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A few days ago the Idiot Decider ‘decided’ that the economy was, well, “uncertain”:

It is uncertain, there’s no question about it. Wall Street got drunk, it got drunk, (it’s one of the reasons I asked you to turn off your TV cameras.) It got drunk and now it’s got a hangover. The question is how long will it sober up, and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments.

Bush at Pete Olson’s fundraiser, July 18th 2008

But who was mostly responsible for letting this fandango of ‘fancy financial instruments’ go into a wild frenzy?

Who else, but the Maestro, the Mr Magoo of Central Bankers? (“Bubble? I can’t see any bubble”). None other than the long time Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, a man who once famously assured the anxious souls in Washington that there was no need to worry, derivatives were just spreading the risk globally. This was, assured the Maestro, a good thing.

Working to a grand design, to give the US continual dominance in world markets by serving the interest of the “Money Trust” (the cabal of bankers who own the Federal Reserve), perhaps nobody had more influence on what is happening today in world markets, and for a concise summary, let’s see what F. William Engdahl wrote in January this year:

This is the true significance of the crisis today unfolding in US and global capital markets. Greenspan’s 18 year tenure can be described as rolling the financial markets from successive crises into ever larger ones, to accomplish the over-riding objectives of the Money Trust guiding the Greenspan agenda. Unanswered at this juncture is whether Greenspan’s securitization revolution was a “bridge too far,” spelling the end of the dollar and of dollar financial institutions’ global dominance for decades or more to come.

Greenspan’s adamant rejection of every attempt by Congress to impose some minimal regulation on OTC derivatives trading between banks; on margin requirements on buying stock on borrowed money; his repeated support for securitization of sub-prime low quality high-risk mortgage lending; his relentless decade-long push to weaken and finally repeal Glass-Steagall restrictions on banks owning investment banks and insurance companies; his support for the Bush radical tax cuts which exploded federal deficits after 2001; his support for the privatization of the Social Security Trust Fund in order to funnel those trillions of dollars cash flow into his cronies in Wall Street finance—all this was a well-planned execution of what some today call the securitization revolution, the creation of a world of New Finance where risk would be detached from banks and spread across the globe to the point no one could identify where real risk lay.

Ironic, when you consider that the Idiot Decider now thinks all these ‘fancy financial instruments’ may have something to do with the catastrophic state of their financial and credit markets, isn’t it?

Not only was Alan Greenspan allowing the pumping of Agent Orange by all and sundry, dispersing it far and wide with no checks on its usage, he was all the while singing its praises, even in the face of many who expressed their well founded concerns to him. Some years later, there are scorched earth losses hitting the US banks and investment houses and a lot of very sick borrowers who are pretty sure where they contracted their diseases. (Not to mention investors worldwide who are taking a severe haircut on vast tranches of this toxic subprime muck and anything else which has the label US mortgage in the fine print.)

Today, another 8,000 US householders got foreclosure notices. Yesterday there were 8,000 and tomorrow 8,000, and the day after that another lot. Pretty soon that adds up to millions and the cost to families and entire neighbourhoods is immeasurable. It’s estimated the final tally will be around 6.5 million foreclosures, but if this market really collapses, it could go much higher.

Currently there are worrying signs that the next level up from subprime, the Alt-A market, is starting to crack too. And this does not include the possible tens of millions of homes which will be ‘underwater’, with the value sinking under the level of debt being carried. People are now posting in their keys to the bank and simply walking away figuring it’s the cheaper way out. Throw the credit cards onto the bonfire as well.

“What bubble? I don’t see any bubble,” was always Greenspan’s answer.
Voters on the whole don’t know the details, but look at the polls that ask them about which way their country is headed. They point in one direction, and the mood is decidedly, well, un-American. The can-do nation is watching itself bobbing around in the can, and it’s not a national mood that sits well with them. They don’t do pessimism comfortably (they aren’t French or Russians, after all), but they’re not averse to revenge. Come November, they’ll unleash this, and it won’t be to vote for McSame…same policies, same incompetence, and same lies.

Obama set the national discourse with one word: ‘change’. And that word is getting amplified on so many levels, none more spectacular than his candidacy itself. A candidate who so defied the pundits’ paradigm of US politics that it almost universally took them by surprise. (It sure took Hillary Clinton by surprise!). How much change can he implement after nearly a generation of ‘regulatory debauchery’ is open to question, but maybe the voters will not be reading the fine print nor the arcane details, they’ll be going with their gut reaction, an aversion to what has gotten them into this mess.

Trillions of dollars of householders’ wealth is being torched in the bonfire of the inanities, and while none of this ‘had to be’, it was definitely ‘allowed’ to be.

If all of this financial meltdown wasn’t enough ballast for the good ship McCain, he’s still desperate to tell his story, and clutches the albatross he calls the ‘surge’, imploring anyone still listening, and tries to convince them it’s working. (He decided that telling voters the economy had made progress under Bush was not going to sail in the face of the shocking reality.) But it’s too late now because the voters hardly care anymore, they just want out, and so does Obama, and so does al Maliki, and nearly all the Iraqis who aren’t dead yet, or haven’t left the country (or what’s left of it). It’s a dead albatross, but it’s nearly the only thing he has, and he’ll go on wearing its bedraggled corpse until November, for all the good it will do him.

The death of the US dollar hegemony? Even the death of Reaganism?

Uncertain? Well, it’s quite possibly both.

But one thing IS for certain: that’s a very dead albatross that old guy is wearing.

“Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.”


(Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner”)

For those with a Monty Python bent (and those terms go together so well!), perhaps they could try a variation on the famous Dead Parrot Sketch, with McCain as the storekeeper and the irate voter demanding a refund for his now very defunct albatross. Perhaps the bird was called Serge, and the confusion begins right there… over to you!

428 Responses to “The Rhyme of the Ancient Aviator or, The Dead Albatross Sketch”

  1. 301
    jen says:

    Chris;
    my top 5
    in no particular order are –
    stupidity
    stupidity
    stupidity
    stupidity
    and GWB.

  2. 302
    Chris B says:

    Apparently there is another Alaskan in a corruption scandal.
    Won’t the next few polls in Alaska be interesting.

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/07/29/another_alaska_republican_in_trouble.html

  3. 303
    Chris B says:

    Good one Jen.

  4. 304
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    299 jen

    As I used to say about Macca’s: It isn’t food, it’s marketing.

    Well, you could say the same about Starbucks, (yes, I did have one…once! LOL)

    So yeah, but no one ever went broke underestimating the consumers tastes…to paraphrase.

  5. 305
    Chris B says:

    But jen they’re all the same thing :)

  6. 306
    megan says:

    299,

    One our father and three Hail Marys for THAT confession, Jen!

    :lol:

  7. 307
    Chris B says:

    I looked up stupidity in the dictionary and it said George Bush, so I looked up George Bush in the Dictionary. It said look up Who’s Who. So I looked up George Bush in Who’s Who and it said look up stupidity in the Dictionary!

  8. 308
    megan says:

    Chris,

    :lol: !!

  9. 309
    jen says:

    You got it Chris:wink:

    Geez Megan – that’s a bit tough .
    What would I get if I told you the rest?:twisted:

  10. 310
    Chris B says:

    Attention any TV comedians reading this. I copyrighted that joke!

  11. 311
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Mornin’ Bludgers, my, what a rollicking good discussion we’ve got happenin’ here this glorious winter’s day.
    One notes a great deal of disdain among some commenters for the wares and wayfores of a certain hamburger chain whose food and beverages have until recently escaped widespread media scrutiny from the angle of nutritional nuance. The possibility of the “resurrection” of fair-dinkum steak sanger joints is bliss enough. These scum shall be spared the “full-blown” vitriol of an EC spray till my mood sours sufficiently to do the topic justice.
    Geez that’s a beautiful word isn’t it, eh? Justice.

    Wot GOPper Alaskan Senator Ted “Fingers” Stevens is about to face seven counts of in short order. Unless I’m mistaken, it would appear that certain of the charges that have been brought against the Good Senator are…….. “legally felonious” ………which will no doubt cause Teddy Fingers a spot or two of bother.
    Isn’t that just too bad.

    Megan 275, (merci for your kind words), enjoyed the link. Reinforced a belief that now is not a good time for individuals to be carrying a great deal of debt.

    “This is becoming a tsunami of voluntary defaults,” Professor Roubini says.
    “The losses for the financial system from people walking away could be of the order of one trillion dollars when the entire capital of the US banking system is only $1.3 trillion.
    “You could have most of the US banking system wiped out, so this is a total disaster.”
    Which is why it is not just US policymakers who are hoping America’s new, multi-billion dollar initiative to stabilise the housing market will succeed in its aims and thus make walking away less attractive.
    Because if it fails, the economic fallout could be felt far beyond America’s shores.

  12. 312
    Chris B says:

    Just kidding. :lol:

  13. 313
    megan says:

    Jen,

    Since I only ever confessed trivia, telling them as little as
    possible just so my parents could see I had done the right thing, I honestly wouldn’t know!!

    How claustrophobic those times were !

    And how long ago…phew!

  14. 314
    Chris B says:

    Demographics.

    In the southern states the things will be effecting the voters that count are:

    Black voters and Latinos are most hurt by the economy.

    Both will provide great support to get the first coloured president up.

    Christian voters will be firstly effected by moral issues, then corruption issues and the economy. Forcing them to stay away in the droves.

  15. 315
    Chris B says:

    The question is can we win Texas?

  16. 316
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Chris, if Team Bomb-Bomb THINK that Obi can snatch TX, then that’s a great result because it will spread The Mackster’s resources thin like Peck’s Paste.

    Tues July 29:
    http://news.yahoo.com/edcartoons/patoliphant;_ylt=Ap2_Y4VG3A28WER.BP4P58Ld.sgF

    Tues July 29:
    http://news.yahoo.com/edcartoons/bensargent;_ylt=AkJv0jeo_SMEOZtxZ9wulS8XvTYC

    Tues July 29: Gold is where you find it.
    http://news.yahoo.com/comics/nonsequitur;_ylt=AgU.77A2OdAdbhiaUNRFeG3b.sgF

  17. 317
    Progressive says:

    Chris: A Democrat senate win in Alaska is looking more and more possible, as a result of today’s developments!
    Will Obama win Texas? NO! I can’t see it happening!
    Tim Kaine a strong tip to be Obama’s running mate – if so, Virginia is in the bag for the Democrats in November.

  18. 318
    jen says:

    ah Ecky –
    I see the Grim reaper and I are in accord.

    I asked about a week ago to expalin in non-economy-speak terms what could be the real fallout of the whole US economy thing.
    Unfortunately, someone just did
    “The losses for the financial system from people walking away could be of the order of one trillion dollars when the entire capital of the US banking system is only $1.3 trillion.
    “You could have most of the US banking system wiped out, so this is a total disaster.”
    Holy Hell.

  19. 319

    Tend to agree, Progressive, Virginia’s 13 ECVs are easier to get acording to recent polls than the 6 ECVs on offer from Sibelius’s home State of Kansas. Remember that John Edwards didn’t pull his homestate in 2004, a result that would have (from memory) given the Presidency to Gore.

    “They say don’t go…..on Imbecile Mountain….”
    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56908
    ———————————
    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56944

    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56956

  20. 320
    Catrina says:

    Lunchtime …
    http://pollbludger.files.wordpress.com/2008/07/soup-400×300.jpg
    (that’s the bones from that leg of lamb the other night plus a few veggies and things)

    :-)

  21. 321
    megan says:

    Am on my way,Cat…looks delicious!

  22. 322
    blindoptimist says:

    megan

    “….Loved a quote by Bruce Shapiro, LNL’s US correspondent to Phillip Adams last night – something about ‘….. intellectual scepticism but optimistic will …….”

    …..ditto megan, ditto…:)

  23. 323
    Gaffhook says:

    EC
    Loks like there may be a bit more traction on the voting machines! Looks like it is hitting the airwaves in New Hampshire Sunday night.

    A large number of New Hampshire voting precincts employ a vote counting machine manufactured by Diebold, a company whose chief executive officer is cited in a Jan. 6, 2008, New York Times Magazine article [page 70] as “proclaiming that he would help ‘Ohio deliver its electoral votes’ for Bush.” Voters who believe that no one associated with the voting process should be helping anyone to get elected might want assurance that their ballot, counted by a Diebold machine, ended up in the correct column.

    The film to be premiered on LRPA-TV’s Channel 26 on Sunday at 8 p.m., not only shows the result of that recount, but probes into the accuracy of the vote counting machines used in New Hampshire.

    Entitled “Can Voting Machines Be Trusted?” the program used Lakes Region talent and the facilities of LRPA-TV in Laconia. Alton resident and news director of WUNH-FM, Wally Keniston, narrates the film with assistance from Alton Town Moderator Mark Northridge. LRPA-TV’s video editor David Willis made a significant contribution by leaving almost an hour of extraneous footage “on the cutting room floor.”

    http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080729/GJNEWS02/145660161/-1/CITNEWS08

  24. 324
    Gaffhook says:

    320 Cat

    Must admit Cat it looks better than dry old chicken :grin:

  25. 325
    Catrina says:

    Really interesting article on the NYT digging into Obama’s past as a young law professor. Three pages, but worth reading for some in-site into the Kid’s mind.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/30/us/politics/30law.html

  26. 326
    Catrina says:

    Gaffhook at 324

    Don’t tell me the stuffings not working for you!

    :lol:

  27. 327
    Gaffhook says:

    And to think that the imbecile sat at the G8 conference and bagged Mugarbage over his little shennanigans.

    This is what BO is up against Chris B. It is alright being up 10% in the polls but if some A%#ehole is stealing votes with a straight face he is going to have to come up with an answer to it. A paper trail or summat.

    It is ironic that African-Americans ostensibly comprise the segment of society most frequently victimized by various vote suppression schemes, given their long, hard-fought civil rights struggle for enfranchisement. However the movie sheds light on a popular Republican trick employed in the last election involved sending registered letters to the homes of over a hundred thousand black soldiers serving overseas in order to have their names removed from the voting lists when they were unable to sign the return receipt.

    The film also furnishes evidence that equipment malfunctions have occurred in 42 states, with problems ranging from vote switching to frozen electronic screens to touch screens going blank to machine shortages to computer breakdowns to inaccurate tallies. This leaves one wondering, if the technology is so unreliable, why not revert to the old system?

    http://newsblaze.com/story/20080729172033tsop.nb/topstory.html

  28. 328
    Gaffhook says:

    326
    Cat
    Yeah it wore out after about two and a half hours! :lol:

  29. 329

    To think, Bludgers, that there are still human beings like Royce Nib out there who are yet to discover “The Joys Of Blogging”.
    Now there’s a niche market begging to be demoed and exploited; once busy executives like Royce Nib. Ah yes, the Royce bleedin’ Nibs’s of this world. Getting on a bit in years with not so much money, as a lot of time on their hands. Wandering aimlessly, as ungulates upon the Serengeti doomed by cruel fate and beastly circumstance to confront the ramifications of natural selection and sudden “up-proteining”.

    “Hi, Royce, we’re from the blogosphere, and we’re here to help!”
    We need to reach out to folk like Royce Nib.
    These people are fantastic on committees:)

    http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/20080729_newspapers_fish_cartoon/
    ————–
    Let’s hope so , Gaffy at 323. Be a great “issue” for Obi to get hold of and hammer in the led up to the olympics. Hell hath no fury like normal peaceable gun-totin’ folk who get ’round to reckonin’ “We wuz robbed!!”
    From the comfort of their widescreen home entertainment centres that is. But that’s only while stocks last electricity-wise. Maybe then they’ll be bored enough to get out and actually do something about it.

  30. 330
    megan says:

    Re 260,

    The quote from Bruce Shapiro was

    “…pessimism of the intellect but optimism of the will…”

    -Antonio Gramsci

    Good to hear an experienced journalist explain how he
    manages to stay sane in this crazy world.

    His example of the enormous progress made, such as the US moving from legal segregation to a black presidential candidate just in our lifetime, is worth remembering.

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightlive/

    There is also an interview of Martin Indyk .

  31. 331

    megan, will have a listen to Shapiro. Domestic imperatives place me in a vehicle most Tueday nights at 10:05 when Bruce allows himslf to be avuncularly coddled by Big Phil. Missed it last night. It’s a shame Adams won’t let Bruce keep shining when he’s on a roll though. Sure, the occasional night is a bit flat but most of the time it’s a great two-way pow wow. The “lads’ have deep affection and respect for each other. Bruce is normally so unfailingly polite but on the rare occasions that Phil “crosses the line”, Mr. Shapiro can return serve with interest! The AB friggin’ C should have the nous to cut the boys a bit more slack over the next few months as the fat hits the fire and the thin edge of the zeitgeist’s wedge offers traction only to angels whose hearts are made of sterner stuff.

    Anyway, why should they care? Now we’re just customers wheras once, before the mean-spirited minds of functionaries and doubleplusgood duckspeakers took over, we were esteemed as listeners. And as long as Howard-appointed cultural vultures like Albrechtsen, Windschuttle and Brunton hover in the concrete canopy’s of Ultimo, it will remain thus.

  32. 332
    Chris B says:

    317 Progressive Have a look at the demographics, African American and especially Latinos.

  33. 333
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    That little NAB write off the other day was actually instigated by Merril Lynch who just trashed about $30 billion of CDO’s that were mostly 2005 vintage and ostensibly not too contaminated.

    And what did they get for this firesale? They reported 22 cents on the dollar, but in fact, the way the deal was structured only received a bit over 5%.

    Remember, this lot were not supposed to be too tainted with Agent Orange.

    What this means is the entire CDO stock of mortgage related securities are at risk of massive writedowns and this will hit Freddie and Fannie were it hurts, along with some other very big names.

    The sh!t is hitting the fan and it’s casting a very wide skid mark across the globe, just ask John Stewart (who’s rumoured to be packing his bags soon).

  34. 334
    Catrina says:

    KR at 333

    just ask John Stewart (who’s rumoured to be packing his bags soon)

    Just so long as your not talking about the Jon Stewart we know and love!

  35. 335
    Enemy Combatant says:

    If Mr.(Senator) Stevens insists on running again, Alaska Republicans will have a chance to render their own verdict in an August 26 Senate primary. Some political hygiene would seem to be in order.

    “Political hygiene”; Land of the Mid-night Sun voters might jes’ be of a mind to pay po-litical hy-giene a might more heed after these recent embarrassing northern exposures of grasping, provincial GOPperism.

    Even among politicians, these money-sucking animals have no shame!

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121737532663995153.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks

  36. 336
    Chris B says:

    Back online. My computer is out of action.

  37. 337
    Chris B says:

    For anyone wanting to know how to use the Google News service at #79 just copy and past that code into the address bar, you know the http:// thingumy bob. Then when you want to find it again click the News link at the top of the Google page.

    To make Google your home page, type Google.com.au in the Address bar, wait till it goes to Google Aus. Then select tools at the top of the page, then options down near the bottom of that, then select use current page, click OK. Bobs Your uncle.

  38. 338
    Chris B says:

    He, he, he. I’ll post another one of these.

    The indictment of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on corruption charges Tuesday throws into question his grip on a Senate seat he has held for decades and offers Democrats a chance to strengthen their hold on Congress.

    Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate and a towering figure in Alaska’s political history, was indicted by a federal grand jury here on charges that he concealed hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from one of the state’s most powerful employers. The indictment accuses Stevens, 84, of accepting more than $250,000 in improvements to his Alaska home, as well as other gifts such as a gas grill and a new Land Rover, from VECO Corp., an oil field services company.

    :lol:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-stevens30-2008jul30,0,6322685.story

  39. 339
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    336 Chris B

    How could we tell????? LOL

  40. 340
    Chris B says:

    Just making sure you didn’t have withdrawal symptoms. :lol:

  41. 341
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Jon Stewart (the satirist who doesn’t blow billions) has a great clip of some dopey woman in front of a Senate committee telling them why the entire fabric of the military would implode if gays could actually be ‘out’, and apart from twisted logic and some incomprehensible allusions, she comes out with:

    …at least in a Minneapolis airport you can come and go.

    As Stewart remarks, she’s just making his job way too easy! LOL

  42. 342
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Tonight, Lay-deez and Gentlemen, vee are go-ink to venture from zee cave of Ali Baba’s treasure to zee fery fountainhead of Fiscal Forever-Land itself!!. Tonight’s chourney vill be rich in historical overlay with themes of philanthropy, great cour-age and zee triumph of essential human deegnity over zee darker demons that dvell deep vissin our souls…….
    *thunder(bass drum roll), lightning, tambourine, cymbal……gong*

    Back in the days of the Tivoli in Sydney, performers would refer to a set-up like this as the old one-two. Lenny Bruce called it the old Zippo-Bang.

    First, permit me to chuck a Youie atcha real quick.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcCXnXDiKoQ

    nussink up mey sleeve… non?!…. tah-dah!!
    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56913

    *boom-tish*
    —————-
    Chris, that’s terrible, is there something we can do? Do you need help getting to your nearest safe net-injecting room or anything?

  43. 343
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    342 Enemy Combatant

    That magic lamp would be on ‘Capital Hill’ then, would it?

  44. 344
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Only mugs think so, Kirri, congress is a poode with 870 legs.
    Can you hear the dominoes falling?
    England 20 years hence where the film is set has an unarmed citizenry. It’s fanciful in the extreme but has some wonderful passages of voiceover and dialogue.
    There are a minimum of a couple of million Americans who are armed to the teeth and extremely pissed off. They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. During these time of mortal peril clean living, patriotic, god-fearin’ Americans must feel truly grateful for superbly trained U.S. Marshalls sworn to protect them from Evil Doers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo-L8idypSg

    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56947

    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56948

  45. 345
    Chris B says:

    Hi guys, just been talking to the DCCC in Washington. Hi Patrick. I found out that they are very happy for anyone to post anti McCain cartoons and pro Obama cartoons on You Tube with any money anyone raises. But they cannot receive donations from anyone in Australia. Patrick is the National Candidate Fundraiser at the DCCC.

  46. 346
    Chris B says:

    Barack Obama’s supporters are launching renewed efforts to shore up support among two key constituencies – Hispanics and union members.

    The AFL-CIO announced that, starting yesterday, it was sending mailers to more than 600,000 union households in the key battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. “Union voters, like many voters across the country, are still learning about Senator Obama and have heard many things – some true, some false,” the AFL-CIO said.

    So one mailer tries to dispel the false rumors that Obama is Muslim, that he used a Koran for his Senate swearing-in, that he will not wear a flag lapel pin, that he won’t put his hand over his heart while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and that he wasn’t born in the United States.

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/07/30/obama_supporters_step_up_effort_to_woo_hispanic_union_voters/

  47. 347
    Chris B says:

    Yesterday we reported that a rich businessman, Vic Vickers, is spending $410,000 to defeat Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) in the Alaska senatorial primary. We added that Vickers didn’t have a prayer. That was yesterday. Today is today. In politics, a week–make that a day–is a long time. Stevens took bribes from an oil company and then concealed the payments (of $250,000) on official Senate forms he filed. Yesterday he was indicted on seven felony counts of making false statements on his financial disclosure forms.

    Stevens is the longest serving Republican senator in history but it is hard to see how he can survive now. No doubt the (private) pressure from fellow Republicans to drop out will be immense. If he ignores them and stays in the race and manages to eke out a victory against the unknown Vickers, real estate developer David Cuddy, and several other Republicans (who are likely to split the anti-Stevens vote), he gets to face off with Anchorage mayor Mark Begich (D) in the Fall. Begich is young, good looking, popular in the state, and well funded (one of Chuck Schumer’s priorities). Begich is already ahead in the polls and the indictment probably seals Stevens’ doom.

    I just couldn’t resist another posting.

    The Votemaster has an update. But no new polls.

    http://www.electoral-vote.com

  48. 348
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Chris, as long as he doesn’t bite, The Kid glides above the sewer of slander.

    That Obama is actually able to listen to facts, absorb them and analyze them should be a good thing. We assume that those skills came in handy throughout his life, not least at Harvard, where he graduated near top of his law school class. This, of course, now makes him an elitist, as he would not be expected by the old DC guard to possess any such competence (charisma perhaps, analytical ability no.) Both McCain (894th out of 899 at Annapolis) and George W. Bush revel in their under-achieving school days, as if this made these scions of hyper-privilege any closer to real people. This tactic clearly succeeded well enough for Bush to be elected president twice, and McCain to be nominated once. But there is a sense that American voters may not be taken in again and that they may actually enjoy as president someone who isn’t an inbred moron or a senile fratboy.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-jenkins/obama-still-does-not-know_b_115671.html
    ————————
    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56932

    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56933

    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56945

  49. 349
    Chris B says:

    Hey Chris,

    Good talking with you this morning. I’m glad that you are so invested in getting Obama elected this fall! Unfortunately, foreign nationals cannot donate to U.S. political campaigns. Here’s the link to the FEC page that details this policy: http://fec.gov/pages/brochures/citizens.shtml#prohibited . I’ve checked out you blog briefly, and I’ve put it in my bookmarks to keeps tabs on.

    Thanks again for your interest!

    Patrick E. Hughes

    Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

    Candidate Fundraising

    Phone: 202-741-1357

    Fax: 202-481-9627

    hughes@dccc.org

  50. 350
    Chris B says:

    348 Enemy Combatant Brillant and cutting cartoons. Should be devastatingly effective.

  51. 351
    jen says:

    Good for you Chris – If Obama doesn’t win it certainly won’t be through your lack of effort:wink:

    Well US BLudgers, the JWI index this morning has Obama on about a 12% lead over McC@#t and rising. This is based on nothing other than the fact that no one in their right mind , even the uneducated nigga-hating,gun toting, god fearing imbeciles could vote for a repug now that their kids won’t get jobs at WalMart which they have worked their way towards for their entire primary schooling. Which in turn means they will have to but the samller plasma screen and it will take 15 years to pay it off instead of 12.
    Not to mention how hard it will be for them to but caramel coffee in litre size cups at Starbucks now when they are being all sofistiKated.
    And the hummer they aspired to with the gun mounts on the front is going to be even harder to get now.
    Gotta punish someone…
    GOP=TOAST.

  52. 352
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Jen, I think we could now say that Starbucks is the canary in the coffee cup as far as the economy is going. Oh, poor thing, it drowned! (In such shite coffee is it any wonder?)LOL

  53. 353
    jen says:

    Agreed Kirri –
    the JGFI (Jen’s Gut-Feeling Index- dontcha just wish Adam Carr was here:grin:0?)
    When the national icons start going down the toilet then the economy is diving. Hummer has already been hit, and what better defines all that is admirable about US culture?
    As awful as this is going to be maybe the insane comnsumerism and excess that has been the hallmark of the “Developed World”- what a misnomer that is – will finally come back to a sustainable level.
    Although I am very worried about all those dependant on botox – they’ll need to set up rehab and support services to help people get a handle on what they really look like.
    And they’ll need names under the newsreaders so we can recognise who the 60 year old is that looked like a weird 35 year old 2 weeks ago .-
    phew – rant over

  54. 354
    jen says:

    don’t know what happened to my :grin:

  55. 355
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Michelle and Barack are doing the Kennedy’s Camelot thing, eh?

    They’re now in Vanity Fair, how radically chic, huh?

    Those uppity niggras sure have come a long way from the days of busting in Lenny Bernstein’s elite little gatherings, haven’t they?

  56. 356
    Progressive says:

    G’day all!
    NEW CNN POLL

    OBAMA 51
    MCFAKE 44

  57. 357
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    356 Progressive

    I think a pattern is emerging here Prog! LOL

  58. 358
  59. 359
    jen says:

    OMG Progressive
    the JWI was pretty much right on the money… :cool:

  60. 360
    jen says:

    McCain is the Brndan Neslon of US politics.
    he is going to get a flogging. Let’s hope KerryO gets a go at him :twisted:

  61. 361
    jen says:

    Brendan Nelson – you know who I mean…

  62. 362
    Progressive says:

    The U.S media are similar to our lot, they are trying to prop up McCain and create the impression that Obama’s campaign is faltering!

  63. 363
    Gaffhook says:

    Kirri
    Can you unscramble this double speak with degree of diff 9.8 with pike?
    Does it mean they are effed or just pre coital.

    The survival of the company as it now exists depends on 90 percent acceptance of an offer to exchange senior subordinated notes due in 2023 but callable as of Aug. 5, 2008 for cash for new notes paying an astounding 17.5 percent due in 2012 plus warrants to purchase WCI stock. In its earnings release, WCI stated, “The company can give no assurance that it will be able to successfully consummate the exchange offer.”

    http://www.builderonline.com/business/wci-posts-loss-violates-covenants.aspx

    Seems like they are all like the rhode island red rooster running down the rocky road to Rhodesia.

  64. 364
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    353 jen

    We sure are at a tipping point Jen, where the mindless consumption paradigm gets to meet the finite resources reality.

    It is, as you say, a good thing, but the transition will be long and hard, and to make matters worse it will bring the first and third worlds into some difficult disagreements.

    But even Tom Friedman has been thumping the drum that the whole ET (energy technology) revolution which is about to kick off big time is just packed with opportunity…and of course, he’s dead right about this one. (He wasn’t so right about Iraq however).

    Those who see the opportunities and run with them will be the winners, and I’m thinking that here we should turn the Future Fund over to that 45 sq km of solar collector we need to supply Australia’s electricity.

    We MUST do some bold things. Spend a few billions now, dump the coal fired stations, put up the price of electricity so we ALL pay (and reduce the concessions to the aluminum industry so the real cost of that metal is not subsidised by us!), and the thing would probably break even in a decade or two. (I haven’t done the numbers, but you get the picture).

    Something BOLD, and not this pussy footing around the edges.

  65. 365
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    362 Gaffhook

    From the article it looks like the consensus is they are cactus. Having to pay 17.5% for cash is a sign that they are in severe distress and anyone taking the risk of holding their paper wants an arm and leg for the pleasure.

    There’s a massive contraction in the US building industry due to a massive oversupply in both commercial and domestic property and now, with the collapse (or near) of the mortgage industry and rising rates, the foreclosures are dumping unprecedented numbers onto an already glutted market.

    It’s not pretty.

  66. 366
    megan says:

    KatieLou@358 released from spamdom.

  67. 367
    jen says:

    Kirri –
    I totally agree that what is being propsed to date is wholly inadequate in the US and here too. There is much applauding on the Other Thread re: Riudd’s ET propsal which is so far ahead of the Opposition (read Carcass) that it looks wonderful.
    However, my limited understanding is that we need to do a whole lot more a whole lot aster – see Greens policy for a much more intensive approach. Of course`the political courage is lacking.

  68. 368
    Chris B says:

    U.S. election ad spending outpacing 2004 rate.

    U.S. presidential candidates have spent some $50 million (25.2 million pounds) and aired more than 100,000 TV ads since the start of the general election campaign in early June, far outpacing the rate of the 2004 campaign, a report showed on Wednesday.

    Democratic candidate Barack Obama spent $27 million between June 4 and July 26, while Republican candidate John McCain spent just over $21 million, the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project, which monitors political ad spending, said in its report.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/usPoliticsNews/idUKN3047220320080730

  69. 369
    jen says:

    Kirri –
    if you’re intersted I’ve linked to the site and you can open the policy on climate change and energy.
    I would love to hear your opinion (if you can be bothered).
    http://greens.org.au/

    btw- been thinking of you.

  70. 370
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Mornin’ Bludgers,

    Do you ever suffer from the debilitating symptoms of Blog Block?
    Brain fade…… rigid digits……. followed by the dreaded “constipated creativity”?
    Are you guilty of shooting your mouth off at beloved household members for no good reason or biting the heads off seemingly supportive colleagues at work?

    Somebody out there on the internet is clearly wrong and you’re mad as hell, and you’re not going to take it anymore ….right?

    Why that’s the great thing about the net isn’t it, Bludgers, you’re never alone when you’re wi-fied or wired. Communication is as easy as a fast boot-up and a Franz Lizst-type spritz on your trusty keyboard.
    No longer must you hide your self away like an angst-ridden Alien!

    In (cyber)space, EVERYONE can hear you scream.

    Thurs July 30:
    http://news.yahoo.com/comics/doonesbury;_ylt=A0WTUeW9EZFIgWUAihIDwLAF

    Wed July 30:
    http://news.yahoo.com/comics/mattbors;_ylt=AtA3TAWqXucHzcD0s_bXZ5_X.sgF
    ————————-
    Wed July 30:
    http://news.yahoo.com/edcartoons/tonyauth;_ylt=Ak12ON0luKT5xmr2vOFzUxkV2r8F

  71. 371
    Chris B says:

    A stunning blow for the Alaska Republican came when the reelection campaign of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) announced that it would donate $10,000 received from Stevens to a Christian mission in the senator’s home state of Kentucky.

    McConnell, who avoided discussing Stevens’s indictment publicly for a second consecutive day, is the latest among nearly all vulnerable Republican members up for reelection in 2008 who have decided to divert money received from Stevens’s Northern Lights political action committee (PAC) to charity.

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/colleagues-turn-away-stevens-cash-2008-07-30.html

  72. 372
  73. 373
    Chris B says:

    Ex-McCain Aide Blasts Former Boss

    John Weaver, a long time confidant and friend of Sen. John McCain, told Marc Ambinder that McCain’s current campaign strategy “diminishes John McCain” and the recent ad linking Sen. Barack Obama to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears was “childish.”

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/07/30/exmccain_aide_blasts_former_boss.html

  74. 374
    jen says:

    Eccy-
    sometimes there is no more to be said:

    Obama is going to slaughter the Repugs.

    (But then I’d miss you all too much…:wink:)

  75. 375
  76. 376
    Chris B says:

    McCain Links Obama to Paris Hilton, Britney Spears.

    I note with interest today, John McCain’s new tactic of associating Barack Obama with oversexed and/or promiscuous young white women. (See today’s new ad and this from yesterday.) Presumably, a la Harold Ford 2006, this will be one of those strategies that will be a matter of deep dispute during the campaign and later treated as transparent and obvious once the campaign is concluded.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/206241.php

  77. 377
    Chris B says:

    CQ Politics’ Top 10: Democrats’ Cash Domination Extends to Open-Seat Races.

    Here’s another reason the Democrats probably will gain ground in the House of Representatives this year: of the 35 House districts where incumbents are not running this November, 28 are held by Republicans. Given the GOP’s strong defensive crouch, it may not be surprising that Democratic candidates dominate the roster of best-funded candidates for open seats — a key finding of a CQ Politics analysis of recently filed campaign finance reports.

    http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000002929041

  78. 378
    Progressive says:

    And it was McIdiot who promised to conduct a civil campaign with his opponent?

  79. 379
    jen says:

    Progressive- compared to how he speaks to his wife it IS civil.

  80. 380
    Chris B says:

    What goes around comes around.

    Stevens’s Payback Moment.

    Stevens succeeded in Washington by understanding that fear can be a formidable weapon. “I’m a mean, miserable SOB,” he once boasted. Congressional staffers frequently cite him as one of the meanest and most temperamental members of Congress. When girding for battle on the Senate floor, the cantankerous 84-year-old Stevens would often don his signature Incredible Hulk necktie. He has branded certain critics of his record “psychopaths” and once cracked during a clash with House Republicans, “I’m just sorry they repealed the law on dueling. I’d have shot a couple of the sons of [expletive].”

    Registration is required for the Washington Post.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/29/AR2008072902098.html

  81. 381
    Chris B says:

    The Wall Street Journal

    The Stevens Indictment.

    Yesterday’s seven-count indictment of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is another blow to the Republican Congressional reputation for honest government — as well as the party’s chances of avoiding big losses in November. Minority parties don’t typically defeat a majority when more of their own Members are being indicted for corruption.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121737532663995153.html?mod=opinion_main_review_and_outlooks

  82. 382

    jen, The Kid ain’t delivered his coup de grace yet. He’s playin’ wit’ him till GOPper HQ give Bomb-Bomb the nod. Don’t want any last minute switches of GOPper candidates, do we? ie someone with a better chance that Bomb-Bomb. However their cupboard is so bare even Mother Hubbard would brush it.
    Obi’s comfortably ahead on points at this stage. His rope-a-doping of The Macster is proceeding on schedule.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rope-a-dope

    Progressive, more like a a civil “media” war than a civil campaign.

    Wed July 30:
    http://news.yahoo.com/comics/nonsequitur;_ylt=ArzBHZHpDQiqA9g6zDeBJ31R_b4F

    Wed July 30: Ted “Fingers” Stevens sorts jailbird pecking order.
    http://news.yahoo.com/edcartoons/mikeluckovich;_ylt=Ahzj7Tuiw20wUTEpq6EVIhMl6ysC

    Wed July 30: ANWR=Arctic National Wildlife Reserves.
    http://news.yahoo.com/edcartoons/robrogers;_ylt=Ai2RXiicop06z2zNHLQefrsXvTYC

  83. 383
    Chris B says:

    Evangelicals warn against Romney on ticket.

    Prominent evangelical leaders are warning Sen. John McCain against picking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate, saying their troops will abandon the Republican ticket on Election Day if that happens.

    They say Mr. Romney lacks trust on issues such as outlawing abortion and opposing same-sex marriage and because he is a Mormon. Opposition is particularly powerful among those who supported former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican presidential primaries earlier this year.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jul/29/evangelicals-warn-against-mccain-romney-ticket/

  84. 384
    jen says:

    Ha Chris B @383
    dontcha just love it when the fundies start cannabalising the neo cons.
    This is sooo much fun:twisted:

  85. 385
    Chris B says:

    We are able to put our own comments on the Washington Post. As you will see..

    McCain Ad Suggests Obama is ‘The Biggest Celebrity in The World’.

    The first “Obama in Berlin” ad has surfaced, but it’s not from the Obama campaign. “Celeb” is a 30-second spot that compares Barack Obama’s global appeal to the star-wattage of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

    You need to register for the Washiningto Post.

    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/channel-08/2008/07/celeb_suggests_obamas_the_bigg.html

  86. 386
    Chris B says:

    384 jen Spot on jen. I hope they elect him VP.

  87. 387
    Chris B says:

    Barack Obama just another Britney Spears say Republicans.

    As far as anyone is aware, Barack Obama has never exposed his genitals to the paparazzi, shaved his head to defy his mother, made a sex video, or been admitted to a psychiatric ward.

    If you believe John McCain, however, it’s probably only a matter of time.

    In perhaps one of the most bizarre election campaign ads of recent history, the 71-year-old Republican presidential candidate compares Obama’s global celebrity to that of Hollywood’s most notorious starlets: Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article4433574.ece

  88. 388
    jen says:

    not to mention the neocons eating themselves…

  89. 389
    Chris B says:

    An effort to urge Barack Obama to pick former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton as his running mate is shutting down under the assumption she is not a contender for the No. 2 spot.

    The two former Clinton staffers who started the group Vote Both say Obama’s decision to offer Clinton a prime-time speaking role at the Democratic Party nominating convention and other signals suggest Obama will not chose her.

    “Because it seems that Senator Obama has made his decision to offer the slot on the ticket to another candidate, we believe that continuing to ask him to pick Hillary is no longer helpful to our party’s chances of winning in November,” Adam Parkhomenko and Sam Arora wrote in an e-mail they planned to send Thursday to the 40,000-plus supporters who signed onto their online petition.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5izQosMtCfjNjE1uAP6fQV2BZ_qWwD928J2GO0

  90. 390
    Enemy Combatant says:

    “It’s a Big Club and YOU, ain’t in it!”

    (Reprise)….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj2iVgx_VS4

    This is a time to condemn the bankers, not to embrace them. They are the scoundrels who got us into the biggest economic mess since the Great Depression, lining their own pockets while destroying the life savings of those who trusted them. Yet both of our leading presidential candidates are scrambling to enlist not only the big-dollar contributions but, more frighteningly, the “expertise” of the very folks who advocated the financial industry deregulations at the heart of this meltdown.

    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080729_sucking_up_to_the_bankers/
    —————-

    “Fingers” crossed by long arm of Law.
    http://news.yahoo.com/edcartoons/tomtoles;_ylt=A0WTUZoWSZFIo3gBkSwDwLAF

    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56961

    McCargo Cultist issues decree:
    “Now Hear This!!…. Now Hear This!!….All ungulates assemble in the Drop Zone immediately……Now Hear This……All ungulates…”
    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56987

    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56990

    As the ugly spectre of Monetary-PTSD unfurls its treacherous tentacles and spreads them around a frightened Homeland, GOP Presumptive Presidential Nominee, Senator John McCain of Arizona, issued a statement today citing and supporting the inalienable Rights of all Patriotic, God-Fearing American Citizens to brandish their Bibles, mark $ air-signs with their fore-fingers, like that Atlas guy in the Ayn Rand book, and to cling to their shovels and dig themselves out of their own fiscal craters.
    http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/56994

  91. 391
    Chris B says:

    By the very telling measure of TV advertising, four Great Lakes states – Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania – have emerged as the hottest regional battleground in the 2008 presidential campaign.

    Despite the talk of an “expanded map” in ’08, those four states accounted for half the overall television spending – and two-thirds of the Republican TV spending – since early June, according to new data compiled by the Wisconsin Advertising Project.

    The GOP effort in Wisconsin suggests that neither Republican John McCain nor his party has been discouraged by public polling in the state this summer, which has consistently shown Democrat Barack Obama comfortably ahead.

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=777898

  92. 392
  93. 393
    Catrina says:

    Anyone up for writing a new post?

  94. 394
    Chris B says:

    The original has over 7million views.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adYbFQFXG0U

    Another one just as good. Brings a tear to the eye. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omoypq-YTes

  95. 395

    “393 Catrina
    Anyone up for writing a new post?”

    Of course you realise, megan mon ami, this means you.
    N’est-ce pas?:)

  96. 396
    HusseinWorm says:

    Some interesting local colour on The Huff Post.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/28/rice-adviser-iraq-invasio_n_115398.html

    It’s worth drilling down through the links in the huff story as well.

  97. 397
    Chris B says:

    For those still wondering whether Democrat Barack Obama will battle for Florida, consider this: He has spent more money on advertising in the state than in any other over the past two months, for a total of $5 million.

    Republican John McCain’s advertising budget in Florida so far: $0.

    The findings by the University of Wisconsin Advertising Project reflect Obama’s rapid build-up in a state he once shunned because its primary broke national party rules. Since Obama wrapped up the Democratic nomination on June 3, his campaign has hired 200 people and opened 13 offices in Florida, with more to come.

    Obama has run 7,000 ads on network television in the state, while Florida voters can see McCain ads only on cable. Obama is also on the air exclusively in Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, Montana and Alaska.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/campaign-2008/story/623959.html

  98. 398
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    396 HusseinWorm

    And there was no shortage of well informed people who said so very vehemently BEFORE the stupid deed was done.

    OB being just one of them, of course.

  99. 399
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    McCain: “Obama is out of touch”

    Obama:”John McCain, Same old politics, same failed policies.”

    Looks like the old fossil realises he’s Jurassic, and like all pollies know, you paint your opponent with your own worst faults to deflect attention.

    Somehow I get the feeling that a dinosaur telling the political meteor that he’s not down to earth enough will come to the same conclusion as last time: high earth impact/ massive reptilian extinction.

  100. 400
    Chris B says:

    Ted Stevens’s indictment yesterday could not have occurred at a more politically inopportune time for the senator from Alaska or for his fellow Republicans.

    Republicans entered this election at a numerical disadvantage — 23 seats to defend, compared with 12 for Democrats — and have caught almost no breaks. Five Republican senators opted to retire and one resigned office last December, including incumbents in Virginia and New Mexico, where Democrats are strongly favored in the fall. Senate Republicans have fallen far behind their Democratic counterparts in fundraising.

    You must register for the Washington Post.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/29/AR2008072902227.html