“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."

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Diplomatic Genius of Barack Obama. Restoring American Leadership, One Country at a Time.

Binyamin Netanyahu's efforts to heal rift marred as Barack Obama branded 'disaster for Israel'
Both sides deny snubbing the other in settlement row as insiders launch outspoken press attack on US leader

Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem, Sunday 28 March 2010 19.27 BST

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves the White House following his meeting with US President Barack Obama. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, tried to smooth over a breach in relations with the US today, speaking out against unnamed confidants who described Barack Obama as pro-Palestinian and Israel's "greatest disaster".

Netanyahu made his first public comments after a fraught visit to Washington last week, where he held a long but low-key meeting with Obama that ended with significant disagreement.

Israeli reports said the US was pressing Israel to freeze settlement construction in East Jerusalem and to extend a temporary, partial curb on West Bank settlement building. But so far Netanyahu has shown no sign that he will bow to pressure from Washington. One of his most senior cabinet ministers was reported today as saying the US demands were unacceptable and there would be no compromise.

Special relationship is over, MPs say. Now stop calling us America's poodle
Barack Obama not sentimental about UK and 'sharp elbows' needed to secure British interests

Nicholas Watt, chief political correspondent, Sunday 28 March 2010 22.37 BST

Britain needs to use "sharp elbows" in its dealings with Washington because Barack Obama is "less sentimental" about the historic links between Britain and the United States, a former ambassador to the US has claimed.

The warning from Sir David Manning, who was Tony Blair's main foreign policy adviser during the Iraq war before serving as ambassador to Washington, was cited by a Commons select committee which called today for a reassessment of Britain's "special relationship" with the US.

Prime ministers of all hues, from Harold Macmillan to Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, have fostered the idea that the two largest English-speaking countries enjoy a historic bond which elevates their relationship to a special level.


  1. From the Independent

    ...There are problems with the Americans. Because they have not spent the last millennium in a conflict-ridden continent, crammed up against potentially hostile neighbours, they have only been fitfully interested in diplomacy. They are so big that they sometimes dispense with allies in favour of global solipsism. But almost every President comes to recognise that this is not enough. At some point he wants friends and discovers we British not only speak the same language. We tend to think in the same way. We are more likely than anyone else to provide tea, sympathy and troops.

    But it is never a tranquil partnership. Harold Macmillan, normally the least sentimental of men, once employed some honeyed words as a salve for post-Suez wounds. He announced that we would be the Greeks to the Americans' Romans. It was a curious choice of phrase for a good classicist, who must have known that the Romans often used their Greek slaves in the way that some Catholic priests used their choirboys.

  2. Since 1972 the Israeli have rejected US leadership. They have chosen to be an international pariah, by choosing to violate the Geneva Accords. That the US has supported, to varied degrees, the Israelis during the interval since then, is a blighted shame upon US honor and integrity.

    That the Brits would and have maintained a "Special Relationship", well, that has been more to their benefit than to ours.

    It certainly seems that the folk that had these "Special Relationships" have been taking advantage of US, not the other way around. It is well past time for that to end.

    We cannot afford to have such "Friends", like the two mentioned, those that do not carry their own water.

  3. By not automatically disrespecting the Argentines in their dispute with the Brits, the US is taking a middle course. We are not dissing the Spanish speaking of America to support, out of hand, the English speaking Europeons.

    A step in the "right" direction, from an Americas First perspective.

    Which is the one I have.

  4. If the United States, under the leadership of President Obama, is taking an Americas First approach, well then ...

    Good on him, because it is good for US!

  5. To put America First, it isn't necessary to throw Britain and Israel under the bus.

    When Russia, China and Iran thumb their noses at this Administration, Obama takes it out on it's allies.

    What kind of dysfunction is that?

  6. I've noticed that that "Special Relationship" meme tends to come to the front when British Petroleum stands to benefit.

  7. And, tends to go away when it redounds to the interests of BP for it to do so.

  8. The two examples that spring to mind are "Iraq," and the "Lockerbie Bomber."

  9. As for the Falklands. They're first shot down there has turned out to be an enormously expensive "Dry Hole."


  10. Special relationships should be suspect, but wasn't Bush the cowboy, who ran roughshod over allies?

    Wasn't the gushing over Obama about his being transitional in making the US respected again?

    Hope and change.

  11. I think the average American is way too busy trying to "make a living" to give a thought to who is respected in (insert name of country here ______.)

  12. Not just America, whit, but Americas.

    The Argentine are our natural American allies, not the Brits.

    The United States would be best served focusing on America, North and South, rather than Europe or any part of the Islamic Arc.

    As for throwing either Israel or Britain "under the bus", you are joking, right?

    The US Air Force is defending the skies of England, as we speak. Our military presence there guarantees that the Brits are firmly strapped into their seats.

    As for Israel, they chose to get under the bus, back in 1972. It is their choice, to not to buy a bus pass, not ours.

  13. Passover begins at sundown today. We have survived the failures of countless "special" relationships. Through it all, we have retained our stiff-necked independence. This time will be no different.

    My bet still is on Netanyahu's government giving in to US pressure. That will be followed by the usual major Palestinian violent ebullient response, followed by the status quo ante.

  14. Temporary Trend?

    Lines haven’t added more vessels on transpacific routes, citing concerns about the sustainability of demand. The jobless rate in the U.S. remains near 10 percent. Building permits, a sign of future construction, also fell 1.6 percent last month after a 4.7 percent drop in January.

    “We have seen no reason to add extra ships as the trend is temporary,” said A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen. “With the problems this industry has had, I think we’re all be very cautious before sending new ships into service.”

    Maersk expects a “modest” 2010 profit following its first loss in six decades last year. Industrywide, container lines may pare loses to about $7 billion this year, according to Drewry.

    Fair and Balanced?

  15. "“New capacity entering service this year could weigh on rates,” said Jay Ryu, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co. “This isn’t really a recovery because lines have reduced capacity and manipulated the market.”

    Amid last year’s slump, lines mothballed more than 500 ships worldwide to pare capacity. They also began operating vessels at slower speeds, which cuts fuel usage and reduces the total amount of cargo each ship can haul per month."

  16. Keep in mind that 500 ships is about 1/2 of 1% of the Worldwide Fleet.

  17. Obama's leadership is appeasing dictators and despots and throwing Israel and England under the bus, for this rat is happy and proud...

    I wonder, why is it that rat calls himself RAT?

  18. I guess that 100,000 includes All commercial ship (tankers, etc.)

    At any rate, Trade is coming back. Our Exports were up IIRC 18% in the 4th quarter.

    A lot of people think we're going to add in the vicinity of 200,000 jobs in March.

  19. Go and live in the desert, "misdirection", you'll soon learn the lessons, or you and yours will die.

    Those Eastern Europeons living on the shore of the Med, they're all rats, living phat at the oasis.

  20. All the new Obamacare regulations and taxes bode well for an ebullient economy going forward.
    In upside down World.

  21. Melody,
    None of the "gentlemen" here have offered to answer my questions about the leavetaking and whereabouts of Ms T.
    Could you?

  22. We had a heck of an economy under Clinton, a "balanced" budget, and higher taxes.

  23. Oh, "misdirection", rat is not capitalized, not really worthy of that distinction, by design.

  24. "A lot of people think we're going to add in the vicinity of 200,000 jobs in March."

    I would imagine they're right.

    Otherwise the decennial census will become an undecennial census.

    Here in March and April, gone in July and August.


  25. "...rat is not capitalized, not really worthy of that distinction, by design."

    Your too modest rat.

    Hell, your the only rat we got.


  26. you're too modest.


  27. Part of my charm, Quirk, trying not to take myself to seriously.

    That others do, always amusing.

  28. desert rat said...
    Go and live in the desert, "misdirection", you'll soon learn the lessons, or you and yours will die.

    Those Eastern Europeons living on the shore of the Med, they're all rats, living phat at the oasis.

    Spoken like a true nazi....

    Not to worry rat, we dont live or die by your wishes and many, far worse than you, have said far meaner...

    I want to assure you rat, your opinion about israel, is valued to me just as much as my shit that I flush down the toilet...

    And as we go into the Passover Holiday I proclaim, NEXT YEAR in Jerusalem, and to you rat? You're not invited...

    Please, tonight? go mate with a dingo, it's about your speed

  29. 219. Lifeofthemind:

    Video from Moscow at Bluegrass Pundit.

    We should support Moscow in combating Chechen terror.
    We should support Israel in combating Palestinian terror.
    We should support India in combating Pakistani sponsored terror.
    We should trace all terror to support from Khomeinist Iran and Salafist Saudi Arabia.
    We should recognize Baathist Syria as the sewer terror flows through.
    We should link support for Moscow to support for Israel.
    We should use every tool available to confront and destroy the regime in Tehran.
    We should use every tool available to confront and destroy the regime in Damascus.
    We should use every tool available to neutralize the nuclear threat from Pakistan.

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. If employment numbers do rise because of the census, it will be a temporary anomaly, as pointed out by Quirk.

    I'll take heart when real employment numbers, such as those in construction, begin to rise. Nothing on the near horizon indicates this happening anytime soon.

  32. I predict we're getting ready to see the famous "end of recession" Double-Play from the States.

    Watch as they rush to pass sales tax (and other revenue) increases as the economy improves.

    Within a year you'll start seeing stories of formerly "near-bankrupt" states suddenly being "awash in money."

    Happens the same way every time.

  33. Back to his name calling, I'm no Nazi.

    No, I am an American patriot, veteran of the military, son of a vet, father of one, too.

    Over three generations we've spent time, blood, sweat, tears and cash, to protect the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, how about you, "misdirection"?

  34. rufus said...
    We had a heck of an economy under Clinton, a "balanced" budget, and higher taxes.
    No credit to the Pubs, who forced him into welfare reform after three vetos.
    No credit to Pubs who fought to reduce spending.

    Rufus continues to audition for a job @ MSNBC

  35. Rufies current heros, Harry, Nancy, and Barry, have decimated
    Welfare Reform,
    one of the few DC success stories.

    From each... to each.

  36. "We had a heck of an economy under Clinton..."

    Both Clinton and GWB benefitted from unsustainable bubbles, inflated by debt, credited to their policies.

    Reality then intruded, and displayed the reasons for the collapse of the houses of card.

  37. Actually, the internet bubble was inflated by people's (foolish) investments, as well as the usual culprit of unwarrented debt.

  38. desert rat said...
    Back to his name calling, I'm no Nazi.

    No, I am an American patriot, veteran of the military, son of a vet, father of one, too.

    Over three generations we've spent time, blood, sweat, tears and cash, to protect the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, how about you, "misdirection"?

    Look who's calling the kettle black

    You never stopped named calling...

    now you get your panties in a knot when I call you on your big lie bullshit? You have balls....

    Now I love your attempt to smear me and mine because some how we are less than you as Americans?

    Fuck you....

    I lost Uncles in ww2, I lost an uncle in Vietnam, my Dad served in the Navy...

    You speak like you are the only true American, well you aint..

    You are a nazi.... clear and simple, cut from david duke's ass....

    ANYTHING you say about Jews and Israel is filled with poison.

    Don't like the title? Pick another...

    Jew hater, Anti-semite but from your thousands of posts, a simple stupid NAZI fits you fine...

    so kiss my ass rat bastard, you call names on an hourly basis....

    I am just calling a spade a spade

  39. A quadrupling of the federal debt is not only unwarrented, but immoral and destructive.

    Yet some here cheer on the authors.

  40. Come to Michigan and fight the anti-Christ.

    We've got em all here Jocko.

    "Federal prosecutors plan to unseal charges today against members of a self-described Christian militia arrested Saturday and Sunday in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.

    "At least seven people were taken into custody in raids by an FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force as part of an investigation into an Adrian-based unit of the Hutaree, a group that professes it is training in modern armed combat techniques for a prophesized coming battle with the Antichrist...

    "Militia popularity declined during the administration of President George W. Bush, but the Southern Poverty Law Center claims the number of groups espousing anti-government doctrines and political conspiracy theories is again rising with anxiety over a perceived liberal agenda of President Barack Obama. The report identified 512 groups throughout the country, including 47 in Michigan, second to Texas, with 52."

    Onward Christian Soldiers


  41. "...a prophesized coming battle with the Antichrist..."

    Inspiration for another epic poem?


  42. "Watch as they rush to pass sales tax (and other revenue) increases as the economy improves."

    And that's a good thing?


  43. Doug, I think you are going to be one perplexed puppy when you see how this all shakes out. I'll guarantee you one thing; there won't be any "quadrupling" of the National debt (not any time soon, anyway.)

  44. Goddamn, Q. You should know by now that, mostly, I just report; YOU decide.

  45. Yeah, if the Pubs win in a landslide.
    Othewise, it's bar the door.

  46. It doesn't matter if you "Love" the freight train, or "Hate" the freight train. The Important thing is to "Recognize" the motherfucker before it runs over your ass.

  47. "A central contention of both suits is that Congress has no power under the Constitution to compel individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Congress has never before compelled people to buy anything from a private company, so there is no precisely apt Supreme Court precedent. Still, two provisions in the Constitution give Congress broad powers to regulate economic activity — the power to impose taxes for the general welfare and the power to regulate interstate commerce.

    The new law has been framed to fall within both of those provisions. The penalties for not buying insurance have been structured as a tax, to be collected by the Internal Revenue Service. And the law’s text includes a series of Congressional findings: that health insurance and health care comprise a significant part of the economy, that most policies are sold and claims paid through interstate commerce, and that the mandate is essential to achieving the goals of creating effective health insurance markets and achieving near-universal coverage. "

    The Legal Assault on Health Reforms

  48. the Southern Poverty Law Center is perhaps the most destructive, unAmerican, untruthful flim-flam group of traitors in the USA today.

  49. I know this is a waste of time Rufus but I'll still post two articles from the WaPo today, one from Fred Hiatt and one from Samualson.

    Just a couple of examples:

    "Here's one measure of the challenge: The president touts health reform in part because it will reduce the deficit -- according to the CBO, by $143 billion in the next 10 years.

    That sounds pretty good, until you consider that Obama would need the equivalent of 70 additional health bills to undo the $9.8 trillion that his budgets will add to the deficit during the next 10 years, according to the CBO.


    "(Actually, it would take something like 220 health-care bills of deficit reduction, because the true savings from health care are more like $44 billion, once you subtract $70 billion in premiums that people will pay for long-term-care insurance and $29 billion they will pay into the Social Security trust fund, all of which will have to be paid out later. But either way, it's a frightening picture.)"


    "According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last week, Obama's budget plan has the government spending one-quarter of the national economy (25.2 percent of gross domestic product) 10 years from now, while collecting revenue that's less than one-fifth (19.6 percent).

    Such a gap isn't sustainable for any country. The United States would have to borrow so much money that in interest alone the government would be spending 4.1 percent of GDP -- compared with 1.4 percent this year.



    Actually there may be some improvement this year. Overall the economy and the deficits are predicted to improve into 2011 and then the deficits are again predicted to start growing again.

    If you can take pleasure in short-term blips, god bless you.


  50. Question: Should the Russians just not give up land for peace?

    Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin promises the attackers responsible for setting off explosions at two Moscow subway stations early Monday, killing at least 37 people and injuring scores, "will be destroyed."
    Two female suicide bombers hit the two central Moscow underground rail stations in coordinated attacks during the early Monday rush hour of March 29. The first exploded in the second car of the train at the Lubyanka station near the Kremlin and the Federal Security Services headquarters, killing 25 people on the train and the platform.
    Thirty minutes later, the second blast killed 12 at the Kultury Park station near the famous Gorky Park. The bombers are said to have triggered blasts of 2-3 kilos strapped to their bodies. North Caucasian al Qaeda affiliate, powerful among Islamist rebels, is believed responsible.
    Half a million people were in the stations when the blasts occurred. Russian security has shut down the Moscow subway system, one of the busiest in the world through which 5.5 million commuters travel daily.

  51. I don't recall Samualson ever being right about much - kind of like the CBO.

    Static analysis is an exercise in silliness in an economy like ours.

    The only way the CBO, or Samualson, or David Walker can be right is if the one thing they're NOT looking at bites us in the ass, namely Oil Prices.

    If we get lucky, and oil prices stay in the #3.00 range this year, we could, easily, see 4.5% to 5% Annual GDP Growth.

    That would cure a lot of sore toes.

  52. 5% GDP over 10 years?

    With more and more boomers retiring?

    The current budget estimates assume about 5% unemployment over the same period.

    We are talking ten year averages here. What do you think the chances are for either?


  53. No, Q, I was unclear. I said, if gas prices hold in the $3.00 range "This Year" we could have four, or five percent growth.

  54. "Static analysis is an exercise in silliness in an economy like ours."


    What good are numbers on a piece of paper anyway?

    I'd rather pull something out of my ass, throw it against the wall and see if it sticks.


  55. I, personally, think it's likely we'll have big probs the next decade, but not for the reasons the "static thinkers" are giving.

  56. Productivity/automation, and oil prices are our big challenges in the next ten years. No one can predict exactly how that's going to work out.

    Economically, this health care deal is pretty much a non-event. Taxes will go up $150, or $200 Billion, but the economy will gain a lot for fewer "sick days."

    A lot of people, however, are going to be replaced by automation/robots, etc. I don't have nearly the GQ required to figure how that will work out. I don't think anyone else does, either.

  57. Ken Langone was on CNBC this morning. He said Home Depot (the company he founded) replaced 1,000 workers last month with "technology." Home Depot.

    Ford is adding shifts, and cutting employees. So is everybody else.

    Those people are going to have a hard time finding jobs.

  58. Retail Spending in U.S. Up for 5th straight month.

    China's growth was estimated at 12% last quarter.

    Politics is politics; and the economy is the economy. Don't let your hatred for Obama blind you to what's happening in the real world.

  59. Retail Spending in U.S. Up for 5th straight month.

    China's growth was estimated at 12% last quarter.

    Politics is politics; and the economy is the economy. Don't let your hatred for Obama blind you to what's happening in the real world.

    And gaming the system with stimulus money is still gaming the system.

    China & America have pumped billions into the economy...

    SO what is the real number?


    Retail spending is up?

    Take out the stimulus checks for cars, appliances & homes....

    So what will be the real number?


  60. I think, T, is in her own little world reading the bible and posting each verse of Genesis in her own words. Now she's on Matthew. God bless her if that's what makes her happy. I always say do what ever make you happy.

    She also was doing some kind of thingy with her computer. Changing programs or something because, I'm pretty sure she was using a DOS program, and she wanted to change it so it would show up in google. I think, something like that. Maybe she should get a Mac.

    I also think she said before she completely vanished that she was busy at work.

    And then there that much needed extended break from the bar that most normal people need because you can't let geopolitics consume your life or you'll end up a psychotic miserable bitch.

    Go ask her youself

  61. Rat always loves to HATE Israel...

    SO rat, what is your final solution?

    Mass genocide of Jews?

    Jews becoming 2nd class citizens of the greater Arab world?

    Ship them to an Island in the Pacific?

    Make them slaves?

    DO they have refugee status for those thrown out of the Arab world?

    Oh great rat what is your solution?

  62. Rufus continues to audition for a job @ MSNBC...

    For all you know he's been there all the time.

    His claims to being a retired Mississippi insurance salesman, life long Republican, patriot and good ole boy notwithstanding.

    Just read his commentary.

    Who're gonna believe? Rufus, or your lyin' eyes?

  63. Take out the stimulus checks for cars, appliances & homes....

    Don't forget the federal and state boondoggle incentives for green energy and common sense insulation investments that you're paying for, WiO.

  64. Easter week, Melody. Easter stories abound! He Is Risen!

  65. Home sales aren't included in "Retail" sales, and there are no subsidies for cars, and appliances going on the last couple of months that I'm aware of.

    Just look at Best Buy, Apple, HP, etc. People are starting to go out and buy a little bit. Ford announced a couple of weeks ago that They're having a pretty good month.

    For the life of me I can't figure out how quoting numbers on the economy is "political," or at least how it "should be."

  66. Did someone take down my Happy passover post? Or did it just not post?

  67. There it is. It wasn't there just a minute ago.

  68. Terrorists Could Use Explosives in Breast Implants to Crash Planes, Experts Warn

    Plastic surgeons using explosive-laden breast implants in homicide bombers could be a new terror tactic that current airport scanning methods may miss...

  69. It's not Easter, yet.

    It's Passover. Get with the program.

  70. I didn't address that directly to Allen and WiO because I wasn't sure if they were the only ones here celebrating and I didn't want to offend anyone.

    But if it's just the two of them then Happy Pesach Allen and Wio.

  71. I don't know but google must be on the blink again. I see some profile pictures and some I don't. First they're there and then they're not.

    Wordpress is so much better.

  72. Resurrected....Bwahahahaha

    I just got that.

  73. Yup...just another excuse for men to feel up women.

  74. Thank you for the kind Passover wishes, Melody.

    Why is this night different from all other nights?

    “And thou shalt tell thy [children] in that day, saying: It is because of that which the Lord did for me when I came forth out of Egypt”

  75. 9 Tied to Militia Charged in Plot to Murder Officers
    Published: March 29, 2010

    Are they Muslim????

    Nope, sounds like some good ole boyz.

    "WASHINGTON — Nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia group have been indicted on sedition and weapons charges in connection with an alleged plot to murder law enforcement officers in hopes of setting off an anti-government uprising."

    Is it WAR ON TERROR or criminal stuff?

  76. "Economically, this health care deal is pretty much a non-event. Taxes will go up $150, or $200 Billion, but the economy will gain a lot for fewer "sick days.""
    I nominate that as the number 1 stupid-fuck assertion at the EB, to replace Rufus's highly regarded previous dumb-fuck assertion that the real estate meltdown would result in a mere ripple in the financial pond.

    Funniest of all:
    "Fewer sick days!"

    Har de har har.

    Don't forget
    "More free lunches."

  77. How much do you suppose is paid every month in Mortgage interest, Doug? $500 Billion? Thereabouts? TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

    I guess making you, and the kid pay that mortgage interest "After tax" instead of "Before Tax" would get us about $150 Billion, wouldn't it?

    How'd you say the boy was paying for His health insurance? BEFORE TAX? Maybe we should change that, right? I mean, most of the people that will be covered by this law will be paying "After Tax."

    Kinda depends on whose ox is agettin' gored, don't it?

  78. Give him a break Doug.

    It was kind of a cute thought.

    (Although I'm sure if the Dems think of this they will claim it. The fact that there are few jobs out there, and that everyone is scared of losing the jobs that do exist, and that they might be a little more nervous about taking any time off would have nothing to do with less people taking "sick days".)



  79. Re: sick days

    We must not forget that before sick days will be allowed, one must report for duty and and examination by the local HC triage the military...or...

  80. Dem Senator claims Tea Bagger threw rock through his office window.

    Office is on the 20th floor!

    Time for the Tea Bagger Olympic Brick Throwing Event.

    Rufus can bet on this guy.

  81. "How'd you say the boy was paying for His health insurance? BEFORE TAX? Maybe we should change that, right? I mean, most of the people that will be covered by this law will be paying "After Tax."

    Kinda depends on whose ox is agettin' gored, don't it?

    You mean like Paul Ryan advocates, and before him President George W Bush and hundreds of Pub Pols?

    For some odd reason it did not happen, nor did SS Reform.
    Must be all the Pubs fault, right.

    As for Oxes:
    Show me where I claimed disparate tax incentives are a good thing!
    Deny that I have ever called for the elimination of all such?

    You are the Big Govt advocate,
    Not Me!

  82. Be well.
    Just remember, Allen,
    the hole is mightier than the pole!

    (in case you missed it)

  83. Thanks for the Passover wishes MLD...

    This is a special time for ALL Jews, Remembering that we hold dear for freedom for all oppressed peoples, even those that are our enemies.

    It's a shame that those that seek our destruction have had their hearts hardened...

    Just like Pharaoh once had his...

    Tonight, as Israelis sit down, rockets are being fired at them from the enemies lair...

    A constant reminder of why we left Egypt..

    Next year in Jerusalem...

    Only said once a year for 3000 years...

    Now should we say, next year in occupied Arab east Jerusalem?

  84. Actually, before you make too much fun of me you might consider that the uninsured have many more "sick days" than the insured, and that the estimates of the difference is considerable. I heard a figure the other night of $150 Billion in lost productivity due to those w/o healthcare taking more "days off." I won't vouch for that particular number right now, as I haven't seen it "second-sourced," but in the tens of billions seems entirely reasonable.

    If I can find a link I'll post it.

  85. I'd have to see a link where George W. ever asked for employer-paid insurance to be paid "After Tax."

  86. "Actually, before you make too much fun of me you might consider..."

    You only rag the ones you love Ruf.



  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. The media is all over the Christian militia story the way they should be with Muslim terror. Also, the justice department seems to be more generous with information regarding the case.

    Democrats in charge of the Justice Department seem to uncover more threats from domestic "militia" and garden-variety, church-bomber racists. Probably on coincidental that the left is currently howling about the threat from "tea-baggers."

    If this keeps up, we can expect to see a raft of proposed anti-gun legislation.

  89. This comment has been removed by the author.

  90. This NYTimes story reveals that the President's campaign rhetoric has run headlong into reality re: the war on terror.

    Guess what? They found that the Geneva Convention is unsuited for the current style of warfare. Duh!

  91. NYTimes link
    Obama Team is Divided on Anti-Terror Tactics.

  92. Nancy Pelosi said that the bill had to pass in order for us to see what was in it.
    More than a week after President Obama signed the sweeping new health care law, which will eventually provide insurance coverage for 32 million uninsured Americans, many of us are still scratching our heads. What just happened? And how and when will we start feeling its effect?

    Read more

    Basically, we still don't know.

  93. The White House is scrambling sending a letter to the insurance industry to clarify the bill. "We don't want to leave any ambiguity," says Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. "This won't be up to insurance companies to interpret. Parents can rest assured."

    The Insurance Industry Association says, "We will implement any revisions that are made."

    Looks like it's going to get fixed pretty quick.

  94. I'm still wondering why that kid doesn't have health insuracnce.

  95. That's a good article, Whit. It explains a lot.

  96. Maybe you need to re-read it, Melody.

  97. Oh, I didn't read it, yet. I don't multitask too well. I'll get right on it.

  98. From a Drudge link:
    Germans are losing their fear of climate change, according to a survey, with just 42 percent worried about global warming.

    It seems the long and chilly winter has taken its toll on climate change sensibilities despite the fact that weather has nothing to do with climate.

    Weather had nothing to do with climate? Nothing, zero, nada, zilch?


  99. It was a long, winter in the US, in Germany and especially in Mongolia where as many as 5 million head of livestock died

    Yet, we're told this has been one of the five warmest winters on record...

    Sadly, I don't know who to believe anymore.

  100. Sadly Whit, none of us know who to believe anymore. It's like a frickin merry-go-round.

  101. "the uninsured have many more "sick days" than the insured, "
    Your extreme bias renders you a functional idiot.

    Yes, and...

    Food stamp recipients have more sick days.

    Folks that don't buy car insurance have more sick days.

    Union workers have more sick days.

    ...I could go on, but you'll manage to miss the point anyhow.

  102. Thanks for the update on T, Melody.
    Much appreciated.

  103. Looks like it's going to get fixed pretty quick.

    It was known by the Democrats all along. The loop hole, no accident, was left in to help pare down the costs of the whole can of worms. Just more crooked finagling by the Chicago boyz and gurlz and their cronies, lapdogs, and fans in Mississippi.

    Heard it last week on conservative radio, almost verbatim. MLD's the first to raise it here.

  104. IF, there is, one of your people, that actually think you have any idea of what is actually going on, read here--
    You are lost.

  105. Don't tell me I'm lost, al-Bob:

    I went through all that when 15 large black guys had me for a gang bang butt fuck in county jail.

  106. If we'd had Obamacare, it wouldn't have had to happen.
    Those guys woulda got the psychological counseling they needed, and for those that turned that down, sexual surrogates.
    Damned shame the f...... Pubs were too selfish to let us pay for that.

    Less gang rapes occur in enlightened counties like Marin and SF, where those services are already offered.

  107. "It was known by the Democrats all along. The loop hole, no accident, was left in to help pare down the costs of the whole can of worms."
    That can't be true, Rufus says we been lowballed.
    He can explain.

  108. Halliburton hunts new bacteria killer.

    Houston-based Southwestern has tested an ultrasonic technique that moves water faster than the speed of sound through a cone-shaped vortex to kill bacteria before the fluid is sent down the well, Mueller said.

    “At high speeds, something will happen called cavitation,” he said. “You’re basically smacking the bugs upside the head and killing them.”

  109. Theme from Twilight Zone...

    Lights began to flicker...

    Clouds appeared in a clear sky, obscuring the full moon over the Ozarks...

    A voice from the past, tinged with lunacy, uttered a mad proclamation...

    You are lost.

    Tue Mar 30, 12:29:00 AM EDT


  110. ^Ahem^

    State Tax Revenues Increasing

    Well, uh, that stuff about "bankruptcy?" Uh, . . . Never mind.

  111. Here it comes, amigo, under the leadership of the man from Chi-town, energy independence.

    Energy independence gained from the strong suit of the United States, agriculture production and the shining sun.

    If global warming advances, as many fear, then our energy production will be able to keep pace with demand, as ag outputs increase.
    As production increases in crop yields are the historical norm, during climatic warming trends.

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  113. As for my hating Israel, as man of "misdirection" claims ...

    Why nothing could be further from the truth. I hold the same respect for Israel as I do for those other two rouge nations that have attacked US Naval vessels on the high seas, North Korea and Libya.

    I do not hate any of the three, just hold them all in equal disdain. They are all morally equivalent.

    Each is an autocratic State that maintains power through economic discrimination, political coercion and utilization of force of arms against their residents. The techniques of autocrats to maintain totalitarian control over those subjugated peoples that happen to be residents.

    All of the three have, or attempted, to develop nuclear weaponry outside the civilized norms of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

    But hate, none of the three rouges are worthy of hate, just disdain.

  114. "But hate, none of the three rouges are worthy of hate, just disdain."

    want to prove rambo rat a liar? simply ask him which of those 3 countries he would chose to live in should he have to. anyone that brags about their patriotism is compensating for something usually, but here is a pat on the back because that's what he must be looking for.

  115. I've been following you guys for some time, and here's what I understand of the stances of Rat and those who uhm... disagree with him, leaving aside all the d*ck waving over who is more patriotic.

    I don't think Rat is anti-Jew. He just doesn't feel there is any need to support Israel, and does not consider actions taken on behalf of Israel to be in the US' actions, especially if it uses valuable resources that can be used directly for the US itself. It may be a very self-serving, Americentric viewpoint - we dun need no stinkin foreigners, Jews, Arabs, Chinese, Koreans, Indians, or otherwise, but it is not Nazi. I can pretty much bet he'll hold the same view on Europe, India, Taiwan, Korea, and China. Would we say he is anti all these people?

    I find it more difficult to articulate WiO, Doug's stance. They probably believe that Israel's interests are intimately tied to the US, and that anything that affects Israel will eventually result in adverse consequences for the US. Add to that the moral imperative to stand together as an united pan-Western civilization, and there is, in their eyes, every reason to support Israel, Taiwan, Korea, and the various initiatives the US is involved in.

    Personally, I have to agree with WiO and Doug, since my own country exists partly on the largess of the US Pacific Fleet. If not the US, then we'll have no choice but to pitch to China and India to balance our national interests. I can see the persuasiveness of Rat's argument tho.