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Late Night: A Poetic Respite

It’s been a long hard slog through this long presidential election cycle. The primaries were exciting. It was so much fun watching Hillary beat the pants off Barack in the debates. But now that Hillary has been banished to the Senate cloakroom or sent out to the territories to try to convince bitter, gun-toting working people to vote for The Anointed One, the election seems interminably dull. Thank goodness it will be over soon.

Tonight, to break the monotony of the campaign, and to soothe those Conflucians whose nerves are frazzled by the precarious state of our financial system, we have a snarky poem by regular commenter John in CA that reviews the what we’ve all been through in the past many months.

Epic Madness: Story of the 2008 Election
by John in CA

Back in time, over two hundred years,
By documents which a nation reveres,
A more perfect union’s foundations were laid
By which we once a Republic were made.

Lest all the power be seized by the one,
A rigorous separation was done,
So that three branches all power would share,
And no man to seize the totality dare.

Our founding fathers, though it’s little discussed,
For popular vote had exiguous trust,
Lest a democracy mob rule denote,
Instead, they ordained the electoral vote.

Securely in history, then, you will trace
This madness of the quadrennial race,
Hardly new were the campaigning or strife,
Only the actors were larger than life.

A senator has clearly established her fame,
When she’s known sufficiently by her first name,
One named Hillary let the gambit begin,
Announcing that she was in it to win.

From Chicago her chief competition emerged,
Whose popularity had recently surged,
With fanfare announced was his candidacy,
Though he spoke from Springfield, no Lincoln was he.

Opposing them, an old warrior with scars,
Who had been tortured for the Stripes and the Stars,
A maverick known to all parties was he,
Though few thought the final triumph he’d see.

The toast of the big town, America’s mayor,
Not long took his candidacy to declare,
He seemed to have vanished some time in the fall,
One wondered if he’d been campaigning at all.

The governor of Massachusetts declared
Himself in the race but unevenly fared,
With much money spent and few primaries won,
He exited promptly– like father, like son.

By custom, Iowa winnowed the field,
A folksy Arkansan the victory sealed,
But when other victories he could not secure,
Naught but his own loss he’d proved to ensure.

The maverick senator prevailed after all,
His party’s standard he’d carry this fall,
The other side still had no nominee,
Barry or Hillary– who would it be?

In caucus and primary, victory they sought,
In epic manner the battles were fought,
When Barry’s soldiers overpowered their foes,
Hillary’s quest was doomed to its last throes.

So Barry emerged on top in the race,
His party’s majority gave him the embrace,
A gun to a knife fight he said he’d bring,
Like Virgil, “of arms and the man” must we sing?

The voters, to whom the definitive voice
By tradition belongs, now establish their choice,
Their country’s fate in the balance now hangs,
Of anguish, patriots groan in their pangs.

The poet, perhaps, but an idler seems,
Of goodness and beauty abstractly he dreams,
And as the heart moved him, so did he relate
The epic campaign of two thousand and eight.

Quadrennial madness now having braved,
Naught but his country’s salvation he craved,
And howbeit seekers of office behaved,
Heaven he prays that the Republic be saved.

Thank you so much for sharing your poem with us, John.

This is an open thread.

Conflucians Say: Would you buy a used car from this man?

Heidi Li has the latest ad from Democrats for Principle before Party up.  And now that I think about it, I do see a certain resemblance:

Naaahhhh, Tricky Dick was a crook, not a used car salesman.  I think Heidi must be thinking of this guy:

His teeth!  Bright light!  Bright Light!!

Heidi could use a little help getting this ad on the air.  You can make a donation to The Denver Group here.

And what else happened today, boys and girls?  Did you read about what Hillary said about the bailout?  Have you called your congresscritter or did the fall in the Dow leave you shaky?  And why are the banks being so greeeedy?  Why isn’t the obscene wealth they already have enough?  Does it have anything to do with drowning in a bathtub?  Check in with Conflucians Say tonight at 10PM EST on PUMA United Radio and we’ll shine a light on it.

The REAL Story of the Financial Crisis: A Play in One Dishonest Act.

(Happy New Year to all you Joooz out there! May it bring health, happiness and the strength to make it through the tough times ahead.)

Trust Me!

Trust Me!

SCENE I: The Oval Office. GEORGE W. BUSH is sitting behind his desk, staring at the ceiling, bored. There are two chairs on either side of his desk; one is a wing chair, and one is a chair that swivels. The back of that chair is facing the audience; light snoring issues forth from it, but we cannot see who occupies it.

BUSH is waiting for HENRY PAULSON, his Secretary of the Treasury, to come in and tell him what to do about the credit crisis. He amuses himself by spinning in circles in his leather executive chair.

A knock is heard at the door.

BUSH: Come in, Paulie! (continues spinning around in his chair)

PAULSON (entering with a smile): Mr. President!

BUSH (stopping the spinning to look at PAULSON): Geez, Paulie, am I glad to see you! (Tries to get up from the chair to shake PAULSON’s hand, staggers and puts his hand on the desk to recover)

PAULSON (indulgently): Now, George, I’ve warned you about spinning in that chair – it always makes you dizzy!

BUSH (petulantly): Then they shouldn’t make it so much fun! (refocusing, gesturing for PAULSON to sit down) Anyway, Paulie, what’s goin’ on in this here economy?

PAULSON (sitting in the wing chair beside BUSH’s desk): Mr. President, we’re in a heckuva mess, I tell you. The credit market is completely frozen. No one will lend businesses money so that they can continue, well, doing business. It’s all because of that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae stuff. They went a little crazy with those subprime mortgages.

Continue reading

Tuesday: Nancy and Barack- Perfect together!

Way to go, Nancy!  Not only have you participated in constructing a bailout bill that Treasury and the companies affected privately admit has no punitive elements they can’t wiggle around and screw the taxpayers, but you have failed to get your ducks in a row to pass it.  And the Republicans have very carefully maneuvered you into a corner: Congresspersons are putting their seats at risk if they vote for this turkey.

But Obama is hardly off the hook.  Last week, just before he was called back to Washington, he decalred that he expected to he back on the campaign trail by Thursday:

“If we get consensus and everybody is popping champagne, then I’ll probably go back to campaign with folks who are having a tough time in Ohio and Michigan,” Mr. Obama said. “If this ends up being a close vote or a vote where the outcome is at all in question, then obviously this is a top priority.”

So, Obama conveeeeeniently skirts another politically expensive vote on the measure, consistent with his habit in the past to avoid them.  BUT, it seems Ok with him to plunk $700 billion in front of Wall Street, presumably so he can scream in outrage against it after the deed is done.  Or does he make it a priority and acting like it is an emergency, he votes for it?  Either way, he behaves like he is completely detached from the whole thing.  Not his problem.  It’s Congress’:

When Obama, the party’s new leader, learned of the plan’s rejection, he spoke about Washington almost as if he weren’t a member of Congress.

“Democrats and Republicans in Washington have a responsibility to make sure that an emergency rescue package is put forward that can at least stop the immediate problems we have so we can begin to plan for the future,” he said.

He didn’t say how he might lead or what role he’d play. “Step up to the plate,” he told Congress. “Get it done.

Neither Pelosi or Obama have shown any gift for leadership in this mess.  Both are very anxious to get this financial bailout out of the way.  They don’t seem to be particularly concerned for the fate of the homeowner tied to a predatory loan and on the verge of losing everything.  They’re not vexxed by the idea that the Treasury will be depleted by this move, that taxpayer money will be given to greedy, incompetant Wall Street executives for not much in return.  It’s all Kabuki to them.  Ehhh, so what if there’s no money left to enact new programs for health care and education.  It’s actually *worse* than that.  Obama still plans on a tax cut for middle class families, like that will ever happen if this deal is ever approved. The US Government will be flat broke. But the obscene amount of money involved in the bailout never gave him pause; it was only the terms, which we now know the companies involved considered no great burden.

No, what we have here is some kind of plan to give Wall Street exactly what it wanted.  Nancy and Barack were in on it.  Neither one of them found the money number so outrageous that they couldn’t resign themselves to forking it over.  Neither one fought very hard for protections for the homeowners or taxpayers.  It was going to be a gift from the Democrats to Wall Street.  And neither seemed very concerned that this bill would be incredibly unpopular or that it would put downticket Democrats at risk of losing their seats.

But what do we expect from these two?  Pelosi created Barack Obama. She threw all her support behind him, gave him her coalitions, helped whip superdelegates and delegates into his corner for the nomination.  She calls the shots, he follows her lead.  He had nothing to say during the summit last week at the White House and couldn’t wait to bolt DC as soon as it was over.  The future leader of the free world is not losing sleep over it.  It’s not his problem.  Nancy will take care of it.

Heidi Li has more in The Pelosi-Obama Style – Not so much the rage at the moment

Money Quote

 

If you think the Big Shitpile is a reason we need to elect Obama, think again: 

OBAMA: Well, I think there are a whole host of areas where Republicans in some cases may have a better idea.

WALLACE: Such as?

OBAMA: Well, on issues of regulation. I think that back in the ’60s and ’70s a lot of the way we regulated industry was top-down command and control, we’re going to tell businesses exactly how to do things.

And you know, I think that the Republican Party and people who thought about the markets came up with the notion that, “You know what? If you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives, for businesses — let them figure out how they’re going to, for example, reduce pollution,” and a cap and trade system, for example is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient. (4-28-08)

Can we have Hillary back now?

(h/t Makana44)

UPDATE:

At a campaign rally Monday, September 29, in Denver, Colorado, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama once again charged his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, with being a supporter of deregulating financial markets that have since collapsed. “He’s fought against common-sense regulations for decades … and he said in a recent interview that he thought deregulation has actually helped grow our economy. Senator, what economy are you talking about?” Obama said.

BTW – Obama lied

House Bailout Does Not Pass GO

To My Reps in Congress:

I do not support the current bailout package for several reasons: 1)
hundreds of economists who reject it are not being listened to; 2) no
judicial review; 3) doesn’t help main street or homeowners; 4) doesn’t put
in place adequate oversight; 5) doesn’t provide jobs to the American
people; 6) doesn’t cut Wall St. compensation packages to greedy CEOs.

I’m not against a bailout, just this one. Is there no other plan? This fear-laden,
panicked rush to save our country is too reminiscent of how we got into
the Iraq war.

Where were Barney Frank et al when everything was melting down over the
last 7 years? Why were the largest Wall St. contributions taken by Dodd,
Obama, and Kerry? Why didn’t Congress heed Bush’s warnings to curb Wall
St. excesses and failings for years?

I’m a lifelong Democrat and ashamed of my Party, especially Pelosi, Reid,
Frank, Dodd, Obama. To blame it all on Bush is a joke. Where were the Dems
who promised to turn things around? Why didn’t Pelosi and all stop the
war, which is how they won in 2006? She’s now pontificating against the
Repubs, and her hypocrisy makes me ill. Where was she? Where was the fight
of the Dems till now?

That’s what I wrote. Did you call or write?

Foreclosures are not considered.

Party                      Yea     Nay      NV

Democratic            140      95

Republican               65    133        1

Totals                      205   228         1

Financial Markets Bill (according to my notes from C-SPAN-TV screen — I didn’t get complete full sentences on every one — I am unable to get into their website right now, it’s jammed.)

  • $700 Billion Intervention plan; a simple majority is needed.
  • Government to purchase up to $700B to buy troubled mortgage.
  • Participating companies must give the government a share in profits.
  • Treasury department must set limits on executive compensation in participating companies.
  • Treasury department must develop plan to encourage mortgage lenders to refinance homes before foreclosure.
  • Creates oversight board to review the plan’s effectiveness.
  • Authorizes insurance program.

Above is Hannity’s September 28, 2008 report. The Dems have their hand way in this, and people aren’t buying it.

An illustrated view of how we got here, h/t to V.

Congress: How about hearing from a panel of esteemed and educated economists, instead of your “leaders” trying to figure it out behind closed doors? Don’t you think they might be able to come up with a better plan? Kucinich didn’t buy it, neither did Ron Paul. Recorded vote is coming up. Here’s the tally.

Now, members are asking what would happen if they were to change their vote, and how long they have to do so. Stay tuned. There seems to be lots of yelling.

How about creating jobs? What about small business owners? What about other businesses and companies? Who bails them out? Get back to work, Congress. Revise. Make the bill better.

If this particular solution passes, will we all own Wall Street and everyone’s home? Welcome to The Commune, folks.

Monday: Misterio

I spent the weekend in PA and interviewed some of the people at the party for my nephew.  It was a good mix of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Not one Obama voter.

Some of them are feeling pressure from co-workers.  My sister says there are several African-American co-workers who say they are taking to the streets if Obama doesn’t win.  Jeez, I wish these people would grow up already.  Did you see Clintonistas rioting when her delegates were brutally suppressed and threatened and she was cheated out of the nomination by Obama and her own party?

Here are some of the comments from the partygoers:

“There’s something about him that just gives me the creeps.”

“Where did he come from?  You don’t just go from state senator in Illinois to presidential candidate in four years.  Somebody is backing him and I want to know who it is.”

“He’s too liberal.”

“He never says anything.  He just says generalities but I can’t pin down what he’s talking about.  I don’t know what he believes.”

“I have no faith in him.”

My spidey sense says that Obama’s biggest problem is that he can’t close the deal with Pennsylvanians because they can’t see past the glamour he projects.  Some of the people in my family got burned badly by Bush- twice.  They are bitten and shy and won’t get fooled again.  Obama has wrapped himself in mystery.  Where did he come from?  Who is behind him?  What does he stand for?  And why is it all so vague and indistinct?  It’s a trust issue.

Overall, there seems to be a great sadness.  Now that they see their choices, even the ones who were previously lukewarm for Clinton really regret that she’s not there.  I was surprised by how strong this feeling was.  They miss her and feel that we have squandered a great opportunity.  It feels depressing.

How will they vote?  There were no Obama voters among the crowd.  Most of them will vote for McCain/Palin.  They were not fooled by the nasty job that the media is playing on Palin.  They think the media is treating her badly, just like Clinton.  In fact, they are on to the media and know that it can’t be trusted.  My cousin’s husband says he flipped between CNN and MSNBC for commentary after the debate and laughed his ass off.  It was obvious that they were rewriting the results.  He finds it very entertaining when he knows the media is trying to con him.  He sees right through it now.

These are not politicos.  These are just regular Joes.  They work average middle class jobs pulling in slightly above average salaries.  State workers, health insurance processors, systems analysts, music teachers.  They come from Central and south west PA.  And they are just as savvy as we are now.  They’ve been educated and they’ve seen it all in the past eight years.  They don’t know why the media is slobbering all over Obama.  They’re just not that into Obama.  In fact, they don’t know quite *what* to make of him but whatever he is, they aren’t buying it.  It’s too mysterious.  They want the devil they know.

John McCain.

John McCain Suppressing Free Speech in Missouri!

Josef Stalin, Obamas Role Model

Josef Stalin, Obama's Role Model

Those Republican ratfuckers. They’re actually using prosecutors and sheriffs in Missouri to “truth squad” any so-called “lying” political advertisements that Barack Obama puts out in that state. Can you believe it? The government clamps down on political advertisements, which are free speech protected by…the government?! What is wrong with these people?

Oh, wait. (adjusts reading glasses) My bad. It’s the Obama for America Party that believes in suppressing free speech.

Now, I sympathize with the Obama campaign’s frustrations. It’s infuriating to be lied about constantly and to not be able to do anything to fight back. I mean, with the backing of the entire Democratic leadership, currently “in power” in Congress; the continual fawning of the corporate media and the Obamasphere; the cooperation of Moveon.org, which gives Obama millions of volunteers to go spread The Word; and the hundreds of millions of dollars to blanket the 57 states with advertising, well…it must be hard to be so powerless!

Here’s an idea, Obama: Suck. It. Up. Or, as Missouri Governor Matt Blunt said,

“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family.Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”

I don’t recall Bill Clinton using his power as President to mobilize sheriffs and prosecutors to crack down on all the pundits and authors and politicians that were constantly lying about him. Do you? Yet Obama is not even the President yet, and he is already abusing his power as the Democratic nominee, and a most frightening and anti-American way.

I have believed for a long time that Obama has Stalinist tendencies, but I have not stated so in writing because I have thought there was not enough evidence to support my gut instinct. But now, the Senator from Illinois is making it clear: Any kind of dissent is unbearable to him.

It is my fervent conviction that Barack Obama must not be allowed to become President of the United States, or he will use the tools Dubya has created (the wiretapping, the cameras, the “free speech zones,” the Patriot Act) to force America to take the final steps into becoming a fascist state.

Update from angienc in comments:

The prosecutors in MO (who are state employees) may be prohibited from obeying Obama’s orders under MO state law. They should be investigated by the bar and sanctioned. They should also be removed from their jobs because as attorneys they should know that what they are doing is unethical and an abuse of their position.

If you would like to join Angie in registering a complaint about these prosecutors, here is the contact info for the MO bar:

The Missouri Bar PO Box 119 Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: 573-635-4128| FAX: 573-635-2811

Barack Obama: Serial Confabulator

Confabulation: con·fab·u·la·tion (kn-fby-lshn) n.
The unconscious filling of gaps in one’s memory by fabrications that one accepts as facts.

–The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary

Remember when Barack Obama gave that speech in Selma, Alabama (I won’t link to the speech on Obama’s website, but you can find it there if you want to read more) and said the following:

What happened in Selma, Alabama and Birmingham also stirred the conscience of the nation. It worried folks in the White House who said, “You know, we’re battling Communism. How are we going to win hearts and minds all across the world? If right here in our own country, John, we’re not observing the ideals set fort in our Constitution, we might be accused of being hypocrites.” So the Kennedy’s decided we’re going to do an air lift. We’re going to go to Africa and start bringing young Africans over to this country and give them scholarships to study so they can learn what a wonderful country America is.

This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don’t tell me I don’t have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don’t tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama.

And remember when right wing bloggers pointed out that the Selma March took place in 1965 and Birmingham in 1963? and the Washington Post explained that Obama’s father came to the U.S. while Eisenhower was President? And remember the story about how Obama’s grandfather liberated Auschwitz?

Well here’s another example of confabulation from the anointed one. You know that stirring speech that Obama gave in October, 2002? The one that never got reported in any of the Chicago newpapers? Well, here’s a video of Obama discussing his superior judgement with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register.

The entire video is fascinating as an example of Obama’s narcissistic personality. His arrogance and self-involvement come through so clearly.

From the transcript:

The speech that I delivered in 2002 wasn’t just me getting up and yelling, “I’m against the war.”

It was a very clear, specific outline of what I anticipated would happen if we went into war and why we shouldn’t do it. And it stands up pretty well … [it] was based on sound judgment….

Some of it was probably also my lawyer’s training.

I watched pretty carefully the presentation made by Colin Powell at the United Nations.

As a lawyer, you’re trained to poke holes in somebody’s case … it didn’t look particularly strong to me.

Wow, that’s pretty impressive. Just one problem: Colin Powell’s speech was in February, 2003. How on earth did Obama see it in 2002? Well, we do know he’s a transformational candidate. Maybe he’s psychic. He apparently does see dead people.

ACORN, Fannie, Freddie, and Frank

On September 25, 2008, in a FOX News interview with Greta Van Susteren, I heard Lindsay Graham say something about his opposition to 20% of the proposed $700 billion financial bailout going to ACORN. I couldn’t believe my ears and tracked down one story at Hot Air, where Ed Morrissey has the video. Apparently, some of Michelle Malkin’s readers were on to it — Yikes! I’m citing conservatives. Hers was only the first story, now updated, as many others who heard also it did a double take.

Please see this June 18, 2008 press release along with a series of documents about ACORN issued by watchdog group, The Consumer Rights League. ACORN has also been linked to voter registration fraud in multiple states.

These documents – which include staff emails and internal organization policies – suggest that ACORN has failed to maintain a proper distinction between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive political activities.

Republicans are bucking Bush and demanding accountability with no earmarks, and Shelby is quoting 200 economists who say nay to the Dem proposal. I feel like I’m going cuckoo as I see Repubs stand up for “the people.” Their constituents are flipping out and telling them not to pass it. Reportedly 70% of the country is giving the Bush/Dem proposed bailout package a thumbs down.

Actually, I feel like I’m having the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to questioning my sexual orientation or gender identity. I never have, but I know that it’s a crisis of choices not to be taken lightly. From what I understand, although coming out is mostly liberating, decisions made in the process can be extremely gut- and life-wrenching. Everything about your placement in the world turns up-side-down, and makes you doubt many assumptions that society and you have known or thought to be true. It can be confusing, which is the situation I find myself in politically.

Once you come out, you can’t go back. I’m told that you can never see things like you did before, or perhaps even remember what it was like. You’re often cut off or divorced from the things, the life, the family, that made you feel secure and comfortable. It’s like cutting a tether. I can relate to that in regards to the Party I had self-identified with my entire life. Even before I could vote, my heart swelled for the soaring hopes for the world as envisioned by Adlai Stevenson and JFK. And now?

I’m having party identity confusion. My crisis is that I’m doubting what the Democrats are actually standing for — not in theory or ideals, but in-action. Where is My Party??? Everything I’ve thought about my Democratic heroes has been turned on its head this year — except for the Clintons, who just keep getting better and better.

I know I’m also way, way over my head on the topic of economics. I’m just attempting to round up what I’m reading, this, an updated Bloomberg report (9/25/08) about IndyMac.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

In the above clip, we can see that Republicans have been warning about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for years, while Barney Frank has been poo-pooing this as scare tactics for years. Is it any surprise he was one of their main apologists this last week? Frank was reported to be one of those yelling during Bushie’s all-parties-to-the-table meetin’ on Thursday. But, all these connections have been going on for years. Larry Johnson has more video of this history in his post, Barack’s Fannie Mae Buddies.

Please read economist dakinikat’s excellent analysis, Back to the Roots of the Problem, here at The Confluence. She concurs that, although we’ve always been on the Democratic side of social programs, this collapse, due to unsound home buying and mortgage policies, falls squarely in their lap.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

And here was Senator Barney Frank in a July 2008 Bloomberg TV interview as he assured us all that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are jes fine, after the failure of Indy Mac:

We got into trouble, because there was not adequate regulation of the mortgage business in particular, and a lot of mortgages that were made that shouldn’t have been made, not originated by banks but it washed over into the banking system.

The one thing that people should be confident about, is that the set of things I talked about, the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Reserve’s rules, we are not going to have any more of this. We’ve have learned now not to do this. . .

The reassurance we can give people is: As we cope with the current problem, don’t think that this is part of an endless series of events. We have learned from this terrible set of mistakes, and we know how to prevent them from recurring. . . . I think that is a confidence inspiring thing for the future.

Senator McCain and the Republicans are still rallying to prevent another blank check without accountability being foisted on US citizens. And Frank is still telling us to write the check. Me to Democratic Party leadership: Trust you? I don’t even know you anymore.

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]