“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Is Christie getting a little too pleased with himself?

What do you think?

Chris Christie claims to have fixed an $11 Billion Deficit in New Jersey. I hope he is right, but will the tone of his triumphalism play well?


  1. Triumphalism?

    ...I guess I'll have to watch.
    Love the Big Man.
    ...but we'll see.

  2. Washington Post:

    NPR's hasty decision to fire pundit Juan Williams

    In short, Mr. Williams was attempting to do exactly what a responsible commentator should do: speak honestly without being inflammatory. His reward was to lose his job, just as Agriculture Department employee Shirley Sherrod lost hers over purportedly racist remarks that turned out to be anything but. NPR management appears to have learned nothing from that rush to judgment.

    "Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality,"

    Mr. Williams told Mr. O'Reilly. NPR, alas, has proved his point.

    (Shirley was dumped 'cause she's a grifter)

  3. Should he not tout his accomplishments?

    Anyone that gets fat on Pizza is OK by me.

  4. ...the stories I could tell about me and Pizza.
    (Triumphalism about my college days)

  5. I think I'm turning Gay.

  6. THAT is Exactly what we need in the White House.

    The idea of shilling for a 1st Term Governor to run for the Presidency goes against everything I think I believe; but I'd vote for him.

  7. The question should be will he live long enough to see it play well. What with all the pizza eating, aggressive fighting and excess weight he carries around one must think how healthy could he really be.

    Maybe once in the white house he could take nutrition lessons from Michele. He could go from eating pizzas to eating fast food burgers.

    Actually, I really like this man.

  8. I missed the triumphalism too. Some self deprecating humor, though.

    He looks just like my life insurance agent.

  9. Long ago, when my daughter was about six, we were talking about life insurance, she was there, "I want some life insurance too." heh

  10. Fool.
    Everyone in Moscow besides you knows your daughter has a passionate desire to get your ass offed and profit from it.

  11. Look at these headlines from Yahoo:

    Report: WikiLeaks show U.S. failed to probe Iraqi abuse cases
    Reuters – 57 mins ago
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States knew but failed to investigate cases of prisoner abuse by Iraqi police and soldiers, according to media reports on Friday about a new dump of some 400,000 secret U.S. files on the Iraq war. Full Story »
    Video: Dangerous Document Dump? FOX News
    Slideshow: Iraq
    Related: Al-Jazeera: Papers show Iraq torture, US killings AFP

    We should just give 'em all the bird.

  12. We should leave the middle east and south asia making it abundantly clear that we're ready to come back and make the rubble bounce.

    Forget about any nation building.

    Colin Powell notwithstanding, we can break things without buying them if we need to.

  13. If you have an hour and a half, I can recommend The Wounded Platoon on PBS Frontline.

    It is a sympathetic but disturbing program about the tragic consequences to the lives of American troops deployed and re-deployed to Iraq. There are some startling claims about widespread prescription drug use, drugs supplied by the US Army, and the personal wrecked lives that try and return to a normal life.

    My take is that a robust US military response is necessary when our national interests demand it. That was not proven in Iraq and other largely unsuccessful nation building ventures.

    The theory of the long war has consequences that we are just beginning to understand. They ain't pretty and on balance I don't believe worth the price.

    I look forward to your thoughts.

  14. I always did want to rob a casino.

  15. That's Steven Soderbergh - the Oceans 11-13 movies.

  16. Not to mention the facilitation of gang-related violence and criminality.

    The COIN angle has received little press - unless you consider it subsumed under the label of nation-building.

    It's been interesting to watch the public reaction stateside. The Iraq 'engagement' moved from closed to full support post 9-11 to wherever it is today - a broken continuum of opinion.

    I was at the front of the bandwagon as a necessary and effective response to the World Trade Center attack, but left after the White Kid Glove fighting at Fallujah. Rat has stated his breaking point came after the failure of USA to support the first Iraqi elections.

    Regardless of the efficacy, let alone necessity, of a Long War, Americans remain skeptical.

  17. I feel like I'm listening to the same stories of a friend after returning home from Iraq with PTSD.

  18. No it wasn't, I just looked it up. They made a movie about a casino heist.

    Anyway, a perfectly justified moral enterprise, without violence, anyway.

  19. In 2004, the Coen brothers made The Ladykillers, a remake of the Ealing Studios classic. The story revolves around a professor (played by Tom Hanks) who puts together a team to rob a casino.

  20. But of course I'm not serious.

    The U.S. is mostly reactive. But since we're there, in Afghanistan, we might think of making the rubble bounce before leaving, or we might have to be back.

    Or we are going to be there a long long time.

    God told me so during a meeting today. He and his wife are voting next week, my wife already has.

    I'm sure McCain was right about one thing---there will be other wars.

  21. I saw that on TV not too long ago. Watched sporadically and thought it was a bank that they robbed. (I think it might have been the bank where the casino stored the money.)

    Not one of their best efforts. Turned off by the caricature of the black woman.

  22. Going back to the Chris Christie Charlie Dent for Congress video.

    He did kinda suck all the air out of Charlie's room.

  23. But of course I'm not serious.

    Hell, go for it.

    Your god is forgiving, is he not?

  24. God and I have a saying--"Harder than a hub in hell"--which goes back to survey work back ago. It's all done differently now, but then we'd have to hammer a hub, a wooden piece, which was hard as hell to do in some of this Palouse clay soil in August.

    Some of these decisions are "harder than a hub in hell".

  25. Jack? He'd better be or he won't get paid.

    Besides, there's other work ahead for God.

    One hand washes the other.

  26. My take is that a robust US military response is necessary when our national interests demand it.

    Who could argue with that?

    That was not proven in Iraq and other largely unsuccessful nation building ventures.

    I'm not going there. We did the best we could with what we knew at the time.

    The theory of the long war has consequences that we are just beginning to understand.

    Yeah, like we can't afford to get bogged down nation building in bravo foxtrot egypt.

    They ain't pretty and on balance I don't believe worth the price.

    Doesn't matter whether or not we think it's worth the price as long as Muslims have heroes like Qutb and bin Laden.

  27. I got my name changes on the Indian Streets.

    God agreed with me, the P and Z really has no legal authority, anyway, they are advisory.

    Nancy of the Palouse delegated something she had no right to delegate, and no one has challenged it.

    You got to keep a sense of humor when dealing with the City, nincompoops, but still uncorrupt.

  28. The aerial mapping put most of us hub pounders out of bidness.

  29. I deserve a Tribal membership for this, and not honorary, either.

    I want to be Casino Manager, they've had another one arrested, no kidding.

  30. And another thing.

    I gave Pervez Musharraf a long rope. Pakistan has long since run out of rope as far as I'm concerned.

    We've got India sitting right next door and the Obama administration hardly gives them the time of day.

  31. Then I can rob it from the inside, like all these others.

    Which has been my plan all along.

  32. They're not muzzies, Whit.

  33. We've got a large "Indian names" subdivision. All the street names end with "Nene".

    What a pain! Chowkeebin Nene, Apake Nene, Chuli Nene, Chinnapakin Nene, Hologram Nene.

  34. Was going to launder the money through Guvnor Rufus.

  35. They're not muzzies, Whit

    Ohhh, I see.

  36. Hologram Nene?

    Nene must mean way or path.

  37. Sorry, I meant "Holograma" Nene.

  38. :):):)

    I'm gonna drag her on over to Oak Street....

    hehehe that hit the spot

  39. Whit that doesn't look very sanitary. I'm very finicky when it comes to chemically balanced water. Plus I need bubbles, lots of bubbles, which would include lots of jets. And you can't forget about the lighting. Lighting sets the perfect ambiance.

  40. Wakan Way/Nenen not bad. I don't care for Native American music as an aesthetic. Too fatalistic.

    Which is of course true.

    But I like a little defiance in my music, not to mention some occasional deviance.

  41. defiance, deviance......don't end up in jail.....what's a good example?

  42. It is a sympathetic but disturbing program about the tragic consequences to the lives of American troops deployed and re-deployed to Iraq.

    Wretchard has a new post about this cross-dressing Canadian recently arrested for multiple crimes of rape/murder.

    I don't want to be rude but the BC gang is stretching in the usual directions of good-evil, progressive-conservative, god-fearing-heathen.

    The vast majority of his readership has a solid background in history, which is fine, more than fine, but fine for now.

    Already the mass rapes committed during war, of which history has many examples, have been raised in various forms of psychological analogues under the War is Hell context. Which it is. As we have forgotten.

    Marie-Claude, the resident Frenchie who has taken some serious lumps for her American vitriol, weighed in with the 'don't extrapolate sexual perverts into war-time violence' theme.

    She is, of course, absolutely correct. But to listen to the strained attempt to translate this Canadian serial killer into something more profound is not complimentary to wretchard's site.

  43. The point being of course that War IS Hell and that doesn't mean that all soldiers who commit rape are serial killers.

    The contextual dynamic is not even comparable.

  44. Yellow Pine Area Hot Springs

    * Cluster Hot Springs [SM] [FALL] (H)
    * Hot Creek (Hubcap) Warm Spring [SM] [FALL] (H)
    * Indian Creek [SM] [FALL] (M)
    * Johnson Creek [SM] [FALL] (H)
    * Kwis Kwis [SM] [FALL] (M)
    * Lodge Pole [SM] [FALL] (H)
    * Unnamed ID HS #2 [SM] [FALL] (H)

  45. heh, I think maybe I'd stay with the Native Americans.....

  46. Hey bob, I am watching a public television program on the Lincoln Highway which stretches from Times Square in NYC to San Francisco. And it goes right by the Hotel Nevada in Ely. Part of it is now Highway 50.

  47. Nothing we ever did in Iraq mattered as far as Osama was concerned.

    He was never there and we played into his strategy. The entire "Long War" scenario is/was a replay of the Soviets in Afghanistan.

    We've become a bankrupt nation, just as the Soviets did. Now, one could argue that the two are not correlated, but that will not play in the Islamic Arc.

    We have enhanced the power and prestige of both the Iranians and Osama, with the play we made in Iraq and are continuing in Afghanistan.

    It was evident at the time, post August 2003 and onward, that was what we were doing. It was not the "best" we could have done.

    Far from it.

  48. Whit if you ever get out this way, try Idaho 21.

  49. He was never there and we played into his strategy. The entire "Long War" scenario is/was a replay of the Soviets in Afghanistan.

    So COIN was a distraction?

  50. But not in the winter, cause it's closed.

  51. A short extremely violent but measured reprisal was all that was necessary after 911. It should have included financial punishment of Saudi Arabia and assassination of AQ personnel, enablers and sympathizers.

    The Long War was not necessary and has proven to be unsustainable and financially ruinous. It has wrecked a good portion of the US military.

    The financial costs incalculable.

    The men in the report are casualties and their lives have been wrecked and for what?

    To protect the rights of Islamic radicals in Guantanamo to study Islamic fanatics? There should never have been anyone in Guantanamo.

    They should have been dropped where they were found.

    if Muslims want to repress the Muslims, that is their problem.

  52. And it goes right by the Hotel Nevada in Ely. Part of it is now Highway 50.

    And if ever there, stay at Hotel Nevada, and measure that 'rattle snake'.

    Place is nice and homey, little on the rough side, maybe.

    Not the Hilton, but interesting.

  53. Bummer

    Cept to snowmobiles, er, snowmachines.

  54. And the unemployed looking to California.

  55. Not to worry. CL, Harry Reid says without him, we'd be in world wide depression, all us smelly people.

    As unemployment in Nevada hits 15%.

    It's going to be nice to see Harry get his in a few days.

    And on that happy thought it's prostate time and bed.

  56. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker.

    Somebody asked me recently how Pelosi got elevated to Speaker.

    Damned if I knew,

  57. I'm afraid Steny is in the wrong party to be Speaker this time around.

  58. :)

    Too little too late.

    Desperation Politics.

  59. It's a signal to me that the Democrats are ready to triangulate towards the center, even though the Obama people are not.

  60. Willing to sacrifice Pelosi in order to retain control of the House.

  61. Had to get up let the cat out, but CL, take a look at the Colorado governor's race--Levin was interviewing Tancredo.

    One of the most weird situations ever.

    And Tancredo, against all odds, might win.

  62. Title insurers seek to insulate themselves from foreclosure losses

    ...Title insurers are at the hub of real estate transactions. They guarantee that the chain of title is clear, unblemished by missing documents, outstanding liens or other factors that would impede an owner's right to sell a piece of real estate and deliver a clean title to the new owner. Lenders always require buyers to pay for title insurance coverage that protects the lender against those risks. Buyers have the option of paying extra to have such coverage for themselves.

    Fidelity National Financial, which has 38 percent of the market nationwide, underwrites policies under the brands Fidelity National Title, Chicago Title, Commonwealth Land Title and Alamo Title. As of Nov. 1, all lenders seeking a Fidelity National policy for the sale of a foreclosed home must warrant that all documents and procedures involved in the foreclosure process were handled properly. They also must agree to pay the title insurer's costs in the event that a court finds errors or fraud in the foreclosure process...

    Banks: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

    The banks continue to give the rest of us the shaft. The fact that some people are filing lawsuits charging that bankruptcy filings where filed in error or illegally is minor and will eventually be resolved. The real problem is that this fiasco will delay clearing out the distressed properties that are weighing on the books.

    Who is going to buy these properties if they can't be assured of a clear title?


  63. Part of the problem, little discussed, is that the loans were fractionated and sold, piecemeal.

    To foreclose, each of those fractional owners must sign off.

    In many cases who those fractional debt owners are is not even known. The original mortgage having been sliced and diced to the point that ownership of the debt has been misplaced. The system set up for tracking the pieces, not up to the task.

    Thus the need for the robo-signers.

    If the mortgage was sliced and diced into various investment packages, it will be a long time until those pieces can be tracked and the proper authenticated signatures obtained.

    Just the way it is.

  64. The bank or other entity that was servicing the loan, it cannot sign off for the owners of the debt.

    That's the law.
    That was the law when those mortgages were fractionated.

    It was a problem that was foreseen by some folks that were knowledgeable about real estate finance and lending, years ago.

    It is why some owners have been able to retain their homes, without making a payment, for years now. A little knowledge of the law, amongst the common folk, can be a dangerous thing for the financial elites.

    The collateral damage from the slicing and dicing of those mortgages, not yet fully evident.

    But that there would be collateral damage, a known reality amongst those that cared, for many years now.

  65. More Bush era fiascoes, that were called that contemporaneously, coming home to roost.

    Costly virtual border fence in tatters

    By Brian Bennett, Tribune Washington Bureau

    Reporting from Washington — The Department of Homeland Security, positioning itself to cut its losses on a so-called invisible fence along the U.S.- Mexico border, has decided not to exercise a one-year option for Boeing to continue work on the troubled multibillion-dollar project involving high-tech cameras, radar and vibration sensors.

    The result, after an investment of more than $1 billion, may be a system with only 53 miles of unreliable coverage along the nearly 2,000-mile border.

    The waste amongst the Federals is extreme. At least the current administration has th good sense to kill this project.

    We maintain a military force of 1.5 million troopers of various sorts, yet cannot even secure our own border.

    The entire Federal structure has become a travesty of waste and fraud. Little matter which "Party" sits in the White House, the results are similar.

    Debt, waste and fraud prevail.