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

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

German Chancellor Merkel Bitch Slaps Obama

His Smugness

Merkel Warns Obama: Don't Do Electioneering Abroad!
09/07/2008 04:53:09 PM GMT

German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed a request by Barack Obama to give a speech this month before the Brandenburg Gate as "inappropriate", her deputy spokesman said Wednesday.

The conservative leader said that while she would be pleased to meet the US Democratic presidential hopeful, it would be wrong for him to hold a "campaign rally" at the historic symbol of German unity.

"It is unusual to do electioneering abroad," spokesman Thomas Steg told reporters. "It is unusual to hold election rallies abroad. No German candidate for high office would even think of using the National Mall (in Washington) or Red Square in Moscow for a rally because it would not be seen as appropriate."
"Take a chance on me."hattip: Hugh Hewitt

In an unusual move, a spokesman for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier sharply contradicted Merkel's views at a regular government press conference, saying they could be interpreted in the United States as an affront to Obama.

Foreign ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner said Steinmeier, a Social Democrat, was eager to meet Obama after speaking with him on the phone in April. Republican presidential contender John McCain should also be welcome to speak at the Brandenburg Gate if he chose to, he added.

"The foreign minister does not find it odd," he said, adding that an Obama speech at or near the site would be "an expression of the vital German-American friendship" just days after Washington opened a new embassy next to the gate.

Source: AJP
Someone remind the Messiah that he is not President yet.


  1. In a dozen or so interviews with Berliners at the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday, sentiment was running strongly in favor of a speech there by Mr. Obama. “He should do it,” said Reiner Sch├╝ttke, 47, of Berlin.

    “The Brandenburg Gate is open to anybody, so it shouldn’t be locked for him.”

    But there were also those who saw drawbacks to a political speech at what is meant to be a historic and therefore nonpartisan site. “I can understand concerns that it seems like Germany is taking sides in the election,” said Gesine Schulze, 28, “but personally I think it is exciting, and he should do it.”

    German Politicians

  2. Greenpeace said the meeting was a useless diversion from taking real action. "Because of the G8's abject failure to commit to anything meaningful, there could be no move forward," said spokesman Daniel Mittler.

    But French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday's deal meant the G8 had made a commitment on cutting emissions, but emerging economies had not. "The United States is making a commitment, firmly and absolutely, with the condition imposed by their Congress that China and India also take action in a differentiated way," he said.

    Failure to resolve the deadlock in Japan means the main game has shifted to Copenhagen in 2009. The major economies will gather again to negotiate at next year's G8 meeting.

    Snubbing World on Targets

  3. Doesn't Merkel understand that the Messiah's campaign is a more earth-shattering event than taking down the wall?

    I also think Bruni should debut her new song in front of the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

    "put an end
    To all my emblems
    To my career as an Amazon
    And to my sovereign freedom...

    I give you my body, my soul and my chrysanthemum
    For I am Yours

    You are my lord, you're my darling
    You're my orgy
    You're my folly, my mix
    You are my blessed bread
    My charming prince
    I am yours...

    Watch out because I am Italian
    I am going to discourage the ladies
    I will gag the beautiful sirens
    I who always sought fire
    I am burning for you like a pagan woman
    I who made men dance
    To you I give myself entirely...

    otoh, I guess she's not the Messiahtrix.
    Perhaps Michelle could just do a reading.

  4. Ich bin ein Obamacon.

    Sie sind ein Obamalib.

  5. Germany? He ought to be speaking at a General Assembly of the United Nations!

    Or of the Solar System!

  6. In Oz:

    "So, what we can't read into this is that credit demand is going to go up to fund lavish lifestyles."

    "It is really now being used to pay for those essentials and the fact that it is going to be used on credit now, will continue to dampen consumer demand and consumer confidence."

    According to the survey the trend is not confined to families, with 24 per cent of younger people (18-35 years old) expected to apply for some form of credit in the next three months.

    Credit Purchases of Basics Tipped to Rise

  7. al-Bob is one of them Bitter Clingers to English.
    Embarassing to us elites.

  8. California traffic court, you get to wait at the back of the bus for all the Hispanics to be served by an interpreter first, so the interpreter can move on to the next courtroom.

    Wouldn't want to waste his/her time or the taxpayers money, would we?

    Or CERTAINLY not require the clients to pay for their own interpreter.

    That would be EMBARASSING to Barry (back of the bus for whitey) Obama.

  9. Several times this term the Court heard cases involving politics. A subject that every Supreme Court justice knows as well as a late-night comic will lend itself to wry observations.

    Mr. White: The Libertarians require you to sign a membership application that they oppose the use of force in the resolution of political disputes.

    Chief Justice John Roberts: Libertarians have a lot more rules than the other parties. (Laughter.)


    Justice David Souter: [D]o you know any people who go around saying, well, you know, I really prefer the Democrats; I'm a Republican myself? I mean that, that doesn't happen.

    Mr. McKenna: Well, the example of Senator Lieberman comes to mind, where he said I really prefer the Democrats and I'm running as an independent. (Laughter.)

    Justice Souter: There's always one.

    Supreme Court

  10. Greetings,

    Welcome to the sixth issue of the Idaho Energy Newsletter. We hope to bring regional journalists a collection of recent news in the energy field, with an emphasis on nuclear energy. This newsletter is a product of the Idaho Energy Complex, a proposed $4.5 billion,1,600-megawatt advanced nuclear reactor/biofuels refinery proposed for Elmore County, Idaho (

    Please call or write if you have any questions,

    Martin Johncox

    IEC spokesman


    Proposed Idaho nuclear plant partners with Houston energy company. Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc has signed a participation agreement with Powered Corporation, Houston, Texas to form a new company to jointly develop nuclear reactors worldwide, including Idaho’s first commercial nuclear reactor. Assuming successful due diligence, the agreement is to be finalized in the coming months. Powered will contribute international energy leadership and initial funding, while AEHI will contribute its nuclear expertise and management team. The new company will be a joint holding of AEHI and Powered. “This participation agreement, among other projects, will form the basis for a final agreement to fund the federal application process and, ultimately, build a 1,600-megawatt nuclear power plant in Idaho to help meet our national energy needs,” said Don Gillispie, president and CEO of AEHI.

    Alternate Energy Holdings starts new company to promote use of renewables. Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., the company proposing a 1,600-megawatt nuclear reactor in Elmore County, has established a new Idaho company to promote energy efficiency and the use of wind and solar energy on individual properties. Energy Neutral Inc. assists homeowners, businesses and farmers to reduce their electricity bills by operating with minimal or no reliance on the electrical grid. The company’s primary service consists of evaluating homes, businesses or farms for conservation and renewable energy potential; drawing up a plan to attain or approach energy neutrality; and working with wind, conservation and solar suppliers and installers to put the products in place.

    Zogby Poll: 67% Favor Building New Nuclear Plants in U.S. Two-thirds of Americans support the construction of new nuclear power plants, with nearly half indicating strong support, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows. Republicans and political independents were more likely than Democrats to support the construction and a majority of respondents of all ages (with the exception of those age 18 to 24) expressed support. Men (82 percent) are more likely than women (52 percent) to favor nuclear power. Support for nuclear power remained significant when respondents were asked which type of power plant they would be most likely to support – coal, natural gas, oil, or nuclear – if a new electric power plant had been approved for construction in their community and they had a choice of the fuel source to be used.

    Sacramento considers zapping its garbage for power. Sacramento sends 146,000 tons of residential trash every year to a desert dump in western Nevada and U.S. Science and Technology, a Sacramento firm, says building a plasma plant is a better option, because it would eliminate the need for a landfill and produce electricity that could be sold back to the grid. Plasma torches would incinerate garbage at temperatures hotter than the sun’s surface, producing steam, slag (rocky material made of heavy metals) and syngas, which can be burned to run an electricity-producing turbine. Emissions are comparable to natural gas and garbage volume is greatly reduced. The technology is not currently used in the U.S., but the Hitachi Metals waste-to-energy plant in Utashinai, Japan, has been vaporizing trash and car parts for six years.

    Out-of-state purchases force Idaho Power to raise rates. Low water levels forced Idaho Power to purchase more power from neighboring states last year and the Idaho Public Utilities Commission has granted the company permission to raise rates by an average of 11 percent among all customer classes. Idaho Power has not built an in-state base-load plant in 30 years, relying on coal power for about half its needs. Financing conservation and a peaking natural gas plant in Elmore County also contributed to the rate increase. Idaho Power provides electricity to 400,000 residential customers, 62,888 commercial and industrial customers and, 18,126 irrigation customers across southern Idaho and eastern Oregon. It brought in more than $879 million in revenues in 2007.

    Italy plans to increase nuclear power use. Italy's newly elected government said the country will resume building nuclear power plants within five years, a move that Greenpeace Italy’s director called “a declaration of war.” The country closed its reactors 20 years ago after a referendum. But concern is growing in many European countries over the skyrocketing price of oil, energy security and the warming effects of carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Italy is the largest net energy importer in Europe, but nearly all European countries rely heavily on imported energy, particularly oil and natural gas.

  11. Woman kills husband with folding couch

    ...upset with her husband for being drunk and refusing to get up, kicked a handle after an argument, activating a mechanism that folds the couch up against a wall.

  12. Byron York: The ultimately incorrigible John McCain

    Last October, when John McCain’s presidential campaign was nearly dead, I went to Iowa to follow him around for a few days.

    The story felt like a eulogy. Few observers believed McCain could come back from the twin disasters of his campaign nearly running out of money and his disastrous stand on comprehensive immigration reform.

    Riding in a van from Sioux City to Sheldon, I asked McCain what had gone wrong.
    “The biggest detriment to our campaign so far — by far — was the immigration issue, because it’s an emotional issue with our Republican base,” he told me.

    “I can show you the polling numbers — that it really didn’t have anything to do with the financial situation, that as the immigration issue became hotter and hotter among Republicans, I started down.
    “And it’s still out there.”

    Boy, was that true. But McCain managed to survive. He won the nomination on the strength of his national security credentials, but he gave Republican base voters just enough reassurance on the immigration issue when he pledged to “secure the border first.”
    McCain succeeded as a result of what might be called a legitimate flip-flop...

  13. The best picture of Kennedy is on the cover of Michael Beschloss' biography of Kennedy. He is sitting in his limo looking out the window. Just after Bay of Pigs. He wasn't smiling and he wasn't talking. Picture worth a thousand words.

  14. It's the joint appearence with Mr Maliki that holds promise for Obama, the Gernam portion of the trip, just part of the show.

    The German Chancellor interfering with Obama's right to speak, she wanting to decide on the propriety of his decisions.

    Hopefully this bitch slapping will increase the speed at which US ground troops are withdrawn from Germany, post Jan09.

    Perhaps, if lucky, we'll get the South Koreans to insult Obama, too.

  15. Greenpeace said the meeting was a useless diversion from taking real action. "Because of the G8's abject failure to commit to anything meaningful, there could be no move forward," said spokesman Daniel Mittler.

    Interesting to see if the environmental movement will have outgrown its terrorist stage when construction of plants and tillage of acreage begins.

    I have been - and expect to be - surprised that wind farm construction is not delayed by study of migratory bird patterns. No clue how to mitigate that.

  16. It's hard to think of any reason for any, or many, American troops in Germany these days.

  17. Drat -

    And Mexico (but I guess that's not on the "international" tour)

    Dry sense of humor you have.

  18. Byron York, a white conservative, misses about half of what Maverick says about Immigration. Maverick speaks with two faces on this issue, depending upon whom he is speaking.
    Maverick's blatant pandering led conservative Hispanic leader Rosanna Pulido to complain, “He’s one John McCain in front of white Republicans. And he’s a different John McCain in front of Hispanics.”

    But these flip flops and double talk prevail in both candidates.
    VDH makes the case that Obama has under gone a radical reformation, becoming Barack W. Bush.

    While the story "Will the real John McCain please stand up"
    By Peter Fenn and Will Leubsdorf
    reminds US

    On gun control, where ironically McCain has criticized Obama for shifting his position, McCain has radically altered his own to get in line with the NRA. In 1999, McCain supported banning certain assault weapons and “Saturday night specials,” as well as requiring safety locks and background checks at gun shows. He co-sponsored the McCain-Lieberman Gun Show Bill of 2003, which would have closed the gun-show loophole. Through 2004, he had a C+ rating from the NRA, who described McCain as their “Judas goat — leading the sheep to slaughter,” and as “one of the premier flag carriers for the enemies of the Second Amendment.” Yet by 2007, his position had changed again. After the Virginia Tech massacre, McCain said he believed in “no gun control.” McCain’s new position as a gun rights advocate will reap great financial benefits: The NRA has pledged to spend $40 million on this year’s campaign, including at least $15 million to smear Obama.

    Maverick needs every dollar he can get, so he can win.
    Because of the Judges ...

    In front of conservatives, McCain pledges to appoint radical judges like Justice Samuel Alito to the courts. But according to Politico reporter Ben Smith, while wooing former Clinton supporters, McCain suggested he would appoint more moderate judges, emphasizing his votes to confirm Clinton nominees Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

  19. Barack W. Bush vs John Obama.

  20. As for the Obama flip flops effecting his base, the LATimes reports:

    The vote, a reversal of an earlier pledge, was Obama's latest perceived step away from his party's base on a range of issues, among them the death penalty, gun control and taxpayer money for religious groups.
    Reaction has been swift and -- aside from the blogosphere and some newspaper columnists -- notably mild.

    "We're willing to work through this period," said Richard Parker, president of the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, one of the party's most enduring advocacy groups. In the long run, he said, the organization's "serious concerns" about Obama are far outweighed by its disagreements with Republican John McCain.

    Gerald Austin, a veteran Democratic strategist, put it more succinctly: "When I hear people complaining . . . I tell them I have one thing to say: 'President John McCain. Three Supreme Court appointments.' That's all I need to say."

  21. Wal-Mart International
    Wal-Mart International's sales for the June period were strongest in the United Kingdom, Brazil and China.
    "Our international businesses continued to show strong sales increases during June," said Mike Duke, vice chairman, Wal-Mart International. "We are committed to serving our customers in a manner that resonates with them everywhere we do business. Our ability to serve our customers through different formats at every day low prices is helping us lead in each of our markets."
    In the U.K., sales at ASDA grew faster than the market due to higher customer traffic, which was driven by ASDA's strong value message. ASDA won an award for being the lowest priced supermarket in the country from The Grocer, the U.K.'s leading grocery trade publication, for the eleventh year in a row.
    Brazil again had strong sales, led by the low-income format Todo Dia, the hypermarkets in the South and Southeast, and Maxxi, the cash-and-carry format.
    At Wal-Mart China, merchandising for a new federal holiday -- the Dragon Boat Festival -- and effective advertising contributed to the positive sales performance. One Trust-Mart store located in Sichuan province remains closed because of the May 12 earthquake.
    Wal-Mart Canada had strong sales leading up to Canada Day, a national holiday on July 1. Wal-Mart Canada opened two new supercentres, bringing the total number of Canadian supercentres to 34 and total units in Canada to 307.
    Wal-Mart Mexico's total and comparable store sales growth continue to be driven by traffic growth at the self-service formats, Bodega Aurrera, Wal-Mart Supercenter, Sam's Club, and Superama. Yesterday, Wal-Mart Mexico announced its comparable store sales increased 8.0 percent in nominal terms during the calendar June period. Lower consumer confidence negatively affected sales at the discretionary spending formats, Suburbia and Vips.

  22. From the Thursday morning links at Maggie’s Farm:

    How the Greens Captured Energy Policy:

    Energy reform is an egg and rock situation for the Democrats. (From the old Irish proverb: "When the rock hits the egg, alas for the egg. When the egg hits the rock, alas for the egg.") The Democrats -- Obama chief among them -- can neither adequately defend it nor abandon it, as is clearly shown by their refusal to even consider loosening drilling restrictions. The GOP holds all the cards on this one, and all they need to do is keep building the pressure. (Always granted, of course, that they play it better than their last few runs of hands.) No better electoral tool will be found during this cycle. We just can't expect results immediately - this will be a long and drawn-out battle, requiring maximum, sustained effort from all involved.

    Environmentalism is a luxury, and like all such, is best taken in moderation. The environment requires protection, but that's all. Primitive panthiesm has no place in this millennium. Nature is not an utterly benign continuum, and human beings are not a disease. Pseudo-religious environmentalism has long outlived its welcome. It's time to bring down the curtain.

    and Barack Obama isn‘t Making Sense. This guy’s makeover makes Angelina Jolie look like an amateur.

  23. "It's hard to think of any reason for any, or many, American troops in Germany these days."

    It would make more sense to have some German troops in Arizona.

  24. Short short story is that the Democrats need to grow up - fast - on environmental policy as it intersects with energy and economic growth and national security - as succinctly noted in the Pickens commercial.

    Very good sound bite advertising.

    I think they will - but I am not sure.

    That picture of Obama is like the visual equivalent of listening too long to somebody - if you look too deep ...

    But then again I photograph like roadkill.

  25. Fannie and Freddie Mac are holding $5T in liabilities.

    Where to find the capital?

    Sovereign Funds are the only pool.

    The largest one held by Saudi Arabia.

  26. I wonder if she would "cut his nuts off". Rev Jackson bitches that BHO "talks down to black people"
    ...dude he talks down to EVERYONE...

  27. Our leaders are in carbon-cloud cuckoo land
    Despite the best efforts of the global-warming lobby to keep the scare going, the northern hemisphere enjoyed its coldest winter for decades, and this summer has shown the curve sinking even lower.

    Even the warmists are having to find excuses for the fact that their theory doesn't exactly seem to be holding up, conceding that the next 10 years may see a period of global cooling, before the "underlying warming trend" returns worse than ever.

    Other scientists point out that, rather than look to CO2 for an explanation of global temperatures, a much more convincing link can be seen in the activity of the sun, with current sunspot levels having dramatically fallen to levels associated with historic periods of global cooling recorded in the past.

    Yet just when such huge question marks are being raised over the "CO2 equals warming" theory, our politicians have swallowed it whole, as an act of blind faith - using it to justify such massive costs to our economy that our whole way of life seems destined to change significantly for the worse.

    By Christopher Booker

  28. Speaking of Order, second hand story.

    Student in a sediment transport class being taught by well-known professor of Asian ethnicity who presented a procedure developed by Hans Einstein, son of Albert. The procedure was very methodical and required tracking the movement of each soil particle as part of the collective response to the forces of the water-soil interaction. In a very sly moment of humor professor described the technique as little soil particles marching down the sand bed.

  29. Heard or read, the other day, that the US had withdrawn, from the Persian Gulf, its' aircraft carriers.

    That is a very substantial piece of news, if accurate.
    Did it resonate elsewhere?

  30. Defense officials said Tuesday that the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln and its escort vessels were moved out of the Persian Gulf and to the Gulf of Oman, shortening the time that the carrier's strike planes must fly to support operations in Afghanistan.

    Does not answer whether one remains in the Gulf, under the Iranian guns.

    But from the Gulf of Oman, either Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran can be targted by the USS Lincoln.

  31. If it's true, it's probably not resonating too far by intent.

  32. Wheels within wheels

    Meanwhile, Afghan investigators have found evidence that the deadly suicide bombing attack Monday against the Indian Embassy in Kabul this week was planned with the help of a foreign intelligence agency, a spokesman for Afghanistan's president said Tuesday.

    Humayun Hamidzada, chief spokesman for President Hamid Karzai, pointedly avoided direct references to Pakistan during a news conference but hinted that the scale and complexity of the strike against the embassy bore the markings of previous attacks linked to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Tuesday that his government was not involved in the attack and had no interest in undermining Afghanistan's security.

    The Indian Embassy attack killed at least 41 people and wounded 150 others.

  33. You could bet the balance of your portfolio, slade, that the Iranians know if a US carrier is in the Persian Gulf.

    The Gulf of Oman is open water, with a longer fly time. The US not wanting to duplicate the Vincennes Incident

    Iran Air Flight 655, also known as IR655, was a civilian airliner shot down by US missiles on Sunday July 3, 1988, over the Strait of Hormuz, toward the end of the Iran-Iraq War.

    Operated by Iran Air from Bandar Abbas, Iran, to Dubai, UAE, the aircraft flying as IR655 was destroyed by the U.S. Navy's guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes between Bandar Abbas and Dubai, killing all 290 passengers and crew aboard, including 66 children, ranking it seventh among the deadliest airliner fatalities. Vincennes was traversing the Straits of Hormuz, inside Iranian territorial waters, at the time of the attack and IR655 was within Iranian airspace.

    According to the US government, the crew mistakenly identified the Iranian Airbus A300 as an attacking F-14 Tomcat fighter.
    In 1996, the United States and Iran reached "an agreement in full and final settlement of all disputes, differences, claims, counterclaims" relating to the incident at the International Court of Justice.[5] As part of the settlement, the United States agreed to pay $61.8 million in compensation for the Iranians killed. The United States did not admit responsibility or apologize to the Iranian government

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. You and me both, amigo.

    Interesting though, how a tactical withdrawal can be seen as a strategicly aggressive move.

    With the Navy drawing almost none of the political symbolism to their movements as is attributed to the US ground forces in that region.

  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Let me try that again.

    My portfolio will survive with or without the Iranians or any of the rest of them. This country is on the way to oil independence - better late than never.

    My understanding of geopolitical military strategy belongs in the previous thread at the plastic picnic table.

    All I know is more of them hate us than not and they now have serious weapons to act on that. Aside from the situational enmity and historical context, is also the age-old quest for power, privilege, and respect, depending on perspective.

    I hear repeatedly that the difference with a distinction is "the people" and "the government". That might well be, but the government fires the missiles so it strikes me as specious.

    What is happening?

    Does it much matter? Some group will fire something and the other group will have to respond.

    That’s not cavalier. It’s weariness with the global violence that just seems to accelerate with every breath we take.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I never believed in The End of History but I thought the species was farther along than this. My recent education has taught me that was delusional hubris.

  38. With the DJIA and real estate values each tanking by about 20%, of late, we seem to be in the midst of a period of "readjustment", after that era of "irrational exuberance".

  39. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    Which is why I have little faith in backward-looking gestures such as apologies in a geopolitical context which seems to be an ideological tendency on the part of Democrats.

    Don't go there would be my advice. Not as big a Reagan fan as some here but I think his single-mindedness on communism will be treated favorably by history regardless of the responsibility attributed to him.

    Deregulation of financial markets that began under Reagan will be another issue.

  40. I think whatever the euphemism ("corrective" has a more appropriate punitive connotation), growth will be much slower than the 6% to 8% I heard late last year and it will be longer. I would not be surprised to see ten years of white-knuckle markets wher the stock pickers rule over those who try to ride the indices.

  41. Listening to Paulson and Bernanke describe their propoals for centralizing regulatory control of financial markets with the Fed to provide tighter risk management in capital flows. They seem to agree that effective regulation must be centralized rather than distributed among multiple agencies.

    As noted by one astute commentator, at the same time they want to lessen control over the role of private equity in bailing out these "too big to fail" institutions.

    I look for these huge international sovereign funds to play a role in the next generation.

  42. It‘s been so long ago that I completely forgot about the Precautionary Principle

    There are many definitions of the precautionary principle. Precaution is caution in advance, or ‘caution practised in the context of uncertainty’. All definitions have two key elements.

    - an expression of a need by decision-makers to anticipate harm before it occurs. Within this element lies an implicit reversal of the onus of proof: under the precautionary principle it is the responsibility of an activity proponent to establish that the proposed activity will not (or is very unlikely to) result in significant harm.

    - the establishment of an obligation, if the level of harm may be high, for action to prevent or minimise such harm even when the absence of scientific certainty makes it difficult to predict the likelyhood of harm occuring, or the level of harm should it occur. The need for control measures increases with both the level of possible harm and the degree of uncertainty.

    Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration 1992 states that: “in order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall be not used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

  43. In layman's terms, I think that's called a Blank Check.

  44. The Bottomless Bad Judgement of Big John

    That effort was halted under Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage, who recently blamed Pakistan for opposing the joint operations. Mr. Armitage, however, also disclosed his diplomatic opposition to the commando operations.
    Mr. Armitage, an adviser to Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain, told the New York Times last month that the United States feared pressuring Pakistani leaders for commando access and that the Delta Force and SEALs in the tribal region were "pushing them almost to the breaking point."
    Richard Fucking Armitage, a man who would have been run out of Washington by a POTUS w/balls instead of compassion.

  45. Hey, al-Bob:
    Hoagland will be on Miller.
    I forgot the name, saw the Hair, looked up the book on Amazon.
    Bad brain, bad hair, bad story.


    I was actually waiting for that.

    Doesn’t surprise me at all.

    No, this is not the Great Depression.

    But $700B annual is more than a glimmer in your daddy’s eye.

    Now anthropogenic global warming, that might qualify.

  47. What I can't figure is if the cutesy pie stuff is on behalf of the hosts or self-directed. There are easier ways.

  48. Hoagland on Miller. All part of the coming breakout of understanding, Doug. The knowledge of, and involvement with, aliens, is reaching a critical mass. Not to mention a deeper understanding of who we really are, and where we came from. You'll call it bad science, till one lands on the beach, there.

    Honestly, I can't tell if Hoagland is serious, or involved in a giant charade.

    I think Slade's comments above are right on. Everyone sees things from their own point of view. Most of the time. In large things and small. From some of the results of my zone change applicatin, in the comments, it would almost seem Obama has chosen a bad slogan to run on. Some of the people here want to freeze the action, not change at all. Change, they don't want it. For their perceived personal reasons. Even though, if it happens it will effect them very little, or not at all. They'll be able to see it, is about all.

  49. OPEC Warns if Price Rises Since Saudia Arabia would like to see Iran brought down a peg or two, this makes one wonder. But about what?

    I was hoping for The End of History. It's not happening.

  50. Bringing change to a halt in an ever-changing World

  51. Damn,
    Ingraham has a sound clip of Obama listing all the weapons he's going to eliminate or reduce.
    Very little left.
    Hard left.
    "Untested Missile Defense"
    (one wonders the "depth" of his knowledge on the subject)
    No new Nukes.
    (Does he know they fizzle out over time?)
    Ignoramus at the switch.

  52. You have all paid for my retirement home. And more.

    On occasion I stop and think about that.

    You will pay for my son's as well.

    But you know that.

  53. And I don't want to hear any bitching about it.

  54. Huh?
    Taft is slumping City sits amid richest oil fields in Ca., but nobody would mistake it for Dubai

    With rocketing oil prices, companies have reopened old wells that were once deemed too costly to operate. Development of new wells has set a pace nearly twice that of last year’s. Chevron Corp. alone has tripled its investment in the area since 2004, budgeting more than $900 million this year to find and pump the oil left behind by previous booms.

    Mom-and-pop companies are reviving wells they had shut down because the electricity to pump out the oil cost more than the oil was worth, Clark said.

    A deep heritage
    In recent years, the oil business has been good to people such as Bruce Holmes.
    He said he’d had his share of financial ups and downs.
    At 67, he’s up:
    He scraped together $250,000 to drill five years ago, when oil went for $25 a barrel or less. Now it fetches roughly five times that, bringing Holmes $3,000 a day.

    The heritage of oil runs deep in Kern County, especially in the towns that dot the sage-studded desert west of Bakersfield.

    The county yields more than 75 percent of all oil produced in California. It pours out more oil than all but three states.

    America’s biggest gusher erupted here in 1910 and for a year spewed as much as 100,000 barrels a day into an oozing black lake.

  55. Fiorina says Fed Spending Under Bush increased 60%.

    "Results Oriented Compassionate Conservative."

    My Ass.

  56. "Fiorina says Fed Spending Under Bush increased 60%."

    So? Government solutions for government problems. We don't come cheap, you know.

  57. And you motherfuckers will keep asking for it.

  58. I was telling you all about the outrageous price per kilowatt hour that I pay for my public utility owned electricity. Twice what many of you are paying.

    Today we learned that our wonderful County Commission had voted to raise, (raise mind you in this economic "crisis") our taxes by 16 percent to $8.38 per $1000 of value. On top of that they voted another half mil for emergency medical services.

    The total for City and County taxes will be 20.0156 mils.

    We have a homestead exemption of $25,000. The median price of a home here is abt $177,000

    $157,000/1000=157x20.0156=$3042.3712 tax bill.

    There's no such thing as an "affordable home" and these brilliant politicians wonder why. The monthly tax nut on the median price home here is $253.53.

  59. Adecco USA, honored today at the
    United Nations during the World Diversity Leadership Summit by receiving the
    Global Partners Program Award, released results from its latest Workplace
    Insights survey series which takes a close look at what American workers think
    about the role of diversity at the office.


    Additional survey findings include:

    -- Workforce Diversity a Work in Progress: Despite the majority of
    workers (60 percent) reporting that having a diverse workforce is a top
    priority for their employer, only one-third (34 percent) believe that
    corporate America has achieved total workforce diversity.

    -- Age-Old Issues Continue: Of those American workers who have
    experienced discrimination at the office, age (52 percent) was the most
    prevalent form followed by gender (43 percent), race (32 percent), religion (9
    percent) and disability (7 percent).

    -- Companies Not Practicing What they Preach?: The vast majority of
    workers (78 percent) feel that having a diverse workforce is something that
    most companies publicize more than they actually implement, revealing
    skepticism among American workers when it comes to their company's diversity

    Successful Organizations

  60. Our energy prices go through the Idaho Public Utilities Commission. Our property taxes are voted on by the folk, which keeps them down, in Lewiston, a mill town. We have a homestead exemption too, but higher than that. It's Moscow that is the high priced spread. Lewiston always has been a kind of open let rip town as far as development goes. Hence you'
    ve always gotten more for your money here.

  61. $177,000-$25000=$152,000


  62. That covers the mountain camp's taxes, for a year, whit.
    But it's not worth $175,000 either.

    They do not use an assessed valuation where you are? But use the true market value, ouch, is all I can say.

    My Phoenix house, which may have a market value around $175,000, don't really know fer sure, the property taxes are right around $900 per year.

  63. Chicago has a sales tax of 10%!

  64. It is over 8% in Phoenix, doug.
    Most of the State/Local government revenue is raised via the sales tax, here.

    Though there is a State income tax, it does not amount to all that much. Especially since it is derived from the Federal rate, which I spend quite a bit to assure is kept low.

  65. You guys just don't have the right connections:

    Rangel Rents Apartments at Bargain Rates

    Representative Charles B. Rangel has four rent-stabilized apartments, including three adjacent apartments in a sprawling penthouse, courtesy of one of New York’s premier real estate developers.

  66. 6 cents here, State Income and Property Taxes take their bites too.
    ...nobody explains where all the windfall went from a doubling of assessed valuations.
    Although a large percent gets shipped to honolulu never to be seen here again.

  67. Mr. Rangel is not the only prominent resident with a rent-stabilized apartment at Lenox Terrace. Gov. David A. Paterson told The New York Sun in May that he pays $1,250 for a rent-stabilized two-bedroom apartment in the complex that rents for $2,600 or more at market rates. Basil A. Paterson, the governor’s father, pays $868 per month for his apartment there, in the same building as Mr. Rangel’s apartments, according to state records.

  68. Burn a few Jews, Sleep around, live like a king!
    Whatta Country!

  69. Renters are just that, doug, renters.

    Rent control is an evil institution, this is just further proof of it.

  70. U.S. Considers Takeover of Two Mortgage Giants

    Under the plan, shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be worth little or nothing, and any losses on mortgages they own or guarantee would be paid by taxpayers.

    Fancy that!

  71. Like Ruf said, a mere ripple in the pond.

  72. The problems of the two companies spilled onto the campaign trail on Thursday when Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, said he supported federal intervention to save Fannie or Freddie from collapsing.

    “Those institutions, Fannie and Freddie, have been responsible for millions of Americans to be able to own their own homes, and they will not fail, we will not allow them to fail,” Mr. McCain said during a stop at the Senate Coney Island Restaurant in Livonia, Mich. “They are vital to Americans’ ability to own their own homes. And we will do what’s necessary to make sure that they continue that function.”

  73. Jason Furman, the economic policy director for the Democratic presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, said that Mr. Obama “believes the Bush administration’s willful neglect of warning signs in housing, in financial markets and in the job market, have compromised the nation’s housing finance system.”

    “The challenges facing Fannie and Freddie are part of the broader weakness in our economy,” Mr. Furman said.

    Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York and chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, said that the markets should rest assured that the mortgage giants have a “federal lifeline” and would not be allowed to fail — though he said he thought a government rescue would not be needed and should be a last resort.

  74. Meanwhile Peter Schiff at Euro Pacific Capital said the two giants are likely to need government bailouts in view of the "dubious quality of their mortgage portfolios."

    "Together both firms have less than 90 billion dollars in capital reserves to ensure losses on more than five trillion dollars in mortgage debt," he said.

    "Could anyone reasonably believe that a two percent reserve fund can cover all the losses that are likely to be seen? ... Clearly, Fannie and Freddie would have no ability to survive without a government bailout.


  75. McCain's economic advisor said today we're all a bunch of economic whiners. So there. Shades of the malaise speech. Not a good statement by him and McCain ran away from it.

    Are all these fires in California started by Hezbollah's sleepers? Some? Any? All? Some Iranian big guy said just a few weeks ago they were going to
    burn American to death.'

  76. The first real summer thunderstorm is upon us. Lots of rain and wind, it's a grand thing to witness.

  77. Grahm needs a good home w/some grahm crackers and milk.
    1,700 fires at the peak, al-bob:
    Dry lightning by far the majority.

    Little town called Cowcon lost 40 homes 2 days ago.

    Paradise endangered:
    Home of Chuck Yeager!

  78. Why don't you like Richard Armitage, Doug - other than the fact he was a loyal friend of Powell?

  79. Paradise lost 74 homes 2 weeks ago in another fire.

  80. The whole Libby Deal:

    He and Powell remained mute as Libby was hung out to dry, along with the admin.
    Admin deserves it for being the gutless wonder that W is.
    So Fitzpatrick and Wilson spin a big web of lies that largely stands to this day in the minds of the public.

  81. "There are middle-class, educated black people who speak the way he does. ... We have to try to move away from this so-called image of what black is, which is largely influenced by rap and that type of stuff," Lee said.

    "I'm for Mr. Obama," Lee said. "I think he's gonna win.

    And it's going to be a better day not only for the United States but for the world."


  82. President Bush abroad: The president had his first-ever meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Japan and pronounced him “a smart guy.” Bush also was careful to refer only to Medvedev’s “ascendency” to the presidency, not his election.

    For his part, Medvedev pertly referred to Bush as “George,” a perk generally afforded only world leaders such as John Howard and Angela Merkel. Coming from Medvedev, that sounded sexily insolent.


  83. "Love means never having to say you're sorry"
    Al Gore

  84. Pew Research
    General Election: Obama +8Congressional Ballot: Dems +15

  85. W and Rove's permanent GOP Majority.

  86. "Trapping is almost impossible, so we resorted to gopher blasting," Hansen said.

    He's got that one right.

    Anhydrous machine, cover up all the holes but one, stick in the hose, turn 'er on. Gets 'em every time. Starting to get kind of expensive, though.

    One year I had some badgers too. Finally I harassed them enough they just left. Big suckers. Big holes.

  87. Said Hansen, destroyer of worlds.

  88. For you, bob, featuring your favorite alien.

    As Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich moved a "privileged resolution" to force House to consider the question of whether President Bush should be impeached for lying to Congress and the American people about the reasons for invading and occupying Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi surprised almost everyone by suggesting that the Judiciary Committee might indeed take up the issue.

    Pelosi, who famously declared impeachment to be "off the table" before the 2006 election, now suggests that hearings on the president's high crimes and misdemeanors are a distinct possibility.

    "My expectation is that there will be some review of that in the committee," the California Democrat told reporters Thursday.

    "This is a Judiciary Committee matter, and I believe we will see some attention being paid to it by the Judiciary Committee," Pelosi explained.

    Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers, D-Michigan, has indicated that he is reviewing the 35 articles of impeachment Kucinich has proposed for President Bush. He has not indicated, however, whether he intends to hold hearings on any of them or on broads questions of whether violations of their oaths of office, the Constitutionally-defined separation of powers and the laws of the land by the president and Vice President Dick Cheney -- the subject of three impeachment articles submitted by Kucinich -- should be addressed by Congress.

    It is no secret that Conyers has felt constrained by Pelosi's "off-the-table" commitment.

    So they say, at the "Nation".

  89. Kucinich has long been known by us in the UFO community to be implanted, controlled.

  90. Implanted, controlled,and pussy whipped, too.

    How did Hoagland do on The Miller Show today, Doug? Were you able to catch it? Or maybe you experienced some missing time? Have you begun to see a strange, alien light?

  91. Gore would crush Maverick like an aluminumian beer can.

    But the Dems throw certainty to the wind and go with the unknown but universal man.
    A maverick Chi-town Dem, somewhat out of sorts with the Daley machine. A fellow that used the black, upperclass church going community as his spring board to power, since the Daley machine tried to freeze him out.

    Or so I was told, today.
    By some old time Chi-town residents.

  92. Who invented the aluminum can?

  93. Amazingly, that's one thing he didn't invent.

  94. The hell with you guys.

    Adolph Coors (supposedly)

    Learned it when I took a tour of the brewery years ago.

  95. Final Jeopardy answer from last night:

    After their merger in '99 their logo became a tiger and Pegasus.

    Pretty danged easy for a final Jeopardy answer.

  96. Doug: Chicago has a sales tax of 10%!

    Al Zamakhshari says: The Jizyah shall be taken from them with belittlement and humiliation. The dhimmi shall come in person, walking not riding. When he pays, he shall stand, while the tax collector sits. The collector shall seize him by the scruff of the neck, shake him, and say "Pay the Jizyah!" and when he pays it he shall be slapped on the nape of the neck.

  97. The last chapter of this book is the longest, consisting of 38 pages. Here the author attempts to analyse the problem of interpreting the Qur'an in the modern age.

    He believes the emergence of modernity, secularism and nationalism, and their subsequent impact on the Muslim world prompted Muslims to adopt different approaches towards the Qur'an. As such, some Muslims pursued the 'salafi' view; others took a 'literary' or 'scientific' approach, while yet others championed a 'radical' interpretation, not to mention the 'hermeneutic' line of scholars like Fazlur Rahman.

    In conclusion, the author argues, "The evolution of contemporary commentary seems to point to the increasingly diffuse necessity for an open reading of the Qur'an. A mystic said: 'progressive revelation of the Qur'an is accomplished through the text, but not through its meaning.'

    Contemporary Scholarship

  98. I believe that's the short story version, Bob.

  99. Those that say Israel might attack Iran before the elections, might be right. We'll get drawn in. There will probably be some bombs going off in the United States. Our elections seem to be a world wide event any more. Everybody has a candidate. Hezbollan and Hamas, they like Obama. Israel would like to see McCain, but seems to be weighing the odds. The Canadians would like to see Obama come up there and run their country, and I wish he could. Everyone in Kenya is backing Obama. Everybody in Indonesia, too. Most of Europe seems to be for Obama. If it was an international election, he'd walk away with it.

    But who is Richard Hoagland for?

    Enterprise Mission where we learn Hoagland addressed the Libertarians, back in May.

  100. It is imperative for the Kurds, the largest stateless nation on earth, to follow the regional developments closely and be vigilant in order to shatter their century-long oppressive chains. This requires national unity and a national policy.

    Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani's statement, "I consider it my sacred duty that the Kurds would not fight each other again. Kurds must not fight Kurds.

    This must be one of our unchanging principles," must be a red line for all Kurdish political actors. Unity is the most sacred principle for the Kurds among the closing war games.

    War Games

  101. F**k Hoagland!

    ...sorry, I got drafted into the Maytag Repair Corps.
    Poor old thing.
    Held together w/clothswire, several features hotwired out of existence.

    Might not see the New Year.

    ...or the Corornation of the Messiah.

  102. Bill O'Reilly was telling today how under the Clintons he had been audited three years in a row. Nothing turned up of course, because he had instructed his accountant, one 'Swifty', to not only do the income tax right, but even pay more. Purely a case of poliical harassment. We've had thugs running the government, just like in Russia. If we can find a candidate to knock this crap off, it would be an improvement. Said he finally told them he would sue them if he wasn't left along.

    Doug, according to an Edgar Casey reading I am listening to, your dry skin might be the result of the thinning of your colon lining, caused by diet, letting some toxins through. Was unheard of at the time, but turned out to be turn, according to the late nite radio. Actually, you might want to check that out. Who would have thought cherry juice would stop gout in its tracks? Easily fixed by a slight change in diet, it says.

  103. Obama: Iran Needs to Know We Mean Talk

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    — Democrat presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama today faulted the “weakness of the Bush administration” for Iran’s recent long-range missile testing, and said when he sits in the Oval Office “Iran will know that we mean talk.”

    The Illinois senator said he would engage Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in face-to-face negotiations offering “carrots as well as sticks,” meaning that he would “reward Iranian goodwill gestures with stirring laudatory speeches, and punish Iran’s violations of U.N. resolutions with bold rhetorical rebukes.”

    “We know that President Ahmadinejad wants to see Israel wiped off the face of the map,” said Sen. Obama, “Of course, the first step in negotiating is to determine what the other party wants that you might be able to provide”

    “Iran needs to know that our words mean something,” he said. “During the Obama administration, our words will mean that we are saying things by combining those words into sentences to express ideas about how we feel, using dramatic phrases and dynamic cadences. Iran must never question our resolve to deliver…speeches.”

    While the Bush administration has tried to get allies to unite in applying pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program, Sen. Obama said he would bring change to American foreign policy by trying to get U.S. allies to unite in applying pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program.

    “It’s a lot different than the Bush approach,” he said, “because in my strategy, there is no Bush.”

  104. This comment has been removed by the author.

  105. The "Anonymous Diet" no doubt?

  106. Hey, that's the face on Mars guy from Art Bell, lol.

  107. The very one, T. For what it's worth, Walter Cronkite, for whom he used to work, thinks the guy is, in Rufus' phrase, bat shit crazy.

    But how can you doubt a guy that was a spokeman for NASA, an insider?

    Claims the NASA photos of Cydonia on Mars have been doctored. There's a conspiracy behind every tree, I tell you.

  108. bobal: Claims the NASA photos of Cydonia on Mars have been doctored. There's a conspiracy behind every tree, I tell you.

    He had a little window when the poor quality images from the Viking orbiter gave him the wiggle room, but when Mars Orbiter went there in then 1990s, with its high-resolution camera and much bigger download bandwidth, his face on Mars turned out to be a run-of-the-mill desert mesa like you see in Utah, and Hoagland's cash cow came up snake eyes and he crapped out, to mix some metaphors there.