Saturday, September 27, 2008

Low Ranking Monkey

So what was up with McCain refusing to make eye contact with Obama at the debate last night? He looked mighty contemptuous, like he thought it was beneath him to be on the same stage as the young whippersnapper. Not exactly presidential. Sheesh, Captain Queeg is sure full of anger, isn't he?

One poster to Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo says McCain's behavior is reminiscent of low ranking monkeys:

I think people really are missing the point about McCain's failure to look at Obama. McCain was afraid of Obama. It was really clear--look at how much McCain blinked in the first half hour. I study monkey behavior--low ranking monkeys don't look at high ranking monkeys. In a physical, instinctive sense, Obama owned McCain tonight and I think the instant polling reflects that.

My fervent hope all along has been that McCain would lose his legendary temper in one of these debates. There's still time...

Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain Blinks

Stunt over.

No Bailout Needed?

So says James Galbraith:

Now that all five big investment banks -- Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- have disappeared or morphed into regular banks, a question arises.

Is this bailout still necessary?

The point of the bailout is to buy assets that are illiquid but not worthless. But regular banks hold assets like that all the time. They're called "loans."

With banks, runs occur only when depositors panic, because they fear the loan book is bad. Deposit insurance takes care of that. So why not eliminate the pointless $100,000 cap on federal deposit insurance and go take inventory? If a bank is solvent, money market funds would flow in, eliminating the need to insure those separately. If it isn't, the FDIC has the bridge bank facility to take care of that.

Next, put half a trillion dollars into the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. fund -- a cosmetic gesture -- and as much money into that agency and the FBI as is needed for examiners, auditors and investigators. Keep $200 billion or more in reserve, so the Treasury can recapitalize banks by buying preferred shares if necessary -- as Warren Buffett did this week with Goldman Sachs. Review the situation in three months, when Congress comes back. Hedge funds should be left on their own. You can't save everyone, and those investors aren't poor.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Slogan

No more drama. I’m votin’ for Obama.


Hey Congress! There is no reason to rush through any kind of bailout. Do not burden the next president with this albatross. Slow down and think this through. The last time we got the bum rush by this den of thieves we wound up with the vile Patriot Act and the disastrous Iraq War. So stop, figure it out and then act.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Run Away, Run Away!

John McCain and Monty Python have something in common.

To Sum It All Up

McCain is a fucking dickhead.

He's grandstanding with his suspend the campaign and debate crap. How will this help the financial situation?

Which, by the way, is not a crisis no matter how many times McCain and Bush and King Henry say it. As I recall, the last time they rushed something through Congress, we wound up with the Iraq War and the Patriot Act.

Good thing is, the majority of Americans blame Republicans for this mess and Obama has gained 9 points in the polls as a result.

Monday, September 22, 2008

No Blank Checks

Take 15 minutes and read this -- best explanation of how we got in the mess we're in.

I've already written my congressman, senators and Reid and Pelosi to tell them not to give Hank Paulson a blank check (for $700 billion or more) without oversight and without protecting consumers.

And you know that if Democrats win in November and try to get health care or some other protection, the Republicans will scream that its socialism (but I guess socialism is OK for big businesses that make really bad decisions) and they will suddenly develop fiscal responsibility and wring their hands and say "but there just isn't any money for that."


Saturday, September 20, 2008

"They Battle Republicans"

Living in a potential battleground state, I see lots of ads for both McCain and Obama. One of McCain's is just bizarre -- its called "Original Mavericks" and the point, which is repeated incessantly, is that both McCain and Palin battled Republicans!

Now, the media is totally enamoured of the idea that Bob Casey was prevented from speaking at the 1992 Democratic Convention because he opposed the party's pro-choice platform (this is actually not true -- he was prevented from speaking because he would not endorse the ticket, but the media continually perpetuates the myth that is was because he was pro-life).

Here we have the party's actual candidates who seem opposed to the party itself! You'd think that the media might find that interesting. Sadly, no. Why is that? Oh, right, there are different rules for how the media covers the candidates. Democrats, always disunified and troubled. Republicans, always united and focused. I forgot.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

McCain Knows Nothing

What Atrios said:

The dirty little secret about John McCain is that he really knows nothing about anything. He's as incurious and ignorant as George Bush, with less excuse. So, yes, it makes sense that his people would rather suggest and end of relations with our NATO ally than reveal the truth about their woefully inadequate candidate.

This is in reference to the McCain blunder yesterday in which McCain was interviewed on the Florida affiliate of Spanish radio network Union Radio. And in the interview McCain appeared not to know who the Prime Minister of Spain was and assumed he was some anti-American leftist leader from South America.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


White Privilege, White Entitlement and the 2008 Election

By Tim Wise
(Tim Wise is the author of White Like Me)

For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin ’ redneck," like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re "untested."

White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it’s good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the"under God" part wasn’t added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution,which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.

White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you. White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she’s being disrespectful.

White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

White privilege is being able to convince white women who don’t even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."

White privilege is being able to fire people who didn’t support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.

White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God’s punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you’re just a good church-going Christian, but if you’re black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you’re an extremist who probably hates America.

White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O’Reilly means you’re dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.

White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah=2 0Palin has referred to it, a "light" burden.

And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren’t sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it’s just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain.

White privilege is, in short, the problem.

McCain, the Economy and Social Security

Keep in mind that if Bush had gotten his way on Social Security -- and McCain has exactly the same policies -- the money being burned on Wall Street right now would be Social Security money. More here.

I also love how McCain is ranting about how CEOs make too much money and get big payouts when they leave a failing company. As if Washington can do anything about that!

McCain apparently has a secret plan to help the economy -- he must keep it safe in the same place where he keeps his secret plan to capture Bin Laden.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Get Angry, Fight Hard

Obama needs to take off his seeming-presidential hat and put on his old community organizer hat. He needs to stop being so lawyerly and professorial and become more grassroots.

And he needs to get angry and fight hard.

I told a colleague today that Obama's grassroots organization should make sure there are lots of people at every McCain and Palin rally yelling "liars, liars, liars" throughout the entire speech. He clearly balked and said meekly "isn't that kinda rude?'

RUDE?!! Rude my ass. This is our country we're fighting for. This is our future. If McCain wins, we all have to move to Canada or Costa Rica or wherever. So who gives a shit about rude? Do whatever it takes -- we have to win. Or America ceases to be.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah, Culture War Princess

I heard Stephanie Miller call Sarah Palin "Caribou Barbie" which is quite funny. I prefer Princess of the Culture Wars. She's so clearly a sop to the fundamentalist right. I read that when she was mayor, she tried to get the library in her little town to ban books. So -- not a warrior, just a princess, in the culture wars.

Not to even mention that she is a complete and total liar. She secured $27 million in pork for her town of 9,000 -- oh, but she is opposed to earmarks. Yeah, right.

What a joke she is -- however, I hope she hangs on because every minute she's there negatively impacts McCain. Isn't it interesting how she's the news, not McCain, but on the Democratic side, Obama is the news.

And, as others have, I can't help but wonder what the reaction would be if the Obamas had a pregnant teen daughter with a young black roughneck boyfriend. I anxiously await the GOP nuts screaming in support of Levi Redneck up on the stage tonight with his baby mama.