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Thursday: Who could have predicted?

Black Tuesday 1929

Black Tuesday 1929

The stock market took another dive yesterday on news that there was a limit to taxpayer generosity.  From the AP we learn:

The latest selling pressure has been stoked by a run of bad U.S. corporate news over the last week. Grim news from the likes of department store chain Macy’s Inc. and consumer electronics retailer Best Buy Co. weighed on U.S. stocks Wednesday with the Dow Jones industrial average down 4.7 percent at 8,282.66, its third straight loss.

In addition, investors reacted nervously to the announcement from U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson that the original $700 billion financial rescue package won’t be used to purchase troubled assets from banks. The Treasury will instead rely on buying stakes in banks and providing more direct help to consumer debt markets.

“News that a plan to buy troubled mortgage assets has been shelved in favor of tackling problems with non-bank and consumer finance is certainly going to heap yet more concern on the market,” said Matt Buckland, a dealer at CMC Markets.

Well, well, well, the very idea that the government would turn its attention to consumer finance instead of buying up worthless assets of banks has prompted the market to take its dishes and go home.  Oh, I’m sure that Dakinikat will school me on how all these things are interconnected and more complicated that it looks.  But it is how it *looks* that troubles me.  Perception is reality, right?  What I percieve is a bunch of predators who’ve been making out like bandits, literally, holding the rest of us hostage if we don’t help them clean out the last stack of dollars from the bank vault.

What’s even more frustrating is the interview that I’d heard recently of Nancy Pelosi discussing the Paulsen bailout bill.  To paraphrase Nancy, “Oh, sure, it wasn’t the best bill we could have thrown together but we never saw this coming so it caught us by surprise and we didn’t have a whole lot of time to react.”  Really?  Well, of course she expects most Americans to believe that.  They don’t have time to research their news obsessively.  But I seem to recall that the financial meltdown and the mortgage crisis were being discussed for going on a year now and Hillary was worried about the mortgage industry back in March of 2007.  We have it on video.

What the heck was Barack Obama doing prancing around Europe like the Fresh Prince of Berlin back in July when the financial $#%* was about to hit the fan?  If he knew it was coming, and how could he not given the history of the movement conservatives favorite charitable foundation- themselves, why wasn’t he back in the US working on heading this sucker off?

The finance industry we once thought of as solid has bit by bit started to melt down to the point that it is now a soft, shimmering gelatin on the point of liquification.  One senses that it wouldn’t take much for the whole thing to collapse.  Maybe I’m crazy but the problem seems to be exponentially worse than it was only a couple of months ago when we thought it was a serious but fixable problem.  Now, it seems catastrophic, like 9/11, the Iraq War and New Orleans after Katrina.  It’s the Bushie legacy.

Who could have predicted?

In other news:

  • Ryan Lizza atones for his lapse of truth earlier this year when he wrote about Obama’s trail of destruction in Illinois but rewriting the history of the Obama campaign.  Yep, they were perfect.  Nothing they did was wrong.  Hillary was a baddie.  She was mean and aggressive.  I know, I know, why would we want to listen to this crap, right? Well, if you don’t know it’s out there, there’s no way to know that you have to set the record straight.  Listen to the interview that Lizza gave Terry Gross a couple of days ago on Fresh Air.  Compare and contrast with the interview he gave Terry last summer.
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125 Responses

  1. But, but, Obama did ask everyone in October “what’s this crisis all about”? And changed the name of the bailout to “rescue” when they made him push for it! No fair! And wasn’t Lyzza punished enough being kicked out the Europe prancing tour? Can’t he get the right to lie with everyone else now? Is this so wrong? (in Jon Lowitz as Harvey Firestein voice)
    In other news, Catie Couric thinks Palin should keep her head down
    http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/couric-wants-palin-to-keep-her-head-down/

  2. So, the very ones (Paulson et al.) who “never saw this coming” are given free reign with $700 billion to get us out?

    Seems like the blind are leading the blind, and we the people (through our elected officials) are acquiescing.

    Something’s gonna give.

  3. These posts on financial stuff make my head hurt.

  4. Wasn’t Lizza banned from the European prancing/preening tour at the time his New Yorker article came out? You know, the one that accompanied the infamous fist-bumping cover? (I’ve got that baby framed!)

    I suppose it’s all about access to the top now. Pathetic.

  5. Joseph Cannon has a really scary post up this morning from some “expert” who thinks the whole thing is going to come crashing down. It kind of feels that way to me. And I think that was the goal of the Bushies all along. Did they want Obama to win so he would take the blame, or is he part of it too? (Early morning tin-foil hat blogging)

  6. bostonboomer, at 8:04 am Said:

    “Joseph Cannon has a really scary post up this morning from some “expert” who thinks the whole thing is going to come crashing down.”
    ********
    It doesn’t look like anyone really has a clue as to how to help.

  7. Good morning, off topic, but I just heard this nugget on CBS morning news:

    The story that Sarah Palin did not know Africa was a continent was FABRICATED. Yes, some filmmakers apparently created a blogger who was an adviser to McCain and MADE UP THIS STORY AND OTHERS.

    These smarmy F***Kers just say whatever the he*L they feel like. Palin should sue their stoopid butts.

    This makes me so angry. Of course the market shenanigans do not help. What is this country coming to?

  8. Oh and yesterday I went to the bank to check on something and they offered me another gazillion dollars in credit cards. I told them it wasn’t a good idea but they did it anyhow. So yes, the house of CC’s is going to come down SOD.

  9. On NPR this morning I heard suggestions ranging from “tearing up the union contracts” with the automobile industries to replacing the CEOs of all the bailed out corporations. Is the word “regulation” now banned from the MSM?

  10. LS wasn’t good enough, SOD, because Teh Precious is also Teh Cool One (TM) and Sarah Palin is just some dumb beauty queen babymaker from podunkville.

  11. SOD:

    The problem with spending on credit is that long after the fun and enjoyment is over you’re still paying the bill for it.

    There is no painless way out of the mess we are in, and anyone who says otherwise is full of shit.

  12. Someone should call Biden if Credit Cards are such an issue. He has the companies on speed dial.

  13. I also heard this morning the suggestion that consumers need more credit to buy cars and pay for their children’s college education. Their stocks are worth half of what they were a couple of months age, so they should borrow more money. More loans without making sure people are good credit risks? The cycle goes on.

  14. That is eerily logical. : (

  15. Even us old folks are going to be enlisted. According to BO’s president elect website, we will be teaching young children. They’ll probably sent the younger paid teachers to Afghanistan.

  16. SOD

    There is a book about just that which I will be reading – moving towards serfdom.

    Many of us saw this coming several years ago. A thorough analysis was one of the reasons I didn’t buy a house, and stated at my previous place of employment that they could develop a certain product, but it would have a short shelf life because it all was a house of cards which would crash.

    As for Lizza, does he really think people will believe him now?

  17. Well, I am no expert in economics but it seems to me that a bailout loan/infusion of equity to the giant automakers will do nothing but delay the inevitable if, at the end of the day, the sale of new cars is at a complete standstill. Yes, credit is a necessary component of our system but “credit cards” are not the answer. Credit card companies are not limited in how much interest they can charge, when they can raise your interest, etc. A lot of people are not aware of that. Credit card debt is humungous in this country and that other shoe will be falling very soon and it’s going to be a lot harder for the government to reign in the credit card issuers than it was for them to reign in mortgage debt holders. You can thank vice president elect gaffe biden for empowering the credit card industry. There ain’t no such thing as usury in that industry.

  18. I thought I had heard the story about whether Africa is a country or a continent before, in connection with I believe Dan Quayle, who probably didn’t say it either.

  19. ainnj,

    Obama voted for the amendment that would have capped credit card interest rates at 30%. Thanks to him, people could end up paying 100% interest. There are no limits.

  20. IMO, what is happening is that this administration is doing anything to buy time and leave the next (frigging brilliant) administration a pile of absolutely no hope for (any positive) change to “work” with. We are fucked and it’s too late to avoid pain.

  21. I don’t know much about this economic crisis and when I am ignorant about something, I admit it. I am a single mom with one child still in college. I have some savings and will admit I am solid low low low middle class. I guess this means I had better hunker down for the long haul.

  22. Good Morning. Did anyone see this ABC.com headline/

    Michelle Obama’s Star Power Could Focus on Families
    New First Lady: Glamorous Like Jackie, Formidable Like Hillary, Homepsun Like Laura

    Please give me a bucket so I can barf.

  23. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not happy with my tax dollars going to bail out ANYONE/THING. I live within my fairly modest limits, have no credit card except AMEX (which has to be paid every month and don’t own a house (I rent).

    If I’m doing these things, why should I have to pay for people who refuse to live within their own limits, but feel entitle to go into hock, and then have us taxpayers come to the rescue. T’ain’t fair!!!

    -MS

  24. Oops, s/b “entitled.”

    -MS

  25. afrocity- Thank God we have Michelle, I don’t know how America ever survived without her.

  26. What will happen to the economy if the American Consumer becomes the American Conserver ??
    I think we are in for a basic change of perspective , and that will entail a great of instability and re-adjustment to our way of life for a some time.
    How much trouble would the big three be in if they were producing vehicles that were capable of getting 60 to 100 MPG , or if they had been producing those vehicles for some time ??
    To expect the consumer to support an industry that
    completely ignores their needs and trends is ridiculous.
    If they had a product that people wanted / needed they would not be in trouble.

    Totally OT … does Joy Behar remind anyone else of a lost woman , with too much make up on and a bad wig ; sitting at the end of the end of the bar drunkenly crying over her troubles instead of doing something abuot them ; and trying to flirt with and / or go home with any man in the bar ….. anyone from the men who look like Tom Cruise to the ones who look more Larry King

    just thinkin out loud

    as

  27. Then New Yorkers give Bloomberg the right for a 3rd term. He will out a toll on every bridge, charge a nickel for bags.

  28. Throughout history people paid taxes to keep the royalty royal. Here, now, you don’t have to be born into the ruling class to deserve to be kept royal—you just have to have felt arrogant & entitled and acted accordingly.

  29. Gee, who could have predicted? Besides Hillary, John McCain, oh and Barack “allegedly” predicted something but he certainly didn’t feel that strongly about it.

  30. Honora, yet Michelle thinks that America is a mean place. Everyday I wonder how BO and his wife ever got the presidency. America will soon lose status as a superpower. I am not surprised.

  31. The fact that I hear so many people saying that because we elected Le Doofus we’ll regain our standing tells me that his election was pure vanity, not necessity. We don’t mind standing in soup lines as long as everyone thinks we’re awesome while doing it.

  32. Since women have been handed a lot of silly old stereotypes this season, maybe it’s time we hark back to Mammy Yokum of Li’l Abner fame and get out our blunt instruments — our old iron skillets — and assault all of these offenders of the truth, our economy, and our psyche. She didn’t put up with any b__s___!
    A million women with iron skillets…..hmmm….

  33. Always: The High-powered hoses would come out of retirement.

  34. afrocity,

    Do you not aprove of the idea of tolls on the East River bridges? I think it’s a terrific idea. Keep cars out of Manhattan (full disclosure: I work in Manhattan and don’t own a car) and raise money for mass transit.

    I live in Brooklyn and see people taking their cars into Manhattan all the time. It’s disgusting: increases pollution and makes walking in Manhattan that much more burdensome. They are elitists who need to be taken down a peg or two. Let ’em pay for the privilege!

    -MS

  35. They did not want to listen to Hillary describe to us the problems we were about to inherit but instead kept insisting she “get out now” while making fun of her tears, makeup, and pantsuits. Instead it was much more fun to focus on The One who “drove the crowd wild” with his hope and change message which is about as empty as our current Treasury.

    I guess the line from “A Few Good Men” has resonance today. “You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth!” We were content to sit back and allow hollow, feel good messages to permeate our airwaves in order to take part in an “historical” election rather than to take seriously the pragmatism of a candidate who clearly identified what lay ahead.

    We have no one to blame but ourselves as we now are faced with the same morons who got us into this in the first place being the same ones we look to to bail us out. It is not going to happen. Few down there have a grasp beyond the headlines of what is at stake and moreover they have already shown that they themselves area awash in the stench that this has become.

    Looking to Obama to fix the mess is about as dumb as asking congress to lead. Both sides can share equally in taking responsibility for this debacle but to assume that this is likely to change any time soon is feeding on pipedreams.

    But as they say, we are all in this together. Sink or swim, we are stuck with incompetence until the nation reawakes and throws the bums out.

  36. Regency… right. But it looks like we’re going to have to experience the worst before things get better.

  37. afrocity, at 9:23 am Said:

    “Michelle Obama’s Star Power Could Focus on Families
    New First Lady: Glamorous Like Jackie, Formidable Like Hillary, Homepsun Like Laura
    *************

    Is Michelle, The One-Two? Or is it the ‘ol one-two for the American people?”

    Notice “focus on families” Is that a call out to the religious right (Focus on the Family)? Do we really have it all (symbolically that is) now?

  38. I’m a little nervous about Bloomberg going for a third term. Not that NY politics matters to me except where Hillary is concerned. But,

    …and here I am placing tin foil hat firmly on head…

    Nervous about precedent in, say, 8 years when we could concevably have a unanimous proclamation for one Barack Obama, President for Life.

  39. Sarah Palin adressing the Republican Governors Conference live at 10 AM …

    gee Katie, doesnt look as if Sarah is,taking your advice and keeping her head down ….

    But then I heard her say to Larry King that she had some return advice for Katie Couric, but she was going to refrain from saying it ,because she was a professional 😉

  40. Parkslope,

    I lived in Park Slope and Manhattan. My SO took a car through Manhattan because he worked in New Jersey. We are not elites. I worked in Manhattan so I took public transportation. Not everyone who has a car is evil. We moved to a city were we don’t have the shit taxed out of us and are not paying $2600 a month to live in a shoe box.

    We went up a peg by leaving and that is what is happening and soon that city will be filled with elites and the very people who make you cringe. Outside of the taxes and tolls, and utilities, I have $4000 extra in my account per month.

  41. swanspirit, at 9:29 am Said:

    “How much trouble would the big three be in if they were producing vehicles that were capable of getting 60 to 100 MPG, or if they had been producing those vehicles for some time ??”

    ***
    Bingo! What about cars with a low rate of repair as well?

  42. swanspirit- I remember when Bush told us to go out and spend after 911. The problem is that our economy is built on consumption. I think Americans are going to do the right thing and not spend this Christmas. Unfortunately, that will be bad for the economy. I guess we have to reinvent ourselves and we may find that we are happier and healthier when we do.

  43. mlhath,

    i put that tinfoil on a long time ago. Also look for him to get rid of natural born citizen requirement for POTUS.

  44. To give credit where it’s due, Wolfrum at shakesville has been blogging months ago that “Martin Eisenstadt” is a hoax

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=M._Thomas_Eisenstadt&printable=yes

    How many other Palin & McCain smears are hoaxes? All, I;d guess.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/arts/television/13hoax.html?em

  45. purplefinn, on November 13th, 2008 at 9:38 am Said:
    afrocity, at 9:23 am Said:

    “Michelle Obama’s Star Power Could Focus on Families
    New First Lady: Glamorous Like Jackie, Formidable Like Hillary, Homepsun Like Laura
    ***********************************************

    Homespun? LOL? Glam you can buy and get sytlists and she has and I will give her that one. Formidable, well yes she can be, personally I don’t care all that much for her but she seems to me to be made of a lot stronger cloth than her husband. he is a wimp. But HOMESPUN???? Pleasssssseee.
    How on earth do they get homespun? Not sure I even buy it for Laura Bush but maybe they mean quiet and unassuming = homespun for her?

  46. MO isn’t glamorous. RuPaul is glamorous

  47. purplefinn: Unfortunately the unions have to take their lumps in this mess as well. Paying a guy $25.00 hrly as a start for sweeping the floors is another reason why the costs in the auto industry have skyrocketed. The industry refused to heed the warning that producing gas guzzlers would someday come to an end is now paying the piper.

    When they got into the business of producing Humvees for road use was pushing the envelope much too far. The Japanese beat us at our own game and now the US manufacturers ask to be compensated for ridiculous business decisions. The nation cannot bear the burden much longer.

  48. afro,

    Didn’t say everyone who has a car is evil (my SO, with whom I live, has one!). And going from Park Slope to NJ, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that there’s no need to go through Manhattan.

    Happy to hear that you’ve “escaped” from NYC. But, we’re NOT all “elites who make me cringe” ( I too used to live in Manhattan) and I remain happily a New Yorker. To each his or her own, no?

    -MS

  49. myiq2xu, on November 13th, 2008 at 9:46 am Said:
    MO isn’t glamorous. RuPaul is glamorous
    ***************************************

    well, to me “glamourous” is being tall (being on the shorter side myself I envy tall!!). Tall women in long dresses always seem glamourous to me. Being a bit shy of 5’2″ a long dress on me looks kind of frumpy so usually it’s shorter ones for me and short dresses just don’t scream glamour!

  50. What I perceive is a bunch of predators who’ve been making out like bandits, literally, holding the rest of us hostage if we don’t help them clean out the last stack of dollars from the bank vault.

    Why would the same greedy fools who got us into this mess behave any differently now? AIG revealed their demented mindset when they took their indulgent spa vacation right after a massive bail out. Pigs at a trough–as long as they get their parachutes.

    I found out recently, in an alumni magazine, that Ryan Lizza went to my high school. There was a piece in their about his career, and he said he interviewed BO, McCain and Hillary each, several times. His conclusion? “If you asked me who I would want to have a beer with, I guess I’d say Obama or McCain, but Clinton was by far the most knowledgable–they others just didn’t have her chops.” I guess he’s worried about staying on the BO gravy train and on the “inside” with his elitist NYC colleagues now. Truth is dispensable.

  51. I was very suspicious of the timing of the collapse of the economy just one month before the general election, which ended up favoring BO’s “election”. It seems that “they”, the ones that allowed it to happen amonth ago, can’t stop the train’s downhill run as they thought they could.

    Another possibility is that after Jan 20th ’09 they will set up a system that will appear to “rescue” the economy under the BO administration, then the public perception will be that the Baracratic party ‘saved” the country’s economy from total ruin, therefore setting up the stage for the Baracratic party to govern, with all the corruption permeating it, for years to come. Soros wiil own us completely

  52. I am really liking the idea of the American Conserver ( I made that up feel free to pass it on )
    I have HAD to be one for some time . That doesn’t mean I don’t still spend money , I have to be careful about what I do spend to maintain my lifestyle.

    For some of us on the lower end of the middle class spectrum, conserving has become a high art .

    I refer you all to FREECYCLE.ORG
    http://www.freecycle.org/ who says :
    Welcome! The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,627 groups with 6,097,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun!

    and craigslist
    http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites

    Q: What is craigslist?
    A: Local classifieds and forums for more than 550 cities in over 50 countries worldwide – community moderated, and largely free.

    These sites are great fun and money saving and profit if you are not already familiar with those places .

    I have complete faith in the people of this country , to make it thru the next four years of so called leadership , not helping us.

  53. Amazonia, on November 13th, 2008 at 9:50 am Said:
    I was very suspicious of the timing of the collapse of the economy just one month before the general election, which ended up favoring BO’s “election”. It seems that “they”, the ones that allowed it to happen amonth ago, can’t stop the train’s downhill run as they thought they could.
    ***********************************************

    Well, much as I like the conspiracy theory on the economy I don’t buy it. This has been building for a long time. Nothing the feds put in place can rescue the economy. They can spout out FDRism’s until the cows come home, put a bunch of “relief” programs into place, have all sorts of “job corps” but what got our economy out of the woods under FDR was WWII and anyone who thinks otherwise is a dimwit.

  54. Amazonia:

    There won’t be anymore cosmetic fixes. We’re in deep doo doo financially and it’s time to pay the piper.

    And now the Democratic party will be left holding the bag.

  55. Amazonia, on November 13th, 2008 at 9:50 am Said:

    NOT to infer that they won’t try to make it appear that this is working, and not to imply anyone here is a dimwit!! Just want to clear that up.

  56. ainnj:

    I beg to differ, we were already climbing out of the Depression by the time WWII started.

  57. ainnj said:

    “They can spout out FDRism’s until the cows come home, put a bunch of “relief” programs into place, have all sorts of “job corps” but what got our economy out of the woods under FDR was WWII and anyone who thinks otherwise is a dimwit.”

    This is FACT! But that doesn’t mean that FDR’s New Deal wasn’t good for the country for a million OTHER good reasons.

    -MS

  58. I hope bo and mo like having made history . I hope the media is happy they helped .
    I hope everyone who voted for bo is happy they did so .
    I hope history keeps them warm and well fed this winter ; because I have a feeling history is cold comfort for chilly homes , empty bellies and emptier pockets .

  59. Native Park Sloper here. Loved the place when I lived there and miss it now. Park Slope voter- I was visiting awhile ago and of course went to see the old homestead. Really sorry to see the Obama sign in the window of my old house. 😦 The place really has gone to hell. 😉

  60. The story that Sarah Palin did not know Africa was a continent was FABRICATED. Yes, some filmmakers apparently created a blogger who was an adviser to McCain and MADE UP THIS STORY AND OTHERS.

    That makes me so &#$@%**! angry. Not just because it was done, but more importantly, the networks immediately started blaring it for days, of course without ANY fact-checking or balance. I really need to go off the grid. This stuff is going to make me nuts.

  61. It makes you wonder just how great these prestigious business are if these sorry excuses for “captains of finance” are any indication. Charging the rates they do at these colleges and universities one would expect a little more than what these knaves have produced by way of business decisions and financial models.

    I have more faith in the guy fixing my car to at least keep it running until I get around the corner than I do in those geniuses who spend a fortune on education who led us to this collapse.

    Either the price of a good college education is just that, the price, or they are turning out some very dimwitted yokels to preside over this economy.

  62. Also, a war wouldn’t help us this time around. We don’t have the manufacturing base or the soldiers for it. Or the public stomach for one–not even St. Obama could rally the masses to support yet another war (although the idea of those whining Obots being drafted gives me a delicious tingle up my leg).

  63. The sharp folks don’t want anything to do with this disaster. The dimwits are all that’s left.

  64. According to the NYT Obama has the most invasive questionnaire of any president-elect to choose members of his admin. Is this is surprise? But I am willing to bet it’s to have a hold over them, not to be more honest in the process. He is deep into this financial crisis if you ask me, but as a manipulator. Big money backs him.

  65. honora,

    I remember you writing here that you were from Park Slope, but left (in the 70s, I think?) and went to Baltimore?

    Yes, there are lots of Oblahblah signs in the windows of my neighborhood, but please don’t think that it’s “gone to hell.” It’s still a rather nice place to live (guess I had to say that!).

  66. fif ,
    I honeslty do not think they cared , and that they may have even known it was false.
    It was good press, they publish a one line ” oops we did it again ” apologise after the election but the damage was done and the effect they wanted was realised. They savaged her because they KNEW what a threat she was .

  67. Fif, the hoaxers are Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin. They should be named and shamed far and wide.
    They are also teh ones who claimed that Joe the Plumber is related to Charles Keating.
    It’s all fun to them to tear down the reputations of decent people.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/13/arts/television/13hoax.html?em

  68. DancingOpossum, on November 13th, 2008 at 10:04 am Said:
    Also, a war wouldn’t help us this time around.
    ******************************************************

    Nope, we are in two right now so obviously war won’t get us out of this economic crisis. I believe it is going to be much worse than the depression, economically we have a much greater distance to fall this time around, nationallyl and globally.

  69. The political fantasy spinners and the media are killing the goose that laid the golden egg, not to mention crying “wolf,” so when we really need them in a great calamity, we will not believe anything they say.

  70. so could msnbc dump schuster permanently now? How many more women does he need to insult and smear with his derogatory comments? He is a pig.

    Note however no one is retracting the story itself that was supposedly leaked to fox news about africa/palin, they are just retracting that they know the source….pigs abound.

  71. Pat Johnson, at 9:47 am Said:

    purplefinn: Unfortunately the unions have to take their lumps in this mess as well. Paying a guy $25.00 hrly as a start for sweeping the floors is another reason why the costs in the auto industry have skyrocketed.

    **********

    Yes, Pat, we need change from unions too. Yet I fear their demise before (if ever) we get reasonable salaries and bonuses at the top. The unions aren’t responsible for not improving our cars. The oil companies have some responsibility here too.

  72. I’m waiting for this foreign policy crew to “atone” for what they pulled pre-election and what they will do in the future

    We have Ziggy, Maddy and a host of others along to try to push O along…with Zakaria as the host….

    “Project Foreign Policy—Style!” Introducing This Season’s Newest Look–Obama’s Magic Foreign Policy Shoes!

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2008/11/13/gorby-putin-and-the-obama-foreign-policy-team/

  73. Park slope sure, and my income is happy to remain in my pocket. My SO went through Manhattan because he would have taken 20 extra miles not to. He also went that way to check on his grandmother who who lived in Morningside Heights. My SO had to haul equipment. Many who use cars/trucks traveling from Brooklyn are blue collar or engineers who travel to Manhattan to fix things. That means prices will be raised for services. Either way everyone pays.

    Park slope has been hailed as being completely elitist/stroller city. The upper west side of Brooklyn. I don’t like anyone who attaches labels. I don’t think you are an elitist so please don’t attach that label to anyone who drives a car into Manhattan. You do not know what a person’s situation is, why they have a car, or what they need it for. Yet you want to take the elitist down a peg or two? That vehicle may be their Joe the plumber livelihood.

    I am proud no matter where I live. New York, Texas, Boston, Germany, Ireland, Chicago. I am pleased with all of my geographical adventures. I even embrace my southern stint. I like to experience America from all points of view. Not that you are guilty of this but I I found that many New Yorkers based their opinions of southerners and “Middle America” on unfounded stereotypes without having traveled outside of the East Coast.

    Persistent stereotypes such as this is what leads to the inability to see or understand a person like Sarah Palin. “She shoots caribou. What an evil woman!!! blah, blah”

    “You live in New York City what a Magnolia Bakery cupcake eating, metrocard carrying, Century 21 shopping elitist. Blah Blah blah”

    The labels need to end.

  74. funny, the honeymoon period is going to be over for obama before he is even sworn in as POTUS. That must be a record.

  75. The irony is that publishers are chasing Bush to write his memoirs when he leaves the WH. Give me a break! If he writes as well as he speaks this should be one mangled read.

    Well, at least one of us can be assured of raking in the big bucks while the rest of us scramble to stay afloat. A most undeserving tribute to a mean little man. Take a close look at the guy who won office because of “God’s will” and ask yourself what God was thinking!

  76. ainnj,

    You’re right! Even W was not this well-hated. I guess he wasn’t as thoroughly vetted as O…

    -MS

  77. IMO, the best bailout for the auto-industry would be universal health care. That’s one of their biggest expenses right there.

    Good for small businesses too.

  78. My conservative cousin with whom I’ve found much more in common this election cycle (he does have CDS, however) sent me this. I agree with most of White’s list:

    http://www.amarillo.com/stories/102108/opi_opin3.shtml

    Web-posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008
    Column – Norma White: You want change? Try these ideas

    [the first three:]

    # Limit Congress from serving more than two terms. That is all that presidents are allowed.

    # Stop Congress from voting for their own raises. How did that ever get started?

    # Stop paying for lawmakers’ high-priced insurance premiums. After all, they are only part-time employees. They might pass some law changes on the insurance companies, if they had to find one.

  79. PSvoter- The going to hell comment was only about the Obama signs. I know the place is still great, I have lots of family still there and as I said I still miss it.

  80. Pat Johnson, at 10:15 am Said:

    🙂

  81. Just a reminder that 2000 was also a “historical” year in that we elected the son of a living president, only the second time in history going back to the Adams family. “Historical” elections are being pushed at the expense of the nation so that those urging the narrative along have something to write about.

    Judging from both W and O, experience, qualifications, and ability have no place in moving the pieces across the board of history. Legacy and color trump the common good.

    Watch for Jindal to be pushed through as he too comes with an exotic bio. Though I admit to knowing little about him, the few things I have read raise a few doubts. However, don’t let that interrupt the fiction bound to be woven through his life story. We always search for another celeb candidate to elevate. Some things never change.

  82. Hey, Pat,

    The “addams family?” Cute!

    -MS

  83. ParkSlopeVoter: John Adams and John Quincy Adams, father and son.

  84. Pat,

    I knew that! Just noting how you expressed it…

    -MS

  85. ParkSlopeVoter: LOL

  86. Afrocity:

    You write intelligently. I like your posts, and agree with you pretty regularly. The fact that your tinfoil hat may resemble mine, while flattering, is also a little bit scary.

    :scared:

  87. I just put the tv on. It is a constant barrage of either Obama blowing his nose or Sarah Palin all over the place. Enough! Is there nothing of substance going on in this world than that we devote ourselves exclusively to these two nonstop? I feel like they have taken the place of the “missing blond” stories they cover ad infinitum between election years.

    Sarah may be a very nice lady but is appearing on every program night after night going to ease the credit crunch? How many times must I hear her explain the clothing allowance? As for Obama, they even announced that he has nothing on his schedule today. This is what the “news” had been reduced to. A constant stream of “nothing”. World events have all but disappeared in favor of who said what to whom and a panel of second guessing talking heads who said the same thing yesterday, today, and more than likely tomorrow.

  88. I crossposted this yesterday at pumapac.

    The reason that the Big 3 are in this position is because of both management and union. Both wanted excesses and they got them. They were demanded by the union and given by the corporations because 1. there was no competition and they could recoup by upping the price of a car, and 2. it was easier to say yes than take a stand. And when the unions got something, the rest of the companies began to slowly bleed to catch up. Now they are saddled with billions in legacy costs.

    I have never thought it was the job of any company to take care of its’ employees every need from cradle to grave. Pay for college for your kids, pay for all adoption costs if you want to adopt, pay for your own college education. Not to mention 100% healthcare and pension. The unions succeeded in taking virtually any family responsibility away from the families and giving it to the Company.

    Kid in trouble? We’ll find a place for him and pay for it. Don’t worry.

    Now we want to substitute the Big 3 subsidising the family by having the government do it.

    Where is individual responsibility? I am in the automotive industry. I have closed plants and layed off people. I negotiate with the unions all over the country, mostly UAW. That is my job. I have had union reps tell me they would rather see their plant close than negotiate a lower wage. Or give back benefits, or do anything to help us survive. “I’ll ride the pony till it dies”.

    I’m torn, because my own job is in jeopardy. But at the end of the day it is GREED that has caused us to be where we are. And the unwillingness of the unions to understand, even as we speak, what needs to be done to survive.

  89. SOD: Read your post from yesterday. Excellent!

  90. Thanks mlhath, I like you too

    Tinfoil is the new black.

    Can I be taken out of moderation?

  91. Not that we didn’t know this, but CBS exit polls show that Hillary would have beaten McCain by an even wider margin.

    As voters left the polls on Election Day, many were asked how they would have voted if the election match-up were between Hillary Clinton and John McCain rather than Barack Obama and McCain. 52 percent said they would have backed the former Democratic candidate; 41 percent would have voted for McCain, wider than Obama’s 7-point margin over McCain.

  92. votermom: couldn’t Palin sue for slander? Or sue the networks? Of course she wouldn’t, but sometimes the celebrities do sue tabloids, like the Enquirer, when it is something particularly offensive and damaging. There need to be consequences somewhere, sometime.

  93. SOD said:

    “Plus pensions have become albatrosses around their necks with volatile markets. Early actuaries never contemplated the lifespans we’d be dealing with today as employees retire, and new ones arrive, both must have their pensions funded prospectively if DB plans.”

    I am a pension actuary/consultant (NOT enrolled). Changes have been made recently to ensure that pensions are fully funded (the Pension Protection Act of 2006). For this, and for many other reasons, there has been a decline in the amount of defined benefit plans; fewer are started and many are terminating.

    This is evidenced by the fact that many employers are instead going with 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. In my opinion, this is NOT a good sign…

    -MS

  94. mlhath, have the people at the top received fair cutbacks do you think? Pay commensurate with the profitablility of the company?

    I’m not disagreeing with the need for unions to realize that they need to give. I think leadership from the top comes first.

  95. Fif, I don’t know. I wish she would.

  96. Fif: Hey, isn’t that what a landslide look like?

    Anyway, gotta go to class. Later, peeps.

  97. GM doesn’t want to get out of trouble – they are planning to roll out a new Hummer this year – a Hummer – talk about idiotic moves – haven’t they seen the price of gas? Do they really think the public is dumb enough to buy those things today?

    I agree the leadership should be fired and the new management team should have their feet held to the fire to insure that they are realistic in their planning and design.

    Posted on an earlier thread:

    Well, here we are in 1984 family members and friends turning on each other. If they (bots) simply leverage the crumbling relationships, they can control the world. Who needs Nostradamus when we can just read Orwell’s novel and see the future.

    Scary stuff! 👿

  98. Anyone else having trouble getting to other blogs (servers down)?

  99. Pssst. Want to see the list of Republicans that righty bloggers really hate?

    (was that too campy?)

    http://patriotroom.com/right-wing-bloggers-top-25-least-liked-people-on-the-right/

  100. Bummer – Hillbuzz seems to have gone out of business

  101. myiq2xu, are you planning to continue with your analysis of Newsweek’s analysis of how Obama was brought to us?

  102. Purplefin:

    I know that thousands of salaried employees at the Big 3 have been laid off, which benefits reduced, as have their hourly workforce, if you are a new employee. However, seniority employees have an average loaded labor rate of over $70 per hour. That means if they are making $28 an hour, when you add in the cost of all benefits, it goes to about $75.

    Contrast that with non-unionized competition and their loaded labor rate is $ 15-$20. Labor is only about 20% of the cost, but it is still significant at that level.

    As for my own company, we have lost hundreds of salaried employees. Many US facilities closed permanently. Where I am sitting as I write this will be phased out in 2009, and I will, at least so far, be allowed to work from home. So after 30 years in the automotive industry, advanced degree, this time next year I will be sitting in my closet, in my home (cuz that’s where my computer is) working for the next few years until I can retire. And I will consider myself lucky to be there.

    Oh, and wage freeze, no bonuses, reduced 401k.

    And one thought on bonuses, while we hear about billions being held for bonusus, which sounds crazy, in some companies, like mine, your actual salary is paid on a reduced basis assuming some kind of performance bonus will kick in and pay out at market value. When the bonus does not, it is a double hit.

    It is the equivalent in some areas of working below the minimum wage for that profession.

  103. ~”New First Lady: Glamorous Like Jackie, Formidable Like Hillary, Homepsun Like Laura~”

    Can’t resist!

    Jackie Kennedy was the most popular first lady ever, and not just for her glamor! She worked before her marriage to JFK and she was an intelligent, well educated woman who spoke several languages and was so admired throughout the world that she buried the “ugly American” image of the USA in the 50s. She did more in her thousand days for We the People as First Lady than Michelle Obama has done in her lifetime. She made her job more than just being a hostess and worked to archive the White House to preserve OUR heritage. Top that, Michelle!

    And they seemed to mix up the definition of “formidable” with “angry narcissus”. I doubt there are many women on the planet less like Senator Clinton than Michelle Obama. Clinton is more intelligent, more caring, and has a happier more pleasant disposition which makes people like her. I shudder every time I see the Michelle snarl; she doesn’t like me (sight unseen) and I certainly don’t trust her.

    As for Mrs. Bush, call her “homespun” but she’s just doesn’t participate beyond being a hostess, sort of like the corporate wife whose job is being the perfect hostess and I’ve seen nothing from Michell Obama to compare hosting qualities. And frankly, I just don’t give a dam_ what kind of hostess Michelle Obama is.

  104. bostonboomer: “Did they want Obama to win so he would take the blame, or is he part of it too? ”

    That’s a very good question. Today, I’m thinking that they set Obama up to take the fall. That was my initial take back in January. However, I reserve the right to change my mind tomorrow.

  105. mlhath, thanks for responding. I’m glad you will have a job until retirement also.

    So you are saying that the automotive industry is different from many other industries that have paid big bonuses despite a lack of profitability? Or is market value the basis rather than profitability? You can see that I haven’t studied this. I am simply skeptical.

  106. “Did they want Obama to win so he would take the blame, or is he part of it too? ”
    I think BO was picked to placate and pacify teh masses while the looting continues.

  107. votermon,

    I remain unplacated and unpacified (does that mean I’m not part of the masses?).

    -MS

  108. Hey I am alone upstairs in a new post with myiq.

  109. PSV, it means you’ll be heading out to the camps!
    😛

  110. votermom,

    Yay??? (summer camp?).

    -MS

  111. I posted on this subject yesterday (or the day before– I work) and promptly got a lecture via email on how I don’t understand the complex financial undertaking of the great American Northeast (yep– that’s what it said). Anyway, I give a shit whether or not I understand bosons and particle spin and charm and flavor 100%– I do understand atomic bombs will kill me. I may not “get” the AIG bailout but, along with a few other taxpayers, I’m incensed when they blow their assets then my tax dollars on massages and resorts. I don’t have to understand it all to know it is wrong.

    Remember the FRENCH Revolution.

  112. churl,

    OH, but YESSSS!!!!

    -MS

  113. I think Laura Bush was a better FIRST LADY that her husband was a president ……..

    mo is no lady ….

  114. votermom 10.15 . .bingo!!!

  115. I think the big three need to go into bankruptcy court and have their obligations restructured … i don’t feel like i need to bail out their bad decisions

  116. votermom, on November 13th, 2008 at 10:06 am Said:

    Fif, the hoaxers are Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin. They should be named and shamed far and wide.
    They are also teh ones who claimed that Joe the Plumber is related to Charles Keating.
    It’s all fun to them to tear down the reputations of decent people.

    ******
    Yes, but it’s worse that MSNBC, LA Times, New Republic, Huffpoo, etc wanted to believe this BS and influence millions to believe too in order to fit their narrative – which simply was Republicans bad, Democrats good; Obama good, everyone Bad; Women Stupid, Men Smart.

    There should be a new class in Communications dept in colleges across the nation:

    Journalism is Dead 101.

  117. I know the economy is a major issue of the day, but the world news is not too comforting. North Korea announced yesterday it was closing its border with South Korea and denied an accounting of certain nuclear material .Violence is ratcheting up in Irag and Afghanistan. Obama’s testing is about ready to become a reality. With all these “balls” in the air, I don’t believe the “hope and change” rhetoric is going to work well.My goodness, I sure wish we had Hillary or McCain.

  118. epicurious, on November 13th, 2008 at 11:47 am Said:

    There should be a new class in Communications dept in colleges across the nation:

    Journalism is Dead 101.
    *********

    Yes, and the PUMAsphere will be cited repeatedly as sources for the most cogent (and colorful) analysis of this death.

  119. Joanelle, on November 13th, 2008 at 10:50 am Said:
    GM doesn’t want to get out of trouble – they are planning to roll out a new Hummer this year – a Hummer – talk about idiotic moves – haven’t they seen the price of gas? Do they really think the public is dumb enough to buy those things today?
    ==========================================
    Did you know the Obama got pork for an ethanol Hummer in Illinois? Ethanol and Hummer…. the worst in energy policy and the worst in auto policy there is.

  120. “Let us build our case with actions, not just with words,” Ms. Palin said. ***

    Now there’s an idea!

  121. RD & Co.

    Last night, I was wandering around in the web and just sort of putting two and two together, With this whole collapse of the system, the money, the rush for people who are buying guns and so forth. The whole thing is who did it?

    I used to have this friend from Louisiana who always kept these big sacks of brown rice on hand which made me laugh — but shoot, then I was thinking about RD’s basement. I mean like what if the whole thing folds?

    If the “grid” collapses what will be valuable is people who can have farms — nothing else will be.

    This whole thing creeps me out. The idea of “lawlessness” — the thing is — if the whole thing collapses money will be worth nothing. Even the very rich will be in the same boat as everyone else.

    If you think about Germany, and those wheelbarrows full of marks that it took to buy even a loaf of bread. I know one thing.
    Where is Hillary and where is McC.

    It’s like we can “feel” it — in the air? Like an earthquake rolling through the whole system — but then there will be the ripples that move through it. The place I was reading last night said to stock up because there were going to be marauders—- well?

    miq2xu’s Zombie pix remind me of that! OMG.

    But mostly — WHO DID THIS? To us?
    Nothing of this magnitude has ever happened. It’s like the generation of ENRON people bankrupted it — our present government included.

    Time to get some land, you guys. Like Mountain Sage!
    Seriously.

    It’s feeling like Mad Max beyond Thunderdome crossed with Soylent Green crossed with a Leni Reifenshal movie filled with obots marching under a logo while Madison avenue burns.

    hugs.

    Geez. I want a basement!

  122. Even some of us ‘dodes’ sitting in our living rooms knew this was coming. We changed what were doing over the last 3 years. Got out of stocks and in CDs.

    Is anyone watching the hearing on c-span? Dodd said to get over the myth that consumer protection blunts economic growth. It’s obvious they go hand in hand.

    I don’t think B of A, JP Morgan, and Wells Fargo agree…. they want NO prohibitions on their ability to use taxpayer money to invest in the purchase of other banks. (they also don’t want limits on dividend payouts)

    Refusing to put caps on compensation say you are continuing capitalization at risk. Gee, duh.

    Dodd says everyone has to pitch in, including the investor. Can’t stand Dodd but it is sad he must say the obvious.

  123. Late reply-sorry.

    Ryan must now join the rest of the MSM in kissing the Obama ass and performing public fellatio on Obie. What he and the other “journalists” don’t realize is that as they do this they lose more and more credibility…at least in my eyes.

  124. vbonnaire, on November 13th, 2008 at 12:12 pm Said:

    RD & Co.

    Last night, I was wandering around in the web and just sort of putting two and two together, With this whole collapse of the system, the money, the rush for people who are buying guns and so forth. The whole thing is who did it?

    I used to have this friend from Louisiana who always kept these big sacks of brown rice on hand which made me laugh — but shoot, then I was thinking about RD’s basement. I mean like what if the whole thing folds?

    If the “grid” collapses what will be valuable is people who can have farms — nothing else will be.

    Find the nearest Mormons and then raid their 1 year food supplies they keep in the house. Heck, they might have those stashes up to 2 years now!

  125. “many employers are instead going with 401(k) and other defined contribution plans. In my opinion, this is NOT a good sign…”

    ParkSlopeVoter, I work for a company that has pensions…but we just found our our pensions are being “frozen.” I’ve only been there a few years so I guess that means I’m going to get a pittance at retirement, is that right?

    To compensate for this they have “enhanced” our 401K program by matching dollar for dollar up to a certain (small) percentage as well as adding a 5%-of-salary “gift” into everyone’s 401K, even people who don’t contribute to it. That’s nice but it’s not nearly as good as a solid pension would have been. And I’m already stretching as hard as I can to put as much as possible into my 401K, losing the additional cushion really, really bites. I don’t feel good at all this week.

    At least I still have a job, that I like. Just venting. Bleggh.

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