Saturday, February 07, 2009



More Thread


Saturday Night Thread


Deep Thought

I guess "moderate" actually means "shitty."

Afternoon Thread


Silly Stuff

Senator Claire McCaskill:

Proud we cut over 100 billion out of recov bill.Many Ds don't like it, but needed to be done.The silly stuff Rs keep talking about is OUT.

That silly stuff includes big reductions (relative to the House Bill) in food stamps, school construction, head start, and COBRA subsidies for people who have lost their jobs.

How Senator McCaskill is spending her day:

Going to Museum of Am History today.Haven't been since it re-opened.Want to check it out.Also grocery store and later a movie date with Joe.

Hopefully she enjoys the museum. Amusingly, she also voted for the Coburn amendment which forbids the use of any of the stimulus money for, among other things, musems.

And I Thought We Were Haters

I'm pretty surprised that residents of my city are so positive about it. I like the place, obviously, but my location and circumstances aren't shared by everyone. The city has very real problems with crime and schools. How positive people are varies with age, race, education, and location, but still people are pretty positive across all subgroups (7th page of this .pdf for details.)

And, you know, we boo anyone, including ourselves.

I Beg To Differ

Steve writes:

Between sanity and craziness, there is no common ground.

But there is! And Ben Nelson and Susan Collins managed to find it. Depression's on them.


Trouble already.

Michael S. Steele, the newly elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, arranged for his 2006 Senate campaign to pay a defunct company run by his sister for services that were never performed, his finance chairman from that campaign has told federal prosecutors.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.


County Bank, Merced, CA and Alliance Bank, Culver City, CA get EATED by the FDIC.

Over the Night

Far too depressed, tired to contemplate our moron level politics right now. Let's groove!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Late Night

More Friday Night Thread

Friday Night Thread

I hope they up the home purchase credit to like $600,000. WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE


FirstBank Financial Services, McDonough, GA gets eated by the FDIC.

Never Fear

All we have to do to solve this is cut taxes just a little bit more.

Deep Thought

The stock market went up today, so no need for a stimulus.

Deep Thought

I wonder if it ever occurs to the senators that most of the country thinks they're truly absurd.

A Promise Is A Promise

No more welfare money for you.

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis said the lender won’t be nationalized and doesn’t need more capital support from the government.

The idea of nationalizing the bank wasn’t even a “remote possibility,” Lewis said in an interview today on CNBC television. He said “categorically” that the company won’t go back a third time for U.S. aid and that he “has the leeway” to manage the bank independently of the U.S.

Your Liberal Media

Still not liberal.

Programming Notes

Eric Boehlert of that fine organization known as Media Matters will be on CNN at around 3:20 to discuss this column, assuming a white woman doesn't go missing.

Spending Isn't Stimulus

I know I should never stop being surprised at how stupid Republicans want our political debate to be, but I just can't.

There better and worse ways to spend money, both in terms of how sensible projects are and how much of a stimulative effect those expenditures will have, but all spending is stimulus.

Paying people to dig holes and then fill them up again would be stupid spending, but it would still be very effective stimulus.

Allocating money to build SUPERTRAINS would be smart spending, IMHO, though potentially (depending) not a super-effective stimulus.

So ideally you have projects which are both smart spending and good stimulus, but spending is the stimulus.


Lunch Thread



An impossible project is convincing journalists that contemporary "centrism" is a clubbish ideology which is usually not, as communicated, some happy medium between "left" and "right."

Growing Up

Watching a reporter make Michael Phelps grovel it occurs to me that the media really are about 10 years behind the country on so many issues.

Baby Steps

You get the sense that the idiots in charge actually know what needs to be done, but can't bring themselves to do it.

History won't be kind to these people.



Nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply in January (-598,000) and the unem-
ployment rate rose from 7.2 to 7.6 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of
the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Payroll employment has declined
by 3.6 million since the start of the recession in December 2007; about one-
half of this decline occurred in the past 3 months. In January, job losses
were large and widespread across nearly all major industry sectors.

Sorta What Digby Said

Actually she linked to John Cole.

I really don’t understand how bipartisanship is ever going to work when one of the parties is insane. Imagine trying to negotiate an agreement on dinner plans with your date, and you suggest Italian and she states her preference would be a meal of tire rims and anthrax.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Deep Thought

A good candidate for governor of Illinois.

Coffee And Tiramisu Thread

Dinner Thread

Rack of lamb edition.

So What's Going On?

I've gone over my doctor-prescribed C-SPAN limit for the day. What are the Republicans whining about now?

Happy Hour Thread


Flipping Your Toupee


And so it begins for CMBS. First the reviews, then the downgrades, followed by the bank write-downs, and then more reviews, and then more free money from taxpayers ...

Gonna Pass They Claim

Though who knows what further mischief can happen in conference.

Democratic Senate leaders said this afternoon that they have the votes to pass the stimulus bill and suggested they have little interest in making further changes to win more Republican support.

"Has bipartisanship failed?" asked Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "So far it's not working, but it takes two to tango and so far the Republicans aren't dancing. The hard right has a stranglehold on most of the Republicans."

Backing Off

Guess Nelson's getting some shit.

Call and give him more shit.

Washington, D.C.
720 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-6551

"The Centrists"

They're gonna help to destroy the country, but at least they're very serious and hate hippies.

Lunch Thread


Stealing All Your Money

One weird thing is just how many emailers I get who get angry that I suggest that your money is being stolen.

"Our money - and our economy - are on the line, and we all have a stake in the outcome," said Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren in her prepared remarks for a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Warren heads the five-member congressional oversight panel overseeing the TARP, and said that the group on Friday will issue a report suggesting Treasury has significantly overpaid for the assets it has purchased from financial institutions. She said an analysis of 10 of the TARP transactions, when extrapolated for all of the purchases made in 2008, suggests Treasury paid $254 billion for assets worth approximately $176 billion, a shortfall of $78 billion.

"Treasury paid substantially more for the assets it purchased under the TARP than their then-current market value," Warren said.

Bailing out these institutions might be necessary, but bailing out executives and shareholders is not.

Who Holds The Bag

The question all along has been who is still standing when the music stops, which sucker gets stuck holding the bag.

We do!

Wanker of the Day

Scott Mayerowitz.

Super Shitpile

Rep. Brad Miller:

The financial institution values the bond at 97 cents on the dollar. Standard & Poor’s values the bond at 87 cents at the current default rate, but estimates the bond’s value could go down to 53 cents if the default rate doubles. But someone actually bought one of the bonds recently. The purchase price was 38 cents.

According to the article, financial industry critics "say that the banks’ accounting for those assets cannot be trusted because they have an incentive to use optimistic assumptions."

"Optimistic"? Whoever paid 38 cents on the dollar for one of those bonds is a giddy optimist. The financial institution’s valuation of 97 cents on the dollar is pretty clearly fraudulent.

For over a year the one point that I and others have been trying make is that the polite fiction that masters of the universe of Wall Street and their defenders in the media and Congress have been trying maintain, that this is liquidity crisis not an insolvency crisis, is utter horseshit. They made bad leveraged bets and lost immense amounts of money, and now they, and their buddies Geithner and Summers, want taxpayers to bail them out so they can go on living their opulent life styles while some of my neighbors wonder if their next food stamp card is going to show up.

My Critics Are All Unemployed Losers

I do love how media figures, who are paid good amounts of money to mostly gossip about other people, always dismiss their critics for giving a crap.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

Holy crap.

The department said initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 626,000 in the week ended Jan. 31, the highest since the week ending Oct. 30, 1982. The prior week's number was revised up to 591,000 from 588,000.

Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast 585,000 new claims.

The number of people staying on the benefits roll after drawing an initial week of aid surged by 20,000 to a record 4.788 million in the week ended Jan. 24, the latest week for which the data is available, from 4.768 million the previous week.

Good morning

Newspapers started moving to the far right and cutting news value long before there was anything remotely resembling a "World Wide Web", and subscribers were already showing their dissatisfaction before Al Gore ever managed to get his internet-creating legislation [yes, it was] signed.

Now that their chickens are coming home to roost, they naturally blame the internet, and have come up with a horrifyingly stupid solution.

Not Atrios

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Late Night

Rock on.

Not, Actually, Your Job


I think the administration thought they could be mediators between the two parties rather than leaders of the Democratic party.

Deep Thought

Exactly what does Tom Coburn have against zero-gravity chairs?


We are ruled by very stupid people.

Evening Thread


What To Do

Pressure from some quarters to use the powers of the Mighty Blogosphere to encourage people to call in to support the stimulus bill. But it isn't clear what should be supported. I understand members of Congress are very sad because Rush Limbaugh's minions are calling their offices and saying mean things about the stimulus, but I still don't understand why they pay any attention to people who will never vote for them.

Emphasize The Positive

Obama is signing SCHIP bill.

Deep Thought

I wonder if this is how civilizations fall.

Afternoon Thread


Meet The New Boss

Geithner and Summers are just horrible.


The official report comes out Friday, but the private "let's try to predict the offical numbers" report came out today. They're guessing -522K jobs.

I'll go with the under, predicting an even bigger drop.

More Wintry Shots Of An Urban Hellhole

Just because.

Deep Thought

The obvious choice for HHS is Orrin Hatch.


Interesting report on growing South Philly Mexican community.

Time for a Rocky remake with a Mexican-American star.

Screwed Up

Time for Obama to understand the real ways he's screwing up.

I Thought We'd Killed That One

Long ago I thought Media Matters had actually stopped people from the Wall Street Journal from claiming that Hong Kong has a flat tax, which it doesn't.

Oh well. Can't kill the zombie lies.

These Things I Know To Be True

Republicans will scream until they get their way and then still not vote for it.

People who listen to Rush Limbaugh and then call Democratic offices to scream at them will never vote for a Democrat.

Without a good stimulus bill, we're pretty fucked.

Unless Dems make a relatively forceful and united case, they're pretty fucked.

Snow Falling On Urban Hellhole

Deep Thought

Have all the Democrats gone to an undisclosed location where there aren't any teevee cameras?

Gonna Lose Their Jobs

Such awesome governance.

ST. LOUIS — Buses will no longer stop at some 2,300 stops in and around this city at the end of next month because, despite rising ridership, the struggling transit system plans to balance its books with layoffs and drastic service cuts.

One stop scheduled to be cut is in the western suburb of Chesterfield, Mo., just up the road from a bright, cheerful nursing home called the Garden View Care Center. Without those buses, roughly half of the center’s kitchen staff and half of its housekeeping staff — people like Laura Buxton, a cook known for her fried chicken who comes in from Illinois, and Danette Nacoste, who commutes two hours each way from her home in South St. Louis to her job in the laundry — will not have any other way to get to work.

“They’re going to be stranding a whole lot of people,” said Val Butler, a nurses’ assistant at Garden View, who said that she feared looking for work elsewhere in a tightening economy. “A lot of people are going to lose their jobs. A lot of people.”

Currently there's no help for operating costs in the stimulus bill. Which is, you know, stupid.

Yogurt and Bananas

Good start on hump day.



Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Crazy Talk

But if you cap their salaries these successful businessman might be lured away by one of the other very successful large financial firms.
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is expected to impose a cap of $500,000 for top executives at companies that receive large amounts of bailout money, according to people familiar with the plan.

Not actually optimistic this has any real bite, but we shall see...

I'm Still Not Home

So entertain each other.

Even More Thread

I'm still out.

Evening Thread

I'm off to drink liberally, as is the Tuesday tradition. You're on your own!

Classy Move

Good for Obama.

Afternoon Thread


Deep Thought

And they had yet to discover the racy pictures on Daschle's Facebook page.

Deep Thought

Perhaps we could just reclassify most household employees as self-employed?

...I'm actually quite serious. It's an absurd amount of paperwork for people who might work for you a few hours per week.

Daschle's Out

Rather unexpected.

...MSNBC says this pushed him over the edge.

Screwed Everything Up

Homeownership rates were long the one major "positive" thing ex-Preznit Bush would point to. I've long been wondering if the rate would be, at the end of his presidency, lower than when he started. Congratulations, George!

I don't think ever-increasing homeownership rates should be a policy goal for various reasons, but it was the policy of that administration. Miserable failure once again.


Wonder how many will take it.

NEW YORK ( -- General Motors is offering buyouts to virtually all of its remaining hourly workers, becoming the latest automaker to try to cut labor costs by giving nervous workers an incentive to leave the company.


The GM (GM, Fortune 500) offer, which takes effect Friday, is less lucrative than the deal proposed by Chrysler, or even offers that GM has made to its hourly staff in the past. The automaker will give most of its 62,000 U.S. hourly workers $20,000, as well as a voucher good towards the purchase of a GM car worth $25,000.

In the past, GM offered between $45,000 to $62,500 to workers to retire early, and $140,000 to employees who left the company and agreed to give up post-retirement health care coverage. Those offers were all cash.

Spending Is Stimulus

As Dean says, we're living in the Republican alternative universe where government spending isn't stimulus. Stimulus is instead... well, no one really knows. You can argue about the effectiveness of various stimulus measures. You can argue about what spending priorities should be. But anything which involves buying stuff and paying wages or otherwise putting money into the pockets of people is stimulus.

Your Modern GOP

Just a ridiculous bunch of clowns.

Inland Empire Collapses

Grim area.

As the regional economy continues to sputter, vacancy rates are beginning to climb at warehouses and distribution centers for industrial goods, putting the already hard-hit Inland Empire at further risk of decline and threatening facilities in Los Angeles and Orange counties as well.

After years of high occupancy and rapid construction of cargo hubs, immense spaces are now standing empty. Some fell victim to the collapse of retailers such as Mervyns and Wickes Furniture; others are vacant because the huge national falloff in demand for consumer goods has meant fewer imports and less need for storing and shipping them.

Already been hit hard by the real estate bust. Unemployment in the area is already over 10%.

Deep Thought

I hope one day I have a column in a major newspaper so I can use it to tell the kids to get off my lawn.

Mo Money

Go Chuck.

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- New York Senator Charles Schumer is pushing to add another $6.5 billion for mass transit to the $819 billion U.S. economic stimulus package, calling buses, subways and trains the “lifeblood” of the nation’s biggest city.


"It's the Superbowl of Activism and We're Losing Big."


Not Atrios

Rock On

From Brooklyn:

Monday, February 02, 2009

Get Used To It

Manufactured outrage about manufactured quotes.


This article should inspire someone teach a course on American Journalism and Empire.

Where Do I Plug In My Electric Car?

I'm not sure if an urban (low top speed, relatively low mileage per charge) electric car will catch on, but I couldn't buy one because I wouldn't have anywhere to plug it in.

I don't mean to make it all about me, but the point is that on one hand it's meant for urban dwellers like me, but on the other urban dwellers are less likely to have a garage w/AC outlet available to them.

...yes, people, I can run an extension cord out the window but that presumes that I can always magically get a parking spot right outside my house. And while there are people on my block who embrace the South Philly tradition of sticking an orange cone out and just claiming the spot as your own, it's not something I would do.

Monday Night Thread



Monthly jobs reports comes out this Friday, and I highly doubt they're going to be pretty. We've had a couple of years of massive foreclosures and now it's being followed by sharply rising unemployment. People are hurting, and against that backdrop preening politicians (of both parties) and inane cable news talkers insulated from that reality become more horrors than absurdities.

At least we'll bail out the rich bankers as a reward for all they've done to the country.

Apparently All Members Of The Military Are Unemployed


That's A Lot Of Jobs

In this article about Morgan Stanely job cuts we have this info:

Banks and brokerages worldwide have cut more than 250,000 jobs since the middle of 2007 as credit losses and write-offs caused the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Deep Thought

Shouldn't Michelle Obama be baking cookies?

Senate Seniority

It's interesting to see how with all the turnover relatively new senators are moving up the seniority chart pretty quickly.

And Macy's

The bloodbath continues.

Macy's to Cut 7,000 Jobs

And The Other Revenue Stream Was What Exactly?

Nobody could've predicted how this would play out...

Lunch Thread


So Absurd

One cannot really overstate how absurd that LA Times article is. Remember all those articles about that "pompous" Dr. Rice?

Suck on this LA Times.


Dr. Black.

...hey, the reporter's email address is conveniently located at the end of the article.


CNN informs me that "McCain is against current stimulus bill."

The dude lost Indiana. No one cares what he thinks.

Deep Thought

The press are shocked to discover that a stimulus bill involves spending money.

Facts Are Stupid Things

And David Gregory doesn't think you should be aware of them.

Dial-up rescue thread

I'm always surprised at the number of people who don't realize that you can watch Democracy NOW! and C-SPAN on your interwebs.

(Meanwhile in London, it is still snowing out my window! Wheee!)

Not Atrios


Rock on.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Need one last penalty.


I still think the Giants can pull this one out.

3-D Thread

I hope you all had your 3-D glasses on when Bruce did that long running slide where his crotch rammed into the camera.

Evening Thread

There is some sort of professional sports competition going on. I am out watching it, so no blog for you!

Afternoon Thread

You're all just mindless slaves of Big Football.

Deep Thought

My lifestyle choices make me a better person than you.

I Actually Thought This Was A Joke

Apparently not.

Local Notes

Come watch the Steelers kick the crap out of the Cardinals at Triumph Brewing Co. with the Drinking Liberally gang, 117 Chestnut St. in Old City, conveniently located near the 2nd st. stop on the Market-Frankford line and also various bus routes. 5-?

And Speaking Of Ratings

The Washington Post makes decisions divorced from informing their readers or pleasing their subscribers.

Just what are they for, anyway? Anyone know?

Disgusting Monster Of The Day

Joe Lieberman.

The Real Question Is

Why did they hire him?

One day I hope more journalists will be honest about the "business" decisions that their companies make which are obviously divorced from simple ratings considerations.

Classical Liberal Conservatism

Sometimes the internets just break my brain.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.
•ABC’s “This Week,” — Guests: Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican; Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat. •CBS’ “Face the Nation,” — Guests: Sen. Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican; Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat. •CNN’s “State of the Union,” Guests: Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Republican; Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Michigan Democrat; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat; Sen. John Ensign, Nevada Republican. •“Fox News Sunday,” Guests: Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois Democrat; Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican; Michael Steele, new chairman of the Republican National Committee. •NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Guests: Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican; Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat.

Just my opinion, but...

Oooh, wouldn't Sam Seder be great in the 10:00 PM spot on MSNBC?

[Er, go vote!]

Not Atrios


Rock on.


Rock on.