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Between McCain channeling her on HOLC and Obama channeling her on health care and energy, and the fact that she’s goddamned Hillary Rodham Clinton, I declare the junior Senator from New York the winner of last night’s presidential debate.

Those yahoos on the stage? Mere pretenders to the throne.

edit: Heh. masslib seems to agree with me. Mindmeld!


Dobbs: … What we are watching are business — quote, unquote — leaders who won’t surface and put their faces before the American public who are hysterical. Absolutely hysterical. These are not leaders of moment. They are not leaders of great character or vision. Only Warren Buffett has had the courage to step forward. And that’s after he puts $5 billion into Goldman Sachs.

To watch our political leaders, they have no idea in the world, Kiran, what they’re doing. Literally. And the arrogance with which this administration asks for, not only money, almost $1 trillion, and surely more in the months ahead. But the absolute power for Treasury Secretary Paulson. Give me a break. The American people want this stopped. Those Congressmen and women at home right now, in their districts, are getting an earful because this is an absurdity and it has to end.

Chetry: So in one way, you’re knocking Congress. But on the other way you’re saying that, I guess the system works in that the brakes were pulled. Whether or not you agree with the reasons why it didn’t go through. So, weren’t they doing their job and showing leadership?

Dobbs: Let me be clear, Kiran. I’m saying leadership — I’m saying the Democratic leadership of this Congress was absolutely in the same situation as this president.

They don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re trying to ram this thing down the people’s throats and Congress. And those House Republicans and House Democrats who voted against this bailout deserve a great, great expression of thanks from the American people. Absolutely.

Here’s a little roundup of my weekend reading; first, via PunkAssBlog:

Worst part of the whole debate:

Jim Lehrer’s first question: “Gentlemen, at this very moment tonight, where do you stand on the financial recovery plan?”

(Candidates each speak for several minutes, demonstrating remarkable ability to discuss their tax and spending platforms without once touching on the financial recovery plan.)

Jim Lehrer’s next question: “All right, let’s go back to my question. How do you all stand on the recovery plan? And talk to each other about it. We’ve got five minutes. We can negotiate a deal right here.”

(Candidates further demonstrate ability to say nothing to the point and also refuse, even when point-blank instructed by Lehrer, to speak to each other.)

Jim Lehrer’s next try: “All right, let’s go to the next lead question, which is essentially following up on this same subject. And you get two minutes to begin with, Senator McCain. And using your word “fundamental,” are there fundamental differences between your approach and Senator Obama’s approach to what you would do as president to lead this country out of the financial crisis?”

(Candidates argue about the differences between their tax and spending platforms. Neither apparently has any idea that we are even having a financial crisis.)

Over at the NYTimes, Krugman asks, “Where are the grown-ups?

So the grown-up thing is to do something to rescue the financial system. The big question is, are there any grown-ups around — and will they be able to take charge?

Via Gawker, Stewart and Colbert pontificate on the state of national discourse:

Can any [politician] break through this mess?
STEWART: I worry that those people are there, but we won’t recognize them — or we’ll destroy them so thoroughly that their voice won’t be heard. I just imagine Lincoln out there, and people throwing the gay stuff at him. ”And what about depression running in his family?”

Emphasis mine. I don’t know about Lincoln, but I certainly think we have an FDR for the 21st century kicking around, and she’s hiding in plain sight – though no one’s listening to her. Well, some are:

Unlike the current leadership of the Democratic Party, who are simply bouncing off the Bush proposal like pinballs, accepting the basic terms of the deal and trying to beef up some goodies to help with the November election, Hillary is presenting a vision of what a Democratic economic plan should do. It is not pandering for votes though it is very aware of the needs of constituents found from rural backwaters to Manhattan skyscapers. She may have details wrong, but it is not for lack of trying. It is a commitment to use power to make institutions serve public good before private greed.

This is and is not a different person than I saw this time last year when the primary contests revved up. Hillary has always been someone willing to dare to do great things, but the primaries -brutal, rigged, stacked against her as a person in a way I have never seen in 30 years of politics – appear to have scoured her clean of any hesitancy or defensiveness that formerly attended her attempts at great works. Maybe it was seeing the people who needed her to be their advocate. Maybe it was understanding the depth of respect and trust so many of us have in her after the decades of public abuse. Maybe it was knowing that there is nothing for her to lose by simply doing what is right.

Whatever the reason, there is a clear and unwavering voice who makes clear the difference between those who want to play politics and those who want to use it for the public good. It is a political philosophy comfortable with making life better and more secure for ordinary people.

(Rumour has it that, now, that doomed bill is headed to the Senate. If true, here’s hoping HRC can get her hands on a louder mic. Fingers crossed.)

But also, look: We’d hate it if the government was setting our salary, too. Unless we worked for the government. Which in some ways what folks who opted to be bailed out would be doing. So look, if you’re going to participate in our neo-communist system, then please, just accept our neo-communist paycheck.

Daily Intel, in their latest installment of their The Greatest Depression series.

The post also drops in this little nugget o’ interest:

In the late 1970s, chief executive pay was 35 times that of the average American worker. In 2007, the total compensation of chief executives in large American corporations was 275 times that of the salary of the average worker, the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research organization, estimates.


New laptop is here, but since the most recent computerless phase coincided with the return of some of my favourite shows (Greek, I heart you!), I’ve been spending far more time catching up on the last few weeks in mindless entertainment, rather than paying attention to the increasingly depressing economic and political landscape and wistfully thinking about what could have been.

I have also been busy in updating my current machine, and protecting myself from being disconnected from all my news-updateyness in the case of another crash. I used to use a Firefox-based RSS feed program to keep me in the loop with my news and blogs, but what happens when the machine you’ve loaded the browser on goes belly up? You get totes screwed, that’s what happens. And so, I’ve finally jumped on the GoogleReader bandwagon, and have been busily loading RSS feeds from all over the ‘net. And I’m accepting suggestions for interesting new sites, iff’n you have ’em.

In a small bit of cosmic synchronicity, though, I finally checked back in to Things What Things (written by Linda/Miss Alli, formerly of TWOP, currently of NPR’s Monkey See) for the first time in a couple of months. only to see that she’d recently linked to the original That Guy post, the one that I’d read years and years and years ago and of which I was thinking of when I wrote my last post, but couldn’t find in my Google searches, and thus couldn’t link at the bottom of the post. (The post in question is now judiciously linked in my Delicious account, never to be lost again, natch.)

Sars: A close relative of Surely You Don’t Listen To The Corporate Schlock Masquerading As Pop Music These Days You’re Such A Sheep Of Convention Guy.

Alli: Who has no friends.

Sars: But is a close spiritual brother to Tolerate My Obscure and Painful Jazz Collection Guy.

Alli: Oh, and he hangs out at Whole Foods with the Four Horsemen of the Capitalist Apocalypse: I Can Taste The Tears Of The Downtrodden In Every Cup Of Starbucks Coffee Guy, Can’t Read Anything Purchased At A Non-Unionized Bookstore Guy, Guy With A Strange Preoccupation With Trash-Talking Pottery Barn, and Guy Who Thinks The Biggest Problem Facing Today’s Progressive Is Browser Compatibility.

Sars: He’s fighting the real enemy.

Alli: By cleaving to Netscape 4.7.

Sars: Yeah, That Guy. I Am An Endless Series Of Lectures On Organic Produce And The Pharmaceutical Cartel Guy. Also may manifest as What’s Funny About Hemp Clothing? Guy.

Alli: Exactly. And he has no idea that he is actually just as boring as his arch-nemesis, Just Let Me Take This Emergency Conference Call On My Cell Phone Headset While I’m Buying A Sesame Seed Bagel Guy.

Sars: Who is often confused with, but does not share entirely the same genetic coding as, I Incorporate Lines From Wall Street Into My Everyday Speech With No Irony Whatsoever Guy.

Alli: Who is, in turn, often mistaken for Can’t Order A Drink Without Consulting Esquire To See Whether Martinis Are Still Cool This Week Guy.

Sars: ARGH! I cannot abide that guy. And he’s always friends with No, He Likes You, He Just Doesn’t, Um, Talk Much Guy, who usually turns out to be Bitter, Jaded, Bad Poet Who Thinks “Kissing” Means “Drenching A Woman’s Jaw In Saliva” Guy.

Alli: And it’s not like he offers you a towel.

Sars: Of course not. And now, let’s all wave to Has No Sense Of Humor About Getting Salsa On His Pants Guy.

Alli: How can you have no sense of humor about that? It’s salsa! It’s your pants!

Sars: And yet he’s unamused.

Alli: That seems impossible.

Still hilarious.
Of course, as “Stumbles to Starbucks in Oversized Sunglasses and Yoga Pants Whilst Texting on her Pink Blackberry to Order a Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte Every Saturday Morning” Girl, “Prefers Cats to Relationships” Girl, and “Writes Angry Anti-Patriarchy Missives On Her Little-Read Blog” Girl, I’m really in no place to judge, am I? Knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is true wisdom, people. Who are you?

(Other recommended TWT? reading: What Girls Do, and for fellow caffeine-addicts, Random Notes. That cold-pressing coffee technique got me through iced-coffee season at a reasonable budget, through now I need to find a similar fix for the winter, as I don’t have a quick-milk-steaming solution. Yet. )