Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Mom speaks

Cynthia Elkins interviewed the "man on the street" in Redway today, questioning people on their impressions of the failed bailout proposal. She got to my mother. I believe she's the last speaker. The interviews were aired at the end of tonight's news broadcast.


Linda Atkins campaign event - click on image to enlarge


Progressive Caucus to present it's own plan

I don't want to call it a "bailout plan," because it doesn't appear to contain any such provisions. All I have from Matt Stoler is this:

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04), an outspoken critic of the Bush/Paulson bailout, along with Rep. Kaptur (OH-09), Rep. Scott (VA-03), Rep. Cummings (MD-07), Rep. Doggett (TX-25), Rep. Holt (NJ-12), Rep. Edwards (MD-04) and Rep. Hirono (HI-02), will introduce legislation today to address the failures in the financial markets. DeFazio believes that the Paulson/Bush proposal is based on a flawed premise: if the American taxpayers spend $700 billion to buy Wall Street's toxic assets - a plan pundits are calling "trash for cash" - it will create liquidity in our financial markets and will somehow trickle-down to Main Street.

DeFazio's plan is not in any way based on the Paulson/Bush plan. Instead of throwing taxpayer dollars at the program and crossing our fingers that the plan work, the measure will direct the Administration to take five simple steps, suggested by noted economist and former head of the FDIC, William Isaac, to re-regulate the markets and move America towards a healthy financial future.

The legislation will be available at the press conference.

Who: Rep. DeFazio, Rep. Kaptur (OH-09), Rep. Scott (VA-03), Rep. Cummings (MD-07), Rep. Doggett (TX-25), Rep. Holt (NJ-12), Rep. Edwards (MD-04) and Rep. Hirono (HI-02)
What: Press Conference to introduce legislation to fix financial markets
Where: House Radio and TV Gallery
When: 3 pm TODAY

3:00 has already come and gone on the east coast, so I'll try to track this down for more information. Obviously it won't pass, but it may reframe some of the discussion, especially with most of the "no" voting Republicans back home running for re-election.

Addendum: I couldn't find any mention of the story on CNN's front page, but the page did contain this story about a woman in a cow suit chasing kids and urinating on her neighbor's front porch. Yeah, that's national news.

Second addendum: It doesn't look like it's in bill form yet, but the Nation reports on the Progressive Caucus proposal. It incorporates Obama's proposal of an increase in the FDIC insurance limit from 100 grand to 250, which could save small businesses if the banks fail. Looks like they're willing to let the banks fail. And basically, the FDIC, not the Treasury Department, would become equity owners in return for promissory note loans to banks who qualify. The proposal also requires some increased SEC regulations, which I don't understand with a quick reading. For instance, I'm not really sure what they mean by an "economic value standard" to determine the value of the institution's assets. I don't know what the "up-tick" rule is that they would restore. And I don't know what a "naked short sale" is, but it certainly sounds like something that should be prohibited.

Third addendum: Here's yet another bailout plan!

Expropriate the Bourgeoisie Through Workers Revolution!

No to the Bailout of the Capitalist Speculators!

Down with the Dictatorship of Finance Capital!

How goes the grammar of slogans? The first is fine declarative grammar. The second one is horrible grammar. But we take for granted the third. I'm not sure it's grammatically correct.


KEET forum for Second District Supervisors tomorrow night

From the KEET site:

In preparation for the November 4, 2008 election, KEET-TV Channel 13 is teaming up with the League of Women Voters of Humboldt County to produce and broadcast eight live candidate forums in the month of October. During the forums, each candidate will present their views on important issues and field questions from viewers and/or local journalists, who may call in with a number provided during the program.

On Wednesday, October 1, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., Channel 13 will present a candidate forum for Supervisor, County of Humboldt, District Two. The participating candidates are Clif Clendenen, Estelle Fennell, *Johanna Rodoni, incumbent (*pending qualification as write-in candidate.)


From the Obama campaign

Passing along a message from Chip Roberson of Sonoma County Campaign Office - read below - Northern California is being asked to focus calls to New Mexico:

It's been a couple of weeks since I last sent out a big update and now looked like a good time to fill you in on what I know as of right now. As usual, this is always subject to change so please remain flexible.

Phone a Battleground State

First, I want to thank everyone who has been working in support of our efforts to phone Nevada. I don't have the exact numbers but the last two weekends we made between 175,000 and 200,000 calls to battleground states from California. In our Region which includes CDs 1-6 and 18-22, we made 30,331 calls this past weekend which was right on target. A significant percentage of that came from our two CDS: 1 and 6. Thank you!

That said, our goal this week will be 30,000 again but each week after that it will increase by 10,000 EACH WEEK until we get to 70,000 calls the weekend before the election. That's a big "ask" and it's why the CA Supporter calls from our phonebanks have been and will continue to be so important. We will never reach our goals without more phonebanks and more people attending them.

California phones three states

As many of you know, California has been effectively swamping Nevada's resources with our phonebank efforts. We are a much bigger state and the targeted population of voters in Nevada is just not large enough to split up across CA on a daily basis. Nevada was working around the clock and it just became apparent that we needed to repartition our efforts. &nbs p;Counter-intuitive as it may sound, its actually more efficient to have a smaller number of people making the calls into Nevada.

So, the campaign has split CA up into three parts and Regions 1 and 7 have taken over New Mexico while SoCal keeps Nevada and the other regions get Colorado. This means a few things:

1) If you are using MyBo's Neighbor to Neighbor, you should be selecting "Call a battleground: New Mexico".

2) If you are hosting or attending a phonebank, you will most likely be calling New Mexico.

3) If you have a VoteBuilder account for data entry, you should soon have access to New Mexico when you log in.

To find your nearest phonebank, please go to the events page at MyBo and search:


Out of State Travel / Drive for Change - Nevada

Last weekend California sent 1000 people to Nevada to canvass -- well done! -- and we have over 200 more prospects thanks to the phonebank efforts from our two CDs.

If you are signed up to travel to Nevada for either a weekend or for an internship, that is still on! You should be contacted by a staffer in Nevada to confirm your travel by at least the Sunday before. No more supporter housing will be offered and everyone is encouraged to stay at a local hotel -- again, Nevada should be sending you information on hotel accommodations.

If are interested in traveling to Nevada to help out on the ground, then the campaign wants you to go to the following web-page and fill out a form with your contact information and preferences. Once you do that, the information will be sent to Nevada and someone will contact you from Nevada. Here is the site:


There is also a link to a FAQ n that page and a link to join our Latino Drive for Change.

Out of State Travel - Other Battleground States

Some people are coming forward and offering that they can volunteer for 2, 3, 4, 5 weeks in other battleground states such as NM, CO, MI, MO, PA, FL, VA, etc. If you are one of these people, this is what you need to do:

1) Visit http://my.barackobama.com/p... and select the state of your choice.

2) Select the link on the right that mentions the internship. It might be called something like "Intern for Barack" or "Apply to be an Organizing Intern". Once there fill out the form and submit it.

3) Then select the link to Find your local office and find the office nearest to where you think you could be (e.g. near your relative's or friend's house) and call the office to let them know personally of your availability to work for them.

For example, if you were willing to travel to CO, you would end up at the following pages:




Be patient and polite and realize that the person on the other side of the phone or email is probably another Barack supporter just like you.

Vote for Change and Voter Protection Campaign

Finally, please make sure that everyone you talk to knows about these two programs: Vote for Change and the Voter Protection Campaign.

Anyone in the country should be able to go to one website, http://www.VoteForChange.com, and verify his/her voter reg istration, find a polling location, learn about early voting, etc. This is a resource we should all be using as a starting point to confirm that people are properly registered to vote. Spread the word.

The Voter Protection Campaign is our program to find and recruit attorneys to help us protect the rights of voters come election day. If you know anyone who is an attorney and willing to help, please send them to the page below and have them sign up -- the VPC link is on the right side of the page:


Thanks and keep up the hard work. We can win this if we don't give up. We're ahead in the national polls but that doesn't mean anything if we don't win the battleground states.

Yes we can! Si Se Puede!

Charles "Chip" Roberson - Sonoma, CA.

Regional Field Organizer for CA CD1 and CD6 -- Delegate for Senator Obama

http://www.ObamaCaFirst.org http://www.ObamaCaSixth.org

Nationwide Voter Information: h ttp://www.VoteForChange.com

Charles "Chip" Roberson - Sonoma, CA.

Regional Field Organizer for CA CD1 and CD6 -- Delegate for Senator Obama

http://www.ObamaCaFirst.org http://www.ObamaCaSixth.org

Nationwide Voter Informat ion: http://www.VoteForChange.com

Monday, September 29, 2008


Don't worry, be happy

As the economy burns, we might as well find happiness where we can afford to find it. And what can make you happier than the biggest rage (a couple of years ago anyway) of net-Karaoke - my favorite Numa performances. Of course some of you geeks out there have probably seen all of these time and again, so have patience with those of us who live behind the times. I feel quaint enough as it is.

Here's Gary's original, at nearly 20 million views. What wonders will a couple of beers in your dorm room have wrought?

Brookers' rendition is my personal favorite, just because, Fraggle Rock hair-do and all, if I was 19 when I first watched it, I'd have fallen in love within the first 30 seconds of the video. Especially attractive is her lack of self-consciousness in displaying her laundry behind her, for millions to see.

These guys put some heart into it. I think they get hit points for their looks, and all the speculation as to whether they're a couple, but credit is due for talent - such as it is.

My second favorite though is this one performed by Reverend Ivan and Princess Wei of the Church of the Subgenius, with the lyrics altered to meet their religious needs. Definitely filled with slack!


Bailout bill fails

And the failure has sent the markets into a tailspin.

I've got far too many thoughts on this to get into now. Credit is frozen, and I mean frozen. Nobody is lending. Something does have to be done, but from the beginning of the process I think the congressional leadership has made a serious mistake by keeping details from the public, both about the problems and the proposals. The pols want to be reelected, so you have to sell the thing to the public, and that's all there is to it.

You also have the usual ideological BS in the way, and that led to a watering down of the public equity portion of the proposal. But if the government is going to buy the debt, then it should profit from the debt once the economy turns around. Basically, the failing banks should become public, or even, yes, socialized banks. The Republican insurance proposal is more crap of socializing risk while privatizing profits. I hope the Democrats hold strong on the equity proposal, and of course oversight.

Of course my question is where is it written that a large business shouldn't be allowed to fail?

Meanwhile, Ecoshift has been writing about these issues for quite some time and has many interesting links.

Thompson voted "no" by the way.

Addendum: Did Pelosi get played?

Here's another possibility, indicated by the breakdown of the roll call vote list linked above - this was a populist "uprising of right and left" against centrist weasels. Still, while Sirota and others are calling for "starting over from scratch," they don't say much about what they want in the bill. It's much easier to unite right and left in opposition. The problem is of course that the left is rejecting anything that merely amounts to aid to Wall Street without direct and complete compensation to the public, while most of the right is simply rejecting government intervention into the economy.

Second addendum: Ooops.
John McCain, in a campaign rally this morning, took credit for the resolution and claimed Obama "was on the sidelines". McCain said he, McCain, was pivotal.
Let's give him credit folks. He was pivotal.

Third addendum: The candidates have reacted. McCain is blaming Obama. Obama says "stay calm, because things are never smooth in Congress."

Fourth addendum: Rep. Barney Frank offers to say nice things to the Republicans who changed their vote because Pelosi said mean things to them.

Fifth addendum: Ecoshift says "the sky is not falling."

Paul Krugman on the other hand says we just became a banana republic.

Sixth addendum: Well, I spent a couple of hours scanning the news reports tonight and so far no Republican is willing to explain how Nancy Pelosi's speech derailed the Republican support for the speech per Eric Cantor's press conference. And so far no names of Republicans who changed their minds about the bill because of Pelosi.

Rachel Maddow was in top form tonight. She points out that as things stand, there is NO Republican leadership.


Art imitating life or life imitating art?

McCain adviser and Fox News "reporter" telling us it's unfair to ask Palin questions about foreign policy:

But it seems from the first video that it's unfair to ask her about domestic policy as well. Then again, with domestic policy questions at least she wouldn't end up endorsing Hamas.

This thing about "gotcha questions," I hope Biden jumps all over that one. At this point, what isn't a gotcha question?


From the Frank Jager campaign

Let's be Frank…
Please mark your calendars next week on Thursday, October 2 from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at the Wharfinger Building on the bay for a "Meet the Candidate" fundraiser with Frank Jager, running for Eureka City Council 4th Ward.

Remember all registered voters of Eureka will get to vote in this November 4th election, regardless of which city ward you live.

If you are unable to attend this event, but would like to support Frank please send your checks to:

Friends of Frank Jager
P.O. Box 54
Eureka, CA 95502

The future direction of Eureka is heavily dependent on the outcome of this City Council race. Your commitment to our community is greatly appreciated.
Frank looks forward to seeing you there!
Matthew Owen
Campaign Chair
Frank Jager 4 City Council
P.O. Box 54
Eureka, CA 95502
707-599-9110 cell

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Obama's netroots strategy

I attended a "phone-bank party" today at the home of a friend of a friend while visiting family here in Petaluma. When they talk about Obama's "ground game," they're describing what seems to be a very sophisticated method of using volunteers. The party's are just to prime the pump, but any Obama supporter can participate on his/her own time. First you visit www.mybarackobama.com. You'll have several selections, including "Californias calling Nevadans." You hit the link and you're given 15 names and phone numbers. You hit the link to one of them and you're given a rough script with information to check off and log in, including whom the voters is leaning towards, what issues interest them, whether they want an absentee ballot or more information, etc. There's a box for random information. When you finish with that caller you hit the send box to deliver it to the campaign and then you're brought to the next voter on your list.

You have your choice of battleground states, but they're asking Californian's to focus on Nevada or New Mexico. The lists are taken from voter registration rolls, but it's amazing how many numbers are disconnected. They really hope this will help to clean up the list for GOTV.

I made about 30 calls today, and got through to maybe 10. My fellow phone bankers were getting Obama supporters, the hardest question being whether they would be willing to volunteer. I had mostly undecided voters, and a few McCain supporters. None for Obama, though one voter brought up Obama's connections to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and was shocked when I told him about Davis' (McCain's campaign manager) monetary connections to the same. Others brought up the experience issue, Obama's "connections" and other well-saturated GOP talking points. But nobody I asked had swallowed the claim that Obama's plan would raise taxes on them.

If you support Obama and have some time, you might want to give the program a look. I didn't find anything like it at McCain's site (though they do have a page to encourage McCain supporters to frequent liberal blogs and post talking points). Has this been tried before? Is it working?

Addendum: The shot is of the future president speaking to 26 thousand wet Virginia residents. Would you stand in the rain to hear McCain? Palin? I lifted it it from Daily Kos. Yeah, it's starting to feel like it. I hope he has something to work with once he takes office.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


So who won?

The media consensus seems to give Obama a moderate advantage from the debate. I actually see it as a draw, which I guess ultimately benefits Obama as he's been climbing in the polls due to some real dumb moves by McCain this week and his campaign's difficulties with economic issues.

The election now comes down to those 10 to 20 percent of the voters who are just now thinking about the election and who haven't made their minds up yet. It's the phase that annoys me profoundly because most of these people really don't know what they want and they react in a visceral manner. Obama basically "won" last night because he came across as "presidential," whatever that means, and McCain came across asy a patronizing and grumpy old man. McCain might have earned himself some points with working class white voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio with his dismissive and semi-confrontational attitude, but he probably lost a lot of centrist "soft-Democrats" and independents.

It all annoys me because substantively I would have given at least the foreign policy portion of the debate to McCain, excluding the portion on Iraq where Obama did give McCain a drubbing. Obama made a few points here and there, such as the reference to McCain's stated refusal to meet with the Spanish president (McCain couldn't really respond because he was confused during the interview, probably mixing Gonzales up with Chavez), and his ironically more hawkish stance than McCain's with regard to unilateral actions within Pakistan.

But from my point of view McCain almost made Obama look like a lightweight on the Russian question. He gave a very detailed response showing he understood the situation, dropping names, and referring to hands on experience. When Obama tried to make the connection between the Georgia pipeline issue and energy policy and trailed off into the alternative energy planned he'd already expounded on earlier in the debate, I got quite frustrated and said, "he just lost the debate." I was watching the debate with neighbors and they were incredulous. His response made sense to them. But to me it looked like a dodge. I expected McCain to pounce on it an imply that Obama had to change the subject because he was in over his head. But McCain let himself get baited into the energy debate. Either he succumbed to a impulse to respond to the immediate argument, or he saw whatever my neighbors saw and calculated that he'd better not dismiss it, even though I felt, and still feel having watched the reruns, that Obama didn' really elaborate on the nexus between the relationship with Russia energy issues. Maybe the viewers and the pundits made the leap themselves, because I didn't even see it get discussed on Fox. Does the whole country suffer from ADD?

Anyway, it's one of those moments where I usually get frustrated for my own candidate, where form is discussed over substance. If form is the issue, sure, Obama looked "presidential." It looks like McCain finds himself in the same boat Gore was in for 2000, and Dukakis 20 years ago. Nobody remembers the substance. Everybody harps on the images.

Neither candidate really talked about the bailout and they shook off Lehrer's attempts to get them to go at each other. They didn't bite because neither of them knows what's going to happen next, nor what they might be asked to vote for. It was probably a waste of time to ask them about it.

The polls show a moderate victory for Obama, and his "zero" ad may be the best of the season. I think McCain might be making a mistake with his ad which shows Obama saying "John is right" several times then questions his ability to lead. I don't think most voters will hold those statements against Obama as it looks like somebody "reaching across the aisle" trying to "make consensus," and contrast sharply with McCain's refusal to look at Obama and his grumpy demeanor. I bet that ad doesn't play for more than a day. Probably they should play his response to the Russian question to emphasize his strength - his experience.

Obama missed a few opportunities himself. For instance, McCain didn't call for Cox's resignation. He said he'd fire him if he was president, which would take some doing as the president doesn't have the power to fire Cox. But Obama probably took the strategic (or tactical) view that he didn't want to reduce the debate to "gotcha" moments, but instead reassure undecided voters about the stature crap. Whatever. He's the politician, not me.

Here's "Zero." I'll track down and post the "I agree with John" ad later.

Here it is, and yeah, I think it's a mistake.


And here's a composition video designed by an Obama supporter to underscore the grumpy old man theme.

Wow! Watching CNN tonight, even GOP operative Ed Rollins thinks McCain messed up with his attitude last night, and lost "young independent voters." These people have consulted their focus groups. The final verdict - Obama won. I know it because I saw it on TV.

Actually, this anecdote makes a much better case. We'll see how it plays out in the aggregate, and tomorrow I'm planning to make phone calls to swing voters in Nevada with the Democrats down here in Petaluma. A friend of my mother-in-law roped me in today. I don't know the format, but I hope to be able to flush out some debate impressions.

Second addendum: Tod Gitlin on the presidential race - A Clash of Myths.

And meanwhile, from James Fallows:
When the details of this encounter fade, as they soon will, I think the debate as a whole will be seen as of a piece with Kennedy-Nixon in 1960, Reagan-Carter in 1980, and Clinton-Bush in 1992
If true, this will show how badly I gauge debates. My viewing of the Kennedy-Nixon debate was colored by historical interpretation by the time I got around to it, and when I watched the 80 and 92 debates I didn't think Carter or Bush had done that badly. But by all accounts, Obama may have blown McCain out of the water Friday night.

By the way, 57 million watched the debate Friday night, not counting streaming online or subsequent viewings.

Friday, September 26, 2008


McCain wins debate

No wonder he didn't feel the need to show. He's already won. Yep, the campaign has already released the ads.

From the Fix:
"McCain Wins Debate!" declares the ad which features a headshot of a smiling McCain with an American flag background. Another ad spotted by our eagle-eyed observer featured a quote from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis declaring: "McCain won the debate-- hands down."
The ad image comes from Daily Kos. The ads themselves have been taken down.

Addendum: The Ku Klux Klan intends to attend tonight's debate, basically to hand out pamphlets to audience members. Only in America.

And I guess the implication of this National Review piece is that you can blame Hispanics and homosexuals for the Washington Mutual collapse.

Go ahead. Accuse me of "playing the race card."

Second addendum: A remarkable moment on television, Jack Cafferty to Wolf Blitzer - "Don't make excuses for her!"

What is even more remarkable is Couric's ability to keep a straight face through that answer.


Eureka City Council race news

Redwood ACLU To Hold Civil Liberties Debate For Eureka City Council Candidates

The Redwood Chapter, ACLU is returning to its tradition of hosting well-fought and open debates between candidates for local office, as it has in the past for candidates contesting seats on the Arcata City Council and the Northern Humboldt Union High School District.

For the first time, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union will include the Eureka City Council contests in a debate on local civil liberties issues as well as on other community concerns. The event will be held on Monday, September 29th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Humboldt Bay Water Building, located at 7th and J St. In Eureka.

A “meet and greet” with the invited candidates (Polly Endert, Linda Atkins, Frank Jager, George Clark) will be held just beforehand at 6:00 p.m., where the candidates and other community groups are invited to table with their literature and other materials of civic interest.

“As an organization that always refrains from supporting or opposing candidates for public office, we are in a unique position to provide common ground for dialogue and discussion,” said Redwood ACLU chair Christina Allbright in a letter to the candidates.

The debate format is to start off with a few questions concerning the issues the Redwood Chapter advocates for in the community, followed by questions solicited via notecard from members of the public in the audience. There will be time for rebuttals between candidates in order to foster a vigorous debate, although we also ensure equal time for all the candidates to speak their peace.

The debate is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so community members with questions are strongly encouraged to arrive early.

For more information, call the new ACLU Hotline at 707-442-4419 or visit redwoodaclu.blogspot.com.


Meanwhile here is a press release from the Clark/Atkins campaign. Remember, I run an equal opportunity blog here in terms of candidate press releases. Send then to me and I'll post them.

Dear Friend,

George Clark and Linda Atkins’ campaign continues to gain momentum. Coming off a great week where Linda and George collected key Labor endorsements, the enthusiasm for their Campaign for Change continues to grow.

We’ve produced two 60 second radio ads that we’re hoping to get on the air as soon as possible. Please take a moment to go online and listen to these ads and let us know what you think.

Radio spots are very effective and we’re looking forward to getting these ads on the air. Of course these ads won’t air themselves, they cost around $15 for each 60 second spot. Will you help the campaign by contributing the cost of one or more spots? <www.ClarkAtkins.org/donation.php>

Of course, donations of any amount will be much appreciated. You can also help the campaign by forwarding this email to friends, encouraging them to visit our website, get involved, or make a donation.

We’ve got lots of events coming up <www.ClarkAtkins.org/events.php>. Don’t forget to join us on October 11th, 4pm at Eureka’s Labor Temple, 840 E Street, for George Clark and Linda Atkins’ “Rally for Change.”

Thanks again for your interest and support.

Clark/Atkins Campaign Staff

Alec Johnson
Campaign Director
Clark/Atkins for City Council
322 F Street (Old Town)
Eureka, CA 95501

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Prediction for tomorrow - McCain has to do something

There's somewhat of a dispute as to the impact of the arrival of the presidential candidates to the bailout discussions. The account being reported on CNN tonight is that the Democrats opened up, asking Obama to present their position. When McCain was called on he deferred to House Republicans, as the Senate Republicans remained silent. McCain said very little during the meeting, but the House Republicans started talking.... deregulation. Yup. Deregulation. (One of the female representatives was on Larry King tonight claiming that the crisis was brought about by.... socialism. Yup. Socialism.). They also called for.... tax cuts. Yup. Tax cuts.

The Democrats reportedly went ballistic and the meeting broke down with Republican Shelby walking out and holding the first press conference to slam the Democrats and pronounce the Paulson proposal dead. Some of the reported exchange at the end is below.

McCain said nothing during the two to three hours of what Dodd calls "theater." He went on three networks tonight (ABC, CBS, NBC) and managed to say nothing, nothing, and less than nothing. Oh, he puts country before politics. He said that at least once in each interview. And he calls for town hall meetings with Obama in at least two of the interviews - still don't know what he's trying to prove there.

Then it's reported that there is a meeting at 11:30 tomorrow morning between the Senate Republicans and Senate and House Democrats. The House Republicans are boycotting. They tend to be more conservative than Senate Republicans. They claim that Paulson's proposal (which they're calling the "Democratic Proposal") is socialism, and especially they're rejecting the Democratic proposal to dedicate 20 percent of the equity profits (which they don't like to begin with) to low income foreclosure relief.

Watch for a morning press conference to be called in which McCain has brilliantly negotiated talks between the Senate Republicans and House Republicans. The House Republicans will come to the table. A miracle! And McCain's maverick leadership pulled it off! And deal or no deal, he can fly to Mississippi in triumph, with doves flying around him and the clouds parting in the sky with a blessing beam of light from on high.

My visiting mother says it won't happen. She says the conservative wing hates McCain despite his Palin pick. But they're probably looking for a way out, and McCain needs the feather in his cap. It's symbiotic. They don't have to like each other.

He's got to do something that makes him look like a leader in the next 24 hours. If he shows up to the debate without doing that, he looks like an idiot. If he doesn't show up he gives Obama free and clear access to 35 million people. He's got to do something drastic tomorrow, because he pretty much wasted today and you can tell it from the subdued tone in his nothing interviews.

His problem is that he's not on the banking community and as he's admitted he really doesn't know anything about it. It's why he didn't speak at the meeting today. He looked like he was winging it (it was reported yesterday that he hadn't even read the Paulson Report). So he's got to deliver another Palin moment. Getting the House Democrats to come out to play seems like the best bet.

And watching the news tonight - I've never seen a president become such a non-entity as our present one. Absolutely discounted as a player in this thing. He gave a horrible speech last night, 12 minutes long. It's Paulson's show. Or it was anyway. Anyway, Bush is pushing for Paulson's original plan. The one which makes Paulson a financial dictator.

Addendum: Well, maybe I was giving McCain too much credit. He's going to the debate. That gives him 10 hours to cook something up. I don't think he would be announcing his intention to attend the debate if he had anything in the works, but this is quite the roller coaster ride. Anything can happen. Or not.

Second addendum: Well, maybe I was right after all. From Red State:
ABC News' Jonathan Karl Reports: John McCain made an urgent appeal to House Republicans at their 9:30 leadership meeting Friday morning.

A senior House GOP leadership aide involved in the negotiations described McCain's message this way, "We need a deal. We need a deal. We need a deal."

[snip about how the debate is a factor, and how McCain needs progress on this it - I'm trying to keep to fair use here, and I don't want to try to obscure what is a fair point - Moe Lane]

House Republicans seem poised to cave on this (says one House Republican, "We don't want to be seen as obstructionists"), although they have been assured that some of their ideas can be incorporated into the final deal.


No bailout deal - nobody knows what's happening

No deal. I guess.

From Daily Kos - no campaign suspension in effect:

But, what - exactly - did he "suspend"? His surrogates are all over television, attacking Obama. His campaign ads are still running and his Internet fundraising is still operational. McCain's press crew is fully operational. He spent the day with Rick Davis, his lobbyist campaign manager. And all of his campaign offices are still open and fully operational.

And now comes word via Jonathan Martin at The Politico that McCain will spend the evening doing interviews on ABC, NBC, and CBS.

Dodd is accusing McCain and the GOP of derailing negotiations.

Mark Armbinder reports on the White House meeting:

During the White House meeting, it appears that Sen. John McCain had an agenda. He brought up alternative proposals, surprising and angering Democrats. He did not, according to someone briefed on the meeting, provide specifics.

I can't make any sense out of the online media reports. I'll see if the broadcast media does any better tonight.

Addendum: Paulson agrees that the Republicans derailed the agreement, for what it's worth. Barney Frank blames McCain.

As Democrats met afterwards in the White House's Roosevelt Room, Paulson told them, "Please don't blow this up," after which angry Democrats are said to have argued House Republicans were jeopardizing the deal, according to sources.

Sources say Frank was livid, saying 'Don't say that to us after all we've been through!'

House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., reportedly said, "We're not the ones trying to blow this up. It's the House Republicans."

Paulson is said to have replied, "I know, I know."

The House Republicans have come with a new proposal that Paulson opposes.

Democrats involved in the negotiations are reportedly very upset that the nearly-agreement now appears to be in jeopardy.

Second addendum: Yup. McCain pulled a stunt. I don't know if he has ideological objections to whatever was in the bailout plan, or whether he wants to delay matters to showboat and/or dodge the debate, but it looks like his presence undid the process. Chris Dodd was obviously pissed off, but trying to keep it positive in this interview.

"It was a rescue plan for John McCain. This was theater for the last two hours."

"The Paulson Plan is dead."

Third addendum:
Obama - "It's amazing what you can get done when you aren't looking to take credit."

Watch CBS Videos Online

As for the mythical campaign suspension, from MYDD:

As Jonathan noted earlier, John McCain's suspension of his campaign is a complete sham. Cribbing from Scout Finch:

  • Surrogates and advisors on the teevee attacking Obama? Check.

  • Campaign ads still on the air? Check.

  • Online fundraising still operational? Check.

  • Still meeting with campaign manager? Check.

  • Campaign offices open for business? Check.

  • VP running mate still out campaigning? Check. Check.

The Obama campaign is on it. This from a campaign memo:

So make no mistake: John McCain did not "suspend" his campaign. He just turned a national crisis into an occasion to promote his campaign. It's become just another political stunt, aimed more at shoring up the Senator's aimed more at shoring up the Senator's political fortunes than the nation's economy. And it does nothing to help advance this critical legislation to protect the American people during this time of economic crisis.

A pretty obvious conclusion to make, right? Now if only the press would report on it.


A tortious nation of whiners!

That's all people do anymore. Sue, sue, sue!

Buck up! I mean, well, figuratively.


Gunderson verdict

Innocent of rape, guilty of gun violations and battery.


McCain 9/24/08 - summarized

Here is part of the summary. The whole thing can be found at www.electoral-vote.com.
John McCain suspended his campaign, stopped running ads, and said he would not participate in the first debate scheduled for tomorrow at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. He said that the nation is on the brink of a serious recession and this is no time for politics. McCain has been in the Senate 25 years. He knows precisely what will happen if he barges into the office of Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), chairman of the Senate banking committee and announces: "OK, Outta here, I'm taking over now. Dodd's reaction would not be printable on a family Website like this one and McCain would be instantly and unceremoniously shown the door. There are two people responsible for writing banking bills: Dodd and his House counterpart Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA). If Dodd wants input from the Republicans on this, he will ask the ranking member on his committee, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). McCain and Obama play no role and McCain knows that very well.

So why did McCain propose cancelling the debate? In a word: politics. By flying into D.C. as the savior he might appear as a man of action to people who don't know how the Senate works. The reality of course, is that Obama and McCain's appearance in Dodd's office would instantly turn the entire event into a political circus. If left alone, Dodd can come up with a bill a lot faster than with McCain, Obama, and the entire national press corps in the room "helping." A second point is that by pulling all his TV ads, he saves money, something Obama has more of. McCain may need that money at the end of October, so a penny not spent now is a penny available in October.

McCain not only cancelled his ads, he also cancelled his appearance on David Letterman's show. Letterman wasn't so happy. Here is a video of his reaction.

It's been suggested that if McCain doesn't show for the debate that Obama should offer Biden in his place. Personally, I think they should bring in the Saturday Night Live guy.

Addendum: Here's a collection of media reactions to McCain's move. Here are some more.

Slightly different subject, here's a net-ad with clips of Israeli citizens heaping praise on Obama. I'm not quite sure what the point is. I'm not sure if the target audience is American Jews or foreign policy moderates. Either way, it's pure propoganda, but an interesting watch.

And getting back to the topic at hand, gee, it looks like McCain's already done some good work. A deal is reportedly near. Can't tell for certain, but it does look like public equity is in the works. Basically, they are partially socializing the banking system, and not just the losses. I have no idea whether this will work. Apparently none of the experts do either. We just have to do "something" goes the mantra.

Meanwhile, on the poll front, Obama has taken a lead in North Carolina for the first time, though recent polls had them close. Rasmussen is a Republican outfit by the way. Obama has pretty much gained in every state over the past week except New Hampshire, which has trended McCain. Minnesota is also too close for comfort for Obama. But Obama has consolidated the Hispanic vote and consequently opened up large leads in Colorado and New Mexico. It's very close in Nevada, and Obama's California volunteers have been asked to bombard Nevada with phone calls - not sure if that'll benefit Obama or backfire. Obama is also very close in Indiana, in theory due to the Chicago airwave media, but McCain is not yet spending money there. He has reportedly given up on Iowa however where Obama has big leads. Meanwhile, Obama has moved most of his people out of South Dakota. They're heading for Minnesota and Wisconsin. He will leave a residual force in Montana, though those polls have pretty much consolidated for McCain since the convention.

Second addendum: McCain has apparently suspended his suspension. He has not yet even read Paulsen's report, and he is not a member of the banking committee, so it's not clear what he actually intends to do if and when he gets to Washington.

Third addendum: A tentative bailout agreement has been reached. Presidential politics aside, I'm shuddering a little bit in anticipation of details. It sounds like there were serious compromises and I'm all for reinstating regulations, but from my point of view letting one or two major banks fail wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing either. Of course, I'm no expert.

Meanwhile, Stephen Colbert suspended his show, and called upon Jon Stewart to do the same.

And Survey USA polling indicates that 90 percent of Americans want Friday night's debate as scheduled.

Fourth addendum: Okay, I don't know why the Colbert video isn't showing up on my screen. I've got the embed codes in. I'll look into it later.

Meanwhile, PEW Research has a poll comparison analysis which suggests that landline-only polls are skewing towards McCain as cell-phone only users tend to be younger. Thing is, I heard this argument in 2004, that the polls were all going to be proven wrong. But the cell-phone cavalry never arrived.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Hoedown and Irie Boogie WILL take place at the Community Park as planned

From the Southern Humboldt Community Park:

Some recent communications between the Southern Humboldt Community Park and County Planning Division regarding clarification of the types of activities that are permitted to take place under zoning regulations have resulted in a temporary misunderstanding.

Community Park was surprised early this week by a notification from the County Planning Division stating that two events scheduled to take place at the Community Park in the immediate future (the Humboldt Hoedown and the Irie Boogie) required special permits, as they went beyond activities allowable under the applicable zoning regulations.

Although the park and the promoters involved took immediate action to try to relocate these events (before the misunderstanding was clarified), the late timing of this notice precluded doing so. The Hoedown and Boogie will take place at the Park as previously noticed and planned.

A dialogue between the Parks Board of Directors and Planning Department staff is underway to arrive at a compliance agreement and to lay out a path that will lead to the satisfaction of all planning department requirements. Until such agreement is reached, no other events will be scheduled to take place at the Community Park.


Meet Clif in Redway on Sunday

From the Clendenen campaign:

Clendenen to host BBQ in Redway

The Clendenen for Supervisor Campaign will be hosting a BBQ dinner at the historic Barnum hunting cabin on River Road in lower Redway on Sunday, September 28th from 4pm – 7pm. Clif Clendenen will be present and speaking informally with guests about his views, listening to their concerns and answering questions. Everyone is invited to attend and meet Clif.

A barbecue dinner will be served, featuring organic Humboldt County grown beef along with local cider, wines, micro-brews, produce and desserts. Admission is free, with donations gladly accepted. “It should be a great day in Redway,” said Clif. “I look forward to meeting as many 2nd district residents as possible.”

For more information about the event or directions contact Jim or Barb Truitt at 923-3894

Clif Clendenen is a candidate for Humboldt County supervisor from the Second District. For more information on Clendenen and the issues, or to volunteer or donate, contact his campaign headquarters in Fortuna at 725-4146 or visit his website at www.clendenen4supervisor.com.

For more information contact:

Bill Thorington, campaign manager

(707) 496-4703 manager@clendenen4supervisor.com Clif Clendenen,

(707) 496-4495 press@clendenen4supervisor.com


Breaking: Hoedown ( second correction) WILL NOT be moved to the Mateel Hall

Refer to the most recent post above.


Obama and McCain to issue joint statement

By email from the Obama campaign:
At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal. At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama’s call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details.
Good news? Let's wait to see what they actually say.

Addendum: McCain says he will suspend his campaign as of Thursday, and has requested that Friday night's debate be delayed. I can understand the suspension of the campaigns, but why not hold the debate? Just hold it in Washington DC.

Second addendum: Obama is going to speak on the networks shortly. From MSNBC:
An Obama campaign official told ABC News the Democratic presidential candidate called McCain this morning to suggest a joint statement of principles.

McCain called back this afternoon and suggested returning to Washington.

Obama is willing to return to Washington "if it would be helpful." But reiterated Obama intends to debate on Friday.

Third addendum: Harold Reid to McCain - We have a process, don't inject presidential politics into this. Apparently there was a telephone call.

Chuck Schumer: "What McCain did was just weird."

So what is McCain's game, bipartisanship or showboating?

And Obama thinks they can chew gum and walk at the same time:
"This is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who in 40 days will become responsible for this mess. It will be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once."
Third addendum: Ooops. The McCain campaign let slip to the media their talking points memo about suspending the campaign. The memo is posted above.
Told by a reporter that the e-mail had been sent to him and others in the media, Kise said, “F*ck, tell me I didn’t send it to the wrong list.”

Kise said the talking points were meant for McCain volunteers.
Meanwhile, President Bush has called for a meeting with Obama tomorrow, which Obama has accepted.

Meanwhile in Mississippi:
Andrew Mullins, special assistant to university Chancellor Robert Khayat, told ABC News that the Ole Miss campus has been transformed to accommodate the candidates and the press. Road blocks are in place on campus and in the community and the debate television set for the candidates has already been constructed. He said the university has spent roughly five and half million dollars getting ready for the debate.

Mullins also noted that if the Commission on Presidential Debates asks the campus to hold the debate at a later date, he is not sure the university would be able to accommodate them.

"It's huge. You cannot just say that you're not going to do this thing," Mullins said. "I don't have any idea whether we do the debate" at a later date. "(We) probably wouldn't do it."

For now, Mullins, says the university is proceeding like they're still having the debate until the commission makes a decision.

Fourth addendum: Katherine Jean-Lopez, arch-conservative National Review writer, says:
Some of this is a lot of nonsense, but if I'm just getting home from work and I only pay casual attention to these debates, Obama sounds reasonable and less gimmicky than McCain.

He says that there is no reason why we can't do more than one thing at once. Obama says it is "more important than ever" to have a debate.

Obama says he called McCain this morning and announced that he wanted to do a no-politics-as-usual joint statement about addressing the market mess. He says that McCain wanted to insist on meeting with the president and congressional leaders too. Obama says Obama said: Let's do the statement, go from there. Obama says he thought McCain was thinking about the joint statement, working on with staff, when McCain went on TV. So now Obama is on TV.

Obama says he's told Pelosi, Reid, and Paulson that "if I can be helpful, I am prepared to be [in dc] anytime" but I don't want to infuse presidential politics on the hill and goes on about how presidents need to be able to multitask.

Obama may win this campaign moment yet. If McCain protests, he looks petty.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Measure T injunction

Enforcement of Measure T has been stayed. I haven't read the decision, but you can read the documents at the Pacific Legal Foundation website. The NCJ blog has a post with links as well.


Drink up!

Sometimes, there's just nothing to say.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has decided there's no need to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has fouled public water supplies around the country.

EPA reached the conclusion in a draft regulatory document not yet made public but reviewed Monday by The Associated Press.

The ingredient, perchlorate, has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses, according to some scientists.

The EPA document says that mandating a clean-up level for perchlorate would not result in a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public-water systems."

The conclusion, which caps years of dispute over the issue, was denounced by Democrats and environmentalists who accused EPA of caving to pressure from the Pentagon.

More through the link.


Palin's press relations

I guess Sarah Palin expected the media to take pictures of her shaking hands with certain foreign and international leaders at the U.N. today. But she refused to answer questions, basically expecting to use them for her own P.R. Apparently some of the press wouldn't play. From Yahoo News:

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has not held a press conference in nearly four weeks of campaigning, on Tuesday banned reporters from her first meetings with world leaders, allowing access only to photographers and a television crew.

CNN, which was providing the television coverage for news organizations, decided to pull its TV crew, effectively denying Palin the high visibility she had sought...

Those sessions and meetings scheduled for Wednesday are part of the Republican campaign's effort to give Palin experience in foreign affairs. She has never met a foreign head of state and first traveled outside North America just last year.

The campaign told the TV producer, print and wire reporters in the press pool that follows the Alaska governor that they would not be admitted with the photographers and camera crew taken in to photograph the meetings. At least two news organizations, including The Associated Press, objected and were told that the decision was not subject to discussion.

In the face of a boycott, the McCain campaign relented slightly. From TVNewser:

TVNewser has learned all the networks were prepared to ban the use of pictures and video from Gov. Sarah Palin's meetings at the UN today. The ban was in protest of the McCain campaign's restriction on editorial presence.

We hear the networks had arranged for a pool camera to cover all the meetings, and at least three journalists were to be present as well (one print, one radio, one TV). Earlier today, the McCain campaign said it would allow just one editorial person inside. Later, the campaign limited it to a camera only.

Within the last few minutes, the campaign reversed course

This was the product, from CNN:
This was the only exchange that was heard:

"What is his name?," Palin asked.

"Mirwais," Karzai responded. "Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.’"

"Oh nice," Palin responded.

"He is the only one we have," remarked Karzai.

At this point, the pool was hustled out the room and down to the hotel lobby. Pool was in the room for a grand total of 29 seconds.
Addendum: The Humane Society has endorsed Obama.

And remember last week when the McCain campaign was trying to tie Obama to Freddie Mac? Man did that ever backfire!

Meanwhile, conservative columnist George Will slammed McCain yesterday, criticizing his temperament over the past week's financial crisis. Will he endorse Obama?

On the other side, Joe Biden broke ranks with the campaign and called that lame ad about McCain's computer ignorance "terrible." I bet he got a yelling at this morning.

Second addendum: CNN's Campbell Brown comments on the sexist treatment of Sarah Palin.

It's a keeper. For those of you on dial-up, here's the transcript.
"Tonight I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment," said Brown. "This woman is from Alaska from crying out loud. She is strong. She is tough. She is competent. And you claim she is ready to be one heart beat away form the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters... Let her have a real news conference with real questions. By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chain you are binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So let her act like one."

Third addendum: Palin almost took a question, but the big guy shut her down. From politico:
This is what happens when campaigns let reporters into photo ops. They get all uppity and ask questions.

From the pool report account of what happened after McCain and Palin's meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvilli and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko:

McCain then looked around the room and gestured as if to welcome questions. The AP reporter shouted a question at Gov. Palin (“Governor, what have you learned from your meetings?”) but McCain aide Brooke Buchanan intervened and shepherded everybody out of the room.

Palin looked surprised, leaned over to McCain and asked him a question, to which your pooler thinks he shook his head as if to say “No.”

Monday, September 22, 2008


Humboldt Hoedown this weekend

On Saturday, September 27th, Mateel Community Center will present the 4th annual Humboldt Hoedown at the Southern Humboldt Community Park in Garberville. An all day celebration of bluegrass and beyond, Humboldt Hoedown 2008 will feature performances by Sam Bush Band, Devil Makes 3, David Lindley, Laura Love & Harpers Ferry, and the best local and regional string bands for what is sure to be the best Hoedown to date. Also on tap will be a variety of vending booths, music/ dance workshops, jamming opportunities, a lively kid zone, the soon-to-be-famous Road Apple Raffle, and lots more in a benefit for the Mateel Community Center. Tickets on sale by September 1st at the usual local outlets and online at www.inticketing.com
for an advance price of $40(MCC members) and $45 (general).
Tickets at the gate will be $50. Gates open at 11am and music goes until 11pm. For more info or to sign up as a vendor, contact the Mateel office at (707) 923-3368

And let me just add that I'm glad the Mateel stopped catering to the provincialism that looked down on a "hoedown" (refer to the discussion of a year ago) and reclaimed the name (having abandoned it last year). Kudos.


McCain complains

I got this video from this Kos post about a conference call McCain held today.

Sen. John McCain’s top campaign aides convened a conference call today to complain of being called "liars." They pressed the media to scrutinize specific elements of Sen. Barack Obama’s record.

But the call was so rife with simple, often inexplicable misstatements of fact that it may have had the opposite effect: to deepen the perception, dangerous to McCain, that he and his aides have little regard for factual accuracy.

The errors in McCain strategist Steve Schmidt’s charges against Obama and Sen. Joe Biden were particularly notable because they seemed unnecessary. Schmidt repeatedly gilded the lily: He exaggerated the Biden family's already problematic ties to the credit card industry; Obama’s embarrassing relationship with a 1960s radical; and an Obama supporter’s over-the-top attack on Sarah Palin when — in each case — the truth would have been damaging enough.

"Any time the Obama campaign is criticized at any level, the critics are immediately derided as liars," Schmidt told reporters.

But as he went on to list a series of stories he thought reporters should be writing about Obama and Biden, in almost every instance he got the details wrong.

Yesterday on my way to the blogger's picnic I heard Counterspin report on a discussion with a CNN media panel on whether the media is bound to make McCain's lying look "symmetrical" with Obama's. When asked if McCain was lying more than Obama, CNN's Candy Crowley responded "I'm not prepared to be the one to say that." Fortunately, others on the same panel (about a week and a half ago) were willing to say that McCain's lying has gone beyond the threshold of what is expected in campaigns, and two of them did what Crowley wouldn't. They said that McCain is lying more often and more profoundly than Obama.

It's a sad state of affairs when you have to measure the rate of lying, but apparently taking things out of context, stretching the implications, and flat out misleading are prerequisites for winning elections these days. Voters claim they hate it, but like negative campaigning, they reward it. The difference here is that McCain is lying almost with a sense of entitlement about it.

If reported accurately above, this conference call probably didn't help McCain. Not only is it reminiscent of Kerry's whining in 2004, but it doesn't help when you make up facts to justify your argument. Fortunately for him we're slipping into a depression and that's probably going to be on the minds of voters more than misleading ads about teaching sex in kindergarten, lies about Obama's tax plan, and stretches of the truth about Rezko, Ayers, and Wright.


A suggestion to a shopper

When you're in Shopsmart and you show up at the check-out stand with 6 boxes of turkey oven bags and a pack of Lifesavers, you're kind of telegraphing yourself.

Just in case you care.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Blogger's picnic

In Rio Dell this afternoon. A very nice afternoon to meet the physical incarnations of local online personalities. Carol and Greg have some shots.

Thanks to Ekovox and Joel for putting together a great event.

Addendum: So, it was great meeting Rose, Fred, Monica, Tom S., Ekovox, and others for the first time. I just missed meeting Richard Marks, which was a bummer. He had to leave for a softball game and I wasn't there until after 1:00. A few brought their significant others, and it seems almost universal that our spouses/partners think we're nuts for embarking on these things. I didn't catch his name, but there was a very nice reporter from the Beacon who didn't even know what a blog is but read Nathan Rushton's story and decided it was worth covering.

Oh, and I caught this photo of Heraldo enjoying some melon just before he left.

Addendum: Speaking of Heraldo, he's got some great coverage of yesterday's McCain/Palin rally in Eureka.

Second addendum: Monica was the youngest of this older crowd, and I wonder if our average age wasn't the highest of any blogger gathering anywhere. Isn't blogging supposed to be a young person's sport? She was live blogging the event with her blackberry. Let's all thank John McCain.

Beachcomber also has some fun photos from the event. I just realized they aren't on my list!

And Ekovox has a comprehensive write-up.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


"Obama's Mama was trash"

I don't think this video is satire. There's nothing around his site that suggests it other than this one. You won't be bored with it. And it really gets good at the end where he let's it all out. Basically, the argument is that in the 1950s, the white women who were attracted to black men were trash. The racists were good people.


The above video made me think of Rev. Wright. Coincidentally, my right wing sources tell me that McCain, who's been hammered this week, is dusting off the good reverend for a return campaign appearance. Will it look desperate, or do they have something new to add to the mix? At this point McCain has to do what he can to remind everyone that Obama is black. Billy Ayers isn't doing it. Michelle hasn't gaffed recently. I can't imagine that Obama hasn't been preparing for the possibility. As long as Wright himself keeps his mouth shut, Obama should be fine. But Wright seemed kind of annoyed at being tossed under that bus months ago, and he has a book to sell.


As we know, McCain and Palin are joined at the hip right now. The prevailing assumption is that she's going to say something stupid and needs to be kept in check. But there's a competing assumption, which actually makes more sense, that the campaign is concerned with the fact that she would draw larger crowds than McCain. Gail Collins has an op-ed piece in the NY Times where she says:
On Friday, McCain looked steamed when he gave a new policy speech in Wisconsin with Sarah Palin at his side. The Republicans have discovered that McCain can't draw a crowd without Palin, and the dangers of letting her float off by herself are apparent. So the two are manacled together these days like Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in that old escape-from-a-chain-gang movie.
The piece discusses McCain's speech in which he blamed Obama for the banking crisis.


A friend sent me this video link about a cryptic quote and reference to "a writer" in Palin's acceptance speech. The writer is Westbrook Pegler, who was a rabid anti-Semite. It's a serious subject and I find the video makers' mask and robot voice a stupid annoyance, but there is some interesting content. Thing is, I really don't think the speech writers knew whom they were quoting, or they probably wouldn't have used it. It probably came from a generic quote site. It doesn't look good in light of the Jews-for-Jesus controversy with her church and her passivity during that talk, and you would think they would bother to Google the quote for attribution purposes, but I wouldn't read too much into it in terms of linking Palin to Pegler.


Iowa, of all places, is looking like a lock for Obama. Three polls in a row have him with double digit leads. McCain and Palin were there on Thursday, but the talk is that they are pulling out of the state. Iowa went to Bush in 2004.


Addendum: A clip from Saturday Night Live last night. Al Franken, who has pulled even in his run against Norm Coleman, is reported to have written it.


Bailout bill establishes a dictatorship

You think I'm being melodramatic? I just read the bill. This establishes power in the executive which is unreviewable by either of the other two branches of government (meaning no recourse for any institution aggrieved).
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.

No meaningful oversight. Two reports to certain congressional committees per year. No guarantees as to what would even be presented at those meetings except that they will have to report on how they're stabilizing the financial markets and to "protect the taxpayer," whatever the f--- that means.

Basically the Secretary of Treasury would be given full broad power to buy mortgage related assets from any US based financial institutions, on terms the Secretary of Treasury deem warranted. This means the financial institutions could be strong-armed. It also leaves open the possibility of sweet deals.
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.
Oh, and it gets better. The Treasury Secretary can write whatever regulations it needs to guide the activity of financial institutions it declares to be "agents of the Government." And you'll be comforted to know that the Secretary of Treasury can't spend any more than 700 billion dollars on these purchases.

Oh, and we would now be limited to just over 11 trillion dollars in debt, up from the current 8 trillion. Oh, but we aren't supposed to worry about debt, only the debt to GDP ratio, right?

Right. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Just as we thought the Bush administration would go quietly into the night. Figures he'd see a financial crisis created largely by Reagan's deregulation as one more opportunity to move us towards a banana republic.

It's a very short and to-the-point bill. No sunset clause. Any Constitution lawyers out there ready to comment on whether this law would even be revocable under the terms stated?

Paul Krugman says no deal.
I hate to say this, but looking at the plan as leaked, I have to say no deal. Not unless Treasury explains, very clearly, why this is supposed to work, other than through having taxpayers pay premium prices for lousy assets.

As I posted earlier today, it seems all too likely that a “fair price” for mortgage-related assets will still leave much of the financial sector in trouble. And there’s nothing at all in the draft that says what happens next; although I do notice that there’s nothing in the plan requiring Treasury to pay a fair market price. So is the plan to pay premium prices to the most troubled institutions? Or is the hope that restoring liquidity will magically make the problem go away?

Addendum: Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has some other ideas.

Second addendum: Obama's "six point plan" includes relief for foreclosure victims. Update: Make that a seven point plan.

Third addendum: For the moment, Pelosi's showing some spine.

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