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And a single day on the markets changes it all… right? right? 14 October 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Afghanistan War, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, San Francisco, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.


A mullah kisses his son outside a temporary mosque at a refugee camp on the outskirts of the Afghan capital, Kabul. [AP via BBC]

I just loved that baby, festooned so beautifully with poppies… and where is the baby?  In a refugee camp in his own country.

But! not to worry!, the markets surged!  Best single day!  Best rebound! Ever!  Best best best best! One enthusiastic burble I heard was, the single best day and it did what took 69 years previously to reach (a more than 900 market, not just a day’s rise).

Endlessly we prop ourselves up… truly we are High Schoolers, let loose on the world.

But! Not To Worry!  An even better day is coming!

The Republican National Committee, growing nervous over the prospect of Democrats’ winning a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, is considering tapping into a $5 million line of credit this week to aid an increasing number of vulnerable incumbents, top Republicans say.

With party strategists fearing a bloodbath at the polls, GOP officials are shifting to triage mode, determining who can be saved and where to best spend their money.

And with the House and Senate Republican campaign committees being drastically outspent by their Democratic counterparts, and outside groups such as Freedom’s Watch offering far less help than was once anticipated, Republicans are turning to the national party committee as a lender of last resort.

A decision is imminent because television time must be reserved and paid for upfront, and available slots are dwindling.

A representative for the RNC would neither confirm nor deny that it was considering the move.

300 in the House, Nothing Less!  I have lit candles.

As for the senate the new number to pray for is 61… so that if Lieberman takes his mean little balls and goes home to the Republican Yahweh, the Democrats still have 60.  Jot it down and ruminate on it during the day, at odd times.  Jesus hears every little prayer, however inadvertent.

In other news, I just heard that since the Yes on Prop 8 crowd began with their very powerful commercial using Newsom’s own triumphal words the day the SC ruled on SSM (“it’s comin’, whether anyone likes it or not!”, what made it bad ws he screamed it.. I swear he is bi polar), why, those enterprising folks (ein volk ein reich) have turned the polling around by 10 pts.  AND they have only just debuted their second ad, the one that hits at the old bugaboo, your tiny frail children will be indoctrinated in the Great Gay Way.

4 weeks ago NO! on 8 was not out of danger but it was leading (with possibly as many as 20% undecided, the Yes forces saw that and moved in).  No more.

But, Jesus is coming.  Have no fear.  And the mullah and his divine baby really must perk up.  We have brought them Democracy and Better Days are Coming.  Chickens in all pots.



I need entertainment, don’t you?

Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-Classytown)

October 14, 2008 7:37 AM

ABC News’ Brian Ross has a recording of Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Florida, firing his mistress.

Listen HERE.

“I just learned today about the serious allegations concerning Congressman Tim Mahoney,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “These charges must be immediately and thoroughly investigated by the House Ethics Committee.”

— jpt

via Tapper at ABC


From NYCO:




1. marisacat - 14 October 2008


via the Politico email:

HOLY DOW!’ moos the New York Post. ‘Best day ever as re$cue takes hold.’ Top of USA Today front: ‘Biggest bounce ever.’ The Wall Street Journal: ‘Last week’s gloom turned into euphoria as investors sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 11 percent, the biggest one-day gain since 1933. It was the fifth-largest percentage gain ever, and it came immediately after an 18 percent weekly decline, the worst such drop in the Dow’s 112-year history. …

Of the five past one-day gains of 10 percent or more, two marked the end of bear markets, in 1987 and 1933. But three — in 1929, 1931 and 1932 — proved short-lived, and were followed by further declines.’

2. NYCO - 14 October 2008

Best. Cartoon. Ever.

3. marisacat - 14 October 2008


laughed til I choked and needed to get water, thanks for that popping it up into the post.

4. marisacat - 14 October 2008


Apparently Dem leaders knew about Mahoney last month, via Gateway Pundit a rightie site. What a hoot.

As I recall from 2006 Mahoney was recruited as a wealthy self-funder and had been a Republican. He jsut scraped in, even with the Foley scandale!

5. NYCO - 14 October 2008

3. BTW, I believe that cartoonist, Michael Ramirez, just won the Pulitzer Prize. if I’m not mistaken.

6. marisacat - 14 October 2008

As Brooks screams in the NYT (and others do the same elsewhere) that Ob will rule from the liberal side and the Dem congress is ruled by Leftists (truly, I had not noticed, LOL) this in Wapo:

Jason Furman, Obama’s economic policy adviser, has held his own extensive talks with Blue Dog Democrats and said Obama would seek to establish “a government unified around the concept of fiscal discipline and centered around the pay-go rule. Insisting on paying for things will lead to better economic policy.”

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), an ally of the Blue Dogs, is one of several Democratic leaders who urged Obama to forge a relationship with the 13-year-old group, which draws many of its members from south of the Mason-Dixon line. It picked up 11 new members in 2006, and has endorsed a dozen candidates this year.

Hoyer said of the language in Obama’s Senate speech: “It was included very specifically to say to them, ‘Look, I share your perspective.’ . . . The Blue Dogs are a common-sense group of people. They are not handcuffed by some ideological commitment. What they don’t want to see is indebtedness for indebtedness’s sake.”

“You can’t dig out of this hole. Now it’s a cavern,” Tanner said of the country’s fiscal state. “He’s going to need the Blue Dogs to help with this because we’re the guys at the gate going, ‘Wait, wait.’ “

I am all for fiscal smarts, but even the Blue Dogs (Boll Weevils) admit they use “pay go” to block what they don’t want.

7. marisacat - 14 October 2008

hmm from the Weekly Standard blog

http://weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/TWSFPView.asp :

… McCain’s decline in the polls in the last month and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s money advantage could mean Democrats hold all of their 8 toss-ups and Republicans lose a good chunk of their 16. A net loss in the mid-twenties could push the Democrats’ advantage in the House to around 255-180, putting the GOP just slightly ahead of where it stood prior to the 1994 election. Before picking up a net 54 seats that year, Republican numbers in the House during the 1980s and 1990s ranged between a high of 192 following the 1980 election to a low of 167 after the 1990 midterm.

Many Republican strategists hope to restrict losses to 20 or fewer. Keeping the number of GOP House seats at 180 or above is an important political/psychological threshold for raising resources and recruiting candidates looking to 2010.

8. marisacat - 14 October 2008

Dow down 250 [or so] at Noon PT

9. diane - 14 October 2008

It’s really looking to me that my suspicions may be confirmed the “collapse” was engineered…received the nonchalant notice of a likely enormous pay hit…of course with the lingering backdrop of well you now they’re bad times and we all have to do our part…and ya know some unemployment funds may disappear if you should find yourself jobless..and ya now studio apartments are now averaging $1,300 to bleed all the foreclosure victims and what in the world will you do with that lingering 50% possibility of returning cancer………when you can’t afford it with a job on your self pay…………….

Perhaps I’m just looking at it egocentrically, but I really am wondering how many are being asked to take enormous pay hits, when they haven’t had a raise since fucker’s been in office and thinking it’s likely in the millions, for those lucky enough to even have a job……….like 9/11, this “collapse” seems so much like another engineered tool to put the final coffin lid on a system that is no longer useful to our masters

10. liberalcatnip - 14 October 2008

It’s election nite here in the Great White North. Expected result: another Conservative minority government. Oy vey. I have an open thread at my place if anyone wants to pop in.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

“pay-go” means no healthcare, more war. Simple as that.

Enjoy your majorities, li’l cultists.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

via Boing Boing: Surreal Reykjavik

It feels surreal to drive the streets of downtown Reykjavik. The banks are lid up and people are working there. The logo’s are still outside the houses. The ads are still running saying how wonderful and trustwurthy the banks are. Range Rovers and BMWs are still filling the streets and the parking lots. Bankers in their suit walk the streets with heavy eye brows. There’s a strange silence.

It’s like we know the system is broken, we know it’s gone, but we can’t see it. We can’t tell what’s real, what’s still there, and what are just the ghosts of yesterday, when Iceland was one of the richest countries in the world. A pale reflection of the golden age in Icelandic economy which is now going up in flames. Where’s the smoke?

The world is treating us like we’re dead. Bank accounts frozen. No buziness without cash payments in advance. No currency can be bought. The stock market is closed (not that I have anything left there). Imports have stopped because of closed currency markets and diapers, flour, sugar and other neccesities are selling out in the shops.

People are well aware of the pshycological effect of the bank crises. For me, it’s the biggest shock since my mother-in-law’s sudden death. I fear that the society will be going through a similar cycle. We’re in stage one – the disbelieve and numness. When routine hits us and we realize that we don’t have our money and can’t pay the bills, start losing our cars and homes, then the real sorrow and sadness sinks in. And it happens at the worst time of the year, when the nights are getting longer and longer. In December we have 20 hours of complete darkness. That will be a very tough month. Suicides are already being reported.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008
14. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

Iceland is in such trouble it can’t get past moderation, I think.

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

Have you seen this promo poster for “W.”?

I can’t imagine sitting through this movie.

16. marisacat - 14 October 2008

Speaking of Iceland, I read that they turned to the NATO countries for help and got no call back. One reason they went to Russia.


Bloooooooooooo Dogs.

I loved how the Wapo (and Steny, who in our press is always called a Liberal, LOL) painted the BDs as having painted themselves into some beleaguered corner and Ob is so good to call and throw them a life line or something.

Please, they have said for years, you have to go thru us (whihc was tossed in at the end) and they partner endlessly not with moderate R (are there any left?) but with conservative R.

Good luck.

Same as Vietnam, had to wait for the Boll Weevils to feel the war was unwinnable, a drain or not cost effective or whatever their small insect brains finally worked out.

17. Arcturus - 14 October 2008

you’re not alone in that thought, Diane – here’s William F. Engdahl’s take:

As I document in my forthcoming book, Power of Money: The Rise and Decline of the American Century, in every major US financial panic since at least the Panic of 1835, the titans of Wall Street—most especially until 1929, the House of JP Morgan—have deliberately triggered bank panics behind the scenes in order to consolidate their grip on US banking. The private banks used the panics to control Washington policy including the exact definition of the private ownership of the new Federal Reserve in 1913, and to consolidate their control over industry such as US Steel, Caterpillar, Westinghouse and the like. They are, in short, old hands at such financial warfare to increase their power.

Now they must do something similar on a global scale to be able to continue to dominate global finance, the heart of the power of the American Century.

That process of using panics to centralize their private power created an extremely powerful, concentration of financial and economic power in a few private hands, the same hands which created the influential US foreign policy think-tank, the New York Council on Foreign Relations in 1919 to guide the ascent of the American Century, as Time founder Henry Luce called it in a pivotal 1941 essay.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that people like Henry Paulson, who by the way was one of the most aggressive practitioners of the ABS revolution on Wall Street before becoming Treasury Secretary, are operating on motives beyond their over-proportional sense of greed. Paulson’s own background is interesting in that context. Back in the early 1970’s Paulson started his career working for a rather notorious man named John Erlichman, Nixon’s ruthless adviser who created the Plumbers’ Unit during the Watergate era to silence opponents of the President, and was left by Nixon to ‘twist in the wind’ for it in prison.
. . .
Paulson, and his friends at Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, had a strategy it is becoming clear, as did the Godfather of Asset Backed Securitization and deregulated banking, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, as I have detailed in my earlier series here, Financial Tsunami, Parts I-V.

Knowing that at a certain juncture the pyramid of trillions of dollars of dubious sub-prime and other high risk home mortgage-based securities would come falling down, they apparently determined to spread the so-called ‘toxic waste’ ABS securities as globally as possible, in order to seduce the big global banks of the world, most especially of the EU, into their honey trap.

They had help. In recent testimony under oath by Mr Lynn Turner, Chief Accountant of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) testified that the SEC Office of Risk Management which had oversight responsibility for the Credit Default Swap market, an exotic market worth nominally some $62 trillions, was cut in Administration ‘budget cuts’ from a staff of one hundred down to one person.
. . .
It now would appear that the Paulson strategy was to use a crisis—a crisis that was pre-programmed and predictable as far back as 2003 when Josh Bolten became head of OMB—when it exploded, to panic the more conservative European Union governments into rushing to the rescue of US toxic waste assets.

. . . The Paulson plan is now clearly part of a project to create three colossal global financial giants—Citigroup, JP MorganChase and, of course, Paulson’s own Goldman Sachs, now conveniently enough a bank. Having successfully used fear and panic to wrestle a $700 billion bailout from the US taxpayers, now the big three will try to use their unprecedented muscle to ravage European banks in the years ahead. So long as the world’s largest financial credit rating agencies—Moody’s and Standard & Poors—are untouched by the scandals and Congressional hearings, the reorganized US financial power of Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase could potentially regroup and advance their global agenda over the coming several years, walking over the ashes of a bankrupt American economy made bankrupt by their follies.
. . .
The dramatic selloff of stocks across European bourses and across Asia is in reality a secondary and far less critical issue. According to market reports, the selloff is being driven mainly by US hedge funds desperate to raise cash as they realize the US economy is going into economic depression, that they are exposed and that the Paulson Plan does nothing to address that.

btw, yr linking flamenco & New Mexico yesterday made me smile – there are a number of analogies to be made between the way the gipsy & moorish heritages become a sort of regional ‘brand’ in Andalucia (& Spain in general) & how Native American & Mexican cultures are so prominent in the southwest’s regional identity. Raising all sorts of issues around appreciation v. appropriation – not to mention the ever thorny ‘authenticity.’

& then there’s flamenco & jazz/blues . . .

18. marisacat - 14 October 2008

I can’t piece it all together, it is too big for my weak self… but I thught it was clear that in some hobbled fashion part of the idea for the Iraq invasion was to keep this ponzi scheme going. After a lot of papering done during the Clinton admin to keep it going too.

None o fthese guys on view and none/no part of the American century is clean in this. One reason we will hve more problems.

19. marisacat - 14 October 2008

So long as the world’s largest financial credit rating agencies—Moody’s and Standard & Poors—are untouched by the scandals and Congressional hearings,…

Very true… and they just issued ratings on short term bonds that are up for sale, CA bonds, that Arnold is doing voice overs to hawk.

20. liberalcatnip - 14 October 2008

16. NATO countries for help and got no call back.

NATO’s got its war on (that it can’t afford).

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008
22. marisacat - 14 October 2008

McNerney has a TV ad up, all about war, riding under the shadow of “support the troops”… his son is in it.

23. liberalcatnip - 14 October 2008

I’m definitely not averse to the financial conspiracy theory either – especially considering that our PM suddenly called a snap election just before this meltdown, breaking the election law his gov’t had passed for fixed election dates which would have had us voting next October. Over this past weekend, it was just revealed today (voting day), the Cons met secretly with the CDN bankers to work out a bailout plan – too late for may CDNs who will only learn about this after they’ve voted. The feeling we’re all being scammed just keeps on growing – whether, like me, people know what the hell a default credit swap or mortgage-backed security is. Something’s just not right and the timing is suspicious.

24. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

Granny D to Participate in “Aegis” Christening Protest

Granny D, who lives in New Hampshire, is coming to Bath, Maine on Saturday, October 18 to speak at the Maine Veterans for Peace (VfP) protest against another Navy Aegis ship “Christening”. Instead of celebrating another “destroyer” VfP plans to christen a peace ship that day called the “USS Granny D.”

Another speaker on October 18 will be the first BIW worker ever to address a peace rally at the production facility. The BIW worker will call for the conversion of the shipyard to peaceful production – building windmills and rail systems instead of weapons for endless war.

Anne Gibbons, a leader of CodePink New York City, will also be a speaker at the event. Music will be provided by Hannah Maris.

The BIW ship to be “Christened” will be called the Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108) in honor of the “Father of Aegis”. Rear Admiral Wayne Meyer oversaw the development of the Aegis system that is the core of the weapons system that can track, target and destroy aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles thus allowing the U.S. “to completely dominate areas of operations.” The Aegis phased array radar forms the core of the U.S. “Missile Defense” first-strike arsenal now forward deployed worldwide and being used by the Navy to surround China’s coastal region.

25. liberalcatnip - 14 October 2008

That last sentence didn’t make sense. More caffeine!

(I’m just pissed, after thinking I could get through this life without knowing the language of the financiers, that I now have to struggle to learn what the heck is going on. And how can I when even the experts can’t agree? It was bad enough that I had to learn how to pronounce all of the names of those Iraqi towns. (kidding, kind of…))

26. NYCO - 14 October 2008

12. Via the Boing Boing item Madman posted: An Icelandic blog (in Icelandic, of course) for frugal Iceland Depression dining.


Just worth seeing for the combination of Icelandic and header graphic.

27. marisacat - 14 October 2008

Granny D is amazing. Hard to believe these days, and for a lot of days now, that she used to post at DkoswhackLand.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

Rush Limbaugh Says Angry Blacks Are In 30 Year Plot To Train Black Children as Militants

From the time of my birth, 57 years ago, to today, this country has grown and expanded, prosperity has opened its doors for more and more people around the world, not just people born in this country. We know the stories of Asians emigrating and running rings around people born in this country academically in California. We know all about the immigration, legal and illegal, to get into the country. We know that the standard of living has risen. We know that technological advancement is going along at light speed. And yet during this period of time, whether it be the last 57 years or be it the last 20 years, it seems that a majority of the black population has remained angry, frustrated, and behind. They’ve been left behind. They are acting like they’ve been left behind, and of course we’ve heard that this is because of racism, natural systemic institutional racism in America, that we are unfair, that this country is just horrible and rotten.

You ever ask yourself how it is that people not even born here can come here and in a few short years begin prospering in school, their own business or what have you, yet people who are born in this country somehow have been raised to hate it, to think they’re still back in the days of slavery. I actually think, after studying all this ACORN stuff and reading what Stanley Kurtz has written about this, I actually believe that what has taken place here in addition to liberal Democrat legislation, such as the Great Society and the war on poverty, which a lot of people will now acknowledge really busted up the black family by the government taking the place of the husband and father, free to roam around and bear no responsibility. The mother remained the mother, she got the financial assistance from this legislation, from the federal government. The federal government became the father. The father didn’t have to hang around in order for the kids to be okay, depending on how you define okay. But as you study more and more of this ACORN stuff, you find that it has been part of an entire movement that has been going on for two, maybe three decades, right under our noses.

We thought that it was just liberal welfare policies and all that that kept blacks from progressing while other minorities grew and prospered, but no, it is these wackos from Bill Ayers to Jeremiah Wright to other anti-American Afrocentric black liberation theologists with ACORN, and Barack Obama is smack dab in the middle of it, they have been training young black kids to hate, hate, hate this country, and they trained their parents before that to hate, hate, hate this country. It was a movement. It was a Bill Ayers, anti-capitalist, anti-American educational movement. ACORN is how it was implemented, right under our noses. They’re doing far more, folks, than just cheating when it comes to elections and registration. They are in deep in this mortgage crisis. ACORN and Obama and Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, the Democrat Party, have their fingerprints all over the subprime mortgage crisis. The whole concept of affordable housing was people that can’t afford a mortgage are going to get one, because America is unfair.

It has been a movement, it has been a religion, and Obama and Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers were all up to their big ears in it.

Just wow.

29. liberalcatnip - 14 October 2008
30. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008
31. lucid - 14 October 2008

Well credit default swaps were invented by JP Morgan in1993 as a means to get around capital requirements for banks. Given that the true elephant in the room is the $62 in worthless credit default swaps, it would not surprise me in the least if it was intentional.

32. lucid - 14 October 2008

that was meant to be $62 trillion, not $62 [the latter is probably what it is worth though].

33. lucid - 14 October 2008

Anyone know of any good ag/arts sustainable intentional communities about that I can go join in another year?

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008
35. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

[the latter is probably what it is worth though].

Good thing they got rid of mark-to-market then!

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008
37. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

Obama Campaign Hits Burnout Paradise

In its eternal quest to capture the youth vote, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has taken to the streets of Burnout Paradise, filling the game with billboards promoting the presidential hopeful.

“I can confirm that the Obama campaign has paid for in-game advertising in Burnout,” Holly Rockwood, Electronic Arts’ director of corporate communications, told virtual world fixture Wagner James Au.

“Like most television, radio and print outlets, we accept advertising from credible political candidates,” Rockwood added. “Like political spots on the television networks, these ads do not reflect the political policies of EA or the opinions of its development teams.”

38. marisacat - 14 October 2008

No escape from the Lord.

I saw screen captures with little squares over where the advertising is supposed to be. Apparently I am blind. Or immune.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

Or immune.

lucky you!

speaking of lucky, NOT if you live in the South: Hospitals in the American South 70% More Likely to Kill You

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

Study: Many Cancer Patients Forgoing Care Because of Cost

At a time when they’re already fighting for their lives, more cancer patients are now struggling to pay for their medicines.

One in eight people with advanced cancer turned down recommended care because of the cost, according to a new analysis from Thomson Reuters, which provides news and business information. Among patients with incomes under $40,000, one in four in advanced stages of the disease refused treatment.

Of late-stage colon cancer patients, 12% spent more than $25,000 out of pocket, according to the survey, in which 1,767 people answered an online questionnaire. This type of survey isn’t considered scientifically rigorous, because it didn’t use a random sample of people. But its findings are similar to a 2006 study in Cancer, which found that cost caused more than 20% of all cancer survivors – not just those with advanced cases – to delay or miss needed care.

41. marisacat - 14 October 2008

well that is the plan.

Obama has used his mother and her terminal illness, several times, and did so again at the end of the last “debate” bullshit.

So………………. let’s see if he throws dead mother under the bus too [that ws rhetorical, of course he will].

I really have reached the end with the election process. Small marginal possibilities locally, nothing else is possible. And that gets corrupted as it is part of the big fat pig grease pie. With marshmallows and mayonnaise on top.

42. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

As the Violence Soars, Mexico Signals It’s Had Enough of America’s Stupid War on Drugs

Since President Calderón took office in December 2006, he has authorized large-scale troop deployments (roughly 30,000 troops), in an attempt to diminish the power lorded over Mexico and its citizens by rival Gulf and Sinaloa cartels, as well as affiliates like La Familia, which has earned a reputation for particularly memorable and gruesome acts, including the night that five decapitated heads were thrown onto a dance floor packed with people.

Seizures of illicit drugs, particularly cocaine, have indeed increased. But so has the bloodshed and the level of fear: a national poll published on October 4th indicated that more than 40% of Mexicans felt less secure since Calderón’s drug war offensive began. Another poll published by the Mexico City daily, Reforma, showed that more than half of Mexicans believed that the cartels, not the government, were winning the drug war.

Still, as one would imagine, the Bush Administration has responded favorably to Calderón’s crackdown on drug cartels, ushering in the three-year “Merida Initiative” to support counter-narcotics efforts in Mexico and Central America: “The Merida Initiative complements U.S. domestic efforts to reduce drug demand, stop the flow of arms and weapons, and confront gangs and criminal organizations,” as the State Department explained in April 2008.

This past June, Bush struck a deal with Calderón to approve $400 million toward additional drug war assistance (representing a 20% increase in the Mexican anti-narcotics budget) — for still more helicopters, military training, ion scanners, canine units, and surveillance technology.

Considering their close ties, President Calderón’s announcement earlier this month must have come as a bit of an unwanted surprise to the Bush Administration. On October 2, Calderón proposed legislation that would decriminalize drug possession, ostensibly for personal use. Not just for marijuana, as one might have expected in a country where pot smoke has not been demonized to the same degree as in the U.S., but for cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin, as well.

To be more specific, Calderón’s proposed legislation, supported by the Mexican attorney general’s office, is intended to address a different kind of drug crisis on Mexican soil: a growing number of addicts. Cocaine once solely destined from Colombia and other Andean nations toward the U.S. is still flowing in such great supply that it has ended up attracting more users — and abusers. In addition, meth lab crackdowns in the U.S. have allowed narco-cartels to step in and fill the void, so that speed is now more readily available in Mexico, as well. The impact has been dramatic: according to the government’s own statistics, the number of drug addicts in Mexico is estimated to have doubled in just six years to 307,000, while the number of people who have tried drugs at some point rose from 3.5 million to 4.5 million.

If passed, Calderón’s legislation would decriminalize up to 2 grams of marijuana, 500 milligrams of cocaine, 40 milligrams of meth, and 50 milligrams of heroin. To qualify, any individual arrested with those drugs would have to agree to a drug treatment program to address admitted addiction or enter a prevention program designed for recreational users. Those who refused to attend one of these kinds of programs would be subject to a fine.

43. marisacat - 14 October 2008

I would not be surprised with his background in the senate, crime (he is all but taking credit for the Omnibus Crime Bill – or whatever it ended up being called, under Clinton) and Drug War, if Biden did not interest himself in PLanColombia, and whatever name we give the Mexico version.

44. diane - 14 October 2008


Thank you so much for that validating post, and your comment re flamenco and New Mexico, it has warmed an otherwise bleak day and I appreciate it more than you could know.

New Mexico left me unsettled and very sad….. I had some very strange experiences and strong emotional impulses there…for one I ripped some woman from a pricey relics shop a new asshole after seeing a very old and beautiful papoose’s carrier (have forgotten the name they were called) on sale, and of course for some insane amount of money (I swear there are some truly hideous and evil people in the collector’s world. I’m reminded of an NY collector who was somehow likely involved in the Son of Sam murders. Matter of fact there’s been an intriguing spate of fine art/collectibles crime hitting the news recently).

From your post:

most especially until 1929, the House of JP Morgan—have deliberately triggered bank panics behind the scenes in order to consolidate their grip on US banking.

Ties right in with the flyer currently on the WAMU/Chase counters:

JPMorgan Chase is known for strength and stability (and nearly a trillion dollars in customer deposits). But JPMorgan Chase brings more than money to the pary: together we have over 14,000 ATMS and 5,400 branches nationwide, a quarter of a million employees…

Recently read an article where a top WAMU exec pretty much seemed to be implying that WAMU had been deliberatly set up by the lovely, Non-Federal, Federal Reserve.

45. liberalcatnip - 14 October 2008

34. I Wanna Be Erected

During the 1980s oil boom here, our esteemed (cough cough hack hack) Conservative mayor had “Another Ralph Klein Erection” stenciled on new buildings constructed downtown. (I kid you not.)

CDN election results: another Con minority, as expected.

46. marisacat - 14 October 2008

fwiw it seems the R may have had some sort of victory in OH, drawn from an AP report…

[L]ate in the day – in a victory for Republicans – the full Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a decision made last week by three of its members. The result: Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner must create computer programs to cross check all new voter registrations so that county boards of elections can doublecheck new registrants.

The Secretary of State will now have to verify new registrations by comparing information on them with data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration.

“As far as we can tell, the problem with the current system (of cross-checking) is not that it is insufficiently user-friendly, but that it is effectively useless,” wrote Judge Jeffrey Sutton, writing for the majority.

The court split 9-6 along mostly partisan lines. The only appeal would be to the U.S. Supreme Court, and it wasn’t clear Tuesday night if that would happen. […]

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 October 2008

46 – that’s what they’re trying to get here in WI. It’s insane, there is no way a program can be developed in that short of time, and they know it. It’s purely about setting up challenges to the election if it’s close.

48. diane - 14 October 2008

Really liked this piece, the only thing I slightly disagree with is the National slant, I don’t think any of these criminals could care less about their respective countries (the only “patriots” are average citizens), they’re all of the same ilk, and there are likely representatives from China, certainly Saudi Arabia and Russia in the mix too.

The Liquidity of the Oligarchs – By Toni Solo

Everything is too neatly scripted. Prominent serious warnings from respected establishment figures of a crash, ignored since at least 2003. Prolonged coordinated currency devaluation of the dollar and increases in money supply. That steady inflationary trend of the dollar over two years until early 2008. The sudden inflationary spike in commodities in March. The dramatic reversal in July. The apparent bewilderment in September, prompting abrupt decisive coordination in October. The sun-has-got-his-hat-on markets, all of a sudden. “Back from the brink….”

Surely all this is yet another internal struggle among the imperialist oligarchs, hopping and snapping, squabbling like rancid buzzards over what remains of democracy’s corpse in the United States and Europe. What variety of oligarchy is to run Western Bloc countries now corporate consumer capitalism’s corrupt “free market” bubble-mangle has wrung what value it can out out of them? Much of what remains is in hock for an as-yet-to-become-clear slew of debt.

The G7 country oligarchs knew they were heading for a fall, because their economies since the late 1980s have been unable to sustain the required fabulous profit margins without systemic fraud and debt. From long before the LTCM failure in 1998 and the subsequent dotcom crash, a continuous power struggle has divided the oligarchic elites over their best response. The most greedy and aggressive faction ran the most profitable rackets, the financial sector.

They very obviously deliberately ran it into lucrative bankruptcy knowing governments would coerce taxpayers into bailing them out. For the moment, the elite’s power struggle has abated somewhat. Bitching and bickering over what levels of consolidation can or should be achieved, they ponder how best to maintain some kind of status differential between their Western Bloc countries and the rest.

Before saying “told you so…” and welcoming the return of the State as a primary economic player to stabilize the current apparent chaos, it might be worth noting how the current round of government financial rescues follows curtailments of civil rights unprecedented since World War 2. Current “war on terror” moves are probably the financial phase of consolidation of oligarchic corporatist government control over society. They concentrate power more tightly than ever, closing down recognizably democratic, participative options.

The oligarchic anti-democracy of the latest coordinated response to the long foreseen crisis has gone mostly unreported. There was no democratic consultation worth the name. Least of all in the European Union.The theatrical exception of the utterly predictable five-day House turnaround in the US Congress over the Paulson save-my-cronies plan hardly counts. The plan went through cliché after cliché, dog and pony shows, hoop jumping, bells and whistles, hung like a Christmas tree and all.

So there is both a financial and a political concentration of power. In the US, J.P.Morgan Chase now owns Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual. Bank of America owns Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. Citigroup has been frustrated by Wells Fargo in the oligarchy’s noisome-buzzard-spat over the corpse of the Wachovia bank. The Federal Reserve has steadily expanded its powers, periodically reporting faits accomplis to Congess.

In Europe, Spain’s Santander group snaffled up Bradford and Bingley in the UK. There too Lloyd’s are taking over HBOS. France’s Paribas BNP, another major villain of the piece, is taking over Belgium’s Fortis. This wave of consolidation will continue, as one insolvent outfit after another owns up to its delinquent debt. The consolidation will run on into Eastern Europe as banks and insurance outfits there fail, in places like Hungary and other countries who contracted the poisonous asset-bubble plague.

Emblematic of the consolidation of government control over civil rights in this period has been the deployment of battle troops for duty in the US itself, as reported by Naomi Wolf and Amy Goodman. Right now, the UK House of Lords has rejected Gordon Brown’s repressive 42-day detention law. But seasoned gambler-frauds like Brown always pitch for more than they need. Even without that measure, the new counter-terrorism bill gives Brown and his fellow oligarch frontpersons more power than ever to roll back fundamental rights.


“Any amount they wish for appropriate collateral”….”whatever quantity of U.S. dollar funding is demanded”.The banks are going to accept worthless corporate debt against good thin air funny money. Taxpayers and their children and grandchildren will be paying it back for ever. This is the Procrustes’ bed foreign debt scam that has crushed developing country peoples into subservience. Now Paulson, Bernanke, Brown, Sarkozy and Merkel and their accomplices are applying it to Western Bloc electorates. The corporate media applaud.

When they talk about liquidity what they mean is debt. That and other obvious things are notably absent from mainstream corporate propaganda media coverage of the continuing economic debacle. Little if any mention is made of the role played by almost 60 fiscal paradises or tax havens around the world. Nor has any forthright analysis been made of financial institutions and their shifty Arthur Andersen-style auditors failing to come clean about massive off-balance sheet obligations.


Avowing economic contraction, the European and US oligarchies may well cut back in real terms on healthcare, education and social welfare to their peoples. Pleading terror and menace, the 700-plus US military bases will not be cut back. The Western Bloc countries are consolidating their system of terror-based global gangsterism abroad and repressive corporatist oligarchy in their own countries. The hypocrisy and sadism thay have so cynically deployed to crush hope for peoples overseas is likely to be deployed ever more cynically against the pressing aspirations of their own peoples at home.”

49. liberalcatnip - 14 October 2008

48. The more you drive people into poverty, the less power they have. We’re in a global freefall.

50. marisacat - 14 October 2008

Roubini at RGE:

Nouriel Roubini, the professor who predicted the financial crisis in 2006, said the U.S. will suffer its worst recession in 40 years, causing the rally in the stock market to “sputter.”

“There are significant downside risks still to the market and the economy,” Roubini, 50, a New York University professor of economics, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We’re going to be surprised by the severity of the recession and the severity of the financial losses.”

The economist said the recession will last 18 to 24 months, driving unemployment to 9 percent, and already depressed home prices will fall another 15 percent. The U.S. government will need to double its purchase of bank stakes and force lenders to eliminate dividends to save them from bankruptcy, Roubini added. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said today he plans to use $250 billion of taxpayer funds to purchase equity in thousands of financial firms to halt a credit freeze that threatened to drive companies into bankruptcy and eliminate jobs.

“This will be the first round of recapitalization of the banks,” Roubini said. “The government has to decide to intervene much more directly in the provision of credit and the management of these companies.”

U.S. stocks staged the biggest rally in seven decades yesterday on the government plan to buy stakes in banks and a Federal Reserve-led push to flood the global financial system with dollars. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 12 percent. It gained as much as 4.1 percent and fell as much as 1.1 percent today.

`Really Tanking’

“The stock market is going to stop rallying soon enough when they see the economy is really tanking right now,” Roubini added. ::snip::

51. diane - 15 October 2008


Indeed, think I’ll go check to see if Ms Harman has any new Martial Law type bills in the cooker similiar to that hideous HR1955 which hasn’t been voted on by the Senate, something tells me there should be a lot of vigilance now about what’s being sponsored, not that our Rulers give a rat’s behind about what we think.

Here’s some boysenberry cheesecake, while I can still afford it.

52. NYCO - 15 October 2008

Health Care in America, “Hope I Die Before I Get Old” Dept:

Maybe about a year ago, the local paper did a heartwarming story about two assisted-living-facility residents (age 85 and 91) who fell in love and got married. (It was her first marriage; her mother had never allowed her to date, or had scared off all her suitors, or something like that…)

It turns out they’ve now been forced to live apart because the husband now requires a higher level of care that the assisted living facility won’t provide. (The “higher level of care” is urinary catheterization… wow, sounds complex.) So they get to see each other a couple times a week now.

Fortunately there’s been an outpouring of sympathy and outrage among the peeps in the community, so maybe something will improve for them.

Well, I hope THOSE folks don’t die any time soon… but reading this doesn’t exactly make me look forward to old age in this country. We pay through the nose for this kind of treatment? I’d honestly rather die in the gutter.

53. marisacat - 15 October 2008

Yeah I have zero intention of going quietly into that night.

I used to say at Dkos… see that massing of the troops at the border of Iraq? That is our health care, or the equivalent.

The country won’t be abandoning war, but it abandoned anything but the barest for it’s elderly, poor long ago. Even Johnson said, all he could do was shame the country into Medicare, to care for the old. And the past 20+ years has been a tear down. Right thru presidents of both parties…

I think the regs (LOL gotta love what is regulated) is that catheterisation mandates skilled nursing. Having at least LVNs on staff.

54. mattes - 15 October 2008

Great links on the economy. Thanks to all.

Absolutely orchestrated.

55. marisacat - 15 October 2008

LOL Where thre is a will there is a way

[B]ut Democrats may have a bargaining chip to play with the White House, in the form of the stalled Colombia free trade agreement, a huge priority for Bush. It could be moved with an economic stimulus plan and legislation overhauling the trade adjustment assistance program that helps American workers who lose their jobs due to trade.

“Trade adjustment and Colombia could be used as a bargaining chip with the White House,” the leadership aide said. “That is, if that’s even the route we want to go.”

Such a move would draw protests from AFL-CIO, which strongly opposes the Colombia trade deal.

Organized labor has launched intensive efforts to elect Obama and bolster Democratic majorities in Congress.

56. NYCO - 15 October 2008

Ugh, European markets closed down 6-7% today. There’s Roubini’s tankage for ya.

57. marisacat - 15 October 2008

I lost track a little over night but it seemed some of the Asian markets were under stress as well.

Welcome to the future… LOL.

58. aemd - 15 October 2008

Ioz. Go read. 🙂

“Christopher Buckley resigned/got booted from the magazine his daddy-doo founded because he endorsed the competent manager over the screaming queen. I mean, is John McCain not the faggiest candidate for President ever? Screaming about all you bitches and he is so sick of your fucking drama you queens so why don’t you shut the fuck up or I’ll leave your drunk ass right here at the club and you can try to walk home in those heels, girl. Shit, the National Review ought to be supporting Barack, who evinces a more convincing belief in dieu-donné American civilizational messianism than any politician I’ve seen in my lifetime–certainly more so than John McCain. “

59. marisacat - 15 October 2008

Dennis Perrin on “Why I support Obama”… what a chuckle. Mostly pictorial.

It’s been really entertaining to watch the blither following Chris Buckley’s breathless dead Daddy involved endorse of ObRama.

60. marisacat - 15 October 2008

Dow down 510……………………………………..

61. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 October 2008

Bill Ayers: ‘What could I possibly add?’

When the Tribune caught up with Ayers on Tuesday, he had no interest in joining the unpleasant conversation.

“What could I possibly add?” he asked from the door to his office. “Life happens.”

The blistering criticism of Ayers comes as a shock to colleagues in UIC’s education building, where he is seen as “a really nice guy,” said Phillip Kisunzu, a post-doctoral research assistant in the curriculum and instruction department who works across the hall from Ayers. Kisunzu said he recently asked Ayers about the furor.

“I brought it up because I hear his name on the news,” Kisunzu said. “I heard it again today.”

Ayers’ office door is decorated with pictures of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Che Guevara and Malcolm X. It is also home to pictures of children, bills of rights for students and parents, and a rainbow-hued greeting card advising “How to Be Really Alive.” A place of prominence is given to a New Yorker cartoon of a man interviewing for a job. The interviewer says, “I’m trying to find a way to balance your strengths against your felonies.”

62. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 October 2008

America’s Political Cannibalism By Chris Hedges

It is no longer our economy but our democracy that is in peril. It was the economic meltdown of Yugoslavia that gave us Slobodan Milosevic. It was the collapse of the Weimar Republic that vomited up Adolf Hitler. And it was the breakdown in czarist Russia that opened the door for Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Financial collapses lead to political extremism. The rage bubbling up from our impoverished and disenfranchised working class, glimpsed at John McCain rallies, presages a looming and dangerous right-wing backlash.

As the public begins to grasp the depth of the betrayal and abuse by our ruling class, as the Democratic and Republican parties are exposed as craven tools of our corporate state, as savings accounts, college funds and retirement plans become worthless, as unemployment skyrockets and as home values go up in smoke, we must prepare for the political resurgence of a reinvigorated radical Christian right. The engine of this mass movement—as is true for all radical movements—is personal and economic despair. And despair, in an age of increasing shortages, poverty and hopelessness, will be one of our few surplus commodities.

Karl Polanyi in his book “The Great Transformation,” written in 1944, laid out the devastating consequences—the depressions, wars and totalitarianism—that grow out of a so-called self-regulated free market. He grasped that “fascism, like socialism, was rooted in a market society that refused to function.” He warned that a financial system always devolved, without heavy government control, into a Mafia capitalism—and a Mafia political system—which is a good description of the American government under George W. Bush. Polanyi wrote that a self-regulating market, the kind bequeathed to us since Ronald Reagan, turned human beings and the natural environment into commodities, a situation that ensures the destruction of both society and the natural environment. He decried the free market’s belief that nature and human beings are objects whose worth is determined by the market. He reminded us that a society that no longer recognizes that nature and human life have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic worth beyond monetary value, ultimately commits collective suicide. Such societies cannibalize themselves until they die. Speculative excesses and growing inequality, he wrote, always destroy the foundation for a continued prosperity.

63. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 October 2008

Ayers trapped in the Moderation Underground, I think.

64. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 October 2008

For you gadget-loving folks in the Great White North: Freehands, gloves for cold weather gadget twiddling

65. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 October 2008

LOL, from Ain’t It Cool News: Quint talks religion with Larry Charles and Bill Maher!

Larry Charles: How are you?

Quint: Hi, I’m doing very well man, so I hear I’m following up Charlie Rose?

Larry Charles: Yes, so you don’t have much to live up to, which is good.

Quint: (laughs) Yeah, he’s not known for doing pretty good interviews, so…

Larry Charles: No, he likes to hear himself talk, but it was actually good, it’s fine.

Just thought I’d share that, since Charlie comes up here a lot.

66. marisacat - 15 October 2008

gnu thred………………


…………. 8) ……………….


Madman I moved the Hedges comment forward into the next post as it fit in……. 😉

67. marisacat - 15 October 2008


yeah I fell asleep during the midnight showing.. so I ahve it on again, as I missed Roubini, third up in a row of financial commenters…


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