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Beautiful is a change of pace 21 September 2008

Posted by marisacat in Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.


Acacia vittata (Leguminosae) – Lake Logue wattle; native to south-western Australia – fruit

I was leafing thru the photographs at the UK Telegraph, where I often have luck… and landed on this. The gallery was said to be fruit [under the electronmicroscope), but the code on the photograph says “magnified seed”, which makes more sense…

Anyway, I did not bother to google the legend, just grabbed it and ran with it…



1. diane - 21 September 2008

Beautiful pic!

2. Madman in the Marketplace - 21 September 2008

Capitalizing on Crisis: Insurance Profiteers Demand Deregulation

So it comes as no surprise that, as the Bush White House and Democrats leaders of the Congress are hustling to avert a meltdown of American financial systems that even cautious observers are suggesting could be the worst since the Great Depression, insurance-industry lobbyists are working this week to slip a radical rewrite of regulations that currently empower states to protect consumers.

How radical? Imagine purchasing auto insurance over the internet from a Belgian firm that advertises the best prices. Then imagine, after your car is wrecked in a crash, that your calls to Brussels go unanswered. You contact the office of your state insurance commissioner and its consumer protection agency only to learn that they have no authority to sanction the firm. They can’t even warn other families against purchasing insurance from the Belgian company because that might represent an unfair restriction on trade.

That may sound like madness. But is a scenario that consumer protection groups and state insurance commissioners suggest could unfold if a fast-tracked proposal for financial services deregulation that was written to ease if not eliminate essential oversight of multi-national insurance and financial-service firms, the “Insurance Information Act of 2008” (H.R. 5840).

H.R. 5840 would effectively allow the Department of the Treasury to gut state regulation of some of the wealthiest and most powerful corporations in the country in order to assure that the U.S. complies with international agreements regarding insurance policy.

The bottom line with regard to this legislation, behind which the insurance industry has thrown all of its lobbying muscle, is summed up by one of the savviest of the state regulators, Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilwig. “(H.R. 5480) creates an unaccountable federal process that produces deregulation of the insurance industry to the detriment of consumers,” says Dilwig.

Were H.R. 5840 to be enacted, state insurance commissioners – who have in recent years done a far better job than their federal counterparts of protecting consumers from the excesses of insurance companies that now fancy themselves to be “financial services” firms – would be disempowered. Tough state regulations would be gutted. Policing units would be told to go easy on consumer protection in order to assure that foreign firms that want to get into lucrative U.S. insurance markets — and the managers of international trade agreements who advocate on their behalf – are satisfied.

Aren’t we past this deregulation madness yet?

3. liberalcatnip - 21 September 2008

Is Obama even paying attention? According to his “plan”:

• A global response. As I said on Friday, this is a global financial crisis and it requires a global solution. The United States must lead, but we must also insist that other nations, who have a huge stake in the outcome, join us in helping to secure the financial markets.

Hello? Thursday

The world’s main central banks on Thursday unveiled an emergency $180bn injection of dollar liquidity in the latest attempt to halt the escalating global financial market crisis.

4. liberalcatnip - 21 September 2008
5. liberalcatnip - 21 September 2008
6. marisacat - 22 September 2008


paying attention… hmm not sure if he is. I caught as much of the 60 Minutes interview as I could take (of each). Did nto see the CNBC of them both. I think he really liked the elderly black lady who called him back to the rope line in … think he and Kroft were in Charlotte… she told him her husband of 70 years had died trying to live long enough to vote for him.

7. marisacat - 22 September 2008

Catching MTP repeat… So much slobbery praise around for Paulson, and he is clearly such a worried, sweating errand boy. Brokaw raises what I heard Greenberg who started AIG say more than twice on Charlie Rose, to explore having the company raise as much as they could. He said 20 billion could come itnernally from solvent parts of AIG, 30 billion from somewhere else (forget where he said), 15 billion from sales of assets.. and he felt it could reach close to 80 billion without this big intervention.

Oh well……………….. since AIG is now jsut a smallish part of a Big Movable Horror Show.

8. marisacat - 22 September 2008

UKTelegraph has an article up on US tent cities appearing…

[I]n Reno, Nevada, the state with the nation’s highest repossessions rate, a tent city recently sprung up on the city’s outskirts and quickly filled up with about 150 people. Many, such as Sylvia Flynn, 51, who came from northern California, ended up homeless after losing their jobs and home.

Officials say they do not know how many homeless the city has. “But we do know that the soup kitchens are serving hundreds more meals a day and that we have more people who are homeless than we can remember,” Jodi Royal-Goodwin, the city’s redevelopment agency director, said.

In California, the upmarket city of Santa Barbara is housing homeless people who live in their cars in city car parks while Fresno, has several tent cities. Others have sprung up in Portland in Oregon, and Seattle, where homeless activists have set up mock tent cities at city hall to draw attention to the problem. /snip/

9. marisacat - 22 September 2008

Well alrighty then! Two limp fingers UP!

John McCain and Barack Obama called for more oversight in the bailout but said the expenditure would not force them to scale back their ambitious agendas


10. marisacat - 22 September 2008

Nouriel Roubini in FT

[T]he third stage was the collapse of other leveraged institutions that were both illiquid and most likely insolvent given their reckless lending: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, AIG and more than 300 mortgage lenders.

The fourth stage was panic in the money markets. Funds were competing aggressively for assets and, in order to provide higher returns to attract investors, some of them invested in illiquid instruments. Once these investments went bust, panic ensued among investors, leading to a massive run on such funds. This would have been disastrous; so, in another radical departure, the US extended deposit insurance to the funds.

The next stage will be a run on thousands of highly leveraged hedge funds. After a brief lock-up period, investors in such funds can redeem their investments on a quarterly basis; thus a bank-like run on hedge funds is highly possible. Hundreds of smaller, younger funds that have taken excessive risks with high leverage and are poorly managed may collapse. A massive shake-out of the bloated hedge fund industry is likely in the next two years./snip/

11. marisacat - 22 September 2008

More joy, via Roubini:

The real economic side of this financial crisis will be a severe US recession. Financial contagion, the strong euro, falling US imports, the bursting of European housing bubbles, high oil prices and a hawkish European Central Bank will lead to a recession in the eurozone, the UK and most advanced economies.

European financial institutions are at risk of sharp losses because of the toxic US securitised products sold to them; the massive increase in leverage following aggressive risk-taking and domestic securitisation; a severe liquidity crunch exacerbated by a dollar shortage and a credit crunch; the bursting of domestic housing bubbles; household and corporate defaults in the recession; losses hidden by regulatory forbearance; the exposure of Swedish, Austrian and Italian banks to the Baltic states, Iceland and southern Europe where housing and credit bubbles financed in foreign currency are leading to hard landings.

So want to see Pres Obama lecture Europe, old or new, about not pungling up enough troops for Afghanistan.

12. NYCO - 22 September 2008

Giant sucking sound as investors retreat from the market this morning…

Too late, the government will realize it should have upped the FDIC insurance limit beyond $100,000 per account, rather than bailing out a couple of investment banks. Instead of looking out for the average investor, they looked out for the bloated, failed super-rich. Way to go.

13. lucid - 22 September 2008

New book: Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan by Aaron Glantz Reviewed by Dahr Jamail

Funny you should mention that… This is what I have been busy organizing the last month. We should find out in the next day or two whether or not we have a very special guest headlining.

14. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

13. That’s excellent, lucid.

15. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

12. Speaking of the FDIC, after I wondered aloud last week about what would happen if it ran out of money I saw Suzie Orman(sp?) on Larry King’s show answer that question. I guess its solvency is guaranteed via congress/the Treasury dept. which would bail it out with taxpayer’s money, if necessary.

One good thing about this bail out plan: even if people know absolutely nothing about how the financial system works, they’ve gotten the message ie. “my money is gong to bail out private companies”. And that’s all they need to know to rebel against these financiers and politicians. Now, if they’d only learn that both of the big 2 parties are to blame.

16. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

As the netroots implode. I expect a few GBCW diaries after this post by kos, judging by some of the comments.

Bailing out
by kos
Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 10:15:24 AM MDT

There used to be a way for average Americans to eliminate their bad debt. Bankruptcy.

Then the financial sector with their lobbyists and Joe Biden and all their other friends decided that it was somehow wrong for credit issuers to manage their services responsibly. They’d rather carpet bomb their credit cards to every American ten times over, even those in college earning zero, without actually having to suffer the risk that those Americans default on their debts.

So the Bankruptcy Reform law eliminated that consumer tool.

Now the banks want exactly what they worked to deny their customers. Sure, it’s ironic.

But more so, is the little bit of cause and effect at play here. Consumers, once faced with debilitating financial difficulties, would declare bankruptcy to clear out their credit cards, while keeping their house.

With bankruptcy no longer an option, those individuals now simply turn in the keys to their homes and walk away. I’m no economist, nor did I sleep in a budget hotel last night, so I don’t know where this all fits in Devilstower grand unified theory on how we got into this mess, but it played its part.

17. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008
18. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

Chris Hedges: Fleecing What’s Left of the Treasury

Long excerpt:

Ralph Nader, who has spent his adult life battling corporations, understands more about the rise of the corporate state and the steady fleecing of American citizens by corporations than anyone else in the country. The core of his message is that Republicans and Democrats are hostage to corporate power.

Nader warned in a letter to Congress on July 23 that the federal government’s bank insurance fund may be insufficient to handle the developing crisis in the banking industry. The letter was, at the time, greeted with indifference and ridicule. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., at a congressional hearing, mentioned the letter and assured those present that “Our banks are well capitalized, our deposit insurance fund is sound. There’s absolutely no factual basis for saying that there’s not money there to pay.”

Two months later our federal bank insurance fund, which insures our bank deposits, is being swiftly emptied. The collapse of a huge commercial bank, such as Bank of America, which has assumed control of Merrill Lynch’s losses with no real idea of how extensive these losses are, could see ordinary depositors wiped out.

Nader warned eight years ago that the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) were about to tank like the savings and loan industry of the 1980s and ’90s. Because his warnings were ignored, taxpayers today face losing billions of dollars to cover these bad debts.

Nader, in a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox in 2006, criticized the exorbitant salaries of government-sponsored enterprise executives Jamie Gorelick, Daniel Mudd, Robert J. Levin and Timothy Howard. He noted in his letter that their financial incentives were in direct conflict with consumer financial security. A grave moral hazard was created by the accounting manipulations they sanctioned, Nader said. These manipulations benefited their personal wealth, yet there was no penalty for being caught.

Nader has called for an immediate halt to the increase in the national debt. He demands an end to corporate subsidies and unconditional taxpayer bailouts of corporations. And he has called for aggressive prosecution of corporate criminals.

“Given the contrast between the ‘free market’ ideology of the Republicans and the corporate or state socialism that is their increasing practice, the time is ripe for full congressional hearings next year on the organized power, greed and lack of regulation that is shaking the foundations of Wall Street,” Nader said in prepared remarks delivered to editors at The New York Times’ Washington bureau.

19. marisacat - 22 September 2008

I see Roubini expects unemployment to go to 8%

20. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

IOZ lol

21. marisacat - 22 September 2008

moiv popped me thisw diary from Dkos… (she appears in the thread)

Pro-choice Group Removed From Obama Website

22. baypraire - 22 September 2008


the hypocrisy is astounding. look what’s up on the front page as of this moment.

Did we miss this? Palin was a clinic blocker?
by Kagro X
Mon Sep 22, 2008 at 12:00:24 PM PDT

this is a good example of when the democraticks get concerned about reproductive rights, when they can use it as an opportunistic political weapon. as the link at 21 proves the party liners from the head cheese on down really don’t give a rat’s ass.

they stand for nothing.

23. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

21. Wow, what an ugly discussion. So-called progressives strike again.

24. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

Dow Jones -375; oil jumped $25/barrel (CNN)

25. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

The TSX is down -274

I thought this bail out plan was supposed to add “confidence” to the markets.

Every time I heard that word used this weekend what popped into my head was “confidence game”.

26. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

It’s never too late for justice: After 55 years, sisters confront a childhood demon

27. marisacat - 22 September 2008

uhg I cannot bear to go read the loose sphincter that is Kagro X… The hard news is that they are INCAPABLE of hating McC… a big bad whitey male as much as they hate Palin for being a woman.

I was not going to post this here as I am sort of a liberal site (whatever that means) and I don’t like anybody! in this run … but hey go for it.

I am SICK TO DEATH of Demcratic whining. And Mrs B and Mrs O made a poor showing of being stand up, strong women last Friday on GMA. Except I have turned my back on Democrats, of all stirpes I would ahve been ashamed. Out of touch panderers is what they were.

So stick it where the sun does nto shine.

28. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

Appeals Court Orders Defense Department To Release Detainee Abuse Photos In ACLU Lawsuit

NEW YORK – A federal court today ordered the Department of Defense to release photographs depicting the abuse of detainees by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the government’s appeal of a 2006 order directing the Defense Department to release the photos. Today’s decision comes as part of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking information on the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody overseas.

“This is a resounding victory for the public’s right to hold the government accountable,” said ACLU staff attorney Amrit Singh, who argued before the court. “These photographs demonstrate that the abuse of prisoners held in U.S. custody abroad was not aberrational and not confined to Abu Ghraib, but the result of policies adopted by high-ranking officials. Their release is critical for bringing an end to the administration’s torture policies and for deterring further prisoner abuse.”

29. NYCO - 22 September 2008

Too funny:


With our economy in crisis, the US Government is scrambling to rescue our banks by purchasing their “distressed assets”, i.e., assets that no one else wants to buy from them. We figured that instead of protesting this plan, we’d give regular Americans the same opportunity to sell their bad assets to the government. We need your help and you need the Government’s help!

Use the form below to submit bad assets you’d like the government to take off your hands. And remember, when estimating the value of your 1997 limited edition Hanson single CD “MMMbop”, it’s not what you can sell these items for that matters, it’s what you think they are worth. The fact that you think they are worth more than anyone will buy them for is what makes them bad assets.

Hmmm… do you think Americans are starting to regret charging all that shit to their credit cards? We could be in for a cultural sea-change.

30. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

29. We could be in for a cultural sea-change.

I think we’re going to see longer lines on Antiques Roadshow.

31. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

Merkel Says Washington Helped Drag Europe into the Credit Crisis

Response to Washington’s multibillion-dollar Wall Street bailout has involved a lot of skeptical grumbling in Germany and the UK. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Bush administration has mishandled Wall Street, and that its refusal to adopt stricter rules led to the current crisis.

Personally, I think she’s still pissed off about that impromptu massage.

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 September 2008
33. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 September 2008

That thread that moiv sent you is appalling, of course. The spirit of Pie lives on in that shithole.

34. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008
35. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 September 2008

Prosecuting High-level Americans for War Crimes

JURIST Guest Columnist Benjamin Davis of the University of Toledo College of Law says “the whole world is watching” efforts in the United States – highlighted at a recent conference at Andover – to bring U.S. high-level civilians and/or generals to justice for crimes committed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars….

36. lucid - 22 September 2008

29 – think I can auction off my credit card debt? How about my beautiful Nagra 4 STC reel to reel I bought 8 years ago for $4,500 but now sells for $2,000…

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 September 2008
38. marisacat - 22 September 2008

hmm tracking the schnauzers over at The Corner, CLub for Growth is opposed to The Bail Out.

FWIW: http://corner.nationalreview.com/

39. marisacat - 22 September 2008

LOL And… anything more to add… ? via The Page

The Democratic veep candidate tells CBS’ Katie Couric in a taped interview that the campaign ad mocking McCain for not using computers was “terrible.”

“If I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it.”

And/But: He also says the ad is “very different” from McCain’s sex education attack against Obama.

40. marisacat - 22 September 2008

AFL-CIO opposes the bail out.

Could be very bitter unhappy year next year with people clinging to guns and religion.


41. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 September 2008
42. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 September 2008

Bailout Satire

Damned Nigerian email scammers:

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

43. moiv - 22 September 2008


LOL, Madman, that’s the best laugh I’ve had in who knows when, and after today’s ill-advised venture into the tangerine dreamland of progressivism, it was just what I needed.

I’ve been vegetating for a while now, and probably should not have wasted the energy I expended in that stupid thread. But once in a while they still get a rise out of me.

Bay, I’m so glad to see you weren’t squashed by a falling pin oak. My dad and brother in Liberty County got their electricity back yesterday, but my Houston cousin in the Heights is still in the dark, so it’s lucky he has an electrified office where he can camp out for the duration.

44. marisacat - 22 September 2008


we is so scammed!

— hi moiv! —-

45. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 September 2008

Hi moiv!

The Sunlight Foundation has put up a site w/ the various legislative proposals about the Great Robbery (and other frauds), and offers the public a chance to “markup” the legislation themselves: PublicMarkup dot org:

Welcome to PublicMarkup.org, an ongoing experiment in preparing legislation more inclusively by opening bills to online, public review.

PublicMarkup.org gives you the opportunity to review and comment on proposed bills before they are even introduced—or while they are pending—in Congress.

Via BoingBoing (where I found the Nigerian email scam, too).

46. moiv - 22 September 2008

Hi back, I’ve missed y’all. 🙂

OK, we can mark it up, but does anybody (who “matters”) read it?

47. moiv - 22 September 2008

You couldn’t make this up if you tried, so help me God and Mammon.

With Wall Street in turmoil, some turn to religion

As financial workers suffer through tumultuous times on Wall Street, some are turning to an old source of solace: religion.

Religious leaders said attendance was up at lunchtime meetings in New York’s financial district last week, with many more people in business attire than usual.

That is hardly surprising, said Reverend Mark Bozzuti-Jones of Trinity Church Wall Street, given that people don’t know if their employers will survive from one day to the next.

“The economic financial crisis is a reminder that we cannot put our faith in riches, that we cannot put our faith in money,” Bozzuti-Jones said in his sermon at lunchtime on Friday, which he devoted to coping with the financial crisis.

And lest we forget … 9/11!!!!

A handful of men in suits and ties and women in business attire were among dozens of people at the Episcopal church, which was hit by debris from the World Trade Center collapse on September 11, 2001.

The church, which normally attracts tourists and a few financial workers, experienced an upturn in visitors this week, Bozzuti-Jones said. In the past few days he had requests for help to pay rent from those who had lost their jobs.

“People are just sitting there, praying or crying and definitely exhausted. There has definitely been an increase in the number of people who have come in,” he said in his office after the service.

The church was putting on special workshops and seminars over the next few weeks including “Coping with stress in an uncertain time” and “Navigating career transitions.”

Just in case we missed the importance of this the first time, the nearby St. Peter’s Church has also seen “a slight uptick in attendance among people in suits” … and it “displays a cross found in the rubble of September 11.”

48. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008

47. Well, I guess those “faith-based initiatives” will have to help them out if the government won’t. Good thing Bush set that up! He must be clairvoyant.

49. diane - 22 September 2008

While I don’t have much respect for the Big Four Accounting firms, I have to say I agree with the accounting analysts defending the “disclosures” in the following article, I just have to wonder why there didn’t appear to be earlier alarms going off in the financial reports: a href=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/22/AR2008092202688.html>Wall St. Points to Disclosure As Issue – Accounting Rule Cited in Turmoil

”….At issue is a provision that requires companies to disclose more information about the value of their assets, including how much they could fetch on the open market. The accounting standard, known as fair value or mark to market, has been cited as a contributing factor in the collapses of American International Group, Freddie Mac and Lehman Brothers.

I take it this is one reason why the SEC is so busy attempting to change the US accounting rules to the International Accounting Standards….

50. diane - 22 September 2008
51. liberalcatnip - 22 September 2008
52. baypraire - 23 September 2008

moiv said

Bay, I’m so glad to see you weren’t squashed by a falling pin oak. My dad and brother in Liberty County got their electricity back yesterday, but my Houston cousin in the Heights is still in the dark

glad to hear your dad and bro are running the air. last week was cool, relatively speaking, but this week isn’t, so tell your cousin to hang in there. thursday for a lot of folks is what i hear.

53. marisacat - 23 September 2008

Read the handwriting, for years to come…

Foreign Nations Pledge Support, but Not Financing

Published: September 22, 2008

WASHINGTON — The United States, having expanded its proposed rescue of the financial sector to include foreign banks, has not yet found any other country willing to join the landmark bailout.

The Treasury Department still hopes to marshal a worldwide effort to cleanse the balance sheets of banks. But Europe and Japan have signaled that they are not ready to mount a rescue of the kind being debated here. //snip//

One of the most distasteful displays around is that of Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and others, in place for decades, begging for their naked asses to be covered by the American people.

54. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

53 – Gee, the drowning man wonders why nobody wants to jump into the whirlpool with him. Hard to fathom why …

55. marisacat - 23 September 2008

LOL This is like the day 9/11 hit, I was almost relieved, no more waiting for it. It had arrived.

56. marisacat - 23 September 2008

LOL Could they hold a stand, any stand, for a day?

Biden Backs Down [Byron York]

A statement from Joe, released tonight by the Obama campaign:

I was asked about an ad I’d never seen, reacting merely to press reports. As I said right then, I knew there was nothing intentionally personal in the criticism of Senator McCain’s views which look backwards not forwards and are out of touch with the new economic challenges we face today. Having now reviewed the ad, it is even more clear to me that given the disgraceful tenor of Senator McCain’s ads and their persistent falsehoods, his campaign is in no position to criticize, especially when they continue to distort Barack’s votes on an issue as personal as keeping kids safe from sexual predators.

FOUR, nto three, blind mice.

57. NYCO - 23 September 2008

I don’t have much sympathy for the shellshocked richies from Wall Street.

They made their (and our) bed, now they can lie in it. They shouldn’t be allowed to run anything ever again. And if they try to stand up on their chairs and make money by writing books about their come-to-Jesus moments, I hope someone slaps them down hard. They need to go away. Forever.

58. marisacat - 23 September 2008

well .. I doubt they get much more than than some soft as velvet glove face slap… election season pantomime…

from what I am hearing lobbyists bankers and Wall St are picking apart the Paulson plan to see what they should fight… and despite Pelosi, Dodd and Barney Frank running around faking being populists for the little guy out there somewhere in the dark, I suspect any fist shaking is to rewrite parts to suit THEIR friends.

There is a pdf of the Dodd plan running around (and Krugman whines for it) if I can find an html will put it up.

59. NYCO - 23 September 2008

The whole farce of it all, is that the people up top really have very little conception of what their decisions actually do to people on the bottom. They think they know, but they don’t know, in a living-color way. They might as well be making these decisions on Mars. Which is why smart people have to stop hanging on their every words, and get smarter about what’s going on on the ground around them.

Surely, McCain and Obama both are as disconnected from the reality of the American economy as any presidential candidates ever have been.

60. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

Got this link via e-mail: Dodd’s plan

61. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

I don’t even know how Bush can show his face at the UN (live speechifying on CNN right now). 10:15 ET

62. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

If you played a drinking game during Bush’s speech this morning and drank every time he used some form of the word “terror”, you’d be dead of alcohol poisoning by now and his speech isn’t even over yet.

On to listening to Paulson justifying the Biggest Power Grab Evah.

63. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

Listening to Paulson and Bernanke – I wouldn’t buy a used car from those charlatans.

64. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008


Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the panel, called the Treasury proposal “stunning and unprecedented in its scope and lack of detail.”

Asserting that the plan would allow Mr. Paulson to act with “absolute impunity,” Senator Dodd said, “After reading this proposal, I can only conclude that it is not only our economy that is at risk, Mr. Secretary, but our Constitution, as well.”

Another expression of disgust came from Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, who said the plan would “take Wall Street’s pain and spread it to the taxpayers.”

“It’s financial socialism, and it’s un-American,” Mr. Bunning said.

Senator Dodd called the crisis “entirely foreseeable and preventable, not an act of God,” and said it angered him to think about “the authors of this calamity” walking away with the proverbial golden parachutes while taxpayers pick up the tab.

He’s right. It was foreseeable and preventable. So why didn’t the Dems do something before now?

65. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

Just put the US gov’t up for sale on eBay and be done with it.

66. lucid - 23 September 2008

Just put the US gov’t up for sale on eBay and be done with it.

I thought the point of eBay was to sell things that might have value…

67. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

67. I thought the point of eBay was to sell things that might have value…

Well hey, if people can find a buyer for a piece of toast with an image of Jeebus, there must be some sucker out there who’ll place a bid.

68. lucid - 23 September 2008

At least you can eat Jeebus toast.

69. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008
70. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

68. At least you can eat Jeebus toast.

True. I guess we could expect a lower price for the US gov’t then since it has no nutritional value.

71. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

There’s a hostage situation in a school in my homeland going on right now.

72. marisacat - 23 September 2008

Dodd is so much like Biden… and so many others of both parties, they just bluster bust their way thru things.

Love the quotes from Bunning, the Dems ran against him in KY calling him “senile”… I wondered why he held on til I watched the debate between he and Mongiardo…. LOL clear the people would go wtih the mess they knew.

73. marisacat - 23 September 2008

hmmm Public officials just drip and drool their way thru.

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the princes of greed,” … “He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.'”

Commentator at Reason:

“And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, ‘Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?'”

74. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

73. rofl 🙂

I needed that laugh. Thanks.

75. Heather-Rose Ryan - 23 September 2008

Just catching up on stuff – wow, the discussion of that abortion diary over at DKos is truly outrageous. Thanks, moiv, for speaking out.

76. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008


Obama may scale back promises

By MIKE ALLEN | 9/23/08 9:23 AM EDT

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said in an interview aired Tuesday that the cost of the mortgage bailout plan may rein in his ambitious plans for health care, energy, education and infrastructure.

Obama’s comments reflect the possible new constraints on the next president’s ability to expand or start programs or cut taxes. The government financial interventions of the past two weeks could cost more than $1 trillion.

Obama told NBC’s Matt Lauer on the “Today” show that he doesn’t expect the mortgage plan to cost the full $700 billion right away, and all the money won’t be lost.

“Does that mean that I can do everything that I’ve called for in this campaign right away?” Obama said. “Probably not. I think we’re going to have to phase it in. And a lot of it’s going to depend on what our tax revenues look like.”

That’s not what Paulson wants. When he asked in committee today about possibly just going with a smaller figure for now ($150 bn) that would be reviewed some time after the new administration was in, he refused because he said that pledging the whole shebang would create more confidence in the markets. And if course it wouldn’t be spent “right away”. The thing is that it would be tied up, regardless. As for the money not being lost, neither Paulson nor Bernanke had any clue whether or how this bailout plan would even work. And who thought Obamalama could fulfill all of his promises right away anyway? That’s just a bizarre response.

77. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008


Obama was interviewed by Lauer on Monday in Green Bay, Wis.

The Democrat attacked Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for initially opposing the federal government’s intervention to save insurance giant AIG.

“I think what has been clear during this entire past 10 days is John McCain has not had clarity and a grasp on the situation,” Obama.

But Lauer pointed out that Obama’s running mate, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), had initially said the same thing – on “Today,” no less.

“I think that in that situation, I think Joe should have waited, as well,” Obama said.


On Sunday, in an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Obama had suggested he would not have to make changes in his spending plans.

“My health care plan is paid for,” Obama said. “And I continue to believe that rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans makes sense. They are still going to be wealthy after those are rolled back. I still believe that it is important for us to make college more affordable. And I think it’s important that all those things are paid for in light of this huge additional potential expense.”

Does he even know wtf he’s talking about anymore?

78. cad - 23 September 2008

Kos shows his grasp of the economy and reveals his inner CEO:

“What CEOs make is between them and their shareholders. ”

Fortunately, the usual sheeple aren’t buying his scam.

79. marisacat - 23 September 2008


yeah in a sit down interview with Couric, not an easy to dismiss “gaffe”. More reminiscent of S Day O’C revealing in a comment she did not know about lend lease, at all, during WW2.

Been on that decades long Senate career which is like some endless dinner cruise to nowhere.

We are so skrewed.

80. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

Maybe Biden thinks he’s still running against Obama. (?)

81. marisacat - 23 September 2008


think yyou may be on to something…

82. marisacat - 23 September 2008

I could not bear to follow the link, but the schnauzers over at NRO say gingrich is in ”kill it – kill it now” mode

83. marisacat - 23 September 2008

– 162 fwiw…

84. marisacat - 23 September 2008

Palin sits down with Couric, think it airs tomorrow night. I figure if she manages to know that FDR was nto president in ’29 and there was not a TV in most US homes, she is doing OK.

Although the R side of the game often seems like an ad hoc wagon train, these days… LOL.

Talk about Bonfire of the Vanities with this bunch.

85. marisacat - 23 September 2008

Greider has a new one up: Goldman Sachs Socialism

[B]oth political parties may submit to this extortion because they don’t have a clue what else to do and bending over for Wall Street instruction, their usual posture, seems less risky than taking responsibility. Paulson and Bernanke evoked intimidating pressure for two reasons. The previous efforts to restore investor confidence had all failed as their slapdash interventions worsened the global panic. Besides, the Federal Reserve was running out of money. Nearly three-fifths of the Fed’s $800 billion portfolio is now loaded down with junk–the mortgage securities and other rotten assets it took off Wall Street balance sheets. The imperious central bank is fast approaching its own historic disgrace–potentially as discredited as it was after the 1929 crash.

86. marisacat - 23 September 2008

Biden on a roll… with vid and links. It’s the coal plant story, in case that is old news to you………………. LOL I did bother to catch the Lauer interview this am. Gah. When L asked Ob what Biden brought to the ticket – as contrasted with Palin, in at least what made it to the broadcast, Ob dodged ti entirely.

Gotta wonder.

87. NYCO - 23 September 2008

Marisa, re your photo: A “fruit” sometimes can be confused with a “seed.” For instance, those “seeds” you see on the surface of a strawberry? Those are actually the strawberry’s fruits (which contain a seed). The part we think of as the “fruit” is technically just the pulpy center of the flower, and not botanically a fruit.

88. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

“What CEOs make is between them and their shareholders. ”

Well, actually it’s between them and their Boards. The shareholders often have very little to say about it, ESPECIALLY in the US. There are some companies that are set up so that shareholders have to vote to approve compensation packages, but I believe they are very rare. I’m too lazy to look up a link (sorry, just got home and I’m fried), but compensation is determined by a committee set up by the Board. The committee usually hires a consultant to “determine” what the going rate is that oh-so-rare talent that is a CEO, then they rubber stamp it, then the Board as a whole rubber stamps it. I think the shareholder “approval” happens when they vote proxies for new Board members. Since they approved the Board, they approve the Board’s decisions. The real kick in the head is they all serve on each others’ Boards, and there is a strong social incentive for everybody to scatch everybody else’s back.

Like I said, though, too lazy to look anything up, and typing off the top of my head, so if someone sees something I got wrong please let me know.

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

80 – it’s funny to watch Biden and Bill Clinton go out of their way to slather praise on their old crony, while Bill can barely get himself to say Obama’s name.

90. maddie - 23 September 2008

Totally off-topic…but today I was thinking about how twisted, debased, and Orwellian our language has become. The example that struck me today:

Politicians constantly speak of middle-class and working “families”, then in the same breath talk about low-income “households”, completely de-humanizing poor families with the single use of the word “households”.

Gah!…most days I just hate this country.

91. marisacat - 23 September 2008


I did not bother to watch the View (those dames are predictable and DULL)… but it was repeated and commented on enough there was no escape. Very adroit avoidance of embrace of Obama. Tho Biden is doing enough of a good job as Veeper that Roger Simon was wondering if he is trying to sabotage Ob.


92. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

Greider is pretty much the only reason to read the Nation anymore.

On to OTHER abuses by our criminal gov’t:

Court: US govt can’t block detainee photos release

NEW YORK (AP) — The United States cannot conceal pictures of abusive treatment of detainees by its soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan by saying their release might cause enemies to hurt someone, a federal appeals court said Monday in ordering the release of 21 photographs.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a 2006 ruling by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ordering the release of the pictures to the American Civil Liberties Union. Hellerstein had ordered identifying facial features be removed from the pictures.

The government had gone far beyond the intent of Congress by using the exemption to attack far-reaching and speculative national security concerns, the appeals court said.

“Even remote possibilities can become reasonable to expect to befall at least one member of a large enough group,” it said. “An expert could in good faith claim that it is reasonable to expect that disclosure of any number of documents could endanger the life or physical safety of at least one person in the world.”

The appeals court also rejected arguments that the pictures should be withheld because they would embarrass or humiliate the prisoners.

It noted that the U.S. government widely disseminated photographs of prisoners in Japanese and German prison and concentration camps after World War II even though they depicted emaciated prisoners, corpses of prisoners and powerless and subjugated detainees.

“Yet the United States championed the use and dissemination of such photographs to hold perpetrators accountable,” the court said.

Of course, it’s only a federal court, so the Executive will be able to ignore it, by divine right or Cheney’s festering boil, or something.

93. marisacat - 23 September 2008


thanks NYCO… think I get it. It was an interesting gallery, under the electronmicroscope… will use a couple more of them later on… 😉

94. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008
95. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008
96. marisacat - 23 September 2008

Just heard Paulson from today:

This is all about the American taxpayer, that is who we care about

That is coming from more than a simple forked tongue.

97. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008
98. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

96 – I heard a long time ago someone promised that eating the apple would lead to good things.

99. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008
100. marisacat - 23 September 2008


Well fortunately Lilith, off to the side in the garden, knew better.. 😉


During th enight, I noticed on the FP of the NYT, what I took to be a “float” about raising NYC property taxes 7%. ugh, whihc is not to say that many cannot pay, many certainly can.. I spared myself opening it as it was related to NY, but ugh ugh ugh.

101. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

Saw this on Countdown, thought I’d look it up: Republicans Should Vote Against the Bailout

Republican incumbents in close races have the easiest vote of their lives coming up this week: No on the Bush-Pelosi Wall Street bailout.

God Himself couldn’t have given rank-and-file Republicans a better opportunity to create political space between themselves and the Administration. That’s why I want to see 40 Republican No votes in the Senate, and 150+ in the House. If a bailout is to pass, let it be with Democratic votes. Let this be the political establishment (Bush Republicans in the White House + Democrats in Congress) saddling the taxpayers with hundreds of billions in debt (more than the Iraq War, conjured up in a single weekend, and enabled by Pelosi, btw), while principled Republicans say “No” and go to the country with a stinging indictment of the majority in Congress.

This creates pressure on the “change” message. If this issue is made controversial, and Obama is not the first to make it an issue, how exactly is a Washington deal backed by Bush’s Treasury Secretary “change?”

But for this to be actionable, it has to be controversial. So this can’t be a few lonely voices like Coburn and DeMint. It needs to be the bulk of the Republican conference. In an ideal world, McCain opposes this because of all the Democratic add-ons and shows up to vote Nay while Obama punts.

102. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

Too bad more people don’t follow Lilith’s example in general.

103. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

Ahmadinejad on Larry King’s show tonite. Praise be to cable.

104. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

I can’t make up my mind if this is mesmerizing or annoying. Dull Flame Of Desire by Björk featuring Antony Hegarty

105. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008
106. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008
107. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

Southern Baptist Bookstore Chain Pulls Magazine Cover for Having Cover Featuring Women Pastors

Gospel Today, the Fayetteville-published magazine, was pulled off the racks by the bookstores’ owner, the Southern Baptist Convention. The problem? The five smiling women on the cover are women of the cloth — church pastors.

Southern Baptist polity says that’s a role reserved for men.

Teresa Hairston, owner of Gospel Today, whose glossy pages feature upbeat articles about health, living, music and ministry, said she discovered by e-mail that the September/October issue of the magazine had been demoted to the realm of the risque.

“It’s really kind of sad when you have people like [Gov.] Sarah Palin and [Sen.] Hillary Clinton providing encouragement and being role models for women around the world that we have such a divergent opinion about women who are able to be leaders in the church,” Hairston said. “I was pretty shocked.”

Chris Turner, a spokesman for Lifeway Resources, which runs the stores for the Southern Baptist Convention, said, “It is contrary to what we believe.”

Hmmmm, shocked that southern Baptists are misogynist pigs? What country has she been living in?

108. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

Coming Attractions: War Without End, Amen

While our national leaders quibble and carp over just how much public money they should ladle out to Wall Street’s den of thieves, and how many people should be in charge of divvying up this vast pork pie (one guy at Treasury? a panel of Establishment worthies? a couple of goobers in Congress?), the real business of the American empire — war and rumors of war — goes on without let or hindrance.

Even now, the masters of war down at Hell’s Bottom — the fetid swamp where they planted the Pentagon way back when — are laying plans for decades of “persistent conflict” against a host of targets: the poor, the young, the desperate, the deprived, the Chinese, the Russians — and the American people.

In a remarkably candid document, “The 2008 Army Modernization Strategy,” the Pentagon lays out the perpetual blowback arising from the relentless pursuit of what George W. Bush once proudly hailed as “the single sustainable model of national success” — i.e., rapacious crony capitalism backed up with state violence. This “model” — which was once proclaimed as the “end of history,” the unsurpassable apex of human development — has been imposed — at gunpoint, bribery and extortion — on much of the world. The result has been, quite literally, the devouring of the earth: resources stripped bare, the climate poisoned and sent careening wildly out of balance, nations destroyed, populations dispossessed, societies rent asunder, violence run rampant, a tsunami of corruption and degradation ravaging the world.

109. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

Brrrreaking via CNN: FBI investigating Fannie, Freddie, AIG, Lehman execs for fraud

Yeeha. Round ’em up.

110. liberalcatnip - 23 September 2008

(Sorry. I was channeling my inner cowgirl.)

I lassoed a link: FBI probing Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, AIG: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI is investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and insurer American International Group Inc. and their senior executives for potential mortgage fraud, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The FBI did not provide specifics but said the inquiries were part of a broader probe, CNN said.

The bureau is trying to determine whether anyone in those financial institutions, including their senior executives, had any responsibility for providing “misinformation,” CNN reported.

A federal law enforcement official confirmed the FBI is now looking at 26 cases of potential corporate fraud related to the collapse of the U.S. mortgage lending industry.

111. marisacat - 23 September 2008

I see Buffett, or rather Berkshire Hathaway, is putting 5 billion into Goldman Sachs

112. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 September 2008

CNN Poll

The poll also expands to include third party candidates. When included in the results, Obama has the backing of 48 percent of likely voters, three points ahead of McCain at 45 percent. Independent Ralph Nader has the support of 4 percent of those polled, with Libertarian candidate Bob Barr and Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney each at one percent.

Maybe the third party candidates can find a way to steal the election from both of them …


113. marisacat - 23 September 2008

Which works for me, the only way I’d be happy is if they ALL lost… 😉

114. marisacat - 23 September 2008

knew thred


………………… 8) ……………………….

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