“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."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Chairman Obama should look at business friendly China

This is not Detroit

China IPO rule for small firms to help boost growth

By V. Phani Kumar, MarketWatch
Last update: 11:19 p.m. EDT March 31, 2009

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China is planning to make it easier for small and medium-sized companies to go public, setting up a new trading platform with looser listing rules, and also winning praise from investors and analysts.
The move will further the development of its equity markets and give young private enterprises an additional source of funds, said analysts.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission issued the new rules Tuesday governing initial public offerings on the new trading board, to be created on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Under the terms, companies seeking to raise funds via an IPO must have been profitable for two years with accumulated profits of 10 million yuan ($1.46 million).

Those requirements are significant easing from current rules, calling for a profitable record of three years with at least 30 million yuan in profits.

The new rules take effect May 1, clearing the path for the introduction of the much-awaited trading platform, to be known as the Growth Enterprise Market.

"We take the launch of a second board as a long-term positive to the economy, as it provides a much-needed exit mechanism for investors in high growth, small and medium enterprises, and should thus encourage further investments in the SME sector," Deutsche Bank wrote in a report.

The announcement boosted shares of Chinese brokerages Tuesday on hopes it will expand the number of traded securities and improve trading volumes.

Wednesday saw the brokerages trading on a more subdued note, with China Everbright (HK:165: news , chart , profile ) rising 4.5% in Hong Kong, and Guoyuan Securities up 0.3% in Shenzhen, but Haitong Securities down 0.2%, and Citic Securities 0.6% lower in Shanghai.

"We believe this also demonstrates [Chinese regulators'] commitment to continued capital market development/reform, which should help investor sentiment on China brokers," Goldman Sachs wrote in a report. "We believe second-tier brokers such as Everbright and Haitong could benefit more from the launch of the [trading platform]."


  1. And the funny thing is China signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol, to the great acclaim of the world. That carbon that you see leaking out of their factories can be explained as a byproduct of producing goods for export to developed nations, so it doesn't count.

    PDF alert for Doug:

    Tao Wang & Jim Watson: Who Owns China's Carbon Emissions? Tyndall Centre Briefing Note No. 23 October 2007

  2. That was the old Doug with the outdated Acrobat and busted hard-drive.

  3. Foolish Chinese, refuse to learn from history:
    Capitalism has failed every time it's tried.
    They're so out of touch they have no Capital Gains Tax!

    Thank goodness our Marxist President is on the progressive edge, smoothly transitioning to the ideal Socialist State.

  4. The disarmed Socialist State:

    - U.S. and Russia to Consider Reductions of Nuclear Arsenals in Talks for New Treaty -

    Mr. Obama, by contrast, promised during the campaign to restart traditional arms control talks and take “steps down the long road toward eliminating nuclear weapons.” (oh, Goody! Whirled Peas!)

    “The Obama administration and the president see arms control as an important tool to advance American security,” said Steven Pifer, a former deputy assistant secretary of state under Mr. Bush. “That’s a big philosophical difference.”

  5. In 1986 at the Reykjavik summit, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, both passionate about nuclear disarmament, shocked deterrence experts with an unimaginable proposal – total nuclear disarmament.

    “It would be fine with me if we eliminated all nuclear weapons,” said Reagan.

    “We can do that,” replied Gorbachev, “Let’s eliminate them. We can eliminate them.”

    However, U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz explained that the proposal was “too much for people to absorb, precisely because it was outside the bounds of conventional wisdom,” and “the world was not ready for Ronald Reagan’s boldness.”

    Boldness, never doug's strong suite

    Obama is merely fulfilling Reagan's nuclear agenda. The trendlines of nuclear disarmament continue.

    Bold American Presidents, the whirled is just not ready for them.

  6. I may not be bold, but I'm not deluded into believing my own outrageous fantasies.

    Not to imply that you rationalize yours with relativistic argument, of course.

  7. For the record,
    It gets a bit Old hearing something on the order of

    "Reagan = Obama"

    ad infinitum

  8. Well, doug, I remember, DISTINCTLY, being told that Reagan's policies would bankrupt the US.

    He certainly ballooned the debt.

    We were told it did not matter.

    The policies did balloon the debt, it did matter.

    20 years later, the song remains the same, it's just the tempo that has changed.

    We're going to pick up the tempo, then take it on home.

  9. It's all the same, 'Rat:

    Defense spending that rose when called for never declined back to 3%, just like Welfare State spending always declines back to a sustainable low norm.

    And Reagan was not dealing with a liberal Democrat Congress.

    ...else you're FOS.

  10. But in my World, Reagan is different than Bush is different than Obama.

    Different Strokes for Different Folks

    - Sly Stone

  11. Tip O'Neill was not a liberal, now that is a tad revisionist, doug.

  12. As to the difference 'tween GM and Amtrack.
    That is of scale, not principle.

    Incremental expansion is the Federal Socialist way.
    First take an inch, then a mile.

    What once was unthinkable, becomes the accepted norm.

    Think Ed Sullivan and Elvis, then watch 5 minutes of MTV, you'll see the results of movement by 40 years of incremental change.

  13. For Doug:

    The 2010 Camaro is Out.

    google 2010 - aal kinds of pics and stuff at its homepage. If it ran on E85 I'd be interested.

  14. Rat's solution to the national debt is to sell the National Forests to
    Russel and Company thus locking out Americans from their national heritage.

  15. Looks like Tedisco might win after all, the mail in ballots supposedly having an edge to the pubs, with the military ballots and all.

  16. So we are broke...

    Just who will China sell it's wares to?

    Russia, Cuba & Iran?

  17. Hope for Ending Alzheimer's
    by Newt Gingrich

    There is new hope for ending Alzheimer's Disease.

    That was the message I helped deliver last Wednesday before the Senate Select Committee on Aging (watch the video here).

    But it wasn't just my opinion. I was able to cite three Nobel Prize winning scientists and over 125 other neuroscientists who have proclaimed that with an Apollo moon launch-style national research initiative, it is possible to end Alzheimer's by 2020.

    This potential breakthrough is so important I want to share it with you. I believe we are on the cusp of an historic breakthrough. The best and brightest in the scientific community share this belief.

    If you agree, I hope you will contact your House and Senate members today and urge them to support an Alzheimer's Solution Project (learn more at

    The Most Difficult Part of Alzheimer's Has Been the Lack of Hope
    I first became aware of the devastation of Alzheimer's disease as a young college teacher. I was asked to teach a Sunday school class to the older members of the First Baptist Church in Carrollton, Georgia. I watched as some students in my class went from being totally alert and totally engaged to gradually and inexorably disappearing before my eyes.

    For years, this fact has been the most difficult part of Alzheimer's disease, both for those who suffer from it and those who care for them: The lack of hope.

    Alzheimer's has been described as a runaway train; once you or a loved one is on the track of decline, there's no stopping it.

    "It's Like Caring For a Small Child. You Can't Leave Them Unattended."
    Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor serves with me on the congressionally created Alzheimer's Study Group. Her husband suffers from Alzheimer's.

    Justice O'Connor describes the progression of her husband's disease as "a downhill slide, there is no interruption in the process."

    When her husband is left unattended, he wanders off, not knowing where he is or how to return home.

    "It's like caring for a small child. You can't leave them unattended," says Justice O'Connor, echoing the burden faced by all those - primarily family members - who care for someone with Alzheimer's.

    Maria Shriver Has to Reintroduce Herself to Her Father Each Time She Sees Him
    California First Lady Maria Shriver's father, Sargent Shriver, has Alzheimer's. Maria Shriver speaks painfully of having to reintroduce herself to her father when she sees him, and of the helplessness felt by a daughter or son who cares for a parent with the disease.

    "No matter who you are, what you've accomplished, what your financial situation is, when you are dealing with the parent who has Alzheimer's, you yourself feel helpless."

    Every 70 Seconds, Someone in America Develops Alzheimer's
    Alzheimer's is a personal tragedy, but it is also a national crisis.

    Last week I presented the Senate committee with these disturbing facts about Alzheimer's disease, developed by the Alzheimer's Association:

    Alzheimer's is a growing epidemic:

    Every 70 seconds someone in America develops Alzheimer's disease-by 2050, someone will develop Alzheimer's every 33 seconds.

    5.3 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's-one-in-eight Americans over 65 and almost one-in-two over 85.

    10 million baby boomers will develop the disease.

    The CDC lists Alzheimer's disease as the 6th leading cause of death.

    Today there is no cure, no disease-modifying treatment, and no prevention.
    Alzheimer's places an enormous burden on families:

    Alzheimer's is a family disease. 9,900,000 caregivers provide 94 billion hours of uncompensated care per year.

    Healthcare costs for people with Alzheimer's disease are three times greater than for people with other diseases.
    Alzheimer's places an enormous burden on taxpayers and our health system:

    In 2005, Medicare spent $91 billion on beneficiaries with Alzheimer's and other dementias and is projected to spend $189 billion by 2015.

    Given the present trends, Alzheimer's will cost Medicare and Medicaid a projected $19.89 trillion between 2010 and 2050.

    Because people tend to get Alzheimer's later in life, even a delay of onset has a significant effect in lowering costs. A five year delay would save $8.51 trillion over that same period.
    A Rare Moment in History in Which Real Change is Possible

    So much for the bad news.

    Like I said, my message today to Americans suffering from Alzheimer's and the millions of family members who are caring for them is one of hope.

    I believe we are at one of those rare moments in history where the right elements are coming together to make real change possible.

    We have progressed enough in our knowledge of the brain and how it works that, with the right resources and the right experts working together, we could see a fundamental breakthrough in Alzheimer's disease within the next decade.

    In just the past several weeks, almost 200 leading Alzheimer's research scientists have endorsed the goal of developing the capability to prevent Alzheimer's by 2020.

    The Alzheimer's Solutions Project: A Roadmap to Ending Alzheimer's By 2020
    Last week, the Alzheimer's Study Group produced a groundbreaking report that lays out the roadmap to ending Alzheimer's by 2020.

    We propose a national effort, modeled on the Apollo moon launch project or the Manhattan Project, called the Alzheimer's Solutions Project.

    The Alzheimer's Solutions Project has three pillars:

    Prevent new cases of the disease. Even preventing the onset of the disease by a few years will yield enormous benefits.

    Take care of caregivers by reimbursing 20% of health and social services.

    Make Alzheimer's a priority of Washington by establishing an Alzheimer's Solutions Project Office in the federal government.
    Americans Can Do Anything. We Just Have to Decide We Want To Do It.
    This is a moment of real hope for Alzheimer's. But I think it's fair to say that the amount of hope we have is at least matched by the amount of effort it will take from all of us to realize this goal.

    As important as it was to get this Alzheimer's Solutions Report written, it is more important for you to go out and talk about it.

    So contact your representatives in Washington and tell them you support ending Alzheimer's by 2020. Tell them you support giving relief to the millions of Americans who care for Alzheimer's patients.

    Tell Washington you support an Alzheimer's Solutions Project.

    A world without Alzheimer's is within our grasp. We just have to reach for it.

    Your friend,

    Newt Gingrich

  18. Pretty good ISM number this morning. 36.1, IIRC. That's only about six, or seven points off neutral (about 43 is neutral growth.)

    Right now, I would say April will be negative growth. June will be positive. May? May is the "Decider." :)

  19. So we are broke...

    America isn't broke. You got some very smart people in the US, that's all you really need. Start using them. Unfortunately, it's the old mafia that's running things now, and they need to be removed and replaced.

  20. "Rat's solution to the national debt is to sell the National Forests to
    Russel and Company thus locking out Americans from their national heritage."

    Dr. StangeRat was never too big on national morale anyway.

  21. heheh--look at this--

    Senator Stevens Walks

    Ted was right, if the trial had been held in Alaska, he would have walked earlier.

    It's almost like this was a political prosecution. nah, such things don't happen here.

  22. State Solar Update: FIT Regulatory Boost in California, Bills on the Docket in Arizona - Renewable Energy World

    "Thanks to the leadership of the Arizona Corporation Commission, Arizona has the fundamental policies in place to support a healthy and robust solar market. These bills are turbo-chargers: they reduce the cost of doing business, attract new customers, and help bring new jobs to the state," said Adam Browning, executive director of the Vote Solar Initiative.

    The four Arizona bills designed to foster in-state economic opportunity in the growing solar energy market include:

    * HB 2335: Would allow municipalities to set up voluntary, opt-in financing programs for solar and energy efficiency investments on home. This type of city-run financing program helps property owners overcome solar's upfront cost by spreading the system price over an affordable 20-year property tax assessment.
    * HB 2332: Would let schools implement solar and energy efficiency improvements by removing the upfront cost which would be paid back through monthly savings on the school's utility bills.
    * HB 2329: Would cap permit fees for solar at US $375.
    * SB 1403: Degisned to give incentives to attract solar manufacturing companies to Arizona.

    In California, the CPUC took another step toward a state level feed-in tariff. Key elements of a new set of rules created by the CPUC raises project size that will qualify for any tariff from 1.5 MW to 10 MW, and adds another 1000 MW (in addition to the 500 MW for the under 1.5 MW program).

    The program would be limited to a 1,000 MW overall cap, allocated across the three utilities according to the share of coincident peak demand. Projects meeting the tariff requirements would be permitted to sign a standard form contract, which would not require CPUC approval.

    "After a 8 month process, the Energy Division of the CPUC issued a proposed decision for its inquiry to expand the state's feed-in tariff program," Browning said. "We will have some comments and recommendations in reply to the proposal, but the program's general approach treats solar as if it
    were a resource that can be the foundation for California's renewable energy future: it integrates solar into the long term renewable planning process, and looks to provide a framework that provides
    security for solar project developers, utility planners, and regulators."

    Browning noted however that the decision by the CPUC does not address price, which is likely to be the next step. Rulemaking should take place in the next few months.

    1000 MW, which is nothing. Pathetic, really.

  23. Honda Canada reports March sales

    TORONTO, April 1 /CNW/ - Honda Canada Inc. reported combined March sales
    of 12,570 units by its Honda and Acura divisions, a 23% decrease
    year-over-year. The Honda Automobile Division reported March sales of 11,359
    units, down 20% from last year. The Acura Division reported March sales of
    1,211 units, down 42% over last year.
    "Our March results, although down from last year's record results, are
    only off by 13 per cent over the last five-year sales average," said Jerry
    Chenkin, executive vice president, Honda Canada Inc. "We are encouraged to see
    that showroom traffic at our dealerships in March was up over the previous
    months, and that consumer confidence is showing a gradual upswing. We are also
    pleased to see that the Honda Civic, Canada's top-selling car the past 11
    years, saw its sales in March more than doubled over February's results."

    Honda Canada, now in its 40th year of operation in Canada, manufactures
    the Honda Civic sedan and coupe, and the Acura CSX and MDX at its two plants
    in Alliston, Ontario, and produces fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines at its
    new engine plant adjacent to its manufacturing facilities. Approximately 91
    per cent of all Honda and Acura vehicles sold in Canada last month were
    produced in North America, with nearly half of those vehicles made here in

    The Civic is doing OK; the larger models, not so good. Conclusion: People are opting for small cars.

    And what do GM and Chrysler have on offer for this market? Nada.

  24. The truth, as evidenced by a sampling of GM do Brasil cars and trucks at the company's Cruz Alta Proving Ground here, is that GM can make small vehicles as well as anyone else.

    They Make Them, Mat, You Just Have To Go To Brazil To Buy One


  25. They are selling the Chevy Montana Pickup Truck in Brazil. No wonder they be broke:(

  26. Then there's something seriously wrong with the management of this company.

  27. How much of the 30% of the US would we have to sell, to citizens, to pay the debt from the Iraqi War and Reconstruction?

    Takes a Trillion dollars

    Now, bob, you hold title to some land in Idaho. More than you need for just a personal residence. You also have said that you need to sell some of that land, the "last" deal, and then you can travel the world.

    Why not just borrow the money and travel the world now? You could sell the land later, to pay the debt or just default, or even die while bicycling in Haifa.

    You advise the US to borrow the money, letting our offspring pay for our adventures. While, in your own life, that is not an option you'd even consider.

    Why would what is good for the United States, piling debt upon debt for future generations to pay, be so unacceptable for the bobal family?

    Would it hurt your morale, to be leaving your daughter with such debt? Or would the debt left to posterity from such frivilous adventure fill you and slimslider with pride?

    But beyond that, the taking over of GM, by the Federals, must fill both of you fellows with pride. It is more of the same, Federal control of property on which it has no justifable claim.

    The Federal land in Idaho, California, Arizona and such should have been turned over to those States, to be distributed as the people therein so desire.

    The residents of New York and Virginia had that opportunity, why deny it to the citizens of the western, younger States?

    Why not opt for local control?

    But failing that, what other assets could the Federals sell, to cover the debt and the continuing deficits?

  28. Not very Republican of you fellows, decrying the evils of private ownership as opposed to the communal.

    You fellas would have also oppossed the Homestead Act of 1862.
    Mr Lincoln's first positive achievement of the first Republican Administration.
    Slim thinks the very concept would hurt the public morale, especially in time of war.
    Neither of you hold a conservative nor Republican response to the idea of privatization.

    The distribution of Government lands had been an issue since the Revolutionary War. At the time of the Articles of Confederation, the major controversy related to land measurement and pricing. Early methods for allocating unsettled land outside the original 13 colonies were arbitrary and chaotic. Boundaries were established by stepping off plots from geographical landmarks. As a result, overlapping claims and border disputes were common. The Land Ordinance of 1785 finally implemented a standardized system of Federal land surveys that eased boundary conflicts.
    Before and after the Mexican-American war in the mid 1800s, popular pressure to change policy arose from the evolving economy, new demographics, and shifting social climate of early 19th-century America. In the 1830s and 1840s, rising prices for corn, wheat, and cotton enabled large, well-financed farms, particularly the plantations of the South, to force out smaller ventures. Displaced farmers then looked westward to unforested country that offered more affordable development. Prior to the war with Mexico (1846–48), people settling in the West demanded “preemption,” an individual's right to settle land first and pay later (essentially an early form of credit). Eastern economic interests opposed this policy as it was feared that the cheap labor base for the factories would be drained. After the war with Mexico, a number of developments supported the growth of the homestead movement. Economic prosperity drew unprecedented numbers of immigrants to America, many of whom also looked westward for a new life.
    Three times—in 1852, 1854, and 1859—the House of Representatives passed homestead legislation, but on each occasion, the Senate defeated the measure. In 1860, a homestead bill providing Federal land grants to western settlers was passed by Congress only to be vetoed by President Buchanan.

    With the secession of Southern states from the Union and therefore removal of the slavery issue, finally, in 1862, the Homestead Act was passed and signed into law. The new law established a three-fold homestead acquisition process: filing an application, improving the land, and filing for deed of title. Any U.S. citizen, or intended citizen, who had never borne arms against the U.S. Government could file an application and lay claim to 160 acres of surveyed Government land. For the next 5 years, the homesteader had to live on the land and improve it by building a 12-by-14 dwelling and growing crops. After 5 years, the homesteader could file for his patent (or deed of title) by submitting proof of residency and the required improvements to a local land office.

  29. By 1934, over 1.6 million homestead applications were processed and more than 270 million acres—10 percent of all U.S. lands—passed into the hands of individuals.

    Leaving the Federals with 640 million acres.

    In 1976 when the Homestead Act was repealed, it was the Democratic Party that ended Lincoln's Republican core value privatitization of the land.

    Gerald Ford and the fellows that lost the final phase of Vietnam, the 60 Democrats in the US Senate and 291 Democrats in the House.

    That wase high water mark of the Democratic Party, before Obama, and slim and bob both hail the Democrats first incremental socialization of the US as a boost to our collective morale and a deed that cannot be undone.

    There goes GM.
    NAFTA could be modified and those Mexican trucks, those built Ford tough, will be tariffed. But maybe the Mexicans will nationalize those plants.

  30. Let's look and see just who was against the privatization of Federal lands. Who stopped the process?

    Majority (Democratic) leadership
    Leader: Mike Mansfield
    Whip: Robert Byrd

    Minority (Republican) leadership
    Leader: Hugh Scott
    Whip: Robert P. Griffin

    House of Representatives
    Speaker: Carl Albert (D)

    Majority (Democratic) leadership
    Leader: Tip O'Neill
    Whip: John J. McFall

    Minority (Republican) leadership
    Leader: John Jacob Rhodes
    Whip: Robert H. Michel

    So bob and slim, siding with Tip O'Neill, Mike Mansfield and Robert Byrd.

    Would those Democrats all be considered "conservatives" now-a-days?

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Now if you all want to, it's easy tie the limiting of privately titled property, to increased values of those lands already privately held. Tthen when combining those limited supplies with easy money, there is a 30 year trendline to observe, from the end of privatization to a busted housing bubble.

    Both Republican and Democratic policies were promoted as a viable way to increase home ownership. Which was more successful at expanding ownership?

    In any case, there is historical precedent to privatize the Federal lands, not only for the sake of increasing homeowwnership, but to fund the US Government.

    Sale of public land was viewed as a means to generate revenue for the Government rather than as a way to encourage settlement. Initially, an individual was required to purchase a full section of land at the cost of $1 per acre for 640 acres. The investment needed to purchase these large plots and the massive amount of physical labor required to clear the land for agriculture were often insurmountable obstacles

    But basically, national public-land-use policy made land ownership financially unattainable for most would-be homesteaders.

    Now, the first steps to being like Venezuela, that was 1976, at the latest.

  33. And of course, those that are holdig those old Hometead properties, Those 'old timers' that are looking to sell their acres off at with a large capital gain.
    They want to limit supply available in the market.

    And are happy when the Government obliges.

  34. Last remnents of the Republican landed gentry.

    A populist gentry
    Back when the Republican were the Party of the people, people that became the landed gentry of North America.

  35. Damn Obama, this wouldn't have happened without him, what's our country coming to--

    CBS To Flip The Switch On 'Guiding Light'
    Network To Cancel Soap Opera After 72 Years On AirNEW YORK (CBS) ―

    The soap opera "Guiding Light" is switching off after a 72-year run that predates television.

    CBS says the show will have its final episode in September. Like most daytime dramas, "Guiding Light" has suffered from declining ratings and CBS is looking for a lower-cost alternative to the hour of programming.

    The Guinness Book of World Records has cited it as the longest-running television drama, with more than 15,700 episodes airing.

    Created by Irna Phillips, the show debuted on NBC radio on January 25, 1937 as the 15-minute radio serial "The Guiding Light." It made the switch to 15-minute episodes on CBS Television on June 30, 1952, although it continued to air concurrently on radio with the actors playing parts on both shows until 1956, when the radio show ended. In 1967, the series first started being broadcast in color, and a year later, the show expanded from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. In November 1977, the show expanded to a full hour.

    If "The Young and the Restless" goes down I fear for my wife.

  36. Chopper golfing :) That's a neat lay.

    Baking soda, going to try that. I've been onto the cold water, will add baking soda, and blow.

  37. The Montona Sport from GM Brazil

    Nice looking little truck equipped with the company's splendid 1.8-liter, four-cylinder FlexPower engine, which means it can run on a mixture of 20 percent ethanol and 80 percent gasoline, 100 percent ethanol or gasoline alone.

    Existing technologies that would put a dagger in the Sauds heart, but mat says they won't work.
    That Brazils' experience is just another lie.
    Jihadi propagandist that he proves to be, by supporting public investment in infrastructure for technologies that do not exist, while lambasting proven alternatives that he has not invested in, either emotionally or, perhaps from the spirit of his writings, financially.

  38. Existing technologies that would put a dagger in the Sauds heart, but mat says they won't work.

    No. Mat says it's a waste of time. All you're doing is wasting water land and manpower, converting oil into methanol. It an idiotic proposition.

  39. It's almost like this was a political prosecution. nah, such things don't happen here.

    "Cardinal Fang, fetch the Comfy Chair!"

  40. Not oil, mat, but ethanol from non-food stuff grains and grasses.

    The vehicles exist and the refinery capacity is proven techno,ogies. If solar concentrators are used for the energy source, then the entire project is solar, directly and the biological processes.

    Processes known and understood and much better suited for immediate deployment than prototype microbiological batteries.

    Batteries that could be earth shattering in consequence, thirty or forty years from now.

  41. Not oil, mat, but ethanol from non-food stuff grains and grasses.

    dRat, even if you had the whole planet at your disposal, there's not enough land for this scheme to eliminate oil imports to the US. And this doesn't even take into account all the energy input required to produce the final ethanol product.

  42. Mat is right, our whole civilization is based solely on mining our energy (and burning it at a rate far faster than it can be farmed) even to the production of outfood with oil-based fertilizers. When that's gone, we'll drift back down to the 2 billion world population we had in about 1927 AD, and it will take all our technology to keep it from falling to 1 billion.

  43. Outfood = Our food

  44. The wife says that Jacques Pipin Says when cooking a hard boiled egg you heat the water up good, put a pin hole through the egg shell somewhere, doesn't matter where, toss it in for ten minutes, the shell never cracks and she comes out perfect. Said she's tried it, works good.

    Added benefit: you can watch little bubbles come out the hole in the shell as it cooks.

  45. Among labor and environmental activists who gathered at the February "Good Jobs, Green Jobs" conference in Washington, a sense of excitement was palpable.


    In the Los Angeles area, it is becoming easier to have a solar panel put up on a house.


    Nobody knows exactly how many so-called green jobs already exist, and estimates of how many more can be created from new public and private investments range from 1.8 million to 5 million over the next 10 years.

    Elusive Goal

  46. Oil-Rich Arab State Pushes Nuclear Bid With U.S. Help -


    ABU DHABI -- The mating of the words "nuclear" and "Persian Gulf" normally sets off alarm bells in Washington. Yet this oil-rich Arab state just across the gulf from Iran is on a crash course to develop nuclear power with U.S. backing.

    Dozens of American engineers, lawyers and businessmen have converged on Abu Dhabi in recent months to help the United Arab Emirates get the Arab world's first nuclear-power program running by 2017. "I don't know anyone else who has rolled out a nuclear program of this magnitude this fast," says Jeffrey Benjamin, an American engineer who in October was named project manager for Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., which oversees Abu Dhabi's nuclear program.


  47. They'll get nuclear plants built in the United Emirates before we do in Idaho.

    I call it insane.



    More than anything else, business needs a predictable environment if it is to create jobs. Changes in the regulatory environment and the tax code make it almost impossible for businesses to make investments.

    Yet President Obama seems to ignore this reality. Each day's news brings another bold and far-reaching proposal to change the fundamentals of the US economy. And each time he indulges his personal ideology with such a pronouncement, businesses all over the world cut back on their planned investment until the dust settles.

    Most incredible was the fact that he chose the middle of a deep recession to announce a major tax-code overhaul.

    Stressing how far-reaching the changes might be, he appointed a commission headed by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to report back by early December on what the changes should be.

    Assuming Obama will need several months to figure out which of its recommendations to adopt and Congress will take several more months to enact its own version, the announcement effectively leaves business up in the air for at least 12 more months -- uncertain of the tax consequences of any potential investment.

    Who in their right mind is going to invest significantly in new plant, equipment, services, personnel or anything else? How can you consider doing so, when you can't know how the tax code might penalize you?

    And, in the same week, Obama announced that he'd seek to regulate nonbank institutions, including those he deems to be "too big to fail" lest their collapse injure the economy. Which businesses will be included? Nobody knows.

    We may not know even when the law is passed. As companies grow or merge or acquire one another, they may step over the invisible line and become "too big," and thus subject to Obama's regulation.

    How can a firm plan on expansion without knowing what increment in its size will attract regulatory scrutiny? It's hard enough to anticipate possible anti-trust complications -- and the Justice Department is at least usually willing to consult before any merger on what its attitude will be. Obama's leaving everybody guessing.

    Growth demands investment, and investment demands stability. So the more Obama stirs the pot with his proposals and potential changes, the more he retards exactly the investment he needs to get the economy moving again.

    At least Obama has toned down his rhetoric, no longer echoing JFK's comment that "all businessmen are SOBs." But his actions do more than his words ever did to hobble any recovery.

    So why insist on pushing these "reforms" now? Because, while it might be wiser to wait until after the economy's out of recession, it may then become politically impossible to get them through Congress.

    So he's determined to use the sense of panic to enact his changes now.

    Again, he's putting his ideological agenda ahead of the requisites of national economic recovery. We needed a pragmatic pilot; we elected an ideologue instead.

  49. I call it insane.

    It is insane.

    They're talking about a $40 billion price tag for these nukes. That will buy you 27 GW of solar electricity. Israel with a population of 7 million, uses in total 5GW of electricity. Abu Dhabi has a population of less than 1 million.

  50. Nobel Laureate Stiglitz: Geithner's Plan Is Just Robbery

    So what else is new.

  51. There's more than one way to skin a cat, but in my book, eggs are started in cold water, brought to a boil, heat turned off, covered, and left to sit for 20 minutes. Run under cold water and rest for 30 minutes. The eggs; not you. Although you could run under cold water and rest for 30 minutes, if it's a warm day out.

    I'm feeling mightily benign. I did my good deed for the month. (Meaning I'm off the hook until May!) I helped a young man just returned to the States after years in Bogota, to enlist in the United States Army.

    He now has his own personal MAJ at SouthCom ushering him through the process, and if all goes well, we'll soon have another happy member of the HUMINT community - and perhaps future enforcer of the military mafia!


  52. In Post-Detroit World, China Plans to Lead in Electric Cars | NY Times Business

  53. Mat, here is part of my response to someone who had it all wrong (even though he'd just finished his thesis on the subject) on another website.

    Your numbers are inaccurate. Corn yield was down a touch (154 bu/acre to 151 bu/acre) this year due to the floods, and shortened growing season in the midwest. They are expected to be in the 161 bu/acre range this year. They have been steadily increasing at a rate of about 3%/year for several decades.

    At the same time refinery yield is steadily moving up, also. It's, probably a bit over 2.8 gal/bu, now, and with the move toward "fractionation," etc. they will be in the 3 gal/bu range, shortly. Two other considerations:

    About 1/3 of ethanol plants sell their CO2. Some of this will be used to increase oil production through the flooding of old oil fields.

    But, the Main Consideration is that a little over 30% of the kernel is returned as DDGS. DDGS are approx 33% superior to corn as far as weight gain in cattle (the primary use of field corn) is concerned.

    Put all this together and you get (disregarding the CO2 factor) 60% of your acre (you're retaining 40% of your cattle-feeding ability in your distillers Grains) going to produce 161 bushel of corn which yields 450.8 gal of ethanol. Divide that by .6 (remember, you're getting 40% of your cattle feeding ability back in DDGS) and you get 751 gal/acre.

    Harvest the cobs at the same time, and use those for process energy (some refineries are starting this as we speak,) and your EROEI starts to kick booty.

    Okay, you want 36 Billion Gallons? 47.931 Million Acres. Hint: We're taking about 5 Million Acres Out of Production This Year. We've taken about 50 Million Acres out of production since WWII IIRC. We have about a Billion Acres suitable for agriculture, and we, actually, row-crop about 240 Million acres.

    This is just from "Corn" ethanol. It's not considering the 25 Billion Gallons that we could get from Municipal Solid Waste, or the 100 Billion Gallons the DOE says we could get from forestry, and agricultural waste, or, twenty or thirty Billion we could get from twenty million acres of marginal land put to switchgrass, miscanthus, or poplar trees.

    We could do this standing on our heads.

  54. Iran's rationale of attaining energy independence through nuclear power is clearly unsustainable in the face of other less costly domestic options. Also, Iran would not have the domestic uranium production capacity necessary to sustain an independent nuclear power program.

    We are driven to the conclusion that Iran is not seeking energy independence but desires a nuclear weapons capability. "Iran's progress in the nuclear field cannot be stopped," said Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in his recent New Year's address to the nation.

    Maybe. But there is no credible economic justification for having started it in the first place.

    Nuclear Excuses

  55. eggs are started in cold water, brought to a boil, heat turned off, covered, and left to sit for 20 minutes. Run under cold water and rest for 30 minutes.

    That's been my technique too, heat 'em up slow like a boiled frog, they won't crack. But I don't turn the heat down until they are done. I can see how the pinhole would work, though, letting the pressure out. Cold water, if they set awhile, usually makes the shelling easy enough.

  56. Turning the heat off and letting them sit, covered, in my experience avoids the unpleasant outcome of a smelly, green-tinged yolk.

    Best deviled eggs: A smidgen of mayo and dashes of salsa ingles (worcestershire sauce) added to seived yolk, piped into egg whites. Sprinkle with hot Hungarian paprika. Serve as cold as you can get them without freezing.

  57. Wife says the Pipin method avoids the smelly green tinged yolk problem, which I've never noticed anyhow.

    What happens if you put an egg in the microwave?

  58. Why do people pay more for the brown shelled eggs?

  59. They taste better, Bobal. At least the organic ones I've tried.

  60. Seems I remember when I was young and hung around a farm near here where they had chickens that once in a while there would be a brown egg. Why are some brown?

  61. Have chickens been bred that only lay brown eggs?

    I think chicken eggs are fascinating.

  62. They're all brown in Oz. Natural color. They feed the chickens something in the motherland to make 'em white.

  63. Because, bob, they appear more farm-like and wholesome.

    (I don't actually know this. I'm guessing.)

    I buy brown eggs myself. All the eggs down here, regardless of brand or shell color, taste different than back home. Stronger smell and flavor. Less preferable to me when it comes to the Sunday omelet, but you work with what ya got.

  64. What if a chicken laid a spotted egg, like an Easter Egg?

    I bet that chicken would be worth a lot.

  65. Coming to a WholeFoods near you in the very near future: Ostrich eggs.

    I shit you not.

  66. I quess I'll buy some brown eggs and try them, though I can't remember they were any different than the white ones when mom had them once in a while.

  67. This comment has been removed by the author.

  68. Rufus,
    What's the MW per Acre per year?

  69. Brown eggs have a darker color yoke.

    They've got Emu eggs here. Have always had them.

  70. Anyone that's used to being chauffeured around in an armored car of course could only eat brown eggs.:)

  71. Have you ever had a Chinese dish called 'Century Egg'?

    It's a duck egg soaked in horse piss.

  72. Teresita can tell you about a yummy Philipino egg dish.

  73. Rufus,
    What's the MW per Acre per year?

    I don't understand MW.

  74. Chinese will eat stuff even the French would pass up.

  75. Emu Egg

    One of those looks like it's big enough for a family breakfast for four.

  76. Brown eggs come from brown hens. White eggs from white hens.

    The white hens are better "layers." The Domineckers (not correct spelling) might be a little meaner.

    From my recollection. We quit raising chickens when I was about 7, or 8.

  77. I don't understand MW.

    Ok, liters of ethanol per acre per year.

  78. This was the operative paragraph:

    Put all this together and you get (disregarding the CO2 factor) 60% of your acre (you're retaining 40% of your cattle-feeding ability in your distillers Grains) going to produce 161 bushel of corn which yields 450.8 gal of ethanol. Divide that by .6 (remember, you're getting 40% of your cattle feeding ability back in DDGS) and you get 751 gal/acre.

    I guess you'd multiply by four. 3004 liter/acre?

  79. Publishing in politically friendly media provides a golden opportunity to gain public exposure and air grudges against science and scientists. A hallmark of climate change skeptics is the dissemination of doubt ("doubt is our product") and a reluctance to engage in direct public discussions with climate scientists.

    The skeptics ignore the severe deterioration of the atmosphere-ocean system, as stated by the UK Hadley-Met in 19 December, 2008, the consequences of 5.5°C warming by 2100, which are "likely" on our current emissions path, are all but "unimaginable ­mass extinction, devastating ocean acidification, brutal summer-long heat waves, rapidly rising sea levels, widespread desertification."

    It remains to be seen whether Obama will be able to fulfill what is arguably the single most critical undertaking he has made to the American people and to the world.

    Cap and Trade

  80. You can come down any time, bob, and take the white-knuckle, armored tour from the airport. I'll bring the barf bag.

    We'll set you up with a bar crawl through north Bogota; hit Monserrate and a couple of museums the next day when the hangover and altitude sickness have you in their iron grip; get you loaded up again with some cheap aguardiente, pour you out at the Venezuelan Residence after we've encouraged you to take a ceremonial piss (or better) at the gate. Will compile and present photo scrapbook.

    How often does an opportunity like that present itself?

  81. And I will personally make you a tuna sandwich.

  82. Cap and Trade?

    It be gone, now.

    See the "Thune Amendment" passed last night in the Senate. Vote was something like 89 - 8.

    Says simply, no "Cap and Trade" legislation can have the effect of raising gasoline prices, or electricity rates.

    Come to think of it; I've only seen this at one source. I pray it's not an April Fools thingie.

  83. On the other hand, the Swedes will eat stuff neither the Chinese nor French would touch, so I quess it's what you are used to.

  84. You just want to kill me Trish, and I'm not gonna let you.

  85. If your intentions were good, you'd have mentioned the book club while I'm there.

  86. So 3000 liters/acre, gross
    net = x0.286 = ~860

    860 liters of ethanol is not going to give you very much electricity. Practically nothing. By contrast, solar requires 5 acres per MW.

    *(1- 1/1.4) = 0.286

  87. Well, consider it an open invitation. You'd meet some people you'd be glad to know and who would love to tell you The Colombia Story.

    And are you going to read To Kill A Mockingbird, hmmm? You've got a week and a half, I do believe.

  88. Why would you use ethanol to make electricity?

    My car doesn't run on electricity; and, I'll be driving this car for a good 10 years.

    And, what's that 0.286 deal?

  89. Bought it the other day. Should have a little more time the next few days.

    The back cover says Harper Lee thought of it as a love story.

  90. U.S. banks’ derivatives exposure explodes to $200 trillion - Credit Writedowns

    The OCC’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activities
    for the Fourth Quarter 2008 is out. And derivatives exposure is way up. U.S. commercial banks now have a massive $200 trillion with a T in derivatives exposure, which is 14x U.S. GDP.

    And here’s the interesting bit, 5 banks have 96% of the exposure. Wanna guess who? Hint, it’s the same big banks getting massive bailouts right now. And one of them has three times the exposure as the next closest company.

  91. Both of Montana's Senators came out early against cap and trade. Looks like most of the others sure did too.

  92. And, what's that 0.286 deal?

    For every 1.4L output, you spend 1.0L in input. So your 3000L gross output, is really 860L net output. But even the 3000L is trivial. It's a giant waste.

    As to why electrical, electric engines are much more efficient than combustion engines. And I also wanted to compare the efficiency of farming biofuels as compared to solar farming. There's no comparison. Solar farming is infinitely more efficient. My guess, about a 1000 to 10,000 times more efficient.

  93. The back cover says Harper Lee thought of it as a love story.

    Wed Apr 01, 11:39:00 PM EDT

    As in romantic?

  94. Support understanding of the Noogiesphere now. And gain an understanding of the true calendar--

    Wed 04.01 >>
    The man who first introduced the date December 21, 2012 into mass consciousness, Jose Arguelles, will discuss how he uncovered the Mayan codes, and a new knowledge source based on telepathy and time travel.

    Coast To Coast tonight

    (The Noogiesphere was Miami Vice's humourous take on the Noosphere, whch comes from Teilhard de Chardin's "The Phenomenon of Man")


  95. As in romantic?

    Don't know. Can't glean a lot from those back cover ads. Said it was a great book though, an American classic.

    All I remember about it, and I read it long ago, is Gregory Peck.

  96. I don't think Gregory Peck was in the book, bob. ; )

    But, yes, the character of Atticus Finch is one of my dearest film portrayals.

    I didn't see the movie until the (deep-freeze-sized) Betamax was invented and purchased by my parents. 1982 or so. Watched it over and over again.

    Spent this afternoon watching Patton with my son. Another movie I never saw until the Betamax came along (though my dad long had the soundtrack album) and then watched it endlessly.

  97. Still here.

    If it's the same movie Patton, I remember him coming onto a GI and a German, dead in combat, frozen together, standing up.

    "God, I love war" he says.

    I used that image to an accountant to explain why we were coming to her for tax advice. My wife and I always used to end up like that, frozen together in combat, at tax time.

    I'm outta here...

  98. : )

    Nite, bob.

    (Does it strike anyone that this has become a lights-out at the Bar very similar to, "Goodnight, Johnboy"?

  99. Thanks for the 'Thune Ammendment' link, Ruf. Great news.

  100. Protesters are set to march in London today on the heavily guarded conference center where the Group of 20 summit is being held, after demonstrations drew thousands outside the Bank of England and left one person dead.


    Marchers scuffled with police in riot gear near the Bank of England. An officer was hit in the head with a stick by a protester, and several demonstrators with bloodied heads were seen near the bank.


    Officers worked late into the night to disperse activists, who set up a “climate camp” outside the European Climate Exchange in Bishopsgate to protest the market in carbon emissions.

    Summit in London

  101. The amount of ethanol produced and the energy content of that fuel can vary widely depending on what feedstock is used for its production. There are two main factors that must be considered when comparing ethanol produced from different sources: fuel yield per acre per year and net energy yield. Sugar beets, which are used to produce the majority of France's ethanol, yield just over 700 gallons of ethanol per acre. Brazil's sugarcane produces 662 gallons of ethanol per acre. Switchgrass, a tall prairie grass native to the US that yields over 1,000 gallons per acre, more than 3 times the yield of corn. Recent research conducted at the University of Illinois has shown that miscanthus, a tall reed like grass, can produce as much as 1,500 gallons of ethanol per acre.

    The net energy yield of a fuel is commonly represented in the form of an input to output ratio of energy. The input reflects the energy required to create the fuel (including the energy employed to grow, harvest, transport and convert the feedstock into ethanol). The output represents the amount of energy the ethanol itself then provides as a fuel.

    Sugarcane, at 1:8, yields about eight units of energy for every one unit invested to grow, harvest and convert the cane into ethanol.
    The fibrous cane material that remains after the sugar has been extracted (also known as bagasse) is used to provide heat (read: energy) in the distillation process. In most cases, this eliminates the need for energy from an external source.

    One unit of energy is used for every five units provided by the Miscanthus-based ethanol fuel.

    Switchgrass's net energy yield is slightly less, at about 1:4. Sugar beets yield nearly two units of energy for every one unit that is used to grow and convert the crop into ethanol. Corn lies near the very bottom of the list at 1:1.4.

    So, mat, once again the story you tell is only part of the total tale.
    Switchgrass, which I mentioned as a fuel stocl produces 1,000 gallons of ethanol with a energy cost of of 250 gallons.
    750 gallons net, per acre.
    Divide by 42, gives us 17 barrels per acre per year.

    58,000 acres per million barrels

    To replace Saudi oil would require a million barrels per day. 58,000 times 365 brings us to 21 million acres under cultivation of swutch grass.
    That is less than half the land taken out of ag production since WWII.

  102. 21 million acres of ag production is nothin', in America, or for the US, alone.

    Nationwide, soybean acreage is expected to jump 18 percent, to 74.8 million acres. This is an increase of 11.2 million acres from 2007 and is just 1 percent below 2006’s record high. Acreage increases are expected in nearly every state, with the largest growth in Iowa, up 1.25 million acres, and Nebraska, up 1.2 million. Increases of at least 800,000 acres are anticipated in Indiana, Minnesota and South Dakota, while Kansas, New York and Pennsylvania are expected to plant their largest soybean crops in history.

    Wheat acreage is also expected to rise in 2008, up 6 percent to 63.8 million acres. Winter wheat planted area, at 46.8 million acres, is up 4 percent from last year. Expected acreage of durum wheat is up 22 percent, to 2.63 million acres.

    NASS estimates 2008 cotton plantings at 9.39 million acres, 13 percent below last year. Upland cotton acreage is expected to total 9.19 million, the lowest level since 1983 and down 13 percent from last year. The largest acreage declines are expected in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

    USDA data

  103. mat parrots the oil company storyline to debase the only real, short term alternative to imported oil

    Just as the other jihadi propagandists do.

  104. Why would you waste your time with biofuels when solar is at least a 1000x more efficient? Solar doesn't require the huge land allocations, solar doesn't require the fuel inputs, it doesn't require the water inputs, it doesn't require the manpower inputs, it doesn't require the expensive distribution, it doesn't produce toxic pollution and soil erosion, so why would you want to use biofuels unless you're fscked in the head?

  105. Because there are no solar cars, mat.
    The batteries do not exist, electricity is not capable of fueling the fleet.

    It will take at least, at 10 million EVs produced per year, 30 years to replace the existing fleet.

    And we are a long, long way from producing 10 million EVs per annum.

    You propose a solution, that does not solve the problem. While ignoring the realities of 300 million vehicles, in the US alone.

    You take the jihadi position, unsupported by facts, that the US cannot farm 52 million acres of switchgrass, effectively, to produce the equivilent of 2.5 million barrels of oil per day.

    Which would cut off the need for Saudi and Venezuelan sourced oil, within 5 years.

    Solar CANNOT do that.
    To claim it can, just jihadi propaganda, designed to waste our resources on pipe dreams.

  106. Time being the most important of resources, in this regard.

  107. Other than Gates, who's probably one of, if not the most competent person in the executive branch, this is pretty hilarious.

    Gallows humor, indeed.

  108. Because there are no solar cars, mat.
    The batteries do not exist, electricity is not capable of fueling the fleet.

    China to be producing 500,000 electric vehicles/yr in 2011.

  109. 52 million acres is only 8% of the land held by the Federal Government.

    Let alone the privately held land of the midwest.

    Only 2% of the country's total land mass would need to be utilized to limiting the need for oil imports.

  110. 52 million acres is only 8% of the land held by the Federal Government.

    I guess you're too stupid to comprehend my post @01:52. I'm done wasting my time with you.

  111. 500,000 is 5% of 10 million.

    At 500,000 per year, to replace 300 million vehicles would take 6,000 years.

    At 5 million per year, a production increase of 1000%, we are still looking at 60 years.

    Swutchgrass ethanol burns in the existing fleet and could wean the US from Saudi oil within 2 or 3 years. The time it takes to build the distilleries.
    But that is not your goal, mat, to cut jihadi oil exports or sales.

    The jihadi propagandist positions you take continue to take leave of the realities of life in the US.

    And as for the ecological hazards of farming, the battery production and recycling will produce an even greater ecological impact than farming 2% more of the land in the US. In China the coal fired electrical generators are puffing soot and co2 into the air, daily.

    Because folks charge their EVs at night, when the sun don't shine.

  112. Japan says it will be at 1.1 million units by 2011. Pure EVs are dead simple. Revving production will be relatively trivial. By 2015 EVs will cost less than $10K, and their battery will be good for 500,000 km.

  113. The jihadi propagandist positions you take continue to take leave of the realities of life in the US.

    You're fscked in the head, that's all I can say.

  114. Shit, mat's own link to the NYTomes tells how inadequate the production of electric vehicles will be, and how they will further foul the air of our global village.

    But electric vehicles may do little to clear the country’s smog-darkened sky or curb its rapidly rising emissions of global warming gases. China gets three-fourths of its electricity from coal, which produces more soot and more greenhouse gases than other fuels.

    A report by McKinsey & Company last autumn estimated that replacing a gasoline-powered car with a similar-size electric car in China would reduce greenhouse emissions by only 19 percent. It would reduce urban pollution, however, by shifting the source of smog from car exhaust pipes to power plants, which are often located outside cities.

    Beyond manufacturing, subsidies of up to $8,800 are being offered to taxi fleets and local government agencies in 13 Chinese cities for each hybrid or all-electric vehicle they purchase. The state electricity grid has been ordered to set up electric car charging stations in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

    Government research subsidies for electric car designs are increasing rapidly. And an interagency panel is planning tax credits for consumers who buy alternative energy vehicles.

    China wants to raise its annual production capacity to 500,000 hybrid or all-electric cars and buses by the end of 2011,
    from 2,100 last year,

    government officials and Chinese auto executives said. By comparison, CSM Worldwide, a consulting firm that does forecasts for automakers, predicts that Japan and South Korea together will be producing 1.1 million hybrid or all-electric light vehicles by then and North America will be making 267,000.

    So, if everything went as planned, projected global EV production in 2011 will be under 2 million units.

    With a 2 to 3 year production plant construction period, so a doubling of production would take another 2 or 3 years.

    But the reality is that China produced 2,100 ECs, last year.


    The Chinese are buying over 600,000 vehicles each month. 500,000 EVs per year, that's not even 10% of their current demand.

    February's sales totaled 827,600 units, up 12% from the 735,000 sold in January, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in a report posted on its Web site.

    That's the second month in a row that Chinese vehicle sales beat U.S. sales, which totaled 688,909 cars and trucks in February. In January, Chinese monthly auto sales overtook those in the United States for the first time — largely because of a plunge in American car sales.

    Shanghai-based SAIC Motor Corp., a partner of both General Motors Corp. and Volkswagen AG, led the market with 169,500 vehicles sold in February, followed by FAW Group, with 114,100 units sold, the industry group said.

    Passenger cars accounted for 607,300 of the vehicles sold.

    Production in February totaled 807,900 units, up about 23% from the year before, it said.

    China's February auto sales up 25% over 2008
    ASSOCIATED PRESS • March 11, 2009

  115. Come on mat, admit that you are an oil company lackey. A supporter of the Saudi status que. Which by your policy positions it is clear that you are.

    Rather than convert our existing gleet of vehicles to a fuel that would not require Saudi or Venezuelan imports, you advocate for a 30 year solution, that requirres the continuation of the supply status que for the existing 300 million vehicles.

    Only a jihadist would take such a position, one that empowers the Wahabbists at the expense of US farmers, distillers and automobile owners.

  116. Wonder is Michael Moore will buy a Ford?

    Screw You, GM
    by Michael Moore


    Nothing like it has ever happened. The president of the United States, the elected representative of the people, has just told the head of General Motors—a company that's spent more years at No. 1 on the Fortune 500 list than anyone else—"You're fired!"

    I simply can't believe it. This stunning, unprecedented action has left me speechless for the past two days. I keep saying, "Did Obama really fire the chairman of General Motors? The wealthiest and most powerful corporation of the 20th century? Can he do that? Really? Well, damn! What else can he do?!"

    This bold move has sent the heads of corporate America spinning and spewing pea soup. Obama has issued this edict: The government of, by, and for the people is in charge here, not big business. John McCain got it. On the floor of the Senate he asked, "What does this signal send to other corporations and financial institutions about whether the federal government will fire them as well?" Senator Bob Corker said it "should send a chill through all Americans who believe in free enterprise." The stock market plunged as the masters of the universe asked themselves, "Am I next?" And they whispered to each other, "What are we going to do about this Obama?"

    Not much, fellows. He has the massive will of the American people behind him—and he has been granted permission by us to do what he sees fit. If you liked this week's all-net three-pointer, stay tuned.

  117. Senate recount trial: Judges' ruling is boon to Franken
    Absentee ballots to be counted will be far fewer than Coleman sought in effort to close the U.S. Senate gap.

    By PAT DOYLE and KEVIN DUCHSCHERE, Star Tribune staff writers

    Norm Coleman's lawyers all but conceded defeat Tuesday and promised to appeal after a panel of three judges ordered no more than 400 new absentee ballots opened and counted, far fewer than the Republican had sought to overcome the lead held by DFLer Al Franken.

    The ballots include many that Franken had identified as wrongly rejected as well as ballots that Coleman wanted opened in his quest to overcome the 225-vote lead that Franken gained after a recount in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race.

    "We are very pleased," said Franken lead lawyer Marc Elias shortly after the ruling, which calls for ballots to be opened next week.

    Coleman legal spokesman Ben Ginsberg acknowledged that the Republican may have lost the seven-week trial and was prepared to appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

    "It is pretty much of a long shot with that few ballots being put in play," Ginsberg said, comparing the Republican's odds of winning the trial to someone betting on the winning team in the NCAA basketball tournament. "We are disappointed. But we feel the court is wrong and we will appeal."

    The ruling is not a final order and it's not clear for which candidate the ballots were cast. About half of them came from Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis Counties, which went heavily for Franken in the election. But about 61 percent of the 400 ballots are from Republican-leaning suburbs of Hennepin County or counties that broke for Coleman.