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killing them softly……….. 31 October 2008

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


AFP/Getty via Daily Telegraph

Lordy… after wandering thru the ObamaMessiah.blogspot.com travesty last night… and noting in a Daily Telegraph Photo Gallery, Obamarama that official Obama crap includes pajamas, called Ojamas (really, first photo up at the gallery)… it was no shock to land on this at TimesOnline:

Barack Obama’s senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency if he wins next week’s election, amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harbouring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve.

The sudden financial crisis and the prospect of a deep and painful recession have increased the urgency inside the Obama team to bring people down to earth, after a campaign in which his soaring rhetoric and promises of “hope” and “change” are now confronted with the reality of a stricken economy. [oh puhleeze, they did more than that, they sold him as an ALCHEMIST — Mcat]

One senior adviser told The Times that the first few weeks of the transition, immediately after the election, were critical, “so there’s not a vast mood swing from exhilaration and euphoria to despair”.

I laughed like hell at this bit of sour effluvia:

The aide said that Mr Obama himself was the first to realise that expectations risked being inflated.

He managed that did he?

Yet Mr Obama and his aides are under no illusions about the size of the challenges the Democrat will inherit if he enters the Oval Office. Tom Daschle, the party’s former leader in the US Senate and a strong contender for the post of White House chief-of-staff in an Obama administration, said last month that the winner next week would have only a 50 per cent chance of winning a second term in 2012.

Quick!  Triage for the BabyBama Forces… they can’t handle that!  Not yet!  Let them down slowly!  Don’t drop the babies!  They are the Future!!!!!!

Don’t worry!  There’s still milk and cookies for the poor, free or discounted tickets to Obama Revivals for the middle class — and the one big big big big pimple of a Gulag will be shut (we have so many other options, you know) and they’ll be promising Universal Kinda Sorta Insurance Based Kinda Sorta Care ’til.. oh… ’til the Moon Really is Green Cheese.

Then they will stop.  The promising, I mean.

Having promised “real” change, the pressure will be on him to deliver. In the Colorado interview, Mr Obama added: “The next president has got to come quickly out of the box.”

The early priorities being lined up if he takes power are a mixture of symbolism and substance. He plans to make a major address in a big Muslim country early in his first term. [I am so relieved!  Tell him to leave a bucket of his trade marked DNA for them to share!  — Mcat] Having pledged on the campaign trail to close Guantanamo Bay, he is also determined to make early moves to rid America of the controversial prison. Yet what to do with the remaining inmates looms as an intractable problem, as many of their home governments refuse to allow them to return.  [Shut UP!  This should be easy peasy for Mahatma Obama!  STFU, with your blasphemy!  — Mcat]

Mr Obama’s first legislative goals will be to follow through on his pledge to cut taxes for the middle class and raise them for the wealthiest Americans, and to push through a hugely expensive Bill to provide near-universal health insurance.

While I was reading the post orgasm dial back I caught Brokaw on with Charlie.  Maybe Charlie could get a referral to Brokaw’s Botox Guy.  I’d recommend it, frankly.

But let’s stick to issues shall we?  They tell us over and over we must stick to the issues!  Issues matter, yes they do!!!

They both admitted they have NO FUCKING CLUE what Obama thinks, much less plans, about FP.  Do you love it?  And why don’t they? Weren’t they in a position to FUCKING FIND OUT???  Because, stand back now for blood spatter from the BamaBabies as their heads and necks and all major arteries  explode!!, he has no real (this is reality not prayer time) public record of federal level votes – try to remember he barely showed up in the Senate, showed up about half the time for the committees he was on —  and worked hard to cause no ripples….  Among other things.



So, they raised expectations a little? You think?  A selection from the right side bar at Obama Messiah:

Obama Conversion Stories

“Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama.”

Dinesh Sharma

“We just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra.”

Chicago] Sun-Times

“A Lightworker — An Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being”

Mark Morford

“What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history”

Jesse Jackson, Jr.

“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Barack Obama

“Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?”

Daily Kos

“He communicates God-like energy…”

Steve Davis (Charleston, SC)

“Not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul”

Commentator @ Chicago Sun Times

“I’ll do whatever he says to do. I’ll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear.”

Halle Berry

“A quantum leap in American consciousness”

Deepak Chopra

“He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians. . . . the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century.”— Gary Hart

“Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings . . . He’s our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence.”

Eve Konstantine

“This is bigger than Kennedy. . . . This is the New Testament.” | “I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event.”

Chris Matthews

“[Obama is ] creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom . . . [He is] the man for this time.”

Toni Morrison

“Obama’s finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don’t even really inspire. They elevate. . . . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh . . . Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves.”

Ezra Klein

“Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash therefrom a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind.”

Gerald Campbell

“We’re here to evolve to a higher plane . . . he is an evolved leader . . . [he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth.”

Oprah Winfrey

“I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered. . . . I know that that was God’s plan.”

Bill Rush

Please.  Marketing.  All of it.

Here is a favorite:

A few weeks ago, covered in Hillary badges, I approached a young couple in California and, as I was about to offer up my pearls of electoral wisdom, they just began singing at me. And they were singing Yes We Can, the song by Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am, whose video has become a phenomenon on YouTube. […]

[T]his week, the musician has put out another singalong.  The new video captures a different side to supporting Obama: its fanaticism, its breathless, quasi-religious excitement, and its inherent problems. Instead of the text of a speech, the refrain has simply become “Obama”, and its message: “We are the ones.”

The Obama campaign uses a religious calling as its central rhetorical trope: “I’m asking you to believe,” reads the banner across the top of barackobama.com. His appeal to voters is an archetype of religious conversion: instead of being asked for support, Americans are exhorted to “join the movement”.

In Georgia, he directly equated his supporters with God’s people: “God had a plan for his people. He told them to stand together and march together around the city… and when the horn sounded and a chorus of voices cried out together, the mighty walls of Jericho came tumbling down.”

Later in the speech, he asked the congregation to “walk with me, march with me… and if enough of our voices join together, we can bring those walls tumbling down.”

Obama has created the impression that Clinton supporters, like the Pharisees in the temple, are obstacles to change: “I want to speak directly to all those Americans who have yet to join this movement but still hunger for change. They know it in their gut… But they’re afraid. They’ve been taught to be cynical.”

It’s not an argument for better government; it’s an exhortation to see the light. It’s not a plan for the Presidency, but a leap of faith.

This idea came to a head in Obama’s Super Tuesday speech, with those much talked about phrases: “We are the change that we seek… We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

We Are The Chosen Ones’: A new hymn to Obama Telegraph [UK] March 6, 2008.

Aw Shucks.  One more.  Another favorite:

“Obama will DEMAND that you shed your cynicism”

Barack Obama WILL REQUIRE YOU to work. He is going to DEMAND that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation and that you move out of your comfort zone. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage.

Barack will NEVER ALLOW YOU to go back to your lives as usual – uninvolved, uninformed – you have to stay at the seat at the table of democracy with a man like Barack Obama not just on Tuesday but in a year from now, in four years from now, in eights years from now, YOU WILL HAVE TO BE ENGAGED.

Michelle Obama, campaign speech at UCLA February 2008 (links to video, audio @ Protein Wisdom)

Somewhere or other in the slobber at  Obama Messiah JJjr says Obama Movement, the man the whatever, requires a new chapter to the Bible. (Isn’t that blasphemy, or something?)

No, not a chapter, just a few words:

…and the years were long.




1. marisacat - 31 October 2008

Glen Ford has a new one up at BAR

[F]or a long time too, our American elites have worked to take more and more matters that affect our daily lives outside the realm where elections and the vote can affect them all. Although the airwaves, along with the cable, internet and phone rights of way are owned by the public in the US, all these are in private hands. You can’t vote your phone or cable bill down, and you can’t vote to extend free internet access to schools and colleges in your town or city. The federal government charges broadcast TV station licensees in big markets like New York and Los Angeles nothing for their licenses worth billions of dollars, enforces no meaningful public services obligations upon them, and without public knowledge or approval has granted them $80 billion worth of new digital TV channels. Port and airport authorities and other unelected public bodies are brought into existence to levy taxes and spend public money with little accountability, and in the last two decades hundreds of government functions, from child support enforcement to fleet management to conduct of the elections, prisons and the military itself have been placed in the hands of unaccountable private corporations — privatized.

So the terrain of the struggle for real democracy has indeed shifted. It goes far beyond the vote. But still, the vote matters. :snipped:

2. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

A Last Push To Deregulate: White House to Ease Many Rules (WaPo).

The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.

The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.

Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.

Once such rules take effect, they typically can be undone only through a laborious new regulatory proceeding, including lengthy periods of public comment, drafting and mandated reanalysis.

“They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office,” said Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a nonprofit group critical of what it calls the Bush administration’s penchant for deregulating in areas where industry wants more freedom. He called the coming deluge “a last-minute assault on the public . . . happening on multiple fronts.”

3. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

Historical context, from the Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2008.

Charles Guggenheim, father of Davis Guggenheim, who helped make the Obama 30-minute ad, made a series of “real people” ads for McGovern.

(And in case anyone missed the NOT-real-people ad by Daily Show/Aqua Teen writers for North Carolina GOTV from the end of the last thread, here it is again: Why I Vote.)

4. NYCO - 31 October 2008

1. yes I was thinking of this recently when I got a nasty sinus headache and the only thing that would take away the pain was decongestants. Except, thanks to a change in the law a couple years ago, you can’t get pseudoephedrine in cold medicines any more unless you go up to the counter and sign something (because meth-heads buy boxes and boxes of it). Now I don’t have a real problem with that per se; but the pharmaceutical companies have replaced on-the-shelf products with stuff containing phenylephrine, which lab studies and basically anyone you meet will tell you is totally useless as an effective decongestant.

Phenylephrine was known to be ineffective as far back as the mid-70s but its approval as a replacement for pseudoephedrine was railroaded through the FDA process a couple years ago… so that pharmaceutical companies could make double money by peddling an ineffective product and then still peddling the REAL product behind your pharmacist’s counter.

I don’t actually have a huge problem with pseudoephedrine’s new restricted status… what I do have a problem with is the trickery involving phenylephrine. Because I think most Americans don’t use cold medicines all the time, but when they need them, they need them; and they’re buying up this stuff unawares.

And this is the sort of thing you expect not to have to go through in the Bestest Country in the World… that the FDA wouldn’t fuck people over on such a grand scale with something as basic as cold medicine.

Now who was I supposed to vote for in ’04 to prevent this? Kerry or Bush?

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

from the last thread:

I think his post inauguration drive down Pennyslvania Ave needs to evoke Jesus on Palm Sunday.

That gave me a mental image of Scalia and Thomas standing on some balcony singing “This Jesus Must Die”.

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

They’ll have to pry my cynicism from my cold, dry, dead lips!

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

That commercial is pretty funny! I like the guy huffing at the end.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Mercenary 2 players will be able to download Obama and Sarah Palin as playable characters.

BTW, “dlc” in this case means “downloadable content”, NOT hack southern donk politician.

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Naomi Klein

In the final days of the election, many Republicans seem to have given up the fight for power. But that doesn’t mean they are relaxing. If you want to see real Republican elbow grease, check out the energy going into chucking great chunks of the $700 billion bailout out the door. At a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing, Republican Senator Bob Corker was fixated on this task, and with a clear deadline in mind: inauguration. “How much of it do you think may be actually spent by January 20 or so?” Corker asked Neel Kashkari, the 35-year-old former banker in charge of the bailout.

When European colonialists realized that they had no choice but to hand over power to the indigenous citizens, they would often turn their attention to stripping the local treasury of its gold and grabbing valuable livestock. If they were really nasty, like the Portuguese in Mozambique in the mid-1970s, they poured concrete down the elevator shafts.

The Bush gang prefers bureaucratic instruments: “distressed asset” auctions and the “equity purchase program.” But make no mistake: the goal is the same as it was for the defeated Portuguese–a final frantic looting of the public wealth before they hand over the keys to the safe.

How else to make sense of the bizarre decisions that have governed the allocation of the bailout money? When the Bush administration announced it would be injecting $250 billion into America’s banks in exchange for equity, the plan was widely referred to as “partial nationalization”–a radical measure required to get the banks lending again. In fact, there has been no nationalization, partial or otherwise. Taxpayers have gained no meaningful control, which is why the banks can spend their windfall as they wish (on bonuses, mergers, savings…) and the government is reduced to pleading that they use a portion of it for loans.

What, then, is the real purpose of the bailout? I fear it is something much more ambitious than a one-off gift to big business–that this bailout has been designed to keep pillaging the Treasury for years to come. Remember, the main concern among big market players, particularly banks, is not the lack of credit but their battered share prices. Investors have lost confidence in the banks’ honesty, and with good reason. This is where Treasury’s equity pays off big time.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008
11. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Expectations for Obama

Well like Coleman, I’m not an American, nor an American resident. But, of course, I have lived under the Blair government, which overlapped with Clinton’s and shared some of its (non-blowjob) characteristics. And I’m inclined to say, “not good enough, people”. It is an exaggeration to say that every child can recite the achievements of the Attlee government in Britain or the New Deal in America, but if we had decent education systems, it wouldn’t be. It is hard to imagine even a well-educated child in a social-democratic future being able to tell us what Clinton or Blair managed in their time (except, of course, the bad stuff, in each of their cases).

There’s also a good deal of “in the circumstances” excusing in that thread. Well the circumstances included the post-Cold War dividend, with which they did almost exactly nothing. Clinton managed capitalism a bit better than the Republicans; Blair cemented the post-Thatcher consensus, spent some extra money in public services rather ineffectively, tried to micro-social-engineer using a confusing system of tax credits that no-one understands, and increased the independence of the Bank of England. Well, terrific.

There is a criterion that any progressive government ought to meet. It is one that I might quibble with in a seminar but not in life. A progressive (left, liberal, social-democratic government) ought to alter social arrangements so that they work significantly more to the benefit of the the least-advantaged members of society that they did when that government came to power. Well, The Wire is fiction, and I’ve never visited the West Side of Baltimore, but did Clinton make a difference in places like that? And are the Valleys of South Wales less (or more) hopeless places than they were ten years ago?

Clinton’s eight years and New Labour’s eleven were disappointing. They led (or will lead) to cynicism and demoralization and to renewed periods of conservative government. People can thrash around and find this or that good thing that they did (and no doubt will in comments) – but on the criterion I just gave their achievements were nugatory.

So I don’t think it is too much to hope that Obama will do better. Because doing better wouldn’t be doing much. And if Obama can’t do just a bit better, then we had better just stop all those seminars on theories of justice and “realistic utopias” and so forth, because it will be hard to imagine the possibility of any government making significant progress toward the goals we pointy-headed liberal academics discuss in seminars.

12. marisacat - 31 October 2008

I fell back to sleep a little after 7 am… but fortunately nothing in Moderation and nothing in Spam.. whew…

Have to catch up on politics. LOL It all could have changed while I slept!

13. marisacat - 31 October 2008


Considering his defense of those who voted for Roberts (his 2005 diary at Dkos) he is more likely to partner with them, while tossing bones of meaningless dissent to the more liberal forces for change. And hope and air and light…

14. marisacat - 31 October 2008

Ob promises.. it’s a long long long long list. Good luck Chuck!!

This is just the top of a list of 27 quotes from the one speech (repeated ad nauseam of course)

Just today in Sarasota, Fla., the Democratic presidential nominee said that he’d:

* “give a tax break to 95 percent of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paycheck every week”;

* “eliminate income taxes on Social Security for seniors making under $50,000”;

* “give homeowners and working parents additional tax breaks”;

* not increase taxes on anyone if they “make under $250,000; you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime –- not your income taxes, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax”;

* “end those breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas”;

* “give tax breaks to companies that invest right here in the United States”;

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008
16. marisacat - 31 October 2008


My cousin sends me OTC cough medicine and and OTC analgesic, both of which have a low dose of codeine. From Canada… meanwhile a friend of mine waits every winter, like clockwork, for the physician she has gone to for 20 years to phone in a script for her (after she calls in and appropriately hacks up half her chest on the phone to his staff), if she gets the kind of chest cold that for her turns into racking coughs. She actually does not need the higher dosage, as my stuff works for her in a pinch.

And pick up ANY magazine today or survey of docs and they bitch and moan they are too busy with too many patients. Got it.

Too much. So tired of it.

17. marisacat - 31 October 2008

Meet the Press: Fred Thompson, John Kerry [could that one get worse?]

This Week: Rick Davis, David Axelrod. Roundtable with Mark Halperin, Donna Brazile, Matthew Dowd, George Will.

Face the Nation: Axelrod, Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Ensign, Chuck Schumer

Fox News Sunday: Davis, David Plouffe, Rove

Late Edition: Sen. Bob Casey, Gov. Kaine [the Catholic Show! Remember, neither of these sweet boys wants to criminalise wimmens that gets an abortion!]

Plus: McCain will make a “Saturday Night Live” cameo the final campaign weekend.

More: Both candidates will be interviewed during halftime on “Monday Night Football.” [Bring back Janet’s tit, tons more fun!]

And: Palin sits down with Fox’s Megyn Kelly Monday and Cindy McCain talks to CNN’s Larry King Wednesday.


what can you say but to make jokes.

18. marisacat - 31 October 2008

LOL Ken Duberstein endorses the Ob and the Knob.

19. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

7 – The huffer, the white rule couple, and the wanna-drink-a-beer-with-the-president guy were nice touches, I agree.

11 – So I don’t think it is too much to hope that Obama will do better. Because doing better wouldn’t be doing much.

That about sums it up, doesn’t it? Can we please just get on with it?

15 – Excellent vid.

17 – Meet the Press: Fred Thompson, John Kerry [could that one get worse?]

Ha ha ha! An extra extra hour of sleep on Sunday! It’s a reminder to the public – turn your clocks back! Ha ha ha ha ha . . . .

More: Both candidates will be interviewed during halftime on “Monday Night Football.” [Bring back Janet’s tit, tons more fun!]

Funny you should mention Janet! She’s moved on, grown up, etc. . . here’s an item from just yesterday.

Janet Lacks “Discipline” in Detroit (Warning! – link is to E Online, which strangled my browser like an attack by giant squid.)

Facing pressure from officials at the Palace of Auburn Hills arena—and not wanting to be a scofflaw—Janet Jackson nixed a racy segment of her oh-so-troubled Rock Witchu tour Tuesday.
Because of a Michigan law that forbids simulated sex acts in a public performing space, the Control diva nixed her usual concert routine of inviting onstage a male audience member, tying him down and pretending to grope him while dancers mime various sex acts around them, including masturbation.

“Janet did not want to disappoint her Detroit-area fans again, so we adhered to Michigan’s state ordinance and trimmed the ‘Discipline’ segment of the show so it would not be canceled,” Jackson’s manager, Kenneth Crear, says in a statement.

(I hope somebody somewhere is thanking Jesus right now, that they don’t have Janet’s endorsement.

20. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

what can you say but to make jokes.

Alan Chartock on WAMC had a clinical psychologist on the air this afternoon to help callers cope with and talk through their quadrennial election terrors and miscellaneous Helena handbasket angst.

21. marisacat - 31 October 2008

HA!, IB!


Eagleburger who had endorsed McCain realises Palin is a Devil Sent Witch and not capable. Think he was on NPR ….

And Eagleburger brought us so much good, as I recall. Like Duberstein. Apparently even The Stump at New Republic admits, in their exalted opinion, Duberstein endorsed for LOBBYING ACCESS.

Oh you have to laugh. Not worth the angst.

22. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

One in five homeowners with mortgages under water

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nearly one in five U.S. mortgage borrowers owe more to lenders than their homes are worth, and the rate may soon approach one in four as housing prices fall and the economy weakens, a report on Friday shows.

About 7.63 million properties, or 18 percent, had negative equity in September, and another 2.1 million will follow if home prices fall another 5 percent, according to a report by First American CoreLogic.

The data, covering 43 states and Washington, D.C., includes borrowers nationwide, even those who took out mortgages before housing prices began to soar early this decade.

Seven hard-hit states — Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Ohio — had 64 percent of all “underwater” borrowers, but just 41 percent of U.S. mortgages.

23. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

I believe Janet’s also launching her new line of lingerie, called Pleasure Principle this month.

All this and talk about opening the show for her fabled brothers, in the rumored upcoming Jackson 5 reunion tour. No wonder she’s got migraine troubles!

24. marisacat - 31 October 2008

Studs Terkel died………………..

25. marisacat - 31 October 2008


I am unsure what will happen in some outlying districts hard hit in CA, between subprime, foreclosure, declining tax base, bad investments made by school districts (!), recession and old union/other contracts (police fire EMT city officials) from the 70s that are choking the towns.

Some areas here were hard hit in the recession that stretched from end of the 80s, finally acknowledged as existing by 91 and not gone til the tech bubble… there were low key foreclosures (some houses, depending on district – never advertised as such, not the blatant signs we see now) and some “options” on land for development allowed to pass … but NOTHING at all like now.

26. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

RIP Studs! Chicago Tribune announcement.

“My epitaph? My epitaph will be ‘Curiosity did not kill this cat,'” he once said.

27. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

25 – I was just visualizing ghost towns of exurban McMansions, and thinking of all the woods and farmland mowed down for such “elite” but now “underwater” and soon-to-be-shabbified dead spaces . . . trickle-up versions of all the abandoned strip malls and defunct big box stores nearby.

28. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

PS to 27 . . . these were New York ghost towns, I was picturing.

More from the underwater mortgage story:

Nevada was hardest hit, where mortgage borrowers on average owed 89 percent of what their homes were worth, and 48 percent had negative equity. Michigan was second, with an 85 percent loan-to-value ratio and 39 percent of borrowers underwater.

New York fared best, with an average 48 percent loan-to-value ratio and just 4.4 percent of mortgage borrowers with negative equity.

But Wyss said this could change as financial market upheaval transforms Wall Street. This month, New York City Comptroller William Thompson estimated that the city alone might lose 165,000 jobs over two years.

29. marisacat - 31 October 2008

Well I don’t know about elsewhere, we have at least our share of Mcmansions.. HOWEVER the dirty little secret is that lots of what is on the block, that people in all manner of distress had to be evicted from or fled from, is tired housing stock from the seventies and eighties. Not in good school districts, etc.

I did see a very telling segment on three houses in the early stages of foreclosure in Claremont, down south. Now it used to be a very stable, static, enclave of the richest of the rich Republicans, white white white. New divisions of 5 and 10K sq foot houses were built (all were outsized for the lot, that I saw). People bought in at well over a million, no money down, subprimes, planning to live in them, up grade, wait for the market to rise ( 1 – 3 yrs) and of course are now in all manner of trouble.

One black investor… planning for a killing for his retirement, living in the house, a Middle Eastern immigrant couple, planning to make a killing and move on and a white couple. Same scenario as the ME couple. I could never have slept at night buying over a million with no down. But they did…………

30. marisacat - 31 October 2008



This month, New York City Comptroller William Thompson estimated that the city alone might lose 165,000 jobs over two years.

as Chicago rises… what a hoot!! (this is not to minimalise lost jobs… imo it is very very hard for people to come back, some do – obviously as many as possible, but some never regain what an unbroken income might have been)

31. marisacat - 31 October 2008

ObRama on Situation Room with Wolf, today:

I will focus on what Secretary Gates and others have indicated is our number one security threat and that is bin Laden and al Qaeda. We will go after him. We will kill him or we will capture him, try him, tie the death penalty to him where – as necessary.

But that is the threat that we should have stayed focused on, that is the threat that I will focus on when I am president.

LOL the cosy time together closes on Grannie who is officially out from under the bus… these days.

32. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

A lot of the trouble around here comes from refis and home equity loans . . . with monthly payments that rely on full household employment to sustain. No margin of error for layoffs injuries illnesses unplanned babies divorces car breakdowns other family crises or sudden deaths. I spoke to a housepainter recently with an average gross monthly income of $2400, and a refi mortgage pmt of $2300. His wife had gone back to work for $8 an hour, and they had two vehicle loans for another $600 a month. In other words, unpossible.

Amazingly, he said he was waiting to see “how this whole bailout thing worked out.” (You do dream in color, I thought.) Fortunately, he has a Plan B . . . a house where he could arrange to stay for free, owned by someone with an unsold property who owes him money for work.

I’ve talked to several people who’ve fled Florida in the last couple of years, leaving houses, cars, RVs, and ATVs with the repo men. Tales of shattered suburbia, vandalism, etc.

But there’s definitely an upswing in judgment executions – bank account restraints, wage garnishments – happening here.

Contraction, the economists say. Like a pressure in the chest.

33. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

Chuckie the Chow wins best costume in Manila.

Upstate economic misadventures in moderation, methinks.

34. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008


Blue pumpkin. Jarrahdale, native to Australia, where everything’s topsy-turvy, it seems!

35. marisacat - 31 October 2008

HA! hardly needed, Podesta will punt as needed and shove whomever overboard. He did not get to be the named head of of a thoroughly connected, party reliant, so called ‘progressive” org unless he would toe the line:

5. John Podesta, the pre-transition team’s chief, has been meeting informally with allies and friends to give them a broad sense of the process. He’s not talking names or appointments, and he’s not, as of this point, soliciting their advice about names or personnel. Podesta is known as a political liberal, and his role in running the transition — or the pre-transition — has been cause for concern among more centrist Democrats.

These concerns have been conveyed to Obama, and lines of communication have been established between more centrist entities and the transition team.

Love the idea that the flaming liberal has to be managed. What a joke. link

36. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

UN panel backs call for standards in arms trade.

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – A UN General Assembly panel on Friday overwhelmingly backed steps to draft a treaty establishing international standards for the arms trade.

It endorsed a resolution urging UN member states to consider how to implement “the highest possible standards to prevent the diversion of conventional arms from the legal to the illicit market, where they can be used for terrorist acts, organized crime and other criminal activities.”

Some 147 countries in the Assembly’s disarmament committee supported the text, 18 abstained while only the United States and Zimbabwe voted against.

And how’s this for circumlocution?

Explaining her no vote, US delegate Christina Rocca said: “We support the goal of promoting responsibility in arms transfers and reducing the destabilizing trade in illicit arms, but we do not believe a global Arms Trade Treaty would accomplish that goal.”

“Any ATT would require the support of the major arms exporters to be effective, and we believe that some major arms exporters would refuse to agree to an ATT that required meaningful, effective conventional arms transfer controls policies,” she added.

Sorta like . . . US?

I see the British ambassador expresses hope that the “next administration” will reconsider. Wouldn’t that be loverly?

37. marisacat - 31 October 2008

I think it is a far stretch to hope that Ob does unpopular things. As in REALLY unpopular. Bucking the masters kinds of things… “Risking political capital” things.

let’s hear for the US and Zimbabwe… and the 18 abstainers just did not want us to INVADE them. That is all that is about..


38. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

Well, you know, maybe a little open discussion at the old talk shop about global arms sales isn’t too much to hope for, is it? . . . O can hark (or should I say, a hock a Lugar!) back to the great bipartisan grown-up expert consensus on looooose nuuuukes, etcetera?

I demand solar-powered Overton windows! Sunshine, fresh air, universal dreaming in color or bust!

39. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

Wild fox kits play in French-Korean family’s yard with “stepmother” dog, set to a Charles Trenet song (Douce France). Other videos in the series show the kits tossing apples, lapping coffee, and otherwise enjoying hospitality for a period of weeks or months.

Then one of the foxes, a year later and pregnant herself, returns for midnight chow.

40. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

Semi-wild, anyway. Appear to have been adopted in infancy but let free enough to roam or depart as they got older. One comment at series indicates the male ultimately disappeared, with fear it may have been shot by a rural (and perhaps chicken-keeping?) neighbor. Great serial footage of the foxes springing about, in any event, and seemingly sweet relationship with the stepmother Akita.

41. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

35 – love the idea that Podesta is all that liberal.

This Week: Rick Davis, David Axelrod.

Those two make my skin crawl. Grave robber vs. organ smuggler.

42. marisacat - 31 October 2008

Then one of the foxes, a year later and pregnant herself, returns for midnight chow.

love how animals find their way…

When I was a child, we had a litter. Tiny little runt mother cat… and she had 11. First litter. Two died in birth so we had nine kittens.. and found homes for them all… with friends. People had been told as soon as we knew a litter was coming to stand by and not look elsewhere… and then we had plenty for everyone.

But one, a tiny little black thing like his mother, went across the street to live with a family… We heard a few weeks later that Mother was going over every day and having the mid day meal with her kit…

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

I demand solar-powered Overton windows!

I’d be happy if they just quit bricking them over.

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

RFLMAO: Palin Fears Media Threaten Her First Amendment Rights

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama’s associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate’s free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

However she feels about the way her story has been told in the press, Palin told WMAL she is not discouraged.

“It’s sort of perplexing to me, because I’m a practical person and plainspoken also, but just cutting to the chase and calling things like I see them, just like most Americans. But this has not left a bitter taste in my mouth, the bitter shots taken by the mainstream media and by some of the elitism there in Washington,” Palin said.

“What this has left me with is a very energized and positive feeling about America, because there are enough Americans who are desiring the positive change that John McCain’s gonna usher in.”

45. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Kucinich Remembers Studs Terkel

“Studs Terkel knew the real America. The America of grit and gumption, heart and soul, passion and nerve. He chronicled five generations of American history with a compassionate and deep understanding of the American character.

“He was the quintessential American writer. He was our Boswell, our Whitman, our Sandburg. He was able to get people to open up and share their innermost thoughts and their deepest dreams. In the words of Kipling ‘he walked with kings and never lost the common touch.’

“Infused in each word he wrote and in his spoken word he was a master story teller and could regale groups for literally hours with his deep understanding of human nature its possibilities and its foibles. He was a person of great appetites and his greatest appetite was for the truth. America has lost a tribune of the people. But the power of his prose lives on

“Studs was a dear friend. My wife, Elizabeth, and I have enjoyed many visits in Studs’ home. His good humor was a constant even during a visit a couple of years ago when he was recovering from heart surgery.

“I was touched by the forward he wrote to my book A Prayer for America. I’ll never forget the encouragement he gave me to run for President in 2004,” stated Kucinich.

46. Intermittent Bystander - 31 October 2008

love how animals find their way…

Me too. (Even people, sometimes!)

I’d be happy if they just quit bricking them over.


Let the sunshine in . . . leeet the suunshine in . . . the suuuuuuuuunshine innnnnnn.


47. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Legal experts question US Attorney’s decision not to prosecute Obama ‘assassination plot’

“It’s very unusual,” says Scott Horton, a Columbia Law School professor who also writes for Harper’s Magazine. “Basically, you have a US Attorney trotting out the sort of arguments that defense counsel makes on a plea for reduced sentencing.”

Legal experts say that Eid’s definition of true threat directly conflicts with the statue covering threats to presidential candidates, 18 U.S.C. 879, which defines the threat as “whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate.”

While noting the statute must be weighed against First Amendment rights, they argued that because voluntary intoxication is not a viable defense the First Amendment does not protect a speaker’s threatening speech.

George Fisher, Stanford Law Professor and one of the nation’s top scholars of criminal law and evidence, explained, “Certainly when there’s a state of mind requirement in a crime, ‘knowingly,’ for example, you could say as a logical matter that somebody can’t do something knowingly while under the influence. But there are these other laws, sometimes in the form of statutes and sometimes in the form of case law, that will say, ‘But voluntary intoxication is no defense.’ And the Supreme Court many years ago upheld those laws as not being a violation of due process.”

Colorado defense attorneys agreed. They said Colorado state law does not differ from the Supreme Court’s ruling on voluntary intoxication.

Thus, legal experts agreed that a verbal threat alone, intended by the speaker to be taken seriously, and said willfully and knowingly, is all that is necessary to satisfy the legal requirement for true threat. Contrary to what Eid told the press, a prosecutor in this case would not have to prove a plan existed or the viability of any such plan, only that a threat was made and understood by the speaker and receiver of the words to be said in earnest.

Adolph “not your normal criminal”

According to a federal affidavit, one of the men arrested, Nathan Dwaine Johnson, said that another in the group, Sean Robert Adolph, had come to Denver to shoot Obama during his DNC acceptance speech. Johnson told the Secret Service that Adolph said “it wouldn’t matter if he killed Obama because he was going to jail on his pending felony charges anyway.”

Vicki Harbert, an investigator at the Weld County, Colo., sheriff’s department, who had pursued Adolph since 2006, told RAW STORY, “It’s very easy to see Adolph saying something like that. He had nothing to lose. With his criminal history, he was going to jail for the rest of his life.” (Adolph has an extensive rap sheet, including aggravated motor vehicle theft, burglary, larceny, habitual criminal, skipping on a $1 million bond and was on the Weld County sheriff department’s “Most Wanted” list at the time of his arrest.) Harbert also feared he would wind up shooting a police officer before he was captured, saying Adolph would’ve had “no problem shooting a cop.” She asserted that he “was not your normal criminal” and added that he was “very sophisticated, very cunning, very intelligent, very street smart and a professional criminal.”

The affidavit goes on to detail Johnson admitting to a Service Service agent, “Adolph had in fact threatened to kill Obama on a prior occasion [as well].” Johnson further related that Adolph said that he wanted to kill Obama on the day of his inauguration [should he win the presidency] and additionally stated that Adolph said he would specifically use a 22-250 sniper rifle and high-powered scope, and find high ground to set up and shoot Obama.”

Johnson also “stated that he believed that [Tharin Robert] Gartrell was also present in Denver, CO to assist Adolph in killing Obama.”

But based on the affidavit, which RAW STORY corroborated with a source close to the investigation, Gartrell never verbally expressed to Johnson a desire to kill Obama. Therefore his actions would not legally constitute a true threat. But experts said Adolph’s statements do.

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

In downplaying the threat, the US Attorney’s spokesman also characterized the physical evidence recovered from the suspects “including, along with methamphetamine, two high-powered rifles with scopes (one threaded with a silencer), 85 rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, wigs, two walkie-talkies, three fake IDs, tactical pants and camouflage gear” as merely “tools of the drug trade.” (FBI special agent and spokeswoman Kathy Wright admitted to RAW STORY that this physical evidence initially “sounded ominous,” which is what compelled the FBI to obtain a warrant for search and seizure; yet contrary to reports in alternative media and the blogosphere, the FBI never sought to “charge” any of the suspects for threatening or plotting against Obama.) The implication was that all of these men were, at once, “just a bunch of meth heads” incapable of following through with any plan yet also hardened drug dealers, whose ownership of these items would be commonplace.

But according to narcotics experts, while the amount of methamphetamine recovered from Adolph’s Denver hotel room legally constituted enough to charge him with intent to distribute, it does not suggest he or the other suspects are serious drug dealers or even drug dealers. Nor does it explain the kind of weaponry found on them.

49. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Daughter of slave votes for Obama

Amanda Jones, 109, the daughter of a man born into slavery, has lived a life long enough to touch three centuries. And after voting consistently as a Democrat for 70 years, she has voted early for the country’s first black presidential nominee.

The middle child of 13, Jones, who is African American, is part of a family that has lived in Bastrop County for five generations. The family has remained a fixture in Cedar Creek and other parts of the county, even when its members had to eat at segregated barbecue dives and walk through the back door while white customers walked through the front, said Amanda Jones’ 68-year-old daughter, Joyce Jones.

For at least a decade, Amanda Jones worked as a maid for $20 a month, Joyce Jones said. She was a housewife for 72 years and helped her now-deceased husband, C.L. Jones, manage a store.

Amanda Jones, a delicate, thin woman wearing golden-rimmed glasses, giggled as the family discussed this year’s presidential election. She is too weak to go the polls, so two of her 10 children — Eloise Baker, 75, and Joyce Jones — helped her fill out a mail-in ballot for Barack Obama, Baker said. “I feel good about voting for him,” Amanda Jones said.

Jones’ father herded sheep as a slave until he was 12, according to the family, and once he was freed, he was a farmer who raised cows, hogs and turkeys on land he owned. Her mother was born right after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, Joyce Jones said. The family owned more than 100 acres of land in Cedar Creek at one point, she said.

Amanda Jones’ father urged her to exercise her right to vote, despite discriminatory practices at the polls and poll taxes meant to keep black and poor people from voting. Those practices were outlawed for federal elections with the 24th Amendment in 1964, but not for state and local races in Texas until 1966.

Amanda Jones says she cast her first presidential vote for Franklin Roosevelt, but she doesn’t recall which of his four terms that was. When she did vote, she paid a poll tax, her daughters said. That she is able, for the first time, to vote for a black presidential nominee for free fills her with joy, Jones said.

I read stories like that and I can only think that I wish he wasn’t running a con.

50. marisacat - 31 October 2008

Gee. What t make of 47 and 48. I am more inclined to think this bunch were possibly more serious than the Tenn/Ark duo.

51. NYCO - 31 October 2008

Some areas here were hard hit in the recession that stretched from end of the 80s, finally acknowledged as existing by 91 and not gone til the tech bubble…

Sounds like my area. Except we had no tech bubble. Nothing ever got better, from the Reagan years on to the present day.

We watch the rest of the country now and say, “Welcome to our reality.” (Except, it’s going to hurt harder because they’ve got to fall faster and farther…)

As there was no housing bubble around here, home sales are ticking along in their slow painful way; the only change being that high-end homes (here, that’s $300,000+) aren’t selling as fast. There’s one developer who can’t sell any of his condos, but that’s the only tale of misery I’ve heard of. (There really is no such thing as condos here anyway)

However I did notice that there is one $1-million plus listing here that’s been on the market forever… big McMansion out in the boonies… good luck with that.

52. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008
53. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Susie Bright’s posted this tribute to Studs.

54. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008
55. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Save Our Forgotten Cities!

Hoopla aside, with the economy sowing so much worry, the town vs. city-issue should be a reminder of an important fact: Towns have not kept our country’s economy vital, no matter what Eleanor Fudd says. Cities have; and they present our best prospects for creating the jobs and prosperity that will pull us out of the economic hole we’re in.

Most Americans simply don’t understand the role that cities play in their own economic well-being. Citified swells make for satisfying whipping. In fact, Americans often view themselves as small-town creatures even when they’re not. In a survey commissioned by the Brookings Institution, a D.C.-based public policy think-tank, 50% of respondents believed they lived in a metropolitan area; 82% of them, however, actually did since, based on commuting patterns, a metro area encapsulates both a city center and the surrounding counties that depend on it.

Let’s clear the air about what cities do for our economy: Brookings recently found that America’s 100 biggest metro areas hold 65 percent of our population, while accounting for 76 percent of knowledge-economy jobs (positions in anything from architecture to electrical engineering), 78 percent of all patents, 75 percent of graduate degree holders, 81 percent of R&D employment, and 94 percent all venture funding. In short, cities churn out the innovations that produce growth.

But the cities don’t just care for themselves: their wealth vastly benefits rural areas. According to the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research outfit, the most recent data show that in 2005, New York State sent $24 billion more to the federal government than it received in federal spending; California’s loss is $48 billion. In both states, nearly all revenues—and thus taxes paid to Washington—come from metro-area residents. (That’s not a one-year glitch—the trend has endured over time.) By contrast, the 32 states that made out like bandits are among the country’s most rural, including South Dakota, Louisiana, West Virginia, and—you betcha!—Alaska. Socialism indeed: Without those extra federal dollars, those states would be laid even lower, as our economy inexorably shifts away from manufacturing and towards services, like nursing or computer programming.

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Better Off? Probably Not

In 2000 the median U.S. household income was $50,557 (adjusted for inflation), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Seven years later, the median income fell to $50,233. “That might not sound too bad,” says Edward Wolff, professor of economics at New York University, “but normally, median income increases. That’s not good news for the middle class.” Consider that the median household income would be almost $64,000 had paychecks kept pace with the GDP.
Overblown Claims?

While workers’ paychecks have stagnated, corporate profits jumped an average of 10.8% per year, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. “The fact that middle-income households ended up below where they were in 2000 despite strong productivity growth—that’s the heart of the problem,” says Jared Bernstein, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank. “It’s one thing if you’re looking at a period like now, when the macroeconomy is dysfunctional, but for most of this decade the economy has been pumping along.” However, economists at the conservative American Enterprise Institute counter that claims of income stagnation are overblown, pointing out, for example, that household income data does not take into account total compensation, including companies’ burgeoning contributions to employee health insurance.

Even though inflation has not been severe for most of the decade, the cost of living has outpaced wages. The consumer price index has risen by 25% since January 2001, while core inflation jumped 18%. But the core consumer price index can be deceptive because it excludes food and energy. Once, after reporting that core inflation had been relatively tame that quarter, Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein came back to the office to find an irate e-mail: “Hey, dummy, what the hell do you think we spend our money on?” The point was taken: When energy and food skyrocket, families feel it.

57. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 October 2008

Early voting appears likely to set record in Wisconsin

With Tuesday’s historic election fast approaching, lines moved slowly Friday as residents throughout the region joined what is expected to be a record-breaking wave of early voters.

In Milwaukee alone, 14,000 to 15,000 people had voted by absentee ballot in person as of midday Friday, nearly twice the 8,000 figure from 2004.

Others will vote today and Monday. And thousands more in the city had requested ballots by mail.

Four years ago, about 365,000 of the state’s 3 million votes were cast by absentee ballot, about 12% of the total.

Officials have predicted about 15% of the projected 3.2 million votes Tuesday will be cast by absentee ballot, either in person at clerks’ offices or by mail. Early numbers, while incomplete, suggest the early voting percentage could be surpassed.

According to the state Government Accountability Board, at least 211,472 absentee ballot requests had been processed as of Friday afternoon. That tally does not include such large cities as Waukesha, Green Bay and Racine, which – among many other municipalities – do not track requests within the state’s new computer system.

It took me about an hour and a half to make it through the line pictured at the link.

58. marisacat - 31 October 2008

moiv dropped me a note that in two cunties around Dallas, turn out was breaking the records…

59. bayprairie - 1 November 2008


same here. and i early voted today. i wrote in cynthia mckinney. and skipped over two asshat donks, the armydude, noriega :::lame::: and lick nampson

or something like that anywho.

from the “left behind”, a tiny message that whispers

go pound sand.

60. ms_xeno - 1 November 2008

Re: #55:

My jump-off point for my current commute is right in front of the Blazer arena. Last night was treated to hordes of suburban dipshits snickering about how terribly trying it is to have to watch basketball in the city where all the “freaks are. Every day is like Halloween.”

Ha ha ha. I hope they choked on their five dollar corndogs in the arena. And I hope their team lost. And I hope they’re all in foreclosure next week with incompetent bankruptcy attorneys who can’t save their houses. Fucking assholes.

Hey, I work in suburbia now. I have a badge. Several, in fact. All crammed into a little envelope on a chain. One of the badges has the company’s purpose statement on it, in case I need to read it in the restroom. I am an obedient, trained freak, O Wackenhut. Please do not pepper spray me ! Thank You !


61. ms_xeno - 1 November 2008

And I hope Terkel went out NOT twittering with joy about how everyone should vote Obama. That’s my audacity.


62. marisacat - 1 November 2008


it is now spelled “Odacity”. In moments of deep reverence, ”Obamadacity” can be said.

Try to remember, so they don’t issue you a badge with matching pale blue string for your wrist or a finger. You get to choose. They’re for Choice!

63. ms_xeno - 1 November 2008


Well, there’s pounding sand and then there’s pounding sand.


Handing off my ballot today when I go to the library for my reserved accounting research crap and some comic book trades. I still can’t decide what to be when I grow up. (When I crack open the Legion of Superheroes collection, I will raise my glass to Pinche_Boitano and other absent comrades.) We may splurge later and sneak out for Hawaiian-style BBQ, as finances permit.

Gotta’ love the weekend.

64. ms_xeno - 1 November 2008

Mcat, the string is black. I think it’s meant to symbolize the short hairs they’ve got us by.

Then again, sometimes a string is just a string. I look forward to the technological advancements that will soon permit them to simply stick tattle-tape in the human skull. Maybe cyanide tabs in the teeth so we can do the honorable thing when the temp agency is bored with us. It will be all sustainable, I’m sure. The Democrats are all about that.


65. Madman in the Marketplace - 1 November 2008

I still can’t decide what to be when I grow up.

I’m not going too. They’ll find me surrounded by my cds and science fiction books and comics, game controller clutched in my dead fingers.

Growing up is overrated.

66. marisacat - 1 November 2008


hmm I see they saw fit to issue the string. Early response. They recognise you as a hard case… mx_xeno!

67. Madman in the Marketplace - 1 November 2008

64 – so you need to wax in order to escape?

68. ms_xeno - 1 November 2008

For you, dear Madman.

Don’t forget to find the “Freudian Images” tag. Clicking on it will make you proud to be an American.

69. Madman in the Marketplace - 1 November 2008

Religion makes people stupid, number umpteen million:

Hopefuls Differ as They Reject Gay Marriage

Several gay friends and wealthy gay donors to Senator Barack Obama have asked him over the years why, as a matter of logic and fairness, he opposes same-sex marriage even though he has condemned old miscegenation laws that would have barred his black father from marrying his white mother.

The difference, Mr. Obama has told them, is religion.

As a Christian — he is a member of the United Church of Christ — Mr. Obama believes that marriage is a sacred union, a blessing from God, and one that is intended for a man and a woman exclusively, according to these supporters and Obama campaign advisers. While he does not favor laws that ban same-sex marriage, and has said he is “open to the possibility” that his views may be “misguided,” he does not support it and is not inclined to fight for it, his advisers say.

So much for that “constitutional law” expertise. Trumped by a book of fairy tales, without any recognition that the same book of fairy tales miscegenation, described as marrying people of other tribes, but it amounts to the same thing. It also sanctioned slavery and many other things that an enlighted, educated person should reject just as they should reject the homophobia that denies fellow citizens a civil right that his parents would also have been denied when he was conceived in many states in this country.

While same-sex marriage is not expected to play a consequential role in the elections on Tuesday — unlike in 2004, when a proposed ban in Ohio was widely seen as hurting the Democratic presidential nominee that year, Senator John Kerry — passions remain high for voters on both sides. Some gay Democrats had hoped, in particular, that Mr. Obama would extend his message of unity and tolerance to their fight on the issue.

“Barack is an intellectual guy, and I know he has been thinking through his position on gay marriage, and what is fair for all people,” said Michael Bauer, an openly gay fund-raiser for Mr. Obama and an adviser to his campaign on gay issues. “But he is just not there with us on this issue.”

Some gay allies of Mr. Obama thought, during a televised Democratic forum in Los Angeles in August 2007, that he might come out in favor of same-sex marriage, after he was asked if his position supporting civil unions but not same-sex marriage was tantamount to “separate but equal.”

“Look, when my parents got married in 1961, it would have been illegal for them to be married in a number of states in the South,” Mr. Obama said. “So, obviously, this is something that I understand intimately. It’s something that I care about.”

At that point, he veered onto legal rights, saying that — both in 1961 and today — it was more important to fight for nondiscrimination laws and employment protections than for marriage.

Mr. Obama has spoken only occasionally about his religious beliefs influencing his views on same-sex marriage, and he has indicated that he is wary of linking his religion to policy decisions.

“I’m a Christian,” Mr. Obama said on a radio program in his 2004 race for Senate. “And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.”

In one of his books, “The Audacity of Hope,” however, Mr. Obama describes a conversation with a lesbian supporter who became upset when he cited his religious views to explain his opposition.

“She felt that by bringing religion into the equation, I was suggesting that she, and others like her, were somehow bad people,” he wrote. “I felt bad, and told her so in a return call. As I spoke to her, I was reminded that no matter how much Christians who oppose homosexuality may claim that they hate the sin but love the sinner, such a judgment inflicts pain on good people.”

“And I was reminded,” Mr. Obama added, “that it is my obligation, not only as an elected official in a pluralistic society but also as a Christian, to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided, just as I cannot claim infallibility in my support of abortion rights.”

Unless, of course, you decide that obligation means nothing if you fear it might scare off fellow religious nuts from voting for you.


70. Madman in the Marketplace - 1 November 2008

Obama homophobia in moderation, I think.

That comics blog is great ms_x!

71. Madman in the Marketplace - 1 November 2008

oops, nevermind!

72. marisacat - 1 November 2008

Where is Edwards who always gave him cover on gay marriage? hmmm? Where is he?

The whole thing is a joke… and Obama persists in dragging along Neanderthal religionists. Pastor Meeks of SS Chicago, who cut an ad for ObMan in the 04 race is a special case. Very very homophobic. A fucking nutter imo.

But where oh hwere is Edwards to give cover?

73. liberalcatnip - 1 November 2008

58. moiv dropped me a note that in two cunties around Dallas,

Don’t mess with Texas! lol

Oops? AP: Obama aunt from Kenya living in US illegally

I stocked up on popcorn yesterday. Let ‘er rip!

74. marisacat - 1 November 2008

Such a jerk:

At that point, he veered onto legal rights, saying that — both in 1961 and today — it was more important to fight for nondiscrimination laws and employment protections than for marriage.

Fortunately CA was ahead of him on that one. ’48 our SC struck down miscegenation laws… when the federal case occured 19 years later, by then iirc 16 states STILL prohibited inter-racial marriage.

It gets old and his “stuff” gets old.

75. liberalcatnip - 1 November 2008

I’m still trying to get over those Ojamas. Mon dieu.

76. Madman in the Marketplace - 1 November 2008

Who Are The Undecided Voters?

All Things Considered, October 31, 2008 · Some 6.4 percent of voters remain undecided in the closing days until the election.

Who are these people who still can’t make up their minds — after dozens of debates, two conventions and perhaps a billion dollars’ worth of advertising?

According to Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center, 63 percent of undecided voters are female. Twenty-seven percent are age 65 and older; many tend to be less well-educated and more religious than voters who have already picked their candidate.

There is a name for those kind of people … it’s CONSERVATIVE. Tired of the fiction that there is some thoughtful group who can’t decide between far-right candidate and center-right candidate on IDEOLOGICAL grounds. Their decisions are based purely on whatever has their undies in a twist on the day of the vote. That’s it.

Seriously, is there ANYBODY who is center-left to left who would have trouble deciding between the troglodyte and the corporate sellout? The choice, if you’re left/liberal/progressive is vote for sellout vs stay home/3rd party. That’s it.

I’m sick of listening to these halfwit morons getting interviewed over and over again. I don’t want to hear about their relationship w/ Jeebus, or that they can’t put gas in the VEEEhickle or any of the other shit they prattle on about.

77. marisacat - 1 November 2008

From the Mike Allen email:

SEF WAS RIGHT: CNN’s ‘Countdown to First Polls Close’ is to 6 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday because polls in MOST of Indiana and Kentucky close then.

The nets will report VOTES in those states starting at 6 but would not project a WINNER until the rest of the polls close at 7 p.m. (Hat tip: Sam Feist)

Just write off 3 – 4 hours of voting in the West. If he wins KY and IN he has won, all but certain (obviously imo he is going to win, but still).

78. liberalcatnip - 1 November 2008

63. Well, there’s pounding sand and then there’s pounding sand.

Wow. Awesome.

79. marisacat - 1 November 2008


I just read that most obama pushes now, I guess from Infauxmercial onward, are directed at a target, older white Republican women voters.

Apparently they think if they keep prattling the soft shit they like they will become mesmerised and Vote ObamaMan in.

You’re feeling sleepy, very sleepy… your eye lids are growing heavy…


80. marisacat - 1 November 2008

hmm someone, AP, got a quote out of obama camp on auntie. I guess as long as she is not seeking a lesbian marriage and ”follows all appropriate laws”, he’s ok. But she’s not ok.

Think that is what they meant to say.

CHICAGO (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says he didn’t know that one of his relatives was living in the United States illegally and believes the appropriate laws should be followed.

The Associated Press found that Obama’s aunt had been instructed to leave the country four years ago by an immigration judge who rejected her request for asylum from her native Kenya. The woman, Zeituni Onyango (zay-TUHN on-YANG-oh), is living in public housing in Boston and is the half-sister of Obama’s late father.

A statement given to the AP by Obama’s campaign Saturday says, “Senator Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws be followed.”

81. marisacat - 1 November 2008

LOL Getchyer Pundit Prep here (via Politico email)

PUNDIT PREP – NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd on ‘Today’ and why Virginia at 7 p.m. Eastern may tell the night’s story: ‘They count their vote pretty quickly – they’re a very efficient state, as far as that’s concerned.

We probably will know by 8 o’clock … 8:15 . And if we’ve called this race by 8 o’clock and it’s conforming to the public polls that we see now, and Obama’s got that by 8 o’clock, boy, suddenly the path’s going to get narrow and all of us are gonna start having to come up with different words to describe how the election’s going.

***’If we HAVEN’T called Virginia and it’s getting closer to 9 o’clock, 10 o’clock, that could be a pretty good night for McCain.’

If O gets the Old Dominion, ‘We’re going to be watching just three states at that point – Florida, Ohio, North Carolina. Because if Obama’s got Virginia, all he needs is one more of that triangle. … If he gets one of those three, then there’s no patch to 270 for John McCain.’

Yu really do have to laugh. 2 years of build up to a fast whack in the elections sack. Basically.

The most important thing is that pundits get to beddy bye early election night. Ready for the talk shows and panels the next day, start editing their book drafts and calling their editors and publishers.


I caught some chit chat the other day.. Charlie Rose and Brokaw I think it was.. talking about what Bama is reading (the fans wanna know!). It ws Doris Kearns Goodwin, Fareed Zakaria and Jonathan Alter. God forbid Ob read (much less tell anyone) a scholarly book on history or politics, from a University press. God forbid.

It’s ALL about selling the mainstream books. From the pens of the select coterie.

82. liberalcatnip - 1 November 2008

80. Throw auntie under the bus. It’s crowded down there.

83. liberalcatnip - 1 November 2008

My spidey senses tell me that the election won’t be called too early. Those pundits had better have naps on Tuesday afternoon.

84. Intermittent Bystander - 1 November 2008

Holy shit. Montreal radio comics punk Palin . . . convince her staff, and then her, that it’s Nicolas Sarkozy calling.

From my ass, I can see Belgium! he sez, among other things!

And she rattles right along . . . .

It gets worse and worse.

85. marisacat - 1 November 2008

nu post


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86. Intermittent Bystander - 1 November 2008

Politico – Palin hit with French-Canadian version of Borat – has an official campaign response.

“Gov. Palin received a phone call on Saturday from a French Canadian talk show host claiming to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy,” emailed spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. “Gov. Palin was mildly amused to learn that she had joined the ranks of heads of state, including President Sarkozy, and other celebrities in being targeted by these pranksters. C’est la vie.”

(Politico’s write-up definitely understates how much awestruck, flattering, laughing, obliviousness Palin displayed in the face of gigantic – and gradually gamier – clues, before having to be told she was pranked.)

CTV story has quotes from the call and a few post-prank remarks from the radio duo – an indeed infamous pair who call themselves the Masked Avengers. (Apparently they made it to a BBC list as one of the top 30 best moments in radio history of all time for a previous call to Jacques Chirac.

87. liberalcatnip - 1 November 2008

🙂 Thanks for that, IB.

88. Intermittent Bystander - 1 November 2008

87 – Transcript at Globe and Mail doesn’t explain the French phrases (as you know, on pourrait tuer des bebe phoques, aussi = “we can kill some baby seals, too” . . . de rouge a levre sur un cochon, or if you prefer in English, Joe the Plumber… actually, it’s “lipstick on a pig,” etc) but the Canadian Press story Quebec comedy duo talks porn and politics with oblivious Sarah Palin elaborates on a few of the names that sailed past her Alaskan ears.

Throughout the conversation, Audette drops plenty of clues that something’s amiss.

He identifies French singer and actor Johnny Hallyday as his special adviser to the U.S., singer Stef Carse as Canada’s prime minister and Quebec comedian and radio host Richard Z. Sirois as the provincial premier.

89. NYCO - 1 November 2008

Election Day for me is going to be primarily about saying goodbye to the lever machines. Really, this time they mean it… no more lever machines. We’re getting optical scan ballots next time. No Diebold machines. Why? Because New York’s dysfunctional delays (as the last state to fulfill HAVA requirements) bought enough time for officials to come to their senses and say “Waitaminnit, these Diebold machines are bullshit!”

Bit of an underreported triumph, that. The Legislature was going to let the counties do whatever they wanted, and Diebold had been selling themselves hard in the major metro counties.

Even a dysfunctional clock is right twice a day.

But farewell, farewell to the noble lever machine. This is the end.

90. marisacat - 1 November 2008

oops let me try again to repost 85

nu post


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