Fiscally nuts. Socially insane.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Biden Step Down? Doubt It.

From a circulated email:

Let me share some info with you that I have gotten from excellent sources within the DNC: On or about October 5th, Biden will excuse himself from the ticket, citing health problems, and he will be replaced by Hillary. This is timed to occur after the VP debate on 10/2.

Good stuff. If it does happen, I'd bet "scandal" will ring in the air much longer than the Obama camp would like. I think the Obama camp knows the power of the bloggers, so they may reconsider this move.

*Also note that a similar email rumor circulated in 2000:

I just heard a rumor from a good source. The Republican party is feeling that Cheney is a liability on the ticket. There's a rumor that a few weeks prior to the election in a desperate attempt to win, Cheney will resign because of a trumped up heart problem or potential "threat to his health."

I'm doubting this goes down.

Female Supreme Court

Glenn Reynolds notes that Tennessee now has a majority female state Supreme Court:

"Gov. Phil Bredesen has appointed East Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Sharon Lee to a seat on the state Supreme Court.

The appointment means that women will hold three of the five seats on the Tennessee Supreme Court - the first women have held a majority on the state's highest court."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm About to Get Pissed Off...

Watch the video, and then bare with me for a rant of my own...

It's not sexist, Cambell, it's based on the fact that she was given TWO DAYS to prepare RUNNING for the VICE PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES. Excuse her for not being ready and willing and prepared to speak to reporters on the run quite yet, but normally, the preparation period is a little longer. POR EJAMPLO... Barack Obama has been preparing since his Senate run. He knew he was shooting for the White House; Michelle eluded to it in his victory speech. So give Palin a little time. It has nothing to do with sex.

Cooling my jets as I type...

UPDATE: I also find funny that, in the bottom, right hand corner of this video, it says "No Bias, No Bull."

I'm Doubting This Logic

I'm reading Ace of Spades, and I'm getting quite confused...

"Clarification on Bailout: It Won't Cost 700 Billion, Ultimately... In all likelihood, it will cost far less. It's possible (not even unlikely) that the government will actually make money on the deal... ...Currently these assets are temporarily worthless as no one will buy them. But as soon as a functioning market returns, they'll be worth something.

How much? Who knows. That's part of the problem; no one can currently say what they're worth. But once a normal market returns, they'll be worth something -- a solid fraction of their prior value. Maybe 3/5ths, maybe 3/4ths.

The government's play, as I understand it, is to begin buying these assets at deeply discounted prices, due this being a distressed sale and all. Doing so will cause Wall Street and others to lose money and take big losses, but not so much as to knock most of them into bankruptcy."

The thing is, though, these are, by default (irony on the word - haha? ok, no) the least attractive assets available. After the market returns, I suspect a much purer system; brokers will think twice about buying a shitty asset, and these won't sell... ever.

Coalition Obama

Probably the funniest so far...

Joint Statement...

GR has a joint statement from McCain and Obama - it's a touchy-feely "we must rise above politics in this crisis" sort of bit. Obviously, the letter telling us we should briefly put politics aside is, naturally, politics itself. Good move on McCain's part - once again portraying the good old bipartisan American patriot. Not sure about Obama's incentive though; associating with McCain on an economic issue doesn't seem to fit his campaigning rhetoric. 

Whatever, I'm sure it was a good idea; the Obama camp has been full of 'em recently.

"Step 1" Intervention

Intuitive logic is never misdirected:

But intervening at Step 1 would arguably cut more directly to the GRASSROOTS of the problem, while AVOIDING that whole bugaboo of "socialism" raised by direct, top-end, government buy-outs and bail-outs.

"Step 1," FYI:

1. The bursting of the housing bubble has led to a surge in defaults and
foreclosures, which in turn has led to a plunge in the prices of mortgage-backed
securities — assets whose value ultimately comes from mortgage payments.

It makes sense, and calling it what it is, it's much more... capitalist than previous ideas. I like it...

Kudos to GR.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Paulson and Congressional Calls

You would be astounded at the number of people who have called Shays' office yelling about Paulson's idiocy. 30-something people yesterday. A bunch today, as well.

Understandable, though - it's their tax money, and they don't like where $700 billion of it is going.

Monday, September 22, 2008

No Hacker Headlines

Funny how no one seems to be picking up the email hacker story. The only article available seems to be here...

A person who identified himself as a witness tells 10 News that agents with the FBI served a federal search warrant at the Fort Sanders residence of David Kernell early Sunday morning. Kernell lives in the Commons apartment complex at 1115 Highland Ave.

David Kernell is the son of Mike Kernell, a Democratic state representative from Memphis.

...but it's not a major news outlet.

I am, along with GR and friends, a little disappointed by the media coverage. Alas, no surprises... nothing in the media really surprises me anymore.

Weak Rally For Michelle

A weak turnout for Michelle Obama.

Althouse notes: MM tells me that is the same sized crowd that was there at 10 and that the event actually started right after the shot was taken. So this is, presumably, as large as it got, i.e., much smaller than I would have thought.

Considering Palin's turnout of 60,000 the other day and Obama's relatively unimpressive 20,000 on that same day, I'm liking what I'm seeing. You're right... it is only Obama's wife. But if a VP nominee can get 60,000 Floridian "Village" retirees out of their condos, into their wheelchairs, and down to a rally, I think Michelle should be able to fill up a field with energetic youth.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Here is the Treasury's Financial Bailout Proposal:

Section 1. Short Title.

This Act may be cited as ____________________.

Sec. 2. Purchases of Mortgage-Related Assets.

(a) Authority to Purchase.–The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.

(b) Necessary Actions.–The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:

(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;

(2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts;

(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;

(4) establishing vehicles that are authorized, subject to supervision by the Secretary, to purchase mortgage-related assets and issue obligations; and

(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act.

Sec. 3. Considerations.

In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for–

(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and

(2) protecting the taxpayer.

Sec. 4. Reports to Congress.

Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.

Sec. 5. Rights; Management; Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.

(a) Exercise of Rights.–The Secretary may, at any time, exercise any rights received in connection with mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act.

(b) Management of Mortgage-Related Assets.–The Secretary shall have authority to manage mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act, including revenues and portfolio risks therefrom.

(c) Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.–The Secretary may, at any time, upon terms and conditions and at prices determined by the Secretary, sell, or enter into securities loans, repurchase transactions or other financial transactions in regard to, any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act.

(d) Application of Sunset to Mortgage-Related Assets.–The authority of the Secretary to hold any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act before the termination date in section 9, or to purchase or fund the purchase of a mortgage-related asset under a commitment entered into before the termination date in section 9, is not subject to the provisions of section 9.

Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.

The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time

Sec. 7. Funding.

For the purpose of the authorities granted in this Act, and for the costs of administering those authorities, the Secretary may use the proceeds of the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and the purposes for which securities may be issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, are extended to include actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses. Any funds expended for actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses, shall be deemed appropriated at the time of such expenditure.

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.

Sec. 9. Termination of Authority.

The authorities under this Act, with the exception of authorities granted in sections 2(b)(5), 5 and 7, shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act.

Sec. 10. Increase in Statutory Limit on the Public Debt.

Subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof $11,315,000,000,000.

Sec. 11. Credit Reform.

The costs of purchases of mortgage-related assets made under section 2(a) of this Act shall be determined as provided under the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as applicable.

Sec. 12. Definitions.

For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) Mortgage-Related Assets.–The term “mortgage-related assets” means residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before September 17, 2008.

(2) Secretary.–The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Treasury.

(3) United States.–The term “United States” means the States, territories, and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pakistan Bombing

A huge truck bomb devastated the Marriott Hotel in Pakistan's capital Saturday, creating a chaotic, fiery scene as rescue crews searched for survivors. At least 60 people reportedly have been killed, including one American.

Read it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

So While I Was At School...

...the shit pretty much hit the fan in the world.

AIG dropped 60.79%, down to $4.90. Goldman Sachs also fell 12.13% and JPMorgan Chase 10.13%.

500 PT decline for DJ: The Dow ended down by 504.48 points on Monday, off 4.4%, at its daily low of 10917.51, down 18% on the year.

See, if I didn't have to be in school, I could have saved the situation... I would have run down to Wall Street, scared some rather puny-looking traders into buying AIG underground and saved the day... but, alas, I was in math class. Sorry.

Live From New York!

UPDATE: Because NBC is NBC, the youtube video is no longer available due to copyright infringement. I replaced it with the official NBC one. Same content, bigger assholes...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day by Day: Palin and Gibson

Day by Day, Chris Muir

Hilarious... referring to the Gibson/Palin interview a few days ago:

GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush -- well, what do you -- what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His world view.

If you haven't noticed, I have his daily strip on my sidebar a little ways down. Look for it. He's always funny.

Stocks Falling, Cars Crashing, People Dying

Well, only really the first one, but catchy title, eh?

Anyway, WSJ says:

"The American financial system was shaken to its core on Sunday. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. faced the prospect of liquidation and Merrill Lynch & Co. was close to a deal to sell itself to Bank of America Corp."

That's all wonderful, but what I'm really interested in is the next paragraph:

"The U.S. government, which bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac a week ago and orchestrated the sale of Bear Stearns Cos. to J.P. Morgan & Co. earlier this year, drew a line in the sand with Lehman. It refused to provide a financial backstop to potential buyers."

The Feds get to do this because...? That, I think, is what really separates Republicans from Democrats. If the Federal government can bail one out, where does it draw the line? Suddenly, socialism is back and ready for action and the government is sticking its disgusting, slobbery nose in places it shouldn't be.

Be objective and call it capitalism, or help 'em all and call it socialism, but you can't have it both ways.

Thanks to GR for the lead.

I Like Ike

Rescue crews canvassing neighborhoods with dump trucks, helicopters and airboats have saved nearly 2,000 residents who ignored evacuation orders and stayed to face Hurricane Ike, authorities said Sunday.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Haven't Figured Out Why This Matters...

Palin on Obama not picking Hillary as VP: "I think he's regretting not picking her now, I do,"

UPDATE: The subtitle to a picture in the article I just linked to makes an interesting observation; a 2012 run-off between Clinton and Palin is a significant possibility.

Flashback: 1982

The ad shows McCain struggling to get out of a golf cart while the announcer says, "He admits he still doesn't know how to use a computer; can't send an email." It's effective, but it's harsh. It's already seen signs of backfiring; I suspect we'll see more of that.

I do have to say, though, Johnny looks damn sexy in those glasses at the beginning.

The original video is here. Althouse puts in her two cents here:

"At the end, a third item is thrown in, the usual complaint about tax cuts for the rich and nothing for you, which doesn't really carry on the old clueless guy theme very well."

UPDATE: "The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country."

Friday, September 12, 2008

African American Oral Tradition as Literature

I wrote this brief reflection paper for one of my classes in response to the question, "Do you believe African American oral tradition is literature." I think it's interesting.


Oral tradition has been the basis of literature since the term came into being. Biblical stories, both Old and New Testament, were passed on for decades through campfire stories and parables before they were ever written down. Surely, one can assume, details and minutia and even entire plots and settings may have changed through the generations, but the meanings stayed strong. That is a main reason such stories are recognized with their original reverence despite an obvious factual dilemma. The purity of these stories is still present with their original spirit.

To understand literature is not simply to understand the main meaning of a story, regardless of contents. It is to understand a piece of work regardless of personal vernacular in its entirety and its original context as the author had intended. Literature must include essential subtleties that the author had deliberately placed based on his or her vernacular and the vernacular of his or her audience. Stories and music changed over generations cannot be considered literature in their original context but merely the basis thereof.

However, certain types of oral tradition, forever instilled in a place in time and location and culture through permanent manuscript or recording; forever available in the library of time and recognizable in even the most remote manner as a piece of a particular vernacular, are, indeed, literature. All forms of recorded music and written lyrics fall into this category. They can be recognized as an oral tradition’s development into something new, something different that people of all cultures, times and locations can experience and, hopefully, understand.

Oral tradition in its purest form; as field hollers and stories around a campfire, is simply not literature. They provide the basis for recorded texts and sounds that are.


Any thoughts?


Talk about a failure...

Obama v. Palin

An interesting op-ed over at the WSJ yesterday: 

"Michael Dukakis spent the last months of the 1988 campaign calling his opponent's running mate, Dan Quayle, a risky choice and even ran a TV ad blasting Mr. Quayle. The Bush/Quayle ticket carried 40 states.

Adlai Stevenson spent the fall of 1952 bashing Dwight Eisenhower's running mate, Richard Nixon, calling him "the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, and then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation." The Republican ticket carried 39 of 48 states.

If Mr. Obama keeps attacking Mrs. Palin, he could suffer the fate of his Democratic predecessors. These assaults highlight his own tissue-thin résumé, waste precious time better spent reassuring voters he is up for the job, and diminish him -- not her."

It's an interesting point. McCain hasn't actually been attacked recently, and Obama has begun to compare himself to Palin. That alone knocks him down a tier from where he needs to be.

"We Have You Surrounded"

TigerHawk makes a surprisingly valid point: "Is it just me, or are we surrounding Iran from all sides? We're in the Persian Gulf, we're in Iraq, we're in Afghanistan, we're kind of in Turkey, we are now conducting raids in Pakistan, and we're trying awfully hard to be friends with Russia (though their current behavior is making that difficult)."

Well, yes. The Russia point is a hard sell, but other than that, it's fairly legitimate.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

There Seems To Be Some Confusion...

"A new poll of 17 nations finds that majorities in only nine of them believe that al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States."

Yippee for insanity! 43% of Egyptians think Israel attacked America. Right, because a nation that has literally no friends on its continent would attack its strongest political ally, the one who seems to be completely devoted to its protection. The logic makes perfect sense to me.

Mere Rhetoric: "The rest of the world's beliefs about the WTC bombings are out and out batshit crazy."

As a side note, I'm fairly impressed Kenya and Nigeria, although it's not totally surprising me. Somehow, when people who are so poorly informed are actually given information, they always seem to get the purest.

"I Didn't Hesitate, No"

Read it: "I answered him 'yes' because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink. So I didn't blink then even when asked to run as his running mate."

Thank you Ann Althouse, I apologize for copying your post almost exactly. (I liked it, what can I say?)

UPDATE: Transcript excerpts from Palin's ABC interview are here.

Just the Big Bang, No Biggie

"Protons will be fired through a 17-mile tunnel under Switzerland and be made to smash into each other... The experiment is aiming to capture an image of the conditions that existed a billionth of a second after the Big Bang.

...what was less of a secret was the much-hyped danger that it may create black holes that would eventually tear the Earth apart."

So in the quest for a tiny particle in a proton and an explanation for 1/1,000,000,000 of a second, Switzerland risked the entire planet. I feel like we all should have gotten a memo, or a vote, or something.


Dear Sir,

I just wanted to inform you that we will be conducting an experiment that may or may not blow up the planet. You're support is not required, but strongly suggested.



A Moment of Silence for 9/11

That's how I remember them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


For anyone who has been following the Chad "Ocho-Cinco" thing, Raebock and the NFL will apparently make him buy out the entire stock of expired "C. Johnson" jerseys before he plays with Ocho-Cinco on his back.

"Shouldn't the league be focusing on more important issues, like stopping players from celebrating touchdowns?"

The Audacity of Deceit

The Audacity of Deceit.

"You'll see how, as a State Senator, Obama... Supported withholding emergency medical aid for babies who survive an abortion!!!!"

Nurse: "Hmm, it lived... *rub chin* ...I dunno, doc, what should we do?"
Doc: "Let's just withhold emergency medical aid and let 'em bleed to death."


This is it. We've been looking for something to push us over the edge - just one little reason - to invade Canada, and I think we've finally got it.

APCanada's prime minister [Stephen Harper] vowed Wednesday to pull troops from Afghanistan in 2011, the first time he has said Canadian forces will leave the country.

On top of that: Harper said Wednesday it is not a realistic goal to eradicate the insurgency by 2011.

It is time. We shall invade! THIS IS SPARTA

Crazy Train

On the SEPTA in Philadelphia: Without uttering a word, police said, the unidentified man whipped out a double-claw hammer and began bludgeoning a 20-year-old man who was dozing off in his seat.

Thanks to Dr. Helen.

Lipstick Pig

Thoughts on the Lipstick/Pig comment.

Politico pretty much hit the nail on the head, as did most everyone else. It was a slip, but it was stupid beyond belief (maybe partially freudian, who knows). Anyway, in such a tight presidential race as this, whoever outlined Obama's points - him or not - should have seen the reference and known that someone would jump on it - if not the MSM than more lethally Matt Drudge.

Which he did.

Not sure, maybe Obama is trying to get back in the spotlight. More likely, though, it's just a result of 18 hour days from campaign workers. McCain is all over it, which seems to be bothering a few people, myself included. He's slinging a little more mud than I expected.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Just a Thought

Sarah's a hockey mom. She implies that she cooks for her children. Just out of curiosity, how does she manage this with a 20 hour drive frin Juneau to Wasilla each evening? I was unaware governors had the ability to warp the space-time continuum.

I logically assume she spends the week in Juneau and the weekend in Wasilla. If that's the case, who is taking care of the five month old down syndrome child and the pregnant 17-year-old? Daddy's off winning "snow-machine" races, and the article I just linked to, while a little old, suggest Mrs. Palin is doing most of the house keeping.

It's just got me curious.

The Buzz Review

The buzz log: hockey moms, eBay jet, haberdasher and community organizer.

"And just like that, the mothers of stick-and-puck-playing kids made soccer moms seem so last decade. Lookups for "hockey moms" have been scoring goals all morning."

Great speech last night.