“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hillary Campaign $31 Million in Debt (CORRECTED)

Corrected Item: Clinton's campaign debts at $20.88 million

This is an item correcting the campaign debts of the Democratic presidential campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton as previously reported here.

Due to a mathematical error, the $11.4 million she had previously loaned herself was counted twice, producing an incorrect total of nearly $31 million.

The actual total debt of her campaign, as reported in the campaign finance filing for April, is $10 million in loans to herself plus $9.48 million in unpaid bills.

Additionally, campaign officials said the New York senator gave herself another $1.4 million loan in May, producing a total current debt of $20.88 million. But the latest loan that occurred in May will not show up on finance filings until next month.

The other numbers for Sen. Clinton and other candidates' financial reports stand as written in the original item.

Money shocker! Hillary Clinton's campaign debt soars to $31 million

No wonder Sen. Hillary Clinton was so late filing her required campaign financial reports Tuesday night. Her political team didn't want the shocking news in it to overshadow her lopsided thumping of Sen. Barack Obama in Kentucky.

Now comes the morning after, pay-up time. Clinton's campaign debt has now soared to nearly $31 million, according to numbers crunched early this morning by The Times' campaign finance guru, Dan Morain.

She added another $9.5 million in unpaid bills to venders this past month alone, pushing her total debt to venders and herself to the new astronomical figure, about a 50% debt increase in one month.

According to a campaign release put out Tuesday evening as election returns revealed her big win in Kentucky and loss in Oregon, Clinton raised "approximately $22 million" from other people in April. The release also touted that $10 million had poured in within 48 hours of another lopsided Clinton victory over Obama, that one in Pennsylvania, and said it was the second best fundraising month of her entire campaign.

But the number collected is actually closer to $21 million and the release also neglected to mention that she spent $28.9 million, nearly $8 million more than she took in. She used personal loans to make up part of the difference. She also delayed payments to consultants. Including the $9.5 million in unpaid bills from April, she owes consultants and other venders $19.5 million.

Not to mention the total $11.4 million she has loaned herself.

The likely Democratic nominee Obama continues to vastly out-raise Sen. John McCain, but the presumed Republican nominee is closing the money gap with the significant help of his party, according to new campaign finance reports filed Tuesday.

McCain disclosed he had $21.7 million in the bank at the end of April, compared to....

...Obama’s $46.5 million. But the Republican National Committee is proving to be a real financial equalizer for the Arizona senator with the notorious disaste for fundraising.

With significant time and help from President George W. Bush, the RNC ended April with $40.6 million in the bank—10 times more than the Democratic National Committee, which had a modest $4.4 million in the bank.

The Democratic Party's fund-raising also was a fraction of the Republicans' in April--a mere $4.7 million, compared to $19.8 million for the RNC.

The DNC’s cash in the bank actually fell from its March total, which was $5.3 million. Democrats have tapped former Vice President Al Gore in an effort to draw donors to party fund-raisers.
Party money can be used to help the nominees in a variety of direct and indirect ways during the general election campaign. Parties can pay for voter registration, voter turn-out efforts and advertising.

McCain’s primary fight has long been over, which allowed him to limit spending to $6.4 million last month. Democratic front-runner Obama raised $31.9 million last month and spent $36.4 million, according to his report filed late Tuesday.

McCain disclosed he received $17.8 million in contributions in April, pushing his total receipts to $100.4 million for the whole campaign, less than half Obama's total of $266.6 million since January 2007.

The freshman Illinois Democrat scooped up $31.9 million last month, a 20% drop from the $40 million he raised in March. He collected $55 million back in February, which seems millions of dollars away.

--Andrew Malcolm LA Times


  1. Campaigns are a good way to get a feel for how you'll operate as President. Not based on what you say or promise, but how your organization actually functions and what kind of people you set up around you. So we know a President Hillary will spend taxpayer's money like there's no tomorrow, and she will hide bad news from the American people.

  2. So she's blown through a third of what Bill has earned since leaving the White House.
    They were up almost $100 million, weren't the?

    Not bad for folks that had lived in public housing until 2000.

    $31 million, in a failed attempt.
    Took a lickin' kept on tickin'.

    sam mentions he does not favor illegal aliens driving, as if that would make a difference.
    They drive, just like every other American in the United States. To be against reality will not change that reality. Wishing will not make it so.

    The operative word in the debate, the one the "right" has trumpeted ILLEGAL is merely a "status" that can be changed, almost on a whim.

    Without legalizing the unlicensed, the legal residents will continue pay for the burden, just as do the hospitials that are required by law to serve the indigent.

    Unfunded Federal Mandates on individuals and localities.

    The Federals will not clear the country of the 20 million illegals, local efforts are hampered by budget cuts and a lack of capacity to deal with a Federal responsibility.

    Sheriff Joe's actions have seen to it that he recieved a 5% budget cut.

  3. When the law isn't accountable to you, there's no reason to be accountable to the law.

  4. in the other thread Bobal wrote:

    " The trouble with that California court decision is, four people overturned a measure passed by 61% of the people of California,"

    Bobal, it is constitutional law. It is to prevent the tyranny of the majority. The constitution trumps the vote. The constitution can be changed but it must be changed first.

    Tell me how you would feel if 4 people in a court over ruled the majority who voted for a law restricting gun ownership? A travesty or a triumph of constitutional law?

  5. Is it Doug who is a big fan of Kevin James?

    Here he is showing his rhetorical brilliance:

  6. The 2nd Amendment is in the Constitution; there is no Gay Marriage Clause in the Constitution.

  7. "U.S and Idaho lawmakers and economic development officials deserve praise for working to bring a $2 billion uranium plant to Idaho.

    French-owned energy servies company Areva NC Inc. will build the plant near Idaho Falls, after winning tax concessions from lawmakers.

    A late-session push in the Legislature earlier this year extended a sales tax exemption for production equipment that handles nuclear fuel and capped property tax valuations at the proposed plant at $400 million."

    .....editorial goes on to sing the praises of the plant...

    Amzing isn't it? Our country developed nuclear energy, and after the green hysteria and the building of hundreds of foul coal burning plants we seem to have lost our abilities so we turn to the French, who by the way are using our newer technology, I have read.

  8. There is an equal rights clause in the constitution AND States have constitutions as well.

  9. Bobal: The 2nd Amendment is in the Constitution; there is no Gay Marriage Clause in the Constitution.

    Sure there is, bobal. Number 14:

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

  10. Ah, Ash, how does barring gay marriage discriminate? Everybody is barred from marrying someone of the same sex. It's not that, say, whites can marry someone from the same sex, and blacks can't. Nobody could, until four people came up with a ruling that said they could. But I'm certain I won't convince you of anything, so I'm dropping it. It'll be interesting to see if the people of California change their constitution, which even the judges seem to admit would trump their ruling. You'd be surprised, I might vote to allow gays to marry, if I were in California. I did here in Idaho, when it went down to defeat by a massive margin. I have been having major second thoughts about my vote, though, based on the idea it opens cans that really shouldn't be opened.

  11. And I sure won't convince you, T.:)

    gotta run

  12. Bobal,

    Put your legal wig on an argue away about the constitutionality of gay marriage. I am more interested in addressing your query about Judges overiding the vote of the people.

  13. All you need to know about the price of gasoline, At a Glance.

    You see, if you're an Oil Importing Country with flat, or declining domestic production (Like Us,) it's not World "Production" that matters; it's World "Exports."

  14. John Samples (on the rufus gambit) at Cato:


    Like LBJ, Barack Obama sees in politics and governing the possibility of secular transcendence. He is a far better orator than LBJ was, and his skills might well bring a third phase of Progressivism to the United States in 2009. However, there is room for doubt. Obama lives in different world than LBJ.

    In 1965, democrats held more than two-thirds of both chambers of Congress. As LBJ said on his inaugural night, "We can pass it all now." Democrats may gain seats in Congress this year, but they will not have the same majorities LBJ had. President Obama will not say "We can pass it all now."

    LBJ began his quest for the Great Society by cutting taxes. Obama will have to raise taxes to pursue his dreams -- excuse me, "our" dreams. Once "hope" and "change" cost real money, Obama will find Congress less willing to dream.

    1n 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted the federal government to do what is right almost always or most of the time. In 2004, 47 percent trusted the feds. Perhaps Obama's charisma will foster trust. Or maybe not. Obama is running as post-ideological. If he undertakes a new Progressivism, voters are likely to feel betrayed and trust in government will drop as it did when Clinton ran as a moderate in 1992 and tried to govern as a liberal in 1994.

    Conservatives have reasons for pessimism in 2008. But the spring of 1964 was much worse. Barack Obama may expect to renew the left's quest for a secular spirituality rooted in politics and government, a religion to replace the older faiths. But 2009 is unlikely to be 1965. In fact, if Obama overreaches enough, 2010 might come to resemble 1994.

  15. No worries, rufus. We'll just flog OPEC with anti-trust. Worked out for the EU and its nemesis Microsoft, right?

  16. Yeah, right after I get through flogging my banker.

    uh, . . . . flog is just another word for "blow job," right?

  17. Well, you know. I'm always years behind on slang terms, rufus. (Ask my kids about my one-time, innocent use of "butt gremlin" - the actual definition of which eluded me.)

    Charlie Cook:


    Astute political analyst Norman Ornstein has said that Clinton's backers must go through a mourning process over the next few weeks. That brings to mind Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Clinton supporters are pretty much past denial and anger, are now mostly in the bargaining and depression phase, and will eventually get to acceptance. That's why Ornstein argues that it was best for Clinton not to get out earlier or even now--that Clinton and her supporters must work through this disappointment to bring real closure. Only then will they, at least most of them, rejoin the Democratic fold. They have to be given time to get over their loss.

    Watch for Hillary and Bill Clinton to work their tails off for Obama, allowing no one to say that they didn't do their part. If Obama wins, they will be seen as team players. If he loses, the "I told you so" argument emerges and she is well positioned to run a better campaign in 2012, should she choose to do so.

    In a perverse way, Obama's recent knocks have been very important for him, too. Now he can't enter the general election contest unmindful of the resistance that he is encountering from older and downscale white voters. His campaign knows what has to be done and must figure out how to do it. I wonder whether John Kerry would have responded to the Swift Boat charges more effectively during his general election campaign if he'd had to grapple with them during the primary season.

    Curious developments are also occurring beyond presidential politics. In the other big election news on Tuesday, the Republican loss in Mississippi's 1st Congressional District after previous losses in former Speaker Dennis Hastert's 14th District of Illinois and Richard Baker's 6th District of Louisiana should signal to GOP leaders that a political Armageddon is a very real possibility.

    If the GOP can lose in these districts, it can lose anywhere. Although each loss can be explained away, together they tell us that when a president is extremely unpopular, lots of bad things happen to his party's candidates. The Republicans need to do some deep soul-searching, and contemplate what has gone wrong with their party.

    First, just as Ronald Reagan effectively delivered a generation of voters to the GOP, George W. Bush has effectively lost one. Second, Reagan's undiluted conservative formula, which worked so well in the 1980s, is obsolete. Republicans must find a new approach.

    Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Republicans need to start thinking about that.

    May 16, 2008

  18. It must be Cato Wednesday. (Why is the bar always empty on Cato Days?)

    Daniel Griswold:


    When large numbers of otherwise decent people routinely violate a law, the law itself is probably the problem. To argue that illegal immigration is bad merely because it is illegal avoids the threshold question of whether we should prohibit this kind of immigration in the first place.

    We've faced this choice on immigration before. In the early 1950s, federal agents were making a million arrests a year along the Mexican border. In response, Congress ramped up enforcement, but it also dramatically increased the number of visas available through the Bracero guest worker program. As a result, apprehensions at the border dropped 95 percent. By changing the law, we transformed an illegal inflow of workers into a legal flow.

    For those workers already in the United States illegally, we can avoid "amnesty" and still offer a pathway out of the underground economy. Newly legalized workers can be assessed fines and back taxes and serve probation befitting the misdemeanor they've committed. They can be required to take their place at the back of the line should they eventually apply for permanent residency.

    The fatal flaw of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was not that it offered legal status to workers already here but that it made no provision for future workers to enter legally.

    Immigration is not the only area of American life where a misguided law has collided with reality. In the 1920s and '30s, Prohibition turned millions of otherwise law-abiding Americans into lawbreakers and spawned an underworld of moon-shining, boot-legging and related criminal activity. (Sound familiar?) We eventually made the right choice to tax and regulate alcohol rather than prohibit it.

    In the 19th century, America's frontier was settled largely by illegal squatters. In his influential book on property rights, The Mystery of Capital, economist Hernando de Soto describes how these so-called extralegals began to farm, mine and otherwise improve land to which they did not have strict legal title. After failed attempts by the authorities to destroy their cabins and evict them, federal and state officials finally recognized reality, changed the laws, declared amnesty and issued legal documents conferring title to the land the settlers had improved.

    As Mr. de Soto wisely concluded: "The law must be compatible with how people actually arrange their lives." That must be a guiding principle when Congress returns to the important task of fixing our immigration laws.

    This article appeared in the The Dallas Morning News on April 27, 2008.

  19. (Somewhere back in the mists of time, Doug mentioned the Bracero program.)

  20. Return to Operation Wetback. I remember those days.
    That brings to mind Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

    hehe--That's pretty good, kind of describes the situation for Hillary supportes. I think she's staying in just to show she's tough. By the way, if a campaign is broke as hers is, who holds the bag? How do the hotels and advertisers get paid? Not out of Billary's money I'd bet. Can a campaign declare bankruptcy?
    Here Ash, an article about activist judges, legislatures, governors and everyone else, from a pro-activist point of view:

    Who You Calling Activist?

    California's gay-marriage decision reflects the difference between judicial activism and, um, judging.
    By Dahlia Lithwick
    Posted Thursday, May 15, 2008, at 7:17 PM ET

    Read Slate's legal bloggers' reactions to the California same-sex marriage ruling on Convictions. Also in Slate, Kenji Yoshino calls the decision "revolutionary," Emily Bazelon explains why voters might not freak out, and William Saletan claims our bans on polygamy and incest, as well as homosexuality, are losing ground.

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    When it comes to gay marriage, California is a hotbed of activism. Their activist Legislature has twice passed bills that would legalize gay marriage, and their activist governor has twice vetoed those bills. That same activist Legislature also enacted a ban on same-sex marriage in 1977, and its activist citizenry passed a statewide ballot initiative in 2000 doing the same thing. While polls show that Californians are increasingly supportive of gay marriage, other activist citizens have been collecting what now amounts to 1.1 million signatures to amend their constitution in November to say that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." But then today the state's activist Supreme Court got in on the activist action, finding in a 4-3 decision that the California ban on same-sex marriage violates the "fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship." That makes everybody an activist in California, just by virtue of the fact that they are acting. (Let it be noted that it's particularly activist of the state Legislature and its citizens to be banning and legalizing gay marriage all at the same time.)

    In case you are confused about whose superactivist-hero powers trump here, let me add that California's governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger—who had vetoed both attempts by the state Legislature to enact bills legalizing same-sex marriage on the grounds that they would override the more than 60 percent of the state's voters who'd approved 2000 referendum—announced today that he would abide by the state Supreme Court's decision. "I respect the court's decision and as governor, I will uphold its ruling," he said in a statement today. "Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling."

    So—and in the event that you are scoring this along with me from the bleachers—that means the Governator, who was once prepared to thwart the will of the Legislature in order to uphold the will of the people, is not prepared to usurp the prerogative of the courts to thwart the will of the people or the Legislature. Nor will he back any future attempts of the people to usurp the powers of the courts. Which by some lights makes him a seriously activist governor and by others makes him the biggest wuss in history.



    Let's stipulate that these gay-marriage decisions inevitably degenerate into cartoonish attacks on the judiciary and—in an election year—even more cartoonish battles over judicial ideology. Every time a state court reads its own constitution and precedent to find a right to gay marriage, the critics always cry activism. They do that before they read the opinion, which means they can do it regardless of what said state constitution and precedents say. If the decision is for gay marriage, it's activist, and whatever the court did to get there is activism. Once you recognize this fact, you can read today's opinion (and the instant criticism of the opinion) for what it is: Even though the majority did what it was supposed to do and offered up a rigorous close reading of state law and precedent, it will be defended and also criticized solely in terms of judicial elitism and overreaching. That's too bad. There's some pretty interesting law stuff in here. But the only real fight that emerges from today's Supreme Court decision (all but one of the justices was appointed by a Republican governor, incidentally) is over what makes a judge an activist and who can properly say "nyah, nyah, nyah" come November.

    Given that no majority opinion allowing for gay marriage could ever have been crafted that would not have been excoriated as the work of "arrogant, elitist, activist judges," judicial anxiety over that fact dominates both the opinion and dissent. The justices start off on the defensive and somehow get more defensive from there. Whether this makes for quality opinion writing is yours to decide.

    Those opposed to gay marriage were already calling today's decision "activist" long before they'd read all 172 pages of the opinion. Alliance Defense Fund lawyer Glen Lavy quickly opined that "the court's decision clearly demonstrates that marriage is not ultimately safe from tampering by activists and others in government until the voters have amended the constitution." Brian Brown, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage-California, went one further with the judge bashery: "[T]hese out-of-touch California judges will not have the last word on marriage. … A state marriage amendment is the only way to put Prop 22 safely from the reach of activist judges who cannot tell the difference between marriage and bigotry."

    All of that plays right into John McCain's latest cut-and-paste rant about how "the moral authority of our judiciary depends on judicial self-restraint, but this authority quickly vanishes when a court presumes to make law instead of apply it." If Sen. McCain wants to take a moment to explain the difference between "making" and "applying" the law, I am all ears.

    The opinion itself is teeming with the court's own anxiety over the public perception of judicial activism. The majority begins with a plea to recognize that the judges in the majority are not activists: "Whatever our views as individuals with regard to this question as a matter of policy, we recognize as judges and as a court our responsibility to limit our consideration of the question to a determination of the constitutional validity of the current legislative provisions."

    The word activist itself appears just once today—in a concurrence and dissent by Justice Marvin Baxter, who doesn't call his colleagues activists but worries about their grandchildren: "Who can say that in ten, fifteen, or twenty years, an activist court might not rely on the majority's analysis to conclude, on the basis of a perceived evolution in community values, that the laws prohibiting polygamous and incestuous marriages were no longer constitutionally justified?"

    The writer is acting as a pro-activist activist.

  21. Cato's study into the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would have banned gay marriage, was titled "Unnecessary, Anti-Federalist, and Anti-Democratic". But then we knew Cato was libertarian. And when it comes to activist judges, the Pubs have no problem when the election is at stake (Bush v. Gore), or Terri Schialvo needs to be plugged into the wall somewhere.

  22. Well, then.

    Never make the grave mistake of confusing Republican with Libertarian. Milton Friedman certainly never did.

    Like confusing Democrat with Liberal or Progressive. As a general rule it just doesn't work. Politics, unlike philosophy, doesn't seek consistency or even coherence.

  23. Bush v Gore did not demonstrate judicial activism on the part of conservative judges on the SCOTUS. The Florida Supreme Court though was making up law as it muddled along.

    Gore was the one who threw the whole boondoggle into the courts.

    As to the California Supreme Court: The law against same sex marriage was passed by a super majority. Essentially the same as an amendment to the state constitution.

    The example though points to the problem I was getting at on the previous thread. How can society sanction same-sex marriage and not sanction polygamous marriage or just about any other kind including incestuous ones? You can argue for one and against the other but in a moral free-for-all who makes up the rules? The courts? A majority?

  24. "You can argue for one and against the other but in a moral free-for-all who makes up the rules?"

    Rand rejected the very premise of just this question, which renders the law subjective - anathema to a constitutional republic.

    "Who's values?" is precisely the wrong query.

    But I believe T knows that.

  25. What is the right query?

  26. " that end we may be governed by laws, not by men."

    C'mon, T.

    I know you can.

  27. " that end we may be governed by laws, not by men."

    C'mon, T.

    I know you can.

  28. So important she had to post it twice.

  29. Yes. Well.

    While T's busy (re)discovering organizing principles, trish has to go to dinner.

  30. At the end of December, Congress approved $70 billion in bridge funding—a down payment to cover the gap between the beginning of the fiscal year and the passage of the actual appropriation bill—to keep financing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Legislators at the time were still chewing on the rest of President George W. Bush’s request for a fiscal year 2008 war budget of $196 billion.


    President Bush has never included a comprehensive war spending request in his annual February budget. Instead, he has submitted emergency war requests to Capitol Hill, usually sometime in the spring, weeks after the defense appropriation subcommittees begin picking through the Pentagon budget.


    This year the Department of Defense once again failed to include the cost of war in its record-breaking $515 billion defense budget for fiscal year 2009. Instead, it included a placeholder for yet another $70 billion emergency war supplemental—which, conveniently for the administration, does not get counted in deficit projections.

    Trillion Dollar War

  31. Top 3 most expensive wars in '07 dollars (billions):

    1. WWII - 3,200
    2. Afghanistan/Iraq - 820
    3. Korean - 691

    Buried in Here

  32. Heated last-minute negotiations over how to reshape Lebanon's electoral districting system — which will significantly influence power-sharing after the upcoming 2009 parliamentary elections — resulted in a compromise that divides the country into smaller districts, allowing for more equal representation of its various sects.

    Although government officials defended the agreement, their sense of loss was reflected in comments on Wednesday by Saad Hariri, the son of former prime minister Rafik Hariri and a strong candidate for that post in the next government.

    "I know the wounds are deep and my injury is deep, but we only have each other to build Lebanon," he said.

    Power to Hezbollah

  33. My that Ayn Rand says a lot without really saying anything. So, whit, what is Ayn Randian "reality" in the Gay Marriage issue?

  34. Huckabee's appeal to McCain has important grounding. He's the candidate of choice of the politically committed Religious Right wing of the Republican Party.

    A Little Rock Film Festival showing of the documentary “Silhouette City” provides graphic evidence. In the halls where the James Dobsons, James Kennedys, John Hagees and Rod Parsleys gather to preach dominion theology and the Christian battle to “retake America,” Mike Huckabee is invariably a featured speaker.

    McCain has attempted to throw in with this crowd, too, but Huckabee long ago earned his key to the executive pastors' washroom. He's fully prepped to wave the bloody shirt of the California gay marriage ruling.

    Huckabee's Appeal

  35. I agrre with Ash. Ann isn't my cup of tea. Nor do I think Jesus, or somebody like Blake would be much taken with her.

    By the way, talking about equal protection brings up affirmative action. It all depends on whose ox is getting gored. We're supposed to have affirmative action for what, 50 years?

    Did Huckabee get invited to the big McCain compound invite? Did he make the invite list, like Crist, Jindal, Romney?

    Headline says gas is going to be $12. What's Obama gonna do? The good news there is we won't have to build any more refineries, everybody will be riding bikes.

  36. I suppose our oil companies have looked over Colombia pretty well by now looking for deposits. Would be nice to find a big oil field there.

  37. Bobal: The good news there is we won't have to build any more refineries, everybody will be riding bikes.

    And the Chinese will drive SUVs. The circle will be complete.

  38. Sorry, Canada's beat us:

    Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (TSX: PEG) today
    announced that it has filed amended results for the three month period ending
    March 31, 2008. The financial statements have been amended to reflect the fact
    that the statements have now been reviewed by the Corporation's auditors; no
    changes to any of the interim consolidated financial statements resulted from
    the review, except for the correction of two transposed lines in note 6(b).

    Complete reviewed interim financial statements and MD&A are available on
    the Company's website or on SEDAR at

    Pacific Rubiales, a Canadian-based company and producer of natural gas
    and heavy crude oil, owns 100 percent of Meta Petroleum Limited, a Colombian
    oil operator which operates the Rubiales and Piriri oil fields in the Llanos
    Basin in association with Ecopetrol S.A. the Colombian, national oil company.
    The Company is focused on identifying opportunities primarily within the
    eastern Llanos Basin of Colombia as well as in other areas in Colombia and
    northern Peru.

    Pacific Rubiales

  39. From whit's Ayn Rand link:

    The answer here, as in all other moral-intellectual problems, is that nobody "decides." Reason and reality are the only valid criteria of political theories. Who determines which theory is true? Any man who can prove it.

    This is one of the reasons I put Ayn Rand down and took up daojia instead. She sounds more ignorant than a scientific creationist. The only place you find proofs is in mathematics, and even there it is tempered by Godel's theorum which shows that no consistent deductive system can be complete, and vice-versa.

    Essentially, theories aren't really proven, they are merely ranked in three levels based on how successfully they can predict future observations.

    1. SUPERB
    2. USEFUL

    Relativity is a superb theory. Evolution is useful. Reaganomics is tentative.

  40. Whit: Gore was the one who threw the whole boondoggle into the courts.

    Bush v. Gore means Bush was the petitioner, just as he was in Bush v. Palm Beach County Canvassing Board. Unless you think the Canvassing Board sued W. In fact, the full name of the decision was George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, Petitioners v. Albert Gore, Jr., et al.

    In case you have forgotten, Bush sought to uphold a deadline and stop a manual recount, in order to let the first counts by mechanical means stand. The Florida Supremes ruled to let the recount resume, and the SCOTUS overrulled them. Hence my label of "judicial activism".

  41. What would you do if you were a bureaucrat in the most power executive government of the world, and you realized:
    1) We have the most powerful and destructive weapons on earth.

    2) We can intercept voice or data communications on anyone in the world in a few seconds.

    3) We can make anyone into a social leper in a few minutes with global media press releases.


    It's time for those of us still living in a free society to root out tyrants in every level of government. It's time to get the hidden would-be tyrants, those hidden Jeremiah Wright or Osama bin Laden or Hitler or Mafia or racist types out of the halls of academic, religious, union, political, and military power in America.


    For shame! deny that thou bear'st love to any,
    Who for thyself art so unprovident.
    Grant, if thou wilt, thou art beloved of many,
    But that thou none lovest is most evident;
    For thou art so possess'd with murderous hate
    That 'gainst thyself thou stick'st not to conspire.

    End Game

  42. MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - High gas prices have driven a Warren County farmer and his sons to hitch a tractor rake to a pair of mules to gather hay from their fields. T.R. Raymond bought Dolly and Molly at the Dixon mule sale last year. Son Danny Raymond trained them and also modified the tractor rake so the mules could pull it.
    T.R. Raymond says the mules are slower than a petroleum-powered tractor, but there are benefits.

    "This fuel's so high, you can't afford it," he said. "We can feed these mules cheaper than we can buy fuel. That's the truth."

    And Danny Raymond says he just likes using the mules around the farm.

    "We've been using them quite a bit," he said.

    Brother Robert Raymond added, "It's the way of the future."

  43. In their Senate and congressional accounts, Democrats were faring much better. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign committee reported $37.6 million in the bank to the National Republican Senatorial Committee's $19.4 million.

    The GOP's Senate campaign arm, however, slightly edged the Democrats in fundraising for the first time this election cycle.

    Similarly, the National Republican Congressional Committee outraised the Democrats' House campaign committee. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reported more than $45 million in the bank to the GOP committee's nearly $7 million.

    Democrats' Accounts Better

  44. Far out. That is in your face. Your last post, Bob.

  45. Try this, Sam.


    Senator Byrd Weeps For Kennedy


    Weep for the demise of your Republic.

  46. Tes,

    I think you just earned yourself "Oak Leaf Cluster" with that post @ 09:27:00 PM EDT

    Well done!

  47. Ted....Ted.
    Is Ted dead?
    O Ted is dead.
    O DeadTedDeadTedDeadTed.

    A little attempt at tumor humor.

  48. Can't watch it here at work, Bob. I'll have to watch it at home.

  49. Ensure good luck in your future. Mutilate an albino

    I get the distinct impression things are breaking down worldwide.

  50. In his home office in Cody, Al Simpson displays pictures and mementos from close friends; including Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and The Democrat, Ted Kennedy. Senator Simpson points at an antique American flag with only 44 stars, and reads the caption below it.

    “And he sent it to me and it says, 'To the Kid from Cody, a great friend and a great Senator even if he seems to be playing with 44 stars in his flag.'”

    The two men often jabbed at each other, with a smile. Al is proud of a group of photos that show Ted Kennedy and Al Simpson pointing at each other over a desk with microphones, holding fists at each other, squaring off with hockey sticks.

    Ted Kennedy

  51. Metuselah: Tes, I think you just earned yourself "Oak Leaf Cluster" with that post @ 09:27:00 PM EDT Well done!

    Well, that would put me right back where I was before I demanded, in a pique, to be busted down to elephant bar pooper scooper.

  52. Bobal, if Ted doesn't get surgery he will die, and if he does get surgery it will destroy the speech center of his brain. Either way, he will finally STFU.

  53. Rand was saying that ethics doesn't come from some self absorbed nihilistic jackass or the majority of a mob. It comes from the long held, long considered, long gleaned thoughts and writings of many wise men over many years.

    Throw it all out at your peril.

  54. BTW, I read where Canada signed their Free Trade Deal with Colombia.

    The "Trick" isn't to look in the Constitution to find a "Right" to Gay Marriage. The Trick is to look in the Constitution and find exactly where the Government is given the Right to tell me who or what I can marry.

    As for "incest," you can outlaw that on the basis of harm to "future" children.

  55. BTW - My 500 gigabyte external drive is installed, my data is backed up and the new hard drive courtesy of Dell is ready to be installed.

    I'll be down for a while. Hopefully, not too long, but in case I don't make it back, it's been good knowing you all.:)

  56. Jeebus Christ! Give her my medals. I never wear'em, anyway.

  57. BTW,

    That was just a BTW squared.

  58. ..elephant bar pooper scooper..

    You and Trish both. Must be a girl thing. :)

  59. Whit: Rand was saying that ethics doesn't come from some self absorbed nihilistic jackass or the majority of a mob. It comes from the long held, long considered, long gleaned thoughts and writings of many wise men over many years.

    There's a thing called by some "equilibrium morality". I call it moral naturalism, and tried to start a Wikipedia article on it, but it was tossed out due to poor documentation. It's related to social darwinism. Where does marriage come from? It evolved. It is right because it works. It wasn't the considered policy of one or a group of wise men. It precedes the bible by many tens of thousands of years. There's no absolute moral basis for marriage, and if our society begins to accept same-sex marriage the moral basis for that (or lack thereof) is exactly the same as for breeders.

  60. What we humans want is policy that considers our wants overall, without giving excess weight to morality. So we want policy advisors, like economists, who suggest actions that better get us what we want, even if those actions are immoral.

    We do not want to just do what we should, but we instead want to achieve all our ends, including immoral and amoral ends. So we mostly do not want to just do what moral philosophers suggest.

    Unfortunately, all this is clouded by our tendency to want to appear to care more about morality than we actually do. We want to take the moral high ground and be seen as supporting highly moral policies, even if we don't actually want those policies implemented.

    Morality is Overrated

  61. We'll all be hoping for your safe return, Whit.

  62. "Breeders?"

    That makes me want to consider your argument.

  63. Ruf, I was just listening to a long table talk on Yearnin' for Zion on NPR, pro and con what Texas did. Best I can tell, they may have spread too wide a net, BUT, that compound was really really closed to the public, which isn't illegal, but on 1700 acres of closed property it makes law enforcement hard, and, these folks had moved to Texas from Utah and Arizona, where the same behavior was practiced, as the age of consent is lower in Texas, giving them a little break in that regard, and, it was known hanky panky was going on, and, those girls have been bred and raised to do as told and perform as asked, and 'married' way way too young. So it seems there are some arguments on both sides. It was not like a 'normal' case of child abuse, where you can go and knock on the door of a single family residence, and find out what's going on. Separating the infants from the mothers, that's another story.

  64. We is 'breeders' Ruf, I consider that hate speech. Arrest that woman.

  65. Using the space telescope imaging spectograph on board the Hubble and NASA's far ultraviolet spectroscopic explorer (FUSE), they found hot gas and spectral "fingerprints" of intervening oxygen and hydrogen superimposed on the light from the qasars.

    Normal matter makes up about five times the matter of the universe, while dark matter accounts for about 25 percent.

    Probing this cosmic web of normal matter will be a task taken on by the new Cosmic Origins Spectograph (COS), due to be installed on the Hubble later this year.

    Missing Matter Found

  66. Normal matter makes up about five times the matter of the universe, while dark matter accounts for about 25 percent.

    What's the matter with me, that I don't understand this sentence?

  67. Yeah, I didn't get it either. Those Nasa guys are real dummies. They need to go back to algebra class. Amazing them space shuttles fly.

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. Normal matter makes up about five times the matter of the universe, while dark matter accounts for about 25 percent.

    So let's see..

    nm = 5(m)
    dm = .25(m)


  70. Wikipedia says, "Only about 4% of the total energy density in the universe (as inferred from gravitational effects) can be seen directly. About 22% is thought to be composed of dark matter. The remaining 74% is thought to consist of dark energy, an even stranger component, distributed diffusely in space."

    Dark matter pulls, dark energy pushes. And pushing is winning.

  71. A couple of weeks ago, I reported in this space about Mark Steyn’s appearance at Indigo’s Bay and Bloor store, during which Heather Reisman interviewed him. I suggested the event might better have been titled “White Guys’ Night Out” or some such, and played it mostly for laughs.

    The story picked up again yesterday, when the National Post featured an op-ed by left-coast writer Terry O’Neill on the subject of Macleans’—and by extension, Mark Steyn’s—upcoming trial before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (a discrimination complaint brought “on behalf of Muslim residents in the province of British Columbia” that will be heard on June 2). O’Neill reminds us that when you defend free speech, you’re doing it for everyone.

    Or, in the words of Noam Chomsky: “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

    Mark Steyn

  72. Dark matter pulls, dark energy pushes. And pushing is winning.

    So therefore, expanding.

  73. Ted Kennedy--Traitor--And The KGB

    Treating with the enemy.

    I'm sheading no tears. I never liked any of the Kennedys. Learned the behavior from my dad.

  74. Didn't know about that letter, Bob. Amazing. Thanks.

    74% dark energy. Ain't slowin' down anytime soon.

  75. Today in history - May 22:

    On this date:

    In 1813, composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany.

    In 1868, a major train robbery took place near Marshfield, Ind., as members of the Reno gang made off with $96,000 in loot.

    In 1907, actor-director Laurence Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England.


  76. Well, Sam, I'll be safely and cozily dead when dark energy gets strong enough to cause the Big Rip in 50 billion years. In the mean time, we'll have to settle for smaller rips, like the end of the Bush tax cuts in 2010.

  77. Thanks for the link, Teresita. I get the jist of it but having trouble with this:

    In a phantom energy dominated universe the "fabric" of the universe expands at an ever increasing rate. However, this implies that the size of the observable universe is continually shrinking;

  78. You're abetting your own hanging, T.

    And so are the rest of you.

    Whit may have grounds for appeal.

  79. When you cut down every law (deny every principle) to get at the devil, what do you stand behind when the devil turns on you?

  80. That's so damned dumb, sam, I don't even know what to say.

  81. On Wednesday, sect members requested 500 to 600 voter registration cards from Schleicher County, something they had not done in the five years since the 1,700-acre ranch was transformed from a small game ranch to a $20.5 million self-contained community with houses, a school, a dairy, woodshops, gardens and an enormous gleaming white temple.

    "As residents of the state, we have to take responsibility for part of this," said Willie Jessop. "We were naive enough to believe there was good people in government to protect our rights."

    Schleicher County has an estimated 2,800 residents, and the FLDS property is the third-biggest taxpayer in the rural ranching county, accounting for roughly 18 percent of its tax base. But county officials have had no role in the raid, aside from sheriff's deputies assisting state law enforcement.

    More Children

  82. If you thereby had some significant point to make, sam...

  83. Hey!

    You can't speak to me like that Trish. I've got a cluster, don't you know. I'm untouchable!

  84. Just kidding, Trish. Tongue in cheek stuff.


    I don't know there's lots of analogies. Use your imagination. Saddam's an easy one. Old US policy vs. new US policy.

    For fuck's sakes this all supposed to be light-hearted fun. Relax.

  85. The world's fucked up enough for me. I come to the bar to unwind. Let me do that, at least.

  86. More fucked up shit:

    Concerns are focused on the impoverished, semiautonomous tribal regions along the Afghan border -- established militant hotspots where al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri may be hiding.

    The government has exchanged prisoners with militants in the South Waziristan, one such militant stronghold, as part of ongoing peace negotiations there.

    Swat, in contrast, is the most striking example of how Taliban-style militancy has spread to previously peaceful areas supposedly under full government control.

    Deal for Valley

  87. Deal for valley..

    Should be death for valley.


  88. I already answered you. I'm outta here in 8 minutes.

  89. Talk to you tomorrow, Trish.

    Take care.

  90. In a phantom energy dominated universe the "fabric" of the universe expands at an ever increasing rate. However, this implies that the size of the observable universe is continually shrinking;

    I think I understand that one, Sam.

    "Sewing machine was goin' so fast, took nine stitches out the wildcat's ass"


    Things are speeding up to the point, and more so the further out, that they pop out of sight, their light not being able to reach us, leaving us less to see, and finally, all is darkness.

    HERE'S a pretty good site to keep up on political goings on, changed almost daily.

    Neat map and stuff.

  91. "The "Trick" isn't to look in the Constitution to find a "Right" to Gay Marriage. The Trick is to look in the Constitution and find exactly where the Government is given the Right to tell me who or what I can marry."

    Well, without unenumerated powers, there goes a large proportion of the Federal Government.

    Allah willing.

    As has been mentioned before, we're now clinging to the Bill of Rights, when in reality they were simply the tip of the iceberg.