Alright you Nattering Nabobs, Once More Into the Breach

Pat Ryan

I guess it's been easy enough to go all wobbly in the past couple of weeks. McCain's crew overruled his yearning for LeiberLove and chose Moosolini, a girl that looks like the Lenscrafters Model and by all accounts is competent enough in the hunt that if she decides to shoot an old man in the face, he will be dead. So........She's Cheney......without the brain and the Fat Suit  but exactly the same POV that any disagreement with her determinedly ignorant certitude is tantamount to betrayal, and most importantly of all possessing that most precious of commodities for this election cycle........a vagina.

Most Clinton supporters, however, are not amused by the pick, but have released a couple of giggles here and there when admonished by icons like Carly Fiorina who was seen most recently driving Hewlett Packard off of the cliff; or yesterday the egalitarian Lady Rothschild, who having married a few guys to acquire wealth and titles is now repeating her Obama is an elitist trope to clueless news orgs.

Buddies of mine right here on the Big Blue have confessed their lack of fire in these the final weeks, so lemme offer some countervailing thoughts about the apparently faltering campaign.

Item: At the convention, Republicans tossed caution to the wind and every single speaker that I saw took some time to vilify the press toadies as being terminally liberal and in the tank for Obama. The net effect over the past three weeks has been that the likes of the Wall Street Journal, FOX News, David Brooks, Joe Klein, and even Billo lining up to take shots at the McCain campaign for their lies, out of pure self preservation. Utter failure to internalize the old adage that you don't kick the hive when the bees are giving you honey already.

Item: The biggest Dog in the Smearoshpere, Lieber Karl himself had a priceless clip up this weekend where he disses his acolytes, saying,

Well, McCain has gone in some of his ads — similarly gone one step too far, and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100-percent-truth test.

When you watch the clip, you can see the gears turning and what Karl's actually saying is,

Hey you idiots, you've got to keep it believable enough that our Low Info buddies don't start feeling ridiculous when they regurgitate the Lie of the Day around the Old Watercooler.

Item: It's the Economy Stupid. Someone's gotta take the bull by the horns and point out that the specific deregulation efforts initiated by the old pornography producin', Enron excusin' Phil Gramm, led directly Mccain_gramm to the current meltdown. The complicity of brain dead Democrats in this massive fraud will just have to be overlooked. The fact is, Obama wasn't there when Phil got this rolling, and the other fact is, that McCain is now arguing that this same exact guy that is always peering over his shoulder like a poorly drawn Mister Toad, is the guy that's going to be guiding his economic policy as he and his crew of Wall Street Lobbyists go after corruption on Wall Street.

Item: Obama and his very good buddy Chairman Dean are so not like the campaigns and party leaders in the past two cycles. They are proactive about election theft, GOTV, response ads, attack ads, fundraising, and on and on.

So, to draw another priceless quote from Uncle Phil, You Nation of Whiners better suck 'em up and get with the program. No matter how hard the True Geeks over at the Heritage Foundation work to upgrade Nexirobot_5965_2 the programming of the PalinBot, we can assume that the output will continue to be be pretty hilarious gibberish intermixed with dark threats and random slander. The Old Guy has been revealed to be no longer the Straight Talker of ancient Press Mythology but rather a craven opportunist who has abandoned even the appearance of principle, whether deciding to hire the same guys that smeared him in 2000 or changing his long standing POVs for the Talking Points of the Day.

We've still got a couple of tough weeks ahead of us, but we're already seeing good polling info showing that the McCain campaign has probably reached its high water mark and is beginning to slip backward a bit.


  • Greg D. (unverified)

    If the average voter was not a moron, he/she would link the Bush - McCain era with this current economic disaster. Watching my 401K drop by 35% since October 1st has been ugly, but I praise the Lord that George II was unable to put my Social Security dollars into the market, in which case I would have lost both my 401K and my Social Security.

    But the average voter is in fact a moron, and he/she will be blissfully ignorant as he/she fills out a ballot, waivering just a moment before making a random choice between that nice young black man and that attractive young woman from Alaska.

    Now, where did I put the remote. It's time to check out Brittany's new figure in a bikini. I hear she is really buff again.

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    But the average voter is in fact a moron, and he/she will be blissfully ignorant as he/she fills out a ballot, waivering just a moment before making a random choice between that nice young black man and that attractive young woman from Alaska.

    Whenever we hear that the top rated show or top story is about some celebrity headed for rehab, we would do well to remember that those statistics generally include everyone over the age of TWO. Simply because the media is harping on these useless and pointless stories doesn't mean that voters are. As an "average" voter, I can guarantee you that I am neither a moron, nor do I make random choices.

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    PAT! HA! You said vagina, on the front page!

  • Hal (unverified)

    Watch Olberman and learn what bias.

    But this is good.

    Top Clinton fundraiser backs McCain over Obama September 17, 2008 WASHINGTON (AP) - A top Hillary Rodham Clinton fundraiser threw her support behind Republican John McCain on Wednesday, saying he will lead the country in a centrist fashion and accusing the Democrats of becoming too extreme. "I believe that Barack Obama, with and Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean, has taken the Democratic Party _ and they will continue to _ too far to the left," Lynn Forester de Rothschild said. "I'm not comfortable there." Rothschild is also a member of the Democratic National Committee's Platform Committee. She said she would be stepping down from her position on the committee but will not switch political parties.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    Looks like John McCain can't refashion himself as not a Republican, and can't run away from his record on Wall Steet, lobbyists, and the economy.

    New CBS/NY Times poll- Obama over McCain 48-43 RV, 49-44 LV,

    Palin's favorables are sinking like a stone, now at 40% favorable, down 11% among women. She's popular only among the fundy base, hasn't moved the women's vote at all.

    " More than half of registered voters do not think Palin is prepared for the job of Vice President, and even McCain supporters cite "inexperience" as what they like least about her.

    Just 17 percent of registered voters say McCain chose Palin because she is well qualified for the job of Vice President."

    McCain is seen as he is, typical Republican with typical policies bringing us to the disaster we have. "By over two to one, voters think Obama would bring real change to Washington in the way things are done. McCain, with his many years in Congress, is not seen as bringing change; a majority of voters think he would not do so, while just 37% think he would. "

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    I really think the Rove comments would have made a great ad. You could tag it with, "Karl Rove thinking you've gone too far in dirty politics is like Josef Mengele rejecting your medical experiments as too harsh."

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    SOrta looks as if Hal the Troll couldn't be bothered to actually read Mr. Pyan's post before inserting the stupid item about Her Ladyship Rothschild, but what the hell, Hal, thanks for the link to the <s>Moonie</s>Washington Times.

  • Gregor (unverified)

    Having a Rothschild leave his campaign bolsters Obama's street cred more then hurts it. It's so funny how the Reich attacks the Dems with their greatest weakness. You've never heard a Dem declare they could not approach Biden until they had suitable "respect and deference".

    For his entire career McCain was ALL ABOUT deregulation. Graham, his top economic advisor thinks the American people are just whiners. I guess all those folks at Lehman Brothers who just lost their jobs are just whiners too. And those investors who just lost everything there are just whiners too.

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    Or, in sum, you could look at this --

    I still haven't gotten the whole "link in a comment" thing down, but it's worth a cut and paste....

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)

    Pat Ryan wrote:

    Buddies of mine right here on the Big Blue have confessed their lack of fire in these the final weeks...

    I hope I'm one of your buddies, Pat. If so, let me assure you that the fire is ignited. If it was not by the witness of Obama's historic nomination and the social transformation his election could inspire, it certainly was by witness of the cynical, weak and dishonest Republican campaign unfolding in nauseating clarity.

    There is a lot a distance between Obama and me on important issues, but I'd be a fool to let that stop me from working to keep John McCain and the Republican machine out of the White House for the next four years.

  • Bill R. (unverified)

    I wonder if the certainty of war with Iran and its global explosion that a McCain presidency would bring, could provide enough enthusiasm for the fence sitters in this contest. Oh, but purity is its own reward.

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    Perfect!! If I'd seen that beforehand think of all the keystrokes I could have saved.

    Will circulate, as soon as I recover from that burning sensation brought on by the coffee squirting out of my nose.



    Actually I've been thinking about Chris and his Move On crew. It is now that we need these guys out there doing counterspin. I know that the Big O squelched them a bit early on, but now's the time.

    I've yet to see any moss growing around you in the past five years or so.......

  • Vincent (unverified)

    "Moosolini"? Nothing like comparing your political opponents to fascists. Keep it classy, Democrats.

  • RichW (unverified)

    "'Moosolini'? Nothing like comparing your political opponents to fascists. Keep it classy, Democrats."

    As opposed to right-wingers and freepers who compare Obama directly to Communists and terrorists?

    Moosolini is, at least, a humorous jab - and I think it IS classy satire. Besides it could also refer to a wild game pasta dish (in a heavy w(h)ine cream sauce)

  • Vincent (unverified)

    As opposed to right-wingers and freepers who compare Obama directly to Communists and terrorists?

    That's funny. I didn't see any of those people posting on this site, nor do I recall defending them.

    Moosolini is, at least, a humorous jab

    That's a novel way of looking at it.

    In any case, it's extraordinarily tiresome to watch Democrats and other "progressives" casually liken their political opponents to Nazis and fascists. Not only is it an attack utterly devoid of substance, but it's also one that reveals a pathetically shallow grasp of history.

    If comparing Obama to Stalin and Osama bin Laden is so beyond the pale (and it is), how on earth can anyone defend likening Bush to Hitler or Palin to Mussolini with a straight face?

    Or is "the Republicans do it too!!!!" pretty much the only justification Democrats need these days?

    Grow up.

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    Actually, Palin is a lot like Mussolini--secretive, impulsive, cronyist, bellicose, cruel...and not that bright.

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    Pat, you made my day. Thanks for the pick-me-up.

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    Hey Pat,

    As Patti Smith once sang, before she (re?)got religion, "my sins are my own, they belong to me" -- don't attribute my erstwhile lassitude either to MoveOn(national) or MoveOn PDX Council (local).

    Nationally, MoveOn is working hard for Obama. In addition to coordinating local activities around the country, they are doing their old-style media work. Actually they've been strong for Obama since January, when 70% of their voting membership supported endorsing him in their online poll on the question.

    Their most recent Obama e-mail (Tues, Sept 16) is exactly for an ad based on the Rove comment you mention. And they even thought of this before reading TJ's comment!

    Anyone so inclined can donate to the ad getting aired by clicking on the link above.

    New style, they have been trying to build on-the-ground organizations, and using them to organize nationally coordinated pro-Obama events. The next one is actually this Sunday, September 21, described thusly on the front page of the national website.

    On Sunday, September 21st, we're organizing MoveOn for Obama parties around the country. We'll kick off a huge effort to call MoveOn members in swing states and get them out volunteering for Obama!

    Go here to find the calling party nearest you.

    (I count 9 in Portland, 1 in Milwaukie, 1 in Oak Grove, 1 in Lake Oswego, 1 in Happy Valley, 1 in Aurora, 1 in Keizer, 1 in Corvallis, 1 in Astoria, 1 in South Beach, 1 in Eugene, 2 in Bend, 1 in Bandon, 1 in Redmond, 1 in Vancouver WA.)

    (Just fyi, also lots of others various places in WA including several dozen in & around Seattle, 4 in Spokane, and in Idaho, 5 in Boise, 1 in Troy, 1 in Sun Valley, 1 in Twin Falls, 1 in Rigby.)

    In other words, they are mobilizing people both in pretty blue states (WA & OR) AND very red ones (Idaho, Utah) to help out the efforts in the battleground states.

    p.s. In case there is anyone with trouble cutting and pasting, or the terminally lazy, here's Kristin's link.

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    (TypePad didn't like how many links I had, so this is part 2)

    As for my sins, which are mine, well, you're right. All I can say, fwiw, which is not much, is that I let some personal stuff affect my outlook on other things too. If I do it again in public, which I will try not to, carry on ignoring it as it deserves.

    One interesting thing that happened that helped me snap out of it was listening to a broadcast from the Peace Studies Association conference that was held at PSU last week. The speaker in question was Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild and writer for truthout, among other places.

    Cohn was discussing aspects of the effects of the so-called War on Terror on illegitimate expansion of presidential power, U.S. crimes against peace and against humanity under international law, erosion of the constitution, etc. Inter alia she mentioned that she personally -- not speaking for the NLG -- was supporting Obama because she believes that a McCain presidency will extend and entrench that pattern, and put in place judges who will cement it, in a way that Obama simply will not, in her view. Because Cohn is someone whose views I respect, who is also not at all reluctant to criticize Democrats (e.g. Bill Clinton & Janet Reno, and Ds who supported the War Powers Authorization regarding Iraq, which she sees as beyond the legitimate authority of either Congress or the President because national governments cannot legitimately authorize certain kinds of international crimes), I took this as evidence that I'd lost perspective.

    Obviously you understood this already, but it's in the nature of losing perspective not to get it so readily from the inside. :->

    Another recent thing that came my way that I've found hopeful is a piece by Andrew Leonard from Sept 16th called "Obama comes out swinging" that makes a more detailed version of your argument about Obama, the economy, and wrong-headed deregulation (including Phil Gramm's malign influence).

    What is encouraging is that Obama isn't waiting until two weeks before the election to start criticizing right-wing economics, which supports your point that he isn't running the way Gore and Kerry did (and maybe Dukakis in '88? That was my impression from overseas).

  • Idler (unverified)

    Very funny post, with many LOL gags that I enjoyed despite myself.

    However, I have a couple of questions:

    How can Gramm-Leach-Bliley reasonably be characterized as Republican policy when the bill had resounding bi-partisan support, passing 90-8 in the Senate? That includes about 40 “brain dead” Democrats, including John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Paul Sarbanes, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Daniel Inouye, Diane Feinstein, Robert Byrd, Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer, Jay Rockefeller, Frank Lautenberg, Mary Landrieu, Fritz Hollings, Pat Leahy and John Edwards. Not that I disagree with your characterization. The bill was signed into law by Bill Clinton.

    Given that the single most important factor in the crisis has been bad mortgage loans, don’t the Democrats bear some responsibility for their policies supporting relaxing standards for mortgages and pressuring banks to lend to uncreditworthy risks? Are there more Republican or Democrat fingerprints on the initial securitization of bundles of these high risk loans, and which party’s policies made that likely, if not necessary? Didn’t calls for greater regulatory oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac come from Republicans rather than Democrats?

    John McCain in 2005:

    I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

    How have these Republican regulatory initiatives fared, and what has been the role of Democrats in resisting them?

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    When I said, The complicity of brain dead Democrats in this massive fraud will just have to be overlooked. I somehow knew that the complicity would not and should not really be overlooked, except in the context of the campaign. Here's what I've been writing in email exchanges about upper end regulation:

    if you’re arguing that Democrats are up to their necks in blame on this deregulation deal, well it’s true but largely irrelevant. The clear fact is that indiscriminate deregulation at the top is based on a Republican driven myth, and owes its outlines to a willful misreading or failure to comprehened the principles delineated by Adam Smith. That these Faith Based Economists were able to intimidate and browbeat a lot of Dems, (including Bill Clinton) into supporting this fantasy, demonstrates spinelessness on the part of Dems, but not much else in my opinion.

    As for the three or four times that McCain or anyone else on either side had a brief attack of ethical concern for the taxpayers, and offered a feeble and token response, I'm not impressed. Neither Freddie nor Fannie is the central issue here.

    The problem is adherence to a mythology that should have been logically discredited decades back, and is expressed most glaringly in the derivatives markets which we are told repeatedly that no one (including the president of Lehman) could understand.

    Somehow this universal ignorance did not dissuade a bunch of opportunists from running games on the pensions of Little Old Ladies right accross the country.

    One good thing is that we got a little resistance to the privatization of social security, which would have had 20 or 25 percent of the aforementioned Little Old Ladies' base income circling the drain with all of the other now worthless instruments, about which puzzled professionals are now allegedly scratching their heads.

  • Idler (unverified)


    What sense does it make that Democrats’ complicity in GBL should be overlooked “in the context of this campaign” but Republicans’ shouldn’t? Do I misunderstand you? And by what reasoning do you cavalierly dismiss Fannie and Freddie as peripheral?

    Mortgage securitization is at the heart of the current crisis, and Fan and Fred are at the heart of mortgage securitization.

    The fact that Republicans are often for deregulation doesn’t mean that they are in favor of “indiscriminate deregulation.” The financial services industry is heavily regulated in all sorts of ways, many of which Republicans have no beef with. An unregulated financial services industry is inconceivable. The question is whether a given piece of regulation impedes competition or causes other problems unforeseen by those who advocate it. For example, consider the disastrous effects on the current situation by bad accounting rules that were supposed to prevent another Enron but in fact helped to precipitate some of the current failures, according to some commentators. These rules have tended to disastrously undervalue assets at a time when companies can't afford those assets to be undervalued (i.e., during a credit crisis).

    As it happens, McCain and several other Republicans were on the right side of the regulatory issue on Fannie and Freddie. It is simply unreasonable to dismiss that inconvenient truth. I refer you to the McCain quote in my post above. Could he have been any clearer – and more prophetic?

    The causal connection of Fan and Fred to the current mess is abundantly clear. In that respect, the GLB/Gramm ploy to tar MCain strikes me as a red herring. Does the breaking down of the walls created by Glass-Steagall make a crisis of the sort we’re experiencing inevitable? Or does it merely shape the course of the real mischief? Hasn't GLB also paved the way for some of the fixes that have been resorted to in the current crisis?

    But, again, it’s an idle point, since GLB was a bipartisan bit of legislation. The idea that Democrats submitted to being “browbeaten” into accepting it would be unflattering to the Party, if accurate. However, if Bill Clinton was browbeaten, it was by his own Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, who favored the legislation.

    I appreciate your reference to Adam Smith because it is apt. In the case of Fan and Fred and the Democratic mortgage policies I have alluded to, the government has stepped in to create perverse incentives both by pushing un-creditworthy risks and providing implicit backing to the companies (which recently became explicit).

    It's not my position that the current crisis' is all the Democrats' fault or that GLB isn't problematic. However, in the light of the role of mortage securities in this crisis, focusing on GLB seems like a partisan diversion rather than a dispassionate attempt to interpret the crisis.

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    Hey Chris,

    Thanks for putting in the link! One day I'll learn how to do that in comments...

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)

    Idler's argument is cogent. DP complicity in our economic destruction is not "weak willed" but rather a systematic cooperation with right-wing finance.

    Re: " the guy that's going to be guiding [McCain's] economic policy as he and his crew of Wall Street Lobbyists go after corruption on Wall Street."

    Once again, you Democrats refuse to acknowledge your own mirror image: "Progressives (rightly) used the moment to point out the outrage of McCain ever appointing a top executive at a major investment bank like Gramm as his top economic adviser. Yet, almost no one bothered to question why Obama long ago appointed Gramm's boss, Robert Wolf, as his own top economic adviser." (Which Side Are We On?).

    Furthermore, "As a new poll by the Drum Major Institute shows, the center of American public opinion is far different from the center of opinion in Washington and Wall Street that says 'centrism' and 'moderation' are continuing the kleptocratic financial and trade policies championed by the Goldman Sachs twins, Bob Rubin and Henry Paulson."

    The single corporate party is bailing out their masters on the backs of the rest of us, and it is not a partisan matter. The issues are two: who are the economic advisors of these woeful candidates and where is all that campaign cash coming from?

    Seven of the Obama campaign’s top 14 donors consist of officers and employees of the same Wall Street firms charged with looting the public and implicated in originating and/or bundling fraudulently made mortgages. Obama is connected to Chicago School, Friedmanesque, "shock doctrine" academics. He says he believes strongly in "free markets" (on CNBC: "Look. I am a pro-growth, free-market guy. I love the market.").

    Naomi Klein: What Does Obama's 'Love of Markets' Mean for Our Economic Future?

    Nader says, "In late July, I wrote to U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass. to suggest that they jointly hold hearings on the FDIC’s ability to deal with potential bank failures in the next several years....The U.S. economy and the banking sector currently face a significant amount of uncertainty from ongoing housing sector problems, financial market turbulence and potentially weak prospects for consumer spending. These problems could lead to significantly higher loan losses and weaker earnings for insured institutions."

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    OK, so the Monarchist and the Socialist on our list agree that my points are way off the mark, or at least irrelevant and that what's important to internalize is that all politicians currently serving are Keynes rejectionists and Friedman supporters. There is no difference between the two party positions or between the actors on either side, historical evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Obviously we need some kind of benevolent but firm invisible(?) hand guiding the markets going forward, and that hand would best be attached to the palsied arm of Ralph Nader.

    Also, Serious People (as defined by themselves) get a pass on not being able to fully understand the instruments that they themselves have created, and only unserious people (like me) would be so rude as to point out that intentionally obscure financial maneuvering by the same Serious People about once every ten or fifteen years during my entire lifetime, always leads to my 401 (k) taking a 20% or 30% hit, while the Serious Guys ride their $40 to $50 million parachutes to havens in the Hamptons with zero penalty having been exacted for the latest Grand Theft.

    According to Shepard Smith on FOX and friends, we (the taxpayers) are now guarantors of an additional $840 Billion since the start of this year and the liberal Mr. Smith imagines that to be a problem as he also suspects that more blood is yet to be spilled.

    Conversation continues over on the Girlie Men thread.....

  • Harry Kershner (unverified)

    When you can't answer the facts, attack the messenger. It's Rovian/Carvillian politics, and it stinks regardless of who let the fart.

    Nader is not a socialist. He has been calling for law enforcement for white collar crimes such as the ones we are witnessing daily for decades. He wants more democracy and less corporate control, unlike McBama.

    "Obviously we need some kind of benevolent but firm invisible(?) hand guiding the markets going forward, and that hand would best be attached to the palsied arm of Ralph Nader" is funny and I think there's a brand in it.

    And no one said there's no difference between the parties. There's a dime's worth of difference.

  • RW (unverified)

    Pat, this was a great post. I got lost in the tasty language. You too, Civiletti. I suspect that the entire electorate is radicalized at this point. In particular, with the falling ferris wheel of the world markets, with the US as identified epicenter, the amount of energy moving around now is unbelievable. I cannot believe that even the so-called "morons" are not at least nattering amongst themselves and striving for connectors. I am disturbed by Murdoch's attack on Obama - why is it that America fantasizes that one man can be expert in all things? My experience is that you are only as good as your experts, not as good as your own expertise. Knowing how to say, "I"m not sure" or "I don't know" and using critical thinking to weed out glossy bullshitters from the substnative, these are key.

    These WILL be key. I would prefer, frankly, some HONEST naivetee to the insidious "knowing" that has brought us to our knees.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    Kershner: The single corporate party is bailing out their masters on the backs of the rest of us, and it is not a partisan matter.

    FWIW, I have heard some say that there are "socialist" or at least "populist" arguments for the various bailouts, such as:

    --The AIG bailout is not so obviously a bailout: Uncle Sam, now the 80% owner, will sell off bits of AIG, covering the government's expenditure while minimizing the damage that bankruptcy would have caused.

    --Isn't radical economic intervention just the sort of thing the government ought to do? (Of course oversight and regulation would have been a hell of a lot better.)

    --Greedheads at the top of the big companies would not be the ones to really suffer in a bankruptcy scenario. People with AIG stock in their retirement funds also suffer for something not of their doing (most of those folks have no say in where their retirement funds are invested).

    McBama: now Mr. Kershner is doing his stand-up comic bit? OK, he's allowed, especially as he actually seemed to find some humor in the crack about Ralph Nader's palsied arm :-) What I want to really know, however, is this: Does McBama live in a McMansion?


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