“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."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Gibbs Stammers on Pending Legal Challenge from Mark Levin

Listen to this nonsense.

The CEO of the United States, sworn to defend the Constitution, is standing behind an argument that it is OK to work around the Constitution because it has been done before. Obama is arguing that it is OK for him to break his oath because others have as well. Obama's spokesman hints that he may do it again.

Do it again over immigration no less. Obama will step out of his constitutional obligation to give citizenship, equal to yours, to those that have, like Obama, have also broken the law.

Is that not an argument to take this action to The Supreme Court to stop any future offense to the Constitution?

Obama is admitting he is willingly and knowingly ignoring constitutional requirements because the same offense was done before and not enforced by law. That is an audacious claim that can be made by any lawbreaker at any time for any crime.

That argument can break the Constitution itself. It makes a mockery of law and the citizenship that many millions of us have sworn to fight for and defend.

The Constitution of the United States was not written to assist politicians to govern by fiat. It was written to protect us, US citizens, from the type of politicians that would step outside of the law.

The Constitution belongs to us. It was created to protect us from the likes of Obama and Pelosi and Reid.

If Obama breaks the covenant between those elected to govern and those of us who trusted them to govern under our constitution with the argument that it has been done before, allow this citizen to remind our rulers and masters that something else has been done before. It was an American Revolution. It was a disgusted citizenry that had enough. Had enough yet?


  1. Don't fire, until you see the whites of their eyes!

    I am not ready to fire upon the National Guard, FBI or Forest Rangers, as a matter of course.

    Nor am I about to.

    Not even upon agents of the IRS.

    In 2010 a Librarian will get my support for Congress. In 2012 a Librarian will get my vote for President.

    The Constitution was shredded decades ago, by both Republicans and Democrats, makes no sense for anyone to become a violent revolutionary because of it, now.

  2. Mr Ashcroft really shredded the Constitution, with the support of many of the EB patrons.

    Fighting a "War" that wasn't.

    Abridging the freedoms of natural born US citizens, physically, with the force of the Federal Government behind him.

  3. A federal appeals court declined to block a lawsuit seeking to hold former Attorney General John Ashcroft liable for the 2003 arrest of a man under the material-witness statute. Mr. Ashcroft had asked the full United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to rehear a 2009 decision by a three-judge panel in the case of Abdullah al-Kidd, a convert to Islam who spent 16 days in detention in 2003 and more than a year under court supervision. In a concurring opinion, Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. called the treatment of Mr. al-Kidd, former University of Idaho running back who was born Lavoni T. Kidd, "chilling." Eight of the 25 judges who voted signed dissents opposing the decision, which suggests that the United States Supreme Court might take an interest in the case if Mr. Ashcroft appeals.

  4. Washington (CNN) -- At least one company and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have been issued subpoenas requesting documents in a federal grand jury investigation related to Sen. John Ensign, R-Nevada.

  5. Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution says "Congress shall have power to ... declare War".

    The US has not been in a "War" since 1945.

    So, pray tell, who has really shredded the Constitution?

  6. When?

    Starting with Obama?!?!?!?!

    The very idea, of that, makes me laugh!

  7. "The Constitution belongs to us. It was created to protect us from the likes of Obama and Pelosi and Reid."

    That's a pretty narrow list, chief.

    Last Habu was here, we had the sign up sheet for insurrectionist activities, remember? Habu went all canned-goods-and-ammo on us, insisting that the time for revolution was either upon us or swiftly approaching.

    (I offered to bring a casserole for my part.)

    This kind of talk continues rather as a matter of humorous ritual around the internet. It's acquired by my reckoning a kind of goofy banality. Like the endless reference by the most agitated and colorful critics of the last administration to public officials "hanging from lamp posts."

    Where did all that furious noise go?

    You get one guess.

    What Buckley long ago referred to as "the slow attrition of liberties" is a very serious subject and one that, Rat is quite right, cannot be honestly or effectively treated in a strictly partisan light.

    It's not cynical to acknowledge that "both sides do it." That is the general state of things in the Republic.

    I don't take the overnight revolutionaries seriously, because I am quite certain that so grave an undertaking is well beyond what amounts to a tantrum on the part of those chiefly bothered by their present minority status - with a whole lotta paranoid hooey thrown in for good measure.

    November may take some of the edge off. And wouldn't that be telling?

  8. So, Obama, Pelosi and Reid should be allowed to circumvent the Constitution and we're to remain quiet about it just because others have done so also.

    We're supposed to ignore the fact that Health Care amounts to about 17 per cent of the economy?

    I don't think so.

  9. Obama is looking more imperial every day. Remember the criticism of "King George?"

    Well, what goes around comes around. This is politics.Both sides get to complain about the other. No one gets a pass. One side can't scream calumnies every day for eight years and then expect the opposition to remain quiet. I'm sorry my friends, it doesn't work that way.

    No, we don't need a revolution. We can simply rat out Obama to the ICC. Maybe get his imperial ass brought up on War Crimes charges for killing innocent civvies every week in Afpakistan. How's that sound, huh?

    Most likely though, knowing the nature of Chicago posse, your boy is going to be brought down by criminal ethics charges. It's only a matter of time before we get that these corrupt, child killing criminals. Grifting bastards.

    How's that sound, huh? Don't like it?

  10. China and Israel should give Obama, Biden and Madame Clinton the middle finger salute.

    How's that sound?

  11. My point, whit, is that the uproar over Deem and Pass is about as deep and sincere as...well, provide your own metaphor.

    I am not buying it. I am not getting on that bandwagon.

  12. "How's that sound, huh? Don't like it?"

    Who the fuck are you talking to?

  13. What is this bravo sierra?

    Talk about a maroon! He can't even bow properly.

  14. I am talking to those who don't want to hear criticism of his Imperial Majesty.

    Those who wish to deflect it onto others.

  15. Actually I rather gathered it was the other way around.

    Still, I'm honestly wondering who you think you're addressing. An Obama groupie? A administration henchman?

    And running present management out of town on a rail is so hopelessly, desperately naive a belief that it defies serious treatment.

  16. This administration has my support to the exact extent that the last one lost mine and never fully regained it.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Still, I'm honestly wondering who you think you're addressing. An Obama groupie? A administration henchman?

    I certainly don't think of you as any of the above. I know you better than that. (well, as much as one can through this media)

  19. I'm responding to the notion that those critical of "Deem and Pass" should just STFU because Obama, Reed and Pelosi didn't start this stuff. I could use the same argument to say that the Jews didn't start this stuff, so STFU. It doesn't work that way.

    My point is that if one side is playing hardball, the other side can too. Everything gets thrown against the wall. Everything. It could get quite ugly, that's what we've come to.

  20. Oops.

    ...this medium.)

  21. They're voting for it. It's just the "language" that's a little arcane. The Court will take a pass.

  22. Whether you vote to pass a bill, or vote to "deem" it passed is, ultimately, one, and the same.

    If the Pubs don't like the health care bill they should have passed on when they were in power.

    They didn't. Now it's "tough noogies."

  23. No civilized society leaves a tenth of its citizens without health care.

    The Pubs should have "engaged" a long time ago. Now, the Dems are "engaging" for them.

  24. This victory (if he gets it) will put Obama in the history books.

  25. It takes a leap of faith to believe that the status quo, listing leftward is a permanent state of affairs and that there is no end to the tolerance of Americans.

    We can get mad as hell. We can declare we are not going to take it anymore.

    It can de done so without violence, with determined organization and probably with a fair measure of civil disobedience.

    Do you seriously believe that an approval rating in the low teens will have no consequence?

    Will a cynical attempt by this particular administration, determined to fundamentaly win the culture war by any means be accepted by the real majority in this country?

    You dont have to go back eight generations to notice that change can happen, that tolerance by a repressed people, that injustice long endured can be stopped by pivotal events.

    There really is a time when enough is enough.

    Changes in health care are not going to affect me, but financially wrecked America will affect us all. That wreck is coming unless it is stopped.

    It is a wreck caused by both parties. It is systemic. it is ongoing and it is unsutainable.

    The cynicism of the past two years where there are three sets of society, those too big to fail, with access to all the largesse of the US Government, those who pay nothing and expect much and the third group that pays and plays by the rules and will now be taxed to pay for it all will be answered.

    This government is involved in a public taking and redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the the feeding troughs on our flanks.

    It will be stopped, because it goes too far. It is unacceptable. It is assaiable and it will be.

    Time will tell how it will be answered, but answered it will be.

  26. I had an inspirtaional view yesterday. I will share it over the weekend. Duty calls.

  27. My point is that if one side is playing hardball, the other side can too.

    - whit

    This I take for granted as our daily circumstance. But let's not pretend that any of it is a matter of principle, much less principle for which any yahoo is going to hazard his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor.

    The Founders well understood that they were committing the most serious offense of the day. They signed their own death warrants in the pursuit of overthrow in the colonies.

    "Revolution" now? About as radical and serious an affair as baseball innings. But with much much more lively commentary.

    The extent to which anyone might believe their own bullshit to the contrary, is at least a little sad.

  28. Well, the "masses" aren't going to revolt over providing someone with healthcare. If they were going to revolt over that they would have a long time ago, when Medicare was passed. Or Medicaid. Or, SCHIP.

    Right now, a lot of American ARE worried that it won't work. That, somehow, they'll lose the coverage they have, etc.

    They'll pass the bill Sunday. Monday, they'll have a big "signing ceremony, Tuesday everyone will get up and go to work, and it'll be time to worry about something else.

    You just ain't gonna get a "Revolution" over providing "Suzie" Sixpack with Healthcare.

  29. "Well, the 'masses' aren't going to revolt over providing someone with healthcare."

    Nope, they're not.

  30. Farewell-Davy Crockett

    Not that I even knew who Fess Parker was but it seems death is popping up all over the place.

    Mel doesn't like all.

  31. One can be opposed to the Health Insurance Reforms, one can oppose Team Obama, tooth and nail.

    That's all good.

    But to claim that the President, the Congress and the Courts are working diligently to take your liberties, with President Obama in the vanguard of that effort.

    Well, that is just historically inaccurate.
    Obama, he is just one amongst the parade. Until that given is accepted, the partisan bickering is just another form of ENTERTAINMENT.

  32. Now,

    on to "Important" things. The Most Important Chart in the World - Megaprojects

    We have, over the last five, or so, years managed to hold production level steady in the 71 - 72 million bpd range by adding 4 Million bpd per annum.

    *Note: To get, say, this year's addition Average 2009 and 2010. When a field is brought online it takes about a year to bring it up to full capacity.

    This will be the last year that "Additions" will equal the 4 million bpd per annum decline rate for existing fields.

    Next year additions will be around 3.2 million bpd, and the year after a little over 2 million bpd.

    This at a time that China, India, Opec, and the rest of the world are trying mightily to increase their consumption, and we're trying to pull out of recession.

    This is not a pretty picture, folks. Right now, there is still a little less than half of the oil/products that were put into "floating" storage when we fell off a cliff in late 2008/2009. But, that is, now, going away rapidly. Saudi Arabia might be able to reach back, and find another million bpd, but that will barely cover the "going away" of the floating storage (around June.)

    This shit is probably going to hit with a vengeance somewhere toward the end of this year. Maybe sooner, maybe a couple of months later. It's going to be the beginning of one hell of a tough decade, I think.

  33. 17,000 new IRS agents to enforce tyranny, and it's all good.
    Ashcroft doing his best to protect us, evil.
    Not buying it.


    The “self-executing rule” has indeed been used extensively by both parties, but in most cases it is used to insert amendments into a bill without floor debate or a separate up-or-down vote. (This is just one of the many ways the House Rules Committee stacks the deck against dissent and makes the House—not the Senate—the undemocratic body. But that’s another story.)

    By contrast, the Democrats want to use a self-executing rule to pass legislation without debate, amendment, or an yea-or-nay vote.

    This is far rarer. Mostly, it’s done via the “Gephardt Rule,” which automatically passes a measure raising the federal debt ceiling by the amount required in a given year’s budget (thus avoiding a separate, embarrassing vote for members). When bills are “deemed” passed outside the Gephardt Rule, it is usually for the purpose of rubber stamping minor tweaks to conference reports, or for disposing of internal and/or technical matters that affect only the House. In fact, according to the Rules Committee Republicans, only four times in the last 20 years has a “deeming” rule been used to send legislation directly to the president’s desk — including one bill to raise the debt limit, and one to rubber-stamp “Byrd Rule” modifications to a reconciliation bill.
    All the same,
    no difference,
    my ass.

  35. A trillion dollar deficit is no different than 300 billion.

    Union functionaries making health care decisions is no different than dedicated professionals.

    Uh, no.

  36. Doug, this'll be the last year (for awhile, at least) that deficits come anywhere near a Trillion.

  37. Don't believe me? Okay, look at the 10 yr Bond rate.

  38. The only thing 10% of the population is hearing from dedicated professionals is, "Sorry, no money, no insurance, no appointment."

  39. one a lighter note...

    those peace loving gazans have murdered one person in the last few days and now fired off 6 more rockets into israel,,,

    I hope israel does something war crime like and cut off 100-300 truck loads of supplies out of the 1,200 a day it allows in...

    or maybe?

    israel should cut off advanced college enrollment for terrorists in prison?

  40. another obama success....

    hillary goes to russia and gets bitch slapped by putin...

    russia announces it will complete iranian nuke plant, the one that iran will be able to extract plutonium from the spent fuel rods...

    way to go useless!

  41. Heavier note, here, WIO:

    153. Unsk:

    Whiskey/ Subotai position confirmed – Via REDSTATE:

    “The United States has diverted a shipment of bunker-busters designated for Israel.

    Officials said the U.S. military was ordered to divert a shipment of smart bunker-buster bombs from Israel to a military base in Diego Garcia. They said the shipment of 387 smart munitions had been slated to join pre-positioned U.S. military equipment in Israel Air Force bases.”

    “This was a political decision,” an official said.

  42. Cancer patients in Poland live longer that Brit victims of NICE,
    Socialism and tyranny,
    it's all good.

  43. How can a trillion dollars of new spending lower the deficit?
    By having us give a whole lot more money to the government, the deficit will be lower than it would have been if we hadn’t!

    BHO, um, um, um.
    Deficit Busting Fiscal Conservative Supreme.

    Just ask him.

  44. outwardly and for political consumption they are claiming "an unshakable friendship" but inwardly israel is being thrown under step by step. its all part of an unending blame tranference tactic.

  45. And, a baby born in England, Canada, or damned near any other semi-developed country in the world lives longer than one born in the U.S.

    Of course, they don't count "live births" the way we do.

    You can get damned near any result if you torture the statistics long enough, Doug.

    The first question I would ask is, "how much longer?" And, then, "to what avail?" Another Six Months of Excruciating Pain?

    We'll get a much better result than Canada, or the U.K. for the simple reason we'll spend about twice as much (like we do now.)

    It'll get collected, and distributed a little bit differently is the only difference.

  46. If we're going to take the heat for supporting them they're going to have to lay off the settlements. Period. End of Story.

  47. We have so many BIG challenges ahead of us that this little dust-up over healthcare, and settlements looks puny to me.

  48. if this health care bill was about health care, it would have been passed without all the bribes. And they wouldn't have had to put all the extra stuff in it in order to get it passed. I may be new to politics (and health care is what dragged me into it) but I can call a donkey a donkey....and the only ones filibustering are the democrats because the republicans don't really have a say in it. If this could be passed any other way, it would have been already. This fell apart when all the money hungry dems realized Nelson got a sweet deal by holding out. I have to wonder if there are any honest politicians on either side of the isle?

    I say make it a minimum wage job, and give them a flat in a government housing project and you might get patriots in the house and senate....

  49. I say make it a minimum wage job, and give them a flat in a government housing project and you might get patriots in the house and senate....

    Probably the most sensible comment made at the bar in a year.

  50. "You can get damned near any result if you torture the statistics long enough, Doug."

    Your right.

    Looking at mortality rates, if you pull out deaths by firearms and deaths from autos (two factors that will not change under HC reform) the US is better off than most.

    For instance, the US has about double the firearm deaths per hundred thousand than the EU. Canada has about 40% of the US numbers. And we do like our cars and putting miles on them.

    On the other hand, with regard to healthcare issues that might be affected by the reforms (for good or evil) the US has better 5 year survival rates than most for cancer and heart desease.

    When John Ensign brought these numbers up to Kent Conrad, Conrad didn't argue them he simply fell back on the high cost issue in the US.

    However, Ruf says don't worry about the cost.

    Gee, ok.

    Don't worry, be happy.



  51. Doug said...
    Heavier note, here, WIO:

    153. Unsk:

    Whiskey/ Subotai position confirmed – Via REDSTATE:

    “The United States has diverted a shipment of bunker-busters designated for Israel.

    Not news, Obama has nixed every major arms shipment to her since obama took office.

    As for Rufus and Israel laying off the "settlements"

    Jerusalem aint a "settlement" It's the center of Jewish existence for over 3000 years.

    Jews have every right to own land there, RE-build destroyed Jewish historic buildings on land that Jews own....

    Let define what precisely is a "settlement"

    Arabs define "settlement" as a Jew LIVING in the State of Israel, since they still dont recognize Israel's right to BE....

    Hurva Synagogue
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Hurva Synagogue

    The Hurva Synagogue rising above
    the Jewish Quarter, c. 1920
    Basic information
    Location 89 ha-Yehudim Street
    Old City of Jerusalem
    Geographic coordinates 31°46′30″N 35°13′53″ECoordinates: 31°46′30″N 35°13′53″E
    Affiliation Orthodox Judaism
    Architectural description
    Architectural style Neo-Byzantine
    Construction cost 1m piasters (1864)[2]
    $7.3m (NIS 28m) (2009)[3]
    Capacity 450 (1864)[4]
    250 (2009)[3]
    Height (max) 24 m (79 ft)
    The Hurva Synagogue, (Hebrew: ‎ בית הכנסת החורבה, translit: Beit ha-Knesset ha-Hurba, lit. "The Ruin Synagogue"), also known as Hurvat Rabbi Yehudah he-Hasid ("Ruin of Rabbi Judah the Pious"), is a historic synagogue located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
    Traditions for a synagogue in the area date from the 2nd century. In the early 1700s, followers of Judah he-Hasid founded a synagogue at the site, but it was destroyed a few years later, in 1721. The plot lay in ruins for over 140 years and became known as the Ruin, or Hurva. In 1864, the Perushim built a new synagogue on the site. Although officially named the Beis Yaakov Synagogue, it retained its name as the Hurva and became Jerusalem's main Ashkenazi synagogue until it too was reduced to rubble by the Arab Legion[5] during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.[6]

  52. Israel, Bad,
    Hamas, Good.

    Capitalism Bad,
    Socialism Good.

    As it is written,
    let it be done.

  53. "However, Ruf says don't worry about the cost.

    Gee, ok.

    Don't worry, be happy.

    For the life of me, Quirk, that is the only depth I've been able to fathom.

    Thank God you said it this time rather than me:

    I near the end of my rope, re:
    Banal cheerleading for tyranny.

    A screaming Marxist President is bad enough.

    The Bar should provide refuge.

  54. Rufus can write off Trillions of unfunded liabilities with a cute assertion and a swig of homebrew.

    Makes one wonder what he's been selling to his clients all these years!

  55. "Doctors said they were deeply disappointed that the bill would not repeal the formula used to calculate Medicare payments to doctors.

    Under that formula, doctors face a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments next month, with smaller cuts in each of the next few years.

    House Democratic leaders said they had made an informal commitment to the medical association to take up legislation that would eliminate the cuts. But they are reluctant to talk about the plan because of its cost, which could exceed $200 billion over 10 years.
    Doctors will work for free,
    and pigs will fly.

  56. When I went to the hospital, I had to fill out more paperwork to not take medicare than I filled out for the doctor and insurance!

    BHO and Rufus insist the people, computers, and dead trees involved are not a factor.

    Not to mention unions and lawyers.

  57. 43. Salt Lick:

    Eggplant #19 — I’ve always dreaded the possibility of someday finding myself standing at an assembly line, plucking chickens like my grandpa.

    Heh. We’ve got those Depression stories in my family, too, including one where my grandmother wouldn’t let my grandfather in the house with a wheel of cheese he’d gotten from the “gubmint.” Granny made him take it back; she didn’t take what she hadn’t earned.

    But with regard to working in this upcoming election… I’ve never understood how champions like Peyton Manning or Drew Brees could say, “Oh, man, right here in the Super Bowl is where I want to be.” Now I understand.

    I’ve been a good citizen — voted, served, etc, etc, — but the threat from tyranny has never been so clear and present. Now’s my time to participate in an epic fight for freedom. Now’s my time to do something truly important and unique for my country and liberty. I dropped out when Dubya was elected, but I called my local GOP this afternoon and volunteered to help unseat my congressman.

    I am so looking forward to this “game.” We’re going to kick their asses, beat them like a rented mule, and tear out their hearts and show it to them.

    Granny was so behind the times.

  58. Doug, I sold my last policy 20 years ago, and I still live off the renewals. How?

    I was very assiduous in explaining Exactly what they were getting, and how it would work.

    Now, I've said from the first that the average taxpayer is going to pay somewhere in the vicinity of $1,500.00/yr more in some combination of income taxes, soc. sec taxes, medicare taxes, insurance premiums, etc.

    Despite what the Dems, Pubs, CBO, etc says, it's going to cost, total, about $150 Billion/Yr. You know how I know? Cause that's what it costs to insure 30 Million people. I could be missing it 20%; I can't be missing it much more than that.

    We got huge problems coming, son. Much, much bigger than this.

  59. Granny will become eligible for (mandatory) free psychological counseling under Obamacare!

  60. And, yes, Doug, believing any government is going to go bankrupt due to "unfunded" liabilities is a sucker's bet.

  61. What is the average wage of a doctor?

    What is the average hours worked per week of a doctor?

    Are there waiting lists to become doctors?

    Can we create a 2 tier medical program for doctors?

    A Base Doctor could be a MD that is a few steps above a Nurse and less than a specialist.

    These "base doctors" could be part the basic care corp. We could pay them a flat 88k a year and they would have limited responsiblities.

    We could set these "base Doctors" up in walmarts and sears.

    They alone could service 10-20 million uninsured already, just let the big chains hire and use these basic "base doctors"

  62. Exactly Rufus.
    Every Govt program costs exactly what it should in a free market.

    100% efficiency, no waste, no corruption.

    Socialism works everytime it's tried.


  63. You guys are being "Lowballed" so expertly you're going to wake up one fine morning (probably in the fall of the year,) and go, "Whaaat the fuuuck happened?"

  64. We had to destroy Healthcare to save it.

    Gotta be "comprehensive" or else,
    Just like Amnesty.

  65. You're right there Rufus.

    I have no idea what the fuck you mean.

  66. Doug, Medicare costs much less for the level of services rendered than does "private" insurance.

    There are several things to allow for, and some (all?) of them are unquantifiable. What level of care will they be forced to purchase? With Doctor/Specialist visits early in the illness how much will we spend/save in the long run? How will they be able to "Game" the system? And, on, and on.

    Common sense tells me it's going to fall in the $150 Billion/yr range. Say it's $200 Billion. That's about the cost of the War in Iraq. Did "That" Bankrupt us?

    Our "exporting" industries (the small companies, anyway) should be more competitive. What's that worth? We'll have a healthier workforce. What's That worth?

    Our small manufacturers that compete with foreign companies should be more competitive. What's that worth?

    Bubba, compared to what's getting ready to hit us in energy this ain't a pimple on a rhino's ass.

  67. I mean the Republicans are falling into the trap of wailing about $Trillion Deficits as far as the eye can seeeeeeeeeeeee.

    And, in only a few short months it will become obvious that that's bullshit. Then the Pubs become the stupid people the Dems make'm out to be, and O'Magnifico becomes the Hero.

    That's what I mean. It's called a "Lowball."

  68. "Doug, Medicare costs much less for the level of services rendered than does "private" insurance."


    No shit.
    Costs are shifted, and doctors get screwed.

    Under Obamacare, we're all screwed.

  69. They're just hiring ten thousand IRS Agents to help us fill out our taxes.

  70. "There is a provision in the Senate Bill requiring 40% of all Med Students graduating to be Black."
    A claim @ Belmont.
    Anybody heard that one?

  71. Bakke


    - Hewitt

    Only costs Caterpillar 100 Million in one year.
    Good for business.

  72. Bubba, compared to what's getting ready to hit us in energy this ain't a pimple on a rhino's ass.

    Which reminds me, Rufus. Your scheme to set up a distillery in every county for ethanol production smacks of the same kind of genius that led Mao to set up a steel foundry in every peasant's backyard. A Great Leap Forward it was called.

    I can't wait for that one to bear fruit. In the first place the average county isn't qualified to manage a public funded commercial operation to stimulate local economies. Fresno California has failed with tortilla factories and turkey processors, time after time. Sometimes the tortillas were coming out of the same building and oven, just under a new subsidized canopy. All crashed.

    Now you'd like the same people to run the distilleries and refineries to produce fuel to drive the economy. All under a government supervised canopy, right? Or, tell me it will be private in your proposal?

    Guess what. If it made any sense in the first place, the private interests would already be doing it.

  73. Caterpillar's always whining about something. They can take $100 million out of the Secretaries' slush fund.

  74. Caterpillar's always whining about something.

    Mat used to have a phrase for comments like that one.

    ...another gusher of pent up stupidity!

  75. No, LT, I didn't say Anything about the Counties "Operating" the distilleries.

    And, Everybody ain't as ignorant as Californians, anyway.

  76. LT, go look at my "Megaprojects" link upthread, and then come back and we'll talk.

  77. How many home grown heavy equipment companies hail from Mississippi that can compete with the whiners from Peoria?

  78. LT, "Cellulosic" ethanol has only been "Viable" for about 2 months, now. Since Novazymes, and Dupont Danisco announce Incredible breakthroughs in the cost of the "Enzymes" needed for breaking out the starch from the hemicellulose, and lignin.

  79. Good God, LT. Caterpillar is a Marvelous Company. They are GREAT operators. And, GREAT LOBBYERS! Jeez

  80. BUT, I'll Guarantee you that if you let the Exxons, and Caterpillars control your life you'll be walking to the picnic, barefoot.

  81. Having said all that, I have NO doubt that any little southern town could operate a small to medium sized ethanol still. If you look at the things they operate, already, it looks like a slam-dunk.

  82. It's a beautiful day, and I had a good nap. Think I'll go out for a milkshake. later.

  83. Fastest corporate transformation in history. Caterpillar goes from whiners to Marvelous Great Operators in eleven minutes.

    Caterpillar, and their kin, Ingersoll, Sundstrand, Case, International Harvester, Barnes Pumps, National Lock, Woodward Governor damned near did control the lives of thousands of happy workers in the northern Illinois area where I grew up, at least as far as providing the jobs to put the bread on the table and shoes on our feet. Rockford, Illinois, one time proud machine tool capital of the world, A-listed on the Soviet targeting roster in the mid-50s, now fading into rusty oblivion.

  84. LT, lighten up, man. Look, except for my time in the service, I've "drawn a paycheck" maybe, 8 weeks in my entire life. I'm the "Original" entrepreneur. I'm as "Pro-Business" as you can get.

    BUT, as JFK famously observed, "Businessmen are Assholes." Don't make'm bad. Just makes'em assholes.

    The standard of living in the Post WWII rustbelt was driven by "Unions," not business.

    Now, don't start screaming at me about "Unions." I have never belonged to a "Union" in my life. Unions can destroy an economy as quickly as "Unfettered Capitalism." I'm NOT a Socialist. I'm a died in the blue "Capitalist." But, the Poster Child for "Laissez-faire Capitalism," today is Mexico.

    This shit ain't simple, folks. It requires "Balance." The old, "Yin and Yang."

    Tying all your allegiance to one side of the aisle, or the other is, simply, lazy thinking.

    Both Sides will "Eat your lunch" if you let them.

  85. The standard of living in the Post WWII rustbelt was driven by "Unions," not business.

    That's pure steaming bull shit.

    Woodward Governor employees had the highest standard of living among skilled blue collar workers in Rockford. The company was privately held and 100% non-union.

    Go have your milkshake, Rufus. Toss some brandy into it, and have an Alexander. On me.

  86. Rat: So, pray tell, who has really shredded the Constitution?

    It's obvious. Democrats.

    Who'd ya really rather have at Justice?

    Ashcroft? Or Holder? I know who'd I'd rather.

  87. LT, The Unionized industries in the Rust Belt raised the wages, and benefits for ALL businesses, since they had to compete against the "Unionized" Companies for employees.

    I'll guarantee you that if that company had been located in the middle of an area with an average wage of $2.00/hr they would have paid $2.00/hr.

  88. Ashcroft? Holder?

    I'll take "Door number 3."

  89. When the choice is between lawbreakers at Justice, I'll chose the beach, thanks.

    It does not make a difference, who is the AG.

    The conviction rates will not change. The headlines may, but that's all.

  90. Not one union in the rust belt produced so much as a screw or a split washer.

    What drove the prosperity of the area was the industrial base, to the extent that whole neighborhoods in Rockford were populated by migrants from hamlets like Walnut Ridge, Arkansas, turning many of the southern towns into near ghost towns. This was occurring before full unionization in the 50s, and had everything to do with where the jobs were, little to do with the fact they were union jobs. The unions were largely parasites that the companies endured in order to produce what they were in business to do.

    Take the unions away, and the workers still would have, and did, pour into the area. Take the companies away, and you'd just have had local hillbillies livin' along the banks of the Kishwaukee River and poaching deer to put meat on the table.

  91. LT, if you want to get right down to it, it was the demand from a world left without an industrial base that raised all our ships.

    I had relatives that went to Michigan to work in the auto factories, and to Indiana to work in the steel mills. They went, not because there was work, but because there was "good-paying" work. They worked hard, lived a solid middle class existence, and sent their children to college.

    I never heard one say a bad thing about the Unions.

  92. Toyota.

    Stole GM's lunch.

    You drive a Chevy, I drive a Toyota. Two Toyotas, actually.

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt, let's say the quality of the two vehicles is comparable.

    Toyota stole GM's lunch because they avoided the legacy costs of the parasitic union thugs.

  93. I never heard one say a bad thing about the Unions.

    When's the last time you heard a piglet sass the sow?

  94. Well, maybe later on, after the Unions had gotten completely corrupt.

    But, that's the point. ALL large organizations will, eventually, become corrupt.

    The ink was barely dry on the Constitution when George Washington got on his white horse, and led an army of 6,000 out to W. Pennsylvania to put down the farmers' revolt dubbed the "Whiskey Revolution."

    The small farmers were being taxed to turn their corn into ethanol before shipment to the East. The BIG Distillers, of which George Washington was one, didn't have to pay the tax. The Farmers "Revolted." George put'em down.

    Life has ALWAYS been a constant struggle between the Elites that would keep the peasants poor, and barefoot, and the poor/middle classes to keep the Elites in check.

    It WILL NOT end.

  95. Jim Galt?

    Bill Galt?

    I can't remember names.

  96. Piglet?

    Man, I'd love to have been in the room (toward the back, preferably) when you called one of those guys a piglet.

  97. "The Bar should provide refuge."

    A virtue it's managed to avoid for years.

    "I may be new to politics..."

    All the noise and excitement and twice the mess of a drunken go-round on the Tilt-O-Whirl.

    I didn't know you grew up in NW Illinois, Linear. My grandmother still lives in West Jersey and my great aunt not far from that.

    That entire area has changed so dramatically since I was little.

    When I'm at my parents' I sometimes thumb through old community cookbooks from that area and it's striking the number of little businesses appearing as sponsors in their pages, in towns that no longer have any. In towns that barely exist as such.

    Some Christmases ago I gave everyone in the family - aunts, cousins, parents, brother - an enlarged, matted and framed aerial photo of my great grandmother's and great uncle's farm, taken back in 76. They've both passed on and the farm was sold about a decade ago.

    My mother broke down crying when she unwrapped it.

    Sad, how it's changed. But my God, what happy memories for us all.

  98. I've seen many of those aerial photos of the farms, Trish.

    My last trip through that area, a friend and I caught the Amtrak out of Galesburg, heading for California. That was the train ride from hell. The highlight of the ride was getting mooned by some young adults in Colorado. Downtown Galesburg was one of those near ghost towns, most of the businesses having moved out to the malls on the edge of town, or lost out to Wal*Mart. October, 2004. A good year for beans and corn, as I recall.

  99. Regulators shut 7 banks in 5 states; 37 in 2010

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Regulators on Friday shut down seven banks in five states, bringing to 37 the number of bank failures in the U.S. so far this year.

    The closings follow the 140 that succumbed in 2009 to mounting loan defaults and the recession.

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over First Lowndes Bank, in Fort Deposit, Ala.; Appalachian Community Bank in Ellijay, Ga.; Bank of Hiawassee, in Hiawassee, Ga.; and Century Security Bank in Duluth, Ga.

    The agency also closed down State Bank of Aurora, in Aurora, Minn.; Advanta Bank Corp., based in Draper, Utah; and American National Bank of Parma, Ohio

  100. "That entire area has changed so dramatically since I was little."

    Well, 'dramatically' is relative: It still is flat as a pancake with those beans and corn as far as the eye can see.

    In late autumn of '84 I took an old friend with me out to my grandparents', from Union Station to Galesburg, with a nice stopover in 'Skawga' going either way. She'd never been out in the middle of nowhere and got the biggest kick out of it.

    We rode horses, went bowling, played a lot of cards, fooled around with the tractors and - how can you beat it? - got my grandmother's signature tour of the West Jersey cemetery with oral obituaries for everyone related and not.

    Meanwhile every relative within thirty miles dropped by to see "Trisha's Palestinian friend."

    Who not a couple of years later found herself sitting in a Comm class and thinking, "Man, this is boring"; left George Mason University to be a CI Agent, the two of us later meeting up at DLI and again briefly at Huachuca.

    Later went to work doing classified translations for some Beltway Bandit.

    Odd how things sometimes work out.

    (Her dad supposedly worked for VOA. Maybe he did, maybe he just kinda-sorta did. Man went missing from his own family at least a couple of times a year on overseas trips and his hysterical wife would call my parents and beg my dad to find him.)

  101. Get in touch with Daniel Silva. Maybe he can work you and your friend into his next Gabriel Allon novel.

  102. Ron Brownstein at National Journal wants to screw Doug into the ceiling:

    The fight has opened a second window into Obama. The key here is his 2008 campaign assertion that “Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America” more than Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton did. The health care struggle suggests that Obama views changing that trajectory as the ultimate measure of a presidency’s success. His aim is to establish a long-term political direction—one centered on a more activist government that shapes and polices the market to strengthen the foundation for sustainable, broadly shared growth. Everything else—the legislative tactics, even most individual policies—is negotiable. He wants to chart the course for the supertanker, not to steer it around each wave or decide which crates are loaded into its hull.

  103. Does he write about the exploits of very young, poorly paid gophers, clerks and typists in the sleepy 1980's backwaters of Divisional HUMINT?

    I've been waiting for someone to make a movie.

  104. "Acorn on Brink of Bankruptcy, Officials Say

    "BALTIMORE — The community organizing group Acorn, battered politically from the right and suffering from mismanagement along with a severe loss of government and other funds, is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy, officials of the group said Friday.



  105. Yes.

    And they're all beautiful and engaged in all kinds of sexy exploits.

    Involving terrorists.

    I'm only half way through his first of the series.

  106. "And they're all beautiful and engaged in all kinds of sexy exploits."

    Like shopping and bar hopping?

    We were kinda thin on the terrorists though.

  107. Is CBO a paragon of impartiality or merely a tool used by the majority to make their case?

    Checking the Math on Healthcare

    The one I like is the new "estimates" on increased revenues from Soc. Security taxes resulting from all the new wages employers will be giving their workers with all the money they are saving on health care.

    "Consider that $53 billion of the $118 billion in supposed savings over the first ten years of the latest bill (which is still a moving target) comes from increases in Social Security payroll tax revenues resulting from expected increases in wages (the idea being that employers will pay better in an Obamacare world). But even if it materializes, pegging that money to deficit reduction instead of to the continued solvency of Social Security is either naive, disingenuous or both."

    A favorite meme of economists is that the reason wages have remained flat for 30 years is that workers are actually getting increases through more expensive benefits, primarily healthcare. And that if healthcare costs were brought under control the employers would naturally turn those savings over to the employees through increased wages.

    What a pip. Sounds like something Paul Krugman might get a Nobel prize for.

    Two years ago Social Security was projected to be solvent until 2015 (Medicare until 2017). Now we hear the system will go net deficit on payouts this year.

    But what the heck, it's all good.


  108. I don't think I've ever read a spy novel.

    Never really got caught up in espionage as fiction - or for that matter in non-fiction, save a few years in the mid-80's - though some of it is undoubtedly good.

    And almost anything in this genre on tv sets my teeth on edge due to the dialogue.

  109. I will just have to take your word for it.

  110. Try Vince Flynn. He's a favorite of Rush.

    Like the bumper sticker says, "Rush is Right!"

  111. "He's a favorite of Rush."

    I'll run right over to Amazon right now.

  112. Quirk's tryin' to be serious. Sorry, Quirk.

  113. Trish, a life without Graham Greene, tish trish.