Friday, August 31, 2007

Craig to Resign

I haven't tackled the Craig fiasco yet, because I'm dealing with being on the cusp of joyous schadenfreude over his hypocritical ass being busted and ecstasy that the crime rate in Minneapolis is so low that MPD can waste manpower cruising the johns at the airport for those rampaging queers. So I'll leave it to Miss Laura at Dkos to handle it in a powerful and moving matter.

My dichotomous lethargy aside, it appears Craig has decided to resign.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Gonzales Resigning?

CNN has breaking news that Gonzales has offered his resignation to Dumbfuck and it's been accepted. There was some rumoring yesterday that this would happen and Chertoff would be the nominee to replace him. This will be fun, no matter what. Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Florida Flap

I don't know what will come of the Florida primary dustup, but my 'gut feeling' is that the DNC will back down eventually on it. A) Florida is too important (ask Al Gore) to piss off too much and B) it's really not THAT important an issue- certainly not one the party wants to self-destruct over. The rampage to move up the primaries is silly and mostly political window-dressing for local pols, and probably ought to be addressed and organized in some rational fashion. But, I think temper tantrums, lawsuits, and general breath-holding by all parties just makes the party look silly.

What I'd like to see is a multi-tier (maybe with various states rotating positions, election by election) process, with the two traditionals (NH and IA) up first (otherwise, all Hell WILL break loose!), followed at three or four week intervals by a series of mini-Super Tuesdays, with several small and mid-sized states holding their primaries, and then the handful of really big states. Maybe one big one (again, rotating position quadrenially) in the early stages for 'fun'.

Regardless of the process developed, something needs to be done to smooth the process (mechanically, not politically) so that we don't end up with one big national primary day. If we do end up with that, I want a Constitutional Amendment that it can't happen before August, so we don't end up with an continual process.... the challengers starting before the winners' elections are done, leading up to a primary, then a HUGELY long campaign season. This cycle is killing me, and we're just barely past the halfway point! :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Girls, Get Ready to Get Pregnant!

Is barefoot next?

Abortion is the pretext, contraception is the next step, then all non-religious sanctioned sex is the final objective.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Apparently NHTSA Is FULL Of Secrets!

Whodathunkit?

Piss Off, Rupert!

Look, Murdoch... it's bad enough that you want to take the WSJ news sections and have them channel the WSJ morons of the editorial section. But now, you're starting to fuck with the electoral process, and you're doing it in my backyard. So just stop it! STOP IT!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hunter Smacks Jonah

As a blogger at DailyKos, Hunter seldom disappoints. Today, he takes on second generation uber-wanker Jonah Goldberg, and his toxic waste dump of a LA Times column.

...But Jonah Goldberg has, in his own columns, a special gift. He manages, week after week, to cut through all the fluff of actual analysis or insight. From any conversation or controversy he can cleanly strip away all new information and ideas, all creative thought, all inventiveness, managing to debone both the substance and appeal of any argument as cleanly as a butcher dispenses with the carcass of a cow. If you want to know the mere husk of a conservative idea, without being subjected to any of the underlying logic, Jonah is the mind for you. If you want the thinnest, most translucent version of a conservative argument about any given issue or event, he can oblige. There is no brain-injuring analysis in a Jonah Goldberg column, no central core of facts, no calculated veneer of respectability painted onto the conservative arguments. Jonah is the conservative protopundit, the conservative that is so primal and simplistic in his analysis that you can see directly through to the innermost biases, unencumbered by evolution.

In his arguments, Jonah can peel an orange and toss everything but the rind, leaving a fascinating representation of what, in actual punditry, might have led to an actual moment of cleverness or insight. For Jonah the insights are mere bumps along his predetermined path. You can tell the destination of each column not just before it is read, but before it is even written: the arguments are that bland, the insults that predictable, the chosen topics that banal. And so when treated to a Goldbergian analysis of whether the liberal netroots are better accomplished online than their conservative counterparts, we can presume that the entire depth of the discussion will be reduced to an assertion of nuh-uh, and left at that.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Glenn Spells Out the Difference

Glenn tells us what's wrong with them:

Every now and then, it is worth noting that substantial portions of the right-wing political movement in the United States -- the Pajamas Media/right-wing-blogosphere/Fox News/Michelle Malkin/Rush-Limbaugh-listener strain -- actually believe that Islamists are going to take over the U.S. and impose sharia law on all of us. And then we will have to be Muslims and "our women" will be forced into burkas and there will be no more music or gay bars or churches or blogs. This is an actual fear that they have -- not a theoretical fear but one that is pressing, urgent, at the forefront of their worldview.

And their key political beliefs -- from Iraq to Iran to executive power and surveillance theories at home -- are animated by the belief that all of this is going to happen. The Republican presidential primary is, for much of the "base," a search for who will be the toughest and strongest in protecting us from the Islamic invasion -- a term that is not figurative or symbolic, but literal: the formidable effort by Islamic radicals to invade the U.S. and take over our institutions and dismantle our government and force us to submit to Islamic rule or else be killed.

They actually think this is going to happen ("read Zawahiri's speeches about the Plan for Caliphate!!") and believe that we must do everything in our power -- without limits -- to stop it. And there are a lot of them who think this. In recommending this essay, the most-read right-wing blogger today described it as: "ROGER SIMON has thoughts on gay marriage and the War on Terror." There are many ways to describe what Roger Simon wrote, but "thoughts" would not really be one of them.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Too True

From TPM:

Black Enough

For about two centuries it was widely understood that being black at all was a disqualifying qualification for being elected president. So why don't more people see at as more than vaguely nauseating that the first black candidate for president with a realistic chance of getting the job is continually asked if he's black enough?

--Josh Marshall

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mortgages, The Market, and Mania

I'm not a big fan of regulation for regulations sake, having a fairly wide libertarian streak (blame my Texas upbringing), but there are many cases when regulation is good thing. One of the best is regulating the impulses that destroy us (I might argue that if you only destroy yourself, then regulation is unnecessary) and, particularly, when that destruction takes others along. Such is the case in the financial markets.

History shows that, over and over and over, the markets succumb to manias that enrich a lucky (usually, the early) few, and destroy everyone else involved, and often a goodly number of bystanders. The current situation is such.

We had historic real estate price growth rates and historic low interest rates. Everyone and their dog was getting involved in real estate. This necessitated a huge growth, and explosion, in the mortgage market. One fed the other which fed the first and on the bubble grew. Rational observers could see only one result, but the participants and the government gave us the old refrain: It's different, this time.

Rule Number One: It's NEVER different, this time!

So we had incredible price growth in the real estate market, we had cheap money, much of it, due to the rising prices, outside of the government parameters for loans, and the twain met and drove the market to it's inevitable doom.

At some point, the greater fool theory took hold and the underpinnings started to crumble. People who had gotten cheap mortgages, outside of federal guidelines, and sometimes out of their ability to pay, began to worry; people looking in decided to hold off for a while, which slowed the growth of real estate prices; people with money to lend became less interested in lending to what was now, obviously, a tenuous bubble economy. And then the bubble burst.

And now, the reaction is spilling over to the financial markets at large. The Dow is down more than a thousand points from it's high last month, with no real end in sight, as the problems are psychological, not fundamental. The secondary market for mortgages has collapsed to the point that the Fed is having to hold it up.

All of this because most of the activity took place outside of any regulation.

I'm not proposing that we regulate the financial markets into stasis. The people that drive the markets are risk takers, always have been. But the situation has changed, dramatically, over the last several decades. Most of the risk takers are taking risks with other people's money, not their own; this changes the dynamics of risk taking and makes seemingly insane risks seem reasonable. Particularly if the only cost to the risk taker is getting a multi-million (or in some cases near billion) dollar golden parachute. Corporations may not have enough to pay their pension obligations or provide health coverage to their workers, but they always seem to find the money to pay off execs they want gone. Go figure.

My economics is all undergrad, and as such, I'm not going to offer any significant proposals here. But, it seems to me, that if we want to restrain 'irrational exuberance', then we need to reinforce the risk side to the risk takers. I don't know if this needs to be civil or criminal penalties, or financial sanctions, or what. I just know that something needs to be done, all across the board, to 'teach' corporate management that there are costs to 'failure'.

Businesses pollute, cheat, collude, lie, etc, with virtual impunity. Legal penalties against them are ridiculously small. If Halliburton is ever convicted of fraud in Iraq, they'll pay a heavy penalty, but compared to the profits they've raked in, it will be a pittance. Where's the coercive effect? Where's the fear factor?

Penalties for serious infractions need to be made much more severe, altho perhaps variable with the size of the company. And, in my opinion, there should be offenses for which the penalties are crippling to the company, perhaps even life threatening. And management involved in the offenses should face penalty as well. I'll leave the specifics to the experts but we need to make the punishment fit the crime, to the point that potential offenders think twice about committing the crime.

We should be able to get the Repugs on board with that. Isn't that their whole position on crime in general?

(cross posted at DailyKos )

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Carville Buries Rove

Carville, writing in the Financial Times (?), predicts grave piddling.... can I get in line?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rove Was An Asshole

Not a big shock, but the story comes from Dick Armey (who should know assholes, since he was one of the biggest!)

Rove to Resign

Ding Dong! the Witch is Dead. Karl Rove has announced he will leave his position as Bush's Rasputin, effective the end of this month. Rove's role in pushing the Texas nitwit to political heights otherwise unattainable is modern politics in a nutshell: attack, lie, smear, and when in doubt steal. His exit (and presumtive fall from grace after the Nov '06 election) is too little, too late. But nice to see, nonetheless.

I fear, barring conviction for something, he may yet rise again from the dead. Metaphorically speaking, he's been poisoned, shot, weighted with chains and dumped in the Neva. Where is Prince Yusupov when we need him?

Eugene Robinson has a snarky goodbye in the Post.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

FISA Bad!

Steve Benen, at TPM, has a round up of several articles covering why the new FISA bill is so bad. The Anonymous Liberal post at C&L is particularly good.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Iowa Results

The Repug straw poll was today, and Milt won almost exactly as predicted (30ish percent of the votes cast). The big surprise to me is how HORRIBLY St John finished. McCain finished in 10th place with 101 votes (out of 14+ thousand!)

The Slippery Slope

This IS what we are talking about!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Post Dated Primaries

SC announced today it's moving its primary up to January 19. NH is expected to follow suit, and Iowa won't be far behind if both move. At what do we wake up, and discover that the primary dates have been moved to some point in the past?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hundred Years War

Josh points out some of the absurdities in the arguments behind the GWOT. He makes a lot of sense; given even the global changes of the last decade, how can anyone, with any pretense of 'accuracy', predict what will be on deck in the next decade, let alone 97 years down the road. It is a bumper sticker slogan, covering up fanatical vacuuity on the part of 'dear Leader' and his crew of simpleton Talibangelicals.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Lynch Them All!

Both Houses of Congress caved to the fear and death mongering propaganda machine of the WH this weekend and passed the INSANE FISA bill that puts the decision making power in the hands of the AG (who is currently a mentally defective congenital liar!) Let your Congresspeople know that you are pissed. Check Bill O'Reilly's website comments for appropriate verbiage. God, I am pissed, and more than a little terrified.

Friday, August 03, 2007

For the Weak of Stomach.....

...for the (extremely) hard of head. Dan Froomkin has a round up of the confab Dumbfuck held with 10 wingnut talkers.

Obama Vs Conventional Wisdom

The Obama camp's response to the insane response to his (very) sensible forpol speech the other day is available online. It is, also, very sensible and very, very good.

Conventional wisdom is what got us where we are now. DC circle-jerking will not get us out, no matter how many ponies they think we might find, or how many Friedman Units we wait, or how many amps Cheney's latest heart replacement has......

Sanchez...Ummm... Pops Up Again

The much respected (koff) Weekly Standard has been in the habit of attacking anything that's anti-war (or anti-Bush or anti-insanity, for that matter), and has, of course, jumped on the recent Beauchamp stories like a shark on chum. The problem is that they used former Blow Up Doll Matt Sanchez as their refuter. Hilarity ensues.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

No!

I've been quiet recently, but the idea that there is even a remote possibility that Congress will cave in and grant to the AG's office, let alone to that piece of human excrement currently occupying it, the authority (or even SOME of the authority) of the FISA court is such an abominable idea that I had to rise from my torpor.

Get off your asses and write/phone/email your Congresspeople and demand that this not happen. NOW! GO!

Update: Digby shouts too!

Google+ Badge