Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Megan Explains Her Modus Operandi

It's a lot easier to bluff, because the odds are that mistakes won't be caught.

And if they are, you can just ignore the corrections or tell the critic he "misunderstands."

Theater Burlesque

Megan is workin' it like an ecdysiast, an old-timey one with giant fans that snap open and shut, or balloons that are teasingly popped one by one. It's smoke and mirrors, to use yet another metaphor (which would annoy Megan immensely).

Megan, who did not mind the inventive methods used to create a shadow baking system without oversight, now is incensed that the people who lost billions might not get more billions. She seems to think that if the government doesn't get what it wants, right now, without oversight or limit, the financial system will collapse. And the people who stood in the way to obey their constituents, as the House Republicans did, "deserves to be tried for treason."

"We clearly need better regulations," Megan said, now that the negative effect of no regulation has become too clear to be denied. However, Megan continues to mitigate the damage done by Republican policies, her real job. The SEC was not lax, bank runs are complicated, there was no single cause-- anything to divert the reader from thinking about regulation further.

She goes on and on, but it would be too tedious to report in detail. Politicians are disgusting, dissenting Republicans are whiners, Nancy Pelosi is a screw-up, the successful Swedish model with no bailouts wouldn't work here, the bailout wasn't sold well, ignorant people should shut up about the bailout, McCain didn't really want a bailout. No fewer than ten posts by the world's laziest econoblogger. It's a torrent of output by her standards; she must be under a lot of pressure to support the wants of the rich.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Anatomy of Hack At Work

A hack has two concurrent jobs; to push untruths on the people and to mitigate truths. Megan mitigates the truth in this post, diverting attention from her own bad advice and the machinations of her heroes on Wall Street.

A journalist friend who spends way more time on politics than I do suggests that if the Democrats cave and include a capital gains tax, it will probably pass--but puts the odds of the Democrats caving at slim to none, since they can now blame any resulting crash on the Republicans.

I didn't think it was possible to be more disgusted with politicians than I usually am, but I find it impossible to express the seething contempt that I feel at this kind of opportunism. I don't mind when they screw with the normal operation of the economy for venal personal gain. But risking a recession in order to get a cut in the capital gains tax? Letting it tank because you can always blame it on the Republicans?

The Democratic politicians betrayed their constituents with their bought-and-paid-for complicity, but the Republicans actually obeyed their constituents. They removed regulation safeguards and lowered taxes for the rich. They let a shadow banking system grow up that made a relatively few people incredibly rich. Greenspan, Paulson, Bernanke--all helped the White House let Wall Street run wild and free. And "libertarian" Megan McArdle cheered them on, constantly applauding the end of regulation and supporting bad decisions that violated common sense. Naturally she hemmed and hawed, adding enough caveats and warnings, as well as lies and evasions, to cover her rear if she erred out of bad judgement or ignorance.

Megan, who believes that the more money you have the more moral you must be, despises teachers, food stamp recipients, the ill and handicapped, and many other people not fortunate enough to be born in relative affluence. Because she despises them she assumes the worst of them. Likewise, Megan despises liberals, for whatever inexplicable reason that cankers her soul. So anything liberals do must be immoral and despicable. If liberals don't vote for a bill that they feel will not solve the problem and will unfairly be financed by the taxpayer, well, Megan feels (not thinks, feels) that they are doing it out of spite. It is something she understands, after all.

Liberals also own stock, run companies, and of course have a stake in the well-being of their own country, where they are raising their children and where their ancestors were born and died. But out of personal spite and immorality, as well as practical job considerations, Megan writes a foolish and inaccurate post that indulges in spite while not adding anything to the public discourse.

However, Megan is also insulting Republicans, saying they'll tank the bargain to get a capital gains tax cut. Most Republicans voting against the bailout seem to be listening to their constituents, with an eye on coming elections. A few others are acting out of genuine ideological principle. Either way, they are doing what they think they should do. It doesn't necessarily follow that they just want lower taxes. No Republican will miss a chance to try to screw the Democratic Party over when an important bill comes up; they can't help it.

So by attacking both parties, Megan is trying to divert blame from the country's economic policies, many of which she enthusiastically supported. (More or less.) In other words, Megan sneers and insults and is filled with "seething contempt," but mostly she covers her own expensively upholstered ass.

spelling error corrected

No Megan This Morning

Unfortuantely, due to the poor work ethic of Ms. McArdle (or perhaps a hangover, who knows) I cannot provide any Megan moments. No doubt she will make up for it later, with posts that would make Jesus weep in despair.

Speaking of Jesus, let's see what he has to say about the rich and poor.

Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The House Always Wins

Superstitious folk like to say that the most clever thing the Devil ever did was convince the world he didn't exist. That's not true on many levels, but the basic principle does work: Get people to argue about irrelevant details and they will totally overlook the big picture.

We should not be bailing out Wall Street. Giving more money to the people who already lost billions is the height of stupidity. Liberals are arguing with great passion about the details of the bailout, hoping to "win" by putting their slant on it, but they are not saying that the bailout mustn't happen. If you are arguing on the other side's terms, you have already lost.

From Angry Bear:

Joseph Stilgitz asks tough questions at The Nation:

The champagne bottle corks were popping as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced his trillion-dollar bailout for the banks, buying up their toxic mortgages. To a skeptic, Paulson's proposal looks like another of those shell games that Wall Street has honed to a fine art. Wall Street has always made money by slicing, dicing and recombining risk. This "cure" is another one of these rearrangements: somehow, by stripping out the bad assets from the banks and paying fair market value for them, the value of the banks will soar.

There is, however, an alternative explanation for Wall Street's celebration: the banks realized that they were about to get a free ride at taxpayers' expense. No private firm was willing to buy these toxic mortgages at what the seller thought was a reasonable price; they finally had found a sucker who would take them off their hands--called the American taxpayer.

The Bonddad Blog:

This isn't too hard people. If you're going to do this you should set a few basic guidelines. One -- those who made really stupid decisions in buying this paper without analyzing it should not be able to dump it at an above market rate. Letting them do so subsidizing that mistake on the backs of taxpayers.

Michael Hudson, former Wall Street Economist:

What it can do is provide a one-time transfer of wealth to insiders who already have been playing the debt-credit system and siphoning off its predatory financial proceeds to themselves. The Wall Street bankers, brokers and fund managers to whom I’ve been speaking for many decades all know this. That is why they pay themselves such large annual bonuses and large salaries each year. The idea is to take as much as you can. As the saying goes: “You only have to make a fortune once in a lifetime.” They have been salting away their fortunes year after year, mainly in hard assets: real estate (free of mortgages), fine furniture, boats and trophy art. One last $700 billion heist and they can make their getaway.

Naomi Klein:

What Gingrich's wish list tells us is that the dumping of private debt into the public coffers is only stage one of the current shock. The second comes when the debt crisis currently being created by this bailout becomes the excuse to privatize social security, lower corporate taxes and cut spending on the poor. A President McCain would embrace these policies willingly. A President Obama would come under huge pressure from the think tanks and the corporate media to abandon his campaign promises and embrace austerity and "free-market stimulus."

We have seen this many times before, in this country and around the world. But here's the thing: these opportunistic tactics can only work if we let them. They work when we respond to crisis by regressing, wanting to believe in "strong leaders" - even if they are the same strong leaders who used the September 11 attacks to push through the Patriot Act and launch the illegal war in Iraq.

So let's be absolutely clear: there are no saviors who are going to look out for us in this crisis. Certainly not Henry Paulson, former CEO of Goldman Sachs, one of the companies that will benefit most from his proposed bailout (which is actually a stick up). The only hope of preventing another dose of shock politics is loud, organized grassroots pressure on all political parties: they have to know right now that after seven years of Bush, Americans are becoming shock resistant.

But we aren't. We'll do what we're told, close our eyes, and hope for the best. We will do nothing to save ourselves, because to do that will be to admit that Americans are not the best and brightest, our ideals are a thin veneer created to hide the greed and naked callousness of our ruling class, and, at long last, we can no longer force others to suffer so we that can prosper.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Mortgages of Mass Destruction

Senator Dianne Feinstein, via Mish's Global Economic Trends:

Since this announcement, my offices have received thousands of comments
from Californians like you concerned about how this action will affect them.
Yet, I believe prudent action must be taken. The bill should include the
following principles: a phase-in of funding; oversight, accountability and
transparency; a mechanism allowing the Secretary of the Treasury to modify
mortgages to prevent additional foreclosures; and a precise cap on executive

The current credit crisis affects all Americans. If action is not taken to
stem the crisis, Americans risk losing their homes, jobs, personal savings, life
insurance and more. Banks will cease to lend to businesses and homeowners, and
credit will be increasingly difficult to come by for average Americans. I
strongly believe that the consequences of failing to act now would be greater
than not acting at all.

The Sexual Drawback of Palin's Run

Aimai links to a fascinating article in the Huffington Post about alpha male behavior in primates and the body language of the candidates in the presidential debates. This sentence was especially interesting to me because it explained something that was bothering me in the back of my mind. It instinctively seemed to me that it was a bad idea to have a youngish woman run for office with McCain and the author, Frans de Waal, points out why:
Seeing an older male paired with a much younger female sets off red flags
in the heads of many women, so that for McCain and Palin to appear side-by-side
may be problematic.

It's especially bad for McCain, since he openly admits that he dumped his badly injured wife for a healthy, young, fertile, rich one. If he had lied about his running around it would be different; all the conservatives want is a comforting lie, but in his arrogance he didn't. So now the philandering male appears by the side of the attractive youngish woman who reproduced just this year.

The McCain camp correctly assumed that the Republicans would be happy to have an attractive woman as a candidate. But because of her baby and her daughter's pregnancy, the sexuality of Palin's public image is very strong. The Republican men are excited to have an attractive woman to look at after years of "Dick" Cheney and many are raised to be traditional and see women primarily as sex objects. The women have learned that if they are attractive and of reproductive age (and therefore suitable subjects for male fantasies), they will be able to advance in their conservative careers more easily than otherwise. Thus we have Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin.

But there is a very serious potential drawback, as de Waal notes. Because conservative women are so strongly encouraged/coerced to adopt traditional roles of dependence and submission, they also must deal with the fears that come with them. A dependent woman must constantly worry that she will be abandoned for someone her husband, the sole bread-winner, finds more attractive. Seeing the philandering McCain next to the attractive, sexual Palin rings some very distressing bells for a lot of conservative women.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Jonah Goldberg Has a Request

Jonah Goldberg is preparing the paperback edition of his book "Liberal Fascism: From Lucianne's Pocketbook to Wingnut Welfare," and he continues his fine tradition of not actually doing very much work. He has admitted that he didn't read all of the books he used for research from beginning to end, and just cherry-picked the bits he wanted. He also blegged extensively for help in finding and understanding the reading material. When after four years he still hadn't finished his book, he hired an assistant. Finally it was published and now the paperback is going to be printed.

But Jonah has one more request.

Favor from Readers

The paperback is coming in the spring and in addition
to a new post-election chapter I need to provide the publisher with a list of
fixes for typographical and other discrete errors. I can't do wholesale
revisions. But if I got a date wrong, misspelled a name, etc. I can make those
sorts of fixes. I have a few. But if you can recall others, please send them
along to me with the subject header "revision." Thanks!

And we are supposed to take conservative intellectuals seriously?

Jonah Goldberg--the comedy gift that keeps on giving.

Flashback Megan: Obesity

In its entirety:

Why not food stamps?

1) The poor don't need more food. Obesity is a problem for the poor in
America; except for people who are too screwed up to get food stamps (because
they don't have an address), food insufficiency is not.
2) Food stamps only imperfectly translate into increased cash income, meaning that the poor will spend . . . more money on food.
3) If the increase in food stamps takes the
form of expanded eligibility, rather than larger grants, the administrative
issues and public outreach will delay your stimulus until well after it is no
longer needed.
4) The limits on the type of goods available to food stamp
consumers, and the growing season, mean that some (it's hard to say how much) of
the food stamp spending will simply draw down perishable stocks rather than
generating new economic activity. Eventually this will probably generate more
economic activity, but probably well after your stimulus is needed.
5) The economy doesn't need a food sector more distorted by daft government programs than it already is. If you want to give money to the poor, give it to them. Even if they spend it all on drugs, it will hardly be much worse than spending it all
on increasing their already astronomical obesity rates.

You see, the problem with the poor is that they are too fat, and if you give them food stamps they'll buy food and just get fatter. So don't give food stamps to families so they can feed their children; the kids are too fat anyway. What's that? You'd like evidence? Silly people, don't you know Megan went to a private prep school? That's all the evidence you'll ever need.

I'm not sure what she's trying to say with #4. The USDA lists the following as eligible food items:

Foods for the household to eat, such as:

breads and cereals;
fruits and vegetables;
meats, fish and poultry;
and dairy products.

Seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.

That's a pretty wide variety of foodstuffs. Considering all the food issues Megan has (she is constantly discussing what she will and will not eat and how giving up food is morally superior), I have a feeling Megan, a former Catholic, does not look at food as nutrition. Instead it's a way to reward and punish people, and an indication of worthiness.

Flashback Megan: Creationism

I don't know how willing I am to ratify the scientific assumption that the
supernatural is never a possible explanation. I am a radical skeptic;
I think that the supernatural is generally a very unlikely explanation, but
I can evince no proof that the laws of physics as generally observed operate always
and everywhere.

Nor do I think that even Young Earth creationism can be ruled out by science, if you are willing to posit the possibility of a creator; God might have created the world looking old for His own inscrutable reasons.

She has to make mealy-mouthed caveats because she can't bring herself to have an opinion that might harm her financial prospects.

Flashback Megan: Bubble Economies

But I don't think that the world would have been a happier place if Greenspan had
kept the lid on the punchbowl in 1998 and 2002. We haven't had a really bad,
deep recession in 26 years, and it seems reasonable to think that the Fed's
willingness to control inflation, while releasing liquidity as necessary, are
very much responsible for that change. Had Greenspan not opened the taps when
times got tough and markets were unhappy, we might well have had some really
nasty fallout.

Thank God Greenspan made sure the bubble economy lasted! Otherwise we'd have some really nasty fallout. Thank goodness we have an expert like Megan McArdle to guide us.

How The Conservatives See Palin

She's a living doll, on sale now! Get her while she's hot!

Why have a vice-presidental candidate go on television to push his party's message when you can do a meet-and-greet in a Philly bar without discussing anything of substance at all?

We've gone from conservatives lauding "Dick" Cheney as the grown-up in the room with experience and knowledge to a schoolgirl pin-up with a fur collar and hunting rifle.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fantasy Is Such a Comfort

Too funny. They make their own reality, you know.

How is the outsider doing? Throughout the campaign, Sarah Palin has
remained poised and articulate. As far as I am aware, she has committed not a
single gaffe. Speaking with Charles Gibson of ABC during the first of the two
major interviews she has so far given, she sometimes appeared tense. Even then,
she made no mistakes. (Her much-discussed reply to Gibson when he asked if she
agreed with the Bush doctrine--"In what respect, Charlie?"--proved perfectly
legitimate. The Bush doctrine can be defined a half-dozen ways.) Speaking with
Sean Hannity of Fox News six days later, in her second major interview, Palin
proved completely at ease. In just under a week, she had mastered the interview

In The Corner, the author Peter Robinson says he wrote the article before the Palin/Couric interview, and he has no desire to see it now. Why bother with reality when you can just make up reassuring lies?

Megan is Immoral

Megan's immorality in action:

But without the Republicans, the plans costs are certain to go up
considerably, including, probably, giving bankruptcy judges the power to rewrite
mortgages. This sounds wonderful--until you realize that this means
mortgage rates will go up for everyone, probably quite a bit. And that
this will further strain an already weak industry. Why use jinglemail, or
struggle to meet your payments, if you can pay a lawyer $1,000 and magically
transform your mortgage into a prime loan?

She assumes that because she would not act morally without coercion, neither would anyone else. And of course she is proposing that the banks etc. get help but not the taxpayers, who would be the ones paying for the banks' help. Welfare for elite people like me, nothing for little people like you.

She doesn't know what's in the package, doesn't know what the effect will be if it is passed or not passed, and doesn't try to figure out if it will be enough anyway. But her Authority Leader suggested it, so she knows it must be passed. One might as well go to a parrot for advice.

This Dear Soul

I thought my dear must her own soul destroy,
So did fanaticism and hate enslave it,
And this brought forth a dream and soon enough
This dream itself had all my thought and love.

And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread
Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea;
Heart-mysteries there, and yet when all is said
It was the dream itself enchanted me:
Players and painted stage took all my love,
And not those things that they were emblems of.

Those masterful images because complete
Grew in pure mind, but out of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder's gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start,
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.

--William Butler Yeats

This poem is blessedly simple to understand. Yeats' protagonist fell in love with a fanatical, hateful woman. But he wanted her, so he created a false image to superimpose on her. He believed what he wanted to believe, instead of seeing the truth. Why? The real reason is much uglier than the fantasy. Need, vanity, lust--there are a hundred reasons, none of them attractive to look at.

I want you to look at something. Megan discusses the bailout and uses the homeless as an example. Her argument can be summed up with this bit:

How much money are we willing to pay to maintain our sense of

And there you see where Megan lives. The smooth hair and placid, unlived-in face, the MBA wreathed in the "glory" of the Chicago Boyz, the cloying networking, the prep school education, the sidewalks of New York and designer shoes and dresses: They originate in the foul rag and bone shop of her heart. Her vanity and callousness, her love of luxury, exclusiveness and privilege, her smirking disregard for torture, poverty, pain and illness. That is what Megan McArdle really is. That is the creature who passes for a human being, the daywalking vampire who would drain the blood of her country to satisfy her base lusts.

She is revolting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Megan preens again.

Isn't it marvelous how the financial crisis has been caused entirely by
things that you were opposed to before the crisis happened?

Like the Bush Administration?

(I would have just posted that remark in McArdle's comments but she has banned me. She can't stand to be told she's wrong by people who openly laugh at her, don't care about assuaging her ego, and can't be put off by one of her little prevarications, sob stories or pity parties.)

K-Lo Sucks

That's some bad writing there, K-Lo. Nipping at the Benedictine again, girl?

I watched Katie with Sarah last night. And I found the whole thing jarring.
The CBS Evening News is sitting on an interview through Monday? At a moment like
this? When everyone's complaining Palin isn't talking about the press? All
substance of the part of the interview she deemed to show us last night was
trumped by what a bad programming decision I thought not showing it all is.

I think the whole interview may be online — I think Couric said it is. I
haven't made it there to find yet. If I, who live on the Internet, did not watch
it yet, I don't think most Americans will be.

And she's an editor.

More Important Than Megan.

Fish. Shoes that fit. Really good tacos. But let's talk about Palin and money.

First, money and bailouts. The money's gone. It was based on mortgage-back securities that lost value because many people couldn't afford to pay for payment increases in their creative mortgages. This seems to have been forgotten. So the securities that are going to be sold to pay back the bailout are worth less (or worthless) also. That means a hell of a lot of money disappeared, greased in its skids by fees that made a lot of Wall Street entities rich. The director of the Congressional Budget office, Peter Orszag, says:

"Ironically, the intervention could even trigger additional failures of
large institutions, because some institutions may be carrying troubled assets on
their books at inflated values," Orszag said in his testimony. "Establishing
clearer prices might reveal those institutions to be insolvent."
In an interview later yesterday, Orszag explained using the following example: Suppose a company has Asset X, whose value is recorded on the books as $100. Because of the current economic decline, Asset X's real value has dropped to $50. If the company takes part in the government bailout and sells Asset X for $50, the
company has to report a $50 loss on its books. On a scale of millions of dollars, such write-downs could ruin a company. Such companies "look solvent today only because it's kind of hidden," Orszag said. "They actually are insolvent" already, he said. And yet, he says there is no choice, and the bailout must take place.

In the end, he said, Congress must pass some sort of relief, if only
because Wall Street is expecting it. "If we did nothing, there is a significant
risk of another collapse of confidence in the financial markets," he said.

Wall Street took its money and ran, but now we're hearing how this crises "for the American people" must be solved. The free market way would be for people to lose their homes and Wall Street to lose its investments, but there is an election going on and Wall Street didn't spend eight years gaming the system, enriching themselves, to stop now. Time is running out and the Democrats might be about to take office. There's just enough time for one more smash and grab from the Treasury. And the people must be appeased until after the election. It's a bailout, and we are bailing out the people who took the money in the first place.

Speaking of the election, McCain's attempt to use the financial crises to keep Palin under wraps until after the election has inadvertently revealed something very important about Sarah Palin: She is a believer. It's what McCain is trying so desperately to hide. Like poor, pathetic Kathryn Jean Lopez, she believes what she's told about the world. Her religion is fundamentalist, her politics are extremist, and her personal life is a tangled skein of extreme behavior and willfulness. She's dangerous for the campaign because she can't do the wink-and-nod standard to most politicians, who let the masses know that they're just jollying along the fundamentalists and power-hungry folk in government, just doing business as usual in Washington.

Glenn Greenwald admits he was wrong about Palin; that she wasn't being protected by McCain, MCCain was protecting himself. He doesn't have a firm reason for that, however. He suggests:

But Sarah Palin's performance in the tiny vignettes of unscripted dialogue
in which we've been allowed to see her has been nothing short of frightening --
really, as I said, pity-inducing. And I say that as someone who has thought from
the start that the criticisms of her abilities -- as opposed to her ideology --
were much too extreme. One of two things is absolutely clear at this point: she
is either (a) completely ignorant about the most basic political issues -- a
vacant, ill-informed, incurious know-nothing, or (b) aggressively concealing her
actual beliefs about these matters because she's petrified of deviating from the
simple-minded campaign talking points she's been fed and/or because her actual
beliefs are so politically unpalatable, even when taking into account the
right-wing extremism that is permitted, even rewarded, in our mainstream.

They're both right. She is facile with talking points and issues that are very familiar to her. But when she opens her mouth, the truth comes out. Juan Cole notes:

McCain made several perhaps fatal mistakes on his Long March. He allowed
Sarah Palin to be interviewed on television again, this time by Katie Couric. It
is therefore McCain's fault that Palin was permitted to respond to a question of whether the US faces a second Great Depression, "Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on."

Why did Palin make this mistake? Because she was just saying what she believes, what she was told. She doesn't have the brains to say that the problem is being solved by government intervention. And she's a believer. This will come out with every question that is asked of her. Why does did she attend a church where her pastor railed against witches? She believes in witchcraft. Why does she force her daughter to marry and carry a child at 17? She doesn't believe a woman has the right to choose for herself. Her son is in the military. She walks the walk.

Which is the problem. It obviously never occurred to McCain, the elite child of rank and privilege, the cynic who discards wives as easily as some men change their $500 shoes, that Sharia Palin actually believed every manipulative word his party has been dishing out for so many years. And now he's stuck with her.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Oh, god, it's too much. Megan posted an e-mail complementing her coverage. Usually you have to read Jonah Goldberg at the Corner to get that kind of blatant self-stroking.

It's not hatred or ideology that keeps me coming back to Megan. It's the comedy.

From the White House Press Gaggle

Q I'm just trying to reconcile two points here. On the one hand, you said
that there are a lot of members who rightly have questions and acknowledge that
this is obviously a huge package, but on the other hand, you've emphasized
several times that it's critical that it be done quickly this week and that it
be done clean. You know, for lawmakers who are -- I guess I'm asking, isn't
there something to be said for being careful beyond the urgency and the haste?
Is there a concern here that maybe the administration is being heavy-handed?

MR. FRATTO: No, well, look, I think I would reconcile it this way: This
is -- this was not a program that was conceived of or put together hastily.
There was an enormous amount of analysis and debate and discussion before we
came forward with this program. I think we have anticipated a lot of the
questions that members of Congress would naturally have about taking this step,
but we have had -- some of the policy staff have had months to think about what
a program like this would be like and how it would work. Others have had at
least weeks to think about it. Members of Congress have had days to think about
it. And it's very, very complex and takes time to think through all of the
implications of it and why some alternative ideas might not work as well as this
So I think that's really the issue here. We have thought through a lot
of the concerns that some members have in advance, and I think we can address
them on a member-to-member basis, on a committee-to-committee basis. I think
Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke will be able to help in that effort
today. I think when people see their extensive discussion of the details and the
implications and the consequences, I think more people will understand why this
is the appropriate way to address this problem.

Q Well, I guess that's exactly my point, real quickly, is that you're
saying the administration and its staff has had months to think about this and
lawmakers have only had days. I mean, doesn't Congress get its turn? Doesn't it
have its own right?

MR. FRATTO: And they are, and we're taking this time. I mean, I don't
-- I'll concede that it is a lot of information to take in in a relatively short
period of time, but I think they can -- I think it's enough time. At any rate,
there is an urgent need here to get it done and I think members recognize that
also -- the overwhelming number of members of Congress recognize that.

Balance of powers? What balance of powers? Checks and balances are for losers. Act now, limited offer!

And you know it'll work, because the right people want it to work. The obvious question, why should people have to pay for others' bad investments and get nothing in return, will probably be ignored in the end.

It's like the town banker borrowed all the money in his bank, lost it in investing in gold mines that didn't pan out, and then demanded the depositors pay him back. Because otherwise the bank in town will suffer, and where will all the townspeople's money be then?

It's gone. The money's gone. And the banker wants you to give him more money so he can continue to make loans so he can continue to invest in gold mines. But they'll be good loans, they'll make money in the end.

That's all they have to do; dangle a lump of gold and say, "Trust me." And it'll work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Megan Explains the Financial Crises

I honestly don't know what to say about Megan's recent outpourings. They are most irrelevant. Will executives get pay cuts? Who cares? They will or they won't, it won't affect me. FBI investigates Congress, and Megan can't imagine why. Thanks for sharing that simple-minded wonder. Megan favors fractional reserve lending. Great. Nobody's trying to get rid of it, but whatever. Megan can't see why the falling dollar is bad, since "90% of our production [is] bought and sold domestically." That's swell Megan, but some people buy stuff from a country called "China." Look on all your expensive kitchen gadgets; the word will be there. This is so obvious that I can't believe she stupidly overlooked it. Really, she'd have to be dumber than dirt. Dumber than rocks. Dumber than dirt covered rocks. And since she did manage to graduate from university, I have to conclude she's a hack.

Most of all the Libertarian is sure that massive government intervention on the taxpayer's dime is the way to go. So, not really a libertarian after all, is she? She's an opportunistic fake. It doesn't occur to her that her Authoritarian Leaders screwed the pooch so badly that the economy will suffer no matter what is done.

Arthur Silber, as always, says it best.

The pathetic truth is that most people fear genuine independence more than
they fear death itself. So desperate are they for "acceptance" and so fearful of
being thought "peculiar," they will deny the evidence of their own eyes and
mindlessly repeat the lies and ignorance of others. When it comes to a subject
like economics or foreign policy, they think: "Oh, that's so hard! I can't
understand that. I'll just listen to what the 'experts' say. They know

If events of the last seven years have demonstrated nothing else at all,
they should have made absolutely clear that "experts" are often the very last
people you should look to for guidance. The experts are precisely those people
most likely to repeat "conventional wisdom," that is, the views accepted by the
ruling class -- because, by virtue of the fact that they are regarded as
experts, they are part of the ruling class.

Megan reads Arnold Kling or someone at Bloomberg or the New York Times or Washington Post and takes their opinions as her own. She then passes along her information as common knowledge, and the consensus of the smart people who understand all this stuff going on. Her commenters (some of them) duly give her thanks and approval, telling her that her questions are genius, her posts thoughtful and knowledgeable. They're full of shit and too ignorant to know it. Megan isn't quite as ignorant, and therefore deserves all the scorn that toadies like her are due to receive when the gullible public finally, finally, learns that their leaders are not there to help them; they're there to steal from them.

BREAKING!! Credit The Snark!!

GeneAutry Labs shocked the world today when it announced that Rush Limbaugh is actually a genetically altered trained gorilla. Dr. Spencer Stevens, spokesman for the experimental lab, said that a combination of parrot, gorilla, and human genes were spliced to create the perfect Republican mouthpiece. Dr. Skipforth "Skippy" Prendergast created the creature, the most advanced version of a long line of genetically altered conservative speakers.

"Charles Coughlin was pure genius, for his times," said Dr. Prendergast after a recent lecture at Harvard University. "My predecessors managed to splice the Roman Catholic Church and the guy who stands on street corners threatening strangers, but I went to a new level. I combined the repetitious squawking of a parrot with the greed and lust of an especially thuggish gorilla. The human genetic material came from an unfortunate woman from the National Review who thought we could implant her with Jesus' child. She'll never know how twisted her admiration of Rush Limbaugh really is."

Rush Limbaugh cannot be reached for comment, as he is vacationing in the Congo with a suitcase of Viagra, condoms and a copy of "All Creatures Great and Small."

Megan's In The Cornfield Again

Megan has put on her L. L. Bean Town and Country outfit and exchanged her discount designer shoes for penny loafers, as she visits the countryside to construct some strawmen. Megan's wit consists of making sarcastic comments about people, something I ordinarily approve of quite highly. Unfortunately she makes sarcastic comments about imaginary people, which somewhat undermines the effect of her rhetorical flourishes.
[skip] Every crisis gets compared to the Great Depression. This very
nearly was.

There are strains on the left and the right that are kind of okay with this

The right wing version says "Let them fail! Fractional reserve banking is
inherently unstable, and we've been living on borrowed money. We need to
cut back to our natural, credit-free level of output and consumption."

The left wing version says "Let them fail! Capitalism is inherently
unstable; greed is no way to run an economy. We need to force banks to
stop doing all of these dangerous things and regulate them so heavily they can't
make a mistake. Also, as a general rule, rich people should suffer for
their mistakes, and ordinary people shouldn't. This is a great opportunity
to repeat FDR's awesome victories!"
The liberal smear, let's call it Fred, purports that liberals are Marxist ideologues who live in an imaginary la-la-land of communist splendor. While I'm sure it gives Megan a warm glow to imagine her critics as deeply stupid people, it's not exactly true. Fred's a strawman.
But so is the Republican crack, although in a more complimentary way. Republicans want conservative taxing and spending, not all this new-fangled innovation. That's ridiculous too, of course, as Republicans have gleefully removed safeguards called regulations to loot the American treasury for eight years, bringing us to this unfortunate point. Another strawman, Megan.
Is this the kind of analysis you really want to be known for?

Thank You

Thanks to everyone for the concern and well-wishing. I appreciate it very much. I hope to post a little about the hurricane, although people with a tv probably know a lot more about what happened than I did.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Megan Catch-Up

I needed to catch up on the financial news so I went to the Atlantic and read Megan McArdle's analysis. Now I can make financial decisions knowing that I understand the behavior of the market and its underlying causes.

Heh, just kidding. Megan's blowing a little smoke, doing a link or two, and not much else. She's useless, but we all know that. And Megan? Learn how to use a colon. You have an English degree, for heaven's sake. You are embarrassing us all and dragging down the value of our degrees, which can't take much more drag as it is. I suspect your teachers grew tired of being told they make less than Daddy and decided to ignore you and your education. Too bad about that $38,ooo a year. From the venom in your tone when you mention teaching I suspect Mom and Dad had a few words to say about greedy teachers while signing the tuition check.

I had a giggle at her deliberately obtuse post about the perils of taxing the rich, rolled my eyes at her advice for jobhunters, and admired how Megan avoided mentioning the role lax regulation had in the current financial crises. I noted her swipe at McCain; being libertarian means you can make snide jokes at both parties and still be accepted in your version of the Algonquin Round Table, a corner table at a Starbucks with wifi. I guess the insults prove her independent creds, while not actually requiring that she be independent.

But it's a shame the financial meltdown pushed the culture war off the front page. I was so looking forward to read more solemn moral scolding from a woman with the empathy and social skills of a backwoods vampire.
Our power is back on and I"ll be back soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Still Alive, Still without power

Doing well, missinng the rest of the world. Want tv.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hurricane Update

Still doing fine, still with no power. (I borrowed a computer for a few moments.) Food is in coolers, we cook on grills and camp stoves, and search every day for ice. Some people did not or could not plan and the local govt is doing everything they can to help them. The ones with resources search for what they need, find a store or gas station with power on or generators, and wait. We have cleaned up and there are some smallish repairs for some people. The water and sewage system work, an enormous benefit. It could have been much much worse if the hurricane weren't fast and relatively devoid of heavy rains.

V--could you spread the word? It's so nice to hear from you. I am reading Charlaine Harris' Vampire books from start to finish out of boredom, and my only grievance is missing Trueblood.

Monday, September 15, 2008

All is Well

I can't post much since electricity is still out but we are all well. We are just waiting for power to be restored--that might take a week or more.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Day, Another Hurricane

We are going to get a direct hit from Hurricane Ike. Our chance of being hit by hurricane-force winds is about 50% and we're too far form the sea to worry much about storm surges. We will probably have flooding and power outages, however. We've made most of the same preparations as everyone else; we don''t board up our windows but we have propane for a grill and a camp stove, a Coleman cooler, water cooler-sized bottles of water, first aid materials, and a small stockpile of canned goods and toilet paper. (During Katrina the NOLA folks said t.p. was worth its weight in gold.) Our yard is cleared of objects that might fly about (cue "Wizard of Oz" music here) and we have tarps on anything that might be water-damaged. That's about all we can do.

Naturally I don't pray and I'd think it odd to pray to a God who sent a hurricane smack at us to not let it damage anything or hurt anyone. John Culberton, our Senator, was on the radio telling us that we're boot-strapping people who know how to do things right (after experience and everyone else taught us how to not do it). The evacuation for Hurricane Rita was a major disaster, with quite a few people dying and a million or so stranded on the freeways in our deadly heat with no gas or water. In the Bush Era, a competent government is neither desired nor maintained. They think government is bad, so naturally their governing is bad. People died, but hey, they should have used their boot-straps more, right?

Oddly enough, you simply do not see John McCain stickers here. We're a car-proud bunch, but still. Only Obama, on cars, in yards, in house windows. Mamma and Pappa Bush live here, yet there is little or no sign that the party they and Reagan and their son molded even exists.

We Elite Coastal people reject the Salt of the Earth people, the Real Americans, the hard-working people who go to church (sometimes) and worry about their kids and drink beer, who watch football and go to barbeques and movies that go boom!

Oh, wait. That is us. Sucks to be you, Republicans.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Megan McArdle, in all her glory:

The New York City public school system, on the other hand, mostly has to
get butts in seats, because that's how they get their money. It's not that
the teachers don't want to teach kids; it's that they don't have to. And
as anyone who's ever tried to write a novel in their spare time knows, anything
onerous that you don't have to do generally runs afoul of other priorities.

You loathsome creature. Just because you are self-indulgently lazy and wouldn't know a conscientious person if she whacked you in the head with a 2x4 doesn't mean the rest of us are like you. Confine your disparaging comments to undereducated econobloggers who would rather stroke themselves than do their goddam jobs.

And thank God you never finished that novel. It also would have taken the place of more deserving writing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

K-Lo Is Stupid

K-Lo is useful because she truly believes the baloney she's been fed all her life. Watching the Right explode with hypocrisy regarding women candidates is predictable, but you also have to check with K-Lo because she doesn't get the wink-and-nod that conservative "intellectuals" use when talking about conservative voters. K-Lo warns that calling criticism of Sarah Palin sexist is a wrong tactic that will make it harder to call liberals whiners. K-Lo, bless her heart, thinks that sexism doesn't exist and any time a woman complains about biased treatment she's whining. (You could tell K-Lo that the Pope is a Yeti and she'll believe you.) She says liberal criticism of Palin is because she is a conservative, which I agree with, and not because of sexism, which I disagree with in part. It's both. Liberal people are not immune to sexism or racism, of course, but unlike conservatives they are all willing to align themselves with a party that at least purports to believe in equality.

Megan At a Glance

Let's get rid of Megan quickly. I have work to do.

In "Lehman Loses Its Shirt," Megan tells us Lehman lost its shirt, and that it might want a bailout. No, there's nothing else, like analysis. Yes, we knew there wouldn't be any.

In "Future Perfect," Megan demonstrates her love of moral scolding, in this case telling Real America that they'll just have to get used to driving less. It doesn't occur to Megan that when people say the cheap oil party is over, it's over for Megan too, and living in a city itsn't going to save her from suffering. And yes, there will be blood just as much whining from the little miss when the penny finally drops.

In "Housing, Put It Down," Megan tells us that the housing crises is everyone's fault. Yes, regulation is not mentioned.

Megan is controlling her love of sneering at the poor. She only has a few months until the election, and there are talking points to push. Busy, busy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Petite Thomas Sowell

Equality is childish.

Oh, sweet Jesus, I'm a Black man! Denial! Denial! Denial!

Equality is childish.

Advice For the Weary

Dear Atlantic Advice Columnist;

I'm thrilled the Atlantic now has an advice columnist because I have a big problem. There's a woman on the internet who is wrong all the time, and I can't stop being annoyed by her. I'm compelled to point out her lies, distortions and preening when I would much rather do laundry or iron shirts or scrub soap scum off the bathtub. These tasks actually result in a cleaner, more pleasant world. Complaining about this woman, who I'll just call, say, "Megan McArdle," is futile and frustrating. I know I should ignore her but a wise man once said that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. I want to be good and do good, but it's discouraging. How do I find the strength to go on?

Sad in the South

Dear Sad,

As difficult as it is to fight the rising tide, you must persevere, for the good of the nation as well as your soul. Remember your quote, and let it reveal the strength you already carry inside. Seek out others who care about responsibility and truth. You will regret doing nothing far more than you would regret doing too little. Good luck.

Daily Chuckle

Megan says this:

One of the more interesting results of current neuropsychological research
is that some scientists think that, at least for hot-button issues, we reason
backwards: we decide what we believe based on our emotional needs, and
then figure out a reason that we should believe it.

Right after saying this:

Economics of Contempt makes the obvious, common sense argument
for why liberal media bias almost has to exist: (long quote).

And she wonders why we laugh.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Just a thought.

As enjoyable as it is to attack the competence of Sarah Palin, who seems to be Maggie O'Connell's evil twin, it's time to turn to more serious matters. Picture a vice president known and feared for retaliation against political and personal enemies. A vice-president with extreme views who has no concern for anything that stands in the way of success. A habitual liar with a hypocritical family life and close ties to the oil and gas cabal.. You could be describing Dick Cheney, but you'd also be describing Sarah Palin. Like calls to like, and spoiled flyboy John McCain has chosen ruthless ideologue and enforcer Sarah Palin to be Cheney to his Bush.

Friday, September 5, 2008

If I were not so lazy, I'd buy, load, read the manual, and then Photoshop a scene from The Dead Zone with Sarah Palin's head on Martin Sheen's body.

It might have been a bit over the top anyway.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

No Soup Criticism For You!

Megan has decided to ban commenters who criticize her. That'll show that old poopy-head Glen Greenwald. Next time he tries to show up in her comments to tell her she's wrong, she'll ban his bee-hind but good. And all the rest of the people who have begun regularly showing up in comments to tell her she's wrong. They can just get their own blogs to be meanies.

Not that Megan will stop calling people fascists, or stop going on Bloggin'puddin'heads to tell the world that certain people are nasty, mean lefties. In other words: it's okay for Megan to criticize people, even in a lazy, lying manner, but nobody can criticize Megan. She's Better Than You.

Good lord, Megan. Take out a loan and buy a spine.

False Alarm Frightens DC Neighborhood

A minor panic was set off in a DC neighborhood today when thick smoke filled a condominium, sparking fears of a fire. Five people called the local fire department to report a strong smell similar to burning rubber, and plumes of smoke escaping the condo windows of Megan McArdle, 35, a writer for The Atlantic On-line.

"It was a false alarm," said fireman Hakeem Blake. "There was no fire, just some smoke that dissipated quickly. The cause is still unclear."

Witnesses to the event said the smoke seemed come from the head of Ms. McArdle.

"This isn't the first time this happened," said one on-looker, a young man who refused to give his name. "I can't believe my luck. You hear rumors but you can't believe everything you hear."

Hospital spokesperson Heather Beale said Ms. McArdle was unhurt by the spontaneous emission of smoke from her head.

"According to the young lady, she was thinking about the presidential race and trying to figure out who to vote for when her brain began to strain and then smoke with the effort. She will not suffer any brain damage from the experience. That's all," Beale said.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tragedy, Comedy, Same Thing

Oh you silly conservatives. Do you really want to know why liberals are all over the Palin stories? Because they're hysterical. We're laughing our heads off. At you.

Levi Johnston's mother said her 18-year-old son left Alaska on Tuesday
morning to join the Palin family at the convention where Sen. John McCain will
officially receive the Republican nomination for president. The boy's mother,
Sherry Johnston, said there had been no pressure put on her son to marry
17-year-old Bristol Palin and the two teens had made plans to wed before it was
known she was pregnant.

"This is just a bonus," Johnston said.

It's a bonus. Oh God, I can't take any more.

What Is a Libertarian, Anyway?

Megan McArdle has a shockingly immature and authoritarian post up about, surprise surprise, protesters. Basically she says protests are useless and fake, and some protesters are weird-looking. She ignores the raids of protesters in their homes and spends the post mitigating the importance and severity of the police actions. And yet, this woman purports to be a libertarian. So if Megan McArdle is a libertarian, who are these people?

The Libertarian Party says:

Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility. The Libertarian Party itself serves a much larger pro-liberty community with the specific mission of electing Libertarians to public office.
Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another.
In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

From Wikipedia:

Libertarianism is a term used by a broad spectrum[1] of political philosophies which prioritize individual liberty[2] and seek to minimize or even abolish the state.[3][4] The definition of libertarian in a political sense is a contentious issue and there is no single principle or set of principles on which all libertarians would agree. The proper role of government is described from a number of different metaphysical, epistemological, and moral viewpoints.[5] 'Libertarian' is an antonym of 'authoritarian'.[6] says:

"Libertarianism is a philosophy. The basic premise of libertarianism is that each individual should be free to do as he or she pleases so long as he or she does not harm others. In the libertarian view, societies and governments infringe on individual liberties whenever they tax wealth, create penalties for victimless crimes, or otherwise attempt to control or regulate individual conduct which harms or benefits no one except the individual who engages in it." -- definition written by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (!), during the process of granting the Advocates for Self-Government status as a non-profit educational organization.

In no way do these descriptions match the words of Megan McArdle. She might have libertarian leanings, but someone who always sides with authority is simply an Authoritarian, and will support the most Authoritarian candidate of the most Authoritarian party. Her purported support of Obama is laughable. Remember:

'Libertarian' is an antonym of 'authoritarian'

Megan McArdle is simply a fraud. She is not libertarian, feminist, or even analytical. She adds nothing to the public discourse. In a world that treats Jonah Goldberg, peddling purveyor of political "porn," as an intellectual, Megan McArdle's rise is not surprising, but it is disheartening.

If McArdle is too vapid to be taken seriously and is exactly what the Atlantic wants to attract readers, why bother to complain in near anonymity on the internet?

Truth matters. Lies kill and maim. The lies of George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Douglas Feith, Dick Cheney, and many others have sickened us with their gleeful arrogance and deadly consequences. They must be called on them, each and every one. And so must smaller villains, who aid and abet crimes instead of committing them. Who cheer totalitarianism, sneer at defenders of the Constitution, and savage the poor and powerless. Their words flow through the public discourse like sewage looking for the lowest point before evacuating into the wide ocean.

What is this drive that they think is political theory? They want to deny others dignity and self-respect since they have none of their own. They fear and despise the poor, yet are so insecure that they depend on the poor to feel superior to the rest of mankind. And, selfishly, nobody else can have what they have, for that would cheapen it in their eyes. This isn't political theory, it's an empty-hearted callousness, a selfish facade to hide fear and insecurity.

Stop the lies. We can't afford them anymore. It's time to take a stand.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Oh Noes!

Heh, that Megan. She can't understand why anyone would be interested in a political sex scandal. After John Edwards' infidelity and illegitimate child, she can't understand why anyone would see the political significance of a prospective vice president of the United States having an unwed pregnant daughter while the mother preaches abstinence. Why would anyone pay attention to sex, teenagers, hypocrisy, or politics? It's a mystery to McArdle. The stress is so great that she is--wait for it--even contemplating not voting for McCain
[Obama] if people keep criticizing Palin. Yes! She actually said that! And she's such a strong supporter for Obama, as we all know.

K-Lo Goes To Confession

VI Missed Opportunities

K-Lo: (dully) BlessmeFatherforIhavesinnedit'sbeenthreedaysincemylastconfession. (Sighs heavily.)

Father: Kathryn Jean, is that you? You sound so---different. Is something wrong?

K-Lo: No.

Father: Kathryn Jean, you wouldn't lie to a priest, would you?

K-Lo: (Sighs.) No, Father. I just can't talk about it.

Father: Kathryn Jean, a burden unshared is a burden doubled. Please, talk to me.

K-Lo: I can't, Father.

Father: Kathryn Jean, Christ sent you to confession to ease your burden. You must talk.

K-Lo: It's just--it's (whispers) about s-e-x.


K-Lo: Father?

Father: (Deep breath.) Go ahead, Kathryn Jean.

K-Lo: Father, I've been a good girl all my life. I obeyed my parents and the pope and never did anything that I shouldn't have. My page in God's Heavenly Accounts is absolutely blank of bad deeds.

Father: But----?

K-Lo: Bristol Palin, the Governor of Alaska's daughter. (Sob.) She-she-(sob)-she (whispers) did it with some boy. And now she's going to have a baby and---and---.

Father: And your generous heart aches for this poor fallen child?

K-Lo: No! Nobody cares! They're all saying at least she's not going to kill her baby and he's a hocky-playing stud and she gets to keep the baby and have a wedding and I don't because mean old Mitt doesn't want me. It's (sob) no (sob) fair (hic!).

Father: Kathryn Jean, are you jealous of this girl?

K-Lo: No father, I just want her to be thrown out into the street and forced to beg for her living like the slut she is. How will people learn to behave if they don't suffer? God has to punish them.

Father: She is carrying a child, Kathryn Jean. Some might say she is already suffering for her actions.

K-Lo: Not enough, Father. She gets a wedding and I bet her parents will give her anything she and her baby need without any suffering for it at all. She gets to buy those cute little outfits and a long white Christening gown and wedding gown and.... (More sobbing.) What do I get for being a good girl? Nothing! Do you know what is happening to my girl parts?

Father: Young lady, I still believe God has a plan for you.

K-Lo: No, I mean it, Father. I have no idea what's happening (whispers) down there. My mother said a lady doesn't even know what "it" looks likes. Or "they," I'm not sure which.

Father: Kath--

K-Lo: Excuse me, Father, but I just had an epiphany. If I get "knocked up" then a nice boy will marry me, too. It happens all the time, according to Byron York. Father, I gotta run. I'm a girl in a hurry.

Father: No! Wait! Stop! Come back! Don't!

K-Lo: Wish me luuuuuuuuck!

The George W. Bush Work Ethic

It's been about 4 and a half days and Megan McArdle still hasn't posted. Maybe her dog mistook her for a leather chew stick and ate her.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kathryn Jean Lopez Lies about Obama

In an article discussing Michelle Obama, Kathryn Jean Lopez tells a lie and bears false witness against Barack Obama. Lopez said:

Like her husband, who has been known to talk about the importance of
fatherhood, Michelle doesn’t go far enough. I presume that’s because even if she
wanted to, she couldn’t: The party wouldn’t let her. It’s the reason, I assume,
that Barack Obama can’t bring himself to do a full-on Bill Cosby and challenge
men — and black men specifically, who need to hear it, because he can — to be
responsible fathers. He could talk passionately, opening up about what it was
like to grow up without one.

The Obamas do know what works — good, solid, traditional families with a
mom and dad. They also are in the rare position of actually being able to say
that. But they won’t.

While some women whine that they won’t see one of their own become
president next year, they should really be challenging the Obamas to tell the
honest truth about family values.

However, Obama has done that very thing, in a 2005 Father's Day speech at Christ Universal Temple. He emphasized the need for black fathers to be engaged in their family's life and be a good example.

Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that
family is the most important. And we are called to recognize and honor how
critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They
are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who
constantly push us toward it.

But if we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many
fathers also are is missing - missing from too many lives and too many homes.
They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And
the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We
know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households,
a number that has doubled - doubled - since we were children. We know the
statistics - that children who grow up without a father are five times more
likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out
of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more
likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage
parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of

How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands
of another child? How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the
night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen
hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom? How
many are sitting in prison when they should be working, or at least looking for
a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence
or addiction? How many?

Lopez commented on this very speech, acknowledging Obama's criticism of the black community.

Obama, as the first major black presidential candidate in recent history,
has an unprecedented opportunity: To lead a fatherhood revolution. And he knows
it. Speaking at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago on Father’s Day 2005, he
preached the Word and channeled Bill Cosby, known these days less for his comedy
than for his lectures to black men about taking responsibility as fathers and
husbands. Obama said, “There are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, walking
around, and they look like men. And they’re tall, and they’ve got whiskers —
might even have sired a child. But it’s not clear to me that they’re full-grown

It’s not shocking that Obama would latch onto such a message — and
leadership role. Now that he’s launched a presidential exploratory committee he
knows it’s smart politics. But it’s also a natural for him. In recent weeks the
press spent a few days talking about Obama’s “coke problem.” In his 1995 book,
Dreams from My Father, he wrote, as if preparing an opponent’s attack ad:
“Junkie. Pothead. That’s where I’d been headed.” That part was heavily quoted in
the media. But he added a less-quoted part: “the final, fatal role of the young
would-be black man.”Read on. In that book and in his recent bestseller, The
Audacity of Hope, you will learn about his father, whom young Obama knew only
from mothball-covered photos, stories, and letters from Kenya, his father’s
native land. (His parents divorced when he was two.)

Without complaining, Obama relays that “as I got older I came to recognize
how hard it had been for my mother and grandmother to raise us without a strong
male presence in the house. I felt as well the mark that a father’s absence can
leave on a child. I determined that my father’s irresponsibility toward his
children, my stepfather’s remoteness, and my grandfather’s failures would all
become object lessons for me, and that my own children would have a father they
can count on.

”Now the father of two daughters, Obama’s focusing on more than his
familial responsibilities. Sounding more like a social conservative than a
liberal Democrat — he lauds welfare reform, teen-pregnancy prevention, and just
stops short of speaking the right-wing language of personal responsibility and
abstinence. (“I want to encourage young people to show more reverence toward sex
and intimacy, and I applaud parents, congregations, and community programs that
transmit that message,” he writes.) He says that “policies that strengthen
marriage for those who choose it and that discourage unintended births outside
of marriage are sensible goals to pursue.”

Lopez knowingly and deliberately lied about Obama. Bearing false witness against a neighbor is a serious sin which breaks the Eighth Commandment. Kathryn Jean Lopez should resign immediately, for her partisanship is endangering her soul.

A Scandal Waiting To Happen

Dear Glorious God in Heaven,*

Thank you, thank you, thank you! McCain's VP choice is the most wonderful thing to happen in this roller coaster ride we call an election. Thank you for her wingnuttiness, for her unmarried teen daughter who is pregnant, for her oil and gassiness, for her penchant for firing her enemies, for her connection to fringe separatists at the Alaska Independent Party. She's a freaking pinata of embarrassment, who only needs a couple of whacks to spill forth the goodies. Anyone who holds back because she is a woman and mother is a fool.

ADDED: K-Lo thinks people should leave the mommy-to-be alone. Too bad Rich Lowry already wrote a post lauding Palin for carrying her baby with Down Syndrome to term. If it's okay to flog Trig for votes, it's fair to talk about the pregnant daughter too.

*still an atheist, btw.