“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."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Is the Senate Re-thinking Cap and Trade? They better be.

Cap and Trade, if passed, will be the mother of all boondoggles. It is an economic train wreck and ironically, would be the saving grace of the Republican Party. Democrats are beginning to notice. Thankfully.


Congress closes in on budget; GOP offers its own

By Andrew Taylor
Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The House took up a budget plan yesterday that would allow Democrats to enact health-care legislation more easily, while Senate Republicans won a key vote to slow the advance of global-warming legislation.
As debate continued on nonbinding Democratic budget plans largely mimicking President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget proposal, Republicans in the House offered an alternative that would eventually end the Medicare program as it is now known.

For all the pell-mell developments on Capitol Hill, Obama's budget proposal, while stripped to its essentials, appeared on track to pass today.

The House and Senate budget resolutions are a necessary step toward enacting major legislation such as Obama's plans to overhaul the health-care system.

Much of the debate centered on who is to blame for mammoth deficits and what to do about them. But the most contentious question may be whether to use the budget plans as a precursor to advancing health-care legislation under fast-track rules that would allow it to pass the Senate by a simple majority after just a 20-hour debate.

As a general rule, debate is freewheeling in the Senate and most bills need 60 votes to advance, guaranteeing leverage to the minority party.

House leaders are insisting on having a filibuster-proof bill at the ready if bipartisan efforts to pass health care fall apart. That effort is being resisted by the Senate, though it seems increasingly clear that the final House-Senate compromise on the budget is likely to allow health-care reform to pass on a fast track.

After a decisive vote yesterday, apparently global-warming legislation will not advance on such a filibuster-proof path. By a 67-31 tally, the Senate adopted an amendment against allowing cap-and-trade legislation to pass the Senate with fewer than 60 votes.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said the Senate "slammed the door on using the fast-track process to jam through a new national energy tax."

In the House, Republicans unveiled a budget plan that would gradually eliminate traditional fee-for-service Medicare, offering a stark alternative to blueprints from Obama and his Democratic allies.

The plan would have future Medicare beneficiaries enroll in private insurance plans and receive a subsidy on their premiums. Benefits would not change for people in the program or those 55 or older.

"If we don't reform our entitlement programs, they go bankrupt and people's benefits get cut automatically," said Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), author of the plan. Democrats said the GOP proposal would result in sharply higher costs for the elderly.


  1. The Senate won't force Obama's Cap & Trade through. It's amazing what a swarm of lobbyists can get Congress to do.

  2. And fake polls for Stephie and 'Rat to tout:
    Washington Polling Games
    It has become almost amusing, watching how the so-called “news” media are manipulating their own polls to keep the political weather sunny for their hero.

    The Washington Post kicked off President Barack Obama’s European trip with the headline
    “Blame For Downturn Not Fixed on Obama.”
    Of course,
    what was “fixed” was the poll itself.

    They did the usual tricks for a more liberal sample of “public opinion”
    – they polled on the weekend and oversampled Democrats
    (36 percent Democrat, 25 percent Republican).
    By themselves, these things are shameless – but expected.
    And still that wasn’t enough of a slant.
    Check out the way this question was asked by the Post pollsters...

  3. Perils of a Bright Idea

    Fervent. 1. Hot, burning, glowing, boiling. -- Oxford English Dictionary

    WASHINGTON -- "Fervently" is how America will henceforth engage in talks on global warming. So said the president's climate change negotiator Sunday in Germany, at a U.N. conference on reducing carbon emissions. This vow was fervently applauded by conferees welcoming the end of what AP's news story called the Bush administration's "eight years of obdurate participation" in climate talks.

    Reducing carbon emissions supposedly will reverse warming, if it resumes after the current period without warming, a period that began, according to statistics published by the World Meteorological Organization, 11 years ago. Regarding the reversing, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change has many ambitions, as outlined in a working group's 16-page "information note" to "facilitate discussions." For example:

    "Tariffs can be lowered to grant special preference to climate-friendly goods, or they can be maintained at high levels to discourage trade in GHG (greenhouse gas)-intensive goods and services." The working group says protectionism "in the service of climate change objectives" might virtuously "shelter domestic producers of climate-friendly goods."

    Furthermore, using "border carbon adjustment," a nation might virtuously "impose costs on imports equivalent to that (sic) faced by domestic producers" operating under a carbon tax. Or a nation with a cap-and-trade regime regulating carbon emissions by domestic manufacturers might require foreign manufacturers "to buy offsets at the border equal to that (sic) which the producer would have been forced to purchase had the good been produced domestically."

    Cynics will see only potential for mischief by governments, including the U.S. government, using such measures to give a green patina to protectionism. Meanwhile, the U.S. government is having its own problems with one "climate-friendly good" that might not be.
    Last week The New York Times front page carried this headline:
    "The Bulb That Saved the Planet May Be a Little Less Than Billed."
    Rush love the bulb article.
    I was appalled by the low adoption rates so far:
    We have used compact flors for five years w/no real problem, I'm eager to hear reports from fellow BarMates.
    ...we buy cheap 13 watt models in 6 or 8 packs at Costco, and they last forever.
    Maybe 1 or two bummers.
    Probably the biggest reason we have no problems is that I couldn't care less about the EPA's prissy prissy warnings about cleanup after an accident.
    A little bit of mercury never hurt nobody.
    Dad gave it to us as a toy, and I came out normal, right?

  4. The Invisible Constitution
    By Laurence H. Tribe
    Reviewed by Timothy Sandefur

    Our Constitution is a simple document written in plain language, not for an elite but for a self-governing people.
    Unwritten traditions and complicated theories certainly play a role in understanding it, but they must always be rooted in the writings of "the people."
    When lawyers yield to the temptation of formulating labyrinthine doctrines by which the rights they treasure are strongly protected and rights they consider unimportant are left out in the rain, they have clearly gone wrong.

  5. "Long experience has taught me this about the status of mankind with regard to matters requiring thought:
    the less people know and understand about them, the more positively they attempt to argue concerning them, while on the other hand to know and understand a multitude of things renders men cautious in passing judgment upon anything new

    - Galileo

  6. Doug explain to me how a politician can spend his entire career lying to reporters, then turn around and believe the media.

  7. Mat's Link?
    Nobel Laureate Stiglitz: Geithner's Plan Is Just Robbery

    The Nobel Laureates and lesser pundits continue to line up against Tim Geithner's latest gift from taxpayers to Wall Street. Columbia professor Joseph Stiglitz is the latest to dismiss the idea that Geithner's banking fix is a "win-win-win." Instead, he describes it as a "win-win-lose":

    Banks win.

    Investors win.

    Taxpayers lose.

    Stiglitz's complaint is the same one we've been hammering home here: Contrary to Geithner's assertions, the "market" will not be pricing the crap assets the taxpayer will paying Wall Street $1 trillion for. Instead, a highly subsidized investor will be intentionally overpaying for the assets at taxpayer expense--thus secretly recapitalizing the banks.

    Stiglitz walks through the math, as Paul Krugman and others have before him. Nationalization, he says, is a far better alternative, and he cites examples in which it has worked. Then he summarizes:

    What the Obama administration is doing is far worse than nationalization: it is ersatz capitalism, the privatizing of gains and the socializing of losses. It is a “partnership” in which one partner robs the other. And such partnerships — with the private sector in control — have perverse incentives, worse even than the ones that got us into the mess.

    So what is the appeal of a proposal like this? Perhaps it’s the kind of Rube Goldberg device that Wall Street loves — clever, complex and nontransparent, allowing huge transfers of wealth to the financial markets. It has allowed the administration to avoid going back to Congress to ask for the money needed to fix our banks, and it provided a way to avoid nationalization.

    In contrast to the stance it has taken with Detroit, the Obama administration is taking the easy, big-money-friendly way out here. Tim Geithner has spent the last six months searching for a way to pawn off the cost of banking industry stupidity on taxpayers without taxpayers noticing, and now he has apparently finally found one.

    The Obama administration still claims to care about ideas, however--to weigh counter-arguments carefully every time it develops a policy decision. So now that not one but two Nobel prize-winning economists have come out in the pages of a liberal publication to condemn the administration's plan as a gargantuan, disguised theft, will the administration finally at least explain why it thinks Messrs. Stiglitz and Krugman are wrong?

  8. Good question Xena, but not sure who or what you mean about believing the media?

  9. "After eating, I went out to Dick's sporting goods store and bought a heavy bag (the kind you punch).
    I'm going to try boxing in my basement. I'm hoping to like it enough to stay motivated to work out.

    On a side note, someone told me recently that they see more lesbians in Dick's than they do in Home Depot.
    Then the thought ran through my head that lesbians must love Dicks.
    It didn't sound right.

  10. Some EBers told me the market was forward looking and predictive, they should be all about relaxing Mark-2-Market. Only one EBer agreed with me that the market has to do with present values.

  11. "Only one EBer agreed with me that the market has to do with present values"
    I'm a moderate on that one:
    Seeing both sides now.

    The more anybody with any sense sees this Obama from Hell thing, the more they discount any good news.

  12. What a fucking nightmare.
    ...but we told them so.
    And the media still swoons.

  13. So let's see how you twist this Bush Team travesty into something we can blame on Obama, doug.

    Last fall, the senior Senator from Alaska was the poster octogenarian for political corruption. As of yesterday, Ted Stevens is merely another casualty of abusive prosecutors out to make a name for themselves.

    The Justice Department yesterday moved to set aside an October conviction on ethics charges and forgo any future trials for Senator Stevens. He walks free, in other words, an innocent man. In the motion, Justice said it "recently discovered" that prosecutors withheld from the defense notes about an interview last April with the state's star witness, Bill Allen, that contradicted his subsequent testimony. Under the Brady Rule for evidence, Justice was obliged to share that with Senator Stevens's lawyers.

    This was one of many prosecutorial missteps that came to light after Mr. Stevens was found guilty less than two weeks before Election Day. The Republican narrowly lost his bid for a seventh term. Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday promised a "thorough" probe into the conduct of prosecutors, which is the least the Department owes Mr. Stevens. The Obama Administration made the political calculation here to walk away from the original mistake made by Bush Justice rather than further embarrass the Department in post-trial hearings.

    Recall the Stevens indictment was unveiled in July, on the eve of his primary. Announced by the acting head of Justice's Criminal Division, Bush-appointee Matthew Friedrich, ...

    Read it, then weep, then remember to pay your Republican Party dues.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Tes,

    It's not a hard concept to understand. The market discounts for the future, with the latest present information being used as guideposts. Btw, relaxing M2M was already baked into the cake. Sell the news.

  16. xena wrote:

    "Only one EBer agreed with me that the market has to do with present values."

    By definition it represents present value. I would argue, though, that the 'market' is more likely a lagging indicator of economic performance as opposed to a predictor.

  17. In this season, yes.
    In other times sometimes it was predictive.
    Now, only Rufus predicts!

  18. M2M: The 2 Cows

  19. Question:
    What will be the national economic response be to our first devout Marxist POTUS?
    Who the fuck knows.
    All we know is that it is not good.

  20. For Geithner, it's still

    We get to consol ourselves with gratitude for being given the opportunity to watch cows burn.

  21. Doug, I would think over the long haul it is more lagging then predictive and if I were doing an Economic thesis I'd try to analyze historical data to test the theory. For all I know the issues been studied.

    The reason why I posit that it is lagging is primarily my experience with my small business coupled with how markets work. In my experience with my business I track my results pretty darn close to real time. I also read the business press a fair bit and it appears that other larger companies business tend to track my own curve but it appears in the press with a lag of about 3 months. It makes sense given how larger corporations report and the time involved in gathering the data. Now, using my businesses performance as a predictor of the larger economy, and hence the stock markets movements (assuming it tracks business performance), is pretty risky given fluctuations in my business wholly independent of the larger economy.

    Add to this the logic of markets - just a bunch of people buying and selling based on perceived value (well there are large institutional reasons as well) and you can see how the lag in reporting business data translates into individual buying decisions prompting the market to move LAGGING the real economy. Now, I understand much of it depends upon psychology and thus could be construed as predictive, assuming the economy is driven primarily by confidence (or lack of) but I would argue a major factor in confidence is actual performance though confidence/performance are self-reinforcing.

  22. Back when I dabbled in the equities markets, reading Forbes gave a guy at least 30 days prior knowledge of events, before they were printed in the newspapers, or discussed on the TV, becoming more common knowledge.

    Since that time the the lead time has shrunk, but the spread of knowledge, amongst the commoners, has thinned.

  23. The Taliban winning sucks but 'our allies' don't look to be too good either (eg - Karzai and the 'new law' in the press recently). Nothing like embarking on a lose-lose adventure. What's a few billion here or there anyway not too mention all that death and stuff.

  24. buddy larsen said that the "Best and the Brightest" of the money managers had decided Pakistan was solid, so it had to be.

    That we were wrong, doug.

    He did come back, years later, to admit the error of his previous thinking and of the subsequent conclusions he drew from his perceptions of the data set.
    Not that his honorable behaviour changes any of the realities on the ground.

  25. "The market always reacts to last week's news"


    If I were the kind of guy that always tooted his own horn, I'd remind you all that I said ol' Ted didn't look too guilty to me.

    I'm not sure we can blame Bush for those prosecutors. They seem maybe to have been some rogue democrats. Who knows. Not sure Bush had much to do with it. Bush seemed to kind of let things slide as they would, with the bureaucracy.

  26. AIG Side Letters

    Chris Whalen at Institutional Risk Analytics has penned an explosive piece on AIG (AIG), arguing against the idea that the company's problem was that they merely took on too much risk.

    Rather, he says, the move into credit default swaps was merely the evolution of its reinsurance -- a business line that was characterized by so-called "side letters." These side letters were agreements between the insurer and the insured that basically confirmed the contract was never supposed to be paid out, but was made purely for regulatory reasons. (Sound familiar?).

    The side letters are fraudulent, and historically resulted in jail terms.

    But here's the explosive part:

    As with the phony reinsurance contracts that AIG and other insurers wrote for decades, when AIG wrote hundreds of billions of dollars in CDS contracts, neither AIG nor the counterparties believed that the CDS would ever be paid. Indeed, one source with personal knowledge of the matter suggests that there may be emails and actual side letters between AIG and its counterparties that could prove conclusively that AIG never intended to pay out on any of its CDS contracts.

    The significance of this for the US bailout of AIG is profound. If our surmise is correct, the position of Feb Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner that the AIG credit default contracts are "valid legal contracts" is ridiculous and reveals a level of ignorance by the Fed and Treasury about the true goings on inside AIG and the reinsurance industry that is truly staggering.

    Read the whole thing >

    It's scary to think of the wormhole that would erupt if these emails came to light. In any just system, all that money that AIG paid out to its counterparties should be clawed back -- again, if there was a wink-nod-email agreement that it was never to be paid out. But actually going about this would shatter confidence in these banks, if not their balance sheets outright.

    Is there anyone in government that would even want to find the truth? Maybe Cuomo. He's the only one with something to gain here.


  27. Now, going back a number of years, at BC the discussion often returned to what "Victory" would look like.

    Feb 27, 2009 ... President Obama is to announce that he would pull combat forces out by August 2010 while leaving behind a residual force of 35000 to 50000 ... NYTimes.

    Now the last "combat" forces withdraw in August of 2010, coming home to victory parades. While the Commander in Cheif basks in the radient glow of a proud Nation.

    The concerned voters looking forward to the November '10 elections, that'll be just 8 or 9 weeks away from the last ticker tape victory parade. Knowing from their television news just who achieved the glorious victory and our troops return home, with honor.

    Those trrops could have just as easily been brought home in August of 2008, to the benefit of all involved. If only Mr Bush had been ahead of the curve, which he could have been, but he ever bothered to go through an old school Army Combat Arms Basic or Primary NCO Leadership Course.

    All he needed to know about military leadership, he could have learned there, in a month.

  28. Bush "Let things slide"

    You are often, bob, the master of understatement.

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. That slidin', that would not, of course, have been the fault of Mr Bush.

    Nor of the balance of his Team.

    It was an Act of God, sure as shootin'

  31. I suppose the President can interfer with a prosecution, but it's generally not done, far as I can see.

    Would look like bad form.

    I can imagine the headlines: Bush Intervenes To Protect His Corrupt Pal, Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

  32. He sure didn't have much control over his intelligence agencies, with that report on Iran's nuclear progress.

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Mr Bush had 8 years to shape the Justice Department, bob.
    That is as long as anyone gets.

    The quality of the people his Team employeed becomes evident. They were law breakers, themselves. If the had truly been "Law Enforcers" they would have followed the Rules, themselves.

    ... prosecutors withheld from the defense notes about an interview last April with the state's star witness, Bill Allen, that contradicted his subsequent testimony. Under the Brady Rule for evidence, Justice was obliged to share that with Senator Stevens's lawyers.

    Team 43 employeed Federal prosecuters, those that prosecute both political and drug offenders, that operated with little concern for justice, let alone the Law.

    Who we are we going to blame for the dishonor brought upon the Bush Justice Department?

    In this and other cases, like those Border patrolmen who've had their prison terms commuted, but their lives ruined, by Bush League Justice.

  35. Most folks in the Dept. of Justice are career folks. I know a guy that's been a lawyer for the Dept. of Justice since one year after he got out of law school, more than thirty years ago. A lifer, if there ever was one. These days he looks out for the Govt's interest in bankruptcy cases. Might be kind of interesting work, these days. :)

  36. Mr Bush left George Tenet in as CIA Chief, bob.

    "He let that slide"

    The ill effects of that management decision becomes ever more evident, as we recall the events that led to our current situation.

    We just slip slided away

  37. So you're sayin' that the entire Justice Department is full of corrupt careerists, bob?

    That'll violate procedures and rules to gain a conviction?

    That it is only when they over reach, that is when the corruption reaches the light of day. But that in the day to day world of Federal criminal prosecutions, the representitives of the State will lie and cheat to convict a citizen and send them off to jail.

    That be sad.

  38. So whether Team 43 or Team 44 is in the White House, the Justice Department moves on its own.

    The election of Mr Obama will be of little consequence, at the Justice Department?

    That is the brief you bring forward, bob?

  39. Or, as I postulated in the Ayers case, the Federals intentionally violate the Rules, so as to assure that the "protected" defendent eventually slides on out, for a crime they did commit.

    In neither case did the perp do much downtime.

  40. Willie nelson, he's Goin' to Graceland, accompanied by Mr Simon

  41. G20 ushers in historic IMF changes
    BBC News - ‎1 hour ago‎
    By Steve Schifferes The International Monetary Fund looks like the big winner in the G20 summit, with huge increases planned in its resources and new roles.

  42. INSTANT VIEW: US eases mark-to-market accounting
    Reuters - ‎22 minutes ago‎

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The US Financial Accounting Standards Board on Thursday agreed to give banks more flexibility in applying mark-to-market accounting to their toxic assets.

  43. Israeli FM questioned over fraud
    BBC News - ‎41 minutes ago‎

    Israel's new Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has been questioned by police for at least seven hours over corruption allegations.

  44. Factory Orders in the US Rose in February More Than Forecast
    Bloomberg - ‎1 hour ago‎
    By Courtney Schlisserman April 2 (Bloomberg) -- Orders placed with US factories rose in February for the first time in seven months, reflecting a rebound in demand for construction machinery, computers and air conditioning equipment that signals the ...

  45. GE, Intel Confirm Health Care Alliance
    Wall Street Journal - ‎57 minutes ago‎
    General Electric Co. (GE) and Intel Corp. (INTC) confirmed Thursday that they will form an alliance to market and develop home-health care technologies, particularly for senior citizens and the chronically ill.

  46. New York Man Dies From 49-Year-Old Gunshot Wound
    FOXNews - ‎1 hour ago‎

    NEW YORK - The New York City medical examiner has declared a man's death a homicide - complications of gunshot wounds he suffered 49 years ago.

  47. Bankruptcy is Economic Stimulus

    Rep. Ron Paul
    Texas Straight Talk
    Mar 27, 2009

  48. Israeli FM questioned over fraud

    Wake me up when they convict.

  49. Financials build steam on mark-to-market accounting
    High-profile bank stocks make sizable gains
    By Greg Morcroft, MarketWatch

    "The revisions to the mark-to-market rule today should give a boost to profits of financial companies," said Ed Yardeni, president and chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research.
    "More importantly," Yardeni added, "it should take the pressure off of them to raise funds to fill up black holes in their capital created by the original rule. The government has made it extremely unappealing to take federal bailout money."
    Bank stocks ranked among the top gainers, with Wells Fargo gaining 9%, Bank of America adding 8% and J.P. Morgan Chase rising 4%.

    XLF, an exchange-traded fund that tracks financial stocks in the S&P 500, rose more than 6% at its intraday high.
    Shares of Citigroup (C:Citigroup Inc moved up 7%.

  50. Obama's moves have caused a breakthrough. Turning the equity market around in under 90 days!!!
    The Dow has broken out - now trading above the close on 20Jan09.

    Wealth recreated!

    Dow soars past 8000 as rally continues
    The Associated Press - ‎1 hour ago

    NEW YORK (AP) - Wall Street is extending its rally as it grows more optimistic that the economy is on the mend. The Dow industrials broke thorough 8000 and major indexes jumped more than 2 percent Thursday.

  51. I don't think this will be the type of recovery where we come "roaring back." It's going to be a slow, frustrating, start, and stop grind.

    Housing was a "one-off." A HUGE, Disastrous one-off, but a One-off. Oil, on the other hand, is going to be an ongoing, slow-motion train wreck.

    Or, a better metaphor might be "Tsunami," with wave, after wave, rushing ashore and creating devastation.

    I think this might be a "wearying" decade, coming up.

  52. The Brazilians at GM are building really sharp little truckthis Montana is already in production with a flex fuel option.

    While the "Sabia" is still a concept vehicle

    10 million acres put into switch grass production, each year, sent to distilleries that produce 110 million gallons (2.6 million barrels) per year.

    Each acre of switchgrass produces 1,000 gallons or 23.8 barrels of ethanol.
    Each distillery would need to be supported by about 110,000 acres of fuel stocks.
    Let's say 9 distilleries for each million acres brought into production.

    That's 90 distilleries built each year, for the next 5 years, to free the US of the necessity to buy imported oil from either Saudi Arabia or Venezuela.

    To fuel the existing fleet of vehicles and new efficient cars and trucks that are already in production.

    Keeping that money here in the heartland, rather than advocating a solution that does not accomadate the reality of the existing fleet of vehicles.

  53. And if we are going to emulate the Chinese, which mat advocated just yesterday, well then ...

    by Yingling Liu on April 27, 2006

    China will replace its use of grain as the main feedstock for ethanol production with more economical plant material, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s top policy planner, said at an April 19 seminar in Shanghai on bioresources. The switch is expected to alleviate rising concerns over food security, as Chinese use of grain for ethanol threatens to compete with domestic food production needs.

    Shi Lishan, director of NDRC’s Renewable Energy Division, told seminar participants that the commission has plans for new biofuel feedstock production bases in Shandong and Heilongjiang provinces, in Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang Autonomous Regions. Input materials being considered include sweet sorghum, cassava, sugar cane, and sweet potatoes, according to Shanghai Youth Daily.
    The policy shift is expected to invigorate the search for alternatives, either by expanding cultivation of more economical plants on marginal lands, or by scientific research into using “waste” residues such as cellulose to produce ethanol.

    Driven by strong market forces, some distilleries have already responded to feedstock constraints. Tianguan Distillery in Henan Province is looking into sugar cane, sweet sorghum, kudzu, and cellulose to diversify its raw materials. And Fengyuan Group in Anhui Province made progress earlier this year in processing straw into ethanol. Research shows that the cost of production using straw could remain between 4,000–4,300 RMB ($500–537) per ton, an amount lower than for corn. The group is planning to construct a 300-ton pilot project using straw feedstock this year, according to Economic Information Daily.

  54. Another thing that we have to take into consideration, Rat, is the fact that exports from Mexico, and Venezuela are steadily decreasing. Mexico will, within a year, or so, no longer be an oil "Exporting" country. Venezuela will still be exporting "some" oil, but the amount will be considerably less every year.

    The North Sea is plunging. Canada is, basically, stagnant (even with the tar sands.) Our own Prudhoe Bay is in steady decline, and the Gulf of Mexico will be there, shortly.

    We're going to wake up some morning, and go "Oh SHIT!" "How's that Switchgrass, thingie comin along?"

  55. Talqaeda could have their own frakkin' country with nukes for all I care, all you gotta do is seal the border and put everyone named Mohammad or Hassim on the no fly list.

  56. Here's an interesting tid bit of knowledge, not generally known ...

    Pakistan Bio-Fuels
    Bio-Fuels 2007

    Approved by:
    James Dever, Agricultural Counselor
    U.S. Embassy

    Prepared by:
    Asmat Raza, Agricultural Specialist

    Report Highlights:
    Pakistan’s sugar industry operates twenty-one distillery units, with an annual production capacity of 400,000 tons ethanol. Most distilleries produce hydrous ethanol. Last year, Pakistan produced and exported 36,500 tons of fuel grade ethanol, mostly to United States.

    That 36,500 tons was produced by 6 Pakistani distilleries that produce a passable export product.

    Exporters are receiving export contract prices in the range of $540 to $550 per ton of ethanol. Against this, molasses is being quoted at around $61 per ton in
    the world market.

    It taking $305 worth of molasses to produce $540 in product.
    A $135 per ton gross.

    Gasoline weighs in at 8.3 lbs per gallon. About the same as water.

    Let's figure ethanol at the same.
    241 gallons per ton. 5.7 barrels.

    So, the US imported 208,000 barrels of ethanol, from Pakistan. The net income to the distillers after cost of materials, $4.9 million USD.
    From 6 distilleries, each operating on less than a million USD per year.

  57. Pakistan! Ain't that intrestin.

  58. So you're sayin' that the entire Justice Department is full of corrupt careerists, bob?

    Lots of careerists, most probably not corrupt, some seem to be, or they'd have shared the evidence with the defense in the Stevens case. It might not even have gone to trial, and the timing is, ah, suspicious, to say the least.

    In this and other cases, like those Border patrolmen who've had their prison terms commuted, but their lives ruined, by Bush League Justice.

    Bush let 'em out. No President can micro-manage all the cases. He shouldn't. I was glad to see them pardoned. I think though, that Lars Larson may be right, they-the agents- weren't totally squeeky clean in the deal. It's hard to imagine them being convicted in the first place, though, based on the testimony of some drug dealing scum. I would never have voted to convict them.

    So whether Team 43 or Team 44 is in the White House, the Justice Department moves on its own.

    It should move on its own, I think you'd agree, as long as it's above board. Human nature being what it is, things fall short of the ideal.

    These cases go to a judge and jury. No President should be nixing them willy nilly, nipping them in the bud, based on his perceived advantage, or party advantage.

    As time goes on, we may--nay, will-- decide the Bush era looked a lot cleaner than the one we are entering.

    How's that Charlie Rangel case coming along? :)

  59. Tell me this scumbag shouldn't be lined against the wall and shot dead.

  60. "Bush seemed to kind of let things slide as they would, with the bureaucracy"
    "Pants" Bergler's "Punishment" stands as a signpost to the era of non-prosecution of insiders.
    Yet another area where W set up a situation and enabled BHO to do what he's done.

    Ingraham has a sound clip of some MSNBC Babe reporting on Kathy Seboriasis' 7 k tax cheat.

    She then asks the assembled round table if anybody cares:
    They all report in,
    No! No! No! No! No!
    ...and that was that.

  61. Just Another Day of Unintentional Errrors in Paradise

    Tax issues

    During the vetting process for this position, in March 2009 she admitted to "unintentional errors" in tax returns and paid nearly $8,000 in back taxes[48][49].

    She took too large of deductions in areas that included: charitable contributions, the sale of a home, and business expenses.

    Sebelius is the the sixth senior Obama nominee to reveal tax problems.[50][51][52][53]

  62. Kathy Seboriasis' 7 k tax cheat.

    Read about her tax problem, though can't recall it perfectly now:), did seem most of it were mistakes many people might make. Rangel, a different matter, so too most of the others.

    Hang 'em all let Allah sort it out:)

  63. That post will bring down the wrath of al- Doug upon me.

    (except the part about hang 'em all:) )

  64. Shoot that fellow at Thu Apr 02, 03:52:00 PM EDT just for garbling his speech so much, even if it's not his fault. Couldn't make anything out of it.

  65. I'm an Electric Chair Man from way back.
    Insufficient Voltage a feature, not a bug.

    Oh well, try try again!

  66. Think of the deterent effect if every days news had a pic of the latest smoking accident.

    And I ain't talkin tobakee.

  67. I've always liked Old Smokey, too.

    The wife is in favor of 'creative capital punishment'--by which she means, the condemned have a say in their own outgoing. Up to a point of course.

    Thus, if a condemned wanted to jump off the Grand Canyon, for instance, that would probably pass muster.

  68. "did seem most of it were mistakes many people might make."
    Funny how all the unintentional errors end up on the short side.

    Where are all the
    "Timmy G Unintentionally Overaid Taxes"


  69. I'd take the Golden Gate, and start doing aerobic swimming.

  70. Who would trust a man w/a name like
    "Matt Mullenweg"???

    67. Lifeofthemind:

    "Is Soros secretly funding Wordpress?

    Did not find a Soros connection in 5 minutes but the founder of Wordpress is Matt Mullenweg. He is connected to various venture capital outfits and worked for CNET which is now part of Viacom. No reason to get excited, that end of technology is always tied into money and media with slippery political interests.

  71. The IMF's Special Drawing Rights are an international reserve asset to supplement existing reserve assets.

    "They managed to put together a bigger package than anybody expected and very importantly the issue of Special Drawing Rights -- $250 billion," Soros said.

    "That is effectively internationally creating new money and that will help to allow the countries that are not able to print their own monies -- the way we can -- actually to stimulate their economies. I think the way for the rich countries to transfer their allocations to the most needy countries can be worked out."

    Crisis Plan

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. Jeeze, you're right same.
    That's a bunch even for me.
    I'll trim some and get back to my housewife chores.

  74. I think I pasted a bunch more in that one than I thot I did.

  75. Doug...taking blogging to new heights.

    I don't believe I've ever seen a lifted thread...


  76. Now you can give us a link to the deleted thread....

  77. Sixteen-year-old Shlomo Nativ was killed and a seven-year-old boy was moderately injured in an attack carried out by a terrorist carrying an axe in the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin Thursday noon.


    A Palestinian security official told Ynet an initial PA investigation into the attack showed that the terrorist apparently was not sent by any organization but was working on his own.


    Some three months ago an Israeli was very seriously wounded from gunshots fried from a Palestinians vehicle near the West Bank settlement of Kokhav HaShahar. The victim was evacuated to hospital by helicopter and police searched for the attackers.

    Terror Attack

  78. The New Stylish Couple of America features a model measuring 36" ACROSS @ the Ass.

    ...with "City Guns"
    As she calls them.

  79. On trade, there were commitments not to retreat into protectionism and to reach a conclusion on the stalled world trade talks - although there is no timetable.

    Mr Obama said: “The whole world has been touched by this devastating downturn and today the world's leaders have responded with an unprecedented set of co-ordinated actions.” He said he had come to London to listen and learn, as well as provide leadership, reiterating that America accepted its share of responsibility for the economic crisis and needed to show humility.

    Mr Obama compared the world economy to a sick patient who had been stabilised with the right medicine. “There are still wounds to heal, there are still emergencies that can occur but some pretty good care is being applied,” he said.

    Global Boost

  80. Blago indicted today on too many charges to count with the time I've got left. Bobby Blago, Blago's baby bro, indicted too. They had a deal going where they were going to pool the take with Rezko and others, and divide 'er up after the term of office ended!
    heheheh, the question is, was there any act in office which was not criminal? That is the question.

    This is the guy Zero pushed for the Governors job:) A good recommendation.

    I want to see Obumble's name in the indictment. But, I quess it's not there, dang.

    Blago today was down in Florida on a vacation.

  81. Mr. and Mrs. BHO talk like eighth graders when axleshank or whoever isn't around.
    Breathlessly Reported on as if it is the Truth for the Ages from on High

  82. More like something from their permanent residual highs.

  83. And I heard they gave Queenie an Ipod!
    Should go all the way and give Charlee a Wee...

  84. That was only exceeded by his stance on Dead Babies for Sheer Coldbloodedness, al-Bob.
    Fuckin Trash

  85. Typical blustery April day here in the Palouse. 5 inches of snow last night on the prairies, almost all gone now with a warmer wind and the sun shining through. An old saying around here--"You don't like the weather, wait a couple hours it will change" Ducks mating up in all the streams and ponds too, thinking ahead about the future of their species. They don't give a darm about cap 'n trade, those feathered incarnations of nature's joy.

  86. They could at least have given the Queen a flat screen TV, for goodness sakes.

    Or, a C Crane Radio like I have, with the AM/FM and Shortwave too.

    Or even both, if feeling generous.

  87. Federal prosecutors faced a Tuesday deadline for getting an indictment of the ousted Illinois governor on a wide variety of charges, including an alleged scheme to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama.

    Blagojevich eventually named former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to the seat.

    The word came as Blagojevich vacationed with his family at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the Chicago Tribune reported.

    Ex-aides Indicted

  88. That is a Beautiful Sight, al-Right.
    ...if only the 2 Bernies could be their with him.

  89. Who's this al-Right feller, al-Doug?

  90. But the report noted major issues that remain between Japan and China, such as the intrusion of Chinese surveillance vessels into Japanese territory near a disputed area in the East China Sea, and unresolved friction over food poisoning in Japan related to tainted dumplings imported from China.

    Regarding China's continued increases in its defense spending, the report called for further transparency and said that although Japan acknowledges certain progress in Beijing's efforts, such as by issuing a Defense White Paper, "In terms of content, it is not sufficient to cast away concerns in the region and the international community."

    The blue book, which gives an overview of Japanese foreign policy and related activities the previous year, said Tokyo will continue to work to strengthen its alliance with the United States and to work closely with President Barack Obama's new administration.

    Denuke Action

  91. Tonight on Coast To Coast--

    Thu 04.02 >>
    Mellen-Thomas Benedict, one of the most studied near-death experiencers in the world, tells of his incredible journey and answers many profound questions.

  92. Text of President Barack Obama's news conference Thursday at the ExCel center in London following the G-20 summit, as provided by the White House:


    OBAMA: Earlier today, we finished a very productive summit that will be, I believe, a turning point in our pursuit of global economic recovery.


    So I appreciate your attention, and I'm going to take a few questions. I've got a list of a few people I'm going to call on and then I will intersperse some folks I'm calling on randomly.

    Helene Cooper.

    Q: Mr. President, — (inaudible) _

    OBAMA: Well, I think we did OK. You know, when I came here, it was with the intention of listening and learning, but also providing American leadership.


    Chuck Todd. Chuck.

    Q: What concrete items that you got out of this G-20 can you tell the American people back home who are hurting, the family struggling, seeing their retirement go down, or worrying about losing their job — what happened here today that helps that family back home in the heartland?

    OBAMA: Well, as I said before, we've got a global economy, and if we're taking actions in isolation in the United States, but those actions are contradicted overseas, then we're only going to be halfway effective — maybe not even half.


    Let me mix in a — Justin Webb, BBC. Where's Justin? There he is. Go ahead.

    Q: Mr. President, in the spirit of openness, with which you say you're _

    OBAMA: Why don't you get a microphone? See, everybody is complaining. I'm sure that's all your fellow British journalists.

    Q: They're extraordinarily well behaved, Mr. President. In the spirit of openness, with which you say you're going to run your administration, could you give us an insight into an area or areas where you came to London wanting something and you didn't get it; where you compromised, where you gave something away to achieve the wider breakthrough agreement?

    OBAMA: Well, I think that if you look at the language of the document, there are probably some areas where it wasn't so much of a sacrifice as it might not have been our No. 1 priority, but it became clear that it was very important to certain other actors.

    G20 Summit

  93. Bobal: Or, a C Crane Radio like I have, with the AM/FM and Shortwave too.

    I need that C Crane, there's so many test sets going in my shop I can't pick up squat with the normal radio shack crap.

  94. How 'bout the model/link?
    I get zero AM stations.
    Once bought an 8 hr recorder/radio from Crane that crapped out after about six months.

  95. Some Moslem Mole in the GOP, al-Bob.

  96. I wish I could just stream my radio over the computer, but they're funny about using the taxpayer's bandwidth that way.

  97. Coon or rabbit. God put them there to eat. When men get hold of animals he blows them up and then he blows up.
    Fill ‘em so full of chemicals and steroids it ruins the people.

    It makes them sick. Like the pigs on the farm. They’s 3 months old and weighing 400 pounds.
    They’s all blowed up.
    And the chil’ren who eat it, they’s all blowed up.
    Don’t make no sense.

    If only College Grads were as wise.

  98. California, here we come

    California has run its state’s economy into the ground with onerous taxes and oppressive environmental regulations. And yet Congress wants to make the California model the national standard.

    The House energy bill introduced this week would adopt the Golden State’s emission standards and its cap-and-trade carbon program, both of which have contributed to a loss of jobs.

    And President Obama’s budget would mimic California’s practice of funding social programs by taxing success. Copying failure will only make this mess deeper.

  99. Mine's the FM Stero/AM Dual Conversion PLL Synthesized World Band Receiver

    FM--87,000-108,000 MHz
    AM--520-1710 KHz

    Twin Coil Ferrite
    50 Memories

    CCRadio SW

    Got it at Cabela's in Post Falls, around $100

    It's not my old Transworld, that's for sure, but it's ok
    (made in China)

    The base isn't wide enough, tends to tip over, so I lay it on its side.

    Nice tuning, lots of features.

    The face light is a little weak.

    Don't see a Model # offhand.

    Lots of improvement over that desk radio I bought at Wal-Mart.

    I can get Boise, for instance. Never knew where it was on the band, before. Hook up a good outside antenna to it, you'd be set.

  100. "The story of Glemie Dean Beasley plays like a country song. The son of a sharecropper, Beasley left school at 13 to pick cotton. He came to Detroit in 1958. His woman left him in 1970 for a man he calls Slick Willy.

    Someone stole his pickup truck and then someone killed his best dog.

    "I knowed some hard times," Beasley says. "But a man's got to know how to get hisself through them hard times. Part of that is eating right.

  101. Thanks al-Bob.
    May have to resort to subtrefuge if I go for it @ that price.
    Wife will have a Mandatory Radio Exchange Program and I'll have lost my precious collection!

  102. Jeeze, they got 10,000 mAh D Cells!
    I could beat Mat to market.

  103. Cabela's had them on sale. It was over a hundred, but not by much. Can't recall exactly, but it wasn't that $149.95.

  104. Mine:

    Sony ICF-SW7600G

  105. Gov. Sarah Palin concurs with Ruedrich and believes a special election is appropriate, said a spokeswoman for Palin's political action committee, Meg Stapleton. "I absolutely agree," Palin said in a statement.

    Palin, Ruedrich Ask Begich To Step Down

    The party chairman, Randy Ruedrich, said that the only reason Begich won his race was because "a few thousand Alaskans thought that Senator Stevens was guilty of seven felonies."

    Fat chance, but makes a good headline.

    Go Sarah!

  106. The tuning is laser accurate on it, I'll say that.

  107. "Oops! This link appears broken." on this end, Mat.

  108. Go to a war anywhere and every journalist carries this radio. Every hour on the hour tune in the BBC and find out where the story plays.

    LOL! I wonder how that Alaskan reviewer would know.

  109. Vancouver police are appealing for a mother to come forward after the discovery of a baby's body.


    Christina Short, who was on a walk with her 11-week-old daughter as investigators combed the area, was near tears when told of the discovery.

    "Being a new mom, it's like, holy smokes. It's sad," she said.

    Cause of Death Unknown

  110. Stevens, 85, spent the six weeks leading up to the election on trial in Washington, D.C., and lost the race just days after a jury convicted him.

    It's hard to campaign when you're in the defendants seat in D.C., and the guilty verdict comes in a couple days before the election.

    He didn't have a chance with a D.C. jury, even though Colin Powell testified for him.

  111. Sam, 2 months, 37 shootings, 17 killed in Vancouver BC. Open air shootings in public just like in the Dirty Harry movies. How's that gun control working out for them?

  112. In 1782, replying to James Monroe about calls for Jefferson to abandon plans to retire from public service and return to his personal life, Jefferson wrote:

    “In this country…since the present government has been established the point has been settled by uniform, pointed and multiplied precedents, offices of every kind, and given by every power, have been daily and hourly declined and resigned from the Declaration of Independence to this moment….If we are made in some degree for others, yet in a greater are we made for ourselves.

    It were contrary to feeling and indeed ridiculous to suppose that a man had less right in himself than one of his neighbors or indeed all of them put together. This would be slavery and not that liberty which the Bill of Rights has made inviolable and for the preservation of which our government has been charged.

    Nothing could so completely divest us of that liberty as the establishment of the opinion that the state has a perpetual right to the services of all its members. This to men of certain ways of thinking would be to annihilate the blessing of existence; to contradict the giver of life who gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness, and certainly to such it were better that they had never been born….”

    An Appreciation

  113. Banks Plan To Buy Toxic Assets From Each Other

    We told you this was coming.
    FT has learned that the major US banks, Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS) and JP Morgan (JPM) are all interested in buying toxic assets from one another, using the massive leverage provided by Tim Geithner's public private investment partnership.

    This was a possibility folks saw coming from the first day, and amazingly, Sheila Bair has said she's open to this kind of money laundering.

    And let's be honest, that's exactly what it is. Banks buying assets from each other to inflate their books has nothing to do with "price discovery" or any such nonsense. It's all about using taxpayer money to create bids that are higher than what the market currently prices those assets at. And if it turns out those bids were too high and the cash flows never materialize then, oh well, it's the taxpayer left holding the bag.

    When told about the plans by FT, ranking Republican Spencer Bachus promised to introduce legislation preventing this. That may be easier said than done, however, given the banks' ability to invest in various third parties, possibly having the same effect.

  114. This depression is going to drag a long time.

  115. This environment is a paradise to those with some big bucks, fast minds, no morals and the reflexes to attack a situation.

    "I knew I was getting screwed, I just didn't know exactly how."

    My dad, a favorite saying

  116. Zero Hedge: FHLB Chairman Disgusted With FDIC Accounting Alchemy, Quits

    When the man in charge of the second largest borrower in the U.S. is willing to lose his job due to his discomfort with the FASB's shift in accounting rules, you can bet that the tragic fallout of all the "market buoying" recent events is only a matter of time.

    Somehow this noteworthy event, which happened over a week ago, passed substantially unnoticed until Zero Hedge friend Jonathan Weil at Bloomberg dug it up. Charles Bowsher, who was most recently Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank System's Office of Finance and previously served as U.S. comptroller general may be the only truly honorable man in the socialist nexus of politics and finance. The reason for his departure from this critical post - his discomfort in vouching for the banks' combined financial statements. And as Weil puts it succinctly: "Now the question for taxpayers is this: If Charles Bowsher can't get comfortable with these banks' financial statements, why should anybody else be?" Why indeed.

    If Bowsher was merely involved with some marginal organization, this could be perceived as a hypocritical attempt to score populist brownie points. However, the FHLB is among the governmental entities at the heart of the current problem. Zero Hedge has written previously about the FHLB and its critical role in the ongoing housing crisis, but in a nutshell "The Office of Finance issues and services all the debt for the 12 regional Federal Home Loan Banks. That's a lot of debt -- $1.26 trillion as of Dec. 31, making the FHLBank System the largest U.S. borrower after the federal government. The government-chartered banks, which operate independently, in turn supply low-cost loans to their 8,100 member banks and finance companies. If any of the FHLBanks were to fail, taxpayers could be on the hook."

    Ah, the poor taxpayer about to get duped one last time. And the immediate reason for Bowsher's decisions: his concern with the methods used for determining when losses on hard-to-value securities should be included in banks' earnings and regulatory capital. And it gets much worse:

    For the fourth quarter of 2008, the FHLBanks said their total preliminary net loss was $672 million. It would have been many times larger, had they included all their red ink.

    The year-end balance sheet at the FHLBank of Seattle, for example, showed $5.6 billion of non-government mortgage-backed securities that it says it will hold until maturity. Yet the estimated value of those securities was just $3.6 billion. The bank, which reported a $199.4 million net loss for 2008, said the declines were only temporary. They've been anything but fleeting, though. Most of those securities have been worth less than they cost for more than a year.

    The FASB's rules on this subject, which have never been well defined, are now in flux. Today, after caving in to pressure by the banking industry and members of Congress, the Financial Accounting Standards Board is set to vote on a plan to relax its rules on mark-to-market accounting, so that companies can disregard market prices and ignore losses on their securities indefinitely.

    Bowsher is not new to taking hard political stands:

    As comptroller general, he was in charge of the General Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. At his direction, the GAO was among the first to warn the public about the brewing savings-and- loan crisis during the 1980s. He testified before Congress in 1994 that there was an "immediate need" for "federal regulation of the safety and soundness" of all major U.S. derivatives dealers. (How's that for prescient?)

    Most recently, in 2007, he led an independent committee that issued a blistering report on financial missteps at the Smithsonian Institution, whose board of regents included U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts.

    And how does the FHLB spin this event?

    "Mr. Bowsher has expressed his concerns to me around the complexity of valuing mortgage-backed securities and the process of producing combined financial statements from the 12 home loan banks. I don't think it's appropriate for us to speak for Mr. Bowsher."

    So: to paraphrase - one of the men who knows the ins and outs of the financials of banks involved in the mortgage crisis more intimately than even Bernanke and Geithner, let alone Obama, is saying that the newly implemented changes by the FASB will throw the whole system into tailspin and he want none of it.

    If this isn't the most damning condemnation of the Kool Aid the administration, the Treasury, the Fed, the FASB, the FDIC, and all the other alphabet soups are trying to make the common U.S. citizen drink and have seconds, then nothing else possibly could be.... of course until Bowsher is proven right and everything collapses into the smoldering heap of defaulted MBS still marked at par on various liquidating banks' balance sheets...

    Oh and yes, let's hold a moment of silence for Lehman which held billions of mortgage backed securities that it too was "holding until maturity." Well, Lehman is no more, and all these securities now trade, in the form of the company's general unsecured claims, at the generous price of 12 cents on the dollar... Furthermore, one can't say the market is illiquid - the bid-ask spread is only 1 cent. And as there are over $150 billion of these claims floating around, one can't say the market is in any way limited from a price discovery standpoint.

    Maybe if more honest people follow in Bowsher's unique example, the general population will finally start seeing though the everyday lies and misinformation coming out of D.C. Sphere: Related Content

  117. Sources: Google In Late Stage Talks To Acquire Twitter (Updated) | Techcrunch

  118. Among other steps Brown detailed were new regulations on hedge funds and rating agencies, as well as a crackdown on tax havens, which will be publicly identified and subjected to sanctions if they do not agree to share tax information with the authorities of other countries.

    Stock markets around the world, especially in emerging nations, rose in the hours leading up to the announcement. In the United States, however, investors seemed less cheered about a deal emerging from the Group of 20 than about an arcane change in U.S. accounting regulations that would make it easier for banks to defer writing down the value of their most troubled toxic assets.

    Many financial experts had been hoping that world leaders would deal with how to dispose of those assets rather than leave bankers to use accounting changes to make them appear less crippling.

    $1.1 Tril

  119. 1.1 tril..

    Just rolls off the tongue so effortlessly.

  120. The paranoid part of me keeps thinking this was all a setup by the vast left wing conspiracy dating back to the Clinton years.

  121. A tril kinda trills effortlessly off the tongue, don't it, Sam?

  122. Conspiracy or stupidity, evil intent or ineptitude, the result seems much the same.

    We're broke.

  123. We're broke.

    Just ask for $111 in change for a $10 bill. Works for Paulson and the gang.

  124. Senate Panel Backs Changes in Military Contracting

  125. WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House of Representatives passed a $3.55 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010 Thursday night, capping off weeks of acrimonious partisan debate and a long day of voting marked by the defeat of several alternative plans.

    The U.S. House passed a $3.55 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010 Thursday night.

    The House version of the budget passed by a margin of 233-196 in a virtual party-line vote. All but 20 House Democrats supported it; no House Republican voted in favor.

    In London, England, where he has been attending the Group of 20 summit, President Obama lauded the House vote.

    "Tonight, the House of Representatives took another step toward rebuilding our struggling economy," he said in a statement.

    "And by making hard choices and challenging the old ways of doing business, we will cut in half the budget deficit we inherited within four years. With this vote comes an obligation to pursue our efforts to go through the budget line-by-line, searching for additional savings. Like the families we serve, we must cut the things we don't need to invest in those we do."

  126. Bush Kissed The King, Obumble Bows To The King

    People in the comments don't seem to like the idea of a President bowing to a King. Which he obviously should not do, under any circumstance.They don't like the kissing crap either.

  127. Just a sample from the comments---

    so a MAN would do a head nod and women do a small curtsy. So obambi did a giant curtsy, so what does that make barry?
    At least Bush just kissed his cheek, obambi kissed his ass.

    So lets look at his protocol history:

    No flag pin.
    No hand over heart during pledge or national anthem.
    Apologizes to the people of Germany, who brought us the nazi's and the Holocoust, for America not doing or being good enough.
    Leaves dead granny's body on ice for over a month till convenient for him to have a funeral.
    Did not attend Medal Of Honor winners Ball.
    Tells people who wont agree with him "Hey I Won"
    Compares ICE agents doing their jobs to terrorists (then pelosi followed the great one's example.
    Use Air Force One to take the wife to a fancy valentines dinner in Chicago.
    Writes a groveling love letter to Iran begging them to be our BFF.
    Give a nearly blind dignitary from an allied nation DVD's that don't work in his country, in exchange for priceless historic artifacts.
    Give the Queen of England an ipod, with his "greatest moments reading from a teleprompter" loaded on it.
    Grovels to a muslim king.

    Sure there is more and there will be more.
    Makes you proud to be the laughing stock er I mean an American.

  128. DR, they didn't appropriate anything, that is a "sense of the Congress" type bill that lays out the framework for what they want to appropriate in September, for fiscal year 2010. Of course, the bankruptcy of the Republic might intervene.