“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."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pity the Bankers?

Hat tip to Quirk

Quirk said...

"Harper's Wall Street Index"

Wall Street bonus pool estimate for 2009: $140 billion

Combined budget deficit estimate for 50 states in 2010: $142

Total bailout funds committed by the U.S. government and Federal Reserve to Wall Street and auto industry: $1.1 trillion

Ratio of bailout dollars for Wall Street and auto industry to loans provided small businesses through the stimulus package: 2,933:1

Percentage of new jobs in the economy created by small businesses during the last 15 years: 64

Ratio of patents created at small businesses compared to corporations 13:1"

Wed Dec 02, 08:06:00 PM EST"

(Link to MarketWatch column

Obama slams 'fat cat bankers'
(AFP) –

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama has hit out at Wall Street "fat cats", expressing anger that banks bailed out by the government plan huge bonuses while millions of Americans battle poverty and unemployment.
"I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat cat bankers on Wall Street," Obama said Friday in excerpts of an interview with CBS television to be aired on Sunday.

With unemployment still hovering at around 10 percent, amid a recession triggered in part by the excesses of financial institutions, Obama voiced frustration that "some people on Wall Street still don't get it."

Lavish pay and bonuses on Wall Street have been blamed for encouraging the excessive risk-taking that with the subprime mortgage housing crisis fueled the global maelstrom and brought the US financial sector to the brink of collapse a year ago.

That prompted the US administration to unveil a rescue package topping 700 billion dollars, in part to shore up troubled institutions.

A so-called pay czar, appointed by the government, has since reviewed compensation at bailed-out firms and in most cases has restricted salaries to 500,000 dollars a year.

But several of the nation's largest banks such as Bank of America have already repaid the billions of dollars they were given by the US Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP..

Only two major banks still hold US government capital from the program: Wells Fargo, which received 25 billion dollars, and Citigroup, with some 45 billion dollars.

Obama told CBS he believed some banks had paid back all the bailout funds in order to escape government controls regulating such things as bonuses.

"They're still puzzled why it is that people are mad at the banks. Well, let's see. You guys are drawing down 10, 20 million dollar bonuses after America went through the worst economic year... in decades and you guys caused the problem.

"These same banks who benefited from taxpayer assistance who are fighting tooth and nail with their lobbyists... up on Capitol Hill, fighting against financial regulatory control," Obama added.

On Friday, the US House of Representatives approved the most sweeping regulatory overhaul of the financial sector since the Great Depression of the 1930s, one of Obama's key goals.

Lawmakers voted 223-202 to pass the 1,300-page legislation, a package of measures Obama's Democratic allies crafted in response to the global financial meltdown of 2008.

The legislation gives regulators the power to dismantle giant financial firms and lays out a systematic way to unwind them in case of collapse that ensures shareholders and unsecured creditors, not taxpayers, bear the losses.

It also reinforces the powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission to detect irregularities that could provide an early warning of fraudulent investment schemes, like the fraud perpetrated by Wall Street swindler Bernie Madoff.

But the legislation is now expected to move to the US Senate in 2010, where it faces stiff opposition from the financial industry and its Republicans allies, not one of whom voted in favor of the plan.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has described the measure as a clear warning to Wall Street that "the party is over."

"American families will no longer be at the mercy of Wall Street in terms of their jobs, their homes, their pension security, the education of their children," Pelosi said Thursday.

It has drawn fierce opposition though from the financial sector and Republicans, who accuse the bill of stifling innovation with weighty new rules.

The number two House Republican, Representative Eric Cantor, said the legislation "frightens people and creates uncertainty in the American economy, preventing job growth."

But on Saturday, Obama blasted collusion between congressional Republicans and Wall Street lobbyists who he believes have forged an alliance to block stronger government regulation of the financial sector.

"Just last week, Republican leaders in the House summoned more than 100 key lobbyists for the financial industry to a 'pep rally', and urged them to redouble their efforts to block meaningful financial reform," the president said in his weekly radio address.

However, the Treasury Department told AFP on Friday it had no plans to follow in the footsteps of Britain and France and impose a one-off 2009 tax on bankers' bonuses.

Asked if the United States was planning to follow moves unveiled this week by Britain and France for "community" taxes on bankers bonuses, Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly said in an email: "Not at this time."


  1. This isn't a partisan issue, and it's a no brainer. You take money from a lender, you follow the rules. You take out a mortgage to get a house, you can't turn your front yard into a gravel pit, because this destroys the collateral value of the property and puts the lender at risk. You take $700 billion in TARP money from taxpayers you don't get to siphon off $1 billion of that as compensation for driving your company into the ground.

  2. Call it socialism. Call it "soak the rich." Call it "class warfare." Doesn't matter, I agree with T.

    Guys like Mullaly at Ford get paid millions for actually producing product. The bankers get paid tens of millions for pushing paper and taking risk. The problem is any risk they take is pushed off on us. Therefore, they have no risk.

    It will be hard to convince me that these guys are actually earning the tens of millions they want to be paid in todays invironment. They barrow government money for o% interest, tack on a few percentage points interest, and loan out or invest the money to earn a profit.

    Heck, I could run a bank and make money in this environment.


  3. Actually, I should have written:

    "Heck, I could run a 'large' bank and make money in this environment."

    Crony Capitalism


  4. Call it runny nose, raw from wiping, call it swollen eyes, call it aching bones, aching head....pity bob.

    What should I do T, what should I take? You're the doc. You can fix gout.

  5. Obama's choice of words is disturbing. "Fat cat bankers"? Come on, the President doesn't need to be talking like that. But, we knew who we were electing, so it comes as no surprise.

    It's one thing for us bloggers but when it comes from our nation's "leaders", it is very discouraging unless you like socialism, soaking the rich, and class warfare.

    Today, they go after the "fat cat bankers", tomorrow, watch your wallet. These people think they can tax and spend their way out this mess. In my opinion, unless they're turned out of office, this recession/depression will only be prolonged.
    A word of warning:
    Niall Ferguson, et al. have pointed out that the Stock Market rebounded in 1930 (or '31) after '29 crash. This sucked in a lot the survivors who were subsequently wiped out. The same thing could happen again as the conditions have not appreciably changed since our current downturn began. The banks and credit system are in disarray and a large segment of the economy (real estate) is still in freefall. Geithner and Bernanke represent the status quo which brought to this state and the Democrats still control all three branches of government.

    State governments are really beginning to feel the bite and are struggling to grapple with the intractable issues of reduced spending, layoffs, etc.

    On top of all that, this is a worldwide freefall.

  6. From my friend Dale, after hearing I got the book in Sandpoint--







    Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Ash.

  7. Again I find myself in agreement with Q. Big bankers rarely have their own capital at risk, Those that do usually awarded that capital to themselves from the largesse of the companies they run. Any small business man carries far more personal rick than any of the barrons of Wall Street.

    "Give me control over a nation's currency and I care not who makes its laws." -- Baron M.A. Rothschild (1744 - 1812)

  8. "Geithner and Bernanke represent the status quo which brought to this state and the Democrats still control all three branches of government..."

    I'm all for divided government but, face it, there are only a handful of the GOP (Thune, Pence, Coburn, Ryan, maybe a few others) that aren't as much a part of the problem as the Dems.

    The positions are extreme on both sides of the aisle.


  9. I was surprised to see Latah County, where Moscow is, declare a financial emergency the other day. As financial emergencies go, it isn't much, but tax receipts are down. Road plowing is going to be cut back, for starters. No new hiring, too, probably a good thing.

  10. Age do suck.
    Judy Colins

    ...He sent his servant to the town,
    Sent him to her dwellin'.
    "My master's sick and and he sends for you
    If you are Barbara Allen."

    Then slowly, slowly she got up
    Slowly she went nigh him,
    And all she said when she got there
    was, "My true love, you're dyin'."

    He turned his face unto the wall,
    Death was in him dwellin'
    "Adieu, adieu, to all my sweet friends all.
    Be kind to Barbara Allen..."

  11. "The banks and credit system are in disarray and a large segment of the economy (real estate) is still in freefall. Geithner and Bernanke represent the status quo which brought to this state and the Democrats still control all three branches of government."
    My Gawd!
    I agree with Ash!
    Interesting Times indeed.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. GOP Wants to get rid of Bunning.
    Bunning is not running.

    Bunning Statement on Bernanke: ‘You Are the Definition of a Moral Hazard’

    Instead of taking that money and lending to consumers and cleaning up their balance sheets, the banks started to pocket record profits and pay out billions of dollars in bonuses. Because you bowed to pressure from the banks and refused to resolve them or force them to clean up their balance sheets and clean out the management, you have created zombie banks that are only enriching their traders and executives.

    You are repeating the mistakes of Japan in the 1990s on a much larger scale, while sowing the seeds for the next bubble.

    In the same letter where you refused to admit any responsibility for inflating the housing bubble, you also admitted that you do not have an exit strategy for all the money you have printed and securities you have bought.
    That sounds to me like you intend to keep propping up the banks for as long as they want.

    Even if all that were not true, the A.I.G. bailout alone is reason enough to send you back to Princeton. First you told us A.I.G. and its creditors had to be bailed out because they posed a systemic risk, largely because of the credit default swaps portfolio. Those credit default swaps, by the way, are over the counter derivatives that the Fed did not want regulated. Well, according to the TARP Inspector General, it turns out the Fed was not concerned about the financial condition of the credit default swaps partners when you decided to pay them off at par. In fact, the Inspector General makes it clear that no serious efforts were made to get the partners to take haircuts, and one bank’s offer to take a haircut was declined.

    I can only think of two possible reasons you would not make then-New York Fed President Geithner try to save the taxpayers some money by seriously negotiating or at least take up U.B.S. on their offer of a haircut. Sadly, those two reasons are incompetence or a desire to secretly funnel more money to a few select firms, most notably Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, and a handful of large European banks. I also cannot understand why you did not seek European government contributions to this bailout of their banking system.

    Bunning To Bernanke: You Are A Systemic Risk
    Jul 15, 2008

  14. Bob:

    What should I do T, what should I take? You're the doc. You can fix gout.

    I don't get gout anymore Bob, because my doctor changed my high blood pressure medicine. But nobody expects the Swinish Influenza!

  15. I'm not carrying the water for Republicans but I don't believe we'll hear this kind of French Revolution, "off their heads" rhetoric out of the GOP. More importantly, for all their failings, the GOP does not advocate taxing everything that moves.

  16. Think Ron Paul's son is running for Bunning's seat.

  17. How many Bush vetoes in eight years when the Republicans were in power?

  18. Doug, are you jealous because my piano works better than yours?

    The thing is, T, my friend really needed a shoulder to lean on last night and I wasn't ready to leave by 9:30 and when I called back at 10:30 there was no answer. Sometimes alcohol influences the choices you make and the sad thing is my friend will be away for a week so we'll have to communicate through email which isn't the same as face to face.

    I had a really good time, although, I didn't give out my phone number, I did give her the last dance. I guess, I needed to make someone happy last night. My friend I was with eats there all the time and knows the owner who is the sister, I believe, is the one who liked me. So, I'm sure I'll here stories.

    P.S. This economy better jump start soon there wasn't one drink bought for me last night.

  19. Climate Change Alternatives -- Carbon Tax

    I've been opposed to any cap-and-trade arrangements to address climate change. Part of it is that I am not convinced by the science. Also, I'm of the opinion that the money we are asked to invest in climate change would be better spent (and cheaper) if we used it to mitigate any negative effects of AGW that do occur. And finally, I view the cap-and-trade proposals being currently discussed as a giant get rich sceme for Wall Street, international corporations, and governments. It's a scam subject to political abuse. We have already seen this in how they would hand out the permits in the current legislaton.

    That being said, there are elements of the current discussion on AGW that are peripheral but still important considerations. A couple of these are energy indepenance and national security. If we could get off of our dependance on foreign oil without bankrupting the country it would be a good thing.

    Which brings up the subject of the carbon tax.

    "A carbon tax can be implemented by taxing the burning of fossil fuels—coal, petroleum products such as gasoline and aviation fuel, and natural gas—in proportion to their carbon content. If carbon dioxide emissions are not released into the atmosphere on combustion of fossil fuels, e.g., carbon capture and storage, then a carbon tax will not apply. Accordingly, a carbon tax increases the competitiveness of low-carbon technologies, such as renewables, compared to the traditional burning of fossil fuels."

    The carbon tax doesn't do anything to resolve the uncertainty of the science of AGW. Likewise, it doesn't eliminate the politics, although it does reduce the impact of the politics and it adds a level of transparancy not there with cap-and-trade. However, it does have the potential for reducing our dependance on foreign oil, reducing coal emissions, and promoting alternative energy sources.

    With regard to the increase in taxes, this could be offset by a reduction in payroll taxes.

    See the article below (and don't be turned off by the fact that it was writtn by Eleanor Cliff)

    "And in another counterintuitive piece of good timing, the recession makes the politics easier, because any tax on carbon would have to be offset by a tax cut elsewhere.

    The Climate Task Force plan would couple a carbon tax with a cut in the payroll tax. As Kamarck explains it, the goal is to reduce greenhouse gases, not make the government richer or the people poorer. And since the payroll tax is regressive, and rich people have an infinitely bigger carbon footprint, they would end up paying more, which seems only fair if you compare people with several cars and a speedboat to those who ride the bus to work."

    Carbon Tax


  20. I'm ready to blow my brains out.

  21. whit said...

    "I'm not carrying the water for Republicans but I don't believe we'll hear this kind of French Revolution, "off their heads" rhetoric out of the GOP.

    More importantly, for all their failings, the GOP does not advocate taxing everything that moves.


  22. COPENHAGEN –Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe plan to address negotiators at international climate talks in Copenhagen next week.

    What a g-damn zoo it must be in old Copenhagen.

  23. bob said...
    "I'm ready to blow my brains out."
    Buy a Webcam First!

  24. Bob are you still sick? If so go to the drug store and get this, Oscillococcinum. It's in the homeopathic section which is right next to the cold medicine. I haven't used it yet but my friend swears by it. It will knock that cold right out of you.

  25. With regard to the increase in taxes, this could be offset by a reduction in payroll taxes.

    A reduction in payroll taxes? I'll believe it when I see and I certainly wouldn't commit to a carbon tax based on this kind of carrot.

  26. Thanks, I'll try it.

    Without even asking what's in it.

  27. Maynard G. Krebs rules!

    Jimmy Buffet says so.

    Singin Sarah Lois Vaughan Songs.

  28. It is a zoo in Copenhagen:

    Rich Nations slam climate draft, thousands protest

    The zealots will be calling for criminal penalties on the US for not meeting its reduction targets.

  29. bob said...
    Thanks, I'll try it.

    Without even asking what's in it.
    Just buy a USB Model,
    plug it in, and let us examine your brain cells up close and personal.

  30. Well Bob, that's because you trust me.

  31. "Buy a Webcam First!"



  32. Well when these fellows--Iranian Prime Minister Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe--get together to fix the climate you know things are bad.

    We should have exited the UN decades ago.

  33. Through the miracle of the cell phone, I know Wal-Mart doesn't have it, but she's stopping at the Health Food store on the way home.

    I wonder what happens when I mix it with Alkaseltzer Plus, Sudafed, and Aleve?

  34. Hide this decline--

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 25% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -16. That's the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President.

  35. I know rite aid and CVS have it. It should say on the box what not to mix it with.


  36. Sudafed
    Always take more Sudafed!
    The Drug Nazis are controlling it.
    ... thus,
    Gotta be good.
    Second only to Caffeine.

  37. They make good wines in France, so maybe it's ok.

    Maybe I ought to just get a couple bottles of wine.

  38. Because that's where all the good herbs are.

  39. ...or Coke, really.
    ...but that's just for South Americanos.
    One World, as 'Rat would say.

  40. You're only allowed two boxes of sudefed a month. So what do you do when there is only 8 in a box and you have to take them every 4-6 hours and the common cold usually lasts two weeks?

  41. Do you talk (sound like) like a backwoods hick like Buffett, Rufus?

  42. Take a flight in a U2

    Eight miles high and when you touch down
    You’ll find that it’s stranger than known
    Signs in the street that say where you’re going
    Are somewhere just being their own

    Nowhere is there warmth to be found
    Among those afraid of losing their ground
    Rain gray town known for it’s sound
    In places small faces unbound

    Round the squares huddled in storms
    Some laughing some just shapeless forms
    Sidewalk scenes and black limousines
    Some living some standing alone.

  43. "8 in a box"
    I get 48 @ Walmart.

  44. This is gonna last two weeks?

    I will shoot myself.

    I haven't had a tough one like this in a long long time.

    Soon as she brings the medicines, I'm back to bed.

    Another thing, it's miserable having a moustache when you have a runny nose.

  45. "the common cold usually lasts two weeks?"
    The common need for drugs lasts forever.

  46. But if I play this just right, I'll get breakfast in bed.

  47. I don't shop at Walmart. And I don't buy sudefed. I do it the smart way and go straight to the doctor...allegra/nasonex/advair.

  48. "MeLoDy said...
    What do you mean sound like?"
    Buffet sounds like an Alabama hick to a California boy.

    ...I'd pay anything to be Buffett.

  49. Oh, you're a Buffet fan? Have you ever been to one of his concerts? Buffet fans are some serious shit. They don't fool around when it comes to being loyal.

  50. Bob, I hope you feel better. I'll check in later.

  51. "Where's your webcam, Doug?"
    Fan of Frankenstein, huh?

  52. Had a chance to see a concert here, blew it,
    Think Buffett may stop here on his trip to Tahiti.
    ...i hope.

  53. “The Democratic-controlled Senate on Saturday cleared away a Republican filibuster of a huge end-of-year spending bill that rewards most federal agencies with generous budget boosts.

    It never ends.

    Dems Override GOP’s Filibuster of Spending Bill


  54. Health Food store was closed. I'm goin' with Alkaseltzer Plus, which isn't going to touch this.

    Thanks for the advice though, Melody.

  55. Did I tell you Idaho plays Bowling Green in the world famous Humanitarian Bowl on the blue turf in Boise over the Holidays? Sure to be the most exciting bowl game of the season.

  56. "Did I tell you Idaho plays Bowling Green in the world famous Humanitarian Bowl "
    Do you know what the Humanitarian Bowl means?

  57. It's the politically correct bowl, is all I can figure, doug. If the other team is behind, let them score, maybe? As a humanitarian gesture? Everybody feels good all round?

  58. One word of advice if you tailgate don't play any other music then Buffet. It WILL get you in trouble.

  59. aka the Computer Chip Bowl--

    For its first four years the Humanitarian Bowl offered an automatic bid to the Big West Conference champion after that conference lost its contract with the Las Vegas Bowl. From 1997–99 the opponent was a team from Conference USA, while in 2000 an at-large was chosen. After the 2000 Humanitarian Bowl, the Big West Conference stopped sponsoring football and the automatic bid instead went to the WAC where it remains to this day.

    The game was sponsored by Micron Technology, an Idaho-based manufacturer, from 1999 to 2002 under the name, which sells computer memory upgrades from Micron. The bowl game then briefly had no sponsor for the January 2004 game. In December 2004, the name was changed to the MPC Computers Bowl. MPC Computers was formerly MicronPC, the computer manufacturing division of Micron, but split from Micron and has no affiliation with Micron. In April 2007, it was announced that the bowl will again be called the Humanitarian Bowl. [1] In May 2007, a new bowl sponsor was announced, Roady's Truck Stops. The bowl's name is now the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl. [2]

    It is the longest running cold weather bowl game currently in operation. The payout is $750,000, but teams are required to provide a corporate sponsor, purchase a minimum number of tickets, and stay at a selected hotel for a minimum stay. Because of this, 7–4 UCLA declined an invitation to the Humanitarian Bowl in 2001.

  60. At 3:30 a.m., Vice President Robert Kennedy and Dean Clyde Fisher began telephoning the parents and wives of those lost.

    "It was one of the most nightmarish, heartrending tasks I’ve ever attempted," Kennedy later recalled. "The worst part of it was calling the parents, most of whom didn’t know there was a wreck."

    At dawn that Sunday, flags on campus and across San Luis Obispo County were lowered to half-mast. Vice President Kennedy spent the early morning hours Sunday reading wire reports at the Telegram-Tribune, whose staff was busy getting out an extra edition headlined "POLY FOOTBALL TEAM IN AIR CRASH; 22 DEAD." Journalism students began the grim task of reporting on the loss of their classmates for the student newspaper. Two weeks later, Life magazine published an article, "Campus Overwhelmed by a Team’s Tragic Flight."

  61. Keep trying or just order it off line you will get it faster.

  62. I like the sounds of Roady's Truck Stop Bowl, myself.

    Or, for the dirt farmers, the Dust Bowl.

  63. There is music, other than Buffett?

  64. I think its inhumane to have football teams play a bowl in Boise at the end of December.

    The "Humanitarian" has got to be the all time worst ever name for a post season football event/game.

    Think of the old days: You had the Cotton Bowl, the Citrus Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Sugar Bowl, the Cigar Bowl.

    No one even knows where Humanitarians are grown much less what they taste like.

  65. At least with the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl, you know who the sponsor is.

  66. whit said...
    It is a zoo in Copenhagen:

    Rich Nations slam climate draft, thousands protest

    The zealots will be calling for criminal penalties on the US for not meeting

    How about this for a solution?

    Americans decide NOT to purchase any chinese made products for 5 days, that will reduce our consumption and global gasses...

    Americans will turn down the thermostat for 2 hours every day and say "fuck opec" that will reduce our consumption and green house gasses

    Americans will use re-usable bags at the grocery store and when asked it one is needed? answer with "naw, fuck an oil baron"

    Americans need incentives to consume less, I suggest Americans consume less products from unfriendly nations at once...

    As for global warming? I am now a proponent of it..

    I want warmer winters in Ohio and I want the sahara to be hotter...

  67. The "Humanitarian" has got to be the all time worst ever name for a post season football event/game.

    I agree, Whit.

    And, it's inhumane to play in Boise on December 30th, out in the open. Ought to be outlawed, like dog fighting.

    If they had it in Moscow, at least we have a covered field.

  68. Bobal: Did I tell you Idaho plays Bowling Green in the world famous Humanitarian Bowl on the blue turf in Boise over the Holidays? Sure to be the most exciting bowl game of the season.

    At the end of a game, the winning coach always thanks God and the losing coach always says that his team should have trained harder. Why doesn't the losing coach say "We were doing fine until God started helping them out in the 3rd quarter"?

  69. Maybe we should think of these football games as reflecting on the gridiron some dispute among the gods on Olympus, as the Greeks tended to do in the Illiad? That way both coaches would have a ready excuse, and the players wouldn't have to train so hard.

    Would all be the working out below of moira, fate.

    And, you could still have the sports betting.

  70. Evidently, humanitarians don't taste all that great. Even those "Amazonian" Indians have pretty much quit eating them.

  71. Citi should have been broken up a looong time ago.

  72. "There is music, other than Buffett?"

    Um...of course. I'm actually not a big Buffett fan. Sorry folks. I was coerced with a free ticket and free booze. That's when I discovered the true meaning of parrot head and that Nickelback just doesn't mix Buffett fans.

  73. Note to self:
    She can be had with free booze.

  74. Or if you're like a lost puppy.

  75. Welcome To Obamaville Sign At Tent City, Colorado shows people aren't blaming Bush anymore.

    She can be had with free booze.

    Note to Whit: But, you have to kill bob, first.

  76. Liberty Valence

    "When two men go out to face each other, only one returns."

  77. Whit trust me it doesn't take much, as long as it's free.

    And no killing on my watch, you know how I feel about violence. You will always number one in my book, Bob.


  78. In my weakened condition, Melody, I could use some help getting to bed.

  79. Get on your hands and knees.....

    ...and crawl.

  80. Now you know if I was there, I would surely help you to where ever you would like to go.

  81. This nighttime Alkaseltzer Plus is starting to kick in.....

  82. For the first time in my life I'm starting to think "3rd Party."

  83. Just keep saying "Ross Perot, Ross Perot, Ross Perot."

  84. Ross Perot woke the GOP up, and in 94 we had the "Contract with America."

    Now, the GOP is back to its horrible, "inside the beltway" ways. Maybe, it's time for Another "wake up call."

    If Sarah Palin went 3rd Party in 2012 I'd vote for her.

  85. In the meantime, if they could find decent candidates to go up against a few targeted RINOS like Graham, Snowe, Collins (I don't know if any of these are running in 2010, I'm just saying) they might get the GOP's attention, somewhat. But, I doubt it.

  86. Mind you, I understand that Palin running as a "Tea Party" candidate would guarantee Obama a win in 2012.

    Basically, I just don't give a shit.

    Right now, we just have a choice between "Communism, Tomorrow," and "Communism, Day AFTER Tomorrow."

    We either establish a "Conservative" Party, or we're toast.

  87. Better for conservative to take control of the GOP.

  88. I'll admit that I, along with a surprising number of my merchant marine co-workers at the time, voted for Perot.

    It got Clinton elected...

    I agree with Whit. Better to work thru the Republican Party.

    But it seems a Sisyphean task...

  89. Here's your weekly banking news:
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Regulators have shut down banks in Florida, Arizona and Kansas, bringing to 133 the number of U.S. banks that have failed to hold up this year against the struggling economy and a cascade of loan defaults.

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday it took over Miami-based Republic Federal Bank, with $433 million in assets and $352.7 million in deposits. A bank based in Boca Raton, Fla., 1st United Bank, agreed to assume all the deposits and $267.1 million of the assets of the failed bank. The FDIC will retain the rest for eventual sale.

    In addition, the FDIC and 1st United Bank agreed to share losses on $210.4 million of Republic Federal's loans and other assets.

    The FDIC also took over Valley Capital Bank, based in Mesa, Ariz., with $40.3 million in assets and $41.3 million in deposits; and SolutionsBank in Overland Park, Kans., with $511.1 million in assets and $421.3 million in deposits.

    Enterprise Bank & Trust, based in Clayton, Mo., agreed to assume the assets and deposits of Valley Capital, while Arvest Bank, based in Fayetteville, Ark., is buying the assets and deposits of SolutionsBank.

    The FDIC also agreed with Enterprise Bank to share losses on $29.8 million of Valley Capital's assets, and agreed with Arvest Bank to share losses on $411.3 million of SolutionsBank's assets.

    The FDIC estimates the failure of Republic Federal will cost the deposit insurance fund $122.6 million; the failure of Valley Capital an estimated $7.4 million; and the failure of SolutionsBank an estimated $122.1 million.

    The shutdown of Republic Federal brought to 13 the number of bank failures in Florida so far this year. Failures also have been concentrated in California, Georgia and Illinois.

  90. If the GOP was to become the "Conservative" Party, the transformation could not start at the top of the ticket.

    There is a "Conservative Party" in New York, already. They never win. Not even when Bill Buckley was their candidate.

    Without the Collins', Snowes' and Grahams', there is no National Republican Party.

    Think George Wallace, not Ross Perot.

    While Wallace carried five Southern states and won almost ten million popular votes, Nixon received 301 electoral votes, more than needed to win the election. Wallace remains the last non-Democratic, non-Republican candidate to win any electoral votes.

    Wallace a much more successful candidate than Ross Perot ever came close to being, Perot not winning a single State.

    But a "Conservative Party", even one built on the carcass of the GOP would not do much better than Wallace or Goldwater.

    Without the New Englanders, like both Presidents Bush, the GOP cannot win a National election.

    They are what you boys describe as RINOs. But after 22 years of Bush family domination they still own the Party, most all of the GOP Governors and the fund raising lists, today.

  91. All the Party powerful owe their positions to Team Bush.

    Now captained by Jeb.

  92. As the story goes ...

    Where else you gonna go?

  93. Here is the State by State map of the Nixon/Humphrey/Wallace election.

    While here is Goldwater's States

    Notice the similarities?

  94. It was those heavy dark framed glasses that got him.

    You can't win an election with heavy dark framed glasses like that.

  95. That's what I had until I got contacts.
    How thick were Barry's.
    My Nik was "Coke Bottle"

  96. Now I know why I wasn't class president.

  97. You didn't stand a chance, doug. Makes you look like a mean IRS agent or something.

  98. Tropic Survival School
    Apollo 7
    Who were the Apollo 7 astronauts?
    Where did they go?

  99. That mushroom cloud behind the little girl picking daisies, that was a good political ad.

  100. Mushroom Cloud Ad

    These days, a good ad would be a mushroom cloud with a grinning terrorist touching it off.

  101. 87 at time of that interview!

  102. Frederick De CordovaDirector:
    "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson".

    Met Johnny in Law School!

  103. Folks Swedish Friend went to Northwestern.

  104. Voice of America - ‎44 minutes ago‎

    Iran says it is ready to exchange some of its enriched uranium stockpile for nuclear fuel rods, a key demand of a United Nations-backed proposal aimed at easing global fears over Iran's nuclear program.

  105. BBC Ukrainian Service, Paris

    A potential deal that would see France selling advanced military technology to Russia has been causing concern among former Soviet states.

    Moscow is said to be getting closer to buying from the French a Mistral-class assault warship - capable of transporting and deploying up to 16 helicopters, 13 battle tanks and 450 troops - costing between $600m (£368m) and $750m.

  106. The reason for running Sarah for the Tea Party in 2012 would be to "set the stage" for 2016.

    It's probably a bad idea. But, like I said, "I don't give a rats ass." I'd vote for her, anyway. I'm just tired of the shit.

    And, I don't see much "downside." We'd just get our "Socialist" Government a couple of years early.

  107. The Associated Press - Andrew Taylor - ‎1 hour ago‎

    WASHINGTON - The Democratic-controlled Senate on Saturday cleared away a Republican filibuster of a huge end-of-year spending bill that rewards most federal agencies with generous budget boosts.

  108. It ain't a good thing to push a redneck into a corner.

  109. And, this country is just "ate up" with rednecks.

  110. My eithics professor is excited to be moving to town. Says she and her man had to pull three dead deer out of their sewage pond and burn them. Must have fallen through the ice.

  111. I think Palin could win the Republican nomination. Though it doesn't bother me any, Mitt's still got that Mormon stuff around his neck, always will. People are looking for a different sort, something with a little pizzaz, Palin's got it. The Huckster is gone. Pawlenty? Who's he?

  112. Chicago Sun-Times - Lynn Sweet - ‎15 hours ago‎

    WASHINGTON -- Barring a last-minute glitch, the Obama White House has settled on an Illinois prison to house detainees now at the Guantanamo Bay military prison in Cuba, sources close to the decision told the Chicago ...

  113. A 98-year-old woman was indicted Friday on a second-degree murder charge that alleges she strangled her 100-year-old nursing home roommate after making the victim's life "a living hell" because she thought the woman was "taking over the room."

    Laura Lundquist was sent to a state mental hospital for a competency evaluation before her arraignment. Her defense attorney, Carl Levin, said she has a "long-standing diagnosis of dementia, as well as issues of cognitive impairment."

    She is believed to be the oldest murder defendant in state history, but might never go to trial because of her mental health issues.

    Her roommate at the Brandon Woods nursing home in Dartmouth, Elizabeth Barrow, was found dead in her bed Sept. 24 with a plastic bag tied around her head. Police initially speculated it was a suicide, but a medical examiner ruled it a homicide after an autopsy indicated strangulation.

  114. When I was in France last spring I would channel surf thru the English language news programs while eating dinner.

    Al Jazeera, BBC, Sky News, France 24, CNN, CNBC...

    BBC and CNN were pitiful. It was the time of the Iranian "green" riots. Sky News was on it. As was, surprisingly, France 24.

    But what I remember most was that France 24 often had Max in as in studio commentator. He was just as "demonstrative" as in the clip at the lead of this post. It was interesting to watch the other guests and the host interact with him.

    I would call it typically French. They seemed to move slightly away as he'd go into hyperdrive but, when it came their turn to comment it was with a detached sangfroid and they would actually comment on the points he'd raise...

  115. Actually, Bob, a recent poll showed Romney even with Obama, Huck down 3 to him, and Palin down 4.

    However, Sarah's definitely the one with the rocket strapped to her ass.

  116. 1943, "The War Was On..."

    Fred: "Yes, I made every effort to be a Hero by staying in Show Business!"

  117. I want sarah to be POTUS just to watch 'Rat eat crow.

  118. I'd like to see the Robert Mugabe speech on climate change at Copenhagen.

    With a good portion of Zimbabweans dead from starvation and the rest eating grass it should make for a good background to a climate change speech. If it weren't so sad it'd be hilarious.

    I recall the bastard saying "We don't need all these people around here anyway", which seems to be an unspoken theme at the Conference.

  119. The Huckster vote would go to Palin, not Romney, I think.

  120. What we REALLY Need is another Yalie or Harvard Grad.
    All Trish's progressive heros tell me so.

  121. We can at least thank McCain for bringing her to the nation's attention. Her big break. Without that, she'd still be an unknown from Wasilla.

  122. Huck's Slogan:
    "Vote For
    The Cop Killah!

  123. That speech was unequaled in the last two decades.

  124. We need C. William Vanderfort Vanderfart IV from Haavard, for sure.

  125. 'Cept for W's in the Church,
    but that all turned to shit.

  126. We need C. William Vanderfort Vanderfart IV.

    Do kerry or Teresa have kids?

  127. Hope not, but probably, don't really know.

    The Canadian National Newspaper has come out in favor of a one child per couple policy.

  128. Good, we can do away with about 30 of Pelosi's Spawn.

  129. Wifey will be baksoon.
    Gotta start makin up something that I got done.

  130. You should have been in bed resting, mister.

  131. Speaking of Micron:
    They are trying to shut down a Charter school in Nampa, cause some of the curricula features writings from the Bible and other Religion's texts!
    unreal ACLU

  132. I'm so hot my wife has a bed mister.

  133. Christmas in the Carribean.
    - Buffett

    everything but snow

  134. If I was your wife,I would have a high pressure hose next to my bed.

  135. Reminded me of another thing that happened in France last spring.

    Owner's son came over from Marseilles with the keys, instructions, etc. Had a little dinner party with some of his friends with me the first weekend and another the another the day before I left. Very nice. Much appreciated.

    That last little fish bar-b-que there were 3 couples in their 30s. One with a nursing baby. (All smoked by the way...)

    Conversation was a little tough as my French is minimal and only two of the French folks spoke English.

    Anyway, as might be expected, someone asked me what I thought of Obama.

    Being a quick witted guest in a foreign country (ha!) I turned the question around and asked the group what they thought of him.

    Some conversation among themselves and the questioner said "He speaks well."

    More talk among themselves and one of the guys moved his hands up and down in front of him. I asked "What does that mean?"

    The owner's son says he asks "But who controls the strings?"

  136. How can you use a Bible as a text and not teach religion?

  137. "But who controls the strings?"

    Oh geez, don't get Rat started. :)

  138. Just read the thread...seems as if I did.

  139. New thread to ignore posted now on the EB, who cares, it's all about the comments anyway.

  140. T, you make an incremental change. It could be worse. Your doing doing good babe!

  141. You always miss the party. Doug is getting hosed down by his wife, while listening to Jimmy Buffett, in his tiki hut, on the piano. Bob contracted something from Sarah Palin and now is making up stories to his wife about doing things around the house so he can sit on the computer. Whit is just realizing who, I am. And, T, doesn't think I should experience pussy and stick to what really wags my tail.

  142. If I was your wife,I would have a high pressure hose next to my bed.

    Take that, son. heh

    How can you use a Bible as a text and not teach religion?

    Easy enough. You tell the naive that these are examples of old thought forms, now thoroughly debunked by our modern enlightenments, to be brought out by the brights once in a while, to remind ourselves what our past has been.

    Thus proving one's lack of insight, inability to tell a good myth from a monster, and the inability to recognize how the images live on, in the minds of the men and women in the street, and in the venerial goddesses on the silver screen, and in even presidential politics.