Lang’s Fearless Forecast

Fascist_image Obama/Biden will win election comfortably.  The "Perfect Storm" has emerged to consign McCain’s hopes to the "dust bin of history."  The economy, the burden of Republican disunity, the Bush era, the doubts bout McCain’s temperament.  These are all greater burdens than any ticket could carry to victory.  That will be the end of McCain.  It will be interesting to see if he remains a significant figure in the senate.  Palin?  When they lose not even McCain will answer her phone calls.

In the House, the Democrats will increase their majority.

In the Senate, the same thing will occur.  There the Democrats will pick up less than ten seats.

I am not altogether pleased with this outcome.  Power corrupts, etc.  This is too much power for one party, any party.

To add to this wealth of power, there will be retirements on the left from SCOTUS.

Too much power.  Too much.  pl

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83 Responses to Lang’s Fearless Forecast

  1. YT says:

    Hhmm, UFSA. United Fascist States of America. Gotta write new songs for Superbowl.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Johnny-come-lately, hah! *g*
    On the “too much power” issue, yes, but remember, these are Democrats! A party whose ability to under-reach is matched by no other.
    On the Economic front, so much debt will be a large factor in Democratic under-reach.
    On the Foreign Policy front, Democratic under-reach will serve us well for a time.
    On the Supreme Court front (and the rest of the Judicial branch), again Democratic under-reach will serve us well.
    As a matter of fact, Democratic under-reach in general is probably just what the Doctor ordered for the next 2-4 years after almost 8 years of extreme over-reach by Republicans.
    And the Culture Wars so dear to Republican hearts (what hearts?)?
    On life support for a bit (10 minutes max, after the Obama swearing-in).
    And then the offspring of Newts, Delays and whack-a-mole McCains will emerge from their burrows to plague us all once again.

  3. Steve French says:

    I imagine Palin will have a brighter future than McCain will should they lose (which seems likely).

  4. frank durkee says:

    I agree about “powercorrupts etc”. A couple of caveats however. Disunity in the Democratic house contingent since some of the pickups will be in ‘swing’ districts and thus probably reenforce the Democratic Blue Dogs. that group with the few remaining Republican ‘moderates’ will perhaps begin to constitute something of a ‘center’ and opposition group to the two extremes. Restoring the economy as well as managing two wars and other activities will require some tough choices and this will have a centrifigal effect on party unity. Parties matter much less than they did when I was young [’50’s ], as most politicians are effectively individual entreprenuer’s today and thus subject less to party discipline and more to electoral return. Each is in some ways their own power base.
    Perhaps at home the critical task will be after nationalizing the money mess and hopefully rightening it, how to re-privitize it. Moving through idealogical and operational shifts is always messy and conflicted. this will be no different.

  5. Ronald says:

    You had predicted that racism would prevent people from moving over to Obama. Given that perspective, do you think the dredged up Ayers and Wright attacks from McCain will stick?
    FWIW, I do not.

  6. Patrick Lang says:

    Ronald et al
    The net effect of racism and all the other factors is a “moving target.” There will still be a lot of racism but not enuogh to decide the outcome given all the other factors.
    This estimate is still subject to revision. pl

  7. Dan M says:

    Sure most of you are aware of the “poll of polls” sites. If not, here they are:
    The 538 site has some mathematical model (that I don’t pretend to understand) that compares poll numbers at this point in the race against the past as predictors of the winner. The upshot is it has McCain a 4-1 dog.

  8. Cieran says:

    …do you think the dredged up Ayers and Wright attacks from McCain will stick?
    Pardon my jumping in here, but…
    I’ll suggest that this guilt-by-association tactic of the McCain campaign is going to prove to be a big loser for the GOP. The connection between Obama and Ayers is thin at best, and it opens the door for Obama’s supporters to respond by noting the not-at-all-thin connection between McCain and Charles Keating (poster boy for the last economic debacle).
    McCain wasn’t convicted of wrongdoing in that scandal, but his public record of selling out the taxpayers for favors from a corporate parasite is clear, and his guilt is not by association: it’s by his own words and deeds.
    The response ads are practically writing themselves as we speak, and they won’t be pretty for McCain. He has to know this line of attack on Obama is going to create plenty of blowback, so I’d suggest its use indicates complete desperation within the McCain campaign.
    And with the economy in tatters, desperation is the exact opposite of what a Presidential candidate wants to be seen demonstrating at this late date.

  9. Green Zone Cafe says:

    This is just the pendulum swinging back to the golden mean. By temperament and policies, Obama is a moderate.
    I worry whether he’ll be able to get anything done. When he wins, the howling and braying of Rush Limbaugh, Drudge et al. will start immediately. There will be no grace period.

  10. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    Don’t forget the changes that will also occur in the FAA, NIH, FEC, FCC, EPA, FDA and NASA as well as all the other agencies whose mission has been perverted by the laizzez-faire, no-science-allowed policies of the Bush administration.

  11. alfred glenstein says:

    in all fairness, you did think the opposite to be the case a few weeks ago:
    So, what changed?

  12. David W. says:

    The elite Republicans can’t be too sad–they had a good 10 year run where they ‘busted out’ the country, so now they can stick the tar baby on the Dems. Look at Bush’s budgets, masterpieces of fiction and deception that they are; all they were ever designed to do is kick the can down the road. In that same light, the stimulus packages and free-flowing Treasury dollars were all meant to keep the masses happy, and the illusion going.
    With the exception of a few good men and women, the Democratic Party is in on the scam, and the only true bipartisanship is in keeping the pork rolling. Anybody who thinks that DINO Nancy Pelosi is a ‘San Francisco Liberal’ must listen to Rush Limbaugh, because she has done nothing but roll over for the other side of the aisle. The sad thing is that she is up for re-election this year here in SF, but you wouldn’t even know it if you lived here. Her only challenger is Cindy Sheehan, who, unfortunately, is a protester, not a politician, and not a credible alternative, other than a protest vote.
    We have long since passed the point of absurdity in our broken goverment. Last week was just another sad reminder of how venal and corrupt these gerrymanderers are; the only way they could pass the $700 Billion blank check bailout plan was to lard it with another $150 Billion for themselves. The urgency on their part may have been real concern for the economy, or simply to wrap up this session of Congress so they could go back to their ‘real’ job–soliciting $$$ from corporate johns.
    If we are lucky, Obama will be a replay of Bill Clinton, who at least threw a few bones to the other 99% of the country. Otherwise, it will be ‘business as usual.’

  13. Dave of Maryland says:

    The report I heard was that the fix was in. Velvet Underground, if you like them. McCain/Palin will win with 51.something of the vote (51.2), by three electorial votes.
    All thanks to vote-rigging via easily hackable touch-screen voting machines. (See the Brad Blog for sickening details on how easily this can be done.)
    Then I heard that a foreign government was giving the Republican vote-riggers some competition. A guess would be that’s the Israelis, favoring Barak.
    On Saturday Krugman said there would be a bailout 2.0 – and the ink on bailout 1.0 wasn’t even dry yet. My guess is 2 trills more money.
    Kristof, in today’s NYT, is still peddling the lie that we have to vote for the inexperienced Obama or be called racist.
    I thought about Nader. But with the bailout it’s now clear. I’m voting Green. Straight down the ticket.
    But I doubt it will make any difference if we vote at all. I know it sounds like I’m hysterical, but last week was unforgivable.

  14. Dave of Maryland says:

    Aha! Mussolini!

  15. Patrick Lang says:

    Al Glenstein
    I just told you in a comment above. To be crystal clear, the gross deterioration in the economic and financial situation moves my net assessment. pl

  16. Will says:

    Even the wheelbound Sith, Darth Krauthammer has conceded the election to Mr. Kool. He compares him to Reagan- Mr. Kool has shown that he is is not a menace. Once that threshold has passed, then the electoral floodgates swing open.
    But prediction is always a risky business, especially when it involves the future. (Apologies to Yogi Bera, I guess). Sometimes you can observe a lot by just looking.
    p.s. the best comment i’ve seen re Palin is- how could mccain have put her in presidential succession position a hearbeat away from that old man’s ticker. check’er out at with some trophy bears & wolves at
    from SNL or maybe Letterman. marriage is a sacred institution forced on unwilling teenagers!

  17. David W. says:

    Regarding racism and religion, it is an article of wonderment that Obama can be bashed so much about Rev. Wright, but all we hear is crickets from the right about Caribou Barbie being ministered by a Kenyan witch doctor.

  18. Duncan Kinder says:

    I am not altogether pleased with this outcome. Power corrupts, etc. This is too much power for one party, any party.
    Due to the bailout / credit crunch the federal government is going to have a great deal less power than it has had since WWII. Hopefully our society will find other means to organize itself in some productive fashion.
    As for Palin, she has a promising future as a FOX News commentator, radio talk show host or the like. An outfit like Cabelas might want here as a spokesperson or even a fashion model.

  19. wasa says:

    Economic conditions will deteriorate significantly over the next 18 months and the Republicans will take advantage of the situation in the 2010 elections. We will then get much closer to a divided government once again.

  20. ISL says:

    Foreigners will also play a greater role in dictating US policy in exchange for bailing us out of our toxic mess, thus, I think there is good reason to think that the absolute power of a sole superpower days are over.

  21. Maureen Lang says:

    Gloves come off in new Obama/Biden ad that calls McCain “erratic” & “out of touch” with economic issues:

  22. m savoca says:

    Colonel Lang
    overall i agree with your predictions.
    but sir, if i may say so without any intended disrespect, none of your hopes nor concerns may matter at all if…
    we are entering a world condition that is off the charts.
    the federal government is beyond bankrupt, many US corporations are in deep trouble, our balance of trade is so imbalanced that tariffs and a breakdown in world trade are strong possibilities, consumers are tapped out having used their homes as ATMs and now they are debt over-burdened.
    i’m hearing things said by people i trust that indicating there is about a 50/50 chance the world financial system may be melting down in the next month or two.
    so what do traditional democratic or republican or liberal or conservative politicians do in this environment…how will any of the exponents of these political belief systems perform under this extraordinary and unpredictable circumstances?
    some of the answer can be found in the past.. one of the greatest political collaborations to be found during the great depression occurred between a democrat then president F Roosevelt and a Republican F LaGuardia (then mayor of NYC).
    Great men and women will emerge and strange allegiances must, and will be forged.
    somehow we must create a free market system that both encourages individualism, growth and creativity to flourish while at the same time, this system is monitored and regulated to ensure that theft, fraud, endless selfishness and gross negligence are stomped down to a minimum.
    Is such a system possible? Only if reasonable men and women are inclined to set aside ideology in search of a system that is… well…in a word, fair!
    fairness, a simple but important consideration.
    its long past time to start praying that our leaders are inspired to bring forth justice.

  23. wcw says:

    Wpl, that sounds right — and was mostly predictable, based on economic data. When the recession started isn’t clear, but I’d say the warning signs were clear by March, and the bad news was probably baked in by August or so. Incumbent parties lose elections in recession years.
    As for the Ds (I call them “Eisenhower Republicans”), yeah, they’ll have some majorities, but they won’t be 1964-liberal-consensus majorities. I wouldn’t worry too much about overreach. Mostly, I worry about their continued collective desire to define themselves merely as not being the train wreck that is the modern GOP. A more-pathetic opposition party may be hard to imagine, but a more-useless majority party is difficult to see, too.
    On the bright side, such as it is, we are guaranteed interesting times. Though given what’s going on in the financial system right now, that was baked in, too.

  24. Nancy K says:

    Dave of Maryland, don’t feel so negative. I believe it was mentioned on this blog just a few weeks ago that in a democracy we can vote for whom we want and we deserve who we get. If throwing away your vote by voting Green makes you feel better or alleves your conscience than go for it. But I feel we are definitly at the crossroads in our country and sometimes you just have to take a chance that the person who is advocating change, Obama, really means it and that the change will be positive.

  25. lina says:

    I wish I could be confident in “Lang’s Fearless Forecast,” but with four weeks, two televised debates, and millions of advertising dollars yet to spend, anything could happen.
    I agree the Ayers-Wright-ScaryBlackMan attacks are only going to make McCain look desperate at this point. They’ve written a new stump speech for Gidget of the North incorporating the new/old scare tactics. It’s a shame there’s no swimsuit competition this year.

  26. al palumbo says:

    Anyone wishing to read the Rolling Stone profile on MaCain can go TPM. Interesting reading, and that may be an understatement.

  27. George Lowry says:

    “When he wins, the howling and braying of Rush Limbaugh, Drudge et al. will start immediately.”
    On his first show after either Clinton’s election or inauguration (I don’t remember which.), Limbaugh began his daily shtick: “AMERICA HELD HOSTAGE, DAY (n)!!”

  28. al palumbo says:

    Anyone wishing to read the Rolling Stone profile on MaCain can go TPM. Interesting reading, and that may be an understatement.

  29. Mad Dog says:

    And in concert with Pat’s fearless forecast:

    Dems could hit 60 Senate seats
    …A top official in the McCain camp told us Sen. Elizabeth Dole is virtually certain to lose in conservative North Carolina…
    …Republicans fully expect to lose Virginia and New Mexico. They think there is a pretty strong chance that they also lose Colorado, Alaska, New Hampshire, Oregon and North Carolina…

    What was that old adage? Let me think.
    A rising tide lifts all boats?
    No, that’s not the one I’m thinking of.
    How about this one: “A tidal wave sinks all boats.”
    Yup, that seems to fit a wee bit better.

  30. zanzibar says:

    I too have a cynical view like David W.
    The one good thing is that the Democrats are bereft of a commanding ideology. As a result I believe they will provide a significantly more competent administration and more respect for the rule of law. But they are also by and large incredibly corrupt. They’ll sell their mothers out for a nickel. So what will their policy look like – a dollop for every lobby group but the biggest for their corporatist paymasters??
    Now that the nostrum of Wall St “financial capitalism” is discredited what will the Obamanites do? After Hillary who do you think was the next largest recipient of Wall St largesse? Barack Obama. Bob Rubin once again plays a significant role as a key economic advisor. We’ll have a good idea when the appointments come in. I’d like to get a count of the Goldman Sachs alumni.
    Who will lead the major agencies where real regulations gets written and enforced or not enforced? Who will write the actual policies? All open questions at this point.
    Obama is going to have a very hard time – so I have a lot of sympathy and will give him the benefit of doubt initially that he wants to do the right thing. On one side he will face the Republican noise machine and their corporate media acolytes that will be going for his jugular. On the other the reality of the mess he has inherited across the board from the economy to foreign policy blunders and a deeply politicized federal government bureaucracy. And of course the knowledge that the pendulum will likely swing in 2010 with the Republicans gaining more traction. So is he going to just tinker around the edges or is he going to get a meat ax? Will he clean up DoJ and prosecute the criminals and traitors or will he just try to keep the cancer in check for a short a time? There is very little we really know about Obama. I doubt if even he knows what his agenda is really going to be.
    If anyone knows more about his key advisors it would be very interesting to gain some insight.

  31. fnord says:

    What will be interesting to watch is how hard an Obama administration will go after the former Republicans. It is to hope that they will push hard for opening up the whole can of worms that must be left behind into the Bush admins collusion with the “dark” forces of the US, preferably with the full backing of the rational forces of the military behind them. If they dont move fast, they will stand to loose the momentum, and be dragged down into a defensive posture.

  32. Paul says:

    If the Democrats acquire the majority Col. Lang predicts, the most important action is to get corporations out of government.
    At the same time, regulations and oversight trashed by the Republicans must be restored to bring a sense of order into the government. The FCC must do something about the concentration of media.
    “Trickle Down” won’t hack it. Taxes must be imposed and collected so we can break the chain of dependence and debt service.
    Bipartisanship is hogwash. If politics is about ideas, one need only respect another’s point of view without having to adopt it.
    Something has to be done about “free trade” and the WTO to revive and grow our industrial base.
    For at least the next four years, Democrats should shove the Republicans’ nose in the steamy turds they have dumped on the carpet.

  33. Jose says:

    You guys are only looking at the half-empty glass scenario with all these predictions.
    The real fun will be the blood-bath that will happen within the Republican Party after the elections.
    If they have a clue, expect a purge of the NeoNutties back to darkness where they belong.
    As for Caribou Barbie, this misadventure will haunt her the rest of her political life.

  34. jon says:

    Col., al palumbo writes above about the profile of McCain published in Rolling Stone. That account is more detailed, and at some variance to what I had previously heard about his record.
    Perhaps you would care to comment on this story, particularly on the account and implications of his military service? His behavior while captive seems less heroic, as does his conduct during the fire on the Forestall. It appears that he acted contrary to orders while liason to the Senate. It also seems that generals have lost their post for fraternization with subordinates, well below McCain’s conduct while a base commander.
    I am surprised that McCain has not received more criticism or scrutiny for his wide shift of position on many issues, as well as his relationship with funders and involvement in the S&L crisis, and relationship to the recent financial mess as prior chair of the Senate Commerce Committee.
    As the campaigns now take a turn to mud slinging attack, I wonder who will fare better with the voters. There may be some scores to settl at the next debate.

  35. greg0 says:

    I agree with Dave of Maryland that the Brad Blog site is great for up-to-date info on electoral fraud. The numbers are close enough (33% will definitely vote for the R ticket regardless) and the machines can still be hacked in enough states to ‘make’ a winner. I’m thinking of touch screen machines in PA, OH, etc.
    It’s a shame we can’t trust exit polls such as those in the Ukraine!
    The fear of too much power for one party would be more realistic if there were only radical alternatives. Moderation may seem quite radical after the last 8 years, however. Restoring the Justice Department to a non-ideological mission and not pushing the US military into wars for private profit will be welcome change.
    A new Honest Election Law Program guaranteeing a citizen’s right to vote and to have that vote counted would also be welcome.

  36. jamzo says:

    i would amend “too much power corrupts” to “too long in power corrupts”
    dems need majority with power to do what needs to be done
    of course i am assuming they will be doing things that “need to be done” in transportation and energy infrastructure, financial industry policies and regualtions, environmental policies and regulations, health insurance, health care, housing policies, day care, elementary, secondary, university education, science policies and programs, foreign policy and relations, military policies and programs (wow my list keeps going and going)
    we have been listening to the tv talking heads and their bi-partisan mantra for too long
    the political process requires parties
    the founders set up a fairly conservative governing system that favors two party competition over multi-party competition
    we need electoral reform that alters the current balance of power
    we can’t keep money out
    we can provide an electoral system that tilts more advantage in getting people’s votes
    a good way to start is to guarantee everyone the opportunity to vote
    at present our ability to vote is controlled by state governments
    we should
    1. take the voting process out of the hands of politicians (elected officials) and create a new role for an independent body to maintains the election infratstructure
    2. take the electoral district making process out of the hands of politicians (elected officials) and create a new role for time-limited independent bodies who have to draw boundaries according to strict legislative guidelines
    3. eliminate the political party game playing on the “right to vote”
    by settign up a system in which everyone is able to vote in a comfortable and convenient way that makes the best use of technologies and ensures trustworthy, reliable elections

  37. Graywolf says:

    Two years of Obama/Democrat socialist fumbling/bumbling (and possibly a very nasty event involving Iran) may very well return the Republicans to the Congress
    in force.
    My one consolation is that many of the angry ignorant people who want to throw out the “baby with the bathwater” and elect a man-child with no measurable achievement at anything will be the first to take it in the throat when Obama and the Dems tank the economy.

  38. GSD says:

    One of the saving graces is the notorious record of disunity and discord among the Democratic caucus.
    The old “I don’t belong to an organized party, I’m a Democrat” joke applies here.
    As for McCain, his stock was tied to his endless pumping up of his own integrity. That is ruined…He’s become a bitter old hack.
    Sarah Palin will become a pariah….The fastest burnout ever.
    They both deserve a miserable post election for their overt racism and crassness and willingness to pit one part of America endlessly against the next for their own narrow interests.
    Obama has more honor and dignity than most of what is left of the shattered GOP, including St. McCain.

  39. Will says:

    not to worry about money, we shall not run out of green ink or pine trees for making paper. For it is not gold, but the productivity of our work force that backs our currency.
    As for divided power, Juvenal had famously put it “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?,” (who will watch the watchmen?) the midterm elections of 2010 will redivide the Curia of Representatives if need be?

  40. Cieran says:

    Re: Graywolf…
    My one consolation is that many of the angry ignorant people who want to throw out the “baby with the bathwater” and elect a man-child with no measurable achievement at anything will be the first to take it in the throat when Obama and the Dems tank the economy.
    So let’s clarify here…
    By “angry ignorant people” you must mean the rubes of the Republican Party (you know, the folks who think creationism is science, and who have lately been issuing death threats against conservative columnist Kathleen Parker for her criticisms of Palin).
    And by “man-child with no measurable achievement” you must mean John McCain (whose first wife, the one he abandoned, has commented on his inability to grow up and act like a responsible adult, and who hasn’t been able to accomplish much in life beyond his various attempts at violating the seventh commandment).
    (well, ok, that’s the sixth to us Papists, but who’s counting…?)
    But what does that have to do with Obama and the Democratic Party?
    And most important of all, where’s that resume you promised to post here? You know, your CV that puts Obama’s to shame? We’re still waiting…

  41. Fran says:

    I’d just point out that retirements from the Supreme Court’s left during an Obama administration won’t change the current balance on the Court. Retirements on the right would be a cause for concern for those who fear an imbalance of power. Retirements on the left merely keep things at status quo.

  42. Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA says:

    A few things I’m actually liking right now:
    – Alnval’s excellent point about the return of objective science to government agencies after eight years of suppression.
    – The thought that Governor Palin will be left without excuses to be a mom to her newest one, who no doubt really does need her.
    – Br’er Lang’s choice of a Benito Mussolini avatar – mystifying but cute.
    – The thought that we may get a President who has actually taught (and presumably understands the importance of) Constitutional law.

  43. J says:

    Since the Democrats gave in to the Bush admin.’s fear mongering and GOP bullying right after 911 and created the two very unnecessary entities — Department of Homeland Security, and NORTHCOM, guess I’d be expecting too much if common-sense took hold of the Democrats where they ‘dismantled’ DHS and NORTHCOM before they get to the point of no return like the monster from 20 Million Miles To Earth.

  44. rjj says:

    Perfect graphic.

  45. trstone says:

    My only comment is, when did being intelligent disqualify you from being President.
    Have we reached the point that “my” next door neighbor as qualified is as anyone qualified to be president.
    Intelligence/education “does” matter, being a POW or a “hockey mom” does not give a pass to those who are not intellectually inquisitive or don’t wish to persue what is going on around them because facts/history is too hard to comprehend or does not fit into a preconceived reality!

  46. Curious says:

    Whoever gets the office, the global economy is going down the drain. Western europe is practically crashing at the moment.
    At this rate, Russia would be the comfiest place in europe in term of growth.
    Asia starts to crumble too. Korea is scrambling.
    Latin america seems to be holding.
    There is no way the first 2 yrs of new presidency will have positive GDP growth.

  47. David W. says:

    Mussolini? I thought it was Hank Paulson! Fwiw, here is my favorite artistic rendition of Il Duce, in the round (along with a contemporary analog):
    Also of note is this piece in the Times Sunday Magazine about Va Rep Tom Davis, and his reasons for leaving the Senate. It turns out, that despite my thesis that the Republican Revolution was the root of our problems today, the Gingrich era was actually the last gasp of comity! So, I have to move on to a new thesis, that the ‘money equals free speech’ ruling is what has had such an extremely corrosive effect on Congress, to all our detriment. Here’s an informative Gwen Ifill PBS interview from 1999 to that effect:

  48. Andy says:

    Dave of Maryland,
    Before you vote for the Green party, you should see what their candidate said last week.
    As for the topic at hand, I agree with Col. Lang to a limited extent and still believe the election will be quite close and could go either way. Certainly the advantage is currently with Obama and it is his race to lose. Now that both campaigns are taking the gloves off, it will be interesting to see what effect this has on undecided voters, particularly those who’ve ignored the campaigns until now.

  49. SubKommander Dred says:

    “My one consolation is that many of the angry ignorant
    people who want to throw out the “baby with the bathwater” and elect a man-child with no measurable achievement at anything will be the first to take it in the throat when Obama and the Dems tank the economy.”
    It seems to me with that sentence you could be describing George W Bush, and the very folks who elected him. In fact, by the time the election rolls around, I’ll be very surprised if we have anything left of an economy. Indeed I have a vision of myself in the very near future, out of a job and homeless, sitting under a bridge someplace hudled with a few others of the newly down and out around an old oil drum with a roaring fire, trying to stay warm in a midwinter night. A bottle of cheap wine is being passed about and one of my comrades, in a remembrance of great political quotes of the man boy King George, yells out “this sucker is goin’ down!” just as he finishes up the last of the bottle of Ripple in one big gulp. This leads to riotous laughter all around, before we head out to find a Wall Street executive to lynch.

  50. Walrus says:

    As far as I can tell. the ploy is to leave Obama holding the baby, and his dealing with four years of economic meltdown wil make him a one term President.
    Palin meanwhile, will be schooled and will return as a Presidential Candidate for the NeoCons in 2012.
    Then the looting starts again.

  51. TR Stone says:

    Demographics is everything.
    Us Anglo’s are soon to be in the minority. How are we going to handle it?

  52. Some guy says:

    It’s not quite over yet, but I don’t think Wright/Ayers/Rezko/Khalidi is going to do all that much. For that kind of attack to work it has to resonate fundamentally, and whatever else one might think of him, Obama clearly isn’t a corrupt, bomb-throwing terrorist. Even if a really vicious and effective ad worked and knocked five points off Obama’s lead, he would be up three. Nervous Obama supporters should think of it this way: If your guy was down eight in the polls right now, how would you feel?
    The worry for me is that the man isn’t radical enough; I think he’s going to botch a chance at root-and-branch reform and open the door for a Republican demagogue in 2008. Hopefully along the way he might forge a reasonable peace in the Near East as his predecessor Carter did.

  53. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    Should Obama-Biden/Dems win, I would hope for policies and legislation which would:
    1. roll back and curtail the police state situation we are falling into…restoration of civil liberties, etc.
    2. a) immediate emergency action on the US domestic economy a la FDR. Do not forget that FDR’s first and second “Hundred Days” legislation was passed on a bi-partisan basis.
    b) leadership a la FDR- Bretton Woods on the international financial/economic front.
    3. immediate action on the foreign policy front to begin the adjustment to the emerging multipolar security environment. Recall that when the US was faced with extraordinary global challenges, FDR had a BIPARTISAN cabinet.

  54. Sidney O. Smith III says:

    In re: American racism
    A former federal judge from the South, who signed a number of desegregation orders in his day, taught me that when race is an issue in the administration of justice then one should frame the issues as several different hypothetical questions and then substitute people of various races into the questions and see how one responds.
    Although this federal judge did not describe the inquiry in such terms, he indicated that the answers to such questions often rendered one’s motivations, if not give a snapshot of one’s psychological profile. And it may even indicate how one regards our nation. Perhaps it is similar to examining the soul but only in the venue of civic religion.
    With that in mind and in that spirit, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to pose a few questions. But before I do so, I should disclose that I am voting for Obama with a very slight chance of writing in “Ron Paul”.
    1. If all things were the same except that Obama were a white male, would he be the Democratic nominee? Would he have won any primaries?
    If one answers yes, then odds increase that person believes race is not a factor in Obama‘s nomination.
    If one answers no, then odds increase that person believes that other people are voting for (or against) him because of his race.
    2. Same as question one, but suppose that Obama were a woman of any race.
    3. Same as question one, but suppose Obama were a Korean American man.
    Now that last question, to me, is fascinating because it opens the doors to another issue. Were Korean Americans the subject of racial attacks during the Rodney King riots? Koreatown was all but wiped out. I saw it with my own eyes. So, if true, then did the mainstream media and the rest of California ignore their unjustified suffering? Why? Was this an example of racism towards Korean Americans on the part of the “liberal” msm? (Disclosure: I was almost married to a Korean American woman, so I am partial to their culture).
    4. If a white person would have voted for Powell in ‘96 but not for Obama today, then is it fair for others to call that person a racist?
    5. If a white person would not have voted for Powell in ’96 but is fanatical about Obama today, then was this Obama supporter a racist in ’96?
    6. If Pappe and Carter are correct and apartheid exists in the occupied territories, then the Democratic platform is racist to the core as it supports the policy of the USG subjugating another people.
    If true and a person supports the Democratic platform, then does that person even have the moral standing to call another person a racist? Shouldn’t such a Democrat first look at the racism within the party itself and then reform the party?
    7. Assuming Pappe and Carter are correct, does the Washington Post, NYT and the msm in general even have moral standing to suggest other people are racist when, in fact, its actions have been some of the most racist in US history? Shouldn’t they be looking within and questioning their own racist actions first? What are the motivations of the msm?
    Of course people give different answers to those questions. It is merely presented as example of looking within before rendering a judgment of one‘s self, of others, and of our nation. Plus, I believe “race” increasingly will play a role, one way or the other, during the next 30 days. Same thing occurred back when I attended an integrated high school in the South because of the “above referenced” federal judge’s desegregation orders. I am glad I had the experience but to each his or her own.

  55. David Habakkuk says:

    Clifford Kiracofe,
    It may be of some interest that attitudes in the U.K. are changing very markedly, as the seriousness of the current crisis sinks in — with the Conservative Party leadership falling in with the changes.
    Reports in this morning’s papers indicated that the Chancellor, Alastair Darling, and the BoE Governor, Mervyn King, are working on contingency plans based upon the successful handling of the financial crisis in Sweden back in the Nineties. According to the FT:
    ‘The scheme, which has echoes of a similar operation by the Swedish government in the early 1990s, would be available to all banks. In exchange for the capital injection, taxpayers might be protected through preferred shares or warrants, giving them generous dividends in future.’
    What was particularly striking was an Op-Ed in the FT in which David Cameron endorsed these moves. He concluded by explaining that he was today discussing the crisis with ‘Carl Bildt, the Swedish prime minister who 15 years ago showed how a centre-right government can intervene decisively in a financial crisis while protecting the taxpayer.’
    Incidentally, very many thanks for sending the copy of the James Stewart Martin book. It is clearly of very great interest, and as soon as I can get clear of other business I will give it the attention it merits.

  56. frank durkee says:

    A key for Obama, if he wins, is to find his Cheney, that is someone who genuinely knows how to bothemove the agenda through the agencies and how to play the Congrssional game. Absent that he will be hobbled more than otherwise.

  57. jonst says:

    This AM James Knusteler (sp?), on ClusterF– speculated that, in light of the financial situation unfolding this morning: “I don’t expect too much give-and-take on the subject of East Ossetia this time around” in Tue’s debate. Same with the Weatherman topic. This crisis is going to push all this crap off the stage. People are gonna want to know one thing, and one thing only, ‘what the F are you going to do about this crisis?”. Watch…watch, watch all the big time supporters of the GWOT start complaining about funding the so called war. I am reminded of the ‘street myth’ (I think it is a fact but I don’t have time to do the research right now” that the first time a poll was taken that showed the majority of Americans ‘against’ the Vietnam War, it came in the immediate aftermath of LBJ raising the gas tax to pay for the war.

  58. Binh says:

    This was my prediction once Obama secured the nomination. Obviously I couldn’t have forseen the Wall St meltdown.
    Still debating whether to vote Green or Nader this time.

  59. Nancy K says:

    Graywolf, who is the baby and what is the bathwater? The Republican party controlled the presidency and both houses of congress for 6 years. The Democrats have only had the majority in the Senate, and not enough to overide a veto for 2 years.
    Your dislike for Obama and your distain for those of us who are voting for him is very apparant.
    If the baby is the country and the bathwater is our economy, than I think it has already been thrown out by your party so don’t worry so much about what the Democrats are going to do.

  60. JohnS says:

    While I tend to share Col. Lang’s preference for divided government in theory, perhaps we should consider how it’s worked in practice since 2006, when the spawn of the 1994 class of flame-throwing GOPers who viewed bipartisanship as akin to “date rape” were finally relegated to minority status.
    Right away, Mitch McConnell announced his intention to block every “controversial measure” from the Democrats. In fact, he and his cohorts have managed to block nearly EVERY Democratic initiative, even those with bi-partisan support, through use of the filibuster. A few of these filibustered bills included one guaranteeing soldiers fighting in Iraq adequate home rotations, another pushing clean energy legislation, and another giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs. Finally, after successfully blocking said Dem legislation, GOP leaders would go on tv to complain that the Democrats are running a “do-nothing Congress.”
    At least during this world order threatening financial crisis, we need Obama in the WH, a Democratic majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate to get anything constructive accomplished. It’s our only hope out of the god-awful morass we are in right now.

  61. Shrike58 says:

    Using Gov. Palin to hang the Rev. Wright like a millstone around Sen. Obama’s neck amuses the hell out of me, considering the documented flakiness in her own church and the small matter that her husband was in a secessionist party. If the GOP wants to remain relevant they have to rise above their small-minded culture of resentment and get over the Sixties. They’re just as likely to go full-blown identity politics and become even less relevant.
    That over half of the House GOP still rejected the bail-out bill after the people with crashing 401K plans called in to voice their displeasure shows you the limits of an Obama administration. All I expect is an investigation of just what the outgoing administration was up, the appointment of a couple of non-authoritarian justices to the the Supreme Court, making a start on rebuilding the competency of the federal government, and placing our strategic and economic postures in sustainable positions. Great initiatives are probably not the order of the day.
    I suspect that Obama’s cross to bear will be winding up as the man who lost Pakistan; not that it was ever ours to lose in the first place.

  62. fasteddiez says:

    TR Stone said:
    “Us Anglo’s are soon to be in the minority. How are we going to handle it?”
    What do you mean we, Kemo Sabe?

  63. zanzibar says:

    During the VP debate Biden said that he would be the point person for the administration with respect to Congress.
    I am not sure how much of a “player” Biden is when compared to Cheney.

  64. J says:

    ‘Another’ Weatherman associate of Obama bubbles to the surface besides Ayers.

  65. Jimmy says:

    Clifford Kiracofe,
    Is a Bretton Woods-type rescue possible this time around? The international political system is not the same as it was in 1944.
    Today, as opposed to then, Europe, the world, and the Democrat Party’s social justice wing (where Obama spent most of his time with) are opposed to globalization (whatever that means). A Bretton Woods system may be seen as a further concentration of American power over the world.
    The world bank and IMF are already deeply unpopular for their structural reform programs. In a proposed financial rescue, we will either have to depend on them or invent a new financial institution. Can Obama stand up such a bank fast enough?
    I fear that, internationally, we will be reduced to a blame game, with EU blaming the US for dragging them down. The Koreans and Japanese are already fuming. When IMF & World Bank have to rescue more gov’ts than they did in 1997 SE Asia, will they be broken?

  66. rjj says:

    “Us Anglo’s are soon to be in the minority. How are we going to handle it?”

    The first generation won’t notice. The second will feel aggrieved and organize, e.g., the Discrimination and Injustice Commission of the White Anti-Defamation Society.

  67. jonst says:

    “”My one consolation is that many of the angry ignorant
    people who want to throw out the “baby with the bathwater” and elect a man-child with no measurable achievement at anything will be the first to take it in the throat when Obama and the Dems tank the economy.”.”
    You mean other than the fact that he put himself in the position of being the first black man—in America, brother, America!–of becoming President. Have you been reading about his army on the ground?

  68. Nancy K says:

    re “Us Anglos’s are soon to be in the minority.” I’m a 4th generation Californian. My grandmother dated a Mexican, my ex-husband is Mexican American thusly my daughter is half Mexican. My husband is Israeli and his first wife was Peruvian and his eldest daughters and our grandchildren live in Peru. We also have an adopted Korean son. My ex-husband married a Philipina. We have a family that get long very well togather. We have 5 children in total and I don’t believe there is a prejudiced bone in their bodies. I believe this is the beauty and hope of America.

  69. Mad Dog says:

    And just so we all understand what’s going on with the McSame/MsBull…winkle campaign’s “going negative”, this is from today’s Washington Post:

    “In Fla., Palin Goes for the Rough Stuff as Audience Boos Obama…”

    Rough stuff? Do you mean this:

    “…It was time to revive the allegation, made over the weekend, that Obama “pals around” with terrorists, in this case Bill Ayers, late of the Weather Underground. Many independent observers say Palin’s allegations are a stretch; Obama served on a Chicago charitable board with Ayers, now an education professor, and has condemned his past activities.
    “Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers,” Palin said.
    “Boooo!” said the crowd.
    “And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'” she continued.
    “Boooo!” the crowd repeated.
    “Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.”

    (My Bold)
    Make no mistake! This is not “going negative”! This is out and out hate-mongering and incitement!

  70. Old Bogus says:

    What election? Maybe eventually when the emergency is over.

  71. Clifford Kiracofe says:

    David Habakkuk,
    I hope some pragmatic and practical measures can be taken by the UK and other European states to manage this crisis. Sovereign states must establish appropriate rules and regulations to protect financial markets.
    I share your concerns. My comment was intended as a call for principled international cooperation generally rather than placing the US and its dollar at the center of any new system. As you indicate, we are in a new international situation today which I perceive as an emerging multipolar system.
    The institutions created in 1944 themselves, over the years, have strayed significantly from their original purposes it would seem.
    The continuation of a US dollar-based system may well not be in the long term interest of the United States if it ever was. Clearly Americans need to do some strategic thinking on this matter. New international arrangements would seem to be warranted.

  72. dimbulb says:

    @ Clifford Keracote,
    FDR had the luxury of not having to deal with 24/7 media, so, as much as I hope – like you for progress – I am not holding my breath.
    We can hope though.
    And, consistent with your first point is one thing I hope for in an Obama/Biden administration: an Obama executive order that nullifies Bush’s executive order 13233 and restores Reagan’s executive order 12667.

  73. jd says:

    I agree that the presidency and both houses is too much power for one party. The consolation is that it’s a temporary condition. The Blues, like the Reds, can’t stand too much prosperity. They will soon factionalize. Their radical elements will feel empowered and become much more demanding. Obama may become Carterized. Soon voters will become disenchanted and return a more Republican mix to office. And the beat goes on.

  74. Patrick Lang says:

    Blues and Reds now. Blues and Greens then. Is there a Belisarius waiting in the wings? pl

  75. Dana Jones says:

    “Kill him! proposed one man in the audience.” (My Bold) Mad Dogs
    Well, now we know how McCain plans to win, the old fashioned Republican way.
    Same as Nixon vs Bobby Kennedy.
    Well, well.
    And if somebody does do the deed that Palin is surely incitin’, will we hear “We didn’t MEAN for THAT to happen”.
    Nope, it can’t happen here (again).

  76. alnval says:

    Col. Lang:
    I’m not sure how or where our equivalent of the Nika Riots will occur. I can’t quite wrap my mind around the imagining necessary to get there. The NFL, MLB or even Nascar don’t seem to fit. At a stretch battling cable channels might enable the kind of national schizm that would require the imposition of a strong military hand in order to save the government.
    If memory serves, the closest thing we’ve had to Nika in recent times was the Bonus March put down by Patton at the direction of MacArthur.
    Perhaps in our time a free-wheeling DOD allowed by the executive branch to respond ad hoc to existential threats to our security whether in Europe or the Middle East using NATO as cover? Petraeus as Belisarius?

  77. jt says:

    I think you’d be happy with a Zeno at this point and hope that you’ve had your Basiliscus.
    By the way Colonel Lang, thank you for this blog I’ve learned a lot since I stumbled across it.

  78. zanzibar says:

    “The continuation of a US dollar-based system may well not be in the long term interest of the United States if it ever was.”
    The USD as the reserve currency has been hugely advantageous to us. We could borrow in our currency that only our central bank can print. So we can always repay our debt since the Fed as Bernanke states has the instrument of the printing press. If you notice Bernanke has launched a massive campaign of “helicopter drops” – the Fed has exploded its balance sheet in the past few weeks.
    If we get to a new monetary regime where the Fed cannot monetize at will then the US government and US consumers will have to live within their means or are at the mercy of their creditors who lent in a new currency and will demand payments in that currency.
    Its probably inevitable that we get there but that will not be a happy situation for any profligate free spending Congress or consumer. We will have to produce goods and services that others want and our chief export will no longer be the output of our Fed’s printing press.

  79. Let’s agree for the moment that you (PL) are correct. OK then what does OBAMA do between the election and swearing in to steady the country, the markets and the world? Of is it more time in Hawaii thinking things over? I think several international events between now and election may turn the focus back from the domestic scene to more of an international focus. Might be economic fallout or even revolutionary political events (perhaps caused in part by the economics of current events.) But could be wrong as always. The whole world is watch US very very closely and cannot be other than very concerned that OBAMA and McCain don’t seem to have a grip on things.

  80. Cieran says:

    The USD as the reserve currency has been hugely advantageous to us. We could borrow in our currency that only our central bank can print. So we can always repay our debt since the Fed as Bernanke states has the instrument of the printing press.
    It’s one heck of an advantage for the U.S., indeed.
    And one can’t help but notice that those nations who have suggested that the world ought to have a different reference currency than the U.S. dollar (e.g., Iran, Venezuela, Russia), seem to be cast as our existential enemies, whether they are or not.
    Can it be that they are our existential financial enemies in that they explicitly threaten this advantageous status quo? Is that one of the real causes of our saber-rattling towards them?
    Of course, now that the EU countries (esp France) are beginning to look at the bigger picture here, perhaps they’ll start making similar noises about reserve currencies. One might wonder if we’ll start threatening war with them, too!

  81. Duncan Kinder says:

    Folks, there are $61 Trillion in credit default swaps out there – all of which are shakey. ( Yes, that was trillion with a “t.”)
    The United States GDP is about 14 trillion.
    And nobody has any idea how to handle a meltdown in credit default swaps. They’ve only been around about 10 years. So there’s no such thing as an expert on this.
    As either John Robb or Fabious Maximus recently noted, the government’s trying to keep this failing is a lot like a tug boat’s trying to keep the Titanic from going under. And no one really knows what to do – even if they did have sufficient resources.
    If we are very, very lucky we will get through this with only massive amounts of egg on our faces. But make no mistake, this economic crisis is a massive, massive, massive blow to the credibility and prestige of both our government and our financial system.
    So the old gray mare ain’t what she used to be.

  82. zanzibar says:

    You are right. That’s why Saddam then and Iran now would like price their oil in another currency. Of course that’s not a financial idea since USD is convertible into any number of other currencies. I don’t believe that Iran, Venezuela and Russia by themselves can force such a change.
    But what France is raising should be of concern. IMO, by the time we are through this cycle a lot of people are going to blame US financial management for the problems. And the criticism will be pointed. We had the responsibility for the world reserve currency. Although others pursued policies of national interest, it will be argued that its our policies of easy money and unchecked leveraged speculation that infected the global financial system and essentially brought it down.
    The Euro is a good example of a currency where no national central bank has the authority to print. So the ECB has to craft a monetary policy for many different economies each likely at a different stage of the business cycle and facing different requirements. We are seeing the challenges they face in the current financial crisis. The ECB is in many ways a legacy of the sound money policy of the Bundesbank but now may have to pursue a reflationary monetary policy that debases the Euro. There’s a decent probability that the stresses could force a re-evaluation of their monetary union.
    There will be demands for a new Bretton Woods style arrangement. I personally think we have been weakened to such an extent by the last 8 years economically, militarily and morally that we will not have the requisite standing to dictate the outcome as we did during the first BW in the 40s. I will not be surprised if there is more discord and less cooperation between countries as the effects of the economic, credit and equity contraction hits people’s daily lives across the globe.
    If we are forced to borrow our external deficits in a currency that our Fed cannot print – it will be a significant game changer for how we live.

  83. pbrownlee says:

    Remember Will Rogers: “I’m not a member of any organized political party, I’m a Democrat!”.

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