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Tuesday, September 30

Gas Shortage Spreads to Three States

Reuters: Severe fuel shortage grips parts of US southeast
"A severe fuel shortage has gripped parts of the southeastern United States, causing long lines at filling stations and symbolizing for some people their fears about the wider economy.

"The shortage began two weeks ago in Atlanta, the region's largest city, when oil refineries on the Gulf Coast were shut down by hurricanes Gustav and Ike earlier this month. Parts of north Georgia, western North Carolina and parts of Tennessee were also affected.

"The effects on motorists have been dramatic. Most service stations in Atlanta are out of gas, with plastic bags placed over the pumps or signs saying "out".

Sarah Palin in the Nude?

Artist Bruce Elliott and Sarah Palin in the Nude
(Photo credits Kuni Takahashi, Chicago Tribune)

And we thought tongues were wagging when Palin’s Pentecostal affiliations were revealed…

Is business slipping at Chicago’s Old Town Ale House?

For any Chicagoan who hasn’t had the honor of patronizing one of the North Side’s legendary drinking establishments, the Old Town Ale House is as fine a place to have a beer with fellow comedy thesps and other quirky trust fund misfits or trendy in/outcasts as anyplace else within (reasonable) spitting distance from Second City.

Now, thanks to painter Bruce Elliott who painted a nude portrait of Sarah Palin after his daughter “who does a good impression” of the Alaskan Governor "served as a model" for him, you too can raise your glass in absentia to (a portrait of) Sarah Palin in the Nude as it is displayed in the Ale House. Or better still, visit the popular watering hole for yourself and let the proprietress know if you think the portrait is exploitative, offensive, sexist, creepy (was the daughter posing nude or did she wear a body stocking) a slick PR attempt to drive up liquor sales, or all or none of the above?
Either way, the Chicago Tribune is taking a poll so you be the judge.


Last Word on the Bailout

As usual, The Rude Pundit nails it.

Activism: No Bailout for Billionaires

Keep the heat on.

It's as easy as pie to contact your reps here.

Or call them and swamp the switchboards
800-828-0498 or 800-473-6711

It's fun to participate in America!

China products suck

Cadbury pulls melamine-laced chocolate from China

HONG KONG - British candy maker Cadbury announced a recall Monday of chocolate made in its Beijing factory after it was found to contain melamine, the industrial chemical that has sickened tens of thousands of Chinese children.
Another official reached through the company's London office said there was no way the contaminated chocolate could find its way into other countries because the Chinese factory only supplies Australia, Taiwan, Nauru, Hong Kong and Christmas Island. (continued)

Gotcha! Indeed

Saw this story on the news last night.

Katie Couric spoke to McCain and Palin about Palin's comment on Saturday (which happened to be the same position as Obama's) about attacking Pakistan. During the debate, McCain was miffed when Obama stated his position out loud. Couric asked Palin if she was allowed to say her position out loud:

"We had a great discussion with President Zardari as we talked about what it is that America can and should be doing together to make sure that the terrorists do not cross borders and do not ultimately put themselves in a position of attacking America again or her allies," said Palin. "And we will do what we have to do to secure the United States of America and her allies."

"Is that something you shouldn't say out loud, Sen. McCain?" asked Couric.

"Of course not," replied McCain. "But, look, I understand this day and age of 'gotcha' journalism. Is that a pizza place? In a conversation with someone who you didn't hear ... the question very well, you don't know the context of the conversation, grab a phrase. Gov. Palin and I agree that you don't announce that you're going to attack another country ..."

"Are you sorry you said it?" questioned Couric.

"... and the fact ..." trailed McCain.

"Governor?" asked Couric.

"Wait a minute," interrupted McCain. "Before you say, 'is she sorry she said it,' this was a 'gotcha' sound bite that, look ...

"It wasn't a 'gotcha,'" said Couric. "She was talking to a voter."

After some further wrangling, Palin finally capitulated to McCain's defense of her. "... this is all about 'gotcha' journalism," she said. "A lot of it is. But that's okay, too."
Gotcha journalism? You say something to a voter, it's caught on television cameras and it's a "gotcha?" That's the best the McCain campaign could come up with?

ha. Gotcha!

you can watch the clip from the interview here.

See also this article: Sarah Palin? Leave the race before you further hurt women
  • 1) She doesn't understand politics.
  • 2) She doesn't understand her running mate (or didn't watch the debate).
  • 3) That voter, the one who asked the question, DID get her.
  • 4) She should drop out of the race (No explanation would be needed) and stop making women look bad.

See also Fareed Zakaria's slamming of Gov. Palin on CNN and her total lack of ability to even comprehend what is happening. She doesn't even understand the question.

OK, we are a banana republic

Paul Krugman

"So what we now have is non-functional government in the face of a major crisis, because Congress includes a quorum of crazies and nobody trusts the White House an inch.
As a friend said last night, we’ve become a banana republic with nukes."

John Kerry:
"He [McCain] said he was going to interrupt his campaign to come down and save the negotiations. Most people believe is that what he did was interrupt the negotiations to come down and save his campaign."
Michael Moore:
"This so-called "collapse" was triggered by the massive defaulting and foreclosures going on with people's home mortgages. Do you know why so many Americans are losing their homes? To hear the Republicans describe it, it's because too many working class idiots were given mortgages that they really couldn't afford. Here's the truth: The number one cause of people declaring bankruptcy is because of medical bills. Let me state this simply: If we had had universal health coverage, this mortgage "crisis" may never have happened."

Monday, September 29

What Steny Hoyer Said:

"We will continue to work around the clock in a bipartisan manner to forge a solution to the serious threat confronting the economic security of millions of families," Hoyer said.

What I think he meant: We will continue to work around the clock in a bipartisan manner to forge a solution to the serious threat confronting the economic security of families of millionaires.

You decide. The article's entitled "Hoyer Says Senate May Consider Crisis Bill This Week" at Bloomberg.

Billionaire Bailout Busted

Wall Street Bailout: NOT SO FAST…
The Deal’s off for Now

Breaking News

WASHINGTON - Ignore yesterday’s news. Did Democracy get dressed up in trans-partisan clothing and just crash the party on Wall Street?

The House announced that it has now defeated the $700 billion emergency rescue plan for the nation's financial system, ignoring “urgent warnings” from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties “that the economy could nosedive” into recession without it. They are taking a break over the Jewish Holiday and will return Thursday. Could this defeat signal an actual Democratic revolt or are Bush House Republicans wrestling the Democrats to the mat, forcing them to add every possible “moral hazard” corporate tax cut/loopholes under what’s left of the sun today? Or is this rescue plan being surgically altered to serve as a New Deal style roadmap for new investment regulations with teeth which will garner full House Democratic support? (I predict an Obama win.)

According to MSNBC News Services “stocks plummeted on Wall Street EVEN BEFORE the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was announced on the House floor. Bush and a host of leading congressional figures had implored the lawmakers to pass the legislation despite howls of protest from their constituents back home. Despite pressure from supporters, not enough members were willing to take the political risk just five weeks before an election.”

Bush/Pinocchio factor. And who can ever believe Bush again, especially now with this “hurry up and sign on the dotted line or we get blown up” hustle after the WMD lies and deception the country has endured since 9/11. So if stocks tumbled today BEFORE the Wall Street Billionaires Bailout was ever even inked, could this be a sign that it might not have been such a good idea after all? Steven Lendman’s article today entitled
Grand Theft America explains the depth’s of the criminal, looting Bush administration’s Pinocchio factor:

“Deregulation unleashed casino capitalism, and bankers made a killing. Now they're in trouble and Bush demands "the biggest bailout in American history....or the world will crumble. He said the a similar thing in the run-up to war" so who can believe him now. Egan quotes a dirt farmer asking why not the same "concerns (for) average Americans."

Lendman also reminds us of what of this “timely” little financial meltdown as Peter of Lone Tree first brought to our attention regarding “manufactured incidents” and anticipated public “unrest”:

“An Army Times article saying that the 3rd Infantry's 1st Brigade Combat Team is coming home (in October) from Iraq as (according to the Times) "an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks."

Well, Al, let’s hope all of those “high paying” green jobs and the ensuing, booming economy they are billed to create do the trick.


Guess my congresscritter listened.

Bailout defeated

Now comes the interesting part.

Bickering, finger-pointing follow House defeat of bailout bill
Republicans are blaming Democrats and Democrats are blaming Republicans for Monday's failure to pass a $700 billion economic bailout package through the House.

GOP leaders claimed they had another dozen members lined up to support the bailout but lost that support after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pre-vote floor speech that blamed the "failed Bush economic policies" for causing the crisis and excoriated the president for "squandering" budget surpluses he inherited.

"We could have gotten there today had it not been for the partisan speech that the speaker gave on the floor of the House," House Minority Leader John Boehner said at a brief press conference after the vote. He blamed Pelosi and Democrats for torpedoing a delicate bipartisan agreement and said her speech "poisoned our conference (and) caused a number of members that we thought we could get to go south." Continued
Whiny cry baby. Good grief!!! Why not stamp your feet and hold your breath?

Maybe some of them listened to their constituents. Could it be?

For Good or Ill ...

On passage, House Resolution 3997:

Yes = 206
No = 228
Not Voting = 1

The Financial Bailout Bill has failed to pass the House of Representatives. Rep. Frank told a reporter for CNBC that the Banking Committee will wait to assess the impact this has on the financial sector before bringing the bill back and reopening negotiations.

I was watching CNBC while flipping back and forth from it to C-SPAN; when the outcome was no longer in doubt the Dow Jones tanked 700 points; it's since come back and is now about 500 points down. Crude oil on the NYMEX actually fell 9 dollars.

So, I guess we wait and see what happens next.

We Are Under Martial Law! As Declared By The Speaker Last Night says Rep Burgess

Yes he says it at 1:20

But it's not the Martial Law we talk about


It's this kind of Martial Law (examle from 2006):

The Leadership apparently intends to use a process known as “martial law” to allow these bills to be brought to the floor very shortly after negotiations are completed, with the result that Members of the House are likely to have virtually no time to examine and consider the details of the legislation before they will be required to vote on it.

Under the martial law procedure, longstanding House rules that require at least one day between the unveiling of significant legislation and the House floor vote on that legislation — so that Members can learn what they are being asked to vote on — are swept away. Instead, under “martial law,” the Leadership can file legislation with tens or hundreds of pages of fine print and move immediately to debate and votes on it, before Members of Congress, the media, or the public have an opportunity to understand fully what provisions have been altered or inserted into the legislation behind closed doors....

Don't they teach the constitution in cop school?

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The Denver cops are so proud of themselves for their fascist, aggressive, anti-American behavior during the DNC that they printed up these Tshirts.


Activism: Call your reps today


The House will vote on Monday and the Senate will vote on Wednesday.

So call your Senators and Representative right now to say "No $700 Billion Bailout for Wall Street" - dial the Capitol switchboard at 800-473-6711 or 202-224-3121 or dial direct using the instant phone lookup on the right side of

And if you have not Emailed your Senators and Representative , please do it now:

Find more information and comment here:

I've watched the economy for 30 years. Now I'm truly scared - by Will Hutton

is a reciprocal relationship, dependent upon a desire to be considered decent and honourable. Even in the dog-eat-dog financial markets, trust and integrity are matters of self-interest. However amoral you may be, it is in your interest to care about your reputation, because if you behave badly you will not do business with me - or others - on favourable terms again.
Everybody tries to 'game' the system on their route to vast personal fortunes - whether short-selling, packaging up dud mortgages as prime mortgages or telling lies about their financial viability - and the result is that the system is getting wise. The best course today in any financial transaction is to presume zero integrity. Credit is drying up and with it the very lifeblood of the economy.

Worse, now that the system is in trouble, financiers are turning to taxpayers in the US and Britain for help without understanding the other key principal of fairness - that we will consider helping those who for no fault of their own get into trouble, but not those who freely created their own bad circumstances.

OK fellow bondsmen out there -- SAY NO to their "insurance" - it's a scam - doesn't work -- buy our insurance

#3 on our list of demands should be INSURANCE PLAN

here's our definition of Insurance:
.....of or pertaining to a score that increases a team's lead and insures that the lead will be held if the opposing team should score once more: The home run gave the team an insurance run, making the score 7-5.

Insurance, in law and economics, is a form of risk management primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for a premium, and can be thought of a guaranteed small loss to prevent a large, possibly devastating large loss. An insurer is a company selling the insurance. The insurance rate is a factor used to determine the amount, called the premium, to be charged for a certain amount of insurance coverage. Risk management, the practice of appraising and controlling risk, has evolved as a discrete field of study and practice.

Here's a great graphic and message

Another great graphic and message here....
“No company fails in communist China, because they’re all partly owned by the government. I sincerely believe that Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke should resign. They have taken the free market out of the free market.” -Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Whether you're an elephant, donkey, or an independent animal we can all agree that the past eight years of our American lives haven't been a joy-ride. As a well-informed friend pointed out to me last night, "The most important financial and economic decision of my lifetime will be determined by those who spent most of the last few years debating Terry Schiavo and steroids in baseball. Forgive me if I dont have confidence." Feeling confident?

Here's some videos from the protest on wall street last week. Send them to your local news stations. (you never know.....)

Sunday, September 28

‘‘Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008’’

Here's the Full Text of the B-O BILL


Recycled Speech by President Bush

My favorite Jon Stewart piece this past week "Clusterfuck to the poorhouse" compares George Bush's Iraq invasion speech and Bush's big bailout speech. It's something we've all heard before, be very afraid.

Or watch it here if the movie doesn't play.

"Those who do not study the past, get an exciting opportunity to repeat it."

Pre-election shotgun wedding?

The Timesonline has this headline McCain camp prays for Palin wedding
It appears that John McCain plans to sit in the front row at the rushed wedding of Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston.
“It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”
Shutting down the race as a campaign strategy? Wow. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Yes, everyone in the world would be glued to their television to witness this glorious occasion... and make fun of it. Poor kids. After all these star crossed young lovers would one day have gotten married and raised a family together, right? Oh wait...
The ice-hockey player wrote on his MySpace page he was a “f****** redneck” and stated, “I don’t want kids.” But a McCain insider predicted he would marry Bristol whenever his future mother-in-law wanted. “It’s a shotgun wedding. She kills things,” the source joked.
Ok. Nevermind. But it's still a typical American wedding where the girl finds out she's pregnant and the boy marries her. Love has nothing to do with it. This is nothing new. Nothing to write home about. Isn't this how "values" voters usually get married anyway? I know it's a great Catholic tradition. Yes, we need a constitutional amendment to protect this.

Oh my dear Goddess above......

It's comedy!!!!


it's reality.. .. . .....?

Follow this link FIRST and watch video: FAST FORWARD the video to 3:00 -- it's last night's SNL opener - Tina Fey/ Amy Poehler - Skit 2 - Sarah Palin/ Katie Couric Interview

NOW watch the "real" interview.....
(it's at the above link also)

My jaw is locked in a wide open position -------

H - e - l - p.......Meeeeee

Saturday, September 27

From Cool Hand Luke: Paul Newman as Luke Jackson singing Plastic Jesus upon hearing the news of his mother's death

NYTimes Obituary

RIP Paul Newman

I am a huge fan of his life's work. It was admirable.
He will be sorely missed.

Rest in Peace, Paul.

Jack Cafferty on Palin

Scares the hell out of you.

It's not just decent, hardworking folks who are terrified of Sarah Palin either. According to this article at American Conservative Mag, insiders are more than a little concerned about what a disastrous pick she was by McCain. No shit Sherlock. Of course they are worried that she's dumb and won't do well in the debates, or on television, or as a VP... I am concerned that she's a religious radical wacko who will set back women's rights 500 years if she could. We don't need her kind of "values." We've got enough to contend with.

Government 'shpending' and mean old white people

While McCain went on and on last night about the travesty that is government spending and earmarks, saying that he would veto any bill that had earmarks on it, I don't know if the American people read between the lines and took note that he had no problem with the money pit that is the war on Iraq ($12 billion/month and I'm sure that the money isn't all helping the troops) or the corporate bailouts.

When the US government takes money from me every year, I would like it if some of the money went back to the people, to make their lives better and perhaps stimulate the economy from the ground up rather than from the top down (because lord knows I've been waiting for it to trickle down since Reagan). I would like for the infrastructure to be improved because it makes the country safe and creates jobs. If Americans stopped to think about it, I can't see anyone disagreeing with spending at home... within reason. Isn't that what we pay taxes for?

Yesterday, Senate conservatives blocked a $56.2 billion stimulus package that would also increase food stamps by 10% and extend unemployment benefits for 7 weeks. Dana Perino said the WH opposed the measure:
PERINO: There’s some elements of the package that have been put forward by Democrats that we do not think would be stimulative to the economy, such as unemployment insurance. The food stamps, we believe we have met the need.
It's all political. If it was put forth by Republicans, then the WH wouldn't have a problem with it. But conservative Republicans only give a shit about themselves.

When Citibank paid for my MBA 30 years ago, I'm sure that they didn't expect me to go on to be a 'bleeding heart liberal', but hell, feeding people and giving them a bit more time during this shitty as hell economic time to find work does stimulate the economy. Extending unemployment benefits during this time could assure that rent and MORTGAGE payments would be made on time. I didn't enjoy stepping over indigent people on the subway platforms after working to make the rich richer every day. Having an MBA in fascism and working for fascist pigs, didn't change my heart. It paid my bills and that's all.

Isn't it a nice thing, an American thing to want people to be properly fed? Hungry people may turn to crime. Especially in cities. It's a travesty to see people with signs begging for food. The government always seems to have enough money to pay for crap that doesn't do anything to lift people out of poverty or make average lives a bit better.

John McCain is a mean old man. I'm sure of it. He's out of touch with America.
Speaking of mean people, from Think Progress,
Yesterday in a Senate hearing on the financial crisis, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) spoke on what caused the situation. To make her point, she read from an article called “How A Clinton-Era Rule Rewrite Made Subprime Crisis Inevitable,” written by Terry Jones in the right-wing publication Investor’s Business Daily.

The article criticizes the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) for pushing “Fannie and Freddie to aggressively lend to minority communities.” Jones goes on to say that Clinton was misguided to push “homeownership as a way to open the door for blacks and other minorities to enter the middle class.”
oh yeah sure, blame the Clintons, minorities and blacks for the crisis. What else is new?

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) sharply criticized Bachmann and other conservatives who have been trying to pin the economic crisis on minorities:
"I personally am not going to just sit by and let people trash programs that helped folks get into housing who have been struggling to get in.

"Fannie and Freddie — I don’t think are failed models. CRA certainly isn’t a failed program. These are important and good programs and should be protected. And If you want to find blame somewhere, let’s look at Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Let’s look at the very deregulation that so many people called for and clamor for and now we see what deregulation, lack of corporate responsibility put together with flat declining wages for the American people will bring about. It’s brought about this."
When Bush spoke of his "ownership" society. The conservatives were clapping their hands off. Have they forgotten? Oh wait, they were talking about owning everything themselves and going off to live in gated communities where they wouldn't be subject to the "riff raff" that makes their lifestyles possible.

Consider me just fed up today.

Friday, September 26

Debate Open Thread

We will be here at 9:00PM EDT to discuss the debate in the comments. And you will too!

Belly up to the bar.

Live stream at CSPAN


Who won?

It Ain't Just Us

Bloomberg's Headline: "Asia Needs Deal to Prevent Panic Selling of U.S. Debt, Yu Says"

"Japan, China and other holders of U.S. government debt must quickly reach an agreement to prevent panic sales leading to a global financial collapse, said Yu Yongding, a former adviser to the Chinese central bank."
"An agreement is needed so that no nation rushes to sell, 'causing a collapse,' Yu said. Japan is the biggest owner of U.S. Treasury bills, holding $593 billion, and China is second with $519 billion. Asian countries together hold half of the $2.67 trillion total held by foreign nations."

Ya' s'pose that's part of the neocon plan? They don't care if they drag us down as long as the rest of the world gets flushed down the shitter too?

The Debate is On

Good news for whichever gay men are decorating the auditorium for tonight's Presidential debate at Ole Miss—Jeebus, lay off the patriotic bunting already, TACKY!

Anyway, the debate is on and Barack Obama had a good morning workout in D.C. and John McCain will get in some power naps. Because he is really sleepy probably since he never suspended his campaign and sat in a bunch of boring meetings in D.C. saying nothing. Seriously this is going to be a freakshow tonight. Here is the New York Times on what to expect: "Mr. McCain, 72, will try to avoid looking and sounding too old; Mr. Obama, 47, will try to avoid looking and sounding too young." Um, thank you for that excellent analysis. We expect blood!

McCain will debate after all.....(?)

I just read McCain will show up for debate tonight after all. I'm not holding my breath though - the weather's pretty bad



From their website:

With our economy in crisis, the US Government is scrambling to rescue our banks by purchasing their "distressed assets", i.e., assets that no one else wants to buy from them. We figured that instead of protesting this plan, we'd give regular Americans the same opportunity to sell their bad assets to the government. We need your help and you need the Government's help!

Use the form below to submit bad assets you'd like the government to take off your hands. And remember, when estimating the value of your 1997 limited edition Hanson single CD "MMMbop", it's not what you can sell these items for that matters, it's what you think they are worth. The fact that you think they are worth more than anyone will buy them for is what makes them bad assets.

I found the above website via Wired's recent post Online Bailout Outrage Jumps to Streets, and Into Lawmakers' Inboxes

An e-mail that began as a rallying cry from a lone journalist to an influential circle of friends to protest the U.S. government bailout of Wall Street has ignited a national day of street protests. Some demonstrators plan to dump their rubbish in front of the bronze bull sculpture near Wall Street in downtown Manhattan Thursday.

"People are going to bring their own personal junk that they think is worth as much as the junk financial instruments that the government is proposing to buy from the Wall Street banks," says Andrew Boyd, an activist and freelance online-video artist for nonprofit groups in Manhattan. "We're hoping that people show up with their 8-track cassette collections, their old Spice Girl CDs, their surf boards that got bit by sharks and old Enron stock certificates."

Boyd is just one of thousands of Americans from all over the political spectrum who the Bush Administration has angered with its vague proposal to hand $700 billion over to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to restore U.S. financial markets' health. That anger has manifested itself online through e-mail, web sites and other online chatter, with one site,, going rapidly viral this week. The site, a parody of the dire financial situation, is what is inspiring the self-organizing group of activists to show up in downtown Manhattan Thursday evening with all their junk. They hope to make their simmering fury palpable to Wall Streeters getting off work.

"Why should people who made financially imprudent decisions be rewarded?" asks Boyd, who is best known for founding the political protest theater group Billionaires For Bush........


Governor Palin and the Road to Nowhere

source CNN

Palin Defends Construction of ‘Road to Nowhere’
From ProPublica
As we reported in detail last week, Palin's administration oversaw the construction of the Gravina Island Highway, a 3.2-mile access road to the "Bridge to Nowhere." Since it was obvious in 2007 that the $398 million bridge from Gravina Island to Ketchikan would never be built, government watchdogs urged the Palin administration to put the brakes on the project. Construction began in June of 2007, more than six months after Palin took office, and completed last week.

The McCain campaign did not directly address our questions about the road, but on Tuesday, a CNN report (which includes some striking aerial shots of the empty cul-de-sac at the road's end, seen above) included a detailed response from the campaign. Spokeswoman Meg Stapleton explained that the governor "had no option" but to build the road, because an earmark had "dictated" that the money had to be spent on it.

But the governor did have a viable alternative. Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) signed the contract for the road on Dec. 1, 2006, three days before he left office. Palin could have canceled that contract upon taking office, according to Alaska Department of Transportation spokesman Roger Wetherell. In such cases, contractors are reimbursed for any expenses incurred in association with the project.

For instance, in her first month in office, Palin cancelled a $18.6 million contract to build a one-lane, 11-mile gravel road out of Juneau. continued

And for your listening pleasure, Road to Nowhere by the Talking Heads

hat tip oddjob

The War for Wealth

New York--Another reason it's the only city I ever really loved!

Obligatory Friday Bank Failure

WaMu becomes biggest bank to fail in US history

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seized WaMu on Thursday, and then sold the thrift's banking assets to JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion.

Seattle-based WaMu, which was founded in 1889, is the largest bank to fail by far in the country's history. Its $307 billion in assets eclipse the $40 billion of Continental Illinois National Bank, which failed in 1984, and the $32 billion of IndyMac, which the government seized in July.

One positive is that the sale of WaMu's assets to JPMorgan Chase prevents the thrift's collapse from depleting the FDIC's insurance fund. But that detail is likely to give only marginal solace to Americans facing tighter lending and watching their stock portfolios plunge in the wake of the nation's most momentous financial crisis since the Great Depression.
whole story

I tell ya', "I don't know what to tell ya'."

Obligatory Friday Sex Post
At least it had a happy, happy beginning.
From the Brisbane Times: "Safe sex, not-so-safe position"

A couple who chose to have sex on rail tracks were killed by a freight train in South Africa.

The train driver saw the couple from a distance and repeatedly hooted "but they continued with their business" last Friday, Superintendent Abie Khoabane told South African newspaper, Sowetan.

Police identified the couple as Mduduzi Michael Bandezi, 28, and Sibongile Radebe, 25, the paper said.

Mr Bandezi died immediately while Ms Radebe died later at hospital, Superintendent Khoabane said.

Mr Bandezi's half-naked body was found with a condom still on, Sowetan said.

The pair had been having sex at an unused railway station. But the railway lines were still occasionally used by goods trains, the paper said.

The unmanned station was known to be a haven for sex workers, the paper said.

"The spot was littered with scores of used condoms when police arrived at the scene of the gruesome death of an alleged prostitute and her client on Friday night," the paper said.

Mr Bandezi and Ms Radebe had met that night at a local tavern, Superintendent Khoabane said.

About 11pm, Mr Bandezi's brother reportedly told him that it was time to leave the pub, but Mr Bandezi's replied that he had some business to finish, before leaving with Ms Radebe.

Thanx and a flip of the uh, Blonde wig curls to AnnieVan over at The Mills River Progressive where her lead article as of this writing is a look at Joe Bageant's latest rhetorical denunciation of our congressional quasi-quims.

Thursday, September 25

Republicans Take Their Marbles and Go Home

Well - that's it. So much for putting the country first. After reaching a tentative agreement this afternoon (one both sides agreed to) - House Republicans smashed the whole thing to hell and staged a walkout (the operative word here being 'staged'). Funny how that happened immediately after McCain blew into town.

Wanna know what I think? I think McCain's afraid to face Obama in Friday's debate, so he pushed his colleagues to back off on a settlement. This allows him to skip the debate without coming across as a coward. It also sets him up to be the 11th hour ‘savior’. What do you bet the Republican ‘leadership’ comes forward with something called the ‘McCain Compromise’ early Monday morning? And how much more would you wager that that compromise looks awfully like what was already agreed to – with a few of McCain’s pet line items thrown in for good measure?

I really hope Obama and the Democratic Party gets off their collective asses and attack this sophistry with guns blazing. Up till now, they’ve been coasting on all that yummy goodness left over from the convention. Obama seems to think he’ll just win without continuing to work for it. It’s as if the only attack he had in him was the one he used on Hillary. Frankly, he’s been too damn quiet these last few weeks, looking and sounding more like a University professor than Presidential material. I think what McCain’s doing is pure theatre – but theatre sells. Perhaps it’s time the Democratic Party took a few lessons in performance.

If they’re interested, I’m available. After all - I taught theatre to children for years.

I now interrupt this current economic charade with some GREAT NEWS: Study reveals Blondes really do have more fun!!

To dye for: Blondes really do have more fun as study reveals women with lighter hair have more confidence

"It ain't over 'til it's over." "And the beat goes on."

UPDATE: "...the biggest bank failure in U.S. history."
"JPMorgan Buys WaMu's Deposits as Thrift Is Seized by Regulators"
Bloomberg: "JPMorgan Chase & Co., the third- biggest U.S. bank by assets, agreed to acquire the deposits of Washington Mutual Inc. as the thrift was seized by regulators in the biggest bank failure in U.S. history.

"JPMorgan will pay $1.9 billion, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a statement today. It won't acquire liabilities including claims by equity, subordinated and senior debt holders, the FDIC said.

"WaMu, based in Seattle, collapsed after its credit rating was slashed to junk and potential suitors passed on making a bid. Facing $19 billion of losses on soured mortgage loans, the lender put itself up for sale last week. WaMu in March rebuffed a takeover offer from JPMorgan that WaMu valued at $4 a share."

"WaMu had about 2,300 branches and $182 billion of customer deposits at the end of June. Its $310 billion of assets dwarf those of Continental Illinois Corp., previously the largest failed bank, which had $40 billion ($83 billion in 2008 dollars) when it was taken over in 1984."

WAPO: Bailout Could DEEPEN Crisis, CBO Chief Says
Asset Sales May Lead to Write-Downs, Insolvencies, Orszag Tells Congress
The director of the Congressional Budget Office said yesterday that the proposed Wall Street bailout could actually worsen the current financial crisis.

During testimony before the House Budget Committee, Peter R. Orszag -- Congress's top bookkeeper -- said the bailout could expose the way companies are stowing toxic assets on their books, leading to greater problems.

"Ironically, the intervention could even trigger additional failures of large institutions, because some institutions may be carrying troubled assets on their books at inflated values," Orszag said in his testimony. "Establishing clearer prices might reveal those institutions to be insolvent."

In an interview later yesterday, Orszag explained using the following example: Suppose a company has Asset X, whose value is recorded on the books as $100. Because of the current economic decline, Asset X's real value has dropped to $50. If the company takes part in the government bailout and sells Asset X for $50, the company has to report a $50 loss on its books. On a scale of millions of dollars, such write-downs could ruin a company.

Such companies "look solvent today only because it's kind of hidden," Orszag said. "They actually are insolvent" already, he said.

FDIC May Need $150 Billion Bailout as Local Bank Failures Mount: "Out of the frying pan and into the fi..." Make that "Out of Purgatory and into Hell."

(EDIT/ADD) Quote of the Day: "If you think the people that created the crisis can fix the crisis you are a fool. They engineered the crisis in order to gain even more control over everything while paying the least amount for it. And they are doing all of this with your money. It’s not just bad business and unmitigated greed. It’s also intentional. But on their way to all those bright dreams and personal glory… on their way to snatching everything for themselves and destroying you in the process they overlooked something and that is that a person’s reach should never exceed their grasp. They just haven’t grasped that." -- Les Visible

I watched Bush last night

I looked into the eyes of a corpse last night ...

Jack Cafferty on canceling the debates

I like this guy at CNN (probably the only sane commentator):

Cafferty asked (regarding the president): "Is he going to warn us about all the dire consequences if they don't do this the way he warned us about all the dire consequences if we didn't invade Iraq?
(yes probably)

"With all due respect to the President, he couldn't sell snow in South Africa in the middle of July, I don't think. If this is another, you know, 'give us $700 billion to do with what we want because you should be very afraid that if you don't do it your world will come to an end,' I don't know how well that's going to play. He's done this before--he's done it for eight years. They've used fear to pressure and leverage the Congress and the public into getting whatever they wanted on a whole raft of issues."
(Congress better grow some cajones this time or they aren't going to be re-elected)

"[McCain] hasn't cast a vote in Congress since April," Cafferty balked. "He's not going to be working on the legislation. The debate is scheduled between the two men who want the job of running the country. I don't understand the logic of saying 'let's cancel the debate.' I want to hear what these guys have to say about what they're going to do about the problem that the country has."
(don't expect logic from a loser who just happened to win the primary because everyone else sucked more)
There's more at Raw Story.
my comments in italics

McCain Did Not Suspend His Campaign at All

I was just over reading the news at Americablog

John McCain, despite what the news media tells you, has NOT suspended his campaign. The congressional leaders are meeting at 10am and McCain is in NYC addressing the Clinton Global Initiative. He will be in DC later for the photo op with the president. Yesterday, while the campaign was supposedly suspended, McCain had time to meet with royalty including Her Royal Highness Lady de Rothschild (she called blue collar voters "rednecks" and a huge celebrity, Sir Bono. Don't believe what you see on the teevee.

The candidates were told last week that they would be debating the economy this Friday.

McCain canceled the VP debate. Chicken shit. Sarah Palin did so poorly with Katie Couric, it's no wonder.

Bush has a 19% approval rating and a 76% disapproval rating. Only 31% of Americans support the bailout (and they are either rich or stupid.) More than 60% of Americans believe that McCain will follow Bush's policies. Seems that the Bush Administration is doing a bang up job of convincing Americans that the government will correct this catastrophe. Not.

They Call the Wind 'Maria?" One Cop Didn't Think So ...

From South Charleston, West Virginia, comes this amazing bit of news, shared with you, dear reader, just for a giggle:

A West Virginia man who police said passed gas and fanned it toward a patrolman has been charged with battery on a police officer.

That must have been some fart to constitute felony battery. I wonder how the evidence was collected and by whom (and I think the judge will likely throw it out of court, or the DA will refuse to prosecute).

A Frightened President Tries to Scare American Public on Bailout

via AlterNet:

The above is A composite of a day and night of fast-breaking news from the Huffington Post's Jennifer Loven, The Nation's John Nichols and David Letterman.

Below is a great comment from this AlterNet post and needs to be passed around IMMEDIATELY to any and ALL McCain supporters you may know.

Posted by: NoMcCainPalin on Sep 25, 2008 12:24 AM

What kind of person would.......

Piss off his fellow high school students to the point they nicknamed him “Nasty.”

Blow four years of free education at the U.S. Naval Academy and end up fifth from the bottom of his 800-midshipman class.

Fly Navy jets recklessly instead of professionally and crash five planes.

Sell military secrets to his captors during the Vietnam War for hot coffee and cigarettes.

Cheat on a wife who spent nearly every waking hour for five years trying to make his POW experience easier for him.

Jump into bed with S&L executives in what became known as the “Keating Five” scandal.

Maintain close ties with lobbyists his entire political career and then claim he didn’t.

Betray MIA families by shutting down a Senate Select investigation into the fate of U.S. airmen missing in action during wartime and sealing their DOD records.

Flip flop on virtually every major campaign issue.

Lie about his opponent again and again.

Pick an ignorant hockey mom beauty queen to be a heartbeat-away from commander-in-chief.

Finally, what kind of politician would duck Friday night’s televised presidential debate?

A born LOSER, that’s who!

The 32 words.....

From The Old Hippie's Groovy Blog
(by Jason Linkins via The Huffington Post)

A critical - and radical - component of the bailout package proposed by the Bush administration has thus far failed to garner the serious attention of anyone in the press. And it is these 32 words from Section 8 of the bailout proposal...

“Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

Does anyone know if "they" took this out of the proposed bailout bill?


"OMG!, there is literally NO gas here! I finally found some this a.m., but had to wait in line, and could only get half a tank. It's nuts."

Yep. That's the answer I received when I e-mailed the following headline and links to a fellow blogger by the name of AnnaVanZ who comments frequently here at Blondesense:

"Major Gas Shortage In Western North Carolina Sends Drivers Scrambling".

Guess I'll have to walk to the post office to mail my portion of the bailout funds to the Federal Reserve. Leg's feelin' kinda gimpy though. Maybe I won't go at all. What's the Fed gonna do if we refuse to give 'em the money? In partial response to that question, I'll remind readers of what Marie Antoinette had to say when she was asked what the peasants would eat: "Let them eat cake." So. "Ben, Hank, boygeorge, the rest of you miserable tubs of guts, why don't you eat shit?"

Dozens recount Republican convention (protest) experiences -One officer said...... "Your God is not with you right now. We are all devils"

The above photo appears on a website called Sharp Iron which discusses religion, spirituality, and life. I thought this post Shoot the Messengers (Why Fire and Brimstone Preaching is Evil) was appropriate for what is happening in our world today.

Today the stick is still used more often than the carrot. Sure Joel Osteen and friends preach the Gospel of prosperity, but they are only using reverse psychology. If you don’t do things their way you will not only miss out on prosperity but you will very likely remain mired in the trap of poverty. Even some elements of the liberal wing of the Church have found success in using scare tactics to meet their agenda......

So now, remember where the word PROTEST originates --

Protestant: The second Dict of Spires, in 1529, decided that the religious differences could only be decided by an ecclesiastical council, thus disallowing the right of private judgment. A solemn protest was made against this decision by the Lutheran princes of Germany, April 19, 1529, in consequence of which the members of the Reformed Churches have since been known as Protestants. The protest was drawn up by Luther and Melanchthon.

I find it amusing that humans have to get together to decide what "G_D" wants.

Usually any kind of protest in this country (or it's aftermath) barely gets a blip on the radar screen.....but it's quickly becoming headlines again this morning (online that is).

Last night in St. Paul, Minnesota dozens of folks gathered to share experiences they had during the Republican National Convention. More than 800 people were arrested during the convention Sept. 1-4. Officers in riot gear used tear gas, pepper spray and percussion grenades to control protesters. Some observers have questioned the use of force and criticized police for arresting journalists and legal observers.

My guess is that if this story hits the major news stations and publications today, it will only serve to shut up those of us who may be considering a protest of this economic bailout.

Wednesday, September 24

The Couric/Palin Interview reminded me of this classic from M*A*S*H when Hawkeye and Trapper needed an incubator. The general unloads a bushel of bush-wah, just like Sarah.

Get Out the Pitchforks and Lighted Torches: Protest at Wall St. This Thursday at 4 p.m. - by John Tarleton from The Indypendant

Here's the info

Make sure to read the comments following his post. shikinah @4:42 speaks for me. HOLY CRAP - and I thought we all had a lovely way with words - YOU GO GIRL!


Same Church - Same Pew (meant to post this earlier)
( I had to throw a little God into the discussion here - especially after reading the response from Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas: "Just because God created the world in seven days doesn't mean we have to pass this bill in seven days)

Bush Backs Unlimited Compensation For Disgraced CEOs: Now Is Not The Time For ‘Punitive Measures’

Today, the White House released a statement criticizing Congress’s potential plan to limit CEO compensation at the companies the federal government is bailing out, firmly standing against any “punitive measures”:

We certainly understand and are sympathetic to the sentiment regarding the pay of CEOs and senior management of these firms, but we have to focus on the problem, and the problem is that we need these firms to participate in the program and sell us this debt. Having punitive measures would provide a disincentive for firms to participate, and that would make the program much less likely to succeed.

CEO compensation and corporate governance in public companies are very important issues — especially when receiving taxpayer support — but we need to be focused on fixing this problem in our markets right now. We can and should return to those issues once we get this legislation passed.

President Bush also released another statement earlier today warning Congress against inserting any “unrelated provisions” — such as help for struggling homeowners — in the $700 billion Wall Street bailout.

The Bush administration’s position is unjustifiable. As ABC News reported:

In 2007, Wall Street’s five biggest firms — Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley — paid a record $39 billion in bonuses to themselves.

That’s $10 billion more than the $29 billion loan taxpayers are making to J.P. Morgan to save Bear Stearns.

Those 2007 bonuses were paid even though the shareholders in those firms last year collectively lost about $74 billion in stock declines — their worst year since 2002.


Great Commentary on this subject from ThinkProgress also -

The Need For Punitive Measures

I liked this commenter's idea -

hetherjw Says:
September 23rd, 2008 at 7:29 am
The government should do what a private equity group would do: buy up failed (or failing) companies, fire the board & the C-level employees then rip the company up into little pieces and sell it off for profit. The $700 billion should not get the taxpayers a bunch of bad debt and leave the companies intact, it should get the taxpayers a huge payday and destroy the companies that have failed.

This would both “protect” the taxpayers and prevent this from ever happening again.

So what kind of "wrong doings" would it take for this administration to want to impose 'punitive measures'???

White House calls for 'punitive' measures against Iran in nuclear row

Western powers must take further 'punitive' measures against Iran after demands Tehran freeze its nuclear programme were rebuffed, the White House claimed today.

The major powers say they fear Tehran wants to build an atomic bomb. But Iran, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, insists it is only seeking to master nuclear technology to generate electricity.
"In the absence of a positive response to the generous offer that we provided for in our extended package, we think that the allies will have no choice but to take further measures that would be punitive," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said aboard Air Force One.

I know I'm just preaching to the choir folks - thanks for listening.

McCain's Move

Come to find out it was Obama's starting move that impelled McCain into suggesting he suspend his campaign.

An email was sent to the McCain camp (under a flag of truce?) by the Obama camp suggesting that a joint statement be sent out about the current economic mess and expressing concerns about the Paulson Bailout Plan. That was at 8:30 this morning.

McCain has issued a public statement this afternoon that he was "suspending" his campaign and, after a speaking engagement at the Clinton Center, will return to Washington to take part in any votes. He added that he hoped the plan (whatever form it takes) can be approved and implemented before the markets open on Monday morning.

He also wanted to postpone Friday night's Presidential debate in Oxford, Mississippi due to this emergency.

What emergency? The only thing that's changed in the past 48 hours, according to Ben Smith of Politico, is the polling data, which is starting to show Obama pulling away from McCain.

Obama went on TV at 4:40 this afternoon, described the chronology (and giving props to Senator Coburn for suggesting that a joint statement might be a good idea), but saying that now, more than ever, the American people need to hear what he and McCain have to say and where they stand on issues, so he's in favor of continuing the debates as scheduled.

Which will be fun to watch. I'm laying in extra popcorn to see if McCain can multitask effectively. Let's face it, I want a President who's capable of doing two things at once at a minimum.

So, what do you think?

Caption THIS!

According to US Magazine, a staple in my eye doctor's office (so it must be true), John McCain paid $5,583.43 (according to the Federal Election Commission) to the American Idol make up gal to make him purty.

hat tip to Sara for coming up with the popeye idea. I couldn't resist.

Caption Time!

My suggestion: "Is that hair on the back of your head, or some kind of storage unit?"

A sign of things to come?

CEO murdered by mob of sacked Indian workers

We're all socialists now

Great post from Thomas F Schaller from the Baltimore Sun
Saving the wealthy with socialism, conservative-style

Like it or not, we're all socialists now. You can thank those free-market conservatives and their deregulatory idol, George W. Bush, for that.

Conservatives love to wield the word socialism like some all-purpose, liberal-slaying sword. Redistribution to the poor, the right to unionize and affirmative action are decried as anti-market, unfair advantages for filthy socialists who can't compete and fail to appreciate the almighty, equalizing power of self-determination and an unfettered market.

To social conservatives, Darwinism is merely an unproven "theory" about how our species evolved. But "social Darwinism" is an ineluctable fact: The smart and hardworking prosper, while the stupid and lazy fail.

Yet notice how those same chest-thumping capitalists of talk radio and at the corporate-funded think tanks often fall silent in the face of fixed markets, no-bid contracts, bailouts and subsidies for the very corporations that demand less government oversight when things are going well, then turn to Washington when things go horribly wrong.

The hypocrisies abound.

continued with examples
Compared to these goons, most liberals I know are fiscal conservatives. No one better call me a "pinko." But then again, we Americans are getting used to living in opposite land where meanings of words and terms are now contrary to what they used to be. I don't want to hear anyone tell me that universal health care is socialist or marxist. It's cheaper than bailing out corporations that suck. Congress had better pass SCHIP. And I don't want to hear a peep about unions.

And talk about benefiting from the greatest socialist program of the 21st century, Treasury Secretary Paulson's former firms of Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley stand to be the biggest beneficiaries of the $700 billion bailout.

Bonuses for those who suck at their jobs. Up to 10,000 staff at the NY office of Lehman brothers will share a bonus of $2.5 billion and the 5,000 employees in London aren't even sure they will be getting their salaries.

Tuesday, September 23

QUICK! Somebody rush over and give Robert Mueller a rimjob and a bag of money!

FBI probing Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, AIG

"The FBI is investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and insurer American International Group Inc. and their senior executives for potential mortgage fraud, CNN reported on Tuesday.

"The FBI did not provide specifics but said the inquiries were part of a broader probe, CNN said.

"The bureau is trying to determine whether anyone in those financial institutions, including their senior executives, had any responsibility for providing "misinformation," CNN reported.

"A federal law enforcement official confirmed the FBI is now looking at 26 cases of potential corporate fraud related to the collapse of the U.S. mortgage lending industry."

Racism Alive and Well in America

I almost had an argument with a gal over the weekend who swears up and down that she researched on the internet, that Obama is a Muslim and she won't vote for one of "them" because of 9/11.

She's from NC and I told her that most NYers believe that the GOP is closer to the terrorists than any Democrat. But that didn't faze her.

My friend from NH asked me if I was voting for "Osama" and I said, "Obama?" and she said, "No, Osama."

In the supermarket a woman told me and my son that she refuses to wear a burka and will be voting for McCain.

And I have more stories I won't bore you with. I try to bring up issues about McCain that I would think would give people reason to pause, but it doesn't. They're convinced Obama's a Muslim and no one cares about what McCain did or didn't do. Oh and I believe that "Muslim" Is a code word for "black."

I haven't heard anything in the news about this Muslim connection, but then again, I don't listen to talk radio nor do I watch Faux News. I seem to remember a big flack about Obama's Christian minister that was all over the news, but apparently everyone forgot about that. The gal from NC said that she does watch Faux News and my friend from NH watches Glenn Beck. So there ya go. No one knows anything about the issues at all. They think in sound bites. They like Sarah Palin cause she's a mom and they don't like Obama cause he's a Muslim (black). End of story.

I just saw this at Think Progress. Limbaugh Repeats Myth That Obama Is Of ‘Arab-African’ Descent “He’s Arab. You know, he’s from Africa. He’s from Arab parts of Africa,” Limbaugh claimed. Of course he is wrong. Obama's dad was from Kenya and Kenyans aren't Arabs. Millions of dumbasses across our great land listen to this jackass. No freaking wonder they have everything all mixed up.

Speaking of just how ridiculous this meme is, I just read this story that a 5th grader was suspended from school in Colorado for wearing a crudely written homemade tshirt that read “Obama a terrorist’s best friend.” If the mass media can perpetrate the myth that Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer, then I suppose that anything goes as far as tshirt slogans and the kid should be cut some slack... just as long as someone can wear a tshirt claiming that McCain aided and abetted the enemy during the Vietnam war.

UPDATE: ...and speaking of racism, World Nut Daily has a piece that claims it's not greed that caused the mortgage and financial crisis, but minority homeownership. Ah yes, of course it was those liberal activists who insisted upon deregulation.

lose your home, lose your vote (II)

See below for the original shock 'n' awe- and rage-inspiring post.

I'm stuck at home taking care of family business, and was listening to NPR yesterday morning.

In Cook County, IL, law enforcement folks are quite chuffed with themselves on how they've 'revamped' their eviction practices.

Why? Well... Let's say you're a renter. Let's say your landlord/property owner can't make the payments on the apartment or house that you're renting, and the thing goes into foreclosure. And let's say the landlord/property owner has kept you in the dark about this, and that the building goes into foreclosure and you don't know about it until the sheriff's dept comes pounding on the door to throw you out.

This means you'll be kicked to the curb, with all of your belongings, and if you don't have a place to go that is just too f*cking bad.

Can you all imagine just how many voters that leaves homeless, and scrambling to find a new address? At the back of my mind, reading the original post on the GOP being desperate to eliminate voters, this was bubbling along but I wasn't putting two and two together.

If you're a propertarian and can afford your digs, they want you.

If you're a renter and completely subject to the ability or inability of your landlord to remain solvent, f*ck off.

Oh, so what's this great revolutionary change that they've made to eviction procedure in Cook County? you may well ask.

Renters get a whole seven days' notice before they're put out on the street. Which is to say, they have seven days to let the courts know they're living in the unit or house that they're renting on the foreclosed property.

It saddens me that this is an 'improvement', but hell, better than nothing. Something that occurs to me very belatedly is that the class war is so deeply embedded we seldom see it until it is glaring us in the face. If you're on a lease, they give you 'up to 120 days' to find housing. If you're renting month-to-month, it's 30 days. This is assuming that your landlord was not completely crooked and you were residing there legally. Having lived in two apartments myself where absolutely nothing was above-board and legal (I learned this upon moving out, both times), this is a bit horrifying.

Anyway, have a listen to the original story here.

Sara the Renter

FROM THE NEW YORK SUN: Spies Warn That Al Qaeda Aims for October Surprise

First a little background on The New York Sun:

The Sun's political orientation is "right-of-center" - "certainly neoconservative in its views."

The Sun is "known for its pugnacious coverage of Jewish-related issues" in particular, it is "a strong proponent of Israel's right to defend itself."

The paper courted controversy in 2003 with an unsigned February 6 editorial arguing that protestors against the Iraq war should be prosecuted for treason.

According to Scott Sherman, writing in the left-wing magazine The Nation (4/30/07), the Sun is "a broadsheet that injects conservative ideology into the country's most influential philanthropic, intellectual and media hub; a paper whose day-to-day coverage of New York City emphasizes lower taxes, school vouchers and free-market solutions to urban problems; a paper whose elegant culture pages hold their own against the Times in quality and sophistication; a paper that breaks news and crusades on a single issue; a paper that functions as a journalistic SWAT team against individuals and institutions seen as hostile to Israel and Jews; and a paper that unapologetically displays the scalps of its victims."

Kofi Annan's chief of staff at the United Nations, describes the Sun as "a pimple on the backside of American journalism."

Here's the TERRIFYING story.... (McCain said this, McCain did that - yadda yadda yadda)


from our Blog-Mistress, Blondesense Liz, in the comment section she writes:

The story says that "Al Qaeda may launch more overseas operations to influence the presidential elections in November."

I think that Al Qaeda may be an arm of the GOP and the CIA. They scare people into giving up their freedom and choices in the name of safety. It's a perfect ploy for the GOP to further their agenda of keeping Americans afraid and complacent. Al Qaeda won a long time ago and will keep on winning as long as we cower in fear in this country.

Monday, September 22

Palin Tripping Out!

From the Garlic:

Palin to take whirlwind tour to meet over 180 world leaders! Now she can claim she met more leaders than Obama!

Palin to visit leaders

"Much of madness, more of sin, and horror the soul of the plot...."

To those who advocate STRONG opposition to the current shenanigans in the executive and legislative branches of the government:
First, either read or re-read the Army Times article Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1 (sub-headline): "3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army."

Second, have a look at the Dark Wraith's article entitled March 13, 2008 which I reproduce here in its entirety with the exception of a YouTube video for which I provide the link (bold emphasis by me):

"Rumors of what happened are as wild as any conspiracy theory could get. This much is clear: on March 13, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives went into secret session, the fourth such closed meeting in recent memory. Ostensibly, the session was closed to outsiders so a "debate" about the then-pending revision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be held.

"This version of what was going to happen is supported by the following video capture of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) raising an objection to the proceeding long enough to probe House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on the need for the secrecy.

"As can be heard, once he had put into the record his concerns, Kucinich withdrew his objection and stated that he would not attend the secret session; this, unfortunately, means he cannot attest to what actually happened in that meeting of the House on March 13, 2008, although he would have been prohibited by House rules from revealing the content of the proceedings, anyway, even if he had attended.

"While the topic of the meeting was set forth in public record, the rumor mill has recently brought forth claims that the content of the secret session was considerably different from a debate about revising FISA., among other sites, asserts that insiders are saying the following matters were discussed:

• The United States economy is facing 'imminent collapse' late this year.

• The 'financing system' of U.S. government is facing 'imminent collapse' early next year.

• A 'civil war' resulting from the economic chaos is possible.

• Citizens likely to be involved in an uprising will be pre-emptively rounded up.

• Those detained will be incarcerated in REX 84 camps being built throughout the country.

• Members of Congress may become subject to 'retaliation' because of the severe problems that will ensue if the economy collapses.

• Provisions have been made for relocating Members of Congress and their families to safe locations should civil unrest threaten their safety.

• The collapse of the U.S. government's means of financing operations, along with the collapse of the United States economy, will compel, or perhaps propel, the binding of the United States with Canada and Mexico into the North American Union.

• This North American Union will then issue a new currency, called the "amero," which will function as a fiat currency similar to the euro of the European Union.

"As can be seen from the progression of items in the list above, the rumor slides gracefully into full-blown, North American Union conspiracy theory by the end. Moreover, it is somewhat difficult, although not impossible, to see how a session of the House that was approved on the pretext of a debate about revising the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act could become a closed-door tell-all about the death of the United States as an independent republic. It is, of course, possible that some of those who supported the revision of FISA might use the occasion of a closed-door session to show a coming economic apocalypse that requires extraordinary measures be available to federal law enforcement authorities. This might explain why so many otherwise sane members of the federal legislature voted to pass the abomination of the revised FISA that is now the new law of the land with respect to spying on people.

"As an alternative, it is also quite possible that many members of the federal legislature are simply too stupid to grasp the fact that law enforcement authorities now, thanks to the new FISA, have free rein to write and use computer code for routing wiretaps and aggregating the acquired data that is so complex that not one federal judge currently on the bench has even the slightest prayer of ever figuring out what the snoops are doing to comprehensively eliminate American citizens' right to privacy.

"All of the back-and-forth about what really happened in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 13 aside, the cautionary tale from the conspiracy theory version is this: a government that conducts its business behind closed doors invites not just bad legislation, but also wild conjecture about what is really going on.

"Imminent collapse of the U.S. economy and the federal government's ability to finance operations, FEMA concentration camps operationalized to hold malcontents by the hundreds of thousands, the end of the United States of America as a sovereign nation: these are all the stuff of rank conspiracy theories now given life by federal legislators who clearly believe the public's business is none of the public's business, at least when it comes to debating legislation to eviscerate the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution of any practical meaning whenever federal law enforcement deems necessary.

"Instead of cracking down on the staggeringly common use of National Security Letters by the FBI to circumvent judicial control over searches and seizures, the Congress has handed law enforcement at the federal level carte blanche to spy at will; instead of condemning telecommunications companies for working with the Bush Administration to illegally spy on Americans, the Congress has handed those criminal conspirators immunity from civil actions by the citizens whose rights they violated; and instead of openly conducting what was apparently an important debate about further degrading the constitutional protections of the citizens of this country, the House of Representatives went into secret session.

"Whether or not there is a grain of truth in what the conspiracy theorists say happened during that closed-door debate, the salient question is quite obvious. If our elected representatives do not trust us in their deliberations, why, then, should we ever trust what they say when they condescend to address us?

"It seems that, whatever was said in that closed-door session of the United States House of Representative on March 13, 2008, it was all too important for us to hear.

"The good news is this: eventually, we will find out.

"Unfortunately, that's also the bad news.

"The Dark Wraith will now accept applications for conspiracy theorists-in-training."

The preceding might be one of the big reasons almost every member of Congress, be they Democrat or Republican, has been walking around with an expression like their asshole was sucking wind. How would YOU tell your constituents, "Don't raise too much hell; they'll slaughter you like...well, like the same way they've been slaughtering Afghanis, Iraqis, and now Pakistanis."

There are comments available at the link as the well as the YouTube video of Dennis Kucinich.

Thanks again to Father Tyme and The Dark Wraith.

Wall Street Bailout: The Patriot Act of Finance

"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors: We take it from those who fail to defend it sufficiently."

Breaking News

New York, NY – The Federal Reserve has announced that Wall Street’s remaining two flagship investment banks,
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, will become bank holding companies.

So here’s how it works: These virtuous, pompous Republican hypocrites believe in self-reliance and free-market capitalism but when THEIR asses are on the line, they want the big, bad government that they rabidly deride as “evil socialism” to write a big, fat fucking check. Of course, this leaves one to guess what these whimpering bastards would possibly ever do if there was no government at all. Perhaps we should ask Ron Paul… Every so many years, the U.S. government bails out the financial markets (wasn’t there something about a certain Bush family member who ran an S&L into the ground called Silverado?) because these supposed geniuses -- this bastion of high risk taking conservatism --- bets away our money and when they lose, Joe Taxpayer gets to suck it.

H/T to Jersey Cynic and Peter or Lone Tree for these two eye-popping articles

This site

that present the sticky details on what lurks behind the $700 billion bailout in what is aptly described as “The Patriot Act of Finance.”

The shift marks the
"end of an era" that will transform the free-wheeling, big risk-taking investment bankers who frequently used enormous amounts of debt to drive up profits with very little oversight into fully regulated banks. When does the Revolution start?
And what will these masters of the universe get for subjecting themselves to greater scrutiny?

“In exchange for subjecting themselves to more regulation, the companies will have access to the full array of the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities. It should help them avoid the fate of Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy last week, and Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch — both of which agreed to be acquired by big bank holding companies.”

Will hedge fund regulation be next? AND WHY ARE WE NATIONALIZING Wall Street financial institutions such as AIG when over fifty million plus Americans do not have health insurance? Let’s check that logic against the hordes of unwashed taxpayers without it:

“I don’t have health insurance, but these guys have yachts, ten cars and several homes and get to keep it all while the people all around them lose their jobs, homes and access to healthcare.”

That’ll work! Here in CA, a Blue Cross policy holder got leukemia and the insurance giant cancelled his policy. He died eight months later from not being able to receive the treatment necessary to save his life. Who is taking the risk? When these assholes are pulling down millions and millions of dollars in annual salaries, why are they not expected to fold?

In the meantime, Barney Frank called Paulson “entirely unreasonable” yesterday as the Democrats are being pushed by
Bush to "act quickly on the bailout."

Barney Frank of Massachusetts, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. was being “entirely unreasonable” in pushing for immediate Congressional passage without some provisions favored by Democrats.”

I don’t know what is worse: the hypocritical socialism of wealthy financiers and bankers or the fact the plebes in this country will not rise up against these corporofascists but instead, will vote for yet another president who is down with the whole One Big Money Party program as is customary every four years.