Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Catching up

Sorry about the lack of updates, just too much real life business to take care of.

1. I missed the first 20 minutes or so of the debate, but from what I saw, it was same old, same old. Obama gave generally better answers and was calm and collected throughout the entire thing, while McCain lied and blustered his way through with ideology, not substance, all while struggling to control his temper and hide his contempt for his rival.

The talking heads on CNN seem to think McCain did very well through the first half hour or so, but started losing his way when they got into the Ayers/ACORN stuff.

Things that made me want to yell at the TV screen:

- McCain dishonestly blaming the financial crisis on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (see Matt Taibbi's epic IM takedown of Byron York).

- McCain lying about ACORN and voter fraud.

- McCain lying about Obama voting to let babies die.

- McCain repeatedly stressing how important it was to make health care more affordable, even after Obama eviscerated his sham of a plan.

2. Ah, the Canadian election. I don't have much to say about it, really. It went down about how I expected. Harper made some gains, but it's still a minority government, so either he gets the support of one or more opposition parties to pass legislation, or he just makes everything a confidence vote, daring the opposition to take him down.

Clearly Harper's attacks on the cultural industry and his support of tougher measures on youth crime hurt him badly in Quebec. If it hadn't been for those two things, he might have gotten his majority, bad economic news or no.

3. The stock market took another dive today (the Dow suffered its worst percentage loss since 1987; remember, 700 points means a lot more when your starting point is 9200).

What did I say last week? I said I'm buying this week...but I might actually have to extend that to next week.

Some economists think the bottom is around a thousand points lower than the current level (that goes for both Canada and the US). They're the pessimistic economists of course, but perhaps a little pessimism is the right attitude after the massive clusterfuck that has been perpetrated on an unsuspecting populace.

One thing is for sure, smart investors (and I humbly claim to be a reasonably smart one) will be able to get a lot of value at rock-bottom prices. Even after the Great Depression, the stock market did go back up, and money invested back then has since doubled, tripled, quadrupled, or quintupled several times over. This might not be another Great Depression, but it is, at minimum, a severe market correction. And stocks are a terrific bargain right now.....just wait a few more days and see what happens.

4. Kos has a good post up about some inexplicable McCain campaign decisions. For instance, why is he still spending millions of dollars on advertisements in Iowa and Pennsylvania? Obama is ahead by double digits in both states. If McCain wants any chance of winning at all, he needs to concentrate ALL his efforts on Florida and Ohio, and pray for some game-changer that shifts the fundamentals in his favor so that states like Virginia and Colorado stay red. Iowa and Pennsylvania are the last swing states that would shift in his favor, if they can even be considered swing states at this point.

5. And just because my day would not be complete without exposing yet another lie from Sarah Palin, this here is probably her worst yet. Steve Benen explains:

I can understand Sarah Palin feeling humiliated by her Troopergate scandal. An independent investigation concluded that she violated state ethics, abused the powers of her office, and lied about it. This isn't exactly easy to spin away this kind of violation of the public trust.

It was odd, then, to hear Palin tell reporters on Saturday that she's "very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing, any hint of any kind of unethical activity there." This was, of course, the exact opposite of reality. The Anchorage Daily News called Palin's response "an embarrassment to Alaskans and the nation." The editorial added, "Her response is either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian.... Palin's response is the kind of political 'big lie' that George Orwell warned against. War is peace. Black is white. Up is down."

Naturally, then, Palin repeated the lie yesterday.

"The report that came out also was very clear in that there was no unethical or unlawful behavior on my part," Palin told a local CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, adding, "No abuse of power there at all."

This is just madness. The report was unambiguous -- Palin "abused her power." She "violated" the "Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act." Even Sarah Palin can read this and understand the plain meaning of basic words.

This makes Palin's breathtaking lies all the more remarkable. She said the report was "very clear" that she hadn't done anything "unethical" and there was "no abuse of power" at all. I don't think I've ever seen a politician lie so brazenly.

No? Where have you been the last two months, Steve?

....oh, I kid Steve Benen. He's been invaluable in cataloging all of this crap, and yes, this lie probably takes the cake.

That's all I got.

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