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September 25, 2008


There but for the grace of God go I.

Such unimaginable stupidity is hard to comprehend unless you've been through a four year program in business and economics.

Eric, I hope that at the end of this campaign we can look at all these absurd gambits from the McCain campaign and say, "all those stupid little things/ they ain't working/ no they ain't working any more."

You know, just to throw your musical reference back at you.

Btw, I saw that Hilzoy got a mention on The Economist's blog earlier today. Does that mean that Obsidian Wings can now tout itself as being read by the most obnoxiously self-important magazine in the world?

read by the most obnoxiously self-important magazine in the world

We should add it to the tag line.

Although, I read The Economist on occasion too, so they could fire back with:

read by the most obnoxiously self-important blogger in the world

It isn't really so easy to make the argument that the financial sector needs to be rescued to preserve capitalism and the economy — while real, suffering people do not.

This reminds me of this op-ed from David Brooks in the NYT earlier this week. Especially this section:

We’re entering an era of the educated establishment, in which government acts to create a stable — and often oligarchic — framework for capitalist endeavor.

Who, and what ends, do these people think government exists to serve?

Jefferson (and his editors) said this:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

We appear to have devolved to the point where human freedom and liberty are held to be synonymous with capitalist endeavor.

Personally, I find that to be a debased understanding of the world.

Looking at what they do rather than what they say, it seems to me that Republican governance is dedicated to making the world a convenient and comfortable place in which to be extremely rich.

The extremely rich don't need the help.

Thanks -

I don't know if this is a smart thing to do or not but I jusgt went down tothe bank and put about half of my retirement savings into a CD IRA. (used to be in some bonds and some money market funds) The interest rate sucks but its insured now. The rest is still in stock market mutual funds. i am clueless about this stuff, barely know the jargon, don't know how to work the system. If I could I'd put it all under the mattress.

I'm really worried about all of this. What worries the most is that the bailout won't include the strings that it should. If that happens...well maybe Canada regardles of who wins. At least they have socialized health care up there.

I read The Economist fairly regularly, too. That's why their self-promotion seems a little grating.

In my experience The Economist's fans are a little like Apple acolytes, relentless praising their chosen object of affection and disparaging those who aren't hip enough and savvy enough to follow their noble and enlightened lead.

Currently the banners on The Economist's website have a blurb from Bill Gates praising their magazine. It strikes me as being a little too defensive, like they have to prove to people that they're just as good as the big boys.

It's like when you're in some podunk city and see billboards touting its hometown heroes (for me it's Will Rogers, gack Toby Keith, and the guy who invented shopping carts). In big cities you don't see signs like that since everbody already knows they've produced worthwhile people. Same thing with The Economist compared to, say, the New York Times or the Guardian or what have you.

We should add it to the tag line.

Obsidian Wings: read by the most obnoxiously self-important magazine people in the world.

That's more like it! ;)

You'll Never Fail Like Common People

This is the best version.

Indeed Spartikus.

I believe Schiffren's words are a direct quote from the witless rouged mouth moving on the recently severed head of Marie Antoinette.

Madame Defarge knit, therefore she was an elitist.

Marie Antoinette dispensed cake, therefore she was a common person.

Dickens had it backwards.

Schriffen takes the cake. Where does she take the cake? Down to the bakery to visit the other cakes. (Carlin)

The United States is a big useless, yeasty cake.

Make a wish and blow out the candles.

I prefer pie.

[I've been waiting for a chance to post this link.]

This is the best version.

Um. Wow. I don't think I'll ever be able to listen to Pulp the same way again.

If Lisa Schiffren has ever written anything that isn't prima facie evidence of degenerative brain disease, I'm unaware of it.

"I don't know if this is a smart thing to do or not..."

Keep in mind that it's only insured to $100,000. I don't know how much money you're talking about, but putting it into multiple banks would be a good idea. It's better to have $100,000 in three banks than $300,000 in one bank.

Actually the bank lady said that IRAs are insured up to 250,000 which is more that I've got, but if I decide to do this with the stock mutual fund and the annuity I'll go to another bank.

I have na idea: let the Wall Street fiasco playitself out with no bailout. Insgtead take 700 billion and call it a middle/lower class bailout. Put the money into grants for education, loans to start businesses, grants to buy houses for people, funds for schools, money to hire people to work onintrastrucure projects, health care...hell, just dividee the money up and give it to everyone who is not a CEO. Ownership society! Let people take the money and use it as they see fit! having an affluent middle calss will probably do more to stablize our economy than this bailout.

So, with the money box open, it may be that we, the taxpayers are better off having George Bush, who is free to stand on principle, take the lead in setting limits on the bailout. [emphasis modified]
Sometimes, I wonder how delusional a wingnut can get before they come to take her away.


"read by the most obnoxiously self-important blogger in the world"

Don't be so hard on yourself. D^2 still exists.

Wait, wha?

I'm surprised no one has said so yet, but that surpasses fail. "You fail, President Bush," just doesn't cut it. This is the clearest example of Epic Fail I have ever seen.

Now I'm just thinking of which dance to do on the man's grave. Unfortunately I think the "Mashed Potato" is about all I'm capable of personally.

The "Common People" video is cool, but will it ever top the "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsXfq-4wUkk>gay He-Man" video? Can anything top that? For sheer silliness, even The Hasselhoff's "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJQVlVHsFF8>Hooked on a Feeling" is hard to beat!

I like wonkie's idea.

Really, the more I hear about this, the more inclined I am to let the roof cave in. The economic model we've been living under is so bad on so many levels, and now so obviously failed there can't be any doubt it's unsustainable... and what the bailout does is artificially sustain it a little bit longer...

... and not more than a little bit longer, either, since the bailout does very little to address what caused the sh*tpile in the first place. Mark me, if this goes through, the same predators and parasites will be back in record time with their hands out yet again.

I know, I KNOW, there will be suffering and collapse and all kinds of awfulness if we let the banks collapse.

But we can't go on doing business this way. We just can't.

This isn't an economy; it's a meth habit.

I think it's fair to say that market crashes should be viewed as a feature of Capitalism rather than a bug. You don't like it, I guess you don't like Capitalism. I think the current crop of cretins have set about marking our form of government to market. Now, we will be able to say to China, or whoever, this is the price. Then they will offer half, and we will say, "what do you think I am?". They will say, "We already know what you are, we're just haggling over a price.".

Does anyone think that they understand what's going on in Washington DC?

I am totally confused. I mean I get it that the Deomcrats and paulson were moving toward some kind of plan that was at about half the 700 billion figure and had some accountabiity, but Republicans in Congress were against it and suddenly McCAin showed up with a cut taxes and deregulate plan which upset everything...

So what is Saint John's goal? Is he trying to be the big hero by getting HIS plan passed?

Is he trying to paint himself and other Republicans as populist savers of the economy by voting "No" and his plan is just his cover so he looks like he has a good suggestion?

Was the Deomcratic plan an attempt to be grown ups or just the Dems getting played again this time by paulson and Wall STreet?

I'm having trouble follwing the plot of this drama.

So what is Saint John's goal? Is he trying to be the big hero by getting HIS plan passed?

I think the main plan at this point is to stall until Saturday so that he doesn't have to go to the debate. I assume that he also wants to look presidential by rushing back to Washington to help solve a crisis. I'm not sure how he plans on making those two parts of the plan both work.

That just hurts my soul.

Good lord, did you read Schiffren's entire post?

"McCain, who has been immersed in this stuff for 30 years, should be able to discuss foreign policy with half his brain tied behind his back."

Yikes, where do they come up with this stuff?

This is a great reference. Thank you.

Shatner cover is better.

He really thinks that he can't handlea debate? Honestly the debates aren't that haed. All one needs is a catch phrase and an air of confidence. That's how Bonzo "won" his debate with Mondale.

The Paulson deal, said to be agreed upon at the market close, has fallen apart.

The Republican Party, on behalf of John McCain, walked out.


There going to take it all down.

Run for your fucking lives.

the NYT today:

Talks Implode During Day of Chaos; Fate of Bailout Plan Remains Unresolved

"If money isn't loosened up, this sucker could go down," President Bush declared Thursday as he watched the $700 billion bailout package fall apart before his eyes
[parenthetical note: I truly will miss this man's way with words, once he has left the public scene.]
“We’re in a serious economic crisis,” Mr. Bush told reporters as the meeting began shortly before 4 p.m. in the Cabinet Room, adding, “My hope is we can reach an agreement very shortly.”

But once the doors closed, the smooth-talking House Republican leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio, surprised many in the room by declaring that his caucus could not support the plan to allow the government to buy distressed mortgage assets from ailing financial companies.

Mr. Boehner pressed an alternative that involved a smaller role for the government, and Mr. McCain, whose support of the deal is critical if fellow Republicans are to sign on, declined to take a stand.

The talks broke up in angry recriminations, according to accounts provided by a participant and others who were briefed on the session, and were followed by dueling news conferences and interviews rife with partisan finger-pointing.

In the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.

“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know."

Hmmmm, let's see - that went well, didn't it. Thank goodness that John McCain rode in on a white horse to save the day, or the whole thing might have broken down and fallen apart. I love the smell of leadership in the morning - it smells like victory!

So McCain "suspended" his campaign and rushed (in a leisurely fashion) to DC, arriving just in time to sabotage the deal that had been worked out in his absence, so that he can run as a fake populist against Bush, the Democrats, and Wall Street?

John McCain would rather lose the economy than lose an election.

more bits o' juicy goodness from this story:

It was the very outcome the White House had said it intended to avoid, with partisan presidential politics appearing to trample what had been exceedingly delicate Congressional negotiations.

Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Senate banking committee, denounced the session as “a rescue plan for John McCain,” and proclaimed it a waste of precious hours that could have been spent negotiating.

But a top aide to Mr. Boehner said it was Democrats who had done the political posturing. The aide, Kevin Smith, said Republicans revolted, in part, because they were chafing at what they saw as an attempt by Democrats to jam through an agreement on the bailout early Thursday and deny Mr. McCain an opportunity to participate in the agreement.

Well that certainly is putting country first, isn't it. God forbid that John McCain should arrive late and miss the photo-op (perhaps he should have let David Letterman drive him to the airport after all).

Perhaps that's too harsh of me. I'm sure that John McCain, despite not having actually read the 3 page Paulson TARP proposal as recently as Tuesday, had lots of important questions that needed to be answered before he could support this package, such as...

At 4 p.m., Mr. Bush convened his meeting at the White House; Mr. McCain had already met with House Republicans to hear their concerns. He later said on ABC that he had known going into the White House that “there never was a deal,” but he kept that sentiment to himself.

The meeting opened with Mr. Paulson, the chief architect of the bailout plan, “giving a status report on the condition of the market,” Tony Fratto, Mr. Bush’s deputy press secretary, said. Mr. Fratto said Mr. Paulson warned in particular of the tightening of credit markets overnight, adding, “that is something very much on his mind.”

Mr. McCain was at one end of the long conference table, Mr. Obama at the other, with the president and senior Congressional leaders between them. Participants said Mr. Obama peppered Mr. Paulson with questions, while Mr. McCain said little.

My friends, that is..um..that is..

downright pathetic.

As TLTIA goes, so (I hope) goes the nation...

Participants said Mr. Obama peppered Mr. Paulson with questions, while Mr. McCain said little.

That was McCain's hommage to Clarence Thomas, to show his dedication to appointing conservative Supreme Court justices.

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