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Street action… 13 November 2008

Posted by marisacat in California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Europe, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Spain, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.


Meanwhile, further north in the town of Gijón, employees of a shipyard took to the streets in protest over threatened job losses [REUTERS]

A few days ago workers in Spain took to the streets to protest job lay-offs, about 1,600 jobs at a Nissan plant and to protest job losses at a shipyard, Gijon… Homemade rockets.  Ok!  These people do not fool around.  The photos from Telegraph UK


This is riding at the top of Clusterstock, from Henry Blodget…  the dust bunnies sheltering in place in this house are stiffer, with greater intestinal fortitude, than the Democratic congressional pack.


Republicans are putting their feet down and refusing to throw another $50 billion into Detroit’s black hole. Democrats, meanwhile, don’t think they have the votes to ram the bailout home.

Has Bailout Nation finally drawn a line in the sand? We’re on the edge of our seats.

Even I, who thinks the Democrats are still nearly dead (but multiplying, it’s a mutation), did not quite buy it (this is Blodget after all) but then this extract he links to in the WSJ:

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said he knew of no Republicans who would support the Democrats’ $25 billion proposal and said he was disinclined to move a bill without bipartisan support.

“I’d want to be careful about bringing up a proposition that might fail,” given that a rescue plan would likely fare better under a President-elect Barack Obama administration, Sen. Dodd (D., Conn.) told reporters on Capitol Hill. “There’s some political considerations that need to be made over the next few days.”

eh.  Things will be better in the 111th no doubt…


…and, frankly, speaking from the peanut gallery, I think Detroit car business, their lending business, all of it, should be forced into business bankruptcy, reorganisation.

I so enjoy reading the news and seeing (hearing, frankly) GE giggling at the sheer cash coming their way.

From today:

Today feels like one of the quieter days in awhile. The market has been trading with in a relatively narrow range, but GE and Citigroup are sticking out like a sore thumb. Citi, which got headlines for breaking $10 yesterday is now struggling to hang on to $9, down about 9% today.  And GE, which just last night got some help from the FDIC is off another 8%, falling below $15.

Somehow or other, it gets wearing… and if one wishes to hold on to the morning’s bran flakes, don’t think about Jack Welch.  Or his face.  He may not be in charge today, but all those years… not worth thinking about  — ’til The Bail Outs.

And, I am begging for better spin… I just cannot believe that Ob & co would consider Hillary for State.  Please, better spin.  I am begging.

There is good news: seems Stevens, Uncle Ted who wore a Hulk Hogan tie, is going down.  Hail Senator Begich. With luck, Franken keeps finding votes and Chambliss loses his run off in Georgia.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Control of the US Senate hangs in the balance with three races still too close to call. Democrats picked up six seats on November 4th, building up a commanding advantage to currently control fifty-seven Senate seats to forty for the Republicans. But three key races—in Minnesota, Alaska and Georgia—are still not certain, and they could open the door to a filibuster-proof, sixty-seat “supermajority” for the Democrats.

In Georgia, incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss fell short of winning the 50 percent of the vote required for election under Georgia law. He faces a runoff against former Democratic state legislator Jim Martin on December 2nd.

In Alaska, Senator Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, leads former Anchorage mayor, Democrat Mark Begich, by just over 3,000 votes, with about 30 percent of the ballots remaining to be counted. Stevens faces potential expulsion proceedings after his conviction last month of seven felonies connected to lies on financial disclosure forms. A final vote count is expected next Wednesday.

And in Minnesota, the race between incumbent Republican Norm Coleman and Democratic challenger Al Franken is the closest in the country. As of Monday, Coleman leads Franken by a razor-thin 206 votes out of 2.9 million ballots cast. When certified, the result will lead to an automatic recount, which state law says is triggered if the margin of victory is less than half of one percent.

Anything to reach the ‘no excuses’ congressional numbers.  Then, their only out is to claim to be the Three Blind Mice.  And Moe, Curly and whoever the other one was….


UPDATE, 12:24 am Friday…


Tea Fire in Montecito hills: Witnesses watch a home burn burn in the hills above Montecito, Calif.  November 13, 2008 [Phil Klein – Assocated Press via LAT]

For a few hours, a couple, they were calling it a brush fire.  Not quite.  800 acres as of an hour ago, over a hundred homes or structures… a comment left at a TV news site said the gas lines were exploding… along with other things, the usual, the cars and propane tanks.  A hot, fast moving fire, the kind that lashes a range of land to a post and just whips away.  We got thru October, thru Hallowe’en, without a fire to mark it..  Some years we seem to be an exploding Jack-o-Lantern.

Several fire departments were battling the flames as thick plumes of smoke hovered overhead.

“It looked like lava coming down a volcano,” Leslie Hollis Lopez told The Associated Press as she gathered belongings from her house in Montecito.

“It’s very tenuous. We’re hoping the winds are favorable.”

The Tea Fire, this one is, in Montecito, San Ysidro Ranch and lapping at the outskirts of Santa Barabara.  Tonight, for whatever reason, they are calling the winds driving the fires the Diablo winds… and they will continue thru tomorrow.

Year after year, our cycle of wildfire, leaving the land scraped to the nub, the rains, mudslide and landslide… the fires are always apocalyptic.  Grabbing the children, the pets, the photos. Fleeing.

In the hills of Montecito, residents of the darkened streets lighted only by the glow from the burning brush could be seen packing up cars. Horse trailers and Porsches snaked their way down narrow, winding mountain roads.

I think we are afraid the year will come when we grab the precious things and simply turn back and run into the fire.


1. marisacat - 14 November 2008

hmm Don’t strain, what ever you do:

President-elect Barack Obama said he hoped to fulfil “the simple hopes and common dreams of all Americans” as he announced his resignation from the US Senate today.

2. penlan - 14 November 2008

Moe, Curly, & Larry…

Ob’s is beginning to look like another Clinton Admin.
Surprises me as to how many previous Clinton aides etc. are in the transition team, etc. & the possibility of Hill as Sec. of Sate. Yikes!

3. penlan - 14 November 2008

How much longer does your fire season usually last? I remember the terrible fires you had in early Spring – way too early iirc.

4. marisacat - 14 November 2008

ABC news: Philadelphia, Phoenix and Atlanta are asking for a share in the Bail Out. For infrastructure and help wth city contracts, pensions etc.


5. marisacat - 14 November 2008


lasts til the rains come. Had we gotten some rain (they say we did, but it was so little) probably this fire would nto have blown so hot so fast.

The big problem is the 7 months wiht little to no rain. When we did get a very little last month it sort of hung in the air, like moisture, then sort of appeared on the ground, for a few minutes. Not enough… and, at least up here, the temp is going up and is supposed to be 80 here today.

6. marisacat - 14 November 2008

SF Chron:

(11-13) 18:17 PST SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court has asked state Attorney General Jerry Brown to reply by Monday to lawsuits challenging the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage – a sign that the justices are taking the cases seriously and will not dispose of them quickly./snip/

How SF voted on 8:

[O]ne in 4 San Franciscans voted in favor of Proposition 8, far fewer than the 52 percent who voted to ban same-sex marriage statewide. But a closer look shows race, age and education influenced voters more than anything else – even among those living in one of the world’s most gay-friendly cities.

Voters in 54 of San Francisco’s 580 precincts supported the ban, with a high of 65 percent of voters favoring it in parts of Chinatown and downtown. More than half of voters in large swaths of Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley, the Excelsior and areas around Lake Merced also voted to ban same-sex marriage. /snip/

7. marisacat - 14 November 2008

A report on the cities asking for Bail Out

[A]bout a half-dozen other cities, including Chicago, are reviewing the plan and may sign on, said a spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, who is leading the initiative. On Friday, Mr. Nutter will personally give Mr. Paulson a letter outlining the proposal.::snip::

hmm cant Chicago just skim it off the top… somehow I suspect we do something like that…

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

There was this interesting tidbit down the page at Clusterstock:

Barack Obama’s new chief of staff spent two years working as an investment banker in Chicago. Wassterstein Perella paid Rahm Emanuel $16.2 million and made him a managing director, despite the fact that Emanuel had never held a job outside of politics before. So what did he do to earn that kind of pay day?

“He was a highly-paid deal-maker who enriched himself by using his government connections to enrich big business,” Tim Carney writes. (Disclosure: blah, blah, blah, brother.)

Oh, things are SO different now. Different companies in different industries, that’s all. Clinton 2.0.

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008
10. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

Gideon Levy / Let’s hope Obama won’t be a ‘friend of Israel’

When we say that someone is a “friend of Israel” we mean a friend of the occupation, a believer in Israel’s self-armament, a fan of its language of strength and a supporter of all its regional delusions. When we say someone is a “friend of Israel” we mean someone who will give Israel a carte blanche for any violent adventure it desires, for rejecting peace and for building in the territories.

Israel’s greatest friend in the White House, outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush, was someone like that. There is no other country where this man, who brought a string of disasters down upon his own nation and the world, would receive any degree of prestige and respect. Only in Israel.

Only in Israel does the prime minister place George Bush’s portrait in his den, in his private home. Only in Israel does the prime minister travel to visit him in the White House.

That’s because Bush was a friend of Israel. Israel’s greatest friend. Bush let it embark on an unnecessary war in Lebanon. He did not prevent the construction of a single outpost. He may have encouraged Israel, in secret, to bomb Iran. He did not pressure Israel to move ahead with peace talks, he even held up negotiations with Syria, and he did not reproach Israel for its policy of targeted killings.

Bush also supported the siege on Gaza and participated in the boycott of Hamas, which was elected in a democratic election initiated by his own administration.

That’s just how we like U.S. presidents. They give us a green light to do as we please. They fund, equip and arm us, and sit tight. Such is the classic friend of Israel, a friend who is an enemy, and enemy of peace and an enemy to Israel.

11. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

Restoring America’s Rights Record: Memo to the President-Elect

So many hopes and expectations that I feel fairly certain this new bunch will crush.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

Bill Ayers on ‘Good Morning America’

Ayers said he remained silent throughout the campaign because he didn’t want to further what he called “a dishonest narrative.” And he defended his protest actions during the Vietnam era.

“I think the dishonest narrative is one to demonize me,” he said. “Let’s remember that what you call a violent past, that was at a time that thousands of people were being murdered by our government every month, and those of us who fought to end that war were actually on the right side. So if we want to replay that history, I would reject the whole notion that demonizing me or the Weather Underground is relevant.”

He also disputed whether the actions of the Weather Underground could be considered terrorism: “In trying to end [the war], we did cross lines of propriety, of legality, maybe even of common sense. But we never committed terror.”

Ayers also remained unapologetic for his actions during that time.

“I’ve been quoted again and again as saying, ‘I don’t regret it,’ and saying, ‘I don’t think we did enough.’ And I don’t think we did enough,” Ayers said. “Just as today I don’t think we’ve done enough to stop these wars and I think we must all recognize the injustice of it and do more.”

13. marisacat - 14 November 2008

Rahm was also at Fannie Mae….

14. marisacat - 14 November 2008

hmmm if anyone can stand it. I suppose Shelby might say something interesting about Big Bloody Bail Out.

Meet the Press: Sens. Levin, Shelby, T. Boone Pickens; roundtable with Friedman, Smiley, Kay, Mitchell

This Week: Gov. Schwarzenegger; roundtable with Krugman, Donaldson, Roberts, Will

Fox News Sunday: Sen. Kyl, Gov. Pawlenty, Michael Steele

Face the Nation: Rep. Frank, Sen. Shelby, Gov. Jindal, Gingrich

Late Edition: Rep. Rangel

15. NYCO - 14 November 2008

I have a vision of President Obama in 2011 saying something like, “Uh, I have been controlled by, uh, events.”

Sadly, again I have to say (looking at the daily cratering and dire economic news) that Obama’s candidacy was a trailing economic indicator. White middle- to upper-class progressives, feeling flush with money and prosperity after ten years of HELOC home ATM spending, felt they could afford a designer candidate. Image more important than substance. (And then of course the people not so well off, many of whom who just wanted a Democrat – any Democrat.)

The great sundering of “progressive” America now begins as the poor become destitute, and half of the middle class becomes “failed middle class” (their children will drink water) and the other half clings to what it has and fiercely protects it (their children will drink wine). All that kumbaya talk is going to just evaporate as the economic screws turn.

But honestly, we really don’t know what or how well Obama will do, so I await his genius to manifest itself. I’m waiting for a glimmer of original thought from him, or anyone. I’ll take it from anyone at this point.

Maybe we’ll have real politics in 2012.

16. marisacat - 14 November 2008

All that kumbaya talk is going to just evaporate as the economic screws turn.

Seems inevitable… interesting to be listening the day it hits..

17. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

No kumbayas in some neighborhoods of Chicago, reportedly: Lawsuits Claim Election Night Hate Crimes By Cops

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Two more women are suing Chicago Police for hate crimes and battery after officers allegedly sprayed pepper spray on the women and their children and barged into their West Side home as they celebrated Barack Obama’s Election Night victory.

The suit marks the second in two weeks alleging police abuse of civilians celebrating Obama’s win.

Niger Arnold and Roslyn Arnold filed suit Thursday in U.S. District Court on behalf of their six children, including four minors, against five unnamed police officers for the Nov. 4 incident.

“If you can’t trust police officers, who can you trust?” Arnold said at a news conference Thursday.

Her family was standing outside their home in the 3400 block of West Chicago Avenue cheering and celebrating Obama’s victory when police squad cars drove down the street and one or more officers hung out the window and discharged pepper spray at the crowd, the suit said.

After some words were exchanged, officers exited their vehicles with guns drawn and kicked open the door to the Arnold family home, according to the suit.

The officers allegedly knocked some of the family members to the ground and made racial comments, the suit said.

The first federal suit was filed Friday by a family charging that officers in unmarked squad cars pepper-sprayed and shouted racial slurs at their young children as they drove on the West Side.

That incident happened about 10:30 p.m. in the 5700 block of West Division Street, after the three girls — ages 11, 6 and 1 — started yelling “Yay! Obama” out open car windows, according to the suit.

Arnold’s attorney, Gregory Kulis, seeks a subpoena for the videotape generated by a police street camera that may provide evidence.

“Oprah and Rev. (Jesse) Jackson weren’t pepper-sprayed because they were in Grant Park,” Kulis said. “But there were no national cameras on the West Side of the city of Chicago.”

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008
19. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008
20. marisacat - 14 November 2008

hmm going postal in a tech office out here. Down in Santa Clara… they are not announcing what company or firm.

Well Cisco laid off 6000 this am, in breaking news. Who knows…

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

New Whistleblower Emerges in Siegelman Case

A whistleblower from inside the Justice Department has provided documents that raise questions about the behavior of prosecutors during the case of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman.

Tamarah T. Grimes, a legal aide who worked in the office that prosecuted Siegelman, provided the documents, according to a major investigative story by Adam Zagorin of Time magazine.

Grimes worked for Leura Canary, U.S. attorney for the middle district of Alabama in Montgomery, and provided the documents to Department of Justice watchdogs in 2007. She now is involved in an employment dispute that could result in her termination.

The documents include e-mails from Canary, written long after her recusal in the case, offering legal advice to her subordinates. Canary supposedly had recused herself because her husband, William Canary, is a close associate of Governor Bob Riley (Siegelman’s one-time opponent) and White House strategist Karl Rove. Bill Canary had received tens of thousands of dollars in consulting fees from political opponents of Siegelman, Zagorin reports.

22. marisacat - 14 November 2008

Not Cisco.. Sun Microsystems. hell I get them all confused. Or what year which wave of lay offs it is. Seems we are in the third in less than 20 years.


23. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

Cisco is in trouble too, though. There have been a lot of recessions over the last 20 years, a lot of them not recognized officially as such, but real enuff due to the downward pressure on peoples’ earnings and prospects.

24. marisacat - 14 November 2008

oh taht si true.. plenty of lay offs outside of recessions or “down turns”…

Pearlstein (ugh) of the Wapo last night on with Rose said that the world has told America they are tired of being on the edges of our boom and bust system. Jesus! Somebody noticed! Whoever can end it, please do!

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

College Bans Nietzsche Quote on Prof’s Door

“God is dead.” That phrase, from Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, is among the philosopher’s most well known — and most hotly debated.

At Temple College, a community college in Texas, the words in the original German — Gott ist tot — have been barred from a professor’s office door. While the college says that to leave the phrase up would offend others and constitute and endorsement of the phrase, the professor and others see a double standard in place, and a violation of academic freedom.

Kerry Laird, a literature and composition professor who does not have tenure, is in his first year at Temple. He said that, as a student and instructor, he always enjoyed the way professors use their office doors to reveal bits of their personality and to challenge students with cartoons, artwork, and various phrases. So when he started at Temple, he put a cartoon up showing Smokey the Bear, a girl scout and a boy scout and the tag line: “Kids — don’t fuck with God or bears will eat you.” He received a complaint and decided that he understood why the college “might not want the f-word” in the hallway, and so he decided to put up something else.

This time he turned to Nietzsche and, striving to challenge while being more subtle, he only used the German version of the quote, not the English translation. “I didn’t want to be too blunt,” he said.

But he was quickly told that Mark A. Smith, interim vice president of educational services, had ordered the saying removed. And Laird said he had no choice in the matter.

Smith outlined his views in an e-mail message he sent to a student who complained about the quote’s removal. “Temple College as a public institution cannot be represented as showing preference toward any religious philosophy/perspective or toward the opposite, being atheism. The same practice goes for politics. The decision to have the quote removed was that the quote can be considered very controversial and offensive to others. In fact, other people have already expressed that the wording is offensive!” he wrote.

In a classroom setting, a professor would have the right to discuss such a quote, Smith said.

The student maintains that the college permits numerous professors to have “pro-religion” statements or images on their doors.

That argument doesn’t fly with Misti Kennai, an agnostic student who wrote Smith to say she was “inundated daily with biblical quotes” in offices around the college. “Why is it that when a quote that contradicts the beliefs of the administration of Temple College is posted, it is forcibly removed? Are the Christians on campus that insecure in their religious beliefs? Although the majority of people on campus are Christian, it is not the only religion present on this campus. If this quote is removed by this administration, then I propose all quotes promoting Christianity on campus also be forcibly removed. I do not personally believe that ‘with God all things are possible.’ On the contrary, I believe God is indeed dead, or she may have never existed at all.”

of course, missing from that whole mess is the point of the Parable of the Madman:

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. “Whither is God?” he cried; “I will tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

“How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us—for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.”

The whole point is that God is a public construct, and that the complete disappearance of Him/Her/It from public life as anything more than a convenience rendered Him/Her/It meaningless. EVERYTHING about western society, going back centuries, puts the lie to the idea that people worship or believe in God. He/She/It is a fiction to fall back on when it is helpful to do so, that is all.

Don’t even get me started on how people misrepresent the idea of the ubermensch.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

Duckworth Longshot for Senate Thanks to Durbin?

Time is ticking for Governor Rod Blagojevich to find a successor to Obama’s senate seat. The odds on Tammy Duckworth getting the spot just got worse thanks to her pal, Sen. Dick Durin. Durbin and Blagojevich are apparently not on good terms, but then again who is? Durbin has publicly chided the governor in the past over his on-going feud with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, saying he’d rather mediate Baghdad than Springfield. Durbin has said he gets plenty of complaints from Illinois residents as well as his colleagues in Washington about the gridlock in Springfield.

The Blagojevich administration might be considering Duckworth for Rep. Rahm Emanuel’s seat, which has seen a crowded amount of bids from the likes of Chicago Ald. Tom Tunney, Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley, Ald. Tom Allen, Ald. Patrick O’Conner, and even state Rep.-elect Deborah Mell. Duckworth, a disabled Iraq war veteran and head of the state’s Veteran Affairs Department, is said to be more interested in the senate spot.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, retiring state Senate President Emil Jones, and state Attorney General Lisa Madigan are also in the running for Obama’s senate seat. Each could give Blagojevich an advantage for his reelection in 2010. Gutierrez, a good friend of the guv’s from back in their days in Congress, could help Blagojevich nail down the Hispanic vote. Likewise, Jones, a close Blagojevich ally in Springfield, could help the governor secure the black vote. Madigan, the daughter of House Speaker Michael Madigan, has been pegged as a big contender for the gubernatorial race. Appointing her to the senate would be a nice way of knocking her off the ballot. If that’s the logic being used then maybe Blagojevich should appoint U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as a way of getting him off his back.

27. marisacat - 14 November 2008

VT and CT have half a brain, at least:

They Got Their No-Joe Working

Bernie Sanders joins Pat Leahy in calling for Joe Lieberman to be stripped of his chairmanship.

–David Kurtz

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008
29. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

Obama to Give Weekly Address To American Public Via YouTube

I hope he puts funny cat videos in his clips.

30. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

Roubini: 20 Reasons Why the U.S. Consumer is Capitulating, thus Triggering the Worst U.S. Recession in Decades

Today’s news about October retail sales (-2.8% relative to the previous month and now down in real terms for five months in a row) confirm what this forum has been arguing for a while, i.e. that the U.S. has entered its most severe consumer-led recession in decades. At this rate of free fall in consumption real GDP growth could be a whopping 5% negative or even worse in Q4 of 2008. And this is not a temporary phenomenon as almost all of the fundamentals driving consumption are heading south on a persistent and structural basis. Consider the many severe negative factors affecting consumption.

31. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008
32. marisacat - 14 November 2008

When I saw the yOuTube idea… LOL I wondered if he would even deign to notice radio. But apparently they plan to still run the audio on radio.

AND the hits on the YouTube can be monitored. Or someone will… no doubt.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

I still demand a funny cat in his videos.

34. marisacat - 14 November 2008

And this is not a temporary phenomenon as almost all of the fundamentals driving consumption are heading south on a persistent and structural basis.

They took a camera crew thru downtown a few weeks ago, maybe as long as two months. Even I, who takes a dark view of these downturns and esp a Big ONe, was shocked. Chains have shut, windows papered over. Blank store fronts… and now it is hitting the neighborhood streets. Just tonight they showed 3 empty papered over shops in one block on Union Street, one of the more expensive 35, 40 year old shopping streets in the City. At one time it was more service oriented, pharmacies, restaruants, the upscale market in town, and then shifted to more boutiques.

Not a rosy future at the moment.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

34 – I’m also noticing it in other ways, former retail manager that I am. There is no help in stores, no cashiers. We’re 6 weeks from Xmas, and there is no visible ramp-up of activity on sales floors. No rush to ring people up, because there is no one to rush up to the counters.

and don’t forget, those “service” jobs are the ones they’ve been touting over the last several years as evidence of job growth.

36. marisacat - 14 November 2008



as a family they are allergic.

I laughed pretty hard becuase, quietly it was said, the dog is off loaded til spring. Supposedly they don’t want to housebreak it in winter.

There is a pet detail at the WH… I assume they would know that.

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

How I Spent Election Night in a Baltimore Jail

It struck me, then — the pathetic and surreal absurdity of my situation. Why was I, a 42-year-old husband and father of two young daughters, a senior employee of Johns Hopkins, a freelance journalist, and a law-abiding, civic-minded guy, sitting in my piss-soaked underwear in the back of a paddy wagon outside the Northern District police station?

The day had begun with such promise.

That day I served as a Baltimore City election judge. I didn’t do it for the measly paycheck but considered it a chance to connect with my neighbors. A handful of people were lined up when I arrived at 5:45 a.m., and an hour later the line stretched around the inside of the school and out along the sidewalk. The mood was electric. I saw lots of familiar faces and many, many new ones.

Some I’ll never forget. A bearded 75-year-old white man holding a Noam Chomsky book said to me, “I didn’t think I’d be around for the last election. And I know I won’t be around for the next one. But this one … ” he smiled.

A visually impaired black woman asked me and another judge to read the ballot for her. We read it all (yes, every last word of the bond issues) and when we finished, she pressed the button and turned to us with tears in her eyes. “That’s the first time I ever voted,” she said, and hugged us. My eyes welled up, too.

A smiling blonde woman approached the polls and explained to us that she had flown home to vote, in person — from Sudan.

As soon as the polls closed, I put on a bootleg Obama T-shirt I’d bought on Greenmount Avenue. It was over-the-top — an enormous image of Barack’s face covering most of the shirt.

Later that night, I watched on a friend’s television as a wave of blue swept over America. Eight of my friends had gathered, and after Obama’s acceptance speech in Chicago, we heard car horns, whooping, and cheers from 33rd Street.

“Let’s go,” my friend Dan said.

I haven’t seen such spontaneous celebration in the streets since the Ravens won the Superbowl. All around us cars honked, while people cheered and chanted “Obama!” and “Yes, we can!” We noticed an enormous gathering in North Charles Village, and as we approached several of the people in the crowd saw my Obama shirt and started cheering.

“This is amazing!” Dan said.

And it was. The crowd was an amalgam of the forces that had swept Obama into power: multiracial, young, old, straight, gay, with one commonality — they were all smiling. Students were holding American flags aloft with pride. Students! Ecstatic! About a presidential race! Strangers hugged and danced and high-fived one another. Tears flowed.

I need to write about this, I thought. I need to remember all of it, and document it, because it will never happen again.

Even the police were swept up in the mood, smiling and posing for photos. An occasional handful of students would venture into the streets to high-five enthusiastic, honking motorists, only to be waved back by the police, but otherwise, it was as peaceful and well-behaved as a high school pep rally.

Then I looked up the street, to where the police had blocked off St. Paul Street with almost a dozen cruisers. A phalanx of about a dozen cops had lined up.

They began marching, and I saw one of the cops holding a pile of plastic flexicuffs. No one had a bullhorn or a PA. They just moved into the crowd and started yelling at people. There was no clear officer in charge, just a group of belligerent, angry police.

My brother came running up the sidewalk. “Some guy just got tasered!” he said. I saw some cops walking back toward us, so I crossed the street to stay out of their way. The first arrestees were being led to the paddy wagon. I pulled out my cell phone and started snapping pictures.

A beefy officer saw me taking photos and approached. I held my hands at my side and said, “I’m a journalist. I’m just taking pictures.”

He slapped my cell phone out of my hand and grabbed my shirt. “Well, write a nice, long story about this,” he said, spinning me around as another officer cuffed me. I was in the paddy wagon before I could even comprehend what was happening. After processing at Northern District I was thrown into a concrete cell, strip-searched, fingerprinted, and subject to the singular degradation of a long night spent in Central Booking.

My heart breaks for people who don’t realize that nothing has changed, and that things are likely to get worse now that the powers-that-be have a black face on their policies.

38. marisacat - 14 November 2008

hmm from the SMBIVA link:

the Populist upsurge, the Thirties, the Sixties. Man, are we ever overdue for another one.

Well something will hit at some point… ti is just hard to see what it might be, or how fast. And a little hard, or at least for me it is, to say how the Dems do with All Of This Power.


39. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 November 2008

Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage

SACRAMENTO — Less than two weeks before Election Day, the chief strategist behind a ballot measure outlawing same-sex marriage in California called an emergency meeting here.

“We’re going to lose this campaign if we don’t get more money,” the strategist, Frank Schubert, recalled telling leaders of Protect Marriage, the main group behind the ban.

The campaign issued an urgent appeal, and in a matter of days, it raised more than $5 million, including a $1 million donation from Alan C. Ashton, the grandson of a former president of the Mormon Church. The money allowed the drive to intensify a sharp-elbowed advertising campaign, and support for the measure was catapulted ahead; it ultimately won with 52 percent of the vote.

As proponents of same-sex marriage across the country planned protests on Saturday against the ban, interviews with the main forces behind the ballot measure showed how close its backers believe it came to defeat — and the extraordinary role Mormons played in helping to pass it with money, institutional support and dedicated volunteers.

“We’ve spoken out on other issues, we’ve spoken out on abortion, we’ve spoken out on those other kinds of things,” said Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally called, in Salt Lake City. “But we don’t get involved to the degree we did on this.”

The California measure, Proposition 8, was to many Mormons a kind of firewall to be held at all costs.

“California is a huge state, often seen as a bellwether — this was seen as a very, very important test,” Mr. Otterson said.

First approached by the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco a few weeks after the California Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in May, the Mormons were the last major religious group to join the campaign, and the final spice in an unusual stew that included Catholics, evangelical Christians, conservative black and Latino pastors, and myriad smaller ethnic groups with strong religious ties.

Shortly after receiving the invitation from the San Francisco Archdiocese, the Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City issued a four-paragraph decree to be read to congregations, saying “the formation of families is central to the Creator’s plan,” and urging members to become involved with the cause.

“And they sure did,” Mr. Schubert said.

Jeff Flint, another strategist with Protect Marriage, estimated that Mormons made up 80 percent to 90 percent of the early volunteers who walked door-to-door in election precincts.

The canvass work could be exacting and highly detailed. Many Mormon wards in California, not unlike Roman Catholic parishes, were assigned two ZIP codes to cover. Volunteers in one ward, according to training documents written by a Protect Marriage volunteer, obtained by people opposed to Proposition 8 and shown to The New York Times, had tasks ranging from “walkers,” assigned to knock on doors; to “sellers,” who would work with undecided voters later on; and to “closers,” who would get people to the polls on Election Day.

40. marisacat - 14 November 2008

Religion mixed with Mormon money and ground numbers was the determinant. No question.

And they have grabbed families, family issues, the old bugaboo of the Gay Agenda in the Schools anew. Districts with over 55% families with children went heavily for the Yes on 8

AND there is now a powerful political, conservative, repressive coalition that has formed. A new one within the old…

Pity the day that White Mormons made common cause with the authoritarian black churches and some of the more whack job evangelicals. AND Rick Warren. That fat faced punk.

41. marisacat - 14 November 2008

from Lenin’s Tomb:

Hint posted by lenin

“I was convinced we’d have a revolution in [the] US and I decided to be its leader and prevent it. I’m a rich man too and have run with your kind of people. I decided half a loaf was better than none – a half loaf for me and a half loaf for you and no revolution.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Moral of the story: if you really want Obama to be like FDR, threaten him with revolution.

42. marisacat - 15 November 2008

wow… give the sprinkler system a round of applause..

When Maurizio Barattucci pulled up Friday morning to the Santa Barbara home he had evacuated the night before, he saw the following scene: To the left, six houses burned to the ground. To the right, four more. In all, 15 homes in his immediate neighborhood were destroyed.

In front of him, still standing, was his house, covered in ash. Water was running everywhere. Barattucci, 69, and his wife Rochelle Barattucci, 70, had left their old-fashioned yard sprinkler running when they evacuated Thursday evening. The pipes had melted during the fire, but the sprinkler had done its job. The sprinkler system had come with the 1924 house on Camino Alto, and it had saved them once before, in the Coyote fire of 1977.

“We were actually the only ones on the street that survived that fire, and it just happened again,” Barattucci said.

43. bayprairie - 15 November 2008
44. bayprairie - 15 November 2008

stuck on les blank.

Chulas Fronteras

una polka en youtube

Flaco Jimenez, Santiago Jimenez Sr.

45. marisacat - 15 November 2008

love Les Blank… I had not heard of him in some years… 😉

46. bayprairie - 15 November 2008

it is getting close to the holidays. moiv would like this one if she comes around. i know i do.

lydia mendoza Making Tamales


47. bayprairie - 15 November 2008

lest we forget

Lydia Mendoza (May 21, 1916 – December 20, 2007) was an American guitarist and singer of Tejano music. She is considered by many “the queen of Tejano music”. She is also known as La Alondra de la Frontera (The Lark of the Border).

Mendoza was born into a musical family in Houston, Texas. She learned to sing and play stringed instruments from her mother and grandmother. In 1928, as part of the family group Cuarteto Carta Blanca…

…Known as a lone artist and performer, Lydia Mendoza’s voice and twelve-string guitar-playing figure prominently in her ability to both nurture and transmit the vast oral tradition of popular Mexican song with beauty and integrity. She sang the songs of the people across generations in the old tradition; all are indigenous to the Americas, and many of them to Texas. It is the music that emerged from the experiences of native peoples (on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border) within the colonial context of the nineteenth century.

Mendoza’s prominence and stature as a Chicana idol stems from her sustained presence and perpetual visibility within a complex network of social and cultural relations in the twentieth century. Along with being one of the earliest female recording and touring artists, she is loved as a voice of working-class sentimiento , sentiment and sentience, through song, which is one of the most cherished of Chicana/o cultural art forms. Through her vast repertoire and unmistakable interpretive skill in the shaping of songs she is a living embodiment of U.S.-Mexican culture and a participant in raza people’s protracted struggles for survival.

Many of her recordings are available through Arhoolie Records http://www.arhoolie.com

48. bayprairie - 15 November 2008


well its certainly safe to say he’s most likely a character


49. marisacat - 15 November 2008

ha ha….

“a character”…

he surely is..

50. wu ming - 15 November 2008

this closing line is haunting, marisa

“I think we are afraid the year will come when we grab the precious things and simply turn back and run into the fire.”

in so many ways, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing, as a country and a species. self-immolation.

lots of closed store fronts here in taiwan, although things are still doing relatively well, and their real estate bubble doesn’t seem to have crashed quite yet. they’re pretty closely tied to the american economy for the export stuff, but have a strong small business economy that’s locally rooted. i guess we’ll see if that keeps them afloat as this all plays out.

51. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 November 2008

42 – that’s pretty amazing.

52. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 November 2008

good stuff, bay!

53. liberalcatnip - 15 November 2008

I’m moving today! Yay! And ouch. See you soon. A bientot.

54. NYCO - 15 November 2008

Another sign that this is a depression, not merely a recession, is that institutions of higher ed (not just the little liberal arts colleges) are suddenly hurting rather badly (right now, because their endowments have taken hits because of the Wall Street collapse).

Usually higher ed doesn’t start to feel any pain until a few years after everyone else does. But now a lot of universities are having hiring freezes, freezing pay and talking of job cuts. This is all happening faster than anyone thought.

Of course, they spent the last decade spending like drunken sailors just like everyone else, raising tuition and overbuilding, competing for students by constructing bigger dorms with deluxe amenities, etc. thinking the go-go years would just last forever.

I think the general clusterfuck in higher ed will come out as a bigger story next spring as the class sizes are finalized for ’09-’10. The American view of higher education — and the way that this industry is run — is going to come in for severe questioning. People will demand that books be opened. I do not work in an academic department now, but did once (briefly – hated it) and let’s just say the management and accounting practices tend to be sloppy and almost on a whim. Not illegal, but everything is skin-of-the-teeth. And this is fairly common in academia. That particular rock is going to be lifted soon.

55. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 November 2008
56. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 November 2008
57. BooHooHooMan - 15 November 2008

Politico Header was Too Funny for me to read.

Will men dominate Obama administration?

Hillary must be Laughing Her Ass Off.

58. BooHooHooMan - 15 November 2008

Another Knee Slapper on HuffPo

Why American Jews Voted for Barack Obama

59. marisacat - 15 November 2008

wu ming

in so many ways, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing, as a country and a species. self-immolation.

yes that is what I mean… we are doing it now, the fire is a symbol of what is happening. Always has been. Here we are at Land’s End, afterall.

Aside from the fires being our eternal, cyclical apocalypse.

lots of closed store fronts here in taiwan

Did not realise you were back in Taiwan… is your family with you…?

60. marisacat - 15 November 2008

57, 58

hey hey BHHM…

Lots to laugh over eh? I mean, what is one to do……………..

I dropped in at Chris Floyd last night, Empire Burlesque, and saw he referred to Ob as the most conservative Democrat elected since Woodrow Wilson. LOL….

61. marisacat - 15 November 2008


aspirin and Epsom salts… 😉

62. marisacat - 15 November 2008

LOL From one of Tapper’s several entries on Hillary as SoS:

The thinking about a Secretary of State Clinton is simple, I’m told: she’s smart, she’s strong, she’s experienced, she’s a team player, she is usually pretty diplomatic, and she also brings some gender diversity to an Obama Team concerned about such matters.

She brings instant stature to the job, one Democrat told me. Many world leaders have known her for almost two decades.

She’s a BAND-AID!

63. mattes - 15 November 2008

Obama administration asks for your vision:


At least you could have your say.

64. BooHooHooMan - 15 November 2008

A little Haiku from a rainy East Coast in the Fall…

We wait in the Night
Shells light up the Horizon.
Fires still Visible

65. BooHooHooMan - 15 November 2008


Waiting for Change like
Same As It Ever Was
Same As It Ever

66. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 November 2008

CA looks apocalyptic.

One question, though … why isn’t Big Imaginary Daddy protecting the state after it’s believers saved the country from Teh Gay?!?!

67. BooHooHooMan - 15 November 2008

I know, I know,

Missing a “The” in
The Second Line Fucked Up
The 5 7 5 Thing

68. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 November 2008

A Power Duo, Dingells Battle on Two Fronts

WASHINGTON — Things are a little tense in the Dingell household.

John is fighting to protect his job from an ambitious younger colleague. Debbie is battling to save her company from bankruptcy. John is recovering from major knee surgery. Debbie’s mother has been seriously ill.

This is no ordinary family drama. Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan, the at-times-irascible Democratic chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is trying to stave off a challenge to his chairmanship from Representative Henry A. Waxman, the anything-but-mellow California Democrat. Mr. Dingell’s wife, Deborah Insley Dingell, is a senior executive at General Motors and a member of the family who founded the company.

At a time when they thought they would be quietly nursing Mr. Dingell back to health, celebrating the Democratic victory on Nov. 4 and helping the ailing auto industry, the Dingells find themselves in a nasty intramural brawl with Mr. Waxman.

One Dingell ally called it King Kong versus Godzilla.

The stakes are immense. Mr. Dingell, from Dearborn, Mich., is the American automobile industry’s stoutest defender in Congress and has been the bane of environmentalists on some issues for years, although he has helped shepherd a number of environmental bills through Congress. Mr. Waxman, who represents Beverly Hills and other wealthy areas of west Los Angeles, is a committed environmental voice and an advocate for a rapid overhaul of the auto industry.

The outcome of the fight for the leadership of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has broad jurisdiction, could well determine the near-term fate of President-elect Barack Obama’s energy, environmental and health care agendas. It carries heavy implications for Detroit, perhaps most urgently in the types of emissions and mileage standards the automakers would have to meet.

General Motors is rapidly running out of cash and appealing to Washington for a multibillion-dollar bailout to keep operating and continue the costly conversion to a leaner company producing efficient vehicles that people will buy. Mrs. Dingell, who gave up lobbying for G.M. when she married Mr. Dingell in 1981, is executive director for public affairs for G.M. and its most familiar face in Washington.

Mrs. Dingell, 54, known to everyone as Debbie, said she and her husband were stunned when Mr. Waxman called the day after the election to tell Mr. Dingell that he would try to snatch his chairman’s gavel. Mr. Waxman did not go into detail with Mr. Dingell about the reasons for his challenge, but he has told allies that he believes he is better equipped than Mr. Dingell to push Mr. Obama’s program through Congress.

69. BooHooHooMan - 15 November 2008

I’d like to see Dingell get his Berries in a vise.

70. Madman in the Marketplace - 15 November 2008

Net Neutrality Advocates In Charge Of Obama Team Review of FCC

The Obama-Biden transition team on Friday named two long-time net neutrality advocates to head up its Federal Communications Commission Review team.

Susan Crawford, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School, and Kevin Werbach, a former FCC staffer, organizer of the annual tech conference Supernova, and a Wharton professor, will lead the Obama-Biden transition team’s review of the FCC.

Both are highly-regarded outside-the-Beltway experts in telecom policy, and they’ve both been pretty harsh critics of the Bush administration’s telecom policies in the past year.

Their jobs will be to review the agency and arm the president, vice president and prospective agency leader with all the information needed to make key decisions as they prepare to take over.

The choice of the duo strongly signals an entirely different approach to the incumbent-friendly telecom policymaking that’s characterized most of the past eight-years at the FCC.

This March at a telecom policy conference in Hollywood, for example, Crawford bluntly told Ambassador Richard Russell, the White House’ associate director on science and technology policy, that he lived in a fantasyland when he asserted that the United States’ roll-out of broadband is going well.

“I think it’s magical thinking to imagine that we’re somehow doing fine here, and I just want to make sure that we recognize that even the [International Telecommunications Union] says that between 1999 and 2006 we skipped form third to 20th place in penetration,” she noted acidly at the annual Tech Policy Summit, a gathering of top officials in the world of tech policy (of which Wired.com was a participant and sponsor.)

“We’re not doing at all well for reasons that mostly have to do with the fact that we failed to have a US industrial policy pushing forward high-speed internet access penetration, and there’s been completely inadequate competition in this country for high speed internet access,” she said.

And in a final introductory statement during her talk (that’s likely to send shivers down the spines of telecom company executives) she said that she believes internet access is a “utility.”

“This is like water, electricity, sewage systems: Something that each and all Americans need to succeed in the modern era. We’re doing very badly, and we’re in a dismal state,” she said at the time.

71. Intermittent Bystander - 15 November 2008

Saturday afternoon painting project – Make your own Jackson Pollock. Draw, drip, and click to change colors.

72. marisacat - 15 November 2008

I’d rather see Waxman get it. The Dingells have [ahem] ruled long enough.

BUT, that is not saying i want more baseball steroid hearings!

73. marisacat - 15 November 2008

neue post…………………….


……………….. 8) …………………

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