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Nationalization Mania

Like everyone else in the neighborhood I was shocked when the federal government stepped in yesterday and nationalized the dry cleaning business on the corner. I didn't even know Mr. C's was troubled. So far, there's no obvious difference in the business other than the addition of the flagpole in the parking lot.

Who's next? And how is all this legal, exactly? Somewhere along the way, I lost track of the legal premises of the federal government's actions. I'm not opposing it, mind you (that would require that I understand it first). But where in the Constitution or the banking laws does it say that the U.S. can do things like "forcing nine of the largest [banks] to accept a Treasury stake in what amounts to a partial nationalization." Today's Post story says that the $700 billion bailout legislation permits the U.S. to take stakes in banks. But the story has this odd passage:

"In pressing the bank executives to accept partial government ownership, Paulson's message was clear: Though officially the program was voluntary, the banks had little choice in the matter."

Voluntary but compulsory. Has a nice Orwellian ring to it.


Speaking of a place that doesn't need to be nationalized, since it's already part of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management [what a deft transition!!!], here are some pics of the Red Rock (Rocks?) conservation area west of Vegas. Whenever I go to Vegas I try to get in a hike here. I always come back from Vegas healthier!




Look closely and you'll see the petroglyphs, but notice that some jackarse has broken away the top layer of rock to take home some of these treasures. What kind of person does that? Grrrrrr....



By Joel Achenbach  |  October 14, 2008; 7:53 AM ET
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Next: Crimes Against Nature


More on Republican efforts to warp the upcoming elections. Note how it ties into the fired US Attorneys.

Posted by: Jumper | October 14, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Wow... great pictures, Joel. Much better than Vegas, that's for sure.

I'm wondering what to do with my share of the banking industry. I'm thinking of charging the banks a fee every time I boodle. That seems about fair, doesn't it?

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Entirely fair, TBG.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 14, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Well, I suppose if you consider that a large percentage of land in the western states belongs to Uncle Sam, why not other institutions, like banks? I hope it is but a temporary stake and will make money for the Treasury.

As always, great pictures, Joel. I love visiting in that part of the world. Wouldn't want to live there, as I am addicted to the green of trees and grass and vegetables, but enjoy being there.

Posted by: slyness | October 14, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

The only problem is that if you don't do this, you take everyone else with you.

The world cannot have one banking system fall without taking all the rest down. They are too bound together. The only way to stop it from happening is to act, in concert, all places in the world doing the same thing, providing the same security.

This is what global market and global economy end up meaning, that sometimes, you can't act in the interest of the one, you must act in the interest of the many. Sometimes you have to truly work together without looking for how it will benefit an individual or an individual state.

Call it Orwellian, but if you don't do this, nothing will work, and you will end up sending the results of your banking failures right into my very Canadian living room.

Who should I send the bill to for my legumes if that happens?

Posted by: dr | October 14, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I used to live in Southern Utah, about 3 hours north of Vegas. Beautiful country, but I'm glad I don't live there anymore. Nice place to visit, though.

One of the Star Trek movies was filmed near where you took those pictures Joel.

Posted by: wiredog | October 14, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Hmm, that sounds grim and accusatory, and I don't mean it that way. My bad, I did not mean it that way, only that this is how I see it, from my side of the neighbourly fence.

On a much brighter note, it's election day, it's election day. I won't have to be confronted by Jack Layton's face 18 times a day.


Posted by: dr | October 14, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Great KITographs. #2 pitchah looks like a laughing rock.

Scenery a lot purtier than Vegas.

Orwellian? We've been in an era of accelerating Orwellianism--nah, that's unfair to Orwell. Change it to Big Brotherism or Brothernization.

Double grrrr on the petrovandalism.

Gotta go and prepare my blah-blah for next Saturday.

Latta, Gang.

Posted by: Brag | October 14, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Beautiful pics. They look an awful lot like places in Australia to my eye. Except without the marsupials.

You know, the US has nationalized things before, like Truman and the steel industry. Eventually, though, the feds have always given them back.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 14, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

A sentence fragment snuck into the second paragraph, Joel.
Thanks for the pretty pix.

Posted by: DNA Girl | October 14, 2008 9:50 AM | Report abuse

About US Gov-fingers in these bank (cow)pies: I think the trust fund instrument, long-lived in Alaska regarding oil and gas bounties, is important.

Some combination of trust-investiture that pays to holders -- that would be ALL of US, while also funding public goods like schools and infrastructures would be the right thing to do.

Giving it back -- as RD reminds us with steel -- to the foxes (insult to vulpines everywhere) that ravaged the chickens in the coop -- well, for shame.

But, get ready: I bet the shame scenario plays out rather than the pay back the tax-payer-investors-rescuers-chickens....

Posted by: College Parkian | October 14, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Howdy and welcome back, Joel. Thanks for the splendid pictures. I love desert. Thanks also for the hilarious Calhoun video in the last Kit. I particularly enjoyed it because I'm very familiar with the hip-hop song on which it is based. The Boy and I often hear it on the local hip-hop station. I'm glad that the current generation of pre-teens and teens can at least spell "delicious", "glamorous" and "independent" (that last is a great song, by the way, very feminist).

Frankly, I'm just wondering why it took the gummint so long to agree that giving cash to banks is more efficient, and probably a more effective response to the credit crisis, than buying up old mortgages first. Britain figured it out early, and by all accounts it was proposed here too but Paulsen didn't want to go there. Something about admitting the system was in failure. Well, that worked out well.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the Toronto market is trying to make up for being closed yesterday - up 15% - 1,300 pts (last I looked).

Great pictures Joel.

Posted by: dmd | October 14, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Let's see -- after 9/11 the Bush Administration invaded Afghanistan (with reasonable cause) and Iraq (is anyone still looking for WMDs?), pushed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution and the the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF) acts through Congress which led to warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications, and the detention of suspected terrorists without trial at Guantanamo Bay and other locations outside the US, allocations for the building of barriers between the US and Mexico, etc. all of which have handed this Administration unprecedented powers over citizens of America and other countries in the name of trying to make the Homeland more secure.

And now that Wall Street and the economy appear to be in crisis, we're surprised that the Administration is taking steps to secure and control - call it nationalization if you want - the housing finance and banking systems?

It looks like we're going to see some initial successes as we did in Afghanistan and Iraq, but I'm concerned about the longer term.

What's the plan for occupying the housing and financial systems, and is there an exit strategy?

Interestingly, this is another mess that the next President is going to have to clean up. [As some have pointed out, signs are there for a one-term Presidency...]

One could suggest that the Arbusto Administracion took their eyes off of the ball in Afganistan to go into Iraq, and took their eyes off of the economy to wage those extended wars and occupations.

Is it wrong of me to also be concerned about what they're taking their eyes off of in order to deal with the economy?

Would it be flip of me to suggest that there's an Administrative Attention Deficit Disorder in the House?

Stopping now.


gwe, sorry to hear about your deer incident, glad to hear no one was hurt.


Posted by: bc | October 14, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Happy Election Day, Canadians!

Only three more weeks for us. It's interesting to note that now says there's a 94.5% change Obama will win the election.

It's funny that there's often (if not always) a McCain-Palin banner ad at the top of their page.

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

SCC: 94.9% chance of an Obama victory.

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

SCCs: too many to list, but I wanted to say, "Interestingly, this is another *fine* mess that the next President is going to have to clean up."


Posted by: bc | October 14, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

No SCCs necessary, bc... you make a very valid (and scary) point. What *aren't* they watching today?

Also... anyone else wondering when the Bin Laden video will appear that endorses Obama? Worked last time against Kerry, didn't it? I think there's no one in the world who would rather see a McCain victory than the guy in the cave.

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I just saw a lovely little almost poem about voting (think the author, Noni Mausa, is Canadian) at the site Angry Bear.

An example:

I vote for meat on my neighbour's plate, not mine. For the health of
my neighbour's children, the peace of our streets, the knowledge in
our libraries and the significance and beauty of our images and songs.
I vote for the strength of the whole, not the benefit of one walled
garden at the cost of a wilderness outside.

It almost reminds me of the Achenblog's Nani.

Posted by: Wheezy | October 14, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm so glad you folks found for me. It's a great site. The current top story on North Carolina highlights why Obama has a chance here:

Posted by: slyness | October 14, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The preferred stock that each bank will have to issue will pay special dividends, at a 5 percent interest rate that will be increased to 9 percent after five years. The government will also receive warrants worth 15 percent of the face value of the preferred stock. For instance, if the government makes a $10 billion investment, then the government will receive $1.5 billion in warrants. If the stock goes up, taxpayers will share the benefits. If the stock goes down, the warrants will be worthless

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Seems to me the war on terrorism needs to focus on who provides "warm bodies" i.e., who and where are the recipients of the religion-hijackers' propaganda; and secondarily, who funds it. It seems by all responsible accounts that funding does not much come from either Waziristan, Iraq, and I don't know about the opium fields in Afghanistan. It's hard for me to determine WHO'S getting that swag.

Posted by: Jumper | October 14, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Any non mouse. about the stock item. I had not seen details, but still wonder if the profits will accrue in a specific way to individuals.

BC, you remind me rightfully about gwe and the deer encounter. Lucky to be fine; lucky to have a car not mashed.

'Twill be hot today.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 14, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

A little back further in history, during WWI the nation's railroads were nationalized under the United States Railroad Administration. They were turned back over to the private sector in (I believe) 1921. At least they learned some lessons, for when WWII came the railroads die yoeman service in cooperation with the government without a take-over. Maybe the financial industry will do the same.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 14, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

SCC: ...did yoeman service...

Posted by: ebtnut | October 14, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

One of my pleasanter moments as a BLM employee came when introducing a flock of summer-temp undergrads to range survey methods. Stopped at a nice, grassy spot and of course headed to the top of a little ridge, which turned out to have a nice petroglyph, turtle-looking. Then back to bellowing at the trainees (the wind was blowing).

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 14, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge! I was wondering where you were. Any good news on the home computer front?

Posted by: Yoki | October 14, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge!!! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 14, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Since her debut as McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin has fallen behind Obama in terms of appearance within the Boodle comments for the first time.

Starting from Oct 7, 2008:

9 Biden
22 democrat
23 republican
72 Palin
137 Obama
191 McCain

However, the stats continue to show that this group much prefers to discuss republicans.

Posted by: kitchen counter | October 14, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki, Scotty. Have tried five times to post something, each time it gets withheld "for review" by the mythical Achenblog bot. Don't know why. Maybe Scotty can post it for me; I sent it to him. Scotty, you there?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Morning All
I am fine and the car looks to be in ok shape.I just drove to a neighbors house and it seemed to drive fine too. I guess I was lucky to be going so slow.This was the first out of the 7 I have hit the actually made it up on the hood of the car and unfortunately I had to look into his scared eyes.It is rutting season,so the Bucks are a little crazier then normal.

On a gardening note,I just watered the garden and I am still getting beans.I have been picking since mid July and are still growing more....amazing....

It is warm here today and gorgeous,the trees are spectacular.

Well I am happy to report the car and I and hopefully that Buck are fine.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 14, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

OK, lemme try pieces of it. First up:

'Morning, Boodle. Jeez, what a weekend. And would you believe I've spent the last hour just backboodling to catch up? So much to comment upon.

yello, the gummint computer censor wouldn't let me see your photo of bc and me lounging in the bunker. Can someone please e-mail it to me?

CP!!! Didja happen to catch the Diane Rehm show on NPR Saturday? She had on both Billy Collins AND Donald Hall! And at one point, Collins had a brilliant line: "If you're an English major, you're majoring in Death" (because most of the major works deal with "love, death, loss, longing," he said, and similar topics. Unfortunately, the radio was breaking up the further south we drove, and I missed major parts of it. But I was thinking of you the whole time. (The "'re majoring in death" line made me actually laugh out loud in a hoot, and my wife looked at me like I was a madman.) A link to the show:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Yo Mudge ( ;-) ): Thanks for the correction.

Posted by: ebtnut | October 14, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

OK, that part went. Another piece:

mo, sorry I didn't call you back on Saturday. She Who Must Be Obeyed kidnapped me and made me go down and work on the River House for two days, installing the ceiling on the back porch. Two days of climbing ladders and working overhead, too. I was a physical wreck last night--aches and pains all over. Still got some residuals. And it was the first night we ever slept at the vacation house: never do that again. Horrible mattress, TV only has four stations (not counting a Russian station and two Chinese stations; what the heck is *that* all about?), no computer, no cable, no decent place to sit. And worse yet, the muse paid a visit and left me with a pome jangling around inside my head, and no time or place to write the darn thing. Finally I got so desperate I scribbled some of it in an old notebook (in pencil, yet! Pencil! My god, the sheer barbarity of it all!), and have this tattered page of penciled scribbling at my desk to decipher.

martooni, good to hear you're back and operational, so to speak.

Man, ya go computerless for a few days and the whole Dawn Patrol disintegrates. Where are the reefers? Well, I'll provide a few. Great Gene Robinson column this morning. Very good E.J. Dionne column. And, the Boodle being as literate and language loving as it is, I'd be remiss if I didn't link to this excellent Salon book review about a book I think many of us would love:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm. OK, that went. Next, the last piece:

And I don't know about you, but I'm highly in favor of a reappraisal of good ol' Emily Dickinson: I don't know about you, but *this* is the gal in my mind who wrote "Wild Nights." That whole spinster thing: toss it, I say!

And my shadenfreude knows no bounds. In fact, I should have minored in shadenfreude in college, methinks: Dallas getting its butt kicked by (of all people) the Cardinals, and the Giants getting *their* butts kicked. Talk about shadendoublemint twins. We shall NOT discuss the Redskins, however.

Scotty, lad, I'm getting worried about ya. Don't let me go to the World Series *alone,* huh? Talk to your guys, please.

OK, gotta go transcribe the *&%$# pome, if I can read my rotten handwriting: "There was a [something something] Nantucket,
[Something, something]...and it gets kinda weepy after that.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

OK, can anbody figure out why those three pieces went, but when they were connected it got held for review five times?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"Net interest" reported by the federal government is gross interest paid LESS interest received. Income from preferred shares in banks may be used to further reduce "net interest" on the public debt.

Posted by: Anynonmouse | October 14, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Howdy Mudge! Glad to see you back, but at least you were busy accomplishing things. I look forward to the pome. The Boy used to spout extemporaneous poetry as a small boy and I'd scramble to write it down. I have one piece ("Jump! wild skeletons! Jump!") written on scrap paper in crayon.

greenwithenvy, I'm glad you and the deer are okay. We have two fawns and a doe which hang out around our house, so I'm very careful on the driveway in the early morning and evening. Sometimes they jump in the fenced dog yard to eat (the grass is greener, y'know). The dog just looks at them and they look at him, then everyone shrugs.

I second college parkian in my thanks to any non mouse.

kitchen counter, I'm trying to keep the "fish" and "bats" count up - also "chicken", though I'm sure I was lax last week. I don't think we prefer to discuss republicans so much as we complain about them - right, moderate alien? Fortunately y'all put up with us anyway.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Also, I have this phenomenon to report and to ask the all-knowing Boodle's opinion about:

At our vacation house 40 miles south of Washington, we have an ordinary TV with rabbit ears, because there's no cable TV in that area (or if there is, I'm not aware of it). Be that as it may, we get snowy, fuzzy but watchable reception on the four local Washington networks, NBC/ channel 4, Fox/5, ABC/7, and CBS/9. I can also pick up 11 and 13 out of Baltimore.

Now, we recntly got one of those converter boxes everybody's gonna need in February, and installed it this weekend. And here's what happened: the reception went up a thousand percent, to a magnificent picture...of Channel 4. Also, there now appears to be something called "sub-stations." NBC/4 out of Washington isn't channel 4, it is 4.1. And there is a weather channel at 4.2, and a crazy station at 4.3. I can't get anything at Fox/channel 5. Chennel 7/ABC comes in at 7.1. Cannot get any CBS station at all, either Washington or Baltimore. Then there are a bunch of new stations I never heard of: one is Russian news as well as some sort of action/adventure show Moscow-style. There is a station to learn Chinese, plus a second Chinese station. All this stations have terrific reception with the new converter box. I have tried to bet the local PBS stations, 22, 26, 32, etc., and can't get anything. Yet I can get local station 20, with I think is a Turner station.

Anybody got a clue what's going on with all this? Why can't I get a CBS station, or Fox? Are they not broadcasting in digital yet?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

'Mudge, I was in a meeting, sorry about not relaying your posts...

As for the TV, those "extra" channels are indeed a product of digital broadcasting, since there's enough bandwidth per station for all sorts of goodies. Not sure why CBS and Fox aren't showing up, both DC affiliates have high-def channels but they might be sticking to cable for now. *shrug*

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 14, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Mudge,A friend in Baltimore got one for her dad,but she said it needed to be programmed. Her brother did it.Not sure if this site will help with that...but it is worth a try.

I was checking out inauguration stuff just a little while ago.I called my mom and asked her if she wanted to go.We went to Clinton's first and had so much fun.

Here is some info if anyone wants to check it out.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 14, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Just got an email invite to chat with

Washinton Post Writers

SIC on the Wash in ton

Posted by: College Parkian | October 14, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Slyness has sent me the bunker pix of bc and me.

I am...speechless.

Thank you, slyness (I think).

*faxing a contract to a cat burglar to creep into yello's house and destroy all copies of PhotoShop*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Great Dickenson article. And Norman = Norseman? I learn something every day.

More boy poetry, Ivansmom. I like it.

Posted by: Jumper | October 14, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

*wondering if 'Mudge is also an Arbit, ER*


Posted by: Scottynuke | October 14, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm ROTFLMAO at your reaction, Mudge. Who knew it would render you speechless?

Posted by: slyness | October 14, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Scotty, I'm a retired arbit. Unfortunately, 17 years isn't long enough for an arbit pension.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I just discovered my list of people groups and their respective flock names that I had written out last Friday. Hopefully, it's not too late to post:

a slate of geologist (lame, I know, just as bad as a board of carpenters)
a battery of tortured prisoners (Ugh!)
a blizzard of Palin protesters
a porkloid of congressmen
a pinkering of Canadians (with apologies to our northerners)
a treasure chestfull of Pamela Anderson fans
a mass of priests
a critical mass of nuclear physicists
a loomisplex of relatives (with apoloties to Loomis)
a smoldering of fire fighters (with apologies to slyness)
a sampling of cannibols (Ugh again)

Posted by: moderate alien | October 14, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

So I thought, 'Mudge.

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 14, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Has Cheney already left for Paraguay? Haven't heard a word about his for months...

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 14, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I just listened to that link of the Diane Rehm show--it's 52 minutes long, and really, really good. CP, it is a "must listen" for you. In fact, you could just play it as one entire class for your students, while you sat in the back of the room and paid bills or skimmed Good Housekeeping. Both poets read three or four of their works; I especially identified with a recent one of Hall's, called "On Reaching my 200th Birthday."

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

OK, lemme get this straight. A couple weeks ago, Paulson proposes a $70 BILLION with a B bailout, and all the Conservatives get the hissy vapors. Yesterday the Dow went up a mere 936 points. So this morning Bush proposes nationalizing the banking industry at a cost of an additional $250 BILLION with a B.

Good thing we have fiscally minded Republicans in office. God knows what a wild-eyed, free-spending, pinko Socialist Democrat would do.

$250 billion.

And I suspect everyone is so shocked there's been no Internet comment on it yet. Is everyone just stunned into silence? Is there no one wheezing on Capitol Hill? Has the Wall Street Journal editorial board all been rushed to intensive care?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

It's never too late, moderate alien. Those are very funny.

A lizard of lounge singers?

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, if they hadn't done it, all the businesses would have pulled their capital out of US banks and taken it abroad, where the gummints have already ponied up. As far as the numbers, I think the fiscal conservatives and anti-socialists are too far in shock to be articulate.

Either that, or it is only money.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I think the banks must be paying the Bush Pilot

Off to work,watch out for those rutting Bucks!!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 14, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that the $250 billion came out of the $700 billion set aside for the bailout. So it's not a new expenditure, just an earmarking of a portion of the relatively unrestricted funds.

That's why there's no congressional debate; they already approved $700 billion with minimal strings, and it's Paulson's job to sort out the distribution.

Posted by: Josh | October 14, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Now truth I may tell-
Much affection in the air
Was borne--with biscuits.

Posted by: Wilbrodog Dickinson | October 14, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Josh, thanks for the explanation. If it comes out of the 700B that makes sense.

Thought maybe I was hallucinating for a minute.

Of course, the notion of defacto socialization of the banks is a bit breathe-taking. I'm not saying I'm opposed to it (as a closet quasi-radical myself) -- just a little staggered at the source.

I think it was Robinson's column this morning that pointed out the sweet justice of the Bush Administration being the ones in office who have to bail out the country after almost 8 years (or 28, by my count) of failed Republican policies. Can you imagine what would have happened if the bubble had lasted another year, and broke with Obama in office? Even if it happened on Day 2 of his administration, they'd blame him and fight every move he made to fix it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

According to the Post reporting, the $250 billion to banks is the Treasury's use of the first $250 billion authorized by Congress under the bailout plan, and Bush has asked Congress today for the second installment of $100 billion to buy or insure assets from institutions. So it looks like the initial investment is part of, rather than in addition to, the earlier bailout authorization. However, as the reports say, it is a big expansion of what was originally presented. The bailout did give Treasury authority to take equity stakes in banks but at the time (feels like a long time ago, not a couple of weeks) Treasury didn't want it.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, re your 1213:

All the big guys are already broadcasting both kinds of signals. Your old antenna obviously works, but you still might need a better one to get everything you can. Also, did you get your $40 coupon(s)?

Posted by: An any mouse | October 14, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

For some reason this reminds me of the cocktail party-turned-part-time-raiding party in "Life, the Universe, and Everything...";_ylt=ApXjjMRPi9W3jvqyAkGlUMuzvtEF

Posted by: Wilbrod | October 14, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Crap, the market is heading south. Anybody with good ideas, please apply at the Treasury and the Fed ASAP.

Posted by: slyness | October 14, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Mod Alien, you ARE one of us! Nerdy-nuts, but our very own nuts.

Any no mouse -- is this your handle now?

Mudge, thanks for the poetry recommendation. You should also look at Roland Flint.He died in 2001, of pancreatic cancer. Great guy and very real with a plain-spoke narrative way of saying. Here is one poem, written after yet another year of teaching and speaking in Italy. That North Dakota farm boy -- former Marine, too-- never got over that HE had hoodwinked his way into Italy!


-- Roland Flint

Any day’s writing may be the last,
He’s reminded at 2 in the morning,
Making this year’s last Italian
Notes, before readying his machine
And self to get aboard the bigger
Machine and fly, Dio Volente, home.
And so he repeats the Our Father
He said to himself before rising.
And feels a heartfelt thanks, Lord,
For such poems as have come his way,
Whether or not they get read, and,
It goes without saying, few may.
And thanks as well for eagerness,
Almost daily, to greet the drone
With words, bequeathed in part
By what poets before have done:
He prays to be among them, one,

Drone! Not muse. That is telling the truth, doncha know.
However small. The work is all.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 14, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge,

Go to Google Books and search thusly:

"Roland Flint" Nancy muse whiskey

Really, you will LOVE the poem that comes up called "Gift"

Boodle Poetical Waxical Moment of the Day: A New Service sponsored by Mudge, Yoki, "Random Lurking On-Target Haikuist,and CP. Others interested? See the shop steward's bulletin board for Poetry-Welding certification classes.

Er, typo: make that poetry-WIELDING.

Off to an orthodontist appointment. Three kids: three sets of railroad tracks. I will earn my 1000 visit wings soon.

Posted by: College Parkian | October 14, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I kinda like poetry-welding, CP, especially for one such as me who carries so many torches (to say nothing of heartburn).

And yes, I loved "Gift," as you knew I would. Actually, I may have written that "makes-her-lie-down" poem a couple weeks ago. (You haven't seen it. But it had the effect on her.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Oh, thanks for the link, An Any Mouse. Yes, we used the coupon.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

In further evidence that The Boodle is Everywhere, a coworker recently posted this Sinfest comic...

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a dunce. I spent yesterday morning closing the pool for the winter, starting at nine or so. I gave the pool a last good sweep and backwashed the filter. Adjusted the pH and Poured the right chemicals in. I set up the drain line and drained the level below the outlet. Added some more chemicals. I blew the lines dry, inserted the foam tubes in the end of pipes, the floats in the skimmer and capped everything in sight. Wrapped the filter's valve in saran to avoid spider nests and other horrors setting in the valve. After a final surface skim I went in the garage to pick up the tarp that covers the pool in winter. The tattered and holed tarp I threw out last Spring.
I am such a dunce.

A second case of Immaculate Conception (in sharks, the evidence in mammals still shaky...):

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 14, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I like Poetry Welding too. It seems to capture more correctly the experience of the (few) poets I know.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

In that case, Ivansmom, you might enjoy this cartoon of me, either editing (on the job) or writing pomes:

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Any Digital to Analog converter recommendations?

Posted by: omni | October 14, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Another question: I was looking at this: And note that it has a list of Names that will result in profanity.

Alice is on the list. Alice??? what am I missing?

Posted by: omni | October 14, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Where is everybody today? Working twice as hard to make up for being off yesterday?

David Broder's column is datelined Upper Dublin, Penna. Upper Dublin (township) is across the street from the house my father built and I grew up in. Our mailbox was on the other side of the street. When I crossed the street to get the mail, I was in Upper Dublin. (Nice place, by the way. Way back when, I was speechwriter/PR flack for a guy who ran for the state legislative seat in that district -- the 152nd. We got creamed--he was outnumbered by Repubs about 5 to 1.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

You're missing an F, omni. Look in your pants.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

(Remember, omni, the Name Game is phonetic. And OK, technically it isn't a profanity. Still, do you want kids singing it?)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 4:02 PM | Report abuse


Made sense when I said it out loud.

I've been absent not to make up for yesterday, I'm just swamped. People here keep giving me stuff to do like they expect me to work for money or something.

Posted by: omni | October 14, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It's the name, Omni --they always give work to omnivorous workers, omnidoers and the like.

Posted by: Brag | October 14, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the omniscient and omnipotent.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

This is just ridiculous. Now my email isn't working, and I keep getting a "enter network password" message every other second. No matter which box I click on, it won't go away. What should I do? If I get a new computer, I have no idea how to set it up; even if it IS a mac, I'm sure it not just 'open the box and plug it in.' Is it?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 14, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Very nice cartoon Mudge. That's how I feel working on this case I'm doing. More Boodling!

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Virginia voters... think twice about what you wear to your polling place...

Va. Election Board Adopts Ban on Campaign Clothing
Associated Press
Tuesday, October 14, 2008; 2:51 PM

If you plan to vote on November 4, be careful what you wear to the polls.

The State Board of Elections today adopted a ban on clothing, hats, buttons or other paraphernalia that directly advocates the election or defeat of a specific candidate or issue.

The ban is effective inside polling places or a long-held perimeter of 40 feet from polling place entrances.

The American Civil Liberties Union argued that the ban violates the First Amendment's right to free speech.

The board, however, said it has to weigh that against the right to vote free of undue influence or the tension that candidate advocacy might create.

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

That's absurd. 50 feet from the door to the polling place there are 95 candidate signs. A button on somebody's shirt isn't going to do squat. And the Virginia board of elections doesn't have the power to decide when it wants to suspend the 1st amendment. Won't hold up in court for 20 seconds.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 14, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh crud--there go my plans to wear my Error in '08 shirt.

Posted by: Raysmom | October 14, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Maggie... a Mac *is* pretty much plug it in and turn it on. You'll be walked through a few questions (to set up your email e.g.) and then you're good to go.

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

So many ways to join words together.
Poetry Welding.
Riveting Poetry.
Poetry Souldering.
Mortised and Tenoned Poetry.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 14, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The State Election Board did that here too, TBG, giving the same reasons.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting. I know the head of the State Election Board here and he's a very fair guy, and Oklahoma doesn't have many voting problems. However, this along with the other restrictions and requirements put in place across the country really do seem to have the effect of making it harder for people to vote. I don't understand that. Voting is the most important privilege and responsibility we have as citizens. It is our way to take part in our system of government. Everyone, from all sides, constantly talks about the importance of voting and how to cure low voter turnout (especially in local races). I understand the push to make sure that voters are eligible and voting is fair. However, I don't see why that, which is essentially an administrative problem, should be resolved by making it more difficult for people to vote. That solution is, if you'll pardon the expression, un-American.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 14, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I remember being asked last year to cover up my campaign sticker when I voted. I just zipped up my jacket. I think it's a rule that's been around for a while.

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Glad you enjoyed the picture so much. I live to spread joy. I hope your cat burglar has mad hacking skilz, because it also lives on the servers of Photobucket and Picassa.

As we go into deer mating season, I'm taking your close encounter as a cautionary tale. Glad you are okay.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 14, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"As we go into deer mating season, I'm taking your close encounter as a cautionary tale. Glad you are okay."

yello... looks like you're guaranteeing some backbooding among folks who thought they may not have the time.

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Just go to 11:52 am for the full story.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 14, 2008 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom. The Republicans have been implementing voter suppression , legal and illegal, stategies for years.
I must confess I'm astounded by your post.

Posted by: Boko | October 14, 2008 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I think the Republican game this year is to imply that the Democrats are violating election standards and laws, thus casting a shadow of doubt over an Obama victory.

I'm glad the press is exposing this strategy now to get a jump on the innuendo (see Jumper's link earlier today).

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

As my next book signing approaches (next Saturday) gotta do the boom-boom on the drums.

Posted by: Brag | October 14, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

omni, about the digital-to-analog converters, we just got the TR-40 from dish network -- it's identical to their dtv pal, but cheap. I chose it for the cheap, but also because it got the best reviews on cnet. I'm happy with it so far. The set-up and channel-finding was easy, it's got an analog pass-through if you want that, it's got a program guide, and, bottom line, it works. We had to get a new antenna ($10 RCA rabbit ears plus uhf loop -- our old ears didn't have the loop). Our reception isn't perfect on all channels -- we get some pixelating and freezing off and on with some, and PBS tries but never quite comes through. But some of the channels are gorgeous, and I'm hoping that the others will up their digital signals once they're no longer broadcasting analog. If not, we'll go shopping for a better antenna. But this is good enough that we can stick with the free TV, which I wasn't sure we'd be able to do.

Long answer for short question, sorry.

Posted by: bia | October 14, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna turn my old analog television into a lovely salt water aquarium. Maybe stock it with them miraculously-conceiving sharks I heard tell of. Then charge folks money to see 'em.

Yeah. That'll work.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 14, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are already working the refs. But I'm astonished there isn't more voter fraud than there is. My polling place has never checked me for any proof I am who I say I am. I find that curiously disinterested.

My Democratic boss and I were listening to an NPR story about how ACORN is being demonized and that some (but not many) of the voter registration forms they gather are ludicrously false. She was shocked that sort of thing goes on.

Years ago George Will made the case for fairly administered literacy test. While I can't endorse it (Jim Crow laws, poll taxes, yada, yada, yada), I can sympathize with it.

And while such suggestions are aimed at keeping liberal turnout low, this year I think it would backfire. After all, only one ticket has a person that can't remember ever reading a magazine or newspaper.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 14, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Explain to my why it much matters if someone submits voter registration forms for nonexistent people. Seems to me that nonexistent people tend to cast nonexistent votes.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 14, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

This just in from a former student. Doflick. A user-generated website for video directions.

Very rough but fun.DId I mention he is the designer/owner, etc.!

Bossa Nova on Snare Drum with Brushes

Basic Belly Dance Hip Move (Collect the entire set through move no. 16!)

Your Voice on Helium; Your Voice on Sulphur Hexafluoride (Physics professor sings O Sol Mio)

Posted by: College Parkian | October 14, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering if the converter boxes would work well in rural areas such as mine.

After I moved in and got Directv,I cut the antenna down off my house.I only had 1 channel anyway.If the box would work without a satellite dish that would be cool,if not I guess I will do something else.....I like your idea RD!!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 14, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama vs McCain... or Batman vs The Penguin?

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Welding poetry sounds fun. I have this poem welded to my brain this week...

Esta mujer es una urna
Llena de mistico perfume
Como Annabelle, como Ulalume,
Esta mujer es una urna.

Y para mi alma taciturna
Por el dolor que la consume
Esta mujer es una urna
Llena de mistico perfume.

Leon DeGreiff (from my home town)

Paste into your favorite translation site, of course.

OK, now that I typed it out, maybe I'll be able to get it out of my head.

Off to finish the Potter book. Only 100 pages to go.

Posted by: a bea c | October 14, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm all voted in. Trouble is the denizen household spread its 4 votes on three candidates. Last local poll showed 4 candidates (out of 6, the Greens and the Marxist-Leninists aren't doing that well) getting between 20 and 24% of the vote, so that figures. What a muddled mess.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 14, 2008 8:01 PM | Report abuse

"Moderate drinking shrinks brain: study"

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 14, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

We just voted in the dmd household as well, and one of the few times we are not cancelling each others vote - think I have finally converted my husband to the correct way of thinking :-).

Voter turn out seem higher than last time, Shriek how was it in your area?

Posted by: dmd | October 14, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

We just got back from our polling station; surprisingly quick-moving lines for the time of day. That just shows that we're in a riding where everybody know the Conservative candidate will be elected. But we continue to chip away, on the theory that the more votes she knows the other parties got, the more she'll have to take account of what's important to us (variously, social programs, environment, economy but not the Conservative version). I will say for our MP, though, that she is able and smart and hardworking and well-respected, just wrong on the ideology.

What was really exciting, though, was that this was #2's first time voting in a federal election, and so we are very proud that there aren't any apafetic yoofs in our household. #1 even went out of her way to vote at her University polling station! And she usually wouldn't want to go to the trouble, except she really really likes Marc Garneau (aka "first Canadian in space") who is running for the Liberals in her riding.

Posted by: Yoki | October 14, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

dmd, there were lots of people but then we live in a high growth area and, because of difficulties in finding enough temp help, the number of voting places has been cut somewhat. So, it's hard to tell because Elections Canada has merged our old voting station (a stately private golf club) with a new one located in a hotel/conference centre in the middle of one of those new subdivisions...But the place was very busy. Busier than last time around.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 14, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, I've never voted Lib in my life but let's have a shout to thrice removed cousin Marc G. The man is a swell guy, I met him in his days at dnd...

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 14, 2008 8:31 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of boring you, here's an update on my computer problems.

The new macbook isn't available anywhere near me won't be available until tomorrow, and they don't know how many they'll be receiving; and

I've been on hold with comcast so long that the battery ran out of my phone, and I had to start all over; and

no one has told me what "send password something or other" means; and

Comcast is playing really cheesy R&B music over my phone!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 14, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Maggie, do you know how to send a screenshot of what is displayed on your computer?
My email address is beacantor at hotmail. I'll take a look and see if I can figure something out.

Posted by: a bea c | October 14, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Bea, I finally got through to Comcast and they fixed my email problem. Thanks everyone for your help!

Posted by: Maggie O'D | October 14, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Voted this evening, and while it was busy, it was right close to the heavy heading home time for people coming from the city. much better done overall at the polling station, more people working. shorter lines, speedier voting even with the new ID requirment.

We are home now an hour before the polling stations close. The really swift lightbulbs at the satellite company have blacked out our local stations as well as every other news source till the polls close here. We have no Canadian tv this evening.

I'll predict that there is going to be a close call. Someone is going to form a minority gov't and once again, we will be doing this in two years time. My strong belief is that it will not be the NDP. I have lived under NDP gov'ts and they really are not who you want in place in times of financial crisis.

They have a funny concept of money.

Posted by: dr | October 14, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

I always find it interesting how the human mind can inject meaning into random natural patterns. For example, that rock formations in the first pic brings to mind an Egyptian Pharaoh. And the third picture suggests a bunch of giant carrots. Or, perhaps, a bevy of nascent giant crab creatures.

But that could just be me.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 14, 2008 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Ooops - make that the second and forth picture.

Yeah, that makes a LOT more sense.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 14, 2008 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Hello boodle. Glad you're back among the connected Mudge. Whew, gwe. That was a close one if you made eye contact.

Watching CBC election news. Very interesting that they started coverage 30 minutes before polls closed with a retrospective of This Hour has 22 Minutes coverage of the campaign. How do you get a retrospective out of a campaign that's over in the blink of an eye?

Rick Mercer is still on the set?! I'd like to see one of the major networks in the US start their election night broadcast with Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, then keep one around for punditry throughout the evening.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 14, 2008 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, now that's what I call a full moon. Brilliant white light shining through a thin veil of clouds to create an orange-tinged vortex - like some kind of tunnel into the nighttime sky.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 14, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Frosti, the hour before the election coverage was the Rick Mercer Report and This Hour has 22 Minutes.

There was a news blackout so they had little choice on what to broadcast.

Took the dog for a walk earlier and spent much of the time admiring the moon, simply beautiful.

Posted by: dmd | October 14, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse

dmd-I saw Mercer and 22 Minutes, then for the first half hour of coverage with Peter Mansbridge they had a countdown clock in the lower corner while the 22 Minutes cast and Mercer were guests, along with serious pundits, talking with Peter. I like this blackout deal, we should try it. That and national health.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 14, 2008 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Rays up 11-2 in the bottom of the 7th. In case anyone was wondering.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 14, 2008 10:24 PM | Report abuse

The McCain campaign has asked Youtube to quit automatically taking down campaign videos over complaints of copyright infringement. Sounds like a good argument to me, but why just campaign videos? Fair use is fair use methinks.,2817,2332528,00.asp

Posted by: frostbitten | October 14, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Time to quit hogging and call it a night.

Toodles boodle and sweet dreams.

Posted by: frostbitten | October 14, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

My heart goes out to all of you Sawx fans (as Scottynuke calls, 'em).

The Rays do seem to be a Team of Destiny this season for some reason.

Er, sorry about that last.

A wonderful full moon tonight, and I can feel my lycanthropy kicking in. GrrrRRRRRowwwlll.... The fall full moons are a bit of an unpleasant time for me, as I always wake up with deer fur stuck between my teeth. GrrrrRRRRRRRRRRR... it's a lot easier for Wolfie to partake of the roadside venison that's unfortunately so common this time of year, than to bring one a deer down myself - I mean ggrrrrrrrrrrrrr - *himself.*

Goodnight, all.



Posted by: bc | October 14, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Daughter and I just returned from our second night at the Obama office in Fairfax. What an energizing experience. It's not that the work is exciting or even the office atmosphere is exciting... it's just exciting to be part of a group that's working so hard for what we believe in.

Frosti... here's 23/6's take on McCain's anti-Obama/Ayers ad...

"The GOP has released a new attack ad about Barack Obama's 'connection' with William Ayers. But this time, they sent it to millions of subscribers encouraging them to forward it to friends and family. We decided to help them 'go viral' with this one by making some additions..."

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Just because, bc. The moon is quote bright here, and I wonder if it's because the RH is around 24%.

Posted by: jack | October 14, 2008 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Yup, it looks like we are headed for a second minority, Conservatives, with a little tweaking here and there aomong seats and voters. Very little change.

I am a little surprised that the Greens did not show better across the nation. BC is just coming in now so that may change things.

Posted by: dr | October 14, 2008 11:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not a problem until the non-existent people (and their dead relatives) show up to vote and nobody is checking their ID. But that argument is just playing into the hands of the crypto-racist voter-fraud Henny Pennys.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 14, 2008 11:13 PM | Report abuse

New campaign poster...

Posted by: TBG | October 14, 2008 11:17 PM | Report abuse

And it seems we are having a historic low voter turnout. We should be ashamed. It makes me wonder if it is time to make voting cumpulsory like the Aussies.

And for a little inside dirt, there is a hotly contested election in one of the local seats. A Mr. Uppal, who has lost 2 previous elections in 2 different local ridings, unexpectedly won the nomination in a riding to the surprise of everyone. There are claims of hijinks in the nomination process and the Conservative who was expected win the nomination is running as an independant and is currently leading.

Not that this is interesting to anyone. Its kind of like curling. I can't help myself.

Posted by: dr | October 14, 2008 11:22 PM | Report abuse

I am disappointed by the voter turn out as well dr, think many thought the vote pointless as it would not change the situation a great deal. No one really achieved their goals - an election with no true victor. And it only cost $300 million, money we will be spending again in a year or two - Joy.

Posted by: dmd | October 14, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Here, the voting cards say "It is a FELONY to attempt to vote in the wrong precinct". This creates the presumption that if you show up at the wrong place, the cops'll carry you away.

On the other hand, the Obama campaign has its very conspicuous headquarters next to Habitat for Humanity and is busy organizing in the local black community. The campaign is obviously attracting voters due to the Crisis, but I'm greatly impressed by what's going on in a small heavily-Republican county.

Canadians--best wishes with a new government. For all those problems with minority governments, I kind of admire the guy in Montana who's been promoting parliamentary democracy. Nebraska could make the leap simply by having the unicameral legislature select the governor.

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | October 15, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Good night, Irene.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Happy to say no critters jumped in front of me on the way home......and I agree bc.ahoooooooo...full moons have a way of making us all feel a little wild....ahooooooooo......

Posted by: greenwithenvy | October 15, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

"Va. Election Board Adopts Ban on Campaign Clothing"

Might I assume that my "Screw the Man, Hard & Often" t-shirt might not fly? Actually, I bought the first one for a lady friend of mine (who really liked it, and wore it often) but I was so amused that I bought another one for myself.

Posted by: Alice, Alice, bo-Balice | October 15, 2008 2:59 AM | Report abuse

That wuz me.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 15, 2008 3:00 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt - i love u'r optimism! "Crypto-racist" implies a certain sense of shame that I'm not certain is entirely in evidence in all quarters.

Posted by: Bob S. | October 15, 2008 3:14 AM | Report abuse

While I wholeheartedly believe Michael Gerson to be a pretty sharp cookie, I think that he's oversimplifying some issues, and ignoring others here:

- - - - -

"In the middle of September, the net favorable rating for each candidate was about the same. By Oct. 7, Obama was ahead on this measure by about 16 points. Did McCain suddenly become a stumbling failure? No, the world suddenly went into an economic slide. Americans blamed the party with executive power, which is also the party most closely tied in the public mind to bankers and Wall Street."

- - - -

I think it's also worth bearing in mind that this was very shortly after a large-ish gathering of a bunch of very independently-minded folks at some D.C. pool hall, and the public unveiling and passing along of a Frank Frazetta statuette.

Perhaps there's no connection, but I haven't yet heard any convincing evidence to refute it!

Posted by: Bob S. | October 15, 2008 3:31 AM | Report abuse

The Treasury twisted the arms of 9 people and shoved money down their throats. And then tell them that if they just sit on the money and not doing anything with it, the Fed will come along and twist the other arm. And then they’ll have 2 very sore arms.

Isn’t it wonderful to be able to threaten 9 people with the whole world knowing about it and then get away with it?

Posted by: rainforest | October 15, 2008 3:42 AM | Report abuse

Sorry to deliver bad news in the morning :

Next Victim of Turmoil: Your Salary

Posted by: rainforest | October 15, 2008 3:46 AM | Report abuse

Maureen Dowd tries to broker peace with the Palinistas to no effect.
No Nobel for her.

Posted by: Mo MoDo | October 15, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm not too unhappy with the outcome of the Canadain election. The Conservatives will be constrained with a minority, the Liberals will be able to dump Dion and hopefully clean up the mess left by the Quebec liberals.
The Conservatives walked away with the election in my riding as expected. The Liberals parachuted a woman into the riding to boost their number of women candidates and the Green Party's campaign manager is fifteen years old. No wonder there's lousy turn outs.

Posted by: Boko | October 15, 2008 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Could someone deconstruct the banner photo heading the local Green website? I'm not sure whether it addresses our eviromental, transportation, or housing problems.

Posted by: Boko | October 15, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse

Oops. Here's the Greens website.

Posted by: Boko | October 15, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all...

Looking forward to the debate tonight, particularly to see how McCain figures out how to bring up Ayers when the debate questions are supposed to focus on the economy.

Bob Schieffer: Senator McCain, please explain how you would help homeowners facing foreclosure.

McCain: My friends... I know how to help homeowners. I know how to find and capture Osama bin Laden. I have the Secret of Man's Red Fire! This one [points to Obama]... would rather pal around with bomb-tossing terrorists like William Ayers than help homeowners by cutting corporate taxes. My friends, how can we trust the judgment of a man who sat on a board of directors with a terrorist? My friends, have you seen my slippers? My slippers have never been near a terrorist like Ayers, unlike "that one's" slippers. I know how to deal with terrorists. You tell'em "get the Hell off my lawn, you no-good dirty rats!" That's what I'd tell'em, my friends. And that's what I'd tell pinko commie liberals like "that one" who associate with dastardly terrorists and Chicago mobsters and hate-filled pastors. Did I mention I was a POW?

Bob Schieffer: [confused stare]

Should be an interesting night.

Peace out :-)

Posted by: martooni | October 15, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning, friends. And Mudge, glad you're back. As for the Dawn Patrol, I have been slightly under the weather. I take pain pills now, and I can barely do anything I used to do, so that includes the Dawn Patrol. I'm feeling a little better this morning, and glad you're on the job.

JA, the pictures are to die for. Just great. Glad you're back, hope you get some rest.

Slyness, Scotty, Martooni, and all, good morning.*waving*

Today is the busy day. We got the funding for the radio program last night at the church conference, so we're good to go for another three months. I don't have anything prepared for the Bible study here. Just have not felt up to it, but will find something quick. It is so warm here, it doesn't feel like fall at all.

Have a great day, folks. I did not read all the comments, but will try to later this evening. Is the debate tonight? Glad you're okay, gwe.

I ordered a coupon for a converter box for the television at the church. Exactly how does that work? Do we need an antenna also?

Time to swim.

Posted by: cassandra s | October 15, 2008 6:48 AM | Report abuse

Maggie, I realized after I posted last night that you could not email. Then I realized you said COMCAST!!! They have been changing their settings to prevent the use of their service by spammers. I think web-based mail fixes that.

So, anyway, glad everything is working.

Of to school. Enjoy the warm weather.

Posted by: a bea c | October 15, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Morning, all. Hi Cassandra!

I woke up early, and there's no sense in staying in the bed when I'm awake, so I'm up.

Read Kristol's column in the dead tree edition of the Observer. Wow. Does he really think that McCain can fire his campaign staff and start over at this late date?

I will be voting early because I will spend election day in a conference on fire station design and construction. Mr. T and I are officers in a networking group that has put this conference on since 2000. The economy may be in shambles, but we have over a hundred people who will travel here to spend two and a half days talking about fire stations. We've always had lots of Canadians, but this year we have people registered from Saudi Arabia and Australia. I am surprised and relieved at the turnout; I was afraid that we'd lose our shirts but not this year! Even better, local governments still have concerns about service delivery and are willing to spend a little to ensure that they do their projects right. Hope is not dead.

Posted by: slyness | October 15, 2008 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Morning all!

Cassandra, the converter box is needed when you don't already have cable or satellite service and the existing TV lacks a digital receiver -- the "new" broadcasts are closer to wireless Internet signals than the plain' 'ol radio waves we've made do with for decades, so an older TV won't be able to detect the new signal. As for a new antenna, check here:

*itsa-Dawn-Patrol-maintenance-day-mixed-in-with-a-few-homeowner-tasks-but-of-course-Boodling-will-be-had Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | October 15, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Yello - you make a good point that voter registration fraud could be the first step in a greater plot to vote early and often. But I really haven't heard any indication that this is what is happening. What I am hearing are reports of lazy or unscrupulous people blatantly forging nonsensical registration cards. I mean, if Mickey Mouse really does show up to vote, we got bigger issues to deal with.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 15, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

It's been fascinating watching the Canadian elections play out. This whole process shows both the strengths and the weaknesses of a Parlimentary system. On the one hand, it creates a flexible and responsive government. On the other hand, I can see how it might be hard to ever get anything done.

Posted by: RD Padouk | October 15, 2008 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Faxing ease to Cassandra this morning and my high hope that the pain lets up.

I think that the election here proves one sure thing, that we absolutely must make politics meaningful, must find a way to engage people in the political process. The general attitude is, 'doesn't make a whole lot of difference'.

In very many ways it doesn't. Our beauracracy and our vast assortment of regulations mean any change takes a couple years to implement.

Posted by: dr | October 15, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

RD, you are correct our system can sometimes struggle to get things done, the current cast in Ottawa are a good example. Some minority government can be good if the participants are willing to work together and compromise - this is not the situation in Ottawa currently and little was achieved in the last couple of years and I have little hope for the next couple of years.

dr is correct we must re-engage people in the process, in particular the youth. I have watched my nephews who have never shown a great deal of interest in politics become fascinated with the US election because of Obama, the ability to make a great speech is not in itself a good reason to elect a politician but one who inspires people can interest the public in the process.

We are sadly lacking anyone here who can do that. It is not a requirement that the person be loved by all, sometimes I think a person that ignites passions good/bad can do that. Love him or hate him Pierre Trudeau created an interested in politics people voted either because they believed in him or hated him. It will be interesting to see how his son progresses as he seems to ignite that same reaction - and managed to win a seat in a tightly contested race.

My two cents worth.

Posted by: dmd | October 15, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Howdy y'all. It is nice and rainy here and very cool. Lovely. Last night was so foggy it was dangerous to drive.

Cassandra, I hope things get better.

Martooni, that was really funny.

Boko, you're right about the Republicans using voter intimidation. Don't be surprised by my post - I know people have been deliberately trying to stop particular parts of the population from voting, but their excuse is always high-minded. I'm just taking the words at face value and wondering how, if someone really values voting and voter turnout, they can deliberately place obstacles in the way of voters. More cognitive dissonance.

RD, now that you mention it, I see those nascent giant crab creatures pretty well. Perhaps I should worry.

Posted by: Ivansmom | October 15, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

That's why I'm not concerned about this silly penny-ante registration stuff. The type of whole scale fraud needed to affect an election needs to be done at a higher level.

Thank goodness our ballot counting procedures are iron tight and verifiable. We'd hate to lose faith in the voting machines and fear they have been tampered with at the programming level.

Posted by: yellojkt | October 15, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle.

I'm adding Kathleen Parker to the list of pundits, like Krauthammer and Gerson, whom I will never again read. The woman is a dolt.

However, the following link to a YouTube interview is definitive and, as the lawyers like to say, "dispositive":

I tossed bea's pome into the Babelfish translator and came up with something that seemed to suggest the ballot box was perfumed. I think the translation misssed something.

I think I'm beginning to hate my doctor. I called up yesterday asking for an appointment to have my regular, routine, boring, dull, noncontroversial prescriptions renewed. They gave me the first available appointment: December 30. I said, "I'll be dead by then." The woman on the phone respnded with this weak chuckle, like I was such a kidder. I said, "I'm serious. I have a heart condition and diabetes. If I don't get my heart meds soon, I'll be dead." She said she'd see what she could do and would call me back.

I now have an appointment at 3 o'clock today. *^%$#@!*&^%$*&%$# Two and a half months to get in to see him! And for no reason other than because he refuses to re-issue my prescriptions -- SOME OF WHICH I'VE BEEN TAKING FOR TEN YEARS!!!! -- without seeing me first, perhaps just in case I've been to Lourdes and my arterioscelerosis has spontaneously reversed itself, my incurable lymphedema has gone into remission, and my diabetes pills have suddenly killed all my diabetes germs. Needless to say, my anger hasn't lowered my HBP (not to be confused with BPH) any appreciable amount.

Scotty, ya gotta pull them Sox up, man. And I'm not speaking sartorially.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | October 15, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Due to the energetic practice of sleeping, I missed the Dawn Patrol.

Good morning Boodle!

Posted by: Brag | October 15, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Zactly, yello!

Here, a total zoo as our go-live 2 production date nears. Twelve hours a day has been my personal limit; we're all exhausted and slammed, all done to track (only) money in a slightly different way.

I wish the developers/QA/auditors and general accountability on the voting machines had been this thorough.

Mudge, glad to hear you'll still be drugged.

Posted by: dbG | October 15, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: shrieking denizen | October 15, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Mudge, I hear ya. I like my doctor but I don't do well with the organization she works for. I called the first of August for my physical, which is scheduled for November 20th. I wouldn't go either, except I have to have the blood test to update my medications. Last year, she was on leave and I saw a newly hired doctor, who wasn't born when I graduated from college. A nice child, but she forgot I told her I'm walking 2.5 miles 4-5 times a week, and advised me to exercise to lower my cholesterol. I was livid.

Posted by: slyness | October 15, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Woke up bruised, battered, scraped, without a shred of clothing on, and sore all over.

Naturally, I was by myself.

Anyway, I've brushed the raw venison and deer hair out of my teeth (think Wolfie may have had an oppossum appetizer, too) and the leaves from my hair, and am facing the new day tired but hopeful.

Looking forward to the debate tonight. i think McCain's going to have to come out throwing in order to get back in the game, and Obama knows it. Going to have to run some trick plays, too. The question is, will he sit back in a zone/nickel/prevent defense (which typically doesn't prevent much), or take some chances to force turnovers for quick scores and extending his lead.

I'd add that as JA and others point out, Obama can play conservative on offense, trying to run out the clock, and it sounds like he's come up with a good game plan (that idea of allowing folks to pull up to $10k from 401k accounts tax- and penalty-free as a means of tiding Main Street over is a very nice move, IMO) to keep scoring at a consistent pace.

A friend of mine said some months back that we'd see falling gas prices in advance of the elections as they seem to every four years, and so it is. Will Obama take note of that tonight, and turn it into a talking point about energy policy and the relationship between oil producers, oil companies, and the GOP?


Posted by: bc | October 15, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

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