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

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Obama Commands Congress to Come to White House on Saturday

Ugh, I am not sure the President can command Congress to do anything. Obama asks can the Republicans "Say yes to anything?" Obama also says that the proposed deal must take us beyond 2013 because of the election. Doesn't Obama have that backwards? Elections are supposed to prepare for orderly transitions of government so that the people's business and political governance continues uninterrupted. Our system was not designed to advance political careers and the country's governance be damned and at the mercy of the ambitions of political opportunists.

House Speaker John Boehner has walked away from negotiations with President Obama over a deal to raise the debt limit.

"In the end, we couldn't connect. Not because of different personalities, but because of different visions for our country," Boehner said in a letter to colleagues. He said Mr. Obama " is emphatic that taxes have to be raised" and "adamant that we cannot make fundamental changes to our entitlement programs."

"For these reasons, I have decided to end discussions with the White House and begin conversations with the leaders of the Senate in an effort to find a path forward," he said.

House Republican leadership aides told CBS News that Boehner will work with the Senate leadership in an attempt to reach a deal that meets the GOP's two central requirements: That spending cuts are equal to or greater than debt limit increase and that there are no new taxes.


  1. What is the democratic plan?

  2. Senate democrats did not pass cut, cap, and balance.
    Where's their plan?
    Also, when did the senate last pass a budget?

  3. Boehner walked out because Obama wanted an extra $40 Billion/yr in taxes on the Rich.

  4. Oh well, no deal means an instant 44% cut, which means Depression and a "D" rating from Moody's, which means no second term for Obama.

    Unless they sell gold from Ft. Knox, which will crash the gold bubble.

    Stand by for heavy rolls, as we say in the NAV.

  5. How does Obama define rich Rufus II?
    Can't find a link to the democratic plan, what is it?
    Do they have to pass it so everyone can know what's in it?

  6. I'm glad I don't have any skin in this game. They're going to worry some old folks to death.

  7. Obama invited the Press into the back room to examine what he called the "tick tock." evidently, that's cool, Washingtonese for the blow by blow (that's cool mississippi speak) of offers, counteroffers.

    Maybe we'll read it later.

  8. Press secretary Jay Carney states that leadership means not having a plan.


  9. No plan survives first contact intact

  10. Have to have a plan before it can evolve.
    What's the first version of the democratic plan?


  11. President Barack Obama has relied more on well-connected Wall Street figures to fund his re-election than he did four years ago when he campaigned as an outsider and an underdog.

    One-third of the money Obama's elite fund-raising corps has raised on behalf of his re-election has come from the financial sector, according to a new Center for Responsive Politics analysis.

    Individuals who work in the finance, insurance and real estate sector are responsible for raising at least $11.8 million for Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee, according to the Center's research. All of Obama's bundlers have raised a minimum of $34.95 million, as OpenSecrets Blog previously reported.

  12. You'd have to ask a Democrat that is in the room.

    No one knows what is on the table, or if there is anything at all.

    That's the problem with closed door negotiations, in an open society.

    It's all spin, speculation, smoke and mirrors, until it's not.

  13. We must not profile, and assume just because a suspect wears a beard and a green bandana with Allahu Akbar written on it, that he's a Muslim. Unless the suspect is a tall Nordic blond, in which case we are required to dismiss the attack as related to Islamism because he does NOT fit the profile.

  14. The attacks in Norway, Ms T, could well be related to the NATO Operation in Libya, in which case it is not a case of Islamic terrorism.

    No, it'd be a reciprocal attack by Libya upon a command and control node in a NATO country active in bombing attacks on Libya.

    A legitimate target selection, with nothing to do with the religion of the combatants in Libya or Norway.

  15. Sounds more like the Colonel than the Islamoids.

    (Reuters) - The Norwegian man detained after twin attacks in Norway on Friday that killed at least 17 people has links to right-wing extremism, independent Norwegian television TV2 reported on Saturday, without disclosing its sources.

    Police were searching a flat in west Oslo where the man lived, TV2 said.

    (Reporting by Oslo newsroom, editing by Tim Pearce)

  16. Maybe the fellow was upset about Rudolph Hess being exhumed.

    A local church in the Northern Bavarian town of Wunsiedel took action to remove the grave of Rudolf Hess, Hilter's infamous Nazi Deputy whose grave site has been attracting hundreds and even thousands of Neo-Nazi's every year ...

  17. A legitimate target selection, with nothing to do with the religion of the combatants in Libya or Norway.

    Sniper takes out swimming boys. Rat calls it a legitimate operation.

  18. sorry gang, I am traveling tonite. Tunica Cut off. That' where we fished mostly. Bream and shellcrackers slabs fighting each other for the cricket. Crappie after your minnows.

    Back in those days, Tunica Co. Was the poorest county in the United States. No casinos back then. A little black community (we called them Coloreds back then, with no disrespect intended) called SugarDitch had open sewers running down the middle of main st. Jesse Jackson went down there and raised Almighty Hell until it was fixed.

    I remember it just lime it was yesterday. Probably around '68, if I had to guess. Feel free to google it.

  19. I have a friend that lost his house at the cut-off in the flood this year.

    The cut-off still has the best fishing around.

  20. Wow, Sugar ditch was 1985. I guess that proves Why I can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday.

  21. Every bone in my body, as tired as I am, screams "Negotiating Tactics."

    But now, they're saying what I said a couple of days ago, those checks that go out will be a few days late. The 3rd is a Wednesday. I wouldn't count on getting my SS check before the following Monday. They're going to have to hustle, I think, to scrape up that $94 Billion Bond Redemption on the 4th.

    After they redeem That Bond they can pay a couple of bills, but they'll have to save enough to make sure they have enough for the Next Bond Redemption.

    The thought keeps gnawing at me that if Obama's polling finds the Republicans are getting enough of the blame, he might just go to the mats on this one.

    It would be a mess, but it would almost be worth seeing.

    That's cruel, though; just a delay could cause a lot of hardship on some old folks.

  22. For Melody's list:

    CRS - Cain't Remember Shit :)

  23. How about FTIOH

    fuck this i'm outta here

  24. .

    But this year, amid the annual crackdown, the issue of how women wear the veil — and what the government does about it — has become part of an intensifying rift between President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and powerful Shiite clerics.

    The conservative clerics, and like-minded military commanders, complain that Ahmadinejad isn’t doing enough to ensure that the dress code is strictly enforced. Some have also blamed recent violence against women on the victims, arguing that they were at fault because they wore the veil improperly...

    But this summer, leading clerics have become fed up with his “lax and negligent” approach. “Blood should be shed to solve this issue and eradicate this problem from the society,” Tehran’s Friday prayer leader, Ahmad Khatami, said recently.

    When two cases of mass rape were recently reported by Iranian news media, several local clerics and police commanders blamed the victims for provoking the crimes by being improperly dressed.

    In May, men pretending to be members of the morality police, an officially sanctioned volunteer force that battles “vice,” raped eight women in a private garden in the city of Khomeinishahr as the women’s relatives stood by helplessly.

    Organized religion. What can you say other than pathetic and in some cases disgusting.

    Sure We Raped Them but They Made Us Do It


  25. Nothing you can say, Rufus, could drive me away.

  26. We're EXPECTING!!!!! I know, I know pretty crazy isn't it?? I really didn't want to believe it myself. I wasn't going to put it on here, because it will be obvious soon enough, but thought I needed to make it official. So now you know, its official. We are EXPECTING another hot day tomorrow!! Wait! What did you think I meant??

  27. I am so fucking sick of Obama saying a deal needs to be balanced. Democrats jacked up government spending to 25% of GDP. It's historically been ~20%, give or take a percent or two. The Democrats didn't pay for a penny of this expansion in government with higher taxes. So in a $15 trillion economy, jacking government spending 5% above the "historical average" is another $750 billion in government spending annually. All of it borrowed. Where's the fucking balance in that?

    The country saw the insanity of Democratic "leadership" and changed the composition of the House to stop it. As P.J. O'Rourke has said, the November elections were more like a restraining order than an election.

    We have enough money to pay entitlements, the military and the debt. If the checks don't go out it will be because Obama chose not to send them out. It will be because other things are a higher priority to him. Frankly, if there is no one to arrest people trying to go to work on oil rigs in the Gulf I think I will still be able to sleep at night. If TSA employees have to go back to molesting people against their will for free I think we will survive it somehow.

    Since Obama has never been responsible for a budget in his life I think it is time for him to learn. We have operated without one since he has been in office and he has never balanced one in his previous existence as a professional rabble rouser either. But for better or worse this is who the left chose to lead us so he needs to take off his diaper and sit on the big boy potty.

    And frankly if he chooses not to send out some or all of the SS checks all I can say is, "tough shit." The generation drawing checks now had plenty of opportunities to reform or end Social Security and Medicare. Just because the jig is up and they have put themselves in a position to rely on a Ponzi scheme that allowed them to beggar their grandchildren for their own benefit doesn't mean we have to feel sympathy for them.

    I've disagreed with presidents in the past, but I've never hated one. I'm really starting to hate this ideologically rigid asshole.

  28. I figure with us sliding back into recession they're arguing over the difference between a $1.5 Trillion Deficit, and a $1.4 Trillion Deficit.

    Nothing happens of any importance, Deficit-wise, until we get people back to work, and get the economy moving again.

    And, herein lieth the problemo. The Lords and Masters have no clue. They not only don't have a clue how to fix the problem, they really don't even know what the problem is.

    Actually, one guy that ran for Governor of NY did understand the problem. Remember Larry McClelland (sp?) "The Rent's Too Damned High" Party? The only one that made a lick of sense.

  29. Obama's performance at that press conference was all politics. I suppose we deserve what we got. Why have the Republicans not been answering in terms of jobs. I think you are right. None of them have a clue and it is getting scary bed.

  30. Yeah, those old people worked hard, wiped your shitty little ass when you were a baby, fed and clothed you, sent you to school, lost husbands and kids in wars to keep your ass free, gave you the highest standard of living the world has ever known, and trusted you not to fuck them. Stupid, weren't they?

  31. George comes from the enttled generation and has yet to learn that what goes around comes around. The blissful ignorance and arrogance of youth.

  32. Memo to Obama: We don't need "Roads, and Bridges;" the ones we have will be sufficient for what we'll be driving.

    We need something affordable to put in the fuel tank.

  33. The generation drawing checks now had plenty of opportunities to reform or end Social Security and Medicare. Just because the jig is up and they have put themselves in a position to rely on a Ponzi scheme that allowed them to beggar their grandchildren for their own benefit doesn't mean we have to feel sympathy for them.

    The lies and the Ponzi Scheme started when the first dollars were collected and no tangible asset was purchased. Instead they wrote special bonds or IOUs, diverting money to the general fund. My generation who are starting to collect their checks ( I Have not and probably will not) bought into the deal by allowing a significant portion of their disposable income taken by the government for SS. Now what did I just say?

    Disposable income, the money came from their disposable income so the actual percentage for most workers was more on the order of 25-50% and to some 100%.

    With the rest came their personal savings and many diverted what little income they had left to educate their children. The lying sacks of shit, our government created and supported the scheme. Don't blame the victim of the crime and ignore the criminal class that did it.

  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

  35. Some Congressman on Mark Levin, I believe Paul Ryan, claims that only 6% of the stimulus money was spent on infrastructure. If true, that should be investigated.

  36. Well, all I can say is, "Get strapped in." We're in for a long, tough grind. And, I mean "Long," and "Tough."

    FDR's biggest worry was that we were going to "lose our Democracy."

    Several Countries did; Germany, and Italy come, immediately, to mind. And, the fact is, their economies were growing very well by the end of the '30's.

    It's a blessing that Hitler was crazy. If he'd waited a couple of years he would have been hard to stop.

    I'm afraid we're in for a similar period.

  37. The average family puts somewhere North of 25,000 miles on their cars/yr. That's what we're set up to do. Our society is structured that way.

    When G. Bush took office it was costing Six, or Seven cents/mile to drive those 25,000 miles. Maybe, $1,500.00/yr for gasoline.

    Today, we're up around $0.20/mile. That's $5,000.00/yr.

    The lower quintiles, if they have a job at all, are making about the same as they were then. But, their cost of transportation, for fuel alone, is up $3,500.00/yr.

    And, the money went Overseas, and stayed there.

    You take a family that was barely "getting by" on $400.00/wk, Take Home, and hit'em for another %70.00/wk in fuel costs, and you have decimated that family. You have taken them "Out of the Game."

    Now, for you wealthy, supercilious little punks that think your super-duper economy will be just fine when a third of your fellow citizens are out of the game, all I can say is

    "Good Luck, and Welcome to Mexico."

  38. Or, probably more appropriately, the Declining Days of Rome.

  39. It is illegal for the planes to fly, without the TSA inspections.

    George would have US ground all commercial air traffic.

    He would close all the slaughter houses, depriving US residents of meat and poultry.

    All so the welfare checks can be put in the mail, on time, without the Federals borrowing another dime to cover expenses.

    Ignorance is bliss, regardless of the generation it is found in..

  40. Then, when the costs of Federal borrowing double, the blame game will commence, again.

    Oh, the spending explosion started in the year 2000, with the election of Mr G W Bush. The trends accelerated when B H Obama gained the White House.

    Since 2000, spending has grown across the board. Entitlement spending has reached a record 14 percent of GDP. Discretionary spending has expanded 79 percent faster than inflation as a result of large defense and domestic spending hikes. Other spending categories that have grown rapidly since 2000 include: anti-poverty programs (89 percent faster than inflation), K–12 education (219 percent), veterans spending (107 percent), and Medicare (81 percent). And despite all the pressing national priorities, lawmakers approved over 9,000 earmarks last year at a cost of $16.5 billion. Simply put, all parts of government are growing.

  41. DR, Rufus and Deuce agreeing on the same thing. Thanks George.


  42. From 2000 to 2010, real federal spending will have increased from $21,875 per household to $30,543 per household.

    In 2010, the federal government will spend $30,543 per household, collect taxes of $17,879 per household, and run a budget deficit of $12,664 per household.

    Surging Social Security, Medicare, and net interest costs are set to crowd out spending on other programs.

    Just wait until the interest costs double, due to Congressional ineptitude.

  43. What happened to "JOBS, JOBS, JOBS"?


  44. Real discretionary outlays have surged 79% since 2000.

  45. Nordic shooter not deranged, not insane, not a murderer, not a homicidal maniac:

    1.09pm: My colleague Peter Beaumont has been examing what is known about Anders Behring Breivik, who has been arrested over yesterday's attacks.

    One of the few who knew him, who have spoken so far, was an anonymous friend who told the Norwegian newspaper VG that Breivik had been a far right winger since at least his late twenties, when he had begun posting a series of controversial opinions on Facebook.

    What has emerged so far paints a disturbing picture: a Christian fundamentalist with a deep hatred of multiculturalism in his country, of the left and of Muslims who had written disparagingly of prominent Norwegian politicians. A far of violent video games as well who some former neighbours have told Norwegian media had sometimes been seen in
    "military-style" clothing.

    In the pictures that have so far emerged of him Breivik appears well dressed, slender and clean-shaven, a picture of the young entrepreneur he wanted to be.

    Breivik's businesses, however, were not much of a success, each one of them being dissolved after a short while after making a loss until he established his farm business in 2009 and moved out of Oslo.

    But the man who listed Kafka and George Orwell's 1984 as his favourite books on Facebook, made little secret to the friends he had, or others on the Christian fundamentalist and far right websites that he frequented, of his racist views.

    The darkest side of all was revealed not only in the killings but in how he undertook them, not least on the island teaming with several hundred teenagers, where wearing earplugs and a police uniform he calmly called over his victims to join him so he could begin his

    A Freemason, reportedly a body builder and a hunter with two registered weapons – a Glock pistol and an automatic rifle - it has been Breivik's online profile that has, so far supplied the most public information.

  46. 1.15pm: Breivik described himself as a "nationalist" and had posted many comments online criticising immigrants as well as Norwegian politicians whom he considered sympathised with them, Peter Beaumont writes.

    Among those in the party surprised at Breivik's actions is Ove Vanebo, Progress Party youth leader, who told TV 2: "We are as surprised and sad like everyone else. No matter which party he has been a member of this is completely unacceptable. ... We did not think he was capable of something like that. He was apparently a quiet and modest man."

    In other postings Breivik is clear of the nature of his notion of "idealism". He has described himself as a "nationalist" and written offensively of Somali immigrants with "full Norwegian passports" sitting at home on benefit and sending back money to the Islamist

    One target of Breivik's anger was former Norwegian prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland – a member of Norway's Labour Party – who had spoken to the youth camp on Utoya the day before the massacre.

    What seems clear, however, from his online postings was that Breivik increasingly, perhaps, had a grandiose sense of himself. In one – attacking Brundtland – he predicted that Norwegians would soon no longer be "immune to inflated [political] rhetoric, while in a
    solitary Twitter post a week before launching his attack, he paraphrased John Stuart Mill to write: "One person with belief is equal to the force of 100, 000 who have only interests."

  47. A perfect sounding patsy for a Libyan false flag operation, or just another Christian with a grudge.

    But not so much like Doc Z striking out, from Pakistan.

  48. The GOP is not interested in "Jobs" except for the Presidency.

  49. Say that you do twenty years in the military, after high school, and retire at 38 as an E7. You retire at half pay and with medical for life. You take thirty days leave and line-up a government job using military preferences and time in service etc, etc, and get a level ten, step ten, position and pay grade. You will now have an hourly rate of $30 per hour.

    Now for the good part: your military compensation plan

  50. They certainly are not interested in "Jobs" for the average resident, nor in increasing the pay of those that have the "Jobs" that remain in the US, after the reign of the Russell Company operatives in DC.

    As long as they can profit from the trade deficits, the Elites will maintain course and speed.

  51. The US should not pay retirement benefits to anyone that draws a Federal paycheck.

    Double dipping should be illegal, it is, after all, immoral.

  52. So a draftee that did a 12 month tour in Viet Nam and left the service after four years, spent mandatory four years inactive, with full release after eight years is now working at Wal Mart for $13.50 an hour. How many of those Wal Mart employees does it take to pay for the benefits and salary of the Lifer who went to work for Uncle?

  53. The dumbest shit I knew in basic training stayed for twenty and retired as a Master Sergeant. He is now drawing three pensions, two from the federals and one from the State. I guess he wasn't as dumb as we thought.


  54. Veterans spending up 107% since 2000


  55. K-12 Education surged 219% since 2000

  56. Certain "Red" States don't have to have Property taxes because the Feds greatly increased their Block Grants for k-12 spending.

    We're not going to rise, or fall on k-12 spending, or, even, Feds' bloated retirement accounts.

    We're going to live, or die, on 20% unemployment/underemployment, and $1 Billion/Day for imported oil.

  57. Also true, rufus.

    But one has to admit ...

    A billion here, a billion there ...

    Pretty soon we're talkin' "real" money.

    But, admittedly, the core problem is the Balance of Trade deficits.

    Saw grass and sweet sorghum based ethanol production really could solve or be part of the solution to the myriad of challenges the country is facing.

  58. This Norwegian killer, Breivik, sounds like he'd fight right in here at the Elephant Bar garnering accolades for his views from the majority. Nationalist, anti-immigrant, right-wing, hates Muslims - sound familiar. Ah remember America the great oh not so many years ago?

  59. .

    I can agree with much of what George had to say. If I were to start listing all the areas where Obama screwed up (in my opinion) it would be a long one. And he deserves as much blame as the GOP for the debt crisis.

    As far as the Dems, they have their nut jobs right there on par with the Tea Party. Saw a guy on TV yesterday, some backbench House representative from MI, who was proposing that the government force banks to forgive credit card debt and redo mortgages at current values in order to help solve the housing crisis.

    The only reason I have been all over the GOP is because they have looked so stupid in the statements they have been making over the past couple of months.

    That being said, where George misses the boat is in his lack of understanding of the costs a debt default would actually mean to the country. That and the fact that 'barrow and spend' was started by Reagan 40 years, was accelerated under Bush, and has now hit warp speed under Obama.

    Perhaps George's biggest mistake is in criticizing the Baby Boomers and assuming that his generation wouldn't have made the same mistakes given the same opportunity.


  60. Nah, we don't hate "Muslims." We just hate "Crazed Killers."

  61. Deuce that rate table doesn't take into account locality pay. Costs more to live on the Left Coast than North Dakota.

  62. Back in The Crotch, in the Nam days, we had a saying: "Kill'em All; Let God Sort'em Out."

    And, no, you poor li'l sensitive babies, we didn't actually do it. It just sounded good to a tired, hot, frustrated Marine.

    Anyway, that's about how I feel towards the Democrats, and Republicans, right now.

  63. Rat, as you know, I've read about this, and studied on it quite a bit; and I've come to the conclusion that w/o subsidies it's going to be hard to sell cellulosic ethanol at retail for much less than $2.75/gal (once you consider Taxes, Transport, etc.)

    Add in another fifteen, to thirty cents for the differential between ethanol, and gasoline for the gasoline component of E85, and we're looking at $3.00/gal at the pump.

    That means we need to get a "true 30 mpg" average vehicle into Joe, and Jane's hands as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, "as quickly as possible" isn't going to be very "quickly." And, there lieth the rub.

  64. Evidently, Obama, Bernanke, and all of their key advisors thought bringing a Million Barrels of Oil/Day onto the Market for a couple of months would make a big difference.

    This is where it kills you not ever, actually, having "been in business." Anyone that ever hustled for a buck would have told them that that little temporary bandaid wouldn't make much difference. Note: The Key Word was "Temporary."

    If your "cash flow" is upside down, and you're going broke, borrowing a couple of days' living expenses isn't going to make a difference. That's about what they did, and, it didn't make much difference.

  65. This Norwegian killer, Breivik, sounds like he'd fight right in here at the Elephant Bar garnering accolades for his views from the majority. Nationalist, anti-immigrant, right-wing, hates Muslims - sound familiar. Ah remember America the great oh not so many years ago?

    Not quite, the hatred towards Muslims was because the religion and the many of those practicing it , tolerated the crazed killers that identified themselves as Muslims. Breivik is a psychopathic killer.

    Nationalism is a good thing.

    There is a chasm of difference between anti-immigrant and stopping illegal immigration.

    The concept of America is greta but flawed, as are you.

  66. Global Oil Production Peaked in 2005. We've been on an undulating plateau since then. We've been helped out some by bringing about 1.4 million barrels/day of ethanol online (globally) since then.

    However, all the ethanol factories have been built, and are in production; China, India, and the ME countries, themselves, are all continuing to require more oil; and we fall Off the production plateau in late 2012.

    This is really looking ugly.

  67. You know, I don't remember Anybody coming into the Bar, preaching Any religion, that didn't leave with a few broken teeth, and cracked ribs.

  68. Preachers will get you killed, and idealogues will get you broke.

    every time.

  69. Neil Cavuto is Screaming "Half the people Don't Pay Anything."

    Well, if they "Don't Pay Any Taxes," then I guess all that FICA Money REALLY WAS A RETIREMENT PLAN. Right?

    If it Really WAS a Retirement Plan, and the Trust Fund "Really Does Have $2.6 Trillion" in the kitty,

    Then, how in the world can the Government NOT pay the checks on time?

  70. That's what drives me crazy about the so-called "Conservatives.'

    One minute, the poor don't pay any taxes, because SS is a "retirement plan,"

    And, the next minute, Social Security is just another "entitlement," like Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc.

    Which is it?

  71. The suspect in Friday’s bomb and shooting attacks was described as a gun-loving, highly religious Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threat of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration to the cultural and patriotic values of his country.

    sound familiar?


  72. Well, you can't blame Rat, an' me. We been warnin youall about them Freemasons, and their violent ways.

  73. I knew them spawns of Templars would get themselves on the terrorist watch list, eventually.

  74. sound familiar?

    It does. He follows a long line of homicidal maniacs. Nothing more. Nothing less. Had a few adults been carrying, his sport would have been severely shortened.

  75. Let him try it at Lake Wallenpaupack

  76. To own a gun in Norway, one must document a use for the gun. By far, the most common grounds for civilian ownership are hunting and sports shooting, in that order. Other needs can include special guard duties or self defense, but the first is rare and the second is practically never accepted as a reason for gun ownership.

    They may want to rethink that.

  77. we fall Off the production plateau in late 2012

    You sound like that guy who keeps predicting the Rapture.

  78. Oh Great! Governmrnt housing will really turn the market up.

    The Obama administration is examining ways to pull foreclosed properties off the market and rent them to help stabilize the housing market, according to people familiar with the matter.

    While the plans may not advance beyond the concept phase, they are under serious consideration by senior administration officials because rents are rising even as home prices in many hard-hit markets continue to fall due to high foreclosure levels.

    Trimming the glut of unsold foreclosed homes on the market is "worth looking at," said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in testimony to Congress last week.

  79. No, T, if you will go back you will see that I have, consistently, for a couple of years said, 2012 is "crunch time."

    If you will remeber we looked at the wiki megaprojects last year (I had been watching them for a while before,) and talked about who was going to do what to whom.

  80. If you will remember, I said last fall that the market would head down in May, that we would be over $3.50/gal by Summer (we hit $3.96, and we're now at $3.70,) and that we would be in recession by December.

    I made these calls, I've never wavered from them, and they've all been accurate (so far, we'll see about the recession by Dec - but, I'd bet the Ranch on it.)

  81. There really is no such thing as a Christian fundamentalist/Freemason. As a rule, fundamentalists hate Masonry.

    For him being a Christian fundamentalist, there's a glaring lack of Bible verses, mention of Christian media, etc.

    His list of favorite TV shows would not pass muster with actual Christian fundamentalists.

    There's been mention of him posting on Christian sites. It will be very interesting to see the nature of those posts.

    It will be interesting to see if he actually ever darkened the door of a church in the past 10 years. It's risky to guess, but I think there's a 50% chance that when he identified himself as Christian, it was purely in the sense of not being Muslim. If he did have a real life church affiliation, I wonder what it was.

  82. I dread to think what happens when interest rates start to go up. In the mean time we keep taking from the savers. Savers by their very nature are not spenders. Their mentality is to take a portion of their interest for discretionary spending. Reduce their incom, scare them about the future and they stop spending all together.

  83. Bob, he was, to use an old Norwegian term, a Berserker.

    He took target practice on kids swimming for their lives.

    The Man was Crazy as a Hatter. What could it possibly matter if he went to a church one day, and a Wikkers for Wanda meeting the next.

    He was totally batshit Crazy. To try to apply any type of logical thought to such a madman would mark You as a lunatic.

    He is just Nutz for Christ's Sake.

  84. Individuals, interacting with other individuals will tend toward rationality most (much?) of the time.

    A mob is irrational. Two mobs in an argument can lead to truly bizarre outcomes.

    We appear to be witnessing two individuals spurred on by Loud, Angry Mobs. I don't have clue what will happen. I'm not even going to pretend, over the internet, to have the faintest idea what this bunch is capable of.

    I'm just glad I'm only an interested bystander. All I know for sure is that I'm liable to lose some money in the dust-up.

    It would be hell to be an 85 yr old widow, dependent on my SS being there on the 3rd.

    If they fuck this up they are really going to hurt a lot of people.

  85. ALL the economy has going for it, right now, Deuce, as far as I can see, is the Upper Earners are still spending.

    Watching the earnings reports it became obvious that the high end merchants were "beating," but the Middle to Low End was through.

    When the High Enders' Stocks, Bonds, and Real Estate ALL head down Sharply, At The Same Time. . . .

    Well, shit, that could be something to behold.