Halloween Pictures and Open Thread
This next picture is of your host, the Dark Wraith, sitting quietly near the doorway. Kids walk by, sort of ignoring what appears to be a scary prop. Once they knock on the door, I stand up and just look at them; eventually, they turn around to see me standing there silently offering candy. Mostly, it's the adults accompanying the children who twitch violently, although the older children get pretty fussy, too.
The last picture, below, is the Dark Wraith revealing his true identity before going inside to partake of the surplus candy that didn't get handed out in the socialist free-for-all that is Beggars' Night in modern America.
This is an open thread. Say what you have to say on whatever topic comes to your mind as we move from the festive spirit of Halloween 2008 to the even more festive spirit of Republican Burial Day that will be the general election on November 4.
The Dark Wraith should probably videotape the ceremonial first shovel of grave dirt.
Dark Wraith Video Lecture 2: The Equation of Exchange
Title: The Equation of Exchange
Album: Dark Wraith Video Lecture Series
Publisher: Dark Wraith Publishing
Size: 184 Mb
This is a large flash video. If the movie keeps stopping and starting, when the video is playing, use the play button to stop the movie for a while. That will allow the file to buffer (that is, get lead time) onto your computer. You'll see this happening by watching where the white bar is on the playing timeline. The farther toward the end the white bar gets, the more lead time you've gotten buffered.
Depending upon the speed of your connection, if you are on DSL or cable modem, a few minutes should allow for more than enough buffer; if you are on dial-up Internet service, the movie may download about when Jesus returns.
Nevertheless, it is worth the wait.
The Dark Wraith encourages you to enjoy this highly informative lecture.
National Disgrace: U.S. Ranks 29th in Infant Mortality Rate
A significant factor contributing to the high infant mortality rate in the United States appears to be premature births, which account for 12 percent of all live deliveries in the country. A birth is considered preterm if it happens before the 37th week of gestation. Premature births are on the rise in many countries, and in the U.S., the incidence has increased by 30 percent over the past 25 years, although a certain percentage of preterm deliveries from 35 to 37 weeks may be the result of unnecessary Cesarean sections being performed. This is probably not, however, an adequate explanation for the high rates of infant mortality among certain minority groups in America because women of color would be less likely to have access to the kind of prenatal care and counseling, misguided as it might be, where doctor recommendations for C-sections would be made. In fact, the preterm birth phenomenon in general has more complex, unknown causes than could be completely explained away by a high incidence of Cesarean sections and other birth-inducing procedures being performed.
The infant mortality rate in the U.S. dropped throughout the 20th Century, but the 21st Century has been different: from 2000 to 2005, the infant mortality rate held steady; it did, however, decline from 6.86 infant deaths per thousand live births in 2005 to 6.71 deaths per thousand live births in 2006, still far above the stated goal of U.S. policy, which is to reach an infant mortality rate of 4.5 deaths of babies for every thousand born alive.
For decades, the U.S. has been losing ground in its ranking among countries with respect to infant mortality rates: from a rank of 12th in 1960, the United States had fallen to 23rd in 1990 and then to 24th in 2000. The new data released by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that this trend has continued, with the United States, as of 2004, behind virtually every First World, industrialized country and even some Second World nations. The graphic below vividly illustrates the relative position of the U.S. and rightly calls into question what is often touted as the superiority of American health care.
Data from 1960 to 2004 can be viewed in the graphical table below:
Rankings for 2004 show that the United States shares 29th place in infant mortality rate with Slovakia and Poland. Virtually every developed, industrialized country in Europe and Asia had a lower infant mortality rate for the year, and so did Cuba, a country often harshly criticized by conservative American politicians.
The challenge to the United States in caring for its youngest, most vulnerable citizens is clear: considering the lower infant mortality rates that so many other nations are achieving, far too many American babies are dying. High on the list of priorities for the next Administration taking office in January 2009 must be the rectification of this outrageous national disgrace. An industrialized country with the resources to rescue a reckless financial services industry with a $750 billion dollar bailout for Wall Street welfare queens must surely be able to find sufficient money somewhere to save the lives of infants, even though they cannot speak for themselves, much less pour campaign contributions into the pockets of legislators.
The Dark Wraith encourages others to publish the graphics above and raise Holy Hell about what priorities this nation should have as opposed to those it has thus far demonstrated.
Yes, Ron Paul has promoted racism and homophobia and is supported by racist madmen; and, yes, Ron Paul is, himself, nothing other than a blithering moron when it comes to matters like his support for teaching Creationism; and, yes, Ron Paul is a self-contradictory imbecile when it comes to his broad support of individual freedom that does not include support for a woman's right to choose an abortion.
Despite Ron Paul's gruesomely unbecoming credentials on such matters as described above, what he has to say about this bailout is worth hearing. He has the part about inevitable inflation exactly right: no government can just print money out of thin air and expect a problem of the magnitude of the current financial crisis to be solved. In this case, not only will the problem not be solved, but it will become worse, and it will become worse multi-dimensionally. The United States economy will drop into a spiraling hyperinflation that cannot be avoided, a situation that will require ungodly, years-long economic suffering to fix; but far worse, we as a people are being marched straight into the destruction of this nation.
If you think that sounds like hyperbole, then I am already weary of you. Go somewhere and wave your McCain or Obama sign and feel all giddy about this election. You are already lost.
Listen to what the Texas congressman says about government becoming exponentially larger to somehow save the economy. Do be sure to ignore his little dig about how this problem all started "in 1971"; that's just the old Bretton Woods conspiracy theory nonsense. It's related to the worn-out Federal Reserve conspiracy theory nonsense. Yes, yes: the Federal Reserve should never have been created; it's nothing but a toy of banking interests, and it can become (as it finally has under the Bush Administration) the means by which the very worst tendencies of government to live beyond its tax revenues can be realized; but nothing can be done about that, now. The war to abolish the Federal Reserve over. It's been over for about a century. The Fed was something we could have lived with as a benign and quite helpful entity were it not for the contorted, Right-wing Republican logic that animated endless bitching about the Federal Reserve and, in the very next breath, whined and bawled and threw temper tantrums for the past century against federal taxes that could support a growing government that wouldn't need to turn to the unelected Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve for financing.
That all having been said, even if you're a true-blue Obamabot Democrat who thinks the government is the solution, listen to what Congressman Paul has to say about this bailout. He stays away from most of the conspiracy theory stuff and goes right to the heart of the utter folly of what's going on right now in Washington.
Nothing in this video is going to change your vote. Most people will still fawn over the corrupt, insular neophyte from Illinois or drool over the doddering, corrupted shadow of a man from Arizona, anyway; but listen. If you do, you will have no excuse whatsoever, in the years and months to come, to say with a straight face, "No one could have imagined..."
What the United States government is doing right now will be the cause of disaster. Our leadersand that includes both Barack Obama and John McCainthink they are being "responsible" by signing on to what will become a multi-trillion dollar spending spree (not including a $63 trillion credit-derivatives market on life support right now, for God's sake) that started with $750 billion for the welfare queens on Wall Street. That Save-the-Wall-Street-Guys-or-They'll-Shoot-the-Economy bailout is now turning into an equity marriage of the banking industry and the United States government. That is not only the very height of cynicism in making the private banking system the internalized financing arm of the government, it is also something far worse: it is definitional fascism.
Liberals pissed all over themselves when the telecoms got immunity from prosecution for doing the government's bidding in spying on Americans: MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann correctly conflated that act by Congress in granting immunity to the telecoms with the Third Reich-era German legislation called "Lex Krupp," Fascist Germany's broad recognition of the Krupp dynasty as above the laws applicable to others. Now, we are looking right into the face of something that makes immunity grants pale in comparison; we are seeing the government actually absorbing the entire banking system of the United States.
You want definitional fascism, which is the marriage of the corporate and the sovereign? You are now seeing it happen in real time, right in your face.
The two leading candidates for President are on board the bailout, and that meansregardless of their respective, mealy-mouthed quibblings with this or that part of itthey are both instruments of the Bush Administration's last and far grandest assault upon this nation's people and the republic that shelters them.
Listen. For once during this election, stop waving those God damned McCain and Obama signs, stop pissing away your anger hating McCain or hating Obama, stop trashing voices in opposition for matters irrelevant to the point they're making, and listen.
Then, once you're finished listening, go out and vote for your favorite man who will take us on down the road into the ugliness of a nation too ignorant to remember where fascism leads.
If the sound of Rep. Paul's voice annoys you, the transcript is available by clicking here.
If the sound of a clear, accurate warning of what is to come annoys you, go listen to McCain and Obama promise something other than the inevitable disaster that is coming at this nation like a freight train simply because we have once againjust as we did with the events of September 11, 2001allowed the Bush Administration to fail us and then use that failure as the pretext to wreck our treasure, our liberties, and, this time, our republic as the nation our Founding Fathers envisioned.
And don't blame the politicians. Theirs is not the task of rebellion.
That responsibility, whether we accept it or not, is ours.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
Obama Gets It and Gets It Right (on Free Trade, Anyway)
Subsequently, in answering moderator Bob Schieffer's next question, "Can we reduce our dependence on foreign oil and by how much in the first term, in four years?" Obama took the opportunity to address McCain's criticism: "I believe in free trade. But I also believe that for far too long, certainly during the course of the Bush administration with the support of Sen. McCain, the attitude has been that any trade agreement is a good trade agreement. And NAFTA doesn't have -- did not have enforceable labor agreements and environmental agreements.
"And what I said was we should include those and make them enforceable, in the same way that we should enforce rules against China manipulating its currency to make our exports more expensive and their exports to us cheaper..."
Below is the video clip of the discussion of energy independence that includes the exchange transcribed above.
Many readers of articles I have published over the past nearly four years here at The Dark Wraith Forums know that I have railed over and over again about the manipulation of the yuan-dollar exchange rate by the Chinese and the destructive effects this has had on the United States economy. In fact, in the very last article published here prior to this one, I tore into globalists like newly minted Nobel laureate Paul Krugman for their wholesale blindness to how benefits of "free trade" do notindeed, cannotoccur in a trading relationship where one side systematically, openly, aggressively cheats on the scale that China has in its trade with the United States. In that particular article, I ripped into Krugman, specifically, by writing: "[H]is global free-trade advocacyadvocacy that won him the Nobel because he masqueraded it as scholarshipis the naïve battle cry of the American political 'center' that has allowed China to gut the American economy of tens of millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars by manipulating the yuan-dollar exchange rate for years and years while our intelligentsia sat back bleating about the beauty of their theories of free trade making people's lives better."
In my September article, "The Echo of Now," I provided links to numerous other articles I have written wherein I described this destructive exchange rate manipulation and condemned U.S. government policy that has allowed it to continue for years without retribution.
So, now, here I am, coming to grips with a spectacle that nearly stopped my heart: a major-league candidate for President of the United States, the man who will undoubtedly be the next President of the United States, repeating almost verbatim what I've been bawling about for years with virtually no onecertainly no reputable economists or reasonably mainstream politicianscoming even close to being as forceful and specific as I have been on the matter of exchange rate manipulation by the Chinese, what it has done to our economy, and what we must do about it.
But there it was: Barack Obama spoke a truth about an economic issue that is not easy to understand and has never been mainstreamed as common knowledge.
Does this mean I will now vote for Barack Obama?
Hell, no. The man seems to understand an important principle of macroeconomics and how it applies in the real world of the economic wreckage that has been done to the American economy, but Obama also said in the same debate on Wednesday night, "I think that the Constitution has a right to privacy in it that shouldn't be subject to state referendum..."
How nice: states do not have the right to rescind that which inheres to people by natural law, but the federal government may, at its convenience in legislating terrorist-threat hysteria, put into law such abominations as the revised Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Sen. Obama voted for.
While words have importance, deeds have consequences. Sen. Obama talks well, certainly when he virtually quotes me verbatim on the issue of what has caused great harm to the American economy, but talk is cheap when the iron first of an emergent authoritarian state is behind the velvet words of glowing praise for "privacy" that can be hurled to the curb like so much trash when law enforcement personnel and Right-wing judges see fit.
Talk of "rights" is also cheap when the reality is that millions of Americans are prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned under the auspices of the "rule of law" while men and women at the very pinnacle of power allow and, in fact, with impunity craft the utter destruction of the American economy. Perhaps Sen. Obama might get around on the campaign trail one of these days to talking about taking legal action against men like Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke, upon whose fiscal watch incomprehensibly costly catastrophe has befallen the global economy because of their malfeasance and incompetence in concert with the malfeasance, incompetence, corruption, and mendacity of the Bush Administration in complicity with weak, cowardly Democratic leaders who, at best, did nothing and, far more likely, were every bit a part of the plans and schemes that went so awry. We are now inexorably plunging into an era of crumbling empire, bankrupt of treasure and bereft of moral standing in the world that will now move on and leave us behind as the crippled, elderly relic of yet another broken dream of a more perfect union.
Who, then, will be punished for this heinous and massive crime against freedom? Who, then, will suffer retributive justice scaled to the monument of this outrage? Will Barack Obama be our champion?
Of course not. He is nothing but the sound and fury of the echo we remember of ourselves and our country in our shining hours. We have not seen those shining hours in a long, long time, though; our memories, like Sen. Obama, are all we have left.
For what it's worth, on one matter, Mr. Obama has spoken truth to the power of the electorate; on so much more, however, his silence is telling and his votes in the Senate are chilling.
Fortunately for the junior Senator from Illinois, once he is President, he may use that office to lead the city of liars, charlatans, and fools taking us into the gathering darkness of inevitable authoritarianism that is the fate of a free people who know not the responsibility such grace carries in choosing its leaders wisely. For our sloth, we shall pay dearly at the gateway to the future. President Obama will serve as nothing more than the toll keeper at that portal to the nightfall of our empire.
The Dark Wraith will spend the next four years, God willing, ensuring that President Obama faces withering criticism from one who wishes he had good cause to do otherwise.
Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize-Winning Globalist
Oh, but... but... Paul Krugman is a LIBERAL. Ah, yes. That makes it okay: his global free-trade advocacyadvocacy that won him the Nobel because he masqueraded it as scholarshipis the naïve battle cry of the American political "center" that has allowed China to gut the American economy of tens of millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars by manipulating the yuan-dollar exchange rate for years and years while our intelligentsia sat back bleating about the beauty of their theories of free trade making people's lives better.
However, in the spirit of academic collegiality, I want to congratulate Dr. Krugman and offer a few admittedly biased observations about the life and works of a fine, respected, tenured man of the new world.
Sir, good for you! You got a Nobel Prize for your work on the impact of industry-level economies of scale on global trade patterns. Your advocacy of free trade is praiseworthy, and I am hoping you will now be willing to pursue your passion in an empirical, down-to-earth way. In fact, collecting this data should be done by you, personally, rather than by your grad research assistant lackeys. Here's what you need to do to get this research underway.
Go, sir, and have a long, hard look at the rusted spine of American manufacturing industries obliterated by years and years of having our products artificially overpriced in foreign markets while Chinese products were artificially underpriced in American markets.
Be an American union worker constantly under assault to make wage and benefits concessions while trying in vain to remain "competitive" in that-there "global economy" about which you and your fellow mainstream economists talk so glowing.
Incessantly repeat that tripe about how the United States must adapt to being a "services"-oriented economy, where low-margin, low-wage jobs are all we can get when, in fact, that whole meme has been nothing other than an excuse for watching tens of millions of high-paying industrial jobs fly overseas, not because some other countries are "better" than us (we economists say those countries have "comparative advantage" in manufacturing), but merely because exchange rate manipulation massively, systematically, and catastrophically distorted terms of trade and completely obscured any free market-driven allocation of productive enterprise in the global manufacturing and trading system. You famously claim that the solution is somehow "political" in the sense that we should spend U.S. tax dollars to retrain or reinvent our workforce instead of cracking down hard, fast, and painfully on the countries that are cheating in the global trade game. There's a liberal solution if ever I heard one: cower from the bullies and find "inner strength," perhaps even "peace" with our inner wuss. God forbid we should ever lean over the trade negotiations table and say to the apparatchiks in Beijing, "Knock it off with your 'free markets' lie: you are, have been, and always will be communist authoritarians; you have no place in your world view for 'free' anything, so stop claiming you're free trade advocates when you're most decidedly nothing but old-fashioned mercantilists trying to bleed a giant capitalist economy dry to keep your own failed socialist system going and your corrupt gerontocracy filthy rich." Yes, God forbid we should offend those freedom-loving rulers in Beijing. They might stop selling us their melamine-laced food.
[Note to readers: The next paragraph starts light and political but takes a rather hard turn into the monetary theory. Be forewarned.]
Yes, Dr. Krugman, soak up all that liberal love with your righteous condemnation of the Bush Administration and its policies while you, yourself, and all your fellow globalists cower in convenient silence as that same Bush Administration keeps using the accumulation of greenbacks in foreign central banks to finance reckless federal tax and spending policies. You know exactly why the Bush economists and trade "experts" make the ludicrous claim that China does not manipulate the yuan-dollar exchange rate. Somewhere behind all that silence, you and your fellow globalists have the so-called Classical System trade theory firmly embedded in the backs of your minds, believing that monetary phenomena are irrelevant in the long-run despite the accumulating, compelling evidence to the contrary that the U.S. economy has been gutted by the exchange rate pegging game being continuously executed by those 'irrelevant' monetary phenomena. In fact, you and a decent slate of other reputable economists do a darned good job of vociferously arguing about the nuances of how the current account (trade deficits and surpluses) drive exchange rates, and by doing this little backward flip, you and your fellow globalists first ensure that cause and effect are reversed for the purposes of your discussions, and then you are able to completely ignore the capital account effect when the currency of one country earned by another country flows back to the country of origin. This might not be such a big deal except that the Bush Administration has been using monetary policywhich, again, the Classical System claims is irrelevant in the long runto have the Federal Reserve overprint U.S. dollars, which China has continually sopped up by buying them with yuan to keep the Chinese currency weak and the dollar strong. That blows the whole short-run/long-run interest rate model of monetary policy dynamics affecting the price of money; but you folks don't have to worry about that because your whole debate among yourselves has the model working backward to begin with. You guys aren't exactly dumb: you know betteror, at the very least, you could know betterbut you all have a huge, vested interest in keeping the argument on the other side of the galaxy from anything having to do with long-term, economy-wrecking exchange rate manipulation propelling domestic interest rates, much less driving the growth path of comparative advantages among countries.
I should not be so harsh, Dr. Krugman, as to make it sound like you have no idea that China engages in exchange rate manipulation. The truth of the matter is, sir, you actually called for more Asian countries to institute exchange rate "controls" like the ones in China! Well, gee, as long as the guy next door is hosing our house with a flame thrower, let's encourage everyone in the whole darned neighborhood to make Molotov cocktails with gallon jugs of grain alcohol.
I sympathize with you, Dr. Krugman: my second and last course for my field specialization in development economics was taught by a Right-wing, hard-core, free trade theorist who hijacked the entire curriculum to blow through high-powered trade theory. Those equations were straight out of grad school math, and the graphical renderings of terms of trade were enough to fog even a math jockey like me. I'm quite sure that many folks like you, having invested so much mental capacity in getting your mind around the elegance of theories like that, aren't about to let minor matters like exchange rate manipulation and other forms of cheating and bluffing disturb you. Perhaps, hailing as you do from Princeton, your fellow Princeton Nobel Prize winner, game theorist John Nash, convinced you that optimal game strategy need not be concerned with the triviality of human incentive to violate the established, if unspoken, rules of a board game. No one could possibly imagine a world where optimal moves have to be computed under conditions where opponents can actually just steal your pieces from the playing field. Speaking as one who took grad-level game theory, I happily concede that it's hard enough modeling a simple game under perfect conditions; throwing in cheating on the order of hundreds of billions of dollars would make those equations look like quantum electrodynamics.
So, once again, Paul, I offer you congratulations. Like last year, when the Nobel Peace Prize was award to Al Gorea vastly rich man laying the ground work to make huge money with a venture capital firm investing in "green" technologiesthose fine Nobel Prize award-givers have ignored hundreds, if not thousands, of equally deserving recipients who have the misfortune of living their productive lives working, suffering, and making the world better out of the limelight of fame and respectability. Al Gore got the Peace Prize while political prisoners, human rights workers, and others were doing the hard work. His global warming hype whipped the world into a corn-for-fuel hysteria that ended up driving corn-for-food prices through the roof while giving authoritarian governments an excuse to evict indigenous peoples from their land so corn could be grown and inducing millions and millions of dollars to be spent on ethanol fuel plants that now sit idle. For your part, you and your fellow globalists give legitimacy to failed trade policies that ignore compelling incentives to cheat and thwart efforts to enact and impose massive, punitive tariffs on exchange rate cheaters like China. Good for you.
Now, you might sense some sarcasm here in my article, and you might attribute that to bitterness on my part since, once again, I did not win the Nobel Prize in economics. Let me disabuse you of that thought. I don't want the Nobel Prize in economics. I don't want to be on any list whatsoever with Nobel Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, a Right-wing windbag who never had an original idea of his own but nonetheless got the Prize in 1976 for his lifetime of achievements, most of which were nothing but derivative ripoffs from others, including Ludwig von Mises, an economist who was treated like dirt by liberal academia when he came here to the United States to escape persecution as a European Jew.
Paul, I hold no grudge against you for winning that Nobel Prize in economics. You deserve it. People like you should get the prizes, the honors, the accolades, the admiration, and the money: those are the things that ensure you will never see the consequences of your theories on everyday people who live and work in this new world of globalization that brings deteriorating wages, economic uncertainty, family break-ups, crime, structural unemployment, inter-generational poverty, early death, and utter, growing despair to tens of millions of Americans, some of whom still, despite all the evidence to the contrary, believe that their leaders and the academic giants who advise them have real, effective solutions.
Congratulations, Dr. Krugman. Now, go write some more liberal articles for the gullible.
The Dark Wraith has finished this praise-laden post to the newly crowned King of Economics.
Hallowe'en 2008 Graphic #2
The Collective awaits.
The Dark Wraith welcomes accolades for this fine picture as he plans the third terrorizing graphic for Hallowe'en 2008.
Errors and Omissions
[S]eeing how your crystal ball wasn't in need of cleaning... are you surprised at anything that has occurred in the past coupla weeks?
Let me mince no words before I use my admission as an opportunity to expand the explanation from basic macroeconomics principles of what is happening and why.
Yes, one thing has surprised me, and I am glad it is affording me yet another opportunity to pay attention to everything in the data. I am seeing a wild, ebb and flow, inflation/deflation whipsaw occurring.
Normally, a massive, inappropriate, continual infusion of money into an economic system will cause an inflation; and, given that the United States central bank has been letting the total money supply grow way above the real growth rate of the economy, that is most certainly happening and will continue. However, on the other hand, I looked right at the monetary aggregates data (which can be seen graphically in my March 2008 article "The Gospel of Impending Doom") and saw that the Fed was holding the growth rate of M1, the money aggregate that comprises cash and demand deposits (checking accounts), well below the real growth rate of the economy. In and of itself, that would most decidedly lead to a deflation, as well as to a more general economic disaster were it not corrected.
My thought, however, was this: the Fed was allowing M2 and M3, the kinds of money that only huge financial institutions and others of powerful resources can use for liquidity, to grow out of control at rates way in excess of the real growth rate of the economy. It seemed that this would be the overwhelmingly dominant effect. We have had a situation where the economy had a real growth rate of maybe three percent or so, with M1 growing at around zero percent or so and M3 growing an accelerating rate approaching maybe 20 percent: that should mean M3 wins, and we get an eventual inflation rate at something approaching twenty percent minus three percent (or worse, as the real growth rate of the economy slows down below three percent and thereby cannot use even a fraction of the escalating overhang).
Okay, so where's the deflation coming from, then?
In retrospect, I understand it, although even now I'm trying to get my mind around what happened: this was the "credit crunch"! It was, at least in part, a disintermediation between all that liquidity the Fed was pouring in at the top to keep the Wall Street investment firms afloat and the money the base economy of ordinary people and businesses needed.
That M3 money (the part that isn't M1, which is actually included in the M3 aggregate count) really isn't "money" in any ordinary sense. Huge institutional financial services companies can use it like money because they can make it the collateral backing for access to the liquidity needed for transactions; but, in the end, it isn't liquid money.
When I was a consultant years ago, I knew some players out of Vancouver who had managed to find a trick way to do exactly what these large Wall Street firms have been doing. Those Vancouver boys were getting people with so-called "restricted stock" (insider stock that hasn't been held long enough to be freely tradable) to pledge their "Rule 144" stock for what were called "program trading" campaigns short-term investments in incredibly high-yield global currency investments. In other words, those guys from what used to be the Wild West of small-time financial roulette had figured out a way to turn highly illiquid "money" (restricted stock) for a brief period of time into pure cash-money to throw into high-stakes global currency markets, adding into the mix their own staggering margins for gains to leverage. That was essentially the very same game the Wall Street boys have been playing, except the players in Manhattan (and other points around the globe) have been doing it with billions of dollars of book-value "money" backing hundreds of billions of dollars of book value transactions. Every time the game came out a winner, the M3 monetary aggregate shot up even more, and that was how the Fed was allowing the M3 monetary aggregate to grow at such an accelerating, alarming rate, while M1, which is a subset of M3, just sat there flopping around the zero-growth line!
But, again, that M3 money is money only to a tier of the "economy" just loosely connected to the rest of the economy where normal people and businesses operate and use money for real transactions. Hence, the M3 growth rate would not rapidly articulate into inflation for two reasons: expectations of inflation would remain sluggishly behind for a substantial period of time since inflation has not been a problem for years, which means wages and prices would remain fairly insensitive to the emergent inflation signs (I explain this so-called 'sticky wages' phenomenon in Part Three of my series, "The Economics of Wreckage"); and, more importantly, the money aggregate that was growing so blisteringly fast simply could not rapidly become money usable to the real economy of tens of millions of people and millions of companies.
The upshot was this: the fast-growing pool of M3 money eventually and ultimately could not be used at a rate nearly sufficient to finance projects down the productive system, where people borrow for homes and durable goods, companies borrow money for floor-planning and buildings, and both households and firms need money every day for all the trillions of typical transactions in which they engage that keep an economy humming along.
This is a cautionary tale of why it is never a good idea for the Federal Reserve to get itself involved in "helping" the economy. Money should be "neutral": there should be exactly enough of it to ensure that real transactions for real things go smoothly. Too much money in the system, and it causes real values of transactions to become non-transparent as the watered-down money interferes with buyers' and sellers' assessments of how the money they are paying and asking for relates to the real, intrinsic values being exchanged; too little money in the system, and real transactions become more difficult to execute because the money is not there that everyone expects as the anticipated medium of exchange.
Going back to the later years of Alan Greenspan as head of the Federal Reserve, the growing federal budget surpluses had the desirable effect of actually stripping the Fed of its ability to engage in activist monetary policy, since the Federal Reserve uses so-called "open market operations" to add money to and drain money from the banking system (as I explain in Part Two of my series, "The Federal Reserve under Fire"). These open market operations are carried out withare you ready for this?United States Treasury debt instruments, specifically, the short-term, liquid species called "Treasury bills" (or "T-bills," for short)! If the United States is no longer running budget deficits, it is no longer issuing Treasury bills, the short-term debt instruments the Fed likes to buy to carry out its open market operations within the banking system.
Imagine what it would be like for Alan Greenspan to see his unelected seat of power being taken away. First, he trotted up to Congress to bawl that the stock markets were exhibiting "irrational exuberance," which gave him an excuse in the 1990s to execute a pattern of discount rate increases to try to kill the bull market because he thought (as has often been repeated since then) that the closing federal budget deficits were the result of rising federal tax revenues from capital gains.
When that didn't work, and the federal budget deficits kept closing and finally ended up in federal budget surplus territory with no end in sight, he signed on to newly elected President George W. Bush's massive, decade-long tax cuts to deal with a "recession" in 2001 that turned out not to be a recession by technical definitions of that term (which can be seen in this table of U.S. recessions since 1920).
Sure enough, that did the trick: massive federal budget deficits started coming in year after year, and the Federal Reserve was back in business as the unelected body controlling major parts of the economy through daily open market operations fueled by an unrelenting, rising tide of Treasury bills the U.S. government had to issue to pay for its expenses that its diminished tax revenues could not cover.
Now, here we are: an economy that is such a mess that reverberations are being felt around the world, although some of those global "victims" deserve every last ounce of suffering that will be visited upon them, most notable among the scoundrels being the faux free market-loving Communist rulers in Beijing, who manipulated the yuan-dollar exchange rate for years to make their imports to the United States artificially cheap and our exports to China artificially and symmetrically expensive: the Chinese central bank accumulated a monster pool of greenbacks in foreign reserves from this multi-year gambit, investing the dollars in American assets like U.S. Treasury debt and (dear Lord, let me keep from smiling as I write this) mortgage-backed securities.
Our illustrious Federal Reservefirst under the increasingly addled, self-serving chairmanship of Alan Greenspan and then under the obsequious, incompetent stewardship of Ben Bernanke and his fellow Governors of the Federal Reserve Board (one of whom is a former dinner theatre actress)were part and parcel of a disaster that has hit this country like a falling brick building, all because an old Keynesian trick of using short-term punches of money to wake up an ailing economy was turned into an everyday, 365-days-a-year alternative to sound fiscal management by the United States Congress and President.
And how did our government first address the crisis when it was too big to ignore? Why, it bullied into law a $700 billion-plus-no-end-in-sight bailout for the welfare queens of Wall Street, with both the respectable Republicans and Democrats muscling it through over the objections of those who, first, didn't like the whole idea and, second, didn't like Nancy Pelosi putting the House of Representatives under martial law and apparently threatening some congressmen with the same for everyone if the legislation did not pass.
But I'll be darned if that massive collapse of real asset values reflected in stock prices didn't happen anyway, despite the $700 billion dollar rescue package that was supposed to avert a global financial meltdown. Talk about throwing money down the drain. We have a former bigwig, Henry Paulson, from the failed investment house Goldman Sachs as the head of the United States Treasury, and he has just appointed his fellow former crony from Goldman Sachs, Neel Kashkari, to oversee the use of that $700 billion to buy up the bad investments of the reckless financial services industry giants.
So, returning to the question that began this article, what did I get wrong? That's easy: I did not see the deflation component of the current economic crisis.
In my own defense (aside from the fact that I'm calling the deflation aspect before virtually anyone is mentioning that it is happening), I shall state that my error is minor compared to those of President George W. Bush, the Congresses of the past seven-and-a-half years, the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, the mainstream news media pundits, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the financial services industry, the two major party candidates, and even most Right-wing and Leftist bloggers. While the important people and institutions flail around with worthless excuses, vapid theories, and useless remedies, be assured that here at The Dark Wraith Forums, readers will get the benefit of my best judgment, which is based upon years of training, observations, and teaching combined with a gut-level knowledge born of those hard-earned credentials.
Unlike pretty much everyone out there in official circles talking about this catastrophic economic downturn, I do not get paid for what I think and write. I shall leave it to readers to assess what that indicates about my reliability relative to that of all the men and women who live at the hog trough of approved opinions, excuses, and solutions.
The Dark Wraith could, however, use an occasional donation from George Soros (although Mr. Soros would probably get the donation back with a friendly note telling him to go to Hell).
Hallowe'en 2008 Graphic #1
Fear the night, good people, but fear future even more.
The Dark Wraith will provide more nightmares in the weeks to come.
Was Martial Law Threatened?
Members of Congress were told they could face martial law if they didn't pass the bailout bill. This will not be the last time.
The article provides a link to the YoutTube video of Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) on the floor of the House of Representatives putting into the record, "...[A] few members [of the House of Representatives] were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted 'No' [on the bailout bill]."
Consistent with this allegation of a threat of the imposition of martial law is the report in the Army Times that the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division, having served in Iraq for "35 of the last 60 months," will for the next 12 months serve in the United States under the service wing of the Northern Command, ostensibly "...as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks."
Perhaps related to this deployment and to the threat allegedly conveyed by unnamed persons to members of Congress is the incident described in my article, "March 13, 2008," the day a rare, secret session of the House of Representatives was held. The closed-door meeting was supposedly held so some House Republicans could share secret information concerning reasons to vote for the privacy wrecking ball otherwise known as the revised Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; but the conspiracy theory angle was emerging that the session was really about an impending economic and financial collapse and the steps that would be necessary to control the situation and protect the members of the federal legislature.
Reports of threats, second-hand allegations made on the floor of the House of Representatives, and even confirmed deployments on American soil of U.S. troops for crowd control do not add up to proof of any active plan or scheme by the Bush Administration to impose martial law. Far more evidence would be required, including but not restricted to sworn statements from Congressmen who were, themselves, actually threatened. Should affidavits to that effect actually be executed, however, sufficient grounds would exist for immediate proceedings in the House of Representatives pursuant to expedited impeachment of the President and Vice President of the United States: it would be in such forum that further evidence could be acquired and, more importantly, any possible plot exposed.
Again, though, only an allegation has been made, albeit one consistent with facts, rumors, and other allegations which in their sum are deeply troubling but by no means cause for panic by citizens worried about the continuity of the United States as a democratic republic functioning under the rule of law.
Right now, concern about a possible coup d'etat of some sort is entirely unwarranted; however, a public allegation by a federal legislator that a threat of martial law was conveyed to obtain passage of a piece of legislation is of more than passing concern. If Rep. Sherman was engaging in hyperbole, then he is a fool, and those in his congressional district who vote for him are even greater fools. If, on the other hand, he truthfully reported what actually happened, then he is to be thanked, and those who vote for all of the legislators in the House and Senate who voted for the $700 billion bailout giveaway to the welfare queens of Wall Street are to be condemned for their reckless spending and damned for their capitulation to an outrageous, unconstitutional threat.
Dark Wraith Publishing will provide further reports on this matter should more information become available.
Elsewhere during the second debate, McCain announced a bombshell new initiative, saying that, as President, "I would order the Secretary of the Treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of the homes at the diminished value of the homes and let people make those... make the payments and stay in their homes." McCain then rhetorically asked himself, "Is it expensive?" and immediately answered, "Yes."
As a minor aside, Sen. McCain is right: buying up all the "bad mortgages" in the United States would be expensive. In fact, it would be staggeringly expensive. It would require legislation to enable the plan (which means he could not simply "order" this to be done), and it would require an increase in the national debt ceiling. The United States Treasury would be buying the aggregate difference between the principal on every "upside down" home mortgage in the entire nation and the underlying aggregate market asset value of that property, with no upside potential for recapturing that expense if real estate values ever rebound.
That having been noted, let us point out the obvious. A freeze on federal spending and a purchase by the United States Treasury of all the "bad mortgages" in the country cannot happen simultaneously. The U.S. government can do one or the other of two things, here: it can bail out every homeowner who is upside down on a mortgage, thereby blowing the federal budget deficits even farther into outer space than they already have been sent under the fiscal recklessness of the Republicans and the recent bipartisan recklessness of the $700 billion financial services industry welfare bailout; or the government can institute an across-the-board spending freeze that will exclude only defense, veterans programs, and certain entitlements.
It cannot do both, and the very fact that John McCain would declare his earnest intentions to carry out mutually exclusive policiesdeclarations he made on the same night, in the same forum, in the presence of millions of viewerspoints to one of three possibilities about the Republican candidate:
• Sen. McCain is so desperate at this point that, cynically or otherwise, he will promise anything, regardless of its absurdity in context;
• Sen. McCain does not understand that a spending freeze means he and Congress would by definition have foregone opportunities for vastly expensive initiatives;
• or Sen. McCain has lost a crucial understanding he simply must possess with respect to the realities and responsibilities of federal fiscal management as agreed upon by the Congress and the Office of the President.
In any event, what he said during Tuesday night's debate cannot be set aside as a misstatement: in no uncertain terms, without a hint of equivocation, John McCain laid out two compelling policies that are completely and irreconcilably at odds with one another. While voters might find both a homeowner mortgage bailout and a federal spending freeze attractive ideas, it should be pointed out to them that the Republican candidate for President might not be able to deliver on either promise and, as a matter of essential logic, most certainly could not deliver on both.
It would be most unfortunate if voters were to elect as President an individual who discovers fundamental errors in his thinking as learning experiences rather than as matters of prior common sense.
Treasury Secretary Taps Fellow Former Goldman Sachs Executive to Oversee Bailout
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has chosen a former fellow Goldman Sachs executive to oversee the disbursement of the $700 billion blank check Congress and President Bush approved for the controversial bailout of Wall Street financial services companies.
The new head of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, as the congressionally blessed, George W. Bush-approved Wall Street welfare program is called, will be Neel Kashkari.
Neel Kashkari: he was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs before he signed on at the Treasury Department in July of 2006, shortly after Paulson left the firm to head Treasury.
That's right. Just like his current boss, Henry Paulson, Mr. Kashkari was a top executive at Goldman Sachs, the first of what has become a recent cascade of giant financial services companies collapsing under the weight of their bad investments in mortgage-backed securities and their phenomenally imprudent ratios of borrowed money to equity.
Handing oversight of the disbursement of what might very well be more than a trillion dollars to a former Wall Street executive of a firm that failed massively and, more importantly, had been failing massively for a long time before its over-leveraged, highly risky portfolio started coming apart in a very public way might seem to some observers like letting the fox guard the hen house; but that simile is wrong. This is, in fact, the very epitome of handing the fox clear title to the hen house, along with a brand new kitchen with an industrial-strength taxpayer-chicken broiler oven and a dining room table with seating for every other fox in the whole darned country.
Congress, whose members have raked in $43 million in lobbying money and campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs and its bigwigs since 1989, might as well have thrown in a big bouquet of flowers and a string quartet to provide just the right setting for the reckless Wall Street insiders sitting down to their All-U-Can-Eat smorgasbord of taxpayer money roasted and served to the corporate welfare queens of the new American century.
The word "ridiculous" does not even begin to cover what is happening right under our noses on the Wall Street-Washington D.C. axis of big corporation-big government revolving door corruption. This money grab has all the nuance of a tuba ensemble using dual, 10 megawatt amps. Woe be to any average American citizen when that band comes roaring down the tracks Hell-bent for Jubilee Day at the hog-trough of national debt heading for digit counts that overflow scientific calculator displays.
No one can stop this madness: not the tens of millions of voters, not the hundreds of thousands of federal civil servants, not the thousands of federal judges, not the hundreds of purported representatives of the People in the federal legislature, not the heads of the federal agencies, not the two major party candidates, not the President.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has no need for subtlety, now: he got the money his cronies on Wall Street wanted, he got enough power to dole it out as he sees fit to those high-stakes welfare queens, and now he can put his chosen Igor in charge of slapping together a veritable Frankenstein's monster of consolidated financial power in the hands of the very insiders who killed the industry from which is now being harvested parts for the biggest government-business joint venture zombie in the history of this nation.
And what are the voters going to do about this come November 4? Why, they're going to vote for either John McCain (who has received more than $200,000 from Goldman Sachs and more than $1,800,000 from commercial banks) or Barack Obama (who has received more than $700,000 from Goldman Sachs and more than $2,000,000 from commercial banks), both of whom voted for this cynical horror show.
If there were even a hint of Hollywood-style justice, at the very least, we could get a decent scene where Sarah Palin meets up with the monster in a most undesirable combination of dark hallway, terrifying music, and casting deletions.
Unfortunately, Washington doesn't make horror movies like the ones from Hollywood: for one thing, Hollywood usually eliminates most of the bad actors by the end; for another thing, unlike the show in Washington, Hollywood movieseven the worst of themalways come to an end.
The Dark Wraith yells, "CUT!"
"What should we do, sir, submit or fight?"
On October 3, 2008, a revised version of the bailout bill passed the Senate and then the House of Representatives, with President Bush signing the legislation that afternoon. The core feature of the new bill, the bailout of the financial services industry at a minimum cost of $700 billion, remained intact. Sweeteners designed to turn the legislation into a Christmas tree of desires for representatives who had voted against the first version of the bill ensured its passage in the second round. Expensive as they are, those added expenditures, promises, and mandates notwithstanding, the bailout bill is nothing other than a taxpayer-funded government giveaway to financial institutions that took excessive, imprudent, reckless risks for profit and, in so doing, ultimately placed their companies and, indeed, the global financial system at appalling risk. The U.S. Treasury Secretary and the Federal Reserve Chairman virtually told Congress that, unless the bailout bill passed, the irresponsible activities of those private institutions imperiled the stability of the entire global economy, and President George W. Bush said as much in his address to the nation on September 24, 2008.
While handing the U.S. Treasury the power to expend what could result in several trillion dollars of money the United States will have to borrow or print, since its expenditures already exceed by hundreds of billions of dollars its tax revenues, neither the original bailout bill nor the one that ultimately passed offered average Americans any relief whatsoever from the destructive economic downturn that has been underway for months. The bill that passed did not place a moratorium on foreclosures, which are putting millions of American families on the street. The bill that passed did not authorize the U.S. Treasury to bail out any homeowners or small businesses whose indebtedness now exceeds real asset value of mortgaged property. The bill did not make even the slightest attempt to bring under strict regulatory scrutiny and control the Federal Reserve, which has maintained a virtually zero-growth regime on the money supply average Americans use (the so-called "M1" monetary aggregate) while allowing the money supply used by massive financial institutions (the so-called "M3" monetary aggregate) to grow out of control. The bill did not make any mention whatsoever of mandating investigations of the regulatory agencies and personnel who had oversight responsibilities but were somehow unable to see, prevent, or even mitigate what came to be a "crisis" so severe that the President of the United States, in a historical and historic first, went before the American people to speak of looming economic disaster.
Despite overwhelming anger among constituents, the members of Congress capitulated to the threats from Wall Street, the Bush Administration, and the Federal Reserve. Despite an unprecedented influx of phone calls, e-mail messages, faxes, and other communications from average Americans, the members of Congress capitulated.
It is unlikely that even one elected representative saw my September 29 article, "To the Members of Congress Concerning the Bailout Proposal," in which I pointed out the stark similarities between the Bush Administration's manufactured hysteria about a collapse of the global financial system and its manufactured hysteria in 2002 about Iraq producing weapons of mass destruction that Congress needed to give President Bush the unfettered power to stop. Others who wrote articles condemning the bailout were similarly ignored.
The majorities in both houses of Congress did not listen to those who vote for them, nor did they listen to the writers, academics, and others who articulated in published works what was clearly and indisputably an overwhelming consensus of will against the bailout. Perhaps unique in modern American politics, last Friday, October 3, 2008, the United States Congress, together with the President of the United States, demonstrated in one act that the unquestionable, visible, evident, unarguable will of the citizenry is subordinate to the demands of something that is neither constitutionally recognized nor inhered of rights under any legitimate conceptual philosophy of natural law. In a battle of starkly defined opponents, Congress and the President chose the side of and made victorious that which is not even living, much less citizen.
Yet, despite that crushingly obvious reality, most of those who are reading this article will go to the polls on November 4 and vote for either Barack Obama or John McCain, both of whom voted for the bailout. Almost every last one of you, the readers of this article, will vote for one of these two men who have both indicated in no uncertain terms that your will means nothing to them other than that it will put them in a position of even greater power to ignore your will at their convenience and situational expedience; and you will cast your vote with no small degree of conviction that your chosen candidate will somehow bring changereform, evento a system that has ensured their rise to power within that very system. One calls himself a "maverick," the other lays claim to the banner of "hope and change"; yet these two men have already shown you which side they will choose when the veneer of democracy is denuded of its hiding places for raw power and greed.
Will there ever be a time when the politicians stop lying to us about their agenda? Not until we stop lying to ourselves about the wellspring of our powerlessness.
In the comment thread of my graphical post, "The People (Who Matter) Have Spoken," at Big Brass Blog, long-time friend Missouri Mule asked the salient question: "What should we do, sir, submit or fight?"
Given that she has known me for quite a while, she knows very well what my answer is. What she does not know is that I will not answer the question just yet.
There is no reason to expend great energy fomenting an angry mob to doomed rebellion when, not so long from now, that angry mob might very well become a desperate legion spontaneously exploding in all-consuming revolution.
Does that sound far-fetched? Indeed, it probably does, which means you really aren't ready for my answer to Missouri Mule's question. For your own sake, I genuinely hope you never will be. For our children's sake, I truly hope otherwise.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
The People (Who Matter) Have Spoken
The Biden versus Palin Debate: Summary Evaluation
Without diminishing Biden's performance, Palin did make his work somewhat easier in that she repeatedly used her time to proffer scripted messages, which meant that Biden was already prepared to counter. To Palin's credit, on several occasions after her original script had been shot down, she simply denied that the counter-argument was true. One example of this was when Biden took apart her weak defense of Sen. McCain's vague plans for Afghanistan by noting that military commanders, themselves, had just declared that an Iraq-style surge in Afghanistan would not work; Palin rebutted by brazenly claiming the commanders had not said a troop-level increase would fail. In her rebuttal, she skillfully avoided using the word surge, meaning she was bright enough to know very well that she was doing semantic parsing on a thin ledge below which was a dungeon of morning-after fact check flogging.
As a side note, a continuing frustration I have with both Obama and Biden is their willingness to concede the Bush Administration/mainstream media notion that the "surge" was, indeed, successful. They really need to stop letting this matter go. To the extent that violence in Iraq has been reduced, thereby leading to a significant reduction in the number of American casualties, the greatest contributing factor was not that massive spike in the number of U.S. soldiers committed to Baghdad and other hot spots; it was, in fact, principally the result of the United States paying staggering amounts of money to potential adversaries to stop killing each other and, more importantly, to knock it off with shooting our GIs. Those "Sunni Awakening Councils" and other misfit organizations of bearded men with guns were the beneficiaries of what were literally pallets of money we shipped over there for the expressed purpose of buying their peace.
Now, let me be clear: there is nothing wrong with bribing enemies to be nice (provided, of course, that when we stop paying them, they'll remain nice, something that did not happen when we stopped paying the religious maniacs in Afghanistan once we no longer needed them to kill Soviet occupation troops). What is wrong is for both Barack Obama and Joe Biden to allow the Bush Administration and its lousy commander, Gen. David Petraeus, to look like military geniuses when all they really did was spend American taxpayer money to bribe unsavory killers.
Moving back to the matter of the debate between Sen. Biden and Gov. Palin, I shall not mince words about the latter. Speaking as a college professor, were Sarah Palin a student of mine, I would have flunked her the second time she completely avoided answering a question put directly to her:
Moderator Gwen Ifill asked Palin to describe the circumstance she considered the "trigger" for the use nuclear weapons, and the frozen-smile governor immediately went on a scripted speech about other countries' alleged nuclear weapons programs.
Palin was asked about her "Achilles heel," and she immediately went into a long-winded advertisement about how great she is, going so far as to let everyone know how very close to genuine, honest-to-goodness trailer trash she is by droppin' her "g" on every present participle like a Country & Western singer cuttin' loose with the good ol' boys.
When asked point-blank whether Iran or Pakistan represents the more significant threat to U.S. interests, Palin twinkle-toed like a ballet dancer wearing helium in her tights.
And, as if to forewarn of her own planned surge of Forrest Gumption, at one point early on, she proudly and defiantly declared that she was not going to let any debate moderatoror anyone else, for that matterdeter her from using the debate forum as she gosh-darned well pleased.
Fortunately for Ms. Palin, she is not my student, so I will have no opportunity other than the Websites of Dark Wraith Publishing in which to issue her a failing grade. It took that woman five small colleges to work her way to a fluff degree for people who cannot cut it in real, hard-core college courses, which are the kind I teach. Palin is the type of student who would have been in my class just long enough to suddenly stand up and blurt out, "Um, this isn't Art Appreciation for Imbeciles 101, is it?"
No, Ms. Palin, this is Hell, otherwise known as preparation for the real world of responsibilities that range from rearing your children properly to being one old man away from the most powerful office on the entire planet.
Although I support neither McCain nor Obama, given that neither candidate is willing to face the depth and scope of the multi-faceted, looming economic crises bearing down on this nation, to the extent that this debate between the dueling seconds mattered at all, it was definitely won by Senator Joe Biden.
Given his opponent, however, that isn't saying much for Mr. Biden.
Given that this race is really between Barack Obama and John McCain, though, regardless of who won, the American people are still faced with the unenviable responsibility for deciding which of two men is best able to deceive voters into believing that we can get our degree in prosperity without making it through Hell, first.
The Dark Wraith will be waiting to hand out the class syllabus for anyone interested in early registration.
Dear God, Senator McCain, What Were You Thinking?
During the interview, Palin criticized the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, declaring that she believes abortion rights should be left to the individual states to determine. Once she'd finished her scripted statement, Couric posed a follow-on question, and that's when Palin no longer had a prepared response.
Immediately below is a YouTube video capture, as well as an audio capture (in case the YouTube video gets pulled), of that portion of the interview, followed without comment by a verbatim transcript of Palin's response.
Size: 1.01 Mb
This is the transcript, prepared in house here at Dark Wraith Publishing, of the video segment above:
Couric: "What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?"
Palin: "Mmmm. Well, let's see. There's... of course... in... in the great history of America there have been rulings... that, um, there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and, um, there are... those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, um, you know... going through the history of America, there... there would be others but, uh..."
Couric: "Can you think of any?"
Palin: "Well, I would think of... of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level, maybe I would take issue with, but you know, um, as... as a mayor, and then as a governor and even as a vice president, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it... as it reads today."
Okay, just one brief, dignified comment:
GOD ALMIGHTY! It hurts it physically HURTS to watch that woman suffer.
Senator McCain, have you no decency? Send Sarah Palin back to her own kind.
Dude: Please. For God's sake.
Damn, John: Even the moose head on the wall is trying to reach the channel changer.
Senator, only you can end this. Send her home. Alaska needs her.
The Dark Wraith will now officially have nightmares thinking about old man McCain kicking the bucket and Sarah Palin getting the keys to the U.S. nuclear arsenal.