“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, August 27, 2009

China taking steps to get rid of US Dollars

China has looked at what the Obamanation is doing to the dollar and is doing what any rational player would and should do; get out of the currency and into hard assets.

Once major holders start fleeing a currency, interest rates for debt denominated in that currency will rise. The US Government will quickly have to increase interest rates, choking private investment, reducing tax revenues and increasing deficits.

That seems to be our short term fate under "O-shit!"

Obama is an economic illiterate waddling down a path to national ruin, gosling Democrats in tow, some tighter to his ass than others.

It is not any one program, it is all of them, all based on a premise of infantile hope and heading towards disastrous change.

The next election cycle cannot come fast enough.

Hopefully by then Michael Jackson will be buried and there will still be some public buildings and roads not named after the Lion of the Senate.

With a little luck, the hapless Republicans, peckers stowed, will have rehabilitated themselves and some moderation can be restored.


Aug 26, 2009, 11:19 p.m. EST
China wealth-fund chief tips buying spree

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- The president of China's well-financed sovereign wealth fund said his group plans a massive, ten-fold expansion of its overseas investment this year, according to reported comments from an interview Thursday.

China Investment Corp. President Gao Xiqing said the fund's foreign holdings will go from $4.8 billion last year to "several tens of billion dollars," Reuters reported, citing Gao's interview with Japan's Asahi newspaper.

Gao was quoted as saying CIC held about 90% of its management funds in cash or similarly liquid forms at the end of last year, but that this will change now that financial markets are no longer in a state of crisis.

Among possible new investments under consideration are Japanese companies and property, given prospects for a recovery in that country's economy, Gao said.

Reuters also cited unnamed sources from an earlier report as saying CIC plans to invest up to $2 billion in U.S. mortgages.

The Wall Street Journal has also reported recently that CIC has selected Morgan Stanley (MS 29.46, -0.07, -0.24%) and Blackstone Group LP (BX 13.21, +0.11, +0.84%) to oversee hundreds of millions of dollars in new investments.

Earlier this month, Chinese state media reported the CIC's first-ever annual financial statement, which showed a 2.1% loss for its global investment portfolio.


  1. We should have a bar-pool on which towns, cities, states, bridges, roads or buildings get renamed after "The Lion."

    I want Logan Airport. Who was Logan anyway?

  2. Move Would Probably Push Currency Down

    By Peter S. Goodman
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    SHANGHAI, Jan. 9 -- China has resolved to shift some of its foreign exchange reserves -- now in excess of $800 billion -- away from the U.S. dollar and into other world currencies in a move likely to push down the value of the greenback, a high-level state economist who advises the nation's economic policymakers said in an interview Monday.

    As China's manufacturing industries flood the world with cheap goods, the Chinese central bank has invested roughly three-fourths of its growing foreign currency reserves in U.S. Treasury bills and other dollar-denominated assets. The new policy reflects China's fears that too much of its savings is tied up in the dollar, a currency widely expected to drop in value as the U.S. trade and fiscal deficits climb.

    China now boasts the world's second-largest cache of foreign exchange -- behind only Japan -- and is on pace to see its reserves climb past $1 trillion later this year. Even a slight diminishing of the dollar as a percentage of those holdings could exert significant pressure on the U.S. currency, many economists assert.

    In recent years, the value of the dollar has been buoyed by major purchases of U.S. Treasury bills by Japan, China and oil-exporting countries -- a flow of capital that has kept interests rates relatively low in the United States and allowed Americans to keep spending even as debts mount. Some economists have long warned that if foreigners lose their appetite for American debt, the dollar would fall, interest rates would rise and the housing boom could burst, sending real estate prices lower.

  3. First, let's ask ourselves what China is going to "Need."

    Oil - We're importing 11 Million Barrels/Day. No help there.

    Copper - Sorry Charlie, we get ours from Peru

    Steel - Uh, no, not that, either.

    Cars - This is a joke, right?

    Agricultural Goods, Machinery, and "Biology." - BINGO

    Advanced Electronics/Software - Yep, we're good to go, there.

    Aircraft Engines, Water Desalinization, Medical (MRI Machines, Drugs, etc) - Yes, yes, and yes.

    Can we sell them a Trillion Dollars worth of this stuff? - Nope

    Can Saudi Arabia sell them a Trillion Dollars worth of oil? - Just Watch.

    This is starting to look ugly, folks. I'm beginning to feel relieved that I'm "getting old."

  4. Oh the humanity, first Michael Jackson, now Teddy.

    It's a cruel whirled.

  5. Whit, did you notice the date (2006) on your article?

    Their Foreign Reserves are up to about $2 Trillion, now.

  6. It is happening faster than the melting glaciers.

  7. I have a feeling it is driving the market upward as people are looking for shelter from the dollar.

  8. China is the World's second largest Corn Producer. A LOT of their corn is planted, cultivated, and Picked by "Hand." Honest to God.

    A Good long-term investment, I think, is John Deere. Also, CNH, Agco. They manufacture here, and benefit from a Weak Dollar.

  9. I'm, also, liking Monsanto, again. They're just a good two, or three years ahead of the rest. Probably into perpetuity.

    If we really do have twenty-five, or thirty years of cooler weather coming from the PDO shift, Monsanto will be ahead of the pack with short-season seeds.

  10. Yes, I did notice the 2006. I "bolded" what I found most interesting about the article.

    After googling "China dumping dollars", I thought it was interesting that the news was pretty intense in 2006 that China was alarmed with the falling dollar. I believe that they (China) have come to realize that deleveraging from the dollar too quickly would not be in their interest. I'm pretty sure that I heard on Bloomberg recently that China still has a healthy appetite for US paper. I can see where this long term goal would be to reduce overexposure to any single source. A part of this strategy has been to hedge with metals, Copper especially.

  11. My eyes are so blurred I couldn't even make out the bold, Whit.

    Must be beddie-bye time for the Ol' Ruf.


  12. But, yeah, it's gonna be "interesting." We're going to be bidding for the last drops of Saudi Oil, against the Chinese, using the same monopoly money (Dollars.)

    What a freakin' mess.

  13. I heard a very interesting fellow recently; Edward Morse, an oil analyst. He has a premium article in the Sep/Oct issue of Current Affairs regarding oil but I heard him on an August 24 Bloomberg.

    He sees a softening of the oil market with downward pressure on prices. He says that we have an unprecedented overabundance of distillates (middle part of the barrel which includes diesel, fuel oil and jet fuel) and with even tankers full. We're at the end of a bad gasoline season (down 500k B/D from 2 years ago). Diesel sales are a one to one indicator of economic vigor.

    Residential tanks of heating oil are already full so the winter market will be weak.

    Natural gas fuels power generation market; oil is transportation. We have had a revolution in gas technology and the gas market looks pretty good.

    He says that there is no more storage room for gas and right now, the price for "prompt gas" is less than the commodity price for oil.

    Russia, he says, despite conventional wisdom, has shown an increase in production. Expects Russia to increase production through 2011. Other producers will be coming-on; Angola, Iraq, Nigeria.

    He makes a case for better relations with the Saudis due to their spare capacity.

    He says that focus on renewables at the expense of hydro-carbons is "off the mark." He says we are and will continue to be an oil economy and foreign policy must recognize this. He says that energy independence is an impossible task and we need to recognize this through better relations with the whirl's largest producer, Russia and the second largest consumer, China.

    Speaking of oil and China, Morse says that over the last seven months China and the US have added about 130 million barrels to their strategic reserves.

    Not a word about peak oil.

  14. He says that there is no more storage room for gas and right now, the price for "prompt gas" is less than the commodity price for oil.

    that's gasoline...not natural gas.

  15. On the way from the bathroom back to bed-- I noticed the other day diesel was priced lower than regular gas by about a dime here. This was a couple of weeks ago. That was the first time in a long time I recall diesel being lower than regular. It always used to be lower, a lot lower when I was farming.

    I don't see the Obama administration doing much about our energy problem, other than wasting a lot of jet fuel flying around..

    The nuclear power plant in south Idaho seems to have vanished from my radar. I haven't gotten a news letter in a long time.

  16. OT:
    So far, the allegation of CIA abuse include threatening detainee with power drill, making detainee believe that someone outside the room had just been killed, placing insects on detainee, pushing sleep deprivation limits and of course waterboarding three HVD's.

    It's beginning to look like as though the point of the current investigation is to score points rather than pursue justice. Remember the ongoing tift between Madam Pelosi and the Intel community? They didn't suddenly kiss and make up. This is an ongoing and behind the scenes dispute which has entered a new and serious phase.

    The left is intent on having their pound of flesh and Obama is throwing them a bone. He has disappointed his core constituency, the hard left of his party, and to assuage their anger will allow Holder to conduct a witch hunt which will do little but weaken the US Intel community.

    Down and down we go.

  17. Re: Kennedy

    One thing the left does well is make a good show of mourning. Expect to inundated in the coming wallow. There will be a tsunami of white wash meant to glorify the fallen lion of the Senate.

  18. RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Western-educated Palestinian businessmen in the occupied West Bank say obstacles to sustainable development are as great as ever, despite Israel's easing of restrictions on movement.

  19. (AP) The US Navy says one of its helicopters was fired on by Somali pirates holding a hijacked ship off the coast of Somalia. The Navy says the chopper was making a surveillance flight yesterday over the Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel when the ...

  20. Aug. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Toll Brothers Inc., the largest U.S. builder of luxury homes, reported a wider loss for the third quarter as the recession weighed on sales. The company said it has begun raising prices as the market starts to recover.

    The net loss for the three months ended July 31 swelled to $472.3 million, or $2.93 a share, from $29.3 million, or 18 cents, a year earlier, Horsham, Pennsylvania-based Toll said in a statement today. The loss, which included tax charges and writedowns of $554 million, was bigger than analysts’ estimates.

  21. How much power does the POTUS have? How well can he 'control' the Judiciary?

    Possibly the abuse prosecutions could be the response to Republican intransigence on Health Care reform...all the give and take of congressional negotiation. Or not.

    Blogger 2164th said...

    I have a feeling it is driving the market upward as people are looking for shelter from the dollar.

    Which market? You would think that stocks denominated in US dollars would take a hit given the currency risk unless the particular company derived the bulk of its profits from exports.

  22. desert rat said...
    RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Western-educated Palestinian businessmen in the occupied West Bank say obstacles to sustainable development are as great as ever, despite Israel's easing of restrictions on movement.

    Israel-Palestinian Authority trade up 17%
    Aug. 27, 2009
    Sharon Wrobel , THE JERUSALEM POST
    Despite the global economic crisis, trade and commercial activity between Israel and the Palestinian Authority has continued to grow steadily over the past year to more than NIS 19 billion.

    "Since 2006, we are seeing a growing trend in trade between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," Doron Arbel, head of the Israel Tax Authority's Customs Department, told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday. "The most recent figures for 2008 show that the global economic crisis has not had a real impact on the Palestinian economy. Figures for the first half of this year point to a growing trend in commercial activity."

    Trade with the PA rose by about 17 percent to NIS 14.6b. in 2008, from NIS 12.4b. in 2007 and NIS 11.4b. in 2006. Palestinian imports and exports through Israeli ports rose by about 5% to NIS 4.6b. in 2008, from NIS 4.4b. in 2007 and NIS 4.2b. in 2006.

    The ITA reported figures on economic activity between Israel and the Palestinian Authority coming through the Allenby Bridge crossing point, which connects the West Bank to Jordan.

    Last week, 40 Palestinian business people from various sectors, including food and textiles, met at the Allenby Bridge crossing point with representatives of the ITA's Customs Department, the Foreign Ministry, the Airport Authority and the Allenby Bridge Border Control to discuss facilitating trade of goods and services. The meeting was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and was the second in a series of meetings that started in April and is expected to take place every three months.

    The Allenby border terminal handles 1.5 million people and NIS 500 million worth of cargo a year, a figure that has been growing steadily for years, the ITA said.

    In July, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered that the operating hours of the Allenby border terminal for the import and export of goods be immediately and significantly expanded to increase the volume of commercial activity and improve the economic situation of the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria.

  23. Whit, two years ago Cantarell was producing 2.08 MILLION bpd. Last month it produced 488,000 bpd.

    And, this guy Morse says "Nigeria" might produce more?

    Haven't you noticed by now that the "Peakers" give Numbers, and the other side gives generalities, and tales of pixie dust?

    Oil is a $3 Trillion business, Whit. They own major stakes in media (15% of Fox, and the WSJ, for example,) and , through their proxies, spend Billions on advertising in the NYT, etc.

    Don't be a sucker.

  24. What someone called a sop to his Base, ash.

    If the Congress cannot come to a bi-partisan agreement on Health Care, then he has to provide some other red meat to his constituents.

    Hard to have your cake, and eat it too.

    Besides, as General Powell's ex-staffer Army Colonel said, it'll improve the morale of those CIA folk that work hard and play by the rules.

    Colonels, they know the real deal.

  25. Well, if Western educated Palestinian businessmen say it, it must be true. I mean, golly, Ms. Molly, look at the Western educated crew from 9/11. Certainly, as upstanding, Western educated voices of Islamic moderation, Palestinians would have no reason to misrepresent the truth, like...say...Jew-hating...Nah...pure as driven snow...

    It's Thursday: We can count on the EB, pre-Shabbat, Jew-baiting to commence, and so it has. Can't wait to read the tall tale of the day. Surely, there must be some dirt to be dug about Entebbe and the gross violation of the territorial integrity of a peaceful, African nation by the Zionist entity.

  26. Dollar amounts, wi"o", is what counts.

    A 17% increase from zilch is still nada.

    Trade outside of PA/Israel has not climbed 17% and we all know that ALL international trade from the Palestinian port is blockaded by the Israeli Navy.

    The Israeli are trying to keep the Palestinian economy destitute and dependent upon Israel.

    They are succeeding, wi"o" be proud.

  27. Reports from Reuters are considered biased Jew baiting, now.

    I guess any mention of the Levant has to be considered that, aye.

  28. WiO,

    Don't you know, dollar amounts DON'T matter, silly boy ;-)))) ROFL

    The oracle has spoken, "Silence, Jew!" Don't confuse the issue with Zionist facts.

  29. Best we all just ignore that cesspool.

  30. Half the facts, wo"o", do not tell the whole story, no matter the source of the data sets.

    I present an unbiased report from Reuters, am then accused of Jew baiting.
    When I ask for further information, in an attempt at clarifying a statistical misrepresentation, then that is called an attempt to confuse those that believe the Zionist half-truths with the reality of the situation.

  31. BTW, Russian Oil Exports (that's all we really care about) were Down this year, and will be down More next year.

    Meanwhile, two years ago, the Kuwaitis said that Burqin (their Big field) would produce 1.7 Million bpd in 2009. It produced 1.2 million bpd.

    Again, one side - Numbers. Other side - Fairy farts.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Much like the Federals telling US that illegal border crossings are down 25%, and that is a "good thing".

    Failing to mention that a 25% decrease from 4,000 a day entering the US illegally is still 3,000 each day.

    The story could easily be that over a million illegals are still entering the US each year. But the story is spun to the percentage of change, not the real numbers.

    A report on the percentage of change can easily be a propagandists' tool, believe me.

    Gotta get to the real numbers, to know the truth.

  34. Reuters quotes...Reuters is not now in question...its sources are...sophistry at its puerile best...what an insult to intelligence...

    To repeat, for the hearing impaired:

    Reuters quotes...Reuters is not now in question...its sources are...sophistry at its puerile best...what an insult to intelligence...

  35. How's your stock portfolio looking Allen? Pretty good after the recent rise in the markets?

  36. Hot off the press (so it must be true)

    In an act of unprecedented, international terrorism, a group of heavily armed Zionist thugs attacked and murdered, without warning or provocation, members of the Ugandan constabulary at the airport in Entebbe. With wanton, vindictive cruelty, German tourists also were gunned down, without regard to sex.

    This conspiracy to wreck havoc on the reputation of a progressive African president/field marshal/doctor/dada went all the way to the top of the Israeli government. Indeed, the leader of this cadre of desperados was none other than the brother of the present Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu!!!

    And just how did the Israelis know so much about the airport? In implementing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Israeli engineers designed and built the place.

  37. CBO’s forecast, which is required by law to take current legislation as its baseline, assumes that all the Bush tax cuts as well the AMT patch will expire on schedule without being renewed, increasing revenues sharply, and that no new spending initiatives will be adopted. But hardly anyone believes that taxes will be allowed to rise that much (the administration isn’t recommending it), so revenues are likely to be lower than the forecast. And if any portion of the administration’s health care proposal is adopted, federal spending will be even higher than the 23.5 percent of GDP the administration projects for the next decade (CBO projects a near-identical 23.4 percent average). Bottom line: Deficits are likely to be even higher than either document predicts.

    How can we pay for this much government and finance deficits this large? In recent years, the answer could be summed up in one word: China. But the evidence suggests that we can’t count on this in the future. From a high of 55 percent in 2006, China’s willingness to finance the U.S. deficit has fallen to only 9 percent in the first half of 2009. In the short term, as much of the global economy remains sluggish and the appetite for risk remains low, this won’t matter much. Within a few years, however, the tension between private sector borrowing and the public sector’s need is bound to increase, with increasingly unpleasant consequences for interest rates and growth.
    The Economic Storm Ahead

  38. "From a high of 55 percent in 2006, China’s willingness to finance the U.S. deficit has fallen to only 9 percent in the first half of 2009. "

  39. Doug, what you say is true; however, keep in mind that they are, also, by law required to assume current spending (borrowing money, and loaning it to banks, auto companies, stimulus spending, etc) will continue, unabated, into the future.

    They are, also, constrained in their predictions of "economic activity."

    Don't believe Anybody, right now, when it comes to deficit predictions into the future. They ALL have their agendas.

    The deficits are looking ungodly high, but NOT NEARLY as high as the projection you're seeing.

  40. Looks like the Massachusettes Legislature will change the rules, allowing the Governor to name the Kennedy replacement. If the shoe was on the other foot they'd be demanding an election, of course.

  41. How do you propose they decide on whether an individual qualifies for a credit bob, the honor system?

  42. I thought this interesting:

    "Bombardier Inc. (BBD.A-T4.01-0.01-0.25%) said Thursday that a court battle between Kuwait Airways and Iraq could have a significant short-term impact on the company if it prevents the delivery of several aircraft to Iraq.

    The Supreme Court of Canada agreed on Thursday to hear an appeal by Kuwait Airways to have a ruling it won in England to recover over $1-billion from Iraq, related to aircraft and parts that were appropriated during the first Gulf War, recognized in Canada.

    The Quebec Court of Appeal had dismissed the claim, which would allow Kuwait Airways to seize assets belonging to the Iraqi government in Canada, including nine short-haul CRJ-900 Bombardier airliners that Iraq has on order.

    “There could be a significant impact on Bombardier Aerospace if we are not able to deliver these aircraft in the short term,” said Marc Duchesne, a Bombardier spokesman."

    hmmm, the Iraq of today still liable for the Iraq pre-Gulf War.

  43. bob said...

    For Linear--Astronomy picture of the Day

    California panorama

    Thanks, Bob.
    I'll have to research where Jupiter was that night to get oriented. The 360 pan is disorienting. In addition to the LA & Fresno light pollution identified in the caption, I think you can see the string of larger towns up the central valley, as well as parts of the Hwy 395 corridor linking Reno with LA on the Sierrra's east flank.

  44. Senator Mary Landrieu, Dem., Louisianna, seems to be coming out against most of this health bill, if what I just heard was right, on the basis it would bankrupt the country.

    Our blue dog Representative had a town hall meeting near here at which 200 showed up. Most against. He's wavering too. Wants more discussions and input.

    If they shove it through people will be ticked, if they water it down something will probably pass with more votes.

    Lots of articles out there about horror stories in England and France from their government run programs.

    Older people ought to be frightened.

  45. Rufus:

    Haven't you noticed by now that the "Peakers" give Numbers, and the other side gives generalities, and tales of pixie dust?

    Give us some numbers to reflect the diversion of Pemex assets to social programs, political payoffs and other related Mexican corruption; diversions that directly affect maintenance and ongoing development of Cantarell. Same thing in Venezuela, where Chavez is turning the nationalized oil infrastructure into a rust bucket.

    Generalities and Pixie dust?

    Don't be a sucker.


    Exploration world wide has fallen off precipitously due to factors mainly driven by economic uncertainties, onerous regulations, and environmentalists' scare tactics. Less drilling leads to fewer discoveries. Fewer discoveries lead to lowered reserves. Lowered reserves lead to Peaker claims of near term catastrophe. Same cycle applies to field maintenance and ongoing developments within fields whose initial reserve estimates are the numbers used by Peakers to "prove" decline. That net exports are in decline shows only that domestic consumption within producers is increasing, while their own efforts to maintain their fields is declining. Sometimes generalities can be as revealing as a tsunami of statistics gathered by partisans to "prove" an agenda.

  46. Over at the Institute for Policy Innovation (a free-market think tank and presumably no fan of Obamacare), Tom Giovanetti argues that: "How many thousands of federal employees will have access to your records? The privacy of your health records will be only as good as the most nosy, most dishonest and most malcontented federal employee.... So say good-bye to privacy from the federal government. It was fun while it lasted for 233 years."

    If you want the credits, presumably you won't mind giving up information to see if you qualified.

    If you don't want the credits you ought to be left alone.

  47. If you want energy independence in the short to midterm, drill here and drill now.

    All the ballyhoo about renewables and the insane bans against nuclear power will only prolong the agony.

  48. "Looks like the Massachusettes Legislature will change the rules"

    Four years ago, when Romney was governor of Mass., the law stated that the governor appointed a replacement if a senator left office mid-term. When it looked like Kerry might be elected president Kennedy "urged" the state legislature to change the law to hold a special election, which they happily did. Kennedy recently wrote a letter to the current governor and legislature urging them, for the good of the state, to change the law so that the governor could appoint a replacement, which they probably will. What a cesspool this place is.

  49. Meaning Massachusettes and not the EB I hope.

    Senator Inhofe Oklahoma used the Revolution word today saing the county is teeteering on the brink. But a Rovolution of whom and for what end I didn't make out. think he was just saying people are really frustrated.

    I think an unemployment rate of around 16% is probably aaccurate. Lot of people under the radar in one way or other.

    If we're going to have a revolution here's hoping it's a peaceful one, starting in 2010.

  50. Another caller was saying he felt, said it very eloquently too, that this health bill, more rightly called the death bill, is the beginning of euthanazia and eugenics in the county. Said he couldn't say when the real slippage began, maybe Roe v Wade.

    Coming up, another round of the immigration debate, and inflation and higher interest rates. Maybe a war in the mideast. Scary times.

  51. Inhof is a tool from an oil state, Bob. Oil is a $3 Trillion business... They own major stakes in media (15% of Fox, and the WSJ, for example,) and , through their proxies, spend Billions on advertising in the NYT, etc.

    Don't be a sucker

    Listen to your friend, Rufus.

  52. No damned wonder the whirled hates us. This shit has got to stop.

    CIA officers blew smoke in Nashiri's face, according to the report, and they used cigars.

    Blowing Smoke at Terrorists

  53. linear,

    Re: Nashiri

    They also put him to bed in jammies without footies!

    We know that everything must be vetted by lawyers...Hmm...
    Yep, the rule of law

  54. They made (empty) threats too, Linear!
    Trish tells us that's a crime against humanity.
    More importantly,
    against the law.

  55. Campaign to change the law, doug, if it is that important to you.

    That's what folks do in representative republics. They work to gain control of the system and then change it to function as they want.

    The fellows that gave permission for the alleged law breaking, they held the Executive and the Congress. Yet they did not even try to change the laws that are said to have been violated.

    Wonder if you'll support the concept of governmental lawlessness, when Obama gives it the thumbs up.

    He is the Decider, now.

    Are you sure you want him to be able to order law breaking, with a stroke of a pen on a classified Presidential finding?

    Or even worse, give Joe Biden the authority to do so.

  56. Arriana Huffington in a farewell statement has said that "Senator Kennedy has pasted the dorch" of healthcare reform to President Obama. I heard her on the Savage Nation. Mr. Savage didn't know what a "dorch" was, so he asked his listeners.

    One man thought a "dorch" was a hammer and sicklle, and as we are formally considering cutting off aid to Honduras, that might be a good quess.

    Another man thought it was a bottle of Scotch, particularity considering the slight similarity in spelling and pronunciation.

    Either is possible, perhaps both are right, some words having more than one meaning.

    In other political news---

    Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009
    Idaho GOP hopeful jokes about 'Obama Tags'

    BOISE, Idaho -- An Idaho Republican gubernatorial hopeful insists he was only joking when he said he'd buy a license to hunt President Barack Obama.

    Rex Rammell, a long-shot candidate slated to run against incumbent C.L. "Butch" Otter in the May 2010 GOP primary, made the comment at a Republican rally Tuesday in Twin Falls where talk turned to the state's planned wolf hunt, for which hunters must purchase an $11.50 wolf tag. The hunt is due to begin on Tuesday.

    When an audience member shouted a question about "Obama tags," Rammell responded, "The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those."

    Rammell told The Associated Press Thursday he sees no reason to apologize for the comment because it was just a joke.

    "What I would say to all my Democrat Idahoans: Take a deep breath and relax," he said. "We're not going to go out and hunt Obama."

    He also told the Times-News newspaper, "I would never support him being assassinated."

    After Rammell's comment was published in the Times-News, he said one person sent him an e-mail indicating he would ask the FBI for an investigation.

    Threatening the president can be a felony punishable by five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

    "I'm probably safe," Rammell said. "I'm not the one that started the whole thing."

    Debbie Dujanovic Bertram, an FBI spokeswoman in Salt Lake City, said the agency couldn't comment on whether it was investigating or if it had received a complaint.

    Democratic Party Chairman Keith Roark said Rammell comes from the far right of the GOP, but that's no excuse for his comment.

    "Rex Rammell is pretty shrill, and I don't think he represents the mainstream of the Republican Party by any means," Roark said. "But I think the Republican Party in this state and elsewhere would be well served by making it clear those types of comments are very inappropriate."

    Officials with the Idaho Republican Party in Boise didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

    Rammell, a former elk rancher and unsuccessful 2008 U.S. Senate candidate, gained exposure in 2006 when the state ordered domestic elk be shot after they escaped from his ranch near Rexburg.

    Rammell isn't the first Rexburg resident who has drawn attention for making an anti-Obama comment. In November 2008, second- and third-grade students on a school bus there chanted "Assassinate Obama" after his election, prompting the mayor of this eastern Idaho town to publicly apologize.

    Rex is something of a loudmouth, and doesn't stand a chance to be Governor, don't know why he is running.

  57. that should be passed the dorch, of course, not pasted

  58. I don't think this investigation is about the law but rather the politics.

  59. Obama could also catch grief from former Vice President Dick Cheney who friends say won't let go of the "enhanced interrogation" issue anytime soon. Cheney was the highest-ranking former official of the Bush administration to condemn this week's appointment by Holder of a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration's harsh interrogation techniques used on suspected terrorists.

    Cheney issued a statement saying that the investigation threatened to malign American intelligence forces and said the probe raised more questions about the Obama administration's ability to protect national security. Cheney's friends say he won't quit.

    Explains a former U.S. official who knows him well: "He is a firm believer that you have to go after the terrorists and use any means to defend the country."

    CIA Investigation

  60. I'm hoping that Obama and Holder anger the CIA boys to such an extent that if they have anything on Obama or his birth they let it out. That they fight back if they've got anything to fight back with.

  61. There is no need to change the law, since it has yet to be proven that any law was broken. Talk is cheap, except to the taxpayer, of course.

    What will bring this circus to a grinding halt will be a leaked revelation about how much key Congressional leaders knew and when they knew it. By grinding halt, I mean an interminable, expensive, go through the motions, make lots of noise, special prosecutorial fiasco that suddenly goes mute and is folded up a decade later.

  62. The Lion.......just bury the SOB and shut up.

  63. They did that with Pelosi, allen.
    The issue died down for a month, it will not be going away.

    The light of truth and justice is going to shine. The fallout from that is, today, an unknowable.

    Although predictions can be made. The retire Army Colonel made his prediction, this will enhance the morale of the patriots at CIA.

    Those that knew, or at least thought, that what was being ordered was illegal. And there were more than a few of those, if the retired Colonel from General Powell's staff was worthy of what we still are paying him.

  64. The man was a drunk and a coward. He got a young woman killed and had neither the courage nor the integrity to reclaim any sense of honor by admitting his guilt and apologizing for his behaviour that killed her.

    He was a rotten branch of a corrupt family with criminal charges and scandals. The Lion?

  65. Thousands of lives saved by CIA operative following the approved interogation methods, yet a small percentage of people are going to allow those heros to be prosecuted. Why would anyone want to work for the country anymore?

    Why would anyone take a border patrol job either? How do the police and firemen ever get anything done without fearing that later they will be tried as the criminal?

    Where do you think this is going? I can tell you that the fabric of society is being torn apart, one stitch at a time until it will unravel completely.

    Many Have Warned Us

  66. Who needs AQ? We can attack ourselves.

  67. Passing the torch as if he were a god of the Pantheon or some noble fleet footed olympian instead of some soused flabby Irish blow-hard unworthy of Patty's pig.

  68. LT, we have something like 500,000 Oil Wells in the U.S.

    We just spent several Billion Dollars and 20 years bringing "Thunderhorse" online. It's producing about 200,000 bpd.

    We've gone from 10 Million bpd to 5 Million bpd.

    We Import, today, about 11 Million barrels per Day.

    There May Be a couple of million bpd off the coasts of Florida, and the Eastern States; but, in all honesty, none of the Oil Companies are lobbying very hard to go try to find it.

    BTW, EXXON, Chevron, BP, and Conoco spent $43 Billion Lobbying our Government in the last Year. They know how to get things done.

    Mexico is sending us about 1 million bpd of oil, and we're sending back about 1/2 million bpd of gasoline. Cantarell is producing a little less than 1/2 million bpd (down from 2 million bpd just a couple of years, ago.

    Cantarell will be through within two years. At that point Mexico will no longer be an oil "exporter." It doesn't matter how much they waste, or how inefficient they are. They're not going to change, and we will have to find oil, elsewhere.

    Texas, and the North Sea were developed using the best technology with no restrictions to speak of on drilling. Texas is a shadow of its former self, and the North Sea is Plunging.

    Our own Prudhoe Bay is declining rapidly. In a few years that pipeline will be shut down. That's about 600,000 bpd that will probably be gone in five years.

    Kuwait's Burqin Field has gone from 2 Million bpd to 1.2 million bpd in just two years.

    Russia has peaked. Their "Exports" (the only thing WE care about) are dropping every year, now. Their Citizens are using More Oil, and you sure can't stop them.

    Venezuela was slipping when Chavez took over, and they're slowly accelerating.

    China and India, combined, will use between 700,000 and 1,000,000 More Barrels of Oil Every Day Next Year than they did This Year.

    LT, wells "Peak." Then, "Fields" Peak. After, awhile, "Countries" Peak, and, "Finally" the World Peaks.

    The "World" has Peaked.

  69. That Lobbying Money should have been $43 MILLION, now Billion.

  70. They left with two women: Patricia Bowman, 29, a single mother, and waitress Michelle Cassone. Cassone said she and Patrick were "cuddling" in a bedroom when Edward Kennedy entered in just a nightshirt, a development that made her leave.

    Kennedy, Smith and Bowman ended up on a beach. Smith said he and Bowman had consensual sex.

    She accused him of rape, but he was acquitted.

    Bawdy Excess

  71. An older fellow I know, a New Englander transplanted in the desert has been an Obama fan since I met him a couple years ago. He'd been riding high, but now is flabbergasted by the nasty remarks and gun toting demonstrators, aimed, metaphorically, at Obama, over the Health Care issue.

    And that they seem to be effective in gumming up the works.

    Said he'd never seen such a thing.
    I replied that he must not have been watching the televised antiwar demonstrations, outside Mr Bushs' home in Crawford. Bush/Hitler and such.

    Oh, that was different said he.
    No, one and the same, said I.

    Just that he agreed that with the antiwar demonstrators.

    He certainly thought that toting assault style weaponry while protesting in downtown Phoeinx was not a viable form of republican political expression. Though it is being supported by Republicans. Some Republicans have even advocated big game tags for the President.

    I do not believe that I ever heard any Democratic candidate for high public office make such an inflammatory statement of justifiable violence against Mr Bush. Though entertainers and such certainly did ...

  72. Few years back in '03 my uncle was visiting me in Perth.

    Crazy/bitter/rabid anti-American old divorced lady in the townhouse complex I was in at the time.

    Uncle and I are outside and bump into her. I introduce my uncle to her.

    She says, hey you're from that country where that spaceship blew-up. He says, yeah. She says too bad W. wasn't on it. Then walked away.


  73. Sam,

    Your point is well made. While renowned historians ("renowned" is, by the way, an honorific adjective) disagree on countless issues, one area upon which there is concensus is the disentigration of empires: Empires rot from within; "barbarians" fill the vacuums created by the growing decay. Adrianople was not a climax, it was an anticlimatic apostrophe.

    When the citizens of a civilization lose confidence in themselves and there guiding institutions, that civilization is doomed to extinction. Like Rome and Michael Jackson, death may be cleverly prolonged through subterfuge, but a dead skunk remains a dead skunk.

  74. Anybody here familiar with GPS devices?

    I'm looking for like wrist-attached types.

    Something I can take kayaking with me.

  75. If one is crusading for the God, then one would expect them to feel honor in their half-truths and out right lies.

    Besides, if we're to edit each other, it takes more than spell check to be literate

    ... in themselves and "there guiding institutions, ...

    That should be "their", amigo.

  76. This comment has been removed by the author.

  77. You are trying to make yourself renowned, allen, amongst those that you think count.

    Told me so yourself.

  78. Racking up points with the "Big Guy", sectarian that you are.

  79. ...76% of US domestic oil and gas resources are being left untapped...

    ...187 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 21 billion barrels of oil remain available within the United States... much as 115.4 billion barrels of oil and 633.6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas are currently available in the outer continental shelf of the US. only 3% of OCS resources are being used for energy, while 97% remain off limits.

    ...The Department of Energy concluded that 2 trillion barrels of oil shale are available within the United States

    There is over a 200 years supply of fossil fuel available to the US for domestic needs.

    We are not pursuing energy independence.

    To suggest we are while continuing official sanctions against nuclear power, hyping conservation, providing increased tax eating subsidies for rent seeking non-solutions like solar and wind, and transferring internal generation burdens on to adjacent states, as is done in California in the name of green environmental progress, is a shell game.

    Some agendas are being served, but not "energy independence."

    My source: Congressman Devin Nunes, R-CA, quoting USDI and USDE data.

  80. I'm looking for like wrist-attached types.

    Have you tried REI, Sam?

  81. Are you, like, taking a valley girl with you on your kayaking trip?

  82. While I would not vouch for the Congressman's numbers, I do agree, wholeheartedly wtih your statement, lineman.

    "We are not pursuing energy independence."

    Oh so true

  83. Rex Rammel isn't much of a Republican, in fact he seems to just have turned into one. There doesn't seem to be anyway of preventing someone from saying "I'm a Republican" He ran as an Independent before. I'm sure he got his share of Libertarian votes, and will do the same again.

    A man made a comment in the crowd and he responded the wrong way.

    Alternative medicine is likely to take a big hit if this health bill goes through and creates a bunch of gov't burros making rules about what is appropriate practice and treatment.

    Maybe they'd at least leave the alternative medicine people to the old folks.

  84. Senator Crapo is setting up a big to do about the salmon and the dams. Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Canada, Native Americans, fishermen, ranchers, farmers, greens, the dam breachers, the shippers, big party. Probably even the Casino interests.

    I'd think if we'd breach the four lower Snake River dams, and put in four nuke plants, everybody would be happy. Maybe that is what Crapo is angling for. I should go to these.

    Seems like a simple solution to me, but things are never simple. Nothing is ever just right.

  85. LT,

    Here's the Government study your congressman was quoting.

    You will notice that these are "Undiscovered" Reserves. Yep, "Undiscovered" still means "Undiscovered."

    Anyhoo, what that particular article didn't mention is that only 18 Billion of those Barrels (remember, we use between 18 and 21 Million Barrels/day - depending on how our economy is going) are in "Restricted" areas.

    All the rest the companies could drill tomorrow. However, remember the story about "Jack" field?

    However, let's assume it's all there, they can "find" it, tomorrow (remember, the Ocean's a pretty big place, and they're drilling sometimes 3 miles deep) and decide to start drilling.

    Add in 10 Billion Barrels from Anwar. That should give us about a billion barrels/yr, or, maybe 3 million barrels/day In 10 Years. Remember, we import between 11 million barrels/day, and 13 million barrels/day - depending on how the enonomy's going.

    Sure, we could maybe bring a few wells online within four, or five years, but when you're spending $100 Million to drill the first well, you're going to be pretty cautious of "dry holes."

    As for the rest of it, fuggedaboutit. The Bakken is a bunch of little oil puddles spread over 5, or 6 states (bakken production, actually, went down last month,) and Oil Shale Cannot be done. Shell's been trying for years, and the most they've come up with is 400 barrels/day.

    Nat Gas is another whole story.

    Look, I'm not some asshole "Greenie." If you want to drill, knock yourself out. But, it won't even start to solve our problem. By the time half of those wells can come online (if the oil really is there) we'll be in deep shit, already. And, I mean, really, really, industrial grade, deep shit.

    In the meantime, if you have grandkids, you might want to consider saving them just a little bit.

    LT, if I'm right about the oil situation, we're going to have to get ready to get a whole lot of shit done, yesterday. And, drilling a few more "Jack" wells is just a small part of that shit.

  86. Thanks Linear,

    But there's no, like, REI in Oz.

  87. For someone who justifiably takes pride in quoting the 'numbers,' there's still an unanswered question on the board.

    Give us some numbers to reflect the diversion of Pemex assets to social programs, political payoffs and other related Mexican corruption; diversions that directly affect maintenance and ongoing development of Cantarell.

    I don't have them, but I think it's fair to ask the expert, since we're told there's next to nothing left in the ground down there, and the reason there's nothing coming out is because it's all gone, not because Pemex squanders their assets instead of maintaining and developing.

    As to the veracity of Nunes data, it's from two technical US Federal agencies who are charged with collecting and presenting that type of information. Perhaps not quite the cachet of the Oil Barrel or Tree Hugger sources, admittedly. You chose your sources, I'll chose mine.

    By the way, Nunes's proposals don't leave out support for solar, wind and bio-renewables. He just puts them in a rational perspective, behind nuclear, natural gas and petroleum. Those three being the proven technologies that will enable survival over the next ten to twenty years.

  88. They, like, do mail order, Sam.


  89. Handheld GPS at REI

    I, you know, like the little Suunto X10 Wrist-Top GPS, Price: $549.00

    May be a little steep, but what's a few bucks when, like, your lives are at stake? Suunto makes reliable stuff. Sure to impress any valley girl.

    If it was me, I'd use a good topo map and compass, but that's so, like, linear, you know.

  90. Oh shit, I meant to put up this link: Mineral Management Services

    This is the Government study that the Congressman was quoting. You can see the numbers are identical.

  91. All of my prior post has to be understood within the context of the link.

    As for Mexico: Yeah, but it doesn't matter. They're still going to be out of the Oil "Exporting," Business within a year, and into the Oil "Importing" business within Two.

  92. And, I DO, very much, support Coal, Nuclear, Nat Gas, and all the rest.

    It's just that the only way you can run cars on Nuclear, or Coal (and, for all, "Practical" purposes, Natural Gas) is through "Batteries." Hybrids, and Plug-in Hybrids.

    And, we'll still need some "liquid" fuel. And, we'll still need it in 2011, not 2021.

  93. Like, why in the hell do you need a topo map on the water?

  94. Thanks for the REI link, Linear. Great place for me to start.

  95. Waves, Sam, waves. Rapids. WATERFALLLS

    Cabela's might have one of those devices, they have pretty much everything. I have an order coming in, I'll check it out.

  96. Like, why in the hell do you need a topo map on the water?


    Ask Trish.

    I'm tempted to ask why you need a GPS on the water.

    But I won't.

    Unless you're in a big flowage system like the Boundary Waters, with no long perspectives for orientation, don't you just float downstream?

  97. Correction: ...don't you, like, just float downstream?

  98. :)

    Thanks, Bob.

    I'll be paddling on the ocean for the most part. I really only need it to keep track of how many k I do.

  99. Comparison shopping:

    Handheld GPS Units--Cabelas

    May be outta luck if your heart's set on the Suunto.

  100. Measure your stroke and strap a pedometer to your paddle?

    >pedometre< in OZ?

  101. pedometre!

    That's it!

    Or is that, 'padometre'.

    The waterproof variety, of course.

  102. I think you're lucky to be in Australia, the USA seems to be falling apart. Was just reading an article on Obama thug tactics at some of these meetings, caucuses, Tea Parties. They have dressed up and made out like doctors for instance, who say they support the program. They have roughed up women, photographers, just somebody selling some political buttons they didn't like.

    I suspected it might come to this.

  103. Along the Mexican border, it's pedrometer.

  104. Watch out for sharks, Sam. Orcas too, if you have them down under. A friend was out on Bodega Bay doing just what you're planning. He got the shit scared out of him when an Orca began breaching in a herd of seals that were close by. Figured his profile from a few fathoms down could look like lunch to bigger fish.

    Remember Jaws!

  105. Hey, like, watch out for sea going crocks, too.

    In facts, you might consider simply not going.

    I Think I See Angels In This Nebula


  106. Panama Ed's sure to have some advice on ocean kayaking, Sam.

    Panama Ed

  107. Disturbing, Bob.

    I've got to say, Australia's a pretty fun place. Lots to see and do. Can easily keep you busy for a lifetime exploring and discovering things around here.

    Roger on the sharks, Linear.

    No orcas here but plenty of great whites. Especially here in Adelaide. Australian home of the great whites. It's in the back of mind all the time. You can bet I'll be sticking close to shore. Not that that'll help any at all.

  108. Nite, Bob.

    I didn't see any advice in that clip.

    I didn't see Ted in that Nebula either.

  109. As I was pulling in my driveway late last night after work I turned my radio to the local news channel to catch the world events. I just
    caught the last few seconds of the broadcast as the announcer say
    that Ted had passed away. I searched the other channels for more
    information but could only find music. I turned the car off and went
    inside all the time thinking about what I had just heard. I had a
    drink and went to bed. It spent a restless night thinking about what
    a void there would be in this country if we had lost this great
    American. I finally fell asleep and when I woke up I immediately
    remembered the bad news. So I went down stairs and turned on Fox
    expecting the worst. Then I saw it before my eyes, it was Kennedy not
    Nugent that had died.
    I feel much better now.

  110. Australia is same size as US. Population 21 mil.

    US population was 21 mil in 1850.

  111. I'd like to visit, Sam.

    Dad was stationed at Darwin and Brisbane before the SeaBees shipped out for New Guinea and the Philippines as they followed MacArthur.

    I have a lot of black and white prints of both places back then.

  112. Good night, Bob, if you're still around.

  113. DR,

    Re: there

    I am afraid spell check can't make the distinction between the proper use of "there" and "their", although alertness could. For that, I have you. It is nice to be needed. It is also a blessing to help another feel needed. Can't you feel the love, like, all around us? I know I can ;-)
    Wet Wet Wet

    You will discover that being Jewish does not make one "sectarian", although Judaism is loaded with sectaries.

    Your editing is not taken personally; your false, hate filled renditions of Jewish history is. So, do edit away, if that will keep you constructively occupied.

  114. I have never discussed Jewish history, allen, except to reference Mr Canpbell's remarks on how it was corrupted in Babylon. During discussions with bob. I feeling that those writings were antiJewish, if any were.

    But other than that I have not mention Jewish history. I have discussed Israeli history, they are not one and the same.

    Though Israel seems to be a sectarian CityState.

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