Saturday, October 4, 2008

Headlines - Saturday

Afghan president Hamid Karzai with General McClellan


h/t Rachel
Financial analysis
If you had purchased $1,000 of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac stock one year ago you would have about $49 left.
With Lehman, you would have had nothing left of the original $1,000.
With WAMU, you would have had less than $5 left.
But if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all of the beer, then turned in the cans for the aluminum recycling fund, you would have $64 cash.
Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle.
It's called the 401-Keg.
A recent study found the average American walks about 900 miles a year. 
Another study found Americans drink, on the average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year.
That means, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon.
P.Diddy's Wasilla Witch Project:
Listen to Diddy, boys and girls.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) says Congress threatened with Martial Law if bailout not passed.
Update: The Wall Street Bailout and $700 Billion Party at the Brink of Apocalypse Act of 2008 has passed. Bush says "Exercising the authorities in this bill in a responsible way will require a careful analysis and deliberation." Because if there's one thing the Bush administration is known for, it's careful analysis and deliberation.

Some experts are saying the real cost of the bailouts will easily exceed $1.3 trillion. In fact, the real cost is likely to range between $1.3 trillion to $1.6 trillion, and is not unlikely to reach $2.5 trillion.
A federal judge has rejected the Bush administration's attempt to shield records that may shed light on the White House visits of now imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In several orders this week, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth sided with watchdog groups Judicial Watch and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics,
which are suing the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security for access to the logs.
The Ministry of Truth
The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi
It's going to be harder for vote fraud to take place if numbers like these keep popping up:
One thing to watch for: Prominent conservatives essentially conceding that the race is over. Charles Krauthammer waves the white flag:
Part of reassurance is intellectual. Like Palin, he's a rookie, but in his 19 months on the national stage he has achieved fluency in areas in which he has no experience. In the foreign policy debate with McCain, as in his July news conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Obama held his own -- fluid, familiar and therefore plausibly presidential.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said of Franklin Roosevelt that he had a "second-class intellect, but a first-class temperament." Obama has shown that he is a man of limited experience, questionable convictions, deeply troubling associations (Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Tony Rezko) and an alarming lack of self-definition -- do you really know who he is and what he believes? Nonetheless, he's got both a first-class intellect and a first-class temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.

As if that weren't enough, Krauthammer also compares Obama's temperament to that of Ronald Reagan, causing no shortage of wailing and gnashing of teeth at McCain's Arlington HQ. Not exactly the message the McCain team wanted from conservative megaphones on the morning after Sarah Palin's big makeover debate.


Illegal immigration slows as economy weakens:

Rolling Stone on Mad Dog Palin:


The Center for Economic and Policy Research reports: Jobs report grimmer than expected.

The not-quite-eight-years of the Cheney-Bush administration have...uh...coincided with the slowest rate of job creation on record, less than 5 million new jobs. And it could be considerably less given that we'll be afflicted for another three-plus months by this administration. Even at 5 million, that is half the number of new jobs created by Jimmy Carter in four years.

For the eight years of the Clinton administration, more than 22.75 million jobs were created. Thus, during Clinton's two terms, close to the same number of jobs were created as in Reagan's two terms, Bush I's term and Bush II's two terms - combined.

Today, the "fundamentals are sound." Even though we're likely to see at least one monthly job loss of 250,000 before year's end. Even though 37 million live in poverty and 47 million do without health care in an economy that produces $13 trillion GDP each year. Even though foreclosure sales now make up one-fourth of all home transactions.

Heckuvajob, Mister Bush.


Pat asks, "WTF is this? Help me understand."

I'll take "It's a man talking out of both sides of his mouth for $1,000 Alex."



Bush's sad legacy:


George Bush gets a torture letter

This from (PDF) the APA is harsh.  And George Bush earned every word of it: "The effect of this new policy is to prohibit psychologists from any involvement in interrogations or any other operational procedures at detention sites that are in violation of the U.S. Constitution or international law...


My candidate for "post the writer is most likely to regret in the morning" is this, by Rich Lowry:

"I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America."

I'm sure I'm not the only female in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, rolled her eyes and thought: oh, dear God. We have all seen just that wink deployed at guys like Rich Lowry. We have all watched in amazement as it actually works, despite its transparent manipulativeness. What, we all wonder, could those guys possibly be thinking? (What the winking women are thinking is usually altogether too clear.) I'm betting that for every male vote that wink picked up, it lost at least one woman.

Lowry isn't the only one smitten:

Here's Wolcott:

Roger Simon, whose brains seem to have been leaking through a sieve ever since he joined Politico, was one of those smitten with her eyelash action.

But if people thought she was going to look like a dumb bunny for 90 minutes, they were disappointed. She said what she wanted to say, and she was so relaxed she even winked at one point. Really! An actual wink during a national debate, when she said she was going to try to get John McCain to change his mind about not drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


The CBS-Katie Couric Chinese water torture continues, with yet more of her interviews with Palin airing last night. Asked what the worst thing Dick Cheney has done as veep, Joe Biden said shredding the Constitution, and Palin said shooting Dick Whittington in the face. "And that I think that was made into a caricature of him. And that was kind of unfortunate."


Check out Bob Geiger's compilation of the week's editorial cartoons.


Eating a tiny bit of a melamine, the chemical responsible for a global food safety scare, is not harmful except when it is in baby formula, U.S. food safety officials said Friday.

Translation: "China is our trading partner and we'd rather not offend them or call them out for failing so miserably and in fact, our own US companies who outsource products under such conditions for a few extra pennies of profit are equally clueless and dangerous." Or something like that.


From ABCPalin lied about supporting divestiture from Sudan. 


As it appeared in the Washington Post.

Here's a screen shot from the WaPo this morning, where they had forgotten to insert an actual person's name as the origin of the quote. Later on, they learned that the "famous person" was supposed to be Piggy Noonan, who offered us this steaming pile of nonsense today.


A word about cheerful ignorance:


Iran won't stop domestic enrichment:


While you were sleeping, they quietly tore off another piece of the constitution.


4,177 soldiers killed in Iraq; 609 in Afghanistan.

Latest estimate of Iraqis killed: 1.2 million


Dirty Maverick

John McCain has apparently concluded that the only way he can win is to plumb the depth of the gutter.

No surprise there, he is no maverick. He is just another evil, nasty Republican who doesn't give a bleep if he tears this nation apart, so long as he wins.

He truly is George Bush III, for his policies are nothing more than a continuation of the tired worn-out policies of George W. Bush: Tax cuts for the rich, massive Federal spending to drive the deficit up to maybe $20 trillion dollars. (Don't laugh at that number, after all, it took 208 years to get the Federal deficit to over five trillion and Chimpy doubled that in only eight years.)

McCain is the guy who had his fingers deep into the collapse of the savings and loan industry in the 1980s.

McCain is the guy who has staffed the senior ranks of his campaign with a wide range of lobbyists for foreign nations and failed corporations.

McCain has been an ardent foe of Federal regulation and has backed virtually every effort to deregulate everything, including the banking and finance industries. The fact that we had to bail out Wall Street is in no small measure due to McCain's zeal to let the thieves run wild.

McCain got everywhere he has been on two things: Being the son and grandson of admirals and then being shot down over Vietnam. By virtually every report I have read, in his personal life, he has been a complete scoundrel. His actions in his life have been such that he has to say "did you know I was a POW" every fifteen milliseconds in order to distract attention from his misdeeds.

Far from being a maverick, McCain has turned himself into a right-wing pandering machine. You need only look at the actions of a man who has embraced George W. Bush, after the Bush campaign slandered McCain and his family in 2000, to see that. (A true maverick would have kicked Chimpy in the nuts during the `00 convention.) A true maverick would have picked a competent running mate, not someone who was an obvious sop to the American Taliban.

McCain has transformed himself from a maverick into a thug. And like any thug, he will do whatever he thinks he has to in order to get the shiny toy he wants
. If you want proof, go ask Carol McCain.


Palin says she will be "more accessible" to voters and the press. Gee, she couldn't have been less accessible unless she was going to take up residence in an abandoned missile silo.

Then there was this nugget in that story:

Palin said she had been "annoyed" in her interviews with CBS News anchor Katie Couric and had been caught off guard when asked what newspapers and magazines she read and to name Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with — questions Palin appeared not to be able to answer.

Her responses, Palin said, were "an indication of being outside that Washington elite, outside of the media elite also."

Sorry, no. Not knowing what newspaper or magazines one reads is not "an indication of being outside that Washington elite, outside of the media elite also." It is an indication that one is an unqualified hack. She could not think of the name of a single newspaper in the entire country, not a single one. And she has a degree in journalism.

That's not an indication that that she is "not an elitist." It is, however, an indication that she is a clueless moron. Has not eight years of governance-by-idiot been enough? Has not Bush done enough damage that we need to elect an even dumber ideologue?

Given McCain's advanced age and his obvious lack of good health (since he won't release his medical records), a vote for McCain is a vote for Bible Spice as the 45th President. If that doesn't scare the shit out of you, then I can't fathom why.

Update: Yesterday on MSNBC's Hardball, Politico's Mike Allen suggested that Palin should have lied and said that she reads "The Economist." "Somebody told me, she should have just said 'The Economist,'" said Allen. "Everybody lies about reading 'The Economist.'"

Ironically, Palin was given a chance to redeem herself on that same question in an interview with Fox News today. Her response? "The Economist":

CAMERON: Well, what do you read?

PALIN: I read the same things that other people across the country read, including the "New York Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" and "The Economist" and some of these publications that we've recently even been interviewed through up there in Alaska.


"My Sweet Coconut"

From the "you can't make this up" file, a McCain foreign policy adviser claimed today that the candidate's decades-long interest in Latin America is exemplified by the fact that he had a girlfriend in Brazil 50 years ago while he was in the Navy.


Faux news claims Palin won debate because she had a bigger flag pin:


Our awesome media - never an appearance of impropriety

Look who's hitched!

Ron Brownstein, LA Times, married to Eileen McMenamin, John McCain's communications director.

NBC's David Gregory, married to Beth Wilkinson, general counsel for Fannie Mae.

Time's Matthew Cooper, married to Mandy Grunwald, ad guru for Hillary Clinton.

Campbell Brown, anchor for the weekend edition of NBC's Today Show, married to Dan Senor, GOP operative and former head of the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Jim VandeHei, former Washington Post reporter and founder of The Politico, married to former Tom DeLay staffer Autumn Hanna VandeHei.

National Review writer Kate O'Beirne, married to WH staffer Jim O'Beirne.

Robert Kagan, op-ed writer, married to Victoria Nuland, current ambassador to NATO.

Andrea Mitchell married to Alan Greenspan

James Carville and Mary Matalin.

Howie Kurtz, married to Republican consultant and commentator Sheri Annis.


The New Yorker endorses Obama:






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