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Saturday, July 07, 2012

France - Israel - Libya - Syria - Bernard-Henri Lévy





An Open Letter to President Hollande Concerning the Syrian Disaster

Posted: 05/29/2012 9:34 am





At Cannes, the film I shot during the seven-month campaign for the liberation of Libya was shown in the presence of two Syrian fighters who were able to leave their country clandestinely.
At the very moment the film was being shown, one of the most horrifying carnages perpetrated since the beginning of this other war, the one Bashar al-Assad has been conducting against his people for over a year, was taking place at Houla, in Syria.
His face masked by the rebels' flag, this is the declaration one of the two Syrian fighters made before the press that day:
I have just seen the film of our French friend about my Libyan brothers, about their war of liberation, about the aid they received, without which they would be dead. I am a soldier. I wept. My tears were an expression of my emotion, but also of my anger. We, the Syrians, are dying. Where are the French and English planes, the planes of our brother countries? Where are the arms that came from all over to the fighters in the Libyan desert? Where are you, friends of freedom? Why do your governments no longer hear your voice, your appeals? Why are they afraid of Assad, they who had no fear of Kadhafi? Why? Why? We can win the war for freedom. With you. Help us. Please. Thank you, France.
Mr. President, I wish to cite these words while the toll of this cold-blooded slaughter at Houla, committed with heavy weapons, grows greater hour by hour.
I wish to pass on to you this appeal for help, just as the images of these 32 children in the city's small morgue, their skulls smashed, their faces reduced to pulp, appear before us.
And, as it is my turn, I wish to ask you a direct question:
Will France do for Houla and Homs what she has done for Benghazi and Misrata?
Will you use your considerable personal credit, and that of our country, to come back to our allies of yesterday and, with them, with Great Britain, the United States, the Arab League and Turkey, map out a strategy that goes beyond the "unwavering support for the Annan mission" mentioned in the press release from the Elysée, this Monday at 6:00 PM?
Will you see to it that the group of countries friendly to the Syrian people, among whom, thanks to our galvanizing role in Libya, we enjoy a decisive influence, reflect upon the rapid enaction of one or several of the options already on the table, waiting only for a captain: security perimeters at the Jordanian and Turkish frontiers, proposed by Qatar; the idea advanced by the Turkish Foreign Affairs minister of "no-kill zones," creating a sanctuary, at the heart of the country, for elements of the Free Syrian Army equipped with defensive weapons; zones in the sky where death helicopters are banned and, on the ground, where armoured vehicles transporting troops and war materiel are forbidden?
Or will you let yourself be overwhelmed by the defeatism of the Norpois who have always been proven wrong, still predicting, on the eve of the fall of Tripoli, a "quagmire," and who now go about everywhere muttering Syria-is-not-Libya, and Assad-is-not-Kadhafi or that Russia-and-China-will-inevitably-veto-it -- the result being that we do nothing, we risk nothing, we continue to sit here idly in the face of the atrocities?
I know, Mr. President, that you have other urgent matters, another agenda, commitments you have made and that you must keep.
But what was most urgent -- to go to Afghanistan and prepare the anticipated retreat of our troops or to take the initiative in Syria?
What is the most important -- to announce the reduction of your ministers' salaries and the freezing of gas prices or to introduce a resolution, at the Security Council, authorizing the bombardment of those tanks stationed on the outskirts of the cities, ready to fire?
Reassure the Franco-German couple, let Angela Merkel get to know you better, save the euro -- these are imperative obligations -- but save a people? And in what way do the dramatic events in Greece prevent you from picking up the phone, as your predecessor did, to convince your Russian and Chinese counterparts that their blind support for Syrian State terrorism dishonors and weakens them?
We met, at your request, on January 27th, when the electoral campaign began.
I had reminded you that, on March 10th, 2011, before the Libyan emissaries who had come to ask France's aid, Nicolas Sarkozy had intimated that if the Security Council should block a resolution demanding respect for "the responsibility to protect" that is one of the obligations of the United Nations, he would fall back on a reduced version of legitimacy based upon the support of the European Union and the Arab League.
On that day, you seemed, retrospectively, to believe that to be a reasonable course of action.
You seemed, especially, to share the idea that Assad is no stronger than Kadhafi once was -- and that, in reality, his power depends upon our abstention, our laisser-faire attitude, our cowardice.
This is one of the reasons I voted for you.
I hope I was not mistaken.
As the masked Syrian fighter said: Let's not be afraid of this paper tiger.

230 comments:

  1. No MSM. No Obama. No Romney. No one will touch this one. Yet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Correcting the Record

    Crimson with embarassment:

    Harvard Picks First BGLTQ Director


    CORRECTION: July 3

    An earlier version of this article used the pronoun "she" to refer to Vanidy "Van" Bailey, the newly appointed director of bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and queer student life. In fact, Bailey prefers not to be referred to by any gendered pronoun.

    ---

    "It" works.
    ...if Make-work counts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .


      What is queer is that this article wasn't published in the Harvard Lampoon rather than the Harvard Crimson.


      .

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    2. .

      In November, just prior to the movie release of the next Twilight movie, the Harvard Lampoon will release a parody novel titled Nightlight.


      According to the Vintage release, Nightlight follows a “pale and klutzy” girl named Belle Goose, who moves to Switchblade, Oregon, and meets Edwart Mullen, a “super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls.” The vampire-obsessed Belle becomes convinced Edwart is one of the undead after witnessing events she considers otherworldly (“Edwart leaves his Tater Tots™ untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!”).


      What publication is better suited to comment on the androgynous 'Van'?

      .

      Delete
  3. It's an illusion to think that Libya or Syria can be controlled from the outside, no more than the US can control what is happening in Egypt, Iraq and Iran. External forces can put into motion events that cannot be controlled internally or externally. That is what has been happening since our first venture into Afghanistan against the Russians and uncontrollable events led to 911.

    France and the US are pushing for a war in Syria using "Nato bombing” and Turkey to provide ground forces. When and where the blowback will occur is unknown. That it will happen is.

    The idea that so-called intellectuals can justify bombing for humane reasons as a cover for political manipulation is Orwellian.

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  4. Power without wisdom is dangerous on a good day. American culture is renowned for raising the banal and unworthy to high regard while villifying its best and brightest. We are famous for our almost complete insensitivity toward, and ignorance of, other cultures. We deserve the politicians that we get and suffer for the results of their ignominy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They all speak funny talk and would be better off speaking American.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously I have no idea what we should or shouldn't do in/about Syria.

      Assad is finished, I think, for what it's worth.

      b

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  6. "When and where the blowback will occur is unknown. That it will happen is."

    ---

    Of one thing we can be certain: The final result will include fewer Christians.
    On this, our record in the ME remains unblemished going back for decades.

    Afghans have been named close allies by Hillary, et-al, why not let them help out our friends the Turks, too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fewer Christians, for sure. The Arabs are claiming the Church of the Nativity now.

      http://articles.jerusalemprayerteam.org/palestinians-lay-claim-to-church-of-nativity-in-bethlehem-and-say-jesus-was-a-palestinian/

      It's comforting to know the Afghans are our best buds other than NATO, isn't it?

      And I would have guessed the Pakistanis, maybe, the way we suck up.

      b

      Delete
  7. 47. Xennady

    #41 Josh,

    According to the wikipedia article on Nickel (United States coin)-

    “Congress passed the Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act, directing the Mint to explore alternatives to the present compositions of the six denominations, from cent to dollar. In 2011, the Mint awarded a contract to study the issue to Concurrent Technologies Corporation of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Although the contract does not expire until 2013, under the legislation, the Mint is to provide a detailed report to Congress and to the Treasury Secretary by December 14, 2012″

    In other words, you still have time to obtain some of the old, valuable nickels before Gresham’s law makes as rare in circulation as old 90% silver coins.

    Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass- who made a lot of money by noticing that subprime mortgages were likely to default- has done exactly that:

    Some Words of Advice

    From that link, quoting Mr. Bass:

    “Actually, it’s very difficult,” he said, and then explained that he had to call his bank and talk them into ordering him twenty million nickels.

    The bank had finally done it, but the Federal Reserve had its own questions. “The Fed apparently called my guy at the bank,” he says.

    “They asked him,

    ‘Why do you want all these nickels?’ So he called me and asked, ‘Why do you want all these nickels?’ And I said,

    ‘I just like nickels.’”

    Yep. Nickels. What’s not to like? And they’re available at local bank branches for two dollars a roll, while they last

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beats trading in the platinum trillion, which is nearly impossible to find these days.

      b

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    2. .

      In fact, nearly impossible to even hear about these days.


      .

      Delete
  8. And on how to prepare for what is coming and why it is coming:

    We hopped into his Hummer, decorated with bumper stickers (God Bless Our Troops, Especially Our Snipers) and customized to maximize the amount of fun its owner could have in it: for instance, he could press a button and, James Bond–like, coat the road behind him in giant tacks. We roared out into the Texas hill country, where, with the fortune he’d made off the subprime crisis, Kyle Bass had purchased what amounted to a fort: a forty-thousand-square-foot ranch house on thousands of acres in the middle of nowhere, with its own water supply, and an arsenal of automatic weapons and sniper rifles and small explosives to equip a battalion. That night we tore around his property in the back of his U.S. Army jeep, firing the very latest-issue U.S. Army sniper rifles, equipped with infrared scopes, at the beavers that he felt were a menace to his waterways. “There are these explosives you can buy on the Internet,” he said, as we bounded over the yellow hills. “It’s a molecular reaction. FedEx will deliver hundreds of pounds of these things.” The few beavers that survived the initial night rifle assault would wake up to watch their dams being more or less vaporized.

    “It doesn’t exactly sound like a fair fight,” I said.

    “Beavers are rodents,” he said.

    Whatever else he was doing, he was clearly having fun. He’d spent two and a half years watching the global financial system, and the people who ran it, confirm his dark view of them. It didn’t get him down. It thrilled him to have gotten his mind around seemingly incomprehensible events. “I’m not someone who is hell-bent on being negative his whole life,” he said. “I think this is something we need to go through. It’s atonement. It’s atonement for the sins of the past.”

    The take home: Atonement is coming, bitchez. Beavers beware.

    For those who want much more, here is a one hour interview in which Todd Groome and Toni Moss spoke with Kyle at AmeriCatalyst 2010 in Austin in September, asking him about his thoughts on prospects for housing market recovery, current policy issues and national debt implications, global debt imbalances and his perspectives on the influence of policy on the timing, sequence and magnitude of potential sovereign defaults and debt restructurings. Fascinating stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope he gets beaver fever real bad and dies.

      Beavers are good folks.

      b

      Delete
  9. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/07/06/executive-order-assignment-national-security-and-emergency-preparedness-

    and

    Barney Frank finally ties the knot -

    http://ca.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idCABRE86700820120708?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&rpc=603&sp=true

    b

    ReplyDelete
  10. Jack Abramoff, a former lobbyist imprisoned for his role in a wide-ranging Washington corruption scandal, has appeared as a pundit on CNN. Why have US television networks turned into comeback springboards for disgraced public figures?

    On Thursday, Abramoff joined presenter Soledad O'Brien, New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza and others to analyse the recent US Supreme Court decision ratifying President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law.

    Introducing Abramoff, O'Brien acknowledged he had spent more than three years in federal prison - then plugged his new book.

    She questioned him about the impact of the healthcare decision on the lobbying profession and how lobbyists would seek to influence Congress on the matter.

    "Always nice to have you," she concluded. "We appreciate it. Thank you."

    US television networks and media outlets in recent years have been increasingly willing to help rehabilitate disgraced politicians and public figures by offering them air time.

    Political crooks, a stock market hype-man, an insider-trading cheat who lied to federal investigators and others have all turned their fortunes around in part because the American television networks long ago relinquished their role as a moral arbiters, analysts say.

    The journalistic mission became secondary to using notorious names to attract audiences.

    "Is there a financial news channel that wouldn't take an appearance from Bernie Madoff?" asks Todd Gitlin, a sociologist and professor of journalism at Columbia University, referring to the notorious architect of a multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme, now imprisoned for the rest of his life.

    "I don't see what would stop them. Why should they hesitate to promote a crook as somebody who has some knowledge gleaned in the course of crookery?"

    Abramoff's transgressions are in a far more sinister league than most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why should Todd Gitlin and Mr. Dohrn be professors?

      Why ask why?

      (Try Bud Dry)

      Do they still sell it?

      Delete
    2. Willfull Misunderstanding

      Todd Gitlin (who can stand in for the others) is a former president of the 1960s radical student organization SDS, and an apologist for Sixties radicalism. In two interviews with the reporter, I stressed to her that my book was about the intellectual corruption of the university, and that I had no direct knowledge of how Gitlin and the other two conducted themselves in the classroom. For all I knew, I said their teaching methods might be perfectly appropriate and scholarly. I included them in the book not because of any classroom improprieties I had detected, but because they countenanced or supported the political abuse of the university by their peers.

      Here is what I actually wrote about Gitlin in The Professors: “Todd Gitlin explained the achievements of faculty radicals in an essay that appeared in 2004. After the Sixties, Gitlin wrote, ‘all that was left to the Left was to unearth righteous traditions and cultivate them in universities. The much-mocked ‘political correctness’ of the next academic generations was a consolation prize. We lost – we squandered the politics – but won the textbooks.’”

      We won the textbooks; we established a politically correct party line on university campuses. Gitlin is apparently comfortable with this result. He has not protested the fact that there are no conservatives on the journalism faculty at Columbia or, for that matter, at NYU where he previously he taught. He has not called, as I have, for the enforcement of traditional standards of scholarship to reign in the abuses of colleagues like Professor Manning Marable, which are documented in my book. The destruction of academic standards at Columbia -- once one of the best liberal arts schools in the country – by radicals intending to convert it into their political base is apparently all right with him. That – and that alone -- is the anti-intellectual “sin” that got him included in my book.

      Delete
  11. First the shoe, then the pistol -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFyqKzu2T1Y&feature=player_embedded

    You gotta admit, that one fella is quite brave, didn't back away from the Koranic Smith at all.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  12. Judicial Activision

    Last week, while upholding ObamaCare, the Supreme Court issued rulings in four other cases, overturning a total of 32 state and federal statutes. The significance of the other cases may have been lost in the glare of the ObamaCare decision. The other cases portray a Court quite ready to — in President Obama’s famous words — “somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.” Taken together, the four cases are a study in judicial activism.

    1. In United States v. Alvarez, the Court overturned a federal statute making it a crime to lie about receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor or similar military medal

    2. In Miller v. Alabama, the Court by 5-4 overturned the statutes of 28 states and Congress providing mandatory life sentences for juvenile murderers. The record showed that 17 year olds commit a significant number of murders (averaging 424 per year in 2002-2010). The Court held a mandatory life sentence for someone under 18 was “cruel and unusual” punishment — although it was obviously substantially less cruel than the death penalty; could not reasonably be called “unusual” (since most states and the federal government imposed it); and hardly reflected an antiquated morality, since the statutes were recently enacted.

    Chief Justice Roberts (joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito) responded with a masterful dissent, noting that the majority did not rely on the Eighth Amendment’s text, but rather on the judicially created test of “evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.” Roberts asserted the majority did not point to any objective evidence of such evolving standards in the case before it, and had ruled instead based on their personal views about juvenile justice:


    "Mercy toward the guilty can be a form of decency, and a maturing society may abandon harsh punishments that it comes to view as unnecessary or unjust..."

    3. In Arizona v. United States, by a 6-3 vote, the Court substantially gutted the Arizona immigration statute, whose stated purpose was to “discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States,” by making it a misdemeanor for such persons to work in Arizona and giving police new powers to help enforce the federal immigration law.

    The Court held that most of the statute was preempted by federal immigration law. Justice Scalia, dissenting in part, wrote that the case involved a “stark issue”:


    A Federal Government that does not want to enforce the immigration laws as written, and leaves the States’ borders unprotected against immigrants whom those laws would exclude. … Are the sovereign States at the mercy of the Federal Executive’s refusal to enforce the Nation’s immigration laws?

    Justice Alito, also dissenting in part, wrote that the administration’s attack was quite remarkable:


    The United States suggests that a state law may be pre-empted, not because it conflicts with a federal statute or regulation, but because it is inconsistent with a federal agency’s current enforcement policies. Those priorities, however, are not law.

    ...they go on...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      I disagree with much of the PJM post.

      On the 'Medal of Honor' issue, clearly they were correct. Lying about the medal is vile, yet you only have to look around, watch cable TV, skinhead protests, or evangelical nutjobs protesting at servicemen's funerals to ask, "What is not protected by the 1st Amendment?"

      On the Miller v Alvarez case, I do have to agree with the article and the dissent even though subjectively I am of two minds about it. However, as was pointed out in the dissent, this was not about the 'death penalty', a different matter altogether.

      I don't object to the Montana ruling given the Citizen's United precedent; however, I do think the original CU ruling was flawed and that after seeing the affects of CU to date, the Montana case gave the Court ample opportunity to correct the flaws in the CU case. IMO, CU was a case of blatant judicial activism.

      The Court was also correct in Arizona v US. They agreed with Arizona on the key issue of the law. However, the issues they struck down such as making is a misdemeanor for illegals to work in Arizona are prerogatives of the Feds that were encroached upon by the state. The fact that the Feds fail to enforce their own laws is a political issue and can be addressed politically in the next election. If the US wants strong laws and enforcement on immigration the authority and also the responsibility lies at the federal level.

      I agree with the Obamacare decision although I will also agree that Roberts went out of his way to make the point about the Feds' taxing authority. His point was correct; however, viewed in context it was a bit of a stretch only allowable by the hail mary pass tossed by the administration. The Obama administration has denied there was a tax involved with Obamacare from the very beginning (and still do); yet, in verbal arguments at the 11th hour, they tossed it in as a justification. Cirelli clearly was embarassed even arguing for it and got off the subject quickly. Roberts latched onto it.

      .

      Delete
  13. Watch for the Next Big Thing from the Playbook of Republicanism: attaching ideological failure to the banking crisis, otherwise known as Blame the Democrats, starting with Clinton when Glass- Steagall was repealed under sponsorship by Phil "Stop Your Whining" Gramm. I predict it will work. Maybe in time for the November election. In a few years, everyone will understand that it was the perfidy of the corrupt Democrats that crashed the global banking system. (The developing LIBOR "scandal" is a wild card in that process. The pols have identified latent anger against the banking class, and recognizing their own culpability, are making a chess move to isolate themselves from the blowback. Whether this subject splits the Brits into ideological camps as is happening stateside remains to be seen.) Watch the rhetoric. The target is on Bill Clinton. The Obama administration has vulnerabilities that will be exploited in furtherance of that thematic narrative, a convenient diversion from the blatant failure/refusal of Republicans to engage on policy in any meaningful manner.

    Because according to the Bible of Republicanism, policy is a four-letter word for Central Planning, and problem-solving is for those who have problems. The only problem in USA is government. No government. No problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Real Problem Behind LIBOR (see minute 2 of the 3-minute clip)

      Corruption or Ideology?

      Abramoff or Gitlin?

      Delete
    2. And while I'm on the subject, just a reminder for "The Democrats Did It" crowd:

      Phil Gramm had a hand in repealing Glass-Steagall. His wife, Wendy, had a major role in taking off the gambling stigma from CDSs.

      ...

      One couple deregulated the entire financial industry on the model of the UK Square Mile. After the self certified lending that was the first manifestation of liar loans, in the UK, the financial system used the Gramms to bring liar loans and toxic destruction of main street to the US shores.

      ...

      You must understand that the repeal of Glass-Steagall was called the Financial Services Modernization Act and the deregulation of Swaps was called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. You can see how closely they were tied together by the titles used!

      LINK

      Delete
    3. One more from Chris Whalen:

      I came across Chris Whalen claiming that JP Morgan stole money from MF Global.

      ...

      Based on Whalen's comments, the bankers cannot be trusted. Whalen makes the claim that JPM has a hand in both Madoff and MF Global. This apparently predatory behavior, assuming that Chris is right, is just disgusting.

      LINK

      ...

      Why didn't the stimulus work? It all went to commodity inflation by market specuclators. - Chris Whalen

      Delete
    4. Actually, the stimulus Did work; we're Not in depression - an outcome I wouldn't have bet a rusty nail on in December of 2008.

      Delete
    5. Of course, as a campaign slogan, "It could be worse" leaves a little to be desired.

      Delete
    6. The world financial system was in shambles. The fact that it's still viable, even if flawed, could lead one to believe that the "stimulus" programs were a Smashing Success.

      Delete
    7. I wouldn't go that far although it's a notch more accessible than "It's the commodities inflation stupid." James Carville where are you when we need you?

      Delete
    8. Yes, Moron, Right Wing Wacko Huffpo is part of conspiracy to falsely blame Dems.

      I can admit Gramm played a part, but you must remain engaged in deceitful propaganda.
      ...as usual.

      10 Years Ago Today, Congress Allowed For "Too Big To Fail"

      Consider some of the action on Capitol Hill:

      * Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) wants to give federal regulators the power to force big banks to divest themselves of either their commercial or investment arms if they pose a threat to the financial system. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) reportedly supports the idea.

      * Another proposed bill attempts to better equip the government when dealing with such firms and the risks they pose. It would enable regulators to sell off assets, for example, if they were deemed to "pose a threat to the safety and soundness of such company or to the financial stability of the United States."

      * A senior Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, Paul Kanjorski, reportedly wants to "empower federal regulators to preemptively break up financial firms deemed 'too big to fail.'"

      * And Rep. Brad Miller, a North Carolina Democrat, is working on a provision that would call for separation between a firm's proprietary trading and investment activities and its traditional banking activities.

      On November 5, 1999, when Congress passed the bill repealing Glass-Steagall, it was hailed as something that would provide the country with the "opportunity to dominate" the new century.

      The bill was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, and it enabled banks to engage in the kind of activities that had been largely prohibited since the Great Depression. Main Street banks would be able to do what their Wall Street counterparts had always done, and vice-versa. It was celebrated as a match made in heaven.

      "This historic legislation will better enable American companies to compete in the new economy," said the treasury secretary at the time, Lawrence H. Summers. He is, of course, now President Obama's top economic adviser.

      Delete
    9. Well, that wins it for Maxine, I guess.

      Delete
    10. Stunning Argument, I must say.

      Delete
  14. Goin' to war for an Ex-oil exporter?



    nah

    ReplyDelete
  15. Replies
    1. Jerry Seinfeld doesn't surprise me. Greta Van Susteren does (a little, anyway.)


      It still surprises me that I'm ever "surprised." :)

      Delete
  16. Europe's oil consumption fell 2.8% in 2011. They're in Recession - maybe for a long time.

    U.S. oil consumption fell 1.8% in 2011. We're getting close to recession.

    China oil consumption rose 5.5% in 2011. They're doing pretty good, even though their Main Markets are in trouble.

    Russian consumption increased by 5.7%, and they're a Major Oil Exporter. Their economy is growing, also.

    And, the economies of the Persian Gulf Exporters are booming.


    Time to "do the sums."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All I would say, right now, is, while we can't, necessarily, outrun the "bear," we are at least running faster than Europe.

      Delete
  17. And now so Socialist Rufie can blame it all on American Thinker - Again...

    Choir Boys Clinton and Rubin:

    Goldman Sachs Prospers at Taxpayers' Expense

    If prudent investors can make only 0.5% on short-term assets, how does Goldman Sachs prosper?

    Robert Rubin was a very powerful man. After 26 years and rising to the level of co-senior partner, he left Goldman Sachs in 1994 to become Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration. His first major undertaking was during the Mexican bailout of 1995.
    ... Rubin drew criticism in Congress for using a Treasury Department account under his personal control to distribute $20 billion to bail out Mexican bonds, of which Goldman was a key holder.

    For 1998, the first year for which we have public financial information on Goldman Sachs, their total revenue was $22 billion, and their net profit was $1.256 billion. It is highly probable that the $20 billion was extremely helpful to Goldman Sachs -- if not essential to its continuing existence.

    And Robert Rubin had some very powerful friends.

    In April 1998 Travelers Group announced an agreement to undertake the $76 billion merger between Travelers and Citicorp, and the merger was completed on October 8, 1998. The possibility remained that the merger would run into problems connected with federal law. Ever since the Glass-Steagall Act, banking and insurance businesses had been kept separate. Weill and Reed bet that Congress would soon pass legislation overturning those regulations ... . To speed up the process, they recruited ... to the Board of Directors...Robert Rubin (Secretary of Treasury during Democratic Clinton Administration) whom Weill was close to ... .

    Here is a short history of Sandy Weill's march to riches. He began as a licensed broker at Bear Stearns. By 1962, he had formed his own firm, Carter, Berlind, Potoma and Weill. By 1979, it had completed fifteen acquisitions of other brokerage firms, which made Carter, Berlind the second-largest brokerage firm in the United States. It sold Shearson Loeb Rhoades to American Express. By 1992, he bought 27% of Travelers Insurance Company, the company he would later merge with Citicorp in 1998, while making billions of dollars for himself.

    Billionaire Sanford Weill made 'Citigroup' into [one of] the most powerful financial institutions since the House of Morgan a century ago ... . Just days after the Clinton administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the REPEAL [of the Glass-Steagall Act], Treasury Secretary Robert Ruin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill's chief lieutenant ...

    ... November 12-1999, President Clinton stated, 'Glass-Steagall (FDR Banking Bill) is no longer appropriate for our economy. This was good for the industrial age. The (1999) Financial Modernization Bill is the key to rising paycheck and great security for ordinary Americans' ...

    ReplyDelete
  18. One more from Gary Anderson:

    It has finally come to this: Joe Weisenthal, editor of Business Insider, and Paul Krugman, Nobel prize winning economist, want inflation and bubbles. And the Tea Party wants austerity. If those are the only two solutions to the world economy then just shoot me.

    ...

    Again, if these are the only two solutions, we have surely arrived in Economic Hell. I knew economics was a dismal science, but this is truly hell on earth. I really don't want you to shoot me, but we have to find a middle ground here. It is time for some regulation of the liquidity if we are in need of it!

    LINK

    Two parties. Two "solutions."

    Much as I hate to admit it, the current stasis (and the coming "Blame the Democrats" narrative) suggest that Ash was right about USA federal government.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Rufus IISun Jul 08, 08:56:00 AM EDT

    "The world financial system was in shambles. The fact that it's still viable, even if flawed, could lead one to believe that the "stimulus" programs were a Smashing Success."

    ---

    Yes, one could, if one were an idiot driven by fantasies of Socialist Utopias.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But, at least I realize that the Republicans controlled Both Houses of Congress during the period to which your post was referring.

      Delete
    2. .

      Have to agree with you Doug, shovel ready with the money, a little short on the shovel ready jobs.

      Some of the money was well spent and necessary (extended unemployment benefits) most of it wasn't, a lot just politically motivated hand outs.

      The stimulus program was many things. Stimulating? Naw, not so much. Some people just can't quite get the distinction between correlation and causation.

      .

      Delete
    3. Some people couldn't recognize a Bus that was getting ready to run them over.

      Delete
  20. At least we agree on Scientology
    (I think)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you thinnk ALL Religions are "Mass Idiocy," then we agree.

      Delete
    2. .

      Depends on what the definition of 'is' is.

      From Merriam Webster:

      4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith


      Examples of RELIGION

      Many people turn to religion for comfort in a time of crisis.
      There are many religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism,
      Shinto is a religion that is unique to Japan.
      Hockey is a religion in Canada.
      Politics are a religion to him.
      Where I live, high school football is religion.
      Food is religion in this house.


      Communism, secularism, aetheism, are all religions when pursued with sufficient ardor and faith. One could even argue that 'green' is a religion to some if not most of its adherents.

      . Alternate energy is its creed.
      . Clean Technica is its Bible.
      . Solar/Wind/Ethanol is/are its god, a trinity.
      . Big Oil is its Satan
      . Subsidies and Grants are its bread and wine.
      . Solyndra and Abound Solar are its martyrs.
      . Green is its mantra.
      . 'Peak oil' its armeggedon.
      . It has its own esoteric language. For instance, to initiates, "We are the stupidest people on earth" translates to "You people who don't get this are the stupidest people on earth."

      Fanaticism in any belief system is an ugly thing, it inhibits clear thinking. It can truly lead to 'mass idiocy'.

      .

      Delete
    3. Fanatic: One with whom Quirk disagrees.


      You left out geothermal.


      And, hydrologic

      Delete
    4. .

      Demi-Gods in the panoply of gods.

      As in the classical religions of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the prominance of various deities waxes and wanes over time.

      .

      Delete
    5. .

      Besides, your messing up my analogy.


      As Mr. Fields would say, to the kid messing up his spiel, "Go away kid. You bother me."

      :)

      .

      Delete
    6. Scientology is an extreme case of Big Fish Little Pond Syndrome. Sad really, if it weren't so dangerous for children. Go Katie. As far and as fast as you can.

      Delete
    7. Good there, Quirk. Looked at that way Rufus really is a jihadi almost.

      Even to the point where is anger rises and falls according to how someone respects or disses his idiocy.

      Totally controlled by his ideology.

      b

      Delete
    8. Rufus will never be able to think outside his box.

      b

      Delete
    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    10. .


      Well yes, I did leave out the ardent proselytizing aspect.

      :)


      .

      Delete
  21. In a riveting interview on the banking industry, Christopher Whalen of Tangent Capital Partners in New York joins Jim on Financial Sense Newshour to discuss the fallacy of "too big to fail," conflicts of interest in the derivatives markets, problems with the 2005 bankruptcy laws, and why politicians let MF Global investors get taken.

    TRANSCRIPT

    ...

    The extent to which the stimulus did or did not "work" depends (in part) on how much was "lost" to commodities speculation, as Chris Whalen argues, and (in part) on the fact that we're not dead yet, as Rufus argues, and (in part) on the shovel factor.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bank A bets X, and loses. Bank B bets X, and wins X-Y (Y is commission.)

    Broker "wins" Y.

    Where did any money get "Lost?"

    ReplyDelete
  23. To clarify: Bank B bets "against X."

    ReplyDelete
  24. Okay, look, World Oil Prices have doubled since 2005, right? So, wouldn't you expect More Production?

    However, if you go

    Here

    you'll see that world oil production has been essentially Flat since 2005, and "Exports" have actually Declined.

    I just can't see the whole "money ate up by Commodities Speculation," thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See the Whalen interview with Lauren Lyster. She's better looking than Gary Anderson:

      Austerity is the lack of liquidity. That is not helpful. In the Great Depression my mom and dad parked the car because they could not afford the gas, and my dad was working! That is what lack of liquidity in the system will do. We have Ron Paul and Paul Ryan calling for massive cuts to food stamps and Paul Ryan calling for massive cuts against the elderly. Then Ryan's original budget aimed to fix that Depression with a housing bubble!

      On the other hand, we have seen what too much liquidity can do. It can be used to drive up housing prices and it can be used to fuel speculation and make contracts for food and oil scarce. This speculation actually increases the price of the contracts as there are too many investors chasing too few contracts! This distorts supply and demand of the underlying commodity! There is too much money at the top of the financial food chain, and all liquidity seems to be going to make it more difficult for main street to afford anything.

      LINK

      Delete
    2. Where did any money get "Lost?"

      I should have more properly said, misdirected.

      It's a Chris Whalen argument (Gary Anderson agrees) so I at least give some consideration (I am a fan. He understands the business.)

      They both do actually.

      Or as Whalen said in the Lyster interview, we've reached the end of the runway with stimulus spending as a means of ginning up consumer demand. The low hanging fruit has been harvested (Lyster I think.) The money gets mopped up (technical term) by financial speculation.

      Delete
    3. Actually, in simplest terms, our citizens are undertrained for the modern global economy, and overdependent on "cheap" oil (of which there is none left.)

      Delete
    4. Although I disagree with many Republican stances, as of late, I can "understand" their reasoning on most of them; their aversion to relatively, miniscule cost training/retraining programs, however, leaves me baffled.

      I just can't make any sense of it from Any standpoint. I can't for the life of me see the perceived self-interest.

      Delete
  25. The Lovely Lauren interviews Chris Whalen (May 2012): LINK

    It's a good interview, by both parties.

    PPS (Parting Partisan Shot): The bankruptcy reform legislation raised by Whalen (here and with Jim Lehrer) was passed in 2005 by the 109th Congress, Republican-controlled. Dick Cheney was Senate President; Ted Stevens, Senate Pres pro tem; and Dennis Hastert, House Speaker.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I Knew Risky was special.

    "Most horses don't figure that out", said our new stables owner.

    There is a large round tub between the two stalls that Risky shares with a significant other for hay. If you are a Mensa of horses, like our Risky, you could figure to go over that tub to get into the next stall as there is no railing there.

    Seeking a little more intimacy with the filly next, our Mensa candidate was doing just that, all four legs in the big feed tub before the daughter stopped him.

    Only a little more exposure to humans and soon he will be speaking broken English, and will be able to carry on a conversation with Rufus, and Maxine.

    And Ash.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't care for you, b. Go fuck yourself.

      Whinny.

      b

      Delete
  27. [George] Will also sounded off on Mitt Romney's health care law troubles. The presumptive Republican nominee has struggled in attacking the Affordable Care Act in part due to its similarities to the Massachusetts health care reforms he signed into law as Governor.

    "He cannot make the case, he has not made the case," Will said. "He wants to change the subject. And in this regard, he has the president's cooperation, because the president wants to change the subject. Neither side wants to talk about health care, which is a very interesting development."

    ReplyDelete
  28. Two years after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision opened the door for corporate spending on elections, relatively little money has flowed from company treasuries into “super PACs,” which can accept unlimited contributions but must also disclose donors. Instead, there is growing evidence that large corporations are trying to influence campaigns by donating money to tax-exempt organizations that can spend millions of dollars without being subject to the disclosure requirements that apply to candidates, parties and PACs.

    ReplyDelete
  29. It's sad really when gods are punished to walk the earth as men. What a shock to discover that even the divine grow old and die. And there's not a damn thing any of us can do about it. Oh well some angst and sorrow and heartbreak and tragedy is undoubtedly superior to that of others who speckle and spout with feeble rebuke of the cruelty of the narrative that we are informed is life, oh sweet life. They have that at least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCkSJhCD6SA

      (Indeed!)

      risky

      Delete
  30. .

    Barack Obama attacks Congress and Mitt Romney after weak jobs report

    In regular weekly address and latest campaign ad, president takes aim at those he blames for decline in US jobs numbers.

    I Know This May Sound Like an Excuse but...

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been hearing one can read too much into these job report numbers.

      b

      Delete
    2. The mistake is, usually, in Not reading the job report.

      Delete
  31. .

    Afghanistan. OBL is dead and the Taliban were defeated (before we let them back in). Yet, we are still there.

    From the Telegraph

    Onlookers can be heard declaring the woman, reportedly a 22-year-old called Najiba, had committed adultery and must die.

    A man is seen reading verses from the Koran condemning adultery, before saying: “We cannot forgive her, God tells us to finish her.

    Juma Khan, her husband, has the right to kill her,” according to the AFP news agency.

    As the young woman squats, huddled in a burka facing away from the camera, a man walks up behind her to within a few feet and opens fire with his assault rifle.

    The first two shots miss her, but on the third she collapses and he continues to fire into her motionless body. A crowd of around 100, looking on from a hill, cheer her death, shouting “Long live Islam”, “Long live Mujahideen (holy warriors)”...


    This was going on in Afghanistan before we arrived and regardless of whether we stay there 5 years, 10 years or more, it will be going on after we leave.

    It's the mark of the beast in the middle east.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe we ought to just invade Lebanon and turn it into a Christian and Women's sanctuary in the middle east.

      b

      Delete
  32. .

    The SCOTUS ruling has the potential to gut a good portion of Obamcare's aim to provide universal coverage.

    Should Medicaid be federalized?

    The Pros and Cons

    .

    ReplyDelete
  33. Don't read too much into this but -

    "In other words, Obama’s goose may already be cooked."

    Larry Kudlow

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/304935/obama-s-goose-cooked-larry-kudlow

    Kudlow recommends that instead of ordering up another course of Obama's rubber chicken, we instead order up Romney's filet mignon.

    He says:

    "Basically, Romney is promising a return to free-market, supply-side policies on taxes, trade, regulation, and spending. Hopefully he will embrace a sound and stable dollar as well. I still believe Romney is the most underrated politician in America today, and that he’s the most conservative Republican standard-bearer since Ronald Reagan.

    In other words, he’s some real filet mignon."


    I believe Rufus used to think well of Kudlow, but that was before Rufus 'got religion'.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      I used to think well of Kudlow. I still do. He is personable and seems to all appearances to be a nice guy. But quoting him on economics? Come on. We used to call him the faux economist on his blog when you could still post to it (actually that was one of the nicer things said about him when it came to economics).

      Lordy, the man takes Art Laffer seriously. He considers Steve Moore and a genius.

      .

      Delete
  34. I think Kudlow is probably a pretty nice guy, But, he has no more idea of the real world than a pig has of Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pigs are smart, and know they don't want to join the Christmas goose on the Christmas dinner table.

      Smarter than horses, just a little on the lazy side, is all.

      Kudlow knows enough not to want another Christmas of the Obama rubber duck.

      b

      Delete
  35. I don't know much abut Laffer, but he can't be totally a laugher. In some things he seems to agree with our transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson, who thought there is a wonderful balance to all things:

    "If the taxes are too high, the people won't pay."

    They will in fact figure it ain't worth it, and begin to sit on their ass. What's the use to do else?

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      That's mere common sense. Obviously, if taxes are 100%, no one would bother working. However, if they are 0%, the government has no taxes to pay for legitimate needs.

      Laffer drew a normal curve and pushed it as enlightenment. Now, if he were able to put his finger on that curve and say that was the optimal level for taxes, now, that would be something special. The problem is he can't. But all he has to do is say the magic words, "Taxes are too high", and Kudlow would offer him up for sainthood.

      Cut taxes, cut regulations, that is the extent of Kudlow's pretensions to economics.

      .

      Delete
    2. Raise taxes, increase regulations is the extent of Obama's pretensions to economics. I guess we'll see how the American people feel about the curve this fall. (if we could break the vote down showing those who actually do pay taxes) I hope you are not suggesting that the optimal level for taxes is necessarily what we should be aiming at as a country. It might not be good for growth or job creation for instance. It has the feel of this is how much we can suck out of the people that pay before they are exhausted to the point of saying fuck it.

      b

      Delete
    3. .

      Look up the meaning of optimal, Dog.

      It doesn't mean the 'most' you can extract.

      .

      Delete
  36. The W100.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/08/video-george-w-and-the-warriors/

    b

    ReplyDelete
  37. AnonymousSun Jul 08, 11:59:00 AM EDT

    Rufus will never be able to think outside his box

    ---

    He'll never be able to charge for it, either.
    ...but it still smells like fish.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Rufus IISun Jul 08, 09:05:00 AM EDT
    Europe's oil consumption fell 2.8% in 2011. They're in Recession - maybe for a long time.

    U.S. oil consumption fell 1.8% in 2011. We're getting close to recession.

    China oil consumption rose 5.5% in 2011. They're doing pretty good, even though their Main Markets are in trouble.

    Russian consumption increased by 5.7%, and they're a Major Oil Exporter. Their economy is growing, also.

    And, the economies of the Persian Gulf Exporters are booming.


    Time to "do the sums."

    ---

    Yet you cheer Obama who has nearly closed the spigot on federal lands.

    ---

    North Dakota's oil consumption is up, it's economy, way up, unemployment?

    3.2 percent.

    REPORT: UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPPED IN EVERY STATE THAT ELECTED
    GOP GOV. IN 2010...

    ReplyDelete
  39. "Education" evaluation by central planning, aka, Rufie and Maxie's heros, the FEDS:


    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California's largest community college, the City College of San Francisco, will be forced to close next year if it fails to address a raft of longstanding problems that the school blames on state budget cuts.

    The two-year college that serves 90,000 students risks becoming the first in California to lose its accreditation since 2006, triggering funding cuts that could shutter the school.

    The threatened loss of accreditation for the school, which would occur in June 2013, comes as California's heralded system of public universities and colleges groans under the pressure of reduced government funding and curtailed school budgets.

    The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges this week notified the 77-year-old City College that it must prove its worthiness to continue operating.

    In a letter to the college's interim chancellor, Commission President Barbara Beno said an accreditation team in March found the school had failed to react to funding cuts and had reached "a financial breaking point."

    The commission cited a lack of administrators as one chief concern and also criticized the college for insufficient assessments of student learning and achievement.

    "The task really is to step up the quality of what they do," Beno told Reuters on Friday.

    By March, she said the college must submit a plan for closing the school, in the event the commission decides to strip it of accreditation. At the same time, it must prove it has met performance standards.

    "It's a severe verdict, which essentially puts the burden on City College to make substantial financial and structural changes in a very abbreviated period of time," said college spokesman Larry Kamer. "The task is quite formidable."

    But, he added, "City College is not closing. We are not going to let that happen."

    Interim Chancellor Pamila Fisher announced Friday that she would put together a committee of faculty, staff and students to implement the accreditation commission's recommendations.

    The commission is authorized to operate by the U.S. Department of Education and oversees institutions in the West. It evaluates community and junior colleges every six years. In 2006, evaluators made eight recommendations for City College, none of which the school adequately addressed, Beno said.

    'OVERTAXED' ADMINISTRATORS

    This year's evaluation of City College of San Francisco criticized it for having too few administrators. The evaluator's report describes the college's 39 administrators as "overtaxed" and insufficient in number to support the college's more than 1,800 faculty members.

    English teacher Alisa Messer, head of the local union representing faculty, said the lack of administrators was proof of the college's commitment to students.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Yep, we need more administrators and more "training," aka special handouts and imaginary job skills via the feds.

    ...according to Rufie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They need more union reps, more English teachers, higher pay, more time off, and no administrators.

      Nirvana.

      b

      Delete
    2. And more GLBT programs.

      b

      Delete
    3. Come to think of it a little further, and really why shouldn't we, what is the real pressing need for English teachers at all? They could all be put out to pasture with golden parachutes and big pensions and the salary money from the tax payers that is saved could be used to hire the students to teach themselves, thus taking them out of the part time job market, helping ease the overall unemployment rate, and giving them responsibilities that they will need in later life.

      b

      Delete
    4. Two jobs for every new citizen on unemployment.

      Four dollar multiplier for food stamps.

      More when they win the lottery.

      Delete
    5. Doug, EXXON has something like, 30,000 Federal leases, and is not, to my knowledge, drilling any of them.

      Delete
  41. LAWMAKER: MODEL PUBLIC SCHOOLS AFTER MUSLIM ONES


    Praises virtues of Islamic 'madrassas,' 'where foundation is the Quran'


    A U.S. lawmaker – who prides himself on being only the second Muslim elected to Congress – has declared that America “needs Muslims” and U.S. public schools should be modeled after Islamic madrassas, “where the foundation is the Quran.”

    In a dramatic video dated May 26, U.S. Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., addressed an Islamic Circle of North America convention, saying the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was hard on Muslims and that Americans should look to Muslim schools for guidance.Carson declares:

    “America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas, in our schools, where innovation is encouraged, where the foundation is the Quran. And that model that we are pushing in some of our schools meets the multiple needs of students.

    “Most of us are visual learners. Some of us are auditor learners – we learn by hearing. Many of us are kinesthetic learners. We learn by doing, touching, feeling. I have found … that we need an educational model that is current, that meets the need of our students. America must understand that she needs Muslims.”

    He adds, “There are over 7 million Muslims in this country. And while we are under attack, we cannot retreat.”

    Carson is married to Mariama Shaheed Carson, public-school principal of Snacks Crossing Elementary School in Indianapolis, Ind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ...and more SHARIA!!!
      Hell, I'd pay for the kid to get a Duel Major sic in Sharia/BLT, hold the mayo, only virgin ME olive oil blessed by Muhammed.

      Delete
  42. ...it seems like the debate over morality in America has less to do with moral outcomes and more to do with a vision of how society should look based on idealistic remembrances of how things were. So people like Mr Munro and the Republican candidates believe America is in a moral slump. The odd thing is, people on the left might actually agree, though for very different reasons. They are upset by the perceived greed of the 1%, and the broad acceptance of torture and war as foreign-policy tools. In the end, the debate over morality more closely resembles two distinct monologues.

    LINK

    ReplyDelete
  43. I'll call you Economist and raise you a Mark Steyn --

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/304888/american-twilight-mark-steyn

    Lights going out in America.

    Did you know we could create a huge huge lens from the gravitational field of the sun and see the lights of a New York City out hundreds of light years?

    So I just heard on Michio Kaku show with Seth Shostak.

    Don't expect it to happen tomorrow.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  44. by Tony Lee 8 Jul 2012, 6:24 AM PDT

    In 2010, influenced by the Tea Party and its focus on fiscal issues, 17 states elected Republican governors. And, according to an Examiner.com analysis, every one of those states saw a drop in their unemployment rates since January of 2011. Furthermore, the average drop in the unemployment rate in these states was 1.35%, compared to the national decline of .9%, which means, according to the analysis, that the job market in these Republican states is improving 50% faster than the national rate.

    Since January of 2011, here is how much the unemployment rate declined in each of the 17 states that elected Republican governors in 2010, according to the Examiner:

    Kansas - 6.9% to 6.1% = a decline of 0.8%

    Maine - 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%

    Michigan - 10.9% to 8.5% = a decline of 2.4%

    New Mexico - 7.7% to 6.7% = a decline of 1.0%

    Oklahoma - 6.2% to 4.8% = a decline of 1.4%

    Pennsylvania - 8.0% to 7.4% = a decline of 0.6%

    Tennessee - 9.5% to 7.9% = a decline of 1.6%

    Wisconsin - 7.7% to 6.8% = a decline of 0.9%

    Wyoming - 6.3% to 5.2% = a decline of 1.1%

    Alabama - 9.3% to 7.4% = a decline of 1.9%

    Georgia - 10.1% to 8.9% = a decline of 1.2%

    South Carolina - 10.6% to 9.1% = a decline of 1.5%

    South Dakota - 5.0% to 4.3% = a decline of 0.7%

    Florida - 10.9% to 8.6% = a decline of 2.3%

    Nevada - 13.8% to 11.6% = a decline of 2.2%

    Iowa - 6.1% to 5.1% = a decline of 1.0%

    Ohio - 9.0% to 7.3% = a decline of 1.7%


    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an election year, and I'm in propaganda mode.

      b

      Delete
  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  46. The authorities said the age of the victims ranged from three months to 11 years old, with the majority being under three years old. According to the latest news release, 52 of 59 children infected with the illness have died, which is fewer than earlier estimates of 61 out of 62 children.

    The Cambodian Health Ministry and World Health Organization did not immediately explain the discrepancy.

    "Further investigation is ongoing and this includes the matching of the laboratory and epidemiological information," said Cambodian Health Minister Mam Bunheng, according to the statement. "We hope to be able to conclude our investigation in the coming days," the minister said.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I've gotten several inquiries about the poll numbers I cited this morning on Fox News Sunday.

    I was referring to the Fox News poll of 912 registered voters conducted June 24-26. Asked, "Do you think Barack Obama has a clear plan for improving the economy, or not?,"

    41 percent answered yes, 53 percent no.


    - Bill Kristol

    ReplyDelete
  48. Then there is the energy minister, Charles Hendry. The Conservative MP, whose Sussex seat borders Scientology's UK base in East Grinstead, told the Commons in July 2005: "Although Scientology may be very controversial, undoubtedly, as human beings they do a great deal of good… It isn't a cult."

    Mr Hendry said yesterday: "I am absolutely not a friend of Scientology. I have no connections with them except for the fact that 500 to 1,000 of them live in my constituency or just outside the border.

    ...

    By her actions, Katie Holmes appears to disagree. She must be very afraid, but I can't help feeling that what she is doing is right and brave and good.

    ReplyDelete
  49. It costs you a hell of a lot of money just to go through the Scientology 'purification process', getting all those toxins out of the body. Personally, it doesn't sound worth it to me. A good old Native American sweat lodge sounds much better, and cheaper by thousands and thousands.

    Then you go your own spiritual way too, without a lot of Scientology minders hanging about.

    I hear to toms toms beating.....

    b

    ReplyDelete
  50. Top 3 misused drugs most commonly involved in emergency department visits:

    1. Pain relievers
    2. Alcohol in combination with other drugs
    3. Drugs to treat insomnia.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Top 3 paying jobs that don't require a 4-year degree:

    1. Dental hygienist
    2. Registered nurse
    3. Detective

    ReplyDelete
  52. Investors already fretting about the health of the world's biggest economies now face another worry: disappointing earnings.

    ...

    Analysts say the darkening outlook is only partly baked into current share prices. Adam Parker, Morgan Stanley's chief stock strategist, predicts Standard & Poor's 500-stock index will finish the year at 1167...

    ReplyDelete
  53. This is nearly as good as Walt Whitman's description of the Democratic Convention he attended:

    flamewarrior7

    Obama is head of the party most like him. Democrats are: potheads, losers, cowards, lazy, tv obsessed morons, idiots, socialists, Marxists, and the like. Democrats want to smoke pot, watch tv, not work, get everything for free, and bill the rest of us for their lives. Have any of you ever heard even one Democrat talk about how they want to become a medical professional so they can provide free health care? I have not. Democrats want the rest of us to give them free lives of wealth and pleasure. Democrats want everyone but Democrats to work, work hard, and suffer. Democrats want all the wealth while calling everyone else greedy. Democrats want everyone to "share" with them--but Democrats do not want to work for anything. Democrats could create, accumulate, and produce the wealth they need. But, they do not want to work. Democrats are not really capitalists. Democrats are Marxist Utopians who dream of a world without money. Democrats are childlike and stupid. They are dumb. Democrats are lifelong teenagers living out the dreams of the Hippies. Democrats are a waste of genetics."


    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/obama_and_romney_character_shows_comments.html#disqus_thread#ixzz206im98SD

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here 'tis, right here -

      "'The members who comprised it were seven-eighths of them, ...the meanest kind of bawling and blowing officeholders, office-seekers, pimps, malignants, conspirators, murderers, fancy-men, custom-house clerks, contracts, kept-editors, spaniels well train'd to carry and fetch, jobbers, infidels, disunionists, terrorists, mail riflers, slave-catchers, pushers of slavery, creatures of the President, creatures of would-be Presidents, spies, bribers, compromisers, lobbyists, spongers, ruin'd sports, expell'd gamblers, policy-backers, monte-dealers, duellists, carriers of conceal'd weapons, deaf men, pimpled men, scarred inside with vile disease, gaudy outside with gold chains made from the people's money and harlots' money twisted together; crawling, serpentine men, the lousy combinings and born freedom-sellers of the earth.'"

      Walt and Flamewarrior7 - great minds thinking alike.

      b

      Delete
  54. Replies
    1. Cambodia votes 'definitely not'.

      heh, they've had it with the idea of reducing income inequality for a while, after the experience of the Khemer Rouge killing fields, which reduced most people's income to zero.

      b

      Delete
  55. In May, Roubini predicted four elements – stalling growth in the U.S., debt troubles in Europe, a slowdown in emerging markets, particularly China, and military conflict in Iran - would come together in to create a storm for the global economy in 2013.

    Roubini said that unlike in 2008 when central banks had “policy bullets” to stimulate the global economy, this time around policymakers are “running out of rabbits to pull out of the hat."

    Last week, he told CNBC that there is “virtually zero chance” that pump-priming by central banks will succeed, suggesting that policymakers should instead let the economic bust work itself through the system.

    ............

    S&P predicted to close at 1167 by years end. LINK (Jan 2012)



    Batten the hatches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That said, make no mistake - just like SocGen, Goldman, UBS and everyone else, the sole purpose of these bearish forecasts is to get the market to drop low enough to give the Fed cover for QE X. And let's not forget that Morgan Stanley's new chief economist is none other than Vince Reinhart, the man who personally recommended selling Treasury puts to get rates lower almost a decade ago. Because as Adam Parker, who made the forecast, knows all too well, if the market indeed closes red for 2012, so will Wall Street bonuses.

      Delete
  56. Shirley Johnson gets her medical care at Palmetto Health Baptist hospital’s emergency room in Columbia, South Carolina. She goes when her back gives out or when a benign tumor near her ribcage swells and throbs. She goes for headaches, heartburn, and spider bites, leaving the hospital a sheaf of unpaid bills.

    “I owe so much money,” said Johnson. “The last time I went just for my toe. It cost $1,000.”





    Enlarge image









    South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a Tea Party-backed Republican, was among the first state leaders to oppose expanding Medicaid after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can’t make states do so. Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
    .
    Johnson, as a 49-year-old with no dependents, isn’t eligible for Medicaid, the joint state-federal health program for the poor, which covers about 20 percent of the state’s residents. And in two years, when President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul allows the expansion of Medicaid to cover 17 million more Americans, she may still be left behind.


    S. Carolina shuns Medicaid Expansion

    ReplyDelete
  57. Nat gas production is plunging in Texas, the country's top producing state (23% of the nation's production.)

    Nat gas production was down 20% YOY in April in Texas. That is an acceleration from March's -16%.

    TRRC Data

    ReplyDelete
  58. Meanwhile, the world's 10th largest economy obtained 13% of its electricity from Renewables, yesterday (about 25% if you throw in Hydro.)

    CaISO

    ReplyDelete
  59. Allow me to elevate the conversation. I have an elderly relative who harbors a "strong dislike" for Justice Ginsberg. When I asked why, she replied that she just doesn't like her looks - "sneaky." I have a similar response to Nikki Haley. I wouldn't say sneaky so much as stripped. Whenever I see a picture of her I see a latent scream waiting for the right opportunity to emerge. So far I have written it off to The Tea Party Effect. I'm sure she's a Very Nice Person. Although Nice can be over-rated. But I don't think "stripped" is a good place to be either.

    I just don't see Nikki Haley or Bobby Jindall - or Marco Rubio - leading this country out of the wilderness. But you just know Both parties are Desperately Seeking a political Madonna. I think all the potentials on deck are taking a closer look at what happened to Obama.

    And with that totally worthless contribution, I have errands.

    ReplyDelete
  60. TORONTO, Canada — Three oil spills in a month isn’t the track record Alberta wanted while peddling a major tar sands pipeline to Americans.

    The spills have the provincial government and the oil industry scrambling to control the damage to both the environment and their credibility.

    As many as 400,000 gallons of oil have leaked in three separate incidents from the end of May to the end of June. The worst has been a pipeline rupture near Sundre in central Alberta in mid-June, when some 132,000 gallons spilled into the Red Deer River and tainted a reservoir that provides drinking water to thousands of people.

    The spills come as the Alberta and federal governments are lobbying for US approval of the KeystoneXL pipeline, which would transport up to 900,000 more barrels of Alberta’s tar sands oil a day to US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Bitumin - Old Indian Word for "We're Going to have a Catastrphic Spill, Somewhere; We Just Don't Know When

    ReplyDelete
  61. .

    Did our current inability to respond to today's eonomic problems find their seeds in President Kennedy's policies in the 60's? Would, coulda, shoulda.

    Today's Options are Limited

    .

    ReplyDelete
  62. Like thousands of his fellow students, Diojen joined the revolution to bring freedom, democracy and dignity to the Syrian people.

    But more and more these days, he said, he is being asked to bring Islam too.

    Diojen said he has become disillusioned by the changing course of the revolution, which he says is being co-opted by religious and sectarian extremists within the Free Syrian Army. These extremists, while still the minority, are hoping for an Islamic government when all is said and done, Diojen said.

    LINK

    Looks like those who claimed there is no such thing as a "moderate Muslim" might be correct.


    Or the story could be a strategic plant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr Assad is many things but Muslim is not one of them.

      Our natural ally, if only we'd let him.

      Delete
    2. No did I imply that he was.

      The story is about the forces driving the "revolutionaries" not about Assad.

      As for a natural ally, I'll let you make that argument.

      It's not the moderate Muslims that are making his life difficult right now.

      Delete
  63. Now comes Chapter Two: How the retreat from balanced budgets has weakened America’s response to today’s downturn, the worst since the Great Depression.

    ...

    We are now facing the consequences of all these permissive deficits.

    Was it a trend line or two huge spikes (2001 and 2008) that led to the current deficit? The historic revenue/expenditure numbers that I posted (for the nth time) for Ash showed a near miraculous stability for fifty years. Until 2001 and 2008 (and the tax cuts and Medicare Part D.)

    From The Economist:

    Perhaps it's an occupational hazard of punditry to seek big, mono-causal explanations for the unpopularity of policies the pundit happens to prefer, but it's never the case that big, macro-level forces of social change, such as the general liberalisation of social mores born of sustained economic growth, affect public opinion on every issue in an ideologically uniform way.

    ...

    Back to Samuelson:

    Now, imagine that the country had adhered to its balanced-budget tradition before the crisis. Some deficits would have remained, but the cumulative debt would have been much lower: plausibly between 10 percent and 20 percent of GDP. There would have been more room for expansion.

    That's an interesting hypothetical: had we started from zero debt what would be the impact of the ME wars and the bailouts? I expect some number-cruncher can tease apart the historic trend line from the (huge relative to any trend line) spikes, but my guess would be that Bush bent the trend line upward with fiscal policy and Medicare Part D.

    I'm not finding the argument persuasive that USA has been blindly roller-coasting its way to Armageddon, at least not when it is propped up next to (a) the systematic deregulation of banking and finance and (2) the GWB administrations.

    That's not giving a pass to his predecessors. It's saying he was the guy in charge when it all went south. As is Obama now. Of which I was reminded in the recent past.

    ReplyDelete
  64. To stabilize the economy and combat the 1970 inflation rate of 5.84%,[3] on August 15, 1971, President Nixon imposed a 90-day wage and price freeze, a 10 percent import surcharge, and, most importantly, "closed the gold window", ending convertibility between US dollars and gold.

    The President and fifteen advisers made that decision without consulting the members of the international monetary system, so the international community informally named it the Nixon shock. Given the importance of the announcement — and its impact upon foreign currencies — presidential advisers recalled that they spent more time deciding when to publicly announce the controversial plan than they spent creating the plan.[4]

    Nixon was advised that the practical decision was to make an announcement before the stock markets opened on Monday (and just when Asian markets also were opening trading for the day). On August 15, 1971, that speech and the price-control plans proved very popular and raised the public's spirit. The President was credited with finally rescuing the American public from price-gougers, and from a foreign-caused exchange crisis.[4][5]

    By December 1971, the import surcharge was dropped, as part of a general revaluation of the major currencies, which thereafter were allowed 2.25% devaluations from the agreed exchange rate. By March 1976, the world’s major currencies were floating — in other words, the currency exchange rates no longer were governments' principal means of administering monetary policy.


    Samueson is being disingenuous; he knows that the 14% inflation rate of 1980 was caused by the world adjusting to the end of Bretton Woods.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Our big problemo, right now, is all them little Chinamen in there bidding against us for that Saudi Oil. They're runnin' up the price to the point that it's getting hard to "make a buck."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. metaphorically speaking (somewhat,) of course.

      Delete
  66. The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s probe of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) demonstrates a renewed focus on market manipulation as the agency beefs up its oversight of the multibillion dollar energy-trading business.

    The FERC on July 2 sued New York-based JPMorgan to release e-mails, revealing an investigation of possible gaming of power markets in California and the Midwest. Since January 2011 the agency has announced 11 probes of alleged manipulation in electricity and natural gas markets and a record $245 million settlement with Constellation Energy Group Inc.





    Enlarge image








    The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on July 2 sued JPMorgan to release 25 e-mails in an investigation of potential manipulation of power markets in California and the Midwest by J.P. Morgan Ventures Energy Corp. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
    .
    “There is a theme here,” Susan Court, a former director of the FERC’s Office of Enforcement, said in a telephone interview. “I see a fairly steady activity in the enforcement area.”

    In February, the FERC created a division within its enforcement office to police the markets, where electricity is bought and sold by power generators and utilities. A 2005 overhaul of U.S. energy policy, passed after the collapse of energy trader Enron Corp., gave the agency the authority to fine companies as much as $1 million a day per violation, a vast increase in the agency’s enforcement powers.

    The agency is investigating JPMorgan for potential violations that were reported to FERC between March and June of last year, identified after power-grid operators reported unusual trading offers for the supply of energy . . . .

    ReplyDelete
  67. Replies
    1. After a lot of what barely passes for thought, and struggling with this, I guess I finally maybe understand the concept, sorta, strange.

      It's a market I personally would stay away from.

      b

      Delete
    2. but it sure does seem strange.

      Delete
  68. Poll finds Obama has kept his '08 campaign promise to 'change America'.

    Alas, poll finds the change 'is for the worse'.


    Hill Poll: Majority believe Obama has changed country for worse
    By Sheldon Alberts - 07/09/12 05:00 AM ET

    Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority.

    A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

    The results signal broad voter unease with the direction the nation has taken under Obama’s leadership and present a major challenge for the incumbent Democrat as he seeks reelection this fall.


    b

    ReplyDelete
  69. Nicki whoever she is in the act of being fondled by TSA --

    http://twitchy.com/2012/07/09/nicki-minaj-accuses-tsa-perv-of-fondling-her/

    b

    ReplyDelete
  70. http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2012/07/07/2112997/fight-at-britt-david-park-embarrassing.html

    Oh, I get it. Today is Everything Backwards Day.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  71. Yep, it's Ass Backwards Day -


    DNC chair 'pretty happy' with jobs report -

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/09/video-dnc-chair-pretty-happy-with-jobs-picture/

    b

    ReplyDelete
  72. When the subject gains enough traction to reach the summit of the comedy circuit, you know the public has a clue, even if the politicians are still arguing yesterday's debate. The cartoon next to the Samuelson article: LINK

    ReplyDelete
  73. More Ass Backwards Day news -

    July 9, 2012
    Muslim Brotherhood Re-affirms Jihad Against Israel, and Morsi Gets Invited to the White House
    Andrew G. Bostom

    Two related stories appeared over the weekend. Al-Wafd reported (yet another; see earlier here) pronouncement by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) Supreme Guide Mohammed Badi calling for the jihad conquest (i.e., genocidal destruction) of Israel. Shortly after that report appeared, the Obama administration announced the MB's newly elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi had been invited to the White House in September.

    Juxtaposed, these reports underscore, at best, the sheer fecklessness of the Obama administration. A plausible alternative scenario, given the unprecedented level of MB penetration of this regime (an ongoing problem through several administrations now) would be that our current political leadership is abetting the cultural and military jihadist aspirations of the mainstream Islamic MB movement: the destruction of Israel, and the re-creation of a trans-national Muslim Caliphate


    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/muslim_brotherhood_re-affirms_jihad_against_israel_and_morsi_gets_invited_to_the_white_house.html#ixzz209CkGbPd


    Pasadena

    I am getting so tired of these stories--however, they need to be repeated because apparently America is not paying attention; this is a slap in the face of all citizens of the US; Obama's arrogant promotion of the universal caliphate; makes you think he's in line for the job, or at least wants to be. It doesn't matter where Obama was born, his interests are precisely those our founders tried to prevent with the natural born clause



    RowdyVirginian

    What more proof do the American people and Jews, in particular, need that Obama is an enemy of our country and also of Israel? It's not the fact that he's inviting the duly elected leader of another nation to the White House, which, under normal situations is a proper thing to do. It's the fact that Morsi represents an intolerant, dictatorial philosophy wrapping itself in religion that is dedicated to the destruction of the US, Israel, and the West in general. Can one imagine inviting Hitler to the White House in the years prior to 1939? And yet, Obama's numbers are still very strong----another indication of the extreme political stupidity of the American electorate.


    Enderr

    Guarantee they don't shuffle him thru the backdoor with the garbage like they did the Dali Lama. Let the bowing and appeasement begin.



    ursa5000

    The MB really doesn't want to gas every Jew on the planet, Obama always tells the truth, the economy is doing fine, Joe Biden is the brightest guy in DC, and the bigger the Federal debt, the better the economy performs.


    b

    ReplyDelete
  74. http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/obama_and_romney_character_shows.html

    Contrasting tales of the character of the two candidates.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  75. Goose cooked to perfection -

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/8/curl-whos-bailing-on-obama-just-about-everybody/?page=1

    b

    ReplyDelete
  76. July 9, 2012
    A Democrat consultant gets it
    Lee DeCovnick

    Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster, said that "in this economy, [Republican presidential candidate Mitt] Romney has to be disqualified" in order for Obama to be reelected.

    She gets it...a very bright lady. I wish she worked for the GOP. Do the Romney folks get it too? Inquiring minds want to know.


    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/a_democrat_consultant_gets_it.html#ixzz209U5Lc4B

    b

    ReplyDelete
  77. The Romney Family Tree: How Times have Changed

    From those returns we learn that in his best year, 1960, [George Romney] made more than $660,000 — the equivalent, adjusted for inflation, of around $5 million today.

    Those returns also reveal that he paid a lot of taxes — 36 percent of his income in 1960, 37 percent over the whole period. This was in part because, as one report at the time put it, he “seldom took advantage of loopholes to escape his tax obligations.” But it was also because taxes on the rich were much higher in the ’50s and ’60s than they are now. In fact, once you include the indirect effects of taxes on corporate profits, taxes on the very rich were about twice current levels.

    Now fast-forward to Romney the Younger, who made even more money during his business career at Bain Capital.

    LINK

    One more thing: To the extent that Mr. Romney has a coherent policy agenda, it involves cutting tax rates on the very rich — which are already, as I said, down by about half since his father’s time. Surely a man advocating such policies has a special obligation to level with voters about the extent to which he would personally benefit from the policies he advocates.

    ReplyDelete
  78. 72% of the 8% that are swayed by the election ads, saw towards Obama.

    He is being disqualified as we speak.
    His foreign bank accounts in the Caymans, Switzerland and Bermuda, outsourcing call center jobs from Massachusetts to India, plus the influx of Chinese money into his campaign coffers is becoming commonly known.

    Those that did not know Mr Romney do not like him, not after they are introduced to him, Mr Obama is defining Mitt Romney, while Mr Romney waits for the fall.

    ReplyDelete
  79. 72% of the 8% that are swayed by the election ads, SWAY towards Obama.

    ReplyDelete
  80. We've got to stop meeting like this -

    Questions about the Internet’s deleterious effects on the mind are at least as old as hyperlinks. But even among Web skeptics, the idea that a new technology might influence how we think and feel—let alone contribute to a great American crack-up—was considered silly and naive, like waving a cane at electric light or blaming the television for kids these days. Instead, the Internet was seen as just another medium, a delivery system, not a diabolical machine. It made people happier and more productive. And where was the proof otherwise?

    Now, however, the proof is starting to pile up....


    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/07/08/is-the-internet-making-us-crazy-what-the-new-research-says.html

    (I've known for years that everyone here is bonkers)

    b

    ReplyDelete
  81. It is way past time for us to get out of the UN -

    As the recent documentary film “UN Me” proved, the line between satire and reality at the United Nations is razor thin. There is no shortage of outrageous examples of how tyrannical regimes have twisted the founding ideals of the UN into the corrupt talking shop that currently befouls international discourse. But there are times when the world body does something so outrageous that it must give pause to even its most zealous defenders. That level was reached last week when, as UN Watch reports, Iran was voted to a top arms control post at the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference being held in Geneva this month. UN Watch rightly condemned the selection and noted that it happened not long after the UN Security Council condemned Iran for illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is currently using them to massacre its own citizens.

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/07/09/iran-u-n-arms-control-post-no-joke-nuclear/

    b

    ReplyDelete
  82. Long View from Long Island:

    ************************************************

    Quoth The Lady In The Range Rover:

    "We've got the message," she added. "But my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who's got the right to vote — they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income — one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact."

    And then she picked her teeth with the bleached metacarpal of an indigent child and went off to get another cocktail.

    Then, of course, there are the disillusioned former Obama supporters among the swells.

    "It's not helping the economy to pit the people who are the engine of the economy against the people who rely on that engine," Michael Zambrelli said as the couple waited in their SUV for clearance into the Creeks shortly after the candidate's motorcade flew by and entered the pine-tree lined estate. "He's basically been biting the hand that fed him in '08. ... I would bet 25% of the people here were supporters of Obama in '08. And they're here now."

    Is it time now to point out that the Dow is doing fine, and that executive compensation is back where it was before, and the fact that the same people who cratered the economy last time are still engaging in massive fraud and reckless cupidity? "The engine of the economy"? "Biting the hand that fed him"? Jeebus, get over yourself.

    ************************************************

    Just a slightly lower rent version of the narratives emerging from the more erudite conservative blog space.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Yeah, Ol' Caymans is gonna carry New Yawk. Yes'um. Sho' nuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wretchard's following (always interesting) was overcome by an odd combination of the "Long Island Range Rover" crowd (disenfranchise half of the country Now!) and a MENSA crew of sterile but articulate technicians. Very strange mix. Not to leave out Crazy G-y with his visions of theocratic utopia. He and Range Rover Lady would make quite the couple.

      The "tenor" used to be different. Now it is just confused. As is the Romney message. Coincidence?

      ...

      Shuffle yo' feet boy when you use sarcasm with me.

      Delete
  84. If the election was held, Today, it looks like Mitt Romney (R) Cayman Islands, and Switzerland, would gather about 206 Electoral voties.

    RealClear Politics Map

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You best add in Florida, Ohio, Iowa and Virginia for Caymans, subtract the same for Mombasa Boy.

      b

      Delete
  85. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble stressed Monday that any decisions on direct bank recapitalizations would happen only once the new euro-zone supervisor is up an running, which will take some time."

    ...

    Meanwhile, after months of delay, euro-zone finance ministers agreed Monday evening to nominate Luxembourg central bank Gov. Yves Mersch to a seat on the European Central Bank's powerful six-member executive board, according to several people close to the talks.

    Mr. Mersch has long been the favorite to get the job to replace Spain's Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo, but wrangling over several other key posts had delayed the pick. The deal was reached after Luxembourg prime minister and Eurogroup chief Jean-Claude Juncker threatened to block a deal on Spain if the vote wasn't taken, according to officials.

    ReplyDelete
  86. When did President Obama change his mind on the wisdom of raising taxes in an economic downturn? And, perhaps more important, if the U.S. economy slipped back into recession, would the president abandon his proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy?

    ...

    So what will Obama do if the economy does, in fact, slip back into recession? Will he still raise taxes?

    ReplyDelete
  87. The death of a daughter would knock the stuffing out of most fathers, but one year on Mitch Winehouse's grief has matured into anger – at the "scandalous" lack of treatment available to vulnerable addicts.

    ...

    However, his focus remains the work of the foundation. "It's given me a sense of purpose.

    The Grammy awards? Fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  88. In current dollars, that makes it even on the first-four-year-basis of the Obama Treasury department the largest tax increase of the 27 pieces of legislation since 1968 that were analyzed in the paper. In 1945, at the peak of World War II, the entire federal budget was only about $92.7 billion.

    The erosion of the value of the dollar because of the Federal Reserve and Congress’s failure to uphold their responsibilities makes these comparisons harder. And plenty of Americans are still hoping that ObamaCare is repealed or replaced, making Kevin Drum and Ezra Klein retroactively correct that it wasn’t the greatest tax increase in the history of the world.

    Barring such corrective legislative action (or a bigger tax increase if President Obama is re-elected), however, a $525 billion tax increase would indeed be the largest in American history, at least in nominal dollars. All of which makes President Obama’s latest campaign-season pose as a tax cutter seem even phonier than usual.

    ReplyDelete
  89. On this day in 1995, the Grateful Dead performed its last concert in Chicago. The finale concluded a 30-year run for the rock band.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Replies
    1. I've done 300kg, with the help of my lady doctor from Santa Cruz, but I don't do the humping part, just straight lift. It is really pushing it at 300. It's doesn't hurt, if you're over loaded on pain pills.

      b

      Delete
    2. Quirk told me one time, when we were on a mission, before he crapped out, he can do, and does so regularly, 550mg, without pain pills, when he gets in touch with his inner Jupiter orbit.


      b

      Delete
  91. They ought to have a poll: what do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  92. Four reasons Obama is going to lose -

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-state-race-four-months-out_648277.html?nopager=1

    b

    ReplyDelete
  93. The study bolsters an emerging body of research that points to a number of dangers associated with leading a sedentary lifestyle.

    Last year, scientists found that people who worked 10 years in sedentary jobs, or jobs that don't require a lot of energy expenditure, had twice the risk of colon cancer and a 44% increased risk of rectal cancer, compared with people who had never worked sedentary jobs.

    And in March, scientists found that the rate of cancers linked to obesity and lack of physical activity, such as cancers of the kidney, pancreas, lower esophagus and uterus, rose every year from 1999 through 2008.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Replies
    1. The short cut to Wal-Mart....

      Delete
    2. OBAMA CAN'T GYMKHANA!

      (from comments)

      Delete
  95. After surgery by the American ex-pat doc, here I am back in action on the third day of the fiesta of San Fermin -

    http://blogs.reuters.com/fullfocus/2012/07/09/editors-choice-3/#a=11

    American medicine is the world's best, may it continue.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  96. I will be returning later this AM.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Thread synopsis: It's the Democrats' fault. They did it.

    Regardless of whether a Phil and Wendy twosome trumps a smooth-talking Rubin, Obama gave the bankers a pass. No way he loses this election.

    Holder should go.

    ...

    I regret to say I couldn't think of anything relevant or entertaining to say about BHL. As the young people say, He is what he is. The profile doesn't play especially well in USA, although Bill Buckley and Michael Kinsley took it up a notch. The letter was spent, uninspired, not a good effort, imo.

    I can relate to that.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I think, probably, even the most geographically illiterate Americans realize, in their gut, that Syria ain't Libya, and Iran ain't Iraq.

    We have a large appetite for the entertainment of televised "foreign, kinetic operations," but, like all reality shows, enuff is enuff. R2P is "so 2003."

    ReplyDelete
  99. There are theories about why the disease has returned, but no definitive answers. One likely explanation: Miners are breathing a more potent mix of dust. Coal seams are surrounded by rock, much of which contains the mineral silica. When ground up, silica is more toxic to the lungs than coal dust and can cause faster-progressing disease.

    With larger coal seams becoming mined out, companies are turning to thinner seams surrounded by more rock. At the same time, because of the price of coal and advances in mining equipment, it now makes more sense economically for companies to cut through large amounts of rock to get at the coal. Companies haul it all out and then separate the rock from the coal at processing plants.

    “In central Appalachia, you look at what’s coming out of the mines, and it’s probably 60 percent rock on a good day,” said Rick Honaker, a University of Kentucky professor who consults for mining companies and has seen their data.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Heard a Romney supporter on FOX News tell US that Mr Romney was maintaining those foreign accounts because of the complexity of the US tax code, but ...

    He was, however, reporting "every thing". Even if he did not report the Swiss account in his Presidential filing.

    She thought he could explain away his foreign accounts, by citing the US tax code. Not that he was doing a "Geithner" and forgetting to disclose, just that he was evading tax complexity, legally.

    Let's see how that plays in Peoria, my guess is that he'll be left twisting in the wind if he gives it a go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's so much easier to deal with the "complexities" of TWO Countries' Tax Laws.

      The Dems don't want Obama to "go there," but if he has the balls to hammer it in the debates he will be reelected (and he knows it.)

      Delete
  101. Geithner has, I do believe, announced he is leaving after the election, regardless of the outcome.

    Mr Holder should be do the same, or be fired.

    Mrs Clinton ... well who knows what evil lurks in her heart, but the Shadow.

    ReplyDelete
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