Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah Palin reads faster than you

Not to belabor a point here, but this CBS News "Couric courteously confirms that Palin is an ignorant fraud" game -- which I love, by the way -- has now earned the official TheseBastards Seal of The Dumb. I'm starting to think we're only another ten-minute softball Q&A away from Palin claiming her Gucci bag imbues her with the ability to speak Italian.

Via ThinkProgress:
COURIC: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this — to stay informed and to understand the world?

PALIN: I’ve read most of them again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media —

COURIC: But what ones specifically? I’m curious.

PALIN: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.

COURIC: Can you name any of them?

PALIN: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news.
Bonus points, Governor Palin, for the invocation of the Royal We.

Act now or lose weight

While McCain was using his platform at an economic forum to claim that Venezuela is a Middle Eastern country, his campaign sent out an email to its supporter list (I still haven't been removed) that offers an interesting look into the candidate's rationale for backing the bailout:
If we do nothing, many businesses may fail. Sonic Corporation, a drive-in restaurant chain based in Oklahoma, learned on Thursday that one of its lenders, GE Capital, had stopped extending new loans to the chain's franchisees. That will block plans to rebuild restaurants, add equipment and open new locations.
Much as I hate to say it, Johnny has a point here. I mean, whatever would middle America do without its Extra Long Chili Cheese Coney & Tots and Banana Pudding Shakes? Clearly, the federal government must act quickly to float ventures such as GE Capital, one of four major units of the second-most profitable company on the Forbes 500.

Broken News: Dying teen considered "not inspirational, kind of depressing"

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Last year when Kenny Barrett, 15, was diagnosed with a terminal case of Haber’s Syndrome, the local community rallied around the story of a youth who was not letting death get in the way of providing hope and inspiration to his friends and family. Now, with the end near, many of those same friends and family say Kenny is no longer inspiring, that his messages of “Hope,” once filled with moving dreams of the future, are now littered with depressing and morbid ruminations on his own mortality.

“Christ, it's dismal,” observed Sam Harker, Barrett's classmate and friend. “Kenny used to talk about leaving a legacy of hope and perseverance. He got a kick out of telling troubled kids to make the most of their lives, because they were going to have opportunities he never would. Now? We go out and he just sits in the corner of the party, mumbling about ‘What’s it matter anyway? I’m going to be dead in 3 months.’ And I'm like, 'Fuck, man, I just asked if you wanted a Coke or a Snapple, no need to go all Morrissey on me.'”

Lately Barrett has been unable to feign even the most basic level of enthusiasm that so many previously took as a personal sign of encouragement. The conventional wisdom around town suggested that if the dying kid still had hope, maybe eating a hollow point over your spouse’s persisting infidelities wasn’t the only remaining option. However, with Barrett’s newfound attitude, suicide levels in the community are already beginning to creep up.

Dr. Patrick Sullivan, clinical psychologist and author of If Cancer Boy Can Smile, So Can You, You Fucking Wretch explained, “Look, we knew suicide rates were going to inch up when this kid kicked it. Once the really pathetic people lose the ability to say ‘Well at least I don’ have it as bad as the dying teen. If he's rolling with it, so can I’, they tend to take that last step into the abyss. Or hang themselves. Either way, really.”

“Now that people see Barrett without his familiar cheery outlook on life’s foibles, they’re beginning to question the basic concept of hope. If they don’t have this kid to totemize as the recipient of all their self-obsessive feelings of pity then they quickly turn those feelings inward. It’s all in my book, now in paperback, for only $15.95. Can you put an Amazon hyperlink into the online version of this?”

But why the sudden change in attitude? While some would naturally point to Barrett's impending death as something that would make him reassess his outlook on life, others are pointing the finger at the symptoms of the disease itself, not its mortal consequence.

Haber’s Syndrome is a rare disease occurring in 1 out of every 25.5 million births. It typically manifests in children born to third cousins exposed to a 30/70 ratio of peyote and Johnny Walker Red Label during birth. The symptoms include loss of bowel control in the presence of attractive girls, sores in the shape of racist symbols, male pattern baldness, grey pubic hair, a pungent mustard-like odor, and complete organ liquidation.

“Yeah, it’s pretty bad, but I think that if his heart was really in it he could just muddle through the open sores in the shape of swastikas and give the people the emotional validation they need” said Barret's father and agent, Ken Sr. “I mean, even organizations that deal solely with dying kids are getting creeped out by Kenny. Make a Wish Came by to ask him what he wanted to do... and he said he wanted to curb stomp Sam Brownback for opposing stem cell legislation. I figured he would say he wanted to meet Tom Brady or David Ortiz like all the other deathbed kids around here. Murdering a US Senator, no matter how deserving, isn’t inspirational.”

He paused before adding, “This whole Obama thing isn’t helping matters either.”

Some point to the rise of the Democratic candidate for President, with his message of hope and his inspiring speeches as one of the main factors in Barrett's deepening depression. As he posted on his blog, Hopeblog, last month:
If some ‘normie’ can walk around inspiring people without a horrific disease, what use am I? I’m inspiring people by showing courage in the face of death, he’s inspiring people by wanting to be president. What kind of fucked up world is this where those two things are on par with each other? FUCK!! He even stole my ‘Hope’ slogan.
This revelation led to a McCain campaign radio ad, played throughout the greater Boston area, featuring Barrett’s name and words in an attempt to blame Senator Obama for Haber’s Syndrome and destroying the lives of inspirational teens. McCain hopes the ad will gain him ground among two key Massachusetts swing groups, Jai-Alai moms and NASCAR taxidermists, those traditionally believed to be the most susceptible to the exploitation of dying children.

With each passing day, Barrett is alienating more and more of the people he used to motivate. Most of his audience walked out of the Framingham Jaycees Fun Night after Barrett's speech on making the most out of what time you have left devolved into acidic meditations on the existence of the afterlife, the non-existence of God, and the reading of a list of people -- many of whom were in the room at the time -- whom Barrett thought deserved Haber’s Syndrome more than him.

While some are hoping Barrett will regain that spark of inspiration that brought joy to so many, others are simply banking on the rapid liquidation of his major internal organs. Be it a drum major with monkey pox, the valedictorian with an inoperable tumor at the base of her neck, or the cheerleader with AIDSbola, this sleepy community of Massholes is eagerly awaiting the next teen with an unbearable malady to give them the comfort and reassurance their fragile, empty lives so desperately need.

Just....stop Sarah

From Ben Smith at Politico, Sarah Palin on why she's better than Joe Biden
He's got a lot of experience and just stating the fact there, that we've been hearing his speeches for all these years. So he's got a tremendous amount of experience and, you know, I'm the new energy, the new face, the new ideas and he's got the experience based on many many years in the Senate and voters are gonna have a choice there of what it is that they want in these next four years.
Sarah, bit of advice here. If you're trying to make the case for why you are better than Joe Biden, don't make the exact same one that Barack Obama is, so far, successfully making about John McCain. Don't make the exact opposite argument the old man at the top of the ticket is making. Say he's got the wrong ideas or he'll kidnap your children and ransom them for crystal meth, but don't hammer the 'new person is better than the old senator' line. It's just going to make people go "Yeah, that's why I'd rather have Obama."

Not that it even matters at this point. Your only chance is to free fall so far to the bottom that you end up at the top again, perhaps out of sheer pity. But after you come back from the 4th campaign suspension and an interview where you claim the wok you bought makes you an expert on China, it's something to remember.

Gingrich pounds his Boehner

It seems that not only is John Boehner weak, he's actively having forcefully shamed out of office retired Republicans flagrantly undermine him. Newt Gingrich, showing he's still a giant, giant baby, was out in force working to defeat the bailout behind Boehner's back.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was working aggressively behind the scenes to defeat the Wall Street rescue plan minutes before he himself released a public statement in support of the package, NBC's Andrea Mitchell reported on Tuesday.

Gingrich was whipping up votes for the opposition, Mitchell said, apparently without the knowledge of the current GOP leader, John Boehner, who was responsible for recruiting enough support from his caucus to help ensure the bill's passage. Ultimately, the GOP was only able to rally roughly a third of its members.
Better yet is that Gingrich was releasing statements to the media about how he would reluctantly support the bailout if he had a vote. I know, a guy who served divorce papers to his wife after while she was in the hospital for cancer and was sanctioned for ethics violations somehow also is ethically challenged enough to lie. Here's the great part, besides all the backstabbing.
Mike Barnicle offered his own bit of reportorial insight: "Andrea, I could hug you for saying that, because I was told last night by two or they members of Congress that this was the opening salvo of Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign four years hence."
Sweet Jesus I wish I was in a coma so I could wake up four years from now primed for the sideshow. I guess after the past 8 years, people are going to be primed for an even more right wing brand of conservatism. It's frightening the amount Newtie believes his own bullshit. He's always talking about how he'll run if the American people call him to run. Well I guess he decided to stop waiting for that phonecall and started the ratfucking early. NEWT 2012.

McCain 2: The Suspensioning

Oh boy, oh boy. John McCain just might suspend his campaign again. Since that first suspension worked so well, I can see why he wants to do it again. Let's see, it may have totally queered any rational bipartisan solution by injecting hyper-partisanship into it, it made him look like a total jackass especially when he claimed credit for the success of something that didn't pass, and generally shit-holed his flagging campaign even further than his previous dick flogging had done. Oh, he also got mocked for not actually suspending his campaign and his credit grubbing was so egregious that the media had to step in and point out he wasn't doing anything. Why not try another fake suspension? Maybe he can screw the bailout up so badly that it creates some sort of money vortex time hole that bankrupts companies and people from all different periods of history.

Then he can suspend his campaign again to repair the time rift. Or he could just throw us all for a loop and start conducting himself like an adult.

Rhyming even more with "Loner"

Patrick O'Conner and John Bresnahan over at Politico are suggesting that House Republican leader and feckless shitheel, John Boehner, might have cost himself his leadership post by so fervently backing that smoldering pile of legislative rubble formerly known as "The Bailout."
The Ohio Republican went all in for the $700 billion economic rescue package. But when the gavel came down on the vote Monday, 133 of Boehner’s 199 Republicans had gone the other way.

The bruising tally — coming on the heels of a weeklong revolt — had some GOP members asking privately whether Boehner can hold on to his leadership post.
I suppose that if this is the end for Boehner, at least he can take solace in the fact that he wasn't forced to resign in the face of pending indictment for violating campaign finance law like his predecessor. Not for lack of trying, though, what with the tobacco money and the plausible deniability tactic with page-toucher Mark Foley. But enough of that. Let's look further down the article at some of the real internal drama:
Another Boehner ally, Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter of Michigan, physically turned his back on the leader during a tense closed-door GOP conference meeting Sunday night.
Thaddeus G. McCotter. Seriously, what kind of sadist would saddle their own child with such a ridiculous name?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Broken In Brief: Pre-teen screws around with dad's gun, foils robbery

BUFFALO--Today the mayor and city council came together to bestow upon Billy Carruthers, 12, the highest honor the City of Buffalo has; the Tim Russert Golden Wing of Honor for his role in foiling a home invasion this weekend. It happened when Billy and his friend Timmy Masterson, 12, were in his father's den, fooling around with a gun they found in a shoebox on top of the porn stash of Billy's father. What could have been a tragedy soon turned to heroism as an errant thrust of the gun towards the face of his friend Timmy resulted in a shot being fired. The bullet narrowly missed young Masterson's face as it went through the den window, across the street and lodged itself in the spine of petty criminal David Covington, who was engaged in the robbery in question.

"I just did what any kid would do when he found his Dad's loaded gun," remarked Billy, beaming with pride. "I dangerously brandished it without regard for human life or even the most basic measures of gun safety. Some would say its just luck that I didn't blow my friends face off and in the future I should be more careful. But I think of it as a sign from God that I should go around, waving loaded guns at all of society’s problems, so that I may fix them with the accidental misfire of social justice."

When asked if he regretted leaving a loaded pistol, unguarded, and in an area that a horny young child would be voraciously trying to find, a perplexed Mr.Carruthers answered "Of course not. If I didn't show such foresight this robbery would have gone on unabated and this Covington man would still be at large, burgling, instead of in traction at the Jim Kelly Memorial Prison Hospital with a 30% chance of walking again. Frankly I should be getting a large or perhaps larger medal. It was my glock and my hollow points."

At the ceremony the mayor made a plea to the youth of the area "As many know, over the past decade or so, depressed economic conditions have led to an increase in the crime rate in our fair city. We wish more of Buffalo's youth would take some of the initiative shown by Billy. Frankly if more of our children had just a little more disregard for personal safety we might have one of the more enviable crime rates in the country. Children, your city depends on you." He then fired his pearl handled mayoral six-shooters into the air, to thunderous applause.

Campbell's will be the last company remaining

Stocks, Oil Plunge After Congress Rejects Bailout; Bonds Rise
The benchmark index for American equities slipped to a four-year low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 777.68, its steepest point drop ever. The MSCI World Index lost as much as 86.99 to 1,163.38, giving it the steepest intraday percentage drop since its creation in 1970. Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index sank 5.5 percent to 251.43, the lowest since January 2005. The S&P 500 retreated 106.59 points to 1,106.42, as only one company gained, Campbell Soup Co.
That's somewhat ironic, considering after the complete world economic collapse, soup, bread, and apple carts are going to be the boom industries. In a hundred years, when everything is owned by the Campbell's Soup Mega-Conglomerate, when they control all media and financial systems, when they start wars and overthrow countries for extra celery in their Chunky Soup lines, when they grind up the disobedient into beef hunks for the Campbell's Select Dissident Beef with Barley, remember that it all started today.

And it was all Nancy Pelosi's fault for hurting John Boehner's feelings.

All hail your soup overlords. Sirloin Burger with Country Vegetables forever.

Ray of Light

In preparation for tonight's Steelers/Ravens game, we decided to dust off this old gem:

in these troubled times...

As you are all no doubt aware, the House of Representatives today rejected a $700 billion bailout, sending the stock market down about (heh) 700 points. According to Minority Leader John Boehner (rhymes with "loner"), this is all the fault of Speaker Pelosi (rhymes with... "Pelosi"), who was a big meanie to house Republicans.

In times like these, the American people are forced to ask the tough question, the one nobody wants to answer. Yet we must, if we are to find our way out of this pickle and into a new era of economic prosperity. And that question is...

More Palin interview horror

via Ben Smith at Politco
Howie Kurtz raised some eyebrows by reporting this morning that "the worst may be yet to come for Palin; sources say CBS has two more responses on tape that will likely prove embarrassing." A source familiar with CBS News’ plans clarified that this is part of the "Vice Presidential Questions" series with Biden and Palin. The recorded segments are scheduled to air Wednesday and Thursday before the vice presidential debate.
Dear, sweet, velociraptor riding Jesus, what more could this woman say that is even more embarrassing than her claim of fending Putin off through hand to hand combat when that rascal tried to sneak into America? Does she fire a gun into a group of school children? Declare allegiance to Iran? Try to use the Force to choke Katie Couric? Announce plans to time travel back and kill Hitler? Does she kill, cut, and clean a moose in an especially gruesome fashion? More pregnant daughters? Is she distracted by a shiny object? Does she get stuck and just repeats the same sentence 30 times? Is she bin Laden with a shave and sex change? Does she think George Washington wrote the pledge of allegiance? Illegal gorilla rodeo?

Dear God, the suspense is too much.

this could work

Sheril Kirshenbaum over at The Intersection has an interesting idea for all those worried that Biden's impending pistol-whipping of Palin will come off as sexist: Let Sheril debate Palin.

I'm all for this. Palin still gets her ass handed to her and Republicans can't cry "misogyny."

This is an actual satellite photo

Shotgun weddings as campaign events

I bet you were thinking there's no lower point this election could hit, short of all out race baiting. You were wrong, the McCain campaign is like five barrel bottoms ahead of you. McCain camp prays for Palin wedding.
In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the November 4 election.

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”
McCain is expected to have a front-row seat at Bristol’s wedding and to benefit from the outpouring of goodwill that it could bring. “What’s the downside?” a source inside the McCain campaign said. “It would be wonderful. I don’t know that there has ever been a pre-election wedding before.”
First off, if McCain has actual campaign people saying this kind of stuff to him, well it's amazing he's not polling around Nader's level. First off, the newsmedia is going to shut down for a week to go cover a seedily staged shotgun wedding with John McCain lecherously leering over the 'happy' couple? I know our media has low standards but even they can see a cheaply tasteless stunt. There's no downside? Coming off as shamelessly ruining the lives of two teenagers so your campaign can get some free media coverage that will almost certainly, largely revolve around the whole staggering exploitative feel of the wedding will be good? There are people who think this wouldn't backfire horribly?

Shit, I want to see McCain crash and burn horrifically, but even I have my limits. Wait, I'm getting an idea. Play into the whole exploitation angle. Make John McCain a part of every single part of the wedding. He walks Bristol down the aisle and he's Levi's best man. John becomes a licensed sea captain and then marries them under maritime law. That'll really give them an opportunity to mention he was in the Navy and a POW. They pledge fidelity to each other and John McCain. Then for the reception and photo taking, John is always within a three foot radius of the couple, appearing in the background of every photo. He can toddle around the dancefloor, making the first dance an awkward three person shuffle. The cake is a giant chocolate, icing, and fondant representation of John-boy masturbating with an American flag. When the couple leaves to go to the limo, they have to leap through a burning hoop that says "Vote McCain/Palin 08" in fire letters while holding fireproof McCain/Palin placards. Then they name the kid Trundle Vote For John McCain Palin.

Better yet, force a premature birth so Johnny Ballgame can better use it as a prop. I hear McCain insiders think that's a winner.

Palin and the Jesus Horse

SCIENCE FACT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Palin Claimed Dinosaurs And People Coexisted
Soon after Sarah Palin was elected mayor of the foothill town of Wasilla, Alaska, she startled a local music teacher by insisting in casual conversation that men and dinosaurs coexisted on an Earth created 6,000 years ago -- about 65 million years after scientists say most dinosaurs became extinct -- the teacher said.
Palin told him that "dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time," Munger said. When he asked her about prehistoric fossils and tracks dating back millions of years, Palin said "she had seen pictures of human footprints inside the tracks," recalled Munger, who teaches music at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and has regularly criticized Palin in recent years on his liberal political blog, called Progressive Alaska.
This woman is the gift that keeps on giving. She believes the Flintstones was a documentary because she saw a picture of two footprints once. She never thought beyond the two footprints or any other scientific explanation, she just rightfully assumed that it meant that humans and dinos lived together and that pelicans can be used to mix cement.

She believes carbon dating is bullshit and would just rather add up ages in the bible. What we need to know is if she thinks fossils are just God burying bones in an attempt to separate the believers from the science-heads or the devil burying bones in an attempt to trick us. Where she comes down on the important trickster God/Devil bone burying controversy will determine my vote. Matt Damon got his question answered, Palin thinks Judea had raptor races.

And she can see Russia from her house.

TB Weekend in Review

So uh, I guess some stuff happened while we were out protecting our borders from all threats foreign. Try not to thank us too hard.

-The debate. Well, to call it a debate is stretching the boundaries of truth. It was less of a debate and more of an opportunity to to use questions from Jim Lehrer to pivot into tried and true lines from their stump speeches. Obama got in a few shots about John McCain singing songs about starting new wars, refusal to meet with NATO allies, and gave a bullet point checklist of all areas in which McCain was wrong. McCain on the other hand refused to even look at Obama out of the corner of his eye, wanted to stake the whole economics debate on him hating the fuck out of bear DNA studies, and wanted to stake the foreign policy section on semantic arguments about the definitions of words. Also McCain may have proposed to David Petraeus at some point.

Most post debate argle bargle had it scored as either a draw or slight Obama win, while some went for the "McCain with a slight win, but he needed to do better, so that means Obama wins" analysis. When all the snap polls and next day polls came out in the following hours and days it seemed that the public thought Obama took the debate handily, mostly because they thought he won the economics portion of the debate handily. Indeed if you watched CNN, you got to see a little second by second graph showing readouts of a CNN focus group pressing buttons of praise and shame when they heard words. What was telling is that Independents always seemed to track almost exactly with Democrats in answer response. They seemed to view McCain negatively and Obama positively. In fact I don't remember Obama dipping into the negatives with Independents at all. McCain just doesn't seem to have a message that tracks with people outside of his party. Point and laugh.

-Would you be surprised if I told you that a man who seems to run his whole campaign on day to day whims and longshot, hail mary gambles also has a massive gambling problem replete with shady ties to gaming industry lobbyists? That man who seems to live by rolling the dice, likes to waste his wife's money on rolling dice? Well it's true. Clackety, clackety, clack, John McCain's got the hot hand in the dice game baby girl. In a hack, dime store novel kind of way, this pretty much explains the entire McCain campaign's mindset. Dangerously unqualified VP pick, horning in on bailout negotiations perhaps to their detriment, lying with every breath, picking constant fights with the media? Roll them dice bitch, it's gotta come up sevens at some point.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Green begets green

Infrequently do I agree with Thomas Friedman. And never happily...
Indeed, when this bailout is over, we need the next president — this one is wasted — to launch an E.T., energy technology, revolution with the same urgency as this bailout. Otherwise, all we will have done is bought ourselves a respite, but not a future. The exciting thing about the energy technology revolution is that it spans the whole economy — from green-collar construction jobs to high-tech solar panel designing jobs. It could lift so many boats.

Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain will grace us with his appearance tonight

From the Clusterfuck Command and Control Center.
Senator McCain has spent the morning talking to members of the Administration, members of the Senate, and members of the House. He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations, including Representative Blunt as a designated negotiator for House Republicans. The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the Senator will travel to the debate this afternoon.
Is he huffing paint? There's less progress than there was yesterday, when he decided to ride in on the white horse he rented and rub his balls all over a solution. The framework existed before the leprechaun that tells him to burn things told him to "suspend" his campaign. If you were to actually take him at his word that he needs to stay in Washington to get things done, there's more of a reason to stay today than thee was yesterday.

But none of that matters. John McCain will be at the debate, gracing us with his brilliance and malformed head full of randomly generated ideas about who to fire and what to do. He done blinked.

McCain wins future

via Jerome Armstrong at MyDD.

Apparently not only is John McCain going to the debate tonight, he's already won it according to the web ads he's running. Or maybe that's the exact reason he won't go, because he already won. Maybe there was some secret political grandstanding debate that he had with Obama. If the last few days are any indication, he did win it. Big.

No need to watch tonight. McCain kicked ass and took name. Barack Obama is going to have to get his ad team going if he wants a shot at the next one.


So yeah. At what point does the American populace start to get worried that the VP candidate for the Republican side is a blithering idiot? I can't imagine Sarah Palin could have looked worse unless she broke down crying about all the hard questions. Even then she might have won sympathy points. But she seems unable to express a coherent thought on any issue. What's scarier is that she's allegedly been being briefed and worked with constantly on the issues and how to handle the limited number of questions she's been asked. And she's still horrid. Does she have a learning disability?

It's not as if she's getting hard and unexpected questions either. She's striking out on questions about the financial bailout and Alaska. She can't even name things her running mate has done and tells Couric she'll get back to her later. She can't even correctly articulate the McCain/Palin positions. She's always offering up that she could give specifics, but never can. Perhaps the most embarrassing moment came when she tried to defend that claim she was a foreign policy expert because Russia is close by. She actually claimed that she had significant experience because if Putin (who isn't even President of Russia) decided to nuke America and invade in some direct to DVD sequel to Red Dawn, that the planes and missiles would be flying over Alaska on their way to Real America where the rest of us live. "As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska." What the fuck does that even mean?

Some of the commentary directed towards this interview has been of the "Yeah it was awful, but I almost feel sorry for her" variety. As if her blank faced nonsense in the face of easy questions is almost forgivable because it was Ricky Gervais/Larry David level awkward. Fuck Sarah Palin and her moose in the headlights look. She knew her inexperience, she knew her level of readiness and she still said yes to McCain anyway because “I answered him yes, because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can’t blink. You have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we’re on, reform of this country and victory in the war.” So she said yes because the thing you need is commitment not knowledge or experience. And she could conceivably be President if Cancer-face kicks off. You should be horrified that this is even a possibility.

Am I actually longing for the the eloquence of George W Bush? I think I am. You at least got the sense that there was a cliff-notes version of the issues in his desk somewhere that he was mis-remembering. I'm not sure Sarah even understands the cliff-notes. Next time a reporter asks a question Sarah, dive into the fucking bushes or fake a seizure. It could not go worse than if you answered it. I eagerly await your impending trainwreck with a bewildered Joe Biden and moderator.

While you were sleeping: WaMu

JPMorgan Chase buys WaMu assets after FDIC seizure
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc. came to the rescue of Washington Mutual Inc. Thursday, buying the thrift's banking assets after WaMu was seized by federal regulators in the largest failure ever of a U.S. bank. This is the second time in six months that JPMorgan Chase has taken over a major financial institution crippled by bad bets in the mortgage market.

The deal will cost JPMorgan Chase $1.9 billion, and the bank said in a statement it planned to write down WaMu's loan portfolio by approximately $31 billion. JPMorgan Chase, which acquired Bear Stearns Cos. last March, also said it would sell $8 billion in common stock to raise its capital position.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures bank deposits, said it would not have to dip into the insurance fund as a result of the seizure. There had been concerns that the fund, which took a big hit after the seizure in July of IndyMac Bank, could be depleted by a WaMu seizure.
In the weeks since it was announced that WaMu failure was imminent, the bank's customers pulled $16.7 billion in deposits, leaving the bank without any assets. Thus the boys at JP Morgan Chase get to swoop in and pick the bones clean of another victim. Apparently the 5 people who left their money in WaMu won't notice any change, as it will be just like any other bank switchover, and there will be no need for further mass banks runs with the money grabbing, window smashing, teller bruising, and grabbing on pens with chains on them in an attempt to posses anything of value now that your life savings are erased.

Better news is the fact that the FDIC won't have to eat shit on paying out the money it insured to a failed bank, and thus won't need to be bailed out. Yet. Yes, you heard right, the FDIC might need bailing out. Well, not bailing out so much as government insurance that the they can pay out the money they insured in all those failing banks. Our government insurer needs government assurance. Remember, you always have a matress to store your money under. Trust in Sealy and their postur-pedic, money caressing springs.

Bailout explodes into fiery hellstorm of failure

fire hoop mccain
Evel McCainievel's stunt didn't work. Line up some buses for him to jump!

John McCain's valiant efforts to put aside politics by parachuting into the negotiations to offer his rapidly changing opinions to people who had been working on it for the last 10 days without word one from him, were dashed on the rocks of evil partisanship. It seems focusing the entire Presidential campaign on delicate and tenuous negotiations actually results in more gamesmanship and political posturing, not less. Who would've known? Not John McCain, that's who.

It seems that instead of hammering out the nooks and crannies of what was largely agreed upon by all sides (more taxpayer help, protections, oversight, CEO restrictions, and using installments, not a guaranteed $700 billion), a large group House Republicans wanted to introduce and entirely new framework 15 minutes before the meeting and work off of that. According to CBS News, their plan involves fewer regulations and more corporate tax breaks. McCain evidently tacitly supports this plan as shown by his mumbling and corner sitting during the big meeting he called for. Where were these House Republicans for the past week and a half and why couldn't they bother to muster up their plan before, I don't know the last possible minute? Well, stupid ideas get laughed out at the beginning, especially when their the same ones you always want to do (less regs and taxes). But if you recklessly throw them in at the last possible second then they have to be taken seriously, even if they exacerbate the problem by compounding what already went wrong. Seriously, less regulation? You guys are precious.

So buck up, apparently this isn't a serious crisis requiring immediate attention. I mean if it were serious, McCain and House Republicans wouldn't be dicking around the negotiations, playing chicken and *gasp* politics with the thing they all said would cause the New Great Depression by early next week. So come on House Republicans, dust off all your old shit. Make the bailout contingent on ending estate taxes, flag burning, abortion, and having Reagan's face put on Mt. Rushmore. Johnny needs to shore up his conservative base.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mind shattering testicle injury of the day

John McCain wasn't even involved.

From MMA Mania, a recap of a fight between Mirko Cro Cop and Alistair Overeem.
Later on in the round Overeem landed at least three illegal knees to the groin — one of which wasn’t caught by the referee. After the last one Cro Cop was in obvious agony. The words that came out of Bas Rutten’s mouth when the bout was getting waived off and called a no contest will haunt men around the world for a long time:

“We just got informed by Mirko Cro Cop’s corner that his right testicle is inside.”

Moving on …

Absolutely brilliant

It seems some women, taken by the insane notion that they should have dominion over their own bodies, have started donating to Planned Parenthood on behalf of Sarah Palin. Below the fold you'll find a sample forwarded to me by one of the perpetrators...

Thank you for your special tribute gift to Planned
Parenthood. If you requested an announcement, a card will be
sent to the person indicated, notifying them of your gift.

Your gift will be directed to the area of our work that you
selected, and your support will bring us closer to our
shared vision of a world where every child is wanted, where
family planning is universally understood, accessible, and
accepted, and where everyone can exercise reproductive
freedoms in health and safety.

On behalf of everyone here at Planned Parenthood, thank you
again for your support and generosity.


Cecile Richards
Planned Parenthood Federation of America

P.S. Your contribution to Planned Parenthood Federation of
America is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable
under law. IRS regulations require us to state that we did
not provide any goods or services to you in consideration of
your contribution. You may wish to print or save this
message as your receipt for tax purposes.

Payment Information:
Transaction ID: XXXXX
Date: September 25, 2008
Time: 12:44pm (ET)
Payment Amount: $25.00
Campaign: Support Planned Parenthood! Honorary Giving

This donation is on behalf of or in memory of:
Name: Sarah Palin

Send acknowledgements to:
Name: Sarah Palin
Address: 1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22202
United States
Editor's note: The Arlington address is that of the McCain campaign headquarters.

One man debate is a go

Well what are we gonna do if John McCain skips out on tomorrows debate so he can pretend he's fixing the economy with spit, duct tape, angry screams at the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and a printing run of John McCain funbucks to serve as our new monetary system? Apparently Obama's going to show up, turn it into a townhall (which will really chap McCain's "I had to lie about Barack because he wouldn't do my town halls" ass), and take questions from the audience and Jim Lehrer for three hours on national TV.
Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, an official close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post.

In McCain's absence, the Senator is willing to make the scheduled debate a townhall meeting, a one-on-one interview with NewsHour's Jim Lehrer, or the combination of the two, the official said.
Meanwhile, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said on Thursday that he expected the debate to go forward as planned.
Ball is in your court John. Do you pretend to be helping when guys like Chuck Schumer, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and Harry Reid are teabagging you hourly on the fact that you have no idea what you are talking about and are serving no function in the negotiations? Or do you tuck your tail between your legs, slink off to Ole Miss and get your spanking from a man who outmaneuvered you yet again.

Of course it's not exactly hard to outthink a campaign of shrieking nancies constantly screaming "OH FUCK, LOOK AT THE POLLS! WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING DRASTIC! QUICK, SHOOT ME IN THE FOOT!" I mean you just gotta sit there, jaw agape, and try not to take too much pleasure in the old man limping around on a bleeding stump, telling everyone that they're biased for pointing out the lower part of his leg has been shot off.

Is McCain even in Washington yet?

Broken News: Carny hucksters embarrassed for political spokesmen

Big Dan McCann making today's stunning political announcement. Afterward reporters were treated to his sideshow: a mystifying, bona fide wonder of the age.
THE MIDWAY--In a joint statement issued today, the Brotherhood of Carnival Barkers and the Union of Flim-Flam Hucksters expressed a profound embarrassment with the political spokesmen of the McCain campaign. The statement in part read “While we certainly empathize with a group that has to so completely debase itself on a national stage, we nonetheless wish to register our complete embarrassment towards your entire profession.”

This criticism is an unprecedented step for what many observers saw as kindred industries. But with new lows being hit and standards of truth and honesty being thrown out the window by government and campaign spokespeople every day, snake oil salesmen, word illusionists, carnies, evangelical preachers, grifters, grafters, hustlers, swindlers, and con men were tired of having their professional reputation sullied by comparisons to communications directors of political campaigns.

“Look we know that sometimes shit is shit and you just got to grin and eat it, but come on now, this is ridiculous,” observed Big Dan McCann, a fifteen-year veteran Barker at Bazooko’s Circus in Las Vegas. “I’ve had to get people to walk in to see dog-faced boys, Siamese twins, malformed fetuses, pinheads, flipper babies, and bearded ladies, but even I have my limits. I mean there’s trying to get people to come in and see two geeks bite the heads off of live chickens and then there’s trying to defend Sarah Palin’s supposed wealth of foreign policy experience. Dignity is dignity. Two bits or not, no one’s gonna take a gander if they don't believe in the freak show."

"This is a beautiful art when performed correctly. You get people in by massagin' the truth, by buildin' up expectations and sellin' the experience to the point where if they don't come out praising the alien carcass, they look like rubes who got swindled. If you lie to them they won't go out and sell the lie for you, they'll just demand their money back. Didn't these people learn anything from the Grifters? Cusack was tits!”

Most of the shame has been directed at Steve Schmidt, McCain’s campaign strategist and adviser, who got his start in Atlantic City trying to goad tourists into taking a trip on the “Ye Olde Mill” ride at the destitute Funzilla Amusement Gardens and Salt Water Taffery. Union members see his spokesman work for the McCain campaign as a violation of his oath of integrity when he joined the UFFH in 1992.

“Schmitty’s done us wrong,” said mentor and UFFH VP of Humbug and Swindling Arty Kotch. “When he was growing up he could scam anything off of anyone. He could sell shaved ice and piss and have people telling people two towns over to head down to the Boardwalk to try the great lemonade. He was brilliant.”

“Now? Stephen Glass and Jayson Blair look down their noses at him. He tells you the sun is out; you stick your head out the window and wonder if that fiery orb isn’t some trick he’s pulling. He hands you chocolate ice cream and you suspect a form of ape excrement. You hear him lambaste the New York Times for printing simple incontrovertible fact and you just shake your head.”

Kotch then sighed and threw up his hands. “The piss-icee kid is dead, replaced by a shell of a man who couldn’t sell handjobs at a hard-on convention. Not even with his delicately moisturized mitts and his strong yet supple wrists.”

In fact, this year several members of the political establishment have been thrown out of the prestigious Münchhausen Society for “…conduct detrimental to the field of professional truth stretching and tall tale telling.”

Many in the huckster world are wondering just what the current strategy among political spokesmen is. P.T. Barnum’s famous maxim was that a sucker was born every minute. But by industry calculations, the rate is more likely around every three and a half minutes, which at its highest levels leaves the US with only 135,000 suckers born each year.

At best, the BCB estimates the American Sucker Index to be around 23%, accounting for most, if not all, of President Bush’s dwindling support. Furthermore not all are voting eligible and with many working jobs on Wall Street and at investment banking firms they have already tuned out of the political race to concentrate on the more pressing matters of standing in soup lines and fighting hobos for cardboard underneath bridges. It is a small subset of the American populace that is largely immovable from within the current political climate which has industry analysts wondering why every campaign and government organization pitches their message specifically to this group.

“Honest to God stool pigeons are born that way, we all know that,” said Bertram Hinkle, industry analyst and licensed ‘smooth operator’. “The only way you turn the populace into a blubbering mass of gullible stooges, naively waitin’ for commands to be obeyed, is with some large, scary, transformative event. Mortgages ain’t gon’ do it, sugar britches. So all this flailing about liberal media and sexin’ kindergartners and putting Maybelline on a fine summer ham ain’t gonna put the heebie-jeebbies into the masses. Ya’ll just debasing yourself with a kind of perverse performance art of flop sweat and failure. It got us scratching our heads in mystification, I say I say.”

While the McCain campaign and the National Association of Political Spokesmen refused to comment for the story, an hour before press time we received a letter with no postage or any other markings on it. Inside were the words, written in blood, "In the tank."

That's a whole lotta dimp

Courtesy of a certain intrepid journalist and These Bastards sympathizer, we bring you the latest in our award-winning series, "Our Horrific Financial Apocalypse." This fresh look comes in the form of a comprehensive tally, compiled by Yalman Onaran at Bloomberg News, of the credit crisis write-downs endured by companies foreign and domestic. The total? Oh, only about $501 billion.

Yes, Billion.

A quote to give you confidence in the bailout

Bad News For The Bailout
In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."
Boy combined with the oversight lying, now now now, don't read just pass, 2 1/2 pages, pay for itself bullshit, this quote from the treasury just wells you up with confidence that our best and brightest are concerned with getting this right. Was there no wheel they could spin for dollar amounts? A dartboard? Did they rule gambling on the roulette wheel right out or did it take them a few days to cut it out of the proposal, the vaunted missing half page?

The bailout will pay for the Iraq war

PAULSON: This is not an expenditure. … Money will come back in.

BERNANKE: What’s clear is that the $700 billion is not an expenditure. There’s going to be a substantial amount of recovery.

BUSH: Money will flow back to the Treasury as these assets are sold, and we expect that much, if not all, of the tax dollars we invest will be paid back.
via Think Progress comes the new line of rose colored bullshit from our elected and unelected betters. "Of course the bailout is a lot of money, but not only is it all going to get paid back, we might even make a massive profit. How can you not love this idea?" Why not? I mean we are so flush with cash after those grateful Iraqis paid us back for the Iraq war just like Perle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Powell, and Bush said they would. Since that investment scheme worked out so well, let's go bigger and try and turn and even bigger profit by buying worthless stuff with $700 billion. Then we'll bet it all on a horse.

C'mon GDub, you guys aren't even trying anymore. Not even new lies? I've lost faith in you. I have no understanding of markets and I know I'm being sold bullshit. These assets aren't undervalued, they're overvalued. Which is why there's a crisis. Betting that worthless shit is actually secretly made of platinum and diamonds is a bad bet. Paul Krugman so helpfully explains the solution to that "But how can we help the financial situation without making that bet? By taking an equity stake. That way, if it turns out that the feds are pumping money in at above-fair prices, at least they get ownership, just as a private white knight would have."

Which sounds exactly like what Dodd and Frank have decided to do. Which on the flipside means we might own a lot of banks and financial institutions. That at least protects the taxpayer more and it's a step up from hoping we can sell crap we bought high for even higher.

McCain's debate suspension idea becomes clearer

McCain camp to propose postponing VP debate
McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.

In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday.

Graham says the McCain camp is well aware of the position of the Obama campaign and the debate commission that the debate should go on as planned — but both he and another senior McCain adviser insist the Republican nominee will not go to the debate Friday if there's no deal on the bailout.
Look Johnny, we know she's not doing well on the whole interview front and after a while it gets embarrassing. All she does is repeat rote slogans and vague generalities and when gets asked to name something, anything, specific can only offer up a blank stare and an offer to 'get back to you later.' Oh well, I guess you shouldn't have picked her then. But here's the thing, you can't hide her until November, much as you'd obviously like to. Oh, and good job trying to bury her interview with Couric yesterday by going over and giving Katie a live one. Preempting your own VP, that's a new one.

Eventually she's going to have to sit down for a period of hours with Joe Biden, on TV, and get asked questions she can't get back to the moderator later on. It appears there is going to be a bailout solution and most of it was worked out this morning and yesterday, when you were too busy chatting up Lady Rothschild, Bono, and Couric while 'suspending your campaign' to actually be involved in the negotiations. They'll have something out, possibly before you even get to Washington, you'll have to debate on Friday and your girl will have to give us the live version of the moose in the headlights look. Sorry the world didn't stop to hide your mistakes. If you get in a really fast jet, I'm sure you can get to Washington and delay the bailout til' Saturday with an expertly devised tantrum. Or just not show up to the debate Friday. Grow up, take your medicine like a big boy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Broken in Brief: Bloggers Seek to Delay Blogging Amid Financial Crisis

PITTSBURGH/NEW YORK--World-renowned bloggers, Matthew and Sean, creators and editors of These Bastards, have announced their intention to stop blogging until the current financial crisis has been resolved.

Citing intractable differences between a pair of homeless guys and the owner of the store in front of which they were arguing, the pair elected to suspend their three-month-old campaign of spraying high-proof piss all over everything you've ever held dear in favor of observing a somber moment and formulating a plan that will allow our stupid fucking socialism-for-the-rich economy to continue forever.

"Get the fuck out of our way, McCain. We’re going to save America first!” said Matthew, from a phone in the closet of Henry Paulson’s house. “For the sake of the country we are going to focus on what’s important to the American people: giving multi-national corporations untold billions with no accountability or oversight. My plan involves a ‘to the death’ tournament between all the CEO’s who want bailout money. No holds barred, bring your own truncheon. Then, when everyone’s looking at John Mack garroting Charles Schwab in the Circle of Blood, we steal the $700 billion and hightail it to an undisclosed location, forcing Congress to concoct another bailout scheme. It’s not so much a plan as an elaborate, spiteful fuckover/murder/theft.” He then made a cryptic reference to it being time to ‘carve the Christmas goose’ before the sound of a door being kicked open, knife play, human shrieking, and a dial tone was heard.

"Whatever it is you people eventually accomplish, just make sure I get mine," said Sean before placing his head gingerly back on the bar. From somewhere around his elbow/bicep/armpit area, he screamed, "All I know is, these pricks are playing ticky-tacky with my tax revenue and I've been holding on to a satchel of pipe bombs for fucking months. Do you have any idea how many sample sales I walk past every day? I figure, hey, skinny limbs don't cause as much damage when they hit bystanders. But no, Matt keeps telling me to bide my time."

When pressed to address the supposedly dire financial crisis, Sean continued, "Oh, the pinstripes? Yeah, I throw down with some of them every Thursday. They drink like weak-kneed Sicilian grandmothers but don't fight nearly as well. If you see Donnie, tell him he owes me another defense of Say's Law and a sixer of Optimator, or I'll kick his fucking ass."

McCain wants to hit the pause button

In an attempt to dramatically slow the impending collapse within his campaign the financial markets, John McCain has proposed a campaign 'time-out' in an attempt to prevent the catastrophic damage a bad debate could have on his campaign Congressional inaction could have on the economy. His solution? Getting pictures of himself taken in Washington in front of desks with big important papers on them. Canceling Friday's debate and going to Washington to focus on the economy.
Republican John McCain said Wednesday he wants to delay Friday's debate with Democratic rival Barack Obama and temporarily put aside their partisan campaign to resolve the nation's financial crisis.

McCain's announcement came after the two candidates held private talks about joining forces to address the Wall Street meltdown. The Obama campaign said the Democrat initiated the talks, but McCain beat Obama to the punch with the first public statement calling for the two to rise above politics in a time of crisis.

McCain said the Bush administration's plan seemed headed for defeat and a bipartisan solution was urgently needed.
First off, fuck yeah~! if Paulson's plan is coughing up blood as it goes down in flames. Secondly John, you aren't on any of the important committees, by your own admission you don't know shit about the economy, and everyone can see a giant political stunt for what it is when they come big assing their way through the door with a 40-gallon foam novelty hat and an air horn. The economy will survive you and Barack Obama talking for a few hours on Friday night. Your sad attempt to pretend like you're going to be too busy burning the midnight oil on Friday solving America's problems, is sad. You are attempting to become the President, you should be able to do two things at once.

This is real life, you can't hit the pause button and then 'accidently' fall into the Nintendo, resetting it. No do-overs. The election is coming in November. Put on the big boy pants and go talk to Barack and Jim Lehrer on Friday. Wall Street will survive.........somehow.

McCain is pretty, oh so pretty

EXCLUSIVE: John McCain Uses Idol Makeup Artist!
John McCain, whose ads skewer Barack Obama for his "celebrity" status, has his own close ties to show business, the new issue of Us Weekly reports exclusively.

The 72-year-old was recently made TV-ready by makeup artist Tifanie White who's worked on So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol.

McCain paid the 2002 beauty-school grad $5,583.43 for her services, according to the Federal Election Commission.
In case you were wondering how much bondo, grout, belt sander pads, and rouge are needed to tart up John McCain into looking fully animated, it's about five and a half grand worth. On the other hand, his dentures can bite through titanium and were fitted to him a decade ago as part of the Defense Department's Project Reaver, in which high level operatives were fitted with dangerous body augmentations for shits and giggles. So that was free. The turtle waxing of his cranium and the skin bleaching (for that extra paleness) are included in the five grand price tag.

However, he will need another five grand of bodywork and latex paint to fully weatherproof him for the winter. Donations can be made on McCain.com.

Elephant in the room

Obama campaign today:
"It is now clear that both John McCain and Rick Davis did not tell the truth about Davis's continuing financial relationship with Freddie Mac, one of the actors at the center of this financial crisis. It's troubling not only that Davis's firm—with which he is still associated and which the McCain campaign paid directly last year—continued to be compensated by Freddie Mac until as recently as last month, but that the firm did little work and apparently was being paid simply to provide access to the McCain campaign.

"The question that now needs to be answered is this: did Freddie Mac or any other special interests buy access to John McCain by compensating top officials, including Rick Davis?" said Obama-Biden communications director Dan Pfeiffe
Whether they got play for pay is debatable, there is no question that they were undoubtedly trying to get it. But it's Keating Five not like Keating Five John McCain Keating Five has ever Keating Five gotten himself Keating Five into these Keating Five situations before, right?

Freddie Mac beclowns McCain again

McCain Transition Head Lobbied for Freddie Mac Before Takeover
The lobbying firm of the man Republicans say John McCain has chosen to begin planning a presidential transition earned more than a quarter of a million dollars this year representing Freddie Mac, one of the companies McCain blames for the nation's financial crisis.

Timmons & Co., whose founder and chairman emeritus is William Timmons Sr., was registered to lobby for Freddie Mac from 2000 through this month, when the federal government took over both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Newly available congressional records show Timmons's firm received $260,000 this year before its lobbying activities were barred under terms of the government rescue of the failed mortgage giant. Timmons, 77, is listed as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac on the company's midyear financial-disclosure form.
Oh John, you've done it again. Not content to have your campaign manager shill for dirty nickels, you have to go and get another Freddie Mac lobbyist to plan your entire White House transition. If there's any consolation, I don't think he'll have much transitioning work to do.

What's left? Pictures of you with sacks of money labeled "ill-gotten mortgage cash" on a yacht? Perhaps video footage of you planning the mortgage crisis from an underground bunker? A voodoo ritual where you embody the essence of every mortgage company into a single man named Freddie Mac, who you then have sex with? Your campaign exists solely in the realm of comedy now. A good day for you involves only one major revelation that you are a liar.

I'm guessing it was a bad idea to try to blame Freddie and Fannie for the mortgage crisis and then try to blame Freddie and Fannie on Barack Obama. Oh well, can't win 'em all. Or in your case, any.

Can we not give $700 billion to the liar?

Hey I have an idea for a bailout plan that would give me some confidence that we wouldn't be better off piling the money on and offshore barge and burning it. Don't give $700 billion the the guys who lies to Congress when he talks about how much he really really needs that money.
Paulson's "Give Me Money" Testimony: We gave you a simple, three-page legislative outline and I thought it would have been presumptuous for us on that outline to come up with an oversight mechanism. That’s the role of Congress, that’s something we’re going to work on together. So if any of you felt that I didn’t believe that we needed oversight: I believe we need oversight. We need oversight.
Paulson's "Give Me Money" plan: Section 8. Review: Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Just a bit of a refresher here Hank, what you described in your plan is the complete opposite of oversight. It in fact ensures no oversight. I'm sure that's just a mistake on your part, after all language can get muddled and proposals confusing when they hit lengths of two and a half pages. We probably read it wrong, there must be a heading about Section 8 that says "Things You Should Not Do Under Any Circumstances", it was probably just cropped off by some idiot teenager at Kinko's.

Or maybe you're just a colossal liar who wants to use this crisis as an excuse to dole out free billions to your buddies on Wall Street without anyone being able to stop you. You just weren't able to fearmonger the plan through before some junior aide was able to read the nearly three pages and say "Hey wait...." Then with your pants fully caught down you stammered your way through a speech where who tried to claim that of course you meant the opposite of what your plan states, how could anyone have thought differently?

But I don't want to be presumptuous.

Obama rides a wave of economy hate

Economic Fears Give Obama Clear Lead Over McCain in Poll
More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support. The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 percent and Obama at 47 percent.

As a point of comparison, neither of the last two Democratic nominees -- John F. Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000 -- recorded support above 50 percent in a pre-election poll by the Post and ABC News.
I am loathe to discuss national polling but fuck you, it's a slow news day. Plus, this poll seemingly confirms what you can find over in more detail at place like Five Thirty Eight, Real Clear Politics, and State Poll Orgy/Semi-Nude Grope: Obama is widening his lead/taking a lead/closing the gap in places where he is ahead/tied/behind.

Harrumble for Democracy! I wonder what could be fueling this push of support for our foremost Black Muslim? Oh yes, a Wall Street that has kidnapped our economy and won't give it back until you wire $700 billion into a Swiss bank account. As we await our imminent saving from Harrison Ford while he belts out a grizzled "Not on my watch" before exploding Wall Street, America has decided that the Republican party is to blame. They shower Barack Obama with their sweet sweet approval points and beat on John McCain with the stick of shame.

No worries John, you have your excuse already built in. It wasn't all the lying, scheming, two-faced dealing, utter lack of coherent message, the Moose Queen of Russia, or liberal media bias. It was the rotten economy, that you were totally against, that sunk your virtuous campaign of light and good. No self-realization or self-analysis needed. It was out of your hands. Bush screwed you with his economy.

CERN gives us til April

You have til April. That's when CERN will fire up the LHC after they clean up the helium they spilled everywhere and then heat up and cool some magnets. Why April? Apparently after the 2 months it takes to reheat and cool the magnets, they have to shut down to conserve electricity. One can't open a black hole and destroy existence when one is paying 90 cents a kilowatt hour.
The world’s newest and largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, will not begin operations again until April, officials at the European Center for Nuclear Research said Tuesday.

The machine is built to speed the subatomic particles called protons to nearly the speed of light and then smash them together in search of new forms of matter and energy that cannot be produced in smaller machines. Two weeks ago, the center for nuclear research, which is outside Geneva, sent the first beams of protons around the machine’s 17-mile-long underground racetrack.

But last Friday the machine was shut down after an electrical connection between two of the superconducting electromagnets that steer the protons suffered a so-called quench, heating up, melting and leaking helium into the collider tunnel. Liquid helium is used to cool the magnets to superconducting temperatures of only about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit above absolute zero. Stray heat can cause the magnets to lose their superconductivity with potentially disastrous consequences.
I think we all know what really happened. The UN came through with the first payment of money in unmarked, non-sequential bills, to be left behind the statue of Fritz Haber at the University of Dusseldorf. The madmen at CERN have decided to give us til April to come up with the rest or they negate reality. Until then they'll just terrorize the Pacific Rim with their weather machine.

Send monies to
The "Please Don't Fucking Kill Us" Fund c/o CERN
CERN CH-1211
Genève 23

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yeah, about that Crisis...

Those of you who, when confronted with a daunting, unfamiliar idea -- say, the White House attempting to take $700 billion and, oh, I don't know, give it to Wall Street -- think we might want to stop and think before doing anything too hasty, Chris Bowers is talking some sense.

[via Atrios]

Rickmas comes early this year

Maybe while we've got Sarah Palin in town someone can ask her what her handlers told her to say about this:
WASHINGTON-- One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager from the end of 2005 through last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.
Well, we all knew that Davis had gotten fat by lobbying Congress for less regulation on behalf of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But according to Senator McCain himself, that all ended years ago, right?
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...
Are you're saying that a lobbying firm owned by the campaign manager for the Republican Presidential Candidate was accepting payments from two failing government sponsored lending enterprises long after the campaign claimed the financial relationship had ended?
They said Mr. Davis’s his firm, Davis & Manafort, was kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davis’s close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who was widely expected by 2006 to run again for the White House.
I guess so. Perhaps the next jabbering illogical retreat to emerge from the McCain camp will sound something like, "Mr. Davis never accepted a dime after these companies were placed into conservatorship by the federal government." Wait, what's that, Times?
They said they did not recall Mr. Davis doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than speak to a political action committee composed of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the coming midterm congressional elections.
Just had to go and do it, didn't you? Had to kick the bastard on his way to the ground.

"Liberal Media Bias!" in 3... 2...

Picture of the day - 9.23.08

What the Denver Post calls a "demonstrator" we call someone with sound judgment and a sense of humor. Incidentally, the two men pictured in the foreground lack both.

Broken News: Thread Counts Plummet on News of Financial Meltdown

NEW YORK--Panic descended upon the Overpriced Fancy Shit industry today as the Wall Street economic downturn finally made its way to the brass-button register. Thread counts were down across the board, with the Upper East Side and West Village tallies dropping nearly 20%. Experts placed the losses mostly within the 1500 thread-count Egyptian Cotton market but warned that they could spread to the Grand Italian and Jacquard markets in Connecticut by week's end.

"I am shocked and, like, appalled," announced Banana Republic Sales Associate, Hans Fitzgerald, from his unusually quiet Men's section in the upscale outfitter's West 34th Street location. "This time of year, I should be moving Merino pin-dot argyle v-necks and Heritage snap-neck mock turtlenecks like they're going out of style." Fitzgerald paused to chuckle at his own joke before continuing, "And the Chinos? Christ on a rainbow sequined parade float, don't even get me started."

The mood was equally bleak at J. Crew, where Women's Yoga Accessories regional sales manager Felicia Witherspoon called August, "The worst month for seamless cross-back camis and double-stranded headbands since the Great Pilates Explosion in 2005."

Accessories also took a hit, as Gucci wrote-off nearly $4 million in the second quarter from its Ebony GG Fabric with White Leather Trim Baby Carrier division. While acknowledging the dip in sales, Gucci Marketing Director Angelica Evangelica attempted to put a positive spin on her company's strategy. "We are simply re-channeling our energies into the emerging belt bag, wristlet, and gold-plated leather dog harness markets, where the real growth lies."

Slumping sales are by no means confined to the high-end clothing industry. Among the hardest hit are those within the rap industry. Long based upon rhyming high-end merchandise with other higher-end merchandise, rap lyrics have taken a massive creative hit during this economic slump.

Multi-platinum rapper and energy drink mogul, Ar-Money Exchayynge, lamented, “I mean you gotta rap about what you know right?” And what I know right now is voicemails from collection agencies, shrimp flavored ramen, and a busted-ass Geo Metro. How am I supposed to keep up with this new crop of Arab rappers? They’re talking about buying soccer teams, vast oil fields, and diamond Maybach’s and here I am talkin’ to Stan Goldberg about refinancing my motherfucking mortgage. Nobody wants to hear that shit."

"What am I supposed to do, lie? Rap about shit I rent? If the current rap scene is about anything, it’s about lyrical and artistic integrity. If I can’t buy it, I can’t rap about it. That’s the code. If I rap about a Faberge egg I better have the son of a bitch sitting on the top of my toilet or Jay-Z will fuck me up. And if I try to go all political and shit, Chuck D and Mos Def will have my legs broken.”

Equally telling are the manufacturing cuts that have naturally followed the downturn in sales, dealing a fierce blow to the self-esteem of child laborers throughout the Third World.

“They used to be so proud they were making Louis Vuitton bags they couldn’t afford to buy with 1,000 years of pay,” observed Trong Dinh, sweatshop manager and three-time winner of Thailand’s Cruelest Taskmaster award.

Dinh, who became visibly distraught while discussing these trying times, continued, “Now we have them sewing together knockoffs. You can see their hearts aren’t into it. I beat them just like I used to, but they know that botoxed, old money whores and gaudy, nouveau-riche trollops aren’t going to be putting these on their AMEX black cards and cramming malnourished toy schnauzers into them. You can almost see, stitch by stitch, how disappointed these poor children are to know their work will be purchase by middle class scum with poorly dyed hair and accents holding paper money. Honestly, I don’t think I'd even show up if not for my deep, abiding love of beating eight-year-olds.”

These devastating effects have even moved into the drug market, once thought recession-proof, as former financial company junior executives are now no longer able to afford the vast amounts of cocaine that once fueled their nightlife. Verily, yayo is piling up in uncool brick piles in the shipping crates of beleaguered Haitians instead of cool Scarface-style pyramids on the desks of the Junior Vice Presidents for Overseas Development.

Without cash or drugs, these debased executives have been forced to rely on their personalities to attract sober women who have suddenly ballooned to unlovable size without their appetite suppressants. Neither group is faring well in this new world, kindred spirits on the outside of a lifestyle the financial crisis has left dashed upon the rocks.

There is hope that the recently unveiled $700 billion dollar bailout plan of Treasury Secretary Harry Paulson will flood the beleaguered socio-economic groups with the capital necessary to raise thread counts to early-2005 levels. However, Congressional approval of the plan was still pending at press time, as government officials had yet to decide which cheese plate they preferred for the afternoon session.

Sell your shitpile

Don't let Wall Street have all the fun. Dump all your distressed assets on Paulson in exchange for gobs of cash. That's why God created Buy My Shitpile.com, to give you a conduit to sell your worthless shit at premium prices.

Remember, just like Wall Street its not what the assets are actually worth, it's what you think they're worth that's key. Comically, my sense of self worth is only $4.32. Pricing jokes! You have distressed assets, help Henry Paulson give you vast sums of money for them, our economy depends on it.

CEO pay restrictions? NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!

It seems one line of Republican defense will hold. They will die defending one hill, sending more and more into the breach to replace those who have fallen. They will never give up on excessive CEO compensation!!

As articulated by our nation's foremost sign-language gorilla George W and broadcast wide by his dutiful chimps in Congress, making sure CEO's who take taxpayer money don't collect tens of millions in bonuses is "punitive" and will "decrease participation in the program." This was further enunciated by Ben "Big Bailout" Bernanke, FEDhead and alliteration king, in congressional testimony today.

To which I say: good. I'm glad it's punitive and I hope it will decrease involvement. Because if a CEO is not willing to take a pay hit to get free billions then his company isn't really in danger and doesn't really need a bailout, does it? If you do need free billions in order to stave off failure then guess what, you're a fucking incompetent failure and you don't deserve a massive bonus for needing Uncle Sam to throw you a lifeline. I'm begging you Republican party, defend this en masse. For years your slogan has been "Fuck the working class", I just want you to put the giant, marble, monument of an exclamation point at the end of it. Before November.

America has let you off the hook Democrats

What's the biggest advantage to being a timid opposition party that gets steamrolled whenever it doesn't have the temerity to capitulate? What's the biggest advantage to being perceived as knockneed weaklings? When shit goes cockeyed the American people know it wasn't your fault because you never got your way.
A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll suggests that by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans blame Republicans over Democrats for the financial crisis that has swept across the country the past few weeks — one factor that may have contributed to an apparent increase in Barack Obama’s edge over John McCain in the race for the White House.

In the new survey, released Monday afternoon, 47 percent of registered voters questioned say Republicans are more responsible for the problems currently facing financial institutions and the stock market, with 24 percent saying Democrats are more responsible. One in five of those polled blame both parties equally, and 8 percent say neither party is to blame.
Oh sure, you deserve scorn for not standing up to this shit when you could have stopped the mess, but it wasn't your idea in the first place. Build yourself a statue.

Fetuses love rocket fuel

Noticing a delightful tang in your water of late? Do you feel like you've got some extra pep? Like your thyroid is being slowly liquidated? You've probably just been reaping the rewards of a water supply contaminated with rocket fuel. As you've no doubt developed a taste for ground water and perchlorate you'll be happy to hear the EPA is going to do jack shit.
The Environmental Protection Agency has decided there's no need to rid drinking water of a toxic rocket fuel ingredient that has fouled public water supplies around the country.

EPA reached the conclusion in a draft regulatory document not yet made public but reviewed Monday by The Associated Press.

The ingredient, perchlorate, has been found in at least 395 sites in 35 states at levels high enough to interfere with thyroid function and pose developmental health risks, particularly for babies and fetuses, according to some scientists.

The EPA document says that mandating a clean-up level for perchlorate would not result in a "meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by public-water systems."
What caused most of this percolate? The Defense Department's use of it in missile testing, defense and aerospace activities. That means if there's a cleanup the Pentagon faces liability issues. We can't have that, so thus the EPA squashes this and you South Westerners get flipper babies.

The Bush EPA: Looking out for you numero uno.

McCain campaign loses its shit

Yesterday the New York Time broke the brains of the McCain campaign. Again. It happens a lot. But they really freaked out this time. They really didn't like the story on Rick Davis lobbying for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a cool $2 million. They really didn't like all the quotes from Fannie and Freddie bigwigs who said they were paying Davis for access to McCain. They brought their madness to a fine froth.

"But whatever the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization. It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day attacks the McCain campaign...It is an organization that has made a decision to cast aside its journalistic integrity and advocate for the defeat of one candidate and the election of another." Steve Schmidt raged. Rick Davis stuttered and mumbled through a defense that had him claiming the loosest of ties to Fannie/Freddie and inventing a malady known as "Rick Davis envy".

Then Schmidt launched into a tirade about all the Obama scandals everyone should be covering. The Politico was all too happy to fact check them and deride them for their absence of fact. Schmidt's response? "You are in the tank for Obama." Because actual journalistic standards of integrity aren't supposed to involve fact checking what the McCain campaign says.

They've gone meta. They want coverage of the campaign to be about coverage of the campaign. They're lying about lies. Tristram McCain needs the election to be about anything other than issues. The election needs to be about the election. Good luck with that John, I'm sure when the voters go into that booth the thing they'll be most worried about is whether the Politico's bullshit filter was set too high.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Broken In Brief: Government announces bailout of Me

BROOKLYN--In yet another landmark move, United States Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson announced today that the federal government would intervene to prevent my complete financial collapse. Deemed "too big to fail" by Mr. Paulson, I am to be rescued by a federal infusion of an undisclosed amount of cash meant to offset losses incurred by the treacherous combination of New York City residency, crippling student loan debt, and a credit card maxed out by egregious bar and travel tabs brought about by questionable dating strategies and a weakness for skinny brunettes.

Upon hearing the news, financial experts were unanimously negative in their appraisal. "I know I'm not alone in wondering who the hell this asshole is and what makes it necessary for the US government to intervene," said David Woo, London-based global head of foreign-exchange strategy at Barclays. This sentiment was echoed by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Finance Committee, who called for more government oversight and, "Some common fucking sense, people."

Mr. Paulson was firm in the face of criticism. Speaking today in the White House Rose Garden alongside Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Paulson stated, "[My] fiscal solvency is critical to the stability of the US, nay, the world economy," adding, "any hesitation in rescuing [me] from the financial repercussions of a series of foolish and easily avoidable expenditures would only exacerbate an already deepening fiscal crisis."

Cheap Blogging Crutch 9.22

George W. Bush's Overall Job Approval Matches ARG Low
George Bush's approval rating is 19%, which seems a tad high. The percentage of people who think the economy is going well is 18%. Do you think these people are completely deluded on two counts or just their deluded about Bush and that clouds all the other shit? If you see one in the wild, tag and document him, we need to keep tabs on their migration and breeding patterns. They are endangered.

Dodd bill more aggressive than Treasury plan
Big Daddy Dodd slapped down his alternative bailout plan. Instead of no oversight it has an oversight board with governmental and non-governmental members. Independent investigator general. Instead of just buying bad debt we get equity stakes in the companies. Limits on executive compensation. Plus more, it's 44 pages. Read it. Barney Frank also has a similar plan that involves similar CEO fucking but with more extensive homeowner refinancing and foreclosure mitigation. These are probably going to be the House and Senate versions of the bailout, to be later hashed out in committee.

Bush Backs Unlimited Compensation For Disgraced CEOs: Now Is Not The Time For ‘Punitive Measures’
Bushie is out in force defending the right of halfwit CEO's who wreck their companies and get bailed out by the government to still get a big fat golden parachute and yearly bonus. He calls it "punitive measures" and whines it will be a "disincentive for firms to participate." It's nice to know that even to his last dying, irrelevant, childish, colossal fuck-up, last breath he's still defending the mega-rich. I'm glad you want to die defending this hill, George. I don't have to pretend you learned one damn thing over 8 years.

Stocks Fall on Objections to Rescue Plan
The Dow Jones closed down 372 points. $25 rise in the price of oil. Since oil is performing so well I think there's only one solution for Wall Street: oil backed securities! Smell the money. Oil will always increase in price, just like the housing market. Cha-ching. Economic crisis over.