10/12/2011 archive

2011 ALCS- Rangers at Tigers Game 4

Yay!  Detroit wins one and Richard is pleased.

One win does not a series decide and the Tigers are still in a hole that only with good luck and a win in Arlington will they dig their way out of.

Today we’ll see Rick Porcello and Matt Harrison.  It’s basically a pick ’em based on ERA, though Porcello got pasted in his start against the Yankees and the Rangers’ Harrison performed quite competently in Game 4 with the Devil Rays.

On the injury front Beltray, Martinez, and Young are all expected to start.  It’s been raining in Detroit and we could have yet another delay.

I am soooo looking forward to that.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Will Occupy Wall Street’s Spark Reshape Our Politics?

When the organizers of Occupy Wall Street first gathered to discuss their plan of action, the strategy that resonated most came from those who had occupied squares in Madrid and Athens, Tunis and Cairo. According to David Graeber, one of Occupy Wall Street’s organizers, “they explained that the model that seemed to work was to take something that seemed to be public space, reclaim it, and build up an organization and headquarters around [it].”

Six weeks later, on September 17, the occupation in downtown New York began, with scant attention, minimal and often derisive media coverage, and little expectation that it would light a spark where others had not. Now, in its fourth week, Occupy Wall Street has the quality of an exploding star: It is gathering energy in enormous and potent quantities, and propelling it outward to all corners of the country.

Danny Schechter: As the GOP Blames Obama for Wall Street “Mobs” the Occupy Movement Spreads Nationwide and Is No Friend of the President

Who is behind the Wall Street protests?

The Republican minority leader, Eric Cantor, has searched up and down in his usual rigorous manner and found the culprit.

In his knee-jerk view, it’s President Obama. His latest crime: encouraging these “mobs.”

In one sentence, he blamed the President, who in GOP conspiracy think, is to blame for everything, including bad weather. He also not so subtly conjures up the memory of the Mafia, New York’s perennial bad guys.

In one phrase, Obama stood accused of encouraging these…. pause for righteous indignation — MOBS!

Never mind that if you spend any time at Occupy Wall Street, you will encounter as many criticisms of the President’s policies — save the questions about his birth and “real Americaness” — as you would at a conclave of the Tea Party.

Only the criticism is different. In the latter world of make-believe, he is a hard line Socialist. In the former, he is, in effect, a Republican, a backer of the Wall Street capitalists the occupiers are battling.

Ben Lillston: The 1 Percent’s Trade Deals

This week, the House of Representatives will consider three pending U.S. free trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. The push to further deregulate trade seems to be one of the few things that President Obama and Congressional Republicans can agree on. And it represents, in stark detail, why so many around the country are protesting excess corporate power in Washington.

There is no clarion call from the public for more free trade agreements. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll last year found that 69 percent of Americans believe free trade deals cost Americans jobs, only 18 percent believe they create jobs (see Public Citizen’s trade polling memo for more).

Dave Zirin: Dr. John Carlos Raises His Fist With Occupy Wall Street

Last night I had the privilege of introducing 1968 Olympian Dr. John Carlos to the General Assembly at Occupy Wall Street. This morning I had the duty of introducing John Carlos to Sen. Chuck Schumer in the MSNBC green room. Both were unforgettable experiences. When Dr. Carlos and I arrived an Occupy Wall Street, it comprised all the ordered chaos you could imagine. People of all backgrounds and ages were packed shoulder to shoulder in Zucotti Park. Police stood at attention, glowering from the outside. Homemade igns ranging from, “”Undocumented immigrants are part of the 99% to “We Remember Troy Davis” to “Tax the Rich!” encircled the square. John Carlos looked at me with that twinkle in his eye and said, “It’s great to be home.”


As Dr. Carlos and I were leaving the MSNBC studio, we bumped into someone also very familiar with Wall Street, albeit the non-occupied sections, New York Senator Chuck Schumer. I made the introduction, on my best green room behavior, and bit my tongue. Chuck Schumer then looked at John’s body up and down and said, You’re in great shape! Are you still running?” John paused beautifully and said, “Running for justice.” Schumer, perhaps for the first time, was tongue-tied. I would just add that John isn’t “just running for justice,” he’s running toward justice; and he has a hell of a lot of company.

Dean Baker: David Brooks: Bard of the 1 Percent

David Brooks delved deep into his storage locker of misinformation to tell readers that the idea of blaming the richest 1 Percent for the country’s problems is just silly. He told us that the really big ideas aren’t about reversing the upward redistribution of income from the top, they are from centrists who want to do things like cut our Social Security and make us pay more for health care. Let’s have some fun with Mr. One Percent.

William Rivers Pitt: A Delicate Moment for the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Anyone who still thinks the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests are some kind of fluke, an exercise in ego inflation by spoiled college kids and aging hippies, needs to go back to bed. This thing is very much for real, is very large, and is growing exponentially. Similar protests have sprung up in dozens of cities all across the country, and with an ‘Occupy the London Stock Exchange’ action set to take place on Saturday, the movement is poised to become an international affair.

The New York police have already laid into the Wall Street protesters with unnecessary violence on more than one occasion, and the Boston police have likewise gotten into the action . . . . .

Frontal assaults have not been the only tactic deployed by those who would like to see the OWS movement dry up and blow away. Patrick Howley, an assistant editor for the right-bent publication The American Spectator, bragged on the Spectator’s website about deliberately disrupting a peaceful protest at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, for no other reason than to give the protesters a bad name. James O’Keefe, the wannabe gotcha-journalist famous for his manipulative hit pieces on ACORN and NPR, has been spotted skulking around Wall Street…which sets up an amusing potential endgame for him, as he is on probation in New Jersey and requires a judge’s permission to leave the state. As best as anyone can determine, that permission was never obtained. Hopefully Mr. O’Keefe can find refuge in an OWS protester’s tent to avoid the judge’s wrath.

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 26

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

If you can’t beat them then try to hijack their cause.

Can OWS be turned into a Democratic Party movement?

by Glenn Greenwald

When I first wrote in defense of the Occupy Wall Street protests a couple of weeks ago, I suggested that much of the scorn then being expressed by many progressives was “grounded in the belief that the only valid form of political activism is support for Democratic Party candidates.” Since then, even the most establishment Democrats have fundamentally changed how they talk about the protests – from condescension and hostility to respect and even support – and The New York Times today makes clear one significant factor accounting for this change:

Leading Democratic figures, including party fund-raisers and a top ally of President Obama, are embracing the spread of the anti-Wall Street protests in a clear sign that members of the Democratic establishment see the movement as a way to align disenchanted Americans with their party.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party’s powerful House fund-raising arm, is circulating a petition seeking 100,000 party supporters to declare that “I stand with the Occupy Wall Street protests.”

The Center for American Progress, a liberal organization run by John D. Podesta, who helped lead Mr. Obama’s 2008 transition, credits the protests with tapping into pent-up anger over a political system that it says rewards the rich over the working class – a populist theme now being emphasized by the White House and the party. The center has encouraged and sought to help coordinate protests in different cities.


Can that scheme work? Can the Occupy Wall Street protests be transformed into a get-out-the-vote organ of Obama 2012 and the Democratic Party? To determine if this is likely, let’s review a few relevant facts.

The last and best part of Glenn’s article is the up date:

UPDATE: Here are the top recipients of campaign donations from the “securities and investment” industry from 1989 through 2010 (h/t muddy thinking):


Click on image to enlarge

Would it not be a bit odd for a protest movement to “Occupy Wall Street” while simultaneously devoting itself to keeping Wall Street’s most lavishly funded politician in power?

Russ Feingold to Dems: ‘This is no time to hang back’


Former Sen. Russ Feingold, founder of Progressives United, tells Keith he both supports and is excited about the Occupy protests. Feingold is calling on Democrats to not play “cautious politics” and to join the movement, saying conservatives are attempting to mock the protests because “they’re very nervous that this might work.” Feingold adds, “My sense is that there is great fear that this sweet deal that a lot of these people have in both Washington and New York … is finally being threatened and challenged.”

On This Day In History October 12

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 12 is the 285th day of the year (286th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 80 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1810, Bavarian Crown Prince Louis, later King Louis I of Bavaria, marries Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

The Bavarian royalty invited the citizens of Munich to attend the festivities, held on the fields in front of the city gates. These famous public fields were named Theresienwiese-“Therese’s fields”-in honor of the crown princess; although locals have since abbreviated the name simply to the “Wies’n.” Horse races in the presence of the royal family concluded the popular event, celebrated in varying forms all across Bavaria.

Oktoberfest is a 16-18 day festival held each year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, running from late September to the first weekend in October. It is one of the most famous events in Germany and the world’s largest fair, with more than 5 million people attending every year. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modelled after the Munich event.

The Munich Oktoberfest, traditionally, takes place during the sixteen days up to and including the first Sunday in October. In 1994, the schedule was modified in response to German reunification so that if the first Sunday in October falls on the 1st or 2nd, then the festival will go on until October 3 (German Unity Day). Thus, the festival is now 17 days when the first Sunday is October 2 and 18 days when it is October 1. In 2010, the festival lasts until the first Monday in October, to mark the 200-year anniversary of the event. The festival is held in an area named the Theresienwiese (field, or meadow, of Therese), often called Wiesn for short, located near Munich’s centre.

Visitors eat huge amounts of traditional hearty fare such as Hendl (chicken), Schweinsbraten (roast pork), Schweinshaxe (ham hock), Steckerlfisch (grilled fish on a stick), Würstl (sausages) along with Brezn (Pretzel), Knödel (potato or bread dumplings), Kasspatzn (cheese noodles), Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes), Sauerkraut or Blaukraut (red cabbage) along with such Bavarian delicacies as Obatzda (a spiced cheese-butter spread) and Weisswurst (a white sausage).

First hundred years

In the year 1811, an agricultural show was added to boost Bavarian agriculture. The horse race persisted until 1960, the agricultural show still exists and it is held every four years on the southern part of the festival grounds. In 1816, carnival booths appeared; the main prizes were silver, porcelain, and jewelry. The founding citizens of Munich assumed responsibility for festival management in 1819, and it was agreed that the Oktoberfest would become an annual event. Later, it was lengthened and the date pushed forward, the reason being that days are longer and warmer at the end of September.

To honour the marriage of King Ludwig I and Therese of Bavaria, a parade took place for the first time in 1835. Since 1850, this has become a yearly event and an important component of the Oktoberfest. 8,000 people-mostly from Bavaria-in traditional costumes walk from Maximilian Street, through the centre of Munich, to the Oktoberfest. The march is led by the Münchner Kindl.

Since 1850, the statue of Bavaria has watched the Oktoberfest. This worldly Bavarian patron was first sketched by Leo von Klenze in a classic style and Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler romanticised and “Germanised” the draft; it was constructed by Johann Baptist Stiglmaier and Ferdinand von Miller.

In 1853, the Bavarian Ruhmeshalle was finished. In 1854, 3,000 residents of Munich succumbed to an epidemic of cholera, so the festival was cancelled. Also, in the year 1866, there was no Oktoberfest as Bavaria fought in the Austro-Prussian War. In 1870, the Franco-Prussian war was the reason for cancellation of the festival. In 1873, the festival was once more cancelled due to a cholera epidemic. In 1880, the electric light illuminated over 400 booths and tents (Albert Einstein helped install light bulbs in the Schottenhamel tent as an apprentice in his uncle’s electricity business in 1896). In 1881, booths selling bratwursts opened. Beer was first served in glass mugs in 1892.

At the end of the 19th century, a re-organization took place. Until then, there were games of skittles, large dance floors, and trees for climbing in the beer booths. They wanted more room for guests and musicians. The booths became beer halls.

In 1887, the Entry of the Oktoberfest Staff and Breweries took place for the first time. This event showcases the splendidly decorated horse teams of the breweries and the bands that play in the festival tents. This event always takes place on the first Saturday of the Oktoberfest and symbolises the official prelude to the Oktoberfest celebration

In the year 1910, Oktoberfest celebrated its 100th birthday. 120,000 litres of beer were poured. In 1913, the Braurosl was founded, which was the largest Oktoberfest beer tent of all time, with room for about 12,000 guests.

I have very fond memories of Oktoberfest. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Europe, do it in late September because this is a must see and experience.

Yankee Doodle

Many people don’t remember that Yankee Doodle was originally a song sung by the British to mock the rag-tag appearance of the Colonials.

They later adopted it as an anthem of their own and it endures as one of the most popular patriotic songs to this day.

Just so this particular ditty has appeared in the inboxes of European Bond and Forex traders and those 1%ers sing it (to the tune of I Will Survive) without the irony it so richly encapsulates.

At first we took the aid, we were petrified.

Kept thinking we could only live with Germans by our side.

But then we spent so many nights thinking how you did us wrong,

And we grew strong and learned to string you all along.

And so we’re back.  Just watch this space

What are the yields doing up here?  You’ve got a sad look on your face.

We should have made people pay tax and begun austerity,

But were busy on the beach and you bail us out for free.

Go on now go.  Walk out the door.

Things turned around now and the Dax is on the floor.

Merkel the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye.

Watch the Euro tumble.  EuroStox become the S M I.

Oh no, not I.  I will survive.

Oh as long as Trichet buys our bonds I know I’ll stay alive

We have our cushy lives to live,

And in return nothing to give.

And I’ll survive.  I will survive (hey hey)

Try this 3 line replacement-

We should have made the banksters pay tax and broke up too big to fail.

But you were busy in the Hamptons and knew the Treasury would bail.

Go on you Galts.  Walk out that door.

Sings a little truer now, doesn’t it?

Say what you like about the Nutmeg State, we have fine taste in traitors.

2011 ALCS- Rangers at Tigers Game 3

Well, I can’t pretend the results in this series so far are what I would wish.  At best the Tigers can hope to win at least once in Arlington and advance.  I’m sure they’re gratified that Obama has declared he’d rather watch them than the Republican debate.

Me?  I’m not so sure.

The Rangers will be putting up Colby Lewis who has an ERA of 13 (yup, you can expect him to give up 13 runs for every 9 innings pitched) against the Tigers this year with a substantially superior but still sucky 4.66 ERA last year.  Rangers fans will say that he’s a different pitcher in the post-season with an ERA of only 1.65.

The Tigers will counter with Doug Fister who is much, much better on paper.  Still, while it’s difficult to claim any but an elimination game is a ‘must win’, if they don’t succeed tonight it’s hard to see any way through to the World Series.

Another positive sign for the Tigers is the Rangers record of futility at Comerica Park.  Negative signs are that Magglio Ordonez’s injury may mark end of his career and his replacement Delmon Young will sit tonight after aggravating his oblique strain.