“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."

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain Palin Reforms.


  1. Make no mistake about it; Obama would be Much better for the economy than McPalin. McCain has a visceral dislike for business, and businessmen.

    While he's dicking around proposing tax programs that have no hope of passing, Obama would be stimulating the economies of the Heartland by promoting loans, and credits, as well as outright subsidies for Ethanol, Biodiesel, Wind, Solar, etc.

    The problem is: I just can't fucking stand liberals (at least, the type of leftist trash that the Obamessiah has surrounded himself with.)

  2. THIS is an example of what I'm talking about.

  3. Just One State.

    Also, the Millions of Farmers that are, just now, starting to make a decent return on investment (without welfare/price supports that are no longer costing the taxpayer $11 Billion/yr.)

  4. Make no mistake about it; Obama would be Much better for the economy than McPalin.

    I thought Obamunism was discredited with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Not even Russia and China practice Obamunism anymore.

  5. With a democratic Congress, which he'd have, Obamamessiah would get those 'tax reforms' passed, just for the sake of 'fairness' and 'neighborliness', I'd bet.

    And, we'd spend billions on non-sense, and not build a single nuclear plant.

    No thanks.

    'Obamunism', like it, Teresita.

    The sound of the euphemism, that is.

    Sounds almost heavenly.

  6. The economic carnage is bad. As Deuce wrote yesterday or the day before a lot depends on Lehman. Well Lehman is in the shitter and your are going to get a lot of people who believe, like Jim Knustler does, that:

    " At least one thing ought to be clear: this has happened due to the negligence and misfeasance of the regulating authorities, namely the Republican Party, and that now all the hoopla surrounding Sarah Palin can be swept away revealing that group to be what they actually are: the party that wrecked America. I hope one or two Barack Obama campaign officials are reading this blog. You must commence the re-branding of the opposition right now. The Republicans must be clearly identified as, the party that wrecked America."

    Sticking to the Bush tax cuts just isn't going to do it. In fact the Bush economic plan has been a large contributor to what we are experiencing now. It is by no means the whole cause of it but kicking back and screaming tax cuts just isn't going to cut it. Can you imagine if Social Security was privatized how all that capital could be sucked up by the greedy little folk on Wall Street and spent on Hampton residences, boats and planes leaving nothing for the individuals looking for retirement? Naw, probably not 'cause the markets always go up, right?

  7. oops, the link for Knustler's current stuff:

  8. You may have noticed AIG insurance in the news today. Seems they are being allowed to borrow from themselves to keep afloat. Heck it's only insurance right?

    Do you remember the pay packet the former CEO took home?

    "Former CEO Greenberg Transferred $2 Billion in AIG Shares to Wife Just Days Before Quitting Insurer

    By Eileen Alt Powell
    April 14, 2005

    Three days before he resigned as head of American International Group Inc., Maurice '"Hank'' Greenberg gave his wife 41.4 million of his shares in the insurance company, according to a regulatory filing.

    The disclosure came on Tuesday, the same day Greenberg declined to answer questions posed by government investigators probing transactions at AIG.

    AIG's board forced Greenberg, 79, to relinquish his posts as president and CEO on March 14, and he retired as the company's chairman two weeks later. Greenberg transferred the shares to his wife, Corinne P. Greenberg, on March 11, according to his filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The shares are worth $2.2 billion, based on AIG's current stock price. "

  9. We need to raise taxes on luxury items, like racing sailboats. And raise the minimum wage for caddies.

  10. But they were hell on Martha Stewart.

    One would hope the DCM speaks spanish. Even if the Ambassadors are learning.

  11. AEHI agrees to negotiate contract for Colorado Energy Park to build multiple large advanced nuclear plants and joint venture other renewable energy sources

    Boise, ID, September 15, 2008 – Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc (OTC: AEHI.PK) signed an agreement with a representative of the proposed Colorado Energy Park (CEP) southeast of Pueblo, CO to negotiate contracts on land and water rights for multiple large advanced reactors. The current CEP site is over 21,000 acres and is valued at $83 million, including substantial water use rights. CEP can host a mixed portfolio of renewable energy including solar PV and CSP, wind, biomass, small-hydro and nuclear. AEHI will seek a complement of multiple clean energy providers to fully utilize the large site and share the nuclear plant’s electric, water, road and rail infrastructure. When fully developed, CEP will help meet the states and region’s growing demand for electricity. At CEP, AEHI will help the US achieve energy independence, and meet the goal of increasing sources of green energy to reduce CO2 and toxic emissions from the global environment.

    About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (

    Alternate Energy Holdings actively acquires private green energy companies, as well as develops and markets innovative clean energy sources. Current projects include the Idaho Energy Complex, an advanced nuclear reactor and bio-fuel generation facility near Mountain Home, Idaho; energy-neutral home and business renewable technology that virtually eliminates energy costs ( and International Reactors, Inc., which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation and production of potable water.

    “Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statements included in this press release will prove accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking statements included herein, the inclusion should not be regarded as a representation that the objective and plans of AEHI will be achieved.

    Investor Relations:


  12. Monday, September 15, 2008

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows John McCain attracting 49% of the vote while Barack Obama earns 47% (see recent daily results). Results are released at 9:30 a.m. Eastern every day and a FREE daily e-mail update is available.

    This is the fourth straight day that McCain has been at 49% or above. Prior to this recent stretch, the Republican nominee had not topped 48% on any day since Obama wrapped up the Democratic Presidential Nomination in early June. Still, today’s results show Obama a point closer to McCain than he’s been for the last three days.

  13. With neither candidate outside, above or below, the margin of error in the polling sample.

    Which is why the "National Poll" is worthless, except for chuckles.

    State by individual State, that's where the rubber'll meet the road.

  14. Obama's lead in New York falls to five points, and Pelosi continues to deliver 'that most honest Congress in history' by vowing not to strip Rangle of his chairmanship position.

    "Honest" Charlie Rangel.

  15. Just providing a service, Rat. Get it in the mail. Agree it's pretty worthless.

  16. This is not enough to flip VA, yet. RCP has McCain up by .6%, on average.

    Virginia SurveyUSA
    McCain 46, Obama 50 Obama +4

    That's 13 electoral votes, right there, going blue, post Palin bounce.

  17. Home of James Webb and Mark Warner.

    Warner running for Senate, and is favored I believe I've read.

    Tough sledding ahead

  18. Virginia

    RCP Average 09/07 - 09/14 -- 48.3 47.7 McCain +0.6

    SurveyUSA 09/12 - 09/14 732 LV 46 50 Obama +4

    CNN/Time 09/07 - 09/09 920 RV 50 46 McCain +4

    FOX News/Rasmussen 09/07 - 09/07 500 LV 49 47 McCain +2

    Virginia is all over the map.

    You can count on Idaho.

  19. Joe "Gaff o Matic" Biden strikes again--

    Rick Moran

    Joe "Gaffe a minute" Biden has done it again.

    The man who will stand a heartbeat away from the presidency if Barack Obama is elected made a curious reference to "sleepovers" when trying to describe what kind of candidate the American people will vote for:

    Joe Biden came up with an interesting metaphor tonight.

    When telling the story of how his granddaughters had a slumber party with Barack Obama's daughters during the week of the Democratic National Convention, Biden equated it to what he says Americans want.

    "I believe that's a metaphor, a metaphor for what the country is looking for. They're looking for a sleepover with people they like!"

    As we know, the Biden house just wouldn't do for our national sleepover. It's not very big and besides, who wants to go to Delaware for a sleepover?

    Now Obama's house is just the thing. It's huge. It's in the exciting city of Chicago. And if we're really lucky, Michelle will make us all some milk and cookies before we turn in.

    Vote Obama-Biden! That's change we can fall asleep to!

  20. And I thought we needed to elect Frankenstein to provide comic relief.

  21. Stocks seem to be down around 2 or 3% so far today.

    Calling Buddy Larsen, if he's alive.

  22. Dick Morris

    At the end of July, voters trusted the Democrats better to handle the economy by 11 points - 47-36. Now, the Democratic lead on the economy has dwindled to only four points - 46-40.

    On Obama's signature issue, the Iraq war, voters trusted the Republicans to handle it better by 52-39 in early September, compared with only a 46-40 advantage in mid-June.

    The two conventions also sparked a Republican gain on the energy issue. Asked which party they trusted more to achieve energy independence, the voters gave the Democrats an eight-point lead before the conventions and an only two-point lead now.

    Sarah Palin has had a lot to do with the shift. Asked to say which candidate made the smarter choice for vice president, voters said John McCain did in choosing Palin by 50-40 percent.

    Key to Palin's popularity is the sense that she understands the average person's problems. On the question of which of the four candidates for president and vice president best "understands the problems of day to day life in America," Palin finished first with 33 percent, Obama second with 32 percent, McCain third with 17 percent and Biden last with 10 percent - a combined 50-42 margin for the Republican candidates.

    By attacking Palin, the Democrats have gone overboard and maximized her influence on the election. Asked if Palin had been the object of sexist attacks in the media, 45 percent said yes, compared to only 33 percent who felt that Obama had been victimized by racist attacks. The more the Democrats and the media pour incoming fire on Palin, the more they polarize themselves as sexist and elitist, two things you don't want to be in today's America.

    But, in perhaps the worst news in this survey for Obama, when asked whom they'd consult for advice if they faced the "toughest decision of your life," voters chose McCain over him by 50-34. If the toughest decision is who to vote for president, McCain can take comfort in this finding.

  23. rufus Make no mistake about it; Obama would be Much better for the economy than McPalin

    That's just plain nuts! Obama good for business?

    Obama will increase corporate income taxes and social security taxes is good for business? Maybe if the proceeds went exclusively to reduce the deficit - but you gotta be really nuts if you think that's gonna happen. Instead, he will funnel it to the least productive in society via redistribution schemes. Have you forgotten how locked up equity capital gets when tax rates exceed 50%? How much time and energy goes into tax avoidance?

    Obama will increase regulation of every type, but especially those affecting energy, thereby imposing additional burderns on all business, and especially on oil companies.

    Add to Obama the Democratically controlled Senate and House and it will literally be deja vu - welcome back to the economic times of the 60's and 70's.

    The current deleveraging of the economy is apolitical, in that both parties are equally to blame. You know well that we are long overdue for a Kondratieff event, and that it's as natural as rain. The notion that humans have eliminated cycles from economic activity is as absurd as the notion that humans are the cause of global warming. The key to coming out of this deleveraging is to avoid overreaction - you give the Dem's the Presidency and both houses and you are guaran-fucking-teed an overreaction!

    Obama will

  24. Bobal, what's that lipstick you're wearing today? Cranberry by Mary Kay?

  25. Obama Rally Flops

    Palin/McCain Rally Surges

    Teresita, I couldn't fight it any longer. She's under my skin, can't wash her out of my hair.

  26. Bobal: Teresita, I couldn't fight it any longer. She's under my skin, can't wash her out of my hair.

    Bobal, sometimes I get those feelings too, but then I remember she is a happily married mother of five, and I wouldn't get to first base. So I'll content myself merely to vote for her.

  27. Obama wants to do a trillion dollars of new spending and send the bill to 5% of Americans, rufus says this is better for business, but he won't vote for Obama because he doesn't like libs. Gotcha.

  28. and Ms. T, aside from Palin's ovaries what is it that attracts you to her? Is it her belief in God and the efficacy of creationism? or that she would like to limit woman's choice on abortion? Her hunting skills? Her grasp of foreign policy? Or the tendency to hire friends like Dubya for important posts?

  29. Goldberg and Duddy are both Spanish speakers, Rat, and Senior Foreign Service guys.

  30. "Senator John McCain said “the fundamentals of our economy are strong,"

    Oh My.

  31. American liberals can't quite face the fact that if their man does win in November, and if he has meant a single serious word he's ever said, it means more war, and more bitter and protracted war at that—not less.

    and if he has meant a single serious word he's ever said

    Not to worry, he hasn't.

    Christopher Hitchens Talks Pakistan, Obama and More War

  32. and Ms. T, aside from Palin's ovaries what is it that attracts you to her?

    I'm just quessin' but it might be cause she's nothing like you, Ash.

  33. Coleman up, Frankenstein down, Barkley stirring things up--

    September 15, 2008

    MN: Coleman +4

    Dean Barkley is crashing the party in Minnesota, and he's making his presence felt, a new poll shows. Barkley, the man who managed Jesse Ventura's race for the governor's mansion and served the final month and a half of the late Senator Paul Wellstone's term in 2002, will be an important factor in the already heated Senate race between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.

    The poll, conducted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, surveyed 1106 likely voters between 9/10-12 for a margin of error of +/- 2.9%. Coleman, Franken and Barkley, the Independence Party nominee, were tested.

    General Election Matchup
    (All / Ind)
    Coleman.........41 / 36
    Franken.........37 / 30
    Barkley.........13 / 24

  34. You are in love with that lady aren't you Bobal? Clouds your decision making I think.

  35. "Senator John McCain said “the fundamentals of our economy are strong,"

    Oh My.

    Starting with the relatively good news, about the economic impact of this never-ending financial crisis, the key point is the wide gap that often exists between events in financial markets and conditions in the real economy. Economic statistics in America have shown no evidence of the catastrophic collapse that seemed to be implied by credit markets and bank shares. In fact, as the credit crisis has steadily worsened, US economic conditions have gradually stabilised and started to improve.

    Chaos and Recovery

    I think she's the best thing since sliced bread, Ash. I put her picture up, so, when I have to read you, I can glance up at her, and see that life really can have meaning.

  36. The rule of hinky sourcing: Pakistan incident wasn't.

  37. Ash: Ms. T, aside from Palin's ovaries what is it that attracts you to her? Is it her belief in God and the efficacy of creationism? or that she would like to limit woman's choice on abortion? Her hunting skills? Her grasp of foreign policy? Or the tendency to hire friends like Dubya for important posts?

    Palin's religion is of no import. I was raised Catholic so I believe abortion is infanticide. It's not so much Palin herself who attracts me, but the transformative effect she has had on the GOP, even in the down-ticket races. Rassmussen has Obama up by only two in Washington, and SurveyUSA has him up by only four. I think 70% pf that is attributable to Palin.

  38. So if things go bad, if things turnaround, you won't like her anymore? Interesting.

  39. Bobal, I hope to god that fellow in the timesonline article you linked is correct and the crash in the financial markets will have little effect on the 'real' economy but I have serious doubts it is true. For example he talks of 100,000 pound mortgage and how it gets leveraged but, in his reality, it goes back to 100k owed. One problem I see in this argument is that the equity paid toward reducing that mortgage evaporates with all the leverage surrounding it. He also is arguing not that there won't be damage done but simply it won't occur at a 1:1 ratio.

    If you have any money in the markets saved for retirement I think you might find the notion of the 'crash' decoupled from your 'real economy' somewhat misguided especially if you owned shares in Lehman or AIG or....

  40. Taxes are "going up," on the top earners no matter who gets in office. Back up to around Bill Clinton's 39%, I imagine. Hell, they have the accountancy horsepower to dodge most of them, anyway.

    The Pubs don't have any more to do with this bubble popping than Clinton had with the 'net bubble popping.

    The first thing Palin did was put a prominent Washington "Oil" Lobbyist in her circle of immediate advisors.

    I'm voting the Pubs because, as I said BEFORE the Palin announcement, if you'll remember, Defense trumps all else.

  41. I'm even finding it odd that you think McCain will be better on defense. Rat's been pretty darn critical and ole hot headed McCain seems to be bent on more war (We are all Georgians now).

  42. JWillie, you've never heard me go on about any "Crisis;" but, we DO have a "Crisis" coming up in a year, or so. This energy thing is the REAL DEAL. And drilling a couple of million barrels in the Gulf or ANWR isn't going to Solve it. Don't get me wrong, I believe we're going to have to do it; but, we're still going to be in one hell of a mess.

    There's just so many pennies in a dollar, folks; and, you can only flow so much oil from a forty year old oil field (see, Cantarell, Prudhoe Bay, the North Sea, Venezuela.)

    And, this latest push for "Shale" Nat Gas is misleading you, also. Those shale well only produce a small amount, and then only for a couple of year; and, then you have to drill another one.

    Again, I'm telling you, I'm voting for McPalin, but we're in for a hell of a mess in a couple of years. And, we would, in many ways, be in better shape with the Obamassiah.

  43. As one who has observed Dems in Congress for the last (well, let's just say a long time) I find the idea of them being economically responsible laughable and preposterous.

    You only need to look at California to see unfettered liberalism run amok.

    Anyone who falls for Obama's populist rhetoric is naive or a fool or both.

    To try to lay all the blame for the credit crisis on Republicans is simply partisan propaganda. To dishonest to deserve leadership. This business of easy credit and an homeownership society started under Bill Clinton. I don't blame Clinton anymore than Bush or Big Banking. We all got drunk, made a lot of money and now we have the have hangover and it's time to pay the fiddler. We'll get through it if we're cautious and as Ruf said, do not overreact.

    Long term though, we're staring at some massive debt and debt service due to entitlement spending. I think we're nearing the end of the great socialized spending utopias...No doubt life will get harder but impossibly hard, who knows?

  44. I can't find my article, but I say, I think Bush was trying to get a handle on Fannie and Freddie. But couldn't because of you quess who.

    Bush has tried to have a sane energy policy his whole terms, and stymied by you quess who.

    It's also true as Ruf says, Presidents are at the mercy of many things.

    How anyone could like a slime bucket like Obama is beyond me. Just name the names--all the way through his his life.

    Yeah, I think Palin is some fresh air.

    "Punished by a baby"--my ass, like it's the baby's fault, no matter what you think of a right of choosing, it's an oaf's way of putting it.

    What a shithole.

  45. whit, it is hard for the repub's to escape responsibility. We went from surpluses under Clinton to deficits with a 'pub pres. and 'pub's in charge of both houses. Now we have a huge mess at the end of the republican reign - possibly a bigger mess then what occurred during the Great Depression. It truly is the Bush Republican legacy.

  46. Then there’s Congress, led by Democrats in the last two years and Republicans before that, which mandated substandard lending to low-income groups. And as the high-risk loans mounted, this very same Congress — under the gun of political contributions — continued to promote the excesses of lenders, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    Kudlow On Paulson's Courageous Action

  47. possibly a bigger mess then what occurred during the Great Depression.

    Ash hopes for the worst.
    "I'd rather lose the country than an election."

    What could get the country is the energy problem. Which the Senate democrats are responsible for. No nukes, no drill, last 12 years at least. Longer than that.

  48. This is The MOST IMPORTANT Chart you Will Ever Look At.

    If any of you have ever spent any time over at the oil drum you'll know that they have a bunch of the "craziest" commenters on the web. A nuttier group of commies, malthusians, and all-around crackpots has never been found.

    However, the guys that track the Mega-Projects, and put these charts together KNOW what they are doing. Add this in with what we know about Rising Consumption in the "Producing" Nations, and it is, really, a scary as hell picture.

    Oh, you can click on the chart to make it larger. That helps.

  49. McCain ought to come out and say Palin has convinced him we need to drill Anwar, and other places in Alaska.

    It's the gas prices, stupid.

  50. Sample from theoildrum, which Ruf mentioned--

    The Connection Between Financial Markets and Energy - Open Thread
    Posted by Gail the Actuary on September 15, 2008 - 10:25am
    Topic: Economics/Finance
    Tags: finance, Lehman brothers, original, peak oil [list all tags]

    Today, the financial markets are struggling with Lehman Brothers' Chapter 11 bankruptcy, AIG's problems, and the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America. There is also the problem of the unwind of the credit-default swaps tied to hundreds of billions of dollars of Fannie and Freddie debt. This thread is intended for folks who want to discuss what is now happening.

    Some may be asking how all of this is tied to oil and energy. There are quite a number of relationships:

    (1) Some of the organizations with problems were no doubt speculating in oil futures. Once the prices started to drop, the balance sheets of the organizations were affected, and they suddenly needed more capital.

    (2) As the companies who speculated in the oil market (all of them, not just the particular ones having problems today) try to unwind their positions because of margin calls, they drive down the price of oil in the futures market. That is likely why we are seeing declining oil prices, at a time when fundamentals would say they should be rising.

    (3) As the price of oil and food rises, people have less money to pay debt of all kinds. This has contributed to the rising mortgages defaults, and is helping to drive down home prices. This is very closely tied to problems of banks and other financial institutions.

    (4) Structured securities based on sliced and diced mortgages and other debt depend on assumptions regarding "independence of defaults". Once a shortage of oil and higher food and energy prices start causing mortgage defaults, the defaults are no longer independent (as they would be if they were caused by an illness of a particular homeowner, for example). Instead, there is a systematic bias in the pricing the risk, and the structuring doesn't work as planned.

    (5) Energy companies need well-functioning credit markets to expand their exploration and production, and to pursue alternative energy approaches. For example, expanding the use of wind energy, or electric-powered vehicles, is likely to need a huge amount of debt financing.

    I have warned in the past about the possibility of a debt implosion. There is a significant possibility that what we are seeing now is beginning of such an implosion. There are a number of institutions that have problems. Systemic risk (caused in part by counter-party failures) can cause these problems to spread to other institutions.

    Here are some links to some earlier articles that may be of interest:

    Peak Oil and the Financial Markets: A Forecast for 2008 by Gail the Actuary (Gail Tverberg)

    The Failure of Networked Systems by aeldric.

    The Expected Economic Impact of an Energy Downturn by Gail the Actuary (Gail Tverberg)

    Peak Oil and the Financial Markets: A Forecast for 2008--July 31 Update by Gail the Actuary (Gail Tverberg)

    This is the front illustration from that post:

    Figure 1. An example of a system with systemic risk (Photo from

    In that article, I say:

    15. There is a chance that some type of discontinuity will make financial conditions suddenly take a turn for the worse.

    With the events of last weekend and this weekend, there is a significant chance we are hitting such a point. In that article, I say:

    As we go forward, I expect that there will be more and more individuals, businesses and governments that will be unable to repay their debt, because of indirect impacts of higher oil prices flowing through the economy. Eventually, the US government will have to make a decision as to what to do about all these defaults. The most obvious options would seem to be:

    (1) Prop up as many as possible
    (2) Let the chips fall where they may

    We are now getting to see what happens when the US government lets the chips fall where they may.

    Another article that is of interest is an article by Jerome a Paris (Jerome Guillet):

    Lehman: more socialising the losses of the rich

    While Jerome guessed wrong on which way the Lehman situation would turn out, his analysis is helpful for understanding some of the problems that could be ahead. Also, the discussion thread from yesterday has many links to recent articles on what is happening in financial markets.

    Finally, Energy, Hurricanes, and Hedge Funds explains why short term financial movements have the ability to overpower the energy supply/demand fundamentals - especially their impact on energy prices.

  51. whit, it is hard for the repub's to escape responsibility. We went from surpluses under Clinton to deficits with a 'pub pres. and 'pub's in charge of both houses.

    Yada, yada, yada...same ol' blah, blah, blah...

    Never mind a tech bubble burst and a weaking economy under Clinton, a devastating terror attack on 9-11-01, Katrina, cost of the war etc. Bush's worse fault in all this in the failure to veto hogwild bipartisan spending.

  52. Dems and libs are worried...:)

  53. Prosecutor tells OJ jurors to put the California killings case out of your mind, put those California killings out of your mind hehe

    Simpson hired a bellman to help cart the stuff away. How many people hire a bellman when they are commiting robbery? asked defense attorney.

    OJ Vegas Trial Opens

  54. I think Simpson got off when he was guilty, now, he'll be found guilty when he might arguably be innocent.

    What goes around comes around. Poetic justice can be rough justice.

    The mills of the gods grind exceedingly slowly, but very fine.

  55. TPTB made some good decisions, yesterday. They let Lehman go; but, saved Merril. Good move. Allow some pain, but don't let the "Panic" set in. That's probably the template for the future.

    It's Not a "Crisis." It is, as Whit said, a pending "Hangover." Look, I know a gal that borrowed $150,000.00 on the strength of having won a Poker Tournament 3 Years, prior. The Lehmans of the world had so much money being thrown at them that they were literally wilder than any drunken hillbilly lottery winner that you have ever seen hit the streets of "Vegas."

    They Threw it, away. Anyway, a bunch of houses got built, and a lot of people made some money that they Didn't piss away; and, in a year, or two, we will be sobered up, and ready for the Real Crisis that's bearing down on us.

    It's gonna be a "Hell" of a Hangover.

  56. Biden, pushing on past Obamian post-racial politics, recommends electing Obama because he is black.

    But what about Palin because she is female?

    CHARLOTTE – Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden, campaigning in North Carolina where black votes could help swing the state to the Democrats, said today that electing a black person to the White House would be transformative.

    Biden said the policies of running mate Barack Obama make his presidency even more urgent and declared this to be the most important election that any living person has seen in their lifetime. But he particularly singled out the meaning of electing someone who is black.

    "That will be a transformative event in American politics and internationally," Biden said. "That all by itself will be significant."

    North Carolina last voted for a Democrat in 1976, when Jimmy Carter won much of the South. But the state has a large population of blacks galvanized by Obama's candidacy, and the Illinois senator has competed aggressively here for months.

  57. There's an old saying about the markets, it's either fear is stronger than greed, or greed is stronger than fear, but can't recall which.

    Greed, I think it is, is said to be stronger than fear.

  58. If we had a sticker picture of Nancy Pelosi stuck on every gas pump in America--prices brought to you by Grandmother--the dems would be out of office at the next election.

  59. Rufus: This is The MOST IMPORTANT Chart you Will Ever Look At.

    Rufus, not even God knows what will happen in the future. A barrel of oil is below a hunnert dollars for the first time in 5 months, so OPEC has announced they will scale back production by 520,000 barrels a day and Russia has said it would cooperate with the move. So with all due respect, I believe This Is Really The Most Important Chart You Will Ever Look At.

  60. T., I read today 30 some percent of folks would rather leave their spouse than their Blackberry.

  61. Rufus: There's just so many pennies in a dollar, folks; and, you can only flow so much oil from a forty year old oil field (see, Cantarell, Prudhoe Bay, the North Sea, Venezuela.)

    Rufus, people have already begun to adjust. Mass transit ridership is way up. Parr Ford in Bummertown (where I got my Mustang) is dumping 2008 F-150s for less than $12K because everyone wants a hybrid. The Congress is set to allow drilling. There's no crisis. I remember the 1973 Crisis and the 1979 Crisis. 1973 and 1979 are close personal friends of mine. And 2008, you're no 1973.

  62. Parr Ford in Bummertown (where I got my Mustang) is dumping 2008 F-150s for less than $12K because everyone wants a hybrid.

    T., true? (Not that I'm doubting you.) I've been thinking of buying one.

  63. In '79, people were shooting each other at the gas stations.

  64. Capitalism, what a system!

    S&P reduced its rating on Seattle-based WaMu to BB- from BBB-, leaving it three levels below investment grade, the ratings firm said today in a statement.

    Longtime Washington Mutual CEO Kerry Killinger was eligible to receive a $23.5 million exit package when his departure was announced on September 7.

    Great work, if you can get it.

  65. Bobal: T., true? (Not that I'm doubting you.) I've been thinking of buying one.

    True Bobal. We gotta listen to Dave Smith telling us to fly to Kellogg to get our vehicles, you fly out here and get yours.

  66. ms. t wrote:

    "I was raised Catholic so I believe abortion is infanticide."

    So, do you believe all the catholic church tells you or do you cherry pick according to you whim? Heck, even birth control is thwarting God's will not to mention the abomination that is gay sex (how do you justify that with your Catholic background?). Ironically I find the Catholic faith simialr to the Muslim faith - a good book written that can only be delivered to the flock through the interpretations of the heirarchy. The Pope says, The priest says, the Imam says...

  67. Obama cannot raise a tax, no more than Bush could make tax cuts permanent.

    Or fix Freddie and Fannie.

    If the vaunted GOP stayed loyal and true, that is. With Maverick McCain in their lead, the GOP, they'll be neither.

    They'll cut "deals" with the Dems, to get their own "deals" done.

    So worry, no matter who is elected, the shit's gonna hit the fan, regardless.

    Robert Rubin beats Paulson, hands down.

  68. I don't think Dave Smith is that low. He's got a place in Coeur 'd Alene now too, in addition to Kelloge-Wallace.

    I may give your guy a call tomorrow.

  69. T, the Saudis are, almost certainly, producing at full capacity, and are Not slowing down.

    Those are all good actions, but, I'm afraid, not enough, soon enough. We're looking at something like a 4, or 5 Million Barrel/Day Shortfall starting around 2010, 2011. The reason one can't be "specific" as to the exact date of shortfall is that this is all going to get intertwined with Global slowdown/recessions lowering demand.

  70. Like all intelligent women she can cherry pick, Ash, distinquishing between a bad cherry, and one that just looks bad to certain people.

  71. And now, reading whit, the credit crisis is Osama's fault.

    Leadership in the past seven and one half years has sucked, That's the truth, from Iraq to Wall Street, as Mr Bush said
    "Mistakes were made"

    Well, amigos, performance counts.
    The GOP performance, for all those years, was dismal, at best, at home and abroad.

    Would the Democrts have performed worse, perhaps, but they were not in charge. Those that were, failed to perform.

    Let's just call a spade a spade.

  72. bobal said...
    Like all intelligent women she can cherry pick,

    Not if you are a Catholic, or a Muslim Bobal.

  73. I call the democrats the spade on the energy business. Bush can't force through what he can't force through. Democrats in the Senate, the blame lies there, in spades.

  74. The mess the economy is now in, and the limited options available to recover, why none of it has been, even in a small amount, due to the half of a trillion dollars the US has borrowed to keep an Army of Occupation in Iraq.

    That little number, not even including the deferred costs, that's the nigger in the wood pile.

    But let's just ignore it, as we whistle past the graveyard.

    To say that McCain is "better" on defense, that is a joke, unless you believe that war with Russia, in the old Soviet Republics, would improve things, making them "better".

  75. If Mr Bush could not "force" his Program through, with majorities in the House and Senate, than how and why should we think Obama can?

  76. Thank goodness most Catholics no longer listen to the Pope on the birth control business. Which, if my antenna are correct, may change sometime in the not too distant future.

    Last I heard, the Catholics don't chop your head or arms off, or stone you to death, for running a little contra the Pope. A major difference.

    They ought to lighten up on this male only priest deal, let the women in, I believe. But then it's none of my business.

  77. Is Obama that much better a natural Leader and Decider than GWBush?

    Are the Democrats better than Republicans at getting their Programs enacted?

    How could that be, if the Republicans held true, or we could have faith that they would stand as strong as the Democrats did, in the minority?

  78. Obama's program, such as it can be discovered, seems to be the democratic leadership program. No drilling, a little vaporous talk about nukes, and bs about a green workforce or whatever, alternative sources, pumping up your tires, don't eat meat.

    I quess the democrats are just waiting until the shootings begin at the gas stations.

    Grandmother Pelosi is doing her best to 'save the planet'. But shooting at the gas pumps, maybe that would change the equation.

  79. Just as the Bush progran was the Republican program, but never enacted, with majorities in the House and Senate, as Obama may well have, if elected.

    Both Bush and McCain opposed off shore drilling, before they were for it.
    McCain is still against exploiting ANWAR. Guess Sarah is not that persuasive, after all.

  80. If elected McCain will jave saved the Stevens branch of the Republican Good Old Boy network in Alaska, putting Ms Sarah in the Observatory, waiting for a tie in the Senate.

  81. Why will we not read

    "Senate blocks Obama tax hike", bob?

  82. I get it to read on my second try.

  83. but a search yielded this"

    Senate blocks Bush's oil drilling plan for Alaska refuge
    8 Republicans back Boxer, vote against exploration

    Zachary Coile, Chronicle Washington Bureau

    Thursday, March 20, 2003

    (03-20) 04:00 PDT Washington -- In a stinging setback for President Bush's plan to boost the nation's domestic supply of energy, the Senate on Wednesday blocked oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska.

    With Republicans taking control of the Senate this year, supporters of drilling believed they had their best chance in more than a decade to approve oil development in the refuge"

    So, Bobal, the republican controlled senate blocked Bush's energy bill and you want to blame the Dems? How come?

  84. Or
    "Senate Blocks Obama Property Redistribution"

    or "Senate Blocks Obama Judicial Appointments"

    because we all know that
    "Senate Blocks McCain Judicial Appointments"
    is in the cards.

    Maybe bnly a Senate with a Democratic minority can be counted on to "Block"

  85. No fault to those 8 Republicans, ash
    McCain was amongst 'em, Ameros to doughnuts.

  86. This comment has been removed by the author.

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. I'm votin' ideologically.

    Votin what I think steers the best course, win or lose. Makes no never mind.

    I'd rather vote on principle than win an election.

  89. I'd rather vote on principle than win an election.

    That's a good saying.

    Conflicts with the lesser of two evils theory, but very defensible.

  90. At 9:52, whit shot his mouth off and decided that he wished he had not.

  91. I always vote for the prettiest skirt, thinking nothing will ever get done anyway.:)

    That's called the prettiest skirt theory.

  92. Ah, it's sundown, time to come in and see what's going on at the alleged Elephant Bar.

    Ash, pining for the Lost Kerry Presidency, said: Heck, even birth control is thwarting God's will not to mention the abomination that is gay sex (how do you justify that with your Catholic background?).

    I said I grew up Catholic, that doesn't mean I'm in good stead with the Church nowadays, so the requirement to "justify" things with my Catholic background is moot, especially something as deep-rooted in brain-wiring as sexual preference, which I liken to the preference of some people to use the left hand. The way Sarah Palin walks her talk sits well with how I was brought up.

    Ironically I find the Catholic faith simialr to the Muslim faith - a good book written that can only be delivered to the flock through the interpretations of the heirarchy. The Pope says, The priest says, the Imam says...

    The difference is that all the priests are on the same page with the Pope (ie. no priest advocates abortion), but there are as many interpretations of the Q'u'r'a'n as there are Imans. So Islam resembles Protestantism much more to me.

  93. Bobal: I always vote for the prettiest skirt, thinking nothing will ever get done anyway.:)

    That's called the prettiest skirt theory.

    I like that theory, bobal. Here's a pit bull in a skirt, minus the lipstick, of course, since she's not a hockey mom.

  94. Who has the doughnuts?

    The political pressure was particularly intense on Sen. Norm Coleman, R- Minn., who had opposed drilling in the refuge during his campaign to succeed the late Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone last year, but appeared to be waffling on the issue. Coleman ultimately decided to oppose drilling.

    He was joined by Republican Sens. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Mike DeWine of Ohio, Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois,
    John McCain of Arizona

    and Gordon Smith of Oregon.

  95. So, bob, proof is in the tasting.

    It was John McCain, himself, that stymied GWBush and stopped the US from gaining energy independence.

  96. Rufus: We're looking at something like a 4, or 5 Million Barrel/Day Shortfall starting around 2010, 2011.

    Liquids account for 37% of world energy production, so there is no problem shifting alternatives online in the aftermath of peak liquids, which, I might add, has been predicted by the doomers to be nigh time and time again, yet production ever increases, or it is taken off-line to prop up prices.

  97. With a lot of help from the democrats. Vote McCain, we might get Palin later.

    The straight shooter sticking by his guns on Anwar. He has the perfect opportunity to change his mind now. He can say--

    "My wonderful, intelligent VP pick talked me into it, with her knowledge of Alaska and energy."

    Here's Tina Fey Who Played in the SNL Skit

  98. That projected shortfall is global.
    Our 25% share, 1.25 million barrells per day.

    Which could be replaced, as a fuel stock, by ethanol.

    We've done the numbers often enough. If we had not spent $650 Billion USD protecting Iraqi oil from Iraqis, we could have already built the infrastructure and be energy independent, now.

    But priorities were different then.
    Democracy was the theme of the day.

    After we cancelled those local Iraqi elections, when we were sure of the outcome. Which was the same outcome we've come to, regardless.

  99. Maverick could say that, bob.

    But he will not.
    She has so little influence upon him.

    Just watch
    Learn it, live it, love it.

  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

  101. Vote for Palin, that's my wife's plan, and lot of her friends.

    Sarah is a sister.
    Never seen the like, in my neck of the woods.

    The professional pundits say it won't happen, trish told us that, herself. Though that is not to say that trish is a professional ...

    But I bet there are millions of women, perhaps a few men, that will vote Palin/McCain.

  102. I was trapped with a group of wives last week and feigned gentle agreement the entire time. I recommend this tactic highly. Under the circumstances.

  103. I'm voting Palin/McCain.

    My mother-in-law, her tactic was, always agree with whomever you're with, politically.

    She'd say she'd vote for Jesse Jackson the year he ran, if she was with a Jackson supporter. With a Reagan supporter, Reagan.

    When in Rome....

    Behind the curtain, always republican.

    Good way to make friends and stay out of trouble.

  104. Obama's a misogynist, a man with a muzzie attitude--


    Obama has never gone out of his way to relate to women. Only seven of his top twenty Senate staff positions are filled by women (McCain has thirteen of twenty) and women on Obama’s staff earn 83 cents for each dollar his male staffers are paid. (McCain pays his female staffers $1.04 for each dollar he pays to his men).

    From the very first moment Obama entered the presidential race, feminists resented him for trying to stop Hillary from becoming the first woman to be elected president. In the minds of feminists, the fifteenth Amendment (giving blacks the vote) competed with the nineteenth (women’s suffrage) for national attention. Even though women had to wait more than fifty years longer than African-Americans to get the vote, feminists were in no mood to let a black man get elected in place of a white woman, especially if her name was Hillary Clinton.

    Clearly the Obama/Clinton race triggered ill feelings among many women and laid the basis for the problems Obama was to have in the general election. He won the nomination by beating a woman and then hoped to capitalize on the votes of women to get elected in November. As the race developed, the elbows got sharper and the rhetoric of both sides seemed to emphasize race and gender more and more. Hillary appealed for the votes of “white working people” while Obama lambasted and ridiculed her defense of guns by calling her “Annie Oakley.”

    Although Obama always spoke of Hillary respectfully in public, it was clear to all voters that some ill will had crept into their relationship. After the primaries, Hillary postponed her concession for at least a week as pressure built on her to step aside. For his part, Obama seemed to snub Hillary, passing up opportunities to meet her and doing little to help her raise funds to pay off her campaign debt.

    As it became clearer that he was not about to select Hillary for vice-president, the mutual animosity seemed to escalate. Obama made it clear that he would not even consider Hillary for vice president, ostentatiously refusing to vet her or to include her on his short list of candidates.

    By early July, even as Obama led McCain in the polls, it was evident that his drawing power among women was dwindling. The downhill progression of that relationship and the steps the Republicans took to hasten its demise, may explain the true turning point of the 2008 election.

    Click HERE to subscribe to Dick Morris' 2008 Play-by-Play to read the rest of this article.


    Then the McCain campaign pulled off one of the most successful head fakes in modern American politics. Obama had to decide not only whether or not to choose Hillary, but whether to go with another woman, likely Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Had he opted for either woman, the odds are that he would have won the election, but McCain out maneuvered him. Through leaks and judiciously planted stories, the McCain campaign convinced Obama and his people that the Republicans were going to nominate a man – Romney, Lieberman, or Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty – instead of Sarah Palin who they had, in fact, been eyeing for the job for weeks and weeks before.
    Click HERE to subscribe to Dick Morris' 2008 Play-by-Play to read the rest of this article.


    But then the Democrats compounded the error by attacking Palin and doing so on personal, gender based issues, no less. It was a gift to the Republicans even their most sophisticated strategists could not have anticipated. And what was the leading charge against Palin? That her daughter was pregnant and not married!

    McCain wisely told the media that Sarah had informed him of the situation before he offered her the job and that he said it would make no difference in his decision. In one stroke, the Democrats undid all the good for themselves they had accomplished in decades of support for welfare, food stamps, day care, rent subsidies, headstart programs, and abortion. By seeming to suggest that a woman should be disqualified because her daughter was pregnant and unmarried was a slap in the face of the tens of millions of Democratic single women voters upon whom the party depended for its fabled gender gap.

    Dick Morris

  105. McCalin is probably going to win, but if they don't, it's not the end of the world for me. There's always Palin/Jindal 2012. But when Obama loses, it's going to be armageddon for Dems. And just like Palin's convention speech, I'm going to enjoy every minute of it!!!

  106. New State Polls [Yuval Levin]

    Rasmussen has a new batch of polls in the past two days that show a slight, but only slight, move toward McCain in key states. The most surprising result is a tie in Pennsylvania, which has got to have the Obama people concerned. But on the other hand, the McCain team has to be equally worried about a tie in Virginia. Meanwhile McCain has taken slight leads in Ohio (by 3 points) and Colorado (by 2) in these polls. Essentially all the movement in the past week has been in McCain’s favor, but this is a very very tight race.

    09/15 08:54 PM

    We're having a party that night.

    Just remember, ash, if Palin/McCain wins, at least my promise to you was kept: The Other Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Thing never happened.

    Got champagne?

  107. Hillary Clinton’s whiskey of choice, Chivas Regal.

    ahhh, Chivas Regal, aaaand Mountain Dew!

  108. A friend brought a bottle of something or other back from somewhere or other weekend before last - have to find out the name. Beat the Flor de Cana walking away. And would make a better celebratory drink than champagne.

    We won't have all the fun of switching between Fox, CNN, and MSNBC this time, however. It's CNN and BBC. Well. And a number of laptops and PCs.

  109. CNN and BBC. What a choice. Can you get Radio Havana?

  110. T, "Other" Liquids can, roughly, be divided into Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs,) Refinery Gains, and biofuels.

    The "Bad" nes is: NGLs spike (as they are now) when a field is "blowing it's gas cap." This happens right before a field goes "tits up" (technical oilfield expression.)

    Refinery Gain is what happens when a long, heavy molecule is transformed into lighter, shorter molecules. You get a "Gain" in Volume; but, it is dependent, of course, on having the long, heavy molecule to start with.

    The only "semi" good news is biofuels. They are, of course, expanding; but, they're not expanding nearly fast enough to keep us out of the soup. They ARE helping us in the U.S. quite a bit, right now, as we're going through a rapid build-up in corn-based ethanol (our capacity is up to about 660,000 Barrels/Day) BUT, we need to be moving a LOT faster bringing on "cellulosic," including, but, not limited to, Municipal Solid Waste to Ethanol, and various "energy crops."

  111. Not at my place, but we get Venezuelan television.

    : )

    Jay Cost:

    It is reasonable to expect this tightness to persist for several more weeks, with neither candidate moving substantially beyond 50%. The debates might move the electorate - especially if one side does substantially better than the other. However, we might not see a decisive break until right before Election Day.

    As I indicated, the key word is uncertainty. For most voters, the choice is obvious. If you're a Republican, you vote Republican. If you're a Democrat, you vote Democrat. Easy enough. This is how about 85% or so of the public generally behaves. However, that leaves about 15% with either no partisan attachments or only weak attachments. They do not make as much use of "partisan cues" to determine their votes. With no decisive link between either candidate and the incumbent administration, they lack another obvious cue in a year like this. The fact that both sides are contesting the idea of "change" makes it even more difficult. Toss in the fact that the Democratic candidate does not have the kind of experience they are used to seeing - and we are looking at a very uncertain group of folks.

    My guess is that they will remain this way for a good bit longer.

    Posted by Jay Cost at 01:18 PM

    You don't say, Jay!

  112. Switching between the Colombian and Venezuelan channels...That'd probably be the more memorable evening.

  113. Truman, recall, was the only president of the 20th century who was not a college graduate. Less than two months after abruptly taking over from FDR with no preparation, Truman wrote his wife Bess describing his quick progress in taking the reins:

    "It won't be long before I can sit back and study the whole picture and tell 'em what is to be done in each department. When things come to that stage there'll be no more to this job than there was to running Jackson County and not any more worry."

    Give 'Em Hell, Sarah

    Good article talking about John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and whether only an 'elite' can run the country. They concluded an 'elite' is not necessary to run the country.

    The 'elites' of our financial structures seem to be getting a low grade today.

  114. jeez, same ad, was putting mine up as I saw yours. I found it at Scott Ott--

    Obama: Abortion-Survivor's Attack Ad Could Backfire

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace

    (2008-09-15) — A new TV ad in which the survivor of a botched abortion calls attention to Sen. Barack Obama’s repeated opposition to protecting such babies could backfire on the pro-life group that created the commercial, according to the Democrat presidential candidate.

    In the TV spot, Gianna Jessen, 31, calls on Sen. Obama to support born-alive infant protections because she claims that babies should have basic human rights “no matter how they entered our world.”

    Sen. Obama today said that “While I suppose all life eventually becomes precious, that woman just proves that some lives are more precious than others.”

    “Apparently a well-meaning medical professional saved baby Gianna’s life, ruining her mother’s hopes for a successful abortion,” Sen. Obama said. “To make matters worse, three decades later Ms. Jessen has become part of the problem in this country…another vicious collaborator with John McCain in the epidemic of brutal, negative political advertising.”

    The Illinois Democrat said the question that American voters should ask themselves is this: “Are you better off now than you were 31 years ago before Gianna Jessen was inadvertently born? I know that I’m not.”

  115. Joanne said...
    She is proof that a live, human being was being put to death in the womb when her so-called mother decided to abort her at seven and one-half months with a saline solution administered inside the uterus, which burns the outside of the unborn and when the unborn swallows the solution, it burns the inside of the unborn. Nice, eh!

    In late-term abortions, doctors make sure the unborn are dead before delivery or else the child is considered a live birth. I would imagine the pain could only be thought of as excruciating, but no screams can be heard. Does this mean the unborn does not scream?

    This is so very sick and evil on so many levels; one has to wonder if Obama, along with so many women, even have a heart.

    If Obama had his way, those born alive outside the womb would be left to die. And yes, this does mean Obama condones infanticide for a child born alive - plain and simple. In Obama's mind, a child born alive may defeat the purpose of those women trying to kill their children before they are born, but I would think a child that fights that hard to live should be given just that right: to live.

  116. How the Masters of the Universe ran amok and cost us the earth

    Dick Fuld of Lehman, et al

    The United States is now in the throes of its biggest banking crisis in 70 years, stirring terrible memories of panics, bank failures, bankruptcies and mass unemployment. First Bear Stearns had to be rescued. Then the government had to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two largest US mortgage providers. Now Lehman Brothers.

    Dick Fuld, who threatened to break the legs of any partner caught shorting Lehman stock – gambling on the value of shares falling – is now just another name on a lengthening list of the "Masters of the Universe", a phrase made famous by Tom Wolfe in his 1987 novel of Wall Street ambition and greed, The Bonfire of the Vanities, who have crashed to earth.

    AND as Fuld crashed, his personal shareholding in the bank tumbled by more than $500 million. The list of the investment banking world's fallen giants already reads like a Who's Who of money: Charles "Chuck" Prince, the chief executive of Citigroup; Jimmy Cayne, the chief executive of Bear Stearns (RIP); Peter Wuffli, the UBS chief executive, and Marc Ospel, its chairman.

    How has it come to this? What caused America's fourth-largest investment bank to crash and file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy? It is unctuously described by some as a "venerable, 158 year-old" institution. In truth, there is nothing particularly venerable about Lehman Brothers – and its elevation to "greatness" is recent.

    It began in 1844 as a small shop in Montgomery, Alabama. It developed as an investment company, had a rocky ride in the 1970s, and in the early 1980s was bought by American Express, which sold it in 1993, when Fuld became chief executive.

    Lehman floated on the stock market as a minnow boutique bank, with earnings of only $75 million.

    But Fuld, a Lehman lifer, was already getting used to life in the "bulge bracket" (a group of investment banks considered the world's most powerful).

    Before he took up the top post at Lehman, he found himself in a Las Vegas casino when a bad gambler blew $4 million. The gambler was following a classic strategy: when the cards go against you, double up the bet, because eventually things are sure to turn your way. Fuld took notes on a cocktail napkin as the gambler imploded, reaching the conclusion that bad luck can always continue longer than seems reasonable. "I don't care who you are," he wrote later. "You don't have enough capital."

    How prophetic that was to prove.

    From 2004, Fuld's fortunes were transformed as Lehman's profits surged. The bank rode what an earlier generation would have seen as a convergence of utter improbables: a wave of deregulation, typified by the scrapping of the Glass-Steagall Act (which kept retail and investment banks separate); low interest rates; and a wave of financial innovation that turned the most toxic loans into fancy credit products.

    Sky-high bonuses and share-option packages poured fuel on this fiery concoction.

    Lehman embarked on massively leveraged property acquisitions and expansion. Equity trading soared. And the bank plunged heavily into subprime lending. Indeed, just ahead of the market collapse, Lehman underwrote more mortgage-backed securities than any other firm.

    IT built up a staggering $88 billion portfolio, 44 per cent more than Morgan Stanley and four times the $22.5 billion of shareholder equity the bank had as a buffer against losses.

    But losses? What were they? Mortgage lending had a low default record. And the bank was on a roll, creating ever more ingenious financial products that bonus-driven salesmen sold to bedazzled clients. The group posted record profits, the shares soared towards $70 and bonuses and stock options gushed forth.

    Fuld joined the bulge bracket. He was paid $34.5 million in 2005, comprising a base salary of $750,000, a $13.8 million cash bonus, and stock and options worth $19.94 million.

    So how does his demise compare with the other fallen idols who have now fled the crashing debris in Wall Street? They may have driven their banks – and their shareholders – into enormous losses. But the former Masters of the Universe will never know what it's like to live in a subprime home.

    By the end, 62-year-old Fuld was Lehman's biggest individual stockholder. Despite the crash, he stands to leave with about $65 million, based on Lehman's Friday morning stock price of $3.73. This tally includes 8.6 million unrestricted shares worth some $32.1 million as of Friday morning – though they had been worth $582 million last November before the credit crunch hurricane struck.

    Chuck ("I'm still dancing") Prince left Citigroup with a package said to be worth $40 million. He also received a pension of $1.74 million and another one million stock options – worthless at the time of his departure. Merrill Lynch's Stan O'Neal spent much of last summer perfecting his golf swing, confident that his trusty lieutenants at Merrill could avoid those subprime bunkers. It turned out to be a bad call.

    HE WAS ousted last October as the first waves of the credit crunch struck, with a retirement package reckoned at more than $160 million.

    Jimmy Cayne, 15 years at the top of Bear Stearns, was said to be on the golf course in June 2006 just as the bank dropped the first of many clangers, with a 10 per cent dive in profits. Worse followed, with the bank having to put up $3.2 billion to try to rescue its imploding hedge fund.

    By mid-March last year, when the bank collapsed, Cayne, who would rush from Wall Street by chopper to the private Hollywood Golf Club in New Jersey to play 18 holes before dark, had already relinquished the reins, handing over the chief executive's role to Alan Schwartz.

    When Schwartz went cap in hand to the New York Fed for a $30 billion bail-out, Cayne was said to be competing in the North American Bridge Championship in Detroit.

    Cayne and his wife, Patricia, sold all their 5.6 million shares in Bear Stearns – worth as much as $1.2 billion in January 2007 – for $61.3 million at the end of March this year. The couple recently bought two adjacent apartments in New York's plush Plaza building for $28.2 million.

    He left with a $30 million "golden goodbye" – enough to do up his Park Avenue property and a mock Tudor mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut. But it emerged that the mansion, set in 2.3 acres of land, was surplus to requirements. "It no longer meets his needs,'' said the local estate agent, trying to sell it for $6.15 million. He was forced to cut the asking price.

    That's how tough it gets at the top in Wall Street.

  117. Provide, Provide

    Robert Frost

    The witch that came (the withered hag)
    To wash the steps with pail and rag,
    Was once the beauty Abishag,

    The picture pride of Hollywood.
    Too many fall from great and good
    For you to doubt the likelihood.

    Die early and avoid the fate.
    Or if predestined to die late,
    Make up your mind to die in state.

    Make the whole stock exchange your own!
    If need be occupy a throne,
    Where nobody can call you crone.

    Some have relied on what they knew;
    Others on simply being true.
    What worked for them might work for you.

    No memory of having starred
    Atones for later disregard,
    Or keeps the end from being hard.

    Better to go down dignified
    With boughten friendship at your side
    Than none at all. Provide, provide!


  118. It's just you and me, Bob.

    And I'm checkin' out.


  119. Checking in and right back out. Night Linear.

  120. Pakistan Is the Problem
    By Christopher Hitchens

    Recent accounts of murderous violence in the capital cities of two of our allies, India and Afghanistan, make it appear overwhelmingly probable that the bombs were not the work of local or homegrown "insurgents" but were orchestrated by agents of the Pakistani ISI. This is a fantastically unacceptable state of affairs, which needs to be given its right name of state-sponsored terrorism. Meanwhile, and on Pakistani soil and under the very noses of its army and the ISI, the city of Quetta and the so-called Federally Administered Tribal Areas are becoming the incubating ground of a reorganized and protected al-Qaida. Sen. Barack Obama has, if anything, been the more militant of the two presidential candidates in stressing the danger here and the need to act without too much sentiment about our so-called Islamabad ally. He began using this rhetoric when it was much simpler to counterpose the "good" war in Afghanistan with the "bad" one in Iraq. Never mind that now; he is committed in advance to a serious projection of American power into the heartland of our deadliest enemy. And that, I think, is another reason why so many people are reluctant to employ truthful descriptions for the emerging Afghan-Pakistan confrontation: American liberals can't quite face the fact that if their man does win in November, and if he has meant a single serious word he's ever said, it means more war, and more bitter and protracted war at that—not less.

    He does relate that the Taliban were always an extension of the ISI, Pakistan's Intel Service.

  121. It didm't even happen

    KARACHI, Pakistan, Sept. 15 -- Pakistani troops turned back a U.S. attack in Pakistan's tribal areas on Monday by firing warning shots toward U.S. troops as they attempted to cross from Afghanistan in pursuit of Taliban insurgents, a Pakistani intelligence official said. U.S. and Pakistani military spokesmen denied the report.
    But Maj. Murad Khan, a spokesman for the Pakistani military, denied reports of gunfire. "There was no firing in the area, and there was no violation of Pakistani airspace," Khan said. "We have heard there were U.S. helicopters hovering at our border area, but they were deep inside Afghanistan."

    Sgt. Chris Peavy, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan, said: "We fly everyday missions in that area, all the time. It's close to the border, but we did not enter that area today. There's been no firing on our forces."

    By Candace Rondeaux
    Washington Post Foreign Service

  122. Pakistan Is the Problem

    So is Europe.

    Everything the Pakis got relating to atomic weapons, they got from Europe.

  123. Now, doug, hold on to your hat, and sit down. Maverick McCain claims it was Obama that killed his much fought for Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

    Not the GOP base, not the boys here at the Bar. oh mo, credit Barack Obama.

    John McCain vowed Monday to make immigration one of his ''first priorities'' if elected president and accused Democrat Barack Obama of spiking reforms in Congress.

    McCain spearheaded a bill in 2006 -- reviled by the right wing of his own party -- that would have allowed illegal immigrants to earn citizenship. Obama supported the overall goal but backed controversial amendments that would have limited a guest worker program.

    ''The fact is that Sen. Obama proposed amendments that would have killed the legislation. I fought for it,'' McCain told more than 350 people at a town hall meeting.

    McCain leveled the same charge in ads running in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, which Obama called ''dishonest'' in an interview Sunday on Spanish-language television.

    Once pummeled for backing what critics tarred as ''amnesty,'' McCain has talked little about immigration during the general election campaign. He did not raise the issue Monday in Jacksonville, reliably Republican turf where he began a two-day tour that wraps up Tuesday in Tampa.

  124. Nuclear Agency Says Iran Has Improved Enrichment - Elaine Sciolino

    Iran has substantially improved the efficiency of its centrifuges that produce enriched uranium, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday. Iran is now running about 3,800 centrifuges, the machines that make enriched uranium, an increase of several hundred in the past four months. More significantly, it has increased the efficiency of its centrifuges to about 80% from 50%. That means the machines are processing more material, crashing less and running closer to their stated capacity.
    In its report, the agency charged the Iranians with continuing to stonewall about past research on designing a nuclear weapon. Last summer the agency gave Iran fixed deadlines to resolve questions about nuclear activities in the past two decades. "We seem to be at a dead end," said a senior official with links to t! he agency. "We would describe it as a gridlock." (New York Times)

    Whir Whir--Thomas Sowell--What'll We Do

    McCail did step in it with that comment, Rat. As I recall Obama wanted to give them drivers licenses.

    Maybe so they could all drive themselves back over the border?

  125. This little tad of data, from the MiamiHerald

    On Monday, with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers looming in the headlines, McCain lashed out at the current administration's regulation of Wall Street as ''outdated'' and vowed to 'end the old boys' network'' that he said is crippling America's financial markets.

    ''People are frightened by these events,'' he said in Jacksonville. ``The fundamentals of our economy are still strong, but these are very, very difficult times. I promise you we will never put America in this position again.''

    His criticism was apparently aimed at the Bush administration, but McCain never mentioned the president by name except to say that he has ''been a good president'' who has made America safer.

    Sitting behind McCain was the president's brother, former Gov. Jeb Bush, who was hired a year ago by Lehman Brothers as a financial consultant.

    As governor, Bush served on the three-member State Board of Administration that agreed to let the state's retirement fund buy a series of mortgage-backed securities from Lehman Brothers that turned out to be troubled.

    Jeb as financial consultant to Lehman Brothers, like McCain Jr on the Board of the Silver State Bank, before it failed.

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  128. Licensed and INSURED, nothing wrong with that, but admitting the realities of life, in the Americas.

    Give 'em an International license, but get 'em known, documented and insured.

    Need another cup of joe

  129. MAverick is reported to support Statehood for Puerto Rico, while Todd Palin supported removing Alaska from the Union.

    Tad of a disconnect, there.

    In response to a question, McCain addressed another issue of great concern to the largely Puerto Rican crowd -- statehood for their former home.

    Residents of Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in the general election.

    ''It seems to me that we should be guided by a referendum where the people of Puerto Rico decide what their future should be,'' McCain said at the town hall, hosted by Central Florida's oldest Puerto Rican group in a building like one of the island's colonial fortresses.

    Audience members who wore ''Puerto Ricans for McCain'' pins said they were glad McCain raised the issue but added that he needs to lead the way.

    ''We've had referendums,'' said Miriam Lopez, 72, who went back and forth between Puerto Rico and Orlando for years and moved to Florida full-time five years ago.

    ``The president has to do something to give it credibility, so people take it more seriously.''

    Puerto Rico, plus the seven States of Mexico, that'll get US to 58.

  130. Well if we lose Alaska and gain Puerto Rico, we're still at 50, or 57 or whatever, so what's the big deal? We could let the Virgin Islands in and Idaho out, you folks would have more beach and less snow, good all round. We'd join up with Alaska and British Columbia. Call ourselves Bricolalaidastan, the hunting would be great. Strictly enforced borders, too.

  131. We's give guys like you Rat, special privileges to come and go as you like. In fact, all the people at the bar.

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  133. Lot more chance of gaining PR than losing AK, bob.

    Todd quit that club, I read,
    so they're goin' no where, now.

    To bad all these GOP family members pick financial institutions that fail, to consult and advise.

    Wonder what the fess collected by Jeb and the son of McCain were, to give consultations and/or oversight about finance.

  134. The do-do must be deep on Rangel if Grandmother Pelosi is changing her Tune

  135. One must admit it was a pretty good run by ol' Charlie.

    I think he's on Reverend Manning's hit list, too.

    A baked bean. A stinking fish. A pig with lipstick.

  136. Petty stuff, too.
    Taken individually, a lot like Rostenkowski

  137. Obama's teleprompter hits the trail

    Obama delivered his remarks at the Colorado State Fair of a teleprompter.

    (CNN) — It appears Barack Obama's teleprompter is hitting the campaign trail.

    The Democratic presidential nominee has never tried to hide the fact he delivers speeches off the device, though normally he doesn't use one at standard campaign rallies and town hall events.

    But the Illinois senator used a teleprompter at both his Colorado events Monday — making for a particularly peculiar scene in Pueblo, where the prompter was set up in the middle of what is normally a rodeo ring.

  138. We've had some good ones. Wilbur Mills, who might have been more or less honest, but couldn't hold the liquor--

    Mills was involved in a traffic incident on October 7, 1974. His car, driven by a former Nixon staffer, was stopped by U.S. Park Police late at night because the driver had not turned on the lights. Mills was intoxicated, and his face was cut from a scuffle with Annabelle Battistella, better known as Fanne Foxe, a stripper from Argentina. When police approached the car, Foxe leapt from the car and jumped into the nearby Tidal Basin. She was taken to St. Elizabeth's Mental Hospital for treatment.

    Despite the scandal, Mills was re-elected to Congress in November 1974 in a heavily Democratic year with nearly 60 percent of the vote, defeating the Republican Judy Petty. In December 1974, Mills, seemingly drunk, was accompanied by Fanne Foxe's husband onstage at The Pilgrim Theatre in Boston, a burlesque house where Ms. Foxe was performing. Soon after this second public incident, Mills stepped down from his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee, acknowledged his alcoholism, joined Alcoholics Anonymous, and checked himself into Palm Beach Institute at West Palm Beach. [2] [3] He did not seek re-election in 1976, devoted his time to counseling individual alcoholics, and raising funds for alcoholic treatment centers, including one founded in his honor at Searcy, Arkansas, the Wilbur D. Mills Treatment Center for Alcohol and Drugs. He also became affiliated as of counsel with Washington office of the New York political powerhouse law firm Shea & Gould. He was succeeded by Jim Guy Tucker.

    Wilbur Mills died in Searcy. He is buried at Kensett Cemetery in Kensett.

  139. FDIC shutters Silver State Bank of Nevada
    September 6, 2008

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Regulators on Friday shut down Silver State Bank, saying the Nevada bank failed because of losses on soured loans, mainly in commercial real estate and land development.

    It was the 11th failure this year of a federally insured bank.

    Nevada regulators closed Silver State and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the bank, based in Henderson, Nev. It had $2 billion in assets and $1.7 billion in deposits as of June 30.

    Andrew K. McCain, a son of Republican presidential nominee John McCain, sat on the boards of Silver State Bank and of its parent, Silver State Bancorp, starting in February but resigned in July citing "personal reasons," corporate filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show. Andrew McCain also was a member of the bank's audit committee, responsible for oversight of the company's accounting.

    Another source provides some more background info, as to why Andrew was on the Siver State Board.

    Prior to coming to Silver State, he was the director of the Choice Bank in Scottsdale, Arizona until its merger with Silver State Bancorp which has 13 branches in Southern Las Vegas, and 4 branches in Arizona, and California.

    While, according to Yahoo Finance, construction and land loans make up more than 70% of the bank's lending portfolios, Silver State also lists residential mortgage loans as among its specialties.

    "When the casinos treat you poorly, let Silver State treat you like a valued customer" is the bank's declared mission state.

  140. 29 March 2006

    Silver State Bancorp (OTCBB: SSBX), the holding company for Silver State Bank, and Choice Bank ("Choice Bank") jointly announced today the signing of a definitive agreement in which Silver State Bancorp ("Silver State"), headquartered in Henderson, Nev., will acquire Choice Bank. Choice Bank, headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., operates an Arizona state-chartered bank with two offices.

    The transaction, approved by the directors of both companies, is valued at approximately $31.2 million. Under the terms of the agreement, stockholders of Choice Bank will be entitled to receive cash of $27.50 per share for each share of Choice Bank owned.

    Corey Johnson, Silver State's president and chief executive officer, commented, "Choice Bank is a great fit for us. This transaction makes good financial and strategic sense for Silver State. Choice Bank is a fast-growing company serving one of the best markets in the country. Choice Bank has great people committed to the same philosophy of service and quality as Silver State."
    It is anticipated that the merger will close in the 4th quarter of 2006 and is conditioned upon receiving the requisite regulatory approvals and Choice Bank shareholder approval. In connection with the merger, Choice Bank will be operated as a subsidiary of Silver State Bancorp. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Silver State's earnings in the first year. Based on Choice Bank's Dec. 31, 2005, book value, the $27.50 per share purchase price represents 250% of book value.

  141. This primarily local group of investors capitalized, and now owns, Choice Bank with a vision of future growth and expansion in the metropolitan Phoenix market. Currently, Choice Bank centralizes their small business banking operation in Scottsdale. January 2003 heralded the grand opening of our Scottsdale, Arizona location. Our full service commercial bank was organized under an Arizona State commercial banking charter and is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In September 2004, Choice Bank opened its second Retail Branch in the West Valley that is located in Sun City West

    A start up that sells for 250% of book value, in just three years.
    Better than an Inet bubble stock.

    Then the whole house of cards falls, two years later.
    Follow the money, honey.

    Wonder how we find out who the "primarily local group of investors" were?

    Great scam, socialized that loss, but, boy oh boy, they privatized some profits.

    Now McCains campaign website tells US that:
    Andrew McCain is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Hensley & Company in Arizona where he oversees and manages the finance, treasury, ...

    Which is an indicator of whom at some of the "primarily local group of investors" were.

  142. Which is an indicator of whom at LEAST some of the "primarily local group of investors" were.

  143. So, let's see, twenty minutes of google searching ties Mrs McCain and her step-son to the Choice Bank and it's sale at a high book to value. Then Andrew can be tied to the subsequent failure of Silver State Bank.

    But the "biased" media does not breathe a word of it.

    Nor does Obama.

    Will that change, or is the real "fix" already in play?

  144. Silver State Bank

    The FDIC estimated its resolution will cost the deposit insurance fund between $450 million and $550 million

  145. The stock holders in Choice Bank recieved $2.50 for every dollars' worth of booked assets, assets whose true value was closer to 22 cents on the dollar.

  146. But the "biased" media does not breathe a word of it.

    It's all good.

  147. Just over a year ago

    August 27, 2007,
    Jeb Bush: Lehman’s Secret Weapon
    by Dana Cimilluca

    In the arms race by private-equity firms to line up ever-higher profile “advisers,” Lehman Brothers may have just taken the lead.

    According to a small handful of reports Friday, including this one in Investment Dealers’ Digest and another in Private Equity Hub, the investment bank has hired former Florida Governor and presidential son and brother Jeb Bush for its in-house investing arm.

    No sign of an announcement from Lehman on the hire.

    Private-equity firms hire politicos and former corporate honchos all the time to help them open doors to deals, as well as to manage government relations and the companies in their portfolios. Carlye Group chief David Rubenstein, in fact, discussed the increasing value of such moves in this Q&A published in The Wall Street Journal today.

    No family these days has better door-opening skills in Washington or corporate America than the Bushes. The family of the 41st and 43rd presidents is no stranger to Wall Street either. Jeb’s father, George H.W., used to serve as an adviser to Carlyle, and his grandfather was a partner at Wall Street firm Brown Brothers Harriman.

  148. Good work there, Rat. Sounds like the Casino treats you better than the bank.

    I don't think we've ever had a bank failure in Idaho. Least I can't remember one in my life, I should say. Don't know about earlier.

  149. Henderson is just outside of Vegas. Part of Vegas, really.

  150. OKAY Bobal, second pass, sign at Parr Ford, 2008 F-150, $11,497, on account of a $7,500 rebate. It's the real deal.