Saturday, September 27, 2008

Angry John

Couldn't get on the interwebs for most of the day -- I think my crappy Verizon modem is near the end of its useful life.

So, here's my debate story. I listened to the middle third of the debate in the car on the way home from my class, watched the end on TV, then saw the economic part when it reran on C-Span a little later.

Listening in the car I was struck first by how old McCain sounded on the radio, his S's sibilantly extended, almost shushing each S sound. Like his dentures were floating around in his mouth. Second, he was so angry towards Obama. He kept saying "What Senator Obama doesn't understand" to start his arguments, spitting out each word with disgust. But both McCain and Obama stated their positions clearly and I didn't feel either made any huge mistakes or gaffes.

Obama was his usual scholarly, measured, rational self. Other than the "You were wrong" series he directed at McCain's predictions about the Iraq war in 2003, he was very even and level, but in full command of the facts and details of every issue. Presidential.

In the car I heard the debate as fairly even. But when I watched it on TV and put together McCain's angry voice with his rigid body language and his refusal to look at Obama, I thought this gave Obama the upper hand. McCain's anger seemed out of place. Just like his saying "What Senator Obama doesn't understand" seemed very out of place. It was very clear that Obama did understand the issues involved, so McCain's saying he didn't understand didn't seem right. He was angry about something, but it wasn't clear to me -- or to the audience -- what McCain was so angry about.

I used to have a problem questioning witnesses that I thought were liars, because I'd jump all over the witness before the jury knew anything about them. The anger I felt was my conclusion from what I knew about that witness. I learned from many excellent teachers that I had to allow the jury to form their own conclusions -- by showing them the facts about the witness -- rather than show my conclusions which made no sense to the jury who knew nothing about the person.

Rather than come to the jury with my conclusion (Liar!), I had to show them the facts and let the jury decide the witness was lying. You could always tell when the conclusion had been reached. Someone in the box would snicker at a ludicrous answer, or raise an eyebrow. You could feel people in the jury box looking at you, leaning towards you, telegraphing to you: Go for it. Get him. And then you could get angry. Get arch. Let out the sarcasm. Let him have it. But until that point, you had to be polite. Excruciatingly polite.

Most of the undecided voter panels who watched the debates gave the advantage to Obama. I think this is why. No one likes angry people. Undecided people are people who don't really know anything about the issues at this point anyway -- if they did they'd have already picked a candidate -- so they're going to be much more swayed by the mannerisms of the candidates.

So why was McCain so angry? Partly it's just his personality. This is the guy who told that nasty joke about Chelsea Clinton, has said nasty things about his own wife, and more. But I think there's more to it than that.

Two theories from the 'net. One, McCain doesn't like Obama because Obama introduced ethics legislation two years ago & Mr. Reformer McCain was none too happy about that. Read this exchange of letters from February 2006.

Second, and I think this one is more plausible, is what happened at the White House on Thursday. Check out this passage from the Washington Post article today summarizing the bailout meeting at the White House:

Pelosi said Obama would speak for the Democrats. Though later he would pepper Paulson with questions, according to a Republican in the room, his initial point was brief: "We've got to get something done."

Bush turned to McCain, who joked, "The longer I am around here, the more I respect seniority." McCain then turned to Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to speak first.

Boehner was blunt. The plan Paulson laid out would not win the support of the vast majority of House Republicans. It had been improved on the edges, with an oversight board and caps on the compensation of participating executives. But it had to be changed at the core. He did not mention the insurance alternative, but Democrats did. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, pressed Boehner hard, asking him if he really intended to scrap the deal and start again.

No, Boehner replied, he just wanted his members to have a voice. Obama then jumped in to turn the question on his rival: "What do you think of the [insurance] plan, John?" he asked repeatedly. McCain did not answer.

One Republican in the room said it was clear that the Democrats came into the meeting with a "game plan" aimed at forcing McCain to choose between the administration and House Republicans. "They had taken McCain's request for a meeting and trumped it," said this source.

Congressional aides from both parties were standing in the lobby of the West Wing, unaware of the discord inside the Cabinet room, when McCain emerged alone, shook the hands of the Marines at the door and left. The aides were baffled. The plan had been for a bipartisan appearance before the media, featuring McCain, Obama and at least a firm statement in favor of intervention. Now, one of the leading men was gone.

I can see this infuriating McCain. McCain the gambler went all in by "suspending" his campaign and going to Washington. Obama called his bluff and made him show his cards.

That's where "What. Senator. Obama. Doesn't. Understand." came from. Pure anger. McCain played the big bluff and got called on it.

New Obama Ad: "Zero"


Announcer: Number of minutes in debate: 90.

Number of times John McCain mentioned the middle class: Zero

McCain doesn’t get it.

Barack Obama does.

Obama clip from debate: The fundamentals of the economy have to be measured by whether or not the middle class is getting a fair shake...

And when you look at your tax policies...
you are neglecting people who are really struggling right now. I think that is a continuation of the last eight years, and we can’t afford another four.

Obama voiceover: I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.

Just For Laughs

Flickr: "I can see Russia from my post!"

I received this in email:

While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher
whose hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the
doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually
the topic got around to Palin and her bid.

The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a
'Post Turtle.'"

Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what
a 'post turtle' was.

The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a
country road you come across a fence post with a turtle
balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle.'

"The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's
face so he continued to explain. "You know she
didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong
up there, and she doesn't know what to do while
she's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy
put her up there to begin with."

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Little History Lesson

wikipedia: James Meredith walking to class at University of Mississippi, accompanied by U.S. marshals. U.S. Marshal James McShane (left) and John Doar of the Justice Department (right)(October 1, 1962)

While you're watching the debate tonight at Ole Miss, remember that Ole Miss was forcibly desegregated by the federal government in the fall of 1962.

Think about James Meredith as the camera pans over Barack Obama.

BoomanTribune: We've Come a Long Way, Baby

Another Thumbs Down On Palin

Jack Cafferty no likey Caribou Barbie's latest interview. Leslie Blitzer tries to excuse her poor performance, but Jack cuts him off: "Don't make excuses for her. That was pathetic."

Stunt Over; McCain Will Debate

Jumping the gun, McCain put these web ads up this afternoon.

Surprise, surprise. Johnny MacSame went to DC, blew up the bailout negotiations, then slunk out of town to Mississippi, where the entire crowd will hate him as he tried to crater their $5.5 million extravaganza. Should be entertaining.

Obama is in my estimation a crappy debater, too slow and scholarly and basically too nice. He doesn't know how to deliver the finishing line unless it's written on paper beforehand. Hopefully his team has a few zingers lined up. McCain is also a poor debater, but being more aggressive is often seen as winning, and I would expect Johnny Whack to be at his pugnacious best tonight, fresh off his humiliation in DC.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I'm not sure which, I won't see it live (Fuck it! We'll do it live!) tonight as I have a class, so I'll watch the re-runs on Youtube when I get home.

Pearls of Palin Economic Wisdom

Watch her look at the flash cards in her lap near the end, as she flubs her line and says the bailout is needed to bolster health care.

You will notice that in the Alaskan gubernatorial debates (I watched one on C-Span) she always had flash cards. I don't think she really knows anything about anything, but she reads cue cards like any good sports anchor wannabee. That's the experience I want in the White House. Whee!

Bush To Poor: Drop Dead

One week after proposing an obscene $700,000,000,000,000 bailout for Wall Street, George W. Fuck announced that he would oppose a package of less than 10% of that to remedy his economic meltdown on Main St.

The White House will oppose a $56.2 billion dollar stimulus package, specifically opposing aid to the poor, including extended unemployment benefits for seven weeks, a 10% increase in food stamps, and $50 million to food pantries.

Golden parachutes for Wall Street thieves, golden showers for everyone else.

Fuck you too, asshole. Enjoy the ignominy of being remembered as the worst president in history.

We Love Lists First Palin, Then Campaign Suspension. What Now?
Slate predicts McCain's next 10 Hail Mary stunts.

1. Returns to Vietnam and jails himself.
2. Offers the post of "vice vice president" to Warren Buffett.
3. Challenges Obama to suspend campaign so they both can go and personally drill for oil offshore.
4. Learns to use computer.
5. Does bombing run over Taliban-controlled tribal areas of Pakistan.
6. Offers to forgo salary, sell one house.
7. Sex-change operation.
8. Suspends campaign until Nov. 4, offers to start being president right now.
9. Sells Alaska to Russia for $700 billion.
10. Pledges to serve only one term. OK, half a term.

Palin Is a Disaster of Epic Proportions

"I can see Russia from my house!"

If you have been watching the Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin, you must know that she is not very bright, has no background in national or international issues, and is completely unqualified to be POTUS. Reportedly CBS has more Palin clips to release today -- and they are even worse.

There will be no vice presidential debate. At least, Sarah Palin will not participate in a vice presidential debate. There will be some excuse. Some crisis. Either national (economy? Russia?) or personal (kid with flu? projection vomiting? the preggo daughter goes into premature labor? moose on the loose in the governor's mansion? something.). Ed Schultz the radio host has this on his site today:

McCain Camp insiders say Palin "clueless"
Capitol Hill sources are telling me that senior McCain people are more than concerned about Palin. The campaign has held a mock debate and a mock press conference; both are being described as "disastrous." One senior McCain aide was quoted as saying, "What are we going to do?" The McCain people want to move this first debate to some later, undetermined date, possibly never. People on the inside are saying the Alaska Governor is "clueless."

There's no way they let her get whacked around for an hour and half on her own. There will be no debate, because she will never be ready for one. It is painful to watch her struggle to answer questions that she had to know were coming.

Not much love for the not-ready-for-prime-time governor of Alaska around the web.

Kathleen Parker, Dallas Morning News: How to solve this Palin problem?

Ms. Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

Alessandra Stanley, NYTimes: A Question Reprised, but the Words Come None Too Easily for Palin

[I]t wasn’t a reassuring performance....[I]t may be hard for Mr. McCain’s running mate to recoup. It wasn’t her first interview on national television, but in some ways it was the worst.

LATimes: Palin talks to Couric -- and if she's lucky, few are listening

Her third nationally televised interview, with CBS anchor Katie Couric, found Palin rambling, marginally responsive and even more adrift than during her network debut with ABC’s Charles Gibson.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: I’m sorry — Sarah Palin is a bad joke
Palin is living, breathing proof that John McCain lies when he claims to put this country first over politics. She makes Dan Quayle look like Albert Einstein with a better haircut.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Shameless and clueless Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric provided further proof that she is a clear and present danger to the nation.

The only people who can still say with utter sincerity that she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency are those who actually haven't a clue about what a president does. Once Palin gets sidetracked from repeating her simplistic talking points about being a maverick and cleaning up Washington and not ever, ever blinking in the face of a foreign threat, she quickly reveals the shocking shallowness in her knowledge of issues a candidate for high office should have contemplated long and hard.

I don't think she's stupid, I think she is much like George W. Bush -- incurious. She really hasn't thought about this stuff. Palin insults the intelligence of the nation when she makes claims about her qualifications that are patently ridiculous....

Bush v. Bush, McCain v. McCain

If you're not watching the Daily Show, you're not getting any analysis deeper than a puddle on current events.

Jon Stewart brilliantly puts Bush's pre-Iraq-war speech side-by-side with his bailout (which he calls "Clusterf#@k to the Poor House") speech:

And then McCain's wild shifting of positions on the economy in the past 10 days, and then his "rush" to return to Washington:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Just For Laughs

Preview for the new movie "Head of Skate"

Slideshow of Palin Protest

A friend sent me this slideshow of the protest against Sarah Palin in Anchorage, Alaska earlier this month. Now that we are seeing how comically underqualified Palin is, these protesters seem prophetic:

1400 protest Palin nomination, Alaska, September 14, 2008

"I Can See Russia From My House!"

"They're in the state that I am the executive of."

dailykos: More painful Palin excerpts from Couric interview (video)

The more I see of this interview, the more I am convinced that this is why McCain suspended his campaign yesterday. Forget the bailout, his crisis is:

How do we solve a problem like Sarah? (lyrics below)

COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--


PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

Maria/Sarah, The Sound of Music

How do you solve a problem like Sarah?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Sarah?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Sarah?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I'm with her I'm confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She's as flighty as a feather
She's a darling! She's a demon! She's a lamb!

She'd outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She's a riddle! She's a child!
She's a headache! She's an angel!
She's a girl!

How do you solve a problem like Sarah?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Sarah?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Sarah?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

Chris Rock on Bill Clinton's Problem With Obama

Big Dog hasn't exactly been burning up the airwaves with his love of Obama. He's stayed pretty much on the fence, all nonpartisan and professorial. Where did Bill Clinton's Democratic political skills go? Comedian Chris Rock was on after Bill on Letterman's show a few days ago & lets him have it:

A Little More of the Quaylin Interview

God, she is stupid, stupid woman. What was McCain thinking? Which brain was he using?

Sarah Palin makes Katie Couric look Presidential.

"The logistics that we're already suggesting here....bin Laden [] such a leader of this terrorist movement....I believe that a surge in Afghanistan also will lead us to victory there, as it has proven to have done in our leaders are telling us in our military ...."

A babbling brook, one inch deep. Watch it here (can't get it to embed, sorry.)

HuffPo: Palin On Bin Laden: "Such A Leader Of This Terrorist Movement"

New Obama Ad: A Stronger Economy

Good, not great, but solid. I like the serious tone, and the lack of cutesy music. I wish it was lit a little better.

Drunk Broke America

President AmericaFucker

Ultimately, it is a good thing that it's all out on the table before the election, but really, media? The guy has been a MISERABLE FAILURE since Day 1. Nice of you to notice.


Obama's going to go to the debate Friday night even if John McChicken doesn't show up, according to this report in the Huffington Post.

Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, a source close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post.

The Senator, the source says, is willing to make the scheduled debate a townhall meeting, a one-on-one interview with NewsHour's Jim Lehrer, or the combination of the two in McCain's absence.

That will put McCain's panties in a bunch. (Was that sexist?)

The Scurvy Little Spiders Come Out to Play

Can't you understand what's happening here? Don't you see what's happening? Potter isn't selling. Potter's buying! And why? Because we're panicky and he's not. That's why. He's picking up some bargains. Now, we can get through this thing all right. We've got to stick together, though. We've got to have faith in each other.
- It's a Wonderful Life George Bailey tries to stop the panic during the run on the bank.

You sit around here and you spin your little webs and you think the whole world revolves around you and your money. Well, it doesn't, Mr. Potter! In the... in the whole vast configuration of things, I'd say you were nothing but a scurvy little spider.
- George Bailey after Potter offers him a job.

Life imitates film:

WaPo: Fresh Signs of Recovery Or Just Opportunism?

In the past week, Warren E. Buffett put up nearly $10 billion to acquire Constellation Energy Group and a stake in Goldman Sachs. Japan's largest bank company has agreed to invest billions of dollars in Morgan Stanley. Private-equity firms, meanwhile, are lining up funds so they can pounce on assets that are priced to move quickly.

They're playing us all for suckers.


The corporate media was quick to run the National Enquirer story about John Edwards' affair. The same publication runs essentially the same story about Sarah Palin: silence. Same publication, same journalistic standards, one story trumpeted from coast to coast, the other ignored. This week the National Enquirer is reporting that Sarah Palin had an affair with her husband's business partner. The family values/rank hypocrisy party strikes again.



Wanda Sykes on Caribou Barbie

Transcript here.

Palin's Witch-Fighting Pastor

Scrubbed video from Wasilla Assembly of God church (May, 2005). Sarah Palin appears starting at 7:12

Max Blumenthal: The Witch Fighter Anoints Palin

The audio on this video is pretty loud, so be forewarned.

As a lapsed Catholic/current atheist I find this deeply weird. The Kenyan witch-fighting pastor actually prays to protect her from the "spirit of witchcraft," and she stands there with her eyes closed as though this were a perfectly reasonable faith.

When I hear witches I think Salem and The Crucible (hysteria and woman-hating) or Wiccans (peaceful, earthloving humanists.) This guy looks like he'd fit right in in Salem.

Deep Thought

If John McCain is suspending his campaign, why is he giving his campaign speech (being shown uninterrupted on CNN, the stupid news network) at the Clinton Global Initiative?

Oh, yeah, it's a transparent political stunt. I forgot.


Jesus' General

McCain v. McCain

A Tale of Two McCains, a video by Jed Lewison showing McCain's all-over-the-map statements over the last week. Hilarious. Every time I see one of these things where McCain takes totally diametric positions, all I can think of is Spy Versus Spy from Mad magazine -- with John McCain as both spies. Fundamentals sound! Economy at risk! POW!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

John McCain Tries a Stunt

John McCain seems to be cracking up. Obama (still under the Democratic misapprehension that John McCain is an honorable man -- he is a LIAR, don't you get that?) called McCain Wednesday morning to discuss putting out a joint statement about the mortgage bailout, outlining their points of agreement. More of that bipartisan bullshit. (You can only be bipartisan if both sides truly intend to cooperate, and Republicans don't do cooperation. So in this environment, when Democrats and Republicans come together, they pass the Republican bill. Not helpful.)

McCain finally called him back six hours later (in the interim, doing such important things as meeting with Her Royal Highness Lady de Rothschild) and tells Obama they will put out a joint statement, and he's thinking about postponing the debate. Minutes after Obama puts the phone down, McCain runs to the television cameras. He's all Mr. Crisis Management. Mr. "The fundamentals of our economy are strong" last week is Mr. "Hair on fire" today. Suspending his campaign. Flying to Washington to Fix the economy. Asking to postpone the debate Friday night. (Huh? He can't do more than one thing at a time? Oh, I forget, he's been doing one campaign event a day for several weeks now -- usually early in the morning while he's still alert.)

Another whoops alert, McCain's campaign faxed the talking points about the campaign suspension to their entire Colorado MEDIA LIST, rather than to the campaign volunteers. Oops.

Later in the day McCain's campaign announced that they want to put off the Vice Presidential debate. A few hours ago they announced that Quaylin is also suspending her campaign. (Back to Karl Rove debate prep for poor Sarah.) Which is probably the entire purpose of the episode. Caribou Barbie ain't ready for prime time. Her interview with Katie Couric is painful to watch. She's just really stupid, answering questions in nonsensical sentence fragments, always near the topic but never really with it.

McCain was supposed to do the David Letterman show tonight, but blew off Letterman to go on Katie Couric's CBS evening news. (Told Letterman he had to fly to Washington IMMEDIATELY, then went to Katie's studio. Dave is pissed. Watch the video, below.) I suspect McCain did this so that tonight's bit of the Sarah Quaylin interview got knocked off the playlist.

Letterman mocks McCain for suspending his campaign and blowing off his show:

Caribou Barbie with Katie Couric, Part I:

McCain is desperate and flailing. Unfortunately for him, his first flail, the comically unqualified Ms. Palin, will prove his undoing. I can't wait to see her in a debate. I think I'll have to have a debate party just to yuck it up.

"In what respect, Charlie?" has become a common thing for my friends to say to each other, and laugh.

McCain can run, but he can't hide Sarah Quaylin forever.

McCain's Keating 5 Scandal in 97 Seconds

From the fabulous JedReport:

On the take for over 20 years: John McLame.

We Love Lists

10 Zen Monkeys: 25 Harshest Reactions To the Wall Street Bailout

It's a clean list. No "what are these cocksuckers doing with my fucking money" here. (That will get this blog banned in a few more airports!)

Breathe, Democrats

ABC News poll has Obama with a 52-43 -- 9 point -- lead over McCain.

WaPo: Economic Fears Give Obama Clear Lead Over McCain in Poll

The Best News Show on Television

Is on Comedy Central. Jon Stewart on the bailout:

Liar/Liar '08

John McCain's campaign is hiring writers to write fake letters to the editor supporting his campaign. I ghost-wrote letters to the editor for the McCain campaign
I spent a morning in John McCain's Virginia campaign headquarters ghost-writing letters to the editor for McCain supporters to sign. I even pretended to have a son in Iraq.

Factory Pig Farm in Suburban Massachusetts

I'd put a picture of a pig farm here but that would PUT THE NATION AT RISK!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boston Globe: Soo-wee! ...... Phooey!
Sick of pig farm stench, Tewksbury group seeks law

900 pigs is not a family farm. This factory farm has a 500,000 gallon manure pit.

The funniest part of the story is this:

Stranger still, the exact number of pigs at the farm is apparently a poorly-kept secret. Making that figure public jeopardizes national security, state and local officials have said.

National security? Yes, the farm and state officials refuse to release the exact number of pigs on the stinky farm because information about our food supply is a state secret! They let the farm expand illegally then approved it retroactively. The whole thing smells to high heaven:

[T]hree years ago, [pig farm opponent David Powers] said, the pig stench went from bad to unbearable when Krochmal Farm expanded its pig operation before they had legal permission to do so.

It became "horrific, like the bottom of a dumpster," Powers said. "I don't think a factory farm should be in a suburban Boston neighborhood."

Powers has pieced together information about the farm, using public records searches and satellite maps. If that seems like spying, it is. Local health officials refuse to give information about the number of pigs on Krochmal Farm, saying to release that information violates Homeland Security rules protecting the secrecy of the nation's food supply.

Clement did confirm that the farm underwent an unauthorized expansion, which was approved by local officials because the building was deemed sound.

"Basically they built a new pig barn . . . without the necessary approval or building permits," she said.

That angered neighbors, and the town ultimately fined the Cave family for building the barn without proper construction permits. Powers said was deeply disturbing to think that the town's pig farms could expand without public notice.

More than 300 people signed a petition in favor of the new pig regulations that would penalize pig farmers who threaten the environment and quality of life. Of particular concern is whether manure runoff from the farm will seep into wetlands.

"Everybody knew there was a pig farm" in the neighborhood when they moved in, Powers said. "Nobody knew they would turn it into a factory farm."

Some moronic state official calls the factory farm "state of the art". State of the corporate farm, maybe, not so great for the neighbors, or the pigs (a 500,000 manure pit must be worse when you live next to it.)

It's a view state officials have little sympathy for. Scott Soares, assistant commissioner of agricultural resources, said the Krochmal pig barn is "state of the art." Neighbors should have questioned whether the pig population would rise before moving there, he said.

Yes, a state official says that neighbors should have assumed that the farm would expand illegally and the state would retroactively approve the lawbreaking. Lawlessness must be expected in modern corporate America.

More at

Cindy Parlow Leaving Her Brain to Science

NYTimes: 12 Athletes Leaving Brains to Concussion Study

Cindy Parlow retired from international play in 2006 because of post-concussion syndrome.

“I’m doing this to raise awareness of concussion and the injury, because it’s so misunderstood,” said Parlow, 30, who competed in three Olympics and two World Cups for the United States team and now has severe headaches from two significant concussions. “You can’t say, ‘Look at my broken leg.’ It’s a hidden injury. Especially in female athletes, because it’s seen as a football or male injury.”

Parlos is also on the Athlete Advisory Board of The Sports Legacy Institute, which was founded to bring awareness of the injuries suffered by athletes, especially brain injuries.

When I saw that a female soccer player was participating in this study, I thought it would be Joy Fawcett, who wore the anti-concussion headgear her last few years with the national team.

John McCain Lied On Sunday Night

John McCain stated flatly on Sunday night that his campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with Freddie Mac for the past two years. Yesterday the NYTimes reported that this statement was a lie as Rick Davis's firm was paid $15,000 a month UNTIL LAST MONTH to lobby for the mortgage giant.

John McCain is a liar. I am sick of listening to Democrats wax on about how heroic he was 40 years ago (Bill Clinton did it on The Daily Show last night) without out pointing out the basic fact that the John McCain who is running for President in 2008 is a habitual liar.

NYTIMes: McCain Aide’s Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac

This "Crisis" Is Very Suspicious

Open Left - There Is No Crisis -- Summary

I'm calling my Senators and Congressman this morning to tell them they cannot vote yes on any plan unless John McCain does. Don't get p*wned.

New Dollar Bill


Rep. Marcy Kaptur: "Let's Play Wall Street Bailout!"

Awesome anti-bailout rant on the floor of the House today by Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Did The Light Bulb Go On?

ABC is reporting that Democrats won't vote for the bank bailout plan unless McCain votes for it.

Stephanopoulos: McCain Holds Key to Administration's Bailout Passage on Capitol Hill

A Democratic leadership source says that White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten has been told that Democratic votes will not be there if McCain votes no -- that there is no deal if McCain doesn't go along.

McCain would be just the guy to lead the Dems on, then leave them twisting in the wind. They should hold his feet to the fire. (Enough cliches for ya there?)

McCain and the Keating Five Loved Deregulation, Too

Democrats should be driving home McCain's record in contributing to the last great taxpayer theft/bank bailout, the S&L crisis that he was right in the middle of as a member of the Keating Five.

Fundamentally Stupid

Great ad against Chris Shays (R-CT):

Your Daily Inspiration

This looks like a caption contest photo to me.

TimesOnline (uk): September 22, 2008 Pictures of the Day
Pork Chop, left. leads the field through the first corner as part of the racing and diving pig show on exhibition at the Royal Melbourne Show. The show pigs, named Ham Bone, Bacon Bone, Pork Chop and Miss Porky Pig, attract hundreds of spectators
(William West/AFP/Getty Images)


Emergency! Emergency! Everybody to get from street!

The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming (1966)

The Bush Administration admits that the Treasury Department's "plan" to bailout the banking industry isn't sudden. They've been working on it for months.

firedoglake: Bush Mouthpiece Admits: They’ve Been Sitting on this Plan

What else are they lying about?

John McCain: The Fundamental DeRegulator

This week -- and only this week -- John McCain has suddenly converted to the religion of regulation. Don't believe a word of it. He is a lifelong deregulator. Let the free market decide! Let the free market lose the people's money! Jed Lewison put together a video of John McCain's many statements of his true position. He has always supported deregulation:

Some Worst Case Scenarios

A lot of doom and gloom on the liberal blogs today. Unfortunately, I think they're right.

thereisnospoon, dailykos: DON'T TAKE THE BAIT: How to Lose an Election in 10 Easy Steps - The Republicans are setting up the Democrats to take the fall.

Billmon (he's back!), dailykos: Things Become More Serious
- The Great Depression looked like this.

Jim Kuntsler, Clusterfuck Nation: Falling Into Fall
- We are now a much poorer nation, and that will have many bad consequences.

New Obama Ad: Destination

Too light in tone for my taste, with a trillion dollar bailout looming over the American economy.

Debate Preview

Go read the excellent preview of how John McCain will perform in the debates, by DeanDemocrat at Dailykos. It has many videos of McCain's answers in the Republican debates. Here are some of his points about McCain's debating style and how to beat it:

There is a wide array of issues that McCain is not very well read on and Obama should use this at every chance he gets. The key to taking advantage of McCain's ignorance is having the facts at your disposal and getting specific. Very specific. Especially any time you're asking a direct question of Senator McCain. No closed ended questions designed to get a yes or no. He likes those questions because they don't require him to think or explain himself. He can just say yes or no and call it straight talk.


[] [B]eyond the shadow of a doubt [] in the debates when McCain is faced with his own words he simply lies. So any of you who are holding out hope that Obama can pull a John Stewart, quote the many faces of John McCain, call him a flip flopper and that'll be the end of it; I have some bad news for you.

McCain is going to lie through his teeth.

The man has no shame, he will not allow himself to be caught in a flip flop. He will lie lie lie straight to the moderators face just as he did with Tim Russert. And here is where the theme I mentioned begins to emerge with McCain. He makes shit up because he doesn't know, and when he gets caught he accuses you of lying, and then makes up more shit.

To combat this you HAVE to have the facts in your hands and online ready to go. It is not enough to say McCain is a flip flopper and then just sit back and expect it to stick. Obama has to be ready to hit back when McCain lies. He has to be ready to call him on it. Use the goddamn L word (lie) if you have too and then either have the original quote in your hand, or tell the moderator and the people at home where they can go online to find the truth. []


[] McCain cannot stay on topic. Because of this tendency to stray off course Obama should attend all three debates fully prepared to address topics of every variety and nature. Being prepared for whatever McCain decides to throw at him will go a long way toward winning these debates.


First, as I said before Obama needs to have the facts at his finger tips, McCain likes to pull things out of his pocket and say "Well look at this" Obama needs to be able to do the same. He needs to have facts and figures ready to go either on his website, linking to, or in his hand with specific dates and ads to scite. The goal of which is to paint McCain as a serial liar and create a post debate narrative that revolves around McCain's many errors and lies.

Second, once again Obama needs to face down McCain and look Presidential doing it when McCain tries to talk over, interrupt and filibuster Obama. Obama would be wise to stick to the debate rules as often as possible. He did a pretty good job and making sure he got his side of the story out there during the heated debate moments with Senator Clinton I just hope Obama understands that McCain is about 10 times more likely to break the rules and format of the debate than Clinton ever was.

Third, expect McCain to pull out and recycle every single thing Senator Clinton threw at Obama during the primaries. The fact that McCain's campaign basically told reporters to dig up stories on William Ayers in a recent conference call tells me that is exactly where their campaign is heading. Expect McCain to use Ayers, Louis Farrakhan, Tony Resko, The Bitter Comment and of course Rev. Wright as sort of throw away lines throughout these debates the same way he just sort of passive aggressively bashed Romney on flip flops you can expect him to just sort of throw out a "Well at least I don't hang out with members of the Weather Underground on the weekends" type of comment off hand.

Remember the clock is McCain's biggest enemy at these debates. He will be trying to waste as much time as possible. So what better way to do that than by throwing out distractions like these? It allows him to change the subject, force Obama to reiterate the truth as well as point out that these charges are recycled and have been dealt with and disproved mere months ago. This eats up time and robs Obama of an opportunity to reach out to new voters.

I think Obama has handled these issues in the past effectively but he needs to step it up. Call McCain a liar straight up when he makes these accusations so that anyone who may have not heard these ridiculous lies in the past will see Obama forcefully defending himself and calling McCain out for outright distortions and lies.

Forth, Obama needs zingers. I cannot stress this enough. Why do people watch Nascar? To see the cars crash. Why do people watch political debates? To see one guy verbally pwn (thats a gamer term) the other. Zingers are the key to doing that. Now obviously you don't want an entire night of one liners that make you look like a one dimensional fool. But one or two well placed, well executed zingers can not only steal the headlines but single handedly win the debate.

I don't know why Kerry didn't understand this in 2004 but it's pretty damn obvious if you ask me. People watch a debate to see the fireworks, its the same reason they watch shows like Hardball. They want to see these guys tear each other a new one (metaphorically speaking) and see who can out think the other.

Think about it....

There you go again. You Senator are no Jack Kennedy. Are you better off now than you were four years ago? I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience.

Those are but a few of the legendary zingers that have won and forever characterized debates in the past. If Obama comes up with some good lines (and we all know he's great at that) they will be repeated over and over again after the debate and he could very well be crowned the winner on that and that alone.

So with that in mind, Obama should be listening to McCain's stump speech picking out the anecdotes he tells over and over again and coming up with good comebacks just in case McCain uses those anecdotes again at the debates.

Fifth and perhaps most importantly Obama needs to keep his cool while doing whatever he can to push McCain's buttons and provoke an outburst. Whether that means bringing up the Keating 5 Scandal, which I say is fair game if McCain uses William Ayers; or simply contradicting everything McCain says in a manner that doesn't kiss his POW ass. McCain's temper is legendary and if he loses it on National Television, its over for him. He will be done.

And finally if Obama has any big news such as, say an unexpected endorsement from Colin Powell or something similarly headline worthy I would do it late Thursday. Friday will be spent preparing for the debate depriving the press of any comments from Obama on the matter allowing the debate to be the first chance anyone has to ask about it. It would be a great way to steal the thunder and despite Powell's involvement in the Iraq debacle I do not see such an endorsement hurting Obama's chances as he heads into a debate focused on Foreign Policy and National Security.

Doug Feith Has Competition

Doug Feith may become known as formerly the "stupidest fucking guy on the planet". Norm Coleman (R-MN) is stepping up to claim the title. Here's what Norm Coleman (R-Delusion) said about the bailout:

U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman said the massive government bailout of failing financial institutions is not only necessary but could make money for the federal government.

“The government could make 10 or 20 times what it pays on this, possibly,” Coleman said during a campaign stop at Christy’s Cafe in North Mankato Saturday morning.

hat tip to John Cole's Balloon Juice, who said of this inanity:

And if I eat nothing but red meat, cheese, and milkshakes and smoke unfilter pall malls, I could live 10 or 20 years longer than most people, possibly. I hope the Republicans run with that - “This isn’t a bailout, it is a once in a lifetime investment opportunity! And, you get a chance at winning a toaster.”

There is a reason this incumbent Senator is losing to going to lose to... a comedian.

George Will's Acorn*

George Will says McCain is unqualified to be president because of his temper.

George F. Will, WaPo: McCain Loses His Head

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama.

Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that "McCain untethered" -- disconnected from knowledge and principle -- had made a "false and deeply unfair" attack on Cox that was "unpresidential" and demonstrated that McCain "doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street any better than Barack Obama does."

*Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.

Be Forewarned

The Republican/McCain plan is to get the Democrats to bail out the GOP's Wall Street friends and then run against them for doing it.

- Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo

The first blogger to call this? Duncan Black (Atrios), of course:

And Because It's So Obvious

If the Democrats pass this piece of shit, look for Republican challengers to run against them on it.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Make Your Pitch

Can you get in on the bailout? I have it on good authority that Hank Paulson will be giving grants without any bothersome verification of the losses you claim. Here's where you file your paperwork:

Rep. Jim McDermott: "King Henry"

Mr Speaker,

The people in Washington State are very troubled by the fact that King George has been disposed of by King Henry.

We picked up Newsweek magazine today and we have a new King... King Henry?

We're supposed to give him 700 billion dollars of our money. He doesn't want any review. He wants to be able to do whatever he wants with it. He doesn't want any Congressional oversight. And worst of all, the new king is just like the old king: He doesn't want any sacrifice.

He says, "Oh we can't threaten the salares of the investment bankers who drove us into a ditch. We can't get anyone to pay for this."

This is the third time we've done it with this bunch. First the war, that didn't get paid for. Then the tax cuts, that didn't get paid for, and now King Henry takes over to distribute 700 billion dollars. He's going to be there for four months. And in four months he will make deals and then he'll go out and he'll be able to catch a pass he threw to himself.

You may remember Rep. McDermott from Michael Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11.

Obermann: McCain v. McCain

With Paul Krugman for analysis of the bailout crisis and McCain's panicked position(s).

John McCain Lies About Always Buying American Cars

McCain went on TV on a local Detroit, Michigan station two weeks ago and claimed "I've bought American literally all my life." He lied. He and his wife own 13 cars, 3 of which are foreign, a Honda, a Lexus, and a Volkswagon.

Lying seems to have become second nature to McCain.

HuffPo: McCain Lies: "I've Bought American Literally All My Life"

Wall Street Journal: Newsweek: Vehicle Records of McCain's 13 Cars Contradict His Boast About Buying American

Newsweek: All the Candidates’ Cars

John McCain's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Video compilation of TV pundits on McCain's week, from Talking Points Memo:

The Evidence Hank Paulson Gave Congress

Marginal Revolution: We Won't Get Fooled Again

Rememnber Colin Powell's presentation to the UN before the Iraq war?

A thinking person must doubt whenever the Bush Administration says "We must act immediately to prevent......" Too many lies.

A Better Bailout Plan

A plan to benefit Main Street, not Wall Street.

No blank check for crooks.

firedoglake: The Government and the People Need to Be The Insurer of Last Resort, Not the Idiot of Last Resort

1) Buy up mortgages at a discount and give people new fixed rate mortgages. The government shares in further house appreciation (only fair since it bailed the homeowner out). This stabilizes mortgage prices and helps people and banks both. It is essentially identical to what FDR did with the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC), and we know how to do it. Initial price tag? Probably around 20 billion.

2) Use the FDIC (the folks who take over failed banks) to take over failed mutual and money market funds, make sure the investors get as much money back as possible, liquidate the funds in an orderly fashion (or keep them operating if necessary) and if they are kept alive, kick the people who screwed them up to the curb and change how they do business.

3) Declare a national emergency, with judicial review (unlike Paulson's seizure of ultimate power) and use the authority to review all purchases of banks, to institute oil rationing if necessary (or simpler procedures like "every street now has a 55 mile an hour speed limit, if it is normally higher). Also allows release of oil from the reserve, if necessary.

4) Expand the safety net such as food stamps, employment insurance, welfare and so on. We know this is going to get worse no matter what we do, so why aren't we taking care of ordinary people?

McCain's Campaign Manager Was Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac's Top Deregulation Lobbyist

NYTimes: A 2004 photograph from a report by the Homeownership Alliance, an advocacy group for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, shows John McCain with Ken Guenther, a former chairman of the group, left, and David Lereah of the National Association of Realtors.

NYTimes: Loan Titans Paid McCain Adviser Nearly $2 Million

Senator John McCain’s campaign manager was paid more than $30,000 a month for five years as president of an advocacy group set up by the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to defend them against stricter regulations, current and former officials say.

Mr. McCain, the Republican candidate for president, has recently begun campaigning as a critic of the two companies and the lobbying army that helped them evade greater regulation as they began buying riskier mortgages with implicit federal backing. He and his Democratic rival, Senator Barack Obama, have donors and advisers who are tied to the companies.

But last week the McCain campaign stepped up a running battle of guilt by association when it began broadcasting commercials trying to link Mr. Obama directly to the government bailout of the mortgage giants this month by charging that he takes advice from Fannie Mae’s former chief executive, Franklin Raines, an assertion both Mr. Raines and the Obama campaign dispute.

Incensed by the advertisements, several current and former executives of the companies came forward to discuss the role that Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager and longtime adviser, played in helping Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac beat back regulatory challenges when he served as president of their advocacy group, the Homeownership Alliance, formed in the summer of 2000. Some who came forward were Democrats, but Republicans, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed their descriptions.

New Obama Ad: Article

The fundamentals of our economy are strong. - John McCain, Black Monday, 9/15/08

Get Calling -- Beggars Can't Be Choosers

This is your brain on dope
John McCain on 60 Minutes last night.
"I think the [bank] deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy."

Contacting Congress

You can get the telephone numbers of your Congressperson & Senators at this link.

I just finished my calls, and didn't get one busy signal.

Get calling, people!

I made two points:

(1) No blank check for those crooks on Wall Street, and

(2) Don't include foreign banks in the bailout!

-- Foreign banks like Phil Gramm's UBS Bank -- a Swiss bank! -- have lobbied to be included in the bailout proposal, and yesterday Treasury Secretary Hank Paul[Son of a Bitch] said he would be in favor of that.

Blog News

I took off the Digg buttons, after hearing from Mac-using friends that they couldn't see pictures or videos.

Back to a simpler template.

If you're Digg member, you can still Digg posts, you just have to go to and do it manually.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Krugman on Maher

New York Times economist and columnist Paul Krugman on Bill Maher's Real Time last night. Dire.

More Like This, Please

From an email sent by an unnamed member of Congress:


I'm not voting for a blank check for $700 billion for those mother fuckers.


I don't want to trade a $700 billion dollar giveaway to the most unsympathetic human beings on the planet for a few fucking bridges. I want reforms of the industry, and I want it to be as punitive as possible.

OpenLeft: Yes, There Are Deeply Angry Democratic Members of Congress

I Approve This Message

Flickr user Paul Keleher: Vote No sign

No. Blank. Checks. For. Crooks.

Thers at Eschaton:

I think everyone who reads this blog who's American, first thing on Monday morning, needs to call their Representatives and Senators and say: No. Blank. Checks. For. Crooks.

Be as polite as you can be and don't use bad words. Personally, this injunction may limit the duration of my calls to under a thirtieth of a second, or shorter.

TO CLARIFY. Look, right now the choice is, Bush's Plan, or Something Else. Kill Bush's Plan now, worry about Something Else later.

I Am Touched

John "Great Orange Satan" Boehner just regretfully told George Stephanopoulos that he is sacrificing his longheld beliefs in the free market.

To give his rich campaign contributors $700,000,000,000. Wow, what a sacrifice.

I am touched. Truly touched. In the fucking wallet touched.

Spineless Media

I am watching George Stephanopoulos interview Hank Paulsen.

I wonder, where is the room where TV journalists go to have their spines removed before they can appear on TV?

Is there a room somewhere littered with the vertebrae of the media?

SNL on McCain's Campaign of Lies

He'd say anything.

Pipeline to Nowhere?

Palin's big achievement, the oil pipeline, may never be built as Canadian indian tribes who own the land through which it will pass oppose it.

Plus, she's been lying about it, as work on the pipeline has not begun:

"I fought to bring about the largest private-sector infrastructure project in North American history," Palin said in her speech at the Republican National Convention on Sept. 3, 2008, and in a radio address three days later.

"We began
a nearly $40-billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence."


TransCanada has begun planning the pipeline, but it has not started construction, and it will not do so any time soon, if ever.

Heckuva job Sarah!

Newsweek: Palin's Pipeline to Nowhere Palin's pipeline - less than meets the eye

Obama On the Stump in Daytona Beach

On fire yesterday: