Saturday, August 23, 2008


Help a cat out, Atriots, if you can. Meanwhile, I bet you know how to answer this question.

Saturday Evening Thread

More normal blogging tomorrow.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

Must Have Gotten Lost

Apparently the big media party is tonight at Elitch Gardens, but somehow my invitation never arrived.


Sharing my hotel with the Utah delegation.

Slightly less likely to be party central.


We've been having a birthday party at my place so I have no idea if anything's been going on. You got news?

Not Atrios

More Thread

"Is He Rich?"

This was the question asked of me by Mrs. A. Not actually knowing the answer I had to think about. I knew he had a pretty humble upbringing, and that he didn't have a lot of time between law school and Congress to make a fortune. His wife doesn't have an especially lucrative career, though it's possible she has a second gig as a beer heiress.

In any case, via Americablog, the answer seems to be "no."

Most Useful Campaign '08 Metalepsis

Riding the tire swing.


Not sure what I'm doing here. State Rep. Tony Payton, Jr. is on my plane.

Kicking And Screaming

I can't actually think of any prominent Democratic politician who self-describes as liberal, though some adopt the mushier "progressive." Yet lots of people are liberal!

Weird, really.

Vice President For SUPERTRAIN

If nothing else, the man rides the train.

Biden made it work. He won, and became the youngest senator. But before he could even take office, Neilia, his two sons, and their baby daughter were in a brutal car accident in Delaware. Neilia and the baby were killed and the boys, Beau and Hunter, were badly injured. Biden stayed by their side during their recovery and initially refused to return to D.C. to take his Senate seat, acquiescing only after then-Majority Leader Mike Mansfield pushed him to take it.

Biden vowed to remain a fixture in his sons' lives. Valerie became their surrogate mother, and Biden began the daily commute from Wilmington to Washington that made him an Amtrak champion for life. Even after Biden met and married his second wife, Jill, five years later, he didn't surrender the back-breaking schedule. "Kids keep a thought in their heads for 12 hours," he says at one campaign stop. "They aren't gonna keep it for 24 hours."

Morning Thread

Travel day for me, so blogging will be inconsistent.


Because all those nauseating head-fakes about (1) Republicans and (2) Blue Dogs and (3) people who would put you to sleep in a debate - those were just to make Biden seem really good by comparison, right?

Not Atrios


CNN sez it's so.

I'm not a big fan of him for a variety of reasons, but for a variety of other reasons I think he's a pretty good VP choice. Not my fantasy VP choice or close to it, but nonetheless pretty good. Better than many of the other floated names.

And if CNN's wrong I can make fun of them tomorrow.


Rock on.

Friday, August 22, 2008

bank FAIL

And another bank goes down.

Your Favorite VP Candidate Sucks

Thanks for blowing the election, you.

UPDATE. I just got a text message. It says your favorite VP candidate sucks.


nbc sez not kaine or bayh

Friday Evening Thread

Speculate away.

The Nation Waits

But I have Friday evening revelry and packing to do.

Deep Thought

Nobody really cares who John McCain's VP is.

Did We Say $25 Billion?

We meant 50!

Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler LLC and U.S. auto-parts makers are seeking $50 billion in government-backed loans, double their initial request, to develop and build more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The U.S. automakers and the suppliers want Congress to appropriate $3.75 billion needed to back $25 billion in U.S. loans approved in last year's energy bill and add $25 billion in new loans over subsequent years, according to people familiar with the strategy. The industry is also seeking fewer restrictions on how the funding is used, the people said today.

Anyone Want To Go To Yuma?

You can't do it, my friends.

Fresh Thread


Out Of Touch

New ad.

What's Good For General Motors

Truly awesome.

The Big 3 Detroit-based automakers are seeking about $25 billion in federal loans as they struggle to ride out a steep downturn in U.S. auto sales, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The Big Three
Lobbyists for the U.S. automakers—General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler—briefed White House officials, as well as U.S. Rep. John Dingell and other Michigan Democrats, on a possible bailout and plan to unveil the proposal after Labor Day, according to the report.

Ah, capitalism.


There's little chance that much of the rest of the media picks up with the very accurate narrative Dan Froomkin creates about the recent development in Iraq. It's a complete reversal of the last several years of rhetoric.

It is hypothetically possible that an American pullout on this timetable will leave behind a peaceful, democratic and pro-Western Iraq. One can certainly hope. But it seems more likely that the sectarian fissures opened by the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation will once again explode into violence as soon as U.S. troops -- and U.S. payments -- stop creating an artificial sense of stability.

And then, of course, there's Bush's own histrionic prediction. "It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing," he said last May. "All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars and gather their strength -- and begin plotting how to overthrow the government and take control of the country of Iraq. I believe setting a deadline for withdrawal would demoralize the Iraqi people, would encourage killers across the broader Middle East, and send a signal that America will not keep its commitments. Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure -- and that would be irresponsible."

So the next big question is this: How will Bush explain this turnaround when he finally emerges from his Crawford vacation? Will he try to downplay its significance? Or will he actually suggest that the job is nearly done in Iraq? That would be a bold move indeed, but not one with a lot of evidence to support it.

I think Bush, too, is BORED NOW and won't really even bother to try anything. His moment at the center is about to pass, and after that he won't give a shit.


How about that announcement?

Those Houses Don't Clean Themselves, My Friends

As I wrote last night, my guess is that the amount of money McCain spends on household help, far more than most of the country earns, is really what's going to look bad.

You Can't Do It, My Friends

I suppose this is the right time to remember this.

But he took more questions, including a pointed one on his immigration plan.

McCain responded by saying immigrants were taking jobs nobody else wanted. He offered anybody in the crowd $50 an hour to pick lettuce in Arizona.

Shouts of protest rose from the crowd, with some accepting McCain’s job offer.

“I’ll take it!” one man shouted.

McCain insisted none of them would do such menial labor for a complete season. “You can’t do it, my friends.”

Some in the crowd said they didn’t appreciate McCain questioning their work ethic.

“I was impressed with his comedy routine and ability to tap dance without music. But I was impressed with nothing else about him,” said John Wasniewski of Milwaukee. “He’s supposed to be Mr. Straight Talk?”

Wanker of the Day

Jim Wallis.



McCain, who has portrayed Obama as an elitist, is the son and grandson of admirals. The Associated Press estimates his wife, a beer heiress, is worth $100 million. Obama was raised by a single mother who relied at times on food stamps, and went to top schools on scholarships and loans. His income has increased from book sales since he spoke at the 2004 Democratic convention.

Things That Make You Go WUHHHHHHH?

Is it still 1975? Can someone plug a google box into the thing? $500 million? How about one of these? I don't understand.

The government's main terrorist-watch-list system is hobbled by technology challenges, and the $500 million program designed to upgrade it is on the verge of collapse, according to a preliminary congressional investigation.

The database, which includes an estimated 400,000 people and as many as 1 million names, has been criticized for flagging ordinary Americans. Now, the congressional report finds that the system has problems identifying true potential terrorists, as well.

Among the flaws in the database, which was quickly built by Lockheed Martin Corp. in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, is its inability to do key-word searches. Instead, an analyst needs to rely on an indexing system to query the database, according to congressional investigators who learned of the issues from a whistleblower. Lockheed spokesman Tom Jurkowsky said he could not comment on a report he had not read.

Fancy John

That's some elitist coffee we can appreciate, my friends.

McCain, who huddled with advisors at his desert compound in Sedona, Ariz., said nothing in public. A nine-car motorcade took him to a nearby Starbucks early in the morning, where he ordered a large cappuccino. McCain otherwise avoided reporters.


Only 8 years. Such an awesome war.

Negotiators agree deal for full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by end of 2011, Iraqi official tells CNN.

Heckuva job, oh wise men of Washington.

Counting Coup

So how many houses have you had? Or spouses?



Thursday, August 21, 2008

Speaking Of Wankers

Mark Halperin, Wankerus Extremis, had a post suggesting Obama would pick Dick Lugar as Veep.

The post is now gone. Deleted.

Mark Halperin is a Harvard grad. Just sayin'.

"beer heiress wife"

Actual local Fox News quote.

Three Rings For The Elven Kings

Not a bad idea.


Someone demonstrated this to me at some conference I was at recently, and it's definitley in the "technology which is really really cool but also a bit creepy and scary for reasons I can't quite figure out" category.

It lets you stream video live to the entire internets from a cell phone. Watch Baratunde.

Kid Fucking

Bill Donohue has a potty mouth.

Go to 7:30 in..

Man Of The People

John McCain spends $270,000 on household staff.

I actually think this little fact might be more problematic for him than having more houses than he can count. Americans get and respect the accumulation of stuff, but they don't quite get household servants.

Good Question

I imagine it has at least something to do with socially connected people from certain elite Ivies, but that's just a guess.

Fresh Thread


Hiding Behind His Wife's Skirts

That, my friends, is manly leadership we can believe in.

Deep Thought

I really miss Fred Thompson.

It Might Be Worth It

I think Obama should go for it.

Fresh Thread




I Get Press Releases


Band Will Perform "Valerie Plame" On
"Late Night With Conan O'Brien" November 3rd

The Decemberists will release Always The Bridesmaid: A Singles Series this fall. The three volumes will be available digitally and on 12" vinyl. Volume 1, comprised of "Valerie Plame" and "O New England," will be released on October 14th. The band will give "Valerie Plame" its national television debut on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on November 3rd, the eve of the United States presidential election. Written from the point-of-view of one of Plame's inside contacts upon discovering her true identity, the song is an amorous tribute to the onetime CIA operative. The Decemberists will be playing select U.S. dates this November; details will be announced shortly.

Fresh Thread


Wanker of the Day

Sacha Zimmerman.

That Was Quick

I think it's more than 7, but I guess it depends on how you count. I suppose it'll be okay if Factcheck or similar calls Obama's ad false like this:

The Obama campaign falsely claimed that John McCain owns 7 homes. In fact, he owns 12.


Drudgico's Jonathan Martin:

My colleague Lisa Lerer, travelling with McCain, sends word that the candidate is now at his cabin in Sedona, which he'll make his base of operations as the spotlight focuses on Obama.

McCain's cabin is large, it contains multitudes.

McCain said the valley was settled by Mormons and that the Hidden Valley Ranch got its name from the horseshoe shape of the creek that runs through the property.

He said he built the first house on his property 24 years ago and now there are six houses on his lot.

Maybe the Sedona property is like the Tardis.

More on McCain's multitudes.

Trolley v. Minivan

Looks like the trolley won.


Wow. I assumed there would be one, but that it would have some other name, like "glbropqxitan" or something.

"We have agreed that some goals, some aspirational timetables for how that might unfold, are well worth having in such an agreement," Rice told reporters after meeting with Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The two sides had come together on a draft agreement earlier this week and Rice made an unannounced visit to Baghdad to press officials there to complete the accord.

I guess an "aspirational timetable" is somehow different than an actual one. Or something.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

Ouch. Still high.

The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits dipped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 432,000 in the week ended Aug. 16 after falling a revised 12,000 a week earlier.


But a four-week moving average of new jobless claims, regarded as a better gauge of underlying labor trends because it irons out week-to-week volatility, climbed to 445,750 last week from 438,500 in prior week.

That was the highest for the moving average since December 2001, not long after Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that sharply disrupted economic activity.

Heckuva job, Bushie.

Tough Question

As Yglesias points out, we should LEAVE JOHN MCCAIN ALOOOOONE on the subject of his houses because when you buy multiple condos and combine them the question becomes fraught with difficulties hitherto unknown outside of quantum physics.

My crib has a bricked up door-like structure which quite likely was once the passageway to a 1920s speakeasy. I do not own that, however, and so I can confidently state that I own only one home.

A Man Of The People

Like many Americans, John McCain has a hard time remembering just how many homes he owns.

Chit Chat

Gather round, moonbats, soy lattes in hand.


Rock on.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Valley Girl

This post is censored.

Late Night

Rock on.

Lies And The Lying Liars

In every agency.

Medicare’s top officials said in 2006 that they had reduced the number of fraudulent and improper claims paid by the agency, keeping billions of dollars out of the hands of people trying to game the system.

But according to a confidential draft of a federal inspector general’s report, those claims of success, which earned Medicare wide praise from lawmakers, were misleading.

In calculating the agency’s rate of improper payments, Medicare officials told outside auditors to ignore government policies that would have accurately measured fraud, according to the report. For example, auditors were told not to compare invoices from salespeople against doctors’ records, as required by law, to make sure that medical equipment went to actual patients.

Beware Of Bicycles And Maps

Stupid Denver police. All your up to date hipster protesters use GPS enabled iPhones for their plotting needs.

As for the protesters themselves, I think political conventions are actually about the dumbest place to protest for various reasons, but they of course have the right. Or should, anyway.

Evening Thread

Please don't shoot anybody in the face.

Sad News Again

Stephanie Tubbs Jones is confirmed to be dead.

McCain Doesn't Speak For McCain

That'll be so awesome if he's president. That, my friends, is leadership we can believe in.

The Art Of The Hissy Fit

It occurs to me that there's one now former Democrat who knows how to throw a proper hissy fit.

Joe Lieberman.



More like this.

Almost True

Josh is right that Democrats look bad when they say "stop being mean to me!!!" But that's largely because they lack the knowledge and infrastructure to choreograph and perform The Grand Hissy Fit that the Republicans have perfected over the years.

Fresh Thread

I got nothin'.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, R.I.P.

Apparently she passed away.

...CNN telling me she's alive.

Your Liberal Media

3 hours of Joe Scarborough every morning and MSNBC might be "taking a foolish risk in over-committing itself to a single point of view."

Your liberal media: so liberal that it cannot actually survive the presence of a single liberal.


Mr. 9/11 to be RNC keynote speaker.

Sad News

Hope for recovery.

Cleveland, OH - Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs- Jones has reportedly had a massive aneurysm and remains on life support Wednesday morning at Huron Road Hospital.

The Inevitable Republican Hissy Fit

As I've written before, Republicans will inevitably throw some sort of hissy fit over something real or imagined that happens at the Democratic convention in order to try to prevent any kind of convention bounce for Obama. Be prepared.


Delaware AG Beau Biden is off to Iraq.


Okay, my money's on Sebelius, based on deep sources within the campaign nothing at all.

Can Haz Other Capital Projects?

Locally the reconstruction of the Market-Frankford El has been the big transit capital project for a long time. Though necessary, it doesn't add any new service. One dreams that maybe once it is over some other projects can be given some consideration.

The last remnant of the old Market Street Elevated, a fixture in West Philadelphia for 100 years, is gone, its pillars toppled last week like dominoes.

An army of ironworkers, carpenters, electricians, mechanics, painters, masons, plumbers and crane operators is now rushing to erect the final stretches of the new El by Monday morning, when some semblance of normalcy is supposed to return.

Morning Thread

Veep? I really don't get why this is an all-consuming question for our fervid friends in the traditional media.


Rock on.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cloris Leachman

Just caught her bit on the Bob Saget roast.

Really funny.

Deep Thought

Good thing The Nationals suck.

This looks interesting....

Schneier on Security - the book!

Not Atrios

Out For The Evening

Gonna go walk 3 blocks, board the SUPERTRAIN, travel to baseball game, have a beer or 3, return home on SUPERTRAIN after game while wondering why MADD doesn't do more transit advocacy, and come home.


The "no liberals on the teevee" rule has finally been broken.

Congratulations, Rachel.

Let Them Drink


Scores of U.S. college and university presidents have stepped forward to declare it's time to rethink the drinking age.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving, though, quickly denounced the idea as irresponsible and dangerous.

MADD's national president, Laura Dean-Mooney, even suggested, "Parents should think twice before sending their teens to these colleges or any others that have waved the white flag on underage and binge drinking policies."

Peyton R. Helm, president of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, called that response "absurd."

Perhaps they should consider my cunning plan to let 18 year olds have a drinking license or a driver's license but not both, which would have the added benefit of helping my plot to make everyone move to Manhattan increasing the appeal of less car dependent locations.

Deep Thought

I hope the list of approved patriotically correct 9/11 day activities is released early this year, so we can all celebrate appropriately.

A Noun, A Verb, POW


Fresh Thread


Everyone Loves Anecdotes

In my now increasingly dated experience, combined with that of other people I know, students are much more likely to talk "life stuff" with female professors. Female students are much more likely to have more personal conversations with professors of either gender, though they heavily favor female professors for this. While female students are less likely to get into serious life stuff with male professors, they nonetheless have a greater tendency than male students to want to have *some* personal relationship with male professors, and want to perceive that they are liked personally as well as approved of academically by them.

On the other side, I think many male professors are a bit standoffish with female students in order to ensure relationships don't head off in inappropriate directions. Does not apply to gay male professors.

All gross generalizations of course.

The War Against Curb Cuts

It comes to DC.

I think it's pretty hard to overstate just how much sticking front garages on street level row houses really destroys the desirable urban aspects of a block. Diminishes public on street parking, creates a safety hazard, garages are aesthetically not pleasing, and if there are too many on a block you end up creating a pedestrian dead zone which can lead to increases in crime.

All bad.


No likey McCain:

It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.

Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?

Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked. Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the same speech he delivers every day.

Fresh Thread

intertubes not behaving today.

Hulk Tie In The Tubes Again

Damn you Ted Stevens!!

Finally. They're Being Heard.

And boy are they stupid.

Could It Be...


The U.S. transportation secretary will announce "good news" regarding expanding transit in Houston Tuesday, a spokeswoman said. Metro has asked the agency to pay for half of two planned light rail lines.

The announcement by Transportation Secretary Mary Peters will be at 10 a.m. near the University of Houston-Downtown on North Main.


Not over.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Home building projects started in July fell 11 percent to the lowest annual rate in more than 17 years, while building permits tumbled 17.7 percent, the Commerce Department reported on Tuesday.

The Pickler Gets One Right

Good for her.

His top contenders are said to include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Less traditional choices mentioned include former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an abortion-rights supporter, and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Democratic vice presidential prick in 2000 who now is an independent.

Morning Thread

Please don't shoot anybody in the face.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Late Night

Rock on.

Period Police

While the Villagers seemed to object, and it didn't go well with the audience, I was quite pleased with Obama's response that the question of when life begins is above his pay grade. I remember Pastor Tim Russert asking, I think, Claire McCaskill a similar question and she was like, "What are you asking? When does an embryo become ensouled?"

Believe what you want, but the important question for politicians is how such things get translated into... policy. And when McCain says he believes life begins at conception (cheer!) it's pretty meaningless unless he's asked to explain how that would be translated into policy. Are blastocysts entitled to child support? Do all late periods need to be reported to the Ministry of Health? And, of course, my favorite: Are those who implant multiple embryos during IVF treatments, knowing full well that most will die, guilty of negligent manslaughter?


While I do think it functions well as a wedge issue for Republicans, as it neatly combines our society's general love of moral tuttuting with its specific disapproval of independent female sexuality, support for the pro-choice position consistently remains high. A few scolds can always be peeled off with things like "Congressman Smith thinks it's okay for a woman to have an abortion if she doesn't like the baby's hair color." But, basically, it's a pro-choice country even if some people need to have it explained to them that "choice" means choice for thee and for me.

Wanker of the Day

Tom Shales.

I Don't Usually Use This Word

But nothing else really seems to quite apply here. What a tremendous douchebag.

Zombie Lies

We've been plugging bullets into its head for over a decade now. Must be some sort of SUPERZOMBIE.

Early Evening Thread


Dumbass Of The Day

This is too idiotic to qualify for "wanker" status.

Newt Gingrich.

Raptured Up Into The Cabinet

Awhile back at Drinking Liberally I mentioned that one extra advantage of having a Democratic president is that you can put some senators who have been in office way too long in the Cabinet and provide an opportunity for some more fresh faces. That means senators who a) aren't actually awful so having them in the Cabinet isn't bad, b) have been in the Senate a long time, and c) live in states with Dem governors so their temporary replacements will be Dems, and d) live in relatively blue states so a Dem would be able to win an election.

It being Drinking Liberally it was too hard to come up with the list. So who should be on it?

Prime example: Joe Biden, who has been there since 1973.

Extra credit assignment: Republican senators who live in relatively blue states with Democratic governors who could be convinced to join the Cabinet.


I'm a lot cooler on Biden than Josh, but like Chris it wouldn't bother me that much if he were to be chosen. Of the people I don't really want to be Veep who keep showing up on those fake short lists people keep coming up with he bothers me the least.



Rather obvious ruling, but good nonetheless.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ― California's high court has ruled doctors cannot withhold care to gays or lesbians based on religious beliefs.

The case stems from a San Diego-area lesbian's claim that a private fertility clinic refused to inseminate her because of her sexual orientation.

Little Pieces

Often it takes very little to tip a neighborhood one way or another. A couple more viable retail spaces, a couple fewer abandoned lots, etc. Removing all kinds of unwise impediments to development and redevelopment would be a good thing.

Making property tax assessments a bit more realistic is a way to provide some encouragement to owners who are just sitting on properties.

And Of Course

Modern technology means you can, you know, access information and audio and video and all kinds of stuff from a moving vehicle. You don't need a teevee to know what's on the teevee.

Nobody Could Have Predicted

That the housing bubble-related housing crisis might be a wee bit more problematic than most "experts" usually cited on the subject.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks fell on Monday as investors fretted about the prospect of more losses from the mortgage crisis, sending shares of the two big U.S. home finance providers and other financial companies lower.

Investors were hit with a one-two punch from news pointing to no let up in the credit crisis stemming from the U.S. housing slump.

What To Expect From Politicians

Most people don't pay all that much attention to politics. When they take a moment every 4 years or so to do so, they take their cues from The Very Serious People who rule our discourse. And those Very Serious People tell people that personality and tribal connections are how candidates should be judged, like reality TV show contestants, instead of trying to communicate the idea that POTUS is a rather important job.

I recognize that inevitably a lot of politics is going to come down to those things. People who don't pay all that much attention to things are going to make their decisions based largely on personality. But the problem is that too many in our media help reinforce the idea that this is how decisions should be made.

Have To Get The Jokes

We've had years of newsies decrying the rise of "fake news," always missing the obvious point that you'll pretty much only find the Daily Show and Colbert funny if you know enough to know what they're talking about it.

Every 4 Years

I'm sure we'll be treated to all kinds of discussion over the next week about how the conventions are stupid and the media shouldn't bother covering them, even as 15,000 media people head to Denver.

It is true that there's absolutely no reason for 15,000 media people to show up to the convention, except the real reason they all show up which is that they see it as one of their proms. It's the big party. But that's a very different issue than whether some teevee networks should run the feed in prime time.

Wine In A Box

The writer makes the case that American wine producers should move to selling wine in boxes. I'm sold. Aside from many non-legitimate snob issues and semi-legitimate aesthetic issues, the big problem is that much existing boxed wine isn't just bad wine, but wine coolerish fake wine.

(via Susie).

Cheap Money

As I've long said, when buying a house the only thing that people really care about is the affordability of the monthly payment. Interest-only, neg-am, and ARMs with low teasers helped drive up the purchase price of homes by driving down the monthly payments. Sure some people should've known better and not fallen for the idea that they could just keep refinancing forever, but plenty of people were steered into mortgage products they didn't understand.

Because Highways Are Free

A glibertarian candidate for something in California. Really needs to work on his writing skills.

We have practical highways throughout the region, but to find funding for the extension of the Metro Gold Line is not practical. We would have a better idea of the costs of light rail if we would start charging users the actual cost of riding the bus line. Once we would establish this acceptable price by those who choose to use the bus, then we could get a correct method for calculating the costs of extending the line from Pasadena to Montclair.

We just don't use buses with a frequency that causes even a slight profit. If public transportation were really needed or even moderately desired, the market demand would make it happen. When the iPhones went on sale, did we have to levy taxes to get people to buy them? We didn't have to raise taxes to put a computer in virtually every home, either. Good ideas are swarmed by people wanting to use them.

Musharraf Resigns

I haven't really been following this, so no deep thoughts about it.

Morning Thread

Why don't McCain's stupid lies count?

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Rock On

A Noun, A Verb, POW

And the absurdity continues.

Interviewed Sunday on CNN, Mr. Warren seemed surprised to learn that Mr. McCain was not in the building during the Obama interview. A spokeswoman for Mr. McCain said he was en route to the church.

Nicolle Wallace, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, said on Sunday night that Mr. McCain had not heard the broadcast of the event while in his motorcade and heard none of the questions. “The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said.

More Thread


Changing Spaces

The suburbs are different. I may not be thrilled when someone knocks on my door to ask me to vote for them, or whatever, but I don't feel like they've violated my space or anything. My door is right on the sidewalk, which conceptually makes a difference as unlike in the burbs you don't have to actually walk onto someone's property before you can get to the door. Well, other than the stoop.

Anyway, too late on a Sunday for especially deep thoughts, but we do interact very differently to our geographic spaces and to each other depending on how things things are organized spatially. It matters, perhaps a lot.


Over there.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber on a motorcycle struck a checkpoint in Baghdad manned by U.S.-backed neighborhood guards on Sunday, killing 15 people and wounding 29, police said.

The Way We Live

The joys of private property.

But a Frisco man says his truck is being targeted simply because his homeowners association doesn't think it's classy enough.

Jim Greenwood said he never dreamed his HOA would have a problem with his new Ford F-150 pickup. Then he received the first of three notices threatening him with fines.

"Mr. Greenwood, you're violating a subdivision rule that prohibits pickup trucks in your driveway," the notice reads.

Stonebriar HOA rules allow several luxury trucks on driveways, including the Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Avalanche, Honda Ridgeline and Lincoln Mark LT.

Fresh Thread


Condo Hell

I imagine this sort of thing is incredibly common but you don't read about it all that much.

After years of deferred maintenance, compounded by tightfisted members' unwillingness to pay higher monthly fees, condominium associations are facing a looming financial crisis, condo experts say.

“In order to maintain the assets, you have to have long-term thinking, but what we've seen is short-term people not planning for long-term futures,” said Karen Conlon, president of the California Association of Community Managers.

When repeated Band-Aid fixes no longer suffice, condominium owners find themselves on the hook for hefty special assessments, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Increasingly, homeowner groups are having to take out loans to soften the blow of high levies.

Jindal's Empty Thought Bubble


Contempt For Their Audiences

Some smart cable news programmer might, at some point, rethink the "no liberals allowed on the teevee" rule.

Public Works

Indeed, repairing some bridges and building some SUPERTRAINS would seem like much better policy ideas than small tax rebates and endless wars. In addition to providing much needed stuff, it would provide employment in construction and related industries which are seeing declines.

About 800 thousand fewer construction jobs than a year ago.

Stop Lecturing

I suppose there's no chance the widespread lecturing tone of newspaper editorials will ever die, but tone aside they could, you know, stop lecturing people.

High gas prices finally have persuaded more commuters to do what they should have been doing all along - using mass transit. It eases congestion, saves wear and tear on your car, reduces greenhouse gases, and lowers the demand for foreign oil. Higher gas prices made people see the financial advantage of taking the train. And if you can find a seat, the trip is usually less stressful, too.

As much as I love the SUPERTRAIN, I also generally assume that people don't need the Philadelphia Inquirer to decide whether they should take it or their cars. Sure there are some people who, if they could be prodded to give it a try, would decide that mass transit worked for them. But most people are evaluating the options and making choices based on time, cost, and personal preferences.

Such exhortations should be accompanied by the commuting methods of everyone on the editorial board.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.
ABC's "This Week" — Defense Secretary Robert Gates; former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.; former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.


CBS' "Face the Nation" — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.; Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn.


NBC's "Meet the Press" — Rice; Govs. Bobby Jindal, R-La., and Tim Kaine, D-Va.


CNN's "Late Edition" — Gates; Reps. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.; Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.; Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind.

"Fox News Sunday" _ Rice; former Gov. Tom Ridge, R-Pa.; Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; White House press secretary Dana Perino.

Rude awakenings

You would have thought so:
Pure speculation by Yvonne Ridley and Aijaz Zaka Syed? Perhaps. Anti-American rhetoric by a disgruntled Arab? It's certainly possible. Ten years ago I would have dismissed this report out of hand. After all, surely no civilized government would behave in such a fashion, and, if it did, surely our free press would have gone through walls to uncover the behavior.
Not Atrios