Saturday, January 24, 2009


This thread sucks.

Saturday Night Thread


Swept Back Under

Elections have consequences.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration plans to move quickly to tighten the nation’s financial regulatory system. Officials say they will make wide-ranging changes, including stricter federal rules for hedge funds, credit rating agencies and mortgage brokers, and greater oversight of the complex financial instruments that contributed to the economic crisis.

Broad new outlines of the administration’s agenda have begun to emerge in recent interviews with officials, in confirmation proceedings of senior appointees and in a recent report by an international committee led by Paul A. Volcker, a senior member of President Obama’s economic team.

A theme of that report, that many major companies and financial instruments now mostly unsupervised must be swept back under a larger regulatory umbrella, has been embraced as a guiding principle by the administration, officials said.

Or we could just keep giving them all free money with no oversight or accountability.


Over there.

BAGHDAD, Jan. 24 -- Assailants detonated a booby-trapped vehicle by remote control Saturday near a police convoy in western Iraq, killing five policeman and wounding 11. It was the most lethal attack on a violent day as the country prepares to hold provincial elections in a week.

Afternoon Thread


12% Disapproval

Pretty fascinating.

647 Pages

Have fun reading! Hopefully there's free money for baby blue bloggers in there somewhere...

Nobody Could Have Predicted

That buying Merrill and Countrywide (!!) were really fucking stupid ideas... Except, perhaps, for the "if we do this the government will give us free money" part.

Heckuva job, everyone!

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.


First Centennial Bank, Redlands, CA, gets EATED by the FDIC.

Your Liberal Media

Still happy to run with any Republican horseshit it is fed.

Get used to it.

Morning cuppa

The winners of the most important awards on the internets.

Not Atrios

Friday, January 23, 2009

Even More Thread


Evening Thread


Elections have consequences.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Friday quietly ended the Bush administration's ban on giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option.

I Won

Yes, it's good to remind people of that. It's amazing how fast Republicans - and our media - seem to forget it.

Gym Thread

Because I cannot run and blog.

Infrastructure and SUPERTRAINS

People like infrastructure, and the showings and recent ballot measures, along with record ridership figures, show that they're starting to like SUPERTRAINS too. So it'll be a real shame if there isn't significant funding for mass transit projects in the stimulus.

Wanker of the Day

Chuck Todd.

Afternoon Thread


And As For The Accuracy

It, you know, isn't.

Do Not Get

Without even getting into the actual accuracy of the latest bit of wingnut porn about how 61 released Gitmo detainees supposedly returned to take up arms against the US, can anyone explain how this is supposed to represent a failure of Obama's policies? He didn't let them go. Liberal bloggers didn't let them go. The ACLU didn't let them go.

And if George Bush has "kept us safe," what exactly is it that these terrorists have done?

"Jack Bauer Exception"

The stupid thing is that there will always be a "Jack Bauer Exception." If the "never gonna happen" ticking time bomb scenario happens AND some agent has actually captured the terrorist with the codes and location of said bomb (god this is absurd) AND that agent determines that by playing a little smacky face he can get the information AND that this actually, you know, works, then either because no jury would convict or because the president could pardon someone they'd get off or whatever.

Of course that absurd situation will never actually happen so we don't have to bother thinking about it.

Small Vain People

Aside from the incompetence, I've been struck at just how absurd our rulers have been over the past several years.

Another person pointed out to me that after Rice’s arrival in 2005 the tone of official State Department publications changed; they began to praise and glorify Rice. “No prior secretary,” said the twenty-year veteran, “did anything like this.”


Could someone please explain to this Inquirer reporter the difference between parking rates and parking violation tickets? The people in this article are particularly upset because they've been given $36 tickets because their parking meters expired. I sympathize! But $2/hour parking? That's cheap! And, yes, there are pre-paid cards you can buy so you don't need all the change and meters are being switched over to ones which take credit cards, too.

And more than that, one of the people is angry because their plan to feed the meter all day while at work didn't work! That isn't what 2 hour on street parking is for!

Lucy and the Football

Nobody could've predicted that the Democrats would start out with a compromise bill that the Republicans would oppose.



NEW YORK, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ.O) said on Friday it will launch options trading on its three-week old Government Relief Index, which tracks the performance of companies bailed out by U.S. taxpayers.


The Government Relief Index lists 24 companies that received at least $1 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and other government aid plans. (Reporting by Jonathan Spicer, editing by Gerald E. McCormick).

Morning Thread

Because I'm probably still asleep.

Dial-up rescue.

Hope this helps!

Not Atrios

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Rock on.

Thursday Night Thread

Friday's on its way.

We're All SuperPrime Now!


Positive Steps

Lilly Ledbetter.

WASHINGTON -- A wage discrimination bill that heralds the pro-labor policies of the Democratic-controlled Congress and White House cleared the Senate Thursday and could be on President Barack Obama's desk within days.

The legislation reverses a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that narrowly defines the time period during which a worker can file a claim of wage discrimination, even if the worker is unaware for months or years that he or she is getting less than colleagues doing the same job. It has been a priority for women's groups seeking to narrow the wage gap between men and women.

The House is expected to act quickly to again approve the measure, sending it to Obama for his signature. The House passed a nearly identical version two weeks ago but then combined it with another bill that the Senate didn't consider.

Dinner Thread

Tomorrow's Friday. It's been a pretty weird week, really.

The Final Wambulance Ride

They are right, actually, which is why I liked it.

WASHINGTON — On the plane, no longer Air Force One but now Special Air Mission 28000, they talked about the speech. George W. Bush, the former president, was heading home to Texas with his inner circle, having just left the west front of the Capitol, where his successor first thanked him for his service and then proceeded to trash it.

The Bush team had worked assiduously to make the transition smooth for incoming President Obama and stayed out of the way as he used the post-election period to take leadership of the economy even before being sworn in. And now, as far as some of them were concerned, the new president had used his inaugural lectern to give the back of the hand to a predecessor who had been nothing but gracious to him.

He may have been gracious, but he also left him with a giant steaming pile of poop to clean up. Thanks for nothing, George!

Big News Day

So Wolf has a piece on the 3300 dollar Blackberry Obama's gonna carry.  That's what, the cost of two hours of Secret Service in public?  Also, the press won't let the White House post pool reports.   Too much transparency, apparently.

Afternoon Thread


Not The Most Important Thing

But I have noticed how most culture/pop culture criticism, especially on TV, increasingly just takes the gossipy junior highish "everbody sucks" approach.

Come to think of it, it's not unlike most political coverage.

Deep Thought

The SUPERBUS is not quite as super as the SUPERTRAIN.

Even More Drinking Liberally

West Philly peeps now have their very own. Starts tonight, 6 pm, at The Blarney Stone at 3929 Sansom St.

Conveniently located near the 40th st. station on the MFL.

RSVP here.

Missing the Point

Ran into a growing anti-choice protest in DC. One group was carrying signs which read "We Choose Life" which kinda misses the point of the whole policy debate I think.

And Microsoft

The hits keep coming.

Rather than issuing its second-quarter results in the customary fashion after the market closed, Microsoft rushed out the news Thursday morning that it will lay off up to 5,000 of its 94,000 employees over the next 18 months, including 1,400 people Thursday. The layoffs span across research, sales, finance and technology roles, the company said.

With A Little Leadership

Often the people get it right.

A majority of Americans in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll oppose the use of torture in terrorism investigations, backing Barack Obama's pledge that "under my administration, the United States does not torture." But there's an even split on whether he should investigate whether laws were broken in the way suspects were treated under the Bush administration.

Overall, 58 percent support the prohibition Obama declared before taking office, but there's a wide gap across party lines: 71 percent of Democrats and 56 percent of independents in the poll said torture should never be used, but most Republicans, 55 percent, said there are cases in which the U.S. should consider using torture against terrorism suspects.


Put together, all Americans break 50 percent in favor of investigations, 47 percent opposed.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

589K new lucky duckies. That's really high.

Please Make It Stop

CNN just informed me that Obama hasn't yet taken any action on most of his campaign promises.

All Very Strange

I was about to comment on the fact that Caroline Kennedy was out, but that seems to maybe be in some dispute. Or not.

Morning thread

I haven't had time to check the news yet - what's been going on?

Not Atrios

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Still More Thread

Train kept arollin' all night long.

Pushing 1000

More thread.

Evening Thread


Verbatim Carl Levin

There needs to be an accounting on torture in this country.

Shorter Carl Levin

If we get Russia to join with us on our missile defense boondoggle, we can destroy the Iranian menace once and for all.



New York State’s unemployment insurance system, besieged by claims from laid-off workers, ran out of money on the first business day of the year and is borrowing daily from the federal government to bridge a fast-growing and potentially huge deficit, state labor officials say.

Shorter Harry Reid

Carl Levin will investigate previous administration.

Union card check is important, don't yet have the needed 95 votes.

Shorter Wyden

Better chance for health care because Baucus is Finance Chair instead of Moynihan.

Shorter Stabenow

Expect Obama to sign executive order on stem cells soon.
Will pass SCHIP expansion next week.

Shorter Bingaman

Gas tax increase? bwahhahahahahahah

Shorter Senators

I'm not much for liveblogging, but my takeaway:

Brown: health care needs to and will happen, stimulus bill should have lot of water/sewer projects
Dorgan: decentralization (energy production, financial markets) is something to pursue
Schumer: wants more SUPERTRAINS

Senators Talking

I'm sitting here at the Senate Democratic Progressive Media Summit. Senators Dorgan, Schumer, and Brown are taking questions about the stimulus and related. It's interesting hearing politicians talk about things when they aren't trying to do the Meet the Press boogie and they have a chance to talk about actual policy issues. Sometimes they even sound like they know what they're talking about!


Sitting a little ways out from the station. Intercom's a bit too quiet to hear, but I believe the conductor said that Union Station was being evacuated.

...never mind. Moving again!

Things Change

I've been thinking a lot about what it's like to suddenly wake up in a world where there's a nontrivial chance that the important political/policy news of the day will be something better than "horrible." While this administration and the Congress will disappoint, as they do, they will, at least, be somewhat better than the we're used to and at times might even make us proud.

Fortunately we'll still have the stupid media to kick around! So at least we won't be bored.

Kennedy Released From Hospital

Good news.

The Horror Of The Bush Years

Official Washington will never let their beautiful minds be bothered this stuff, but for 8 years we've been ruled by very bad people who have committed numerous criminal atrocities. But, in the Village, the only thing politicians and high level political appointees should be punished for is putting their winkies where they shouldn't.

Scotus Sanity

This one's finally dead.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government lost its final attempt Wednesday to revive a federal law intended to protect children from sexual material and other objectionable content on the Internet.

The Supreme Court said it won't consider reviving the Child Online Protection Act, which lower federal courts struck down as unconstitutional. The law has been embroiled in court challenges since it passed in 1998 and never took effect.

I appreciate the concerns people have about children and the internets, but this was just bad law.


Headed to DC to plot how to implement the mandatory gay abortions for all program.


Ponzi scheme aside, I like this racket whereby people pay their fund manager to hand their money to some other guy.

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Sixteen Luxembourg-based funds that have put euro1.9 billion ($2.46 billion) into a massive pyramid scheme allegedly operated by U.S. financier Bernard Madoff have stopped investor withdrawals, the country's fund industry said.

Morning Thread

Stay classy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


In Iraq.

Stand Athwart Yelling Stop


WASHINGTON (AP) — One of President Barack Obama's first acts is to order federal agencies to halt all pending regulations until his administration can review them.

The order went out Tuesday afternoon, shortly after Obama was inaugurated president, in a memorandum signed by new White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The notice of the action was contained in the first press release sent out by Obama's White House, and it came from deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

Even More Thread

So many awesome Balls.

Open Thread

Tonight, it's all about the balls.

Evening Thread

I'm out getting my Barack on.

Deep Thought

Yesterday was a long time ago.

Moments in Transition

It'll be interesting and, more often than not, frustrating to watch as the new reality takes hold in Washington. The Village conventional wisdom has been stuck in 1984 for 25 years now, and obviously things have changed. The media have been taking their cues from Republicans for so long it's difficult to see how that will change quickly. But things have changed.


Another exciting day at the dog track.

Afternoon Thread

It seems (mixed reporting) Kennedy had a seizure but was more stable by the time he was taken away by the ambulance.

Deep Thought

I'm glad NBC has Tom Coburn and Lindsey Graham to tell us what it all means.

Awesome Job, Roberts


Change Has Come

"The Blog."

"And Nonbelievers"

Hey, we exist.

Bye Dick

And the darkness is lifted just a little...

Deep Thought

Rick Warren is a big fat idiot.

24 Minutes

Almost over...


Who invited Mr. Potter?

Gasbags Not Immune

It is good to see that the gasbags aren't entirely immune to reality, able to notice that people like Obama and that the inauguration attendance isn't exactly normal.

I'll allow myself one more moment to be grumpy, remembering 2001 when they were immune to reality. They went to great lengths to protect the viewing public from the protests, and the NYT published a lovely photo of George Bush which made it seem as if he'd actually walked the parade route, which he didn't do.

Your Liberal Media

CNN is currently giving us coverage from Karen Tumulty and Michael Reagan.

Nothing ever changes.

The Worst People In The World

Are finally leaving town. Good riddance.

And one last hearty fuck you to the Wise Old Men Of Washington! You made this all possible!


Good morning, dial-up people!

I'm prepared to get really grumpy about this.


Not Atrios


Rock on.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Was The Offer From Yugo Not Generous Enough?

Wow again.

Election Night Rerun

From Jed at Dkos.


NYT Co is taking out a subprime loan.

The New York Times Company said Monday it had reached an agreement with the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim HelĂș for a $250 million loan intended to help the newspaper company finance its businesses.

Under the terms of the deal, Mr. Slim, who already owns 6.9 percent of the Times Company, would invest $250 million in the form of six-year notes with warrants that are convertible into common shares, the company said in a statement. The notes also carry a 14 percent interest rate, with 11 percent paid in cash and 3 percent in additional bonds.

Not bad! If they'd let me I'd scrape together the pennies under my couch cushions and lend it to them for 14%.


So much hilarious wingnuttery.

Must read the comments. Soooo entertaining.

Monday Night

Rock on.

Things Change

Was chatting with the lord and master of Philly Drinking liberally about having a State of the Union night party. My first mental reaction was, "Yeah, it'll be fun to mock and boo." Oh, wait.


If, in fact, there are no more pardons coming I won't be completely surprised. Pardoning the people below him would remove any 5th amendment reasons to not testify, and Bush has never shown much sign of giving a shit about other people.

If We Just Give Them A Few Hundred More Billion, We Can Have A Cookie

That is rather disturbing.

Afternoon Thread


Zero Value

Better than free money for investors.

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc slumped by the most in two decades in London trading on concern the government may have to take full control of the bank after forecasting the biggest loss ever reported by a U.K. company.

The stock dropped 67 percent, the most since September 1988, to 11.6 pence, paring the Edinburgh-based lender’s market value to 4.6 billion pounds ($6.7 billion).

“Nationalization at zero value is implicit in the price,” said Derek Chambers, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s Equity Research Ltd. who has a “hold” rating on the stock. The stock price “is an option on the vague chance that it doesn’t get nationalized.”

Plenty of companies go under and wipe out shareholders. You can argue that the banking system needs to be preserved, and that even individual institutions need to be preserved in some form, but there's zero reason that shareholders of large banks are special creatures who deserve to be bailed out.


As a profession they haven't behaved very well for quite some time. That isn't to say ECONOMISTS ARE TEH SUXXXOR, just that a culture has developed which seems to put tremendous pressure for people to maintain the public face of economics as some sort of tribute to the genius of Larry Kudlow. This isn't about economists being economists, it's about them being public intellectuals. And most have handed that job over to conservative hacks.

Get Your Barack On

For local people looking for something to do tomorrow evening, the City Paper and Philly Drinking Liberally and assorted other organizations are having a little party.

6 pm-? at the Plough and the Stars, in Old City on 2nd street near the corner of 2nd. and Chestnut, conveniently located near the 2nd st. MFL so you can get your Barack On and maybe not have to drive home.

RSVP here.

Lunch Thread


Cutting Against The Grain

I'm glad we're all admitting now that what doesn't cut against the American grain is taking money from taxpayers and giving it to shareholders.

Super Shitpile

Krugman's column should be read by all good people today. All along there's been a general unwillingness to acknowledge that the banks lost a lot of money. It isn't a problem of liquidity, or a problem of temporarily mispriced assets. The problem is that they lost a lot of fucking money.

Morning Thread

The Best MLK Day ever.


Rock very, very hard.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rock Harder

Bush was right, people. BUSH WAS RIGHT.

Sunday Night

Rock on.


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

Deep Thought

Go Steelers!

More Thread

Can the Iggles come all the way back?


Yes, they can.


Close, but ultimately no.

Open Thread

I'm waiting for Garth Brooks' salute to Broadway -- should be coming up any sec.

Deep Thought

The Surge was so successful that the we'll need to have 150,000 troops in Iraq for at least 18 more months.

Super Shitpile

It was a bad idea when Paulson proposed it about 15 different times, and it's a bad idea now.

Local Notes

Come join the sexy and charming Philadelphia Drinking Liberally gang as we, along with the liberal media, cheer for an Iggles victory today at Triumph Brewing Co., 117 Chestnut St. in Old City, conveniently located near the 2nd St. MFL stop.

Poor Kurt Warner is going to regret ever leaving the Iowa Barnstormers.

The Final Pony

Bye George.

"The good news for Bush: That 31 percent figure is 7 points higher than it was in November, a typical 'nostalgia bump' that most outgoing presidents get," Holland added. "The bad news is that except for the rating Richard Nixon has when he resigned, that's the lowest approval rating an outgoing president has received in the six decades of scientific public opinion polling."

The Brothers Have Taken Over Everything!!!

God the Village is absurd.

They Like Him

I continue to be surprised by Obama's approval/popularity. He's even getting some Bush dead ender support. From email (CNN):

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his presidential transition?

Approve Disapprove No Opinion

January 12-15, 2009 84% 14% 2%

Whites 81% 17% 3%

Blacks 96% 3% 1%

Dec. 19-21, 2008 82% 15% 3%

Dec. 1-2, 2008 79% 18% 3%

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

•ABC’s “This Week,” — Guest: David Axelrod, senior adviser to President-elect Barack Obama.

•CBS’ “Face the Nation,” — Guest: Lawrence Summers, Obama’s choice for director of the National Economic Council.

•CNN’s “State of the Union,” — Guests: President-elect Barack Obama; David Axelrod, adviser to Obama; Dana Perino, press secretary to President George W. Bush; Bush White House counselor Ed Gillespie.

•“Fox News Sunday,” — Guests: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat; Robert Gibbs, Obama’s choice for press secretary.

•NBC’s “Meet the Press,” — Guests: Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s choice for chief of staff.

Thread, sweet thread

The only Sunday morning sermon you'll ever need.

Not Atrios

Over Night

Rock even harder.