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September 19, 2008

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New anti-McCain spot out on Youtube in both a "white collar version" and a "blue collar version." Is this kind of attack going to gain any traction? Will economic meltdown bring attention back to McCain's 7 houses or has that moment passed? Videos at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrEZdLsS7Eo and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz4Z6L4u8E4

I thought this was one of the funniest things I've seen this month.

Only if the poor person has a loom, or something. And knows how to knit a shirt out of individual threads.

DETAILS, MAN!

Is this an open thread? I want to tell Bedtime for Bonzo (yoo hoo?) about my new dog!

Well not MY new dog. I'm still hoding out to adopt my beloved pitmix Lassie someday when my jeaslous and wrathful Blackie goes over the rainbow, but right now in the dining room there is a little Emily, a hound I think. She's a real rescue: her people were starving her tro death. Poor little thing looks like the four legged versoin of one of those children of famine pictures. I can see every bone in her tail, her eyes look huge in her bony face, her pot belly is so swollen she looks pregnant. She's an adult dog but puppy-shaped--I mean that her porportions are puppish which means her bones are probably stunted.

She's going to be pretty someday. Her fur is an interesting silvery brown and while it lays flat against her skin, it fomrs whorls and waves. She has large upright ears. Blackie doesn't mind her since she clearly is no tghreat.

When she gets healthy enough to challenge him for couch space, I'll take her back to the rescue shelter.

Note to self: should you ever switch law firms (or jobs) again, take more than one day off in between them.

take more than one day off in between them.

sh!t yeah.

i'm hoping our company will catch the outsourcing bug (there's talk! cross my fingers!) and lay my ass off. i could use a few months off to detox and find a better job.

I thought this was one of the funniest things I've seen this month.

I'll second that Catsy. I've been reading Sinfest off and on for 3 or 4 years. I checked out the site the other day and saw that and thought it was just awesome.

For those who haven't seen it the link is a comic of "Sarah Piglin" being outdone at a American Idol style contest by the cool and slick "Barackstar" and then showing an outraged religious fundamentalist accusing him of sexism.

In fact, there was a whole story arc spoofing the news coverage and Sarah Palin's selection as the VP. It starts here and continues for about a dozen comics. I thought the whole thing was a pretty great spoof.

One of the great collection of internet quips of all time is taking place on Metaquotes. Sample:

[info]tomecatti: What datastream through yonder wifi breaks? 'Tis the coffeehouse, and Juliet the encryption!

[info]meleth: I hold it true whate'er befall,
I feel it when I edit most,
'Tis better to have broken links,
Than never to have link'd at all.

[info]meleth: The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our code, but in ourselves.

[info]tomecatti: I come to embed video, not to upload it.

[info]meleth: A proxy server, a proxy server! My kingdom for a proxy server!

...

Neither a troll, nor yet a flamer be,
For flame oft loses both itself and friend.

-- and there's plenty of gold in the comments, too.

Wonkie: As a dog lover, I love to see your posts on this. I think you are a fantastic person. I realize you may think differently of me. Dogz Rule! Catz drool!


cleek: … lay my ass off…

Been there. Bad time of year though. I always said “lay me off in May so I can enjoy the summer…” I’d be cool with getting laid off May/June. I’d be pissed if it was Oct/Nov.

Watching Olbermann, which I rarely do. You'd think with all the idiocy coming out of the Palin-McCain campaign he'd have something better to lead with than McCain's mistakenly saying "FEC" when he meant "SEC". He did get to more substantial stuff later.

OSCSteve, I think the world of you! Thanks for putting up with all the guff you take here! And I love talking about,thinkting about learning about dogs so I'm glad I'm not being a bore, at least in your opinioon.

BTW Emmy's been sleeping but when she woke she went out to poop--and didn't poop much. There is blood in her stool.She is negative for parvo, but I'm worried.

Wonkie, Has Emily had a fecal test done? Could be worms. Also would suggest that you put her on probiotics. She needs all the help she can get getting her digestive system back in decent shape! Poor critter. Lucky to have found you!

Wonkie: I'm glad I'm not being a bore

Never, in my opinion. You can’t have too much dog talk. ;)

There is blood in her stool.

Oh jeese. That is a vet trip for sure. And you need to get a sample. Best is from the morning out right before the vet trip. Ziploc. Yeah, I realize that the rest of you folks put your lunch in that. Deal with it.

Crap – that’s a lot of $. Easy for me to say...

"Best is from the morning out right before the vet trip. Ziploc. Yeah, I realize that the rest of you folks put your lunch in that."

Wonkie is free to use my Ziploc bags as she likes, just so I don't have to put my lunches in them after she's used them.

She came into rescue yesterday and got worming medicine right away. I'll drop a poop sample off at the vet tomorrow for whatever kind of work up they can do, but she already got tested for parvo and is negative.


Did I rell you tha she saved herself? Some folks out in the county reported to the police, several times I guess, that the neighbor's dogs wre starving. The police came out twice but nothing change. Then yesterday the people found little Emily on their side of the property line. She had pulled her head through her collar and escaped. So they scooped her up and brought her in. I think that if I lived out there I'd sneak over at night and steal the rest of the dogs. Our county sherriff dept does a rottn job of enforcing the very minimal protection local laws giveto animals.

re: OCSteve @ 9:22 - speaking as one who did get laid off in June (and is still looking) I can attest to the fact that the sunshine of summer celebration lasts about three hours before the sweat of desperation starts dripping off the forehead. Course you're probably eminently more employable than I am and so can no doubt pick and choose even in this economy & market.

Still, careful what you adjudge to be cool with you, lest all that coolness actually befalls and turns out, um, not so.


A whole lot less.

Note to self: should you ever switch law firms (or jobs) again, take more than one day off in between them.

I recommend something less than the three years I'm currently working on.

There was a great quote from McCain over at Anonymous Liberal:

"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."

That's from this month's issue of some magazine. Something like that should definitely get a lot more attention.

wonkie, OCSteve et al; my customary remark when it comes to dogs is that if they ran the world it would be a better place.

bwaage; Stunning, amazing, whatta really really weird trip.
I swear the whole country is on really bad drugs.
Remember Back to the Land?

Meanwhile both Noah Millman and Jim Manzi at American Scene and John Quiggin at Crooked Timber have written multiple posts on how the financial world is undergoing irrevocable fundamental change in its structure and perhaps nature.
That’s even without mentioning that poverty may become the norm.
We set the Soviet Union up with an unwinnable war and Communism fell. Following their example (thinking ourselves the righteous victors) we undertake an unwinnable war, and Capitalism..? Same principle. Overextension leads to collapse.

"Something like that should definitely get a lot more attention."

Sure, who wouldn't respect a citation like "from this month's issue of some magazine"?

Four seconds of googling finds me Krugman referring to Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American in Contingencies, "the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries."

That might work better as a cite than "some magazine." If you have five seconds to spare.

Since you're citing an "Anoymous Liberal," a link there might help, too. This post.

Sure, who wouldn't respect a citation like "from this month's issue of some magazine"?

Four seconds of googling finds me Krugman referring to Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American in Contingencies, "the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries."

That might work better as a cite than "some magazine." If you have five seconds to spare.

"We set the Soviet Union up with an unwinnable war and Communism fell. Following their example (thinking ourselves the righteous victors) we undertake an unwinnable war, and Capitalism..? Same principle."

That hardly makes sense, since the Soviet Union certainly didn't fall because of Afghanistan. It fell for a long list of structural reasons, and Afghanistan was just an incidental detail towards the end.

It collapsed because of their command-and-control economy, bad economics, lack of mechanisms to achieve political support for the ruling classes, its oppressive nature, its restrictions on travel and information, its failing to produce sufficient consumer goods for its citizens, its failure to compete in the world economy, its rule over a restive empire in Eastern Europe, and on and on through a lengthy list.

The U.S. is engaging in plenty of problematic activities, and has constructed a number of structural failures of its own, but it's hardly reproducing those of the USSR very identically. And whether or not it invades a smaller country isn't all that big a deal, just as it wasn't all that significant -- noticeable, but hardly a prime cause -- to the failure of the USSR.

You're also essentially arguing in favor of the inane notion that Ronald Reagan was the main cause of the failure of the USSR, incidentally. I could go on at exceedingly great length as to how and why this is very very very wrong.

"wonkie, OCSteve et al; my customary remark when it comes to dogs is that if they ran the world it would be a better place."

There would be a lot more licking and tail wagging, at least.

And a lot more butt-sniffing.

Not sure if that's such a great thing, really.

Gary: I could go on at exceedingly great length...

But it wouldn't do any good. St. Ronald slew the Red Bear, and that's that.

I'm old enough to remember when there was at least some substance to the Republicans' claims of fiscal responsibility. In the 22 years since David Stockman blew the whistle on Reaganomics, I've been trying to get people to watch what Republican administrations do while they're denouncing "tax and spend" Democrats. So have Dwight Meredith and others. But no matter how gauzy and threadbare the curtain becomes, the man behind it somehow remains invisible.


Gary, I understood Felix Culpa's main point to be Overextension leads to collapse. And I think no matter the type of system (capitalist, communist, empire, whatever) that is true, almost by definition. When extension causes a collapse it usually gets labeled overextension, but that seems a bit circular and hindsightish. Perhaps it is more useful if it is rephrased Collapse is often caused by overextension. The question to ask - is the US headed for a collapse at our current rate of extension?

I'm not sure it's a linearly predictable thing. I suspect there's a tipping point beyond which things so unavoidably sour. If so, have we reached that tipping point? And how complete would any collapse likely be, and at what point does hard times translate into collapse?

FWIW, my take is that we are nowhere close to that point, at least not due to our overextension. We might be closer to that point due to environmental issues.

FC - how close do you think we are?

Too close to comfort for me. I like being middle class. i do not like being poor. I don't want much--I just want to be able to put gas in the caar, keep the roof fixed, go to the dentist when needed and pay the vet bill. And I don't want to work when I get arthritic.

I keep waiting for reality therapy to cure our society of conservative ideology but my preference would be that the cnservatives get the therapy, not me.

"Then yesterday the people found little Emily on their side of the property line. She had pulled her head through her collar and escaped."

Wonkie,

Emily sounds like a real fighter and, at the very least, your TLC will do her a lot of good.

Since she doesn't sound like much of a threat, maybe Blackie will take a liking to her.

Two or three nights a week, I tune in to Animal Planet's "Animal Cops" and see stories like Emily's all the time and am amazed at how cruel people can be.

You see what shape these dogs are in when they are rescued, see them get well, and see how sweet they are. The shelter people and foster parents are awesome.

When I'm bored at work, I will click on Petfinder and it's amazing how many nice dogs are out there looking for homes. I first spotted three great-looking English Setters -- about 2 years old -- at the Chesepeake Animal Shelter some three months ago, the common thread with all three dogs being they didn't hunt to their owner's standards.

Yesterday I finally called and asked this nice guy Marty if perhaps Petfinder doesn't update their site, saying that I found it hard that Finnegan, Tucker and Zippy hadn't been rescued in three months.

Marty said he's the guy who does the Petfinder thing and, sadly, the dogs were still there. Said they were friendly, good dogs -- only Finnegan needs leash training.

I'm pretty sure my wife doesn't want more than one dog right now, and 14-year-old Hamilton, the Beagle, is doing great. But I will mention it to her tomorrow when we both are off. We'll see.

Keep up the great work!

In her quiet diffident way Emily is proving to be a fighter. I took her out to pee this morning and she turned right around and staggered right back up the steps to the house! I guess she has decided that Emilys belong in houses!

This is a big deal partly because it shows her exercizing some will--and, at first, she seemed too tired and depressed to exercize any, but also becaue at first she didn't seem to understand that she lived here or that she was welcome in the house. Initially when I carried her out to the yard she would pee and then start staggering off down the street.

I don't watch ANimal Planetmuch mostly because we only get one station (too many trees here!).

I cruise animal rescue websites incessantly. yes it is sad how many are in rescue and how long they wait.

The turn over ata the shelter where I volunteer is surprisingly quick. Purebred dogs, especially the smaller one, go in a matter of days. Most dogs wait a month or so. There are three that have been there for years and three more that will probably live out their lives there: an enormous elderly German shepard, a feral dog, and the feral dog's roomie and trusted friend a yellow dog mutt.

Monte Davis,

Thank you for link to Dwight Meredith. I've been trying find a compilation of these statistics for years.

You might appreciate this article at Edge, (by Jonathan Haidt, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he does research on morality and emotion and how they vary across cultures)which speaks to the narrative "coding" of the Right Wing message.
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/haidt08/haidt08_index.html

Wonkie: These English Setters I keep viewing look like pure breds. The shelter guy told me the one impediment so far has been that some adoptees have not had fenced-in in yards, which they require for this kind of dog.

This Chesapeake shelter is no-kill, so that's a good thing.

What I hate is when I view Petfinder and see an "Urgent," denoting that the dog is due to be put down soon -- perfectly good-looking dogs.

And in other unfortunate news....

Marriott Hotel in Islamabad bombed: at least 40 dead

"Strike Two" (after Yemen)? Preview of an October Surprise? Or strictly an "in-house" Pakistani thing?

I thought this was a lovely anti-McCain video that was deserving of wider distribution.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJThPjvscFs

Found it here:

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/2008/09/probably-the-best-private-anti.php

Re: McCain's comments on deregulation of health care from the Contingencies magazine article. It was a leader on the current hour's MSNBC News Live broadcast. That is 10:00am PDT broadcast.

It collapsed because of their command-and-control economy, bad economics, lack of mechanisms to achieve political support for the ruling classes, its oppressive nature, its restrictions on travel and information, its failing to produce sufficient consumer goods for its citizens, its failure to compete in the world economy, its rule over a restive empire in Eastern Europe, and on and on through a lengthy list.

Weren't all of those present from 1930 to 1970 when the Soviet Empire was increasing its relative power and growing from a backwards agrarian nation to a major industrial power?

You're going to need to look somewhere else for an answer.

In happier news (Lord knows we need some nowadays), Transgendered Woman Wins Sex Discrimination Case.

Hooray!

After seven years of idealogical lunacy Bush is now dealing with the most serious crisis facing America since the great depression in a sane and rational manner. His willingness to abandon idealogy and listen to Paulson and Bernanke has led me to re-evaluate the man and his entire presidency. If, in the few short months left to him, he can hold off the total collapse of the economy, and establish the groundwork policies and programs needed going forward I will forgive his every prior transgression.

On the downside his sticking by Cox as SEC chair is wrong. Cox has not been able to see beyond his idealogical blinders during this crisis. His lack of action against naked short sellers, which have been a problem for years, and his dropping of the uptick rule, proved disastrous. Cox is too comfortably ensconced in his conservative mindset. This limits his imaginative use of his agency's powers in an aggressive enough manner at a time of great need.

I would like to see both Obama and McCain request that Paulson stay on as Tres/Sec through 2009 at least. And I would like to see who each of them would pick to replace Cox, who surely must go.

Over the next few weeks the government will be setting up an entire new agency, yet unnamed, to buy distressed mortgage related assetts from US financial institutions. They will be staffing this agency, hopefully with persons of Paulson/Bernanke quality, not Brownie's. It is important that politics stay out of this process. This will be hard due to each sides desire to score cheap political points whenever an opportunity arises but this is not the time.

If, in the few short months left to him, he can hold off the total collapse of the economy, and establish the groundwork policies and programs needed going forward I will forgive his every prior transgression.

After all, what's a war of aggression against a country that's never attacked us, and several tens of thousands of dead Iraqis, so long as Bush can save rich people from suffering the consequences of their own bad actions, as we're so constantly advised poor people should have to do?

More words of wisdom from Fake Democrat ken.

It is important that politics stay out of this process. This will be hard due to each sides desire to score cheap political points whenever an opportunity arises but this is not the time.

Whaaa?? This is election time. When else is "politics" appropriate?

The notion that Obama should keep Paulson at Treasury would make some sort of sense if Paulson were a competent technocrat. But what's the evidence of his competence? Where has he been hiding all that competence during the last couple of years?

--TP

Is this a good place to tell everyone about the website I just built for John McCain's Palin Truth Squad?

The word is "ideology," ken.

We last left off here, ken. I also passed along observations for you here.

You previously told me to "find the answers on your own" to the questions I last asked you here, and earlier.

These were all, of course, questions about how you subjectively felt and what you subjectively believed.

"I can never forgive him [Barack Obama] for useing racism against the Clintons."

How did Barack Obama do that?

"But I also will no longer support afirmative action, preferential admission policies and other programs designed to assist minorities gain access to good job opportunities."

What does Barack Obama have to do with this?

"But we also know that when somone like him does not get accepted it is because they made room for a minority applicant with lower GPA. Skin color made all the difference."

How, exactly, do you know this? Please be specific.

"jes, Your comment about me is typical racism."

Can you please define what you mean by "racism"?

Thanks.

I can't find out from anyone else what you mean by "racism," or what you believe Barack Obama did, or what Barack Obama has to do with what you believe about affirmative action, etc. I look forward to your explaining what you mean and what the basis of your beliefs are.

This is all a followup to what you wrote here, of course.

Thanks!

For a more troubling view of the current financial crisis and the response to it see Kevin Phillips interviewed on Bill Moyers' Journal.

I read Wealth and Democracy a while back and it now looks prophetic.

the most serious crisis facing America since the great depression in a sane and rational manner

I hope people believe this, and act on it. Panic! The 40% off sale on financials last week did not go on nearly long enough for my tastes.

His willingness to abandon idealogy and listen to Paulson and Bernanke has led me to re-evaluate the man and his entire presidency

Bush has not abandoned his "idealogy", it remains the same as Comrade Paulson's and Comrade Bernanke's - privatize profits, socialize risk.

His lack of action against naked short sellers, which have been a problem for years, and his dropping of the uptick rule, proved disastrous

Nonsense. Short sellers are essential to providing liquidity and naked short selling is conceptually little different than the non-nude variety, as explained here.

There is little meaningful economic difference between the two forms of short selling. Naked short selling simply switches the identities of the party owed shares and the party currently owning shares. In permissible short selling, the party owed shares is the security lender (who used to own the shares before lending them for short selling), while the party owning the shares is the new buyer. In naked short selling, the party owed the shares is the new buyer, while the party owning the shares is (still) the current owner. The buyer in both cases is the same, so the price should not be different. The only difference is who acts as the effective lender of the security: in permissible short selling, the lender is the current owner; in naked short selling, the new owner acts as the effective lender. From a price perspective, it is difficult to see how that matters.

The Big Picture explains what you can expect from the current jihad against short sellers. A bump up in the prices of the most heavily shorted stocks, and then more volatile moves down during the next period of bad news since there will be no short sellers left trying to take their profits near the bottom.

They will be staffing this agency, hopefully with persons of Paulson/Bernanke quality

Perhaps the person responsible for running the fiasco that is the Russian stock "market" will be available, if Hugo Chavez is unwilling to take the job.

Ken -
Cox has not been a whizbang at SEC, for sure. And the short sales and uptick rules may have contributed to some small bit of the turbulence in the stock market, but ONLY in the stock market. The influence of the SEC over the rest of the financial system is pretty much non-existent.

Our current disaster stems entirely from removal of risk regulation in the financial markets. It is certainly not an original statement by me: people with multiple degrees and years of experience, who should have known better, took on *undefined* risks, in a bubble. The bubble burst. Too many firms had too much exposure and not enough capital.

Interesting oped in today's Boston Globe:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2008/09/20/banking_meltdown_dj_vu

Those who forget history...

BTW, in almost every comment thread on almost every site on the general subject of the financial meltdown, as upthread here, someone sticks the fault on the Community Reinvestment Act as *forcing* banks to give mortgages to people who couldn't repay them. Not true. The act required banks to invest in the communities in which they were located (as opposed to a bank in Brooklyn, say, selling mortgages in Scarsdale but not in its own neighborhood). Nothing in the act requires lending to unqualified borrowers.

I also see a lot of blaming the (subprime borrower) victims on many sites. As the purchaser of a negative-amortization ARM who got out of it as quickly as I could, even taking on the pre-payment penalty to do so, I have to tell you that an awful lot of these mortgages were sold under false pretenses. And according to first-person testimony from a friend who worked in a mortgage broker's back office, a lot of out-and-out fraud was committed by those folks chasing after commissions. Sure, millions of individuals took on mortgages they couldn't repay, but thousands of brokers shaded the truth or just outright lied to write those loans and get the commission.


S.G.E.W.: In happier news (Lord knows we need some nowadays), Transgendered Woman Wins Sex Discrimination Case.

Yay. This has been law in the UK for some time. It has done nothing but good. This is excellent news.

As I've tried to point out before here the last line of defense against total economic collapse is the UST ability to borrow money.

This last week saw the UST borrow 200 billion to refund the Fed, loan 85 billion to AIG to keep it afloat, pledge 50 billion to guarentee money market funds and ask for authority to borrow another 700 billion to fund purchase of mortgage assets from US financial institutions. If that doesn't convince folks here that the situation is dire then you are simply hopelessly lost in the fog of your own befuddlment. Leave the finger pointing for another time and deal objectively with the new situation we are in right now.

now_what, don't pay much attention to Barry. He is simply talking his book. The ban on short selling may have cost him all the profit he made so far this year. It certainly had to be very painful to him. You need to look for someone not so personally vested to get an honest appraisel of the new rules. Barry ain't it.

efgoldman, the temporary ban on naked short selling was imposed by Cox right after the BS rescue was limited to only a few financial firms. The week after Cox lifted the ban both FMN and FRE came under attack and by that Friday Paulsons hand was forced by the markets and he took them over to protect the entire mortgage market. Lehman was the next target, then came AIG, MS and GS. Cox should have made the ban permanent for every listed security. An exception could have been carved out for specialist and the market makers after hearings and public comment to determine what was needed for liquidity purposes without putting the system into further jepordy. The uptick rule puts the brakes, however thin they be, on a runaway market. It was almost immediately obvious after the rule was abandoned by the increase in volitility that rescinding it was a mistake.

Phil, who cares what you think? If the best you have to offer is to call me a Fake Democrat then why should anyone take you seriously?

TP, it is difficult because of the election coming up. The world is watching. McCain and Obama must demonstate their committments that the billions upon billions of new borrowing will be paid back, somehow, no matter what. Our good credit as a nation is the last line of defense against total economic meltdown. Without it we are nothing.

Gary, you have found a way to make yourself useful: spellchecker.

Otherwise you are a troll.

efgoldman, the person who wrote that article on short vs naked short selling doesn't know what he is talking about.

The current rules state that in a short sale the seller merely has to have a 'reasonable expectation' that shares will be 'available' to borrow for delivery at settlement in three days. The way the system is set up, with margin accounts and securities lending operations at every corporate treasury and pension fund and mutual fund etc, the expectation that the shares are 'available' is prima facia obvious.

So naked short sellers don't bother ahead of time to identify where the shares will come from nor do they bother afterwords with securing borrowed shares for delivery. The failed trade count for stock under attack is humongous. Further proof that naked short sellers never intended to borrow the shares in the first place.

To prohibit naked short selling the new rule is that the person shorting must have a legal right to borrow the shares identifiable in advace of placing the sell order. Within margin accounts this is no problem as trades are usually just crossed within the bd. But this puts the cabosh on way hedge funds have always acted, ie secretely, and the other rule (pending) that they must disclose short positions will put the nail in the coffin of naked short sellers.

I really wish I'd quit getting the following error page every time I, as of the last couple of months, use a link and then post more than a few paragraphs:

"Our apologies.

TypePad has encountered an error. The requested page could not be found or the requested action could not be completed."


Pt. 1 of my comment: "see Kevin Phillips interviewed on Bill Moyers' Journal."

Since that makes it sound like it's video-only, let me point out for the benefit of those to whom that's a negative, that in fact there's a transcript at that link, so you can read it as quickly as you like.

I'd like to make an analogy to something Phillips says about finance to what I'd like to say about politics. We keep seeing a constant stream of people explaining that we need to lie just as much as the Republicans, fight as dirty as they do, cheat as much as they do, slander as much as they do, that we can't fight with our gloves on, we can't fight with our hands tied behind our backs, we can't be nice, and win, and so on.

Set aside that these are the exact same arguments used to defend torture. Set aside that these are the exact same arguments used to assert why we should just kill indiscriminately in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in war.

And set aside how appallingly immoral those arguments are. Here's Phillips:

[... ]BILL MOYERS: Give me a quick definition of "bad money."

[continued in next comment]

Fake Democrat ken

I'm really starting to think we've been had. Or at least, I've been had.

Ken, methinks you haven't been entirely upfront and honest. You're not a real Democrat, and never were. It's becoming pretty obvious. This is transparent:

His willingness to abandon idealogy and listen to Paulson and Bernanke has led me to re-evaluate the man and his entire presidency. If, in the few short months left to him, he can hold off the total collapse of the economy, and establish the groundwork policies and programs needed going forward I will forgive his every prior transgression.

It's either that, ken, or you have a very shallow commitment to progressive ideals. Heck, there are plenty of principled conservatives that wouldn't utter those words because they realize what an utter disaster Bush has been.

Pt. 2:

KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, "bad money" has a triple connotation. The first is "bad money" in the sense of bad capitalism drives out good capitalism.

BILL MOYERS: That's sort of a historical-

KEVIN PHILLIPS: That's right. We've had-

BILL MOYERS: I don't understand why it is. But-

KEVIN PHILLIPS: Well, because you have to compete with sleaze. Get a little more sleaze in your own operations. And you look at all these lies, these deceptions, these frauds that have been going on. But, I mean, there aren't too many people that would say back two or three years ago that the way to prosper more was to do less of the cheating. You had to do what the others were doing. And that's the way these things — it was true in the Twenties. It's been true in plenty of other bubbles. You have to do it. And he's pointing out that this reasoning is what has led to the melting down of our financial system: the Overton Window (not a term he uses) keeps being pushed further in the direct of lying, sleaze, cheating, dishonest, and doing what's wrong.

Because it's what the other guy is doing. Because, it's rationalized, it's what you have to do to win.

[continued in Pt. 3]

Pt. III:

But in the end, what have you "won" by these methods? Some temporary riches, maybe. But you destroy that which you are fighting for.

In the economy, you destroy the worth of your money and your economic system, by continually pushing the limits of dishonest and sleaze and cheating.

And I say: you will do the exact same thing to our political system if you adopt the same reasoning.

You might win an election or two that way, but in the end, all you achieve is the destruction of anything and everything worth fighting for.

It's not a win.

I wish people would remember that, when they're all het up with anger over how we just have to win, and the only way to do that is to be as evil as the other guys.

Because anything that involves being a lot of evil, well: it isn't good.

And these things actually mean something. I'm no professor of ethics, but I know that.

I wish people would remember that, when they're all het up with anger over how we just have to win, and the only way to do that is to be as evil as the other guys.

For certain values of evil, this is true, but for others, not so much.

"If the best you have to offer is to call me [names] then why should anyone take you seriously?"

Food for thought.

"Otherwise you are a troll."

So, Ken, I guess we should take your repeated lack of responses as evidence that you are unable to explain, or give any citations, to how [Barack Obama] was "useing racism against the Clintons."

I take it you are unable to explain how the fact that you "will no longer support afirmative action, preferential admission policies and other programs designed to assist minorities gain access to good job opportunities" has anything to do with Barack Obama.

I guess you are unable to explain how you "also know that when somone like him does not get accepted it is because they made room for a minority applicant with lower GPA. Skin color made all the difference."

I guess you are also unable to explain what that has to do with Barack Obama.

I guess you are unable to define
what you mean by "racism," and you are unable to explain how Jesurgislac is "racist."

But, by all means, feel free to explain how my asking you substantive questions about what you assert makes me a troll. I'm sure everyone will find it completely convincing.

And if you find yourself suddenly able to explain any of the above, please, do by all means do so.

"After seven years of idealogical lunacy Bush is now dealing with the most serious crisis facing America since the great depression in a sane and rational manner. His willingness to abandon idealogy and listen to Paulson and Bernanke has led me to re-evaluate the man and his entire presidency."

Spoken a truly dedicated Hillary Clinton supporter.

Sure.

If the best you have to offer is to call me [names] then why should anyone take you seriously?

Since the best YOU can do is run when anyone asks you to support your point (and, at last count, there have been many more than just Gary), why should you expect anything better than namecalling?

Eric, You make yourself look very silly when you act like a self appointed political officer of the Democratic Party. I am sure there is plenty of reason to mock you about all of this but just like the real political officers of recent history, you wouldn't 'get it'. The mockery would be wasted on you.

Gary, per the rules of this blog calling someone a troll is not name calling. Calling someone a 'Fake Democrat' may or may not fall into the category of name calling but it is close enough. So dismissing Phil's commentary as meaningless name calling is a valid point.

Are you really going to defend someone whose sole criticism of my arguments is that I cannot be a Democrat? How dumb is that?

speaking as one who did get laid off in June (and is still looking) I can attest to the fact that the sunshine of summer celebration lasts about three hours before the sweat of desperation starts dripping off the forehead.

Word.

I've been laid off exactly once in a 25 year SW career. This was in January '04, which was not a good job market here where I live.

I found a short term contracting gig in three months, and a good full time gig three months after that. All in all, not a bad outcome.

Every minute of it sucked. Give me a freaking job. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate not working.

If, in the few short months left to him, he can hold off the total collapse of the economy, and establish the groundwork policies and programs needed going forward I will forgive his every prior transgression.

ken, I mean no offense to you personally, but IMVHO you are fanatically, delusionally insane. Out of your freaking gourd. Just saying.

Seriously, "hold off the total collapse of the economy"? What is he, Superman?

Short of pressing the big red button, nobody, by which I mean nobody, gives a flying f#*% what George W Bush thinks or does. The man has worn out his own brand. The man is a cipher. He isn't holding off anything.

And I can assure you that Bush has absolutely, positively no interest or regard for your opinion of his performance, and seeks your forgiveness for his piss-poor efforts even less than that.

You, and every one of us, are peons in his estimation. He doesn't give a good god damn what you think, or even that you exist.

Thanks -

"...why should you expect anything better than namecalling?"

Silly me, I thought name calling was childish. Employing playground rules may be suitable for you gwanggung, but don't include me in your sandbox. OK?

Silly me, I thought name calling was childish. Employing playground rules may be suitable for you gwanggung, but don't include me in your sandbox. OK?

Holding you to what you said previously and noting the glaring contradictions may seem like namecalling, but it ain't.

Sorry if I offended you ken, but can you explain how one accomplishment by Bush would erase the unthinkable destruction he has wrought in Iraq? The environmental degradation he has allowed to occur/encouraged? The enormous debt and massive redistribution of wealth upwards while the infrastructure of this country crumbles and tens of millions of Americans are without health care? The cynical polarization of this nation by using terrorism as a cudgel with which to question citizens' loyalty? The corruption of our principles by making torture the official policy of the US government, while trouncing habeas corpus and the right to trial/counsel?

What would prompt an American to say something like that, let alone a Democrat who is supposed to value the things that Bush has damaged so egregiously? That someone would be so flippant about issues that he supposedly cares about will cause people to conclude that such person doesn't really care about such issues.

It doesn't help that 99% of your input here is to level unsubstantiated and often obviously erroneous charges about Obama. Almost your entire effort on this site is dedicated to tearing down Obama, and in so doing, you are consistently unwilling to engage people when they raise factual counterpoints. When your time is spent unfairly bashing the Democratic candidate for president, while refusing to actually have a discussion about the substance and evidence related to your bashes, people will logically conclude that you're not arguing in good faith.

russell: What is he, Superman?

For your amusement, Colbert on this subject.

Alas, this one is video only. Sorry.

"Gary, per the rules of this blog calling someone a troll is not name calling. Calling someone a 'Fake Democrat' may or may not fall into the category of name calling but it is close enough. So dismissing Phil's commentary as meaningless name calling is a valid point."

Whoa, that's some powerful grasp of logic you have there, Tex.

Phil also, as it happens, wrote: "After all, what's a war of aggression against a country that's never attacked us, and several tens of thousands of dead Iraqis, so long as Bush can save rich people from suffering the consequences of their own bad actions, as we're so constantly advised poor people should have to do?"

But, maybe you're not a "fake Democrat," but merely someone keen on John McCain, a hater of the Democratic nominee for President, and someone willing to say of George W. Bush, if he continues his present course, that "I will forgive his every prior transgression."

But, you know, not a fake Democrat. Just someone who fits the above description.

And no one should confuse those two things!

If you say so.

Onwards:

a) There's no rule about "name calling," period. You're making it up. (Or are confused.)

b) Calling someone a troll with cause certainly won't get you banned. Calling someone a troll without cause likely won't, by itself, get you banned. What will get you banned, and is against the rules, are such things as not being "reasonably civil," "disrupt[ing] or destroy[ing] meaningful conversation for its own sake," and "consistently abus[ing] or vilify[ing] other posters for its own sake."

Where that leaves you is that calling someone a troll is certainly calling them a name, but whether it's appropriate or not depends upon, you know, whether it's appropriate or not. Insofar as you engage in substantive conversation, however dimwitted, such as when you write about financial matters, you are not being a troll. When you make substance-free accusations at other people, or make assertions you refuse to back up, you may be being a troll.

Having now explained this all to you, I'll note that responding to queries as to the meaning of what you've said with "you're a troll!" doesn't get you very far in the department of substantive replies.

On other fronts, whether or not you've ever been, or are now, a registered Democrat, or how many Democrats you have or haven't voted for, I have no idea, and no way of knowing. There's certainly no shortage of dim-witted Democrats, or Democrats who might vote for or against someone because of someone's "race." If you'd like to explain that you don't fall in that last category, by all means, feel free to explain yourself with answers to what you've been asked about that.

Or not. What conclusions people draw depend, after all, solely on what you yourself say and have said.

As I said before: it's all up to you, ken.

Incidentally: "...a self appointed political officer of the Democratic Party."

Is there some other kind of officer of the Democratic (or Republican) Party?

russell, what will it take before you recognize the new reality?

Look, in just the last six days the UST borrowed 200 billion dollars to shore up the Federal Reserve account, loaned 85 billion dollars to AIG, pledged 50 billion dollars to gaurantee every one of the trillions of dollars in US money market funds, and asked congress for the authority to borrow another 700 billion dollars to buy assets from US financial institutions. Oh, and it worked in conjuction with other central banks around the world to flood the markets with another 200 billion in cash.

And just week before that the UST assumed the debts of FNM and FRE.

And just before that the Fed gauranteed JPM against 39 billion dollars in losses for taking in BS.

If you need any more evidence that the situation is worse than even you think I think it is then you are not dealing with reality.

As I've pointed out before the credit of the UST is the last line of defence we have against total calamnity.

The most generous thing I can say about someone like you is that you perhaps have no clue as to how the credit markets work and what it all means to you personally. If you knew you would be in a screaming panic.

Personally I am willing to give up my social security and live under a bridge in order to save this country's credit rating for my child and younger family members future. The situation is that serious.

So yeah, Bush has been a jerk in the past. But nothing is as serious as what we now face. If he can stave off collapse and set the groundwork for the next president then that is worth more to me than any of his previous boneheaded and stupid transgressions.

If possible you need to set your political blinders aside and deal with reality. If you cannot do that then I guess I understand but then you are not

Gary, to your point

We keep seeing a constant stream of people explaining that we need to lie just as much as the Republicans, fight as dirty as they do, cheat as much as they do,...

I have to admit that although I didn't go quite to that extreme I still feel anger and did feel sympathy for that point of view during the primaries. I agreed with Paul Krugman's early criticism of Barak Obama seeming to endorse Republican talking points.

I have come to believe that Obama is really talented and has taken the right approach. I cannot read his mind but it seems to me he strives to find common ground with people who have strongly opposing positions as a way to open a dialog.

It's easy to write off all politicians as liars. That doesn't do us any good, though. Democracy may be the worst of all systems except for all the others; it's also all we have to address the large scale problems we face.

Silly me, I thought name calling was childish.

So is running away from requests to support your position.

Calling you on that fact is not, by any standard, namecalling.

And I don't want to be in your sandbox. You have atrocious sanitary habits. You should do something about that---supporting your accusations with evidence would do that. That's not an unreasonable request.

"Sorry if I offended you ken, but can you explain how one accomplishment by Bush would erase the unthinkable destruction he has wrought in Iraq?"

I don't want you to have to live under a bridge Eric. If Bush can save you from that, he will be saving me from the same fate.

If we had the luxury of looking back it would be easy to be consumed with distain for Bush. But we do not have that luxury. By next Friday, if the Bush/Paulson proposed legislation does not get passed start looking around for a bridge large enough to accomodate yourself and your family comfortably. It is that serious.

Granted the best bush can do is stave off an immediate total economic collapse and set the groundwork for the next president. But the stakes are so high that if he can accomplish that much he has earned himself a pardon for all his previous transgressions.

Trust me Eric the next week is crucial. Nothing else matters right now but the passage of the legislation requested by Paulson. Then we'll see. It may not be the last aggressive government intervention the economy needs, but it is a good start.

I would love to have Hillary give a series of speeches, highlighting Palin's pro-rapist history. "Pro-woman? Not even close!"

==============

I thought this was one of the funniest things I've seen this month.

Thanks for sharing! That was great!!

==================

She's a real rescue: her people were starving her tro death.

That reminds me. Michael Vick's dogs were rescued. Best Friends loved two of them to where they could be adopted. The third was too traumatized to ever be adoptable, but they've made her a happy little puppy at last. If antone has a few coins to spare, Best Friends really deserves a boost.

ken, do you not find the following troubling?

Sec. 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.

I would call this a license to loot the treasury.

Ken I know perfectly well what short selling and naked short selling are. I'm series 7 and 63 licensed. I've worked in the back office of one of the biggest brokerage clearing houses for the last 13 years; but thanks for the patronizing explanation anyway. I probably should have known better... (see Gary Farber, above).

Having got that out of my system...
The point: the shorting of the troubled financial stocks was an effect, and not a cause. The market came to the realization (and why it took so long, who can say) that those firms were holding huge, unknown quantities of what amounts to worthless paper: securitized mortgages whose risk had either not been considered, or flat lied about at some stage of the process.

The canaries in the coal mine were, first, the foreclosure numbers starting in late 2006, and second and more important, the failure of the the market for auction rate securities early this year. These were manifestations of the problem that were now clear to every Joe and Jane Sixpack on every main street anywhere. Even if they had a conventional mortgage that was current, they knew someone who was trapped in an ARM; or their kid's student loans dried up; or their town council or town treasurer all of a sudden had no operating money; or two houses on the street were boarded up and posted with foreclosure notices.

So Merrill and Lehman were stuck with billions in these securities, which were becoming closer to worthless by the day. It was now clear that the risk of the mortgage-backed bonds was so high that they couldn't even make a market at distress prices. Since Fannie/Freddie were in effect the underwriters and guarantors, the pyramid finally broke. AIG was the reinsurer so they were facing unfathomable losses. And so the house of cards fell. [sorry. mixed metaphor alert and apology]. This week the original money market fund announced that it held, I think, $475mm in now worthless Lehmann paper, and "broke the buck" (allowed the fund to drop below $1/share). This caused another mini-panic - on Wednesday, there were $90 BILLION redeemed from money markets, including perfectly solvent ones, and a major intitutional money-market closed and announced it would liquidate.

I have no idea (nor, honestly, does anyone else) whether Paulson and Bernanke are doing the right thing. I don't think THEY know, either. On principle, I'm not crazy about socializing the downside risk but not any upside potential - if there is any. And most of the individuals who are going to pay are tens of thousands of street-level reps and back office operations folks, rather than the execs who thought up these disastrous, unregulated securities, not to mention the people who's 401k accounts hold all this worthless crap.

The point, Ken, is cause and effect. It wasn't until the extent of the disaster was clear (at least to informed folks in the business, if not to ordinary people on the street) that the rush to short these companies really started rolling. By then no-one except an uninformed idiot would have bought the shares long. This pretty much defines a disorderly market, and Cox and the SEC had to step in. If the risks of the mortgage securities had been clear from the start, and the organizations which created them had the transparency that was part of the old, tightly-regulated markets, there might have been some serious losses, but not this total disaster.

Now back to Auburn-LSU (go Tigers!) which is a lot more fun.

Nothing else matters right now but the passage of the legislation requested by Paulson.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a classic fork. If Obama and Biden vote yes, thinking that there is the best of a very bad situation, ken will claim that they have moved to his self proclaimed prescient position and even they proclaim his insight. If they vote no, raising objections to the government taking on the worst tranche of debt or that the whole mechanism of letting the Administration dish out zillions of dollars is flawed, he will castigate them for even daring to raise the question. If they abstain, he will accuse them of being unconcerned about the economy. And there will not be a word about McCain's position. That's life in the kittylitter box.

A more nuanced view is assembled by DeLong. But the difference between this and ken is why ken is what he is.

efgoldman, if you had refrained from using Barry Rithotz as an authority on why the suspension of short selling is wrong I would not have been so quick to assume you needed a lesson on the subject. If you feel it was patronizing, well sorry 'bout that. It was intended to be educational.

But still, your current job should have given you enough understanding of the business to refrain from using someone who is so obviously talking his book as an authority.

I will concede your entire argument about who and what is to blame because it is just not worth getting into a blame game argument right now. You lay it out pretty well. We probably would agree on most of it. But so what? I don't care so much about finding fault here as in finding a solution.

My reasons for wanting Cox out is based upon his recent lack of willingness to use the full authority of his agency to help stem the looming disaster. His agency might be able to add just one little finger in the dike but that might make all the difference in the world. This is no time to let ideology govern the agency actions. Just the day before Cox took action the British suspended short selling on financials till the end of the year. That buys some time for calmer heads to attempt a settling of accounts. By giving the US markets less than two weeks he does nothing but encourage ad hoc solutions being knitted together in a frantic rush.

I think he knows this but doesn't care. His ideology overshadows good judgement, in my opinion.

Enjoy the game.

efgoldman, oops.

My error. You were not the one who quoted Barry Ritholz. My mistake.

Your disagreement with me was on Cox. Should he stay or should he go?

I still think he should go.


His ideology overshadows good judgement, in my opinion.

So sez the commentator who claims to be a liberal, who was against the war, but now argues that it is necessary, who claims to have been a Hillary supporter, which is why he accuses Obama of some sort of undefined racism that he refuses to articulate except to say that a nephew didn't get into med school. He also believes that no one here possesses the keen insight that he has demonstrated.

It is hard to tell what is overshadowing what, cause either he doesn't realize he is contradicting yourself, or he is just trying to play concern troll and getting tripped up by his twists and turns.

lj, If Delong's ideas are incorporated into the legislation then fine. Nothing comes out of Congress entirely the same as it was submitted. The point is that the legislation is essential and it is essential that it be passed next week. A few minor changes can be made now, or they can be made later.

But RE: his comment on not trusting Paulson.

DeLong while safely ensconced in his tenured professorship enoying the good life in the hills of Berkeley is doing an ankle bite on Paulson who is working night and day trying to save our entire economy from collapse. DeLong needn't appear so small at a momentous time like this.

DeLong while safely ensconced in his tenured professorship enoying the good life in the hills of Berkeley is doing an ankle bite on Paulson who is working night and day trying to save our entire economy from collapse.

as opposed to you on this blog biting at the ankles of Chris Cox? Though, to be fair, you are probably doing it in order to provide cover for McCain's idiocy, whereas DeLong is actually providing some information.

lj, are you now playing the role of a self appointed political officer?

"n ankle bite on Paulson who is working night and day trying to save our entire economy from collapse. "

Sorry, ken. Not all of us are so naturally sycophantic to Bush Administration apparatchiks. That DeLong does not measure up to your standards of groveling is clear, but it's just possible that nobody cares about this but you.

ral, NO. The entire agency is subject to regular congressional review and oversight and only last for two years.

Congress along with the president can change how it operates any time they want. They can even extend its life beyond two years if needed.

No, I'm happy to let others draw their own conclusions. Next question?

Oh, and the permalinks for DeLong don't seem to work. The specific post I refer to is
the "Doug Elmendorf for Treasury Secretary"

SGEW- I'm surprised she won the ruling, but pleasantly so. Any ruling on GLBT rights is kind of a shock, but I'm glad for the progress.

Unfortunately, I bear some http://www.zootoo.com/petnews/actorclaimsselfdefenseinkillin>bad news. (especially for cat people, but horrible to everyone) I have trouble believing that a 7 lb cat is a huge threat to a 180 lb man. I know it's primitive and savage of me, but I'd almost like to see someone beat the crap out of him and see how he feels. I hope this ends Joseph Petcka's career as an actor.

BTFB and wonkie- I haven't really talked about my dog much, but the again we didn't rescue him. Danny is a 7yr old half Cocker Spaniel half Shih Tzu (go ahead and make your own jokes). He's quite spoiled, lazy, and is the dog version of a grumpy old man. He likes to sleep in my room, but the 'little' guy spreads out and takes up half the bed. Sometimes he has dreams and starts grunting and kicking me (It is very adorable, though). It's like having a bed-mate, but without any added fun.

So here's a question. He's been scratching like crazy and nibbling himself all over, to the point of being out of breath, but he doesn't have fleas or ticks. Giving him a single Benadryl seems to help for most the day, but it makes him pretty sleepy. Any ideas on what could be the problem? And any simple treatments that don't leave him a narcoleptic puppy?

My dof Blackie has that exact problem. I feed him an expensive dog food for skin allergies. it helps. Every now and then, when he getss really obsessive, I have to put him on sgteriod for a few days, that stops the itching cold and lets him heal. It usually takes a year or so (on benedril and allergy food) to get bad enough for another round.

Hope that helps.

MeDrew,
Did you try changing your bedding? Could be an allergic reaction to something there.

Wonkie- I'll ask the vet about allergies and changing his diet around.

LJ- Danny tends to sleep wherever he feels like it, but since he does tend to do it most often with me, I'll try that out (Besides, I could use some different blankets/sheets). Then, if he's fine after sleeping with me, we can narrow it down to whatever bedding is causing him to itch.

Thanks to both of you. ^.^

Donald Johnson. Have you any idea what is going on in the real world these days?

If Paulson was the conservative apparatchic you obviously think he is he would not have socialized FNM and FRE, nor would he be asking for authority to form a new agency to buy up to 700 billion dollars in US financial institutions assets. And if Bush were an inflexible ideologue he wouldn't have approved of any of this.

Clear your head of the old categories and ways of thinking. Bush and Paulson are not who you think they are. They certainly are not who I thought they were either.

And if Brad DeLong doesn't look diminished in your eyes by stating, at a time like this, that he does not trust Paulson, without giving good reason, then I feel sorry for you.

That kind of comment by someone with Brad DeLong's standing requires some kind of explanation beyond saying I don't know the man. Otherwise it is a mere ankle bite, a cheap shot thrown in for no good reason.

If he knows something about Paulson that justifies his comment I most certainly want to hear it. Otherwise he ought to keep quite about things he does not have enough information to make an informed judgement on. The trustworthiness of a man is not something to dismiss so lightly when the stakes are so high.

Here's DeLong on Paulson:
I don't think I know Paulson well enough to trust him with this much authority. (I would trust Bernanke.)

Yet DeLong should keep quite [sic]. Revealing.

ken, your answer doesn't seem to relate to my question, so I will spell it out for you.

OMG!! 9/11!! We need to take the gloves off, have surveillance without warrants, military commissions, enhanced interrogation, invade Iraq!! Right NOW!!

The Bush administration has proven time and again that it cannot be trusted. Now they want authority to spend $700 billion unfettered with any review.

What is that saying? Fool me once...?

russell, what will it take before you recognize the new reality?

...

If you need any more evidence that the situation is worse than even you think I think it is then you are not dealing with reality.

The most generous thing I can say about someone like you is that you perhaps have no clue as to how the credit markets work and what it all means to you personally. If you knew you would be in a screaming panic.

Actually, I have little argument with your point about the need for the US to be a credible guarantor of it's debt. Nor do I have any quibble with your general point that we're teetering on the edge of very, very deep doodoo indeed.

My wife and I, personally, are in not-bad shape because we, personally, are not that heavily leveraged, and we have no significant need for credit right now. My wife works for herself in a business whose clients are mostly fairly wealthy and are likely to stay that way, and I work for a company that is privately owned and very conservatively managed, and which neither holds nor needs to acquire any debt whatsoever.

Lucky us.

But believe me when I say that even we are quite nervous. Not at the screaming panic level, because we don't really go that way, but extremely concerned would be accurate.

My quibble with you is in ascribing any effective role to Bush. The man is an incompetent boob. His peeps will let him stand up and make a big speech when it's called for, but I'd be shocked if he can balance his own checkbook, let alone grasp and make significant contributions to national fiscal policy.

Seriously, when has he ever had to trouble his feeble little mind with matters as trivial as money? That would be like you or me worrying about where the air is going to come from. It's just there, dude.

I also feel extremely confident in saying that he gives not two, nor even one, but in fact gives a very large negative number of sh*ts about whether you forgive him or not. In his mental economy, the turds of concern are not for him to give, but to receive, so pony up.

Bush: not a hero, not a man of the people, not particularly concerned about whether you sink or whether you swim. He's all set. Too bad about you.

In case you've never noticed, here's the Bush point of view:

We, meaning you and me, get our input every four years. Other than that we should shut up and shop. If you don't like the job he's doing, tough sh*t. You shouldn't have voted for him.

What, you didn't vote for him? Then screw you anyway.

That's our Bushie. Now watch this drive.

Thanks -

This pdf by Zingales at UC, cited by Tyler Cowen, isn't from DeLong. I'm both of them are also blinded by their ideology as well.

"If we had the luxury of looking back it would be easy to be consumed with distain for Bush. But we do not have that luxury."

Sure we do.

"But the stakes are so high that if he can accomplish that much he has earned himself a pardon for all his previous transgressions."


No, he won't.

This is, of course, the sort of thing that makes people more than a tad dubious that you're any kind of Democrat, rather than a Republican who thinks we're so stupid that somehow this will make sense to us.

Even if we granted your premise that somehow Bush is such a magnificent and unique genius that he is handling the current fiscal crisi in such a perfectly deft way that he, and he alone, is capable of solving our problems, why that would mean we'd have to, or would want to, forgive what you so charmingly summarize as his "previous transgressions," is as clear as neutronium.

"Trust me Eric the next week is crucial. Nothing else matters right now but the passage of the legislation requested by Paulson."

Setting aside your continual condescension that you have a handle on answers that no one else has, but you'll deign to lower yourself to explain it to the stupid people you'll engage with, how this would lead to a need to forgive George W. Bush, well, I imagine you'll have as good an explanation for that as what Barack Obama has to do with your nephew's not getting into medical school, and how it is that you "know" affirmative action programs somewhere is the cause of that.

But, hey, surprise me, and try giving some of those explanations here. Start by picking just one.

LJ: "A more nuanced view is assembled by DeLong."

More of your effete elite "experts" and their so-called "web pages"! Real people have answers, not web pages!

ken has already explained.

"lj, are you now playing the role of a self appointed political officer?"

I won't ask it as a leading question, but what role do you see yourself playing here, ken? (Two points if you respond with an answer, not a deflection! Minus three points for ad hominem!)

DeLong on Elmendorf.


It doesn't help that 99% of your input here is to level unsubstantiated and often obviously erroneous charges about Obama. Almost your entire effort on this site is dedicated to tearing down Obama, and in so doing, you are consistently unwilling to engage people when they raise factual counterpoints. When your time is spent unfairly bashing the Democratic candidate for president, while refusing to actually have a discussion about the substance and evidence related to your bashes, people will logically conclude that you're not arguing in good faith.

Eric,

That's not quite fair. IMHO only about 1/3rd or so of ken's more recent comments resemble this description.

The other 2/3rds (IMHO) consist of an assessment of the perilous state of the credit market which at least has the merit of being based on verifiable facts, coupled with an analysis of this situation which draws the conclusion that our only correct policy option is to sign over virtually unlimited powers of fiscal deregulation (e.g. see section 8 of the proposed bailout bill) and a 0.7 trillion dollar loan against collateral of unknown and dubious value (this judgment per both Krugman and CalculatedRisk, who it is worth noting are not ideological bedmates) over to precisely the people who demonstrated their cool judgment and financial acumen by helping to create this mess in the first place (e.g. Treasury Sec. Paulson, whose extended career as a C-level officer at GS means that he is as guilty as the rest). An old saying regarding foxes and henhouses seems apropos.

Somehow this reflects well on George W. Bush, for reasons which are unclear to me. ken's reasoning seems to be somewhat analogous to the notion that the decision to launch lifeboats from the Titanic reflected well on the Captaincy of Edward J. Smith.


ken,

For what it's worth (which I suspect from your standpoint is not much), I'm simply not bothering to read anything you have to say any more. I'm not going to accuse you of defects of character or reason, but I simply find it impossible to discern any logic in the analytical process that you display here. From what I can tell you have a reasonable grasp of some of the basic facts of our financial situation as reported in the press on the one hand, and an attitude of inflexible emotional hostility and intense tribalistic aggression towards certain figures in our public life on the other hand (as well as anyone even remotely associated with them, such as numerous commentors on this blog*), and an indomitable determination to connect the dots between these two positions by any and all means necessary, and logic be d*mned.

If doing this makes you feel better, then I hope this form of public therapy yields some benefits, but it add nothing of value to the conversation here so far as I'm concerned. I had entertained some wistful hope that it might be possible to carve out a limited domain of topics regarding which a conversation could be carried out with you as an active and positive participant, without being sucked into the emotional whirlpool of your Obama hatred, but I now regard that as a vain hope. Good luck with that, but please look for someone else to engage you because I've got better things to do with my time.

*Note: your persistent attempts to label Gary a "troll" stand out above and beyond a generally impressive body of work as being especially noteworthy for unintended hilarity.

"Donald Johnson. Have you any idea what is going on in the real world these days?"

No. No, he has no idea.

But now that you've asked him, you've changed everything for him!

Incidentally, this is a colon: ":" Using it can help avoid writing in sentence fragments.

"And if Brad DeLong doesn't look diminished in your eyes by stating, at a time like this, that he does not trust Paulson, without giving good reason, then I feel sorry for you."

I'm skipping over the rest of your comments, because this one is just too wonderful. Yes, we certainly should look down on people who state their feelings and opinions without giving good reason.

And, absolutely, we should take your economic advice, but Brad DeLong? Some nobody: don't trust him!

Ken says so.

"That kind of comment by someone with Brad DeLong's standing requires some kind of explanation"

Hohoho.

Ral: What is that saying? Fool me once...?

I'll let http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_W._Bush> George W. Bush http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ux3DKxxFoM>take it from here.

There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on... Shame on you. Fool me... I can't get fooled again.

George Walker Bush ladies and gentlemen!!!

btw for all of yo who are interested in Emily's poo! No blood sighted today. I think the blood wa from worms. She still sleeps most of the time but to day she hopped up the steps inot the house quite nippily.

Jeff
Best Friends is a very worthy cause. They got over twenty Vick dogs. Another rescue that got Vick dogs is Bad Rap Dogs of San Francisco. All of their Vicktory dogs are either homed or on the way. They have lots of stuff on their web site.

My next dog, if I can't adopt lassie, is going to be a pit or a pitmix. They need us more than other breeds.

Little Emily is part pit, probably, but mostly she looks like a miniturized Great Dane. I don't mean that she is a GD, of course, but she does look like a scaled down version.

Actually it's an old Russian saying.

russell, if your quibble with me is over assigning credit to Bush for not being an inflexible conservative zealot when crunch time came and practicality was required then I think we have very little to quibbe about.

This crisis is of epic proportion and will usher in a new era whose outlines are just now taking shape.

That it came at the very end of the Bush presidency is a matter of chance. That he is dealing with it in a sane and rational way makes the chance that we can come out of this without a complete and total meltdown a little more likely.

We are not out the woods yet but so far Paulson, under Bush, and Bernanke, one of Bushes better appointments, are are creating the governmental programs, the foundation, for the next president to work off of.

Being angry at Bush does not change any of the reality of the situation, nor should it be allowed to change an objective evaluation of how he's handled it.

Being angry at the fact that your nephew didn't get into med school does not change any of the reality of the situation, nor should it be allowed to change an objective evaluation of how it should be handled.

Thatleftturn.

Do you feel better now getting that off your chest?

So glad you shared.

ral- I know how its supposed to go, so don't stick me in the same class as Bush. ^.^
But is it really Russian in origin? It seems like a phrase that would crop up in multiple languages independently.

wonkie- No offense, but I really don't care about Emily's poo. Emily, on the other hand... ^.^
I'm glad she's fine, and I'd probably be sleeping a lot if I were her too. I bet your house is a lot more comfortable than wherever she was sleeping before so she's getting more rest. Besides that, adjusting to finally getting food into her system and getting used to her new surroundings is probably pretty tiring.

"But is it really Russian in origin? It seems like a phrase that would crop up in multiple languages independently."

It's as authentically Russian as everything else Ensign Chekov claims is. I'm entertaining the distant possibility that you didn't actually notice where the link went.

Drew, did you click the link? I'm referring to a Star Trek episode. I feel sure Gary appreciates it.

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