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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

“Much of the shadow banking sector, a major contributor to the economic crisis, was also only possible because of tax haven secrecy.”

The Netherlands is one of the world's best tax havens for multinational companies. Boeing, US Steel, Walt Disney, Johnny Walker, the Rolling Stones and U2: they all have one thing in common. They don't come from the Netherlands but they pay taxes here. The Dutch treasury earns milions of euros from these multinationals seeking a safe haven to avoid paying higher taxes in their own country.

Addicted to tax havens:
The secret life of the FTSE 100
October 2011

The full extent to which FTSE 100 companies use tax havens has, for the first time, been compiled, analysed and published in an accessible and searchable format by ActionAid.

Of the 100 biggest groups listed on the London Stock Exchange, 98 use tax havens. ActionAid’s research shows just how embedded the use of tax havens is in the structures of nearly all Britain’s biggest companies.

The findings are of particular concern because many FTSE 100 groups are set to benefit from plans currently under consideration by the Treasury to give multinational companies using tax havens an £840 million tax break, by relaxing the very rules designed to prevent tax-haven abuse.

An expanded tax revenue base in developing countries is the only sustainable source of funding for governments to invest in reducing poverty and inequality. It means that they don’t need to depend on aid and can achieve self-reliance. Yet, the OECD estimates that developing countries lose almost three times more to tax havens than all the aid they receive each year.

Spent effectively, this sum would easily be sufficient to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Corporate tax avoidance, one of the main reasons companies use tax havens, has a massive impact on developing and developed countries alike. The lack of transparency makes it difficult for developing country tax authorities to identify and collect taxes owed by global companies operating in their countries.
With this in mind, ActionAid’s research raises serious questions about many of Britain’s best known businesses. How has the use of tax havens reached such epidemic levels? What is the impact on the UK exchequer, the stability of the international financial system and the ability of developing countries to raise tax revenues to invest in reducing poverty? Link Here


  1. Must be a storm in Arkansas; the intertubes are all bolloxed up in NW Mississippi.

    Makes me leery of posting anything, knowing that Ashley will come screaming out of the ethernet, shrieking, "Prove it." :)

    We've set our Corporate Tax Rate so high, and so weakened our "Collection" Procedures, that Corporations are paying the 10% they almost have to pay (this is smaller companies w/o access to top-flight strategies,) and locking the rest up in Overseas Tax Havens, never to see the shores of the U.S., again.

    This is insane, and can be "fixed" with the stroke of a pen. Unfortunately, that stroke would cut the very elites that sponsor our politicians in their life of ease, and power.

    Meanwhile, our country's jobs dry up due to lack of investment in plant, and expansion, and we borrow more, and more extraordinary sums of money from countries, such as China, that would never put up with such inane, and Nationally Destructive Nonsense.

  2. Fortunately, the plan has plenty of critics on the left and right, and the University’s own Politics Prof. Larry Sabato says the chances of Cain’s plan happening are “0-0-0.” To give credit where it is due, “9-9-9” is one clever marketing ploy.

    Like most good ploys, it is catchy, easy to remember and holds cross-demographic appeal. Cain has said, “If ten percent is good enough for God, then nine percent should be just fine… for the Federal Government.”


    None of this is to say that the nation’s current tax system is problem-free, only that Cain is providing a miserable solution. As we consider what must change about the way the government collects revenue, it would be wise to keep political philosopher John Rawls’ difference principle in mind: Inequalities of distribution are only permissible when they benefit the worst-off members of society.

  3. This is good to know:
    Our millions are going to the Netherlands tommorrow.

  4. Paddy had been drinking at his local Dublin pub all day and most of the

    Night celebrating St Patrick's Day. Mick, the bartender says, 'You'll

    Not be drinking anymore tonight, Paddy'.. Paddy replies, 'OK Mick, I'll

    Be on my way then'. Paddy spins around on his stool and steps off.. He

    Falls flat on his face. 'Shoite' he says and pulls himself up by the

    Stool and dusts himself off. He takes a step towards the door and falls

    Flat on his face,


    Shoite !'

    He looks to the doorway and thinks to himself that if he can just get to

    The door and some fresh air he'll be fine. He belly crawls to the door

    And shimmies up to the door frame. He sticks his head outside and takes

    A deep breath of fresh air, feels much better and takes a step out onto

    The sidewalk and falls flat on his face.

    'Bi'Jesus.... I'm fockin' focked,' he says.

    He can see his house just a few doors down, and crawls to the door,

    Hauls himself up the door frame, opens the door and shimmies inside.. He

    Takes a look up the stairs and says 'No fockin' way'. He crawls up the

    Stairs to his bedroom door and says 'I can make it to the bed'. He takes

    A step into the room and falls flat on his face. He says 'Fock it' and

    Falls asleep on the floor.

    The next morning, his wife, Jess, comes into the room carrying a cup of

    Coffee and says, 'Get up Paddy. Did you have a bit to drink last

    Night ?'

    Paddy says, 'I did, Jess. I was fockin' pissed. But how'd you know?'

    'Mick phoned .. .. . You left your wheelchair at the pub.'

  5. a banker who knows betterFri Oct 21, 01:32:00 AM EDT

    Your post about tax havens fails to acknowledge that the U.S., which is the principal member of the OCDE’s cartel, is the world’s biggest tax haven, according to the OECD’s own definition of the term.

    The U.S. levies no taxes on the bank deposits, capital gains or other passive investments of nonresident foreigners. The U.S. does not provide information to foreign governments on bank deposits held by their nationals, with the exception of Canada.

    Miami Beach would not be the same without this privilege.

    On March 2, 2011, 25 members of the Florida Delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, sent a letter to President Obama urging withdrawal of a proposed IRS regulation (REG-146097-09) that would require reporting interest paid to foreign account holders on bank deposits, in order to be turned over to foreign governments. Why is that?

    What do you think?

  6. a banker who knows betterFri Oct 21, 01:35:00 AM EDT

    Lawmakers Fight to Protect Anonymity for Foreign Accountholders
    Claims of Dire Economic Consequences ‘Unfounded;’ U.S. Citizens Already Required to Disclose Information

    July 25, 2011
    Clark Gascoigne, +1 202 293 0740 ext.227

  7. a banker who knows betterFri Oct 21, 01:38:00 AM EDT

    Earlier this year, President Obama’s IRS proposed a regulation that would force banks in America to report any interest they pay to accounts owned by non-resident aliens (that’s the technical term for foreigners who don’t live in the U.S.).

    What made this regulation so bizarre, however, is that Congress specifically has exempted these account from taxation for the rather obvious reason that they want to attract this mobile capital to the American economy. Indeed, Congress repeatedly has ratified this policy ever since it was first implemented 90 years ago.

    So why, you may be asking, would the IRS propose such a regulation? After all, why impose a regulatory burden on a weakened banking sector when it has nothing to do with enforcing American tax law?

    The answer, if you can believe it, is that they want American banks to help enforce foreign tax law. And the bureaucrats at the IRS want to impose this burden even though the regulation is completely contrary to existing U.S. law.

    Not surprisingly, this rogue behavior by the IRS already has generated considerable opposition. Senator Rubio has been a leader on the issue, being the first to condemn the proposed regulation.

  8. a banker wh knows betterFri Oct 21, 01:40:00 AM EDT

    My apologies for the multiple posts, but blogger did not like it as one.

  9. No apology needed.

    Nice to be made aware of yet another blow to the economy put forth by this most anti-business administration in the last 50 years.

  10. Those of us with a basic economic knowledge know that corporations pass taxes on to consumers in the form of charging more. Eliminating corporate taxes would give the US an advantage both here and overseas. It would be a large incentive for companies to invest in America. Also, eliminate the requirement that companies pay taxes on income realized in other countries. This would encourage the companies to move that money back to the US.

  11. You do not have to move off-shore. There are ton of write-offs that allow you to reduce your taxable net income, and its an extremely progressive system. that is obvious given two thirds of corporations pay no federal income tax whatsoever.

  12. It was a "trade off", doug.

    The US is forcing all the little countries to report, to US, about US citizens banking abroad.

    So to assist in collecting from those citizens that are attempting to evade paying their fair share to Uncle Sam.

    These other countries, well, they need their quid pro que for that service. So the US is reporting upon their citizens, here.

    Turn about is fair play

    Incorporate in Panama
    Bank in Belize.

  13. The reporting regime for foreign banks so stringent that I am told Panamanian banks will not open a new account for a US citizen.

    Though I do not know that, personally, if it's true.

  14. It is really wondering how democracy and control can work together, and I say control, because America is also controlling its "democratic" broadcasting. The message is in all. Where would you choose to do your banking ln China or in the control of America. Both are lawful for its own citizens by their laws as standing, but trust? Do the Chinese peoples trust their government more or less than American peoples, but of course to Americans they expect trust in government and in China not. For me the reality is the same. How could they intervene, even with "soft power" in another country affairs and may be breach the latter laws? Because America's soft power is in decline, as some academics write, does not necessarily mean to expand its market abroad in such undiplomatic way. Great thoughts of yours!

  15. Corporations paid $194 B in U.S. Income taxes in 2011. This, on profits in the $1.7 Trillion, range, for an effective tax rate of 11%.

    A Democracy won't/can't work if the rich don't (aren't forced to) give their fair share in support.

    The rich have gone from being the "elite" class to being the "parasite" class.

  16. Great thoughts of yours jenny :)

  17. The latest irritating phrase… "I get that."

  18. I can dig it, Deuce.

    Ya know ...

    In one moment Doug is the champion of the individual, in the next, well ...

    He seems to think that Government has a valid claim to a citizen's capital that is invested outside the Realm.

    Whose money is it, Doug?


  19. AP NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), the nation's largest private employer, is scaling back health care coverage for future part-time workers and raising premiums for some full-time workers.
    New part-time employees who average 24 hours to 33 hours a week will not be able to include a spouse as part of their health care coverage. However, their children will qualify under their plan.

    The company also says full-time workers who are smokers will see their premiums rise substantially.

  20. We now have twice as many "part-time" workers as is normal in our economy. There is a reason for this. A couple of reasons, actually.

    1) Part-time workers don't receive the same health-care benefits as do full-time workers, and

    2) Many (most?) part-time workers quit before completing their probationary period, thus, Never are eligible for Health "Benefits."

  21. Let's take two workers. Worker "A" would have, at one time, worked full-time at Company #1, and received healthcare benefits, there.

    Worker "B" would have worked full-time at Company #2, and received healthcare benefits from that company.


    Employee "A" works Part-time at Company #1, and at Company #2, and thust receives no benefits at either.

    Employee "B" does the same, and receives the same lack of benefits. Great for the two companies, but bad for Doug, Rufus, Deuce, Rat, T, and the rest of the EB Gang. Also, bad for the two employees.

    "What?" you say. How did Doug, Rat, Rufus, T,Deuce, and the rest of the EB Gang get dragged into this? Simple.

    Employees "A" and "B" now get whatever healthcare they can down at the Emergency Room. And, since that care is very expensive, and being low-wage, parttime workers, they can't pay it . . .

    Guess who does?

  22. Obama, pulling ALL troops out of Iraq. Hoorah!
    Good luck, have a nice life.

  23. One million Americans served in Iraq?

  24. A full time disability for a vet, not counting anything except pay is $3,700 per month. We will be paying for this disaster for a long time.

    Special thanks to:

    George Bush
    Dick Cheney
    L. Paul Bremer

    Honorable mention:

    Elliott Abrams (PNAC)
    Ken Adelman
    Richard Armitage (PNAC)
    John David Ashcroft
    Fred Barnes
    Gary Bauer
    William J. Bennett (PNAC)
    Jeffrey Bergner (PNAC)
    John Bolton (PNAC)
    Max Boot
    Ellen Bork
    Paul Bremer Lewis Paul "Jerry" Bremer III
    David Brooks
    Shoshana Bryen
    Stephen D. Bryen
    Zbigniew Brzezinski
    Stephen A. Cambone
    Eliot A. Cohen
    Midge Decter
    Paula J. Dobriansky (PNAC)
    Thomas Donnelly
    John Doolittle
    Douglas Jay Feith
    David Frum
    Francis Fukuyama (PNAC)
    Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. (PNAC)
    Reuel Marc Gerecht (PNAC)
    Newt Gingrich
    Joshua Goldberg
    Owen Harries
    Bruce P. Jackson
    Michael Johns
    Robert Kagan (PNAC)
    Zalmay Khalilzad (PNAC)
    Jeane Kirkpatrick
    Henry Kissinger
    Neal Kozodoy
    Charles Krauthammer
    Irving Kristol
    William Kristol (PNAC)
    Michael Arthur Ledeen
    Jay Lefkowitz
    I. Lewis Libby a.k.a. "Scooter"
    Michael H. Mobbs
    Joshua Muravchik
    Rupert Murdoch
    Richard J. Neuhaus
    Michael Novak
    Martin Peretz
    Richard N. Perle (PNAC)
    Daniel Pipes
    Norman Podhoretz
    Howard Raines
    Peter W. Rodman (PNAC)
    Karl Rove
    Donald H. Rumsfeld (PNAC)
    Richard Mellon Scaife
    Gary J. Schmitt
    William Schneider, Jr. (PNAC)
    Abram N. Shulsky
    Robert W. Tucker
    Harlan Ullman
    Vin Weber (PNAC)
    Paul Dundes Wolfowitz (PNAC)
    R. James Woolsey, Jr. (PNAC)
    David Wurmser
    Meyrav Wurmser
    Dov Zakheim
    Karl Zinsmeister
    Robert B. Zoellick

  25. Add Rufus to the list. They roped my ignorant ass into supporting their lash-up, also.

    I didn't realize they'd try to turn the place into Luxembourg; But I should have.

  26. Halliburton will fight its next war without dumbass Rufus, or, hopefully, any of his kin.

  27. The only war I'm interested in, now, is the one to get more home-grown energy into the nation's gas tanks, and to let the rest of the world worry about Saudi, and Iraqi oil.

  28. Wind, Solar, Biofuels, and fuck dick cheney, and john mccain.

  29. We blew between One and a Half and Two Trillion Dollars on that boondoggle for oil.

    My God, we could have been Energy Independent 4 Times Over with that kind of investment.

    We replaced 10% of our gasoline usage with an approx. $24 B investment in ethanol. Six times that amount and we would no longer have to import oil to drive our cars. About ONE F'N YEAR'S expense in Iraq.

  30. We're the stupidest motherfuckers in the universe.

  31. We are pulling out of Iraq just like we pulled out of Germany and Korea. Yeah, right.

  32. Deuce said...
    One million Americans served in Iraq?


    And America aint done supporting the islamic camel fuckers...

    Supporting Israel with 3 billion a year in military aid, spent in America, and NOT ONE American soldier sounds like quite the deal...

    Energy independence is the only way....

    ANd a big FUCK you to Islam...

  33. On a rare personal note....

    I have seen death, illness and suffering up close in the last 2 weeks...

    I come out of that with the commitment to say that to all that seek the destruction of America as I knew it?

    A giant FUCK you....

    To the Islamic freedom fighters around the globe that murder Jews, Christians, women, children and others of their fucked up faith that disagree with them.

    A giant FUCK you.....

    To our soldiers put in harm's way and not allowed to defend themselves?

    I will pray, support and lobby for you.

    TO those that support the destruction of Israel and the Jews?

    A giant FUCK you...

    America is exceptional, the current USA government is not....

    Most Americans get it, even if there is a small vocal and filthy % that just wants what others have...

    Yep it's looters verses producers....

    and the looters are Cloward–Pivening their way to success...

    Expect the unexpected.

    TSA on the highway...

    FBI on the Net...

    The Justice Dept supporting the Black Panthers and weapons to the drug cartels////

    It's alice in wonderland...

  34. 81% of Orthodox Jews have seen the light on Obama.
    An all time record by far!

  35. Substitute Teacher Fired Over Saying ‘Zionist Jews’ Need to be ‘Run Out of This Country’ at Occupy L.A.

    Patricia McAllister, a substitute teacher in Los Angeles was recently caught making the following anti-Semitic statement at the Occupy Los Angeles protest:

  36. Now we gotta figure out a way to get full time teachers fired!

  37. Rufus II said...
    We blew between One and a Half and Two Trillion Dollars on that boondoggle for oil.

    The mistake was not demanding half the oil at the outset.
    All the other pussy moves were foreordained by that colossal wimp out.
    ...the result of decades of "no blood for oil" brainwashing.

    Same same for Libya

    Rufus II said...
    "We're the stupidest motherfuckers in the universe."

    A Rufus II is right II times a day!

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Then, if he ever agrees to some percent closer to the truth, he will assert that that is how much petro energy was not consumed.

    Another LIE, because it does not account for the large amount of energy used to produce ethanol from corn.

  40. Doug said...
    81% of Orthodox Jews have seen the light on Obama.
    An all time record by far!

    Add to that, 47% of all conservative Jews...

    and 97% of all Israeli Jews....

    Want a tip?

    Dont invest your money, ideas, treasure or people in 899/900 of the middle east...

    Do invest in Israel. That tiny island of sanity in at sits on 1/900th of the middle east and out creates, produces the entire arab occupied middle east without oil...

  41. Doug, you've got to be an even dumber motherfucker than the rest of us. It's almost 2012. You posted a group of articles from 2009. Probably, close to 150 Very Large ethanol refineries were completed between the time those articles were written, and today.

    And, very, very, very little "petroleum" is used in the ethanol supply chain - maybe on the scale of 1 for 20.

    Virtually All of the fossil fuels that are used are natural gas, and that will be going away as the lignin from the co-located cellulosic refineries are used for process energy (not just for the cellulosic facility, but also for the corn facility.)

    Don't you ever get tired of being a dumbfuck?

  42. "Dont invest your money, ideas, treasure or people in 899/900 of the middle east..."

    Most especially:

    Don't invest your own life.
    ...unless you have a death wish.

    Or are one of the many self-loathers that love Dhimmitude.

  43. Oh, wait, I forgot; you're a pineapple head. Pineapple Heads use Petroleum, at $19.00 per Million BTUs for electricity generation,

    and bitch about other people that pay $3.00 per million btus for Solar, and Wind.

  44. "Don't you ever get tired of being a dumbfuck?"

    My Google Link has various dates, with brains one can get a rough approximation.

    Most energy used to produce Ethanol comes from COAL.

    "Petro" my bad.
    Lies, your bad.

  45. Doug, we are using about 9 Million barrels of "gasoline"/day. That gasoline contains a little over 900,000 bbl of Ethanol.

    Now, I know math is hard for pineapple heads, esp. expat California pineappleheads, But

    ezzackly what percentage of 9 Million do you suppose 900,000 might be? Just a "ballpark guess?"

  46. Coal?

    Your ignorant ass.

    Out of over 200 Ethanol refineries in the U.S. there "might" be three or four that use Coal.

  47. There are a couple that use "waste heat" from already existing coal plants.

  48. Rufus II said...

    Your ignorant ass.

    Out of over 200 Ethanol refineries in the U.S. there "might" be three or four that use Coal.


    E L E C T R I C I T Y


  49. I would bet that by 2020 there will be very few ethanol plants in the country that won't be on their way to using Zero fossil fuels.

    And, by the way dumbfuck, that 4 gallons of diesel to raise 160 bushels of corn can be more than supplied (about twice, actually) by the corn oil from the ethanol process.

  50. How much 'lectricity do you think an ethanol refinery uses, DUMBASS?

    And, unlike the ignorant-assed pineappleheads in pineappleland, Iowa gets 20% of ITS electricity from Wind.

    AND, like I said, in ten years virtually All power for those ethanol plants will be derived from the lignin left over from the co-located cellulosic refinery.

  51. Energy balance (input energy productivity)[24][24][61][81]

    Ratio of the energy obtained from ethanol/energy expended in its production

    Sugar Cane - 8.3 to 10.2

    Corn - 1.3 to 1.6

  52. That is the kind of backward, head up Exxon's ass, lips around the Koch bros' dick thinking that is keeping us in this sorry, "world's fucking cop for the sake of oil" mess that we're in.

  53. Bullshit, Doug. We export ethanol to Brazil; Brazil doesn't export ethanol to us. That's gotta tell you something.

    We take one unit of a fuel we can't use for transport (not on a mass basis, anyway) and turn it into 2.3 units of a fuel that we can use.

    And, the ethanol refinery of the future won't even use fossil fuels, so how would you figure the eroei of That?

  54. The eroei of a future estimate?

    I have no idea!

    (not a fortuneteller)
    ...unlike some.

  55. You are correct about direct Natural Gas use vs Coal.
    My bad.
    However, Natural Gas is a Fossil Fuel.

  56. Rufus II said...

    "Bullshit, Doug. We export ethanol to Brazil; Brazil doesn't export ethanol to us. That's gotta tell you something."

    It tells me Brazil probly does not subsidize ethanol and agriculture to the extent the USA does.

    ...if true:
    Gotta link?

  57. Yep, but 90% of our nat gas comes from the good ol' USA. 10% from Canada.

    That Oil, on the other hand - a large chunk of that comes from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Venezuela, Russia (yeah, Russia,) Nigeria, and half the other thugocracies on earth.

    Doug, don't you realize that, either indirectly, or even directly, the mass majority of this crap you're putting up is paid for by Exxon, BP, the Kochs, and OPEC, et al?

  58. Jesus Christ, Doug. You got Google?

    type in ethanol exports to brazil. See what you get?

  59. Cane makes SUGAR throughout the entire plant.

    Corn makes CARBOHYDRATES in the seeds.
    (for corn based ethanol)

    Sugar can be converted into ethanol far more simply than Carbs.

  60. I don't know how to use Google.

    That's why I provided a Google link for you, since you do know how.
    make sense?

  61. If you had a clue what you were talking about you would realize that the juice from sugar cane has to be processed within a couple of weeks of cutting. And, that you only "cut" a couple of times/yr.

    Thus, those "cane" refineries sit idle 80% of the time. A crappy way to run a railroad. Also, cane is very sensitive to rainfall - to a much greater extent than, say, corn, or sorghum. Resulting in erratic yields.

  62. Doug, don't you realize that, either indirectly, or even directly, the mass majority of this crap you're putting up is paid for by Exxon, BP, the Kochs, and OPEC, et al?

    ...and yours comes direct from God.
    Failing that,
    out of your ass.

  63. To anyone familiar with Cane, the advantages are obvious.

    No sucked Koch required.

    ...but then again, I'm a long time pineapple, and I'd guess cane mostly went the way of slavery in Mississippi.

  64. "Thus, those "cane" refineries sit idle 80% of the time. A crappy way to run a railroad."

    Yeah, maybe someday someone will figure out how to stagger the planting dates.


  65. "Also, cane is very sensitive to rainfall - to a much greater extent than, say, corn, or sorghum. Resulting in erratic yields."

    High corn figures are based on irrigated fields.
    Cane is irrigated in Hawaii.

  66. Here, I just googled U.S. Ethanol Exports

    and, the hits just kept coming.

  67. Only about 4% of US ethanol production comes from irrigated fields. Iowa doesn't hardly irrigate at all.

    Cane is okay, but you don't get the co-products - DDGS (high quality cattle feed,) Corn Oil, Zein, etc.

    As I've been trying to explain to you for some time, the majority of future ethanol production will come from energy crops on marginal, or degraded land (and, Ag waste, of course.)

  68. Does ethanol generate more energy than the amount needed to produce it?

    PRO (yes)

    In short, we find no support for the assertion that either biofuel [corn ethanol or soy biodiesel] requires more energy to make than it yields.

    However, the NEB [net energy balance] for corn grain ethanol is small,
    providing ~25% more energy than required for its production

    Almost all of this NEB is attributable to the energy credit for its DDGS [distillers' dry grain with solubles] coproduct, which is animal feed, rather than to the ethanol itself containing more energy than used in its production.

    Corn grain ethanol has a low NEB because of the high energy input required to produce corn and to convert it into ethanol."

  69. ...Probably printed with ink made from Koch smegma.

  70. Puhleeze, Lord; make it stop. 2007, now.

  71. It is, at present, approx 2.3 to 1.

    When we quit using nat gas, and go to lignin it will be virtually ~.

  72. And, again, that nat gas that we're currently using comes from American workers, American Companies, and American Wells.

    Except, of course, for the 10% that's Canadian.

  73. And, btw, Ted Patzek is Founder, and Director of the "Southern California OIL Consortium."

  74. Nap-time.

    Give it up, Doug. You're on the wrong side of history.

  75. .

    Doug, I don't know why Rufus wastes his time trying to bring enlightenment to a "dumb...motherfucking...ignorant..dumbfuck...ignorant assed...pineapplehead...dumbass...ignorant assed...head up Exxon's ass, Koch brother dick licking...bullshitter...crap pushing...bought and paid for by Exxon, BP, the Kochs, Opec, etal..shit for you.

    Sorry about the "shit for brains". I just got caught up in all the expletiviating.


  76. .

    Nothing like a reasoned argument.



  77. rufus wrote:

    "Makes me leery of posting anything, knowing that Ashley will come screaming out of the ethernet, shrieking, "Prove it." :)"

    Well rufus old boy, when you make claims like all the oil being produced in Libya is going to China then you better damn well back it up with a credible source because otherwise, with your track record, there is no basis to believe it is the least bit true.

  78. .

    Hey, am I mistaken, or have you had new pictures taken?


  79. .

    The last was for Ash referencing the potato.


  80. Potatoe looks like it's looking down it's damned nose at me like Obama!

  81. Tey say, gag, in the reports I've red that there will be a security force of 167, at the Embassy.

    No telling how any contractors will be hired, by the State Department.

    One thing though, it's nothing like the garrisoning of either Germany or Okinawa.

    Kuwait, now there will be a sizable force there, and Marines afloat in the Gulf, tambien.

    No training troops, no combat troops. Nothing but security at the Green Zone.

  82. .

    No telling how any contractors will be hired, by the State Department.

    A few months back they were talking contracting out 16,000-20,000 jobs to protect all them multi-million dollar buildings they put up (oh yea, and the diplomats in the buildings).


  83. "A few months back they were talking contracting out 16,000-20,000 jobs to protect all them multi-million dollar buildings they put up (oh yea, and the diplomats in the buildings)."

    Malikicountered with:

    "No legal protection against prosecution"

  84. Plans dropped to keep troops in Iraq

    The Associated Press has announced that plans to keep troops in Iraq past the end of the year deadline have been dropped. The plan remains to pull all troops out of Iraq by January.

    The only soldiers that will remain in the country is a 160 member active-duty group that is attached to the U.S. Embassy. For a few months now the idea was on the table to leave troops in Iraq to continue training the Iraqi security.


    Mr. Cain, whose longshot campaign got a major boost by winning a major Florida straw poll last month, received nearly 31 percent of the vote and Mr. Romney pulled in nearly 29 percent of the vote. Mr. Gingrich, who has also risen in recent national polls after his campaign’s shaky start, secured more than 20 percent of the vote. Texas Rep. Ron Paul finished with about 10 percent, Mr. Perry received almost 4 percent, and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota received just 1 percent.

  86. This is the only decent-sized shipment that I could find reference to, although several months ago a shipment rattled around the world, and, last anyone heard, was seen off the coast of Singapore (usually means China.)

    October, European trading company Gunvor booked oil tanker Wilmina to load 950,000 barrels of Libyan crude, according to shipping fixtures. The destination was given as east of Suez, which traders said meant it was likely heading to China.

    If you can find a significant shipment of crude that ended up somewhere else, please share.

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