Saturday, November 29, 2008

Deep Thought

I bet Dick Cheney's pretty good at Resident Evil.

More Pie

Atrios, I summon thee.

Evening Thread



While the women-lack-emotional-maturity take is correct, it's also the case that the Washington press tends to write about just about everybody this way. I don't know if it's because everyone in the media is 11 years old, because everyone in politics is 11 years old, or both. It's very strange.

Afternoon Thread


Zoning Changes

As I wrote yesterday, I don't know Phoenix and have no idea if the new light rail project there makes much sense, but I do know that such projects in places like Phoenix are much more likely to be good ideas if it's understood that development patterns around the rail line should change. It isn't enough to simply say that another way to go from A to B has been created, it should be understood that development, and lifestyle, around the rail line should, over time, evolve to better make use of it. According to this article, there's at least some thinking along those lines.

Nobody Could Have Predicted

In fact, plenty of people did.

Still, it's very wrong to hurt the feelings of our elite overlords by suggesting that they have some responsibility for, well, anything. It makes them very sad. And the sadness of very rich people is something which hurts us all.


I have no idea how bad the economic downturn will be nationally, but it's pretty clear that more locally some places are just going to be destroyed.


A little diversion.

Not Atrios


BREAKING: I'm going to bed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Late Night


More Thread

Friday Night Thread



I don't know Phoenix at all so don't have any opinion whether the light rail system there makes any sense (I mean, over and above my general feeling that they should be built everywhere), but I loved this from a hater:

I can't wait for all the complaints we'll hear once the temperature is 110 degrees . . . and the riders find no shade (has anyone looked at those useless wings provided for shade?) while waiting and, worst of all, will have to walk blocks to get where they want to go.

You might have to walk blocks!

Overhead Wires

Regulation and the desirability OF SUPERTRAMS aside, I've frequently come in contact with people who consider overhead wires to be such an abomination that they think that any neighborhood which has them is worst than a third world shanty town. This particular aesthetic bugaboo has long puzzled me. Don't mind them at all.

Route 15 Philadelphia SUPERTRAM.

Afternoon Thread



One of 3, anyway.


Brits take majority stake in Royal Bank of Scotland. Sounds like it's time to fly the Union Jack over Citizen's Bank Park.

They Destroyed Themselves

I think it might have made sense to keep home mortgages out of bankruptcy court when they were actually highly regulated, but the law should be changed now. More than that, if it had been that way for the last few years the financial industry may have been less successful at destroying itself.


I really hope the PA Dem party and the DSCC aren't going to consider muscling everyone but Tweety out of the senate primary.

'Tis The Season

Ho Ho Ho:

A worker died after being trampled and a woman miscarried when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island Wal-Mart Friday morning, witnesses said.

The unidentified worker, employed as an overnight stock clerk, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Not Just Wrong

But delighted in sneering at those who were right.

His Embroiderer Will Still Have A Job

It was all one big opportunity for George to play dress up, and I doubt the person who embroiders the presidential seal into his undies will be out of a job any time soon.

No Mention Yet

I don't remember if it was last year or the year before when some PR flunkies successfully got all the cable news bobbleheads to babble about "internet monday," a fake day when everybody went on the internet and shopped. So far no appearance yet in google news.

...Oh, never mind. P O'Neill reminds me that it was Cyber Monday. And it's still with us.


The rest of the world actually thinks the persecution of Aafia Siddiqui is an important story. Go figure.

Not Atrios

Thursday, November 27, 2008


heaven and hell: discuss.

Turkey Burps

This video expresses the True Meaning of Thanksgiving. Think about it. Also, you think you got problems?

Give Thanks!

Give thanks to Victor David Hanson, America's Crazy Uncle, who informs us that there is no financial crisis and George Bush was a fabulous president, and the only reason anyone thinks otherwise is those crazy "hysterical" kids with their Blackberries, cable news, phat pants, and hula hoops.

Give thanks to Victor David Hanson, because no matter what batshit nuts relatives you were condemned to spend Thanksgiving with, at least you didn't have to put up with Victor David Hanson checking under the gravy boat for Radical Islamicists.

Thread With Cranberry Sauce

And antacids?

Afternoon Thread


And We'll Be In WTO Dispute Hell Forever

Does no one remember our trade agreements don't really allow this kind of thing?

Deep Thought

Why do the "markets" need more reassuring than a teenage boyfriend?


I guess it's time to retire this tradition.


More thread.

WIll Black Friday Come?

With so many lucky duckies lately, I have my doubts.  Via the Time Machine.

Lunch Thread


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Late Night

Rock on.

Wednesday Night Thread


Rate Spike

It's hard to see a scenario such that once the dust settles long term interest rates don't increase quite a bit.

Evening Thread

drinking and cooking and cooking and drinking

Happy Hour Thread

cooking and shopping and shopping and cooking

Deep Thought

Apparently when I wasn't looking they invented "fat-free Half and Half" and rebranded actual half and half "Traditional Half and Half." What will they come up with next, carbon-free gasoline?

There Can Be Only One

Black guy, that is.


Afternoon Thread


Betting On An Auto Bailout

The "market" has just priced in better odds...

And Speaking Of Turkey

Heading into holiday posting schedule for the next few days. If any of the regulars wants to take the opportunity to provide some deep thoughts about biofuels, feel free. Or not! I'll try to keep this place running, but I'll be busy holidaying.

I Like Turkey

I've long been puzzled by the turkey backlash. Get a heritage turkey, cook it on the grill with some smoking chips. Yummy!

Let Her Raise Her Damn Daughters

Please tell me there won't be an infinite number of these columns nitpicking and analyzing Michelle Obama's choices. It's pretty much impossible for a First Spouse to maintain a normal life - continue her career smoothly - and trying to create a tiny bit of normalcy for her young kids is going to require heroic effort. It really doesn't mean anything beyond that.

Wednesday Is New Jobless Day

This week, anyway. 529K new lucky duckies! That's really high.

Monthly jobs report is going to be brutal when it's released early next month.

Flight Suit

Joe Klein's evolving view on that manly moment.

Please Stop the Stupid

There seems to be this grand debate flowing through some of left blogistan which seems to go something like this:

Liberal blogs must be more critical of Obama!
Liberal blogs won't stop whining about Obama! They should be supportive!

As is always the case, it's my blog and I'll do whatever the fuck with it. Same goes for every other person with a blog. More than that, it's just blogs on the internets and it really doesn't matter that much anyway. Some people are going to feel inclined to nitpick every appointment. Some people are going to feel inclined to wait for the guy to, you know, take office before freaking out every 5 minutes. And it's all good!

Any time the phrase "what the blogs should do..." comes to mind you should probably not type it out. Start your own damn blog and do with it what you want!


That hurts.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket manufactured goods plunged in October by the largest amount in two years as manufacturing was battered by the overall economic weakness.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that orders for durable goods dropped by 6.2 percent last month, more than double the 3 percent decline economists expected.

Morning Thread

Coffee at the bar.


Rock On.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deep Thought

Wouldn't it have been easier to just divide $3 trillion by 300 million and mail out some checks?

Yum Yum!

Eating more shitpile!

(Reuters) - American International Group Inc says it has completed completed [sic] a $40 billion preferred stock sale to the U.S. Department of Treasury under TARP.

Deep Thought

It's very racist to think that the wogs would not embrace our leadership.

With A Capital 'T'

The FDIC is getting hungry. Maybe it has a tapeworm.

NEW YORK — The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Tuesday the list of banks it considers to be in trouble shot up nearly 50% to 171 during the third quarter — yet another sign of escalating troubles among the institutions controlling Americans' deposits.

In the second quarter, 117 FDIC-insured institutions were on the list. Now, at 171, the number of institutions on the FDIC's "problem list" is at its highest level since late 1995.

Evening Thread


Deep Thought

Who knew there was a few trillion change hiding in the White House couches? Maybe we shoulda rolled it earlier and bought a few SUPERTRAINS?

Behold The Power Of Glenn Greenwald

Brennan's out.
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Brennan, President-elect Barack Obama's top adviser on intelligence, has taken his name out of the running for any intelligence position in the new administration.

People Will Eat Turkey For Thanksgiving

A truly shocking development.

With the Sarah Palin turkey thing I realized that many conservatives seem to be unable to tell the difference between a fake controversy and a real one. Fake controversies happen when something is just made up or taken out of context and then amplified and made worse through 24 hour coverage and a bit of telephone game reshaping.

Real controversies happen when people watch a Youtube video of Sarah Palin, after having just "pardoned" a turkey, giving an interview in front of a turkey slaughter assembly line.


Just a couple of months ago.

Christopher Dodd (D-CT), who leads the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, agrees that "doing nothing would be even more disastrous." He says the AIG takeover is "sad and tragic," but he believes it's the beginning of the end for the financial crisis, as long as the root cause — the nation's foreclosure problem — is addressed.

Both senators say they see no more government bailouts on the horizon. No other financial entities in trouble meet the standard of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or AIG — "that they would melt down the entire system if they went under," Gregg says.

Lunch Thread


Dr. Doom

Newsweek interviews Roubini.

Local Programming Notes

Philly Center City Drinking liberally is in the process of finding a new location. Not sure if it's been settled permanently, but tonight it will be at Triumph Brewing Co., 117 Chestnut. Tell your friends.




Perhaps he believes this, but that does not mean it is true.


Just in case it wasn't obvious, basically what the Fed is doing is swapping cash for crap, erasing all of the bad decisions of the past 8 years.


Morning Thread

Looking around for bacon. Finding yogurt.  Plain.

Eschaton After Dark

We Are The Village Green Preservation Society

And we're old.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Rock on.

Never Mind

They're going to steal the rest of it, with help of course.

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, less than a week after indicating he would let the Obama administration decide how to use the second half of the $700 billion financial fund, is considering asking for the money.

Paulson may ask Congress for the remaining $350 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program as he puts together plans to boost consumer credit. Treasury and Federal Reserve officials are working on an effort to buttress the market for securities backed by auto, student and credit-card loans, Paulson said last week. He’s also assembling an office to address mortgage foreclosures.

Anonymous Cowards And Their Enablers

I appreciate why reporters grant certain people anonymity, but sitting US Senators? WTF?

Evening Thread


Time To Convene A Blogger Ethics Panel

Sadly, it's necessary once again.

Hannity & Hannity

Colmes leaves the show.

Afternoon Thread


If It's A Day Ending In 'Y'

The last honest man is out there lying.

Labor Immobility

An issue with the housing bust is that it makes homeowners less mobile than they otherwise would be given the difficult of selling their houses/loss of equity which could be used to roll over into new house. Throw in a local recession and they're trapped in a place with no jobs.


That's a lot of money!

Also, you know, not true.

The Early Days of Political Blogging

Were indeed craptastically funny. I miss the people who would try to convince me that Instapundit was actually a liberal.

Deep Thought

I'm so old I can remember when spending $8 billion to give more health care to kids would spook the bond markets so badly that it just couldn't be done.

Giving It All Away

Tried to warn them...

WASHINGTON - President Bush said Monday there could be more decisions like the government’s dramatic rescue of Citigroup if other institutions need help.

Maybe It's The Hair

Michael Scherer sure has some weird manlove for Mittens.

Deep Thought

Damn those unions for destroying Citigroup!!!


I guess the Very Serious People are incapable of seeing how absurd this all is.

Nov. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government is prepared to lend more than $7.4 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, to rescue the financial system since the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

Tried To Warn Them

As has so often been the case, when the financial crisis hit all the Very Serious People insisted something needed to be done and assumed that no matter how badly the Bush administration fucked things up, something was better than nothing.

Learn people...


Mornin'. I've been watching Democracy NOW!, where Noam is talking about the election.

Not Atrios

Shit Sandwich

So yummy!

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. government agreed to protect $306 billion of loans and securities on Citigroup Inc.‘s books against losses, as it seeks to shore up investor confidence in the bank.

Citigroup will, as a fee for the guarantee, provide preferred shares to the Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the regulators said in a statement. The government will also inject $20 billion into the bank from the Treasury’s $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Insert crappy music video... perhaps some gypsy shit... here.

"could set the precedent for other multibillion-dollar financial rescues"


Federal regulators were nearing approval of a radical plan to stabilize Citigroup on Sunday in which the government would soak up tens of billions of dollars in losses at the struggling bank, according to people briefed on the discussions.

The plan, which emerged after a harrowing week in the financial markets, would be the government’s third effort in three months to contain the deepening economic crisis. While the negotiations were in flux on Sunday night, the proposal, if applied to other banks, could set the precedent for other multibillion-dollar financial rescues.

Department Of Really Bad Ideas

While I've been more than a little skeptical about Treasury and Fed shotgunning trillions to their rich friends, there are at least germs of arguments here and there for why some of it may be desirable. But the home builders are serving up an even stinkier shit sandwich!

The builders' lobby is ramping up its sales pitch for a $250 billion stimulus package called "Fix Housing First," arguing that financial markets won't recover until home prices stop falling. They are calling for a generous tax credit for home purchases and a federal subsidy that would lower a homeowner's mortgage rate.



They're brain pokers. Everyone knows that.

Dinner Thread

Eat something, though preferably not a bank.

Evening Thread


Yum Yum!

The American taxpayer eats more of Big Shitpile!

...some mixed reporting at the link now. Does this make any sense to anyone?

As of Saturday afternoon, the general consensus between officials from Citi and government officials from the US Treasury department and US Federal Reserve is that the government will not takeover Citigroup in the way it took control of AIG—by lending the firm massive amounts of money and in return assuming a huge equity position.

Government officials fear taking over Citigroup would create a precedent: Unlike AIG, Citigroup's balance sheet is relatively healthy, with relatively strong levels of capital particularly compared to most of its competitors.

Even better precedent would be to give a failing company free money!

Remember When George Bush Quit Drinking?

Him neither.

Great Moments In Washington Post Editorializing

Funny. From last January.

There is not yet any proof of a recession, defined as two straight quarters of negative growth; Mr. Bernanke said yesterday that the economy probably grew "at a moderate pace" in the past three months. Nor is there any consensus that a recession, if one comes, will be severe; Goldman Sachs thinks it's likely to be short and mild.

These guys ever right about anything?

Cot Guy

I have to say the whole sleeping in the office thing is a bit weird, but to the extent that it's driven by genuine financial constraints of members of Congress I'd support ameliorating that weirdness by supporting the construction of some sort of Congressional dormitory type thing. Their salaries aren't tiny, but they aren't huge if they're maintaining two residences, including one in high cost DC, and, let's face it, having to maintain a certain level of appearance. I also support increasing their salaries...

Afternoon Thread



Such exciting times!

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The troubles at E*Trade Financial Corp (ETFC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have worsened and now hinge on whether it can secure U.S. government funds that would bring some relief to its book of bad mortgage loans.

Shares of the discount brokerage tumbled below $1 to its lowest price ever this week, indicating that investors think chances are slim it will secure the $800 million it applied for under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) rescue program.

Please Give Us Taxpayer Money

So we can use it to run ads telling everyone how awesome we are.

In a bid to reassure investors, Citigroup is running advertisements in US and international newspapers on Sunday underlining its stability.

On The Not So Supertrain

NJT from NYC to Trenton, and then Septa from Trenton to Philadelphia. Since I have a Philadelphia pass, Trenton-Phila. is free on weekends on holidays. Quite a bit slower, but $40+ cheaper.

The Smartest Guys In The Room

Heckuva job:

Citigroup insiders and analysts say that Mr. Prince and Mr. Rubin played pivotal roles in the bank’s current woes, by drafting and blessing a strategy that involved taking greater trading risks to expand its business and reap higher profits. Mr. Prince and Mr. Rubin both declined to comment for this article.

When he was Treasury secretary during the Clinton administration, Mr. Rubin helped loosen Depression-era banking regulations that made the creation of Citigroup possible by allowing banks to expand far beyond their traditional role as lenders and permitting them to profit from a variety of financial activities. During the same period he helped beat back tighter oversight of exotic financial products, a development he had previously said he was helpless to prevent.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.
ABC's "This Week" — David Axelrod, senior adviser to President-elect Barack Obama; Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Richard Shelby, R-Ala. ___ CBS' "Face the Nation" — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Austan Goolsbee, economic adviser to Obama. ___ NBC's "Meet the Press" — Former Secretary of State James Baker; former Commerce Secretary William Daley; Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. ___ CNN's "Late Edition" — Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas; Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.; former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.; Forbes Inc. CEO Steve Forbes; former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. "Fox News Sunday" _ Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and John Boehner, R-Ohio; Axelrod.

Morning Thread

by Molly Ivors

Wakey wakey! Who wants coffee?

It's Cold

This proves Al Gore is wrong about everything.

And he's fat.

Midnight Thread