“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, June 09, 2011

Fanniegate: Gamechanger For The GOP?

Fannie Mae’s headquarters, in Washington, D.C. From left: former Fannie C.E.O. Jim Johnson, Congressman Barney Frank, former OFHEO director Armando Falcon, former Fannie C.E.O. Daniel Mudd, President Bush, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, former Fannie C.E.O. Franklin Raines, and Alan Greenspan. Photograph by Cameron Davidson.

The chairman of the universe.” , “Washington, D.C.’s Medici.”, “The face of the Washington national establishment.”, “One of the most powerful men in the United States.” All those phrases were used to describe a man you may never have heard of: Jim Johnson, the C.E.O. of mortgage giant Fannie Mae in the 1990
Walter Russell Mead
Democrats, watch out.
The Republican Party and especially its Tea Party wing have just acquired a new weapon of mass destruction — and it has nothing to do with any of Congressman Wiener’s rogue body parts. If they deploy this weapon effectively in the next election cycle — a big if — then they have the biggest opportunity to move the country rightward since Ronald Reagan took the oath of office back in 1981.
The Tea Party WMD stockpile is currently stored in book form:
Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon.
By Gretchen Morgenson, one of America’s best business journalists who is currently at The New York Times, and noted financial analyst Joshua Rosner, Reckless Endangerment gives the best available account of how the growing chaos in the mortgage and personal finance markets and the rampant bundling of dubious loans into exotically toxic securities plunged the world, and millions of American families, into the gravest financial crisis since World War Two.

It is gripping reading as well, and its explanations are clear enough that readers without any background in finance will have no trouble following the plot.

The villains?

An unholy alliance between Wall Street, the Democratic establishment, community organizing groups like ACORN and La Raza, and politicians like Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Henry Cisneros. (Frank got a cushy job for a lover, Pelosi got a job and layoff protection for a son, Cisneros apparently got a license to mint money bilking Mexican-Americans of their life savings in cheesy housing developments.)

If the GOP can make this narrative mainstream, and put this picture into the heads of voters nationwide, the Democrats are toast. The party will have to reinvent itself (or as often happens in American politics, be rescued by equally stupid Republican missteps) before it can flourish.

If Morgenstern and Rosner are to be believed, the American dream didn’t die of old age; it was murdered and most of the fingerprints on the corpse come from Democratic insiders. Democratic power brokers stoked the housing bubble and turned a blind eye to the increasingly rampant corruption and incompetence at Fannie Mae and the associated predatory lenders who sheltered under its umbrella; core Democratic ideas may well be at fault.

This is catnip to Republicans, arsenic to Dems. If Morgenson and Rosner are right, there is someone the American people can blame for our current economic woes and it is exactly the cast of characters that a lot of Americans love to hate. Big government, affirmative action and influence peddling among Democratic insiders came within inches of smashing the US economy.

The Morgenson/Rosner story is a simple and easily grasped one. It is made for campaign ads. The Great Villain, the man who almost ruined America according to the book, is James Johnson, long one of the most important members of the Democratic establishment. He ran Walter Mondale’s campaign. He chaired John Kerry’s search for a vice-president — the brilliantly executed search that chose the revered anti-poverty warrior John Edwards.

Barack Obama, impressed by this track record of discernment, reportedly asked him to lead Obama’s search in 2008 — though Johnson withdrew when word got out that he benefited from the disgraced and disgusting Angelo Mozilo’s corrupt program of ‘special’ mortgages for political friends. (Mozilo was the head of Countrywide, a massively fraudulent and predatory lender which benefited hugely from its business connections with Fannie Mae.) He is a director of the much hated Goldman Sachs, a former director of Lehman Brothers, has chaired the board of the Brookings Institution, is a major Democratic Party fundraiser who bundled several hundred thousand dollars for President Obama, helped bring old Clinton friends into the Obama organization, and has been at the center of Democratic finance and politics for a generation.

Named CEO of Fannie Mae (a government backed mortgage corporation) Johnson decided to make untold wealth by making and securitizing junk housing loans and by massaging the financial reports to ensure that he qualified for the obscenely generous maximum bonus no matter what was actually happening to the company under his care.

Fannie Mae, a historically staid and predictable government linked company, needed to turn into a cutting edge speculative growth engine to make the hundreds of millions Johnson wanted. Since taxpayers stand behind Fannie Mae’s debts, Johnson needed to get the politicians to back his desire to turn this milkwagon into a Porsche. Fortunately for him — and unfortunately for the country and the world — he found a way.

Fannie Mae would adopt the goal of increasing the percentage of Americans who owned their own homes, targeting the inner city poor who, allegedly, were blocked from home ownership by racial discrimination. (A bogus study to this effect was widely circulated; devastating criticisms and rebuttals quietly ignored.) This is where such luminaries of the American political scene as ACORN and La Raza get into the act. They served as cheerleaders for Johnson’s self-enrichment plan, camouflaging a Wall Street rip-off by hymning its benefits for the poor.

The purpose of no doc, no money down loans wasn’t, Heaven forbid, to generate rich fees and high interest rates for mortgage brokers and Wall Street. No, the smarmy defenders of the Great American Rip-off told us, those features were necessary to make sure that poor people (so cruelly, unfairly locked out of mortgages because they didn’t qualify for the stuffy old-fashioned kind) could participate in the American Dream. Anybody who opposed Jim Johnson’s get rich scheme was a racist who hated the poor. Political correctness married Wall Street chicanery as Maxine Waters, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank led the band; crooked accountants and clueless rating agencies performed the ceremony; big government dowered the couple with a debt guarantee and bankers dressed as flower girls showered the happy pair in a confetti of junk mortgages and junk bonds.

Fannie Mae and the housing market were off to the races — and where Fannie Mae led the way, the financial markets followed. Regulators were captured by the interests they were supposed to regulate; favors were dispensed with a lavish hand; taxpayer-provided money was used to assemble a vast lobby focused on extracting more money from hapless taxpayers to make James Johnson even richer. In the process, millions of financially unsophisticated low income people were stuck with obscenely unfair mortgages, honest whistle blowers were subjected to savage personal attacks, home prices lost all touch with reality, taxpayers were stuck with losses that may approach one trillion dollars, and financial markets were poisoned almost beyond repair.

House in Foreclosure, 2008 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

But there’s a bright side. Mondale-Kerry-Obama confidant Johnson made a boatload of money, and Fannie Mae was able to pay many of his personal bills — at least until it went broke.

That at least is the story of Reckless Endangerment. No doubt Johnson’s memoirs will tell the story in a different way. The housing bubble and the financial market meltdown were very complex phenomena, many cooks were required to spoil this broth and the arguments over what caused the crash may never end.

Truth is one thing; politics is another. Politically, this story is a killer app for the GOP. It demonizes Dems, lends itself to attack ads, divides Democrats between their Wall Street and union bases, and combines GOP hate figures in ways calculated to unify the GOP and heighten the intensity of the faithful.

The story illustrates everything the Tea Party thinks about the corrupt Washington establishment and the evils of big government. It demonstrates the limits on the ability of government programs to help the poor. It converts a complicated economic story into a simple morality play — with Dems as the villain. It allows Republicans to capitalize on public fury at the country’s economic problems. It links the Democrats to Wall Street — the one part of the private sector that the Republican base loathes. It exposes that mix of incompetence and arrogance that is the hallmark of the modern American liberal establishment and links this condescending cluelessness to the real problems of real American families. It links President Obama (through appointments, associations and friendships) with the worst elements of the Clinton legacy and it blunts some key Democratic talking points.

The story can also be a devastating wedge issue. The Democratic Party today is a fragile coalition of elite liberals, traditionally Democratic ethnic blue collar whites, African Americans and Hispanics. The Fannie Mae story is essentially a story of how liberal Wall Streeters raped every one else — and how the organized leadership of the other groups colluded in the attack. Hammering this picture home will demoralize and divide the Democratic Party, reducing enthusiasm among minorities and pulling swing white ethnic votes toward the GOP.

The story builds GOP unity even as it divides the Democrats, allowing GOP populists and establishment figures to find some common ground. For one thing, it builds the idea that Wall Street is a liberal Democratic institution rather than a conservative Republican one. In fact, Wall Street is in love with power and cuts deals with whoever can make them, but for years Democrats have prospered by making running on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s platform against ‘the malefactors of great wealth’. There are many powerful Wall Street figures who are closely linked to the Democrats, however, and the James Johnson story puts a face on that alliance. Socially and culturally, most of Wall Street stands closer to the Democratic establishment than to the Republican Party these days; linking the Democrats to Wall Street, teacher unions and race hustlers is an easy and compelling way to push the Democrats closer to the cliff even as it allows GOP candidates to lace their speeches with populist anti-Wall Street rhetoric without embracing anti-business policy.

The story doesn’t just attack a failure of Democratic policy execution; it exposes a key flaw in New Democratic thinking. The Third Way as dreamed up by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair sought to harness the power of financial markets to a public service agenda. Old style command and control liberalism believed in directly mandating business to do what politicians thought should be done. AT&T had to serve rural communities, but in exchange it had a phone monopoly and regulators made sure that it made a good profit. The airlines and bus companies had to service unprofitable routes, but regulators made sure that their route networks as a whole were profitable.

As competition became more global and the inflexible regulations of the old liberalism proved less workable, a new and updated liberalism appeared. Instead of old fashioned mandates, liberals would use new approaches that capitalized on the power of the market. Use cap and trade schemes rather than command and control to control carbon through the market — and by creating an international market that will make money for financial firms. Tweak the mortgage regulations to spread home ownership to the poor. Both Britain and the US are looking at fun new ideas like ‘infrastructure banks’ that can fund projects that liberals like without putting large new debts on the public accounts. Private profits can grow even as the public interest is served: this was the Clinton-Blair dream that was billed as liberalism’s response to the Thatcher revolution. Additionally, liberal politicians like Al Gore and James Johnson were well placed to capitalize on the new arrangements. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair have both become much wealthier after leaving office than old style liberals like Harry Truman ever could.

The story also undercuts what little is left of the credibility and the moral authority of the American establishment. What is especially shocking in this story is that the higher up and more powerful people are usually the most venal and corrupt. Low level researchers and bureaucrats are constantly raising questions and preparing devastating reports that expose the flawed premises behind Fannie Mae’s policies. They are being constantly slapped down by the well connected and the well paid. The American establishment does not have the necessary moral strength and intellectual acuity to run the affairs of this country; Tea Party believers will find much in this book that confirms their worst fears.

Republicans of course have a few financial scandals of their own that Democrats can take out and rattle. But because Fanniegate offers a clear storyline, identifiable villains linked to specific disasters that have hit tens of millions of Americans in the pocketbook, and is overwhelming a story of Democratic abuses of Democratic ideas, it is potentially a game changing event. It is also an issue that a GOP candidate for the nomination can use to break away from the field; it is an issue a contender could ride all the way to the White House.

Paul Krugman once told me that he thought that Enron would have a greater impact on American politics than 9/11. He was wrong about that scandal, but if the GOP plays its cards right, Fanniegate could push this country into a new political era.


  1. No doubt our defeatist MSM Parotting losers here will declare Morgenson a right wing fanatic and avoid the facts at all costs.

  2. Rufus said...

    "Cain is a moron."

  3. Herman Cain (born December 13, 1945) is an American businessman, columnist, and radio host from Georgia.

    He is best known as the former chairman and CEO of Godfather's Pizza. He is a former deputy chairman (1992–94) and chairman (1995–96) of the civilian board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    Before his business and economics career he worked as a mathematician in ballistics for the United States Navy.[2] Cain's newspaper column is distributed by North Star Writers Group. He lives in the Atlanta suburbs, where he also serves as a minister.

    After completing his master's degree from Purdue, Cain left the Department of the Navy and began working for The Coca-Cola Company as a business analyst. In 1977, he joined Pillsbury where he rose to the position of vice president by the early 1980s. He left his executive post to work for Burger King – a Pillsbury subsidiary at the time – managing 400 stores in the Philadelphia area. Under Cain's leadership, his region went from the least profitable for Burger King to the most profitable in three years.

    This prompted Pillsbury to appoint him president and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, another of their then-subsidiaries. Within 14 months, Cain had returned Godfather's to profitability. In 1988, Cain and a group of investors bought Godfather's from Pillsbury. Cain continued as CEO until 1996, when he resigned to become CEO of the National Restaurant Association – a trade group and lobby organization for the restaurant industry – where he had previously been chairman concurrently with his role at Godfather's.[9]

    Cain became a member of the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in 1992 and served as its chairman from January 1995 to August 1996, when he resigned to become active in national politics.[10] Cain was a 1996 recipient of the Horatio Alger Award.[11]

    Cain was on the board of directors of Aquila, Inc. from 1992 to 2008.[12]

  4. Excellent post Doug, but we all know it doesn't matter who wins!


  5. Great article, Doug. Too bad the GOP is too incompetent to do anything with it. Growth of the state, the cementing of the "public/private partnership," and kowtowing to racialist interest groups has been a bi-partisan priority for decades. There was a time in the last decade when the GOP had the legislative and executive branches and could have stopped a lot of things, but didn't.

    Actions and words not matching up.

    No defender of the MSM here. Just a guy that won't be sucker-punched by the GOP ever again. When rhetoric and reality match, I will entertain voting for them.

    No defeatist, either. My vote goes to the party that defends liberty. Neither the DNC or the GOP can claim that, both dogged defenders of the status quo.

  6. Yesterday, I heard a story on NPR about the Northeast area of Philadelphia. Twenty years ago is was 98% white, predominately Jewish, functional, clean, safe, and properties meticulously neat and clean. It was a visual treat through most of the area which was cut by the Roosevelt Boulevard.

    Yesterday the story was about how diverse it became. The jews bailed, accept for the older and poorer, and in their place is a treat of Latinos, Pakistanis, Chinese, ghetto blacks and every other flavor of DIVERSITY, (you know , the thing that makes us stronger). White Jews, paying their taxes, maintaining property values and neighborhood security was of course a horror-show and had to be first destroyed and then saved by DIVERSITY.

    What NPR did not say in their adulation for DIVERSITY, is that the Northeast Philadelphia area is now a shit hole, crime infested, dilapidated, drug ridden piss-pot filled with people that never should have been there in the first place. They could not have done it without Fannie Mae.

  7. I wonder how DIVERSITY SUCKS bumper stickers would go down?

  8. Can we dig up Ted Kennedy, the architect of diversity, and send him to live forever in the worst sewer in hell?

  9. WTF

    The Federal Reserve has surpassed China as the single largest creditor of the U.S. government.

    UniCredit’s Chief U.S. Economist Harm Bandholz is out Thursday with the details:

    As a result of its asset purchase program (QE2), the Federal Reserve at the end of 1Q held about 14% of total outstanding federal debt (debt held by the public). It is, therefore, now the single-largest creditor of the US government.

  10. Where the hell is all that cash going?


    Next will be a flight from cash and savings and the World as we knew it, is gone. It will be pitchfork time.

  11. John Segrich, manager of the Gabelli SRI Green fund SRIGX says that sustainability of commodities will be one of the driving market factors for decades to come.

    Global growth, which has put constraints on resources, has created a supply-demand imbalance, and while there will be times of volatility and setbacks, the commodities story is likely to have a long uptrend.

    “China consumes 20% to 70% of every commodity on Earth,” Segrich said at the Morningstar Investor Conference in Chicago.


    So China consumes 20-70% of all commodities. Thank god we hollowed out our industry so that the Chinese could load up on dollars so that they can afford all those commodities. The genius, the sheer effen genius of Wall Street...You remember, it did not matter where you manufactured things as long as the process could be financed from Wall Street, all will be peaceful in the garden.

  12. but we still have plenty of DIVERSITY left.

  13. In the small favor's department, the Democrats still have Little Anthony Weiner and the Republicans are watching Newt Gingrich go down the drain.

  14. I spot the genius. It was hinted by the Economic Seer, Nancy Pelosi. Recall, food stamps are a stimulus, more accurately: ""Food stamps are the best bang for the buck that we have," _House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    Consider the possibilities. Jack up food prices by 100% and it will be like having 90 million on food stamps! Now that will be some serious stimulus.

    Happy Days are here again.

  15. 20 years ago large parts of Los Angeles were nice places to live.
    40 years ago Watts was a liveable, mostly black, working class community with functional families. All that is now gone, but since our strength is our diversity, we're stronger than ever. Some people still even speak English.

  16. You have to avoid a LOT of evidence to say there is no difference between GOP run states and Democrat bankrupt shitholes.

    Illinois vs Indiana, California versus Texas, etc, etc.

    Almost the entire central valley of California has been transformed into a Mexican Madhouse of welfare funded breeders of ever less literate, ill-educated offspring, and the government trolls handing out the addictive and destructive dole.

  17. You have to be as obdurately stupid as Rufus to contend there is no difference between the Medical Care we enjoy now, and what it would be under Obamacare.

    It also cannot be argued that the Democrats in DC have not rapidly accelerated our spiral into bankruptcy, and never has the GOP failed to produce a budget for over 2 years, or been as lacking in transparency and respect for law as the present Democrat Gangsta Government.

    To claim there is no difference between Pelosi and Rand Paul is as absurd as it would be to claim there is no differnce between Harry Reid and Jim Demint.

    Jerry Brown or Chris Christie?
    Give me a Break.
    Walker is even better.

  18. In 2008, before he was elected, Obama told his Bay Area supporters his carbon policy would necessarily cause electricity rates to skyrocket, and coal plants would no longer be profitable.

    Today, the EPA is making good on that vow.

    Higher rates and fewer coal plants, just what the Doctor ordered to fix this economy.

  19. How much value will the dollar lose when it is no longer the World Standard?
    Won't be long at this rate.

  20. Niki Haley and Bobby Jindal:

    No Democrats can compare to these two excellent Governors.

    Immigrants the way immigrants used to be before the Welfare State and "Diversity" Quotas.

    ...out competing their native neighbors.

  21. Next will be a flight from cash and savings and the World as we knew it, is gone. It will be pitchfork time.

    Will be Yellowpine time for Bob, who's too old to play pitchforks. Will be Royal Coachman time.

    Quirk and the civilized can play pitchforks, there in Detroit.

    I am resolved to send that barbershop a stuffed wolf, so it can take it proper place in an inverted Dante's hell, staring motionless, with hunger, with desire, at the noble antlered heads on the other wall, unable to move, unable to try its desires, forever.

    Does sound like a nice barbershop.


  22. The last place in the world the Republicans want to go is to: "Who's most responsible for the biggest financial crisis since, and possibly including, the Great Depression. Too many memories of Bush dancing around the stage stuttering "Ownership Society."

    Asked what he would do about Iran very likely getting Nukes "This Year," Cain said the answer was a "Sensible Energy Policy."

    He also said, "The Israelis would have No Problem with the Palestinians' Right of Return," and

    a couple of days ago he stated that "Gun Control should be a State Issue."

    Asked what he would do about the deficit, his answer was "Do Away With the Capital Gains Tax."

    He's a Moron.

  23. Asked what he would do about the deficit, his answer was "Do Away With the Capital Gains Tax."

    That might not be so dumb. There's a lot of money out there, locked in property, like my meager holdings, that would be freed up by doing away with the tax on the passage of time. I'll be damned if I'll give O and company any more of my money than I have to, but if I didn't have to, I might well buy some really nice camper or a great big boat, and some other items of my aging heart's desire. As it is, if I sell something I'll continue to do 1031's.


  24. Germany: Sprouts are cause of E. coli outbreak
    Email this Story

    Jun 10, 6:27 AM (ET)


    (AP) An employee of the consumer protection authority of Lower Saxony examines a sample of sprouts from...
    Full Image

    BERLIN (AP) - Investigators have determined that German-grown vegetable sprouts are the cause of the E. coli outbreak that has killed 29 people and sickened nearly 3,000, the head of Germany's national disease control center said Friday.

    Reinhard Burger, president of the Robert Koch Institute, said even though no tests of the sprouts from an organic farm in Lower Saxony had come back positive for the E. coli strain behind the outbreak, an investigation into the pattern of the outbreak had produced enough evidence to draw the conclusion.

    "In this way, it was possible to narrow down epidemiologically the cause of the outbreak of the illness to the consumption of sprouts," Burger said at a press conference with the heads of Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and Federal Office for Consumer Protection. "It is the sprouts."

    The breakthrough in the investigation came after a task force from the three institutes linked separate clusters of patients who had fallen sick to 26 restaurants and cafeterias that had received produce from the organic farm.

    (AP) German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner speaks during a statement in Berlin, Germany, Monday, June...
    Full Image
    "It was like a crime thriller where you have to find the bad guy," said Helmut Tschiersky-Schoeneburg from the consumer protection agency.

    "They even studied the menus, the ingredients, looked at bills and took pictures of the different meals, which they then showed to those who had fallen ill," said Andreas Hensel, head of the Risk Assessment agency.

    Hensel said authorities were lifting the warning against eating cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce, and explicitly urged consumers to start eating those vegetables once again.

    "Lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers should be eaten again - it is all healthy produce," he said.

    Burger said it was possible that all of the tainted sprouts have either been consumed or thrown away by now, but still warned that the crisis is not yet over and people should not eat sprouts.

    (AP) An employee of the consumer protection authority of Lower Saxony examines a sample of sprouts from...
    Full Image
    While the farm in the northern German village of Bienenbuettel that has been blamed for the outbreak was shut down last Thursday and all of its produce recalled, the experts said they could not exclude the possibility that some tainted sprouts were still being used by restaurants or cafeterias and people could still get infected with E. coli.

    Also, since it has not yet be established why the sprouts were bad - whether the seeds had been contaminated or the farm's water - the experts said it was possible that other nearby farms could also be affected.

    Germany has been the epicenter of the outbreak, with 2,808 sickened, 722 of whom are suffering from a serious complication that can cause kidney failure. The World Health Organization says 97 others have fallen sick in 12 other European countries, as well as three in the United States.


  25. No, he's a piss poor candidate for President due to lack of preparation, but certainly not a "moron"

    A moron is someone who thinks three thousand pages of "law" written by totalitarians calling for many more thousands of pages of rules and regulations written by politically chosen panels could IMPROVE healthcare with top down control in a country of 300 million.

    THAT's a moron!

  26. No Republican President would sue and shut down Boeing.

    No Republican President would shut down Coal Plants in this economy, nor tax the Hell out of the ones left standing.

  27. Agree with


    Fri Jun 10, 08:31:00 AM EDT

    On Cain's Capital Gains idea.

    ...but then,

    I'm not a Socialist.

  28. The fall in household wealth by the end of 2008 reduced the annual level of consumer spending by more than $500 billion.

    The drop in home building subtracted another $200 billion from GDP.

    The total GDP shortfall was therefore more than $700 billion.

  29. Yep, this moron thinks that the 30 Million People that, presently, have NO Medical Care will have better care under Obamacare than they have now.

  30. A $1.6 Trillion Deficit, and you want to Eliminate Capital Gains - Gotcha.

  31. Republicans - the party of the "bottomless" milkshake.

    Coal will last FOREVER!

    Oil will last FOREVER!

    Nat Gas is FOREVER!

    The Pubs will be Stupid FOREVER! (well, maybe THAT milkshake IS bottomless.)

  32. But, don't worry; the Sauds are going to dip into that "spare capacity" any time now.

  33. The financial meltdown was a bi-partisan affair.

    From 2000 to 2006 the Republicans RULED Washington DC. They controlled the House, Senate and Executive.

    To blame the minority members of the Government, for the failures of that Government, risky political business.

  34. Anyone that would champion EITHER idiot party, right now, should have their head examined.

    The Dems don't want us to drill, and the Pubs want to kill Biofuels.

    Both sides are "ate up with the dumbass."

  35. California is doing/has done some silly things. Going to Renewables for Electricity isn't one of them. They are probably, at the moment, getting less than a quarter of their electricity from Fossil Fuels. California Generation

    A few years down the road, when Mississippi's electricity costs are going up, California's will be going down.

  36. Remember the ownership society? President George W. Bush championed the concept when he was running for re-election in 2004, envisioning a world in which every American family owned a house and a stock portfolio, and government stayed out of the way of the American Dream.


    Such a country would be more stable, Bush argued, and more prosperous. "America is a stronger country every single time a family moves into a home of their own," he said in October 2004. To achieve his vision, Bush pushed new policies encouraging homeownership, like the "zero-down-payment initiative," which was much as it sounds—a government-sponsored program that allowed people to get mortgages without a down payment.

  37. We're creating... an ownership society in this country, where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, welcome to my house, welcome to my piece of property. -
    President George W. Bush, October 2004

  38. It's all about vitality.

    ...if you own something, you have a vital stake in the future of our country. The more ownership there is in America, the more vitality there is in America, and the more people have a vital stake in the future of this country. -
    President George W. Bush, June 17, 2004

  39. "I think all public policy, or as much public policy as possible, ought to encourage people to own something," Bush says. The more people own, he adds, "the more they'll have a stake in the future of this country."


    ... There's bipartisan agreement that ownership makes people better, more involved citizens. Beyond that, it's a pillar of the American Dream.

    The promise of ownership — choices, property, a stake in a new world — has always drawn people to America.
    It's what drove settlers to claim 270 million acres of land under the 1862 Homestead Act and 63 million homebuyers to acquire loans with help from Fannie Mae, a federally chartered institution, since 1968.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. Seems I voted for Republicans, who won. Those Republicans then allowed the Democrats, who were in the minority, to run the Government, regardless.

    At least in the whirled according to doug.

    The election of Republicans made no difference, in the doug scenario. The Democrats were so powerful, even in the minority, that the GOP could not use the Constitutional tools of governance to control them.

    That voting for, and electing, Republicans made no difference.


  42. MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Scientists say they’re close to producing new “super varieties” of wheat that will resist a virulent fungus while boosting yields up to 15 percent, potentially easing a deadly threat to the world’s food supply.

    The research is part of a global drive to protect wheat crops from the Ug99 strain of stem rust. It will be presented next week at a conference in St. Paul that’s part of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative, based at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., organizers said Thursday.

    Scientists will also report that Ug99 variants are becoming increasingly virulent and are being carried by the winds beyond Uganda and other East African countries where they were first identified in 1999. Once infected with the deadly fungus, wheat plants become covered in reddish-brown blisters.

    According to a news release issued by the initiative ahead of the symposium, the fungus has now spread across all of eastern and southern Africa, and it might just be a matter of time before it reaches India or Pakistan, and even Australia and the Americas.

    “We are facing the prospect of a biological firestorm, but it’s also clear that the research community has responded to the threat at top speed, and we are getting results in the form of new varieties that are resistant to rust and appealing to farmers,” Ronnie Coffman, who heads the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat project at Cornell, said in the release.

    Researchers will report at the conference that new varieties of wheat under development at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico show resistance to all three kinds of wheat rust — stem rust including Ug99, yellow rust and leaf rust — the release said. Some of those varieties also boost yields 10 to 15 percent, it said.

    But significant obstacles must be overcome before the resistant new varieties of wheat can replace the susceptible varieties that make up as much as 90 percent of the wheat now in production, the researchers acknowledged. They called for more investments by wealthy countries and international institutions to continue developing the varieties, to help them keep them effective against diseases that continue to evolve, and to develop the seed production and distribution infrastructure needed to put the new varieties in the hands of poor farmers in developing countries.

    The new strains mark a huge advance, said Marty Carson, research director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cereal Research Laboratory at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul.

    “Anytime you can talk about a 15 percent boost in yields from existing varieties, I mean that’s phenomenal. And to get combined resistance to all three rusts, that’s also a very big deal,” said Carson, who wasn’t directly involved in that research. His lab, which is heavily involved in the fight against Ug99, is hosting the conference along with the University of Minnesota.


  43. Are you sure he said, "every American?"

    I agree with the concept about ownership, but it ain't for everyone, obviously.

    My granpa said, "everyone ain't supposed to own a house. That's why they have those damned apartments.

  44. Wheat breeders are a rare and special sort of folk, essential and unsung. Here's to them.


  45. I am sure he was quoted as saying every American, gag.

    I was not there to verify the accuracy of the quote, though there are a great number of GW Bush quotes concerning the "Ownership Society", they all take the same tone.

    Then there is Newt ...

    Gingrich continued to press for welfare reform and increasing employment opportunities for welfare recipients. In his 1998 book Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Gingrich outlined a multi-step plan to improve economic opportunities for the poor. The plan called for encouraging volunteerism and spiritual renewal, placing more importance on families, creating tax incentives and reducing regulations for businesses in poor neighborhoods, and increasing property ownership for low-income families.

    Newt, when he was Speaker was all for increasing property ownership for low-income families.

  46. I remember watching Greenspan in Congressional Committee hearings extolling the virtues of adjustable rate mortgages.

    They're All to blame. And, us too.

  47. Read that Mrs Palin's movie producer has inked distribution deal with AMC theaters.

    “After screening The Undefeated, we took the unusual step of immediately exploring an expedited theatrical release, something we normally wouldn’t do during the busy summer months,” said Trevor Drinkwater, chief executive of ARC Entertainment, which agreed to distribute the movie.

    The movie will open in select cities, including Dallas, Orlando and Phoenix, where Ms. Palin just bought a new home. ...

  48. Syrian civilians die, while the UN dithers.

    Quick to take action in Libya, the Europeons are slow to accomplish the mission.

    Mr Gates spoke to their lack of adequacy:

    “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress, and in the American body politic writ large, to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources ... to be serious and capable partners in their own defense,” he said in an address to a think tank in Brussels.

  49. The doctor at Hikma Hospital, who would only give his first name, Ayman, said Moammar Gadhafi's forces used tanks, artillery and incendiary rockets in the bombardment of Dafniya, about 18 miles (30 kilometers) west of Misrata. He said at least 61 people were wounded in the attacks which began about 10 a.m. local time.

    Gadhafi forces had renewed their shelling near Misrata on Wednesday. The city is one of the few footholds rebels have in western Libya and controls the country's largest port.

  50. Mr Gates went on that Libya was even worse:

    "We have the spectacle of an air operations centre designed to handle more than 300 sorties a day struggling to launch about 150. Furthermore, the mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country - yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the US, once more, to make up the difference."

  51. We're not doing the Europeans any favors by staying in Europe. It's time they took stock of their own defense capabilites, and act accordingly.

  52. Saudi Arabia has some really nasty, highly sulfurous, heavy stuff that they've been trying to unload onto the market for years, and they might've just found a buyer.

    China has some really serious electrical-generation problems developing, and, for whatever reaons, they can't seem to import enough coal, fast enough, to fix them. Enter, Saudi Arabia's high-sulfur sludge.

    They're talking a million barrels/day. How that will affect the global oil markets is, most likely, not completely known.

  53. Desert Rat said...

    "From 2000 to 2006 the Republicans RULED Washington DC. They controlled the House, Senate and Executive.

    To blame the minority members of the Government, for the failures of that Government, risky political business.


    "On June 5, 2001, Jeffords left the Republican Party, with which he had always been affiliated, and announced his new status as an Independent.

    This occurred despite, for example, Jefford's voting for President Bush's 2001 tax cut package along with all other Republicans.

    Jeffords's Independent status changed the Senate composition from 50-50 (with a Republican Vice President, Dick Cheney, who would break all ties in favor of the Republicans) to 49 Republicans, 50 Democrats, and one Independent.

    Jeffords promised to vote for Democratic control after being promised a committee chairmanship by Democratic Leader Tom Tom Daschle, thus handing control of the Senate to the Democrats.

    He then handed his chairmanship of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which he had held since 1997, to Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and was given the chairmanship of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which would have been occupied by ranking minority member Harry Reid. Jeffords held this committee chair until the Democrats lost control of the Senate in 2003 following Congressional elections in 2002."


    Mr. Lott and Mr. Bush were, and are wusses of the first order, no doubt about that.
    'Rat and I got off the GWB bandwagon long before Rufus, and I certainly never contenenced the racist frat boy from Mississippi when he opted to share power with the Dems rather than lead.

    Nevertheless, the record implicates the Dems, far more than the Pubs in the Fanniegate affair, and for some here to constantly cite "Republicans and Business, Pubs and Bankers" and etc is nonsense, esp given the fact that the MSM constantly provides cover for the Dems, NOT the Pubs.

    Also, if anyone here wants to compare the likes of Niki Haley, Jindal, Bachman, Rand Paul, Ryan, Walker, and Christie to Lott and Bush, I say good luck trying not to make fools of yourselves.

    Moreso when compared to the present miserable crop of geriatric totalitarians that comprise Democrat "leadership."

    To argue parity is sophomoric in the extreme.

  54. Rufus said...

    "What he's really saying is, "I'm going to have to treat 10% more patients, and probably for less money."


    Yessir, 3,000 pages of "healthcare legislation" written by the best totalitarian crooks DC has yet produced, calling for tens of thousands of additional regulations overseen by politically chosesn boards will IMPROVE healthcare.

    ...just ask your local, irredemably stupid, socialist true believer.

    Jeeze, look at what I've missed.


    Thu Jun 09, 10:21:00 AM EDT

    Doug said...

    Here I am being thankful for 5 entrepreneur doctors putting their asses on the line to rip off us patients.
    (While delivering first class healthcare)

    Wife's (Japanese) doctor,
    and my (Black) doctor holding a free healthcare clinic next week for those without insurance. they have in the past.

    Greedy, Capitalist Pigs!

    Never could live up to Pelosi Obama unionized, federalized standards of care and excellence, I betcha.

    Fuckin Pigs

    Thu Jun 09, 10:27:00 AM EDT

    Doug said...

    How the Fuck could we expect small entreprenurial groups to ever match the professionalism, efficiency, and CARE that the healthcare guided by faultless, topdown oversight from our betters in DC will provide?

    Thu Jun 09, 10:31:00 AM EDT


    Rufus II said...

    "Yep, this moron thinks that the 30 Million People that, presently, have NO Medical Care will have better care under Obamacare than they have now."

    Anyone with half a brain is aware of the healthcare the uninsured are given day in and day out.
    One of the factors contributing to the cost of care for those who pay.

    Also, many of those thirty million choose not to have insurance, as did I when they are young and healthy.

    But you, Mr Moron, ignore the FACT that Medicare is Doomed with unfunded liabilities in the future as are all Government Ponzi schemes.

    ...and you pretend to be to dumb to see the obvious that any business, much less something as complex as our healthcare system WILL be brought to it's knees by the mindless and evil overregulation of ObaamaDon'tCare.

    AND, like the other ponzi schemes, it dooms us to bankruptcy as do all programs that eliminate patient choice and provide "free" services which ALWAYS HAVE AND ALWAYS WILL BE WASTED AND ABUSED.

  55. "What he's really saying is, "I'm going to have to treat 10% more patients, and probably for less money."

    Spoken with all the wisdom and understanding the Dems have when they act like everyone (except the government, of course) will have to "share the sacrifice" to pay for their wasteful schemes to bring servitude to the masses.

    Doctors lose money as it is on Medicare patients, yet you, like ObamaPelosi expect things to get better by cutting Medicare and funding something far more disasterous.

    At least I can credit ObamaPelosi with being control happy gangstas of the first order.

    You, on the other hand...


  56. Excellent attack there Doug, I only fault you for omitting Palin's name from your list of angels, I imagine inadvertently.


  57. To argue party is sophomoric in the extreme.

  58. .

    Well gee Doug, you have the Idaho braintrust agreeing with you.

    I guess you must be right.


  59. .

    To argue party is sophomoric in the extreme.

    Come on rat, cut Doug some slack. He has to argue party. He can't argue performance, at least not at the national level.

    He mentions some talent at the state level (I can't comment on them since I really don't know enough about how they got their reputations) but does he really expect us to vote GOP in the national elections because the party has some talent in Triple-A?

    Washington sets policy on the things we talk about everyday (jobs, inflation, the debt, war, etc.) The guys at the state merely react to that policy and as far as I know none of the people Doug mentioned is running for national office in 2012.

    As far as the parties being different as Doug asserts, they are different in philosophy no doubt. However, when it comes to performance they are the same, piss poor. To argue that because one is bad the other must be good is childish.

    At the national level, the leaders of both parties are ideologues, consumed by their own self-importance, benighted by power and privilege, and pandering to their chosen constituencies neither of which is the middle class in the US.

    Both parties have been screwing us for the last thirty years. Only the kool-aid drinkers can't see that.


  60. I'm always struck by the disconnect of:

    "All those People are getting Free Medical Care Every Day,"


    "Providing Medical Care to all those people will Bankrupt us."

    Do you EVER think before you type?

  61. Idaho Brain Trust admits the Idaho Republican Party isn't the national republican party and identifies more with the former rather than the other.

    Quirk, I've offered to the barber shop a stuffed wolf in addition to my previous offer of a three year subscription to Field and Stream, if I get one this fall. Bet I do too.

    I hope you noticed that more than generous offer.


  62. Quirk said...


    Well gee Doug, you have the Idaho braintrust agreeing with you.

    I guess you must be right.

    Lo, truer words have not been uttered here.


  63. 'WAR ZONE': 100 People Brawl In MCDONALD'S Lot, 2 Stabbed... CHICAGOLAND: Police warn of teen girls committing strong arm robberies...

    Rahm 'confident' no more mob attacks... Girl, 16, killed in crossfire at NY boardwalk...

    'Bad combination of guns, heat, beer and angry young men'... MURDER CONVICTION TOSSED OVER 'RACIST' COMMENTS... 15-year-old girls tied up, smothered foster mom...

    What was that famous Hegel quote about the headlines of the day showing spirit trying to transcend itself? I can't recall.



  64. The Problem With The Economy Is Political, Not Economic

    Article argues things is bad indeed but the only chance for a fix is a change of parties.

    Quirk might as well not read it cause it's from American Thinker not the Detroit Daily News.


  65. I've been following th Sarah Palin e-mails chase all afternoon. It's a hoot. This li'l sweetheart is cleaner'n a hound's tooth.

    The media needs to get away from that chick. She's drivin'em loony-toons.

  66. It's been so hard to find some dirt on Sarah! And they've tried and tried and tried. I agree Rufus it's a hoot, and fun to watch.

    The Belmont is tomorrow. I guess I'll bet one last time on Mucho Macho Man. After all, it's hard not to think well of a horse that was born dead and then revived, and thrived.


  67. from The Wall Street Journal


    The 143rd Belmont Stakes has been framed as a rubber match between Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom and Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford. And while that rivalry provides fodder for trash talk—Tuesday's press conference saw some good-natured barbs between the two camps—this race is more than a two-horse narrative.
    [SPRTS_FEATURE4] Associated Press

    Mucho Macho Man

    "I'm not worried about Shackleford," said Barry Irwin of Team Valor, the syndicate that owns Animal Kingdom. "I'm worried about Mucho Macho Man. I think he's the horse to beat."

    Naturally, Dean Reeves, an owner of Mucho Macho Man, agrees, calling Irwin's comments the "most insightful and intelligent thing I've heard in five weeks."

    But what underlies the Mucho Macho Man story is the question of unrealized potential. Going into the Belmont, his odds are 10-1, behind Animal Kingdom (2-1), Shackleford (9-2) and Nehro (4-1). He finished third in the Kentucky Derby, and sixth in the Preakness Stakes, a race in which he lost a shoe.

    And it wasn't the first time he lost a shoe: The same thing happened at the Louisiana Derby, yet he still came in third. What might have happened if he hadn't lost those shoes? His handlers hope they never find out. He has since been fitted with glue-on shoes.

    Additionally, in both the Kentucky Derby and the Louisiana Derby, Mucho Macho Man finished third to Nehro's second—making for a subplot of rivalry in the Belmont Stakes: Can Mucho Macho Man get ahead of Nehro, to say nothing of the rest of the crop?

    Trainer Kathy Ritvo has had a consistent line this year when asked about this horse and his prospects: "He's only going to get better."

    Mucho Macho Man was a June 15 foal, which makes him slightly younger than the rest of the crop. He won't really turn 3 years old until after the Belmont, which is run on June 11. "It was surprising that a June foal could make it and be thriving," Ritvo said Tuesday.

    His pedigree may favor slightly shorter distances; his sire was Macho Uno, who in 2000 was the 2-year-old champion but whose longest win was at nine furlongs. But Mucho Macho Man showed strong, late speed in both Kentucky and Louisiana derbies, suggesting that with more distance—as he will have in the 12-furlong Belmont—he might have more opportunity.

    "The race being longer, I think it will just benefit him," Ritvo said.

    The longer race, however, could also benefit others, including Nehro, who has finished second in his last three races. Owner Ahmed Zayat brushed aside the opinion that the horse has a case of "seconditis."

    View Full Image
    Associated Press

    Animal Kingdom took a practice run on Friday.

    "As you can see in both the Louisiana Derby and the Arkansas Derby, it's literally a matter of inches, and had the race have lasted longer, who knows what the outcome would be."

    Nehro has pedigree on his side; he was sired by Mineshaft, son of A.P. Indy, who was the 1992 Horse of the Year and the winner of the Belmont Stakes that year. Going a further step back, A. P. Indy was the son of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. Additionally, Nehro skipped the Preakness, giving him the advantage of five weeks of rest.

    "The idea was to try to give him the chance to show us exactly what he's made of and not look for a second again," Zayat said. "I don't want to be a bridesmaid."

    Five out of the 12 horses in the 143rd Belmont also skipped the Preakness after running in the Kentucky Derby. But it's the three that ran both the previous Triple Crown races—Animal Kingdom, Shackleford and Mucho Macho Man—who could be the bridesmaid makers.


  68. I didn't realize he had lost a shoe in the Preakness. And he closes well. And it's a longer race.

    I'm goin' with 3M.


  69. .


    Got me. I never was much into Hegel or Idealism for that matter.

    The only thing I can remember that I agree with him (or possibly just understand him on) is his emphasis on the importance of history.

    I haven't wasted (my opinion) a lot of time on the guy.


  70. Yep, rufus, Mrs Palin does provide for excellent entertainment.

    Makes herself famous, while doing nothing, a lot like Paris Hilton and the Kardashian kids do.

    It is her profession, she does it well. Admittedly, her audience demographic is different than those other girls, but ...
    That's Entertainment!

  71. I don't know, Rat. 20 + years of public service, starting with City Council, Mayor, Head of Oil and Gas Commission, Governor.

    Seems to have been a pretty hard-working, effective Governor, with a thrifty, hands-on approach to governing. Ran Surpluses while in office, got the job done.

    Ran a very good VP Campaign (with, what's looking like, a very poor team - which she didn't get to choose,) wrote two best-selling books, and makes many timely, and thoughtful posts about the issues of the day.

    I'm not sure the comparison to the Kardashian (sp?) sisters is warranted.

  72. They are all tv personalities, rufus.

    Her two years as a governor of a small State and her run with Maverick, those cemented her national TV audience. The Kardashian kids political credentials are not as impressive as Mrs Palin's, but their reality show was renewed.

    Mrs Palin's PR campaign is just that, a PR campaign for her movie release.

  73. Quirk said...

    "As far as the parties being different as Doug asserts, they are different in philosophy no doubt. However, when it comes to performance they are the same, piss poor. To argue that because one is bad the other must be good is childish.

    At the national level, the leaders of both parties are ideologues, consumed by their own self-importance, benighted by power and privilege, and pandering to their chosen constituencies neither of which is the middle class in the US.

    Both parties have been screwing us for the last thirty years. Only the kool-aid drinkers can't see that.


    OK, socialised medicine is no different than patient choice medicine.

    1 Trillion is no different than 4 Trillion, even when we're talking dollars.

    Boeing building Dreamliners in North Carolina is no different than dealing with striking unions in Washington.

    Holder "Justice" is no worse than any other.
    MY ASS!

    You are some abysmally stupid motherfuckers.

    Black equals White, Up equals Down, and all the other sophmoric "philosophies" of mental midgets.

  74. desert rat said...

    "They are all tv personalities, rufus."


    Palin is also Obama's last, best hope of re-energizing his base should she choose to run.

  75. Alaska receives more Federal money than any other State. If she could take that salient fact and create a budget surplus, well, it'd prove that there was no hope for the Socialists.

    This report, from 2008 marks Mrs Palin's tenure as the Governor of the US's largest per capita Federal subsidy State.

    Arizona, the second fastest growing state in the nation, will receive just $18.70 per capita in federal earmarks this fiscal year. By comparison, Alaska — with roughly a tenth of Arizona's population — is set to receive $506.34 per capita, the highest in the nation, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group which tracks earmarks.

    The state of Alaska receives about three times as much as Arizona receives in actual dollars, $346 million to $119 million.

    She did not return a dime of the Federal monies, little wonder she ran a surplus.

  76. That's: Alaska gets more Federal dollars PER CAPITA than any other State.

    mea culpa.

  77. You are some abysmally stupid motherfuckers.

    Pure Doug.

    Short, to the point, also correct on the topic at hand.

    Listen to rat on only one topic - horses. He knows horses, remember that.


  78. She ran a surplus because of the Federal money, not as a result of her own policies.

    She not having had a long enough tenure to "have made a difference", in that regard, at the two year mark.

  79. She ran a surplus because of the Federal money, not as a result of her own policies.

    She not having had a long enough tenure to "have made a difference", in that regard, at the two year mark.

  80. Rufus II said...

    I'm always struck by the disconnect of:

    "All those People are getting Free Medical Care Every Day,"


    "Providing Medical Care to all those people will Bankrupt us."

    Do you EVER think before you type



    The answer to less than ideal care for some is turning the entire enterprise for all upside down for the benefit of the totalitarian control freak clowns in Washingon.

    Show me ANY example ANYWHERE of any business endeavor that thrives under the kind of regulation, control, and top-down oversight that is Obamacare.

    No need to ask if you ever think:

    You think a lot.

    You just never think right.

  81. I thought of horses much of the night last night.

    Mucho Macho Man should have a real chance. I was so pissed at him after the Preakness - but I didn't know about that losing a shoe.

    This is a long race....

    We're leaving's become a family tradition for us....only three races we pay any attention to.....later.


  82. .

    Strictly, my opinion. I obviously could be wrong.

    She is a creature of the times. She has a large following, a distinct minority, but still significant. For the most part they are highly partisan, disallusioned with the current leadership in the country, and not looking for substance but rather raw meat.

    Palin satisfies them by providing soundbites that reflect their anger. Palin often misstates facts in defense of those soundbites and talking points. Palin makes those gaffes not through ignorance so much as because she doesn't waste time on them. Her constituency ignores the gaffes or excuses them blaming the media for trying to "get her'. Palin laughs off the criticism because it is unemportant to the people she is talking to.

    Few would call Palin stupid. She has parlayed her celebrity into millions through books, reality shows, a spot on FOX, a $100k speaking fees, and a keen sense of the capabilities of the internet. She is a celebrity, a phenomenom, and a savy marketer.

    That being said, those who quote her qualifications usually forget to mention some of the defining qualifications, TV commentator on FOX and reality TV host. Sarah is about promoting herself. Again strictly my opinion, but I believe the current 'bus tour' and her 'indecision' over whether to run for president reflect her campaign to promote Palin, Inc. It's similar to what the Trump non-run was designed to do in promoting his 'Apprentice' gig.

    I still do not believe she will run for president. As I said she is not dumb, and besides it would would represent big pay drop for her. Afterall, she is now in a position to demand a Lear 60 ar larger or a Hawker 800 or larger for her speaking dates. No doubt Doug will note the difference between her and Nacy Pelosi.

    As for those who support her because of the 'raw meat' she throws out, many of them also supported Trump. They are looking for someone at the national level that can articulate their frustrations. Hard to know whether they realize that she would be hard pressed to deliver on any of the policy statements she makes, either through circumstance or inclination.

    Face it, if she ran it would be as a Republican. To believe she would go against GOP doctrine or it's defined constiuency if elected is to my mind the height of naivte, especially given her current self-promotion tour.

    Again my opinion.


  83. The Republican answer to the health care challenge, doug, was to provide a trillion dollar plus Prescription Drug Medicare benefit to Senior Citizen voters.

    While not addressing the challenge of those 30 to 40 million residents that had no other medical services than the emergency room.

  84. WASHINGTON — Texas Gov. Rick Perry's "sit back and wait" strategy to be asked to run for president seems to be paying off as he prepares to give the keynote speech Tuesday at a GOP dinner in New York — where he was a last-minute sub for flamed-out aspirant Donald Trump — and welcomes back some of his top aides, who abandoned Newt Gingrich's campaign this week.

    "As an observer of the Texas political scene and watching what he's doing, you would have to say he's running," said Pat Oxford, the chairman of the Houston-based Bracewell & Giuliani law firm. Looking at the field so far, Oxford said, "There's no Republican candidate who has caught any kind of supportive breeze."

    Read more:

  85. Pick and choose if you must, 'Rat:

    You cannot justify Holder, and you cannot justify the persecution of Boeing.

  86. Perry supports the Dream Act!

  87. Governor Perry, now there's a fellow that could beat Obama.

    Other Texicans have made the trip from Austin to Washington DC. So there is precedent for him moving on up, too.

  88. As I said before, when the brouhaha hit about "Oil Tax Breaks," Sarah Palin was the only Politician, Pundit, talking head, etc, that I'm aware of, that made the distinction between the effect on smaller "wild-catters," and the large companies, and what the actual effect would be on production.

    Realize, that, I, a strong biofuel supporter, am considering backing a candidate that, seemingly, might have views antithetical to my own.

    And, her views on healthcare, certainly, are 180 opposite of mine.

  89. I do not think, doug, that you can find any defense of Obama plicies or personnel, other than to say they maintain the trends.

    I do not see the Justice Department prosecuting border guards, as it did during the last Administration.

    All "real" Republicans support the Dream Act, doug.

    You RINO, you.

  90. We have a large AF Base (F-22's) in Alaska, and we were/are building that Missile Defense System up there.

    All that, coupled with the small population probably is a large reason for the high federal spending per capita in Alaska.

  91. Perry's constituency, the "business class" of Texas Loves Cheap, Illegal Labor.

    As does the prime constituency of All Republican Senators.

  92. .

    You cannot justify Holder,...

    Just as you cannot justify Alberto Gonzales and John Yoo.


  93. Of course, Massachusetts is 6.0%

  94. It is also the reason she ran a surplus, those Federal dollars flooding the State.

    If the Federals were spending $500 per head, here in AZ, rather than just shy of $20, our State goverment would be swimming in cash, too.

    AZ has the largest jet fighter training base in US, it has the mothball air force, down in Tucson. We have lots and lots of military dollars, but do not reach Alaska standards, either in the per capita nor grand total columns.

    Mrs Palin is expert at spending Federally generated dollars, no doubt of that.

    Alaska, the premier case for the Obama stimulus package.

    Why not spend Federally generated dollars in the lower 48 like the Federals do, in Alaska?

  95. Oops, my bad; Mass is 7.8%.

    I must have been thinking about Iowa.

  96. Perry can make the Republican case, exemplified in Texas.

    It is not the "Conservative" case, nor the "Librarians", either.

    He does best exemplify the real Republican alternative to Obama.

  97. Wrong Geography, Rat. You can "see Russia" from Alaska, you know. :)

    Actually, you Can walk to Russia from Alaska.

    There is an island out in the Aleutians from which you can walk to a Russian Island in the Winter. Twenty, or Thirty miles, I think.

  98. .

    You cannot justify Reid and Pelosi, McConnell and Boehner, four ideologues, two from each side of the political spectrum with one thing in common, they suck.

    The only other thing I can see in common is the fact that they continue to pursue their own ideological objectives first and worry about the main problem facing this country, JOBS, last if at all.

    Any difference between these dicks is a difference without a distinction.

    The country is sinking fast because of issues like jobs, debt, housing etc. and some choose Holder as a prime example of what's wrong with the country.

    It may be necessary for some to revisit the mainland once in a while. Just for a reality check. Or, at least, to get a little perspective.

    Just saying.


  99. It is far less likely that we will face an invasion, from Russia, than we will from Mexico, rufus.

    Mexican cartels now using tanks

  100. Yeah, them people don't have to "wait for winter" to cross over. :)

  101. This story describes how Mrs Palin managed to achieve that budget surplus, rufus.

    She cut the capital improvement budget, in the face of growing revenues from the oil companies.

    As described in the story the "cuts" were really delays in the projects, not their cancellations.

    A good job, I'd say.
    Certainly not to the level of proving Presidential capability.

  102. You know, that Alaskan island I referenced probably isn't in the Aleutians, the more I think about it. When I read of it I was assuming Aleutians, but It almost has to be farther North than that. Oh well, it's up there, somewhere. I read it; it's got to be true. :)

  103. I'm not saying she's superwoman, Rat. Just that she's probably as good as most of the rest, maybe better than some.

    Right now, I'm just kinda partial to anyone the "establishment" seems not to be partial to.

  104. She is entertaining, rufus.

    But she is just another "player".

    Recall that the "Peace" candidate followed the Bush battle plan in Iraq and expanded the conflict in Afpakistan.

    So much for the Swedes delivering the "Peace Prize" based upon hoped for results and not proven performance.

  105. Like they always say, Rat: "Your Mileage May Vary." :)

  106. Texas faces $27 BILLION Budget Gap for 2012 - 2013.

    They do have a "Rainy Day" Fund of $9.4 Billion, accumulated the same way Alaska achieved theirs - Taxin the Oil and Gas industries.

  107. From my above link:

    Experts say Texas' budget has been under pressure for years. The state used about $6.4 billion in federal funds from the 2009 Recovery Act to fill a shortfall in its 2010-2011 budget cycle, but those funds will not be available in the 2012-2013 period.

  108. Do you work to earn a living Rufus?

  109. Well, i respect people who work or have worked; don't respect lazy folks. And rat, try to carry so much water for Obama it's embarrassing; it pretty much nullifies any political opinion you may express.

    By the way Rufus, AL and GA have passed strict anti-illegal immigration laws and have republican senators, shoots down your post above.

    Now...I am gonna sip some whiskey


  110. I ain't taking no credit, Elijah. You hit the nail on the head; I worked to earn a living.

    I drank beer, and golfed/fished for fun. :)

    Good on Al, and Ga State Legislators, but that doesn't ezzackly repudiate my comment about Republican SENATORS (bein' "Federal" and all.)

  111. .

    It amazes me how someone can argue against a statement that X = Y where

    X = GOP Senators and
    Y = dicks

    By arguing some unrelated proposition like

    K = State legislature passes anti-immigration law

    Z = That the state happens to have GOP senators at the Federal level

    and assume therefore that X = Y is not valid because of K and Z.

    We see examples of this lack of critical thinking everyday on this blog. I blame the education system in this country. They teach math and reading but not how to think. Also, as Deuce often decries they fail to teach civics or history.

    Saw a poll the other day taken of graduates of the "Elite" schools in the country (that's how it was described) that showed half the graduates were unable to describe where quotes from the Gettysburg Address came from. Can't think of the other specific example they gave but it was on pretty simple stuff.

    History, American and that of Western Civilization, have pretty much disappeared as required courses in college. Courses on logic, critical thinking, something as simple as civics, the same thing.

    Is there any wonder the US has lost it's edge in maufacturing, math and science. For the last twenty years or so the best and brightest of our graduates have been going into finance and investment banking because that's where the money was.


  112. .

    The basic liberal arts curriculum has been crowded out by the need for diversity. In the college setting, the history of America and Western Civilization are things to be apologized for instead of praised. Required courses are strictly of the 'occupational' type designed to get the student the best jobs in the most lucrative fields.

    The end result? Well there is at least the argument that can be made that we are currently seeing some of the results today as the Finacial Sector lead us into the mess we are in and shows very little evidence of being able to help lead us out.



  113. In all fairness, it's hard to grok the idea that, after [passage of the 17th Amendment, a not so subtle change took place in who, exactly, are the primary constituencies of the "elected" Senators.

    Prior to the 17th Amendment, the Senators of a state, appointed by the legislature of the state, pretty much represented, in an indirect way, the voters of the state.

    With the huge cost of statewide election campaigns the Senators, more and more, represent their campaign donors. In the case of the Dems, that would be the Unions. In the case of the Pubs you would be talking "Bizness" money.

    It probably seemed like a good idea at the time.

  114. I do tend to support the government of the United States, elijah.

    Did when Bush was President, do now that Obama is President.

    Obama has obtained the foreign policy goals that were important to me. I think he will lead US further towards a withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, both.

    I do not think that any President chosen from the proffered list of potential GOP or Dem candidates will lead US to a withdrawal from Europe or Korea.

    None have a clue as to how to "fix" the economy in the near term.

    None have embraced rufus's plan to diminish US dependence upon foreign oil.

  115. .

    And if you think we have it bad, look at the UK.

    The Uk holds nationwide tests each year for high school students. A recent poll showed less than 20% of the parents of those students could pass the test.


  116. Trent Lott was so upset at their inability to pass the "Grahmnesty" bill that I thought he was going to break down and cry on the Senate floor.

    "If we can't even pass this, what are we doing here?" he wailed.

    He announced that he was "calling it quits" not long afterward, IIRC.

  117. We already have current income tax rates well below the Reagan recovery rates.

    Below the tax rates of the Clinton/Newt operating surplus years.

    So if low tax rates were the only answer, we'd not be in a bind that we find ourselves in.

    No, sending money for nothing to the Arabs and Chavez in Venezuela is at the core of our financial cancer.

    We could be keeping all that money in the Farm Belt.

  118. Further freeing the US from securing Arab oil for Charlie Chi-cap.

  119. The problem with ol' Rufi's plan is there is not a single constituency. No "Big Money" to grease the wheels.

    The "people" don't even know it's possible, and the Oil & Gas Biz are Seriously, Deadly Against it.

    The big, organized corn farmers of Iowa, Neb, and Il already "have theirs," and the corruptocrats like Haley Barbour, and Perry are Deep, Deep into the oil company pockets.

    Rufi's plan has a long, hard slog ahead of it.

  120. Everbody likes cheap labor, whether it be legal or not, whether it be Pubs or Dims.

    The Pelosi family prefers their labor not only cheap, but in loin cloth.

  121. Everbody likes cheap labor, whether it be legal or not, whether it be Pubs or Dims.

    The Pelosi family prefers their labor not only cheap, but in loin cloth.

  122. I realize that, amigo.

    The Boners have the deal done, for the near term, anyway.

    The Military Industrial complex likes the status que, big oil likes it, and as you say, those that would benefit most are kept ignorant.

    Mountains and beaches look mighty fine.
    I know John Galt
    John Galt is a friend of mine.