“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."

Monday, October 03, 2011

Bank Tank

Citi shares slump 9.3%, B. of A. shares slide 8.7%

Let them Die.


  1. .

    I was watching to see when the banks would bottom out before starting to inch back into that sector.

    That inclination was stopped over the past week or so when Jamie Diamond, CEO of JP Morgan and hero of the boys/girls at CNBC, charged that increased bank holding requirements coming out of Basil III and pushed by the US were "Un-American". He insists they will hurt America when in fact he means they will hurt him and his cronies at the bank.

    With Bank of America how appropriate is it that their recent decline started at the same time they instituted a new 5% charge for using debit cards in order to recover their losses on the backs of their customers.

    The 'too big to fail' are rapidly becoming smaller.


  2. .

    Victor Davis Hanson, neocon and pollyanna.

    While there are a couple points he makes in his article in Pajamas Media that I can't argue with, the majority of it is merely a rehash of the neocon philosphy with of course a projected happy ending.

    The Coming Post-Obama Renaissance

    Blue Skies

    We can complain about Obama but do we really want to go all the way back to Bush?


  3. .

    In the first post, I said a 5% charge by BOA for debit card use. It should have been a $5 monthly charge.

    Here is another take which says it wasn't the banks fault but that of retailers.

    Thank Wal-Mart for your new bank card fee

    It's Not The Banks It's The Retailers

    No matter which view has more truth in it, the following from the article is undoubtedly true.

    It's the standard tale of government intervention in the economy: The guy with the best lobbyists wins, and the little guy -- this time, the consumer -- loses.


  4. .

    From what we are assured is the greatest newspaper on the planet,

    Compare the aimless Wall Street protesters with the folksy savvy of the Tea Party. The Tea Party was started by ordinary folks who hate the corporations just as much as they hate the government. They have experienced the nightmare of foreclosure, or of a chain store opening across the street and killing their trade. They know that the bailout was driven by financial lobbyists, and they hate every congressman who voted for it. They are what the novelist Chilton Williamson once called, “Country and Western Marxists”. What differentiates them from the Wall Street protesters is culture. They are recognisably American in their ideals and appearance. And they get that the American people don’t want to see the free market curtailed by yet another social democratic contract. Best of all, the Tea Party won’t take to the streets to get what they want. They understand that the path to reform of Wall Street begins at the ballot box. The Tea Party represents an American vision of the future. The Wall Street protesters are a horrible reminder of its past mistakes.

    If the Wall Street protesters really want to reform capitalism, they should join the Tea Party

    There are a few good points made in the article regarding the "Occupying Wall Street" people; however, "the folksy savvy of the Tea Party"?


  5. .

    Big supporters of Chris Christie,

    The ‘Koch Method’

    ...Internal company documents show that the company made those sales through foreign subsidiaries, thwarting a U.S. trade ban. Koch Industries units have also rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada.

    From 1999 through 2003, Koch Industries was assessed more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments. In December 1999, a civil jury found that Koch Industries had taken oil it didn’t pay for from federal land by mismeasuring the amount of crude it was extracting. Koch paid a $25 million settlement to the U.S.

    Phil Dubose, a Koch employee who testified against the company said he and his colleagues were shown by their managers how to steal and cheat -- using techniques they called the Koch Method...

    Sell to Iran? No Problemo.


  6. At the end of his 17-minute address, Sollecito took off a white rubber bracelet emblazoned with “Free Amanda and Raffaele” that he said he was been wearing for almost four years.

    He said: “Now I have never taken it off. Many emotions are concentrated in this bracelet.

    Now I want to pay homage to the court. The moment to take it off has arrived.”

  7. When they weren't Massively flooding the environment with 200 times the legal limit of Benzene, a known carcinogen, and falsifying their EPA, and State Reports, to cover it up,

    the Koch Bros were founding the Tea Party, and Spending $50 Million to Lobby Congress between 2006 and 2010.

    Two large recipients of Koch Bros largesse were Rick Perry, and Michelle Bachman.

  8. My gov'mint credit card is BoA, so they won't be allowed to fail. Not just us technicians but the rainmakers in the cube farms won't be able to travel to and from the Pentagon.

  9. Over the weekend, Perry said that while the country must brace for a difficult conversation about reining in the cost of Social Security, he has no plans as president to cut into the benefits of current seniors or those near the age of retirement.

    On immigration, Perry touted his stand against issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, his support of a requirement that voters present a picture identification before they can cast ballots, and his support for a “sanctuary cities” bill in Texas that would freeze state funding to local governments that bar law enforcement from inquiring about the legal status of detainees.

    “No one up there on that stage has a stronger record than I do when it comes to illegal immigration,” Perry told a rain-soaked crowd in Manchester on Saturday.


  10. [Updated September 23, 2011]

    This page has a list of all individuals running for U.S. President in 2012 who have filed statements of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

    It includes the following who have filed as Libertarians:

    Roger Gary

    R.J. Harris

    Carl Person

    Lee Wrights

    The following are Bylaws Sustaining Members of the national Libertarian Party and have announced their intention to run for U.S. President in 2012, but have not filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

    Jim Burns

    Robert Milnes

    Dave Redick

    Miss Joy Waymire

    Please send corrections or additions to


  11. “Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few … No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” (James Madison)

  12. Little Johnny asked Mom what two words mean that kids at school were
    using... Pussy and Bitch.

    Mom inhaled sharply, but then said: "Oh, that's easy. A
    pussy is a cat, like our little Chico . A bitch is a female dog, like our
    Sandy ."

    "Thanks, Mom"

    He then found his Dad out in the garage.

    "Dad, the guys at school are using words I don't

    "What words, son?"

    "Pussy and bitch. I asked Mom, but I don't think she told me
    the right meanings."



    Dad said: "Son, never ask your mother about these things,
    ask me instead. Let me explain it like this."

    He pulled a Playboy from his workbench, turned to the
    centerfold, drew a circle around the pubic area and said: "Son, everything
    inside the circle is pussy."

    "Okay, Dad. Then what's a bitch?"

    Dad replied: "Everything outside the circle."


  13. Q. Where, in the Constitution, is there mention of education?
    A. There is none; education is a matter reserved for the States.

    Lee Wrights


  14. “The War on Drugs is a price support system for terrorists and drug pushers. It turns ordinary, cheap plants like marijuana and poppies into fantastically lucrative black market products. Without the War on Drugs, the financial engine that fuels terrorist organizations would sputter to a halt.”

    Ron Crickenberger

  15. But inside the Energy Department, which had pushed to give Solyndra the government-backed loan, officials counseled the White House not to worry.

    Matt Rogers, senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu on the stimulus funding, responded that these kinds of warnings were typical in the Silicon Valley start-up world.

    Rogers wrote that “the ‘going concern’ letter is standard for companies pre-IPO,” and he predicted that “the company should be strong going into the fall with their new facilities on line.”


  16. Las Vegas Chosen for 2012 Libertarian Convention

    “Consider Liberty”

    By Mike A. Bozarth

    The Libertarian Party has announced it will hold it’s 2012 national convention in Las Vegas to pick it’s presidential nominee.
    The Libertarian Party is the nation’s third-largest political party. About 250,000voters are registered as Libertarians. There are 152 Libertarians elected to public office and about 300 more in appointive positions.
    Las Vegas beat out San Francisco and Dallas to host the event.They will meet May 4-6 at the Red Rock Resort.

  17. An Illegal Alien, a Muslim and a Communist go into a bar.

    The bartender asks: "What can I get you, Mr. President?"


  18. “If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check.”

    Thomas Jefferson


  19. RJ Rolling up his Sleeves
    for Ballot Access in Oklahoma

    RJ Harris Liberty Team collected nearly 400 signatures on an afternoon at a Oklahoma Sooner football game. RJ Harris and his team had a great time tailgating with fans of the #1 Ranked NCAA Football Team in the Nation.

    TJ Harris 2012

  20. Remember, it is not a binary choice, if just the Democrat and the Republican are the only candidates considered.

    Not much difference seen in the trend lines, from 1967 through today. Based upon the governing differences. A lot of different personalities, pretty much the same policies.

    List of Candidate Websites for the 2012 Libertarian Presidential Nomination

  21. RJ Harris
    Tailgating for the Presidency.

    Gotta love it.


  22. A loose-knit populist campaign that started on Wall Street three weeks ago has spread to dozens of cities across the country, with protesters camped out in Los Angeles near City Hall, assembled before the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago and marching through downtown Boston to rally against corporate greed, unemployment and the role of financial institutions in the economic crisis.


  23. Publicity surrounding the recent arrests of hundreds in New York, near Wall Street and on the Brooklyn Bridge, has only energized the campaign. This week, new rallies and in some cases urban encampments are planned for cities as disparate as Memphis, Tenn.; Hilo, Hawaii; Minneapolis; Baltimore; and McAllen, Tex., according to Occupy Together, an unofficial hub for the protests that lists dozens of coming demonstrations, including some in Europe and Japan.

    In the nation’s capital, an Occupy D.C. movement began on Saturday, with plans to join forces on Thursday with a similar anticorporate and antiwar group, October 2011, for an encampment in a park near the White House.

    About 100 mostly younger people, down from 400 over the weekend, were camped outside Los Angeles City Hall on Monday morning. Several dozen tents occupied the lawn along with a free-food station and a media center


  24. The monetary system is not working,” he said. “The banks are here to steal from us. Everybody is in debt whether it’s medical bills or school or loans. People are getting fed up with it.”

    In Chicago on Monday morning, about a dozen people outside the Federal Reserve Bank sat on the ground or lay in sleeping bags, surrounded by protest signs and hampers filled with donated food and blankets. The demonstrators, who have been in Chicago since Sept. 24, said they had collected so much food that they started giving the surplus to homeless people.

    Each evening, the number of protesters swells as people come from school or work, and the group marches to Michigan Avenue.

    “We all have different ideas about what this means, stopping corporate greed,” said Paul Bucklaw, 45. “For me, it’s about the banks.”

  25. Just think what they could do if they had an articulate, charismatic leader, or two.

  26. Watching Chris Matthews, they are saying that Obama is going "Left" to taking on "Big Business" and "The Banks".

    The Democrats promoting:
    "American Can Do-ism"

  27. It has always been Pakistan, from 9SEP01 on. -

    President Hamid Karzai has reassessed his approach to peace and will no longer hold talks with the Taliban. He will instead negotiate with Pakistan, he said on Monday.

  28. Ferdaus was arrested by federal agents last week, ensnared in a lengthy sting operation in which the defendant thought he was communicating with Al Qaeda operatives. He was arrested after the FBI provided him with 25-pounds of C4 explosives.


    A U.S. citizen, Ferdaus graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in physics in 2008 and was living with his parents at their suburban Boston home. His father, Showket, and mother, Ana, were in court along with several other family members.

    In a strange twist, Ahmed Mehanna, the father of Tarek Mehanna, a 27-year-old Sudbury, Mass., man also accused of plotting a terror attack, sat with the Ferdaus family.


  29. WASHINGTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Monday took aim at one of China's core economic policies, voting to move forward with a bill designed to press Beijing to let its currency rise in value in the hope of creating U.S. jobs.

    Senators voted 79-19 to open a week of Senate debate on the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2011, which would allow the U.S. government to slap countervailing duties on products from countries found to be subsidizing their exports by undervaluing their currencies.

    The procedural vote sets the stage for a battle between lawmakers who say the bill will return to the United States many jobs lost to China and critics who warn it could spark a trade war and will fail to help American workers.


  30. You may be ready for football, but ESPN is not ready to let Hank Williams Jr. open tonight’s game after his incendiary comment about President Obama on Fox News.

    The country singer criticized the president’s recent “golf summit” with Republican House Speaker John Boehner. The singer told Fox & Friends that the meeting “would be like Hitler playing golf with [Israeli leader] Benjamin Netanyahu.”

    Williams’ voice is famously used to open Monday Night Football, asking viewers “are you ready for some football?” ESPN released this statement:

    “While Hank Williams, Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight’s telecast.”

  31. Hank Williams Jr. compares Obama to Hitler, gets his song pulled from Monday Night Football. Will networks now drop Roseanne's show because of her comment about beheading bankers?

  32. Where's the equivalency in that?

    Merely a restatement of Quirk's fondest wet dream.

  33. I move to censor WIO to ensure that The Bar will not have to endure something similar happening to our esteemed Italian Parishoner.

    Italian Worshiper Tears Both Eyes Out at Mass

    "He was in a great deal of agony and he was covered in blood," Dr. Gino Barbacci told the Daily Mail. "He said that he had used his bare hands to gouge out his eye balls after hearing voices telling him to do so - to do something like that requires super human strength."

    Father Lorenzo Tanganelli said he had just launched into his sermon when he saw a commotion in the back of the church, according to the Italian paper Corriere Fiorentino.

    "This man at the back of the knave started tearing at his face and I realized he was gouging out his eyes," Tanganelli told the paper. "I called for assistance and the paramedics were quickly at the scene and he was taken away and then I carried on celebrating Mass but a lot of people had left because they were so shocked by what they had seen."

    The Bible's Gospel of St. Matthew quotes Jesus telling his disciples: 'If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."

    ...thinking we might carve out an exception for Rufus.

  34. If I had only threatened my mom with that, maybe I could have escaped the torture of years in Sunday School...

  35. I've always stood up for black people. It's not worth getting stabbed over a seat.

  36. I feel safe in saying Christie will not run.

    He might seek the GOP nomination for President, but run he will not.

  37. "I'm very much looking forward to seeing Congress debate this bill, pass it, get it to my desk," Obama said. "Ultimately, they've got to do the right thing for the American people."

    In a statement, Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck pushed back on Obama's suggestion that Congress is delaying taking action to stimulate job growth.

    "As we've long said, we'd like to work with the President where we can find common ground, as well as discuss other ideas that will better support job creation," Buck said. "In the meantime, we continue to pass jobs bills, including two regulatory reform bills scheduled for this week that have bipartisan support."

  38. If Boehner was serious about seeking common ground, he'd become a Marxist.

  39. Documents just unearthed show that the attorney general of the United States lied to Congress about when he first knew of the scandalous Operation Fast and Furious.

    Yes, the top law enforcement officer in the country committed perjury.

  40. Government Motors sold 723 Volts in Sept. Barry is as good at funding cars as he is funding his greenie corps. Obama is "intimidated" meeting Lady Gaga. Yeah, that's the guy I want standing up against Putin, Hu, and Ahmadinejad.

  41. Maybe Obama can buy American Airlines. I wonder what the aircraft version of a Volt will look like.

  42. Blogger desert rat said...

    “If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check.”

    Thomas Jefferson

    I presume you cited that quote from Jefferson because you agree with it. Ironic in that it is 180 degrees from the Libertarian position which you've also claimed to admire.

  43. Obama’s approval rating — while not significantly different from a month ago — is at a new career low, his disapproval number at a new high. In all, 42 percent approve of the job he is doing, while 54 percent disapprove.


    Of course, the president won’t have to run against a theoretical Republican. Among registered voters, he runs neck and neck with Romney, Perry and Christie.

    The president has a narrow edge on Perry among all adults. Cain was not tested in a hypothetical contest against Obama.

  44. KGB thug Putin

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he wants to bring ex-Soviet states into a "Eurasian Union" in an article which outlined his first foreign policy initiative as he prepares to return to the Kremlin as the country's next president.
    Putin said the new union would build on an existing Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan which from next year will remove all barriers to trade, capital and labor movement between the three countries.