Friday Open Thread

It's a jail day for me....Here's an open thread for you. What haven't we discussed that's on your mind?

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    IL SC RULES! NO SOS SIG REQUIRED! (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:11:49 PM EST

    Story here with linky to ruling

    Well Reid, IMO has egg on his face, and this also IMO does NOT clear way for Franken to be seated b/c MIN has different rule, which specifically prevents the SoS from certifying until all legal action is handled...Reid is on the wrong end of that one as well IMO

    It looks like the Illinois Supreme Court... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:43:37 PM EST
    did a little editorializing of their own before declaring that White's signature was not necessary...

    "We note...that nothing in the published rules of the Senate, including Rule II, appears to require that Senate appointments made by state executives pursuant to the 17th amendment must be signed and sealed by the state's secretary of state. Moreover, no explanation has been given as to how any rule of the Senate, whether it be formal or merely a matter of tradition, could supersede the authority to fill vacancies conferred on the states by the federal constitution. Under these circumstances, the Senate's actions cannot serve as the predicate for a mandamus action against the Secretary of State. The only issue before us is whether the Secretary of State, an official of this state, failed to perform an act required of him by the law of Illinois. He did not."


    I would bet that Senate archives (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:47:28 PM EST
    will be researched by some enterprising sort, and a document of conveyance will be found that was missing such a sig.  And then Reid will have to stand against accepting some Senator dead for decades, since Reid is such a principled guy.

    Dicta, but pointed dicta. (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:57:07 PM EST
    Too bad the court didn't extrapolate "elections, and returns . . ."  

    A-HA!! (none / 0) (#41)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:57:52 PM EST
    A-HA!! Thats what I said! there ya go, I have a brilliant legal mind in the making lol....

    but that is the very issue I have seen since the beginning and I have yet to hear an answer...


    Blago AND Quinn presser soon (none / 0) (#14)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:32:09 PM EST
    plus Durbin, too -- news conference apparently any minute now.

    Quinn will back Burris, I bet, as even if he ascends to the govship, Quinn just lost legal right to appoint a different Senator, right?


    Blago opens presser (none / 0) (#68)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:27:08 PM EST
    with crying baby in background.  Repeatedly.

    Can't say I ever heard a crying baby at a news conference before.  The room is reported to be a zoo, but apparently, it's actually a nursery.

    Tip: Surfing channels, I find Fox is the funniest on this -- talking over Blago's blather to point out what he's not talking about, as he goes on about all the good things he has done for the fine people of the great state of blah-blah.


    For those not watching, allow me (none / 0) (#69)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:29:26 PM EST
    to summarize this:

    Blago.  Is.  Nuts.

    Not an impeachable offense to be nuts, of course.


    poetry fixation (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:14:17 PM EST
    methinks Blago thinks he is the Lord Byron of Governance....the hair and now the continual poetic quotes...this morning he was the 'long distance runner' this afternoon he was in Lord Tennyson's mind....

    I just saw a clip pf it (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:21:39 PM EST
    {shudder} the dude is sure out there!

    I have a hard time watching him (none / 0) (#72)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:38:59 PM EST
    at first it he just seemed kinda train wreckie, but nuts seems pretty accurate. Kinda scary too.

    See Vonnegut, Kurt.... (3.66 / 3) (#77)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:53:00 PM EST
    What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! F*ck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my arse!"

    PP= Psychopathic Personalities


    Heh (none / 0) (#84)
    by eric on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:01:43 PM EST
    I suspect that you are in my karass as that is one of my favorite quotations.

    We need a Libertarian version... (none / 0) (#101)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:18:58 PM EST
    on the flipside of Vonnegut's socialist-leaning version, to cover Democratic PP's.

    "Nationalize the banks!  Give away a trillion bucks!  Pay everybodys mortgage!  To hell with tomorrow, we have to do something!



    actually (none / 0) (#105)
    by eric on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:24:44 PM EST
    I don't think that there are too many Dem PPs.  It just doesn't fit very well.  Pandering personalities, perhaps.

    True PPs can take decisive action without worrying about what other people think or say.  Dems, at least the elected ones, seem to be pretty much the opposite of this.  They can't seem to stand up for anything on principle alone.


    You got a point there E.... (none / 0) (#107)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:30:01 PM EST
    Pandering Personalities...I like that.

    Layman here (none / 0) (#162)
    by NealB on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:36:45 PM EST
    Is psychopathology illegal? I think I assumed for my whole life before Bush, when I was 43, that it was. I'm still in a mild state of shock trying to accept that not only is it not illegal, in many cases that remains a good thing. Blago's transgression reminds me more and more of Clinton's blowjob. What harm did it do?

    Why did Fitz get so hot and bothered about this?


    That was my solution last week (none / 0) (#91)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:05:07 PM EST
    Quinn just say, "hey, if I'm made governor I will pick Burris too, so just seat the guy already."

    Hm? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:38:35 PM EST
    If the Illinois Supreme Court had forced the SoS to sign the certification, would that have been good news for Reid?

    What Illinois law says and what the Senate rules say are two separate issues.  The court wasn't saying anything about the latter.  IMO this actually makes it easier for Reid to continue the silliness about not seating Burris without a signature.


    it means he IS the Senator from illinois.... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:56:13 PM EST
    yes but the ruling indicates that Burris IS the Jr Senator form Illinois..

    now there is a state/federal conflict if Reid sticks to his guns and claims his ROOLZ require the signature, the STATE does NTO require the signature

    so, can a Senate Federal rule, is it via legislation or some internal housekeeping senate procedural crap??-in any case how can the Federal level IMPOSE its own requirements upon the states..

    the states Constitution says it is not required and he IS the Senator...

    how much of a fight does Harry want? I still say he will lose and the Feds cant force IL to have a signature requirement.
    they DO have a requirement of a minsiterial act. White carried out that act. that Act is the ENTRY of his appointment into the state record. he did that, he met the requirement, even Jesse White says that and AG Madigan said the same thing in her brief..

    essentially now the court,a nd state officers of IL are saying, Burris is our senator and Harry Ried is saying no he isnt, he needs to meet MY rule...


    At the end of the day (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:58:09 PM EST
    Reid will lose on the silly signature thing, but it will be a federal issue, a different lawsuit altogether.  And anyway, the signature isn't their best argument, if they really cared to fight this thing.

    My point stands, though: the court was either going to force the SoS to sign the certificate or they weren't.  You seem to be arguing that either result would have been bad news for Reid, which seems odd to me.


    Very annoying that the whole (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:19:29 PM EST
    signature thing happened at all. Just obscured the real issue of whether the Senate can refuse to seat someone because of a taint of corruption attached to their appointment. I wish Reid would have stuck to that argument.

    I DO think either way Reid loses.. (none / 0) (#136)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:10:05 PM EST
    How so? Reid said he isnt seating Burris, he is tainted from Blago and besides we need a signature

    then if IL SC gives writ of mandamus and it is signed Harry has to seat him-Reid has lost

    or SC says no the sig isnt REQUIRED he IS the Senator, and P.S. Senate, you dont have the right to block his seating(which is what they said in the ruling) then Reid has to seat Burris -Reid has lost

    c. reid continues to oppose Burris post this ruling and AA community and people who see this as a giant waste of time in a time of crisis as I do, more people continue to feel wronged, which after seeing the travesty of questioning by their impeachment panel in IL yesterday many more will agree

    WTH should Burris have to roll out dough for attys when the state says he IS the senator, who is Reid to decide anything

    this IS a precedent that would be dangerous

    I think Powell says it is not within their purview if he meets the qualifications of eligibility and appoint/elect has no meaning on this issue


    Harry has already rolled over (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:58:54 PM EST
    on Burris.

    Reid needs retraining, then (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:01:51 PM EST
    if that was rolling over.  Any puppy dog could do better.

    Rolling over would have put Burris in the Senate yesterday.


    "Silliness" is the key term (none / 0) (#25)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:44:57 PM EST
    and this is playing with a public that is suffering from a crashed economy and looking for leadership.  Is Congress going to lose the 2012 elections before Obama even gets his real presidential seal?  Is this WORW (What Obama Really Wants)?  He can't even control the Dems in Congress?  

    Legal, shemegal; this is simply appalling on Reid's part.


    You tell me (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:51:47 PM EST
    Is the public, suffering from a crashed economy and looking for leadership, really concerned in the slightest with the Roland Burris drama?

    Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:58:44 PM EST
    When this drama continues to dominate the news, and people see Reid et al not working on solutions to fix our problems, but to continue this inside baseball circus, they get a little peeved.

    yes! (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:02:43 PM EST
    there are SERIOUS huge money bills flyuing thru Congress, big big decisions, life altering stuff, generations affected, the gigantic stimulus, health care, the TARP Deux will be asked for within weeks...

    how dare Harry keep this charade going, he is not Zeus, IL SC has now officially stated the entry into the record IS the certification by the SoS as far as IL is concerned, so Harry needs to stop digging and start backtracking....

    and frankly it offends me on some level I guess to see the Federales playing fast and loose with the rights of the people of a state to representation


    IMO, no. Some of my usually (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:55:53 PM EST
    very well-informed friends go "huh"?  when I get into\ the intricacies of Burris appointment.

    I'm getting laffing emails about it (none / 0) (#44)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:58:53 PM EST
    and Fox is having a howler with it, so I hear.  Last I saw, it had one of the largest news tv audiences?

    I guess we'll know if it makes it into the late-night, Leno and/or Letterman monologues.  That's the pop cult watchers' test of crossover.


    I am not really concerned (5.00 / 0) (#50)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:02:04 PM EST
    with whatever shiny object Fox tries to use to persuade its viewers that the Democrats are horrible failures.  If it wasn't this, it would be something else.  They can have their fun.

    It's just not my personal experience that people care very much about this at all.  And I do try to ask around, because I'm always interested in getting the non-junkie perspective on things.  But if someone tells me it's dominating the water-cooler conversation where they come from, I'd have to revise my point of view.


    Well, then, by your measure (none / 0) (#55)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:08:29 PM EST
    your TL diaries are just silly wastes of time -- and for that matter, so is much of TL.

    I don't quite get your argument.  Sure, compared to who won American Idol, no one cares about anyone in Congress.  Let's move on to more important topics, like what Michelle is wearing to the inaugural ball?


    You misunderstand me (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:13:26 PM EST
    I am not criticizing anyone for talking about this stuff.  I, personally, find it interesting.  In fact, I can be sort of a geek about it all.

    I am simply recognizing that my own interest in topics like this does not necessarily translate into the conclusion that they will be major obstacles for the incoming Democratic administration.  If the non-junkies I knew thought this was a big deal, I would probably draw the opposite conclusion.


    Okay. Self-realization (none / 0) (#65)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:22:42 PM EST
    is important.  

    But can I please be self-realized and get to talk about it here, too?  Okay by you?


    For a second time (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:36:21 PM EST
    I am not criticizing anyone, including yourself, for talking about it; nor would I ever attempt to shut down any discussion here on the grounds of relevance or unimportance.  I talk about this stuff too.  I talk about college football which is even less consequential (but please don't tell BTD I said so).

    I am simply disagreeing with the suggestion that the Burris situation poses a problem for Dems with the electorate given all the real problems which confront people at the moment.  From where I sit, this little play-within-a-play is staged solely for the benefit of junkies like myself.


    exposes the weak underbelly (5.00 / 3) (#138)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:16:23 PM EST
    of Reid once again, and PEBO initially supported Reid on this decision

    it makes us look weak at a time I think they should be flying high o victory and projecting calm confidence...and a strong hand at the help not a flip flopping fiasco...


    Then you did not share the fear (none / 0) (#73)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:46:42 PM EST
    of Reid and the Illinois legislature who rejected a special election -- for the reason that a Republican could win.  To do so, and especially in Illinois, it would seem they foresaw voters disgusted with Dems in this debacle, and even before Reid went ballistic and went national with it to the point that it now could mean a constitutional challenge over states' rights, etc.

    And if Dems could lose Illinois, they could lose anywhere -- as nowhere does every Dem get to vote more than once, dead or alive.


    Hm (5.00 / 0) (#90)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:04:29 PM EST
    but that decision predated the Burris appointment, of course.  I only said people don't seem to care about the ongoing Burris drama, I don't believe I ever said that the people of Illinois don't care about the Blagojevich scandal.

    I doubt Steve (none / 0) (#63)
    by lilburro on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:17:47 PM EST
    is under the impression "the public" is going to be reading and commenting on his Franken diary.  It's important but specialized reading.

    11 days until Obama assumes office.  For the moment this Burris stuff is occupying media attention.  Our current President is in la-la-land.  When Obama assumes office the story will change.  

    Blago will be in the papers for a while though.  What are we supposed to do about that?  Nothing can be done.  We can keep his appointee or wait for Quinn.  Seems like it's decided we'll keep Burris though.


    More Important Things (none / 0) (#67)
    by daring grace on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:25:08 PM EST
    Speaking for myself, the people I know aren't interested or even curious about the Burris sideshow or even Brennan's appointment as much as they are the things in gov't that directly and more immediately influence their own lives--like job security, stability in the economy etc.

    For them, Burris et al is right up there with Michelle's wardrobe as to what warrants their attention right now.


    My Experience As Well (none / 0) (#58)
    by daring grace on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:11:42 PM EST
    Today the buzz from people I know who don't read blogs or follow political news as obsessively as I is all about the unemployment numbers and 1945.

    I doubt anyone I know is even paying attention to the Burris sit com. Most people I know are barely paying attention to the appointments even at cabinet level.


    why I think it matters beyond IL (none / 0) (#141)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:20:09 PM EST
    my AA friends are all very aware of it, maybe they are exceptionally political, but I never noticed that, of course we were on friendly dont talk ELECTION watch for quite a while since I am an HRC supporter in that regard so I could be off, but anyway they are all aware and so is the state which si entitled to be represented..and the GOP IS AWARE

    are your friends GOP playas? if not it may not matter that they care, but looking weak or confused in a time of crisis is bad

    it looks bad internationally that PEBO seat is under such a mess, it is being reported elsewhere but our blogs..

    Harry needs to just seat him


    Giggle (none / 0) (#168)
    by daring grace on Sat Jan 10, 2009 at 11:49:50 AM EST
    Are my friends GOP playuhs?


     But I'm also not referring to people who are just friends--I'm also talking about people I encounter (in a coffee shop, on line at the bank, hanging out at the book store, or corner store or in the supermarket etc.) who are chatting about things political.

    And among this (admittedly small) substrata of citizens and among my friends and family, Burris/Blago is not on the agenda. Blago was when it first came out about his arrest and the goofy ways he's exposed himself on tape when he knew he was being investigated--Gary Hart's name kept getting resurrected relative to that one.

    People (I encounter) are edgy about the economy. If they care anything about the work of gov't right now it is all focused on that. I don't know how much confidence they feel that Obama, the Dems is congress or ANY politician is going to effectively lead us out of this massive mess, but an image of federal pols as 'weak' or 'confused' as a result of Burris getting/not getting seated is no where on the radar of anyone I talk to (except on the blogs).


    They said he didn't have to? (none / 0) (#48)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:00:49 PM EST
    Ugh. That complicates things.

    Yep, that's what White has been saying (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:02:48 PM EST
    all along: that he was required only to register (Illinois law's term) the appointment, and he did so.

    Well then they've made the sign and seal (none / 0) (#54)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:06:50 PM EST
    irrelevant in Illinois. The alternative is that the SoS would have a veto over appointment and potentially even elections (and that would be bad).

    They've reaffirmed the relevance (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:10:12 PM EST
    of registering election results and appointments; that's all.  Signatures are ceremonial most of the time -- and even more so in this electronic age.

    Harry Reid and Dick Durbin (none / 0) (#59)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:12:13 PM EST
    would beg to differ. (Of course, they are wrong.)

    Of course, they would and will (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:14:16 PM EST
    in the coming presser, I presume.  That way, they won't have to get back to work at getting the country to work . . . but they look real busy and important and powerful, and that's all they want.

    The economy (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:44:52 PM EST
    I read where Citibank has agreed to let bankruptcy judges adjust mortgage rates to save some home owners. But then today I read where Republican's are going to fight it. I hope we get past Blago and on to pocket book issues. I hope the Dem's put up a fight over this. Until the housing market is stabilized, all the money pumped into the banks won't matter.

    I think Dems will fight for it (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:02:32 PM EST
    because they made a very public deal of how Reid, Schumer and Dodd convinced Citibank to accept that agreement.

    (Here's me, Charlie Brown racing once again to kick the football Reid is holding)


    oh I laughed out loud on that one :0) thank you!! (none / 0) (#147)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:31:38 PM EST
    So why would the Repubs fight (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:47:57 PM EST
    readjusting mortgages? Exactly how do they plan on selling that one?

    Well in Thunderdome... (none / 0) (#60)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:12:50 PM EST
    if you bust a deal you have to face the wheel...maybe thats the angle.

    I'm a little confused about what "stabilizing the housing market" means...just avoiding all the foreclosures by mandatory renegotiation? Giving money away to people or the banks to pay the mortgages? Somehow propping up home values to their previous levels?  I hope not the latter...not to burst anyones bubble (no pun intended), but those houses were never really worth what people paid for them.  The housing market was long overdue for a major correction...and when it hit it hit hard.


    One part of the financial problem is (none / 0) (#74)
    by DXP on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:48:32 PM EST
    that the financial world relies very heavily on computer models which 1) are behind the curve on how interconnected markets are (ie mortgage/housing and swaps) and 2) do not take into consideration "worse case scenarios".

    The financial world has also grown used to oversight only in cases where there is some benefit to the players. Both political parties are guilty of this.

    I know a woman who was put thru months of hell with an SEC investigation from an anonymous tip in her investment company (she was the first woman to rise to that level in the company and evidently a male co-worker was not pleased). It proved completely false, all the while the SEC was repeatedly ignoring informed tips about Madoff.


    It is what you fear (none / 0) (#79)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:55:36 PM EST
    Basically decreasing foreclosures a little bit and so putting a floor underneath the housing prices to at least temporarily slow their drop. It is an artificial floor, and it probably will just slow down the inevitable fall, because it only applies to people in bankruptcy. there are many more people just defaulting on their mortgages without going into bankruptcy.

    Unfortunately "cramdown", where the bankruptcy court can make the bank adjust the principle downward, is the only way to keep some people from walking away from the loan altogether. There is no incentive to keep a mortgage that is significantly higher than your house is worth, especially if you are already in bankruptcy and will suffer the associated credit damage.


    Ammendment (none / 0) (#82)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:00:11 PM EST
    No incentive besides keeping your honor and good name, I should have said. For some people that is not worth sinking financially in a morgtage they can't afford for a house that is now "worth" 60% of what they paid for it. For others keeping that hosue is simply not an option, since they have lost their jobs.

    Mortgage crisis (none / 0) (#159)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 08:45:41 PM EST
    There are millions unemployed now. There are additional millions that are now working at jobs that pay a lot less than they made in the past. Not everyone is trying to "get over" on the system. If adjusting their mortgage rate down a point or two allows them to maintain their home, dignity and self respect, it's good for everyone.

    I'm not in favor of bailing out someone for the vacation home or because they bought a home that is now over priced. If the housing market stabilizes, values will also stabilize.


    Because banks pay their employees and taxes and stuff by the profits they make by lending money to you at a higher rate than they themselves borrowed the money that they lent to you.

    If they are forced to lose money on loans by lending money to you at lower rates than they borrowed it at, they go out of business and stop employing people and paying taxes and stuff.

    Something like that?


    What about a break even point? (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:22:43 PM EST
    vs losing money? Or perhaps, smaller profits on a percentage that would otherwise just be lost? If they are saying all of their loans are bad and they don't have a sufficient percentage of good loans, maybe they should rethink being a lender?

    It's really kinda basic. I don't take on more than I can deliver. If I did, I would be out of business due to a crappy reputation and undelivered goods.


    I used to feel the same way, (none / 0) (#106)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:28:16 PM EST
    back when times were relatively normal. Now that my business has shrunk about 50% due to the economy, I'm a little less judgmental...

    but you're flexible, right? (5.00 / 2) (#108)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:37:37 PM EST
    I used to say I wouldn't get out of bed for less than x amount of $$$, but I'm not foolish enough not to adjust that when times are lean. It seems like it would be in the lenders' interest to be flexible and adjust where they can. Why not adjust and save what they can? They're the ones that got bailed out . . . .

    Flexible? I own my business. (none / 0) (#113)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:57:48 PM EST
    I really think you don't get it.

    Many biz costs are fixed costs - for banks, for my biz, for many/most biz's - just like a homeowner's mortgage payments are essentially fixed costs for the homeowner.

    A biz's fixed costs don't reduce or go away just because the biz revenue is down, no more than your mortgage costs would reduce or go away just because your income was down.

    How flexible are the people who can't afford their mortgages any more? How flexible are the biz's that can't afford their mortgages/rent/payroll/etc., any more?

    Sure when times were normal, these fixed costs were covered. Times ain't normal any more.

    I don't have the answer, all I'm pretty sure of is that the answer isn't simple.


    And, I guess I should say, (none / 0) (#115)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:14:15 PM EST
    that a biz's variable costs/cost of goods sold don't reduce or go away just because its customers can't pay as much.

    If a gas station pays $1.70/gal for the gas it buys, how low can it sell it to us for and not go out of business? Should the gvt force the station to sell that gas for $1.60 in order to stabilize fuel prices?


    Well (none / 0) (#117)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:21:04 PM EST
    There's no price-fixing here, there's just an additional risk being placed upon the lender, right?  They can still raise their prices to compensate for the additional risk.

    Previously, you could freely lend to someone who might be a risk for bankruptcy, since the full value of your mortgage would survive the bankruptcy process.  Now you're forced to take the risk of bankruptcy into consideration, and charge that risky borrower a higher interest rate.  Doesn't seem like the end of the world, but it does properly force a lender to take the risk of default into account.

    Over a year ago, the late, oft-lamented Tanta made an argument for cram-downs along these lines: maybe if lenders had to think properly about the risk of bankruptcy, she argued, they wouldn't make quite so many crappy loans!  And that was before the present events unfolded, too.


    this discussion:
    [...] bankruptcy judges adjust mortgage rates [down, presumably] to save some home owners. But then today I read where Republican's are going to fight it. [...] I hope the Dems fight [the Repubs]. Until the housing market is stabilized, all the money pumped into the banks won't matter.

    But (none / 0) (#123)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:09:16 PM EST
    they are adjusting rates down in individual cases, not telling lenders what rates they must charge in general.  In other words, the standard bankruptcy process, just like where they tell you that you only have to pay off half that credit card debt.

    A credit card issuer, in deciding what interest rate to charge you, takes into account the risk that you may enter bankruptcy and get some or all of the debt discharged.  If you're a bigger risk for bankruptcy, they charge you a higher rate for the card.  So, too, with mortgage lenders.  If we change the rules to make mortgages subject to adjustment by bankruptcy courts, that means mortgage lenders just have to go through the same underwriting process that credit card issuers do.  If you're a bigger bankruptcy risk, your mortgage will carry a higher interest rate.  But there's no reason the banks should have to go out of business as a result.


    bankruptcy judges adjust mortgage rates [down, presumably] to save some home owners.
    My understanding of "save" is that they're "saved" from going into bankruptcy. I think CC debt is written down when the cardholder actually goes into bankruptcy, ie., he's not saved - he's bankrupt.

    Regardless, too much lowering of rates/loan balances etc. will force the financial institution out of business. Too much is too much.

    The rub is in figuring out what "too much" for the lender actually is.

    I don't have the answer, and I'm pretty sure some bankruptcy court judge doesn't know what's "too much" for BofA, for example.

    Especially considering "too much" depends in large part on what the economy does in the future, long and short term.

    Heck, if he did know, he'd be CEO of BofA or Chase or whatever and not some flunky bankruptcy judge...


    Well (none / 0) (#131)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:58:11 PM EST
    Bankruptcy isn't really my specialty, but I don't think bankruptcy judges have the power to do anything until you actually declare bankruptcy.

    The issue under discussion right now is that currently, bankruptcy judges aren't allowed to adjust a mortgage as part of a Chapter 13 reorganization.  The proposal is to change the law to let mortgages be readjusted in bankruptcy like any other debt.


    That's what I get for not fact-checking the original poster's comment...

    But a biz generally adjusts when (none / 0) (#119)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:29:08 PM EST
    revenue is down. Otherwise there is no biz. I'm not seeing how not reworking "some" mortgages is good business. Especially those that received a shot of  funds courtesy of the taxpayers so they could continue to operate (too big to fail). Sure, reworking some mortgages will do nothing because people still won't be able to afford them, but I have to think some can be reworked, which helps the lender and homeowner, and I would hope the same lender has a percentage of loans out that are in no danger.

    The automakers are working on adjustments, right? I'm not saying all lenders should rework all loans etc to the point they can't survive, but to not try and find workable solutions on both ends seems a bit out there as a Republican arguing point. :) Especially if the stimulus package is throwing more money/tax cuts their way . . .


    I don't think I can explain it to you (none / 0) (#121)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:32:59 PM EST
    any more clearly than I have.

    No you could (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:35:06 PM EST
    You just insist on using the gas station owner who will go under when being forced to slash the price under the cost paid for product. BUT, if you looked at the big lenders we are talking about, there are plenty of places they could adjust. How about those yearly bonuses and gosh, that good ol' retirement/layoff pay? You f!cked up?! Resign and let me give you a 20mil package while we're at it  ;) How many homeowners could be bailed out from last years lenders bonuses? Instead, we get to give to those same lenders $$$ and we get????

    I'm Libra, it's all about balance  ;)


    cram down (none / 0) (#146)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:30:44 PM EST
    it is to allow cram down provisions, which essentially means modifying the principal on the loan (banks/lenders multiple holders of the tranches the financial Security which was sold with this mortgage bundled into it-take a loss) something they have been dragging them into kicking and screaming all the way

    beyond bad loans the much bigger problem is now that the ball is rolling the property values are rocketing downward, I am in AZ so clearly very affected

    soooo many people who have had good stable 30 yr fixed loans for 10 yrs or more are now underwater thanks to this collapse and panic

    and the foreclosure tidalwaves and unemployment hurting new home sales...now everyone is waiting for the new govt plan to make a move

    it is a real clusterfrak and we need the HOLC plan like two years ago....


    Oh no! (none / 0) (#31)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:48:04 PM EST
    Blago is going to be in the news for a while, depending on when they schedule the trial (and then his formal indictment by Fitzgerald in the spring).

    Chicago politics will be on display for the world to see and inspect several months.  And remember - there are no virgins to ever come out of that particular wh*re house.


    Dayum! (none / 0) (#39)
    by Fabian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:56:27 PM EST
    I wished we coulda impeached Taft!  Missed opportunity I guess.  

    As for Blagojevich, I hope the IL Dems are working on a strategy that makes them look righteous and proactive instead of cowardly and complicit.  2010 is going to be a hard year even for incumbents and the party in power.


    And in other crony news (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:03:33 PM EST
    Bush's ex-girlfriend gets an unexpected extension of her federal appointment, apparently thanks to the good graces of the President-Elect.  Well, good for him.  One presumes the poor woman has suffered enough.

    Breaking ice cream news!!! Stop the presses!!! (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:06:55 PM EST
    According to the local "News at Noon" Ben and Jerry's has just announced a new ice cream flavor. Say hello to--- Yes Pe-Can.

    Awesome (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:08:18 PM EST
    I'll  have to get some and keep the empty container with my Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream container.

    A truly bad pun (none / 0) (#98)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:11:32 PM EST
    always makes me sad I did not think of it first.

    Me too! (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:21:28 PM EST
    Here's a worse one - yesterday my co-worker, an Oklahoma rooter, was going around saying "Better Sooners than Gators".  

    over exposure... (none / 0) (#142)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:21:34 PM EST
    Spiderman and Ben n Jerry's

    ....in danger of overbranding is poor PEBO...


    Drubin is digging in, in a strange way (5.00 / 4) (#122)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:06:36 PM EST

    "At this point we've clearly reached an impasse," Durbin told reporters at his Chicago office.

    He said the Senate seat could remain vacant until Blagojevich is removed from office and the lieutenant governor takes over, making a fresh appointment.

    He said the Senate cannot waive a 125-year-old rule requiring the signatures of both the governor and the secretary of state on any election or appointment.

    I think that's clearly wrong, and pretty outrageous. If the only reason Durbin is willing to offer is that Burris doesn't have the signature, then I think frankly that Burris needs to be seated immediately.

    I agree (5.00 / 2) (#124)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:10:16 PM EST
    Especially when he says it's NEVER been done.  All it takes is one appointment (or even election) that was approved without a signature, and he makes this situation even worse.

    Does the IL law (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:16:24 PM EST
    say that the Illinois Sec of State cannot sign it, or just that he doesn't have to?  Can't he sign it now, if that is really the issue? Did he really refuse to because of the taint, or just didn't because he didn't think he had to?

    In any event, the signature is a tangent, IMO. Would Durbin really happily seat Burris if there was a signature? I doubt it.


    It's clearly a made up reason (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:22:10 PM EST
    He's trying to avoid the Art I Sect 5 problem, but actually he may be encountering it anyway. Saying that there's a taint on the nomination process is a plausible reason for denying to seat. Saying that Burris doesn't have the special is not.

    I am frankly shocked that the IL SC didn't force the SoS to perform his official duty and just sign and seal.


    doesnt have to.. (none / 0) (#144)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:24:04 PM EST
    it says he doesnt have to, they have a specific ACT of the SoS in the constitution that says he has to record it, which he did,

    the IL SC ruling makes it clear that he doesnt have to and it IS valid as it stands,

    and b. they go on to say they checked the SENATE roolz and dont see what Reid is referring to....

    they are forcing a Constitutional crisis to avoid seating this man, I call BS


    And never mind (none / 0) (#154)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:26:02 PM EST
    White apparently just signed the certificate. Think maybe now Durbin and friends will exercise their constitutional power?

    NAH, they're gonna capitulate.


    Is it? Or . . . (none / 0) (#155)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:37:24 PM EST
    is it a copy of some other signed document or something, per the Chicago Tribune:

    White has signed a document that acknowledges a copy of the letter appointing Roland Burris to the U.S. Senate is on file with the state. But White still refuses to co-sign Burris' appointment paperwork with Blagojevich.

    However, his signature is on a certificate requested by Blagojevich's office Friday. The certificate says a copy of Blagojevich's Dec. 30 appointment letter is "a true and accurate copy of a document setting forth an appointment."

    A White spokesman says the certificate just acknowledges the document was filed. A request for the certificate could have been made at any time.

    It's not the official U.S. Senate document Democratic leaders want White to sign before Burris can be seated.  U.S. Senate officials are reviewing the certificate and the letter.

    The politico (none / 0) (#156)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:42:19 PM EST
    is spinning it differently.

    Ultimately the Senate gets to decide what's acceptable.


    Very interesting (none / 0) (#157)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:45:00 PM EST
    difference and could make an interesting debate -- if Reid, et al., are foolish enough to prolong it.

    Illinois provided cover, Congress.  Move forward.


    Rick Warren weighs in on domestic violence (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:44:48 PM EST
    As seen here in The New Agenda, - Rick Warren: Abuse is no excuse for women to seek divorce:
    "God", Warren says, "hates divorce"...Temporary separation combined with counseling [from the lay counseling ministries] is the only path he recommends, because it "has proven to provide healing in people's lives."

    See Warren's Saddleback Church website for the church's answers to 40 questions, including the question of domestic violence (#32).

    Rick Warren (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:50:38 PM EST
    Warren's Africa Aids Program is doing harm (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:04:40 PM EST
    Thanks for the link jbindc:

    Obama advisor David Axelrod cited Warren's work in Africa as one of "the things on which [Obama and Warren] agree" on the December 28 episode of Meet the Press. Warren may be opposed to gay rights and abortion, the thinking goes, but he tells evangelicals it is their God-given duty to battle one of the greatest pandemics in history...

    However, an investigation into Warren's involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education...

    [Regarding Warren and his allies] Stephen Lewis, the United Nations' special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, told the New York Times their activism is "resulting in great damage and undoubtedly will cause significant numbers of infections which should never have occurred."

    Reminds me of the Reagan ban (none / 0) (#135)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:09:03 PM EST
    on family planning aid abroad.

    AKA the Global Gag Rule of Reagan & Bush (5.00 / 2) (#151)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:04:43 PM EST
    See this LINK:
    The U.S. has been a supporter of international family planning and population assistance since the 1960s. However, in 1984, the Reagan Administration imposed significant restrictions on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) population program. Reagan's "Global Gag Rule" prohibited overseas non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from receiving U.S. funds if they used any of their own family planning funds to provide legal abortion services, lobby their own governments for abortion law reform, or even provide accurate medical counseling or referrals regarding abortion...

    *Bill Clinton overturned the Global Gag Rule, by executive order, on his first day in office, in January, 1993.

    *George W. Bush re-imposed the Global Gag Rule on his first day in office, on January 22, 2001.

    *Obama doesn't plan to overturn the Global Gag Rule on his first day in office, in January, 2009 (to the best of my knowledge, that is).


    Warren's place at the (5.00 / 2) (#167)
    by KeysDan on Sat Jan 10, 2009 at 11:30:52 AM EST
    inauguration is a travesty.

    omg (none / 0) (#139)
    by lilburro on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:19:01 PM EST
    WHYYYYYYYY did Obama pick this guy??

    FDA Scientists Ask Obama to Restructure FDA (5.00 / 2) (#140)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:19:49 PM EST
    WASHINGTON -- A group of scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama's transition team pleading with him to restructure the agency, saying managers have ordered, intimidated and coerced scientists to manipulate data in violation of the law.

    The nine scientists, whose names have been provided to the transition team and to some members of Congress, say the FDA is a "fundamentally broken" agency and describe it as place where honest employees committed to integrity can't act without fear of reprisal.

    "There is an atmosphere at FDA in which the honest employee fears the dishonest employee," according to the letter, addressed to John Podesta, head of Mr. Obama's transition team.

    The letter will likely increase pressure on Tom Daschle, Mr. Obama's choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, to make sweeping changes at the agency.

    The scientists' main concerns are with the agency's scientific review process for medical devices, which they characterize as having been "corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at risk."


    Here's hoping something changes sooner than later . . . .

    Watched Burris last night ... (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:16:16 PM EST
    in front of the IL House.  

    I was quite struck by his calm, intelligence, and good humor.  I've seen much more prominent politicians wilt under half the pressure.

    Illinois could do a lot worse.

    He can take the heat (none / 0) (#164)
    by befuddledvoter on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 11:13:16 PM EST
    Seems like a really tough cookie.  I admire that.

    Another Big Bright Full Moon Sat Night (5.00 / 2) (#165)
    by squeaky on Sat Jan 10, 2009 at 08:48:32 AM EST
    When last month's full Moon rose over Florida, onlooker Raquel Stanton of Cocoa Beach realized that something was up.

    "The Moon was stunningly gorgeous--and it looked bigger than usual!" she says. "My whole family noticed and watched in awe."

    Like millions of others around the world, she had witnessed the biggest full Moon of 2008--a "perigee Moon," 14% wider and 30% brighter than lesser Moons she had seen before. "I'll never forget it."

    Alert: It's about to happen again.

    This Saturday night, Jan. 10th, another perigee Moon is coming. It's the biggest full Moon of 2009, almost identical to the one that impressed onlookers in Dec. 2008.


    Thanks! (none / 0) (#166)
    by nycstray on Sat Jan 10, 2009 at 10:57:23 AM EST
    Funny, I noticed the moon last night when I was walking the dog. Can't wait to see how it looks tonight.

    Snow (none / 0) (#169)
    by squeaky on Sat Jan 10, 2009 at 12:30:12 PM EST
    Not sure we will see anything through the snow storm. But if we do it will be quite beautiful.

    We have clouds tonight... (none / 0) (#170)
    by sallywally on Sat Jan 10, 2009 at 09:14:04 PM EST
    Hope we can see the moon tomorrow in central Ohio.

    What do people think of Obama's (none / 0) (#1)
    by ThatOneVoter on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:45:33 PM EST
    remarks on green energy?

    Show me the budget, baby! (none / 0) (#30)
    by Fabian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:48:01 PM EST
    It's all about the dollars.  Words are nice, cash is what counts.

    Cass Sunstein (none / 0) (#2)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:48:54 PM EST
    has found a place in the Obama administration - head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs:

    OIRA was birthed in the 1980 Paperwork Reduction Act as part of the effort to streamline the federal government's regulatory processes... OIRA received relatively little notice until David Stockman, Reagan's young turk of a budget director, realized that, properly applied, OIRA could be used to shut down the government's regulatory functions by tying new regulations up in endless rounds of analysis and bureaucratic justification...

    It's the chokepoint of the entire federal regulatory apparatus. If used wisely, it facilitates the flow, provides welcome analysis and judgment, and aids in implementation...

    Sunstein has recently achieved great fame for Nudge, a book which basically argues that we need to apply the insights of behavioral economics to the construction of regulation. And Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is the ultimate staging ground for those ideas...

    Don't forget, he's also a big fan of (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:58:04 PM EST
    the so-called Chevron deference, which states (very generally) that the interpretations of statutes which are given to those statutes by the Executive branch agency charged with enforcing them is entitled to substantial deference by the Courts.  In other words, it's another lite formulation of the President and Executive saying what the law is, as opposed to the Courts saying so.

    Susnstein also (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:18:17 PM EST
    will be the first head of OIRA who thinks that OSHA is unconstitutional.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Fabian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:50:18 PM EST

    Link - FYI (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:04:09 PM EST
    The workers are so screwed (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:10:39 PM EST
    -- that is, if they have work.

    Solis (none / 0) (#145)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:26:03 PM EST
    betcha he bangs heads real fast with Hilda Solis in Labor if he pulls anything like that, she is one tough worker looker-outer for

    or in dc speak

    a vibrant supporter of workers protections


    It's a little more shaded than that (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:22:20 PM EST
    He wants to put it on what he thinks is a more sound constitutional footing.

    His thing seems to be regulatory structure that's more streamlined and cost-effective and more pokeyoke, but he isn't per se anti-regulation ideologically like what we usually see from conservatives.

    But neither Glenn Reynolds nor the WSJ seem perturbed by his pick. That can't be good.


    What is the implication then, (none / 0) (#10)
    by Alien Abductee on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:19:11 PM EST
    if as Ezra says, the key to what Stockman did was to put a conservative chokehold from the Oval Office on what had been more freely regulated by the relevant agencies? Would someone in favor of shifting control back to the regulatory agencies themselves not be a step in the right direction?

    Does the judicial branch, (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:27:39 PM EST
    in practice, have more or less power than the other two?

    Depends on who you ask: (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:51:18 PM EST
    if he's sentencing you, it's a lot.

    What do people think of the podium (none / 0) (#3)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:49:29 PM EST
    Obama uses?  Is there an "Office of the President-elect"

    It's a job. (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:58:31 PM EST
    I'd take it, even if the pay is crap.

    me thinks he doth protest too much (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by DXP on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:56:27 PM EST
    As far as visual culture goes his derived seals and emblems of presidential authority have been used throughout his campaign. Reactions go several ways, sometimes people bridle at the jaded use of shared historical symbols, and sometimes people hope his qualities will restore US and international respect for the office, and by extension, for the US government.

    I'm sure he has some excellent people designing his visuals, I just wonder if he needs to assert his authority so much.


    There is a genuine Presidential Transition Office (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:58:14 PM EST
    with a federal budget. I recall back in '99 that the Clinton Administration fought turning over the keys to Bush.

    I heard the same thing. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:37:28 PM EST
    In fact I heard they never did turn the "w" keys over to him...

    Ha. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:40:17 PM EST
    So, if he never got the keys, (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:50:21 PM EST
    how did he manage to drive the country into a ditch like my t-shirt says he did?

    Podium: "Office of the (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:29:53 PM EST
    Presidential Transition"?

    He's just so . . . (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:43:47 PM EST

    Are people still "hoping" he "changes" when he gets into office? Oh wait! Maybe that's his super-power now that he's hooked up with Marvel? Gosh, I wonder if they are going to license this Spidey duo for product?


    Better than "transitioning." (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:45:45 PM EST
    Hate that word.

    We could use "morph" ;) (none / 0) (#32)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:50:02 PM EST
    I can't use morph (none / 0) (#118)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:24:46 PM EST
    I listened to his campaign speeches.  For me he is still the same as he ever was :)

    So? (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:31:15 PM EST
    Nothing. I'm easily annoyed, that's all. (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:39:28 PM EST
    I guess he lost the (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:46:05 PM EST
    "My Favorite Microphone" you wanted him to use for press conferences.

    Missed that one. (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:00:07 PM EST
    Lately, I think I'm dealing with a man (none / 0) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:21:02 PM EST
    a whole lot more insecure than I ever imagined him to be. I keep remembering that his personality is that of the Champion.  He has to stand for something and right now he stands for the Office of the President Elect :)  Not many Champions make it to the top of the leadership food chain.  Let's hope he has the right stuff and not just a great profile championing a great campaign.  Clinton was the CEO and McCain was the Artisan.......both types are often successfully at the top of the leadership food chain.

    He is prez-elect now, anyway (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:33:39 PM EST
    by act of Congress this week, accepting the Electoral College results.  Before that, he was the pre-prez-elect.  But that looks silly on a seal.:-)

    Are we past the "but, nobody knows who (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:36:07 PM EST
    Obama is" stage yet?  Does he really need a seal at this point?

    Ha. Bring back the lapel flag pin (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:42:02 PM EST
    so we can tell who reeeeally wanted to be president.

    Have you seen the (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:06:22 PM EST
    Jack in the Box commercial with Jack on Air Force One and a big seal off to his side reads:

    Residential Seal of the United States

    We can ALL have a seal of our own :)


    Lillo Brancato sentenced (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 12:51:47 PM EST
    to 10 years on the burglary charge.  He'd been acquitted of the felony murder.  He was facing 3 1/2 to 15;  he'll get credit for about 3 years time served.

    Foner has a New Article on Lincoln... (none / 0) (#46)
    by blogname on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 01:59:58 PM EST
    Foner's new article on Lincoln is very appropriate for thinking about Obama....Here's my response: If Obama Emulates Lincoln, Will Progressives Follow Abolitionists and Radical Republicans?

    U.S. Supreme Court will hear (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:22:46 PM EST
    Voting Rights Act case:  NYT

    News reports state Roberts, on behalf of Reagan Dept. of Justice, advocated against constitutionality of extending Voting Rights Act.  

    And a case on affirmative action (none / 0) (#114)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 04:05:19 PM EST
    firefighter hiring:  NYT

    In Texas (none / 0) (#71)
    by eric on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:36:45 PM EST
    I wonder how crazy you need to be to be found insane and incompetent to stand trial?

    Texas death row inmate pulls out eye, eats it

    In the future, please just type (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:51:58 PM EST

    I usually do (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by eric on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:02:44 PM EST
    but thought it best to give people a little warning before they clicked.

    Would you have settled for (none / 0) (#97)
    by Steve M on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:10:48 PM EST
    Quite the biblical scholar. I'm (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:12:35 PM EST
    very impressed.  Query:  would this passage fit on the eye-blacking of Tim Tebow?

    My god... what a horror. (none / 0) (#78)
    by desertswine on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:53:59 PM EST
    It's Texas, so (none / 0) (#81)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:56:34 PM EST
    it probably would require doing so to both eyes.

    So off with his head!


    That was his last eye (none / 0) (#83)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:00:20 PM EST
    he did the other one earlier . . . .

    Oh, you just had to make me go (none / 0) (#85)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:02:31 PM EST
    actually click on the link.  Ugh.  'Scuse me while I go lose my lunch. . . .

    {grin} I so could not resist! (none / 0) (#96)
    by nycstray on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:09:43 PM EST
    The bad girl in me could not just let that opening go . . .

    Puhlease. (none / 0) (#89)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:04:19 PM EST
    Maybe the food was as bad (none / 0) (#88)
    by Cream City on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:03:50 PM EST
    as in Alabama?

    Baddest comment of the day. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:06:22 PM EST
    OMG there is nothing on (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:07:21 PM EST
    god's green earth that could make me click that link.

    No one is insane (none / 0) (#163)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 09:48:56 PM EST
    Wisconsin thought Jeffrey Dahmer was sane too.

    To Coral Gables and BTD: (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 02:52:43 PM EST
    that game must totally wiped you two out!

    kdog, your pirates reached a deal (none / 0) (#109)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:41:43 PM EST
    NY TImes reporting on the Somali pirates---

    MOGADISHU, Somalia -- A Saudi-owned supertanker held by pirates off the coast of Somalia for two months has been released for a ransom of $3 million, according to one of the pirates and residents of Xarardheere, a pirate town on the Somali coast near where the tanker was being held.

    The supertanker, about the length of an American Nimitz class aircraft carrier, was the largest ship known to have been seized by pirates, and it was fully loaded with two million barrels of oil.

    When I read about the pirates, kdog, I always think of you.( Not saying I think you are a pirate.)

    It looks like (none / 0) (#110)
    by eric on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:46:57 PM EST
    piracy pays... and it pays pretty well.

    In so many ways. According to (none / 0) (#112)
    by oculus on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 03:50:34 PM EST
    the pirates, they have to fend off women admirers.

    Arrr matey! (none / 0) (#130)
    by cymro on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 05:53:22 PM EST
    Pirates will always be after their swag -- doubloons, crude oil (pirates like it that way), oysters ...

    Just ask "Pirate Bob".... (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by EL seattle on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 07:08:58 PM EST
    It's the Pirate Life for me.

    This song never gets old.  Yo-ho-ho indeed.


    oh good grief (none / 0) (#148)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:34:24 PM EST
    wt heck is going on, now the Democratic Mayor of Baltimore has been indicted...


    Dixon, a Democrat, has been the target of a nearly three-year probe by State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh into corruption at City Hall, an investigation that has centered on allegations that Dixon has used her office to award lucrative contracts to various people including her sister, her then-boyfriend and her former campaign chairman.

    Well, depending on whom you want to (5.00 / 2) (#160)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 08:54:35 PM EST
    believe, there's a distinct possibility that what is at work here is a Republican prosecutor who has been hell-bent on bringing down the Democratic power structure in Baltimore - after three years, a ton of money spent and a lot of resources devoted to this when there are other issues that could better use some attention, he has not come up with a whole lot.

    The news media here are all a bit breathless over the indictment, but I think the rest of us are at the "ho-hum, oh, well, now could you tell us whether it's going to snow tomorrow and when it's going to start?"

    Dixon's got herself an excellent lawyer, and it wouldn't surprise me to see the whole thing dismissed.


    gift cards?!?! (none / 0) (#149)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:35:47 PM EST
    oh good lord she took GIFT CARDS as bribes they allege to Best Buy and and Old Navy and spent the dough on electronics and such for family members....

    Life goes on (none / 0) (#150)
    by SOS on Fri Jan 09, 2009 at 06:37:39 PM EST