The Friday Political Thread: EVERYBODY PANIC

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Unconvincing Quote of the Week
"If I was president today, I would fire him."— John McCain on SEC Chairman Chris Cox.

The Week in Brief
– You bought AIG. How are you liking it so far?
– Short selling was banned.
– Neither candidate knew what to do about any of this.
– Sarah Palin promised to reform Washington by doing things that Barack Obama already did. (By the way, who thinks McCain would have chosen her if he knew an economic crisis was coming down the pike?)
– Barack Obama wrestled back the polling lead from McCain.
– Bob Barr won Texas. Maybe.
– Joe Biden waved the flag and an IRS form, at the same time!

Below the Fold
– Jonathan Chait remembers when Dan Quale was a scrappy average American whom those liberal elites just didn't understand. (He never hunted moose, though.)
– Daniel Hopkins does the work and buries the Bradley Effect.
– Phil Klein explains why we should have seen the meltdown coming.
– Daniel McCarthy wants a smarter future from the Ron Paul movement.

This week's Politics 'n' Prog was chosen for me. Shine on, you delirious precious gem.

NEXT: Joe Biden, Straw Man

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  1. Firing the SEC Chairman would have been better than what they have done(and have yet to do).

  2. A lot of people opposed the bailout of Wall Street firms on the grounds that it would create a moral hazard, encouraging people to take greater risks in the future, knowing that the government might bail out companies in similar situations.

    Well, that ship has sailed. The government has already committed to a couple of big bailouts. Darn those Wall Street elites, knowing they can push around the government and get what they want! It distorts the investment market!

    So, if you’re really serious about knocking down that moral hazard, there’s really only one option left:

    Disgorgement.

    People made these things happen. People took advantage of the distorted climate. And some of those people made vast fortunes.

    So just how important is this issue of moral hazard?

  3. (By the way, who thinks McCain would have chosen her if he knew an economic crisis was coming down the pike?)

    I do

    The “economic crisis” was widely predicted, the only question was the timing.I’m sure Cindy McCain was aware of it and hedged accordingly.

    Who else should he have picked?

  4. Do you think that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi sleep with their eyes open, or do they wear blinders? I’d like to see a stare down between the two of them, although it could get boring after four hours.

  5. joe,

    That’s a very good question. i don’t think there is any way to practically force disgorgement. Who were the guys who bought A.I.G. stock because they were taking advantage of the loose money? Who were the guys buying A.I.G. stock because they thought the company had a good business plan?

    It’s really hard to tell apart the people who were consciously and willfully taking advantage of the loose money with a reckless disregard for the future from the people who believed bad economic theory or who followed the crowd sincerely. In other words mens rea is rarely apparent.

    Of course, there were people who did use the regulatory climate and the easy money to enrich themselves while exposing their companies to horrible liabilities. They did this knowingly and were handsomely rewarded for it. These people are very well connected politically, and I can’t see any foreseeable government trying to pry their ill gotten gains from their coffers.

    Rather such a program would be used to persecute some group or groups of politically weak scapegoats who would no doubt include mainly people who peripherally profited from the chaos or were even innocent of any wrongdoing at all.

    I think that the most practical solution is to end the interventions as quickly as possible. This is, of course, highly impractical. What will happen is that people will clamor for more intervention, which will create more problems, which will prompt people to scream for more intervention, until the economy collapses, or the president finds himself debating having the U.S. Army shoot people.

    Hopefully at that point they’ll make the same decision Truman did when he chose to roll back Roosevelt’s policies rather than send the U.S. army on sweeps through Michigan, confiscating livestock and shooting any farmer who resisted.

  6. I think, tarran, in the midst of a presidential election in this climate, with the government having just signed onto a trillion $s in bailouts, that your statement I can’t see any foreseeable government trying to pry their ill gotten gains from their coffers. is not necessarily true.

    I think it might be entirely possible for Congress to make disgorgements from people who did use the regulatory climate and the easy money to enrich themselves while exposing their companies to horrible liabilities a condition of the bailout packages.

  7. Daniel McCarthy wants a smarter future from the Ron Paul movement.

    Yeah, right. Wish in one hand, Daniel, and shit in the other. See which one fills up.

  8. Is everyone else as depressed over this financial meltdown (and the public cry for more regulation) as I am?

  9. Is everyone else as depressed over this financial meltdown (and the public cry for more regulation) as I am?

    This financial meltdown and David Foster Wallace’s suicide has basically put me in a major funk all week. Weigel’s snarky “EVERYBODY PANIC” headline is pretty ridiculous given how serious this shit really is.

  10. That McCain quote is particularly unconvincing as the verb form should be “were,” not “was.”

  11. Was there even a mention of David Foster Wallace’s suicide here?

    The credit meltdown cheered me up, then my hopes were dashed by the proposed bailout.I can wait, it is going to get interesting again.

  12. – You bought AIG. How are you liking it so far?

    How many shares did I get? And when will I receive my first dividend check?

    This week’s Politics ‘n’ Prog was chosen for me. Shine on, you delirious precious gem.

    It’s not Prog but CCR’s Ramble Tamble is also fitting.

    They’re selling independence,
    Actors in the white house,
    Acid indigestion,
    Mortgage on my life,
    Mortgage on my life.

  13. Is everyone else as depressed over this financial meltdown (and the public cry for more regulation) as I am?

    Is there a public cry for more regulation? Presidential candidates and political pundits have made pretty predictable pronouncements, but what does the person on the street think? Regular people I talk to, even though most of them are liberal Democrats, seem to be reacting with cynical resignation about government-corporate cronyism, and grumbling about taxpayers paying for the bailouts, rather than believing more regulation will solve the problem.

  14. The fundamentals of my campaign are strong!

  15. I’m going to go home, grab a cold beer, and reflect on what very well may be the most entertaining week of my life. Then I’m going to wreak some anarchist havoc on the streets of Paradise City.

  16. 1. The Obama campaign released an extremely dishonest ad. See a list of those who helped spread the lie, and also note that we’re developing something approaching a two-track PoliticalSystem: English and Spanish.

    2. Guess which country came in second behind Turkey in naming the U.S. as responsible for 9/11, at 30%.

    3. I discuss the latest venture from Reason’s smiliest buddy.

    4. Always look for the anti-prog label, and no beer play either.

  17. I finally kicked my meth habit this week!

  18. You gotta admit, when Reason says they support free expression they back it up.

    Is there any other site on the web that would not ban Lonewacko?

  19. from the Chait article:

    “Today, Quayle is remembered as a disaster.”

    I support a passive voice jihad to go along with the subjunctive crusade of the blond sword.

    And really, disaster? Who won in ’88?

    We could do a lot worse than a President Quayle – and probably will. (heck, we probably have.)

  20. Is there any other site on the web that would not ban Lonewacko?

    The ones he always links to.

    I have to wash the thought of even clicking on a Natalie Merchant link out of my eyes and ears.

    Best pop song ever?

    I’d say best for 1977 anyways and that was a hell of a year.

  21. Is there any other site on the web that would not ban Lonewacko?

    Michelle Malkin loves Lonewacko. She says he’s “non-deranged.”

  22. Joe,

    So you think the people who were politically powerful enough to convince politicians to bail them out are politically so weak that they’ll knuckle under when the government tries to confiscate their wealth?

    Wow… just wow…

  23. – Jonathan Chait remembers when Dan Quale was a scrappy average American whom those liberal elites just didn’t understand. (He never hunted moose, though.)

    How does he remember that? He looks like he just made eagle scout.

  24. We could do a lot worse than a President Quayle – and probably will. (heck, we probably have.)

    I have no doubt that we have, and the sad thing about it is I voted for him in 2000. I have a better excuse than most, that morning before casting my ballot, I smoked a bowl of killer shit that my ex-wife got while visiting family on the Res.

    Fortunately for my conscious that is a true story. Word of advice if you are voting this November, get high so you have an excuse.

  25. That’s probably Richard Wright’s most memorable song. The original album version is THE BEST. The gospel chick they got to do the vocals is just fucking awesome.

  26. Weigel’s snarky “EVERYBODY PANIC” headline is pretty ridiculous given how serious this shit really is.

    As someone who recently read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the first time, I thought it was a reference to “DON’T PANIC”. And so what if shit is serious? We don’t need article after article of how the apocalypse is going down without a little lightening up.

    Michelle Malkin loves Lonewacko. She says he’s “non-deranged.”

    How does this surprise anyone? The only difference between MM and LW is that Malkin is not “lone”.

  27. Wanna get high?

  28. The worst part about an Obama presidency is that people who disagree with him can’t go to Canada. At least of the left hates McCain, they can move to Canada and live with a bunch of friendly Canuck socialists.

    Oh, wait, they don’t want a bunch of freeloaders adding to their tax burden?

    Never mind.

  29. “Was there even a mention of David Foster Wallace’s suicide here?”

    Don’t remember any here, but I heard an interview of him replayed on NPR the day after he hung himself.

    “Is there a public cry for more regulation?”

    I think you are right a lot of people are grumbling about the bailouts, but a lot are grumbling about those “Wall Street” types causing all of this. You can bet if that wasn’t in the air McCain wouldn’t be saying the stuff he is saying. And, grumbling about the bailouts does not preclude wanting more regulation as many people think the latter would maybe head off the former. The bail-outs are seen as mopping up the mess of the de-regulation effort.

  30. economist,

    According to some, Canada is economically more free than the U.S..

    Nice work, Republicans!

    Isn’t there something about this in the Book of Revelations?

  31. MichelleMalkin is one of the great commentators of our age. But you are a bunch of sockpuppets who are too stupid to even get a typepad account, so of course you wouldn’t appreciate her commentary on IllegalImmigration.

  32. The first comment using “Orange Line Special” and this comment are from me, the owner of the linked site.

    The second comment, however, is not from me and is also clearly libelous. Whoever did that should book some time with an attorney.

  33. Did I mention that I’m a MassiveTool?

  34. Is everybody too in shock to post? Or is it okay that capitalism died today because the stock market went up?

  35. Repost, cause I’m a Threadkiller (channeling Shirley Bassey)

    Slightly OT: How psychic is Simon LeBon?

    Meet El Presidente
    copyright 1986, Taylor, Rhodes, LeBon

    Yeah mmm yeah yeah (yeah) mmm yeah (yeah) mmm
    Miss November Tuesday bend your rubber rules
    Take your time but don’t take off your high heeled shoes
    She’s in demand at dinnertime (she’s in demand)
    A pinup on a factory wall (pinup on the factory wall)
    And when gentlemen retire (when men retire) guess who’s in control
    She blew your money on taking that cruise if that isn’t funny
    Well watch out teacher

    Ooo ooo, ooo ooo when the chambers empty she said
    Ooo ooo, ooo ooo meet El Presidente

    Dress in flimsy clothing use your lipstick line
    To color fear and loathing with that pink disguise
    You never refuse when she lies back put a stripe on the union the star in the jack
    She’s on the case at dinnertime (at dinner time)
    She’s on the evening news (seen her on the evening news)
    And if you dare step out of line (step out of line)
    You’re gonna be abused you may not like it you may not be scared
    But hell have no fury like a young girls ego

    Ooo ooo, ooo ooo when the chambers empty she said
    Ooo ooo, ooo ooo meet El Presidnete

    Ooo ooo do do do do do do, ooo ooo do do do do do do
    Ooo ooo do do do do do do
    You might adopt and attitude (attitude)
    Look on the morals side (looking on the morals side)
    But when police are after you (after you) where’s the best place to hide
    But this production they gave her a gun ain’t no director so watch out actors

    Ooo ooo, ooo ooo when the chambers empty she said
    Ooo ooo, ooo ooo meet El Presidente
    Ooo ooo, ooo ooo when the chambers empty she said
    Ooo ooo, ooo ooo meet El Presidente

    P.S LMNOP, do you post on TWOP?

  36. LMNOP, do you post on TWOP?

    I do not know this “TWOP”. Is this Television Without Pity? If it is, then “no”.

    I try to keep my Internet posting down to a manageable handful of sites.

  37. The second comment, however, is not from me and is also clearly libelous. Whoever did that should book some time with an attorney.

    How so?

  38. So, if you’re really serious about knocking down that moral hazard, there’s really only one option left:

    Disgorgement. impeachment

    Fixed.

    Seriously, none of the crap the Bush administration has done recently, with the acquiescence of the Democratic Congress, is remotely close to an enumerated power.

    Oh, wait, impeachment would take someone other than Democrats or Republicans running Congress.

    *cough cough Libertarians *

  39. Oh, and pollster.com has the electoral college essentially a dead heat, with the swing states mostly clustered in an eight state swath running from Virginia and Pennsylvania over to Minnesota.

    Apparently, J sub D’s gonna be the deciding vote. :o)

  40. J sub D | September 19, 2008, 7:45pm | #
    You gotta admit, when Reason says they support free expression they back it up.

    Is there any other site on the web that would not ban Lonewacko?

    I’m pretty sure Lonewacko hasn’t banned himself from his own site.

    And I’m sure there’s hundreds of thousands of sites where, while they may or may not support free expression, they’re too damn lazy (or too damn desperate for someone — anyone — to comment) to slam the ban hammer down.

    And finally, Teh Intertubez being what it is, there are probably lots of sites where he’d fit right in.

  41. Yes, I mean Television Without Pity, where someone is using the name Elemmennope.

    I didn’t think “Project Runway” was your style. “Psych” or “Burn Notice”, on the other hand…;)

  42. I didn’t think “Project Runway” was your style. “Psych” or “Burn Notice”, on the other hand…

    You know, it’s funny, because of the live-in S.O., I’ve caught many shows by immersion and/or osmosis that I’d never otherwise touch with a pole. Thus, I have an embarrassingly more-than-working-knowledge of shows like American Idol, Sex and the City, America’s Next Top Model and, yes, even Project Runway.

    Actually, she doesn’t get blamed for that last; my old roommate’s wife was a Textiles Marketing and Design major, and so she took a professional curiosity to the show. It was unavoidable.

    I think Psych is pleasantly OK, and Burn Notice is fucking great.

  43. Exactly the opposite for me.
    I lost track of “Burn Notice” this season, but I love “Psych”. “Project Runway” (and Bravo’s other Wed. night competitions) is the only one of those listed that I watch at all. 🙂
    And I’m sure my husband would prefer not to know as much as he does about “Grey’s Anatomy”.

  44. Maybe some of you should address LoneWacko’s points instead of piling on with the adolescent ad hominems.

    Or at least come up with better ad hominems.

    Me, I find it somewhat disturbing and not insignificant that 30% of Mexicans think the U.S. government is behind 9/11.

  45. Me, I find it somewhat disturbing and not insignificant that 30% of Mexicans think the U.S. government is behind 9/11.

    theyTookOurParanoia!!!!!

  46. I cant address LW’s points because I dont see them. Are there people here who havent filtered him out? Why?

  47. I’m just going to do this until it blows over. Soooo much easier.

  48. Is there any other site on the web that would not ban Lonewacko?

    The ones he always links to.

    SIV, you click on his links? I just stab myself in the thigh with a pencil. It’s less painful and over quicker.

  49. As a general anti-government supported monopoly postition, I bet if there were competing electric companies in Louisville that one of them would have got me power by now in order to get a contract with me. Im at 6 freakin days and no end in sight. Im in my office watching Ryder Cup this morning.

    Nice putt Kenny!!!!

    I guess I could have walked to the course and scalped a ticket.

  50. Jsub,

    I don’t click.I hover and look at the url. Nearly every one is a self link.

  51. Me, I find it somewhat disturbing and not insignificant that 30% of Mexicans think the U.S. government is behind 9/11.

    And the percentage of native born citizens who believe that is ???

    Google to the rescue.
    From two years ago –
    9/11 conspiracy theorists multiply

    A recent Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll of 1,010 Americans found that 36 percent suspect the U.S. government promoted the attacks or intentionally sat on its hands. Sixteen percent believe explosives brought down the towers. Twelve percent believe a cruise missile hit the Pentagon.

    It appears that Mexicans are slightly less deranged than Americans. A good point for incresing immigration from out neighbor to the south, I’d say.

  52. SIV,
    Nice to hear. I had hoped your weren’t foolish enough to give him any traffic.

  53. “rather than believing more regulation will solve the problem.”

    Then they probably don’t know about the deregulation that caused the problem.

    Come on, Reasonites! Wall Street acted entirely predictably. The acted like stupid greedy humans. That’s why we need regulation – people are fucking stupid.

    You call it deregulation. I call it a pre-bailout. Because that’s what it always is – the prelude to a big fucking bailout on the public dime.

  54. “Is there a public cry for more regulation?”

    The WSJ is proclaiming the death of free-market capitalism today, so, yeah, it kind of looks like it to me.

    “You call it deregulation. I call it a pre-bailout.”

    Maybe true, but it didn’t have to be that way. In retrospect, with every deregulation should come a disclaimer: IN CASE THIS WASN’T CLEAR, YOU PEOPLE ARE ON YOUR OWN NOW. It’s like legalizing crack and then paying people unemployment when they lose their jobs for crack-induced shenanigans.

  55. I’ll sue all of you for libel…IN ENGLAND!

  56. Didn’t Lone Wacko threaten to sue someone on here before?

  57. “In retrospect, with every deregulation should come a disclaimer: IN CASE THIS WASN’T CLEAR, YOU PEOPLE ARE ON YOUR OWN NOW. ”

    That’s frankly unrealistic. Like, Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”-class unrealistic.

    You seriously expect the rest of us to just bend over and get reamed when the financial wizards’ orgy collapses? That’s going to happen whether they get bailed out or not.

    Bailouts will happen when the failures are big enough. That’s why the people who argue for deregulation in the first place spend so much time talking about the wisdom and prudence of the great minds of business. They want to sucker everyone into believing that deregulation is safe and they can be trusted.

  58. Calm down. Tongue was partially in cheek.

  59. GG: Thanks a lot for the link, damn you! ;-}

    Reports that BHO has his minions going door to door to “get up in your neighbors face”.

    I usually make a human chalk outline on my front porch every friday evening (along with copious amounts of fake blood) to deter the Jehovah-tards. They can’t seem to resist ringing my doorbell early Saturday morning to tell me the “good news”.

    I guess now I’ll have to add a few 2A-affirming bullet holes in my front door to help deter BHO’s motherfuckers.

    Now if I can just get enough garlic bulbs together, I will be able to deflect any deranged GOP-tards as well.

    Please archive this for my upcoming trial, as proof that I made an attempt to avoid conflict.

  60. Jon H, you ignorant slut. 🙂

    How the common man would have been been screwed by a lack of bailout?

    Far less than they are by the bailout.

    The crisis was caused by government regulation intended to get more people to “own” homes and the Federal Reserve printing lots of money to pay for George Bush’s wars and expansion of the welfare state.

    The problem was that as the newly printed money flowed out into the economy, prices began to rise. So long as the rising prices were limited to homes (because the guys with the newly printed money were loaning them on extremely generous terms to anybody who could grip a pen and drag it accross a contract) everyone was happy. they reasoned that if someone was saddled with a loan they couldn’t pay, they would sell the house for far more money than they paid for it and the principal would be apid off.

    Then the rising prices startign showing up in other sectors. Bernanke decided to stop printing money and soem even argue that he effectively removed some money from the economy.

    Now there wasn’t newly printed money available to make loans anymore. And people stopped bidding up the house prices. In fact they were only willign to pay what they could borrow, wich was increasingly less.

    Many investment houses wrongly concluded that the rise in prices would go on forever. Of course, businessmen are human. They were being encouraged by govenrment officials to make the loans. It was one step removed from coutnerfeiting in profitability. And it was legal!

    They also made a disastrous calculation, confusing risk with volatility. Of course, a few voices were crying out in the wilderness that this was not the case, but egged on by shareholder pressure, managers who listened to those voices were systematically replaced. After all, they were walking away from huge profits.

    This wouldn’t be such a problem if you had a few 10,000 firms comprising the U.S. banking and capital indsutry. Unfortuantely, the financial indsutry is dominated by a few players, why? Of well, that’s thanks to the U.S> govenrment tax policy which taxes dividends viciously and capital gains at a much lower rate. Guess what? It means that a company that is foolish enough to return profits to investors (and thus increase their tax liability) are eschewed in favor of companies that keep the dollar and make their business larger. The only hope the share holder has of seeing a return on his investment, then, is to sell the stock for more than he purchased it. So rather than an investment generating revenue due to the businesses soundness, the stock market is converted into a quasi Ponzi scheme.

    If these businesses fail, the factories continue to run. The houses won’t fall down. The crops will continue to grow in the fields. People will get laid off from industries where production exceeds demand, and will be absorbed into industries where there is a profitable, unmet demand.

    The bailouts will prevent this healthy process. The short selling ban is designed to prop up stock prices above their equilibrium value. The bailouts are goign to suck money that could be used in productive profitable investments and redirect them to keeping businesses that are operating at a loss, that are conuming more wealth than they produce, going longer.

    The Great Depression was not caused by the the lack of regulation pre-Hoover. Int he absence of Hoover and FDR’s attempts to do the same thing the U.S. government is doing, the Depression wouldl have lasted perhaps a year, two at most. Instead the government bailed out failing banks, devalued the currency, imposed laws restricting who could invest in what, who could produce what and how much of it, and we got 16 years of depression. I won’t even go into the absurdity of the Federal Government forcing farmers to destroy their crops in order to keep food prices high while people were starving in the cities.

    The thing you are failing to see is that failure is how people learn. The collapse of these companies would be an object lesson to future businessmen. Instead they are learning the valuable lesson that if you do what the government asks you to do, no matter how imprudent, the taxpayer will assure your profits.

    And that has nothing to do with deregualtion. The deregulation that you think would have saved you would have merely postponed the collapse farther into the future.

  61. Nice find, Jennifer. I can’t believe anyone else remembers “Meet El Presidente.” It’s sub-“Ordinary World” in its fame.

    Although for a minute there, I thought you were nominating it for “Best Pop Song.”

  62. Obama just broke 50% in Gallup again.

  63. BDB, Lonewacko / Orange Line Special threatened to sue me, or at the least called one of my comments ‘libelous’.

    Let’s see what he thinks of the illustrated special I made for him over at Urkobold.

  64. BakedPenguin–

    I’m sure you will be getting a call from a LibelAttorney now.

    What kind of queefbait threatens to sue people over the comments section of a blog when he won’t even use his real name?

  65. BDB, it’s all the more hypocritical because that asshole is so full of venom he must be poisonous to the touch. He insults anyone and everyone who doesn’t agree with him, and even many people who do.

  66. I think a hispanic guy must have run away with his wife or something, personally.

    He’s a modern day Samuel Morse, except without the redeeming scientific knowledge. Instead, he just shares his IrrationalXenophobia and ConspiracyTheories.

  67. BDB, Baked:

    actually it was DUNDEROOOOO who ran away with his Canadian girlfriend. you know, the one that none of us ever saw, but oh yes, he said that she was FromCanada and WasReallyHawt it’s just that they met that OneSummer, and it was LoveAtFirstSite. She’s just in Canada. And DUNDEROOO took her from him.

  68. oh, #69.

    neener neener.

  69. Moose – and the photo of her looked suspiciously like the ones that come with the wallet?

  70. Thanks, Joe.
    I dug out the CD last spring and thought the song described Hillary pretty well, but that was when she was going down. But it fits Palin even better.

    Dress in flimsy clothing use your lipstick line
    To color fear and loathing with that pink disguise

    My favorite song on the album is “American Science”.
    I’m a big fan of the groove.

  71. Lonewacko: Here’s a picture of my girlfriend.
    Innocent bystander: Isn’t that Natalie Wood?
    Lonewacko: Well, err, umm, Lot’s of people say she looks just like her. She really does.

  72. That’s libelous, J Sub!

    You may be getting a visit from HisAttorney.

  73. That’s OK. I’ve retained Johnnie Cochran. Nobody wants to mess with zombie Johnnie Cochran.

  74. Quibble:

    “that’s thanks to the U.S> govenrment tax policy which taxes dividends viciously and capital gains at a much lower rate.”

    Dividends have also been taxed at a preferential rate since 2003

  75. Seriously if I got a phone call saying LoneWacko was suing me, I’d laugh my ass off for about 45 minutes.

  76. Innocent bystander: Isn’t that Natalie Wood?
    Lonewacko: Well, err, umm, Lot’s of people say she looks just like her. She really does.

    Wait, what Ms. Wood looked like in that picture? or what she looks like now?

    And besides, I always thought Mr Kelly had an unhealthy obsession with Natalie Merchant.

  77. Kolohe – he does. Check out my link above.

  78. BP-
    Nice.

    But I would think he would be more worried about the RedChinese wrt Triumph.

  79. On a more somber note, this sucks. IIRC, this is one of the hotels that US military people frequently use when visiting Islamabad.

  80. BakedPengiun,

    Your link was funny as hell, way to go.

  81. Travis, Kolohe – thx. Some people are easy to parody…

  82. On a more somber note, this sucks. IIRC, this is one of the hotels that US military people frequently use when visiting Islamabad.

    *exasperated sigh*
    What seems so obvious to us in the west is a complete mystery to so many in the world.

  83. The government must bail out the financial system “because if we don’t, it will have a tremendous impact on American consumers, homeowners, taxpayers and the rest,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said at a citizens’ workshop in San Francisco.

    But, she added, “We cannot deal with this unless this bailout helps families stay in their homes.”

    Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the plan “a good foundation,” but said it was missing “some kind of supervisory authority, and some kind of protection for homeowners and taxpayers.”

    From here

    Every goddammed idiot involved with this chinese fuck story is going to get fucking bailed out.

  84. J Sub-

    Michigan’s own Big Two and a Half are next.

  85. Screwed up the link I did. Screwed it up totally. What to do, the question is.
    Try again?

    Ahhh. That is better, much.

  86. BDB,
    I know. Don’t think for a moment that I support it just because it’s on my home turf. As far as I’m concerned, Ford, GM and Chrysler can all be bought by Honda and Toyota at a fire sale. After bankruptcy breaks the UAW contracts.

  87. Oh, I wasn’t suggesting you would support it. Just saying, that’s what Harry and Nancy want in exchange for bailing out Wall Street. Kind of a bi-partisan Hitler-Stalin Pact.

    Detroit can go suck dick as far I’m concerned. They make horrible, unreliable, gas guzzling cars that nobody wants to buy. I won’t shed a tear for them.

  88. I especially hate GM because they try to guilt trip me into buying their shitboxes with the pseudo-nationalist “our country” ads.

  89. Every goddammed idiot involved with this chinese fuck story is going to get fucking bailed out.

    *especially* the Chinese.

  90. BDB
    Detroit made some of the finest and most beautiful cars the world has ever seen. Everything went to shit when they couldn’t do it in the regulatory climate that came in with the 1970s. There are occasional flashes of the old brilliance but they are screwed by unions, the government and especially their own management.

  91. Oh, I agree they were great in the past. The Big Three are like a supermodel who used to be beautiful before she got hooked on methamphetamines.

  92. Then agian, why do the Japanese auto makers and the German auto makers not suck? Are Germany and Japan less regulated than the USA?

  93. Then again, why do the Japanese auto makers and the German auto makers not suck? Are Germany and Japan less regulated than the USA?

    Sweet zombie Jesus, BDB! Don’t bring that up!

    The idea that business can and does flourish in those scary over-regulated European countries (and Japan) frightens the pack.

    Holy frankenchrist, it’s like you want them to stampede or something.

  94. Take a look a t what “ordinary” Germans and especially Japanese drive. They are exporting the higher end stuff. They would kill for Corvettes at anything near the price we pay for them.

    IIRC American cars are more reliable and have less manufacturing problems than German autos.
    American cars suffer under a stigma from what they were in the late 70s to mid 90s. That and the kind of snobbery that thinks anything American is bad.

  95. The troubles of the Big 2.5 are varied and many. As are the causes. The fact is that Toyotas and Audis have to meet the same standards to sell cars as GM and Ford. Another fact is that Daimler-Chrysler didn’t work out so damn well, even with teutonic management.

    I grew up in the whole Big 3/UAW culture when Toyota was a joke and Mercedes North American sales were in the thousands. It’s too late in the day to detail all of the problems facing the domestic manufacturers, but they are many varied and systemic. Short synopsis – management and labor got fat, dumb and happy together post WWII and have only recently begun to wake up to the reality of a global auto business.

    TaTa is coming and the Japanese are fearfully looking at Hyandai Kia.

    The Boss once sang about some economic reality.

    They’re closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
    Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain’t coming back
    to your hometown

  96. SIV —

    Toyotas and Hondas run for-fucking-ever. I’m pretty sure they’d run if you fired a six-pack of .45 slugs into the engine block first and then fed a gallon of fine sand into the gas tank.

  97. A draft of the plan to “fix” the markets power grab popped up over at the NYT:

    Sec. 2. Purchases of Mortgage-Related Assets.

    (b) Necessary Actions.–The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:

    (3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;

    Sec. 8. Review.

    Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

    Congress and Comrade GWB will happily sign this abomination, too.

    I’m too distressed to even try:

    Section 1. Short Title.

    This Act may be cited as ___________________.

  98. My problem with the GM part of the big 2.5 is their constant Ditech commercials. If GM’s attempt at a financial business melded with a car business is going so poorly that they’ve come hat in hand to my government for my tax dollars, they need to NOT bombard me with stupid ass commercials, which cost money (tax money?) to buy. Dammit.

  99. Ken,
    Do you think anyone is going to prison over this? Anyone significantly up the chain of command?

  100. Belay my last, wrong thread. Too much whiskey perhaps. 😮

  101. Anybody see this?

    Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation. – John McCain, in a magazine piece released this week.

    My theory is that the gods hate John McCain.

  102. SIV–

    I’m sorry but Japanese cars are great. German cars, too, as long as you don’t get VW (mostly because they started manufacturing in Mexico).

    British and French cars are worse than American, though.

    I speak as the proud owner of a ’90 Honda Civic that’s lasted forever. Meanwhile, my girlfriends 1996 (!) Ford Contour has it’s engine constantly overheat.

  103. Joe–

    Obama will win unless they find something along the lines of a videotape of him smoking crack with Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright, or if Obama calls a white guy filming him “cracker” and welcomes him to the “real world of Chicago”.

  104. I drive a Civic, too. It is exactly the same as it was nine years ago, except dirtier.

  105. They’re changing the rules of the VP debate to take it easier on the Republican nominee.

    What do you like better:

    Sarah Failin’, or

    Sarah Flailin’?

  106. Joe-

    It also helps Joe Biden, since he can be a windbag. The agreement was bi-partisan.

  107. The Republicans asked for it, and the Democrats acceded, because they want so very much to have a vice-presidential debate.

    This came from the McCain camp.

  108. I wouldn’t play down expectations too much. Remember Gore/Bush?

  109. Yeah. Gore sucked as a speaker. Biden doesn’t.

  110. Then again, why do the Japanese auto makers and the German auto makers not suck? Are Germany and Japan less regulated than the USA?

    Sweet zombie Jesus, BDB! Don’t bring that up!

    The idea that business can and does flourish in those scary over-regulated European countries (and Japan) frightens the pack.

    Holy frankenchrist, it’s like you want them to stampede or something.

    To be fair, I think the US divisions of the Japanese auto companies (and possible the German ones too) are their most profitable.

    Off to look it up.

  111. “I drive a Civic, too. It is exactly the same as it was nine years ago, except dirtier.”

    It’s missing the hood emblem, I happen to know. Whether you ever see it intact again depends on your behavior between now and Election Day.

  112. To be fair, I think the US divisions of the Japanese auto companies (and possible the German ones too) are their most profitable.

    I’d believe it since I also read Buick is one of the most popular cars in China. Buick. Your grandparents car. A status symbol in China.

  113. Can’t really find anything that splits the profit out by region (as opposed to by sector). But as a data point Honda sells 1.85 mil autos in North America and 615 thousand in Japan. (3:1) But has net sales of 5.2 trillion Yen in North America compared to 1.3 trillion Yen in Japan (4:1)

    (source 2008 annual report for the FY ending March 31, 2008)

  114. Remember though Kolohe that North America is a much bigger market than Japan.

  115. joe
    You mean Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the debate?

  116. I still maintain that while she’s a lightweight intellectually, Palin has shown me something in standing up to her own party. And I still think she was political gold. Energized the base, make independents interested.

  117. The Biden/Palin debate will either be a political massacre of epic proportions or a textbook study in how to play the expectations game

  118. For additional context on the above datum, GM sells sold 4.5 million autos with $112 billion (i.e. 11 trillion yen) in net sales.

    Honda has approx 59% in domestic content in US sales, GM is 73%.

  119. “Sweet zombie Jesus, BDB! Don’t bring that up!

    The idea that business can and does flourish in those scary over-regulated European countries (and Japan) frightens the pack.

    Holy frankenchrist, it’s like you want them to stampede or something.”

    One of the best articles I ever read in reason critiqued a libertarian think tank that rated the best places to do business based on how stifling the regulatory scene was. It had like Topeka Kansas as the best and NYC as one of the worst. The article went on to say how obviously things are very complex and NYC was just a much more dynamic place in regards to business and culture. Good stuff, though I’m sure the purists (“arrrgh, regulation, BAD!”) canceled their subscriptions….

  120. To be fair, I think the US divisions of the Japanese auto companies (and possible the German ones too) are their most profitable.

    They’re losing a lot on currency conversion.

  121. BDB-
    Yep, that’s why I think the ratios between Japan and N.A. numbers are interesting, but not necessarily the raw numbers themselves. And looked up the equivalent GM N.A #’s, as well as what % of the product is actually manufactured in the sales region.

  122. None of the people above are really the owner of the link site. I’d suggest the person spoofing me call an attorney in preparation for a libel suit.

  123. LoL, NSA Operative! If that is your real name.

    Sort of like JRR Tolkein, is it?

  124. JRR Tolkein? That’s kind of an elitist author isn’t it Joe? You elite snob!

  125. The previous comment wasn’t me. I am not stupid enough to threaten libel lawsuits over anonymous blog comments, or to have some DumbAss notion that as “owner of the link site” I also own the handle “Orange Line Special” on reason.com or to believe some court of law is going to give TwoShits that someone dared to spoof me in the blog comments, or that any lawyer I took this case to would laugh my xenophobic ass out of his office. I may at times have GrandioseDelusions of my relevance and importance but even my SelfAbsorption has its limits.

  126. I may at times have GrandioseDelusions of my relevance and importance but even my SelfAbsorption has its limits.

    Clearly, this comment was not left by the RealLonelyWhacker.

  127. None of the above posters are from me. They’re all spoofs. I’d recommend that you not spoof me, unless you’re prepared to book time with an attorney.

  128. I’ll also be suing “Urkobold” as soon as blogger gives me his IP address and identification.

  129. On the subject of bailouts just saw this linked on fark.

    The owner’s of the Nationals haven’t paid the rent for the stadium, so “the city has had to use funds from a special business tax for debt service on the stadium project.”

    The owners say that haven’t paid the rent because the stadium isn’t “substantially complete.”

    It must be difficult for Mr. Lerner to walk hauling around those big brass balls of his.

  130. I thought suing people was Dondero’s shtick.

  131. All the posts above threatening lawsuits are spoof posts. I did not make them.

    I am tired of people trying to make me look bad by writing this BS.

    If this keeps up, I will be subpoenaing Reason’s server records and sue the posters for libel. And I will win.

  132. JRR Tolkien works in a totally separate division decrypting e-mail traffic written in Early Anglo-Saxon. I know this is classified information, but that pipe-smoking Elvish-chanting oldster really rubs me the wrong way, and if Richard Armitage can get away with it why can’t I.

  133. Who is the greater fool — the fool or the one who pretends to be the fool?

  134. Who is the greater fool — the fool or the one who pretends to be the fool?

    It depends – how funny is the pretender?

  135. “Bob Barr won Texas. Maybe.”

    How fucking adolescent. The bitch can’t win the presidency and he knows it. So what does he do? He acts like a 13-year-old girl.

    The people of Texas — the PEOPLE, get it? — want both Obama and McCain on the ballot. The PEOPLE! Go ahead, poll that, and see what you get.

    Nevertheless, this bullshit little schoolgirl is going to waste the time and money of the good people of Texas because he’s a little 13-year-old bitch. Why? Because like all adolescents, that’s all he’s got (e.g., daddy and mommy say I can’t drink beer, but THEY drink beer). Useless, tax-wasting, 13-year-old bitch.

  136. What’s wrong with adolescents drinking beer?

    And hurrah for Barr; as a Texan I’m proud someone’s calling on the duopoly political system for not following the rules. He has every right to make sure others followed the law the same as he did.

    Who gives a shit what the people want? Their elected representatives wrote the law–that’s what they’re there for–and the law states a deadline. If the people want their candidates on the ballot, then the people should have alerted them to those deadlines.

    Besides, 13-year-old girls aren’t as bad as Obama or McCain.

  137. So the posts threatening lawsuits weren’t by you, except for the last post where you threatened a lawsuit?

    Ok. That makes total sense.

  138. Dude, you do that on your own.

  139. JRR Tolkein? That’s kind of an elitist author isn’t it Joe?

    Well, obviously. Count the middle names. That’s a pretty good sign.

    Jim Bob, where the hell did you find that? “I can’t shove my fist in your childhood dreams.”

    And I think it was Edward, no Lone Wacko, who used to threaten lawsuits. Don’t mess with the bull, you Urkobold freaks, you will get the horns.

  140. Yes, it was Edward who used to threaten lawsuits. Perhaps he actually went to a lawyer, who might have told him that obvious satire / parody such as the Adventures of Lonewacko is not considered libel.

  141. WHY DID WACKO CHANGE HIS NAME FROM ‘THE LONE WOLF’ ALL THOSE YEARS AGO???

    BETCHA PEOPLE WITH LUPUS SUED.

  142. Moose – that, or mebbe X fans.

  143. BakedOpus – betterThatThan this

  144. “Who gives a shit what the people want? Well clearly not 13-year-old girls like you.

  145. first 10 seconds: Mel B. tells us how to react to this.

  146. Mel B. tells us how to react to this.

    I honestly thought that you were referring to the former Spice Girl, not Mr. Brooks.

  147. joe,

    Random vid I found browsing the Tube. I think that dude’s pretty damn funny, though- the deadpan cracks me up.

  148. I’d suggest the person spoofing me call an attorney in preparation for a libel suit.

    i suggest LoneWacko makes us all some hot MicrowavePopcorn because he’s more entertaining than a DoubleFeature.

  149. The satire’s pretty funny, thanks!

    However, the reason for libel is that the combination of my handle (OLS) together with a link to my site (the old URL leads to the new URL, so they’re basically the same), combined with a statement that might be misconstrued as something other than satire/parod does obviously qualify as libel. There may be other internet law issues, but I would have to find a specialist to deal with those.

    All kidding aside, those engaging in non-satires should seek legal advice.

  150. OrangeLineSpecial,

    According to Wikipedia, there are several defenses against the charge of libel. This one applies:

    Claimant is incapable of further defamation-e.g., the claimant’s position in the community is so poor that defamation could not do further damage to the plaintiff. Such a claimant could be said to be “libel-proof,” since in most jurisdictions, actual damage is an essential element for a libel claim. Essentially, the defense is that the person has a bad reputation before the libel, hence there was no further damages by the statement.

  151. “Who gives a shit what the people want? Well clearly not 13-year-old girls like you.

    Hey good job actually answering the argument and not resorting to ad hominem attacks.

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