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Peeking out at the dawn… 13 October 2008

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


Kingfisher with fish – Getty

If he wins the White House, Obama said, he will use the $10 billion the nation currently spends each month in Iraq on domestic programs.

He told a crowd of 20,000 in Germantown: “If we can rebuild Baghdad, we can sure as heck rebuild Philadelphia.”

And under each chair was a bottle of Arpege… and a signed, studio head shot (that would be a glossy 8 x 10!) of Obama.

Earlier in the article it says Obama’s 4 stops in Philadelphia signify how important the city and collar communities (are we choking yet?) are to his run.  However, I read at Pa Politics that he has not been there for 3 months.  Information is so selective.  Hosanna.

Eleanor Clift on with McLaughlin said Obama is headed for 300+ EV, and I say, Praise Jesus!  Let it be!, and Bring it On!.  I want good majorities and MANDATES.  Meanwhile, the chick embryo has the spine.

Recent polls show Obama with a double-digit lead, but his campaign expects the race to be tight. Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell told Philadelphians that their primary-day turnout of 53% of registered voters was insufficient. For Obama to win the state, 70% to 75% must go to the polls, he said.

“It’s on each and every one of you to bring your friends, your relatives, your co-workers, people on the block, everybody has to vote,” Rendell said. “I don’t care how long the lines are. Nobody leaves.”

hmm.  OK Ed!  Is that a pistol in your pocket or do elections turn you on?  Democratic punditry is very turned on by this election…. no question.

I am sorry, I have just heard all the quadrennial promising that I can take, for a lifetime – and then some… I want good enough numbers for the candidate, so that Dem operatives and pundits MUST accept a different story line as the only saleable line….  I am sick unto death of the party’s whining, obfuscation and excuses.

The Independent has an article up, entitled, Republican Leaders Break Ranks With McCain:

Two former rivals for the party nomination, Mitt Romney and Tommy Thompson, went on the record over the weekend about the disarray in the Republican camp. And a string of other senior party figures said Mr McCain’s erratic performance risks taking the party down to heavy losses not just in the presidential race but also in contests for Congressional seats. Mr Thompson, a former governor of the swing state of Wisconsin, said he thought Mr McCain, on his present trajectory, would lose the state, and he told a New York Times reporter he was not happy with the campaign. “I don’t know who is,” he added.

hmm I never saw WI as going for anyone but Obama (as I am sure Madman knows better than I), from his 17 pt win in the primary to the fact I think he has always, always, always out-polled McCain there… the latest WI poll at RCP has Obama leading by 10.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has an interesting piece, her take on the shreds in the pond divide, clue: it’s a yawning chasm for some, she says..  I’d be delighted for some down-and-out time (forever) for the American Empire (HA!  AmEx Empire, really!), in all its parts and pieces.  Never was on board.  But those thousand and more military bases will be the last to go, if they ever go.

In the 90s I thought we’d have Gingrich ’round our necks for a long long time (not fooling myself, he is not gone) in Congress…and I wondered if I could stand it… did not work out that way, tho.  More recently, I thought we’d have Haider of Austria around for a few decades, to rev up the hard Right Wing in Europe… but he died, going twice the speed limit, after a party.

They rise, they fall.


I just spied this at The Independent, with a bit more information than I had caught in the US press:

Ms Pelosi wants to galvanise backing for a new financial stimulus package to increase the US food-stamp programme and extend unemployment benefits. It is understood that she is also proposing that federal funds be used for new public infrastructure projects to create jobs.

Food stamps date back to 1943, and are part of a federal programme that gives very low-income families an allowance to spend on groceries. The allowance is distributed on to debit cards which can be used in supermarkets across the country, and recipients are also eligible to claim free school meals for their children. 

A record 28 million Americans now receive food stamps at a cost to the Government of almost $30 billion a year.

Ms Pelosi, who is hosting a meeting with other lawmakers today, has said that she could try to force through a Bill after the presidential election on November 4, but before Christmas.

They need a couple of showy “take action” things, right after winning.  God knows the food stamp recipients need the food and it makes for nice payments to R mid-west farmers, as well.


hmm The Rully Big Boyz finally got a room together…  It did not go all that well.  Norris is up in the NYT:

Behind that lurks another risk: Some bankers said that they dared not resume normal lending in the interbank market, in part because investors might think that banks making loans to weaker institutions were taking on too much risk. One promise from the finance ministers was to “support systemically important financial institutions and prevent their failure.”

On Friday, Henry M. Paulson Jr., the Treasury secretary, refused to say whether Goldman Sachs, the firm he used to run, or Morgan Stanley, whose share price has collapsed, qualified as such an institution. But by Sunday the government appeared ready to provide some sort of support for that company.

Part of the weekend was devoted to promises that this would never happen again, with bankers saying they had strengthened their risk management systems and expected new regulatory arrangements to be made.

Richard Fisher, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said the Fed had moved quickly to stem the crisis and would do more as needed. But he was silent on what role, if any, the Fed had played in bringing on the crisis.

Monday is a partial holiday in the United States, with the stock market open but some banks celebrating Columbus Day. That could delay until Tuesday the development of clear evidence of whether the banks are still afraid to lend to each other — and of whether the credit crisis will continue to worsen.

Thank goodness! people who know what they are doing! are in charge!, before, now and later!  I am so relieved!!




1. marisacat - 13 October 2008

Just saw this at Reuters… Buy out kings get a room in Dubai.

“Imagine a private meeting in a room far from the US; a decision is quietly made and billions of dollars that were invested here find a new and more hospitable home,” wrote Schwarzman in a recent column in the Financial Times. “Or billions of dollars that could have been invested here are reallocated to other more benign markets.”

2. marisacat - 13 October 2008

Cockburn/C-Punch has a round up piece, but the first part deals with McC cancer. Interesting, even if half true.

And it certainly is a bi partisan sort of thing, if one remembers whatshisname from MASS in 92, wh lied (Tsongas, I remembered!)… and Kerry, whose dr never released his records, also a one page gloss over with the verbal assurances of the wife who, we were always reminded, was the daughter of a Great White Hunter Colonial Dr.


3. marisacat - 13 October 2008

lenin at Lenin’s Tomb has a post on “How Bad Can It Get?”

The political impact of this crisis is still wide open. People expect the ideas of the radical left to gain currency, but some of the rush back to Labourism in light of the Tory resurgence has also been reinforced. Moreover, if ideological radicalisation is not matched by effective collective resistance to job cuts, then it can collapse alarmingly rapidly into despair or, worse, support for the far right. But given that the government is so bloody eager to help the bankers, it ought to be a pushover to say they should be protecting jobs – don’t just part nationalise and throw money at the banks, take the whole banking system into public ownership and run it in the interests of full employment and strong wages. As it is, they seem to be allowing a sort of social Darwinism to operate in the banking system such that – rumour has it – HSBC employees are now joking that their advertising slogan “The world’s local bank” should be changed to “The world’s only bank”. (Next to Goldman Sachs, that is).

And if we can run up a debt to fund the banking system, there is no reason to accept cuts to the public services with wage cuts for public sector workers. And ultimately, if the bosses suddenly find capitalism so fucking inconvenient for them, why should we accept it?

Also at L’sT is post + photos of a protest lenin was at at the Stock Exchange, and he mentions the London bus system was shut down, city-wide…

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

hard to tell what is going on here. The media here is owned by the right, spends most of it’s time of fear-mongering and then happy talk.

I took a bus ride out to see a movie this weekend, out in one of the northern suburbs. The yard signs in Milwaukee proper are pretty much entirely Obama. In the two suburbs to the north that I rode thru, it was 50/50 Obama/McCain. The ‘burbs up there are usually pretty firmly Republican. To demonstrate that: the Obama/Biden signs were pretty much by themselves on lawns in the ‘burbs; the McCain signs were ALWAYS surrounded by several local Republican candidates’ signs.

The Republicans are ramping up the voter fraud BS hardcore here, using the Attorney General’s office.

It’s hard to say how its going to wash out, but my gut feeling (which doesn’t have a great track record) is that Obama takes the state by 5%.

Off to work. Have a good day everybody!

5. marisacat - 13 October 2008

Fresno CA priest comes out against Prop 8, during a sermon in Mass. Stripped of duties and his salary. hmmm. He’d be so much better off to be a decades long, serial pedophile, protected by the Church forever.

6. Intermittent Bystander - 13 October 2008

Krugman wins Nobel for economics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the award recognised Mr Krugman’s analysis of trade patterns and where economic activity takes place.

It said Mr Krugman, 55, a Princeton University professor, had formulated new theories that answered questions about free trade and globalisation.

Mr Krugman said he hoped the $1.4m win would not change his life greatly.

“The prize will enhance visibility but I hope it does not lead me into going to a lot of purely celebratory events, aside from the Nobel presentation itself,” he said.

7. Intermittent Bystander - 13 October 2008

From the AP story on Nobel announcement:

Krugman has been a harsh critic of the Bush administration and the Republican Party in The New York Times, where he writes a regular column and has a blog called “Conscience of a Liberal.”

He has come out forcefully against John McCain during the economic meltdown, saying the Republican candidate is “more frightening now than he was a few weeks ago” and earlier that the GOP has become “the party of stupid.”


In an Oct. 13 column in the New York Times, Krugman wrote that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling “defined the character of the worldwide rescue effort, with other wealthy nations playing catch-up.”

Whereas U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson rejected a “sort of temporary part-nationalization” involving governments giving financial institutions more money in return for a share of ownership, the British government “went straight to the heart of the problem … with stunning speed.”

Krugman said the major European economies have “in effect declared themselves ready to follow Britain’s lead, injecting hundreds of billions of dollars into banks while guaranteeing their debts.”

“And whaddya know,” Krugman continued, “Mr. Paulson — after arguably wasting several precious weeks — has also reversed course, and now plans to buy equity stakes rather than bad mortgage securities.”

8. NYCO - 13 October 2008

Yay for Krugman. I don’t lionize him like some do, but he’s consistently the least stupid columnist at the NYT.

9. Intermittent Bystander - 13 October 2008

AP link and snippet in the mod pod . . . it’ll be interesting to watch the wingnuts try to fling poo from their paddle-free vessels up the economic creek.

Funny that the news comes on an up morning (+473.75 currently) for the Dow.

10. Intermittent Bystander - 13 October 2008

Absolutely gorgeous photo of kingfisher, water, and fish.

Halcyon days ahead?

The source of the belief in the bird’s power to calm the sea originated in a myth recorded by Ovid. The story goes that Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, had a daughter named Alcyone, who was married to Ceyx, the king of Thessaly. Ceyx was drowned at sea and Alcyone threw herself into the sea in grief. Instead of drowning, she was carried to her husband by the wind.

::snip snip::

The legendary bird is usually identified with the kingfisher. That was also said to nest on the sea and was believed to be able to calm the sea for the seven days before and seven days after the winter solstice.

11. NYCO - 13 October 2008

continuing (across threads again) with IB’s comment from last thread-

Quite the contrast to today, I think, when academic stars are expected to do soccer or some team-sporty thing as well, even if only to show that you’ve got some experience with ganging up, bonding under a pennant of some sort, submitting to coaching, and studying the ways of victory and da feet.

It’s odd because I just don’t remember the same emphasis on sports as an extracurricular back in the ’70s and ’80s. Sure, the jocks were into it, but it wasn’t considered a prereq to getting into a good college. And certainly sports leagues for the chilluns wasn’t anywhere near the religious mania it is now.

Today’s kids are taught to value conformity above all else (under the guise of “achievement”). WORSHIP Apple, Inc. and all of its mighty works! When the college recruiter sez jump you say HOW HIGH! etc etc. And we can still slam “No Child Left Behind” as an institutionalized example of this push for conformity. I am deeply skeptical all this is making anyone actually more intelligent, though.

But there aren’t enough slots. There aren’t anywhere near enough slots for America’s kids if they are all 100% brilliant and perfect and they all have a right to a kewl desk job. It’s not just cynicism, it’s simple math. The “green collar jobs” — you know, the wonderful ones where we work with Mother Earth but no one ever has to get their hands dirty — are not materializing. The rising generation has been groomed to take over something that actually isn’t there. It’s going to be strange when they start figuring that out.

12. Intermittent Bystander - 13 October 2008

From the Guardian UK:

A noted liberal, Krugman is seen as a neo-Keynesian so his victory is timely. There’s quite a revival of interest in John Maynard Keynes’s theories at present, especially his argument that government intervention is the best way to stop a downturn becoming a depression.

His victory is also unexpected. Krugman got little mention in the speculation in the run-up to today’s announcement.


The favourite in the pre-awards betting was Eugene Fama, an economist at the University of Chicago. Fama developed the efficient market hypothesis, which argued that all traded assets – from bonds to mortgage-backed securities – are already accurately valued based on the information available to investors.

Perhaps the Nobel committee felt that this wasn’t really Fama’s year, as the fear and panic following the credit crunch threatens the collapse of the entire financial system.

And, to be fair, choosing any winner in the current climate is no easy task. Rather like picking the winner of the “best run British bank” award, perhaps.

13. Intermittent Bystander - 13 October 2008

Buncha stuff in the mod filter, once your morning coffee is ready. (Sorry, and thanks!)

14. NYCO - 13 October 2008

Groceries raided in Iceland:

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) — After a four-year spending spree, Icelanders are flooding the supermarkets one last time, stocking up on food as the collapse of the banking system threatens to cut the island off from imports.

“We have had crazy days for a week now,” said Johannes Smari Oluffsson, manager of the Bonus discount grocery store in Reykjavik’s main shopping center. “Sales have doubled.”

Bonus, a nationwide chain, has stock at its warehouse for about two weeks. After that, the shelves will start emptying unless it can get access to foreign currency, the 22-year-old manager said, standing in a walk-in fridge filled with meat products, among the few goods on sale produced locally.

Magnusson said last week that one of Iceland’s largest supermarket chains was unable to get any foreign currency to make purchases abroad and another retailer’s electronic payment didn’t go through. Iceland will begin to see shortages of “regular goods” by the end of the week if nothing changes, he said.

“We are struggling to make the economy survive from hour to hour,” Magnusson said. “There is an enormous amount of capital that wants to get out of the country.”

You know, I have to say I never really thought about why Iceland was so rich either. I think I just stupidly assumed it was because they are Scandinavian, and all Scandinavians are rich and clean and egalitarian and don’t have any crime or want… something like that…

15. Arcturus - 13 October 2008

Thanx for asking MC, we had a wonderful time! Not really ready to be *here*. Dazzling architectural monuments to bloody histories. Visual feast for the design-minded eye. Highlights included catching a number of excellent flamenco performances, a Med fusion performance (Sephardic, Turkish & Arabic andalusi, & flamenco strains – w/ male dancer), and coming face-to-face for the first time w/ a paleolithic rendition of a horse. I’ve visited a lot of rock art sites but nothing prepared me for that encounter.

Arrived home to hear Michael Hudson talking to Bonnie Faulkner about the ‘New Kleptocracy.’ Amused by the rhyme between the response to Hayden MM posted and MH’s appeal to scripture, a move I have little ‘faith’ in – hypocrisy & contra/diction too deeply engrained in ways of ‘thinking.’

—closing lines of Charles Olson’s “The Kingfishers”:

I pose you your question:

shall you uncover honey / where maggots are?

I hunt among stones

have a good’n . . .

16. marisacat - 13 October 2008

IB… 4 out of moderation… sorry! WP really went after you…

amd 2 of NYCO’s out of moderation…


17. Arcturus - 13 October 2008

leading today’s CounterPunch, Hudson’s Rescue for the Few, Debt Slavery for the Many

18. marisacat - 13 October 2008

w/r/t this new comment of IB in the previous thread on costs covered once diagnosed with cancer

About 20 years ago (or so) a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer while living in France, as a legal resident, married to a French citizen and participating in the socialised Health Care system (most is covered by single payer but there is a patch work of small cost insurance systems for the 10 or 20 % balance, then the monthly ins cost was about 30USD iirc)… Anyway she went to some sort of government office and was told that as her illness was “catastrophic” it was now 100% covered by the state system.

She stammered, overwhelmed, that “it is not like this in my country” and the poor French woman in the government office thought ti was a criticism, defended La France as ”not as rich as the US” and ”we do what we can”.

I have long said, with no government system that takes over, at the very least, catastrophic health care coverage, that is the little “teaching moment” that shows we will never have more than we have now.

Which is an utter horrid killing mess. And killing people every day.

BTW, Arnold has long, lip service, championed a bill that would all but, attempt to stop insurance companies from dropping coverage or denying coverage for people already ill. LOL when the bill reached him a few weeks ago he vetoed it.

19. marisacat - 13 October 2008


I jsut fell into it a couple of weeks ago and was not expecting to enjoy it… but am really enjoying the PBS/KQED series with Batali, Bittman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Claudia Bassols as they car trip and eat thru Spain.

It’s been very charming so far (just caught three episodes)…

20. Arcturus - 13 October 2008

hmm … remember the show’s name?

(eat. o yes. we certainly managed that! 🙂

21. marisacat - 13 October 2008

will fish it up A., just sent the KQED page on it to someone…

.. 8) ..

22. marisacat - 13 October 2008
23. diane - 13 October 2008


was lucky enough to see a wonderful performance in New Mexico…the best thing that happened there, because it was disgusting the money being made off of the North American Indian items that likely were never meant to be traded……………frightening issues in the air…yet to be resolved……………………………

Loved that older woman…so badass and fine… and the grimaces scruffed yet durable hard black leather shoes, stomp stomp stomp, when, when when……….. The GRIMACES….

24. diane - 13 October 2008

23 – New Mexico

Made the shocks destroying drive (miraculously, in my funky overheating vehicle, with heater turned on in 103 degree weather and towel over my lobster red feet the heater was throwing steam onto, to keep the radiator from blowing…to Chaco Culture National Historic Park…have some beautiful slides from that incredible place ..will share them one day if I ever meet you in person Marisa……

25. marisacat - 13 October 2008

srgh.. I fell back to sleep this am.. so I am catching up.. just hearing that Gavin has done YET ANOTHER mindless thing over Prop 8. Will trakc down a print report. And again callers are skewering black church voters… gah. No. They will contribute should it lose (by which I mean WIN, Yes on 8 wipes out SSM and will be in our constitution then) but the nucleus, the core is white Catholic, white Mormon and evangelicals of all stripe (they come in lotsa colors here).

26. marisacat - 13 October 2008


Deukmejian pollster has a piece up at RCP on “the Bradley effect”. Would be nice to hear from the Bradley or Field Poll end of it (the piece slams Marvin Field pretty hard). Also years ago I read an argument (that I am not endorsing) that Bradley severely restricted appearances and money outlay in the last days of the race.

27. marisacat - 13 October 2008

hmm a lot swirling around today about ACORN and, separately and together, Ob. Think Tapper has a good overview. Would have been better for Ob camp not to be found changing things at Fight the Smears, to do wtih ACORN.

What a stupid mess. Axelrod and Ob needed to sit down years ago and assess Chicago past, events and people in light of a big national run.

28. diane - 13 October 2008


Bradley Effect believers assume that there is an undetectable tendency in the behavior of some white voters who tell pollsters that they are “undecided” when in fact their true preference is to vote against the black candidate.

If V. Lance Tarrance, Jr. wants to deny that so named effect, he’s either a fool, or a liar,…generaly speaking, people are still, may always be, extremely tribal…………….and I’m sure, at the drop of a hat, it goes beyond the undecided, to those who say they are decided……

29. marisacat - 13 October 2008

Dow up 963…

… a star was seen in the East. Expect the Magi soon… LOL

30. lucid - 13 October 2008

I thought the magi was debating a senile gentleman in my neck of the woods on Wed.

31. marisacat - 13 October 2008

Just saw that Gretchen Morgensen/NYT had a column on the Countrywide foreclosure settlement … it covered 11 states, not just CA, I see now.

[M]r. Brown expects loans worth $3.4 billion to be modified in California, where homeowners have been hit hard in the housing bust.

The Countrywide effort is the most comprehensive, mandatory loan workout program since the mortgage crisis began last year. Congress has proposed various programs, but those measures did not make it into the final $700 billion government bailout. Since taking control of Fannie and Freddie Mac, the two housing giants, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has said it is looking at expanding modifications on the loans that Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee.

After seizing IndyMac, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation began a loan modification program that it said could be a template in other takeovers. The agency hopes to help tens of thousands of borrowers whose interest rates are being reset higher in the early stages of that program.

It is encouraging people who have fallen severely behind on their payments or who have defaulted to switch into a fixed-rate mortgage at current rates of about 6 percent. Countrywide has made pledges before to modify large swaths of loans. Late last year, it vowed to help about 82,000 borrowers who were facing higher payments through 2008. But the new program will be mandatory and will be monitored by state officials.

32. marisacat - 13 October 2008



33. Arcturus - 13 October 2008

aka ’nuffs enuff:

US Surrenders Power to Appoint World Bank President

not that it will make much diff – more like internecine bloodletting

[fixed the link — Mcat]

34. Arcturus - 13 October 2008
35. marisacat - 13 October 2008

HA! Bruce Fein on KGO, for the hour [just starting], they stream if any one is interested, about Nancy not pushing for impeachment.

36. aemd - 13 October 2008

U.S. Stocks Rally Most Since 1930s on Bank Plan.

Amen. We are saved… just like the 1930s. 😉

37. marisacat - 13 October 2008

hmm Maggie Gallgher in The Corner makes it clear, there will be a try to turn having a Const Convention in CT into an opportunity to go after SSM

Connecticut, unlike California, has no direct initiative and referendum process. But in a unique feature of the Connecticut process, voters are asked every 20 years whether or not they wish to convene a constitutional convention, which would then have the authority to propose constitutional amendments to voters.

By an accident, or an act of God, the Connecticut court decision imposing same-sex marriagecame down less than three weeks before the once-in-twenty-years chance Connecticut voters have to call for a constitutional convention—this Nov. 4.

Question One asks: “Shall there be a Constitutional Convention to amend or revise the Constitution of the state”?

On Friday, after the court ruling, , the Catholic Conference in Connecticut joined the list of groups urging Yes on Question One.

“This decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court also raises a very real concern about the infringement on religious liberty and freedom of speech with the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage,” the Connecticut bishops’ declared, “The real battle in this court case was not about rights, since civil unions provide a vast number of legal rights to same-sex couples, but about conferring and enforcing social acceptance of a particular lifestyle; a lifestyle many people of faith and advocates of the natural law refuse to accept.”

Polls before the same-sex marriage decision indicated a close vote on Question One.

38. marisacat - 13 October 2008

Ryan Lizza on the selection of Biden. Little information, but Biden uses “presumptuous” 4 times in the various quotes.

I wonder if Lizza dodged it being an interesting article (even in the narrow squeeze the life out of it confines of the NYer), in return for being put off the camp plane following the satirical cover.

Push them all and their stenographic pool off the cliff.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008
40. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It’s a pretty good sized animation to load, just to warn those with slower connections.

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008
42. marisacat - 13 October 2008

HA! Scheduled for after the markets close:

President Bush will deliver a statement in the White House Rose Garden at 8:05 am ET Monday after meeting with his working group on financial markets.

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

Steering Committee to Plan Prosecution

however unlikely they are to get anywhere.

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

U.S.: Iran Resolution Shelved in Rare Defeat for “Israel Lobby”

WASHINGTON, Sep 26 (IPS) – In a significant and highly unusual defeat for the so-called “Israel Lobby”, the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives has decided to shelve a long-pending, albeit non-binding, resolution that called for President George W. Bush to launch what critics called a blockade against Iran.

House Congressional Resolution (HR) 362, whose passage the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) had made its top legislative priority this year, had been poised to pass virtually by acclamation last summer.

But an unexpectedly strong lobbying effort by a number of grassroots Iranian-American, Jewish-American, peace, and church groups effectively derailed the initiative, although AIPAC and its supporters said they would try to revive it next year or if Congress returns to Washington for a “lame-duck” session after the November elections.

Congress, which may still adopt a package of new unilateral economic sanctions against Iran — some of which the administration has already imposed — over the weekend, is expected to adjourn over the next several days.

”We’ll resubmit it when Congress comes back, and we’ll have even more signatures,” the resolution’s main author, New York Democrat Rep. Gary Ackerman, told the Washington Times, adding that the resolution currently has 270 co-sponsors, or some two-thirds of the House’s entire membership.

Still, the decision by the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Howard Berman, to shelve HR 362 marked an unusual defeat for AIPAC, according to its critics who charged that the resolution was designed to lay the groundwork for the Bush administration or any successor administration to take military action against Iran.

“This was a joint effort by several groups to really put the focus on the dangers presented by such a resolution over the opposition of one of the most powerful lobbies in the country,” said Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

45. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

Who was that “mad” man in Waukesha?

Last week’s John McCain rally in Waukesha continues to garner mentions in the national media, mainly in relation to those in the crowd who urged the GOP presidential nominee to be tougher on Democratic rival Barack Obama.

Some of the stories and commentary have focused on James T. Harris, a WTMJ-AM talk radio host who, as an African American, generated a lot of hate mail based on his get-tough comments.

But few of the stories have identified the man who stood up and declared he was “mad …really mad” about “the socialists taking over our country.”

He was Ron Weisflog, a one-time local business owner and native of Pewaukee who now lives in Florida.

Oh, and about the AA radio host, one of the commenters at the link above points out:


Hey Greg,

you might want to point out that on Harris’ blog their were people making posts such as “thanks for carrying water for McCain but don’t forget you are still just a ni**er.” I just want to know if that is the hate mail you were talking about. I would think it is
October 13, 2008 4:02 PM |

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

RFLMAO: Congressman’s $121,000 Payoff to Alleged Mistress

West Palm Beach Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-FL), whose predecessor resigned in the wake of a sex scandal, agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him, according to current and former members of his staff who have been briefed on the settlement, which involved Mahoney and his campaign committee.

Mahoney, who is married, also promised the woman, Patricia Allen, a $50,000 a year job for two years at the agency that handles his campaign advertising, the staffers said.

A Mahoney spokesperson would not answer questions about the alleged affair or the settlement, but said Allen resigned of her own accord and “has not received any special payment from campaign funds.”

Senior Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), the chair of the Democratic Caucus, have been working with Mahoney to keep the matter from hurting his re-election campaign, the Mahoney staffers said.

47. marisacat - 13 October 2008


I have been getting a big kick out of the whole story… esp that she initiated the issue or legal case after finding out he was cheating on her with other wimmen. Where the wif is in this whole deal, I wonder.

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

A commenter at Volokh Conspiracy had this to say about Krugman’s Nobel:

Excellent. He was a pseudo Nobel prize. That he deserves. As his politics is pseudoscientific. Great. Now I can applaude. I am sure many of you have watched him on cable networks. Has anyone else noticed he seems a little off. He speaks like a mouse and his beady eyes have a strange stare. He looks like if someone droped a glass he would scream.

49. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008


Assuming Obama runs out the clock and wins this thing, which I’ve no doubt that he will, we need to think about and prepare for the liberal version of social control. Many libs are convinced that “competent” rule is coming, and like most willing slaves, seek ways to justify and beautify their subjugation. Eight years of neocon oil pig rule has them slobbering for professional state management, which their political and financial superiors will be delighted to install. For all the high rhetoric about American “independence,” countless consumers are content to follow orders, so long as their rulers give them something warm to chew on, or better, a sense of belonging.

You see this with numerous Obama followers as the election appears to be nearly over. Most reactionaries have given up and are lighting cigarettes in their crumbling bunkers, awaiting occupation. This emboldens online libs, finally given the chance to bellow victoriously, and baby, are they making the most of it. What the hell. It’s not as if they have any real political say in the process, so why not mimic their right wing cousins from the early Bush era and yell about their unique love of country, and how they’re gonna retake and remake America. There’s no point in directly confronting this emotional tide. It’s gathering a frenzied speed, and nothing, no matter how accurate or fact-based, will slow it. So, losers like me will spend these final days watching this wave rise and crest, noting its velocity, awaiting its crash. For once Obama’s sworn in, the wave will become a cesspool of shattered fantasies, feeding resentment not of Obama and his inner-circle, but of those who said all along that “change” was a sham.

50. marisacat - 13 October 2008

well it took me all day to bother with the SF Chron story on whatever came down w/r/t prop 8 but here it is. A class of first graders, escorted by their school, ended up at wedding at City Hall (think it was officiated by Newsom) for their teacher and her GF.

The problme is the latest ad from Yes on 8 has pushed a series of inflammatory declarations about Prop 8, among them that small children will be indoctrinated.

Really bad visuals. (only politically, the little children with bags of rose petals and bottles of bubbles is sweet) And an administrator at the school (public, charter) indicates she saw it as a teaching moment, in order to justify it as a school trip..

Other than that… but again somehow Newsom is near by the big problem. Didn’t think politically…

51. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008
52. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

I think Perrin is in moderation.

53. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

I can’t resist linking to this with: “your name is Toby”!

54. marisacat - 13 October 2008

oh what a dark laugh.. but it did make me laugh, just heard a resident down south in the Porter Ranch / Marek fire say:

It’s California, fire drought flood and earthquake: The Four Seasons, right?

55. marisacat - 13 October 2008


I think Perrin describes the congealing fuckball effect quite well…


56. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008
57. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

Roubini on the bailout plan announced over the weekend:

I spent the weekend in Washington attending the IMF annual meetings and giving a series of talks in a variety of public and private fora (IADB talk, C-Span interview, Euro 50 Group meeting, IMF panel, etc.). After last week crash in stock markets and financial markets (and it was indeed a crash as during the week equity prices fell as much as the two day crash of 1929) policy makers finally realized the risk of a systemic financial meltdown, they peered into the systemic collapse abyss a few steps in front of them and finally got religion and started announcing radical policy actions (the G7 statement, the EU leaders agreement to bailout European banks, the British plan to rescue – and partially nationalize – its banks, the European countries plans along the same lines, and the Treasury plan to ditch the initial TARP that was aimed only buying toxic assets in favor of plan to recapitalize – i.e. partially nationalize – US banks and broker dealers. While many details of these plans are fuzzy and there will be some national variants the contour of the approach are similar and close to the recommendations that I made in this forum.

snippity snip …

At this stage central banks that are usually supposed to be the “lenders of last resort” need to become the “lenders of first and only resort” as, under conditions of panic and total loss of confidence, no one in the private sector is lending to anyone else since counterparty risk is extreme. Only over time private lending will recover.

While most of the economic and financial damage is already done and the global economy will not be able to avoid a painful recession, financial and banking crisis (i.e. the V-shaped short and shallow 6-month recession is now out of the window and we will experience a severe and more protracted 18 to 24 months U-shaped recession) the rapid and consistent implementation of these and other action will prevent the US, European and global economies from experiencing a systemic financial meltdown and entering in a more severe L-shaped decade long stagnation like the one experienced by Japan after the bursting of its real estate and equity bubble.

Are we close to the bottom of this financial crisis? Today stock markets – and other financial markets – will rally on the news that terrified policy makers peering into the abyss got religion and started to do in a consistent way what is necessary but financial markets will remain volatile with significant downside risks over the next few weeks …

and …

Moreover, the US government will need to implement a clear plan to reduce the face value of mortgages for distressed home owners and avoid a tsunami of foreclosures (as in the Great Depression HOLC and in my HOME proposal). Households in the US have too much debt (subprime, near prime, prime mortgages, home equity loans, credit cards, auto loans and student loans) while their assets (values of their homes and stocks) are plunging leading to a sharp fall in their net worth. And households are getting buried under this mountain of mounting debt and rising debt servicing burdens. Thus, a fraction of the household sector – as well as a fraction of the financial sector and a fraction of the corporate sector and of the local government sector – is insolvent and needs debt relief. When a country (say Russia, Ecuador or Argentina) has too much debt and is insolvent it defaults and gets debt reduction and is then able to resume fast growth; when a firm is distressed with excessive debt it goes into bankruptcy court and gets debt relief that allows it to resume investment, production and growth; when a household is financially distressed it also needs debt relief to be able to have more discretionary income to spend. So any unsustainable debt problem requires debt reduction. The lack of debt relief to the distressed households is the reason why this financial crisis is becoming more severe and the economic recession – with a sharp fall now in real consumption spending – now worsening. The fiscal actions taken so far (income relief to households via tax rebates) do not resolve the fundamental debt problem because you cannot grow yourself out of a debt problem: when debt to disposable income is too high increasing the denominator with tax rebates is ineffective and only temporary; i.e. you need to reduce the nominator (the debt). During the Great Depression the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation was created to buy mortgages from bank at a discount price, reduce further the face value of such mortgages and refinance distressed homeowners into new mortgages with lower face value and lower fixed rate mortgage rates. This massive program allowed millions of households to avoid losing their homes and ending up in foreclosure. The HOLC bought mortgages for two year and managed such assets for 18 years at a relatively low fiscal cost (as the assets were bought at a discount and reducing the face value of the mortgages allowed home owners to avoid defaulting on the refinanced mortgages). A new HOLC will be the macro equivalent of creating a large “bad bank” where the bad assets of financial institutions are taken off their balance sheets and restructured/reduced.

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

file under ‘only in America’ … a store where you pay to break stuff.

59. lucid - 13 October 2008

58 – I find this to be a bizarre disconnect:


60. lucid - 13 October 2008

I actually found Roubini’s column today to be downright optimistic… what the hell happened?

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

60 – someone seems to be listening to him.

62. marisacat - 13 October 2008

oh gee. The Susan G Komen Foundation. SO much money was spent here on advertising that 3 day whatever. Masses of money, long TV ads, minute, minute and a half, two minutes. She was a daughter of Walter Shorenstein, very big commercial property owner here, big Democratic party donor, big Hillary backer.

gah. That organisation, I am sure, swamps and draws off proper attention to others. A lot of their wording drives me nutz.

63. lucid - 13 October 2008

Knew nothing about the organization, just found it bizarre that a store dedicated to allowing people to break shit was running a large ad for a breast cancer foundation, dunno why really – I’m sure I really would like to break shit if I was diagnosed… but just one of those double takes on my part, as most cancer foundations tend to be so ‘hopey’.

64. lucid - 13 October 2008

61 – apparently, though someone on MSNBC tonight said ‘we were learning from the British’… guess they wouldn’t want to mention ‘Dr. Doom’ as Roubini is known professionally.

65. marisacat - 13 October 2008

I think (this is a guess) a lot of the “pink washing” money gets routed to the Susan Komen Foundation. Walter and his other daughter, Carole Shorenstein (Niederlander Organisation) are adept marketeers.

Absolutely horrible people, however.

66. Madman in the Marketplace - 13 October 2008

63 – well, the whole “survivor” movement and that store have one really big thing in common … the idea that things can be fixed simply.

64 – not to mention all of the neo-Keynesians. Oh, and the whole “take a stake in the bailed out companies” thing was a big part of the Swedish economic recovery in the early ’90s, a plan that the Brits borrowed. of course, they’re real social democrats, and that philosophy is verbotten.

67. lucid - 13 October 2008

65 – well don’t get me started on the improprieties within medical non-profits. They’re as much to blame for the shambles of the US medical system as the pharmaceutical and insurance industries… though to be fair, they’re simply on the payroll of the latter two.

65 – Roubini had an article 2 weeks ago analyzing successful bank bailouts that pretty much informed his perspective – the Swede’s were the operative model.

In general I’m just wondering when people will start to realize that there are fundamental flaws in capitalism. The first and foremost of which is that it is not sustainable ecologically – something both Capitalists and Marxists seem to miss [with the exception of Rosa Luxembourg].

68. liberalcatnip - 13 October 2008

How does Paulson suddenly have the authority to use $250bn of the bailout money to invest in banks? Was that in the bill? (And check out the pic of Pelosi & Paulson laughing it up.)

69. liberalcatnip - 13 October 2008

I’ll say one thing about the Krugman choice: at least they chose someone who can write about economic issues in easy to understand terms. That’s a bonus.

70. marisacat - 14 October 2008


think they took down the Paulson Pelosi pic… not there now… i went to grab it to use, anything showing those gargoyles laughing works for me.

I caught some of her latest commentary at a mic on the evening news. She is becoming positively like some soviet apparatchik. Unsmiling and short choppy diction, sort of a low bark of orders.

Gonna be a very long, tedious, irritating, chalk on the blackboard few years.

71. marisacat - 14 October 2008

new post………………….


…………….. 8) ………………..

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