“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, September 04, 2008

Have a Nice Day


  1. McCain, and Palin are heading for Milwaukee.

    Milwaukee? Why?

    There's absolutely no way on God's Green Earth he'll carry Wisconsin. He better get his ass over to Ohio. He's lost ALL of Ethanol Country North of Missouri. He's even out of the race in Iowa. That hurts more than it sounds. He's gotta turn either Pa, or Michigan. Still tough stuff.

  2. He's +0.6 in Ohio right now.

  3. "The constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems isn't a cause, it's a symptom"


  4. Wasn't for "Rancor" We'd have twenty five Million new Democratic/Hispanic Voters voting for the Dems next election cycle.

    Like all other politicians McCain just considers it "Rancorous" when someone disagrees with him.

  5. You wanted a beer after his speech, Rufus, give the guy a break.

  6. I think Trish either has some personal issues or she's a plant trying to drum up debate.

    Thu Sep 04, 06:34:00 PM EDT

    Poliics is personal. Didn't anyone ever tell you that?

    I'll say it again: I find the political theater giddiness surrounding the pregnancy of a seventeen year-old revolting.

    And speaking of the personal: What I was most gratified to hear in McCain's speech was the reference to DIME (prize to he who finds it, and notices the slight, perhaps humorous, alteration). It was important to me, and I was glad to hear it.

    And it was perhaps especially effective given his own experience, about as vividly described as one can in a speech such as this one.

  7. Does seem odd though. Milwaukee He might actually look better in a debate, he couldn't look much worse really. I think he's got a chance to win. Palin jazzes it up, and you never know what might come out about Obama. Rezco, someone said, is singing like a canary. Never know.

  8. He can win if he gets Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina. If he gets those he wouldn't need Michigan of Pennslyvania. I think.

  9. Defense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME)

  10. No, but that might've woken 'em up in the press box.

    "WTF? Did he just say defense inert metal explosive? That's not in the pre-release."

    Could've made it into one of Clinton's speeches, though. Goodness knows everything else did.

  11. I think he now has a real chance to win, Albob. (that doesn't mean I have to like him, though.)

    I just glanced at the Rasmussen (I think it was) map; and the thing that struck me is it's red states in play, not blue ones. That's a pretty tough spot to be in.

    Well, we'll have a little better idea in a couple of weeks.

  12. Clinton, Bill.

    Not Clinton, Hillary.

  13. The hall erupted in cheers as Palin took the stage. The Alaskan delegation sits near us on the floor and their pride in their governor was evident.

    Her candidacy has excited Republicans in part because she has earned a reputation for taking on the lobbyists and corruption in Alaska and is staunchly pro-gun and pro-life. The bar was set high for the governor but she more than cleared it.

    Her speech was a history-making event and it was thrilling to be there.

    Republican Convention

  14. Hey, Rufus, I stumbled on just the article and group For You

    McCain Haters for McCain

  15. "I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again," ... "I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not"


  16. "And he timed it beautifully to deny Obama a big post-convention bounce. You could almost think McCain knows what he's doing."


  17. Battleground states

    Where Palin changes the race is in the three states I mentioned: Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, all of which were visited by both campaign teams in the last week, and also Wisconsin, which is suddenly getting campaign visits as well. All four states rated several mentions in convention speeches when individual stories were played out, including Fred Thompson relating how John McCain, when asked by his captors to name his air squadron mates, instead gave the names of the Green Bay Packer offensive line. The advantage for McCain is that 3 of the 4 states were won by Kerry; only Ohio went for Bush. For most of the primary season, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were not considered to be seriously in play. Having Obama and Biden spending time there now, suggests otherwise. McCain may get a boost from having his convention in another Kerry state, Minnesota. Will two westerners on the ticket help McCain in Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico? I suspect it won't hurt.

    Hurricane Sarah Plows Into Wisconsin

  18. "It touched my heart -- the part about being broken," said delegate Linda Tarver of Lansing.

    "I've been broken and been helped back up. People helped me.

    That is the message he is trying to get across -- country first."

    Change is Coming

  19. That was a good part of the speech, Sam.

  20. Dang, Albob, ain't that amazin. I would swear I wrote that article, except I know I didn't. I do think that author has accepted his fate a little better than I have, though. I still don't like it.

    The Publicans are "Bad Wrong" on Health Care, and energy. And, Crazy Mac is terribly wrong, to boot, on immigration/amnesty.

    Ah well, hell, we're getting raped. I guess we might as well try to enjoy it.


  21. McCain's pick of Palin underscored his reform message. The Alaska governor battled an entrenched, corrupt GOP in her own state.

    Obama has never dared to cross the Democratic Party. He had the chance two years ago when his friend and reform candidate Forrest Claypool challenged the Democratic organization by running for the Cook County Board presidency.

    Maybe Obama's backing for Claypool would not have changed the outcome, but we don't know because Obama decided not to disturb the power structure and withheld his endorsement. Claypool lost.

    Theme of Change

  22. DIME

    The four elements of national power: Diplomacy, Information/Intelligence, Military, Economic


    We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.

    When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me. I hate war. It is terrible beyond imagination.

    I'm running for President to keep the country I love safe, and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal -- diplomatic, economic, military and the power of our ideals -- to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.

  23. We forgive him the alteration.

  24. I wouldn't have known what DIME stood for, and I had trouble hearing him too.

    I do recall a Japanese college instructor telling us --ahhh, Stateegic Defens-- Three prongd FORK!

    Sub launched missiles

  25. Headline: Defiant Cheney vows Georgia will join Nato
    You were saying, Trish. Or should we call you Trash.

  26. "A Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor."
    He could have been specific and noted that they dropped a single bomb.
    (on the 59th State)

  27. Ash -

    Just to put closure on the issue of "systemic failures" in the markets.

    As per usual, too much happening at the same time: domestic economies vs international economies; the rise of different asset classes from equities to currencies to derivatives to CDO's and others yet to come; the concentration of capital into huge vehicles such as sovereign funds and hedge funds; the technology transition in energy; and the eruption of global instabilities threatening natural resources and introducing the possibility of some form of continued warfare.

    Some of these are going to be worse than others.

    Domestically, the failures - controlled or not - of the GSE's is going to hurt a lot of people in this country. That's a fact. And it is very serious - economically and politically because the screaming will almost definitely require some form of government solution. Bill Gross of PIMCO says US should halt the "financial tsunami" and buy off the distressed debt. Others think the GSE's should be privatized. Kudlow thinks they should be allowed to fail. I have not made up my mind on this. It remains a serious challenge.

    Domestically equities are not expected to bottom for another year. That means more doomsday screaming, but it is not a "systemic failure." (Derivatives are already being eyeballed by economists such as Robert Rubin who recognize the need for tighter regulatory control over a market vehicle that produces no value.)

    Internationally, equities are still factoring in a lower future returns. Future profit margins are coming down. The USA slowdown is going global. The economists that I have heard speak on this subject think that Europe will recover much more slowly because their financial institutions are not as flexible. There is near universal opinion among global economists that USA institutions are the best in terms of being responsive to market cycles. I am in no position to gage the accuracy of this statement but I would not be inclined to dispute it, particularly in the context of doomsday scenarios like systemic failures, which I am not hearing that from anyone.

    However I am hearing a lot of debate about "decoupling" the USA economy particularly from China, the traditional view being that international economies are closely coupled. A number of economists have begun to think that the performance of the Chinese markets is no longer coupled to the performance of USA markets. Many implications for the systemic failure scenario.

    Energy and war are the wild cards. If the world is going to end through "systemic failure" I think and believe it will be nuclear and the deaths will be in the billions, not millions, and it could happen in our - or more likely your lifetime. Systemic failure of the markets isn't going to happen in our lifetimes. I can't provide the mathematical proof but the threat of insolvency of the GSE's is dominating a larger economic (and political) picture. My view is that economics is as predictable as climate. If you believe in the science of anthropogenic global warming, then you are probably inclined to listen more seriously to doomsday scenarios of economic meltdown.

    As far as whose fault it is, the GSE's have a strong Democratic lineage, do they not? At a very minimum, a huge ideological parentage - to provide housing and student loans to everybody. I don't get too ideological over markets but I will say this: Democrats have to get used to the reality that government cannot afford to implement the cherished principles of providing fill-in-the-blank (health care, housing, loans, day care, education) for everybody. It is the same old debate this country has had for almost 200 years - military capacity versus "social programs" (the opposition of the Obama campaign to missile defense being just the most recent example). I would submit that we all better get used to the idea that the social programs are going to have to come from the markets, which is not that hard an idea to get used to for anyone who has ever had to crawl through a government bureaucracy. I'd rather eat worms.

    That's all I have to say on this subject. I don't agree that it's all good. Neither do I agree that we are teetering on the brink of disaster; well some of us are, but not the country and not the world - at least no more so than usual.

  28. What in the hell is your problem, mat?

  29. What in the hell is your problem, mat?
    Go back and read your comments.

  30. I know what my comments are, thanks.

    Cheney isn't NATO - and NATO doesn't want Georgia.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Warning:
    I am going to start deleting some of these snarky posts.

  33. • What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a pit bull? Teeth.

    • What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a seeing-eye dog? Even a blind man can see the dog is actually helping someone.

    • What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a Chihuahua? The Chuhuahua will eventually shut up.

    • What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a puppy? One will grow up to become a loyal servant of mankind.

    • What's the difference between a "community organizer" and a shih tzu? Zu.

    Stolen from Ace o Spades Commentor, Tushar