Re: L8r

1

A tragic accident involving both his remaining neurons requires that he take time out for a brain transplant?

max
['Surely we can spend 700 billion dollars to build a bionic presidential candidate.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:11 PM
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Health, bitches.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:13 PM
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Here's the reason.

McCain is holding out for a debate held in a darkened dance club with strobe lights and colored beams swooping all around. Or to be allowed to appear as the "Unknown Candidate". The latter would also let him use some of those sarcastic barbs we all like on the stuffed-shirt moderator.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:14 PM
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Oh wow, and his justification is that he wants to work on the economy? That's just straight-up stupid. Does he honestly expect us to picture him pouring over piles of spreadsheets and data readouts, putting the pieces together that will magically enable him to buy off all the debt at a reasonable price while leaving every bank solvent? From the same guy who admitted he doesn't know much about the economy only a few months ago?

I hope he catches hell for this.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:15 PM
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If Obama agrees, then McCain looks like a Leader. If Obama disagrees, then McCain looks like a Patriot. Or at least that's what the campaign is hoping for.

I suspect it's going to backfire terribly, that all and sundry are going to call him a ratfink and a coward, and that he'll wind up slinking back to the scheduled debate having lost a couple of days of very necessary preparation.

Maybe Obama will manage to goad him into losing his temper on camera after all.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:16 PM
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JOHN! JOHN! GET BACK HERE! I CAN'T RUN THIS CAMPAIGN ON MY OWN!


Posted by: OPINIONATED PALIN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:19 PM
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4: My thoughts exactly. Is he angling for a photo op showing him rolling up his sleeves? Uh, Senator dude, aren't you supposed to be working on this economy thing already?

||
The raccoon who has taken up residence here just climbed on the porch roof to peek in my library window, accompanied by two baby raccoons. It's a cuton bomb! I've been hit!
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:21 PM
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So Obama proposes a joint statement, McCain agrees, then tries to upstage Obama with this bullshit? Cute, very cute. David Broder will love it.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:24 PM
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Well, O. has already put out his "We asked first" statement on the joint statement. Why can't O. say "Let's play two!" and suggest they go debate after meeting on the bailout?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:24 PM
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Jackmormon pwns me across posts.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:24 PM
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Jackmormon pwns me across posts.

It's an advanced technique.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:25 PM
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The baby ones probably don't have rabies, so feel free to adopt one.

As for McCain, it has seemed for a while like their goal is to "win the day", according to Marks Ambinder and Halperin,, more times than Obama does. After the bounce from doing something weird and wacky with Sarah Palin wore off, he now seeks another bounce from doing something wild and unprecedented with the very structure of the campaign itself, which then makes the media talk about him and nothing but him. Then when it turns out that that amounted to nothing and the media stops covering it, that bounce will go away and he'll announce that, say, he's going to spend a week at boot camp to get back into shape, or something, spurring another round of constant media coverage over something with no significance, thus once again monopolizing the spotlight and getting another bounce. And hopefully one of these superficial bounces, preferably involving Osama Bin Laden in some way, will take place a few days before the actual election, after which he can relax.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:26 PM
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But Jesus, trying to postpone the debates is off-the-map goofy.

I keep thinking of how Giuliani's instinctive reaction to 9-11 was to try to suspend elections and term limits.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:27 PM
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It's hard for Older Americans to multi-task people. A little sympathy, people. Many people slow down as they get older. McCain can focus on the economy OR run for President.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:28 PM
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12.--You call it "bouncing"; I call it "lurching"; let's call the whole thing off. Nah, let's call the calling off off.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:29 PM
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Suggested response from Obama: "I agree with Senator McCain that this is a time of grave concern about the economy and financial markets. But I'm frankly flummoxed at the notion that this emergency provides a reason to postpone our debate. In fact, I propose an additional debate that will deal solely with this issue."


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:30 PM
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14: Come to think of it, why haven't we heard more about `the septeguanarian candidate'


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:30 PM
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Jackmormon pwns me across posts.

I pwn oudemia across posts.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:32 PM
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The motherfucking pussy wants to suspend the whole campaign. Let's top that, let's call of the freaking election. ZOMG we're all going to die because a bunch of conniving ratfinks have realized that they cannot trust one another (well they know that all along, but it wasn't actually costing them money before).

Fuck this shit and fuck all the techno-talk which is aiding and abetting.

My modest proposal - An authorization of force against everyone in the financial industry worldwide. The precedent has been set in the case of Iraq; any group of people potentially lowering our standard of living by a few percent are allowed to be killed. There will be some collateral damage in places like Westchester County, but such is life. Then we can have a big debate in 2 or 3 years whether 500,000 or "only" 150,000 of the rancid motherfuckers have been killed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:32 PM
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In fact, I propose an additional debate that will deal solely with this issue."

oooh, good one.

Ok, I am now leaving the office, making a few copies of an Obama flier, and then calling my local office.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:33 PM
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Obama: "Whatever, dude. I'll be there. I'll use my time to talk about foreign policy and your time to talk about the economy. I can do both, you know."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:33 PM
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They could have a debate about the bailout bill!

max
['That might even be helpful.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:34 PM
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Shorter 16: Suspend this, old man.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:34 PM
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It's really astonishing. It sort of meshes with the basic Republican unitary-executive idea that whenever something important is happening, all normal procedures should be suspended, but it's completely ridiculous.

McCain is on record as not wanting to have to vote or take a position on the bailout bill -- that's what's called "leadership". And he bitterly resents cynical Democratic attempts to force him to take a position.

But Jesus, trying to postpone the debates is off-the-map goofy.

13 to 22


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:34 PM
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This has to backfire. Would it be wrong of Obama to respond with "Senator McCain and I are at this point candidates for the presidency, rather than in possession of any executive authority. Neither of us will be able to take any direct action, beyond the exercise of our Senate votes, on the economy until January 2_, 2009. Given that fact, there seems no reason to postpone Friday's debate." or something actually persuasive along the same lines?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:34 PM
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Mike Gravel would film a black-and-white campaign ad in which he first walked and chewed gum simultaneously, then patted his head and rubbed his belly simultaneously, and then, after the screen faded to black, voiced-over the words: "I'll debate you on Friday as scheduled, John McCain!"


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:34 PM
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If McCain is going to back out of the debate, he should send Palin as a stand-in. I'd pay good money to see Palin vs. Obama.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:35 PM
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7 - my ex's mom used to do wildlife rehab and she fostered a baby raccoon. My ex took sadistic glee in giving the little feller pieces of saltine cracker which he'd solemnly take to the dog bowl to wash and then be very confused when they disintegrated.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:36 PM
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21 is great.

OK, people, I went to the doctor. Thanks to you, I have an appointment with an MRI machine, plus a tetanus shot. It's as if Unfogged reached across cyberspace to punch me in the arm, then lock me in a tiny cave. Thanks.

MRI is purely precautionary, of course - dr. found nothing apparent (and, in fact, complimented my eyes for being easy to examine. Given my crush on her*, I fairly swooned).

* One shared by all family members. We love our family doctor.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:37 PM
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Early VP debate!

Beach volleyball! Beach volleyball with executives from Goldman-Sachs!

Serious: y'all realize, of course, that one of McCain's gambits is to spread chaos and confusion.

max
['Let it not throw you off your game.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:37 PM
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['Surely we can spend 700 billion dollars to build a bionic presidential candidate.']

Isn't that what ARVN already did?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:39 PM
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My ex took sadistic glee in giving the little feller pieces of saltine cracker which he'd solemnly take to the dog bowl to wash and then be very confused when they disintegrated.

You were a fool ever to leave her.

[Apologies if I've gotten the genders wrong]


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:44 PM
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What does "suspend the campaign" even mean? Whatever they do between now and November, that's the campaign. Postpone the election would be horrifying, but would be coherent -- suspend the campaign, if it means anything means "I'm going to make speeches intended to make me look like a good president. If you do the same, I'll accuse you of campaigning."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:45 PM
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What does "suspend the campaign" even mean?

spin.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:46 PM
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I think he's just decided he needs a cram session before Friday, and is using the economy as an excuse to go take lessons from Joe Lieberman for a few days.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:48 PM
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[Apologies if I've gotten the genders wrong]

Bad JRoth! Brackets belong to max.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:48 PM
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You can't say "Lieberman" without a "lie" in there somewhere.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:50 PM
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"But politics is all about gimmickry in a sense."---Jonah Goldberg, defending (I think?) the McCain proposal.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:50 PM
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The latter part of 33 seems right on the money to me, and it describes an entirely coherent strategy (if not coherent rhetoric) -- that strategy just happens to be breathtakingly cynical and disingenuous.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:52 PM
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Jonah Goldberg is all about gimmickry, period.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:52 PM
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that strategy just happens to be breathtakingly cynical and disingenuous.


And this is surprising exactly how?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:53 PM
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"The debate is on," a senior Obama campaign official told ABC News.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:53 PM
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||

Jim Burdette, the main affadavit-signing source for the Palin adultery story is, AFAICT, Palin's rumored lover's ex-wife's brother's ex-wife's brother.

Peyton Place AK. It's like one of those novels where you have to graph the clans and liaisons.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:53 PM
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On a recent bike ride I saw two raccoons washing their food in a marsh. They were so enormously fat and bushy I couldn't believe that they were raccoons. Maybe it was a misperception, but they looked like they were 30 lb.+


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:55 PM
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Also from the ABC story:

The campaign is also suspending its advertising, pending an agreement with Obama.

AAAAAAAH ha ha ha ha.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:57 PM
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McCain is suffering from mild dementia and his debate prep has revealed that he will be unable to deal with the debate without making that obvious. This is a ploy to buy time while they figure out how to work that problem.

You heard it here first.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:58 PM
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maybe it was a misperception, but they looked like they were 30 lb.+

I'm pretty accustomed to them being this size (well 30lb is a big one, but not bizarrely so) but the further south I go, the smaller they seem to be. When I first lived in California I thought I was only seeing juveniles for a while. So yours may just have been largish.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:58 PM
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You can't say "Lieberman" without a "lie" in there somewhere.

LIEBERMAN - OR "LIE, BEAR MAN?"


Posted by: OPINIONATED MOVEON AD | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:58 PM
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41: Cut me some slack, I'm trying to maintain my capacity for outrage here.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 1:59 PM
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Jroth,

You had an MRI of your brain and the Dr found nothing there?

Regarding McCain - this first debate was to be about foreign policy, one of the few areas that McCain still had some credibility, and now the collapse on Wall St means that the economy will come up during the debate despite what the debate was supposed to focus on.

So McCain wants to duck the debate until terrorism gets back on top. I wonder if they've got something scheduled? Something to make terrorism new and fresh? Geeze, even Republicans wouldn't be *that* low would they?

Would they?!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:01 PM
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I think he's just decided he needs a cram session before Friday

Or he could just offer to debate on Saturday and lose a grade.

What's Palin supposed to do while the campaign is suspended? Go home? I wonder how many of McCain's staff knew he was suspending the campaign, or did they learn about it from a press release, too?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:01 PM
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48 is cracking me up.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:03 PM
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51: Noooo. KLo knows what Palin should do!

Since Obama Seems to Want to Go On with the Debate [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Many readers relay that they'd like McCain to just offer Palin step in for him.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:05 PM
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||

So it's a fake, but made me laugh my ass off.

|>


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:05 PM
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What does "suspend the campaign" even mean? Whatever they do between now and November, that's the campaign. Postpone the election would be horrifying, but would be coherent -- suspend the campaign, if it means anything means "I'm going to make speeches intended to make me look like a good president. If you do the same, I'll accuse you of campaigning."

Probably true.

Regarding McCain - this first debate was to be about foreign policy, one of the few areas that McCain still had some credibility, and now the collapse on Wall St means that the economy will come up during the debate despite what the debate was supposed to focus on.

Also probably true.

Finally, this move contributes to the overall sense of panic and hysteria and urgency that financiers want in order to be handed out the maximum amount of favors from Washington during this crisitunity. That doesn't strictly benefit the McCain campaign, but he surely sympathizes with the financiers and wants to help them too.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:06 PM
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You guys are missing the obvious:

John McCain's campaign is clearly being run by The Joker.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:06 PM
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I don't think that McCain is going to get away with postponing the debates. It would really just be unseemly. However, it's important that he not be allowed to pretend he was just kidding about it.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:08 PM
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Let loose your theories.

McCain wants to pause campaigning until Paulson gets the $700 billion with no strings attached and then Paulson will use the $700 billion to get McCain elected and they'll both be laughing at the voters on the way to the White house?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:09 PM
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Joe? Joe!

How the hell are you? What have you been up to?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:10 PM
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||

From what I've read Palin's "affair" probably consisted of nothing more than flirting, but it wouldn't do to let the children know that.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:10 PM
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The first step toward making our economy great again will be to elect John McCain as president. I propose creating a discretionary fund from which I will pay $5,000 to any American who can provide proof that they voted for this great man.


Posted by: Henry Paulson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:11 PM
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Tripp, I am well! Probably just driving by, though. The massa keeps me on a pretty tight chain here.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:12 PM
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Joe,

No problem, but didn't I hear something about you and Broadway?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:15 PM
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it's important that he not be allowed to pretend he was just kidding about it.

It's getting harder and harder to believe they're serious:

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night's debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:16 PM
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You've got to hand it to McCain -- the guy can turn on a dime.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:17 PM
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The quote in 64 redoubles my conviction that a large part of this is designed to increase the sense of hysteria and urgency required to produce the most generous possible bailout.

Crisitunity, people.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:18 PM
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Ann Althouse thinks it's a "smart demonstration of leadership"!

Man, I love Althouse. It's really a pity that her site is so overloaded with images and ads and cookies and widgets; if visiting didn't nearly crash my browser every time, I'd read her all the time.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:21 PM
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67: the message discipline of these people is something to behold, all right. Has Fox picked a mantra for it yet?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:23 PM
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66: The Chinese characters for "crisis" literally mean "Help, I'm getting my ass waxed."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:24 PM
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You've got to hand it to McCain -- the guy can turn on a dime.

Well yeah, but that's cause he was around when she was minted. "Lady Liberty you are the bee's knees. Hubba hubba ding ding, Lady you've got everything!"

Twenty three skidoo!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:25 PM
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"The president should be able to multitask... The only thing that has changed is McCain's standing in the polls."

The O. campaign was pwned by someone upthread!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:26 PM
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"Help, I'm getting my ass waxed."

These days, the kids are getting them bleached, I hear. Can't really blame a septuagenarian for being a bit behind the times, I guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:26 PM
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No problem, but didn't I hear something about you and Broadway?

It seems unlikely to me, but I just signed the contracts and got a very large check, so apparently somebody somewhere is serious about it.


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:29 PM
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73: Congrats

Drinks on Joe!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:31 PM
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Joe,

Is there anything you can say publicly, because I'm just dying to say CONGRATULATIONS and similar accolades.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:32 PM
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Joe can't say anything definite until they're sure he'll fit into the cat suit.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:35 PM
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You know what they say about playwrights with large checks.

Congratulations, Joe.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:36 PM
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Let loose your theories.

Has it occurred to you he might just really need a nap?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:38 PM
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Thank you to all.

I am taking my lady here to celebrate.

Then I am taking her here.

So as you can see, the money's all spent!


Posted by: Joe Drymala | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:40 PM
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Congrats, Joe D. Has anyone talked to you yet about the excellent investing opportunities in mortgage backed securities? 'Cause I will.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:44 PM
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Has anyone talked to you yet about the excellent investing opportunities in mortgage backed securities?

YOU CAN SELL THEM FOR 10 OR 20X WHAT YOU PAID FOR THEM. FREELZ!


Posted by: OPINIONATED SEN. NORM COLEMAN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:52 PM
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Isn't the term "suspending the campaign" used in the primaries when a candidate is withdrawing but isn't saying so officially yet, for fundraising legal purposes? So is McCain conceding?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:54 PM
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Joe D--I don't know jack about NY restaurants, but there's a VC whose wife's blog gothamgal is mostly about restaurant reviews. She was slightly underwhelmed by per se. But then she said, it might just have been because French Laundry is so great.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:58 PM
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John McCain spent five and a half years in a box not debating anybody, and he has the scars to prove it. His opponent does not.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 2:58 PM
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Pushing back the prez debate would allow pushing back the VP debate until, oh, whoops! Did we run out of time? Darn.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:02 PM
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Isn't the term "suspending the campaign" used in the primaries when a candidate is withdrawing but isn't saying so officially yet, for fundraising legal purposes? So is McCain conceding?

Not only is McCain conceding, new presidential candidate Sarah Palin will not be participating in any debates. Life imitates art!


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:02 PM
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Last time John McCain spent years in a box, America got sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Next time, he thinks Sarah Palin would be more suitable. What say you, America?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:02 PM
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I take back comment 83. I just reread the review, and I must have been thinking of another one. She said that per se was wonderful.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:03 PM
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I'm a bad person for chuckling at 87.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:04 PM
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19: JP appears to be having a McManus Event.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:05 PM
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I continue to hate McCain more and more, while nevertheless harboring a grudging admiration for his dedication to the "throw the Hail Mary every play" strategy.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:14 PM
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87: snort.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:14 PM
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79: Joe, you should absolutely go to Per Se. I've been twice and each time was fucking perfection. Get the wine pairings.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:17 PM
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McCain campaign reports that without a ginormous financial bailout of some unspecified type this week, there will be a national depression, probably starting Monday. I now eicosaredodecuple my convictions earlier stated in 66.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:23 PM
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83,88: Someone got to BG. A gourmet horse's head in her bed, I imagine.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:25 PM
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85 is brilliant.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:26 PM
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19: JP appears to be having a McManus Event.

But of course, every McManus event consists of millions of individual McManus events. 'We Are The World' belongs somewhere in here.

Isn't that what ARVN already did?

(I think they're calling them PAVN nowadays) But they didn't make him a bionic Manchurian candidate! He can lie better... faster... stronger... !

John McCain's campaign is clearly being run by The Joker.

It's funny because it's truuuuuuueeeeeee!

I went and tried to finish a Rod Dehrer post, and I refreshed and there he was taking McCain seriously. I about died.

max
['I'm still giggling.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:33 PM
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Here, have some witch-hunting with your fundamentalism.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:45 PM
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This is a good piece on how the Bush administration set this mess up. By Eliot Spitzer, no less, a man with many enemies among the people currently begging for a handout.

The above, along with the bankruptcy reform that will screw the victims of predatory lending, need to be hung around the neck of the GOP until the end of time.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:52 PM
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19: JP appears to be having a McManus Event.

Yeah. Aided and abetted by the fact that I have been having to like work hard and go to all day offsite meetings and shit. Work is hard work! ... sometimes. F this shit! Revolution Now! I want me a piece of some of James Shearer's hard-earned money.

12: As for McCain, it has seemed for a while like their goal is to "win the day"

I think this is the strategy, win x days a week, win x weeks, win election. The Palin stuff had soured, so let's try this. He's beyond Hail Marys now, it's basically something like the team dropping trou and hoping no one notices the QB sneaking the ball into the end zone. I wonder if the fact that his campaign manager was revealed as basically getting $15K/month from Freddie Mac against future considerations was the final straw.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:53 PM
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Joe, you should absolutely go to Per Se. I've been twice and each time was fucking perfection.

Unfortunately, a little Finnish spoils the broth.


Posted by: Margarita | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:56 PM
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Unfortunately, a little Finnish spoils the broth.

Sometimes a space is very important.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 3:58 PM
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As I emailed Rah earlier, after CNN sent out an OMGWTFBBQ ALRET!!1! about McCain's proposal:

"Translation: McCain really does not want to go on national TV and get asked questions the same week he flusters himself over bailouts.

"Translation of translation: in his dreams, he hears the word 'Keating' echo down a hallway five times. At the end of it is a door marked DISAPPOINTMENT."


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:01 PM
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"If you don't vote for us we'll kill this dog."

Preview the final McCain/Palin ad of the campaign here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:05 PM
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Maybe he plans on walking off the stage in a principled huff as soon as he's flustered. This may give him cover.

Maybe Obama could postpone the debate...but offer a special bailout town hall meeting it its place. I hear McCain used to like those.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:07 PM
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I especially like the comparison to Chris Webber's famous timeout. Poor Chris Webber, to forever be the standard for that fuck-up.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:13 PM
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my theory:
a. bush doesn't care who comes after him -- bored now, who cares abt the gop, they never did nothing for me, let's screw with the combatants
b. viz first georgia, now the crash -- existing problems brought to absurd crisis not to help his side's candidate (who he hates) but just to fun things up for his own fratboy frivol, see how the bugs dance when you heat the pan
c. the bush people seconded to mccain are increasingly under secret orders to ratfuck mccain's campaign, for the amusement of the little god-king (obviously they can work to derail obama too; make both the chickens dance, hahaha says the dauphin, but, yeah, seeing the old man go down horribly flailing, bush is loving this)
d. mccain doesn't know where he is given the confusing nightmare contradictory stuff he's being fed by the bush undercover ratfuckers (and it's REALLY starting to show)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:20 PM
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107: You know absolutely none of this would have happened if only Obama had agreed to the townhall meetings in the first place. None of it. No nasty campaign, no Sarah Palin, no financial crisis, no South Ossetian unpleasantness, no campaign manager being paid by Fannie Mac, no Tom Brady getting hurt, no children without ponies. Camelot spurned, all because of the naked ambitions of one arrogant elitist.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:21 PM
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The football analogy in 102 is amazing.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:26 PM
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c. the bush people seconded to mccain are increasingly under secret orders to ratfuck mccain's campaign,

The extraordinary incompetence of McCain's campaign leads you so suspect either that, or that Rove sent his B-team, trainees, and practice squad into the big game.

I think that the motive, though, would be to force Obama to devote himself to cleaning up Bush's mess, with no chance to introduce new policies of his own. For some reason people started doubting the "starve the beast" strategy a couple of years ago, but that's what is happening. (Something like that happened with Clinton, too.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:33 PM
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So! They laugh at my boner, will they?! I'll show them! I'll show them how many boners the joker can make!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:33 PM
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Anacolouthon! It can work for you!

PALIN: That's something that John McCain and I have both been discussing whether that is part of the solution or not...you know, it's going to be a multi-faceted that has to be found here.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:39 PM
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anacolouthon is one of the things mccain needs to yell in the debate if obama provokes him into a capt haddock moment


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:43 PM
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Bush is laughing his ass off.

Having fucked the Democrats and one set of craven Democratic supporters in 2002 with AUMF on war. he is about to get the liberals who bitched about the war for six years to fall for the same play in the economic realm.

This is deja vu all over again.

"Let's add some restrictions & amendments, but pass this terribly important bill because honorable people like Colin Powell Ben Bernanke tell us there is a dire threat.

And just as Pollack & O'Hanlon provided cover for Clinton, Obama is going to find economists who will say this is the right thing to do. And liberals who will vote for him and cover his ass for eight years.

Bush is laughing, but I'm not.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:48 PM
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Since I've been hearing, "Damn it's a political trap, damned if he does, damned if he doesn't, gotta cover his ass for the election"

Does anyone even now see why HRC voted for the Iraq War? Suppose not.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:50 PM
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Sure. She's a neocon all the way down.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:53 PM
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It seems to be working out to not much of a trap in this case.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:55 PM
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Since I've been hearing making shit up

Fixed.

I wish I had access to Bob's extensive covert surveillance program. I'm finding it hard to make out exactly what's going on with all the conflicting reports and rumours, but he seems dead certain. Maybe he's even right.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:56 PM
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Yeah I'm leaning toward 119.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:57 PM
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I've been wavering queasily between two uber-theories of this election. The first is that all my hopes were false and that we'll all get fucked again, as usual. The second is that it's so patently obvious that this is a Democratic year that the Republican establishment gave a big sigh, agreed to let McCain have his fucking shot at it already---á la Bob Dole---and that none of the bright ambitious creeps in the party wanted to sign on to what was sure to be a losing and disgraceful battle. That would be how we got Sarah "Wait, Who?" Palin and this clusterfuck of a campaign.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:59 PM
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Yup Bob. And on top of Bush's brilliance McCain is really sneaky: he's going to trick the Dems into passing a bill ("the sky is falling, Great Depression II, let's cancel the debates!!!") then he's going to run against the bailouts by standing up for honest taxpayers who don't want to bail out Wall Street millionaires! He's a GENIUS I tell you, an absolute genius.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 4:59 PM
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123: They will for absolute certain attempt to steal it again. For. Certain.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 5:00 PM
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I have a cunning plan


Posted by: Baldrick | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 5:01 PM
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So! They laugh at my boner, will they?! I'll show them! I'll show them how many boners the joker can make!

Somewhere around here I have a transcription of every boner reference in that comic.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 5:04 PM
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Hm, it seems to be merely most of them. But here, enjoy!

BONERS (not even all of them)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 5:10 PM
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Randy Newman version.

I will attempt to spend my love within her
But though I try with all my might
She will laugh at my mighty sword
She will laugh at my mighty sword
Why must everybody laugh at my mighty sword?

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 5:15 PM
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Sir Kraab @85 pwns Lindsey Graham. Any joke you can make about this campaign quickly becomes reality.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 5:40 PM
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||
They're building a Trader Joe's half a mile down the street, right across from Whole Foods. I think Ogged might move in downstairs from us.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 5:44 PM
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131: The big humongous WholeFoods?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:02 PM
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Boner for boner.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:05 PM
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Yes, see here. (The one on River St. is humongouser, isn't it?)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:07 PM
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I think McCain's next mavericky move should be to dump Palin from the ticket, then send Lieberman to debate in his place Friday, then debate Biden himself in the VP race -- AS THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, having handed the reins over to Jared from Subway.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:21 PM
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134: Fresh Pond was expanded and is now the biggest one. Their sales are huge.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:23 PM
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I would vote for Jared.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:29 PM
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The Russians have sent their best nuclear missled warship to Venezuela, along with a couple long range bombers.

North Korea has restarted nuclear processing.

A Combat Brigade has been aassigned and is being trained for crowd control in the United States.

Hard to say what the next move will be. It's not even October yet.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:36 PM
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OT: Help? I have a question by proxy from a friend who moved to Australia and is trying to fill out an absentee ballot and is confused. Can anyone point me to where some plain and simple language about this could be found, and/or answer our questions? The issue is that of having been in school up until leaving the country, the school (in DC) not being in the state in which she was ever registered to vote (Georgia). Where is she supposed to absentee ballot vote from?


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:38 PM
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Or, I guess, she hasn't got as far as filling out any ballots, but is trying to figure out from whence to request the ballot.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:45 PM
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Georgia. Can't request an absentee ballot from a place you're not registered.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:46 PM
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Thank you!


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:47 PM
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Just "whence", Cecily. "From whence" is pleonastic.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:49 PM
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I LOVE PLEONASM


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:49 PM
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Also, Jesus likes my way just fine: http://kingjbible.com/psalms/121.htm


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:52 PM
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I wasn't aware that Jesus was the psalmist, Cecily.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:53 PM
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it's okay, neither of them will hold it against you if you repent now


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:55 PM
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I don't want to receive any grace that would grant itself to me.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 6:56 PM
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it's just as well. Heaven isn't really set up to deal with Bad Attitudes anyway.


Posted by: Cecily | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:01 PM
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Then I'll build a Hell in Heaven's despite.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:04 PM
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Evidently, McCain pissed off Letterman. Not only by now showing, but by lying that he had to go back to DC.


Posted by: DominEditrix | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:12 PM
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138: Holy fuck, you're not kidding.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:40 PM
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McCain is going to learn that you it doesn't pay to mess with people more powerful than yourself. He's a mere Senator and Presidential candidate, after all.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:40 PM
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They will for absolute certain attempt to steal it again. For. Certain.

Yes, this. We are not talking about a party of fair-play activists known for backing down and coming back later from a position of strength. No matter how bad it is, no matter how bad it could be, they will always try to win because the party that loses gets a big fat goose egg in the way of special favors. There is always someone else to blame and an anchor willing to host them and a pundit willing to proxy for them on a competing show.

I realize that what I'm about to talk about is not what JM was saying in her comment, and I want to be clear about that; still, my mental train of thought always runs straight from "maybe the Republicans don't want this" to "maybe the Democrats shouldn't want this." In 2004 I would hear people say that it was probably best if Kerry lost so that Bush would get stuck with the next four years and what did that get Bush? Impeached? Restrained? Less power? Fewer vacation days? Anything? His VP fucking shot a guy in the face on a fake hunt and nothing happened. These are not people who fear consequences or accountability. They have made it a central tenet of their philosophy of government that such concepts do not apply to them.

I try to keep in mind that the last time Americans elected a Democrat in the middle of a massive Wall Street meltdown he got re-elected three times and is considered by history to be one of our greatest Presidents ever. There are Republicans who know that and who would rather cling to power, would rather deny any Democrat the chance to make history (much less this Democrat), than see someone fix problems. Do I think Obama is perfect? No. Do I think Obama can wave his magic wand and fix everything? No. He's going to be a damned sight better than McCain, though. A mannequin would be better than McCain. At least a mannequin wouldn't be eager to give the order to bomb anyone else.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:48 PM
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153: Can you say "Posse Comitatus"? Sure you can*.


*Especially when you have a rocket launcher shoved up your ass.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MR ROGERS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:52 PM
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I saw this Katie Couric disassembly of Palin quoted above, so you guys must have linked it here somewhere today. But I'm behind in reading threads, and really, it has to be seen to be believed. I keep trying to think how it will play to people operating under different worldviews, and I'm failing utterly. But to me it looks awful.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:53 PM
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153: Huh. At least with Katrina they were using Blackwater mercenaries.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 7:53 PM
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157: Wow. Hadn't seen that. It's like.......MUST.......GET........TALKING......POINT.........OUT. Thanks, Witt.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:07 PM
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157: Holy cow, Couric mopped the floor with Palin, both in style and content. Couric would look composed, ask a short, straightforward question, and Palin would look flummoxed and fail to answer.

Part of Palin's problem clearly was that her campaign simply doesn't have positions on breaking issues yet. Bailout homeowners? We know our standard answer won't fly in this environment, so what can we say? This is no doubt related to why McCain doesn't want to debate.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:18 PM
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Also no doubt related to why Palin is now being screened from reporter questions.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:19 PM
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157: Wow. You know, you have to wonder how the selection process for VP went, because imagine talking to her before she went through this 3-week cliffnotes cram session. And deciding she was your best candidate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:20 PM
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153: Did you know that pre-9/11 references were made in The Matrix, The X-Files, and The Simpsons? Fact.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:21 PM
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Sending Palin up against a razor-sharp hardball interviewer like Couric was obviously a mistake.

/sexism


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:23 PM
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Damnit, 163 was me. This sharing a computer thing is for the birds.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:25 PM
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Holy crap. Couric looked like a stern senior professor unimpressed with a woefully underprepared grad student. Not the image of Couric I'd ever had before, that's for sure. (I imagine there was some tight editing in there to make her look even better, but still.)

There was also an interesting contrast in clothing and makeup choices. Palin's handlers chose to emphasise her femininity: pink shell, hair half-down, peachy neutral makeup. Couric went strictly professional, even stark, with the black and white masculine suit and the silver-gray eyeshadow. Lots of competing narratives about women's roles in public life there.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:25 PM
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Interestingly, Haglund also revealed that representatives of the FBI and NASA would frequently approach X-Files series creator Chris Carter with plots for stories and noted also that CIA and other government officials frequented Hollywood parties to plant script ideas.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:26 PM
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Yeah, the woman/woman contrast is overwhelming in that video.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:28 PM
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Palin would look flummoxed and fail to answer.

Yeah, see, this is the part that I am wildly curious to know about from other perspectives. To me her evasions and apparent confusion over the issues themselves were remarkable. I would have thought she would have been able to hum a few bars and fake it better than that.

But I have absolutely no idea what it looks like to someone who likes Sarah Palin. Does it look like big ol' meanie Couric beating up on her? Does it look like she's getting unfairly attacked, even after answering the questions? Does she look cool, calm, and collected and the content doesn't matter?


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:29 PM
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157: Wow. You know, you have to wonder how the selection process for VP went, because imagine talking to her before she went through this 3-week cliffnotes cram session. And deciding she was your best candidate.

Agreed. McCain is nuts. Or his ego must have gone into super overdrive that only he had special insight into her hidden potential. Wow.

He is a mess for picking her.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:31 PM
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169: I'm guessing "It was windy outside, and Sarah didn't hear the question well" (which would be odd, because she repeated the same answer to the same question almost verbatim twice), and inside: "It was edited with malice" or some such.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:33 PM
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Suddenly, Katie Couric rocks my world.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:33 PM
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I think she doesn't look "dumb"; she looks like someone who has been yelled at, a lot, not to say anything other than the agreed-upon talking points, and McCain's got no fucking clue what he's going to do about this bailout thing (that is, no fucking clue whether to defend the rich dudes he's defended forever or start trying to put his money where Obama's mouth was in March without sounding like a follower), so Palin's stuck saying, "Urp. Maverick. Um, bipartisan? Fair, and uh, yup."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:33 PM
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169: I'm pretty sure if you like Sarah Palin, it's time to change the subject and talk about the liberal media, or how Barack Obama is some socialist liberal who never breaks with his party, while John McCain is a mavericky maverick who puts country first.

You'll sound suspiciously like Palin did in the interview.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:35 PM
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I think she looks like someone who just pulled an all-nighter studying for the interview.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:36 PM
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I meant 165 not 169 in 170.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:36 PM
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170: Not necessarily nuts. He was just expecting the bizarrely deferential treatment the media has been extending to inchoate, incompetent Republican fuckups for the past eight years and more.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:37 PM
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Wow. From that March '08 Spitzer op-ed that was linked above:

n 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the [federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency] invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative.
The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.

Can somebody who knows what they're talking about tell me if this is as horrible as it sounds?* And if it is, is the reason I didn't hear about it sooner because I was too busy being outraged about Gitmo and FISA and on and on, or because nobody was talking about it?

*Bearing in mind that Spitzer in March was still powerful and not above framing things to put his office in the best light.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:38 PM
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To be fair, I think the Palinites will see a bad interview like that in terms of McCain's failure (they've never trusted him) to lead coherently, which is also good for us. That's not what the pundits would say, but I bet it's what my mom thinks. It may be enough to remind her whom she's actually voting for.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:38 PM
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I think she looks like someone who just pulled an all-nighter studying for the interview.

That's it! "Guys. GUYS! Palin took a three am phone call. A FUCKING THREE AM PHONE CALL!!!!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:39 PM
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169: I think you're giving Palin too much credit. Sure, she's been instructed to stick to the talking points on the bailout, but she doesn't have anything other than the talking points to say on anything, as she's shown in other forums. She's not dumb, but she's way out of her depth both on content and on her ability to spin.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:41 PM
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I hadn't watched that speech I linked to in 169 for a while (it's my verrrrry favorite) and it's sort of amazing how dead-on it is, showing that O saw this coming six months ago, at least. No wonder Mac is scrambling while O is chill about it. He doesn't have to reinvent his whole goddamn campaign every week to respond to facts on the ground.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:50 PM
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Not to defend her, but on the Rick Davis questions at the beginning, there really is nothing to do but to repeat the pathetic spin. The truth is just toxic. The firm *owned* by McCain's main campaign guy was paid $15,000 a month for several years by Freddie Mac for basically doing nothing other than being a conduit to Senator and potential President McCain. (This seems like some political variant of a "call option".)

Of course Palin owes her selection to the slimy calculus of people like Rick Davis.

"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

I really do think the Davis thing was one piece to the puzzle on why McCain tried the old "fart and leave" routine today.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:51 PM
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177: Actually, I'd be pretty fascinated to hear Palin talk without the apparent restrictions the campaign has put on her. She had no problem sounding glib and leaderly (in her psycho way) when she was the primary executive of AK or of Wasilla. She doesn't "blink." She knows exactly what crackpot thought she has about each and every damn little thing. Punting is what she does and has done constantly, at least for her whole political career. Being second dog in this campaign, and muzzled, has got to make that lipsticked pitbull feel very uncomfortable indeed.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:53 PM
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If my theory wild speculation that Rove is sabotaging McCain is true, Davis would be the not-ready-for-prime-time loser that Rove used. He looks like a goon and he doesn't seem to perform very well.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:56 PM
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Palin supporters aren't going to change their minds on the basis of an interview with Katie Couric (or with any other mainstream media pundit). If she seems a bit vague on the issues, well, she's running for VP, and then she can learn on the job and she's a very quick study. If she lacks the ability to spin, that's a mark of her common sense and integrity. Laura Bush explained it all earlier today.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 8:59 PM
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183: But for people who comprised the Republican post-convention polling bounce, but are currently becoming disallusioned and returning to pre-convention status, this might help cement their cynicism.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:03 PM
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To 182, that is.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:04 PM
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Davis would be the not-ready-for-prime-time loser

Of course Davis and all these creeps are "winners" by the standards of our society, very well-off people with investments and all that there shit. I bet he has a kick-ass lawn. The kind of guy that David Broder could go down on a quail with while enjoying a bottle of white and studiously ignoring that Davis got his position in the world by helping fuck the country in the ass with a meathook.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:05 PM
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180: I think you're right. Though on some questions, I wonder how much it is that she's been muzzled and how much that she hasn't yet developed a crackpot theory.

I would love for her to drop the "I can see Russia" thing in favor of "everyone's coming to Alaska after the Rapture and we know the Russkies won't be there, so, really, who cares?"


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:09 PM
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I'm actually saying that Davis is a fuckup at the level he's at, promoted beyond his abilities, and that Rove is letting him fail along with McCain. This goes along with the "Let Obama be stuck with the problem" + "Starve the beast" theories.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:09 PM
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very well-off people with investments

Ludicrous quotation of the day, from a paper of record for that crowd:

A big challenge for Treasury officials will be deciding whether to buy the troubled investments near the values at which the banks hold them on their books. That would help minimize losses for financial institutions. Driving a hard bargain, however, would protect taxpayers.

Yeah, I can see how that would be a really tough decision.

"Many are tempted by a strategy of trying to do both things at once," said Lawrence H. Summers, a former Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration. As a hypothetical example, Mr. Summers suggested that an institution could have securities on its books at $60, but the current market price might only be $30. In that case, the government might be tempted to come in at about $55.

That does it. I'm calling my Congresspeople again tomorrow.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:10 PM
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183: One of the odd things about doing some phone calls for Obama is talking to actual undecided voters. Plan on voting. Not particularly partisan. Just haven't decided yet but will make a decision soon.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:10 PM
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190

Disillusioned!

Yeah, I guess I'm imagining my mom as the perfect example of the Palinite. She's chuffed to have a pro-life lady up there, but really, she hates McCain. Most of the social conservative, Christian types really really dislike him. For her, it was all about his VP pick, deciding whether she'd show up to vote or not, which is a bad sign, given that it's going to hit you sooner or later that the VP doesn't do shit (unless he's Cheney) and you've got to sit there looking at that two-faced McCain for the next four. If Palin's not a really incredibly staunch and vocal constant champion of Mama's pet issues, she'll stay home, and a lot of people like her will, too. McCain's muzzling of her will make my mom distrust her, just as if he let her say whatever came to mind, he'd lose everybody else.

Did anyone notice how The View kept trying to pin down McCain on abortion and he kept saying that he's pro-life, but respects all Americans and their decisions? Behar's like, "So you're pro-choice. Great!"
And he's like, "No, I'm pro-LIFE."
"But you would never want to overturn Roe v. Wade?"
"It was a bad decision..." (crowd boos)
"So you're pro-life, even in cases of incest and rape?"
"Well, a family has to have the privacy they need to..."
"And we're out of time!"

People like my mom hate that shit. They want to hear "No abortions, not ever, for no reason, with no privacy, no nothing. Abstinence only forever and ever." It's a wedge, but a great wedge, that should be hammered in to the hilt every chance the media gets.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:11 PM
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I'm not comfortable with this image: go down on a quail with.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:14 PM
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189: Listening to that category of people on NPR or, more rarely, talking to them in real life, makes my eyes bulge out of my head. Poker face! Poker face! "Sure, I can see why you'd see two sides to that issue."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:14 PM
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33489: But for people who comprised the Republican post-convention polling bounce, but are currently becoming disallusioned and returning to pre-convention status, this might help cement their cynicism.

Yes, my wife and I have seen that amongst our soccer mom and dad friends as we delicately talk them down from their regular person, 15 minutes of fame fantasy dream*. One of the best items we circulated was one of her old basketball teammate's aunt saying that "Barracuda" actually came from her treatment of other players on the team, and that she was the kind that sucked up to the coach. Seemed to strike a chord, and, hell, it might have been true.


*Success = They no longer continually allude to her when talking about everyday things in their life.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:17 PM
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Just haven't decided yet but will make a decision soon.

I guess I'm a bit suspicious of such indecision. I can't help wondering if some of them have already decided, but don't especially feel like telling the nice person who telephones to ask them about their voting plans.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:18 PM
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194: That's possible. When asked if there's an issue there particularly interested in, a lot tend to demure. So maybe it's demurring all the way down. Polls: not perfect. You heard it hear last.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:19 PM
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there s/b they're


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:20 PM
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hear s/b here

I fail.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:20 PM
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The new JP is completely in tune with the American soul.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:21 PM
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191: I'm not comfortable with this image: go down on a quail with.

Well yeah, the fuckers can't really fly so you do have to get right down their close to the ground. ... at least that's what I heard from some guy....


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:23 PM
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194: That's possible. When asked if there's an issue there particularly interested in, a lot tend to demure. So maybe it's demurring all the way down. Polls: not perfect. You heard it hear last.

There are also all the people who tell the nice pollster that they'll be voting for Obama, but who will actually not, because (you may have heard) he is black.

I wonder how many of these people are self-deceived or otherwise the victims of some sort of cognitive dissonance, and how many know perfectly well that they won't vote for him but can't bring themselves to actually say it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:26 PM
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196 and 197 incorporated by reference.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:27 PM
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Going down on a quail is nasty because, as Chuang Tzu pointed out, they have fewer holes than we do.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:28 PM
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One voter told me that she didn't want to hear anything about either candidate because she wanted to go into the voting booth with an open mind.

No, I didn't make that up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:30 PM
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What did she imagine she would encounter in the booth?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:30 PM
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201.last: I read something recently on polling behavior that indicated that this is a well-known phenomenon (cites and everything!). Can't say I remember where I read this, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:30 PM
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What did she imagine she would encounter in the booth?

Kismet, dude, kismet.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:32 PM
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Jesus, I'd imagine, but your ilk shouldn't hope for that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:32 PM
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Parsley, it's discussed in this NYRB article.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:33 PM
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206: Bradley effect. It seems to have been overestimated.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:33 PM
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203: It's exactly what one would normally say about going to a movie. Fascinating.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:35 PM
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174 -- Witt, this stuff isn't really new. I'm not going to say much about it, because it's part of my day job, but there are some valid policy reasons for having a federal banking system, both the national banks, and the federal savings banks. That doesn't mean that there sholdn't be meaningful federal regulation, just that there's a place for preemption.

I think I've mentioned before that prior to gitmo litigation -- in which I've gotten snarkier and snarkier as the years go by -- my most insufferably snarky line was to ask the guy who objected to my preemption argument on Article I grounds whether he really wanted to re-litigate M'Cullough v. Maryland.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:36 PM
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I like take some peyote before I go in the voting booth. I then light a small fire—just a small one, don't want to cause trouble‐and inhale the smoke for a while. Generally after a half hour or so my choices come to me.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:36 PM
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My movie story is about the grad student coming out of a movie who said "I don't know if I liked it or not, I haven't read the reviews yet." There's a beautiful symmetry to the two stories.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:37 PM
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208: Why, yes, that would be it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:37 PM
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I went into the booth drunk once and wrote in "Satan" for every office except the two or three that really made a difference. I even sketched out an organized Satan writein campaign for the next election, but lost interest after I sobered up.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:39 PM
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No evidence of a Bradley effect in the Dem primaries.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 9:48 PM
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210: It's exactly what one would normally say about going to a movie. Fascinating.

I've tried for a minute or two to see what's fascinating about it. Failing. There's a rather screamingly obvious disanalogy on several fronts. The only thing I find vaguely interesting about it is the suggestion that some voters view the election as akin to a Hollywood film. But we already knew that.

Sorry. For some reason, the McCain decision, if that's what it is, to 'suspend' his campaign and his plea, if that's what that is, to postpone the first debate, has profoundly depressed me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:00 PM
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Palin uses the word "multifaceted."


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:02 PM
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217: I've tried for a minute or two to see what's fascinating about it. Failing.

Well, fascinating in a morbid sense, as in it's fascinating that there are people who actually are that incapable of thinking outside such contexts.

I find McCain's stunts tremendously heartening. I never dreamed he'd be willing to display that kind of weakness so openly. I'm in danger of starting to feel optimism.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:03 PM
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Republicans weren't voting in the Dem primaries. Except in Indiana and a few other places.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:04 PM
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I went into the booth drunk once and wrote in "Satan" for every office except the two or three that really made a difference.

You're an exemplary citizen and a model to us all. Have you ever thought of teaching civics classes to youngsters, John?


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:04 PM
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I've tried for a minute or two to see what's fascinating about it. Failing. There's a rather screamingly obvious disanalogy on several fronts.

What DS said, I guess. What's fascinating is that someone would think like that (I can't even imagine what "like that" is, what could someone who says that possibly be thinking?), despite the screamingly obvious disanalogies.

This person is fascinating in that she seems a fit object for study.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:06 PM
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I can see not being able to tell the difference between the two candidates, if the only issue you care about is, say, recognition of the sovereign status of Ruthenia, or steroids in baseball, or the drug war. But I can't see why someone who sees no difference between the candidates would want to vote.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:09 PM
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223: Well ... yes. A fit object for study.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:11 PM
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220: are Republicans too embarrassed to say things like "I support John McCain for President" to pollsters, thereby inflating Obama's polling numbers?

Right.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:15 PM
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223: recognition of the sovereign status of Ruthenia,

Comrade! Uzhgorod forever!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:20 PM
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Haven't read the thread, but here in West TN and Northern MS, people are pissed about this debate-dodging bullshit. Including the Republicans.

Memphis is about an hour and a half from Oxford, and there are a lot of Ole Miss alumni and fans here. And people are seeing this as a slap in the face of Oxford and Ole Miss, both which have spent a lot of money to host this event.

I'm sure this won't flip TN or MS to blue, but I bet there are plenty of people in the swing states who are seeing this for the bullshit it is.

The McCain campaign is toast.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:20 PM
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So will they have the debate anyway? Will Ron Paul take McCain's place? Or Bob Barr, on the occasion of his endorsement by Ron Paul?


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:27 PM
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227.1: That's heartening, zadfrack.

223: But I can't see why someone who sees no difference between the candidates would want to vote.

Idiotically, I've tried to imagine what one would see in the voting booth without having had any further information about the candidates: McCain-Palin (R); Obama-Biden (D). Assuming alphabetical order.

This gets you what? Prior name recognition, ethnic associations, and the R/D distinction. Maybe those go a long way.

I can only suppose that the voter in question was making a negative rather than a positive remark: she trusts media reporting and appearances so little that she's become convinced that they are CONTROLLING HER MIND and she can't stop it, and she's so afraid of that that she'd rather walk into the voting booth blindfolded.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:30 PM
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228: Presumably, Obama's going to get a couple of hours of TV time all to himself. There won't be nearly as many people watching, of course, but hey, it's free TV.

I'll be really interested to see whether this stunt flips Lafayette County, MS. It was 58% for Bush in 2004.


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:41 PM
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Parsi, what I would suppose about the voter in question was that she had already made up her mind, and she either knew or suspected that Emerson was of a different mind, and she didn't want to hear him run down her candidate.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:41 PM
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231: Yeah, there's always that. The proposal on the table, though, is that not everyone who demurs is simply being coy. That there are some who really do prefer not to inform themselves. Well and good to say that you don't believe it; but really, are you sure?

It's a bit difficult to wrap one's mind around the possibility, so okay. Probably you're right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:48 PM
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My less-cynical take on it is that while the way people vote is fairly predictable, some people pride themselves on the idea that they have an open mind, so they make a show of deciding at the last minute.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:48 PM
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That there are some who really do prefer not to inform themselves. Well and good to say that you don't believe it; but really, are you sure?

I do believe it, actually. Many people (both Dem and GOP) have quite strong party affiliations, and it would take something huge (a real scandal, say, and not just a mini-scandal) to convince them to vote the other way. But then, why don't they simply say so rather than pretend to have an open mind? I think 233 gets it right.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 10:58 PM
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I move that we remove the (D) and (R) from after candidates' names! What say you?

(Frankly, I wouldn't know how to vote on some local offices without those. I feel badly about this.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 11:10 PM
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I wonder how many of these people are self-deceived or otherwise the victims of some sort of cognitive dissonance, and how many know perfectly well that they won't vote for him but can't bring themselves to actually say it.

Viz. Bradley Effect above, yes, but this is one of those things that NC experienced twice when Gantt challenged Helms for his Senate seat. Gantt always significantly underperformed on election day compared to polling. I had a professor so willfully blind to reality that he claimed it was because middle class people in our state's urban areas - basically apo and me - were embarrassed to tell pollsters they were going to vote their checkbooks and that race had nothing to do with it, that to suggest so would be absurd. I was agape.

In the Dem primary this year, of course, Obama outperformed the polls. I don't really dare believe we're going to flip blue just yet (though it's coming) but gods I want it to be a squeaker.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 11:11 PM
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69: For 700 big ones, you should be able get an ears and all.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 09-24-08 11:16 PM
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Oh, well. Rumor has it the bailout deal is basically done.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:18 AM
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234: It was considered quite a coup when downstate Republicans in the IL state legislature managed to get straight-ticket voting removed from Chicago ballots. These were good old stick-a-pin-in-it butterfly ballots on which the first two choices listed were "Straight Ticket Democratic" and "Straight Ticket Republican." If one could just punch "straight dem," voting took about 5 seconds. Without it one had to wade through the pages and pages of judges. (For the record, I always waded through the judges, as there were plenty of folks on those ballots for whom I flat out refused to vote.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:16 AM
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Mary Catherine is generally so guileless and easily swayed, and yet she mistrusts me. That's a real conundrum, and a hurtful one into the bargain.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:30 AM
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239: And as a result of this, the election judges could tell how most people voted. If people wanted to vote for one Republican in a Democratic precinct, they'd be safest voting straight Republican, because if a Democrat took too long voting they'd know.

I had a friend who remembered Chicago machine politics. He remained a Democrat, but he had gorror stories to tell.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:40 AM
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i see that emerson -- after carefully inserting caveats (110) against MY ratfuck theory (107) -- cleverly adopts it as HIS ratfuck theory (181)... ah well, you can't copyright the truth i guess


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:22 AM
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Now, now, Tierce. I've been pushing my own ratfuck theory for a couple of days.

People tell me that Obama is cleverly using bipartisanship to his own advantage, but I don't see it. He seems to really believe it. I don't even think that it's an especially useful electoral strategy at this point, and I think it would be still worse and a governing principle. Obama's made a lot of pretty material concessions over the last two or three months, sometimes in sort of an offhand way. We're facing the possibility that McManus is absolutely heebie about Obama.

Does anyone know about this? The only names I recognize is Tabbarok. Eichenbaum may be the originator. It's an amazingly international bunch of names.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:38 AM
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243: After reading the petition, it seems libertarianish. Maybe not a good thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:39 AM
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The polls just reported on Kos show a near deadlock in the Presidential race.

Granted that it's one poll at one given moment, it just seems unimaginable to me that the election could even be close at this point. We're watching a campaign in free fall with two seemingly incompetent candidates (McCain and Palin) effectively promising to continute the policies of the most unpopular President in recent history (since Truman, when I was 4 years old), and it's deadlocked?

At some point you just have to give up on the US, the American people, democracy, and the contemporary world. It's like the night of the living dead. I've quit talking to one of my sisters because fear that she's turned into a McCain zombie of the supposedly-mythical PUMA sort, and I don't want to find out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:15 AM
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And Obama has turned into the generic lame Democrat, making concession after concession.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:18 AM
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We're watching a campaign in free fall with two seemingly incompetent candidates (McCain and Palin) effectively promising to continute the policies of the most unpopular President in recent history (since Truman, when I was 4 years old), and it's deadlocked?

While I have no doubt that they would indeed continue the policies of the most unpopular president in recent history, that's not what they're promising to do. They're promising to reform Wall St and Washington, and they're presenting themselves as maverick outsiders who will go up against the fat cats and the entrenched interests on behalf of the people. Yes, I know it's absurd, but that's the message of their campaign, and obviously it's going over well with a big chunk of voters (or else the candidates wouldn't be virtually tied at this point).

As I've said before, I think Dems tend to underestimate McCain's ability to run an effective campaign. I keep thinking back to the Republican primary, when McCain had so little money that he had to fire many of his staffers, and was driving around in a bus because he couldn't afford to fly, and was basically going door to door in Florida and New Hampshire. Meanwhile Romney was spending so many millions that one of his sons was complaining in public about his father squandering his inheritance. So the media had written off McCain as out of the race, and he could hardly get any reporters to track his movements. Next thing we know, McCain's declaring victory and calling himself the comeback kid. That old guy is crazy like a fox.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:06 AM
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The candidates aren't virtually tied by any stretch of the imagination.

Romney lost because everybody hates Romney.

McCain is running a fucking awful campaign.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:14 AM
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McCain is hiding. He is ok with low expectations because they will pop back up close to the election and perform better than expected. Then, everyone says "wow! she is smarter than I thought. McCain is smart too!"


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:15 AM
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As I've said before, I think Dems tend to underestimate McCain's ability to run an effective campaign.

Or how psychotic and indifferent to the fate of the country many Americans are. On the plus side, they haven't shot Obama yet, so it's all relatively good.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:16 AM
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Romney lost because everybody hates Romney.

Ditto Giuliani. McCain backed into the nomination by dint of a ridiculously weak field of candidates that split the vote into so many pieces. And no, the race isn't tied.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:18 AM
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At the moment some polling shows a tie or virtual tie. Obama seems to be winning all the Kerry or Gore states except New Hampshire, but the additional states he needs (Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, Florida are the usual list) are either going for McCain or very close. According to these polls (more than one of them) it's very close.

Sure, there are other polls. But it shouldn't be close.

I disagree with MC about McCain being a good campaigner. I think this is about the American People and the media, and to a lesser degree about the lameness of the Democrats.

Palin's church has deputize her to drive out the demons infesting America. Wow.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:25 AM
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BTW, MC, you've been authorized to make harsh remarks about Americans, as per your national heritage. I can't do it all myself.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:27 AM
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That old guy is crazy like a fox. benefited from a weak field, 8-year-old goodwill and stellar name recognition, the early NH primary, the split of the non-McCain (mostly evangelical) vote by Huckabee and Romney, and crazy-ass winner-takes-all primary voting. If the Republicans had the same delegate allocation method as Democrats, it would've been nearly a three-way dead heat when Romney dropped out, and things would've turned out very differently.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:30 AM
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John pointing to "some polling" showing a tie (there's always outliers, you know), and giving a list of states -- some of which are looking good, some of which he doesn't need, some of which are indeed marginal, and which don't include states that are actually close - serves less to make your point than to make me feel bad you're so needlessly worried. Play with the electoral vote calculators; you'll feel better.

Of course it's going to be closer than e.g. Clinton-Dole '96. Of course there are millions of die-hard losers and idiots in this country. That doesn't mean hope it lost, and it doesn't -- at least as of this moment -- necessarily correspond to lameness on the part of the Democratic party.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:30 AM
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Also, Sarah Silverman has a plan to win Florida.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:32 AM
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re Witt's video: Palin sounded boring, all i got from her talk is 'something has got to be done and McCain is maverick', very repetitive
Couric's voice is nice soft and reserved
that's all my impression


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:34 AM
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OK, Sifu, if you had read my post you would have realized it wasn't about the polls being right and it wasn't about losing the election. The point was that between McCain's objective deficiencies, Plain's objective deficiencies, the Bush legacy, and the horribly bumbling McCain campaign, this shouldn't even be a close election. But it is.

Obama doesn't need all of those five close states I named to squeak out a win, but he needs at least one of them besides Nevada. And he still could win all of them, but they shouldn't be close.

Sorry to disturb you bbut you've been really touchy lately. (Me too, of course).


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:37 AM
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I think this supersedes any possible comment.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:38 AM
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I never click on links.

Anyhow, I mean, sure, it's close. A significant minority of people in this country are awful, or deluded. Hey, okay, not news!

If I'm touchy about anything, it's the premise than somehow were Obama running the right campaign he would be blowing this thing wide open. The dude, per Ms. Silverman, is operating with some significant disadvantages.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:43 AM
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I disagree with MC about McCain being a good campaigner. I think this is about the American People and the media, and to a lesser degree about the lameness of the Democrats.

I think this is very true. Now that the shift in the party bases has completed, and the Democratic party has purged itself of bigots while hoovering up most of the social liberals, I almost can't imagine a single election in which either party wins a blowout. The Republicans could nominate Cobra Commander on a pro-mind-control platform, and he would still get 46% of the vote with exit polling justifications like "Well, he was a car salesman, so he understands small businesses like mine", "What we really need right now is someone with executive experience to make America strong again, to help it take its rightful position at the top of the world", or "I may not have agreed with his plan to write his name on the moon, but you have to admire the gumption! Plus, he's pro-life."


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:44 AM
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this shouldn't even be a close election

If this were a nation populated by something other than Americans, sure. But with the exception of the LBJ-Goldwater race, the only Democrat since FDR to get more than 50% of the popular vote was Carter with 50.08%. Obama's doing pretty well by those standards, particularly for a black guy with a funny name.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:49 AM
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Elsewhere I've said that Obama seems to be giving away the farm with both hands. I'm not sure that that's been necessary for electoral reasons, but I'm not saying that he'd be winning if he were more partisan or ideological. I'm just trying to figure out how much to expect from him. Not much, at the moment.

If McCain gets 49% of the vote with his horrible bungled campaign comprised almost entirely of erroneous anti-Obama smears, with a demented running mate who believes in demon possession, and an incoherent and reactionary set of policy positions -- that's certainly much better than if McCain got 51%. But it will still be true that if you step out onto a random American street, almost half the people you encounter who care about politics at all will be McCain voters.

Seriously, if this is all because of race we shouldn't nominate any more black candidates. And probably not women, either.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:53 AM
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Also, what the fuck is with Obama not curing cancer yet?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:54 AM
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if this is all because of race we shouldn't nominate any more black candidates. And probably not women, either.

If this is all because of race, thank god the racist generation will die first.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:55 AM
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John, you're giving the polls reliability that they perhaps do not deserve. The election is still pretty far away.

The only way I can make sense of the fact that Dukakis was once up 18 in the polls is that people don't seriously try to make up their minds until pretty close.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:56 AM
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this shouldn't even be a close election

If this were a nation populated by something other than Americans, sure.

Fact. It cracks me up that this informal poll is from a semi-libertarian magazine that's been concern-trolling Obama ever since the Primaries wrapped up. Also, the only commenters that sign up for their site are the ultra right-wing wackjobs, and they're going apeshit after seeing that the rest of the subscribers don't agree with them that Obama would be the socialist end of America.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:59 AM
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On the plus side, they haven't shot Obama yet, so it's all relatively good.

Talk about your soft bigotry of low expectations.

And yet, if there's one thing we've learned from the last decade or three, no matter how bad things get, they can always get worse. I, too, choose to look at the glass as half full.

(The Emerson vs. everybody argument in this thread is one of those "Half empty!" "No, half full!" debates that we do so often around here. As best as I can reckon, there's no significant disagreement about the underlying facts.)


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:01 AM
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268: I'm not sure why, but that made me laugh. Slovakia leans McCain !


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:04 AM
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Yesterday I actually was beginning to believe that the election wouldn't be a squeaker. The poll brought me up short, especially because I close election can by stolen.

Certain of the wise heads of the Republican party are showing uneasiness, but the operatives and the base are as savage as ever. If Obama wins, we'll have to get used to interminable "stabbed in the back" and "stolen election" BS.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:18 AM
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I'm somewhat repeating 255, but calm down, Emerson. National polls may reveal all sorts of interesting information, but they don't predict electoral results.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:41 AM
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I'd put the over/under at Obama by 4 points and 100 electoral votes.

I think it is entirely reasonable to accept that projection as accurate, and still regard it as appallingly close.

Hey, is there going to be an unfogged prediction pool?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:44 AM
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The winner gets either tickets to the inaugural ball or a Canadian work visa, as circumstances dictate.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:48 AM
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I didn't think Palin did that bad in the interview with Couric. It did highlight her inexperience, but that is not exactly unknown. Also given that no one really knows what the fuck to do right now, a non committal answer is best.

I thought Letterman had it exactly right. WTF? Cancel appearances and suspend the campaign? There are very few scenarios where that would make sense, and this ain't one of them.

The reason this election is still close are the social issues. I know it doesn't make sense, but some folks just don't like the idea of killing babies.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:06 AM
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The reason this election is still close are the social issues.

To a degree. The main reason the election is close is tribalism. I mean, there isn't any candidate the GOP could nominate that I would vote for, precisely because they're Republicans. Nobody. There's a roughly equal sized bloc that thinks the exact same way, but with the parties reversed.

The swing vote, such as it is, is made up of people who pay practically no attention to politics and mostly couldn't tell you where any candidate stands on any issue beyond the ones that come automatically with party affiliation, but have absorbed the message that it's their civic duty to vote anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:14 AM
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275: Are you saying the tribalism of you and others who'd never cross over, or tribalism meaning the weak decision making process of the swing voters?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:17 AM
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The former. Most Americans vote the same way they pull for a football team. That's just their team. I, of course, have diligently sorted through the issues to arrive at my team through a rigorously logical process, and am a Democrat as a result of pure sweet reason alone. But everybody thinks that of themselves and it's largely post facto rationalization.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:21 AM
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The way I end up thinking about is that I'm voting against Republicans on the basis of coldblooded analysis of their positions on the issues. I'm voting for Democrats out of a combination of tribalism and hope.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:22 AM
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Apo's dead right about the tribalism. I think that even causes another reasonably-sized group of undecided voters: those whose tribal affiliation clashes with who they'd otherwise vote for. A friend of mine is going through this right now. She's a Republican, that's how she's always seen herself. Her parents are of the "Death Before Democrats" mold (partially for pro-life reasons, not sure what the other important issues are). She actually voted for Bush in 2004, in our first presidential election.

Yet this election year she's undecided because, well, voting for McCain would be kind of crazy, and her mom's gotten pulled into Afghanistan as a 40 or 50-something Air Force Reservist because the military is that desperate, and she's got more moderate social views than her parents... But that old self-portrait as a Republican is a damn hard thing to shed. I really don't know what she'll end up doing, but I haven't particularly pushed.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:22 AM
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This campaign suspension bullshit was the last straw for me. I identify completely with Po-Mo's friend's dilemna. I will not vote for McCain. I just won't admit it to my friends.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:30 AM
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Woo, TLL!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:33 AM
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TLL, are you going to sit it out, then? (And would you lie to a hypothetical pollster?)

Unless, of course, you prefer not to say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:33 AM
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Especially since he didn't actually suspend his campaign. He's still running ads and his proxies are still out on the news attacking Obama. I can only conclude that this is 100% about ducking the debate, getting a mavericky photo op back in DC, and keeping Palin from being asked any more questions.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:33 AM
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That is, unless you're going to vote for Barr or write in Romney.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:34 AM
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Witt a while back was asking how a Palin fan would see the interview, and I've been thinking about it, and the biggest factor would simply be selective inattention. Inattention is the most reliable day to day reality filter available. Its like the pasta with red sauce of reality filters.

On NPR this morning they began their excerpts of the interview with a boilerplate statement from Palin about the need for strong action to change Wall Street. I thought, damn, if the cut the interview here, she sounds great. Fortunately, they went on to play clips of Palin's inability to name any financial reforms McCain has supported in the last 29 years. A good Palin supporter will just ignore that part.

Same with the conflicting images of femininity we got. Sure to you and I Couric looked more professional. But the big thing is that she looked kinda bland. She won't come off as a bully to Palin supporters, she'll just fade into the background.

Well, that's my armchair psychologizing about people I'm not personally close to.

I stand by my claim, however, that inattention is the pasta with red sauce of reality filters.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:39 AM
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Palin answers four questions! For some definition of "answer".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:39 AM
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write in Romney

Still the most competent Republican choice!

I'm sorry and happy to hear that, TLL. It's gotta be a bit of a gut-punch to feel disenfranchised by the options for the country's most important political office. Hopefully you've still got some downticket races you can give a shit about (and maybe even a Democratic congresscritter you could stomach voting for?).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:41 AM
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OK, apo, if this were magic pony world and the whole country had shifted way left, and the Democratic candidate were Kucinich and the Republican candidate were Obama, then what would you do?

You know, I'm pretty close to being a single issue voter (environment), and I'd be hardpressed if the Republican candidate were better on climate change than the Democratic candidate, who might be off thinking that the priorities were labor or health or education or something equally ridiculous. So far I haven't been tested, but Schwarzenegger has been far better than expected on climate change, so I have to admit the possibility.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:42 AM
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No, I will vote for Obama and hope that we get cool murals and public art along with the socialism. Back in the primaries I didn't vote for McCain either, because I was worried that he was too old. I also have lost respect for him because he, of all people, caved on the torture issue.

I can't get behind the whole progressive agenda, because I think the smart guys always fuck things up, and we end up with a lot of unintended consequences. But as FDR saved the nation by betraying his class, so to may Obama. He may be able to bring a certain Reaganesque optimism.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:43 AM
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288: I'd vote Kucinich.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:45 AM
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For the third or fourth time, I'm not saying that Obama will lose. I'm saying that I'm bothered that it's close. The hard core crazified Republican 30% doesn't bother me so much, but how could the Republicans possibly find another 15% or 20%? Obama has a money advantage, he has a great ground game, McCain's running a terrible campaign, there's nothing good about Palin but her insane religious beliefs and her misrepresented life story, and McCain is deeply implicated in what's probably the worst financial disaster in 80 years. A lot of the relatively smart Republicans, creeps like Brooks, are very uncomfortable. Yet the election is close.

We really do live in a nasty country full of nasty people. I realize that it's not a good campaign strategy to say this, but I'm not a campaign strategist. It's really hard to muster any enthusiasm any more. Even committing yourself heart and soul to lesser-evil politics doesn't help.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:48 AM
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OK, apo, if this were magic pony world and the whole country had shifted way left, and the Democratic candidate were Kucinich and the Republican candidate were Obama, then what would you do?

Hey, that's a fun question. I think I'd vote the same way I did in the primaries, for Obama, but for different reasons. I'd actually become a character voter at that point. I'd be worried that because Kucinich is a flake, he would do something weird on an issue that comes up that I can't imagine in the election. Or worse, he'd stick to long with the leftit party line when flexibility is needed.

Holy shit, look how not radical I am.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:48 AM
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288: If you're going to posit a magical pony land, at least posit a more credible and intellectual version of Kucinich for the super liberal side.

But I would be surprised if Apo would keep his die-hard Democratic voting patterns if he were in a deep blue state. I'm about as hardcore Democrat as it comes in any race for a national-level office, but I know I'll be voting for at least one Republican on the ballot in November. We grow 'em less crazy here, and the right-wing faction can't set the legislative agenda at the state or local level so there's much less to fear. They instead become a valuable check on the occasional bit of blatent corruption by local Dems (*cough* Todd Stroger *cough*).


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:50 AM
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Based, no doubt, on a rigorously logical sorting through of the issues. I get that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:52 AM
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We really do live in a nasty country full of nasty people.

JE, when you find the country that doesn't have some nasty people, please tell me. I do not want to hear about the lovely time you had on holiday.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:52 AM
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There's a really wonderful WPA Art Deco HS in Eagle Bend, MN, if you're ever going that way. The local people are embarrassed by it.

Wobegonian architecture is mediocre squared. Churches, especially Catholic churches, one HS, and the ruins of a brewery are pretty much everything I saw in 1500 miles or so bicycling a 2000 square mile area.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:52 AM
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But as FDR saved the nation by betraying his class, so to may Obama.

Obama will save the country by betraying the children of single mothers, immigrants and racial minorities? That's what we keep hearing from bob mcmanus, but I didn't think it was a selling point.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:52 AM
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I historically have not felt all that tribal about being a Democrat. I think it might be because I'm from the Northeast, the last resting place of liberal Republicanism.

280: The surprising thing to me is how unseriously McCain has taken running for President.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:53 AM
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Can it be that when McCain announced canceling the debate, he didn't even consider that Obama would just say no? (Evidently, yes.) His options now underscore what a rash decision it was: he can hardly go on as scheduled without seeming bitch-slapped, and he can't just skip it without seeming like a raging, disingenuous asshole. At least he's entertaining me, which is job one.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:53 AM
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Full of nasty people, Leech. I even wrote off the nastiest 30%, and I was still depressed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:54 AM
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243: b-but it's been MY theory since s.ossetia only i didn't tell anyone bcz no one can copyright the truth can HANDLE the truth would have taken me seriously back then (and rightly so)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:54 AM
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But I would be surprised if Apo would keep his die-hard Democratic voting patterns if he were in a deep blue state

Wouldn't matter (as regards presidential votes). I've said before that when it comes down to brass tacks, I'm a single issue voter and that single issue is who's more likely to ram a pencil in Pat Robertson's eye socket given the opportunity. The most liberal Republican president imaginable still enables those lunatics more than any Democrat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:55 AM
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more credible and intellectual version of Kucinich

First, I have a lot of respect for Kucinich. That said, who would be a more credible version of him? Jerry Brown (who I would LOVE to vote for next time. Fuck you, Feinstein.)?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:55 AM
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But we don't even know that it's close. People don't take it seriously until near the end.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:56 AM
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Wobegonian wildlife is pretty good though. Raccoon, fox, egrets, pelicans, turkeys, skunks, herons, vultures, deer, geese, ducks, coyote, eagles, andabove all, thousands of coots.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:58 AM
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It's a fun question, but sort of unanswerable without fuller fleshing out. E.g. if Obama were the Republican candidate, the Republican party would have changed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:58 AM
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Kucinich absolutely is a flake, but he's closer to me on most issues than Obama is. I wouldn't support him in a primary, for strategic reasons, but if he were the nominee? Easy call.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:59 AM
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We don't know it's not close. Some polls give Obama a sold victory, and some call another close election. Apparently nothing's been learned in 8 years.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:00 AM
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Full of nasty people, Leech

As Bill Murray said in Stripes: we're Americans, our families have been kicked out of some of the finest counties in the world!


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:01 AM
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If this is all because of race, thank god the racist generation will die first.

Makes SS privatization look a little more appealing, doesn't it? Seriously, how much contempt for your country do you have to have to still vote for McCain? He SUSPENDED HIS CAMPAIGN AS A STUNT! Jeebus. It's whatever tradition produced Obama (label it as you'd like) vs. WWE. Hey, I liked Nature Boy Ric Flair, too, but come the fuck on.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:03 AM
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Congratulations on crossing party lines, TLL. I voted Republican once, and the governor I got turned out to be a very mixed bag.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:03 AM
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Apparently nothing's been learned in 8 years.

I've learned something! I've learned to ignore polls.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:03 AM
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who would be a more credible version of him?

Not a straight substitution, but it would be nice if Lessig got a real voice.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:04 AM
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I wasn't trying to set Kucinich up as a joke. I'd have to look at actual policies to choose between him and Obama as candidates, but in terms of lifestyle (including dolphin mandalas and shit), Kucinich would fit perfectly with me and my friends. I was trying to think of someone who is substantially lefter than the current field.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:05 AM
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I can't get behind the whole progressive agenda, because I think the smart guys always fuck things up, and we end up with a lot of unintended consequences.

TLL, I want to declare a personal moratorium on beating up on you, given the tough political choice you're prepared to make, but I can't ! I just have to - have to - point out my amazement that conservatives can still say this sort of thing without a trace of irony.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:07 AM
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PF, that is why I am more glibertarian than conservative. I don't even know what conservative means any more. It sure as hell isn't what the Republicans are selling.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:10 AM
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My ponyland political views are actually much closer to McManus than they are to the consensus view here. Kucinich would still be a compromise candidate for me. I fully expect to be severely disappointed by an Obama administration, just as I was by Bill Clinton. But I know what country I live in, and I'm quite dedicated to the realm of the possible.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:14 AM
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The most liberal Republican president imaginable still enables those lunatics more than any Democrat.

This is:

a. Correct and
b. a very succinct rebuttal against supporters of third-party candidates.

I'm tempted to play Megan's thought experiment in reverse and imagine a right-wing nutjob running for president as a Dem against an even further right-wing nutjob. How would I vote in, say, a McCain(Dem)-Guiliani(Rep) race?

But that hypothetical would fall apart immediately. Is Giuliani really worse than McCain? Is anybody?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:14 AM
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when you find the country that doesn't have some nasty people, please tell me

I always enjoy the people on my visits to Austria and Germany.

What? Why is everybody looking at me like that?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:17 AM
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imagine a right-wing nutjob running for president as a Dem against an even further right-wing nutjob

Like, say, Lieberman versus Bush?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:19 AM
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Kucinich absolutely is a flake, but he's closer to me on most issues than Obama is.

As an ex-Clevelander, I can tell you that Dennis Kucinich is an American hero. A great, great mayor.

But yeah, a flake.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:19 AM
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Like, say, Lieberman versus Bush?

Hah ! Yes ! That's what I was looking for.

And I'd vote Lieberman without too many qualms beyond, you know, the whole Collapse of Western Civilization thing. No third parties for me.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:21 AM
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Hey, I liked Nature Boy Ric Flair, too, but come the fuck on.

Has anyone else noticed that Tim's been getting more shrill the last month or two?

Obviously, I'm not objecting.

It is entirely possible that McCain's stunt will effectively end his campaign's viability. The only reason it won't is that, apparently, the broadcast "journalists" are playing it fairly straight, whereas the print guys are pretty much hammering McCain for it. And Americans don't read.

But what Letterman did was pretty devastating. If it gets sent around enough, that would do the trick.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:23 AM
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worse than McCain? Is anybody?

Dornan, Inhofe, Cheney, Robertson, Zombie Helms, etc.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:24 AM
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PF, that is why I am more glibertarian than conservative. I don't even know what conservative means any more. It sure as hell isn't what the Republicans are selling.

I have trouble seeing how anyone could decide to vote R this time round on anything except tribal lines. Well, that and I suppose racist, but I don't want to assume that's too large an effect. The republicans throw the odd rhetorical bone to libertarians and the like but have consistently failed to follow up, to the degree that it's hard to believe that the Dems are likely to be worse for them.

I vote Repblican(Democrat) because I self-identify as Republican(Democrat) is a compelling reason for many, but not one that is easily swayed by argument. If you are in a position to be swayed, you can't give much credibility to the Republicans at this point. Then your only rational reason to oppose Obama is if you believe that he's actually going to do terrible things relative to the other guy, but from such a centerist candidate I can't see the argument being strong.

Something to be said for throwing up your arms in disgust, I guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:24 AM
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320: Gah. That's like asking which you'd prefer for lunch, moldy bread with rancid butter or spoiled meat with rotten vegetables. At some point I'd have to opt out.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:28 AM
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320: See, I think that's an easy choice, though I would throw up in my mouth when I voted for Lieberman.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:29 AM
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I have trouble seeing how anyone could decide to vote R this time round on anything except tribal lines.

Looking to some of my uncles, I believe that many people aren't voting for Republican so much as they're voting anti-Democrat. They've spent their whole life demonizing liberals and they aren't about to stop on account of one failed presidency, who they consider a closet liberal due to federal spending growth.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:30 AM
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To vote Republican this year, I think:
You either imagine themselves to be wealthier than they actually are, and fancy themselves to be part of that top tax bracket that will benefit under McCain, or you are actually that wealthy and greedy; or

You are massively, complicitly uninformed; or

You vote based on abortion.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:30 AM
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My uncles (really just one uncle, who is a retired Air Force pilot) from 328 fit none of the categories in 329.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:33 AM
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Au contraire, heebie. The Joker would clearly vote for the Republicans, and not for any of the reasons listed. Your reputation for infallibility is overrated.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:33 AM
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You vote based on a completely nonsensical approach to reducing the incidence of abortion, a goal you allegedly support.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:34 AM
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Then your only rational reason to oppose Obama is if you believe that he's actually going to do terrible things relative to the other guy

Obama was wrong about the surge, but can't admit it, lest it give McCain a boost. He should have given credit to the troops and moved on, but kept insisting that really, he was right. The planets aligned, and things changed on the ground.



Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:35 AM
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I wasn't finished. The fourth possibility is:
4) Or some other reason.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:36 AM
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Obama was wrong about the surge

You and I disagree about that, and apparently about the role of the surge in lessening the violence in Iraq.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:37 AM
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Militarists and imperialists will vote for the Republicans, as will racists, xenophobes, homophobes, and most Armageddonists.

That's the 30% though. It's the next 15-20% that really bother me, after I write off the 30%.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:38 AM
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Obama was wrong about the surge

Yeah, just look at all that political reconciliation in Iraq! Thank goodness! Ponies!


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:40 AM
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I blame the media for the next 15-20%.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:40 AM
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Occasionally heebie says something that seems to be non-heebie, but that's just to test people, or to get thiem thinking about deep questions, sort of like a koan or a knock-knock joke.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:42 AM
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336: You've under-counted the fundies, I think. And haven't included the old, which is the group (I feel certain) that's keeping this close. What do they care? They only need the US to survive for another five or ten years.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:42 AM
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339: What, for 338? I really do.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:44 AM
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the role of the surge in lessening the violence in Iraq.

I believe that without the necessary element of both a change in strategy and the additional troops the Anbar Awakeing doesn't happen, andt without the Awakening the surge doesn't work. Iraq is not Denmark, yet, and they have yet to figure out what to do with the Kurds, and it could all still unravel. But now there is hope.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:44 AM
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Naw, I think the other thing that is holding people back is that Obama is the symbol of a new way of being. He's the embodiment of the switch to urban life, with the multiracials who have funny names and don't even notice when they have banh mi for lunch. There are the bad reasons to be "undecided", but there is also the underlying fear of the unknown. What will this new America be like for me? There's the terrible answer, that your son will bring home a hot Hindu doctor, but there's the still unfathomable and offputting 'when we go out to eat, I won't understand the menu'.

Obama really is the marker of huge generational shift, and the proof that America is becoming different. Scared people can hover for a long time on the edge of the brink.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:45 AM
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343 seems right, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:46 AM
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343 - That was me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:46 AM
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The numbers I've seen are about 20% liberals, 30% wingers, and 50% "centrists" (= "other"). I suppose it could be 15-35-50. I can't see 40% wingers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:46 AM
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If any of you convince TLL to vote for McCain after all, I will personally bitch-slap you.

I really thought that Obama would put it away after the DNC and Ike. Really, the Palin pick is what's kept it close. McCain has been able to suck up all of the media attention. Right now Obama is the young whippersnapper that no one ever heard of a year ago and McCain is the grizzled political veteran. As soon as people see the young photogenic Obama against the old and petulant McCain, I think Obama will start to seal the deal.

Plus, what incentive do the pollsters have to get it right this early on? They probably do a half-assed job while they cash the networks' checks. It's probably embarrassing to get the final result wrong, but if you do a bad job in September, who's going to remember?

Based on their behavior, I have to think that McCain's own numbers don't look nearly as good as the media's numbers. Palin was a high-stakes gamble that undermined all of the campaign's established messaging. Canceling the debate was a high-stakes gamble, since it basically allows Obama to bring up his age without bringing up his age. I have to think they saw their internal polling numbers cratering, and they freaked.

Though my track record in political handicapping is terrible. I thought McCain's little debate maneuver was tactically clever, but it looks like it's not. When McCain wins, or even loses by 0.05% of the vote, you can rub it in and say I told you so.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:47 AM
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[without] the additional troops the Anbar Awakeing doesn't happen

Might ought to check the timeline on that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:48 AM
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Obama was wrong about the surge

Yeah, just look at all that political reconciliation in Iraq! Thank goodness! Ponies!


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:49 AM
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336:Militarists and imperialists will vote for the Republicans, as will racists, xenophobes, homophobes, and most Armageddonists.

Most will. Some will stay home because of insufficient militaristic xenophobic racist end-timer wackjobbery. Some will vote Dem out of residual loyalty from when the Democrats pandered to those constituencies, and some because they are able to see their economic best interests despite being horrible wackjobs.

That's the 30% though. It's the next 15-20% that really bother me, after I write off the 30%.

This is the source of your error. It's not 30%, its 70+%. People are horrible.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:51 AM
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341: No, for 334 and 329.

You can only do so much ethnic cleansing, in the same way that your timber cut goes down once there are no more trees. That's one of the big secrets of the surge.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:51 AM
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Anyhow, my armchair analysis of the reduction of Iraq violence from horrific levels to merely awful levels says it springs mostly from the ethnic cleansing of neighborhoods finishing up.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:53 AM
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Emerpwned!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:54 AM
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I always enjoy the people on my visits to Austria and Germany.

I have a very intelligent and knowledgeable friend (one of those annoying polymath types) who reckons that Austria went through none of the massive post-war social changes that Germany did, and thus still can have an unpleasant convergence of right-wingery with yet existing and widespread authoritarian tendencies. In his view they didn't do the therapy-type confronting of Na/zisim that the Germans did, they just swept it under the carpet. "They steal Beethoven from the Germans, and make them take H/itler".

Having said that individual Austrians I've met seem perfectly nice, and it's a great country for holidays.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:57 AM
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Plus the bailout will come with half-unicorn half-pony hybrids for every American child. You heard it here first!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:58 AM
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355: so long as they aren't animal man hybrids.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:02 PM
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I am obviously not sitting in the G3 shed at Centcom, but my understanding is that the troops in the field (and reporters) saw the shift, reported it up the chain that this is a possible exploitable happening, and that the surge rolled from there. But then again I know that American are always wrong, baby killers, don't speak the language, etc. so that couldn't possibly be true.

I will admit to my bias in this matter as a veteran. Emerson decries the worship of the military by our society. I am just trying to bask in some reflected glory.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:04 PM
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I actually think that we're in "They thought they were free" territory. An American journalist visited a loyal Nazi village after WWII and interviewed the residents. Nice folk. Down to earth. Not a bit elitist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:05 PM
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in the same way that your timber cut goes down once there are no more trees

It is so like them to do ethnic cleansing at an unsustainable rate.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:05 PM
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STOP OPPRESSING ME, TJ.


Posted by: OPINIONATED MANIMAL | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:05 PM
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And haven't included the old, which is the group (I feel certain) that's keeping this close. What do they care? They only need the US to survive for another five or ten years.

Ageist. Even my dad, the Eisenhower Republican, thinks McCain is too old and too stupid to be president, and that Palin is an incompetent nut-job. He was modestly pleased with what he had to leave his kids, and now he's watching it evaporate, and it's put him off the Republicans.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:05 PM
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343: the underlying fear of the unknown

Yes, this. We could scarcely have picked someone more scary in this regard and still made any pretension to electoral viability.

More of the same is actually quite reassuring to many people. I suspect that the charges of elitism are grounded as much in this as in anti-intellectualism.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:05 PM
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291: a lot of polls have been disturbingly close. On the other hand, judging from the McCain campaign's behavior, they've never thought they have more than a 30% chance of winning this.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:06 PM
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If any of you convince TLL to vote for McCain after all, I will personally bitch-slap you.

And we're all Democrats, so you know we won't fight back.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:07 PM
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OT, somewhat. The Paulson proposal McCain hasn't had time to read after a weak is 894 words long.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:08 PM
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Like, say, Lieberman versus Bush?

At least Lieberman wouldn't work on Saturdays. That might help to limit the damage.

(At least I think he doesn't. I remember that coming up when he was running with Gore.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:08 PM
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another theory (not mine)
(in fact via anonymous liberal via mcmanus bff delong)

viz the "suspension" was less a win-the-day spasm than a frantic last-minute don't-LOSE-the-day hailmary after palin (on couric) clippably tied mccain/palin to the bailout -- ie said bailout needed to be passed -- whence he couldn't maverick-posturely make as if to be voting against it, so thus HAD to create massive media distraction, ie do something BOLD AND GOOFY, to stop palin-on-couric-on-bailout being top topic of the evening

(the bush-ratfuck interpration would be "persuade mccain that suspension is bold and mavericky leap out of trouble, so 43 can enjoy seeing his aged foe look like an idiot all week")


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:10 PM
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On the other hand, if your manimal hybrid can take gasoline on the road and just plugin at home, overnight... that's change we can believe in.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:12 PM
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American are always wrong, baby killers, don't speak the language, etc.

It's more along the lines of how Americans think we defeated the Nazis, which I imagine the Russians find a bit blinkered. I'm sure the surge had some effects around the edges. More cops on the street will do that. But every analysis I've read that didn't come with a pre-determined conclusion states that the surge was, at best, a minor consideration alongside the completion of the ethnic cleansing, Sadr's decision to demonstrate his militia's discipline and stand down for the time being, the Anbar Awakening, and a revised US policy on assassination (which was not reliant on the extra 30K troops).


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:13 PM
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When a man admits he was wrong about something, it is not strictly necessary to convince him that he was wrong about everything.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:15 PM
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It's more along the lines of how Americans think we defeated the Nazis, which I imagine the Russians find a bit blinkered

The Great Patriotic War would not have been won without a second front, plus we were fighting the Japs. Most Americans only know history from the movies.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:16 PM
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Hey, I liked Nature Boy Ric Flair, too, but come the fuck on.

Incidentally, Nature Boy is BFF with South Carolina gubernatorial heir apparent Mike Campbell. If Campbell ever makes it to big leagues, expect to see Nature Boy right behind him.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:20 PM
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367: Yeah, I read that AnonymousLiberal post.

Just wondering, by the by, tierce, whether you might use some capitalization and punctuation here and there to make your comments more readable. Don't want to encroach upon your creativity, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:21 PM
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As I understand it, the basic argument against the surge is the same as the basic argument against things like Head Start*: even if they work, the effects go away when you stop. So you've either got to pay for Head Start (12 years?) or Iraq (20 years? 50?) all the way through, or you shouldn't do it because you aren't getting anything for your outlay but a warm and fuzzy feeling. I'm a lot more comfortable taking a flyer on Head Start.

* Totally fitting in a world in which, per KF Monkey, the parties have switched places on things like "Hope is not a plan."


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:22 PM
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There's the terrible answer, that your son will bring home a hot Hindu doctor

It's things like this that remind me of how huge the cultural gaps actually are in this society.

||
A local TV crew just pulled me over for a man-on-the-street interview regarding the bailout and the Paulson plan. It ended up taking a little while. My friend says the cameraperson was grinning and gave the thumbs-up, but I'm pretty sure the guy asking the questions felt punked when I mentioned the legitimacy issues of accounting mark-ups based on questionable auction methods.
|>


Posted by: Po-mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:23 PM
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Part of reason for the success of the Anbar Awakening, remember, is the fact that the U.S. chose to talk to its enemies - actual shooting-at-us enemies - something that couldn't have been predicted at the time the surge was announced. Even if the Awakening couldn't have succeeded without the surge (and you can count me among the skeptics), it's pretty clear that the surge couldn't have succeeded without the tactical changes that led to the Awakening.

I think one under-noted thing about Bush is that in his second term, he didn't immediately fire his most competent people. Petraeus would not have lasted long during the first term.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:23 PM
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302

Wouldn't matter (as regards presidential votes). I've said before that when it comes down to brass tacks, I'm a single issue voter and that single issue is who's more likely to ram a pencil in Pat Robertson's eye socket given the opportunity. The most liberal Republican president imaginable still enables those lunatics more than any Democrat.

Not actually true. A liberal Republican who ran and won without their help would cost them more influence than losing to a Democrat.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:24 PM
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357: I read a very helpful account of the other factors that came together at the same time as, but not as a result of, the surge. The article gives credit to all those factors. Of course, now I can't remember where I read it, but I'm hunting around on the web.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:24 PM
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375 - I hope you used the word "tranche."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:26 PM
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A liberal Republican who ran and won without their help

No Republican can get elected president without their help.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:26 PM
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....so much as they're voting anti-Democrat. They've spent their whole life demonizing liberals and they aren't about to stop on account of one failed presidency...

As I said, tribal lines. This I can understand.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:29 PM
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375 - I can still, sortof, understand not knowing how to bridge a substantial cultural difference within your family. The stuff that shocks me is when people say happily that they would never try boba because it looks funny. That's when I understand that there are people who are genuinely conservative (in the sense of not liking change).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:31 PM
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But then again I know that American are always wrong, baby killers, don't speak the language, etc. so that couldn't possibly be true.

You know, TLL, this sort of sophmoric thing isn't really helping anyone.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:32 PM
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the guy asking the questions felt punked when I mentioned the legitimacy issues of accounting mark-ups based on questionable auction methods.

Don't worry, they will edit this to either make you sound like an idiot or somebody with something to hide.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:33 PM
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Apo, James is referring to an alternate world in which Kennedy wasn't assassinated, the Vietnam War didn't take place, and Lady Di had become Queen of England.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:33 PM
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380

No Republican can get elected president without their help.

It might be unlikely but it isn't impossible. Especially if we are just talking about a few leaders like Robertson and not the rank and file.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:33 PM
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I read a very helpful account of the other factors that came together at the same time as, but not as a result of, the surge.

Juan Cole posted a long piece about the surge fairly recently, and Petraeus' executive officer Peter Mansoor also had this.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:36 PM
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You know, TLL, this sort of sophmoric thing isn't really helping anyone.

Granted, but I feel like getting someone to admit that hey, we aren't all ignorant bastards is too much.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:36 PM
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Goddammit, James, you chose the stupidest possible nit to pick. Who cares?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:37 PM
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an alternate world in which Kennedy wasn't assassinated,

True fact: Kennedy is assassinated in all logically possible worlds. The big difference between possible worlds is who did it: Castro, the CIA, the Mob, The Cigarette Smoking Man, The Comedian, Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone, etc.

No, really, true.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:37 PM
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Kennedy is assassinated in all logically possible worlds.

Jackie had him whacked for doin' Marilyn. She was a cold, cruel bitch when scorned.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:40 PM
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385

Apo, James is referring to an alternate world in which Kennedy wasn't assassinated, the Vietnam War didn't take place, and Lady Di had become Queen of England.

There are people who not so long ago would have confidently asserted that it was impossible for a black Democrat like Obama to win.

The way the electorate is presently divided into coalitions is not the only possible way. Under the right circumstances a Republican could assemble a winning coalition without the hardcore religious nuts.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:40 PM
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"Logic", Rob? "Logic"? I shit on your "logic" and the mother who gave birth it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:43 PM
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your son will bring home a hot Hindu doctor

This, btw, is my post-divorce dating plan.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:44 PM
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The problem is that my son is looking for his own hot Hindu doctor. If had an extra that would be a nice birthday present, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:45 PM
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we aren't all ignorant bastards is too much.

Of course you aren't. On the other hand, the Bush administration had pretty much zero credibility on Iraq, having lied their way through essentially everything of note. They've manifestly failed the stated goals of the surge. This may have been unavoidable, due to the stated goals being unachievable on the timeline or whatever, but they're the ones that set them up and failed to meet them.

There has been some material security gains in Iraq due to both change of circumstances (shifting population) and new tactics (Anbar) neither of which were part of the discussion of `the surge'. So while the gains made may go some little way towards digging out (hopefully) of the hole we've dug there, it is laughably inaccurate to view this as `see, we told you the surge would work'. It's hardly surprising that people get a little testy when the claim is made, as it so often is by Republicans.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:45 PM
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they would never try boba because it looks funny

Well that and he's a clone of his father or something. It's confusing.

Seriously, what is boba? Baba ganoush? Boboli pizza shells?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:46 PM
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There are people who not so long ago would have confidently asserted that it was impossible for a black Democrat like Obama to win.

This is not the apposite analogy. The proper one would be imagining the Democratic presidential candidate who could win without the black vote. Which would be none.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:48 PM
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I'm looking for a hot Hindu doctor, too. I'm not interested in an affair. I just need someone to write me a new script for some meds, and having a sexy polytheist do it is a notch more interesting.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:49 PM
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Boba.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:50 PM
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Boba is like four Kobes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:50 PM
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While I have to admit my natural tastes run to Harold, I certainly wouldn't turn down Kumar.

Boba is bubble tea. It'll reach the hinterlands during the Obama administration, I'm sure of it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:52 PM
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when the claim is made, as it so often is by Republicans. sycophantic reporters who are so relieved to be able to say nice things about Republicans, so they won't have to hear mean things about how they're liberals.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:52 PM
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Boba is bubble tea

Ah.

Eh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:53 PM
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But you would try it, right? Before you thought it was eh.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:54 PM
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||
Never mind the image of Putin rearing his head as he floats into Alaskan airspace.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:56 PM
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I tried it, but even afterwords the little balls weirded me out.

I actually have the emotional make up of religious conservative. I've just wedded to a liberal ideology.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:58 PM
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I tried it, but even afterwords the little balls weirded me out.

I told you steroids were a bad idea.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 12:59 PM
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398

This is not the apposite analogy. The proper one would be imagining the Democratic presidential candidate who could win without the black vote. Which would be none.

That would be possible also. Especially again just without the black leadership. As with Clinton and his sister Souljah moment.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:00 PM
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This, btw, is my post-divorce dating plan.

So this is the thread where we confess our secret desires to date beautiful Indian women who know how to make magic with curries? Yea, BR and I both have that fantasy.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:01 PM
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I hope you used the word "tranche."

Oh, I did. When he pointed out that a lowest-price auction would result in the government getting the worst of the worst assets, and I countered that separate auctions could be held within the various categories of CDOs to recognize the valuation differences for various tranches and underlying assets; to separate pre-2005 CDOs with superior underwriting from 2007's equity tranche dregs, etc.

It really did take a surprising amount of time, but I think they liked it since they clarified the spelling of my last name at the end. Now if only I knew which network they worked for.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:02 PM
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I tried it, but even afterwords the little balls weirded me out.

Sure, but that alone puts you in a different category than what she was talking about.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:06 PM
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Yea, BR and I both have that fantasy.

Doesn't everyone?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:07 PM
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410: Nah, I just want to date someone good-looking and educated with a reliable income stream. Ethnicity isn't a big deal, but Hindu seems as good as any. Plus, biracial children are likely to have more robust immune systems, so that's a perk.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:08 PM
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Especially again just without the black leadership.

Don't be obtuse, James. I'm obviously not defining the black vote as the six guys they normally bring on CNN to discuss black issues, nor the evangelical vote as a dozen preachers.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:08 PM
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But you would try it, right? Before you thought it was eh.

Did try it, in fact. Actually, it wasn't the bubble tea, but some canned beverage with little jelly cubes at the bottom. It was awful, and that was enough for me.

FYI, just as a report from beyond the Great Divide, we've had bubble tea places here for at least 5 years now. Not sure what you were considering "hinterlands."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:09 PM
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414 ah, the hybrid vigour ploy!


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:13 PM
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Actually, it wasn't the bubble tea, but some canned beverage with little jelly cubes at the bottom.

Probably grass jelly. Different thing.

some people like hot bubble tea and not cold, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:14 PM
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Not sure what you were considering "hinterlands."

I haven't seen it here and it would definitely qualify for hinterlands. I have tried it in Illinois once. Didn't much care for it.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:14 PM
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James is the world's most brilliant [person of his kind]. He's working on an offhand comment of Apo's which was scarcely relevant to this thread. My powers are helpless against him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:14 PM
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Banh mi and now bubble tea? You people are trying to force me to drive out to the Eden Center, aren't you? Bah!


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:16 PM
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If the Democrats called themselves Republicans and the Republicans called themselves Democrats, each party's base of support would be exactly opposite what it is today. It would be equivalent to a massive realignment.


Posted by: Shames B. Jearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:17 PM
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TLL,

PF, that is why I am more glibertarian than conservative. I don't even know what conservative means any more. It sure as hell isn't what the Republicans are selling.

Would it surprise you to learn that in many ways I consider myself a conservative? I mean deferred gratification, sound investments, concerned about drug use, Christian spirituality, support freedom of speech but also personal restraint, and some others?

Awhile ago I said "I didn't leave the Republican party, they left me." That was when Robertson and Buchanan gave those speeches at the Republican National Convention declaring a war for the soul of America.

I earlier times I would have been an Eisenhower Republican.

Republicans today seem to be religious wackos and crony capitalists.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:17 PM
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If the Democrats called themselves Republicans and the Republicans called themselves Democrats, each party's base of support would be exactly opposite what it is today

I am would be willing to bet this wouldn't even be true. I would guess you would get some percent of voters that just followed the name.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:18 PM
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ignore that extra am please.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:21 PM
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the hybrid vigour ploy!

If it's good enough for citrus, it's good enough for my kids! That's why I figure crate-packing will be fine for family vacations, so long as I put them in enough insulation to prevent frost damage.

Hot bubble tea is indeed rather awesome. It single-handedly kept me from hypothermia during a winter trip to Shanghai. I'm amazed that no one seems to serve it warm in Chicago, even during the winter every place pours the bubble tea over ice.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:21 PM
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424: yeah, but then you could still have a winning coalition of Republicans that didn't depend on the religious right. Apo was wrong!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:22 PM
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427 was me.


Posted by: Shames B. Jearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:24 PM
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424: There's good evidence for that.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:26 PM
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423 Republicans today seem to be religious wackos and crony capitalists.

Also nativists and imperialists.

I sympathise with some conservatives because I'm in a similar situation w.r.t. the Democrats. I'm about as far towards libertarian as one can be and still reasonably claim to be a liberal. Government is a blunt instrument and ought to be treated as one.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:29 PM
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Would it surprise you to learn that in many ways I consider myself a conservative?

No.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:35 PM
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415

... I'm obviously not defining the black vote as the six guys they normally bring on CNN to discuss black issues, nor the evangelical vote as a dozen preachers.

Your original post expressed animus towards Robertson in particular not the evangelical vote in general.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:36 PM
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some people like hot bubble tea and not cold, too.

Yes, grass jelly. I don't actually like tea all that much anyway, so the boba is kind of a moot point.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:38 PM
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420

If you want to talk about something else you are free to do so.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:39 PM
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Hrm. You know, Shearer, a rhetoric class might straighten out some of your communication difficulties. Using Robertson to represent the religious right is what's known as a synecdoche, a figure of speech in which the part, or a specific, such as Robertson, stands for the whole, or general, such as the religious right.

Short of a class, this is a good site on rhetorical figures; you might want to poke around in it when you find people saying things that don't seem to make any sense to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:41 PM
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Lots of boba tea bears about as much resemblance to tea as the least coffee-like frappucino bears to coffee.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:41 PM
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rfts,

Would it surprise you to learn that in many ways I consider myself a conservative?

No.

You know what they say about conservatives - we're a handful but we're worth it!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:42 PM
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I don't care what Sybil says about Palin in SW PA. Biden just won it:

On a campaign stop at Greensburg Salem High School, Mr. Biden was introduced by Mr. Rooney*, whose presence reminded the vice presidential candidate of the tragic December 1972 accident when his wife and daughter were killed and his two young sons seriously injured in a car accident shortly after his election to the Senate.

Mr. Biden paused, wiped his eyes and, at one point turned away from the crowd for a long moment, as he told a story of his vigil at the sons' hospital room. He said he had left his sons to go out and buy a Christmas tree. When he returned they each had an autographed football.

"My one little boy was in traction the other little boy had a serious fractured skull, and they were happy ..."

After pausing, and wiping his eye, he continued.

"I said guys, 'Where'd you get the balls.' He said, 'Dad, Rocky Bleier gave it to me.'

"Mr. Rooney's dad, without any fanfare, without an announcement, without anything but this incredible decency ..." He paused again, and as the crowd applauded, said, "I really apologize. I shouldn't have tried to do this. ... It's a hell of a family."

* Owner of the Steelers, local royalty.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:42 PM
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Your original post expressed animus towards Robertson in particular not the evangelical vote in general.

The part about ramming pencils in eye sockets might have been a decent clue that I wasn't speaking in strictly literal terms.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:45 PM
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The part about ramming pencils in eye sockets might have been a decent clue that I wasn't speaking in strictly literal terms.

I was more hoping it was a limiting case... you can't really hope for it, but you might get so far as a candidate intentionally stepping on his toe, or just telling him what a jackass he is on national television. Public execution via a 2B pencil probably isn't realistic, granted.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:48 PM
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Government is a blunt instrument and ought to be treated as one.

I agree. It is one reason that I worry about UHC.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:48 PM
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441: Oh, for crying out loud. Best not to try to do anything, eh? Hey, I've noticed that the nation's infrastructure is a mess, what with potholes in the roads, bits falling off bridges, and so on. We should stop with the government-funded attempts to tend to these things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:53 PM
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TLL,

I agree. It is one reason that I worry about UHC.

I used to also, but when I saw it in action firsthand in the UK most of my fears were alleviated. It seems to me there are plenty of examples of UHC around the planet. It has a track record. It is not some radical new idea.

Right now I am much more worried about rampant debt and a possible global recession.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:54 PM
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Public execution via a 2B pencil probably isn't realistic, granted.

It will be after I'm elected president.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:54 PM
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Public execution via a 2B pencil probably isn't realistic, granted.

Unless you really are The Joker, as portrayed by Heath Ledger


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:56 PM
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a rhetoric class

Incompatible with the standard template library as implemented by most compilers. Is it really necessary?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:57 PM
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I agree. It is one reason that I worry about UHC.

This is common statement that takes on a bizarre twist when people (not pinning you to this TLL) often seem to reject UHC out of hand even though there are good examples of working systems that outperform US health care while simultaneously embracing larger government expenditure in other areas, e.g. military or farm subsidies, with far less empirical support (indeed, sometimes the empirical support suggests it's a bad idea). It seems to me a lot of self-professed small-government people are nothing of the sort. They're really concerned with constraining government spending only in particular areas. This seems to describe most Republicans particularly well if you look at their actual spending record, rather than the rhetoric, but it goes beyond that.

Again, not trying to put words in your mouth particularly, TLL, just riffing off what you've said.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:57 PM
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Actually I am also worried about being on redfoxtailshrub's bad side. What do you say, rfts - truce? I am trainable.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:57 PM
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Not sure what you were considering "hinterlands."

They start at the border of Sacramento and Placer counties.

(I didn't really have a place in mind and I did assume any major city has bubble tea. I just like to live up to my parochial reputation.)

Rfts is very right about how tea-like boba is.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:58 PM
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You know what they say about conservatives - we're a handful but we're worth it!

I have heard that!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 1:59 PM
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Actually I am also worried about being on redfoxtailshrub's bad side.

Please don't worry about it. I promise only to be annoyed with you if you do something new to annoy me!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:03 PM
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438: Nice. That's lovely. The terrible thing is, after everything that's been said this election season, one of my first thoughts was "I really really hope that's actually true."

If Obama and Biden want to sew it up for sure, they'd legislate an extra playoff wildcard berth for the NFC and AFC North divisions. Western Pennsylvania, both Ohio teams, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan would all benefit. How perfect of pandering is that?

(It nails pretty much every possible swing state NFL team, since the Broncos will surely pull it out on their own, St. Louis doesn't have a prayer even with an extra wild card just for them, and the Redskins are just part of the division that should all get into the playoffs.)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:05 PM
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441- That's why you have universal insurance on the French model rather than universal care on the UK model. It's the least interventionist approach to ensuring everyone gets care.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:05 PM
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I, like Tripp, could be described as conservative in my personal habits. But how did this come about? When did spending yourself into debt on every latest shiny thing become a Liberal Value? When did Kucinich denounce personal restraint? (I seem to remember some Moonbeam mention something it.) And as for Christian spirituality, I guess I don't know what that means. If it means that the Beatitudes sound like good things to keep in mind then I don't think you'll find too much disagreement anywhere.

And fucking is bipartisan.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:06 PM
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452: Call it the Black n' Blue Breadbasket Bailout.

"Middle America has come upon some rough times lately, but they're hard workers and the fundamentals are strong. With just a little help, I know we can restore them to their former glory!"


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:07 PM
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Brits apparently fail to recognize that the beverage Lipton sells in cans is supposed to be tea.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:08 PM
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Brits apparently fail to recognize that the beverage Lipton sells in cans is supposed to be tea.

No, they're just being polite by ignoring that indiscretion.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:10 PM
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When did spending yourself into debt on every latest shiny thing become a Liberal Value?

Actually, this describes some of my most conservative friends. I think spending yourself into debt is an American Value.


Posted by: DK | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:10 PM
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Hey, I've noticed that the nation's infrastructure is a mess, what with potholes in the roads, bits falling off bridges, and so on

Some things are best handled by government, to be sure. Infrastructure, military, police, fire all necessary. Schools, colleges, hospitals, healthcare are on the cusp, in my mind. A case can be made for private or public funding, or a mix. Public funding of healthcare is a philosophical preference, and certainly not out of the realm of discussion.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:13 PM
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I think spending yourself into debt is an American Value.

It's certainly been pushed that way. This fits in well for the prosperity evangelicals, which really are a bit of an odd sect, but increasingly important here.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:15 PM
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When did spending yourself into debt on every latest shiny thing become a Liberal Value?

Really, I was having trouble parsing the degree of sarcasm, if any, in this comment.

To take it straight: there's some conflation of the liberal/conservative distinction in play here, if "conservative in personal habits" is supposed to go hand in hand with conservative political sensibilities.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:16 PM
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Universal health care sure is big and scary. Doubly so because it's unexplored territory and we have to invent it all from scratch. It would be so much easier if we could look at dozens of different implementations, in countries ranging from next door to the entire continent of Europe to nations across the Pacific, with a wide variety of social and economic systems, and observe what works or doesn't and what the tradeoffs are. Damn the world for waiting for us to do all the work.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:18 PM
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A lot of fucked up people become Republicans when they clean up their acts, as though being fucked up were part of liberalism.

I don't know what Republicans do when they rehab. Probably blame liberals for the drugs they took.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:19 PM
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If it means that the Beatitudes sound like good things to keep in mind then I don't think you'll find too much disagreement anywhere.

Self-described Christians don't use the Sermon on the Mount as a voting guide much, AFAICT.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:21 PM
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Liberal Christians read Luke. Conservatives read John.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:25 PM
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463: Really? Curious. Is it because, in order to become unfucked up, they find God (or Jesus), and they don't know where else he -- sorry, He -- lives besides in Republican policy?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:25 PM
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Universal health care sure is big and scary

Not really, but there are several competing models, and choosing which one you like is a matter of personal preference. In these times of massive deficits I am a concern troll not about adding to the current spending, which I figure would be about the same as payments to insurance companies, but future payments, especially since every Senator would be able to promise a shiny new benefit to get more votes.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:26 PM
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Back to the original topic:

Earlier today, Mr. Clinton gave a wide berth to Mr. McCain for wanting to postpone the first presidential debate, scheduled for Friday.

"We know he didn't do it because he's afraid, because Sen. McCain wanted more debates," Mr. Clinton said on "Good Morning America."
"You can put it off a few days,'' Mr. Clinton added, ceding that "the problem is it's hard to reschedule those things." He said of Mr. McCain: "I presume he did that in good faith since I know he wanted -- I remember he asked for more debates to go all around the country, and so I don't think we ought to overly parse that."

Dear Bill Clinton, please for God's sake shut up.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:30 PM
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What on earth! Bill Clinton, stuff a fucking sock in it. What the hell is your problem?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:34 PM
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465: I'd go with Matthew for the conservatives and Mark for the liberals.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:34 PM
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Do you think Obama likes being Monica? Maybe he did kill Vince Foster, after all.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:34 PM
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It is one reason that I worry about UHC.

No need to worry. You won't see UHC under a McCain presidency, and you won't see UHC under an Obama presidency either. A win-win situation for the American people!

(The Canadian system works quite well, though).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:35 PM
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648: Remember how that plays to someone not paying full attention to the TV: the words "McCain" and "Afraid" occurred right next to each other.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:37 PM
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435

Hrm. You know, Shearer, a rhetoric class might straighten out some of your communication difficulties. Using Robertson to represent the religious right is what's known as a synecdoche, a figure of speech in which the part, or a specific, such as Robertson, stands for the whole, or general, such as the religious right.

And this can be quite ambigious. Was Robertson representing the religious right's leadership or the religious right? And is the religious right just the followers of people like Robertson or is it a bigger group?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:39 PM
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The Canadian system works quite well, though

Better than the American system anyway. But not by such a huge margin, globally. What's more difficult to see, and more subtle, is that I'm pretty much convinced that the issues in the Canadian system are either easier to fix, or the sort that are essentially unfixable and all systems are running into them.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:40 PM
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467 is why you have to be really careful about structuring the plan. It has to be handled according to a model that enshrines a professional civil service. I'll oppose any health care plan that leaves it open for routine tinkering by congress. Not only does that put politicians in charge of medical and epidemiological decisions, it also allows for bad faith efforts to destroy the system by making it a pain in the ass, inefficient, and expensive in order to build political support for ending it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:41 PM
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439

The part about ramming pencils in eye sockets might have been a decent clue that I wasn't speaking in strictly literal terms.

So you were talking about the religious right in general not just its leaders?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:42 PM
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the words "McCain" and "Afraid" occurred right next to each other.

Right. While it's couched as a soothing apologia, I read it much more as "I know McCain can't be afraid, because he said he wanted more debates, right? He did say that!"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:44 PM
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It has to be handled according to a model that enshrines a professional civil service. I'll oppose any health care plan that leaves it open for routine tinkering by congress.

The closest thing we have to that is the military, where Congress routinely micromanages procurement. You are stronger in your faith that they wouldn't do the same for UHC than I can muster.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:46 PM
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454

... When did spending yourself into debt on every latest shiny thing become a Liberal Value? ...

When liberals decided to become advocates for irresponsible spenders as with liberal opposition to the bankruptcy bill.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:48 PM
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Old Europe and little Canada can manage universal health care, but it's really a fossil and incompatible with the more advanced American economy. As these nations progress, you'll see the free market efficiently distributing health care there too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:49 PM
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I will try to be very literal for you, James, as your TILT light starts blinking otherwise. Crap, there I go again. I do know you are not actually a pinball machine, as you would bring me more entertainment than you currently do.

I think the religious right, comprising both its leaders and its rank and file, is the single biggest threat to liberty in this country and should be kept as far from the levers of power as humanly possible. As the largest bloc within the Republican base, and with plenty of Congressional representatives, any Republican president naturally enhances their power whether he personally panders to them or not (and they all do), because it increases the power of the Republican bloc in Congress.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:52 PM
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479: Eh, I think it's easy to support UHC for the same reason that it's easy to support Obama: The alternative is absurd.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:53 PM
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465, 470: You're both wrong. Matthew for conservatives, John for liberals.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:54 PM
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That's a lot of pencils, Apo. There are probably twenty million hard core religious wingers. That many pencils would cost you a few million -- I really doubt that you could use a pencil more than once. At 200 wingers per hour, say, it would take .... years for you to do them all even if you put in overtime and worked a six day week. math makes my head hurt.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:54 PM
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484= me.


Posted by: dk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:55 PM
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He meant John the Apocalypse, Apo's favorite.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:56 PM
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If this thread is wandering, I want to ask a different question about money.

All those HELOCs, they acted like real money, right? I know they were imaginary money, based on crazy notions of continual appreciation, but for a little while, they acted just like real money. They showed up as numbers in a bank account, which you could use to buy a tangible thing. (That transformation, from a signature on a loan application based on nothing into real money is practically transubstantiation to me. It still amazes me.)

The HELOC part, is that a big chunk? Irvine Housing Blog says it is, but I don't know how it compares to the whole pile of money. And then, if it was real money for a little bit, then it was conserved. I mean, it exists as something. It went somewhere. Even if it was all hookers and blow, then hookers and cocaine dealers have more real money now, right? Where is that piece of the money? The piece that was called into being. Is it now a layer of flat screen TVs and standmixers and additional sq ft, distributed finely over the suburbs? The money still went somewhere, though. To China?

I get that a lot of the debt is mortgages and that was pretend future money that will now never act like money. But some was pretend money that acted like money. Where did it go?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 2:59 PM
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I really doubt that you could use a pencil more than once

It's a metaphor, Emerson. If you read my actual manifesto, I propose using these.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:00 PM
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Megan, the new topic here is ramming pencils into eyes. Get with the program.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:01 PM
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the religious right, comprising both its leaders and its rank and file, is the single biggest threat to liberty in this country

Even as a Republican I have always been more afraid of the far Right than the far Left in America. HUAC may have helped.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:02 PM
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I have always been more afraid of the far Right than the far Left in America

They're certainly better armed.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:04 PM
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Where did it go?

It went toward propping up the economy for eight years. It went toward softening the blow from the collapse of the dot-com bubble.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:05 PM
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Apo, that's the wrong size. It just wouldn't work. You'd need a smaller one which would probably have to be specially designed, unless maybe there's a turkey bung dropper. That might work.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:05 PM
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Apo, that's the wrong size. It just wouldn't work.

If I had a dollar for every time I'd been told that...


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:06 PM
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478: "I know McCain isn't doing this because he blows dead goats. It would be wrong if this election became all about whether McCain blows dead goads


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:06 PM
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Maybe turkey lung guns?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:08 PM
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491: That makes sense though, as `the far Left' is dead in the water politically, in the US. The leftmost people with any real political currency are at most center-left on any sort of normalized scale. In comparison, the far Right is quite viable, and holds political power all out of proportion to its numbers. Even if you don't consider them to be equally looney, it's pretty clear that the only politically extreme element likely to fuck with your day-to-day life here is on the right, and particularly the religious right. This isn't surprising; when you get down to it, the US is a pretty conservative country.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:08 PM
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Okay then I'll ask my question, too.

Yes, the following would be a beaurocratic nightmare. Besides that. What's wrong with letting Wall Street go down in flames, and using the $700 kabillion for low-interest personal loans and small business loans and revised mortgage contracts? And towards infrastructure, and other things that create jobs?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:09 PM
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I'm not sure I agree with you a hundred percent on your methods there, Apo. We'll get back to you if we decide we need you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:10 PM
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What's wrong with letting Wall Street go down in flames,...

In some large, long term sense: nothing wrong with it at all. But that does assume we're ready to rethink the entire policy basis of the US economy, and probably suck up a pretty nasty recession, too.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:11 PM
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I haven't read the comments yet, but Dooce posted the Palin interview and specifically, sincerely asks of her readers who are Palin supporters how the video lands on them. The first dozen comments are all anti-Palin, but the answer to Witt's question back in 157 might be buried in the thread.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:14 PM
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480:
When liberals decided to become advocates for irresponsible spenders as with liberal opposition to the bankruptcy bill.

That's wrong on so many levels it's staggering. Either even the Republican trolls are incompetent, or one of our token conservatives is using " James B. Shearer" to make himself look good.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:15 PM
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propping up the economy for eight years

What does this mean? Did it go into construction, which in my state means... jobs to laborers who remitted it to Mexico? Did it go into an artificially high standard of living, with nice gadgets? That would mean that the money ended up in gadget-making countries. Did it support high-end vineyards in France?

I know it is all entropy and swirly, but maybe there were dominant streams of money going somewhere. I am so curious about the idea that we called money into being, hocked the next fifteen years of our quality of life, and then... sent it to the Third World? It dissipated, like heat?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:16 PM
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How did they come up with the $700 billion figure, anyway? Surely they must have used sound and solid methods of reality-based accounting?

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

"It's not based on any particular data point," a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. "We just wanted to choose a really large number."

You know, if they just wanted to choose a really large number, they might have asked my son. He loves that game. And he might have saved the taxpayers some money.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:16 PM
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The word "heebie-jeebies" has already come up WRT Palin. Just sayin'.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:17 PM
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a layer of flat screen TVs and standmixers and additional sq ft, distributed finely over the suburbs?

Yep. The banks have also wiped out any Helocs that weren't utilized.

The Chinese don't have the money. They have IOUs that should be as good as money, but there is some doubt.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:18 PM
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503: That's wrong on so many levels it's staggering

That's why nobody said anything about it, fm.

Cross-posted to Standpipe's other blog.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:20 PM
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Well, there's letting Wall Street go up in flames, which could be catastrophically bad for the rest of America or not. I don't know. But then there's all our creditors holding all our T-bills all around the world, and I suspect that their interests--while never becoming part of the public debate--are going to have to be honored. And that's probably best done by propping up Wall Street.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:21 PM
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First pro-Palin comment: enough with the political commentary. We get it - you are a liberal and a socialist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:21 PM
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with nice gadgets

SUVs, pressboard houses, flatscreens-- I don't think that these are nice gadgets, and they will have to be disposed of now. nice gadgets, but our economy's sound fundamentals are keeping people from buying decorative objects.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:25 PM
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What's wrong with letting Wall Street go down in flames, and using the $700 kabillion for low-interest personal loans and small business loans and revised mortgage contracts?

Rightly or wrongly, we think those guys are pretty good at getting capital from them that's got it to them that needs it and can use it productively.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:26 PM
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The Chinese don't have the money. They have IOUs that should be as good as money

Don't have which money? Which IOU's? Because if I went out in 2004 and blew my whole HELOC on really shiny toys at Christmas, I paid real money (at the time) for them. Wasn't that transaction completed? Did Chinese companies not receive actual money for that?

I understand that any transactions that promised future money (like mortgages and credit card debt) are now worth some discounted value. But if I took a thousand dollars out of my HELOC and bought something, the seller has an actual thousand dollars.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:27 PM
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you are a liberal and a socialist

Gah. I'm going to start running around wildly in circles waving my arms in the air. Socialist! The fucking Gulag -- or something! Everybody will suffer, suffer terribly! You will have to wear a burlap sack ...

Okay, I'm better now. Thanks for listening.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:30 PM
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510: read #301 for a good summary of their core, I suspect.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:31 PM
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Socialist!

You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think that it means.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:31 PM
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Don't have which money? Which IOU's?

About 25% of the US federal debt is foreign held (doubled since the 80s), the majority of that held by China and Japan.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:34 PM
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The factory got the money, maybe bought new machines with it, or maybe deposited the money in a Chinese bank. Chinese banks can't lend out everything that comes in, or there will be runaway inflation, crazy property speculation, instability inside China. The Chinese bank lends domestically as fast as permitted with the new deposits, and the extra deposits on top of that are used to buy something foreign and safe. Like Fannie Mae bonds. Brad Setser writes clearly about this.

GM got some of the money too-- they ran extra assembly lines with that.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:34 PM
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513: That money went into the global economy and created more production. That's what increased leverage does, it sort of produces money out of nowhere by turning an asset into cash, an asset, and an IOU. This ends up funding a lot more production and inflation (house price increases were partially blamed on this). Home equity loans like HELOCs were just part of this vast leveraging process, that was pretty much ongoing from the early 80s but really sped up in the past few years.

What we're seeing now is the opposite process, de-leveraging. Where everyone either keeps their assets and thus hoovers up every bit of cash they can to cover the IOUs instead of spending on new production, or they walk with the cash and leave assets (many of which were overvalued by the end due to the asset price inflation I talked about) to cover the IOUs. Since the de-leveraging banks would much rather have the cash than the inflated assets, they're now screwed and also trying to hoover up every bit of cash they can while not taking on any more assets or IOUs.

Cash came out of nowhere, now it's going back there. I'd say a lot of the magic cash ended up as new homes or shiny electronics, but that's just a guess.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:36 PM
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516: I do not think it means what you think that it means.

Who, me? Nah. It's those other guys who don't know what it means.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:40 PM
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520: yes, sorry, I should have been more specific.

I hear `socialist' an awful lot in political discourse in the US. I can't remember the last time it's been used accurately.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:41 PM
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498

That makes sense though, as `the far Left' is dead in the water politically, in the US. The leftmost people with any real political currency are at most center-left on any sort of normalized scale. In comparison, the far Right is quite viable, and holds political power all out of proportion to its numbers. Even if you don't consider them to be equally looney, it's pretty clear that the only politically extreme element likely to fuck with your day-to-day life here is on the right, and particularly the religious right. This isn't surprising; when you get down to it, the US is a pretty conservative country.

Which makes one wonder why people like McManus are hoping for collapse when what would be likely to follow is fascism.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:41 PM
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That's why nobody said anything about it, fm.
Cross-posted to Standpipe's other blog.

Parsimon, surely you don't mean to suggest that Shearer was joking? Shearer is a fairly sophisticated system but I'm pretty Shearer doesn't joke.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:43 PM
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Which makes one wonder why people like McManus are hoping for collapse when what would be likely to follow is fascism.

Yeah, that's a real puzzler....


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:44 PM
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Thanks for the explanations. If other people have more, I'd read those too.

new homes or shiny electronics

That is the local manifestation (and perhaps the first big dissapation), but it is not the final destination for the money. New homes means construction laborers and people who sell sheet rock have more money? Shiny electronics means that people who make circuit boards in China have more money? I want a map like this one, so I can see where it all settled.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:45 PM
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I deny that "people like McManus" is a category. McManus is clearly sui generis.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:45 PM
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Megan: The "money" part confuses the issue to a certain extent. Ultimately, people thought that the US economy would produce more than it actually will, so they spent more and saved less. The actual amount of money is under control of the Federal Reserve -- through various indirect levers they manage the level of the currency so that from year to year the purchasing power of the dollar doesn't change that much. There is no sense in which the amount of money is conserved.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:47 PM
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523: I don't mean to suggest that at all. Though I think I have seen Shearer joke on occasion. Not in this case.

521: Yeah, soup, I know. I did mention that it drives me bananas.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:48 PM
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Because then we could see what we traded our medium-term standard of living for.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:48 PM
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488

I get that a lot of the debt is mortgages and that was pretend future money that will now never act like money. But some was pretend money that acted like money. Where did it go?

Some of it went to pay credit card and other consumer debt. Some of it went to buy the same sort of things people buy with credit cards or consumer loans. A little of it went to home improvements. Some of it was put into small businesses or other investments.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:50 PM
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505:Why 700 billion.

What I heard is that they hope the 700B will provide seed money to help create or free up 14 Trillion in private credit. 5% of what is desperately needed to prevent a crash of the financial system. I think the 14T has much to do with the amount of CDO's & CDS's, after subtracting the cancelling aspects (Bank A holds against Bank B, B against A). Tyler Cowen has a post today, with links and good comments, on Interest Rate Swaps, which aren't CDS's, and are much less of a problem

It won't stop at anywhere near 700B, if is this is the way they choose to go.

Just How Bad Is It ...Brad Setser, though this really isn't his specialty


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:56 PM
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There is no sense in which the amount of money is conserved.

Sincerely asking: at what point does that kick in and become true? I mean, you could track my thousand dollars for Christmas toys until it became bok choy for lots of Chinese peasants' dinners. On a macro scale, I believe what you say, that the Treasury pulls levers to manage an expectation of the future production of the U.S. But even if it is a hybrid of money that goes somewhere and trust in institutions, I still feel like the money that was pulled out of HELOCs went somewhere and did something (extra bok choy tonight, kids!).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:57 PM
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The actual amount of money is under control of the Federal Reserve -- through various indirect levers they manage the level of the currency

Which is why the funny acronyms are are called the "shadow" banking system. And they leveraged the leverage creating "money" that was not controlled by the Fed. All that bullshit about core inflation not moving, when housing was going up 20% per year. And Barney Frank ought to remember his hand in keeping the deregulation going.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E06E3D6123BF932A2575AC0A9659C8


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:57 PM
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Megan, this all gets hairier when you try to factor in the valuation of currencies. A lot of it comes down to trust, because in some real sense, there is no there, there (at least, not in the way you are trying to pin it down).


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 3:58 PM
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int 534, trust s/b confidence


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:02 PM
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513

I understand that any transactions that promised future money (like mortgages and credit card debt) are now worth some discounted value. But if I took a thousand dollars out of my HELOC and bought something, the seller has an actual thousand dollars.

If you bought something with a credit card or mortgage the seller got actual money too. It is the bank or other middleman at risk if you don't pay.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:04 PM
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I definitely don't deny the probability of a crash.

I simply don't think this top-down approach will do much to prevent, in fact will make it worse. There is panic in the financial markets, which can be handled. The publicity over this bailout has started the rage & panic in the streets, which can't be handled. The US economy is still based on consumption, and will be until after the crash.

If another 2-5 Trillion to the Financial System could prevent the crash, perhaps some of you, and many economists, would favor it. A depression would be horrible. But the financial bailout would mean a huge drop in standard of living and government services, with all existing politico-socio-economic structures left intact.

Not my cup of tea, but I can understand. I also don't think it will work, but that is partly based on a heterodox understanding of economics, and partly on a slobbering hatred of Capital. I could be wrong.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:06 PM
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Megan- Some of the "money" was always just leverage. Banks can lend out significantly more than their assets. If we contract all the way to a strictly cash economy, then it will be ugly indeed. As I said the other day, "Barter? I hardly knew her!"


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:09 PM
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The real recession, with bankruptcies and layoffs and cutting of gov't (local, state, federal) services is now just beginning. Student loans are dying. Goly, what will colleg kids, stripped of their hopes & dreams, do during a depression. Obama could put them into service, if he had any money to feed them.

And we are already having protests in the street.

Democrats & Obama have completely blown it. Fascism is coming. Fuck 'em.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:14 PM
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I'm still not understanding. I get the point about how it didn't exist when I borrowed it (based on crazy potential values for my house), but once I buy something, it acts just like cash and goes out into the world like cash. Eventually, that ends up somewhere.

I understand the day of reckoning between me and my bank, and that one of us will take a hit (in lifestyle or asset value)*. But I sent money out into the world, which rippled through like money and eventually went somewhere.

If it was re-combined with debt, I understand a discounted value of it now. But if not, then who got the benefit of it?

*Not literally. My mortgage is fine.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:17 PM
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Look. It is a particle or it is a wave. Stop telling me it can be both.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:18 PM
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Fascism is coming

The dark night of Fascism is always descending on America yet lands only in Europe.
http://volokh.com/posts/1139878045.shtml


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:19 PM
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It is a particle or it is a wave. Stop telling me it can be both.

Well, it's not a cat, if that's what you mean.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:25 PM
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I get the point about how it didn't exist when I borrowed it

I don't. What do you mean, it didn't exist? It went to the seller.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:26 PM
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Money is created or destroyed within the banking system. The Fed literally takes money off the market or puts it in the market, through open market operations.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:26 PM
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Megan I think the answer to your question is more bok choy tonight, kids. Or in many cases, yeah! bok choy tonight.

But even the little green bits of rag that you think of as money is just a promise.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:27 PM
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542: This was the mid-1960's. . . . [T]he folks were running wilder and freer than any people in history.

Hmmm, I guess at the time Wolfe didn't know the mid-60's were also giving birth to abuses of state power that would set the high watermark for shock and disgrace in America until... well, until Bush.

A number of people on Volokh's thread make the very good point that it's precisely concern about the coming of fascism that stands the best chance of keeping actual fascism at bay. Though whether it's going to achieve anything this time, hard to say; the prospect of the real thing is closer in the States than it's ever been.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:28 PM
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Oh, you mean the mortage? Yeah, that too. But I wasn't even thinking about that case. I was thinking about the home equity lines of credit, and only thinking of it from my perspective.

The (ignorant) way I think about it is that this is imaginary money when I walk into the bank. It is based on an imaginary value of my house. I fill out papers and it is still imaginary. I sign the papers and the loan officer signs the papers.

TRANSUBSTANTIATION!!!!

Real money arrives in my bank account, which I spend on hookers and blow, who now have additional real money. Did they send it to their Moms? Where did the new real money (that came out of my future) go?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:33 PM
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it's precisely concern about the coming of fascism that stands the best chance of keeping actual fascism at bay

The Greatest Generation has almost died out. They saw the rise of Fascism first hand. And as Keyser Soze said, the best trick the Devil ever pulled was to get people to believe that he didn't exist.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdeCPGNRjOU

When everyone is Hitler, no one is. How the hell did I turn into McManus?


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:36 PM
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more bok choy tonight, kids. Or in many cases, yeah! bok choy tonight

See, if this is true, then this whole mess is really very funny. The American people just donated the next ten years of a consumer-based lifestyle to the sustenance of Third World factory workers and the recipients of remittances of laborer remittances? I would never have expected such generosity.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:41 PM
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The American people just donated the next ten years of a consumer-based lifestyle to the sustenance of Third World factory workers

Except that the joke is on them. That flat screen will still be watchable in ten years. They ate the bok choy last night.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:43 PM
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540

I'm still not understanding. I get the point about how it didn't exist when I borrowed it (based on crazy potential values for my house), but once I buy something, it acts just like cash and goes out into the world like cash. Eventually, that ends up somewhere.

Suppose I print up a $100 bill in my basement and go out and spend it. A receives the $100 bill in exchange for something and then exchanges it with B for something else. B then exchanges it with C etc until somebody notices Z's bill is counterfeit and confiscates it at which point Z is out $100.

Suppose instead I exchange an IOU for $100 with A. Due to my sterling reputation this is exchanged just like cash until when Z is holding it someone points out I am just an AI posting on the internet. This causes a loss of confidence in my IOU's and Z is again out $100.

Of course this loss of confidence can be gradual rather than sudden. The current problem is there are a lot of IOU's of uncertain value floating around and no one wants to be the sucker left holding them when the music stops.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:45 PM
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Except that the joke is on them.

And we'll be laughing all the way to the bakery with a wheelbarrow full of greenbacks.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:50 PM
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And we'll be laughing all the way to the bakery with a wheelbarrow full of greenbacks.

A distinct possibility. Will Bush 43 be on the $1,000,000 dollar bill? I understand that Zimbabwe can't even print any more money, cuz the printer wants to get paid.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2008/0716/1216073118607.html


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 4:57 PM
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Oh I'm not sui generis, just that people like me aren't common on the blogs.

Okay, Dems & Obama gave my future to Goldman Sachs. Conversion experience. I'm gonna survive.

Now, already Obama has lost my trust. And with his post-partisanship and the very nature of liberalism, he is gonna need the permission of Tancrado & Bernanke & Alito to let me in the breadlines. I don't think so. (FDR said if Congress got in his way, fuck Congress. I'll be waiting for the Inaugural, but not in my wildest dreams would Obama say that)

But Republicans will not be constrained by liberalism & the Constitution, and understand the old ways of taking care of people.

I'm old, but in good shape, can be nihilistic & callous, and am motherfucking so motivated you wouldn't believe.

So 3 hots & a cot, Generalissimo McCain.
Tell me who to kill.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:02 PM
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Suppose instead I exchange an IOU for $100 with A. Due to my sterling reputation this is exchanged just like cash until when Z is holding it someone points out I am just an AI posting on the internet. This causes a loss of confidence in my IOU's and Z is again out $100.

And you can see that this is just a complication of the ordinary situation where I lend my friend $100 and he doesn't pay me back. Your home equity loan isn't transforming your wispy equity into cash; it's a regular old loan, and your equity only comes into it because (a) the bank is using its estimation of the worth of your house to decide how much to lend you, and (b) you are putting your house up as security for the loan, meaning that the bank owns a share of your house if you default. But you owe them all of the money you borrowed, no matter what; it's just that people don't always pay what they owe.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:04 PM
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So 3 hots & a cot, Generalissimo McCain.

You know, McCain looks an awful lot like the history professor who teaches the Ekosians how to be Nazis.
http://trekguide.com/padd/tos52.htm


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:14 PM
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can be nihilistic & callous

Shocker. Can the rest of us please stop pretending that mcmanus is, in any appreciable way, a Democrat or on the left?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:16 PM
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With all due respect, I don't think that Unfogged is up to the task of producing a theory of money and international finance. We're better suited to the task of calculating how long it would take to jab a pencil into the brain of every single Christian winger, and how much the pencils would cost.

Or so I thought. I set up the problem way back in 485 and no of the so called math geniuses and statisticians around here came up with an answer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:16 PM
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McManus is on the left but not a Democrat. Same for me and several other people here. Unlike me, McManus thinks that a Left exists or might exist.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:18 PM
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Here is the Fuhrer, bob:
http://www.startrek.com/startrek/mediaview?id=2102468&episodeid=68764&count


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:19 PM
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I don't think that Unfogged is up to the task of producing a theory of money and international finance

Maybe if I repeat the question...


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:21 PM
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556

And you can see that this is just a complication of the ordinary situation where I lend my friend $100 and he doesn't pay me back. Your home equity loan isn't transforming your wispy equity into cash;

It is transforming your dubious promise to pay into something that looks a bit like cash. When you loan your friend $100 you usually don't transfer his promise to repay you to third parties. But your promise to repay your mortgage may travel through many hands. And even if your bank holds onto your promise it uses it as security for its own promises. So your default may set off a chain of defaults with the ultimate loss borne by someone far removed.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:29 PM
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558:Tim, I ain't starving to death for fucking Obama's principles.

It has always been me or them. The "them" is negotiable.

I would much rather be fighting from the left, but I ain't got no allies, and the centrists & liberals are my worst enemies.

So David Horowitz was right however many years ago. Holbo gonna be feeding my machine-gun? You made me laugh.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:30 PM
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560:Now this may be performance art. Or maybe not.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:33 PM
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When you loan your friend $100 you usually don't transfer his promise to repay you to third parties.

But I could sell it to Mean Eddie Loan Shark.

It is transforming your dubious promise to pay into something that looks a bit like cash.

No, it's exchanging your dubious promise to pay for my cash. Cash isn't generated out of nothing in that scenario: I, the lender, give it up.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:35 PM
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I'm just saying that the part of the process where money is generated out of (something like) nothing isn't the part where Megan gets her home equity loan.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:36 PM
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John, did you miss the part where Bob just repudiated the left and announced his support for McCain?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:41 PM
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567

I'm just saying that the part of the process where money is generated out of (something like) nothing isn't the part where Megan gets her home equity loan.

Sure it is to the extent that people are willing to rely on Megan's promise to repay.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:41 PM
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568: I'll run over to Stanpipe's blog and check it out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:42 PM
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The key thing is that money itself isn't real. Oreos and bullets are real. Money is an IOU where there's just a vague society-wide promise to deliver.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:42 PM
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But as I understand it, Megan wants a Martin Scorsese tracking shot that follows her dollar from equity line to check book to toys to to toy importer to toy exporter to Chinese manufacturer to Chinese laborer. And it has been so long since I took Macro, I forget m1, m2 and velocity and all of that crap that explains it.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:46 PM
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where Bob just repudiated the left

What fucking left?

/snarl


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:48 PM
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Jesus fuck, after this bill, did Walt actually say Obama was the fucking left?

And I'm the crazy one?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:49 PM
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I guess I understand that, if the bank took a ridiculous promise to repay (because of a ridiculous value of my house) and turned it into a much less ridiculous promise to deliver (because it looks like green pieces of paper).

I still wish I knew what all the downstream uses of my money were.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:50 PM
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571 meet 546.2. Your's is clearer.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:51 PM
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I'll run over to Stanpipe's blog and check it out.

Now complain, in amazement and anger, about how the left always lets itself get played, Emerson. Jeebus.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:54 PM
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I still wish I knew what all the downstream uses of my money were.

How far downstream? I'd assume that it's almost all interconnected. Money spent on computers and electronics mainly goes to those who design and retail them. Money spent on housing goes to contractors or office workers who spend it on dinners at mid-range restaurants and fancy latte drinks. Money spent on oil goes to those who work in oil fields, who make refinery equipment, and Saudi princes who spend it all on huge mansions, Rolls Royces, and fighter jets.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:55 PM
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572 - yes, exactly! In a pretty map! If my thousand dollars were representative, we could start there. But if someone knows where the larger amount of HELOC money (for example) went, that'd be awesome.

I'm imagining a graphic, maybe animated, where it leaves here in a river that branches a few times, and then ends up as an inch-thick covering over some of Southeast Asia and Latin America. That'd be really great, because I want to know EXACTLY what I spent the next ten years of austerity on. If I hover over different areas of the map, I would like a blow-up to emerge, with pictures of huts in China with new satellite dishes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:56 PM
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That'd be cool if you could get the different tributaries, too. Large inflows from Orange County and Las Vegas and smaller tribs from around here, too. (Assuming we're mostly talking housing money.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 5:59 PM
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If it is gathering in pools, like Dubai, we're gonna need some way to represent volume.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:02 PM
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568, 577: I don't like Bob's performance art at all, and I tell him that almost daily. I do recognize it when I see it, though.

I just watched Duncan Hunter, ex-Presidential candidate and innocent associate of felons, use his bailout debate minutes for a tribute to a heroic golf pro who heroically taught golf to kids for free. Sausages.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:07 PM
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Saudi princes who spend it all on huge mansions, Rolls Royces, and fighter jets.

You forgot the hookers and blow, which is what Megan really wanted to know.

The problem that I am having with the bailout stems from Megan's question. The increased liquidity of the exotic, now toxic, products led to astronomical inflation in some housing markets. The unleveraging currently going on has to lead to a decline in housing prices, among other things. But the rhetoric has been about "supporting" the housing market. This can't be done without the physical destruction of some housing units. Further, stopping foreclosure, etc. doesn't accomplish the goal of restoring affordability of housing. The banks may have to wink at some bad credit histories to get the ball rolling again.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:07 PM
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I strongly suspect that concrete thinking is not what is wanted in the case of finance, Megan.

Excessive formalization and abstraction annoys the fuck out of me, but I think that in finance it's the only way to go. Finance makes concrete reality disappear. That's what it's for.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:09 PM
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Finance makes concrete reality disappear

It is why they make the big money, JE. If anybody could do it, everybody would.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:11 PM
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when you get down to it, the US is a pretty conservative country

Now you tell me.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:14 PM
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I've been saying for several days that violent, ignorant resentment is our only recourse when finance involved. The whole game is deception, and the system is continually restructured to be increasingly more difficult to understand, and as soon as someone understands the system it has to change or it will collapse. All the money is made on differences between what one person knows and what everyone else knows. If everyone understood it, progress would cease and the economy would collapse.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:15 PM
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This can't be done without the physical destruction of some housing units.

Well, the ones along the coastline or in hurricane regions will take care of themselves.

Since my state's population is supposed to nearly double by 2050, I suppose some of the new housing sq ft will become useful again. But some locations are bad. And a lot of the housing isn't well designed for higher density living. We aren't likely to be able to afford the same ratio of sqft/person, but I don't know how you'd turn a typical new-development house into a triplex.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:15 PM
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Uh, clue Walt & Tim, this is The Left.

And This

And This

All were against the War in Iraq and hate the bailout.

Even though liberals & centrists have moved to the right of Ronald Reagan, the left has stayed about the same place, although ever more isolated & irrelevant because apparently Tim & Walt think banker's bailouts are progressivism in action.

Or something. Damned if I can figure out why they are enthusiastic about Reagan Redux. Just ruled by fear instead of solidarity & hope.

I'm kinda joining you guys, in a way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:16 PM
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590

Walt's correct. Money is just paper, or for most money, simply an abstract number on a blance sheet somewhere.

I guess I understand that, if the bank took a ridiculous promise to repay (because of a ridiculous value of my house) and turned it into a much less ridiculous promise to deliver (because it looks like green pieces of paper).

But you don't take out your money as green pieces of paper, for the most. Most of your money (if you're a typical American) is in the form of numbers written on paper.

If the bank extends a loan to you, they've just created money; if the repackage that loan and sell it to someone else (as often happens with derivatives), they've just booked the loan twice, but the second booking involving taking someone else's money. If that bank then goes bankrupt the next day, everything gets written off, and the money (that the bank created) has just been removed from the system, that is, it's been destroyed.

So if there are a bank issues a bunch of loans, they're creating money; if it results in inflation, the value of every bit of money slightly decreases; if the bank goes bankrupt, then all the value that was in numbers on paper in the bank (including the value of the stocks, the bonds and so on) simply vaporizes.

Repeat the first part across a bunch of banks, and you get an increase in the money supply, regardless of how much real world stuff has been created. Repeat the middle part across a bunch of banks and the value of each bit of money decreases slightly (and thus the money buys less). Repeat the third part across a bunch of banks and lots and lots of money simply disappears.

I still wish I knew what all the downstream uses of my money were.

Once it's in the bank, it gets all mixed up with all the other money and you can no longer keep track of individual dollars (anymore than you can keep track of individual water molecules); all you can track are the flows.

max
['Once you get out of the frame where the dollar in your hand represents actual stuff, instead of being an abstraction that represents future stuff, then it all starts to make sense.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:17 PM
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Mild-mannered Canadians discussing the US bailout. My favourite comment comes from "Fidget," who notes:

Congress spent more time trying to figure out if Roger Clemens was using steroids than they did considering this "bailout".

"Blue star research" sounds an Emersonian note:

I don't agree that this was planned nor do I believe Bush and Co. were responsible for 9/11. I don't support inane conspiracy theories.

What I do know, is that Americans, since they dumped all the tea into the harbour, are isolationists. Even now, with the world dependant on their economy being strong, they will pull up the welcome mat and shut the door. [this sounds wrong to me, but probably stems from anxieties over NAFTA]

They are not a nation of freedom-lovers and freedom-fighters. Perhaps they once were but since the end of WWII, they've given over their freedoms and rights to their two-party government system. As we've seen, they like it this way and aren't about to change. You're either a Democrat or a Republic, and if you're feeling peckish or tempermental you may switch sides-- briefly.

Oh they talk about their rights and their constitution and their amendments but aside from movie and television propaganda, they don't really, honestly, fight for themselves or stand up to government.

(Not that Canadians are any better at standing up to government, imho, it's just that the parliamentary system works better to rein in the power of the governing party).

And there really isn't a Left left in America, is what I believe. I mean an economic left, I don't really count lifestyle lefty-ism.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:17 PM
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I don't mean to leave anyone out. Housing in floodplains out here will also not contribute to oversupply indefinitely.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:20 PM
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590 - I'm less interested in the imaginary money that was a promise to pay mortgages, because I can understand how that never really existed, then got mushed together with other money that never existed, and the banks traded it all back and forth until one day someone asked for it. Maybe that's most of the housing bubble money.

But there is some piece of the housing bubble imaginary money that was spent like cash, and I am so curious about where that specific cash went.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:26 PM
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583

... But the rhetoric has been about "supporting" the housing market. This can't be done without the physical destruction of some housing units. ...

This is not actually true. There are lots of ways of propping up prices without destroying units. Tax breaks are one. Occupancy limits are another. Which is not to say that I think prices should be propped up.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:29 PM
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And there really isn't a Left left in America, is what I believe. I mean an economic left

Stollers and Bowers & Sirota over at OpenLeft are screaming blue bloody murder over the bailout and at Obama, instead of waiting to see what Obama does before they decide what their principles are.

I think there maybe could be a left if everybody got mad instead of scared. "Mad" means attacking everyone to the right of you, with whatever weapons hurt most.

"Liberalism" means kissing your deadliest enemy's ass, and thanking him for it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:40 PM
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593

But there is some piece of the housing bubble imaginary money that was spent like cash, and I am so curious about where that specific cash went.

Some of it went to the builders of new houses. For example a mortgage used to purchase a new house. Some of it went to remodeling old houses. For example a home improvement loan used to remodel a kitchen. Some of it went to finance small businesses. For example a small business loan with your house put up as collateral. And some of it went to personal consumption. For example a HELOC used to pay off your credit cards or buy a car.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:40 PM
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hilzoy made a fool of herself over at Mark Thoma's today, throwing a Sarah-bashing into an economic thread. I was gonna call her on it, but it's pointless.
Deranged by hate & grief.

I'll let anyone who wants to see go look for themselves.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:43 PM
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Apparently McCain has joined with the House Republicans to derail the bipartisan bill. Emergency hurry-ups only apply to Democrats, Republicans can monkeywrench freely.

So far Bernanke-Paulson and the House Republicans are the players. Bush seems oddly passive, the Dem leadership and even the Republican Senate leadership are resigned, but the House Republicans are firm in their convictions.

Or not. What a zoo.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:44 PM
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Maybe that's most of the housing bubble money.

That's the vast majority of it.

But there is some piece of the housing bubble imaginary money that was spent like cash, and I am so curious about where that specific cash went.

Bank into the banks, that blenderized it and went back to trading it back and forth.

max
['If you the physical tracking system, you could keep track of where the physical money went, but that's mostly back and forth in the area where you live.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:44 PM
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And everything McCain said before just now was a lie. The senile confusion theory isn't necessary.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:46 PM
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with pictures of huts in China with new satellite dishes
i understand that Megan agrees to suffer that financial austerity going to be imposed on her if it will benefit some poor people in the third world, but hopefully she won't repeat that thought again


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:47 PM
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Bush seems oddly passive, the Dem leadership and even the Republican Senate leadership are resigned, but the House Republicans are firm in their convictions.

The R's are going to do whatever they can to get the bill passed (in exactly the form Bush wanted) while simultaneously being against it.

They want both of those things, and they're going to hold their breath until they turn blue to get it.

max
['And the Dem's may have to choose between no bailout and giving the R's what they want, if they do, they will have screwed the pooch.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:51 PM
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Deranged by hate & grief.

Fuck you again, Bob. The deranged are your brothers and sisters.

Anne, formerly a regular at DeLong, was the insane one on that thread. For her apparently every woman is now all women. It's really sad because anne and I used to be good internet friends.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:52 PM
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598:Here's Yvs Smith on the negotiations

The House Republicans are apparently unwilling to risk the wrath of voters for the greater good of the financial services industry.

See the difference, Tim, Walt? Remember FISA? See why we are in Iraq? See why we don't have a left? Barry and Barney and Chris aren't scared of you.

Obama doesn't give a flying fuck what you think, what you need. He has your vote no matter what.

Not fucking mine.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 6:57 PM
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The problem with the Democratic Party is the leadership or politicians. The problem isn't the media.

The problem is the chickenshit submissive-wetting base.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:01 PM
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The unleveraging currently going on has to lead to a decline in housing prices, among other things.

It is all but an article of faith with me that ordinary folks - and even most experts - can't reliably predict markets. But it seems to me to be absolutely necessary that housing prices on the coasts will be lower a year from now than they are today. Inevitable. As a homeowner who isn't willing to sell, how should I be hedging my predicted loss in value?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:17 PM
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So no new posts today, huh?


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:22 PM
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I don't like Bob's performance art at all, and I tell him that almost daily.

Why do Dems and "the Left" get played all the time? Because Dem, liberal, and lefty voters are absolutely sure that they can tell which face is performance art and which is the real one. Happens with Bill Kristol, happens with mcmanus. Always, always, always simply accepting either "more in sorrow" or "in anger" as a sufficient justification.

Hey, but don't worry: I hear McCain's a populist!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:22 PM
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I'll let anyone who wants to see go look for themselves.

I looked. I wish I hadn't.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:24 PM
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You're being silly, Tim. So is Walt.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:25 PM
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Oh my anger over FISA was real. My rage over this trillion-dollar banker bailout is real.

You are the ones "performing" since all your outrage disappears in the voting booth.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:26 PM
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I'm thinking that there's a fundamental problem with the way that Megan frames the question that makes it impossible to answer. She thinks of the money supply as a river that travels from one place to another, when in fact it behaves more like a pool that is more or less full.

When the pool is filled by credit, people buy all kinds of pool toys, and the makers of pool toys prosper. When the bill comes due, the pool drains.

Wow. What a crappy analogy. Among other things, the money supply really is rather like a river, and the velocity of the flow is a key issue.

Never mind.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:27 PM
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You're being silly, Tim. So is Walt.

I'm not the one making excuses for a "lefty" McCain supporter. But keep telling yourself that. Maybe that'll make it come true.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:29 PM
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The Twins and the White Sox are playing right now, contending for the last playoff spot. Good stuff.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:29 PM
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Tim, there are a lot of things you can say about Bob, and I've said many of them (including "Fuck you, Bob" just now) but the Kristol / McManus equivalence doesn't go anywhere.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:34 PM
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why don't the Democrats just pass an actual good bill & dare Bush to veto it/McCain vote against it/the GOP to filibuster? is it that too many have been bought off, that they can't resist the siren technocratic song of Bernanke & Paulson, that they don't want to take any political risks, some combo of the above?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:34 PM
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617: I think that it's partly because the Democratic leadership doesn't control the membership (Blue Dogs), and partlly because the leadership itself is not only timid, but also terribly entangled with finance.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:37 PM
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616: They both claim to be looking out for the interests of "the working class," they both preferred Clinton to Obama, and they both want McCain to win. Hell, they both apparently have lefty intellectual roots and a taste for the language of revolution. I don't know if Kristol has a dog, so there's one for you.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:40 PM
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618 to 615.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:41 PM
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613: Geez, Tim, somehow I don't think McManus is actually supporting McCain.

This thread is too long.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:42 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:44 PM
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As a homeowner who isn't willing to sell, how should I be hedging my predicted loss in value?

It's too late for that. The effective hedge is not to own the thing. Treat like it were stock that is bound to decline in value. Two choices: sell or hang on until it goes back up again.

why don't the Democrats just pass an actual good bill & dare Bush to veto it/McCain vote against it/the GOP to filibuster?

Because to do that, you'd need an actual good bill, and we haven't got one of those. Unfortunately. Additionally, it's Hank & Ben's Excellent Bailout and the point of the entire escapade is to pass a bad bill, so they're not going to have any real interest in a good bill, and would not administer one properly if it did pass.

What is required here is to have the D's recognize what a good bill is, but they're wound up in the idea that Paulson's bill is the right thing to do. They're getting snowed.

max
['Snow blind!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:44 PM
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617:Phonecalls, emails, and letters to Congress are running 99-1 against the bailout, to members of both parties, in an absolutely unprecedented number.

Republicans are scared of their voters.

Democrats laugh at theirs.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:46 PM
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most rednecks closer to proles than are the leftist cafe-bots

ToS gonna get deleted, but this is worth saving.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:48 PM
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You're a moron, Tim.

Bob, Republican voters are psychotic, like the people they elect to Congress. The Republican Congressmen think that the problem here is too much regulation, so they're proposing deregulating.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 7:49 PM
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Geez, Tim, somehow I don't think McManus is actually supporting McCain.

Hey, maybe Kristol isn't either. Give me a break. The guy shiving you is not on your side. People seem to have the same fucking confusion about Brooks.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:00 PM
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622: What is required here is to have the D's recognize what a good bill is, but they're wound up in the idea that Paulson's bill is the right thing to do.

What's up with that? Is it fear of the Paulson-Bernanke scenario? Is it (some of) their investment(s) in these very same financial ventures? Is ... oh, I'm repeating Katherine's question in 616.

But really, it's a little puzzling. I've resisted all along the accusation that Dems are just completely cowed and don't know any longer how to be in charge, as it were, but this is looking really weird. No doubt there's something I don't understand.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:01 PM
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Tim, keep digging. When did you stop being a Republican.

Katherine, Parsimon: it's really up to Obama to say something significant tomorrow. The election doesn't really hang on that, but if he doesn't he'll be inaugurated already wounded. Right now the rabid House Republicans have the initiative, because they don't know and they don't care.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:04 PM
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"The aide did not know whether Gov. Palin would attend Oct. 2's vice presidential debate if Congress, by that point, still hasn't reached a deal."

Um, because she has to do what? Get elected to the Senate and assigned to the Banking Committee between now and next week?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:06 PM
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The guy shiving you is not on your side.

You said it. Obama.

I think it's over, unless the Democrats completely cave, which is a possibility.

35 days before the election, Republicans killed the banker bailout wanted by the Democrats & Bush. The bill, the idea, hated with a passion by the people.

It doesn't matter if the Great Depression starts tomorrow. Memories are short, the media attention span even shorter.

AS GD 2 kicks into gear, the American People will remember that Obama & the Democrats were on the side of the bankers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:10 PM
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The Democrats are not being tricked or cowed by the Republicans. They know what they're doing, and they mean to do it. They answer to Wall St, not Main St. Just like the Republicans.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:10 PM
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To put it better, if Obama doesn't take the initiative from the House Republicans now, we can hardly expect him to be much of a leader as President. He has a bully puppet right now.

And McCain's idea that campaigning should be suspended during emergencies is ludicrous. Candidates should be passive before they take power? Wow?

McCain didn't really believe that, but some people thought he did and were willing to go along with it.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:11 PM
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No doubt there's something I don't understand.

There's something THEY don't understand; what the problem is. They understand there's a big big problem, and if it is ignored it will have major economic consequences, so they're afraid for all the reasons everyone else is afraid.

And Paulson has presented them with a solution and they aren't equipped to understand that it won't do what it says it'll do.

max
['cf. Iraq.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:12 PM
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Wamu goes down .


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:15 PM
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Well, that was quick.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:23 PM
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Maybe Tim was right about Bob. This is the way Republicans resist Wall Street:

We're told at the White House Senator McCain offered an alternative plan that would include fewer regulations and more corporate tax breaks for businesses, kind of a private solution. But we're also told those ideas angered and surprised Democrats like banking chairman Chris Dodd who now says he thinks the White House summit was more of a political stunt for McCain.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:26 PM
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633.2: Max, so the Dems are stupid? I mean ... okay. Yes, I get it. But don't they have access to economists who have assessed this deal? It's got to be more than that. I also resist Mary Catherine's blanket condemnation, though god knows why at this point. Just can't believe it, I guess.

Meanwhile, the attempt to postpone election debates absolutely infuriates me.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:26 PM
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bully pulpet.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:28 PM
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It'll be interesting to see where we end up, but I don't think the Dems have played this all that horribly so far.

The place where I fundamentally disagree with folks here is that I accept the Paulson/Bernanke premise that something pretty major has to be done.

Whatever that thing is, if the government is going to be buying these crazy derivatives, then the government needs to be getting some equity; we need relief for some homeowners; we need significant Congressional oversight; and we probably want executive pay restrictions for corporate participants.

I hope the Dems don't accept a deal without those elements. I still think there's a reasonable chance that my hope will be realized. If Bush/Paulson wants a deal, and the Republicans won't participate, then the Dems are in a position to dictate terms, if they hang tough. I think they might.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:30 PM
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Dick Cheney has a bully puppet.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:32 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:33 PM
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634:Hard to say what's happening there.

JP Morgan Chase not so broke after all?

Or taking on WaMu toxic waste (after taking Bear Stearns) to put even more pressure on the Democrats? Gotta save JPM now. Without the big bailout covering WaMu's waste, JPM looks dead. Bill might pass with just a couple dozen Republican votes. And then the plan will fail.

Yeah, I do buy the conspiracy, from way back before Paulson started pushing the weirdo instruments at GS (and then got out first). Greenspan & Paulson & Bernanke are geniuses, and the payoff, the destruction of the New Deal & Great Society, is worth many trillions.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:33 PM
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This is the kind of situation where Paul Krugman needs to man up and seize power.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:33 PM
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Max, so the Dems are stupid?

They aren't Wall Street people, they aren't economists, they're mostly lawyers and tend to defer to experts. And the two chief government experts on the economy are telling them that something has to be done. Rejecting the testimony of those experts is a high hill to climb for the D's in a very short span of time.

I mean ... okay. Yes, I get it. But don't they have access to economists who have assessed this deal?

They aren't paying attention to them as far as I can tell, and the economists are split over exactly what the deal entails and whether it would work.

Your techonocratic liberal economists are perfectly happy to have the government do something, and are willing to go along with this because it might work and the alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

So you have criss-cross where the ostensible conservative president is supporting the big 'socialist' move, and the glibertarian types are opposing it by reflex, and guess what? The glibertarians are correct this once. A big pill to swallow, eh?

max
['This is really pretty funny if you put aside thoughts of looming horrible disaster.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:36 PM
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643: You know, I was thinking that.

And it's "bully pulpit," John, for cripes sake.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:37 PM
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636:John do you think Joe Six pack is gonna understand that shit? Think an equity stake and oversight are really gonna change the optics? I don't think it is gonna change the outcome, and I believe the bankers will get around most of it.

Yeah, Yeah, Democrats made Bush go to UN in 2002. Big fucking wonkish deal.

Republicans & McCain are just pushing bullshit to either get Democrats to vote for a horrible bill or kill the bill. But they understand the politics.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:39 PM
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644: So you have criss-cross where the ostensible conservative president is supporting the big 'socialist' move, and the glibertarian types are opposing it by reflex, and guess what? The glibertarians are correct this once. A big pill to swallow, eh?

I'd say it is. And sweetheart, sometimes I love ya, for this seems exactly right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:42 PM
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The glibertarians are correct this once.

There is plenty of analysis on the left about liquidity traps that say bankers will just hold on to the cash, and that the gov't has to get the money to Main Street.

Senator Shelby waved the letter signed by 191 economists opposing anything like the bill. Paul Krugman may be among them.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:48 PM
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The White Sox and Twins are tied at the bottom of the eighth. Fantastic game. The Twins were down by five.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:54 PM
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I'm following the game online, but damn I wish I could watch it on the teevee.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:56 PM
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642

Hard to say what's happening there.

The JP Morgan take can be found here (pdf file, via calculated risk).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:58 PM
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Bob, what are you saying? Because the freemarketer demagoguery is effective with Joe Six Pack, we should support it? You're too fucking labile for me.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:58 PM
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Liquidity Trap

Though I guess anyone coulda gone to Wiki themselves if they were interested.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:58 PM
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Now is the time for all future MVPs to come to the aid of their baseball teams.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 8:58 PM
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The motivation of the Republicans is obvious now. The recent settling of each investment bank into some sort of stability lets them buy some time, and turn this into a political issue. The goal is to create a sense of urgency among people in congress who know nothing about economics, which is most of them, and spend a little while making it look like John McCain and maybe a couple other Republicans are standing up bravely against the Bush/Pelosi plutocrat enrichment plan, and then pass the plutocrat bailout thing.

The motivation of the Democrats is unclear, becuase they are not a cohesive entity.

As for whether there actually is a crisis and what might address it, that's an unrelated issue, and that's probably the issue Democrats in Washington are thinking about. Except that most of them don't know anything about economics, and presume the answer is "yes" and "whatever people I trust

This may be exactly the same thing bob mcmanus is saying, I can't tell.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:00 PM
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If I'm not mistaken, that was the letter Tabarrok signed, which was mostly signed by young economists I've never heard of -- probably libertarian types.

I agree with Bob that the Democratic inability to capitalize on this is horrifying. McCain is wide open to attack, but he may pull this out with image moves.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:01 PM
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Amazing game.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:02 PM
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want to do. BUT WHO CAN I TRUST?"


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:02 PM
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The whole presence of another bank failure among all this is not happy. For a day there, I thought this crisis was going to subside back into mere politics, where everyone pretends there is a crisis to further their agenda. But, no really, things are bad.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:04 PM
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Oh, that bank failure happened a while ago, it just wasn't clear who would end up buying them up. Things are being sorted out, don't worry.


Posted by: OPINIONATED REPUBLICAN SPEAKING OFF THE RECORD | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:06 PM
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Bottom of the ninth, score tied, Minnesota up. The winner takes the division lead.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:09 PM
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660 is correct. Everybody said WaMu was going to fail just a few posts ago.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:09 PM
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Actually, I think McCain's strategy is completely incoherent. He's going to come charging in on his white steed of bipartisan consensus because the Nation is in Peril and we must act now now now & then support a ridiculous House GOP plan which isn't going to pass & which Bernanke & Paulson say won't work? But the Dems just writing & passing the bill they want--at a minimum the Dodd plan but even that's probably closer to the initial Paulson proposal than it ought to be as far as both the policy & politics--does not seem to be being seriously considered even as a Plan B if the compromise falls through, & I don't understand why. I guess everyone could be out of their depth policy-wise. I mean, I sure am.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:11 PM
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Here's a 1998 Krugman paper on the liquidity trap & Japan in the 90s

But DeLong & Krugman have been discussing this in the last week or so.

If I'm not mistaken, that was the letter Tabarrok signed, which was mostly signed by young economists I've never heard of -- probably libertarian types.

John, Krugman and Yves Smith and most economists oppose the bill. They opposed a new improved bill a little less. I can fill the page with links.

I don't want to get started on the monetary Keynesians again, but it is hard & horrible for the mainstream to imagine a scenario where monetary or financial policy doesn't work. The concept has implcations.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:16 PM
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(to be fair, I suppsoe it's easier for the House GOP to come up with: "tax cuts for the rich & deregulation!" than it is for the Democrats to come up with an actual coherent policy response that could actually work. But damn, at least they know what they want.)


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:16 PM
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662: The NYT article linked in 634 seems to say that negotiations for their, er, disposal were underway in March.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:19 PM
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David Horowitz would be the devil if he wasn't so pathetic. Saying something nice about David Horowitz should be beyond the pale, the way saying "Hitler had good ideas, he just went too far" is beyond the pale.

There's a reason why Horowitz became a conservative, just like there's a reason so many of the original neoconservatives migrated from the left to the right. Some people just want to be in on the killing, and what they really want to be is on the winning side. I never thought Tim had much of a point about Bobg, but if Bob is suddenly throwing in his lot with the David Horowitz's of the world, then maybe I'm wrong.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:19 PM
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I'd say it is. And sweetheart, sometimes I love ya, for this seems exactly right.

What? You don't love me all the time? Damn. {sniff} Sad, sad, sad.

There is plenty of analysis on the left about liquidity traps that say bankers will just hold on to the cash, and that the gov't has to get the money to Main Street. Senator Shelby waved the letter signed by 191 economists opposing anything like the bill. Paul Krugman may be among them.

Oh, sure. But most of the liberals are technocratic types, and they wanted to do something, so it was awhile before they ingested the plan and decided it wouldn't work/didn't like it. Mark Thoma still seems to be in favor of it. Meanwhile, the right-wing non-street types opposed it reflexively (for the wrong reasons, I think), but that turns out to be the correct decision. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

On the other hand, capital gains tax cuts are just silly.

He's going to come charging in on his white steed of bipartisan consensus because the Nation is in Peril and we must act now now now & then support a ridiculous House GOP plan which isn't going to pass & which Bernanke & Paulson say won't work?

I believe this is very similar to the time that, in his words, "My plane impacted a missle."

This seems to have worked out handily for the rest of us.

max
['So you go and get yourself kilt, O John of McCrazy!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:20 PM
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662

660 is correct. Everybody said WaMu was going to fail just a few posts ago.

Some people were still hoping they could survive. Like this poor guy.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:23 PM
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Outside of Congress liberals opposed the initial Paulson plan just as reflexively as conservatives, as far as I can tell, & without a bunch of idiot counterproposals about how capital gains tax cuts & deregulation would magically fix things. I'm not sure wehy the need to compliment glibertarians.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:24 PM
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664: Bob, I was talking about that particular letter shelby was waving around, as used by the Republicans. Yes, the House Republicans are opposing the bailout. And yes, the bailout should have been opposed. But what they're proposing is deregulation and tax breaks.

Katherine, policywise McCain is probaby incoherent, and his communications with Obama and the public were fraudulent, but politically he might have done the right thing. Atmospherics and drama trump policy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:25 PM
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(to be fair, I suppsoe it's easier for the House GOP to come up with: "tax cuts for the rich & deregulation!" than it is for the Democrats to come up with an actual coherent policy response that could actually work. But damn, at least they know what they want.)

It's finally clear to me. If we had a left party, they would have an equally simple answer: "soak the rich, give the working man some security", and the Democrats would be the technocrats in the middle. But no, all people in this country who would be leftists elsewhere have too much to lose.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:25 PM
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I just checked the sites you recommended to educate myself about the Left, bob. Maybe I didn't look closely enough, but I didn't see anyone say


So David Horowitz was right however many years ago.

or

So 3 hots & a cot, Generalissimo McCain.
Tell me who to kill.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:27 PM
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667: if Bob is suddenly throwing in his lot with the David Horowitz's of the world....

I don't think that he is.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:27 PM
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Twins' winning run at second, bottom of 10th.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:28 PM
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Whoa:

The day began with an agreement that Washington hoped would end the financial crisis that has gripped the nation. It dissolved into a verbal brawl in the Cabinet Room of the White House, warnings from an angry president and pleas from a Treasury secretary who knelt before the House speaker and appealed for her support.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:28 PM
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Twins sweep the Sox 3-0 and are in first place.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:31 PM
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I can't believe they pulled it off. GO TWINKIES!


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:32 PM
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667:WTF have Democrats done for me since 1968, Walt? I mean really, Nafta & Welfare reform? What have they done in the last two years?

So why did Horowitz & Irving Kristol turn on liberals in the late 60s?

I hadn't taken it seriously before this week, but maybe they have a point. If liberals won't protect or defend me (the country, the people) effectively, socialists sure aren't gonna do it.

If I want to eat and not die, I maybe need to swallow some qualms and look to those with guns, money, & lawyers.

How I vote will be decided in the next thirty days.

I no longer trust Democrats to help. I hope I have the luxury of voting my ideals and not survival.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:34 PM
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Bob, no one cares how you vote.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:35 PM
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"Katherine, policywise McCain is probaby incoherent, and his communications with Obama and the public were fraudulent, but politically he might have done the right thing. Atmospherics and drama trump policy."

But unless there are enough blue dogs to actually get the House GOP plan through Congress, which I seriously doubt & which would require the Democratic leadership to be even more incompetent than I think they are, the "I, John McCain, will forge a bipartisan consensus to avert certain doom" atmospherics/drama is obviously and directly contradictory to the "We, the House Republicans, shall oppose this giveaway to the fat cats on Wall Street" atmospherics/drama,. I'm not happy with the Democrats' performance, but it's largely on policy grounds. There's no basis for thinking McCain is handling this well, as far as either policy or politics, other than general doom-mongering. If you're going to dramatically ride in on a white horse to save the day you should probably try to figure out what your position is.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:35 PM
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and pleas from a Treasury secretary who knelt before the House speaker and appealed for her support

Jaysus! Is there a Youtube clip?

I'm not seeing how Bob is throwing in his lot with Horowitz. The way I see it, he's looking at this from a different (and you might say a truly post-partisan) angle.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:37 PM
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674: I think that's less clear after 679.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:38 PM
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McCain's lost your vote, Katherine. What he's doing could work with people who aren't you. The electorate has a short attention span and isn't analytic.

The House Republicans are depending on the Blue Dogs. To date, that's been a good bet. Whether the Democrats can split off Republicans I don't know; the problem is that the Democrats don't have an appealing package.

CN is right that the US needs a left party, but that's not news.

The Twins used seven pitchers in tonight's game. The starter was bombed, but after that the Sox were shut down.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:41 PM
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So how far is the DOW going to drop tomorrow? I'm thinking 450 points or so. Also, probably like a 15% chance of suspended trading. And McCain will get the blame.... thats a pretty rough thing to take into a debate.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:42 PM
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And McCain will get the blame....

We hope. Though, as Bob would say, if Paulson is able to capitalize on that and have his way, that wouldn't be good either.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:44 PM
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683:I am really fucking pissed, Walt.

And I am sincerely scared now about how Obama will handle the depression. I have seen nothing to give me hope, and plenty to scare me.

And then there is the general question about how Democrats have become such craven losers for forty years, even when in power.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:45 PM
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How I vote will be decided in the next thirty days.

Up here, we're organizing a big festival with floats, balloons, live bands and using the third-largest solar-powered digital alarm clock ever made to count down to The McManus Decision. Wide Mouth Mason are coming out of retirement on the cruise ship circuit to headline, and Wayne Brady's going to host. In honour of Unfogged, I'm pre-releasing the name of our surprise guest here and here only: The Nuge! We're expecting about 30,000 people from across Canada, and that's just the police cordon.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:46 PM
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And McCain will get the blame

I doubt it, in the streets or in the media.

The frame has been set.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:47 PM
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(Of course, we may have to cancel all the entertainment if Stephen Harper gets rid of the arts by then. In which case, candlelit vigil and mass sewing circle.)


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:48 PM
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668:Actually, here in Dallas my vote matters not a whit.

But I kinda hope the people reading this might see how Obama is selling their futures to Goldman Sachs. They can look for their own alternatives.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:50 PM
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Sadly, John McCain is the very face of the left today.


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:51 PM
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Hey bob: BOO!

Haha, gotcha.


Posted by: Barney Frank | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:52 PM
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Wide Mouth Mason are coming out of retirement

I'm tired enough that I wanted to interject: Jars! Wide Mouth Mason Jars! oh wait, that's apparently a band name.

676: Whoa

This much is clear, anyway: whatever horrors Paulson has been sharing with Congress, he (and they) are not going to make them public, for fear of causing a panic. And we don't believe them in the absence of these revelations. Crisis of legitimacy, I think this is called.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:54 PM
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Okay, I guess I have to retract 682.2 after reading 679.

Bob, they may have had reason to turn on 60s liberalism, but nothing could excuse the turn they took. I mean, it's not as though they went running into the arms of the truly populist party. They became the standard-bearers of the faux populist party, which has made things a whole lot worse for a lot of people.

That said, the new Obama-Democratic party seems even more corporate and centrist than the too corporate and centrist Democratic party that it's meant to replace. I think they basically don't want the lunchbucket Dems, this became quite clear during the primaries. It's still better than the GOP, but not much better, and not better enough.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:55 PM
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691: I've taken an extensive survey of the lurkers in e-mail, and the verdict is in: "Bob McManus is . . . more . . . enlightening [than watching] Michelle Malkin try to liveblog a terrorist strike." So you're doing something, or something, and that's, well, that's something.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:55 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:55 PM
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Right: "the people are stupid! We are doomed, doomed!" I mean, maybe, but you're not articulating any rational basis for thinking so. I guess I cannot completely rule out the House GOP plan passing, but I don't see Barney Frank & Chris Dodd going for it when Bernanke & Paulson keep publicly saying it won't work, nor do I see Obama going for it, nor do I see Pelosi & Reid siding with John Boehner & John McCain over the relevant committee chairmen & the Democratic presidential nominee. It's entirely possible that we get a really crappy bill policy-wise with cosmetic safeguards because the Democratic leadership is so intent on getting a deal done because the media & Wall Street say they have to, that they don't bother figuring out if it's any good. But as far as the politics--if McCain wanted to pose of the scourge of Wall St. & lead the House GOP in opposition to the Bush bailout, he probably shouldn't have talked about the need to sign a deal NOW to prevent the next depression. If McCain wanted to get the credit for striking a deal, it would probably be better for him if negotiations hadn't seemed to fall to pieces because of Congressional Republican opposition as soon as he showed up. And going forward, he could still conceivably get some political benefit from voting against an unpopular bailout proposal, or from being credited with getting the House GOP to sign on to the bailout, but it is not actually possible for him to do both things at once & he doesn't seem to know which he wants, or to have any idea what he's doing.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:57 PM
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The way I see it, he's looking at this from a different (and you might say a truly post-partisan) angle.

And people wonder how "the left" gets rolled.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 9:59 PM
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There's no basis for thinking McCain is handling this well, as far as either policy or politics, other than general doom-mongering.

{watches McCain} "John of McCrazy, you've torpedoed your own campaign, and then staggered, rumbled and bumbled your way into screwing up your own party's plan for screwing the economy by throwing a lot of free money at bankers. Well-played. You have done your country a service, for once, you pathologically lying, sociopathic old fool, and I salute your successful idiocy. Please to continue with it."

max
['Never hurts to be gracious.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:00 PM
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Bob, in the 1932 Presidential campaign FDR ran on a promise of balancing the budget, and criticized Hoover for deficit spending. History makes politicians as much as politicians make history.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:06 PM
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oh wait, that's apparently a band name.

Oh yes. Here they are singing the song we've adopted as The Obama Theme at McManusFest.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:09 PM
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It's amazing that J. P. Morgan is still a big player 95 years after his death. Maybe Fisk and Gould will show up.

Katherine, everything's up in the air now. Paulson and Bernanke made a big play (presumably with Bush behind them, though he may have been hiding in a closet), and it failed after a short initial honeymoon. Then Bush, the Democrats, and the Senate Republicans made a deal, but that failed when the House Republicans refused to play. McCain hitchhiked on the House Republicans' proposal. That's the state of the game. Nothing has happened, really, except that maybe we've all figured out that while something has to be done, it's not as urgent as Paulson first said.

Anyway, people aren't asking "How coherent is McCain's proposal?" They're asking "What's on the table? Who's got something to offer? Should I just go with McCain and the House Republicans? Should I stick with Bush and the rest of Congress?" That's not especially stupid; ordinary folk know that they're dependent on others' decisions, they just are wondering which others can be trusted.

Anyway, the Democrats' initiative so far is to cut a deal with Bush. That's really depressing. On the other hand, if Obama comes on strong tomorrow, he could take command of the issue. Everything's u for grabs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:11 PM
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Fuck you too, Tim. It's not McManuses that roll the lest, it's Clintons. Quit making a fool of yourself.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:12 PM
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699:Glad to see the scare quotes this time

You want a simple plan? I think this is from Jamie Galbraith, but I might be wrong.

Give the 700 billion to the FDIC, and raise the insurance limits above 100k t0 250k or even much higher. They could come up with a good way to spend that money.

All it ever took was for Democrats to tell Paulson & Bush to just fuck off, and then find their own plan. Krugman, Galbraith, DeLong woulda hitchiked to DC to help.

After the last eight years, you woulda thought they had the nerve. You would have been wrong.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:13 PM
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And people wonder how "the left" gets rolled.

I think a bunch of Democrats just got rolled (FISA, e.g.), but many are still too buzzed on the buzz to realize it. Helluva hangover when they finally sober up.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:17 PM
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701:Who were FDR's advisors?

I think Edge of the American West had the story about Hoover offering FDR a great deal before the election, and FDR telling Hoover to fuck off. Since the deal involved FDR gaining defacto power early in exchange for dropping the New Deal, somehow I think the New Deal may have been discussed during the campaign.

In fact I bet there were a lot of radical ideas floatin around.

What do I get in 2008? Post-partisanship & net tax cuts.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:19 PM
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You know, folks, when Obama rolls out private investment SS carve-outs during the State of the Union...

...because we have to save Wall Street...

sorry ain't gonna hack it. Not that you'll say it, not that you'll really be sorry.

I'm going to bed.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:23 PM
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when Obama rolls out private investment SS carve-outs during the State of the Union...

Wearing a Klan hood! And shitting on your mama!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:24 PM
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709: fuck, I knew it. Time to "walk the dogs".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:25 PM
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706: MC, if you're reading this blog at all, you'll know that people here, anyway, realize full well that Obama isn't entirely our heart's desire, so you can cut it out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:28 PM
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Maybe someone will come forward with my plan tomorrow: Treasury makes the next 18 mos. of payments on every mortgage in default on Sept. 15, 2008. Everyone uses that time to clean up their own messes -- all the while, cash flows are exactly what anyone would've thought they'd be.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:29 PM
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FDR is the father of technocratic liberalism. The New Deal was a technocrat's playground.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:29 PM
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not that you'll really be sorry

DS, could you arrange for this to be printed on big banners all around McManusfest?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:31 PM
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714: We're also making stick-on tattoos for the kids.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:32 PM
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706: Nothing says "Lefty" like McCain-Palin, MC. Keep on keepin' on.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:38 PM
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715: I can do face-painting to accompany. My specialty is lightning bolts.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:39 PM
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My specialty is lightning bolts.

Just the thing!


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:45 PM
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There should be a burning barricades attraction. Pay 2 bucks, get to throw a Molotov cocktail, something like that.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:46 PM
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It would only add to the humor if bob was not only a VP at a small Texas oil services company but was also 38 years old.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:53 PM
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We've got that, except they're Horowitz cocktails.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:53 PM
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719: It's in Canada, Jesus. There's no paying 2 bucks. You can just throw it, provided the appropriate fire safeties are observed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:54 PM
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Wait, the unfoggedtariat hate the White Sox, too? You all suck.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 10:54 PM
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Oh, and shooting galleries. Hit the Obama poster, win a stuffed Krugman doll.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:01 PM
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FDR also flirted with fascism, which is one reason I find Goldberg so very amusing. There is a vague case to be made for some shared ideological heritage between European fascism and American progressivism, but dear Jonah chose not to make it.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:09 PM
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711: 706: MC, if you're reading this blog at all, you'll know that people here, anyway, realize full well that Obama isn't entirely our heart's desire, so you can cut it out.

With the exception of 712 (which is interesting), from 711 on, well, I'm afraid I'm just not seeing it. What I'm seeing is a bit of a grouphate on McManus (nope, no groupthink here, oh no!), with some snark thrown my way for objecting to people not objecting to FISA (which position amounts to a positive, perhaps even an enthusiastic, endorsement of the McCain-Palin ticket in the binary-opposition factory that apparently characterizes SCMT's worldview. If you're not saying A, you must be saying B. Yeah, good thinking, Tim, and why didn't I think of that?).

Is Krugman on the enemy list now? Sorry, I didn't get the memo. It's a long list, and I can't always keep track of the latest additions.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:25 PM
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726: No, Krugman is an ally.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:34 PM
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726: grouphate on McManus

If you object to taking a bit of the piss at the expense of the author of 679 or 708, I hereby pronounce you Officially Humourless. And you know who else hated humour? Nazis, that's who. Nazis. Think about it.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:35 PM
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the binary-opposition factory that apparently characterizes SCMT's worldview.

It is binary. One of two people is going to win the Presidency: McCain or Obama. I'm sorry to crush your hopes, but there it is. Those are your choices. mcmanus has already declared his side a couple of times in this thread.

Is Krugman on the enemy list now?

Krugman thinks the scuttled Dem plan sounds OK, but wants to see the crucial details. You can read him here. Given his hard words for McCain, I don't think he's on mcmanus's side on this one. But, then, his blog's called "Conscience of a Liberal," so where's the surprise?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:48 PM
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grouphate on McManus

One does not choose to spend one's free time going on to blogs expressing your intent to kill their denizens in the service of their political enemies without some tolerance for abuse. The wages of trolldom and all that.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:49 PM
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Long thread. Here is my suggestion for a new front page post to continue hating on bob discussing the desperate attempts of psychopathic insane authoritarian liars to hold onto the White House:

Somebody suggested that McCain's newest gambit will be to run as Howard Beale ("mad as hell, not going to take it"). What famous movie trope do you think will best describe the next phase of McCain's derangement.

a) "No wire hangers debates ... ever"

b) The first rule of fight crazy old man club is that you do not talk about fight crazy old man club."

c) "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up"

d) "I think you're all fucked in the head. We're ten hours seven weeks from the fucking fun park election and you want to bail out. Well I'll tell you something. This is no longer a vacation campaign. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of you're assholes!"

e) "Saigon Washington... shit; I'm still only in Saigon Washington... Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said "yes" to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle. I'm here a week now... waiting for a mission... getting softer; every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie Barry squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter."

f) [insert Big Lebowski scene/quote from JE here.]


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-08 11:56 PM
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some snark thrown my way for objecting to people not objecting to FISA (which position amounts to a positive, perhaps even an enthusiastic, endorsement of the McCain-Palin ticket in the binary-opposition factory that apparently characterizes SCMT's worldview. If you're not saying A, you must be saying B. Yeah, good thinking, Tim, and why didn't I think of that?).

Between the double negative and the integration of the projected binary structure, this phrasing is, purely geometrically, quite beautiful.

In other news, what the hell's wrong with making fun of McManus? The guy's a crazy, paranoid troll, hi?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:13 AM
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Somebody suggested that McCain's newest gambit will be to run as Howard Beale ("mad as hell, not going to take it"). What famous movie trope do you think will best describe the next phase of McCain's derangement.

"John Wayne was a fag."


Posted by: CN | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:20 AM
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732.last: Tweety, he's not always a crazy, paranoid troll, okay? He's been teased here and now because he went off the deep end for a bit. It's annoying.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:30 AM
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One does not choose to spend one's free time going on to blogs expressing your intent to kill their denizens in the service of their political enemies without some tolerance for abuse. The wages of trolldom and all that. ...Note the lack of referent cut-and-paste

I am usually careful to use ambiguous language and wish the exact words would be quoted when
criticized.

IOW, you are lying about what I said. Flat out lying.
Quote and prove otherwise.

Ban my ass, but damn right I am hostile to people who will just make shit up to damage a person's reputation.

Sifu & Tim do it constantly. The "good" guys.

For the record and lurkers, I did not threaten to kill the denizens of Unfogged. Motherfucking lying scum, tho some might be.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:41 AM
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731.e is the best comment I've read all day.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:43 AM
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If I were to say, for instance:

Nah, I am not going to descend to your level. I just cant seem to do it, even in rage.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:44 AM
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Which part is annoying?

a) That Bob went off the deep end -- again?

b) That people are making fun of him for delighting in the prospect of a catastrophic meltdown of civil society?

c) That people are defending a man who has admitted, more than once, that his comments are nothing but performance art?

Also, y'know who else is a terribly misunderstood prophet? Shearer. What some see as trolling is really just thinking outside the box.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:45 AM
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Nor have I ever said I was going to vote for John McCain.

Tim is also a serial liar.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:47 AM
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delighting in the prospect of a catastrophic meltdown of civil society?

Cut & paste, you piece of shit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:48 AM
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The fact that you're careful about stopping short of making explicit death threats may possibly be related to your reputation as a crazy paranoid troll. 564 and 679, for the record.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:56 AM
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738: The annoying part is we appear to have a blog where you take shit over noticing these facts.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:01 AM
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I don't mind being laughed at or criticized, but I will not stand for people lying about what I write. That is not how the blogosphere is supposed to work. Everyone knows the rules.

Find "delighting" ari. Eric pissed me off the same way, just making shit up and claiming I said it. I thought academics knew at least one rule, connected to but not quite about plagiarism. Quote your sources.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:02 AM
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742:Quote it, asshole. How long does it take to cut and paste? Was it a death threat? It was not.

Lying trash, lying again.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:03 AM
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738 was to 734. I really didn't know what parsimon meant. But I've been pretty overtired lately, so I often don't know what's going on.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:06 AM
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And 754 was to 742.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:08 AM
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745:for delighting in the prospect of a catastrophic meltdown of civil society?

That is now on the internet forever, ari.

You should back it up with a quote(s). Maybe you can, I do say crazy things sometimes.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:10 AM
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But with a quote, we could at least argue about whether the words mean what you say they mean.

I am not usually delightful, so I doubt that you will find anything close.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:15 AM
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744: You're going to have to tone down the art a bit. My commitment to rhetorical integrity is running up against my willingness to talk to people who continuously curse me out.

"Tim, I ain't starving to death for fucking Obama's principles.It has always been me or them.
The "them" is negotiable.I would much rather be fighting from the left, but I ain't got no allies, and the centrists & liberals are my worst enemies.So David Horowitz was right however many years ago. Holbo gonna be feeding my machine-gun? You made me laugh."

You are describing here a situation in which you are happy to be employed as a mercenary by a right wing military. Hence, "kill their denizens in the service of their political enemies." Happy now?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:21 AM
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in which you are happy to be employed as a mercenary

I don't think that quote says that. Where does it say I would be employed as a right mercenary? I am just not seeing it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:31 AM
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And Italics are conventional when quoting material, there have been plenty of examples in just the last few comments

This internet stuff is hard for you?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 1:37 AM
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I read that quote exactly the same way as foolishmortal. Is there another reading?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 5:37 AM
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Further to 712, my other suggestion is that Frank and Dodd head for Treasury this morning and propose the following: we'll push the deal we agreed to on Thursday morning through Congress in return for the full throated endorsement by Bush, Paulson, and Gates of Obama for President.

Is the world hanging by a thread or not?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 6:25 AM
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full throated endorsement by Bush, Paulson, and Gates of Obama for President

Careful what you wish for. Even Republicans don't want President 19%'s endorsement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 6:42 AM
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I have to think the GWB saying that JSM is totally unsuited for the presidency would move a net positive number of votes. "He's not a maverick, he's a nutjob."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 6:54 AM
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What would happen in response to that conversation, though, is nothing. No deal. Because the President doesn't think whatever is going to happen to the economy is worse than having someone who thinks his Iraq project is crap take it over.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 6:56 AM
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Sifu & Tim do it constantly. The "good" guys.

Cut & paste, you piece of shit. This internet stuff is hard for you?


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 7:14 AM
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Because the President doesn't think whatever is going to happen to the economy

I do wish there was more discussion of how much speed was required. It really does feel like the run up to the war. You have, once again, people Dems trust--like Krugman--saying that something must be done. Lots of news references requiring that the action be immediate. And then you have the President and his party dicking around for electoral advantage, which (naturally) makes everyone else suspicious that everyone else is getting played again.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 7:31 AM
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Everybody said WaMu was going to fail just a few posts ago.

Right. The question for a week or so now has been: Can Wachovia stay afloat (and indpendent)?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 8:32 AM
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people Dems trust--like Krugman--saying that something must be done

I think you have to let St. Krugman off the hook here. He's been quite clear that there are deals the Dems cannot accept.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 8:33 AM
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The amount of grouphate here for McManus is simply staggering. The man talks about not starving to death for Obama (564), says fascism is coming to America (539), and asks McCain "tell me who to kill" (555). And virtually EVERYONE here thinks he is a delusional moron? You whirly-eyed Obamabots make me sick to my stomach with your groupthink and inability to reason independently. I am going to take a machine gun and pump bullets up your ass* you cultists.

*I bet everyone takes this out of context and slanders me. There might be ONE person on this thread who hasn't drunk the Kool-aid and understands what I truly mean.


Posted by: Barbar | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 8:56 AM
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Oh, I think we all know what "pump bullets up your ass" means, Barbar.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 9:05 AM
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From the NYT article about the WaMu closing, showing once again that we are all in the wrong line of work:

But the seizure and the deal with JPMorgan came as a shock to Washington Mutual's board, which was kept completely in the dark: the company's new chief executive, Alan H. Fishman, was in midair, flying from New York to Seattle at the time the deal was finally brokered, according to people briefed on the situation. Mr. Fishman, who has been on the job for less than three weeks, is eligible for $11.6 million in cash severance and will get to keep his $7.5 million signing bonus, according to an analysis by James F. Reda and Associates. WaMu was not immediately available for comment.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 9:07 AM
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As Yglesias' unnamed friend said, "Obama should suspend his campaign to go punch this guy in the kidney."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 9:19 AM
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So McCain says he'll show up for the debate.

What a surprise.

He couldn't even bluff his Democratic opponent and had to knuckle under. Tell me again why this is the guy that will save us from terrorism?

Oh, and did McCain 'blink?' Hmmm?


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 10:14 AM
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Wait, the unfoggedtariat hate the White Sox, too? You all suck.

Unfoggetarian consciousness is a constant struggle.

Seriously, though, I don't hate the White Sox; I love the Twins. If the Twins don't get into the playoffs, I'll be rooting for a White Sox/Brewers World Series.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 09-26-08 12:36 PM
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