Settling into my new Susquahana Sasquatches seldom seize scintillating serendipities subsequent scintillating suppurations sequentially home. The transition seems to have Pasadena pirhanas purposely portending passable patterns proposing probable potlatches unhinged or perhaps unburdened me of …well….burdens. The process of settling in Virtual vagaries vacillate vertiginous veriforms vacuously after months of the uncertainty of semi-homelessness seems…..much like madness….
November 2008 archive
Nov 26 2008
Nov 26 2008
At the Justice Department, recent scandals have dragged public confidence to an all time low. A special prosecutor is now digging into charges that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales put political partisanship ahead of the law.
Jodi Rave investigates crimes against Native American women
Nov 26 2008
This Pony Party should be treated as an open thread! Please do not rec the Pony Party!
Nov 26 2008
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has agreed to stay on under President-elect Obama, according to officials in both parties. Obama plans to announce a national-security team early next week that includes Gates at the Pentagon and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) as secretary of State, officials said.
Note that this is not sourced to the campaign.
Nov 26 2008
That might as well be the title of the Wall Street Journal article Surprise Drop in Power Use Delivers Jolt to Utilities.
An unexpected drop in U.S. electricity consumption has utility companies worried that the trend isn’t a byproduct of the economic downturn, and could reflect a permanent shift in consumption that will require sweeping change in their industry.
OH NO!!!! Americans using less electricity and this might be something permanent rather than simply a lousy economy.
Now, as for the ‘lousy economy’, as we have yet to hit bottom and have a long way to go, hard to assert (yet) that it is not economic distress that is driving reduced energy use. Perhaps people are ‘turning off lights’ to save pennies in the face of economic distress. And, patterns begun in economic turmoil could become life’s new patterns. Thus, unlike what the WSJ‘s coverage might suggest, there is much to hope for as to a start in a shifting of American culture toward more energy efficient patterns.
Nov 25 2008
Even though our economy is in much worse shape than it was during the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, I think that after 8 years of one disaster after another, what I’m most ready for in an Obama administration is some competency.
This morning at his press conference, President -Elect Obama said:
This isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about building a smarter government that focuses on what works. That is why I will ask my team to think anew and act anew to meet our new challenges.
Much as I found myself far more interested in the field operation of the campaign, I am now much more interested in the behind-the-scenes work being done by the transition team. As the MSM focuses on all of the rumors and speculation coming from “unnamed sources,” I am very curious about what the Agency Review Teams are learning.
Nov 25 2008
Cedric the Entertainer thought he’d try being Cedric the Actor. On Monday he made his professional stage debut, on Broadway, at the Belasco Theater in a new production of “American Buffalo,” David’s Mamet’s 1975 play about male friendship and revenge. Sadly for the actor, the play is scheduled to close on Sunday unless there is an upsurge in ticket sales over the weekend, but for a brief period, his familiar marquee appellation has been listed on the program as playing the slippery Chicago junk-shop proprietor and con man Donny Dubrow.
So I thought for this pony party it might be fun to skip through some of Cedric’s YouTubes:
The Pony Party is an open thread. Please do not REC the party (unless you’re a huge fan of Cedric).
Nov 25 2008
The NY Times reports the U.S. unveils new programs to ease credit.
The Federal Reserve said that it would buy up to $600 billion in mortgage-backed assets from the government-sponsored mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The agency would also buy up to $100 billion in debt directly from the companies and up to $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities…
Separately, the Fed and Treasury Department announced a $200 billion program to ease commercial lending on debts like student loans, car loans or business loans. The Fed would lend up to $200 billion to holders of asset-backed securities supported by car loans, credit card loans, student loans, and business loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.
The NY Times also reports the Outlook grows more dire for the housing market. The scarcity of credit, making home loans difficult to get, are continuing to hurt the housing market. “Of the sales that did go through in October, nearly half were the result of a sale after a foreclosure. And sellers were forced to lower prices again, sending home values down at a record pace.”
“Prices declined in September in all 20 cities surveyed in the Case-Shiller report, with San Francisco and Phoenix suffering the biggest drops… The report also suggested that conditions in the housing market were worsening” with house price drops accelerating.
The Washington Post reports President-elect Barack Obama picks Peter Orszag to head the Office of Management and Budget. “Obama said that Orszag will take the lead in scouring the federal budget, which is straining under record deficits, with an eye toward eliminating programs that do not work.”
Orszag is currently the “director of the Congressional Budget Office, where he oversees a staff of 235 people who produce nonpartisan analyses of economic and policy issues. Orszag is widely respected for his work on how Americans receive medical care. Unlike many of his predecessors, who hewed closely to pure number-crunching, Orszag has carved out a niche as a leading international thinker on health policy.”
In an essay in September, I wrote about Orszag’s assessment that “The nation is on an unsustainable fiscal course.”
Four at Four continues with an update from Iraq, Brazil sending troops after a violent protest by Amazon loggers, and an interesting op-ed on Tibet.
Nov 25 2008
Ozymandias is burned on toast
He’s dragging his bony ass back to Crawford
He’s fat and hairy like Peter Lawford
He’s the Least where once he was the Most
Ozymandias is no longer green as grass
Now we’ve discovered we can be Black as a berry
No way can Ozy regain his Cherry
Because Our Boy is a flat out pain in the ass
We’ve suffered Ozy through his sullen spaces
We’ve starved our senses through events we never wished
To experience; poor Laura Oz has missed her menses
Experienced menopause in all those juicy places
Lord Cheney Oz has become meaner than mean
Condi Oz has finished propping up the plaster
God knows poor Condi was never alabaster
At least she was capable of cutting the scene
Powell Oz has pulled the skids out from under
All these Brute Beasts …
not that they were ever tony
Their mutual Dawn has now come up like thunder
Since Ozzie Powell endorsed Mister Ebony
Ozymandias is now royally Toasted
But not in France and not in Monteneg’
If we forget how Oz was once Too Big
We can now rejoice how he’s become roasted
Ozymandias has become Yesterday’s News
For those of us who knew he really wasn’t nice
We can all congratulate ourselves
OZYMANDIAS STINKS ON ICE
So lock all the doors
screw in all the screws
Since now Old Ozymandias has turned vanilla
We have to deal with that Turkey-Chopper
sticking her brute neck out of Wasilla
Nov 25 2008
Looks like hard times are-a comin. We have all heard people talking about a coming depression, it is such a prevalent meme….and the economy is built so much on confidence and belief, that even if we weren’t on track for a depression, we might be creating one by destroying all confidence in our economy!
As Obama scrambles to take control of the economy as Bush twiddles his thumbs under his poncho and continues to assiduously secure his legacy as The Worst President Ever, the big question at the heart of it all is….Can Americans continue to consume a huge percentage of the worlds resources relative to its population, or is The Party Over?
When this debacle of greed all shakes out, we still be a society that is based on over consumption? Will we still fill the holes in our lives buying ….stuff?
Will social status still be determined on what car you drive, the price of your designer clothes, and which expensive neighborhood you live in?
How will TV advertising, which drives the lust for “MORE” change when people don’t have any money to spend on unneeded useless crap that they are peddling, change?
In other words, how will the coming hard times affect not just the patently unsustainable American Lifestyle, but how will it change our society….and our mindset, which is so deeply based on consumerism?
And finally….how bad do you think it is going to get, a recession, a deep recession, a depression, or a Great Depression?
Nov 25 2008
Congratulations fellow taxpayers! The federal bailout of Citigroup comes with some perks you may have overlooked. Citigroup has a contract for the naming rights to a new baseball stadium for the New York Mets. A mere $400 million buys the name “Citi Field” for 20 years:
Under the naming-rights agreement, Citi pays the Mets $20 million a year. What is not known is if Citi could get out of the agreement through a buyout or escape clause. Citi officials insisted on Friday that baseball games would be played in 2009 with the Citi Field sign on the new stadium.
What perks do we get for our bailout of Citi? Well, it only seems fair that if it’s our money paying for the naming rights, we should get to choose the name! With so many taxpayers involved, however, agreeing on one name would be difficult. So I propose a revolving name system for the Mets’ field, where all taxpayers get a chance to have the stadium named after them for one game.