The meltdown.

We had some fairly apocalyptic weather this weekend — apocalyptic for around here, at least. OK, maybe just “bad” would be less hysterical. What it did was rain buckets and buckets all day Saturday. Then we had a little bit of a break, and then the remnants of the hurricane arrived and it rained more buckets Sunday. In between, we had a little dinner party.

I spent much of Saturday afternoon cooking, and it was nice, with the windows open enough for a breeze and the rain pitter-pattering outside. And then everyone arrived and the kitchen seemed to burst into flames, it was so hot, and I wondered, is this some change-of-life thing? but everyone else seemed hot as hell too, and of course if you turn on the A/C it takes two hours, minimum, to cool everything down, so basically we just suffered. You can’t control everything, I guess, especially hot air masses pushed by monster storms. But there was something about the heat and the shortening days and the buckets of rain and the dinner conversation and “This American Life” on Saturday that made me think, man, we are all screwed. The second chapter of TAL was about the do-nothing Securities and Exchange Commission, and how they’ve sat around on their confused asses for the last couple of years, while Wall Street has waltzed the economy to the edge of a cliff, and I reflected that the campaign has become whether a mean photographer made John McCain look like a monster or if Barack Obama wants to teach your kindergartener how to put on a condom. I said a while back that if Obama could put the Wall Street message in simple language in a 10-minute stump speech with lots of pullout quotes, he might could maybe win this thing.

Of course, at this rate, it might be too late for that.

The dinner party was nice, in case you were wondering. Beef tenderloin, fresh green beans and corn, new potatoes, a little gazpacho to start. Blueberry-peach pie. Very WASPy, very basic. Oh, and since I walk past it in our container garden all summer and daily say, “You know, I need to do more with that tarragon,” a sauce bearnaise for the beef.

Beef tenderloin and bearnaise sauce during a financial meltdown is known as whistling past the graveyard.

This seems a good point to segue into the bloggage, since it falls under the classification A Few More People I Don’t Feel Sorry For: Remember all those people in Galveston who, when told to evacuate, yelled, “Hell no, we won’t go!” while all their friends lifted a glass and gave them a rousing hell yeah? Do you have some sympathy to spare now? Ahem:

With no water or power, no working toilets, no food or phones, people faced growing public health concerns here on Sunday. More than 2,000 residents who had defied an evacuation order were taken off the island, and state officials tried to ensure that no one could return.

“The storm was easy,” said Brenda Shinette, 51, who rode out the hurricane in her home but went to a shelter Sunday hoping to be taken to the mainland. “It’s what came after that was terrible.”

“We have no showers, and the food is spoiled,” Ms. Shinette added. “I feel like I want to pass out, but I can’t tell if it is from too much heat or too little food.”

She said the lack of toilets had become so bad in her neighborhood that she had been avoiding eating so she would not have to use the bathroom.

No? I didn’t think so.

Eminem has a new album coming this fall, and with any luck, an end to his Graceland period. It’s not doing anyone any good.

I should get to work. Just got a Facebook friend request from a guy I knew in Fort Wayne, since moved on. He was just laid off when his paper folded unexpectedly. And here I am making a no-budget zombie flick. Talk about fiddling, etc.

Enjoy financial Armageddon!

Oh, and a quick update, in keeping with our Armageddon theme today: The News’ sports page screams AS BAD AS IT GETS in Armageddon-size type, and they’re not talking about Wall Street, but rather the Lions, and once again Wojo speaks for us all:

DETROIT — This can’t keep happening. It’s cruel and unusual and flat-out absurd. And yet, for the Lions and Jon Kitna, it happens again and again, until fans scream to keep from crying. Every time there’s a glimmer, it’s gone. Almost every time there’s a game to be won, it’s lost.

The Lions are wandering in a bizarre world of their own making, with no clue how to get out. They tossed away another one Sunday, rallying from a 21-0 deficit to take the lead, then collapsing and losing to Green Bay 48-25.

Posted at 9:53 am in Current events, Popculch |

29 responses to “The meltdown.”

  1. moe99 said on September 15, 2008 at 10:16 am

    speaking of the financial meltdown, the point was made that John McCain wanted us voters to tie our social security in to the financial markets with his privatization proposal that seemed sooo nifty a while back. Here’s the money quote:

    As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it—along the lines that President Bush proposed,” McCain told the Journal.[Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08; Campaign Website, accessed 3/3/08]

    Also the Lehman Bros bankruptcy filing is the largest in history:

    Roubini’s predicting that there will be no independent broker dealers left:,MER,AIG,GS,MS,WM,XLF

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  2. john c said on September 15, 2008 at 10:28 am

    As a fortunate attendee of our blogmistress’ aforementioned dinner party, I am here to dispute her account of the heat. It did warm up. But it certainly didn’t bother moi. Perhaps it was because I was chatting and drinking wine, while Ms. Nall was slaving over our wonderful dinner!

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  3. coozledad said on September 15, 2008 at 10:57 am

    I wish I could offer some tips on how to keep cool besides the time-honored Southern tradition of finding a shady spot, lying down and hallucinating. But I don’t want to lie to you.

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  4. Jolene said on September 15, 2008 at 11:03 am

    No picture of the pie? Shucks.

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  5. brian stouder said on September 15, 2008 at 11:10 am

    So now, how often has the “Kitna amongst Lions” joke been made?

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  6. nancy said on September 15, 2008 at 11:24 am

    That column is a keeper, Brian. I loved this part, too:

    Ford Field needed a reprieve from a furniture store to sell out the home opener, but there were plenty of empty club seats and luxury suites. And as the Lions left the field, fans stopped booing long enough to be livid. One woman wearing a Lions jersey leaned over the railing and shrieked, “I’m not wasting my time on you losers anymore!”

    When linebacker Alex Lewis went over to say something, she kept screaming and pointing until Lewis walked away.

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  7. Danny said on September 15, 2008 at 11:29 am


    As a rule, I do not get emotionally involved with the Chargers anymore. Me and the Chargers, we’re dating, we’re just not going steady.

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  8. Danny said on September 15, 2008 at 11:33 am

    Hey, look at the bright side of the financial meltdown. All of us will be part owners (but, extremely silent owners) of the several investment banks come next April 15th. I’ve always wanted to add “investment banker” to my resume.

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  9. Suzi said on September 15, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Danny, so sorry about your Chargers. We’re still stunned that ND beat the Wolverines!

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  10. Dorothy said on September 15, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    We had tremendous wind damage here last night. Trees down EVERYWHERE in town, and Gambier has no power. I was on my way into the office this morning when the word went out over the radio that non-essential personnel need not report. I had my camera with me so drove slowly through the campus and snapped some pictures. I posted them at Flickr. We just got our cable back an hour ago, and our power only flickered at the apartment. But around us there is word that some of the power might not be back on until Thursday at the earliest.

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  11. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 15, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Re: the photog — i’m thinking she was going for getting McCain to step into full moonlight, to reveal the true Geoffrey Rush undead skull-smile a la Pirates of the Carib.

    We’re just south and a bit west of Dorothy, and we have power where i’m at, but we have underground utilities. Even at that, i’m online thanks to a neighbor who has cable who was willing to offer me the password to their wireless router. Most of Columbus and points north and just east are shut down, and i just heard there are no operating gas stations between Cinc’y and Col’s. Would assume same up to Cleveland.

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  12. Julie Robinson said on September 15, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Lots of rain and wind here, nothing major. But in northern Illinois my mother is watching for a second major flood in a year. She cannot handle it herself; she’s 76 and a cardiac patient. I’m torn between compassion and frustration–we cleaned up the last one and then attempted to help her move, only to be rebuffed by her mental illness. Sis and I discussed having her declared imcompetent but decided she’d never speak to us again. Damn it’s hard when your parents get old.

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  13. Halloween Jack said on September 15, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    The astonishing quote re: Galveston was from this lady:

    “Next time they should warn people about this, not the storm itself,” Ms. Jones said.

    Really? What did she think the aftermath would be like–picking up a few fallen branches? Maybe running a shopvac for a few minutes?

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  14. moe99 said on September 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Palin should fit in very well.

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  15. Connie said on September 15, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Ike and friends flew through here over the weekend as well. Was it just a week or two ago that we were begging for rain and complaining about crunchy grass?

    My husband’s goofy post about Ike, no he was not really in deep water, I think that was a photoshopped pool picture. Love the birds in the birdbath in the rain.

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  16. moe99 said on September 15, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    title of it should tell you everything. Anyone who votes for McCain after this should be ashamed of themselves for supporting such a liar.

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  17. Gasman said on September 15, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Not sure why we’re talking in code about Palin. I appears that she lied through her lipstick stained teeth during her interview with Charlie Gibson. She said that fired Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan had agreed that she and her husband Todd had not pressured him to fire her ex brother-in-law. It seems Monegan has said just the opposite to Brian Ross of ABC and to the Alaska State Legislature’s investigation into the entire matter:

    Besides the apparent lies, the article indicates that Todd Palin and not the Governor met initially with Monegan. Why? What the hell is he doing asking the Public Safety Commissioner to investigate anything? Does this guy think it’s appropriate for him to act as if he were elected? To whom is he accountable? Is this what it means to be a maverick politician?

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  18. Catherine said on September 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Great. The Dow has dropped below 11,000. Meltdown, indeed.

    On a lighter note, from Urban Dictionary:

    bush doctrine

    A policy of preemptive strike, as proposed by President George W. Bush.

    “My pants weren’t dirty yet, but I Bush Doctrined them and washed them anyway.”

    “I’m going to Bush Doctrine this test, because I can’t study at the last minute.”

    “If that asshat so much as looks at me again, I’m going to Bush Doctrine his face into the ground.”

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  19. moe99 said on September 15, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Just get to about 7 minutes in where they compare Bush’s 2000 acceptance speech with McCain’s in 2008. It is damn scary.

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  20. moe99 said on September 15, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Got this from my friend, the Klickitat County prosecutor:


    I’m a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight…..

    * If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you’re “exotic, different.”

    * Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

    * If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

    * Name your kids Willow, Trig, Bristol, and Track, you’re a maverick.

    * Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

    * Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re well grounded.

    * If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran ‘ s Affairs committees, you don’t have any real leadership experience.

    * If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest ranking executive and next in line behind a man in his eighth decade.

    * If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 daughters, all within Protestant churches, you’re not a real Christian.

    If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and then left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a true Christian.

    * If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

    * If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state’s school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you’re very responsible.

    * If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family’s values don’t represent America’s.

    * If your husband is nicknamed “First Dude”, with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn’t register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

    OK, much clearer now.

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  21. brian stouder said on September 15, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Very well said, Moe.

    Another poster may well chime in at any moment to declare that ‘you’re wrong’, and in so doing, that poster might feel better about things in general. Whatever.

    The McCain-as-vampire picture (linked previously) was particularly striking to me, because the whole McCain campaign seems to be following the classic Hollywood summertime paperback Vampire storyline;

    the guy is ancient, ancient; probably more dead than alive – and his campaign was going absolutely nowhere…right up ’til he beguiled the young, attractive, vibrant governor of Alaska, and put the bite on her!

    And now, his campaign absolutely depends on the fresh blood she generously gifts to him; when he appears without her he is visibly weaker, and when he appears with her, she transfuses life into him.

    Honestly, I do not know what to think of the “Troopergate” thing. Palin flatly promised to cooperate, and now the McCain Campaign just as flatly declares that no such cooperation will come to pass.

    Is this an all-too-clever scheme to have the press over-react, and cruelly villify the fair Ms Palin, only to have her vindicated at the last possible moment? Or, is there really something damaging in the 1100 emails that the Palins won’t release?

    And the underlying drama is, if McCain goes down in November, will Governor Palin’s political future be damned in time and eternity? Hell, if he WINS – what happens to her? Will they Agnew her out of office? THAT would be a hell of an ending – very fitting for the vampire motiff

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  22. Gasman said on September 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Palin supporters: is there a single subject in the Governor’s background that she hasn’t openly lied about or engaged in extreme overstatement? I can’t think of anything that she has cited that has been truthful. My Momma told me, “If someone’s lyin’, they’re hidin’ something.” I think Mom was right.

    Remember, Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a Governor.

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  23. MaryC said on September 15, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    she had been avoiding eating so she would not have to use the bathroom

    I never thought I’d run out of sympathy for any disaster victim but something about this quote and a nearly identical quote from another Galveston woman (I think it might have been Hallowe’en Jack’s Ms. Jones, actually) just really pissed me off.

    “I didn’t eat as much because the toilets were overflowing.”

    Jeez, ladies, I thought you might have held off eating because you were sharing an EMERGENCY SHELTER for WHO KNOWS HOW LONG with CHILDREN and there might not have been ENOUGH FOOD TO GO AROUND so you might want to THINK ABOUT SOMEONE BESIDES YOURSELF FOR A CHANGE. But then it wouldn’t be all about you, would it?

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  24. Joe Kobiela said on September 15, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Keep rippen McCain and Palin, Took a look at the polls lately?
    Every time some one try’s to discredit them, the lead gets larger.
    I still think there are more people that like them than anyone thinks.

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  25. Catherine said on September 15, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    Sarah Palin’s truthiness is clearly compromised. That said, if my sister were going through a nasty divorce from an abusive guy, and I could get him away from the family, I’d be pretty tempted to make a call too. Waiting to learn more on that one…

    Gasman, I love the Jesus/Pontius thing & plan to borrow it, with your permission.

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  26. Gasman said on September 16, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Steal away, I did. I heard it on a radio show called “Faith Matters” which runs on one of our local public radio stations.

    Joe, how come Republican lies are OK? And what polls you been lookin’ at? You want to bet that McCain is at his poll zenith right now? His numbers aren’t going to go any higher. Just the opposite.

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  27. moe99 said on September 16, 2008 at 2:05 am

    This from Robert F. Kennedy Jr in the HuffPo:

    Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that “some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies.”

    It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list.

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  28. Jolene said on September 16, 2008 at 2:13 am

    If the issue were really abusiveness, though, Catherine, the thing to do would be to deal with him through law enforcement channels. The question of his employment is not relevant to his behavior toward anyone in the Palin family. And he was disciplined for some work-related infractions.

    David Frum has an interesting take on the “reformer” mentality that leads people to overstep their bounds. An excerpt:

    Periodically there is an eruption of reform. The leaders of these eruptions have to be brave and charismatic. They excite intense loyalty among their followers – and provoke keen resentment among those who have enjoyed the old ways of doing business.

    But it also often happens that this same bold leader has a strong messianic streak. They see no difference between themselves and their movement. They draw fierce lines between friends and enemies. They intensely resent criticism. They see no contradiction between their demand for total openness from others – and secrecy for themselves. They can be paranoid and vindictive – because after all, their enemies are enemies of the great cause.

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  29. LAMary said on September 16, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    You’re right Joe, there are lots of people like them. They are currently running banks and investment companies into the ground and giving themselves huge salaries. They are running for office on anti-gay platforms but having furtive homosexual encounters. They want to throw drug users in jail but they can’t survive without illegally obtained vicodin, percocet and oxycontin. They give jobs to cronies and family while intimidating experienced staff, and best of all they lie about the whole thing. And they want to ban books.

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