These ads against him are horrible, and his opponent's record in Tennessee politics the last few years has been horrible too, so maybe I'm not too invested in seeing him lose on Tuesday. He's a vastly superior politician when compared to the likes of Bill Frist or Jon Kyl, so I suppose I should wish for him to be knocked off and replaced by a less able Republican leader. And of course I'd like to see the Democrats win his seat, in general. But if his loss means legitimizing ads like that or forgiving Lunsford's political moves over the last few years ... well, maybe I won't feel quite so bad about it if he wins.
David Tennant has announced that his run as Doctor Who will end next year. Who will take his place in 2010? BBC News list some possibilities (McAvoy? Really? I love him, but I don't know about that idea). Of the names that are getting thrown around, I might pick John Simm. After all, he's already successfully played one Time Lord.
And they are spending about $700,000 to do it. They are also spending $400,000 to try to get Republican Beth Walker elected to the Supreme Court. These are the statewide races I'm going to be watching the most closely in West Virginia.
I think Benen's right to ask - where do you start with an ad this deplorable?
This week I've been staying in more than usual during the dark hours, and as a result I've caught up my Netflix. Earlier I mentioned that I quite enjoyed The Fall. I am happy to say that I also found much positive across the whole of Torchwood's second season. I was always a fan of the premise of the show, of certain parts of the supporting cast, some of the inventiveness, some of the music, and of course I'd been a fan of the character of Captain Jack on Doctor Who. But sadly the first season was a real mixed bag, and one could quite credibly argue it had more misses than hits. The second season however is a great improvement. Sure here there John Barrowman's mugging is a bit much, and the show goes in for the usual tv silliness of people with severe injuries nevertheless being able to accomplish impressive feats of strength and concentration. But those are very minor marks against it. On the whole it's inventive and fun, the most tiresome character traits and storylines from season 1were dropped, and here and there it's actually sincerely moving. All in all a very good season that I imagine I'll end up buying.
My other tv dvd of late has been closing out the final season of Will & Grace. Talk about your show that features more misses than hits ... As much as I enjoyed Karen Walker (love her) and many of the recurring characters, on the whole that show tended to be tiresome and rather self-involved. Well, not necessarily the show - but the lead characters. The finale was enough to make you want to gag, with its invocation of fate, and charting the paths of these dim, petty and dull people across the years. That said, the episode that preceded it was really pretty great. Since it was good it's not surprising that it was a Karen-centered episode. But beyond that it also featured two favorites of mine, Bernadette Peters and Josh Lucas, who were great sports (even though the writing for Lucas was poor). And as an added plus producer Abraham Higginbotham got a few lines. As a former writer for Arrested Development (he also appeared as Gary on the show), he's another old favorite. So while the long-running series didn't end in a particularly interesting way, I was happy to see that the last Karen episode was pulled off well.
A good answer to a fifth grader, in my home county.
All those in favor of declaring this election over, raise your hands.
One...four...seven...eleven...yup, I think that's everyone.
Is this ever going to end?
Wayne Coyne, guitar hero (good stuff starts after 2 min mark).
I've long assumed Tim Geithner was the favorite for the job, but here Robert Kuttner makes a good case for naming the Republican head of the FDIC.
I stayed up last night to watch a movie that had been sitting on my tv for quite some time. In retrospect, why did I wait so long to watch it? The Fall is stunning to see, and it's one of my favorite movies of the year (not that that's saying much, in and of itself). It will no doubt be best known for its look, and I'd certainly throw it into the mix for costumes and art direction awards. But apart from being a visual marvel it's also a sweet story of two injured people, and the dreamy world they create through storytelling. And it features Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies' The Pie Maker) at his most appealing. To get a sense of its scope and spirit, consider the opening and closing paragraphs of Roger Ebert's review.
Tarsem's "The Fall" is a mad folly, an extravagant visual orgy, a free-fall from reality into uncharted realms. Surely it is one of the wildest indulgences a director has ever granted himself. Tarsem, for two decades a leading director of music videos and TV commercials, spent millions of his own money to finance "The Fall," filmed it for four years in 28 countries and has made a movie that you might want to see for no other reason than because it exists. There will never be another like it ...
At this point in reviews of movies like "The Fall" (not that there are any), I usually announce that I have accomplished my work. I have described what the movie does, how it looks while it is doing it, and what the director has achieved. Well, what has he achieved? "The Fall" is beautiful for its own sake. And there is the sweet charm of the young Romanian actress Catinca Untaru, who may have been dubbed for all I know, but speaks with the innocence of childhood, working her way through tangles of words. She regards with equal wonder the reality she lives in, and the fantasy she pretends to. It is her imagination that creates the images of Roy's story, and they have a purity and power beyond all calculation. Roy is her perfect storyteller, she is his perfect listener, and together they build a world.
The rest of Ebert's review will give you a fuller sense of the project. I give it a thumbs up too.
If only McCain had picked him to run with - he would not be in the trouble he's in now.
The Democrats have been running it, with the slimmest possible margin, and the Democrats are forecase to keep running it, with a larger margin - but there could be notable changes at the top. Biden out at Foreign Relations? Byrd out at Appropriations? Kennedy out at Health, Education, Labor and Pensions? Much depending on Chris Dodd's choice (Banking, HELP, or Foreign Relations)? Sources say Harry Reid is looking for efficiency, and is ready to challenge seniority.
Assuming all goes as expected (from the polls) Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will be the first Roman Catholic to serve as Vice President in the country's history. It's interesting that that "first" will happen 48 years after the first Roman Catholic president.
The Philadelphia Daily News blasts McCain-Palin for repeatedly saying that rural America is the best America. It's an elitist view that overlooks the many negative societal problems that are worse in small towns than in urban America. Plus of course it's divisive, and kind of silly to argue that the great bulk of Americans (those who don't live in small towns) are somehow less representative of Americans than the minority of Americans who live in out in rural areas. That's some peculiar math.
Check it here.
Of course, there's a lot of steps between a plan and a tax cut, but this goes to show the "Joe the plumber" argument doesn't hold much water.
Geography is destiny.
Since moving to WV my allergies have been hideous, and I have recently begun using a neti pot. And for the first time, today, in the new Kroger which is set up to look rather like a Whole Paycheck, I held in my hand a bizarre and delightful looking fruit.
Why destiny as geography you ask? Apparently this is what happens to people - bloggers, at least - in this part of WV.
Just throwing this out there on a slow, rainy Saturday afternoon. Yes, it's waaaay early. But since several of us like to speculate about such things ...
This week, as it has started to look more and more like Sen. Obama is going to win the presidency 10 days from now, I began to think future election cycles. In particular, I began to think about who might possibly emerge as the Democratic Party's first female presidential candidate. If Sen. Obama wins he will, in all likelihood, be the party's nominee once more in 2012. But what happens in 2016? That's 100 lifetimes away in politics. But at the same time party nominees tend to come from a narrow range of possible candidates. They fit within a particular ideological spectrum. They can raise money. And they are almost always sitting governors or sitting senators. So trying to think of who could be the nominee 8 years from now really isn't all that crazy.
So if someone was hoping to back a female contender in 2016, who should they have their eye on? Well, at the moment they should be keeping their eyes on people who have yet to emerge on the national scene. I partially say that because more often than not during my lifetime running against Washington has been the road to success at the national level. I also say that given that 1) the current female governors may very well be out of the public eye 8 years from now, 2) people rarely discuss presidential runs by any of the women who would currently be classified as veterans in the Senate, and 3) of those whose names would be mentioned in such a conversation (Feinstein and Boxer, and for that matter Clinton), they'll be pretty old in 2016.
So who does that leave us with? I'd say these are the top 5 contenders.
Lisa Madigan, the Attorney General of Illinois. If she should run against and defeat the Illinois' unpopular Democratic governor in 2010, and she might, she would have an excellent platform from which to run.
Alex Sink, the CFO of Florida. If she runs against and defeats Sen. Martinez (R) in 2010, she'd have 6 years of Senate experience to run on, on top of her years in the private sector. She's married to another prominent politician (Bill McBride), comes from a swing state, and should be able to raise a lot of money.
Kay Hagan, currently running against Sen. Dole in North Carolina. A moderate woman from one of this year's top battlegrounds, if she wins this year and in 2014 she could emerge as possibility. North Carolina is a big state, and she may also be able to raise money.
Claire McCaskill, the junior senator from Missouri. Elected in 2006, she's been one of the Obama campaign's best surrogates. She also comes from a battleground state. She serves on key committees, and would seem to be a viable option if she's reelected in 2012.
A woman from Nevada who defeats Gov. Gibbons in 2010 or Sen. Ensign in 2012. Nevada is another swing state and fundraising center, and of course it's key to the Southwestern strategy advocated by Tom Schaller and others. Nevada has a deep Democratic bench thanks to the 2006 elections, and one of several women could rise higher there including Kate Marshall, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Speaker Barbara Buckley.
There are other possibilities as well. If Rep. Betty Sutton (OH) was to win Sen. Voinovich's seat in 2010 she could be in the mix, as could Tammy Duckworth if she's appointed to Sen. Obama's seat in the Senate, or Susan Gaertner if she unseats Gov. Pawlenty in Minnesota in 2010 (though that's unlikely). And perhaps some sitting senator will arise to greater heights by then. In any event, now that the glass ceiling has been cracked, I would think that a woman is sure to be a major candidate in 2016 and it will be interesting to see who emerges.
Finally saw Matthew Sweet last night, as he brought his California sunshine drenched music to a gloomy, rainy fall night in Pittsburgh. As is required of anyone of my age group, there was a time in the early nineties where Matthew Sweet represented the perfection of the intelligent pop song. Before the show I was a little apprehensive, given that in recent years he's been off producing and making pottery - aside from the Susanna Hoffs stuff - and I figured there was a decent chance that it would be a "mailing it in" situation (as it was with Son Volt last year). Instead, he brought the rock and it was a good, if short, show. Unfortunately I've become spoiled by seeing a lot of bands that have played together for ages, and also that play long shows that warm up as they go. This was a quick sixteen song set, and I won't say it was all business but it was pretty well-structured. The opener, the Bridges, were a bit too precious for me, but they were produced by Sweet on their last album. All in all, not a bad escape for a Friday night (and Mr. Smalls was no smoking for a change!) but I think I'll stick to buying the studio stuff, which I love, because for me a three hour drive isn't worth an hour long show. Still, I recommend the new CD highly. Check it out here.
Via Sullivan, this is interesting. Preditcably, Obama is winning more endorsements from the nation's bigger papers, And there are more papers that are endorsing Obama this year after endorsing George Bush in 2004 than there are papers that are endorsing McCain this year after endorsing John Kerry in 2004. But McCain has won several endorsements too. If you look over McCain's endorsers - the San Diego Union-Tribune, The (Columbia) State, the New York Post, the Boston Herald, the San Francisco Examiner, the DC and Baltimore Examiners, the Columbus Dispatch, the San Antonio Express-News, the Dallas Morning News, the Detroit News, the Tampa Tribune - you'll see a lot of papers that are traditionally friendly to Republican candidates. But some prominent Republican-friendly papers aren't backing the Arizona senator. For example, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times are endorsing the Democratic nominee for president for the first time in the history of those papers. That's worth noting given the importance of the Chicago Tribune to Republican politics, historically, and the fact that it's the biggest paper in the country that's based between DC and California.
Mike Smith had an exciting afternoon at Santa Anita. First he rode favored Stardom Bound to victory in the Juvenile Fillies, ahead of Dream Express and Sky Diva. Then he was along for the ride as heavy favorite Zenyatta won the big race of the day, the Ladies' Classic (they don't call it the Distaff any more). Zenyatta's career earnings now total over $2 million, and she has still never lost a race. It will be interesting to see if there's a push for her to be named Horse of the Year.
That's what my dad always called the show when I was a kid, although I'd be hard pressed to tell you whether it was really "andy and mayberry" "andy in mayberry" or something else he was actually saying.
See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die
Since mom and dad don't have a computer, maybe Uncle Bubby can pass on the endorsement.
UPDATE: Made the Miami Herald.
Oy, so she's soft on people bombing American homes and buildings (guess those aren't part of "real" America).
Of carbon emissions.
Love that coal, baby.
I don't have much time to post this afternoon, so I figured that this topic might be worth throwing out there for some quick responses. I see 3 people definitely running - Romney, Huckabee and Gingrich. Who else do you think is likely to jump in?
Looks like some of Calatrava's tallest would-be structures may never be built.
Jane Mayer's story on how the McCain campaign came to pick Sarah Palin is interesting. As to the pick itself, it appears to be pretty much what you'd expect. Some including Karl Rove favored Mitt Romney. But to McCain, "all politics is personal", and it would be a cold day in hell before he agreed to run with Romney. Tim Pawlenty and Rob Portman were judged too conventional. The campaign's message was going to be its maverickness, and he wanted a running mate who'd convey that. "The shorter the Washington resume the better." McCain and Lindsey Graham wanted Joe Lieberman, but were apparently talked out of him, fearing a rebellion at the Republican convention. Palin fit the need for an anti-Washington maverick. And McCain apparently wasn't overly worried about the campaign's concerns about her being a novice, or about the fact that he'd spent less than 3 hours with her, total, before announcing her as his running mate.
The more interesting part of the story though is how her name came to be on the short list - of her cultivating the likes of Fred Barnes, Robert Bork, Bill Kristol and Victor David Hanson when they stopped through on right-wing cruises to Alaska. Apparently members of that set, having been wined and dined and enchanted by her (after she sought them out) were beating the drums for her hard, long before August, and it was that behavior that got her onto the short list.
I did not know that the former Georgia congressman, and now the Libertarian Party's candidate for the presidency, spent his formative years abroad, in places like Iraq, Panama and Peru. And he was a Young Democrat at USC - until his parents threatened to pull him out of school if he didn't drop out of the organization.
I'd send 'em here. Think about the grandchildren.
Academics, remind yourselves of how much you believe teaching is calling before going here.
That's what a reporter just got from a court in Afghanistan. Yet another example to bring up, should you wish to argue against the assertion that regime change led by the United States is spreading freedom around the world.
And so it begins:
Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.
This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain".
I early voted in Mon County and both my screen and the in-machine paper printout were consistent. But damn sure I double checked.
"We don't print ballots out because we don't want people going down the street and have someone give them $20 or a pint of whiskey to buy votes.
Well, gosh by golly gee whiz. It's a good thing I don't have any teeth so I can't hold the paper ballot in my mouth, and if I had shoes for sure I'd use that ballot to line the bottom and cover the hole, or probably stick it in the pocket of my overalls and plum forget about the election all together. [head slap] What kind of condescension to the people he works for is that?
Noting that several famous and influential actors never get a nod Guy Lodge proposes a list of actors he thinks need one ASAP. I'll definitely agree with Huppert and Garcia Bernal, and sure, Maggie G. too (loved her so much in Happy Endings). Are there any actors you'd add to the list?
In other Catholic-related news, Rocco Palmo draws attention to the fact that for at least the last few years Southern Methodist University's student body isn't composed of who you might think it would be composed of, given the school's name and how it is governed.
In part, we endorsed Senator Obama because his tax-reduction plan focuses on the betterment of average families and those living at the margins. Center for Disease Control statistics reveal that prosperity directly affects the abortion rate far more significantly than Republican rhetoric pledging to outlaw abortion - a feat John McCain has failed to accomplish with nearly three decades in Congress ...
For 35 years, however, pro-lifers have followed that intellectual siren call, asking the Supreme Court on multiple occasions to reverse Roe v. Wade. We have no objection to pursuing this legal avenue, which does not depend on who occupies the White House - though we have no illusions about it, either. The legal path has not worked to date, and it may never work. The church asks its faithful to find meaningful - not hypothetical - ways to promote human life. While getting the law and philosophy right might eventually do that, it does bring up the question: What are you doing for the cause of life now? The McCain answer: not much ...
We're happy to continue to debate abortion, but the well-worn battlefield Mr. Weigel occupies should not distract voters from tangible policies that would actually reduce abortions. Before unwarranted Republican indenture, Catholic thinking gave proportionate consideration to how well a candidate addressed such important matters as a just economy, a living or family wage, access to health care, stewardship of the environment, fair treatment of immigrants and, not to be overlooked, the just or unjust conduct of a war. This is basic Catholic social teaching. It also just happens to be Barack Obama's policy agenda.
Mark Halperin has an easy but startling question up this morning: When was the last time the Republicans won a national election with neither a Bush nor Nixon on the ticket?
1928, when Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover and Sen. Charles Curtis were the national ticket.
Please join us in wishing much joy and many congratulations to our regular commenter Morris, and Paula his bride, who are getting married this afternoon!
I don't know how she got like this. But whatever did it to her, you should avoid drinking/eating/snorting/seeing/reading/smelling/listening to it.
On the other hand, this is awesome in so many ways that scientists haven't invented a number big enough:
(These videos via The Poorman, who doesn't get enough credit for taking over for Fafblog.)
While reading over their live blog of the debate, I caught an entry (8:50 pm) that said they were in Morgantown. And we missed it! I just talked to one of our friends/colleagues in the English department who was telling me that lately she lives on their blog.
If this is how it goes, I will have a large knot on my forehead at the end.
2. Obama seems a little impatient.
3. Oooh.... "during the Depression we had..." And we ate squirrel soup too!
4. The overhead projecter. Dude, come on. It's the laser show!
5. "I'm not president bush!" Assholio!
6. "I got the scars to prove it." How many times has he trotted that one out?
7. The blinky smile is really creepy.
8. Oh he did not just go to the Lewis thing.
9. I gotta say, McNasty is on message. Not getting as flustered tonight, no "my friends."
10. Nice response... the American people don't care about our hurt feelings.
11. Christ on a crutch Joe the fucking plumber again.
12. Negative eleventy billion points from McCain for Gore-Sighs.
13. What the? I'm not going to stand for saying something about old guys in hats? Huh?
14. Right. Obama is back to the issues again. Not candidate fee fees.
15. Better refutation on Ayers than ACORN, but still calm. And nice job "says more about your campaign than it says about me."
16. I'll take running mates for 800 please. Daily double!
17. Sarah Palin, a role model to women and reformers! Bresh of freth air! And she understands reform! And special needs families! And Jenny McCarthy!
18. Again, turning it back to policy. Nice. Scalpel not hatchet.
19. Cockamamie! Even my grandpa who ate squirrel soup during the depression didn't say cockamamie!
20. Canadian oil is fine! None of that Venezuelan hootch! Which is what I would tell President Zapatero, not that I would sit down with him.
21. Semantic-y! Bad!
22. Just FYI.
23. Again, did he just go there and accuse Obama of "never going south of our border"? I'll bet he can't see Alaska from his house either.
24. Huh? Obama said "enforce unfair trade agreements"? Getting tired... hang in there.
25. Obama as Herbert Hoover. These kids today don't even know who that is.
26. Joe the fucking plumber again. Ye gods and little fishes. At least Americans are smart enough to know that five grand doesn't buy shit for healthcare.
27. Calm, factual, boring good. Nice putting the $12,000 in comparison with the 5 grand. And raising the specter of deregulation.
28. Just checked Sully's live blog, and he is talking about how the split screen does not favor McCain. Interesting. I am watching on Hulu.com, which is streaming Fox. Guess what... no split screen.
29. OMFG McCain just said that the Democrats have been in charge of government.
30. Please please follow up with a question about which other decisions are bad. Oh please.
31. Elections have consequences. And hopefully after this one it will be that the GOP will be in the wilderness for a good long while.
32. Lily Ledbetter! ROCK!
33. Why do they always have to conjure up unwed teenagers as the only people who get abortions? Most women who get abortions are already mothers.
34. Good, contraception and education. Bad, late term ban. Really bad, sighy mcsighersons. And health of the mother=extreme pro-abortion stance? Whaaaa?
35. Obama talks to his base: student loans.
36. OK, troops to teachers is not a bad idea, but skipping certification? With the current lowered recruitment standards, for criminality and education level, we're just going to fast track anyone into the classroom?
37. I know this is domestic chat, but someone (ahem) needed to bring up the black hole of spending in Iraq.
38. Autism! Sarah knows! Even though her kid has Downs!
39. Mmmm... data!
40. My friends! DRINK!
Decency, generosity, responsibility, investment. Good.
McCain: All bluster no meat. Obama: a little boring, but policy oriented, not focused on me me me but on the country and its people.
Take time out of your day to read the second half of this. It's hilarious (and a tiny bit sad).
So last night I stayed up late to watch The Life and Times of Harvey Milk to get a bit of a history lesson before Milk is released. At least in the documentary (which was very well done - I'm not surprised it won an Oscar), Milk wasn't quite what I expected, and neither was Dan White. I thought the most interesting part of it was the final third, which focuses on the aftermath of the assassinations and the trial of Dan White. While I understand it from a dramatic standpoint, I'm not sure I think that Milk should end with the night after Milk and Moscone are killed (as apparently the film does). If it's really supposed to deal with why Milk's important and the kind of effect he had, I think the trial and the riots after the verdict merit being included. But I understand why the director and screenwriter would disagree.
This wasn't really an enjoyable read. Says something bad about both students and the institutions of higher education. I don't think there is much of this in my classes (I think that my questions are too specific to the readings for students to hire people to write papers), but I sure could be wrong.
I'd love to know, though.
Take a look at these projections of the outcome of today's national election in Canada - the vote totals, how they are dispersed, and the seats the parties are expected to win. It's a great example of how electoral systems, not votes, drive who has power. One of the best seminars I ever had in school was on the variation in democratic electoral systems. I think it's a major hole in our curriculum.
He tore one of his feet. His racing career is now over. And the Breeders Cup will now be looking for another headline draw as the much anticipated match-up between Big Brown an Curlin won't happen.
That's McCain's new song? I get what they are going for, but doesn't picking a song that is older than many of my friends further reinforce the image of McCain as someone who's old, really old, and whose cultural touchstones are out of date? I guess if what he's going for is trying to win back older voters who've drifted away from him, and reminding people of the McCain brand (veteran, maverick) it makes a certain sense. But it hits on a bit of out-of-touchness too.
For both practical and theoretical reasons it needs to go. Most people don't understand it. It's anti-democratic. It leads to elections being fought in battleground states while the rest of the country is ignored. There is the faithless elector problem, to say nothing of the problem that would result if, say, the candidate who won in November dies in early December before the electors vote. And that's before we even get to the majority-needed-to-win issue which could lead to members of the US House choosing the president in a system that is so wildly anti-democratic it is hard to imagine.
But the argument that we need to keep it to keep a two-party system is silly. That guy needs to take a Parties class or a Electoral Systems class and bone up on Duverger's law, among other things. It's the first-past-the-post winner and non-proportional aspects of our electoral system, plus the lack of a regional party, that keep us in a two-party system. The Electoral College has nothing to do with it. And throwing out 11 votes is hardly a solution. What if it all came down to a state that was bigger, like Pennsylvania? Calling for an extra 11 votes is both random and atheoretical - things we shouldn't be when it comes to altering the constitution.
As some of you may know, the august institution that most of the Bloodless Krew work at has had some recent problems. The old President left (normally). The search process to replace him looked and smelled funny, and resulted in a crony of the Governor getting the job. This could have been good (we have more access to local government, and maybe more money), and could have been bad (he hadn't worked in higher ed before, and in the interview process showed that he really didn't know what the job was).
It didn't work. Within a few months, his administration had awarded an MBA to the governor's daughter (that she didn't earn). The President denied it, stonewalled, denied stonewalling, then finally had to resign in the spring, taking the Provost and several other high-ranking University officials with him.
So, we've had a new Provost and a new President since mid-summer. Not much has changed. I haven't seen any signs of new initiatives or action from on high. I guess that's normal (they both know they are caretakers), but some sort of forward progress would be good. But, nothing has changed.
Until this morning.
I walked into the student union to get breakfast before a morning class, and was greeted with a huge banner over the front stairs. It said (now: remember all the bad stuff that has happened):
oneWVU: We are all in this together.
Uh, "we are all in this together"? Should we all pull together and sacrifice to stave off the marauding hordes or something? This is a slogan better for national (or natural) disasters, not a (supposedly) prestigious university. This is the best a new provost and President can accomplish? Bad slogans? How hard did they work on this?
I laughed out loud when I saw it. Everyone in the (pretty empty) student union looked at me like I was crazy.
Armand posted about polling a couple of days ago, but I just got back from a weekend in the deep country and what I have to report are ZERO bumper stickers for McCain and ONE for Obama.
From the files of "duh", but since the Right seems to think they are to blame David Goldstein and Kevin Hall did some reporting to investigate if that was true and found, no, it's not.
Fannie and Freddie, however, didn't pressure lenders to sell them more loans; they struggled to keep pace with their private sector competitors. In fact, their regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, imposed new restrictions in 2006 that led to Fannie and Freddie losing even more market share in the booming subprime market.
What's more, only commercial banks and thrifts must follow CRA rules. The investment banks don't, nor did the now-bankrupt non-bank lenders such as New Century Financial Corp. and Ameriquest that underwrote most of the subprime loans.
These private non-bank lenders enjoyed a regulatory gap, allowing them to be regulated by 50 different state banking supervisors instead of the federal government. And mortgage brokers, who also weren't subject to federal regulation or the CRA, originated most of the subprime loans.
They find her ties to the Alaska Independence Party and the John Birchers were substantially. To sum it up:
In general, we found that not only did Mrs. Palin have numerous associations with these extremists, she actively sought to empower them locally and to enact their agendas both locally and on a state level.
Some excellent suggestions about an event in desperate need of reform.
So the Mountaineers eventually pulled away from the abysmal Orangemen - another less than impressive victory over a lousy foe. Texas defeated #1 Oklahoma (yay!), even though Oklahoma's excellent QB threw 5 touchdown passes. And Rich Rod's Michigan team lost to the Toledo Rockets, a team who entered the game with a 1-4 record (the win was over Eastern Michigan).
Characteristics of the Palin administration, revealed in the Troopergate report.
So says the McCain campaign. This is quite simply a batshit crazy move. It would give the media free rein to write up stories on Todd Palin's treasonous political associations, and on the inappropriate role he played as a political enforcer for his wife. It would give the media room to write stories on how Mrs. McCain became Mrs. McCain (adultery), her drug problem, the questionable means through which her family made its money, the legal issues she's had with her half-sister ... all in order to smear Mrs. Obama "if it is true" . They don't even have evidence of a friendly acquaintance between Obama and Dohrn and they are opening this door. Yes, I go back to my earlier judgment of this move - it's batshit crazy (on top of being insulting, tasteless, and a prime example of gutter politics).
I'm also rolling around on the floor laughing at the notion that Sidley Austin is some sort of haven for terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. Why any reporter would even bother listening to Murtaugh after saying that, I have no idea.
The state's Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that same-sex couple have the right to marry, citing the equal protection clause in the state's constitution.
Scott Horton raises a few topics related to the the decision to charge Mr. Kernell with a felony, and Sarah Palin's behavior.
As governor of Alaska, she was obligated to maintain as public records her communications with respect to her discharge of official duties. Palin skirted this obligation by turning to private email accounts for government related dealings. In fact, the hacker in question helped flush out Palin’s violations. The hacker also helped establish a motive for the illegal conduct: Palin regularly involved her husband in official business, and it's easy to understand why she did not want to leave behind evidence of her husband's involvement.
So why the massive dedication of law enforcement resources to identify and prosecute a hacker whose acts embarrassed a public person by exposing her improper conduct, but reveal no intention to defraud, steal, or otherwise harm his victim? That’s a very good question. On the plus side, I am delighted to see, at long last, federal prosecutors taking action against a hacker. The prohibitions the law provides are important to millions of citizens who rely on the internet for some measure of privacy in their communications. The Palin case got significant media exposure. For the hundreds of thousands who followed it to learn that the culprit was apprehended and suffered consequences is a good thing (I'd sentence young Kernell to empty hospital bedpans for a couple of months; he'd learn something from it).
Then there are the troublesome questions. Why does it mean nothing to the feds when Joe Six-Pack is the victim of Internet identity theft, but the house falls in when a prankster wants to embarrass Sarah Palin? Do you think there might be just a bit of politics lurking behind the scenes? In this Justice Department? And then there is the still-more menacing question: we now know that Palin was systematically violating the Open Records Act trying to keep her official dealings in the dark. By bringing down the hammer on a person who helped expose her misconduct, are the prosecutors actually attempting to cloak the official misconduct of a public servant?
Orin Kerr sees a big problem with the indictment.
It's remarkable to read such a headline in The Washington Post.
Ha-ha (gulp), indeed.
Which of course reminds me of some of my favorite lines from early in the run of the Family Guy.
Diane Simmons: Our hats are off to Miss Black for proving once again, that, given the opportunity, actresses over 50 can land large aircraft.
Tom Tucker: Karen Black. What an obscure reference.
These numbers are stunning.
His disdain for government has led to the largest government bailout in the history of the planet, and essentially caused the nationalization of the finance sector.
CBS' Dean Reynolds appears to be under the impression that the presidential campaigns are best evaluated by which campaign staff makes Dean Reynolds' life easier, and, dare I say it, more comfy.
Random art break:
Cool shit, no?
It's not surprising, but it's still pretty sad. How dare Obama pronounce words correctly! Doesn't he know it's un-American? At least they don't go quite as far in their derision for his accuracy as Conservipedia (or whatever it's called) does - there some use it as an example of the senator really being a Muslim.
The lying... it burns!
First, McCain says that he suspended his campaign.
Second, he said that two years ago he, McCain, warned about the oncoming crisis and said that Obama and his cronies in Washington were to blame.
[smack smack smack]
That was the sound of my forehead hitting the keyboard.
If you believe in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the associated regime, this deal is something between a step backward and an unmitigated disaster. So, that being the case it's worth noting who the 13 senators are who stood up against it as it sailed through (86-13) its ratification vote last week. They are:
Akaka (D-HI), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Byrd (D-WV), Conrad (D-ND), Dorgan (D-ND), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), Leahy (D-VT), Reed (D-RI), Sanders (I-VT), Whitehouse (D-RI)
Every Republican, including John McCain, voted for it. So did Sen. Obama and the majority of the Democratic caucus.
She'd be back in the Wasilla already, charging the people of Alaska a per diem while staying in her own house, and not paying taxes on it. I mean, really, can you imagine?
Can you imagine the reaction of the press corps if Clinton had given the audience a "hiya, sailor" wink? Can you imagine the feverish blogging across the political spectrum if Clinton had claimed credit for stopping a bridge that, in fact, had set her heart aflutter? What if she had shown that she didn't know squat about the Constitution, if she could not tell Katie Couric what newspapers or magazines she read or if she had claimed an intimacy with foreign affairs based on sighting Russia through binoculars?
Renzo, not the instrument.
Ah, students. Today in the farthest left column of the front page of the campus paper there's a feature in which 5 students are asked: "How does the war affect students?" The best answer, by student #2, is that it doesn't affect him as a student - but for Christians it's a sign of end times and so it's time to "poop or get off the pot".
John McCain would pay for his health plan with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid, a top aide said, in a move that independent analysts estimate could result in cuts of $1.3 trillion over 10 years to the government programs.
The Republican presidential nominee has said little about the proposed cuts, but they are needed to keep his health-care plan "budget neutral," as he has promised. The McCain campaign hasn't given a specific figure for the cuts, but didn't dispute the analysts' estimate.
I guess that would make seniors as fucked as the rest of us under a McCain presidency:
Sen. Obama is focused on Sen. McCain's plan to offer a new tax credit of $2,500 per person and $5,000 per family toward insurance premiums. This would allow people to buy health coverage on the open market, where they may have more choices and might look for a better bargain.
In exchange, the government would begin taxing the value of health benefits people get through work. If an employer spends $10,000 to buy a worker health insurance, the worker would pay taxes on that money.
As John Cole notes, TPM opines "I guess they really are writing off Florida."
So basically the people are tv props and the questions are chosen by Tom Brokaw.
And this no follow-ups stuff - why do supposedly self-respecting journalists take part in that nonsense?
Last weekend's skit on the vice presidential debate was super, the best Fey as Palin production yet. But this ... by the end it's definitely not funny, and I can understand arguments that it goes far beyond merely being not funny.
If you are looking for a pretty distraction over lunch, Binky alerted me to these over the weekend.
Nothing political here. Anyone interested in boning up on the massive problems (with, as best I can tell, more to come as Europe sorts its banks out) might like these primers.
I'm not a econ-head, but these are reasonable enough for everyday smart people (or is that too elitist?).
In case anyone cares, the US markets are all down about 5% today, so far. The good news, I guess, is that a 5% decline today isn't as much of a fall as a 5% decline a week or so ago. That isn't much good news, though.
This morning, after one of my colleagues alerted me to the fact that Sen. Chambliss (R-GA) is in a neck-and-neck race to keep his seat in the US Senate, I clicked over to his wikipedia page. And what do you know, we went to the same high school. This does not please me - but hey, all schools produce people who grow up to be assholes. In fact, as John Hughes taught us, many of them were assholes before they walked through the school's doors.
Over the course of the last couple years I've had a lot of negative things to say about Pete Wentz in conversations with various young attorney/law student acquaintances of mine. Given this, I take it back (well, some of it).
It's not like I grew a peck, but I have a passel of poblanos. Who can suggest something yummy to do with them?
So I've been Netflixing season 1 of Pushing Daisies, and while the art direction, costumes, Chi McBride, the show's similarities to Dead Like Me, and, most especially, Kristin Chenoweth immediately won me over, I wasn't so sure about the show itself until watching episode 8, "Bitter Sweets". By this point the writing, which has been getting sharper and sharper every week, is excellent, and the show seems to finally hit an area of emotion that's a bit more grounded. Don't get me wrong, I love the flights of fancy and fantasy, but the early episodes show motives and feelings that are a bit too perfect. By now the characters are getting a better feel for how they really fit together. And of course this episode includes another brilliant and amusing Hitchcock homage (this time to Tippi Hedren and The Birds), some great bits of Olive (Kristin Chenoweth), and an amusing guest star turn by Molly Shannon. I'd say "Girth" remains my favorite episode yet, but my appreciation for the series continues to rise.
And the writing really is great fun. Some of my favorite lines from the last few episodes:
If the sacred cash cow that I worship moos down on us ...
Lily doesn't believe in water any more, she thinks it's a waste of a perfectly good tumbler.
Olive found herself in a cloud of steamed milk and self-pity.
I mean it's a broad generalization but my guess is an attractive man who makes pies for a living shouldn't spend even a short amount of time in prison.
I also heard you walking the streets, moaning her name, like something out of a Tennessee Williams. It may be romantic, but it's not dignified.
Bill Jefferson goes on trial in December, but evenso he topped a crowded field in the Democratic primary for LA-2. He'll face Helena Moreno, a young news anchor who was the only white candidate in the race, in a run-off for the Democratic nomination.
Up in Morris' home territory, LA-4, Democrats have to be disappointed that longtime Caddo Parish DA Paul Carmouche didn't top 50% in his primary, considering that he's one of the more highly touted Democratic candidates nationwide who's hoping to pick up an open Republican seat this fall. The good news for the Democrats though is that the Republicans will also face a run-off before their nomination is settled, and that's likely to be a nasty race.
Nice comment over at Sullly:
The fact that so many other qualified women in the party, like Olympia Snowe (whom I admire greatly), Kay Baily Hutchinson, Christie Todd Whitman (my former governor) are able to communicate and connect with the American people, were passed over for this disaster of a candidate, is greatly disheartening to me as a young woman. Say what you want about Hillary Clinton, but she didn't ask to be treated differently. She was able to take on the big boys and even throw some elbows, too. I just can't believe this is the example that the Republicans want to set for the future and for young women especially.
Snowe I long admired, and Whitman's early success was based on pragmatism. The Bush administration trashed them both by making them toe the party line over remaining principled. Now the McCain campaign has gone one step further, with their Stepford Vice.
The US is a key audience for the hundreds of millions they are throwing into propoganda operations? I think Marc Lynch's response is on target.
Presenting American audiences as a key target for manipulation through the covert dissemination of propaganda messages should be seen as scandalous, subversive of democracy, and illegal.
It sounds like the DOJ's Inspector General doubts that.
So last night when the three of us were watching the debate at a mutual friend's house - with her totally awesome and completely fired up senior citizen who doesn't act like a senior citizen mom - as soon as Sarah Palin mentioned divesting in Sudan our bullshit meters started clanging. In case you missed that part, she said:
When I and others in the legislature found out we had some millions of dollars in Sudan we called for divestment through legislation."
And, it should be no surprise that what "we" called for was exactly the opposite (emphasis mine):
But a search of news clips and transcripts from the time do not turn up an instance in which Palin mentioned the Sudanese crisis or concerns about Alaska's investments tied to the ruling regime. Moreover, Palin's administration openly opposed the bill, and stated its opposition in a public hearing on the measure.
"The legislation is well-intended, and the desire to make a difference is noble, but mixing moral and political agendas at the expense of our citizens' financial security is not a good combination," testified Brian Andrews, Palin's deputy treasury commissioner, before a hearing on the Gara-Lynn Sudan divestment bill in February. Minutes from the meeting are posted online by the legislature.
Gara says the lack of support from Palin's administration helped kill the measure.
Love that mixing agendas part.
Since jacflash noted the governor continually referring to her notes, I thought I'd link to this. Funny. And yet also not.
It's underway, and the big political story is that Peter Mandelson is moving back into the government. Among the other moves: Margaret Beckett is also back, Leader of the Lords Baroness Ashton will replace Mandelson in Brussels, Ed Miliband will head a new department focused on energy and climate change, and John Hutton will replace Des Browne at Defence.
Cokie's sense of her own knowledge of the world seems to be boundless at times - even when she's wrong.
In her defense, it's a word many of us (other than Baltar) don't know. And yes indeed, if Palin had used the (correct) term the media would be talking about it all day, but not quite for the reason Roberts and Goodwin imply.
Apparently hers is never having read Greek mythology. Oh the canon of Western civilization!
It appears the White House did it - with of course the assistance of various people in DoJ. I strongly support further investigations into this.
Per the norm, Big Coal was acting in a contemptible way - but the miners stood up to them.
Do I think she's "in the tank" for Obama, like Michelle Malkin suggests? No. If she'd the moderator I expect a tediously "fair and balanced" performance. But I don't think the moderator should be the story. And in this environment (a presidential campaign in which one side is already committed to running against the press corps) Ifill's book creates that possibility. Bring on Elizabeth Vargas, Ann Curry, or Campbell Brown.
Ummm, why? What's unreasonable about calling for the disclosure of information that will have a direct effect on a candidate's ability to do his or her job? Of course that's especially true when you've got a candidate who is 72, has had cancer 4 times, and who engaged in a weird joke/suspicious stunt in which a selection of records were shown to reporters (only 1 of whom was a doctor, and who couldn't make copies) last Spring. But the same holds true for other national candidates who haven't released their records (Palin and Biden). These directly affect their fitness for their job.
And just how in the tank for McCain is O'Reilly? Apparently he thinks calling for him to be open with the American people about his health is the most "vicious" ad of the campaign. Riiiiight (insert eye-roll here).