“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."

Friday, March 06, 2009

Who is Thomas Saenz and MALDEF? The statist coup d'etat of Barack Hussein Obama continues.

This is a MALDEF spokesman and is not Thomas Saenz.

Hat tip: Doug

Who's Thomas Saenz?

Posted Thursday, March 05, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Civil Rights: The open-borders crowd eagerly awaits the nomination of one of its own to a key Justice Department post, a man who has dedicated his life to promoting illegal immigrant "rights."

President Obama is expected to appoint Thomas Saenz as the nation's top civil-rights enforcer. It's a key appointment because Obama has promised to "reinvigorate" the division Saenz will lead. And the Civil Rights Division carries a wide-ranging portfolio, covering everything from hate crimes and police misconduct to voting rights and redistricting laws.

All this power will likely be turned over to Saenz, who was a top lawyer for a radical Hispanic group that wants to cede California to Mexico. Saenz is credited with killing Proposition 187 in California against the wishes of 60% of voters. That law would have denied welfare to illegals.

At the time, Saenz was vice president of litigation for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, whose co-founder has exulted: "California is going to be a Mexican state, we are going to control all the institutions. If people don't like it, they should leave."

Saenz has also sued California cities to establish "hiring halls" for illegal day laborers so that they can have a place to urinate. In fact, protecting day laborers against "anti-immigrant" sweeps is one of his top priorities.

He has agitated for "a federal court decision which would settle (the issue) for all time," and now he may have his way. Loitering illegals may soon have total freedom to harass store customers and drink and relieve themselves in public.

He would also crack down on local law enforcement officials who help ICE deport illegals. When the LAPD tried such collaboration, Saenz demanded "punishing all wrongdoers."

In fact, the way Saenz sees it, no illegal alien should be rounded up.
"Currently in California, thousands and thousands of people live in fear because of widespread Border Patrol sweeps," he said. "It is critical that comprehensive immigration reform includes nondiscrimination against people on the basis of immigration status."

By reform he means amnesty. "At a certain point," he said, referring to the 20 million illegals in the U.S., "people have earned a right to stay here with their families."
In addition to amnesty, he wants to give them full access to government benefits, including Social Security. "We treat undocumented immigrants as a separate class from which we take and do not give," he complained.

Obama ran on a promise of uniting all Americans, not those who broke into the country illegally, and his selection of Saenz couldn't be more divisive.
And now, with Mexican drug-gang violence spilling across our borders, this certainly is no time to put an open-borders extremist in charge of policing police.


  1. Thought the idea of a community organizer was quaint did you?

  2. Still think that if you are white and middle class, it is not necessary to vote?

  3. The Great Non Sequitur
    The Sleight of Hand Behind Obama's Agenda
    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, March 6, 2009; A15

    "Forget the pork. Forget the waste. Forget the 8,570 earmarks in a bill supported by a president who poses as the scourge of earmarks. Forget the "2 trillion dollars in savings" that "we have already identified," $1.6 trillion of which President Obama's budget director later admits is the "savings" of not continuing the surge in Iraq until 2019 -- 11 years after George Bush ended it, and eight years after even Bush would have had us out of Iraq completely.

    Forget all of this. This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama's tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that's a matter of scale, not principle.

    All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama's radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.

    The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:

    "Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

    The "day of reckoning" has arrived. And because "it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

    Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.

    At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the banking industry. One can come up with a host of causes: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed by Washington (and greed) into improvident loans, corrupted bond-ratings agencies, insufficient regulation of new and exotic debt instruments, the easy money policy of Alan Greenspan's Fed, irresponsible bankers pushing (and then unloading in packaged loan instruments) highly dubious mortgages, greedy house-flippers, deceitful home buyers.

    The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-ass MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe.

    And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing-in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.

    What's going on? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."

    Things. Now we know what they are. The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

    Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime."

  4. Another sniveling white liberal checks in:

    by Stuart Taylor
    Saturday, March 7, 2009

    Having praised President Obama's job performance in two recent columns, it is with regret that I now worry that he may be deepening what looks more and more like a depression and may engineer so much spending, debt, and government control of the economy as to leave most Americans permanently less prosperous and less free.

    Other Obama-admiring centrists have expressed similar concerns. Like them, I would like to be proved wrong. After all, if this president fails, who will revive our economy? And when? And what kind of America will our children inherit?

    The house is burning down. It's no time to be watering the grass.

    But with the nation already plunging deep into probably necessary debt to rescue the crippled financial system and stimulate the economy, Obama's proposals for many hundreds of billions in additional spending on universal health care, universal postsecondary education, a massive overhaul of the energy economy, and other liberal programs seem grandiose and unaffordable.

    With little in the way of offsetting savings likely to materialize, the Obama agenda would probably generate trillion-dollar deficits with no end in sight, or send middle-class taxes soaring to record levels, or both.

    All this from a man who told the nation last week that he doesn't "believe in bigger government" and who promised tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans.

  5. More evidence of a new social order as the left seeks to relieve its favorite dictator:

    The omnibus spending bill, which funds most government agencies through September 30, eases restrictions on travel and extends credit for increased trade to the island nation, all moves that Martinez says will not benefit the Cuban people as the measure exacts no positive actions in return.

    "As we consider changing U.S. policy toward Cuba, why are we doing this without asking anything?" Martinez implored his colleagues, suggesting that the U.S. should, for example, demand the release of political prisoners.

    The bill does not lift the decades-old embargo against Cuba, but it would allow the nation to buy U.S. goods on credit from groups like U.S. farmers, who have long clamored for the opening of this marketplace. But, Martinez sees this as a recipe for disaster in these hard economic times, noting that Cuba "owes $29 billion to the Paris Club (an informal, international financing group) ... in fact, Cuba has the second worst credit than any nation in the world."

    Cuban American Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has also decried the change in policy. He has even placed a hold on two of President Obama's nominees to government posts, attempting to use this as leverage to get the Cuba policy changes stripped from the bill, this according to a senior Democratic leadership aide. The Washington Post first reported this move.

    Menendez, on Monday, said the Cuba changes are "so deeply offensive to me, and so deeply undemocratic, that it puts the omnibus appropriations package in jeopardy, in spite of all the other tremendously important funding that this bill would provide.''

    Indeed, even the Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid voiced faint support for the provisions, but he said, "There are a couple of those that I don't like very much, but it's not enough to bring the bill down, in my opinion."

    But, bringing down the bill is exactly what Martinez now has in mind. "A better strategy might be to kill the bill," the senator said, as opposed to offering amendments to rid the bill of the offending items, a move that Martinez acknowledges would surely fail.

    Martinez says he is working with Menendez and his fellow Floridian, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., to amass the necessary votes to deprive supporters of the spending bill of the necessary 60 votes for final passage, unless changes are made. It is unclear if they could round up enough votes, but most Republicans are not likely to support the bill because of funding levels, so Martinez's effort does stand a chance.

    Obama has said he favors provisions like those in the bill, one that has passed the House of Representatives, already, and awaits House-Senate negotiations.

    Congress faces a tight Friday deadline by which the $410 billion omnibus spending bill must pass to fund the majority of government agencies now running on a temporary, stopgap spending measure. If it does not pass, the government would either have to shut down or another temporary measure would have to be hastily crafted.

  6. ...and this will be the coup d'grace, the pincer movement to choke you out once and for all. Match fucking set baby, match fucking set...:

    Accurate 2010 Census count 'jeopardized'
    By Reid Wilson

    Posted: 03/05/09 11:17 PM [ET]

    "As estimated costs are set to explode and the Government Accountability Office suggested several key procedures would go untested before next year's Census kickoff, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) used a subcommittee hearing Thursday to highlight what he called an impending state of emergency.

    The GAO has designated the Census a "high risk area" after efforts to incorporate handheld computers for non-response follow-up interviews ran into serious technical problems. A subsequent test of new procedures scheduled for 2008 was curtailed, meaning those procedures will be attempted for the first time during the 2010 Census."

  7. These people are going to wreck this country.

  8. It was suggested by many that Bush used 911 as an excuse to settle family business in Iraq. Seems to be that Obama is using the economic meltdown to steal his left wing agenda into control of the US.

  9. There is a knock in the engine and the car bucks at each gear change and Obama thinks the car need a simonize.

  10. He does look very snappy boarding that big simonized white and blue 747.

  11. by the way, how is your Hope holding up?

  12. Here you go, ash ...

    From the beginning of 2007 to the middle of 2008, the monetary base controlled by the Fed has grown only 1.6 percent at an annual rate. The basic M1 money supply has been flat. This amounts to a long-run liquidity squeeze. The credit-crunched economy desperately needs cash. But the Fed is not providing it.

    Lawrence Kudlow

    It is not Obama that is the problem, but Arlen Specter.

    It is the loss of the center, in the Senate that will cause US permanent displeasure.

    Look to the Senate, amigos. In FL, PA, NH and Maine.

  13. Obama Approval: Fox News @63% | Hotline @67% | RCP Avg @61.3%

    Then, on a lighter note

    By Glenn Kessler
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, March 5, 2009; Page A11

    BRUSSELS, March 4 -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized the Israeli government on Wednesday for its plans to demolish dozens of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, calling the actions "unhelpful" and a violation of international obligations.

    Clinton made the rare public complaint about Israeli actions in response to a question at a news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Israel's plans to destroy homes in Arab East Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider the capital of a future Palestinian state, have angered Palestinians.

    The Jerusalem municipal government in recent weeks began planning to evict 1,500 residents and raze 88 homes in an area Israel has designated as a national park, on top of other demolition plans for the Silwan neighborhood. Israel says the houses were built without permits, but Palestinians say that permits are impossible to obtain and that many of the homes were built before Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967. Israel's subsequent annexation of East Jerusalem has not been internationally recognized.

    "It is a matter of deep concern to those who are directly affected, but the ramifications go far beyond the individuals and families that have received the notices," Clinton said. "It will be taken up with the Israeli government.'

  14. Should Republicans Be Worried about Michael Steele?
    By Jay Cost

    At this point, I'd say yes. I think Steele has an inflated idea of what his role as RNC Chairman is - and this misconception might interfere with his true task.

    What's the purpose of the RNC? Is it to lead the Republican Party? No. The national committees are not leadership committees. Historically, they never have been - and today they possess none of the coercive power needed to lead an American political party. For instance, they have absolutely no power to influence members of Congress to vote contrary to their own preferences. The RNC is in service to its candidates, not vice versa.

    Is it to be the public face of the party? Again, no. The voting public is now larger than 130 million people. The RNC simply lacks the resources to communicate to a public this large. The chairman can appear on cable news talkers from here to eternity, but he'll only ever reach a thin slice of the electorate. That's not to say that the RNC does not have a public relations role - but it is secondary. By the same token, it is out of the committee's scope to enlarge the party's voting coalition.

    The purpose of the RNC is to assist Republican candidates in their quests for electoral victories. This includes candidate recruitment and training, as well as strategic advice during the campaign. However, the principal way it does this is through financial assistance. Campaigning is expensive, and campaign finance rules limit how much money candidates can collect from any one source. The principal job of the RNC is to circumvent these limitations, thereby supplying candidates with scarce electoral resources.

    So, I would suggest that the RNC Chairman's primary job is to raise and distribute cash. This puts a particular burden on the current chairman - for the Democrats have eliminated the GOP's historic fundraising advantage, and actually raised more in 2008. Republicans need a chairman who can reinvigorate the party's fundraising apparatus.

    Michael Steele has been talking quite a lot lately. However, I have not heard much from him about how he plans to match the Democrats dollar for dollar. Instead, I hear talk of how the GOP needs to expand its coalition, how it needs to undergo a "twelve step program," how moderate senators might be punished by the RNC, and so on. In other words, I hear a lot of talk from Steele that implies he thinks he is a party leader in a broad sense, tasked with bringing Republican legislators into line, and expanding the party coalition through massive outreach.

    But he isn't.

    John 'Maverick' McCain is the presumptive "Leader" of the Republicans, he was their candidate for President and did recieve over 59 million votes, more than any Republican has ever recieved, before.

  15. If 60 Senators vote for the Obama Plan, which they have, then it is no coup d'etat, but a collapse of the center that we are experiencing.

    44 Senators, loyal and true, was a bridge to far for the Republicans this past November. They couldn't even muster 39 a week or so ago.

    And Al Franken is still not in the building.

    Obama has a functional super majority, he has no need for a coup d'etat, he won the election, in a landslide of Electoral College votes.

    Words have meaning, duece.

  16. Is Obama responsible for Wall Street's meltdown?

    It's an absurd argument, but that's where populist rage on the right is heading.

    By Robert Reich

    March 5, 2009 | Is Obama responsible for the meltdown of the Dow? The consistently wrongheaded Wall Street Journal's editorial page says so, as does Republican Fox News, CNN's reliably demagogic Lou Dobbs, and now CNBC (where, full disclosure, I frequently appear as a token liberal). CNBC's Jim Cramer, who bloviates nightly about stock picks, says Obama is pushing a "radical agenda" that's destroying investors' wealth. My friend Larry Kudlow, who rants nightly about nearly everything, says Obama is destroying capitalism. CNBC reporter Rick Santelli's ballistic nonsense about Obama's mortgage plan made him a pop-populist icon for a week or so.

    The argument that Obama is somehow responsible for the collapse of Wall Street is absurd. First, every major policy that led to this collapse occurred under George W.'s watch (or, more accurately, his failure to watch). The housing and financial bubbles were created under Bush and exploded under Bush. The stock market began to collapse under Bush.

    Second, it's inevitable that stocks, led by the bloated financial sector, would lose their remaining hot air as the new administration begins "stress-testing" the big banks, many of which are technically insolvent. After all, their share prices were built on a tissue of lies and dreams. Other sectors whose values were similarly distorted and distended by years of financial deception and regulatory disregard, such as housing and insurance, will also have to return to the real world before they can recover. Which could mean more stock losses.

    From PRICE Earning ratios of over 20, to perhaps 15 was the Morningstar scenario. Watch them drop to a value investors idea of "Good" 40 years ago, a P/E of around 7 to 11.

  17. Census plan gets counted out
    By J. Taylor Rushing
    Posted: 03/04/09 08:32 PM [ET]

    The Obama administration has scrapped plans to have the Census Bureau director report directly to the White House, assuaging the concerns of lawmakers.

    Commerce Secretary nominee Gary Locke met with key senators Wednesday to reassure them that the 2010 census would be managed by the Commerce Department, and not the White House.

    Locke met with Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) to defuse concerns that had arisen over stewardship of the census.

  18. Robert Reich!!!

    Next, 'Rat will quote
    Pee Wee Herman!

  19. "If 60 Senators vote for the Obama Plan, which they have,"
    But 60 have not cut off debate, so the Obama Debacle will stretch through the weekend.

  20. I am not impressed by the numbers of our rulers and masters that sign bills they do not bother to read. What impresses me is that it is obvious that Obama, who has learned to live off the largess of a generous and indulging society, is putting into motion the means to diminish the supply of wealth.

    It is apparent, Obama does not know how to lead and govern. It is all show, razzle dazzle, and the 60 some odd percent of Americans who now support him, will change their minds probably quite quickly. The damage will be profound.

  21. a fresh new second lieutenant , two weeks into a new assignment, lecturing a senior master sergeant with hash marks from wrist to elbow about how to change the it.

  22. Rat, re. Money Supply. I was wrong, it is M3 that is no longer tracked by the central bank (at least publicly). M1 money supply is a more narrowly defined measure. This wiki article is pretty good:

    From that article:

    "The Federal Reserve previously published data on three monetary aggregates, but on 10 November 2005 announced that as of 23 March 2006, it would cease publication of M3.[15] Since the Spring of 2006, the Federal Reserve only publishes data on two of these aggregates. The first, M1, is made up of types of money commonly used for payment, basically currency (M0) and checking deposits. The second, M2, includes M1 plus balances that generally are similar to transaction accounts and that, for the most part, can be converted fairly readily to M1 with little or no loss of principal. The M2 measure is thought to be held primarily by households. The third aggregate, M3 is no longer published. Prior to this discontinuation, M3 had included M2 plus certain accounts that are held by entities other than individuals and are issued by banks and thrift institutions to augment M2-type balances in meeting credit demands; it had also included balances in money market mutual funds held by institutional investors. The aggregates have had different roles in monetary policy as their reliability as guides has changed. The following details their principal components[16]:

    * M0: The total of all physical currency, plus accounts at the central bank that can be exchanged for physical currency.
    * M1: The total of all physical currency part of bank reserves + the amount in demand accounts ("checking" or "current" accounts).
    * M2: M1 + most savings accounts, money market accounts, retail money market mutual funds,and small denomination time deposits (certificates of deposit of under $100,000).
    * M3: M2 + all other CDs (large time deposits, institutional money market mutual fund balances), deposits of eurodollars and repurchase agreements.

    When the Federal Reserve announced in 2005 that they would cease publishing M3 statistics in March 2006, they explained that M3 did not convey any additional information about economic activity compared to M2, and thus, had not been used in determining monetary policy for years. Therefore, the costs to collect M3 data outweighed the benefits the data provided.[15] Some politicians have spoken out against the Federal Reserve's decision to cease publishing M3 statistics and have urged the U.S. Congress to take steps requiring the Federal Reserve to do so. Congressman Ron Paul claimed that "M3 is the best description of how quickly the Fed is creating new money and credit. Common sense tells us that a government central bank creating new money out of thin air depreciates the value of each dollar in circulation."[17] Some of the data used to calculate M3 are still collected and published on a regular basis.[15] Current alternate sources of M3 data are available from the private sector[18]."

    While Kudlow states that M1 remained flat through 2007 this could very well be not a function of Fed. policy (hence engineered) but more a factor of globalization and the results of declining M2 and M3 money supply. As we have seen recently fed easing has done little to boost the economy. I think this is because of the vanishing larger aggregates of money supply which flit about the world faster than it can be counted. So, yes, money supply apparently declined during '07 but I would suggest this was not done on purpose but rather occurred 'naturally' and is continuing to occur.

    re. p/e ratios. I, like you, a business owner have a fondness for this ratio. It makes sense from a business owners standpoint as a means to calculate the worth of a company. What bothers me about the stock market is there is not a direct link between a good p/e and a good stock price. There is a correlation between the two, but unlike actually owning the business it is filtered by a whole host of factors - other purchasers desires, how much profit is actually distributed to share holders, how much new stock is issued ect. In short, I am somewhat....disillusioned with stock investing and trying to figure out what I can buy to feather my nest for retirement that actually is tied to a good companies earnings. Owning my own company gives me direct access to its earnings (and losses) but this stock market thingy...

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Just wanted to wish RINO RAT a congrats on getting his fifth Oak Leaf Cluster with extra chocolate and sprinkles.

    You are the boy.


  25. The "American" multinational corporations controlling America couldn't care less about the welfare of the American middle class. What you're seeing is the legacy results of NAFTA CAFTA and the rest of it. Through their machinations you will inevitably end up having America look like Detroit. If you do not reform the political (and thereby the legal and economic) system, I have no doubt, this is what will be the result.

  26. Zero Hedge: GE's $8 Billion Downgrade Time Bomb

    As the market is running on fumes based on some doctored Chinese data, GE keeps probing new depths, hitting another record low of $6.36 at last check. The major concern plaguing the AAA-rated conglomerate today (whose CDS trades at distressed debt levels of about 20 points upfront) has to do exactly with its credit rating. According to a Fortune report, there is a sword of Damocles hanging over GE's head, in the form of a rating agency downgrade. In case GE gets downgraded to a AA- rating, or three notches from its current pristine and totally BS rating, the company would have to pay out $8 billion in cash immediately. This also explains Immelt's focus on maintaining GE's rating by recently cutting the dividend, as an accelerating downgrade impetus could likely doom the company which is projected to earn just 50% more than this mandatory payout. However, GE is caught in a vicious web of complexities due to its relationship with its finance unit, GECC. As we wrote earlier, GE funneled $9.5 billion to GECC to lower its pro forma leverage, ahead of the company's projected $45 billion in upcoming debt issues.
    How likely is a rating cut? As everyone knows you can predict a schizophrenic monkey's behavior better than that of the rating agencies (unless you are providing the RA's with compensation for their services... then you can bank on any outcome you are after). As Katie Bonner says:

    Many analysts who cover the stock believe Moody's will downgrade GE and its finance subsidiary, GE Capital Corp., at the end of this month, but no one is sure how far. S&P has said that if it were to look at GE Capital as a stand alone company, it would only garner an A+ rating. And in late January, Moody's warned that GE was on review for a downgrade. Both are currently AAA rated, the rating bestowed upon the most creditworthy borrowers.
    We discussed the concerns that Moody's has presented previously here, and while Moody's likely doesn't want to take down the only remaining American icon that is not on the verge of bankruptcy, its recent streak of trying to make up for prior transgressions has made it somewhat downgrade happy.
    What happens in a downgrade? The Fortune article presents a good summary:

    On page 53 of GE's 2008 10k recently filed with the SEC, the company says that at the end of last year, if it had a rating of AA-, GE Capital would have been required to provide about $3.5 billion of capital to support a group of entities that are funded by issuing guaranteed investment contracts (GICs). A GIC provides a fixed return on an mount of capital that the GIC issuer invests.

    Another entity at GE Capital also issues GICs and then loans the proceeds back to the finance arm. If GE Capital's rating were to hit AA-, GE Capital would have to provide about $4.7 billion to repay the GIC holders.

    The total $8.2 billion GE would owe could swallow up the $4.2 billion freed up by the recent dividend cut as well as further weaken the company's cash holdings. In an environment where it's difficult to raise cash, that would put GE at risk of further ratings cuts - and more ratings cuts would cost the company even more money.

    GICs can burn GE in another way. Should the liabilities in the GICs exceed their fair market value, GE Capital would have to provide the difference. As long as GE is not forced to sell these contracts, this should not be a problem. But had the company sold the GICs at the end of 2008, according to the annual report, the fair value of their assets were only $9.2 billion and the liabilities totaled $10.7 billion, which would make a loss of about $1.2 billion.

    GE's annual report also says that if the rating on GE, or applicable entities, falls six notches to A-, then covenants will be triggered on its swap, forward and options contracts that force the company to pay money to its counterparties to account for the additional risk. The fair value of this risk was about $4 billion at the end of 2008, according to page 52 of the 10k.

    A cut to its short-term debt rating would also be a blow to GE. Should GE's short-term debt ratings fall below A+ (or A1 in Moody's parlance), then it would no longer be eligible to participate in the Federal Reserve's Commercial Paper Funding Facility program.

    GE currently has $60 billion in commercial paper outstanding, i.e. short-term loans that roll over every month or so. It is essential that these loans roll over - meaning that lenders continue to let GE borrow on a short-term basis - because these loans fund the company's daily operations.

    My feeling is that GE will receive a downgrade of credit rating to a level that match that of the worst cynics. GE will need to apply for a gov bailout to survive this.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. ..level that matches that of the worst cynics..

  29. Before the battle:

  30. Tom Saenz. Johnny Sutton.

    What's the difference?

    More of the same from the political class.

  31. It is critical that comprehensive immigration reform includes nondiscrimination against people on the basis of immigration status. Saenz

    Honest to Dios.

    Just let anybody walk right in here.

    If a Mexican is sitting on my porch, do I have any rights?

    Habu was talking on another forum about the need to make some real gains in the next Congress. He's certainly right. My Congressional district was lost to the dems this last time, we might be able to take it back.

    Our new Senator that replaced 'Widestance' Craig isn't any worse, might be some better. Craig was for lifting the embargo on Cuba--not sure where the new guy is on that. He couldn't be any worse on immigration.

  32. FT Alphaville » Blog Archive » The Bank of England speaks: This is `not Zimbabwe'

    ..according to a recent Martin Wolf article total public and private debt in the UK amounts to almost 500% of GDP. As far as I can see this is a historical high that dwarfs all previous debt bubbles.

    Zimbabwe? They too are sleeping with the Saudis?

  33. 31.8 million people in the country on food stamps, about 10%, official unemployment rate at 8% and it's higher than that.

    And we let people just walk in here--

    It is critical that comprehensive immigration reform includes nondiscrimination against people on the basis of immigration status.

    Take a vacation in Mexico, risk beng kidnapped.

  34. CNN journalist, doctor Sanjay Gupta, withdraws as potential Surgeon General.


  35. Nice breakout on FCX today. And the US dollar is down. We're starting to see signs of spring.

  36. To be fair, specific parts of the president's budget are admirable and deserve support: increased means-testing in agriculture

    heh, in a lifetime of reading the Wall Street Journal it's hard for me to recall an article that was supportive of any farm program. That's what your outlook becomes from living in the big city, I guess.

    We need farm programs targeted at only the working, struggling farmers. We need more farmers, I feel this would be good for our society, for a whole bunch of reasons.

    So I kind of chuckle to myself. The Wall Street Journal may finally be getting one thing which they have wanted, from the most radical group we've ever had.

    So when someone says to me, is there anything you can agree on with Obama and the Wall Street Journal, I can answer yes, a means test for farm payments that is more reasonable than that which we have now.

    Obama Is Killing The Dow

  37. What this country also needs is a smaller affordable combine. About the size of the old 50's era International 403.

    I think there is a market for that, but nobody is building it, as far as I know.

  38. Great interview with Michael Hudson. Btw, I've listened to Michael Hudson speak with several interviewers, and I've yet to find an issue where I disagree with him.

  39. 20. Bob Sykes:

    Obama is a thug. On stage, in public and on camera, he gave the finger to both Clinton and McCain–literally, not figuratively. For over 20 years he listened to Wright’s vile, anti-semitic hate speech, the worst heard since Hitler and Himmler. He and his wife actually believe this fith. His goal is to establish a racist, anti-semitic socialist police state, complete with brown shirt gangs roaming the streets and beating people up and concentration camps in the desert. Pray for the Jews. Pray for us all.

    Lest I seem too kind to Obama, I post this fellow's comment, to restore order and balance.

  40. That guy is good, Mat. We need a jubilee :) (right after I get most of my debts paid off) :(

    At any rate I've read about the old Jewish tradition of jubilee, which this fellow takes back even earlier. I think at one time they freed the bond man, or slave, every seven years, though it may not have worked out in practice perfectly for the bond man or slave.

  41. It seems those who wish to do away with mark to market have a common bedfellow with Bernake and Geithner. From Krugman today:

    "Why do officials keep offering plans that nobody else finds credible? Because somehow, top officials in the Obama administration and at the Federal Reserve have convinced themselves that troubled assets, often referred to these days as “toxic waste,” are really worth much more than anyone is actually willing to pay for them — and that if these assets were properly priced, all our troubles would go away.

    Thus, in a recent interview Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, tried to make a distinction between the “basic inherent economic value” of troubled assets and the “artificially depressed value” that those assets command right now. In recent transactions, even AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities have sold for less than 40 cents on the dollar, but Mr. Geithner seems to think they’re worth much, much more.

    And the government’s job, he declared, is to “provide the financing to help get those markets working,” pushing the price of toxic waste up to where it ought to be."

  42. Florida has a Democratic Senator and after habu built his cabin there, Montana elected a Dem Senator.

    habu is spreading the contagion, or perhpas HE is the contagioan.

    Next, amigos is Health Care, Where it seems the Loyal and True are abandoning the Staus Que, fast as their Federally Socialist feet will carry them.

    Summit consensus: Fix health care now
    by Ceci Connolly - Mar. 6, 2009 12:00 AM
    Washington Post

    "When times were good, we didn't get it done. When we had mild recessions, we didn't get it done," Obama said at a White House summit launching his effort to treat the nation's ailing system. "There's always a reason not to do it. Now is exactly the time for us to deal with this."

    Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who was in the room, proudly reminded the crowd of 150 that he was instrumental in killing "Hillarycare" in 1993. On Thursday, he announced he supported the principles outlined by Obama. Also at the summit was Chip Kahn, who 15 years ago helped mastermind the iconic "Harry and Louise" ads attacking the overhaul proposed by the Clintons.

    Kahn, who now represents hospitals, said that Obama has "successfully launched the process we need to achieve health reform, which we all want, and brought together" congressional Democrats and Republicans with stakeholders to forge a consensus.

    Karen Ignagni, who continues to run the leading insurance association today, told Obama, "You have our commitment to play, to contribute and to help pass health-care reform this year."

    "That's good news," Obama said, sounding a bit surprised himself. "That's America's Health Insurance Plans," he said referring to Ignagni's group.

    Similar words of support came from lobbyists for physicians, drugmakers and the corporate sector.

    "We know where everyone stood, but they don't stand there anymore," said Thomas Donahue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "We're going to play in this deal. We're going to get some kind of an agreement here, whether it's two-thirds of what everybody wants or three-quarters of what everybody wants, or who knows. If you don't get in this game, then ... you're on the menu."

    Obama used the summit, set in the gold-toned East Room with a cameo appearance by ailing Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, to make the case that it is possible simultaneously to expand coverage in America and control soaring bills.

    "If we don't tackle health care, then we're going to break the bank," Obama said.

  43. Michael Hudson put his finger on it when talked of the growth pattern of debt vs the economy. There's also a further complication, in that we're confronted with various resource limits for which technology is yet to provide a satisfactory solution.

  44. "If we don't tackle health care, then we're going to break the bank," Obama said.

    If we 'tackle' health care Obama's way, we are going to 'break the bank'.

    Some pretty good medical schools could be built for that $8 billion going to the Desert Debtor, the fast train, to shuffle gamblers from LA to Vegas.

    But the idea of creating more good doctors is too simple.

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. But the idea of creating more good doctors is too simple.

    Doctors are a tiny percentage of the expense.

  48. 'the parasite has taken over the host'

    'we have the economic training tablets from Babylonia, from 2000 BC, and the mathematical models they had of the economy from 2000 BC are more sophisticated than any of the mathematical models they use today in government planning'

    heh, but this last quote is kind of hard to believe, as things were so much simpler then.

  49. The physician sees 30 patients a day on average. So let's do the math:

    30 x 6 x 4 x 50 = 36,000 patients/year

    Divide $500,000 by 36,000 = ~$14 per patient visit, which is nothing.

  50. They aren't enough doctors. The web page of Valley Medical I posted the other day shows advertisements for doctors in various specialties to fill the demand here. They are looking for doctors.

    They have a wonderful building, lots of modern equipment, a helicopter to take you to Spokane if they can't handle it here, but vacancies in various specialties.

    Not saying the drug cost aren't too high.


    $14 per patient visit, which is nothing.

    Why do my visits always cost a $hundred or more?

    It was always a hundred or more to get that gout medicine, until Teresita got me on black cherry juice.

    And the gout medicine itself was always only a few bucks. Just had to buy a doc to get it.

  51. I've wondered what the property taxes are on that Valley Medical building. They must be high. We might pass a law saying no property taxes on medical facilities, if we could be sure the savings would be passed on to the consumer.

  52. Why do my visits always cost a $hundred or more?


  53. heh, but this last quote is kind of hard to believe, as things were so much simpler then.

    Yes, you didn't have AIG.

  54. My apologies, Bob. I've erred in the math:

    That should read:
    30 x 6 x 50 = 9,000 patients/year

    So multiply $14 by 4 = $56/visit
    Still, a very modest sum.

  55. Good answer. Factor in the cost of malpractice insurance, which I know is astronomical.

    We had a perfectly good doctor here, who saved my aunt's life one day, when she had pneumonia.

    Fine fellow, he just got hooked on some pain pills, violating some law or other, pled guilty, took his punishment, which was a loss of his license for awhile, and some fine, then tried to get back in the business, but finally quit, sending his patients a letter saying he couldn't continue, with the cost of his insurance rising since his troubles.

    Trouble is, we got to have the ability to sue the docs for malpractice, because they really do screw up sometimes, for which we need lawyers, and they the docs need malpractice insurance.

    Since we seem to be going to this national health stuff I wonder what will happen to our ability to sue the docs for malpractice.

    My hunch is it will get a lot harder to do.

  56. He was a nice guy, got hooked on some pain pills for a bad back or something, started taking liberties and writing prescriptions to himself through various sources, was very upfront about it, took his punishment, pled guilty, tried to get back, couldn't make it work.

  57. 6542.59 -51.85 (-0.79%)

    with a couple hours to go today

  58. There's a lot of rot in the system, and lots of coverups and lies. This thing is dragging way too long for it to be otherwise.

  59. "There's no doubt in my mind he was persecuted because of his politics," Ayers said before appearing with Churchill at a student rally on academic freedom at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

    Our universities have become cesspools.

    Ward Churchill Fraud From Day One

    Ayers is now an education professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago

    :), always beware of any 'education professor', we know how their children turn out.

    University officials have said they canceled Ayers' appearance because of security concerns


  60. Mat, I'm really starting to think this thing is going below 6,000 in a little while.

    Obama said today "It's good time to buy."

  61. Who do you believe, Jon Stewart, or Obama?

    Sell, or buy?

  62. Who do you believe, Jon Stewart, or Obama?

    Bob, my advice was very simple. Take the money and run.

  63. Michael Hudson on the "Recovery Plan"

    (I know, Democracy Now!
    Still, that shouldn't take away from the basic truth of he says)

  64. ..basic truth of what he says..

  65. Just for Trish!
    How high do you rate this one, Trish?
    56. whiskey:

    Obama will not face immediate consequences in turning over US soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and sailors to the ICC.

    But he will face a Military determined to use, as Wretchard points out, opportunities to remove him.

    Suppose a massive terror strike, nuclear in nature, hits the US. Or anything else with a body count in the tens of thousands?

    In this case, Obama would flounder around, narcissistic, deeply hating the West and White Men, and appealing to his natural constituency: Blacks, Hispanics, Richy White Yuppies, and women. All of whom opposed immediately on 9/11 and thereafter any retaliation or action of any kind, and wanted “sympathy” from “the World.”

    Well, given his lack of retaliation, that would be an opportunity for the Military to simply remove him, which would be broadly supported by the mostly White Middle and Working Class, and particularly men.

    Obama and Brown are symptomatic not of PC and Multiculturalism, which are themselves symptoms not unstoppable forces, but rather deep divides in the West between the “winners” of the Post War prosperity, i.e. rich White yuppies, women, and non-Whites, and the losers who are the mostly White male working/middle class.

    If you don’t like the response, look at the demographic decline of the middle class and nuclear family (Mark Steyn) and the deep gender divides (me).

  66. Michael Ledeen on Tocqueville on Us [Andy McCarthy]

    At his Pajamas blog, Faster Please!, Michael has written the best diagnosis of our current straits that you will find anyplace.

    It is from a couple of weeks ago, and I'm remiss in not drawing attention to it earlier. But in some ways that's better, because a lot has happened in a couple of weeks and yet the post is just as incisive now as it was when he wrote it — as I suspect it will be for many tomorrows. A sample (though it's all priceless):

    The tyranny [Tocqueville] foresees for us does not have much in common with the vicious dictatorships of the last century, or with contemporary North Korea, Iran, or Saudi Arabia.

    He apologizes for lacking the proper words with which to define it. He hesitates to call it either tyranny or despotism, because it does not rule by terror or oppression. There are no secret police, no concentration camps, and no torture.
    “The nature of despotic power in democratic ages is not to be fierce or cruel, but minute and meddling.”

    The vision and even the language anticipate Orwell’s 1984, or Huxley’s Brave New World. Tocqueville describes the new tyranny as “an immense and tutelary power,” and its task is to watch over us all, and regulate every aspect of our lives.

    It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd.

    We will not be bludgeoned into submission; we will be seduced. He foresees the collapse of American democracy as the end result of two parallel developments that ultimately render us meekly subservient to an enlarged bureaucratic power: the corruption of our character, and the emergence of a vast welfare state that manages all the details of our lives....

  67. The AIG Bailout - VP Biden’s Family & Alan Stanford / The Paradigm Stanford Fund

    Did you know that the Biden Family (Vice President Joe Biden) ran a Hedge Fund called the Paradigm Companies.

    The Paradigm Companies had an “exclusive sales agent” - Sir Alan Stanford - the disagraced financier charged with defrauding investors of $8 Billion dollars. Stanford even invested $2 Million of his own money in the Biden fund.

    The questions are: Why don’t we know where our taxpayer dollars are going? Where is the transparency?

    The American Taxpayer will never see any of the money poured into AIG. AIG is in liquidation - the Companies profitable companies are being sold off - the AIG companies that hold the “mortgage related policies” will be all that remains - those companies will never be profitable - they are worthless. $180 Billion in taxpayer money has been spent and the Government won’t tell us where it is going.

    Now that the Government controls AIG - the decisions about where AIG spends the Tax Payer money will be made behind closed doors by Trustees appointed by the Government.

  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

  69. (that last video link is so good, I submit it as my link of the day)

  70. More Michael Hudson:

    Bob, this will help you understand Russia.

  71. Time to start the Messiah Nik-List!




  72. h/t:

    T. Kevin Feehan, the founder of Trading with TK

  73. 82. buddy larsen:

    Smith & Wesson’s stock is up 250% since the election. Sturm-Ruger not far behind. Ay yi yi, my head hurts.

  74. Posted by Cathy Young

    My column on the brouhaha about Obama as a "socialist" appears on (and on this week.

    Short answer: Yes, Obama's proposals advance and enhance the welfare state and government involvement in the economy (and yes, I think this is a bad thing); no, this is not any sort of radical departure from the existing system (as my Reason colleague Veronique de Rugy has noted, Obama's budget "simply expands the Bush policies of bigger government and increased centralization"); and to compare this to Communism by invoking, as Mike Huckabee and others have done, the decrepit ghosts of Lenin and Stalin verges on obscenity.

  75. Obama's budget "simply expands the Bush policies of bigger government and increased centralization");

    That's Bravo Sierra!

  76. This writer Francis Cianfrocca seems to see the same trigger as I do, the liquidity crisis brought on by the Federal Reserve throughout 2007.

    Add to 'Mark to Market' to the liquidity crisis and the machination is there to create and prolong the crisis, guarenteeing a need for further Centralization and Control of the levers of the American Economy.

    The trouble began in mid-2007 as a liquidity crisis. Institutions like banks, Wall Street firms and hedge funds were suddenly unable to continue financing their holdings of illiquid assets like mortgage-backed securities. This forced them to de-leverage by selling off other assets that did have liquid markets, like stocks, high-quality corporate debt, and ultimately even commodities like crude oil. That's how markets started crashing.


    But the great disease that Ben Bernanke most feared has struck us and taken root. As in the early Great Depression, the waves of capital-market distress have washed over into the real economy, where people go to work and produce goods and services, and where they borrow to fund major purchases and business expansion.

    You can see it in the stock markets, which are the financial markets most visible to ordinary people, and most reflective of the real economy (a stock price measures how much money a company is expected to make in the future). After a long lag, stock markets are finally showing major declines.

    The hard part, in policy terms, is to figure out where we go from here. The liquidity problems that originally gripped the banking system have morphed into solvency problems, with banks too under-capitalized as a result of investment losses to make any new loans.

    And the stock market declines are now causing major distress among public pension funds (the ones that pay retirement benefits to teachers, firefighters and local bureaucrats). They'll soon be needing huge bailouts, along with General Motors, the banks, state governors, millions of homeowners who can't afford their mortgages, and everyone else we're afraid to see fail.

  77. Here's an article in today's daily fishwrap, that's too long to quote so I redact--

    A $1.3 million grant has been awarded to the Community Health Association through United Way from us taxpayers, USA.

    The bucks come from the stimulus package.

    The services are basically 'free', a staff of 15 will be employed, and it's to be located across from the local hospital.

    "Kudos to our local community and the people who worked so hard to bring this together" she said. "This is going to be such a great thing and it will help so many people. We don't have enough primary care physicians in the valley, and most doctors just don't have room to take any new patients."

    So the deal is, we are going to have two new nurses down there, (that was the number the article quoted) which when things get tough will send the folks across the street to the emergency room at the hospital.

    While spending $1.3 million on this facility is better than building an $8 billion bullet train to Vegas---

    what we need in this country is more well trained doctors

  78. I think there is a case for her position, whit.

    Those thousand points of compassionate light that the Federals funded.

    The Medicare Drug Plan expansion

    The $800 Bn off budget Military expeditures.

    The further expansion of the Federals control of local school cirriculars through "No Child Left Behind".

    The trendline of Federal expansion runs uninterrupted from FDR onward, GWBush did not even slow the growth, nor did he try.
    Obama is merely continuing the trendline of government expansion.
    Proposing to accelerate the growth, but that is still up to Congress to ratify.

  79. The deficit certainly exploded during the tenure of Team43. not much argument, on that, is there?

  80. "a staff of fifteen will be provided, including two full time 'medical providers'.

    nurses, from the nursing program at LCSC, I imagine.

    Nothing wrong in this, but they are hardly doctors. It might take a little pressure off the emergency room, but when things go bad, back they are in the emergency room.

    If we are going to proclaim we are going to provide 'free' health care to all, shouldn't we build up the infrastructure to really do it?

    These people that are going to go to this new facility are really being 'rationed out' of seeing a qualified doctor.

  81. Sounds just like the way that Sick Call was run, in the Army, bob.

    You didn't see a Doctor until the process was almost over, if you were really deserving of the Doctors' time and attention. Otherwise the med techs were all you'd interface with.

  82. » Animal Farm The Remake

    Anyway, back to “Animal Farm.” What happened was, a white pig named Snowball wants the animals of Manor Farm to rise up against their human masters and create a Utopian society. Now, don’t you go thinking I’m comparing the Secretary of State to Snowball, because Snowball was a male. I don’t recall whether or not he wore a pantsuit; it’s probably irrelevant.

    So then along comes this pig named Napoleon who has a taste for power and is known for getting his way. He gets his dogs to chase Snowball off the farm, and then he goes about setting up a corrupt totalitarian regime.

    Now look, I know what you’re thinking. Don’t you dare think that pig sounds like President Obama, because in the book, Napoleon isn’t much of a talker. Get it? So what if Obama is a fan of Saul Alinsky; maybe he just likes to read.

    Wrapping up “Animal Farm,” the animals figure they’ve done something very cool, and they get to talking to some humans again about their new wealth. They’re feeling like they can do anything they want. And since the pigs are so very smart, they get to live in the big house and make plans for the future.

    All the other animals keep working hard, but they don’t get more food like they wanted. In fact, they might even get less. Still, they’ve made the flag of the farm solid green, and they think they’re doing the right thing. But they get a little bummed when they learn that the pigs have changed the rules. The pigs’ new motto is:

    All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

    A loyal work horse named Clover figures out how awry things have gone. She looks in the dining room window and sees Pilkington, human owner of nearby overgrown with weeds Foxwood Farm, in a fight with Napoleon over playing the Ace of Spades. Clover and other animals, watching this from the outside, unable to do anything, realize that the utopia they had in mind is further from reality than ever.

    In other words, it was all a bunch of talk. Darn.

    If you’ve not seen the movie of Animal Farm made in 1999, you might want to watch the the trailer, or even see the film.

  83. When my brother was in the Army, in Germany, he said he didn't do much of anything---everybody's mostly healthy, in the Army, at least there in Germany at the time. Said he lost some of his skills.

    To pass the time he took flying lessons and got a Pilot's License:)

    I hope we don't get to the point when the only time you can see a doctor is when you've already died....

  84. Referencing back to that CNN/WSJ poll of the other day, the vast majority of the electorate hold Obama harmless for the economic crisis. So how can he use it to create a change in the social order as grand as Mr Lincolns?

    From a grander perspective, given an extended economic honeymoon Mr Obama is in no real hurry to do anything but surf the wave.

    A fellow, Russ Douthat that has the Obama startegy just about nailed. From a day to day perspective writes:

    What Obama does have, though, is an atmosphere of crisis and a massively-unpopular opposition party, which grants him an unparalleled political opportunity to pass whatever spending the Democratic Party likes, and damn the short-term cost. And what you see in his budgeting proposals, I think, is the liberal equivalent of the conservative attempt to "starve the beast." In both the Reagan and Bush eras, Republicans passed tax cuts and ran up large deficits while hoping that by starving the federal government of revenue they would curb its long-run growth. Obama's spending proposals would effectively reverse that dynamic - they would create new spending commitments and run up large deficits, in the hopes that the dollars poured into health care and education will create a new baseline for government's obligations, which in turn will create the political space for tax increases on the middle class. Like the starve-the-beast approach, the Obama strategy puts off the hard part till tomorrow: Give them tax cuts today, conservatives said, and they'll swallow spending cuts tomorrow; give them universal health care, universal pre-K, subsidies for green industry and all the rest of it today, liberals seem to be thinking, and they'll be willing to pay for it tomorrow.

    The fact that starve-the-beast didn't work out as well as small-governmenteers hoped doesn't make the Obama strategy misguided. Both political parties are living in the shadow of the hard choices that are going to be imposed by the insolvency of America's entitlements: At some point soon, liberals are going to have to accept somewhat less spending than they'd like, and conservatives are going to have to accept somewhat higher taxes. And if you can change the baseline of social spending that Americans expect from their government before that day of hard choices arrive - and once created, government programs are awfully hard to get rid of, whether they're actually effective or not - then you've tilted the landscape of negotiation in liberalism's favor, and ensured that a post-Obama entitlement compromise will look a lot more like social democracy than a pre-Obama compromise would have.

  85. and once created, government programs are awfully hard to get rid of

    lot of truth in that

  86. You guys talk about statist gov, but all support the car/oil/military/gs/msm/corporate mafia. When I suggest true multi party democracy, accountability thru small local gov, decentralization, green sustainability, eliminating corporate influence, favoring nationalism vs globalism, you guys pile on me for being a fanatic tree hugging commie, or fall silent.

    These things are all connected, you need to understand this. And it all starts with the political structure and system that encourages and promotes corruption thru its basic design.

  87. Blogger desert rat said...

    "This writer Francis Cianfrocca seems to see the same trigger as I do, the liquidity crisis brought on by the Federal Reserve throughout 2007.

    Add to 'Mark to Market' to the liquidity crisis and the machination is there to create and prolong the crisis, guarenteeing a need for further Centralization and Control of the levers of the American Economy."

    I don't think anyone is disputing that there is a liquidity crisis. However, it doesn't follow from that simple fact that 1.) it was engineered and 2.) that it was engineered to further centralize control. I do think that centralization and central control may likely follow from the liquidity crisis but that still doesn't suggest that there is a cabal trying to make it so.

  88. We might be better off with a parliament, though what we've got is written in stone, even in this day of the constitution be damned.

  89. Start local. Start by ignoring the two party political theater and recognize them for what they are: Corruptokrats playing "partizan" theater.

    Stop voting for these corruptokrats and create your own local independent parties and affiliations.

  90. Where I'm from, Mat, politics is so local that it often just comes down to personalities. I mean in these small towns, not at the state level. Around here everybody pretty much knows all about everybody else, and often just vote for their friends. There's also this factor--a lot of good folks just think it's to darn much trouble for what it's worth to get involved. It's a big pain in the ass being mayor or a councilman. This results in 'busybodies' often in the local government, always busy busy busy about something, trying to improve things by their lights, sometimes succeeding, Friendship Square and the Farmers Market comes to mind, often failing, like the empty buses that drive around.

  91. Coleman gets a court decision---

    The Minnesota Supreme Court today decided that Democrat Al Franken has no right to an election certificate — which would pave the way for Franken to immediately join the U.S. Senate — before the end of Republican Norm Coleman's court case.

    "We conclude that neither state nor federal law requires issuance of a certificate of election before the election contest is completed; we deny the petition," the Supreme Court wrote in a unanimous opinion released today.

    Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a Democrat and Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, have said that state law bars a Senate candidate from receiving an election certificate when there is a contested election.

    The decision comes as Coleman and Franken are still wrangling in court over who got the most votes in the long-running race. Franken has a 225-vote lead.

  92. like the empty buses that drive around.


    In Haifa we have what are called community buses. There's a number that you call and a mini bus comes to pick you up and others on the way. And when they calculate that there's enough of a demand, then the route is designated an official bus route with a regular schedule. It's a very elegant system, and it ecourages people to use public transit knowing they will always have service when they need it.

  93. That sounds like something we should try.

    The feeling I get is that they got the buses going without really knowing the demand.

    There were buses darting around all weekend for the Jazz Festival, but that's only once a year.

    The best bus system here is, of course, that to and from the Clearwater River Casino:) You'd call the number, they'd come and get you, bring you back when you'd had enough losses. I think it's still operating.

    The Coeur d' Alene Tribal Casino out of Worley, Idaho has buses that go to and from Spokane and Coeur d' Alene, even to Sand Point, further north, I think.

    Since it's kind of lonely territory out there towards Spokane, I've thought that a team of good criminals could take the bus down on the way to the Casino. But, these days you might get nothing much but credit cards, maxed out:)

  94. Do you have casinos in Israel?

  95. Yes. We call it the Knesset. :)

  96. Only someone as sick and twisted as al-Bob would even imagine such a heinous crime.
    I would suggest you read the two articles linked here, perhaps check out google and wiki, and think long and hard about it before getting into a vehicle with that man Mattie, my boy.
    Your whole life is in front of you, do you really want to carry those scars for the duration?

    The 1976 Chowchilla Kidnapping

    Almost 30 years ago in the central California town of Chowchilla, three guys in their early 20's thought they had devised the "perfect crime" by hi-jacking a school bus, transporting its driver and grade-school kids to a moving van they had buried several feet below the ground's surface at a quarry, and then collecting a cool $5 million in ransom loot.

    This was mid-70's California, with memories of Manson, Patty Hearst, and the Zodiac Killer still fresh, it didn't take much to fear the worst when the town realized a school bus and its occupants had gone missing.

    But miraculously, when the criminals left the scene to make the call to police to arrange a deal, the hostages pulled a Houdini and escaped from the underground van. Further spoiling the plan, the phone lines were so jammed that the guys never even got the call through to make their demands to the police.
    They were eventually caught and sentenced to life in prison. W

    hile everyone from the bus were unharmed, the 36 hour ordeal left the kids scarred for life and the 70's AM Gold sounds of Brewer & Shipley or Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods provided little comfort.
    [Crime Library] - The Chowchilla Kidnapping


    Hello, I am the wife of one of the children buried alive. Scared for life is a vast understatement. My husband, his sister and the other couple of victims I've had the opportunity to meet are forever tramatized.

    Those in control back then thought they would just forget. Right! It affects every aspect of their lives. Every aspect.


    My dad worked at the gravel plant where the children were buried. He was working that night the older children and the bus driver dug out and sought help. My dad stayed out of the papers, the Reader's digest story and the movie. Instead he suffered with his pain (PTSD from the event and his own previos experiences killing people while in the armed forces) in silence. This event was one more scar on my own troubled childhood.

    etc and etc
    It's your life, Mat.
    You decide.

  97. jeeze Doug you know I was't serious. And was just talking a gunny sack and some wallets. Besides it would violate one of the rules of a good crime, which is no one get hurt. Some of the old folks might be on their s.s. and need the money.

    Better to take down the casino itself in a friendly and safe manner. It isn't going to hurt them any, and they deserve it, haing ill gotten their gains in the first place:)

  98. I just don't want Mat to get involved w/o knowing the likely consequences.
    Life is short.

  99. Chas of Arabia
    Rich Lowry
    Judging BHO by those he chooses to have around him is frightening.
    ...but this has always been so.