Friday, October 10, 2008

Headlines - Friday

"Sarah Palin is like Jodie Foster in the movie 'Nell.' They just found her, and she was speaking her own special language. Have you noticed how Palin's rallies have begun to take on the characteristics of the last days of the Weimar Republic? In Florida, she asked 'Who is Barack Obama?' Hey, lady, we just met YOU five f-ing weeks ago."  - Jon Stewart
Time to update the resume, David
General David Petraeus said Wednesday that attempts are being made to open talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan and that the United States should be prepared to engage with its enemies.
Sounds a lot like what Obama's been saying. 
I report, you decide.
Sarah Palin is a Manchurian Candidate for One Extremist Splinter Group of the End-Times Crowd

If a group of people conspires to seize control of the American Government in order to accomplish an agenda to force an extremist theology on U.S. citizens, a religious belief that views the presidency as a necessary step in advancing "end times," isn't this treason?


Black, on this map, denotes countries that are "endemic surveillance societies." We now share that distinction with places like Russia and China. You know, the very places we like to howl self-righteously at for their atrocious human rights and freedoms records.

George of the Bungle on Wednesday signed legislation that reverses three decades of U.S. policy and allows American businesses to enter India's multibillion-dollar nuclear market.
Fox freakout over Palin photo:
McCain's penchant for rage:

A new prayer for the faithful:

"O God, we are in a battle that is raging for the soul of this nation. You, O God, have raised up Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin for such a time as this ... Help them, O God, to strengthen our economy, to keep our taxes and spending low ... and grant them the privilege of being elected the next president and vice president."

That was at a McCain-Palin rally yesterday, where both McCain and Palin were present. This is what the GOP has done to Christianity. To paraphrase Woody Allen, Jesus must surely be throwing up.








Warm up the helicopters!

Helicopter Ben warming up his helicopter fleet, prearing to drop $1.2 trillion in freshly minted dollars out the window


The $55 trillion dollar question

Credit default swaps the next disaster?


In just over a decade these privately traded Credit Default Swap contracts have ballooned from nothing into a $54.6 trillion market. CDS are the fastest-growing major type of financial derivatives. More important, 
they've played a critical role in the unfolding financial crisis. First, by ostensibly providing "insurance" on risky mortgage bonds, they encouraged and enabled reckless behavior during the housing bubble. 


Dow at closing yesterday: 8579.19  - the worst since 2003 (it was 10.8 in January 2001)

Nasdaq: 1645.12 - the worst since 2003 also (2470.52 in January 2001)

By the way, one of Osama Bin Ladin's stated goals was to destroy the economic power of the West, especially the economy of the US. Who knew the Republicans and their greedy pals on Wall Street would beat him to the punch? Put that in your terrorist pipe and smoke it Johnny Mac.


This bears repeating: Hey Sarah Palin:


NSA likes phone sex calls the best

It's hard for soldiers to be deployed half-way around the globe in a desert country. It's even harder when the mission demands that our soldiers have no intimate relationships with the native population. It should shock no one that soldiers stationed in Iraq engage in a lot of phone sex. It should shock people that employee's of the National Security Agency (NSA) routinely eavesdrop on our soldier's phone sex calls, pass tapes of the calls around, and make mocking critiques of their quality. What's the Pentagon's excuse?

Asked for comment about the ABC News report and accounts of intimate and private phone calls of military officers being passed around, a US intelligence official said "all employees of the US government" should expect that their telephone conversations could be monitored as part of an effort to safeguard security and "information assurance."


Wachovia refuses to be outdone by AIG - sending 75 employees on a paid cruise to the Greek Isles:,1,1597017.column

Oh, and they just gave the Republican National Committee an $8 million dollar loan. How in the world is this even possible? 


Betty White talks about Sarah Palin:


Intermittent Gunderson Syndrome

Would it surprise you to learn that Sarah doesn't really talk like that?


The New York Times drops a hammer on the Palins' claims that they never pressured Walt Monegan to fire her sister's ex-husband, finding evidence for dozens of calls pressuring Monegan to fire the state trooper. The NYT also found that Monegan's successor was pressured as well.

Perhaps most importantly, the NYT uncovered clear evidence contradicting the Palins' claim that Monegan's own firing had nothing to do with his refusal to fire Palin's ex-brother-in-law.


What happens if McCain loses? 


Confederate values

Old fashioned confederate values are still in vogue in the Ozarks. It's a shame the proud owner of this sign won't step forward to accept the thanks of a grateful nation.

Question for Republicans: How can you claim to put your country first when you continually attack, question the patriotism of, and call for the deaths of, half the citizens of the country?


"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Fear and negative equity … The two things we have to fear are fear itself and negative equity, and the depleted capital of financial institutions … Amongst the things we have to fear are fear itself, negative equity, and the depleted capital of financial institutions." Krugman


This is not from The Onion, but it is pretty awesome:

Palin pre-empts state report, clears self in probe

On the eve of a report on a legislative panel's abuse-of-power investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, campaign officials released their own report clearing her of any wrongdoing.

Palin, running mate to Republican presidential nominee John McCain, is the subject of two inquiries into whether she abused her power by firing her public safety commissioner. The commissioner says he was dismissed for resisting pressure to fire Palin's former brother-in-law, a state trooper.

Lawmakers are expected to release their findings Friday.


I'm sure you recall the second question from Tuesday night's town hall debate from a young black fellow named Oliver Clark. Clark asked the candidates what the bailout package does for the Average American. McCain answered by attacking Obama for not regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and ended with, "I'll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis."

For sure. How would anyone have known about these two mortgage giants that back 70% of the country's mortgages? Well, it was condescending, and Oliver was not amused. From his Facebook page:

Well Senator, I actually did. I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person. I have a bachelor degree in Political Science from Tennessee State, so I try to keep myself up to date with current affairs. I have a Master degree in Legal Studies from Southern Illinois University, a few years in law school, and I am currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration from the University of Memphis. In defense of the Senator from Arizona I would say he is an older guy, and may have made an underestimation of my age. Honest mistake. However, it could be because I am a young African-American male. Whatever the case may be it was somewhat condescending regardless of my age to make an assumption regarding whether I was knowledgeable about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.


During a recent interview with Marie Claire, Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) wife Cindy suggested that her husband has never had PTSD symptoms because "he was trained." She also added that symptoms such as cold sweats in the middle of the night are reserved for the 18-year-olds who were drafted.


Charles Keating to John McCain: "I'm yours till death do us part."

This is going to make a great campaign ad:


As you know, there are already tons of stories of Republicon vote fraud already.

But the thuggish actions of shadowy Repug proxy groups pales in comparison to the "official" attempts to disenfranchise potential Democratic voters in swing states on the part of well-placed Repug operatives.

It has proved surpisingly easy for the Repugs to manipulate a few thousand votes in a few counties in a few swing states in the previous two elections without causing riots. The bottom line is that Obama needs to do what Kerry and Gore were unable to do in '04 and '00 - win by a margin large enough in the swing states to prevent the Repugs from winning by theft, say 10%.

So keep up the hard work, ignore the pundits already calling an Obama victory - winning the swing states isn't enough, he needs to win big in those states.

Ben Smith explains the difference between voter fraud vs registration fraud, which is huge. Basically, vote fraud is when a vote is fraudulently cast (by a dead person, a farm animal, etc.). Registration fraud is when the voter rolls are fraudulently padded. The former is a fundamental breech of democracy, the latter is a clerical issue.

Every single paranoid Republican fantasy about fraud is focused on the latter. In other words, they are freaking out about a database problem.


Obama is buying up huge chunks of national TV time. You don't do this if your goal is to eke out a narrow victory. You do it if your goal is to blow your opponent out of the water. And you do it if you realize that the bigger your margin of victory, the more you can get done in your first few months as President.

In short, you do it if you're as interested in governing effectively as you are interested in winning.


Hannity Theme Song Writer Donating Song Royalties To Planned Parenthood


I find it pretty amusing that Hugh Hewitt can't find a publisher for a book titled How Sarah Palin Won the Election ... and Saved America, and love Atrios's comment:

They should publish it, and Fox News should just provide a complete alternate reality for its viewers, one in which McCain is president, Obama has been arrested and sent to Gitmo for terrorist activites, Joe Wilson gets indicted, American Carol made a GAZILLION dollars at the box office, etc.

The thing is, with regard to the election, that actually is the world a lot of wingnuts (and possibly Fox News) will be living in if Obama is elected.

No matter what the vote totals look like, many wingnuts simply aren't going to believe Obama's win was legitimate. For years they've been primed to believe that there's massive voter fraud out there, all of it benefiting the Democrats. (Hewitt himself, of course, wrote a book about this four years ago with the rather overheated title If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It.) They think ACORN is the principaL source of massive nationwide voter fraud and they think Obama is the founder and president and Lord High Poo-Bah of ACORN. Never mind the fact that, even if this conspiracy-so-vast were true (and if it were true, why couldn't Obama keep Hillary Clnton from winning 18 million votes?), what's been alleged about ACORN, even if it's all true, doesn't actually seem to lead to any electoral fraud whatsoever. As Politico's Ben Smith pointed out today, what ACORN is accused of

...putting the names of fake voters on the rolls, something that happens primarily when organizations, like Acorn, pay contractors for new voter registrations. That can be a crime, and it messes up the voter files, but there's virtually no evidence these imaginary people then vote in November. The current stories about Acorn don't even allege a plan to affect the November vote.

But no matter. In the wingnuts' alternate universe, McCain will win no matter what, and Palin will undoubtedly be the reason. Of course, in the alternate reality wingnuts want to believe in, she'd be the real president, not McCain.


Putting the big in small


The right-wing and the McCain campaign continue to push the Barack Obama-Bill Ayers association because, truly, it is the last desperate, craven move they can make to slow the Obama train before it smashes them like a herd of deer on the tracks at the wrong time.

The McCain campaign just released an online ad that flatly asserts that Obama is unfit to be president because he knows William Ayers, even quoting such unbiased sources as the National Review to impugn Obama's work on a charitable organization. Dick "Hooker Toe Sucker" Morris and Eileen McGann say that "Barack Obama should have run screaming at the sight of William Ayers" in the mid-1990s. Morris and McGann also say that the only reason Ayers and his wife didn't go to jail for the bombings they were involved in as part of the Weather Underground was that the charges were thrown out for illegal FBI evidence gathering. They leave out the fact that Ayers turned himself in.

In the mid-1990s, when Obama encountered him, Ayers was a major figure in the field of education, a
professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago, who was routinely praised by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for his work on elementary and early childhood education. In other words, in the dark ages before the Google began working its stalker-like miracles, who the hell cared who Ayers was? He was the dude who wrote books on empowering students in the classroom and on problems with the juvenile justice system.

Oh, yeah. Big bad radical bomber William Ayers just got elected to the faculty senate at UIC.

At a recent event, a black McCain supporter implored McCain to go after Obama at the next debate and asked him to raise ACORN and Reverend Wright. "I am begging you, sir," he said, as the crowd stood and applauded.

"Yes, I'll do that," McCain responded.

So McCain says he'll go after Obama at the next debate on the "radical terrorist extremist zomg" meme his surrogates have been pushing for days. Noted.

We already know Obama
told him to bring it—now Biden is throwing down the gauntlet, too.

"All of the things they said about Barack Obama in the TV, on the TV, at their rallies, and now on YouTube … John McCain could not bring himself to look Barack Obama in the eye and say the same things to him," Biden said this morning. "In my neighborhood, when you've got something to say to a guy, you look him in the eye and you say it to him."

McCain's going to look like a megadouche if he doesn't look Obama in the eye and call him a terrorist to his face at the next debate.

The best part? McCain's going to look like a megadouche if he does look Obama in the eye and call him a terrorist to his face at the next debate.

Please pass the


WaPo headline: "Military Justifies Attack That Killed at Least 33 Afghan Civilians." I think we should all be proud to live in a country with a military that can do the impossible. Because "justifying" the killing of 33+ civilians is f-ing impossible. The military inquiry determined that the air strikes that killed 33 civilians that they're admitting to, including 12 children, were in self-defense and... wait for it... proportional. Proportional to what?


GM stock falls to it's lowest level since 1950:

Perhaps it's because of things like this (according to Dick):

"Based on an EPA estimated mpg 12 city/19 highway for the non-hybrid Escalade and an EPA estimated mpg 20 city/21 highway for the Escalade Hybrid."
WOW!!  A savings of 2 mpg highway...estimated!  And yours for only $75,000?  Hope they have posted guards at the dealerships, what with the mass of humanity I'm sure will be cueing up to buy 'em.
Oil prices closed at their lowest level in a year Thursday, falling below $85 a barrel.
They've not received the memo where I live. Gas is still $3.89 per gallon here.  live.

What happens when a federal judge rules against the Bush administration? They find a friendlier court.


Biden delivers this gem yesterday:

"Sarah Palin says, 'You know, I was in second grade when Joe Biden was elected to the United States Senate at age 29. That's true, but she was in sixth grade the last time John had a new idea."


Meet Sarah Palin's radical right-wing pals:

The article makes it clear that Palin is the stealth extremist she acuses Obama of being. 


As you know, on October 1, for the first time ever, the Pentagon dedicated an Army force specifically to NorthCom, which is in charge of securing not some foreign region but the United States of America.

'They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. These duties would be in addition to dealing with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.'

The unit will have its regular weapons, it will store other weapons in "containers," and will have access to tanks (the Pentagon has confirmed this.)

Back in 2006, Sen Patrick Leahy (now pretending to be concerned about this unit) was instrumental in getting Congress to repeal the "Insurrection Act Rider" in the defense appropriations bill. That rider had given the President sweeping power to use military troops in ways contrary to the Insurrection Act and Posse Comitatus Act. The rider authorized the President to have troops patrol our streets in response to disasters, epidemics, and any "condition" he might cite.

Leahy said last December that this rider "made it easier for the President to take over the Guard and to declare martial law." In a Senate statement on April 24, 2007, he cautioned against inserting the military "into domestic situations." As he put it: "One of the distinguishing characteristics of the United States is that we do not use the military to patrol our communities and neighborhoods." A few months before that, he warned that we must ensure that "the military is not used in a way that offends and endangers some of our most cherished values and liberties."

The repeal of the rider was signed by Bush on January 28, though Amy Goodman reports that "Bush attached a signing statement that he did not feel bound by the repeal."

The Pentagon's decision to dedicate the First Brigade Combat Team to NorthCom has raised alarms, especially in the context of the current economic crisis. In Bush's National Security Presidential Directive 51, he lays out his authority in the event of a catastrophic emergency. In such an emergency, "the President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government" and will coordinate with state, local, and tribal governments, along with private sector owners of infrastructure.

NSPD 51 defines a catastrophic emergency as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government function."

Notice the use of the word "or" above. In our current circumstances, it might be more relevant to read the definition this way: "any incident . . . that results in extraordinary levels of . . . disruption severely affecting the U.S. . . . economy."

President Bush could declare a catastrophic emergency today. And he'd have the 3rd Infantry, First Brigade Combat Team, well trained from its years patrolling Iraq, at his disposal here at home.



nomointorrey said...

An infantry brigate combat team (BCT) consists of from 1,500 to 4,000 troops. About the number required to subdue civil unrest in the city of Pasadena should the need arrise. Then what would they do about San Diego...or Detroit...or Albany...or...or...?

Headlines said...

Obama knew it all along!

Here is a video of Barack Obama from July 30th, well before today's envrionment.