Sunday Night Quick Post

Some quick things of note but not worth entire posts:

1.) Tomorrow’s fauxtrage today– GM CEO, who ran the company into the ground the last decade, steps down before Obama administration will give auto industry more money. Expect the Santelli groupies to be screaming socialism or liberal fascism or waving Atlas Shrugged signs tomorrow.

2.) The Listserv Kaus Conundrum: Invite Mickey Kaus to your email list, and have him selectively publish private conversations whenever he wants to screw someone over and get a link from Instapundit. Or, don’t invite him, and have him publish the contents anyway. Why? Because he is an insecure jackass driven to madness that he was not a part of someone else’s email group. Also, goat sex.

3.) I can’t decide if I like Pad thai so much because it is delicious, or because it provides a vehicle for consuming more cilantro. I vote both.

4.) Capitalism!

5.) No matter what happens next weekend, a #1 seed will be in the NCAA championship. How boring. Wrong. For some reason I got it into my head that UNC was playing UCONN next weekend.

6.) The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency on HBO tonight.

7.) All your base are belong to… China.

8.) World’s dumbest criminal.

9.) For whatever reason, I went back and read the Cogent Provocateur’s “Operation Snipe Hunt” post from 2003. Still one of the best blog posts ever written.

10.) Overton Window My Eye- DougJ and others yesterday approached the elevation of Paul Krugman to the role of chief Obama critic as an opportunity to shift the Overton window to the left a little bit. Others shared my belief of what would happen:

Krugman will simply weaken the actual left by giving cover for the Blue Dogs. it doesn’t matter if Krugman is attacking from the left or from the right, he gives credence to the idea that “even the left thinks Obama is wrong.”

Krugman seems more and more like an ideologue who has no clue about how politics works and doesn’t care.

when it’s perfect vs good, nobody wins.

CNN’s “Your Money” segment earlier today featured them reading two paragraphs of Krugman trashing the bank plan and then spent the next five minutes letting wingnut WSJ economist Stephen Moore trash the plan. This is working out well.

And might I point out that after we all have trashed the President from every angle, the American people aren’t going to say to themselves “the socialist black muslim guy kind of sucked, let’s give Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold a shot.” Not going to happen. Standing in the on-deck circle are Mr. Sanford, Mittens, and the Wasilla wingnut.

11.) An almost live action shot:

You are on your own. Behave.






155 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    An almost live action shot:

    Oh look, a beached whale.

  2. 2
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    HEY! Tunch is looking pretty damn good. If only I had been able to slim down as much over the winter.

    And thanks for reminding me about Pad Thai, John. I got a bunch of cilantro from the local green grocer and was thinking about a chicken curry, but some Pad Thai would also be awesome. Now I just need to run out for some tofu and bean sprouts.

    (So do you make the red version?)

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Mark S. says:

    No matter what happens next weekend, a #1 seed will be in the NCAA championship. How boring.

    What, Michigan St. and Villanova both can’t win?

  5. 5
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Mickey Kaus: what a pathetic wretch. Also, goat blowing.

  6. 6
    schrodinger's cat says:

    If you like cilantro you will love my shrimp with green chutney, (green chutney made with cilantro, green chillies, garlic and coconut)

  7. 7
    TheOfficialHatOnMyCat says:

    Number 1: The public reception of this move, which apparently has the administration forcing Wagoner to step down, will be favorable. This is a clear signal that this administration is taking accountability seriously.

    Number 4: The current American healthcare system is a protection racket, and amounts to fucking organized crime. This is really shocking information. Yeah, I take one of the secretly forbidden drugs, and I am seriously thinking of suing the assholes responsible for not telling me, when I agreed to take it, that I was agreeing to forfeiting my right to buy health insurance by doing so. Yeah, I am quite serious about this, this is fraud, and I see a class action lawsuit coming.

  8. 8
    clone12 says:

    I’m guessing that the US has a similar snoop program on the Chinese and I like to think that we don’t hear about it is a sign that it works.

    Besides, I bet our malware delivery vector (hot naked chicks c/o the CIA) are cooler than whatever they have.

  9. 9
    jon says:

    What if Mich State and nova wins?

  10. 10
    AhabTRuler says:

    4.) Capitalism!

    More Health Insurance bullshit. I swear to god we gotta fix those fuckers, and good.

    For the fanclub: Momo rides shotgun.

  11. 11
    Comrade Stuck says:

    “Your Money” segment earlier today featured them reading two paragraphs of Krugman trashing the bank plan and then spent the next five minutes letting wingnut WSJ economist Stephen Moore trash the plan.

    And someone yesterday complained it wasn’t fair to call the Krugsman a PUMA. I don’t know if Krugsman is right or wrong, but I do know that anybody who says they know they’re right on how to fix the economy is wrong, even if they turn out to be right.

    And I’m right about dat.

  12. 12
    gex says:

    You’ve no idea how sad this makes me. Yes, John you are right that in real politics, it doesn’t help to have Krugman and right-wing hack du jour both trashing Obama’s plan. But Jesus H. Christ, the right-center to extreme-right policy debates are just killing this country. We can all sit here and note that the DFHs are very often right on some of the biggest issues of the day. Having noted that, we all continue to ignore them anyhow, slapping them away like pesky mosquitoes.

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    Maybe Mittens, but not the Wasilla Starburst. She’s imploding, as we speak. Well, as we type, actually.

  14. 14
    The Moar You Know says:

    Standing in the on-deck circle are Mr. Sanford, Mittens, and the Wasilla wingnut.

    You forgot Huckabee. Don’t. Of anyone who will be running in 2012, that guy gives me the terror sweats. He is smooth and comes off as very likable, and would make an excellent ayatollah presidential candidate.

  15. 15
    TheOfficialHatOnMyCat says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    He was an epic fail candidate last time. What will make him a success next time?

  16. 16
    D-Chance. says:

    If Fargo goes under water when the levees break… will it be proper for Obamamerica to abandon its citizens and take 500 of his friends on a London vacation?

    In addition, a team from the White House kitchen will travel with the president to prepare his food. As one official put it: "When the president travels, the White House travels with him, right down to the car he drives, the water he drinks, the gasoline he uses, the food he eats. America is still the sole superpower and the president must have the ability to handle any crisis, anywhere, any time."

    Yes, because the preznit can’t handle a crisis without his specially prepared arugula…

  17. 17
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @TheOfficialHatOnMyCat:

    Don’t you have a puppy to kick

  18. 18
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    So for dinner this evening we had roast beef and yorkshire pudding, mashed taters, roast taters, green beans, peas, and gravy, home made french bread, and Banoffi Pie for dessert. Food induced coma will be forthcoming. Oh and my Yorkshire Puddings were spectacular, Gordon Ramsey himself would have been proud.

  19. 19
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    All your base are belong to… China.

    From the article:

    Hackers gained access to computers in the Dalai Lama’s office by tricking computer users into downloading e-mail attachments that had been carefully engineered to appear safe, according to the authors of the Cambridge report, titled, "The Snooping Dragon: Social-malware Surveillance of the Tibetan Movement."

    People have been getting hosed by malicious email attachments for, what, about two decades? Curse those cunning Chinese rascals!

  20. 20
    Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse says:

    I like the red Pad Thai I get in most restaurants, but this recipe is a little closer to mine, although I go lighter on the fish sauce. I remember my ex once slavishly following a pork recipe that used almost a quarter cup of fish sauce. The final result was — illuminating. I had never had pork with a sugary, fishy crust before.

  21. 21
    Kineslaw says:

    In terms of the GM CEO, my wingnut brother admitted he might sound like a leftist, but he is in favor of Congress passing a law that any CEO whose company loses double-digit billions in one year must be fired.

  22. 22
    Laura W says:

    6.) The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency on HBO tonight.

    I have heard nothing at all about this so appreciate the tip. Sorry it’s already an hour in progress and I wasted the last hour staring distractedly at Amazing Race, but I see it repeats at 10. Love it already for the ….um….interesting contrast between the lead characters, dialogue, setting and body types vs. Big Love, let’s say.

    Speaking of body types, Tunch really is looking much more "compact".

  23. 23
    Mark S. says:

    @TheOfficialHatOnMyCat:

    Huckabee was epic fail? He had one millionth of the money of Romney and the name recognition of McCain. I’d say he didn’t do too bad, all things considered.

    I don’t know if he’ll do as well in 2012. He’d probably lose a lot of that religious vote to Palin.

  24. 24
    TheOfficialHatOnMyCat says:

    @Mark S.:

    He couldn’t raise a dime against a weak field.

    Fine with me if he manages to somehow get the GOP nomination next time.

    In fact, fine with me if any of the current crop of attention-seekers gets it.

  25. 25
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Caption for the non-action shot of Tunch:
    I iz on Ur futon, catching my zzzz’z

  26. 26
    El Cid says:

    CNN’s “Your Money” segment earlier today featured them reading two paragraphs of Krugman trashing the bank plan and then spent the next five minutes letting wingnut WSJ economist Stephen Moore trash the plan. This is working out well.

    So, the assumption is that if Krugman had not said anything and if we were all more supportive that CNN wouldn’t be doing that?

    Someone’s going to have to tell me the rules. I don’t "trash" Obama, but there are a lot of times I don’t automatically agree with some argument or policy, and most issues seem more complex than ‘are you with the President or are you with the wingnuts’. Does even thinking that put me back in DFH-better-to-shut-up category?

  27. 27
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @El Cid:

    Does even thinking that put me back in DFH-better-to-shut-up category?

    On this site? Appears so.

  28. 28
    El Cid says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Campaign for Real Gravy!

  29. 29
    grape_crush says:

    3. – Can’t stand coriander. Or cilantro. Or chinese parsley. Or all of the above.

    But give me some Pad Ped, with the nice coconut-red curry sauce, and I’m in heaven.

  30. 30
    John Cole says:

    For God’s sake, don’t do this to me again Cid. I’m not saying Krugman is wrong, I’m not saying there is a problem criticizing Obama, I am saying that THIS IS HOW IT IS GOING TO TURN OUT. THIS IS HOW THIS IS GOING TO PLAY OUT.

    Say whatever the fuck you want. I honestly can not take another round of “WHAT IS SO UBER AWESOME ABOUT DEMOCRATS IS THAT WE CRITICIZE OURSELVES IN ORDER TO KEEP OURSELVES HONEST” and similar self-congratulatory backslapping followed up by two hundred commenters telling me I can’t handle dissent and rushing to preserve their freedom to say whatever they want about the President.

    All I am saying is THIS IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING.

    And you know what is going to move the overton window to the left? Successful liberal policies enacted. Not progressives on television joining hands with Terry Jeffrey and shitting all over the President from “teh left.”

    Media Matters knows the drill.

  31. 31
    liberal says:

    …or because it provides a vehicle for consuming more cilantro…

    YUM!

  32. 32
    Mark S. says:

    @TheOfficialHatOnMyCat:

    Fine with me if he manages to somehow get the GOP nomination next time.

    Me too. I’m not saying he’s a terribly strong candidate. He would scare the hell out of moderates.

    Speaking of epic fail, almost that entire field was epic fail. Romney, Thompson, and above all Giuliani were a Murderers Row of Fail.

  33. 33
    AhabTRuler says:

    Someone’s going to have to tell me the rules. I don’t "trash" Obama, but there are a lot of times I don’t automatically agree with some argument or policy, and most issues seem more complex than ‘are you with the President or are you with the wingnuts’. Does even thinking that put me back in DFH-better-to-shut-up category?

    Just relax and meditate on this website’s tagline.

    And remember, the DFH’s were right. Repeat as often and as loudly as necessary.

  34. 34
    Comrade Stuck says:

    So, the assumption is that if Krugman had not said anything and if we were all more supportive that CNN wouldn’t be doing that?

    There are no "rules". The problem is Krugman thinks he’s the only person on the planet who has the right formula, and is getting more and more shrill every day. That’s OK in itself, but when you start to triangulate with pure wingnuts for support, then you cross into PUMA territory. At least that’s how some of us take it, and say as much. No one has told you to shut up have they?

  35. 35
    AhabTRuler says:

    THIS IS HOW IT IS GOING TO TURN OUT. THIS IS HOW THIS IS GOING TO PLAY OUT.

    Yes, but was there ever any doubt? I mean, I’m used to it, but I have been here all along.

  36. 36
    DougJ says:

    I don’t necessarily buy the Overton window thing completely. Part of why I think the Krugman criticism is good is that the Republican critique is worthless and every administration needs substantive criticism.

  37. 37
    DougJ says:

    “WHAT IS SO UBER AWESOME ABOUT DEMOCRATS IS THAT WE CRITICIZE OURSELVES IN ORDER TO KEEP OURSELVES HONEST”

    I think that really is true, though. I know it’s annoying, but that doesn’t make it less true.

  38. 38
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:

    …and most issues seem more complex than ‘are you with the President or are you with the wingnuts’.

    Given that Obama is backing a set of policies to take money out of our pocket and give it to the criminal banking scum, I don’t understand all the support Obama/Geithner are getting.

    It’s not like Krugman et al. are saying Obama should be impeached, or that the Rethuglicans have a better solution. They’re calling bullshit on total bullshit.

  39. 39
    AhabTRuler says:

    I think that really is true, though. I know it’s annoying, but that doesn’t make it less true.

    Plus the alternative, marching in lock-step over a cliff, ain’t exactly appealing.

  40. 40
    Micheline says:

    @DougJ: Krugman is starting to sound like a broken record. Even though I agree with him about the plan that doesn’t mean that I agree with how the way he goes about criticizing it.

  41. 41
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    I think that really is true, though. I know it’s annoying, but that doesn’t make it less true.

    I don’t disagree with this, but at some point the "substantial criticism" crosses into condemnation and is thereby off the reservation. Krugman seems to be getting there fast. And he does not have a crystal ball, unless one came with his Nobel prize.

  42. 42
    DougJ says:

    In fact, fine with me if any of the current crop of attention-seekers gets it.

    I agree. It’s an incredibly weak group.

    The one who really scares me is Newt. He’d be a very formidable general election candidate.

  43. 43
    Ash Can says:

    @D-Chance.: How does this compare with the G20 trips of previous presidents? For all we can tell from the article, this may be SOP, with the only real difference about Obama’s entourage being that it includes additional security due to his blackness (read: target-ness).

  44. 44
    DougJ says:

    Krugman is starting to sound like a broken record. Even though I agree with him about the plan that doesn’t mean that I agree with how the way he goes about it.

    Krugman annoys me a lot of the time and I think he knows nothing about politics. But if it turns out we really do have to nationalize the banks — which I think could happen — we’re going to be glad he’s been yakking about it for the past six months.

  45. 45
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    He’d be a very formidable general election candidate

    Yes. If he was running against Herpes.

  46. 46
    Micheline says:

    @liberal: What about the bondholders who include pension funds, university endowment funds and the like. We need to be careful in characterizing all participants as crooks.

  47. 47
    liberal says:

    @DougJ:

    Part of why I think the Krugman criticism is good is that the Republican critique is worthless and every administration needs substantive criticism.

    The other part has to do with the fact that the criticism is in regard to one of the greatest thefts in history (trillions of dollars from taxpayers to the banks).

  48. 48
    El Cid says:

    @John Cole: I admit to being entirely confused. I honestly do not know what the takeaway is, then. Surely all this hubbub simply can’t be about Krugman.

  49. 49
    DougJ says:

    By the way, I’m losing power on this Mac so I probably don’t have time to write a post, but I’ve been listening to the most entertaining monologue by a guy who claims to be a bigwig at Morgan Stanley in the row in the front of me on my flight. He’s blamed the subprime crisis on CRAs, botched the list of countries in the G-20, badly misranked the countries of the world by GDP (he claimed Canada’s was larger than China’s) and yet most of what he’s said is accurate and intelligent. It’s very strange.

  50. 50
    Clambone says:

    I posted this elsewhere, but what the hell:

    In a Bloggingheads discussion with Bob Wright, Mickey Kaus justified his obsession with anti-Democratic sex scandals by saying that he had additional information that convinced him that the scandal was real. He said that by publishing rumors (he was specifically talking about rumors he was pimping that Hillary was a lesbian, which he thought had 50/50% odds of being true) he "immediately got emails" from many, many individuals with stuff to add. "I found out independently that it was almost certainly false," he said. With the Edwards rumor, he claimed to have independent evidence that it might be true.

    Well… what about those emails? What about that additional information? He never quoted any of it. He certainly didn’t publish the authors who wrote to him. He never does! He never has!

    But, of course, there’s no mystery about what’s going on here. Kaus isn’t defending a principle that he believes in. He just hates liberals.

    http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlo.....t=00:51:59

  51. 51
    DougJ says:

    Yes. If he was running against Herpes.

    What is he runs with herpes?

  52. 52
    El Cid says:

    @DougJ:

    But if it turns out we really do have to nationalize the banks—which I think could happen—we’re going to be glad he’s been yakking about it for the past six months.

    The banks which prove to be insolvent. Important distinction.

  53. 53
    DougJ says:

    The banks which prove to be insolvent. Important distinction.

    Agreed.

  54. 54
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    What is he runs with herpes?

    That’s way too deep for my meager brain-fu.

  55. 55
    John Cole says:

    @DougJ: That is just it. The fact that he wants to nationalize the banks will NEVER make it into the snippets and segments. All that will make it in is the trashing of the current plan, and none of the alternatives.

    I would love it if he went on television and said “We may need to spend 5 trillion or more nationalizing insolvent banks.” But that won’t happen, and instead, all we will hear is “Even Nobel prize winning SOROS LEFT HARDCORE LEFTY LEFOTCRAT DEFEATOCRAT LEFT LEFT IN OBAMA’S POCKET Paul Krugman sez OBAMA’S PLAN SUCKS.”

    Go read the Newsweek story. All it contains is three pages of how awesome and smart Krugman is and how he thinks Obama sucks. Nothing about the nuances of what is going on, nothing about how Krugman is coming at things from a more progressive viewpoint, none of it. Just ‘Krugman is smart and he thinks Obama and Geithner suck.”

    He is letting himself be a useful idiot.

  56. 56
    Micheline says:

    @DougJ: Look I don’t see this plan and nationalization as mutually exclusive. Moreover, I think that there should be more time to plan for nationalizing the banks. There’s no room for error because it’s so risky.

  57. 57
    liberal says:

    @Micheline:

    Look I don’t see this plan and nationalization as mutually exclusive.

    They’re not mutually exclusive. That doesn’t mean that the current fraudulent public/private scheme proposed by Geithner isn’t absurd.

  58. 58
    El Cid says:

    Given that Obama is backing a set of policies to take money out of our pocket and give it to the criminal banking scum, I don’t understand all the support Obama/Geithner are getting.

    In fairness, the argument of many observers is that the Geithner plan may end up removing less from your pocket than any other approach, including ‘letting them fail’, which would remove money from pockets in lots of other ways, including the prevention of money from entering said pockets in the first place.

  59. 59
    liberal says:

    @Micheline:

    Moreover, I think that there should be more time to plan for nationalizing the banks. There’s no room for error because it’s so risky.

    Why? All indications are that e.g. Citi and BofA are insolvent, period.

    The problem with the current course is that it’s either not going to be enough capital to fix them, unless a grotesque injustice is committed (viz, transferring hundreds of billions of dollars to them from the taxpayers).

  60. 60
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:

    …the argument of many observers is that the Geithner plan may end up removing less from your pocket than any other approach…

    That’s just nonsense.

    The mere structure of the Geithner plan is an obvious fraud. The "price discovery" bit is just nonsense, because the government is putting up almost all the money, the loans are non-recourse, etc etc.

  61. 61

    Capitalism!

    Oh, look! I take Seroquel. Unlike TheHatOnMyCat, though, I’m not suing anyone. I can’t sleep without it.

    As for Krugman, the problem isn’t that he’s criticizing Obama. It’s that he’s doing it in just about the most destructive way possible. He includes the argument that Geithner is just a tool of Wall Street. He presents his arguments not only with no sense that he might be wrong, but that you have to be stupid not to agree with him. There are subjects where that is the case. This isn’t one of them.

  62. 62
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    He is letting himself be a useful idiot.

    On politics that is obvious. It is why Obama is presnit and he’s not, or any other would be wizard. Politics always has a vote, and I don’t doubt Obama et al have been preparing to nationalize the banks as Krugman wants, but knows that the culture in this country will only accept it when all else has been tried and not worked.

    If he does it before the public is ready, and yes thereby the politics, it will likely fail because the governed won’t consent. And yes, it’s big shit sandwich to try solving the problem using the asshats that caused it, and making them richer, and I believe it will fail. Then and only then will the country accept the last resort, imho.

    Krugman is an academic and a good one. He’s knows nothing about governing and should consider that before he gets all indignant.

  63. 63
    Alan says:

    4.) Capitalism!

    The whole insurance industry needs to be forced nonprofit…or nationalized.

  64. 64
    liberal says:

    @Micheline:

    What about the bondholders who include pension funds, university endowment funds and the like. We need to be careful in characterizing all participants as crooks.

    Yes, the bondholders aren’t all crooks. However, many of them are undoubtably rich parasites. Furthermore, the bondholders are certainly not from the poorer segments of society; the working poor have almost no assets.

  65. 65
    kay says:

    @Ash Can:

    I followed the link. 200 of Obama’s 500 "friends" going to London are Secret Service.
    It reads like one of those every-four-years articles about Air Force One. Generic.
    I think we can safely assume Republicans will claim this entourage is unique to Obama, though.
    Obama and his "friends". From…Chicago.

  66. 66
    Mike in NC says:

    Standing in the on-deck circle are Mr. Sanford, Mittens, and the Wasilla wingnut.

    At this point my money would be on Gingrich/Sanford 2012. Two white male self-styled Libertarian Republicans from neighboring Southern states. Newt may regret the whole converting to a Catholic thing, though. (Jeb Bush probably does, too.) The Fundies will not be amused.

    @D-Chance.: How does this compare with the G20 trips of previous presidents? For all we can tell from the article, this may be SOP, with the only real difference about Obama’s entourage being that it includes additional security due to his blackness (read: target-ness).

    People forget that whenever Dubya traveled abroad he flew coach on USAir and insisted on hitchhiking from the airport to the Holiday Inn to prove his frugality.

  67. 67
    liberal says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    He includes the argument that Geithner is just a tool of Wall Street. He presents his arguments not only with no sense that he might be wrong, but that you have to be stupid not to agree with him.

    Well, you would have to be stupid to think that Geithner is not just a tool of Wall Street, given the data.

  68. 68
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    "And you know what is going to move the overton window to the left? Successful liberal policies enacted."

    That’s exactly right, and that is why all of this angst about Krugman is a tempest in a teapot. Let him say what he wants. Let the emmessemm fucktards and the brain dead rethuglicans spin it into oblivion. At the end of the day, all that’s going to matter is what WORKS, in terms of alleviating the mess that we are in — and neither Krugman nor any other fucking genius KNOWS what that is going to be.

    And btw this is one of the things I respect about Obama — he really does seem to tune out all this noise, noise, noise, NOISE.

  69. 69
    liberal says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    If he does it before the public is ready, and yes thereby the politics, it will likely fail because the governed won’t consent.

    Do you have any actual polling data to suggest that people would object if Citibank and Bank of America were thrown into nationalization/receivership/conservatorship/preprivatization/whatever?

    IMHO the main objection is from Wall St, not Main St.

  70. 70
    El Cid says:

    @liberal:

    The mere structure of the Geithner plan is an obvious fraud. The "price discovery" bit is just nonsense, because the government is putting up almost all the money, the loans are non-recourse, etc etc.

    Maybe it is nonsense. I can’t say. I couldn’t tell you myself. That’s why I quote people like Nouriel Roubini a lot, who find the Geithner plan probably the least worst option for selling of the toxic assets of solvent institutions. Maybe he’s wrong; how would I know? And I say ‘least worst’ for a reason — because all options are bad.

  71. 71
    srv says:

    I’m having a total brainfart and teh google isn’t helping.

    What’s that website where you type your name in and it gives you your revolutionary name? Like Tunch Cole would be "Brother Napalm Hairballs of Endless Love" or some such.

  72. 72
    AhabTRuler says:

    all this noise, noise, noise, NOISE.

    Is there any escape…from NOISE?

  73. 73
  74. 74
    liberal says:

    @DougJ:

    The one who really scares me is Newt. He’d be a very formidable general election candidate.

    Huh. That’s not my sense. My take is that Newt isn’t very charismatic, and comes across as an insincere bullshit artist. Not to mention that even with IOKIYAR operating, he’s been divorced too many times under questionable circumstances for people to look past.

    I don’t think he’ll get far.

  75. 75
    liberal says:

    @John Cole:

    He is letting himself be a useful idiot.

    You’re right. Clearly no one should criticize Obama unless they’re prepared to fund and roll out their own newsmagazine, one over which they have full editorial control, if they want to have a broader impact.

  76. 76
    John Cole says:

    @liberal: Citibank is a multinational corporation with liabilities in the TRILLIONS. I’m sure BoA is right up there with them.

    Did you not listen to Geithner at all this week asking for expanded authority? There isn’t even consensus they could “nationalize” these corps you keep saying we should nationalize. He specifically addressed the problem with AIG- we could no nothing and watch the H-bomb go off, or we could do something awful and make things less unpleasant.

    Yes, this sucks. But this is the kind of criticism that drives me nuts. Fine. We are going to nationalize citibank. How do you propose going about it. How much will it cost. Who gets paid off? How long will it take to unwind all their obigations? What will happen to bondholders. What will the impact be on everyone’s pension? The world economy. Will anyone ever do business with American base multinationals anymore? What will happen to the dollar.

    Simply yelling “looting” and “nationalize” is as dumb as Republicans running around with purple fingers claiming we won in Iraq. And I should know. I was one of those idiots.

  77. 77
    liberal says:

    @El Cid:

    Maybe it is nonsense. I can’t say.

    Of course it’s nonsense: there’s an option included with the package, so it’s not clear how much of the price is on the actual asset, and how much is on the option.

    Not to mention that the whole thing is susceptible to gaming, even by the banks themselves.

    That’s why I quote people like Nouriel Roubini a lot, who find the Geithner plan probably the least worst option for selling of the toxic assets of solvent institutions. Maybe he’s wrong; how would I know?

    Come on, man. Usually I have a lot of respect for your posts, but that’s just pathetic appeal to authority.

    IIRC Roubini’s support was pretty tepid, and he admitted it was a crap deal for the taxpaying public.

    And I say ‘least worst’ for a reason—because all options are bad.

    You say "least worst" because you’re wrong. The least worst option is to immediately seize the large insolvent banks like Citibank and Bank of America, open their books, unwind them in a rational fashion instead of just robbing the rest of us by throwing money at them, and give the bondholders a substantial haircut.

  78. 78
    John Cole says:

    @liberal: You are telling me he could not force Newsweek to include some portion of a detailed discussion of what is going on in the three page interview with him? He is a noble prize winning economist. He could negotiate ground rules.

  79. 79
    Ed Marshall says:

    Money is a wierd thing, it’s not wealth, it’s not capital, it’s not value, it’s money. Terms like "insolvency" keep getting thrown around and if you think a bank becomes insolvent and needs closing down if it’s balance sheet tips over that’s nuts.

    BoA, AGI, etc.. may really be basketcases with impossible losses that need to be taken into recievership, but it’s not going to be cheap. It will be really, really, fucking expensive. The sums of money sunk into plugging up the holes to keep the giant piles of money from disappearing would be enormous. If it has to be done, it’s what WILL be done. The other option is too gruesome for anyone of any political persuasion to contemplate.

    Let them try and sort this out, the loans under the Geithner plan will be a minor footnote in financial history if they don’t work and you should be hoping like hell they do work. I get that it’s unfair, it’s bullshit on a number of different levels but no way in hell is it worth what it would cost to bail this mess out just to spite the players who brought us this mess.

  80. 80
    mm says:

    The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency was very good.

  81. 81
  82. 82
    kay says:

    @Mike in NC:

    People forget that whenever Dubya traveled abroad he flew coach on USAir and insisted on hitchhiking from the airport to the Holiday Inn to prove his frugality.

    They don’t think he’s the "real" President, so they resent him getting the trappings.
    On a lighter note, Biden apparently asks strangers if they want a ride on his plane.
    I think Biden is funny, and I think his "gaffes" are endearing. If he’s genuinely giddy at the notion that he merits a dedicated plane, I think that’s the sane reaction to being given a plane.
    Cheney felt he deserved that thing.

  83. 83
    Laura W says:

    Unitarian Jihad Name Generator.

    Wow.
    Matron Cat-o-nine-tails of Lovingkindness

  84. 84
    srv says:

    @John Cole: Thanks, Brother Crimson Fire of Lovingkindness!

  85. 85
    liberal says:

    @John Cole:

    Did you not listen to Geithner at all this week asking for expanded authority?

    Yes, and I read the very good post by Yves Smith over at NakedCapitalism, which pointed out that there’s a possibility they’ll use said authority to rob us even blinder.

    There isn’t even consensus they could “nationalize” these corps you keep saying we should nationalize. He specifically addressed the problem with AIG- we could no nothing and watch the H-bomb go off, or we could do something awful and make things less unpleasant.

    So what? (a) You don’t know until you’ve tried, and (b) if we need a statute to do it, it’s not at all clear the Republicans would try to stop it, if you presented it in the right way.

    Yes, this sucks. But this is the kind of criticism that drives me nuts. Fine. We are going to nationalize citibank. How do you propose going about it.

    Like you go about seizing any large insolvent institution.

    How much will it cost. Who gets paid off?

    Shareholders get wiped out, entirely. Bondholders take a large haircut. Depositors are protected by FDIC.

    How long will it take to unwind all their obigations?

    Those obligations have to be unwound under any plan, so this objection is irrelevant.

    What will happen to bondholders.

    Haircut, as a percentage basis, debt-for-equity swap, etc.

    What will the impact be on everyone’s pension? The world economy. Will anyone ever do business with American base multinationals anymore? What will happen to the dollar.

    Again, those problems exist under any scheme. The larger the insolvency, the larger all of those problems.

    For example, the current policy path will likelier lead to a nasty bout of inflation, which will hammer the dollar.

    As for American-based multinationals: the risk that other powers look askance at us can be mitigated by treating the powerful (China, etc) among the bondholders with respect and equality (among the other bondholders), but that doesn’t entail making them in particular whole. And going forward, this crisis shows that we need to sharply curtail the multinational model anyway.

  86. 86
    Matron Cat-o-nine-tails of Lovingkindness says:

    May as well get this approved now. Sure to come in handy one day soon.

  87. 87
    NonWonderDog says:

    @AhabTRuler:
    When all of a sudden, WHAM. The horrible noise comes in, and completely destroys your orgasm, on the Playboy channel.

    That sound is more important than you. That sound is more important than your entire life. And it will stop you from having an orgasm, on the Playboy channel.

  88. 88
    Arachnae says:

    That CNN continues to offer the floor to Stephen Moore without ALWAYS pointing out that he is the author of 2004’s prescient "Bullish on Bush: How George Bush’s Ownership Society Will Make America Stronger" is nothing short of journalist malpractice.

  89. 89
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Arachnae: CNN = Journalistic malpractice, that is if you consider what CNN does to be journalism…which I don’t.

  90. 90
    Ditka says:

    Does anybody think that it would be helpful in moving the Overton window on race if Sharpton and Jackson were constantly complaining that Obama wasn’t doing enough?

    Why would anybody think it’s different with Krugman and the economy?

    There’s a reason we haven’t heard much from Sharpton and Jackson recently, they understand the politics* and know the best way of helping is to lay low for a while and let things play out. It’s too late for Krugman to do this now but he should have given Obama more room to manoeuvre before cutting his nuts out.

    *If Sharpton does a Newsweek cover saying "Obama is wrong" I reserve the right to withdraw this statement.

  91. 91
    liberal says:

    @Ed Marshall:

    Terms like "insolvency" keep getting thrown around and if you think a bank becomes insolvent and needs closing down if it’s balance sheet tips over that’s nuts.

    LOL! Are you for real?

    BoA, AGI, etc.. may really be basketcases with impossible losses that need to be taken into recievership, but it’s not going to be cheap. It will be really, really, fucking expensive. … Let them try and sort this out, the loans under the Geithner plan will be a minor footnote in financial history if they don’t work and you should be hoping like hell they do work. I get that it’s unfair, it’s bullshit on a number of different levels but no way in hell is it worth what it would cost to bail this mess out just to spite the players who brought us this mess.

    You’re inconsistent. If the Geithner plan is strong enough to save the banks, then receivership would be cheap, because the Geithner plan as currently scaled isn’t all that large as compared to the total put up by the Fed and Treasury so far, IIRC. OTOH, if things really are as bad as you say they are, then the only alternatives to actions like cancelling the CDSs and giving pretty big haircuts to bondholders are printing up tens of trillions of $s and handing it to the banks.

    I’ll take nationalization.

  92. 92
    jwb says:

    Part of me is hoping that the Obama administration is doing as much to look after Krugman as the administration is obviously doing to look after David Brooks. Because I think Krugman can be at least as useful if he is skilfully managed. And quite frankly Krugman is less politically savvy than Brooks (I can’t believe I said that, but I hope you take my point) and so should, to some extent, be easier to manage. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that the administration needs (or even wants) Krugman’s agreement; it seems to me, however, that some prudent attention could help him focus his dissent in useful directions.

  93. 93
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @liberal:

    Do you have any actual polling data to suggest that people would object if Citibank and Bank of America were thrown into nationalization/receivership/conservatorship/preprivatization/whatever?

    No, and I suspect if there is polling it would be wholly useless. You are talking about not just a lot of money and expanded government, but citizens dealing with rules directly from beaurocrats that they likely will not like much. Not to mention all sorts of other unforeseen consequences affecting peoples daily lives that they have never experienced.

    Right now, people want for the government they have to work properly, after 8 years of wingnut mis-governance. That does not mean they want more government in their lives. This has been a long standing characteristic of the American public, in case you missed it.

    Obama has to walk a thin line on this to remain popular and with power to keep making the big progressive changes you expect..

  94. 94
    Calouste says:

    @liberal:

    And Newt will be 69 in 2012, and have been out of office for more than a decade. People are going to ask themselves what he has done during that decade, and it ain’t much besides blabbering on Fox.

  95. 95

    Holy fucking shit. Bemidji State is about to beat Cornell and go to the Frozen Four. This is unreal. They were the lowest seeded team in the tournament. #4 seed Miami is going, but they’re a better team than that that stumbled down the stretch. It’s a damned shame Air Force couldn’t score one more goal last night. They would be the two least likely teams ever to make the Frozen Four, and they would have made it in the same year, and the coaches are brothers.

  96. 96
    Arachnae says:

    Arab, be that as it very well may be, Moore should be required by law to have to go around with the dustjacket of that little work of genius stapled to his forehead at all times.

  97. 97
    jl says:

    The Newsweek article on Krugman was disappointing -it was a shallow, stereotypical, celebrity driven gossip piece written by Evan Thomas, a lazy, uninformed, conventional wisdom artiste of the lowest order.

    First off, Krugman is not a ‘lefty’ in terms of his economic analysis, which despite the rep given to him by headless nothings in the press corpt, plays his economic analysis as straight as anyone in the business. He was certainly not considered a ‘lefty’ in the 90s when he was defending globalization and free trade.

    Economists who agree with Krugman about the Geithner bailout plan and Obama’s bank policy in general span the ideological spectrum. They include dour centrists like Martin Wolf of the Financial Times, and moderate conservatives like Willem Buiter of the London School of Economics, and experienced hands-on financial panic experts like Simon Johnson, who used the be with the IMF (not a real lefty place).

    In fact, Krugman is positively polite and supine compared to Wolf and Buiter. Even Stiglitz, who called tje Geithner plan plain theft is gentile and polite compared to them.

    If you go to the Talkingpointsmemo of March 28 and read the post ‘SuperSized, Pt. 2’ and follow the link to a recent Simon Johnson article, you will find Johnson describing the current situation in the US as the same as in a dozen banana republics, emerging markets, and tinpot dictatorships he had to bail out when he was at the IMF. The US is being ruled by a corrupt crony capitalist financial oligarchy and plutocracy, and if they are not ‘broken’ (those are Johnsons words -he basically means ‘crushed’) the US economy will not recover. And Johnson is polite compared to Martin and Buiter.

    So, that kind of opposition will get more attention if the Obama plans do not produce results, and I think does open up the opportunity for an Overton Window shift.

    Cole does have a point -there will be competition for public approval from the Great Orange Satan (I mean Boehner, here) and Palin and Limbaugh. But if Obama’s plan does not work, those wingnut goofballs will have no competition for leadership and will win by default. I do not want to prejudge, but while Summers may be very smart, he is NOT an innovative thinker at all, and pride and stubborness may rule his brain when he is in a corner (though I hope I underestimate him). Geithner may have been sincere when he said there was no plan B. If those are true, then the Obama financial braintrust will prove itself completely impotent and bankrupt, and they will have to go, and if Obama does not fire them with prejudice, his administration may fail.

    So, if Krugman thinks he is right (and there is a very good chance that he is, since he has so much company among competent economists on this) then I think it is best for the country that he keeps pressing on, and become really shrill and harsh (that is, IMHO, truly honest), rather than continuing the rather subdued and polite performance he has turned in so far.

    Another danger, of course is that this intellectual debate has to be filtered through an idiot press, who are capable of understanding the Boehner/Palin/Limbaugh side, but I fear can not even imagine how to even attempt the necessary effort to comprehend the other side.

  98. 98
    liberal says:

    @Ditka:

    It’s too late for Krugman to do this now but he should have given Obama more room to manoeuvre before cutting his nuts out.

    Obama has plenty of room to maneuver. He could wake up tomorrow and say to himself, "I’m going to stop doing Wall St’s bidding and actually take up plans which are both fairer and more efficient."

    It’s not like there’s any evidence the actual voting public would object.

  99. 99
    jl says:

    Oh oh, took my mind off the game! Thought it would take just a minute. Darn you Balloon Juice (while shaking fist)

  100. 100
    liberal says:

    @jl:

    I do not want to prejudge, but while Summers may be very smart…

    It’s debatable whether he’s smart—that’s what people say, sure. But there’s a ton of smart people out there.

    The important question is, is he a particularly astute economist, on the issues of the day? Given his role in preventing the regulation of derivatives in the 1990s, and (AFAICT) his inability to see the housing bubble for what it was (at least, until relatively late in the game), he doesn’t appear very astute at all.

  101. 101
    jl says:

    Krugman did not cut Obama’s whatevers off. As I said, compared to others, from across ideological spectrum, Krugman has been quite polite. Of course, by US Washington press corps standards, nothing short of kissing ass 24/7 is acceptable, so from their viewpoint, Krugman is out of control.

    But, in Eisenhower’s words: they are few and stupid. Too bad they control our national debate.

  102. 102
    Throwin Stones says:

    @J. Michael Neal:
    Way to go Redhawks!

  103. 103
    John Cole says:

    My God. It is like the last ten years never happened. This not a matter of whether or not Krugman is being polite or not, whether he is right or not, etc. This is a matter of what will happen in the media. That is all I am saying. If it were a matter of being polite or not, I can point you to some Yves Smith posts or Mark Denninger posts that would singe your eyebrows as you read them.

    What I am saying is that folks who think this is going to shift the overton window to the left are wrong. All this is going to be is something the media (remember them- the folks who brought you Al Gore’s sigh and the guy you want to have a beerwith) uses over and voer again to attack the President. There will be no debate over the issues. There will be no nuance.

    There will only be “Really smart nobel economist lefty Democrat agrees with Republicans that Obama sucks.”

    And liberal, you are just vastly over-simplifying the case of nationalization.

  104. 104
    El Cid says:

    @ liberal: I most certainly did not present a pathetic appeal to authority. That was stupid and wrongly dismissive.

    If you will read what I actually read, I did not demand anyone agree with Roubini’s opinion [or more precisely, what I presented to be his opinion] by authority. I explained the reason I cited him. It is the narrative version of a footnote. To do anything else would be lying, or the equivalent of fraud.

    If I felt I had something directly to say based on my direct investigation of the known descriptions of Geithner’s plan combined with knowledge of the environment, then I would have relied on my direct argument.

    Since I did not and do not, I cited my source. I demanded no one agree with it.

  105. 105

    @Throwin Stones: I’d say that Miami is guaranteed a spot in the final, since there’s no way Bemidji could beat them, except that I thought there was no way Bemidji could beat Notre Dame yesterday. Then, given how gassed they looked during the last ten minutes last night, I said that there’s no way Bemidji could beat Cornell. Shows what I know. My bracket was toast by the time the tournament was five hours old.

  106. 106
    srv says:

    @John Cole:

    Yes, this sucks. But this is the kind of criticism that drives me nuts. Fine. We are going to nationalize citibank. How do you propose going about it. How much will it cost. Who gets paid off? How long will it take to unwind all their obigations? What will happen to bondholders. What will the impact be on everyone’s pension? The world economy. Will anyone ever do business with American base multinationals anymore? What will happen to the dollar.

    We all know that’s going to happen anyway.

    Somebody has to jump in front of the train wreck, and I don’t envy them, but a long, agonizing affair with explosions staggerd every few months is going to wreak hell on the market, bonds and 401Ks anyhow.

    When Alt-A’s start melting down in late summer, and things aren’t better, the "We told you it wasn’t enough helicopters", "It’s the Sweden, stupid!" and the "Socialism is the problem" crowd are going to be cooing and the public is going to be a lot less receptive to politically-savvy realist econo-experimentation.

    I fear Obama’s much-loved (at least here) centrist pragmatism, which would have worked well at any other time is not going to work here. They’re more adverse to risk than hobbled by political chains. Or they just really don’t have any idea what really will work (what I think). The terrified public doesn’t give a damn right now if it’s 1.2T or 1.8T or 2.5T. They just want the shit to work.

  107. 107
    different church-lady says:

    Fortunately the wingnuts and howler monkeys have spent so much time vilifying Krugman over the past 5 years (at least) that he is now Kryptonite to them.

    The genuine nutbags just don’t know what to do — they hate Obama, but they’ve been hating Krugman even longer, so they don’t know which guy they hate to align with.

    Because there’s one thing a wingnut absolutely CANNOT stand to do, and that’s agree with a liberal — even when that liberal is attacking another liberal.

  108. 108
    Ditka says:

    The courts, the senate, the international community and Wall St. can still object.

    Announcing that you are going with a plan of nationalization before you have the power and the ability to do so could cause months of extra chaos, loss of jobs/pensions/taxpayers money etc.

    (troll question) Why would you want Geithner to be your bank manager?

  109. 109
    Ditka says:

    Who else thinks Sharpton constantly criticizing Obama on race would help the debate. Regardless of the merits of the argument.

  110. 110
    Ash Can says:

    @kay: Exactly. I know D Chance posts a lot of crap, but, in the interest of keeping an open mind, I clicked through to the article he linked. In addition, profligacy strikes me as pretty far out-of-character for Obama, and I was wondering where this idea was coming from. When I read the article, I saw that there was no "there" there — the article talks about all the people coming with him, but doesn’t say one word about whether this is in any way unusual for a president traveling abroad to a major international summit meeting. In other words, like you, I call bullshit.

  111. 111
    jmbl says:

    @103 John Cole: Well, then we may be in for some very unfortunate long term reality therapy, because there is a very good chance that either the Geithner plan will fail outright (banks won’t sell) or there will be big taxpayer subsidy for not much effect. And if the O-team fails, and has no good excuses, and no alternative plan, O will fail. That is not good.

    So, not sure what you are suggesting be done. There will be a chorus of economists saying what Krugman is saying, which will grow (because a host of useless fence sitting economists will jump on the next told-you-so moment, that is their nature), regardless of what he does.

    Maybe I misunderstand your position, but it sounds like a counsel of despair to me. I agree with Krugman et al, should I shut up in my little circle of influence?

  112. 112
    Throwin Stones says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I haven’t followed MU Hockey very closely this year, time constraints, etc. I was able to catch a couple games last year, and the new arena is really nice. I’ll have to make it a point to listen or watch. It’s two weekends from now, correct?

  113. 113

    @Throwin Stones: Correct. Semifinals on Thursday April 9, final on Saturday April 11. I’d bet that the Miami/Bemidji semi will be the afternoon game.

  114. 114
    jl says:

    jmbl was jl. How did that handle change all of a sudden? I didn’t change anything.

    Anyway, I am confused and awaiting advice from Balloon Juice Central Command.

    I mean, what can be done? Pound on the press to do a decent job? I guess that is all we can do. But look at that last press conference. 90% of them are hopeless, or in the tank. What is the point of sending an e-mail to that very biased news anchor (was that King, the ex-music-video jock?) who reads Human Events to Cheney in front of the whole country, and is proud of it. That SO wingnut, and SO 50s (in a bad way), and SO hopeless. That is like some bad satire in Wonkette, except it is real.

    I’m scared now. Maybe I’ll head to the Northwest Territories until it all blows over. I know how to deal with that stuff up there.

  115. 115
    Throwin Stones says:

    @J. Michael Neal:
    Thanks. I just found the website. Too bad I can’t get to DC.

  116. 116
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Ditka:

    Who else thinks Sharpton constantly criticizing Obama on race would help the debate. Regardless of the merits of the argument.

    That has to be one of the stupidest comparisons I have read in quite some time.

  117. 117
    Ed Marshall says:

    I think it will work because the hedge funds they bring in as players aren’t even looking to make money, they want a reputation. The banks don’t give a piss what kind of bath they take, they just want out.

    If the funds game the system and arb things out or the banks act stingy, the next move isn’t nationalization. The next move is a mob opening up a manhole cover on Wall St. and marching people out in a line to shoot them in the back of the head, throw them down the hole and moving on.

  118. 118
    Ash says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Yes, they have the afternoon game. BU-UVM is the evening one. UGH.

    And at this point everything Krugman says or does just grates on the nerves. I get where he’s coming from, but I can’t help thinking that he’s basically just whoring himself out for the attention and soapbox these days. I can almost sense the glee in his voice every time he’s given another platform to shout from.

  119. 119
    Beej says:

    Wow, Tunch is looking really healthy these days! Congratulations, John. Oh, and congratulate Tunch too. I’m sure he’s been heroically tolerating the reducing regimen.

  120. 120
    El Cid says:

    The next move is a mob opening up a manhole cover on Wall St. and marching people out in a line to shoot them in the back of the head, throw them down the hole and moving on.

    This is a horrible thing to suggest. The consequences upon the water system for all those Wall Street toxins falling into it might be unrecoverable.

  121. 121
    John Cole says:

    I agree with Krugman et al, should I shut up in my little circle of influence?

    If Paul Krugman is despairing, I am downright emo. I seriously am just going to shut down this blog if I have to tell every single damned commenter in every single damned thread that I personally don’t care if you criticize Obama. I also am not telling you to shut up, I’m not telling Paul Krugman to shut up, and on and on.

    What I am saying is that Paul Krugman should at least be smart enough to realize his commentary is not going to be used to shift the paradigm to the left. There are no good answers here. None. What we are arguing about is what is the “least bad” option. Krugman thinks nationalizing everything that moves is the right approach. It might be useful if he, in his soon to be numerous media appearances, would explain all the options in front of us beyond telling us how he despairs. It would be nice if he would point out that his criticisms are not just him agreeing with Republicans that Obama sucks.

    Likewise, just as you and Paul Krugman can say whatever you want, I am free to point out the impact it will, in my opinion, have. I know how this will be used.

    Anyway, I am confused and awaiting advice from Balloon Juice Central Command.

    Now you are just being snotty.

    And can we at least once note that while some of you are having a great bit of fun pretending that I am trying to silence criticism, I AM PROVIDING YOU A DAMNED FORUM TO DO JUST THAT.

  122. 122
    El Cid says:

    Did you know that whenever there are a few capital letters together in the comments, the mouse hovers over them as a question mark?

    Good night, and good luck.

  123. 123
    ploeg says:

    After careful contemplation of Paul Krugman and the opinions expressed in this forum re: same, I have come to the thoughtful conclusion that I don’t give a shit.

    For it will not matter whether Paul Krugman ever said that Obama is like or not like Bush. All Obama has to do to refute said allegation is call another press conference. Those who are likely to be convinced that Obama is like Bush are the people who would have been convinced that Obama is like Bush anyway.

    For in 18+ months time, it will not matter that Paul Krugman made the cover of Newsweek and conservatives are using that fact to claim that Obama is ugly and nobody likes him. Consider the sources, y’all. People care about results, now more than ever. If the results are bad, that will be enough for us to worry about. If the results are bad, and we get a lot of stories of bankers gaming the programs, then that’s likely to be end of story, Krugman or no Krugman.

    (As an aside, I find it interesting beyond belief that Obama is effectively entrusting his political career, and the future of the Democratic Party, to the notion that the bankers know that this time we’re serious and they need to behave. That’ll be a neat trick.)

    It’s not even going to make a difference as far as the so-called Geithner Plan is concerned. It seems like a done deal regardless of what anybody around here seems to think (though I would hope that, when the CRE shit hits the fan in April, they might reconsider letting technically insolvent firms board the gravy train).

  124. 124

    Hey, I finally figured out how to use Flickr. My cats are headed for fame and glory!

    I also managed to get a video of Eddie walking around. The sound sucks, in part because I didn’t even realize my camera did sound. Also, the room isn’t really this yellow. The place is a mess, but not jaundiced.

  125. 125

    @Throwin Stones: Hah! My father and I go every year, so we’ll be there.

    Of course, the NCAA has reached the point of pissing us off so much that we are probably going to stop doing it soon, and find some other weekend to get together to do something. Maybe catching a Tigers series some place.

    Next year, they want us to pay $200 a ticket to watch a hockey game at Ford Field. For those prices, I want to be able to see the game. In 2012, it’s in Tampa. The warm weather sites are terrible for this. Anaheim in 1999 was a disaster. It needs to be held some place where they follow college hockey.

    In 2011, it’s here in St. Paul. That may be our final participation.

  126. 126
    burnspbesq says:

    Well, lookee here.

    Seems that the United States has an extradition treaty with Spain.

    May have to read the thing and see if it requires the United States to extradite Addington et al if the current investigation results in charges being filed.

  127. 127
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @jmbl:

    should I shut up in my little circle of influence?

    I wish people would quit saying this. It sounds bratty and isn’t operative on this blog.

    And I’m not saying for you to shut up about saying "–should I shut up. It’s just a bogus retort, is all.

    ***This was comment was made 20 minutes ago and then disappeared. so once again.

  128. 128
    Ditka says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    All I meant is that when he speaks, the Overton window moves AWAY from him, regardless of the merits of his arguments.

  129. 129
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I read about this earlier. I do doubt Obama would extradite these characters to Spain, but what it might do is apply pressure (or offer political cover) to start his own investigation.

    Viva la Espanol!!

  130. 130
    KRK says:

    @John Cole:

    John, please don’t lump all of us in the BJ commentitariat in with the "OMG you’re stifling me" crowd; you are dead right about Krugman. But, as has been noted above, your item #5 is baloney, and I anxiously await a retraction.

  131. 131
    jl says:

    I’m sorry that my tongue in cheek comments were taken the wrong way. I was joshing when I should have shown unambiguously that I was asking something in earnest.

    I was seriously asking whether John Cole thought that there was a constructive approach to criticizing Obama, or the policy situation in general, that was not being taken.

    Is there a better way for Krugman, or me, or anyone else, to approach the issues that would be more conducive to moving things in a better direction?

    I recognize that there is a dilemma of trying to make constructive criticism in way that does not allow the right wing to game the situation.

    I fear Cole may be right about this framing problem, and that it has gone the wrong way before. The Overton Window has not opened up for moderates and reasonable people in the past. But it has to open up soon or the country is in deep trouble. How to open it? I think that is an important question.

  132. 132
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @jl:

    How to open it?

    I’m a moderate with a rock.

  133. 133
    Splitting Image says:

    Since people have been bringing up Republican candidates for 2012, I would suggest the biggest threats so far are Chuck Hagel and Jon Huntsman.

    Mike Huckabee is probably the strongest of the candidates who ran last year, but don’t forget he let a convicted rapist free to go kill someone – and that he advocated a 30% sales tax.

    Hagel has been quietly supporting Obama by saying we need reasonable people running things and addressing things in a serious manner, which makes him perfectly qualified to attack Obama in a couple of years on the grounds that he did his best, but what he was doing isn’t working. Huntsman may be able to do the same.

    Any nutjob the Republicans nominate will be Alf Landon redux, recovery or no recovery. Regardless of whether Obama’s efforts are working or not working, no one will win the next election by saying "Obama is a socialist so we need to ban abortions". (Call me an optimist.) If the Republicans are going to stage a comeback, they’ll do it by offering some serious alternatives to what Obama is doing. At the moment only a handful of them seem to be bothering.

    I think the jury is still out on whether the Geithner plan is better than nationalization, but I think that it may be encouraging people to support taxing the hell out of the rich bastards to pay for it (see the AIG bonuses) instead of allowing the rich bastards to claim that the big bad government is stealing their property.

    The ultimate solution to the budget crisis will be the same one that was used in World War 1, the Great Depression, and World War 2 – a massive hike in rich people’s taxes. The sooner people stop believing that a 39% bracket for the super-rich is unbridled socialism, the sooner the country will get there. If the Geithner plan is helping that, then despite its flaws it is contributing to the solution.

  134. 134
    eemom says:

    not to be too vociferous here, but the little point I was trying to make up above is that in these apocalyptic times, it matters less than it used to what ANYBODY says, or how anybody else uses/spins/slants it.

    Nobody — by which I’m meaning actual bodies that vote — has the luxury anymore of being swayed by sheep-shit groupthink tactics of ANY kind. It seems so all-encompassing to those of us in the blogosphere, because we immerse ourselves in it — but we ain’t most of the world.

    If the Geithner approach helps, great. If it doesn’t, I submit that whatever happens then is going to have very little to do with the fact that Krugman whored himself to Newsweek in March ’09.

    And btw, he IS like, totally into it — so fuck him, Nobel or no Nobel.
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c.....er-effect/

  135. 135
    jl says:

    @132: I was hoping for something more gentle (finally spelled that one right).

  136. 136

    Is there a better way for Krugman, or me, or anyone else, to approach the issues that would be more conducive to moving things in a better direction?

    Don’t work from the assumption that the only reason anyone could disagree with you is because they are corrupt. Don’t take the attitude that it is clear exactly what we need to do. This mess is complicated. Nationalization is not a panacea. It would be expensive, it would have large foreign policy repercussions, it leaves some of the big questions unanswered, and, right now, it wouldn’t even be legal.

  137. 137
    DougJ says:

    @liberal

    I was kidding about Newt. He’d lose by 20 points.

  138. 138
    Mark S. says:

    The guy I’m really worried about is Michael Steele.

  139. 139

    The guy I’m really worried about is Michael Steele.

    Me, too. He doesn’t look at all healthy.

  140. 140
    iluvsummr says:

    @Mike in NC:

    People forget that whenever Dubya traveled abroad he flew coach on USAir and insisted on hitchhiking from the airport to the Holiday Inn to prove his frugality.

    LOL!

  141. 141
    passerby says:

    @John Cole:

    Unitarian Jihad Name Generator.

    I am Sister Mutual Assured Destruction of Compassion.

    I shall go forth and tolerate.

    That is all.

  142. 142
    burnspbesq says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    I’m not a criminal lawyer, and I should probably keep my yap shut until I actually read the treaty, but my understanding has always been that extradition is supposed to be pretty much automatic if the offense charged is a crime under the laws of both of the contracting states and all procedural niceties are observed. There have been instances of other countries refusing to extradite their own nationals to stand trial for murder in U.S. states that have the death penalty, and Switzerland routinely refuses to extradite accused tax evaders because its definition of criminal tax fraud is extremely narrow, but other than that …

  143. 143
    Joshua Norton says:

    Expect the Santelli groupies to be screaming socialism or liberal fascism or waving Atlas Shrugged signs tomorrow.

    On noes, they’re messing with the Free unregulated Ponzi scheme Madoff-enabling Market?!?? Why, God, why?? Why do all the good capitalist systems die so young?!!?

  144. 144
    Joshua Norton says:

    Expect the Santelli groupies to be screaming social-ism or liberal fascism or waving Atlas Shrugged signs tomorrow.

    On noes, they’re messing with the Free unregulated Ponzi scheme Madoff-enabling Market?!?? Why, God, why?? Why do all the good capitalist systems die so young?!!?

  145. 145
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I’m not a criminal lawyer, and I should probably keep my yap shut until I actually read the treaty,

    Same here. But I would guess there is a clause or two for wiggling out of such things, especially regarding American government officials. And also whether a single state or country has jurisdiction, though Spain is claiming three or four of it’s citizens were tortured at Gitmo. Sounds more like a case for the Hague, though I don’t think the US ever signed that, or any other treaty allowing it’s citizens to be tried in international courts.

    I just don’t see Obama complying with such an Interpol arrest warrant, but I do see the possibility of him using them to strike a deal with Spain for the US to conduct a criminal investigation in liew of extradition, that would give him political cover at home.

    I would rather see an investigation here myself. Either way, it would mean these black hearted sob’s won’t feel safe traveling anywhere in the world.

  146. 146
    AnneLaurie says:

    I honestly can not take another round of “WHAT IS SO UBER AWESOME ABOUT DEMOCRATS IS THAT WE CRITICIZE OURSELVES IN ORDER TO KEEP OURSELVES HONEST” and similar self-congratulatory backslapping followed up by two hundred commenters telling me I can’t handle dissent and rushing to preserve their freedom to say whatever they want about the President.

    All I am saying is THIS IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING.

    John, it may help your blood pressure if you look at the situation from a slightly different perspective: Obama started his career as a community organizer. Which means he is used to (and most excellently skilled at) running an organization by "working for consensus", a set of skills quite different from the ones needed for running the more usual top-down CEO/military/college/GOP organizations you are most familiar with. In an authoritarian organization, for better or worse, at the end of the day what the Big Kahuna says goes is what goes. Even if he’s the best, most open-minded Big Kahuna in the universe, heading up a team of uniquely gifted & prickly talents — he can ask for input, he can get input he hasn’t asked for, but when hammer meets nail it’s the Big Kahuna’s hammer that gets to choose the nail. And the other members of the team are always aware of this reality; barring things get so bad that grenades get rolled into the colonel’s tent, no private in the army forgets for long that the colonel is the one setting the agenda.

    In a consensus-driven organization, on the other hand, everybody must have a chance to give an opinion… even when their opinion is stupid, crazy, laughable, and wrong. Srlsy, being a successful Community Organizer means knowing that the local Mr. Tinfoil or Ms. Crystal-Bunny will show up at every ghodsdammed meeting and waste everybody else’s time ranting about black helicopters or the necessity for regular high colonics… and that part of the job of being a successful Community Organizer is ensuring that the resident nutball gets a respectful hearing without being permitted to permanently derail the meeting. Because, sad as it may seem, the rest of us skittish flaky primates want to know (even when we don’t articulate it) that "our guy" will take our ideas seriously, even when we’re not sure our ideas are worth taking seriously. When a powerful Community Organizer gives both a center-right "bigot" and a center-left "agitator" preaching spots at his inauguration, for all the raving butthurt that ensues on both ends of the spectrum & for all the sniping about superstitious time-wasting, he is also reassuring the vast quaking 85% of his audience who have no strong feelings in either direction that he will, at another time, be open to the opinions (however formless &/or gormless) of the other 85%. This is important, even when it means that the meetings keep running into overtime and that us sane people have to listen to an awful lot of extremely random crap.

    A large part of Obama’s "surprise upsets" during the primaries, and then the general election campaign, were "surprising" only because so many political junkies and media village idiots had become addicted to the lazy top-down authoritarianism of the standard GOP campaign. He’s still "surprising" a lot of people who can’t quite grasp the dual issue that (a) what gets thrown up on the podium today is not necessarily what’s going to get rammed through as Teh Plan tomorrow; and (b) the ones doing the most talking in the loudest voices are not necessarily the ones with the most influence over Teh Plan. So, keep in mind — even if listening to Krugman slag Obama, and worse listening to the media village idiots praise Krugman for slagging Obama when that’s not what Krugman’s doing, and worst of all listening to your BJ commentariat pishing & whinging about whether Krugman is slagging Obama, makes your excellent Pad Thai churn in your bowels… all the slagging & the butthurt are a necessary part of the process of committing democracy.

  147. 147
    ImJohnGalt says:

    @Comrade Mary, Would-Be Minion Of Bad Horse:

    And thanks for reminding me about Pad Thai, John. I got a bunch of cilantro from the local green grocer and was thinking about a chicken curry, but some Pad Thai would also be awesome. Now I just need to run out for some tofu and bean sprouts.

    Comrade Mary – check out "The Queen Mother" on Queen St. W., it has a pretty decent pad thai [and a nice outdoor alcove out back in the summer]

  148. 148
    Leelee for Obama says:

    John,

    Please don’t even think about shutting down BJ! I have finally found somewhere to go that doesn’t make me want to leave. We all know you don’t stifle, and anyone who says you do is just stirring the pot. They should remember that opinions expressed here are not didactic, and all are free to call BS when the muse moves us!

    BTW-being a Democrat is hard work! LOL Trust me, I’ve been at it for more years than you, and many times the little emoticon "bangs head" is definitely supposed to appear in my posts.

    I still think Dems are better, but no one has discovered the electric can opener whistle that would heard the damn cats!

  149. 149

    It’s not just the cilantro. Good pad thai has chopped sweet radish (turnip) in it. But if cilantro’s your thing, check out some beef la’ab (larb) with sticky rice sometime.

  150. 150
    ksmiami says:

    John – I hate to say it, but I think Krugman is utterly wrong headed about this. I had an epiphany last night that basically what happened over the past decade is that simply people lived at a level of affluence that was NOT commensurate with their true earning power aided by the FED and the banking herd eager for fat profits. It has to unwind now, but it is not (contrary to Krugman) the end of the world, just the end of an era. You are right though that Krugman has become a major liability for the Democratic pragmatists because he gives the media a way to hit Obama without addressing the substance of the argument. Additionally, Krugman seems invested in making sure he is proven right and his ego is 2 sizes too large now. I think some of his ideas have merit. but he lives in academia and does not have to be held responsible for throwing widows and pensioners out on the street. We have all his books n stuff, but there are other ideas out there and rumours of America’s decline are exaggerated.

    p.s. – This blog is a beacon of sanity in a world of whores, sycophants, phonies and idiots. PLEASE don’t shut it down

  151. 151

    […] is what I don’t understand about the freak-out (which I predicted, btw) over the government refusing to give GM money unless they get rid of Wagoner. Sully provides […]

  152. 152
    Panurge says:

    Is there a better way for Krugman, or me, or anyone else, to approach the issues that would be more conducive to moving things in a better direction?

    Well, look at the Newsweek cover: "OBAMA IS WRONG." That’s not what Krugman is saying; he’s saying Obama is not correct [1] enough. See–framing does matter.

    [1] "Not right enough" just doesn’t seem right here. Heh.

  153. 153
    itsbenj says:

    exactly right and thanks for saying this. Krugman’s Monday column is good, but starts off in a ridiculous, silly manner. he chastises Rubin and Summers for letting all of those "magazine covers" go to their heads!

    he says this right as he himself is about to be on the cover of Newsweek! I mean, how un-self-aware is this guy?

    sad to watch though, Krugman is letting himself be used, and seems to have no idea its happening.

  154. 154

    Re: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

    What a wonderful adaptation. From the opening scenes of her childhood education, through moving to the big city and starting her agency, to her courage in the face of real evil, this is a marvelous character and setting that I want to see more of.

    And what a clear-eyed love song to Africa and the African people. The poverty, AIDS, and corruption that we only hear about are the background canvas to the story, just challenges, not overwhelming disasters.

    If you don’t have HBO, figure out a way to get hold of this and watch it. Um, legally of course.

  155. 155
    Ming says:

    Krugman is both a Nobel winner and a fool. He fancies himself as providing the principled opposition, but the effect of his endless whinging (even when he’s right) is to support policies he detests even more than Obama’s. If he wanted to have an effect in the right direction, he would focus his columns 75% on eviscerating the Repug proposals/criticisms (which would be easy enough, not to mention entertaining), and 25% on saying why he thinks that while O’s proposals are in the right direction, they don’t go nearly far enough (which would be educational and useful). K is Ralph Nader in 2000; just as grandiose and short-sighted, equally destructive.

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