“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."

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Obama Make Rookie Move with Moscow

Obama is trading a queen for a pawn.

How pathetic, the President of the United States shows he does not know the first thing about the major leagues. Russia does not control the Iranians. The Russians will flirt with anyone that stands up to the United States.

Iran is not building a nuclear weapon to threaten the US or Russia. Iran is building a nuclear weapon as a regional deterrence and to assert Iran's position in the Islamic world. A US missile shield makes sense against any aggressor with nuclear weapons and that includes Pakistan.

The Russians cannot deliver anything to the US on Iran, but they will get a veto on US security because the champ is a chump. Too bad for the courageous politicians in Poland and the Czech Republic that trusted the US in agreeing to the missile shield in the first place. Not good.


Obama Offered Deal to Russia in Secret Letter

Published: March 2, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama sent a secret letter to Russia’s president last month suggesting that he would back off deploying a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range weapons, American officials said Monday.

The letter to President Dmitri A. Medvedev was hand-delivered in Moscow by top administration officials three weeks ago. It said the United States would not need to proceed with the interceptor system, which has been vehemently opposed by Russia since it was proposed by the Bush administration, if Iran halted any efforts to build nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.

The officials who described the contents of the message requested anonymity because it has not been made public. While they said it did not offer a direct quid pro quo, the letter was intended to give Moscow an incentive to join the United States in a common front against Iran. Russia’s military, diplomatic and commercial ties to Tehran give it some influence there, but it has often resisted Washington’s hard line against Iran.

“It’s almost saying to them, put up or shut up,” said a senior administration official. “It’s not that the Russians get to say, ‘We’ll try and therefore you have to suspend.’ It says the threat has to go away.”

Moscow has not responded, but a Russian official said Monday that Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov would have something to say on missile defense to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton when they meet Friday in Geneva. Mr. Obama and Mr. Medvedev will then meet for the first time on April 2 in London, officials said Monday.

Mr. Obama’s letter, sent in response to one he received from Mr. Medvedev shortly after Mr. Obama’s inauguration, is part of an effort to “press the reset button” on Russian-American relations, as Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. put it last month. Among other things, the letter discussed talks to extend a strategic arms treaty expiring this year and cooperation in opening supply routes to Afghanistan.

The plan to build a high-tech radar facility in the Czech Republic and deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland — a part of the world that Russia once considered its sphere of influence — was a top priority for President George W. Bush to deter Iran in case it developed a nuclear warhead to fit atop its long-range missiles. Mr. Bush never accepted a Moscow proposal to install part of the missile defense system on its territory and jointly operate it so it could not be used against Russia.

Now the Obama administration appears to be reconsidering that idea, although it is not clear if it would want to put part of the system on Russian soil where it could be flipped on or off by Russians. Mr. Obama has been lukewarm on missile defense, saying he supports it only if it can be proved technically effective and affordable.

Mr. Bush also emphasized the linkage between the Iranian threat and missile defense, but Mr. Obama’s overture reformulates it in a way intended to appeal to the Russians, who long ago soured on the Bush administration. Officials have been hinting at the possibility of an agreement in recent weeks, and Mr. Obama’s proposal was reported on Monday by a Moscow newspaper, Kommersant.

“If through strong diplomacy with Russia and our other partners we can reduce or eliminate that threat, it obviously shapes the way at which we look at missile defense,” Under Secretary of State William J. Burns said about the Iranian threat in an interview with the Russian news agency Interfax while in Moscow last month delivering Mr. Obama’s letter.

Attending a NATO meeting in Krakow, Poland, on Feb. 20, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said, “I told the Russians a year ago that if there were no Iranian missile program, there would be no need for the missile sites.” Mr. Obama’s inauguration, he added, offered the chance for a fresh start. “My hope is that now, with the new administration, the prospects for that kind of cooperation might have improved,” he said.

The idea has distressed Poland and the Czech Republic, where leaders invested political capital in signing missile defense cooperation treaties with the United States despite domestic opposition. If the United States were to slow or halt deployment of the systems, Warsaw and Prague might insist on other incentives.

For example, the deal with Poland included a side agreement that an American Patriot air defense battery would be moved from Germany to Poland, where it would be operated by a crew of about 100 American service members. The administration might have to proceed with that to reassure Warsaw.

Missile defense has flavored Mr. Obama’s relationship with Russia from the day after his election, when Mr. Medvedev threatened to point missiles at Europe if the system proceeded. Mr. Medvedev later backed off that threat and it seems that Moscow is taking seriously the idea floated in Mr. Obama’s letter. Kommersant, the Moscow newspaper, on Monday called it a “sensational proposal.”

Mr. Medvedev said Sunday that he believed the Obama administration would be open to cooperation on missile defense.

“We have already received such signals from our American colleagues,” he said in an interview posted on the Kremlin Web site. “I expect that these signals will turn into concrete proposals. I hope to discuss this issue of great importance for Europe during my first meeting with President Barack Obama.”

David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker contributed reporting from Washington, and Michael Schwirtz from Moscow.


  1. Ha. I finally make the front page.

  2. Thom contributed his Shanker.

  3. Just showin' the family the new digs, doug.

  4. Here's where the Obama administration is going to get us:
    Obama has been careful throughout the presidential campaign and since being elected to say he would impose higher taxes only on the wealthiest. Republicans, however, say Obama's energy proposal amounts to a tax that would increase energy costs for all Americans.

    "This massive hidden energy tax is going to work its way through every aspect of American life," said Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan, the top Republican on the Ways and Means Committee. "How we light our homes, heat our homes and pay for the gas in our cars, in every phase of our daily lives, we will be paying higher costs."

    Under the energy plan, Obama wants to reduce the emissions blamed for global warming by auctioning off carbon pollution permits. The proposal, known as cap and trade, is projected to raise $646 billion over 10 years.

    Most of the money would be used to pay for Obama's "Making Work Pay" tax credit, which provides up to $400 a year to individuals and $800 a year to couples. The plan also would raise money for clean-fuel technologies, such as solar and wind power.

    Orszag has acknowledged that the energy proposal would increase costs for consumers, but he argues that the vast majority of consumers will get tax breaks elsewhere in Obama's budget package.

  5. - Is the Worst Yet to Come -

    The Dow closed today at its lowest mark in 12 years, and now it's becoming clear even to Obama supporters on Wall Street that his reckless agenda will make a bad situation worse.

    If you want to understand why, despite his popularity with the general public, Barack Obama is losing the confidence of Wall Street, all you really have to do is speak to his supporters on the Street.

    Mega Bear Quartet

  6. What would happen if a stone cold Marxist was sold as a warm Teddy Bear by the MSM?

    ...merely rhetorical, of course.

  7. I would guess energy constitutes a larger percentage of low income budgets than wealthier ones.
    ...would that be too daring for the GOP to mention?

  8. Putin bitch-slaps the rookie:

    "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that it was "not productive" to link talks over a US missile defense system in Europe with Iran's suspected nuclear program as proposed by Washington."

  9. A lifetime player encounters
    a Johnnie Hasn't Come Yet.

  10. Calling Saul Alinsky!
    "What do I do now Saul?"

  11. Maybe Michelle can Challenge Pootie Poot to a Sleeveless Wife Beater Contest!

  12. B. Hussein Addresses His Anti-American Base

    Obama Signs Executive Order Allowing Mass Fakestinian Immigration To The U.S.

    "On this blog, I’ve posted about how Khalid Al Mansour paid for Obama to go to Harvard Law School.
    Do any of you think Al Mansour was doing it out of the goodness of his heart?

    Obama is clearly giving the rogue Muslim states what they want, and paying back his sugar daddy.

  13. Then why did Jewish Americans go for Obama by over 70%?

  14. "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday that it was "not productive" to link talks over a US missile defense system in Europe with Iran's suspected nuclear program as proposed by Washington."

    heh, who wudda thunk it

    so Iran gets the bomb, and our side gets no missile defense

  15. 2164th said...
    Then why did Jewish Americans go for Obama by over 70%?


    Don't Blame Me, I Voted For McCain

  16. I'd think these tough boys from Chicago would have more spunk.

    We'd be better off with Al Capone

  17. These attacks prompted Capone to fit his Cadillac with armor plating, bullet-proof glass, run-flat tires, and a police siren. Most of the would-be assassins were incompetent and Capone was never seriously wounded, but every attempt on his life left him increasingly shaken and slightly afraid of Moran, who was almost certainly involved in most of the attacks. This car was seized by the Treasury Department in 1932 and was later used as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's limousine

    Used as Roosevelt's limo--so says the article, I wonder if that is true...

  18. There's lots with for the Russians to be angry at the US. And frankly, the US deserves to be bitch slapped by the Russians a little. In the end the Russians will cooperate because they hate the Jihadis as much as we do, and probably more so.

    The big problem in the region is not missile defense, it is the US/British arming of Jihadistani theifdoms with huge quantities of advances weapons, and the promotion of Jihadi propaganda by the White House/State Department/CIA and their British equivalents.

  19. There's lots with for the Russians to be angry at the US.

    I disagree with that, Mat, at least as far as Eastern Europe is concerned.

    The Roosians have their defense concerns, for sure, especially concerning Germany, but they won the war, and with nuclear weapons they have nothing to fear now.

    None of those small countries threatens the bear, they should leave them alone now.

    And they have been for the most part, recently.

    The jihadi problem is another matter.

  20. I disagree with that, Mat, at least as far as Eastern Europe is concerned.

    You're not Russian.

  21. The short of it, Russia needs to be made a close partner and not an enemy. The Russians are much more useful than the Saudis or the British for that matter.

  22. Thankfully, I'm not.

    Though I have wondered about the fishing on some of those rivers coming out of the Urals.

    There might be some real good fishing around there, if a guy worked at it.

  23. "it is the US/British arming of Jihadistani theifdoms with huge quantities of advances weapons, and the promotion of Jihadi propaganda by the White House/State Department/CIA and their British equivalents."
    What is there to say, besides
    What the Fuck?

  24. You'd probly glow green after a few of them Ural fish-fries, al-Bob!

    (then you could take over as leader of the Greenies and give us back our country!)'d only incarcerate Mat in the Ralph Nader Compound for a few years as punishment for siding w/the Green Enemies of the State.

  25. What the Fuck?

    What the Fuck, indeed. That moron, "Dan", rants about 100,000 AK-47s, while the US sells them Jihadi fscks its soul and everything including the kitchen sink.

  26. I missed this CNN poll on any Republican:

    Quick Vote

    Who do you find more compelling?

    *First lady Michelle Obama
    *President Barack Obama

    See results

  27. Compelling, compelling? Compelling?

  28. Taliban bombs made with British electronics: report

    Sat Feb 21, 1:37 am ET
    LONDON (AFP) – Some roadside bombs used by the Taliban in Afghanistan include electronic parts that originally came from Britain and were supplied by British Muslims, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
    According to the newspaper, which did not cite its source, the devices, which were used to activate bombs via remote control, were either sent to sympathisers in neighbouring countries or carried in by volunteers who flew to Pakistan and crossed the border into Afghanistan.
    It reported that an explosives officer told Foreign Secretary David Miliband of the findings while the minister was in Afghanistan on a two-day visit this past week.
    "We have found electronic components in devices used to target British troops that originally come from Britain," the unnamed officer told Miliband during a briefing.
    Miliband subsequently asked how the parts would have reached Afghanistan, the officer replied that they had either been sent there or had been physically carried into the country by Britons.
    "The insurgents in Afghanistan have changed their tactics meaning they now use more and more improvised explosive devices than before," a Ministry of Defence spokesman in London said.
    "IEDs pose a significant threat to the safety of our forces and we are looking at ways we can improve protection from them."
    There are around 8,300 British soldiers in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), many of whom are based in Helmand, where the Taliban is waging a bloody insurgency against Western and Afghan security forces.
    Last month, Defence Secretary John Hutton signalled he was considering boosting the number of British troops and equipment there, saying his top priority was protecing the country's soldiers against IEDs used by the Taliban.

  29. Bernanke outraged over AIG
    By Alan Beattie in Washington and Alan Rappeport in New York

    Published: March 3 2009 16:15 | Last updated: March 3 2009 17:15

    Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, on Tuesday scolded American International Group, the troubled insurer that has needed multiple government rescues, for operating like a hedge fund and said that its bail-out made him “angry”.

    The Fed chief said it was an unfortunate predicament that AIG had become so big that its failure would pose a systemic risk to the US and world economy. He estimated the costs of letting it fail in the trillions of dollars.

    ”The AIG situation is obviously very uncomfortable for me,” Mr Bernanke said Tuesday during a Senate Budget Committee hearing. ”We took those actions because we felt that first of all the failure of the world’s largest insurance company would be devastating to the stability of the world financial system.”

    On Monday AIG confirmed it would give the US government a large stake in its two largest divisions as part of a $30bn-plus rescue package that could lead to a break-up of the 90-year-old insurer. The company lost nearly $100bn in 2008.

    Mr Bernanke said that AIG made ”huge numbers of irresponsible bets” and that its investment vehicles lacked oversight.

    “This was a hedge fund, basically,” he said.

  30. Where were the Regulators?

    To busy with Martha Stewart, pehaps.

  31. Serb ex-president acquitted for Kosovo war crimes
    5 days ago
    THE HAGUE (AFP) — The UN's Yugoslav war crimes court Thursday acquitted Serbian ex-president Milan Milutinovic of war crimes committed in Kosovo, while jailing five co-accused for between 15 and 22 years.
    "The trial chamber finds you, Milan Milutinovic, not guilty ... and orders that you be immediately released from custody," said judge Iain Bonomy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
    This was the first ever ruling of the court, based in The Hague, on crimes committed by Serbs during the 1998-9 Kosovo war.
    Milutinovic, 66, had been accused of five counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity for the deportation of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, as well as murder and persecution.
    He was president of Serbia from December 1997 to December 2002, but the judges found he had had no direct, individual control over the Yugoslav army.

    War Crimes! War Crimes! For trying to push Albanian muzzies back to Albania.

  32. That Brit officer said they were fighting a Civil War, in Afghanistan, instead of England.

  33. >Is the Worst Yet to Come?

    by Charlie Gasparino

    But it wasn’t Citigroup that this once-proud Obama supporter, a top money manager who, if he had the stomach to have a financial proctology exam performed on payments he made to his various nannies or housekeepers, would have been offered a top job in the administration. Instead, his main complaint was about Obama’s plan to help distressed “homeowners” (not that they actually own their homes) avoid foreclosure, better known on Wall Street as the “mortgage cramdown.”

    The president, of course, uses less harsh terms to describe a plan to provide relief to homeowners who can’t make their mortgage payments and may default on their loans and lose their homes. Under his plan, judges can order banks to back off from foreclosure if a family is late on its mortgage payments. That payment can be put off indefinitely or lessened to the point so that the mortgage holder can afford not to lose his home.

    Sounds good right? “This is insane,” the money manager told me. “They are abrogating contracts. No one is trading these bonds and no one will if they think a judge can simply tell a mortgage holder he doesn’t have to pay what he owes.”

    To this money manager and many others I speak to, the mortgage cramdown is just one of many contradictions in the economic policies of the Obama team. Part of the reason Treasury Secretary Geithner has received such low marks so far is that he hasn’t produced a plan to save the banks that are still holding more than $1 trillion in bad mortgage and real-estate debt. It’s the reason the banks still aren’t lending money; if they sell these securities at market prices, they have to write down massive losses and become insolvent, barring a massive government bailout.

    Geithner says he’s working on a plan to unclog the system—to have the banks sell the toxic assets at a price that wouldn’t result in massive losses. Yet the president’s mortgage plan assures just the opposite; if a judge can simply say that a homeowner doesn’t have to pay his entire mortgage payment, the bonds that these mortgages are packed into fall in value. “We need foreign buyers to come in and make a market in this stuff,” the manager told me. “They’re never going to come back to this market if this thing passes.” He says he made the same comments to Barney Frank, the head of the House Financial Services Committee, but he isn’t sure if Frank got the message. “I will tell you this, if the cramdown makes it into the final budget, it’s going to be worse than Lehman Brothers.”

  34. Part of the reason Treasury Secretary Geithner has received such low marks so far is that he hasn’t produced a plan to save the banks that are still holding more than $1 trillion in bad mortgage and real-estate debt. It’s the reason the banks still aren’t lending money; if they sell these securities at market prices, they have to write down massive losses and become insolvent, barring a massive government bailout.


  35. And the funnies part is that this mafia of fraudsters has the brazenness to say these things to you with a straight face.

  36. Very Kewl:

  37. I just want everyone to know, there's no meaning whatsoever to fishing, that's the meaning of it.



    Published in the New York Post on March 3, 200

    President Lyndon Johnson's administration was known for his War on Poverty. President Obama's will become notable for his War on Prosperity.

    We're speaking, of course, of Obama's plans to hike income taxes on the most wealthy 2 or 3 percent of the nation. He's not just raising the top rate to 39.6 percent; he's also disallowing about one-third of top earner's deductions, whether for state and local taxes, charitable contributions or mortgage interest. This is an effective hike in their taxes by an average of about 20 percent.

    And soon the next shoe will drop - he'll announce that he's keeping yet another of his campaign promises: to apply the full payroll tax to all income over $250,000 a year. (Right now, the 15.3 percent Social Security tax only applies to the first $106,800 of income - you neither pay the tax on income above that, nor accumulate added benefit.) For many taxpayers in this bracket, this hike will raise their total taxes by about half.

    Finally, he's declaring war on investors by raising the capital-gains-tax rate to 20 percent.

    These increases are politically insignificant: The top 2 percent of the nation casts only about 4 percent of the votes, barely enough to attract the notice of even the most meticulous pollsters.

    But they have enormous economic significance. Those who earn more than $200,000 pay almost 60 percent of America's income taxes and account for a third of its total disposable income. If these spenders and investors are hunkering down, waiting for the revenuers to beat down their doors, their confidence will be anything but robust. Their spending will drop; they'll be unlikely to invest (except in new tax shelters).

    Franklin Roosevelt's presidency was marked by an emphasis on recovery in his first term and class warfare (which he called "reform") in his second. Campaigning for re-election in 1936, FDR famously declared, "I should like to have it said of my first administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I would like to have it said of my second administration that in it these forces met their master."

    Obama seems to have skipped the first-term FDR program and jumped right into the class divisions and warfare of the second.

    But the president would do well to remember that Roosevelt's assault on the rich led directly to the recession of 1937-39 - when unemployment soared back up to 19 percent. (It was brought down only by World War II.)

    Obama must realize that his tax hikes will dampen investment and consumer spending and prolong and deepen the economy's woes - this is presumably why he's postponing most tax hikes until 2011. But taxpayers, particularly wealthy taxpayers, are not dumb: They'll know what's coming, and look to secure the hatches in advance by sitting on their money.

    But then, Obama must also realize that his stimulus package, with its massive growth of government, is going to kindle huge inflation in coming years. And he surely realizes that he can't expand government health insurance as massively as he intends introducing rationing of medical services.

    He must know, but not care.

    Here is a president who would rather redistribute income than create wealth. He thinks it more important to grow government than to fight inflation. He believes that it is crucial to expand health care to the young and middle aged, even if it means cutting it back for the elderly. He's more committed to effecting "broad change" in his first term than he is to winning a second one.

    We have a president, in short, who will stand on his principles. Unfortunately, they're bad ones.


    It's your patriotic duty to go broke.

  39. Hah!

    I just got in the mail right now a CD from IANDS--

    2006 North American Conference

    Near Death Experiences:

    30 Years of Research

    October 25-28--

    Houstan, Texas (that good city)

    Audio Presentation in MP3 Format

    (computer audio format)


    International Association For Near Death Studies

    2741 Campus Walk Avenue, Building 500
    Durham, North Carolina 27705

    (919) 383-7940

    Join now, it might change your mind.

    And give a boost to your psychology.

  40. "There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio."

    our bard

    Maria McCool

  41. "There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio."

  42. I'm trying to find the book, by John Dunne, that I read many years ago, that has passages in it, about patriotism in some of the old Greek city states, where in their offshoot of the main philosophical traditions of their time was that, their idea was, how you lived your life and died your death, for your city, was a judgement on your life in the other world.

    They had the idea, that your activity here, placed you so to speak in the other world.

    And it really was a living, vibrating other world, where your behavior here, had a real meaning there.

    I call this a true idea or form of patriotism.

    But, damn, I can't find the book, in all the mess I have made for myself, here in my room.

  43. "Always support your country, and the government when it deserves it."

    Mark Twain

  44. Dick Cavett: Last Look
    The John Cheever-John Updike show from 1981 revisted, and shown in full.

    "By then Cheever's alcoholism had become severe, exacerbated by torment concerning his bisexuality. Still, he blamed most of his marital woes on his wife, and in 1966 he consulted a psychiatrist, David C. Hays, about her hostility and "needless darkness." After a session with Mary Cheever, the psychiatrist asked to see the couple jointly; Cheever, heartened, believed his wife's difficult behavior would finally be addressed. At the joint session, however, Dr. Hays claimed (as Cheever noted in his journal) that Cheever himself was the problem: "a neurotic man, narcissistic, egocentric, friendless, and so deeply involved in [his] own defensive illusions that [he has] invented a manic-depressive wife."[9] Cheever soon terminated therapy." (Wiki)
    ...shoulda run for POTUS!

  45. I kept tellin ya,
    ya shoulda come out of the closet a long time ago, al-Bobette!

  46. "And it really was a living, vibrating other world, where your behavior here, had a real meaning there."
    Yeah, we always knew the meaning of that extension cord under the closet door.

  47. And it really was a living, vibrating other world, where your behavior here, had a real meaning there.

    They had the idea that your behavior here was the basis of your behavior there, and that to be a living member of the community there, and they thought of it as a true living community, depended on your behavior here.

  48. Doug's a grumpus, but being a smart man, he will get it, sooner or later, bless him.

  49. "There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy, Doug."

  50. Some call them my Philosophical Wet Dreams.

  51. But I think something entirely other will happen to you, on your death bed, all unbeknowst and unexpected, by yourself.

    Why is it that the dying never cry?

  52. Why do the dying never cry?

    They never, never do, whatever the color of their 'skins'.

    Answer me that.

  53. Too damn tired to work up the tears?

  54. 89. bvw:

    Tigerhawk. Cute name.

    But he’ll join Obama because Obama can meet his clear psychological requirements. To be among the elite, whether that’s Tigerhawk’s elite of those who work 60-plus hour weeks and make 6 figure incomes because of it. Tigerhawk is like Obama, an elitist. Elitests of any stripe can in the end, be bought and sold.

    What of those like me? Very smart, idealistic and perennially curious, often risk-taking but always on the outside, too independent for any organization to hold, thus we rarely become “elite”, always moving along to the next challenge, whether success or failure, it hardly matters, for it is that the thing is interesting that pays us our wage. Unbuyable even if bought!

    We work 60 hours for a long spell or a hundred in a week or few too, but the motivator is not standing among the elite, and we have little but a passing regard for money and the social standing of the number of digits in one’s income — for we come to see, or always saw such pecking order as an obstacle to learning, to creativity — we are genuinely motivated only by more aetheral things be they ideas, causes, or let to our type of degenerative weakness — craven foolishness and curious indulgence.

    The beauty of the Hebrew-Scots-English system of laws, of Liberty, at the time of the Founding, is that they gave us our head as well, they allowed sustainable play for our energies in the free market. That allows us to unleash our extreme potential for creation and innovation.

    We can never be joined to a despotic Marxist, a comfortable socialism or even an amoral capitalist in thrall to some capitalistic endeavor as a wage-slave. In those states it is like we are held in chains, our wings clipped. We have to be free to not so much succeed, but to fail, again and again and again, without it breaking the spirit except temporarily. We do not climb from success to success, we jump from failure to attempt to failure, and only now and then succeed, for it is not the “success” that motivates, but rather the chance to take it.

    Yet by our labors all that is new and wonderful in society comes to be, for most people are too enamored of order and what was to take on adventures of things and endeavors radically outside of established experience. It the the nib end of the horn Cornucopia, that is our spot, small the point from which true invention flows.

    We, all those of my ilk, are perhaps the closest to those pioneers who made the voyages in small boats over that ocean to arrive at a great dark forest of a land unknown and dangerous, yet as ripe as a beautiful virgin of 15. And then, we are also like many of the Founding generation, and certainly like those whose ideals and way of being the Founders recollected for the set of the laws at the Founding gave us Liberty like almost no other time or place in history.

    And now? Is it gone? Is it lost?

    A TigerHawk will find his success as a social elite in a Marxist social structure almost as well as in what we did have here in the late 20th Century, a social system maturing past vitality and beset by cancerous forces of regulation and moral deconstructionism. A Marxist will take 80 hours a week as well as an amoral capitalism would celebrating you for doing such time. All in the Cadre should work long hours to show commitment to the ideal! And TigerHawk will be celebrated as one of the elite, and all those 200 in cars parked at the Bureau with him.

    Yet my ideals are not given over easily to such honors. My success is not measured by money or social standing. My success is by my own measure, and that measure is within, not without.

  55. I think Tigerhawk says in one of those videos that the banks aren't lending because they're making too much money buying discounted secondary loans.
    ...I'll find the video and maybe one of you Geniuses can tell me if that is correct.

  56. Total tax increase in the '10 budget is .7% of GDP lower than the revenue act of '32.

    Kinda goes along with what Rufus has been saying.

  57. Too damn tired to work up the tears?

    heh, that's a great answer, truly great, but fails, as many aren't tired at all, but rather shocked about what is occuring.

  58. What I'm trying to get across, is, things might be entirely other than you may have ever thought them to be.

  59. That might turn out to be true for you too, of course! tell me about that damned video!

  60. Sam,
    That doesn't take into account all the hidden costs of Carol Browner's unlimited regulations does it?

  61. I'm gonna listen to the video tonight, and will give a report tomorrow.

  62. Why do the dying never cry?

    They never, never do, whatever the color of their 'skins'.

    Answer me that.

    That's not true, Bob. I cry every day. And I know that I die every day.

  63. Tracy said
    February 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm
    you know what pisses me off the most about this A-hole…?
    i was excited about the possibility of the first minority president.
    but when i heard about this Jeremiah Wright bull#$%t and the whole Black Liberation crap, I was blown away and deeply disappointed. I simple cannot reconcile it with what I believe to be to Right and Wrong. I was brought up to respect all cultures and people and have done my best to be a fair and open-minded person throughout my life. I once enjoyed volunteer work here in nyc to help others less fortunate. But when I hear of this hateful crap and then witnesses how African Americans rallied behind him and justified this racially divisive “cult” and their support of anti-semitic scum like Louis Farrakhan, I was overwhelmingly disgusted. When Obama supporters called New Hampshire voters “racist” for not voting for oBlahBlah in the primaries, that was it for me. The last straw. I through my support behind Hillary 100% and never looked back. And since that moment, I, like everybody else, heard the “typical white person” remarks and all the other stupid comments both he and his wife had made about America. I will never regard that hate monger or his hateful ethnically centrist militant wife as leaders of this country. F them both. When is the next presidential election?

  64. ...but the GDP is based on their wildly unrealistic projections of growth.

  65. I'm trying to find the book, by John Dunne, that I read many years ago, that has passages in it, about patriotism in some of the old Greek city states, where in their offshoot of the main philosophical traditions of their time was that, their idea was, how you lived your life and died your death, for your city, was a judgement on your life in the other world.

    The worse punishment is not death. The worse punishment is to be dismembered from your homeland and its people.

  66. And the Greeks knew this. As do the Jews.

  67. I cry every day. And I know that I die every day.

    I think that is a serious thought, and it reminds me of an explication of the "Tibetan Book of the Dead" I read one time, where the idea was, going through life, we all die and fight back, as the life goes on, and circumstances dictate.

    The basic thought of my philosophy, for what it is worth, is that we are all beginners here, and it's a growing, learning experience. The spirit moves forward, but with many backtracks, washed out run out places, as my main poet, Theodore Roethke, would say.

    The spirit moves upwards, spiral like, but it's a damn long hard slog, from me to

  68. The spirit moves upwards, spiral like, but it's a damn long hard slog, from me to

    Only when it reaches God, it is no longer you.

  69. "I think that is a serious thought"
    How will I recognize one if I see it?

  70. Only when it reaches God, it is no longer you.

    Yes, that might be true. I don't know...


  71. Just for Mat!
    3. Casca:

    It’s hard for me to avoid throwing my hands up in the air and thinking (loudly) to myself, “let it burn”.

    For fifty years we’ve been expanding the size of the workforce, increasing productivity, increasing efficiency, increasing deliveries, increasing resource exploitation–not just here, but globally.

    Abstractly, we do this because we want to have wealth. The only way to gain wealth is to produce more than you consume–so the world produces because it does not want to be poor.

    In America, we’re too bound up in ‘having’ our wealth. We consume and invent new ways of ‘producing’ things that aren’t real, like the dot-com stocks or house values, to justify our consumption of useless things like the prius and solar panels, instead of doing real work and using wealth for useful things like nuclear power plants and robotics.

    It’d be better to let every increase in efficiency and productivity result in ‘the workers’ worker fewer hours. At least then, once idle, there’d be no illusion that we were ‘producing’ and therefore entitled to consume.

  72. How will I recognize one if I see it?

    When it grabs you by the balls, and you scream "stop".


  73. Admittedly, the past two months have been difficult for Jews and Catholics. However, we can take heart that Catholic-Jewish relations in Southern California remain strong.

    Our commitment to this relationship is exemplified in the many initiatives that bring us together, like the annual InterSem Retreat for seminarians from various denominations; Model Seders that teach Catholic school students about this important Jewish ritual; and, the Catholic-Jewish Educational Enrichment Program, which educates our children and future leaders in each other's traditions.

    For our part, as Catholic and Jewish leaders in Los Angeles, we recognize that only by working together with renewed vigilance will we be able to keep anti-Semitism at bay and prevent its reassertion as a legitimate expression.

    Williamson Episode

  74. This comment has been removed by the author.

  75. Can someone point me to a good online site for buying stocks, please?


  76. I don't know, Sam.

    But, I'd be scared as hell, getting into this market

    Who in the hell could know what's it's going to do?

  77. It seems like it might be a good time to buy.

    But shit, the fucker might go lower.

  78. Yes, that might be true. I don't know...


    Some good Chinese proverbs:

    "Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think."
    "Great souls have wills; feeble ones have only wishes."

  79. Just for Mat!

    It's a finite earth we have, Doug.

    Wasting more and more energy to do the same work, seems to me to be a rather pigheaded approach. And you know what they say in the market. Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.

  80. Fox News reported tonight that by 2012 you can expect to pay $700 - $1400 more per year for your energy costs. It's the green thing to do and the money will subsidize the Making Work Pay Program.

  81. Did Fox New factor in the cut in military spending?

  82. Geithner: Obama has inherited worst economic mess ever

    Gee whiz, whiz bang, tell us something we don't know. Meanwhile we're still waiting for the Obama recovery plan.

    Something tells me that none of these wonderkinds have a clue.

  83. What difference does that make when it's real money coming out of your pocket?

  84. The appointment of retired admiral Dennis Blair to be the intelligence tsar provides an interesting case in point. In 1998, when the Indonesian army was committing serious human rights abuses in East Timor, the State Department ordered the CINC for the Pacific, Dennis Blair, to sever contacts with the Indonesian military, he simply ignored the U.S. ambassador in Jakarta, who is of course the representative of the president and not merely the State Department.

    The danger is that Obama’s withdrawal timeline for Iraq will prevent any genuine debate on the need for demilitarization of American national security and foreign policy. Too many spokesmen for American policy, including outgoing ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, General David Petraeus, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, favor a long-term “occupation” of Iraq and are part of the imperial myopia that supports American hegemony in the Middle East.

    Obama’s willingness to increase military forces in Afghanistan demonstrates an unwillingness to recognize that violence is dysfunctional as a political instrument in Southwest Asia and that Afghanistan and Iraq have already demonstrated that overwhelming military power has serious limits.

    Security Policy

  85. What difference does that make when it's real money coming out of your pocket?

    We're still in the realm of speculation, so I think it's rather premature to talk about "real money".

  86. At least, I've still got my apple trees.

  87. Despite the criticism, both of the President's men defended the carbon tax, and the rest of the budget, saying it's our best shot to right the ship.

    Secretary Geithner laid out the defense in his opening statement.

    "This is a moral imperative, it's an economic imperative, and it's a fiscal imperative for the country", said Geithner, while Orszag chose to quote a song by country music star Toby Keith: "There's no right way to do the wrong thing."

    Federal Budget

  88. So, due to Obama's "Cap and Trade" war on pollutants like carbon dioxide, we have to pay another $700 - $1400 per year on top of already high energy prices. To add insult to injury, we're told that the money will go, not to remediating the horrible anthropomorphic effects but will be redistributed along the social strata.

    They're watermelons, doncha' get it?

  89. Anyway, my position is pretty clear. I think the federal government and the federal budget should be pretty much eliminated, and that the United States should revolve back from the singular to the plural.

  90. From Sam's link:
    To make those $400 and $800 "middle class" tax cuts permanent, the administration plans to raise $80 billion a year by making companies that burn coal, oil, or natural gas pay for their pollution. Both Orszag and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner agreed that the costs would be passed on to consumers.

    "Ultimately one of the things that will happen," responded Orszag, "is higher energy prices which will be borne throughout the economy."

    That means gas, heating, electricity -- and any product made using fossil fuels.

    Geithner told the House Ways and Means Committee that will achieve the goal of reducing our carbon footprint.

    "If people don't change how they use energy then they will face higher costs for energy." warned Geithner.

    WTF! I thought Geithner was a banker. Who knew he was a watermelon?

  91. I really don't know how to I will survive these people without detaching and withdrawing.

  92. So, due to Obama's "Cap and Trade" war on pollutants like carbon dioxide, we have to pay another $700 - $1400 per year on top of already high energy prices.

    You're paying much more than that right now subsidizing the car/oil/military mafia. Not only that, you sold your soul to the Saudi oil ticks.

  93. I would like to put my carbon footprint all over these fools.

  94. I know, Mattie, I know.

    If you've said it once you've said it a hundred times.

  95. Everyone knows that Washington is bailing out the auto companies because of the UAW. So, why not AIG?

    Turns out that most of the teachers in the country have their retirements underwritten by AIG. Imagine if the government let the company fail, their 401Ks may look like everyone else’s.
    Another uppity woman commenter said AIG backs SENATE retirements!
    ...I always thot they came directly out of taxpayer's pockets.

  96. You can't count past 100 Whit?!!!


    The articles are coming fast and furious. Some very attractive option are starting to present themselves to the market.

  98. The iMiEV Sport

    You'll never need a mechanic again!

  99. Allahu Akbar

    Security arrangements at all major sporting events have been cast into doubt after Islamist extremists adopted deadly new terror tactics by attacking international sportsmen.

    A dozen gunmen remained at large after opening fire in Lahore on the Sri Lanka cricket team, who were on their way to play Pakistan.

    The convoy was attacked with rifles, grenades and rocket launchers yesterday morning as it approached the Gaddafi Stadium for the third day of the second Test.

    Allahu Akbar,
    Allahu Akbar

  100. How long will Obama be naive?

    Russian President Medvedev has said he's willing to discuss the proposed US missile shield with Washington. But he added that any deal linking those talks with negotiations regarding Iran would not be productive.

  101. Why Skilled Immigrants Are Leaving the U.S. - BusinessWeek

    By Vivek Wadhwa

    As the debate over H-1B workers and skilled immigrants intensifies, we are losing sight of one important fact: The U.S. is no longer the only land of opportunity. If we don't want the immigrants who have fueled our innovation and economic growth, they now have options elsewhere. Immigrants are returning home in greater numbers. And new research shows they are returning to enjoy a better quality of life, better career prospects, and the comfort of being close to family and friends.

    Earlier research by my team suggested that a crisis was brewing because of a burgeoning immigration backlog. At the end of 2006, more than 1 million skilled professionals (engineers, scientists, doctors, researchers) and their families were in line for a yearly allotment of only 120,000 permanent resident visas. The wait time for some people ran longer than a decade. In the meantime, these workers were trapped in "immigration limbo." If they changed jobs or even took a promotion, they risked being pushed to the back of the permanent residency queue. We predicted that skilled foreign workers would increasingly get fed up and return to countries like India and China where the economies were booming.

    Why should we care? Because immigrants are critical to the country's long-term economic health. Despite the fact that they constitute only 12% of the U.S. population, immigrants have started 52% of Silicon Valley's technology companies and contributed to more than 25% of our global patents. They make up 24% of the U.S. science and engineering workforce holding bachelor's degrees and 47% of science and engineering workers who have PhDs. Immigrants have co-founded firms such as Google (GOOG), Intel (INTC), eBay (EBAY), and Yahoo! (YHOO).

    Who Are They? Young and Well-Educated

    We tried to find hard data on how many immigrants had returned to India and China. No government authority seems to track these numbers. But human resources directors in India and China told us that what was a trickle of returnees a decade ago had become a flood. Job applications from the U.S. had increased tenfold over the last few years, they said. To get an understanding of how the returnees had fared and why they left the U.S., my team at Duke, along with AnnaLee Saxenian of the University of California at Berkeley and Richard Freeman of Harvard University, conducted a survey. Through professional networking site LinkedIn, we tracked down 1,203 Indian and Chinese immigrants who had worked or received education in the U.S. and had returned to their home countries. This research was funded by the Kauffman Foundation.

    Our new paper, "America's Loss Is the World's Gain," finds that the vast majority of these returnees were relatively young. The average age was 30 for Indian returnees, and 33 for Chinese. They were highly educated, with degrees in management, technology, or science. Fifty-one percent of the Chinese held master's degrees and 41% had PhDs. Sixty-six percent of the Indians held a master's and 12.1% had PhDs. They were at very top of the educational distribution for these highly educated immigrant groups—precisely the kind of people who make the greatest contribution to the U.S. economy and to business and job growth.

    Nearly a third of the Chinese returnees and a fifth of the Indians came to the U.S. on student visas. A fifth of the Chinese and nearly half of the Indians entered on temporary work visas (such as the H-1B). The strongest factor that brought them to the U.S. was professional and educational development opportunities.

  102. Hadi Mahabadi arrived in Canada from Iran in 1981 with his pregnant wife, 2-year-old son, $15 in his pocket and two suitcases in each hand.


    He says coming from a different culture is an asset. "When you look at organizations, the more innovative they are, the most successful they are," he said.

    "Innovations come from a diverse people who have different ideas and ways of thinking. There is so much we can learn from our differences."

    Pioneer Spirit

  103. So what is the difference between the Obama Cap & Trade proposal and the Lieberman-Warner Cap & Trade proposal that the Republican standard bearer, John 'Maverick' McCain supported, last year?

    This is what was reported to hanve beem the consequence of Lieberman-Warner had passed:

    The conclusions of the reports indicate that the legislation, if passed into law, would have a profound economic impact on U.S. businesses, consumers and governments nationally and in all 50 states. A sampling of the national findings includes:

    Gross Domestic Product (GDP) losses of $151 billion to $210 billion in 2020 and $631 billion to $669 billion per year in 2030.

    Employment losses of 1.2 million to 1.8 million jobs in 2020 and 3 million to 4 million jobs in 2030.

    Household income losses of $739 to $2,927 per year in 2020 and $4,022 to $6,752 per year in

    Electricity price increases of 28% to 33% by 2020 and 101% to 129% by 2030.

    Gasoline price increases (per gallon) of 20% to 69% by 2020 and 77% to 145% by 2030.

    For a copy of the comprehensive national and 50-state reports, visit or

  104. mat projects cuts in defense spending, while the budget increases that spending by over 5 percent.

    Looking for savings in all the wrong places.

  105. Mexican Army In 'Invades' Ciudad Juarez

    The only other force to hold the line would be the US Army.

    Things sound grim.

  106. dRat,

    There's no more economic growth to be had on the back of cheap oil, because there's no more new cheap oil to be had. To bring new oil fields online, oil needs to be at $70 and above. Meanwhile old oil field are depleting.

    You either cut defense, and invest that money in renewable energy infrastructure, or you go bankrupt under crushing debt payments. It's that simple.

  107. By Tim Jones | Tribune correspondent
    January 29, 2009
    DETROIT — It may be tough to get financing for a new car these days, but in Detroit you can buy a house with a credit card.

    The median price of a home sold in Detroit in December was $7,500, according to Realcomp, a listing service.

    Not $75,000. Remove a zero—it's seven thousand five hundred dollars, substantially less than the lowest-price car on the new-car market.

  108. In hard hit states like Florida, Nevada, and Arizona, foreclosure signs are everywhere. But in North Dakota, those signs are almost nowhere to be found.


    Alliance Real Estate realtor Greg Mayer says, "It`s saying two things; one, that our mortgage brokers are doing an excellent job of making sure that people are qualified to buy. But it`s also saying on the other side the realtors are not trying to push people in to houses more expensive than they can actually afford."


    The number of people nationally who made late mortgage payments in the fourth quarter of last year jumped 53% from 2007.

    Delinquent Mortgages

  109. Or there's just a lot of responsible folk living in ND.

  110. heh

    Listening to Dr. Joy tonight, our American answer woman.

    Lady calls in and says, 'I can't stand to have sex with my husband any more. We've been married twenty years.'

    'Do you want to get a divorce?'

    'No, I like the guy, I just can't stand to have sex with him anymore. I just want it over with.'

    Dr. Joy's answer?

    Get more heavily involved, she says. Get more sexual about it. Really give him a go, that will turn you on too. It's part of your job, cookie. If you don't want the job, get a divorce.

    Not being a marriage counselor, I'm not sure if this is good advice, or bad. Though my intuition says it's probably bad advice.

    Thankfully, it's a problem that hasn't arisen in my affairs.

  111. What do you do, Sam, when the wife doesn't want to screw you any longer?

    You're a younger married man than I am, so this question may not have come up with you.

    In my case, getting older, we've sort of slid down the ramp together, so to speak.

    It is however, of great moment, to some of Dr. Joy's listeners.

  112. The Sri Lanka cricket team has arrived home from Pakistan after masked gunmen opened fire on its bus in Lahore.


    "There were just these images of life flashing through my mind; all the while bullets were being sprayed at our bus, people around me were shouting," spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan told the AFP news agency.


    Pakistan is engaged in a bloody struggle against Islamist insurgents who have staged high-profile attacks on civilian targets before.

    Arrive Home

  113. Take matters into your own hands.

  114. This problem is of course purely theoretical to al-Doug and Sonia.

    It may have something to do with the climate.

  115. Whatever happens, Bob, you'll always have Fernan Lake Village.

    No one can take that away from you.

    Hang in there friend.

  116. Metrolink engineer let unauthorized 'rail enthusiasts' control train -

    Two days before the crash, engineer Robert M. Sanchez exchanged e-mails with the "rail enthusiasts" -- teenagers, according to sources -- discussing a ride-along that apparently took place the night before. The messages indicate one of the riders was "up in the cab" and "touching the controls." Sanchez commented on how much one enthusiast "wanted to stay in the seat."

    Sanchez sent a text message that day arranging another ride-along with one of the unidentified rail buffs, saying,

    "this time I'm taking a picture of you @ da throttle!!!"

  117. Adios. Talk to you guys tomorrow.

  118. Yoy know, it's funny, Sam, I do really remember that, at times.

    So young, stupid, and pure.

  119. How do you say good nite in OzSpeak?

  120. Jim Rogers says: buy land, starts farming.

    Bob, youz the new neuvou riche and youz don't even know it. Get yourself a new gazelle!

  121. It's 4 in the afternoon there!

  122. Opel Running Out of Cash

    GM says Opel Running Out of Cash; Three Factories Risk Closure.

    General Motors Corp. said its European Opel unit risks running out of cash next quarter, threatening three factories with closure and imperiling as many as 300,000 jobs across the region.
    Opel, based in Ruesselsheim, near Frankfurt, is struggling with 30 percent overcapacity as sales slide, GM’s European chief, Carl-Peter Forster, said today in a press briefing at the Geneva International Motor Show. He didn’t specify which sites might close. The U.S. company has major plants in Germany, Spain, Poland, Belgium and the U.K.

    GM expects European governments to reach decisions in “days or weeks” on aid the carmaker is seeking to help save operations in the region, Chief Operating Officer Fritz Henderson said. Any interest in the Saab brand depends on a bailout from the Swedish government, according to the executive, who said GM is determined to eliminate failing units in order to channel resources toward more successful models.

    “GM will be global, we think,” Henderson said in an interview earlier. “But we have to be realistic, and the environment today requires us to take a lot of tough measures. We need to focus our brand portfolio. We need to get down to fewer brands that can focus very clearly on the market.”

    A failure to reorganize Saab would lead to its bankruptcy, according to Detroit-based GM, which wants to get rid of the unit but aims to keep Opel and the Vauxhall brand in the U.K.

    Henderson said GM is “wide open” to options for saving the business and may still end up with a stake of more than 50 percent. Wage cuts, shorter hours and a buyout of worker contracts are being considered to avoid plant closures, he said.

    Hypocrisy From GM
    Look at the hypocrisy from Henderson. He talks about hard choices but refuses to make any. The way to reduce overcapacity is to shut plants. It's time to give up on Saab, Opel, Hummer, Saturn, etc. instead of seeking help from governments to keep those failed brands alive. Plant closures are absolutely necessary.

    Japan Car Sales Hit 35-Year Low

    Bloomberg is reporting Toyota Leads Drop as Japan Car Sales Hit 35-Year Low.

    Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., Japan’s two biggest automakers, led a drop in the country’s monthly vehicle sales as falling wages and rising unemployment cut demand to the lowest level in 35 years.
    Sales of cars, trucks and buses, excluding minicars, fell 32 percent to 218,212 vehicles in February, the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said in a statement today. Toyota’s sales slipped 32 percent, Honda’s slumped 21 percent and Nissan Motor Co., the country’s No. 3 automaker, sold 35 percent fewer vehicles.

    Japanese consumers have slashed spending on cars as Toyota, Sony Corp. and other manufacturers shed workers and curb production on plunging demand. The country’s economy, the world’s second-biggest, shrank at the fastest pace since the 1974 oil shock last quarter.

    Chrysler Struggles To Stay Alive
    Inquiring minds are reading Chrysler Talks Stall as Banks Balk at Trading Loans for Equity.

    Chrysler LLC, needing lender concessions by March 31, isn’t negotiating with its banks because it can’t persuade them to discuss trading loans for uncertain equity, people familiar with the companies’ actions say.
    Banks have little incentive to trade their loans, and the only other creditors Chrysler lists that could take more equity for debt are the U.S. government and the United Auto Workers union, which already has agreed in principle to reduce its obligation by 50 percent.

    “It’s going to be a tough sell to get the banks to give up their position for worthless equity,” said Don Workman, a bankruptcy attorney at Baker & Hostetler LLP in Washington. “The best Chrysler can hope is that the government is going to force them to do it.”

    Chrysler Should Give Up The Ghost
    The best thing for the banks and for the auto industry is the same. Chrysler should give up the ghost. To keep Chrysler alive will require banks to trade debt for worthless equity. This will hurt the creditors while keeping the zombie Chrysler alive only temporarily. A few months down the road, Chrysler will need yet another bailout from someone. In the meantime Chrysler's production will continue to add to the massive overcapacity in autos.

    The attempt to keep all of these zombie auto companies alive means that none of them can be profitable. It is the worst possible approach.

    Mike "Mish" Shedlock

  123. Davey Brooks is shocked, SHOCKED!
    That a former member of the Socialist Party, who has spent almost his entire adult life around socialists, communists, black liberationists, Muslim Arabists, and domestic terrorists, might not govern as a CENTRIST!
    ...took Joe all of 5 minutes to learn that BHO is a committed redistributionist.
    But Joe's "Just a Plumber."

    Op-Ed Columnist - A Moderate Manifesto -

    The president issued a read-my-lips pledge that no new burdens will fall on 95 percent of the American people.
    All the costs will be borne by the rich and all benefits redistributed downward.

    Those of us who consider ourselves moderates — moderate-conservative, in my case — are forced to confront the reality that Barack Obama is not who we thought he was.

    His words are responsible; his character is inspiring. But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every centrist on notice. As Clive Crook, an Obama admirer, wrote in The Financial Times, the Obama budget “contains no trace of compromise. It makes no gesture, however small, however costless to its larger agenda, of a bipartisan approach to the great questions it addresses. It is a liberal’s dream of a new New Deal.”

    Moderates now find themselves betwixt and between. On the left, there is a president who appears to be, as Crook says, “a conviction politician, a bold progressive liberal.”
    On the right, there are the Rush Limbaugh brigades.
    The only thing more scary than Obama’s experiment is the thought that it might fail and the political power will swing over to a Republican Party that is currently unfit to wield it.