“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."

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Now 2500 Supply Trucks At Pakistan/Afghan Border

Pakistan Crossing Remains Shut to NATO Trucks After U.S. Apology

Groundhog's day in Pakistan.

This is not a re-post. It is the daily reality of the continuing mess we have created for ourselves in Afghanistan.

Where is the leadership? It should be obvious to everyone that there are extreme limits to what can be done in land-locked Afghanistan and that Pakistan in particular is a problem for the entire region.

Forget about the challenges we have when we get into Afghanistan. We are fighting a war, dependent on a tenuous and vulnerable supply line that can only pass through either Russia, Iran or Pakistan.

If you deem it necessary to fight a war in a difficult area, don't you think it would be useful to be able to protect your supply lines?

Was anyone paying attention when our Muslim ally denied access through Turkey to get to Iraq? We won WWII because we had access to Europe through a friendly ally in the UK. We rolled back Iraq from Kuwait with the reluctant acquiescence of Saudi Arabia.

The US made quick progress in the fight against AQ by providing air support to the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, and the masterful use of special forces. The world was in shock over 911 and we had a unique opportunity to act decisively to destroy and defeat our enemy. Unique opportunities come with a limited shelf life.

The President of The USA, after he learns to salute, happens to be Commander in Chief. In the case with Obama, the American public, fighting two wars, picked one of the least qualified individuals to be Commander in Chief.

Obama, foolish, Nobel Laureate for Peace of all things, decided to do the surge of the un-light brigade. Here we are, 2500 supply trucks and nowhere to go.


October 07, 2010, 3:41 AM EDT By Viola Gienger and Khurrum Anis
Oct. 7 Newsweek

Pakistan kept shut the main border crossing used to supply NATO troops in Afghanistan a day after the U.S. apologized for killing three Pakistani soldiers in the air strike that triggered the transit pointʼs closure.

At least 2,500 trucks are backed up waiting for permission to enter Afghanistan, Khawaja Muhammad Khan, president of the nationwide truckers body, said by phone from Peshawar, the main city in Pakistanʼs northwest. Khan Pasand Khan, a government official in Khyber Agency, confirmed there had been no order to allow trucks and fuel tankers, dozens of which were set ablaze by militants in the past week, to cross the Torkham border post.

Pakistan closed the Khyber Pass route into Afghanistan after the Sept. 30 attack by U.S. helicopters, which the American ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson yesterday called a “terrible accident.” Taliban guerrillas claimed responsibility for recent strikes on tankers parked along the route to Torkham, through which flow most of the 580 truckloads per day of supplies and fuel contracted by NATO.

Guerrillas late yesterday launched the fourth major assault on supply lines for 142,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops fighting the Afghan Taliban since the border point was closed. The attack destroyed 50 fuel tankers in the northwest city of Nowshera, Himayat Shah, general secretary of the All- Pakistan Combined Trucks and Trailers Welfare Association, said by telephone from Karachi today.

Sitting Ducks

“More than 100 trucks supplying fuel and cargo are stranded” in Nowshera, district police officer Nisar Ahmed Tanoli said by phone. “I have directed drivers to scatter around the city so they do not become sitting ducks for attackers.”

Gunmen yesterday set fire to 10 out of 30 fuel trucks parked near the southwestern city of Quetta on their way to the nearby Chaman border crossing into Afghanistan. While Chaman has remained open, Dawn News reported yesterday that 152 trailers and oil tankers with “tampered” documents had been detained there.

With the week-long border closure, Pakistan “has exercised one of its key levers against its ally: reminding Washington of its reliance on Pakistani territory to wage the war in Afghanistan,” the Austin, Texas, risk analysis firm Stratfor said.

A joint U.S.-Pakistani investigation established that the U.S. helicopters mistook the Pakistani Frontier Scouts for insurgents, the U.S. embassy in Kabul said in a statement. Pakistanʼs ambassador in Washington, Husain Haqqani, has linked the investigation to the border supply route being re-opened.

Deepest Apology

“We extend our deepest apology to Pakistan and the families of the Frontier Scouts who were killed and injured,” Patterson said in a statement. “Pakistanʼs brave security forces are our allies in a war that threatens both Pakistan and the U.S.”

Army General David Petraeus, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, offered condolences to the families of those killed and wounded and said the coalition “deeply” regrets the loss of life.

“The helicopters fired on a building later identified as a Pakistan border outpost, in response to shots fired from the post,” the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said in its statement. “The assessment team considered it most probably that they had fired in an attempt to warn the helicopters of their presence.”

The U.S.-commanded NATO forces in Afghanistan crossed into Pakistani territory several times last month, Pakistani officials have said. The Obama administration in September quadrupled its missile strikes in northwest Pakistan against Islamic guerrilla groups that are fighting it in Afghanistan and that might be linked to what Western governments say is a possible plot for terrorist attacks in Europe.


  1. Have you ever noticed how those guys that make a living messing with snakes usually end up dead from snakebite?

    U.S. meet Snakebite.

  2. Military geniuses meet landlocked.

  3. 147,000 troops, and no fuel.

    Did I mention it's starting to get Cold in Afghanistan?

  4. Now, a smart man might be rounding up all the aircraft available from all around the world, and getting them ready for Tet II.

  5. Of course, a smart man would have never let us get in this fix to start with.

  6. Have I ever mentioned that I think Generals are the stupidest motherfuckers in the whole world?

  7. I want to note that Rufus made all the comments before I added my comments at the beginning of the post.

    Right on brother.

  8. Here, you Military Geniuses; Meet Your Supply Route.

    Fucking Morons.

  9. There is something wrong with a military culture that would not resist a stupid idea like Obama's surge. You would think at least one general would have objected in a public way.

    None did.

    They let fine young American and allied troops get their brains mushed and bodies mutilated at the expense of their careers.

    These wars would never have lasted this long if we had draftees and others like me who enlisted in other branches so as not to be drafted.

    Obama is running around now handing out Medals of Honor. It would be far more honorable if he had done the right thing so that no medals would need to be handed out. He didn't.

    Obama got seduced by the military accoutrements lavished on US Presidents. Had Obama had a clue, instead of The Nobel Peace Prize, he would have resisted the temptation.

    President Eisenhower, having worn five stars, never returned a salute as president. He understood the predictable calamities of war.

  10. How the Left can be silent over this simply amazes me. They are more despicable than I ever knew.

  11. How did Trish describe us?

    "disgruntled ex-enlisted men?"

    I think she was more artful.

  12. Well, I ain't disgruntled. But, I can read a map.

    I guess the Army gave up "map-reading" for Pedicures.

    If this shit really goes sideways we could end up in either one of the bloodiest fights in the History of the Republic, or a Nuclear Exchange.

    Our entire Army, and Marine Corps couldn't secure a supply line through Baluchistan - even if we had the ships, logistics, and landing craft to get them there.

    Oh, hell, we could do it, but it would take every man-jack in Service.

    In the meantime we could get 50,000 of our troops dead. You take diesel away from our forces, and they're in hell of a pickle.

  13. It's six hundred miles as the crow flies from the sea to Kandahar, and we won't be flyin' on no crows. It's gotta be a thousand miles driving a fuel tanker through those mountain passes, and villages.

    I'm going to tell you, the more I think about it, I'm not sure we could do it.

  14. The British sent 16,000 into the Khyber Pass, and IIRC, one doctor came out the other end. And they just had to get through One thirty mile long pass.

  15. The Russians would allow the US to cross the same bridges into Russia that the Red Army used in their retreat, camera crews at the ready of course.

  16. I believe G. Patton would already have a route through here mapped out. Turkmenistan

    Then again, George Patton's dead, isn't he?

  17. Damn! What a fucking mess.

  18. Ah, hell, Turkmenistan would take years. Too complicated.


    I guess they better give Pakistan what it wants. Then, get the hell out.

  19. This makes Dien Bien Phu look like Military Genius.

  20. I gotta go to the store, and buy coffee. Have the plans on my desk when I get back.

  21. no trucks no money...

    is this the october surprise that we have been waiting for????

  22. If it ain't, it'll do.

  23. They'll probably work this out, but, Bubba, if they don't it's scary as hell. You Can Not Possibly supply 140 Thousand Combat Troops by Air.

  24. Right Now, they need to be getting ready to fall back the whole bunch to Bagram. Or, maybe, to there, and one, or two others, if they have them, that are capable of bringing in the big birds.

  25. time to start burying taliban in pig skins...

    but save any and all suggestions since Obama wants us to lose....

  26. I'm not worrying about the asshole wanting to lose; I'm worried about whether he, or any of his generals know how to win.

  27. Bill Roggio in The Long War Journal (on the blogroll) says the Pakistani military is responsible for the attacks.

  28. Simple rehash of yesterday's news.

    The Pakistani were the military infrastructure behind both al Qaeda and the Taliban prior to 11SEP2001.

    The US was in denial then, it remains that way today.

    The Generals more interested in pouring concrete and building personal empires than in "winning" or "victory".

    A coffee shop is SOP at every airfield! Just gotta have the "Green Bean", Costa Rica roast.

    Obama held the US military back, to that 30,000 man surge, the Generals wanted "more", as they always do.

    While the Federals still deny that Pakistan is the enemy, not an ally.

    It has nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with fear of a real war. One where the lack of US casualties is not pre-ordained by overwhelming technology.

    Turkey denied the US transit rights, but we did not deny them access to those 50 some nuclear warheads, in Turkey. Those weapons are still there, in Turkey on a Turkish airbase.

    Think it through, boys.

    You were had by the Republicans.
    They borrowed and spent a $ Trillion USD and got zilch in return.

  29. It does make you wonder about the effectiveness of military action as compared to the expectations. What is a realistic expectation?

    It seems to me, we can absolutely demolish an enemy, but anything short of that is much harder and more limited than the politicians or professional military are willing to admit.

  30. I suppose this is the "teachable moment" Obama has been looking for. Be nice if he didn't surge before it happened though.

  31. I don't blame Obama nearly as much as I blame McCrystal, Petraeus, Mullen, and all the other idiot flag officers. They're the ones that are supposed to have "studied" this stuff.

  32. Deuce,

    Thank you very much for the site update.

    High quality as Quirk noted.

    An aside to Rufus' Dien Bien Phu comment. I visited the Foreign Legion Museum in Aubagne the last time I was in France...

    It was small and unprepossessing.

    In fact I drove past a couple of times before I realized what it was.

    Similarly humble inside.

    The Dien Bien Phu section was, as far as I could tell with my limited French, brutally honest...


  33. Gino,

    We try and keep it brutally honest!

    I appreciate your comments.

  34. Reminded me that there was this interesting interaction...

    As I said I drove by the museum a couple of times without seeing it. I had directions and all; just missed the entrance.

    Next day, being stubborn, I drove back and stopped at the tourist office in town for help.

    These are usually staffed by winsome young women and I'll often take the opportunity to drop by and get a town map, etc...

    There were two cuties at this office and the tall thin blond deigned to help me.

    She was much more difficult than normal. The delightful coquettishness was there but layered with disdain if not outright dislike...

    I'd asked her if she could speak English, my French being poor.

    She, in turn, asked what nationality I was. I said American.

    She said "Are you sure?"

    This was really unexpected behavior for me but I had my passport and showed it to her.

    Then I asked her why she'd asked.

    She said, much more pleasantly now, that "We have so many Germans attempting to pass themselves off as British or American..."


  35. Now, the WSJ is reporting it:

    Members of Pakistan's spy agency are pressing Taliban field commanders to fight the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan, some U.S. officials and Afghan militants say, a development that undercuts a key element of the Pentagon's strategy for ending the war.

    The explosive accusation is the strongest yet in a series of U.S. criticisms of Pakistan, and shows a deteriorating relationship with an essential ally in the Afghan campaign. The U.S. has provided billions of dollars in military and development aid to Pakistan for its support.

    Talks Court Afghan Insurgents
    Gunmen Torch NATO Trucks
    .The U.S. and Afghanistan have sought to persuade midlevel Taliban commanders to lay down their weapons in exchange for jobs or cash. The most recent Afghan effort at starting a peace process took place this week in Kabul.

    But few Taliban have given up the fight, officials say. Some Taliban commanders and U.S. officials say militant leaders are being pressured by officers from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency not to surrender.

    "The ISI wants to arrest commanders who are not obeying [ISI] orders," said a Taliban commander in Kunar province.

    U.S. officials say they have heard similar reports from captured militants and those negotiating to lay down their arms.

    ISI Urges On Taliban

  36. Nobody appears to be taking it very seriously. Oil is, actually, down a couple of dollars today.

  37. bob from Moscow Idaho and prooud of itThu Oct 07, 05:36:00 PM EDT

    All this shit seems far away, politics and all, when you are down in the deeps of Nevada. I have pics that would scare Ruf's panties off. You go up there out of
    Wells, or Ely, or Elko, you'll see something, and the not the back forty.

    I took them fuckers for nearly a thousand dollars, fore I got called back for business. Nick was up then broke even.

    Motherfucking City of Moscow, always wanting more.

    Trish, if I know you at all, you would love the Hotel Nevada.

    Built in 1929, it was the highest building in Nevada at the time, a towering six stories.

    And it is filled with the artifacts you might like.

    I fell in love with the place.

    We have all sorts of photos, including a national winner.

    What's that, I asked Nick, pointing to a clear milk gallon container, with half yellow fluid in it, when we stopped for a smoke by the road.

    That's a piss jug, he says.

    What the hell is that, I say.

    Truckers out here, piss in a milk gallon, so's not to stop and then throw it out the window.

    So I have one of the world's best, maybe the world's only, close up photo of a beside the road piss jug.

    These truckers are smart.

    With my prostate problem, which is getting better, I might think one using one myself.

    There was no Christ in the piss jug.

    You'd love the Hotel Nevada, Trish.

    I did not post that stuff on the earlier posts.

    Hinting season was going on outside of Wells.

    Unless you are dead to the world, you wouldn't believe the vista from up by Angel Lake.

    Ancient men live in that valley, before the climate changed.

    And it really makes one think, if one is into thinking.

  38. Kicked out of K2

    Not the second-highest mountain on earth, but the former Soviet airbase 535.8425 nautical miles west of that mountain. Spent 10 days in that garden spot coming and going and coming back.

    Is it paranoid to wonder if Pooti-poot and Karimov didn’t sucker us deeper into Afghanistan after 9-11 by making available facilities for the logistical support of a land war in Asia in which we might not otherwise have embroiled ourselves?

    OEF would have been done differently had we never been allowed on K2. Not necessarily better, but our footprint next door in Aghanistan would have been lighter out of necessity. One of the reasons the headcount down in Afghanistan grew to the size it did was because it could, due to the big Class I yard at K2 and connectivity to the European rail system.

    K2 was my introduction to CENTCOM AOR. Mildly interesting the first time. Sucked the other three times. Would have sucked worse to be forced to sit at the ADACG (Arrival/Depature Airfield Control Group, AKA PAX Terminal) instead of having free run of the place, such as it was. Some extraordinarily beautiful Uzbek women worked at K2 back then. They were pretty the first time I saw them in September, 2004. By the time I saw them again in March, 2005 they were stunning.

    Cannoneer No. 4

  39. Hunting season, and it looked to me, like if you were a deer, you'd be caught in a crossfire from four directions.

    For those looking for a good whorehouse, I'd recommend Donna's Place Wells, Nevada, not that I've ever used it myself.

    I am not trying to recapture my youth in that way.

    I have much more to say about my trip, but I'm bushed right now.

    Whit, I can tell you where to go if you come to Idaho, but I'm pooped right now.

    And it is not Sun Valley, other to pass through, for the better pass though go up by Stanley, and the crags.

    It is almost Glacier National Park.

    The Big Wood River ain't much, the St. Joe is better, and the Grand Ronde and the Wenaha.

    Thankfully, Gary Cooper and Ernest Hemroid never visited there, though Jack did. He had a place up outside Lewiston.

    We did go into Sun Valley, and I bowed my head at the memorial to a great writer, a wonderful man, a flawed man, a writer, if I do say so myself, that I know by heart, better than any of you shitkickers back east.

  40. That leaves me out; I done give up on thinking.

  41. Hell, I'm almost with you, Ruf.

    Maybe Donna's Place is the place for us.

  42. Could the Russians be looking for a big, fat, juicy "Rail" contract?

    Rail through Russia, and Uzbekistan

  43. The way I'm runnin' right now, Bob, I could walk into Donna's with Two handfuls of hundred dollar bills, and walk out a Virgin.

    and, broke.

  44. Jesus, it's a bitch, Ruf, but it ain't that bad not yet.

  45. Speak for yourself, white man. :)

  46. I'm going to an early bed.

  47. Relatively harmless compared to our hires that shoot us and each other butt...

    Mercs Gone Wild at U.S. Embassy Kabul (Updated, With Photos)

    According to evidence compiled by POGO, the misbehavior by guards includes
    “peeing on people,
    eating potato chips out of ass cracks,
    vodka shots out of ass cracks”
    and other fratboy-style antics.

    An e-mail from a whistleblower — posted on the POGO website — spells it out. “You will see that they have a group of sexual predators, deviants running rampant over there,” the whistleblower wrote. “No, they are not jamming guys in the ass per say [sic], but they are showing poor judgenment [sic].”

  48. Taliban Allies, Warlord Flunkies Guard U.S. Bases

    Shah and Khan were odd choices for character references. Internal ArmorGroup documents discovered by the committee found references to them as “two feuding warlords” operating around the airbase. Even knowing their questionable character, ArmorGroup used the men it would dub “Mr. White” and “Mr. Pink” — it’s a Reservoir Dogs reference — to supply 30 men to guard Shindad, even though it claims to have never paid them directly. Within months, the guards were beefing amongst themselves and with Afghan security forces in the area, shooting off guns and threatening to kill one another.

    But all hell broke loose in December 2007, when Mr. Pink murdered Mr. White in a gun battle at a local bazaar, shooting him in the head, the side and the hip.

    “It was kind of like a mafia thing,” an employee for ECC told committee staff. “If you rub somebody out, you’ll get a bigger piece of the pie.” But even though ArmorGroup wrote memos expressing concern about the safety of the base in the wake of the killing, it struck a deal with Shah’s brothers, called “Mr. White II” and “Mr. White III” to provide more guards; a sister company holding a United Nations contract, ArmorGroup Mine Action, hired White II directly. Pink disappeared after the slaying. And within months, the military received reports that the White brothers supported the Taliban and that Pink was a “mid-level Taliban manager.”

    Yet none of the guards were ever fired.

  49. 51. Martin McPhillips

    Obama is not just an old-fashioned cornpone liar like Bill Clinton. Everything about him is a lie. He climbed onto the national stage, at the ‘04 Democratic convention, with a lie.

    His ‘One America’ speech at that convention about racial reconciliation was followed by four more years in the pews of Trinity United.

    It was as if a Klansman spoke of love at the Saturday picnic and burned crosses at the Klan rally that night.
    Except that there were four years in which to disabuse the public of the lie Obama was establishing

    No wonder he thinks of himself as untouchable.

  50. We have to get out of that crazed hell-hole while we still have a sliver of honor left.

  51. Just noticed there's a child's play pool behind the guy peeing on his playmate.

    Too bad they didn't catch any aquatic action shots.

  52. In our lifetimes we've gone from Rufus's uncle's World to this...

  53. What a piss poor job someone is doing to impersonate Bob.

  54. IS it just me or does everyone think some debts can never be repaid?

    One of the Sunshine Coast’s most important people passed away this week, quietly, in a Coolum nursing home.

    At 98, Stan Bisset was Australia’s oldest surviving Wallaby and veteran of the Kokoda Track.


    Back home, Stan immediately joined his brother Hal in the 2/14th Battalion.

    At first the 2/14th was sent to the Middle East but after the bombing of Pearl Harbour, Stan said they were pretty keen to get back home to defend Australia against the Japanese and that’s how they found themselves in PNG.


    There’s a special tree on the Kokoda track named for Stan Bisset and his brother, Butch.

    Stan Bisset

  55. What a piss poor job...

    Really? Is that right? I hadn't noticed. Do we have an imposter?


  56. .
    Obama won't sign bill that would affect foreclosure proceedings

    On Thursday, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) sent a letter to a newly formed council of top regulators asking it to form an emergency task force to determine whether the foreclosure problem poses a systemic risk to the U.S. economy.
    "So far, banks are claiming that the many forged documents uncovered by courts and attorneys represent a simple 'technical problem' with foreclosure processes," he wrote. "This is not true. What is happening is fraud to cover up fraud."

    The Treasury Department did not reply to a request for comment. A spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment. A Justice Department spokeswoman referred to comments made earlier this week by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who said federal prosecutors are looking into allegations of wrongdoing.

    Mortgage Fraud

    Even if it screws the economy up even more I would love to see the big banks (and the politicians that support them) take it in the ass over this mortgage/derivative issue.


  57. .
    Bob is more polished.




  58. .
    National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

    ...But Hensarling says that "judging from my 1/435th of the nation" -- he represents part of Dallas, plus some suburbs and rural areas -- the people have never been more alarmed about deficits. Not even in 1992, when another man from Dallas, Ross Perot, made deficit reduction the rationale of his presidential campaign, which netted 19 percent of the vote.

    Today's anxiety is one reason why, when the commission reports in December, the lame-duck session of Congress will contain many zombie members -- politically dead but still ambulatory. Having no political future, they may have the gumption to do difficult things but, having been repudiated, will lack the requisite legitimacy.

    More BS From DC

    The presidential commisssion is just one more example of politicos kicking the can down the road and avoiding doing anything until after the elections.


  59. .
    A Silver Lining to the GOP Taking Congress? Here Are Three.

    The pre-election polls seem to trending, ever so slightly, back towards the Democrats. But it still seems likely that the Republicans will control one, and maybe two, houses of Congress come January.

    That's obviously not good news for liberals or for liberalism. Still, Republican control of Congress doesn't have to be all bad. In fact, I can think of three distinct ways that minority status might help the Democrats, ideally in ways that would limit the Republicans' ability to wreak havoc and maybe even advance the liberal cause, however incrementally, over the long term.

    1. It would flush Republicans out into the open, by forcing them to compose and defend detailed legislation...

    2. It would raise the profile of the party’s legislative leadership, particularly would-be Speaker John Boehner and would-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell...

    3. It would unite the Democratic caucus around a more coherent set of views and policies...

    A Pollyannish View From a Liberal Reporter

    The article is written from a liberal perspective and looks for any positives that can be gleaned from the upcoming election. That being said, I still agree with at least two thirds of what he projects.

    Right now the Dems are blamed for everything. They have all three branches of government. If the GOP takes over one or more houses of Congress, they will be forced the lead, actually held responsible for getting us out of the current mess we are in.

    No small feat.

    One example, on the employment front, it's projected that the 8 million jobs lost in the current recession won't be back until 2015. With the number of new people entering the job market in the next five years the unemployment rate will remain high, higher than the 5 - 5.5% (whatever happened to 4%) considered as full employment.
    The GOP will at a minimum share the blame for that. Right now all the GOP is offering is pablum and bromides.

    Second anyone who reads this blog probably knows what I think of McConnell and Boerhner. Yet it appears the current leadership will remain. That's the worst thing for the party.

    I frankly don't care what happens with the GOP. I still believe it will take at least three elections and major shakeups before we get an actual functioning legislature again. However, given the current GOP leadership, getting rid of OBama in 2012 is at best problematic.


  60. "All this shit seems far away, politics and all, when you..."

    ...don't read about it.

    Which course of action I highly recommend.

    I think I learned this too late, but better late than never.

  61. I did so a story about the Atlantic sturgeon.

  62. .
    Maria Bartiromo: Why do you think we should care much about derivatives that the banks are holding?

    Harold Bradley: Well, you know, I'm just sitting out here in the Midwest looking at government statistics, and the Bank for International Settlements is showing a chart that, to me, just seems so counterintuitive. When you look back at the last time they peaked in late '08 and early '09, when Ned Davis was issuing his first warnings, and he's been constant ever since, we saw about two quarters where the notional value of derivatives came down as the market was, quote, deleveraging, right? So, we're talking about the 'new normal' and saying markets are deleveraging, they're getting more transparent, we're derisking, and yet I look at this explosion in notional derivative values, and I'm thinking there's something broken. If you divide it by, say, U.S. GDP or divide it by U.S. credit markets, or you divide it by market cap, on all three scores, we have far more derivatives exposure today than we did two years ago. And I think that's the reason that I would be concerned about what this is telling us about the risks that banks are taking in a nominal zero interest rate environment.

    Bartiromo: But what about the reg reform? Herb, what has the reg reform done, new regulation to actually limit or make these derivatives much more transparent, which is all we heard about when reg reform was pushed through, that this was going to be a real transparent market. What happened?

    Greenberg: Well, we don't know what's happened Maria because we haven't seen what's going to happen next. We only know what we're told, that everything's going to be fine, and we've got it under control. Meanwhile, we see these derivatives held for trade at banks certainly ballooning, and I suspect if I were to talk to the people at the banks, they'd say, 'Just don't worry kid. Everything's OK...

    More Derivatives Now Than Two Years Ago

    Well at least now we have "Financial Reform Regulations".

    I feel much better.


  63. I came across a great line the other day, about Montaigne, I think it was, being the first man known to climb a mountain just because it's there, "or for the view."

    For the view.

    God that's awesome.

    And/or I'm easily amused.

    This place has gone to hell.

    Why bother wading through comments that don't make sense?

    Another reason Herbert J. Muller and I have been keeping one another company.

  64. Every worker in America should be cheering for the workers at the Chicago-based Republic Windows and Doors. The 240 employees at Republic offered the nation an important lesson in the power of collective action.


    The act would require employers to accept the certification of a union whenever a majority of workers at a workplace signed cards saying they want a union, and would require them to negotiate and reach a first contract within 90 days.


    The history of America is one of social movements taking needed direct action, and in the process, capturing the public's imagination. As the workers at Republic showed the nation, only by joining together can workers hope to improve their lot.

    New Era

  65. He's dead, of course. As all the good writers are.

  66. This comment has been removed by the author.

  67. .
    Things are getting interesting in the nevada Senate race. No not interesting in the typical sense. Only interesting in the Saturday Night Live skit sense.

    Sharon Angle Ad

    Harry Reid Ad

    Bob, if you are still out there we will need to debrief you when you get back from Vegas. Take copious notes.


  68. Oh, I have a feeling you wouldn't miss a thing.

  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

  70. Sturgeon.

    Okay, that was funny.

    And I somehow resent the fact that it made me laugh.

  71. "You're wrong."

    In the way that I actually meant it, that's good to know.

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

  74. "I said I would provide a way to get in touch."

    That you did.

    And it's another entry in the surreality of the Bar.

    Herbert and I. It'll have to do.

  75. This comment has been removed by the author.

  76. .

    The following articles were written by two partisans, Charles Krauthammer (GOP) and Steny Hoyer (Dems). One would like to think that only one of them is true. Unfortunately, both are mainly true. It's a sad commentary on our current politics.

    Charles Krauthammer on the Dems

    Steny Hoyer on the GOP


  77. "This place has gone to hell.

    Why bother wading through comments that don't make sense?


    Beats banal drivel from an elitist, condescending bitch.

  78. "Beats banal drivel from an elitist, condescending bitch."

    Well, gosh, that's new.

    I've heard it all and worse over the years. No sweat.

    There's oughta be a joke: Elitist, condescending bitch walks into a bar...

    Have a lovely Friday.

    And I mean that.

  79. "There's oughta be a joke..."

    Oh, no. Wait. Don't tell me.

    There already is.

    And she's a red head.

  80. Where have you been Trish? I miss our Friday night chats.

  81. this is not what people wants. this is not a good idea to post for...lots of people want truck driving jobs but with this video some of them for sure are scared.