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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are perfectly aware that setting the US on a sustainable fiscal course would mean massive pain for the common citizen, and an immediate termination of all existing political careers



Charting US Debt And Deficit Since Inception

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/17/2012 23:00 -0500
Some observations:
  • Beginning with the Anglo-American war of 1812, and continuing through the US civil war, World War I and World War II, the major military shocks to the US fiscal system are clearly obvious.
  • Just as obvious is the impact of not only The Great Moderation which started in the early 1980s just before the 1987 arrival of Alan Greenspan at the helm of the Fed, which allowed the US to exchange fiscal prudence for ever cheaper debt which could and would be used to fund an ever greater budget deficit, and lead to a surge in the Federal debt.
  • The increasingly more unstable system, which saw the additional layering of another $23 trillion in shadow banking debt at its peak in 2008, as well as countless trillions in household, corporate and financial debt, as well as hundreds of trillions in underfunded welfare liabilities, led first to the Internet bubble, then the Housing and Credit bubble, and finally, to the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 which climaxed with the failure of Lehman brothers, and resulted in the central bank bailout of every developed bank, and shortly thereafter, the backstop of every peripheral country in Europe.
  • The gravity and impact of the Great Financial Crisis on the US economy is stark, very visible, and can only be compared to previous instances of destructive military conflict in terms of lost output and impact on the US economy.
  • Total US Debt/GDP is currently just over 103%. This number is expected to rise to 125% by the end of 2016, which will eclipse the peak debt/GDP seen in World War II, and be the highest in US history.
  • Whereas in the past episodes of fiscal catastrophe were accompanied not only by a surge in debt (black line), but by a parallel explosion in fiscal deficits (red bars), this time the deficit spike has been more modest (peaking at about 10% of GDP), but more protracted, with even the CBO expecting deficits of around $1 trillion to last for the next several years.
  • One possible interpretation is that due to the Fed's relentless interest rates intervention, the polarized US government feels no burning desire to promptly balance its budget, and even overshoot, and through a combination of aggressive spending cuts and/or revenue increases, result in a much needed surplus which would be used to reduce the sovereign debt. This is graphically seen in the ongoing Fiscal Cliff debate, when any proposal for substantial spending cuts - the true problem at the core of America's deficit habituation and welfare statism - is greeted with shrieks of Mutual Assured Destruction.
  • This is not a political issue: politicians on both sides of the aisle are perfectly aware that setting the US on a sustainable fiscal course would mean massive pain for the common citizen, and an immediate termination of all existing political careers: after all the myth of the welfare state is at stake. It is in everyone's interest - both GOP and Democrat - to perpetuate the unsustainable deficit status quo indefinitely. Any theatrics out of the GOP demanding fiscal conservatism are therefore just that - theatrics.
  • There is no question that it is unsustainable: US GDP is currently growing at a pace of 1.5%-2.5% at best. Total 2012 US debt will have risen at a rate of 8%, and will continue rising in the 6%-8% range.  
  • More disturbing is the influence of the Fed, whose policy of ZIRP and outright debt monetization (recall even JPM has now admitted the Fed will monetize all US debt issuance in 2013) is the only permissive factor that has allowed the US to delay the inevitable moment of reckoning as long it has.
  • Indicatively, a modest rise in the average US interest rate, which is currently at all time blended lows, to just 5%, would mean that in 3 years the US would spend, pro forma, $1 trillion in cash interest each year. At that point the US will approach Japan status, where the government needs to borrow just to fund interest outlays. Actually, instead of Japan, Weimar would be a better analogy.
  • Finally, on all previous historical occasions, there was at least one backstop of last reserve, a central bank, standing ready to step in and provide the necessary liquidity, and monetize the needed debt to keep the show running. Since 2009, all the central banks have also gone all in on the Keynesian endgame: at this point the next shock to the status quo system will be the last, as there is no more backstops. 
  • At that point the only two options will be outright monetary devaluation, though not relative in the closed monetary loop of modern monetarism, but absolute, where every currency is concurrently devalued against a hard asset (potentially with the forceful concurrent confiscation of said hard asset by the host government, think Executive Order 6102), in order to generate a terminal currency and debt debasement, or outright global debt moratoria, and the end of the modern financial system as we know it (but not before the financial "leaders" of our time have converted enough of their paper wealth into hard asset format and transferred it to more peaceful, more "gun-controlled", non-extradition territories).
And there you have it.
Oh, and whoever said the advent of the Federal Reserve, or the end of "hard money" standard courtesy of Richard Nixon, made catastrophic or systematically shocking events less frequent, probably should have their head examined.

101 comments:

  1. I read that Obama my terminate his golfing in Hawaii a little early so that he could return to Washington to be helpful.

    Click on the chart above and it will be obvious that there in nothing that Obama or any of the other band of midgets will do that will be helpful.

    I fear that the macro approach is a lost cause. At some stage, in the not too distant future, a financial panic will breach the political firewall.

    The best once can do is come up with an idea to protect your wealth, be right, do it, and do it before everyone else gets the same idea.

    Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hunker down on the farm. Can preserves. Get a milk cow. Cut firewood. Store stuff. Lanterns.

    Does this portent the end of Ash and his high living ways, and his snotty attitude perchance? Will he be planting potatoes on the fairways, will his boat be used by squatters? Will he be run out of town on a rail for giving lousy economic advice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been saying things, economically speaking, are fucked up big time, for a long time now. All that money printing of the worlds currency can only patch over the 'real underlying' economy for a while (how long is tough to say, to put it mildly). The current account deficit is one tell as is our dependance on growth (i.e. to pay off debt) coupled with the upcoming demographic changes and things don't look too rosy.

      What to do about it? heh, who knows. Tangible assets (i.e. land) can survive ok through monetary troubles, but nothing is left unscathed (and land didn't do so well over the last decade. One can fret and worry and/or one can "live high". I do both, but given we can all kick the can at any moment, living good is my main choice.

      Delete
    2. That good Iowa farmland did pretty good the last ten years. BUT, a lot of farmers that owned their land "free and clear" lost it to Taxes during the '30's.

      Delete
  3. I particularly like this -

    Oh, and whoever said the advent of the Federal Reserve, or the end of "hard money" standard courtesy of Richard Nixon, made catastrophic or systematically shocking events less frequent, probably should have their head examined.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Work up some scheme, a scheme preposterous is OK, even better, perhaps, to fool the hopeless, allow them to see a golden thread in their lives, a derivative perhaps, something along the lines of RichRUs, that kind of thing......a background in marketing will help....


    :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are perfectly aware that setting the US on a sustainable fiscal course would mean massive pain for the common citizen, and an immediate termination of all existing political careers .....driving some even to drink.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Being serious, we're broke, and in a pickle. No idea what will happen, but can easily imagine things getting a lot worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Total US Debt/GDP is currently just over 103%. This number is expected to rise to 125% by the end of 2016, which will eclipse the peak debt/GDP seen in World War II, and be the highest in US history.

      Maybe NoCare is a blessing, a quick exit from misery.

      Delete
  7. This is why I don't care for Tyler Durden. He conflates facts, (such as using "real" GDP growth instead of Nominal GDP Growth when it sounds better in his argument, inappriate, though, they may be, and draws totally unwarranted conclusions from those conflated facts. I don't consider him a serious person.

    We have serious problems, but they have little to do with anything described in his article. He makes a veiled reference to Gold Confiscation, which would be silly in that our currency is no longer grounded in the amount of gold owned by the government, but completely overlooks "resource depletion" (namely, oil,) which is at the very heart of our crisis, and the strangulation of the middle, and lower income classes by the top 1%, and, more specifically, the top 0.01%.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with gold but how bout an IRA or 401K impoundment exchanged for a new currency , a 100% guaranteed, no kidding around this time, US backed annuity, secured by everyone’s securities in a lock box?

      Delete
    2. What good would it do? Stocks would go to Zero, then what?

      The idea is to make the Rich, richer, not poorer.

      Delete
  8. Shoot the messenger.

    What a lot of hooey, Rufus.

    When is Barky going to approve that pipeline, by the way?

    Will the Burying Beetle Bury Keystone?

    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/12/21/finally-the-right-mascot-for-radical-environmentalists/

    We were able, for now, to fight off The Giant Palouse Earthworm, and at least temporarily continue farming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shoot the rich too, while you're at it.

      Delete
    2. Schweitzer Engineering Labs is one of the biggest employers around here. Always growing, making electrical products for the whole world. An entirely homegrown industry, the Schweitzer folk are the super rich around here.

      We should definitely shoot them all, to make things better, the stranglers.

      Delete
    3. The 1% bastards -

      https://www.selinc.com/

      Started from nothing.

      Delete
  9. You fucking moron, they never "Stopped" building the Keystone Pipeline. The most important leg is the part from Cushing, Ok to the Gulf Coast. They've been steadily working on that the whole time. The small section that crosses the border will probably be approved sometime in late spring.

    100% of that Canadian bitumin has been getting to sea the whole time (it's the Bakken Crude that's been getting diverted out into the Midwest - thus, lowering our gasoline costs in the Mid-South.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know all that you fucking moron, that some work is being done.

      The small section that crosses the border will probably be approved sometime in late spring.

      Why not approve the fucker then, you fucking moron.

      Delete
    2. Because, you fucking idiot, they haven't completed the plans for their "non-Sandhills route," yet.

      Delete
    3. And, it's not "some" work that's being done; it's the "Main" work that's being done. Fuckhead.

      Delete
  10. The people that are "making the money" have to be the ones that are taxed. You can't keep the railroad going if you're going to allow the Mitt Romneys of the country to pay taxes ranging from 14% to 0%. It can't be done.

    And, if you're going to move all the factories to China, you either have to "support" the lower classes, or watch them die of starvation, and lack of medical care. You can't have it both ways.

    ReplyDelete
  11. As for your local Schweitzer outfit, I'll guarantee you that they were paying higher taxes when they started than they are now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You fucking moron, they weren't making much, if any, fucking money in those days. So you are fucking wrong again.

      They'd might be employing even more people if they didn't have to pay so much taxes.

      Delete
  12. The "Good News" is, barring any last-minute action, our "spending" is going to plummet on Jan 1st.

    The "Bad News" is, our GDP is going to fall off a cliff, also.

    With all the lower, and medium income people paying an extra 2% in taxes, immediately, and 2,000,000 Families abruptly losing their unemployment benefits, the Spending part of the equation is going to look a lot better - but, then, the sales receipts start coming in from "retail," and it ain't going to look quite so rosy.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well, we missed the "White Christmas" by one day. It's cold as hell, here, and a lot of that frozen white stuff on the ground - and roads.

    ReplyDelete

  14. Yes, we have supported oil, wind and solar with subsidies. Look how that’s played out.

    Wind, 30 years ago, produced electricity at $0.38/kWh. Now it’s producing at $0.04/kWh to $0.06/kWh and on its way down to $0.03/kWh in the near future. (Already, we’ve seen a 9.5x drop.)

    Solar panels, 30-40 years ago, cost as much as $100/watt. Solar panels are now being manufactured for prices approaching $0.50/watt. (That’s almost a 200x price drop.)

    Oil, in 1946, was $18.89 a barrel (2012/current dollars) and in 2012 it’s running about $100 a barrel. (More than a 5x increase.)

    Support for oil might have kept prices from rising further, but it has not made oil cheaper.

    Support for wind and solar have made them much cheaper. Our investments are returning massive dividends.

    Wind has gone down to 1/6th its early price, solar to 1/100th, and oil has risen by more than 5x. Exactly how has that oil subsidy worked out for us?

    Clean Technica (http://s.tt/1xEZ4)

    Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/26/a-thought-on-subsidies-reader-comment/#o3HtdD8BUw0u6gjo.99

    Clickable

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And that is why Solyndra and A123 and all the others had such mighty returns on investment, and paid such massive dividends.

      Delete
    2. Ruf, you've all the qualities of a fundamentalist believer.

      Delete
    3. Only the object of adoration is different.

      Delete
    4. That's why, if you live in Texas (the no. 1 Wind Energy State,) you can sign a contract for FREE electicity from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

      That's why, the German Electric Customers are BEING PAID, at this very moment, to USE electricity during the day (that's right, there is such a Surplus of Solar, and Wind-generated electricity in Germany right now that they are Paying Customers to use it during the day - otherwise they will have to "shut down" many of their large base-load fossi fuel plants.) *It happens to be "warm and windy" in Germany right now.*

      Delete
  15. It's obvious to me that the most effective action our government could take would be the construction of thousands of "local" ethanol refineries.

    It would put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work, and make us Independent of Ever-Increasing Prices for Imported Oil.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Then why isn't Obama doing it?

      Delete
    2. The USDA, and EPA are quietly working in this direction, but the fossil fuel-funded Republicans are fighting him every step of the way. And, fighting him, Hard.

      Delete
    3. Surely you exaggerate. With every corn farmer out there supporting ethanol, how long would a Republican last to go solidly against their main constituency.

      Delete
    4. The oil companies contribute more in a day than the NCGA contributes in a year.

      Besides, there will be no new "Corn" ethanol refineries. "Corn" was capped at 15 Billion Gallons/Yr, a capacity that we reached a couple of years ago.

      The new growth will be in "cellulosic, sweet sorghum, municipal solid waste, etc."

      Delete
    5. Besides, you'd be amazed at the number of corn farmers that Don't "support" ethanol.

      Some of them are just as stupid as idiot Idaho alfalfa farmers (that don't realize that the price of their alfalfa is affected by the price of corn.)

      Delete
  16. Deuce, with his interest in South America and trade, will no doubt be underwhelmed by Kerry as new SOS --

    A left-wing world view and an earnest conviction that it is his destiny to impose it on others may make him a perfect fit in the Obama cabinet. But it won't be good for poor countries or for U.S. interests."

    * Mr Kerry supported "the Sandinistas" over "the Contras".

    * In Honduras '09, Mr Kerry supported Sr. Zelaya, an ally of Chavez, trying to violate the country's constitution.

    * Add to this Mr Kerry's opposition to free trade agreements, from the very successful NAFTA to Colombia, Chile, etc.

    Mr Kerry will be our next Secretary of State. They will probably cheer in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela and scratch their heads in Mexico, Colombia and Chile.


    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/12/kerry_nomination_proves_obama_doesnt_understand_latin_america.html


    Yes, it is now confirmed: the president does not understand Latin America. He has just nominated Sen Kerry to be our next Secretary of State. We will probably spend the next four years hearing about climate change rather more than trade with Latin America.


    Still seems up in the air about who might be the new Secretary of Defense. The anti-semite Chuck Hagel is mentioned. This would accord with Barky's inner MB.

    ReplyDelete
  17. aha!

    McFire

    "...the president does not understand Latin America."

    He has never cared one iota about Latin America (Other than the Soros oil deal with Brazil). It does not fit into his agenda.



    (((((Other than the Soros oil deal with Brazil)))))

    Always wondered what was behind that.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Soros is a major investor in Brazilian Sugar Cane Ethanol refineries. The ethanol business in Brazil is dominated by Petrobras (the State-owned oil company.)

      There was, also, incredible hype (very much undeserved, it turns out) over their discovery of Offshore, Deep, sub-salt oil.

      Delete
  18. Federal subsidies for new wind-power generation will end on Dec. 31 unless they are renewed by Congress. For the sake of our economy and the smooth operation of the energy market, Congress should let the subsidies lapse. They waste taxpayer money, subvert the allocation of capital, and generate a social cost many times the price tag of the subsides themselves.

    Since 1992, the federal government has expended almost $24 billion to encourage investment in wind power through direct spending, tax breaks, R&D, loan guarantees and other federal support of electric power. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that a one-year extension of existing federal subsidies for wind power would cost taxpayers almost $12 billion.

    The costs of wind subsidies are extraordinarily high—$52.48 per one million watt hours generated, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By contrast, the subsidies for generating the same amount of electricity from nuclear power are $3.10, from hydropower 84 cents, from coal 64 cents, and from natural gas 63 cents.


    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324481204578179373031924936.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Total fucking horseshit from a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, and the Saudis (mostly the Saudis, I suspect, if the truth were known.)

      An, ex. New Nuclear gets the same "Production Tax Credit" as Wind, plus, we, the taxpayers, INSURE them against Disasters (if they had to pay the cost of their insurance it would be the most expensive energy in the world - and, it pretty much is, anyway.)

      Delete
    2. And, that type of misrepresentation is exactly what I'm talking about.

      Remember all those WSJ articles about how ethanol couldn't "make it" without the tax credit?

      The Tax credit has been gone, now, for a year, and, in spite of the worst drought since the 50's, and in spite of a world-wide slowdown, and, in spite of the cost of American Crude being held down by the bottleneck at Cushing, and in spite of a spurt of shale oil out of the Bakken, and Texas, Ethanol is still selling for $0.50 Less than Gasoline.

      Delete
    3. .

      Of course, since the laws of supply and demand don't really affect ethanol since production quotas are mandated regardless of the demand for gasoline (or corn), well...

      .

      Delete
    4. Usage is mandated, BUT it's still $0.50/gal less than gasoline

      (this time next year it will probably be more like $1.00/gal, or more.)

      Delete
    5. .

      We could go into all the other factors involved but I tired of this subject a long time ago.

      However, price and revenue are two different things. I was responding to your comment on subsidies. It's a hell of a lot easier to make a buck when you don't have to worry about demand fluctuations.

      .

      .

      Delete
    6. You're as bad as Bob; you babble without thinking. Of course, ethanol Demand "Fluctuates." To the same extent that the demand for Gasoline fluctuates.

      Delete
    7. And, "You" might be tired of this subject, but "This Subject" sure as hell ain't Tired of You.

      Delete
    8. .

      The government requires that a certain amount of biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, be used as automotive fuel each year, and it‘s up to producers to determine how that happens, O‘Dell said. To meet the requirement, most stations sell gasoline that contains 10 percent ethanol.

      For this year, 13.2 billion gallons of ethanol must be sold as fuel. That figure is required to climb to 15 billion gallons in 2015 and remain there until 2022.

      But as the worst drought in more than 50 years decimates the nation‘s corn crop, 25 U.S. senators are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to cut that mandate. Lawmakers blame it for raising the price of corn, which threatens to increase feed costs for livestock producers and eventually saddle consumers with higher food costs.

      About 40 percent of the corn crop is used to make ethanol, though some byproducts of the process are fed to livestock.

      Last week, nearly one-third of the lawmakers in the 435-member U.S. House signed a letter urging the government to ease the mandate.



      Ethanol Mandate


      Of course, EPA refused to relax the mandate.

      .

      Delete
    9. Again with the babbling on something you don't understand. The production capacity is in place to do 10%, up to 15 Billion Gallons/Yr, no matter what the Demand. So, as "Demand" for gasoline fluctuates, demand for ethanol fluctuates. The 13.2 is merely the "floor."

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

      Delete
    11. .

      Babbling?

      What is it about the word mandate you don't understand Rufus. The following was put out by the Congressional Research Office. It outlines the mandates put into law under the EISA 2007 Expansion of the Renewable Fuel Standard, RFS2.

      It lays out the amount of renewable fuel that must be used in gasoline, by year, through 2022.

      FS2 Renewable Fuel Standard

      From the Introduction:

      Policy measures have included blending and production tax credits to lower the cost of biofuels to end users, an import tariff to protect domestic ethanol from cheaper foreign-produced ethanol, research grants to stimulate the development of new biofuels technologies, loans and loan guarantees to facilitate the development of biofuels production and distribution infrastructure, and, perhaps most important, minimum usage requirements to guarantee a market for biofuels irrespective of their cost...2

      Initially, the most significant federal programs for supporting biofuels were tax credits for the production or blending of ethanol and biodiesel into the nation’s fuel supply. However, under the
      Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)—first established in 2005, then greatly expanded in 2007 (as described below)—Congress mandated biofuels use. In the long term, the expanded RFS usage mandate is likely to prove more significant than tax incentives in promoting the use of these fuels...


      And how much ethanol was produced in 2011, 13.93 billion gallons, surprisingly (or perhaps not so surprisingly) close to the RFS2 mandated quantity of 13.95 billion gallons.

      With the drop in gasoline consumption, the oil industry complains that the system is swamped with a glut of ethanol (one wonders if that had anything to do with the cost comparison you cited earlier).

      The EPA rule does allow the oil companies to postone up to 20% of the mandated quatity to a future year but similar to mileage rules they never go away. There is a limit to how much you can postpone and eventually the fines kick in.

      You know, similary to the fines imposed on the oil companies for not using the mandated volumes of cellulosic ethanol even though those mandated volumes did not exist.

      .

      Delete
    12. .

      From Oxford Dictionaries:

      Definition of mandate

      noun

      Pronunciation: /ˈmandeɪt/

      1 an official order or commission to do something


      Given this definition, one can assume what the term 'mandated usage' means in RFS2.

      .

      Delete
    13. .

      Demand becomes irrelevant when usage is mandated.

      Irrelevant, that is, to everyone except those directly affected by the mandate, i.e. the oil companies who are forced to use the ethanol whether they need it or not.

      You will note that RFS2 doesn't state ethanol as a percentage of total gasoline produced but rather as a specific quantity of ethanol that must be used.

      As the total gasoline production fluctuates, demand for ethanol may vary; however, the mandated usage of ethanol doesn't change.

      .

      Delete
  19. .

    Remember the good old days when Alan Greenspan was expressing his fears that 'surpluses' would become excessive?

    Greenspan and Bernanke, birds of a feather.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I remember those days. I was paying about a buck a gallon for gasoline back then.

      Delete
    2. .

      Again you fixate on gasoline. The last time, you were complaining about the doubling of the price since 2005.

      As I pointed out to you before, many key commodities have doubled since then.

      .

      Delete
    3. No other commodity that I use on a daily basis is selling for three and a half times more than it was in 1999.

      Delete
    4. How much were potato chips in 1999?

      No joking, here they are four dollars a bag now. And we grow potatoes here.

      Delete
    5. Automatic weapons prices have gone up a lot.

      Delete
    6. The question isn't how much have potato Chips gone up; it's "how much have POTATOS gone up?"

      Delete
    7. .

      Rufus, when you complained about oil price increases since 2005, I provided the charts showing a whole range of commodities (food, materials, etc.) had gone up as much. So now you choose a different starting point, 1999 (an odd choice except that was about the low point for prices, at least in real terms). I don't have time to play that game.

      I will merely leave the following links here for any interested and allow them to make up their minds.

      How much do higher oil prices hurt?

      US Gas Prices Adjusted for Inflation

      .

      Delete
    8. The Median Family has an income of about $50,000.00/yr. This is around $3,000.00/yr less, in real terms, than they were making in 1999.

      (by the way, it was YOU that brought up the famous Greenspan "what do we do with the money" lament, and the timing of it - not me.)

      Anyway, it is in this environment that the Median Family is being forced to spend an extra $3,300.00 per year to go to work, and conduct the family business.

      That is a "Big Deal."

      Delete
  20. Ezra Klein has a pretty good "take" on who's thinking "what" in the current negotiations.

    The Kent Conrad Problem

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The so called "fiscal cliff" is a media event. ho hum. Obama has to cut his vacation short to come home and give it another shot. Ho hum.

      I promise the sun will come up tomorrow. It will also come up on 1.2.13. Guaranteed.

      Delete
    2. Hero Returns To Slay Dragon is what this return is called.

      Also known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

      Which is spelled D A N G E R A H E A D

      Delete
    3. Hero Returns To Slay Dragon is what this week's installment of the BarkyDramaSoapOpera is called.

      And he is ripping himself away from his work on the report about Benghazi too, don't forget that. No one wants find the truth more than Barky. He told us that. And I must believe him. Think of his sacrifice. And, oh, those he sacrificed to his noble campaign narrative about Slaying Osama In Single Combat

      What a goddamned farce.

      Delete
    4. He don't spend one minute thinking about "benghazi." And, well he shouldn't. The kiddies at State, and the CIA screwed up and got some of their folks killed. They do it all the time (when they're not screwing up and getting thousands of Our folks killed.

      Are the Republicans coming back?

      The fiscal cliff really might end up being a major thang. We really do need to cut some spending, and raise some revenue, but we need to do it carefully, and intelligently.

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

      Delete
    6. O sure that's it.

      Barky gave the order to stand down, then took off for Vegas. And it was the 'kiddies' at State that done it. Christ Almighty.

      Meanwhile Hillary is still bedward with a tummy ache hunkered deep deep underground in some 'convalescent facility'. And will remain so until after the Inauguration, when she will go on spiritual retreat to the Himalayas until after the elections, 2014, when her campaign for the Presidency will officially begin.

      She was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, you know, who first climbed the highest peak in the world, there in the Himalayas, even Mt. Everest itself very self, even though Eddy, as he was known only to his few friends at the time, was still an unknown chicken farmer when Hillary was born.

      Delete
    7. Where is General Ham? He knows. He could tell us. But he can't be found, and is ordered to silence.

      Delete
    8. If people would begin to see Barky as he really is, a narcissistic personality disordered commie MB, all the whole scene would immediately light up, and he wouldn't seem so confoundedly crazy.

      Delete
  21. Blues Cruise

    Hassett, with an oddly cheerful, Oh-What-My-Country-Has-Done-Now mien, predicted economic doom under Obama, the most likely scenario being another Great Depression, which would make 2008 look like a joyride.

    That prompted a tall, extremely tanned blonde named Kay, from Old Greenwich, Connecticut, to ask Hassett, the co-­author of the 1999 book Dow 36,000, “So what do we do with our money?”

    .....

    As we drained the Pinot Noir, Hassett gave his audience the insider’s view of the Romney campaign, describing how its election-monitoring software crashed on November 6 and Obama was probably behind it, “because those guys are so evil.”

    The table grumbled in assent.

    “The thing we have to understand is, these are people who don’t have any morals,” said Hassett. “They’ll do anything. I’m one of their No. 1 targets. I mean, they really want me bad.”

    “Well, you’re safe on this ship!” said Bobbie boldly.

    Then Hassett pivoted to the liberal media. “I actually think that Goebbels was more critical of Hitler than the New York Times is of Obama,” said Hassett, tucking into a piece of strudel. “I was in the middle of the fight against the propaganda, and I have stories like you wouldn’t believe. These people are so evil. They’re basically Fascists. It’s unbelievable.”

    ....

    Rasmussen offered some friendly advice about approaching minorities. “You show them that you really care, you talk to them as grown-ups on a range of issues, you get them involved,” he suggested, “and you accept the fact that it’s a long-term investment. And you accept that you can learn as much from them as you can teach them.”

    This was harsh medicine to reluctant patients, and afterward some of them made their discomfort known. “That depressed me!” one woman said. To my right, a man snapped, “That’s bullshit!”

    ........

    The conservative need for their own cultural voice.........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You hear that, Rufus?

      these are people who don’t have any morals

      Delete
    2. These people are so evil. They’re basically Fascists. It’s unbelievable.

      Delete
  22. It sounds like John Yoo's mother was the only one that has any sense at all.

    “They are still grieving,” she concluded as her son winced and began to break in, fearing she’d gone too far. “I hope not for more than six months. The grieving process should only be six months. If it goes on for more than six months, it could go into a major depression.”

    ReplyDelete
  23. Charts of the day: Gun violence in America declining over last 20 years

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/12/26/charts-of-the-day-gun-violence-in-america-declining-over-last-20-years/


    Putting a little historical perspective to things.

    ReplyDelete
  24. The Post refers to the Clintonian parsing by State spokesman Victoria Nuland. Last week, Nuland said that Boswell had immediately resigned as assistant secretary for diplomatic security. Most assumed that meant Boswell would be out looking for a job, but instead it just meant that Boswell would transfer to another position at State — not much of a punishment for his “deficiencies,” but perhaps a good demonstration of why those deficiencies at State are “systemic.”

    The news isn’t getting rave reviews on Capitol Hill, either:

    House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) told The Post this is “yet another ruse about the tragedy of Benghazi.”

    “State Department officials proclaimed . . . that heads would roll . . . Now we see that the discipline is a lie and all that has happened is the shuffling of the deck chairs.”

    That’s what accountability means to the Obama administration, apparently.



    Bwahahahaaccountability.

    Maybe they got a raise.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/12/26/benghazi-penalties-bogus-officials-returning-to-work/


    Guy went across the office and took another desk.

    ReplyDelete
  25. The prospect of higher taxes and tighter government spending seems not to be bothering many market participants, who in December shifted allocation from bonds into stocks.

    Whether the bulls will regret their position is a matter for 2013 to decide, but the evidence for the moment shows that the luster finally may be coming off fixed income. (Read More: Vanguard CIO: Beware Bond Bubble)

    "What we've done for four years is climb the wall of worry," said Jim Paulsen, chief market strategist at Wells Capital Management and believer that investors fund flows "will reverse" in the time ahead.

    "Next year is going to be more of a confidence-driven run, not just climbing despite concerns but really climbing because of rising confidence," he added.

    Bye Bye Bonds

    ReplyDelete
  26. Little more than a month after launching in the U.S., Nokia Corp.'s critical Lumia lineup of smartphones is being sold at postholiday discounts—or even free with contracts—at some U.S. carriers and through Amazon.com Inc.

    Nokia is betting on the success of the Lumia phones, which run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone 8 software, to steady the company after a string of financial losses. The high-end Lumia 920 launched in November at AT&T Inc. with a $99 price tag...

    ReplyDelete
  27. Benjamin Cohen, the publisher of PinkNews.co.uk, said: “By proposing same-sex marriage, David Cameron has unquestionably improved the standing of the Conservative Party among the gay community. However, what’s most interesting is that he is considerably more popular than his party within our community.

    “This perhaps reflects the fact that many of the most vocal opponents of introducing this final act of equality for gay people have been Conservative MPs, some of whom represent and have angered the very people who voted in the poll.”

    There were similar results in a separate survey of 1,432 PinkNews readers. Some 42 per cent would now vote Labour, 30 per cent Conservative, 10 per cent Liberal Democrat and 10 per cent Green.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Author and former CIA operative Wayne Simmons sat down with the hosts of Fox & Friends on Wednesday to join many of his CIA colleagues in slamming the authenticity of the torture tactics depicted in the movie Zero Dark Thirty. In particular, he took issue with the prolific use of waterboarding in the film, saying that this is not a torture tactic but a valuable technique used to gain information from uncooperative terror suspects.

    ...

    He replied by saying that, personally, he did not feel that enhanced interrogation techniques constitute torture. “Waterboarding is not torture,” Simmons said.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only the modern era is sophisticated enough to formulate an inquiry on the order of: "what is torture?"

      Delete
  29. Greater strength and endurance. Enhanced thinking.

    ...

    Ten years ago, there were all sorts of biomods enthusiasts roaming the halls of the Pentagon’s premiere science division. In 2002 the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched an ambitious effort aimed at tweaking troops’ physiology to reduce their susceptibility to stress, sleep deprivation, fatigue, pain and blood loss while enhancing their memory and learning.

    ...

    For its part, the National Intelligence Council expects some resistance to biomods. “Moral and ethical challenges to human augmentation are inevitable,” the Council advised.

    ReplyDelete
  30. We shouldn’t settle for substituting one type of violence for another. Government role is to protect liberty, not to pursue unobtainable safety.

    Our freedoms as Americans preceded gun control laws, the TSA, or the Department of Homeland Security. Freedom is defined by the ability of citizens to live without government interference, not by safety.

    It is easy to clamor for government security when terrible things happen; but liberty is given true meaning when we support it without exception, and we will be safer for it.


    - Ron Paul

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I'm starting to miss Ron Paul.

      Delete
  31. Nick Clegg has warned his coalition partner David Cameron against reversing centuries of British engagement and leadership in Europe, declaring that discussion of a referendum on relations with the EU before the euro has been rescued would place "the cart before the horse".

    ...

    Clegg also challenges the Tories in two sensitive areas on Europe as he warns his coalition partners that:

    • A review of the "balance of the EU's existing competences", which is being carried out across Whitehall as part of the coalition agreement, could end up making the case for greater British involvement in the EU. "They [the Tories] might be quite surprised that the more you actually look into it in detail, a lot of it you think is not a bad thing at all sometimes."

    • Plans to try to distance Britain from many EU law and order measures may harm the fight against crime. The coalition will exercise Britain's right to opt out of around 130 EU measures.

    ReplyDelete
  32. STUDY: Expressing Anger Can Add Two Years to Your Lifespan... drudge



    Some of us will live forever here.

    ReplyDelete
  33. The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the government would hit its $16.394 trillion borrowing limit by Monday, setting in motion a series of emergency steps that might buy the government until just February or March before it faces a full-blown debt crisis.

    Bucking recent precedent, the Treasury Department didn't specify the precise date on which it would exhaust its emergency measures and be forced to stop making certain payments.

    ReplyDelete
  34. On this day in 1982, the personal computer was selected as TIME’s Person of the Year, marking the first time a non-human had been given the award.

    ReplyDelete

  35. Word of the Day Archive
    Sunday December 23, 2012

    Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Previous Words | Subscribe for Free | Help

    douce \doos\ , adjective:

    Sedate; modest; quiet.

    “So should I have been, in my interview with Sir Thomas— how shall I put it— more douce?”
    -- Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall


    Douce comes from the French word of the same spelling meaning "sweet." It became widely used in English after it was used in the Chanson of Roland, a epic poem written about Charlemagne.

    Dictionary.com Entry and Pronunciation for douce



    http://dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday/archive/2012/12/23.html?src=rss

    ReplyDelete
  36. Quirk
    Merry belated Christmas to you too!

    ReplyDelete
  37. When a retired Canadian historian solved a mystery World War II cipher found strapped to the leg of a dead carrier pigeon he ruffled a few feathers at GCHQ who said the code was impossible to crack.

    ...

    GCHQ maintains that the cipher is impossible to crack. In a statement on its website it says: “Hundreds of proposed solutions have been carefully examined by the expert cryptanalysts at GCHQ.

    ...

    “Without access to the original code books or any context around the message, it will be impossible to decode. Any proposed solutions without such material, be impossible to prove correct.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Decoded it says: Fuck Hitler, the bastard. Here we are surrounded at Stalingrad, and he orders us not to surrender. This may be my last message.

      Delete
    2. .

      “Without access to the original code books or any context around the message, it will be impossible to decode. Any proposed solutions without such material, be impossible to prove correct.”


      That's how you cover your ass, boys and girls.

      :)

      .

      Delete
  38. New Years Day will bring a small pay bump to some of the lowest-paid American workers, with 10 states set to hike their minimum wages for 2013.

    ...

    The federal minimum wage remains $7.25 per hour, with no cost-of-living adjustment, and prevails in 31 states that do not mandate a higher state minimum wage. The last raise to the federal minimum came in 2009, after a series of increases signed into law by President George W. Bush.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Apple CEO Tim Cook's announcement earlier this month that the company will start building Macs closer to home in 2013 was seen as a milestone that could help jump-start U.S. manufacturing.

    ...

    In January, BMW said it would add 300 people to an existing workforce of 7,000 at a highly automated auto manufacturing plant in Greer, the company's largest factory outside of Germany. The expansion will to boost annual production to 350,000 by 2014.

    ...

    Jeld-Wen, an Oregon-based window and door maker, announced on Dec. 13 that it is moving its North American headquarters to Charlotte,adding 142 management and administrative jobs. The company already operates two manufacturing plants in the area with 2,200 employees.

    ReplyDelete
  40. .

    Drones.

    A 16 year old boy is killed in Yemen.

    Until now, only unofficial explanations have been offered.

    One anonymous government official told the media Abdulrahman's death was a mistake. Indefensibly, former White House press secretary and Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs said this October, "You should have a far more responsible father" if you don't want to be killed. (Abdulrahman's father, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was suspected by the United States of terrorism and was killed by a drone two weeks before his son.) But surely no one would suggest that children are fair game simply because their parents are suspected of wrongdoing.

    And if the government made a mistake, it should explain why.

    In court, government officials provided no explanation at all. Their response boiled down to an assertion that the government has the authority to kill Americans without having to account to any court for its actions.


    Sure it might be murder but at least it isn't torture.


    In the face of the government's official silence about the death of his grandson, Nasser al-Aulaqi went to court to seek answers. At issue in the lawsuit, which was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, is the government's obligation to account for its actions in killing Abdulrahman, his father and another U.S. citizen, Samir Khan.

    If this case is dismissed, as the government asks, a grieving grandfather will be left without any explanation or accountability for the death of his 16-year-old grandson. And Americans will be left with a government that insists it has the unilateral and unreviewable power to kill people, including Americans, that it deems to present a threat to the nation's security - even when, like Abdulrahman, they present no such threat.

    That would be a terrifying precedent to set.


    .

    ReplyDelete
  41. .

    Based on widespread nonresponse from states that spent years fighting President Barack Obama's landmark health care reform law, the federal government will be involved in the new health insurance marketplaces called exchanges in more than two-thirds of the 50 states beginning in 2014.

    The Obama administration had hoped opposing states would see that it's in their best interest to run their own exchanges as Congress intended after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the Affordable Care Act last summer and the president's re-election effectively ended efforts to repeal Obamacare.

    But even after the deadline to submit a plan was extended until Dec. 14, just 18 states and the District of Columbia had come forward to run their own exchanges, according to Kaiser's StateHealthFacts.org.



    Read more:
    http://www.bankrate.com/financing/insurance/feds-to-run-most-state-exchanges/#ixzz2GEAONm3h

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. American medicine at its best -

      December 24, 2012
      Miracle Baby: Heart Surgery Before Birth Saves Baby's Life

      http://www.americanthinker.com/video/2012/12/miracle_baby_heart_surgery_before_birth_saves_babys_life.html

      At a hospital in Philly a new technique is tried and succeeds.

      vieo

      Delete
    2. I resist the temptation to make a point about NoCare/WhoCares

      Delete