September 26, 2008 archive

Four at Four

  1. The LA Times reports U.S. blames Iran for delay in Iraq pact. The United Nation mandate that authores U.S. troops in Iraq expires on December 31. Unable to work out an agreement with the Iraqis letting the U.S. stay indefinitely, the Bush administration is trying to get an extension on the U.N. mandate. The Iraqis only want the American troops until 2011.

    U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker claimed Iran is “pushing very hard” to block the U.N. mandate extension. Iran, of course, has denied any interference. “In an interview in Baghdad this month, however, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, Hassan Kazemi-Qomi, made it clear that his country deeply opposes the security agreement on the table as ‘one-sided.'”

    Despite the anti-Iranian rhetoric, what really is holding up the U.N. extension is the U.S. insistence on immunity for U.S. troops. Both the Americans and the Iraqis want an agreement. “My clear sense is that the prime minister is focused on Iraqi concerns,” Crocker said, “not what Tehran or any other regional capital might be saying.”

  2. The Washington Post reports Carbon is building up in our atmosphere faster than was predicted. “The rise in global carbon dioxide emissions last year outpaced international researchers’ most dire projections”.

    In 2007, carbon released from burning fossil fuels and producing cement increased 2.9 percent over that released in 2006, to a total of 8.47 gigatons…

    This output is at the very high end of scenarios outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and could translate into a global temperature rise of more than 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, according to the panel’s estimates…

    Moreover, new scientific research suggests Earth is already destined for a greater worldwide temperature rise than previously predicted. Last month, two scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California at San Diego published research showing that even if humans stopped generating greenhouse gases immediately, the world’s average temperature would “most likely” increase by 4.3 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they based their calculations on the fact that new air-quality measures worldwide are reducing the amount of fine particles, or aerosols, in the atmosphere and diminishing their cooling effect.

    The IPCC has warned that an increase of between 3.2 and 9.7 degrees Fahrenheit could trigger massive environmental changes, including major melting of the Greenland ice sheet, the Himalayan-Tibetan glaciers and summer sea ice in the Arctic.

Four at Four continues with gas shortages in the Southeast, suspected terrorists arrested in Germany, and a bonus story on Namibia’s sunken treasure.

How Worlds Change

Ok, bear with me.

Societies, cultures, nations….economies. These are all ideas. They exist as ideas first, before they physically exist. Sorta. Insofaras, someone has an idea, gets other someones to believe in it, until enough people believe in it to make it happen.

Fr’instnce: A bunch of guys are sitting around a camfire in Iraq 12,000 years ago or so and one of them belches and then says, “Hey, let’s be the Sumerian Empire!” The other guys scratch themselves and then say….”Sure, why not?” Then they go around telling everyone they meet that they are the Sumerian Empire and that they should join up and be the Sumerian Empire too. The folks who believe in this idea all join up, and lo and behold, the Sumerian Empire is born! (After they kill a bunch of guys who DON’T want to be the Sumerian Empire, because their idea is to start a chain of hamburger stands that have these cool lookin arches instead.) It starts with an idea. If enough people believe in the idea, invest in it and are willing to work hard (and, in this instance, kill people) to make it happen by convincing other people to invest in the idea AND build the structures, (both mental and physical and almost always, religious) this thing that started as an idea in someones head…..becomes reality.

Then of course, someone gets a better (or just cooler) idea and ‘defeats’ the old idea, thus establishing a new reality. Bye bye Sumeria.


We all are familiar with the Repub “we are creating reality for you to react to” quote right? Well the reality that they DID succeed in creating for a while started off as an idea, built on other ideas, in some think tank somewhere. That idea of how to gain political power in America and transform it into the America that their idea said should exist was invested in by enough people to eventually make it, force it, into becoming real. The fact that it was a stupid, unsustainable, unjust, unfair and just plain BAD idea does nothing to refute the basic premise. They took an idea and made it into reality and thus changed the world.

The plot unravels

Orignal article, an editorial subheaded The Bush administration and congressional Democrats are agreed on a bank-robbery-in-reverse to bail out the titans of Wall Street–but the Republican free-market madmen are getting in the way, via

BY DAY, it looked like an honorable agreement among thieves–Democratic and Republican lawmakers joining together over a White House conference table to hammer out the basic points of a $700 billion bailout of the Wall Street financial system at the expense of the vast majority of Americans.

Debate: Foreign Policy & Security {Or No Debate} Video’s

Everyone knows that the first Presidential Debate is supposed to take place tonight, but once again we have a member of the GOP trying to put the skids on Democracy, read the 2000 election and the supreme’s, by refusing to show because, admitted himself he understands little about economics, he’s going to save Wall Street Bankers and the Country from Collapse. Now he’s coming to the rescue some 10 or so days after all the bad economic news started survicing, but for Our Savior “Better late than never, Not!”.

My guess is that if there is a Debate tonight it won’t be on the main subject lines it was to cover: Foreign Policy and National Security. It will be covering the economy or at least much of it will be because of the News that has sucked the air out of everything else.

But wether it covers the intended subject matter, tonight or in another, or not, just in case there are extremely important things to be brought to the Debate about our now lack of a Foreign Policy especially as to our National Security.

Open Thread


Dirty Pretty Thread

Docudharma Times Friday September 26

When Stupidity Rules The Roost

The Roosters Come Home

Oh The Drama Of The Drama King

Friday’s Headlines:

Greenhouse gas emissions shock scientists

Israel asked US for green light to bomb nuclear sites in Iran

Protests force Paul McCartney to switch West Bank visit

Turkish court acquits British artist over portraying PM as US poodle

EU bans children’s food imports from China

Zimbabwe power-sharing deal faces disaster

Transition inSouth Africa

In Mexico City, bicycles rule the Sunday streets

WaMu seized, sold  

Deposits safe, but losses here likely to be deep



Washington Mutual Inc. came to an ignominious end Thursday, with federal regulators seizing the company and selling its branches, deposits and loans to New York-based banking giant JPMorgan Chase in the largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Although WaMu, as recently as two weeks ago, had told investors that it had sufficient capital to work its way through the housing market and losses in its own loan portfolio, regulators said they stepped in because depositors had lost confidence in the institution. The federal Office of Thrift Supervision said $16.7 billion in deposits had been pulled from the company just since Sept. 15.

Talks Falter on Bailout Deal

White House Summit Fails to Yield Accord as House GOP Floats New Plan

By Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery

Washington Post Staff Writers

Friday, September 26, 2008; Page A01  

A renegade bloc of Republicans moved to reshape a massive bailout of the U.S. financial system yesterday, surprising and angering Bush administration and congressional leaders who hours earlier announced agreement on the “fundamentals” of a deal.

At a meeting at the White House that included President Bush, top lawmakers and both presidential candidates, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) floated a new plan for addressing the crisis that has hobbled global markets.

Democrats accused Boehner of acting on behalf of GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in trying to disrupt a developing consensus.



Palin won’t have to reveal finances until after Biden debate



The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sarah Palin requested and received an extension of the deadline for revealing her personal finances, until the day after her debate with Democrat Joe Biden.

The Republican vice-presidential candidate received a four-day extension today from the Federal Election Commission.

The federal financial disclosure report was initially due Monday. Now Palin has until Oct. 3, the day after her debate in St. Louis with Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee.

Earth to Dems: Stop Trying to Own The Bailout (Updated)

I’m with Kos:

The American people aren’t happy with this bailout. Democrats are giving McCain a gift by allowing him to be seen as its slayer. Yet Democrats sit there thinking that lining up behind Bush’s proposal will somehow be a political plus.

Yet every challenger across the nation, Democratic and Republican, is running against this thing to public cheers. The tone deafness on this is shocking.

At this point I really don’t know who is more incompetent, the Democratic Leadership or the Bush Administration.

All day Thursday – all frickin’ day – we were treated to one pic after another showing Democratic politicians working feverishly to pass a bailout plan that NOBODY WANTS – except Wall Street Fat Cats, Foreign Loan Sharks, and George W. Bush of course.

First, we had shots like this of Chris ‘Fred Flintstone’ Dodd and Barney ‘Rubble’ Frank in a desperate barefoot spin to get this 700 billion ton jalopy moving.

Next we had that uber-embarrassing White House meeting with Pelosi and Reid flanking George Bush like they were his guardian angels.

How bad does this look?

You’ve got polls showing an anemic 30% public support for the bailout, the AFL-CIO picketing Wall Street and Congressional mail coming in at 19 to 1 against, and yet the Dem Leadership somehow thinks it’s to their political advantage to be seen as large and in charge of this monstrosity?


The October Trojan Hedge-Horse

According to this Huffington Post by Tom D’Antoni, the reason Paulson was rushing to put the bailout deal through — and the reason Democrats are supporting the basic need for the bill — is because hedge funds come up for renewal on October 1st.  

Without a shoring up of that market, D’Antoni explains, there would have been (and may still be) a run to pull out money from hedge funds that could have (and may still) spur a worldwide collapse:

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.  One of the proposals — favored by House Republicans — would relax regulation and temporarily get rid of certain taxes in order to lure private industry into the market for these distressed assets.


The real reason why there is such a [Democratic] clamor for [Paulson’s) bill, and a rush to get it passed is that there may be billions of dollars pulled out of the hedge funds…money that is due on October 1. This may be the famed October surprise, but one that nobody figured was coming. If that money is due and the hedge funds can’t pay, they will collapse.

But Paulson’s [Republican] Wall Street pals are clamoring for help to clean up the mess that their irresponsible lending and greedy practices brought us, with McCain only pouring fuel on the fire he and his GOP deregulatory cronies helped start.

More at this link:…

Crime Of The Century

Thursday afternoon we first heard
that there had been an agreement in principle struck by criminals and thieves masquerading as politicians in Washington to stick their greedy little fingers in your pocket and give Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke nearly a trillion dollars of your money to bail out their buddies on Wall Street.

We then later in the day heard that there had been a hastily arranged meeting in the White House with both presidential candidates invited by Bush in which John McCain had “destroyed” chances of an agreement in a desperate political stunt of an attempt to bolster his failing campaign. McCain’s involvement, in the words of House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, was compared to “Richard Nixon blowing up the Vietnam peace talks in 1968.”

Country first my ass.

McCain’s stunt was not a stupid stunt. It was part of a shell game. A setup designed to con you. Designed to con you by giving top Democrats, Pelosi, Reid, et al a reason to support Bush’s plans to rob you blind while looking like they are saving you from a Republican plan to kill the bailout.

Think about that for a minute. Remember who passed all the Iraq Occupation funding bills for the past two years?

Oppose Bush my ass.

They are on his side. They are part of the scam. How clear does it have to be?

Now Wall Street financial analyst and historian Dr. Michael Hudson, Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City, cuts through all the crap to say bluntly that the proposed bailout is an empire buster likely to virtually destroy an already very shaky US and global economy, and is nothing more than a pyramid scheme, a blatant Once In A Century Rip-Off intended as a last ditch effort to save, at your expense, the finally and utterly discredited neocon “philosophy” of economics and governance, and George Bush and his criminal friends. The crooks attempting to steal every last cent they can bullshit you out of before republicanism and the disastrous presidency of George W. Bush finally go down in flames and ignominy. Taking you down with them.

If there is one overriding reason to oppose this “bailout” with everything in you, it’s this – it’s A Once In A Century Rip-Off.

A Once In A Century Rip-Off of… you.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

A Transition through Poetry XVII

Art Link


Time enough tomorrow

At the edge

of the abyss

I looked Death

in the skull

gave myself


to jump

or fall

no need to rush

borrowed time

is golden time

Every day is

not today

Fear gone

becomes anger

becomes me not

Best to bathe

in the river

of my truth

and invite others

to join me

while I laugh

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–January 13, 2006

A Personal Story about the RTC and a Conscientious Democrat

Hello, this is my first diary here. It has already been posted and did pretty poorly at DailyKos until being rescued. It is a story of pain and suffering and I believe it is a decent prediction of things to come.

This is an old story from 1994 that has some relevance today. It is a story from a Democratic administration but the victims were forced to deal with a Republican resolution. It is a story that I had to live through.

I live in a 3000 unit apartment complex in the Bronx. It is a massive dwelling on 22 acres that was built in 1961. There was a conversion from a rental property to a cooperative in 1987, the last breath of a housing boom. A complete renovation made the property much more desirable.  

In order to sell many apartments very quickly the holder of unsold shares steered new shareholders towards seven and ten year balloon mortgages. People believing in their own upward mobility put up ten percent and made smaller payments that paid down just a small amount of the principle.

When these balloon mortgages ended so many of those loans were with defunct savings and loans and many residents ended up at the mercy of the Resolution Trust Corporation. Not only were many tenant/shareholders in big trouble, because of the RTC it looked like the entire complex was going to fail.      

The Stars Hollow Gazette

Times interesting enough for you yet?

I’d tell you what I know except I’ve signed a non-disclosure agreement.  And people have seen me eat a $10 sandwich on the street while I was no help at all flagging down a cab though I think I did see Kirk with a pedicab whom we could have paid to chase down a real cab if we’d been inventive.

Next time I’ll have to be earlier so I get a step seat or bring a chair.  I have some of the fold up types but nothing doesn’t make them seem like the Park Lane Mystery.  I have enough trouble with metal detectors.  Still, it wasn’t so bad, I’ve been in smaller theaters with less entertainment, there was a lot of energy and overall the experience was very much like TDS/TCR except there we were and we couldn’t talk so much.

There is only one topic worth discussing though-

Will the Mets make the post season?

Not about the economy at all.

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