I’m behind on my e-mail. Funny how that happens. You get caught up, spend a day slacking and then, boom. At times I like this I remember the stories I’ve read about e-mail amnesty declarations, in which one purges the in-box and washes one’s hands. I also think of the early days of the fax machine, when the librarians (which is where our newsroom kept its main fax) would hand-deliver faxes to your desk the moment they arrived. Within six months they had installed a mailbox setup, and you picked up your own. And six months after that, the boxes were clogged with restaurant takeout menus and entries for some guy in the sports department’s NCAA pool.

E-mail’s getting like that. Now everyone wants to send you text messages, at 20 cents per. Wonderful. Something you have to type with your thumbs, can’t be much more than a few phrases and costs half as much as a letter sent via U.S. Mail. We’re always figuring out a way to do things better, aren’t we?

On the other hand, I’m always amazed, whenever a new communication technology emerges, how swiftly we figure out what it’s good for, which niche it fills. A text is perfect for a certain sort of message, e-mail for another. We even agree, sort of, on the etiquette of when one has violated the code somehow, how breaking up with someone via text or voice mail is tacky (and how sending takeout menus via fax should be).

However, the e-mail I have to return is from my BFF, with whom I’ve had a years-long correspondence, and deserves better than Im awesome!!!! on her phone.

So hang on, Deb, all will be revealed, eventually.

I’m trying very hard not to be upset by the news lately, but then I wonder: Isn’t denial of this sort a one-way ticket to the Stress-Related Ailments ward? Isn’t [Samuel Jackson voice] great vengeance and furious anger [ / Samuel Jackson voice] the logical, normal reaction to recent events? I thought I had it tamped down, and then Gretchen Morgenson, the NYT business reporter/columnist, was on “Fresh Air” yesterday — stream it here — and it came roaring back. “Why should I believe people who were lying to me five minutes ago?” she asked, quite reasonably, and it was all I could do not to load all the garden implements into the back of the car and set a course for Washington. Instead, I took a shower and wondered if I have the privilege of witnessing the end of the American era. I think so. It’s pretty clear the future belongs to our Chinese brothers, and our next part is to be the Fading Empire Rife with Corruption, Clinging to Outdated Ritual.

I just hope I can get a job. I hope the fading empire needs a few writers.

Which, before I set to work catching up on e-mail, seems as good a place as any to transition to the bloggage:

LGM’s Paul Campos in the Rocky Mountain News, on what Wall Street and the Detroit Lions have in common. Relax, it’s semi-amusing and not angry at all. (BTW, Fox Sports is reporting Matt Millen’s been fired.)

Suzanne Vega tells a few of the many stories behind “Tom’s Diner,” an a capella pop oddity that was influential far beyond its do-do-do-dos.

Hey, Detroiters, look what Matty Moroun’s up to now. Go down to Riverside Park and take some pictures. (Amusingly, when we did our film challenge last summer, this was the park where most of the teams got their obligatory Ambassador Bridge shots. Bastard.)

Off to work I go.

Posted at 10:34 am in Current events, Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |

81 responses to “Clogged.”

  1. paddyo' said on September 24, 2008 at 10:53 am

    This week/month/year are simply fresh evidence, Nancy, that we live in Rome — that we ARE Rome. It ain’t The Fall just yet — i.e., 476 A.D. — but The Decline is certainly upon us. I’m pretty sure I heard Nero fiddling a while back (ca. 68 A.D.), but I think now that we’re farther down the potholed Appian Way . . . or should we call it Wall Street?

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  2. LAMary said on September 24, 2008 at 10:56 am

    I think we’re like UK, no longer able to look at the world map and see that all the pink bits belong to us.

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  3. michaela said on September 24, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I console myself w/ the UK analogy frequently these days… yeah, their moment has passed, but they’re still kicking. And they have pubs! And cows! And congestion pricing in London!

    What those three things have to do w/ one another I’m not sure… except to prove it is not Darkness and Ruin in jolly olde England, as far as I know.

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  4. Gasman said on September 24, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Paulson and Bernanke are panicked and screaming that we’ve got to implement their plan to fix things and DO IT NOW! Wait a minute. Aren’t these the same guys who two weeks ago didn’t even know there was a problem and now they know the ONLY way to fix it, but YOU MUST ACT NOW!

    I think Pogo said it best, ““Now is the time for all good men to come to.”

    Those in Congress and the Senate appear to have come to, at least somewhat. They appear to be unstampeded by the Paulson hysteria. Let’s not give a pass to those greedy f#*kers that are most responsible for this mess. And that is surely not the homeowner schmucks that believed the hype and bought into the mortgage cons that were created by the glittering men (and women) who could do no wrong.

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  5. brian stouder said on September 24, 2008 at 11:34 am

    It’s pretty clear the future belongs to our Chinese brothers, and our next part is to be the Fading Empire Rife with Corruption, Clinging to Outdated Ritual.


    Making allowances for humorous overstatement and satirical intent, still I must say – stop and consider….

    What will Uncle Rush Limbaugh and his legion of like-minded lip-flappers say when President Obama is inaugurated in January?

    My predicition: he’ll mutter darkly about the decline of our nation, at the hands of the corrupt, decadant Democrats.

    And of course, he will be wrong.

    You could have convinced me that This is The End (as Jim Morrison says) if it was, say, 1933, and the nation’s economy was well and truly crashed; if it was 1864 (before Sherman took Atlanta), and Grant had spent the summer sending back 6,000 casualties a week, overwhelming the capital with horribly suffering people – in what looked like an unwinnable war lead by a failed president….. but not in 2008.

    Hell, it looks like America is going to emulate the Chinese hybrid business model, with heavy government involvement in the markets, mixed with non-governmental enterprises.

    If we play the game even a little smarter – we’ll do just fine

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  6. Kirk said on September 24, 2008 at 11:42 am

    An appropriate day to deflate the RCAdome, nee Hoosierdome (I always called it the Hoojiedome). The istreaming video is hugely undramatic, but the inflato-roof is definitely sagging.

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  7. Elaine said on September 24, 2008 at 11:50 am

    “…wondered if I have the privilege of witnessing the end of the American era.”

    Yep. I wondered the same thing as I listened to the Senate Finance Committee hearing yesterday. Aside from all the grand-standing and posturing, it became increasingly clear to my reporter’s gut that this thing is probably a whole lot worse than they’re letting on.

    Just a guess.

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  8. Elaine said on September 24, 2008 at 11:51 am

    “…wondered if I have the privilege of witnessing the end of the American era.”

    Yep. I wondered the same thing as I listened to the Senate Finance Committee hearing yesterday. Aside from all the grand-standing and posturing, it became increasingly clear to my reporter’s gut that this thing is even worse than they’re letting on.

    Just a guess.

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  9. Peter said on September 24, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Brian’s right. There’s something to be said about not being the 700 pound gorilla of world nations any longer. Rush and his buddies always talk about how we’re the greatest country on earth and the greatest country that ever existed, and I have to ask – are you confusing greatest with most powerful? I would think a great country would be able to take care of their poor people better, would be able to respond to natural and man-made disasters better, would be able to monitor their financial markets better.

    I’m sorry, but I’ve never bought the Rome comparisons – people were doing kinky stuff since Day 2 and will be doing it right up until the end of the show; I don’t think Rome is any better or worse in that department. And as for comparing empires, sorry, I don’t buy that argument either. We didn’t conquer the known world by force and rule by fear, despite what the revisionists say.

    You know, getting in the sandbox and playing nice with the other kids is good advice for nations as well as kindergartners.

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  10. alex said on September 24, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Thanks. Now I can’t get Tom’s Diner out of my head. Great back story, though.

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  11. Catherine said on September 24, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Re Nancy’s comment “I just hope I can get a job,” the bulk of my work in 2008 has come from Asia, and US non-profits. I’m glad I’m not trying to develop products for the US consumer market right now; there is definitely a fin de siecle feel out there.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    Until we get the national savings rate back out of negative territory to 3% or so, we’re looking at stagnancy or smoke ‘n mirrors (which is what the last five years were, atop artifically inflated home prices). Dick Lugar actually tried to run for POTUS a few primary seasons back with that as a key platform point, which led to my first actual political donation, but he’s not exactly Mr. Personality and the call to “Save, not spend” didn’t bring out the crowds. As WFB, Jr. always said, it all goes back to the mistake of income tax withholding . . .

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  13. coozledad said on September 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    My (probably unfounded) worry is the financial crisis will precipitate a military one. Like the last time.
    The stage is already pretty much set for the extremists to step in and start mucking around.
    But that’s why I already went batshit and moved to the woods.

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  14. Gasman said on September 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Let’s hope that this crisis serves as a sort of requiem for the moronic doctrine of Trickle Down Economics. For the better part of three decades, the only thing trickling down has been Republican pee and it seems to be average homeowners who are at the bottom of the hill. I’d rather be pissed off than pissed on.

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  15. Dwight said on September 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    That Suzanne Vega story was awesome. Thanks for the link.

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  16. nancy said on September 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    I dunno, Brian. I keep thinking back to our trip this summer, watching San Franciscans walk around yakking into their phones all day while periodically container ships would steam through the bay, laden with goods made in China, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Scorn a manufacturing economy if you like, it’s one that offers the widest possible range of jobs for the widest possible range of population. It’s fine to talk about service- and digital-economy jobs, but we can’t all be Steve Jobs, and factory work at decent wages built the American middle class.

    Also, I weary of waiting for Chinese manufacturing to learn lessons we learned a century ago. One of the stories exploding on the health-news beat is the Chinese milk-powder scandal, yet another fine example of meeting the quota by mixing in a little poison. Thousands of babies sickened, a handful dead, and you just want to beat your head against a wall.

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  17. Jolene said on September 24, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    There are some smart people writing about what a “post-American era might be like. I haven’t read them yet, but they’re on my list. Here’s what I’ve heard about.

    The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, by Andrew Bacevich
    (I’ve heard a couple of interviews w/ Bacevich, one of Fresh Air and the other on Bill Moyers Journal. Both very interesting. A thoughtful, impressive person.

    Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria. If you read this, you’ll be in tune w/ Barack Obama. He was photographed carrying this book.

    The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order, by Parag Khanna. According to Wired Magazine, he is one of 15 people our next president should listen to.

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  18. LAMary said on September 24, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    The Chinese Milk Powder Scandal is so distressing/depressing. First dogs and cats died, now babies. What is the mindset of the people who keep adding melamine to food?

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  19. Jolene said on September 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    The Chinese approach to environmental issues (i.e., ignore them) is another way in which they are ignoring what we’ve learned. As I’m sure you all know, they shut down lots of manufacturing and construction and allowed only every-other-day driving (based on license plate numbers) during the Olympics, including the Paralympics which followed the regular Olympics directly.

    James Fallows, whose blog I’ve mentioned before, has before and after pictures that show what a difference those restrictions made.

    I wrote to Fallows a while back to ask him if the Chinese people wouldn’t wonder why the government only cares about clear skies for the benefit of foreigners? He replied, “Good question!”

    As these insults mount, it’ll be interesting to see whether the government is able to respond. I know there were public outcries about the quality of school construction that led to the death of so many children in this summer’s earthquake too, but I haven’t followed that issue so don’t know where things stand.

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  20. Jolene said on September 24, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    One more contribution in my role as reference librarian: I heard that this Charlie Rose interview with Alan Blinder and, especially, Steven Pearlstein, was very good. Am going to listen to it this afternoon.

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  21. coozledad said on September 24, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Looks like Paulson and Bernanke can’t even say how they arrived at the 700 billion figure. Congress needs to write a cheaper, short term plan and let the boy genius veto it.

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  22. John said on September 24, 2008 at 2:32 pm


    re:Fallows/ For a pointy-headed inside the beltway wonk, you must be alright if you like a good fart joke!

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  23. brian stouder said on September 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    See, THAT’s the thing about China; the rigid and unchallenged (at least overtly) control exerted by the government.

    We could put even moderate tarriffs onto imports from China (say – enough to simulate what Chinese goods would cost if they paid living wages and implemented reasonable work and safety standards) , and those big container ships full of shoes and shirts and toys (etc) would become much less profitable. The downside would be that folks all across the country would see their prices rise at Walmart; this would arguably hurt lower income people who would be most affected by rising prices, but it would incentivize manufacturing here at home, which would be a Good Thing!

    Plus – if the Chinese factories slow down and/or shutter, maybe the Chinese workers will say to their government something like “Enough!”

    edit: Elitist Alert! Tonight is John Esposito –

    John L. Esposito September 24 “The United States and the Muslim World: What the Next President Should Know”

    An exclusive nn.c summary report will follow, at some point!

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  24. Dexter said on September 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Just before I signed off around 2:45 AM I read where Matt Millen was in his office with cardboard boxes! So I was wrong, thank god, and the plague is over after all these years. Maybe Bill Ford has William Clay Ford’s ear…how else to explain?

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  25. Gasman said on September 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I thought you’d get a kick out of this: I was cleaning out my garage and found my yearbook from my senior year – 1980 – at Paul Harding High School back in Fort Wayne. Tim Goeglein was two years behind me. I vaguely have a recollection of him, but he sure didn’t make much of an impression. I’ll bet he’d be a hoot at a class reunion. Too bad we weren’t in the same class.

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  26. brian stouder said on September 24, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    hahahahahaha!! The confused and undead McCain is trying to call a Time Out, and NOT debate on Friday!!

    Now, I ask you – what the hell gain is there, if the US electorate gets DEPRIVED of hearing from the candidates themselves, live, PARTICULARLY at this juncture?

    Who the hell believes anything that escapes this undead guy’s lips, about anything, at all?

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  27. deb said on September 24, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out, honey. Take your time.

    Re this:

    “…it was all I could do not to load all the garden implements into the back of the car and set a course for Washington.”

    Hell, yes.

    I’ve been feeling like a crazy old lady lately because I can’t seem to stop myself from yelling at the McCain-Palin lawn signs popping up in my neighborhood. I hear a McCain campaign spot and I throw shit at the TV. I yell at the same ads on the radio when I’m driving, no doubt causing other motorists to give me a wide berth. But isn’t this a sign of sanity? To paraphrase Joseph Heller, we’d be crazy only if we didn’t notice how crazy it’s all become.

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  28. Jolene said on September 24, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Un-fucking-believable! McCain is bailing on the debate and just made a statement making himself sound like a Great American because he is going to address this crisis rather than engage in anything as trivial as participating in a debate intended to help people figure out who should be their next president.

    P.S. to John: I didn’t know my pointy-head was showing. Will have to write more posts like this one, i.e., including profanity.

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  29. brian stouder said on September 24, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    What Jolene said!

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  30. Dexter said on September 24, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    ” It’s pretty clear the future belongs to our Chinese brothers,…”

    Maybe not . Chinese people are screaming and pleading at their government to pull out of all US capital ventures, as many Chinese lost a bundle already in the first two stages of US capital’s collapse. The Chinese have no means to come to US shores and establish any sort of yen-based economy.

    On a more basic level, I went through the US auto downturn in the 1980’s as a UAW member,and when things went to hell, divorce, alcoholism, domestic violence and crimes such as knocking off gas stations and liquor and party stores skyrocketed, and in places like New York City it was extremely dangerous to walk the streets,although this phenomenon went back to th 1970s in New York City itself.
    I haven’t heard much about these behaviors returning , is security better? Social programs working? Is there a general turn-away from killer mood enhancers like meth and brown liquor?

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  31. John said on September 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Mrs. Bush also said that she thinks Palin is being treated unfairly because she is a woman. That, the first lady says, is to be expected.

    I must have missed her earlier comments about Hillary’s struggle.

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  32. Dorothy said on September 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I think it’s a little late for Senator McCain to put his finger in the dike. He ought to stick with the debate – it’ll do more for the nation than his presence in Washington will.

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  33. coozledad said on September 24, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    John McCain: The Courage to Quit.
    Has a ring to it.

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  34. crinoidgirl said on September 24, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    “The Chinese have no means to come to US shores and establish any sort of yen-based economy.”

    I doubt they’ll use the yen. 🙂

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  35. LAMary said on September 24, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    The McCain/wotsername campaign has really outdone itself in the lying, dodging and pandering departments. I guess Obama is now unpatriotic if he does not agree to cancel the debate. What crap.

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  36. Gasman said on September 24, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    So, McChickenshit is bailing? After 26 years of intoning the “Deregulation is always best” mantra, it seems to be dawning on him that his former position could present a problem come November. Maybe Phil Gramm could advise him on the economy. If McInane’s poll numbers weren’t so pathetically slip slidin’ away he would attend the debate. Again, how can the problem be so urgent when he didn’t even acknowledge it two weeks ago?

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  37. alex said on September 24, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    I’m not sure who’s advising McCain—haven’t even read the breaking news story yet—but I think this is the beginning of the end for his campaign. He’s wussing out for obvious reasons and it’s not going to help his image. Perhaps he thinks they can pull this off by shutting the media out, crying unfair about the NYT, etc., and running attack ads until November, but it sounds desperate.

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  38. Jolene said on September 24, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Not that it will make a big difference, but you can show your disdain by writing or phoning McCain.

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  39. brian stouder said on September 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    OK, Jeff the mild manner one, please give us the mild-mannered rationale as to how cancelling the debate helps our body-politic, at this fairly frought hour?

    Unless John McCain is saying he is going to be in ’round-the-clock’ consultations and caucuses, why cannot an 8 pm live consultation/caucus between Obama and McCain and 60,000,000 American citizens be pulled off?….even if they have to switch the venue to Washington DC?

    I agree with Alex; this looks like another desperation move; another snap-decision from the ill-tempered fellow from Arizona. I just about cheered when I heard that Obama has rejected this stunt, utterly.

    Senator Obama should show up at the agreed upon venue at the appointed hour, and take all questions that anyone offers.

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  40. Gasman said on September 24, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    For months McCain has been haranguing Obama about being to much of a wuss to attend a series of town hall meeting style debates. He finally gets a chance to go mano e mano with Obama and he freezes. He knows damn well that despite his claims to the contrary, he has huge liabilities regarding foreign policy. To wit: his continuous support for war in Iraq; his inability to distinguish Shia from Shinola; his trouble distinguishing Latin America from Spain; and his contention that Sarah Palin was some kind of foreign policy wunderkind.

    He simply got scared. It won’t play well with the electorate.

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  41. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    I’m still looking for anyone to convince me that $400 large (ok, very large) rather than 700+, and used for equity stakes, not buying bad papier, isn’t the way to go. Just heard (thirty seconds ago) about the debate deferral (is he looking for an amnesty?), and we got 14 truancy referrals on my desk and i’m switching hats to go do a funeral this evening twenty miles off; thots later . . .

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  42. jcburns said on September 24, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    You’re no crazy old lady, Deb. You don’t qualify on at least two of those fronts.

    And our coming, China-American post-Empire world, I thought, had been well-chronicled by Joss Whedon in Firefly/Serenity (the only two-named science fiction hydra I know of.)

    Ni hao! Or 你好! Which literally translates to “you good.” And you are.

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  43. Jolene said on September 24, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    You’ll love this! McCain was to have appeared on Letterman tonight, but he canceled his appearance. However, he seemed to have a few minutes to spare for an interview w/ Katie Couric, which Letterman, apparently, mocked during the taping of tonight’s show.

    I found this on another blog. Couldn’t resist sharing.

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  44. Dexter said on September 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    …got me! Chinese currency is also called Yuan , officially Renminbi. Yen-yuan, pretty close! Geez it hurts to be stoopid!
    Speakin’ of brain cramps, how could Biden have gotten so confused as to think FDR was prez in ’29, and went on television then to straighten things out? …makes my little boo-boo look acceptable!

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  45. Dexter said on September 24, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    McCain has gone back to D.C. to hide out in an undisclosed location. Obama is getting prepped for the big debate…he’s in Florida.

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  46. caliban said on September 24, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Bullshit. These ashole believe they somehow believe they’re masters of the universe. They rob all of us blind. If you believe in a golden parachute, it is physically impossible to be a bigger fucking moron. Paulson? Well there was a spectacularly good movie. The hero said Mom Dad don’t touch it. Bushenomics, kiss my ass.

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  47. caliban said on September 24, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    Are we joking? Asshole.

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  48. joodyb said on September 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    and any excuse for suspending your advertising saves a chunk of bread for the all-out face-saving attack-ad assault ahead. as if bush wants to have a meeting with mccain et al. Rick Davis canceled a lunch with reporters to “head out on the campaign trail” today. this ahead of the mcsain suspension announcement. sounds as if there might have been some kind of in-camp blowup. that last nyt story really got under some peoples’ skins. the wheels may indeed be coming off the wagons. my suggested new slogan: McPalin: Never Too Late to Fail.

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  49. Scout said on September 24, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    What a crazy day. I’m certain true believers will take the bait that Senator McDishonest has nothing but the American people’s (County First!) interests at heart, but his tanking in the polls probably tells the real story. Given McCain’s propensity for dodging and lying recently, I seriously doubt the majority of the public is going to give him a pass about turning in his assignment this Friday. A few exhibits to illustrate why they should not:

    via Hunter at the dailykos:

    “The prodigal son returns. John McCain has announced that America is finally confronting a crisis that he doesn’t feel he can be absent for.

    Some fun facts about John McCain: Of all Senators, John McCain has been the most absent. There have been 643 votes taken in the current Senate session: McCain has missed 412 of them.

    McCain has not voted in the Senate since April 8th. Since March, he has missed 109 of the last 110 votes.

    He missed votes on the GI Bill, energy policy, and in 2007 he missed “all 15 critical environmental votes in the Senate” — giving him a 2007 rating of 0% from the League of Conservation Voters. Zero percent? I don’t think that’s fair. I think they should have given him an “incomplete”, and told him that he had to stay for summer session if he wants to graduate from the Senate.”

    and via Josh Marshall:

    “It seems that today during the time Barack Obama was waiting to hear back from Sen. McCain about their planned joint statement — and while McCain says he was meeting with key advisors and becoming increasingly concerned about the financial crisis facing the country — he was actually holding a special meeting with Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, the expat international financier who once supported Hillary Clinton but now is supporting McCain because she thinks Obama is “elitist”. ”

    Does McCain EVER tell the truth? About ANYTHING?

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  50. joodyb said on September 24, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    oh, and things are looking up in Iraq today, too:

    BAGHDAD (AP) _ Gunmen thought to be affiliated with al-Qaida in Iraq ambushed and killed 27 Iraqi policemen and eight anti-al-Qaida fighters near Baqouba on Wednesday, police and hospital officials said.
    Among those killed were three high-ranking officers whom gunmen captured and executed, officials said. Four other policemen were injured.

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  51. joodyb said on September 24, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    somebody stop me:

    WASHINGTON (AP) _ Almost up until the time it was taken over by the government in the nation’s financial crisis, one of two housing giants paid $15,000 a month to the lobbying firm of John McCain’s campaign manager, a person familiar with the financial arrangement says.
    The money from Freddie Mac to the firm of Rick Davis is on top of more than $30,000 a month that went directly to Davis for five years starting in 2000.
    The $30,000 a month came from both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the other housing entity now under the government’s control because of the nation’s financial crisis.
    Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, reported early Tuesday evening that Davis’ lobbying firm remained on the Freddie Mac payroll. The New York Times reported all the payments, posting an article Tuesday night revealing the $15,000 a month to the firm of Davis Manafort. The newspaper quoted two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

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  52. moe99 said on September 24, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Back from Lake Chelan, a beautiful lake in the midst of a dry landscape, formed by the erection of a dam in the midst of the last great depression. It was gorgeous and sunny, and I get to come back to gloom and doom both literally and figuratively.

    John McCain is a fucking loser. He’s trying to cancel the debate to make a smokescreen to postpone the VP debate because neither he nor Sarah Palin feels that they are ready to debate. Whatever happened to those screams by McCain that Obama was a chickenshit for failing to do Town Halls with him. I am sorry, but if you are president, you do not get to say to Russia: “time out on Georgia, while we grapple with the stock market.” No, as president, you have to juggle all that is put on your plate, whether by your own action, or some other nation’s. This is pure weaseling.

    This comes from Matthew Yglesias:
    Eric Rauchway takes a look at some historical September 24ths that didn’t seem to require suspension of political campaigns:

    – September 24, 1864: The nation is literally at risk of collapse, mengaged in a large-scale civil war: “Yet the campaign for the presidency was “now being prosecuted with the utmost vigor,” as one could read in the New York Times.”

    – September 24, 1932: The nation is mired in Depression, coping with it a full time job, “Yet Herbert Hoover prepared to give a large speech in Iowa and Franklin Roosevelt had just given what became a famous address to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.”

    – September 24, 1944: World War II well under way, with the United States engaged in fierce fighting, “Yet President Roosevelt had just officially launched his campaign for a fourth term, while Thomas Dewey took his turn speaking in San Francisco, challenging Roosevelt’s supremacy.”

    But John McCain feels he can’t do debate prep and make up his mind about the bailout proposal at the same time. He wants an extension.

    And Jeff, I don’t care what you come up with, it’s a pos right out of the starting gate. Even though you gave yourself extra hours to come up with it.

    And, you know those letters to the editor and blog comments supporting McCain? Well, just maybe they were ghost written by McCain staffers:

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  53. joodyb said on September 24, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) — Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said the U.S. may end up in a depression unless a solution is found to the current economic crisis.
    “Unfortunately, that is the road America may find itself on,” Palin said in an interview aired today with CBS’s Katie Couric.
    It isn’t necessary that the actual administration plan be approved, “but there has to be action taken, bipartisan effort – – Congress not pointing fingers at one another,” Palin said.

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  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on September 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    “gave yourself extra hours.”

    Yeah, that’s what i been doin’. Sure. He was 56 and sponsored dozens on Emmaus Walks and built ramps for houses in Buckeye Lake so wheelchairs could come and go and he got pacreatic cancer and he shouldn’t be buried yet and i don’t have a word to say about debates or bailouts or anything. Y’all enjoy W. when it comes out. Looks like a real hoot.

    I promise to check back Nov. 5th. Take care.

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  55. moe99 said on September 24, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Jeff: a job is a job. When I’m at a hearing or in court, my brain still works out what I want to say wrt something else that I am working on. And I’m sorry, but being a stated supply is a job. I was married to a PK for 18 years and got to see first hand how his dad, a Presbyterian minister worked. It’s a job. Just like being a fireman, or a counselor or a therapist.

    Wed Sep 24 2008 17:41:58 ET

    David Letterman tells audience that McCain called him today to tell him he had to rush back to DC to deal with the economy.

    Then in the middle of the taping Dave got word that McCain was, in fact just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Dave even cut over to the live video of the interview, and said, “Hey Senator, can I give you a ride home?”

    Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, “You don’t suspend your campaign. This doesn’t smell right. This isn’t the way a tested hero behaves.” And he joked: “I think someone’s putting something in his metamucil.”

    “He can’t run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sara Palin. Where is she?”

    “What are you going to do if you’re elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We’ve got a guy like that now!”

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  56. Suzi said on September 24, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    “He can’t run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sara Palin. Where is she?”

    “What are you going to do if you’re elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We’ve got a guy like that now!”

    Senator McDereg, our fearless hero.

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  57. brian stouder said on September 24, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Let me hasten to say – Jeff, I value your opinion, sir, and that is why I was goading you earlier. I don’t think anyone meant to be insensitive to the grueling day that you had, and speaking for myself, I want to hear what you have to say as this election campaign season progresses to its climax – even as I reserve the right to disagree!

    And anyway – if it was Obama who tried to duck out of the debates, I can only imagine the grief you’d rightly give us! As Senator McCain says – “It’s a tough business”, and his straight-talk express is apparently going straight off the cliff!

    Aside from that, this evening Grant and I went out to IPFW’s beautiful Auer Performance Hall in the John and Ruth Rhinehart Music Center, and caught John Esposito’s talk about the Muslim world and America. He gave a great lecture – very lively and informative; and the crowd he drew was quite impressive – the hall will hold 1600 people, and it looked more than 3/4 full.

    The fellow clearly has an ego to match his impressive resume; he makes an impressive entry, wears a flashy watch, drops names of famous people he has been called to consult with, brushes his hair back a lot, and shares odd personal bits all through his presentation (a digression on spending 10 years as a celibate was pretty funny).

    Very soon, though, Esposito’s somewhat eccentric mannerisms seemed to fall away, as his discussion turned to what all of us John and Jane Q Publics need to consider, as we take in our daily news. He encourages thinking critically about the boilerplate that we get not just from Fox, but CNN and other media outlets (references to “Islam” instead of “Islamic extremists”, or off-handed references to “islamofacism”). Also, he expounded on some of the findings of the largest public opinion survey ever conducted, regarding Muslim attitudes and worldviews, which was enlightening.

    The proof is in the pudding, and Grant (our 13 year old) sat through the whole thing and had several questions and interested comments as we rolled back home again.

    Next up is Eugene Robinson – which will be just 2 weeks before the election; and should be a barn-burner!

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  58. deb said on September 24, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    david letterman, i think i love you.

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  59. Gasman said on September 24, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    I said in an earlier thread, I think that David Letterman is one of about 4 people on TV that helped change the public perception of Bush with his “Great Moments In Presidential Speeches” bit. The beauty of the segment is that there is no editing, each night just highlighting one of W’s seemingly limitless supply of verbal gaffs.

    For the record, I think the other three on TV that helped redefine W’s image are: Keith Olbermann, Bill Moyers, and Jon Stewart, in no particular order. It should be good to hear what they have to say on McCain’s bizarre, erratic, and even incoherent campaign decisions of late.

    It’s become increasingly apparent that Letterman thinks little of the McCain/Palin duo. This is certainly going to drive him toward openly partisan jabs.

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  60. alex said on September 24, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Letterman early on YouTube:

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  61. ellen said on September 24, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Brian, Esposito is all that and a bag of chips on Islam. Wish I could’ve been there. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you need to start saving for the Ivy League for your boy.

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  62. ellen said on September 24, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Kind of amazing on Letterman. He and Jon Stewart were the among the few to give McCain friendly air-time when others were writing him off in 2000 and earlier in this election cycle.

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  63. Gasman said on September 24, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    The link above is amazing. Just when I thought that the outrageous lies of McCain/Palin couldn’t get worse, they do! If they were so sure of their positions on the issues, if they were so convinced about the rightness of their cause, why would they need to issue an endless stream of lies and disinformation? At this point, in all sincerity, I cannot think of a single issue about which they have been straightforward and honest. If they feel that big a need to lie about everything, they either are fully aware of the moral bankruptcy of their positions or they have such contempt for the American people that they simply can’t be bothered with the truth.

    This is the exact same crap that the NeoCon (heavy emphasis on CON) Bush folk have been engaged in for nearly 8 years. McCain & Co. appear to be nothing but amoral liars. There can be no plausible explanation for people of character intentionally misleading the voters like this. They simply lack character.

    Gov. Palin, is this behavior that Jesus would engage in?

    As for his bugging out to save the economy, Letterman asked the $64 question, “We’re suspending the campaign. Are we suspending it because there’s an economic crisis or because the poll numbers are sliding?”

    McCain is lacking both in character and judgement. If anyone needed any further proof that he is unfit to lead this country, I think the above lies and his erratic behavior tonight has provided it.

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  64. deb said on September 25, 2008 at 12:39 am

    jolene, thanks for the letterman tip. would’ve missed it otherwise; instead i stayed up way past my bedtime to catch the whole thing, and it did not disappoint. i’ve never seen dave in finer form. what great tv…i would pay to watch this again. his incredulous “susPEND the camPAIGN?!” is the new “shot his hunting partner…IN THE FACE.”

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  65. deb said on September 25, 2008 at 12:41 am

    oh, and i loved keith olbermann’s revelation that mccain’s decision to “suspend the campaign” came AFTER obama called him and suggested they come together in a show of unity! what a weasel! AND, then he lies to letterman about going to washington when in fact he’s cheating on dave with katie couric! somebody cue “lyin’ eyes,” please.

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  66. Jolene said on September 25, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Glad you caught the show, deb. The ever-incisive Fallows also has good commens on the topic.

    It’s all too incredible.

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  67. Catherine said on September 25, 2008 at 2:31 am

    Jeff, sorry that you have to go to such a funeral, much less preside.

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  68. moe99 said on September 25, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Campbell Brown rails against the sexism….in the McCain campaign:

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  69. Gasman said on September 25, 2008 at 3:11 am

    The more I learn about Sarah Palin, the more intensely I dislike her. Her narrow minded, moralistic, sanctimonious take on Christianity, to my mind, is akin to snake handling. Her theology distorts a doctrine of grace into one of armed conflict with witches and the forces of evil. The imagery is violent and decidedly un-Christlike. This simplistic dualism of “Us-vs.-Them” lead a Wasilla pastor, speaking at Palin’s previous church to intone, “We stomp on the heads of the enemy!” As I recall, Jesus frequently used that same phrase. I see where Gov. Palin’s ideas of viewing all foes as “haters” comes from. See more here:

    That fairly encapsulates my truck with the fundamentalists. I find that type of conduct and theology heretical and decidedly counterproductive to their stated goal of evangelism. I find this type of fundamentalism no less dangerous to liberty and Christianity than Islamic fundamentalism. It is a doctrine of hate and intolerance and in no way conforms to any aspect of the life of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospels.

    I am reminded of the spiritual, “Everybody Talkin’ ’bout Heaven Ain’t Goin’ There.” Indeed, and some of them doin’ the talkin’ live and attend church in Wasilla.

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  70. alex said on September 25, 2008 at 7:36 am

    OT, on a much lighter, heartwarming note, a story from three houses down the road from me:

    I felt so bad for the distraught young lady when I was told she had come by the house on Saturday.

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  71. caliban said on September 25, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Good news:

    300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career on-base percentage higher than .400 and a career slugging percentage higher than .500.

    It’s astonishing nobody talks to John Kerry about being left high and dry by the Straight Talker. To this day, that ahole is making claims about normalizing relations with Viet Nam and getting POW information. Kerry did. McCain didn’t. Facts, Jack.

    But every single day, Gidget, becoming Roseanne as we watch, without a clue, other than sucking on the federal teat more than anybody else in history and repeating the same old lie every single day.

    Since 2002, Obama has played some part in getting nearly a $billion in earmarks for Illinois. In that same amount of time, Palin has accounted for $half a billion for Alaska, including the road to the bridge to nowhere (this repetitive lie has got to be some sort of Tourette). Population of Illinois: around 15 million. Population of Alaska: 670,000.

    Neither a pig nor a pitbull, she’s Cheney with lipstick, and if you read Sisters, Vice President Elmer Fudd probably had to put on rouge to allegedly father children. Two despicable PsOS. Between them, they went to 13 schools before getting degrees by default. I don’t suppose there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s interesting both arrived at the same preoccupations: lying their asses off, Stalinesque secrecy, evasive and illegal email behavior, stonewalling subpoenas.

    The question is: Are Americans that stupid?

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  72. caliban said on September 25, 2008 at 8:04 am

    Riverside Park stirs memories, but Edgewater Park, that’s almost as good as Tiger Stadium:

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  73. basset said on September 25, 2008 at 8:07 am

    And now for something completely different.

    Them Swedes got rhythm:

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  74. Jolene said on September 25, 2008 at 8:18 am

    Nice story, Alex. I particularly liked the last line.

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  75. brian stouder said on September 25, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Alex – that was a great story!

    Ellen – if I could have asked one question of Esposito, it would have been related to Anwar Sadat. He (Esposito) seemed to swerve out of his way to dog Sadat a bit (or maybe he was just reporting what the ‘street’ view of Sadat was) – but the attitude struck me, and indeed reminded me of one of the key things from Lawrence Wright’s book Looming Tower: the core al Qaeda group that hit us largely hatched out of Egyptian prisons, most especially including Sammy’s right hand man, Zawahiri.

    So the question would be a chicken/egg question – which came first?

    Some organic (read: Muslim) intense dislike for secular government and peace with Israel?


    Hatred for Sadat for some other reason, and then a justification based on peace w/Israel and secularism?

    By way of saying, Esposito’s remarks about Sadat were more pointed than I was ready for, and it would have been interesting to hear more about where they originated (given his basic theme that terrorism is about politics and not religion)

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  76. caliban said on September 25, 2008 at 8:30 am

    If the bailout doesn’t bail out mortgagees, isn’t it really throwing good money after bad and nationalizing golden parachutes?

    I mean, haven’t the markets corrected themselves? Life, according to the Smartest Guys in the Room and the New American Centurions, is supposed to be Hobbesian, nasty, brutish and short, and they’re supposed to end up with the swag and the most toys. Paulson wants to make sure the robber barons retain their yachts.

    Barney Frank should go Savonarola on their porky asses. If the assholes are being bailed out, they should also be reduced to penury, and their bank accounts should be seized to replenish the pension funds they raped.

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  77. Jolene said on September 25, 2008 at 8:32 am

    Brian, could you say more about your last phrase? I understand the “not about religion” part, but what is the “about politics” part? That is, what are they objecting to? What are their goals?

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  78. brian stouder said on September 25, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Jolene, my “takeaway” from his talk was that he wants to shift the frame of reference; he desires a new paradigm.

    For example, if you asked him

    That is, what are they objecting to? What are their goals?

    he would ask you to define “they” and “their”. He had a whole section devoted to large public opinion survey that was conducted amongst Muslims across many different nations (Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, the gulf states, and north Africa, amongst others) wherein he emphasized the positive attitudes that large majorities of people have toward western culture and freedoms, but dsiagreements with political policies.

    He DID say that, according to the survey, 93% of Muslims have no beef with the west…but the 7% who DO tend to be educated, worldly, and relatively wealthy (and what he did not add was – this matches the al Qaeda profile)

    This information about Esposito, from the program, is worth noting:

    Esposito is professor of religion, international affairs, and Islamic studies at Georgetown University and the founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. The center received a $20 million endowment from Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the prominent Saudi financier “to advance education in the fields of Islamic civilization and Muslim-Christian understanding and strengthen its presence as a world leader in facilitating cross-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.”

    I might have to read (one of) his book(s)

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  79. alex said on September 25, 2008 at 9:23 am

    BREAKING NEWS — wussing out on the VP debates too:

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  80. brian stouder said on September 25, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Wow; this ‘replace the VP debate with a delayed presidential debate’ looked hare-brained when it was only coming from Graham; now it genuinely looks like the McCain campaign is “voting against” their own VP (voting with their feet, you might say).

    Truly, it looks like the whole goal is simply bailing out Palin – who degenerated into self-parody in her ‘interview’ with Katie Couric yesterday.

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  81. moe99 said on September 25, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Caliban, you may not know it, but Edgar Martinez is and was a strong Bush supporter.

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