Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whither The Dow?

Dow dropped another 500 points today, despite LIBOR rates clearly lower this week. The Credit crisis is no longer the problem, but dismal 3Q numbers and the prospect of a multi-year recession is scuttling the market.
Stocks fell sharply Wednesday after the latest bevy of big names reporting earnings issued gloomy outlooks or missed their targets altogether.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 514.45, or 5.7 percent, at 8519.21. The blue-chip index saw wild swings and dramatic falls today, particularly in the last half hour: At one point in the final 15 minutes of trading, the Dow was down nearly 700 points.

Today was the Dow's seventh biggest point drop in history. Of the top 10 drops, four have occurred this month. The Dow is now off more than 5600 points, or 40 percent, from its October 9, 2007 high of 14164.53 -- that's twice as much as the 20 percent required to declare a bear market.

"This is the worst first year of a bear market in history," Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial, told CNBC.

Things will only get worse from here. It's a new ball game, folks...and not many of us are going to like the score.

The Science Of Delegitimization

Over at hullabaloo, Digby talks about the coming press backlash against Obama.
This is correct. It's true that the Republicans are on the run and their movement is crippled by the epic failure of the Bush administration. But they have a permanent character assassination apparatus, funded by extremely wealthy aristocrats, devoted solely to the destruction of liberalism. They aren't closing up shop and taking up needlepoint. Indeed, they are much more active when the Republicans are out of power than when they are in.

It's not inevitable that Obama will not have a honeymoon or that the press will become the willing love toys of the rightwing as they did in the 1990s. But it pays to remember that the media were quite in love with Bill Clinton during the last half of that campaign and they turned on a dime once the wingnuts started working the refs in earnest. (You see, as with John McCain, the conservatives didn't care for Bush Sr and were actually quite happy that Clinton won so they could purge the party of its moderates and focus on its "revolution." For them, the way to real power is in being a ruthless opposition.)

So, as Rosenberg writes, this voter fraud nonsense is about legitimacy. Regardless of whether Obama wins a clear victory, the story doesn't stop the day of the election. Indeed, they will be recycling the left's complaints from 2000 almost verbatim making us sputter in rage about the absurdity of such a comparison. And they'll build a powerful myth of victimhood around the phony belief that Democrats steal elections. Lack of faith the in the electoral system serves conservatives far better than it serves liberals.
I honestly think Digby's seriously underestimating what the GOP is capable of. They've lost control of the Haterade Factory, and it's not just the media clucking its tongues at the man for being a dirty, filthy liberal, it's going to be all the news reports on the crazies out there that want Obama gone by any means necessary, and then the media's efforts to cover for them.

"Well gosh, there's a groundswell of anger out there towards President Obama" stories are going to come at a machine-gun clip, as will all the Village Idiots doing their best to dress up the rotting corpses of racism and bigotry in an effort to make them presentable to the rest of us.

They'll just be reporting the news from "real America" or course. The aiding and abetting of the hate against Obama will make the Clinton years look like a picnic.

Somebody's going to try to "save America from Obama" the way Squeaky Fromme and Tim McVeigh did.

Well, My Work Here Is Done

Swiped from Terrence DC over at the Frog Pond, it's this gem.

"Dude, you heard her, we have to stay in there until the job's done."

As Your Sworn Enemy, We Have To Say We Like The Angry Old Guy

It seems our old friends in Al Qaeda would really, really like to see John McAngry in charge of the country after Bush, according to Matt Yglasias.

Interesting Associated Press report on al-Qaeda’s thinking about the upcoming election:

The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, “impetuous” Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier,” the message said. “Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush.”

Now of course it would be silly for a voter to base his decision on a desire to spite al-Qaeda. The right thing to do is for everyone to reach an independent judgment about whose policies would best advance the public interest. This musing is, however, interesting:

“If al-Qaida carries out a big operation against American interests,” the message said, “this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaida. Al-Qaida then will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it.”

There’s no telling what al-Qaeda is actually capable of doing at this point. But it’s well-known that al-Qaeda does try to influence western elections. We saw it with the Madrid bombings before the Spanish elections, and then we saw it with the October 2004 bin Laden tape that the CIA believes was designed to boost George W. Bush’s re-election fortunes. Al-Qaeda members will probably be able to come up with something to do between now and Election Day to help push things in the direction they prefer.

And that about wraps it up for the McSame campaign, I'm thinking. Even freaking Al Qaeda thinks McSame is a volcanic hothead whom they can manipulate into spending more blood and treasure in Iraq...after all we've already wasted trillions there, not to mention the thousands of American soldiers who were killed fighting a war with no real end in sight. They know McSame will continue Bush's fact they are counting on it so that they can continue to bankrupt us.

Let's look at what AQ has done: they have caused two recessions, tied us up in two wars, blown all our goodwill, and bankrupted us for a good five trillion plus, all done for the low low price of some martyrs, a couple of f'ckin box cutters, some fake IDs, a video camera, and internet access.

Can we all agree that we're being sandbagged now? Can we agree that McSame is just more Bush? Can we agree we need to ge the hell out of Iraq? Of course AQ wants McSame in charge, so they can give us enough outrage to hang ourselves with.

Our New Campaign Strategy Is Prayer

No, literally, that's Sarah Palin's solution to being 10 points down: not that Americans will do the right thing on November 4, but that God will.
In an interview posted online Wednesday, Sarah Palin told Dr. James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” that she is confident God will do “the right thing for America” on Nov. 4.

Dobson asked the vice presidential hopeful if she is concerned about John McCain’s sagging poll numbers, but Palin stressed that she was “not discouraged at all.”

“To me, it motivates us, makes us work that much harder,” she told the influential Christian leader, whose radio show reaches tens of millions of listeners daily. “And it also strengthens my faith because I know at the end of the day putting this in God’s hands, the right thing for America will be done, at the end of the day on Nov. 4.”

Dobson praised Palin's opposition to abortion rights, to which the governor affirmed that she is “hardcore pro-life.”

She said giving birth to her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, has given her the opportunity “to be walking the walk and not just talking the talk” in her long-standing opposition to abortion.

Dobson — who has never been warm to McCain — asked Palin if her “private conversations” with the Republican nominee had revealed a true commitment to the Republican party’s pro-life platform.

Palin assured Dobson: “John McCain is solidly there on those solid planks in our platform that build the right agenda for America.”

She also thanked her supporters — including Dobson, who said he and his wife were asking “for God’s intervention” on election day — for their prayers of support.

“It is that intercession that is so needed,” she said. “And so greatly appreciated. And I can feel it too, Dr. Dobson. I can feel the power of prayer, and that strength that is provided through our prayer warriors across this nation. And I so appreciate it.”

Yep, God will step in and save America from Barack Obama and the Democrats, she's sure of it.

McSame/Palin are literally down to "divine intervention" as a campaign strategy. Stop and think about that for a second, and what that means, about what Sarah Palain would do if given the chance to pull the levers of power.

It's not God influencing the GOP right now, it's the other guy.

Sarah Pay-lin

Sarah Palin, Alaska's super neato you betcha reformer maverick girl, has a bit of a problem with her own little finance scandal.
Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. She also has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

Alaska law does not specifically address expenses for a governor's children. The law allows for payment of expenses for anyone conducting official state business.

As governor, Palin justified having the state pay for the travel of her daughters -- Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; and Piper, 7 -- by noting on travel forms that the girls had been invited to attend or participate in events on the governor's schedule.

But some organizers of these events said they were surprised when the Palin children showed up uninvited, or said they agreed to a request by the governor to allow the children to attend.

Did I say finance scandal, singular? I meant scandals, plural.
Since her selection as John McCain's running mate, the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on clothing and make-up for Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband, and even her infant son, it was reported on Tuesday evening.

That entertaining scoop -- which came by way of Politico -- sent almost immediate reverberations through the presidential race. A statement from McCain headquarters released hours after the article appeared bemoaned the triviality of the whole affair.

"With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses," said spokesperson Tracey Schmitt. "It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

But even the most timid of Democrats are unlikely to heed this call for civility. For starters, the story has the potential to dampen enthusiasm among GOP activists and donors at a critical point in the presidential race. It also creates a huge PR headache for the McCain ticket as it seeks to make inroads among voters worried about the current economic crisis.

Mainly, however, Democrats (in this scenario) are not prone to forgiveness. After all, it was during this same campaign cycle that Republicans belittled the $400 haircut that former Sen. John Edwards had paid for with his own campaign money (the funds were later reimbursed). And yet, the comparison to that once-dominant news story is hardly close: if Edwards had gotten one of his legendary haircuts every singe week, it would still take him 7.2 years to spend what Palin had. Palin, in the end, had received the equivalent of $2,500 in clothes per day from places such as Saks Fifth Avenue (where RNC expenditures totaled nearly $50,000) and Neiman Marcus (where the governor had a $75,000 spree).

Petty and stupid? Sure. But let's remember Republicans are publicly accusing Democrats of being terrorist sympathizers, Socialists, Communists, they want them investigated for treason, and they accuse them of hating real Americans who believe in God.

The entire Republican Party has been reduced to petty and stupid.


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