“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."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Did TARP Work?

The Treasury reported a reduction in outlays of $115 billion in March for the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The reduction was partly due to repayments to TARP, a Treasury official said.

A year ago in March, the deficit was $192 billion.

With momentum growing for companies to be able to repay taxpayers, the overall tab for the government's bailout of companies and the financial markets is likely to reach $89 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. That includes the government lifelines provided for TARP, capital injections into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and other actions, the Journal reported.

Income was $153 billion last month, 19% over the total recorded in March 2009, the Treasury said

Spending was $219 billion, down 32% year over year.

For the year to date, the deficit stands at $717 billion.

- Marketwatch


  1. so Bush got credit for the TARP cost...

    and when it's repaid, Obama gets credit for the cash...


  2. Th video was done by Dylan Ratigen two months ago.

  3. Exactly right, "misdirection" the fella behind the Resolute desk, gets the credit, deserved, or not.

    The Dow is over 11,000.

    Obama has CREATED hundreds of billions USD in wealth, since taking office, based upon the EB Standard of a year ago, when the last of the Bush era losses were laid in his lap.

  4. When, in all reality, the President has little impact on the state of the economy.

  5. Then all credit for the bas news about our total debt is Obama's and BUSH is a long ago forgotten issue..

    no more blame shifting about how bad it was...

    It's all Obama's fault or credit...

    and to my ears?

    Obama sucks

  6. The whirled and the electorate care little about what you hear, "misdirection".

    Your opinion is like an asshole, you sure have one.
    As does everyone else.

    Obama was blamed, here at the EB, when the Dow hit the 7,000 range.

    Now he can bask in the success his policies have produced, for the Capitalists of the United States.

    He and his Government have done little for labor and the jobs market. That being even further removed from Federal manipulation than the Stock Market.

    The lag time for Federal policy to effect the labor market is much greater than that required to manipulate the outcome to favor the Capitalists.

  7. We're still not getting any taxes from Corporations. We're down about 75% from Mar 2008 in corporate collections - from $32 Billion to $8 Billion.

    The big ones like Exxon, Conoco, Chevron, GE take their "losses" in the U.S., and their profits in overseas tax havens - Bermuda, Qutar, etc.

  8. Exxon, and GE paid "$0.00" Income Tax in the U.S. last year.

    Exxon declared in their SEC filings that they "Made" $42 Billion.

  9. Profits up, taxes down.

    Yep, that Obama he sure is a Marxist.

    When, in all reality, he is just another politico, in the pocket of Corporate America.

    He and the Democrats as well as the Republicans, two sides of the same corporate payoff coin.

  10. desert rat said...
    The whirled and the electorate care little about what you hear, "misdirection".

    Your opinion is like an asshole, you sure have one.
    As does everyone else.

    back at you rodent boy...

  11. Enforcement actions against Small Business is UP 33%, against Big Corps DOWN 33%. Even the IRS has given up trying to get money out of them.

    The only way to get any money out of large Corporations is through the Capital Gains Tax. Obama, and the Dems are right to go after it.

  12. I have some advice for ME, and Thee, and the Republican Party. Do Not make any predictions about Budget Deficits for the rest of this year. The only thing for sure is that you will be wrong. How wrong, and in what direction only the Good Lord knows.

    An ex: If you got here Budget Statement for 2010

    and, then go Budget Statement for Mar 2007

    you will see that Soc Sec collections are up nicely, Corp taxes are down 80%, and Individual Income Taxes are up a Whopping 60% or thereabouts.

    Way "Counterintuitive" on the Indiv income taxes.

  13. Q, let me try to explain it this way:

    At THIS moment in time, it is to ALL politicians benefit to LIE to YOU.

    That chart is a fantasy.

    Just like the "projected" $1.5 Trillion Deficit for This Year was a Fantasy.

  14. Oh, and did TARP work? Yes, it was a spectacular success.

    Have we "fixed" the problems that caused the "Crisis?" No, they are, unfortunately, endemic to the Capitalist enterprise.

    Biggest Failure? Not enough people went to jail.

  15. The only explanation I can come up with for the surge in income tax payments is that the small businessmen (subchaper S filings) that are doing the most poor-mouthing are knocking the cover off the ball.

    That's a good sign.

  16. That actually reinforces the results of the "Household Survey," which, while not reported on, has shown an uptick of 1 Million Jobs over the last 3 months.

    Small Business is, indeed, hiring.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Rufus, if you're telling me not to worry too much about the deficit, I agree with you.

    Neither you or I are going to be especially hurt one way or the other.

    If you are saying we should ignore all prognostications of future events you worry me.

    A few months back you were saying we would end up with a deficit in the $500 billion range for this year. Now your bragging that it will come in less than a trillion.

    USA today is still projecting in the range of $1.3 billion.

    Does $500 billion matter that much in the big picture? Probably not on a year to year basis. It does matter in terms of long term trends.

    You brag about providing "data" and that others are only providing "projection". Data is old news. It's static. The only value it provides is in giving some basis for "projection".

    If you don't like the governments "projections" why don't you apply for a job with the OMB or CBO or the Medicare and SSA Trustees and provide them with your valuable insight. I'm sure they will be impressed with how you develop your "projections".

    Or would you merely tell them "Hey, you guys, forget about this "projectin stuff". It's always wrong anyway. Let's go have a beer. I'll run you up some numbers on a cocktail napkin.


  19. Did no one recommend rufus for an award? Steadfast Counterintuity with V Device?

    Truculent Hillbilly goes out on a limb, suffers much abuse at the hands of his fellow barflies, and turns out to be correct.

    Who's in charge of composting citations?

    Er, composing?

  20. Now, THAT'S the Trish we know and love.



  21. When was the last time Rufus was right?

    "A few months back you were saying we would end up with a deficit in the $500 billion range for this year. Now your bragging that it will come in less than a trillion.

    USA today is still projecting in the range of $1.3 billion.

    Does $500 billion matter that much in the big picture? Probably not on a year to year basis. It does matter in terms of long term trends.

    You brag about providing "data" and that others are only providing "projection". Data is old news. It's static. The only value it provides is in giving some basis for "projection".

    If you don't like the governments "projections" why don't you apply for a job with the OMB or CBO or the Medicare and SSA Trustees and provide them with your valuable insight. I'm sure they will be impressed with how you develop your "projections".

    Or would you merely tell them "Hey, you guys, forget about this "projectin stuff". It's always wrong anyway. Let's go have a beer. I'll run you up some numbers on a cocktail napkin.


  22. I got news for ya, Bubba. It "Could" come in closer to $500 B than $1 T. And, I AM the only swinging dick in all of blogdom to call BS on the ($1.8, $1.5, $1.3 Trillion - pick one) projections.

    On all the TV Business shows, on all the blogs, in all the newspapers, the "Truculent Hillbilly" at the ELEPHANT BAR is the ONLY ONE.

    You're Proud to "know me," right? :)

  23. Republicans' Lamentable Legacy:
    Easy-To-Confirm Court Nominees

    John Paul Stevens is a classic example of what has been wrong with too many Republicans' appointments to the Supreme Court.
    The biggest argument in favor of nominating him was that he could be confirmed by the Senate without a fight.

  24. I feel guilty for every spending time reading your BS, Rufus.

    How's that Romneycare doing?

  25. AND, btw, I believe if you'll look back I said that it would come in at "less than a trillion" This year, and below $500 B Next year.

  26. They can't competently administer
    Cash for Clunkers,
    but Rufie believes they can remake our heath care masterpiece in their image.

    Who ya gonna trust?

    Nancy Pelosi, or your cardiac surgeon?

  27. What BS, Doug? I wuz right. Everyone else was wrong. What's BS about that?

  28. Wish I could put some hard money down, Rufus, but somehow I fear your check would be lost in the mail.

  29. Dream on, Rufus:
    Romneycare is a success?

  30. They do competently run the "Greatest Military the World has ever seen."

    Or did you forget that that was a "Gubmint" enterprise?

    And, I guess Romneycare is going alright. Nobody in Mass is complaining much, and everyone is insured.

    I certainly haven't heard of any movements to "repeal" it.

  31. "Counterintuity" is not a word.

    But to quote WFB, "It should be."

  32. He's "lowballing us" right?

    Technically, it's a "highball,"

    but the answer is, Yep.

  33. When you promised trillions and debt and come in at 990 billion your a savior...

    this is smoke and mirrors

  34. Anyone who believes "Anything" they read in the Wahabbi St. Journal should have their head examined.

    Healthcare costs/Insurance Premiums have "Exploded" Everywhere, since Romneycare was passed in Mass. I'm guessing Mass is pretty much inline with all the other states.

    They'll work it out.

  35. That $990 Billion may be way too high. The fact is, some things are just "unknowable."

    The thing is, it all depends on the economy. If it "double-dips" all bets are off. If gasoline goes to $3.50, and the poor folks go in a shell, "who knows?"

  36. "That $990 Billion may be way too high. The fact is, some things are just "unknowable."

    In the short run, a year or two, especially given the current economic situation you are right.

    However, long term some things are pretty predictable. Healthcare costs are not going to go down, more baby boomers will be retiring (or dying), D.C. loves to spend money, D.C. does not like cutting benefits, D.C. decisions are driven by the next election cycle.

    Result: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$


  37. Don't forget "Inflation."

    If you're running deficits Inflation is your "Friend."

  38. H/C costs "could" surprise. You're right, they Won't go down; but, on the other hand, they "might not" go up as much as expected.

    Soc Sec will be "tweaked" in some manner.

    Don't forget, we've got some pretty significant income/capital gains tax increases coming in 2011. They will drive a pretty large increase in revenues.

    We're bringing a lot of troops home from Iraq. That will cut a bit from the cost side. Of course, that could be offset by increases in Afpak.

  39. Ant:

    "Well, it'll be tough but I guess we could cut expenses and pay our way out of this muddle."


    You're nutz you putz. What are you a moron?

    Much simpler to "spend our way out" of this problem. Krugman said so, although he didn't go far enough.

    And if "spending our way out" doesn't quite get us there, we just "inflate our way out."



  40. I wasn't clear on what I meant. I didn't mean that we should spend "even more." I meant that his analysis was incomplete in that he wasn't factoring in rising energy costs, etc.

    I don't like Krugman in any way. He's way too "political" for me.

    I try to separate out what "I want," from "what is."

    It's like playing poker. What do You have? What does HE have? and, most importantly, "What does It Mean?"

  41. Or, to put it differently: What does He "think" HE has? And, What does he "Think" YOU have? And, what does he "think" YOU think? And, what will HE do if you do This?

  42. Liberal Response to the Tea Partiers

    Is anyone really surprised?

    MSDNC and Olbermann must we running out of sound clips.


  43. I always found it helps to be drinking.

  44. Romneycare is a huge expense for Mass. and, much like the Big Dig, a large piece of it is being picked up by the Feds. Thank you all. The Governor just took the insurance companies here to court to block the '10 rate increases they wanted. Why didn't Obama think of that? Just tell them they can only have so much money. Problem solved.

  45. Sully:

    The WikiLeaks Agenda
    13 Apr 2010 12:39 pm

    Adrian Chen observed an uncharacteristically earnest Colbert interview last night:

    [H]is chat with Wikileaks founder and editor Julian Assange actually revealed some new insight into the notoriously mercurial Australian and the organization he runs. One constant criticism of Wikileaks' helicopter video has been that its heavy editorial slant clashed with the supposed objectivity of the material they presented. Colbert challenged Assange on this point: "You have edited this tape, and you have given it a title called 'collateral murder.' That's not leaking, that's a pure editorial." Assange responded that Wikileaks promises their sources that they will "try and get the maximum possible political impact for the material the give us." According to Assange's formulation, Wikileaks is essentially an advocacy group whose strength lies in its ability to secure incriminating documents.

    I've never seen Colbert so clearly become his own character on the question of impugning the honor of American soldiers. I don't doubt that his experience with the troops affected him on this question.

  46. chachapoya,

    Obama, Pelosi, et-al DID think of that:

    That's their path to single payer - simply put insurance companies out of business via regulation and price controls.

  47. Liberal Socialist Rufus knows that raising taxes always increases revenues.

    Why not have 100 percent tax rates?

    We'll all be rich!

  48. Raising taxes never increases revenues as much as Krugman, and the CBO think they will, and lowering taxes never costs as much as they think it will.

    But, under reasonable circumstances, raising taxes will increase revenues, and lowering taxes will lower revenues.

  49. The truth always lies somewhere between the "supply-siders," and the CBO.

  50. AP WASHINGTON -- Republican Senate leaders laid out a strategy Tuesday to alter or even reject broad changes in financial regulations.

    I WILL NEVER vote for another Republican, for as long as I live.

    Fuck 'em.

    No Democrats, No Republicans, never vote for either, again.

  51. Rat, if a "Tea Party" Candidate (a real, honest to God - endorsed by Sarah Palin tea party candidate) ran in my district, or state I would vote for him/her.

    I can't see any reason to get all gung-ho, hoping for the Republicans to take over Congress, again.

    I know, someone is going to say: how in the hell can you support the H/C bill, and then turn around and vote for someone who is, basically, running against it?

    And, the answer is, "Because I feel like it."

    I supported H/C, but, never, would I think that the future of the Republic would "rise," or "fall" as a result of it passing, or not.

    I do, however, think Congress needs a "Real Good" Shakin Up.

    Besides, I think H/C is safe, now.

  52. Well, rufus, by definition a Tea Party candidate CANNOT be a Republican, or they'd not be a Tea Partier.

    If the Republicans co-opt the Tea Party, then it is no Tea Party, at all. Just another form of the status que.

    Conservative reform corrupted, again.

    Mrs Palin, though she does look good in a red dress, is not the political future.

    Certainly not the leader of a conservative reform movement.

    She supports, wholeheartedly, John McCain, who is a first class and long time defiler of the Constitution.

  53. Ahh, you pick your leaders, and I'll pick mine. You vote for Bob (Crazy-Gunslinger) Barr, and I'll vote for the gal with the nice ass. I'll have more fun followin mine, than you'll have following yours. :)

  54. By 2012, rufus, I should be at the beach, not giving a shit.

  55. My daughter graduates from the Physician Assistant program, tomorrow.

    My current set of responsibilities and tasks are just about over.

  56. I'll see you there. I'll be the one with the petunia behind his ear.

  57. And, a glass full of ethanol. :)

  58. It amuses me how every has his own take on who can and can't be a Tea Partier.

    In my opinion, and also what they say about themselves, is that theirs' is a political philosophy, a rather narrow one to be sure, but not a specific political party.

    The fact that they are more closely related to what the GOP "professes" to believe in is not really the important thing.


  59. The Tea Partiers are motivated by fiscal conservatism.

    They do not appear to be motivated by socially conservative concerns.

    That means they have a narrow focus. This limits the movement in a sense but it also opens it up during times like these.

    A fiscally conservative Dem could be a Tea Partier as easily as an Independant or member of the GOP.

    Palin's "professed" philosophy is in line with the Tea Partiers. On the other hand, she provides a mixed blessings, a highly visible face for the movement as well as a highly visible laugh factor.


  60. Military Suicides Up Among Soldiers in Repeat Army Tours

    The link addresses "new studies". As the matter of fact, this problem, a byproduct of stress generally, was first observed during WWI. Indeed, there is a magic number of aggregate days in combat leading to fatigue (267, if memory serves). That the Army should find itself surprised is, itself, surprising. Of course, this is the same Army that promoted a "psychiatrist" mass murderer, who specialized in treating battle fatigue...Go figure.

  61. I saw Greeenspan being interviewed the other day and asked about his part in the financial meltdown. Like Rubin and all the other bums who helped orchestrate the fiasco, Alan said he was real sorry about what happened. However, he failed to take any personal responsibility for the problems that ensued under his watch. In fact, he said everyone got it wrong and that he actually got about 70% of everything right. A pretty good average in his opinion.

    I bring this up only because I recall the Chicoms' recent celebration of the communist revolution in China. The current leadership trying to recognize Mao's pivotal role in the revolution while unable to ignore the Great Leap Forward and its effects in terms of millions of lives lost and decades wasted still managed to praise Mao by stating that he got things right 70% of the time.

    Kind of ironic.

    Is average acceptable in our leaders?

    Naturally, it would be unreasonable expect them to get everything right but shouldn't we expect that they would be able to achieve at least a B?


  62. Watched Mr Laffer on some talk show, Kudlow, I think.

    He did not give Mr Greenspan a passing grade. Indeed, he had the same view that I hold, the the Fed tighten the credit markets, beyond what was reasonable, in '07 and through '08.

    Not enough growth in the money supply, plus the oil shock, required a loosening of credit. Holding the M1 supply at less than 1% growth during the 18 months prior to the fiscal management fiasco landing above the fold, was just plain mismanagement by the Federal Reserve or part of the Goldman Sucks "Master Plan" to enrich themselves and their cronies.

  63. "My daughter graduates from the Physician Assistant program, tomorrow."

    Well goddamn, Eyeore, I expect you to put a radiant smile on tomorrow and bring it back here with you. No excuses.

  64. Jeb Golinkin at Frum Forum (via the transcendentally meditating Wolcott):

    Let’s take a look:

    Newt Gingrich: Gingrich is too old, too polarizing, and too Washington to have a fighting chance at winning the presidency.

    Sarah Palin: 55% of Americans view her unfavorably. That’s pretty much game over, but even if it wasn’t, the fact that the number holds among independents (55% of them view her unfavorably and 40% of that group said they view her in a “strongly unfavorable” light) also would be a knockout. 41% of all polled view her as strongly unfavorable. In short, that means she can write off 40% of the electorate before the race even starts. Her chances of beating Barack Obama are slim.

    Mitt Romney: Deemed the “frontrunner” by many, Romney would get destroyed in a general election. Flip-flop. Flip-flop. Flip-flop. The label destroyed John Kerry, and Romney’s propensity to change his mind makes Kerry’s switches look tame to the point of irrelevance. And did I mention that Obamacare looks like Romneycare on steroids? No chance.

    Mike Huckabee: Christians heart Huckabee. Independents do not. Next.

    Gary Johnson: Who is Gary Johnson?

    Rick Santorum: Staunch social conservatives need not apply for the presidency. Santorum tried to mandate the teaching of intelligent design nationwide in 2001. Not a single Latino in America is going to vote for this guy. Neither are independents, moderate Democrats or a lot of moderate Republicans. If he is lucky and Obama does a lot of things very, very wrong between now and 2012, Santorum might… just might lose 65-35 to Obama.

    Ron Paul: The man is a fringe lunatic. The answer is no.

    Mike Pence: Who is Mike Pence?

    Tim Pawlenty: The only candidate of the batch that I am not 100% confident would get absolutely mauled by Barack Obama in 2012. A smart, competent, seemingly likeable candidate. Relatively moderate. But he is from Minnesota and not really popular there anymore. In March, a poll of 500 Minnesotans pegged his approval at 42%. If his own voters don’t like him, it will be hard for him to beat an incumbent in a general election for the presidency.

    Yes, straw polls are meaningless, and the nine names on the Southern Leadership Conference straw poll ballot don’t meaningfully represent all of the possible candidates. Off the top of my head, I might add Mitch Daniels, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal…we could go on. And yes, a lot can happen. But honestly, how much worse can this actually get for President Obama? The economy has been poor (whether he really has that much control over it is besides the point), unemployment is soaring, there was an attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day, the deficit is beyond absurd, his party is on the ropes and may lose many seats in both houses of Congress in the upcoming midterms….and yet, even with all of these disasters, Barack Obama would absolutely wreck eight out of the nine candidates on the Southern Leadership Conference straw poll ballot. The ninth, Tim Pawlenty, is uninspiring to the left, the right, the middle. He has shown nothing to suggest that he can hang with a legitimate heavyweight and frankly, there are few if any reasons to believe that he could win a national race.

    The GOP’s star is not coming. Obama became a superstar at the Democratic Convention in 2004 and by 2006 (two years before the election….), every single person that followed politics knew who Barack Obama was. We have neither a Hillary Clinton (a powerhouse presumed nominee) or a rising star who captured the nation’s attention. Paul Ryan is a darling amongst conservatives but about ten mainstream Americans have ever heard of him. Jindal was supposed to be the rising star, but he blew his “national unveiling” with an awkward response to Obama’s State of the Union.

    Maybe something could change, maybe our guy will emerge, but probably not. Chances are Obama is here to stay.

    Chances are.

  65. DR wrote:

    "Not enough growth in the money supply"

    Isn't the general criticism of Greenspan et al that they operated a 'too loose' monetary policy fueling the credit bubble? A 'too loose' monetary policy is one that promotes growth in money supply doesn't it?

  66. Revenues increased dramatically following Reagan's tax cuts, Rufus.

    High taxes stifle growth and run off business

    The Illinois Spiral

    • Nor have you heard Illinois leaders, in their to and fro over an income tax hike, confront a 2009 report by the American Legislative Exchange Council: A decade's worth of hard data suggests that states with no individual income tax created 89 percent more jobs, and had 32 percent faster personal income growth, than did states with the highest income tax rates.

    The report also analyzed 15 policy factors that influence a state's growth prospects — tax burdens, debt service, tort climate, mandated minimum wage, spending limits if any — and ranked Illinois' economic outlook as an alarming 44th in the U.S.

    Illinois needs leaders who unwind the terrible indebtedness that lawmakers past and present have bequeathed to taxpayers and their grandchildren.

    Illinois needs an end to the mutual admiration society of public officials and public employees coddling one another.

    Illinois needs fewer governments and, in Springfield, one government scared straight by so much lost employment.

    Most of all, Illinois needs leaders who see that, across this nation, concerns about the public sector's size, cost and reach is the domestic issue that most rivets Americans.

  67. Yeah, Ash, with WaMu et al giving away money to anyone with a breath, the multiplier on whatever the money supply was was way higher than normal.

    Unsustainable Bubbles caused by too much easy money - Alan would occaisionally warn of "irrational exhuberance" but he never got around to doing anything about it.

  68. Propaganda, ash, propaganda.

    The Federal Reserve held the M1 supply growth to under 1% in the 18 months prior to the crash, in an attempt to "fight inflation", which was coming from oil prices increasing, dramatically.

    It was not monetary inflation that we were experiencing, but commodity price increases due to increased global demand.

    As we are seeing again, now.

    There was a "bubble" due to the loose credit available prior to the '07 tightening.

    The Federal Reserve over reacted, tightening credit, through monetary policies, causing the crash.

    They went "to far" in both directions, both in the loosening and tightening of credit. Proving that Mr Greenspan is no more competent a manager than anyone else, in DC.

    The Federal Reserve should be abolished, but prior to that dream occurring, the Federal Reserve should be audited, by Congress.

  69. They did "get around to it", doug.

    That's the point of the conversation. Judging the Federal Reserves reaction to that "irrational exuberance" is the crux of Mr Greenspan's failing performance as an economic manager.

  70. Mr Greenspan "busted" that bubble.

    That was his goal, he succeeded beyond his own or anyone else's expectations.

  71. Now, in retrospect, he pleads ignorance.

    He should be exiled, to Missouri.


    WASHINGTON—Former Washington Mutual Inc. Chief Executive Kerry Killinger scoffed at lawmakers who blamed him for the largest bank failure in U.S. history, accusing regulators of helping only financial institutions deemed "too clubby to fail."

    The 60-year-old Mr. Killinger's defiant, two-hour testimony at Tuesday's hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations was marked by confrontations with lawmakers who claimed he repeatedly ignored warnings that the overinflated real-estate bubble was about to burst. But the former CEO held his ground, insisting the Seattle thrift's seizure in September 2008 could have been avoided if regulators had offered the same help given to other battered banks, including capital infusions.

    "For those that were part of the inner circle and were 'too clubby to fail,' the benefits were obvious," Mr. Killinger said. "For those outside the club, the penalty was severe."

    A spokesman at the Office of Thrift Supervision, the federal agency that seized Washington Mutual, declined to comment on Mr. Killinger's testimony.

  73. Trish, congratulations to your daughter. That's awesome. Now have her call my daughter and knock some sense into her. Because she's driving driving me crazy and I think she trying to settle due to time.

    And my mom wonders why I drink.

  74. Rufus cites repayments by those in the club as proof of success.

    Having government money shoveled to you at zero interest that you lend out for profit makes failure impossible.

  75. Think Trish was commenting on 'Rat's dotter, MLD.

    Have another drink, on me.

  76. "Trish, congratulations to your daughter."

    Rat's daughter.

    Trish's daughter is a Happy Graduate who's trying to figure out whether she wants The Dreaded Serious Job or just to puddle around for a few more years.

  77. Trish's son occasionally emails from Bogota to inform the parental ATM that he needs more money.

  78. Much of the money was injected into financial firms, which then issued preferred stock to Treasury that is returned as they repay the money. As of March, some $491.1 billion had been committed to institutions and $381.5 billion was paid out by Treasury under those contracts.

    TARP also included money during the financial crisis to help auto companies and insurers as well as to set up a public-private investment program intended to spur investors to buy so-called toxic or unwanted assets from banks.

    Under the Capital Purchase Program, the portion of the TARP program that included injections into banks, Treasury's March report showed it had disbursed $204.9 billion and had received $135.9 billion in repayments.

    Repayments Climbing

  79. Okay, congratulation to Rat's daughter. Have your daughter call my daughter...blah, blah, blah.

  80. Reagan caught the same lucky break that Barack has caught. A brutal recession early in the term. It guarantees strong growth thereafter.

    He did, though, do a good thing cutting the top rate. That also put a lot of wind in the sails.

    Then, later, when he had to raise money he passed a huge soc sec tax increase. That's the best type to pass if you're after growth, but it sucks if you're not one of the rich.

    He still left office with record deficits. He was a great president, however, as a result of his handling of the "cold war," and the Russkies.

  81. Nunn has not come to a final judgment on the details of the just-signed START treaty, but he said, “I certainly applaud the direction…My inclination would be positive.”

    And what if the Senate failed to provide the necessary 67 votes to ratify the treaty? “I believe that treaty ratification is enormously important, and I think not ratifying would set back a lot of our efforts around the globe,” Nunn said.

    “If the Senate finds a problem with the treaty, I hope it’s something that can be cured with a reservation—and I hope it wouldn’t be fatal to the treaty itself….I think if the Senate goes really negative on this, it would be a severe blow to protecting America, and it would be a severe blow to cooperation—not only with Russia, but with many other countries.”

    Backing Obama

  82. Lieberman doubts it'll get the 67 votes.

    Won't get his as long as there is no provision for development of new weapons.


    Those videos leave me feeling like chicken little!

    Being the last guy up at night in high seas has gotta be one of the most gut-wrenching situations in the military.

  83. Will see what Jim Hoft, Gateway Pundit has to say about this, he's been defending Ratzinger.
    I wrote:

    "On Friday, The Associated Press broke the latest story pointing the finger of blame directly at Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, quoting from a letter written in Latin in which he resisted pleas to defrock a California priest who had sexually molested children.

    As the longtime Vatican enforcer, the archconservative Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — moved avidly to persecute dissenters. But with molesters, he was plodding and even merciful.

    As the A.P. reported, the Oakland diocese recommended defrocking Father Stephen Kiesle in 1981. The priest had pleaded no contest and was sentenced to three years’ probation in 1978 in a case in which he was accused of tying up and molesting two boys in a church rectory.

    In 1982, the Oakland diocese got what it termed a “rather curt” response from the Vatican. It wasn’t until 1985 that “God’s Rottweiler” finally got around to addressing the California bishop’s concern. He sent his letter urging the diocese to give the 38-year-old pedophile “as much paternal care as possible” and to consider “his young age.”

    Pretty despicable behavior, IMHO.

    Mo Dowd

  84. The Deniers

    " My own beef with Geithner is that he remains unwilling to own up to the obvious failures of financial regulators and the Wall Street executives they were meant to supervise. Together, they continue to take comfort from the fact that just about everyone misjudged the risks that were being taken on, and that it was only an unforeseeable combination of unprecedented events that brought the financial system to its knees.

    This "perfect storm" explanation was laid before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission last week by former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan and former Citigroup executives Robert Rubin and Chuck Prince. And it is essentially the same rationalization that Geithner himself offered Tuesday before the American Society of News Editors, meeting here in Washington.

    The problem with this flawed analysis is that it leads to the wrong solutions. Geithner's view is that it is naive to think that we are somehow going to prevent the next crisis by ridding Wall Street executives of their animal spirits, or inoculating investors against herd behavior or relying on prescient regulators. The wiser course, he argues, is to accept the imperfections of market participants, submit to the inevitability of the next crisis and hard-wire the system to reduce the economic impact by reducing leverage, increasing capital requirements and giving regulators the powers they need to close down failing institutions in an orderly manner.

    This is the "Rockefeller Republican" view of financial regulation, and once you embrace it, the Geithner-Rubin-Greenspan approach to financial regulatory reform makes perfect sense. You give up trying to eradicate a Wall Street culture that celebrates and rewards people who find clever new ways to mislead investors, circumvent regulation, stimulate speculation and take advantage of customers and trading counterparties. You not only defend but reward, through enhanced responsibility, the Fed and other agencies that, over the years, allowed themselves to be captured by the industry. And you ensure that in future crises, regulators retain the authority to bail out the creditors of large, interconnected financial institutions when not doing so could pose risk of a global financial meltdown.

    In recent weeks, a number of new books have been published offering a more populist critique of the financial crisis -- one that would lead, logically, to a much more radical restructuring of the industry and limitations on its activities. It is probably unrealistic to have expected Geithner to embrace such a critique, in that it would require him to accept more responsibility for the crisis itself.

    But it remains a disappointment that there have been no sufficiently powerful voices in Congress or the Obama White House to challenge the idea that financial crises are inevitable and that the best we can hope for is to lessen the economic and human damage that they cause

  85. WASHINGTON — Erskine Bowles realized how tough his task will be leading President Obama's war on the federal budget deficit when he told his 90-year-old mother of his appointment.

    She was proud of him. Then she said, "Don't mess with my Medicare."


    These Pig Millionaire MoFo's feel no shame sucking up the poor's Medicare Dollars when they could afford to pay ten times the amount and not notice.
    May the old hag die a miserable, pain-filled death!

  86. BTW, Rufus:
    Thousands are gaming Romneycare by buying insurance prior to a high buck operation, then canceling it after.
    Govt response?
    Blame insurance companies, institute price controls!

    Hawaii suffered a similar shock when they mandated car insurance, and required it for getting a yearly safety sticker.
    People bought insurance, got their sticker, then canceled insurance.
    Forget what happened next.

    All your rosey outcomes depend on humans not acting like humans.
    Compliant drones following the rules, we are not.

  87. The stupidity of this line, doug, makes the author of that entire pasted piece, suspect.

    ... the Fed and other agencies that, over the years, allowed themselves to be captured by the industry.

    When since 1913 the Federal Reserve has been the "industry", it never has been a Federal Agency, but ALWAYS an extension of the banking industry, owned by the banks, not the Federal government.

    To not understand that simple piece of law and reality makes the analysis flawed and the guilty conspirators appear innocent.

    Another brick in the propaganda wall, not one breaking through the window, to the truth.

  88. Understanding Illegitimacy

    Teen pregnancy isn’t the story. The demise of marriage is.

    America is rapidly becoming a two-caste society, with marriage and education at the dividing line. Children born to married couples with a college education are mostly in the top half of the population; children born to single mothers with high-school degrees or less are mostly in the bottom half.

    The disappearance of marriage in low-income communities is the predominant cause of child poverty in the U.S. today. If poor single mothers were married to the fathers of their children, two-thirds of them would not be poor. The absence of a husband and father from the home also is a strong contributing factor to failure in school, crime, drug abuse, emotional disturbance, and a host of other social problems.

    In 1963, as Pres. Lyndon Johnson was launching the War on Poverty, 7 percent of American children were born outside marriage. White House staffer Daniel Patrick Moynihan, later U.S. Senator from New York, warned the nation of the calamities associated with the growing number of out-of-wedlock births. For more than 40 years, our society has ignored Moynihan’s warnings. Despite the transparent linkages among poverty, social problems, and disintegration of the family, the liberal intelligentsia has watched the steady collapse of marriage in low-income communities with silent indifference.

    The reason? Most liberal academics regard marriage as an outdated, socially backward institution; they have shed no tears over its demise. Even worse, liberal politicians and anonymous government bureaucrats have a vested interest in the growth of the welfare state, and nothing grows the welfare state like the disappearance of marriage.

  89. True, 'Rat, but it does not negate what he has to say about Timmy and the rest all claiming there was nothing they could do being bullshit.

    It was.

  90. That the truth of the incompetency is not tied to the ownership and profits that the Federal Reserve makes, doug, makes the story part of the over all cover up.

    If only the majority of the residents of the United States knew that the Federal Reserve was a profit making, private, Federally Chartered business, not a Federal Agency, the entire tone of the conversation would change.

    The fact is that the Congress cannot even audit the Federal Reserve. It is that far removed from being a Federal Agency.

    That pasted piece, part of the problem, not the solution.

  91. As the Federal Reserve's power and authority is expanding, was the management of it REALLY incompetent, or did Greenspan achieve his REAL goal, that of expanding the authority and power of his employer.

  92. This comment has been removed by the author.

  93. You, doug, much as deuce does, trace the causes of the challenges to the personalities involved. As if the people make the difference, while the problems are SYSTEMATIC, not the personnel involved.

    As all the personnel are bought and paid for, regardless of which side of the Federal Socialist aisle they supposedly represent.

  94. You named Greenspan, I named Timmy, both personalities, but you're right the problems are systemic.

    How'd the Fed get started, anyway, and by who.
    (Google would know, but you probly do too)

  95. The loss of value, in the dollar, from 1963 to present, is a SYSTEMATIC challenge, not one of which political party is in charge.

    The Federal Reserve has failed in its' chartered mission, for fifty years, but the current debate swirls around the personalities, not the institutions.

    Makes it comically sad to watch.

  96. If you aren't gonna vote for anymore pubs or dems, what are you going to do, going forward.
    Another vote for the Texas Nutball?

  97. New York bankers, doug-o, with the legislation passed in the dead of night.

    I forget the fellas names, but the legislation was written by the bankers, for the bankers.

    At a confab on some elite island resort in the Carolinas, if memory serves.

  98. By 2012, doug, I'll be surfing.

    Doubt I'll take much concern in elections in the US. Once I leave, doubt I'll come back.

    My philosophical and political view points will not win an election, so it makes no difference who does.

    Both Bush and Obama and the continuity of Federal policies have proven that point.

  99. I believe my position is that there are systemic problems and deficiencies that are in serious need of correction.

    Congress is bought and paid for. Damn cheap too.

    The idea that a lobby can spend a few million to leach out billions from a compliant congress is both absurd and disgraceful as the money is a government taking and redistribution.

    The courts have become legislators and unrestrained by either of the other two branches of government.

    The presidency is a magnet for all the wrong people if recent experience is any guide.

    Yet in all, individuals do make a difference. Not as much as I would like. The best example being the next Republican candidate for President.

    Who would that be? Can't answer that? That is the problem. You have to be a freak to want the job.

  100. It's a beautiful day

    maybe I'll go to the parade WaWa is having for their one billionth ATM withdrawal.

  101. Refinancing low interest debt with high interest debt.

    A junk bond rally:
    Record U.S. junk bond sales and a rally in leveraged loans are chipping away at the $1.2 trillion wall of maturing debt that’s threatened to cause a surge in defaults…

  102. I think not, Deuce.

    The System will steam roll any reformer.

    Which ever Party wins, the trends will remain. Ike saw the problem and warned the nation, his warnings were marginalized and discounted.

    Obama promised "change" but the status que remains constant. From economic policy to the Long War, it is steady as she goes.

    Not even Ronald Wilson Reagan could reverse the trend, though he did slow the pace of growth, a tiny amount.

    His Keynesian solution to recession, flooding the economy with trillions of borrowed dollars, while instituting massive tax increases, set a new standard of fiscal irresponsibility.

  103. "Yet in all, individuals do make a difference. Not as much as I would like. The best example being the next Republican candidate for President.

    Who would that be? Can't answer that? That is the problem. You have to be a freak to want the job.
    Individuals always have, and always will, make a difference, except in 'RatWorld.

    American exceptionalism is based on respecting the individual over the state.

    All trends against all that for quite some time, but the Tea Party'rs raise hope.

    Trish links article that says no pubs can beat BHO.

    Marco Rubio would wipe the floor with the pencil-necked commie both in debates and election.

    ...but will the party of stupid be that smart?

    Romney = Bob Dole '96

  104. While the United States has enjoyed the greatest standard of living and prosperity in all the whirled.

    So, in all reality, it ain't been all that bad. And it will not be, when compared to the rest of the whirled.

    It just will not be what I would prefer, politically. It never will be, that is assured.

    So why bother to be concerned, when there is still some twenty years of fun to be had, before I die.

  105. "His Keynesian solution"

    AKA Democrat Congress's Keynesian solution, in Realityville.

  106. "So why bother to be concerned, when there is still some twenty years of fun to be had, before I die."
    Why give a crap what we bequeath on our sons and daughters?

  107. The Tea Partiers want to maintain their Medicare Program, doug-o.

    It is an anti-Obama movement, more than an anti-Federal movement.

    The ones I've spoke to just want the Federals to do things that better benefit them, rather than others.

    They're partisans, not patriots.

  108. ...or pay our respects to our more courageous and responsible ancestors who bequeathed their unique gift on us.

  109. I'll take the long road to Hell over the short road, every time.

  110. I know what is going to be bequeathed my offspring, it has little, nothing, to do with government, doug-o.

    They can shape their whirled, as I have shaped mine. It is not for me to live their lives.

    I cannot affect the Federal Leviathan, I do not think anyone can.

    We, the People, cannot even audit the Federal Reserve, let alone influence its' policies.

    I see no reason to tilt at windmills, but have at it, if you want to.

  111. The game is acknowledged by all to be rigged.

    Why play?

  112. Comment by FYI

    ‘US Existing House Price / Median Family Income’

    A graph showing ratios for the period 1965 – 2008 (ratios range approx: 2.2 – 5.2)
    (Barry Ritholtz – February 20th, 2009)
    Housing Bubble Why Do Houses Cost So Much?

    (by Randal O’Toole) February 2006 Volume 20, Number 2
    Housing Costs

    For decades, planners have worked at raising the price of housing. When prices go down, they may take the rest of the economy with them.

    – According to 1970 Census, housing in 1969 was affordable everywhere in the U.S. except Hawaii and parts of the greater New York metropolitan area.
    – At a price-to-income ratio of 2, a family dedicating 25% of its income to a 5.5% mortgage would pay it off in eleven years, which is affordable. If the ratio climbs to 3, the period would be a marginally affordable 22 years, while at 4 it would be an unaffordable — because no lender will loan for that long — 55 years.
    – In 1969, price-to-income ratios in Honolulu, which has very limited amounts of private land available for development, were just over 3, while they ranged from 2.4 to 3.1 in various parts of the New York area.
    – But in 1969, San Francisco and other California regions such as San Jose, San Diego, and Santa Barbara all had affordable price-to-income ratios of less than 2.3, which is less than the national average today. Nationwide in 1969, the average price-to-income ratio at less than 1.8 made homes very affordable.
    – By 2004, says the Census Bureau, the national average price-to-income ratio was 2.8, again mainly due to increases in those regions along with Florida and other states on the East Coast.
    – By the 1980 census, price-to-income ratios in many California regions, including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, ranged from 4 to 4.5, and Santa Barbara was a staggering 4.8.
    – As The Economist noted in early 2005, in many places “it is now much cheaper to rent than to buy a house.” In many places the differences between home prices and rents is greater today than it was in California in 1989, so a correction could easily see home prices falling by more than the 15–25% they declined in California by 1994.
    – San Jose is the clearest case of a housing bubble. Between 2001 and 2004, the region’s employment declined by 17% and office vacancies increased from 3% to 30%. Yet housing prices in the same period grew by more than 20%. Clearly there is no support for such increases other than the expectation that prices will continue to increase indefinitely.

  113. Great video, doug.

    David vs Goliath, complete with the slings.

  114. Jane Mayer’s Disaster

    A dishonest, error-filled review provides a textbook case of how the Left smears the CIA and its defenders.

  115. Forgot about Dave the Slinger.

  116. "The game is acknowledged by all to be rigged.

    Why play?"

    The American retirement dream:

    Dropping off the grid.


  117. It IS a bar,
    what should I expect?

  118. Is your son going to school down there, Trish?

    Ours stayed in a resort room w/3 chicks last night after being the hero canoe paddler of the day.

    Hopefully clothing remained intact.
    5 bottles of Vodka were consumed.

  119. This comment has been removed by the author.

  120. Blogger desert rat said...

    "Propaganda, ash, propaganda.

    The Federal Reserve held the M1 supply growth to under 1% in the 18 months prior to the crash, in an attempt to "fight inflation", which was coming from oil prices increasing, dramatically.

    It was not monetary inflation that we were experiencing, but commodity price increases due to increased global demand."

    My understanding is that the fed has rather limited "levers to pull" to control things. Basically they set the fed lending rates which influences but does not control bank and bond rates. They also have the ability to "quantitatively ease" - essentially print money. Assuming the M1 money growth did indeed remain at 1% (I'd be interested to see the data) how was it the Fed engineered this given their limited control and the power of the "shadow banking system"? The world is also a big big place further limiting the fed's power to control the world. I don't remember a spike in interest rates closing down the money supply in the lead up to the crash nor a systematic wind down of quantitative easing.

    re. inflation- The argument is kind of circular in that inflation is defined as the increase in the price of a basket of goods and central banks mandate usually is too use their clumsy powers to keep the inflation rate in a rather narrow band. Now this approach seems to be born of the notion that inflation is purely monetary based and, yes, commodity demand isn't necessarily only monetarily driven (i.e peak oil theory) hence the worries and pains of stagflation. Deflation seems to be scariest worry and Central banks inability to control the world appears to be driving the move to allow inflation to work at a higher rate giving the fed more power to work interest rates - once you are at zero all you can do is print and once printing the devilish detail is how to get those bucks into the 'system'.

  121. I'm also curious as to what you would like to see instead of the fed? Are you suggesting banks should print their own script as they did in the past? More political control of a central bank not owned by the banks? An independent central bank?

  122. doug wrote:

    "American exceptionalism is based on respecting the individual over the state."

    whaaaat?? You've been watching too much Glen Beck and drinking way too much of the koolaid served by the tea-baggers!

  123. The Constitution gives the authority to print and coin money to the Congress.

    That is where fiscal & monetary policy should be made, in Congress, in the full light of day and public votes.

    Not in closed rooms without public knowledge or input.

    We should go back to the future.

  124. No National Bank at all.

    The Government need not borrow the money it uses, from bankers, when it can print its' own.

    Back to silver certificates, or a currency based upon a bundle of commodities.

    Not one based upon trust and faith, in the bankers, as we have now. Check out any chart of the dollars' value, from 1960 until today.

    The dollar is worth a fraction of its' past value.

  125. The Federal Reserve has failed to fulfill its' chartered purpose, to maintain the store of value, in the dollar.

    They should be fired.

  126. The current system is both broken and corrupt.

  127. Doug said...
    Palestinians Shoot Back With Video Cameras

    How about show video of beheadings, stabbings, ied's and suicide bomber's effects?

    oh that's right, no one cares....

    but if a Palestinian can show a Jew hitting him in the head? WAR CRIME...

    That's why I advocate using 50 cal sniper rifles on all Palestinian protesters, aim for the head or camera... who cares...

    it's war folks it aint pretty...

    To be fair, where are all the cameras recording American air strikes?

    Where are all the cameras in the Sudan, Tibet, Ossetia?

    Oh that's right, no one cares... Unless it's an Israeli rough handing a palio.....


  128. desert rat said...
    By 2012, doug, I'll be surfing.

    Doubt I'll take much concern in elections in the US. Once I leave, doubt I'll come back.

    Dont let the doorknob hit ya on the ass on the way out...

  129. "Is your son going to school down there, Trish?"

    He's hoping to do so this autumn. But his Spanish, among other things, has to be developed to an extent that makes that possible.

    One guy, three worshipful girls, and FOUR BOTTLES OF VODKA.

    Dear lord, Doug.

  130. The Israeli have KILLED over 1,000 innocents in Gaza, in the past 2 years, the Palis have never killed that many Israeli.

    There is no comparison to their respective criminal activities, the Israelis are the masters of war crimes.

    Violating the Geneva Accords, daily, since 1967. As the United States publicly noted, in 1972.

    Nothing has changed, since then.

  131. desert rat said...
    The Israeli have KILLED over 1,000 innocents in Gaza, in the past 2 years, the Palis have never killed that many Israeli.

    spoken like a true nazi...

    as for the incompetence of palestinian attempts at murder that is not the issue...

    8,000 rockets, mortars and missiles shot INTO israel are all attempts at murder baby...

    if the palestinians SUCK at being warriors? try a different advocation...

    If you start a war (the palios) dont be sad if you lose...

  132. Let's all have pity on the incompetent Murderer..

    As rat would have it...

  133. But Rat's the guy who hires ILLEGALS to murder rapists....


    Rapists dont kill anyone...

    but Rat hires Illegals to murder rapists...

  134. Not illegals, "misdirection', but criminals.

    I'd fight fire, with fire.

    The Israeli are the occupiers, in the "Occupied Territories" as the Israeli Supreme Court has noted.

    The Israelis maintain a criminal government, and all the name calling you do, will NEVER change that fact.

    Until the Israelis withdraw to the 1967 borders, ceasing their illegal occupation of captured territory.

  135. The Israeli occupation and the systematic discrimination against the Palis in the occupied territories, that Bibi admitted to, in November of 2008, justifies the Palis actions against the war criminals.

    It has nothing to do with religion, everything to do with justice.

  136. 1000 palestinians killed after they start a terrorist war of rockets...

    I ponder....

    If any other army in the world went into gaza what would be the death count?

    I think Israel should actually try to be more like the USA, look at their kill numbers in Iraq or afpak...

    Or maybe let's look at how China fights a war in tibet (they never shot 8000 rockets)

    or how Russia fights a war... (Estimates of the Afghan deaths vary from 100,000 to 1 million.)

    pick any nation, go ahead...

    show me a major war that has less than 1000 civilians killed (not that i accept that 1000 innocent palestinians were killed)

    One set of standards for Israel, and the entire world a different standard...

    That is the definition of a nazi

  137. rat the nazi says: Until the Israelis withdraw to the 1967 borders, ceasing their illegal occupation of captured territory.

    Gaza is not occupied, nor has it been for years...

    Gaza shares a border with Egypt, it's natural mother...

    get your facts straight naziboy...

  138. Ratboy says:

    There is no comparison to their respective criminal activities, the Israelis are the masters of war crimes.

    And that is why Rat is a Nazi....

    Blinded by hatred...

    Biased beyond reason...

    I hope his daughter marries a Nice Jewish Doctor who loves Israel, takes his daughter there and never looks back...

    Would not that be the best revenge for such a turd of a soul like Rat?

  139. rat, you seem to have an idealized vision of the Fed that never existed, nor was chartered to exist, from what I can tell. Similarly the notion that money somehow has a fixed store of value is also an ideal not consistent with history or reality.

    from our friendly site wiki:

    "The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve, and informally as the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. It is the only entity with the authority to print U.S. currency.

    The Federal Reserve System was conceived by several of the world's leading bankers in 1910[1][2][3][4] and enacted in 1913, with the passing of the Federal Reserve Act. The passing of the Federal Reserve Act was largely a response to prior financial panics and bank runs, the most severe of which being the Panic of 1907.[5][6][7] Over time, the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System have expanded and its structure has evolved.[6][8] Events such as the Great Depression were some of the major factors leading to changes in the system.[9] Its duties today, according to official Federal Reserve documentation, fall into four general areas:[10]

    1. Conducting the nation's monetary policy by influencing monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.
    2. Supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation's banking and financial system, and protect the credit rights of consumers.
    3. Maintaining stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets.
    4. Providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation's payments system.

    The Federal Reserve System is subject to the Administrative Procedure Act,[11] and so is legally obligated to inform the public about its organization, procedures and rules. In addition, the Act requires the Fed to establish uniform standards for the conduct of formal rule-making and adjudication.

    According to the board of governors" It is not 'owned' by anyone and is 'not a private, profit-making institution'. Instead, it is an independent entity within the government, having both public purposes and private aspects."[12] In particular, the US Government does not own shares in the Federal Reserve System nor its component banks, but does take all of its profits after salaries are paid to employees, a dividend is paid to member banks that is 6% of their capital investment, and surplus is put in a capital account. The government also exercises some control by appointing its highest-level employees and setting their salaries. The Federal Reserve made a record profit of 45 Billion in 2009., nearly all of which was transferred to the US Treasury. [13]"

  140. Do you want to hear something funny? No, too bad.

    I just called Penn Dot to see where my camera card was for my license renewal because they were suppose to send it out three weeks ago. So the lady asked me to verify my address and I told her the street, city and zip code. She then asked me...are you ready...what state is that city in?

    Are you effing kidding me?

  141. I saw this and thought of you rufus,

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010 3:39 PM
    Can oil prices kill the recovery?

    David Berman

    The International Energy Agency earlier this week warned that high oil prices could affect global economic growth, echoing similar concerns that rising energy costs could kill the economic recovery.

    But James Hamilton at Econbrowser, in a blog post that preceded that warning, doubts whether the rise above $80 (U.S.) a barrel will have much of an impact.

    He noted that in a typical month, Americans buy about 12 billion gallons of gasoline. So, with gas prices up about a dollar over the past year, $12-billion has been directed at fuel costs that could have been directed elsewhere. On the other hand, gas prices are still about a dollar below where they were two years ago.

    “Changes of this size can certainly provide a measurable drag or boost to consumer spending, but are not enough by themselves to cause a recession,” he said.

    “My view is that it is not just the level of consumer spending but also a sudden change in its composition that sometimes contributes to an economic recession. When oil price increases are sufficiently sudden and dramatic, we see abrupt drops in consumer sentiment, postponement of purchases of consumer durables, and important changes in the kinds of vehicles consumers buy.”

    This isn’t happening this time around. Indeed, energy expenditures as a percentage of total consumer spending are still below 6 per cent, which Mr. Hamilton argues is the level at which consumer have historically begun to make adjustments.

  142. "Dear lord, Doug."

    What else is there to say?

    Makes me want to become a stronger believer.

  143. Hey, WIO:

    Maybe them Israeli Peaceniks will hand out cameras to record Scuds incoming from Lebanon?


  144. Hey, WIO:

    Maybe them Israeli Peaceniks will hand out cameras to record Scuds incoming from Lebanon?


    The images that Israelis live with, such as pizza parlors and passover sedars that TARGETED to murder women and children and turn them INTO human HAMBURGER are so horrifying they are hard to comprehend..

    The palestinians are LUCKY to have an enemy such as the "criminal state of Israel"

    and we all KNOW it...

    Rat's just a Jew hater, yeah he will claim it's just Israel not Jews, but he's posted here to long, made enough snide Jew baiting comments to hide his blind white hot hatred....

    There are 2 standards in the world...

    Israel and the rest of the world...

  145. After 10 weeks of "bearish" inventory reports there was a report, today, that was just a teensy-weensy, little bit bullish.

    Oil Jumped $2.00 bbl.

  146. The Federal Reserve is owned by the Member Banks, ash.

    Any statements to the contrary are false. It may or may not make a profit, it cannot be audited by the Government so no one really knows.

    The Bankers have lied continually about their dealings and profits, there is no reason to believe the Board of Governors. If they were telling the truth, or the Federal Reserve really was what your propaganda blurb purported, they'd be auditable. The Board of Governors would permit public audits of the books. The Board of Governors does not allow our Government that pejorative.

    It is obviously not a part of the Government, if it is not subject to any form Government over sight or accountability.

    The Congress granted the Federal Reserve all the authority it has, it should be reined in, controlled, by the Representatives of the people.

    That it is not, is an affront to all of our economic freedom.

  147. "misdirection" tells us that the Israelis are afraid of Arab propaganda, while the Israeli murder Arabs in Gaza.

    That the propaganda justifies murder.

    Funny stuff.

  148. While the Israeli PM admits that Israel has created a Jim Crow society, the purpose of which was to so deprive the Arabs living in the occupied territories of economic opportunity, to give the Palis "no reason to live".

    Then the Israeli complain the Arabs do not love them.

    Even funnier stuff.

  149. I told the whirled that the US should have driven on, to Damascus, back in '03.

    Seems I was right about that, aye doug-o?

  150. As predicted, "misdirection" resorts to name calling, as he cannot defend the Israeli war crime history in any other manner.

    Quite comical, in all reality.

  151. Everything was falling our way until W went Wobbly.

    W came to stand for Wobbly,
    which should be a contradiction in terms, but that's the way it was.

  152. Spirited discussion @ BC about our setting up two new Islamic Govts.

    Kind of like bringing a New Tone to Washington.

  153. Those countries are 99.99% Muslim. What were we "supposed" to set up? Buddhist governments?

  154. Secular government, rufus, not Islamic Republics.

    Just as the US is not a Christian Republic, the US should not support any sectarian government, anywhere.

    To do so violates the at least the spirit of the 1st Amendment. To spend US taxpayer monies in support of State religions, or religions of a State, it's an abomination.

  155. My suggestion, Doug, is to take up heroic paddling. All else will fall into place in due time.

    Well. Don't forget the vodka.

    And, ah, a convenient suite at the resort.

  156. desert rat said...
    As predicted, "misdirection" resorts to name calling, as he cannot defend the Israeli war crime history in any other manner.

    Notice how AS RAT IS CALLING ME A NAME he claims I resort to name calling?

    I can defend Israel's actions with ease... but why waste an ounce of effort on a black hearted nazi like you?

    really rat, you over inflate your importance...

    you are a nobody, just a cyber jew hating piece of shit...

    sure I call you names... you deserve it...

    and as you so like to call me names, back at you mr kettle calling the me black...

    rat, your name fits you well...


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  158. That's why I picked it, "misdirection".

    Out of respect for the realities, of the desert.

    Which I know quite well.

    That you do not, quite evident.

    That there is no rational defense for Israeli war crimes, evident as well, from your irrational rants in their defense.

    You are now to the point of claiming that there is moral equivalency 'tween the Arabs and Israeli.

    Quite strange, even comical, but really bizarre from some one that claims that their people are responsible for the civilizing of the "Western Whirled".

    To justify the actions of the Israeli by comparing them to the Arabs, whatever debate team you were on, it must have fared poorly.

  159. Especially since you claim the Arabs, Palis in particular are all criminals and goat fuckers.

    I admit, there is moral equivalency 'tween the Palis and Israeli, That has been my position for years now.

    Glad you've come on board.

  160. Rat: That there is no rational defense for Israeli war crimes, evident as well, from your irrational rants in their defense.

    True no rational defense for non-existent crimes.

    It's hard to prove to nazis, jew haters and jihadists anything...

    There is no proving anything to a steel trap of a mind like yours...

    Your mind (or lack thereof) was made up years ago, long before we ever met at the bar...

    so with deep respect and love, i say to you...

    go fuck yourself...

    thank all that is holy your opinion is as important as the turds i flush...

    in the end Israel will thrive without your love...

    and hopefully some how, some way I hope your family see you for the shit head you are and never speaks to you again...

  161. Your language, "misdirection" despicable.

    Bet you'd wash your kids' mouth with soap, if he said such a thing.

    But that is the lack of a moral compass I'd expect from a Scout Leader, pure hypocrisy.

    Bet you like the little boys, just like the Arabs do, you speak of their sexual procilvities so often, it must be on mind, all the time.

    Fight the urge, "misdirection" fight the urge.

  162. I told her I lived in the United States.

    She said, "If I didn't hear from them in three days to expect my camera card in ten days."

    I asked, "Why would you contact me in three days?"

    She said, "In case something goes wrong."

  163. desert rat said...
    Your language, "misdirection" despicable.

    and you seek the genocide of Israel....

    kiss my ass...

  164. rat:
    Bet you like the little boys, just like the Arabs do, you speak of their sexual procilvities so often, it must be on mind, all the time.

    You're still a piece of crap no matter what slurs you throw...

    just a jew hating slime bag...

    nothing new...

    we've seen it all before...

  165. rat, I dont know what your sexual vices are nor do I care...

    You are simply a Jew hater clear and simple...

    You advocate the genocide of my people, so you dont like the words I use to describe you?

    grow up...

    your a anti-semite at best, a closet nazi/jihadist at worse....

    neither hold respect in my book..

    I call you to your face what you are...


  166. I seek no such thing, the genocide of Israelis

    That is a pure lie.

    I seek to see the end of War Crimes, committed by US "allies".

    It demeans the United States to have such "friends".

    I seek neither the death of Israelis or Arabs.
    I demean neither with innuendo or untrue rants.

    Fight the urge, "misdirection", keep it your pants, with the zipper up.

  167. The interesting thing, back in '03 I was an Israel supporter. Thought the US should take dow the Assads, in Syria, in an attempt, in part, to relieve Israel of the terrorist threats it faced.

    Threats that now manifest themselves with Syrian Scud missiles in Lebanon.

    All it took, to change my position towards the Israeli ...

    Exposure to the Friends of Israel, on the Whirled Wide Web.

    Mat, allen and "misdirection" have convinced me that the Arabs are right in the majority of their claims against Israeli occupation and discrimination.

    Their self-proclaimed 'truths' set me free of the misconceptions brought on by decades of Israeli propaganda propagated to misinform US.

  168. Not all Israeli are Jews. "misdirection", as you have told US, repeatedly and not all Jews are Israeli.

    Religion has NOTHING to do with my position.
    Criminal activity by a US 'ally' does, especially when the US has told the whirled that the Israeli actions are criminal, a violation of the Geneva Accords.

  169. Even if I did, hate Jews, which is not the case, it would make no difference.

    You still would have no defense for Israeli actions, other than to claim equivalency with the Haters.

  170. Which is, again, the position I have held for years now.

    That there is no moral difference 'tween the off spring of Abraham.

  171. A position you, "misdirection", affirmed in this thread @ 05:53:00 PM EDT.

  172. Lack of inspiration, Blue?

    Frustration, exhaustion, disgust, or dismay?

  173. Too constructively engaged to give a damn?

    Don't make me start digging up insightful, hopeful pieces on a nascent, sane conservatism just to drag your ass out of a funk.

  174. A state judge Wednesday said he'll rule quickly on whether Tea Party of Nevada candidate Scott Ashjian should be taken off November's ballot as a U.S. Senate candidate because he filed his candidacy papers before changing his voter registration.


    "I believe the Republican Party has targeted me and my family to get me out of the race," Ashjian told The Associated Press at the time. "We're not going anywhere.

    We're going to finish this race."

    Candidate Challenge

  175. Can someone please explain to me the difference between a Tea Partian and a Libertarian?

  176. Libertarians, Sam, don't believe the Government should be in the business of handing out ladders.

    Tea Partiers think the ladders the Gov. gave them are fine, but are against the proliferation of any more ladders.

    EX. Repeal the H/C Bill, but keep your hands off my Medicare.

  177. The NYT sifts through one recent sample:

  178. What did the article say, Trish?

  179. Good article, Trish. Thanks. Rufus nailed it in a nutshell.

  180. That Tea Partiers mostly inhabit trailer parks; eat fried bologna sandwiches; can't name the current vice president; and strongly identify with Randy Quaid's character in National Lampoon's Vacation.

  181. According to a White House statement, the trip represents "the enduring U.S. commitment to help Haiti recover and rebuild," the Washington Post reports. The statement adds that Obama and Biden want to "thank the women and men across the whole of the U.S. government for their extraordinary efforts in Haiti during the past three months.

    They will also reach out to the U.N. and international relief communities in recognition of the truly global effort underway to help Haiti"

    The Chicago Sun-Times reports that during their five-hour visit, Obama and Biden met with Haitian President Rene Preval and his wife Elisabeth and toured a high school devastated by the quake

    Haiti Visit