COLLECTIVE MADNESS


“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."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

A Modern Economy Can Be Destroyed By Sustained Deflation


How can this be a bad thing?

To most people the falling price of gasoline is a good thing. Less expensive flat screen televisions are very good and if you are looking to buy a house, a reduction in price may be the very thing to make it happen.

Falling prices seem very desirable on a personal or micro level, but to the world economy it can be a disaster. It is all dependent on the reason that prices are falling in the first place. If they fall because of increased productivity that is very beneficial. Consumer appliances and computers are two good examples.

Falling prices due to falling demand is not. The reason is basic, behind every price is an income. Falling incomes force further decreases in wages and the process continues. Think of a going out of business sale. Every item sold at or below cost only hastens then end of the enterprise and the jobs that go with it.

This article from the Telegraph discusses the current danger. It is significant.

______________________

Deflation virus is moving the policy test beyond the 1930s extremes
Debt deflation is tightening its grip over the entire global system. Interest rates are creeping towards zero in Japan, America, and now across most of Europe.


By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
Last Updated: 10:13PM GMT 06 Dec 2008
Telegraph

We are beyond the extremes of the 1930s. The frontiers of monetary policy are being pushed to limits that may now test viability of paper currencies and modern central banking.

You cannot drop below zero. So what next if the credit markets refuse to thaw? Yes, Japan visited and survived this policy Hell during its lost decade, but that was a local affair in an otherwise booming global economy. It tells us nothing.

This time we are all going down together. There is no deus ex machina to lift us out. Certainly not China, which is the most vulnerable of all.

As the risk grows, officials at the highest level of the British Government have begun to circulate a six-year-old speech by Ben Bernanke – at the time of its writing, a garrulous kid governor at the US Federal Reserve. Entitled Deflation: Making Sure It Doesn’t Happen Here, it is the manual of guerrilla tactics for defeating slumps by monetary means.

“The US government has a technology, called a printing press, that allows it to produce as many US dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost,” he said.
Critics had great fun with this when Bernanke later became Fed chief. But the speech is best seen as a thought experiment by a Princeton professor thinking aloud during the deflation mini-scare of 2002.

His point was that central banks never run out of ammunition. They have an inexhaustible arsenal. The world’s fate now hangs on whether he was right (which is probable), or wrong (which is possible).

As a scholar of the Great Depression, Bernanke does not think that sliding prices can safely be allowed to run their course. “Sustained deflation can be highly destructive to a modern economy,” he said.

Once the killer virus becomes lodged in the system, it leads to a self-reinforcing debt trap – the real burden of mortgages rises, year after year, house prices falling, year after year. The noose tightens until you choke. Subtly, it shifts wealth from workers to bondholders. It is reactionary poison. Ultimately, it leads to civic revolt. Democracies do not tolerate such social upheaval for long. They change the rules.

Bernanke’s central claim is that the big guns of monetary policy were never properly deployed during the Depression, or during the early years of Japan’s bust, so no wonder the slumps dragged on.

The Fed can create money out of thin air and mop up assets on the open market, like a sovereign sugar daddy. “Sufficient injections of money will ultimately always reverse a deflation.”

Bernanke said the Fed can “expand the menu of assets that it buys”. US Treasury bonds top the list, but it can equally purchase mortgage securities from US agencies such as Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie, or company bonds, or commercial paper. Any asset will do.
The Fed can acquire houses, stocks, or a herd of Texas Longhorn cattle if it wants. It can even scatter $100 bills from helicopters. (Actually, Japan is about to do this with shopping coupons).

All the Fed needs is emergency powers under Article 13 (3) of its code. This “unusual and exigent circumstances” clause was indeed invoked – very quietly – in March to save the US investment bank Bear Stearns.

There has been no looking back since. Last week the Fed began printing money to buy mortgage debt directly. The aim is to drive down the long-term interest rates used for most US home loans. The Bernanke speech is being put into practice, almost to the letter.

No doubt, such reflation a l’outrance can “work”, but what is the exit strategy? The policy leaves behind a liquidity lake. The risk is that this will flood the system once the credit pipes are unblocked. The economy could flip abruptly from deflation to hyper-inflation.

Nobel Laureate Robert Mundell warned last week that America faces disaster unless the Bernanke policy is reversed immediately. This is a minority view, but one held by a disturbingly large number of theorists. History will judge.

Most central bankers suffer from a déformation professionnelle. Those shaped by the 1970s are haunted by ghosts of libertine excess. Those like Bernanke who were shaped by the 1930s live with their Depression poltergeists.

His original claim to fame was work on the “credit channel” causes of slumps. Bank failures can snowball out of control as the “financial accelerator” kicks in. The cardinal error of the 1930s was to let lending contract.

This is why he went nuclear in January, ramming through the most dramatic rates cuts in Fed history. Events have borne him out.

A case can be made that Bernanke’s pre-emptive blitz has greatly reduced the likelihood of a catastrophe. It was no mean feat given that he had to face down a simmering revolt earlier this year from the Fed’s regional banks.

The sooner the Bank of England tears up its rule books and prepares to follow the script in Bernanke’s manual, the more chance we too have of avoiding a crash landing.
Monetary stimulus is a better option than fiscal sprees that leave us saddled with public debt – the path that nearly wrecked Japan.

Yes, I backed the Brown stimulus package – with a clothes-peg over my nose – but only as a one-off emergency. Public spending should be a last resort, as Keynes always argued.

Of course, Bernanke should not be let off the hook too lightly. Let us not forget that he was deeply complicit in creating the disaster we now face. He was cheerleader of Alan Greenspan’s easy-money stupidities from 2003-2006. He egged on debt debauchery.
It was he who provided the theoretical underpinnings of the Greenspan doctrine that one could safely ignore housing and stock bubbles because the Fed could simply “clean up afterwards”. Not so simply, it turns out.

As Bernanke said in his 2002 speech: “the best way to get out of trouble is not to get into it in the first place”. Too late now.


186 comments:

  1. I'm anxiously awaiting word whether lower home values will lower my residential taxes next year. The assessor was in our neighborhood last week, poking around. I bet my taxes will remain the same, probably even go up.

    The economy could flip abruptly from deflation to hyper-inflation.

    So, the Fed is printing money like gangbusters, eh? Figured they would.



    Gas was $1.41 9/10 here, today.

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  2. Gas was $1.41 9/10 here, today.

    Good. I'm leaving on a long drive pretty soon.

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  3. Gnome-o-gram Deleveraging—It's All About the Debt

    Gnome-o-gram: Deleveraging—It's All About the Debt
    You could read almost all of the voluminous coverage of the present crisis in the financial markets in the legacy media without ever encountering the essential term which describes what's going on at the “big picture” level, understanding the underlying cause for the events in the news, or comprehending the magnitude of the problem and how protracted may be its consequences.

    The following chart, from p. 7 of Kevin Phillips's Bad Money, encapsulates everything you need to know about the present situation.
    This is not a “mortgage crisis”, “derivatives crisis”, “credit crisis”, or any of the other terms bandied about describing aspects of the larger situation—it is a debt crisis and it always has been. The United States have experienced a multi-decade bubble market, rolling over from equities and real estate in the 1980s, to technology stocks in the 1990s, and back to residential real estate in the aughties, all driven by an unprecedented explosion of debt, as illustrated below.
    ---
    ---
    Note that “bailouts” as presently proposed and implemented make no difference whatsoever in this chart. They're just a transfer of debt from the private account to the public account.
    While this may make a big difference to creditors of the rescued companies and to the taxpayers put on the hook to assume the consequences of speculative mismanagement, it doesn't make a whit of difference to the aggregated debt picture: somebody's going to have to pay back that Mount Everest of debt, or else default on it, or (the way to bet, once it's assumed by the government) inflate it away.

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  4. Desperation Has An Ugly Face

    “The battle over the mass modifications of troubled mortgages has begun in earnest.
    On Dec. 1, William Frey, a private investor in mortgage-backed securities, filed a lawsuit alleging that the proposed modification of some 400,000 home loans originally underwritten by the defunct lender Countrywide Financial is illegal.”

    “‘The public policy problem going forward is, if Congress can legislate or a judge can break the contract, then I as an investor will demand a much higher premium,’ says the mortgage-company risk officer. ‘I can’t model and price something that is ‘oh gee, we’re going to change the rules.’ It’s a big problem.’”

    “I’ve lived in Washington nearly a decade now, and I still don’t get this place. Of course I’m talking about the Treasury proposal/possibility/plan to buy mortgage debt at a rate that would allow lenders to offer buyers a 4.5 percent interest rate on the 30-year fixed. Well, here’s my two cents: If you take the median priced home in the U.S. which is $183,3000, put 20 percent down (as most lenders now require) and take out a loan for 146,700, your monthly payment at 5.5 percent is $832. Your monthly payment at 4.5 percent is $743.”

    “So the big Treasury bailout saves the median home buyer $89/month. (Of course, it’s a bigger savings if you buy a bigger home, but I’m just going by the median.) Is $89/month enough to save the housing market?”

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  5. ""I am an advocate for investors' contractual rights," says Frey, 50, in an interview. He has publicly argued since March that loan modifications [BusinessWeek, 11/26/08] are against contract law, and has threatened to sue banks -- despite, he says, receiving pressure to back down from Washington. "Investors' voices have been muted in this debate because they speak of an inconvenient truth: Current solutions sacrifice the long-term viability of this nation's housing finance system for short-term political gain. No matter how noble the intent, it is not in the interest of the United States now, or in the future, to tell its citizens and the world at large that U.S. contract rights may be bent with the political winds.""

    ("battle over"
    link above)

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  6. 56mb/hr.
    bit rate = 128kps ?

    ---
    bit rate needed for high quality voice recording: 32kbs.

    Waste not, want not.
    (Just ask WIO)

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  7. President Elect Obama held a "fireside" chat this week to announce that this week America had lost 533,000 jobs.

    Do not worry, Uncle Obama is going to make everything all right. Happy days are here again. His administration will embark on massive, full employment spending on roads and bridges; greener, more energy efficient buildings and high speed internet for everyone.

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  8. Amongst other things, whit.

    The policies of the past administrations have failed to maintain prosperity. Instead the Federal Socialists have maintained a sustained a boom - bubble - bust economic cycle. With no real income growth for the majority of the residents, for over a decade.

    So what results will the Rubin School of Economics bring US, this time, but more of the same?

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  9. The biggest problem is fear and uncertainty and a quiet panic has set in with our whirled leaders.

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  10. Oftentimes, when a driver's two right wheels leave the pavement, there is a tendency to over correct. This correction can be disastrous at high speed.

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  11. Dr. Feelgood,

    What a downer!

    What will President Obama do? A point important to his constituency is the disproportionate number of minorities incarcerated as a result of the war on drugs. What will President Obama and a Democrat Congress do? How will the Justice Department under Attorney General Holder address the literal drug wars? It's a safe bet that we will hear a lot more about decriminalization.

    Another topic important to the left is the "outrageous and inhumane" number of incarcerations in the country. The prisons are seen as an economically unsustainable blight on the reputations of civilized societies.

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  12. Geez, in Peshawar, Pakistan, "militants" have torched more than 160 NATO vehicles destined for Afghanistan.

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  13. As I see it there is a cost for everything...

    I predict that after this fiscal storm passes there will be a hugh number of americans with really terrible credit ratings that will not be short term fix for...

    In the long run we will return to earned credit scores and many americans will be shocked to see how in future the lack of easy credit terms from every thing from dishwashers to autos, from houses to college...

    This will be the unsettled bill for chinese yuan/housing market forced loans (community reinvestment act)/credit card offers crack like growth of the past 18 years...

    and in the end? it is good to correct the excess...

    If we, AMerica are forced to tighten our belts, then the world who exports into AMerica feel it...

    For all to long the world resented AMerica being only 4% of the world's population and using 18% of the natural resources, and yet at the same time AMerica invented and created entire systems of products, services and trade...

    Now that the Chinese are growing the world will now have to deal with them in a new bi (or tri-polar) world...

    Me thinks there will be some interesting times for Chinese businessmen (enslavers) from Central America to the heartland of Africa...

    The Chinese are NOT a new incantation of AMerica, they are Chinese...

    Gone will be resentment towards AMerica and this will be replaced by FEAR of Chinese and in the end a wishing that AMerica COULD be the Leader once again...

    Becareful of what you wish for you may get it...

    In the mean time AMerica will straighten out its internal act and in the end, the vast majority of AMericas will embrace that they are not "wealthy" and are just cogs in the wheel, hoping for a chicken in every pot and beer in frig...

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  14. Militants is such a harsh term, whit, the media prefers to call them "youths".

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  15. Sarah Palin said folks with special needs kids would have a friend at the White House if she were elected.

    Users probably should feel the same about Obama, who used himself, at least through college. A fact which would have condemned a candidate just a few elections ago.

    Can a messiah be a user in his youth and college years? The old myths would have said no, the early years being a special kind of prelude to the main events of the fuller life later, and showing the same abilities of the later life in micro.

    No youthful blow for the messiah in any myth I can remember.

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  16. Sorry.

    There's some discrepancy about whether it was 30 or 300 "youths" who assaulted the Portward Logistic Terminal.

    There is no doubt that 70 Humvees were reduced to scrap iron.

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  17. Whit: How will the Justice Department under Attorney General Holder address the literal drug wars? It's a safe bet that we will hear a lot more about decriminalization.

    What did we learn in Prohibition? Drugs don't go away just because the government makes it illegal, they just go underground and create a black market. Sellers form armed gangs, charge monopoly prices, and kill their business competitors. And on the demand side, buyers steal to pay the higher drug prices.

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  18. Are you advocating decriminalization, Ruby?
    *****************************
    From the Telegraph
    "They were shouting Allah-o-Akbar (God is Great) and Down With America. They broke into the terminals after snatching guns from us," said Mohammad Rafiullah, a security guard the the terminal.

    Will the ulama regard this as an act committed by unIslamic crazies or as a glorious victory of jihad? I guessing the latter.


    The Telegraph also reported:
    About three quarters of all the ammunition, food, weapons and other supplies needed by Nato's troops in Afghanistan, including 8,000 British soldiers, pass through Pakistan.

    Hmmm, a long tail through Injun country...

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  19. I suppose there are too many problems with taking our stuff in through what's left of Georgia, Azerbaijan, across the Caspian Sea and through Turkmenistan, into Afghanistan.

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  20. Whit, I'm a libertarian who voted Bob Barr this time. That means I not only support decriminalization of drugs and prostitution and gay sex and Mormonism and Islam and having an arsenal and building a patio over your "wetland" mud puddle, I want government out of those areas altogether.

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  21. Aren't you also Catholic?

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  22. Ruby's got as many conflicting opinions as she has names.

    Jesus didn't support legalizing prostitution. He said, Go, and sin no more.

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  23. From Wikipedia: Planned Economy

    From the Nytimes:
    Although Mr. Obama put no price tag on his plan, he said he would invest record amounts of money in the vast infrastructure program, which also includes work on schools, sewer systems, mass transit, electrical grids, dams and other public utilities. The green jobs would include various categories, including jobs dedicated to creating alternative fuels, windmills and solar panels; building energy efficient appliances, or installing fuel-efficient heating or cooling systems.

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  24. Jesus didn't support legalizing prostitution. He said, Go, and sin no more.
    ==

    Do we know who he said it to?

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  25. All we got is a tradition handed down, Mat. There is hardly a word attributed to Jesus that is for certain, (see The Jesus Seminar) yet there are themes and ways of thinking that are stable throughout. Weren't no tape recorders or camcorders in those days. Some maintain that notes were taken along the way, but I don't know about that. Maybe.

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  26. I argued over at Kudlow's that the Fed was guaranteeing us this recession when they went over 4%. I was right.

    This is the same thing the Fed did in 32' (33?) Came back too strong, too fast. For a "student" of the Depression Bernanke screwed the pooch on this one.

    Having said all that, this isn't 1930. NAFTA, and the WTO will save our bacon, Again. Depressions are all about the "Jobs;" and Jobs are very much about Trade. There are, at present, no Smoot-Hawleys on the radar.

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  27. yet there are themes and ways of thinking that are stable throughout
    ==

    Such as, whoring thieving murdering idol worshiping savage Roman Imperial slave masters must be absolved of any wrong doing?

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  28. Rufus, do you think the Fed is going to lower interest rates any more?

    I ask cause I have a line of credit I can renegotiate a few times.

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  29. Too bad two or three A-holes sent Larry over the edge and ruined his blog.

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  30. In banking and finance, you can fix just about anything if you have the time.

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  31. Tyler at marginalrevolution.com:

    Banana redux
    Tyler Cowen

    At Cato Unbound there is a symposium about the roots of the financial crisis, with several notable contributors. To sum up my view again, I agree that government had many bad policies, many of those policies made the crisis worse, and that such policies should make us despair at the quality of government as regulator, past, present, and future. But still markets must bear a very considerable share of the blame. Bryan Caplan reminds me of my banana post, excerpted for your convenience:

    Let's say that the government subsidized the price of bananas, you bought so many bananas, put them on your roof, and then the roof collapsed. Is that government failure or market failure? The price was distorted, but I still say this is mostly market failure. No one made you put so many bananas on your roof.

    If Minsky and Hayek are running in a race for interpreting the last two years of the U.S. macroeconomy, Hayek has something to offer but so far Minsky is in the lead.

    December 5, 2008 at 03:16 PM




    (Didn't read the comments on this particular post, but donuts to dollars someone, rightly or wrongly, called the analogy police.)

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  32. You won't find that in Jesus, Mat, but in the writers. One possible authentic saying has it that you don't throw scraps (of spiritual food) to the dogs, i.e. the gentiles.

    The early Christians wanted to avoid the fate of the Jews, so they ingratiated themselves to the Romans.

    "The words of a dead man are modified in the guts of the living." W.H. Auden

    "There was only one Christian, and he died on the cross." Nietzche

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  33. Bob, if they do it will be more or less for show. The "Effective" ff rate was around one half percent the last I noticed.

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  34. And Tyler's latest:

    Obama's fiscal stimulus: some details
    Tyler Cowen

    I was surprised to read the first plank of Obama's proposed stimulus:

    "First, we will launch a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient. Our government now pays the highest energy bill in the world. We need to change that. We need to upgrade our federal buildings by replacing old heating systems and installing efficient light bulbs. That won’t just save you, the American taxpayer, billions of dollars each year. It will put people back to work."

    Maybe that is deliberately unglamorous but I was expecting a more dramatic first punch. Here, by the way, are some simple arguments for energy-efficient buildings. My Google search doesn't yield much useful, however, in the way of critical analysis. (Any leads, readers?) And surely ten years from now our government still will have the highest energy bills in the world, unless the goal is to grow so slowly that the Chinese government will pass us.

    Oddly the two goals of the plan -- saving dollars and creating jobs -- often stand in tension. Let's say we could heat all those buildings for a dollar: how many jobs would that create? Is the goal to "spend less" or to "spend more"? The mere fact that you can write in the comments section: "Spend more today to spend less tomorrow!" does not convince me.

    The second plank of the program is more roads and bridges, which for better or worse you can consider the opposite of a carbon tax. How quickly can that money be spent anyway? The plan mandates quick spending of the transferred funds. But maybe state and local governments will hold off on some currently planned expenditures (which is contractionary) so they can be ready to spend immediately once they receive their "use it or lose it" allocations. Has anyone thought that problem through?

    The third plank is upgrading school buildings. ???????????????? Maybe this is Obama's attempt to mimic ditch-digging, under the unassailable banner of "education," but again how quickly can these projects come on-line? I call this one total waste and an outright mistake.

    The fourth plank is extending the information superhighway. Maybe, but isn't human capital the real constraint at current margins?

    The fifth plank is internet-connected hospitals and electronic medical records. Those are good ideas but I don't see how they contribute to economic recovery. Basically you either force or pay medical care providers to do it and for sure health care is not the ailing sector.

    The bottom line: When it comes to fiscal policy, many projects are not very good. Most projects take a long time to come on-line. The fiscal stimulus should, most of all, be directed at an effective marginal incentive scheme to keep up state and local spending. I am still enthusiastic about Obama's economic team, but I am starting to worry a little. How many of these expenditures actually help needy people? How many actually will help the economy? In fairness to Obama this was a radio address, and thus hardly the setting for meaty analysis, but still I am a little underwhelmed.

    December 7, 2008 at 07:57 AM

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  35. Ironically, Deuce, Larry was one who was haranguing Bernanke to keep raising to protect "King Dollar" (read: Bondholders.)

    He came from a "Bond House," Bear Stearns.

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  36. No one in their right mind would put bananas on a roof. The monkeys and the birds would get 'em.


    Rufus, I must hold out for a negative interest rate :)


    What Obama ought to do is cut the capital gains tax to zero, and lower the corporate income tax rates.

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  37. Actually, the energy savings, and thus Dollar-Savings of making buildings more energy efficient can be pretty astonishing. Look into Germany's Passivehaus program.

    We're going to use More electricity; so I guess we need to use it more efficienty.

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  38. The program to build more "Roads and Bridges" seems pretty suspect, though.

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  39. The early Christians wanted to avoid the fate of the Jews, so they ingratiated themselves to the Romans.
    ==

    That's not true.

    The early Christians, being Jesus his wife his family and close followers and relatives, avoided anything to do with Romans. They kept away from the hell-in-eye-z-ed towns of Judea, they kept away from the hell-in-eye-z-ed whoring thieving murdering idol worshiping savage Roman slave master Imperialists. That's a fact. And not even your history rewriting Roman propagandists and spies contest that.

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  40. Columnists have to have something to write about Every Day. TV Reporters have to talk about something Every Minute. Take a lot of this stuff with a large helping of salt. The Fed, and Treasury, and, even, God Help Us, the Congress is making some Very Good Decisions. Even the Freak'in Euros are "Coming Along." I think we might get through this mess.

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  41. No one in their right mind would put bananas on a roof. The monkeys and the birds would get 'em.

    - bob

    Yeah, I was beginning to imagine a Monty Python skit involving a BBC roundtable discussion:

    (Cont.)

    Well maybe monkeys are a problem in Asia, but when did you see gangs of monkeys here? And birds don't eat bananas. I would argue that the rooftop is a safe place of banana storage in Great Britain.

    But too many bananas...

    Look, even at the current rate of subsidy, we just don't consume enough bananas per household to collapse a roof.

    But it might come to that...

    Well, then, we'll simply have to take a look at our building codes, won't we?

    (Gunman enters and kills all the participants.)

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  42. I am more and more convinced that Obama is more of a policy wonk than ideologue. I think that is a good thing.

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  43. Well, have to catch a plane. ciao.

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  44. Pleasant Trip. Bring Presents. :)

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  45. Obama's definitely Smarter than McCain. We need Brains, right now. We'll deal with "Ideology," later.

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  46. (Participant, bleeding profusely, raises head.)

    I would argue that it's not bananas weighing on the rooftop we're concerned with, but something more akin to pears rotting in the cellar. When you consider...

    (Gunman reenters and finishes the job.)









    Bon voyage. Hope it's warm and sunny.

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. Bobal: Ruby's got as many conflicting opinions as she has names.

    That really pisses me off bobal, when you say that. You knew that before, but now I'm going to show you how much.

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  49. Whit or Deuce, take my name off your blog. Here we go again.

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  50. Geez, I wish Ashley was as disciplined as Tes is. Bob, you must give me some pointers!

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  51. That is nonsensical Ms R.

    Your views have been as varied as your avatars. Quite the game you play on old bobal. As if he was the motivator of your hysteria.

    Stay or go, but please, save us the self-inflicted drama

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  52. And sure, lineman, the curved bottom of the bottle creates a cavity that focuses the explosion.

    An enhanced IED, when one puts some copper coils at the focus point of the blast.

    Same principle as the LAW rocket warhead.

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  53. Still no Chris Matthews for PA Senator update, from PA. While our trusty correspondent there just went wheels up, on his way to another place, if not time.

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  54. I think our gal, Teresita, drinks a bit. Or, Something. :)

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  55. I meant the early Christians after the war, Mat.

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  56. Call me anything you want, just don't call me old! :)

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  57. I meant the early Christians after the war, Mat.
    ==

    The ones that were fed to the lions?

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  58. Speaking of the elderly, don't mess with grumpus gramps, he might have a Palm Pistol

    They tried to show the Romans they weren't a threat, is what I'm getting at Mat. They got picked on some, too, until after Constantine, when they started doing the picking. Nero is said to have lighted the gardens at night with burning Christian bodies, after Rome burned. I've always wondered how you make a candle out of a human body. Have to coat it in oil, I'd think.

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  59. Nero enjoyed driving a one-horse chariot, singing to the harp and poetry.[94] He even composed songs that were performed by other entertainers throughout the empire.[95]
    ==

    You watch what you say against this fine chap, Bob!

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  60. If he wasn't a good guy, he wouldn't have had any remorse for killing his mother, so there.

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  61. Stay or go, but please, save us the self-inflicted drama

    Get my name off the damn blog.

    I think our gal, Teresita, drinks a bit. Or, Something. :)

    Take my name off the board of directors.

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  62. http://jalopnik.com/5102534/massive-secret-mustang-junkyard-found-in-rhode-island-forest


    I take it that neither the powder blue nor the chocolate brown Ford LTD station wagons of my youth would be found at this particular site. The huge, crappy Conestoga wagons of our collective childhoods are apparently gathered elsewhere, at a burial grounds for the uncool.

    My father's red TR6, Emma (Peel)? Wherever the preciously wee and foreign go.

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  63. Carhenge

    h/t Linearthinker


    We have a guy near here who has cars stashed around like that in Rhonde Island. He was finally taken to court, on the grounds it was an eyesore, or something, though the cars, and other junk weren't hurting anyone, and made great living space for rattlesnakes. The judge ruled in the owner's favor, saying, "It's the independent spirit that won the West."

    Brush and weeds have grown up so much around there, you can't really see much of it these days anyway.

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  64. fine feller, that Nero
    ==

    You know bob, the more I read about these savages, the more disturbing is the silence.


    Nero of Rome:

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~kvenjb/madmonarchs/nero/nero_bio.htm

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  65. Ah, T, you need to imbibe with a bit more moderation, I think. Got started kinda early, this mornin, don't ya think? Or, is it just a "Late" night?

    Go get some rest, Darlin. We all luvs you.

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  66. The judge ruled in the owner's favor, saying, "It's the independent spirit that won the West."

    - bob

    Old sofas on porches; in the side yard, vehicles and appliances in varied states of decay; a woman mowing the lawn in housecoat, smoking a Marlboro (and maybe a meth lab out back): Symbols of the independent spirit that continues to guard the soul of Appalachia to this very day. Our own version of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Mat, I watched "I, Claudius" with my aunt for weeks on NPR,
    years ago. We had the most fun. It was really well done. Hope you caught it too. Anyway, man, those folks didn't play by any rules at all!

    Nothing but scheming, screwing, killing, on and on.

    I can do without. I like the quiet life.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Coincidence: I watched the first-run, must've been back in sixth or seventh grade. Loved it.

    And I'm giving the DVDs to my son for XMas.

    I, Claudius, that is.

    ReplyDelete
  69. I remember in the series when the emporer's daughter got found out for sleeping with some Senator. So, he interrogated the whole Senate. Turned out, she had slept with them all! Some said, I had to, I was afeared.

    She got banished to some isle.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Mat, I watched "I, Claudius" with my aunt for weeks on NPR,..
    ==

    Did it show Nero castrating a young boy and turning him into a girl slave lover? Did it show the psychological and physical trauma that boy went through before finally committing suicide?

    ReplyDelete
  71. Rufus: Ah, T, you need to imbibe with a bit more moderation, I think. Got started kinda early, this mornin, don't ya think? Or, is it just a "Late" night?

    I don't drink anything MF, deal me out.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Don't think it went as far as Nero.

    I, Claudius

    I should watch it again, and read the book, I'd get more out of it the second time around.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Robert Graves claimed that after he read Suetonius, Claudius came to him in a dream one night and demanded that his real story be told.


    Graves also wrote a sequel, 'Claudius, the god'--didn't know that until I just read the wiki article.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Also giving him Shogun, now out on DVD. He read Clavell's books years ago and though *I* remember the miniseries fondly, the hazard is always that, for those who read it first, it won't live up to the novel.

    And: Carl Sagan's Cosmos.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I take it that neither the powder blue nor the chocolate brown Ford LTD station wagons of my youth would be found at this particular site.

    Don't be hasty, Trish. I found a nice mate for my '65 F-100 by digging deeper at your link. Wish there wasn't a continent between us, I need a few parts.

    The judge ruled in the owner's favor, saying, "It's the independent spirit that won the West."

    Ah, Bob. If only we had your judge in Kal-ee-for-nyah. Used to be a beautiful junk yard over on hwy 49, just east of Mariposa. Fell victim to Lady Bird's beautiful America program. It's now just a shadow of its former glory.

    Go get some rest, Darlin. We all luvs you.

    And upon arising, drink a quart of ice cold buttermilk. You'll feel all better.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Old sofas on porches; in the side yard, vehicles and appliances in varied states of decay; a woman mowing the lawn in housecoat, smoking a Marlboro (and maybe a meth lab out back): Symbols of the independent spirit that continues to guard the soul of Appalachia to this very day. Our own version of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

    Did you find my place with Google Earth?

    It's not a meth lab. It's a still.

    You rattle that off as if it were a bad thing?

    Have some compassion, Trish. We love our recyclables out here in the country.

    ReplyDelete
  77. The assessor was in our neighborhood last week, poking around. I bet my taxes will remain the same, probably even go up.

    Get yourself some old kitchen appliances, a couple of K-cars up on cinder blocks and an old boat. Scatter them around the yard. Then invite the assessor back. Don't tell him about the dogs.

    ReplyDelete
  78. In inflationary times, the impulse is to buy now before it goes up.

    Deflationary: Delay purchase, wait for lower price.

    Marx was right all along.
    (Once compassionate Socialists have done their work.)
    ...Now we get to see what happens when the Marxist replaces the Compassionate Socialist.
    ---
    JOBS, ROADS, BRIDGES, SCHOOLS, BROADBAND, ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS, ENERGY...

    Obama Plans Largest Public Construction Program Since 1950s...

    Obama suggests some auto execs should lose jobs...

    ...pledges not to smoke in White House
    ---
    It was the Banks, not Fanny, Freddie and Franks.

    The Auto execs, not the UAW, EPA, ERA, and Morality-Free Traders.

    If you don't believe me, ask the man who promises not to smoke.

    ReplyDelete
  79. The K's on blocks, the Slant Sixes for Daily Transport.

    ReplyDelete
  80. It’s Like A Big Bomb Went Off In Florida
    The St Petersburg Times reports from Florida. “A national report released Tuesday said Florida leads the nation in mortgage fraud.

    “Sonny Kim, as he’s known, was profiled in a St. Petersburg Times story Sunday that recounted his flipping of properties, about one-third of which have been foreclosed. The story pointed to some questionable mortgages, including one for $300,000 on a run-down house that now can be had for $35,000.”

    “Since 2004, Kim has bought and sold about 90 homes in some of Tampa’s poorest neighborhoods. Property records show buyers paid Kim $10.7-million for homes he bought for $6.5-million. Many homes that Kim sold ended up in foreclosure, meaning that many of the same banks that are now getting billions in a federal bailout were left with worthless property.”

    “Gaines was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February. The maximum sentence is 45 years in prison. ‘I’d like to see him get more prison (time); he’s done some bad things,’ said Doug Pollock, a property crimes expert who testified in the trial. ‘I think some prosecutor (in Hillsborough) will use this conviction to say, ‘I want a piece of him, too.’”

    First Franklin approved a $138,000 mortgage for a yellow clapboard house on N 34th Street that Kim sold in 2006. The buyer defaulted within months. It’s listed now at $29,000. ‘Amazing. I didn’t know you could get such high prices in that part of Tampa,’ said Dianne Hart, CEO of the East Tampa Business and Civic Association, which builds houses in struggling neighborhoods. ‘And the banks approved these mortgages? Well, I guess that explains why we’re in the situation that we’re in.’”

    ReplyDelete
  81. It's not a meth lab. It's a still.

    You rattle that off as if it were a bad thing?

    - bob

    To we fully suburbanized, it's a quaint and mysterious thing. We get ours at a *store*.

    Look here, Linear (this is where I present my backcountry creds, which you'll kindly overlook have nothing to do with me) back in high school my father ran moonshine for my grandfather. Good pocket money, I've been told. Valedictorian of his southwest Missouri class, BCG's, mother a devout Southern Baptist and schoolteacher. No one suspected. Or if they did, didn't particularly care.

    Go figure how, or why, he ended up a spook.

    ReplyDelete
  82. ...the Slant Sixes for Daily Transport.

    That was a beautiful motor. Dad traded a '56 Chevy for a Plymouth with that slant six back around the late 50's. He was a lineman btw, among other things, and very frugal. Bought a Henry J to save gas money when regular was 19 cents a gallon.

    ReplyDelete
  83. "Whit, I'm a libertarian this time"
    ---
    ...at other times, a self-appointed judge of social mores and redefinitions of language.

    ReplyDelete
  84. The Original Plymouth Slant with the unususual body style.
    (can picture the 4 door, but not the two, will check)

    ReplyDelete
  85. Not bob. Linear, rather. (And we haven't broken out the new Cabernet yet.)

    ReplyDelete
  86. My uncle's got a 4G Valiant with the slant 6. Mint condition.

    ReplyDelete
  87. ...(this is where I present my backcountry creds...)

    Spoken with only a thin veneer of urban sophistication.

    Good for you.

    I couldn't guess your last riddle in a thousand years. You must share the answer with us. Maybe during downtime at your holiday card games.

    ReplyDelete
  88. ...at other times, a self-appointed judge of social mores and redefinitions of language.

    Take my frikken name off this cesspool of Dowdification.

    ReplyDelete
  89. "I couldn't guess your last riddle in a thousand years."

    I thought it was obvious.

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmnevermind.

    ReplyDelete
  90. You Bar Boys oughtta get one of those flip signs for Ruby/T:

    The T is in the house on one side, not, on the other.

    ...but then you'd need a digital board in addition for redefinitions and reruns of prior personas.

    ReplyDelete
  91. (And we haven't broken out the new Cabernet yet.)

    LOL

    I have an unbroken case of Cabernet sitting in my living room waiting to be taken to the Ozarks for the holidays. Cost me less than $24. Local name is "Two Buck Chuck." Tastes as good as that expensive shit they sell for $7 or $8 a bottle.

    ReplyDelete
  92. The Valiant was introduced in 1959 as a 1960 model. During its first sales year, 146,792 Valiants were sold -- dwarfing the Fury's 82,030 sales.

    Weighing in at 2,635 to 2,860 lb, these "Q" series Valiants sold for between $2,033 and $2,860 (the most expensive model cost $1/pound).

    ReplyDelete
  93. Go figure how, or why, he ended up a spook.

    Probably similar to how some of my friends from long ago ended up Marines?

    ReplyDelete
  94. I buy whatever the nice lady at the Chico Liquor Store enthusiastically pulls off the shelf when my dog and I go in. Host country relations, you know.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Jeff Godshall wrote in the Plymouth Bulletin: In the spring of 1961, buyers in four unnamed southern states were offered a "Dixie Special" Valiant sedan, painted Confederate Gray metallic and sporting a symbol on the door commemorating the War Between the States.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Weighing in at 2,635 to 2,860 lb, these "Q" series Valiants sold for between $2,033 and $2,860 (the most expensive model cost $1/pound).

    Great cars.

    ReplyDelete
  97. I had a 1978 Cadillac coupe with a sunroof too that I bought used, and ran into the ground. It had a steering wheel that telescoped, and went up and down, and every which way. At the end of its days, that steering wheel was getting a little loose. Finally, in town, going around a corner, it came all the way off! I shit you not! So I placed it on the seat and stopped. Thank God I wasn't going very fast.

    ReplyDelete
  98. I nominate the Plymouth Valiant as the ugliest car ever made, except perhaps maybe the Studebaker Lark. But ugliness, like beauty, is only skin deep.

    ReplyDelete
  99. And, beauty, like ugliness, is in the eye of the beholder, of course, so as not to piss anyone off.

    ReplyDelete
  100. You got to watch what you say around here.

    ReplyDelete
  101. That story is too classic to believe, al-Bob!

    ReplyDelete
  102. That telescope was to get the wheel outta the way for more important business down the road behind the old school.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Probably similar to how some of my friends from long ago ended up Marines?

    Sun Dec 07, 05:33:00 PM EST

    Depends on what you mean by "similar."

    ReplyDelete
  104. Depends on what you mean by "similar."

    Yes. I struggled over that word, actually.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Well. Someone has to make dinner.

    And I wouldn't know a Valiant or a Lark or a Slant if one bit me in the ass.

    ReplyDelete
  106. That telescope was to get the wheel outta the way for more important business down the road behind the old school.

    ...and it got such a workout, it finally fell off.

    ReplyDelete
  107. My parents passed down their '73 Buick Centurion to me when I turned 16. Had the telescopic/up-down steering wheel. 455 cubic inches. Man that car could go. Good times.

    ReplyDelete
  108. My uncle tells of a story of an old Chevy he had when he first started going out with my aunt. He used to pull the steering wheel off and hand it to my aunt and say, 'Here hang on to this for a minute.' Then put a pair of vice-grips on the column and steer with those.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Probly a law somewhere against giving a 16yr old 455 cubes these days!

    ReplyDelete
  110. He had a vice grip on the steering, and we ain't talking wheel!

    ...another classic story!

    ReplyDelete
  111. Yeah, it was big-ass engine. Passing gear was a lot of fun. I think GM went all the way up to 500 in '72 then I think the 455 was their next step down as they started coming back down with smaller engines.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Vice grips is a good idea, wish I'd thought of that.

    The steering wheel, as I recall, only had one large nut holding it on, when that slips off you're on your own, without vice grips.

    ReplyDelete
  113. 63's had an Aluminum 215 V-8.

    ...used in the Morgan Plus 8 years later.
    We knew a guy that wrote part of the Muppet stuff that had one @ his place in England.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Yeah, it was big-ass engine. Passing gear was a lot of fun. I think GM went all the way up to 500 in '72 then I think the 455 was their next step down as they started coming back down with smaller engines.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Insanely Great: What if Steve Jobs ran one of the Big Three auto companies?

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2008/pulpit_20081207_005508.html
    ==

    Damn bastards should be charged with plagiarism. They stole every point I've made.

    ReplyDelete
  116. Blogger being weird.

    Really. I tried to follow a link to that image of the '61, and instead got a file save for an image of Teresita's rose tattoo. Is it real, or is it Memorex? ...or has the gubbamint already taken over the internet?

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  117. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  118. '73 Centurion

    Only mine was metallic midnight blue.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Big nose on it to hold that power plant.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Mine also had a white hard top. Much better looking than that one.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Good article and comments on what happens when Hindu Elites Eschew Defense

    You can also cruise through the ad at the top, the 'International Muslim Matrimonial Site' if you are in need of another wife or three.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Probably wouldn't feel too good if you rolled it.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Now there's a car looks like it's right out of the Jetsons. Nice looker. But, you're right, you wouldn't want to roll that puppy.


    I think some of the biggest Cadillacs had 525 or 530 cubic inch engines.

    Go back in the 30's or 40's you can find a lot of cars with V-10's or V-12s. I remember reading about them in the ads in the old Time Magazines my aunt had.

    Those V-12 were smooth running, I read, very well balanced.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Dad had one of These pieces of crap, Studebaker Lark 4 door. V-8 and an overdrive. No traction at all, and my sister rolled it off the highway in the snow. She came out ok though, as the roof held up well, and she didn't get thrown out.

    ReplyDelete
  125. SUV's Go To Detroit Church, Kneel At Alter, People In Pews Pray For Bailout

    There must be some Biblical passage that merits mention in this regard, but I can't think what it would be.

    Maybe something about chariots....

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  126. Other Detroit-area religious leaders -- including Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders convened by Cardinal Adam Maida -- have urged Congress to approve an auto aid package.


    Nothing like the aroma of a bailout in the air, the smell of free money, to bring the religions together.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Now, here's a real car.

    A customer requirement was seen for a car powered by an engine simultaneously more powerful and smoother than any hitherto available.

    Cadillac V-16

    ReplyDelete
  128. This engine was nearly silent at idle and turbine-smooth in operation.

    It's said you could balance a coin on the engine when it was running.

    ReplyDelete
  129. No doubt. That is a cool car.

    ReplyDelete
  130. Really is, I'd love to have something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  131. Some Execs Act like Senators, Some Don't

    So if the Big Three are allowed to go to the wall, then it will not be for a lack of willingness to change or to invest in advanced technology. It might, however, be because of the unbelievable hubris shown by their bosses. A few years before the recent private-jet episode, I was at the Tokyo Motor Show, and saw GM boss Rick Wagoner pass by with an entourage of at least 25 advisers, photographers, security guards, panjandrums and subalterns fresh from a roasting at that morning’s power breakfast.

    “Makes an impressive sight, doesn’t it?” said the man at my side, offering me a Polo. I turned and saw Lewis Booth, president of Ford of Europe. At the time, he was making more money than all of GM’s North American operations, yet there he was on his own, in a flight-case-crumpled suit, offering me a pocket-fluffed mint.

    There was never any danger of Lewis Booth flying too close to the sun. Perhaps that is why Ford chief executive Alan Mulally recently appointed him chief financial officer. Whatever the outcome of the bail‑out negotiations, the car-making business is going to need more men with that kind of eye for a saving.

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  132. The steering wheel on that baby looks as sharp as a Vegematic!

    ...the old chest shredder, back in the days when men were bold and women were not particular.

    ...can we all finish that rhyme from my grammer school days?

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  133. Although the overall tone of the interview (with regard to the economy) was reassuring, President-Elect Obama tempered it all by saying that it was going "to get worse before it gets better." A healthy dose of realism no doubt should go a long way in dealing with too many detractors in the first few months of the nascent administration.

    Not that that will stop the hardliners like Rush Limbaugh, who has already begun calling the economy "Obama's Recession." But it must be remembered that it took months upon months to slide into the current economic situation, so it will take more of same to climb back out.

    Tom Brokaw's last appearance as host on "Meet The Press" not only showcased the skills of the veteran newsman, but it also extended to the American people an image of an incoming president confident of his and his appointees' abilities to do the difficult job necessary to run the United States during admittedly trying times. For this image and the presenting of Obama as a man in charge, the American people were given another glimpse of what made Tom Brokaw the award-winning news journalist he was for four decades.


    Meet the Press

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  134. "Tom Brokaw's last appearance as host on "Meet The Press" not only showcased the skills of the veteran newsman, but it also extended to the American people an image of an incoming president confident of his and his appointees' abilities to do the difficult job necessary to run the United States during admittedly trying times. For this image and the presenting of Obama as a man in charge, the American people were given another glimpse of what made Tom Brokaw the award-winning news journalist he was for four decades."
    ---
    Makes me wish I was there so I could join the writer in giving them both BJ's!

    ReplyDelete
  135. ...they tied a sock onto their cock, and screwed em perpendicular.

    Ah, great poetry.
    Bob's Aunt would be proud.

    ReplyDelete
  136. Old Farts Playing Old Jocks.

    ReplyDelete
  137. What if the state of Washington created a flexible fuel tax? One that prevented the price at the pump from falling below a certain level, say $2 a gallon?

    Then consumers would still get some benefit -- as would state coffers. On top of the extra revenue, public policy would benefit for continued investment in alternative fuels because there would be an economic incentive.

    No one wants to pay more for energy. But we shouldn't be paying less, either.


    Make it Cost More

    ReplyDelete
  138. Definitely should NOT pay less!
    ...Rush was talking about the same thing but @ $4/Gal.

    Wonder who will impose it first, Nancy, Harry, or Barry?

    ReplyDelete
  139. SUV's on the Alter:

    At one point, Ellis summoned up hundreds of auto workers and retirees in the congregation to come forward toward the vehicles on the altar to be anointed with oil.
    (30 Weight, or Multi-Viscosity?
    Synthetic, or Organic?)

    "It's all about hope. You can't dictate how people will think, how they will respond, how they will vote," Ellis said after the service. "But you can look to God. We believe he can change the minds and hearts of men and women in power, and that's what we tried to do today."

    ReplyDelete
  140. ...What if the state of Washington created a flexible fuel tax? One that prevented the price at the pump from falling below a certain level, say $2 a gallon?

    Then consumers would still get some benefit --


    Consumers would still get some benefit? From taxes? Only in the calculus of the PI (and mat).

    On top of the extra revenue, public policy would benefit for continued investment in alternative fuels because there would be an economic incentive.

    Spare us from economic incentives dreamed up by the taxeaters and rent seekers. Let the alternative fuels develop free of government intervention. Keep Maxine and Waxman and that crooked Washington governor out of the energy business. Even California had the good sense to defeat T. Boone's windfarm scam.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Britain's economy overtaken by France, new figures show
    The UK is now the sixth largest economy in the world, behind America, Japan, China, Germany and France.

    ReplyDelete
  142. The UK is now the sixth largest economy in the world, behind America, Japan, China, Germany and France.

    California used to be seventh, as I recall. I think we've slipped, though, with Nevada and Arizona taking the companies tired of the liberal's taxes.

    ReplyDelete
  143. State GOP losing ground

    California Republicans have been fighting a losing registration battle with the state's Democrats over the past four years.

    October 2004

    Total registered voters: 16.5 million

    Registered Democrats: 7.1 million (43 percent)

    Registered Republicans: 5.7 million (34.7 percent)

    Registration gap: Democrats ahead by 1.37 million

    October 2008

    Total registered voters: 17.3 million

    Registered Democrats: 7.7 million (44 percent)

    Registered Republicans: 5.4 million (31.3 percent)

    Registration gap: Democrats ahead by 2.25 million

    Counties that changed to majority Democrats since 2004

    Alpine, San Bernardino, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Ventura


    Losing Ground

    ReplyDelete
  144. From the comments:

    Perhaps - hopefully - the reason Republicans are losing ground in this state is because they are the party best suited to the sensibilities of the ignorant; the uneducated, the blindly religious and those consumed by fear driven thinking. I think the appalling disgrace of the last 8 years has made this abundantly clear.

    ReplyDelete
  145. O Lord, help us to change the world, one SUV at a time. Help us Lord, change their inner being, so their mighty engines of righteousness run like on 10-40. 10-40 with a new oil filter, Lord. In the Trinity we pray, GM, Ford and Holy Chrysler. Amen.

    ReplyDelete
  146. Today, 67 years ago, My Uncle died. USS West Virginia. Pearl Harbor.

    One of the first casualties of WWII. RIP men.

    ReplyDelete
  147. It was really quite particular, and it was definitely extracuricular, and happened in the perpendicular, our testicular vehicular tryst.

    -----------------------


    RIP, your uncle, Rufus.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Needless to say, Clan "Rufus" has spent some time in the Pacific, and Asia. We're ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Thanks, Bob. I think I'll have a beer.

    ReplyDelete
  150. If I was there, I'd have one with you.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Thank you Uncle and Clan Rufus.

    RIP

    ReplyDelete
  152. Perhaps - hopefully - the reason Republicans are losing ground in this state is because they are the party best suited to the sensibilities of the ignorant; the uneducated, the blindly religious and those consumed by fear driven thinking. I think the appalling disgrace of the last 8 years has made this abundantly clear.

    :-)

    Nah. It's outmigration to NV and AZ, as well as quite a few registered independents. Plus the new arrivals from Mexico welcomed by the donkeys. It's still a sorry situation.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Here's to your uncle, Rufus.

    ------

    What's up with the Gators? Are they going to the national championship game?

    ReplyDelete
  154. From the Husker Blog:

    For what it's worth, I give Florida an edge in the BCS national championship game. The extremely talented Tebow obviously leads an electric offense, although Oklahoma's offense possesses a tad more firepower. However, I lean toward the Gators because of their salty defense, which showed lots of moxie against an ultra-physical Alabama offense.

    Alabama plays a brutal smashmouth style of offense. The Tide seemed to have all the momentum in the third quarter Saturday. Wrong. Total yards in the fourth quarter: Florida 130, Alabama 1. Wow.

    Florida ranks ninth nationally in total defense. The SEC, by the way, has eight of the nation's top 30 defenses.

    Oklahoma ranks 65th in total defense...


    No love lost for Oklahoma in Lincoln. Or for Tebow, for that matter. Cornhuskers call him Teabag.

    ReplyDelete
  155. Bob, did I see that The Mighty Vandals had a better season than the winless Huskies? Too bad you had to ruin a perfect record for the year, but that should be some consolation.

    ReplyDelete
  156. No, I didn't notice that about the Huskies, but, if my figures are right, I think U of Idaho, WSU, and U of Washington, together, came out at 4 wins, 36 loses for the season, taken all together.

    Most places in the United States, if you drive for a day, you can escape Football Hell, but not around here. You just reach another corner of it.

    ReplyDelete
  157. Except Boise. But if your not a Boise State fan, that too could be football hell.

    Good night, Bob.

    ReplyDelete