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… and the beat goes on… 17 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Italy.


A man wears a mask depicting US President Barack Obama during the Carnival of Viareggio in Italy [EPA]

Whew… what a dumb 7 days… mouseless.  Catching up, I dropped in at the main page of RCP… for today.  What a circus!  More floats than Carnevale!

Stu Rothenburg says the the only optimism about Obama IS the optimism.  Marie Cocco says workers still need a Pay Day Break (she is right!, the Stumble Bill allocates a tax cut to workers, from what I read, of about 13.00 per week.  A rebate check would be better, imo, and in CA that $25 or so every two weeks will be eaten up in tax raises…)

Shrum says the Stumble bill is “just right”.  Or that Ob played it just right.  Well…. that is Shrum, let’s remember.  Even when he wins (8 successful senate campaigns vs his losses for pretzeldent) we lose.

Meanwhile, we are dead or dying in Cali.  As I leaf thru the hyperbole over the past months… what I read in the tea leaves (aside from decades of idiocy) is a massive prick vs prick battle between Andy Stern (SEIU and enrolled state government workers) and Arnold.  Where is Lorena Bobbit when you need her.

Reading in the Wapo (they say the speech was bad as he retooled the night before!), is it too late to put Geithner in prison for unpaid taxes?  Or something?

Here is a sad little tidbit… I heard this week that 40,000 have applied for Section 8 Housing in Contra Costa Co… which is a pretty big county over in the East Bay, with quite a few communities hard hit by foreclosure…  There are 325 spaces available.  Amazed there are any… tho nowhere near enough.



1. marisacat - 17 February 2009

NONE of us knew this.

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

President Obama Signs $787 Billion Stimulus Package Into Law in Denver [3:23 p.m. ET] ]

2. marisacat - 17 February 2009

merry xmas!!

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Dow Closes at 7,552; Lowest Point Since the Recession Began [4:18 p.m. ET]

3. NYCO - 17 February 2009

So why did Obama sign this thing in Denver? I don’t get it. Has Denver been hard hit by foreclosures or something? (I don’t think so)

4. marisacat - 17 February 2009

LOL sounds like the definition of “shovel ready” … !!


In addition to shutting down public-works projects, Schwarzenegger administration moves toward massive state layoffs as legislators again fail to garner the final GOP vote needed to pass a budget.

By Jordan Rau and Eric Bailey
February 17, 2009

Reporting from Sacramento — With lawmakers still unable to deliver a budget after three days of intense negotiations, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger prepared to lay off 10,000 government workers and his administration said it would halt the last 275 state-funded public works projects still in operation.

The projects, which cost $3.8 billion and include upgrades to 18 bridges and roads in Los Angeles County to protect them from collapsing in earthquakes, had been allowed to continue as others were suspended because the state was running out of cash.

The projects to be suspended today had been exempted from a November stop order because of the significant financial cost of canceling contracts, the expense of resuming them or the public-health or public-safety ramifications. The list also includes work to eliminate arsenic in the Central Valley town of Live Oak and half-built highway construction projects.

5. marisacat - 17 February 2009


my guess is [fake] solidarity with the little people, “out there, in the dark”… to steal from Sunset Boulevard.

Also during his bad week, I guess last week sometime, I read that his advisors decided he was best used to rally the troops. Endless campaigner.

Good luck, is all I can say.

6. marisacat - 17 February 2009

oh well… considering it was a con of sorts from the get go. The joke senate that just keeps on giving… and giving. And giving.


I’m wondering if Roland Burris’s senate career could end up being pretty short. Now he’s admitting that not only was he asked to raise money for Blago, he went ahead and did the best he could to raise money for him while he was trying to get the senate appointment.

–Josh Marshall

7. marisacat - 17 February 2009

A few hours ago the “breaking news” on Chrysler was 5 billion. And 3K in jobs. Rolling right along….

Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

General Motors to Ask for $16.6B in Govt. Aid; to Slash 47,000 Jobs, AP Reports [6:15 p.m. ET]

8. NYCO - 17 February 2009

7. They are so dead. The corpse is starting to stink. (and my dad worked for the auto industry, so I don’t envy the workers at all.)

9. NYCO - 17 February 2009

5. But why DENVER?

In the absence of any other logical connection, I can only think it’s because he feels all warm and fuzzy when he’s there because it’s where he was nominated. If that’s his effort at stirring symbolism, it’s a nonstarter…

10. NYCO - 17 February 2009

Oh, and PS about Denver… if that is really why he did it there, that means he feels the need to play to his own base… which would be “wow, just wow.”

11. marisacat - 17 February 2009

Denver.. well the Democrats have had a highly publicised (among political readers) love affair with the Inner Mountain West. Like they think it luvs them back, big kiss and smooch, etc., in particular.

He outraised Hillary in that region, and esp CO, early on.

Or as Gibbs says, he is a “restless soul”.

LOL SF and near Bay Area was the No 2 fundraising area for him after Chicago and environs. But I doubt we will be locale for any big signing whoo hooo.

There is a very cynical take on why it was outside DC (but not specific to Denver) over at the schnauzers’ Corner. That he wanted to show he did it all by himself. No parade of congress critters.

Play to teh base? Yes I buy that. And how weak it shows this game to be. Think they did cut out the drawn from the streets Revival Tent ambiance of Fort Myers of last week, however…

12. catnip - 17 February 2009

Air kisses, mcat!! 😀

(The wonders of modern technology never cease to fail.)


Anyway, over at the Big O war factory, the FP touts shiny new CIC Obama ordering more troops to Afghanistan while linking to a rec list diary with a reaction From Vote Vets about how splenderific that is.

Meanwhile, way down there on the recent diary list and sinking like a lead balloon is this little bit of treason: Veterans call for end to the occupation of Afghanistan. (IVAW)

The update is kind of humorous:


There are a few remarks in the comments section about containing Islamic extremists and whether Afghanistan might become another Islamic state.

Afghanistan is an Islamic state governed by Islamic extremists who are backed up the US:

Oh dear. Even CIC Obama can’t fix that!

Or can he?

Stay tuned.


send money now!

13. catnip - 17 February 2009

But why DENVER?

Maybe the economy looks better in thinner air?

14. marisacat - 17 February 2009


McCain saluted him on sending in the reinforcements. Good Luck!, is all I can say. And wee loons thought when he hsitated the past couple of days that He, The Great Communicator, The Great Law Prof, The Great Lover of History might get it that Afghanistan, whether alone or with Pakistan, will sink whatever is left of us.

Onward! Mind the upcoming cliff… rev up and do not brake! It would be UN AMERICAN to avoid the cliff!

Care for some xanax in your (the collective “your”) tea? It was served to the CT chimp not long before he bit the woman’s face off. So perfect a tale for us…

15. NYCO - 17 February 2009

Ugh. Supposedly Fred Phelps and Co. are planning on picketing the funerals for Flight 3407, for some reason I can’t fathom (guess they’re feeling the need for some attention, what with everyone upset about the economy and all). (mentioned here).

If there’s any place these satanic troglodytes will finally get the shit physically kicked out of them, it’s good old Buffalo. That town has fucking had enough over the years.

16. catnip - 17 February 2009

They’re such puppets over there.

From the VoteVets diary:

I should add: While violent, the Taliban movement is one built around illiteracy and poverty. Thus, the way to crush it in the long run is through education and infrastructure. That’s why this problem necessitates a multi-faceted approach–not simply a military solution.

Bolstering troop levels is only the first step toward ensuring that Afghanistan can achieve enough stability so that it no longer represents an international security threat.


17. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 February 2009

re: 3. NYCO

they were selling Denver on NPR as a place leading the way on green tech. The museum where he signed it apparently has a solar power facility on the roof.

18. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 February 2009

oh, and I wanted to welcome our hostess back. Thankfully, rumors of your demise (or ill-advised trysts with troglodytes) were greatly exaggerated.

19. marisacat - 17 February 2009


The museum where he signed it apparently has a solar power facility on the roof.

I would bet we can give them a run for their money! … not that Golden Man would come here to Great Gay Way to sign a bill. 😆

AND we are planning to install a system of electric “gas stations” too! We were very shocked when Detroit sent their Volt model to the LA car show… rather than to us here… when look at us! We are so green!

I tell yu, we are it!


20. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 February 2009
21. marisacat - 17 February 2009


I should have selected a faster shipping … gah. The days just rolled by, slowly. I am so used to reading all night, online. And even tho I get a couple of publications, mostly so I can read their sites, fully, online, I just cannto hold even a light weight mag, and angle my head and neck right… ugh.

Loooong week… 😉

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 February 2009

Publicists for octuplets’ mother quit over death threats

heaven forfend that people get worked up over real problems.

23. marisacat - 17 February 2009


Good god. That refugee from Ebay… Meg something or other, running for governor… says we must not let California fail!!… and it needs the same good ol’ USA! USA! effort that we brought to our wars and to the moon.

She did say that…

The future does nto look bright nor long. If I go by that crumble bumble. She did lose about 70 lbs for the run, I notice.

In other news, Arnold refuses to say what the Stim money from DC will be used for… as projects all over the state grind to a halt.

We are so blessed!

24. marisacat - 17 February 2009

This made me laugh… and the sucker who wrote it voted for Arnold. One born every minute. Maybe TWO born every minute…

So this is what things have come to here in America’s most financially powerful state – a state whose $1.8 trillion economy is theoretically the eighth-largest economy in the world (just behind the United Kingdom, France, and Italy). If you thought that the collapse of Iceland made things tricky, confidence-wise, just wait until this sucker goes down. Which it is expected to do this week or next, as it technically becomes insolvent, unable to pay tax refunds, repair roads and bridges, keep schools open, or indeed provide a wage for anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves on its payroll. […]

How did this happen? Sure, the economy is bad. But this is a state whose money comes from the most bankable economic assets on Earth – the Long Beach ports, the Central Valley agricultural region, the defence contractors out in the Mojave desert, Silicon Valley, Napa Valley… Hollywood. How do you tax all this and end up amassing debts at the present rate of $1.7 million per hour? […]

It was all talk in the end. For all Mr Schwarzenegger’s swagger, he didn’t have the faintest idea how to run a state that is at the mercy of laws put on the books at every election by the voters themselves, through a system of utter madness known as “direct democracy” (imagine, if you will, an army in which the troops can overrule the general, mid-battle, with a show of hands). [Actually… I would maintain that Arnold did what he was meant to do. Destroy us, for all intents and purposes. IF one thinks back totthe energy scams the R/BushCheney ran on us in 2001, of which he was a part… Mcat]

Still, nothing justifies the fact that Mr Schwarzenegger – who once railed against “economic girlie men” – has allowed California’s budget to grow by 40 per cent to a morbidly obese $144 billion since 2004, setting the stage for a calamity of asteroid-hitting-the-Pacific proportions the moment tax revenues began to fall.

So what now?

The governor wants to raise taxes – exactly the same thing that his predecessor tried to do before being terminated by a certain Hollywood action star – while his fellow Republicans are objecting, without suggesting anything cleverer. Until a solution is found, California is done, dead, kaput. It is, as John Cleese might have put it, an ex-state. In the meantime, I suggest we put Mr Schwarzenegger on an aircraft, fly him back to Austria and ask politely for a refund. […]

hmm I can think of other things to do to him.

25. marisacat - 17 February 2009

What does it all mean. Starbucks is going to sell instant coffee. :roll:. So, will it be less bad ?????????????????????

I’m going down clutching my Melitta!

26. diane - 17 February 2009

…jeez it’s good to see you back with your pink Melitta Marisa!

The next time a mouse goes out on you, using the “tab” key along with the arrow keys can be helpful, though tedious, you need to watch for the dashed lines which will encircle the current option icon…..

27. marisacat - 17 February 2009

thanks diane… I tried everything BUT the tab key… LOL

28. marisacat - 17 February 2009

Can these guys cope with ANYHTING?

Just hearing a news update that Newsom, that would be Gavin, our very own boychick mayor, has sent out a PRess Release that we are NOT in trouble. We just think we are.

Apparently smarter people in town are cringing.


No One is driving the bus. NO ONE.

29. catnip - 17 February 2009

Handy keyboard shortcuts for Firefox. Bookmark that!

30. catnip - 17 February 2009

No. Print that out!

If you bookmark it and don’t know how to check your bookmarks if your mouse dies…well…you’re SOL, aren’t you?

31. catnip - 17 February 2009

There’s no doubt they can be quite entertaining in the little freespeechiness zone at times.

32. catnip - 17 February 2009

thereisnoclue shows what a blithering idiot he is again:

It is curious to me that all those who are so vehemently opposed to Obama’s plans in Afghanistan today were so silent during the campaign, but we couldn’t hear the end of opposition to Obama’s stance on FISA. Where was the outrage?

On dkos? You probably helped kill it by banning the dirty fucking hippies who expressed it.

Or maybe you accused them of being Ron Paulites like you’re doing in this diary.

Or maybe you were so busy wetting your pants a la:

Personally, I believe the Taliban are the most dangerous entity in the world right now, both from the point of view of terrorism and human rights.

…that you just never fucking noticed that it’s the US government that’s really the most dangerous entity – Dems included.

More importantly, I know that my Democratic Administration is with me on this, and that every other major Democratic candidate was also with me on this. And I have the peace of mind of knowing that when I did oppose my own leadership on issues as fundamental as war and peace or social security, I let my voice be heard when it could have made a significant difference, and I voted with the candidate who best represented my ideals.

He’s such a hero, isn’t he? I’ll bet he runs right out and signs up for military service tomorrow!

33. marisacat - 17 February 2009

It is curious to me that all those who are so vehemently opposed to Obama’s plans in Afghanistan today were so silent during the campaign, but we couldn’t hear the end of opposition to Obama’s stance on FISA. Where was the outrage?

LOL I certainly was not silent. Then or now. His war mongering was awful. So was hers. Both products of the party IMO. As was Edwards. The fake poor carer. That was ahoot. Lousy Southern White Boy.

34. BooHooHooMan - 17 February 2009

No One is driving the bus. NO ONE.
Not even a mouse.

know the feeling. knoooow the feeling. LOL.

35. marisacat - 17 February 2009

Speaking of all the frat(elli) on Dkos, yes they all should run out and sign up. Young and fit as they are. I am serious.

36. marisacat - 17 February 2009


My Household for a MOUSE!

I saw in the now famous D-tale thread over at FSZ, that Ender bitched I should Go Get a Mouse. LOL.. he should sign up for the snowy heights of ObRama’s Afghan war.


37. catnip - 17 February 2009

Ender luvs you. He’s just afraid to admit it. 😉

38. catnip - 17 February 2009

For those who are interested, Obamalama did his first Canadian interview with the CBC today. Watch/read here.

(I had trouble paying attention. Bad me! I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anything earth shattering however.)

(We have pucks – frozen ones. Just in case he declared war on us while I wasn’t listening.)

This, ahead of his 5 hr drive by on Thursday. He should just stay on the plane and wave. Really.

39. BooHooHooMan - 17 February 2009

Oh that’s a match made in heaven. LOL.

40. marisacat - 17 February 2009

LOL you could always send that deputised fleet of Canadian Geese to greet AF1.

Considering all the incidents of “bird strike” we now have had happen.

Hey bird strike AND ice on the wings. (not a great period for aviation, post Sully)….

41. CSTAR - 17 February 2009

Personally, I believe the Taliban are the most dangerous entity in the world right now, both from the point of view of terrorism and human rights.

Well I certainly wouldn’t want to live under Taliban rule. But I wouldn’t want to live in a religious commune either. Maybe it’s a matter of opinion who’s more dangerous, whether Mullah Omar or Ratzinger. I vote for the latter and can provide good reasons for my choice. But seriously, if one used reasonable quantitative measures of “dangerous” (which included potential negative effects on personal livelihood and health) I think citigroup is probably more dangerous. Certain Lehman brothers has already had a more likely negative effect.

42. BooHooHooMan - 17 February 2009

The entire Cabinet could be sucked through the engines of AF1 and not bring it down. In aeronautical engineering terms its technically known as the “Bunch a Fuckin Nuthin Factor”.

43. diane - 17 February 2009

Marisa (28)

……speaking of the golden state of the Golden State, was amused to find that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) had invested $180 million in one of Dianne’s hubby Blum’s Newbridge Financial entities (1), which invests heavily in Asia.…Tried to verify if they were still invested, but alas, CALPERS’ 2008 annual report appears to be a tad late…….

I kind of analogize a Senator’s (which Senator is paid by the public and further has been given a great deal of power in world affairs) common law investments, by virtue of marriage, being heavily directed outside of the Senator’s ‘neighborhood’ while that neighborhood is in shambles, the same way I would if say a family abandoned their child at someone’s door, then flew off to another country to adopt another one…and care for it…….or hooked up a visa to hire someone (much, much cheaper) from another country, when their well skilled neighbor, who qualified for the job, was unemployed and verging on homelessness………reminds be of building a neighborhood on quicksand…………….. but then perhaps I’m just a simpleton………….

Besides, shame on me! perhaps the Newbridge Groups Real Estate entities invest heavily in the US:

Newbridge Mortgage Corp. (now just might be the time to refinance!)

Newbridge Realty…..

(…ahhhh well…oopsie, and sorry…. must contact webmaster about Newbridge Realty)

(1) Newbridge Capital

Overview: An investment firm dedicated to making direct investments in Asia. Established in 1994 by the Texas Pacific Group and Blum Capital Partners (formerly Richard C Blum and Associates) of the United States, Newbridge Capital manages more than USD 1.7 billion of capital, and operates out of offices in Hong Kong, San Francisco, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, and Mumbai. As a strategic investor, Newbridge focuses on investing in companies that have a sustainable long-term advantage over their competitors and are seeking a partner who can provide financial capital and make significant contributions to operating businesses in order to help them grow and to increase shareholder value.

44. marisacat - 17 February 2009

ugh.. She and Blum invest plenty at home as well. Smart Carts at the SFO airport are hers… among other things. They also invest heavily outside the state, in adjacent states (or did) to avoid the appearance of impropriety.


45. catnip - 17 February 2009

42. The entire Cabinet could be sucked through the engines of AF1 and not bring it down. In aeronautical engineering terms its technically known as the “Bunch a Fuckin Nuthin Factor”.

rofl 😀

As for the geese in Ottawa, I’m sure they’ve all been rendered to Florida for the week.

46. diane - 17 February 2009

…I’ll never in my lifetime understand those who just can’t own enough, and have a real aversion to them being in such positions of power…..or placed upon a pedestal of Philanthropy………

47. marisacat - 17 February 2009

Geese gone? Sent to Disneyland for the day? LOL

Turkey vultures brought down a helicopter (grisly picture was on view earlier today).

48. marisacat - 17 February 2009


so wealthy. Pelosi too.

49. diane - 17 February 2009

Marisa (48)

yeah…and somehow, I seriously doubt that people like that are really content, worse.they have the power to do an incredible amount of damage, I could care less about their wealth (who wants a drafty mansion to be alone in, because those people must be lonely), if they weren’t in the postition of bringing such misery into the lives of millions by virtue of their hubris, greed, and desire to control………..sigh……

on a far better note, so glad you’re back!

gnight all……….sweet dreams!

50. BooHooHooMan - 17 February 2009

A few The Canadian Geese – at least here where they fly over – are real assholes. One Jerk and and his honking buddy were just laughing their geese ass off during the flyby: HaHa! Stuck in Jersey! Loser!

It really pissed me off , frankly.

51. diane - 17 February 2009

but before….I go off to bed..just have to say BooHooHooMan, that at least..they didn’t have to use the bathroom on the flyover…I was bewildered for along time as to why I human would get up on a carport roof to go the bathroom…..when I finally realized that geese must take in a hell of a lot of fiber……hmmmmm…you were kind of lucky I’d say…..

gnight again…..

52. diane - 17 February 2009



not why I human…should be why a human


53. marisacat - 17 February 2009

It’s hard when the worm turns.

Mark Brown, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, the paper that broke the first revelations about Burris and his testimony, put it succinctly on Monday. “I’ll tell you straight up,” Brown wrote, “our new U.S. senator proved himself to be a lying little sneak.”

Oh, my. Burris said Monday night after a speech in Peoria that the media were not being fair to him. “So that’s confusing the public,” he said. “And the public know me. I mean, I met with some ministers this morning. And they’re saying what is going on? We know Roland Burris hasn’t done anything wrong. But the media now is almost destroying my character because they’re not accurately reporting what really transpired.”

A trail of ministers met with him. They seem to meet with anybody and absolve anybody.

It is all so threadbare. As a congress full of scoundrels just keeps on keeping on.

54. BooHooHooMan - 17 February 2009

Yeh, well ,
then the motherfuckers dropped a monument on my house

55. BooHooHooMan - 17 February 2009

The Roland Burris Mausoleum as it were.

56. marisacat - 17 February 2009

LOL Illinois politics is like what the geese left on that roof in Jersey. But! Not to worry! Obama is from Hawai’i. Never been to Chicago. Ever.

57. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

Threadbare. Exactly. Ministers gathering round… all this bullshit ritual where Pols expect some type of Pavlovian conditioned reprieve and in many cases , its an even bet they get it..

58. marisacat - 18 February 2009

LOL I made note of the ministers that trailed into the Governor’s mansion to see Blago. Long line of tubby collection plate scammers. Looked up their online church sites. It was PATHETIC. The only more pathetic were the pols, from JJjr to Blogo.

One church site had a “ministry” of “Warriors” whose job it was to
“respond to” and “protect” the Pastor and his family.


Gosh I can even see why people voted for Blago after Ryan. But then he screwed teh deal. Really did.


59. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

Via Politico-

Accused fraudster gave big to Dems

The Texas financier accused by the SEC of “massive ongoing fraud” has a fundraising background.

The Texas financier accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday of “massive ongoing fraud” was a generous political donor who gave more heavily to Democrats.

Since 2000, R. Allen Stanford, the chief of the Stanford Financial Group in Houston, his wife and company gave $2.2 million in political contributions – $1.7 million to Democratic candidates and committees – according to Federal Election Commission records.

The most recent donation on record was $300,000 from Stanford Financial Group to the Democratic Governors Association, a so-called 527 group not subject to campaign contribution limits.

Of course, Rahm and the D Triple C and that moneygrubber Schumer via the DSCC and into his own camp.. Repubs got a cut too, same old same old M.O.

Other big beneficiaries included the Democrats’ congressional campaign committees, which received $1.2 million over the years, and their Republican counterparts, which got $322,000, including a $28,500 personal donation last year to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Stanford and his companies gave $128,500 to the Republican National Committee, plus $2,000 to Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), $4,000 to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), $4,000 to Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-Texas), $4,000 to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and $4,800 to the committees of Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), among other contributions.

All the same old shits.

60. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

mcat, I sent something via a new addy.

61. bayprairie - 18 February 2009

wonder if ol’ harry reid’s resigned himself to that burris under his saddle yet?

62. marisacat - 18 February 2009


got the Stanford comment out of Mod.

BTW, that film of Lord LOL Stanford that is being shown a lot, of him in London… wellllllllllll my take, he is wearing some heavy make-up. Prolly a few stories about all of this not being told.

63. marisacat - 18 February 2009


Harry could send him to Disneyland via Amtrak out of Vegas.


64. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

Long line of tubby collection plate scammers. No question.
Hand in hand with the Pols and the sheeple’s money. The reprieve I find astounding is not the one sold via the Bible bearing ass peddlers and their Indulgence racket, it’s from the sheeple who go along.

People might as well forget notions of “secular” or “tolerant” democracy.
This Faith Outreach and the Values pander to cover militarist exploitation is the death warrant to democracy itself. I mean it’s one of the fundamental lessons of History, yet we somehow think we are NOT going to engender devastating blowback despite the fact that Christians and Jews represent a distinct minority of persons on the planet.

I was in Ohio recently and its like nuclear winter there.
People so shell shocked, I can’t imagine them rallying to oppose anything. It seems like everyone is hanging on, waiting, the ones with jobs able to cobble a grocery order together thiss week but not next for the firend or family member who’s adrift, grateful the marginal assistance will come in for so and so when check day is just around the corner. In Pa, that shite Rendell is blabbering about increasing relief – a good thing – but of course Rendell is a crook. ‘In these trying times” he’s trying to ram in video poker machines for his thug buddies to suck the money right back. They view people as consumptive tubes. To bloodsuck from cradle to grave.

They are going to do the same shit via Rahms “BioEthicist” / Physician brother on healthcare. Increase money for the “Healthcare needs” of ‘The People” and suck it back out again for Elites…

Maybe they can just combine the Blessing Service. The Catholics will arrive with buttoned lips over Rendell’s Gambling scam (not wanting to ruin their own Church Hall rackets) They’ll all praise Rendell for relief and fawn over Block Grants for Seniors and Healthcare.

They all oughta be shot.

65. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

Well Played, Bayprairie! Well Played.

…wonder if ol’ harry reid’s resigned himself to that burris under his saddle yet?


66. marisacat - 18 February 2009

Increase money for the “Healthcare needs” of ‘The People” and suck it back out again for Elites…

hmmm the plan for all of it… but what falls from the table. Just read the new Micheal Hudson at CPunch tonight.

Finance Capitalism Hits a Wall

The Oligarchs’ Escape Plan


The financial “wealth creation” game is over. Economies emerged from World War II relatively free of debt, but the 60-year global run-up has run its course. Finance capitalism is in a state of collapse, and marginal palliatives cannot revive it. The U.S. economy cannot “inflate its way out of debt,” because this would collapse the dollar and end its dreams of global empire by forcing foreign countries to go their own way. There is too little manufacturing to make the economy more “competitive,” given its high housing costs, transportation, debt and tax overhead. A quarter to a third of U.S. real estate has fallen into negative equity, so no banks will lend to them. The economy has hit a debt wall and is falling into negative equity, where it may remain for as far as the eye can see until there is a debt write-down. ……slap….

67. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009
68. catnip - 18 February 2009

There’s a huge Obama changeyhopeyness tulip on the FP of the Ottawa Citizen.

The caption:

It’s going to be a doozy of a welcome for a very special guest who is pretty much guaranteed to be a no-show.

Which sums up his whole trip here.

69. marisacat - 18 February 2009


😆 I liked the thread to the post at Boing Boing…

70. marisacat - 18 February 2009

LOL Chicago Trib calls for Burris to resign.

71. catnip - 18 February 2009

Pope lectures Pelosi on abortion stance

Pope Benedict XVI made clear to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Wednesday that she cannot advocate for abortion rights and still be a good Catholic.

After meeting with Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the Vatican, the pontiff stressed that Catholic politicians are required to work to outlaw abortion, and stressed that church teachings are “consistent” on the matter.

72. bayprairie - 18 February 2009


well reid might as well get resigned. i bet burris won’t be.

73. CSTAR - 18 February 2009

71 Catnip Re somebody’s comments above quoted from another blog

Now tell me, what is the “most dangerous entity in the world”.

74. NYCO - 18 February 2009

Re the monkey cartoon: Honestly its biggest crime is simply being obtuse and not funny. My guess is that this was supposed to be something about “1000 monkeys typing will come up with Shakespeare” and not about calling Obama a monkey, but honestly… it’s such an obtuse joke that no wonder everyone’s thinking it has racist intent. Dumb cartoonist.

Not to mention it’s just really unfunny to see an animal being shot by cops.

And oh my God… cops. Well no wonder it has people’s hackles raised over possible racism.

Cartoonist needs to be fired for being unfunny.

75. marisacat - 18 February 2009

I haven’t seen the “monkey cartoon”… where is it published???

76. NYCO - 18 February 2009

75. it can be seen here.

77. catnip - 18 February 2009

73. Now tell me, what is the “most dangerous entity in the world”.

As I wrote above, afaic it’s the US government – Dems included.

78. marisacat - 18 February 2009

No words really. Beyond ugly and racist.

79. catnip - 18 February 2009

74. My guess is that this was supposed to be something about “1000 monkeys typing will come up with Shakespeare”

My reaction exactly.

Crazed kossacks don’t only see it as being racist they see it as a depiction of Obama being assassinated. Mon dieu. Get them fainting couches.

80. marisacat - 18 February 2009

It’s a volatile and violent country. Jimmy Carter, out of office for almost 30 years apparently had unprecedented security when he was here in SF/Bay Area for two days last week.

My guess, as he has a new book on IP/Middle East/Israel, is fears and threats from orgs like JDL. And others.

81. marisacat - 18 February 2009

Not to worry! Wapo is on top of things. They say:

Swift, Steep Downturn Crosses Globe

Economists See Hope Dry Up


Someone popped it to me, for the headline. No chance ot read the article yet.

82. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

Some of this ties in with a blip from yesterday, and how Markos is floundering of late to to have his brand taken seriously, pushing his new “serious” site and Front Pager’s sans pseudonyms, etc…Time just slapped the fuck out of him, among The 5 Most Overated Blogs in the blogosphere. “Rudderless” “posts read like talking points from the Democratic National Committee.”

Which brings me to the cartoon.

One thing’s for sure. The outrage on DK, just like the media in general, their “nemesis” they envy ….that monkey cartoon will provoke more “outrage” and coverage than the very real murder by cop of 22 year old Oscar Grant in an Oakland subway station on New Years Day.

The cartoon is is typical of the Post, gratuitously base, for vulgar base sake. Definitely a hook, mission accomplished, but without congruence or relevence to the jump. As is the read equating it to Ob.

83. marisacat - 18 February 2009

that monkey cartoon will provoke more “outrage” and coverage than the very real murder by cop of 22 year old Oscar Grant in an Oakland subway station on New Years Day.

Oh its been ugly out here. A few days ago a plan to boycott BART was repeated, and the BART board, fully mixed race but with only a couple who admit the whole thing has been mishandled from minute one, declared itself to be “threatened” (by the idea of a boycott itself!, nto anything else). I think a boycott of BART is an excellent response.

God knows the black mayor or Oakland is a royal mess. I am guessing with less and less liklihood of a “rescue” to a DC job.

But then again, the only issues of racism that matter, REALLY matter in this country, pertain to Ob. Which I have said before.

84. NYCO - 18 February 2009

82. The fact that Kos is even still around at his own blog to get annoyed at being named one of Time’s “Most Overrated Blogs” is just about all the evidence you need that it’s jumped. I mean, shouldn’t he (professionally) be beyond any concern with that sandbox now?

85. NYCO - 18 February 2009

However, regarding the Post cartoon, I don’t care what the cartoonist’s intent was. It’s going to be fun watching the mobs descending on that fishwrap. What do they think this is, 1909?

86. marisacat - 18 February 2009

hmmm just saw this in the dn email…. and arpaio in az is under a federal probe…

* As Obama Unveils Foreclosure Plan, Activists Place Homeless in Vacant Homes *

As President Obama is scheduled to announce his $50 billion foreclosure prevention plan today, we go to Minneapolis to speak with Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. The group is taking matters into its own hands and finding housing for homeless people in foreclosed and vacant homes. We also speak to Dwayne Cunningham, a homeless man who recently moved into a vacant home.


87. marisacat - 18 February 2009

oh noes…. gm now wants 39 billion. up 9 billion overnight. saab and saturn to go…. maybe hummer too.

88. Intermittent Bystander - 18 February 2009

Cheese for the mouse.

Welcome back!

89. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

its been ugly out here

Good. People with a pulse. If dissidence in California goes under, we can IMMEDIATELY kiss our ass goodbye. Seriously. Just very weak here in the East is my take. Chicago, its a wash given rising stock of PTB there…Maybe it’s my limited perspective, but I just had a dismal trip through the rust belt. Shell shocked on the cots, most folks.

David Swanson had a piece he recently posted around about the collapse of UFPJ. He didn’t use “collapse” but that is what’s up, a dropping of the push for prosecutions from the agenda…

90. Arcturus - 18 February 2009

from yesterday’s Hudson piece, quoted above (#66):

Take the much-vaunted $50 billion program designed to renegotiate mortgages downward for “troubled homeowners.” Upon closer examination it turns out that the real beneficiaries are the giant leading banks such as Citibank and Bank of America that have made the bad loans. The Treasury will take on the bad debt that banks are stuck with, and will permit mortgagees to renegotiate their monthly payment down to 38 per cent of their income. But rather than the banks taking the loss as they should do for over-lending, the Treasury itself will make up the difference – and pay it to the banks so that they will be able to get what they hoped to get. The hapless mortgage-burdened family stuck in their negative-equity home turns out to be merely a passive vehicle for the Treasury to pass debt relief on to the commercial banks.

Few news stories have made this clear, but the Financial Times spelled the details buried in small print. It added that the Treasury has not yet decided whether to write down the debt principal for the estimated 15 million families with negative equity (and perhaps 30 million by this time next year as property prices continue to plunge). No doubt a similar deal will be made: For every $100,000 of write-down in debt owed by over-mortgaged homeowners, the bank will receive $100,000 from the Treasury. Government debt will rise by $100,000, and the process will continue until the Treasury has transferred $50,000,000 to the banks that made the reckless loans.

He fleshed out the homeowner’s rescue in a useful way last week:

Here’s how I imagine the ploy might work. Suppose a hapless family has bought a home for $500,000, with a full 100 per cent $500,000 adjustable-rate mortgage scheduled to reset this year at 8 per cent. Suppose too that the current market price will fall to $250,000, a loss of 50 per cent by yearend 2009. Sometime in mid 2010 would seem to be long enough for prices to decline by enough to make “recovery” possible – Bubble Economy 2.0. Without such a plunge, there will be no economy to “rescue,” no opportunity for Tim Geithner and Laurence Summers to “feel your pain” and pull out of their pocket the following package – a variant on the “cash for trash” swap, a public agency to acquire the $500,000 mortgage that is going bad, heading toward only a $250,000 market price.

. . .

The new public/private institution will be financed with private funds – in fact, with the money now being given to re-capitalize America’s banks (headed by the Wall St. banks that have done so badly). Banks will use the Treasury money they have received by “borrowing” against their junk mortgages at or near par to buy shares in a new $5 trillion institution created along the lines of the unfortunate Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. Its bonds will be guaranteed. (That’s the “public” part – “socializing” the risk.) The PPP institution will have the power to buy and renegotiate the mortgages that have passed into the hands of the government and other holders. This “Homeowner Rescue Trust” will use its private funding for the “socially responsible” purpose of “saving the taxpayer” and middle class homeowners by renegotiating the mortgage down from its original $500,000 to the new $250,000 market price.

Here’s the patter talk you can expect, with the usual euphemisms. The Homeowners Rescue PPP will appear as a veritable Savior Bank resurrected from the wreckage of Bubble #1. Its clients will be families strapped by their mortgage debt and feeling more and more desperate as the price of their major asset plummets more deeply into Negative Equity territory. To them, the new PPP will say: “We’ve got a deal to save you. We’ll renegotiate your mortgage down to the current market price, $250,000, and we’ll also lower your interest rate to just 5.50 per cent, the new rate. This will cut your monthly debt charges by nearly two thirds. Not only can you afford to stay in your home, you will escape from your negative equity.”

The family probably will say, “Great.” But they will have to make a concession. That’s where the new public/private partnership makes its killing. Funded with private money that will take the “risk” (and also reap the rewards), the Savior Bank will say to the family that agrees to renegotiate its mortgage: “Now that the government has absorbed a loss (in today’s travesty of “socializing” the financial system) while letting let you stay in your home, we need to recover the money that’s been lost. If we make you whole, we want to be made whole too. So when the time comes for you to sell your home or renegotiate your mortgage, our Homeowners Rescue PPP will receive the capital gain up to the original amount written off.”

In other words, if the homeowner sells the property for $400,000, the Homeowners Rescue PPP will get $150,000 of the capital gain. If the home sells for $500,000, the bank will get $250,000. And if it sells for more, thanks to some new clone of Alan Greenspan acting as bubblemeister, the capital gain will be split in some way. If the split is 50/50 and the home sells for $600,000, the owner will split the $100,000 further capital gain with the Homeowners Rescue PPP. It thus will make much more through its appropriation of capital gains (the new debt-fueled asset-price inflation being put in place) than it extracts in interest!

This would make Bubble 2.0 even richer for Wall Street than the Greenspan bubble!

91. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

NYCO 84, 85 …Kos sinking in his own sandbox and the Post cartoon
It’s going to be fun watching the mobs descending on that fishwrap. What do they think this is, 1909?

I’m with ya on both counts.

92. Arcturus - 18 February 2009

heard an interview yesterday w/ an Az activist – her group has some Arpaio videos up @


93. BooHooHooMan - 18 February 2009

from mcat’s 86 The group is taking matters into its own hands and finding housing for homeless people in foreclosed and vacant homes.

Yeh, Minnesota Activists!

94. catnip - 18 February 2009

New ad at the Big O’Israel:

Did Israel violate U.S. laws by killing more than 1,300 Palestinians in Gaza?

How much military aid to Israel is Pres. Obama proposing in his budget?

Find out and take action by visiting the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

Read more…


Troll rate that, losers.

95. catnip - 18 February 2009

Greenwald: Charlie Savage on Obama’s embrace of Bush/Cheney “terrorism policies”

During the Bush presidency, there were few reporters, if there were any, who were better on issues of civil liberties and executive power abuses than Charlie Savage, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his work exposing the lawlessness of Bush’s signing statements while at The Boston Globe. For that reason, it will be very difficult even for the hardest-core Obama supporters to dismiss away the following observations about Obama as nothing more than the angry harping of excessively impatient, unfairly harsh and/or alarmist Obama critics (also referred to by some Obama supporters — using the Fox News script — as “Far Leftist, Marxist, reactionary, radical demagogues”). From Savage this morning in The New York Times:

” Even as it pulls back from harsh interrogations and other sharply debated aspects of George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism,” the Obama administration is quietly signaling continued support for other major elements of its predecessor’s approach to fighting Al Qaeda.

In little-noticed confirmation testimony recently, Obama nominees endorsed continuing the C.I.A.’s program of transferring prisoners to other countries without legal rights, and indefinitely detaining terrorism suspects without trials even if they were arrested far from a war zone.

The administration has also embraced the Bush legal team’s arguments that a lawsuit by former C.I.A. detainees should be shut down based on the “state secrets” doctrine. It has also left the door open to resuming military commission trials.

And earlier this month, after a British court cited pressure by the United States in declining to release information about the alleged torture of a detainee in American custody, the Obama administration issued a statement thanking the British government “for its continued commitment to protect sensitive national security information.”

These and other signs suggest that the administration’s changes may turn out to be less sweeping than many had hoped or feared — prompting growing worry among civil liberties groups and a sense of vindication among supporters of Bush-era policies.”

Savage lists several other examples of controversial Bush/Cheney “War on Terror” policies which have been either fully embraced or preliminarily welcomed by the Obama administration, all of which have been previously discussed here (though one episode Savage didn’t mention which is one of the most disturbing yet is the Obama DOJ’s ongoing and increasingly aggressive efforts to keep Bush’s NSA warrantless spying program shielded from judicial review, by invoking Bush’s State Secrets argument).

(embedded links but here’s the one to Savage’s piece if you want to skip Greenwald.

Handy to have a cartoon to talk about instead though, isn’t it?

96. lucid - 18 February 2009

Wow… I slip away from the blogoshere for 5 days and all hell breaks loose… fancy that.

Glad you remedied the mouse situation mcat.

97. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009
98. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009
99. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Rules of War Weren’t Made for Only One People

I recalled this searing passage this week when I received a letter from a reader, taking me to task for my “constant downplaying of the suffering of the Palestinians on the grounds that their deaths and suffering are minimal when compared with that of the Second World War”. Now, I should say at once that this is a bit unfair. I was especially taking exception to a Palestinian blog now going the rounds which shows a queue of Palestinian women at one of Israel’s outrageous roadblocks and a (slightly) cropped picture of the Auschwitz selection ramp, the same platform upon which Leon Greenman was separated from his young wife and child more than 60 years ago. The picture of the Palestinian women is based on a lie; they are not queuing to be exterminated. Racist, inhumane and sometimes deadly – Palestinian women have died at these infernal checkpoints – but they are not queuing to be murdered.

Yet our reader does have a point. The Second World War, she says, “does put it in a category apart … but surely if one is caught up in any war and sees one’s loved ones killed or maimed, one’s home destroyed … then that must be the greatest cataclysm in one’s life. The fact that a hundred others, a thousand, a hundred thousand, a million are suffering likewise is immaterial to the individual’s suffering. The Second World War lasted six years. The Palestinian suffering has lasted over sixty…”

And yes, I’ll go along with this. If it’s an individual being deliberately killed, then this is no less terrible than any other individual, albeit that this second person may be one of six million others. The point, of course, is the centrality of the Holocaust and – Israel’s constant refrain – its exclusivity. Actually, the Armenian Holocaust – as I’ve said on umpteen occasions – is also central to all genocide studies. The same system of death marches, of camps, of primitive asphyxiation, even a few young German officers in Turkey watching the genocide in 1915 and then using the same methods on Jews in the occupied Soviet Union. Numbers matter.

But our reader has another point. “After all,” she says, “in the Second World War, after the entry of the US and USSR on our side, people could feel pretty positive about the outcome. But where is such hope for the Palestinians? And now to cap the horror the BBC is refusing to even show an appeal to help Gaza…” I’m not at all sure that W Churchill Esq would have entirely placed such confidence in the outcome of the Second World War – he was initially worried that the Americans would use up their firepower on the Japanese rather than against Hitler’s Germany.

I think, however, there is yet one more point. The rules of war – the Geneva Conventions and all the other post-Second World War laws – were meant to prevent another Holocaust. They were specifically designed to ensure that no one should ever again face the destruction of Mrs Greenman and her child. They were surely not made only for one race of people. And it is these rules which Israel so disgracefully flouted in Gaza. It’s a bit like the refrain from Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara and a whole host of other apparatchiks when the torture at Abu Ghraib was revealed. Well, yes, they told us, it was bad – but not as bad as Saddam Hussein’s regime.

And of course, this argument leads to perdition. True, we were bad – but not as bad as the Baath party. Or the Khmer Rouge. Or Hitler’s Germany and the SS. Or the Ottoman Turks – though I noticed movingly that one of Lyn’s Jewish Holocaust survivors mentions the Armenians. No, the numbers game works both ways. A thousand Palestinians die in Gaza. But what if the figure were 10,000? Or 100,000? No, no, of course that wouldn’t happen. But the rules of war are made for all to obey.

100. catnip - 18 February 2009

lucid, are you familiar with the book The Autoimmune Epidemic? Someone recommended it to me today so I requested it from the local library.

101. catnip - 18 February 2009

Okay. Yikes. Reading at Amazon, I see it has reviews by John Kerry and “Congressman Fortney H. “Pete” Stark (California) “.

Fortney? No wonder he calls himself Pete.

102. marisacat - 18 February 2009


Sorry! Arcturus out of Moderation, Micheal Hudson up thread…


catnip out of moderation, Greenwald link and cnip upthread…


Thanks IB!

… mouse in hand!

103. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Consider the source that Hedges is talking about, but this is still scarily possible: Bad News From America’s Top Spy

The specter of social unrest was raised at the U.S. Army War College in November in a monograph titled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development.” The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” The “widespread civil violence,” the document said, “would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.”

“An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home,” it went on.

“Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance,” the document read.

In plain English, something bureaucrats and the military seem incapable of employing, this translates into the imposition of martial law and a de facto government being run out of the Department of Defense. They are considering it. So should you.

Adm. Blair warned the Senate that “roughly a quarter of the countries in the world have already experienced low-level instability such as government changes because of the current slowdown.” He noted that the “bulk of anti-state demonstrations” internationally have been seen in Europe and the former Soviet Union, but this did not mean they could not spread to the United States. He told the senators that the collapse of the global financial system is “likely to produce a wave of economic crises in emerging market nations over the next year.” He added that “much of Latin America, former Soviet Union states and sub-Saharan Africa lack sufficient cash reserves, access to international aid or credit, or other coping mechanism.”

“When those growth rates go down, my gut tells me that there are going to be problems coming out of that, and we’re looking for that,” he said. He referred to “statistical modeling” showing that “economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they persist over a one to two year period.”

104. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

NYPD’s enforcement of non-existent subway photo-ban costing taxpayers a fortune in lawsuits

Tyler sez, “A story about police in NYC citing non-existent rules to arrest subway photographers. Not only are they harassing innocent photographers, but they’re costing taxpayers thousands from the inevitable lawsuit settlements that follow.”

105. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Hedges in moderation.

106. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009
107. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Worst. Investigation. Ever.

A British newspaper gets its hands on a picture of Michael Phelps smoking from a marijuana pipe. Long after the fact, the sheriff decides to conduct an investigation of kids smoking pot at a college party, since apparently there is no other more up-to-date or serious crime in Richland County. S.C. And so the sheriff ends up busting eight unlucky schlubs, none of whom have 14 Olympic gold medals or multi-million dollar endorsement contracts. Phelps, of course, is totally scot free.

Man, is this a great country or what?

By the way, in looking upon the Google, I see that this very same sheriff bought this tank (pictured at top) that he dubbed “The Peacemaker” to keep the law-and-order in central South Carolina.

108. marisacat - 18 February 2009

Sorry! madman… Hedges 0ut… I left to go do dishes and avoid Summers on TNH. BTW, I come back he is still on, doing REALLY BADLY.

Last week Christina Romer was on for Obster, and did REALLY BADLY.

Have to wonder. Some pundit shrew of a land animal.. think it was Eugene Robinson, claimed this week Ob Admin is one on steroids. Don’t think so. Not if batting averages mean anything.

109. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009


Summers is horrible. One thing about our “best in brightest” is how they are almost all completely unremarkable when you actually listen to them, or read what they write.

Green Cities, Brown Suburbs

… if you want to be good to the environment, stay away from it. Move to high-rise apartments surrounded by plenty of concrete. Americans who settle in leafy, low-density suburbs will leave a significantly deeper carbon footprint, it turns out, than Americans who live cheek by jowl in urban towers. And a second paradox follows from the first. When environmentalists resist new construction in their dense but environmentally friendly cities, they inadvertently ensure that it will take place somewhere else—somewhere with higher carbon emissions. Much local environmentalism, in short, is bad for the environment.


New York City has the largest gap in emissions between central city and suburbs of any metropolitan area in the country—unsurprisingly, since New York’s central city is the epitome of dense urban living. Our estimate is that an average New York City resident emits 4,462 pounds less of transportation-related carbon dioxide than an average New York suburbanite. The reductions in carbon emissions from home heating and electricity are comparably large, thanks to New York’s famously tiny apartments. Manhattan is one of the greenest places in America.

He leads into an interesting conclusion:

So California environmentalists have things exactly backward. If climate change is the major environmental challenge that we face, the state should actively encourage new construction, rather than push it toward other areas. True, increasing development in California might increase per-household carbon emissions within the state if the new development, following the current model, took place on the extreme edges of urban areas. A better path would be to ease restrictions in the urban cores of San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego. More building there would reduce average commute lengths and improve per-capita emissions. Higher densities could also justify more investment in new, low-emissions energy plants.

Similarly, limiting the height or growth of New York City skyscrapers incurs environmental costs. Building more apartments in Gotham will not only make the city more affordable; it will also reduce global warming.

Thoreau was wrong. Living in the country is not the right way to care for the Earth. The best thing that we can do for the planet is build more skyscrapers.

110. marisacat - 18 February 2009

Got the City Journal link out now. AND HOlbrooke up now at TNH.

Really he picked SHITTY retreads. Awful people. All I need is for Rahm to show up now.

111. marisacat - 18 February 2009

oops… not looking good for Burris. via Tapper:

White House on Burris: Illinois deserves to know the “extent of the involvement”

February 18, 2009 7:31 PM

From Sunlen Miller:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters aboard Air Force One that the people of Illinois deserve to know the extent of any involvement Senator Burris (D-Illinois) had with ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s office.

“Obviously the people of Illinois have been through a lot in the last few weeks and obviously Senator Burris was seated based in some way on the representation that he made to the US senate and to the committee of Illinois investigating Governor Blagojevich as well as interviews that the people of Illinois heard,” Gibbs said traveling back to Washington from Phoenix today,

“I think in many ways he was seated based on those representations and I think that that the people of Illinois deserve to know, based on some of the things that have happened over the last few days, deserve the know the whole extent of the involvement.” …snip…


112. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Catching up on Frontline from last night: Inside the Meltdown.

Scary how out of it the so-called “leaders” in this country are. Scary to see this whole past couple of months of the economy boiled down in that stentorian-voiced Frontline style.

113. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Major cache of fossils unearthed in Los Angeles

Workers excavating an underground garage on the site of an old May Co. parking structure in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park got more than just a couple hundred new parking spaces. They found the largest known cache of fossils from the last ice age, an assemblage that has flabbergasted paleontologists.

Researchers from the George C. Page Museum at the La Brea tar pits have barely begun extracting the fossils from the sandy, tarry matrix of soil, but they expect the find to double the size of the museum’s collection from the period, already the largest in the world.

Among their finds, to be formally announced today, is the nearly intact skeleton of a Columbian mammoth—named Zed by researchers—a prize discovery because only bits and pieces of mammoths had previously been found in the tar pits.

114. marisacat - 18 February 2009

hmm Frontline.. I saw most of it… fell asleep toward the end.. but I had caught the Frontline guy on with Charlie a couple days ago. Really bad. Basically just a another Woodward, Barton Gellman type: let me craft a cosy history. A version that goes down well with progressives. Etc.

I was disgusted.

115. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Frontline manages to make Paulson and the rest look kind of powerless and driven by events, instead of really driving home the idea that they were clueless idealogues interested mostly in helping friends and cronies.

No corporatist should be allowed to say the words “moral hazard”, ever. The entire system they support is structured to shield people doing irresponsible things from their moral responsibilities to others.

Found this over at Perrin: Mass Graves For Change

116. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Oh, and this: His Truth Keeps Plodding On

“Well, you are considered our greatest president.”

“I care not. All that has been thrown upon me is false. Sometimes I wonder if the Union was worth it.”

“You must be inspired by Obama’s election.”

Lincoln rolled his yellow eyes. “Oh yes. That is supposedly my doing. Frankly, I am indifferent to whom you elect.”

“But, because of you, African descendants can hold the highest office.”

“They may have it. It is more curse than blessing, let me assure you. Besides, I did not wage that war to elect colored men.”

“That’s not what a lot of people believe.”

“People believe many foolish things. The slave issue served my war effort well. But I would have waged war had there been no slaves. A great nation cannot allow its southern half to simply walk away. Besides, I did enjoy blasting so many shit kickers into the next life. A very disagreeable breed.”

117. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

The Beat Goes On: Torture, Tasers and American Tradition

Anyone who has any acquaintance at all with the incarceration practices of the law enforcement community — either directly, professionally or through the experiences of a close friend or relative — is well aware of the rampant and routine brutality that pervades the system. The Taser has simply added another deadly refinement to the fun and games. Whereas in the old days the San Jose police probably would have been content with just clubbing a prisoner with batons, now they can whip out a handy-dandy ray-gun and shoot him full of electricity as well. Sure, sometimes the suckers die — but because the ray-gun is not, ostensibly, a lethal weapon, the deaths can always be written off as an unintended consequence caused by an unknown pre-existing condition or something.

Of course, you can sometimes get a “pre-existing condition” from, say, being clubbed into bloody goo by batons — or, as in a recent case of my personal knowledge, being handcuffed from behind and having your face slammed repeatedly into a concrete floor by a five or six deputies for the heinous crime of “sass.” But it’s best not to delve too deeply into these matters. After all, the Taserers and clubbers are only trying to keep us safe from terrorists — sorry, from criminals. And as our entire bipartisan political class has taught us — and keeps teaching us every day — brutality, torture and murder should never be prosecuted if they are committed by government officials in the name of “security.”

118. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009
119. marisacat - 18 February 2009

In San Jose the other day, several cops were caught in film beating an old homeless man. Who was down on teh ground, one arm behind him.

AND just the other day, an SF MUNI bus driver got into a verbal altercation wtih an older man, who likely was homeless… the passenger got off the bus and the driver STILL got off the bus and was captured on film punching the old man to th ground. A passenger who regularly travels with his video camera caught it, from the point where the old man was off the bus.. along with film of two people on the street who intervened to stop the beating and an grandmother on the bus who sought to calm the children… it was the school going home hour.

And the beat goes on………….

120. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

119 – there were two men arguing on the bus here in Milwaukee yesterday. When one got off the other followed and shot him. I read later that the shooting victim was going to be okay.

People are seemingly unraveling.

121. NYCO - 18 February 2009

113. The La Brea tar pits are so cool; especially that they’re right in L.A.

122. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

a chain email going around: New Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Flavors Cream Bush

Ben & Jerry have created “Yes Pecan!” ice cream flavor for Obama.

Due to the new flavor’s popularity, they asked for suggestions from the public for flavors to commemorate George W.

Here are some of their favorite responses:

– Grape Depression

– Abu Grape

– Cluster Fudge

– Nut’n Accomplished

– Iraqi Road

– Chock ‘n Awe

– WireTapioca

– Impeach Cobbler

– Impeach Mint

– Heck of a Job, Brownie!

– Chunky Monkey in Chief

– George Bush Doesn’t Care About Dark Chocolate

– WMDelicious

– Guantanmallow

– Neocon Politan

– RockyRoad to Fascism

– The Reese’s-cession

– Cookie D’oh!

– Housing Crunch

– Nougalar Proliferation

– Death by Chocolate… and Torture

– Freedom Vanilla Ice Cream

– Chocolate Chip On My Shoulder

– “You’re Shitting In My Mouth And Calling It A” Sundae

– Credit Crunch

– Mission Pecanplished

– Good Riddance You Lousy Motherf**ker… Swirl

– Country Pumpkin

– Chocolate Chimp

– Bloody Sundae

– Caramel Preemptive Stripe

– I broke the law and am responsible for the deaths of thousands…with nuts

123. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 February 2009

Blue Dogs: The Democrats Who Love Big Business

The Blue Dogs were founded in 1995 in the wake of the GOP takeover of the House, but they didn’t get much attention until the Democrats took it back in 2006. If you read any of the post-election coverage, it was the freshmen Blue Dogs like Pennsylvania’s Chris Carney and North Carolina’s Heath Shuler who had upset high-profile Republicans who were the MVPs of the cycle and the party’s new voice. Leaders of the House Pack? the Philadelphia Inquirer asked in a headline, Blue Dogs Could Point Way for Democrats.

Their star turn extended through much of the 110th Congress, as caucus members flexed their muscles on their signature issue: fiscal discipline. They pushed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to adopt “pay-go” rules, which required all new expenditures (except, notably, those for the war) to be offset by tax increases or corresponding spending cuts. Their outsize influence frustrated progressive activists who viewed their support for the Iraq occupation and expanded government surveillance powers and their opposition to “net neutrality” as obstacles to fulfilling the progressive promise of the new Congress. The website Open Left labeled the group “Bush Dogs” and began documenting the ways they enabled right-wing legislation.

“Remember, you don’t get to choose your politics,” Cooper told me when I visited his office one morning in December. “The voters choose you. All Blue Dogs and our predecessors were trying to do is reach people who don’t read The Nation…. Why have people been begging to be Blue Dogs? Because it’s a brand of Democrats people in the heartland can trust. It partly means fiscal conservatism and it partly means we’re not going to rubber-stamp the rest of the [party] agenda.”

In the 110th Congress, the Blue Dogs’ clout made a kind of sense. The caucus was larger than the Democrats’ margin, which meant they were the proverbial swing voter — and fawned over as a result. But in the 111th Congress, the Democrats’ margin is big enough to pass legislation without a single Republican or Blue Dog vote. On top of that, the severity of the economic crisis has moved the center of debate decidedly away from the Blue Dogs’ cardinal issue of fiscal austerity. There’s a broad consensus among economists that we need to run large short-term deficits to avoid levels of unemployment and misery we haven’t seen in seventy years. So you’d think the Blue Dogs would have as central a role in today’s debate as pacifists did in the months after 9/11.

But not so. The Blue Dogs continue to wield influence. Before the stimulus could be brought to the floor, the House had to approve emergency orders to expedite the process. The Blue Dogs balked and threatened to rebel until the White House sent a letter to several House committee chairs reaffirming its commitment to return to pay-go budgeting after the stimulus is passed. In the end, half the caucus voted against the leadership anyway. The week after the stimulus passed the House, Blue Dog co-chair Stephanie Herseth Sandlin sent an open letter to Pelosi and House majority leader Steny Hoyer expressing the caucus’s support for efforts by Senate Republicans and conservative Democrats to cut approximately $100 billion from the package — including money for things like school construction, rural broadband and early childhood programs. “We believe that’s a highly worthwhile goal,” they wrote.

Meanwhile, the media remain obsessed. As Talking Points Memo’s Elana Schor recently noted, press mentions of the Blue Dogs outnumbered mentions of the Progressive Caucus by nearly ten to one between mid-October and mid-January. This despite the Progressive Caucus being larger and having far more members in the leadership.

124. marisacat - 18 February 2009

the la Brea tar pits are totally fascinating.. with some new thoughts and discoveries in recent years as to what happened.. (they have determind that although some tiny fragile bones are in the pits, skin is not.. so a disaster that tore their skins off as they were whooshed along is a speculation)… it is so emblematic of the state that I have tried at times to pull some sort of post together about it… that whole area there, on Wilshire and so on, has the feel of some great dry arroyo. It esp did when I was visiting in ’91 and LA was hard hard hit by the recession. Much of it unreported outside the area.

So many shops from Rodeo to Beverly Wilshire to Wilshire boarded up, gone, moved… and so on. The museum, LACMA, which I had so loved over the decades, right next to the LBTP, had become a gargantuan “thing”, a mess of different plans, no plans, massive mindless international corporate money… and so on. I went down to see a big Francis Bacon retrospective.

125. marisacat - 18 February 2009


I am for Impeach Mint!

126. marisacat - 18 February 2009

Neue thread…


…. 🙄 …..

127. marisacat - 18 February 2009

Madman, moved the Blooooooooo Dog link/snip forward to the new …


128. diane - 18 February 2009

……just a thought re Cali’s woes…..it’s easy to ignore (likely deliberately) the woes – job loss, impossible rents, pitiful health care, foreclosures, poverty crime – of millions ……which surely foretell a coming collapse, when the extreme economic and physical wellbeing of an obscenely wealthy handful is the denominator, and the masses are the numerator, in determining per capita well being….likely it’s so in all of the highest Gross Domestic Product states……I try to check out the Sly Con Valley Murky Biz news from time to time, since Cali is so powerful..and it was vomit worthy that not long ago at all…..all was well for anyone not a slacker….even while one of their…long time reporters committed suicide by stabbing himself in the gut…yes,…his job,……most certainly did seem a factor….from what I read………Things have been seriously fucked up across the US since before the dot com boom…but one certainly don’t see much of that around the net since so many “big time” bloggers are not in the economic class that has been loosing their fucking shirts for so long…most folks cannot blog while they’re at work…unlike so many upper management types, say at places like huffpo and the citrus factory…

Not to worry, IT will save the day at the Singularity Institute…….we can just see all the jobs created…yes we can………………

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