“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."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

European Holiday Greetings. Money for Nothing.

"And lo it came to pass, the indebted banks of Europe needed to recapitalise and so the Central Banks printed the cash for them.

And there was a great wailing from the people as inflation arrived to take away their bread and wine."

Hat Tip: Telegraph

Eurozone banks have rushed to take out cheap three-year loans offered by the European Central Bank, borrowing 489 billion euros, that is $643 billion.

The central bank had hoped to lend up to 450bn euros to stop another credit crunch crippling the banking system.

When the plan was announced, French President Nicholas Sarkozy said banks could use the money to invest in eurozone sovereign debt.

However, analysts were uncertain if banks will use the money in this way. This video is long but well worth the watch.


  1. So much for fiscal discipline.

    How bad was it that they shoveled out $650 B today? The expectation was that the banks would need €250bn and €350bn, nothing like €489.

    The banks are getting free money so that they can but sovereign bonds and enjoy the spread, resulting in lower bond yields or smaller interest payments in new debt issues. This is solving a debt crisis by borrowing more money.

    Germany is facing a new year where they have to borrow €250bn. France will have to borrow €178bn next year. Who is getting bailed out here?

  2. Italian 10 year bond: 6.848% up 3.55%

  3. According to the European Banking Association banks face a 700 billion euro wall of funding redemptions, most in the first half.

    Italian bond yields were 29 bps higher at 6.92 percent, with Spanish yields 10 bps higher at 5.23 percent, having fallen almost 100 basis points in the last week and a half.

    The banks are not buying the bonds. What are they doing with the money?

  4. It is obvious the money is not going to the countries that need it most. It is going back to Germany. There, bond yields have declined slightly.

  5. Morgan Stanley believes this only covers 20% of EU bank delevaging needs which are estimated to be €2.5 trillion.

  6. Taking Geithner's recommendations to heart.
    Debt problems will be solved by more debt.
    Too big to fail must be made bigger.
    Wealth must be transfered to the powerful.
    Japan Inc never happened.

  7. Finally Newt Gingrich has captured the most sought-after of all political endorsements: the slimeball cheating spouse vote.

    The “extra-marital dating site” Ashley Madison put up the above billboard celebrating Gingrich’s multiple dalliances outside of his marriages.

  8. The European "Union" did an enormous amount of good for Europe. It broke down Barriers to Trade, and brought Prosperity to the members.

    But, the idea of a Common "Currency" was bonkers from the start. Different Sovereign States sharing one currency is mind-bogglingly ludicrous. It's almost impossible to believe they could have been so stupid.

    Now, they might lose the "baby" with the bath water. It's a shame.

  9. We, on the other hand, did a wonderful job putting together NAFTA. Low to non-existent barriers to trade between Sovereign Nations with FLOATING Currencies works.

  10. Speaking of the grassy knoll ...

    South Korean intelligence officials are even casting doubt on Pyongyang's official story line that the 69-year-old Kim died of a heart attack while working aboard a moving train Saturday morning.

    South Korea's top spy, Won Sei-hoon, told lawmakers in Seoul that a review of satellite photographs revealed that Kim's train was actually stationary at a Pyongyang station at the time of the ruler's death, as announced by the North, according to media reports.

    "There were no signs the train ever moved,"
    Due to previous assassination attempts, Kim always traveled aboard a bulletproof train that was more like an armored Queen Mary on wheels.

    North Korea watchers speculate that the time and place of Kim's death may somehow be sensitive to North Korean officials ...

  11. While the Germans have managed to save their own bacon, throwing the Greeks and Eyetalians under the bus in the process.

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  12. Those EU banks now able to borrow from their version of the Fed at 1% and loan to "sovereign" governments at nearly 7%.

    What's not to like?

    They're not called Europeons for nothin'.

  13. Very good video Deuce thanks for bringing it to my attention!!

    Deuce said...
    So much for fiscal discipline.

    Well, more fiscal discipline than was exhibited by the US during the 08 crisis. In this case the ECB is demanding collateral for the loans. In the US case the FED actually bought over a Trillion USD in Mortgage securities.

    The question is raised - is more fiscal discipline what is needed to keep the can kicking down the road or less?

    "Release Date: December 30, 2008

    For immediate release

    The Federal Reserve on Tuesday announced that it expects to begin operations in early January under the previously announced program to purchase mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and that it has selected private investment managers to act as its agents in implementing the program."

  14. Well the Wall Street Journal titles a story

    The Truth About Wealth

    Then goes on, about income fluctuations.

    As if annual income and wealth were the one and the same.

  15. When you see the word "Truth" in a WSJ headline, grab your wallet.

  16. The Bifucation continues. Distillat Fuel (Diesel) Usage up 2.4%, indicating economic growth, vs

    Gasoline Usage Down 4.7%, indicating the proles are hunkering down.

    Year on Year numbers.

  17. Maybe, 1/5 of the decline in gasoline sales can be attributed to sales of higher mileage vehicles.

    Still leaves an approx. 3.8% decline in Vehicle Miles Traveled.

  18. While the idea that Mr Obma has thrown Israel under the bus, refuted again, by reality.

    US alone as Israel condemned in UN Security Council

    From: The Australian

    FOURTEEN frustrated members of the UN Security Council pointed a finger at the US yesterday for blocking any condemnation of Israel's accelerated settlement construction in Palestinian territory.
    While the US was not mentioned by name, the diplomats' anger was clearly directed at Washington, which vetoed a resolution in February backed by the 14 other council members that would have demanded an immediate halt to all settlement building.
    Mr Netanyahu telephoned Ms Merkel to express disappointment at Germany's support of a UN resolution condemning Israel for its construction in settlements, a resolution vetoed by the US.

    "How dare you,"
    Ms Merkel reportedly responded to Mr Netanyahu's criticism.
    "You're the one who disappointed us. You haven't made a single step to advance peace."

  19. Wonder if Mr Obama will be asked to return that Nobel Peace Prize money?

    That'd be right in line with Mr Romney wanting Newt to return his Fraudie funds.

    And with Mr Romney telling US he earned his millions "working" at Bain Capital, so they won't be returned, either.

    Talk about folks gettin' money for nothin'.

  20. The absurdity of the Middle East and the US policy towards Israel is mind twisting. The claim by Israel is that the borders of the state are based on historic claims. To argue otherwise means simply "to the victor belongs the spoils." That argument gives credibility to any aggressive power that takes territory by force. The US routinely defends the right of secession of Taiwan. Chinese ethnic claims do not rate as highly as Israeli ethnic claims.

    The Serbs claimed that their territory in Kosovo was run over by illegal settlements from Albania. When they tried to reclaim what they asserted as their national and historic lands we bombed them.

    The Soviets routinely resettled ethnic Russians on to the land of peripheral states. The Baltic states come to mind here. That of course was a bad thing.

    Israel routinely settles ethnic Russians on the the periphery of its territorial spoils and of course that is a good thing.

    Estonians, Latvians and Lithuania are unhappy with the Russian transplants. That is understandable.

    The multi-generational previous land owners of Israeli seized territories do not like Russians or other foreigners settling on land claimed by them. That is not understandable.

    The US has burned up most of its credibility in the Middle East. Some don’t believe that is important. I disagree. We can apply twisted, hypocritical and cynically convoluted standards and get away with it but at a cost.

    One hopes that the descendants of the Cherokee don’t try and undo Andrew Jackson’s dirty work in the US Southeast.

  21. My understanding is that those teepees got damned cold in the Winter. And, that bow and arrow is a hard way to "go to the store."

    The "old timer" Cherokee didn't even, to the best of my knowledge, have a decent light beer.

    I think This Cherokee descendent is going to "stay on the porch." :)

  22. The politicians really jumped the shark on the moratorium on the social security tax. How do they reinstitute it and how do they fund social security without it?

  23. the slimeball cheating spouse vote.

    That a big voting block.

    Rufus II said...

    My understanding is that those teepees got damned cold in the Winter. And, that bow and arrow is a hard way to "go to the store."

    The "old timer" Cherokee didn't even, to the best of my knowledge, have a decent light beer.

    I think This Cherokee descendent is going to "stay on the porch." :)

    Wed Dec 21, 12:44:00 PM EST

    There, that's perfect. That's the way it is around here. Digging camus roots with a stick -- well, truth is, nobody wants to go back to that.


  24. Let's see here, I suppose one could even, if pressed, mention that even those living in Pennslyvania might be thought to be living on stolen land.


  25. Technically, SS has a $2.5 Trillion Trust Fund, so, "technically," there's no big problem, there.

  26. Cherokee, er, Chevy Volt fiasco --

    REPORT: Chevy Volt Costing Taxpayers Up to $250K Per Vehicle...

    CAVUTO: Volt sales inflated with taxpayer fleet buys...

    Another major energy fuck up by Rufs superhero Obamabot.


  27. Obammie's going to bend the Pubs over ye olde barrel, and "lay the meat" to'em over the "tax hike," though.

    The average family is going to take home about $40.00 Less the first week in January, and due to Obama having the "bully pulpit," the Pubs will pay the price (I think.)

    Of course, 9 months out from election day, who knows?

  28. Prince Alwaleed's lap poodle doesn't like "plug-in hybrids." Who'd a thunk it?

  29. Rufus is in denial again.


  30. Oh, I'm not in denial. The government has spent some money trying to help get various "electrics," and "hybrids," and whatnot in production, and available.

    But, Cavuto is a dick, and the $250,000.00 number is ridiculous.

    Fox News has Not said an unkind word about Any oil project, nor a kind word about Any renewable energy project since the Saudi Prince bout 7% of the company. That's just a solid, irrefutable fact.

  31. Well, actually, Shep Smith did rag BP a bit during the Macondo disaster; but that is about it.

  32. Alert! Alert!

    Britain, France, Germany and Portugal are "losing credibility, making themselves irrelevant."

    - the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

  33. Good thing to know ...

    Europe is irrelevant.

    The Israeli becoming ever more irreverent.

  34. I guess somebody ought to tell Moammar Ghaddafi.

    Oh, wait . . .

  35. Referencing those stories boobie was going on about, yesterday, with regards Dr Paul

    Paul has defended himself by pointing out that he did not write any of this stuff himself and he did not know who the ghost writers producing it were.

    “It wasn’t good – but I didn’t write [the stories] and those aren’t my beliefs, so I sleep well,”

    “The more progress I make in challenging the status quo ... the stronger they will emphasize picking at this and ignoring the important issues of what freedom is all about and what civil liberty is all about,”
    said Paul on CNN Tuesday.

  36. Fox news just reported it, they didnt dream it up.

    The Mackinac Center did the study. USA today reported it also.

    As much as 250,000 incentive dollars behind every single VOLT..

    Another Solar deal. Good money after bad.

  37. "The Israeli becoming ever more irreverent."

    irreligious, impious, profane.

    From my limited knowledge of the Jewish faith, they are beholding to none but the One.

  38. Iraq resumes sinking into their three-way sectarian quicksand, Kurds and Sunnis and Shi'ites, but the good thing is that our boys and girls aren't there to get in the crossfire. Good on Obama for that. McCain wanted us shipping home body bags until the 22nd Century.

  39. That's what comes from getting too much of your news from Fox, Gagman. Solar is turning into a hell of a deal.

    ex. The Five States that have installed the Most Solar, and Wind have had the Smallest increase in electric bills. (I put this link up, yesterday. It pays to "read the elephant. :) )

  40. Roger that, T.

    It's time for those crazy sonofabitches to get down to killing each other in earnest.

    When they get finished we'll buy the oil from the Winner.

  41. ir·rev·er·ent/iˈrev(ə)rənt/
    Showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously.
    disrespectful - flippant -

  42. A faulty number, that $250,000, as it includes subsidies to companies not involved with the Volt.
    "If" being the operative word.

    If battery manufacturers awarded incentives to produce batteries the Volt may use are included in the analysis, the potential government subsidy per Volt increases to $256,824.

    For example, A123 Systems has received extensive state and federal support, and bid to be a supplier to the Volt, but the deal instead went to Compact Power.

    The $256,824 figure includes adding up the subsidies to both companies.

  43. desert rat said...

    Showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously.

    I am Pope Benedict of Borg. Resistance is Irreverent!

  44. I guess one could include the highway subsidies, for the pavement the Volt rolls on, too.

    If we were looking to raise the subsidy number, further.

  45. When you see a weird number like that you know what they've done. They've taken every dollar that's been spent anywhere, made the most extreme case assumptions, etc.

    And, yeah, when you see a Sensational headline with words like "if," "could," "might," etc. why bother?

  46. Oskaloosa, Ia. – Newt Gingrich told a gay man and longtime resident of Oskaloosa here today that he should vote for President Obama.

    “I asked him if he’s elected, how does he plan to engage gay Americans. How are we to support him? And he told me to support Obama,” said Scott Arnold, an adjunct professor of writing at William Penn University.”

    Fuck you Newt. I wouldn't elect you dog catcher.

  47. I'm with you again, T. The man is a raving idiot. I guess getting on top of some polls scared him to death, or something.

    Anyway, it doesn't matter. He's Crazy.

  48. The search for magic batteries, continues.

    That the Federals are financing the search, cause for concern.

    But to place the costs of that search exclusively upon the per unit costs of the Volt, absurd.

    Disingenuous reporting.

  49. He's just being honest, Miss T.

    Neuter is honest to a fault.

    He could have said support me, I'll do everything I can for you.

    He could have lied through his teeth.

    But, he didn't.

    FWIW, I can't stand the guy either.

    I am running out of viable candidates, rapidly.

    I may have to write myself in.


  50. An old retreaded fat high mileage white wall tire is all he is.


    (part of the description lifted from Savage)

  51. Newt entered the Primaries to gain further name recognition with a new generation of book buyers.

    Doubt he ever intended to win.

    He's surfing the wave into the 21st century. While many of those that served in Congress with him are fading into obscurity.

    Betcha he earns more than Joe Starbucks. Works less hours, too.

    Definitely makes more than Senator Tom Coburn.

  52. You know that is Newt's motivator, as he refers to his speaking fees, incessantly.

    The truth is telling.
    Just listen.

  53. Although, I'm sure he thinks that statement will help him win the Iowa Caucus. Just think back on previous gay-bashing winners, there. Pat Robertson, Mike Huckabee, . .

    Anyway, he's a buffoon, and off my radar.

  54. I think something like 40 - 50% of the Iowa caucusgoers are "Evangelicals."

  55. .

    The $250,000 in subsidies for the Volt is obviously a questionable number. Just as the amount of jobs the oil industry says it creates. Just as the actual jobs created or total costs of the solar or wind industries are questionable. Anyone who accepts the gross numbers without viewing the detail from any of these dicks is at best credulous.

    All that being said, the latest news on the costs for electric vehicles is troubling. Since day one I've wondered what was going to happen with the batteries on these things if the electric car really gets popular. There is a limit to how much and how long you can recycle. The cost of a replacement battery is like putting in a new HVAC system in your house.

    Then there are the safety issues that have recently come up with fires. I thought nothing of them until I saw stories on the news of what the technicians have to go through to work on these things, the safety procedure, the special equipment, etc., none of it cheap.

    I see Ford is bringing out a model similar to the Volt. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.


  56. I've never thought that pure electric cars would be viable.

    We used to discuss with Mat the project that was going to electrify Israel's auto fleet.

    "Better Place" was the name of the project and Mat told us thatt it'd be up and running, this year or next.

    As I recall.

    To date, best I can find on the Inet, Better Place has a "switch station" in Denmark and in China.

    While, in Israel, July of 2011...

    Journalist Accuses Better Place of Contempt of Israeli Consumers

  57. I agree, Q. I was hopeful about the Volt technology, but the "cost" just doesn't pencil out for me.

    The batteries are just too damned expensive, and I haven't seen any evidence that they're getting much cheaper.

  58. If interested further ...

    Check out

  59. If that "Better Place" technology was going to work Anywhere, Israel would, seemingly, be the place.

    Wherever it is, it needs to be a mild climate - not too hot, not too cold (Especially, not too cold.)

    Obviously, it would need to be a place of fairly short commutes.

    Hawaii comes to mind, also.

  60. Better Place Takes First Step in China

    April 24, 2010

    Better Place took a first step today in China by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chery Automobile Co., China’s largest independent auto producer and exporter, to collaborate on electric vehicle technology in the world’s largest auto market
    “Chery has been a pioneer in EV technology since 2001,” said Dr. Yuan, Vice President, Chery. “We’ve closely followed Better Place for nearly two years and believe that our collaboration offers both companies the potential to lead the EV market in China and beyond.”

    China has set an industrial policy with the objective of becoming the largest EV developer and manufacturer in the world, enabling the country to leapfrog internal combustion engine (ICE) technology and go straight to electric transport. China is the world’s second largest consumer of oil behind the U.S., which historically has led the ICE vehicle market, and ahead of Japan, the leader in hybrid technology. By 2020, China is expected to rely on 65% of foreign oil imports.

    HSBC research predicts that China’s share of the global EV market will grow from 2.7% this year to 35% by 2020. During this time period, China will overtake Japan by 2016 and the U.S. by 2019 in dominating the global EV market.

    Under the terms of the MOU, Better Place and Chery will jointly develop switchable-battery EV prototypes with the goal of securing regional Chinese government EV pilot projects.

  61. Hawaii is on their list of "partners", rufus.

    As is A123 Systems. Wonder how much of that Federal subsidy that A123 Systems recieved will aid the Chinese, through the Israeli middlemen?

    Contact us of you are interested in joining the list of organizations below working with Better Place.

    A123 Systems
    Acorns to Oaks II
    Automotive Energy Supply Corporation
    DONG Energy
    Esarbee Investments Canada
    GC Investments LLC
    General Electric
    Hawaiian Electric Company
    Israel Cleantech Ventures
    Israel Corp.

    Macquarie Capital
    Maniv Energy Capital
    Morgan Stanley
    Musea Ventures
    Ofer Group
    Renault-Nissan Alliance
    VantagePoint Venture Partners
    Vayikra Partners
    Wolfensohn & Co.

  62. Compact Power, not on the list.

    At least that Federal subsidy money will stay "home".

  63. The Il Economy (Graphic)

    ...the problem with that assertion is summarized in a graph of per capita GDP in the
    Washington Post which shows that the divergence of the two Koreas actually occurred in the early 1970s.

    Prior to that time “the two countries were roughly comparable — in fact, AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt argues that, at the time of Mao Zedong’s death, North Korea’s workers were more productive and better educated than China.”


    So you can forget the effects of the Korean War. The disaster in the North was entirely self inflicted; it was a catastrophe written and directed in Pyongyang by the Kim family.

    Somehow they managed to take things from bad to worse. Ezra Klein at the Washington Post notes the second inflection point, in 1994, took place after Kim Jong Il succeeded from his brutal father. The Dear Leader managed to fix nothing and add more wreckage of his own. The North Korean economy, already in a flat dive, nosed over like a dive bomber without speed brakes and has been descending at full tilt ever since.

    The Spearhead argues that North Korea’s dynastic mode of Communism may be partly to blame as the Kims found some way to combine the worst aspects of Communism with all the shortcomings of hereditary decadence into a form of governance from hell. To bolster the point, it presents a series of portraits which appear to show a process of reverse evolution, like ape emerging from man.

  64. Holland.

    They can get the electricity from windmills.

    And it's a small overpopulated country.

    Filled with stoned young white people that don't want to work in the tulip industry.

    As Doctor Bill used to say, this electric car stuff is mostly bullshit, as you got to get the electricity from somewhere, so, what are you really saving?


  65. Let's see here, I suppose one could even, if pressed, mention that even those living in Pennslyvania might be thought to be living on stolen land.

    The Lenape tribe was one of the first to learn the hard way not to trust the US government.

    William Penn's heirs, John Penn and Thomas Penn, claimed a deed from the 1680s by which the Lenape promised to sell a tract beginning at the junction of the Delaware River and Lehigh River (near modern Wrightstown) and extending as far west as a man could walk in a day and a half. This document may have been an unsigned, unratified treaty, or even an outright forgery (Encyclopædia Britannica refers to it as a "land swindle"[1]). The Penns' agents began selling land in the Lehigh Valley to colonists while the Lenape still inhabited the area.

    According to the popular account, Lenape leaders assumed that about 40 miles (60 km) was the longest distance that could be covered under these conditions. Provincial Secretary James Logan, the legend continues, hired the three fastest runners in the colony, Edward Marshall, Solomon Jennings and James Yeates, to run on a prepared trail. This occurred on September 19, 1737; only Marshall finished, reaching the modern vicinity of present-day Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, 70 miles (113 km) away.

    This resulted in an area of 1,200,000 acres (4,860 km²), roughly equivalent to the size of Rhode Island, located in the modern counties of: Pike, Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Northampton, Lehigh and Bucks.

    The Delaware leaders appealed for assistance to the Iroquois confederacy, who claimed hegemony over the Delaware. The Iroquois leaders decided that it was not in their political best interest to intervene on behalf of the Delaware. James Logan had already made a deal with the Iroquois to support the colonial side. As a result, the Lenape had to vacate the Walking Purchase lands.

    Chief Lappawinsoe and other Lenape leaders continued to protest the arrangement, as the Lenape were forced into the Shamokin and Wyoming valleys, already crowded with other displaced tribes. Some Lenape later moved west into the Ohio Country. Because of the Walking Purchase, the Lenape grew to distrust the Pennsylvania government, and its once good reputation with the various tribes was lost forever.

  66. Then there are the safety issues that have recently come up with fires.

    Not to worry, Government Motors gives you a replacement car, electric or gas, your choice.

    So far, most folks are choosing the gas replacement car.


  67. Rufus II said...
    If that "Better Place" technology was going to work Anywhere, Israel would, seemingly, be the place.

    Wherever it is, it needs to be a mild climate - not too hot, not too cold (Especially, not too cold.)

    Obviously, it would need to be a place of fairly short commutes.

    Hawaii comes to mind, also.


    Israel had an all battery powered fleet two years ago.

    Matt told us it was gonna be so.

    So it is.

    (or as my classmates once said:

    "Sew a button on an
    Ice Cream Cone

  68. Deuce said...
    History is a real bitch.


    Hillary is a real bitch, also.

  69. I'm going walking at that one American idea that hits 100% --the enclosed climate controlled Mall.

    This beats walking 175 miles to The Dalles once a year, to the annual potlatch and trading season with the folks from the coast.



  70. Ann Coulter doesn't like Newt. Thinks he's a dingbat.

    I wonder who she likes.....on the Pub side, that is.

  71. Oh, Doug. While you're here, Congratulations on your wife's weight gain. Maybe the prilosec is starting to help a little bit?

  72. Deuce said...
    The politicians really jumped the shark on the moratorium on the social security tax. How do they reinstitute it and how do they fund social security without it?


    Why not solve the whole thing with Actuarial Easing tm?

    Print the money as needed and send cash directly to recipients and providers of various stripes.

  73. Mostly just forcing food down, Rufus, and counting the calories to make sure she's above Kim Il Sung levels.

  74. Never shoulda taken "Fosmax" for osteoporosis.

    Definitely a throat killer, I wonder what it might have done to her liver.

    GP to Pow Wow with Cancer Doc to try to piece together something better.

  75. Both Romney and Obama have a higher favorability rating than Gingrich as well.

    Quinnipiac’s poll, which included 1,1,35 registered voters surveyed Dec. 13 through 19, also shows Republican Senate candidate George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine locked in a tight race. Allen has a 44 perccent to 42 percent edge on Kaine, well within the poll's margin of error.

    In that regard, the poll contrasts with a survey released last week by Public Policy Polling that showed Kaine opening a lead on Allen and Obama’s numbers in Virginia improving.

  76. On Tuesday, Gingrich offered delicate criticism designed to tap into doubts about Paul’s views on foreign policy.

    “National security really matters,” Gingrich responded when asked by a reporter about Paul. “Iran really matters.

    The fact that bad guys attacked the U.S. on 9/11 really matters. People need to take seriously when they go into the caucuses the issue of national security.”

  77. .

    The fact that bad guys attacked the U.S. on 9/11 really matters. People need to take seriously when they go into the caucuses the issue of national security.”

    The plea of the fox to the chickens: "Trust me and I will take care of you".


  78. This is pretty cool:

    Temp vs. Spot

    Temperature variation scaled by a factor of 100 compared to sun spot activity over the last 20 years.

    A graph that I made. You can make your own. Kinda cool tinkering around with it. Lots of info.

  79. Mauna Loa CO2 readings added to the mix:


  80. Sea surface temp variation scaled by a factor of 100 added to the mix:


  81. Arctic and Antarctic Sea Ice added to the mix:


  82. Same graph blown out to over the last 50 years:


  83. Sea Ice doesn't look to be a problem until you shrink it down to 10 years. Then it's fairly dramatic:


  84. Shitloads of sun spots in '59.

    I'd like to see a graph of sun spots vs. UFO sightings.

  85. Looks like temps started to take off around 1910.

  86. Not to worry, the "real" people all know that the payroll tax is not an income tax.

    The GOP has been spinning that baloney for quite a while. They may actually believe it.

    My wife though is none to happy that her newly elected Congressman is voting to bust her household budget.

    If the tax cut is not extended, payroll taxes for 160 million Americans would jump from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent on January 1, costing a typical worker about $1,000 a year.

    "The rebellion of the Tea Party faction of the Republican Party in the House has again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory," Steve Bell, a veteran Republican budget analyst, said of the payroll tax cut revolt.
    "The damage to the Republican brand is profound."

    Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist, also expressed frustration that despite his party's spending victories this year, they enter 2012 risking a voter backlash.

    "The White House is winning the spin wars," O'Connell said.
    "The White House message that Republicans are the party of Wall Street and the rich is gaining more ground than any message the Republicans have.

    "I think it is going to be more difficult for the Republican Party than the Democratic Party next year because the spin coming out of the White House is that the Republicans are unwilling to compromise. If the Republicans don't sharpen their message, they could suffer at the ballot box."

  87. She is ready to vote for anyone but a Republican.

    Who'd have ever thought ....

  88. It is weird.

    Democrats for keeping tax cut. Republicans for repealing it.


  89. Sorry about that, Tonto. You were a Good Indian.

    The Rich know someone is going to have to pay More taxes. Surprise, Surprise, they chose YOU.

    Who'd a thunk it?

  90. Top 3 things you can only say at Christmas:

    1: I prefer breasts to legs.

    2: Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.

    3: Smother the butter all over the breasts.

  91. Probably the same person who would have thought that I'd be talking about voting for a Black, Ultra-Socialist, Democrat in 2012.

    Sometimes the world is a very interesting place.