Saturday Open Thread

The Gators' season is on the line tonight as they host LSU. This is a must win game if their season is to be a success. Meanwhile, the world economy is on the line this weekend as the G-7 ministers meet in Washington. Krugman is not inspiring confidence with his take on the proceedings. Might be time to relearn these lines:

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob, . . . They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead, Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread? Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time. Once I built a railroad; now it's done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

It's the end of the World as we know it:

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    It is hard to believe (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Steve M on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:00:08 AM EST
    that this is a big game, but it is: undefeated Northwestern versus one-loss Michigan State.  What the heck?!

    Someone get this man a beer... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:27:22 PM EST
    From Anglachel's Journal:

    If you had purchased $1000.00 of Nortel stock one year ago, it would now be worth $49.00. With Enron, you would have $16.50 left of the original $1000. With WorldCom, you would have less than $5.00 left. If you had purchased $1000.00 of Delta Air Lines stock you would have $49.00 left. If you had purchased United Airlines, you would have nothing left. But, if you had purchased $1000.00 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, and then turned in the cans for recycling, you would have $214.00. Based on the above, the best current investment advice is to drink heavily and recycle. This is called the 401-Keg Plan.

    (Daniel, Calgary, Canada)

    B-b-but what about the beer snobs? (none / 0) (#86)
    by Fabian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 03:01:21 PM EST
    We drink beer from bottles, not cans!

    Bottles are Ok too (none / 0) (#109)
    by cal1942 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 06:54:38 PM EST
    if you live in Michigan. Ten cent deposit.

    I gotta admit (none / 0) (#122)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 06:01:00 AM EST
    Michigan's one up on Ohio there!

    And once again... (none / 0) (#24)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:07:21 AM EST
    ...what game do I get?  Why, Minnesota v. Illinois.  Yawn.

    Guess I'll have to settle for the OU-Texas game.


    I think (none / 0) (#25)
    by Steve M on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:10:05 AM EST
    that MSU is playing the late game for once.

    Is Northwestern in the clear (none / 0) (#27)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:15:11 AM EST
    re past recruiting violations?

    I don't recall any violations... (none / 0) (#36)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:27:03 AM EST
    ...involving NW'ern of late.  Their admission standards puts them in a little different situation recruiting wise.

    Are you sure you're not thinking of Illinois?


    Remember the year Northwestern (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:28:12 AM EST
    was amazingly unbeatable?  It was w/i the last 10 years or so.

    Or not. Google reveals (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:35:24 AM EST
    nada re Northwestern NCAA rules violations.

    ESPN2 even. (none / 0) (#31)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:20:59 AM EST
    I, of course, am just disappointed that they're not airing the Iowa-Indiana game right now.  

    The late, late PSU-Wisconsin game should be a good one too.  At Madison with the band back and the Badgers probably a little po'd at losing two games in a row they should have won.  We should see if Penn State is for real or not.


    The whole Palin thing annoys me. (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Fabian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:45:01 AM EST
    I see nothing all that outrageous about her or even McCain picking her.  It's all painfully familiar.

    After all, she's a politician.  Is she inexperienced, a touch ignorant, greedy, grasping, over reaching?  Yeah, but that's not unusual for politicians.  They are often selfish, short-sighted, egotistical and cowardly to boot.

    I notice the politicians who aren't more often than those who are.

    Abuse of power doesn't outrage you? (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:17:42 AM EST
    Yes it is easy to get caught up in "buy the brother in law was a bad man" spin, but bottom line, using your office for personal purposes is abuse of power. It may be easier to see it when the personal purpose is financial gain, but this was no different.

    That fact that "everybody does it" which in the end is where you are headed with "but that's not unusual for politicians" is no defense.

    What you are saying is abuse of power is acceptable. It is not.


    Molly, I've been watching for you. (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Teresa on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:22:16 AM EST
    My first day of jury duty is Monday. I don't know that I'll be chosen (if you saw me in person, you could see bleeding heart all over my face) but I am so nervous.

    My question: the only dress code is no shorts. Does that mean jeans and a nice shirt are ok or should I dress up? If I have to sit there all day, I'd like to be on a jury, though I doubt I'll make it past the questioning.


    Jeans and a nice shirt should do it, (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:37:54 AM EST
    but, as I don't look for people who really want to be on the jury I'm selecting.  But, that being sd., maybe wear dressier pants and not a t-shirt.  Not to fancy.  Business casual.

    I guess it would depend on the case (none / 0) (#50)
    by Teresa on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:04:56 PM EST
    as to whether I wanted on the jury or not. I would hate to send some kid to jail for drug charges but I wouldn't have any trouble doing it for someone who harmed a child. I guess we'll see and I'll let you know.

    I am lucky in that we have had four murders in the last few weeks and they won't be ready for trial for a long time. We had the church shooting, the school shooting, an illegal immigrant with fake papers that worked for Days Inn used his key to get in and murder a 21 year old beautiful girl from Alabama and just Thursday we had an angry customer pull out a gun and murder a salesperson at the mall. Knoxville has gone crazy.


    I haven't done a trial in years (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:47:17 AM EST
    I have selected a juries and I have been called a few times and once to my surprise was selected.  Usually they pass on me.

    The defense lawyer later told me, he felt notwithstanding my being a practicing attorney, that I was a better choice than some of the others. Off the top of my head, the jury included a sugar cane worker with a 9th grade education, a local broadcast anchor, and a teacher.  The sugar cane worker dressed in jeans for what it is worth - however, I can't speak for the dress code in your jurisdiction.

    I recommend dressing comfortably. You will learn a lot just by listening to the questions posed to the jury, before making a selection. The fact that you are selected or not selected doesn't necessarily mean anything, other than someone made a judgment call. I never selected a juror based upon how they dressed. But I am in no way an expert at jury trials.

    What surprised me the most, given the egregious criminal case I was a juror on, was how fair the jury was determined to be. I may be naive, but I felt good about the process.

    I am working on getting out the vote in my precinct this year, and am swamped with work, so my posting will be light. I'll calender myself to check in next Tuesday to see if I can find you here and what you have to say about your experience.

    Good luck.


    I have not been selected (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:46:36 PM EST
    but just showing up and not making up some excuse has enlightened me mucho.  I usually dress comfortable for the day but it is impossible for me to remove my intense expression :)

    I get to try cases occasionally (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by scribe on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:20:08 PM EST
    (in this day and age, civil jury trials are kinda rare).  I tried one in federal court this past spring.

    Dress like what you are.  Be clean, neat and, if they say no shorts - don't wear shorts.  That rule came about when Miss "I just turned 19 and am hot as hell and you can't help but look at my butt in these shorts" wore them and nothing got done in court all day.  Do everyone (particularly yourself) a favor and avoid t-shirts, campaign buttons, biker "colors" and similar "message" clothes.  

    Be yourself.  We lawyers work at developing that facility in ourselves which is encapsulated in the old saw "what you are screams so loudly, I can't hear what you're saying."  If you dress in such a way that your clothes and you are in discord - we'll know it.  That's what peremptory challenges are for.

    If you're in a suit and tie business - wear one.  Or a sport jacket and collared shirt - dress-down day.  If you're in construction - clean, nice jeans or khakis are fine.  

    I tell people who, in real life, ask me the question you are asking that they should think about why they are going to court.  They are going to be a juror - to decide the rights and liabilities of people, either in a civil dispute or in a criminal case.  You could be deciding whether to send someone to prison for a long time, or imposing a judgment on someone or a company for a lot of money.  That the case has gotten to the point of seating you as a juror means that the dispute is deep and that the lawyers on both sides have been working on the case for a year or more.  If you were one of the parties, how would you want the people deciding the case you were in, to treat it.  Because it's pretty important to the parties.

    It's all about treating everyone involved with respect.  So, if all else fails, dress like you would for church.  Those of us who try cases for a living, often feel about the courtroom that there is as much or more sanctity as there as in a church.


    I had jury duty ... (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:32:34 PM EST
    a few weeks back here in NYC.

    I wore jeans and a polo shirt. That matched what other people were wearing.  

    Bring a book or something else to occupy your time, you'll do a lot of sitting around.

    And don't be nervous.  These days they make an effort to make the process as relaxed as possible.

    In NYC, they even have wifi and computers with Internet access in the juror assembly room, I posted some comments on TL and did some email while waiting to questioned.


    No, that is a third rate scandal (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Manuel on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:55:19 AM EST
    Compared to some of the stuff others have done (including Clinton, McCain, and others).  Ethically, it pales in comparison to some of the stuff that is rewarded on Wall Street and in other professions.  There are many reasons to be against Palin but that ethics lapse is the least of it.

    Would you call it petty (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:19:53 PM EST
    if she arranged for a highway to be built near land she owned so that it increased the property value and use and she made a $500,000 selling it to a strip mall developer?

    What ethical violation do you think Bill Clinton has done that is worse BTW?


    I did not want to go there (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Manuel on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 03:49:01 PM EST
    because it is in the past and no good comes of pursuing this stuff but since you asked, I'll remind you that ethics was an issue for Obama against Hillary.

    Mr. Obama's "Plan to Restore Trust in Government" calls for mandatory registration of lobbyists seeking presidential pardons and requires disclosure of all donations to presidential libraries. Both are requirements that were widely discussed after the last-minute pardon of a fugitive financier, Marc Rich, as Mr. Clinton left office in 2001.

    Now I discounted such talk and supported Hillary anyway because I don't expect politicians to exercise good judgement 100% of the time since  they are human.  But it would be hypocritical of me to then turn around and blast Palin for her lapse.

    Conflicts of interest are widespread in government, non profits, and industry.  The best I hope for is for facts to be disclosed so that we can judge the severity for ourselves.


    the little johnny did it to defense (none / 0) (#92)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 04:25:50 PM EST
    Look, "the little johnny did it to defense", doesn't work for my grandson, it doesn't work here either.  

    Different defense (none / 0) (#104)
    by Manuel on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:46:46 PM EST
    It is the "Let him who is free from sin cast the first stone" defense and the "mote in thy brother's eye" defense.  I apply those to my kids everytime they start to complain about their sibbling.  It's about not being too judgemental or unsympathetic.

    Troopergate Aside (5.00 / 0) (#79)
    by daring grace on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:25:49 PM EST
    this article at salon.com breaks my heart.

    One Alaskan's opinion, of course...

    "In the broadest sense, Palin is a poseur. Alaska is too large and culturally diverse (it's only a bit smaller than the entire lower 48 east of the Mississippi, and once was divided into four time zones) to be summed up by some abstract, romanticized notion. And even if it could be, it sure wouldn't be symbolized by Palin. "The typical Alaskan? She couldn't be farther from it," says Alaska House Minority Leader Beth Kertulla.

    "Still, Palin is a genuine Alaskan -- of a kind. The kind that flowed north in the wake of the '70s oil boom, Bible Belt politics and attitudes under arm, and transformed this state from a free-thinking, independent bastion of genuine libertarianism and individuality into a reactionary fundamentalist enclave with dollar signs in its eyes and an all-for-me mentality."


    "First, Palin pushed hard, along with sport hunting and guiding interests, to help defeat a ballot initiative that would have stopped the state's current aerial wolf control program, which had been criticized by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council for flawed science. Now her administration has pointedly refused to respond to repeated public information requests (I'm one of the petitioners, and a potential litigant), regarding the apparently illegal killing of 14 wolf pups at their dens on the Alaska Peninsula this spring by state personnel, including two high-level Department of Fish and Game administrators. A biologist at the scene admitted to an independent wolf scientist that the 6-week-old pups were held down and shot in the head, one by one. This inhumane practice, known as "denning," has been illegal for 40 years. But a simple request for information on the details of this operation, including to what extent the governor was involved in the decision, has resulted in a typical Palinesque roadblock and a string of untruths.

    "Our I-love-Alaska governor was also instrumental in defeating a ballot initiative to stop development of a gargantuan open-pit mine incongruously known as Pebble near the headwaters of the most productive salmon watershed in the state, Bristol Bay. The current mine design calls for building the world's largest earthen dam to hold back an enormous lake of toxic waste -- this in a known earthquake zone. Crazy stuff, yet Palin openly opposed the initiative, in lock step with international mining corporations that invested millions of dollars in a misinformation campaign."


    The fact she is an addle-headed (none / 0) (#49)
    by ThatOneVoter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:59:24 AM EST
    ignoramus should be at the top of the list.

    Addled vs. Ignorant (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:09:23 PM EST
    Palin seems unschooled in matters of foreign policy, etc., but I don't think she's "addled". My understanding of that term is feeble-minded, and she is far from it.  I don't agree with her positions, but I think it's dangerous to underestimate her.

    Give her time--she 's (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:35:02 PM EST
    only been governor for a few months....She'll ramp it up given the opportunity...

    Mark Dann ring a bell? (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Fabian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:51:28 PM EST
    Had to get rid of our newly minted Democrat AG this year.  

    Yeah, they're everywhere.  It's not just the Republicans.


    It's not acceptable. (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Fabian on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:55:53 PM EST
    It's not in my state either.  Let Alaska deal with it.  It's not a federal offense - literally.

    If I got to choose the headlines, they'd probably say "Leadership in Congress Fails Again" more often than not.  That's what pushes my particular outrage button.


    AP headline news this a.m.: (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:19:48 AM EST
    includes article about Rezko, who is apparently making multiple visits w/his counsel to Fitzpatrick's office, and 2) article on Alaska Legislative report on Palin.

    She reminds me of Bush 2000 (none / 0) (#72)
    by coigue on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:03:31 PM EST
    and I was outraged by him.

    Krugman on Paulson: (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:47:52 AM EST
    And while I generally despise body language/tone of voice stuff, I have to say that Paulson sounds terrified.


    I Noticed In Paulson's Previous Press... (none / 0) (#9)
    by santarita on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:20:07 AM EST
    Conference that he was forceful and articulate when he read from his prepared text and was stammering when he answered questions.  It may be that he is not good on his feet.  Or it may be that he is terrified but of what?  

    My optimistic take:  He knows that what it is going to take to stabilize and reverse the current panics is going to be harsh and unpalatable to free market thinkers and is trying to build support by taking baby steps towards the inevitable.

    My less optimistic take:  He knows what needs to be done but Bush is restraining him from taking those appropriate steps.

    My pessimistic take:  He doesn't know what needs to be done.


    Maybe he's afraid his profound complicity (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by sallywally on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:49:47 AM EST
    in this disaster will be clearly known and he will go down in flames....

    with his millions, of course.

    But maybe he knows he and others could be prosecuted for his behavior in a new administration.  

    Could they be prosecuted?


    While Paulson May Be Doing Many ... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by santarita on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:54:32 AM EST
    things that you or I might consider immoral, I'm not sure that he has done anything that is criminal under existing laws.  I copntinue to think that Paulson and Bernanke are not the devils here. Paulson may have made some bad calls but stupidity is not necessarily criminal.  Paulson may be driven more by his legacy than anything else, at this point.

     Bush and his policy of anything goes capitalism are the culprits.  


    The worst call Paulson made, by far, (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by tigercourse on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:06:22 AM EST
    was before he joined the Treasury. As CEO of Goldman, he pushed to end the net capital rule, the loss of which contributed to many financial companies becoming overly leveraged.

    As Head of G-S, Paulson Had The... (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by santarita on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:16:30 AM EST
    responsibility to ask for the moon.  The mistake was not in the asking, it was in the granting by the regulators.   When I was working for the bank, especially in the Bush years,  the regulators used to ask every year for our wish list.  We formulated the list based on our perception of what the regulator could do under the applicable statutes.  We always asked for everything including the kitchen sink hoping that we'd get it but knowing that we would probably only get one or two items.  And we always thought that if we did get everything we asked for, we would know how to prudently exercise our new found freedoms.

    The regulator is the one that has to step up to the plate and say no way.


    I'd argue that pushing for something (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by tigercourse on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:47:47 PM EST
    that eventually contributed to the near ruin of his company was a mistake.

    except that (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by coigue on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:10:17 PM EST
    our democracy is highly manipulated by money, and all those big institutions have done just that. If Americans had honest upfront knowledge of what they were signing on to when they voted for, regulators would be empowered.

    I would not be surprised (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Manuel on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:41:21 AM EST
    if Obama kept Paulson at Treasury until the crisis abates.

    He will if he's smart (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:29:59 PM EST
    We'll see.

    I'd rather he kept (none / 0) (#82)
    by oldpro on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:42:57 PM EST
    Gates at DOD.

    Hasn't Paulson indicated ... (none / 0) (#111)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:35:40 PM EST
    that he's not interested in continuing in the job?

    Personally, I hope he's dumped faster than yesterday's newspaper.


    Paulson (none / 0) (#87)
    by caseyOR on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 03:38:41 PM EST
    has already said he will not stay beyond the end of Bush's term.

    Link? (none / 0) (#105)
    by Manuel on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:52:10 PM EST
    What about the $700 billion man?  We are going to need some continuity and a god transistion plan for the rescue program.  Or do you suppose the contractors will manage that?

    Prosecuted for what? (none / 0) (#19)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:02:36 AM EST
    You know -- stuff. (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:29:49 AM EST
    I have some half-formed animus against this person for his role in a crisis that neither I nor anyone else understand completely.

    Therefore, he must be guilty of some prosecutable crime.


    Larry, I understand it completely (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by cpa1 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:20:01 PM EST
    We need someone telling Americans and other earthlings that he or she understands it completely and that he or she will reverse what the evil doers did.

    This all started with Obama's hero, Ronald Reagan when he reversed a progressive tax system into a very regressive tax system, where the top marginal bracket on unearned income was 70%.  Now, that tax is 15% for Long Term Capital Gains and Dividends.  Have you ever seen anything so lopsided as that?  Sure you have, that is what the Arab countries do; where they have a very wealthy upper class and the vast majority of the country, the "Arab street" is not only poor but there is hardly a chance for them to get out of poverty.  The wealthy have the oil, what do they care about the rest?  That is what the Republican Party wants for us.

    Remember when Bush 41 had no clue why we were in a recession in 1991 when the cost of capital was very low and tax rates were very low?  It is because American business knew that the Republicans cut the hearts out of their markets, the middle and the upper middle classes so they never invested in new employees or plants and equipment.  Rather than trying to fix it, being stupid selfish Republicans themselves, they looked toward emerging markets to become their new customers and to hell with Americans.  Little Bush, dug the hole deeper giving the wealthy gobs of money.  Before Reagan if your unearned income was $10 million a year, yout tax was $7 million and under Bush that went to $2.7 million, doubling your take home pay.  DOUBLING YOU TAKE HOME PAY!  What were these poor rich people supposed to do with all that extra money?  Wall Street told them they all could be Gordon Gekkos so they invented things for them to invest in where that extra $4 million a year from tax reductions could act like $40 million a year.  They became sick with power and conspicuous consumers and they wanted Lexan Deloreans and 12 houses they never slept in.  They wants $95,000 bottles of wine and $60,000 Rolex watches.  Hey they deserved it because they worked hard.

    Meanwhile, in their wake they created ghost town after ghost town where industry never tried to compete with the rest of the world because they didn't have to....just like the Arab Sheiks.  

    So, where does that leave us now?  We have to reverse the Reagan-Bush tax cuts.  We have to charge anyone who expatriates America a 75% flip tax on all their assets.  We have to rebuild infra-structure in transportation and education.  We have to shut down our borders.  Then the super wealthy will be having much less money to play with and no Amex "Black" card, so they will have to become business people again instead of connoisseurs and conspicuous consumers.  That will mean more jobs for Americans and we and the world will thrive.  I hope Obama has that vision and the backbone to see it through.


    I concur completely (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by BrianJ on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:52:19 PM EST
    The US is unlikely to emerge from the crisis with a sustainable, growing economy unless we pay our own way.  Right now, our true deficit (the annual increase in the national debt) stands at over $1200 billion, almost 9% of GDP.

    Frankly, the story is that if hot money wants to leave because of tax rates, LET IT GO.  You do much more damage trying to keep it.  If you can't be content with a consistent 5-7% real return, it's time to start re-evaluating your priorities.

    I see no sign that either candidate gets any of this-  Obama and McCain both want to add $7 trillion to our debt over the next ten years through combined tax cuts and spending increases (McCain favors the former and Obama the latter).  That's why I cannot support either candidate.  And I suspect I'll have more compnany than polls currently show-  expect surprisingly high third party vote totals and shockingly low turnout.


    My pessimistic take: (none / 0) (#10)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:22:48 AM EST
    He knows that there's no solution.

    In About 5 Years... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by santarita on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:50:15 AM EST
    when this is over and things are looking better, we'll look back and  wonder: "Why didn't they do X and Y sooner?".

    There are solutions but we may not recognize them or be willing to implement them right now.


    Nobody knows for sure (none / 0) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:14:38 AM EST
    what needs to be done.  This is a brave new economic/financial world here and the current situation has no precedent.

    Preventing the collapse of the entire U.S. economy is essentially on his shoulders.  Of course he's terrified.  I'd be surprised if Bush hasn't given him a completely free hand to do what he thinks needs to be done because Bush is terrified, too.  I think ideological considerations are completely out the window at this point.  WHen the house is burning down, you don't stand around arguing about ideology with the firefighters.

    My sense of that earlier press conference you mention was that Paulson was struggling to stay in control on the verge of a full-blown panic attack.  He was hyperventilating at times, and he had to be helped to the podium by Chuck Schumer.

    That two-week delay in getting the bail-out package passed may turn out to have been fatal since things progressed so rapidly during that period.  Let's hope not.


    The House May Be Burning But... (none / 0) (#32)
    by santarita on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:21:06 AM EST
    the phoenix will rise from the ashes.  

    I'm talking more about the press conference earlier this week.  The Dr. Doom conference.

    Maybe Paulson isn't sure what is going to work and just doesn't want to be put into a position of choosing any one tool and having to defend it.  I am a little encouraged by the rapidity with which he went to the direct capitalization mode.  It tells me that he is flexible.  But I do think that the perception that he and Bernanke are still behind the curve is merited.


    Only good news (none / 0) (#96)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:13:11 PM EST
    I've heard was CNN's financial markets - specialist commentator who said last night that there were investors/traders actively in the stock market yesterday buying stocks -- part of the reason the high loss numbers in the market yesterday were reversed.  

    Chrysler & GM (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:58:04 AM EST
    are in talks concerning a merger. Does anyone else picture two anchors becoming entangled as they head towards the bottom?

    We need them (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:23:37 AM EST
    As much as I dislike the auto industry tactics, they are still one of the few companies around that have quality jobs and benefits. Rather than give them a handout, the government could place an order to replace existing gov vehicles with hybred's. This would help the industry, the job market and the economy.

    NYC is doing this with their taxi fleet (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:09:11 PM EST
    since they are required to replace the cars every 5(?) yrs. Cabbies grumbled about it when it first went into effect, but I'm betting the ones that had already switched over were glad this yr.

    You've got to be kidding. (none / 0) (#58)
    by scribe on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:23:50 PM EST
    A NY taxi lasts 5 years?  Come on.  It can't be that long....

    I think it's 3 (none / 0) (#59)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:24:49 PM EST
    And there are lots more hybrids here now than several years ago.

    NYC cabs are replaced. . . (none / 0) (#61)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:26:22 PM EST
    every three to five years, depending on their level of usage.

    Wow. (none / 0) (#20)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:03:26 AM EST
    That's a fantastic idea.

    On Charlie Rose ... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:02:53 AM EST
    last night they had their usual round table of economic experts.  Several said that one or all of the "big three" would be in some form of bankruptcy within a year.

    Two weeks ago (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:15:41 PM EST
    It is my understanding that when the financial/markets/credit crisis first became widespread news, the Feds gave Detroit $25 billion.  What did the taxpayers get in return?  I would have conditioned that money on change in production to hybrid cars or cars with very high mpg.

    Taking the hockey mom thing to extremes (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by scribe on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:38:52 AM EST
    From Today's kos schedule of candidate events:

    Sarah Palin

    Johnstown, Pennsylvania
    Cambria County War Memorial Arena 10:00 AM: pm (EDT)

    Why should anyone care?  Well, because this is taking the hockey mom thing to the extreme.  

    From the War Memorial web site:

    "The Cambria County War Memorial Arena is now in its 55th year of service to the community.  The arena has housed over 5 million visitors to its many faceted performances, sports, and promotional events.  And serves as home to the Johnstown Chiefs hockey team and the Johnstown Riverhawks football team."

    Ok. So?

    The Johnstown Chiefs are successors to the Johnstown Jets, which was the hockey team in Paul Newman's classic hockey comedy (and cult favorite among hockey fans) Slap Shot.

    The Jets:

    The Jets then joined the new North American Hockey League in 1973. Dick Roberge coached the Johnstown to the Lockhart Cup championship 1974-75, defeating the Broome Dusters. That season's playoff run included the Carlson brothers, Jeff, Jack and Steve, who became the basis for the Hanson Brothers in the movie Slap Shot.  Jeff and Steve Carlson portrayed their fictional selves in the movie, while former Jet Dave Hanson portrayed Jack. The Jets played four seasons total in the NAHL before the league folded in 1977. The team itself folded in the offseason, when the Johnstown flood of 1977 that damaged the arena's ice making equipment.

    And the Hanson brothers, were real (though with a different surname in real life). (I included the link so you can click through for pictures of some really strange '70s fashions - tight, plaid doubleknit pants, etc.  Yes, people actually wore that stuff.)

    The other thing I've noticed, every time I've gone to the occasional pro hockey game, is that those are about the single whitest crowd you will ever see.  Seriously.  So, maybe the strategery of going to hockey games and arenas is aimed not only at putting her in a place with a marginal connection to her life history back in Alaska, but is also targeted at the one crowd she might still have some oomph with.

    Really! (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:05:18 AM EST
    And with a huge dose of classism added to the rank misogyny.  Depressing as heck.

    And intellectualism. (1.00 / 1) (#39)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:28:39 AM EST
    Imagine -- all those people looking down on Palin simply because she's an idiot.  Darn these elitist Democrats.

    You prove my point (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:28:42 PM EST
    She is quite obviously, objectively not an "addle-headed idiot."

    But less bright than Bush (none / 0) (#101)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:41:41 PM EST
    Did you not know Jesus (none / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:45:51 PM EST
    doesn't love intellectuals?   Who do you trust, eggheads who study...uhmm...facts, or the Word of God (as taught by the local pastor?)

    Someone want the Saudis to save the day? (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by coigue on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:01:59 PM EST
    One (presumably the Brits) wanting a British-type recapitalization, the other (Paulson?) still hoping that the Warren Buffetts and Saudi princes of the world will come in and save the day.

    That direction leads to reams of unintended consequences, IMO.

    Not exactly flooded with options (none / 0) (#107)
    by BrianJ on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:54:24 PM EST
    Although you're right that if the Chinese/ Saudis/ Russians/ whoever bail us out, they'll be calling our political tune.  There'll still be a guy in the Oval Office but he won't really be President.

    Good luck with LSU. (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:15:20 PM EST
    I think the Tebow machine will be victorious. Auburn almost won with no offense and a worn-out defense.

    Auburn's season is essentially over, we're hoping for a few more victories... I'd trade them for wins over Alabama and Georgia.

    Woot! (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Amiss on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:52:31 PM EST
    Go Gators!! Awesome game!

    They looked great. I switched over to (none / 0) (#117)
    by Teresa on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:00:01 PM EST
    Penn St/Wisconsin expecting to see a closer game and it was a blowout. What in the world has Paterno done to turn them around?

    Its not the end of the world (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by esmense on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:48:25 PM EST
    although, yes, it is the end of what we've known.

    But i actually feel hopeful. Maybe that's because I grew up in the 50s as a boomer construction workers daughter -- I never had a view of that era (or any that followed) as one of stability and security. I saw firsthand that it was a period of immense, dynamic change and dislocation (I personally went to 42 schools in 34 states). I have never viewed the American economy as being able to provide security. In fact, the lesson I was taught about our capitalist economy was that security was the one thing it could never provide. We all agree that capitalism requires workers as well as business owners to be flexibile, adaptable, very good at they do, and always improving and updating skills and knowledge. But we have forgotten over the years that such personal virtue alone isn't enough -- that risk, which capitalism demands, IS RISKY and, no matter how virtuous you are, it doesn't lead automatically to reward.

    My father's view was that it was a mistake to expect security or to believe you owed loyalty to anything other than the quality of your work and, as a working man, your fellow workers and the union that represented you -- in the nation's political conversation as well as at the negotiating table. Loyalty to a company, a boss, money and status, was unlikely over time to be rewarded -- not because the individuals involved were evil but because the ever-changing and dynamic nature of capitalism wouldn't allow it. Social stability, in the face of capitalist instability, requires some kind of social safety net beyond what can be provided by the private economy. A social safety net that we, as citizens, have a responsibility to create and maintain.

    If these times wake people up to these realities again -- if they realize that working hard and playing by the rules isn't enough; you have to be willing to stand up for, and if necessary fight for, your economic interest and the common interest -- then we will get through this and come out better on the other side.

    I do believe that, although it has been muted in recent decades, there is a great spirit of creativity, longing for justice, desire for not just personal betterment but for the betterment of all, that resides in the heart of most Americans.

    If this crisis forces us to tap into that spirit again, we'll be fine. Not "greatest most powerful nation on earth" fine -- but I personally never liked all that BS anyway.

    Ths will ever happen... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Thanin on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 09:09:52 AM EST
    but Ive always wondered, what is the Secret Service supposed to do if the president commits a crime, like robbing a bank or something?  Do they still protect the president against the police?

    Silly question I know but Ive always wondered what they'd do.  

    Per OpenLeft's Quick Hits (none / 0) (#13)
    by magster on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:40:17 AM EST
    Hotline O-50, M-40
    Ras O-52, M-45

    I bet McCain plays nice as a tactic in the next week.  His followers showed who the true potential terrorists were, scaring more voters to Obama.

    Remember - there is only one poll which (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by scribe on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 10:46:32 AM EST
    really counts - the actual vote on 11/4.  Getting Democratic voters and voters who will vote Democratic to the polls to vote then and have those votes counted is the one overarching, necessary objective.  

    All the rest, so much dross.


    Yup - I'm off to canvass (none / 0) (#18)
    by magster on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:01:51 AM EST
    Deep thought:  As long as we're trying to run up the score in the Senate (assuming 11/4/08 is a great night), would the next two years be a good time to try to push through statehood for DC and Puerto Rico.  If Dems lock down 4 more Senate seats, more representation in the house, and change the calculus of the Electoral College, it might be a good way to further marginalize the GOP.

    . . .And I feel fine (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:05:07 AM EST

    I'm off to the Metropolitan Opera (none / 0) (#30)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:19:19 AM EST
    movie of Salome, composed by Richard Strauss, with libretto based on Oscar Wilde.  

    Meanwhile, L.A. Times on line poll re last debate has McCain and Obama just about tied!!!

    p.s.  Michigan plays-----Toledo.  Good think MLB pennant race is on.  

    Go Gators (none / 0) (#34)
    by GGINPB on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:24:52 AM EST
    Pahokee HS guy from Palm Beach Gardens girl...well, "girl"'s a stretch -- both my kids went to UF.

    Because it's funny (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:26:37 AM EST
    Obama in Philly:

    Sen. Barack Obama got a true Philly welcome at a Center City fundraiser last night when Gov. Rendell presented him with a lifetime gift certificate to Pat's Steaks.

    "A cheesesteak once a day," the lean Democratic presidential nominee said, surveying the gift, "and I'll have the pleasure of looking like Ed Rendell."


    I bet he wouldn't have said that. . . (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:23:05 PM EST
    if Rendell hadn't supported Clinton in the primaries!

    IACF (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:25:06 PM EST
    He said something similar in the primaries (none / 0) (#62)
    by scribe on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:28:09 PM EST
    when the ladies at the chocolate factory out near Lancaster kept pushing him to have a little more of the fudge (or whatever chocolate they were making that day).

    I have a panoply of Pennsylvania cuisine jokes - all of which are based in reality - but it all starts with eating big.

    By the way, you know you're in Pennsylvania if seven sweets and seven sours is the sign of a balanced diet.


    I would agree (none / 0) (#98)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:18:35 PM EST
    with you Larry, if Obama weren't such a health nut regarding his diet.

    lol. I love your gov andgarden. Can you send (none / 0) (#38)
    by Teresa on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:28:26 AM EST
    him to TN after his term is up?

    heh (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:30:29 AM EST
    as if he'd listen to me!

    Why doesn't McCain/Palin bring up Rev. Wright? (none / 0) (#42)
    by barryluda on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:32:21 AM EST
    My two theories:

    Maybe he's waiting to bring it up closer to the election so it can do more damage.

    Maybe Axelrod let McCain's campaign know that if they bring up Ayers then the dems bring up the Keating Five, but if they bring up Rev. Wright we bring up [insert something here].  Not sure what that something is, maybe some stuff on Mrs. McCain.

    Neither seems plausible to me, but what is it then.  I find it hard to believe that McCain is finding his conscious, although he did kind of talk some of his angry supporters down from the ledge.

    Any ideas?

    FWIW, there's a rumor going around (none / 0) (#53)
    by steviez314 on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:09:43 PM EST
    that Colin Powell told McCain that if he brought up Rev. Wright, then Powell would officially endorse Obama, otherwise he'll stay neutral.

    Not totally implausible.


    Colin Powell testified for Stevens (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:14:11 PM EST
    in the Alaska trial.  Powell says Stevens is a great man.

    One would have thought that Colin Powell would attempt to protect any credibility and legacy he had left.  But he has become beyond a joke.

    Of course, maybe he thinks backing Obama gives him credibility with a lot of folks -- like the ones interviewed for the Howard Stern show who also like Obama's pick, Sarah Palin.  You can't make up this stuff.  This has become the stupidest election ever.


    Specifics and link for straight party option (none / 0) (#46)
    by Lora on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 11:42:47 AM EST
    I found the link and post on this Black Box Voting page describing the dangers of voting the "straight party option" where offered.

    Bottom line: don't do it.  Vote in each individual race.

    Some quotes from the post:

    Most recently (Oct. 2008), a firm called Automated Election Services was found to have mis-coded the system in heavily Democratic Santa Fe County, New Mexico such that straight party voters would not have the presidential vote counted.

    ESPECIALLY GET THE WORD OUT TO PEOPLE IN THE FOLLOWING STATES, which have straight party voting options:

    • Alabama
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kentucky
    • Michigan
    • New Mexico
    • North Carolina
    • Oklahoma
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • South Carolina
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • West Virginia
    • Wisconsin

    Bev Harris is a charlatan (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:08:02 PM EST
    We had those kind of lever machines (none / 0) (#66)
    by Teresa on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 12:50:44 PM EST
    before we got these new confusing dial ones. It had a straight ticket lever. That's what I normally did which in my case meant losers all the way down.

    heh (none / 0) (#69)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:01:29 PM EST
    So did Philly. But the year before I started voting we switched to an electronic system that I rather like. I can't find a decent picture of it anywhere, but it looks like one big paper ballot with blinking lights where you make a selection. There's a straight party vote option at the top too.

    I'll bet you could do that and have some (none / 0) (#74)
    by Teresa on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:05:57 PM EST
    winners. It's depressing to vote around here. The little town I grew up in had the punch ballots like Florida in 2000. Those were actually my favorite. I could see which hole I punched.

    Oh Really? (none / 0) (#84)
    by Lora on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 02:33:32 PM EST
    Have you actually looked at what she's written and done?  Or are you just giving the knee-jerk response that her detractors use?

    Yes, really (none / 0) (#85)
    by andgarden on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 02:57:40 PM EST
    I know enough to know that screaming PAPER BALLOT!!!!!!!!!!!!! isn't a magic fix.

    Do tell (none / 0) (#93)
    by Lora on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 04:54:09 PM EST
    How about a fact or two to back up your accusation?

    If you've read her site (none / 0) (#94)
    by Lora on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 04:57:05 PM EST
    You will know that Bev does much much more besides promoting paper ballots.  And you will also know that she herself does not believe that "paper ballots" is a magic fix, either.  There are those pesky little chain of custody issues and how and where those precious paper ballots are counted, stored, audited, etc.

    Funny, I've always voted for each race (none / 0) (#77)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:17:34 PM EST
    even with the option... usually some constitutional issues on the race that the big lever doesn't pull.

    However, in the mechanical machines, you can see the levers moving by the candidates. Optically? Who knows?


    yeah. I wish people would STFU (none / 0) (#73)
    by coigue on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:04:21 PM EST
    about her appearance.

    She has many other things to complain about.

    Info about Polling in the South East states (none / 0) (#81)
    by blogtopus on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 01:41:54 PM EST
    Or rather, conjecture, maybe.

    How many of those states mentioned were caucuses?

    When you think you've had a bad day (none / 0) (#88)
    by CoralGables on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 03:44:17 PM EST
    Put yourself in maize & blue and think Toledo.

    no Gator loss can match what the Wolverines have dealt with at home the least two years.

    Oh my goodness. I didn't even know they (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Teresa on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 07:58:36 PM EST
    lost today! They must be in a contest with my Vols for worst formerly good team in the country. I'll bet their coach wishes he was back in his native West Virginia right now. I still can't believe he dissed them that way.

    Poor oculus...I really mean it when I say I feel your pain. :)


    Good thing I opted for the (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 12:37:59 AM EST
    opera movie.  But then I went to ATT store and found out Toledo beat U of M.  Couldn't get any reaction from the sales rep in training.

    No On Prop 8 (none / 0) (#90)
    by caseyOR on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 03:49:46 PM EST
    As was discussed here yesterday, the Mormon Church is pouring millions into the yes on Prop 8 campaign in California. If they are successful, the CA Supreme court decision on same-sex marriage will not matter as the CA constitution will only permit marriage between a man and a woman.

    If you have any pennies to spare, please doante to to NO On Prop 8. I can never link properly here, but the sight is


    who built the Palins home (none / 0) (#91)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 04:14:51 PM EST
    todd and a couple of friends.  About the same time as the sports complex was being built in wasilla.....

    Purely speculative paranoia but enquiring minds want to know...

    Not really a good idea (none / 0) (#114)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:12:29 PM EST
    to get into it, especially about candidates' homes -- and yards! -- is it?  

    Those commenting on her (none / 0) (#100)
    by MKS on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:40:25 PM EST
    appearance are more typically the male FOX viewers like Rich Lowry who was mezmerized by her winking during the debate.

    Some support her just because she is female and fail to see any defects for that reason....You would agree that is happening, right?

    Authoritarian, suspicious of education, believes the Earth is 6000 years old, tried to ban books, against abortion rights even in the cases of rape and incest.....No problems, right?  Just sexism to notice such things?  

    It's odd living here while Obama (none / 0) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 05:56:55 PM EST
    is way out in the lead.  Do I dare say that people's subtle racism is beginning to not be so subtle around here?  It is very flippin weird out there right now.  I think Obama supporters are like me and too scared to make their support obvious.  I had to drive to Clearview FL today on the panhandle.  It is all backroads from Enterprise.  I did see one Obama yard sign on the way in Florala and that is all I've seen since we left Birmingham two weeks ago.  I still haven't found an Obama yard sign in Enterprise yet, we had plenty of Kerry though so I know he has supporters here. People supporting him are quiet though all except for whoever walks the two mile lake walk every morning and pulls out the McCain signs, throws them flat on the ground, and plants a dirty sneaker print right in the middle of the sign.  At least a 100 people daily walk the lake though, many before dawn....and it isn't me doing it.  If it were me I'd sharpiefy it. I think some of us are feeling a bit intimidated though down here and our repressed anger is slipping out.

    I see the same in a very pro-Obama city (none / 0) (#113)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:11:07 PM EST
    a majority-minority city, and a pro-Obama state.  It's just weird -- hardly any Obama signs.  And of course, in this city, hardly any McCain signs -- but I'd expect to see more in the burbs and don't see much of anything in the way of signs at all.  Not for either candidate, not for local candidates.

    It's very different from 2004 and 2000.  I begin to wonder about turnout in November, after all.


    Do people have to pay for yard signs? n/t (none / 0) (#123)
    by jawbone on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 08:09:07 AM EST
    Perhaps it is also a sign of the times (none / 0) (#125)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 09:50:28 AM EST
    There is one thing that I can say about this race and that is people are focused on it and paying more attention to the candidates stance on issues.  In 2000 and 2004 a person could win with their projected attitude rather than the issues.  I think we have traveled beyond that since this presidency has placed us all in jeopardy

    And we always get asked to put up signs (none / 0) (#115)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 11, 2008 at 08:13:51 PM EST
    from every level of campaigns, since we're close to a polling place.  Maybe it's a sign of the times of the Internet, and signs are downplayed by campaigns now?

    Hockey Mom made a misstep I think (none / 0) (#121)
    by Amiss on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 01:54:39 AM EST
    Healthcare / education spending off Obama agenda? (none / 0) (#124)
    by jawbone on Sun Oct 12, 2008 at 08:50:16 AM EST
    HuffPo article about Obama appearances in PA, first at a campaign rally:

    "I will be a president who puts you first," he said, asking voters not to lose hope in the economy before President Bush can be replaced.

    Then, reflecting many polls showing a substantial lead, he told a fundraiser:

    "In some ways this is a celebratory event" as "we're now coming to the end of what has been a two-year process, an extraordinary journey," Obama said at a second Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. The host, Comcast executive David L. Cohen, said the two events raised more than $5 million.

    As 250 major donors ate beet salad and mahi-mahi under a huge tent, Obama seemed to look ahead to his first term as president.

    He may have made actual news about actual policy:

    "We're going to have to make some priorities, we're going to have to cut some things out," he said, referring to expensive goals such as improving health care, schools and college affordability.

    But, on a happier note (heh), he did mention the Democratic Party! Even said it was his own party! A breakthrough, as he did not use the words "Democrat" or "Democratic Party" at all in the second debate!

    "I'm going to be in some fights with my own Democratic Party in getting some of that done," he said.

    So, does this mean that healthcare is officially under the bus, along with education? Even tho' he said in the last debate that he thinks healthcare is a right?

    And note that when he did mention his own party, it was to say that he would have to fight Congressional members of his own party.

    He'll get his majorities with initial Democratic enthusiasm, Blue Dogs for cuts and fiscal conervatism, and by meeting the needs of the Republicans as he reaches across the aisle in his trademark bipartisanship.

    We will not get universal healthcare, I fear. Mortgage assistance? Education loans? Will we keep SocSec, which doesn't need fixing? Will Medicare be "fixed"/cut even more?

    Whatever will President Obama do?

    He seems to be reassuring The Villagers that he will listen to their calls for the requisite Democratic president's fiscal restraint. Dems are now expected to be "responsible" and clean up the mess left by Republican administrations. Even a Big Me$$. Clinton did so well that BushCo was able to go hog wild--and the MCM barely whimpered any admonitions to show restraint; indeed, Dems were criticized for not going along with BushCo's tax cut/spending efforts.

    But, now that Dems may have a working majority? Ha! Time for cuts, fiscal restraint, and, most of all, No New Social Programs. (Military and Homeland Security will be A-OK.) Obama to The Villagers: "I feel your pain." He gets their message.

    One thing for sure: Obama will eventually tell regular people that he's been saying all along that there wasn't enough money for real healthcare reform, meaningful education assistance, probably not for middle class tax cuts. He or his press secretary will reference these comments made at private or less public forums. The public will be told they ought to have known.

    Just you wait, 'Enry "Iggins, just you wait.

    I will be delighted to be proved wrong--ecstatic!