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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

It's not over until Bush and Cheney leave town Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named houseOfCards.gifThere are four distinct possibilities.

1. The need for a bailout is a bluff, so nothing happens and Bush finally looks wholly like the idiot asshole that he is. McCain suspended his campaign for nothing. The Republican Party loses in a landslide in November.

2. McCain votes for the bailout, providing cover for other Republicans to follow him, and enough Democrats will sign on so the bailout passes. The Republicans who vote for it blame McCain for the mess, and he loses to Obama, in a landslide, and the Republicans lose more seats, but most of them get re-elected anyway. (Democratic voters think the bailout sucks but it's not a matter of religion for them as it is with the Republicans.)

A picture named kingbush.gif3. McCain convinces Bush & Cheney to resign, Pelosi becomes President until January 20, and a Democratic Congress and Executive passes the bailout, all Republicans who have conservative constituencies vote against it and win re-election in November. A few Democratic incumbents get thrown out because the public will hate the bailout, even if it works. Pretty good chance the next Senate has a Republican majority, maybe the House too.

4. The need for a bailout is not a bluff, Bush refuses to leave, McCain refuses to sacrifice his candidacy, the Republicans in Congress won't vote for the bailout so neither will the Democrats, and the world economy melts down.

Okay it's your choice. Which of the four scenarios do you think will prevail?

I think the hot potato lands in Bush's lap. His father comes down and tells him playtime is over, he has to leave to save the world economy, and what little remains of the Bush name, and we limp along until Obama takes office on Jan 20.

Now McCain wants to cancel the VP debate Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Maybe this was the whole point of all the gimickry of McCain's announcements today, to provide a lot of smoke to hide the fact that they can't put Palin up in front of the country live.

CNN: "McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis."

Aside from the financial crisis, the candidacy of John McCain is melting down today. Never seen anything like this.

McCain to suspend campaign Permanent link to this item in the archive.

11:55AM: Just heard an announcement on MSNBC that McCain has requested that Friday's debate be postponed so he can focus on the economic plan in front of Congress. He also said he plans to suspend his campaign until the crisis is resolved? Not clear on exactly what was said, but this is obviously a big deal.

AP: McCain calls for debate delay.

First reaction -- this is the right thing to do. Whether you like it or not, McCain's vote on this matter is pivotal, and being in debate prep is probably not the best place for him to be.

Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) says he's not so sure McCain's presence is needed in DC. He says the American people could hear from the candidates in the debate. So it's not clear that Obama is going to react positively to the McCain move.

Picture of McCain announcing the suspension of his campaign.

My first reaction was probably wrong -- this was an intensely political decision by McCain and a bit of a double-cross as Obama was trying to work out an agreement between the campaigns privately when McCain decided to go public.

Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post has background.

Lots of new stories on today's NewsJunk.

Wonkette calls McC's move a bluff-in-vain. "You could tell after seeing that new Washington Post/ABC News poll this morning that McCain would need one helluva muppet stunt to get himself a farthingworth's of non-horrendous attention."

"The debate is on," a senior Obama campaign official told ABC News.

MP3 of Obama response to McCain.

Listen to yesterday's FreshAir Permanent link to this item in the archive.

If you want to spend 40 minutes getting a high-speed update on the financial crisis, I highly recommend yesterday's Fresh Air interview with NY Times financial reporter Gretchen Morgenson.

A picture named theTruthCanBeAdjusted.jpgThere's a chin-dropping number in the interview. $60 trillion. It's the dollar value of insurance purchased to back up the money market. It's as if all the neighborhoods in the world were on fire and the insurance industry is going to have to deal with claims on all of it. Obviously, they never planned for that. But there's a lot more shocking stuff in the interview, and it raises far more questions than it answers. If you're like me, and put off understanding how our financial system really works, I'd suggest clearing out 40 minutes and have a listen.

Update: Aaron Pressman, in a comment on this post, suggests (gently, much appreciated) a rewording. "The $62 trillion (not $60) is the total amount of credit default swaps, or insurance policies, that financial firms have written on all types of debt, not just money markets. So: It's the dollar value of insurance purchased to back up bond market investments. It's the amount that banks and insurers are on the hook for if absolutely everything goes down the tubes."

What if a Great Depression starts this week, part 2 Permanent link to this item in the archive.

If you love movies as I do the Great Depression was a time of tremendous growth in the art of moving pictures. Some great technology had just come online at the end of the Roaring Twenties, talking pictures, and that art matured in the 30s, when some of the greatest movies of all time were produced. So if there's going to be a Great Depression, get ready to go to the movies, a lot!

Did McCain know Davis was on Freddie's payroll? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

The first question raised by this amazing NY Times piece:

Did McCain know his campaign manager was also on the Freddie Mac payroll?
A picture named grandpa.gif If he knew, McCain is corrupt to the core, if he didn't -- he's a figurehead who his own people don't respect or protect.

Either way it's not a good thing for a potential future President.

My guess, and it's just my guess is that McCain didn't know, that he sold his campaign to Davis and Schmidt when it was clear he had no way to win against Obama, and in doing so guaranteed himself a ceremonial role in his own administration if they could win the election. These are the people who write the speeches for Pailin, who designed her candidacy and it's looking more and more like Frank Rich hit the bulls eye in his Sept 13 piece about Palin and Whathisname (that would be McCain). McCain is the old brand that gets this crowd of Bush/Cheney/Rove Republicans back in the White House. After the election they'll just resume doing what they were doing during the previous two Republican administrations. And it still might work. It's hard to imagine that this revelation will mean much to people already planning to vote for McCain.

McCain's blogger calls the NY Times "an Obama advocacy organization."


Last update: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 5:25 PM Pacific.

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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September 2008
Aug   Oct

Things to revisit:

1.Microsoft patent acid test.
2.What is a weblog?
3.Advertising R.I.P.
4.How to embrace & extend.
5.Bubble Burst 2.0.
6.This I Believe.
7.Most RSS readers are wrong.
8.Who is Phil Jones?
9.Send them away.
10.Negotiate with users.
11.Preserving ideas.
12.Empire of the Air.
13.NPR speech.
14.Russo & Hale.
15.Trouble at the Chronicle.
15.RSS 2.0.
16.Checkbox News.
17.Spreadsheet calls over the Internet.
18.Twitter as coral reef.
19.Mobs of the blogosphere.
20.Advice for Campaigns.
21.Social Cameras.
22.The Next Big Thing.
23.It's time to open up networking, again.
24.Am I competing?
25.Time to shake up conferences?
26.Bloggers working with journalists.

Teller: "To discover is not merely to encounter, but to comprehend and reveal, to apprehend something new and true and deliver it to the world."

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