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-   -   Suspended Animation (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2143)

Bloggingheads 09-25-2008 09:22 AM

Suspended Animation
 

Rich 09-25-2008 10:07 AM

The Return of the Kaus
 
Hooray for the return of Mickey! But: the transparent attempt to reduce liberal flak by throwing the Obama sign in the background is unfortunate.

I am a bit curious as to why Bob thinks McCain was "losing the debate" that hadn't happened yet, and therefore chose to try to postpone it. But...whatever! Mickey's back!

ohcomeon 09-25-2008 10:41 AM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Bob - That explanation for "hiding" comments of which you are "not proud" was really lame. You don't want potential inverstors or advertisers to see these comments?

First, you just became CBS. Second, you might check the ratings trend lines for networks that operate in this fashion compared to cable television that has much less restrictions on such things. Ultimately investors and advertisers follow ratings. If your goal is to make money, turning the comments section into something safe for the family hour is probably not your best strategy. Finally, I'm a middle aged women and, even to me, you seem very conservative on "appropriate" expression. Your reactions appear to be related to what you think your young daughter should be allowed to view rather than what modern adults should see.

Just sayin....

laura 09-25-2008 10:51 AM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Bob, why not do your viewer comments review with some of the big league commenters here? I'm sure bjkeefe and the like could spring for a webcam.

Simon Willard 09-25-2008 11:04 AM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
I like Mickey's summary of the cause of the mortgage crisis.

But I fear Mickey is losing his rapier wit. I guess he was tired, but Bob offered up this softball set-up, and Mickey failed to hit it.

BeachFrontView 09-25-2008 11:30 AM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Hurray Mickey is back. Mickey we all gotta make some sacrifices in this shitty economy and your sacrifice is appearing on bloggingheads more often! I gotta say I discovered Slate about a year ago and its a wonderful magazine.


I can't believe that McCain camp is trying to delay the debates, as well as the VP debate. I mean this is just like a bad reality show. Get real do they not know that the whole world is watching?

BeachFrontView 09-25-2008 11:44 AM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/146...1:20&out=01:34

Mickey finds McCain's priorities comical.

Mr. Mayhem 09-25-2008 11:46 AM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
I, too, am impressed that Bob knows John McPhee.

Add me to the list of Mickey fans who are happy to see him again.

David Edenden 09-25-2008 12:11 PM

Bob and Mickey on the "Bailout"
 
I thought I understood the $700 billion bailout before listening to Bob and Mickey.

Now I realize that I do not understand it at all. This is causing me to panic and could lead to panic contagion!

More billions are needed!

bookofdisquiet 09-25-2008 12:13 PM

REQUEST
 
Welcome back Mickey--it's good to see your return, although you seem a little hesitant to accept your role as devil's advocate to Bob-- it must be that you're a little rusty.

This diavlog was ok, if not a little flat to me.

Bob, I have a request-- could you get a couple of economists on here to talk about the housing crisis? Let's face it, for all the commentary going on right now about the housing crisis no one is talking about incentives. How can anyone accurately describe this crisis economically without talking about the incentives of the home buyer, the mortgage lender, the appraiser, the real-estate agent, the hedge fund manager that buys the mortgage backed securities, the mortgage company that packages those securities, the investment bank that buys and sells these securities, the ratings agencies, etc, etc. I think a diavlog that went through and explored the incentives of each and every player in this mortgage crisis could unearth its causes in a very articulate way. It would be brilliant and it would elucidate for the viewers just how shady this $700 billion bailout really is-- essentially a bunch of rich people are unwilling to put their capital out into a market because they're afraid to lose it-- and the market suffers because there is no money fueling activity.

As an ancillary topic, the economists could discuss how instead of fueling consumer spending with credit (which relies on those rich people now unwilling to risk their money) our system needs to increase real wages. I would suggest a PROUTist economist. Ravi Batra would be an excellent choice-- he has totally predicted this housing meltdown almost twenty years ago.

Simon Willard 09-25-2008 12:51 PM

The stunt
 
Bob & Mickey's point that McCain risks looking like the panicky fighter pilot he is, reacting impulsively, is a good one.

However, I think McCain can make this stunt work. Remember that most voters pay little attention to the campaign or even the debates. If Congress moves to tamp down the financial crisis in the next few days, and McCain is there working on it, he can easily brush off criticism about missing one debate. He can graciously apologize at the next debate. If Obama takes the stage alone, he will score a few points in the short term, but a week later he will look ridiculous. McCain can accuse Obama of pulling a stunt while he was working hard in Washington to resolve the crisis.

gwlaw99 09-25-2008 01:50 PM

Re: The stunt
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 92078)
Bob & Mickey's point that McCain risks looking like the panicky fighter pilot he is, reacting impulsively, is a good one.

McCain suspending his campaign to deal with the financial crisis is like a Rorschach inkblot test. If you want McCain to lose, then it's a "stunt of a panicked candidate". If you want McCain to win, then it shows " how much he cares about helping to fix the most serious financial crisis in 20 years". In the end it is probably not going to change anyone's mind about who they are voting for.

Kandigol 09-25-2008 02:13 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Good to see both founding fathers back at it.
If I am correct about where we are in the cycle, we should have Megan back again any moment, too. Groovy.

Foreigner moment: who is John McPhee?
(I know I can google him, but this could unleash a treasure trove of punditry).

BornAgainDemocrat 09-25-2008 02:25 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Our imbalance of trade with China is what was new: it supplied abundant new capital to the U.S. (China buys U.S. bonds) which lowered long-term interest rates, which increased the price of houses (people decide what they can afford in the way of a mortgage based on the monthly payment). Keep in mind that the Fed has no control over long-term "real" interest rates, only short-run.

JIM3CH 09-25-2008 04:16 PM

Kaus has finally jumped the shark
 
Dump him I say.

bjkeefe 09-25-2008 06:49 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohcomeon (Post 92066)
Bob - That explanation for "hiding" comments of which you are "not proud" was really lame. You don't want potential inverstors or advertisers to see these comments? [...]

First, you just became CBS. Second, you might check the ratings trend lines for networks that operate in this fashion compared to cable television that has much less restrictions on such things. Ultimately investors and advertisers follow ratings. If your goal is to make money, turning the comments section into something safe for the family hour is probably not your best strategy. Finally, I'm a middle aged women and, even to me, you seem very conservative on "appropriate" expression. Your reactions appear to be related to what you think your young daughter should be allowed to view rather than what modern adults should see.

Just sayin....

You make a good case against the specifics of Bob's argument, ohc, particularly as regards investors. I also share your overall sensibilities as they contrast with Bob's.

However, I do think he has has a right as site owner to make a call based on his own standards of propriety. Even if his rationalizations are weak, his desire to be more sensitive about the tone and language in the first few comments in a thread strikes me as legitimate, especially in light of his very light hand in the comments overall.

bjkeefe 09-25-2008 06:55 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr. Mayhem (Post 92075)

Add me to that list. I got a chance to hear McPhee do a reading in a very small room once, and it counts as one of the big thrills of my life.

By the way, I'd heartily recommend Coming into the Country to anyone, especially given the Palin candidacy. It's thirty years old, but I think it is not dated in most ways.

bjkeefe 09-25-2008 06:59 PM

Re: The stunt
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by gwlaw99 (Post 92079)
McCain suspending his campaign to deal with the financial crisis is like a Rorschach inkblot test. If you want McCain to lose, then it's a "stunt of a panicked candidate". If you want McCain to win, then it shows " how much he cares about helping to fix the most serious financial crisis in 20 years". In the end it is probably not going to change anyone's mind about who they are voting for.

I think you're mostly right about this, gw, although I have to say that the number of conservative commentators weighing in on this in harsh disapproval of McCain is surprising. This, I think, could have some measurable effect, if not in changing minds of die-hard supporters, then at least on moderates and undecideds. It could also help motivate the get-out-the-vote effort on the left and hurt the same effort on the right.

bjkeefe 09-25-2008 07:11 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kandigol (Post 92080)
Foreigner moment: who is John McPhee?
(I know I can google him, but this could unleash a treasure trove of punditry).

I will say without reservation that John McPhee is my favorite author.

He is a long-time contributor to the New Yorker magazine. His books, as has been said by others, are scattered throughout the Dewey Decimal system. He writes non-fiction (exclusively, AFAIK), often about whatever topic catches his attention, though he does have some ongoing interests, like canoeing and geology, to which he returns repeatedly. He tends to find one or a few people whose focus in life connect with the topic as way of making the story more vivid. He brings them to life and makes you like them while pulling no punches on whatever personality warts they have. He has an uncanny ability to immerse himself in the details without at all making it seem like the story is about him -- he's usually the ideal fly on the wall.

One measure of just how good a writer he is: He has written a whole book on oranges that I challenge anyone to put down after reading the first ten pages. I'd say the same thing when it comes to him talking about rocks or fish or recipes.

Some of my other favorites: Coming into the Country, as I noted above, The Curve of Binding Energy, Giving Good Weight, The Control of Nature, and his latest, Uncommon Carriers. I hate to omit any of the others; see here for more.

I'll stop before I start gushing.

bjkeefe 09-25-2008 07:18 PM

Re: Kaus has finally jumped the shark
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JIM3CH (Post 92083)
Dump him I say.

Why do you say that? I thought Mickey was on an especially (for him) even keel today, even when talking about unions and immigration.

Maybe being on an even keel is jumping the shark for him?

bjkeefe 09-25-2008 07:34 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by laura (Post 92067)
Bob, why not do your viewer comments review with some of the big league commenters here? I'm sure bjkeefe and the like could spring for a webcam.

Heh. I can think of half a dozen other commenters who just threw up in their mouths upon reading that. But thanks.

I do like the idea of the viewer comments getting some air time, and I even sketched out the idea of doing a weekly wrap-up kind of thing, where the video would be embedded on a blog along with links to the comments discussed in the video. This, I thought, could be combined with a review of past week's diavlogs themselves.

I quickly came to the conclusion that I would be willing to contribute to such an effort, but I don't think I'd be a good choice to be on camera. More generally, unless we found someone with Jon Stewart levels of charisma, I don't think a comment review video would work well with only one person. It'd be better to have it as a diavlog, and probably with ideologically distinct participants.

The more I think about it, though, the more the whole thing risks feeling forced. It seems to me that the comments can stand on their own for the most part, and it's best for specific ones to get mentioned only by diavloggers who are honestly provoked by them. I wish Mickey weren't so apathetic about this, because it used to be a nice feature of the Bob & Mickey show. Maybe Bob should just insist that they're going to do it for a few minutes, and Mickey should get with the program, under the thinking that recognizing loyalty and effort contributes to the further expansion of the GMJ.

Maybe, also or instead, Bob could encourage the regular diavloggers to spend a few minutes looking over the comments, especially the ones posted in the thread tied to their last appearance, and devote a few minutes to responding, if any of them were sufficiently interesting.

benjy 09-25-2008 08:05 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Pleeez keep Mickey on while you read the comments for the expression he gets on his face ;)

bkjazfan 09-25-2008 08:09 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
So the House Republicans are holding up the bailout for Wall Street million and billionaires. That's a switch.

John

rcocean 09-25-2008 08:39 PM

McCain - A Drama Queen but NOT a fighter pilot
 
Mickey/Bob - great Diavlog but make us military types happy & get it right. McCain was a:

-pilot
-Jet Pilot
-carrier pilot
-Naval Aviator

BUT NOT A FIGHTER PILOT. He wasn't good enough. He flew an A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft; not a F-4 Phantom. Fighter pilots = race car drivers, bomber pilots = truck drivers.

robarin 09-25-2008 08:46 PM

Re: The stunt
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 92078)
Bob & Mickey's point that McCain risks looking like the panicky fighter pilot he is, reacting impulsively, is a good one.

Reminds me of a phrase I learned playing flight sims, and one I can hear McCain saying now:

Drop chaff!!
________
Honda Dream E
________
Porn for
________
Web shows

Namazu 09-25-2008 09:22 PM

Governing vs. Campaigning
 
Either Obama or McCain is going to be responsible for dealing with the aftermath of decisions made in the next few days. Congress (of which they are both part) is in its own meager way trying to act like a co-equal branch of government for a change. The stakes are high and the answers aren't obvious. For the candidates to spend a little time governing at the expense of campaigning seems reasonable to me. Obama in particular could use some practice. Perhaps Bob and Mickey would be happier to see them just debate for the next 4 years while retired Goldman Sachs executives run the country.

Mensch 09-25-2008 10:01 PM

Re: The Return of the Kaus
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rich (Post 92065)
But: the transparent attempt to reduce liberal flak by throwing the Obama sign in the background is unfortunate.

Ah, but notice that Mickey has strategically and cleverly positioned the sign so that your eyes are drawn toward his intended message to liberals: "FU". A media master, that Mickey.

handle 09-25-2008 10:05 PM

Re: Governing vs. Campaigning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Namazu (Post 92102)
Either Obama or McCain is going to be responsible for dealing with the aftermath of decisions made in the next few days. Congress (of which they are both part) is in its own meager way trying to act like a co-equal branch of government for a change. The stakes are high and the answers aren't obvious. For the candidates to spend a little time governing at the expense of campaigning seems reasonable to me. Obama in particular could use some practice. Perhaps Bob and Mickey would be happier to see them just debate for the next 4 years while retired Goldman Sachs executives run the country.

Then why didn't he just shut the F up and go do his job? Whats with the grandstanding and the obvious play to call Obama out, while simultaneously running from the debate? And when was the suspension supposed to take effect? Before, or after his Couric interview?
You can't suspend this presidential race, everything the candidates do is scrutinized, on, or off the court. Letterman is right, this just doesn't smell right.
I can have a meeting via the internets, and right after, be ready to talk to a client, clear across the country, if I can hook this up, by myself, imagine what dudes with their own staffs, jets, and even security can do.


I'm 20 years younger than Big John M, but I find a little grampy-nappy time, can ward off some of the crankiness. I don't think anything could prepare me for this though. I'd probably get real confused on the link between economic bailout and health care.

handle 09-25-2008 10:14 PM

Re: McCain - A Drama Queen but NOT a fighter pilot
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rcocean (Post 92100)
Mickey/Bob - great Diavlog but make us military types happy & get it right. McCain was a:

-pilot
-Jet Pilot
-carrier pilot
-Naval Aviator

BUT NOT A FIGHTER PILOT. He wasn't good enough. He flew an A-4 Skyhawk attack aircraft; not a F-4 Phantom. Fighter pilots = race car drivers, bomber pilots = truck drivers.

Thanks for the clarification... not a dog fighter... that clears up a lot of confusion for me.

nikkibong 09-25-2008 10:25 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Bob's good advice for John McCain:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/146...5:50&out=06:02

Ocean 09-25-2008 10:26 PM

Re: Governing vs. Campaigning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by handle (Post 92105)

I'm 20 years younger than Big John M, but I find a little grampy-nappy time, can ward off some of the crankiness. I don't think anything could prepare me for this though. I'd probably get real confused on the link between economic bailout and health care.

I'm wondering what our pro-Palin commenters have to say about this.

To me this is simple. Either she is the stupidest public figure we've ever seen or she is intoxicated. And none of those qualify her for the position.

Palin is fired!

handle 09-25-2008 10:34 PM

Re: Governing vs. Campaigning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ocean (Post 92108)
I'm wondering what our pro-Palin commenters have to say about this.

To me this is simple. Either she is the stupidest public figure we've ever seen or she is intoxicated. And none of those qualify her for the position.

Palin is fired!

She's not intoxicated, I can usually tell, see "Paula Abdul". But she makes even Bush look like a really smooth guy. I can't believe I am writing this, but he could have grunted and snorted his way through that answer and actually made a whole lot more sense.

AemJeff 09-25-2008 10:37 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bjkeefe (Post 92090)
You make a good case against the specifics of Bob's argument, ohc, particularly as regards investors. I also share your overall sensibilities as they contrast with Bob's.

However, I do think he has has a right as site owner to make a call based on his own standards of propriety. Even if his rationalizations are weak, his desire to be more sensitive about the tone and language in the first few comments in a thread strikes me as legitimate, especially in light of his very light hand in the comments overall.

True. It's also important to acknowledge the level of irony he seems generally to employ. Take Bob Wright literally at your own risk, I think.

nikkibong 09-25-2008 10:37 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
bloggingheads' new mantra:

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/146...4:55&out=15:00

TwinSwords 09-25-2008 10:39 PM

Re: The stunt
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 92078)
Bob & Mickey's point that McCain risks looking like the panicky fighter pilot he is, reacting impulsively, is a good one.

However, I think McCain can make this stunt work. Remember that most voters pay little attention to the campaign or even the debates. If Congress moves to tamp down the financial crisis in the next few days, and McCain is there working on it, he can easily brush off criticism about missing one debate. He can graciously apologize at the next debate. If Obama takes the stage alone, he will score a few points in the short term, but a week later he will look ridiculous. McCain can accuse Obama of pulling a stunt while he was working hard in Washington to resolve the crisis.

Listen, you're right: If it's 4th down at 38, and you throw a 60 yard pass into the end zone with a .5% chance of success, people will say it was the desperate bid of a losing team, just like you did. If the stunt works, people will say he was very lucky, and if it fails, people will say he was going to lose anyway.

But it would take a lot of direct help from the media to sell the public on the bogus notions that (a) McCain really suspended his campaign, or (b) that he did so out of anything other than political calculation, or (c) that McCain had anything at all to do with the final resolution to the crisis.

Since none of those three things is true, we can be reasonably sure that only true diehard partisans, like gwlaw, will fall for it. If anyone else is going to swallow those bogus notions, it will be due to the media lending the notions some credence. If the media is willing to help McCain sell that package of lies to the public, it just might work. The question is whether the media is that interested in helping McCain get elected. I expect the Fox News network, Halperin, ABC News, Politico, and a few other MSM outlets to participate in the subterfuge. But I don't know if that coordinated effort will be enough to trick the American people.

TwinSwords 09-25-2008 10:44 PM

Re: Governing vs. Campaigning
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by handle (Post 92105)
You can't suspend this presidential race, everything the candidates do is scrutinized, on, or off the court.

Exactly. This is the key. The campaign wasn't suspended; it was merely reconfigured into a suspended campaign campaign. I hate to be rude to wingnuts, but only the gloriously ignorant could be convinced that McCain is actually suspending his campaign, and not merely reconfiguring it for maximum personal advantage. If McCain thought standing in front of a microphone sputtering like he did during the Georgia crisis would help, he'd be doing that.

Simon Willard 09-25-2008 11:47 PM

Re: The stunt
 
Quote:

the number of conservative commentators weighing in on this in harsh disapproval of McCain is surprising.
Yeah, maybe I've over-estimated liberal distain for bailing out Wall St., but I'm still thinking it's a situation where both ends of the spectrum are in opposition to the middle, and I expect McCain to look for the middle on this... we will see. The talks have imploded minutes ago. WaMu was just seized by the Government. McCain's chance to be president is to forge a compromise that stabilizes the situation. I have no idea if that's possible. Postponing the debate, in my view, is an obvious smart move by McCain.

Simon Willard 09-25-2008 11:58 PM

Re: Suspended Animation
 
Wouldn't it be refreshing if every commenter had Bob's courage, and posted a similar quote in his or her signature?

I may not know what I'm talking about.

jaoneal 09-25-2008 11:59 PM

McCain bias effects
 
A couple of points in support of Mickey's thesis (as against Bob) that negative press coverage actually helps rather than hurts McCain--one analytical, one anecdotal.

On the analytical side, imagine the following thought experiment--Every 15 minutes every major news outlet, newspaper, tv person, etc., simply put it directly to their audience "You should vote for Obama", from now until the election--what do you think would really happen? McCain would win in a landslide. Anybody who has ever raised a kid should know this.

On the anecdotal side, i'm registered independent with libertarian political leanings. I voted for Gore in 2000 and Bush in 2004. More often than not, I think my vote has been determined by whether I was more annoyed at the time with the rhetoric coming from the religious right or the far left.

This election I have been leaning towards Obama--for (if nothing else) he seems to offer the hope of ushering the baby boomer, "sixties", generation and its stale, polarized, worldviews into the retirement home. This, in my view, would be a very, very, good thing.

But with every article I read that excoriates McCain as "the biggest liar in the world" for daring to point to some of the few pieces of legislation Obama actually did cast votes on (such as "born alive" abortions and age-appropriate sex education for kindergarteners), while simultaneously skirting Obama's lies about Wright, Ayers, Public Financing, McCain's computer use, McCain's immigration views, McCain's social security plan, etc.... I can't help but experience the following psychological reaction--"a vote for Obama would be an act of condoning/rewarding this scandalous behavior of the press, I should vote McCain".

Even though I keep experiencing this in reaction to the press coverage of this campaign--I will still probably vote for Obama. As their really isn't much about McCain's politics that could possibly appeal to someone with libertarian sympathies, and there is a much bigger upside to the potential side-effects of an Obama presidency.

But if anything could get me to vote for McCain it would be the general media coverage of this campaign. To my eye, the media coverage of a presidential election has never been less objective.

Ocean 09-26-2008 12:18 AM

Re: The stunt
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simon Willard (Post 92124)
Yeah, maybe I've over-estimated liberal distain for bailing out Wall St., but I'm still thinking it's a situation where both ends of the spectrum are in opposition to the middle, and I expect McCain to look for the middle on this... we will see. The talks have imploded minutes ago. WaMu was just seized by the Government. McCain's chance to be president is to forge a compromise that stabilizes the situation. I have no idea if that's possible. Postponing the debate, in my view, is an obvious smart move by McCain.

The problem is that McCain has no clue about how to stabilize the economy, He's all about bullying other countries.

BTW, the government take over of WaMu is well deserved and there should have been much closer regulation years ago (the same as other institutions). Anyone inside WaMu has known this for years. Some of them decided to leave when their voice wasn't heard by WaMu leadership.


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