Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

US army about to deploy in the Continental USA

This is not supposed to happen. Americans have not allowed their military to operate on American soil in a very long time. As the Army Times reports, that's about to change. Glenn Greeenwald has more.

Timeline of the 2008 financial crisis

Major events in 2008 culminating in the present financial crisis:
  • Mar 14 - Bear Stearns gets Fed funding as shares plummet
  • Mar 16 - Bear Stearns gets acquired for $2 a share by JPMorgan Chase in a fire sale avoiding bankruptcy. The deal is backed by Federal Reserve providing up to $30B to cover possible Bear Stearn losses.
  • Sep 07 - Federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
  • Sep 14 - Merrill Lynch sold to Bank of America amidst fears of a liquidity crisis and Lehman Brothers collapse
  • Sep 15 - Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy protection
  • Sep 16 - Moody's and Standard and Poor's downgrade ratings on AIG's credit on concerns over continuing losses to mortgage-backed securities, sending the company into fears of insolvency.
  • Sep 17 - The US Federal Reserve loans $85 billion to American International Group (AIG) to avoid bankruptcy.
  • Sep 19 - Paulson financial rescue plan unveiled after a volatile week in stock and debt markets.
Source: this Wikipedia article, which includes related events prior to 2008.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Omama: Can McCain walk and chew gum?

Obama, responding to McCain's call to postpone debate at news conference in Clearwater, Fla., said:
It's my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess. It's going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once.
Obama makes an important point. A president can't be sure he will be able to put everything else on hold just so he can handle only one particular crisis at a time.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Palin lies

Sullivan writes: "for the record, let it be known that the candidate for vice-president for the GOP is a compulsive, repetitive, demonstrable liar."

Andrew Sullivan has compiled a list of 12 documented lies told by Sarah Palin. This list makes a fine compliment to the Sarah Palin scandal timeline.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cindy McCain Addiction cover-up

Here is a quote from the WaPo article on the subject:
"It's not just about her addiction, it's what she did to cover up her addiction and the lives of other people that she ruined, or put at jeopardy at least."
One's heart goes out to John and Cindy and those whose careers they may have ruined.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

APA torture vote absurd

The NY Times reports:
Members of the American Psychological Association have voted to prohibit consultation in the interrogations of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, or so-called black sites operated by the Central Intelligence Agency overseas, the association said on Wednesday.

The vote, 8,792 to 6,157 in a mail-in balloting concluded Monday, may help to settle a long debate within the profession over the ethics of such work. Psychologists have helped military and C.I.A. interrogators evaluate detainees, plan questioning strategy and judge its psychological costs. . . . .
How could this resolution have passed? Why would a psychologist who sincerely opposed torture still belong to the APA in 2008? Have these people no integrity? More thoughts on the vote here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Live-blogged McCain speech

I attempted to live-blog McCain's speech tonight.
  • McCain refers to 9/11. Here we go again. This might set the tone. I hope not.
  • USA! USA! USA!
  • BTW, my wife Cindy is a Saint. But tasteful recognition of his mother.
  • Very slow start to a speech I am getting bored.
  • We are dedicated to proposition ... Quotes Lincoln's Gettysburg address. Lincoln freed the slaves. Then pays respect to Obama's achievement -- not even a pause before he adds "But we will win."
  • Prosperity and peace. -- Good to know he wants peace.
  • USA! USA! USA! What is this a football game? Inappropriate cheering.
  • "Americans struggling to put food on table. "
  • USA! USA! -- how is this jingoistic display an appropriate response to economic problems? Shows supporters' level of mental development.
  • Cindy takes on special interests, wonderful mother of 5 children. Ran a small business (the car wash).
  • I'm still waiting for the speech to begin. It is so slow moving.
  • To the me first crowd, change is coming! Big strained smile.
  • I don't have habit of breaking promises.
  • I fought drug companies, tobacco, trial lawyers, etc. Fought for more troop in Iraq when not popular thing to do.
  • (Speech is getting better)
  • Spoke to soon. "I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war." -- His old insinuation that Obama is unpatriotic.
  • List of ordinary people he fights for. Stories. I will take a nap here. McCain says these people matter to him. Honors war dead.
  • Speech moves so slowly.
  • "We lost trust when Republicans gave into temptation. Both parties made government bigger. Both parties pass oil corporate welfare. We valued power over our principles. " Will renew Republican Party: "Back to basics." Party of Lincoln. We believe: in low taxes, risk takers, defense, faith, service, Culture of Life, rule of law,
  • Government should enable choice-making, opportunity.
  • My opponent will raise taxes . . .
  • Boooo! Boooo!
  • Cut biz taxes. 2nd highest in world. (Good line, but mostly because government puts healthcare cost onto businesses.)
  • Opponent will bring back old jobs, we find new jobs for them "jobs that won't go away." Easier said than done.
  • Payment for retraining workers, new employment at a decent wage (note: not same wage).
  • This is so boring. I've heard this crap for years from this Party.
  • Public education: boot the lousy teachers. School choice. "Obama says schools should answer to bureaucrats. But I want schools to answer to parents and students." -- I like this line (for the fact he included students). "and when I'm president they will."
  • Says foreign aid won't go to countries that don't like us very much.
  • USA! USA!
  • Energy . . . Wells -- we'll drill them now.
  • Foreign policy section: Al Quaeda still a threat. Iran terror sponsor.
  • Russia ambitions of "reassembling the Russian Empire. People of Georgia need our solidarity and our prayers." Will work to establish good relations with Russia. Won't tolerate "international lawlessness." We face many threats, but I'm not afraid of them, I'm prepared for them. I know how military works. What it can do. I know how world works. Good and evil in it. How to work with leaders. How to stand up to those who don't (work with us). I know how to secure the peace.
  • Vietnam section. I hate war. I am running for Pres. to keep other families from sending kids to war. Will work toward stable and enduring peace.
  • This was a good section of the speech. He's in his element talking war and peace.
  • We must change way government does almost everything. -- Fine. How?
  • "I have scars to prove (my record), Sen. Obama does not." Tacky.
  • It's not such a bad speech. Too bad he lost all credibility by picking Palin.
  • War stories coming.
  • "History has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need." Oh really? I don't like this historical destiny stuff.
  • Make country better if you don't like it. Fight with me! Fight for what's right with our country! Fight for our children's future! Stand up for each other! Stand up and fight! Nothing is inevitable here! We are Americans, we never hide from history! We make history!
  • Thank you and God bless you and God bless America.
  • Great finish to the speech. Truly a flourish at the conclusion. But wrong crowd. These people he is addressing are not so noble or high minded as McCain. Kind of tragic when you think about it. The last good Caesar.
Update: the ill-timed chanting of USA! USA! was actually an effort to drown out hecklers.

For republicans, drilling is a moral virtue

"Drill for oil" proved to be a popular theme at the RNC the evening. Giuliani talked about drilling:

I learned as a trial lawyer a long time ago, if you don't have the facts, you've got to change them. So our opponents want to re- frame the debate.

You change the facts? It seems to me this statement mainly said something about Rudy's own ethical standards.*

They would have you believe that this election is about change versus more of the same, but that's really a false choice, because there's good change and bad change.


Because change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy.


John McCain -- John McCain will bring about the change that will create jobs and prosperity. Let's talk briefly about specifics.

Why only briefly? The speeches have been short on specifics.

John McCain will lower taxes so our economy can grow.


He'll reduce government to strengthen our dollar. He'll expand free trade so we can be more competitive. And he will lead us to energy independence so we can be free of foreign oil.


And -- and he'll do it with an all-of-the-above approach, including nuclear power, and, yes, off-shore oil drilling.


Drill, baby, drill?


Drill, baby, drill.

GIULIANI: This -- this -- this is the kind of change -- now, you guys are ready to break out. Whoa.

This -- this -- this and a lot more is the kind of change that will create growth, jobs, and prosperity, not what they want to do, tax us more, increase the size of government, increase tariffs, hurt jobs, send jobs elsewhere.

This is the king of change? What? Drilling? That counts as real change? You can the full text transcript of the speech here.

Does offshore drilling help? On his blog, Julian Cole explains why offshore drilling won't make any appreciable difference in terms of solving the overall US energy crisis.
* Update. Reading James Fallow's blog, I was struck to see that he had made the same observation in an update to his post about the Giuliani speech.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Amy Goodman arrested at RNC

NPR radio host and journalist Amy Goodman arrested.

Map of levies in New Orleans

Wikipedia: New Orleans
SPECIAL COVERAGE I live-blogged the spontaneous Obama victory celebration in Washington DC. Experience what it felt like to be among thousands of deliriously happy people gathered outside the White House. Click here.

Previously, I had been blogging about the Obama, McCain and the US election. I wrote about Sarah Palin on this blog even before McCain chose her to be his running mate. The choice was disappointing, and a possibility I had anticipated.

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