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The Border 16 March 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Border Issues, California / Pacific Coast, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Mexico, WAR!.


Calexico, California, USA: A border patrol vehicle drags sand to make any new footprints of border crossers more visible, along a recently constructed section of the controversial US-Mexico border fence Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images

I suppose it is the effect of constructing a fence on what is mostly sand… but could it look more other worldly AND more martial, at once?


Rogoff (vid embedded, interview with Brancaccio) has some sane and logical takes on the near(ish) future…

* May take 2 years before housing bottoms

* Ditto for equity markets

* Expects 1970s-like inflation when we come out of recession.

* Could have decade of Japanese in-and-out-of-recession if we don’t seriously deal with banking system.

But I say: NO!  Remember the Good Times! When Jesus spoke from the retail politics stump (we got schtupped is all I can say!)…

Believe the Belief!  Clap!  Clap some more!  Maybe it works.  If not you did not clap hard enough.  Remember:  peons own their failure!

[A]merica, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people.

Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.

This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Xerox it and pray.  Pray some more.  They say it works.


hmm life is hard all over.. I just read at Clusterstock that Mme Madoff was spied faxing.  From a deli.  Pastrami on rye, to go!


UPDATE, 4:29 PM on the Pacific Ocean… (til we fall in)

Oh it is not fair to laugh, really.  Then again it is fun… 😉  I was tired, years ago, of people in charge or parsing for those in charge, claiming all they know is from the fucking media.  “Again, all I know is what is reported, I am reading the same news reports as you are, yada yada yada”…

And Gibbs does it here.


Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 3/16/2009

March 16, 2009 4:03 PM

TAPPER:  You guys first found about these bonuses last week?

GIBBS:  I think that’s true, based on what I read in the newspaper.

TAPPER:  But you gave money to AIG two or three weeks ago?

GIBBS:  Um-hmm.

TAPPER:  How could you not know that they have these millions — hundreds of millions dollars…

GIBBS:  Well, again, there’s — there’s — according to the news reports, there’s existing contracts, some of which the — or of which the president has asked the secretary to examine going forward. I think you also heard the president speak today about having a resolution authority that gives the government and taxpayers far more flexibility in dealing with the disposition of AIG in a way that gives taxpayers protection and flexibility — disposition that we don’t currently have, but steps that we would like to see taken in order to deal with AIG as a whole.

TAPPER:  Why didn’t you attach it to the $30 billion you gave a couple weeks ago?

GIBBS:  Again, Jake, the…

TAPPER:  You’re looking to retroactively attached it to the new $30 billion.

GIBBS:  Well, they’re looking through contracts to see what can be done to wrest these bonuses from their recipients.

TAPPER:  I’m sorry, just — I don’t understand, so maybe I’m just not understanding, but President Obama said in early February, right when he gave his speech on executive compensation, “these kinds of compensation packages in the midst of this economic crisis isn’t just bad taste, it’s bad strategy, and I will not tolerate it as president.  We’re going to be demanding some restraint in exchange for federal aid.”  Since that time, he gave tens of billions of dollars in federal aid to AIG without demanding restraint.

GIBBS:  Well again, Jake, we’ve got existing relationships, contracts, as I just mentioned, that were negotiated a year ago, assistance that was granted outside of the legal authority prior to the creation of the troubled asset relief program. The president has asked the administration to go back and look at what remedies are possible to block those bonuses.

TAPPER:  But why didn’t he do that before?

GIBBS:  Well, again, the excessive compensation rules that you’d noted, and I think somebody asked this at the background briefing that we had, obviously are prospective based on some limitations that we have in looking backwards. The president has asked Secretary Geithner and members of the administration to exhaust all legal remedies in looking backwards to see what steps could be taken to block these bonuses.

TAPPER:  No, but since — and I’m sorry to belabor this point — but since President Obama gave the speech, you guys gave more money to AIG.  Why wasn’t it attached…

GIBBS:  Again, this is…

TAPPER:  … to the new money?

GIBBS:  Because it’s, again, it’s part of the…

TAPPER:  Part of the old contracts.

GIBBS:  Right.  It’s part of…

TAPPER:  But you’re looking to now retroactively see if you can attach something to that old money.

GIBBS:  That’s what we’re looking at.

TAPPER:  But why didn’t you do it at the time, if you’re looking to retroactively do it.

GIBBS:  The administration is taking the steps today to go back and see what can be done…to claw those bonuses back.

— jpt

So reassured. They have it in hand.  Whoever ”they” are, whatever ”it” is, it’s all under control.

More Tapper:

Two Weeks Ago: White House Says It’s Confident Obama Administrations Knows How AIG Billions Are Being Spent

March 16, 2009 5:03 PM

From White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’ briefing two weeks ago, when $30 billion in additional funds were announced for AIG.

TAPPER:  AIG, is the administration confident that it, that it knows what happened to the tens of billions of dollars previously given to AIG?

GIBBS:  Is it confident — I’m sorry?

TAPPER:  That they know — that you guys know what happened to the previous billions before you hand over this next $30 billion.

GIBBS:  Yes — yes, the — I mean, I don’t think it’s a — well, obviously, you’ve got a huge insurance company that is losing money, not the least of which because of its sheer size and sheer size and decrease in the growth in our economy.  It experiences a far bigger drop, largely because of its size. But, again, the steps that — that Treasury and — and others took were to ensure a larger systemic problem wasn’t one that we had to deal with here today in letting something just die.

TAPPER:  But in terms of specifically the — I guess it’s like $150 billion before, you guys are confident…

GIBBS:  Yes.

— jpt



1. marisacat - 16 March 2009

Brrreaking News on Mother Cheney… she fainted and was immediately taken to Hahnemann Hospital…

[The uninsured come to at home or at work…. A cool wet rag to the forehead and back to the grindstone]

Pray for her!

2. liberalcatnip - 16 March 2009

GIBBS: Yes — yes, the — I mean, I don’t think it’s a — well, obviously, you’ve got a huge insurance company that is losing money, not the least of which because of its sheer size and sheer size and decrease in the growth in our economy. It experiences a far bigger drop, largely because of its size. But, again, the steps that — that Treasury and — and others took were to ensure a larger systemic problem wasn’t one that we had to deal with here today in letting something just die.

Run, hamster, run.


He should have just slit his wrists after today’s press briefing. How humiliating.

marisacat - 16 March 2009

He should have just slit his wrists after today’s press briefing. How humiliating.

LOL I know.. when I read it I thought, so………….. size matters? And what might we deduce about the package?


3. BooHooHooMan - 16 March 2009

Rendell’s ally Vince Fumo got convicted today

the guy who called Rendell in to testify as his top character witness – Whoops! –

Prosecutors said Mr. Fumo awarded a contract worth $80,000 a year to a political strategist in return for little work, and gave State Senate property including laptop computers to his valet, girlfriends and family members. United States Attorney Laurie Magid said prosecutors expect to press for a prison sentence of more than 10 years.

Mr. Fumo was accused of helping to defraud a community group he co-founded, the Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, by using $1.4 million of its money to buy tools and other goods, to conduct political polls, and to file a lawsuit against a Republican enemy.

The jury also convicted Ruth Arnao, the former executive director of the community group, on 45 counts of conspiracy, fraud and tax violations.

Mr. Fumo was also charged with defrauding the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, where he was a board member, by using its luxury yachts to take overnight cruises worth $115,000.

Tip of the Iceberg, this shit Fumo got nailed for.
They’ll lawyer the shit out of this as Fumo is one of the most dug-in, corrupt, nationally connected City and Statehouse Dems in the country. Think Shelley Silver in NY. Daley in Chicago.

Fumo’s grandfather started a Bank, one that eventually obtained a Bank Charter and another , shall we say, that continued on without. Fumo is Thoroughly run in with the mob going back 80 years. Same with Rendell and his trust fund from his garment district family in NY.

If this guy Fumo ever flipped on Rendell over the Philly Gas Works Sale, the Municipal Bond Scams in Philly, State Bond issues, Pension fund steerage, slot machines brought to PA via bribing nearly the entire Democratic Caucus…fuuucccckkk ….

Reality, tho- He won’t flip on anybody. One, because his gangster associates would kill him. Secondly, it’s the creampuff nature of what he’s facing.
Looking at 2 years on 10 and minimal give backs on the money?
Too bad he won’t come clean. Fumo is one of those thoroughly corrupt, thoroughly connected insiders who could blow a hole in the whole Two Party illusion.

4. marisacat - 16 March 2009

Songs to Watch a Great Nation Collapse By

March 16, 2009 12:18 PM

As reporters walked into the White House East Room to watch the President bash AIG bonuses this morning, the Marine pianist was playing “Killing Me Softly.”


– jpt

Granted, it ws a too prescient music pick.

5. BooHooHooMan - 16 March 2009

Funes won in El Salvador.
Viva la Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional.!!!

marisacat - 16 March 2009

well I am happy to see ARENA fall.. no question.. but listening to Lovato on with Amy… and it makes me a little nervous.

The talking points trail out waaay too much like Obrama.

Citizen! Journalist! Then: RockStar Pol! Won with 46% of the conservative evangelical vote! and last but not least: This IS the end of Reagan!

Be interesting to see what rolls out…

BooHooHooMan - 16 March 2009

NYT on El Salvadors New Pres

Mr. Funes, the first F.M.L.N. presidential candidate who is not a former guerrilla commander, has promised “safe change” and says he will lead in the mold of Brazil’s president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

He also sent a strong message that he intended to continue El Salvador’s close relationship with the United States, by meeting with the charge d’affairs at the United States Embassy shortly after his victory speech.

He’d be wise not to get too chummy.

marisacat - 16 March 2009

Well Obster had said before election, that he will work ”with anyone” who wins. So funes was not Castro, nor Raul, nor Chavez nor any of the others… yeah more like Lula!


BooHooHooMan - 16 March 2009

Less Filling. ~~But New!

6. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 March 2009

Naked and Guilty by Jeff Sharlet

“Sexual purity,” a young Christian virgin once told me, is the most radical commitment a soul can make. He called it a rebellion: against materialism, consumerism, and “the idea that anything can be bought and sold.” By purity he meant chastity, not just abstinence but a belief in sex as something apart from the world, even as sex literally creates our world.

Evangelicalism, the largest and most enthusiastic religious movement in the United States, has shaped our conception of sex as sacred more than any of the ostensibly sex-positive creeds to be found in liberal churches or new age compounds. Sacred, that is, in a very particular sense: as a deeply democratic form of communion, transcendental communication for the common folk. Not everybody can be a mystic, after all. American evangelicalism offers a humbler alternative, the love of and for Christ sentimentalized into sacred relations between a lawfully married man and woman. It restricts this bliss to those willing to conform to its romantic imagination, of course, but there is another, more startling consequence: the eroticization of the world, as every encounter with any frisson of sexual tension becomes suspect, a potential desecration of that which is most holy. Such sentiments are sometimes explained away as evidence of our Puritan roots. I think of them as the evangelical essence of American eroticism, the thrilling and terrifying conviction that sex–even the thought of sex–really matters.

To be an evangelical is to believe in high stakes: at risk, every day, is eternity. At the same time, each new dawn brings with it the promise of salvation. Or, if one is already saved, the potential for the fabulous spectacle of another’s redemption; the possibility, even, of playing some small part in that greatest of dramas. This is a spiritual reality for believers, and it’s also a sexual reality, since sex is a more constant presence than the Holy Spirit itself. Not the act but the desire, bred into us by Eve’s original sin. The apple is always before us. But this constant temptation is also its own reward. By resisting it—by rebelling against the world as it is—the believer steps into relationship with the divine, most satisfyingly embodied by one’s God-appointed and legally married soul mate. Visiting my young Christian virgin friend’s church one Sunday—a youthful congregation that meets in rented theater space on Broadway to share mainstream Christian pop and mild evangelicalism—I learned that those who stay pure would experience orgasms scientifically proven to be “600 percent” more intense than those experienced by secular lovers. I asked how this was tested. My friend told me I was missing the point.


marisacat - 16 March 2009

Bu-u-u-t… Jesus.. I mean Obama, said that “God is in the mix” with sex (and marriage too!). Of course he might have meant a threesome. But who knows.

Evangelicals and Pentecostals and their thinking will sadly rise in this country. Ob is one of them. Pity people keep missing he is a “born again”.

600% stronger orgasms? 😆 Maybe God given heart attacks will rise in their ranks.. one can hope!

marisacat - 16 March 2009

From the Sharlat article, on the eroticism implicit in the Gibson movie… Maybe Ob is talking abut a threesome.

The pleasure is in watching Jesus’ lithe, muscular form as it gives up its most essential fluid under the whip of the Romans. The meaning of the act—watching, that is—lies in knowing Jesus is committing the ultimate act of rebellion against materialism, consumerism, and the Roman Empire. And you, the viewer, are right there with him.

Evangelical eroticism is shifty like that; sometimes it’s about bodies, sometimes it’s about empire, and there’s always the potential of a threesome, between you, the other, and the divine.

BooHooHooMan - 16 March 2009

What’s the Return on Investment for the Born Again Virgin Route?
A Less than 600% mindblower, or a Premium on top of THAT considering humportunity costs?

It all sounds very interesting. LOL

It’s hillarious though, really, because having worked in E.R.’s , they’re the very people who come in and you have to unscrew the most unimaginable objects out of every foreign-object-impacted orifice imaginable. Never the garden variety cucumber or store bought dildo. Extremely creative, talented people. Inspirational even, LOL.

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 March 2009

Mcat, I think you may have commented after Chas Freeman went down in flames that Blair would be next … well here is comes:

In the immediate aftermath of the Freeman exit, Andy McCarthy helped set the stage:

Great. But there remains the fact that the top intelligence official in the U.S., Dennis Blair, brought Freeman in, figuring he’d be a perfect fit to head the National Intelligence Council. Freeman is gone, but Blair will be with us for years to come. The problems with Freeman were far from hidden. What is it about Blair’s worldview that inspired him to think Freeman was a good choice to be shaping intelligence estimates and framing the information consumed by the president?

marisacat - 16 March 2009

I read taht frm McCarthy at The Corner….. and I read a very wrongly deduced article thru Tom Dispatch. that tried to say the Jewish Lobby or Avigdor or Likud Lobby or what ever Chas Freeman wants to call it now was running scared and low on options.

Shit! How so? they used what should be a discredited, is an indicted, person, Rosen to go after CF… and IT WORKED! Why wouldn’t they go after Blair?

ESP as the Dispatch article was confused enough to state that the WH had never once said a word about this. No help, no bridge, no attempt to intervene, nada. Just stood aside and let it blow in the wind til the nom broke. But the Lobby is somehow on the run? Out of options?
How so?

And I am glad CF said whatever he wanted to but he did not handle this all that well either. When he son started sounding off to the media, a couple weeks ago I figured it was O V E R.

Madman in the Marketplace - 16 March 2009

I think clueless pwogs celebrate the end of the zionist lobby almost every other month. It’s silly.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 March 2009

Future Paris Is Larger, Glowing

What is the future of Paris? That’s a subject currently under discussion by architects and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who wants to create a “Grand Paris” even if it includes redrawing the map altogether.

marisacat - 16 March 2009

ooo thanks for that… I am about to follow the Guardian link at the site… but this was a good comment from Guillaume Helary

Madman in the Marketplace - 16 March 2009

very full of informative info.

Sarkozy is just so full of grandiose bravado, as though he’s the only one who’s thought of things and only he could make them happen.

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 March 2009
10. Madman in the Marketplace - 16 March 2009
11. marisacat - 16 March 2009


I don’t always mind Grassley. Even if most of it probably a pose (see the “most of them are in NY” part) for the white folks back home… 😯

In an interview with Cedar Rapids, Iowa, radio station WMT-AM today, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said executives of AIG should consider following what he described of the Japanese model of shamed corporate executives: apology or suicide.

“I don’t know whether the ($165 million in bonuses) is an issue as much as just the chutzpah of the people running AIG,” Grassley said. “That they could thumb their nose at the taxpayers, it’s more that.

“The attitude of these corporate executives and bank executives, and most of them are in New York, that somehow they’re not responsible for their company going into the tank,” he said.

“I suggest, you know, obviously maybe they ought to be removed, but I would suggest that the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them [is] if they would follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I’m sorry and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide.”

Grassley added, “In the case of the Japanese, they usually commit suicide before they make any apology.” ….

12. marisacat - 16 March 2009

A reader popped me this.. one of the self described “moderate” evangelicals that voted for Obster, who sold himself as Jesus, with us again, here to do YOUR version of “good works”.. So blessed.

I don’t hear anything moderate about this evangelical, to be frank. Why would there be… any way?

[C]hristian conscience requires me to make this case even if it has no chance of prevailing in American society. And if we lose on abortion, as it appears we will lose for a long time to come, Christian conscience requires me to ask the government not to require citizens to pay for procuring services that violate their sacred beliefs.

And if we lose there, as it appears we will, Christian conscience requires me to insist that religious institutions and professionals not be required as a condition of accreditation, or employment, or contact with federal dollars, to actively facilitate or perform deeds that their conscience forbids them from doing.

And if we lose there, then the entire relationship between religious faith and American society will move into a period of profound crisis.

President Obama, we need more than lip service on these crucial issues. Bring the transformational change your promises led us to hope for.

Madman in the Marketplace - 16 March 2009

just fine w/ his values and the murder of civilians by us troops and bombs, I see.

Priorities, and all.

lucid - 16 March 2009

Every sperm is sacred!

marisacat - 16 March 2009

Well I think Catholic insurers should begin to insure feti. Fetuses.. what ever they are called in the plurality. They are so precious, let’s write policies on the “life”.

lucid - 16 March 2009

Blastocysts, I think… 🙂

marisacat - 16 March 2009

To be frank I try not to know these things… When ever along the stages it gets insured it needs to be retroactive to date of specific coitus. That whole life at the moment of conception thing.

PLENTY of Catholic based insurers paid off the victims, quietly and for decades… of priest abuse. So they can pick up this particular Olympic torch.

LOL I doubt any would.

I think miscarriages should be called God Wrought Abortions.

The whole thing is so out of hand.

13. marisacat - 16 March 2009

I think we must begin to worry that Gawd has abandoned Ob. And the Oblings. How did he get the whole AIG shit pile so wrong. It is a dark night of the soul… FOR the soul too. We must cling together, pray for the return of Gawd to Ob… and nto become bitter.

that or Gawwd gives him a sense of smell for future shit piles.

A tidal wave of public outrage over bonus payments swamped American International Group yesterday. Hired guards stood watch outside the suburban Connecticut offices of AIG Financial Products, the division whose exotic derivatives brought the insurance giant to the brink of collapse last year. Inside, death threats and angry letters flooded e-mail inboxes. Irate callers lit up the phone lines. Senior managers submitted their resignations. Some employees didn’t show up at all. …

Only Gawd can save us now. Obviously Ob arrived a few decks short for the job.

LOL It’s not like the creeps in DC, both admins, did not have time to figure this out:

Attorneys working for the Fed had been examining the matter for months and determined that the retention payments couldn’t be touched because AIG would face costly lawsuits and be subject to penalties from states and foreign governments. Administration officials said over the weekend that they agreed with that assessment.

AIG disclosed its retention-payment program more than a year ago, and the amount of the bonuses — more than $400 million for Financial Products alone — had been widely reported. But as the payments were coming due in recent days, the White House began to express its indignation. …

I read today that Jos A Banks is adopting ads like the car company.. if you lose your job they BUY BACK a 199.00 suit… ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY NINE DOLLARS. A suit already on sale.

And I doubt we are at bottom.

14. marisacat - 16 March 2009

Now he says he will ”get the money back”.

he can’t stop it but he will get it back.


15. marisacat - 16 March 2009

Here s a tidbit…

Many AIG Bonus Recipients Are Overseas

AIG’s bonus payments ranged from $1,000 to $6.5 million, CNBC has learned. Only seven employees will receive a bonus of more than $3 million.

Although some suspect pressure may be growing for those employees who received bonuses to return them on their own free will, many of the employees who received bonuses are not American and may not care that American taxpayers are outraged over the incident.

16. lucid - 16 March 2009

As much as it irks me to say, I actually kind of understand the AIG bailout [not that I’m OK with the ‘bonuses’]. The largest buyers of CDS mortgage backed securities were the EU and China [the governments]. AIG fails, they fail and call in the debt. The US is worthless overnight [not that it already isn’t]. But the wealth itself is not just paper. I’d prefer to find a way for this to be resolved that doesn’t descend several billion people into abject poverty.

Not that the US or the EU or China has offered any insightful ideas out of this mess.

I’m just saying…

17. lucid - 16 March 2009

… And I’m saying that the way out is to get the people who brought us this mess to pay for it. Tres communiste I know, but honestly, what are you going to do? It was their lobbying internationally, it was their companies, and it is everyone else’s wealth they stole.

Hang ’em High.

18. marisacat - 16 March 2009

hmm CA Democrat Brad Sherman makes some interesting points… (not that it matters, the bonus cheques, or whatever they are, went out Friday. Gone, not in AIG’s hot hands… LOL)

Referring to the original bailout Congress passed in October, Sherman told me:

We had a provision in there that said Treasury was supposed to establish, by regulation, standards for executive compensation. We required that to be done — had it been done, it would have been binding, whether [or not] these contracts had been signed earlier. It’s entirely within the power of the federal government to have contracts modified [at companies receiving public aid]. Nixon had contracts modified by the federal government. We gave a similar power to Treasury.

Sherman voted against the bailout, he explained, because he didn’t believe that Treasury would use the power given to it by Congress. As it turned out, the department ultimately exercised its executive compensation powers last month, but the final regulations were riddled with loopholes — and only applied to companies receiving “extraordinary” assistance from the government in the future, a standard that no company has officially met so far. …

And of course a tricky mess to obscure the other reality, the monies AIG passed along, like the 90+billion to …………….. GS.


19. wu ming - 16 March 2009

if they want those bonuses back, just set up a few extra income tax brackets, and claw it back once the money’s paid out.

20. lucid - 16 March 2009

While the wealth of a species
Is derived for the few,
From the Sumerian glyphs
To the Latin Corfu,
Our English derivatives
Parse less meat in the stew.

And when boiled limbs and eyes
Bobble as memories
Atop desperate handfires,
Our ancient Beatitudes
Gather their warmth, and condemn
fiat revolution.

Because we’re bloodless now,
In our sanguine paradise,


The madness of suffering,
We quilt into the new.

21. CSTAR - 16 March 2009

Sorkin has a defense of the AIG bonuses in the online NYTimes

As much as we might want to void those A.I.G. pay contracts, Pearl Meyer, a compensation consultant at Steven Hall & Partners, says it would put American business on a worse slippery slope than it already is. Business agreements of other companies that have taken taxpayer money might fall into question. Even companies that have not turned to Washington might seize the opportunity to break inconvenient contracts.

There are fewer instances that I can think of in recent history where the legal apparatus of contract enforcement has had such a blatant character of class domination.

La loi, dans un grand souci d’égalité, interdit aux riches comme aux pauvres de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.

Anatole France

marisacat - 16 March 2009

“worse slippery”? LOL Sorkin wrote that rot under pressure.

How silly.

I REALLY want to see ObRama toss Social Security around after this mess.

22. marisacat - 16 March 2009

I have to say the dog and pony shw today really was bad. It’s not just Milbank being snide. Tho I think snide is appropriate:

[T]he willy-nilly Summers position was obviously untenable — so Obama and Geithner tried again at yesterday’s event with small businesses in the East Room. They arrived 20 minutes late for the event, where several seats were empty. Obama flashed a quick smile as he took the stage but then adopted a suitably grim expression. Geithner clenched his jaw so tightly his cheeks became discolored.

Maybe they can call in a Chicago So Side undertaker for proper training for this sort of event. They need help. It’s just a walk on act, but they are not up to it. Not Ob Jesus and not Geithner, billed as the only man in the whole country for that job…

CLUE, they don’t care.

Geithner, the warm-up act, delivered what he said would be “a clear message to our nation’s banks.” But it wasn’t all that clear. The only teeth in Geithner’s message — if they could be called teeth — was that he was “asking” regulators to propose quarterly reporting of small-business loans, and that he would require banks receiving bailout funds to provide small-business loan figures in their monthly reports. Otherwise, Geithner was just begging. “We need our nation’s banks to go the extra mile in keeping credit lines in place,” he pleaded, tossing in a bit of guilt: “Given the role that many banks played in causing this crisis, you bear a special responsibility for helping America get out of it.”

Obama picked up with the shaming and cajoling, this time directed at AIG. “This is a corporation that finds itself in financial distress due to recklessness and greed,” he said. “Under these circumstances, it’s hard to understand how derivative traders at AIG warranted any bonuses, much less $165 million in extra pay.” …

The video is pretty damning …

23. BooHooHooMan - 17 March 2009
24. marisacat - 17 March 2009

They are pioneers. And historic. (The jokes write themselves.)

“This president has inherited the most difficult first 100 days of any president, I would argue, including Franklin Roosevelt,” Biden said.

“Let me explain what I mean by that,” he added. “It was clear the problem Roosevelt inherited. This is a more complicated economic [problem]. We’ve never, ever been here before – here or in the world. Never, ever been here before.”

The vice president went on to assure Democratic donors that their support of Obama’s agenda – even if it gives them pause – is directly linked to their party’s political future. …

It was quite the night, apparently:

“I know some of you are holding your breath with what we’re doing,” Biden said in the lobby of the lobby of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. “This is about the change we meant. We meant fundamental, foundational change.”

At the same time Biden took care to say – twice – that the change the agenda the Obama administration is pushing is not ideological, but required to insure economic stability.

“This is not about ideology. This is about economic necessity,” he said.

Biden, who was introduced by DNC chairman Tim Kaine, was shouting at times and whispering at others. He said he was ending his speech three times before he ended it. …


25. marisacat - 17 March 2009

Interactive map, co by co, of unemployment figures. More interesting that I had thought it would be…

26. Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

Grassley’s people are walking back the seppuku suggestion.

Meanwhile, Benny’s on the jet to Africa, and helping out already.

Benedict has never before spoken explicitly on condom use although he has stressed that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the battle against AIDS. The Vatican encourages sexual abstinence to fight the spread of the disease.

“You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms,” the pope told reporters aboard the Alitalia plane headed to Yaounde, Cameroon. “On the contrary, it increases the problem.”

Some priests and nuns working with victims of the AIDS pandemic ravaging Africa question the church’s opposition to condoms.

Madman in the Marketplace - 17 March 2009

IT was silly anyway, and projects an American idea that suicide would be earned punishment. In order for a Japanese to do what Grassley suggests, from my admittedly limited knowledge of Japan, would require that the the execs in question have senses of HONOR and SHAME. Modern western multinational execs have neither. They have powerful attitudes of entitlement and superiority.

27. Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

That interactive map is very interesting, especially with the overlay filters.

28. Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009
29. wu ming - 17 March 2009

the central valley’s fooked. just wait until the alt a and jumbo loans kick in.

30. Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009
31. liberalcatnip - 17 March 2009
32. marisacat - 17 March 2009

The guy who helped finger the Keating Five has a few interesting things to say about AIG… and their “suicide strategy” of holding the government hostage. Well they have Obster by the ears. And whatever else. Biden by his hair plugs.. Summers by his belly.. and Geithner by his nervous system. What schlumpfs.

In an interview with Truthout, Professor Black said that A.I.G. is using a “suicide strategy” to hold the government hostage and keep the bailout funds flowing.

“A.I.G. is holding a gun to their own heads, saying ‘unless you help us continue to have this incredible life in terms of bonuses, we’re going to die and the taxpayers will be faced with a catastrophe,'” Professor Black said, adding “It’s too bad Marxists don’t believe in god. Otherwise they’d be thanking him for having sent A.I.G. down to earth to destroy capitalism.”

Earlier on Monday, Professor Black joined three other notable analysts with deep industry, regulatory and academic experience in issuing a punishing statement calling for decisive action on A.I.G. and the ongoing bailout. …

Won’t be happening. The crowd in charge just wants to get financial boys in to dark closets and kiss them madly. SO obvious.

The statement called for an “investigation of the validity of A.I.G.’s past accounting and securities disclosures and its executive compensation program by the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the FBI.”

“I think that A.I.G. is simply one of the most obvious examples where their accounting was false. Fraudulent accounting at a publicly traded company is securities fraud and that’s a felony,” Professor Black told Truthout.

Professor Black is confident that a thorough investigation of A.I.G.’s books would reveal misdeeds. “Even though we effectively own the place, we have left it in the hands of the people who have every incentive to hide the past losses and to hide all the past accounting fraud that justified all their past bonuses. These people aren’t at risk of simply losing their calendar year 2008 bonus. If this place were torn apart properly, they’d lose all their prior years bonuses as well.”

liberalcatnip - 17 March 2009

the Office of Thrift Supervision

You’re kidding, right?

CNN just had breeeaking news about a number of AIG execs who’ve received those retention bonuses leaving the company. I guess they didn’t understand the “retention” part.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

ugh I am not a good one to explain this.. but in our system (as I barely understand it).. for at least the past 25 years or so… there is a classification of savings and loan entities called “thrifts”… think it is an overarching description of types of savings institutions that are not classic “banks”.

33. liberalcatnip - 17 March 2009

Various headlines:

AIG Ruins Obama’s St. Patrick’s Day
Washington Post

AIG Bonus Outrage Could Handicap Obama
U.S. News & World Report

AIG and Obama’s political capital
Dallas Morning News

Lawmakers Turn Fire on Obama Administration Over AIG Bonuses

Obama’s populist streak on AIG threatens to undermine his authority

This is interesting:

Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel got $200 mil. of AIG’s bailout bucks
Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel Investment Group turned up on American International Group Inc.’s list of firms it paid using proceeds from the federal government.

AIG, which has received $173 billion in aid from Washington, disclosed recipients of $52 billion it received from September to the end of 2008. Citadel received $200 million from AIG’s securities lending program.

The program invested in mortgage-backed securities and sustained billions of dollars in losses when housing values fell.

Citadel, like other hedge funds, borrows securities in attempts to increase profits from trading strategies. It was among the smallest of the AIG recipients.

The largest was Goldman Sachs, at $12.9 billion. The disclosure will raise further questions about the government’s decision to bail out AIG, as former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson used to run Goldman.

AIG also said it paid $12 billion to municipalities in more than 20 states. Illinois municipalities received $350 million, the company said.

The payments were for Guaranteed Investment Agreement obligations. Municipalities invest in them to earn a return on bond proceeds until the money is needed.

Yes Virginia, there really is an oligarchy.

34. marisacat - 17 March 2009

Strike the match!


GIBBS BRUTAL BRIEFING –JOKES ABOUT TORTURE: Gibbs: Maybe CIA should determine if what’s happening to to me out here would violate the Geneva Convention. (2:44 p.m.)

WH “blindsided?” by AIG “No…will seek better timeline answers.” (2:48 p.m.)

Caterpillar layoffs: Gibbs says he’s confident stimulus will kick in. (2:53 p.m.)

Michael Shear notes that the President’s scrupulous concern for contract law seems new. Remember Citi jet? Gibbs: “I don’t have access to the details of a contract for a private jet or a Superbowl party.” (3:00 p.m.)

LENO: “We look at it as a way of discussing the economic situation that we find ourselves in.” (3:05 p.m.)

EL SALVADOR: Gibbs says Obama hasn’t spoken to the president-elect there. Gibbs notes that the leftist leader wants to strengthen leaders with the U.S. (3:09 p.m.)

After April Ryan expresses frustration with an incomplete Gibbs answer: “I feel like a figure skater who hasn’t even started and I’ve already gotten my grade from Ms. Ryan.” After laughter, Gibbs jokes: “I’m not sure how I pulled out figure skating.” (3:11 p.m.)

And that’s a wrap. Quite a grilling. (3:15 p.m.)


Tapper has up his usual go round wtih Gibbs. Maybe Gibbs would like a vaca.

Just a snip:

TAPPER: But do you not see that — are you confident that the oversight process at Treasury is working properly?

GIBBS: I am confident the oversight process is working. Am I confident — what I’m — what I think the president and all of America are outraged about is the message that any bonus like this sends, that — as I said yesterday and as the president said, it offends our common sense. It offends our values. It sends the wrong message by giving and rewarding the very entities which took a company like AIG with a hedge fund placed on top of it and ran the entire company into the ground to the point where taxpayers have had to inject $170 billion. I think everybody is offended by every aspect of that.

35. marisacat - 17 March 2009

oh you have to love NY… NYDN just sticks it to the former head of AIGFP… the son of a Brooklyn cop. Talk about naming the names… in a new way.

36. marisacat - 17 March 2009

hmm Maybe Joshua Dubois and the visitors can drop to the floor, roll,drool and jabber in tongues. I assume he preached in tongues at the Pentecostal church he pastored at. Tenet of the faith and all.

Civil Liberties Group Questions Obama’s Outreach to Christian Right

By Elana Schor – March 17, 2009, 2:25PM

The Family Research Council (FRC) and Concerned Women of America (CWA): You know them well as some of the most vocal right-wing groups in the nation, the types that push against President Obama’s agenda as hard as they can, from his nominees to his executive orders.

And guess where the two groups are headed today … to the White House, to meet with Obama’s director of faith-based initiatives [Josh Dubois] about inding common ground on religious-related issues.

People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch, which tracks conservative evangelicals’ push to influence the social agenda, is not amused: …

37. lucid - 17 March 2009

via Ioz:

No surprise, the replacement for Kristol at the NYT is a total wanker. The gall to actually publish something like that.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

ugh I have been reading Ross Douthat for months, figurng he might be picked up for Higher Office. Also he fucking nuts on abortion. And he and Sully are very cosy as Christian Men who are Very Interested in Abortion.


When I first read RD I thought he was around 50.

Then found out, holy shit… he is all of 29. And so calcified.

Sadly a lot of the sloppy visible left seems fine with the pick. Asshole.


BTW, God damned fucking mouse (the computer accessorie) is dying. And I did not order a 6 dollr mouse either. A 20.00 mouse, as it happened. Plus tax, plus ship.

So, quickly ordering a replacement, after I shook this one to brief life. No idea how long it will live. Just FYI.

Gah Sorkin on TNH defending the damned bonuses. Consdiering some who get it are gone and some have resigned… how necessary are the shits.

The 4th bail out of AIG really was THE END.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

oh I see he is turned off by the pill (followed lucid’s link), but TURNED ON to discuss abortion. And slamming women either way.

What a fukcing shit.

Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

Wiki notes he “converted to Pentecostalism and then Catholicism as an adolescent.”

Too bad they didn’t have The Silver Ring Thing for him, way back when.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

oh thanks for that.. I never thought to look him up… ugh I guess digesting his writings was physically overwhelming, as ti was.

Yes he clearly is one who needs to dedicate his physical entity to god.. and leave breathing living flesh ALONE.


marisacat - 17 March 2009

btw, the thread at the link is a scream!

lucid - 17 March 2009

Indeed it is…

38. Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

It so happens that I finally finished watching The White Countess (costarring Ralph Fiennes) on Sunday night (having started the film a week before) and had mailed it back to Netflix just yesterday. A quiet movie, very Merchant/Ivory (Ivory’s last, I think), but Natasha Richardson’s performance was rather wonderful. It was shocking to see the news of her skiing accident when I got up today.

Hope that Fox News and the Telegraph (the latest to claim that she’s brain dead) are wrong, and that she pulls through ok.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

I have been sort of avoiding the story, so thanks for the update. I hope she is alright.

BTW, if you like Fiennes (I know I have seen him a couple of times when I did nto care for his acting, but wrote it off to direction or the movie subject or whatever) he and a sister (think she designed the sets) did a verson of Eugene Onegin that I really love. In fact plan to rent it as sooin as new [digital] TV, new DVD player and Netlifx are all acting as ducks in a row.. 😉

Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

Thanks – I’ll have to check it out.

Hope the TV, DVD, etcetera, behave a little better than the mice!

39. Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

Correction – it was Merchant’s last film.

40. Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

Ha! They flung shoes in Calgary!

“He is a war criminal who fought an illegal war, and there are some who say he was never elected democratically, so there are some who say he should be arrested as soon as he comes here,” said a woman dressed as a Guantanamo Bay prisoner, who called herself Ivana Nomobush.

She had brought with her a makeshift “shoe cannon” that catapulted footwear, but complained that security personnel were not letting her use it.

41. BooHooHooMan - 17 March 2009

AIG Shows Obama And Congress Who’s The Boss.
by Dont blame me I wanted Kuchinich

Reality , mistaken for Sasquatch, Seen in Town Square.
Villagers Flee.

marisacat - 17 March 2009

[N]ot even one quarter in, Obama and the rest of the puppets in Washington – both Democrat and Republican – have been reduced to shoe-shine boys for the real leaders of the United States.

And not even glib Press Secretary Robert Gibbs could put a smiley face on the humiliation. Asked why Obama had not done more to block the bonuses at a company that has received $170 billion in taxpayer funds, Gibbs fumbled and reached for an answer, blurting that government lawyers are “looking through contracts to see what can be done to wrest these bonuses from their recipients.”

America, meet your real masters. …

The diarist is right… and LOL I was thinking today that he really is Glib Gibb. As bubbles appear on the surface… and he goes down again and again. Til they pull the plug.

What a joke it all is. Maybe he can find a wife and then go home to her. Some story.. family, obligation, etc.

42. Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

Canadian shoe-flingers in moderation?

No such thing as excess, where flying footwear is concerned!

43. marisacat - 17 March 2009

Another ”personhood” bill surfaces, in NDakota, this time. The bill’s author claims it has nothing to do wtih abortion.

[T]his sparsely populated rural state that’s proud of its conservative roots could fundamentally alter the rights of women across the country,” said Tim Stanley of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS). “We feel confident that the more people hear about 1572, the less comfortable they’ll feel about it.”

There’s a lot to be uncomfortable about, said Stanley.

The bill reads, “The state shall naturalize all preborn persons and shall afford to them all the privileges and immunities of state citizenship guaranteed in … the Constitution of North Dakota.”

The one privilege that North Dakota plans to deny fertilized eggs? “The state is not required to include preborn children in state and local censuses,” the bill reads.

But while the bill clarifies how to count fertilized eggs and fetuses for the census, it leaves many more questions open.

“It’s possible that this bill would could result in criminal prosecution for women who have a miscarriage,” said Stanley. “Under this language a miscarriage could be investigated for manslaughter or reckless abandonment.” ….

Intermittent Bystander - 17 March 2009

All menstrual supplies will be issued and carefully monitored by the state. After use, all materials will be disposed of at manned inspection stations!

Think of the employment possibilities for Christian men!

Stanley also pointed to North Dakota law that makes it illegal for two people to ride a bike built for one. If the Personhood bill passed, a pregnant woman could not legally ride a bike.

Careful – don’t give ’em any new reasons to approve!

marisacat - 17 March 2009

the country has gone completely nutty on rules.. Of all kinds, harmful, and ones that are just merely TOO expensive for what the transgression is..

It is now 650.00 fine to not poop scoop the pooch. Here, in SF that is.

I was just reading at Volokh Conspiracy a new state legistaltion… think it was Indiana (forget exactly) so punitive of being present while an underage is either served, drinking alcohol or simply tipsy (and nto the doing of the adult present) that the legislators trying to oppose it indicated any sane adult trying to avoid the penalties woould have to leave the teenager unsupervised.

And they already had a statute dealing with “contributing to delinquency of a minor” on the books, that worked just fine.

The country is just fukcing nuts.

44. marisacat - 17 March 2009

Tauscher to be undersec of state for arms control.

Whatev…. 😉

wu ming - 17 March 2009

if it gets her the hell out of congress, that’s something.

45. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 March 2009
46. marisacat - 17 March 2009

AIG contributions for 2008 (2007 and 2008) top 8 recipients from opensecret.org

Dodd, Chris (D-CT) Senate $103,100
Obama, Barack (D-IL) Senate $101,332
McCain, John (R-AZ) Senate $59,499
Clinton, Hillary (D-NY) Senate $35,965
Baucus, Max (D-MT) Senate $24,750
Romney, Mitt (R) Pres $20,850
Biden, Joseph R Jr (D-DE) Senate $19,975
Larson, John B (D-CT) House $19,75

47. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 March 2009
BooHooHooMan - 17 March 2009

Pope asks Rabbii to Wear Foreskin.

Madman in the Marketplace - 17 March 2009

Rabbi tells Pope, looking at Gaenswein, “before you tap it, wrap it!”

BooHooHooMan - 17 March 2009

Gaenswein, noticing lithe Rabbi, Offers “Holy Communion”,
Celebration of “Trinity”

Madman in the Marketplace - 17 March 2009

The Pope, noticing the Rabbi poaching on his favorite sacrement, offers to take off his cross and offer to share it with the Rabbi where he’ll feel it.

BooHooHooMan - 17 March 2009

10 Inch Jesus of The Irony Not Lost 0n His Soon to be EMboweled Predicament, perks up, and miraculously speaks said Crucifix:
“The Fuck you Will, Benny!”

Just then a van pulls up, inexplicable disgorging Brooklyn based musician/poet/writer Lucid.
With his band.

And Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell.

{always gotta have the plot twist}

48. marisacat - 17 March 2009

what a hoot!

49. marisacat - 17 March 2009

gnu thread…


……………… 🙄 ……………….

50. marisacat - 17 March 2009

loving ‘the rabbi and the pope went to the wall, dragging wee Ganswein behind them’ stories…


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