What’s under our thinking?

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce.”

Laid flat, Americans are stunned. It’s a kick to follow the anger and honesty emerging.

Below are poignant remarks collected under various posts at The BigPicture.

It shouldn’t take licensed analysis to remember. For those of us who have been in the biz a while, we’ve seen this before. Let us be adults and put our trust in those who lie. They saved the world before.

“NO NEW TAXES” Really? That’s INTERESTing.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever. – George Orwell

Fellow Americans, the time has come for us to realize that we have nothing to fear except reality!

We are all subprime now!

And just when you thought you were set for retirement.

“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief. – Bob Dylan

We’re supposed to fight debt with more debt? Isn’t that insane?

Make one demand: We want the deal Howard Buffett gets!


Restore the economy? $700 billion won’t get enough toxic assets for even banks to trust each other.

Money don’t disappear, only change hands.

Go to any trading screen. Watch in real time. When Bush speaks the dollar falls.

Bush Bail Fail

Firms may “look solvent today only because it’s kind of hidden. They actually are insolvent.”

Our Chief Bookkeeper, Peter R. Orszag, director of the Congressional Budget Office points out Bush’s bailout could expose the way companies are stowing toxic assets on their books, leading to greater problems.

Washinton Post

“Ironically, the intervention could even trigger additional failures of large institutions, because some institutions may be carrying troubled assets on their books at inflated values.”

“Establishing clearer prices might reveal those institutions to be insolvent.”

Bush Warned In ’02

Ron Suskind tells us:

Feb. 22, 2002.

The meeting, recounted to me by Paul O’Neill, Mr. Bush’s first Treasury secretary, and several other participants, was something of a showdown.

The officials were President Bush’s original economic team, including the Securities and Exchange Commission’s chairman, Harvey Pitt; Glenn Hubbard, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; and the senior White House economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey. The Federal Reserve chairman, of course, was Alan Greenspan.

Speaking with a hard-edged frankness rarely heard in public — and seeing that those assembled were not sharing his outrage — Mr. Greenspan slapped the table. “There’s been too much gaming of the system,” he thundered. “Capitalism is not working! There’s been a corrupting of the system of capitalism.”

A presidential speech that followed was toothless…

Chicken with White House Whine Sauce.

Why Fix It Poorly?

The Bush team had been preparing this ‘hurry-up bailout’ for months, telling few if anyone, but please note, these benefits are not aimed at you.

Here’s another suggestion, tried successfully before, notes Ellen Brown, J.D..

It’s The Derivatives Stupid

The Bank for International Settlements recently reported that total derivatives trades exceeded one quadrillion dollars – that’s 1,000 trillion dollars. How is that figure even possible? The gross domestic product of all the countries in the world is only about 60 trillion dollars. The answer is that gamblers can bet as much as they want. They can bet money they don’t have, and that is where the huge increase in risk comes in.

[But, there are other systems of credit!]

The government can issue its own credit – the “full faith and credit of the United States.” That was the model followed by the Pennsylvania colonists in the eighteenth century, and it worked brilliantly well. Before the provincial government came up with this plan, the Pennsylvania economy was languishing. There was little gold to conduct trade, and the British bankers were charging 8% interest to borrow what was available. The government solved the credit problem by issuing and lending its own paper scrip. A publicly-owned bank lent the money to farmers at 5% interest. The money was returned to the government, preventing inflation; and the interest paid the government’s expenses, replacing taxes. During the period the system was in place, the economy flourished, prices remained stable, and the Pennsylvania colonists paid no taxes at all. (For more on this, see E. Brown, “Sustainable Energy Development: How Costs Can Be Cut in Half,” webofdebt.com/articles, November 5, 2007.)

Today’s credit crisis is very similar to that facing Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s. In 1932, President Hoover set up the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) as a federally-owned bank that would bail out commercial banks by extending loans to them, much as the privately-owned Federal Reserve is doing today. But like today, Hoover’s ploy failed. The banks did not need more loans; they were already drowning in debt. They needed customers with money to spend and invest. President Roosevelt used Hoover’s new government-owned lending facility to extend loans where they were needed most – for housing, agriculture and industry. Many new federal agencies were set up and funded by the RFC, including the HOLC (Home Owners Loan Corporation) and Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association, which was then a government-owned agency). In the 1940s, the RFC went into overdrive funding the infrastructure necessary for the U.S. to participate in World War II, setting the country up with the infrastructure it needed to become the world’s industrial leader after the war.

The RFC was a government-owned bank that sidestepped the privately-owned Federal Reserve; but unlike the Pennsylvania provincial government, which originated the money it lent, the RFC had to borrow the money first. The RFC was funded by issuing government bonds and relending the proceeds. Then as now, new money entered the money supply chiefly in the form of private bank loans. In a “fractional reserve” banking system, banks are allowed to lend their “reserves” many times over, effectively multiplying the amount of money in circulation. Today a system of public banks might be set up on the model of the RFC to fund productive endeavors – industry, agriculture, housing, energy — but we could go a step further than the RFC and give the new public banks the power to create credit themselves, just as the Pennsylvania government did and as private banks do now. At the rate banks are going into FDIC receivership, the federal government will soon own a string of banks, which it might as well put to productive use. Establishing a new RFC might be an easier move politically than trying to nationalize the Federal Reserve, but that is what should properly, logically be done. If we the taxpayers are putting up the money for the Fed to own the world’s largest insurance company, we should own the Fed.

Proposals for reforming the banking system are not even on the radar screen of Prime Time politics today; but the current system is collapsing at train-wreck speed, and the “change” called for in Washington may soon be taking a direction undreamt of a few years ago. We need to stop funding the culprits who brought us this debacle at our expense. We need a public banking system that makes a cost-effective credit mechanism available for homeowners, manufacturing, renewable energy, and infrastructure; and the first step to making it cost-effective is to strip out the swarms of gamblers, fraudsters and profiteers now gaming the system.

Fear of Change!

Found under comments: “I see bumper stickers that refer to the US flag, saying, ‘These Colors Don’t Run!‘ Bullshit! People in this country live in constant fear of looking at the facts.”

I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the world . . . no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a government by opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.” Woodrow Wilson, signed the Federal Reserve into law in 1913.

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. The one aim of these financiers is world control by the creation of inextinguishable debt.” Henry Ford

“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1933


Sarah Preaching in Wasilla

Found in the UK. John Naughton, well-respected academic, author, columnist, optimist, dad, photographer, blogger, company director, says about John McCain and Sarah Palin: And you thought Cheney was scary?

I’m tired of hearing people pay obesience to John McCain because of his, er, heroism.

Whatever principles he once may have had have already been jettisoned in the interests of getting elected.

Besides, a guy who could offer this religious crackpot to his country as a potential president needs to be certified, not elected.

There are two Wasilla Church videos at YouTube here.


Ratings Firms Also Blamed

I think rating agencies, perhaps consumer credit rating firms as well, are significantly responsible for Wall Street’s ability to create shadow bank packages without adequate numbers. I think the rating system of mutual funds is poor as well.

I’ll be watching for an overhaul and recommending it to political representatives. It may not be necessary to stiffen protocol or make better ratings more difficult, but to assure the rating is robust and real.

A very serious clue:

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) — Frank Raiter says his former employer, Standard & Poor’s, placed a “For Sale” sign on its reputation on March 20, 2001. That day, a member of an S&P executive committee ordered him, the company’s top mortgage official, to grade a real estate investment he’d never reviewed.

It’s likely much, much worse. And across the board.

Pre-Made Hurry

  1. White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto has admitted, in fact insisted, that Bush Administration officials have been working on the hurry-up $700 million ‘bailout’ for months.
  2. Jeffrey Rosenberg, Bank of America’s head of credit strategy research, indicates much of the ‘bailout’ favors shadow bankers Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, Paulson’s previous employer.
  3. Federal education budget is about 72 billion.

“We love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight.” – Barack Obama

Float all Boats

Paulson agrees to limit executive pay

Why cap pay? Let execs make billions if they can!

Without restricting executive pay, perhaps a new rule is better. Use a One Hundred Times Rule. No officer may be compensated 100 times more than the lowest paid employee. If the boat won’t float above this waterline, the boss isn’t lifted.

Cold War II

Arrogant neocon leadership elbow a puppet state in an unfriendly aggression to mix a cocktail of contracts for pipelines and oil. John McCain reacts during a lunch stop, telling us we must slap economic sanctions on Russia, move missiles throughout EurAsia and pay for it also marching under the flag of Georgia.

“He will make Cheney look like Gandhi”—Pat Buchanan on John McCain

In the San Jose Mercury News, M. Steven Fish, a professor of political science at the University of California, tells us we are poorly informed. We should not risk our blood on White House mythology.

Myth One: Georgia is a free country. No. Georgia is riddled with fraud. The president is driven for personal power. Predatory police are rampant. The judiciary is corrupt. Myth Two: Georgia is a fair country. No. Georgia is not. Some of Russia’s other post-communist neighbors have become genuine democracies and treated their minorities fairly. Lithuania, Bulgaria and Mongolia are examples. Myth Three: We don’t need workable relations with Russia. Myth Four: We can win a silly bravado against the world.

We are already crippled. What is this $612 billion defense authorization? To secure Democracy, y’think?

Repair Democracy

Are they hiding Annie Armageddon from the press?
Do they fail to examine scandalous associations or plumb outright lies?
Are pundits falsely ‘fair and balanced’ rather than ‘honest and true’?
Will corporations and campaigns control programming?
Does a weak investigative media damage our vote?
Can we help repair our Democracy?


Robert Scheer, editor of Truthdig.com, has coined a term, pandering to the irrationalities; permitting spin to become fact: Mr.-Clean-of-the-Senate McCain, the heroic-warrior McCain, principled-Senator McCain.

contributed by chulanow


It’s usually carelessly assumed, for example, that markets and the private sector are the same thing.

Thus companies over the years have gained immense privileges in their relationship with markets: limited liability, legal personality and easy incorporation.

Unchallenged, companies have grown arrogant and self-serving, and the market has become an end rather than a means.

But they are what we have and, for all their flaws, they remain immensely powerful.

They got us into this mess; the ultimate management task is to create incentives for them to get us out again.

The newest political party to appear during the American 2008 election in the aftermath of turmoil on Wall Street, the Penny Party has scorned electoral policy arguments instead proposing that all government and corporate operations be placed under an across the board Social Capital Audit Method.

The first plank of the Penny Party, S.C.A.M. would require a cost-benefit analysis for each private or public entity operating across any local or regional boundary. Each population center would re-issue operating licenses under the Benefit License Incentive Program where any firm or organization found without benefit shall place its origination charter on the table, re-certified as a B.L.I.P., and placed under extended controls.

Power Speeches

The United Kingdom:

“His recognition of the turmoil in the markets, action for families, children and the elderly and his determination to reduce the gap between the rich and poor, all show he is on the side of hardworking families.”

The United States:

“US president devotes most of address to terror threat, criticizing Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea.”

And the oldest wants a 100 year war to the gates of hell with Annie Armageddon carrying the briefcase.

US Economists Oppose White House

Too revealing not to post.

To the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate:

As economists, we want to express to Congress our great concern for the plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Paulson to deal with the financial crisis. We are well aware of the difficulty of the current financial situation and we agree with the need for bold action to ensure that the financial system continues to function. We see three fatal pitfalls in the currently proposed plan:

1) Its fairness. The plan is a subsidy to investors at taxpayers’ expense. Investors who took risks to earn profits must also bear the losses. Not every business failure carries systemic risk. The government can ensure a well-functioning financial industry, able to make new loans to creditworthy borrowers, without bailing out particular investors and institutions whose choices proved unwise.

2) Its ambiguity. Neither the mission of the new agency nor its oversight are clear. If taxpayers are to buy illiquid and opaque assets from troubled sellers, the terms, occasions, and methods of such purchases must be crystal clear ahead of time and carefully monitored afterwards.

3) Its long-term effects. If the plan is enacted, its effects will be with us for a generation. For all their recent troubles, Americas dynamic and innovative private capital markets have brought the nation unparalleled prosperity. Fundamentally weakening those markets in order to calm short-run disruptions is desperately short-sighted.

For these reasons we ask Congress not to rush, to hold appropriate hearings, and to carefully consider the right course of action, and to wisely determine the future of the financial industry and the U.S. economy for years to come.


Acemoglu Daron (Massachussets Institute of Technology)
Adler Michael (Columbia University)
Admati Anat R. (Stanford University)
Alvarez Fernando (University of Chicago)
Andersen Torben (Northwestern University)
Beim David (Columbia University)
Berk Jonathan (Stanford University)
Bisin Alberto (New York University)
Boldrin Michele (Washington University)
Buera Francisco J.(UCLA)
Cassar Gavin (University of Pennsylvania)
Chaney Thomas (University of Chicago)
Chauvin Keith W. (University of Kansas)
Chintagunta Pradeep K. (University of Chicago)
Christiano Lawrence J. (Northwestern University)
Cochrane John (University of Chicago)
Coleman John (Duke University)
Constantinides George M. (University of Chicago)
Crain Robert (UC Berkeley)
De Marzo Peter (Stanford University)
Dubé Jean-Pierre H. (University of Chicago)
Edlin Aaron (UC Berkeley)
Ely Jeffrey (Northwestern University)
Faulhaber Gerald (University of Pennsylvania)
Fox Jeremy T. (University of Chicago)
Fuchs William (University of Chicago)
Gao Paul (Notre Dame University)
Garicano Luis (University of Chicago)
Gerakos Joseph J. (University of Chicago)
Gibbs Michael (University of Chicago)
Goettler Ron (University of Chicago)
Goldin Claudia (Harvard University)
Guadalupe Maria (Columbia University)
Hansen Lars (University of Chicago)
Harris Milton (University of Chicago)
Hart Oliver (Harvard University)
Hazlett Thomas W. (George Mason University)
Heaton John (University of Chicago)
Heckman James (University of Chicago – Nobel Laureate)
Henisz, Witold (University of Pennsylvania)
Hertzberg Andrew (Columbia University)
Hite Gailen (Columbia University)
Hitsch Günter J. (University of Chicago)
Hodrick Robert J. (Columbia University)
Hopenhayn Hugo (UCLA)
Hurst Erik (University of Chicago)
Israel Ronen (London Business School)
Jaffee Dwight M. (UC Berkeley)
Jagannathan Ravi (Northwestern University)
Jenter Dirk (Stanford University)
Jones Charles M. (Columbia Business School)
Kaboski Joseph P. (Ohio State University)
Kaplan Ethan (Stockholm University)
Karolyi, Andrew (Ohio State University)
Kashyap Anil (University of Chicago)
Ketkar Suhas L (Vanderbilt University)
Kiesling Lynne (Northwestern University)
Koch Paul (University of Kansas)
Kocherlakota Narayana (University of Minnesota)
Koijen Ralph S.J. (University of Chicago)
Kondo Jiro (Northwestern University)
Korteweg Arthur (Stanford University)
Kortum Samuel (University of Chicago)
Krueger Dirk (University of Pennsylvania)
Lee Lung-fei (Ohio State University)
Leuz Christian (University of Chicago)
Levine David I.(UC Berkeley)
Levine David K.(Washington University)
Linnainmaa Juhani (University of Chicago)
Manski Charles F. (Northwestern University)
Martin Ian (Stanford University)
Mayer Christopher (Columbia University)
McDonald Robert (Northwestern University)
Meadow Scott F. (University of Chicago)
Mian Atif (University of Chicago)
Middlebrook Art (University of Chicago)
Miguel Edward (UC Berkeley)
Miravete Eugenio J. (University of Texas at Austin)
Miron Jeffrey (Harvard University)
Moro Andrea (Vanderbilt University)
Morse Adair (University of Chicago)
Mortimer Julie Holland (Harvard University)
Nevo Aviv (Northwestern University)
Ohanian Lee (UCLA)
Pagliari Joseph (University of Chicago)
Papanikolaou Dimitris (Northwestern University)
Peltzman Sam (University of Chicago)
Perri Fabrizio (University of Minnesota)
Phelan Christopher (University of Minnesota)
Piazzesi Monika (Stanford University)
Piskorski Tomasz (Columbia University)
Reagan Patricia (Ohio State University)
Reich Michael (UC Berkeley)
Reuben Ernesto (Northwestern University)
Roberts Michael (University of Pennsylvania)
Rogers Michele (Northwestern University)
Ruud Paul (Vassar College)
Safford Sean (University of Chicago)
Sandbu Martin E. (University of Pennsylvania)
Sapienza Paola (Northwestern University)
Scharfstein David (Harvard University)
Shang-Jin Wei (Columbia University)
Shimer Robert (University of Chicago)
Siegel Ron (Northwestern University)
Sorensen Morten (Columbia University)
Spiegel Matthew (Yale University)
Stevenson Betsey (University of Pennsylvania)
Stokey Nancy (University of Chicago)
Strahan Philip (Boston College)
Strebulaev Ilya (Stanford University)
Sufi Amir (University of Chicago)
Thompson Tim (Northwestern University)
Tschoegl Adrian E. (University of Pennsylvania)
Uhlig Harald (University of Chicago)
Ulrich, Maxim (Columbia University)
Van Buskirk Andrew (University of Chicago)
Veronesi Pietro (University of Chicago)
Vissing-Jorgensen Annette (Northwestern University)
Weill Pierre-Olivier (UCLA)
Witte Mark (Northwestern University)
Wolfers Justin (University of Pennsylvania)
Zingales Luigi (University of Chicago)

Real vs Them

Anything happening in your town but selling debt and funding government?

This is a debt crisis, not a credit crisis. Just as FDR had to save capitalism after Wall Street excesses, we have to re-invigorate our economy with real – not imaginary – growth. It does not address the never-ending war on the middle class.

The same corporate interests that profited from the closing of U.S. factories, the movement of millions of jobs out of America, the off-shoring of profits, the out-sourcing of workers, the crushing of pension funds, the knocking down of wages, the cancellation of health care benefits, the sub-prime lending are now rushing to Washington to get money to protect themselves.

The double standard is stunning: their profits are their profits, but their losses are our losses.

This bailout will not bring real jobs back to America. It will not bring back jobs that make things. It does not rebuild our schools, streets, neighborhoods, parks or bridges. The major product of this financial economy is now debt. [Kucinich]

Think a long, long time America

A recipe for a worldwide disaster.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: As a politician, I am instinctive, often impulsive.

JUDY WOODRUFF: McCain goes on to say, “I don’t torture myself over decisions. I make them as quickly as I can, quicker than the other fellow, if I can. Often, my haste is a mistake, but I live with the consequences without complaint.” But that quick-to-decide approach gives pause to some.

Palintology Reveals Palin Pathology

She wrecked Wasilla.
“The town just grew too fast.”

The scenery on the drive to Wasilla is stunning, with jagged snow-capped peaks and dense birch forests. But if you travel this way, do not make the mistake of thinking you’re about to enter a quaint mountain village.

Some towns have character. Some have a sense of place.

And then there is Wasilla, which greets visitors with Wal-mart, Target, Lowe’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s and Taco Bell.

They paved paradise, and all they’ve got to show for it is chalupas and discount tube socks. [Palintology reported at the LATimes]

Another New Word: Palingineering – to pave with pork.

Blind Electing The Dark

Our precious secret ballot where the secret is the candidate.

Sarah Palin boo’d in Alaska:

She exited her Secret Service vehicle in front of the hotel to an empty block.

Alaska Police and Secret Service had closed down the street and kept every citizen indoors 20 minutes before her arrival…

People detained in a restaurant chant disbelief and anger. [j-walk]

Paul Krugman on the media: “Why do the McCain people think they can get away with this stuff?” This stuff being deception.

In the mid-term, complaining to News Desks might be as effective as our vote!

At the UN, Mary Poppins Meets Robed Chief,
Sarah Palin reversed limits on the press pool after CNN threatened to withhold its camera crew. The campaign relented.

The press pool was allowed a total of 29 seconds – roughly the maximum snippet broadcast across the USA and the world. America? Give a girl a break.

One Issue To Fix, And Only One

We don’t have the money to wipe out poverty. But all of a sudden…

“For years now, they’ve told us that we can’t afford—that the government providing healthcare to all people is just unimaginable; it can’t be done. We don’t have the money to rebuild our infrastructure. We don’t have the money to wipe out poverty. We can’t do it. But all of a sudden we have $700 billion for a bailout of Wall Street.

…if it’s too big to fail, it probably is too big to exist.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the longest-serving independent
member of Congress in American history.

We are not the first to struggle with governing. We can be optimistic. There are upheavals and struggle. What we do matters.

Cromwell to the Parliament
“You have been sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

White House 419 Scam Alert


Email intercepted from ISP spam filter company.

Reported from more than 106,000 server nodes.

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Washington TWIT Plan Announced

What’s so special about Wall Street?

I drifted to sleep last night thinking, “Just what IS the crisis the White House rescues?”

The Wall Street Journal has the prepared testimony of Ben Bernanke and Henry Paulson. Neither one spells out exactly what sorts of financial institutions are in difficulty and how that difficulty translates into problems elsewhere in the economy. Roger Lowenstein, who dares to ask what the finance industry that makes its health a source of huge concern to the rest of us.

Steve Landsburg, The Atlantic

We are embarking on the most radical transformation of the American economy since the New Deal, committing hundreds of billions in taxpayer money to save banks and other financial institutions from the consequences of their own bad investments. This, we are told, is the cost of averting a crisis.

But I sure wish someone would explain to me exactly what crisis we’re trying to avert.

According to what I keep reading, it’s that without banks, nobody can borrow, and the economy grinds to a halt. Well, let’s think about that. Banks don’t lend their own money; they lend other people’s (their depositors’ and their stockholders’). Just because the banks disappear doesn’t mean the lenders will.

Bill Gross, founder of Pimco wrote in January:

“Skim milk masquerades as cream,” warned Gilbert and Sullivan over a century ago.

…financial conduits with three-letter monikers pretended to be AAA-rated cubes of butter.

What we are witnessing is essentially the breakdown of our modern-day banking system, a complex of leveraged lending so hard to understand that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke required a face-to-face refresher course…

…the “shadow banking system” — [wiki] — hidden for years, untouched by regulation, yet free to magically and mystically create and package loans only Wall Street wizards could explain.

He concludes, “What does it mean for your pocketbook? …wealth creation in faraway corners of the globe. Go with it.”

It may not be the 1930s, yet we might uncover similar thieves and fools as light trickles into the “shadow banking system”.

We may discover never-forgotten history.

We see false politics. Our representatives deliver a constructed stump of slogans. Is this a criminal habituation to the prize of deceit to protect a system of donors and privilege?

From the Juneau Empire: McCain inserted into the Alaska legislature to stymie… bit by bit… to shut down all means of inquiring into the reality and the record… How many years to build such wicked teams? How many years we allow it?

We may soon learn we have been far too easy on each other, tipping our hat and moving aside for bullies, suave cons and smelly deals! Hiding from our duty as true citizens, we have let crafty operations into our cities and communities.

Our funds and our government’s funds might be better spent on value out of the shadows. If Wall Street needs liquidity funding for awhile, why not this suggestion found on a comment thread? The Windfall Incompetence Tax.

Herd in Washington


Prosecutors request jurors in Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens corruption trial will get to hear one associate tell another: ‘Ted gets hysterical when he has to spend his own money.’

A corruption case where the core issue is whether a Senator may accept gifts!

A Twist On Secret Ballot

Press badge hatPerpetrating a fraud?

Newsweek: “[Y]ou remember the Keating Five scandal that he was a part of, which, by the way, it’s crazy but there’s been very little about it in the press in the last few weeks. And McCain thinks he’s getting a hard time, he’s really getting a free ride on the fact that he was in the middle of the last great financial scandal in our country.

Sarah Palin still refusing to give interviews to the media

Running for governor, Sarah Palin was interviewed in Alaska by Jodi Sykes of KDLG radio; hard but appropriate questions… After the interview aired, Todd Palin called to curse Jodi Sykes. Todd’s mother, Blanche Kallstrom, called the manager of KDGL and insisted he fire Jodi Sykes.

Palin may have planted favorable reporters.
Palin’s manipulating and bullying of the media haven’t changed. In fact they’ve gotten worse. During her career, investigators are examining public records showing job negotiations between Palin and KTUU political reporter Bill McAllister who has since become Palin Press Secretary Bill McAllister. Palin staff quickly complain to media and harass opponents friends and family. Caught lying in defense of Palin, Meg Stapleton, also former KTUU news reporter turned into a Palin press agent, called the TV News Anchor’s wife to bully her at home.

National Media Shut Out
Reporters on the Palin campaign plane must shout questions from thirty feet away while Palin only smiles and waves.

DailyDish says, Fight back, you hacks!

The press is beginning to resist the incredibly sexist handling of Palin by the McCain campaign. There is a simple point here: any candidate for president should be as available to press inquiries as humanly possible. Barring a press conference for three weeks, preventing any questions apart from two television interviews, one by manic partisan Sean Hannity, devising less onerous debate rules for a female candidate, and then trying to turn the press into an infomercial for the GOP is beyond disgraceful.

McCain-Palin Storm Troopers have dropped into Alaska, taken over the ‘department of law’ as Attorney General Talis Colberg is directing subpoenas be ignored. Alaska is a battlefield of scared politicians, blocked investigations and an intimidated press.

From the Juneau Empire: McCain inserted into the Alaska legislature… to stymie… bit by bit… to shut down all means of inquiring into the reality and the record… How many years to build such wicked teams? How many years we allow it?

No interviews.
From ABC: “The woman seeking to be to a heartbeat away from the presidency without ever holding a press conference… “

Sarah Palin, the first President to hide in Cheney’s basement office…

Over 2,300 doctors have signed an open letter entitled “John McCain’s Health Records Must Be Released.” That includes dozens of oncologists and melanoma specialists. If these medical professionals are sufficiently concerned about this issue to put their professional reputations behind this clear public statement, shouldn’t the rest of us be at least a little bit worried?

As an emergency physician, if I were taking care of a 72-year-old man with a history of melanoma who was having episodes of confusion I would be extremely concerned. High on my priority list would be to get a brain MRI to look for metastatic melanoma. When melanoma metastasizes it commonly goes to the brain. I do not think the American people should decide whether or not to vote for Senator McCain until he has had a brain MRI and we know the results.

On the day of the first televised debate, McCain has already scheduled “a short nap“.

Con destroys our government

The hallucination is dazzling, awesome. For most of the past three decades these insurgents have controlled at least one branch of government; they were underwritten in their rule by the biggest of businesses; they were backed by a robust social movement with chapters across the radio dial. Still they remain the victims, the outsiders; they fight the power, the establishment, the snobs, the corrupt.

John McCain rails against Washington as the “city of Satan”—which in any sober theology would make him Lucifer’s lieutenant.

Women On Politics, Really

“The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates … because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.” – LWV Statement 1988

The league supports “an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.” [wiki]

McCain Friends Faltering

Normally conservative, the Economist expresses concern:

An issue of life and life

The decision to descend into tactics such as the kindergarten slur shows that America is back in the territory of the “culture wars”, where the battle will be less about policy than about values and moral character. That is partly because Mr Obama’s campaign, perhaps foolishly, chose to make such a big deal of the virtues of their candidate’s character. Most people are more concerned about the alarming state of the economy than anything else; yet the Democrats spent far more time in Denver talking about Mr Obama’s family than his economic policy. The Republicans leapt in, partly because they have a candidate with a still more heroic life story; partly because economics is not Mr McCain’s strongest suit and his fiscal plan is pretty similar to Mr Bush’s; but mostly because painting Mr Obama as an arrogant, elitist, east-coast liberal is an easy way of revving up the Republican Party’s base and what Richard Nixon called the “silent majority”.

The decision to play this election, like that of 2004, as a fresh instalment of the culture wars is disappointing to those who thought Mr McCain was more principled than that.

By choosing Sarah Palin as his running-mate he made a cynical tryst with a party base that he has never much liked and that has never much liked him. Mr McCain’s whole candidacy rests on his assertion that these are perilous times that require a strong and experienced commander-in-chief; but he has chosen, as the person who may be a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency, someone who demonstrably knows very little about international affairs or the economy.

What Mrs Palin does do, as a committed pro-lifer, is to ensure that the evangelical wing of the Republican party will turn out in their multitudes.