September 24, 2008 archive

Something to think about ahead of Friday!

That is, unless John really doesn’t debate on Friday.

This is my story – I hope that it finds you (Part II)

Disclaimer:  Once again I beg your indulgence for posting a diary such as this during a time of momentous events.  It is neither overtly political nor topical.  It is however a true story of life in these United States and I offer it here for those of us who could use the diversion.  With respect to topical matters I have only this to say:  the ‘bailout deal’ is another Republican rip-off, hold the responsible accountable, and ensure that the American people are the primary beneficiaries of any deal.  At this point I am inclined to say let there be no bailout at all.  Let the market that the fat cats have worshiped be their master.  That philosophical note being made, I think the chances of the American people getting what is best for them out of this situation are, regrettably, slim to none.



There was an overwhelming response to Part I of this series.  The community was very kind and I was deeply touched.  Thank you all for that.  

There were only a couple of comments that were perhaps less than kind – but they had their own merits I suppose.  One person asked the name of the guy who was killed and asked if he was just a statistic to me.  I thought it inappropriate to respond at the time, but after mulling it over I now think I should.

Four at Four

  1. McClatchy Newspapers report Iraq’s parliament approves landmark elections law. Iraq’s parliament unanimously passed the provincial elections law after months of fighting. “A debate over who will control Kirkuk, an oil-rich northern city, was the main sticking point delaying an agreement during the last legislative session.” Parliament decided to sidestep this concern, and postpone elections in Kirkuk.

    The passage of the law means elections to choose provincial and local leaders across Iraq can move forward. It’s unclear whether they will be held by the end of the year, as the United States had hoped.

    The NY Times adds “In passing the bill, the lawmakers simply delayed dealing with the two most divisive issues they faced: how to resolve a quarrel among ethnic groups over the control of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in the north and how best to achieve political representation for Iraq’s Christians and other minorities.”

    The elections are to be held by the end of January 2009. A report on how best to resolve the Kirkuk dispute is due to the parliament by March 31.

    Meanwhile, the LA Times adds In Baqubah, an ambush on a police checkpoint leaves 22 dead. “The U.S. military said the death toll was 14 policemen; as well as eight members of the Sons of Iraq movement. Police officials in Baghdad said two colonels and a lieutenant colonel were among the dead police officers. The military said rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns were used in the attack.”

Four at Four continues with North Korea restarting its nuclear program, power from cows and the sea (but not sea cows), and a shipwreck finally being removed off Oregon’s coast.

Stop The World, I Want To Get Off (Final Update, Last Call)

How lovely.  Just when we need to hear from the candidates about the “financial crisis”, we learn that McSame’s canceling the Friday debate, urging Obama to do the same.  It’s a replay of the Hurricane Gustav “strategy”.  Things are, apparently, too important for politics.  Too important to thrash it out.  No.  What we need is to act presidential, and let somebody else figure out what to do.

The NY Times reports:

Senator John McCain said Wednesday that he would temporarily suspend his presidential campaign on Thursday to return to Washington to deal with the financial crisis and the $700 billion bailout package now before Congress.

Mr. McCain said he told Senator Barack Obama that he was asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to postpone the debate scheduled for Friday night.

“I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself,” he said. “It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.”

That’s what we need.  No debates about how we got into this mess and how we get out of it.  No debates about who’s paying the tab.  No debates about Congressional review, reports to Congress, and judicial review of the plan.  No debates about the price of securities and how they’re selected. Oh no.   Nothing about the details.  When it comes to important issues, and in this case, the singular most important issue facing the country, what does McSame propose?  We have a nice meeting with lame duck Bush and the leadership, all of whom are directly responsible on some level for the mess, to make yet another backroom deal.

Give me a break.  What we need is a vigorous, no holds barred, forthright, face to face debate on precisely how the present “financial crisis” is going to be resolved.  Anything else, I bet, is just another smoke filled room and a rescue to the people who least deserve it.

Obama should say no, the debate must go on.  But don’t hold your breath for that.

Update: Another thing. According to Reuters McSame is making the exact, same argument he made about Gustav and the convention:

“It’s time for both parties to come together to solve this problem,” the Arizona senator said. “We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved.”

He doesn’t get that we’re all Americans and Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and/or third party supporters.  The parties are supposed to stand for something, they’re supposed to be involved in finding solutions to problems, in discussing alternatives, in pressing their viewpoints, in debating, in reasoning, in trying to convince others that theirs is the best course.  That’s what Americans do.  That’s what democracies do.  The idea that we drop those viewpoints to solve problems is ridiculous.  And it leads to backroom deals in which The People get thrown under oncoming transportation devices.

McCain Suspends Campaign

From CNN:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced Wednesday that he is suspending his campaign to return to Washington and focus on the “historic” crisis facing the U.S. economy.

McCain said it was time for both parties to come together to solve economic crisis.

The Arizona senator called on his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, to do the same. He also urged organizers of Friday’s presidential debate at the University of Mississippi to postpone the event.

“I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself,” McCain told reporters in New York. “It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.”

Yep.  I knew that was the problem … McCain not being back at work – if he hadn’t been campaigning, I bet we wouldn’t be in this economic pickle.

What an ass.

What Are the Implications of the End of an Empire?

Trillions of actual debt.

Tens of trillions more in liability.

An economy, which is an artificial construct whose success or failure lies in a shockingly large way on the belief in it….on a cusp that could spin it into collapse or recovery. Two wars being prosecuted, without the soldiers or equipment to prosecute them. A hostile world, based on the past actions of those who have run the American Empire, a hostile world not ready to trust America at all, ready to help only if it is in their interest, since that is how America has acted towards them. While insulting them over and over by Imperialistic hubris.

A startling lack of leadership, planning and peparation by a corrupt and incompetent leadership.

Many of the conditions for an internal collapse, helped by external enemies and/or hostility or indifference by our former allies, now exist.

What are the implications, broadly speaking, of the collapse of the American Empire established by Bush/Cheney and their nominal successor, McCain?

If the American economy collapses, and we cannot afford to wage wars, and we are frozen (rightfully so) due to our irresponsibility out of the world economy to the extent possible, if we are perceived as the bad guys (rightfully so) and shunned by the rest of the world, while economic chaos and depression rage at home…..what does that mean? When the greed and corruption at the heart of all this is exposed in the investigations that will follow is exposed, what happens then? If (rightfully so) War Crimes are uncovered, and America is no longer strong enough to bluff it off, then what?

What does it mean for America as a country, what does it mean for American institutions, what does it mean for its People? What does it mean to you?

What new, Post American, world lies ahead of us? How can we be part of creating it?

Just thought I would ask.

Offering hope, fighting darkness, take action

This Saturday, there is a nation-wide showdown between, quite literally, forces for light and forces for darkness.  

Open Thread


Pay no attention to that man behind the thread.

Veterans Occupy National Archives Building and Much More

“Arresting Bush and Cheney for war crimes will honor our oath to the Constitution,” vets say.

Candidates And The Bailout

Hold on tight to your wallet. They’ve both promised to save you from terrorism, and over the past eight years that’s cost nearly a trillion dollars.

Now they both promise to save you from Wall Street, or Wall Street from you, or somebody from something. But this time time it’s going to start with a bill of nearly a trillion dollars, and the sky’s the limit after that.

So if you’ve been good, and you’ve been responsible, and you avoided saddling yourself with crushing debt, well… you’ve been bad, and they’re going to save you from yourself too. By extending you unlimited credit you haven’t asked for and don’t want, and starting you on the path to personal prosperity with a balance of about 2300 dollars. Owing, that is.

Don’t worry? Be happy? Go shopping?

Is “consumer confidence” an oxymoron from here on in? Are they Flying On Hot Air? Are we in for a crash landing?

September 24, 2008 – about 6 minutes

Wall St. waits for blank check from Congress but crisis will last into new presidential term

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread.

Surprise! Once again I’m filling in for ek this morning. Here’s a few stories from home and around the globe. What else is happening?


  1. Bloomberg – Americans Oppose Bailouts, Favor Obama to Handle Market Crisis

    Americans oppose government rescues of ailing financial companies by a decisive margin, and blame Wall Street and President George W. Bush for the credit crisis.

    By a margin of 55 percent to 31 percent, Americans say it’s not the government’s responsibility to bail out private companies with taxpayer dollars, even if their collapse could damage the economy, according to the latest Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll.

    Poll respondents say Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama would do a better job handling the financial crisis than Republican John McCain, by a margin of 45 percent to 33 percent. Almost half of voters say the Democrat has better ideas to strengthen the economy than his Republican opponent.

    Six weeks before the presidential election, almost 80 percent of Americans say the U.S. is going in the wrong direction, the biggest percentage since the poll began asking that question in 1991.

  2. NYT – McCain Aide’s Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac

    One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

    The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

    Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

A Transition through Poetry XV

Art Link



Like sloughing off

old skin

leaving chunks

along a life path

flaying myself alive

stashing a lump here

and a sliver there

One must tear down

before one rebuilds

sometimes embracing

portions of the past

bits left behind

sometimes not

always hoping

that joy might arise

from burying pain

and trying to forget

where it was left

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–January 24, 2006

Load more