Monday, October 6, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

A wild day on Wall Street Stocks started tumbling the minute the opening bell rang, and they continued to fall throughout the morning, at one point falling 800 points before rallying late in the day to close down 369.88, at 9955.5 - below the psychologically-important 10,000.

They're even feeling the economic pinch in toney Greenwich, CT As job losses on the stock market continue apace, the investment bankers, traders and hedge fund managers in and around Greenwich who schlep in to Wall Street every weekday are starting to worry. The wave of mega-business failures, massive layoffs and deflated asset portfolios have hit neighbors and friends here with a startling suddenness that has shaken the privileged to their very foundations. The enclave isn't coming apart at the seams, but the residents are in a full-on panic - and the state of Connecticut will be feeling it after the first of the year - fully 25% of the state's income tax revenues come from Wall Street jobs.

We've been telling you this for years The military is not, repeat NOT a monolithic voting bloc for the republican party. We are Americans. We come from all 50 states, as well as a few territories, and we come from varied backgrounds. Nobody owns the right to our opinions nor our votes. Witness the donations pouring in to Obama from active duty members of the military - he is raking in six dollars for every one dollar McCain and the republicans are receiving from military members and their families.

New registrations heavily favor Democrats As registration deadlines for the general election less than a month away draw near, analyzing the data points so far collected yields overwhelming support for Obama and Democrats in general among the newly registered. If half of them show up, it's going to be a landslide, far out of stealable reach.

The trends have the GOP running scared and getting dirty early on Less than savory GOP operatives are distributing false fliers in minority areas of Philadelphia threatening African Americans with arrest if they show up at the polls and have so much as an outstanding parking ticket. We aren't surprised - they did the same despicable thing in 2004 in Wisconsin and Ohio. this year they are getting an earlier start than usual, tho - indicating that they are terrified of the outcome of this election.

We never thought we would see the day but here it is - North freakin' Carolina is in play.

And whole we are shaking our collective head and saying "WHA???" Not one, but two new polls show Obama opening up double digit leads in...Virginia! Virginia has not gone to the Democratic candidate since 1964.

First rule of freak shows: the allure fades quickly The McCain campaign gave out 20,000 tickets to a Palin rally in Florida, but no where near that many actually showed up. One paper estimated turnout was only about 4500. Respectable, but Michelle Obama packed that many in in Kansas City a week ago.

Albright is not amused "Though I am flattered that Governor Palin has chosen to cite me as a source of wisdom, what I said had nothing to do with politics. This is yet another example of McCain and Palin distorting the truth, and all the more reason to remember that this campaign is not about gender, it is about which candidate has an agenda that will improve the lives of all Americans, including women. The truth is, if you care about the status of women in our society and in our troubled economy, the best choice by far is Obama-Biden," Albright told the Huffington Post.

We are at a loss here... When one never had any sense to begin with, how does one take leave of their senses? That is what we were left thinking as we scratched our heads in abject bewilderment when we read Jonah Goldberg's (mercifully short) contorted reasoning on the "Bradley effect" or lack thereof today.

All Hands Abandon Ship! All Hands Abandon Ship! Captain Jim Cramer of the S.S. Dowtanic raised the alarm today and warned market investors to don their fiduciary life jackets and head for the financial lifeboats. In an interview with Today, the well known pitchman and analyst of CNBS's Mad Money advised investors to take any money they might "need" in the next five years and pull it from the stock market. Given that just a few months ago he was advising jittery callers not to worry about Bear Stearns, one might be disinclined to heed his advice. Hitting an iceberg and taking on water, however, does wonders for sobering one's perspective.

Who, exactly, is minding the store? Anyone? If it's up to the Kentucky Democratic Party to keep track of purged voters and correct the lists, we're all doomed. Seems the KDP may or may not have given a list of purged voters to a party activist, which caused hundreds of black voters in Lexington to panic upon finding themselves on the list, except that the list was wrong, except that the KDP claims it is incapable of generating such a list, except if that's true what the fuck is the KDP good for?

McCain's campaign doesn't even trust Palin's supporters to talk to the press. At that fast-becoming-infamous Palin rally in Florida today, the press was tightly controlled and not allowed to talk to supporters because in the past, "bad things have been written" when the press has been allowed access to the crowds.

Depends on how you feel about mercenaries, I guess: The U.S. Navy and its allies don't have enough ships to deter piracy off the coast of Somalia. Edward Pernotto's solution is to use mercenary escorts, instead. He suggests getting an insurer like Lloyd's of London to contract with a private security company to "escort vessels in these dangerous waters." Actually, the idea has been floated before. Not only have mercenaries been battling pirates for a good eight centuries. But back in 2005, the Somali government tried to hire a U.S. firm, Top Cat Marine, to fight pirates. The price: $50 million. The problem: the company was shady, even by private security contractor standards.