Saturday, October 04, 2008


Mo' Thread

Evening Thread


Li'l Rich Lowry

So lonely. So very lonely.

Afternoon Thread


Afternoon Thread

Bruce this afternoon, so light blogging. Pix later.

When You've Lost The Fix And The Devil

Even they seemed to have noticed that maybe people really can't stand Republicans anymore.

With the party already struggling to generate enthusiasm for its brand, Republican strategists fear that an outpouring of public anger generated by Congress's struggle to pass a rescue package for the financial industry may contribute to a disaster at the polls for the GOP in November.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

Morning Thread

Deep Thought: Sarah Palin is merely another way to piss off liberals.

--Molly Ivors

Friday, October 03, 2008

Midnight Thread

Friday Cat Blogging

I'll Do It For, Like, Half Of That?

I'm sure this is glibertarian approved.

The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government.

And Blue Dog approved.

Friday Night Thread


Warner Race

I'm informed from Mark Warner's twitter account that he's "getting ready for the third and final debate," reminding me that there is, in fact, a Senate race in Virginia. Apparently Warner is kind enough to go along with a little harmless charade in which he pretends that he isn't going to beat his opponent by 25 points and actually shows up to debate him.

Great American Hypocrites

Armstrong Williams edition.

Happy Hour Thread




All Those Cars Gotta Park Somewhere

Cars are basically the enemy of pedestrian friendly density and walkability for the simple reason that they take up space. Anything which reduces the number of cars per person in a city improves its potential. Cars are also the way that lots of people get around, and I'm not suggesting that they be banned or priced out of existence, but finding non-punitive (or slightly punitive) ways to discourage car ownership in a neighborhood like mine is good for the neighborhood. I don't know if Philly Car Share's claim that they've reduced the number of cars the broader by 13,000 is true, but it's plausible. My household has been without a car since 2003 or so. If not for decent car sharing we'd probably have strongly considered getting one at some point. Now we aren't.

"Main Street"

At least at one time it referred to something which people at least had some experience with and connection to even if it didn't fit their current circumstances. But now I don't think most people have any sense of what it refers to.


California needs cash and is unhappy at the rate it might have to pay to borrow it. The article doesn't tell us what that rate would be, so I have no idea if it's just a bit above the rather low rates we've all become accustomed to in recent years or if it's actually at "pay day loan" levels.

All of the chatter around the last couple weeks seems to be premised upon the assumption that cheap and easy credit for everyone all the time is absolutely positively 100% necessary to get over a problem caused by the availability of cheap and easy credit for everyone all the time.


Not quite, but it did start falling sharply relative to its highs at about that time.

Maybe borrowing a bunch of money to prop up a bench of bets made with borrowed money on a bunch of borrowed money not such a hot idea after all.

...and it started to shoot back up right after I posted this. WHEEEEEEEEEEEE

Still In The Tubes

No mistrial for Senator Hulk.


They are very very stupid things. So stupid, that fact checkers hate them.


I only saw 20 minutes of the debate, and I understand she had better moments than the last 20 minutes, but I think people who are giving her credit for not being horrible are really underestimating the public. You can sell vapid talking points, but only if you deliver them reasonably well. In the 20 minutes I saw, Palin was just a gibberish machine.

Don't Know Nothing

If someone uses a word you haven't heard before, maybe it's because they know more than you do.

Where The People Are

I was mostly kidding about building SUPERTRAINS to nowhere, but my point was that we'll know our thinking about transit has changed (if it happens) when at least conceptually it's incorporated into future regional development plans, if not actually built until a future date.

As for where to build mass transit now, I do think that too much talk about transit involves thinking about mass transit as simply a substitute for highway commuting for suburban commuters. It's something people use once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and that's it. These systems might be good ideas, but by themselves they don't necessarily encourage the kind of land use changes that create density and reduce car dependency. More focus on improving transit where it actually exists and around the edge of that would be desirable. While I think any decent public transit system needs to be anchored around a decent rail (subway, trolley, light rail, commuter rail) network, making modest improvements to bus systems, while not as sexy, can achieve a lot.

Where's the Wahmbulance?

It's like they're not even trying.


As I've written a few times, while there's a headline unemployment number we all agree is the "real" one, the BLS has several measures of unemployment. There's no "right" one, really, as they're just measuring different things. U6 is the broadest one.

People Are Stupid

This is, of course, the assumption pundits make when evaluating the performances of candidates. This is the justification they use for focusing on style over substance, for privileging the trivial over the important. Since they spend all of their time trying to explain to us what this imaginary stupid voter might think about things, you'd think it might be simpler to just hire a few of these very stupid people to be pundits. Oh, wait.


Losing jobs

U.S. employers cut payrolls at the steepest rate in 5-1/2 years in September, slashing an unexpectedly large 159,000 jobs as employment contracted for a ninth straight month, suggesting the economy may be in recession.

The unemployment rate was unchanged from August at 6.1 percent, the highest rate in five years, as 121,000 people left the workforce, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Morning Thread

by Molly Ivors

Am I the only one who thought Palin was channeling Lucy Van Pelt last night?

The difference, of course, is that Sarah would shoot Snoopy.



The Score

Chuck Todd pay attention. CNN poll:

101. Regardless of which candidate you happen to support, who do you think did the best job in the debate – Joe Biden or Sarah Palin?

Oct. 2


Biden 51%
Palin 36%
Neither (vol.) 2%
Both (vol.) 11%
No opinion *

Thursday, October 02, 2008

My Life

Out since 5:00 PM. 500 emails to read..

Deep Thought

Is there a cream for my Achilles' heel?

And On The Seventh Thread

We rested.

Thread The Half Dozeneth

Biden say anything stupid yet?

Thread The Fifth

One heartbeat away, people.

The Thread Goes Fourth

Anyone still watching this?

Thread Number 5, No, 3!

Did the Phillies win?

Thread The Second

"You know" was probably a bad choice, too.

Debate Thread The First

If you chose "also" as your debate drinking game world, consider calling the ambulance right now.

Even More Evening Thread

Time to choose your debate drinking game word.

Evening Thread


Simple Answers To Simple Questions

Thers asks:
Has there ever, ever been a sorrier, more discredited asshole than Glenn Reynolds? Ever? In the entire history of discredited sub-moron-level pompous assholes?


This has been another edition of simple answers to simple questions.

The Score

Pay attention, Chuck Todd. CNN poll:
101. Regardless of which candidate you happen to support, who do you think did the best job in the debate – Joe Biden or Sarah Palin? Oct. 2 2008 Biden 51% Palin 36% Neither (vol.) 2% Both (vol.) 11% No opinion *

Debate Gods

Don't want me watching any debates. I will be attending a professional sports competition this evening instead. I threw up a bunch of threads for later...

Deep Thought

Why is this crazy person named Glenn Beck on my teevee?

Tonight's Hissy Fit

I'm guessing they twist something - anything - Biden says into being an attack on Palin's children/family somehow.

Get ready! The Wahmbulance is coming to town.


I think Amanda found Merkin's house.


Whether or not any of us should pay any attention, it's perfectly fine for media matters to "judge" who won a debate after the fact by guessing how the public might respond. Until the poll numbers come in and provide actual data, anyway.

Obama Seizes Control Of Your iPhone

Pretty cool.



Using this standard, you might say that Sarah is “progressive” because she’s opposed to shooting gays from airplanes.

As far as I know, Palin has yet to issue a definitive position on whether she's for or against shooting gays from airplanes. She'll get back to us.


Blogging again.


While roads and bridges to nowhere are getting a bad rap these days, it's also the case that we've been building roads and highways to nowhere for decades. They aren't to "nowhere," of course, but they (highways in particular) are built at capacities much greater than necessary for expected near term traffic. Depending on your perspective you can see these things as wasteful pork spending or justifiable and desirable public infrastructure investment, but the point is we do build them.

We'll know that thinking on transportation has changed when regional development plans make sure to include at least maintaining right of ways for future mass transit construction, if not actual SUPERTRAINS to nowhere. And, ideally, lines would be built or extended in anticipation of future development in order to shape the character of that development.

Not going to hold my breath, however.

What's Johnny Thinking

I've been mulling this one over since yesterday.

He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.

McCain shook it, but with a “go away” look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.

Finally, with a tight smile, McCain managed a greeting: “Good to see you.”

Obama got the message. He shook hands with Martinez and Lieberman — both of whom greeted him more warmly — and quickly beat a retreat back to the Democratic side.

Since I've never been invited to ride the tire swing and eat some BBQ, I don't have any personal knowledge of John McCain. One can construct various theories about his behavior here, but I guess I don't want theories. I want to know! What really does motivate this behavior?


Kidding, of course, just trying to highlight the absurdity of bailout politics and news coverage being driven by daily fluctuations in the DJIA.

Facts Schmacts

So much for Kit Seelye:

-- The candidates will stand at podiums and foreign and domestic policy will be covered. But a discussion of congressional action on a bailout of the U.S. financial industry is certain to dominate.

Wanker of the Day

Steven Pearlstein.

What The Villagers Think Is Important

Spite girl Kit on what you should be looking for in tonight's debate.

How do Ms. Palin and Mr. Biden greet each other on stage?This is a sit-down debate. Will Mr. Biden help Ms. Palin with her chair? If Mr. Biden does not make some gentlemanly gesture, it may be a tip-off that he’s preparing mentally to clobber her. Or maybe he’ll just be recalling the observation from Chairman Mao, that a revolution is not a dinner party.

Please kill me.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

The economy has a big owie.

The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose to their highest in seven years due to the impact of hurricanes Ike and Gustav, the government said in a report on Thursday.

Initial jobless claims were at 497,000 in the week ended Sept. 27, the highest since 517,000 in the week ended Sept. 29, 2001 and above Wall Street economists' forecasts of 475,000.

Morning Thread

From the Green Mountains.

He Buys Amtrak Tickets

Truly the New York Times has found their new Whitewater.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Late Night


Pony Parade


Overall, the president’s approval rating has dropped five points from last week and is now the lowest of his presidency. Only 22 percent of Americans approve of the job he’s doing, while 70 percent of Americans disapprove - a new high.


In the Washington Post/ABC News poll released yesterday, Bush hits a career-low 26 percent approval rating. But even more striking, his 70 percent disapproval rating is the highest of any president since the dawn of modern polling.


Bush himself fares terribly in the poll. His approval rating is 23%, the lowest number ever found by Abt/SRBI, the company that conducted the poll for TIME; 73% of respondents disapprove of his performance as President. Only 26% approve of his handling of the current financial crisis.

(pony credit)

More Thread

Sarah Palin do anything stupid while I was out?

Oh, yeah.


Sarah Palin doesn't read magazines because she likes blogs too much.

Evening Thread

Out for a bit.

Uh, Phillies?

Try to win this one.

...okay, they did.

Time Polling

The key thing is that no similar questions were asked about McCain.


$10 trillion.

McCain's Face

Plenty of people have odd facial tics and otherwise there are potential nonserious explanations for the weirdness with the left side of McCain's face. Still it's reasonable to ask for an explanation.


Wingnut surprised by angry wingnuts.

Any capacity for self-awareness?

Silent Run

As Roubini says, anyone with an account larger than $100K (individual) somewhere has good reason to be concerned about that money. That concern is probably causing many to shift funds, potentially exiting the system. And that extraction of funds could be causing problems.

I think raising the FDIC limit to $250,000 is a good idea anyway, but it's also perhaps an important thing to do soon.

The First Amendment

It's rather disturbing how often "reporters" fail to understand the concept.

Lunch Thread


McCain & Social Security

It's hard to attack his position, because the Villagers will unanimously say JOHN MCCAIN DIDN'T SUPPORT PRIVATIZATION SO STOP SAYING THAT even though he, you know, did.


Always wrong. I do wish Powerline would make daily stock and sports recommendations, so I could bet the other way and get rich.

Latest Wingnut Crusade

Apparently it's against Condi's pal, Gwen Ifill, proving no one is safe from the wingnut hordes.

Poll Porn


FLORIDA: Obama 49 - McCain 43 pre-debate; Obama 51 - McCain 43 post-debate; OHIO: Obama 49 - McCain 42 pre-debate; Obama 50 - McCain 42 post-debate; PENNSYLVANIA: Obama 49 - McCain 43 pre-debate; Obama 54 - McCain 39 post-debate Friday's presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin's sagging favorability and more voter confidence in Sen. Barack Obama's ability to handle the economy are propelling the Democrat to wider likely voter leads over Republican John McCain in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to simultaneous Quinnipiac University Swing State polls released today.

Pro-Life Gibberish

Palin on Early Show:

COURIC: Palin says she makes no apologies for her pro-life views and opposes

abortion, even in the case of rape or incest.

Gov. PALIN: I'm saying that personally I would counsel that person to choose

life, despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find

themselves in. And if you're asking, though, kind of foundationally here

should anybody end up in jail for having had an abortion, absolutely not.

That's nothing that I would ever support.

So she's pro-choice then?

If You Build Acres Of Parking, They Will Drive

One of the weirdly absurd things in Philadelphia is how relatively few people actually take public transit to the stadium/arena complex. It is by design, as they're all in one place at the southern end of the city, surrounded by massive amounts of parking, and at the intersection of the two major highways going into the city. Still it's obviously a giant pain in the ass to get in and out of those parking lots, especially if there are multiple events going on, and the subway takes you right there. Apparently only a bit over 10% of those going to a baseball game actually use it.

Towards the end of the regular season, the Phillies - and the fans - really poured it on. During the final six Phillies home games, SEPTA's Broad Street Line carried an average of nearly 4,800 fans to the games. In comparison to last season's ridership totals for the final 6 games, more than 1,000 additional riders used SEPTA to cheer on the Phillies. Saturday's National League Eastern Division Championship win sizzled with ridership eclipsing 6,000 fans.

Early Morning Thread

John McCain, Panamanian Strongman.

Late Night


Tuesday, September 30, 2008



Deep Thought

Sarah Palin has a degree in journalism.

Gotcha Journalism

More shameful behavior from Couric.

Another Evening Thread

Bigger, faster, threadier.

Evening Thread



Free acoustic set on the Parkway Saturday.

A Bit Of Truth

CNBC just said what most aren't: the reason why interbank lending rates are so high is because banks don't trust each other. The reason they don't trust each other is they don't know how much and which pieces of big shitpile they own.

Term Limits

I don't like them generally, though I think there's a better case for them or executive positions than for jobs in the legislature. But I don't think it's good to change the fundamental rules in the middle of the game to benefit you. Want to get rid of term limits? Remove them for your successors.

Deep Thought

Can we vote now?

Make It Stop

CBS torments me some more:

Gov. Palin at Monday’s event in Columbus, OH: I do look forward to Thursday night and debating Senator Joe Biden. We are going to talk about those new ideas, new energy for America. I'm looking forward to meet him too. I've never met him before. But, I've been hearing about his senate speeches since I was in like 2nd grade.

Katie Couric: You made a funny comment, you've said you have been listening to Joe Biden's speeches since you were in second grade.

Gov. Palin: It's been since like '72, yah.

Katie Couric: You have a 72-year-old running mate, is that kind of a risky thing to say, insinuating that Joe Biden's been around awhile?

Gov. Palin: Oh no, it's nothing negative at all. He's got a lot of experience and just stating the fact there, that we've been hearing his speeches for all these years. So he's got a tremendous amount of experience and, you know, I'm the new energy, the new face, the new ideas and he's got the experience based on many many years in the Senate and voters are gonna have a choice there of what it is that they want in these next four years.


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 27% in latest Gallup.

That, My Friend, Is Policy We Can Agree About

I previously said that increasing the FDIC limits is probably a good idea, so I'm glad the presidential candidates have finally gotten behind the Eschaton Plan.

RENO, Nev. – As they worked to make the government bailout plan more palatable, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama on Tuesday both proposed raising the federal insurance limit to $250,000 in an effort to help small businesses and restore public confidence in the American financial system.

He's Kinda Brown And Swarthy

What's the difference, really.


Run, Newt, Run!

Going All In

WaMu was shoveling money into "subprime" loans long after it was clear to sentient people that the housing bust was happening, or that at the very least the days of perpetual appreciation were over.

I put subprime in quotes because subprime loans are about the quality of the borrower (credit score) and this data was based on loan terms. Sounds like they were trying to save themselves by giving out a lot of loans with really shitty terms.

Deep Thought

Is there any shit from the McCain camp that Michael Scherer won't beg to eat?

Playing Football With Lucy

Nobody could've predicted that the Republicans would hang the bailout around the necks of the Democrats.

Except everyone.

Outta Gas

I hadn't realized supply problems were that bad.

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

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

Which reminds me, it's time to get a new transit pass. Month over!

In Addition

You have be incredibly ignorant about Social Security and the political debate which unfolded just a couple of short years ago to assert that McCain thinks "private accounts" should be "in addition to Social Security." Because, you know, we already have "private accounts" that are "in addition to Social Security." They're called IRAs and 401Ks.

Valerie Plame

(via Golis)


Anyway, the point of the last post is that major economic policy decisions or opinions about the health of the economy should not be based on daily DJIA fluctuations, even big ones.


I guess the crisis is over.

Watch For It

How many GOP Daddies will the elite punditry "suggest" President Obama keep around.

Morning Thread

John McCain:

"Gov. Palin and I agree that you don't announce that you're going to attack another country."
You would think John McCain, scion of an old Navy family, wouldn't fall back on arguments Tojo would make.


Secretary Paulson Sings.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Late Night

Rock on.

Depth of Ignorance

As I said before, I have some sympathy for Palin. Plenty of members of Congress don't actually know a damn thing about Supreme Court history or details about particular decisions, but what they do know (usually) is just enough to satisfy the Tom Brokaws of the world and move on to the next topic. They're trained in the trivia important to the locals, but they don't actually know anything.

But having said that, all evidence does indeed point to her being profoundly ignorant. She could be incredibly smart, too. I've known plenty of people like that in my life. Though she isn't smart enough to know she's in over her head, if in part due to simply not knowing the rules of the game she just signed up for.

Strangely Incompetent

I admit to being surprised that the McCain campaign is as incompetent as it is. The general flailing about looking for anything that will stick is a usually a feature of bad Dem campaigns. Maybe Rove was a genius at one thing: pick a narrative, any narrative, and then plug everything into it.

Night Thread



Very strange behavior for a majority party.

#4 -- Get More Democrats On Board: Finally, one other unlikely option talked about on Capitol Hill is to try to pass the bill almost entirely with the Democratic majority in the House. That would require adding a major stimulus package favored by Democrats, infrastructure spending, unemployment insurance spending, and heating and food stamp assistance for low-income Americans.

Evening Thread



CBS keeps sending Palin excerpts to my inbox. Latest.

Couric: Gov. Palin, since our last interview, you've gotten a lot of flak. Some Republicans have said you're not prepared; you're not ready for prime-time. People have questioned your readiness since that interview. And I'm curious …

Palin: Yeah.

Couric: … to hear your reaction.

Palin: Well, not only am I ready but willing and able to serve as Vice President with Sen. McCain if Americans so bless us and privilege us with the opportunity of serving them, ready with my executive experience as a city mayor and manager, as a governor, as a commissioner, a regulator of oil and gas.

Full horror show at 6:30 apparently.

Wanker of the Day

St. John McCain.

Deep Thought

I wonder how long it'll take for the Crawford ranch prop to be sold.

Deep Thought

Obviously Sarah Palin needs to skip Thursday's debate so she can go to Washington and negotiate a deal.

I'll Admit This Is Pretty Mavericky


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his top aides took credit for building a winning bailout coalition – hours before the vote failed and stocks tanked.

They Eated It

Whatever the merits of the bailout bill, it's pretty clear that the politics of it were pretty bad. Republican challengers will run against every Dem who just voted for the losing bill. For those Reps who truly believed the bill was necessary, you can respect them for voting to do the right things regardless of the politics. Except that, you know, the bill didn't even pass.

Crybaby Caucus

They're back.

No 2nd Vote Today

So sez CNBC.

...Boehner says it failed because Pelosi hurt their widdle feelings.

Deep Thought

I think John McCain had better suspend his campaign again.

Let It Fail

If something really needs to be done, tell Paulson, the Republicans, and the Bush Dogs to eat shit and pass a bill Democrats can support.

...adding, most of the time when the clock is held over on House votes, only crazy CSPAN junkies notice. Now the entire universe of cable news watchers is getting a sense of what Pelosi's priorities are.

...failed, for now.


The bailout bill is currently failing in the House, though potentially they could hold the vote open for another few minutes and twist some arms to switch some votes. Still, I hope we have all learned our lesson here:

Don't play football with Lucy.

Ignoring Saint Petraeus

I'm not one who thinks that all military-related discourse in this country needs to be pre-approved by Saint Petraeus, but McCain does, at least for other people.

Assumptions of Bad Faith

The main reason I stopped reading Somerby awhile ago was his tendency to strongly imply/assume bad faith among nominal allies when often more innocent explanations are the correct ones.

The "any judgments," in the first quoted post, referred to, in my mind, how I imagined the debate would impact the race, something which I have yet to deliver an opinion on because I never saw the debate aside from a couple of clips

And Mrs. Atrios, who Bob has yet to go after, can attest to the fact that McCain's extremely condescending attitude towards Obama was the subject of our debate discussion as we listened in the car.

Clogged Tubes

Ted Stevens is messing around with my internets again.

Special Prosecutor

GOP Daddy Mukasey surprises me just a little. Presumably this will extend into the next administration, making meddling slightly less likely.

The Only Man For The Job

It's true that a big flaw in our system is you pretty much have to be nuts to want to be president. But you have to be even more nuts to think that not only should you have the job, but you are quite literally the person most deserving of the job. Sure most politicians use the stock "best person for the job" phrase, but it's a bit frightening to imagine that any of them might actually believe it.


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 26% in latest Fox Poll.

Nobody Could Have Predicted

That this would be a flawed business model.

Wachovia has been among the banks hardest hit by the ongoing crisis in the mortgage market. Its current problems stem largely from its acquisition of mortgage lender Golden West Financial Corp. in 2006 for roughly $25 billion at the height of the nation's housing boom. With that purchase, Wachovia inherited a deteriorating $122 billion portfolio of Pick-A-Payment loans, Golden West's specialty, which let borrowers skip some payments.

Wachovia Eated

Wachovia eated by Citigroup. FDIC involved in deal, though unclear if they ever officially hit the failed bank list.

...yep, eated:

Citigroup Inc. will acquire the banking operations of Wachovia Corp. \ , the troubled Charlotte, N.C.-based bank, according to a press release from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Monday morning. Citi will acquire "the bulk of Wachovia's assets and liabilities," the FDIC statement said. Under the agreement, Citigroup will absorb up to $42 billion of losses on a $312 billion pool of loans, while the FDIC will take losses beyond that. Citigroup has granted the FDIC $12 billion in preferred stock and warrants to compensate the FDIC for bearing the risk, according to the press release.

...I guess that means the CoreStates First Union Wachovia Center becomes the Citigroup Center.

TV With The Sound Off

CNN is telling me that "Biden's Verbal Blunders worry some Democrats," and keep putting up Alex Castellanos (R-Hack) to explain it.

...and now Karen Hughes and Mark Penn are going to come on to explain the world.

Hey, Stanley

2003 called. They want their "George Bush is a likable fella" essay back.

You Down With PPT?

Anyone who dwells for a bit on internet stock boards knows of the powerful Plunge Protection Team, the (perhaps mythical) quasi-governmental shadow agency tasked with propping up the stock and other financial markets.

Just something I was thinking about.

Deep Thought

As a person with a Ph.D in economics, I can confidently state that Robert "not son of Paul" Samuelson really has no idea what he's talking about.


Hopefully have some deeper thoughts tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Late Night Thread


The war is still over.

In Baghdad, a series of explosions struck mostly Shiite areas, killing at least 32 people and wounding nearly 100, police said. The attacks appeared aimed at reviving sectarian tensions that once threatened to plunge the nation into civil war.

Evening Thread


Great Moments In Cable Television

Republican MSNBC strategist talking about Biden "the human gaffe machine:"

Here's a guy who thought FDR was president during the Great Depression.

Shoulda stayed at the airport.


Air travel sucks.

She's Quite The Maverick

That, my friends, is politics we can believe in.
WASILLA, Alaska (AP) — Though Sarah Palin depicts herself as a pit bull fighting good-old-boy politics, in her years as mayor she and her friends received special benefits more typical of small-town politics as usual, an Associated Press investigation shows. When Palin needed to sell her house during her last year as Wasilla mayor, she got the city to sign off on a special zoning exception — and did so without keeping a promise to remove a potential fire hazard. She gladly accepted gifts from merchants: A free "awesome facial" she raved about in a thank-you note to a spa. The "absolutely gorgeous flowers" she received from a welding supply store. Even fresh salmon to take home.

Around And Around

Dick Polman:

While on the stump in Florida last weekend, Obama contended that McCain's talk of Social Security privatization could leave seniors destitute: "If my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would've had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week. Millions would have watched as the market tumbled and their nest egg disappeared before their eyes."

Obama lied. No such nest eggs would have disappeared, because the McCain plan exempts every American born before 1950. I could also detail the Obama TV ad on Social Security that has been aired in Florida, Pennsylvania and five other states - it falsely claims that McCain favors "cutting benefits in half" - but here's the point:

Polman's wrong, as has been every very serious pundit who has tried to make this claim. While McCain's plan would be voluntary for people born after 1950, and presumably keeping promised benefits as they are under current law, as we know the benefits of current Social Security retirees are paid from current payroll taxes. Divert money out of the Social Security trust fund into stock funds, however you do it, and there's less money available to pay the benefits of current (and future, given accumulation in the Trust Fund) retirees.

Polman's argument only holds up if you just assume that benefits as promised under current law will be paid no matter what. If so, fine, and we can leave behind forever all arguments about the "solvency" of the trust fund. The fact is that the Bush/McCain plan would've diverted money which would otherwise go into the Trust Fund, money used to pay current and future benefits, into the stock market, leaving less money available to pay benefits.

Lunchtime Thread

About to get in a big small jet plane.

...never mind. Made it as far as the plane entrance before being sent back to the gate.

Back to airport hell

Wedding Bells

While I'm skeptical about the truth of this report as well, in my most honest non-concern troll fashion suggest to the McCain campaign that it would be an incredibly stupid idea. I don't mean having a wedding at all (clock is ticking, after all), but one at which every television camera in the country is present.

Bobblehead Thread


Deep Thought

I'm so old I can remember when $87 billion was a lot of money.

Better Way

Better to eat it than give them free money.

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's government will nationalize troubled mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley and is discussing the sale of its savings book and branches, people in the banking industry familiar with the matter said.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.
ABC's "This Week" - Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

CBS' "Face the Nation" - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

NBC's "Meet the Press" - Former President Clinton; David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist; Steve Schmidt, senior adviser to McCain; Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo.; former Rep. Bob Schaffer, R-Colo.

CNN's "Late Edition" - Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari; Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Eric Cantor, R-Va.

"Fox News Sunday" - Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John Kerry, D-Mass; Cristian Samper, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.


Have the RNC talking points on the debate come out, yet?

Not Atrios