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

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Britain and The US, Humbled?

Something snapped in the last ten days. You can feel it. It is undeniable that the change is historic and unlike anything we have known in our living history. Everybody feels it. Many are beginning to know it is not temporary, at least in the relatively short span of an average life. A line has broken. The blame game has already started.

What does it mean?

Adrian Hamilton: It won't be long before the British blame foreigners

What won't go away is the sense of humiliation in this crisis

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Politicians and bankers still don't get it, on this side of the Atlantic no more than on the other. Out they have trooped – Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, George Osborne and David Cameron – to say that they understand the anger of ordinary people in this crisis.

No they don't. Not for a moment. It's not about the end of capitalism. You could argue the opposite. It's precisely because people have accepted the Thatcher-Reagan doctrine, and knuckled down to a world of insecurity and rapid change, that they are so furious with the banks. Main Street played by the rules, Wall Street didn't and is being saved from the consquences of its irresponsible ways.

And then there is the anger of helplessness. Declining industries can be understood. What people really dislike is the sense that the markets are driving this crisis and the authorities are powerless to stop them. If Gordon Brown mentions the phrase "decisive action" one more time, I personally will go to Downing Street to throttle him. There's nothing decisive about what's happening now, more a rush to the first aid when the next bank starts failing. The Lloyds-HBOS deal still isn't settled. No onereally knows what taxpayers' full exposure will be in Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock. France has joined Ireland in guaranteeing all deposits. Will we follow, or keep to a £50,000 limit?

Anger dies down as helplessness and passivity take over, and as more people watch the shake-out of thousands of jobs in the City. Shared suffering is a great leveller. What won't go away is something that people have paid much less attention to, which is the sense of humiliation aroused by this crisis.

For America, of course, the sense of humiliation is particularly acute. The US emerged from the Cold War as masters of the universe, militarily and financially. President Bush threw the former away in Iraq. He has now presided over the collapse of America's reputation for the latter. The symbolism of the world's only remaining hyperpower having to go cap-in-hand to the sovereign wealth funds of theMiddle East, India and China could not be more devastating.

But just because the Britishpublic has remained relatively quiescent compared to our American cousins doesn't mean they don't feel the sense of shame of it. For the last generation, workers have been told not to worry about the loss of jobs in cars, coal and steel. Those were old-fashioned businesses that could be left to others. Politicians of both parties boasted about the way we had moved on from manufacturing to services. They wallowed in the success of the City, the imagination used in the instruments of finance, the fact that it could compete with New York and even surpass it.

Not any more, they don't. Britain may be one of the first (the first say some) major economy to move from industry to services, but it is also too far down that path easily to return. What makes that adjustment particularly painful is the sense that the problems have come from abroad and that so have the winners in this financial debacle.

For years, the public reluctantly accepted that its football clubs would be owned from abroad and packed with foreign stars because at least it meant that the best clubs in the world were based here. They went along with the sale of our biggest companies abroad because we somehow accepted that foreigners could manage them better than us. And for the past decade we looked on at the purchase of our merchant banks, brokers and demutualised building societies because that was felt to put them at the forefront of the most recent trends.

Now our last bastions are falling, and again to foreigners. We've just sold our nuclear industry to the French, we're selling Bradford & Bingley to the Spanish and the UK part of Lehman Brothers is being dismembered by the Japanese.

I am not a little Englander. I've always believed in globalisation to throw open our businesses to all talents and the goods we consume to the best and cheapest producer. But for the first time since the 1970s I sense the mood is pulling away.

The British voter judged the government of Harold Wilson harshly for the rush for an IMF loan, and John Major for the frantic exit from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. But they didn't take it as a judgement on themselves and on the way the economy was operating. Now the feeling of being misled by the entire government class is more palpable, and I fear the force of nationalism it may unleash and the populism it will encourage in all the parties.

The test of government is to make people feel better about themselves when all is going wrong. Our political leaders haven't even begun to appreciate that.


  1. Everyone keeps coming back to Iraq as the metaphor of our times. For me it is Venezuela.

  2. The Senate bailout vote

    By POLITICO STAFF | 10/1/08 10:06 PM EDT Text Size:
    How the Senate voted Wednesday on the financial bailout bill (S. Amdt. 5685 to H.R. 1424):

    Akaka (D-HI), Yea
    Alexander (R-TN), Yea
    Allard (R-CO), Nay
    Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
    Baucus (D-MT), Yea
    Bayh (D-IN), Yea
    Bennett (R-UT), Yea
    Biden (D-DE), Yea
    Bingaman (D-NM), Yea
    Bond (R-MO), Yea
    Boxer (D-CA), Yea
    Brown (D-OH), Yea
    Brownback (R-KS), Nay
    Bunning (R-KY), Nay
    Burr (R-NC), Yea
    Byrd (D-WV), Yea
    Cantwell (D-WA), Nay
    Cardin (D-MD), Yea
    Carper (D-DE), Yea
    Casey (D-PA), Yea
    Chambliss (R-GA), Yea
    Clinton (D-NY), Yea
    Coburn (R-OK), Yea
    Cochran (R-MS), Nay
    Coleman (R-MN), Yea
    Collins (R-ME), Yea
    Conrad (D-ND), Yea
    Corker (R-TN), Yea
    Cornyn (R-TX), Yea
    Craig (R-ID), Yea
    Crapo (R-ID), Nay
    DeMint (R-SC), Nay
    Dodd (D-CT), Yea
    Dole (R-NC), Nay
    Domenici (R-NM), Yea
    Dorgan (D-ND), Nay
    Durbin (D-IL), Yea
    Ensign (R-NV), Yea
    Enzi (R-WY), Nay
    Feingold (D-WI), Nay
    Feinstein (D-CA), Yea
    Graham (R-SC), Yea
    Grassley (R-IA), Yea
    Gregg (R-NH), Yea
    Hagel (R-NE), Yea
    Harkin (D-IA), Yea
    Hatch (R-UT), Yea
    Hutchison (R-TX), Yea
    Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
    Inouye (D-HI), Yea
    Isakson (R-GA), Yea
    Johnson (D-SD), Nay
    Kennedy (D-MA), Not Voting
    Kerry (D-MA), Yea
    Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea
    Kohl (D-WI), Yea
    Kyl (R-AZ), Yea
    Landrieu (D-LA), Nay
    Lautenberg (D-NJ), Yea
    Leahy (D-VT), Yea
    Levin (D-MI), Yea
    Lieberman (ID-CT), Yea
    Lincoln (D-AR), Yea
    Lugar (R-IN), Yea
    Martinez (R-FL), Yea
    McCain (R-AZ), Yea
    McCaskill (D-MO), Yea
    McConnell (R-KY), Yea
    Menendez (D-NJ), Yea
    Mikulski (D-MD), Yea
    Murkowski (R-AK), Yea
    Murray (D-WA), Yea
    Nelson (D-FL), Nay
    Nelson (D-NE), Yea
    Obama (D-IL), Yea
    Pryor (D-AR), Yea
    Reed (D-RI), Yea
    Reid (D-NV), Yea
    Roberts (R-KS), Nay
    Rockefeller (D-WV), Yea
    Salazar (D-CO), Yea
    Sanders (I-VT), Nay
    Schumer (D-NY), Yea
    Sessions (R-AL), Nay
    Shelby (R-AL), Nay
    Smith (R-OR), Yea
    Snowe (R-ME), Yea
    Specter (R-PA), Yea
    Stabenow (D-MI), Nay
    Stevens (R-AK), Yea
    Sununu (R-NH), Yea
    Tester (D-MT), Nay
    Thune (R-SD), Yea
    Vitter (R-LA), Nay
    Voinovich (R-OH), Yea
    Warner (R-VA), Yea
    Webb (D-VA), Yea
    Whitehouse (D-RI), Yea
    Wicker (R-MS), Nay
    Wyden (D-OR), Nay

    For the record, I would have voted: Yea

  3. Mr Cameron's main task yesterday was to address the accusation of inexperience. He seems to have learnt from Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, who has faced a similar charge.

    Like Mr Obama, he countered by asserting that character and judgment were more powerful qualities for leadership.

    His references to uniting the party and building a strong team drew an implicit contrast with Labour's civil war. His line about character being "to stick to your guns and not bottle it when times get tough" will resonate with anyone who remembers this time last year when Mr Brown let expectations of a general election build up before deciding not to call one after all.

    Quest for Relevance

  4. McCain should have voted no, since 70-80% of the folks feel they're getting screwed and are against a bailout. Let the democrats pass it. I don't think he wants to be President.

  5. ..."There is a conspiracy of bankers and politicians whose self-interest is masquerading as sophisticated policy. They want us to believe that they have the keys to salvation. I have not seen a scrap of evidence to confirm this.
    There will, of course, be a renewed effort in Washington to push through a package of national deliverance. Concessions will be made. The US taxpayer will be offered improved terms. And, having made their point, having stood up for “traditional American values”, some of the naysayers in the House of Representatives will cross over, enabling a deal to be done. Their consciences will be salved, but the crisis will not be solved." the Telegraph

  6. Bob, if you are correct, it is looking as if he will get his wish.

  7. Seems to me this qualifies as a spending bill. Is it? What's it doing in the Senate, when it should be passed in the House first? Maybe I flunked civics, or it's just age.

  8. Bob, they had no choice. Sixty had to say yes and forty had the luxury of saying no and the bill would still be passed. The fix was in from the beginning.

    60 - 40, it had to be.

  9. What's going on here? I thought this was supposed to be the American century.

    For those that don't listen to Dave Ramsey, and all American housewives do, and constantly hammer their husbands with his advice, he thinks all this stuff is way overblown, the sky isn't going to fall, a slowdown maybe but no depression, let the banks take a hit. And, he adds, if you want to do something, get rid of the capital gains tax on property, a good idea.

  10. As of 2008, Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) owned or guaranteed about half of the U.S.'s $12 trillion mortgage market.

    Who are the other players in the mortgage market that make up the other 50%?

    Why couldn't the other players in the market gobble up Freddie and Fannie and tighten lending policy?

    Why couldn't we just let the market play itself out?

  11. The best weapon we have left is "Debtor's leverage" and a potent weapon it is.

  12. Why 60, why not 51? All the republicans should have voted no, and let it go at that.

  13. Yeah, Bob. I saw Ramsey on O'Reilly last night saying that.

    2164th, didn't you post some vid clip about Ramsey dispelling concern about some company or another and his advice turned out to be a pile of shit. Might have been Bear Stearns, or something. Can't remember.

  14. Banks are the power lines to commerce.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. "The test of government is to make people feel better about themselves when all is going wrong."

    Err, no.

    Such people are better off seeing a psychologist, not pursuing self-worth and reinforcement through the voting booth.

  17. 2164th, didn't you post some vid clip about Ramsey dispelling concern about some company or another and his advice turned out to be a pile of shit.

    Ramsey's advice a pile of shit? Sam, you jest. My wife says he knows everything!

    Must have been some other economic guru.

  18. No, it was Ramsey (or somebody) in a town hall setting. Somebody asked a question whether or not to dump a particular stock given the news going on at the time ( I think it was Bear Stearns). Ramsey said, no, hold, it will blow over. And he was wrong.

    A few months back.

  19. Might have been somebody else, Bob. Could have been Ramsey 'though. I think.

  20. Here is a little comment posted by one of our brethren on an English blog. He explains in depth and with acuity the nature of our problems:

    "i am an american. i am profoundly ashamed of our country. we are the world's largest bigots and racists. everyone i know hates america. we as a democracy, do nothing really, but look out for ourselves. we, as americans, hate our president and our congress. come live here for the truth.
    -mike, indianapolis, usa"

  21. If Mike is in Indianapolis, he ought to get to Londonstan pronto. If he's there already and likes it, he ought to stay.

  22. Habble's been wonderful, hope they can get it going again.

    We have the James Webb Space Telescope scheduled to go up in about 5 years. This puppy is supposed to look back near 'the beginning', if there is such a thing.

  23. Trish, I have made many posts on Venezuela and our lack of focus on the Americas. I see Venezuela as a metaphor for:
    * misplaced use of resources.
    * priorities and US national interests.
    * The absurdity of our relationships with China.
    * Our obsession with the ME.
    * The lack of simple risk reward ratios and return on investment.

  24. Orbiting 1 million miles from Earth? Holy crap. The moon is only 239,000 miles away.

  25. Bob, on your Senate question:

    "No One Seems to Understand the Wooden Arrows Ploy

    On FoxNews, everyone's talking about the wooden arrows as if they're pork added to the bil.

    Here's the explanation for wooden arrows tax breaks:

    They didn't attach that crap to this bill. They attached this bill to that crap.

    Why? Because all bills dealing with revenues must originate in the House. This one, the wooden arrows tax break one, already came up from the House -- and it already passed the Senate 93-2.

    So, to get around that, they took the bill that already passed the House -- one dealing with revenues -- and attached the bailout to it. The bailout bill is not being voted on, technically, itself (rules prevent that), so it's being voted on as an amendment to a House bill already passed.

    It's purely a bit of procedural chicanery."

  26. Your concern is misplaced, 2164th.

    Belafonte, Glover, and Penn have all met with Chavez and have vetted and certified that he is #1 good guy.

    No worries, mate.

  27. We'll be able to see those pesky reptilians lurkers that reside on the back side of the moon, Sam.


    Ah, I see, deuce, the Constitution doesn't mean shit. Quite tricky, chicanery is a good word.

    I'll go tell my wife, she brought it up.

  28. The natural order of the world is chaos, not calm. Like it or not, for over a half-century the United States alone restrained nuclear bullies, kept the sea lanes free from outlaws and corralled rogue nations.

    America alone could provide that deterrence because we produced a fourth of the world's goods and services, and became the richest country in the history of civilization.

    But the bill for years of massive borrowing for oil, for imported consumer goods and for speculation has now has finally come due on Wall Street - and for the rest of us as well.

    World's Nervous Breakdown

  29. Trish, I have made many posts on Venezuela and our lack of focus on the Americas. I see Venezuela as a metaphor for:
    * misplaced use of resources.
    * priorities and US national interests.
    * The absurdity of our relationships with China.
    * Our obsession with the ME.
    * The lack of simple risk reward ratios and return on investment.

    Thu Oct 02, 12:10:00 AM EDT

    I'll tell you what MY first reaction was upon hearing that the assignment was Bogota rather than Islamabad: You're shitting me? That backwater? What in the hell's going on there?

    Sad but true, dear host.

    I've since done my level best to correct my fellow Americans on just this perception of South America, and as I've said resources *are* being shifted south and east. But it's a slow beast. So don't expect jiffy gratification. Not in your lifetime would be a reasonable time horizon.

    OTOH, there are distinct advantages to being under the political radar. Boy are there ever.

    Chavez himself, though, that's a different matter. There's only so much shitting you can do in your own bed. Even in Venezuela.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. Wow, come back from my weekly bowling adventure, to find that the RCP "No Leaner" map has flipped NV & FL to Obama.

    Obama/Biden 353 McCain/Palin 185

  32. Worst case, we end up back on the radar with that fellow traveler and first rank ass, Bill Richardson.

  33. Throw in a high level prosecution here in Colombia while we're at it.

    Then Islamabad's looking good again.

  34. Can I be excused if I check out?
    ...either RCP or this Mortal Coil's gotta go.

    I've Debated Sarah Palin More Than 20 Times -- Here's What It's Like

    And when she does answer the actual question asked, she has a canny ability to connect with the audience on a personal level. For example, asked to name a major issue that had been ignored during the campaign, I discussed the health of local communities, Mr. Knowles talked about affordable healthcare, and Palin talked about ... the need to protect hunting and fishing rights.

    So what does that mean for Biden? With shorter question-and-answer times and limited interaction between the two, he should simply ignore Palin in a respectful manner on the stage and answer the questions as though he were alone. Any attempt to flex his public-policy knowledge and show Palin is not ready for prime time will inevitably cast him in the role of the bully.

  35. Hopefully Mac's got some more of those hot interviews w/Katie lined out for Palin.

  36. But Hispanic Republicans do exist in Las Vegas. In the Hillcrest restaurant, Carlos Lovato stands out in the all-male clientele with his "Dads for McCain" cap.

    "The Hispanic people are conservative," he says. "John McCain's a solid guy.

    It's better to have your neighbour" - McCain represents neighbouring Arizona - "your friend, as the president."

    Obama Urges Hispanics to Flex Muscles

  37. "Chavez himself, though, that's a different matter. There's only so much shitting you can do in your own bed. Even in Venezuela."
    I hear if Barry's elected, the esteemed EB Faculty's being sent down to clean it up.
    I get the mop, Ash can deal w/the sheets.

  38. Ingraham says Barry's got more volunteers than they can deal with, in Virginia.

  39. They do not count, doug, volunteers. Who needs 'em!

    We got ...
    well, we got the red rock vortex.

  40. There is another part of this equation. As we have indicated in previous articles, the European Union, Latin America’s long-time trading partner, has a vital interest in securing increasing access to the continent’s rich raw materials resources, in addition to capturing it as a vital outlet for EU exports.

    Ideologically, Latin America leans to Rome, not to Moscow. Its continental language is European at its roots.

    Watch for tensions to mount in the competition for Latin America’s riches as Russia and China’s efforts are increasingly met by overt action from the EU. Such tensions, added to the basket of woes the English-speaking nations already face, will stretch the U.S. and its allies beyond the capacity to cope.

    Latin America

  41. RCP, again, doug

    The Electoral College

    Obama's gains in state polls have significantly improved his standing in the RCP Electoral Count. On September 11, Obama stood at 217 Electoral College votes to McCain's 216, with 105 Toss Ups. In the last three weeks, however, Obama's vote count has increased to 246 while McCain's has decreased to 163, creating a +86 EV advantage for Obama, with 126 remaining in the Toss Up column.

  42. McCain can always make millions leasing out his crack team of handlers in DC, tho, even if he does lose, after the Sterling Job they've done w/Palin.

  43. Ingraham says Barry's got more volunteers than they can deal with, in Virginia.

    Thu Oct 02, 01:03:00 AM EDT

    As my daughter said, they're like white on rice in Richmond.

    Northern Virginia was already a goner, flipping last time for Kerry.

  44. Voting for Presidenti has already begun, in time with Obama moving ahead.
    McCain further alienates his base, voting for the Bailout/Rescue.

    A lipsticked pig, that's what Maverick and his posse voted for.
    Good luck finding 44 Senators, loyal and true, next year.

  45. Why Venezuela?

    The man owns land in costo rico
    the man is trying to sell but the region is going to the dogs.

  46. Virginia: Polling has shown a tight contest in Virginia for months - through the middle of September neither candidate held an advantage of more than one percent in the RCP Average. In the middle of September, McCain moved out to a 2.3% lead over Obama but, again, the last two weeks have seen a reversal in the numbers, with Obama now holding a 3.0% advantage in the RCP Average.

  47. South County 4 Obama invite residents to participate in phone banking sessions this weekend in support of the Obama/Biden presidential campaign.

    The events will be held at the Morgan Hill Democratic Office, located on the corner of Monterey and 2nd Street in downtown, in the former building of South Valley Bicycles. Calling on Saturday lasts from 10am to noon, and on Sunday from 2pm to 5pm.

    Phone banking sessions are also held regularly on Monday and Thursday evenings.

    Banking Sessions

  48. Those yellow dog Chinese.
    That's a fact.

    A fella can walk half way across America, from Costa Rica to the US.

  49. Konyok said,


    Your English is really rather good. But, phrases like “… and therefore the subtlety” are not something that a native English speaker would type, not even as a typo.

    The construction sounds like a romance language or a Russian who is being very careful about the definitive article.
    The use of the now archaic “commie” is almost, well, comic. English speakers almost always use that word in an ironic sense, like “Kill a commie for mommy,” or “looking for commies under every bed.”
    Now, “thieves,” there’s an interesting word.

    You would say zhuliki, wouldn’t you? My guess is that you are Russian. Vy gbist tovarishch?

  50. But democratic capitalism is now on trial. It faces huge homemade problems and formidable competition.

    Fortunately, there are many variants of democratic capitalism, not just the one that is erupting in the US. For some Europeans, it will be tempting to say: "Ah, if only you Americans had adopted our nice, humane, equitable version of social democratic capitalism!"

    Indeed, when the dust cloud has cleared and the lava has stopped flowing, the role of the state in the US economy may look more like that in some European countries. But against any easy claim of superiority, we have to remind ourselves that most European economies are struggling to generate jobs, innovation and entrepreneurship as the American economy has succeeded in doing for much of this quarter-century.

    No schadenfreude, please

  51. Engineer's last text message was sent 22 seconds prior to impact!

    Received 28 msgs, sent 29.

  52. Notably absent from the interfaith evening with Ahmadinejad was the National Council of Churches (NCC), whose chief, Michael Kinnamon instead released a statement to be read at an earlier anti-Ahmadinejad rally. "President Ahmadinejad's hateful language, denying the Holocaust and apparently calling for Israel to be 'wiped off the map,' must be persistently and forcefully denounced by all who value peace," the ecumenical official declared.

    "If President Ahmadinejad has so little regard for the verifiable facts of history and the legitimacy of a state created by UN decision, it is hard to believe he means it when he insists that Iran's nuclear program is only intended for peaceful purposes."

    Also remarkable was a statement specifically against the dinner with Ahmadinejad by the president of the very liberal United Church of Christ (UCC), a routine partner in such interfaith political events. "I fear the occasion can and will be used by President Ahmadinejad to claim legitimacy and support for himself by an association with respected United States religious leaders," said the Rev. John Thomas.

    Feast with the Beast

  53. Who put the trains on a head on course. doug?

    I do not think that Engineers chart the course, that others choose their track, for them, I think.

    But then most of my train knowledge comes from "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" and "Emperor of the North"

  54. 'Commie' is archaic? I use it, must be so.

    Where is this Costo Rico?

    Costco I know where that is.

    Who put the trains on a head on course. doug?

    'Twas the damnable train tracks that did it.

  55. The Senate approved a $700 billion rescue package for the financial industry Wednesday night, giving new life to the bailout by loading it with tax breaks and other provisions tailored to help ease its passage in the House, where an earlier version fell a dozen votes short Monday.


    The Senate, for its part, added "sweeteners" that would increase bank deposit insurance and extend tax breaks. Republicans have agitated for both provisions.


    Bush had been contacting senators to lean on them to pass the bill. White House spokesman Tony Fratto said in an e-mail that the president is increasingly concerned about a seizing up in the credit markets.

    House to Vote Friday

  56. In the movies they have these fancy, computerized tracking and switching displays.
    With fellows that act like air traffic contollers, at the ready.

    Or there are roustabouts out there, turning the switchs, which seems archaic, to me.

    "Kill a Commie for Christ"

    Yep, and a tad ironic, to be sure.

  57. That's a full mika meltdown at Belmont.

    Not sure what he's hoping to achieve.

  58. I'm still awaiting my one free Obama button. Never trust a man that promises a button, and don't deliver. If you can't trust 'em in small things, you can't trust 'em with $700 billion.


    "Kill a Commie for Christ"

    Kill an Arian heretic for Christ is even more so.

    Kill a commie to preserve your freedom makes sense.

  59. Well, bob, a communist is someone that has nothing, and wants to share.

  60. Like George Soros, and Obama? And Fred Engels?

  61. And Joe Stalin? Who was driven around in a fancy car and died in a dacha?

  62. "Who put the trains on a head on course. doug?"
    So Cal is a special place, after they put the Metrolink on the Freight Tracks:
    Got more areas with only 1 track than anywhere in the country, so trains are often going the opposite direction on the same track.

    In this case, the Metrolink was sposed to hold on a siding, allowing the Freight to pass.
    Tex, the Engineer, missed the hold Signal and kept on goin, far as I can tell.
    Must have been a Hell of a shock the last time he looked back up from that Blackberry!

  63. No matter where you stand, I challenge you in the coming weeks to take a stand. Show the pride you have in your candidate.

    Start a conversation, or better yet, start a fundraiser, a rally or a dialogue. Educate your friends about your candidate, and his opposition.

    The election isn't over yet. The homestretch has just begun.

    Where's the Political Energy?

  64. Friedrich Engels was born in Barmen, Rhine Province of the kingdom of Prussia (now a part of Wuppertal in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) as the elder son of a German textile manufacturer. wiki

  65. Tex Texting was his name....distraction was his game.

  66. Those fellows are not communists, bob. The ones that held power, were totalitarians, much more than they were ever communists.

    Those that did not rule, were intellectuals, not communists.

    Soros, he's a premier capitalist.

    Ho Chi Minh, Mao, Pol Pot, maybe Lenin, they'd qualify as real communists.

  67. Metrolink Engineer Sent Text 22 Seconds Before Crash (Update2)
    Sanchez received a text message about a minute and a half before the crash, then sent one, the NTSB said. Metrolink officials have said the carrier ...

    Sanchez received a text message about a minute and a half before the crash, then sent one, the NTSB said. Metrolink officials have said the carrier prohibits engineers from using personal communications devices while operating trains.

    Sanchez, the only person driving the train, worked a split shift on the day of the crash, the NTSB said. During his morning shift ferrying rush-hour commuters, he sent 24 text messages and received 21, the board said, citing Sanchez's subpoenaed telephone records.

    ``To have an engineer in an hour be part of 45 text messages is not what an operating engineer should be doing,'' Senator Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat, said today as the Senate debated a rail safety bill, in which congressional interest was renewed following the crash

  68. Stalin was a terrorist, a mass murderer and a thug, but not a communist.

  69. Not as communists were described by Engels and Marx, anyway.

  70. I'm glad to have that cleared up.

    The left always says, "They just didn't do it right."

    Never having heard of Lord Acton.

  71. Good ol' Pol Pot, I believe, had a fancy education in Paris, at the feet of the wise existentialists, among other deep thinkers. Probably got that idea of turning the clock back to zero from studying the French Revolution, there in Paris.

  72. Says the switch was closed, what's that mean LaBob?

  73. Pol Pot would be a good name for one of them pot bellied pigs.

  74. He was a big fan of Satre, and decided to create an existential reality.

  75. Russia had a chance there briefly with the Social Democrats, or whatever they were called, but the Bolsheviks were well organized, and led the country to hell. They've had another chance now, but end up with Putin. This won't end well either. The Russians are their own worst enemies.

  76. "This won't end well either."
    Neither will we, when Barry's done.

  77. Bob,
    Are you listening to C2C? Good stuff tonight.

    Andy Gause just told us the root of the problem grows out of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Says the other eleven of the system are legit, but the NY bank bears the responsibility for allowing the growth and traffic in toxic investments.

    The other guest, Catherine Fitt, is a bright gal too. Her blog today: 10 reasons to vote against the bailout.

    With Jimmy Buffett and Margaritaville.

  78. No credit freeze on Kern's Main Street

    Hill, of San Joaquin Bank, said the community bank has the same credit requirements as ever: It looks at the borrower’s ability and willingness to pay back the debt.

    Lenders and brokers who made subprime loans, he said, often “overlooked the ability of the customer to repay the money,” he said.

  79. Gause: Nationalize the Fed of NY and disect it.

  80. George Noury: How did Paulson get W to go along while this was developing? Did he have a pistol in his pocket?

    Gause: Nah. The Bush family is interwined in the NY banks that profit coming and going from the deals. OWTTE

  81. Catherine Fitt's 10 reasons to vote no:

    (1) Crime that pays, is crime that stays.
    (2) This smells like obstruction of justice.
    (3) Wall Street owes the federal government money.
    (4) Good guys are shut out.
    (5) More investment in the “bubble economy.”
    (6) Does not result in capital circulating in healthy ways.
    (7) Arrangements that result in more corruption.
    (8) Drains the real economy, rather than invests in the real economy.
    (9) It props up sectors which need to downsize and consolidate.
    (10) It is a temporary “fix” to keep Wall Street afloat until after the election.

  82. Following the link at RCP to the full text of the revised bailout bill yields the following:

    "The file is damaged and could not be repaired."


  83. Would'ja like a little cheese with that Whine?

    I hate it when those pricks call me "Cousin."

  84. Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh both studied in France. Both, as well as Lenin were born to relatively wealthy (in their contemporary societies) families. Most revolutionary leadership comes from the middle classes and above, including that of terrorist groups. Often violent and failed pseudo or real intellectuals of some sort.

  85. BTW, when did they change to spelling of "Britain?"

    The "wooden arrows" wasn't the only Pork in the Bill. McCain said he would Veto any bill that contained "Earmarks. Would he Veto "This" one?

  86. The bill will have to go to "reconciliation," anyway. They can just "reconcile" this house bill, I would think.

  87. My conditions to Katie Couric for her interview with Palin, would have been somewhat different. Here Katie, if you can handle it is how it goes:

    1. Katie and Sarah have no notes. A blank pad and pencil is fine.

    2. The interview is in a studio, at a table with a tea bot and water bottle on the table, Charlie Rose style.

    3. Editing for length is OK, but the fifteen seconds prior and after the cut must be included.

    4. The entire interview must be shown on one night.

    People are hardest on their peers when a peer member embarrasses them. The Couric hatchet job, rightly or wrongly, has embarrassed woman and McCain's numbers have tanked with white woman since that interview.

  88. Maybe the person who composed it was BUI.

  89. Now, McCain is holding a big brouhaha in Missour slamming The Farm Bill, and Ethanol.

    He doesn't want to be President. He just wants the limelight of "running," and pontificating.

  90. Well and Good, if that didn't leave us w/you know who.

  91. Lineman:

    Anyone who owned land in Costa Rica, or who built luxury condominiums in the wealthy suburbs of San Jose has profited mightily because of Hugo Chavez.

    Wealthy Venezuelans and middle class Venezuelans have made huge investments outside of Venezuela with flight capital. The profit went to the sellers.

    My remorse is that I didn't own more.

    Your speculate about my interest in Central America. For what it is worth, It's antecedents go back to 1969, but focus on 1980.

    It concerns two friends, John Hull and Rob Owen and some other brave and patriotic men who lost their fortunes because Ronald Reagan did not have the balls to tell Congress, Chris Dodd and John Kerry, that he was ignoring the Boland Amendment and would continue to overtly support freedom in the Americas.

    He should have told the Left to sue him in court, but he did not.

    A game had to be played that included Japanese and Saudi money to provide financial support to the Contras.

    I warned John Hull and Rob Owen that the CIA and the scabs in Congress would fuck them and they did.

    The last time I saw Own was over lunch in a Georgetown restaurant. He was facing financial ruin and begging for financial help to cover a $750,000 legal bill caused by the turd of shits, John Kerry.

    Hull, a fighter pilot hero from WWII, lost everything he worked for to a commode of lesser shits in Congress.

    Your analysis may need some tuning.

  92. A second court has ruled against Obama in his refusal to supply a real birth certificate. says Kevin James.
    Maybe when I awake, LaBob will have researched it!

  93. Venezuela, Iran, Russia, Sauds, China and the Indians are getting crushed on their Euro-Dollar trade.

  94. Well, it'll make it a little easier for us to buy oil, but we'll pay for it in jobs.

    Since I drive a little bit, and don't work at all I guess it's Okay by me.

  95. Ah, back to bed. Keep'em in line.

    The next 3 to 6 months are going to be scary. There's a reason why the Big Money's taking 6/10ths of one percent on 3, and 6 month T-Bills.

    Take it all with a grain of salt, right now, Bubbas, and Bubbettes. It's the "Silly Season."

    Good time to "Dollar/Cost Average into "Good" Companies as they get hammered.

  96. What Reagan decided to do left a big, fucking stink over us and everything south of Mexico. Using DOD as a back door just spread the damage. It'll be another generation before we hear the end of it.

  97. BUT, if you can't resist a "Bad Boy" stock every now and then, this one is interesting. They screwed up big time in their hedging a couple of months back and damned near lost the farm.

    That said, they're producing about 1.5 Billion gallons of ethanol, and they could make as much as $0.30/gal in the coming months. Not bad for a stock with a $444M market cap.

    Disclaimer: I've Never recommended pure ethanol companies, other than to say a while back that one might put a "little bit" of mad money in this one for "shits and grins." It was selling for about 3 times what it is, now; so, take it for what it's worth. (maybe I'm just "queer" for this outfit, or something.)

    Anyway, I think it could double in a month, or so. VSE

  98. Did I mention, "they might go bankrupt?"


  99. Ronnie was fighting a rear guard action, after the debacle in the Canal Zone.

    Did pretty well at it, seems to me.
    To lay the blame of current US policy at his feet, after twenty years, seems both archaic and ironic.

    That the next three Presidents ignored much of America, well, you blame that on Ronnie, if you want, but it will not stick to his teflon.

  100. As of 1 AM EST today, October 2nd,2008, the Court has not ruled on the Motion for Dismissal in Berg v. Obama.

    Obama and the DNC moved for dismissal on the groungs that Berg didn't have standing to sue as he had not been or wouldn't be harmed as an individual.

    Simpson case to go to jury probably tomorrow.

    Your court reporter.....

  101. Rufus, we went to Coeur d Alene yesterday, and I got a picture of the perfect park bench for us. I will post it later but need some help from my daughter to post it. Right on the Spokane River, we can skinny dip at night. Right by the North Idaho and U of Idaho Extension campuses!!!!

    Hell, we can even fish during the day!!!!

  102. I've been looking at a VW microbus, bob, make sure there is ample parking, please.

  103. Their debt went from $208 million in 2006 to $1.4 billion in 2007. careful.

  104. That may be why they "could" go bankrupt, I figure, as rufus said.

  105. The amount of money to support the contras was chump change. Care to investigate how much money we have poured into the ME since 1980?

    What would ten percent of that money have done for strengthening the Americas, establishing manufacturing, mining and energy independence from pole to pole?

  106. I never understood why we did not issue common stock in a new NYSE listed corporation for the canal and send the shares to every Panamanian. Let the market work after that. I doubt one Panamanian would have returned the shares or proceeds thereof.

  107. Because, duece, the US Government, then and now does not believe in business, nor the private ownership of assets.

    Look at the current headlines for confirmation of that factoid.

  108. I'll go fishing with you, Bob, but that midnight "skinnydipping" thingie is sounding just a wee bit, um, . . . how do I put this? . . . . Un-Rufuslike?

    They opened a bunch of plants, Deuce. These plants are running about $1.75 to $2.00 per gallon of ethanol, annually. So, actually, 1.4 Billion isn't too awfully much. In fact, I'd say that's quite a bit better than the industry on a per gallon basis.

  109. Senate Bailout Bill Is A Bizarre Aardvaarck

    Like children in a candy store, just can't help themselves. What a farce.

  110. There is, plenty of room. Hell, there's even a barbecue pit!!

  111. Not a farce, bob, but a disaster.

    They have packaged a "Game Changer" with enough sweetener to slide it on by.

    Now I'll have to add Jon Kyl to my never vote for again list.
    Kinda hope Shadegg "Stays the Course" or I'll be left on the outside, looking in.

  112. Ruf, we got to bathe once in a while or the girls won't walk by. And the police might come. Smelly in public....

  113. Here I thought Maverick was going to veto Bills filled with earmarks, but there he was, voting for the biggest earmark of all time.

    Glory be!

  114. Keep on like you are, Rat, soon you'll be like one of my cousins, never voting at all. :)

    This guy has never voted in his entire life.

    Which is actually ok by me, for various reasons. He wears it as a badge of honor, thinks he's above all that.

  115. I think McCain is missing the political boat on this. Since nearly the entire country seems to be against it, if he wants to be elected, he ought to be against it, make a Maverick name for himself.

  116. "Did pretty well at it, seems to me."

    No, Rat. Latin America policy is still greatly influenced by "the bad old days." That's not a positive legacy. The urge to drop the region like a sack of dirt, one of the effects of those years. It isn't a straightforward matter of short-sightedness, but a more complicated one of memory, bad aftertaste, and the sort of extreme suspicion and caution that are the shakeout when your covert activities, without statutory cover or support, meet with the krieg lights. For recruiting purposes, rarely considered in the tally of casualties, it was a disaster.

    The wheel turns, slowly. And it was Clinton who made the effort to put Latin America back on our map. That continues, but it'll be a long time before the backyard regains even a grudging prominence in the public consciousness.

  117. I'll still vote, bob.

    My candidates just won't win.

    When they have, in the recent past, it has turned out as bad as if they had not.
    Worse, maybe.

    First rule, do no harm.
    Barr '08

  118. Radio says Steve Fossett's plane found, up in the Sierras. But no body I quess, didn't mention a body. Must have tried to walk or crawl out.

  119. VeraSun Energy Corporation (Total) 1,420.0 220.0
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Albert City, IA Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Charles City, IA Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Dyersville, IA Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Ft. Dodge, IA Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Hartley, IA Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Linden, IN Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Woodbury, MI Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Janesville, MN Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Welcome, MN Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Hankinson, ND Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Albion, NE Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Central City, NE Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Ord, NE Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Bloomingburg, OH Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Aurora, SD Corn
    VeraSun Energy Corporation Marion, SD Corn

    From Here

  120. Special program in our fair town, at the YMCA, next week.

    E-Bay, Part I, How To Sell Your Stuff On E-Bay, says radio.

    Sign of the times?

  121. You can get that program disk, FREE, from the Video Professor, bob.

  122. It sometimes is hard to get folk to sign up for the role of the Montyard, trish.

  123. Senator Crapo R-Idaho--nay

    Senator Craig Restroom-Idaho--yea

    Must of had some hidden pork to upgrade airport bathroom facilities.

  124. My daughter has bought and sold some stuff on E-Bay. Buying, I don't see how you know what you're getting, myself.
    Farmers here are having a bad year this year. Lousy yields, and a below production cost price. Everyone is holding off selling hoping for a price rise. Those great wheat prices didn't last very long. With fertilizer, chemical and fuel prices where they are, we're right back to being marginal on profit.

  125. Let's give it a once-over, very lightly.

    Cost of corn per gallon of ethanol (after adjusting for distillers grains sales - $1.20

    Principle and Interest on debt/gal $0.15

    Cost of nat gas, and elect/gal $0.25

    Labor/gal $0.02

    Yeast, enzymes, chems/gal $0.08

    Taxes, insurance, maint. $0.10

    Approx. $1.80/gal

    Today's market $2.10/gal

  126. thirty cents per gallon

    $1.4 billion in dept

    It take 4.6 billion gallons of production, without factoring in depreciation allowances, interest and such.

    So, it'd be three years to payoff, at the present rates of production and pricing.

    Viable, if risky, with such slim margins

  127. Idaho Fish and Game announces 10 day special fall Chinook salmon season on the Snake and Clearwater Rivers. Better fall run than expected.

  128. Our rulers and masters must not include many volunteer firemen. The fire started because of foreclosures. It spread because of foreclosures. The blowback is because of foreclosure. Consumer sentiment is collapsing because of foreclosures. Secured lenders are spooked because of falling prices which keep falling because of foreclosure. Fires in separate parts of a building converge.

    "Chief where do I point the hose?"

  129. Front month Contract for Corn is at $4.55 Today. Lowest it's been in a year.

    Adds another $0.05/gal, or, in their case $70 Million/yr.

    Hmm, maybe I'll buy Two thousand shares.

    Did I mention, my friends elected me Worst "Stock-picker of all-time, All-Galaxies?"

  130. The Chief then instructs the firemen to concentrate of saving the Chief's friends and associates, while the others in the building are left to sizzle.

  131. Rat, these are refineries, not cars. I figured interest/principal payments for 15 years. That's probably reasonable.

  132. Dropping auto sales are now being blamed on the credit crisis, not the energy crisis.
    Interesting how GE, Time Warner, Sony and the rest of them manipulate the propaganda.

    The Market has no memory. Proof, again.

  133. This comment has been removed by the author.

  134. Seems what we around here need is a Re-Education

  135. From a cash flow and accounting basis, sure, rufus.

    But a number I've always found useful is the production to debt number.

    How many widgets, over how long, to earn the debt. Not pay it off, though those were the words I used.

    A 15 year depreciated life, it'd give you 12 years worth of free cashflow. Roughly figured,
    over those 15 years, if that is how they structure their books.

    Some propects do not pass this simple test, rufus. Their entire edifice built upon accounting tricks. They never having a vible, basic business model.

    The 30 cent margin on $2.10 seems a tad scary, thin as it is.
    But that may be the difference in manufactoring and farming, as an experience background.

  136. Here's their Statistics, Rat.

    Good company, stubbed their toe hedging corn to the tune of about $100 Million, growing fast, and is now in need of Cash, TODAY.

    They picked a bad time to screw up. They might be able to restructure a couple of loans, and sell a refinery, or two.

    Interesting times. Not for the grandkids college fund.

  137. Russian Navy spokesman Capt. Igor Dygalo disclosed Wednesday, Oct. 1, that a four-ship squadron led by the Peter the Great nuclear missile cruiser will call in at the Libyan port of Tripoli and “other Middle East ports” before heading out to the Caribbean for joint maneuvers with Venezuela.

    what does this cost Russia in actual dollars?

  138. I'll grant you, Rat. They have one scary-assed business model in today's climate. If oil keeps going down, and corn turns around and heads back up and they're SOL.

    How they could have locked in corn at an all-time high without locking in Price for their product I just don't know.

  139. Next to nothing, wi"o".

    The sailors costs are a given, as is their food.

    The added maintainence costs of operation, not really signifigant.

    Fuel, of which the Ruskis have an ample supply, at low cost.

  140. off topic...

    Syria & Lebanon..

    Recent Bombings.

    Just think, Syria at this moment, with help from nKor is restarting it's nuke program, in multiple locations.

    this whole economic crisis is a "distraction"..

    Iran, Syria, Hezbollah with nukes?

    read here:

  141. Especially if all four are nuclear powered.

    Then the costs of the entire excercise are negligable.

  142. It is a MAD world, after all, wi"o"

    Genies do not get back in their bottles.
    A bit like toothpaste, in that regard.

  143. And the Norks have the technology, thanks to the Pakistani.

    As Willie tells us
    Phases and stages
    circles and cycles
    and scenes that we've all seen before
    Let me tell you some more

    Washing the dishes
    scrubbing the floors
    Caring for someone who don't care anymore

  144. All the trails lead back to Pakistan

    Fancy that and Glory be!

  145. Hard to hold back the tide of technology.

    Try as we may.

  146. So, it seems that the vaunted Israeli strike on that original Syrian facility bought some time, but no respite.

    The Iranians are already dispersed.
    Extrapulate the consequences of that reality, on your own.

  147. Have the banks quit lending in order to influence the "Bill?"

    What do YOU think?

    God, I wish the House would call their bluff.

  148. Yes, rufus, I think they have.

    It is all part of the con.
    The Boners at their best.

  149. Keeping their eye on the prize.

    Better believe it

    Ameros to doughnuts

  150. It has to be a bi-partisan rejection, to fail in the House.

    All those Marxist Democrats that defied Pelosi, now we need 'em, more than ever.

    And the stalwarts of republic, amongst the Republicans, do they stand strong, or crumble?

  151. Maverick has spoken, where does his Party stand, 34 days before re-election?

    Put them all on the "Never vote for, again" list, if I have to.

    Socialism, driven by earmarks, with the Maverick leading the charge.
    An unbelievable turn of events.

  152. It seems the downside risk of the Bailout not passing is a series of cascading bankruptcies. I found the article at NYTimes detailing some of the panic somewhat illuminating.

    Say a party you are doing business with owes you a lot of money goes bankrupt. Your money is gone so you don't pay your suppliers and on down the line. Now, say this happens at the banking level. The banks go down one after the other. You stick your ATM card in but no cash comes out. Hey, your bank account is FDIC guaranteed, no problem. You just gotta wait for that workout to happen before you go to store for dinner because they won't take your IOU.

    How much cash is in your mattress? Cash is king, no?

  153. You've got your stash of cash in tins beside the canned food in your backyard fall out shelter I trust?

  154. Deuce,

    Did you mean to address "landman" at 08:33?


    Blogger 2164th said...


    Anyone who owned land in Costa Rica, or who built luxury condominiums in the wealthy suburbs of San Jose has profited mightily because of Hugo Chavez.


    Your analysis may need some tuning.

    Thu Oct 02, 08:33:00 AM EDT

  155. landman said...
    Why Venezuela?

    The man owns land in costo rico
    the man is trying to sell but the region is going to the dogs.

    Thu Oct 02, 01:23:00 AM EDT
    I made an error calling him lineman!!!!

  156. American Democracy, RIP video, news snips, commentary

    Makes you sick.

  157. This should be addressed to LANDMAN:


    Anyone who owned land in Costa Rica, or who built luxury condominiums in the wealthy suburbs of San Jose has profited mightily because of Hugo Chavez.

    Wealthy Venezuelans and middle class Venezuelans have made huge investments outside of Venezuela with flight capital. The profit went to the sellers.

    My remorse is that I didn't own more.

    Your speculate about my interest in Central America. For what it is worth, It's antecedents go back to 1969, but focus on 1980.

    It concerns two friends, John Hull and Rob Owen and some other brave and patriotic men who lost their fortunes because Ronald Reagan did not have the balls to tell Congress, Chris Dodd and John Kerry, that he was ignoring the Boland Amendment and would continue to overtly support freedom in the Americas.

    He should have told the Left to sue him in court, but he did not.

    A game had to be played that included Japanese and Saudi money to provide financial support to the Contras.

    I warned John Hull and Rob Owen that the CIA and the scabs in Congress would fuck them and they did.

    The last time I saw Own was over lunch in a Georgetown restaurant. He was facing financial ruin and begging for financial help to cover a $750,000 legal bill caused by the turd of shits, John Kerry.

    Hull, a fighter pilot hero from WWII, lost everything he worked for to a commode of lesser shits in Congress.

    Your analysis may need some tuning.

  158. Nader is against the bailout, along with Barr.

    What this passing the bailout is going to do is help the third party candidates.

    Whether passing it is good or bad, McCain is missing a political opportunity here, I do believe.

  159. Greek officials said the state would cover "all bank deposits, whatever the amount." The move follows the dramatic decision by Ireland this week to guarantee the deposits and debts of its six biggest lenders in the most sweeping bank bail-out since the credit crisis began.
    "The whole of Europe will have to do same thing, otherwise Europe will have a split banking system," said Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas. British banks are already facing a haemorrhage of deposits to Irish banks that now enjoy the AAA sovereign rating of the Irish state.
    Greece has so far escaped attention as the financial storm breaks over Europe, but the economy is deeply unbalanced. A torrid credit boom has been allowed to run unchecked, leading to a current account deficit of 15pc of GDP -- the highest in the eurozone.

  160. This comment has been removed by the author.

  161. Rasmussen Tracking 09/29 - 10/01
    Obama 51, McCain 44
    Obama +7

  162. 2164th wrote:

    "The Couric hatchet job"

    The clips I've seen of Palin suggest Palin hacked at herself. Dismal.

    On the bright side, she can't be any worse at the debate tonight - heck she'll probably look positively Presidential - in comparison.

  163. I consider her second appearance a McCain Hatchet Job.

  164. opposed to the briliance of Harry Reid.

  165. McCain pulling out of Michigan
    John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.

    McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.

  166. I'm John McCain, and I Torpedoed the Palin Surge.
    Go Navy!

  167. McCain's an idiot. Every time he opens his mouth about the farm bill, and ethanol he loses another farm state.

    First Iowa, then Mn went away, then Pa went away, then Ohio (which he HAD TO HAVE to win, and now he's working on In, and Mo.

    I told you he wasn't smart enough to be President.

  168. I hate to admit it, but it feels to me like it did before the collapse in Viet Nam.

  169. Tonight will be some reprieve or if it goes badly a wholesale collapse.

  170. Given the difficulties we face in the world and what you've seen of Palin to date - just imagine if McCain were elected President and died in the first year.


  171. Your elitism shows through again, Ash.
    Palin didn't do well following the McCain Team Script.
    She's always done fine on her own.

  172. Fine on her own? Her bumbling answers showed a vacuity never seen before on the US presidential stage .. well, there was Dan Quayle.

    So, Doug, her only problem is memorizing is it?

  173. She doesn't do well repeating things she doesn't fully believe in.

  174. Biden memorizes other people's life experiences as his own.

  175. Working Class Joe, never was, nor was his father.
    Helicopter hero Joe,
    a slight misstatement, in comparison.

  176. Caller:
    I had no problem getting a no money down 8k loan to replace my AC.

    Are you a minority?

    Not yet.

  177. This comment has been removed by the author.