Archive for October 1st, 2008

“I Got A Better Chance Of Getting Laid.”

I think this is the money quote from the Rolling Stone’s merciless McCain takedown. Bear in mind that this exchange takes place after the POW experience that McCain claims made him a better man:

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

“I’m going to the Middle East,” Dramesi says. “Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran.”

“Why are you going to the Middle East?” McCain asks, dismissively.

“It’s a place we’re probably going to have some problems,” Dramesi says.

“Why? Where are you going to, John?”

“Oh, I’m going to Rio.”

“What the hell are you going to Rio for?”

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

“I got a better chance of getting laid.”

Charming.  If that’s what he was like after his transformative experience, I don’t even want to think about what he was like before.

October 1st, 2008 at 11:17pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Media,Quotes,Republicans,Wankers

Shorter David Leonhardt

First the financial crisis came for the billionaires,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a billionaire.

Then it came for the millionaires,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a millionaire.

Then it came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

(h/t dakine)

October 1st, 2008 at 10:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Media

Michael Moore’s Ten-Point Bailout Plan

Of course, as the Republicans are happy to point out, Michael Moore is fat, so you can safely ignore everything he says…

1. APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO CRIMINALLY INDICT ANYONE ON WALL STREET WHO KNOWINGLY CONTRIBUTED TO THIS COLLAPSE….

2. THE RICH MUST PAY FOR THEIR OWN BAILOUT….

3. BAIL OUT THE PEOPLE LOSING THEIR HOMES, NOT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BUILD AN EIGHTH HOME….

4. IF YOUR BANK OR COMPANY GETS ANY OF OUR MONEY IN A “BAILOUT,” THEN WE OWN YOU….

5. ALL REGULATIONS MUST BE RESTORED. THE REAGAN REVOLUTION IS DEAD….

6. IF IT’S TOO BIG TO FAIL, THEN THAT MEANS IT’S TOO BIG TO EXIST….

7. NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD BE PAID MORE THAN 40 TIMES THEIR AVERAGE EMPLOYEE, AND NO EXECUTIVE SHOULD RECEIVE ANY KIND OF “PARACHUTE” OTHER THAN THE VERY GENEROUS SALARY HE OR SHE MADE WHILE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY….

8. STRENGTHEN THE FDIC AND MAKE IT A MODEL FOR PROTECTING NOT ONLY PEOPLE’S SAVINGS, BUT ALSO THEIR PENSIONS AND THEIR HOMES….

9. EVERYBODY NEEDS TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, CALM DOWN, AND NOT LET FEAR RULE THE DAY….

10. CREATE A NATIONAL BANK, A “PEOPLE’S BANK.” If we really are itching to print up a trillion dollars, instead of giving it to a few rich people, why don’t we give it to ourselves? Now that we own Freddie and Fannie, why not set up a people’s bank? One that can provide low-interest loans for all sorts of people who want to own a home, start a small business, go to school, come up with the cure for cancer or create the next great invention. And now that we own AIG, the country’s largest insurance company, let’s take the next step and provide health insurance for everyone….

I especially like the idea of using the now-nationalized AIG as a force for good.  And as you can see, the whole plan isn’t actually in all-caps…

October 1st, 2008 at 09:18pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy

Tom Brokaw Is As Modest As He Is Impartial

Now that the right wing is all frothed up about how Gwen Ifill can’t be a neutral moderator for the VP debate because she’s written a book about “emerging young African-American politicians,” Media Matters was kind enough to point out Tom Brokaw and Bob Schieffer’s pro-Republican conflicts of interest, which were somehow never a problem.

Here’s the best part:

Mr. Brokaw said he had been told by a senior McCain aide, whom he did not name, that the campaign had been reluctant to accept an NBC representative as one of the moderators of the three presidential debates — until his name was invoked.

“One of the things I was told by this person was that they were so irritated, they said, ‘If it’s an NBC moderator, for any of these debates, we won’t go,’ ” Mr. Brokaw said. “My name came up, and they said, ‘Oh, hell, we have to do it, because it’s going to be Brokaw.’ “

Everybody loves Brokaw!  I guess it’s because he’s so humble and self-effacing.

October 1st, 2008 at 07:54pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Media,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Bailout Skepticism

Thomas Frank is skeptical about the causes:

There is no doubt that Fannie and Freddie enabled the subprime neurosis, but for certain conservatives they are virtually the only malefactors worth noting. The dirge goes like this: Fannie and Freddie were buying up subprime mortgages, and they were doing it for (liberal) political reasons. Mortgage originators thus had no choice but to hand out mortgages like candy. Had market forces been in charge, loans would, no doubt, have been administered with a rigor and sternness to make John Calvin blanch.

I asked Bill Black, a professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an authority on the Savings and Loan debacle of the 1980s, what he thought of the latest blame offensive. He pointed out that, for all their failings, Fannie and Freddie didn’t originate any of the bad loans — that disastrous piece of work was done by purely private, largely unregulated companies, which did it for the usual bubble-logic reason: to make a quick buck.

(…)

Ah, but truth is no ally to a conservative with his back to the wall. So much more helpful are the trusty narratives on which the movement was built. So when we have dispatched this first canard, we learn from other conservatives that it is the sub-prime people who are to blame; that by taking out loans they couldn’t possibly pay off, these undesirable borrowers have ruined us all.

(…)

Just imagine the flights of fancy that the theory of borrower malevolence and Wall Street victimization requires conservatives to take: All these no-account folks, you see, got together and forced investment banks to engineer subprime mortgages into highly leveraged securities. Then they tricked all manner of hedge funds and pension funds and financial institutions into buying these lousy products. Just for good measure, these struggling homeowners then persuaded bond-rating agencies to misrepresent the risk associated with these securities.

Ah yes, the all-powerful liberals and poor people who secretly control our government and force it to screw them over again and again to camouflage their influence.  Diabolical.

And Dean Baker is skeptical about the effects:

While all right-thinking people might know we need the bailout, just about all right-thinking people don’t have a clue as to what they are talking about.

….No one has yet sketched out the sequence of events that will give us ten years of double-digit unemployment. But hey, if the scare story helps get the bailout passed — and gets those uneducated skeptics in the hinterlands to buy it — why not talk about the Great Depression?

(…)

It is remarkable how the contemptuous comments that the elites have directed at the masses for opposing the bailout can be so much more accurately directed back at themselves. In fear and anger they have embraced a bailout that makes little sense in the context of the economic crisis facing the country. Rather than listening people who actually understand the economy (I doubt a single economist in the country believes that the bailout is the best way to help the economy) they have shouted down and shut out critics of the bailout and have been willing to spread all manner of outlandish scare stories to advance their case.

Just like being in favor of invading Iraq instead of focusing on where the terrorists actually live was (and possibly still is) a sign of Seriousness, so too is being in favor of a gargantuan, crippling “bailout” that wouldn’t actually fix the problem, and would cripple the government’s ability to enact reform for the next 10-20 years.

But what do I know, I post Mr. T videos and stories about Bat Boy.

October 1st, 2008 at 11:35am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Politics,Republicans

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

We are saved!

UPDATE: The lower house of the U.S. Congress has voted down the rescue plan to bail out Wall Street. Henry Paulson has called on Bat Boy to persuade those in the House of Representatives who rejected it to move the plan forward.

Bat Boy seemed confident that a bounty of mosquitoes and his collection of bird skulls will do the trick.

09/25/08 – A financial crisis has been averted!

WASHINGTON, DC – Henry Paulson has proposed Bat Boy to be Deputy Treasury Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. The Senate is understandably skeptical of this recommendation.

“I mean, people are saying Sarah Palin isn’t qualified enough to be Vice-President, and she’s a governor! This bailout boy lives in a cave!”, exclaimed an unnamed Senator. He wished to remain anonymous, for fear of mutant backlash.

Paulson’s reasoning?

While experimenting in his cave, Bat Boy discovered a rare form of guano left by his fellow bats. This peak guano is such an effective form of alternative energy, the government will be able to sell it as an oil -alternative domestically and abroad for a tidy profit, thus covering the $1 trillion dollar cost of bailing out the financial system.

Paulson also stated, “Bailout Boy will not require lavish executive pay or even a hefty bonus. Bat Boy has asked to be compensated entirely in mosquitoes–an abundant commodity that we are happy to be unloading at this time.”

Is there anything Bat Boy can’t do???

October 1st, 2008 at 07:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News


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