Do Adjunct Professors Dream of Rent-Contolled Ivory Towers?

Sorry. That house is out of reach for you…

The Ole Perfesser has no McLovin for John McCain and just about anyone else involved in the housing crisis, sub-prime and all.

SO I’M WATCHING MCCAIN TALK ABOUT THE SUBPRIME CRISIS, and how there may be some "greedy people on Wall Street who need to go to jail."

But I heard a typically sad-toned NPR story on subprimes tonight, and despite their best efforts to evoke the Joads it was a story of people who "used their houses like ATMs," taking out home equity loan after home equity loan when they started with a subprime mortgage, only to wind up owing far more than their houses were worth and unable to make the payments. Boo hoo. Shouldn’t there be a price for being an idiot? And — despite not being on Wall Street — a greedy idiot? Why does McCain want to bail these people out? Why does he want to put Wall Street people in jail?

Far be it from me to direct him to Atrios and the ongoing daily saga known as Big Shitpile but some of our finer financial institutions have been juggling financial instruments for some time now, acting like they were puppies instead of chainsaws. But never mind that, there are villains aplenty and the Ole Perfesser and his readers have many fingers itching to be pointing; in particular at the equity-spenders, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, finance companies, politicians, young gullible couples, idiots, morons, greedheads, con men, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, and buggerers.

But in the end, as one of his readers writes:

But I’m disappointed in McCain on this. Support a bail-out if you like. But be honest about the problem.

To which the Perfesser ‘heh, indeeds':

Yeah. And don’t act like a government paycheck makes you morally superior to people in business. Where do you think the money for that paycheck comes from?

Spoken like a man with a tenured public university job , a forty post-a-day habit, and a gig on Radio HeeHaw.

Papa’s delicate condition


A very good friend of mine, who runs in ritzier circles than I can even think about affording, has been known to describe a poorly decorated home as "the triumph of money over good taste." I think, in the case of Mitt Romney, we are seeing the triumph of money over common sense:

The Romney campaign has released information about its fundraising for the fourth quarter of 2007. In that period, Romney raised $9 million and loaned his campaign $18 million, making him a majority self-financed candidate for that period. For all of 2007, Romney raised about $55 million and loaned himself $35 million.

Now, for all I know, Romney is going through the motions of buying some additional ads leading up to his Super Tuesday Little Big Horn Dien Bien Phu Massacre to encourage some money to keep flowing in so that he can repay his campaign debt to himself (and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know if that is legal or not). But it is perfectly obvious that he blew a fortune in the lesser states to eke out a bunch of second place finishes and even God doesn’t have the kind of money that Mitt would need to make a move in the big expensive media states.

So what we have here is either a "good money after bad" situation, or it’s one hell of a midlife crisis. Jeebus. He could have bought a Corvette for $47,000*.

Of course, that’s without the optional rooftop dog rack.

(*Tax and license not included. See dealer for details. )

Osama bin on a lunchbreak so I’m in charge here

You’re going to need to wear more flair if you want to conquer the West

Another al Qaeda Assistant Night Manager clocks out:

Abu Laith al-Libi, a wanted al Qaeda terrorist, was killed in Pakistan by a CIA airstrike, three U.S. officials told CNN Thursday.

Al-Libi was described as a senior al Qaeda leader believed to have plotted and executed attacks against U.S. and coalition forces, including a February 2007 bombing at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney.

He was on a "most wanted" list of 12 accused terrorists which was issued in October by the Combined Joint Task Force-82 — an anti-terror unit in Afghanistan.

Earlier, a knowledgeable Western official and a military source confirmed al-Libi’s death to CNN. The same official said al-Libi is "not far below the importance of the top two al Qaeda leaders" — Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Basically, being the third in command of Al Qaeda is the same as being the cop partner who is only one day away from retirement in any one of a thousand cop buddy movies. They really need to start requesting the role of the gruff, but ultimately kind-hearted captain, back at headquarters. The worst that ever happens to him is that he takes a slug in the shoulder…

Dem debate open thread

I tuned in, but I’m so beat I simply can’t liveblog it. Perhaps I’ll put in a comment or two.

Boy, it’s just started and Wolf Blitzer is so overwrought making a drama of the Hollywood setting, the all-star-crowd, blah, blah, blah.

Obama gives props to John Edwards for his contributions to the campaign issues this cycle, and  made it clear that he will be “friends” with Hillary Clinton at the end of the race.

Hillary starts off noting that who ever ends up being sworn in on January 20, 2009, faces a “stack of problems” to deal with. Boy is that an understatement. Bush has left so much sh*t to clean up that I’ve told Kate that whoever is elected is likely to be a one-termer because the American public will want it turned around overnight.

Ah, I’m getting a cup of English Breakfast tea and kicking back for a while. You all have fun in the comments…


Since the Dems are in California, how about a little video report on The Homosexual Agenda. Fundies are interviewed about the Golden State’s “mandate” to bring the pro-homosexual agenda into the classroom, and a pathetic woman bleating about “guys coming in to use the women’s restroom.” Precious. The report, from Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, is a hoot.

Crazy Pat’s statistics: “Maximum…maximum 2% of our population considers themselves gay or homosexual, and 1% would consider themselves lesbian…that’s it. And yet these people have an extraordinary influence on the media, on arts, on various avenues of communication. And I don’t know what it is about our society that this is the cause celebre that we’ve got to take on…[gays] are essentially trying to recruit more of the straight population to embrace these lifestyles.” (more…)

Pre-Friday Random Ten

Daley built McCormick Place twice
because once was not enough

Ready, steady, go…

Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
Who Needs Forever – Thievery Corporation
Gonna Make You Love Me – Ryan Adams
Mystery To Me (demo) – R.E.M.
Black Eyed Dog – Nick Drake
Gravity Fails – The Bottle Rockets
Microsize Boy – Tweaker
Vegas Two Times – Stereophonics
Caterwaul – And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead
Bye Bye Blackbird – Miles Davis
…and one more round, Daley’s gone:

Abbatoir Blues – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

Couple of interesting concerts coming up in the SD this week and next.

Super Furry Animals at the Belly Up next Wednesday. Bedouin Soundclash the next night. Rhett Miller (who is better with the Old ’97’s than solo) on Sunday. Local up-and-comers, Calico Horse (warning: sound) at the Casbah also on Wednesday.

We were listening to music the other night and Art Garfunkle’s beautiful All I Know came on which started a discussion of Jim Webb (the songwriter, not the senator) and the amazing string of hits he had back in the sixties. He’ll be at AcousticMusicSanDiego on Saturday night. It was impossible to grow up in the late sixties and not hear one of his songs at least once a day. What the hell, we’re going.

Detroit mayor Kilpatrick and the sanctity of his marriage

Wow. Kate and I just watched the mind-blowing video on CNN of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, sitting in a church next to his wife, apologizing to her on camera for his diddling around with his former chief of staff Christine Beatty that included steamy text messages. His public admission of his behavior rankles many considering his stance on same-sex marriage.

See the incredible video after the jump. (more…)

Democratic Debate Thread #4

clintonobamawax.thumbnail.jpgThe Beard gets himself booed for asking Hillary if she was "naive" for trusting Bush with the AUMF. She says she made a "reasoned judgment," unfortunately the person who got to implement the policy did not.

Obama says that AUMF meant "authorization to use military force," and everybody knew that meant it empowered Bush to go to war. Being ready to lead on day 1 means having good judgment, and the judgment he showed in being against the war at the time means he’ll be ready to lead on day 1.

LA Times: Too much sex & violence coming out of Hollywood?

Obama says that as a parent he’s concerned about what’s coming over the airwaves. Doesn’t believe in censorship, it should be on parents but we need to empower parents to do that. He thinks Hollywood needs to be sensitive about who they’re marketing these products too. Hillary nods in agreement.

Politico: If you can’t control Bubba now, what are you going to do when he’s in the white house? Hillary says it’s her campaign, not his, and it’s her judgment that is what people are voting on.

The Beard asks the big question: the two of them would make a dream ticket. Huge applause. Would they consider a Clinton/Obama or an Obama/Clinton ticket? Obama — obvious those are two different things, a long way to go and premature to start talking about vice presidents. He doesn’t want yes men or women in the white house, and it’s important to restore confidence in cabinet.

Beard: "is that a yes?" Obama — Hillary would be on anybody’s short list.

Hillary: We would have a unified Democratic party going into the election. (Somewhere in here Beard says he’ll take that as a "yes" too.) On Monday she’ll have an interactive town hall so people can get questions answered that weren’t answered tonight.

Beard: We do the plugs.

Note: I’m tuning to MSNBC because John Amato of Crooks & Liars is going to be talking with Keith Olbermann, Arianna, Josh Marshall and Richard Wolfe. (more…)