“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, June 26, 2008

The Hare and the Tortoise (or is Obama trying to Give McCain a Heart Attack?)

Obama plans to run McCain ragged across the US
3 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) — Democrat Barack Obama is broadening the playing field against his Republican White House rival John McCain with a nationwide trawl for votes that could, if successful, produce a landslide.

Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe on Wednesday outlined the 50-state strategy the Illinois senator is pursuing for November's election, designed to stretch the poorer McCain campaign's resources to the limit.

"We're simply not going to wake up on November 4 worried about one state," Plouffe told a press briefing at Democratic Party headquarters, adamant that this election would be unlike the knife-edge contests of 2000 and 2004.

"We have a lot of different ways to get to 270," he said, referring to the magic number of electoral votes needed for victory in the election.

In 2000, Florida was the unforgettable battleground that handed victory to George W. Bush after much legal wrangling. In 2004, Bush won re-election when Ohio, by a wafer-thin margin, went against Democrat John Kerry.

Plouffe said Obama's "first strategic goal" was to retain Kerry's states. Of those, McCain scents opportunity among the white working-class voters of Michigan and Pennsylvania, and in independent-minded New Hampshire.

But in turn, Obama is intent on flipping Republican red states that have not voted for a Democrat in years, including Virginia, Colorado, Missouri and Iowa.

Two polls in recent days have given Obama a double-digit margin over McCain among registered voters nationwide, although these are still early days in the general election campaign.

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg survey Tuesday said that in a head-to-head contest, Obama had 49 percent support against 37 percent for McCain. Newsweek last Friday had Obama ahead of McCain by 51 percent to 36.

But as Plouffe noted, the general election will be fought state by state and not on an imaginary national battlefield -- just like Obama's primary campaign that saw off the dogged challenge of Hillary Clinton.

Much of Obama's yawning lead comes on the back of Clinton supporters rallying behind the Democrats' new champion after the bruising nominating epic.

What interests the campaign brains such as Plouffe and Obama strategist David Axelrod are surveys in key states, levels of enthusiasm for the election contenders, and the extent of their grassroots organizations.

On those metrics, McCain trails Obama, who has become the first candidate since the Watergate scandal to reject public financing for his campaign, so reversing his vow to work with the Republican to preserve the system.

With a three-to-one fundraising advantage over McCain, Obama will be free to pile up advertising and get-out-the-vote operations in far more states than Kerry could ever compete in.

The Democrat is now airing his first general election ad, a patriotic ode called "Country I Love," in 18 states including Republican bastions such as Alaska, Montana and North Dakota that Plouffe says will be in play in November.

But beyond costly advertising, the Obama campaign is also taking a leaf from Bush's book to mobilize local supporters -- a "persuasion army," in Plouffe's words -- who can knock on doors and spread the word among friends and family.

That is where levels of motivation become crucial. The LA Times poll found that among voters who plan to vote for McCain, more than half were "not enthusiastic" about the Republican.

"McCain is not capturing the full extent of the conservative base the way President Bush did in 2000 and 2004," said Susan Pinkus, director of the LA Times poll.

"Meanwhile, Obama is doing well among a broad range of voters. He's running ahead among women, black voters and other minorities. He's running roughly even among white voters and independents."

The recent polls have given Bush record-low approval ratings, and found far more voters identifying themselves as Democratic instead of Republican, which could portend the Democrats tightening their grip on Congress in November.

But historically, voters have liked one party in the White House and another in charge of Congress. Therein lies hope for McCain and his promise of assured leadership in troubled times.


  1. Just the beginnng ...

    If John cannot keep up the pace, guess he's "to old", aye?

    The hare took a nap, doubt Obama will.

  2. What color is Don Imus's skin?

  3. He's a pale shade of Euro American.
    Ok, there you go. Now you know.

  4. Just pointing out the obvious to the nappy headed hoes. And the funny thing is, I'm legally colorblind.

  5. Now let's all kick ourselves in the balls, just for fun. Not you Lib Lil, you can fag out.

  6. I would never vote for a man that's so stupid as to make a campaign "dissing" ethanol, knowing full well he HAS to win Missouri, and Iowa.

    The man simply isn't smart enough to be President.

  7. It is kinda fun to see the asshole hoisted on his own "campaign reform" petard, though.

  8. Rufus: The man simply isn't smart enough to be President.

    Fortunately, Dubya has set the bar pretty low. "Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." -- GWB, Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

  9. Rufus,

    See: min 17

  10. L, I'm afraid Dubya is a "Rocket Scientist" compared to McNutz.

  11. Matt, dangit, learn how to make a link.

  12. Mat, thanks for the thought; but, I don't watch video of politicians. Most, especially, video of McNutz, and Obamahama.

    Again, thanks for the thought.

  13. Keep workin on it. :)

    at least you made it blue. :)

  14. Rufus,

    Well, McJaws was talkin 'bout the Brazilian flex fuel model. Anyway, I hope you change your mind.

  15. ""Country I Love" "
    If there is a God,
    that'll git him struck down.

  16. He's just bullshitting, Mat. He, and Kay Bailey Hutchison are working their asses off trying to kill ethanol, as we speak.

    They know that without the "mandates" oil will never blend ethanol; and, they're working their asses off to "Kill" the mandates.

    He's a Phony, "Oil-Bought" son of a bitch.

  17. His main "energy-policy" guy is a lobbyist for the Sauds, for crissake.

  18. Hmm,..

    Yes, you most likely are right on that.

  19. Wholesale ethanol, after tax credit, is $1.00/gal LESS than wholesale gasoline; but, there is close to a BILLION GALLONS/YR ethanol capacity sitting idle because the oil companies are willing to miss their mandates in order to crush the ethanol brewers.

    Meantime, John McAsshole, Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Rick Parry are lobbying the EPA to cut the mandates in half, and completely Destroy the Domestic Ethanol Industry. And, immediately, raise your price of gasoline by at least a dollar a gallon. Probably more like four, or five dollars a gallon in just a couple of years.

    I'll stick with Obama.

  20. Kay Bailey Hutchison comes off all down-home.
    ...but she votes open border glo-bee.

  21. I won't be interrupting any more threads with long off-topic posts but I thought this was important.

    Roger Bezdek, MISI, Robert Wendling, MISI, February 2005

    From the (91-page) document link above (anyone with interest should read it completely - by chapters - it is very well written which is unusual for technical documents):


    Projected Date Source of Projection
    2006-2007 Bakhitari
    2007-2009 Simmons
    After 2007 Skrebowski
    Before 2009 Deffeyes
    Before 2010 Goodstein
    Around 2010 Campbell
    After 2010 World Energy Council
    2010-2020 Laherrere
    2016 EIA (Nominal)
    After 2020 CERA
    2025 or later Shell
    No visible Peak Lynch

    Three Scenarios

     Waiting until world oil production peaks before taking crash program action
    leaves the world with a significant liquid fuel deficit for more than two
     Initiating a mitigation crash program 10 years before world oil peaking helps
    considerably but still leaves a liquid fuels shortfall roughly a decade after the
    time that oil would have peaked.
     Initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before peaking appears to offer
    the possibility of avoiding a world liquid fuels shortfall for the forecast period.

    Proposed Solutions

    1. Fuel efficient transportation,
    2. Heavy oil/Oil sands,
    3. Coal liquefaction,
    4. Enhanced oil recovery,
    5. Gas-to-liquids.

    In the end-use category, a dramatic increase in the efficiency of petroleum-based fuel equipment is one attractive option. As previously described, the imposition of CAFE requirements for automobile in 1975 was one of the most effective of the government mandates initiated in response to the 1973-74 oil embargo. In recent years, fuel economy for automobiles has not been a high national priority in the U.S. Nevertheless, a new hybrid engine technology has been phasing into the automobile and truck markets. In a period of national oil emergency, hybrid technology could be massively implemented for new vehicle applications. Hybrid technologies offer fuel economy improvements of 40 percent or more for automobiles and light-medium trucks – no other engine technologies offer such large, near-term fuel economy benefits.109

    The fuels production options that we chose are heavy oil/tar sands, coal
    liquefaction, improved oil recovery, and gas-to-liquids. Our rationale was as

    1. Enhanced Oil Recovery is applicable worldwide.
    2. Heavy oil / Oil sands is currently commercial in Canada and Venezuela.
    3. Coal liquefaction is a well-developed, near-commercial technology.
    4. Gas-To-Liquids is commercially applicable where natural gas is remote from

    We excluded a number of options for various reasons. While the U.S. has a huge resource of shale oil that could be processed into substitute liquid fuels, the technology to accomplish that task is not now ready for deployment. Because various shale oil processing prototypes were developed in years past and because shale oil processing is likely to be economically attractive, a concerted effort to develop shale oil technology could well lead to shale oil becoming a contributor in Scenarios II or III. However, that would require the initiation of a major R & D program in the near future.

    Biomass options capable of producing liquid fuels were also excluded. Ethanol
    from biomass is currently utilized in the transportation market, not because it is
    commercially competitive, but because it is mandated and highly subsidized.
    Biodiesel fuel is a subject of considerable current interest but it too is not yet
    commercially viable. Again, a major R & D effort might change the biomass
    outlook, if initiated in the near future.110

    Over 45% of world oil consumption is for non-transportation uses. Fuel switching
    away from non-transportation uses of liquid fuels is likely to occur, mimicking
    shifts that have already taken place in the U.S. The time frame for such shifts is
    uncertain. For significant world scale impact, alternate large energy facilities
    would have to be constructed to provide the substitute energy, and that facility
    construction would require the kind of decade-scale time periods required for oil
    peaking mitigation.

    Nuclear power, wind and photovoltaics produce electric power, which is not a
    near-term substitute fuel in transportation equipment that requires liquid fuels. In
    the many-decade future after oil peaking, it is conceivable that a massive shift
    from liquid fuels to electricity might occur in some applications. However,
    consideration of such changes would be speculative at this time.

    It is possible that technology innovations resulting from aggressive future
    research may well change the outlook for various technologies in the future. Our
    focus on the currently viable is in no way intended to prejudice other future
    options We have chosen not to add a wedge for undefined technologies that
    might result from accelerated research, because such a wedge would be purely
    speculative. No matter what the new technology(s), implementation delay times
    and contribution growth rates will inherently be of the same order of magnitude of the technologies that we have considered, because of the inherent scale of all
    physical mitigation.

    108 The choice of a minimum is subjective. A minimum of 50 percent seems reasonable, but a
    higher rate is clearly more desirable.

    109 While diesel engines offer significant improvements in fuel economy over gasoline engines,
    their benefits are notably less than hybrids. For simplicity, we neglect the broader use of diesels
    in this study, which is not meant to imply that they might indeed make an important contribution in the LDV markets.

    110 In their recently published hydrogen study, the National Research Council has shown that
    hydrogen from biomass is roughly three times as expensive as coal-based hydrogen. This
    relationship holds roughly for liquids production, another basis for not considering biomass fuels
    as acceptable under our criteria. See National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs, Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2004

    Biofuels by Peter Balash, NETL
    Bioethanol is produced as a transportation fuel largely in only two countries. In
    2003 the US produced about 2.8 billion gallons and Brazil produced 3.5 billion
    gallons. All of this ethanol is produced by conversion of starch to sugar and
    fermentation to ethanol. In the US ethanol represents about 1.4% of the BTU
    content (2.0% by volume) of gasoline used in transportation. Current costs for
    ethanol production in the US are said to be $0.90 per gallon,148 which is
    equivalent to a gasoline price of $1.35 per gallon. Because of recent increases in
    energy costs current costs will be somewhat higher. Grain ethanol provides only
    a modest net energy gain because of the energy required to produce it. USDA
    calculated a net energy gain of 34% for a modern corn to ethanol plant,149 but
    there is considerable controversy over the real efficiency of the process. Most of
    the energy used to produce ethanol comes from natural gas and electricity. The
    production of ethanol uses only about 5% of the corn crop in the US. Significant
    expansion is possible but at some point there might be an impact on food prices.

    Cellulosic ethanol is currently being produced only in two rather small pilot plants
    but is capable of producing about 40% conversion of cellulosic biomass to
    ethanol while providing all the energy needed for the process and exporting a
    modest amount of energy as electricity. It is anticipated that successful research
    may reduce the cost of cellulosic ethanol to about $1.10 per gallon by 2010. If
    this occurs the potential ethanol to mitigate peaking is high. Using only waste
    biomass and grass grown on land currently in the conservation reserve could
    produce 50 billion gallons of ethanol which would be equivalent to 35 billion
    gallons of gasoline or 17% of current US consumption. This could be achieved
    without any impact on current food production and at prices only $ 0.35 per
    gallon higher than refinery prices for gasoline. Since ethanol has an RON of 130
    and a MON of 96 it raises the octane of the gasoline to which it is added and has
    a premium value as a result.



    1. Peak Oil is a reality, not a media-driven chimera. The reality is near-term. Speculation is a side-show.

    2. It is not possible to replace liquid fuel demand with electric supplies - near term. This means it is completely unfeasible to use clean renewables such as solar and wind as near-term replacements. When the Democrats claim that exploring for new deposits and using better exploration deposits detracts from renewable alternative, they are dismissing the near-term immediacy of the peak oil problem. That approach is not feasible in a 10-year time frame, but this is where the argument will be focused. It becomes a matter of risk management - how many people can be convinced that risk of full and immediate commitment to renewables is less than the environmental risk of expanding oil supplies. [1]

    3. Bio-based supplies remain controversial because of net energy assumptions. The paper did not include the bio-based supply as part of near-term solution matrix because of these uncertainties, but the option was expanded in the appendix as repeated above. Paper made many statements to the effect that assumptions were made and subsequent technological improvements could invalidate these assumptions. In other words, a reasonably balanced approach based on technical considerations is indicated - relatively free from political bias.

    4. The influence of political opposition from oil sector was acknowledged.

    [1] Montana has largest coal deposits in the country. It is low in sulfur but high in sodium which creats O&M problems with combustion machinery. Montana coal is also deposited in thinner seams which makes extraction more expensive. Governor was pushing for the Fisher-Tropsch coal-to-liquid process back in 2006 when oil prices were expected to breach $60/barrel. He continues to advocate plant development which is capital-intensive but is opposed by coalition of environmentalists and farmers who object to open pit mining. The Governor responds that current regulations require land restoration to “existing conditions” which is true.

    This is way too long but in one day of research I discovered this paper from 2005. I have to believe that others have read it. My conclusion is that media is doing what media does best. My question for members of Congress who have how many staff in their employ - why have you not formulated the relevant questions and put your staff to work doing the research? This is how a business CEO operates. Lack of relevant, and relatively bias-free information is not the issue. The issue is a Congress that is not doing research. The Oils companies have the upper hand because of this and so do the environmentalists.

    With our government in the middle - led by Nancy Pelosi.

  22. ...famous last words.
    At first I thot it might be Benj.
    Then I guessed Rufus.

  23. Hybrids are Bullshit.
    Clean Diesel the way to go.

  24. "USDA
    calculated a net energy gain of 34% for a modern corn to ethanol plant,149 but
    there is considerable controversy over the real efficiency of the process
    Rufus will disagree, and vote for the Marxist.

  25. Doug, Diesel is out of the frying pan; into the fire.

    You get 20 gal of gasoline from a barrel of oil, and only 10 gallons of diesel.

    Ergo, even though you can get up to 30% more miles/gal with diesel you're only getting half as much product out of a barrel of oil.

    Right NOW, all we have is ethanol.

  26. But many sources claim the energy gain is less than you do.

    ...say cellulosic the way to go, but it ain't here yet.

    Can Coal produce diesel?

  27. hehe--

    This is odd as hell. I had occasion to e-mail my Jewish lawyer yesterday about some other stuff, and, I stuck in there this--

    "What a stupid decision that was, in my view, for the Supreme Court to give Constitutional rights to every jihadi trying to kill us. Sometimes I think we are trying to commit national suicide."

    To which he replied--

    Your analysis of the Supreme Court decision is incorrect, but I type to slowly to tell you why in an e-mail.
    I will call you sometime to explain.

    Which I think is bs, but goes to show how people disagree. He and I have been on the same page, thinking we ought to bomb Iran, but disagree about jihadi rights. I mark it up to the usual lawyerly urge to have a big say in all matters.

  28. Most families have multiple cars in the garage. Why not have electric plugins for short distance city driving, and liquid fuel cars for long distance treks. Why is this concept so difficult to process?

  29. Doug, they're wrong. But, even if they were right it wouldn't matter.

    Coal to Diesel? Yep, the Germans figured it out about 90 years ago. But, the plants are incredibly expensive; and, the process is an ecological nightmare.

    It's ethanol, Bubba. We'll either do it now, or we'll do it in the Depression; but, we'll do it.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. 'Cause we ain't all Jooish Supermen, Mat!

  32. What you saying, Doug, you no have xray vision?

  33. NIce link, Mat, one can throw one's imagination at it!

  34. Bob,

    To me it just reads TEXT. :)

  35. You got to think these things all the way through, Mat. What you going to do with all those used up batteries, tell me that? And, you're just charging 'em up from coal fired electricity plants, in most cases. So, you are polluting the air, from the coal fired plants, and, ruining the water supply from the leaching acidic lead.

    Go nuclear, you have solved at least one of those problems.

  36. Slade,

    Keep em coming. I think sooner or later you'll come to same conclusion we all have.

  37. (of course, if the sentence was 2 weeks, they'd do exactly the same thing!)

  38. What's the consensus we've all come to, Mat?

  39. Hey, al-bob:
    Tommorrow I'll link a cool scandanavian plug in where you pay 2-300 dollars a month RENT on the battery!

  40. Where do we get this endless supply of bimbos, reading the 6 o clock news, the bimbo supply store?

  41. Bob,

    Read This!

    The battery is not yours, you lease the battery. A charging station does not charge the battery while you wait, it replaces it with another that's already been charged.

  42. 200 bucks a month for the BATTERY!

  43. Doug, youz asleep at the wheel! Politicians are nappy headed hoes. But that's ok, I don't expect a thesis paper on that topic from you, Doug.

  44. There's some news about the 2nd Amendment decision, looks like I won't be a felon. But, I can't get a good read on exactly what the decision is yet.

  45. One vote, folks, one vote. And, some think it's not important who we elect as President.

    I don't want an "Obama Court".

  46. Bob,

    You say Nukes, I say solar. You like the centralized model, I like the decentralized model.

  47. Mat, I like both.

    Mat, this Supreme Court decision means a lot to a guy like me, even though I hardly ever go shooting any more, or touch a gun.

    When I was a kid, my brother and I would hunt the creeks, in October, for ducks, before going to school. Getting up really early, before the sun.

    It is a day to celebrate, I think.

    We'd get up early, drive out in his old Ford, drop me off at one end of the creek, he'd drive to the other, and, walking towards one another, flush out a duck or two. Mom hated cleaning those damned ducks:)

  48. Indeed. With wild boar you just roast and eat with skin as is.

  49. God Bless Justice Scalia. I have come to love that man, Catholic though he is.

  50. Supreme Court decisions can always be reversed by a future court. It's happened many times in the past.

    The next Depression will be the Damnedest thing imaginable. In fact, the ramifications might even be too catastrophic to conceive of.

    I'll take the "Obamahama" Court. Just don't give me WWIII brought on by $50.00/gal gasoline.

  51. Mat, this is a good day!

    If I was in Canada, I'd buy us a bottle of champagne!

    Mat, you take care today, and have a great day!

  52. Cheers! Any day that is a good day for Bob, is a good day for Mat!!

  53. Hey Deuce. I am traveling and the area of Long Island where I am staying has no cell service. Powerful NIMBY's I reckon.

    I am trying to get my laptop logged on to my hosts wireless network. In the meantime, a quick check via their computer.

  54. I left out the most important point. The authors firmly believe that government involvement is required to supplement the god of market forces. This is true in my opinion. Unfortunately true.

    Many interesting fact sets in the paper one of which is the estimated peak oil date - private parties put it about a decade or two sooner than oil companies. But as noted by the authors, the data from foreign countries is questionable; nevertheless the order of magnitude is decades - either now or the next decade.

    Fischer-Tropsch: South Africa built their plant in three years - out of necessity during the last oil crisis. But this is what I would call a second-tier level of analysis. It should not be ruled out. The oil companies are capital flush. They can build these plants using tested technology with a performance history. The potential yield relative to front-end costs and long-term O&M (which will decrease with technology) should be penciled out. (By the way those nuclear power plants don’t come cheap either but again, electricity is not the near-term issue - it is liquid fuel which Fischer Tropsch provides.)

    To reiterate a major point: Congress has not been doing Due Diligence. The arena screaming against oil companies has blocked out this fact. The screaming against environmentalists is richly deserved.

    Mat - Renewables must be part of the solution. But as someone who is watching my last chance at retirement slip into oblivion, in my mind the importance of preventing domestic and possibly global recession is paramount. World demand is expected to increase 50% by 2025 or 2030. And much as it gauls the enviros to give another drop of Mother Gaia’s blood to the oil companies, this will be required.

    Globalization was premature. The solutions are no longer a function of stateside considerations alone. And they are no longer a function of economics alone. As Rat pointed out, the issue is national security. But wait for the laughter to come. And it will.

  55. The other thing is this argument that DrllDrllDrill just postpones the transition.

    And we know how bad those oil companies are. Kicking and screaming.

    The environmental consequences of near-term oil independence pitted against the global instability of Middle Eastern oil supply.

    The environmentalists will fight this tooth and nail because the enemies aren’t real.

    So jihadists Lurk while Jon Stewart Smirks.

  56. Take a look a Wretchard's recent commentary about jihad alliances with the South American narco-traffic. Reminder: Doug posted link claiming drug traffic accounted for 65% of Mexico's GDP. Verified or not remains to be seen but not copletely unbelievable. Not to mention the recent book claiming that black market traffic is 20% of world GDP.

  57. And all of this is happening while the Obama campaign is poised to impose a socialized health care plan on this country. I don't care how you slice it, ensuring health care for the entire population is going to cost somebody something.

    Change covers a lot of territory.

  58. "Mat - Renewables must be part of the solution. But as someone who is watching my last chance at retirement slip into oblivion, in my mind the importance of preventing domestic and possibly global recession is paramount. World demand is expected to increase 50% by 2025 or 2030. And much as it gauls the enviros to give another drop of Mother Gaia’s blood to the oil companies, this will be required."

    I believe the Chinese are already looking towards renewables and switching from road infrastructure based on fossil fuels to one that is based on electric trains and plugins.

  59. It just changes "how you pay for it," Slade.

    Everyone has health coverage, as it is; they just wait until they get "good and sick," and then go to the Emergency Room.

    You still pay for it. Possibly, you pay more.

  60. Some more good news, Bob:

    Haifa increases its tourism to highest level in 2 years
    Jun. 25, 2008

    Two years after the Second Lebanon War, Haifa has rehabiltated its image and boosted tourism to a higher level than it was before the war.

    The increase has also come at a faster rate than Israel as a whole over that two-year span.

    After facing 33 days of Hizbullah rocket fire, people abroad pictured northern Israel as a war zone, Haifa's Mayor Yona Yahav said Tuesday.

    Efforts began in 2003 to make Haifa a tourist destination, but with the war images engraved in foreigners' minds, Yahav said the city became concerned.

    "We reached a point where we were afraid that the war would jeopardize all of our efforts… to promote tourism," he said. "This is not a war zone," he said, listing the museums, history and geography of Haifa. "It is unconceivable that such a wonderful city is not on the tourist map."

    In 2007, Haifa decided to conduct a study on tourism, and enlisted tourist marketing consulting firm IPK in Germany, Ernst & Young in the United States, and Geocartographia in Israel to help.

    The results showed that Haifa increased its tourism by 30 percent from January-May 2008 compared with the same period in 2006, which was before the outbreak of the war.

    Due to the Second Lebanon War, tourism rates in Haifa dropped significantly in 2007.

    From 2006 to 2007, Israel's tourism rate as a whole increased by 24 percent, according to the Tourism Ministry spokeswoman Shira Kaveh.

    During the first five months of 2008, the ministry found that tourism increased 47% in Israel, she said, bringing in 1.2 million travelers, rather than the 830,000 people in 2007.

    Haifa "succeeded" in ridding the city of war images, according to Yanav. He said it was now mobilizing to promote Haifa to both locals and foreigners as the city that is the "heart of the North."

    Haifa is preparing zoning for 10 new hotels that would increase the number of available rooms to 3000.

    Speaking with local and religious leaders, travel agents and decision makers across the globe, Haifa is working to put the city on the "tourist map," Yanav said, adding that he envisioned travelers using Haifa as a base for travel in northern Israel.

    Despite the city's rise in tourism, its economy was only growing by 1%, compared to the 5% seen across the country, according to Shmuel Gants, director-general of the Haifa Municipality.

    "We're looking for some economical generators to increase the growth of the economy in the area," he said. "One of the generators is the tourism industry. This is why we are now making [the promotion of Haifa] our first priority."

    The city was redeveloping its beaches through the creation of parks, restructuring the entire seaport and building the largest biotechnology center in Israel, according to Gants, who said that Haifa was concentrating on developments in nano, bio and clean technology.

    To promote the city as a tourist destination, Haifa will be launching a summer campaign on July 1. From the first of the month until the end of August, many city attractions will be free of charge for any traveler that spends at lease two nights in the city.

    Haifa had been working closely with decision makers and travel agents in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States to help bring more people to the region, Gants said.

    The city was also looking toward Russia as a new market for tourists, he added.


  61. I think I saw while ago that China will be up to something like 20 Gigawatts of wind power this year.

  62. And some more, Bob:

    Dassault interested in Israel's electric car project
    Jun. 26, 2008
    Sharon Wrobel

    Dassault Group, the French aerospace and software giant, is seeking co-investment opportunities in Israel, while also examining possibilities in the country's electric car venture project.


  63. Rufus,

    They also built a working Maglev rail line in Shanghai, something that the Germans have yet to do in Germany.

  64. Slade: I don't care how you slice it, ensuring health care for the entire population is going to cost somebody something.

    I got an idea. How about instead of spending $12 billion a month driving up and down highways in Iraq and getting our ass blown off, we spend a fraction of that money here getting every child covered, and when they enter the workforce they can pick up the premiums.

  65. Mat - google Fischer-Tropsch China and look at the first entry from MIT. The Chinese are doing a lot of things.

  66. Rufus - a ounce of prevention. Effective border security would put an end to all those gunshot wounds.

  67. I'm with ya on that one, Brother.

  68. Sorry, sl-Bob:
    It'll be a Leahy-Biden Justice regardless of who is POTUS.

  69. Some more news:

    GM Falls to Lowest Since 1954 on Goldman Rating Cut

    By Greg Bensinger

    June 26 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., the largest U.S. automaker, fell to the lowest since 1954 after Goldman, Sachs & Co. cut its rating on the shares to ``sell'' because of a worsening sales outlook.

    The stock dropped 11 percent, its biggest daily decline in three years. The Goldman revision follows Fitch Ratings' cut yesterday of GM's long-term debt to B-, six steps below investment grade. On June 23, Bank of America told investors that the automaker might need to raise as much as $8 billion.

    Gasoline prices that surged 34 percent this year to above $4 a gallon, consumer confidence at a 16-year low and tighter credit conditions have hurt auto-industry profits. GM, which had been rated ``neutral,'' may need to raise money and cut its dividend as its cash flow deteriorates, the Goldman analysts wrote.

    ``GM's automotive cash flow burn this year and next is likely to lead it to look to raise capital,'' Goldman analyst Patrick Archambault said in the research note. That ``could lead to significant shareholder dilution.''

    GM fell $1.38 to $11.43 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, the steepest percentage slide since March 16, 2005. The close was the lowest for GM since $11.41 at the end of November 1954, according to Los Angeles-based Global Financial Data, which provides historical share prices.

    The automaker's 8.375 percent note due in July 2033 fell 2 cents to 61.5 cents on the dollar, increasing the yield to 13.93 percent, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting service of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

    Declining Sales

    The automaker's U.S. sales tumbled 16 percent this year through May as consumer preferences shifted to cars and smaller sport-utility vehicles. GM has cut truck production and announced plans to close factories. The automaker hasn't had an annual profit since 2004.

    ``We've moved quite proactively in adjusting to the fact that consumers are moving out of trucks,'' Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner told reporters today in Pittsburgh.

    GM is under pressure to raise capital after saying in May that strikes at its largest axle supplier and two of its own plants drained $2.8 billion in this year's first half.

    By 2010, GM may go through $18 billion in cash, leaving it with $8.7 billion, the Goldman analysts said. Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache has estimated that GM may use up $19 billion.

    ``We've got a very good, solid funding base,'' Wagoner said today. ``We have a lot of options to fund beyond that,'' he added, without giving specifics.

    Cash on Hand

    GM had $24 billion in cash and marketable securities and access to about $7 billion in undrawn U.S. loans as of March 31, at least $6 billion more than it initially figured it would need during a U.S. decline, Chief Financial Officer Ray Young said on May 13.

    Sales of GM's pickups, SUVs and vans fell 22 percent in this year's first five months, compared with a 16 percent decline for the light trucks industrywide. Large luxury SUVs such as the Cadillac Escalade may generate more than five times the profit of a small car such as the Chevrolet Cobalt, according to Citigroup analyst Itay Michaeli.

    GM may report a 25 percent sales decline for June, compared with 17 percent for the industry, Santa Monica, California-based analyst Chintan Talati said in a note today. Some analysts are forecasting the industry's 2008 annual sales will fall to their lowest in 15 years.

    GM shares have lost 84 percent since May 31, 2000, the day before Wagoner became CEO. It's the worst performing stock in the 30-company Dow Jones Industrial Average during the past 12 months, with a 69 percent decline.

    The company's shares are rated ``sell'' by three analysts, ``hold'' by seven and ``buy'' by two, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

    More Short Interest

    Short-seller James Chanos, president of Kynikos Associates Ltd., said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday that GM should consider bankruptcy. He said he is adding to his short position on the automaker.

    In a short sale, an investor sells borrowed shares in an attempt to profit by buying them back at a lower price and returning them to the owner.

    Short interest in GM more than doubled to 120 million shares as of June 13 from 54 million at the end of 2007, indicating more investors are betting the shares will decline.

    Credit-default swaps on GM debt climbed 88 basis points today to 1,701 basis points, according to CMA Datavision in London. The contracts are designed to protect bondholders against default. A rise in the price indicates a decline in the perception of a company's credit quality.


  70. Slade,

    I'm very bearish when it comes to the oil economy. I think the less we try to prop it up, the better for us all.

  71. Mat -

    You might be not wrong.

    But I do know this.

    Strong advocacy is required for bureaucratic action. But the uncertainties preclude that, meaning Americans will continue to wring their hands.

    I am reminded of Charlie Wilson’s War. In light of modern history, we armed the Taliban who are now fighting against us. It seems to me that his war was the last one with an easy paradigm.

  72. Slade,

    Going short on these fsckers is the best kind of advocacy from my point of view.

  73. But it is not just a matter of “propping up the oil industry”.

    It is a matter of ensuring global stability for the next ten years using existing technology to “sustain” the current fleet.

    I say again, there is a visceral objection to allowing the oil companies another drop of profit. We need to get over that.

  74. "Is that all there is?"

    Vey effing funny.

  75. Exactly,
    We need domestic production and refinery redundancy for National Security.

  76. Obama will drain the Petroleum Reserve Just like Bubba did.

    Good for the bottom line,
    then W got blamed for filling it again.

    (It should ALWAYS be full, except for War.)

  77. And I think we just need more banana plantations in Hawaii.

  78. If it's punishment and revenge you are after Mat, you may get your wish - from other quarters.

  79. Charles:
    OT: In this post over at free republic the writer at national review discounts the the problems with obama’s birth certificate.

    However, the commentators proceed to post the birth certificate that obama’s team put out and then they compare that to a standard issue hawaiian birth certificate.

    There are significant differences.

    interesting comments - this one is not going away.

  80. Slade,

    If the pressure isn't applied relentlessly, nothing will get done.

  81. Mat's not averse to bondage, from what I hear.

  82. Two more Twists for the Wench!

  83. So is the Duracell Bunny, Doug.

  84. Relax.

    It's just a tourniquet, my dear.


  86. They're not Muslims, bob, fear not.

    Only Muslims threaten US, and then only the radical ones.

    In Iraq.

    We do not even patrol the southern frontier, no threats from down there, per Mr Bush.

    Ms Rice will not even discuss it, nor will John.

  87. dRat,

    The Mexican oil fields are in serious decline. Perhaps that will induce some change.

  88. Still took in 1.23 million barrels, from Mexico, every day of 2008. On average.

    Now that is down from the 1.47 million barrels per day averaged in 2007. But still 1.23 million barrels of oil that the US cannot replace, easily or soon.

    On the list of troublesome sources for US pertochemical needs, Mexico does not rank high.
    Way behind all the Middle East and Africa, behind Venezuela, even.

    The border is not secure because the government of the US does not want to discourage cross border traffic. In people or drugs.

    Proof is in the tasting, or the border would be secure.

  89. This comment has been removed by the author.

  90. Still does not alleviate John's problems even staying up even, with Barack.

    Obama is going to make McCain run in locales far and wide. John will rack up the miles on that Eagle Air jet. Couple of million worth of billings, I'm sure.

    Keepin' it in the family.

  91. Deal develops Canada's NAFTA Superhighway

    That globalist impulses are driving Canada's National Policy Framework is made clear from the attention the defining statement of the policy gives to NAFTA and world trade, including competition from the European Union.

    "No country in the world is better positioned than Canada to prosper in the emerging global economy," Harper states in a quote included in the "National Policy Framework for Strategic Gateways and Trade Corridors" posted on the Trade Canada website. "

    The Gateway Initiative is obviously critical to realizing our potential as a country." The text clearly explains, "The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the European Union (EU) gave rise to new trading blocs that have underpinned the new integrated global marketplace." The document also addresses the need to place an integrated North American economy and marketplace into an emerging global marketplace that is increasingly dominated by China and India.

    "Coupled with the emergence of new economic powers such as China and India, global marketplace integration is driving the distribution of economic activity, as well as the expansion of world trade," the defining document continues.

    AsWND has reported, PPPs involve comprehensive development contracts negotiated between governments and private investors, including foreign investors, in which the capital required for transportation infrastructure will be invested by private concerns who will then own the toll right concessions for decades after completion of the project.

    The Trans-Texas Corridor, or TTC-35, the four-football-fields wide new truck-train-automobile-pipeline superhighway being built by the Texas Department of Transportation is a PPP promoted by the Federal Highway Administration, in which the billions required for the new toll road are being provided by Cintra Concessiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, a private investment consortium in Spain.

    On April 30, 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed Executive Order No. 12803 on infrastructure privatization, which created PPPs by
    clearing federal barriers for cities and states to lease public works
    infrastructure to private investors.

    WND has reported the underlying agenda of the multi-national corporations is to redesign and reconfigure NAFTA trade corridors, such as Interstate 35, into new NAFTA Superhighways that will minimize the cost of transporting containers of manufactured goods originating in China and the Far East to their ultimate destinations in North America.

  92. Maybe W will privatize the Constitution so some corporation can buy out the second ammendment.

  93. Big John's Left Hand Man
    Tougher enforcement, better results?

    Border crossings are down, a wall is being built and some anecdotes suggest people are self-deporting: Are immigration restrictionists happy? All week, Mark Krikorian and Tomás R. Jiménez debate.

  94. John's immigration expert:

    "We must not only have a free flow of goods and services, but also start working for a free flow of people."
    He argues passionately about the need to obtain legal status for all Mexican workers in the U.S., although he shuns the political vocabulary, preferring to stay away from what he calls explosive terms such as guest worker programs.

  95. The US GDP was $13.84 trillion
    with a per capita GDP of $46,000

    Chinese GDP was $6.991 trillion
    GDP - per capita $5,300

    India GDP $2.989 trillion
    GDP - per capita $2,700

    data from the CIA

    So when doug's link to the WND tells us
    " emerging global marketplace that is increasingly dominated by China and India. ..."

    it must be understood that China and India are some how dominating the global marketplace from a position of inferior performance.
    Both in the Gross but even more so in the per capita numbers.

  96. Slaves come cheap.
    ...for a while.

    Mexico will be 5th largest economy in two decades.

    ...if it don't implode first due to wealth disparity.

  97. Slaves come cheap.

    ...Thus, a set of Stanley tools that once added $100 to the US GDP now adds $10 to China's GDP.

  98. (Actually, I got them for $10 on sale @ Costco, so who knows how much Chinamen got out of the deal)

  99. The counter-point fellow does make one very good point, doug.

    Incentives do indeed shape behavior, but it's really the availability of jobs that is the biggest incentive. The economy is slowing, and jobs in sectors that rely on undocumented labor are drying up. Nearly one in five undocumented migrants in the labor force work in construction and mining. The construction industry has shed 284,000 jobs since September 2006. As Americans' wallets shrink, so too will jobs in the service sector, in which 31% of undocumented migrants work. A decline in the availability of work may explain much of the recent decline in border apprehensions.

    It's the job losses, moree than Sheriff Joe's enforcement program that is lessening the flow.

    But it still flows, even so.
    Down to 2,000 per day, perhaps?
    That'd be a 50% decline.
    If it was that great of decline, it'd be trumpted by the politicos, and it's not.

  100. The people do need legal status.
    There is little debate about that.

    It is the nature of that legal status that comes into question.

    But I'd let any homeowner stay.

    I'd let most of the currently employeed stay, too.

    Payin' fines and fees
    In the light of day

    But I wouldn't put 'em all on "the path to citizenship".
    I'd just keep 'em bein' Americans, like they already are.

    ... these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ...

  101. Stop the illegal border crossings with a combination of fencing, drones and foot patrols. Increasing the size of the Border Patrol. From the current 14,000 to 47,000. There are, after all, 19,000 miles of land and sea borders to patrol.

  102. The sheriff, who has said his deputies don't racially profile motorists, has drawn criticism for similar sweeps in three heavily Hispanic areas of metropolitan Phoenix during late March and early April.

    Sixty legal observers working for immigrant rights groups fanned out on city streets to film deputies pulling over motorists and later interviewing those inside of the cars.

    The advocates say they had warned day laborers against trying to find work Thursday on city streets, rather than risk being arrested.

    Sheriff's Crackdown

  103. The deputies stop all the cars no matter how minor the infraction.

    They do not profile the drivers, they let the neighborhoods do it for them.

  104. "But I wouldn't put 'em all on "the path to citizenship".
    I'd just keep 'em bein' Americans, like they already are.
    DC wants them all to become citizens, badly.

    Once they got their vote, DC is permanently institutionalized, til bankruptcy does us part.

  105. Charles:
    there are lots o links above to the blogosphere chatter on obama’s birth certificate.
    here’s a graphics expert going after obama’s birth certificate.

  106. Then, when they return, to their families in Mexico, they are US citizens.

    Their children, US citizens, no matter where they're born. Like McCain ...
    It's all about the assimulation of Mexico, doug.

    Becoming a truly continental power.
    As George Washington forsaw

  107. We had black and white Driver's licenses when I was 19.
    A quick stop in a darkroom with some printing paper, and I was 21.

  108. "When American goes to the polls in November, voters look over their ballot this November, we should use a simple test. We should ask every voter: which candidate stands up for good paying jobs, for affordable health care, and for a quality education?

    "There is only one candidate in the race for president who has always and will always stand up for and fight for those issues. That candidate's name is Barack Obama.

    Si se puede!


  109. More money for the children!
    Yes we can!
    Vote NEA!

  110. Say Doug

    I'm on the north shore of Oahu for the next two weeks. There's a coffee shop here in Haleiwa that I enjoy. can you recommend any others on oahu. not so sure I'll get over to the other islands but if you know of others--please mention.

    These places are just great for going back and forth between online work and play and even the occasional local conversation.

  111. Lullus said,

    it was the cotton growers in the South who created the demand for them

    Doug said,

    4.4% of slaves ended up in the USA.

    35% in Brazil,

    The rest in the Carribean and So America.

  112. Charles,
    I'll ask my wife and son:

    I mostly stay within 5 miles of the homestead!

  113. I just remembered a guy that had a neat shop that was on our (now defunct) Honolulu right-wing forum.

    If I can fire up an old enough computer, I might be able to find him.

  114. Berg began playing baseball, at the age of seven, for the Roseville Methodist Episcopal Church baseball team under the less ethnic pseudonym Runt Wolfe.

  115. Damn, Charles:
    That's a lot more obviously fake than the Rather Forged Docs.

    ...even easier than some of the stuff he points to are some areas between lines where there is plenty of space to see the background.

    But you don't.

  116. Most definitive proof, tho, as he points out, is all the stuff is in the same font!

  117. Doug,
    Damn, Charles:
    That's a lot more obviously fake than the Rather Forged Docs.

    ...even easier than some of the stuff he points to are some areas between lines where there is plenty of space to see the background.

    But you don't.
    Yeah that's what I'm thinking.

    the descrepencies are startling both on the macro scale--no seal-- and on the micro scale--updated lettering.

    in fact,you'd think that these guys having been burned once would have got the message that they can't play games with forgeries.

    but I guess not.

  118. Geraghty seems to believe a phone call to Hawaii clears it up:
    HE DOESN'T KNOW HAWAII!'s obviously a fake, let's see how Hawaii proves it's authentic!

  119. The Can't Do Society

    Building things is a good indication of the relative confidence of a society. But the last American gasoline refinery was built almost three decades ago. As “cowards of our conscience,” we’ve come up with countless mitigating reasons not to build new ones. Our inaction has meant that our nation’s gasoline facilities have grown old, out of date, and dangerous.

    Maybe Americans can instead substitute plug-in, next-generation electric cars that can be charged at night on the nation’s grid powered by nuclear power plants? Wrong again. We haven’t issued a single new license that actually led to the building of a nuclear power plant in over 30 years.

    Shakespeare’s Hamlet again would warn second-guessing Americans that, “A thought, which, quarter’d, hath but one part wisdom/And ever three parts coward.”

    But the problem of inaction extends far beyond the present energy crisis.

    Whatever one thinks about the wisdom of a border fence with Mexico, President George W. Bush signed into law a bill passed by both houses of Congress authorizing over 700 miles of fencing at key junctures. This was back in 2006.

    Environmentalists and private property owners tried to legally challenge the fence. And the Mexican government — the same government that publishes comic books instructing its citizens on how to sneak across illegally into the United States — cried foul. As a result, nearly two years later, the fence is barely half finished.

    We are nearing the seventh anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center. Its replacement — the Freedom Tower — should have been a sign of our determination and grit right after September 11.

  120. In fact, that phone call puts Hawaii on the record as vouching for a fake!

  121. (the lady said it matched that on file!)

  122. "I spoke to Ms. Okubo late Wednesday afternoon, and she said she had seen the version of Obama’s certificate of live birth posted on the sites. While her office cannot verify the information on a form without the permission of the certificate holder (Obama), she said "the form is exactly the same" and it has "all the components of a birth certificate" record issued by the state.

    In other words, she sees no reason to think the version posted on Obama's web site and Daily Kos is not genuine."

    Campaign Spot

  123. Here is an animation of the two hawaii birth certificates overlaid and faded: One is a standard issue birth certificate for a resident of hawaii and the other is obama's birth certificate provided by obama's campaign. here's the link

    WARNING: It’s a 3.2 meg file. However, its large enough to examine details. Let it load fully and it will cycle between the two images.

    These are simply two images overlaid and scaled one to fit the outside border of the other as closely as possible, then faded one into another.

    So the differences are easily seen.

  124. Charles,

    Kos now has a Higher Quality Version which has the background, but still has some of the other problems mentioned by the graphics guy.

  125. Too bad that's a 1930 certificate...
    be nice to have a '61

  126. the higher quality kos version does not have the seal. In order for the birth certificate to be official it has to have the seal.

    From the article

    "The State of Hawaii has dashed those hopes by clarifying that a certified birth certificate must have an embossed seal and signature, features his claimed birth certificate image lack."

  127. "Fight the Smears" now has just a small version, also without the embossed seal.

  128. Laura Logan, Michael Ware, in Combat!

    Sources say the Emmy winning Lara Logan began the affair with 36-year-old U.S. State Department contractor, Burkett in war-torn Baghdad.

    And yet another scandal brews in the steamy mix: Lara's reported romance with a star CNN correspondent – Michael Ware, whose jealousy exploded in a battle royal with Burkett in a Baghdad “safe house.”

    Burkett's wife Kimberly, 32, was so upset about Joe's cheating that she took an overdose of Valium.

    Kimberly Burkett's attorney told the Enquirer, “Kimberly believes Lara stole her husband – and now they're trying to steal her little girl.”

    To add fuel to the fire, her two lovers, Burkett and Ware, got into a brutal battle over her in Baghdad!

    Passions got so hot in the combat zone that one of her lovers, Joe Burkett, brawled in a Baghdad “safe house” with her other lover, CNN war reporter Michael Ware, a source said.

  129. (She just got through trashing Laura Bush's "one second trip" to Afghanistan on the Stewart show)

  130. Unfortunately, her reporting from the frontlines of Afghanistan has taken a back seat to her alleged sexual exploits. This will only fuel her infamous nickname coined by the British tabloids as “34D Lara.” You can see those 34 D’s in a swimsuit here.

    Logan was previously said to be living in London with her husband, Jason Siemon, a professional basketball player.

  131. Exclusive! Death of Hardee's founder is the eighth demise of a fast food legend this year. So far.

    Today, we add Wilbur Hardee to the list of the dead:
    Carl Karcher
    founder of Carl’s Jr. (January 11);
    Lovie Yancie
    founder of Fatburger (January 23);
    Al Copeland
    founder of Popeye's Famous Fried Chicken (March 23);
    Herb Peterson
    inventor of the Egg McMuffin (March 25);
    Irvine "Irv" Robbins
    co-founder of Baskin-Robbins (May 5);
    J.R. Simplot
    king of the frozen french fries (May 25);
    Neil Baker
    Baker's Drive-Thru and Taco Bell (May 31)
    Wilbur Hardee
    founder of Hardee's (June 20)
    ???? ?????
    ???? (???? ??)

  132. Correction to my SAIC energy post.

    Flipped to CSPAN last night and caught a speech before Congress by Republican Representative from Maryland in which he point by point went through the exact paper.

    Point by point.

    Due Diligence. He said that DOE contracted 4 papers from SAIC between 2005 and 2007 (I think - he made come numerical errors during his speech.)

    Congress has facts at their disposal.

    Oil up 141.48

    And we get sermons from Obama about increasing capital gains taxes, global warming, and socialized health care.

    Is the liberal agenda what this country needs right now?

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