Saturday, July 12, 2008


Rock on.

Getting On Myself

So awesome.

Q: But do you go on line for yourself?

Mr. McCain: They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don’t expect to be a great communicator, I don’t expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need – including going to my daughter’s blog first, before anything else.

Q: Do you use a blackberry or email?

Mr. McCain: No

Unnecessary Consumer Products

Durian flavored wafer cookies.


Perhaps Not The Best Example

I appreciate that for people on fixed incomes every little price increase can be problematic, but I'm not sure "gonna cut into my gambling money" is really the way to make that point.

"I'm not going to get an E-ZPass. I'll just have to pay the $4," said Angie Stanisci, 69, a South Philadelphia legal secretary who uses the senior discount for trips across the Walt Whitman Bridge to visit friends in South Jersey and to go to Atlantic City casinos.

The Rev. Tony Evans, director of Camden's Health and Human Services Department, predicted that the higher tolls for seniors would "have an effect, but we don't yet know the full impact."

Not intending to pick on the person quoted. Don't care what she does with her money.

Getting Played

The TRUTH has finally been revealed.

Good Eats

[local post]

Was fortunate to be invited to the rehearsal run-through for Cantina Dos Segundos in Northern Liberties a couple of days ago. Food was excellent, so give it a try.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.



``IndyMac is the vanguard, the precursor of more stuff coming,'' said Christopher Whalen, managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics, a market research company in Torrance, California. ``It's not surprising to see IndyMac resolved. What you have to ask is what's coming next. It's going to be a wave of medium to bigger-than-medium institutions.''

Follow Her Advice!

Yes, please, listen to Amity Shlaes and keep telling voters that they're whiners because the High Poobahs of Econ haven't yet officially declared a recession.

Washington elites are so awesome. Oh, and in touch with regular folk.

Normally I get annoyed when Fred Hiatt publishes this crap, but today I think he's done us all a service.

Morning thought

What always gets me about conservative policies is the way they make all the problems they purport to solve worse, thus generating the "need" to do more of the same. For example, being "tough on crime" actually creates more tough criminals, so then you "need" to have more severe (and more expensive) policies and more prisons and get even tougher.

It'd be nice if people finally started to see through this scam.

Update from Philly Boy in comments:
Avedon leaves out one component. Conservatives blame all problems on liberals, so when their (conservatives') policies make a situation worse, their response is to blame the deterioration on liberals and try to implement even dumber versions of their policies.

It's a perfect feedback loop for conservatives — they implement policies, the policies fail, they blame liberals and implement even dumber policies, the policies fail even worse, they blame liberals even more, etc.

The end result of global warming will be Rush Limbaugh on a Colorado mountain peak surrounded by oceans blaming the entire situation on Al Gore.

Not Atrios

Late Night

Rock on.

Friday, July 11, 2008


In our name. (pdf)
Since the time my twins and their younger brother, Adam, entered the army, I always lived with the fear that I may face the news that one of my sons had been killed in the line of duty. On January 2, 2008, that fear was realized. What I did not expect to hear, though, was the manner of death that my son, Ryan, a decorated Army Ranger and Green Beret, experienced. While I had always been prepared to hear that one of my sons died by way of a firefight or a roadside bomb, I was dumbstruck to hear in the days following the news of my son’s death that he was electrocuted while taking a shower in his living quarters on his Army base at the Radwaniyah Palace Complex in Baghdad....

I have also learned that Kellogg Brown & Root knew of this very hazard since at least February 10, 2007 – 11 months before Ryan’s death – when they conducted an inspection of the facilities where Ryan lived. The deficiencies KBR noted on that date included, among others, the fact that the building’s main circuit panel, the secondary feeder panel, and the water tank were not grounded. The wiring leading into the secondary electrical panel was not sized properly for the main breakers, did not have proper thermal coating, and did not meet either U.S. or British electrical standards.
Via Susie.

Night Thread

Bye IndyMac

CR tells me to check the failed bank list. And I do. And I see that Indymac is officially a "failed bank."

..and we have a story.

IndyMac Bancorp Inc., a prolific mortgage specialist that helped fuel the housing boom, was seized Friday by federal regulators in one of the largest bank failures in U.S. history.

The Pasadena, Calif. thrift was one of the largest savings and loans in the country with about $32 billion in assets. It now joins an infamous list of collapsed banks, topped by Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Co., which failed in 1984 with $40 billion of assets.

Their specialty was Alt-A loans, which is the category where many "liar loans" found their home.

Fresh Thread

Friday evening has arrived.


Due to his military service 40 years ago, it's unpossible that John McCain would make stuff up and how dare Barack Obama suggest otherwise.

Friday Cat Blogging

Helicopter Ben to the Rescue

Bernanke now saying that Fannie and Freddie get to borrow from his magical money mint, too, if they want to, presumably (not clearly stated in story I read) putting up their pieces of big shitpile as collateral.


Free Mobility

A visit by in-laws has reminded me that senior citizens get to ride the elitest public transportation here for free. Good policy for a variety of reasons.

Lunchtime Thread



Gonna bring everyone down!

Mounting doubts over the ability of the companies led Deutsche Bank analyst Mustafa Chowdhury, a former Freddie Mac executive, on a Wednesday conference call to float the possibility that share prices could go below $5.

For the debt, much depends on the continued support of foreign central banks that have been loading up on the companies' $1.6 trillion in outstanding debt, a Deutsche Bank trader said on the call.

"If you are going to bail out Bear Stearns, the Congress is going to support Fannie and Freddie," said Andrew Brenner, co-head of structured products at MF Global in New York.

Yields on 10-year bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ballooned 10 basis points to more than 1 percentage point above government debt. They had been quoted as much as 12 basis points wider than late Wednesday.

And Paulson is being clear as mud.

And the market is crashing.

What Brung You

Other than FISA, I think the substantive "running to the center" stuff has pretty much been made up. Still there's an aesthetics and tone which does kind of signal that even if it's just theatrics. Theater matters, however, and campaigns aren't just powered by hope, they're powered by cash.

The Occasional Right Thing

This sounds like good news.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday that he would recommend that Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, be punished for violating agency principles that guarantee customers open access to the Internet.

The potentially precedent-setting move stems from a complaint that Comcast had blocked Internet traffic among users of a certain type of file-sharing software that allowed them to exchange large amounts of data.


Mr. Martin’s order would require Comcast to stop its practice of blocking, provide details to the commission on the extent and manner in which the practice was used and give consumers detailed information on how it planned to manage its network in the future.

Deep Thought

It's a bit of a problem when the share price of a stock is largely dependent on the beliefs of traders about the likelihood of a government bailout.

Saint McCain

Normally you'd think that angering Saint Ronnie and Saint Nancy by divorcing your first wife, committing adultery, and being less than honest in your autobiography about the events which transpired which at least cause a warm feeling to crawl up Chris Matthews' leg.

And, look, I don't really care about anything other than the usual IOKIYAR. I remember watching some game show (The Weakest Link I think) where the question was "Who was the the first divorced president?" The answer, of course, was Saint Ronald Reagan and when it was revealed there were audible gasps in the audience. You can understand their surprise, as during the funeral of Maureen Reagan the camera remain fixed on... Nancy Reagan and not her actual mother.

But only the personal lives and pasts of Democrats will ever matter.


Oil hits new record.

It's weird. I get the sense that every time it goes down a few bucks there's this kind of "oh, ok, gas is going to get cheap again" sentiment around. The price is going to fluctuate, and it could even fall by a nontrivial amount, but it's difficult to see it falling below, say, $100/barrel ever again. And it wasn't that long ago that $100 was crazy talk, the other way.

Good morning, campers!

Glenn's been talking to the ACLU.

Not Atrios

But He's OUR Mad Scientist!

William Donahue of The Catholic League goes after PZ Myers.

Bill Donohue is, of course, a dick.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two Posts In A Row

I wuz about to suggest that Barry was already behind, that the "no rescue plan is imminent" is already, as they say, not operative. But he's already there with the news.

WASHINGTON — Alarmed by the growing financial stress at the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies, senior Bush administration officials are considering a plan to have the government take over one or both of the companies and place them in a conservatorship if their problems worsen, people briefed about the plan said on Thursday.

The companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have been hit hard by the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Their shares are plummeting and their borrowing costs are rising as investors worry that the companies will suffer losses far larger than the $11 billion they have already lost in recent months. Now, as housing prices decline further and foreclosures grow, the markets are worried that Fannie and Freddie themselves may default on their debt.

Under a conservatorship, the shares of Fannie and Freddie would be worth little or nothing, and any losses on mortgages they own or guarantee — which could be staggering — would be paid by taxpayers.


Officials have also been concerned that the difficulties of the two companies, if not fixed, could damage economies worldwide. The securities of Fannie and Freddie are held by numerous overseas financial institutions, central banks and investors.

All the smartest boys in the room bet on big shitpile, lost, and now we're going to pay for it.

Does Anyone Remember Anthrax?

Apparently we're all destined to forget.

So much for that.


Watch it.

More Thread


Uh, Jonah?

It's Coretta Scott King, not Loretta.

(ht reader d)

...he fixed it.

Evening Thread


What're You Going To Do About It?

It'd be one thing if the Dems were capable of getting on the teevee night after night and talking about all of the subpoenas which have been ignored and (remember this one?) THE RULE OF LAW and all that stuff. That could at least achieve something politically. But they don't even seem to be trying.

Afternoon Thread

Enjoy. You Must.

Transportation Committee

Pretty good for Donna Edwards.


And we have a name.

Federal prosecutors have filed a criminal case against state Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage. No other information is available at this time, check throughout the morning for more updates.

...presumably stems from this.

Former Veco executive Rick Smith just said he bribed former Sen. Ben Stevens and sitting Anchorage Sen. John Cowdery.

His comment came as prosecutor Nicholas Marsh asked Smith who he’d pleaded guilty to bribing.

That WOULD Have Happened

But, then, a black man said something about another black man and there's only a collective 72 hours of cable news per day, so...

Lunchtime Thread

For those on the right coast, anyway.

Misery Doesn't Make Me Happy

Occasionally I get emails from people who think I have a tendency to cheer on various economic catastrophes and that I should have a bit more concern for people affected by them.

Aside from a bit of schadenfreude over people who should've known better regarding mortgages and HELOCs (and, no, this isn't most people affected by the housing/mortgage crisis, just some), I'm really not cheering on anything. I don't like it when people lose their jobs, or when people can't fill their gas tank, or when people see their 401Ks shrink. I've never been one to hope the system collapses so that we can rebuild it anew.

Yes, there's a tone of levity at times, but it's of the "downing the last bottle of scotch as the ship sinks into the water" variety. A morbid laugh, not a happy one.


So Stupid

Stick to blowing goats, Mickey.

Stop Whining, Citizen!

"Enron" Phil DOES NOT WANT.

In an interview with the Washington Times, Phil Gramm, a former Texas senator who is now vice chairman of UBS, the giant Swiss bank, said he expects Mr. McCain to inherit a sluggish economy if he wins the presidency, weighed down above all by the conviction of many Americans that economic conditions are the worst in two or three decades and that America is in decline.

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners," he said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline" despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.

Everybody Hates Philadelphia

While the center city and surrounding population has been growing, overall my fair city is continuing its long trend of population decline (the municipality itself, not the region).

Bridge Tolls

There will be much somewhat justfied wailing about a toll increase here, as the DRPA doesn't exactly have a reputation for spending its money well in recent years. Hopefully they do it smartly, raising the tolls more on the bridge that also has a train line on it (The PATCO line over the Ben Franklin bridge). And then spend the extra money to build a SUPERTRAIN, although I'm not thrilled about their potential plans.

And Another Year

Somewhere between April and August...why, that's another year from now.

Asked when Iraqi ground forces could handle security so U.S. troops would not have to, Lt. Gen. James Dubik told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the strength of Iraq's ground forces had grown significantly. "The ground forces will mostly be done by middle of next year; their divisions, brigades and battalions are on a good timeline," Dubik said in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee. "Could be as early as April. Could be as late as August," said Dubik, who until last week led the effort to train Iraqi forces.

While U.S. commanders' predictions on Iraqi security forces have proven excessively optimistic in the past, the general's assessment is central to the debates in Washington and Baghdad over a timeline for when Iraqi forces can take charge of security, allowing the bulk of the approximately 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq to withdraw.


That's a problem.

July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Borrowing at Fannie Mae, the U.S. government-sponsored mortgage company, has never been so expensive and it may not get better any time soon.

Chances are increasing that the U.S. may need to bail out Fannie Mae and the smaller Freddie Mac, former St. Louis Federal Reserve President William Poole said in an interview. Freddie Mac owed $5.2 billion more than its assets were worth in the first quarter, making it insolvent under fair value accounting rules, he said. The fair value of Fannie Mae's assets fell 66 percent to $12.2 billion, data provided by the Washington-based company show, and may be negative next quarter, Poole said.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Oh My

Who could it be?

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Reliable sources tell Channel 2 News that a grand jury has handed up a new indictment this evening in the ongoing public corruption probe.

There is no word yet who has been charged.

One current state senator, John Cowdery, and one former state senator, Ben Stevens, had their offices raided by federal agents in 2006.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Lieberman. Though, really, the real wankers are all of his media fanboys who will ignore this.

Uh, Jonah?

I'm pretty sure all the founders were, you know, dead in 1865 when the 13th amendment was ratified.

Though, oddly, they can be given credit for the 27th.

(ht reader p)

Thread again

McCain thinks the problem with Social Security is that it's Social Security.

Not Atrios

Deep Thought

When one black man says something about another black man, that's really important news.

The Mind of Jonah

We pay attention to him because we can't ever quite believe that someone as stupid as he is lacks any awareness of this fact, and that editors keep publishing him and people keep putting him on the teevee.

Fresh Thread

Enjoy. Or not. It's your choice this time!!!


The war is still over.

MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) — At least 14 people were killed in bomb attacks on Wednesday, including a suicide bombing against an Iraqi general who escaped unharmed, the officer and security officials said.

A suicide bomber rammed his explosives-filled car against the convoy of General Riyadh Jalal Tauffiq, the head of the security operations in Iraq's main northern city of Mosul and its surrounding province of Nineveh.

Afternoon Thread



Always awesome.

A banner slogan on the Pemberton Republican Club's Web site that said, "Obama loves America like O.J. loved Nicole," disappeared yesterday after local Democrats alleged racist campaign tactics.

The Web master, Ed Kuck, a recently elected Republican County committeeman, said he had seen the slogan on an Internet site and copied it onto the club's Web page about a month ago as "a joke." can see it here.

Egg and Chicken

Nice to see that the mayor of Houston understands something which should be obvious but for some reason isn't.

“People are wanting to live closer to where they work,” White said. “To build street-level retail, you need residences. To attract residences, you need street-level retail.”

It's why it can be hard to jumpstart a neighborhood. People aren't going to live in an urban area which doesn't have the kind of retail you need to make an urban area attractive, but you can't support that kind of retail until you have the people.

With sufficient local population you have a viable local urban economy and a walkable neighborhood which then makes mass transit more viable as well.

"The Immorality of Food Stamps"

That was the title of Gerson's piece at the front page so I was figuring I'd click through and have something to complain about. But, no, the real title appears to be "A Week of Hunger" and it appears this is Gerson's occasional trotting out of the "compassionate" part of his supposed "compassionate conservatism."

What's The Joke?

I've long appreciated the fact that when you speak in public a massive amount inevitably some stupid shit is going to come out of your mouth, which is why "gaffe" focused political journalism is bad. There are obvious exceptions, of course, like "Macaca" which actually tell us something about the candidate.

But when it comes to joking about killing Iranians... just what is the joke? I appreciate that it was a failed attempt at a joke, but the underlying premise would be funny to kill Iranians.

That's some straight talk we can believe in, my friends.


In a perfect world I'd be behind a "pay per bag" kind of thing for trash collection, but it's a bit problematic in a city which also has a general "trash on the streets" problem due to poor policies in other areas (not enough public trash cans, not enough street cleaning, etc.). Perhaps free up to a point, and then charging for extra, might work.

But I was struck by this.

Williams, the department's commissioner, said that Philadelphia would likely save money if it recycled more waste. He said that the city currently pays $62 to dispose of a ton of rubbish - typically to a landfill or an incinerator.

Meanwhile, the city earns $38 for every ton that is recycled.

If the goal really is to encourage more recycling - and it really does make money for the city (something I hadn't realized) - the can do a lot more in the carrot department before they bring out the stick. It's gotten a bit better, and the move to citywide single stream has been an improvement (as will citywide once per week recycling when it happens), but generally the public education and distribution of recycling bins has been rather poor.

...adding, and they could certainly start with public recycling receptacles which are pretty much (totally?) nonexistent.


This is a much better than usual look at McCain's plan to destroy the health insurance market.

PIKESVILLE, Md. — If Senator John McCain’s radical plan for remaking American health care is to work, he will have to find a way to cover people like Chaim Benamor, 52, a self-employed renovator in this Baltimore suburb. Mr. Benamor never found it necessary to buy insurance before having a mild heart attack last year and now, 13 years shy of Medicare, has little hope of doing so.

Morning thread.

Better thread than dead.

(Actually, if you're lookin' for something to read, you could do worse than to go here.)

Not Atrios

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Late Night

Here's a cat because Coeruleus took a picture.

Per Store

Nice business model.

Wanker of the Day

The Pickler.

Classy...and self-proclaimed foreign policy expert

This man wants to be President:

McCain was also asked about an Associated Press report indicating that exports to Iran have increased largely on the basis of cigarette sales, to which he quipped:

McCain's Response: Maybe that's a way of killing them.

McCain's also having trouble explaining Iraq...but then again he's only had this problem once, and that is continuously.

Evening Thread

Off to drink liberally.


Nobody could've predicted...yada yada...

The SEC report details an e-mail in which an analyst at an unidentified credit-rating company refers to the market for collateralized debt obligations as a ``monster.''

``Let's hope we are all wealthy and retired by the time this house of cards falters,'' said the e-mail, which was sent Dec. 15, 2006, to another analyst at the same firm.
The ratings firms' clients are the people who have an interest in getting a high rating. Obvious conflict.

(via CR)

Or Else

This Congress has been very good at sending sternly worded letters.

Afternoon Thread


Blame Where Blame Is Due

The problem isn't Jonah Goldberg, the problem is editors who have no respect for their product or their readers.

Maybe An Intrepid Reporter Could Ask

McCain in 2004:

Question: "What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there?"

McCain's Answer: "Well, if that scenario evolves than I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because -- if it was an elected government of Iraq, and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."

Does the John McCain of 2008 agree with this assessment?

...digby adds:

And no, asking him about this would not be insulting his service in Vietnam.


Deep Thought

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Heckuva Job, Harry and Nancy

A relatively senior officeholder once told me that most politicians have a strong need to be liked.

The percentage of voters who give Congress good or excellent ratings has fallen to single digits for the first time in Rasmussen Reports tracking history. This month, just 9% say Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Most voters (52%) say Congress is doing a poor job, which ties the record high in that dubious category.


According to the Associated Press-Wankers, Iraq's national security adviser sez no security deal unless there's a timetable for withdrawal. The White House does not want.

The sweet smell of sovereignty.

Loving Jesse

I've been pondering the conservative love fest for Jesse Helms and it's pretty simple really. Jesse Helms was really really good at pissing off liberals, and that's the basic organizing principle of today's conservative movement. If it pisses of liberals, it's good and it makes them happy.

Making Them Do It

Health Care For America Now:

The work of Health Care For America Now was first made public late last week. But the group, with Elizabeth Edwards as a figurehead, offered expanded insight into the details of its campaign during a meeting on Monday. In addition to spending $40 million -- $1.5 million of which will be put behind an initial ad buy (national TV, print, and online) -- the group will be sending organizers to 52 cities, blasting out emails to 5 million households, airing spots on MSNBC and CNN and submitting op-eds to major papers (officials hinted at the New York Times piece to come).

In addition, the campaign is going to take advantage of's massive data files to reach out to like-minded supporters and officials promised to work in Democratic and Republican districts alike.

"We'll have an organizer in the district of every Blue Dog Democrat," said HCAN campaign manager Richard Kirsch of the conservative Democrats.

Strip Mall Vacancies

I've noticed lots of vacancies when I've headed out into the burbs, but anecdote is not data. Here's data!

Strip malls, which are usually anchored by grocery or drug stores, saw average vacancies spike 0.5 percentage points to 8.2 percent, a level unseen since 1995, according to the report released on Monday.

Vacancies at regional malls rose 0.4 percentage points to 6.3 percent, the highest level since the first quarter of 2002, according to the preliminary results.

Brains Not Mush!

Better send zombie Ted Koppel after this reporter.

WASHINGTON — The package of spending and tax cuts proposed by Senator John McCain is unlikely to achieve his goal of balancing the federal budget by 2013, economists and fiscal experts said Monday.

“It would be very difficult to achieve in the best of circumstances, and even more difficult under the policies that Senator McCain has proposed,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan budget watchdog group

Morning Thread

Isn't this the kind of stuff Joe Lieberman is supposed to look into as Chair of the Homeland Security Committee...if he gave a damn?

Last month, CNN revealed that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had stored $85 million worth of household items in warehouses for two years. Instead of giving the supplies to victims of the 2005 hurricane, FEMA declared them surplus and gave them all away to federal agencies and 16 states in February.

The state of Louisiana -- the most hard-hit by the storm -- had not asked for any of the supplies, prompting outrage in the community after the original CNN report.

CNN's investigation showed that Mississippi was one of the 16 states that took the FEMA supplies, but it did not distribute them to Katrina victims.

But Joe is too busy sitting next to the "Captain's Chair" wiggling his feet with joy.

McCain's press corps cannot even summon the courage to question the Presidential Candidate's statements and policies, you know Holy Joe will get a pass. Those who earn their way into McCain's presence will not dare risk their dearly won plane seats with impertinence. To the victor go the sprinkles.

Dial Up Sargasso Relief

Monday, July 07, 2008

Late Night



I'm watching Dan Abrams' show, and Michael Waldman just said that in past presidencies, being seen as hiding something or obstructing justice was enough to cause people to agree to testify to Congress. I wonder what's changed. Perhaps we could ask Fred Hiatt.

Julian Epstein roughly made the same point as I was typing this. During the Clinton administration, anything was labeled "obstruction of justice" and caused weeks of hyperventilating in editorial pages and on cable news.

Now? Pretty much silence.

Actual Liberal Media

Rachel Maddow hosting Countdown now.

On Lying

Glennzilla quotes Lincoln:

I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood . . . .

This has long been my take, especially with respect to those who proudly wear the journalist cap and tell me that it's their job to be superhuman truth tellers and who adopt the authority of their respected news outlets as their own.

That isn't to say that every "stupid thing that comes out of someone's mouth on live tv" is actually a lie, but it's wrong to simply forgive them all as "mistakes."

Regular Folks, White Folks

Tweety just can't stop.

Credit Where Credit Is Due File

A Swamplander knocks Saint McCain, or one of his surrogates anyway. Baby steps.

Even More Thread

Had some stuff to do and now I got nuthin'.

Something awesome will inevitably show up at some point.

Later Afternoon Thread

dedicated to steve simels: Destroyer of Democracy!

--Molly I.

Afternoon Thread



Over there.

A female suicide bomber has killed nine people and wounded 12 others in an attack on an Iraqi market, police said.

The attack took place in the al-Mafraq area west of Baquba in Diyala province, about 50 km (30 miles) north-east of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.


Like Chris, I don't think the "Obama is a flip-flopper" will be an especially useful line of attack for the McCain campaign, but it makes sense that they're using it. The script is already written, making it easier for the barely literate cable newsers to run with it.

Wanker of the Day

Mara Liasson.

Make The Shitpile Higher

Fannie and Freddie:

July 7 (Bloomberg) -- Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae plunged in New York Stock Exchange composite trading on concern the two largest mortgage-finance companies may need to raise more capital.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. analysts said in a report today that an accounting change may force Fannie Mae to add $46 billion of capital and Freddie Mac to add $29 billion. Speculation that the companies may need to make further writedowns also weighed on the stock, said John Tierney, a credit strategist at Deutsche Bank AG in New York.

What War?

I, too, am constantly amazed out how the various pundits are unable to comprehend that Senator Clinton's Iraq war vote was the only thing standing between her and the nomination.

She could have - and almost did! - win anyway, but without that there would have been no opening. In some ways we've gone backwards. Our elite press did understand in 2004 that the only reason someone like Howard Dean had an opening was because of his Iraq war position. Of course, they also saw his potential win as proof the Democratic voters were all dirty fucking hippies who would doom the party for eternity and believed the only way for the party to recover was to essentially expel all registered Democrats from it. But they're hideously stupid people who are wrong about everything.

Everyone's A Hitler

The idea that Iran poses an existential threat to the United States is something only a crazy person could embrace. But Joe Lieberman isn't some crazy person, he's the Last Honest Man in Washington and quite possibly the most Serious Person ever to be a senator. That's what the Villagers tell me anyway.

We have a problem.

Another existential threat to US:

When Economists Go Bad

And his son is such a nice guy.
The McCain campaign also sent out a memo, reinforcing the point. "This year, Barack Obama returned to the United States Senate twice to vote in favor of a budget resolution which raises income tax rates by three percentage points for the 25, 28 and 33 percent tax brackets," Holtz-Eakin writes in the memo. "This would mean a tax increase for those earning as little as $32,000. While Barack Obama campaigns on a promise of no tax hikes for anyone but the rich, we once again find that his words are empty when it comes time to act. In both March and June, Barack Obama could have put the force of his vote behind his words. Instead, he decided that 'rich' now means those making just $32,000 per year."

But NBC’s Ken Strickland spoke with a Democratic aide at the Senate Budget Committee who said there was never a budget vote that said: Let's raise taxes. What the budget vote did do was estimate how much additional revenue would be needed, and then it would go to the Finance Committee to determine how to raise that amount (raise taxes, close loopholes, etc).

So this was a vote to basically have the committee score the various possibilities.

The Elite Press

Just in case you were having fantasies that McCain's absurd budget claims would receive much scrutiny from the press, a little reminder from Ted Koppel in 2000 about how qualified they are to do such a thing.

KOPPEL: You know, honestly, it turns my brains to mush. I can't pretend for a minute that I'm really able to follow the argument of the debates. Parts of it, yes. Parts of it, I haven't a clue what they're talking about.

The Burbs Are Dead! Long Live The Burbs!

As much as Kotkin's one note "nobody wants to live in the city, it's too expensive and crowded" routine gets a bit monotonous, in very broad terms (if not always the particulars of his arguments) he's probably basically right. I don't really see a return to the city revolution happening, and certainly not very fast. What we will hopefully get is, over time, a modification of the way suburbs are built so that they incorporate more "small townish" features. A lot of the talk about urban stuff by me and others tends not to be understood be people who equate "urban" with "Manhattan" when we're really just talking about features which existed in that historical Small Town America which we're all supposed to love but have forgotten how to build somehow.

Wonder If There's Anything Here

Meehan had a "see evil" approach to anything having to do with Philadelphia and a "see no evil" approach to anything in the more Republican burbs. This, of course, is a general problem as poor local media rarely uncovers shenanigans in suburban government. That doesn't excuse corruption in city government, of course.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan this morning told his staff that he is stepping down as the top federal prosecutor for the eastern part of Pennsylvania.

Meehan, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) and former Delaware County District Attorney, will hold a news conference this afternoon to formally announce his plans.



Even the fine scrutiny of Obama's language threads back to the last five years of policy by deliberate lying, which McCain is now carrying on.

But it's important to remember that the "scrutiny" has come from those nonpartisan truthtellers, TEH AWSUM JOURNAMALISTS. Politicians lie and journalists supposedly don't. But, of course, they do. And they enable politicians - McCain now, Bush in 2000, Bush 2001-2008 - to lie.

McCain's joke budget is horseshit, but as we know Republicans cut taxes and cut spending and balance the budget, just like the most popular preznit EVAH Ronald Reagan did, even when they, you know, don't, and so their budgets don't actually have to make sense. Tax cuts are free and wars are free. Only Democrats need to "pay for" any of their proposals, it's just understood that Republicans are "fiscal conservatives."

Deep Thought

Are the "victory savings" inside the pony's ass?


But only lonely me seems to understand this.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki raised the prospect on Monday of setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops as part of negotiations over a new security agreement with Washington.

It was the first time the U.S.-backed Shi'ite-led government has floated the idea of a timetable for the removal of American forces from Iraq. The Bush administration has always opposed such a move, saying it would give militant groups an advantage.

This thread is dedicated to CD

Well, thank goodness we've had a liberal media for all these years, eh?

Not Atrios

Midnight Thread

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Deep Thought

If I read another earnest college freshman-level essay on abortion I'm going to shoot myself in the face.

Mirror, Mirror

My wingnut namesake has been found.


THE STUPID!!!! IT BURNS ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Most Trusted Name In News

Their star personality advocates mass executions without trials.

Big Shitpile

Getting bigger.
ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss authorities could require UBS <UBSN.VX> and Credit Suisse <CSGN.VX> to set aside an additional 70 billion Swiss francs ($68.29 billion) in capital, a newspaper reported on Sunday, citing lawmakers.
"40 billion for UBS, 30 billion francs for CS," parliamentarian Hans Kaufmann told Swiss weekly Sonntag, referring to the additional capital the banks would have to put aside under the proposal.

Afternoon Thread



Hopefully the people of California decide this is a good idea, and that it is then executed sensibly.

High-speed rail won the pole position on the November ballot -- it was named Proposition 1 when the secretary of state assigned numbers to the 11 initiatives voters will consider. That's no guarantee of victory, but the momentum is clearly building.

The proposal to build an 800-mile system of 200-mph trains linking Southern and Northern California, by way of the Valley, has made a great deal of sense throughout its two-decade gestation. Proposition 1, the $9.95 billion bond measure, is the necessary first step.

LA-SF is exactly the kind of route which should be served by high speed rail. Here's more info about the potential project.

AK Wolfpack

Our system of legalized bribery is an awesome thing.

Facing bad publicity and a dwindling campaign account, U.S. Rep. Don Young last year turned to the "AK Wolfpack," a group of more than 20 lobbyists, including former Young staffers and retired former congressmen, with close ties to the Alaska Republican.

Young's chief of staff, Mike Anderson, sent the Wolfpack an e-mail to tell them that national Democrats planned aggressive fundraising and claims of misconduct by Young to topple the 35-year incumbent congressman and his fellow Alaska Republican, U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

If they succeed, Anderson warned, "you and your clients will be impacted."

So Predictable

This past week gave us a look at how things will be going forward. The McCain campaign will inject a narrative, and the donut & BBQ loving press will dutifully type it up, completely making up facts to do so if necessary.

And we're going to have to start creating 360 degree shitstorms around them when they do.


The war is still over.

BAGHDAD (AFP)--At least 15 people were killed across Iraq Sunday, including seven by a bomb targeting a local leader of President Jalal Talabani's political party, officials said.

The bomb exploded in the town of Qara Tappa in the restive province of Diyala outside the house of Mohammed Ramadan Eisa, a local leader of Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the town's mayor Sherwan Shukra said.

"Eisa was seriously wounded in the blast but his wife, mother-in-law, his two children, one brother and two of his guards were killed," Shukra told AFP.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace An all-star panel that includes Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams of National Public Radio.

This Week With George Stephanopoulos Topic: Obama vice presidential selection process. Guests: Senators Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Jack Reed of Rhode Island; Libertarian presidential nominee Bob Barr.

Face the Nation With Bob Schieffer Topic: politics. Guests: Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Meet the Press The program will be preempted by Wimbledon tennis coverage.

Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer Two-hour special marking the 10th anniversary of the program, with selected interviews from the past.

I Hate the Bloggers

Hey, me too!