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The Bail Out Era…? 9 November 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, U.S. House, U.S. Senate, WAR!.


Used car lot outsized inflatable…

I should assume that some one from Detroit assumed the position in front of Nancy.. ?? The position that Paulson last held..??  On his knees before Madame Speaker..??

Reid, Pelosi Urge Treasury to Extend Aid to Automakers

By Lori Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, November 9, 2008; A01

With the nation’s automotive industry hemorrhaging cash, congressional leaders called on the Bush administration yesterday to offer government assistance to the car companies as part of the Treasury Department’s $700 billion emergency rescue program.

The call came one day after General Motors, the nation’s largest auto manufacturer, announced another multibillion dollar loss for the third quarter and said it was running out of money fast. Ford, the second-biggest car company, also reported heavy losses. Unless the government steps in, analysts warned, GM could face bankruptcy, endangering the livelihoods of about 100,000 North American autoworkers and hundreds of thousands of others whose jobs depend on the industry.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) asked Paulson to “review the feasibility . . . of providing temporary assistance to the automobile industry during the current financial crisis.”

The letter notes that Congress granted Paulson broad discretion to use the bailout money to “restore financial market stability. A healthy automobile manufacturing sector is essential to the restoration of financial market security,” the letter continues, as well as to “the overall health of our economy, and the livelihood of the automobile sector’s workforce.”

OhKay!  If we all declare ourselves bankers can we all instantly keep bankers hours? That would work for me…

A plan is in the works at the Treasury to use bailout money to take ownership stakes in a wide array of companies beyond the banking sector. But Treasury officials have indicated that participants in its recapitalization program must be financial firms subject to federal regulation. That means GMAC, GM’s auto financing arm, may be eligible for quick help, but GM itself may not.

I am working on some nickname having to do with drooling yeses as they ransack the taxpayer…

In recent days, top auto industry executives have been making the rounds in Washington, trying to shake loose federal cash from a variety of sources. And there are strong indications that Democrats, newly empowered in Tuesday’s election, are inclined to oblige.

And yes.. I did notice:

Obama’s team of economic advisers includes Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) and former Michigan congressman David Bonior, who is considered a strong candidate for Labor secretary. With Granholm on stage with him Friday, Obama said his transition team is already working on “policy options to help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars,” either under existing law or through the passage of “additional legislation.”

Bonior no doubt needs something massaged after all that support for the new dad.

And, I am left supporting red tape, in all its glory:

In the meantime, however, the automakers have gotten little but sympathy. Congress recently voted to fund a $25 billion low-interest loan package intended to help the car companies retool their factories to produce fuel-efficient vehicles that meet tough new emissions standards. But that money has been hung up by red tape. Obama and other Democrats have discussed providing another $25 billion in loans, bringing the total federal aid to $50 billion. But unless the Bush administration agrees to work on an economic stimulus package when Congress returns to Washington later this month, that money would have to wait until at least January.

From The Hill:

Pelosi and Reid on Thursday met with representatives of the auto industry, stating that they “left the meetings convinced that our nation’s automobile industry – the heart of our manufacturing sector – and the jobs of tens of thousands of American workers are at risk.”

However, while lobbying that funds be made available, Reid and Pelosi also urged that Paulson “impose strong conditions on such assistance in order to protect taxpayers and maximize the potential for the industry’s recovery.”

“An automobile industry that is forward-looking and focused on ingenuity, competitiveness, and the creation of green jobs for the future is essential to its long-term viability,” they wrote.

Maybe if you subject the automakers to an 8 on the Richter scale earthquake they might get forward looking…  basically, the dirty not-so-little secret was 30 years of presumably predictable income from financing cars matched with poor R & D and reinvestment.

Maybe they can accidentally get around to extending unemployment benefits… and working out a bail out for states (we’re one of them) already about to deplete the funds for those benefits…

Can we get in line for change?  Too?  Even if we are near the end of the line, at least it is something..?  Right?

[I am thinking of a new category for post Jan 20.. something along the lines of “Change of Life”]


LOL  There’s always privilege and ease for the insiders… I did get a kick out of this photo at LAT on presidential pets..


President George W. Bush’s dogs, Barney and Spot, race down the steps of the presidential helicopter on the South Lawn after the president and his entourage returned from a visit to Bush’s ranch in Texas. Barney, at the bottom of the steps, is a Scottish terrier; Spot, an English springer spaniel, was the daughter of Millie, who belonged to the first President Bush. Millie died in February 2004.
[May 5, 2003  Reuters]

The 11 o’clock news here mentioned that the biggest turn out tonight was in San Diego, 10,000 marched against passage of Prop 8…



1. marisacat - 9 November 2008

NYT has a sort of round up piece but they include a list of promises, date and speech, interview, paid ad, etc., and original reporter who filed it.

2. NYCO - 9 November 2008

Ominous (but entirely predictable) statistics on teen and young-adult employment at the dawn of the Great Recession…

Among those ages 16 to 19, access to part-time jobs, full-time jobs and summer jobs had already declined through this decade, and by last month only 31.4 percent had held some sort of employment.

I assume they’re talking about all 16-19 youth, not just those not on “college track.” This is bizarre to me because when I was that age, not having a job felt kind of shameful. I was obsessed with becoming employed (ie drugstore cashier – the usual summer job) and embarrassed that I hadn’t gotten the gumption to apply for jobs. My first job was at 17 – after I’d graduated high school – which felt “late” to me.

The one age group whose employment rate climbed over the last year was people over 65, who are starting to take the part-time and retail jobs once dominated by students and younger high school graduates.

Really weird: the elderly competing with the young for McJobs.

“The new administration will have to think several levels down the ladder,” Mr. Davie said, “so the government invests not only in the top but also in infrastructure jobs and training for low-income people to get some of those jobs.”

But what about college? Expensive four-year college degrees for everyone! And green-collar jobs! And ponies too… ponies all around!

We’ve got some real problems when there is only one cattle chute that young people are herded into… four-year college degrees with onerous loans that cause debt lasting a lifetime… and everyone below that is just left behind to be utterly fucked.

We need high school educations that prepare people to make living wages. Barring that, I am hoping some of these young people learn to organize, while their “betters” in the colleges are still sleeping off their Thursday night hangovers. Then you’ll see some real change.

3. NYCO - 9 November 2008

One more thought…

Barring that, I am hoping some of these young people learn to organize

The problem with that, of course, is that these young people don’t appear to have anything that American society values — although that would change right quick if we got into a really big war; America would need their bodies for cannon fodder.

It’s kind of hard to organize when society doesn’t want anything from you… doesn’t even want you to flip burgers.

So possibly the time is not right for organizing until these young people have demands placed on them. Unfortunately I think that day is coming, probably after 2012.

4. marisacat - 9 November 2008

hmm I see David Brooks has a Sunday splutter entitled “I have a Dream”… think I will skip over that one, LOL not enough coffee on earth to revive me…

WSJ on the Detroit Bail Out…

Democratic congressional leaders are considering convening a lame-duck session of Congress later this month to deal with economic concerns. The session could be used to enact a short-term stimulus package or to approve assistance for auto makers. But the Democratic leadership is not inclined to act, absent a signal from the White House that Mr. Bush would be willing to sign a bill.

think that means “next year”…

5. marisacat - 9 November 2008

2 and 3

Well Manual Arts HSs and Polytech HSs never should have been abandoned. I am sure there are a few extant but not too many. College is fine, but it s not for everyone and there should be no shame in that. The big thing the past 30+ years was to sell a rising middle class and wealthier parents on more and more costly higher ed. And everyone else be damned. Or so it seems to me…

A huge huge loss…

Of course leaving the educational system less than a good equation gives rise to all these lousy private technical or the various types of business schools. Many of them lousy…

Our Polytechnical High School here was beautiful, a wonderful brick building adjacent to Kezar Stadium which was a wonderful ball park.. absolutely beautiful… so much so that Woody Allen used it for the opening shots in Manhattan

Community colleges help some – and we have a pretty healthy system here, never enough spaces, but it is too little.

6. NYCO - 9 November 2008

NYS GOP looks to regroup. Boehlert gets in a word from beyond…

Now Republicans, including former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, say the party needs re-branding if it is to avoid a long stay in the political wilderness.

“We’ve got to do things differently,” said Boehlert, a Utica native who was dean of New York’s Republican delegation and in Washington for 24 years. “But we’re not going to gain the confidence of a majority of the electorate until the party shows it is dealing with the needs of the majority of people in a meaningful way.”

That, he said, means the party shouldn’t be led by the platform of the far right if it hopes to makes gains in Congress and statewide. Instead, Republicans need to create bold solutions to pressing, current issues such as property taxes and school quality.

“People upstate don’t buy the baloney anymore,” said Ray Meier, a former Republican state senator from Oneida County who lost his bid to replace Boehlert in 2006. He is considered a leading candidate to be the next state Republican chairman.

I do have a feeling the NYS GOP will figure it out before the national GOP does and probably will find it profitable being the “loyal opposition” for the first time in a long time. Watch this space.

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Rahm looked freaked out and almost terrified on This Week. He keep going back to the beginning of sentences he’d memorized then delivered badly. He never does good on these shows (he only becomes remotely sharp on tv when is in direct conflict w/ someone), but he looked especially bad today.

8. NYCee - 9 November 2008

One thing I found quite striking in Obama’s press conference — and having re-heard it, I find it to be even more so, — (Oh, pardon us! The following interruption is from Misty Willow, performing on keyboard i888888888888ijkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkm7774), was in the Q&A quoted below.


My tax plan represented a net tax cut. It provided for substantial middle class tax cuts, 95 percent of working Americans would receive them. It also provided for cuts in capital gains for small business, additional tax credits, all of it is designed for job growth. My priority is going to be how do we grow the economy, how do we create more jobs. I think that the plan that we’ve put forward is the right one, but obviously over the next several weeks and months we’re gong to be continuing to take a look at the data and see what’s taking place in the economy as a whole. But understand the goal of my plan is to provide tax relief to families that are struggling but also to boost the capacity of the economy to grow from the bottom up. All right. Thank you very much you guys.”

He totally avoided the question, which was about his oft-stated campaign promise to raise taxes on those who make over 250 K. He instead spoke of the middle class tax cuts he promised, choosing to use the PAST TENSE. He said my tax policy “represented” and “provided” (2X for that one) and then he used the conditional “would” rather than “will” …

Meanwhile, over at DK, they are chirping in unison over his promises to reinstate some of Bush’s XXXtreme reversals of environmental rules, etc…

Already, it seems, they — his “progblog” supporters — are falling all over themselves to be the most successful in asking the least of him…

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

A piece in the NYT today about Maya Lin: Once Inspired by a War, Now by the Land

An interesting video accompanies the story.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Citing Workload, Public Lawyers Reject New Cases

MIAMI — Public defenders’ offices in at least seven states are refusing to take on new cases or have sued to limit them, citing overwhelming workloads that they say undermine the constitutional right to counsel for the poor.

Public defenders are notoriously overworked, and their turnover is high and their pay low. But now, in the most open revolt by public defenders in memory, many of the government-appointed lawyers say that state budget cuts and rising caseloads have pushed them to the breaking point.

In September, a Florida judge ruled that the public defenders’ office in Miami-Dade County could refuse to represent many of those arrested on lesser felony charges so its lawyers could provide a better defense for other clients. Over the last three years, the average number of felony cases handled by each lawyer in a year has climbed to close to 500, from 367, officials said, and caseloads for lawyers assigned to misdemeanor cases have risen to 2,225, from 1,380.

“Right now a lot of public defenders are starting to stand up and say, ‘No more: We can’t ethically handle this many cases,’ ” said David J. Carroll, director of research for the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Mini nuclear plants to power 20,000 homes

Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos, the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb.

The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, contain no weapons-grade material, have no moving parts and will be nearly impossible to steal because they will be encased in concrete and buried underground.

The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. ‘Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,’ said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. ‘They will cost approximately $25m [£13m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.’

Deal claims to have more than 100 firm orders, largely from the oil and electricity industries, but says the company is also targeting developing countries and isolated communities. ‘It’s leapfrog technology,’ he said.

The company plans to set up three factories to produce 4,000 plants between 2013 and 2023. ‘We already have a pipeline for 100 reactors, and we are taking our time to tool up to mass-produce this reactor.’

12. marisacat - 9 November 2008

NYCee at 8… out of moderation… sorry for the delay…

He totally avoided the question

That is called “wiggle room”, or at least that is what a lot of the press called it…. LOL… Yeah he clearly walked it back. And, if you notice, that was the last question.. no follow up was chanced as suddenly it Was All Over And Done With.


13. marisacat - 9 November 2008


That is interesting… I fell back to sleep just as This Week came on, missed it all.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

13 – They really better not put him out there speaking for that administration. He sucks at it. Stick w/ Gibbs … he can actually spoon out sweet-sounding talking points w/o looking like he trying to read the crib notes scribbled on his palm. Stephie was completely letting his go, too. The compliant press continues.

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

7 – interesting catch, NYCee.

16. marisacat - 9 November 2008

Via BenSmith, iwth no link

Rahm Emanuel on ABC’s “This Week” this morning made clear that tax cuts are still in the works, telling George Stephanopoulos that “priority one is the economy” and that Obama’s economic plan “at this juncture is based on giving 95 percent of working Americans a tax cut,” which is what the president-elect proposed as a candidate.

Obama had seemed to take a step back from the plan in his first post-election presser on Friday, telling reporters: “I think that the plan that we’ve put forward is the right one, but, obviously, over the next several weeks and months, we’re going to be continuing to take a look at the data and see what’s taking place in the economy as a whole. But, understand, the goal of my plan is to provide tax relief to families that are struggling but also to boost the capacity of the economy to grow from the bottom up.”

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Mark Cuban gives Teh One some advice:

Its great to see President Elect Obama aggressively taking on the economy prior to his taking office. Unfortunately, the economic advisory team that he has put together looks more like a semester’s worth of great guest speakers for an MBA class than an economic advisory team that can truly help him.

There are a lot of great minds on the list.

“Robert Rubin, Larry Summers, Laura Tyson, who served as Clinton’s top economic adviser; former Fed Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson; Time Warner Inc. Chairman Richard Parsons; former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman William Donaldson and Xerox Corp. Chief Executive Officer Anne Mulcahy.

Google Inc. CEO Eric Schmidt, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Roel Campos, an ex-SEC commissioner, and Warren Buffett are also on the advisory board.”

Notice anything missing ?

Not a single entrepreneur. Yes Warren Buffett started a business, but he will be the first to tell you that he “doesn’t do start ups”. Which means there isn’t a single person advising PE Obama that we know of that knows that its like to start and run a business in this or any economic climate. That’s a huge problem.

If we are going to solve our current economic problems, our President needs to get first hand information on the impact his proposed policies will have on real Joe the Plumbers. People who are 1 person companies living job to job, hoping they get paid on time. We need to know what the impact of his policies will be on the individually owned Chrysler Dealership in Iowa. The bodego in Manhattan. The mobile phone software startup out of Carnegie Mellon. The event planner in Dallas. The barbershop in LA. The restaurant in Boston.

Entrepreneurs that start and run small businesses will be the propellant in this economy. PE Obama needs to have the counsel of those who will take the real risk inherent in creating companies and jobs. Those who put their money and lives on the line with their business.

Without it, the rules of unintended consequences of any economic policy could hit you in the mouth in ways you never expected. Things like forcing companies from being taxpayers to the underground cash economy, or forcing new hires to be independent contractors to avoid having to pay their insurance or higher matching social security amounts. Your current group has no one with 100pct of their networth on the line. I promise you that the possibility of losing it all will provide a completely different perspective than any of the “knowledge” the esteemed, learned members of his current advisory team offer.

The problem with this is the personality of a lot of entrepreneurs is that of a monomaniacal bully. They often will sacrifice EVERYTHING for the sake of their business, but it will be their community and their workers who will actually pay the sacrifices first.

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Neat photo spread from UK Vogue:

Roald Dahl created some of the best-loved children’s stories of the 20th century, such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Matilda” and “James and the Giant Peach”. Having that in mind, Vogue UK enlisted Tim Burton (who of course directed one adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and produced another for James and the Giant Peach), actors Helena Bonham Carter, Imelda Staunton and Jamie Bell, and musician Lightspeed Champion amongst others, to help bring to life, Dahl’s powerful vision through fashion.

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

saw my first snow flurries of the season today, walking back from the grocery. Bleh … so not ready for winter.

Crooks & Liars has the video of Rahm on This Week.

20. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama

The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, citing his association with the sixties radical William Ayers.

The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling “terrorist” and “kill him” until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.

But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.

The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks.

Michelle Obama, the future First Lady, was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: “Why would they try to make people hate us?”

The revelations, contained in a Newsweek history of the campaign, are likely to further damage Mrs Palin’s credentials as a future presidential candidate. She is already a frontrunner, with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, to take on Mr Obama in four years time.

Details of the spike in threats to Mr Obama come as a report last week by security and intelligence analysts Stratfor, warned that he is a high risk target for racist gunmen. It concluded: “Two plots to assassinate Obama were broken up during the campaign season, and several more remain under investigation. We would expect federal authorities to uncover many more plots to attack the president that have been hatched by white supremacist ideologues.”

Blaming her for losing, instead of a shitty campaign and 8 years of criminal mis-rule by the Republican party strikes me as being as silly as blaming Nader for 2000. I also refuse to believe that she did it w/out the approval of McCain and his campaign.

21. marisacat - 9 November 2008

It was a lot more complicated during the run than what reached (and pleased) Big Media. Secret Service could find no evidence for one of the most dispersed incidents, in PA, it was reported in one PA paper from a reporter who had attended. SS could find no recording of it nor a single witness other than the reporter. Including SS which people happily forget are at all these rallies.

One incident even Sully (who still cranks out \several Palin posts a day) said, from listening over and over to the taped evidence was not “nigger”.. forget what word he said it was.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

21 – I never know what to believe about any of this stuff that comes out. I thought the threat out of CO actually sounded like the real deal, once more came out about it, but there is so much spinning, and its so impossible to know if a regional reporter has an agenda, that it’s hard to tell.

23. marisacat - 9 November 2008

This has been popping around for 24 hours or so..handled in different ways… The Page headlined this AP report.. other reports in the print media have hidden it down at longer pieces… UK Telegraph ran it at the top of today’s page and was willing to add that it might include family planning overseas.. I take that to mean PEPFAR. They even used the word “abortion counseling”. Bono and Damon all the media entertainment types who loved to love Bush and twaddle on about PEPFAR … LOL.

Who knows.

Nov 9, 12:17 PM EST

Obama reviews Bush orders on stem cells, drilling

Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Obama’s transition chief said Sunday the incoming administration is looking to reverse President Bush’s executive orders on stem cell research, oil and gas drilling and other matters.

John Podesta said the president can use such orders to move quickly without waiting for Congress to act, highlighting the extraordinary powers a president can wield beyond signing legislation approved by Congress. Podesta said people should expect Obama to use those powers to reverse many policies of the Bush administration.

24. marisacat - 9 November 2008


I have long said that Obama camp/handlers stoked a very distasteful passive agressive use of assassination. We’re loaded with lone nuts… but he is a creature of Big Biz. He fully advocates for the Global War on Terror… I am not esp worried, any more than for any candidate or president.

I mean [cough choke strangle].. Ford, Reagan, etc.

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008


If there’s one thing you can be absolutely sure of, it’s that Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” will never, ever die, thanks to awesomely crappy early-oughts pop-punk, bad rom-coms, and silly world record attempts. So it’s no surprise that rumors are now surfacing about Thriller: The Musical!

The New York Post’s gossip pages are reporting that the John Landis-directed video to the title track of his 1982 album – the biggest-selling in history – is to made into an all-singing, all-dancing stage spectacular.

No word yet as to whether Jackson would be involved, or if any of his other songs would be included, but if it went ahead, the musical would be produced Broadway heavyweight James Nederlander, whose credits include The Lion King, Rent, Wicked and Aida.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

24 – I’m not worried about his ass, but more worried about federal employees in places out west and down south or forestry/interior/park service employees out in the hinterlands. I’m much more concerned w/ wingers driving U-hauls full of chemical explosive into federal buildings or a mall than I am a lone gunman on a grassy knoll. Not to mention renewed attacks on women’s health clinics.

27. marisacat - 9 November 2008

yeah but over and over it IS about The One. They have furthered a culture of fixation.

One reason I wash my hands of it. If he manages this or that, good. But, they are in a bad spot despite all the blubber and slobber. American emotion can be very effervescent – and ephemeral. So they have to make some sort of show at the start. Disperse some down market manna.

How the long slog is with this one, The One, who the hell knows.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Is there something in the water there? Monks brawl before religious ceremony

JERUSALEM (CNN) — An unusual sight greeted Jerusalem police as they entered one of Christianity’s holiest sites Sunday morning: dozens of monks punching and kicking each other in a massive brawl.

Monks from the Greek Orthodox and Armenian denominations were preparing for a ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City when a disagreement led to a full-fledged fistfight.

The fight began when Armenian clergy were holding a procession to commemorate the finding of the cross believed to have been used in the crucifixion of Jesus, according to The Associated Press.

The Greek members of the clergy wanted one of their monks present, the AP reported, for fear that the procession would undermine their claim to an ancient structure built on what is believed to be the tomb of Jesus.

The two sides could not agree, and when the Armenians tried to begin the procession, the Greek monks stepped in and the fighting began, the AP reported.

“We were keeping resistance so that the procession could not pass through … and establish a right that they don’t have,” a young Greek Orthodox monk with a cut next to his left eye told the AP.

29. marisacat - 9 November 2008

BTW, I laughed pretty hard at the sign posted at his hotel podium yesterday. Or Friday… whenever The One graced us.

“Office of the President-elect” and with the seal, in itty-bitty-boo form, re-found. Maybe he should walk around with an American Bald Eagle on his shoulder. More flags and flag pins.


30. NYCO - 9 November 2008

John Podesta said the president can use such orders to move quickly without waiting for Congress to act, highlighting the extraordinary powers a president can wield beyond signing legislation approved by Congress.

Two imperial presidencies make a right!

31. marisacat - 9 November 2008

Keys to the Global Imperial Meat Locker…


32. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Colorado Streakers Arrested for Annual “Pumpkin Day” Party Run Face Could be Registered as “Sex Offenders”

Twelve of the runners who streaked the Pearl Street Mall on Friday night wearing nothing but pumpkins on their heads will have to register as sex offenders if they are convicted of indecent exposure.

The 10th year of the Naked Pumpkin Run started as usual — with laughter, beer and a whole lot of pumpkin carving. But the nude run, which has grown in recent years to include well over 100 people, ended with police citing 12 of the streakers for indecent exposure, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Police have warned runners in the past that the activity isn’t legal, but this is the first time officers showed up en masse to enforce the law.

Now the ticketed runners, whose names have not yet been released, will have to register as sex offenders — a scarlet letter that could mark their professional and personal lives for years — if the charge of indecent exposure sticks.

“It’s very nasty,” said Alexander Garlin, a local lawyer who has experience defending sex-related criminal charges. “Over the years, the system, the way of responding to individuals who are called sex offenders, ultimately has become institutionalized. There’s a whole industry around this, and certain critics have charged that the industry is too much one-size-fits-all.”

Convicting a naked pumpkin runner of indecent exposure in court, however, may not be completely straightforward. According to state law, the prosecution must show that the defendant “knowingly exposed his genitals to the view of any person,” which is the easy part in this case, and that the exposure likely caused “affront or alarm” to someone.

The “affront and alarm” is the obvious place to begin a defense, Garlin said. In the case of the pumpkin run, which didn’t start until nearly 11 p.m., many of the people packed onto the mall said they were there specifically to see the nude runners.

This country is fucking nuts.

33. marisacat - 9 November 2008

Angry arab… full text and he had no embedded links:

I did not have time to write about James Bamford’s new book: The Shadow Factory:

The Ultra-secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdroppoing on America. It needed a better editor: it reads like a collection of articles put together in a book form. It does not flow like a book. But it contains a wealth of information and it gives an updated version of the real work of NSA (to be supplemented with the author’s two previous books on the NSA). It is the most detailed and damning record of internal espoionage of this administration–likely to continue under Obama given his recent vote in the US Senate. But what is most REFRESHING about this book is this: this is a rare mainstream reporter who refers to Israel with disgust and detestation. He does not even hide his contempt for Israel and its crimes. He has a whole chapter of Israeli links to the espoionage industry in the US.

Posted by As’ad at 11:23 AM

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Bamford is great on Israel.

35. marisacat - 9 November 2008

Transcript of Podesta on FOX with Wallace.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Bamford’s description of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, from the book “Body of Secrets”.

Throughout the morning, the ship sailed on, with reconnaissance repeated at approximately 30-minute intervals. At one point, an Israeli air force Noratlas Nord 2501 circled the ship and headed back towards the Sinai. “It had a big Star of David on it and it was flying just a little bit above our mast,” recalled crew member Larry Weaver. “I was actually able to wave to the co-pilot. He waved back and actually smiled at me – I could see him that well. There’s no question about it. They had seen the ship’s markings and the American flag. They could damn near see my rank. The underway flag was definitely flying, especially when you’re that close to a war zone.”

By 9:50 am, the minaret at El Arish could be seen with the naked eye like a solitary mast in a sea of sand. Although no one on the ship knew it at the time, the Liberty had suddenly trespassed into a private horror. At that very moment, near the minaret, Israeli forces were engaged in a criminal slaughter.

Three days after Israel had launched the six- day war, Egyptian prisoners in the Sinai had become a nuisance. There was no place to house them, not enough Israelis to watch them, and few vehicles to transport them to prison camps. But there was another way to deal with them.

As the Liberty sat within eyeshot of El Arish, eavesdropping on surrounding communications, Israeli soldiers turned the town into a slaughterhouse, systematically butchering their prisoners. An eyewitness recounted how in the shadow of the El Arish mosque, they lined up about 60 unarmed Egyptian prisoners, hands tied behind their backs, and then opened fire with machine guns until the pale desert sand turned red.

The attack after that on the Liberty was brutal, and our gov’t helped their friends in Israel cover it up.

37. marisacat - 9 November 2008

Wapo on what Ob might reverse by EO … if read carefully.. there is too much element of fluff to it. Quotes come from those advocating [choke strangle] change.

Bush’s August 2001 decision pleased religious conservatives who have moral objections to the use of cells from days-old human embryos, which are destroyed in the process.

But Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said that during Obama’s final swing through her state in October, she reminded him that because the restrictions were never included in legislation, Obama “can simply reverse them by executive order.” Obama, she said, “was very receptive to that.” Opponents of the restrictions have already drafted an executive order he could sign.

The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it.

“We have been communicating with his transition staff” almost daily, Richards said. “We expect to see a real change.”

But there is also this………………… (I really wanted to do other, but the Bloooooooooo Dogs held me back!)

“The kind of regulations they are looking at” are those imposed by Bush for “overtly political” reasons, in pursuit of what Democrats say was a partisan Republican agenda, said Dan Mendelson, a former associate administrator for health in the Clinton administration’s Office of Management and Budget. The list of executive orders targeted by Obama’s team could well get longer in the coming days, as Bush’s appointees rush to enact a number of last-minute policies in an effort to extend his legacy.

A spokeswoman said yesterday that no plans for regulatory changes had been finalized.

“Before he makes any decisions on potential executive or legislative actions, he will be conferring with congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, as well as interested groups,” Obama transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said. “Any decisions would need to be discussed with his Cabinet nominees, none of whom have been selected yet.”

He should at least remove the GGR…

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Bamford link in moderation, I think.

An interesting contribution to Bageant’s blog:

The primary patterns of American social and economic development that we have experienced in the past 30 years are likely to continue and accelerate over the next 20 years regardless of who is in the White House. The deindustrialization of the country will continue finally placing the last of the unionized living wage income earning working class of the 20th century into the history books. The continued expansion of the information and service based parts of the economy and the generally meager wages and benefits it offers will further harden the income, education and opportunity gap between the top 20% of American society and the rest of the population, leaving the country more rigidly divided than ever in its history.

This would be a bad scenario in any country, but it is a disastrous scenario in the United States given how it runs counter to the great American narrative. The American narrative, or what most people call “The American Dream”, has always been a practical bargain. The rules were the following: you give up your former identity and allegiances, you do not think socially or politically, you do not question economic hierarchies, and in return you or your children will have a reasonable chance at achieving a better material life. In truth it was always a lousy deal, but it was a deal real and tangible enough to improve the lives of countless millions of people.

What was never part of the deal was the creation of a hard caste system of social and economic polarization. When the day arrives when the vast majority of Americans understand in the deepest recesses of their minds that this myth is shattered and that their children will have less opportunity and poorer economic prospects than themselves, all that we have ever thought or learned about American politics will become irrelevant.

Within the hierarchies of the old right, Sarah Palin’s style of pseudo working class conservatism was reserved for the proverbial back of the bus. Her type was not to speak, but to be spoken to; they were assigned to work as the foot soldiers in campaigns and be ignored until the next election.

But as social divisions widen and opportunity declines, there will be an ever-decreasing market for the type of homely business conservatism dished along with breakfast at the local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club. The style of conservatism that Sarah Palin represents will be the only one that has a majoritarian future in today’s America. The populist conservatism will be openly hateful, paranoid, anti-intellectual, belligerently militaristic and most significantly ideologically inconsistent and opportunistic.

To understand what these changes mean in practical electoral terms, we must first digress three months and understand the electoral and political rationale that went into the decision to nominate Governor Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate — a decision as learned as it was unabashedly cynical.

Sarah Palin was never chosen for her strengths, but in fact for her weaknesses. For electoral purposes these were her strengths. She was chosen to be savaged because in order to savage her you would need to savage the realities, the life styles and thinking of the largest segment (though not a majority) of American electorate. Her ignorance of the world, her religious practices, her out of wedlock pregnant daughter represented far more true pictures of the realities of American life than the cosmopolitanism of Barack Obama.

It was to be the juxtaposition of his professorship of constitutional law to the countless community colleges she attended, his perfect family to her pregnant 17-year-old daughter, his Harvard educated wife to the “First Dude” of Alaska. What they were trying to say to American voters was the following: Barack Obama might be the mask you want to put on in this hour of need, but you know in your heart of hearts it is Sarah Palin that is the more truthful nature of your profile.

Her selection was an attempt to make the election about the culture wars, and it nearly worked. Absent the timely melt down in Wall Street it would have likely led to a John McCain victory.

There is some stuff in between all of that about how Obama is gonna fuck over his “progressive” supporters in favor of the corporations.

39. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Revolutionary auto already on the road

The same day that Ford and General Motors announced catastrophic third-quarter losses, Dean Kamen was showing off his new electric car.

The prototype vehicle, a zippy two-seat hatchback designed with more than a passing resemblance to the Volkswagen Beetle, can go about 60 miles on a single charge of its lithium battery and with practically zero emissions.

The secret?

“It’s the world’s first Stirling hybrid electric car,” its inventor said with a flourish.

Installed in the car’s trunk compartment is a Stirling engine invented at DEKA, Kamen’s technology company in the Manchester Millyard. It powers the features that would normally drain huge power from the battery, notably the defroster and heater.

That leaves the battery primarily for propulsion. “You’re running a pure electric, which is enormously cheaper to operate and enormously more environmentally friendly,” Kamen explained.

And if the battery does run low, the Stirling can recharge it, so you’ll never get stranded, he said. That’s why Kamen calls his Stirling engine “an insurance policy” for the electric car.

Kamen showed off his state registration for his new car, listed as a 2008 DEKA Revolt. “I’m a car manufacturer!” he grinned. “It’s so exciting!”

40. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008
41. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

P.Z. Myers on the Mormons and Prop 8:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as they insist on being called, has earned another reason to be regarded with a sneer of contempt: they sent a letter to all of their churches in California urging their adherents to vote for Proposition 8. It’s bizarre that a religion known for being out of step with the rest of the country on the issue of marriage, a place populated with polygamists and young girls treated as chattel and coaxed into child marriages, now wants to “preserve the sacred institution of marriage”. They sunk tens of millions of dollars into the campaign.


… I’m at an Americans United meeting, and the place is crawling with lawyers and experts on separation of church and state issues, and I asked Barry Lynn directly what kind of legal recourse we had, and he regretfully pointed out that what the Mormon church did was entirely legal. It was ethically repugnant, of course, but complaining to the IRS is likely to net you doodly-squat in this case.

We may have to settle for escalating our mockery of mormonism. It’s not hard, after all: it is one of the most palpably ridiculous, unethical, dumb-ass religions flourishing in our unfortunate nation of theological dumb-asses. Did you know that being excommunicated from the Mormon church can get you expelled from BYU? Don’t go to BYU (not that there’s much chance many of my readers would do so), and feel free to sneer a little bit at the poor BYU graduates. Forget that ski vacation in Park City; Colorado has great snow, too. Be even ruder to the next pair of white-shirted Mormon missionaries who come to your door. Hey, does anyone know what a Mormon would find heretical? Send me something they find sacred.

42. marisacat - 9 November 2008

Well the marches today are going to Catholic churches as well. A good idea. Spread the joy. And if they do turn to the black churches it should be the 4 ministers who were pictured and quoted on the last flyers… they ramped up hard the last two weeks and esp the weekend before.

But our tangled mess of evangelicals are a part of it, too…

Unless something happens to break it, it seems these protests will grow, or at least continue. Certainly there is plenty of info on line to show that the leadership on No on 8 abandoned any idea of a winning strategy. To be frank, I suspect THEM ALL, from Gavin to the CA DP to No on 8 campaign of being strategic.

They should publicise the name of Ahmanson that whacko religio nut case. LOL At the Daily Beast I read his father was the one who started Washington Mutual WaMu! originally…

43. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

To be frank, I suspect THEM ALL, from Gavin to the CA DP to No on 8 campaign of being strategic.

I agree … I think the donks helped kill it by convincing the No! campaign to not push too hard.

44. marisacat - 9 November 2008

LOL From the Politico Mike Allen eamil:

TALK RADIO ALERT – N.Y. Daily News cover, ‘YES, I WILL TAX RICH: Obama tells doubters he’ll let W’s tax break for wealthy run out,’ By Kenneth R. Bazinet: ‘For the rich, the party is over – as promised. Despite speculation to the contrary, President-elect Barack Obama will act on his campaign promise and roll back the Bush administration’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, an Obama senior adviser told The Daily News. The Obama camp rejected the overnight analysis by some pundits who speculated the language at his first news conference Friday suggested the President-elect was backing away from his tax plans. ‘No change to the tax plan – at all,’ the aide said.’

It’s on or it’s off or he’s wiggling. One fo the three… 😉

45. marisacat - 9 November 2008

Petrellis has several, well! many actually!, dmaning posts on the No on 8 Campaign (and he names the individuals, one of which is Big Big Dem pollster Celinda Lake) leadership, HRW types… Salmonese, Birch etc. Plus Petrellis is not a Democrat and does nto visit nor cohabit with the many many Democratic party clubs in town.


And OBama has been too fucking cute on all of this.

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008
47. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

White LGBT People Suddenly Care What Blacks Think About Homosexuality

Black Americans have become the scapegoat for the passing of Prop 8. Since Wednesday morning, I have received half a dozen private messages from white homosexuals asking me what can be done to change Black people’s minds about gay marriage.

What.the.fuck? White folks, I can’t help ya with that. Yes, I am Black; however, that fact doesn’t arm me with any special insight into the Black mind.

Right-wing religious white people are the ones who pushed to have Prop 8 on the 2008 ballot. Don’t forget that, ok? Those people then appealed to other religious people using a very common scare tactic: “if you’re a real Christian, you’ll vote to ban gay marriage, or your ass is goin’ straight to Hell.” My exhusband’s new wife used that same tactic with him to convince him to start a 5 year custody battle for our children: “if you’re really a Christian, you wouldn’t allow a lesbian to raise your kids.” That tactic works well for people who are afraid of living eternal life in the lake of fire.

The religious right relied heavily on the assumption that Black voters would turn out in droves for this year’s historical election. It was always a part of the Yes on 8 strategy.

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Steve Clemons – Remove Lieberman from ALL Domestic Security and National Security Roles

Joe Lieberman wants to keep his status and committees and caucus with the Democrats. He has been a fear-monger and someone who has promoted a dangerous, reckless false choice between American relations with Israel and other parts of the Middle East. He is a devout neoconservative who has been a key enabler of many of the most nefarious groups that promoted the Iraq War and who want a series of new wars in the region.

But more than that, he strongly supported someone a heartbeat away from the presidency who knew virtually nothing about America’s place in the world, who knew nothing of American history and its leaders and conventions and founders.

Lieberman is dangerous on so many levels — and he has not apologized for any of his positions or offered any explanation that should make Americans feel comfortable with this Senator in the next four years as Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security.

If Dems would like to keep Joe Lieberman in the caucus, give him responsibility for education policy, telecom policy, health care — but the price for the Dems keeping this fearmonger is that he be removed from any position with key responsibility for national security or domestic security matters.

49. marisacat - 9 November 2008

I think it is appalling he does nto jsut change parties. He must feel he needs that D-Ind after his name in CT. Or something. Plus of course the party likes and in fact LOVES him. Kerry almsot wept Kerry tears on MTP a couple of weeks ago. He loves him. Jesus get real.

The R are not very happy with Hagel… but iirc he is revolving out of the senate (ugh my memory is hazy on that) Chafee left the party laready, iirc. Lugar laid low… but imo he is an Ob advisor.

Liebeman should have been shunned for campaining FOR Bush in S Florida in 04. In temples and on some stump stages. He said “Bush is better for the security of Israel and America… ” LOL I called it BIB. Bush is Better.

Gringrich and Mona Charen openly thanked him the day after election.

50. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Speaking of religious nuts: Farrakhan says Obama ‘new beginning’

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said God’s divine plan for the world is why President-elect Barack Obama won the election, and that God will make sure Obama has the vision needed to guide the country through current economic and social woes.

51. marisacat - 9 November 2008

Dodd loves him some Lieberman (from Ben Smith)

November 09, 2008
Categories: Barack Obama

Dodd: Obama should avert Lieberman fight

From the Hartford Courant’s Capital Watch blog:

“What does Barack Obama want?” Dodd rhetorically asked reporters Friday after speaking at a childhood nutrition forum at the state Capitol complex in Hartford. “He’s talked about reconciliation, healing, bringing people together. I don’t think he’d necessarily want to spend the first month of this president-elect period, this transition period, talking about a Senate seat, particularly if someone is willing to come forward and is willing to be a member of your family in the caucus in that sense.”

By Harry Siegel 12:29 PM
comments (54) | post comment

52. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Why don’t Dodd and the others understand that this isn’t about their friendships and their fucking little gentlemans’ club. Lieberman fights, and fought for, a foreign policy that is very, very bad for this country, and he did so giving cover to a winger campaign that attacks the Democratic Party’s base’s patriotism.

Good thing I abandoned that worthless party a while ago.

53. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Ford on selling 65MPG Euro-diesel car in U.S.: Nah, Americans won’t buy it

And this is why you can’t rely on a “free” market … there is NO such thing. The market is ALWAYS deformed by choices made by people along the entire chain of transactions.

54. marisacat - 9 November 2008

I still say they AGREE with Liebeman on almost everything. His neoconism (Europe has always openly called him a Neo con) is just a part of their Dem Neo Liberalism Invasion as Rescue. The goat to their nanny..


55. marisacat - 9 November 2008

well Ford sells several models of very small cars in the UK, has for years. Decades.

56. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

The New Trough

On October 13th, when the U.S. Treasury Department announced the team of “seasoned financial veterans” that will be handling the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, one name jumped out: Reuben Jeffery III, who was initially tapped to serve as chief investment officer for the massive new program.

On the surface, Jeffery looks like a classic Bush appointment. Like Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, he’s an alum of Goldman Sachs, having worked on Wall Street for 18 years. And as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2005 to 2007, he proudly advocated “flexibility” in regulation – a laissez-faire approach that failed to rein in the high-risk trading at the heart of the meltdown.

Bankers watching bankers, regulators who don’t believe in regulating – that’s all standard fare for the Bush crew. What’s most striking about Jeffery’s résumé, however, is an item omitted when his new job was announced: He served as executive director of Paul Bremer’s infamous Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, during the early days of the Iraq War. Part of his job was to hire civilian staff, which made him an integral part of the partisan machine that filled the Green Zone with Young Republicans, investment bankers and Dick Cheney interns. Qualifications weren’t a big issue back then, because the staff’s main function was to hand over stacks of taxpayer money to private contractors, who were the ones actually running the occupation. It was this nonstop cash conveyor belt that earned the Green Zone a reputation, in the words of one CPA official, as “a free-fraud zone.” During Senate hearings last year, when Jeffery was asked what he had learned from his experience at the CPA, he said he thought that contracts should be handed out with more “speed and flexibility” – the same philosophy he cited back when he was in charge of regulating Wall Street traders.

The Bush Administration has since reversed the Jeffery appointment, perhaps thinking better of giving a CPA alum such a central role in the Wall Street bailout. Still the original impulse underscores the many worrying parallels between the administration’s approach to the financial crisis and its approach to the Iraq War. Under cover of an emergency, Treasury is rapidly turning into an economic Green Zone, overrun with private companies collecting lucrative contracts. Fittingly, one of the first to line up at the new trough was none other than the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani – yes, that Giuliani. The firm’s chairman, Patrick Oxford, could scarcely conceal his glee over the prospect of cashing in on the bailout. “This one,” he told reporters, “is very, very big.” At least four times bigger, in fact, than the post-9/11 homeland-security bubble, from which Giuliani and his various outfits have profited so extravagantly. Even bigger, potentially, than the price tag for the Iraq War itself.

57. marisacat - 9 November 2008

LOL So…………. who is Ob going to put in?

A true reformer? Or a Corzine, Rubin, Summers… etc.. ???

58. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

The Stranger’s SLOG blog has a couple of posts about anti-LDS protests in Seattle, with pics.

59. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

57 – different thieves, I guess.

60. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

Harry Reid Still Defending Joe Lieberman: One of the Most Progressive People Ever To Come From the State of CT

Reid: Joe Lieberman told me yesterday “We got a big job to do. I’m going to do everything I can to help Barack Obama.”

King: Does he owe him an apology?

Reid: Well I don’t know, you know this is not a high school deal where you say okay you embarrassed me in front of my girlfriend therefore you apologize.

King: But you made peace with Sen. McCain. Should they do something like that?

Reid: Maybe they already have. I think a lot of this is very private stuff but Joe Lieberman has done something that I think was improper, wrong and I’d like that we weren’t on television I’d use a stronger word of describing what he did. But, ah…Joe Lieberman votes with me a lot more than a lot of my senators. He didn’t support us on military stuff and he didn’t support us on Iraq stuff. But you look at his record, he’s good. He comes from one of the most liberal states in the country. He is, Joe Lieberman is not some right wing nut case. Joe Lieberman is one of the most progressive people ever to come from the state of CT.

61. marisacat - 9 November 2008

I was just reading that transcript… they are such tired fuckers.

62. Madman in the Marketplace - 9 November 2008

enthusiastically supporting the murder by munition of hundreds of thousands of people, to protect a country not even your own, is not “liberal”, and I don’t give a shit that he marched in the south forty years ago.

63. marisacat - 9 November 2008

oh I think he did it in somewhat the same spirit as Rangel did… from Rangel’s own words on the anniversary a few years ago of the Montgomery to Selma march.. he was sent down as a young pol to march. Did not know what it was all about and mostly was irritated that his feet hurt.

Now if he had been soem sheltered very very young man who grew up middle class (within the stratified confines of US society) in Harlem or Philadelphia or Chicago – I would almsot understand. But he had served in Korea.

A lot of peopel who mouth really don’t care. At all.

Reid too an asshole. Hell all of them.

64. marisacat - 9 November 2008

nuuu thread…………………..


………… 8) ………………..

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