Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wassup 2008

Making the rounds this week in the 'sphere.

Original, 8 years ago.

Bailout Ch. 3

Likely to eventually cost about $2 tril, according to Krugman. But you kinda knew that, right?
Me, I'm still dealing with the credit default swap number of +$50 tril.


Names To Remember

Huffpo has the first speculave article I've seen about who's likely to be appointed to what in an Obama administration.
Two high-ranking Democrats in the House, Norm Dicks of Washington and George Miller of California, could be in the running for Secretary of the Interior; Miller has also been mentioned as a possible Education Secretary. Another politician with a shot at Interior is Former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles.

Friday, October 24, 2008

So, It's Not Black People's Fault?

Sullivan found this, but he's got interns. And a fulltime assistant.

If Obama's [44 percent] share holds, it would top the 43 percent of white voters who backed Bill Clinton in 1996, when the Democrat won a plurality among white females and 38 percent of white men, the best performance by a Democrat in all those categories since 1976.

The BIG Lie

A friend of mine at my old newspaper  sent me an email with the following "news";
in two years, we  have to entirely support our news, ad, IT and online staff with online revenue.

I used to think this kind of gigantic deceit was unique to the business I was in, because for 20 years I observed a continual repetition of setting wildly unrealistic goals, failure of those goals, ignoring the failures, setting of new wildly unrealistic goals, etc. Now, having spent more than 18 months deeply enmeshed in the political world, and to some extent, the economic world, of this country, I'm beginning to believe that our entire country is now built upon fantasy, lies and absurdity.
It's almost as if we live in a parallel universe now, with the rest of the world watching us as if there's a TV program called "American Survivor."

Polls Mean More Now

And Josh explains what he thinks of it all.

Bush Endorses McPalin

In case you missed it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

As Of Today

Polls Mean Nothing Dept.:
John McCain's chances of winning the election have dwindled to 3.7%, down from 6.5% yesterday.

SNL Thursday

Tonight is the last night that Saturday Night Live has its special half-hour pre-election program. It's on at 9:30 on NBC and next week 30 Rock with the ineffable Tina Fey returns.
Shameless promotion, I do not get paid for this. Ever.

Song For Sarah

Halloween Ideas

Darcy Burner Needs Our Help

I sent her a small donation early on and just heard from her campaign that she needs more, but I'm tapped out. If any of you out there can help, here's what's going on with all necessary links.


Reichert/Burner Update

From the Seattlest:
Things are heating up in the 8th Congressional District race, which pits the incumbent, former King County Sheriff and Bush waterboy Dave Reichert against the challenger, retired Microsoft exec Darcy Burner. After losing the 2006 race, and trailing most of the 2008 campaign, Burner several polls have shown Burner surging to a lead in recent weeks. A SurveyUSA poll released Wednesday evening has Burner leading 50-46 after trailing by ten points a month ago.
So what do you do when you find yourself suddenly lagging with ballots already in your constituents' hands? Call in the local media! The Reichert campaign has received over $770k in television ads from KING, KOMO and KIRO, all unpaid and extended on credit which far exceeds Reichert's cash on hand, and according to the Burner campaign, constitutes an illegal contribution.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Conservatives For Change

Can Real Conservatism Be Saved?

Andrew's on a roll today:
I'm struck by how many in the press keep talking as if the conservative rebellion against Bush began three weeks ago. It began five years ago. And some of us stood up to him when it wasn't obvious his legacy would be political oblivion for the reasonable right.
Bonus quote from Christopher Buckley:
The smart ones in the movement should get together right after the election at the Greenbrier or the Homestead, you know, where they typically have these kinds of get-togethers, and have a long dark night of the soul. And I’ll tell you what the conference should be called: Conservatism–What the Fuck?

JFC (Credit Default Swaps) Feh (spits)

Bob Simon on NPR: Paraphrase
I ask everyone about this because it's just something that my mind can't grasp, that the total value of credit default swaps is more than $50 trillion (you heard that right), more than the value of the total world output in a year.

So the guy says well, if you do some fancy analysis he doesn't explain, it's really about 1 trillion, but in the end no one really knows.

Former SEC chairman Wm. Donaldson.

I have created a new "label" category in honor of this historic day. The category is JFC, Jesus Fucking Christ.

13 Days

As the election draws nearer — well, okay, the election always draws nearer but what I mean is as we tumble toward the end of this brutal process, events of note multiply and I can barely keep up, much rather get it all filtered well enough to make a personal judgment about what Contrariennes might like to hear about.
  • For instance, in addition to the AP poll cited below, there are more than a half dozen new ones out there with all sorts of quirky results. Bottom line (I contend that phrase should be illegal, along with "awesome"):  things are looking better for Obama every day and McCain is looking more desperate every day.
  • The R's just decided to pull all TV advertising for loony Michele Bachman in Minnesota either because she made such a fool of herself in calling for an investigation of all congress members to learn who is pro and who is anti-American, or because they're convinced she'll still win the right leaning Congressional district
  • There is evidence that:

    The Real Subprime Crisis Culprit: Cows 

    • Pulling a Bullworth. Good God, I haven't heard that term and had entirely forgotten what was an incredible Warren Beatty vehicle. (Where is Warren? He's rich enough to make his own movies. Maybe he's just tired. But his sister, Shirley McLaine, just keeps going like that Energizer bunny.)

    • This has been an attempt at a comprehensive summary of the day. But I just can't do anymore. I'm exhausted.

    Love, julimac 

Namecalling 101

Gov. Sparkleburst

About This Socialism Crap

Conflicted conservative Andrew Sullivan harkens back to Adam Smith, the father of market capitalism, and muses:
I would prefer a candidate who would cut entitlements and defense to a candidate who raised taxes on the successful. But such a candidate is not running. 
But it's a short post with a lovely sketch of the bewigged gentleman and his position on taxation which, as the Comedy Central clip below shows, was also McCain's at one time.

Today's AP Poll

if you hear or read anything about it, and it's likely you will hear that there's only a 1-point spread between candidates, ignore it. Nate's got the goods on it here.
Most telling I thought was that their sample included 44 percent Evangelicals, when the actual turnout in 2004 was 23 percent.

Meanwhile, In Washington State

where I and many of Contrarienne's friends also reside, somebody's internals must show the Dave (I vote the way they tell me) Reichert/Darcy Burmer race closer than that latest polls show because the R's are putting their biggest bucks behind Reichert to get him a second term in the House.
National House Committees Shell Out Big Money, NRCC Finally In The Game
Both parties' national House committees shelled out big bucks in the newest federal filings. The DCCC spent nearly $4 million in yesterday's FEC filings, with the biggest expenditure going for $450,000 against Rep. Robin "Liberals Hate Real Americans" Hayes (R-NC). The NRCC, which has held on to its much smaller war chest until the home stretch of the campaign, spent $4.1 million, with the biggest payment going for over $450,000 to defend Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA).

McCain Was A Socialist, Too

I Got A Gal

in Kalamazoo. And my cousin's husband went to school there. And the story is written by someone named Julie Mack. I'm all shaky about this.
Snow and local election officials say most of the county's new voters are local college students, driving up numbers primarily in the city of Kalamazoo as well as in Kalamazoo and Oshtemo townships.
As of Monday, the city of Kalamazoo had 57,650 registered voters, up 13 percent from November 2004; Kalamazoo Township had 18,507, up 7.5 percent; and Oshtemo Township had 15,977, an increase of 12 percent.

That Red Leather Jacket Is Hawt!

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.
From a Politico story.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Economic Crisis: The P Solution

Natalie Portman and Rashida Jones have it figured out. Make mine a Westie.

See more Natalie Portman videos at Funny or Die


I did not find this shiny object. Andrew Sullivan did. But that's why I read them. So you don't have to.
re: undecided voters
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

The Horserace II

Landslide, I tells yah! Pew agrees.

The Horserace

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo explains today's status, and will do so daily through Nov. 4.

Innovation Lives

as Jon Taplin discovers, Google has a little gmail feature that tests you after midnight with a few math problems to make sure you don't send an email you could regret forever.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Final Strategy

CNN Says the campaign's "risky strategy" is counting on Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and a comeback in Pennsylvania.
Remember this from now until Nov. 3

Smartest Woman On Television

From NYT:
Rachel Maddow, a woman who does not own a television set, has done something that is virtually unheard of: she has doubled the audience for a cable news channel’s 9 p.m. hour in a matter of days.
More important for her bosses at MSNBC is that “The Rachel Maddow Show,” her left-leaning news and commentary program, has averaged a higher rating among 25- to 54-year-olds than “Larry King Live” on CNN for 13 of the 25 nights she has been host. While the average total audience of her program remains slightly smaller than that of Mr. King’s, Ms. Maddow, 35, has made MSNBC competitive in that time slot for the first time in a decade. The channel at that hour has an average viewership of 1.7 million since she started on Sept. 8, compared with 800,000 before.

Did You Know?

In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift—fast!
That was part of a plea from MoveOn to get involved. They need help to keep people from getting complacent.
They want you to volunteer at your local Obama or Dem headquarters. Me, I plan to sign up this week to do GOTV phone work in battleground states. You can sign up at the top right. At worst, donate some more, some of it will likely go towards crucial down-ticket races, like Gov. Gregoire's squeaker in our Washington state. Can't believe the Seattle Times recommended Rossi today, while four other newspapers that were for Rossi four years ago came over to Gregoire.

Here's the full MoveOn email:
Dear MoveOn member,
Across the country, folks like you have been working hard to talk to voters about Barack Obama. Thanks so much for all you've been doing!

Here's one more simple thing you can do right now—it takes just 30 seconds. Do you know Obama supporters who might be watching the news and starting to think that this election's in the bag? That Obama's got this wrapped up?

If so, please forward them the below Top 5 list of reasons Obama supporters can't rest easy. Let's spread this far and wide, and make sure folks don't let up, now that the finish line is in sight!


1. The polls may be wrong. This is an unprecedented election. No one knows how racism may affect what voters tell pollsters—or what they do in the voting booth. And the polls are narrowing anyway. In the last few days, John McCain has gained ground in most national polls, as his campaign has gone even more negative.

2. Dirty tricks. Republicans are already illegally purging voters from the rolls in some states. They're whipping up hysteria over ACORN to justify more challenges to new voters. Misleading flyers about the voting process have started appearing in black neighborhoods. And of course, many counties still use unsecure voting machines.

3. October surprise. In politics, 15 days is a long time. The next McCain smear could dominate the news for a week. There could be a crisis with Iran, or Bin Laden could release another tape, or worse.

4. Those who forget history... In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift—fast!

5. Landslide. Even with Barack Obama in the White House, passing universal health care and a new clean-energy policy is going to be hard. Insurance, drug and oil companies will fight us every step of the way. We need the kind of landslide that will give Barack a huge mandate.

If you agree that we can't rest easy, please sign up to volunteer at your local Obama office by clicking here:

We're just 15 days away from turning the page on the Bush era—but we can't afford to take our eye off the ball. We've got to keep pushing until the very end.
By sending this email to others, encouraging them to volunteer with Obama, and signing ourselves up to volunteer for Obama, we can make a big difference together and help Obama win.

Thanks for all you do.

–Adam, Lenore, Adam G., Patrick S. and the rest of the team

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 4.2 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Cloris! One Of My Favorites

You've come a long way from Frau Blucher, baby.

From NYT:
Roughly an hour after performing a tango that would earn her another week on “Dancing With the Stars” last Monday, Cloris Leachman took a moment to look ahead to where her career, still-blossoming at 82, might go once her time on the ABC hit dance competition runs its course.
“I could get pregnant,” she said in an interview in her trailer, where, completely coincidentally, she insisted on changing out of her ballroom gown in front of a reporter. “I’ve got a bit of time before my next project. Maybe I’ll be on ‘American Idol.’ ”

What Voter Fraud?

Kos caught this today:
"An agreement announced today by Obama for America, the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, the Michigan Republican Party, the Michigan Democratic Party, the Macomb County Republican Party, the Macomb County Democratic Party, and plaintiffs Duane Maletski, Sharon Lopez, and Frances M. Zick protects the voting rights of foreclosure victims. The settlement acknowledges the existence of an illegal scheme by the Republicans to use mortgage foreclosure lists to deny foreclosure victims their right to vote. This settlement has the force of law behind it and ensures that Republicans cannot disenfranchise families facing foreclosure." 

On The Ground Voting Report

A really good story full of links from, of all sources, the Washington Times' political reporter.
Early voters were heckled in North Carolina and accused of "cheating." A big deal was made about voting on a Sunday.
Approx. two weeks, twelve hours to go and the latest poll has Obama up 8 points in Ohio, tied in Missouri where he drew crowds of 100k and 75k over the weekend.
Landslide, I tells yah.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Widows Of Eastwick

Yeah, Updike really did write a sequel. I loved the Witches of Eastwick, but it was light entertainment.
Ms. Kakutani doesn't think much of the new one, but offers a striking quote for someone of my gemeration:

"deeper into the engulfing indifference that readies us for death.”

Yipes, how did he know?

Update: Frequent commenter adds a friend's observation:
As a friend of mine, generally known as the Village Pessimist, would put it: Life's a bitch, and then you die. And when you're buried you find your grave is half-full of rain water.And then soon afterwards your tombstone falls over"

Forgive the erratic appearance of this post, blogger was being difficult.

Sarah Palin

Opened SNL and stayed around for the whole thing. She did great, but so did the writers.

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

Everyone expected this after learning he was scheduled for Meet the Press today.
It's always about winning the news cycle.
And while O is still well ahead in the polls, everyone is also worried about the increasing nastiness from Camp McSline, something which Powell seems uniquely qualified to speak out loud and often on.