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Sunday, August 07, 2011

"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."- Bill Clinton

Is this the end of American empire? It's tempting to answer 'Yes'

After America's credit downgrading and the spectacle of deadlocked Congress, Alex Spillius in Washington argues that the US still has the power to solve its problems.


The Treasury Department says Standard & Poor's got their sums on deficit reduction over ten years wrong by $2 trillion Photo: BLOOMBERG



Did the American empire end last week? It is tempting to say yes.
Standard & Poor's decision to remove the world's economic superpower from its list of risk-free borrowers was a somehow fitting climax to a sorry chapter that exposed Washington's paralysis for all to see.
As much a political critique as a financial judgment, S&P's statement condemned the "effectiveness, stability and predictability of American policymaking", and indicted the gridlock that made a credible deficit-reduction deal impossible.
The agency had agreed with the Obama administration that $4 trillion needed to be saved from the $14.3 trillion debt over ten years. But the 11th hour deal to raise the borrowing limit and reduce the deficit that pulled the US back from the brink of a first ever default saved "only" a minimum of $2.1 trillion.
Mr Obama has yet to comment, and is spending the weekend at Camp David. The Treasury Department's only response was to accuse the rating agency of bad mathematics, saying they got their sums on deficit reduction over ten years wrong by $2 trillion, whatever that means.

  • The agency stated plainly that it did not trust Congress to make the agreed upon two-stage process to reach the savings work.
  • The deal agreed debt reductions of $900 billion, but the rest will have to be thrashed out by a special committee of Congress in the autumn, when the arguments of the last two months will be revisited all over again, causing more uncertainty for investors.
  • The world is one collapsed southern European economy away from disaster and crying out for American leadership, and Washington gave us another committee.
  • Republican deficit hawks in Washington - whom S&P singled out for failing to tolerate revenue-raising of any kind - like to disdain the mismanaged Mediterranean states as the PIGS - Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. But given the way their own country is coming apart at the seams, it could be called the Untied States.
  • Nearly one in six Americans is living on government food subsidies averaging $282 a month per family. The official unemployment rate is 9.1 per cent, but is much higher if the long-term jobless are included.
  • House prices have collapsed by 33 percent from the market's peak, more than the slide during the Great Depression. 
  • Despite Mr Obama's best efforts at stimulus spending, American infrastructure was awarded a grade of D by the American Society of Civil Engineers, with one in five bridges classified as "structurally deficient".

Larry Summers, until recently leader of Mr Obama's economic team, puts the odds of the US economy returning to official recession (it still feels like recession in most places) at one in three. Others would call that optimistic.
The debate of the past few weeks was so fractious because Americans are scared.
The Tea Party is terrified spending will bring the country to ruin. The Democrats dread that their cherished benefit schemes for the elderly and poor will be cut to pieces.
Underlying both outlooks is foreboding and fear that America's time as number one is up, that the continuous path of growth that transformed the country from the late 19th century onwards has come to an end.
Middle class wages have been stagnant for 15 years and the housing and credit boom that put some fizz into ordinary lives have dried up. Entrepreneurship, the prized and nation-defining quality, is in a long term decline - the theory is that a deregulated and expanded Wall Street sucked up too much business talent. The BRICs - Brazil, Russia, India and China - loom as a threat to US dominance, which was built on a manufacturing base that is steadily moving overseas.
The country has some major mental adjustments to make. It will have to accept a weaker military - one that doesn't outspend the rest of the world combined. Americans will have to accept that there are half a billion middle class people around the world who can do a lot of the jobs they can, and think of new ones.
Both people and politicians may have to settle in the long term for being first among equals, rather than towering above the rest.
The America of today has been compared to Britain in 1914 or Rome at the peak of their might, before their rapid falls from supremacy.
Unlike the British however, the Americans have not assumed control of large parts of the world from which they must inevitably retreat. For all their involvement in every foreign policy issue, their global commercial enterprise has few strings attached, while withdrawing from both Iraq and Afghanistan within a few years will be a boon.
The country leads in industries vital to the 21st century and, for all its gloom, remains hard-wired to strive to improve. As the preamble to the US constitution says, the people's goal is to "form a more perfect union". There is still nowhere on Earth that compares for creativity, experimentation and drive.
Perhaps S&P's decision could be the shock that Congress needed. The downgrade may well raise interest rates for consumers, which could make both sides think again about being so intransigent and finally bring the compromise so clearly needed and which has been a hallmark of the country's legislative history.
As they resume battle after their summer break, Democrats and Republicans should recall the words of Bill Clinton, who said: "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America."

146 comments:

  1. I see no credible solution other than a complete house cleaning from top to bottom and that will have to include a significant, perhaps as much as 60% of the debt being stripped of interest payments.

    Government pensions will have to be crammed down and welfare at every level reduced by thirty percent and replaced with workfare. You want to eat, you work. Government unions will have to be stripped of power.

    A national policy with steel teeth that reduces imported oil to zero in ten years. (The ways and means have been argued on this blog for five years.)

    Revisiting all trade treaties to equal and balanced trade..

    Stop all US borrowing from foreign governments.

    Increase the retirement age to 67 and eliminate the cap on taxable wage rates. All surpluses must be invested in private equities.

    Freeze federal spending and hiring for five years.

    Require all lawsuits to a system where Loser Pays. Eliminate class action lawsuits.

    Shift education entirely to the states.

    Change all laws and regulations to encourage domestic manufacturing.

    Increase reserve requirements on the banks forcing them to liquidate dead asets. Prohibit national banks from residential mortgage lendind. Increase the numbers and powers of credit unions.

    Fire at will.

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  2. Most good ideas then we come to this --
    Require all lawsuits to a system where Loser Pays. Eliminate class action lawsuits.

    The first part is fine, it's the way it's done in England I believe.

    But class action suits have their place

    If a class action loses , how you get a million people to pay a half dollar apiece I don't know.

    Some bright female law student here filed a class action against a rental firm in Pullman notorious for not ever giving back any damage deposits.

    Interesting case, the law student finally prevailed.

    b

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  3. We have the most Brilliant Business Plan in the history of the World - The U.S. Constitution, - and a two-year election cycle.

    We'll be fine.

    In Ten years, or so.

    In the meantime? It's going to get rough.

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  4. Think of our economy for the next several years as a sinusoidal wave.

    Descending, from upper left to lower right.

    Each peak slightly lower than the one before, and each trough slightly lower than the one before.

    The High Point was the 4th Qtr of 2007. The "Low" Point - still to be determined.

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  5. This is a function of "Peak Oil."

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  6. Our condition will be complicated further (in the short run) by computerization, and robotization of our industry, especially manufacturing.

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  7. The most frustrating thing will be the "politicians." Investments that Should be made, won't be made.

    The babies Will be thrown out with the bathwater.

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  8. As far as the "downgrade?"

    An embarrassing wake-up call, but not of extreme importance.

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  9. We desperately need to improve our manufacturing, which means we desperately need the trained individuals that can operate the new factories, and we have to get the investment money back from the "tax havens." (and, keep it from going there in the future.)

    We need to step up immigration of smart, highly skilled technicians, and engineers from places like India, and Asia.

    And, we Have to find some way to Train our own people for the jobs of today (they are No Longer "the jobs of the future.")

    These things are absolutely vital for our growth. However, my concentration isn't, at present, on "Growth." My priority is getting back to the status quo.

    And, to get back to the "starting point" means to overcome the effects of "Peak Oil."

    I wouldn't say one track is all that more important than the other, just that, at present, that is the end of it on which I elect to concentrate.

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  10. Allen's link is a good one. It recognizes a huge problem for the US which is politically unsolvable; what to do with the black under-class? They are an economic and social disaster responsible for over 65% of all US crime and from my personal experience mostly useless and unemployable. They simply have no skills that suit them for anything but menial work, work which they rebel at.

    It is a demonstrable fact that a Polish woman, illegaly in the US, will place ads offering cleaning services for $15 per hour and higher. These woman often have university degrees and are intelligent enough to recognize the economic benefit of $15 exempt of all taxes and deductions. That is 3 times the amount they would earn in Poland, working in their profession.

    Almost all of these woman can find work for 40 or more hours a week. Single unemployed black woman do not advertise or seek such work. They take the entitlement route and frankly is they did seek the work, would probably not get it. The word "Polish woman", in the ad, reads hardworking, reliable, honest, white, non-threatening and pleasant.

    That is the reality of most every American big city. The economy cannot or will not use the services of the university educated and trained Polish woman except in a job where the natural candidates for such work, uneducated, single American black woman, who will not do the work if it was offered to them.

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  11. US Government debt is no longer a safe haven for investors. The move is a major political embarrassment. The US fiscal plan falls short. A $4trillion dollar cut is needed not the $2.4 trillion agreed.

    "The downgrade is a severe blow to America's prestige."

    S & P did not release this shattering market news until after markets closed for the weekend. Unlike its politically motivated downgrades of EU peripheral debt. Where downgrades are repeatedly announced during market hours a day or two before a sensitive bond auction.

    Will S & P be prosecuted for an offence under the 14th Amendment, for questioning US debt? Some US propagandists laughably claimed such a downgrade couldn't happen because of the 14th Amendment.

    Now that the US has lost its safe haven status, it is well on the way to losing its status as global reserve currency.

    The markets can see that its worst fears about an indebted nations debt are being realised in America.
    An inadequate package only half of what is required.
    No mention of the reform and restructuring required.
    No measures to bring the debt into line with its budget.
    No tax increases.

    Talk about a Greek tragedy.

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  12. by 2020 just the interest payments on the debt will be larger than the U.S. military budget. That’s not paying down the debt, but merely staying current on the servicing — like when you get your MasterCard statement and you can’t afford to pay off any of what you borrowed but you can just about cover the monthly interest charge. Except in this case the interest charge for U.S. taxpayers will be greater than the military budgets of China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel combined...When interest payments consume about 20 percent of federal revenues, that means a fifth of your taxes are entirely wasted. Pious celebrities often simper that they’d be willing to pay more in taxes for better government services. But a fifth of what you pay won’t be going to government services at all, unless by “government services” you mean the People’s Liberation Army of China, which will be entirely funded by U.S. taxpayers by about 2015.

    National Review

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  13. We cannot grow our way out of this and our economic strategic adversary, China, has been taking steps to bury us. That has been obvious to me for fiften years.

    In business your first loss is your best loss. Forget all the bullshit that America is exceptional. Business is business. We are bankrupt as every other country in the world has been at one time or another. We need to put a plan that fixes this thing once and for all. Tinkering around the edges will only make it worse.

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  14. We will never be on a stronger basis to re-negotiate our position on our terms. Our current weakness is our strength. China will continue to work with all her new trading partners to shove it up our ample ass. When they have all their ducks in a row they will dictate our terms of surrender.

    A retreat is a valid military tactic. You retreat to regroup, get stronger and live to fight another day and win. We need some flint eyed bastards to take this on to win. Winning is everything. Forget the bullshit and take our bitter medicine now.

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  15. Nah, we're not bankrupt, Deuce. A guy that makes a $100,000.00/yr, and has a $100,000.00 mortgage isn't bankrupt.

    However, our "Trajectory/Outlook" sure isn't good.

    We need to make some Strategic adjustments pdq.

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  16. And, we own the printing press.

    We're in a nasty situation right now, and it's going to get a hell of a lot worse before it gets better; but, it's not bankruptcy.

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  17. We need some flint eyed bastards to take this on to win.

    Maybe Donald Trump is de man.

    After all he's got experience with winning and losing too and seems to recognize the difference.

    How can you go broke running a casino, though?

    b

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  18. Deuce said...
    Allen's link is a good one. It recognizes a huge problem for the US which is politically unsolvable; what to do with the black under-class? They are an economic and social disaster responsible for over 65% of all US crime and from my personal experience mostly useless and unemployable. They simply have no skills that suit them for anything but menial work, work which they rebel at.


    ===================

    I have a small amount of believe that in a perfect world, IDEALLY, (since tolerance of any and all things is now believed to be one of the highest virtues one can have) -we should be blind to the culture, ideology, socioeconomic status, ethnic values, and religion of any person we encounter. They in turn IDEALLY should be equally as blind or "tolerant".

    In reality, that makes us blind to the dangers of the black underclass, the connected financiers of global banking, the Islamists. Or that for every "criminal that only an all-wise jury can call a criminal" - there are 20 people that enable them by looking the other way, refuse to 'snitch' on them, socially accept them. You can't just think cops and courts will solve all the problem. You have to recognize and try to change or in extremis...NEUTRALIZE the source of the disease.

    Maybe someday, what we evolve into will allow us to ignore whole groups for classification as a threat and say..."no need to be concerned about going into Yemen with bibles and preaching the word, because they are the same as us as individuals"! Or that two drunk little Chinese-American sluts in miniskirts out on the town - could stumble into a white area, a black area, or an Asian area and expect equal outcome of people saying "hey, you're soused. Go home and sleep it off". Instead of having the bad luck of going in the black area and getting gang-raped by 9 thugs while two dozen black neighbors just watched and didn't call the cops and after.."didn't know a single one of them black boys...who must have been from a different 'hood going through ours when they found those slope 'hos.."

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  19. Like household debt, government debt accrues interest as time passes. Should interest rates rise to 7 percent, interest payments on the debt alone could reach 136 percent of GDP in the next 70 years:

    Interest payments of that magnitude will pretty much kill entitlement programs among other things.

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  20. Government pensions will have to be crammed down

    You grandfather that in. New hires going forward know they get a worse pension deal. And even then, you have problems with attracting qualified employees to government service. Who's going to fix torpedo nose and control sections when I'm gone? We've already lost every engineer that's worth a shit.

    and welfare at every level reduced by thirty percent and replaced with workfare. You want to eat, you work.

    What do the blind and disabled do. What happens when my cancer goes south and I start getting the figure of a holocaust survivor?

    Government unions will have to be stripped of power.

    Federal government unions are all for show right now. You're talking about state unions, and that's a state issue.

    A national policy with steel teeth that reduces imported oil to zero in ten years. (The ways and means have been argued on this blog for five years.)

    That's central planning of our economics. Right now we get imported oil because we're skimming the cheap cream off the Saudi crop, and it's a function of the profit motive. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, once you got a strategic reserve to ride out any Arab embargoes, and once you throw Israel under the bus to avoid embargoes in the first place.

    Revisiting all trade treaties to equal and balanced trade...

    Again, that's central planning of economics. Who decides what's "equal" and balanced? And the whole point of trade is to take advantage of natural inequalities, some nations are better at producing some things than others.

    Stop all US borrowing from foreign governments.

    Stop all US borrowing from anyone. If you buy a truck with cash, it's far cheaper than buying a truck on a five year term with interest.

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  21. If we simply made an announcement that we are going to 'drill, baby, drill' and everywhere and really meant it, that alone would bring oil prices down a lot.

    Here, the megaloads of oil equipment have finally been moving through town going to Montana and the oil sands of Canada

    The company has learned a lesson - make sure you have the transportation permits before you bring the equipment to USA shores.

    They have been a great boon to Lewiston economy, with all the workers sitting around motels, and big rents for space going to the port of Lewiston.

    b

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  22. Well, it seems like 98% of the people that wait on me in the quick shops, and grocery stores, and whatnot are black women, now; so I know a bunch of them little gals is working.

    A lot of the black guys are, as well. I'm not too interested in getting all tied up in that conversation.

    We're failing our kids in school. We're not teaching them what they really need to know. They need certificates in using computerized machinery, and robots - not lessons in Chaucer, and Greek History.

    They've grown up playing gameboys, and converting lbs to grams; I know they can learn to use a cnc drill press.

    We have young, black HS Graduates maintaining the Avionics, and radar systems on F22's. They can handle computerized assembly lines, and fork lifts.

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  23. With all the recent gab about the debt ceiling, tax cuts or no tax cuts, debt downgrades and deficit control, I thought that this little item entitled "Rebuild American Infrastructure? Companies' Offshore Profits Can Help" from the Brookings Institute website was rather pertinent. In case you hadn't gathered from my previous postings, I'm don't particularly favour the viewpoint that lower corporate taxes are particularly correlatable to improved employment statistics or economic growth. That said, there is one thing that lower corporate taxes do relate directly to and that's higher corporate profits and, as I'll show below, wealthier shareholders.

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  24. What do the blind and disabled do. What happens when my cancer goes south and I start getting the figure of a holocaust survivor?

    Leave them alone. Get the drunks and drug addicts and brood sows off the goevernment tit. Take the money from them and give it to the blind and disabled.

    Again, that's central planning of economics. Who decides what's "equal" and balanced? And the whole point of trade is to take advantage of natural inequalities, some nations are better at producing some things than others.

    CHINA

    That's central planning of our economics. Right now we get imported oil because we're skimming the cheap cream off the Saudi crop, and it's a function of the profit motive. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, once you got a strategic reserve to ride out any Arab embargoes, and once you throw Israel under the bus to avoid embargoes in the first place.

    Replacing the importing of strategic commodities and replacing them with domestic alternatives, reducing our trade imbalance, removing the pool of cheap credit that feeds the federal beast is good planning.

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  25. Ms T uses her "jewish imagery" again...

    What do the blind and disabled do. What happens when my cancer goes south and I start getting the figure of a holocaust survivor?

    UNLIKE a "holocaust survivor" you would have had medical care and FOOD since the start of your treatment.

    Nor would you have the memories of watching your family being raped, tortured, gassed and dumped into a pit...

    Nor would you be homeless or stateless....

    Try finding another metaphor to describe the POSSIBILITY of your weight loss from a illness you do not currently have...

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  26. Ms T: and once you throw Israel under the bus to avoid embargoes in the first place.




    Israel being thrown under the bus will not slow down the arab hatred of the west.

    Israel is the "little satan" and America is STILL the GREAT SATAN, Israel is just the canary in the mine.

    To think that if Israel was no longer around to "piss off" the arab somehow all would be great is just plain stupid and naive. (or it's just a projection of Ms T, that really believes that the troubles America has in the middle east is because our our support for Israel)

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  27. They need certificates in using computerized machinery, and robots - not lessons in Chaucer, and Greek History.

    grrrr.....

    Chaucer, and Greek History might teach them whether or not it's a good thing to be using computerized machinery, and robots in the first place.

    A coherent argument can be made that it isn't.

    Takes you too far away from the old natural rhythms where meaning might lurk.

    b

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  28. We have, perversely, given huge tax breaks to businesses that invest anywhere But the U.S. That is some bogus shit, and That Has to stop.

    We're, currently, producing about 5.6 Million barrels of oil/day in the U.S. (this doesn't incluce "refinery gain, ethanol, etc.) We're talking Actual barrels of oil out of the ground.

    As best I can figure it, if Obama said, "Okay, you win, Drill Everywhere, Right Now, Do It," I think the best we might do would be on the order of 6.5 to 7.0 million b/d.

    That would still leave us importing 8 million b/d, or so.

    It would, basically, slow worldwide oil decline by about 1 yr. Maybe, 2, at max. (but, I doubt it.)

    Our salvation is two-fold.

    1) Much more fuel efficient vehicles, and

    2) Non-Petroleum fuels

    The speed at which we can accomplish these two goals will determine when the sinusoidal wave ends, and true growth can begin.

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  29. Israel being thrown under the bus will not slow down the arab hatred of the west.

    Absolutely true.

    Wasn't it Churchill who said something about feeding the crocodile hoping to not be eaten now?

    b

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  30. Shit, Bob, no young man with pulse is going to read that shit, much less understand it.

    Young men want to go fast, blow things up, and get laid. Teacher talking about them old farts is just "nap time."

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  31. Look for a worldwide collapse of real estate values.

    China will be hit really, really hard...

    Both by it's own toxic debt it holds of the world's (not just USA) mortgage backed securities but it also has a record number of what I call "fake cities" (cities that stand EMPTY to this day, built only as an investment hedge)

    A great Tsunami or wealth destruction is sweeping the world.... Idle factories, decaying infrastructure, wasted careers and a generation of workers being put to pasture...

    In the end? America will be fine, just a few notches tighter on the belt but the rest of the globe?

    Rioting, Famine, Starvation, Piracy and Chaos..

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  32. You want to solve your race problems? Show a young man how he can operate a complicated piece of machinery, make good money, buy a cool ride, and get lotsa hot honeys, and you've got it in the bag.

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  33. We should be teaching kids in the 4th grade how to write computer code. Maybe earlier.

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  34. Chaucer can teach you how utterly silly it is to get in a big to-do about the local venison supply, and that if you are dead over it, well, I guess you no longer have hunger for venison anyways.

    At Chevy Chase more men died than deer.

    b

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  35. Kinda a big flash mob that got out of hand.

    b

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  36. Chaucer's a gas.

    b

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  37. I tried it. I couldn't even read that shit. Bored me to tears.

    The gal that was teaching it didn't look too bad for fortyish. Spent all my time imagining what her tits looked like.

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  38. Kind of a slender gal, with decent tits. Can't remember what her face looked like.

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  39. Well, you remembered the important things, Rufus :)

    I think the guy finished cutting the alfalfa. Since the light and shade is right I going to go take some more pics.

    Later.

    b

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  40. It's a Judeo/Christian sentiment, doncha know, not to kill one another over the local vension supply.

    b

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  41. Yeah, well, a whole lotta folks got hanged for poaching the old Christian King's deer.

    An my Cherokee ancestors were known to let fly a few arrows over venison, also.

    We'd scalp a Choctaw fer jest lookin at our deer (or, our "dears," whichever the case may have been.) :)

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  42. .


    .

    I see no credible solution other than a complete house cleaning from top to bottom...



    Some interesting ideas Deuce. I can see now why you recently said of the Tea party, "Good Job" (or something to that effect).

    There is no mention of growth in the plan. But then, as the TP says, growth will take care of itself once you reduce the size of government.

    No mention of jobs. But then it's assumed they will follow from the growth that will take care of itself.

    No new spending on things we don't need like infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams, and the electrical grid). Of course there might be enough to finance that new Hubble telescope you wanted. And besides, WiO at least will feel comfortable as we move to a country with post-apocalyptical vistas reminiscent of the scenes from the Mad Max movies.

    The solution to our problems? "Go Small".

    Well, it's probably as viable a plan as any being presented out there today. But that brings up the next questions.

    What is your time frame for implementation? And, more importantly, who, out of all the players on the scene today, do you think is going to implement it?

    The Tea party?

    I could be wrong but I don't see it in the cards.

    Congress' approval rating is at 18%. The Tea Party's current rating is 18% and declining, down from 31% at last year's election. Will the Tea Party be stronger after 2012 or weaker? I would bet on the latter.

    The Tea Party is a group of obstreperous ideologues who would rather make a point on principle than accept a 95% win in negotiations; that would rather cost the US citizen billions in additional interest payments to make a point; and that "talks" about debt reduction yet rejects a deal that would actually reduce some of it in place of a plan almost guaranteed to increase it.

    As Hannity would say, "True American Heroes".

    .

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  43. .

    The U.S. was shortsighted in its approach to S&P.

    We should have taken the initiative and paid them to rate the US debt. That approach worked out well for all the companies that paid them to rate the financial derivatives those companies put out based on toxic assets.

    You get what you pay for.

    .

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  44. rufus said,
    They need certificates in using computerized machinery, and robots - not lessons in Chaucer, and Greek History.

    You can trust me on this: they are getting neither. However, they are learning the proper way to apply a condom etc.

    Here in Atlanta, we have hundreds of teachers and administrators who criminally dhanged testing answers and collectied tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for the percieved pupil improvement. There is no question that it happened. Nonetheless, at this writing, the powers that be are sitting on the problem for fear of the democratic ballot box.

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  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  46. No Q it will not be implemented, but in ten or 15 years we will wish it had been.

    1. The debt cram-down would force the Chinese to write their US bonds down to what they are worth. It serves to help them get religion and jacks up the Renminbi to its true value.

    2. Cramming down government pensions reduces a tax burden on taxpayers who have had their pensions, savings and equity crammed down by the Government.

    3. A national policy that reduces oil imports to zero over ten years is a jobs program.

    4. Rewriting all trade treaties to equal and balanced trade is common sense. That would also create American jobs.

    5. Stopping all US Government borrowing from foreign governments removes the ability of a trading nation to sell anything and buy little from the US. Instead of recycling their earned dollars into purchasing or investing in the US, they loan it to the US Government and that is the equivalent of taking savings from US savers as it devalues the currency.

    6. Increase the retirement age to 67 and eliminate the cap on taxable wage rates. All surpluses must be invested in private equities. This builds up real investment and becomes a source of wealth and capital. It also gives additional time to take advantage of the skills of older workers.

    7. Freeze federal spending and hiring for five years. Alternately you can not. How has that worked for you?

    8. Require all lawsuits to a system where Loser Pays. Eliminate class action lawsuits. This eliminates the legal protection racket and shakedown scam costing the US hundreds of billions in waste in every part of American Society.

    9. Shift education entirely to the states. i think parents and local taxpayers are smart enough to educate their own children, don't you?

    10. Change all laws and regulations to encourage domestic manufacturing. See answer to number 7.

    11. Increase reserve requirements on the banks forcing them to liquidate dead assets. Prohibit national banks from residential mortgage lending. Increase the numbers and powers of credit unions.

    I want to end the nonsense of huge banks with their snouts always in the government trough, constantly being subsidized and enabled in their stupidity. I want them to take their collective medicine now. They are not lending anyway because they are also firmly nestled at the government tit. Local lending to consumers is also a common sense lending policy. The banks that drop dead. Tough shit. You have to be one stupid sonofabitch to tank a bank. It is a government subsidized license to steal.

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  47. Rufus II said...

    Yeah, well, a whole lotta folks got hanged for poaching the old Christian King's deer.

    An my Cherokee ancestors were known to let fly a few arrows over venison, also.

    We'd scalp a Choctaw fer jest lookin at our deer (or, our "dears," whichever the case may have been.) :)


    :)

    Them's the sentimentals Chaucer was a moanin' an' a groanin' an' a laughin' about, essactly.

    b

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  48. If anyone doubts my report on the Atlanta scandal, check the Atlanta Journal Constitution. In particular read the editorial comments of Cynthia Tucker, editor. You will have to go a long way to find a more progressive spokesman. Nevertheless, and to her credit, Ms Tucker and her paper have been the tip of the spear on this issue.

    Tragically, we Georgians now have thousands of kids who cannot graduate because they cannot do the simple tasks on the state's proficiency tests. Many were at the head of the class.

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  49. A bank balance sheet is one of the most creative documents ever made by men. It is based on assets based on so called collateral that is rarely there when you call on it. The government allows the bank to use this so called called capital to leverage their assets by 1000%, borrowing all the money from the public with a 100% government guarantee of repayment. No money is ever deposited in a bank. Every dime put in a bank is loaned to the bank unless you walk into the safe roorm with a key and put it in a numbered steel box.

    With a 100% government guarantee on public money loaned to the banks and allowing them 1000% leverage on their capital, the dumb fucks still had to get TARP money from the government that they could use as additional capital and still some of the dumb bastards tanked. Try doing that with an autobody shop.

    ReplyDelete
  50. We should have taken the initiative and paid them to rate the US debt....You get what you pay for.

    And in the end, the Fixed Income fund managers will look at many things, not just what S&P rates US debt, and the yields will rise or fall accordingly. I'm thinking they will fall, as people freak out over the Euro.

    ReplyDelete
  51. It might be interesting to read what Chaucer might write about a situation like This

    Would a nuclear Iran behave rationally?

    The author says at the last Iran could have been prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons. Alas, too late now.

    My thoughts exactly.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  52. Locally, the Bank of Whitman went under recently. Kind of surprising, they have been around for a long time, lending mostly to farmers I imagine. We've got more banks around now than you can count nearly, when earlier on we basically had two.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  53. Will Iran act rationally? That is amusing. Who has acted more rationally in the last ten years. The US attacking Iraq and Hanging the one tried and true enemy of Iran, Saddam Hussein, or has it been Iran?

    Let's check the tape. The US has blown $1 trillion in Iraq and working on number two in Afghanistan. Iran now has greater influence in the area with Iraq is no longer an adversarial peer to Iran . Iran and China have greater influence in Iraq than they had before the invasion.

    I think we can consider the Iranians quite rational or was it George Bush who was the rational one?

    ReplyDelete
  54. "We know we have been victimised by this government, we know we are being neglected by the government,"

    At a nearby retail park, electrical stores and mobile phone shops had been ransacked, with boxes for large plasma televisions discarded outside, along with CDs and glass from smashed windows.

    Fears of more violence after worst London riots in years

    ReplyDelete
  55. I think we can consider the Iranians quite rational

    !

    b

    ReplyDelete
  56. You know S&P has to be enjoying every minute of this. They get sent to the woodshed by Congress for their lax oversight and now they get to stick it Congress for THEIR fiscal misbehavior. This also short circuits any possibility of the Feds doing anything against them for their earlier "troubles" because now it would obviously be something along the lines of a "blatant attempt to intimidate and punish the rating agency for having the fortitude to stand up the government and lawmakers on this issue" (or something similar. I have already written the press release (grin)

    ReplyDelete
  57. Well Bob, where is thecorollary to your argument that they are not? A single exclamation mark may be a bit brief.

    ReplyDelete
  58. but residents attributed to local tensions and anger over hardship.

    Over 'hardship' - nice clean way of putting it.


    b

    ReplyDelete
  59. All their rhetoric over the years. Which surely should mean something. After all Hitler laid his plans all out in a book for all to see. Maybe if they continually say Israel is the little Satan and we the great Satan we ought to take it seriously. The tormenting of their own citizens. The cranes hanging homos and drug users and the politically unacceptable. The constant lying about their nuclear program. The arming of our adversaries with IED's etc. Support for Hezbollah and anyone else bent on raising hell etc.

    Not defending Bush, but I'll always maintain we coulda and shoulda.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  60. What was a more rational decision, L. Paul Bremer III, with consultations with George Bush dismantling the 400,000 man Iraq army, sending them home without a paycheck or Iranian advisors showing the demobilized Iraqi army how to make a cheap and deadly IED with abandoned artillery shells?

    ReplyDelete
  61. Don't lose sleep over the Iranian Government being irrational and using one or two nuclear weapons to attack Israel, a virtual land-based aircraft carrier, armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons on a hair trigger. The Persians have been around for a few thousand years and are planning to be around for a few thousand more. The Persians fought the Romans and Greeks for seven plus centuries, but the conflict rarely became unbalanced for too long. It is noteworthy that the expenses of the Roman–Persian Wars ultimately broke both empires. No Bob., the Iranians are very rational. Build your plans and strategies on that belief.

    ReplyDelete
  62. When I see Ahmadinejad, or one of them malevalent mullahs strap an explosive vest around his own corpulent, diseased body, and let it fly I'll start taking the rhetoric a little more seriously.

    In the meantime, I'll remain a tad bit skeptical of all the "gonna nuke the li'l/big satan, cause we don't mind a'dyin', bullshit."

    ReplyDelete
  63. Rest well, Bibi Netanyahu is as likely to put the vest on as Abracadabra.

    ReplyDelete
  64. All is well in the Garden; the Persians and Israelites will all prosper without the US making another crusade at the bequest of the fear mongers amongst us.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Nukes provide a nice umbrella for conventional and other means of advancing an agenda.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Deuce said...
    Don't lose sleep over the Iranian Government being irrational and using one or two nuclear weapons to attack Israel, a virtual land-based aircraft carrier, armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons on a hair trigger. The Persians have been around for a few thousand years and are planning to be around for a few thousand more. The Persians fought the Romans and Greeks for seven plus centuries, but the conflict rarely became unbalanced for too long. It is noteworthy that the expenses of the Roman–Persian Wars ultimately broke both empires. No Bob., the Iranians are very rational. Build your plans and strategies on that belief.



    You are thinking checkers the iranians are thinking chess...

    An iranian nuke will be devastating to the world regardless of whether they "soot one or two" at Israel.

    The iranians are not "rational" or irrational they are insane.

    At least according to my pov...

    to their pov?

    burning israel and then the usa would be the fulfillment for bring the 13th hidden imam to earth...

    will they have to be the ones to unleash the bombs?

    Could they hand it over to hezbollah to fire?

    or set up the palestinians?

    or anyone of a dozen arab/persian/islamic groups to take the credit/blame.

    stop playing checkers with chess players...

    ReplyDelete
  67. The Israeli stock market quite another thing:
    TEL AVIV, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Tel Aviv shares closed 7 percent lower on Sunday in the first response of a developed market to Standard & Poor's downgrade of the United States' credit rating that has sparked fears of another global recession.

    ReplyDelete
  68. ruf: In the meantime, I'll remain a tad bit skeptical of all the "gonna nuke the li'l/big satan, cause we don't mind a'dyin', bullshit."


    spoken like a true checkers player...

    ReplyDelete
  69. Deuce said...
    Rest well, Bibi Netanyahu is as likely to put the vest on as Abracadabra.



    Fuck you....

    ReplyDelete
  70. No Bob., the Iranians are very rational. Build your plans and strategies on that belief.

    But... but .... if I held that point of view I'd have no reason whatsoever to go buy a getaway in Elk City, Idaho!

    It's hard enough talking to the wife about such things anyway.....

    b

    ReplyDelete
  71. In the meantime, the real news, I think, is that we did Not get back to 4th qtr 2007 GDP before we started down again (in Real dollars.)

    That makes my bowels a little queezy.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Deuce said...
    All is well in the Garden; the Persians and Israelites will all prosper without the US making another crusade at the bequest of the fear mongers amongst us.


    again, you are a checker player and dont even KNOW the board...

    the iranians? play chess and rely on nitwit checker players...

    enjoy your delusion while it lasts

    ReplyDelete
  73. stop playing checkers with chess players…
    Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home,
    Your house is on fire and your children are gone,
    All except one and that’s little Anne,
    For she crept under the frying pan.

    ReplyDelete
  74. I basically agree with WiO about the Iranians. I think he said the other day their belief system is so bizarre from our point of view that the western mind has trouble taking it seriously.

    If I get the money I'm heading to Elk City, or some other really out of the way place, with a good stream nearby.

    Which I want to do anyway regardless of the Iranians.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  75. I've listened to good old Bibi speak to what he thought was an all Jewish audience. He is a shit, but he is obviously your shit.

    Chacun ses goûts.

    ReplyDelete
  76. If you are mocking my painful gout, I'll have you know I've controlled it with indomethacin and a change in diet, thank you very much.

    :)

    There is no accounting for some people's outlook, let them go their own way, to each his own.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  77. The Persians fought the Romans and Greeks for seven plus centuries, but the conflict rarely became unbalanced for too long

    More recently, the Persians fought the Iraqi Army (you know, the one we ejected from Kuwait in 100 hours, the one we completely destroyed on their home turf in three weeks)...and it was stalemate for eight years. A race of dwarves, if you ask me.

    ReplyDelete
  78. A telling observation, T.

    I've still had quite enough of Wars in the Desert, though; thank you very much. :)

    ReplyDelete
  79. Deuce said...
    I've listened to good old Bibi speak to what he thought was an all Jewish audience. He is a shit, but he is obviously your shit.



    to compare him to the genocidal iranian nutcase is insulting...

    and last time i checked the Congress of the USA, both parties gave him 27 standing ovations in a joint sessions of Congress...

    and last time I checked the Iranians were still actively murdering AMericans on a weekly basis...

    so your "comparisons" really do suck, in this example

    ReplyDelete
  80. Rufus II said...
    A telling observation, T.

    I've still had quite enough of Wars in the Desert, though; thank you very much. :)


    not to worry ole checker player rufus, those islamic nutjobs will give you war in cities and forests soon..

    ReplyDelete
  81. You need a refresher on the use of irony.

    ReplyDelete
  82. The downside of democracy is exposed. The opinions of less intelligent and poorly educated people can hold sway sometimes. Some problems are complex and require complexed, nuanced solutions, and the simplistic solutions proposed by simple people are inadequate.

    Two inadequate presidents later and with confidence and trust in the system shot what the country needs more than anything now is an exceptional leader.

    I understand what made America great.

    When I hear members of the Tea Party talk, especially with its shamefully reckless and naively incompetent handling of the debt ceiling crisis, I know what will destroy its greatness.

    ReplyDelete
  83. In Jerusalem, up to 30,000 people marched to Netanyahu's residence, chanting the rallying cry of the past three weeks: "The people demand social justice." Smaller protests were also held in Kiryat Shmona, Modi'in, Hod HaSharon, Ashkelon, Eilat and Dimona, according to media reports.

    WIO was not seen

    JOKE_______JOKE________JOKE

    ReplyDelete
  84. .

    Bibi has more immediate problems than iran.


    250,000 Israelis rally against high cost of living as national protest movement expands


    Doctors Pissed Because the Can't Support Their Families on $12.00 Per Hour.

    Maybe this is what the US needs. A few million unemployed marching in protest.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  85. Deuce said...
    In Jerusalem, up to 30,000 people marched to Netanyahu's residence, chanting the rallying cry of the past three weeks: "The people demand social justice." Smaller protests were also held in Kiryat Shmona, Modi'in, Hod HaSharon, Ashkelon, Eilat and Dimona, according to media reports.

    WIO was not seen

    JOKE_______JOKE________JOKE



    thanks for the joke alert...


    On a funny note?

    Not one protester was shot, beaten up or even injured. No looting, no rioting, no raping....

    In fact? The leader of the "cheap" housing protesters? comes from money...

    Maybe if they built some more homes in historic jewish lands in the west bank they'd have affordable housing for all...

    ReplyDelete
  86. It was the Paulsons, and Bernankes of the world that got us into this fix (partially.)

    Our system will self-correct. Everyone gets a turn at the bat.

    We have to have the tea party, because the Republicans quit being Republicans.

    Ideally, the Republicans will tighten us down during the "good times," and the Dems will open the spigots during the hard times. This time the Pubs lost their way, and opened the floodgate during the good times.

    Now, we've really got a problem. Now, when we Need the Keynesian Dems, public opinion is swinging toward excessive tightening.

    If there was ever a time for the "Reset" Button, this is it.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Quirk said...
    .

    Bibi has more immediate problems than iran.


    250,000 Israelis rally against high cost of living as national protest movement expands



    It's an issue, yes...

    Iran is the main threat. (Iran is: iran, hezbollah, hamas, Moslem brotherhood, syria etc)

    Just think if Israel did not have to spend the highest % of GDP on DEFENSE of any nation how many homes they could build

    ReplyDelete
  88. Right now, the Main thing to remember is that the Main thing is the Main thing.

    High Gasoline prices choked off our nascent recovery, and all odds are that they'll choke off the next one, but even quicker.

    The Main thing is to make it affordable for people to "move around," again. To go to work, to go shopping, to take the kids to ball practice, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  89. Our Second Problem is growing unemployment. Today, an unemployed Steel Worker costs the Government a fortune.

    His unemployment benefits, as well as the "safety net" costs for his family are almost as large as his "Take Home" Pay.

    Our Third Large Problem is our devastating "Imbalance of Payments" with Oil Producing Countries.

    Then, of course, there are government programs like the one that pays landowners NOT to plant 30 Million Acres.


    You know what would be Really neat? What if we could think of a way to tie ALL of these problems into one bundle, and solve them All At Once?

    Wow. That'd be a Home Run, wouldn't it?

    Boy, if there was just a way . . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  90. I've been trying to find that speech where Khomeini says we are not Persians, we are muslims and let this country burn but have failed so far, maybe cause it's in some strange language other than American English.

    b

    (but, I know he did say it)

    ReplyDelete
  91. Maybe if they built some more homes in historic jewish lands in the west bank they'd have affordable housing for all...

    Maybe if they'd allow One Man One Vote in those historic Jewish lands people wouldn't speak of occupation and apartheid.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Miss T, really now, that is foolish.

    Voting is a wonderful thing - if people can handle it.

    Liberty is a higher value than democracy.

    The historical examples abound.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  93. By the way, Obama is going on a bus tour. It is, they claim, not political, so we all get to pay for it.!

    b

    ReplyDelete
  94. .

    Voting is a wonderful thing - if people can handle it.


    :)


    .

    ReplyDelete
  95. Sun Aug 07, 05:21:00 PM EDT

    Now, how on earth would Israel impose on the PA the principle of "one man, one vote". Arabs living in Israel as Israeli citizens do, in point of fact, have exactly that right.

    Uh...How does that work for Israelis living in the PA? Oh, that's right, Israelis are not permitted to live in the PA. To be precise, only dead Israelis have a place in the PA.

    ...stupid...total waste of time...

    ReplyDelete
  96. The Telegraph.UK:

    "A combination of a moribund housing market, rising fuel and food prices, nervousness about the jobs market, wage cuts or salary freezes and lower benefits have meant that many families are just not spending."

    ReplyDelete
  97. Tel Aviv down 7%, 30 min emergency stop.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Voting is a wonderful thing - if people can handle it.

    Yeah, that's what Jefferson Davis said, about 1861.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Hang Seng is down over 900 points in futures trading

    ReplyDelete
  100. Going to be a dark dark Monday

    Monday, Monday .... can't trust that day ....

    ReplyDelete
  101. America and it's level of disproportionate black criminality, dysfunction and violence is not the exception - but the general rule.
    See France, Brazil, Haiti, UK, two dozen African nations, even the apple of liberalism's eye - the Swedes.
    No Alinskys, no Jews organizing black "grievance movements" there. Possible exception is S Africa, where Jews were prominent in running the "colored unions", financing groups like the ANC, and orchestrating the economic boycott of Apartheid S Africa.

    Some factors clearly are more weighty than Alinsky-type figures in explaining Somalia, Jamaica, the banuels of France, NOLA during Katrina...

    ReplyDelete
  102. Mother Teresa complained that Princess Diana has a MUCH bigger halo, but St. Peter explained it was a steering wheel .....

    ReplyDelete
  103. Riots in London, BEFORE they get the Olympics, not after, like they did in Vancouver. No one said the Brits were geniuses.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Obama has also had to replace his first budget director, Peter Orszag.

    Before joining Obama's administration, Geithner served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a job that put him on the front lines of the central bank's efforts to battle the financial crisis and to get credit flowing more freely. He has a close working relationship with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

    During the Clinton administration, Geithner held top positions at the Treasury Department dealing with international financial crises that occurred during that administration.

    ReplyDelete
  105. he European Central Bank has moved to halt Europe's runaway debt crisis by pledging to buy government bonds from Italy and Spain.

    The ECB is throwing good money after bad by not letting Greece collapse first and set the example of what happens to a country that fails.

    There can be no firewall made without making a firebreak.

    Sounds simple, but all these leaders swim in the same pools and golf at the same clubs and are very reluctant to cut those who deserve it because of commonality.

    Italy's borrowing costs shot up last week amid fears that its debts have become unsustainableThe banks would much rather put the common citizens on the hook for their losses.

    Americans know what is going on.... and a TEA party type in europe is overdue.... but wont happen because the governments will find a way to blunt the hook so it doesnt bite into their wages, and sharpen the hook into those that pay.

    Trying to save Italy and Spain without letting Greece and Portugal fail is as foolhearty as it is suicide.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Dow, and S&P Futures down about 2% in Asia.

    Commodities down about 2%.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Deuce said...
    We cannot grow our way out of this and our economic strategic adversary, China, has been taking steps to bury us. That has been obvious to me for fiften years.


    TOO BAD YANKS, YOU BLEW IT.

    Do not expect the Euro to collapse along with the dollar. Unlike America, the EU has plenty of firepower and it does have the backing of China, which is likely to make some surprise interventions of its own in Eurozone bond markets. China is the wild card that anti-eu speculators and hedge funds are most wary of, for fear of getting their fingers very badly burned.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Riots are breaking out in the black areas of London.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Ash, nice to see you in your trench coat and dark glasses.

    ReplyDelete
  110. There are penguins on some Australian beaches.

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  111. Oz market down 1/2 percent right now.

    ReplyDelete
  112. You got to be joking me Sam. I'm not sure I believe you :)

    b

    ReplyDelete
  113. True story. They're the little guys 'though. Not the big Emperors.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Anyone that pays the slightest bit of attention to anything China says has their ass on backwards.

    China buys U.S. Bonds. China buys Euro Bonds. China only wants to keep its currency cheap.

    China is, for all intents and purposes, pegged to the dollar. It wants the dollar to fall against all other currencies, and would like to break their "understanding" with Geithner, et al, that conmmits them to letting their currency slowly strengthen against the dollar.

    ReplyDelete
  115. How did they get there, Sam? Did they float up on an iceberg?

    ReplyDelete
  116. Ash, please close up your overcoat.


    The Haywain

    Is gonna make it over that bridge? There are bridges everywhere and rivers to be crossed, in Black Elk, in Gregory the Great, in the Zoroastrians and their Bridge of the Separator, there's the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which collapsed in a windstorm I bet Miss T knows about that, and there's a hanging bridge cross I forget which river here in Idaho that sways wildly as you make you way across, might be on the Selway.

    And here we are talking about filthy lucre.

    :(

    That you can't take with you even.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  117. Beats the shit out of me.

    'Though, Australia was once part of Antarctica. A long, long time ago.

    ReplyDelete
  118. looks like the "Panic" is running out of steam. Only the Chinese stocks are getting hit hard at this hour, and that's only a little over 4%.

    ReplyDelete
  119. How did they get there, Sam? Did they float up on an iceberg?

    They was sent there by the King and Queen of Antarctica for bein' common criminals, sent to the penal colony on the beach, they was, Rufus, like all the other aussies.

    :)

    b

    ReplyDelete
  120. Alinsky would have been invented, ala Shylock, had he not lived.

    Next thing you know, we'll hear about those (what is it, now) 34 organ harvesting rabbis from da Bronx and Joysey.

    Jersey

    ReplyDelete
  121. Oh, I guess I misunderstood. I was under the impression they were newbies.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Bobal, here's a swinging bridge ag Kootenai Falls, but that's not exactly Idaho.

    ReplyDelete
  123. That was such a classic quote - the one some guy put in a letter back to England.

    Something like, "Everything here that walks, and hops, and crawls, and lives in the bushes and the trees, and in the ground tries to kill you every day."

    ReplyDelete
  124. An' The King and Queen of Antarctica further decreed let them be birds of both black and white, and further, let them waddle upon land without real wings, and further, let them dive for fish for their meager living.

    An' that's the etiology of how the miserable penguin came to be. All caused by a little petty thievery.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  125. You have heard about the Tacoma Narrows incident haven't you Miss T?

    Very nice picture there, don't know which sways the most, you or the bridge:)

    That bridge is like the one that crosses one of our Idaho streams but dangit I can't come up with the name right now. Only been there once.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  126. A tough lesson on resonant frequencies

    ReplyDelete
  127. Been across the one in Vancouver. In the park at the base of Grouse Mountain.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I wasn't old enough to see Galloping Gertie go down, or Sturdy Gertie built to replace it, but I saw the new Narrows Bridge built because I drive over it every day to go to work.

    ReplyDelete
  129. As U.S. forces removed the wreckage Sunday, nearby Afghan and NATO forces battled insurgents as they carried out clearing operations in the areas around the crash site, a region that is just a stone's throw from the capital. The province, which borders Kabul, has increasingly come under Taliban control in recent months — even as the U.S.-led coalition has begun handing over security for parts of Afghanistan over to the government of President Hamid Karzai.

    "There have been a small number of limited engagements in the same district" as Saturday's helicopter crash, NATO said in a statement. "However those clashes have not been in the direct vicinity of the crash site.

    As of now, we have no reporting to indicate any coalition casualties resulting from these engagements."

    ReplyDelete
  130. Resonance can be very unkind to helicopters as well as bridges.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Nice picture Miss T, I always like lights on water.

    And I like the sounds of that Grouse Mountain, Sam.
    There is nothing better to eat than a Ruffed Grouse, done right.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  132. Speaking on ABC's "This Week," John Chambers, chairman of the sovereign-ratings committee at S&P, also defended the credit ratings firm's action.

    "We think our message has been pretty consistent, and we also think that the numbers speak for themselves," Chambers said. He said five governments have lost and then regained their AAA rating from S&P, and that it has taken from nine to 18 years to do so.

    "If history is a guide, it could take a while," Chambers said. It would take a stabilization of debt as a share of the economy and "more ability to reach consensus in Washington than what we're observing now."

    ReplyDelete
  133. It might be this one --



    Fourth of July Pack Bridge closed due to safety concerns

    Orofino, ID—A suspension bridge that crosses the North Fork Clearwater River has been closed to all uses due to concerns about safety.

    According to Engineering Technician Bill Kessel, a recent inspection revealed that the Fourth of July pack bridge has a crushed cap that has caused significant misalignment.

    The damaged cap is a serious concern because it provides direct support to the cable which maintains the tower legs in position.

    The Fourth of July Pack Bridge provides a river crossing for Windy Ridge Trail 167. It is located adjacent to Pierce-Superior Road 250 at approximately milepost 37.

    Forest Trails Coordinator Carol Hennessey said the Forest already had a contract for repair work that was funded through the Economic Recovery Act. She said the contractor is waiting for water levels to recede. Optimistically, work may begin in about two weeks. Repairs are expected to take four to six weeks with the goal of re-opening the bridge by late August.

    For additional information regarding the bridge, please contact the North Fork Ranger District at 208-476-4541.


    or one over Weitas Creek.

    Enough about bridges, bob

    b

    (then there's the Bridge to Nowhere, which never did get built, I believe, so it should now be called "No Bridge To Nowhere".)

    ReplyDelete
  134. Teresita said...
    Maybe if they built some more homes in historic jewish lands in the west bank they'd have affordable housing for all...

    Maybe if they'd allow One Man One Vote in those historic Jewish lands people wouldn't speak of occupation and apartheid.




    yawn...

    what a troll...

    The lands that Israelis are LIBERATING in historic jewish lands are vastly EMPTY.

    There are no "men" living on empty spaces.

    Nor are there "palestinians" (who i do not consider men, but rather human savages)

    The areas of "dispute" are commonly called the "west bank" however it's historic names "judea and samaria" are the areas to which I refer are VASTLY EMPTY.

    Mostly because under islamic nazi rule, jews were driven out...

    So your quaint, smart assed "one man, one vote" comment only applies to jews?

    I like your rule, Jerusalem is majority Jewish, should they vote to throw out the arabs?

    ReplyDelete
  135. "I am following with deep concern the dramatic and increasing episodes of violence in Syria that have led to numerous victims and grave suffering," the pontiff said in a weekly address to pilgrims outside Rome.

    Syrian foreign minister Walid Muallem said Saturday that "free and transparent" elections to a new parliament would be held in Syria by the end of 2011, as he met with ambassadors posted to Damascus.

    Muallem stressed "the commitment of the Syrian leadership to the continued reform process and implementation of measures announced by President Assad."

    ReplyDelete
  136. Oz market down 2.2%.

    1 hour left of trading.

    ReplyDelete
  137. Strange things markets. Think of them as lifts or elevators. Whether they go up or down the 9th floor is always the same. After Lehman Bros the Dow Jones went well below 10000 and when it rose to 11500 we were all told things were great. Now it has gone down to 11500 from over 12000 the world is coming to an end. It is all irrational and should be ignored. They are markets with traders who buy and sell. For every seller there is a buyer.
    Don't forget that 90% of our economies are based on the millions of small private enterprises not the quoted corporations. So why do markets hold such sway? I believe it is simply propaganda to make us all believe that we can't do without them and it justifies the high earnings of everyone connected to them.
    With globalization and the new players like hedge funds and other funds based offshore, as well as the so called "financial weapons of mass destruction" that should be outlawed, but have not been touched, markets have become global casinos with too many sleazy players who can manipulate the game. They have become so powerful they can even bring countries to their knees and it is inconceivable that politicians seem afraid to bring them under control given the risk to our democracies.

    ReplyDelete
  138. Well, the Iranians are no military threat to the United States, no doubt of that.

    Nor will they be, even if they had a nuke or two.

    Which they do not.

    In 2008 the Israeli shot and killed over 800 civilians. Civilians who were not even demonstrating, but were in their homes and neighborhoods.

    The only other country that behaves more ruthlessly, with regards civilians, Syria.

    Birds of a feather, nesting together.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Discounting, of course, the African tribal wars. But those are not countries in the traditional sense.

    Being Africans and all.

    ReplyDelete