“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."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Telegraph Teases Over Top 50 Political Pundits

The Telegraph is doing a daily tease on composing a list of the top 50 political pundits who shape American poitical opinion. They started Monday and published those ranked 41 to 50.From bottom to top they picked, Rachel Maddow, Mary Matalin, Paul Krugman, JC Watts, Mark Levin, Fred Barnes, Jeffrey Toobin, Paul Begala, Bill Bennett, and Mark Shields.

On Tuesday they went from 40 to 31 with Tony Snow, Dee Dee Myers, Michael Barone, Eugene Robinson, Newt Gingrich, Joe Trippi, Howard Kurtz, Roland Martin, William Kristol, Juan Williams.

The Wednesday 30 up to 21 were, Peggy Noonan, Ron Fournier, James Carville, Pat Buchanan, Arianna Huffington, Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Mike Allen, Dick Morris, and David Gergen.

We may call them the Cardinals over here at the humble EB, but they are an important part of US politics. Let's not let the Brits have all the fun. I think we should jump ahead and help them with the top ten. Do not forget the Democrats and left. Who are the top ten US political pundits?


  1. Ash
    Desert Rat

    The combined genius of the above, and any I may have had a senior moment over at his late hour, is of course #Number 1

  2. Coming in #Number2, of course, is Scott Ott.

  3. Dang, Bob W, of course, is also #Number1.

  4. Wright

  5. Haven't heard any pundit come up with the idea that ANY of the THOUSANDS of Trinity regulars could sink Obama almost as effectively as Wright, simply by reporting the truth as they saw it.

    ...surprised Hillary hasn't given a Trinity parishioner a stipend for their honest testimony

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. As the current Pope wrote, years ago, there is a central truth to the tenents of "Liberation Theology" that must be addressed.

    That by emphasising Obama's "blackess" he may be weakened before the convention, is all to true.

    The truth that if the alternate Dem gets the nomination, McCain will stand no chance at all, ignored.

    Al Gore will thunp him, in the debates, at the polling places.

  8. There are no Judases at Trinity, save the pastor.

    We could ask Oprah, she was there for awhile, she's sure to tell the truth, millions watch her.;)

    It's kinda sad. We were thinking here ol Larry Sinclair might play the spoiler, turns out it's the pastor.

  9. Desert Rat, Obama may very well pick al-Gore for VP, but I'm quite sure he can thump McSame in the debates all by his lonesome. Just the visuals alone will be striking...Yesterday vs. Tomorrow.

  10. It's not spoiled, yet, bob.

    Much as Obama gave the "bestest" seach on Race in 40 years, now he will be able to speak to the status of "Religion in America".

    As a Christian, Baptist in fact, that has been decieved ny a false prophet and father figure.

    Oprah will stand by Obama, speaking her version of the "truth", already has done so.

    She'd been to the Church and knew Obama, too. If she is an adequate character witness, Obama wins.

    No, T, it'll be Obama as VP, with Gore in the top spot. The solution that will mollify the geriatric Clintonistas, getting the blue hairs to the polls, come November.

    Neither candidate can claim the top spot, based upon committed delegates. Obama is the master of voting "present", the Super Delegates learning from the techniques of Obama's past.

    Taking the Convention to a compromise
    Rested ...
    Proven ...
    Al Gore

  11. Old Man Winter being pushed out by resurgent Spring. Mr. Holdfast vs the Hero. Gonna look terrible.

  12. While I'd agree that Billary well represents the Winter of Discontent, I'd postulate that Obama represents an Indian Summer, the false promise of a short winter.

    It is Gore that will breathe new life into the Democrats, with the once and future frontrunner, by his side.

    It is a scenario that bares the best laid plans of the GOP propaganda machine.

  13. Unites the Democrats around the one figure that has not alienated vast swathes of the Party, as have both Billart and Obama.

    He brings fame, low negatives, Hollywood to the party, without the baggage of campaigning for the past 2 years.

  14. ... and he would smash illusion of the Democratic party being led by democratically selected leader. Ain't gonna happen.

  15. Not at all, ash.

    It plays Obama as the hero, taking the second spot, for the "good" of the Nation as well as the Party.

    Blaming the power mad Clintons, for the debacle. Curtailing their influence in the National Party.

    Obama than stands in either '12 or '16, with a more solid resume and years of goin' to the Washington Cathedral

  16. I hear your logic rat but the simple fact that Gore said he wouldn't and then didn't run in a single primary will leave him off the table at a brokered convention because that would mean all those primaries were nullified and the spectacle of that just won't fly. It'll be either Clinton or Obama or some combination of both. My money is still on Obama to go all the way to POTUS.

  17. Not at all, ash.

    It means that the Primaries proved that there was no consensus amongst the Party's electorate.

    The first round of voting mirrors the Primaries, no real winner emerges. No one can reach the magic number, 2024 isn't it?

    Then we'll see if Obama can sacrifice shortterm gratification for the good of his country, his Party and hinself.

    Look to duece's past thread, now starting to link Obama to Farrakhan. That's only just begun, scaring the "blue hairs" to no end.

  18. As Billary comes to market herself as the anti-Obama, to the Super Delegates, she becomes just that, an alternative.

    When a better alternative, one that diminishes but embraces Obama instead of rejecting him, is offered ...

    But I've always kind of seen Obama in that stalking horse role.

  19. 1/ Newt Gingrich

    The rest is noise.

  20. That'd be an interesting choice. One that could rally the faithful.

  21. "One that could rally the faithful."

    That has nothing to do with anything. Unless you're talking about the money Hussein Obama is getting from the Saudi faithful in the form of internet donations.

  22. No, mat, I was referencing the Party faithful. Those that'll stay home, come November, if McCain picks some no-name Governor or Senator.

    No, I mean those in the Republican Party that remember the glory days of 1992 % 93.

    Balanced budgets and cash flow "surpluses". Those that can remember what the Republican Party used to be about.

    Your clains that the Sauds have infiltrated the internet and are contributing to Obama's campaign, as millions of small donors, is quaint. Prove it, please.

    They are not all false flag accounts:
    Obama received money from 727,972 donors in February, including 385,101 new contributors. To date, Obama has received donations from 1.07 million donors, far more than any other candidate.

    So if you have any proof at all, of Saudi involvement, tell the story. Otherwise it's just nothing.

    If either Party is getting Saudi money, it'll be McCain, as his people are going to the GOP special interest donors, raising only $4 million of their $15 million in contributions from direct mail or innternet donations.

    It is McCain that is mining the deep pockets of the Saudi network, not Obama.

  23. ... The Arizona senator is now focused on the general election and seems to be laying the groundwork for accepting public funding. His campaign has begun returning checks to donors and asking them to send money instead for a fund to pay for the legal and accounting expenses necessary to comply with the public financing system.

    Total Receipts: $76,691,826
    Total Spent: $65,112,112
    Cash on Hand: $11,579,713
    Debts: $707,041
    Date of last report: March 31, 2008

    That McCain is going onto the political dole, public financing of his campaign, is mentioned more and more.

    In March, officials said he raised about $15M, his best month since early 2007 and well above his $2M-per-month pace in late 2007. The final number is still being tallied.

    $11m came from a spurt in the campaign's high-dollar fundraising. $4m was raised through direct mail and Internet efforts.
    The campaign is on track to meet its internal budget goal of about $57M through the start of the Republican convention and an additional $20M for a legal compliance fund.

    McCain's fundraising team has also been tasked with raising about $100m into the Republican National Committee's Victory Fund, which will be spent in the fall.
    The campaign itself has stopped raising money for the general election and intends to accept the $85m from the federal government.

    ...intends to accept the $85m from the federal government.

  24. What a mess.

    The Cook Political Report

    April 29, 2008

    Hillary's Political Purgatory
    By Charlie Cook
    © National Journal Group Inc.
    April 26, 2008

    This column was originally featured in National Journal on April 26, 2008.

    The good news for Hillary Rodham Clinton is that she’s winning a lot of battles. The bad news is that the war is pretty much lost. Sure, she won Pennsylvania’s April 22 primary by a strong 9 points in the face of being outspent on television ads by Barack Obama 2-to-1. She also won Ohio, Rhode Island, and at least the primary part of the bizarre “Texas two-step” primary-and-caucus combination on March 4. But today, she is 133 delegates behind Obama, 1,728 to 1,595, according to NBC News. At this point last week, she trailed by 136 delegates. Since then Clinton has scored a net gain of 10 delegates in Pennsylvania, according to NBC, but has lost a few more superdelegates, so she has made little headway.

    If this contest were still at the point where momentum, symbolism, and reading tea leaves mattered, Clinton would be in pretty good shape. Everything she has needed to happen is happening now. Obama is getting tougher press coverage and critical examination. He’s also getting rattled a bit, and he didn’t perform well in the recent debate in Philadelphia. Clinton is winning in big, important places, but it’s happening about three months too late.

    At the end of the day, the popular vote for the Democratic nomination means nothing. I doubt that having won the popular vote in the 2000 general election is of much solace to Al Gore. Many a football team gains more yards than its opponent in a game yet loses on that important technicality called points.

    The Clinton folks shouldn’t be faulted for the arguments they are making: In the big states that will determine the final outcome in November, she has done better than Obama, and she holds on to downscale white voters better than her opponent does. Beyond the fact that both assertions are true, I’d make the same arguments if I were in Clinton’s shoes, as would most of Obama’s strategists if they were working for Clinton.

    But you can’t change how the game is played once it has begun. The Democrats have decided that the nominee will be determined by the number of delegates won, not by the popular vote, and that primaries held in direct violation of party rules (in this case, Florida’s and Michigan’s) don’t count. End of discussion.

    With the Republican National Committee having adopted “the Ohio plan,” an interesting and promising proposal for dealing with the scheduling of presidential primaries and caucuses, and the Democratic National Committee indicating that it will take up the issue as well, party rules will be revisited for 2012. Democrats might want to consider establishing some type of “bonus” delegates for winning a state, or at least modifying the party’s perverse proportional representation system, which, in a two-way race, makes it extremely difficult to build a lead and almost impossible to overtake an opponent who has one. But for this election, the rules are the rules.

    The race now moves to Indiana and North Carolina, which vote on May 6. Obama appears to be narrowly ahead in the former and enjoys a 20-point advantage in the latter. If given the choice of Clinton’s momentum or Obama’s money going into two states where he is already ahead, I’d take the money and run.

    In some ways, Clinton has spent the past six weeks in a horrible situation. How do you quit a race when you’re still winning primaries? The delegate and fundraising pictures looked dismal to the point of near-impossibility, yet she was still taking the big primaries. There was really no way she could have stood on the podium in Philadelphia on Tuesday night and said, “Thank you, Pennsylvania, for this great victory. Oh, by the way, I’m now dropping out.”

    As long as Clinton is winning, she can’t quit. But even in victory, she isn’t getting any closer to securing the nomination. This political purgatory will continue if she manages to win Indiana but loses North Carolina—hard to drop out but harder to see winning the nomination. If she loses in both states, then her campaign’s donors and creditors, as well as superdelegates and party leaders, are likely to intervene. But that can’t happen as long as she continues to win.

  25. "Your clains that the Sauds have infiltrated the internet and are contributing to Obama's campaign, as millions of small donors, is quaint. Prove it, please."

    I know they're sending donations to Obama. I know this, because they said so. To me, it makes most sense that these are being distributed by proxy thru internet donors. But since you're probably right about the GOP receiving money from the same channels, there will be no investigation, and there will be nothing to prove.

  26. Jackie Calmes at the WSJ:


    According to the Journal/NBC pollsters, most telling is this finding: By 54% to 35%, voters say they identify with Sen. McCain's "background and set of values," which the pollsters describe as traits such as honor, trustworthiness and patriotism.

    "It's not about the war. It's not about the economy. It is pure and simple about values," Mr. Hart said.

    On the same question, voters split 46% to 46% on Sen. Clinton. For Sen. Obama, 45% identify with his values and 46% do not. Sen. McCain gets higher percentages than either Democrat with nearly all key voter subgroups, including men, seniors, independents, suburbanites, small-town voters and rural voters.

    "What it comes down to is that John McCain's values are values that the voters seem to feel very comfortable with," said Mr. Hart, the Democrat, adding that his edge "has less to do with his stands on the issues."

    On the issues, he is at odds with many voters. Just over a third say they agree with his stay-the-course approach to the Iraq war, while 54% agree with Sen. Obama's call to draw down all troops within 16 months.

    Another plus for Sen. McCain, who weeks ago dispatched his last Republican rival for the nomination: "He's been able to consolidate the Republican base relatively easily," Mr. Hart said.

    That apparent ease is counter to earlier predictions that Mr. McCain would face a divided Republican Party. Instead, it is the Democratic nominee who could face a fractured party.


  27. Trish documents

  28. It would interesting to find out is how many of those Nation of Islam followers that pay no income on their declared welfare wages are able to make $1000 donations to their political candidate Hussein Obama, don't you think?

  29. I think Rat is projecting his own antipathy toward McCain onto the Republican Party faithful.

    And ash is quite right: The DNC isn't going to nullify its own rules. You win the delegates, you take the nomination. That's all she wrote.

  30. Plus, nobody as fat and ugly as Algore has become POTUS in modern times.

  31. No equivalent Sweatact has EVER won!

  32. At $1,000 per individual, with just a few thousand Nation of Islamers in the country, find a way.

    I'm more concerned with the Mexican Mafia, illegal immigrants and mortgage lending and home sales stabilized, before worring about how the Sauds a buying influence, this year.

    They've paid both Kissinger and Mitchell, enough to keep each off of the 9-11 Commission.

  33. "At $1,000 per individual, with just a few thousand Nation of Islamers in the country, find a way."

    LOL! Are you kidding me? You think that Obama's church is not part of the Nation of Islam? You better think again.

  34. I'd say I'm channeling the members of the electorate I speak to, trish.

    There is a general apathy to Mr McCain, here. No ground swell of support.

    In fact, Mr Shadegg, my Congressman had to distance himself from McCain in the last phone conference call "town meeting" that my wife had on the speaker phone.

    Immigration was the topic that had Mr Shadegg speaking a lot of "doublespeak", and duckin' for cover.

    Look to rufus and his take on the matter.

    Look to the fundraising, since 1Jan08.

    McCain raised about 30% of just Obama's efforts.
    $50 million in toto, compared to Obama's $50 million in March, alone.

    It's not just me, amiga

  35. The Rules are the Rules, you're right.

    If neither Obama or Clinton achieve 2024 votes on the first ballot, no one wins.

    On the second ballot all of the delegates are free to vote as they choose. They are no longer bound by the primary results.
    That's the Rule.

    The Super Delegates can abstain, vote for a strawman, like Edwards.

  36. What about McCain wins,
    Dems win a veto-proof senate?
    (your anecdotal reference to McCain apathy)

  37. Rat, McCain is for you personally a big wad of negatives and these are what you latch onto in your own running analysis. It's called bias and we all indulge, but it can make for serious blindness.

    So while I don't believe that McCain is the Republican Party dream candidate, I don't believe he's anywhere near as vulnerable as you do. I believe it's THE PARTY as a whole that this election year is most assailable.

  38. Obama's Church, the Nation of Islam, together, a few thousand folks.

    Shiver me timbers!

    Search it down, find some facts, not just speculation. The Sauds are donating through their tried and true methods, Obama has tapped into the information age, first.

    McCains 50 years of experience guides him to accept public subsidies. While the newcomer to the scene taps the marketplace, as has long been promised by the INet's legions of bloggers.

    Folks voting with their debit card.
    Obama is whipping McCain, twenty to one, maybe by more.

  39. (worst of all possible Worlds)

  40. Great, great year to be a superdelegate. The best job in America, at this time. Open for business, accepting bids. I'll vote my best interests.

    Hillary's horse is moving up on the inside rail, closing, in North Carolina, two lengths behind.

  41. I'd go for Trinity traitor, plus witness protection, on the Big Island.

  42. Well, trish, the Party is under a huge threat. Only by nominating Mr Obama could the Democrats sieze defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Even so, the number look pitiful for the GOP, as doug postulates. A veto proof Senate across from a President McCain. The assumption being there'd be a lot split ticket voting. A lot of votes for the Dems, but against Obama.

    The Black factor.

    Which is why I've always thought that Obama would be a disaster for the Democrats.

    So whistle a happy tune, if it pleases you, but the realities are far bleaker then you imagine.

    The money factor and the wide base of financial support Obama is generating tells a tale, one that cannot be dosmissed out of hand.

  43. I'd trade my vote for some farmland, and a secured credit line. Secured by the candidate.

  44. (worst of all possible Worlds)

    Thu May 01, 01:00:00 PM EDT

    No. The worst of all possible worlds is significant Democratic majorities AND an active and ambitious Democratic WH. That, of course, is still a possibility; the first component almost a given at this point.

  45. So in the end, which role does Obama choose to play, Kingmaker or Dunce?

    The clever youngman, which he is, chooses to be Kingmaker.
    In line for the throne.

  46. What effect can McCain have if Senate is veto-proof?

  47. If Obama can't win, I don't know Billary can either. They're going to be really pissed if their man isn't the one. All that work, all those donations, all that enthusiasm, down the tube. I don't see many Obamaites getting out of bed in the morning to vote for Hillary.

    Gore? Plausible, maybe.

  48. "...the realities are far bleaker then you imagine."

    We're going to have to agree to disagree, Eyeore.

    Just as your discussion of Saudi funding with someone who sees everything through a prism of Islamist collusion isn't particularly fruitful, neither is mine with someone who doesn't want McCain to win.


  49. Might as well turn in the veto pen, in that case, go fishing. Be in about the same position as the Queen of England.

  50. At least her grandkids lead interesting lives.

  51. McCain, unlike GWB, doesn't have the extreme difficulty in playing well with others and has more of Reagan's capability when it comes to this invaluable political asset.

    Gaining cooperation from Democrats for conservative initiatives is something he can do.

  52. They won't be listening, Trish.

  53. And what conservative initiatives?

  54. Reagan had a different country behind him.
    Plus, he was Reagan.

  55. "Obama's Church, the Nation of Islam, together, a few thousand folks."

    You need to check the census.

  56. Sure they will, bob. Power of the pulpit. Never underestimate it.

    Visited McCain's website? If you haven't, then do.

  57. The way to halt the Iranian weapons program is for Israel to disarm.
    Why didn't I think of that. It's so obvious.
    The new, bold foreign policy insights of Team Obama. If the Israelis will just go limp, they'll be safe. Just play dead. And wait for the real thing.

    JERUSALEM – Israel should give up its nuclear weapons to ensure Iran halts its illicit nuclear program, argues an adviser on nuclear issues to Sen. Barack Obama.

    Joseph Cirincione, director of nuclear policy at the Center for American Progress, also previously dismissed reports Israel's Sept. 6 airstrike targeted a Syrian nuclear reactor as "nonsense" and called Damascus' nuclear program "miniscule."

    Immediately following Israel's air raid, Cirincione listed "Israelis [who] want to thwart any dialogue between the U.S. and Syria" as among those spreading rumors Syria was constructing a nuclear facility.

  58. dRat,

    How many marched on Washington with Fart-o-con?

  59. Everyone knows it was a Million Man March, Mat!

  60. Reagan had a different country behind him.
    Plus, he was Reagan.

    Thu May 01, 01:27:00 PM EDT

    The country is more, not less, conservative now than then. The populace is just less Republican now than in 04.

    (Jesus, Wretchard must be happy that dear host siphoned off all the chronically contentious, adamantly morose malcontents.)

  61. No, mat, I do not.

    The Nation of Islam is reported to have about 30,000 to 70,000 members, just a fraction of the estimated 2.5 million black Muslims in the US.

    A couple of thousand Trinity Church goers, no more than 10,000.

    So the whole of the Nation of Islam/Trinity connection amounts to 60,000 or so black folk.

    In a nation of 320 million.

    That is still not nearly the million plus donors that Obama has established.

  62. McCain's got a bunch of negatives:

    -McBush leading the never ending war.
    -His religiosity has been a political suck up
    -He has an explosive temper
    -He's old.

    He's got positives as well but the negatives, in my view, will keep many in the 'the base' from coming out for him and they'll discourage independent minded dems from crossing over.

  63. 885,000 was a number I read, today.
    May or may not be true.

    But all of the marchers were not members of the Nation of Islam.

    Far from it.

  64. "The country is more, not less, conservative now than then."


  65. And how many stayed home in Dearborn attending to their litters?

  66. Pulpit Power!

    Wright gives a more stirring sermon than McCain ever could.

    The American people will fall asleep during the sermon, Congress go about its business of taking people's money and choice, McCain talking to the empty pews.

    He'd still commanad the armed forces, but with tied hands. He could inspect the troops.


    You can get McCain T-Shirts for $25each throgh his website. Purchase price is counted as a donation.

  67. "That is still not nearly the million plus donors that Obama has established."

    Millions of young folk, Professors, and etc.

  68. (Got some Zoloft there behind the bar, barkeep? Put it in a gum ball machine by the door.)

  69. "The country is more, not less, conservative now than then."


    It's found in the declining registration for the Republican Party, Doug.

    People are swinging right, right away from the pubs.

  70. From the pubs, to the pubs, to the drinking establishments, to drink away the memories, dampen the pain.

  71. Indeed, doug, the young and the brave.

    Those minds of mush, molded true to form.

    Whether or not they'll vote, a question indeed.

    In any case, an idea one has invested, finacially and emotionally, it becomes a cause.

    A different brand of faithal than Newt brings to the table, but a mass of faithful, none the less.

    McCain will not allow you or others to invest financially, in his quest, just emontionally.

    Obama's donors have been closed, McCain's left unfulfilled, givern buerocratic options, instead.
    Get 'em up in the balloon, then bring out the paperwork, instead of just taking the check.

    The perfet image of a McCain Presidency, reams of paper and process, but never close the Deal.

  72. Speaking of hookers, bobal, it looks like the DC madam snuffed herself out. Sort of like the way Vince Foster fired three disabling rounds to the back of his own head.

  73. It's possible Idaho might have a new democratic Senator. With "Wide Stance" out of the way, there will be a meaningful contest. Plenty of new folk have moved into the Boise area, lesser numbers up this way. It is not out of the question.

  74. So I'd like to know where, you got the notion
    said I'd like to know where, you got the notion

    to rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby
    rock the boat, don't tip the boat over
    rock the boat, don't rock the boat baby
    rock the boat-

  75. The New Deal/Progressive era, powerful remnants of which Reagan still had to contend with, is over, Doug. Dead. The country isn't going back to pre-Friedman (on the federal level, anyway). The difficulty is in keeping moving forward at any given point in time.

    It's a shame that so many conservatives have lost historical perspective.

  76. Foul play does not appear to have been involved,

    Doug and I were laughing at some of the police statements. They seem to have done a little better here.

    Usually, it would go

    Suicide notes were found by the body.

    There was no indication of suicide, police sources say.

  77. Be another sign of the country drifting right, a new democratic Idaho Senator.

  78. And I sure as hell hope it's not This Shithead A political hack if there ever was one. He was a representative for awhile. Can't get it out of his system. A blood infection. A real turd.

    I'd vote for "Wide Stance" over this begger, any day.

    He's been going around, working a day here, a day there, 'with the folks', showing us 'he's just like us', and if we are like he is, we ought to follow the D.C. madame to where ever she's gone, it would probably a lot more joyful.

  79. Scroll down, look around a bit, there's Larry out there, shearing sheep with the best of them. An apt image, in my mind.


    Shearing sheeple.

  80. D.C. madame's an honorble person, compared to this frog.

  81. The Elephant Mausoleum.

    Enjoy the funeral, I've had enough for one day.

  82. Just us undertakers left. I got to go too.

  83. That's funny Trish, moaning about folks at the Mausoleum not supporting the old and decrepit senator from Arizona.

  84. "McCain, unlike GWB, doesn't have the extreme difficulty in playing well with others and has more of Reagan's capability when it comes to this invaluable political asset.

    Gaining cooperation from Democrats for conservative initiatives is something he can do."

    Honestly, I think if Desert Rat sees things through McCain-colored glasses, you see them through Bush-colored glasses.

    It's extremely unlikely they're going to suddenly start setting partisanship aside, especially when they taste blood and have chips on their shoulders the size of Mars.

  85. Tom Foley was the Demo speaker of the House, from Spokane, which is an honorary Idaho city. So it's not impossible that Spud Land will get a donk senator. Idaho isn't all just Hayden Lake and that ilk.

  86. McCain has Andrew Sullivan on his blogroll!
    Made my top 10, remember.

  87. Mat @

    A Price Drop for Solar Panels

    In a recent presentation, Bradford said that prices for solar panels could drop by as much as 50 percent from 2006 to 2010. In areas that get a lot of sun, that will translate to solar electricity costs of about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, matching the average price of electricity in the United States. That will make solar affordable and, eventually, will vastly increase the market, Bradford says. "You can't even begin to imagine the transformation that that's going to create."

    (that's 1/3 the cost of Hawaii today!)

  88. And in de-centraized applications, effective and economic.

  89. If Pakistan's a potential problem, imagine dealing with a declining and unstable Russia.

  90. Screw Zoloft! Pass the Kool Aide!

  91. Coolidge, I think, said something like "if you see 10 logs rolling towards you, 9 will go into the ditch before they get to you."

  92. Cutler: Coolidge, I think, said something like "if you see 10 logs rolling towards you, 9 will go into the ditch before they get to you."

    Hoover said something like, "One log will squash you as flat as ten."

  93. Nuclear logs, especially dangerous in that regard.

  94. Rules, schmules.
    The Dems will throw out all the rules if that's what it takes to get the candidate most likely to beat McCain.

    There's a big difference between a declining Russia and Pakistan. Demographics.

    Russia's population is getting older and smaller while Pakistan is young and teeming with people during a time when Islamic fundamentalism is on the rise.

    Also, wealth tends to make people less risk averse.

  95. And they are poverty striken, in Pakistan.

    167,762,040 (July 2008 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 21.2 years
    male: 21 years
    female: 21.4 years (2008 est.)

    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $2,600 (2007 est.)

    Labor force:
    49.18 million

    Population below poverty line:
    24% (FY05/06 est.)

  96. Part of Russia's population is getting smaller and older. Another's getting bigger. As well as its neighbors'.

    And wealth often just makes more spectacular, well-funded wars.

  97. Russia

    140,702,094 (July 2008 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 38.3 years
    male: 35.1 years
    female: 41.4 years (2008 est.)

    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $14,600 (2007 est.)

    Labor force:
    75.1 million (November 2007 est.)

    Population below poverty line:
    15.8% (November 2007)

  98. al-Bob as a young man

    Hey, al-Bob, how come you've not told the Bar about Carpet Kitten being an Ida hoean?

  99. male: 35.1 years
    female: 41.4 years (2008 est.)

    That's not as bad as I would have guessed:
    Premature Sclerotic Death being what it is.

  100. Not saying everything's necessarily going to go to hell in a handbasket in the most apolocalyptic manner possible, but just that if I was a Russian, I'd be really bummed right now, and looking with apprehension at the foreign aliens, internal (i.e., in the Causus, Siberia) and external.

  101. China, for all the gloom and doom, also has its own aging problems.

  102. EB readers might find this worth while.

    "Growing old the hard way: China, Russia, and India" by Nicholas Eberstadt.

  103. Easy to see why Putin would hate Bubba and W's guts, wrt the muzzies.
    Reagan's too, I guess!

  104. Actresss Lana Turner was born in Wallace, Idaho 'The Center of the Universe', home of many cat houses, and the center of the Coeur d'Alene mining district. The famous(infamous) Sunshine Mine Fire occured in the area.

    Lana is the only Idahoovian 'carpet kitten' I know of.

    If I was a Russian, I'd want to get aboard with the west. Or to the west.

  105. Their biggest problem is that, in the Caucuses at least, unike the rest of the European colonial powers, they didn't expand overseas. The French could pack up and leave Algeria, and even though there's still a lot of Algerians in France, the Med was an easy dividing line and they dealt with it.

    Worth thanking God every day for having two weak neighbors and two huge oceans.

  106. One time near Smelterville, about 1975, my dad took us all barbecuing alongside the river, and we went swimming. Some folks across the river pulled up in a station wagon and told us to get out of the water. We drove down the river a bit, and it merged with a clear one, and the one filled with lead that we were swimming in rolled alongside the clear one for a few miles, and the bands remained seperated. I've had this twitch ever since that day.

  107. We used to boil our Weenies in that water.
    Gave me the nik:
    "Heavy Metal"

  108. LA, or TJ?
    Check out the "Dentista" and "Botica del Pueblo"

  109. It's true, they really really polluted the area. There was a big clean up around Kelloge and Wallace, but the mine pollution down the Cd'Alene River was bad. And into the lake. The river is cleaning itself, but how you get that crap out of the lake bottom I don't know. You don't, I quess. I know exactly what you are talking about.

    Dad knew all about those mines. He was a witness in some case, but can't remember the details. He was always buying and selling mining stocks through the Spokane Stock Exchange. Can't count the number of times we drove to Spokane, he and I, to the Exchange. He never hit it big, though he did ok.

    There is a nice Swiss owned mountain tram in the area now. Never been on it.

  110. Where'd they get the name "Smelterville?"

  111. The management of Sunshine Mine, they should all have been hung over that fire.

  112. If that was Lake Hollywood, they'd treat it w/that stuff that binds up the pollutants.
    (senior moment)

  113. I bought some Sunshine once,
    after the Hunts had taken their Silver Profits.

  114. $ 13 I think
    does it still exist?

  115. From the smelters.

    Smelterville has recently gained prominence in Shoshone County due to the addition of a Wal-Mart store


    They should rename it Walmartville.:)

    Dad taught in Wallace for one year before he went to law school. Couldn't stand the goddamned place. Biggest thing that happened was, a private plane took off one night from the little local airport in the fog, and bang, crashed right into the mountain. DOA.

    Nothing but whores, miners, drunks and illiteracy in those days. A little better now. Most of the mines shut down, but I've lost track, maybe with higher silver prices some have opened. The EPA is up their ass, anyways.

    Dad had a friend and sometimes partner who got rich on the mining stocks, and he wanted to also, but didn't. Money doesn't mean much, in the scheme of things. This rich guy died, and his son, became a total drunk and drug user, and lost it all, and is dead now.

  116. ..

    You'll have to trust me on this, Doug.

  117. Yeah, that's why the kid's doing well:
    Parents Green Thumbs only worked in the garden.

    The Paper, not so much.

  118. Bob-al as a young man. Remember, one of me many hobbies is time travel.

  119. Didn't know Swedes had that color eyes.

  120. Maher

  121. Franken? Al? The comedic crook?

    Take his advice, you'll save on your taxes, for awhile.

  122. Yeah, Franken. 2164th said include the left.

  123. Passing the word along--

    From the Desk of:
    Steve Elliott, President, Alliance


    Dear Robert,

    I just got off of the phone with my contacts on Capital Hill
    and I am flabbergasted at what I just heard. "This year it is
    do or die for the border fence!"

    Are they kidding me? The paltry 12 miles of double-layers fence
    that has been erected might be all that is built?

    A closer look reveals my contact may be right. Given Bush's lame
    duck status and a new "open borders" administration coming in the
    next eight months it is highly likely the fence won't be built...
    unless we take aggressive action right now!

    ++ Keeping the Promise Alive

    Robert, The Secure Fence Act, signed by President Bush
    in September of 2006, mandated the construction of 700 miles of
    double layered fence along the southern U.S. border. But as we see
    from above, that hasn't happened.

    Worse yet, through some political maneuvering, Congress and the Bush
    Administration eliminated the double-layered fence requirement and
    now only 370 miles of "fencing" needs to be built--be it mesh,
    vehicle barrier, or insect netting!

    However, Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) has taken the initiative
    and sponsored H.R. 4987--Fence by Date Certain Act. This bill
    restores the Secure Fence Act's 854 miles of double layered fence.

    Given the situation, the time is NOW to pressure Congress to
    make good on their promise to build the double-layered fence.

    In just a few weeks, I will be storming Capital Hill and delivering
    the "Build the Border Fence as Promised" petitions and sending a
    message to Congress that Grassfire team members want the DOUBLE
    LAYERED border fence built as promised!

    Robert, my staff informs me that you haven't yet added your
    name to this petition. Please do so right now by clicking here:

    After signing, I need your help in pushing our petition to 300,000 or

    Forward this message to 30-40 friends and urge
    them to join with you in demanding the fence be built
    as promised by adding their name to our petition:

    Robert, without your help right now, the border fence
    may never be built. Let's not allow that to happen on our watch!

    Please take action with me and Grassfire team members across the nation.

    Steve Elliott, President

    + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

  124. In these topsy-turvy times, if a news outlet doesn't refer to Al Gore as "the vile Al Gore," or Dick Cheney as "the cretinous vice-president," or Bill Bradbury as "the satanic incarnation of all that's wrong with America," you can bet the farm that some folks will start screaming about horribly unfair and unbalanced reporting.

    Ah, well. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

    And maybe that's not such a bad thing.

    Fair and Balanced

  125. My list goes left to right, too.

  126. Actually I can't think of anyone who's been right on much of anything, anywhere.

    But when was an accurate prediction a part of punditry anyway.

  127. Sorta. Need to swap yourself and Teresita and you'd be there.

  128. BARACK OBAMA showed off his basketball chops this week when he scrimmaged with the UNC squad in Chapel Hill.

    While even he wouldn't debate that he was clearly outclassed ("These guys move very fast," he puffed at one point), he scored points - if no baskets - by showing that he at least looked like he had been on a court before. Unlike his foray at the bowling alley in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago.

    And the Buzz wasn't surprised that Obama chose to play with the Tar Heels rather than the lads from Durham.

    Obama got Game

  129. Barack is a good pick up B-ball player, like 85% of the men out there in America, with their suburban driveway half courts, but nothing an agent would look at.

  130. 85%
    Har de har.
    Is Smelterville a Black Ghetto?

  131. Perry Jeffries, 47, a founder of the non-profit group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, sees the breakthrough technology as a step in the right direction and maybe improve the lives of his amputee friends.

    "Those electric arms have fingers that move all around but that darn thing is heavy. I can't tell you how many people have an $80,000 appliance sitting in their closets and are stuck using some old arm thing that isn't so heavy but hurts and doesn't move at all," he told

    "If we can get some function back in the arms-well, let's see what happens."

    War Wounded