Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Goodbye Cruel World

Occasional visitors here will by now have noticed a certain format to the postings, one which may be a little jarring, de-focused, or hard to categorize. It's intentional: as an adult, I've been described as "intense," and fully indulging that tendency would make this blog one ongoing predictive contrarian rant about what I've known would happen to the country and world, how the shifting obliquities of the ecliptic relate to the Mayan calendar, to the reversal of the earth's polarity as foretold by mnemoic devices found in Viking sagas, I Told You I Was Sick, etc. Which it very much is. So what I do is intersperse a mix of snark, cool little things, fluffy kitties, technology, the smell of diesel fumes mingling with hot-fresh baguettes at dawn in Paris as contrasted to what I wake to now, the traces of Irish mists lingering in my son's hair. Arguably more faithful to how life unfolds.

In baseball, pitchers set up batters with change of pace, and I try to nibble at the edges of the strike zone with off-speed stuff, setting you up for the chest-high fastballs that could come all day. Besides, the nibbling is really good for me, it's challenging, makes me stretch, makes me have fun, and I hope for you, too. Having done so for a string of posts, I'm entitled to throw heat for a few days, days which will assuredly shake the world like an old Mustang convertible crashing through East River pot-holes on bald tires, way, way too much engine and busted springs. In the drag-race to the United States presidential election, I'm being deluged with information, as we all are, we can all feel it building, and if I re-published every top-notch story I received in email (especially the past week), well...that would take all day, every day. Which I don't have.

What you take in, comes out, and thank you all for sending those stories. I read them, and fortunately the insurgent mosh pit in the culture war we're winning turns up some lasting stuff, like a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist's take on the meta-questions. My wife passed on a post by Jane Smiley (A Thousand Acres, 1992), a disciplined, scalpel-sharp writer and journalist who cuts away nuance and leaves essence, sharing glimpses of a possible, likely, necessary future, the basic qualities of its tenor and tone. It's not an easy future, rather, in a way, it is the reverse. But at least it will be aware:
"...the right wing experiences the world as cruel and arbitrary, they have no inhibitions about enhancing that cruelty -- as in "Hurricane Katrina", as in "Iraq War", and in "Abu Ghraib".

This is the world we have been living in for the past thirty years.

In a week, we have a chance to leave this world behind. If we look at our two candidates, the differences between them are stark. John McCain, who was raised by and accepts the authoritarian model, is evidently never at peace. He is hot-headed, erratic, and has been remarkably cruel. He claims to have principles, but his principles change every time he loses his cool. The more he is pushed, the more it becomes evident that he lives by his own selfish desires -- for money, for power, for women. He's is a classic avoider, who can't even answer the simplest question -- if something "unpleasant" comes up, he changes the subject.

Barack Obama rarely changes the subject, because he is fully capable of looking at an issue and considering it. He seems to have been reared in a non-authoritarian household, by a loving mother and loving grandparents. He thinks that the world is a rational place that can be understood and modified. His own family seems happy and loving. Right wingers think he is shallow, but he isn't shallow -- he's well-adjusted. And we've had two whole years to poke him and prod him and discover this. Obama has grown through campaigning because he has learned from it. McCain gets ever smaller and more weird as he campaigns because he doesn't understand what is happening to him.

When we choose between these two men, we are choosing between two worlds -- the world of ignorance, fear, manipulation, and cruelty, and the world of rational investigation, weighing of options, and planning. This world is a world where sexual preference is not such a big deal, salvation is not an eternal mystery, and life goes on. It's a world where bad things happen, but there is no malign Godly intention behind them. It is world that understands the temptations of human nature and attempts to deal with them rationally and systematically. Some of these attempts will fail, but on balance, not as many as have failed in the last twenty-five years."
Observations like these, insights into the hearts which makes systems beat, are why we're increasingly subjected to barrages of lies and misdirections from the Mercenary Media every day.
For the other side, screaming is now the normal mode of communication. For our side, our alien mediators have decided that it's ok for us to have hope. Resilient, rational, respirating, resourceful Hope.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fox News Finally Figures It Out

Hello, intrepid fair-n-balanced nooze peoples over at Fox. Congratulations, you finally put down your porn manga comics long enough to read Obama's books, only to find--surprise!--he's always been a Marxist. Yep, he comes right out and says it, too, ha-ha, so guess what, capitalist-pig running-dog byotches? It's 1917 all over again. Too bad you didn't do some, you know, journalism a little earlier because then you would've had time to flee the country like Russian nobility and take refuge in Shanghai or Lhasa or someplace else safe from communism.

Now you'll have to endure years of horrible harshness in an Air America Concentration Camp, forced to listen to old clips of Al Franken at his most nasal and Jeanene Garafolo after her third bong hit. For twenty-four hours a day. Remember, you can always choose to end the suffering early, right? From Fox Nooz:
Obama's affinity for Marxists began when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.

"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully," the Democratic presidential candidate wrote in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father." "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists."

Obama's interest in leftist politics continued after he transferred to Columbia University in New York. He lived on Manhattan's Upper East Side, venturing to the East Village for what he called "the socialist conferences I sometimes attended at Cooper Union."

After graduating from Columbia in 1983, Obama spent a year working for a consulting firm and then went to work for what he described as "a Ralph Nader offshoot" in Harlem.

"In search of some inspiration, I went to hear Kwame Toure, formerly Stokely Carmichael of Black Panther fame, speak at Columbia," Obama wrote in "Dreams," which he published in 1995. "At the entrance to the auditorium, two women, one black, one Asian, were selling Marxist literature."

Obama supporters point out that plenty of Americans flirt with radical ideologies in college, only to join the political mainstream later in life. But Obama, who made a point of noting how "carefully" he chose his friends in college, also chose to launch his political career in the Chicago living room of Ayers, a domestic terrorist who in 2002 proclaimed: "I am a Marxist."
PS--I haven't decided what to buy with all the money Obama Hood will take away from you and give to me. So I desperately need your help. What was your favoritest rich-people thing ever, I mean, that thing you'll most miss when your re-educated asses are waiting in line for a public bus?

How I Made The Stock Market Go Up 900 Points

I went to Starbucks and bought a latte, and boy did it ever work!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nine Oldsters Booted Out Of Nursing Home
"They somehow got it into their heads to celebrate the 90th birthday of one of the women with a kind of sex party," said Miss Helterford. "This may sound harmless or amusing to some people, but Scarborough has a reputation to uphold. We cannot tolerate that kind of conduct."
Mental note: do not end up in a facility named "Scarborough."

(via Cat in the Bag, who have been on a bit of a graphics roll.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Geezer-Dingbat Election Update

Hey, while we wait these last 11 days and 10 nights until the election, there's a really fun interactive website called "Palin As President" where you can click on little pop-ups with Sarah sitting behind her desk in the Oval Office, bein' all Prezzah-den-shul.

In other news, David Plouffe, the Obama campaign manager (and the guy who always had the most accurate delegate count during the fight for the Democratic nomination) blurted this out today:
On a conference call that reminds me a bit of those calls David Plouffe would hold in the primary to insist (accurately, it turns out) that Obama had already won, Obama aides told reporters that their position is "extremely strong."
Which translates to, "we are stomping ass." In North Carolina, for example, early voting is running Democrat-56%, Republican-27%, Independent-17.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The World's Best Distraction(s)

I'm thinking about featuring more distractions here for a few reasons--because I'm fully aware my heat-seeking missives about why we should all start learning Eastern languages and naming our kids Murgesh, Hu Wei, or Abdullah can be a mite troubling (or as Phil once commented, "Jesus, why the [expletive deleted] did I read this before going to bed??," possibly the highest compliment any post of mine has ever received), because the internet ate my attention-look a dog blog!-attention span, and because the internet is also like a Memory Cloud where we can all wallow in luxury and steal cool time-destroying tools from everywhere and use them as a new shiny-object-oriented form of communication--and Squirmelicious was a timely enabler. He must be a tech minion like myself, one whose path to enlightened nirvana was hastened along by an iPhone. And now, amongst other neat things in its 3G version, you can hold your iPhone like a 6-iron and play the Back 9 on a virtual, dirt-cheap Pebble Beach:
Things are rough out there, with stock markets crashing, banks imploding, and politicians arguing about lipsticks and pigs and 60’s radicals. It’s time for a break. And what better distraction is there than the awesome iPhone?

The iPhone 3G, the most recent iteration of the revolutionary device, has seen its previously closed system opened to 3rd party developers. The change enabled users to download apps from Apple’s app store and load them onto the phone. Where the original iPhone offered only a handful of applications– Google Maps, You Tube, a weather forecaster, and one or two other programs– the app choices on the 3G are in the thousands.

A perusal of the App store will display both several categories of programs and multiple takes on the same program. For example, there are at least twelve different programs to track your golf score, six programs that access the social network site Digg!, seven incarnations of Sudoku, twenty-two personal information managers, and the list goes on.

With memory precious and many of the programs costing between $.99 and $10.00, how is one to know which programs to choose? Squirmelicious has solved this problem for you by choosing the 12 best Applications for the iPhone.

There are a lot of great ones, but here are the 12 best in no particular order:
  1. Facebook - Addiction to the world’s most popular social network is widespread and adding this wonderful client to your iPhone will only exacerbate the problem, but how else are you going to announce to the world that you are waiting at a red light?

  2. AIM - You can finally chat on your iPhone with this client that offers all the same chat capabilities as Apple’s ichat.

  3. Pandora – This phenomenal program will literally change the way you listen to music. Pandora, along with Last/FM allow you to create your own custom radio stations as well as access the stations created by those in your network. You might want to grab this one fast as it’s not clear how much longer they will be around.

  4. Yelp – I use this one constantly. Yelp offers user submitted reviews of restaurants, bars, and retail outlets and by utilizing the iphones built in GPS system, the reviews are for places right where you are at the moment.

  5. Flipbook – this polished program lets you create frame-by-frame animations. Pointless, but oh so fun.

  6. Labyrinth – using the devices accelerometer, this game allows you to roll balls through a maze avoiding holes and other obstacles by tilting your phone in various directions.

  7. Net News Wire – This rss reader uses your news gator account. Simple and effective.

  8. Missile Command – My favorite game from junior high school now on the iPhone.

  9. Traffic - Real time traffic reports utilizing the iPhone’s built in GPS chip.

  10. My Delicious – Access your delicious bookmarks right from your iPhone.

  11. AirMe – Share Geo-Tagged photos with many different photo sites from flickr to picassa.

  12. Remote – Control iTunes from your iPhone.

Picture Of The Day

Hands cover Barack Obama as he shakes hands at a rally in the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. Monday, Oct. 20th, 2008.

Aledo High Seniors Pick Classmate With Down Syndrome As Homecoming Queen

From the Dallas Morning News...
Never has the selection of a homecoming queen sent so many tears falling so freely.

Kristin Pass, an 18-year-old senior with Down syndrome, became Aledo High School's homecoming queen Friday to a joyous standing ovation and the flutter of a thousand tissues on a remarkable night for an amazing young woman.

Her grandfather, Dr. David Campbell of Corsicana, escorted her onto the field and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek as Kristin joined eight other young women in the Homecoming Court to await the results of the vote, cast by the 360-plus members of Aledo High's senior class.

Then came the announcement ... and pandemonium.

"Oh my gosh! I was sitting in the student section and everyone stood up, crying and cheering for Kristin," said longtime friend and fellow senior Meaghan Geary, 17, who first met Kristin in the third grade. "It was great!"

The vote may have been a surprise, but no one who knows Kristin doubts her popularity, her mother said.

"Kristin has a lot of friends – she likes everyone. It doesn't matter if you're tall or short, pretty, not pretty, smart, not smart – she likes everybody. She has great friends. And Aledo is a great community."

"She's just the neatest kid in the whole wide world," added her aunt, Chari Hust of Houston, "and everybody sees that.

Clay Gilmer, who works in the stadium press box, running the scoreboard and clock, said people pushed toward the windows as the young women were introduced.

"They were all pulling for Kristin," Mr. Gilmer said.

When she won, he was thrilled. "This has been such a special time, a special week for Kristin," he said. "And I was really taken by the maturity and the love shown by her friends, her peers, her classmates.

"That makes this a double blessing."

Kristin pronounced the evening "exciting" and "awesome."

She was so thrilled, her mother said, that she took her crown to bed with her. Her selection as homecoming queen was a wonderful surprise. But Meaghan seemed to have an inkling that it could happen.

"Everyone loves Kristin," she said, "and I didn't know for sure, but in class everyone was like, 'Who are you voting for?' and everybody was like, 'Vote for Kristin, she's so good.' "

Kristin doesn't care what's on the outside, Meaghan said. She's friends with everyone, and everyone admires that. "She's the person we all want to be," Meaghan said.
(via Brother Tim:) And you young people at Aledo High School are the people we all want to be.

These kids at Aledo High School have put a beefsteak on the black-eye George W Bush has given to the State of Texas. They have proven by example, that putting love, compassion, and caring, before one's self, is the best way to go.

It is for this reason that Barack Obama will most likely become President. The young people of today care not about a person's skin color, religion, or handicaps; they look to what's most important: the heart. It is incidents such as this that give me hope for America's future.

Thanks, and a tip 'o da hat to: the Senior Class of Aledo High School.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Case For A McCain-Palin Presidency

If Barack Obama is elected, 25% of the country is going to have a gigantic freak-out, arming their preachers with .50 cals and their lawyers with rocket-propelled grenades. Hell, they're already filing lawsuits on early voting, lining up the post-election objects to burn in protest, and making death threats in advance. In their private moments you can almost hear them wistfully ask, "Can a President be impeached for spending too much time in the gym?" For yea, verily, black terrorism will stalk throughout their lands, and it will all be extremely annoying, and horribly, hysterically bad. I mean for the period of at least 4 years when 25% of the population and 50% of the volume continually threaten to secede and publicly long for the good old days of Slick Willie.

But what if McCain and his odalisque Basemonger got elected through, I dunno, the Diebold Effect, or the weird vendetta someone upstairs continues to hold against America? What would actually happen then?

75% of the country would have a gigantic freak-out, arming their preachers with .50 cals and their lawyers with rocket-propelled grenades. Now, to my anarcho-syndicalist little brain, that might just be a good thing. It's high time for another Constitutional Civil War to set a few things straight. Like for example this confusion over the public trust and commercial contracts our elected representatives and judges have been having, oh, ever since Eisenhower (and he woulda known) warned us over becoming hostage to the Military Industrial Complex that's steadily poisoning and robbing and killing everybody. I take that back--actually, there's no longer any confusion, because there is no public (9/11, Katrina, Galveston, collapsing bridges, medical billing systems, collapsing cranes, and whatever you do, don't think of a Major Earthquake) trust anymore. Public trust is so far gone, the Bush Administration is getting dragged kicking and screaming like an angry drunken conservative socialist back
into its yawning dead vacuum.

A McCain presidency would be totally unacceptable right from the word "Aaawwwgggghhh!" First off, his Cabinet wouldn't even wait to be formed before starting to tear itself apart. These execrable fools hate each other, they hate McCain (who hates everybody), they hate Palin (who hates nearly everybody), they hate liberals, they hate themselves, and hate means never having to say You're Sorry. In fact his campaign is busy tearing itself apart right now, making Hillary Clinton staffers finally seem like they were re-enacting the Summer of Love. However, the wrack and ruin would be really cool to watch, and I would cackle daily with the same destructive glee you can only experience when irrevocably breaking something very expensive, like sending a rock through an old but still functioning vacuum tube TV set at the town dump, or setting fire to one of those quaint covered bridges they insist on still having in New England. Because that's just what it would be like, only with a government.

But there's an even better, more awesome thing a McCain presidency has going for it. How do I put this...what if Marvin Gaye had it wrong? What if war is the answer?? People, and I don't just mean any people, I mean soldier- and spook-type people, would damned fast be wondering who they had to kill to cut this avuncular, ongoing, surreal disaster short. And it would just get more "interesting" from there on out. According to my handy actuarial chart on geriatric subcutaneous melanomas, McCain has at least a 50% chance of announcing his cancer is back in the next 3 years, that it's inoperable, and he's handing the reins of this busted-down scalp-hunting party over to the aforementioned Basemonger, she who believes North America will be ruled by a supernatural Christian entity named Seth. Which would mean, of course, that's it, bye-bye, the end, no more country. We'd have the Un-tied States of America. We'd hold this thing, this big and chaotic but very determined and process-oriented thing...and we'd call it The Big Do-Over.

Now, maybe I'm wrong here, but I think that would bring a whole lot of folks together. Jefferson said the tree of liberty needed to be nourished with blood every now and again, and our Little Shop of Horrors growth has never been so parched. Sure, McCain-Palin might mean bringing on a military coup, but is that not a compelling alternative by comparison? Not to mention, coups have worked out pretty well for a lot of South American and even a few European countries. This may be a little risky, but everything has risk, you know, like mowing the lawn has risk, like buying money market mutual funds, shopping for baby formula. Sky-diving.

Risk, schmisk. We're probably screwed one way or the other, and the fact is it's still not too late to unleash the cleansing powers of a good old fashioned leap into the abyss, and I sure as hell know my country well enough to know it doesn't want sanity--like how "McCain's just too liberal" for some of my classmates and kin to vote for, ha-ha-ha, speaking of sanity, but go ahead, you can do it if I can, wussies--vote McCain. C'mon, it'll be like bungee-jumping an entire nation! Vote for Big Do-Over! Vote for Civil War II!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Imperial Pretensions Buckle Under Borrowing
By Aziz Huq

Do empires end with a bang, a whimper, or the sibilant hiss of financial deflation?

We may be about to find out. Right now, in the midst of the financial whirlwind, it's been hard in the United States to see much past the moment. Yet the ongoing economic meltdown has raised a range of non-financial issues of great importance for our future. Uncertainty and anxiety about the prospects for global financial markets -- given the present liquidity crunch -- have left little space for serious consideration of issues of American global power and influence.

So let's start with the economic meltdown at hand -- but not end there -- and try to offer a modest initial assessment of how the crumbling U.S. economy might change America's global stance.

The rest.

Obama Hits Stretch Run, McCain Wheezes

The Obama Campaign raked in over $150 million in September, adding 650,000 new donors. Average donation amount was $80. The election's outcome is so obvious that, in keeping with the finely honed bureaucratic instincts of a 4-star general, uber-careerist Colin Powell gave his endorsement yesterday, slamming his old friend John McCain and his choice for VP on Meet The Press. Why his endorsement is important may rankle Karma, but its effect is immediate amongst the Council on Foreign Relations crowd. 14 days and 14 nights to go, and the airwaves will be flooded with Democratic ads. They're having difficulty finding open spots for more placements.

McCain is all but conceding. CNN is quoting McCain advisers saying they believe that Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico are gone to the strong Obama ground game. They've conceded those states, and the RNC has started to pull back funding in prep for the 2010 elections. The advisors claim their plan for electoral victory requires McCain winning Pennsylvania, plus Nevada, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, and Ohio, but they're trailing in all those polls, while even Georgia has tightened to within 2 points. (Pollster, RCP)

For a sense of the Obama Campaign's take on their chances in Pennsylvania, they have no plans to visit for the duration. They've gone up +10% there.

Psyche's News Roundup

Raw Story | Kucinich calls for probe of bonuses for Wall Street aid recipients
The Brad Blog:: CA GOP Vote Registration Contractor Arrested for Registration Fraud, Perjury
Fox News' Kilmeade: Why is no one looking for Obama's drug dealer? (why is no one calling Fox a "news" channel?)

Emptywheel » MI Republicans Admit to Illegal Foreclosure Scheme, “Surrender” to Democrats
TPMMuckraker | Talking Points Memo | RNC On New Mexico "Voter Fraud": Never Mind
The Charleston Gazette - More W.Va. voters say machines are switching votes In six cases, Democratic votes flipped to GOP (Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections, blame voters)

Japan's young turn to Communist Party as they decide capitalism has let them down - Telegraph
Antidepressant Studies Unpublished - New York Times
Sacred Intentions: Inside the Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Studies | DrugReporter |

Jim Bramlett @ | Block African witchcraft curses against McCain and Palin NOW! (umm, jeebus)
What We Stand For! « Christian Nymphos

Yes We Carve | Change Your Pumpkin, Change Your World

TPM Election Central | Poll: Debates Improved Opinions Of Obama Among Independents AND Conservatives
Rising Hegemon: Barack Obama reports raising $150 million in September (unprecedented)
Swing State Project:: MN-06: Tinklenberg Raises Nearly $500K in 24 Hours, DCCC to Enter Race (heh)

Think Progress » CNN fact-check: ‘This is looking like a fraud committed against ACORN.’ (bogus attack)
Matthew Yglesias » The Synthetic States of America (states are red but people are blue)
Todd Palin seeks votes from sportsmen - "our core values -- hunting and fishing"

YouTube - McCain: Palin is a counter to "Liberal Feminist Agenda"
Freddie Mac Paid GOP Consulting Firm $2M To Kill Legislation Worldwide Bush to Host First in Series of Summits on Financial Crisis (more summits!)

Investigation: Prosecutors subpoena ex-Lehman CEO Richard Fuld - Nachrichten English-News - WELT ONLINE
Probe of Lehman collapse escalated: report | Reuters
Wall Street bankers in line for $70bn payout | Business | The Guardian Pay and bonus deals equivalent to 10% of US government bail-out package

TSA agent steals $200K worth of gear, resells it on eBay : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech (where your stuff goes)
YouTube - People like us - pilots - part 1/3 (just watch it)
Azure - Ideas for the Jewish Nation: Roots of Antisemitism (an ancient nation that is still, after some three thousand years, hammering away so intensely and so obsessively at the enigma of its identity")

God and Morality: A Philosophical History By John E. Hare

Review of The Spiritual Brain :: Varadaraja V Raman :: Global Spiral

Hypnosis, Memory and the Brain: Scientific American

Big Bang or Big Bounce?: New Theory on the Universe's Birth: Scientific American
Using Math to Explain How Life on Earth Began: Scientific American
Numbers that cannot be computed | Igor Ostrovsky Blogging

Insert Four Thousand Words Here

Obama and McCain draw the Second Gilded Age to its conclusion at the Alfred E. Smith charity dinner in Manhattan last Friday; McCain talks to Cardinal Egan at said dinner; Obama addresses 100,000+ supporters in St. Louis on Saturday; ditto Kansas City.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

McCain Lawyer Urges New York Times To Investigate Obama Drug Use

Cindy McCain's lawyer, John Dowd, complained about the New York Time's factual coverage, threatened a libel suit, and accused them of not digging enough into Obama's youthful drug use and his failure to rescue ancestral Kenya from poverty:

It is worth noting that you have not employed your investigative assets looking into Michelle Obama. You have not tried to find Barack Obama's drug dealer that he wrote about in his book, Dreams of My Father. Nor have you interviewed his poor relatives in Kenya and determined why Barack Obama has not rescued them. Thus, there is a terrific lack of balance here.

What Dowd apparently doesn't recall is that the New York Times, like other news outlets in the country, had already chased the Obama drug story for juicy details, and a Times investigative pieces reported what anyone who has read "Dreams From My Father" would suspect: if anything, Obama overstated the drug use in his books.

Mayor In Russia Says He Can See Sarah Palin Showering From His House

(Provideniya, Russia) Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, has said that she can see Russia from her house. Across the Bering Strait in Provideniya Bay sits the town of Provideniya, Russia and its mayor Dimitri Andropov. He says that he can see Palin showering from HIS house. “And it is very nice.”

Mayor Andropov added that his small town, like America, is transfixed with the buxom Governor. “We have a shower watchman on duty 24/7. And when the delightful Palin turns on the water and lets down her hair, the alarm sounds, telling everyone to rush to my house for a show. The kids love it.”

Leonid Andropov, the Mayor’s brother, said that the ability to see Palin shower has given him and the other men a newfound respect for her. “She’s a very thorough cleaner, which is tough when one is dealing with moose guts, wolf blood and oil…And she doesn’t have a mustache, which is just a big plus for us.”

In a spontaneous Q&A at a Phoenix donut shop, Sarah Palin said that she’s okay with the Russians watching her shower. “I’m flattered. And hopefully my cleanliness can inspire them to go after freedom, liberty and that they can create jobs, get more freedom and liberty to help the economic job search, then hunt down the terror loving terrorists and change their nation of human people for the better.”

“All I heard from that speech was change, and change to us is bad,” said Mayor Andropov. “Change means John McCain will win the election and take our water princess to shower in Washington D.C…We don’t want that to happen…Everything else Governor Palin said was over our small town heads. But that’s okay, because we like to watch Sarah the same way she likes to watch Saturday Night Live, with the sound turned down.”

In other news, Bill Clinton announced his candidacy for Mayor of Provideniya.

(via Brother Tim at the Blog of Revelation and The Lost News)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Master Debate: McWTF??

Haldol side effects include blurred vision, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, and grabbing people's asses.

This wasn't Photoshopped. Or more accurately, the entire Republican campaign is a Photoshop effort, and this image slipped past them somehow. It happened when McCain couldn't figure out how to greet Bob the Moderator.

Half a dozen friends came by and watched the contretemps, erupting in roars of laughter every 10 minutes or so. Lowest moment of the night #1: "Joe the Plumber" was mentioned 26 times, and we didn't have a drinking game ready for it. Lowest moment of the night #2: McCain was seated at the same table with Obama and Bob, just a lunge away from a head-butt and ear-biting, but the Haldol kept him in check. Best moment of the night, hands-down: when referring to running mate Sarah Palin, McCain said, "she's a breast of freth air."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Psyche's News Roundup (Picture Refers To Stock Market)

Hackers got into 18 computer servers at World Bank - USA Today.Com (all your banks are belong to us)

Smaller Banks Resist Federal Cash Infusions - ("we will be punished for behaving prudently by now having to face reckless competitors who all of a sudden are subsidized by the federal government.")
Study says most corporations pay no U.S. income taxes | U.S. | Reuters

TAPPED Archive | The American Prospect | That Big Bad Poll And Tonight's Debate (lizard-brains prefer Attacks) U.S. Obama Widens Lead as Americans See `Serious' Crisis
David Gregory: (MSNBC hack): Meet and - should be embarrassed (runs old polls to make race look closer)

Whiskey Fire: Little Man Bleeding: McCain "Ambushed By History" (Naughty history! Spankings for you!)
Ruth Marcus - When Life Hands You Deficits . . . (neo-Hooverist Marcus hates the middle class: "the weird disease everyone who works for the Washington Post has")
Carter Tried To Stop Bush's Energy Disasters - 28 Years Ago - Ronald Reagan's first official acts of office included removing Jimmy Carter's solar panels from the roof of the White House, and reversing most of Carter's conservation and alternative energy policies.

Hank Paulson and His Wall Street Cronies Move to Plan B | Corporate Accountability and WorkPlace | AlterNet
House Prices 'Will Not Recover Until 2023'
CIA Tactics Endorsed In Secret Memos - Waterboarding Got White House Nod (Tenet, you know, lied)
Interview with Noam Chomsky: 'The United States Has Essentially a One-Party System' - Spiegel Online

TPMMuckraker | Talking Points Memo | Sen. Rockefeller Reacts to WaPo Report on White House Torture Memos (you know, the ones Bush didn't have)
My Friend Bill Ayers - - Once wanted by the FBI, he's since become a model citizen (WSJ!? WTF??)
Commentary: Time for Palin to answer tough questions - Tina Fey has actually done more interviews about playing Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin has done about being Sarah Palin!

BREAKING NEWS: Report reveals White House attempted to influence Congressional elections - General News
Rush Limbaugh sets the world straight on blackness and Obama :: Los Angeles Times (Arab is the new Black)
Annals of Democracy: Rock, Paper, Scissors: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker How we used to vote

The Permanent (Smear) Campaign | The American Prospect If Obama wins the election, they will try to destroy his presidency with lies, just as they sought to do to Bill Clinton (what they do)
Fafblog! Barack Obama: Black?
pushback » Blog Archive » Spend Valentine’s Day With John Ashcroft! For just $4,281, you can embark upon a romantic getaway with former Attorney General John Ashcroft (conservativesLOL)

YouTube - CNN on Palin's Membership in the Anti-American Radical Group AIP (Todd Palin, Secessionist)
YouTube - Misconceptions of Obama fuel Republican campaign - 13 Oct 08 (crazywingnutsLOL)
YouTube - McPenguin
Susan Savage-Rumbaugh on apes that write | Video on | and start fires and play Pac-Man

Issues? Issues? We Don' Need No Sting-king Issues!

Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe on MSNBC:
"I am so upset that issues are predominating. The rules have been changed and character attacks don't work any more. My God. People want to talk about issues. And Republicans can't win in this environment. It's not fair."
The redoubtable Zoey & Me, the world's best political cat blogging team, caught this admission from the right-wing talk show host.

Sherlock Holmes & The Mystery Of The Stolen Plans

There's a great, damning post on the financial crisis, credibly written in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle:
"Yes, we have crossed swords with the American criminal on more than one occasion and found him to be a worthy foe. As his British counterpart has lost his imagination, I suggest to you, my friend, that if the interesting cases won’t come to us, we must go to the interesting cases!”

And so it came to pass that Holmes and I embarked on a grand tour of America. My friend’s intuition had proven to be correct, and we became involved in a number of high-profile cases which attracted public notice. Holmes successfully solved the case of the kidnapped Virginia twins, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In Kentucky he managed to locate a famous sporting trophy which had been missing for nine years. And in New York he was involved in the strange affair of the vanishing banks, the details of which I swore solemn oaths, at Holmes’ insistence, to leave out of my memoirs until sufficient time had passed.

After these adventures, Holmes and I eventually found ourselves at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Holmes was never much of a tourist; while his criminal investigations had taken him far and wide in Europe, so single-minded was my friend in pursuing the solution to a crime and the apprehension of its perpetrator that he never paused to take in the sights, wherever his travels took him. Thus it was with the greatest reluctance that he allowed me to drag him to see the various monuments and memorials in America’s capital.

“When one has wrestled on the Acropolis with Paleologos, the Greek forger,” he sniffed, “why should he then wish to be jostled by sweaty tourists from Omaha merely to catch a glimpse of structures more than two thousand years younger than the Parthenon?”

So it was with great relief that Holmes received the concierge of the Mayflower as we took tea in the salon of the hotel.

“Mr. Holmes,” the fellow said after stealthily approaching us, “may I have a private word? It is of the gravest urgency.” He threw me a furtive glance, which I took as an invitation to depart, and so rose from my chair.

“Stay where you are, Watson!” exclaimed Holmes. I froze. “My dear sir, Watson is my friend and confidant. Anything you wish to say to me, you may also say to him!”

The concierge looked at me warily, then nodded and turned his gaze back to Holmes. “Very well, sir. It’s just that I have been instructed to speak to you in the strictest confidence by the highest of authorities. This authority is waiting for you in one of our suites, and requests an urgent meeting on a matter of supreme importance.”

(By financial blogger Macro Man. Read the rest.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Toledo Strangler Strikes Again

Look at this heartwarming photo from the Toledo Blade. Some nice blonde girl is “welling up with tears” because she can’t breathe anymore! Someday when she is old and gray, she will tell her grandchildren, “I once had the privilege of being choked to death by America’s first black president.” How many transient hookers have met with the same tragic end? [The Toledo Blade: a largely non-gay publication]

(mostly via Wonkette)

Psyche's News Roundup

Inflation soars to 16-year high | Personal Finance | Reuters World May Be Lucky to Get Worst Recession Since 1983
U.S. to Buy Stakes in Nation's Largest Banks -
Germany and France restore trust with guarantees - Times Online / World - Icelandic exchange reopens for trading / Companies / Financial services - Markets surge on £1,465bn European bank bail-out
U.S. Forces Nine Major Banks To Accept Partial Nationalization -

The Quadrillion Dollar Powder Keg Waiting To Blow - The International Forecaster
We have successfully transformed credit risk into solvency risk Worldwide Roubini Sees Worst Recession in 40 Years, Rally's End

Washington Monthly: The Stakes 2008
Think Progress » Politico removes its claim that McCain’s tax cuts are ‘aimed directly at the middle class.’ (Updated)
Economic Dishonor Roll (economic war criminals)

Central banks offer unlimited free money - Oct. 13, 2008 Fed to offer dollars to Bank of England, European Central Bank and Swiss National Bank to lend to private bank (see inflation, above)
McClatchy Washington Bureau | 10/12/2008 | Private sector loans, not Fannie or Freddie, triggered crisis
Columnist Paul Krugman wins Nobel economics prize: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance (for free market revisionism)

The Big Picture | How to Repair What Ails Us
BBC NEWS | Business | Viewpoints: Where now for capitalism?
NC 911 Truth --- America has been Hijacked: Follow the Money -- The Assassination of Eliot Spitzer
The Harder They Fall, the More I Smile - (What could possibly go wrong?)

CQ Politics | McCain Camp Ignores Questions About Candidate’s Military Record (how he blew up the USS Forrestal)
John McCain Promises To “Whip” Obama » Oliver Willis
McCain's Week Off To Rocky Start "the economy has hurt us a little bit in the last week or two" and "direct connection between the September 11 terrorist attacks and the war in Iraq" (Cindy! I need more pills!)

ABC: "Palin Makes Troopergate Assertions That Are Flatly False" (denial for enthusiasts)
The Book of Sarah - News - Village Voice (Yet Another Whopping Palin Scandal)
YouTube - Pittsburgh to Palin: Keep the Puck Out
Palin Falls Prey To Fey - New York Post - Swift-Butted: "Tina Fey is well on her way to ruining Sarah Palin's political career"
Tina Fey On Sarah Palin: "If She Wins...I'm Leaving Earth"

Commentary: McCain campaign following in Hillary's footsteps -
The Big Picture | Change in Presidential Philosophy “The Bush administration, which took office as social conservatives, is now leaving as conservative socialists.” -Allan Mendelowitz (rimshot)
The Big Picture | No Time to Waste . . (history of Comrade Paulson screwing up)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The McCain Campaign Re-Boot

Funny how closely McCain's strategists and handlers have followed the footsteps of their Clinton counterparts against Barack Obama. First they attacked on having more experience. Next they attacked the Change brand by deriding it, then gave up and tried to out-change Change. They used single-issue scalpels and sexism crowbars, searching for any gaps to pry open, and when they failed, they tried basic character assassination. They both made interesting V.P. stunts, until finally settling down to the underdog role, the "she's a fighter, he's a fighter" theme while continuing to throw as much dirt as they could think of.

The campaign signalled a major change in direction on Sunday, and yesterday unveiled a new stump speech written by McCain's old ghost writer, Mark Salter. To complete the cycle, John McCain's best course is probably to start downing whiskey with supporters a la Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, or was it Ohio.
(I mean whiskey in public with shot glasses, not in private straight from the bottle, like now.)

The state-by-state, statistically sound poll analysis site currently has Barack Obama winning 360 electoral college votes. Clearing the 270 bar by 90 votes might be optimistic, but no underdog candidate has ever made up so much polling ground before. Typical of almost every previous Team McCain decision, the Re-Boot was emblematically erratic, and hard to figure out.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

International Delay Your Mortgage Payment Month

Maybe the only thing that will shock the governments into providing mortgage relief would be to delay our payments for a week, two weeks, a month. That would send a message about who holds the high ground: debt-servicing borrowers whose assets were leveraged into other instruments, and who keep paying and saving. Most experts have it all wrong about what makes the banking system work. It's not about lack of liquidity in notional-value credit default swaps. It's about confidence, about who keeps sending their money to the banks in the form of deposits and loan payments. The real issue is how to keep them doing so, and stabilizing the valuation of their pledged assets is a sure course.

In the United States, mortgage payments to banks dwarf deposits. If that flow of money stops, even for a week, bankers would be flocking to Capitol Hill and demanding stimulus be directed at the borrowers. They would immediately freak out. If the 12 million or so mortgages in the US deemed at risk in the coming year were all bailed out at $60,000 per, enough to get their average debt-to-asset value back down to 80%, that would still only cost $720 billon. A relative bargain. Bankers and regulators aren't far away from seeing the light, and I'll do my part. If you have a mortgage, you can delay it for a week without harming your credit rating whatsoever. What the hell? They can't foreclose on 12 million properties, and truth be told, they don't even know what fund in what country thinks it owns a specific house.

George Soros outlines the brush-strokes of a financial solution in the interview below. Implicitly, he realizes that the cratering unregulated instruments are causing the crisis, the regulated parts of markets are doing their jobs, and they can be decoupled to a large extent. He thinks central banks are starting to stumble their way to a fix, but the most difficult and crucial point in the equation will be halting foreclosures because it goes against current inclination.

Stopping US foreclosures will not stop the center of financial gravity from moving further towards China, Singapore, and India, nothing can do that, but it would establish a floor upon which so many unregulated contracts seek to re-establish support. He's talking sense. and the rest of the interview is at the Huffington Post:

Soros: The U.S. authorities bought into market fundamentalist ideology. They thought that the markets would ultimately correct themselves. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson epitomized this. He thought that six months after the Bear Stearns crisis the market would have adjusted and, "Well, if Lehman (Brothers) goes bust, the system can take it." Instead, everything fell apart.

Since they did not understand the nature of the problem -- that the market would not correct itself -- they did not see the need for government intervention. They did not prepare a Plan B.
As the shock of the Lehman failure set in, he had to change his mind and rescue AIG. The next day there was a run on the money markets and commercial paper markets, so he turned around again and said we need a $700 billion bailout. But he wanted to put the money in the wrong place -- taking the toxic securities out of the hands of the banks.

They have finally now come around -- with the government buying equity in banks -- because they see the financial system is on the verge of collapse.

Gardels: Now that the U.S. authorities are at last on the right track, what are the key components of resolving the crisis?

Soros: The outlines are clear. There are five major elements.
-- First, the government needs to recapitalize the banking system by buying equity stakes in banks.
-- Second, interbank lending needs to be restarted with guarantees and bringing LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) in line with Fed funds. This is in the works. It is going to happen.
-- Third, we must reform the mortgage system in the U.S., minimizing foreclosures and renegotiating loans so that mortgages are not worth more than houses. Stemming foreclosures will cushion the fall of housing prices.
-- Fourth, Europe has to fix a weakness of the Euro by creating a safety net for its banks. While initially resisting this, they have now found religion and done it at their meeting in Paris on Sunday.
-- Fifth, the IMF must deal with the vulnerability of countries at the periphery of the global financial system by providing a financial safety net. This is also in the works. The Japanese have already offered $200 billion for this purpose.
These five steps will start the healing process. If we implement these measures effectively, we will have passed through the worst of the financial crisis.

But then, I'm afraid, there is the fallout in the real economy, which is now gathering momentum. At this point, repairing the financial system will not stop a severe worldwide recession. Since, under this circumstance the U.S. consumer can no longer serve as the motor of the world economy, the U.S. government must stimulate demand. Because we face the menacing challenges of global warming and energy dependence, the next administration should direct any stimulus plan toward energy savings, developing alternative energy sources and building green infrastructure. This stimulus can be the new motor for the world economy.

Gardels: At the end of the day, won't we be looking at a vastly different global financial landscape? The U.S. will decline as the top power. It will have, along with parts of Europe, socialized banks and loads of debt. Communist China will be the new financial power globally, flush with capital and a major investor in the West.

Soros: U.S. influence will wane. It has already declined. For the past 25 years, we have been running a constant current account deficit. The Chinese and the oil-producing countries have been running a surplus. We have consumed more than we produced. While we have run up debt, they have acquired wealth with their savings. Increasingly, the Chinese will own a lot more of the world because they will be converting their dollar reserves and U.S. government bonds into real assets.

That changes the power relations. The powershift toward Asia is a consequence of the sins of the last 25 years on the part of the United States.

Piper Palin Flashes The Victory Sign

(Click on the picture to enlarge.)

Shiva Gets His Nukes Back

Against the week's chaotic backdrop, a high-impact foreign policy decision was made without perceptible coverage or forbearance, one which signals a major shift in risk factors. Congress and the White House passed legislation allowing a nuclear deal with India, despite the latter's refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or allow transparent inspections of planned reactors. Under the deal, only civilian sites can be inspected, and India defines what "civilian" means at any time.

In other words as of today, India is an official sorcerer's apprentice to The Bomb, which will be made on their soil by United States nuclear engineers. Behind the kabuki screen, America's long, strained, ever-hopeful, ever-cynical relationship with Pakistan has been scrapped and there is a new backstop in the "Global War on Terror." India will be used to strike fear in the hearts of Pakistan's generals, and, it is hoped, as a way to split up an emerging BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) Bloc.

Proponents of the deal push it as enlightened self interest, pointing to its positive effects on energy, strategic alliance, and economy. Those hopeful positions give scant cover to the move's desperation in ending the 30-year ban on nuclear fuel and technology sales to India. Its successful tests in 1974 provided the major inspiration for having a Non-Proliferation Treaty in the first place, and for Pakistan to clandestinely develop its own Bomb. Given their acrimonious past, the circumstances surrounding the formation of Pakistan, and the incipient defeat of the West in Afghanistan, it's difficult to see how a nuclear incident between it and India can be long avoided.

Friday, October 10, 2008

National 'Punch Out A Bank CEO Day': More Rays Of Hope

An unnamed Lehman Brothers employee punched Dick Fuld, reptile-CEO of the failed Lehman Bros. investment bank, in the face while he was working out in the employee gym. Thereby knocking him unconscious. Fuld, better known as the guy who went in front of Congress after getting $60 million in bonuses this year to whine, "Mmmwhere's my bailout??"

Via the Telegraph UK:

Mr Fuld, who has been testifying on the financial crisis before the US House Oversight Committee, was attacked on a Sunday shortly after it was announced that the banking giant was bankrupt.

Following rumours that the incident had occurred, Vicki Ward, a US journalist, said "two very senior sources - one incredibly senior source" had confirmed it to her. "He went to the gym after ... Lehman was announced as going under," she told CNBC. "He was on a treadmill with a heart monitor on. Someone was in the corner, pumping iron and he walked over and he knocked him out cold.

"And frankly after having watched [Mr Fuld's testimony to the committee], I'd have done the same too."

"I thought he was shameless ... I thought it was appalling. He blamed everyone ... He blamed everybody but himself."

Could this be the beginning of a trend? Pretty much anyone in the country could make a compelling self-defense case. (The complex of buildings above the title is a pic of Fuld's modest dwelling.)

Sheriff Tom Dart Stops Evicting People In Cook County (Another Ray)

The good Sheriff got sick of his deputies having to throw unsuspecting renters out of houses because their landlords had defaulted. His decision deserves much wider coverage, and imitation. In the clip above, Dart explains to a Cook County judge, "We have law abiding people, great people of our community, who are playing by the rules. And they're playing by the rules and then they show up and their stuff is in the street. And that's just wrong!" (Thank you, Mr. Dart, for being a Human Being.)

An article in the the Chicago Tribune has a story that quotes Dart, and also gives ample fair-n-balance space to some financial types who say he should be shot for upsetting the natural order and ending the system of banking as we know it. But here's how it starts out:
As the nationwide mortgage crisis puts the squeeze on homeowners, the Cook County sheriff's office is on pace to evict more people than ever from foreclosed homes.

At least it was until Wednesday, when Sheriff Tom Dart announced he wouldn't do it anymore.

Dart cited the growing number of evictions that involve rent-paying tenants who suddenly learn their building is in foreclosure because the landlord neglected to pay the mortgage. By refusing to do any foreclosure-related evictions, the hope is that banks will change their policies.

Rays Of Hope

As the market does a reenactment of the free-falling submarine in Das Boot, and Republican candidates are smiling to audience calls of "kill the terrorist," someone is rock steady. When the media were going ga-ga over Palin, and the market was in a rally, Obama directed the nation to look to its economy. Here he talks to a crowd in Missouri and predicts the Republican fear-ploys.

His deft handling of the current "palling around with terrorists" meme is worth examining. Sarah Palin and Cindy McCain amplified it this week after the Tuesday's debate, and Obama's responded with self-regulated ease. "Why didn't John McCain say it to my face when he just had the chance?" (Subtext: come and take your medicine, coward-bitch.)

BushCo has imploded, it's been one of the worst weeks in Wall Street history, and Barack Obama is giving a speech to people in Columbus, Ohio. They're spontaneously chanting, "Yes We Can!"

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Weird Scenes Inside The Melt Down

Lining up for food and water, Louisville, Kentucky, 1937.

Temper Mental

John McCain runs on hate, you can't read much about him before coming to the simple conclusion. Bottom line, it's miraculous he has not publicly exploded of late. With almost a full month to go until the election and his campaign doing a credible imitation of the stock market, however, there's still hope. Brave New Films, the folks who brought you the acclaimed documentary "Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price," has assembled some people willing to go on the record about witnessing his rage episodes. They're worse than suspected. In the video, a credible witness claims he back-handed a female POW-MIA advocate named Jeanette Jenkins so hard she spun around and hit the wall. They show a copy of her subsequent complaint to the Senate Ethics Committee.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Psyche's News Roundup

Gallup Daily: Obama’s Lead Expands to 11 Over McCain
Who Won The Debate? Clean Sweep For Obama

Court Orders Release of 17 Innocent Guantanamo Detainees into U.S. | Center for Constitutional
US military may destroy interrogation videos - Wikileaks
Md. Police Put Activists' Names On Terror Lists -

2008 Recession & Credit Crunch Predicted 2 Years Ago | Peter Schiff on Debt & Inflated Housing Prices
No Quick Fix Roubini Forecasts Worsening Economy 2 Year Recession: Tech Ticker, Yahoo! Finance
Why Wall Street CEO’s Must Go To Jail And Payback Billions In Bonuses | War On You

Editorial - Politics of Attack - (McSame: the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia)
Open Left:: Pandering to Undecided Voters... Bleh

BBC NEWS | Americas | Fact-checking the presidential debate
YouTube - The McCain-Obama Post-Debate "Handshake"
Not "The Senator," But "That One"

Talking Points Memo | Losing It? John McCain just referred to the country as "My Fellow Prisoners"
Brad DeLong - John McCain wants to give $100 billion of taxpayers' money to America's worst mortgage financiers

BBC NEWS | Business | Extra help for Icesave customers (Is Iceland toast?)

John McCain and the POW/MIA coverup : The Sirens Chronicles
For First Time, Palin Takes Questions (syntax worse than Bush: alcohol impairment, or just stupid?)

Q&A: E-voting security results 'awful,' says Ohio secretary of state How bad? 'I thought I was going to throw up'
Nothing but the truth: Internet hoaxes - Features, Gadgets & Tech - The Independent

The Ultimate 9/11 'Truth' Showdown: David Ray Griffin vs. Matt Taibbi - Part I | AlterNet
The Ultimate 9/11 'Truth' Showdown: David Ray Griffin vs. Matt Taibbi -- Part II | AlterNet
The Ultimate 9/11 'Truth' Showdown: David Ray Griffin vs. Matt Taibbi -- Part III | AlterNet

foto_decadent: Madonna
Flickr Photo Download: Attractive Face Scale
Free Advertising James Egbert Midkiff Opening Page Advertising Agency, marketing psychology

YouTube - Audi -- BULL
A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century - Esquire
Converting Pi to binary: Don't do it!