“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, March 20, 2010

Your Money and The Whitehouse Propaganda Machine

This video is from the US Taxpayer funded website


And here's a page from the US Department of Transportation Website:



  1. Take a look at the website. Does anyone ever remember anything quite like this from previous administrations?

  2. We are approaching the tipping point where the number of voters who recieve some form of federal welfare outnumber those who pay.

    Immigration reform should do it for Obama and the Democrats. Think it through.

    Obama's number are around 46-48%. Damage has been done by this healthcare welfare bill.

    Add ten million new voters, all lining up for free stuff and Obama rolls into his next four years and can really make the changes for his cause. That will be ten million new wards of the state, the vast majority newly minted Democrats.

  3. Healthcare costs about $12,000 per year per person. That includes premiums and subsidies of various forms. Multiply that by 10,000,000 new citizens and you have an annual bill of $120 billion for that group alone.

    Assume there are 90 million actual taxpayers. They will be saddled with an additional burden of
    $1300 each. But it will not stop there.

    With ten million new citizens, how many of them will bring family to the US? be conservative and assume one. That bumps your additional tax bill $2400 per year.

    That is $2400 just to pay the health costs of new citizens.

  4. Peanut dough, when compared to the Iraqi Adventure and the costs we've racked up there, providing Health Care and Education, to Iraqis. Not to even mention Afpakis that need hospitals.

    As to Immigration, when there were moderate proposals put forward, exemplified but not limited to the Pence Proposal, the "Right" mobilized to kill them all.

    The "Right" was then thoroughly thumped in the General Election.

    Now the winners of that election cycle may not be "moderate" in their programs. They may push for citizenship for the migrants, moving beyond mere legal worker status.

    The "Right" fucking up, again.

    But hey, some want those Pubs back in the saddle, instead of breaking out a new deck of playing cards.

    Not me. I will never will vote for a Republican candidate, again.

    Maybe someone else can misrepresent the "Conservative Cause", or not. But the Republicans are not Conservatives, and I'll not vote for a Federal Socialist, not ever again.

  5. Yes, Deuce, I remember the Public Broadcasting Service.

    When the Federals "provided" a non-commercial Television service to the people.

    Complete with Bill Moyers and the "Power of Myth". Culturally transforming, as bob evidenced.

  6. Deuce, I'm strongly anti-amnesty, BUT what would lead you to say that all 10 Million new citizens would be "on the dole" and get Free Healthcare? That really doesn't sound very likely.

  7. According to the Pew Hispanic Center report on the 2008 election, 67% of the Hispanic vote went to Obama.

    Clinton got 72% in 1996.

    Gore got 62% in 2000.

    Bush got 40% of the Hispanic vote in 2004, 35% in 2000.

    In 1996, Robert Dole, got 21%.

    When health care is available from the government, it will not be divvied out at government hospitals. It will not be from charity or public hospitals. It will all come from general hospitals.

    There will be a pent up demand for services. "Visiting relatives" of all these recently minted citizens will double or triple their numbers.

    Do you think they will be denied healthcare? What will that cost?

    How will that get paid for?

    Look at the hospitals. A new wave of patients demanding service will have a government payer, but the suppliers will be getting perhaps 40-60% on the amount invoiced.

    Service will decline and the incentive to reinvest will also decline. The hospitals will look to private insurers and payers to take up the slack, but Obama calls them Cadillac plans and they will be taxed as well as increased.

    Employers will through in the towel and withdraw the plans, take the fine and force their employees to go government.

    Competitive forces will force other employers to do the same.

    The cycle worsens for the hospitals and waiting times increase and availability of service decrease.

    Why? Why is this happening and why are we allowing it?

    Simple, the number of voters that do not pay but receive has approached the 50% mark.

    Money for nothing, votes for free.

  8. They will not be on the dole. Government healthcare will be the norm. It will be universal and the amount paid will be inadequate to the true cost.

  9. It will be like free peanuts on an airplane flight and free blankets. They always run out faster than the demand.

  10. A new citizen will want to save money to buy a car, a television, a house, a vacation.

    They will naturally and understandably make the rational economic decision to get the most for the least. What beverage do the majority of people take on a flight, the free pepsi or the five dollar Coors light?

  11. Well I am sitting in the columbus airport...

    1st flight out was oversold, almost made it...

    next try through boston at 8am, looks better....

    what amazes me is the number of HUGH people...

    I don't mean your (like me) an extra 20 pounds that comes from laziness and age...

    but I am talking about GROSSLY over weight people...

    Maybe if our so called leader hand any health care concerns he could cheerleader us in actually doing a situp or push up...

    all the money and energy he has squandered on all the bullshit...

    think if he had motivated his millions of his fat ass followers to put down the fried chicken and cheesecakes how much we could have saved WITHOUT any healthcare reform...

  12. After national healthcare is passed and Obama is delivering his seventh "State of the Union" to an overwhelmingly Democrat Congress and the camera swings to Ms. Lopez, new citizen, single mother of three, whose mother can't get a visa because she has diabetes and needs her other daughter, eight months pregnant with number four, to bring her to the United States...

  13. And you and I will have to pay for their healthcare brought on by their lack of discipline.

  14. There is never a happy ending for the true middle class in the experiment with socialism.

    They always lose, are forced into tax cheating to keep what is rightfully theirs.

    The rich get richer and the poor increase in numbers.

  15. As part of my going "galt" and rebelling against the machine I am starting to get in shape...

    ANYTHING to stay away from hospitals

    I seek to avoid lawyers & doctors both are troublesome...

    How much impact can we as citizens make if we take control of our own health and do smarter things, not JUST for better immediate health, but also just to not get infected by the health care system....

  16. You need to stay in shape so that you can be fit and pay your taxes so that Shaquila in the pink spandx, two seats down, sitting next to what appears to be an overweight over tattooed pirate from the Barbary Coast, plowing through her fourth dougnut, gets the care she will need when she develops diabetes at 33.

  17. "think if he had motivated his millions of his fat ass followers to put down the fried chicken and cheesecakes how much we could have saved WITHOUT any healthcare reform..."


  18. The Real Deficit Effect of the Health Bill

     Deficit increase of $582 billion over first ten years.
     Deficit increase of $1.6 trillion over second ten years.

     What do Democrats say about the Senate-passed health bill that the House is about to vote on? They say that, according to CBO, their bill reduces the deficit by $118 billion in the first ten years.

     For example, CBO indicates that $53 billion of the $118 billion “lower” deficit over the next 10 years comes from Social Security payroll tax revenues that result from the increase in wages that employers will offer employees instead of health insurance.

     But when Social Security revenues increase, it is only because future Social Security benefits are also going to increase.

    Social Security is already promising to pay benefits that the program cannot afford – there is a large unfunded liability. So the increased Social Security revenues resulting from this bill are already spoken for – they will be collected to pay for increased future benefits. They cannot be available for both paying for the related future increases in Social Security benefits and for offsetting the increases in health spending in this bill.

     Therefore, we should not count $53 billion of the “lower” deficit that comes from increased Social Security payroll tax revenues.

     A similar situation applies in the case of the new voluntary federal program of long-term care insurance – the CLASS Act. Because it would work like an insurance program – premiums would...

  19. Mr. Rat refers to Mr. Pence re:
    I recall the "right" had it's work cut out for it by Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain, and the Dems.

    The right was right to deny that bunch of Federalists their wetdream.

    ...but then the dreamy idealists decided a teenage protest vote was in order.
    Bringing us our present conundrum,
    a pathological, Marxist POTUS.

    ...and Mr. Rat says all his future votes will be informed by similar genius.


  20. Also, Mr. Rat refers to small potatoees:

    ALL expenditures are small potatoes when compared to the ever increasing mandated entitlements.

    Mandating servitude for the productive along with the parasites.

  21. Brilliant is the word of the day - doug-o.

    Instead of a sensible reform, on the topic of immigration, we will get another dose of Obama Reforms, which will come down the pike, like Health Insurance Reform, has.

    Instead of the Republicans enacting sensible, affordable reforms, back when they held the Government, they punted on the hard choices. Leaving the new majorities to enact the reforms that are so needed.

    That the reforms are required, why everyone agrees, except for those that are supported by or support the criminal cartels.

    It is a symbiotic relationship, as seen from here.

  22. Service to the Federals has always been a mandated responsibity, doug.

    Since the "Draft" during the Civil War, the War that empowered both the Republicans and the Federals.

    That the Federals hold a valid claim to your productivity, enacted in 1913, that proof of "servitude" is called the progressive income tax, brought to US by Republicans.

  23. We all agree that the Federals hold a valid claim to your life, and that claim is enacted through the Selective Service. The idea that they do not hold claim to your property, as well, is just comical.

    Created by a disconnect in cause and effect?

    If the State has a legitimate claim to your life, it certainly can lay claim to your property.

  24. Rat, as you have said before, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating."

    Well, we are watching a predictable pudding being baked by a Democratic administartion. The ingredients are to be expected and the outcome will be sweet to those who have nothing to lose and foul to those that do.

    Your argument, echoed by others that think as you, is that there is no difference between the parties, is about to be smashed.

    In a matter of hours, a bill that is a transfer of property from those that work and save to those that do not is about to be passed.

    Tax rates will rise to 40%. Emboldened with the passage, bloodied by the backlash, the Democrats will swell their numbers with an assault on the meaning of citizenship, all for the bold faced purpose of refreshing their ranks.

    Their is no moral equivalency. There is no magic party that will pop-up to save the Republic.

    The country is going to be californicated, unless enough people stop it. We are not the minority. We need not be denigrated to be a future minority if we take a stand and say no goddamit, no.

  25. Activists will be gathering this Sunday on the Capitol Mall to call for action on immigration reform

    Asked about the priorities after health care, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said financial regulation, energy legislation and watering down a recent Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance are among the "big priorities" — not to mention jobs and the economy.

    Gibbs said nothing would happen on immigration without strong bipartisan support. "It's got to be more than the president wants to get something done," he said.

    Interestingly, the Tea Party is holding another rally in DC today.

  26. You're fighting against decent healthcare for the more unfortunate of your citizens.

    You will lose.

    As you should.

  27. I agree with Deuce re: the tipping point on those who pay taxes versus those who pay nothing.

    Free riders don't care about the costs. Everyone should have some skin in the game. I mentioned the local news story of "urban" minorities protesting their exorbitant utility bills. Do you suppose they would have made a peep if they paid nothing for that electricity and gas? Yet, someone would have paid for it.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Go down and get a job at McDonalds. See if they take "Nothing" out of your paycheck.

  30. Now, take your $7.50/hr paycheck stub down to the Ms. HHS office, and apply for Medicaid. Listen in amazement as they tell you you don't qualify because you "make too much."

  31. Those people were born here, also. That's why we call them "Americans," and draft them every time Exxon, and General Dynamics want to go to war.

    It's indecent, unbecoming, and, frankly, not too smart of us to deny them something so basic as a chance to be healthy.

  32. Rufus:
    That's a perfect illustration of the insidious Feds. They take money out of your paycheck before you ever see and then tell you "No, you do not qualify."

    We're not saying that people shouldn't get decent healthcare. We're alarmed at the massive expansion of an already bloated and overly powerful Federal bureaucracy.

  33. But, Whit, they're not going to get decent healthcare without the help of the Feds.

    Remember, it was States like Ms, Al, Ga, SC, NC that went to war with the rest of the Country to preserve Slavery.

    We had to send Federal troops all over the South to end Racial Discrimination in Schools, and Jim Crow in general.

    NY, Mass, Ca, Il, and the Northern States still send money to the Southern States to get them to help their poor. Then the Southern States brag about their low taxes on the rich, and their low property taxes.

    Sometimes the Feds just have to act.

  34. It's all about guns and butter.

    I believe that the social experiments are still unproven; the Western Europeans were able to implement their various health care systems in large part because of US subsidies. I also believe that we're entering an era when we will really begin to see whether the 'social democracies' are sustainable.

    Deuce's contention, which I agree with is that the welfare state is likely to grow out of control. My prediction is that as it does, we will many adverse consequences including a decimated military.

  35. Parlez vous Francais?

  36. You guys might win, anyway. Ace has Pelosi needing 14 out of the remaining 15 "maybes."

    Ace has been following this pretty (very) closely, and his "whip" count is liable to be pretty accurate.

  37. It seems the "Stupak deal" has broken down - at least, so far. The "Pro-abortion" Dems threatened to bolt.

    What a show.

  38. "Your argument, echoed by others that think as you, is that there is no difference between the parties, is about to be smashed."

    To the extent that there is a difference, I don't think Republicans are going to be able to make political hay out of this in the midterms, as was once thought.

    I hear the orchestra warming up for a rendition of Nothing Succeeds Like Success.

  39. DOHA, Qatar (AP) - A U.S.-backed proposal to ban the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna prized in sushi was rejected Thursday by a U.N. wildlife meeting, with scores of developing nations joining Japan in opposing a measure they feared would devastate fishing economies.

    It was a stunning setback for conservationists who had hoped the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, would give the iconic fish a lifeline. They joined the proposal's sponsor Monaco in arguing that extreme measures were necessary because the stocks have fallen by 75 percent due to widespread overfishing.

    "Let's take science and throw it out the door," said Susan Lieberman, director of international policy with the Pew Environment Group in Washington. "It's pretty irresponsible of the governments to hear the science and ignore the science. Clearly, there was pressure from the fishing interests. The fish is too valuable for its own good."

  40. whit wrote:

    "Deuce's contention, which I agree with is that the welfare state is likely to grow out of control. My prediction is that as it does, we will many adverse consequences including a decimated military."

    Isn't the military the luminous perfect example of socialism in action?

  41. Sorry, I see the tuna story is old news.

    Speaking of France and elections:
    PARIS (AP) - President Nicolas Sarkozy's party braced for a potential electoral wipeout in Sunday's final round of regional elections, which an alliance of the rival left hopes will give it a national sweep and a staging ground for 2012 presidential voting.

  42. I'm also not sure that after almost a decade of war many people outside of DC are concerned about the well-being of the military versus that loose and sprawling collection of interests known as the homefront.

    Good thing the South Asia campaign was sold first.

  43. I'm a believer in the thought that government or subsidized health care is like driving a rental car. Versus one that you purchased with your own hard earned cash.

  44. I'm also convinced that affordable health care will call for less costly medical care givers. Particularly doctors.

    I think the battle was lost early on, back in the '70s, when the med schools, at the behest of the docs, turned off the enrollment spigot for nurse practitioners in favor of physicians' assistants.

    NPs, predominately women, could hang out a shingle on their own and had at least some prescriptive authority. And they were willing to work for much less than a "family practice physician." Whose livelihood they threatened.

    PAs, on the other hand, were restricted to working under a physician's license. Hence the term Medex.

    The program was sold, in large part, I feel, by using the sympathy angle on what to do with the returning, and out of work, Vietnam era medics...

  45. I remember attending a party a few years after the PA program was in full swing and hearing a doctor tell of his hiring 3 PAs in his clinic.

    He could bill the same for an office visit but they cost him less than half as much as an MD.

    He was very happy with himself.

  46. Chalabi Likely to Gain More Power in Elections

    Iranian puppet Chalabi is likely to gain more influence and power as a result of the Iraqi elections. One more thing to thank the neocons for.


  47. It's been a while since I took a long look at the health care situation.

    But I remember that the countries that had good health care scores, like France and Italy, also had low physician pay compared to the US.

    IIRC it was along the lines of US$80,000 for a French family practice doc while the equivalent guy at our local co-op was paid around US$150,000.

  48. Some day, when a few relative nobodies are happily, safely into retirement - and Dick's gone - the full story on that whole EXCEEDINGLY rotten affair will come out.

  49. Pharmacists straight out of school can make $130k plus in medium size cities and $85 plus in smaller towns.

  50. Perhaps by then, 'Oil for Food' will be long forgotten and erased from the history books.

  51. I was still shipping out at the time and I remembered being surprised when visiting Russian (Yeltsin era) ships and finding they had a doctor on board to serve the crew of maybe 30.

    While we had an officer who had attended a couple of weeks training...

    The two Russian doctors I encountered were both young and female. (And attractive!)

    Back home I did a little research and found that primary care physicians in Russia were, in fact, predominately female. In part, perhaps, because that level of the profession was not respected. (I found myself reminded of the Seattle docs fighting increased numbers of NPs.)

    Specialists, on the other hand, are respected. And are predominately male.

    In Russia, I read, schooling for primary care physicians is paid for by the state, And is a rigorous course of study. Students live a spartan life in dormitories.

    But they turn out a ton of graduates. So many that they can justify alloting one to serve a ship with a crew of 30.

    Also, without an artificial scarcity, such as the US' restrictive med school enrollment practices, those female family practice docs in Russia could hope to earn about US$25,000.

    And these were fully competent physicians. Unlike, say, China's barefoot folk or those from Cuba.

  52. "China's dust storms were at their worst in the 1950s and '60s after campaigns to raise farm and factory output following the 1949 communist revolution stripped the soil of vegetation.

    "Because of those campaigns, archaeologists have found that sandstorms are reducing some packed-earth sections of the Great Wall in western China to "mounds of dirt" that may disappear in 20 years.

    Literal and Figurative Cracks in The Great Wall

    In predicting China's ascendancy to superpower status this century it is well to remember the major environmental and demographic problems the country faces.

    The water shortage problems in China's north and west dwarf anything the US faces in the southwest.


  53. You know what, Whit, it was fucking shameful. It will always be fucking shameful.

    There were plenty of innocent parties to the party. There were also the guilty.

    Thank fucking God it's almost over and we were able to finally salvage something - however fleeting - from that disgraceful, miserable affair.

  54. Pakistan tribal council: Army must destroy Taliban

    "Hundreds of tribesmen from Pakistan's semiautonomous regions near the Afghan border ended a rare tribal council meeting Saturday with a declaration calling for the army to crush the Taliban.

    "The meeting, held in the northwestern city of Peshawar, was called by an umbrella group of aid organizations and political parties in an effort to bring together people from the violence-battered region.

    "Participants called for the army to escalate its attack against the network of Islamist militants across the tribal regions, dismissing Pakistan's earlier offensives as "military dramas."

    "It should be a genuine military operation like the Sri Lankans did against the Tamil Tigers," said Sayd Alam Mehsud, a powerful tribal leader, referring to the brutal military campaign that destroyed the separatist Tamil army in Sri Lanka..."

    Tribal Council Says Crush Taliban


  55. I am not against everyone having access to healthcare. I am against taxing one group to give benefits to another group.

    Some recommendations:

    Get the lawyers out of health care first with loser pays and stop all class action suits.

    Set up binding arbitration for medial mal-practice.

    Open charity hospitals.

    If you want public healthcare then build public hospitals and clinics.

    Enroll everyone in catastrophic care and pay for it with sales taxes.

    Everyone is covered. Everyone pays. No one pays from income taxes or transfer taxes from one group to another.

    Anyone can keep their own private plan.

  56. And the degree to which since a vocal faction of the GOP has only become more worshipful of that old asshole, that perpetrator of gargantuan, bloody fraud, turns my stomach.

  57. Rival edges ahead of Iraq PM in overall vote count

    "A secular challenger to Iraq's prime minister edged ahead Saturday in the overall vote count in parliamentary elections, while the prime minister held onto his province-by-province lead as the counting neared completion.

    "The March 7 elections will determine who will lead Iraq as American troops depart and the country is left to grapple with the sectarian divisions laid bare by the U.S.-led invasion seven years ago.

    "Former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's political alliance was leading by 7,970 votes nationwide, according to a tally of 92 percent of the almost 12 million ballots cast. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition was leading in seven provinces compared with five for Allawi's bloc.

    "It was unclear whether Allawi's slim lead would hold or whether it would mean more parliament seats for his Iraqiya bloc. Under Iraq's election system, parliamentary seats are apportioned by how well coalitions do in each province, not by the overall vote count.

    "Allawi, who led the country from 2004 to 2005, has cast himself as the man who can bridge the country's sectarian divisions. His anti-Iran rhetoric has attracted a number of Sunni — and even Shiite — voters worried about the growing influence of their Shiite-majority neighbor on Iraq's Shiite-led government..."

    Allawi Edges to Lead in Iraqi Vote


  58. Which old asshole are talking about?

  59. Everybody has their job to do, Trish. The Republicans secured the oil; the Dems are securing healthcare. Yin, and Yang.

    The Universe is in balance.

  60. Rules Committee meeting descends into chaos
    By: Byron York
    Chief Political Correspondent
    03/20/10 12:42 PM EDT

    At the House Rules Committee meeting, Democrats desperate to pass their national health care plan are running into the barrier of basic civics. Here is the problem: The Senate has passed its HCR bill. If the House passes the same bill, it goes on to the president; once he signs it, the bill becomes law. But House Democrats, when they vote for the Senate bill using the "Deem & Pass" dodge, also want to simultaneously pass a package of amendments to the law. Except HCR will not, at that point, be law. It will only become law when the president signs it. Congress can amend the law -- it does so all the time -- but can it amend something that isn't law?

    Which is where Democrats are tripping up. Passage of their HCR proposal should be very simple: Senate passes it, House passes it, president signs it. But House Democrats are terrified of voting for the unpopular bill, so they hope to pass it by "Deem & Pass," in which they will vote, not for the bill, but for a rule that both deems the Senate bill to have passed and, in the same vote, passes the package of amendments. So House Democrats will have two fig leaves: 1) they didn't vote directly for the Senate bill, and 2) they voted to simultaneously amend -- to "fix" -- the Senate bill.

    The problem is the sequence. Can the House vote to amend something that isn't the law, as the Senate bill will not be law before the president's signature? The Rules Committee meeting turned into mass confusion when Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman said, "We're not going to 'deem' the bill passed. We're going to pass the Senate bill…I would be against the idea of 'deeming' something -- we either pass it or we don't."

    To Republican ears, that sounded as if Waxman was speaking out in support of a direct vote on the Senate plan. "I hope we're making news here," said Republican Rep. Joe Barton. If so, Barton added, "Praise the Lord!" Other Democrats jumped in to say that no, there would not be a direct vote on the Senate bill.

    Barton then asked whether there would be some period of time between House passage of the Senate bill and House passage of the HCR amendments. During that period of time, the president would sign the Senate HCR bill into law. For the House to amend the HCR law, Barton said, it has to be law, which means the president has to have signed it. "If he doesn't, it ain't a law," Barton said.

    Democratic Rep. Sander Levin jumped in. "We're going to be amending the law," he claimed. Waxman added, "We change current law, and the current law will be the Senate bill once it's voted on in the House."

    But it won't be law until the president signs it. Obviously, Democrats are performing such strange contortions because many of their members are scared of voting for a bill that will likely mean defeat for them in November. But their attempts to avoid responsibility have created some very basic problems.

  61. If you want public healthcare then build public hospitals and clinics.

    I think you would just end up with "Ghetto Medicine" for the poor, Deuce.

    Reference: Public Housing Projects. (or England's Medical System.)

  62. Chalabi's a rank piker in comparison and got himself gladly used as much as he's used others.

  63. Everybody wants to "get the lawyers out of healthcare" until the Doctor screws up Their Case.

    From what I've seen, lawyers very seldom take a Medical case that's not a slam dunk. Those States that have implemented controls on lawsuits (about 37 states, I believe) haven't realized very large gains by doing so.

  64. Healthcare is getting more expensive because Healthcare is getting more expensive.

    Our hospitals are first-rate, and Doctors are in short supply.

  65. Army, drug gangs battle in Mexico amid blockades

    "A shootout in the northern city of Monterrey killed two suspected drug cartel gunmen and wounded a soldier Friday. Suspected gang members also blocked roads in the city for the second day, in a bold attempt to impede security patrols.

    "Gunmen opened fire on an army patrol outside the gates of a prestigious private university in Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest city and a major industrial hub, the army said in a statement.

    "Soldiers seized guns, ammunition and hand grenades at the scene..."

    "Gang members blocked more than 30 roads in the Monterrey metropolitan area over 24 hours, including several leading out of the city, said Nuevo Leon Public Safety Secretary Luis Carlos Trevino. He said the blockades were intended to keep the military from carrying out operations..."

    Army and Drug Gangs Battle in Mexico

    It makes you wonder if Mexico wouldn't be better off just legalizing (and taxing) drugs.

    The first trip I took with my wife was to Acapulco. It was great (of course we were a lot younger). Ten years after that trip, I saw the beaches were all being patrolled by police carrying AK47's and machine pistols.

    I've travelled to Monterrey quite a bit on business. At the time, maquilladoras were rising all over the city. People were making more money. In general, the ones I met seemed fairly happy.

    It's amazing what the drug wars have done to the country.


  66. Mexico is the Poster Child for a "low-tax, Conservative" State. They collect 9% of GDP in taxes, and 40% of the assets of the country are controlled by Sixty Families.

    With 9% of GDP collected in taxes Mexico can't provide the services (police, infrastructure, sanitation) required to run a country. Result: Chaos.

  67. California is, slowly, inch by inch, leading the way to the solution. ie, legalizing the usage, and small-scale growing of marijuana.

    We legalize marijuana, and cocaine, and the "Drug Wars" are over.

  68. "With 9% of GDP collected in taxes Mexico can't provide the services (police, infrastructure, sanitation) required to run a country. Result: Chaos."

    Sounds easy enough. However, I suspect there are a lot more factors at work. My comments on the drug wars were little more than a casual observation. It's easy to point to them because of their obvious and dramatic repercusssions.

    I remember laying on a beach in Puerto Vallarta, watching two guys moving cement at least five hundred yards one way by wheelbarrow at a construction sight for a new hotel.

    What's wrong with this picture?


  69. Ace o Spades is reporting that the Washington Post is reporting that "Demonpass" is Dropped. The House will vote Up or Down on the Senate Bill.

    This bill will not affect me, or my family - at least not immediately. As a result, I think I can look at it somewhat dispassionately. I don't think the Republic will Fall whichever way this vote goes.

    It has been a textbook example of "participatory Democracy," though. I'm kinda proud of the Country.

    I think we should do it, although I can certainly understand it when someone else says he feels as if he's being taxed enough.

    I thought taking Saddam Hussein out of the Mideast equation was a good thing, although some were saying it would surely be the ruination of our Democracy, and all it stands for.

    I've noticed one thing in reading history, and living it for sixty plus years: The U.S. of A. is pretty damned resilient. It is, much to our enemies (some within, some without) chagrin, hard to knock off.

  70. And I have indeed, dear host, read three Graham Greene's and seen three of his novels made into movies.

    But by "spy novel" I meant more "spy thriller."

    At this point, all such would just make me want to vomit.

    I feel like going up to the Longworth Bldg with a big bag of popcorn and a Dr. Pepper.

    What better way to spend a beautiful spring day than by watching epithet-laced democracy in action?

  71. Just a third world country, Q.

    When they were having the "tortilla demonstrations" down there there was a ban on corn imported from the "Norte."

    Most people don't realize that the NAFTA accord was still "kicking in" in bits and pieces as recently as Jan of 2008 (that I know of.)

    The contractor "had connections."

  72. They're getting ready to cry at Balloon Juice.

    The cup of liberal/progressive joy runneth over.

  73. Dissolving into little puddles of exhausted euphoria at the final approach to what is undoubtedly an awful bill.

    Goddamn I love Americans.

  74. Are they libs, or conservatives?

    I don't see "crying," OR "celebratin," yet.

    Everything I'm seeing is, This thing's up in the air.


    All libs.

    You have to follow the latest thread.

    Apparently the heavens just opened up and the angels are singing.

  76. I'm not trying to start anything...but I just want to say that I like Dick Cheney.

    Don't hold it against me.

  77. If the House amends the Senate bill doesn't it have to go back to the Senate for reconciliation before it could go for the President's signature?

  78. I like Dick Cheney, too; but I don't want to go hunting with him.

  79. I am aware of what you think of Dick Cheney.

    I try not to think about it.

  80. C-span is reporting the dems have the votes.

  81. Hey, House Members...How You Like Me Now?
    —Jack M.
    An Open Letter to the House of Representatives from the United States Senate,

    Dear Revolutionary Comrades in the House of Representatives,

    How. Do. You. Like. Me. Now?

    With the dropping of DemonPass, order has been restored. Once again, it is the Senate's way or the highway. Which is only fair, since my Appropriations Committee does a better job of funding highways than yours does anyway (which is why my requests typically prevail in conference committee).

    As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end. It is not for nothing that I am the "upper chamber." I am the Master of the Universe. To put it in terms that even you can understand...I have the Power of Grayskull. You fetch Skeletor's juice boxes.

    For, you see, no one on this side of the Hill takes you seriously. How could they? I am the body from which future Presidents emerge. You are the body from which Dennis Kucinich wages a constant battle against the mind control rays of Planet Nebulon Alpha VI.

    In fact, were it not for how precious your antics are, I might not even keep you around at all! Sure...revenue bills have to originate within your body, but, c'mon, it's not like I was ever gonna have a problem with raising taxes over here anyway.'s your insistance that you should be allowed to prevail on matters of policy that is truly amusing. Did you really think your trifling concerns on the health care bill were ever going to override mine?

    After all, the founders didn't even trust you bozos to have a hand in approving nominees or ratifying treaties! In modern lingo, our Parents refused to give you the keys to the car. You will forever be counting on your more responsible big brother in the Senate to give you a ride to get to where you want to go.

    Which I will be more than happy to do. Provided there isn't anything good on TV, and you cough up the gas money.

    I know it has to hurt. You threw your cute little tantrum, got your panties all in a twist, and held your breath until you turned blue.

    Well, I heard you did this. Truth be told I really didn't notice. It was fajita day in the Cloakroom, and pretty much all I could concentrate on was salsa, salsa, salsa!

    But in the end, you are left without a say. You now have to pass the Senate's much better, wiser, and gosh darn it, handsome, legislation (which, in another sign of your penchant for adolescent, emo rage you hate) if you wish to proceed further on health care.

    "But the unions hate the Cadillac tax!" you shout. Oh, you'll have time to win them over before you are up for election.

    Oh that's have to stand for election in November while 2/3's of the Dems in the Senate don't face voters for several more years. When you have a full 6 year term (they give anyone who is important at least 4 years) it's easy to lose track of time.

    By the way, I keep meaning to ask this. Why are you hitting yourself? Do you like to hit yourself? You really should stop hitting yourself. What do you mean I am hitting you? I'm just standing in front of you, waving your arms around. It's your clenched fists hitting your goofy face that you refuse to move out of the way! Do you enjoy pain?

  82. You see, like your proposed changes, executive orders are just the cutest little things! They are like the finger-painting of the starfish you made, which I pointed out looked just like a turkey. "No", you insisted, "today it's a starfish!" "But it's an outline of your hand,"I said, "it looks more like a turkey!"

    And then the neighbors came over, and they looked at the refrigerator. And they said "isn't that a cute Turkey!" and I said "it sure is" because I was ashamed to be associated with such a crappy piece of "art". Why do you bring such shame upon the family?

    The important thing, tho, is that every time the neighbors look at the "painting" they see a turkey. And they always will, thanks to me.

    Which reminds me. Remember that time you stayed up all night drawing a 1/1000 representation of the Capitol Mall on the Etch of Sketch, and before you could show it to anyone we erased it. Sure, you cried. But I laughed. So I deem that a good time was had by all.

    See, who says I don't pay attention to what you little guys get up to over there.

    Now be good little Representatives and follow my lead once again. Sure, people will wonder how you could vote for something you hate, but you can just tell them "because the Senate is smarter and better at legislatin' and stuff" and they will certainly understand.

    Or stand up for yourselves and vote our Senate bill down. Maybe, just maybe, you could force me to start all over.

    HAHAHAHAHHAH. As if. Once a red headed step-child, always a red-headed step child.

    Love ya lots, lil'bro. Now fetch me a juice box.

    Your Better,

    The Senate

    Posted by Jack M. over at Ace of Spades.

  83. Well, if I Had to bet on it I'd bet they do, too.

    The PUbs put up a good fight, but there wuz just too many of'em.

  84. Running the economy into the ground has consequences.

  85. "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy."

    The Tao of Billy Currington.

    An appropriate observation most of the time.


  86. Obama Visits Kindergarten To Read Class 200-Page Memorandum On Health CareMarch 16, 2010

    As part of a new program designed to encourage reading, President Barack Obama visited a kindergarten class Monday to read the schoolchildren a 200-page memorandum on health care reform. "All right, part one, subsection A," the president began as the assembled students fidgeted on their carpet squares. "Can everyone see this diagram here on page two showing projected excise taxes on high-cost insurance over a 10-year period?" Sources said several of the children, while supporting the plan in principle, remained unsure how the tax base would be able to support the full scope of Obama's proposed measure..."

    In related articles:

    Rove Ensures Republican Elected As Student Body President

    Clinton Chastises Hillary For Failure To Produce Male Heir


  87. And, before anyone jumps off any roofs over this bill keep this in mind.

    We're Already Insuring that 32 Million people. We're just not insuring them very well.

    We're already providing the "emergency" care, and the ultra-expensive care once a condition becomes "life threatening;" we're just not providing the care that would, in many cases, avoided this extremely expensive end result.

  88. Deuce isn't the only one who mistrusts this government.

    Growing Number Of Americans Distrust Census

    "Despite the fact that the 2010 Census form is the shortest in recent history, some anti-government activists are refusing to answer any question besides the number of people in their household.

    What information are they trying to keep private?

    • How often on-again, off-again boyfriend was shacking up
    • That they can't remember new offspring's name
    • How many times they ordered some Time-Life item off television only to claim it never arrived, demand a new set, and then return that one for a full refund
    • That they are Osama bin Laden
    • Whether they rent or own their heavily armed secessionist compound
    • Their DNA sequence, which, according to multiple credible websites, the Census collects from saliva on the return-envelope adhesive and then adds to a secret government database


  89. 'nother Cheney lover here,
    and Matt Labash says he's a master fly fisherman.
    Outfished Matt 20 - 2.

    Master Trash Talker, too, according to Matt.
    (aide prepares to throw back a fish, Cheney says:
    "No, wait!
    Show Matt what he's missing!

  90. All Rufie's ER room tales and preventive propaganda are proving (again) in Mass?Romneycare to be FALSE.
    What's new?

  91. Well, I'll make an exception for you, pineappe doodoo head, Jump.

  92. I still ain't seen any of those displaced Mass Docs wandering around Mississip.

    We're still getting their checks, though.

  93. Dick Cheney and Rush are Great Americans.

    Their detractors are usually found huddled among koolaid drinkers, morons, and lemmings.

  94. Well, Ruf, after tomarrow's vote there won't be much need for you to continue pimping for HC. However, there does appear to be a need for a socialist running dog in Ann Arbor, MI.

    Radical Social Movement Ends After Three Semesters

    "Founded by University of Michigan junior Kate Barlow in September 1996 as a campus-based revolutionary strike force dedicated to establishing a worldwide dictatorship of the proletariat, the GSL made the decision to disband after learning it had dropped below the five-member minimum required by the university for student-organization funding.

    "We were really starting to get the word out about AmeriKKKa's exploitation of migrant labor, the silencing of Mumia Abu-Jamal, and the Clinton regime's reign of fascist terror in Central America," said Barlow, GSL chairperson and a creative-writing major. "But then Craig dropped out because his dad threatened to stop paying his tuition if he didn't get his grades up, and Doug decided to spend junior year abroad in England."

    "After three glorious semesters of struggle, we have chosen to pursue even more subversive socialist endeavors in the radical Ann Arbor underground while working at a variety of part-time jobs during the day," GSL Minister of Information Chad Saunders said..."

    The Onion: Ann Arbor Radical Movement Ends


  95. "Their detractors are usually found huddled among koolaid drinkers, morons, and lemmings."

    Yea, well give us a break. It's hard to get away from you guys. You're everywhere.


  96. My socialist running dog days are behind me, Q.

    I'm looking for a group that needs a good walking dog.

  97. Anybody know where I could find a good, used Walker?

    Unfortunately, after a couple a bud lights, las night, I became Tripping Dog, and I'm needin a little help doin anything.

  98. Unfortunately, next come Cap n' Trade. I'll be in full-throated harmony with the bar, again, then.

  99. Cap n Trade really is a danger to the country.

  100. Right now, it's time for Sleeping Dog.


  101. From Running Dog, to Walking Dog, to Tripping Dog, to Limping Dog.

    Man, the 21st Century has been tough on some of us.

  102. A little "leakage" on Intrade; now, 79 - 21

  103. Hey, N. Iowa knocked off Kansas. Anything's possible.

  104. ER use is UP in Mass.
    Both the taxpayers and the freeloaders take advantage of the convenience more than ever, now that it's "free."

  105. ...probly even take in a Carpet Bagging Limping Dog.

  106. Who the Hell is paying good money so they can watch Intrade (temporarily) go down?

  107. President Obama's Nowruz Message

    In this video, President Obama sends an important message to those celebrating the Persian holiday of Nowruz, and in particular to the people and government of Iran.

    Amerika Hating Traitor MoFo Nowruz.

  108. That fucking high speed rail is not what California needs, even if some of Rufus's taxes get siphoned off to pay for it.


    It's 28 degrees and snowing in Arkansas, more on the way tomorrow. Anything can happen, indeed.

  109. Hey, linear:
    Check out the paid version of Avast. get it for 3 computers for 29 bucks.
    It's got some pretty slick features.