“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, March 16, 2009

Here is Irony: China Loses $80B in Market, but Losses May be Covered by Rise in US Treasuries.

China is the largest holder of U.S. public debt. Last week, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, made some blunt warnings that the U.S. must assure China on the safety of its investment in the United States. It appears that the Chinese were diversifying out of the dollar at the beginning of the financial crisis and to put it equally bluntly, they got their ass handed back to them by some very bad bets, but get this: Their non-diversified holds of US debt increased as interest rates declined and the US debt holdings covered their losses.


China lost billions in diversity drive

By By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing Financial Times
Published: March 15 2009 23:32 | Last updated: March 15 2009 23:32

China has lost tens of billions of dollars of its foreign exchange reserves through a poorly timed diversification into global equities just before world markets collapsed last year.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange, the opaque manager of nearly $2,000bn (€1,547bn, £1,429bn) of reserves, started making huge bets on global stocks early in 2007 and continued this strategy at least until the collapse of the US mortgage finance providers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in July 2008, according to analysts and people familiar with Safe’s operations.

By that point Safe had moved well over 15 per cent of the country’s $1,800bn reserves into riskier assets, including equities and corporate bonds, according to people familiar with its strategy.

Safe never discloses its holdings except to the top Chinese leadership so it is impossible to know exactly how much it has lost from diversifying before markets crashed.

But judging from the subsequent fall in global stock prices and a conservative estimate that Safe held about $160bn worth of overseas equities, Chinese losses on those investments would exceed $80bn, or more than 50 per cent, according to Brad Setser, an economist at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Total holdings of US equities by all Chinese entities reached $100bn by the end of June last year, more than triple the total of Chinese holdings in June 2007, according to an annual survey published by the US Treasury.

‘It appears Safe began diversifying into equities early in 2007 and, rather than being deterred by the subprime crisis, it continued to buy’ -Brad Setser, economist, Council on Foreign Relations

In mid-2006, Chinese holdings of US equities totalled just $4bn. Chinese investors are mostly barred from investing abroad and Safe is the only entity with the resources and the authority to make such large-scale offshore portfolio investments.

“Safe has built up one of the largest US equity portfolios of any foreign government entity investing abroad, including the major sovereign wealth funds,” Mr Setser said.

“It appears Safe began diversifying into equities early in 2007 and, rather than being deterred by the subprime crisis, it continued to buy.”

China’s leadership has not commented on the equity losses but Wen Jiabao, prime minister, expressed concern about the value of China’s large holdings of US assets on Friday and warned the US to take measures to guarantee its “good credit”.

Safe uses a Hong Kong subsidiary when investing in offshore equities in the US and other countries, including the UK, where this subsidiary took small stakes last year in dozens of UK companies including Rio Tinto, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Barclays, Tesco and RBS.

As part of its diversification in early 2008, Safe also gave some money to private equity firms such as TPG and to hedge funds on a managed account basis.

This gave the Chinese government ultimate approval for how its money was invested, according to people who have worked with Safe.

The large shift into global equities appears to have started at around the time that Beijing approved the establishment of China Investment Corporation, the country’s official sovereign wealth fund, which has been widely criticised in China for incurring paper losses of around $4bn on high-profile investments in Morgan Stanley and Blackstone.

The bulk of Safe’s holdings remain in US Treasury bills and much of the loss on its riskier assets will be offset by gains on long-term bills, according to Mr Setser.

“They are a lot more cautious and risk-averse now and have basically returned to buying government bonds,” said someone who works with Safe.


  1. Welcome to "Capitalism," Chinee, boy.

    HOw much ya say ye wanted?

  2. Shades of the Japanese Rockefeller Fiasco.

  3. AIG's Not Very Transparent List of Counterparties

    It's good that AIG has released a list of its counterparties. But if it really believes in "the importance of upholding a high degree of transparency with respect to the use of public funds", this is a very odd way of releasing the information.

    If you're not already familiar with the intricacies of AIG's operations, it's very easy to just start adding up the numbers in the various appendices, coming up with a kind of bailout league table: Goldman Got $12.9 billion! Barclays got $8.5 billion! But in fact it's much more complicated than that.

    There are four appendices in all. Before we get to them, it's worth reading a bit of Gretchen Morgenson today:

    Even A.I.G.'s own independent directors haven't been told which of the counterparties were paid...
    Such secrecy raised hackles because the insurance claims were paid off in full, even though widespread defaults on the underlying debt have not occurred. Why, many people wonder, did the Fed make A.I.G.'s counterparties whole on losses that have not happened yet?

    What Morgenson is talking about here is the second of the four appendices: the payments made by the company known as "Maiden Lane III".

    After banks insured their assets against default, AIG essentially used Maiden Lane III to take those assets onto its own books, thereby allowing it to cancel out the insurance contracts. The big winners here are SocGen and Goldman Sachs -- and it's worth noting that unlike the first appendix, where the counterparties are helpfully listed in order of size, in the second appendix there seems to be no particular order at all, and the two biggest recipients of government money are hidden in the middle of the list.
    In any event, so many of the counterparties on this list had hedged their AIG exposure that it's massively oversimplifying matters to conclude that even the banks with the biggest exposures on the second appendix are the ones which effectively got the biggest government bailout.
    It's not nearly as simple as that -- and AIG should be much more upfront about such matters than it is being with this release.

  4. Fair Game - At A.I.G., Good Luck Following the Money -

    Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, said she had twice asked for a full accounting from Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, which arranged the A.I.G. rescue. She has not received it.

    “They have told others it is proprietary information,” Ms. Maloney said in an interview. “But we are the proprietors now. Taxpayers own the store, and we should be able to see the books.”

  5. O.B.A.M.A.
    One Big Ass Mistake, America!

    KING: [ ... ] Do you think Chris Hill is up to that job [ambassador to Iraq] based on what he did in North Korea?

    CHENEY: He’s not the man I would have picked for that post.
    He doesn’t have any experience in the region.
    He’s never served in that part of the world before.
    He doesn’t speak the language.

    He’s got none of the skills and talents that Ryan Crocker had, who was our last ambassador, who did a superb job, deserves as much credit as Dave Petraeus in terms of how that process worked during the surge that led to the success we’ve seen now in Iraq.

    So I think it’s a choice that — a choice I wouldn’t have made. I did not support the work that Chris Hill did with respect to North Korea.

  6. dod-eliminates-sale-of-expended-brass

    "From now on, remanufacturers of military brass will not be able to buy surplus brass from DOD--actually from Government Liquidators, llc.--the corporation that sells surplus materials for the U.S. government.

    At least, not in any form recognizable as once-fired brass ammunition. Now all brass ammunition will have to be shredded, and sold as scrap."

    "You can expect this to affect every bullet you purchase in the future--with no reloaded ammunition available, the already strained new manufacturers will be unable to meet demand. They are already turning out everything they can build for the military market. The civilian market is stressed to the point even reloading components have become hard to find.

    Now, with this hit, ammunition prices will go through the roof in the next year."

  7. Never trust the US supply chain, doug, for your weapons and ammo needs. None of the other whirled wide miscreants do.

    You want to stock up for the revolution, do not buy any of those AR varients.

    Go Warsaw Pact, like all good revolutionaries do.

    Now, with this latest bit of international financial news, it becomes even more clear that the Federals were trying to "cool" the US economy, AND ...

    Teach thpse Chinee about investing their Trade Surplus dollars outside of US government approved Treasuries. They start to move their paper and lo and behold ...
    It loses its' value.

    Message sent
    Lesson learned.

  8. Still forging ahead----(so they say)--

    Elmore nuclear plant company to accept resumes April 22

    Development of the project will require thousands of trained workers of all skills

    March 16, 2009

    For more information, contact:

    Jennie Ransom, AEHI vice president, 208-939-9311

    Martin Johncox, AEHI spokesman, 208-658-9100

    Alternate Energy Holdings Inc., the Eagle company developing a nuclear power plant in Elmore County, will be accepting resumes and letters of interest from people on Wednesday, April 22 in front of Mountain Home Junior High School, 1600 E. 6th South, beginning at 5 p.m.

    “I get ten letters a week, unsolicited, for people who want to work for our company,” said company spokeswoman Jennie Ransom. “When the time comes to build this plant, we are going to need to call on thousands of skilled local people, so I figured we might as well start collecting resumes.”

    Ransom and other AEHI volunteers will staff a table to accept resumes and letters of interest. People who submit a resume/letter of interest will be encouraged to attend the 6 p.m.Elmore County Commission meeting in the adjacent junior high school and show their support for the proposal to construct a large advanced nuclear reactor in Elmore County.

    “The commission needs to hear from Elmore County residents and Idahoans in general that our plant should be a priority for economic development,” Ransom said. “The Treasure Valley has had to turn away major employers because of lack of energy. The plant would directly put people to work and allow other industries to come.”

    The company plans to hire locally and from Idaho as much as possible. Idaho State University can supply many employees trained in nuclear technology, while the large number of ex-military in Elmore County would be ideal for security and operations jobs. Other Idahoans are skilled in management, construction, maintenance and office work, Ransom said.

    “These are stable, family-wage jobs that cannot be sent overseas,” Ransom said, pointing to recent news coverage showing Idaho is the third most-stressed state economically. “The average wage in the nuclear industry is $80,000 a year and these jobs provide a great sense of accomplishment.”

    Ransom said the company is interested in letters of interest and resumes from people in the following jobs:

    Administration - human resources, secretaries, admin assistants, clerks, managers


    Auxiliary operator

    Boilermakers, pipefitters, plumbers


    Chemists and

    chemistry technicians

    Construction workers


    Engineers – nuclear, civil, mechanical, electrical, industrial

    Engineering technicians

    Environmental compliance professionals

    Facilities maintenance personnel - mechanics, instrumentation, HVAC, diesel, electrical.

    Food service workers

    Information tech specialists


    Laboratory technicians


    Parts specialists

    Radiation technicians

    Reactor Operator


    Security personnel - ex-military and Guard

    Warehouse staff

    The nuclear industry is very selective, however. Plant workers need high security clearances and must pass background checks and psychological tests. Ransom said the high number of former and current military personnel in Elmore County make it an ideal place for finding prospective employees.

    AEHI’s 2007 economic study found the plant would grow employment in Elmore and Owyhee counties by 25 percent and generate 4,230 jobs statewide during construction, including a total annual payroll impact of $839 million – nearly 2 percent of the payroll in Idaho. It would also generate 1,004 annual jobs statewide during operation (estimated 60 years or more) with an annual statewide payroll impact of $57 million. It would also pay average annual wages of $80,000 to plant employees (267 percent of Idaho average) and pay would be $33,536 (112 percent of Idaho average) in industries indirectly affected (2006 dollars). Total annual labor income impacts in Owyhee and Elmore counties during operation would be $52.3 million.

    Ransom said she was shocked at a Jan. 9 news release by an opposition group warning that one of the drawbacks of the plant would be “thousands of construction workers.”

    “There might already be hundreds, if not thousands, of construction workers in Elmore County, and the only difference is that they’re unemployed and looking for jobs,” Ransom said. “Until our opponents come up with a plan to put people to work, it sounds elitist and out-of-touch for them to complain about construction workers getting jobs in Elmore County or anywhere else. The lack of jobs and tax revenue is already straining county services.”

    Unemployment in the Elmore County has reached 7 percent, which is high for a place with a normally robust economy. Loss of jobs thousands of jobs at Micron, the closing of a potato processing plant, a poor Christmas season and fewer car sales are behind much of the unemployment. On March 7, the Idaho Statesman reported the Idaho jobless rate is at a 21-year high of nearly 7 percent, with some 53,000 unemployed; the state is expecting a 12 percent drop in tax revenue. Economists say joblessness will continue to rise nationally for the rest of the year and into early 2010, with the unemployment rate reaching 9 to 10 percent before it turns around.

    Ransom said it could be a few years before large numbers of jobs commence at the AEHI plant, as AEHI must first obtain approval. Delays caused by the opposition, if any, will extend the construction start time.

    However, even with no new plants under construction, the nuclear industry is already putting people to work. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, “nuclear energy is one of the few bright spots in the US economy - expanding rather than contracting.” An NEI report says the prospect of new plant construction in has already stimulated considerable investment and job creation among companies that supply the nuclear industry: “Over the last several years, the nuclear industry has invested over $4 billion in new nuclear plant development, and plans to invest approximately $8 billion in the next several years to be in a position to start construction in 2011-2012.” In the course of this, NEI said, “private investment in new nuclear power plants has created an estimated 14,000-15,000 jobs.” The number of new jobs “will expand dramatically after 2011 when the first wave of these new nuclear projects starts construction.”

    The Idaho Energy Complex ( will be a large advanced nuclear reactor with low cooling water requirements located about 65 miles southeast of Boise, in Elmore County. Company officials plan to submit a Combined Operating License Application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2010. The approval process is expected to take three years and cost $80 million. Construction could begin as soon as late 2012 and finish with power generation beginning in late 2016. For more information, go to and

  9. A good PR move by the nuclear proponents. None, or few, of those job applicants will still be in the labor pool, when and if construction starts, as the spokesperson said, years from now.

  10. Yup, looks like a drum up support move. High paying jobs for everybody, just come out and show your support.

    She's dead in the water, I believe, from what I was reading about Yucca Mountain. But, I'm not sure. Don't know if they actually need Yucca Mountain.

    I wish we could just handle it right here at the state level. It would get done.

  11. Ransom said she was shocked at a Jan. 9 news release by an opposition group warning that one of the drawbacks of the plant would be “thousands of construction workers.”

    I can believe that. That's got the ring of truth, from what I know of those folks. Jackrabbits are ok, smelly construction workers, hell no!

  12. My darts called for a down market, today. But, I never said they were right more than 50% of the time.

  13. How Much Is A Trillion Dollars?

    Visual aid for the mathematically impaired. Scroll down.

  14. The Mexi drug cartels are going Chinee, for their weapons needs. They are buying AK varients, except for the Barrett 50 caliber sniper rifles they keep on hand, for their convoy security overwatch positions.

  15. Spain Sets Wind Power Generation Record

    Spain Wind Power By generating 40% of the energy required by wind Spain set a world record last week. When high winds blew through north-west Spain on Thursday, a massive 11,180 MW was generated. Of course the wind energy farms were helped by one of the strongest spells of fierce winds experienced by the region recently.

    Spain has been at the forefront of producing clean energy, especially wind energy. By producing 11.5% of its overall energy through wind turbines Spain has become the 3rd largest producer of wind energy after Germany (2nd) and US (1st). Whereas many European countries like the UK are dragging their feet around the figure of 7300 MW, Spain has an ambitious target of achieving 20,000 MW by 2010.

    The major companies working in the wind energy generation segment in Spain are Iberdrola, Acciona and Endesa.

    At their peak production performance, Spain's wind turbines were working at 69% of the maximum theoretical potential. Among the top three wind generation producing countries in the world Spain is producing around 16,000 MW, Germany around 24,000 MW and the US around 25,000 MW, consequently, enjoying the first place. Even after being the biggest producer of wind energy, America still produces just 1% of its total energy requirements and that is why Spain was able to set the record.

    The figures came as the World Wildlife Fund praised Spain's rapid move into renewable energies. Spain has also earned praises from WWF for its overall effort in developing renewable energy during the past 12 years. By the next year Spain aims to meet 30% of its annual electricity demand from renewable sources.

    20GW by 2010. Almost double what it is today. Which will bring wind generating capacity to 80% of total.

  16. House prices 'could drop another 55%' and leave Britain bankrupt | Mail Online

    By James Chapman
    Last updated at 10:30 AM on 12th March 2009

    Financial analysts warn that house prices could fall a further 55% - leaving 6million Britons in negative equity

    House prices could slump by another 55 per cent, a respected City forecaster warns.

    It also predicts a deep recession lasting throughout next year and a 'very real probability' that Britain will go bankrupt.

    The report leaked yesterday from financial analysts Numis Securities says that the collapse in house prices is not 'anywhere near over'.

    They have already fallen 21 per cent from their peak, but the report says they will slump further by up to 55 per cent if the over-correction in prices is as bad as in the early 1990s.

    That would leave many millions of Britons in negative equity - when their house is worth less than their mortgage.

    Yesterday also saw Alistair Darling warn that there could be 'no instant remedy or overnight solution' to the economic crisis.

    The Chancellor used a speech to prepare the ground for slashing growth forecasts that now appear wildly optimistic.

    In November, he had predicted that the economy would shrink by about 1 per cent this year, before growing by about 1.75 per cent in 2010.

    He is expected to tear up those predictions in next month's Budget.

    Mr Darling said: 'It is crucial to remember that we are dealing with a constantly evolving problem - making life difficult for every country.

    'Since November, we have witnessed a collapse in world trade not seen in generations and a much deeper and more widespread global recession, with every country affected.'

    He added: 'When it comes to economic forecasts, even the International Monetary Fund finds it difficult to hit this moving target.'

    But the Numis report is scathing about the Government's response to the recession and warns it may end up needing a 1970s-style bailout from the IMF.

    'The bankruptcy of the UK is a very real probability as the UK government is trying to stimulate a greater debt burden in a grossly over-indebted economy,' it says.
    Worse to come: Chancellor Alistair Darling

    Worse to come: Chancellor Alistair Darling

    'We believe the scale of the imbalances in the UK means there is no prospect of a recovery in 2009 and we expect the UK to be mired in a deep recession through all of 2010.'

    It calls the Government's aim to get banks to lend again at 2007 levels 'crazy' and warns against anyone borrowing now to enter the property market.

    The Numis report predicts that house price falls will accelerate in coming months as amateur buy-to-let investors begin to 'panic sell' their portfolios.

    The biggest collapse will be in the glut of city centre flats and executive homes built in the past decade, it claims.

    Numis suggests that the average house price - around £160,000 even after recent falls - is over-valued by between 17 per cent and 39 per cent.

    It calculates that the average house price should be just £96,000, based on average earnings and the old lending limit of three times salary plus a 25 per cent deposit.

    Tory housing spokesman Grant Shapps said: 'We all have to hope that what this report predicts doesn't happen. Clearly if house price falls of this scale did occur, it would mean disaster for untold millions of people.

    'Ministers bear direct responsibility for fuelling buy-to-let speculation, partly as a consequence of Gordon Brown's taxes on pensions leading people to seek other investments.

    'The glut of flats we have seen is a result of John Prescott's planning policies, which have created distortions in the market.

    'The Government's fingerprints are all over this economic wreckage.'

    A Treasury spokesman said: '2009 is going to be a difficult year, but most economic forecasters are expecting the economy to recover next year.

    'The UK goes into this recession with low debt by international standards.'

    Numis Securities Limited is a leading independent investment banking and institutional stockbroking business.

  17. I think the Saudis and the Pakistanis should bail them out.

  18. Graham Shows S&P 500 Still Too High as Buffett Loses (Update4)

    By Alexis Xydias and Michael Tsang

    March 9 (Bloomberg) -- Benjamin Graham, the father of value investing and mentor of Warren Buffett, would find most U.S. stocks expensive even after the Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 56 percent in 17 months.

    Graham measured equities against a decade of profits to smooth out distortions, a method that shows the S&P 500 trading at 13.2 times earnings, according to data compiled by Yale University Professor Robert Shiller. At the bottom of the three worst recessions since 1929, the average ratio fell below 10. To reach that level, the S&P 500 would sink another 27 percent.

    800 x 0.75 = 600
    Which is right about where I pegged it.

  19. My darts were wrong today, so far.

    Shouldn't that be 20% Mat instead of 80%?

  20. I'm not sure I follow, Bob.

    I subtracted 25% from 800, which is where is think this bear rally will hit resistance and retrace back. We're at about 770 right now on the S&P.

  21. Ok, I see now:

    "Spain Wind Power By generating 40% of the energy required by wind Spain set a world record last week. When high winds blew through north-west Spain on Thursday, a massive 11,180 MW was generated."

    So, if

    40% = ~11GW
    20GW = ~80%

  22. I've got the pleasant experience of going to the accountant's to get my tax bill today. Later.

  23. Interesting article on new battery tech:

    Lead Carbon Batteries: A Game Changer for Alt Energy Storage - Part II

  24. Yes, the weather is turing a bit more pleasant around here. Will charge my ipod and go for a walk.

  25. Funny stuff, I suggest that the 'value' investment model would price the S&P 500 in the 600 range, based upon the Mornngstar mans' analysis of fair value, based upon a P/E of 15, and figured 600 would be the value investors fair market value figure.

    Now mat has confirmed that, for us.

  26. Which does not mean that it is going to 600, but that 600 is well withing the historic norm, if it does.

    It will not be a radical departure from previous economic realities.

    Those that I was taught as a young lad at my dad's knee.
    The "Conservative" values of our past.

    Not the smoke and mirrors of the last 30 years of investing in growth. It's been mostly foreign growth driven by US debt, as the current recession and the Chinese experience in divisting from Treasuries exemplifies, oh so well.

  27. Not the smoke and mirrors of the last 30 years of investing in growth.

    You don't know the half of it.
    Economist Michael Hudson explains:

    I found I needed to listen twice to really get an in depth appreciation of the points Dr Michael Hudson was bringing to the fore.

  28. But I sold short on your advice, 'Rat, not Mat's, thus locking in greater profits than will Mat's clingers.

  29. President Obama Job Approval

    RCP Average

    Date 03/03 - 03/15 --
    Approve 60.9
    Disapprove 30.3
    Spread +30.6

  30. "I found I needed to listen twice to really get an in depth appreciation of the points Dr Michael Hudson was bringing to the fore."

    You think we need reminding that you're a slow learner?

    ...or are you just now figuring that out?

  31. You think we need reminding that you're a slow learner?


    And what is it that you learnt today?

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Hank Greenberg was run out of AIG by Eliot Spitzer.
    The new CEO is a Dem Obama contributor.
    ...just following the law wrt bonuses, as written by Pelosi and Co.
    ...and their employee's contracts.

  34. Btw,

    First thing you should learn, in this market, you do not hold overnight, long or short.

  35. I hold long overnite.
    You hold the short one.

  36. The lies that they tell:

  37. Heh, trying to sell me a bag of goods? What do I look like to you, a US taxpayer?

  38. Asshole.
    Canucks got the most sound banks in the World.
    Ours rank Number 40.

  39. Asshole.


    C'mon, our worthless dollar is pegged to 80% of your worthless dollar; so you can stop with the whining.

  40. The oracle says:
    Britain goes bust!

  41. The banks could now make Britain go bust


  42. The Dollar used to be par.
    What happened to the Canuckistanian Peso?
    (also what is a Canuck Dollar called?)

  43. Wife reminds me, it's called a

  44. Hell, a this rate, I should be part of the Obama financial Braintrust.

  45. 7,216.97
    -7.01 (-0.10%)
    Mar 16 - Close

    heh, at day's end, darts were right, but not by much.

  46. heh

    Ron Paul: Never Turn Away an Earmark

    Monday, March 16, 2009 11:01 AM

    Texas Congressman Ron Paul is a fiscal watchdog, but he placed more earmarks in the recently passed $410 billion spending bill than any other Republican, inserting $73 million into the measure — which he then voted against.

    Paul, who sought the Republican presidential nomination last year, acknowledged in an interview with Fox News that the $73 million “might be” going to his Gulf Coast district in Texas for things like the Intracoastal Waterway and the Texas City channel.

    “The principle of the earmark is our responsibility,” he said.

    “It’s like a tax credit. And I vote for all tax credits, no matter how silly they might seem. If I can give you any of your money back, I vote for it. So if I can give my district any money back, I encourage that…

    “If they’re going to allot the money, I have a responsibility to represent my people. If they say, hey, put in a highway for the district, I put it in.”

    Paul, who also ran for president as the Libertarian Party nominee in 1988, voted against the spending bill because he believes federal spending should be drastically reduced.

    “Because the budget is out of control, I haven’t voted for an appropriation in years — if ever,” he told Fox.

    Paul said doing away with earmarks would enable the executive branch to gain power over the legislative branch, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    If Congress votes against an earmark, the administration gets to allocate the funds, he explained.

    “If you vote against all the earmarks, you don’t save one penny … We’re talking about who has the responsibility, the Congress or the executive branch.”

  47. Every single fucking act of his is either Anit American, Anti Military, Anti Capitalist, Anti Corporation, Anti "Rich" Anti Taxpayer, Anti Innocent Life etc etc etc. doubt have a legacy of a Compassionate Centrist spanning the Universe

  48. There's a protest April 15th in Honolulu, al-Doug!

  49. Protest now, while it's still 'legal' to do so.

  50. I'll probly have a tube up my ass.
    If not, I should go.
    Must be Rick Hamada behind it, I'll check it out.

  51. Hey, how far up do they go in a standard colonoscopy?

  52. Wife had a trans grastronomical deal where they came from both ends and met in the middle.
    The Celebration of that was all she enjoyed out of the whole damn procedure.
    The Meeting of the Tubes tm

  53. Hell, a this rate, I should be part of the Obama financial Braintrust.

    You, LT, and Jimbo Cramer. :)

  54. Chad Vader returns from the Dentist

  55. Don't know, Doug, forgot to ask.

    There's some kind of new exam maybe coming that's not invasive.

    Don't put it off though, waiting for that.

    I'll protest for both of us.

  56. "No Bill of Attainder...shall be passed"

    Representative Carolyn Maloney is considering introducing a bill that taxes back 100% of the AIG bonuses.

    Representative Maloney might also want to introduce herself to the US Constitution.

  57. Constitution's a flawed, living document al-Doug, Zero told us so. And lately, the courts seem to agree.

  58. These people need to be taken to court so that everyone sees their faces and knows who they are.