“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, October 06, 2008

World Markets in Turmoil

Global Stocks, U.S. Index Futures Fall as Credit Crisis Widens

By Adria Cimino and Chua Kong Ho

Hat tip: Trish

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Stocks tumbled around the world, the euro fell the most against the yen since its debut and oil dropped below $90 a barrel as the yearlong credit market seizure caused bank bailouts to spread through Europe. Government bonds rallied.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index headed for its steepest drop since October 1997 as Russia's Micex Index fell 17 percent, before trading was halted. BHP Billiton Ltd. slid 7.8 percent and UBS AG lost 9.4 percent as commodities producers and banks dropped the most in the MSCI World Index. The gauge of 23 developed countries is down 30 percent this year, the worst annual performance since at least 1970.

The euro weakened the most against the yen since 1999 after the German government and state banks were forced to pledge $68 billion to rescue Hypo Real Estate Holding AG. Crude dropped 39 percent from its record on July 11 as the global economy slowed. Investors seeking the safety of government bonds pushed yields on two-year Treasury notes to 1.5 percent, 50 basis points below the Federal Reserve's main interest rate.

``It's like a fire,'' said Emmanuel Soupre, a fund manager at Neuflize OBC Asset Management in Paris, which oversees the equivalent of $33 billion. ``It's easier to extinguish five minutes after the start. Now we're about an hour into it. We have to act quickly to assure the continuity of the financial system to avoid an irreversible contamination of the entire economy.''

The MSCI World Index lost 2.5 percent to 1,110.04 at 1:19 p.m. in London as all 10 industry groups decreased. National markets in China, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and the U.K. fell more than 4 percent.

The Fed said today it ``stands ready'' to foster ``liquid money market conditions.''

`Seeing Panic'

Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index sank 5.1 percent as BNP Paribas SA said it will take control of Fortis in Belgium and Luxembourg. Only six stocks in the index rose. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index lost 4.4 percent. Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 2.5 percent, as JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by deposits, fell 5.3 percent.

``We're seeing panic all over the markets right now,'' said Javier Barrio, head of equity sales for Spanish clients at Banco BPI SA in Madrid. ``Governments are taking steps to try to reduce investors' fears but confidence is weak.''

National benchmark indexes sank in all 18 western European markets. France's CAC 40 slumped 5.3 percent, and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 decreased 4.6 percent. Germany's DAX fell 4.9 percent.

In Asia, Japan's Topix index lost 4.7 percent, and South Korea's Kospi slipped 4.3 percent. China's CSI 300 Index fell 5.1 percent, as trading resumed after a one-week holiday.

Emerging Markets

Indonesian stocks plunged the most since the 2002 Bali bombings and the rupiah and bonds dropped as investors exited commodities and emerging markets to limit losses in a global rout.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index dropped 6.2 percent. Turkey's ISE National 100 Index sank 7.1 percent, while Saudi Arabia's Tadawul All-Share Index tumbled 9.8 percent.

Accelerating bailouts of financial companies and bank credit losses and writedowns approaching $600 billion has spurred the rout in global equities. The MSCI World is valued at 13.2 times the earnings of its companies, the lowest since at least 1995, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Europe's Stoxx 600 trades at 10.4 times earnings, near the lowest since at least 2002, while the S&P 500 is valued at 20.9 times earnings.


UBS, the European bank worst hit by credit crisis, lost 9.4 percent to 21.72 francs. The bank's earnings power may be ``challenged for some time,'' and UBS may write down $3.1 billion in the third quarter, Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney wrote in a note to clients. The Swiss bank has posted $44 billion in losses, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan's largest bank, fell 9.2 percent to 806 yen. Mizuho Financial Group Inc. dropped 7.8 percent to 402,000 yen.

JPMorgan slid 5.3 percent to $43.48 in trading before the U.S. stock market opened.

BNP Paribas dropped 3.5 percent to 68.84 euros. France's biggest bank agreed to take control of Fortis in Belgium and Luxembourg for 14.5 billion euros ($19.8 billion) after an earlier government rescue failed to ensure the company's stability.

Hypo Real Estate plunged 36 percent to 4.78 euros. The German government and the country's banks and insurers agreed on a 50 billion-euro rescue package for the commercial property lender after an earlier bailout faltered.

`Complete Reform'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the government will guarantee savings of private account holders to prevent a rush of withdrawals from the nation's banking system.

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling said Britain is ``ready to do whatever it takes'' to help its banks, while Denmark said commercial lenders will provide as much as 35 billion kroner ($6.4 billion) over the next two years to a fund to insure depositors against losses.

U.S. President George W. Bush last week signed a $700 billion rescue package into law to stem a banking crisis that has claimed Bear Stearns Cos. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

The euro earlier reached $1.3540. It fell to 141.97 yen, the weakest since May 18, 2006, as investors cut holdings of higher-yielding currencies funded in the Japanese currency.

``The euro zone is the second domino of the globe to be falling over after the U.S.,'' said Alex Sinton, a senior currency dealer at ANZ National Bank Ltd. in Auckland.

Money Market

The cost of borrowing in dollars overnight jumped, the British Bankers' Association said. Asian money-market rates stayed at the highest in more than nine months.

BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, sank 7.8 percent to 1,095 pence. Rio Tinto Group, the third-biggest, slipped 10 percent to 3,060 pence.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's biggest oil company, dropped 5.4 percent to 1,540 pence. PT Bumi Resources, Indonesia's biggest power-station coal producer, tumbled 32 percent to 2,175 rupiah, extending a six-day, 19 percent slide.


Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

A week's worth of Ayers v. Keating oughta take care of it, though. Or at least make for a nice diversion while the third rate, dime store ideologues hitch up their pants and go to work. - Trish


  1. great news...

    as the meltdown continues just watch what happens to our good friends from russia, china & opec...

    always look to the good news....

  2. Investors will learn today whether the Paulson bail-out - fattened to $850bn (£480bn) by Congress - can begin to halt the death spiral in the credit system. So far, the response looks terrible.
    Germany is now in the hot seat. The collapse of a rescue deal for Hypo Real Estate on Saturday threatens a €400bn (£311bn) bankruptcy that nearly matches the Lehman Brothers debacle for sheer scale.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel has been forced to pull her head out of the sand, guaranteeing all German savings, a day after she rebuked Ireland for doing much the same thing. Reality intrudes.

    During the past week, we have tipped over the edge, into the middle of the abyss. Systemic collapse is in full train. The Netherlands has just rushed through a second, more sweeping nationalisation of Fortis. Ireland and Greece have had to rescue all their banks. Iceland is facing an Argentine denouement.

    The US commercial paper market is closed. It shrank $95bn last week, and has lost $208bn in three weeks. The interbank lending market has seized up. There are almost no bids. It is a ghost market. Healthy companies cannot roll over debt. Some will have to sack staff today to stave off default.

  3. global demand for oil peaked and now is in a free fall, there is a glut of oil...

    now is the time to impose a minimum tax on all opec oil at $60.00 a barrel, thus if oil goes BELOW $60.00 then thta difference goes to support alternative energy.

    If and when the price drops BELOW $60.00 we must, from a national security pov, keep that our domestic benchmark.

  4. As the unflappable Warren Buffett puts it, the credit freeze is “sucking blood” out of the economy. “In my adult lifetime, I don’t think I’ve ever seen people as fearful,” he said.

    We are fast approaching the point of no return. The only way out of this calamitous descent is “shock and awe” on a global scale, and even that may not be enough.

    Drastic rate cuts would be a good start. Central bankers still paralysed by a misplaced fear of inflation – whether in Europe, Britain, or the US – have become a public menace and should be held to severe account by our democracies. The imminent and massive danger is now self-feeding debt deflation.


  5. The lesson of the 1930s is that any country trying to reflate in isolation will be punished. The crisis will ricochet from one economy to another until every one is crippled. We are seeing it play again in this drama as our leaders fail to rise above their narrow, parochial agendas.

    The European Central Bank – which raised rates into the teeth of the crisis in July – has played a shockingly destructive role in this enveloping slump. Its growth predictions this year have been, and still are, delusional. Neglecting its global role, it has vastly complicated the fire-fighting efforts of Washington.

    It could have offered “cover” to the US Federal Reserve this spring when Ben Bernanke was forced by events to slash rates to 2pc. It could at least have signalled an end to monetary tightening. That is how an ally ought to behave.

    Instead, it stuck maniacally to its Gothic script, with equally unhappy consequences for both sides of the Atlantic, as well as for China, Japan, and India. The euro rocketed yet further, which it turn set off an oil shock as crude metamorphosed into an anti-dollar with leverage.

    The ECB policy was self-defeating, even on its own terms. It merely drove headline inflation even higher, while deeper forces of underlying debt deflation pulled the real economies of Germany, Italy, France, and Spain into a recessionary vortex.
    Far from offering reassurance, the weekend mini-summit of EU leaders served only to highlight that nobody is in charge of this runaway train. There is still no lender of last resort in euroland. The £12bn stimulus package is risible.

    Angela Merkel has revealed her deep limitations. It was she who vetoed French efforts to launch a pan-EU rescue package, suspecting that any lifeboat fund would prove to be Trojan Horse – a way of co-opting German taxpayers into colossal transfers of wealth to Latin Europe.

    In that she is right, but it is too late now for dysfunctional EU political games. By demanding that those who caused the damage should pay for it, she crossed the line into caricature, or worse.
    Her comments echo word for word the “we’re alright Jack” attitudes of Euro-pols during the first US banking crises in 1930-1931, until the storm hit Europe and the entire cast was swept away by furious electorates, or simply shot. Thankfully, this EU stupidity is at last drawing serious criticism.
    “We have to make sure Europe takes its responsibilities, like the US: action must be taken quickly and in a concerted manner,” said IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

    As for the US itself, it has not yet exhausted its policy arsenal. It can escalate further up the nuclear ladder. The Fed can cut interest rates from 2pc to zero. If that fails, it can let rip with the mass purchase of US debt.


  6. “The US government has a technology, called a printing press,” said Fed chief Ben Bernanke in November 2002. (His helicopter speech).
    In extremis, the Treasury/Fed can swoop into any market to shore up asset prices. They can buy Florida property. They can even buy SUV guzzlers from the car lots in Detroit, and mangle them in scrap yards. As Bernanke put it, the Fed can “expand the menu of assets that it buys.”
    There is a devilish catch to this ploy, of course. It assumes that foreign creditors will tolerate such action.

    Japan entered its Lost Decade as the world’s top creditor, with a vast pool of household savings to cushion the slump. America starts its purge with net external liabilities of $3 trillion, and a savings rate near zero. Foreigners own over half the US Treasury debt, and two thirds of all Fannie, Freddie, and other US agency bonds.

    But the risk of a dollar collapse is one for the distant future. Right now the world faces the opposite problem. There is a wild scramble for dollars as a $10 trillion pyramid of global lending based on dollar balance sheets “delevers” with a vengeance.

    This is a “short squeeze” on those who have used the dollar for a vast global carry trade. International banks are facing margin calls on their dollar leverage. It is why the Fed is having to provide $1.25 trillion in dollar liquidity for the entire global system, according to estimates by Brad Setser from the Center for Geoeconomic Studies.

    The crisis engulfing Europe, Asia and emerging markets, makes life easier for Washington. The United States is becoming a safe-haven again.
    The Fed can now hope to pursue monetary stimulus “a l’outrance” without being slapped down by the currency, debt, and commodity markets. Take comfort where you can.


  7. 2164th...

    look further than the belt-tightening/painful cost we are incurring and see what does this do to our economic enemies

    How does this shockwave, ending the free money & house of cards mentality, and causing a return to REAL VALUE, impact the world?

    I see that we will be just fine, just the get rich quick bullshit from the last 13 years be gone...

    BUT the rapid expansion of china & india will be stepped on...

    HOSTILE Opec members USED to spending billions of profit from oil on Russian weapons will have even a greater reality check...

    Iran is a great case in point, even with the 2x of their real income in the last couple of years their system is bankrupt they spend 10% MORE than they earn...

    Look to Russia, from what I have gathered if oil goes down to $60.00 a barrel Russia is fried.....

    Art of War...

    We can USE (or created) monetary policy to help kick our enemies in the ass..

    the question is, who's recession hurts more...

  8. If anyone hasn't yet discovered the joys of Bloomberg teevee, I recommend it. No commercials, no celebrities, no human interest stories, and little campaign news. That's hard to beat in my book.

    Doug said...

    What the Media Isn't Reporting
    Oliver North

    General David Petraeus has ordered Central Command to quietly review the disposition of U.S. forces in his theater – and equally important – NATO roles and missions in Afghanistan. In the aftermath of the September 20, Marriott Hotel suicide bombing in Islamabad, the Pakistani government is renewing efforts to reign in Islamic radicals.

    Last week Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak urged creation of a combined Afghan, Pakistani, U.S. Security Force for the porous, mountainous and largely ungoverned Afghan-Pakistani border region where 10-15,000 Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents have havens. Pakistan’s new President Zardari apparently likes the idea – as do U.S. commanders in the field.
    Did you see this when I posted it before, Trish?
    Does that sound remotely do-able to you?

    Mon Oct 06, 09:24:00 AM EDT

    We were joking last week that we've done everything of late short of giving the Pakistanis direct credit for our strikes. And what a novel idea that would be!

    We've already had two operations confirmed by the Pakistani sources that got us there (who were allowed to confirm without attribution) so the "combined force," if that's how they want to characterize it, is already in play without a formal structure. It will stay that way.

  9. This is as much a political failure as it is a financial failure. The whole system is gamed. As hdgreene over at BC notes, 'the MSM is just another "Cartel of Caring." They sell themselves at the watch dogs of the American People when they are actually the Guard Dogs of the Washington establishment'. In any normal country these fsckrs would be lynched by now.

  10. oh...

    and btw?

    We are America...

    As the messiah falsely claims..

    America is 4% of the world population, with 3% of the oil reserves and consumes 25%...

    He fails to mention or understand, America is 4% of the world population, has the most productive workforce, spends the most actual treasure around the world, imports a disproportionate amount of the REST of the world's goods, and in the end has the strength to lead the globe.

    The difference between a recession and a depression?

    Recession is where it's the other guy who lost his job...

    Depression is where it's your ass....

    Got to love it...

    look for the law of unintended consequences...

    less free cash for ngo.....

    less money for dictator's weapons..

    $60.00 a barrel oil? many BILLION of people whose majority of income goes to cooking & heating oils will catch a break

  11. VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI says the global financial crisis show the futility of money and ambition.

    Pope To Soon Come Out Against The Futility of Food, Life Itself

  12. If the Pope is right, the folks in Zimbabwe and all the other shitholes are living the good life.

  13. Benedict XVI for Fed Chairman.

  14. And what the hell with this use of the word 'futility'?

    That has the smell of Jainism to me.

  15. Good to hear, Trish.
    Sent it to Steve @ Threatswatch, he said it might be the only way short of us going in Obama-Style.
    ...I am the ignorant observer.
    Same as POTUS Candidates, far as I can tell.

  16. When we got near to passing a bailout bill, the markets weakened. When we pass one, the markets collapse.

    I don't have a share of any stock, but even I'm getting worried.

    What the hell is going on?

  17. Ted Nugent predicts Obama win on Mike Gallegher show.
    Prays for otherwise.

  18. “In my adult lifetime, I don’t think I’ve ever seen people as fearful,”

    Buffet said.

  19. The Madness of Crowds, LaBob.

    ...when Eunichs Run the Show.

  20. My wife and I here at the Heavenly Redemption Bank are offering shares in our Neo High Grade Enhanced Leveraged Bailup Fund for 1000 'christos' a share. Take a bath and wash your sins away in this new spiritual investment offering.

  21. Here's a REAL problem:
    New problems with our Orbital Observatory.
    aka Hubble.

  22. mat dribbled:

    "As hdgreene over at BC notes, 'the MSM is just another "Cartel of Caring." They sell themselves at the watch dogs of the American People when they are actually the Guard Dogs of the Washington establishment'. In any normal country these fsckrs would be lynched by now."

    WTF?? It's all the MSM's fault? Give me a break. Aside from the absurdity of the claim that the MSM speaks with one voice tasked with taking care of US all there have been quite a few voices in the MSM over the years warning of the Corporate Governance issue (Gretchen Morgenson on front page of the Business section of the NYTimes week after week after week) America's indebtedness, over leverage ect.

    But, hey, it's sooo much easier to blame the press cause it's all fantasy anyway Just perception in a nation of whiners. riiight.

  23. Somebody should construct an
    Excel spreadsheet of EB Member Sleeping Hours.
    Wife could do it, but she'd rather slit her wrists than immerse herself in the Dark Kingdom.

  24. What the hell is going on?

    The Greatest Short Sale in History
    By Eric Roseman

    The federal government is now on course to engineer the greatest expansion of credit in history. The long-term consequences will ultimately be disastrous for American financial assets, particularly the dollar and Treasury debt.

    Thus far in September the Fed has expanded its balance-sheet by some US$425 billion dollars. In just the past three weeks, the Fed has rescued Fannie (FNM), Freddie (FRE), and AIG (AIG), spent tens of billions of dollars in efforts with other central banks and has extended a US$75 billion dollar lifeline guarantee to money-market fund investors.

    But these figures pale in comparison to the estimated cost of Paulson's new plan.

    Clearly, the credit crisis requires desperate measures and only governments can help to alleviate or even quash systemic failure through unprecedented credit expansion. Like I've said all along, it's Inflate or Die for Western capitalism.

    The strains of deflation, however, will take time to extinguish. Markets are wrong to think we can all enjoy a sustained v-shaped recovery. This just won't happen. Corporate profits will decline for at least the next two quarters.

    But over the next 18-36 months, inflation is going to make a formidable comeback as the chickens come home to roost in the United States and Europe.

    The cost to resuscitate the financial system is primarily an American problem and will result in a massive expansion of credit. So inflation is all but inevitable.

    The best long-term short-sale in my book is Treasury debt. The dollar will eventually return to the basement but that might be delayed as the outlook in Europe grows more and more dim. Though I can't make a long-term case for the dollar, the odds are high that it can continue to rally over the next several months or more, especially if RTC II is passed.

    Next on the chopping block for the bears is the Treasury market. The United States will have to pay its creditors higher interest rates in the future. U.S. funding costs will eventually rise significantly unless the United States cuts its bloated spending. And the odds of that happening are pretty much nil.

  25. Calm down, Ash, don't want you too blurt out something about Mat's Miraculous Rabbit.

  26. Ash has arisen from the depths of his rum hangover.

    Top o' the mornin' to ye, Ash!

  27. WTF?? It's all the MSM's fault? Give me a break.

    Thank you, Ashley. I'll worry when you agree with me.

  28. It's starting to look like the democrats and Obama with their Freddie and Fannie nonsense have ruined the world even before regaining the Presidency.

  29. Financial Collapse for Dummies, bob, from a commenter at

    OK, we get it, housing prices went up too fast and the ability to pay off the mortgages declined so that defaults went from insignificant to noticeable.

    But we have had bubbles before and they didn't bring down the entire (global) financial sector. What is different is the huge amount of side bets that have been placed that have nothing to do (directly) with housing. That's what all the CDO's, SIV's and the like are about. These wouldn't have been possible (at all) if there had been regulations in place about leverage.

    This was the lesson of 1929 and it was forgotten or deliberately removed by the greed of the past decade or so. The story about the poor policies of the SEC appeared just last week in the NY Times (cited above), but I don't see anyone following up on it. The situation with hedge funds is even worse since they were never under any regulation.

    There is no way that a 33:1 leverage can withstand even a 10% drop in a market. Why is this so hard to understand?

    It is also the reason that the "bailout" won't solve the larger problem. All those bets will have to be settled and all the losers will lose. This will remove a lot of capital (real or leveraged) from the marketplace.

    It is hard to control a loose money policy when non-banks can create funds using 3% down.

    Posted by: robertdfeinman | Link to comment | October 05, 2008 at 01:00 PM

  30. Thanks, Trish, just what I was looking for.

    I rode out the Stock Market Crash of 1987 Black Monday with no pain, no gain. Hoping to repeat.

    No portfolio, no pain.

  31. Trish is right. They wuz gamblin. The Winners Won. The Losers Lost. However, this time the Losers "Really" Lost. They got their Clocks Cleaned. They lost the house, the farm, and the keys to the 'vette.

    This time when the losers looked across the table and said, "Loan me a few dollars till next week," the Winners said, "Ah man, it's late, think I'll turn in."

    This time the losers are well, and truly fucked.

  32. Obama and Friends, Parts I-VI

    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:
    Part 4:–BJ9I
    Part 5
    Part 6

  33. Now the "Losers'" bankers done heard about it, and called in their loans, forcing the dumbshits into bankruptcy, and putting their employees into serious shit. Next, the banker starts calling their loans. If the bank don't "go under."

  34. Not to worry Rufus. It's 'just' money.

    Ask the Pope.

  35. rufus, there certainly are losers in the mess out there but there are a whole load of folk who ran off with bags and bags of money (hundreds of millions worth - bonuses and the like) leaving the 'firms' behind holding the debt.

  36. The only way out of this pickle is to raise taxes on the middle class, and triple the capital gains tax.

  37. That's the point, Ash. They've "Locked up" the money. They're not loaning it back to the banks like they've done for the last 60 years.

    When the bank has to write down $1.00 on their RE loan portfolio, they have to forego making $10.00 in loans. If someone doesn't put that $1.00 back in, they have to call that $10.00 in loans - or close the doors.

  38. Nobody's going to want to loan money to banks Until Real Estate levels off. Real Estate can't "level off" until people start buying real estate. People can't buy real estate if the banks aren't making loans. Banks can't make loans if they don't have new investors . . . . . . .

    rinse, repeat

  39. They've "Locked up" the money. They're not loaning it back to the banks like they've done for the last 60 years.

    Nobody trusts anybody to be solvent.

  40. Nobody's going to want to loan money to banks Until Real Estate levels off.

    We're not even half way into that. And everybody knows it.

  41. How did you guess, bob?!

    1987, that morning, I was on duty of some kind or other at Ft. Carson, CO, and watching CNN. That year, in the Colorado Springs area, there had been a housing market slaughter that caught a lot of people, who should have known better than to buy into "balloon" mortgages, with their pants down. There followed some dreary years, IIRC. As luck would have it, we were too poor to care. And soon left for Europe anyway.

    Just waiting for the market bottom, bob. Not much else to do.

  42. We could make a joint offer on the Troy Resort.

    They're asking $3 million. I doubt it would cash flow at $300k.
    But, they added a little bar where the pool table used to be. And it has gasoline storage tanks. And three rooms to rent upstairs, plus some out buildings.

  43. Fake chips could cause fatalities
    China is cause for concern

    By Emma Hughes:
    Monday, 06 October 2008, 1:43 PM

    US WARPLANES, ships and communications networks have become vulnerable thanks to fake microchips flooding into the western world from China.

    Use of these fraudulent chips could be the cause of equipment failure which, depending on the equipment, could be fatal.

    The worst affected companies include Boeing Satallite Systems, Raytheon Missile Systems, Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems, BAE, and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.

    The US forces have been receiveing these components from insecure locations over which they have no control, compromising quality and safety.

    The problem is that some military and aviation equipment requires custom microelectronics in relatively small quantities meaning that some manufacturers are unwilling to set up R&D or production lines to meet this need.

    So component brokers are forced to source equipment from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and have limited control over the quality of what they are sent.

    What makes this problem even worse is the fact that the biggest semiconductor plant is being built in China, a country is notorious for virtually undetectable counterfeit goods.

    According to reports, these counterfeit products are packaged as finished items, for instance a memory card or USB drive could be received from a branded company with a fake chip inside.

    There are even reported cases of discarded substandard products being liberated from rubbish dumps, repackaged and put back into distribution.

    The US defense department is so determined to cut costs that its use of Chinese suppliers is ever growing, meaning there's a risk of more sub-standard chips leaking into the supply chain.

    Not so hard to believe.

  44. How about we could ask the Catholic Church to bail us out by selling what assets they have left(which are a lot) after all the sex litigation. Pay off all those bad dodgy debts with the proceeds. After all, the Pope just said, money isn't ultimately real anyway, filthy lucre.

    It's the least they could do with that which has no intrinsic value to help the society that feeds them.

    Come to think of it, we could ask the Lutherans too, my tribe, but we don't have all that much.

  45. It's my daughter I worry about now. The job market for the glut of newly-minted college grads looks bad for the next four quarters.

    Makes graduate school look good even for the weary. Or biding your time overseas with DOS. Or DIA. Or any one of the many famously unpopular acronyms.

  46. Makes graduate school look good even for the weary.

    That's exactly why times like these are good for the universities here. Things get tough, people come back looking for another degree.

    We're countercyclical, around the universtiy community.

  47. "After all, the Pope just said, money isn't ultimately real anyway, filthy lucre."

    Something about storing up in heaven, as opposed to on this earth, right?

    A lot of people gonna be feeling mighty Job-like the next few years.

  48. I remember you said that, bob. Don't know how easy it'll be this time around for a lot of young people to finance it, though. Undergrad's the cheap part of it.

  49. ah....

    a return to real value...

    what was that you said?

    smoke and mirrors is all we need...

    I think MOST Americans lost ZERO in the market, SINCE most Americans still don't have a pot to piss in....

    Time for Obama to promise a chicken in every pot...

    free education, free medical care, non-stressed good paying jobs for all that breath!

    and now a free chicken.....

  50. For the first time since 2004, the Dow Jones Industrials this morning dropped below 10,000.

    The Dow is going down.

    While Nader/Gonzalez is movin' on up.

    Everything is in place for an October surprise.

    Ralph is barnstorming the country -- this week in his home state of Connecticut and throughout New England.

    (Fox News reports that a crowd of 2,000 showed up to hear Ralph at the University of Vermont yesterday.)

    The MOB (McCain/Obama/Bush) were exposed last week like never before for the whole country to see.

    As they all jumped aboard the Wall Street Bailout Express.

    While Nader/Gonzalez stood opposed.

    And stand opposed.

    (Nader/Gonzalez would have prohibited Wall Street's "sustained orgy of excess and reckless behavior" -- as Richard Fisher, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank put it.)

    The Nader/Gonzalez vast Get Out of the Vote Network is on the ground and cranking (Stay tuned for the details tomorrow.)

    So, the choice on November 4 is clear.

    The Corporate Elite.

    Versus Main Street.

    All we need is an October surprise.

    An American awakening.

    With the American people standing with the one candidate who has stood with them throughout his 40 year career.

    Ralph Nader

  51. 'We're not going to win,' British commander says of bid to quash Taliban


    Globe and Mail Update

    October 6, 2008 at 9:30 AM EDT

    KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN; LONDON — Britain's top commander in Afghanistan says the war will not end in victory, the latest indication of soul-searching as Canada's allies grapple with how to handle the rising power of the Taliban insurgency.

    The blunt statement from Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith - "We're not going to win this war" - came just days after a leaked diplomatic cable hinted that the British ambassador in Kabul has a similarly dark forecast. The brigadier suggested that a negotiated settlement will be necessary.

    Speaking to The Sunday Times, Brig. Carleton-Smith

    said a "decisive military victory" is not feasible and that NATO should lower its expectations about the outcome of the war. "If the Taliban were prepared to sit on the other side of the table and talk about a political settlement, then that's precisely the sort of progress that concludes insurgencies like this."

  52. Trish is not adovocating greater gov subsidy for higher education.

    Just to be clear.

  53. McCain shouldn't have voted for this bailout. If it works it won't help him much, if it doesn't, he'd been free of it.

  54. The brigadier suggested that a negotiated settlement will be necessary.

    With whom?

    Deal-cutting, ash. Deal-cutting. Probably gonna have to wait for Karzai's replacement on that one.

  55. Ralph Nader?

    Give me a break....

    But IF he could siphon off 3% of the far left democrat crazies?

    That would be grand....

  56. Not advocating Nader here, just to show I think this chaos will help the third parties a little.


    Taliban in Saudi-brokered talks with Afghan government?

  57. Well, have we repealed the Community Reinvestment Act yet?

  58. Well, duece, we passed that $840 billion bailout and the markets continued to crater.
    Must be Pelosi's fault, that speech she gave, aye.

    Who we gonna call?

    What are they gonna do?

    Time for the US to sell some assets.

    Who needs a carrier group, anyway?
    The Chinese have the cash, better gie 'em a call.

    A Nimitz class carrier, couple of Ticos, some Arleigh Burkes thrown in to sweeten the deal.

  59. From the National Review

    Open this link to see a brilliant diagram of all of ACORN's work, and the Senators and presidential candidates who make it happen. Dodd, Frank, Schumer, and of course Barack Obama are stuck in the swamp of self-dealing, corruption, and politicial machinations, all masquerading as social justice and cheap real estate for the poor, at quite large taxpayer expense. This is a savvy Democrat web site. Follow the link for a really astonishing set of Democratic web sites which compete with each other in their exposition of Obama's perfidies, corruptions, and non-messianic attributes. Remember — former libs are much better at political knife fighting than those whose first instincts are, and remain, conservative.

  60. After the passing of the bill, NR's Corner has nothing, nothing, to say.

    I think it was Ayn Rand who said that liberals focus on the commercial life of the nation because they think it's all about money. Whereas the conservatives give it a pass because they don't take it seriously.

  61. Sell San Francisco to the Chinese, Rat, it's the obvious way out.

    And, good for the national morale, too.

  62. And, if the debts go to two trillion, throw in Vegas.

  63. Let me get this straight...

    the dollar RISES to an 18 month HIGH...

    OIL plunges below $85.00 (60 is getting nearer)

    There is a RUSH/panic to BUY US treasuries paying LESS than inflation..

    Does this mean the USA got a BELOW COST REFI?

  64. Maybe the Russians will buy Alaska back

  65. This comment has been removed by the author.

  66. Depends upon how much they buy, wi"o".

    If we sell four trillion worth of notes, at below cost, by Christmass, we'll be about even.

    Doubt that much will be flowing in though.

    Time will tell.

  67. Russia isn't looking good among emerging markets.

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. DR:

    Maybe the Russians will buy Alaska back

    doubtful, not enough caribou to date

  70. The Roosian stock market is closed down again, and the oil profits are shrinking by the minute.

    Silver linings abound.

  71. The price of Russian mail order brides is falling.

  72. Those T bills being bought aren't new issues are they? Just a flight to safety - cash. Interesting that the US dollar is going up I wonder why. Long term trend has been down. Given the prospects for the future I'd be short on US dollars myself seeing as they are 'flooding the zone' with the suckers and not raising taxes to cover.

  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

  75. Rat, the bailout wasn't intended to backstop the stock market though that would be a nice side effect. Nope, the bailout is to keep those mighty financial institutions *cough* *cough* "solvent".

  76. OT:
    Two related articles:
    Sources: Taliban split with al Qaeda, seek peace

    Taliban upset over North Waziristan missile strike\10\06\story_6-10-2008_pg7_12

  77. Right up to the bitter end the boyz were trying get bags of money out the door at Lehman:

    "One Lehman document among thousands reviewed by the House committee showed that four days before the bank filed for bankruptcy protection, Lehman’s compensation committee was asked to grant $20 million in “special payments” for three executives who were leaving, Mr. Waxman said. An e-mail exchange recommending a delay in bonus payments was apparently brushed aside.

    Another document showed that executives were warned in a January 2008 meeting that the company was facing liquidity problems. Yet the firm moved forward with capital outlays, including $5 billion in bonuses, $4 billion in shares and $750,000 in dividend payments between 2007 and the firm’s bankruptcy filing on Sept. 15."

    h/t Balloon-Juice

  78. Franklin Raines made 100 Million, Gorelick 20 or so, Johnson a bunch, all from Fred/Fannie, all buddies of Barack.

  79. yeppers doug, loads of folk have run with big bags o money. Damn, I must have grabbed the wrong friggin' bag. Not even coal in mine.

  80. ...I ain't got a bag.
    Noteven a YACHT!

  81. "solvent"
    Dumb Doug knew Real Estate "Wealth" far outstripped Govt's ability to match.
    ...before I even knew what Goldman and the Boys were doing to multiply the problem.

  82. Goldman sacks the Treasury
    Silverman sacks the Bank
    The people live in Misery
    The voters elect a Blank.

  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

  84. Not Everyone Should Own a Home

    Maybe only a friendly foreigner could say this. But America needs to realize that not everyone can own a home. The American Dream of home ownership for all is a fraud. Politicians who pimped this dream created an unsustainable mortgage industry whose collapse is only surprising because it didn't happen earlier. America's mortgage industry will not recover, nor deserve to recover, unless it is prepared to challenge this politically unpalatable reality.

    Why listen to an Australian like me? For starters, as our central banker, Glenn Stevens, said a few weeks back, Australian banks are "light years away from what's happening in other banking systems around the world." Australia's four major banks sit amongst the 20 AA rated banks around the globe. And as the Sept. 23 International Monetary Fund Country Report on Australia concluded, Australia's banking sector "is sound with stable profit, high capitalization and few non-performing loans."

  85. "The reasons go directly to regulatory differences that should interest Americans. Take nonrecourse mortgage loans. When Australians borrow money to buy a house, they know that if they default and the mortgaged property doesn't cover the debt, they will be responsible for the shortfall. And the lender will chase them for it. It's a neat way of reminding Australians to borrow responsibly."

  86. And maybe the US gov. should stop subsidizing large mortgages, and mortgages in general, by allowing the interest to be tax deductible?

    ...ducks and runs for cover...

  87. ash said...
    And maybe the US gov. should stop subsidizing large mortgages, and mortgages in general, by allowing the interest to be tax deductible?

    ...ducks and runs for cover...

    as long as churches lose their tax exemptions too......

    and acorn is disbanded and all aid to the poor for housing is eliminated...

    then you can have my deduction...

    til then nope............

  88. All part of the package, Ash:

    Govt sponsored non-market non-solutions.

  89. Bob's latest raves in fashions...

    Looks like Pierre Cardin gorged on mushrooms.

  90. McCain's finally done it!
    Named names on Freddie and Fannie.

  91. Barone credits Fred/Fannie with adding 1.4 Trillion worth of Toxic Loans.

  92. exports have slowed....

    the good news?

    in bad times my business does good...

    after all, everyone can afford 2 bits to by some sweets to keep the kids from crying....

    always look on the bright side of life...

    it aint auschwitz....

  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

  94. Well, ash, our host complained that Ms Pelosi and her crew lost the economy a trillion bucks when they did not pass the bailout on the first go round.

    The subsequent cratering, well, the blame has to go somewhere or maybe it was misplaced, originally.
    Which would be my guess.

    Mr Davis, doug, he recieved his share of Fannie and Fraudie dough, enough that he can work for Maverick, on the cuff.

    If McCain is going after the F&F fraudsters, then rest assured that the Gramms are going to get their share of bright lighting, as well.

    Back to the 2000 Budget Act.

    Reality is, they are all dirty on this deal. The GOP was pushing its' "Ownership Society", which I do not recall a single thread or comment denouncing, contemporaneously.

  95. How To Win Afghanistan's Opium War

    The best way to deprive the Taliban of drug profits? The United States should buy Afghanistan's poppy crop instead of trying to eradicate it.

    By Christopher Hitchens

  96. Well, McStupid gave a big speech in Mo. the other day bashing the farm bill, and ethanol.

    Obama has gone up by 3 in Mo.

    No candidate in modern history has been this inept.

  97. Still do not see a thread denouncing that Republican program.

    Nor a thread that promotes McCains' positions on Immigration, Nato Expansion, the $840 Billion bailout, which is chock full of at least $140 Billion in pig fat earmarks.

    $700 billion was to much, but $840 bilion sounded just right.

  98. But no other has lost so honorably, which is the point in his life.

  99. This just is "to much"

    Florida FOX News/Rasmussen
    Obama 52, McCain 45 Obama +7

    whit may as well vote for Barr, too.

  100. Virginia- FOX News/Rasmussen
    Obama 50, McCain 48 Obama +2

    Colorado- FOX News/Rasmussen
    Obama 51, McCain 45 Obama +6

    Missouri- FOX News/Rasmussen
    Obama 50, McCain 47 Obama +3

  101. "Well, ash, our host complained that Ms Pelosi and her crew lost the economy a trillion bucks when they did not pass the bailout on the first go round.


    The subsequent cratering, well, the blame has to go somewhere


    or maybe it was misplaced, originally.


    Which would be my guess."


  102. It goes Mr Bush and his team, they did not ask for enough money.

    They need three trillion dollars to stop the slide.

    $840 Billion just won't get 'er done.

    Besides, duece, if the Republicans put their fragile egos first, instead of Country, well, why support them?

  103. I read somewhere yesterday that Rassmussen isn't as transparent about his methods as the rest.

  104. They wanted the pig fat, just had to have it

    The Republicans wanted to feed at the trough. one last time.

  105. Jerry Brown got 8 Billion outta Countrywide, 3 Billion for Calif.

  106. This comment has been removed by the author.

  107. Well, doug, there had been some consensus that Rassmussen was the most accurate.

    The other polls have Obama ahead, by more.

  108. Supposedly a lot of the $140 Billion is tax cuts.
    Don't know how they figure that.

  109. "My" guy was quoting Jefferson, before he started following Marx.

  110. McCain, caught in another lie.

    Senators quietly tucked a number of earmarks into the tax package of the 451-page bill that was passed Wednesday night and is expected to be put to a vote in the House today: a $2 million tax benefit for makers of wooden arrows for children; a $100 million tax break to benefit auto racetrack owners; $192 million in rebates on excise taxes for the Puerto Rican and Virgin Islands rum industry; $148 million in tax relief for U.S. wool fabric producers; and a $49 million tax benefit for fishermen and other plaintiffs who sued over the 1989 tanker Exxon Valdez spill.


    Several House Republicans railed on Thursday against the pork-packed bailout bill.

    "One thing we didn't appreciate in the Senate's action was that they decided that this bill should become Christmas in October," said Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio. "We just don't think (the earmarks) should be in this piece of legislation."

    The tax earmarks were scarcely noticed during the Senate debate over a bill that featured a $700 billion bailout package and a $112 billion tax package, including the renewal of popular tax breaks for businesses and renewable energy projects and a one-year effort to shield at least 20 million Americans from paying the alternative minimum tax.

    Broad support

    The bill was approved easily, 74-25, winning support even from lawmakers who have crusaded against earmarks - including Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party's presidential nominee, who warned last week that he might oppose a bailout bill if it included more pork-barrel spending.

    "It is completely unacceptable for any kind of earmarks to be included in this bill," he said in a speech in Freeland, Mich. "It would be outrageous for legislators and lobbyists to pack this rescue plan with taxpayer money for favored companies. This simply cannot happen."

    Even Hollywood got something out of the Senate bill: renewal of a tax incentive worth nearly $48 million a year for film and TV producers who produce their work in the United States.

    The earmarks are not exactly new. They were passed by the Senate on Sept. 23 on a 92-3 vote (McCain and his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, were absent) for a tax package costing more than $100 billion. House Democratic leaders opposed the Senate's tax plan because it wasn't fully paid for and will add to the federal deficit.

    Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, the congressional watchdog group that tracked the earmarks in the bill, said Senate leaders had two main objectives in strapping the tax package to the financial bailout plan.

    "One is they're hoping this will turn a few votes, that people who support some of these provisions will forget about the $700 billion and concerns they may have on that, and say, 'If you give me a few million in tax breaks for my constituents, I'll go along,' " Ellis said. "The second reason is that this is your standard, run-of-the-mill, end-of-year politics. You take a piece of must-pass legislation, you cram whatever you want in there and you dare the House to oppose it. It's really a pretty cynical maneuver."

  111. Hitchens idea sounds too much like continuing to pay the Iraqi Army and it's widows and Orphans.
    Better to cut off the Elephant's trunk to spite the face, and watch hostilities grow as a direct result.

  112. Geez, I thought they might be worthwhile tax breaks, not part of the well-publicized arrow scam!

  113. Now if the Team 43 had asked for the $840 billion AND Newt's Plan, in combination, there'd be some hope, some confidence in the Plan, but they FAILED to do that.

    They FAILED to promote a Plan that would alleviate the root causes of the challenge, instead they just wanted to bale out some of their cronies.

    Watch and learn.

  114. "a one-year effort to shield at least 20 million Americans from paying the alternative minimum tax."

    I'm Overwhelmed.

  115. Wachovia, Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs were among the big-name casualties.

    With such massive failures, surviving banks stopped loaning money to each other and to consumers, creating what economists have called a “credit freeze.”

    No one can put an exact dollar amount on the bad mortgages on the books and no one knows how many of the mortgages are in default.

    Bill Passage

  116. DR. I am sure Obama will be worthy of all your expectations.

    For me, I'll take my chances supporting someone, flawed as he may be, who on balance has more character, honor and patriotism than the man and the supporters who oppose him.

    I have gathered at least fifty people who will have his vote along with mine.

  117. "If Senator McCain wants to have a character debate, I am happy to have that debate"


  118. Got my absentee ballot emailed to me yesterday.

  119. Are you gonna turn in your guns when the Obama Supreme Court tells you to, Rat?

  120. I think you should, and gleefully too, with the same amount of glee you seem to get from watching McCain's drop in the polls.

  121. Got my absentee ballot emailed to me yesterday.

    Best make sure it passes the ACORN/Rat test, Sam.

  122. This comment has been removed by the author.

  123. When was the last time you worked in the United States, Sam? How long you been away from home? Do you pay taxes here? When's the last time you voted in that district?

    These are things Rat demands to know before he approves your ballot.

  124. I'm voting for Barr, maybe tonight, the ballot came in the mail, today.

    Obamasan, he may well win, but not in AZ. Not sure where you live, or will be voting, but if it's in NY, you and your fifty friends will be throwing your votes away, voting for McCain.

    Maybe whit could make a difference, there in FL.

    But lineman will not sway a single politico's thought, voting for McCain. He could send a message of desired direction for a new course for the country, voting for Barr.

    Then I'll be a criminal, bob.

    Simple as that.

  125. You were wrong last time, dear host. And the time before that.

  126. If we are concerned about voter fraud, bob, those are important questions, are they not?

  127. Unless I'm mistaken, with the exception of WIO, you all were.

  128. Sure, they are. It was the only time I've gotten a little ticked at you is all.
    Questioning my wife.

    But, I'll get over it :)

  129. I can understand it though. We'
    ve been married 28 years, at least a third of that apart, with her back there. So I can understand the question. Last time around, with her back there, she took care of her mom while dying, and worked too. She was there a long time. I was out here alone, making things go.

    Kind of an unorthodox marriage, but, I insist, because of that, a long lasting one.:)

  130. That thread, bob, there was bemoaning that, in PA, folks in homeless shelters were voting.

    Where was Voter ID?
    How could this happen, these guys would support Obama, sure as shootin'.
    Oh, the outrage.

    But there was someone, of "known" Idaho residence, who was crossing numerous States, via US Mail, to vote for McCain. A different perspective, but the same kind of stuff.

  131. I was wrong to support Bush twice. I would never have supported Kerry. Had I supported Gore, and joined by a few others, I would have avoided the second choice. Therefore I should have had a better sense of humor and supported Gore.

    I promise to admit I was wrong if in two years McCain is a disappointment.

    I will take bets that I will ever regret voting against Barack Obama.

  132. But I'm voting against Obama, too, as well as against McCain.

    Neither are qualified.

    And my vote will not make much of a difference, either.

    But I will maintain my honor and the faith of my fathers.

  133. 14 years since last worked in the US.

    14 years away from home.

    Yes, I pay taxes there.

    14 years since last voted in the district.

    Guess who's at the top of the Washington State Ballot list for President? Yep, Obama. I just circled the bubble for McCain.

    Voted for the 'Mass Transit Expansion'

    Voted against the 'Property Tax Levy' in my old neighborhood.

  134. HEY, I was an 'anybody but Bush' voter in the last pres. election.

  135. I'm going to tilt at a windmill and vote to change the staus que.

    I do not have to wait two years, to learn about John McCain.

    He's been around here, for 26 years, since he came here with his carpetbag.

  136. I worked for a US company here in Australia for 13 years. Does that count?

  137. US citizens are required to report and pay taxes on their worldwide income (decent exemption though so the regular worker doesn't get double taxed - home country and US). Being a US citizen and living and earning abroad is the worst of all worlds tax wise - especially death taxes -- multiple governments in multiple countries all with hands extended.

  138. Makes one tempted to renounce US citizenship...

    ...but that's considered criminal if one does it to avoid taxes.

  139. the consolation prize, or should I say boobie prize, is that one gets to vote.

  140. Every citizen should vote.

    Some do, some do not.
    The rules that have excluded the "undesirable" from voting, they've been struck down.

    Gender, poll taxes, property ownership, literacy tests, criminal pasts, on and on.

    The franchise is extended to all that want to participate. A lot like the "Ownership Society"

  141. Today's Best Stocks:

    1. Dendreon Corp - +33%
    2. Salix Pharmaceuticals - +24%
    3. American Equity Investment - +18%

    Today's Worst:

    1. PRG-Schultz International - -48%
    2. BANRO Corp - -31%
    3. Broadwind Energy - -30%

    Market Movers

  142. I'm a distinct minority here, but really I don't think George has been so bad. He lowered taxes, finally after some screwing around appointed decent S. Court guys, that protected Rat and my right to keep arms, hasn't soiled the Ovary Office or his aid's dress, has supported the military, stuck by his guns in Iraq, which I admire, though going in may, underline may have been a mistake, actually did warn about the subprime stuff, and generally has been more or less sane. Plus, he pleases me, as it feels good to know one has a better command of the language than the President.

    The failures are obvious, but would have been worse under the others. I'd vote for him again, given the competition.

    Also, I think all the talk about how much Iraq cost is hyperbole. Lars Larsen gave a very good analysis of that one day, the upshot being, if you've got a $1200 dollar a month income, you've paid about $20 dollars a month for Iraq. I can handle that.

    Obama, a disaster waiting in the wings.

  143. But there is not $1,200 a month in income, bob.

    The Government does not get to lay claim to the entire economy, unless one is a fascist, communist or a marxist.

    But in the US, the Government has no right to it all.

  144. Neel Kashkari, a low-ranking official at the US Treasury, is to head the Office of Financial Stability – a body that may sound historic and august, but was in fact invented last week as part of the emergency bailout of Wall Street, and which amounts to little more than a giant hedge fund.


    With global finance facing a Big Bang of its own, Mr Kashkari was always at Mr Paulson's side as the Goldman cabal fought crisis after crisis. They pulled all-nighters to try to rescue first the mortgage industry, then the investment bank Bear Stearns, then the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, then Lehman Brothers and AIG, and now the entire financial system.

    The bailout plan was in part Mr Kashkari's own brainchild, first mooted last year under the codename "Break the glass" to suggest it was a tool to be used only in an emergency. Most recently, he was heavily involved in drafting last week's controversial legislation.

    Rescue Plan

  145. literacy tests, criminal pasts

    Literacy test is a tough one. Should some of my wife clients be allowed to vote, when they can't wipe the drool off their own lips?
    Yet, who decides on literacy?

    Crimianl pasts--I support denying felons the right to vote, though it's hard just where to draw a line, there being such a wide spectrum. How about Kevin Coe, the Spokane South Hill rapist, who raped something on the order of 30 women, and almost got away with it. And now has done his time, though he is up on a civil commitment hearing, which may be unconstitutional itself? Thirty women he raped. Why should he ever be allowed to vote?

  146. I think he was saying, given the size of the US economy, it's costing about 20 bucks a month, divided by the population.

  147. And, the benefits that may have been derived from our actions in Iraq are never, never talked about. Hard to quantify, you know, and hard to pin down. Only the downsides are ever discussed. Never the upsides, like getting rid of a guy concentrated on causing chaos in the region. Never, ever talked about, now.

  148. There still may be problems blacks may have to deal with when going to the polls. Recent rumors about standards to vote in the general election began to confuse and bewilder some voters.

    Many officials said these rumors could have been a way to prevent students from voting.

    But college students are the future leaders of America. Their votes will matter the most, especially in this election.

    Power of a Vote

  149. Why aren't we talking about the numbers of dead in Chicago, where the democrats have reigned for years. Year after year, one city alone, one city, is now killing our folks at a greater rate than Iraq.

    I've concluded, people just like to criticize, thinking, I could do better, but I'm not given the chance.

    But I don't think it's really that way.

    People think, for instance, I could give a better sermon than that dufus in the pulpit, but, of course, they never try.

    Reminds me when my pastor, who was a friend of mine, kind of let his hair down one day, saying Bob, some complain about my sermons. Let them give the sermon once a month, I said. See if the people like it.

  150. What if I'm wrong, dear host?

  151. A military court today moved to avoid further delays in the court-martial of a soldier accused of killing two Army officers in Iraq, rejecting a request by defense attorneys to extend pretrial hearings.

    Today was the last day of scheduled pretrial hearings in the trial of Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez, of Troy, N.Y., who is charged with two counts of premeditated murder in the June 2005 deaths of Capt. Phillip Esposito, 30, of Suffern, who was his company commander, and 1st Lt. Louis E. Allen, 34, of Milford, Pa., second in command of the 42nd Infantry Division's headquarters support company in Tikrit, Iraq. The hearings are being held at Fort Bragg, N.C.

    Family members of the victims have complained that pretrial hearings have delayed the case for more than three years.

    Court-martial to Proceed

  152. Trish, in all likelihood we both will be wrong, but then the remedy for wrongs is to forget them, unless of course, you are a first wife.

  153. Westpac senior currency strategist Richard Franulovich said this morning the huge slides on world equity markets had hit the Australian dollar even more than other high-yielding currencies like the Mexican peso and the Brazilian real.

    "Currencies like the Aussie will always get hit hard when we have a big current account deficit,'' he said from New York.

    "Growth assets are being hit hard, (which is) why the Aussie fell more than the Mexican peso and the Brazilian real.''

    Low as 65 Cents

  154. I don't get redacted at BC if I do not post a link.

  155. I am a first wife. And an only wife.

    I happen to be married to a bald eagle.

    God bless 'im.

  156. Al-Qaeda's Progression On Pakistan's Demise
    Schizophrenic Pakistan And The Coming Vacuum That Invites al-Qaeda
    By Steve Schippert
    The slow-motion insurgency in Pakistan is picking up pace in short order, and the elected Pakistani government shows no signs of stopping its rapid descent into disorder, fracture and weakness. What was once the Pakistani tinderbox has become a blaze, and Al-Qaeda is feeding the flames. And while all is not lost, there is little to instill confidence that the blaze will recede and avoid an inferno. Identity Crisis And Live Rounds In June, the United States bombed a Pakistan...


    Steve oughta get out more, Doug.

  157. With a wink and a you betcha....

    (CBS) In a sign that the race for president has returned to about where it was before the first presidential debate, the Obama-Biden ticket leads the McCain-Palin ticket 47 percent to 43 percent among registered voters in a new CBS News poll.

    The Obama-Biden ticket led by a wider margin, nine percentage points, in a CBS News poll released last Wednesday, before Joe Biden and Sarah Palin faced off in the vice presidential debate. Obama-Biden led by five percentage points on Sept. 25.

    In the new poll, the Democratic ticket leads by 3 percentage points, 48 percent to 45 percent, among likely voters.

  158. Eline Davis, formerly headed the Organization of Indian Jews in Israel. He now helps rehabilitate poor Indian Jews who migrate to Israel.

    He says the young Indian presence in Israel is increasingly integrated but the older Indian immigrant retains its links with India. "There are approximately 70,000 Jews of Indian origin in Israel, most of who are now Israeli nationals.

    A majority of them are from Gujarat and Maharashtra and are engaged in agriculture or work in the new development towns outside the traditional urban centers."

    Stronger with Time

  159. Sarah and McCain got to get down there in Ohio, etc, where it counts , and GIVE EM HELL.

    Attack, Attack, Attack!

    We'll hold the fort here in Idaho.

  160. Yyyyyeah.

    Like Wolcott said, as much depth as aluminum siding.

  161. Being the optimist that I am, I have also glommed on this:

    October 6, 2008
    "Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to indefinitely postpone Tony Rezko’s sentencing on corruption charges — admitting for the first time they are undergoing discussions with the political fund-raiser.

    In a motion filed today, Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar asked a federal judge to strike the Oct. 28 date as prosecutors continue discussions with Rezko that could affect his sentence. Schar asked for a status hearing in the case for sometime in December.

    Natasha Korecki, Chicago Sun Times.
    Now if I could only find Obama's hippy mom's passport.

  162. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went to St. Petersburg last week for meetings with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. The central question on the table was Germany’s position on NATO expansion, particularly with regard to Ukraine and Georgia.


    In one sense, Merkel’s reasons for her stance are simple. Germany is heavily dependent on Russian natural gas.


    Until 1871, Germany was fragmented into dozens of small states — kingdoms, duchies, principalities, etc. — comprising the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire. The German-speaking world was torn apart by internal tensions and the constant manipulation of foreign powers.

    The German Question

  163. Add to that, Bob, that Dubya's been very good on trade. Numerous trade deals around the world with key nations including a strong effort in Central and South America.

    He's supported biofuels to the max, and tried to get more drilling.

    Prescription drug benefit for Seniors. Very important for the less well-off elderly.

    He hasn't been too bad. Pretty good, actually.

    And, we don't have a nuclear-armed Saddam romping, and stomping around 40% of the world's oil.

    He did okay.

  164. "While the delay caused by this incorrect decision is unfortunate, at the end of the day, I believe Judge Bates' decision will be affirmed and that Harriet Miers and other key witnesses will appear before the House Judiciary Committee," Conyers said.

    The first Republican reaction to the decision came from the ranking GOP member of the Judiciary Committee.

    "Rather than continue to waste the American people's time and money, I hope that next year House Democrats put partisan politics aside and focus on a real agenda that serves the American people," said Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas.

    Don't Have to Face Congress

  165. Add to that, Bob, that Dubya's been very good on trade. Numerous trade deals around the world with key nations including a strong effort in Central and South America.

    - rufus

    He has.

    Do you think Republicans will support that going forward?

  166. "Unless I'm mistaken, with the exception of WIO, you all were."

    If that was true then, unless you're now disowning Buchanan's late 2004 'rally the troops' collumn - or it actually wasn't as convincing as you implied it was while pushing support for McCain a number of months ago, so were you.

    Regardless in 2004, in the absence of forsight Bush (shit sandwich) over Kerry (giant douche) was probably still the valid vote for a Conservative voter looking at the choices presented. Even with hindsight it is unclear, since the fateful decision to move into Iraq had already been made, and we have no idea how a Kerry Administration would have turned out. At the very minimum it would have almost certainly resulted in worse Supreme Court choices.

  167. It's a pity, I could comment with great depth on the British general's words, as well as the declining state of the Pakistani government, but unlike the schmuck who leaked the former document, I actually take the non-disclosure forms seriously.

    So, until the day when they actually start prosecuting people, he'll always remain a step ahead.

  168. Do you think Republicans will support that going forward?

    Hard to say, isn't it? The propensity to "kill trade" at the first glimmering of "bad times" is Congress's most troubling attribute.

  169. Rezko's singing like a bird. But, will the aria come in time to influence the election?

    Probably not, alas.