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Flip sides of the earth………. 22 October 2008

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

Sunni Muslim women in Beirut take part in a protest demanding the release of prisoners accused of involvement in militant attacks. [AP via BBC]

Meanwhile on “our” side of the earth… Chris Hedges, from TruthDig:

[I] do not think George W. Bush or Barack Obama or John McCain or Henry Paulson are fascists. Rather, they are part of a cabal of naive, mediocre and self-deluded capitalists who are steadily weakening political and economic structures to a point where our democracy will become so impotent that it can be blown aside, probably with broad popular support. The only question is how this will happen. Will there be a steady and slow decline as in the late Roman Empire when the Senate ended as a farce? Will we see a powerful right-wing backlash from those outside the mainstream political system, as we did in Yugoslavia, and the rise of a militant Christian fascism? Will there be a national crisis [another one!?  Well I suppose we are ripe for more… — Mcat] that allows those in power to instantly sweep away all constitutional rights in the name of national security?

I do not know. But I do know that what is coming, as long as our oligarchy remains in charge, will not be good. We will either recover the concept of the public good, and this means a revolt against our bankrupt elite and the dynamiting of the corporatist structure, or we will extinguish our democracy.

But, not to worry, none other than Chomsky says, OK by me to vote for the Democrat in that vaunted, drilled-in-our-ears-til-our-brains-are-dead way out, “the lesser of two evils”… over time they really do help people.  (transcript, scroll down past comments)

And there’s nothing wrong with picking the lesser of the two evils. The cliché makes it sound like you’re doing something bad, but no, you’re doing something good if you pick the lesser of two evils.

Really?  Or is it the barest of food for the starving so they can go on voting and hoping?  That is my take.  I am with Oriana Falacci who said, she’d not sneeze all over herself, voting for either Prodi OR Berlusconi (of course she sneezed massively, when meeting privately with JPII to discuss creeping Islam in Europe, but let’s not go there today!).

There are interesting comments in the thread from a reader, Doug Tarnopol.  Link to his first, the continuation of three following are immediately above.


PBS’ The News Hour managed, somehow!, to have an extremely interesting segment with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan, and Benoit Mandelbrot, on our current state… and they opened with an eye popper:

PAUL SOLMAN: We sat down with Taleb and the man he calls his mentor, mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, pioneer of fractal geometry and chaos theory. And even more than feeling vindicated, they’re both scared.

NASSIM NICHOLAS TALEB: I don’t know if we’re entering the most difficult period since — not since the Great Depression, since the American Revolution.

PAUL SOLMAN: The most serious situation we’ve been in since the American Revolution?


PAUL SOLMAN: Professor Mandelbrot, can that possibly be true?

BENOIT MANDELBROT, Mathematician: It’s very serious.

PAUL SOLMAN: More serious than the Great Depression, possibly?

BENOIT MANDELBROT: Possibly. I hope not.

No soft pre-digested gibberish from them!


I have no idea what the stress is over this election.  Just one more, and I fully expect to see pale pink lambkins* in the streets as soon as Obama is declared winner, around 9 pm ET Tuesday night (too likely leading to a softening of turn out in the West)..

The lambkins will sing, Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama is our Leader! …leading to a rising crescendo  … OHH BAAAA MAH!!!! — evocative of the refrains of Tomorrow!  Tomorrow! is only a day away!

Hell why not.  No more lunatic than anything else on public offer…

* don’t miss the pink lambkin convo thread… esp if you need a laugh.




1. marisacat - 22 October 2008

You cannot make this stuff up (via Ben Smith no embedded links)

Vote Obama, speed second coming

Just off the press release wire:

HOUSTON, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Dr. K.A. Paul, the man the New Republic magazine called the world’s most popular Christian evangelist, today endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President of the U.S. …

“Number one, speaking from an evangelical perspective, the current administration, I believe, has delayed the second coming of Jesus,” he said.

By Ben Smith 01:35 PM

2. lucid - 22 October 2008


In more great news from Calculated Risk, the PBGC [pension benefit guarantee corp] which acts as an insurer for all defined benefit plans has lost $3 billion in value in the eleven months ending on August 30th… so the September market massacre isn’t even included there. So much for those pensions…

Also the California teachers pension fund has lost 20% of its value since June 30th, causing speculation that state contributions will need to double by 2010 to make up the shortfall. Look for a property tax hike coming around the bend.

3. lucid - 22 October 2008

crap – forgot the a in the /a to close the html…

4. jam.fuse - 22 October 2008

herzlich wilkommen, my friends, maintenant ich kickin it in berlin, right side of the big atlantic drink

hands down a far more fun, interesting and cheaper place than anywhere else I know of

however there’s a bit of race war bubbling here between turks/arabs and germans. the arabs are also ‘trying to run… out’ the blacks, I was told by an african gentleman I was talking to the other night. There is a level of anger brewing here reminiscent of the US. Odd, considering how good everything is here comparatively. They don’t know how good they got it, I tell you…

5. lucid - 22 October 2008

The German/Turk thing has been brewing for decades from what I understand… didn’t know about the Arab/black thing though [not surprising though judging from my experiences in Mauritania].

Glad you’re having fun. I might join you if the US completely goes up in flames. You have a couch to crash on?

6. marisacat - 22 October 2008


San Mateo co, south of me, is in trouble. lehman bros… and before I read of San Mateo, I had heard that towns in the East Bay are in trouble for various investments… more than one school district, for one.

gah. Not going to be pretty.

7. marisacat - 22 October 2008



I had read of the stresses in some districts toward turks and arab, but first I heard of the efforts to run out the blacks/Africans…

thanks for the tip… 😉

8. lucid - 22 October 2008

6 – the thing is, with a defined benefit plan, federal law stipulates a certain funding level and annual contributions from employers. It used to be that if there was a shortfall in a year, the shortfall was amortized over 20 years, now they’re amortized over 7 years. So, assuming they’re down 20% or more at the end of their fiscal year, they have to make up the shortfall plus whatever actuarial assumptions for annual gains over the course of 7 years via additional employer contributions. Everyone with a defined benefit plan is fucked & the public/private corporation that insures them is fucked. There will either have to be drastic changes in funding laws, or a massive bailout.

I really wish my boss had taken the advice of myself and my colleague and frozen the pension fund several years back and switched over to some sort of 401K plan.

9. marisacat - 22 October 2008

Someone kindly dropped me th link, Margaret Atwood has an op piece in the NYT:

[B]ut at some point we stopped seeing debt as a simple personal relationship. The human factor became diminished. Maybe it had something to do with the sheer volume of transactions that computers have enabled. But what we seem to have forgotten is that the debtor is only one twin in a joined-at-the-hip pair, the other twin being the creditor. The whole edifice rests on a few fundamental principles that are inherent in us.

We are social creatures who must interact for mutual benefit, and — the negative version — who harbor grudges when we feel we’ve been treated unfairly. Without a sense of fairness and also a level of trust, without a system of reciprocal altruism and tit-for-tat — one good turn deserves another, and so does one bad turn — no one would ever lend anything, as there would be no expectation of being paid back. And people would lie, cheat and steal with abandon, as there would be no punishments for such behavior. ::snip::

10. marisacat - 22 October 2008

hmm I had slept for a couple of hours, last I saw it was down 278… I see it took a dive dive dive. Down 500+ close 8519

11. ms_xeno - 22 October 2008

re Chomsky:

I pulled my bleary eyes away from the world’s most tedious Excel tutorial to read that vacuous shit ?!

Forget it.

[pulls instruction manual back over head. Goes back to sleep.]

12. marisacat - 22 October 2008


it was pretty bad. Bad bad bad. Very bad.

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 October 2008

I put something up inspired by the Atwood and Hedges as well.

We can’t change course because we have fostered generations of “leaders” and “thinkers” who know no other way, see no other way, deny any other paradigm than this most wonderful paradigm that is Free Market America.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 October 2008
15. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 October 2008
16. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 October 2008
17. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 October 2008
18. marisacat - 22 October 2008

Geesh John Cole from Madman’ link to Balloon Juice…

I agree with them both when they say that if Obama is not willing to step up to the plate and take a minor risk on an issue like this now, why should we believe he’ll take bigger risks after he’s president?

I thnk Kevin and Sully are FUCKINH NUTS… And Cole is pandering to both.

WHAT ABOUT FISA? Didn’t that tell the Boyos anything??

Here is what I thnk, desprite soft drool to teh contrary (esp Biden on with Ellen Monday) neither Ob nor Knob (nor MO) are for gay marriage, AT ALL. and in fact are much closer to their hated S Palin’s position. They’d love, in their heart of hearts to sponsor and marshall thru congress some piece of legislation.

They just won’t say.

BTW, NOW the fucking black ministers ARE starting to go high profile and public for Yes On 8 (starting thsi past weekend in Oakland, at least). Tell Ob to do one of his damned lectures.

Sully will have to be happy, DiFi is playing with making some No on 8 statement. I love how he accepts thin gruel and smiles.

Sully and kevin both are PUTZES. I was very entertained earlier to read that Sully, soon to be satiated in his love for Ob, plans to lead the conservative renaissance. Good, keep him busy. Tellhim to dress as Margaret T. Happy at last.

19. bayprairie - 22 October 2008


it cant be easy to stand out from the crowd when the crowd is composed of evangelical “ministers”. Dr. K.A. Paul really stands out.

The Plane Truth

20. marisacat - 22 October 2008

Ooops sorry, just remembered Madman emailed the link to Balloon Juice,e rather than posting it… here it is


21. Madman in the Marketplace - 22 October 2008

18 – I thought you’d get a good chuckle.

22. marisacat - 22 October 2008

what is it with these evangelical ministers?

Yikes. Scary bunch. there is a report out citing new polls from Pew that say religious voters are moving to Ob.

He is so gonna owe them.

lighting red candles to satan.

23. marisacat - 22 October 2008

hmm this AP report is being discussed on KGO. It is the background on a 2005 effort in the senate to rein in Fannie Freddie. FWIW. The discussion at KGO is not pro Ob nor contra McC… they are sort of being left out of the conversation, as it happens (the host on this show is a big big Ob supporter, thinks he has the capacity to be “antoehr FDR” and really believes it)..

WASHINGTON – Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage finance giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse.

In the cross hairs of the campaign carried out by DCI of Washington were Republican senators and a regulatory overhaul bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. DCI’s chief executive is Doug Goodyear, whom John McCain’s campaign later hired to manage the GOP convention in September.

Freddie Mac’s payments to DCI began shortly after the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee sent Hagel’s bill to the then GOP-run Senate on July 28, 2005. All GOP members of the committee supported it; all Democrats opposed it.

In the midst of DCI’s yearlong effort, Hagel and 25 other Republican senators pleaded unsuccessfully with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to allow a vote.

“If effective regulatory reform legislation … is not enacted this year, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole,” the senators wrote in a letter that proved prescient.

Unknown to the senators, DCI was undermining support for the bill in a campaign targeting 17 Republican senators in 13 states, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. The states and the senators targeted changed over time, but always stayed on the Republican side.

In the end, there was not enough Republican support for Hagel’s bill to warrant bringing it up for a vote because Democrats also opposed it and the votes of some would be needed for passage. The measure died at the end of the 109th Congress. ::snip::

24. CSTAR - 22 October 2008

I did see online interview with Mandelbroit and Taleb. Although there is plenty of reason for anybody and everybody to be worried, I think they were both very fuzzy about their reasons to be worried. Actually, I don’t think they said very much other than

(a) Financial structures have become very complicated
(b) They are tightly optimized, meaning that minute variations in any external condition may cause great changes in price.

I think everybody recognizes (a), but I don’t think anybody has any understanding of the nature of this complexity. For instance, one of the enormous problems in the financial markets now is counterparty risk, meaning that if there are N market agents there are N x N possible pairwise transactions. Unwinding all these transactions in bankruptcy proceedings may be beyond any computational capability we now have. This is just one aspect of the organizational complexity.

Anyway they could have been more explicit. But we have entered into a brave new world where we are all clueless about the demons we have created. The cliff dive of risk capitalism.

25. marisacat - 22 October 2008


I agree they were fuzzy. And largely atmospheric.

I prefer Roubini who gives masses of detail, both in person and in writing. But I did love the opening slam.

And it does seem that no one in view has a effing clue. I felt I needed a hole cut in my cranium last night, from the pressure of listening to Paulson for an hour on with Charlie Rose. argghh.

And Sheer at TruthDig has a piece trying to say Volcker is on the side of the angels but that Ob listens too much to Summers and Rubin.

Volcker on Rose recently seemed well past his prime. And Ob will just be a bit of soft cloth up against the Sumemrs and the Rubins.

26. CSTAR - 22 October 2008

Paulson is just in time for Halloween. I’d like to get a costume.

27. lucid - 22 October 2008

Without a sense of fairness and also a level of trust, without a system of reciprocal altruism… No one would ever lend anything, as there would be no expectation of being paid back.

my italics

Was going to comment on this earlier, but got distracted. The idea of humanist ethics [exemplified in Kant’s moral theory] is the the notion of simple reciprocity – gift giving, ‘alighting’, recognition [xeno code]. It comes from the notion of charis, grace – the cult of the Charities. In the earliest manifestations, it involved giving comfort to strangers, recognition of the equal right to speak at symposia […dinner parties], and a celebration of social recognition – in an equal way. I know, I know… referring to Homer is not always the best thing, but the essential ethical problematic of Iliad was the stripping of Achilles worth by Agamemnon when he took Breseis. It’s not like Aristocratic works have, for the most part, ever been especially feminist, but the idea [which also translated into a proto-feminist work, Antigone] was that ethics should be fundamentally about equality. And the pragmatic way that this equality can be expressed, is through reciprocity.

Reciprocity gets a bad rap among philosophers of ethics who have never understood the history of moral theory – it’s often dismissed as a primitive code. But, it is the basis of Kant’s idea of ‘the kingdom of ends’ – where each rational being must be recognized as equal because they are a rational being. It is the origin of Hegel’s notion of ‘recognition’ – that our moral code evolves toward equality because we all progressively see in others our own subjectivity. It is the basis of Marx’s contention that the universalization of subjectivity through the consciousness of value will lead to a world where we can be critics and cattle farmers upon our choosing, and by our choosing – that the division of labor and paradigm of production are things which can end in a Star Trek Next Gen utopia of each choosing their own life. And Nietzsche? Well, a world of aesthetic personalities is a world full of humans recognizing the other – ‘alighting’ the other, giving comfort to the other.

I went back to my old grad school tonight [which I left 8 years ago], to put up a poster for the IVAW benefit, the press release of which I’ll put in my next post. I had a long conversation with the departmental secretary about the departmental gossip in the years past. I ran into the chair of the department [Richard Bernstein], and another professor who I will not name that was instrumental in the tenure denial of the prof I was studying with which eventually caused my dematriculation. They all asked if I was coming back to finish… reciprocity my friends, reciprocity.

Anyhow, back to Wall Street. The Financial Industry has certainly never had an ethic to it, and while I laud Atwood for appealing to the train of thought which birthed ethics, I can’t think of an economic time in history when ethics held sway.

28. lucid - 22 October 2008

So here’s the press release – for anyone in the area, please come if you can. It will be a wonderful event…

Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has teamed up with the NYC management company The Wink Winks to craft an evening of rock and reflection to celebrate the release of Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan: Eyewitness Accounts of the Occupations from Haymarket Books. On Thursday, October 30, 2008, veterans, musicians, and the general public will converge at Sullivan Hall to raise awareness with readings from the book by Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans, and to raise money for continued advocacy with performances by some of the hottest bands from NYC and around the country.

In the spring of 2008, inspired by the Vietnam-era Winter Soldier Investigation, IVAW gathered outside Washington, D.C., and testified to atrocities they personally witnessed or participated in while deployed in the occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The book presents their powerful words, photographs, and documents from this historic event, with a Foreword from Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead.

Along with readings from Winter Solder: Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be performances by musicians from around the country who support the continued work of IVAW, including the Brooklyn bands System Noise, The Volunteers, Wounded Buffalo Theory, Lachi, the Connecticut band doublethink, and a special solo performance by Milwaukee’s Otto Ohlsson from Into Arcadia. Very special guests will be announced shortly.

Sullivan Hall is located at 214 Sullivan St. in New York’s Greenwich Village. Tickets are available for presale through Sullivan Hall/TicketWeb.com for a discounted $15, or $20 at the door. Proceeds will go to the New York City Chapter and the Winter Soldier Committee of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Doors will open at 7:30PM with readings and performances to begin shortly thereafter.

Come celebrate with us, and add your voices to ours to show that together we can change the path of this country and end this war and occupation!!

Iraq Veterans Against the War
The Wink Winks
System Noise
The Volunteers
Into Arcadia
Wounded Buffalo Theory

29. lucid - 22 October 2008

I have a press release in spam [multiple, multiple links]

30. marisacat - 22 October 2008

hmmm Asia markets crashing … I can’t go look even.

31. lucid - 22 October 2008

1% -5 % across the board at this hour… I’ve followed Roubini throughout a lot of this, and while I think his predictions were good, and backed up by many other economists, I think he’s now being overly optimistic.

After all, it is a ‘systemic crash’… yes, the means it’s the system.

32. marisacat - 22 October 2008

will go check RGE Monitor, have not looked for a few days… he has been too optimistic in the recent past as well.

33. marisacat - 22 October 2008

saw thsi at Drudgerina…


Looks like “Seoul composite” down 7.48%

34. lucid - 23 October 2008

I’m trying to maintain an optimism too… after all, I work exclusively for small businesses that don’t have a ton of capital on hand.

But it is totally devastating… hence my sussing out of jam.fuse’s couch and broaching of whether anyone knows of decent ag/arts communes to settle.

35. marisacat - 23 October 2008

well I keep up a certain optimism as well, however unapparent it might be. Right now tho I do feel we are in a big drain, being sucked downward and that The Bail Out was and is a big fucking mess. Now, what wrench arrives to just whack at the mess, I have no clue.

Plus it is thoroughly discouraging that NO ONE on view speaks to us at all. No one. I don’t look around for leadership, but the pygmies on display are disheartening.

Never thought I’d be forced to remember, for all his horror, what Nixon also was in terms of a politician. And a few others…

Maybe it is the era of the pygmy.

Not, let me hasten to add, to be rude to pygmies.

36. lucid - 23 October 2008

No, it is just the era of rude pygmies. 😉

37. mattes - 23 October 2008

2002—betting against the market, the winners:

38. jam.fuse - 23 October 2008

Lucid, I don’t have a couch at the moment (literally) however I should be in the rotten apple around the first two or three weeks of december. If you want, e-mail moi at my screen name at gee mail dot com, and we could kick it around, either online or in ‘real life’ sometime. That goes for the rest of the resident freaks here as well. My crib here is in Wedding, a Turkish residential stronghold; if one had one’s druthers, better to be in one of the three funkier districts, to wit, Prenzlauerberg (just east of me), Friedrichschain, (south of Prenzlauerberg), and Kreuzberg, a few km to the South. A little bit like Bed-Stuy vs. Park Slope, if you follow, i.e., ghetto vs. trendy/arty/funky/whathaveyou…

39. marisacat - 23 October 2008


hey hey

When you get together, have a drink for me as well.

jam.fuse, surely if you just wait it out, PrenzlauerFriedrichKreuzberg stylings will encroach on the Turkish enclave.

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008
41. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008
42. marisacat - 23 October 2008

Roubini on Hungary… in Forbes

Budapest, Hungary –

I have recently spent a few days in Hungary, a country that is now at the center of financial pressures in emerging markets. In recent weeks, the stock market has fallen, interest rates have increased, the currency has weakened and financial institutions have suffered shortages of liquidity. A fully fledged currency and financial crisis can still be avoided with appropriate and coherent policy actions, but financial pressures have intensified in the last week.

The macro, financial and policy weaknesses of Hungary–in many ways similar to those of many other countries in the emerging Europe region–are not new. But the global financial crisis has been the external trigger that has led, now, to a liquidity and credit crunch.

The vulnerabilities of the economy include a large current account deficit; a still-excessive fiscal deficit; a partially overvalued currency; serious maturity and currency mismatches in the financial system, the household sector and the corporate sector; a low stock of foreign reserve; and a high level of short-term foreign currency debt that is at risk of a roll-off.

Although the situation is dire, a full-blown crisis can still be prevented in Hungary, and in other countries in the region. But rapid and coherent policy action is essential to restore investors’ confidence and prevent a destructive currency and financial crisis. One should hope that the political forces–government and opposition–will stop bickering in public about what the policy response should be and realize that the times are dangerous.

Political uncertainty leads to policy uncertainty–and that does not boost confidence for nervous and trigger-happy investors. Appropriate policy action, together with the provision of international liquidity, can still prevent a crisis that would have destructive effects on Hungary and most of emerging Europe.

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

42 – this country’s greed and mistakes are like a huge rock dropped into a shallow pond.


But to the reluctant Obama supporters, the hedging anti-imperial types, McCain’s bellicosity is the central issue, and they delude themselves into believing that the principle danger of a McCain administration is that he would “start more wars.” That may or may not be true, and given the current political climate, any Republican administration, particularly his, would be hamstrung by the factional corridor politics of the American imperial court in Washington. The characteristic of McCain’s jingoism to bear in mind, though, is that it actually represents the unintegrated, incoherent mindset and world-view of most ordinary Americans; an unstirred suspension of nationalist pride, cultural ignorance, fear of otherness, and flag-waving military pride. None of these is good, but they all occur simultaneously in minds prone to dissipation, inaction, indecision, and fear of consequence.

Obama, meanwhile, has all the marks of a man with an integrated and coherent view of the central issues to the maintenance of American hegemony, and he should be expected to pursue the project of American dominance with more focus and more success. I won’t make bones about it. By the standard American-history-text measures, I expect an Obama presidency to be a successful one, surely at least a gradual reversion to mean. This will please his partisan supporters and most progressives (read: Restorationists), who will remain blithely oblivious to what precisely it represents: the more skillfully executed subjugation of other peoples to the needs of the American empire. To those who claim to oppose the American imperial project, that should be the focus of opposition.

The moral rubric is a simple one: carefully constructed, premeditated crimes are in almost every case worse than “crimes of passion.” A man who kills his wife in a terrible, heated fight is bad; a man who plots to have her murdered, make it look like an accident, collect the insurance, and keep her wealth is worse. What frightens me is not the prospect of a failed, erratic President, but of a successful, steady one.

44. marisacat - 23 October 2008

well… this is precisely it:

This will please his partisan supporters and most progressives (read: Restorationists), who will remain blithely oblivious to what precisely it represents: the more skillfully executed subjugation of other peoples to the needs of the American empire. To those who claim to oppose the American imperial project, that should be the focus of opposition.

Nothing more, nothing less. Kerry would have been largely no different, and votign for him had the added delight of retroactively endorsing Vietnam.

Obama will be more successful at the killing and warmaking.

Geesh, and they send him to us as Jesus. I mean, god forbid anyone know there were small “c” communists involved in seeking racial equality in the US nor that gays were involved as well.

It was all black reverends, right?

Restoration AND Reconstruction. We are still trapped.

45. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

‘Counter-Recruiter’ Seeks to Block Students’ Data From the Military

Barbara G. Harris, 72, looked her troops in the eye. Staring out at mohawks on one side of the room, salt-white bobs on the other, she said in her delicately firm way: “Hold your ground. You have every right to stand there, and if anyone tells you differently, tell them your rights.”

A retired teacher and longtime peace advocate, Ms. Harris was tutoring 20 new enlistees in the art of “counter-recruitment,” her personal crusade to block recruiters for the United States military from contacting New York City high school students.

She had assembled the group in her war room, a space near Union Square lent by a sympathetic organization, where plants and antiwar signs line the walls, in preparation for a blitz Thursday evening at parent-teacher conferences, where Ms. Harris and the others plan to stand on sidewalks outside school buildings armed with opt-out forms and their best sales pitches.

“You don’t have a whole lot of time — that’s the point,” Ms. Harris told the volunteers, who ranged in age from college students to the Granny Peace Brigade, a New York group of older women started in 2005 to protest the Iraq war. “Don’t be frustrated by that. They do stop.”

Ms. Harris, who canvasses on parent-teacher nights in fall and spring, and talks with community groups about high school recruiting in between, estimated that 9 out of 10 parents she speaks with do not know about the opt-out form, despite the city’s requirement that principals distribute information about it.

“You give them the information, you see them change their minds,” she said. “They know their kids are vulnerable. They say: ‘They’re calling my baby and I don’t want them to speak to my child. What should I do?’ ”

Over the years, Ms. Harris watched as military recruiters became, in her eyes, unduly forceful in the hallways of New York high schools. Recruiters formed friendships with students, she said, and gave them the impression that being a soldier can cure all their struggles.

Ms. Harris said she does not mind if students join the military, as long as they are informed of the risks and other opportunities, and meet with recruiters off school grounds. But she said that as she spoke with students in poor neighborhoods like East Harlem, she discovered that many of them were unaware that they could get financial aid for college on their own and saw the military as their only option.

“For many of these young kids, especially boys, it’s a macho thing — you’re strong, you’re one of the team, you get this respect if you join,” she said. “If a young person wants to enlist, at least he or she knows what it’s about, what the truth about recruiting is. They can decide if that’s the best choice for them.”

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

fwiw: New poll, same story

Barack Obama leads John McCain 53% to 40% in a new Wisconsin poll released Thursday by the National Journal.

That’s the exact same spread as in the new Big Ten Poll released earlier in the day, which showed Obama leading 53% to 40% in Wisconsin.

By and large, the Wisconsin polls this year have been remarkably consistent with each other, especially compared to 2004, when surveys by different pollsters sometimes offered very divergent pictures of the race in the same time frame.

47. marisacat - 23 October 2008

I get a kick out of the Illinois polls (via RCP, Tues the 22nd)

Illinois Chicago Tribune Obama 56, McCain 32 Obama +24

Shouldn’t he be up by 90 pts?

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

There are large swaths of IL, especially some of the ‘burbs, that hate ANYTHING that comes out of Chicago.

49. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008
50. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

MBAs Behaving Badly

taking after the MBA running the country, it seems.

51. bayprairie - 23 October 2008


Reason number nine.

Calif. gay marriage ban backers target businesses

Leaders of the campaign to outlaw same-sex marriage in California are warning businesses that have given money to the state’s largest gay rights group they will be publicly identified as opponents of traditional unions unless they contribute to the gay marriage ban, too.

52. marisacat - 23 October 2008


was just at SF Gate reading on the big gang sweeps and saw that headline. Geesh.

and I just came to (we are in a hideous heat wave, I am sweltering and mostly dead) and put on the KGO host who has been such a fucking shit about Sanctuary City and all manner of related issues. A former Libertarian if you can believe it. Now a big Dem party Obama believer. And buying the Feds version of the stories all the way.


53. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

the hysteria underlying the faith-based homophobia is really disturbing. I hope businesses realize that the gay and not-insane population spend a lot more money.

54. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

Judge throws out Van Hollen voter registration lawsuit (with decision transcript)

In dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Maryann Sumi Thursday ruled that no federal or state law exists that makes cross-checking voter registrations necessary for a citizen to vote. Van Hollen sought to force state election officials to verify before the Nov. 4 election the eligibility of voters registered since Jan. 1, 2006, when federal law required states to compile voter lists as part of the Help America Vote Act.

Sumi ruled that nothing in state or federal law requires that voter registration information be checked against other state records.

“Nothing in state or federal law requires that there be a data match as a prerequisite for a citizen’s right to vote,” she said in dismissing Van Hollen’s lawsuit.

Therefore, she said, “The court is without the authority to create such a requirement.”

She also said he had no standing to file the suit because the U.S. attorney general is charged with enforcing the Help America Vote Act.

Had Van Hollen’s lawsuit moved ahead, clerks could have been required to follow up on mismatches, sending letters or making phone calls to try to resolve the discrepancies. Initial checks have numbered in excess of 20 percent, mostly due to typographical errors in names or mismatches in driver’s license and Social Security numbers.

Sumi also faulted Van Hollen for bringing case to court without exhausting other means of remedy. The state has devised a process to address voting complaints, she said, which consists of filing a complaint with the GAB, which would then hold a trial-type hearing on the merits of the complaint. Van Hollen, instead, took the case straight to court.

“He did not use the process,” she said.

State law, she said, allows the state discretion on how to set up the complaint process. She also said that the laws require only that the state keep and maintain a voter list, but doesn’t specify how that should be done.

The ruling validates the contention by Government Accountability Board attorney Lester Pines, who said in court Thursday that Van Hollen was seeking to decide election rules, a power that state law has handed the GAB.

“This is a breathtaking assertion of power,” he said of Van Hollen’s attempt to force the registration checks.

55. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

Uh, yeah, well, about that

Greenspan went on to admit that adjustable-rate mortgages were “maybe not such a hot idea,” that exploratory surgery is “not actually as much fun as they say,” and that John Galt’s speech at the end of Atlas Shrugged is “probably too long.”

56. bayprairie - 23 October 2008

nobody appreciates this guy

Begging Thread
by BooMan
Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 at 08:14:13 PM EST

I just finished dinner and I’m getting ready to watch Game Two of the World Series. As you can see, I don’t have any ads sold right now, which is pretty depressing in October of an election year. I’d think at least some of the hundreds of Democratic candidates would show some love back to the netroots, but they really take us all for granted. It’d be great if I checked back in after the game and found some love in my PayPal account.

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

The War Party Embraces Obama

So at a time when the U.S.-supported government is moving rapidly toward a Taliban-type theocracy – even as that government moves toward some type of accommodation with the radical Islamic former rulers of the country – Obama is telling us we must pour more troops, more money, and more of our hopes into the Afghan front, which has supposedly been “neglected” by the Bushies.

No wonder he’s been endorsed by none other than Ken “Cakewalk” Adelman, and given support (albeit indirectly) by any number of neocons, such as Charles Krauthammer – who, after pummeling Obama for weeks, has suddenly discovered the Democratic candidate is possessed of a “first-class intellect and a first-class temperament,” which “will likely be enough to make him president.” And what more proof does anyone need that Obama is a disaster in the making other than that Andrew Sullivan, the former warlord of the blogosphere, has not only endorsed him, but fallen head over heels?

Ken Silverstein – Harper’s columnist and author of a new book that looks to be hilariously informative – is scared:

“McCain’s foreign policy crew has quite a few cranks (William Kristol, to state the most obvious) and his policies are generally scarier than Obama’s. Agreed. But having Powell and Adelman sign up with the Obama movement is about as uplifting as when Obama endorsed ballistic missile defense (the scaled down version of Star Wars) during the second debate. It’s conservatives who should be cheering.”

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

Why I’m Not Voting for Obama

To begin with, there are his stated policies. He wants to keep at least 50,000 troops in Iraq to “fight terrorism” indefinitely, and he wants to send those who are withdrawn from Iraq to fight in Afghanistan. He agrees with John McCain that the size and budget of the American military must be increased, he stridently supports Israel’s suppression of the Palestinian people, and he has said “me too” to reasserting American military might in Latin America, being especially hostile to Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.

Obama would be the first to repudiate the idea that he is any sort of anti-militarist or anti-imperialist–and we should take him at his word.

Domestically, Obama recognizes, unlike McCain, that the era of reckless deregulation and neoliberal supremacy has run its course. His policies will aim to re-establish order between the “hostile band of brothers,” as Marx called competing capitalists.

Yet no serious look at Obama’s policies indicates a plan to fundamentally reshape the American class system. As Malcolm X once said, “You don’t stick a knife in a man’s back nine inches, and then pull it out six inches, and say you’re making progress.”

59. marisacat - 23 October 2008

As Malcolm X once said, “You don’t stick a knife in a man’s back nine inches, and then pull it out six inches, and say you’re making progress.”

Oh that is a great line! I don’t remember reading that one from Malcolm…

it’s all gonna be about war, from now on. People are FOOLING themselves that we will miraculously decide we cannot afford the wars. The people running the wars don’t care what we can afford or not afford … the wars are making them money.

End of story!

60. marisacat - 23 October 2008


yeah but Powell and Adelman is about all that caused Silverstein to hiccup. And I saw that Sully slammed it (his rather mild push back on Powell) back at him HARD.

I was disgusted wandering thru Harper’s the other night. I nearly wrote to cancel my subscription.

Bad enough that The New Yorker is on its knees ready to service the Dem party in any sexual way needed (and it will not be pretty)… if Harper’s joins (and they may have, I had not been there in a few weeks) Holy Shit.

SHove the country down the fucking toilet. These people are IDIOTS.

61. bayprairie - 23 October 2008

and I just came to (we are in a hideous heat wave, I am sweltering and mostly dead)

oh sorry to hear that. odd too, its finally gotten cool here, a chilling 68 degrees for the high today. late for a heat wave isn’t it?

when it’s hot here i like to ice handtowels in a bucket, sink or cooler until well chilled, then apply freely. 5 or 10 pounds is good.

62. marisacat - 23 October 2008

I am heading to the fridge for the ice cream…………….. sigh.

63. Madman in the Marketplace - 23 October 2008

feet in front of a fan, blowing on your soles, is always a great way to cool off too!

Sweet dreams everybody.

64. marisacat - 23 October 2008

oh I do love to watch the boyos and formerly friendly boyos slam each other… from the Raimondo piece at Anti-war (linked in #57):

And what more proof does anyone need that Obama is a disaster in the making other than that Andrew Sullivan, the former warlord of the blogosphere, has not only endorsed him, but fallen head over heels?


65. marisacat - 23 October 2008


fortunately the heat surges seem to have passed.. last night there was a terrible surge at about 10 PM…

gah. I cannot wait for this one to end.

66. marisacat - 24 October 2008

Speaking of Sully

This is at his site today:

23 Oct 2008 07:21 pm

The Long Slide Of The Conservative Intelligentsia

National Review has become something of a joke; The Weekly Standard is edited by Bill Kristol, whose reputation as a thinker, as opposed to a shill and apparatchik, is now over; AEI hosts a war criminal; and Commentary, edited by JPod, is reduced to this. Thank God for Culture 11.

This is, of course, Sully whose only absence of retro-gressive conservatism would be his opinions on SSM.

And this was another special item at his site:

18 Oct 2008 10:14 am

Obamacon Watch

Republican radio host [Smerconish] switches to Obama primarily because of the over-riding issue of Islamist terrorism and because of Bush’s and McCain’s lack of seriousness in pursuing al Qaeda.

My view entirely.

So… if Ob does not reel in Osama pronto, then what?

Ob’s still racking them up… I see McClellan has come out for Ob. The former press sec twit.

67. marisacat - 24 October 2008

Japan dpwn 10%

what is left to say right now.

I found Greenberg like some secretive game, talking in riddles and rhymes, for all those years.. and it was so meaningless to see him today, before the creeps and loons and prevaricators of the House ..

alll of it meaningless…

68. marisacat - 24 October 2008

A bit of an eye popper in the UK press, just in the overall numbers…

The money raised and spent to elect a new US president and members of Congress is likely to surpass a colossal $5.3 billion next week, shattering previous records, with Wall Street firms dominating the donor list of the most expensive White House race in history.

As Americans fret about the economic crisis and the billions of dollars being poured into the stricken banking sector, a report released yesterday revealed a scale of political fund-raising and expenditure that exceeds even the wildest predictions earlier this year.

The presidential race alone is costing a record $2.4 billion (£1.5 billion).

The report by the Centre for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan watchdog, adds up the money raised and spent for the entire presidential and congressional election cycle by the candidates, the parties and outside groups. “In terms of political finance, these numbers are staggering,” said Sheila Krumholz, the centre’s executive director. ::snip::

and… no shock:

Despite the financial crisis, Wall Street firms make the lion’s share of donations, along with real estate and insurance companies.

Between them they gave $370 million and the top corporate donor was Goldman Sachs. The investment bank’s employees and political action committee have donated $5 million to this year’s campaigns.

The greatest beneficiary has been Barack Obama, who has raised more than $600 million since he announced his candidacy in February 2007, including a record-breaking $150 million last month alone. It has given him a huge advantage over John McCain, allowing the Democrat to saturate the airwaves. ::snipsnappy::

69. aemd - 24 October 2008

Looks like another bad day on Wall Street today. What a mess.

“Trading in futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was limited to stop contracts from dropping, following declines of more than 6 percent.”

70. NYCO - 24 October 2008

It’d be great if I checked back in after the game and found some love in my PayPal account.

BooMan, BooMan, BooMan. Love is not sex, and love is not a full tip jar. Didn’t you learn nothing in sensitivity school?

71. marisacat - 24 October 2008

hmm Ellen is doing a spot for No on 8. Well cannot hurt, too short tho. B a r e l y 30 seconds.

Think last I looked it is neck in neck but still wtih a worrisome number of undecided.

72. Arcturus - 24 October 2008

70. was probably too busy then bitching ’bout PC this, affirmative action that . . .

73. Arcturus - 24 October 2008

Wonders never cease:

“The federal appeals court in Atlanta [11th Circuit Court of Appeals] on Friday stayed the execution of Troy Anthony Davis, who was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Monday evening.”

74. marisacat - 24 October 2008


ugh the No push back /advertising has been so mishandled. They let that first terrible ad about “teaching gay marriage” run for days with no response, no argument.

Now there are two spots, plus the Ellen.. but slow and too little.

Have to wonder.

75. Arcturus - 24 October 2008

uggh myself . . . I meant to respond to 70 (need more coffee) – but you’re right, the No ads I’ve seen have been pretty tame – not to mention few & far between

76. Arcturus - 24 October 2008

74. I wonder what an effective pushback wd look like – my basic response to those ads is pretty much: ‘yeah, so what? get over it!’ – obviously not exactly ‘persuasive’

77. marisacat - 24 October 2008

well the “No” ads, which are all rebuttals, just seem timid.

78. Arcturus - 24 October 2008

have you seen any ads opposing Prop 6? the one, that among other things, would prosecute 14 y/o’s as adults throughout a wide range of charges

79. marisacat - 24 October 2008

Bratton joins in, via Ben Smith:

October 24, 2008
Categories: Barack Obama

The Los Angeles police chief has taped a robocall for Obama, the L.A. Times reports, apparently criticizing McCain and pushing back on the robocalls claiming Obama’s soft on crime.

For a vehicle — robocalls — that many on both sides think is ineffective, they’re both sure putting out a lot of them.

80. marisacat - 24 October 2008


I am voting NO on 6 but have seen no ads and little discussion. Nader and Gonzalez have spoken against it.

ANd I did read over the main pts again last night. The MS 13 sweep seems timed to reinforce it.

81. marisacat - 24 October 2008

an hour to go and Dow down 200 pts.

82. marisacat - 24 October 2008

I am slow with this, but BoJo for Ob:

There are all sorts of reasons for hoping that Barack Hussein Obama will be the next president of the United States. He seems highly intelligent. He has an air of courtesy and sincerity. Unlike the current occupant of the White House, he has no difficulty in orally extemporising a series of grammatical English sentences, each containing a main verb.

Unlike his opponent, he visibly incarnates change and hope, at a time when America desperately needs both.

If Barack Hussein Obama is successful next month, then we could even see the beginning of the end of race-based politics, with all the grievance-culture and special interest groups and political correctness that come with it.

OK! I have to ask (and there is plenty of this stateside as well, Stuart Taylor has an awful post at National Journal) have we moved beyond the 19th c, as in, REALLY?? Have we?

He can speak and he will end race grievance, for the whites.

I am so in love with those ideas. So new, so fresh.

83. marisacat - 24 October 2008

Meet the Press: McCain. Roundtable with Charlie Cook, Kelly O’Donnell, Chuck Todd.

Face the Nation: Robert Rubin, McCain economic aide Holtz-Eakin, Govs. Tim Pawlenty, Ed Rendell

Fox News Sunday: Former Gov. Ridge, Gov. Crist

This Week: GE CEO Jack Welch, Rep. Emanuel, Sen. Graham. Roundtable with Peggy Noonan, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, George Will

Late Edition: Sens. Bayh, Kyl; Reps. Wasserman-Schultz, Heather Wilson

84. penlan - 24 October 2008

Bloomberg will get to run for Mayor again. From the NYT:


85. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2008

73 – surprising good new Arcturus. Thanks for that.

86. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2008

Dollar Bill On Floor Sends Wall Street Into Frenzy

NEW YORK—Wall Street investors experienced a sudden surge in optimism Tuesday when, after six tumultuous weeks that saw record drops in the Dow Jones industrial average, a $1 bill was spotted on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The dollar bill was discovered in the northwest corner of the trading floor at approximately 12:05 p.m., and its condition was reported as “crinkled, but real.” Word of the tangible denomination of U.S. currency spread quickly across the NYSE, sending traders into a frenzied rush of shouting, arm-flailing, hooting, hollering, and, according to eyewitnesses, at least one dog pile.

“With credit frozen and the commercial paper market poised on the brink of collapse, this is the most promising development I’ve seen on Wall Street in months,” said floor trader Tim Formato, one of hundreds who gathered around the $1 bill and excitedly called their clients to inform them that they were looking at actual U.S. tender. “I think I touched it.”

According to witnesses, the trading floor was soon abuzz with energy, as traders pointed at the dollar and repeatedly shouted “Look!” and “Money!” A proposal to divide the $1 note into 1,300 equal pieces and distribute them amongst investors was considered, but ultimately rejected. Early reports estimate the dollar may have passed through as many as 65 hands before disappearing in the late afternoon.

87. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2008

Obamapalooza in Grant Park– a looming civic headache

I don’t share the concerns of those who worry about who’s going to pay for all the costs associated with such a party — the Obama campaign is loaded and I’m sure they’ll pony up. Nor do I worry about the mood of the crowd turning ugly if Obama loses to John McCain — call me an optimist about human nature.

And I understand Obama’s desire for yet another spectacle along the lines of his convention speech at an outdoor football stadium in August.

But still, this Grant Park soiree — Obamapalooza or, perhaps The Return of a Pope-like Figure — seems like a bad idea, an overly ambitious event to throw together on short notice, more risk than reward, more trouble than it’s worth.

Or am I just being an old man about this?

88. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2008

Don’t know if Lucid is around … he might find this interesting:

“YOU cannot overestimate,” thundered psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, “how threatened the scientific establishment is by the fact that it now looks like the materialist paradigm is genuinely breaking down. You’re gonna hear a lot in the next calendar year about… how Darwin’s explanation of how human intelligence arose is the only scientific way of doing it… I’m asking us as a world community to go out there and tell the scientific establishment, enough is enough! Materialism needs to start fading away and non-materialist causation needs to be understood as part of natural reality.”

His enthusiasm was met with much applause from the audience gathered at the UN’s east Manhattan conference hall on 11 September for an international symposium called Beyond the Mind-Body Problem: New Paradigms in the Science of Consciousness. Earlier Mario Beauregard, a researcher in neuroscience at the University of Montreal, Canada, and co-author of The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist’s case for the existence of the soul, told the audience that the “battle” between “maverick” scientists like himself and those who “believe the mind is what the brain does” is a “cultural war”.

Schwartz and Beauregard are part of a growing “non-material neuroscience” movement. They are attempting to resurrect Cartesian dualism – the idea that brain and mind are two fundamentally different kinds of things, material and immaterial – in the hope that it will make room in science both for supernatural forces and for a soul. The two have signed the “Scientific dissent from Darwinism” petition, spearheaded by the Seattle-based Discovery Institute, headquarters of the intelligent design movement. ID argues that biological life is too complex to have arisen through evolution.

89. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2008
90. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2008
91. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2008

Walking in a Wingnut Wonderland

It might seem a tad unlikely that a billion-odd years of evolution could be overturned by a single state failing to change its constitution. But then, you probably believe in evolution, you poor, all-of-history’s-tragedies-causing fool. It might seem a smidge odd that while homosexuality endures despite media and cultural disapproval and the ubiquity of heterosexual marriage, heterosexuality will, within a generation, be completely abolished if children see two ladies register for china. But then, you are probably insufficiently sensitive to the terrible, polymorphous allure of homosexuality, which can only be resisted by constant, obsessive affirmations that it will destroy the world, and by driving any acknowledgment of its existence from the public realm. You may even think that getting so ridiculously worked up about it seems kind of, well, kind of gay. Shows what you know.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is vote Yes on #2 or we’ll all be furries by Christmas, leading to the decline of Human Civilization and/or rug burn. Fact: no religious or secular society has ever gotten egg nog out of mascot fur.

92. Madman in the Marketplace - 24 October 2008

It is worth watching Moyers tonight for the video of buskers all over the world singing “Stand By Me” from the movie Playing For Change.

James Galbraith was great, too.

93. jam.fuse - 24 October 2008

Lucid, et al – Now that I think of it, one’s best bet’d be looking at craigslist.org on the berlin page and finding a short stay in one of those ‘hoods mentioned (Prenzlauerber, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg (or Neuköln)); lest one run the risk of finding oneself condemned to sleeping on the floor of a surly, generally unpredictable paranoic in a sometimes racially hostile district (i.e., me and my smallish place in wedding). You’ll probably have a much better time assuming thou hast a few credits…

Around two years ago I found a place on there for 150 euros a week with balcony, full bath, full kitchen, living room and bedroom with heated waterbed (Neuköln, south of Kreuzberg).

94. diane - 24 October 2008

Marisa, thanks for the Ed Jew update a thread or two ago, perhaps not PC of me in regards to the “Jew” family but I’m bewildered by his family adopting and keeping that name when it’s been used so much as a derisive term versus its actual meaning……

robocalls ….I despise those things with a passion, if anyone doesn’t want my vote (not that it’s mattered that much) make a focking robocall to my line and don’t leave a return number,………as if to say…….. no, actually saying,…..that my opinion is insignificant. Or send out a political flyer without a phone number so my mother, who shouldn’t have to be required to buy a computer to contact you fockers, can’t respond to you, to tell you you’re quite the asshole (in so many words, not quite the same as mine…though you will certainly get the focking message)

95. diane - 24 October 2008

well oopsy doopsy, screwed up the itallics, which should have ended after the first robocall….

96. marisacat - 24 October 2008

hmm 95

there’s lots of Chinese family surname “Jew” around here. Not 40 years ago when I was a child, but since the revamping of Chinese place and family names into updated Western spellings. Tho in some ways I still think of Beijing as Pekin or Peking.

The Jew last name means nothing around here but what ti is, a Chinese family surname.

97. diane - 24 October 2008

I mean seriously, what can folks possibly be thinking who still make idols out of bot politicians who make robcalls to their phone lines, yet somehow escaped having the number their lackey bots are dialing from, being required to be identified? That’s fucking harrasment that a person isn’t even able to address.

My state House Rep did that, and I will never, ever vote for them again, in this lifetime, or the next.

98. marisacat - 24 October 2008

LOL I saw Michelle is out there today, saying Barack “is not a politician”.

What a hoot!

99. diane - 24 October 2008


Just seems odd to me….because the Chinese names i’ve seen written are never pronounced in English, the way they’re written in English..I would have thought Xhui or something…because I’ve heard what I thought were “j” sounds associated with Xh or something similar…

I’m getting pinged and disconnected from the internet, on my dialup, like nobody’s frickken business tonight…..if I don’t respond to something, you’ll know why…

100. diane - 24 October 2008

Thanks for the italics fix Marisa!

101. marisacat - 24 October 2008

well he was running as a pol. Keeping it simple.. LOL a little too simple. Did not even live in town.

Down down down he went. They got him on a bribe from a Tapioca retailer that wanted an in in Chinatown.

Bye bye Ed Jew.

102. marisacat - 24 October 2008

Financial Times on the labyrinthine political book deals… and the insider who negotiated Ob’s way thru big time book deals when he reached Washington. In fact the minute he reached Washington.

It happened circuitously. In 1990, Obama was already enough of a celebrity – the first black president of the prestigious Harvard Law Review – for the New York publishers Simon & Schuster to offer a “six-figure contract” for a proposed autobiography. The only problem was that Obama was too busy finishing law school to write the book, and the contract was eventually cancelled. By the time Obama finished Dreams From My Father – published by Times Books in 1995 – his advance was only $40,000. In 2004, Obama – now a state senator in Illinois and a candidate for the US senate – was chosen to be the keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention, but his book was long out of print. Yet when he arrived in Washington, the $169,300 senator’s salary was not going to be his mainstay: two weeks before he was sworn in, Crown Books announced a $1.9m three-book contract with the senator-elect.

We would nto want him left out of the inner circle, would we?


103. liberalcatnip - 24 October 2008

88. The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist’s case for the existence of the soul

If he’d couch it in a term that’s not as religiously loaded as “the soul” (which I don’t believe in), he might have something but who’s to say that the material doesn’t create the non-material? That really ought to be a given, afaic.

104. liberalcatnip - 24 October 2008

Video: Nader accuses Obama of antisemitism against Arabs. I didn’t even know there’d been a “third-party” debate until I saw that clip.

105. diane - 24 October 2008

Speaking of books (jeez $1.9M huh, wonder how these elections into the elite exactly happen…or perhaps I don’t even want to know), I’m about half way through Angler….Cheney..Addington…Yoo.(Bezerkly my fockin ass)..fucking stunning,..knew it was really bad…but…jesus……And I’m really disturbed about how, so far, the author, Burton Gellman, of the Washingtin Post, seems to be highly focused on leaving the message underneath it all that it was all done for country by some self sacrificing workaholics who perhaps got a bit too zealous…Perhaps I’m wrong…haven’t finished it yet, but that’s what I’m reading into it…my suspicious side tells me you can sell folks a real bill of goods by telling them more truth than not.

106. diane - 24 October 2008

correction, the author’s name: Barton Gellman, not Burton.

107. marisacat - 24 October 2008

I thnk C-Span covered the third parties debate. Second tiem that Nader has pulled that one out. The other, a few months ago, raged around BlogSnottery.

108. marisacat - 24 October 2008


Barton Gellman is too slick by half. But then, he is at the Wapo……….soooooooooooo…………………

109. diane - 24 October 2008


yeah Wapo perhaps a bit slicker than Woodward as of recent…..I think it’s worth the read but fraught with dangers if you don’t block Gellman’s energies………I think he may be telling more of the truth, since everyone knows Cheney, Addington & Yoo, are sewer scum, so he can sell a hideous and diseased agenda…..

110. marisacat - 24 October 2008

well, god knows why Yoo is over at Berkeley, but he is. Gah.

111. marisacat - 24 October 2008

gnu thred……………..


………………. 8) ……………………

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