women.
  • Improve women’s health by increasing funds for the federal family-planning program.
  • Cut taxpayer dollars on fraudulent “abstinence-only” programs.

I am pretty sure if I keep reading Kathryn Jean Lopez, that vigilant pro-life Catholic eagle eye, at NRO’s The Corner, I will know more than if I wait for the Dems to “let” me know. It was she who let me know (I read her cackling joy at congress shafting Planned Parenthood funding) that the congress had slashed funds for subsidised birth control as the budget worked its way along…

Everything is working out so well………..


Turkey – carvings on street paver stone indicating the route to a bordello



1. marisacat - 18 September 2008

Seems the MMF problems are spreading…. FP of the online NYT

Money Market Funds Enter a World of Risk

Published: September 17, 2008

Money market funds have been among the few places that investors could put their cash and sleep peacefully.

At the moment, that is not necessarily true.

2. marisacat - 18 September 2008

Just got an email from bay,

she is OK, back home with the relieved-to-be-home kitties… her home has some damage, but very little that will not be covered. Some water damage, but minor, some seeped in windows and doors, but she has tile flooring near exterior doors. A bit of wood flooring will need replacement.

No big trees on her property came down. She has lights, and gas in the tank and is going to work to see what can be done there. There was a 20 foot surge in Bolivar Peninsula – she says 85% – 90% destroyed, as well as western end of Galveston, Clear Lake – took the hard hits. Some areas that were vulnerable but had 20 ft levee systems fared better…

She said she was going to bed and sent the email an hour ago, so I won’t email and ask, but will copy out the bit of her email about the political battle to come:

there is going to be a political battle over all this, over whether or not new construction will be permitted in areas so heavily destroyed. the land commissioner wants to extablish a 60x distance from the shoreline with x representing the degree of erosion from this storm. as i understand it, if the beach at crystal city lost 12 feet of beachfront due to storm erosion no new construction would be permitted within 720 feet of the tidal line. i suppose they can do that by eliminating insurance in those zones. however, west beach had quite a bit of wealthy investors building beach houses for use as well as rental so i think this is going to be a legal battle that’ll go on for a few years.

galveston, of course, will rebuild. the damage appears pretty horrid but nothing like on either side of it. i did see a figure that stated out of the 7000 historical structures within the city itself (seawall protected) 1700 of them suffered damage. from that i infer there is much more repairable structural damage than structures completely destroyed. i also take heart in those remaining 5300 that i will assume suffered somethign more similar to what i have to deal with. of course im not sure this factoid does not include flood damage, which is a mess, but generally rising water damage is generally repairable although usually not covered by standard insurance. anyway that’s my report.

IB – any news of your brother? How is he holding up?

3. marisacat - 18 September 2008

The latest from Nouriel Roubini… in RGE Monitor. I was challenged while reading there last week to register (maybe there is a limit you can access with out registration) so “marisacat at aol dot com” and pass word is “kittycat” if anyone needs it.

Over and over whta I hear is that the American tax payer got dumped on, forced to buy the highly vulnerable parts of Wall St biz while private capital held the profitable parts.

NR says AIG should have been forced into bankruptcy reorganistion.

Way to go congress!

4. marisacat - 18 September 2008

The Hill:

[M]eanwhile, Senate GOP and Democratic leaders have brokered a major deal to extend business tax breaks, patch the alternative minimum tax and renew dozens of expiring energy provisions — a bill each side said was necessary to complete before Election Day.

A big Senate debate expected this week over Iraq and President Bush’s troop surge never panned out, with enough Republicans siding with Democrats to advance a massive defense policy bill and choke off a long list of amendments.

And in another sign that Democrats don’t plan to wage a big fight, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Wednesday that he won’t combine a stimulus package that the GOP opposes with a stop-gap spending bill. /snip/

They seem to be getting along just fine.

5. Intermittent Bystander - 18 September 2008

Great news that bay’s trees held up and the water seepage wasn’t too bad. Glad the power was running on return, as well. Hope her friends and neighbors also made out ok.

My brother was doing fine on Tuesday – electricity and water service were uninterrupted, his laptop survived the splashes from the ceiling leak, and he was just taking it easy while waiting to get back to work. (His job involves regional travel, so everything was in limbo, for the time being.) Hope to get another update today.

I think he’s experiencing some post-hurricane shock as the photos of coastal devastation (and holdout survivor stories) begin to hit the wires. . . his last e-mail mentioned a guy who was Medivac’d for thousands of mosquito bites. . . No doubt local news is pretty surreal, right now.

6. NYCO - 18 September 2008

It seems like world panic has taken hold, enough so that the Central Bank Superfriends (Fed and other central banks) have pumped in a crapload of money overnight, which is why the European markets haven’t tanked.

Wonder how long that band-aid will suffice.

7. Intermittent Bystander - 18 September 2008

From Reuters: Morgan Stanley in talks as fear grips financials.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of mergers and acquisitions for either good reasons or because people don’t have choices,” said Wells Fargo Chairman Richard Kovacevich.

He said his company was “buying with both hands” and he felt “like a kid in a candy store” given the distressed state of financial assets, but declined to comment on targets.

U.S. authorities have spent $900 billion to prop up the financial system and housing market.

Isn’t that sweet.

8. NYCO - 18 September 2008

Latest Biden gem…

Biden calls paying higher taxes a patriotic act

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says that paying higher taxes is the patriotic thing to do for wealthier Americans.


As you can see by the slightly inaccurate AP headline, this is going to be spun seven ways from Sunday by the McCain campaign. Why didn’t Biden just put on a tie-dye shirt and roll a joint while he was at it?

9. marisacat - 18 September 2008

hmmm I was about to say Biden will be on GMA this morning, the Chris, Diane and Robin’s excellent adventure on a train (gah) – and he can re work it… but:

”We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people,” Biden said in an interview on ABC’s ”Good Morning America.”

Noting that wealthier Americans would indeed pay more, Biden said: ”It’s time to be patriotic … time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut.”

10. marisacat - 18 September 2008

There is a lot of gibberish analysis out there – on the candidates — who both seem lost to me, but ChicTrib has a series starting on American Anxiety:

Americans in this campaign season worry more about the economy than any other issue. The world is why. Its economic web has spread to every cranny of our daily lives–to your house and to the crumbling investment houses of Wall Street–fueling growth but leaving many Americans to wonder when they’ll see the benefits.

John McCain and Barack Obama both promise relief, largely through competing tax cuts, health-care cost reduction and job-creating alternative energy plans. Both pledge to improve education to help students compete globally. They load the fine print of their Web sites with ideas for economic relief.

But on the campaign trail, neither candidate is working hard to sell America on a comprehensive plan to cope with the fast-changing rules of the global economy–a rethinking of business, education, government and personal choices in a world where prosperity comes with stratification and insecurity, and where the new winners and losers are easy to spot.

11. marisacat - 18 September 2008

I can barely work up a snicker:


He’ll speak at 10:15 am ET

12. marisacat - 18 September 2008

Dow + 210

because what? Official Line: Emergency credit lines opened up the world over. Oh that so reassures me.

13. NYCO - 18 September 2008

12. Basically the governments of the world threw a shitload of cash at a hurricane. It’s doubtful whether this morning’s rally will last to the end of the week, or even the end of the day for that matter.

14. marisacat - 18 September 2008

the market fell as Bush spoke… last I saw was around 140+

15. NYCO - 18 September 2008

All through this entire year-long Wall Street crisis, you keep hearing about “exposure.” How much these companies have invested in bad companies or bad loans. They have been “exposed.” And the companies scramble to “limit their exposure.”

Seems to me that ordinary Americans should be thinking about limiting their exposure to a bad system.

I cringe whenever I have to buy a new appliance now. Whenever I have to buy a new appliance, I expose myself to shoddy workmanship, bad installation and poor customer service. Same goes for politicians. I refuse to give any of my money or effort until the political market “crashes” and we sort some of this stuff out through true political action. It won’t be sorted out in the latest quadrennial DumbocracyFest.

16. NYCO - 18 September 2008

For those playing the home game, this up-to-the-minute graphic shows Dow in real time:

link to nytimes markets link

Just keep reloading it, it updates every minute or so.

17. marisacat - 18 September 2008

It won’t be sorted out in the latest quadrennial DumbocracyFest.

Too true…………


they are just dragging us along, til we say “STOP”. I feel at least I made to the shoulder of the road where i just watch.

18. NYCO - 18 September 2008

Looks like I was right about it maybe not even lasting the day…

19. NYCO - 18 September 2008

Apropos of nothing… a lost Mozart composition – just a melody sketch – has been discovered in a French library.


Mozart: always someone you’re glad to see turn up in a room…

20. marisacat - 18 September 2008

I’d vote for Mozart…

21. mattes - 18 September 2008

I don’t understand. Isn’t anyone worried about inflation anymore?

And why is gambling without acutally buying stocks allowed at all? Was it always like this?

And with all the buyouts, banks, investment companies and insurance companies are even further in bed with each other. How can they ever begin to undo the Gramm bill.

22. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

I’d like to know how AIG was allowed to become a company that has trillions in assets. That was a nightmare just waiting to happen if something went wrong, as it did. Extreme Capitalism: American Edition.

23. NYCO - 18 September 2008

20. I’d have Mozart’s baby.

24. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

US helicopter troops die in Iraq

A US military helicopter has crashed in southern Iraq, killing seven US soldiers, the military has said.

25. mattes - 18 September 2008


AIG’s board:


Any familiar names??

26. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

From Einstein’s ‘Why Socialism’, 1949:

The individual has become more conscious than ever of his dependence upon society. But he does not experience this dependence as a positive asset, but rather as a threat to his natural rights, or even to his economic existence.

The economic anarchy of capitalist society is the real source of the evil.

The means of production — that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods — may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organised political society.

Private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education).

Production is carried on for profit, not for use. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labour, and to the crippling of the social consciousness of individuals.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.

In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilised in a planned fashion.

A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work.

The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop a sense of responsibility for his fellow men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.

27. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

Protesters at the McCain/Palin Iowa rally. Woohoo.

28. NYCO - 18 September 2008

LOL, get this… New York Times “journalism” finally gets them in hot water…

Editors’ Note
An earlier version of this article cited two sources who were said to have been briefed on a conversation in which John J. Mack, chief executive of Morgan Stanley, had told Vikrim S. Pandit, Citigroup’s chief executive, that “we need a merger partner or we’re not going to make it.” On Thursday, Morgan Stanley vigorously denied that Mr. Mack had made the comment, as did Citigroup, which had declined to comment on Wednesday.

The Times’s two sources have since clarified their comments, saying that because they were not present during the discussions, they could not confirm that Mr. Mack had in fact made the statement. The Times should have asked Morgan Stanley for comment and should not have used the quotation without doing more to verify the sources’ version of events.

Wow, talk about shitty journalism. Not that that’s anything new from the Times…

Would be cool if Morgan Stanley sued their ass. Now that would be popcorn-worthy.

29. mattes - 18 September 2008

In New York, the game of musical chairs continues, and while those responsible for the carnage will probably not die broken in the gutter after crashing from their seats, they seem no longer to be receiving golden parachutes as they are kicked out the door.

The US dollar was down 1.2% against a basket of major currencies, but oil recovered and gold had its largest gain ever in absolute dollar terms, closing at $866 per ounce.

Asia no longer listening to New YOrk:


30. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

Democratic Congress May Adjourn, Leave Crisis to Fed, Treasury

Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) — The Democratic-controlled Congress, acknowledging that it isn’t equipped to lead the way to a solution for the financial crisis and can’t agree on a path to follow, is likely to just get out of the way.

Lawmakers say they are unlikely to take action before, or to delay, their planned adjournments — Sept. 26 for the House of Representatives, a week later for the Senate. While they haven’t ruled out returning after the Nov. 4 elections, they would rather wait until next year unless Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who are leading efforts to contain the crisis, call for help.

One reason, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday, is that “no one knows what to do” at the moment.

“When you rush to judgment, you usually make mistakes,” said Sherwood Boehlert, a former Republican congressman from New York. “This is something you can’t go on forever without addressing, but Congress in a short span of time is best served by going home.”

Emergency session for Terry Schiavo? No problem.

Emergency session to deal with the meltdown? Why bother?

I think congress is best served by going home permanently.

31. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

Meanwhile, the Bipartisan Task Force for Responsible Fiscal Action Act of 2007 sits on the shelf in bill limbo.

What do they mean they don’t know what to do? It’s obvious they just don’t want to do what’s necessary.

32. CSTAR - 18 September 2008

# 12 So much for that. Dow and S & P down.

As people realize that there private retirement accounts are being frittered away as collateral damage by an unregulated capital/financial system (at least those that have had employment with reasonable investment options, not many to be sure) maybe the idea of “direct action” might be more appealing to them. It sure is to me. You know like the Rumsfeldian “stuff happens” kind of thing. Maybe a little demo at the “Milton Friedman Institute” or at some Wall-street firm. I could fancy walking out with a laptop or two., maybe a new desk.

“Hey Hank Greenberg, nice suit you were wearing the other night at Charlie Roses.. Could I have a look in your closet, I could do with a new wardrobe”. Or as some Wall street exec walks to his car “Hey nice Ferrarri you’ve got there. How about we take a little ride to your place, and maybe you can help me out a bit. Now I don’t want your Ferrari, gas prices and all. But I sure could use a nice $5000 bicycle.”

Of course Obama has a lot of cronies there at the U of C. This is not the kind of change he had in mind. I don’t think.

33. mattes - 18 September 2008

Did it ever come out who shorted airplane stocks just prior to 9/11?

What is this:

…SilverStream had built internet transactional and trading platforms for Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Banker’s Trust, Alex Brown, Morgan Stanley; to name a few. I was responsible for these accounts at one time or another. Coincidently, several of these companies purchased space in the World Trade Center and simultaneously completed disaster-recovery and business continuance implementations just prior to 9-11.

And hopefully, you’re already somewhat familiar with the roles that these financial institutions played on 9-11, and if you include Marsh & McLennan, and another client of mine in 2001, AIG, on the list: you pretty much have the ..major players involved in the financial aspect of the 9-11 fraudulent trading activity. You might also have noticed the hidden information regarding Marsh on the bottom half of the screen approximately 6 ½ minutes into Loose Change.

I didn’t realize the scope of these connections myself, until about a month after 9-11

…If you’re interested in researching what I just mentioned about the financial institutions involved, just Google Buzzy Krongard + A.B. Brown, and you’ll see the connections to our Intelligence Community.


Claims he worked at Marsh & McLennan.

34. aemd - 18 September 2008

Ioz on the market problems.

“Of course, what drove rising home prices was not an increase in quality, nor an increase in actual personal wealth, but rather the fact that buyers on the housing market were afforded increasingly large mortgages with decreasing obligations to make down payments or to, you know, pay the fuckers back.”

The whole post is a good read.

35. mattes - 18 September 2008

34 The profit on those morgages were taken up front as fees and points. And the non-conventional loans of 110% of the value on property started under Clinton.

36. marisacat - 18 September 2008

LOL This is pretty fine from IOZ too. I never saw that the Dems would do much anyway about health care or education or infrastructure or or… the long list of Dem party election promises.

However, about that losing war in Afghanistan/Pakistan (and don’t forget AFRICOM) and finagling to keep tens of thousands of soldiers and many more paramilitaries in IRaq….. well there goes all sorts of much needed help for Americans.

On Sunday night there was a moderately severe wind storm in Pittsburgh, and my power is still out, and expected to remain so for at least another 24 hours. Roads crumble. Bridges are closed, or ought to be, all over town. Rail service is a joke. Compared to Europe and East Asia, fuck dial-up, we might as well replace the internet with a system of semaphore. Meanwhile, the funny-money pump-n-dump full-facial economy is spiraling faster than a turd down a toilet.

37. marisacat - 18 September 2008

A snip on Obama from Politico, but it is both of them. What a shock.

nd Obama is available to the press corps in spurts – most recently, for an availability in Ohio eight days ago. He has had five press availabilities in the three weeks since the Democratic convention, several of them focused on Hurricane Gustav.

Since the dawn of campaign planes, print reporters were protective of their seat assignments, since those closer to the front had a better chance of asking a question if the candidate strolled back.

But in a sign of the times, Obama reporters in recent weeks have spread out to the empty rows, confident that there would be nothing to see up front.

38. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

MSNBC is reporting that Obamalama is more than 1/2 hr for the start of a rally in N Mexico. Cooking up more sarcasm in the back room, I suppose.

39. NYCO - 18 September 2008

Wow, I guess we don’t actually have capitalism in the U.S. any more. I think what happened in the last hour (federal government essentially knuckling under and deciding to attempt to pay off all bad IB debt) will have done more to create real politics than any phony “Hope” revolution.

Although there’s still tomorrow.

40. marisacat - 18 September 2008

oh this made me laugh… full text from Tapper (he’s got several on “On that Joe” as well, long Biden self induced reveries):


Profiles in Porridge

September 17, 2008 8:39 PM

So, just to recap, of the four folks running for president and vice president on the two major party tickets, on the government’s decision to bail out AIG, the responses have been two flip-flops, a refusal to take a position, and a continuing refusal to seriously answer questions from the press.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has gone from opposing the bailout to reluctantly supporting it, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., has gone from opposing it to not taking a position, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has not taken a position, and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, well, … it’s day 18 since she’s been introduced as McCain’s VP nominee, and apparently, she thinks she can handle the financial sector but she can’t deal with a bunch of reporters.

– jpt

September 17, 2008 | Permalink | User Comments (25) | TrackBack (0)

41. marisacat - 18 September 2008

hmm as the day winds along, clear that nobody is in charge and nobody wants to say anything much at all…………….

42. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

Obama just said he plans to introduce a bill to help homeowners. Fine, but Harry Reid is going home. So much for that idea.

43. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

Rep Jim Moran: “Greed is good sometimes.”

That’s a bit of an oxymoron, n’est-ce pas?

44. marisacat - 18 September 2008

Not much to add… wonder if the American people get it. Some do of course.

I don’t see that the 110th congress was better or different than the 109th, 108th, etc.

Sort of feels like many shoes left to drop.

45. marisacat - 18 September 2008

Dow +400 Nasdaq +100… seem to think there is a Market Jesus en route. Or playing around

46. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

46. Market Jesus

My spidey senses must be working overtime lately (ESP). I was just thinking about a post I wanted to write earlier today about this meltdown – until I depressed myself into not writing it – with a reference to the 20th/21st centuries Makeover (Post-Christian) Jesus who, in your “Christian” nation, doesn’t run the moneylenders out of the temple but who instead brings money he’s collected from the poor to give to the moneylenders.

47. marisacat - 18 September 2008

Makeover (Post-Christian) Jesus who, in your “Christian” nation, doesn’t run the moneylenders out of the temple but who instead brings money he’s collected from the poor to give to the moneylenders.

well… that is pretty much what is happening. American people, top to bottom got saddled with shit and paid for it.

I hear talk of a witch hunt for (as in against) short sellers. Geesh. Good luck. They just work the existing problems..

48. marisacat - 18 September 2008

Even the most rot gut Dem pundits and mouthpieces are slowly getting it there will be no vaunted middle class tax cut if Obama manages the full crawl over the next 45 + days… all the way to the WH. And he will have to seriously trim his long long long list of promises… whihc I never thought the Dems planned to do anyway, as they kept hinting was the case.

Tax revenues are crashing crashing crashing.

49. marisacat - 18 September 2008

AP via NYT, they say closing a MMF after a pull out of cash is unprecedented…

On Wednesday alone, investors pulled more than $89 billion from money-market mutual funds, according to data from iMoneyNet, publisher of the newsletter Money Fund Report. Combined with an additional $80 billion removed in the five preceding business days, total fund assets shrank nearly 5 percent from Sept. 10 to Wednesday, when the total stood at $3.35 trillion — the biggest weekly drop since iMoneyNet began tracking such data in 1975.

In explaining its decision to close Prime Money Market Fund, Putnam said, ”Serious constraints on liquidity in money market instruments created the risk that in order to process redemptions, the fund would realize losses in selling its portfolio securities. In the face of these challenges, the trustees determined to close the fund to ensure equitable treatment of all fund shareholders.” ….

Putnam’s move to suddenly close the fund because of an investor pullout appeared to be unprecedented in the 38-year history of the money-market fund industry, said Don Phillips, a managing director at fund researcher Morningstar Inc., and Connie Bugbee, managing editor of iMoneyNet.

50. NYCO - 18 September 2008

Today was really something, and I’m convinced that disgruntled smaller investors — a group that neither McCain nor Obama speak to — are going to be at the forefront of real political action in years to come. They’re neither Democratic nor Republican in ideology, but they are horrified about what’s happened to Wall Street (even by their arguably low standards of horror – these folks aren’t exactly socialists, after all). It reminds me a lot of the helpless “What are they doing?” reaction that liberals had to the Iraq war — the feeling that the American government is completely breaking all its own rules. Will these disgruntled investors be any more efficacious at political organizing than the Kos Kidz? I don’t know, but they are probably smarter about money and tactics, and probably more willing to take the gloves off. They don’t lie to themselves about their motives: they freely admit it’s about their money.

We truly are on our way to a banana republic after the events of this week. Not that that’s any surprise, but the U.S. government lost all moral and military credibility with Iraq and Guantanamo and torture… this week they’ve lost all financial and free-market credibility. Although it is quite true, none of this happened overnight.

51. NYCO - 18 September 2008

42. Obama just said he plans to introduce a bill to help homeowners.

Obama could help homeowners first by making them admit they’re not homeowners. People who have “bought” houses by borrowing 100% with no money down, are not homeowners. It’s this disingenuousness that is obscuring the real sources of our country’s financial problems. Maybe homebuyers would be a better term. This conception of owning something without having fully paid for it is exactly what led us into having a financial system where people pay for debt with more debt. Which is coming apart at the seams right now.

52. NYCO - 18 September 2008

Sorry for the rash of posts but I didn’t want to forget to post this…

Anyone who wonders why Dems/liberals just can’t get along… well, I don’t know if these two college professors are Dems or liberals, but they do purport to be competitive debate coaches. Supposedly.

Ah, American higher education in the early 21st century. And thousands of American kids are actually going up to their necks in debt for the privilege…

53. marisacat - 18 September 2008

oh post however you like NYCO, most people post in spasms (I do, LOL), as they are finding things or sitting down for a bit.


yes millions of smal investors will weigh in… and they won’t need permission from Jim Cramer to sell.

54. marisacat - 18 September 2008

LOL Wired may have a line on the Palin hacker. Who, the hacker presumptive, also says there was nothing there, at all, to derail her run as VP… . If so Sully will commence to eat his fingers in irritation… he’s over at his site swearing eternal vigilance!

The story was briefly posted Wednesday to the 4chan forum where the hack first surfaced. Bloggers have connected the handle of the poster, “Rubico,” to an e-mail address, and tentatively identified the owner as a college student in Tennessee.

Threat Level was unable to reach the student by phone because his number is unlisted. A person who identified himself as the student’s father, when reached at home, said he could not talk about the matter and would have no comment. The father is a Democratic state representative in Tennessee. Threat Level is not identifying them by name because authorities have not identified any suspects in the case, and the link to the student so far is tenuous.

55. marisacat - 18 September 2008

hmm does she hear herself?

Jane Bryant Quinn just said America is “too big to fail”… LOL and that we “now have the world with us” and they are bailing us out.

This was presented as Good News, via Lehrer News Hour.


56. marisacat - 18 September 2008

whoops. via Marc Ambinger, full text:

Biden’s “Sick And Tired Of This Phoniness”

18 Sep 2008 07:01 pm
From an interview today with CBS’s Katie Couric:

Katie: “Your vice presidential rival, Governor Palin, said “To the rest of America, that’s not patriotism. Raising taxes is about killing jobs and hurting small businesses and making things worse.”

Biden: “How many small businessmen are making one million, four hundred thousand–average in the top 1 percent. Give me a break. I remind my friend, John McCain, what he said–when Bush called for war and tax cuts–he said, it was immoral, immoral, to take a nation to war and not have anybody pay for it. I am so sick and tired of this phoniness. The truth of the matter is that we are in trouble. And the people who do not need a new tax cut should be willing, as patriotic Americans, to understand the way to get this economy back up on their feet is to give middle class taxpayers a break. We take the tax cut they’re getting and we give it to the middle class.”

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

Jane Bryant Quinn just said America is “too big to fail”

Wasn’t the size of the Titanic the reason they said that it couldn’t sink?

Jus’ sayin’.

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

Larry Kudlow blames Congress and low income families for housing crisis: ‘Guilty Liberal Consciences’ Forced Banks To Make Bad Loans

Kudlow: It’s time for the Congress, Republicans and Democrats to stop encouraging—exhorting and forcing banks to make low income loans with no documentation. Stop that—literally pushed these lenders to make low income loans

Scarborough: Hold on a second. You cannot blame this on low income people that are getting a house.

Kudlow: I’m not blaming them.

Kudlow: Sub prime, sub standard loans were a creature of the US Congress in the 90’s and the 2000’s.

Scarborough: Are you saying that poor people have caused this crisis?

Kudlow: Not poor people. Members of Congress who were rich people. But their Liberal guilt consciences forced banks and lenders to make lousy sub-standard loans and that has to be repealed…not everybody can afford a home, Joe. Some people have to rent.”

Wait, weren’t the Republicans in charge of Congress for much of the 90s and 00s?!?!

59. marisacat - 18 September 2008

Kudlow is a nut. Belongs in a box with Jim Cramer.

60. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

Vermont candidate plans Bush prosecution

BURLINGTON, Vt.—Lots of political candidates make campaign promises. But not like Charlotte Dennett’s.

Dennett, 61, the Progressive Party’s candidate for Vermont Attorney General, said Thursday she will prosecute President Bush for murder if she’s elected Nov. 4.

Dennett, an attorney and investigative journalist from Cambridge, says Bush must be held accountable for the deaths of thousands of people — U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians — in Iraq, and that the Vermont attorney general would have jurisdiction to do so.

She said she would appoint as special prosecutor former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, the author of “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder,” a new book.

“Someone has to step forward,” said Dennett, flanked by Bugliosi at a news conference announcing her plan. “Someone has to say we cannot put up with this lack of accountability any more.”

Dennett and two others are challenging incumbent Attorney General William Sorrell, a Democrat, in the Nov. 4 election.

Bugliosi, 74, who gained fame as the prosecutor of killer Charles Manson, said any state attorney general would have jurisdiction since Bush committed “overt acts” including the military’s recruitment of soldiers in Vermont and lying about the threat posed by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in speeches that were aired in Vermont and elsewhere.

“No man, even the president of the United States, is above the law,” said Bugliosi, a Democrat.

“For whatever ominous reason, this bedrock American principle so essential to our democracy and who we are as a people has been knowingly ignored by this nation’s establishment, which in effect has decided that George Bush should not be held accountable for his monumental crime of taking this nation to war in Iraq under false pretenses.”

Dennett, who has never run for elected office before, said Vermonters are frustrated that Bush hasn’t been impeached. She called her initiative “another avenue.”

Anti-Bush sentiment runs deep in Vermont.

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

ACLU, NAACP see bias in voting task force

But in a joint statement Wednesday night, the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and the NAACP’s Milwaukee branch said they were “deeply troubled by the apparent discriminatory focus” of the task force.

“The formation of a voter fraud task force only in Milwaukee County reinforces an unsubstantiated perception that City of Milwaukee residents are more prone to commit election fraud,” the organizations said. “And, regardless of intent, a racial subtext is barely below the surface, given the fact that Milwaukee is the only majority-minority city in the state.

“The truth is that voting irregularities can and do happen throughout Wisconsin — but when they do not occur in Milwaukee, they are called ‘mistakes’ and not ‘fraud.’ There was, for example, no law enforcement outcry when earlier this year we learned that hundreds of voters in Oconomowoc voted at the wrong polling place for years, in ways that likely influenced local election outcomes. There is no evidence that voting errors in Milwaukee are any more grounded in ‘fraud’ than were the voting errors in Oconomowoc.”

62. Heather-Rose Ryan - 18 September 2008

39 NYCO: Wow, I guess we don’t actually have capitalism in the U.S. any more.

Yeah, that’s what I’ve been thinking for the past two days.

54 MCat: I’m sure they’re very disappointed not to find a cache of lurid cybersex emails proving her alleged affairs.

The father is a Democratic state representative in Tennessee.

LOL, not surprising. The little cutthroat operatives are carefully nurtured from birth. Too bad they’re not efficient cutthroats, though.

56: speaking of which, Biden is really not the guy you want to have wading into the fray for you when you’re in a difficult political situation. Talk about pouring gasoline on the fire.

63. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

Well, one of the reasons Kudlow and guys like him hate short sellers is that they make money by capitalizing on the fact that the emperor really doesn’t have any clothes. Now, I think that short sellers should have to actually have gone to the trouble of borrowing the security they’re shorting, but they seem to me to be part of a “free” market that runs on paper. Having them around, though, puts the lie to the “markets always go up over time” religion that Kudlow and his ilk make their living selling.

64. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

short selling in moderation, I think.

I listened to this scary interview yesterday. It’s interesting that all of these guys who’ve been warning of this for some time (like Roubini too) are suddenly worth listening to:

“The Fed and the Treasury are very, very worried about the stability of the economy,” Greenberger says. “They’re worried about what this means to Main Street, about what it means to you and me. … In the absence of this rather dramatic move I think they believe that we would enter something much deeper, possibly, than a recession.” [snip]

Greenberger asserts that the fact that there was “no adult supervision” of Wall Street will cost the American public in the long run.

“The $85 billion will come out of the United States Treasury. And either we’re going to fund that from China or you and I are going to have to pay for it through taxes,” he says. “[As] a lot of people are saying now: We privatize profits; we socialize losses.”

65. marisacat - 18 September 2008

hmm speaking of Biden, he bares his teeth and clenches his jaw, in a from the trail stump reply to (I guess) the Palin take on the whole patriotism/taxes thing.

LOL I saw it earlier in TV, top vid in this link to The Page

66. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

Bubba’s going to be on The View on Monday, FYI.

67. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

Before prom, a breathalyzer test?

Never mind the rush to rent tuxedos and pick out the perfect dress — local high-schoolers now have yet another thing to worry about before attending prom: passing the new breathalyzer test.

The nearby towns of Milford and Trumbull are among 12 state school districts — out of a total 166 across Connecticut — that have begun administering breathalyzer tests to all high-school students before social gatherings such as dances or sporting events. Area school officials have defended the tests as an effective way to reduce underage drinking, but some, such as the local executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, have questioned their constitutionality by asserting that the tests violate the students’ rights to privacy.

“The Department of Education thinks it is permissible to institute this device,” he said, “but the state department does not regulate or provide any direction.”

Responding to the ACLU’s recent objections to the program, Murphy said the legal grounds for testing students before extracurricular activities and before normal school days are entirely separate, and schools are not violating constitutional rights by using the tests only for after-school events.

“Participating in an extracurricular is a privilege,” he said. “It is not part of the school program or the school day, so to speak, so the students have an option of attending. So if they opt to attend and understand in advance that they may be subject to drug testing, then the fact that they’re participating in the activity indicates their acceptance of those rules.”

68. marisacat - 18 September 2008

I would hate to be a child or teenager today, in too many communities it is viewed as an utter liability. No joy at all in a new generation…

69. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

There has been much wailing here lately about the truancy rate in MPS. After years of dumbed down books, of being confronted by security and adults who treat you like a criminal, in underfunded schools, with shitty empty books, WHY GO?

Seriously, I don’t understand why kids listen to anything adults say.

70. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 September 2008

America will need a $1,000bn bail-out

It is true that the US government has very deep pockets. Privately held US government debt was under $4,400bn at the end of 2007, representing less than 32 per cent of gross domestic product. This is roughly half the debt burden carried by most European countries, and an even smaller fraction of Japan’s debt levels. It is also true that despite the increasingly tough stance of US regulators, the financial crisis has probably already added at most $200bn-$300bn to net debt, taking into account the likely losses on nationalising the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the costs of the $29bn March bail-out of investment bank Bear Stearns, the potential fallout from the various junk collateral the Federal Reserve has taken on to its balance sheet in the last few months, and finally, Wednesday’s $85bn bail-out of the insurance giant AIG.

Were the financial crisis to end today, the costs would be painful but manageable, roughly equivalent to the cost of another year in Iraq. Unfortunately, however, the financial crisis is far from over, and it is hard to imagine how the US government is going to succeed in creating a firewall against further contagion without spending five to 10 times more than it has already, that is, an amount closer to $1,000bn to $2,000bn.

71. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008
72. diane - 18 September 2008

Great to hear that Bay is okay and has only minimal damage to her home and that Intermittent Bystander’s brother is doing okay!

73. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008
74. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

Some Ike victims may not be allowed to rebuild

GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Hundreds of people whose beachfront homes were wrecked by Hurricane Ike may be barred from rebuilding under a little-noticed Texas law. And even those whose houses were spared could end up seeing them condemned by the state.

Now here’s the saltwater in the wound: It could be a year before the state tells these homeowners what they may or may not do.

Worse, if these homeowners do lose their beachfront property, they may get nothing in compensation from the state.

The reason: A 1959 law known as the Texas Open Beaches Act. Under the law, the strip of beach between the average high-tide line and the average low-tide line is considered public property, and it is illegal to build anything there.

Over the years, the state has repeatedly invoked the law to seize houses in cases where a storm eroded a beach so badly that a home was suddenly sitting on public property. The aftermath of Ike could see the biggest such use of the law in Texas history.

“I don’t like it one bit,” said Phillip Curtis, 58, a Dallas contractor who owns two homes – a $350,000 vacation home and a $200,000 rental – on Galveston Island’s Jamaica Beach. “I think the state should allow us to try to save the houses. I don’t appreciate the state telling people, `Now it belongs to us.’ It breaks your heart.”

The former state senator who wrote the law had little sympathy.

“We’re talking about damn fools that have built houses on the edge of the sea for as long as man could remember and against every advice anyone has given,” A.R. “Babe” Schwartz said.

75. liberalcatnip - 18 September 2008

Flip flop: McCain, Obama rethink drug reimportation: aides (because of tainted products from China). Hello? Canada is not China but suddenly our drugs are suspicious? I just don’t think the political will is there to fight the drug company lobbyists on this issue otherwise neither campaign would be so thick as to suggest that drugs from my country should raise concerns.

…recent scares involving chemical-laced batches of baby formula and the blood thinner heparin — both made in China — have raised new concerns that safely bringing in additional medical products from overseas could be tougher than expected.

“Both candidates were in favor of reimportation and sort of subsequent to the heparin incident (there’s) a lot less enthusiasm,” said Dora Hughes, a health policy adviser to Democratic candidate Obama.

“We have a better understanding of the challenges that go along to support the importation,” she said, speaking before the Generic Pharmaceutical Association’s (GPhA) annual conference in Washington.

I’ll bet she got an earful about those “challenges” from that bunch.

76. lucid - 18 September 2008

Before prom, a breathalyzer test?

Good Christ… not only would there have been no one at my prom, but no one at athletic events. Back when I was a jock [strangely enough, that time existed, for most of high school] they just made you sign shit – they never tested you. Now they’re testing those who attend?

Fuck all.

If I ever have kids, I am not putting them into that kind of system.

Urine is sacred dammit!!! 🙂

77. lucid - 18 September 2008

fucked up the html… but on a side note – I was targeted in High School by a supposed friend of mine about pot. I was the class valedictorian, but I smoked pot, and hung out with all of the other miscreants that did. After it was pretty much common knowledge that I smoked pot, due to the fact that I requested the name ‘Buddha’ on the back of my tennis jersey my senior year, an old choir friend of mine started to get really friendly. And while she’d never shown any interest in drugs, one day asked me out of the blue if I could get some pot for her… later I found out her boyfriend was working on drug enforcement in high schools… while I got stoned with her boyfriend.

The fucked world of ‘enforcement’.

I’m still amazed that I drove perfectly well down I-94 from Detroit to Chicago, while tripping my ass off on acid.

The fortitude and stupidity of youth.

78. lucid - 19 September 2008

You can’t be bothered,
– Stream
Faucet morality.

The water monsters
Pry your soul to sleep.

While the plumbers ratchet

Ankle deep,
Watching for stones no one else can see,
The shoe drops.

And your precious sleep
From drip
To stream
To silence,
Pries your limbs

To make a semblance of something.

Of a life without monsters,

Where the water
Wakes the soul.

79. marisacat - 19 September 2008

that poem makes me desperate, more desperate for rain…

80. Madman in the Marketplace - 19 September 2008

No on Prop 8

I sure hope that CA is smarter than WI was four years ago.

I like the way the top ad is presented.

81. marisacat - 19 September 2008

thanks for that madman. last I read activist and organisers are tracking who among the wealthy who espouse ssm rights (or is gay) is plungling up. Apparently Brad Pitt is in, for 100K but no word yet from Rosie.

Also I think the latest Field poll indicates it should go down (or go the way of affirming SSM, wording can be confusing, last election I had to caredully parse the ballot measures, what a mess)

82. marisacat - 19 September 2008

new thread……………


………………. 8) ………………..

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