“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."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Obama and House Republicans Destroying US Space Destiny

In 2009 the American Public spend $25.3 Billion on Video Games.

Astronomers reacted with immediate dismay, fearing that the death of the Webb telescope could have the same dire impact on American astronomy that killing the Superconducting Supercollider, a giant particle accelerator in Texas, did in 1993 for American physics, sending leadership abroad.
Canceling the Webb telescope would “have a profound impact on astrophysics far into the future, threatening U.S. leadership in space science,” said Matt Mountain, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, which would run the new telescope. “This is particularly disappointing at a time when the nation is struggling to inspire students to take up science and engineering,” he added.

US lawmakers vote to kill Hubble successor
(AFP) – 2 days ago

WASHINGTON — In a fresh blow to NASA's post-shuttle aspirations, key US lawmakers voted Thursday to kill off funding for the successor to the vastly successful space-gazing Hubble telescope.
The US House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science approved by voice vote a yearly spending bill that includes no money for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).
The move -- spurred on by belt-tightening in cash-strapped Washington -- still requires the full committee's approval, the full House's approval, the Senate's approval, and ultimately President Barack Obama's signature.
But the relatively mild dissents in the committee, which said in a terse statement this week that the project "is billions of dollars over budget and plagued by poor management," suggests the JWST faces an uphill fight to survive.
The vote struck a blow at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's goals with the space shuttle program about to end after 30 years, and Obama's decision to axe a new plan to return astronauts to the moon.
NASA plans to lay out a budget that "will allow us to launch the Webb telescope in this decade," deputy administrator Lori Garver told reporters at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
"We will be working with Congress to assure them we can manage this program and develop the most amazing space telescope," she said, calling the JWST "a perfect example of reviewing the unknown and reaching for new heights."
In February, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin told lawmakers the JWST had careened billions of dollars over budget.
Initial estimates put the cost of the telescope, designed to help the hunt for knowledge about early galaxies in the universe, at $1.6 billion, but now the total price tag has ballooned to $6.5 billion, he said.



  1. They'll quietly resurrect it in the not too far future.

    Right now, the villagers are armed with torches, and pitchforks, and it's best to raise the drawbridge for a bit.

  2. Government is a mob, and mobs don't think too awfully objectively.

    Mobs are Reactive.

  3. Congress is "stalling the ball" like crazy, still thinking the economy is going to "pick up," and save their bacon.

    I wish it were so, but I don't think it's possible.

  4. We have the most amazing dichotomy in Washington. The Republicans want to return to the 1950's,

    and Obama wants to jump ahead to the 2050's.

    No one wants to address 2012.

  5. The Geneva subsidiary, Caterpillar SARL, or CSARL, had no spare-parts employees and did no work to sell or ship the parts, Schlicksup claims in the lawsuit. The parts are shipped to dealers around the globe from a warehouse in Morton, Illinois, about 10 miles southeast of Caterpillar’s Peoria headquarters, according to the lawsuit, which also describes the spare-parts business as the company’s most profitable line.

    “In order to shift profit to Switzerland, Caterpillar pretended to shift the management and control of a large portion of its most profitable business segment to Switzerland, but in reality the management and control of this business remains in the United States,” Schlicksup said in an 88-page declaration he filed as part of the suit.

    “Everything is done the same way it was done before except that on paper, now CSARL is doing it, not Cat, while in practice Cat is doing everything,”

    Caterpillar - $2 Billion yr Tax Fraud - Bloomberg

    I guarantee you, if you tried this you'd spend the rest of your life in jail.

  6. In 2003 Caterpillar paid $4,000.00 in US taxes on $22 Billion in Revenue.

    Last year, GE didn't pay a dime in US Income Taxes.

    Their top shareholders like Warren Buffet pay 16.8% on their Dividends, and Cap Gains. About half of what I paid throughout my working life.

    Them peoples with the torches, and pitchforks have a right to be pissed; but they're mad at the wrong folks.

    We're like mushrooms. They keep us in the dark, and shovel shit on our heads.

  7. Actually, Warren Buffet's effective rate, overall was 16.8%. His Capital Gains on his Cat, and GE stock was 15%.

  8. All that junk we have been buying from China , probably 75% now in a land fill, came with a price:

    Beijing (CNN) -- The top U.S. military officer declared Sunday that China "has arrived as a world power," and that previous U.S. descriptions of China as a "rising power" are now a thing of the past.
    U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen made the remarks during an address at a university in Beijing at the start of a four-day visit.
    "China today is a different country than it was 10 years ago, and it certainly will continue to change over the next 10 years," Mullen told the audience at Renmin University. "It is no longer a rising power. It has, in fact, arrived as a world power."
    In January, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described China as a "rising power."
    "The United States is changing as well," Mullen added in his remarks, "as are the context and global order in which both our countries operate. I believe that our dialogue needs to keep pace with these changes. It needs to move from working out the particular issues and conditions of our bilateral relationship to working together to meet broader -- and common -- goals we share."

  9. Just what common goals do we share with China?

  10. The subjugation, and destruction of the U.S.A.?

  11. .

    “Everything is done the same way it was done before except that on paper, now CSARL is doing it, not Cat, while in practice Cat is doing everything,”

    All of Apple's intellectual property assets are purportedly housed in facilities overseas.

    I heard on the news the other day that of the 10 car models that contain the most 'American' content, the first is the Toyota Corolla, the second is the Honda Accord, the third was the Government Motors Cavalier.

    It's a damn shame.


  12. .

    Quite interesting.

    The GOP has been demanding huge cuts in government spending as part of the debt ceiling deal.

    When Biden and the Dems were agreeing to work work towards a deal worth $2 trillion in cuts, Cantor and Boehner were demanding a bigger deal with more cuts.

    Cantor walked out of the talks and said Boehner would have to take over the negotiations directly with Obama.

    When Obama and Boehner got together, they started talking about the 'big deal', $4 trillion in cuts.

    Now Cantor does a 180 and says he doesn't like the 'big deal' and wants to go back to the 'small deal' negotiations. At least, Boehner has always been a dealmaker whether I agreed with him or not. Cantor is a pure idealogue.

    So much for the argument by some here that the GOP is actually interested in budget cuts. What the GOP is interested in is
    'their' budget cuts.


  13. C Rangel: "What would Jesus do?"

    M Huckabee: "Well, for starters, he would pay his taxes."


  14. Cantor is just a show pony.

    At least, the boner attempts to do "some" work.

  15. .

    One wonders where the Maui Mango is these days. One would expect him to show up to defend his boys.

    And girls.


  16. .

    Earlier Saturday, Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart said that the Minnesota congresswoman had only endorsed the 14-point “candidate vow,” which did not include the slavery passage.
    However, the entire document was only four pages, including two pages of footnotes, and the slavery section was the first bullet point within the preamble.

    The Family Leader is led by Bob Vander Plaats, an unsuccessful GOP candidate for governor in Iowa and a prominent Christian conservative leader in the state...

    Well, I just speed read to the important part.


    Either Bachman is too stupid to know what whe was reading,


    She read it and said, "Hmm, sounds reasonable",


    Like most members of Congress, she didn't bother reading it and just signed.

    I also notice that Bachman's spokesperson only addressed the slavery comment and ignored some of the other points in the manifesto like how she vowed to outlaw pornagraphy.

    It appears Bachman seems to have very little knowledge of how SCOTUS works in the US.


  17. Well, she sure knows how that guvmint tit works.

    Evidently, she, and her husband have been billing medicaid for hundreds of thousands of dollars for her husband, who is NOT a certified "counselor," to counsel homosexuals on how to "go straight."

  18. These two are Tammy Faye Bakker, and hubby writ small. Pure wingnut, con artists.

  19. I believe Chris Wallace is being vindicated,

    by Michelle Bachman.

  20. The "Good Soldier," Leon Panetta arrives in Iraq/Afghanistan. Says we got Al Queda ON THE RUN !!!

    Send More Money.

    The "Teens" is going to be a long decade.

  21. .

    It was a low-down, no-good godawful bailout. But it paid.

    But you know what? The bailout, by the numbers, clearly did work. Not only did it forestall a worldwide financial meltdown, but a Fortune analysis shows that U.S. taxpayers are also coming out ahead on it — by at least $40 billion, and possibly by as much as $100 billion eventually. This is our count for the entire bailout, not just the 3 percent represented by the massively unpopular Troubled Assets Relief Program. Yes, that’s right — TARP is only 3 percent of the bailout, even though it gets 97 percent of the attention...

    The Bailout Paid

    The attached article argues that the bailout actually paid, both in the sense of stabilizing the world economy and in monetary terms because of profits on the invested sums.

    What it glosses over is the tremendous cost of the financial crisis that was caused by the people who got bailed out, The fact than none of them suffered and many of the sharks made out like bandits, the moral hazard created by the bailouts, and the fact that the same companies that caused the problems are still indulging in the same practices that brought about the initial crisis.


  22. We had to save the Banks. We just had to. The entire world's financial system could have gone, completely, kaput.

    But, we sure as hell should have put a bunch of those bastards in jail.

    I'll bet a rampaging DA could make a case against at least 5,000 of those crooks that would be almost impossible to defend against.

  23. Starting with some Senators, congressmen, and the the heads, and top tier of Fannie Mae, and Freddy Mac.

    They should put John Thain in jail just for having a Gold toilet.

  24. Q, we can disagree on which is one, and which is two; but, one thing Is sure:

    We don't get out of this mess until Housing, and Gasoline are fixed.

    I have heard Nothing on TV today except unmitigated nonsense.

    They all have their heads dead up their asses, and are praying for Providence for Salvation.

    Providence is busy. And, Providence is going to be busy for quite a few years. Providence, quite simply, ain't taking any calls from us.

  25. .

    They all have their heads dead up their asses, and are praying for Providence for Salvation.

    Business as usual in D.C.

    You could see this when Obama picked Geithner as Treasury Secretary and he spent months before coming up with any kind of plans, obviously waiting for something providential to occur and save their asses.

    The guy was in over his head from day one. It was obvious then even more so now.


  26. .

    Kicking the can down the road as preferred survival technique. Kick it far enough and you are out of office when the shit hits thefan.


  27. Well, I've gotta go to the store. Might as well "top off the tank" while I'm out. It'll cost more tomorrow. Sheesh, what a way to run a railroad.

  28. I used to post Astronomy Picture of the Day a lot.

    I have no idea what is really out there. I guess I go with Kant and Campbell and say it's the meaning and movement of our own minds.

    Are the laws of physics the same out there as here? I have no idea but proly. So I'm in line with Kant and Campbell.

    On a much more serious matter I am reconsidering my approach to the coming wolf slaughter.

    Originally I had thought to get a yapping mutt from the dog pound and chain him to the old pine by the cattails as bait.

    On further and deeper philosophical reflection I think it would be best to chain QUIRK to the pine tree in a clown outfit and let him howl like Lear on the heath.

    Don't worry Quirk I am still considering the matter and I would "have your back" just like I did at the Kabaa.


    dead wolf running no longer

  29. So, NASA ran upon the fixed bayonets.

    One picnickers piece of pork, seems to be someone else's sacred cow.

  30. It is impossible to estimate the benefits that have accrued to the US because of the investments and spending on space. It is predictable what will happen to the US if the Chinese take up the slack when the US drops the rope. Your picnic will be a shit sandwhich if it happens.

  31. Your equivalency argument shows more a lack of thoughtful judgment than your predictable penchant for obstreperousness.

  32. .

    I am of a mixed mind on this one.

    My first impulse is to agree whole heartedly with Deuce. The politicians' priorities are just plain screwed up.

    Grants and scholarships are being cut even though there are 3 million jobs in this country available for people with the right qualifications in science, math, engineering, and IT. Employers say they can't find qualified applicants.

    We are handing foreigners like the Chinese every opportunity to replace us in the leadership role in space and the sciences as well as in business.

    On the other had, how can you take someone seriously who comes in with a bid of $1.6 billion and then turns around and says "Whoops, I meant $6.5 billions.

    You have to draw the line somewhere.


  33. The baby goes out with the bath water.

    Had to look it up:
    1. Noisily and stubbornly defiant.
    2. Aggressively boisterous.

    If NASA has been such a benefit, to me and mine, well then ...

    The licensing fees on the inventions ought to fund the continuation of the projects.

    NASA has outlived it's productive years. The Federals need not continue subsidizing photos of locales millions of light years away.

    It is time to prioritize.
    Photos of star systems a million light away, well, they'll still be there, in one hundred years.

    Or whenever the Federals run a surplus, to be spent studying the stars.
    The folks at Chaco Canyon, in NM and Stonehenge, in England, along with the Maya of Mexico were fixated upon studying stars.
    Their cultures died.

    They should have fixated upon earthly concerns.

  34. Not one cent gets spent in space. I emphasize cent because I shudder at the thought of yuan.

  35. Most technological advances come from military, war and sex.

  36. .

    Most technological advances come from military, war and sex.

    That's a bold statement.

    Most people consider the military and war as non-productive. Assets produced there do not produce other products. There is no multiplier effect. Once you shoot a bullet, it is gone (except for the residual lead or radioactive traces). Once you bomb a target whether a tank or a school or a facory, it is gone.

    Sex on the other hand is productive; however, I've never thought of it as so in a technologically advancing way.

    But I will try to keep an open mind on your comment and will wait for you to convince me with further argument.


  37. All biological advances come from sex. And death too.

    Which are o so closely related.
    But only the poets know that.


  38. You can start with the quest for a blade that will hold an edge, certainly the mother of metal technology. Flight would be a curiosity without the military need. Jets were developed by the Germans to bomb London. Super highways were developed by the Germans to assist in military communication and logistics, a take-off perfected by the Romans.

    The arrival of the telephone allowed women to talk with suitors in private.

    Google "sex" and we come up with 214 million pages. The popularity of the Polaroid camera was accelerated by grandpa's penchant for home pictures and has been taken up by great grandaughter's sexting exploits on her iphone.

    The VCR became popular because people could watch porn in private.

    The lethal combination of power and sex should not be underestimated in their impact of innovation.

  39. Anyone interested in Italy and Spain?

  40. .

    The lethal combination of power and sex should not be underestimated in their impact of innovation.

    I hardly would underestimate them, or argue with their impact and importance.

    Had you said 'military, war, and sex are big drivers of innovation, I probably wouldn't have questioned it (although some of your examples require a bit of a stretch); however, the operative words in the initial statement were "most technological advances".

    Either on a quantitative or a qualitative basis my first inclination would to be to argue with that rather bold statement.


  41. .

    And what's happening in Italy and Spain?

    I just got up.


  42. .

    “It’s not as if God appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai and said, ‘The U.S. will always be a AAA credit.’ Our reputation is something that we have earned,” Angel said, adding that history is filled “with countries that were once great and blew it. The simple lesson is, you’ve got to pay your bills on time. If you don’t pay your bills on time, bad things happen.”

    For those who argue failure to increase the debt ceiling wouldn't have significant or long-term effects, a little history.

    1979: A Mini Debt Crisis


  43. .

    Is The US Crapping Out on The Golden Bullet of Energy production?

    ...Once a poorly understood area of research, plasma physics has become highly developed. Scientists not only produce 100 million-degree plasmas routinely, but they control and manipulate such “small suns” with remarkable finesse. Since 1970 the power produced by magnetic fusion in the lab has grown from one-tenth of a watt, produced for a fraction of a second, to 16 million watts produced for one second — a billionfold increase in fusion energy.

    Seven partners — the European Union, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States — have teamed up on an experiment to produce 500 million watts of fusion power for 500 seconds and longer by 2020, demonstrating key scientific and engineering aspects of fusion at the scale of a reactor.

    However, even though the United States is a contributor to this experiment, known as ITER, it has yet to commit to the full program needed to develop a domestic fusion reactor to produce electricity for the American power grid. Meanwhile other nations are moving forward to implement fusion as a key ingredient of their energy security.

    Indeed, fusion research facilities more modern than anything in the United States are either under construction or operating in China, Germany, Japan and South Korea. The will and enthusiasm of governments in Asia to fill their energy needs with fusion, as soon as possible, is nearly palpable.

    What has been lacking in the United States is the political and economic will. We need serious public investment to develop materials that can withstand the harsh fusion environment, sustain hot plasma indefinitely and integrate all these features in an experimental facility to produce continuous fusion power.

    This won’t be cheap. A rough estimate is that it would take $30 billion and 20 years to go from the current state of research to the first working fusion reactor. But put in perspective, that sum is equal to about a week of domestic energy consumption, or about 2 percent of the annual energy expenditure of $1.5 trillion...

    Fusion Energy


  44. BBC -
    May 30, 2011 – Germany says all of its nuclear power plants will be shut by 2022 in the wake of the Fukushima crisis in Japan, reversing an earlier policy.

  45. Japan supports Iran nuclear program

    I am not sure that the Japanese are charting a course that the US should follow.

    Nor are the Germans marching boldly into the future on a path the US should emulate.

  46. Nuclear fusion is available for domestic electrical production, in the US, today.

    The sun continues to shine, brightly.

    It will do so for the foreseeable future, or they'll be no future, at all.

  47. (AP)

    BRUSSELS - European officials tried Monday to prevent the eurozone's debt crisis from spilling over into bigger economies such as Italy and Spain, as disagreements delayed a second bailout for Greece.

    Intense debate over how, and how much, banks and other private investors can contribute to a new rescue package for Greece has unsettled financial markets in the currency union, most dramatically in Italy, as rating agencies warn that even a voluntary involvement will likely be seen as a partial default of Greece on its massive debts.

    Though the proposals currently doing the rounds may be less severe than a Greek payment halt, for example, rating agency Moody's said in a note Monday that the "prospect of any form of private sector participation in debt relief is obviously negative for holders of distressed sovereign debt."

  48. .

    As has been pointed out before with regard to the space program rat, you lack vision.

    Man-made nuclear fusion has been the holy grail for 50 or 60 years. Of course there are no guarantees, but the rest of the world seems to think there is promise and there appears to be actual progress being made.

    You speak of the sun, but explain that to people living in Seattle. That's not to mention the size of the displays needed to draw the electricity for the grid. Wind power is also locational. You need a place where the winds blows pretty steadily to optimize the power generation. With ethanol there is the issue of land use and nimby, not to mention the food energy trade-off. With electric, there is replacement costs, limits of recyclability, etc. Rufus has pointed out the problems with limited resources like oil and coal.

    There are problems with all of these technologies, no doubt with fusion reactors also. However, I think most thinking people would argue to go after the full range of technologies given the world's growing appetite for energy.

    The cost to the US for the first working reactor could be paid for by simply eliminating the current subsidies to the largest oil companies.

    Once again the US gives up its leadership role in the world in order to protect vested interests or to cater to cautious views.


  49. Well, Q, there is a power grid that provides for electrical transmission.

    So the wind farms in the Dakotas and the solar farms in the Southwest could supply those grids.

    Just as the Hoover Dam electrical production is delivered to grid. As is the output from the Palo Verde nuclear plant and the Four Corners coal powered production.

    The infrastructure for electrical transmission is already in place.

    The people of Seattle would be better off worried about seismic activity in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

  50. The tax benefits to the oil companies are not sustainable.

    They cannot be transferred, they have to be eliminated.

    The expenditures of the Federal government brought into line with revenues.

    That is from expenditures of 25% of GDP to just 14.9% of GDP...

    $14.66 trillion is 2010 GDP

    So, the US has to cut $1.46 trillion from the 2011 budget to sustain the demands of the 40 Republican House member that stand shoulder to shoulder with Ms Bachmann, on voting "NO" on raising the debt limit.

    Fix bayonets, amigo

  51. We have TWO huge problems.

    An underskilled workforce for the 21st century jobs, and COST OF TRANSPORTATION.

    Our civilization/culture of the United States is built on Affordable Transportation Fuels.

    From observing Post WWII Recessions we can quantify "what is Too Expensive."

    The Under/Over Price seems, with 95% certainty, to be $0.15 per mile.

    The average 2-car family drives a bit over 22,000 miles/yr. At $0.20per mile they're looking at $4,400.00 per year on gasoline, alone. Add in the higher costs for food, and other delivered goods, and they're hit hard. They're forced to "slow down," big-time.

    We WILL be in "the long recession" until we fix this problem. Period.

  52. Today's Wholesale price for Gasoline will give us approx. $3.80 gasoline in a couple of weeks. That's about $0.19/mile for Joe and Jane Sixpack.

    That's $348.00 per Month.

    Joe, and Jane aren't set up to handle $348.00/mo for gasoline. They're set up to handle $170.00 or $180./mo.

    The Have to get to work. And, they have to go to the grocery store. And, they are going to take the kids to little league, the Friday night football game.

    So, something else has to give. And, That is called a "recession."

  53. This economy is going to run Major deficits until we come out of recession;

    and we Will Not come out of Recession until we solve our "cost of transportation" problem. It cannot happen.

  54. We are in an Emergency Situation, and the Elites do not even realize it's happening.

    In 1929 the Elites were lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills, and Hoover was talking about a Permanently High Plateau in the Stock Market.

    They did not notice that Millions of Ag workers had been replaced by farm machinery, and were scuffling to keep their families fed. It was, completely, below their radar.

    That's what's happening, Today.

  55. This won't be as bad as the '30's because we have too many safety nets in place; but, it will be the worst period of YOUR lifetime.

    And, it's going to last for years.

  56. Last year, the national average for gasoline was $2.71/gal. AAA Gas Prices

    If gasoline prices are $3.76 in a couple of weeks, that will be a difference of $1.05/gal.

    That's another $189.00 Month that Joe, and Jane are being forced to send to Saudi Arabia, et al.

    Joe, and Jane, if they still have a job, have Not seen a raise this year; but, they are going to have to spend another $189.00/mo on imported oil.

    Joe, and Jane are in an untenable situation. Something's gotta give. And, if something's gotta give, it will.

  57. Now, here's the disgusting thing: If you lived in Iowa you could be driving a real nice, fairly heavy, midsize Buick Regal (that runs like a bat out of hell) for $0.11/mile.

    Without the ethanol tax credit you could be driving it for $0.12 per mile. Put that same engine in a car for the masses, like my Chevy Impala, and we're Booming again.

    This ain't rocket science. This is stupidity.

  58. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we can mass-produce cellulosic ethanol, and sell it, profitably, at retail for $3.00 gal.

    And, there's no doubt that you could have a Chevy Impala that performs exceptionally well, and gets 30 mpg on E85.

    That is $0.10 per mile for Joe, and Jane, as far as the eye can see. And, The money stays in Their Local Community.

    The "Losers?" Exxon, The Saudi Royal Family, and Fox News (largely owned by the Saudi Royal Family.)

  59. You see why I get grouchy sometimes?

  60. So after the bailout, what did GM do? They went right back to building superduper pickemup trucks with Monster 400 HP Gas-Guzzling V-8's that get, maybe, 15 mpg (with no load, downhill, with a strong tailwind.

    Today, they have a 122 Day Supply of those things rusting on the lot.

    They put their one decent engine in an obscure luxury car, made in Germany. Fucking Brainiacs, for sure.

  61. There's One Pickup truck, selling. It's the Ford Turbo V-6 Flexfuel. Power + Economy.

    Who'd a thought?

  62. Whilst looking for the recommended tire pressure on our '93 Escort Wagon, I found out that it was made in Mexico.

    Nearly 20 years ago Ford was figuring out a way around the Morass of Unions, taxes, and regulations in the good old USA.

    Odometer's turned over a time or two, and it still runs like a top.

    ...which gives me a good excuse when I come home dizzy.

  63. Rufus II said...

    "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that we can mass-produce cellulosic ethanol, and sell it, profitably, at retail for $3.00 gal.


    You see why I get grouchy sometimes?


    ...sixty plus and you still haven't learned that wishing does not necessarily make it so.

  64. I have very good reasons for believing as I do about cellulosic, Doug.

    They are long, and very much "inside baseball," but they are there.

  65. Speaking of "coming home dizzy:" That don't sound like a half-bad idea, today.

  66. Quirk said,

    "What it glosses over is the tremendous cost of the financial crisis that was caused by the people who got bailed out, The fact than none of them suffered and many of the sharks made out like bandits, the moral hazard created by the bailouts, and the fact that the same companies that caused the problems are still indulging in the same practices that brought about the initial crisis."


    If the TARP and stimulus money had been returned to the citizens in the form of Tax rebates, the economy would be a hell of a lot better off, and Rufus's beloved banks would have have a more level playing field on which to be sorted out.
    Instead we just paid off the same crooks inside and outside the government that caused the problem.

    Rufus advocates paying them off, then putting them in Jail.
    Haven't figured out that logic yet.

  67. They're not MY Beloved banks, Q. But, I know what happened the last time we let the system fail.

    I differentiate between "The Banking System," and the worthless, fucking bankers.

  68. Luckily, I'm off the hook, and Quirk gets the call.

  69. :)

    Sometimes you two do sound a little similar.


  70. Gear heads, pineapple heads - they all sound the same to me. :)

  71. The Obama administration has said it will suspend hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid and reimbursements to Pakistan. ...

    Government-to-government disputes between friendly governments usually take place in private and are smoothed over in public. So the Obama administration’s decision to hold back some $800 million in U.S. military assistance is a highly unusual display of Washington’s diplomatic displeasure with Islamabad.


    Total U.S. aid to Pakistan last year came to about $4.5 billion, about half of which went to the military.

  72. Down to 10,000 troops, max in Iraq next year, troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and cutting back on the payments to Pakistan.

    Good moves, all.

  73. Agreed. But, I'll believe that 10,000 Max when I (hopefully) see it.

  74. In three days of floor debate, even modest reductions at the expense of military bands or the Pentagon’s sponsorship of NASCAR races to promote recruitment were opposed by the majority of GOP lawmakers. And the $649.2 billion appropriations bill, including $118.6 billion for wars overseas, sailed through Friday with only a dozen Republicans in opposition

    When conservative freshman Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina proposed to freeze core Pentagon spending at 2011 levels, he was run over by almost three-quarters of his party. A bipartisan compromise, which would have preserved an $8.5 billion increase, fared no better,

    Read more: Republicans: Defense Cuts: Off The Table

    I'm about to become a Democrat.

  75. .

    I'm about to become a Democrat.

    Or, you could vote for Michelle Bachman, head of the Clueless Party.

    Michelle Bachman Defends Slavery Comment

    Michelle suffers from the Dunning-Kruger Effect, she is too stupid to know that she is in fact stupid.


  76. .

    If you really want to be frustrated, think about the 43% of Americans who don't want to see the debt limit raised (a slight increase over those who do at 38%) even after being told that not raising it will increase interest payments by tens of billions, impact the markets and their 401k's and pensions, rock credit markets around the world, cost $1.3 trillion over 10 years, and possibly push us into that double-dip recession we've heard talked about.

    We live in a nation of Michelle Bachman's. Who knows what will happen in 2012?


  77. On the diplomatic front, France said it has made indirect contact with Khadafy's regime, but denied reports it has begun direct negotiations with Tripoli.

    Paris is a leading member of the NATO-led international coalition bombing government forces and a cheerleader for the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) battling to overthrow him.

    "France has always said it wants a political solution. There are no direct negotiations between France and Khadafy's regime, but we pass it messages in liaison with the NTC and our allies," foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.

  78. August of last year, Q, we took in $164 Billion. We paid out $254 Billion for a Deficit of $90 Billion.

    Assuming this year's numbers will be similar, the Government will have to Cut Spending by close to $100 Billion in August. About 40%.

    Those people have No Idea what would happen if the Government had to cut spending in August by $90, or $100 Billion. The Direct, and "knock-on" effects.

    If they could imagine it they'd have a heart attack.

  79. There are politicians, and pundits that Should know better beating that drum.

    You've got to believe it's just a negotiating tactic. You have to believe that.

    The thought that those people might actually believe something so insane is too terrifying to contemplate.

  80. Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. drone fired missiles at a house in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border, killing seven alleged militants.

  81. A Male Fairy Tale:

    Once upon a time, a

    Prince asked a beautiful Princess, “Will you marry me?”

    The Princess

    said, “No!!!”

    And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode

    motorcycles and banged skinny long-legged big-tittied chicks and hunted and

    fished and raced cars and went to naked bars and dated women half his age and

    drank whiskey, beer and Captain Morgan and never heard bitching and never paid

    child support or alimony and banged cheerleaders and kept his house and guns and

    ate spam and potato chips and beans and blew enormous farts and never got

    cheated on while he was at work and all his friends and family thought he

    was frickin' cool as hell and he had tons of money in the bank and left

    the toilet seat up.



  82. Because Syrian security forces were late to respond, US Marines intervened to push back the crowd on the embassy grounds.

    Washington responded by calling Syria's senior diplomat there to lodge a complaint.

    "We strongly condemn the Syrian government's refusal to protect our embassy and demand compensation for damages," the State Department spokesman said.

  83. Combat troops being the operative phrase. Combat troops.

    How many "other type" troops stay there for ever?

    Think what troops coming home does to the unemployment rate. Decisions, many will rotate out once they get state side?

  84. But while the president expressed confidence in Boehner, he was tougher on other members of the Republican Party who have said that Congress should not raise the debt ceiling -- calling such statements "irresponsible."

    Boehner also stressed that the two leaders continued to have a good personal relationship. "Our disagreements are not personal and they never have been," he said.

    "I get along with him fine."

  85. .

    You make a good point Gag.

    What is the difference between 10,000 "troops" or 10,000 private security personnel for the embassies and other 'diplomatic missions' in Iraq, other than the private security personnel cost a lot more?


  86. .

    An editorial in The Economist describes the current GOP position as "economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical."

    An article in the same magazine indicates the Tea Partiers in the House have "elevated a preference into a fetish."

    This article describes some of the consequnces of even a short-term default,

    Debt Ceiling Implications


  87. Egypt's military on Monday detained four US nationals in the northern city of Suez after they took photographs in a restricted zone by the Suez Canal, a military official said.

  88. White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley and Geithner said on the Sunday talk shows that Obama remains committed to achieving the large deal he has outlined.

    “He’s not someone to walk away from a tough fight. This is a very tough political fight, no question about it,” Daley said on ABC’s “This Week.”


    Daley called Boehner’s abandonment of a broad deal “unfortunate,” adding that “everyone agrees that a number around $4 trillion is the number that will . . . make a serious dent on our deficit.”

  89. A deal is only “going to get harder” as the election approaches, Obama said. “So we might as well do it now.

    Pull off the Band-Aid. Eat our peas.

    “If not now, when?”

  90. Mary Daly holds up two charts containing 33 bars that all point down. They show eight industries getting hit equally hard after the 18-month recession ended in June 2009, suggesting that much of the past two years’ high unemployment is broad-based and should dissipate as the economy improves.

    Daly is among researchers throughout the Federal Reserve system -- from San Francisco to Philadelphia and the board in Washington -- who are scouring data, examining models and gleaning anecdotes to determine why the jobless rate has remained stuck around 9 percent or more since April 2009. Most are reaching the conclusion that any long-term, structural shifts in the labor market aren’t significant enough to keep the U.S. from returning to a pre-crisis unemployment level of 5 percent to 6 percent by about 2016.

    Fed Data Crunchers are totally clueless

    And, Bubba, I means, "Totally."

  91. Mr. Obama last month ordered the military to withdraw 33,000 "surge" troops from Afghanistan by the end of next summer, leaving nearly 70,000 troops in place. After the summer of 2012 drawdown, Mr. Obama said, U.S. troops would continue leaving Afghanistan at "a steady pace" as Afghan security forces assume more control.


    Over the weekend, Mr. Panetta also said the "primary effort" of the military mission in Libya is to "bring down the regime" of Col. Moammar Gadhafi. The United Nations resolution authorizing the use of force in Libya specifies that the intention is to protect civilians from Col. Gadhafi's forces, not to topple the longtime dictator.

    Aides said the secretary wasn't contradicting U.S. policy and that Mr. Obama has made clear that the U.S. wants the Libyan leader to go.