Sep
19

It’s time to bring back the public stocks




Posted at 21:12 by Brad

Jesus Christ:

U.S. Stock Markets Soar on Financial Rescue Plan

The government’s financial rescue plan continued to spur a immense Wall Street rally today as investors rushed back to the market.

After shooting up more than 400 points at the opening bell, The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 370 points, a 3.4 percent gain, by 2:30 p.m. That is on top of a 400-point gain late yesterday after news of a government program began to emerge and could bring the market to break-even for the week. The technology-heavy Nasdaq was up 2.5 percent and Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index rose 3.7 percent.

Global markets also traded up on the news. European markets rose on the order of 5 to 9 percent, while Asian markets overnight added anywhere from 4 to 9 percent.

In what amounts to a further restructuring of the financial market, the government said it would take on the bad debts of troubled financial firms, prop up money-market mutual funds and temporarily ban short selling of financial stocks. After watching the demise of Lehman Brothers, the quick sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America and a $85 billion loan to salvage American International Group, investors appeared more confident that the government intervention could have a lasting impact.

“It’s a massive relief rally on the back of the comprehensive plan,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist for Merk Investment. “If you have hundreds of millions of mortgage-backed securities on your books that you cannot value — much less sell — you can now unload them to the U.S. government.”

In other words: the stock market is rallying because stupid rich people won’t have to suffer any consequences for the shitty investments they’ve made over the past decade.

It’s times like these where I start getting pitchfork-and-torches angry. Make no mistake, this bailout plan will have a massive opportunity cost. National health care just became that much more difficult because we’re going to be spending $1 trillion to bail out a bunch of irresponsible Wall Street assholes. The sheer amount of shit that the American taxpayer is about to devour cannot be calculated. Our choice boil down to:

  • Borrowing a crapload more money from the Chinese and adding God knows how much to our national debt.
  • Paying significantly higher taxes and getting precisely nothing in return except for the knowledge that rich people won’t feel bad about themselves.

It’s time to bring back the pillory stocks, my friends. I want Bush, Paulson, Cox, Bernanke and the heads of AIG, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Fannie and Freddie locked up for years on end so that we may hurl vegetables and feces at them to our hearts’ content. Because hey, if we’re going to be sacrificing our Social Security and our health insurance to save the Wizards of Wall Street, we might as well get *something* out of the deal.


UPDATE: It’s a cold day in hell when I agree with Larry Kudlow:

The decision by SEC Chairman Chris Cox to ban short selling is a terrible idea. It is an encroachment on free-market principles. In extreme, the absence of short sellers would inflate stock market upturns, probably into bubbles. Short sellers keep the market honest. I know many in the short-selling community and most of them really do their homework. They are skeptical about puff pieces on companies and they are properly cynical about corporate press releases.

If anything, we should be thanking the short sellers for calling bullshit on a lot of these financial institutions. Now the SOBs will feel free to invest billions more into shit sandwiches and tell us how awesome they taste.

Goddammit I’m pissed.

342 Comments »

  1. javafascist said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:16

    Real hubris is knowing that these same recipients of government money will continue to bitch that the capital gains tax rate is too high.

  2. A Mom Anon said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:18

    Is this even legal? And if it is,why?

    Like Palin/McCain I don’t understand any of this crazy ass shit. It’s almost like the whole”economy” is a bunch of made up,arbitrary crap.

    But seriously,I’m scared to have money in any bank right now.

  3. Gary Ruppert said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:21

    The fact is, this bailout is a solidly conservative and fre market strategy. This whole situation will be resolved quite nicely, as long as the USA haters here shut their damn mouths and WORK A LITTLE HARDER.

  4. EdgewaterJoe said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:23

    So this “Gary Ruppert” character — who is he and what’s the concept behind such a satirical know-nothing bozo?

  5. Daniel said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:24

    Shorter Gary Ruppert:

    Conservatism and Corporate socialism have just come full circle, and when you don’t have to own up to your mistakes, conservatism wins.

  6. marceaumarceau said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:29

    Jacquerie!!!
    Jacquerie!!!
    Jacquerie!!!!

  7. Heads Should Roll « Beware The Man said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:31

    [...] This would be good, too. [...]

  8. Suicidal Zebra said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:33

    Privatise Profit, Nationalise Risk, it’s the freemarket way! And to think, in a couple of decades we’ll be doing this all over again.

    Yipee

  9. o'scrod said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:36

    They’ll only get away with it if the foreclosed and the un-insured, and those who have lost their retirement savings let them. And Bush and Co. are praying feverishly that their victims let them get away with it. I am genuinely shocked by McCain’s corruption – I really thought that there was a limit beyond which a candidate could not publicly go. But this morning he was out there rabble-rousing, pointing the finger at the ruling elite, calling for change with anger in his voice. We’re such suckers.

  10. Loneoak said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:38

    Correct me if I’m wrong here, but won’t the US Gov’t likely almost break even or even make money off of these stock bailouts? When we gave $85B to AIG, it was at 11% interest and with their stock as collateral. Their stock has nowhere to go but up, so we got it bargain basement. And then the mortgages that the new entity will buy at a bargain can be renegotiated so they can actually be paid off over time at a profit to the taxpayers. Most of those mortgages are under terrible conditions, but could be made stable if the Gov’t owns them. The reason they aren’t any good right now is because they can’t be easily renegotiated with the ownership and risk spread so widely. And a lot of people are going to lose their home unless a huge buyer like the US Gov’t sweeps in.

    I too want the execs who set this crap up to be but into the stocks so we can throw rotten tomatoes and moldy mooseburgers at them, but all in all this sure seems to be the best for us proles at the moment. The flip side of the opportunity costs here aren’t any better than how that money is getting spread around right now.

  11. actor212 said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:39

    Brad,

    First, keep in mind that we actually made money off Resolution Trust Corp.

    Next, at this point, banning short sales is only going to trigger another, possibly bigger crisis: a hedge fund meltdown. Hedge funds invest contra-market, and while many smart hedge fund managers got out of short positions a long time ago, there are many billions of dollars still in short positions. I’m not sure that this may not be even bigger than the short sale manipulation scam, but I’d bet its on a par with it.

    Finally, your points about a trillion dollars and health care is part of a long term concerted effort on the part of Republicans to throttle anything but absolutely minimal spending on anything beyond defense and lining the pockets of their cronies.

  12. Brad said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:39

    Loneoak — the gov’t is taking responsibility for assets that are worth nothing. I don’t see how any good can come from this.

  13. Gary Ruppert said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:41

    So this “Gary Ruppert” character — who is he and what’s the concept behind such a satirical know-nothing bozo?

    The fact is, it’s an art form.

  14. Grover Norquist said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:42

    Liberals and leftists, please shut up and leave us alone. The government should stay out of the free market, except when my investments tank, because I work hard, or something.

  15. Legalize said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:45

    Loneoak, with the govt. buying up billions in shitty mortgages, there is also the tremendous risk of fraud, i.e. overvalued paper. Although, chances are, every single mortgage will be overvalued to some extent. We should expect a lot of whoppers though. The fraud will make Katrina spending look perfectly innocent.

  16. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:48

    Is this why it’s called Talk Like a Pirate Day?

  17. o'scrod said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:59

    Is AIG going to turn a profit for the US taxpayer? As a consequence of a downgrading AIG was forced basically overnight to produce back-breaking amounts of cash. These payments represented a fraction of the total obligations to which the company is committed. Apparently no one really knows the full extent of the obligations, nor their creditworthiness. It is not unthinkable that over the course of the next few days, weeks, months they will drive the company irretrievably into the red. And that ultimately the US taxpayer will be responsible for the debt. I can’t calculate the chances of recouping the 82 b plus a little profit and I bet Paulson can’t either.

  18. D.N. Nation said,

    September 19, 2008 at 21:59

    Stone-headed libertarians love them some Calvin Coolidge, but let’s really analyze his famous quote:

    The business of America is business.

    To me, that ain’t free market in the slightest. That’s America doing whatever it takes- supporting, coddling, kissing up to, all while ignoring damn near everything else- to make the corporate class happy. No matter what principles are chucked out the window.

  19. Suicidal Zebra said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:00

    Oh, and because it is so fitting today:

    The Crimson Permanent Assurance

  20. WereBear said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:07

    Crisis/opportunity.

    Hackneyed as it is, it’s true. Today, I saw two sad, frightened little men face the news cameras to talk about this crisis, only to babble and whine.

    Then… I saw a President.

    The psychology of this, in a time of heightened emotion, is incredibly persuasive.

    I’m sure a lot of people were sitting around, trying to imagine him as President.

    They don’t have to imagine anymore.

    AND Obama made a point in his speech today that if we can extend a helping hand to the people on Wall Street, we can do the same thing for people on Main Street.

    That’s the kind of talk I was hoping to hear, and I heard it.

  21. Your Uncle Bastard said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:07

    Avast ye scurvy knaves, off the plank with ye and yer accursed kind! Arr! Any any treasure ye be seein’ at the bottom o’ the briny ’tis yers to have an’ to hold, yarrr…

  22. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:11

    Quick! Google up some first aid instructions for a sucking chest wound!

  23. Oh no you don't! said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:12

    You missed the point a bit. Lehman, Bear, and the others had the value of their shares greatly decreased or wiped out. They arent the one being saved by this. The ones being saved are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and others.

  24. Psychedelic Werewolf said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:14

    So much for these economists that consider themselves almost scientists…Watching CNBC, I’m amazed at how much of this is based on emotions and blind faith.

    Now there needs to be a national discussion on these four words… Too Big To Fail.

  25. J— said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:14

    New York Times:

    In addition to potential stimulus measures, which could include an extension of unemployment benefits and spending on public infrastructure projects, Democrats said they intended to consider measures to help stem home foreclosures and stabilize real estate values.

    Among the potential steps Congress can take include approving legislation to allow bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of primary mortgages — authority that the bankruptcy laws do not currently allow and that the banking industry has strenuously opposed.

    But the Democrats said it was too soon to discuss such details, and that they were awaiting a draft of the proposal from the Treasury Department.

    “We have got to deal with the foreclosure issue,” Mr. Dodd said. “You have got to stop that hemorrhaging..If you don’t, the problem doesn’t go away. Ben Bernanke has said it over and over again. Hank Paulson recognizes it. This problem began with bad lending practices. Those are his words, not mine, and so this plan must address that or I’ll be back here in front of a bank of microphones at some point explaining the next failure.”

    The base of this pyramid has to be fortified.

  26. sagra said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:14

    And my Euros are going in the crapper! >_<

  27. Your Uncle Bastard said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:16

    All your bad debts are belong to us…

  28. Bitter Scribe said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:19

    It’s not quite true that ordinary people are “getting precisely nothing out of this.” IIRC, as the bailout is currently structured, the companies being bailed out will have to offer better terms to homeowners in financial distress.

    Yes, the bailout sucks. But having the economy implode would suck even more.

  29. N.C. said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:19

    Well, I decided to make the best of the shit sandwich and put a little money into some cheap stocks just before the nationalization announcement. Might as well be part of the problem since I’m about $5 million/year short of being part of the solution.

  30. WereBear said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:21

    This is sick and amazing:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=11354

    Remember the whole Beauchamp/running over a dog thing? Well, Hatley, the man who disputed Beauchamp’s account and libeled him by saying Beauchamp was a problem soldier, the guy the wingnutosphere embraced as the real soldier:

    …four unarmed, handcuffed and blindfolded Iraqi detainees were allegedly shot dead near a canal in Baghdad in March or April 2007.

    Three other U.S. soldiers have been identified by witnesses as the shooters: Sergeant First Class Joseph P. Mayo, the platoon sergeant, Sergeant Michael P. Leahy Jr., a senior medic and an acting squad leader, and First Sergeant John E. Hatley.

    Yes, the same one, according to Balloon Juice.

  31. christian h. said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:23

    The problem is that nobody knows what “fair market value” for all those mortgage backed securities, and the derivatives based upon them, is – b/c there’s no market for them at this time. The taxpayer will basically end up buying them at some fantasy price. Color me cynical, but given who the deciders are (in both parties), I’d be shocked if that price didn’t end up being too high.

  32. noen said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:23

    The base of this pyramid has to be fortified.

    Hard to do when the pyramid is upside down. This current market rebound is just an elastic band effect. It will snap back soon enough. Banning shorts only delays the inevitable and in fact guarantees the correction will be worse.

    Ban on shorts comes off on Oct 2nd, economy craters on the 3rd.

  33. Orange Tom said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:29

    Shit.

    This is just the kind of fucked-up thing that Hoover would’ve tried if things had been this bad and if he could’ve gotten away with it. What these pricks have done is made it a law that the rest of us are going to have to eat the shit of the rich (but it’ll all trickle down folks, because they’ll be eating well).

    This doesn’t solve anything, it just ensures that the fuckers who have set this up will be able to retire to their guarded, gated communities, whilst the rest of us clutch our threadbare coats in the howling winds of eternal Winter. Eat the rich, folks, they’re high in fiber.

  34. Ringo the Gringo said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:31

    Back in 2003 President Bush proposed a massive regulatory overhaul of the housing finance industry that would have created a new agency within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Democrats killed the proposal. The current meltdown in the mortgage industry is a direct result of giving mortgages to people who could not pay them back, a practise which was protected by Congressional Democrats.

    You can read about Bush’s proposal here:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E3D6123BF932A2575AC0A9659C8B63&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

  35. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:32

    Conservatives are big chickens so there.

  36. PeeJ said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:32

    Our choice boil [sic! sic! siccysic!] down to:

    * Borrowing a crapload more money from the Chinese and adding God knows how much to our national debt.

    * Paying significantly higher taxes and getting precisely nothing in return except for the knowledge that rich people won’t feel bad about themselves.

    * Grab our pitchforks and storm the castle. Or, as is the case for some of us, grab your guns.

  37. Gary Ruppert said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:38

    The fact is that our economy is back due to Bush and McCain’s leadership.

    All Obama does is whine, but our economy has been saved from liberal-induced doom.

  38. PeeJ said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:43

    Yeah sure, el gringo dingo dongo. But the bill that came about

    By October 2005 the Senate was sitting on a tougher bill but the House version was watered down:

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 – Responding to the accounting scandals at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the House of Representatives approved legislation on Wednesday overhauling the regulatory oversight of the two huge mortgage financing companies.

    The legislation, approved by a lopsided vote of 331 to 90,

    And who was in charge of Congress in 2005?
    Anyway, “but the measure was sharply criticized by the Bush administration…”

    Umm, so Congress, the R controlled house, at least, produced a bill that was so different from the Bush proposal that even the admin didn’t like it.

    The bill, btw, died when the 109th Congress (a.k.a. the “do nothing” congress) ended.

  39. TigerHawk said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:45

    In other words: the stock market is rallying because stupid rich people won’t have to suffer any consequences for the shitty investments they’ve made over the past decade.

    I believe we will all learn that this is untrue. Not only is the government sweeping away the managements of the failed institutions even in cases when the current people in charge probably are not at fault except in a theoretical sense (see e.g., AIG, the CEO of which has been in the job only about three months), but it is crushing the stockholders (see, e.g., AIG again). All kinds of rich people are getting hammered (as they should). The people who will benefit the most from these interventions, I believe, are future borrowers, including people who do not have a mortgage today but would like to get one some day.

    But, I agree, it is important that these bailouts result in massive if not total dilution of the equity. Anything else would be both unjust and make the moral hazard even worse.

  40. FlipYrWhig said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:48

    When Republicans say “overhauling regulatory oversight,” they generally mean eliminating it, or creating new ways of fucking over the people who can least afford to be fucked with. I assume that this Fannie/Freddie thing was one of those.

  41. Lesley said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:50

    “Goddammit I’m pissed.”

    Me too. I almost barfed when I saw this headline. White collar crooks get bailed out with with tax money while ordinary citizens see their 401Ks go down the crapper.

    What’s the message here. That the limits of greed can be pushed by the finance industry and when it all goes to hell the government will bail them out. I wonder how many of these bailees are being investigated by the FBI.

  42. bailout schmailout said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:50

    uh, guys, this is the umpteenth time a bailout has been heralded as the thing that will save us all, all of which previous have been quickly followed by another big drop and more financial failures. Wait a week before speaking in the past tense about this.

  43. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:51

    John Quiggin at CT sees more disaster ahead.

    http://crookedtimber.org/2008/09/19/now-for-the-really-big-one/

  44. Lesley said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:52

    Borrowing a crapload more money from the Chinese and adding God knows how much to our national debt.

    Before the bailout was announced yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office reported that the US would have 2.39 trillion more added to the national debt over the next ten years. Add another trillion and a half to that.

  45. Lesley said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:55

    Some of these headlines today are designed to restore confidence and get the consumer spending again. FAT CHANCE. This bail out is not going to “fix” the tanking economy and restore the massive job loss that’s occurred in the past year. It’s not going to get people back their 401Ks (since the FDIA only insures up to 100K). People are not going to be spending. Watch the retail sector tank even more.

  46. WereBear said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:56

    You know what really shows up Wall Street?

    These mortgages are bad because people couldn’t make the payments when the ARM’s cranked up the interest.

    It they weren’t so friggin’ greedy, they could have skipped the extra interest, that led to foreclosure, that led to the devaluation of the mortgages.

    People in houses, banks getting money, neighborhoods stay healthy, and no meltdown.

    Is it really this simple, and they missed it?

  47. DragonScholar said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:58

    On the plus side the government owns two loan companies and has a big chunk of an insurance company. Lets try and elect someone who can at least wield this power.

    As for the crooks who did this – this is what you get when too many people in country don’t value building a working, sustainable society. When your only focus is greed, god, guns, and gays, you’re not making plans for the future.

    Sadly then those of us who are responsible have to work to clean up their mess.

  48. EBL said,

    September 19, 2008 at 22:59

    There ye ahrrrrr again, PeeJ– last night I addressed the toothbrush-photo issue at about 2:30 AM:

    http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/11937.html#comment-690591

    I know that you live in a tall building on W Burnside, but that’s it for contact info other than via this venue. Ringler’s for a tankard of ale? It’s on me, mate. Just name yer day and time; I’m generally free of a regular sailin’ schedule.

  49. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:01

    There ye ahrrrrr again, PeeJ– last night I addressed the toothbrush-photo issue at about 2:30 AM:

    Check back a thread or two and Peej left contact info.

  50. Itchy Brother said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:02

    Goddammit I’m pissed.

    “I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad.”

    –Howard Beale

  51. DBaker said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:02

    Ringo writes: Back in 2003 President Bush proposed a massive regulatory overhaul of the housing finance industry that would have created a new agency within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Democrats killed the proposal. The current meltdown in the mortgage industry is a direct result of giving mortgages to people who could not pay them back, a practise which was protected by Congressional Democrats.

    The bolded portion is false. In fact, it was a Republican filibuster which killed so called reform. I recall reading an article recently about Congressman Oxley, (the one behind Sarbanes/Oxley, BTW) who was absolutely disgusted over

    Furthermore, this whole business with mortgages, CDOs, 1 % option ARMs and other bullshit term mortgages happened after this. In fact, Freddie and Fannie never bought or guaranteed this portion of big shitpile in the first place.

    Harry Reid was on Ed Schultz (yeah, I know) today saying that the Republicans have filibustered financial reform bills 73 times. I was driving so I am not sure if I heard it correctly. The GOP are sending out their surrogates all over the place, feeding us this shit about how its all Democrats fault for letting poor people get mortgages that they can’t afford. Cheetos Jonah has a nice example of this on America’s Shittiest Website, for example.

    Now in regard to this post, due to the policies of the Bush administration, where we financed this lovely little war, as well as Heimat Security spending, which has built up a nice little campus in Fairfax County, by borrowing from the Chinese, we got ourselves into the position where the Chinese basically tell us what to do. As Thom Hartmann has explained on his radio show, AIG was actually formed as a Chinese corporation by an American. It has a lot of Chinese assets. The Chinese could not allow us to let it fail, otherwise they would have dumped all their dollar assets. That is the huge sword of Damocles that they hold over our heads. To make it even better, by pursuing oil import policies, we have further enriched lots of oligarchs in lovely democratic places such as UAE and Saudi Arabia.

    In other words, Reagan and both Bushes have given us this shit sandwich by continuing to borrow lots of money over the years while, at the same time pursuing policies that make us import oil. Avedon Carol has a nice essay how Republicans just screw everything up even when you think they’re not. Fannie and Freddie are, although incompetently run, do what they are supposed to do, that is promote home ownership for not so rich people. We should not allow the narrative to become it’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s fault that rich people are getting away with stealing our money. That is what the GOP is looking to do with this.

    Finally: Can you please, please, pretty please make fun of Jonah’s post?

  52. J— said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:03

    As Obama said in his acceptance speech (remember that?), “now is not the time for small plans.”

  53. Orange Tom said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:03

    Ok, so we’re on the verge of having to nationalize all of our important industries. At what point do these mofo’s announce that we’ve switched from a capitalist system to a communist one?*

    I can hardly wait to hear the details of Palin’s 5-year plan from the Politburo. INCREASE AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION FOR THE GLORY OF THE STATE!

    *(given the way that wingers can spin on a dime, I’d fully expect their blogs to defend the switch and to call us unpatriotic for meekly protesting it).

  54. Lesley said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:05

    werebear, the introductory interest rates often weren’t realistic. But you’re right, that they could have kept the interest rates low and kept people in their homes. Many of the borrowers begged the lenders to just hold the interest rate or raise it only slightly (instead of tripling it).

    This crisis never happened in Canada THANK GOD because most consumers have stable low interest rates averaging between 5% and 7%. The problem we face in Canada is the astronomical cost of housing. If the low rates nudge up at all, many people are likely to foreclose because they won’t be able to make their montly payments. (Wages for the middle class have not kept up with inflation.) The financial industry here tried to introduce the 40-year mortgage scam to keep montly payments lower but the government stopped them in their tracks. 40 year mortgages keep people perpetually paying interest and never the principle and inflate (double or triple) the cost of their home.

  55. Lesley said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:09

    i have no problem with nationalizing industries (like oil) but I do have a problem with people like McCain and Palin running them. God what a nightmare that would be.

  56. WereBear said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:12

    Thanks, Lesley.

    It’s extremely short sighted, in a consumer economy, to beat and starve the consumers and take away their spending money.

    But if they thought long term, they wouldn’t be conservative. Ironically.

  57. PeeJ said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:14

    DBaker touched on this just above…

    A major factor leading to this meltdown was deficiet spending. Specifically, spending a few trillion bux on a war, all of it borrowed from China and others. Devalue the dollar. Oil prices go up. Confidence in dollar falls. Costs us more when we borrow yet more. The value of US assets (as in our homes, among other things) gets way out of whack with the rest of the world.

    Nobody could have predicted the collapse of the [twin towers | levees | economy | environment |....]

  58. DBaker said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:17

    Oh, and another thing. Because of all of the ARM reset rules, interest only mortgages, etc., because of the lack of regulation, we are forced to nationalize the mortgage industry. The effect of this is keeping the interest on 30-year fixed mortgages low enough and long enough to get everyone out of said shitty mortgages.

    I have been getting several calls lately from mortgage brokers who are still in the business asking whether I need to refinance an ARM that I might have. These are all FHA backed mortgages, allowing you to refinance at a relatively low fixed 30-year rate. The idea here is to get enough people in said mortgages to stabilize the market.

    What the chatterers on TV talk about is the liquidity/credit portion of this crisis. What they don’t like to talk about is the asset portion, or the lack of proof thereof. The nationalization serves the purpose of finding out what big shitpile is actually worth so that we can clean out the mess. People still live in houses. A lot of them still pay mortgages. The houses are not worth zero, but they’re not worth 100 on a scale of 100 in 2006 either.

    In short, this communist style nationalization actually does serve a common good. Reagan and the Bushes are assholes for getting us to this point. It will key to remind lots of people that when our taxes go up and the interest rates go up, and by god they will, that it is not President Obama’s fault but those scam artists from the Republican party.

  59. Orange Tom said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:18

    i have no problem with nationalizing industries (like oil)

    The problem is that it won’t just be national resources, it’ll be everything, from insurance companies to auto manufacturers, airlines, big boxstores, what have you (picture WalMart turning into GUM). The lot of us will end up working for ration tickets and standing in lines all day for a chance to buy powdered eggs. Oh, it’s going to be as ironic as fuck-all, but mighty grim, all the same.

  60. DBaker said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:20

    Nobody could have predicted the collapse of the [twin towers | levees | economy | environment |....]

    Exactly, don’t you know reality has a liberal bias?

  61. Lesley said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:22

    there’s this too.
    http://blurbomat.com/archives/2008/09/18/obama-and-mccain-on-mental-health/

    While Obama supports specific measures for those with mental health issues and disabilities, McCain advocates lifestyle counselling.

  62. o'scrod said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:27

    I don’t have a problem with nationalizing industries either, especially when it’s either nationalize or years of national and international economic despair. In fact I hope Bush and Co succeed in the next few days. It’s just that there is no longer an argument against giving everybody health insurance, there’s no argument against cancelling everybody’s credit card debt, against paying off everybody’s mortgage, against turning the wealth of future generations over to everybody right now. He who has a scrupple in this situation is dumb. The treasure house doors have been thrown open and the guards sent home. The bankers are in there right now stuffing their pockets.

  63. James K. Polk, Esq. said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:27

    WereBear said,
    September 19, 2008 at 22:56

    Is it really this simple, and they missed it?

    I know that at least a few ARM mortgages were predicated on the market rising and based around the loan producing negative equity in the home.

    The reset time frame for these loans were tied to a certain level of equity (eg when the loan hits 110% value the payments skyrocket).

  64. mikey said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:29

    It’s all just whistling past the graveyard.

    Pissing on hell.

    The system WILL break. It has to. To put it awkwardly, the system cannot NOT break.

    Both the national budget and the balance of trade continue to run huge, utterly institutionalized deficits. The economy is fundamentally predicated on high employment with growth in personal and consumer spending. But incomes are flat while deficits grow and costs for necessary commodities such as energy and food skyrocket. The gap closed by selling US Debt.

    But now, it’s like the last months of an addicts life. That which has sustained him is now killing him, quickly, but to do the very things necessary to avert the final catastrophe is unthinkable.

    Consumer spending shrinks. Deficits rise. There IS no money to pay the debt service, so the treasury makes more. That money is worth less than the money it’s replacing, so they make more. Inflation drives the costs of everyday goods beyond the reach of everyday consumers. Credit card and personal debt skyrockets, and the banks start calling in the debt and cutting off the credit. Less spending. More currency, worth less. More bankruptcies, more unemployment, less taxes collected, bigger deficits.

    There IS a point of collapse. We don’t know exactly where it is, and to some extent it is subject to events yet to transpire. But make no mistake. Whatever form the United States of America takes in 2018, it will look NOTHING like the USA of today.

    It will be nasty, harsh and very likely bloody for most of us.

    And it’s still taboo to do ANY of the things we need to do NOW to even simply soften the collapse…

    mikey

  65. Lesley said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:31

    Starbucks stops serving milk as China crisis snowballs

    I see this scenario happening in Canada after the Conservatives get their majority, which the polls suggest they might. They just deregulated food inspection to save 3 million dollars. A drop in the frickin’ bucket. In the past month 18 people have died from eating tainted meat from Maple Leaf Foods (who delayed the recall). And countless others are sick or at risk. Meanwhile our Con Agri Minister has been making jokes about the deaths in government conference calls and the prime minister refuses to fire him because “that joke shouldn’t have been leaked.” It’s insane. I may have to move to the US if Obama is elected.

  66. InsaneInTheCheneyBrain said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:34

    I can haz “Sadly, No” Manhattan Meetup?

    Seriouse cat is seriouse.

  67. Lesley said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:37

    The system WILL break. It has to. …Both the national budget and the balance of trade continue to run huge, utterly institutionalized deficits. The economy is fundamentally predicated on high employment with growth in personal and consumer spending. But incomes are flat while deficits grow and costs for necessary commodities such as energy and food skyrocket.

    Succinctly put and who wouldn’t agree with this (besides Gary Palin McRuppert)?

    The shit is going to hit the fan, it’s just a matter of when. China must be whistling dixie past the graveyard.

  68. Masson’s Blog - A Citizen’s Guide to Indiana » Opportunity Costs said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:41

    [...] Costs By Doug From Sadly, No: In other words: the stock market is rallying because stupid rich people won’t have to suffer [...]

  69. Arky - Chuthuhlusexual said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:42

    I’m pretty sure the ban on short selling only applies to naked shorting which is illegal and has been illegal for a very, very long time. In addition the ban only applies to 800 publicly traded stocks. It is a half-assed bizarre measure to say you’re going to fix things by temporarily enforcing the rules you should have been enforcing all along (at least in regards to 800 companies) but maybe it will shake out some of the assholes who make their living at this sort of thing.

  70. You Can't Put Lipstick On A Repig said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:44

    Shorter “demise of everything” post:

    Capitalism is inherently doomed in a globalized-trade world without putting brakes on the ability of those with capital to make all the rules.

  71. dadanarchist said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:48

    Time to reread the Nation special issue from back in the spring:

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080407/zinn

    Link to Zinn’s article, with links to the other contributors at the bottom.

    Personally, I think consumers should start demanding price caps on food and energy prices.

  72. tigrismus said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:52

    ALL short selling of 799 financial stocks is banned until October, not just naked shorting, which, as you say, is already illegal.

    And Lesley: the FDIC does only cover $100k per person per bank, but that wouldn’t cover 401k’s anyway.

  73. les said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:57

    You know what really shows up Wall Street?

    These mortgages are bad because people couldn’t make the payments when the ARM’s cranked up the interest.

    It they weren’t so friggin’ greedy, they could have skipped the extra interest, that led to foreclosure, that led to the devaluation of the mortgages.

    People in houses, banks getting money, neighborhoods stay healthy, and no meltdown.

    Is it really this simple, and they missed it?

    Problem–all these mortgages were wrapped up in giant shitpile derivatives, so brokers could make money marketing, AIG could make money insuring, hedgers could make money….And now, nobody knows who owns any particular mortgage, nobody knows who has the authority to change terms, nobody knows who holds the failures v. the good loans, and on and on. Derived complexity for money’s sake; the problem has no straightforward, business/consumer oriented solution.

  74. Balloon Juice said,

    September 19, 2008 at 23:58

    [...] hook for a couple trillion (if they say it is going to cost a trillion, double to triple that), the greedy bastards who got rich screwing us with the “free market” are reacting favorably. This seems as appropriate as [...]

  75. montysano said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:06

    Shorter right wing echo chamber, 8/18/2008:

    Isn’t it time to face the reality that the only people qualified to get us out of this mess are the evil geniuses who were crafty enough to think up this scam in the first place?

    And……….. as to what We The People “bought” this last few days: the Fed has no fucking clue whatsoever. It could be reasonably valued stuff, and it could be complete toxic waste. That’s the beauty of the $60T shadow banking system: surprises!

  76. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:10

    I may have to move to the US if Obama is elected.

    Damn, Leslie, come on down! (Catchphrase from long running US game show.)

    I keep trying to convince my partner to let us just burn down the CC debt, pay it off in a couple of years, and take the hit on our credit rating, which can be rebuilt.

    But I can’t make a convincing enough argument that we should game them back.

  77. montysano said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:10

    I’m completely with Brad re: the torches and pitchforks mood. The last time this happened, it was in the pre-Internet era, and no one knew much about it until it was a fait accompli. This time, I’ve been able to watch this unfold/unravel in Technicolor, and it’s nearly driving me mad.

  78. InsaneInTheCheneyBrain said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:13

    From Wikipedia:

    Naked short selling, or naked shorting, is the practice of selling a stock short without first borrowing the shares or ensuring that the shares can be borrowed as is done in a conventional short sale. When the seller does not then obtain the shares within the required time frame, the result is known as a “fail to deliver.”

    In the United States, naked short selling is covered by various SEC regulations. In 2005, “Regulation SHO” was enacted to curb the practice, requiring that broker-dealers have grounds to believe that shares will be available for a given stock transaction, and requiring that delivery take place within a limited time period.[1][2] As part of its response to the crisis in the North American markets in 2008, the SEC issued a temporary order restricting fails to deliver in the shares of 19 financial firms deemed systemically important.[3] Effective September 18, 2008, following the the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history by Lehman Brothers, the SEC made permanent and expanded the rules to remove exceptions and to cover all companies.[4]

  79. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:23

    It will be nasty, harsh and very likely bloody for most of us.

    On the other hand our tastes will broaden. Yum!

  80. Incognito said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:29

    Aren’t we glad that the Federal Government is bailing out all these Wall Streeters just in time for the sale of The New Yankee Stadium luxury boxes!!! I bet all those people who lost their homes feel a lot better knowing there will soon be wine tastings, sushi, and caviar at Yankees Games. Everything will be back to normal.

  81. Trilateral Chairman said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:30

    All kinds of rich people are getting hammered (as they should).</i?

    Yep. I have relatives who live and work in hoity-toity areas in and around NYC, and they’re already seeing the effects. A fair number of people have lost their jobs, and a good number of mansions are in foreclosure. Yeah, maybe they won’t suffer as much as you think they deserve–they’re not going to end up on the streets with tin cup in hand–but they’ll feel it. Remember that these people are largely spoiled; if they have to sell the ski cottage and the island villa and the private plane, they’ll hate it.

    The people who will benefit the most from these interventions, I believe, are future borrowers, including people who do not have a mortgage today but would like to get one some day.

    Bingo. My wife and I have been renting ever since I graduated from college (the housing boom started shortly before that). We’ve had a number of short-term positions over the years, but we’re finally looking for a permanent place to settle down (if the academic job market manages to come through for us). Before all this happened, a decent house would’ve been out of our price range in most markets. Now it’s a different story.

    We have good credit, a good amount of savings in fairly safe financial instruments, and stable jobs. I have some sympathy for people who ended up in upside-down mortgages, especially if they got into them without really understanding what they were doing…but I don’t give a damn about Dick Fuld. For us, this is a good thing. So far, anyway.

  82. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:40

    Remember that these people are largely spoiled; if they have to sell the ski cottage and the island villa and the private plane, they’ll hate it.

    It reminds me of that great last line of Goodfellas:

    I have the live the rest of my life as a schmuck.

  83. Jamey said,

    September 20, 2008 at 0:42

    My understanding, via a fair-trade/green fund manager who’s of a quite liberal bent, is that it’s a necessary evil. The need to prop up venerable (venerial?!) firms is a sop to the brokers who’ve long put “widders and orphans” into long-term, bluest-of-blue-chip stocks, like FDMC and Lehman. Deregulation permitted these companies to run like a crooked casino; most brokers only understand the for-public-consumption numbers; only a very few are privvy to the insider stuff. What this means is that people on fixed incomes, derived from preferred equities bearing income–most of whom had asset wealth of <$125 k, which isn’t really all that much, when one considers that the principle isn’t liquid, but pays 5-6% or so/annum–rather the prospect of equity growth, were getting fucked six ways from Sunday. And when the call date on a preferred is long off, meaning a seller risks some sort of contractual penalty, brokers didn’t have much wiggle room when Lehman, Merrill, and others started to tank. Multiply these widders and orphans by or ten million, and it’s clear how much supposedly “stable” money was dumped into pinstriped Ponzi schemes. The SEC/FTC acts that permitted brokerages to act like merchant banks and consumer lenders totally sucked–they all started trading in hinky debt generated by the latest bubble, RE. And their friends on the Hill further gutted regulation and oversight, to permit lenders to dole out more bad loans, safe in the knowledge that they wouldn’t be allowed to fail.

    I guess the steps were necessary, because people started to ask the question, “what if everyone panics? Where, then, do people put their retirement money?”

    Sucks. Unfair. Means that some folks will get away with murder. But in a weird way, it’s for the greater good.

    But, yeah, since we’re bailing out Wall St with taxpayer money, can we PLEASE let Bush’s cuts to the highest tax brackets and capital gains/inheritance taxes expire? Joe Biden’s right: It’s the American thing to do. Those who profited most from greed should be on the hook to pay the price.

    /uninformed rant.

  84. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 1:02

    Naked short selling is the practice of selling a stock short without first borrowing the shares or ensuring that the shares can be borrowed as is done in a conventional short sale. When the seller does not then obtain the shares within the required time frame, the result is known as a “fail to deliver.”

    What Bush has done to the country for the past eight years. CHARGE HIM.

  85. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 1:15

    I wonder if Bush could be defended as “non compos mentis” and their defense would be every speech he ever made.

    Now Cheney… there’s a supervillain ripe for a takedown. I wonder how much money the taxpayers have spent keeping him alive?

  86. Drill Swollen "OneMan" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 1:38

    “Both the national budget and the balance of trade continue to run huge, utterly institutionalized deficits.”

    Y’all talk about this like it’s a bad thing. Remember what Dick “I shot a man in the face” Cheney said: “Deficits don’t matter.”

    Q. E. Muthafuckin D.

  87. Jennifer said,

    September 20, 2008 at 1:45

    Well, thank heavens you didn’t say anything about guillotines, or Atrios would get the vapors.

    But I’d be happy with a conceptual analogy to the guillotine – taxing the fuckers to the gills to pay for cleaning up the mess. “Chopping off” a goodly portion of their ill-gotten wealth, as it were.

    Now, please don’t ban me for life for using the bad “g” word twice. It’s not like it will put the secret service all up in your grill or anything.

  88. Stevenovitch said,

    September 20, 2008 at 1:46

    Deduction: AIG apparently made a business out of issuing absurdly risky insurance policies. We now own AIG. Can AIG start providing our health insurance? I feel, as partial owners, we are all entitled to this perk. Get back to me on this.

  89. MzNicky said,

    September 20, 2008 at 1:47

    All I know is what Teh Spouse, a financial advisor who has worked for a financial-services subsidiary of AIG for nearly 25 years, tells me. We’re personally finally able to breathe normally tonight after weathering this distinct possibility earlier in the week that if AIG didn’t get bailed his retirement fund, which he has built up steadily over this period of time, would have evaporated overnight. (Not to mention he’s also had MRIs and iodine scans to deal with.) We’re glad that didn’t occur, but that’s scant reassurance for what may be to come for all of us.

    First: The government will make money from the bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG. In the case of AIG it’s a bridge loan, with interest, that AIG will pay back by selling off such lower-tier interests it currently owns, such as, for example, airplane-leasing to the major airlines. Less we harbor the fear that all of us who pay US income taxes will be bearing the burden of sustaining six- and seven-figure Wall St. douchebags whose greed and unrestrained practices helped lead us into this disaster, my understanding is that many many of those folks’ salaries and nest eggs were directly tied into stock options and commissions, etc., which are now off the table. Beyond that I am stupid about what’s going on. Just wanted to add that.

    Any questions? I got Teh Spouse in the House, one of the good guys who’s just been trying to make a living all these years by helping people figure out how to invest their $$ so they could send their kids to college and help their parents pay for their old-age nursing-home and health needs without going bankrupt, and then hopefully retire comfortably their own selves before they drop dead. A public service provided free of charge here for fellow SadlyNaughts if anyone wants straight answers without industry or govt. bullshit, a lot of which is being slung.

    Will check back because we’re going to go have several drinks and watch Season 2 of “The Office” on DVD.

  90. MzNicky said,

    September 20, 2008 at 1:48

    PS — FWIW, spouse agrees with you Brad that some people deserve to be in stocks in public squares right now with rotten tomatoes in the hands of the angry mobs.

  91. J— said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:02

    Any questions?

    What will happen with AIG’s sponsorship of Manchester United? Will they get to keep their name on the jersey, or will the U.S Treasury or the Fed take their place?

    These are important questions.

  92. Stevenovitch said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:08

    Question, doesn’t AIG have like trillions of dollars in insurance policies on bad investments floating around that the US government is now liable for? How are we supposed to make money off of that?

  93. D.N. Nation said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:13

    Cheer up, everyone. 538 just dumped a hot batch of fail on the McPalin campaign.

    For those keeping score, yes- the electoral projection is essentially what it was right after Obama’s acceptance speech.

  94. mikey said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:13

    I’d just like to know the methodology by which the new AIG management is going to determine the actual market value of these instruments, both the credit swap defaults and the other mortgage – backed securities that have been traded without oversight and cannot be market valued by anyone external to the trading ecosystem.

    Oh, and remember I’m a dumb old grunt with a high school diploma I probably don’t deserve…

    mikey

  95. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:13

    Hi MzNicky,

    I’m glad to hear about your improved situation.

    But I question the idea that we’ll be better off because the government will make money on the bailout.

    The government may or may not make money (in US $), but going Argentina (or 1920s Germany) has very real costs…even if the USA itself, turns out to be too big to fail.

    The US$ has been in the tank for the entire shrub-Cheney term (go figure).

    This has led directly to increased costs in commodites such as oil, copper, gold, food, etc.

    Recently, turmoil in the markets has led to a flight to quality (aka U.S. treasuries).

    I’m going out on a limb and saying that’s over.

    So what’s in it for us, really? The way I see it, the shrub’ites have spent 7 1/2 years screwing the average citizen, and now they’ve looted the treasury and left us the tab. Watch and see how badly the next administration’s options are limited by the greedy, short sighted decisions the present one has made.

  96. b-psycho said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:25

    So, Brad (if you’re still reading): since clearly the sole purpose of the Federal Reserve & the Treasury department is to cushion big money types from the consequences of their dumb ideas, what do you think about abolishing the two?

  97. Loneoak said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:36

    Mzr MzNicky: I’m hearing a lot of mixed analysis about how much the Glass-Steagalll / Graham-Lehey-Bilely deregulation (allowing one institution to simultaneously offer commercial banking, investment banking, and insurance) is contributing to these various crises. To my noobish eyes, it definitely seems that turning mortgages into investment vehicles within a single institution contributed an awful lot. But I’ve also read that all these investment banks would be totally sunk if they couldn’t turn to commercial banks for fluidity. What’s the deal?

    Also, how successful do you think the entity buying up bad mortgage paper will be? Will it ever be possible to disentangle the investors from the lenders and borrowers enough to renegotiate the mortgages?

  98. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:37

    what do you think about abolishing the two?

    It would be wise to get right-wingers to vote for the guy who wants to abolish the former.

  99. Trilateral Chairman said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:38

    WereBear said: It reminds me of that great last line of Goodfellas:
    “I have to live the rest of my life as a schmuck.”

    See, it always reminds me of an exchange from the Godfather:

    Michael: How bad do you think it’s gonna be?
    Clemenza: Pretty goddam bad….That’s all right. These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood. Been ten years since the last one.

  100. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:40

    I’m no economics expert. In fact, I fucking despise economics. I do know one thing, though: the US is absolutely not too big to fail.

    In a way I’d almost prefer to just let the fucking system collapse. The sooner it finally crashes down, the sooner we can start over again. Pushing back the inevitable in the hopes our house of cards will at least stay up until we’re dead and it’s our descendants problem seems incredibly selfish.

    On the other hand, we can’t know how things will play out when the shitpile finally crumbles. It’s not inconceivable that if we push it back one more generation we’ll be better prepared to deal. Not bloody likely, but that’s why it’s called “hope” and not “planning.”

    Who knows, maybe Obama can sort it all out. *snort*

  101. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:41

    First: The government will make money from the bailouts of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG.

    Not really since the gov’t's already borrowing money hand over fist to cover the Iraq war – with interest. It may not even break even.

  102. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:46

    In a way I’d almost prefer to just let the fucking system collapse. The sooner it finally crashes down, the sooner we can start over again.

    You might not like economics, what about history?

    And just because it’s Friday at the Haus of Sad, don’t think there isn’t a pop quiz.

    What followed the Weimar Republic?

  103. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:47

    Speaking of hope, however, I’m glad to hear that things are looking up for PeeJ and MzNicky.

    Speaking of Sadly gatherings, it’s about time for another one in Portland, now that I live here um, some time has passed.

    Speaking like a pirate, AAAR matey, I came t’ plunder some booty, but the booty be gone! Whar be the Lehman Brathers booty tha’ wench promised me? Thar’s naught here but a pile o’ shite smeared stock certificAAARs!

  104. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:51

    Last week’s New Rule is to the point.

    Just because you live in the middle of nowhere [Gary Palin McRuppert] doesn’t make you more authentic than me. It just means you have a much longer drive to the airport.

    Now, ever since Sarah Palin came along, this election has been falsely framed as a contest between salt-of-the-earth, small-time maverick westerners and snooty eastern elites. You know, there’s people who go to church on Sunday, and there’s people who go to brunch.

    Even fast-talking, cross-dressing Rudy Giuliani – the former mayor of New York City – accused Obama of being too cosmopolitan. That’s like being called a douche-bag by Andy Dick.

    And…and listen to Mitt Romney from the same convention. He said, “If America really wants change, it’s time to look for the sun in the west, because it’s about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaska. Of course, if the sun actually did rise in the west, that would mean the earth is spinning backwards and we’d all fly into space. But, then Mormons were never big on science. As you well know.

    But, what Mitt was getting at is that the East Coast is where all the liberals, with their bad ideas, come from. You know, bad ideas like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As opposed to the brilliant ideas that have come out of the west like frontier justice and wearing cowboy boots with a suit.

    The ideas this nation was founded on came from the most cosmopolitan people of their day, the founding fathers, who believed in science, who looked to Europe for wisdom, and who had no use for ignorant hicks like Bush and Palin.

    Truth is – the truth is, as America moved west and got farther away from its birthing in Boston and Philadelphia, it became less American, not more. We keep hearing about small-town values, you know, like shooting wolves from an airplane or forcing your daughter into a doomed, loveless marriage.

    Cities are about diversity of thought. Small towns are about…well, crystal meth. And, last year, police found 42 meth labs in Sarah Palin’s home county. Drug addiction is a terrible thing, but apparently it beats living in Wasilla sober.

    There’s so much meth in this town, I’m surprised the Palins didn’t have a kid named “Tweaker.”

    So, now I know what they mean when they talk about the Alaska spirit. Ah, yes, Alaska, where the townsfolk are jittery and the hockey players screw right through the condoms.

  105. The Total Dick-Head said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:52

    I propose a solution:

    It involves getting a lot of Republicans together and then having attractive women seduce them, drug them, steal their 500$ European carryalls and sell them overseas, applying the profit to our debt. We can probably break even in a couple of years.

    We could double our return if we set up an alternate operation in all of the men’s bathrooms in America’s airports!

  106. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:53

    History is swell. Well, okay, most of it is pretty horrible. I guess the question is, do things go to shit now and we deal with it, or do they go to shit later and our kids deal with it?

    If there’s a way out of this mess that doesn’t involve terror, starvation, and bloodshed, well, let’s make it happen. I don’t see how, but it’s not like I couldn’t be wrong here. I hope I am.

  107. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:57

    It involves getting a lot of Republicans together and then having attractive women seduce them,

    You’ll need a few attractive men and children for some of them.

  108. Oregon Guy said,

    September 20, 2008 at 2:59

    Nobody, and no nation, is immune from the laws of history.

    Not even US. Or, the US.

    History shows us that Americans are reluctant to face the facts and take uncomfortable action until it is almost too late.

    So are we gonna make it in time for “almost,” this time?

  109. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:03

    If I hear another neocon blather about welfare mothers ripping off the state I’m going to blow a fucking gasket.

  110. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:04

    The problem with going full tilt boogie into this Brave New World (ie, we let it melt down) is that we’ve spent about 5,000 years slowly accreting things that work, no matter how badly.

    And it’s not just us, as tempting as the thought might be of crazed wingers roaming the world with the two things they have a lot of, guns and crazed resentment. At this point, we would take the rest of the civilized world with us. This might make them unhappy.

    So we do have to suck it up, but I say LEVERAGE this opportunity to rub out any attempts at Republican resurgence. From now on, any of them utters the words “deregulation,” “free market,” and “trickle down,” we send someone over to beat on them with a mutant sea bass.

  111. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:11

    So we do have to suck it up, but I say LEVERAGE this opportunity to rub out any attempts at Republican resurgence. From now on, any of them utters the words “deregulation,” “free market,” and “trickle down,” we send someone over to beat on them with a mutant sea bass.

    WereBear for Preznit!

  112. mikey said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:18

    WereBear for Sergeant at Fish!!

    mikey

  113. Anonymous said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:22

    Welfare mothers? Say no more.

  114. PS said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:24

    Hiding behind a cloak of anonymity incompetence

  115. jim said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:24

    Welcome one, welcome, er, well, some – those who can “afford” it – to The Wall Street Rigged Casino, where other folks’ taxes mean the House can never beat you!

    Boy oh boy, doesn’t the timing on this just SHINE that economic bullturd for dear life, though? Yeah, I bet by mid-October they have to just ban selling of ANY stocks PERIOD to keep the market from pwning itself. Yeah, of COURSE a sick market can be regulated back to health – & the state can pass a law against entropy or death or sadness, too.

    America: At War With One Adjective While We Pay A Different Adjective To Rape Our Children!

    uh, guys, this is the umpteenth time a bailout has been heralded as the thing that will save us all, all of which previous have been quickly followed by another big drop and more financial failures. Wait a week before speaking in the past tense about this.

    You bet your Bippy, a week at least … & the shock-wave from all the payback-fever up to now probably isn’t done surging yet & seems to have grown, in fact.

    The crux is: can Wall Street tug in even MORE shills now? It’s been swirling around the porcelain bowl of its own blind rabid greed for about 2 years solid now – so it’s desperate. Upgrading my “Spondulixdammerung Level” to Def-Con 2.

    Having their prior jiggery-pokery fall flat taught Paulson & Bush nothing.

  116. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:25

    What if we made them eat Brussels sprouts, mikey?

    And then beat them with mutant sea bass!

  117. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:25

    WereBear has my vote! Lucky for me I’m white and the bank hasn’t begun foreclosure on my house, so there shouldn’t be any problems!

  118. purvis ames said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:31

    All kidding aside, this new program of socialism for the rich has doubled the national debt which was already at the preposterous level of seven TRILLION dollars. The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac added five TRILLION dollars all by itself. This criminal looting of the Treasury is exactly what you can expect even more of from the Texas Mafia before they leave town.

  119. mikey said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:32

    For the LAST time.

    Brussels Sprouts are NOT food.

    You can use them to fill cracks in your driveway.

    You can use them to polish your car.

    You can throw them with GREAT velocity at your enemies.

    You cannot, nor at any time SHOULD you ever eat them.

    I hope this clears the whole BS thing up….

    mikey

  120. PeeJ said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:35

    yummmmm. Brussell sprouts. Eat them up yum!

  121. PeeJ said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:36

    Would a certain someone get us a recipe for Brassica pie? I like pie.

  122. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:45

    Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in Brassica pie?

  123. Caveat said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:47

    This is fucked. McCain should drop the ‘O’ from his fake country first message.

    It’s like a bunch of wastrel frat boys finding out that Dad is covering their overrun tab. More rounds for the House, bartender! Drinks are on him!

  124. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:51

    Beautiful pictorial from watertiger and 2

  125. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 3:57

    Thanks, Brad.

    My rage is sadly close to terminal, which is a long bridge for me to cross.

    As a pacifist, I am reluctant to advocate violence. But these fuckheads are making me reconsider. I may not participate, even though I regret being too young to get in on the ’60′s fun.

    My personal opinion is that mass marches of people quietly holding their middle fingers up in the air would be the best protest option right now. We could invoke MLK and stuff.

    It would be particularly interesting modern visual politics at a McCain inauguration.

  126. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:02

    Lesley, Anne Laurie, and Jennifer:

    Let us build a new super-race, not even knowing or caring what your particular race is. I’m single, never married, no kids, and straight, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Goddamn you women are wonderful. A little bit of property out of the way, a good healthy ag-base, and some lovin’ is all we need.

    LOL.

  127. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:06

    Just for the record, I nominate mikey as our Secretary of Homeland Security, in the confines of our little paradise.

    Seconds?

  128. TigerHawk said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:10

    As I suspected, the <a href=”http://naughtrelevant.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/stock-losses-in-congress-funny-stuff/”rich are getting hammered.

  129. TigerHawk said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:11

    Oops. Sorry about that. Here’s the link.

  130. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:12

    Just for the record, I nominate mikey as our Secretary of Homeland Security, in the confines of our little paradise.

    Seconds?

    I second that emotion.

    And our Brad for Secretary of Satire.

  131. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:16

    All the authors of this blog are, naturally, invited without restrictions.

    Most, I repeat MOST, of the commenters out here can get in easily after a cursory interview with the leader of the cult, which would be me.

    Before you go all freaky on me, I’m very libertarian in principle, which leaves a whole bunch of room for individual opinion. I just want your heart to be in the right place.

    :-)

  132. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:18

    Personally, I favor Maggie Gyllenhaal for Secretary positions.

  133. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:19

    Just in practical terms, we’d need a few good lawyers and Doctors, a couple of farmers of success, and a few good, if not exceptional engineers.

    Can’t do this without some expertise on hand.

  134. El Cid said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:22

    In other news, apparently a 12 year old middle-schooler in Oregon just invented solar cells 500 times more efficient than current solar cells.

    Solar technology is improving all the time, but one 12-year-old boy may have the key to making solar panels that can harness 500 times the light of a traditional solar cell. William Yuan is a seventh grader in Oregon whose project, titled “A Highly-Efficient 3-Dimensional Nanotube Solar Cell for Visible and UV Light,” may change the energy industry and make solar energy far easier to harness and distribute.

    Yeah, my middle school science project had something to do with solar energy, but it involved more construction paper and charts than improving solar cell efficiency 500 times.

  135. MzNicky said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:24

    Okay kiddos, I’m going to have to cut and paste your questions into a document and submit to the proper authority for his answers. He’s conferring with Jack Daniels, the remote control and a lapful of cats right now but I’ll report back when he’s got less pressing important stuff going on.

  136. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:25

    All spouses and children are in, if you pass the interview. (Repeating: Not hard to do. Sanity and rationality, rationality being God’s (if there is one) gift to Mankind.

    I’m talking about building a viable future here.

  137. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:26

    I am an experienced organic gardener. So I’m in, John O.

    Thanks for that linky, TH. It turns out, the biggest AIG loser in Congress, to the tune of between 5-11 million, is:

    Turning his back on the textile and apparel workers in North Carolina’s 8th District, Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.-8) dramatically reversed his previous opposition to the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) expansion of NAFTA to become a deciding last vote that delivered CAFTA’s 217-215 passage, after being made vague promises by Republican leaders to help the U.S. textile and apparel industry. Unbelievably, this is the second time Hayes has switched his vote on a major piece of trade legislation.

    From Public Citizen

    I recommend the Schaudenfraude. It is particularly good this evening.

  138. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:27

    Aww, c’mon, MzNicky, you’re in.

    No Jack of any kind here. Just fantasy politics. Preparing for the worst and all.

  139. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:29

    WearBear, you were in interview-free. And we’ve even disagreed!

    I’m a big fan of intelligent dissent.

  140. Some Guy said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:34

    This is what I like to call the “GET TO DA CHOPPA!!” style of economy. That is, “So long as the infrastructure doesn’t collapse until AFTER I’m dead, it’s all good. No new taxes! There’s no government like no government! Where the fuck is my subsidy check?!”

  141. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:34

    El Cid,

    As incredibly sucky as political journalists are (seeL Scherer, Michael), reporters on the science beat are worse.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:William_Yuan

  142. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:36

    In my crazy world where solar cells can’t be improved by a facto of 500, L’s look a lot like colons.

  143. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:36

    Sorry, WEREBear. My bad.

    In any case, a good leader listens to those who disagree.

    And may even be persuaded by the case that is made.

    That’s me. LOLOL.

  144. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:39

    That’s cool, John O. I am pleased to join your Utopia of Intelligent Dissent.

    And I can just imagine how McCain might scramble our new acronym…

  145. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:43

    Yeah, you’re cracking me up, WB. MFI is one I can’t figure out the best third word for, though I have some lame tries. The only one I can come up with so far is, Mother Fucker, I! And it just isn’t any good.

    And SPIC is a beauty, too. SEC, FEC, what difference does it make to the voters McCain needs to win?

    This is why I propose a new little world. We are governed by lunatics.

  146. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:46

    youtopia?

    How long before google buys it?

  147. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:48

    I would propose a name for our little paradise, but the big thing is to get it up to speed before anyone notices.

    It might be prudent to go with something like, “Main Street,” or maybe, “Don’t Pay Any Attention To Us.”

    “Sanityville?” “RationalLand?” Too visible.

  148. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:49

    I’ll run the Committee to RE-Energize the Proletariat.

    Movement For Intelligence, btw.

  149. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:50

    A super race of liberals? As long as someone else endures the pregnancy
    and child birth I’m in!

    Just caught the Tina Fey as Palin video. What a delight.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/13/tina-fey-as-sarah-palin-o_n_126249.html

  150. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:52

    Oh, if you don’t want any idiot conservative interference for your little nation, call it The Land Where Everyone Has To Work Hard And Fucking Little Boys Is Punishable By Death. Or something more concise, I dunno.

  151. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:53

    LOVE “Youtopia,” but once again I fear too much media attention.

    We could rename it Youtopia after we’re established as a wonderful place to live. Should take about 2 years, max.

    Location. Naturally, I propose the Midwest, since I think going through 4 legit seasons teaches some serious lessons about the passage of time and the power of nature, not to mention the generally fertile land, reasonably live and let live populace and global-warming-impending-disaster-free zone, for some time, but I’m open to suggestions.

  152. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:55

    Amy Poehler rocks. Hillary would be proud.

  153. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:55

    No chance any doctrinaire conservatives get through the interview with me and my intelligentsia, but someone like, say, John Cole?

    In.

    Gotta have a smart voice of balance.

  154. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:56

    Youtopia where Youtubia is freely available for everyone.

  155. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 4:59

    I like John Cole.

    Love it when Amy Poehler says, “Hey, media. If you need balls, take mine!”

    Tina Fey is supposed to return Saturday after next.

  156. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:03

    TBogg? In. No interview required.

    And it has nothing to do with his smoking hot wife, I assure you.

    The Editors? Are you kidding? In.

    Jane Hamsher. In. I don’t always agree with her, but I love her for her fight.

    Amanda Marcotte? In. We’ll smack her down when she goes too crazy, but she’s smart and I’m sick and tired of women as second class citizens, even when I can’t even see it, and Amanda won’t let it pass when I (we!) can’t.

    Blue Texan? In. Automatic.

    Roy Edroso? So. Totally. In.

    There are others.

  157. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:03

    I love it when she says “I don’t want to hear you compare your road to the Whitehouse to my road to the Whitehouse. I scratched and clawed through mud and barbed wire, and you just glided in on a dog sled wearing your pageant sash and your Tina Fey glasses.”

  158. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:08

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/19/mccain-on-banking-and-health/

    September 19, 2008, 7:24 pm
    McCain on banking and health

    OK, a correspondent directs me to John McCain’s article, Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American, in the Sept./Oct. issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries. You might want to be seated before reading this.

    Here’s what McCain has to say about the wonders of market-based health reform:

    Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

    So McCain, who now poses as the scourge of Wall Street, was praising financial deregulation like 10 seconds ago — and promising that if we marketize health care, it will perform as well as the financial industry!

  159. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:08

    Tina Fey is In.

    So are Brad and the Mrs. Jolie, if we’re going the celebrity route. It would be good economics to have them and Clooney and Damon and any other number of apparently sane “celebrities” proud members of our village.

    But we’d have to interview them, since you can never be sure with these famous people.

  160. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:13

    Need minorities, of all kinds. Suggestions?

  161. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:13

    Mmmmmm. I’d interview George Clooney in a New York minute!

    If you know what I mean…

    He’s bona fide!

  162. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:21

    Colbert and Stewart, In without interview.

    Samuel Jackson? Tiger Woods?

    I don’t know. But I’d like to have them, in theory.

    WereBear, we can’t be having any “coercive” interviews. :-)

    At least not too much.

  163. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:23

    The Truth?

    Crying and hoping he shits on all the morons who voted for him. Which if you’re even remotely honest with yourself is a distinct possibility.

    And staying away from sharp objects.

  164. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:26

    Hey Truther, aren’t you going to taunt us about the polls favoring McCain? Why on earth not?

  165. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:27

    Samuel L. Jackson? Absolutely!

    I hear he loves golf, though…

    On a sociological note, I found this interesting collection of political drinking facts:

    Who’s a better tipper? Democrats 60 percent, Republicans 38 percent.

    Who is more likely to order a drink straight up? Republicans 82 percent; Democrats 14 percent.

    Who is more likely to order a fruity (pink) drink? Democrats 58 percent, Republicans 34 percent. (I can definitely see Bill Clinton drinking a Cosmo!)

    Who has the better pick-up lines? Democrats 74 percent, Republicans 14 percent.

    From this site

  166. Some Guy said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:29

    I volunteer my services to help Tina Fey build the genetically-superior Super Liberal. That’s the kind of self-less, giving sacrifice I’m willing to make.

  167. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:33

    Hey! WereBear, don’t you be goin’ dissin’ golf!

    It is the ultimate game against self. It takes discipline, self-control, and a truly weird mix of almost drunken abandon and physical precision. It is the game of life. If you play by the rules, which most of us do, you play the ball where it lies.

    In life terms, that means taking what you’re given and dealing with it.

    Our little paradise will have a world-class golf course, especially if we can get Tiger in.

    Life is just a metaphor for golf. And I would be the first to admit that it is just like any particular religion: Unless you’re a member, it looks sort of silly.

  168. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:37

    I wasn’t dissing golf, though I’m not a fan. Just don’t know if they will play on an organic course… but then, it’s challenging!

    Gotta hit the (organic) hay, but just wanted to say:

    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  169. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:39

    You’ll have to get in line, Some Guy, and try not to forget the inspiration behind this idea.

    She’s married though, so unless she buys into the concept more than even *I* can imagine, she’ll be off limits.

    Which is not to say she may not have some good referrals.

  170. Anonymous said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:39

    This should make you even happier!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/20/business/worldbusiness/20markets.html?hp

    “Clients and advisers are almost giddy,” said Sallie L. Krawcheck, the head of Citigroup’s Global Wealth Management division. “It’s a sense of massive relief. Everyone feels like they looked over the edge and saw the abyss, and have been pulled back.”

    Shorter Sallie L. Krawcheck: Thanks taxpayer suckers!

  171. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:39

    I wasn’t dissing golf

    I will dis golf.

  172. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:40

    I’m actually quite sure Tiger could get behind an organic golf course.

    So we have that going for us.

  173. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:46

    Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:39

    I wasn’t dissing golf

    I will dis golf.

    Has anyone ever seen Harry Hutton and RB in the same place at the same time?

  174. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:47

    RB, like I said, I understand.

    But I was once pretty good at it, and there isn’t anything quite like it once you reach a satisfying level of competence, which takes years, just as any skill does, whether it be meditation or magic tricks.

    Trust me, no offense taken. It is the only professional game where no money is guaranteed, where the rules are self-enforced, and where you only play against yourself.

  175. D.N. Nation said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:49

    Wow, Truth, you’re not even trying these days.

    Fucking clown.

  176. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:52

    Harry Hutton

    “AS DULL AS GOLF ITSELF” made me laugh.

  177. kmfg said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:54

    Today a co-worker suggested a 95% tax on incomes over… and public shaming of said… kind of a common theme I guess..its funny cause its true i guess…

  178. kmfg said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:54

    \me like comment!/

  179. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:55

    Me like, also comment.

  180. kmfg said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:56

    whut’re the chances of ur lected ficcials gettin u outtta this?

  181. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 5:58

    Golf IS dull, when you’re watching it.

    But after you’ve played it for a while, it is anything but.

    Anyone who has tried to play it understands this.

    A 10 foot putt in which your putter, on contact, is 1 degree off-line doesn’t go in the hole. And that’s just one example. Professional golfers are seriously skilled.

    But it is the honor of the game that sets it apart. No other professional sport is close in terms of self-imposed, often invisible penalties and disqualifications.

  182. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:04

    Golf IS dull, when you’re watching it.

    Yes, I agree entirely. The facets of its dullness are many, but indeed the radioactivity of not-very-charged dull waves that emanate from televised golf is a menace to those who like things that are interesting.

  183. Matt T. said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:10

    Golf IS dull, when you’re watching it.

    You should try covering it. In my youth, I was a sports reporter and perennial low man on the totem pole. Thus, I covered many a high school and college golf tournament before I moved out of the sports thing.

    I tell people that it was the peyote or the Hunter Thompson or the Wittgenstien that screwed me up and caused me to shun reality. Truth be told, it was probably covering Northeast Mississippi golf tournaments that planted the seed. Dear lord.

  184. Loneoak said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:12

    We gotta invite Ta-Nehisi Coates. He’d bring the old school hip-hop knowledge. Although he like the Dallas Cowboys, that can be forgiven.

  185. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:13

    Well, RB, I’ve stood over $100 putts that would be very easily made if there was no money on the line. Within 3 feet. EASY, without the nerves in play.

    I absolutely love watching people perform under pressure, whether they be politicians or athletes. Bill Clinton’s SOU speech days after Monica broke was one of the all-time great pressure performances, to name one example.

    And until you’ve tried to play it, you have no idea, with all due respect. I’m not kidding about the religion thing, because I know how weird I think all organized religion is, and a golf lover is a sort of a religious creature.

    It’s just a paradigm thing. You’re welcome to yours.

  186. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:17

    And until you’ve tried to play it, you have no idea, with all due respect.

    Among my many regrets, I have golfed. I could have done something interesting, but no.

  187. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:21

    :-), RB.

    I’ll bet it was hard for you, and frustrating, too.

    Think about what it takes to overcome it all.

    If you had hit one or two great shots, you might feel a little bit differently about it.

    But that takes years, or luck.

  188. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:23

    I’ll bet it was hard for you, and frustrating, too.

    No, it was just boring.

    Now mini-golf: there’s a game.

  189. The Total Dick-Head said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:25

    It’s teh Islamo-Fascist Terrorist Organizations!!

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/09/financial-terro.html

    It’s in Revelations people!

  190. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:28

    It’s frustrating and hard for me, too, now. I’m not playing enough.

    And I still love the hell out of it, because in every round I play, I hit a shot worthy of the best in the game. Just can’t do it all the time, or even close.

    But once you’ve played some magic rounds, which I have (I “beat” Greg Norman on the back nine of the exact same course one week earlier than Mr. Norman played it, Mr Evert leading going into the last round, at the same length and difficulty), it is hard not to be a little entranced.

    Probably the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on. :-)

  191. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:30

    It’s teh Islamo-Fascist Terrorist Organizations!!

    Good lord! Are they also responsible for Mamma Mia?

  192. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:31

    If I want a test of my skill and concentration that takes years to truly master and in the end you’re only competing with yourself, I’ll go to the arcade and drop some quarters into Robotron 2084.

    There’s less dull walking or driving involved, and I’m not obligated to wear embarrassing clothes. It’s optional.

  193. thomas said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:32

    A long time ago I was chatting with a European museum worker and he made the observation that the the problem with America was that our ruling classes have never been reformed. I don’t know if that’s an accurate statement or not, but I certainly think about it from time to time.

  194. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:35

    Robotron 2084.

    Absolutely. One of the games I turned over and got a zillion extra men for.

    Williams made really zippy games with great sound effects. Just putting the quarters in was fun.

  195. John O said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:37

    Like I’ve said, I understand all the golf naysayers out there. I get it. I think zillions of things are boring that other people live for.

    But I don’t hold their passions against them, which is why my Youtopia would be so cool. It’s not like I’d make everyone golf.

    G’night, all. As usual, this is the place for fun.

    FSM save the Republic.

  196. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:53

    As long as Youtopia has Robotron, count me in.

    Geometry Wars would be nice too. We could put an Xbox and a flat-screen in the golf carts and play while driving after the balls.

  197. SamFromUtah said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:55

    Williams made really zippy games with great sound effects. Just putting the quarters in was fun.

    I heartily agree. I sucked at all of them, though.

  198. comsympinko said,

    September 20, 2008 at 6:55

    Football=fun.
    Golf=not fun.
    Eating pie=fun.
    Golf=not fun.
    Getting laid=fun.
    Golf=not fun.
    Pretty much everything apart from golf and golf-related programme activities=fun.
    Golf=not fun.

    That about covers it.

  199. mikey said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:05

    My man Bobby B used to live in a cabin overlooking the 18th green at San Geronimo Vally GC in West Marin.

    After it got good and dark we’d spray paint golf balls bright orange and green, scatter ‘em on the green and shoot at ‘em from his deck. When you hit ‘em they’d jump a LONG way.

    Later on, when that got boring and the serious drugs started to kick in I used to love to go down there and lay on my back in that short, damp grass and shoot 5.56 tracers straight up into the sky.

    So while I have never golfed, I’ve never found golf-related activities boring…

    mikey

  200. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:16

    that short, damp grass

    Gotta give ‘em credit for nice lawns.

  201. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:16

    Recently I spent some time on Hornby Island, a local paradise here on the west coast. I was shocked to discover that the cottage next to ours had a landscaped golf course on its property. It’s completely incongruous and a ridiculous waste of water. The entire island uses well water and people conserve. You know, don’t flush when they pee and keep the showers to a minimum. But this golf course had several sprinklers going all the time and they’d blast these gun like sounds at regular intervals to keep the geese away. This was our front yard. Imagine a golf course next door.

  202. EdsAppliance said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:45

    In related news, peons, Alan Greenspan should properly be referred to as “Sir Alan.” He was Knighted in 2002.

    Why? For his “outstanding contribution to global economic stability and the benefit…realized from the wisdom and skill with which he has led the U.S. Federal Reserve Board.”

  203. justme said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:56

    Sometimes I love wonkette.

    Turns out we didn’t need “stealth socialist” Barack Obama to pervert capitalist America into a crumbling nationalized economy run in private by a dome-skulled kleptocracy as our nation’s battered military wastes away in the forgotten bummer of a civil war in Afghanistan. WAIT A MINUTE that is exactly what happened in the Soviet Union! And the so-called Republicans did it, because they are Fiscal Socialists!

    My personal favorite comment I’ve heard about golf is that it’s “about as much fun as watching turds turn white.” To be fair, it does seem that it might be fun to play, and the venues are pretty cool, but God it’s awful on tv.

    Robotron is awesome, and my interest is piqued by the idea of clothing-optional arcades.

  204. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 7:58

    Greenspan: I misjudged subprime lending crisis. He forgot to add, “on purpose.”

    “While I was aware a lot of these practices were going on, I had no notion of how significant they had become until very late. I really didn’t get it until very late in 2005 and 2006.” Even though one of the Fed’s governors raised concerns about the lending practices that were going on, Dr Greenspan said there was little he could do.

    “Well, it was nothing to look into, particularly because we knew there was a number of such practices going on, but it’s very difficult for banking regulators to deal with that,” he said.

  205. g said,

    September 20, 2008 at 8:14

    Jeezus, are you guys talking about golf?
    ZZZZsszzzzzzsnnsnsnnzzz…

  206. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 20, 2008 at 8:37

    I thought we were talking about vidya games. I have a buddy who was addicted to Tiger Woods Golf on the PS2 for awhile. Bleeaargh.

    On the topic of things that are fun to do but boring to watch, plenty of video games fit that bill. Back when I was still in high school but living on my own, my house was a hangout for a lot of my town’s pot dealers. It was a good deal for me, because I got to get high all day for free. Well, it turned into a bad deal eventually, but that’s another story.

    At the time, I was hooked on playing Final Fantasy Tactics, which was a very in-depth and slow-moving game based around character building and turn-based battles on a grid. I made the dozens of people who did business at my place watch hours and hours and hours of that shit. Did I mention that half that game was spent in menus between fights? I did eventually relent, though. Final Fantasy VIII came out…

    The moral of the story is that people are easily entertained while they’re high. Also, don’t let drug-dealers use your home as a corner store, but that’s another story.

  207. Stephen Ockham said,

    September 20, 2008 at 10:11

    See, this is the shit I’ve been saying all week to the few people who will listen to me.

    Thanks for putting it down so plainly.

  208. Rob (Formerly) In Toronto said,

    September 20, 2008 at 11:53

    The best part of this is that McCain thinks that “we” have done such a wonderful job in Financial deregulation that we should make sure that the same kind of thing is done for Healthcare.

    Yeah, he is ready to lead the country. Right into a woodchipper.

  209. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    September 20, 2008 at 13:19

    RB, golf is truly the game for everyone that can afford the greens fees. Personally, my golf skills are that sometimes I can break a hundred – on the front nine. But as a mini-golf enthusiast let me give you a hand – for every stroke you take – drink. For every ball you lose – drink. Every time someone makes a joke that ends in yelling Fore! – drink. When someone asks if they can play through since you’re taking half an hour per hole – chug, smile sweetly and tell them to fuck themselves.

  210. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 14:16

    Is that a cheat sheet on your hand, Governor?

  211. MzNicky said,

    September 20, 2008 at 15:13

    To golf or not to golf? It’s a social marker.

  212. (Lex) Palianated said,

    September 20, 2008 at 15:23

    But wait, I got my statement. I’ve only paid $31,472 out of pocket for health care (THIS year). Just imagine what my poor company paid! Bring on the rotten tomatoes.

  213. The Book of Janus said,

    September 20, 2008 at 15:40

    For John had said unto Pharaoh, Even for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may be full. This is the token of the earth; Even these of the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this man, and the vessels which were sold unto thee; thou art yet alive. Yea, better is a cart rope: That say, Let us pass by you into your hands to war, that are on her lovers, and with water, but of God are alive from the cities, and want of the city on the one side, and the moon endureth. He shall not multiply horses to come for thy friend, which is before you. Ye shall certainly drink.

  214. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 15:50

    Ye shall certainly drink.

    But it’s not even 10 AM!?

    Well, who am I to argue with The Book of Janus.

    Cheers!

  215. MzNicky said,

    September 20, 2008 at 15:54

    ittdgy: It’s the Bloody Mary hour.

  216. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 15:58

    MzNicky, here’s (even more) cause to drink.

    ‘Troopergate’ Investigation To Wrap Up Before Anyone Involved Testifies

    McCain-Palin spokesman Ed O’Callaghan said Thursday that Todd Palin no longer believes the Legislature’s investigation is legitimate.

    ~

  217. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 16:04

    And here’s Glennzilla’s version (slighly longer – imagine that!).
    ~

  218. Marco said,

    September 20, 2008 at 16:14

    You guys are whiners. It’s only 700 Billion dollars. Our socialist leader, Bush, is taking care of everything.

    Just sit back and “enjoy?”

  219. MzNicky said,

    September 20, 2008 at 16:39

    With regard to some of the questions posed last night about the current financial crisis.
    ____________________________

    Q. What will happen with AIG’s sponsorship of Manchester United? Will they get to keep their name on the jersey, or will the U.S Treasury or the Fed take their place?

    A. No one knows yet.

    Q. Doesn’t AIG have like trillions of dollars in insurance policies on bad investments floating around that the US government is now liable for? How are we supposed to make money off of that?

    A. The government has not assumed any liabilities. All it has done is loan AIG up to $85 billion and that loan must be repaid with interest. The loan is secured by 79.9% of the equity in AIG and that company has $1 trillion in assets.

    Q. I’d just like to know the methodology by which the new AIG management is going to determine the actual market value of these instruments, both the credit swap defaults and the other mortgage – backed securities that have been traded without oversight and cannot be market valued by anyone external to the trading ecosystem.

    A. Don’t know yet.

    Q. The government may or may not make money (in US $), but going Argentina (or 1920s Germany) has very real costs…even if the USA itself, turns out to be too big to fail. The US$ has been in the tank for the entire shrub-Cheney term (go figure). This has led directly to increased costs in commodites such as oil, copper, gold, food, etc. Recently, turmoil in the markets has led to a flight to quality (aka U.S. treasuries).
    So what’s in it for us, really? The way I see it, the shrub’ites have spent 7 1/2 years screwing the average citizen, and now they’ve looted the treasury and left us the tab. Watch and see how badly the next administration’s options are limited by the greedy, short sighted decisions the present one has made.

    I’m hearing a lot of mixed analysis about how much the Glass-Steagalll / Graham-Lehey-Bilely deregulation (allowing one institution to simultaneously offer commercial banking, investment banking, and insurance) is contributing to these various crises. To my noobish eyes, it definitely seems that turning mortgages into investment vehicles within a single institution contributed an awful lot. But I’ve also read that all these investment banks would be totally sunk if they couldn’t turn to commercial banks for fluidity. What’s the deal?

    A. Securitization is an essential source of liquidity within our financial system. Valuation of some of these financial instuments has become difficult and thus there has been a reluctance to buy them at any price.

    Q. Also, how successful do you think the entity buying up bad mortgage paper will be? Will it ever be possible to disentangle the investors from the lenders and borrowers enough to renegotiate the mortgages?

    A. The current default rate of 6.4% is very high but nowhere near the 40% during the Great Depression. The valuation of these instruments now assumes a much higher default rate than will likely occur. An easier solution than renegotiating the mortgages might be to offer some form of relief directly to the borrowers who are in default. Today’s Wall Street Journal, particularly the editorial page, addresses many of the questions you have raised.

  220. Jennifer said,

    September 20, 2008 at 17:10

    Maybe I’m just naive, but it seems to me that these bad mortgages only really started being made after all us poor schlubs were maxed out on our non-secured credit lines. Am I wrong here? Seems like this thing really started in about 2002 or 2003 with the liar loans and the interest-only loans and ARMs being the lion’s share of the market. This would have been after, as I said, personal indebtedness was already maxed out on non-secured debt, and all the really good credit risks were already in low-interest fixed-rate mortgages.

    I ask all this because I continue to think that this whole mortgage crisis is the end result of too much money being concentrated in too few hands. Once the consumer credit lines were maxed out, the richie-riches could no longer make money by investing in retail or manufacturing, since no one had the disposable income or the credit available for consumer goods. So instead they turned to the mortgage market where, in theory anyway, the loans are “secured” by the value of the property. And as all this investment money had nowhere else to go, it poured into the mortgage market and as in all else, supply and demand dictated that the over-supply of available funds exerted a downward pressure on lending standards.

    Am I crazy or what? Because I don’t hear anyone in the media, or economists, or any other authority bringing this up, which would seem to me to be like a major fucking point.

  221. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 17:13

    I think Jennifer is right. They screwed up the consumer economy, but hey, people have to live somewhere.

    It’s like every time they need money, they come up with another casino to play in.

  222. Sockpuppet #47 said,

    September 20, 2008 at 17:22

    Ah, isn’t it great.. Dubya has only one financial strategy now.. Do whatever it takes to delay the angry mob so that he isn’t in the white house when they burn it down.

    There is no long term planning here. But none the less, I am all in favour of this “keep the status quo” strategy.

    Fixing this fucking mess is going to take decades of hard work by people who are both expert economists, and decent fucking human beings. George W Bush is neither. The chances of him doing anything constructive to solve this crisis are NIL. I am merely thankful that he hasn’t caused a complete meltdown of the US economy, and a global recession too. Yes, maybe he has simply made the problem a little worse.. But at least he hasn’t tried to fix it.. Or had to deal with picking the pieces up after a complete crash.

    Nothing is going to change in the economy this year. Not for the better. Not with this leadership. Yes, it can’t carry on this way. But we can at least hope Obama will inherit an economy which is still teetering, still functional enough for some repair work to make a difference.

    And of course.. if Mcain wins.. Who cares what Bush does? Mcain will only do even worse.

  223. The Book of Janus said,

    September 20, 2008 at 17:51

    Then I would desire to be beaten to pieces, and lay with her.
    Then Abraham gave up the ghost. And Job answered and said, Is not my word be verified, which thou sentest forth thy people go up to fight also against Judah, and the princes of Moab unto the children of Harim, and Hashub over against mount Seir, and the earth. And Abimelech rose up, and nourished up in his right hand, and will not eat of them that were carried away all thy detestable things, and your companions the Apharsachites, which are forbidden to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

  224. James K Polk, Esq. said,

    September 20, 2008 at 18:21

    Marco said,
    September 20, 2008 at 16:14
    Just sit back bend over and “enjoy?”

    At least my handbasket is comfortable.

  225. Josh R. said,

    September 20, 2008 at 19:35

    I feel the sentiment, but it also depends on whether the US government will be able to sell off the assets it just acquired in a few years. If it can do that and make a hefty profit, and in doing so stave off a collapse, then it’s probably a good deal (notwithstanding the moral hazard stuff of seeming to encourage bankers to make foolish decisions).

  226. noen said,

    September 20, 2008 at 20:09

    Jimmy Carter in the 70′s said America needed to accept reality and live within it’s means. He used the word “austerity” and it scared the crap out of many people. Ronnie Reagan came along and told people they didn’t need to work and save, they could just spend spend spend. He offered America a fantasy world and America said “Hell yeah! Gimme that.” Reagan’s economic ideas were based on Arthur Laffer’s laffer curve which was so mind boggling stupid even papa Bush ridiculed it as voodoo economics.

    Arthur Laffer is one of McCain’s economic advisers. We’ll see if if America is stupid enough to fall for it yet again. If we do, we deserve everything that’s coming to us.

  227. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 20:21

    Large Hardon Collider loses rigidity.

  228. El Cid said,

    September 20, 2008 at 20:22

    My God, I really wish this were some different universe where the Democratic Congress wouldn’t fold immediately for this insane, $700 BILLION BLANK F***ING CHECK to Wall Street.

    But it isn’t.

    Swear to God, I better never hear another f***ing WORD about mean old socialist Hugo Chavez and how he forcibly buys out companies and nationalizes them.

    At least the ordinary f***ing Venezuelans get something out of it when they buy out these companies. We get the benefit of maybe not utterly collapsing for a few more months. F*** EVERY LAST ONE OF THESE BASTARDS. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH.

  229. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 20, 2008 at 20:24

    Large Hardon Collider loses rigidity.

    I hear you can order viagrons over the internet.

  230. noen said,

    September 20, 2008 at 20:38

    But don’t you know El Cid? We didn’t buy them out, we just gave them truckloads of money. We didn’t take over daily operations so we can’t possibly be socialists. That’s the difference between Socialism and Capitalism. In Capitalism when businesses make stupid mistakes we reward the people responsible. They enjoy all the benefit and none of the risk. In Socialism when stupid mistakes are made, and they will be, people are human after all, heads roll. Sometimes literally. Risk and benefit are shared by everyone. It’s obvious, therefore, that if you are one of those decision makers Capitalism is a much superior system.

  231. mikey said,

    September 20, 2008 at 20:38

    #

    ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 20:21

    Large Hardon Collider loses rigidity.

    Jeez, isn’t that a problem more commonly identified with aging equipment rather than brand new equipment?

    Maybe it’s just a confidence thing, y’know?

    mikey

  232. ShouldKnowBetter said,

    September 20, 2008 at 20:39

    It’s things like this that reminder me of my favorite ever Onion quote;


    “I realize that, historically, phrases like ‘massive redistribution of wealth’ are usually accompanied by rivers of blood. That said, it’s about time for a massive redistribution of wealth.”

  233. The Book of Janus said,

    September 20, 2008 at 21:35

    Hearken not unto thy words in the land of Egypt with a couple of asses saddled, his concubine also was written before him as the streams thereof shall know that with well doing ye may be even an hundred forty and two.

    Wherefore, if God spared not the old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they shall wet thee with singing.

  234. Legalize said,

    September 20, 2008 at 21:39

    Dude, Barack is putting the first nails in the McCain coffin:

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=11365#comments

  235. J— said,

    September 20, 2008 at 22:12

    I followed the link Lesley provided to Krugman’s post on McCain’s proposal to push the further deregulation of the health insurance industry, and from there I accessed the full text of McCain’s statement. The last section, entitled “Rediscovering Personal Responsibility,” starts off with standard GOP broken-record rhetoric.

    The final important principle of reform is to rediscover our sense of personal responsibility to take better care of ourselves and our children. We must personally do everything we can to prevent expensive, chronic diseases through better health behavior.

    The first sentence, right-wing code talk. The second, a statement of the obvious rendered as partisan position.

    Later in the same paragraph McCain’s neoliberal choo-choo goes off the rails into a bog of wingnuttery.

    Parents who don’t impart to their children a sense of personal responsibility for their health, nutrition, and exercise—vital quality-of-life information that political correctness has expelled from our schools—have failed their responsibility.

    I’m glad that’s been cleared up. The next time you see a kid with poor eating habits and a sedentary daily routine, you’ll know PC and its inculcation in parents’ minds are to blame.

  236. Nathanael Nerode said,

    September 20, 2008 at 22:34

    Or, you know, we could TAX THE PEOPLE WHO STOLE THE MONEY IN THE FIRST PLACE to pay for the “bailout”. Progressive tax rates work, folks.

  237. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 22:42

    Andrew Sullivan – on Real Time last night – said the Bush government is leftist and socialist and that the people to blame for the financial crisis aren’t a few financial companies here and there but citizens who wanted something for nothing and their government never told them they couldn’t have it.

    Wow. Zing. Splat. I didn’t realize he was as silly and crazy as, say, Jonah Goldberg.

  238. Simba B said,

    September 20, 2008 at 22:43

    Lesley—thanks for the advance warning. I will not be watching that episode.

  239. J— said,

    September 20, 2008 at 22:48

    Wow. Zing. Splat. I didn’t realize he was as silly and crazy as, say, Jonah Goldberg.

    Or Senator Jim Bunning.

    “The free market for all intents and purposes is dead in America,” Mr. Bunning declared on Friday. “The action proposed today by the Treasury Department will take away the free market and institute socialism in America. The American taxpayer has been misled throughout this economic crisis. The government on all fronts has failed the American people miserably.”

    From the New York Times.

  240. Simba B said,

    September 20, 2008 at 22:53

    Or Senator Jim Bunning.

    You know, it’s one thing when you get this grade of stupid/crazy from, say, a freshman Rep. from the deep south, but a senator? Oh, wait:

    Bunning is one of the Senate’s most conservative members, gaining high marks from several conservative interest groups.

  241. El Cid said,

    September 20, 2008 at 22:56

    I wish Naomi Klein would have slapped the ever-living sh*t out of Andrew Sullivan and told him that he not only didn’t know what Klein’s arguments were, that if what he wanted to do was go off in a corner and jack off about how much he hates Noam Chomsky then that’s what he should f***ing do and stop talking to Naomi Klein like she’s a stupid piece of trash who’s never read Adam Smith unlike Mr. F***ing Brilliant Brit-Trash I Luv The Irak War Sullivan.

  242. noen said,

    September 20, 2008 at 23:18

    the people to blame for the financial crisis aren’t a few financial companies here and there but citizens who wanted something for nothing

    There is probably enough blame to go around. So yeah, people who took out second and third arm mortgages so they could buy a home theater system and a Humvee bear some responsibility. So do of course the people who sold those mortgages knowing full well the client could not afford it. They are also to blame.

    America has been living in a fantasy world of it’s own creation for at least the past thirty years. Who’s to blame for that? Well, we are of course.

  243. Lesley said,

    September 20, 2008 at 23:21

    Naomi Klein is also a guest, but Sullivan – like many Republican guests I’ve seen on Real Time – tends to interrupt, talk over her and drown her out. Like a lot of Republicans he’s a loud mouth. He’s a better listener than most though.

    I’m surprised Maher didn’t take Sullivan to task when he said he believes capitalism can work as long as it’s properly regulated and in the next breath said he believes in “self-government”. Self-government=non regulation. Duh.

    Sullivan’s not entirely wrong i.e. some people who took out mortgages knew they couldn’t afford them but most were scammed. Not only were they lied to about interest rates but they were encouraged to falsify their applications. If a prospective buyer was unemployed, the financial agent would put down “employed” or inflate the income amount. Sometimes the buyers weren’t even aware this was going on. They were told not to worry about sections of the application, the agent would take care of it.

    There’s a reason the FBI is investigating the financial industry and not the citizens who took out the mortgages.

    The other part of this is that the interest rates offered at the beginning of mortgage contracts made owning feasible for many low income earners. It wasn’t until the financial company jacked up the rates that they became unaffordable. Usually this was about three months from the time the applications were approved.

    Naomi Klein is bang on when she says Bush and his capitalist friends thrive on disasters like the one that occurred this week. First they profit from their scams to the tune of billions in bonuses and commissions; then when it all goes to shit they get bailed by the government (because the alternative would mean a depression); and when the taxpayer is burdened to within an inch of his life because of the bail out, the government pushes for privatizing social security and health care; thus providing new means for the crooks to make more money.

  244. El Cid said,

    September 20, 2008 at 23:21

    That stupid Bible had some rules against usury. Why was Old Testament God against the Free Market and Personal Responsibility?

    Also, please everyone give Treasury Secretary / Former Goldman-Sachs CEO all your money, forever, because he says he’ll use it to “rescue” us all.

    Also, please pass this rule which doesn’t allow a single solitary soul on Earth to question anything he wants to do.

  245. WereBear said,

    September 20, 2008 at 23:23

    Well, I don’t understand Log Cabin Republicans, anyway. Unless it’s a way of not coming out and saying one is a masochist.

  246. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 23:35

    There is probably enough blame to go around. So yeah, people who took out second and third arm mortgages so they could buy a home theater system and a Humvee bear some responsibility. So do of course the people who sold those mortgages knowing full well the client could not afford it. They are also to blame.

    Oh for fuck’s sake, just stop.

    You don’t have a clue.

    ******************************************
    Analogy alert!

    Joe Republican’s Groceries and Derivatives, LLC has developed a new business model. They’ll sell chocolate covered cotton for below cost, but make up the difference in volume.

    Current Rethuglican excuse for the failure of JRGD, LLC: damn those people who didn’t pay market value for that delicious chocolate covered cotton! But with our Market Recovery Plan™, we’re going to take it out of their hides anyways, and pay off all our rightwing scamsters at the same time. Yet again.

    Ramen.
    *************************************************
    End Analogy alert!

    What have we learned, kids? Don’t ever take even one little bit of a rethuglican argument at face value. They’re always lying and stealing.

  247. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 20, 2008 at 23:53

    P.S. noen, I didn’t mean the above to be an attack on you.

    But you need to recognize the rethuglican response you are seeing: liar loans! Fannie Mae! =>

    => people who don’t pay their mortgages back = poor people = the liberals made good republican bankers lend money to the coloreds!

    It’s all crap. If there was any truth to this, you would have seen the sub-prime crisis begin erupting in Compton. Downtown Detroit. Teh Bronx.

    Not Las Vegas, Florida’s Gold Coast, Orange County, or every other super hot market in the country.

    And the sub-prime crisis is merely the canary in the coal mine. This disaster came from Wall Street.

  248. noen said,

    September 20, 2008 at 23:53

    They’ll sell chocolate covered cotton for below cost, but make up the difference in volume.

    Yes, that has been the GOP economy since Reagan, stated almost verbatim, and the American tax payers bought it. How stupid do you have to be to believe in supply-side economics? Who is more at fault, the mark or the con artist? Normally I’d say the con artist but when you get into the past 30 years… I mean come on. During the Reagan era it really was put that simple “We are going to reduce taxes, which will increase revenue.” You have to be pretty fucking stupid to believe in that, and yet America bought it. We have no one to blame but ourselves for that. I’m not talking about complicated financial transactions.

  249. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:04

    Well…and let’s face it, the economy will collapse if Americans don’t keep spending on their overextended credit cards.

    First thing out of Bush’s mouth after 9/11 wasn’t “Hell will freeze over before we compromise our constitutional freedoms”, it was ” GO SHOPPING AMERICA!”

    Yes, wipe those tears of 401K loss away and take a trip to the mall, America. And if you do this for the economy, even after we’ve robbed you blind, we’ll increase your credit limit. Hell, it’s the only annual pay raise most Americans get anymore anyway.

  250. noen said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:04

    P.S. noen, I didn’t mean the above to be an attack on you.

    But you need to recognize the rethuglican response you are seeing: liar loans! Fannie Mae! = people who don’t pay their mortgages back = poor people = the liberals made good republican bankers lend money to the coloreds!

    Yes, I know. I guess that I am making a different point, one that is off topic I suppose. But it’s something to talk about.

    Krugman on RealTime with Maher talked about how we were at one point 2-3 days away from a complete economic meltdown. I’ve been very aware of that for the past couple weeks and I’ve been scared shitless. Talking about the 80′s and saying how we are all collectively sorta kinda responsible helps me to not think about it too much I guess. If this crash really does come I’m toast.

  251. J— said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:10

    Read the proposed legislation submitted by the Treasury Department. If you like the outsourcing and subcontracting at the Treasury’s discretion (see Section 2) or the restricted accountability before Congress (see Section 4), you’ll love this:

    Sec. 8. Review.

    Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

    I guess it just wouldn’t be a proper Bush Administration proposal if it didn’t include a big middle finger to the judicial branch.

  252. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:17

    In my parent’s day (when we were little kids in the 60s) having bad credit or debt you couldn’t repay was shameful. The only thing my father ever borrowed money for was his house and he paid it off as soon as he could. His purpose was to have “a little place to call our own.” He saved to buy his cars and everything else he owns. If he couldn’t afford a new car he didn’t have one. But in those days, cars were affordable and so were houses because people didn’t have credit cards. Retailers couldn’t jack prices of goods beyond the means of the people buying them because credit cards, if they even existed then, were hard to get.

    Gradually the banks changed all that. They also changed the image of debt and borrowing. Over time, it wasn’t the debt that was shameful but not keeping up with the Joneses. Someone who lives modestly, who doesn’t have all the latest doodads and gadgets, and whose accounts are in order, is viewed as a loser because nobody sees their account; what they see is what they’re wearing, what furniture they have, what car they’re driving, what cell phone they use).

    Would prices be as high as they are without the availability of credit? If everyone stopped using their credit cards tomorrow and only bought what they could afford, the entire economy would collapse. Nobody could sell a car, nobody could sell a home. The dollar stores would be doing a booming business though.

  253. El Cid said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:25

    I don’t see why you liberals are getting so upset about Congress giving $700 Billion (outstanding, may be rotating) to the Secretary of the Treasury and former Goldman-Sachs CEO Hank Paulson to do whatever he wants with, and no one on Earth can review or challenge his decisions, but he will give a yearly report to Congress.

    It’s not like a $1 Trillion is much these days.

  254. mikey said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:30

    Which probably brings up the most interesting and, quite possibly, the most critically important question of all:

    What would a “complete financial meltdown” look like? Sure, credit would tighten, spending would nosedive, unemployment would rise and GDP would shrink by some amount resulting in a “recession” or a “depression” depending on the size of the decline.

    There would be increases in bankruptcy, poverty, homelessness and hunger. But there would still be food sold, and goods made, and stuff exported, and people would still get married and have babies and love each other and kill each other and, in many ways, albeit differently from today, life would go on. Wouldn’t it?

    Wouldn’t we all just “muddle through”, grateful for the scraps we still have, the roof over our heads, the beans on the table, the job, no matter how crappy? Wouldn’t they have to stop foreclosing and evicting for non payment and find some way to keep massive starvation from setting in?

    Or would cities burn and blood run in the streets? Would there be food riots and insurrections and martial law and camps and tanks on streetcorners?

    Would America convulse in one huge firearms – fueled outpouring of rage and helplessness? Would she break up, as various groups of people sought some kind of communal solution for food and safety?

    What would other nations do? Would they help? Or would they watch the smug nation that acted only in her best interests, without really caring about the problems of the rest of the world, problems she would never herself face?

    One year after a “Complete Financial Meltdown”, what would America look like? How would we live? What would remain, and what would be gone forever?

    mikey

  255. spanky said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:31

    To anyone in goverment who gives a shit,
    Since our MBA President and his Calvinist/free market nut jobs have decimated the United States and we must now save Wall Street, I would like the both of you to hold these morons accountable. I want the nitwits who presided over the systematic deregulation of the last thirty years– run out of government. I do not want them in charge of anything ever again. Not even local animal control. No offense to dog catchers intended.
    Once that group of self serving “evildoers” has been shown the door, I would like you to go after the greedy bastards who ran the companies that we are now bailing out. I want the Federal government to seize their ill gotten assets and prosecute them when criminal activity has been discovered. After you accomplish that task I would be willing to lead one of the many screaming torch carrying mobs we will need to chase all of those gluttonous pigs back to their bankruptcy protected “primary residences”. Things are not going so well work wise due to the crappy economy and I now have a lot of unwanted free time. Too much free time if you know what I mean. Once we get them all rounded up in their architectural monuments to excess—“we the people” will burn them to the ground. Since we have something they don’t have, a conscience, “we the people” will let them take a few essentials with them so they won’t be completely put out after they relocate to moldy abandoned FEMA trailers. Basic things like shampoo, a few bottles of chardonnay, some clothing, an illegal domestic, the least expensive Mercedes and some Cup “O” Noodles.
    Then when “we the people” get these broken banking and financial institutions up and running I want you to make sure we all get our money back. I want Congress to set the salaries of the people running these government controlled companies and I don’t want to see any more multimillion dollar golden parachutes. I don’t want to see any more enabling compliant look the other way company directors. I want oversight. I want regulation and I want you to bring back good old fashioned trust busting. I want American corporations paying American taxes-not rent in the Caymans or Dubai. I figure you kids can knock this out in a couple of weeks tops.
    Godspeed and good hunting.

  256. spanky said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:32

    To anyone in government who cares,

    Since our MBA President and his Calvinist/free market nut jobs have decimated the United States and we must now save Wall Street, I would like the both of you to hold these morons accountable. I want the nitwits who presided over the systematic deregulation of the last thirty years– run out of government. I do not want them in charge of anything ever again. Not even local animal control. No offense to dog catchers intended.

    Once that group of self serving “evildoers” has been shown the door, I would like you to go after the greedy bastards who ran the companies that we are now bailing out. I want the Federal government to seize their ill gotten assets and prosecute them when criminal activity has been discovered. After you accomplish that task I would be willing to lead one of the many screaming torch carrying mobs we will need to chase all of those gluttonous pigs back to their bankruptcy protected “primary residences”. Things are not going so well work wise due to the crappy economy and I now have a lot of unwanted free time. Too much free time if you know what I mean. Once we get them all rounded up in their architectural monuments to excess—“we the people” will burn them to the ground. Since we have something they don’t have, a conscience, “we the people” will let them take a few essentials with them so they won’t be completely put out after they relocate to moldy abandoned FEMA trailers. Basic things like shampoo, a few bottles of chardonnay, some clothing, an illegal domestic, the least expensive Mercedes and some Cup “O” Noodles.

    Then when “we the people” get these broken banking and financial institutions up and running I want you to make sure we all get our money back. I want Congress to set the salaries of the people running these government controlled companies and I don’t want to see any more multimillion dollar golden parachutes. I don’t want to see any more enabling compliant look the other way company directors. I want oversight. I want regulation and I want you to bring back good old fashioned trust busting. I want American corporations paying American taxes-not rent in the Caymans or Dubai. I figure you kids can knock this out in a couple of weeks tops.

    Godspeed and good hunting.

  257. Jennifer said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:51

    Well, this is partially the fault of the American people, though only to this degree: instead of rioting in the streets as CEO salaries increased to the tune of thousands of times what the average worker makes, while productivity went up up up and worker wages at the same time stagnated or went down in real terms, people instead took out second mortgages and ran up credit card debt and continued to vote for the very people who instituted, extended, and protected the very policies that were eroding their standard of living. Many of these people continued to spout BS about how corporations were good because “they give us jobs” and taxing rich people was bad because “it punishes people for being successful” and all that cal.

    If we manage to muddle through for the next several months without a complete financial collapse, and manage to get Obama elected, I want to see some motherfucking exhorbitant tax rates on anyone and everyone in the top 5% of wealth/income, and I want it airtight, with penalties for overseas funds transfers, and I want to see that shit continue until every goddamned penny of this bailout is paid off. And then I want to see it continue some more, until every penny of the war debt and every other debt racked up by this incompetent and criminal administration is paid off. And then I want to see some fucking laws that limit the piggish excess and greed we’ve seen from these motherfuckers over the past 30 years. Somehow, I’m sure they’ll manage to scrape by with tens of millions rather than hundreds of millions or billions. Finally, I want to see some basic fucking economic education for everyone, so they understand that a fucking economy only continues to work if the money is spread around a bit more equitably. Basically, right now we’re hobbling along with 90% of the population circulating 20% of the wealth. That’s no fucking way to keep an economy afloat.

  258. WereBear said,

    September 21, 2008 at 0:59

    Hear hear, Jennifer.

    I agree that we need more basic education, but I don’t know what to do about the many people who would rather believe a soothing lie than any kind of truth.

    In a way, drugs have been outsourced to our media outlets. People live for their financial porn now; all the shows about competing for big money and the fancy houses and car collections. They’ve given up on their own lives.

  259. Jennifer said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:21

    WereBear – what’s sad is, that is precisely what constitutes “their own lives” for many people – what they own (or have borrowed to buy). Not who they are, or what interests they have, or connection to anything beyond material things. Though come to think of it, that may be part of the reason they hate people who think for themselves – maybe there’s some jealousy there for a life that isn’t completely tethered to material goods.

  260. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:23

    Wouldn’t we all just “muddle through”, grateful for the scraps we still have, the roof over our heads, the beans on the table, the job, no matter how crappy?

    minus the roof and the job, we’d muddle through the way the homeless do. Only there’d be fewer beans in the dumpsters and the competition for bottle deposits would go through the roof.

  261. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:26

    What surprises me is that McCain/Palin have any support today. They should be tanking in the polls. But what does this tell you? That Americans have become dumber than a box of rocks. They’re so clueless they don’t even realize they’ve been taken to the cleaners.

  262. WereBear said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:27

    Yes, it’s part of the consequence of our consumer society. They feed it with television shows that show someone with huge loft apartments on just out of college salaries, or people buying big diamonds or luxury automobiles as Christmas gifts.

    These are empty things; yes, nice to have, but not a substitute for things of the soul.

    I do Tarot Readings for charity, raising money for hospice and animal shelters and such. I’ve been doing it for a long time, for rich people and poor people.

    There’s a lesson here, and one good thing is that it confirms my brink-of-adulthood decision to live for love, not money.

    Because the number one thing people ask for, when it’s lacking, is love.

    The rest is just ornaments on the Christmas tree. But ya gotta have a Christmas tree to hang them on, or it’s just a pile of shiny toys.

  263. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:39

    There’s a lesson here, and one good thing is that it confirms my brink-of-adulthood decision to live for love, not money.

    I experienced this epiphany later. Today I’m big on minimalism, a clutterless life. I’m giving shitloads of stuff away to the charities (like clothes and odds and sods of things I no longer use) and buying less. My expenses boil down to housing, food, hydro, and my cable bill because hello! I’m not giving up the Intertubes. I don’t have a tv (the advertising on television makes me crazy anyway.) This week I’m cancelling my voice mail charge with the phone company and restoring my dusty old answering machine. This will save me $5 a month. I’m working toward not having any debt by the time I retire (which could be in three years. If I can still have the job I do I will work longer…it all depends on my satisfaction). Certainly I still shop now and then, but I make a determination on whether I need the thing and it’s got to be on sale.

    In my thirties I lived to shop. I’m not that person anymore. Whenever I go to a mall now I feel like I’m on a bad acid trip.

  264. Jennifer said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:48

    Lesley – you and me both. I think it’s been something like 15 years since I went shopping at a mall. Mostly I buy my clothing, both new and used, on ebay. For the past ten years, I’ve been making an effort to get rid of, rather than accumulate, stuff. I imposed a rule on all new purchases: a) can I live without it? and b) is it exactly what I need/want? Anything that doesn’t pass those two tests (within reason) doesn’t get bought. For example, I do still buy some things that I could really live without – a new piece of furniture, for example. But I sure as hell don’t go into debt to do it. And it has to be exactly what I want – I’m not buying any more stuff that I will only turn around and get rid of in a few years. My next big purchase is going to be a geo-thermal heat pump for the house. I don’t have to have it, but it makes sense both financially and environmentally, so I’m gonna do it. Whenever I see those shows where people are throwing tens of thousands of dollars down for a piece of jewelry, my tendency is to think not “wow, I wish I had the money to do that!” but “what the fuck is wrong with them?”

  265. PS said,

    September 21, 2008 at 1:49

    The right wing has been poisoning the well for a generation, to the point where people who don’t pay attention (and even those who do) think ALL politicians are nothing but lying scumbags. Note the appallingly low rates of voter turnout. And then the Dems take a huge risk by running — you thought I was going to say a black guy, didn’t you; well, that too — someone not afraid to be intelligent and show it. Epic risk.

    But for many, many people, the campaign starts now. The “debates” will be critical. Me. I think they’ll see a doddering old idiot on one side and a smart. serious, committed tall guy on the other. I think we win. The Tall guy usually does. It still could be big.

    Unless of course Something Else Weird Happens. Count on it. But even then, my money’s on the smart dude with the funny name.

  266. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 2:14

    I might add that I don’t own a car either because I live in a city that has reasonably good public transit. When I need a car for long distance travel or to move a lot of stuff, I rent one. It’s far cheaper. It means I have to walk more – which is good for my health – and share my rides with assholes (public transit sux where I live in so many ways from the overcrowding to the lack of cleanliness, to the fact that they rarely run on time and break down etc. ) Mostly I walk more. And I also work from home a lot (saving me the commuting expense and hassle.)

    Re the tall guy: He had better raise this in the debates and hammer the point home over and over again. Beyond that he should also ask McCain where he’s gonna get the money for his 100 years in Iraq plan.

  267. PS said,

    September 21, 2008 at 2:31

    Lesley, check out that Balloon Juice link above (specifically, http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=11365), for the video of Obama hammering McCain on that quote, on lobbyists and then, in a major crescendo, on Social Security. Great crowd reaction probably guarantees we’re going to hear a LOT about social security in the next few weeks. Good!

  268. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 2:54

    Great video PS! I hope he keeps up this momentum. Straight talking McDouchebag has a lot of esplainin’ to do.

  269. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 3:14

    McCain is likely to come out this week swingin’ with his usual “I didn’t mean…” or “We couldn’t have known…”

    While this will have no credibility with educated people, many Americans may still be persuaded by the Republican spin machine to give McCain “the benefit of the doubt.” Obama – and others – will need to point out repeatedly that McCain knew a crash was imminent when he wrote that piece. He can’t claim to be ignorant about what economists have known since 2005.

    McCain will sell their social security – not because it’s better for them but because it will enrich the private corporations that just ripped them off. That’s the message.

  270. PS said,

    September 21, 2008 at 3:50

    Yeah, Obama is getting better at getting simpler, as in “They are trying to steal your retirement” simple. He still has a tendency to say “It’s a flawed philosophy” but the more he works with crowds the better I say; see which riffs get the big hand.

    Overall, that campaign impresses me. I look forward with interest to the post-election revelations, for instance: Did they deliberately pause, and hide Biden, to let Palin be exposed by the media? Did Obama use the “lipstick on a pig” expression to taunt McCain into overreacting, while maintaining plausible deniability? Did they plan to roll out their message issue by issue after Labor Day? They may have lucked out but I’m beginning to suspect that luck doesn’t have all that much to do with it.

  271. jim said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:02

    Sec. 8. Review.

    Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

    Klingon Economics: mindless exponential acquisition first & foremost, crime made mandatory, & fiscal policy as a state secret.

    Reagan’s “Voodoo Economics” looks downright reasonable in comparison.

    If you liked what Bush has been doing for Iraq, you’ll LOVE what he’s going to do to the US economy … unless you’re crazy enough to actually buy or sell things with money, that is.

    It’s not like a $1 Trillion is much these days

    Maybe that’s the whole cunning plan – after all, once the US has to start printing 10- & 100-trillion-dollar bills, the US can pay off its debt with an intern’s spare change. Take THAT, China!

    They feed it with television shows that show someone with huge loft apartments on just out of college salaries, or people buying big diamonds or luxury automobiles as Christmas gifts.

    Oh Jesus … I pity the retailers. Their backs are against the wall, & I don’t think Santa’s even got so much as a lump of nice rich coal for them this year. This Xmas is going to be brutal for big-ticket item sales.

    I must be clairovoyant, because I have a clear vision of BushCo & its fanboyz in a few weeks – or months – saying “no-one could have anticipated” that bailing out the snake-oil vendors on Wall Street for the umpteenth time would lead to them becoming even MORE reckless & predatory.

    The US economy needs an enema – & it just ordered itself another Double Cheeseburger & Jumbo Fries.

  272. SamFromUtah said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:14

    Did somebody order a wetsuit?

  273. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 5:47

    Anybody wanna bet The Truth’s occupation? Subprime loan salesman?

  274. Gary Ruppert said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:05

    The fact is, the radical left is seeking to undermine Senator McCain’s candidacy. The leftwing newspapers and polls are all claiming that Osama is in the lead. They are all filled with bias and USA hate. I recently read a newspaper article that claimed that the “Palin effect” on the election is over. These liberal journalists should all be put up against a wall and shot. As should the liberals on wikipedia.

  275. Vin Scully said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:08

    Lesey, I’m taking nineteen year-old college kid who read a lot of Ann Coulter when he was in high school (hence the liberals-are-stupid-children-so-I’ll-be-patronizing shtick, which he doesn’t quite realize makes him sound like an extra-fey Alan Rickman). He’s made a virtue out of his loneliness by embodying the “morally superior Young Republican” role, allowing him to both revel in being different and justify his unpopularity – he’s better and smarter than everyone else!

    Man, I love playing this game!

  276. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:09

    The fact is, the radical left is seeking to undermine Senator McCain’s candidacy.

    Why wouldn’t the radical left undermine a right-winger’s candidacy? Democracy much Gary?

  277. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:10

    Lesey, I’m taking nineteen year-old college kid who read a lot of Ann Coulter when he was in high school

    Kids write with a little more vim.

  278. mdh said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:13

    know what makes shit sandwiches taste less bad?

    Arugula.

  279. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:15

    That is bleak.

  280. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:19

    Marvin Minsky’s Chimpanzee Loaf

    Ingredients:
    7 pounds cheap chimpanzee
    1 baby Gouda
    7 bags Monterey jack
    6 ounces parental capybara egg
    1 ounce fat
    1 tablespoon butter

    Sacrifice a nearby iguana or a creature of similar size. Discard remains respectfully. Separate chimpanzee tentacle from mandible. Inflate mandible. Use a food processor to mix the Monterey jack with the baby Gouda. Stuff the resulting mixture into the chimpanzee. Rinse the capybara egg, fat, and the butter middlingly. Smush everything together inaudibly. Roast for 98 hours. Serves 9 individuals with invigorating stomachs.

  281. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:31

    I’m gonna go watch The Bank Job. It seems an appropriate movie choice. Hope it’s good.

    Someone (a conservatard) in a Globe thread wrote:

    The y2k (yes, how stupid now) fear in the US had the gov’t overprint (by $100′s of billions) US currency and flood the market for fear of a global electronic meltdown. Once the fears were unfounded the banks were stuck with hundreds of billions of printed cash (look into US fractional banking). The only way to bring value was to offer ridiculously low interest rates, followed by low mortgage rates (ie. creation of junk money mortgages which the US gov’t is now having to buy back) which would hopefully gain traction instead of devalue. Well, the situation is obvious there wasn’t a run on the banks and they instead have dissolved and the stark choice is: either the US gov’t backs the banks (their junk bonds) or the economic picture blackholes and the US dollar devalues rapidly overnight resulting in chaos.

    This sounds like utter hogwash but I wouldn’t know. Would anyone (not Truthy or Rupperty know)?

  282. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:52

    Um, if the US has printed too much currency can’t they just burn it or pulp it?

    BTW, Truther, you’re right. Novenber 4th will be lot’s of fun, I agree. I don’t know what you’re so happy about, though.

  283. a lesser imp said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:53

    Goodness, Nov 4 is going to be fun!

    Yes, Truthie, your secret fantasy of being dominated by a black male will take on a certain extra zest after Obama is elected.

    Now STFU and bring me another beer.

  284. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:53

    I meant to write it that way, as in the fun belongs to lot. Fer serious.

  285. Rightwingsnarkle said,

    September 21, 2008 at 6:56

    a war hero who has been committed

    Well, that “war hero” bullshit is a bit of a stretch. He was just a guy in a plane, bombing innocent women and children, when his plane was shot down and he ended up in a lake.

    Then, for the next five and a half years, he just basically did nothing but hang around.

    Later, he went home, became a serial adulterer, and dumped his crippled wife.

    Ever since that time, he’s suckled at the tits of an heiress.

    Some story. Some “hero.”

    Thank goodness he was never tortured.

    But “committed?” Oh, yes. He needs to be committed to the locked ward of a secluded VA hospital, where there are no sharp objects or other ways he could hurt himself or others.

  286. Righteous Bubba said,

    September 21, 2008 at 7:00

    I meant to write it that way, as in the fun belongs to lot. Fer serious.

    Drunken incest is inappropriate to call fun.

  287. Gary Ruppert said,

    September 21, 2008 at 7:07

    The fact is, this blog could use another post.

  288. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 7:16

    This just in: The neoconservative Prime Minister of Canada says “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

  289. Paul L said,

    September 21, 2008 at 8:13

    The root of all these problems is fiat money (and the illegal, private, zionist Federal Reserve). Unbacked, paper money, yet another infringement on our rights by the gov’t. Add it to the ever-growing list of violations:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by opening mail, caging demonstrators and banning books like “America Deceived” from Amazon, Wikipedia and Facebook.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
    They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
    They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
    They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing at Gitmo.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting illegal wars without declaration.
    Impeach them all (both parties) and save this great country.
    Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov’t and drops the title):
    http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000083883

  290. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 8:24

    Oh Paul, do take a breath before you fuck off and die. Take your horribly written right wing fiction link with you. That grade B porn still retails on Amazon for 7 bucks but even the dimmest bulbs aren’t buying. Lucky the author has you.

  291. a crank’s progress » Blog Archive » wish I had said this said,

    September 21, 2008 at 8:26

    [...] Sadly, No! » It’s time to bring back the public stocks: Just because you live in the middle of nowhere doesn’t make you more authentic than me. It just means you have a much longer drive to the airport. [...]

  292. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 21, 2008 at 8:34

    Paul, I checked out the first chapter of that book you linked.

    I’ve read better prose on a men’s room wall.

    That is all.

  293. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 9:08

    Some young person twittered “Everytime I hear ‘Raising McCain’ I always think it’s ‘Raisin McCain’. It’s funny cause.. you know.. he’s old.. and stuff.

  294. Doctorb said,

    September 21, 2008 at 9:15

    Shit, I haven’t been paying much attention this week.

    BTW, anyone got a good recipe for placenta?

  295. islmfaoscist said,

    September 21, 2008 at 9:24

    Relax, people. If we all just calmly make a bunch of bad loans to each other, we’ll all be just fine.

  296. One bailing out the filthy stinking rich… | Mediabuzzard.com said,

    September 21, 2008 at 9:44

    [...] “It’s Time to bring back the public stocks” @ Sadly,No! [...]

  297. Matt said,

    September 21, 2008 at 9:46

    Did you see the Bunk study stating 2/3 of doctors in America want National Health Care. The doctors who did this study also conducted one in 2002 and found that the majority of doctors did not want national health care, the problem with this is that the 2 question surveys drastically differ in there 2nd question. I found this article, 60% of Physicians Surveyed Oppose Switching to a National Health Care Plan, It’s worth a read.

  298. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 9:59

    Sarah Silverman’s “Friends of Foreign Wars” video.
    http://www.dependablerenegade.com/dependable_renegade/2008/09/and-now-a-publi.html.

    Re US physicians. It wouldn’t surprise me that most oppose a public plan. Many Canadian doctors are jumping on the bandwagon to privatize care here because they can make so much more money in the private system. Unlike doctors of olde, money is what’s motivating people to enter medical school, not saving lives or helping people. (Note: these for private-care fuckers make shit loads in the public system. Apparently shit loads more is what they want.)

  299. Bob said,

    September 21, 2008 at 10:09

    John O said,

    I’m talking about building a viable future here.

    With blog commentors? The proven drunken useless and lazy?
    Besides, its already been done-
    http://paulville.org/index.html

  300. Lesley said,

    September 21, 2008 at 10:20

    People, go vote
    http://www.pbs.org/cgi-registry/poll/poll.pl

    (the results are too depressing to let stand)

  301. justme said,

    September 21, 2008 at 10:51

    Just in case anybody was wondering, that “road to nowhere” that still got built anyway after teh bestest Governor evar smited the awful bridge project she ran on is now finished.

    3.2 miles long.

    $25 million.

    Now, I’m no expert on quoting road building costs, but ~$8M per mile strikes me as a bit much for a fucking gravel moose path.

  302. Orange Tom said,

    September 21, 2008 at 11:42

    The y2k (yes, how stupid now) fear in the US had the gov’t overprint (by $100’s of billions) US currency and flood the market for fear of a global electronic meltdown. Once the fears were unfounded the banks were stuck with hundreds of billions of printed cash (look into US fractional banking). The only way to bring value was to offer ridiculously low interest rates, followed by low mortgage rates (ie. creation of junk money mortgages which the US gov’t is now having to buy back) which would hopefully gain traction instead of devalue.

    Umm…….Y2K actually happened folks, the truth was just surpressed by jack-booted government thugs in black helicopters, operating FEMA slave camps.

  303. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 21, 2008 at 13:55

    Paulville.org Info
    The goal of Paulville.org it to establish gated communities containing 100% Ron Paul supporters and or people that live by the ideals of freedom and liberty.

    The process is forming a co-op of people buying shares in the community and these people would be granted land use at a minimum of 1 acre per share, for as long as they homesteaded the land. The community would be privately held by the co-op to establish private property for the general community thus preserving the community is 100% freedom and liberty lovers.

    If they added USA Power!, they could probably attract Gary Rupert.

  304. Gary Ruppert said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:13

    The fact is, liberal hard left USA haters are coddling our enemies foreign and domestic by forbidding torture and execution. We can only protect freedom and liberty be having severe sanctions — if Obama is elected, we’ll get hit again by terrorists and surrender to Shania Law. They will not hit former POW and war hero John McCain who will hunt them down and kill them the way Bush has.

  305. MzNicky said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:14

    I’m beginning to feel a little concerned about our blog hosts. You don’t think they all boarded a rocket and left the planet, do you?

  306. MzNicky said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:15

    In the meantime, let’s all torture Gary Ruppert, fake or no.

  307. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:16

    My idea of a utopian society does not involve living with Paul-fellators in west Texas.

    Vaguely funny stuff from the forums:

    I also have some questions about owning the land. Do we acutally own the land or do you buy in the group as a whole? Are you ever in possesion of the land title or an allodial title? I quess what is, that acre or few acres of land that we buy, is it absolutely ours(the person shelling out the $500 for his/her plot of land) or is it someone elses?

    As for the West Texas Paulville people bought shares, a share gives you the right to access your plot of land for your use and the responisblity to pay your share of property taxes. Technically the shareholders as a whole own the land and you buy the rights to use it, this could be changed in the future.

    A lot of characteristics of this potential community seem more mutualistic or collectivistic than capitalistic.

    It’s a voluntary association of freedom loving individuals. It’s a free market solution, so I don’t really know how you derived collectivism from that.

    It is a mystery!

    Skeptics also object to the whole paradigm of individualists forming a cooperative. Don’t they realize that individualists recognize their enlightened self-interest indicates that the forming of corporate entities often benefits all those who form it? The problem is only when an entity removes individual rights for the purpose of arrogating those rights to the fictitious entity instead. May Paulville never make that error!

    What could go wrong?

  308. Gary Ruppert said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:16

    The fact is, McCain was a POW. He doesn’t like to talk about much.

    Palin is a pro-life Mom.

    Obama went to Harvard, thanks to affirmative action, and brags about it all them time, and has very uppity and smarty pants style to him. Not to be trusted.

    Pretty clear who will carry the day here in the Heartland. Start weeping now, liberals. You are going to loose.

  309. Gary Ruppert said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:22

    The fact is, our economy is very sounds. The failure of these banks is because the left liberal scam artists trying to force them to make loans to poor people and minorities. Folkes, access to mortgages to all is not a RIGHT, but leftists thinks so. Unsustainable. We are right to stabilize the banks and insurance companies by restoring investor confidence and refunding the shareholders who got ripped off by baser elements of the American public, the lazy and unproductive. Never forget who the productive members of society are, they create opportunity and jobs through investment, and to attack them is classwar and unAmerican. If we had total free market and no regulation the way it should be, we’d be fine.

  310. SowellFan said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:23

    Gary — looks like you schooled these Marxists in the Laws of Economics!

  311. SowellFan said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:31

    Of course, the liberals are really stupid.

  312. WereBear said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:34

    My idea of a utopian society does not involve living with Paul-fellators in west Texas.

    It should go without saying. But these days…

  313. Simba B said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:35

    nu thread nao plz. kthx.

  314. Cuppa Invader "Jrod" Palin said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:35

    If we had total free market and no regulation the way it should be, we’d be fine.

    There’s a place in west Texas that would be just perfect for you!

    Good luck convincing your mom to move there and till the land for you while you battle Marxists in Second Life.

  315. J— said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:35

    Today Broder gives one of his usual “On the one hand, this. On the other hand, that. In conclusion, I have two hands.” performances. But near the end he adds this:

    To win the election — and not just the debate — Obama must show enough of himself that voters come to believe that despite not being able to identify with aspects of his exotic life story, they can trust him to look out for their interests as president.

    Obama is the Black Man of Mystery!

  316. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:49

    ifthethunderdontgetya wrote:
    Dave Broder gummed out:
    To win the election — and not just the debate — Obama must show enough of himself that voters come to believe that despite not being able to identify with aspects of his exotic life story, they can trust him to look out for their interests as president.
    =========================================
    How about McCain proving he won’t sell out the voters’ interests to the tycoon class, just like every rethuglican administration in my lifetime?

    Retire, Broder. You’re a boring hack.
    ~
    9/21/2008 8:46:10 AM

    I’d been advoiding the WaPoo the last couple days. They’re bad for my blood pressure.

  317. (Lex) Palianated said,

    September 21, 2008 at 14:55

    It seems like either way this works out I’m screwed. Not the Gary issue, of course.

  318. eidos said,

    September 21, 2008 at 15:27

    This is the biggest, most important challenge that the Dem congress has faced: to get this thing done in a timely manner but still weed out the corruption and incompetence in the deal. One knows that the Bush administration will try things. Remember the rush job known as the Patriot Act. Will this be one last, grand looting before the Bush Gang rides out of town?

  319. SamFromUtah said,

    September 21, 2008 at 15:57

    Remember the rush job known as the Patriot Act.

    I’ve been thinking of this fiasco as the Financial Patriot Act. They need to come up with a similarly shaming/threatening sort of name, like the “I voted for this because I love Freedom and am not a liberal traitor Act”.

  320. StonyPillow said,

    September 21, 2008 at 16:12

    The Trillion Dollar Trashout of the Masters of the Universe.

  321. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    September 21, 2008 at 16:31

    The most recent 538 projections help highlight the crazy post-convention nuttiness. One week ago, McCain was sitting on a 30 EV lead and was winning 55% of the simulations. A big part was Palin, essentially an unknown, it was hard for all the negatives associated with Republicanism to stick. But just a little digging and stick they did. I suspect that if you plotted the Palin favorability numbers against the McCain win% you’d get a pretty good fit.

  322. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    September 21, 2008 at 16:34

    But I think the most interesting thing 538 has up right now is that the Minnesota senate race has moved from lean GOP to Toss-up.

  323. Jennifer said,

    September 21, 2008 at 16:40

    Heh. You gotta love that the residents of Paulville will be buying their water from T. Boone Pickens at whatever rate he decides he wants to charge for it.

  324. El Cid said,

    September 21, 2008 at 17:02

    AUMF time: Authorization to Use Monetary Force.

    Those Democrats who wish (or at least play publicly like they wish) that they hadn’t given into the rush to approve the Iraq war (OMG! WMD’s!) have a chance to avoid another AUMF.

    I hate to say it, but the Iraq invasion & occupation had more justification to it than handing $700 billion in unmarked, untraceable, unquestionable bills to Bush Jr’s Treasury Secretary / former Wall St CEO to do with whatever he wants.

  325. N__B said,

    September 21, 2008 at 17:19

    In the spirit of the “PATRIOT” in Patriot Act: the Financial Uncertainty Banking Authority Restoration act.

  326. PS said,

    September 21, 2008 at 17:34

    N_B wins and closes the thread (please)

  327. Me said,

    September 21, 2008 at 17:37

    I’m beginning to feel a little concerned about our blog hosts.

    Yeah. There’s only, like, eight of them spread out over the entire world. They all decided to have quiet time simultaneously?

  328. Me said,

    September 21, 2008 at 17:42

    The Federally Underwritten Corporate Kleptocracy! Act.

  329. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 21, 2008 at 18:37

    The Bush Und Cheney Kleptocrat Enrichment Tool of 2008.

    BUCKET.

  330. henry lewis said,

    September 21, 2008 at 18:39

    Well, if our hosts aren’t gonna plumb the fetid depths of wingnuttia for me, I’l just do it myself.

    Wish me luck.

  331. meatwad said,

    September 21, 2008 at 18:52

    You Can’t Take It with You or maybe Gone with The Wind. Followed by The Best Years of Our Lives. Up next week — From Here to Eternity with The Birdman of Alcatraz stomping on The Grapes of Wrath as we look to Imitation of Life. I wish I could just smoke pot all day long, watch old movies, and drop out willy nilly of the Joke In CinemaScope that is the current USA.

    It’s comforting to know we have a new Pres. and his name is Henry Paulson. Still, some things never change — Tom Baritone Brokaw is just as detestable as ever. And I keep checking out the color of the sage men’s ties on TV in an attempt to figure out what the secret messages are.

  332. Legalize said,

    September 21, 2008 at 18:54

    The Dems should be demanding the immediate resignation of Bush / Cheney / Paulson et al. In any any industry, these clowns would be run out on a rail and subject to massive criminal prosecution. They are ENRON only on a much more massive scale. This is the financial version of the Patriot Act. How can anyone seriously believe that the criminals responsible for this disaster are in any way capable of solving it in good faith?

  333. MzNicky said,

    September 21, 2008 at 18:54

    What whiny opiners such as Broder don’t seem to grasp is that there are now many many voters who may indeed identify more with such “exotic life stories” as Obama’s than with those of the whitey-white Amurka-first! middle-aged upper-middle-class from whence such stale pale males have arisen. So eat it, old man.

    henry lewis: Be careful out there.

  334. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    September 21, 2008 at 19:05

    B.U.C.K.E.T. plan revealed on youtube.

  335. jgmurphy said,

    September 22, 2008 at 1:54

    Soooo, let me get this straight:

    We couldn’t have national health care because it was too expensive.

    We cannot upgrade our schools and pay teachers decently because it’s too expensive.

    We have crumbling roads and bridges that just have to stay that way till a bunch of people die somewhere (like in MN last year) because no one’s got the money to fix them.

    There are SIX meat inspectors in the ENTIRE STATE of California because there just aren’t the funds and resources for adequate food inspection and protection from e. coli and mad cow;

    The homeless have to wander around the streets because gosh, it’s just too darned expensive to make sure everyone has a decent place to live! And why reward people for their own failures anyhow?

    But somehow this strapped nation is gonna come up with close to a TRILLION to bail out the most reckless gamblers in the entire economy and wipe their asses.

    Oh, and of course, our ongoing task of killing brown people everywhere we go.

    Okay. I get it now. Just a matter of getting my priorities straight, I guess.

  336. OB-GYN Kenobi said,

    September 22, 2008 at 15:21

    Grover Norquist: “Liberals and leftists, please shut up and leave us alone. The government should stay out of the free market, except when my investments tank, because I work hard, or something.”

    Mr. Norquist? Your dream has come true.

    The economy has been successfully shrunken to a size at which it may now be drowned in a bathtub.

  337. actor212 said,

    September 22, 2008 at 17:18

    We couldn’t have national health care because it was too expensive.

    No, because it’s socialist. Remember your memes!

  338. Wolfpathe said,

    September 29, 2008 at 22:10

    The Library is socialistic

    You don’t see any Corporations scrambling to privitize the Librarys.

  339. Wolfpathe said,

    September 29, 2008 at 22:15

    “Here they’ve been swindled by these high-flying people, they’ve lost their jobs, they’ve lost their industries, they’re losing everything, and now these bastards come along and want to dictate to the American people: you’ve got to give us this; you’ve got to give us that!

    “I say, `screw you,’” he said. “And you keep it there, the message is “screw you!’ The American people have spoken; they do not want a bailout. So there’s no way that this bailout should be supported! No version, no modification, no bailout! All they get, the best they get, is they get a legitimate proceeding in bankruptcy of all these bankrupt entities. And the American people didn’t cause this problem; it was the speculators! So, the speculators will have to eat shit, that’s all! Nothing new! It’s justice! That’s the point.

  340. Geneva Dudley said,

    November 4, 2008 at 19:48

    jgmurphy4 president you said it all! Say it again!

  341. cpc practice exam said,

    June 1, 2013 at 19:10

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  342. consulting cafe said,

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