Dumber than dumber than ad infinitem…

Max, 2008/09/30 



Fox News — still makin’ the Koolaid fresh — everyday!


Um. Gee…looks to me like they were all voting for Obama. The one guy who was going to vote for Mccain was completely shot down by his wife! And when it was time to raise his hand for Obama, he finally did the right thing!

Meanwhile, everyone else in the diner was voting for Obama and you can hear them LAUGHING after the idiot from Fox News describes it as a “split”.

Michael Moore is happy (for now)


Congratulations, Corporate Crime Fighters! Coup Averted for Three Days! …from Michael Moore


Everyone said the bill would pass. The masters of the universe were already making celebratory dinner reservations at Manhattan’s finest restaurants. Personal shoppers in Dallas and Atlanta were dispatched to do the early Christmas gifting. Mad Men of Chicago and Miami were popping corks and toasting each other long before the morning latte run.

But what they didn’t know was that hundreds of thousands of Americans woke up yesterday morning and decided it was time for revolt. The politicians never saw it coming. Millions of phone calls and emails hit Congress so hard it was as if Marshall Dillon, Elliot Ness and Dog the Bounty Hunter had descended on D.C. to stop the looting and arrest the thieves.

The Corporate Crime of the Century was halted by a vote of 228 to 205. It was rare and historic; no one could remember a time when a bill supported by the president and the leadership of both parties went down in defeat. That just never happens.

Read the rest.

The Confession Of George W. Bush.


My fellow Americans, I was supposed to make a speech…about the economy, but something’s happened, to… to change all that.

A few days ago… I figured something out. Something about myself. I might call it an epiphany, if I really knew what that meant. I just — I just had a moment, where I saw everything clearly. So, bear with me — I’ll try to keep it short and simple, like me. (pause for laughter)

Whatever it was, whatever happened to me, changed me forever. I’ve been under a lot of stress, a lot of pressure. It’s not easy to be the worst president ever at the end of your last term. Not even my most trusted advisers show me real respect anymore. Everyone knows the game is up. It’s all over for me. I had a chance, and I blew it, big time.

This will be how I’m remembered forever, unless I do something different, right here, right now. And this is what I’m going to do: I’m going to tell the truth. For the first time. Just the truth. It’s going to set me free. Maybe some of you as well. Here it is.

I didn’t win the 2000 election. Scalia and Thomas put me in. That was all a bunch of bullcrap, using laws intended to protect the rights of minorities to — overturn the very meaning of our democracy. I knew it. Karl Rove knew it. Dick Cheney knew it. But we took it anyway. By rights, you all should be listening to Al Gore talking at the end of his second term. He’s the better man, and he won. It’d be a better world if we hadn’t put greed and a lust for power over our duty to the nation, as Americans. We did something no real American could live with. But that’s not even the half of it.

I can’t talk to you about 9/11. I don’t really know what happened. This is going to sound strange to some of you, but I’ve been staying up all night, reading blogs. I read all of ’em, from Crooks and Liars, to the Talking Point Memo — I spent a lot of time going back through the Democratic Underground. I learned a lot, let me tell you, and I know some of you think I caused 9/11, but that’s not really true. I think, from what I’ve seen, that something bad happened — some of our people were involved, and part of me knew about it, knew we’d done something to help it along. We needed it, to do what we need to do. Again, we did something no real American could live with, and used that attack to take almost a supreme power over this great nation. We brought it to its knees, and taught it tricks. and now, at long last, we’ve almost succeeded in killing off the very idea of America.

It helped that — everyone’s so hooked into the tube, and we kind of owned the tube, and so everyone saw pretty much what we wanted them to see. We succeeded because a large part of the American public has their mind trapped in a sort of cage, a cage of fear and misinformation, and we tapped in to that, and controlled it, and almost made it to that terrible place, where words don’t mean anything at all anymore. You can thank Rush Limbaugh and a couple of others for that.

I have to thank — those people, they call themselves ‘progressives’, mostly — without them, I’d a been king by now. Those funny-looking wild-eyed liberal bloggers liviing down in the basement saved us all. We should all shake their hands. American owes them for keeping its very soul safe from the hands of unscrupulous men, and I’m talking about me. Most everything they said about me and the neoconservative movement is true.

We stole the 2004 election. Karl Rove spun out this master plan with a hundred different ways of doing the deed, and it worked like a charm. Right in front of everyone. Everybody laughed at the people who spoke out about it. But they were right. Just like with almost everything else, I knew about it, but I didn’t know everything. I could feel it, though. I could feel it.

We faked up all the evidence to go after Iraq. We just wanted the oil, and the defense contract money, and I had a personal grudge on Saddaam. Most of you all bought it hook, line and sinker — except for those liberals, again. Those ‘progressives’, that we wiretapped and spied on. We called ’em ‘commies’ and ‘cowards’.

Now, I call them Americans.

I’m awake. Somthing happened, and I’ve seen the light, and I’m not going back. I’ll probably end up in prison; I belong there, along with Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, believe me. I’m going to be as honest with the judge as I’m being with you right now, and that means a lot of people are going to jail with me. And that’s a good thing, because there hasn’t been a whole lot of justice in this country for a long time.

I can imagine this is a all a big shock to every American. I can tell you this: before I get arrested, I’m going to use every bit of power I have to turn back the clock and set things right. I’m so sorry to have done what I’ve done. I can’t — fix everything. But I’m going to try.

One last thing, my fellow Americans. One last thing. I’m going to work like hell to get this bright young man Barack Obama elected. If you vote for John McCain, then you’re voting to finish the job. It’ll be the end of the United States of America, believe me. Barack’s a good man, with a good heart, and I don’t think we’ve every seen anything like him in these times. I’ll be supporting him with every last dollar and every last ounce of strength I have left. We need to elect Barack Obama as President of the United States. It won’t fix everything, but it’s a start.

If you can’t find it in your heart to vote for him, I have this to say to you: wake up.

Because I have.

Thank you, and goodnight.

Snow Falling on Mars

Max, 2008/09/29 

Honey, I’ll be out for a bit, going on a little ski trip…

Mars Craft Detects Falling Snow

Icy snow falls from high in Mars’s atmosphere and may even reach the planet’s surface, scientists working with NASA’s Phoenix lander reported yesterday.

Laser instruments aboard the lander detected the snow in clouds about 2 1/2 miles above the surface and followed the precipitation as it fell more than a mile. But because of limitations with the technology, it was unclear whether any of the powdery stuff made it all the way to the surface.

Peak Oil and the Bailout


There’s a DailyKos diary up which ties together these concepts nicely. Here’s the core of the thesis:

In a nutshell: our current economic problem is at the very least partially caused by the advent of peak oil, and in considering whether to support the bailout it is useful to take this into account. More specifically, what peak oil theory suggests is that much of the bailout money will never be repaid. Here is why:

1. At the root of the securities mess is the housing bubble collapse. The reason the alphabet soup of securitized instruments became toxic is that their underlying value are mortgages. And those mortgages lost value because they are tied to homes that are worth less than what is owed for them. No matter how insolvent the borrower is, if the house was worth more than what is owed, it could probably be sold to a more solvent borrower before foreclosure.

2. The housing bubble collapse is at least partially linked to Peak Oil. Kunstler has been writing about this for years, but here it is in a nutshell: a huge proportion of the housing bubble went into the development of unsustainable suburban environments. When the age of cheap oil ended in 2005, the real cost of these properties became evident. That is when the bubble burst.

3. This has enormous implications for the true value of the so called assets we would buy under the proposed bailout schemes. Most of these assets are mortgages on suburban homes, at a time when the suburban era is one way or the other slowly coming to an end. There are already virtual ghost towns in Florida, Nevada, and Arizona. These places are not coming back, and eventually many other suburbs and exurbs will meet a similar fate. What is the value of holding the title to a $300K abandoned home in one of these empty suburbs? Potentially as little as zero.

“Miss Jean Louise, Stand Up, Your Father’s Passin’.”

byronius, 2008/09/28 

hand across obama

K Gardner

It takes awhile, they say, for the result of a debate to settle in. A bit of time for the words and images to weave their way into our souls and deposit there a lasting image – the impression we then take away for all time. I guess that is why the pundits get it so terribly wrong so very often. They’ve allowed no time for the settling. And anyway, they see what they want to see, what they’re told to see; and from there, try to influence and mold what we see.

I’ve been mostly sad today. I left the TV off. And I didn’t know why until I watched a re-run of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and was dumbstruck by this line, this scene:

“ Miss Jean Louise, stand up, your father’s passin’.”

The people relegated to the balcony stood in unison as Atticus Finch passed. A silent gesture of respect, of honor, to a man who struggled to do what was right, no matter what the personal cost. A man who fought for principles greater and far beyond himself.

And I cried, realizing then that I was thinking about Barack Obama and how hard it must have been for him to stand on that stage and talk to a man who refused to even acknowledge his presence. Who refused, out of a meanness of spirit unfathomable to me, to look him in the eyes, man-to-man; human being to human being, Senator to Senator. I realized then why the picture of him hugging Michelle afterward touched me so. She alone would understand how that hurt him. A hurt he would likely never voice to anyone but her. Yet he stood there, for 90 minutes, without acknowledgement from his opponent. Stood there brave and calm and unflinching, fighting for us and for the principles he believes in.

I turned, as I so often do, to “Dreams from my Father”, to Barack Obama’s own words to try to find some meaning, some salvation; perhaps to assuage my own guilt over the affront I felt was afforded to Barack Obama. And I found, in pages 156-158, words he wrote about people on the South Side – how they felt about accomplishment and the obstacles they had to overcome to be accepted; and how often they were not accepted.

“So, despite the deserved sense of accomplishment these men and women felt, despite the irrefutable evidence of their own progress, our conversations were marked by another, more ominous strain. The boarded-up homes, the decaying storefronts, the aging church rolls, kids from unknown families who swaggered down the streets – loud congregations of teenaged boys, teenage girls feeding potato chips to crying toddlers, the discarded wrappers tumbling down the block – all of it whispered painful truths, told them the progress they’d found was ephemeral, rooted in thin soil; that it might not even last their lifetimes”.
“As it had for the men in Smitty’s barbershop, the election had given these people a new idea of themselves. Or maybe it was an old idea, born of a simpler time. Harold was something they still held in common: Like my idea of organizing, he held out an offer of collective redemption.”

Even after this, when the man who refused eye contact stumbled painfully upon a name, this remarkable American said to him with a soul full of humility and compassion, “That’s ok John, that’s a hard one.”

That is the mark of greatness. The man who stood there without being acknowledged, unflinching and without a spark of bitterness in his heart, is the next President of the United States.

It’s about Respect. It’s about Hope and the Future of a nation. It’s about the struggle for Human Dignity throughout the ages.

It is, most of all, about Equality.

“Miss Jean Louise, stand up, your father’s passin’.”

The Pipe

Max, 2008/09/27 

When Stubb had departed, Ahab stood for a while leaning over the bulwarks; and then, as had been usual with him of late, calling a sailor of the watch, he sent him below for his ivory stool, and also his pipe. Lighting the pipe at the binnacle lamp and planting the stool on the weather side of the deck, he sat and smoked.

In old Norse times, the thrones of the sea-loving Danish kings were fabricated, saith tradition, of the tusks of the Narwhale. How could one look at Ahab then, seated on that tripod of bones, without bethinking him of the royalty it symbolized? For a Khan of the plank, and a king of the sea, and a great lord of Leviathans was Ahab.

Some moments passed, during which the thick vapor came from his mouth in quick and constant puffs, which blew back again into his face. ‘How now,’ he soliloquized at last, withdrawing the tube, ‘this smoking no longer soothes. Oh, my pipe! hard must it go with me if thy charm be gone! Here have I been unconsciously toiling, not pleasuring, — aye, and ignorantly smoking to windward all the while; to windward, and with such nervous whiffs, as if, like the dying whale, my final jets were the strongest and fullest of trouble. What business have I with this pipe? This thing that is meant for sereneness, to send up mild white vapors among mild white hairs, not among torn iron-grey locks like mine. I’ll smoke no more — ‘

He tossed the still lighted pipe into the sea. The fire hissed in the waves; the same instant the ship shot by the bubble the sinking pipe made. With slouched hat, Ahab lurchingly paced the planks.

Moby Dick, Ch xxx

Downright Ugly.



I’m Sending Barack Some Energy Tonight.

byronius, 2008/09/26 

He needs it. He’s carrying a heavy load, and I’m proud of him, proud to be behind him.

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