Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our military...Obama cares. McCain doesn't...

From Levine Breaking News:


David McGinnis, a retired Army brigadier general and combat infantryman, spoke of meeting Obama for the first time and spending three hours discussing a broad range of military issues. "Here's a man who wanted to learn how to be commander-in-chief and was willing to listen and was willing to be held accountable," he said. "That's what you want in a leader."

McGinnis was also impressed with Obama's efforts on behalf of veterans dealing with mental health issues, substance abuse and homelessness.

James A. Kelley, a retired Army major general, cited Obama's support of greater funding for the Army and increased intelligence assets, both of which McCain opposed. Obama voted for "up-armoring vehicles and personnel gear," Kelley said. "Senator McCain voted against that."


A Navy SEAL's tale and other good books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Greg Olear's TOTALLY KILLER, pitched as doing for the 90s what AMERICAN PSYCHO did for the 80s, to Jennifer Schulkind at Harper Perennial, by Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media.Foreign, film and translation:

Kira Coplin and Julianne Kaye's POP TART, about a young girl living in Los Angeles who lands a job as a makeup artist to one of the world's biggest pop stars, to May Chen at Avon A, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2009, by Mollie Glick at Foundry Literary + Media.Film: Brian Levy at New School Media


Rita-nominated author Marta Perry's PLEASANT VALLEY AMISH trilogy - LEAH'S CHOICE, RACHEL'S GARDEN, ANNA'S RETURN - which explores the struggles of three contemporary Amish women to be in the world but not of the world while staying true to their hearts in a rural Pennsylvania community, to Susan Allison at Berkley, at auction, by Danielle Egan-Miller at Browne & Miller Literary Associates (World).


Academy Award-winning filmmaker Bill Guttentag's BOULEVARD, capturing the gritty and horrifying reality of teenage runaways in Hollywood as a local detective struggles to unravel the story behind a high-profile lawyer's brutal murder at the Chateau Marmont, to Jessica Case at Pegasus, by Mel Berger at William Morris Agency (World).


Charles Geisst's COLLATERAL DAMAGE, addressing the subject of debt in America: interest rates, credit-card and mortgage-disclosure documents, cultural attitudes, compounded rates, and what the implications are for the domestic and global credit markets and economies, to Veronica McDavid at Bloomberg, in a nice deal, for publication in July 2009 (World).


SEAL-trained Navy diver and veteran of several submarine espionage operations W. Craig Reed's HUNTING THE RED BEAR: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War, a personal and historical account of the Cold War under the seas, including revelations about classified missions that have never been discussed in print, to David Highfill at William Morrow, for publication in 2010, by Jim Hornfischer at Hornfischer Literary Management (World English).


San Francisco Chronicle staff writer Steven Winn's COME BACK, COMO: The Runaway Mutt Who Ran Off with My Heart, the tender and humorous story of his uncommonly rich experience with a scraggly, man-hating dog from a local animal shelter who was bent on breaking his sanity, his bankbook, and his heart -- based on a popular ten-part series in the Chronicle, to Lisa Sharkey and Nancy Miller, for Collins, in a pre-empt, by Amy Rennert at Amy Rennert Agency (world).


Michael Feinstein's TWELVE SONGS OF GEORGE AND IRA GERSHWIN, a richly illustrated literary and musical journey through classics of the American songbook, based on the performer and historian's lifelong study of the Gershwins and his years as Ira Gershwin's archivist and containing Feinstein's performances of the songs, to Jonathan Karp at Twelve, by Linda Chester of the Linda Chester Literary Agency and Charlie Melcher of Melcher Media (World).


Columnist for and the executive editor of SLAM magazine Lang Whitaker's SEARCHING FOR BOBBY COX, a humorous, thoughtful, and knowledgeable fan's memoir of following manager Bobby Cox and the Atlanta Braves for the past two decades, to Brant Rumble at Scribner, by Alison Schwartz at ICM.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From Bush & Taliban to Disney's turkeys....

From American Progress:

Think Fast...

According to senior Bush administration officials, the U.S. is "actively considering talks with elements of the Taliban" -- "a major policy shift that would have been unthinkable a few months ago." The officials said that "the recommendation calls for the talks to be led by the Afghan central government, but with the active participation of the U.S."

"Nine of 10 American workers are losing sleep over financial worries," according to a survey released yesterday by ComPsych Corporation. In addition, thirty percent of those surveyed "reported worrying about the cost of living while 29 percent cited credit-card debt."

Politico reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "is quietly preparing to ease 90-year-old Sen. Robert C. Byrd from his perch as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee." Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI), the committee's second-ranking Democrat, would assume the chairmanship. Byrd, who suffers from health ailments, would become chairman emeritus.

IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei said yesterday that "the number of reports of nuclear or radioactive material stolen around the world last year was 'disturbingly high.'" "Equally troubling is the fact that much of this material is not subsequently recovered," ElBaradei said. Experts noted that if all the stolen material were lumped together, "it would not be enough to build even one nuclear device."

The Bank of England (BoE) today estimated that the global financial crisis will likely cost the world $2.8 trillion. "The instability of the global financial system in recent weeks has been the most severe in living memory," said BoE Deputy Governor John Gieve.

And finally: The "pardoned" White House turkeys: Where are they now? Many of these birds capitalized on their 15 minutes of fame and are now living the good life. Marshmallow and Yam, who were in the pardoning class of 2005, went to Disneyland. May and Flower (class of 2007) went to Disney World in Florida, "where they were flown by a United Airlines flight that was renamed 'Turkey One' for the occasion." This year’s turkeys will also be going to Disneyland, "where you will be able to visit them at Big Thunder Mountain Ranch."


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Selection of Unusual Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


International Herald Tribune editor Tom Rachman's THE IMPERFECTIONISTS, about the hapless copyeditors, stringers and executives who form the staff of a fictional English-language international newspaper in Rome, to Susan Kamil at Dial Press, by Susan Golomb at The Susan Golomb Agency (NA).

Former prison warden (and Oxford graduate) Anna Lawrence Pietroni's debut RUBY'S SPOON, to Julie Grau at Spiegel & Grau (US), and to Clara Farmer at Chatto & Windus, at auction, for publication in 2010, by Tina Bennett at Janklow & Nesbit.


Gabrielle Zevin's THE CHILDREN IN THE APPLE TREE, about three decades in the life of a downwardly mobile family of five, and their unique struggles with credit card debt, ambition, materialism, rationalization, denial and the war in Iraq, to Lauren Wein at Grove/Atlantic, by Douglas Stewart at Sterling Lord Literistic (NA).

Kim Echlin's THE DISAPPEARED, a love story set in Montreal and Cambodia during the time of the Khmer Rouge regime, to Elisabeth Schmitz at Black Cat (US). Dutch rights previously sold to Bezige Bij, in a pre-empt, and Italian rights to Einaudi.

Musician and author of And the Ass Saw the Angel, Nick Cave's THE DEATH OF BUNNY MUNRO, to Mitzi Angel at Faber, by Jamie Byng at Canongate (US).


Author of the Uglies series, Scott Westerfeld's trilogy LEVIATHAN, a steampunk-inspired, lavishly-illustrated, sci-fi-historical series that follows two unlikely teens on a fantastical adventure around the world, with the look and feel of a "boy's own adventure" series from the early 20th century, illustrated by Keith Thmpson, starting in fall 2009 and following annually, plus a color guide book published at the conclusion of the series, to Bethany Buck at Simon Pulse, by Jill Grinberg at Jill Grinberg Literary Management (NA).

Author of five NYT bestselling teen novels including the recent IDENTICAL, Ellen Hopkins' PERFECT, which explores the drive among teens to attain perfection through surgery, self-regulated eating and extreme exercise, to Emma Dryden at Margaret K. McElderry Books, for publication in fall 2011, in a three-book deal, by Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (world).


Becca Ajoy Fitzpatrick's YA novel HUSH, HUSH, a darkly romantic story of dangerous love between a teenage girl and a fallen angel, plus a sequel, to Venetia Gosling at Simon & Schuster UK, for publication in January 2010, by Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Agency, on behalf of Catherine Drayton at Inkwell Management (UK/Commonwealth excl. Canada).

Conn Iggulden's TOLLINS: Dangerous and Explosive Tales for Children, illustrated by Lizzy Duncan, his first fiction for children, promising an explosive, magical and adventurous world, and a guide to little flying creatures featured in the title, to Ann-Janine Murtagh at Harper UK Children's, in a two-book deal, for publication in October 2009 simultaneously with Harper Children's in the US, by Victoria Hobbs at A.M. Heath (world).



Biologist in the Department of Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History, Darrin Lunde's THEODORE ROOSEVELT: The Naturalist, a biography that examines Roosevelt's life as a naturalist, taxidermist, hunter, and explorer, spanning his legendary expeditions throughout the US, Africa, and South America, to John Glusman at Harmony, by Elaine Markson at Elaine Markson Agency (world).

Author of Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan, Howard Sounes's THE LIFE OF PAUL MCCARTNEY, to Ben Schafer at Da Capo, by Kate Lee at ICM, Tim Rostron at Doubleday Canada, by Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown UK, and toNatalie Jerome at Harper UK, for publication in fall 2010.


Founding partners of software company 37 Signals Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson's UN-CONFORM: Cancel All Your Meetings, One-Down the Competition & Discover Greatness, on how to focus on just the important stuff at work and fight the epidemic of more (the company's "idea skunkworks" blog Signals vs. Noise has tens of thousands of regular readers), to Rick Horgan at Crown, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2009, by Lisa DiMona at Lark Productions (world). Rights:

Washington Post personal finance columnist Nancy Trejos' HOT MESSES: TO BE YOUNG AND BROKE IN AMERICA, chronicling her rise from fiscal irresponsibility and advising how young people today can go from a generation of buy now, pay later, to one with a hold on their financial future, to Tracy Martin at Business Plus, by Robert Guinsler at Sterling Lord Literistic.


Professer emeritus of economics at the University of California at Irvine, Arthur De Vany's EVOLUTIONARY FITNESS, evaluating modern health issues from his evolutionary perspective, to Jonathan Burnham at Harper, in a pre-empt, by Richard Pine at Inkwell Management. UK rights to Clare Hulton at Vermillion.


Former foreign editor of the London Daily Telegraph, John Lahutsky THE BOY FROM BABY HOUSE 10, written by Alan Philps's, about being born premature in Russia, consigned to the deplorable conditions of the Russian orphanage system, and then rescued by a single mother in the US and helped him to grow into a successful American high school student, to Michael Flamini of St. Martin's, in a pre-empt, by Annabel Merullo at PFD (world).Italian rights to Piemme, in a pre-empt.


Climatologist, Nobel laureate, and MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Stanford University's Dr. Stephen Schneider's SCIENCE AS A CONTACT SPORT, pitched as "An Inconvenient Truth" meets "What Happened?," revealing behind the scenes stories of the 40-year battle to save our planet, helping people understand why optimal policy changes have not been implemented yet, and what they can do about it, to Lisa Thomas at National Geographic, at auction, for publication in December 2009, by Carol Susan Roth at Carol Susan Roth Literary & Creative (World).


Monday, October 20, 2008

To Help Obama...

From Move On. org :


1. The polls may be wrong. This is an unprecedented election. No one knows how racism may affect what voters tell pollsters—or what they do in the voting booth. And the polls are narrowing anyway. In the last few days, John McCain has gained ground in most national polls, as his campaign has gone even more negative.

2. Dirty tricks. Republicans are already illegally purging voters from the rolls in some states. They're whipping up hysteria over ACORN to justify more challenges to new voters. Misleading flyers about the voting process have started appearing in black neighborhoods. And of course, many counties still use unsecure voting machines.

3. October surprise. In politics, 15 days is a long time. The next McCain smear could dominate the news for a week. There could be a crisis with Iran, or Bin Laden could release another tape, or worse.

4. Those who forget history... In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift—fast!

5. Landslide. Even with Barack Obama in the White House, passing universal health care and a new clean-energy policy is going to be hard. Insurance, drug and oil companies will fight us every step of the way. We need the kind of landslide that will give Barack a huge mandate.

If you agree that we shouldn't rest easy, please sign up to volunteer at your local Obama office by clicking here:

We're just two weeks away from turning the page on the Bush era—but we can't afford to take our eye off the prize. We've got to keep pushing until the very end.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Casting the vote...


My mail in ballot hit the main post office early this morning. My choice for president? Barack Obama, of course. An exceptional man who will make an exceptional president. And excellent back him up.

It's long past time since we've had a president and vice president equal to the job. I give them major points for courage to have taken those positions on.

As far as Congress...they had best make it a major crime for those who interfere with the rights of all citizens to vote and have their votes counted. They are traitors, pure and simple, from my point of view, and need major punishment for their acts.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain finally makes it to Letterman's show....

From The New York Times:

Updated He made it.

After a high-flying adventure, Senator John McCain finally sat down next to David Letterman on the set of “The Late Show” on Thursday and offered his mea culpa: “I screwed up.”

Anyone following Mr. McCain or watching Mr. Letterman knew exactly what Mr. McCain meant.

Last month, stating that he needed to get to Washington to weigh in on the financial bailout package, Mr. McCain begged off a scheduled appearance on Mr. Letterman’s program. And Mr. Letterman has not let him forget it ever since, hammering away at him night after night in a prolonged show of pique that not-so-coincidentally is likely to drive the ratings through the roof when the program airs tonight.

Mr. McCain walked on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theatre, the site of “The Late Show,” in New York around 5:20 p.m. Eastern. Mr. Letterman immediately asked: “Can you stay?”

“Yes, sir,” Mr. McCain said, and adjusted himself in the chair. He quickly added: “Depends on how bad it gets.”

Then Mr. McCain jokingly said that he asked his son in the Marine Corps to FedEx his flak jacket in preparation for the visit.

Mr. Letterman got right to it: “So what happened?”

Mr. McCain answered: “I screwed up.”

After the audience applauded, he continued, “Look at all the conversation I gave you. Including having Mr. Olbermann on.”

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A Selection of Varied Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Ruiyan Xu's THE LOST AND FORGOTTEN LANGUAGES OF SHANGHAI, in which ayoung successful bilingual Chinese businessman finds himself unable tospeak Chinese after a bizarre accident and can only speak English, whichleaves him unable to communicate with his family and everyone aroundhim; an attractive American woman neurologist is brought to Shanghai totreat him, and this changes all of their lives in ways beyond allrecognition, to Hope Dellon at St. Martin's, by Elaine Koster at theElaine Koster Agency (NA).UK rights to Helen Garnons-Williams at Bloomsbury UK, by David Grossman at the David Grossman Agency on behalf of Elaine Koster at the Elaine Koster Agency. Italian rights to MariaGiulia Castagnone at Piemme, by Chandler Crawford of the Chandler Crawford Agency.

Former DJ and journalist Philip Wilding's CROSS COUNTRY MURDER SONG, inwhich a journey across America by a psychotic driver wreaks havoc,mayhem and devastation among a cast of original and frighteningcharacters, to Dan Franklin at Jonathan Cape and Beth Coates at Vintage,for publication in Spring 2010, by Mal Peachey at Essential Works.


Author of Winter's Tale and Soldier of the Great War, Mark Helprin'sDIGITAL BARBARISM: A Writer's Manifesto, defending, among other things,copyright and our industry, to Adam Bellow at Collins, by Wendy Weil atthe Wendy Weil Agency.

Pseudonymous author of Amberville, Tim Davys' next three books in hisMollisan Town Quartet, LANCEHEIM, TOURQUAI and YOK, translated fromSwedish and once again involving stuffed animals behaving badly, toJeanette Perez at Harper, for publication in March2010, by Susanna Einstein at LJK Literary Management (world).

Author of The Wisdom of Crocodiles and screenwriter Paul Hoffman's epictrilogy beginning with THE LEFT HAND OF GOD, featuring a 14-year-oldprodigy raised by a secretive sect of warrior monks who will play apivotal role in a conflict he barely understands, a clash ofcivilizations that has been looming for thousands of years, as nothingless than the fate of mankind rests on the shoulders, to Alex Clarke atMichael Joseph, in a pre-empt, for publication in summer 2009, byAnthony Goff at David Higham Associates (world).US rights to Brian Tart at Dutton, with Ben Sevier editing, by SarahHunt Cooke for Michael Joseph.Rights to Goldmann in Germany; and Longanesi in Italy; both for sixfigures, and Objectiva in

Brazil.chantal.noel@uk.penguingroup.comsarah.hunt-cooke@uk.penguingroup.comDesigner, artist, and actress Gloria Vanderbilt's OBSESSION: An EroticTale, to Dan Halpern at Ecco, for publication in July of 2009, by JeanneWilmot (World).

Author of Souvenir and the forthcoming Reunion Therese Fowler'sBREAKAWAY, about a woman caught in a custody battle over her son that iscomplicated by her troubling dreams -- some say visions -- that her sonis in danger, and her ex-husband may be the source, to Linda Marrow atBallantine, in a two-book deal, by Wendy Sherman at Wendy ShermanAssociates (NA).

Author of POMEGRANATE SOUP Marsha Mehran's THE MARGARET THATCHER SCHOOL OF BEAUTY, set in pre-revolutionary Iran and present-day Los Angeles,and narrated in the tradition of the Thousand and One Nights, followingthe lives of a group of immigrants -- four Iranian women and theirAmerican-raised daughters who for years gathered weekly on the carpetedrooftop of Scheherazade's Beauty Palace to drink tea and tell stories,and who are now reunited for a three days leading up to a family wedding-- revealing betrayals, heartache, self-discovery and ultimately, thepower of female intuition, to Peternelle van Arsdale at Putnam, byElizabeth Sheinkman at Curtis Brown UK (world English).Rights:


Caitlin Kittredge's YA fantasy trilogy THE IRON CODEX, beginning withTHE WITCH'S ALPHABET, a series set in a Lovecraftian industrial city inan alternate 1950s that centers on a mechanically gifted young girlapproaching her 16th birthday, the age at which everyone in her familygoes insane, leaving it up to her to unravel the mystery of theirmadness -- and save the world, to Krista Marino at Delacorte, in a pre-empt, by Rachel Vater at Folio Literary Management (NA).German rights to Bertelsmann Jugendbuch Verlag, in a good deal, in apre-empt, by Celeste Fine at Folio Literary Management in associationwith Peter and Paul Fritz.


Anne Fortier's JULIET, to Lynne Drew at Harper UK and to Fiona Hendersonat Harper Australia, at auction, by Angharad Kowal at Writers House (UK,excl. Canada; and ANZ).

Rights to Laguna in Serbia, at auction, by Vuk Perisic of Plima LiteraryAgency; to Sijthoff in Holland, in a pre-empt, by Caroline van Gelderen;to Sextante in Brazil, in a pre-empt, by Karin Schindler; to Psichogiosin Greece, by John Moukakos; and to Editura Polirom in Romania by SimonaKessler; all on behalf of Maja Nikolic and Daniel Lazar at WritersHouse.


Author and longtime NYT sportswriter George Vecsey's biography ofbaseball legend Stan Musial, to Paul Taunton at Ballantine and ESPNBooks, by Esther Newberg at ICM (NA).


John Ghazvinian's CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION: Iran and America from theMayflower to the Mullahs, a narrative history of the powerfulrelationship between Iran and America since the 17th century, toVictoria Wilson at Knopf, by Kathleen Anderson at Anderson Literary Management (NA).


Mike Brown's HOW I KILLED PLUTO AND WHY IT HAD IT COMING, a personal account of the most tumultuous year in modern astronomy and the astronomer who inadvertently caused it when, in an attempt to discoverthe tenth planet, he ended up demoting everyone's favorite planet, Pluto, to Cindy Spiegel at Spiegel & Grau, for publication in Spring 2010, by Marc Gerald and Caroline Greeven at The Agency Group.


Andrew Beahrs's TWAIN'S FEAST: The American at the Table, the story of one man's search for America's lost foods, with Mark Twain as his guide, to Laura Stickney at Penguin Press, at auction, for publication inspring 2010, the 100th anniversary of Twain's death, by Emma Sweeney atEmma Sweeney Agency (NA).


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Letterman & McCain...Kiss & Make Up Time....

From :

[an excerpt]

On Thursday, Mr. Letterman told the viewers that, “in an attempt to save his campaign, they’re talking about coming back.”

On Sunday, CBS announced that Mr. McCain had rescheduled his appearance for Thursday, the day after the final presidential debate takes place at Hofstra University on Long Island.


Int'l Finance...Rewrite the rules....

From Information Clearing House:

Berlusconi Says Leaders May Close World's Markets

By Steve Scherer

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said political leaders are discussing the idea of closing the world's financial markets while they ``rewrite the rules of international finance.''

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pentagon putting pressure on Obama....

From Congressional Quarterly via :

Pentagon Wants $450 Billion Increase Over Next Five Years

Josh Rogin, Congressional Quarterly:

"Pentagon officials have prepared a new estimate for defense spending that is $450 billion more over the next five years than previously announced figures.

The new estimate, which the Pentagon plans to release shortly before President Bush leaves office, would serve as a marker for the new president and is meant to place pressure on him to either drastically increase the size of the defense budget or defend any reluctance to do so, according to several former senior budget officials who are close to the discussions."

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

The bloodline: O'Bama.....

From You Tube via email;

Don’t miss this song!!!!!
Spread the word: There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama!

At last, a song that chronicles in verse Barack Obama's historic journey to become the first Black Irish President of the UnitedStates.

*Use link above to hear/watch it...

Note: It's wonderful!!


Military prefers Obama....

From Huffington's Post Off The Bus:

Young Military Families Quietly Closing Ranks Around Obama
by Diane Tucker

QUANTICO, Va. -- One of the largest U.S. marine bases in the world is located in Quantico, a tidy town with scant election fanfare. Everyone who lives here just assumes Republicans have a lock on the military vote.

So when Obama signs began to appear, tongues began to wag. And according to the Center for Responsive Politics, deployed troops are putting their money where their mouth is too: they've given four times as much money to Obama as McCain.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Selection of Very Cool Books....

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Chinese-American Jean Kwok's GODDESS OF INFINITE FACES, an inspiring immigrant coming-of-age story about a girl who emigrates to Brooklyn from Hong Kong when she is 11 along with her mother, only to live in squalor and work in a sweatshop -- but she fights for dignity, acceptance, and survival until her natural smarts and talent for school finally allow both mother and daughter to overcome the odds and achieve their version of the American dream, to Sarah McGrath at Riverhead, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2010, by Suzanne Gluck at the William Morris Agency (world English).Rights have been sold to Arena in Holland, and Piemme in Italy, in pre-empts.

Oxford University Press editor Matt Gallaway's THE METROPOLIS CASE, the sweeping tale of unlikely quartet, bound together by the strange, spectacular history of Richard Wagner's masterpiece opera, Tristan and Isolde, to Suzanne O'Neill at Crown, by Bill Clegg at William Morris Agency (NA).

Janet Skeslien Charles's MOONLIGHT IN ODESSA, in which a resourceful Ukrainian struggles to make ends meet and find love until she's hired as an interpreter for American men looking for wives; she thinks her problems are solved when she becomes engaged and moves to the States, but that is when the real struggle begins, to Helen Garnons-Williams at Bloomsbury UK, and Kathy Belden at Bloomsbury in the US, in a pre-empt, by Laura Longrigg at MBA (world English).


Bestselling author of Whistling in the Dark and Land of a Hundred Wonders Leslie Kagen's TOMORROW RIVER, set in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, a moving story of twin girls as they search for the truth behind their mother's sudden and mysterious disappearance, moving to hardcover, to Ellen Edwards for Dutton/NAL, for two books, for publication in Spring 2010, by Kim Witherspoon at Inkwell Management (NA).

Author of The Secret History and The Little Friend Donna Tartt's new novel, a story of loss and obsession about a young man, guilt-stricken and damaged after the death of his mother, and the growing power that a stolen piece of art exercises over him, drawing him into an underworld of theft and corruption where nothing is as it seems, to Michael Pietsch at Little, Brown, for publication in 2012, by Amanda Urban at ICM (NA).

"The Penguin Lady" Dyan deNapoli's THE GREAT PENGUIN RESCUE: The Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue chronicling the rescue of 40,000 penguins by thousands of volunteers from around the world, to Wylie O'Sullivan at Free Press, for publication in time for Christmas 2010, by Julie Barer at Barer Literary.


Screenwriter David Young's LOCKDOWN, in which the hero uncovers a terrifying conspiracy to test deadly diseases and their vaccines on American political prisoners, at auction, to Selina Walker at Transworld, by Luigi Bonomi at Luigi Bonomi Associates.Dutch rights previously sold to Rienk Tychon at Dutch Media.


Former Wall Street Journal reporter Mike Hudson's narrative expose of the rise and fall of the subprime mortgage industry, from the "boiler room" lenders of Orange County to the investment bankers who played a shell game with the risky debt, to Robin Dennis at Times Books, by Sam Stoloff at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency (world).


Former NPR commentator Snigdha Prakash's ALL THE JUSTICE MONEY CAN BUY, a Civil Action-type investigative examination of the drama of the Vioxx pharmaceutical trials, from inside the courtroom, to Don Fehr at Kaplan, for publication in 2010, by Gail Ross.


Police drummer Stewart Copeland's DINNER TALES, going backstage on a life fully lived, a memoir-in-stories-that-could-be-told-over-a-meal -- covering the band's rise to success, recent reunion tour, and Sting, but also ranging across from childhood in the Middle East as the son of a CIA agent to his film-making adventures with the Pygmies in the Congo and his passion for polo, to Bob Miller at Harper Studio, for publication in fall 2009, by Ed Victor at Ed Victor Ltd..

Host of Dancing with the Stars and America's Funniest Homevideos Tom Bergeron's I'M HOSTING AS FAST AS I CAN! Zen and the Art of Staying Sane in Hollywood, a memoir filled with humorous anecdotes and personal stories of how he handles the very public highs and lows of life in Hollywood, to Lisa Sharkey and Adam Korn for Harper One, with Korn editing, for publication in April 2009, by Babette Perry at IMG.

Ian Graham's UNBILLABLE HOURS, a young lawyer's memoir of the corruption of Big Law today -- a modern day ONE-L about the harsh life of an associate at a premier corporate law firm (Latham & Watkins), to Don Fehr at Kaplan, for publication in 2010, by Rafe Sagalyn at The Sagalyn Agency.


Paul Alexander's GOOD NIGHT, DOROTHY KILGALLEN, about the New York society journalist's quest to unmask JFK's real killer, a quest that ended with her own mysterious death, to Michael Flamini at St. Martin's, by Lisa Bankoff at ICM (NA).Film rights optioned to Fox-based John Davis at Davis Entertainment.


Project Runway alum Laura Bennett's debut DIDN'T I FEED YOU YESTERDAY?, a biting and humorous, anti-helicopter-mom approach to raising her six kids and surviving motherhood in style, to Susan Mercandetti for Ballantine, by Stephanie Cabot and Sarah Burnes at The Gernert Company.


Stephanie Pierson and Barbara Harrison's WHAT TO DO WHEN NO ONE HAS A CLUE, a clever and humorous guide to navigating the rapidly changing waters of modern relationships, social customs, technology-induced challenges, office dilemmas and situations so unprecedented you simply can't imagine where to turn for answers, to Doris Cooper at Clarkson Potter, by Matthew Elblonk at The Creative Culture (NA).


Monday, October 06, 2008

Brain cancer breakthrough?

From SF Gate via :


UCSF neurosurgeon's controversial discovery gains respect.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Economic disaster hits groceries...

From Information Clearing House:

Prices for 16 basic food items shoot up in third quarter:

Retail prices for flour, potatoes, cheddar cheese and apples showed the largest increases in the quarter. A 5-pound bag of flour cost $2.62, up 37% from a year earlier, while 5 pounds of potatoes rose 32% to $3.38. Prices for cheddar cheese and apples surged 21%.,0,5925638.story

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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Soldiers turned into killing machines...

From the AP via

Third Female Soldier Slain at Fort Bragg

The Associated Press: "For the third time in four months, a female soldier based at Fort Bragg is dead, and a husband or lover is charged with murder -- leading critics to demand the home base of the Army's elite soldiers exert 'control over their troops' and address domestic violence.

Police on Friday charged Sgt. Richard Smith, 26, and Pfc. Mathew Kvapil, 18, with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder only days after Smith's wife was found stabbed to death in a pool of her own blood."

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NOTE: It couldn't be that repeated deployments are driving these guys nuts, could it?


Curtailing the vote in Philly...

From Levine Breaking News:

Philadelphia: An anonymous flier circulating in African-American neighborhoods in North and West Philadelphia states that voters who are facing outstanding arrest warrants or who have unpaid traffic tickets may be arrested at the polls on Election Day.

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, who learned of the flier last week, said that the message is completely false.


Friday, October 03, 2008

A Very Interesting/Informative selection of books...

From Publishers Lunch Weekly:


Gaynor Arnold's Booker Prize longlisted GIRL IN A BLUE DRESS, based on the troubled marriage of Charles Dickens, a riveting portrait of a woman who is doomed to live in the shadow of her husband, the most celebrated author in the Victorian world, Suzanne O'Neill at Crown, by Geraldine Cooke and Hannah Ferguson at The Marsh Agency.


Keith Thomson's ONCE A SPY, in which a ne'er-do-well horseplayer learns his estranged father has Alzheimer's, and decides to institutionalize him, but as his dad was once a spy, his old colleagues decide he would be better off dead, to Stacy Creamer at Broadway, for publication in Spring 2009, by Richard Abate (World).

International bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including The Alibi Man and Prior Bad Acts, Tami Hoag's DEEPER THAN THE DEAD, for publication in December, 2009, and a second novel, moving to Ben Sevier at Dutton (and NAL for paperback), by Andrea Cirillo at the Jane Rotrosen Agency (NA).

Two thrillers by screenwriter for DON'T SAY A WORD and Edgar winner Andrew Klavan, again to Otto Penzler at Otto Penzler Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group (world English).


Anne Fortier's JULIET, which reinvents the world's most famous love story, interweaving a tale of contemporary and medieval Siena in which a young woman discovers her family heritage may be descended from the true story behind Romeo and Juliet, to Libby McGuire and Susanna Porter at Ballantine, in a pre-empt, by Daniel Lazar at Writers House (US). Canadian rights to Iris Tupholme at Harper Canada, at auction.

Lauren Grodstein's A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY, a story of suburban corruption and tragedy which charts one father's fall from grace as he struggles to save his family, his reputation, and himself in the tradition of American Beauty and Little Children, to Kathy Pories at Algonquin, by Julie Barer at Barer Literary (NA), and to Kate Elton at Random House UK, by Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Barer Literary.

International Brand Manager at Rodale Cindy Ratzlaff and TV icon Kathy Kinney's QUEEN OF YOUR OWN LIFE, personal (often embarrassing) stories and creative tools to inspire women of a certain age to embrace their new role as "queens" rather than "crones," to Deb Brody to Harlequin, for publication in January 2010, by Stephanie Tade at the Stephanie Tade Agency (world).

Theresa Brown's NURSING: FIRST YEAR, a "One L"-like account of nursing, expanding on her New York Times essay "Perhaps Death is Proud," to Bob Miller at Harper Studio, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2010, by Lynn Johnston of Lynn Johnston Literary (world).


Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt's DRACULA: The Un-Dead, a sequel authorized by Stoker family, in which Dracula comes to 1912 London to exact his revenge, and to revisit his passionate love for the ageless Mina, to Jane Johnson at Harper UK, for publication in August 2009, by Baror International, on behalf of Atchity Entertainment International. Canadian rights to Laura Shin at Penguin Canada.


New York Times business reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin's TOO BIG TO FAIL, a behind-the-scenes account of the personalities and policies that led to the biggest debacle in American finance since the Depression, to Rick Kot at Viking, by David McCormick at McCormick & Williams Literary Agency.

Joe Nocera and Bethany McLean's book on the US financial crisis, to Adrian Zackheim at Portfolio, by Liz Darhansoff at Darhansoff, Verrill, Feldman.

Author of Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist, Roger Lowenstein's SIX DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD, a look at last week on Wall Street and in Washington, illuminating the origins of the crisis, to Ann Godoff at Penguin Press, by Melanie Jackson at the Melanie Jackson Agency (world).

New York Times national economics correspondent Peter Goodman's HOCUS POCUS, tracing the roots and combined effects of the global credit and U.S. employment crises, from the investment booms of the 1990s through the housing bubble and exploring the economic opportunities and challenges that will arise in a new financial period of thrift and pullback, to Robin Dennis at Times Books, by Jim Rutman of Sterling Lord Literistic (World).


Dr. Duke Johnson's THE OPTIMAL HEALTH REVOLUTION: How Inflammation is the Root Cause of the Biggest Killers… and How the Cutting-Edge Science of Nutrigenomics Can Transform Your Long-term Health, a science-based guide to health, to Glenn Yeffeth at BenBella Books, for publication in May 2009, by Uwe Stender at TriadaUS Literary Agency and Lisa Berkowitz at Berkowitz & Associates (World).


Host of both MSNBC's and Air America's "The Rachel Maddow Show" Rachel Maddow's look at how the United States has departed from its constitutional ideals and historical traditions to become a militarist nation, seemingly at peace with perpetual war, to Rachel Klayman at Crown, by Laurie Liss at Sterling Lord Literistic.

NYT bestselling author of Our First Revolution and U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone's CHASING THE AMERICAN DREAM, a penetrating look at America's uneasy path from a nation of 3 million to a melting pot of 300 million, tracing the lasting consequences of the demographic and population shifts that influenced the country's military, political, economic, and cultural landscapes, to Mary Choteborsky at Crown, by Glen Hartley at Writers' Representatives.


Astronaut Buzz Aldrin's MAGNIFICENT DESOLATION: The Long Road Home from the Moon, written with Ken Abraham, describing Aldrin's journey to the moon, his bout with depression and alcoholism upon his return to Earth, and the passionate love that saved him, and presenting his insider's perspective on the US space program, past, present and future, to John Glusman at Harmony, for publication for Father's Day 2009, by Dan Strone at Trident Media Group (NA).

Actor/comedians, screenwriters and real-life married couple Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn's YOU SAY TOMATO, I SAY SHUT UP: A LOVE STORY, a memoir about one couple's reliance on complaining, co-dependence, and a healthy supply of Pinot Noir to keep their marriage and sanity intact, to Suzanne O'Neill at Crown, in a pre-empt, for publication in Spring 2010, by Laura Dail at the Laura Dail Literary Agency (World English).
Film: Andy Cohen at Grade A Entertainment


Duke neuroscientist -- recognized by Scientific American as one of the twenty most influential scientists in the world -- Miguel Nicolelis, M.D., Ph.D.'s FREEING AURORA'S BRAIN, explaining his work translating the brain's neural signals to physical devices outside the body and its astonishing implications for rehabilitative medicine, space exploration, and the nature of humanity, to Robin Dennis at Times Books, at auction, by James Levine of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency (NA).
Rights previously sold in Brazil to Companhia das Letras via International Editors.


A Presidential failure...


From The New Yorker via

The New Yorker
The Choice

The New Yorker: "Never in living memory has an election been more critical than the one fast approaching-that's the quadrennial cliche, as expected as the balloons and the bombast. And yet when has it ever felt so urgently true? When have so many Americans had so clear a sense that a Presidency has-at the levels of competence, vision, and integrity-undermined the country and its ideals?"

*Use URL above to continue reading...


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Bush ignores science...

From Science Progress:

All the President's Scientists
By Chris Mooney

For eight years running, the National Academy of Sciences has offered public advice on scientific appointments for the next administration and seen its advice largely ignored. This year, the tone is different, and it's time to pay attention.

*Use link above to continue reading...


Need to be drunk to make it thru the election...

From American Progress:

Think Fast...

"The number of job cuts announced in September rose as the economy slowed," according to a report released today by outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Cuts "rose 7.2% to 95,094 from 88,736 the previous month, and were 33% higher than the same month last year, when 71,739 cuts were announced."

The Senate will vote on its version of the bailout bill today, which added tax breaks for businesses and alternative energy and higher government insurance for bank deposits to the version rejected by the House earlier this week.

According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, "just 27 percent of Americans approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as president, the lowest rating of his presidency." Bush’s approval rating declined from 31 percent in the last Gallup poll.

Yesterday, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) "created legislation meant to help the capsizing financial markets right themselves." "DeFazio, a vociferous opponent of the Bush Administration's $700 billion Wall Street bailout, calls his legislation the 'No BAILOUTS Act.'" Read about the details of the legislation here.

Former VECO head Bill Allen testified against Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) yesterday, detailing the free gifts he exchanged with Stevens. Allen said he gave Stevens a 1999 "loaded" Land Rover, valued at $44,000, in exchange for a 1964 Mustang and $5,000, explaining he went through with the sweetheart deal "because I liked Ted."

And finally: Sin City has launched a new marketing campaign geared at Election Day. According to President Howard Lefkowitz, "[B]y the time voters go to the polls, their frustration is bound to manifest itself in drinking, gambling and other questionable behavior. 'This is our attempt to make the campaign a little more tolerable,' he said. New bumper stickers being sold by read: "Vegas: Because you need to be drunk to make it through this election."


A clean, clear look at the bailout....

From :

The Political Nature of the Economic Crisis

Stratfor Today
September 30, 2008
By George Friedman

Classical economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo referred to their discipline as “political economy.” Smith’s great work, “The Wealth of Nations,” was written by the man who held the chair in moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow. This did not seem odd at the time and is not odd now. Economics is not a freestanding discipline, regardless of how it is regarded today. It is a discipline that can only be understood when linked to politics, since the wealth of a nation rests on both these foundations, and it can best be understood by someone who approaches it from a moral standpoint, since economics makes significant assumptions about both human nature and proper behavior.

The modern penchant to regard economics as a discrete science parallels the belief that economics is a distinct sphere of existence — at its best when it is divorced from political and even moral considerations. Our view has always been that the economy can only be understood and forecast in the context of politics, and that the desire to separate the two derives from a moral teaching that Smith would not embrace. Smith understood that the word “economy” without the adjective “political” did not describe reality. We need to bear Smith in mind when we try to understand the current crisis.

Societies have two sorts of financial crises. The first sort is so large it overwhelms a society’s ability to overcome it, and the society sinks deeper into dysfunction and poverty. In the second sort, the society has the resources to manage the situation — albeit at a collective price. Societies that can manage the crisis have two broad strategies. The first strategy is to allow the market to solve the problem over time. The second strategy is to have the state organize the resources of society to speed up the resolution. The market solution is more efficient over time, producing better outcomes and disciplining financial decision-making in the long run. But the market solution can create massive collateral damage, such as high unemployment, on the way to the superior resolution. The state-organized resolution creates inequities by not sufficiently punishing poor economic decisions, and creates long-term inefficiencies that are costly. But it has the virtue of being quicker and mitigating collateral damage.

Three Views of the Financial Crisis

There is a first group that argues the current financial crisis already has outstripped available social resources, so that there is no market or state solution. This group asserts that the imbalances created in the financial markets are so vast that the market solution must consist of an extended period of depression. Any attempt by the state to appropriate social resources to solve the financial imbalance not only will be ineffective, it will prolong the crisis even further, although perhaps buying some minor alleviation up front. The thinking goes that the financial crisis has been building for years and the economy can no longer be protected from it, and that therefore an extended period of discipline and austerity — beginning with severe economic dislocations — is inevitable. This is not a majority view, but it is widespread; it opposes governmen t action on the grounds that the government will make a terrible situation worse.

A second group argues that the financial crisis has not outstripped the ability of society — organized by the state — to manage, but that it has outstripped the market’s ability to manage it. The financial markets have been the problem, according to this view, and have created a massive liquidity crisis. The economy — as distinct from the financial markets — is relatively sound, but if the liquidity crisis is left unsolved, it will begin to affect the economy as a whole. Since the financial markets are unable to solve the problem in a time frame that will not dramatically affect the economy, the state must mobilize resources to impose a solution on the financial markets, introducing liquidity as the preface to any further solutions. This group believes, like the first group, that the financial crisis could have profound economic ramifications. But the second group also believes it is possible to contain the consequences. This is the view of th e Bush administration, the congressional leadership, the Federal Reserve Board and most economic leaders.

There is a third group that argues that the state mobilization of resources to save the financial system is in fact an attempt to save financial institutions, including many of those whose imprudence and avarice caused the current crisis. This group divides in two. The first subgroup agrees the current financial crisis could have profound economic consequences, but believes a solution exists that would bring liquidity to the financial markets without rescuing the culpable. The second subgroup argues that the threat to the economic system is overblown, and that the financial crisis will correct itself without major state intervention but with some limited implementation of new regulations.

The first group thus views the situation as beyond salvation, and certainly rejects any political solution as incapable of addressing the issues from the standpoint of magnitude or competence. This group is out of the political game by its own rules, since for it the situation is beyond the ability of politics to make a difference — except perhaps to make the situation worse.

The second group represents the establishment consensus, which is that the markets cannot solve the problem but the federal government can — provided it acts quickly and decisively enough.

The third group spoke Sept. 29, when a coalition of Democrats and Republicans defeated the establishment proposal. For a myriad of reasons, some contradictory, this group opposed the bailout. The reasons ranged from moral outrage at protecting the interests of the perpetrators of this crisis to distrust of a plan implemented by this presidential administration, from distrust of the amount of power ceded the Treasury Department of any administration to a feeling the problem could be managed. It was a diverse group that focused on one premise — namely, that delay would not lead to economic catastrophe.

From Economic to Political Problem

The problem ceased to be an economic problem months ago. More precisely, the economic problem has transformed into a political problem. Ever since the collapse of Bear Stearns, the primary actor in the drama has been the federal government and the Federal Reserve, with its powers increasing as the nature of potential market outcomes became more and more unsettling. At a certain point, the size of the problem outstripped the legislated resources of the Treasury and the Fed, so they went to Congress for more power and money. This time, they were blocked.

It is useful to reflect on the nature of the crisis. It is a tale that can be as complicated as you wish to make it, but it is in essence simple and elegant. As interest rates declined in recent years, investors — particularly conservative ones — sought to increase their return without giving up safety and liquidity. They wanted something for nothing, and the market obliged. They were given instruments ultimately based on mortgages on private homes. They therefore had a very real asset base — a house — and therefore had collateral. The value of homes historically had risen, and therefore the value of the assets appeared secured. Financial instruments of increasing complexity eventually were devised, which were bought by conservative investors. In due course, these instruments were bought by less conservative investors, who used them as collateral for borrowing money. They used this money to buy other instruments in a pyramiding scheme that rested on one premise: the existence of houses whose value remained stable or grew.

Unfortunately, housing prices declined. A period of uncertainty about the value of the paper based on home mortgages followed. People claimed to be confused as to what the real value of the paper was. In fact, they were not so much confused as deceptive. They didn’t want to reveal that the value of the paper had declined dramatically. At a certain point, the facts could no longer be hidden, and vast amounts of value evaporated — taking with them not only the vast pyramids of those who first created the instruments and then borrowed heavily against them, but also the more conservative investors trying to put their money in a secure space while squeezing out a few extra points of interest. The decline in housing prices triggered massive losses of money in the financial markets, as well as reluctance to lend based on uncertainty of values. The resu lt was a liquidity crisis, which simply meant that a lot of people had gone broke and that those who still had money weren’t lending it — certainly not to financial institutions.

The S&L Precedent

Such financial meltdowns based on shifts in real estate prices are not new. In the 1970s, regulations on savings and loans (S&Ls) had changed. Previously, S&Ls had been limited to lending in the consumer market, primarily in mortgages for homes. But the regulations shifted, and they became allowed to invest more broadly. The assets of these small banks, of which there were thousands, were attractive in that they were a pool of cash available for investment. The S&Ls subsequently went into commercial real estate, sometimes with their old management, sometimes with new management who had bought them, as their depositors no longer held them.

The infusion of money from the S&Ls drove up the price of commercial real estate, which the institutions regarded as stable and conservative investments, not unlike private homes. They did not take into account that their presence in the market was driving up the price of commercial real estate irrationally, however, or that commercial real estate prices fluctuate dramatically. As commercial real estate values started to fall, the assets of the S&Ls contracted until most failed. An entire sector of the financial system simply imploded, crushing shareholders and threatening a massive liquidity crisis. By the late 1980s, the entire sector had melted down, and in 1989 the federal government intervened.

The federal government intervened in that crisis as it had in several crises large and small since 1929. Using the resources at its disposal, the federal government took over failed S&Ls and their real estate investments, creating the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC). The amount of assets acquired was about $394 billion dollars in 1989 — or 6.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) — making it larger than the $700 billion dollars — or 5 percent of GDP — being discussed now. Rather than flooding the markets with foreclosed commercial property, creating havoc in the market and further destroying assets, the RTC held the commercial properties off the market, maintaining their price artificially. They then sold off the foreclosed properties in a multiyear sequence that recovered much of what had been spent acquiring the properties. More important, it prevented the decline in commercial real estate from accelerating and creating liquidity crises throug hout the entire economy.

Many of those involved in S&Ls were ruined. Others managed to use the RTC system to recover real estate and to profit. Still others came in from the outside and used the RTC system to build fortunes. The RTC is not something to use as moral lesson for your children. But the RTC managed to prevent the transformation of a financial crisis into an economic meltdown. It disrupted market operations by introducing large amounts of federal money to bring liquidity to the system, then used the ability of the federal government — not shared by individuals — to hold on to properties. The disruption of the market’s normal operations was designed to avoid a market outcome. By holding on to the assets, the federal government was able to create an artificial market in real estate, one in which supply was constrained by the government to manage the value of commercial real estate. It did not work perfectly — far from it. But it managed to avoid the most feared outcome, which was a depression.

There have been many other federal interventions in the markets, such as the bailout of Chrysler in the 1970s or the intervention into failed Third World bonds in the 1980s. Political interventions in the American (or global) marketplace are hardly novel. They are used to control the consequences of bad decisions in the marketplace. Though they introduce inefficiencies and frequently reward foolish decisions, they achieve a single end: limiting the economic consequences of these decisions on the economy as a whole. Good idea or not, these interventions are institutionalized in American economic life and culture. The ability of Americans to be shocked at the thought of bailouts is interesting, since they are not all that rare, as judged historically.

The RTC showed the ability of federal resources — using taxpayer dollars — to control financial processes. In the end, the S&L story was simply one of bad decisions resulting in a shortage of dollars. On top of a vast economy, the U.S. government can mobilize large amounts of dollars as needed. It therefore can redefine the market for money. It did so in 1989 during the S&L crisis, and there was a general acceptance it would do so again Sept. 29.

The RTC Model and the Road Ahead

As discussed above, the first group argues the current crisis is so large that it is beyond the federal government’s ability to redefine. More precisely, it would argue that the attempt at intervention would unleash other consequences — such as weakening dollars and inflation — meaning the cure would be worse than the disease. That may be the case this time, but it is difficult to see why the consequences of this bailout would be profoundly different from the RTC bailout — namely, a normal recession that would probably happen anyway.

The debate between the political leadership and those opposing its plan is more interesting. The fundamental difference between the RTC and the current bailout was institutional. Congress created a semi-independent agency operating under guidelines to administer the S&L bailout. The proposal that was defeated Sept. 29 would have given the secretary of the Treasury extraordinary personal powers to dispense the money. Some also argued that the return on the federal investment was unclear, whereas in the RTC case it was fairly clear. In the end, all of this turned on the question of urgency. The establishment group argued that time was running out and the financial crisis was about to morph into an economic crisis. Those voting against the proposal argued there was enough time to have a more defined solution.

There was obviously a more direct political dimension to all this. Elections are just more than a month a way, and the seat of every U.S. representative is in contest. The public is deeply distrustful of the establishment, and particularly of the idea that the people who caused the crisis might benefit from the bailout. The congressional opponents of the plan needed to demonstrate sensitivity to public opinion. Having done so, if they force a redefinition of the bailout plan, an additional 13 votes can likely be found to pass the measure.

But the key issue is this: Are the resources of the United States sufficient to redefine financial markets in such a way as to manage the outcome of this crisis, or has the crisis become so large that even the resources of a $14 trillion economy mobilized by the state can’t do the job? If the latter is true, then all other discussions are irrelevant. Events will take their course, and nothing can be done. But if that is not true, that means that politics defines the crisis, as it has other crisis. In that case, the federal government can marshal the resources needed to redefine the markets and the key decision-makers are not on Wall Street, but in Washington. Thus, when the chips are down, the state trumps the markets.

All of this may not be desirable, efficient or wise, but as an empirical fact, it is the way American society works and has worked for a long time. We are seeing a case study in it — including the possibility the state will refuse to act, creating an interesting and profound situation. This would allow the market alone to define the outcome of the crisis. This has not been allowed in extreme crises in 75 years, and we suspect this tradition of intervention will not be broken now. The federal government will act in due course, and an institutional resolution taking power from the Treasury and placing it in the equivalent of the RTC will emerge. The question is how much time remains before massive damage is done to the economy.

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