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The Last Supper

The Rising Sun Performance Company is now performing Dan Rosen’s movie cum play The Last Supper at The Red Room. It’s a rip-roaring good time, and well worth your dime.

A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged

The official blurb runs something like this: A group of young, liberal graduate students in Iowa have a formal, sit down dinner once a week, to which they like to invite a stranger – to spice up conversation. Their ivory tower serenity is disturbed, however, when their latest guest, Zach (played in the 1995 movie by Bill Paxton!), turns out to be a redneck, pedophilic, murderous, Holocaust denier. Zach taunts the tolerant liberals, saying that they don’t have the balls to stand up for themselves, and pulls a knife on Marc, the resident Jewish artist. Zach is distracted for a moment while breaking the arm of Peter, another sissy liberal, and Marc seizes the opportunity to stab Zach in the back with his own knife. Existential angst ensues as the “liberals” try to justify their aggression. They rationalize it so well that they decide to recreate the scenario every week with a new flavor of conservative crazy. Their preferred method of execution? Poison in the chardonnay.

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Yay! Obama announced a plan to invest $8 billion in high speed and existing rail projects! This is a welcome change from the plan of the past administration to strangle Amtrak and throw it in a tub to drown it. Build it, and they will come. Please lord, let the economically stimulating effect of mass transit in New York City show the Feds and the villains in the New York State senate that mass transit is a priority, not a privilege.

Kumar and Obama

Kumar and Obama

CNN is reporting that actor Kal Penn who played the lovable stoner Kumar in the Harold and Kumar movies will be working in Obama’s office of public liason. Sez CNN, “Penn will be primarily involved in dealing with Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and the arts community.”

Yeah! SWEET JOB DUDE!!!

Reminds me of the scene in Ali G — In Da House where Ali as MP goes to inspect contraband stored in the British customs lock-up.

😉

Chinese electric cars, courtesy of the NY Times

Chinese electric cars, courtesy of the NY Times

There’s plenty of uncertainty on what the future holds, but one thing is for sure, the 21st century will not be like the 20th.

While Obama and Gordron Brown try to convince the Europeans not to take away our capitalism toys, the Chinese are making exactly the kinds of massive public investments in the future that Krugman and others have argued the US must make in order to stay relevant. The money isn’t the problem. Excluding some rightwing nutters in Congress, our country has signed on to the idea that something must be done (other than cut taxes) to ameliorate this economic crisis. But why isn’t any of that money going to beef up Amtrak or the MTA? The answer: no one in power in America, either Democrat or Republican, has a 21st century vision.

But the Chinese have it.

Outside the Court Square stop in Queens

Outside the Court Square subway station in Queens

What’s the news on NYC’s slice of the stimulus money? I hear complaints from conservatives that the money isn’t going to “shovel ready projects,” and then I hear complaints from liberals that the money that IS going to “shovel ready projects” is paying for thousands of miles of new highway in the fly-over. Ahem, but, NYC has billions of dollars of shovel ready projects ready to go. Second avenue subway anyone?

Paul Krugman hit the nail on the head today with his Op-Ed. It reminds me why I like him in the first place. For those of you too lazy to click through to the essay and read it, I’ll give you a summary. Krugman says that our policy makers continue to be blinded by the mythology developed by Milton Friedman and others and popularized by Reagan. They think the financial system is fundamentally sound, and the recent collapse is wholly due to public misperception. That is why the Summers/Geithner plan rings hollow in a progressive’s ears. A progressive knows we have to move past the culture of greed and bonus, of growing wealth disparity and opt-out attitudes, but Summers and Geithner don’t get it.

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Jake Desantis’s (public) letter to Edward Liddy in today’s New York Times is just one more attempt by the the real media elites — the conservatives of both parties — to quash public outcry over the legacy and abuses of Reaganomics.

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This is CNN’s headline for a story in which Obama responds to Cheney’s tale that he has made America unsafe and prone to another terrorist attack: “On ’60 Minutes’ Obama rebukes Cheney criticism.'”

I know that newsmen are not as smart as they like to think they are, but come on! It should be “Obama rebuts Cheney criticism.” To say Obama “rebukes” Cheney criticism is to say that he chides those who criticize Cheney. I sense a right-wing conspiracy — of dunces.

UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE!!!

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I know the readers of Cultural Capitol are probably sick of hearing me rant on this subject, and for your sake this will be my last post on the topic. The Editor has counseled moderation, and I know in my heart of hearts he’s right. But I can’t leave it without saying just this one more thing about the “popular” reaction to A. I. G.’s bonuses.

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James Barron and Russ Buettner write in a human interest piece in today’s New York Times that “many [A. I. G.] workers felt demonized and betrayed. ‘It is as bad if not worse than McCarthyism,’ [an anonymous A. I. G. exec] said. Everyone has sacrificed the employees of A.I.G.’s financial products division, he said, ‘for their own political agenda.'”

Bless Barron and Buettner for trying to put a human face on this mess.  But the execs who cry “I didn’t have anything to do with those credit problems” (James Haas) still don’t understand why their fellow citizens want to lynch them. Let me attempt to put a face on populist outrage.

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The story in the Times today trying to defend Geitner puts the blame for his bad judgment (really, a complete lack of political common sense) on faceless “government lawyers” who told the Treasury secretary exactly what he wanted to hear:

On Tuesday last week, as he prepared for a meeting in London of the finance ministers of the Group of 20 nations, Mr. Geithner learned that A.I.G. by Sunday would send out the bonuses to employees at its financial products unit, which developed the risky derivatives now blamed for the global credit crisis.

With few senior political appointees on hand, the word came from one of the numerous career civil servants who keep the Treasury functioning through changes of administration, according to an official.

Mr. Geithner consulted lawyers. They told him the government could not override the contracts that the insurance conglomerate had signed in early 2008, when its financial products unit was fast losing money.

The Times piece tries hard to justify Geiter’s naivete, blaming his lapse on his “crushing workload,” and telling us he is “shouldering more crises on his slight frame than most Treasury secretaries ever have.” But that’s no excuse — either for him or for Obama. Geitner, whose instincts as the Times says “are that government should not dictate compensation issues to businesses,” suffers from the same free market fundamentalist dementia as a recent respondent to my earlier post. Let’s look at this pathology more closely in order to better understand it.

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The plaque outside AIG's downtown HQ

I was going to write an angry piece on the AIG bonuses, the kind that uses a flamethrower to incinerate the subjects of my wrath. Then I took a walk down to AIG headquarters on Pine St. in Lower Manhattan. Unlike the offices in Greenwich, CT where the financial products guys reportedly work, an office which was receiving death threats, the main office downtown didn’t have any gawkers or thrill seekers (other than me).

I find this surprising. After all, to hear the internets tell it, people are spitting mad over the legalized Madoff make-off with tax payer money. (MoveOn cites the NY Times to estimate the AIG bailout is $500 from every tax payer in the USA.) And yet no one was storming the castle in downtown Manhattan. If anything, the corner of Wall and Broad, the place where a statue of Washington looks out on the NYSE, was buzzing with happy tourists.

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He looks so serene.

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The New York Stock Exchange on Wall St

Wall Street

The New York Times is reporting that some banks are balking over the strings attached to their bailout cash.

Good! That is the right response, and it shows that the Obama policies are right on. This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue — it’s a good government issue. If the banks are willing to take on the risk of failure in order to maintain the possibility of future, outsized profits, let them do it. If they fail, they do so on their own merits. On the other hand, if a bank wants money to stay alive, they have to know they are entering a period of indentured servitude to the American people. They will not be free until they have paid their debt to society, and in this case that debt comes in an easily recognizable dollar amount.

Hypocrites like John Boehner and Richard Shelby argue that some banks should fail because that’s good fiscal discipline, confusing once again the role of markets and the role of government. Markets reflect the sentiment of its local population (i.e. whoever comes to the market). Government has the power to coerce or incentivize behavior when necessary. In times of crisis markets should not be allowed to make decisions because they will make panic driven, emotional decisions. In those cases it is the government’s job to set parameters for acceptible behavior. In this case it means righting financial malfeasance while containing the damage inflicted on the innocent by the crime. No-government Republicans would have the innocent pay along with the guilty. Strings on a bank bailout make sure that the innocent are protected while the guilty work off their guilt.

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the DJIA from 1929 - 1932

The DJIA dropped perilously close to 7,000 this afternoon after Chris Dodd said the government might have to nationalize the banks. David Brooks wrote in his NY Times editorial today what is probably the Obama administration line, that we might have to bite the bullet and give the idiots who got us into this mess lots of money to get us out again. He says:

…sometimes you have to shower money upon those who have been foolish or self-indulgent. The greedy idiots may be greedy idiots, but they are our countrymen. And at some level, we’re all in this together. If their lives don’t stabilize, then our lives don’t stabilize.

I suppose that’s all good and well, though if you happen to live in the same place as “the idiots” (i.e. New York City), and you see them holding their heads up high, riding in new cars with new wives who are wearing massive sparkly rocks on their fingers because the bankers got their bonuses in January, you might worry more about political stabilization than economic stabilization.

The markets took a dive because Dodd raised the specter of state control over the financial industry. But isn’t that exactly what’s called for in this situation? The culture of free markets failed, and now the culture of civic responsibility — which can only be manifested through the institution of government — has to pick up the slack.

Obama’s men — Geithner and Summers — are freemarketeers and have good reason to be scared out of their wits by populist posturing from Dodd and others. But is Obama a freemarketeer? Is he a populist?

My first instinct is to say he’s a savvy operator who knows the congressional Dems are right (and that the right needs to be ideologically disillusioned). The Obama of my imagination will play the aloof leader and let the Dems do the necessary dirty work that undoes the damage of anti-social freemarket puritanism inflicted on us since Reagan.

My fear is that he has no convictions outside of a personal messianic conviction, and that he thinks economic justice is no more or less important that religiously unfettered economic activity.

The markets bounced back because they think Obama’s a covert freemarketeer. I hope they’re wrong. I hope Obama is willing to split the issue with the congressional Dems, and let leaders like Dodd do the work of justice while Obama tells us all not to panic.

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Tim Geithner — Really? I mean, is it really possible to live in this country after 8 years of Bush, 6 months of financial apocalypse, and still not have the smallest clue? Macroeconomics as a discipline developed in the 30s because that global financial meltdown was precipitating a global political meltdown. Doesn’t anyone remember Nazis vs. Commies in the streets of Berlin and Munich? No, not in this country. If you want a perfect example of the triumphalist myopia of the free market fundamentalists take a look at the documentary The Commanding Heights by Greg Barker and William Cran. The one good observation made in the documentary is that both J. M. Keynes and Friedrich Von Hayek thought economic collapse would lead to political anarchy.

Geithner and Summers

Geithner and Summers

Now these yahoos working from a mix of free market fundamentalist ideology and naked, corporate self-interest, are opening up a political firestorm by crippling a real fiscial stimulus package with useless tax breaks and spending cuts for states while at the same time handing over hefty cash gifts to their friends the oligarchs on Wall St. (For my personal experience of the humiliation of this see my earlier post.) In the words of Stephen Labaton and Edmund Andrews:

Mr. Geithner, who will announce the broad outlines of the plan on Tuesday, successfully fought against more severe limits on executive pay for companies receiving government aid.

He resisted those who wanted to dictate how banks would spend their rescue money. And he prevailed over top administration aides who wanted to replace bank executives and wipe out shareholders at institutions receiving aid.

Obama is spending his good name out in America to enable a couple of bumbling, Ivy educated fools to destroy any trust Americans have left in their government.

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Obama really got one on the Bushies without looking like a partisan hater. You have to hand it to the guy, he knows how to be smooth.

In one of his first presidential directives — given on his very first day in office — O declared that former presidents cannot declare executive privilege:

The new president effectively reversed a post-9/11 Bush administration policy making it easier for government agencies to deny requests for records under the Freedom of Information Act, and effectively repealed a Bush executive order that allowed former presidents or their heirs to claim executive privilege in an effort to keep records secret.

Yay! The new president is for transparency, an absolute necessity in democratic government. But let us ask ourselves, what are the practical implications? This paragraph is pregnant with unspoken danger for the Bushies:

Experts said Mr. Obama’s moves would have the practical effect of allowing reporters and historians to obtain access to records from the Bush administration that might otherwise have been kept under wraps.

Obama — and the Congress — don’t need to start an investigation and open themselves to accusations that they are as partisan as the last administration. There are plenty of independent scholars and public advocates who will find all the damning evidence of illegal activity on their own. And once that information is out in the clear light of day, Congress may be reluctantly led to open a criminal proceeding, long after the charge of partisanship has become irrelevant.

Goooo ‘Bama!

 

By J.D. Oxblood

Fox News, approx. 12:15 EST:  Bill Hemmer and Bret Baier covering the inaugural balls.

Video coverage of President Obama and First Lady dancing at Southern Inaugural Ball:

Obama:  Let’s go change America.

(crowd cheers)

Bret:  Ok by my count they have one more, is that right?

Bill:  One more ball.

Bret:  One more inaugural ball.  They’ve got the dance steps down, it is down to under a minute, it seems like everything’s being sped up just a bit on the routine, but uh, they have one more and as you see them wave to the southern ball there at the DC armory, uh we will bring you every step of every official ball.

Bill:  This time she’s doing the waving and he has his head back behind her head so that the camera’s can’t see and he’s like, “honey I cannot wait to get some sleep.”  Don’t you know he was?

Bret:  I mean—we were just talking during the break there that uh… I mean it’s kind of like a wedding… a giant wedding—

Bill:  On acid.

Bret:  Yeah but— (indistinct laughter in background) —times a thousand, you know, if—if—(flubs)

A few unnecessary comments:

1.  While “acid” is not one of the famed seven words you can’t say on television, I feel fairly confident that “on acid” is not a phrase newscasters are generally encouraged to use on the air.

2.  Who would ever expect a Fox News correspondent to know what “on acid” means?

3.  Am I the only pundit in America who’s done enough acid to catch such a reference?

 

Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi

 What kind of kool-aid is Nancy Pelosi drinking? CNN reports that Pelosi has said she thinks the Bush tax cuts should be repealed immediately, and that Congress should press forward with an investigation over whether Bush et al. pressured their people at the Justice Department to make illegal hiring decisions based on politics and ideology. President Obama — of course — wants to take a middle road, let the tax cuts expire on their own, and is against any investigation of the Bush administration.

In the first place, we know that the imperative to hire RTAs (right thinking Americans) at the Justice Dept. came from the highest levels of the Bush government. <cough, Dick Cheney, cough> It’s not a matter for investigation. In the second place, there are a lot more important crimes to investigate, like the illegal wiretapping program, the infiltration of protest groups by government spies, no bid contracts to war profiteers, and the lies (told with malicious intent and knowledge of wrong doing) that led us to wage war in Iraq. Finally, raising taxes on the obscenely wealthy isn’t nearly as important as stripping out the ridiculous and worthless tax breaks to businesses included in the Obama plan. Paul Krugman puts the case as succinctly as possible here and here.

You may have thought the kool-aid I referred to in the title of this post is the kool-aid of liberal revenge. Oh no! This country swung so far to the right at the end of the 20th century that to get back to the middle we’re going to go pretty far left. Militarism, free market fundamentalism, and the cult of the individual (with its attendant cult of personality) reached a fever pitch under Bush, and the residual effects of that “conservative” kool-aid are obviously still infecting Obama and the Congressional Democrats. Disaffected whites and greedy globalizers united to turn this country into a banana republic — and not the good kind where you can find urban professional clothing at reasonable prices. No, they wanted a country where the rich are a law to themselves, the Constitution has been replaced by the Articles of Confederation, and the Southern Gentleman planter (complete with an economy run on the brown backs of a institutionalized underclass) replaces the middle class citizen.

I think there may be one bright spot in the disturbing political timidity shown so far by both the Congressional leadership and Obama. If Obama choses to be the uniter we didn’t get eight years ago, counseling peace and reconciliation, the Congressional Dems might be given the opportunity to play the bad cops and put the nastiest Bush aparatchiks into jail. And if that plays well (as it might if the recession gets really bad) hopefully Congress will remember that it does not have to be the political punching bag it has become in recent years. It might grow a pair and become what it was intended to be — the primary branch of government; the voice of the people; the genius of democracy. Only when Congress asserts its constitutional rights will we get the government Lincoln promised us: of the people, for the people, and by the people.

I can hear the hater chorus already saying that Congress under Gingrich asserted itself, and look where that got us. To you I say this: Gingrich was (like Cheney) a member of Congress but not of it. He asserted the power of Congress because Clinton as president was too weak for his taste. He was really paving the way for Bush’s “unitary executive”, a.k.a. king. A representative legislature is the soul of liberal democracy. Let the new Congress take up the mantle of freedom, and prove their mettle. In the process they just might save the Union.

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We all knew Obama was no Nader when we voted for him. But it still comes as a shock to this New Yorker to be reminded of exactly how conservative the traditional “Liberal” media is. And it is disappointing to see Obama waste his political capital and his mandate by falling into bad old Democrat habits. How many times do we have to say it? Do not pander to self-identifying conservatives!

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From the CNN news desk:

“As a public official, I expect criticism and I expect to be held accountable for how I govern,” Palin said in a statement released by her office Friday. “But the personal, salacious nature of recent reporting, and often the refusal of the media to correct obvious mistakes, unfortunately discredits too many in journalism today, making it difficult for many Americans to believe what they see in the media” (emphasis mine). Yeah! Salacious! When did she pick that one up? Surely not studying for the SATs. I’m glad she’s gone to the trouble to hire a vocabulary coach. Sadly, she’s about twenty years too late.

Mama Grizzly also said she got up on her hind legs when Tina Fey made a crack on her daughter. I say amen. Tina Fey almost single-handedly saved the republic by exposing Palin’s idiocy — and in the process the idiocy of American conservatives.

Speaking of which, check out Sam’s comment on this CNN blog post: “Why do we need Congress anyway? When the Constitution was written, people needed others to represent them in making policy decisions. Now we have the technology to vote and represent ourselves directly.”

OMG. I know that some secretly bad stuff lurks in the hearts of men, but I didn’t think anyone would have the bad judgment to expose himself in public as a monarchist. That’s right people. If you enjoy your liberty, you better stand up with Harry Reid and the Congress, and say we want government of the people, for the people, and by the people. Congress — a legislature — is the only way to have such a government. If Sam’s plan were implemented, and we all voted individually for every piece of legislation that was proposed (by whom?) — as if government were like American Idol — first there would be deadlock, then there would be a breakdown of government, then the executive would assert him/herself to become a king.

I blame the miserable state of American education for comments like this. No one who has studied history, government, or politics would say such a perniciously stupid thing.

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Merry Christmas to any Christian readers. Happy Chanuka for the Jews. Happy Kwanza, happy holidays, and merry festivus for everyone else.

I read the news today, oh boy. It looks like folks in state governments in the middle states want to use Obama’s stimulus plan to build more highways — just in time for plummeting gas prices. They argue that road projects are already started or ready to go, and plans for beefing up the rail system are too far in the future to get people working now!

Sounds like drill baby drill! And it is. The hype is motivated by our dear old attachment to individual transit and the automobile. I am sure that even after eight years of strangulation and abuse, Amtrak has a capital plan they would loooove to put into effect. The car maniacs say our country is less productive because we waste so much time in traffic jams, but as this review of Traffic by Tom Vanderbuilt reminds us, building new roads doesn’t alleve congestion, it just makes it worse. More importantly, as the MTA report on ridership during the 00’s points out, New York state’s investment in mass transit paid huge dividends in increased ridership and decreased car traffic.

I hope to high heaven Obama and his cabinet have the testicular fortitude to stand up to state governments and tell them the money has to be put to good use — building up our national rail system.

Illinois Governor Jarrett

This is the headline from the AP: “Did Obama team have contact with Ill. governor?” The first paragraph isn’t much better:

Barack Obama insists he didn’t have any contact with Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich or anyone else who might have been scheming to sell the president-elect’s U.S. Senate seat. But he has not yet given his transition staff the same clean bill of health — perhaps with good reason.

Jon Stewart showed Wednesday night how Fox has been trying to tar and subvert Obama by subliminally implying he and Blagojevich were best buddies, but in a rare nod to subtlety, Sean Hannity went to great lengths to say Obama had no connection with the soon-to-be-former governor. Leave it to the AP to take the fight to the next level.

The New York Times article on the scandal today tries to mitigate some of the right-wing echo chamber. But as I said in a previous post, Obama must make this an opportunity to purge any and all corruption in government. Our future depends on it.

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Should Democrats, and specifically Barack Obama be worried about corruption scandals? Yes they should. It is true that conservative = corrupt. From Iraq to Katrina to Wall St. to The Big Three, success has bred corruption throughout our culture.

Now is the time for Barack to do a Hank V and renounce any and all shady buddies. They’re just skeletons in the closet, waiting to sabotage the necessary reforms that must be implemented in the next four years. Bill Clinton tried to play the middle, and his presidency was hobbled by conservative attacks (gays in the military, socialized medicine) within his first 100 days. He played a rearguard action against the conservative hate machine for the rest of his tenure.

Please, please Mr. Obama, don’t let your presidency be scuttled by scandal before it even begins. Purge all corruption now, make it public, make it a crusade. Only then will you be able to give us the rest of your agenda.

Zach B.

P.S. Also try to avoid doing an Eliot Spitzer. For the next four years at least you have to be holier than Mother Teresa.

Obama Transition

Nancy Pelosi says we should bailout GM and Chrystler. Coming on the heels of the financial bailout, this will rack up more trillions of Federal debt, and it will set a bad precedent, as I argued in an earlier post. But more to the point, as Paul Farrell has forcefully argued at Marketwatch.com today, it is an inexcusable extension of Reaganomics.

[Naomi] Klein further exposed this insanity in a recent Rolling Stone article, “The New Trough: The Wall Street bailout looks a lot like Iraq, a ‘free-fraud zone’ where private contractors cash in on the mess they helped create.” Paulson’s privatization, outsourcing and management of the $700 billion bailout has the exact same Reaganomics ideological, strategic and deceptive footprints that President George W. Bush and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used to privatize, outsource and mismanage the costly Iraq War blunder. Yes, Paulson is America’s new Rumsfeld!

And they keep going at it! Where is Krugman’s vaunted conscience? This needs to be shouted from the rooftops until someone in government grows the testicular fortitude to do the right thing: Fiscal stimulus is an investment in public capital — not private capital.

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…according to some lads who wrote the following song:

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Source: Paul Krugman's NY Times Blog, The Conscience of a Liberal

Look at the dark blue in Indiana. Ditto for the non-Appalachian areas of Kentucky. This is a map of the percent change from Republican to Democrat votes between 2004 and 2008. There are only two, maybe three, plausible reasons for this change. Either people all over the country so were shocked by Bush and Co.’s ineptitude that they voted for an relatively unknown and untested candidate, or they changed their minds about the core truth of conservative political philosophy. Maybe both.

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Barack Obama is the president-elect of the United States. Yours truly and some friends watched the returns at the New World Theater in Midtown Manhattan — the name fit the mood.

Tessa Birch, English lass and Obama supporter

Tessa Birch, English lass and Obama supporter

The place was packed and richly diverse. Americans of all races were there, as were foreigners, many of whom told me my vote had extra importance because it was also their vote.

Bakar Wilson, Will Kenton, and John Yi

Bakar Wilson, Will Kenton, and John Yi

When the first good news came it was from Pennsylvania.

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To say the mood was ecstatic is almost an understatement. We all knew we were on the right side of an historical moment: one that will define the truly New American Century. When Barack Obama was officially declared the winner all of New York City erupted.

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When the man spoke he left not a dry eye in the house.

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Even now, sitting at my desk deep in the heart of Brooklyn I can hear cars driving by pumping triumphant hip-hop. We finally have a president who represents an American hope for the 21st century. Let us have a day of rejoicing before the weight of the world falls back on our shoulders.

Would-be Obama assassin Daniel Cowart

Would-be Obama assassin Daniel Cowart

Look closely at his face — is he wearing makeup?

Remember the line in that song, “the freaks come out at night”? Nowadays the freaks come out at the end of October — and this is no Halloween joke! (Actually I can see this becoming a popular costume this year — you know how the news cycle is — and the thought chills me to the bone.)

Check out the story here.

Alabama Congressman Richard Shelby

Alabama Congressman Richard Shelby

They won’t be able to just admit they were wrong.

They won’t be able to admit that took the idea of a self-regulating free market on faith. Or that a misplaced faith in their intellectual powers was all they ever had. They won’t be able to admit that reality is more complex than their simple, moralistic ideologies can handle. And yet it looks like the Freemarket Fundamentalists might actually score some political points from the financial crisis.

Who is responsible for the credit crisis that is ripping through American and foreign financial markets like a spasms through an epileptic? It’s like asking who is responsible for the torture at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib. If you’re still one of the faithful, it was all the work of a few bad apples and not a massive systemic failure that is bound to happen cyclicly until the end of time — or until real reforms are implemented. But conservatives don’t believe in reform. They believe in human nature. They believe the eschaton is coming. They know Evil will be with us until it’s final, apocalyptic showdown with Good.

In the meantime, Democrats only got about 55% of their due political realigment out of this once-in-a-lifetime political opportunity.

get the rest here…