Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sweet, sweet schadenfreude 

(CNN) -- With 10 days to go until Election Day, long-brewing tensions between GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and key aides to Sen. John McCain have become so intense they are spilling out in public, sources say.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is "going rogue" according to a McCain campaign source.

Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin "going rogue." A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to "bust free" of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.

McCain sources say Palin has gone off message several times, and they privately wonder if the incidents were deliberate. They cited that she labeled robocalls -- recorded messages often used to attack a candidate's opponent -- "irritating" even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign's decision to pull out of Michigan.

A second McCain source tells CNN she appears to be looking out for herself more than the McCain campaign.

"She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," said this McCain adviser. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else.

"Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom."

Friday, October 24, 2008

nicely done 


OK, in all seriousness, which is funnier:

a) Alan Greenspan saying he only became aware that there was a housing bubble "in early 2006"; or

b) Sarah Palin saying that her $150,000 worth of clothes are not "worth" $150,000?


Shades of Morton Downey Jr.


Unbelievable McCain Vs. Obama Dance-Off - Watch more free videos

Thursday, October 23, 2008


After a spirited, emotional and at times raucous debate, the New York City Council voted, 29 to 22, on Thursday afternoon to extend term limits, allowing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to seek re-election next year and undoing the result of two voter referendums that had imposed a limit of two four-year terms.

Last month's editorial:

The bedrock of American democracy is the voters’ right to choose. Though well intentioned, New York City’s term limits law severely limits that right, which is why this page has opposed term limits from the outset. The law is particularly unappealing now because it is structured in a way that would deny New Yorkers — at a time when the city’s economy is under great stress — the right to decide for themselves whether an effective and popular mayor should stay in office.

And last year on Chavez:

His favorite provisions, of course, would extend the presidential term from six to seven years and remove presidential term limits.

The referendum could still go Mr. Chávez’s way. He is an able politician and benefits from lavish government spending funded by expensive oil.


Now there are signs that more Venezuelans have decided to take a stand and vote no. This referendum is too important to miss. Opponents are calling for a massive “no” vote. For the sake of Venezuela’s battered democracy, voters should heed the call.

So term limits are democratic when people you don't like are in office and undemocratic when people you like are in office. Admirable.

For the sake of New York's battered democracy voters should...do what? Oh wait...nevermind, we don't get to vote on this.

the cage gets rickrolled 

Never, Ever, Thought I'd See the F**king Day 


NEW YORK -- Scott McClellan, President Bush's former press secretary, says he is backing Barack Obama for president.

McClellan made the endorsement during a taping of Comedian D.L. Hughley's new show that is premiering on CNN this weekend. The former Bush administration official said he wanted to support the candidate that has the best chance for changing the way Washington works and getting things done.

Q: In Dante's world, would this sort of thing constitute repentance, or merely get one put in an even lower circle of hell?

our topsy-turvy world 

Adam Smith, socialist proponent of progressive taxation:

The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. . . . The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. . . . It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

-- Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

Slate has a few gems from McCain hero and tireless builder of the Worker's Paradise, Teddy Roosevelt:

We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have been gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community. … The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and … a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.

And in other news...Jon Swift has a roundup of winger Obama conspiracies, including:

During Obama’s dark, mysterious years at Columbia, he was involved in domestic terrorist bombings

Obama didn’t actually write Dreams of My Father. In fact, it was ghost-written by none other than Bill Ayers!

Michelle Obama attacks “American white racists” in an interview with obscure online news site.

Obama had a girlfriend that his wife found out about and forced her to move to the Caribbean.

There is a tape of Michelle Obama with Louis Farrakhan talking about “whitey”

Obama was not born in the United States and his birth certificate has been forged.

Barack Obama had an underage, gay “affair” with a pedophile.

Obama had cocaine-fueled gay sex in the back of a limousine with a not-very-attractive disabled man with a criminal background.

Obama was getting answers in the first debate through a clear plastic hearing aid in his ear.

Crazy we can believe in!

Beacon to other nations 

Obama's new use-value: neocolonialist edification!

From what planet, exactly, do New York Times editorialists, Krugs excepted, issue forth?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


When the Treasury Department's bailout czar provided an update this week on the government's $700 billion plan to rescue troubled financial institutions, he vowed that it would be an "open and transparent program with appropriate oversight.''

The next day, the Treasury Department put out an announcement about a major bailout-related contract with Bank of New York Mellon Corp. that fell short in the transparency department.

The copy of the agreement that was made public had blacked-out paragraphs in the section covering Bank of New York Mellon's compensation. If the Treasury Department is unwilling to disclose the particulars of that contract -- or even the general outline of the compensation scheme -- that raises questions about how it will treat disclosure of other bailout transactions.

First executive compensation, now oversight. How long's it been since the thing passed? Two weeks?

Well, at least we did "something" instead of "nothing". Good thing nobody listened to those pinko crackpots who said it was a bunch of bullshit from stem to stern. Those clowns are always wrong. Wise men tell us:
What is the problem with facilitating a little extra liquidity in the credit markets? Without this bailout, the dow will return to mid 1990 levels...

But Lo! Some dude on the interwebs finds something disturbing:

Today I was looking at a more recent chart of the index when I noticed something somewhat disturbing, the dow is back at that late 90's level.

There's an ocean of difference between the late 90's and the mid-90's so clearly there's absolutely nothing wrong with anything so benign as facilitating a little liquidity in the credit markets.

courtesy Bailoutsleuth


I just heard a thing on NPR about legendary reggae artist Lee "Scratch" Perry's new album, which features the song "Heavy Voodoo," which refers to Bush I and "voodoo economics."  The piece included a quote from Scratch--which I can't find now--to the effect that America had "gone over the edge" due to a lack of "black voodoo power."

Something to consider, no?



I just ponied up what might be my final monetary donation to the Obama campaign--click here to do the same.

Evidently Thursday is like some big, final fundraising deadline.  So yeah, that's that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New York absentee ballot applications due by next Tuesday (10/28) 

If you're planning to help with GOTV on Election Day in Ohio, Virginia, Pennslyvania, North Carolina, Florida, wherever -- I'll be in PA and can guarantee you plenty of hilarity if you want to join me -- you might as well not throw away your vote here in NY.

Go here for instructions. (Scroll down to the "Absentee Voting" heading.)

Download the PDF absentee ballot application here.

The application needs to be mailed to your county board of elections, postmarked no later than seven days before the election. Look up your county board's address here.

New York County Board of Elections
200 Varick Street - 10th Floor
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-886-2100

Kings County Board of Elections
345 Adams Street - 4th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-797-8800

Let's make this happen, people!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Important new Palin/Couric footage 

You have not seen all of this. Watch to the end.

H/t Bartcop.

Already stolen? 

Greg Palast and Robert Kennedy in the new Rolling Stone:

'Since the last presidential race, "States used dubious 'list management' rules to scrub at least 10 million voters from their rolls." '

Summary of findings here.


10% off the top 

Something resembling journalism:

Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.

Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are in line to pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted criticism. The government's cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay would be curbed.


The sums that continue to be spent by Wall Street firms on payroll, payoffs and, most controversially, bonuses appear to bear no relation to the losses incurred by investors in the banks. Shares in Citigroup and Goldman Sachs have declined by more than 45% since the start of the year. Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have fallen by more than 60%. JP MorganChase fell 6.4% and Lehman Brothers has collapsed.

At one point last week the Morgan Stanley $10.7bn pay pot for the year to date was greater than the entire stock market value of the business. In effect, staff, on receiving their remuneration, could club together and buy the bank.

So much for "conditions on executive pay".

You do have to love that dry British wit though: "financial workers" and their "work". Droll.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

For what it's worth... 

Powell is long-winded, but makes good points:

Good stuff, but does anyone care what he has to say anymore?


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