October 8, 2008 archive

Former Lehman CEO Knocked Out in Gym

When I first read this the other day, the news had not been confirmed.

Well now it has been confirmed.

Courtesy of Raw Story, which linked to Business and Media Institute:

While former Lehman CEO Richard Fuld was testifying before the House Oversight Committee Oct. 6, CNBC reported he had been punched in the face at the Lehman Brothers gym after it was announced the firm was going bankrupt. CNBC and Vanity Fair contributor Vicki Ward said Fuld was attacked at the gym on a Sunday following the bankruptcy.

“Frankly, I sat there and listened and I’m with the guy who apparently, the day before Barclays announced they were coming in and Lehman had already filed for bankruptcy, went over to him in the gym and punched him because that’s how I feel when I, you know, when I watched that,” Ward said on the Oct. 6 “Power Lunch.” “I didn’t think he was contrite at all, I thought he was arrogant.”

“From two very senior sources – one incredibly senior source – that he went to the gym after … Lehman was announced as going under. He was on a treadmill with a heart monitor on. Someone was in the corner, pumping iron and he walked over and he knocked him out cold. And frankly after having watched this, I’d have done the same too.”

Seems like this is the only “accountability” moment I’ve seen during this misAdministration.

Of course Fuld no doubt has an excellent health care along with his golden parachute.

Overnight Caption Contest (w/ bonus pic)

Preparation For Watching Tonight’s Debate

Everything you need to know about tonight’s debate in a handy pre-debate essay.

See this?


That’s the Dow Jones for the past year in graphic form.

The Dow closed at 9447 today.  Last year on this day it was 14,198.  That means (gross over simplification coming) for every $141 dollars in your 401k, your pension account, your SEP, your stock portfolio a year ago, you now have $94 because you’ve lost $47 in the market.  That $47 is vapor.  It’s gone.  The only solace in this, if there is any, is that the Government didn’t get to put all of your social security money into this market so it could be vaporized as well.

The chart is a microcosm of what’s going on in the rest of the US economy. The credit markets aren’t functioning.  Consumer confidence is in the dumps.  With foreclosures going crazy, with gasoline and fuel oil prices still sky high, with unemployment way up at record levels, with housing prices way down, with the mortgage market in chaos, with the economy running a gigantic deficit, with a massive trade deficit, and with the dollar suffering, with 60% of the polled people saying the country is headed for a depression, what can the candidates possibly say to us about this mess?

Everything that doesn’t deal with the economy is wasted talk.  Even the wars are off the front pages for the moment.

That’s what this debate has to be about.

KS-04: Best Betts for Red to Blue “October Surprise”

As the election season heats up and the races for state and federal offices begin their final mad rush through October toward the November 4 finish line, the overall theme appears to be one of much needed change.  It’s time to dispense with the ideas that have wrought two wars, undermined our constitution, diminished critical federal oversight and cast us into an economic tailspin of failure, corruption and greed.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Red to Blue initiative has helped bring the Democratic 50 State strategy to fruition by helping candidates in competitive races get a leg up on funding and support.  It’s a start, but it’s incomplete.

There are some other bets worth placing, like in Kansas Congressional District 4, for example: candidate and Democratic State Senator Donald Betts, vs. Republican incumbent Todd Tiahrt.  It’s a race that has the potential to unseat Tiahrt, a stalwart Bush/Cheney supporter who has been closely tied to both Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff.  I had the opportunity to speak with Senator Betts earlier today. I’ll post the interview tomorrow; meanwhile, read on, learn about the race and help out if you can.

Debate – Live Blog

All the chatter is that McCain will come out swinging tonight. Of course, the town hall format is likely to make that more difficult.

Here’s Bill Kristol’s advice to McCain.

Interesting…I find myself agreeing with him:

When you’re in a crisis, you have to judge the character, the judgment, the background, of the person you’re putting in charge…

Who do you want in charge for 4 difficult years? Who is up to the job?

Its just that I come to the opposite conclusion.

Is this the kind of character and judgment we’re looking for?

I think not!!!!!!!!!!!

25 best things ever said

Just for fun, and interest, here is my list of the 25 best things ever said.

Not in order, except for the last one, which is my favorite

 25.  If two men agree on everything, you may be sure that one of them is doing the thinking.

   — Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908-1973)

(I have seen this attributed to Truman, as well)

 24. The legitimate powers of government extend only to such acts as are injurious to others It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

   — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) (quoting or paraphrasing John Locke)

 23.  I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

   — Galileo Galilei

 22. To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

   — Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

 21. When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.

   — Desiderius Erasmus (1465-1536)

20. It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.

   — Epictetus (c.55-c.135)

19.  He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.

   — Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

18.  An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Mahatma Gandhi

17.    No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

   — John Donne (1572-1631), Meditation XVII

16.  If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.

   — Noam Chomsky (b. 1928)

15.  My Country, right or wrong” is a thing no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case.  It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober

   — Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)

14.  I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution.

 — Barbara Jordan

13.  The gods are amused when the busy river condemns the idle clouds

 —  Rabindranath Tagore

12. Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.

   — Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

11.   Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.  It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.

   — William Pitt (1759-1806)

10.  Pain shared is lessened, joy shared, increased

   — Spider Robinson

9.  The good old days.  I was there.  Where was they?

  — Moms Mabley 1894-1975

8. All models are wrong but some are useful.

   — George Box

7.   The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” but “That’s funny…”

   — Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)

6. That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.

    — Hillel

5.  If I am not for myself, who is for me?

   If I am for myself alone, what am I?

   If not now, when?

 —  Hillel

4.  Those who would give up a little freedom to get a little security shall soon have neither

 — Benjamin Franklin

3.  If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let each man march to his own rhythm, however measured, or far away

 — H. D. Thoreau

2. There is nothing so horrible in nature as to see a beautiful theory murdered by an ugly gang of facts

  — Benjamin Franklin

and, my favorite

1.    Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people’s souls, when we all ought to be worried abut our own souls, and other people’s bellies

Rabbi Israel Salanter 1810-1883

Dear John

You’re not going to be president. Ever. Your moment came, and your moment went. Bush took it from you. He had the money and the slime, and he took it from you. You thought you would have another chance, this year, but you didn’t. For a moment, when you got a bounce in the polls after selecting Sarah Palin as your running mate, you probably even thought you had the campaign won. You could taste it. You could picture yourself behind the desk, in the Oval Office. You could hear people calling you “Mr. President.” You could see yourself on national television announcing you had launched more wars. That must have felt good! It must have been exciting! But then the voters took a closer look at Sarah Palin. They didn’t like what they saw. The luster disintegrated. Then, things got worse. The economy collapsed. That damn Bush, again. Of course, it couldn’t be that the entire deregulation paradigm you’ve known, loved, and embraced has something wrong with it. Just as with that war you said would be a cakewalk, and which wasn’t, it couldn’t be that you were egregiously, horrendously, devastatingly wrong. Of course not. Diplomacy can be wrong. Peace movements are wrong. But wars are never wrong. Even so, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. It’s over, now. Your greatest goal. Your ultiumate aspiration. It was so close to happening, you could almost reach out and touch it. Like a dream that seems so real, and then you awaken and can’t quite grasp that it wasn’t. But you have to deal with the reality that it wasn’t. It’s gone. Just like that. And you’re not going to be president. Ever.

Now, I don’t want to upset you. Your temper is legendary, and you need to keep your cool, tonight. You desperately need for people to like you. Certainly, you have every reason to be seething, but you can’t let it show. You suffered for this country. You’re a maverick. You were intimately involved in the infamous Keating 5 scandal, and you had the honor and dignity to apologize for it, but now you want us to know it wasn’t really your fault, anyway. Nothing bad ever is. And you survived. You’re a survivor. You have the ability to flip-flop, lie, and be as nasty as Bush, because you’re a straight-talker with a cool bus who survives. You know how the game is played, and you play it. You’re one-of-a-kind. The nation needs you. The world needs you. You’re such an important person. You deserve to be president. You’ve earned it as few ever have. Certainly more than Bush ever did. Certainly more than Barack Obama ever will. But it’s not going to happen. You’re not going to be president. Ever.

I can only imagine your raging fury. Barack Obama is so much younger than you. He did not suffer as a POW. He did not serve in uniform. He did not help cause a major political scandal, and manage to survive it. He is handsome. He is articulate. He was the brilliant student you were not. If he wanted to, he could get the hot babes you no longer can. The guy’s infuriating! But he’s going to be president, and you’re not. He’s only been in the Senate for four years, but he’s going to be president. And you’re not. Not ever. Ever. Ever. Some punk kid who sweeps in out of nowhere and takes away your life’s dream, your destiny, and he’s going to be president. Some punk kid who didn’t come from a distinguished family, and he’s going to be president. Some punk kid who is uppity and outside the mainstream, and he’s going to be president. And you’re not going to be president. Not next year. Not ever.  

Pony Party: Music fo Bloodsuckers!

This Pony Party is intended as an open thread!  Please do not rec the Pony Party!

Will the Real Radicals Please Stand Up? (with Update!)

Alice Palmer had a Party, a coffee club meeting at a home in Hyde Park. It was to introduce her successor, Barack Obama. She was running for the 2nd Congressional District and was annointing Obama to be her replacement as a State Senator. The home, one of several coffee meeting places, happened to be the home of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. This is the “fundraiser” the neocons are raving about????? The upshot is that she lost, Jesse Jackson won. And Barack Obama will be our next President who has to deal with the shambles the neocons have made of our country.

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