“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, January 23, 2012

How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

When Barack Obama joined Silicon Valley’s top luminaries for dinner in California last February, each guest was asked to come with a question for the president.

But as Steven P. Jobs of Apple spoke, President Obama interrupted with an inquiry of his own: what would it take to make iPhones in the United States?

Not long ago, Apple boasted that its products were made in America. Today, few are. Almost all of the 70 million iPhones, 30 million iPads and 59 million other products Apple sold last year were manufactured overseas.

Why can’t that work come home? Mr. Obama asked.

Mr. Jobs’s reply was unambiguous. “Those jobs aren’t coming back,” he said, according to another dinner guest.

The president’s question touched upon a central conviction at Apple. It isn’t just that workers are cheaper abroad. Rather, Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products.

Apple has become one of the best-known, most admired and most imitated companies on earth, in part through an unrelenting mastery of global operations. Last year, it earned over $400,000 in profit per employee, more than Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobil or Google.

However, what has vexed Mr. Obama as well as economists and policy makers is that Apple — and many of its high-technology peers — are not nearly as avid in creating American jobs as other famous companies were in their heydays.

Apple employs 43,000 people in the United States and 20,000 overseas, a small fraction of the over 400,000 American workers at General Motors in the 1950s, or the hundreds of thousands at General Electric in the 1980s. Many more people work for Apple’s contractors: an additional 700,000 people engineer, build and assemble iPads, iPhones and Apple’s other products. But almost none of them work in the United States. Instead, they work for foreign companies in Asia, Europe and elsewhere, at factories that almost all electronics designers rely upon to build their wares.

“Apple’s an example of why it’s so hard to create middle-class jobs in the U.S. now,” said Jared Bernstein, who until last year was an economic adviser to the White House.

“If it’s the pinnacle of capitalism, we should be worried.”

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

Similar stories could be told about almost any electronics company — and outsourcing has also become common in hundreds of industries, including accounting, legal services, banking, auto manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

But while Apple is far from alone, it offers a window into why the success of some prominent companies has not translated into large numbers of domestic jobs. What’s more, the company’s decisions pose broader questions about what corporate America owes Americans as the global and national economies are increasingly intertwined.

“Companies once felt an obligation to support American workers, even when it wasn’t the best financial choice,” said Betsey Stevenson, the chief economist at the Labor Department until last September. “That’s disappeared. Profits and efficiency have trumped generosity.”

Companies and other economists say that notion is naïve. Though Americans are among the most educated workers in the world, the nation has stopped training enough people in the mid-level skills that factories need, executives say.

To thrive, companies argue they need to move work where it can generate enough profits to keep paying for innovation. Doing otherwise risks losing even more American jobs over time, as evidenced by the legions of once-proud domestic manufacturers — including G.M. and others — that have shrunk as nimble competitors have emerged.

Apple was provided with extensive summaries of The New York Times’s reporting for this article, but the company, which has a reputation for secrecy, declined to comment.

This article is based on interviews with more than three dozen current and former Apple employees and contractors — many of whom requested anonymity to protect their jobs — as well as economists, manufacturing experts, international trade specialists, technology analysts, academic researchers, employees at Apple’s suppliers, competitors and corporate partners, and government officials.

Privately, Apple executives say the world is now such a changed place that it is a mistake to measure a company’s contribution simply by tallying its employees — though they note that Apple employs more workers in the United States than ever before.

They say Apple’s success has benefited the economy by empowering entrepreneurs and creating jobs at companies like cellular providers and businesses shipping Apple products. And, ultimately, they say curing unemployment is not their job.

“We sell iPhones in over a hundred countries,” a current Apple executive said. “We don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems. Our only obligation is making the best product possible.”

‘I Want a Glass Screen’

In 2007, a little over a month before the iPhone was scheduled to appear in stores, Mr. Jobs beckoned a handful of lieutenants into an office. For weeks, he had been carrying a prototype of the device in his pocket.

Mr. Jobs angrily held up his iPhone, angling it so everyone could see the dozens of tiny scratches marring its plastic screen, according to someone who attended the meeting. He then pulled his keys from his jeans.

People will carry this phone in their pocket, he said. People also carry their keys in their pocket. “I won’t sell a product that gets scratched,” he said tensely. The only solution was using unscratchable glass instead. “I want a glass screen, and I want it perfect in six weeks.”

After one executive left that meeting, he booked a flight to Shenzhen, China. If Mr. Jobs wanted perfect, there was nowhere else to go.

For over two years, the company had been working on a project — code-named Purple 2 — that presented the same questions at every turn: how do you completely reimagine the cellphone? And how do you design it at the highest quality — with an unscratchable screen, for instance — while also ensuring that millions can be manufactured quickly and inexpensively enough to earn a significant profit?

The answers, almost every time, were found outside the United States. Though components differ between versions, all iPhones contain hundreds of parts, an estimated 90 percent of which are manufactured abroad. Advanced semiconductors have come from Germany and Taiwan, memory from Korea and Japan, display panels and circuitry from Korea and Taiwan, chipsets from Europe and rare metals from Africa and Asia. And all of it is put together in China.

In its early days, Apple usually didn’t look beyond its own backyard for manufacturing solutions. A few years after Apple began building the Macintosh in 1983, for instance, Mr. Jobs bragged that it was “a machine that is made in America.” In 1990, while Mr. Jobs was running NeXT, which was eventually bought by Apple, the executive told a reporter that “I’m as proud of the factory as I am of the computer.” As late as 2002, top Apple executives occasionally drove two hours northeast of their headquarters to visit the company’s iMac plant in Elk Grove, Calif.

But by 2004, Apple had largely turned to foreign manufacturing. Guiding that decision was Apple’s operations expert, Timothy D. Cook, who replaced Mr. Jobs as chief executive last August, six weeks before Mr. Jobs’s death. Most other American electronics companies had already gone abroad, and Apple, which at the time was struggling, felt it had to grasp every advantage.

In part, Asia was attractive because the semiskilled workers there were cheaper. But that wasn’t driving Apple. For technology companies, the cost of labor is minimal compared with the expense of buying parts and managing supply chains that bring together components and services from hundreds of companies.

For Mr. Cook, the focus on Asia “came down to two things,” said one former high-ranking Apple executive. Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” The result is that “we can’t compete at this point,” the executive said.

The impact of such advantages became obvious as soon as Mr. Jobs demanded glass screens in 2007.

For years, cellphone makers had avoided using glass because it required precision in cutting and grinding that was extremely difficult to achieve. Apple had already selected an American company, Corning Inc., to manufacture large panes of strengthened glass. But figuring out how to cut those panes into millions of iPhone screens required finding an empty cutting plant, hundreds of pieces of glass to use in experiments and an army of midlevel engineers. It would cost a fortune simply to prepare.

Then a bid for the work arrived from a Chinese factory.

When an Apple team visited, the Chinese plant’s owners were already constructing a new wing. “This is in case you give us the contract,” the manager said, according to a former Apple executive. The Chinese government had agreed to underwrite costs for numerous industries, and those subsidies had trickled down to the glass-cutting factory. It had a warehouse filled with glass samples available to Apple, free of charge. The owners made engineers available at almost no cost. They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day.

The Chinese plant got the job.

“The entire supply chain is in China now,” said another former high-ranking Apple executive. “You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.”

In Foxconn City

An eight-hour drive from that glass factory is a complex, known informally as Foxconn City, where the iPhone is assembled. To Apple executives, Foxconn City was further evidence that China could deliver workers — and diligence — that outpaced their American counterparts.

That’s because nothing like Foxconn City exists in the United States.

The facility has 230,000 employees, many working six days a week, often spending up to 12 hours a day at the plant.

Over a quarter of Foxconn’s work force lives in company barracks and many workers earn less than $17 a day. When one Apple executive arrived during a shift change, his car was stuck in a river of employees streaming past. “The scale is unimaginable,” he said.

Foxconn employs nearly 300 guards to direct foot traffic so workers are not crushed in doorway bottlenecks. The facility’s central kitchen cooks an average of three tons of pork and 13 tons of rice a day. While factories are spotless, the air inside nearby teahouses is hazy with the smoke and stench of cigarettes.

Foxconn Technology has dozens of facilities in Asia and Eastern Europe, and in Mexico and Brazil, and it assembles an estimated 40 percent of the world’s consumer electronics for customers like Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Samsung and Sony.

“They could hire 3,000 people overnight,” said Jennifer Rigoni, who was Apple’s worldwide supply demand manager until 2010, but declined to discuss specifics of her work. “What U.S. plant can find 3,000 people overnight and convince them to live in dorms?”

In mid-2007, after a month of experimentation, Apple’s engineers finally perfected a method for cutting strengthened glass so it could be used in the iPhone’s screen. The first truckloads of cut glass arrived at Foxconn City in the dead of night, according to the former Apple executive. That’s when managers woke thousands of workers, who crawled into their uniforms — white and black shirts for men, red for women — and quickly lined up to assemble, by hand, the phones. Within three months, Apple had sold one million iPhones. Since then, Foxconn has assembled over 200 million more.

Foxconn, in statements, declined to speak about specific clients.

“Any worker recruited by our firm is covered by a clear contract outlining terms and conditions and by Chinese government law that protects their rights,” the company wrote. Foxconn “takes our responsibility to our employees very seriously and we work hard to give our more than one million employees a safe and positive environment.”

The company disputed some details of the former Apple executive’s account, and wrote that a midnight shift, such as the one described, was impossible “because we have strict regulations regarding the working hours of our employees based on their designated shifts, and every employee has computerized timecards that would bar them from working at any facility at a time outside of their approved shift.” The company said that all shifts began at either 7 a.m. or 7 p.m., and that employees receive at least 12 hours’ notice of any schedule changes.

Foxconn employees, in interviews, have challenged those assertions.

Another critical advantage for Apple was that China provided engineers at a scale the United States could not match. Apple’s executives had estimated that about 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee and guide the 200,000 assembly-line workers eventually involved in manufacturing iPhones. The company’s analysts had forecast it would take as long as nine months to find that many qualified engineers in the United States.

In China, it took 15 days

Companies like Apple “say the challenge in setting up U.S. plants is finding a technical work force,” said Martin Schmidt, associate provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In particular, companies say they need engineers with more than high school, but not necessarily a bachelor’s degree. Americans at that skill level are hard to find, executives contend. “They’re good jobs, but the country doesn’t have enough to feed the demand,” Mr. Schmidt said.

Some aspects of the iPhone are uniquely American. The device’s software, for instance, and its innovative marketing campaigns were largely created in the United States. Apple recently built a $500 million data center in North Carolina. Crucial semiconductors inside the iPhone 4 and 4S are manufactured in an Austin, Tex., factory by Samsung, of South Korea.

But even those facilities are not enormous sources of jobs. Apple’s North Carolina center, for instance, has only 100 full-time employees. The Samsung plant has an estimated 2,400 workers.

“If you scale up from selling one million phones to 30 million phones, you don’t really need more programmers,” said Jean-Louis Gassée, who oversaw product development and marketing for Apple until he left in 1990. “All these new companies — Facebook, Google, Twitter — benefit from this. They grow, but they don’t really need to hire much.”

It is hard to estimate how much more it would cost to build iPhones in the United States. However, various academics and manufacturing analysts estimate that because labor is such a small part of technology manufacturing, paying American wages would add up to $65 to each iPhone’s expense. Since Apple’s profits are often hundreds of dollars per phone, building domestically, in theory, would still give the company a healthy reward.

But such calculations are, in many respects, meaningless because building the iPhone in the United States would demand much more than hiring Americans — it would require transforming the national and global economies. Apple executives believe there simply aren’t enough American workers with the skills the company needs or factories with sufficient speed and flexibility. Other companies that work with Apple, like Corning, also say they must go abroad.

Manufacturing glass for the iPhone revived a Corning factory in Kentucky, and today, much of the glass in iPhones is still made there. After the iPhone became a success, Corning received a flood of orders from other companies hoping to imitate Apple’s designs. Its strengthened glass sales have grown to more than $700 million a year, and it has hired or continued employing about 1,000 Americans to support the emerging market.

But as that market has expanded, the bulk of Corning’s strengthened glass manufacturing has occurred at plants in Japan and Taiwan.

“Our customers are in Taiwan, Korea, Japan and China,” said James B. Flaws, Corning’s vice chairman and chief financial officer. “We could make the glass here, and then ship it by boat, but that takes 35 days. Or, we could ship it by air, but that’s 10 times as expensive. So we build our glass factories next door to assembly factories, and those are overseas.”

Corning was founded in America 161 years ago and its headquarters are still in upstate New York. Theoretically, the company could manufacture all its glass domestically. But it would “require a total overhaul in how the industry is structured,” Mr. Flaws said. “The consumer electronics business has become an Asian business. As an American, I worry about that, but there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Asia has become what the U.S. was for the last 40 years.”

Middle-Class Jobs Fade

The first time Eric Saragoza stepped into Apple’s manufacturing plant in Elk Grove, Calif., he felt as if he were entering an engineering wonderland.

It was 1995, and the facility near Sacramento employed more than 1,500 workers. It was a kaleidoscope of robotic arms, conveyor belts ferrying circuit boards and, eventually, candy-colored iMacs in various stages of assembly. Mr. Saragoza, an engineer, quickly moved up the plant’s ranks and joined an elite diagnostic team. His salary climbed to $50,000. He and his wife had three children. They bought a home with a pool.

“It felt like, finally, school was paying off,” he said. “I knew the world needed people who can build things.”

At the same time, however, the electronics industry was changing, and Apple — with products that were declining in popularity — was struggling to remake itself. One focus was improving manufacturing. A few years after Mr. Saragoza started his job, his bosses explained how the California plant stacked up against overseas factories: the cost, excluding the materials, of building a $1,500 computer in Elk Grove was $22 a machine. In Singapore, it was $6. In Taiwan, $4.85. Wages weren’t the major reason for the disparities. Rather it was costs like inventory and how long it took workers to finish a task.

“We were told we would have to do 12-hour days, and come in on Saturdays,” Mr. Saragoza said. “I had a family. I wanted to see my kids play soccer.”

Modernization has always caused some kinds of jobs to change or disappear. As the American economy transitioned from agriculture to manufacturing and then to other industries, farmers became steelworkers, and then salesmen and middle managers. These shifts have carried many economic benefits, and in general, with each progression, even unskilled workers received better wages and greater chances at upward mobility.

But in the last two decades, something more fundamental has changed, economists say. Midwage jobs started disappearing. Particularly among Americans without college degrees, today’s new jobs are disproportionately in service occupations — at restaurants or call centers, or as hospital attendants or temporary workers — that offer fewer opportunities for reaching the middle class.

Even Mr. Saragoza, with his college degree, was vulnerable to these trends. First, some of Elk Grove’s routine tasks were sent overseas. Mr. Saragoza didn’t mind. Then the robotics that made Apple a futuristic playground allowed executives to replace workers with machines. Some diagnostic engineering went to Singapore. Middle managers who oversaw the plant’s inventory were laid off because, suddenly, a few people with Internet connections were all that were needed.

Mr. Saragoza was too expensive for an unskilled position. He was also insufficiently credentialed for upper management. He was called into a small office in 2002 after a night shift, laid off and then escorted from the plant. He taught high school for a while, and then tried a return to technology. But Apple, which had helped anoint the region as “Silicon Valley North,” had by then converted much of the Elk Grove plant into an AppleCare call center, where new employees often earn $12 an hour.

There were employment prospects in Silicon Valley, but none of them panned out. “What they really want are 30-year-olds without children,” said Mr. Saragoza, who today is 48, and whose family now includes five of his own.

After a few months of looking for work, he started feeling desperate. Even teaching jobs had dried up. So he took a position with an electronics temp agency that had been hired by Apple to check returned iPhones and iPads before they were sent back to customers. Every day, Mr. Saragoza would drive to the building where he had once worked as an engineer, and for $10 an hour with no benefits, wipe thousands of glass screens and test audio ports by plugging in headphones.

Paydays for Apple

As Apple’s overseas operations and sales have expanded, its top employees have thrived. Last fiscal year, Apple’s revenue topped $108 billion, a sum larger than the combined state budgets of Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Since 2005, when the company’s stock split, share prices have risen from about $45 to more than $427.

Some of that wealth has gone to shareholders. Apple is among the most widely held stocks, and the rising share price has benefited millions of individual investors, 401(k)’s and pension plans. The bounty has also enriched Apple workers. Last fiscal year, in addition to their salaries, Apple’s employees and directors received stock worth $2 billion and exercised or vested stock and options worth an added $1.4 billion.

The biggest rewards, however, have often gone to Apple’s top employees. Mr. Cook, Apple’s chief, last year received stock grants — which vest over a 10-year period — that, at today’s share price, would be worth $427 million, and his salary was raised to $1.4 million. In 2010, Mr. Cook’s compensation package was valued at $59 million, according to Apple’s security filings.

A person close to Apple argued that the compensation received by Apple’s employees was fair, in part because the company had brought so much value to the nation and world. As the company has grown, it has expanded its domestic work force, including manufacturing jobs. Last year, Apple’s American work force grew by 8,000 people.

While other companies have sent call centers abroad, Apple has kept its centers in the United States. One source estimated that sales of Apple’s products have caused other companies to hire tens of thousands of Americans. FedEx and United Parcel Service, for instance, both say they have created American jobs because of the volume of Apple’s shipments, though neither would provide specific figures without permission from Apple, which the company declined to provide.

“We shouldn’t be criticized for using Chinese workers,” a current Apple executive said. “The U.S. has stopped producing people with the skills we need.”

What’s more, Apple sources say the company has created plenty of good American jobs inside its retail stores and among entrepreneurs selling iPhone and iPad applications.

After two months of testing iPads, Mr. Saragoza quit. The pay was so low that he was better off, he figured, spending those hours applying for other jobs. On a recent October evening, while Mr. Saragoza sat at his MacBook and submitted another round of résumés online, halfway around the world a woman arrived at her office. The worker, Lina Lin, is a project manager in Shenzhen, China, at PCH International, which contracts with Apple and other electronics companies to coordinate production of accessories, like the cases that protect the iPad’s glass screens. She is not an Apple employee. But Mrs. Lin is integral to Apple’s ability to deliver its products.

Mrs. Lin earns a bit less than what Mr. Saragoza was paid by Apple. She speaks fluent English, learned from watching television and in a Chinese university. She and her husband put a quarter of their salaries in the bank every month. They live in a 1,080-square-foot apartment, which they share with their in-laws and son.

“There are lots of jobs,” Mrs. Lin said. “Especially in Shenzhen.”

Innovation’s Losers

Toward the end of Mr. Obama’s dinner last year with Mr. Jobs and other Silicon Valley executives, as everyone stood to leave, a crowd of photo seekers formed around the president. A slightly smaller scrum gathered around Mr. Jobs. Rumors had spread that his illness had worsened, and some hoped for a photograph with him, perhaps for the last time.

Eventually, the orbits of the men overlapped. “I’m not worried about the country’s long-term future,” Mr. Jobs told Mr. Obama, according to one observer. “This country is insanely great. What I’m worried about is that we don’t talk enough about solutions.”

At dinner, for instance, the executives had suggested that the government should reform visa programs to help companies hire foreign engineers. Some had urged the president to give companies a “tax holiday” so they could bring back overseas profits which, they argued, would be used to create work. Mr. Jobs even suggested it might be possible, someday, to locate some of Apple’s skilled manufacturing in the United States if the government helped train more American engineers.

Economists debate the usefulness of those and other efforts, and note that a struggling economy is sometimes transformed by unexpected developments. The last time analysts wrung their hands about prolonged American unemployment, for instance, in the early 1980s, the Internet hardly existed. Few at the time would have guessed that a degree in graphic design was rapidly becoming a smart bet, while studying telephone repair a dead end.

What remains unknown, however, is whether the United States will be able to leverage tomorrow’s innovations into millions of jobs.

In the last decade, technological leaps in solar and wind energy, semiconductor fabrication and display technologies have created thousands of jobs. But while many of those industries started in America, much of the employment has occurred abroad. Companies have closed major facilities in the United States to reopen in China. By way of explanation, executives say they are competing with Apple for shareholders. If they cannot rival Apple’s growth and profit margins, they won’t survive.

“New middle-class jobs will eventually emerge,” said Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist. “But will someone in his 40s have the skills for them? Or will he be bypassed for a new graduate and never find his way back into the middle class?”

The pace of innovation, say executives from a variety of industries, has been quickened by businessmen like Mr. Jobs. G.M. went as long as half a decade between major automobile redesigns. Apple, by comparison, has released five iPhones in four years, doubling the devices’ speed and memory while dropping the price that some consumers pay.

Before Mr. Obama and Mr. Jobs said goodbye, the Apple executive pulled an iPhone from his pocket to show off a new application — a driving game — with incredibly detailed graphics. The device reflected the soft glow of the room’s lights. The other executives, whose combined worth exceeded $69 billion, jostled for position to glance over his shoulder. The game, everyone agreed, was wonderful.

There wasn’t even a tiny scratch on the screen.


  1. What in hell do we need all these Iphones for?

  2. Gosh,

    The Blog Administrator was busy, yesterday.

    Who got the ax?

  3. Capitalism meets Slave Labor.

    Real Costs?

  4. Well Allen, Ms T came out as a serial liar, she admitted it clear as day...

    Also wanted people to read her "book", a book that focuses on "non-biblical" hebrew myths.

    I read her 1st 3 sentences and saw her hatred of Jews was present in her presentation of esoteric writings as mainstream Jewish tales.

  5. But you didn't answer the question, WiO. Who got the axe?

  6. “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.” -- Mitt Romney, on the stump.


  7. Market demand, boobie, people voting with their wallets.
    Capitalism at work.

    That is why in the hell there is an iPhone and the cause of concern for the future.

    Unless there is an EMP overload directed at the Earth by our centralized fusion power plant.

    Here is your biscuit.
    Brew your own tea.

  8. To paraphrase Mr Jobs and his cohort from the dinner ...

    The Government HAS to create the jobs.

    Subsidize the factories and product development, train the workers, provide the infrastructure and grant tax holidays to the money managers.

  9. Mitt is pushing that Newt's work as the on-call historian for Fraudie Mac is the equivalent of Cayman Island accounts and practicing vulture capitalism that denies the importance of government in creating jobs.

    Both are examples of wanna be Presidents behaving badly.

  10. Chris Christie is telling me, at this moment on MSNBC, that Steve Jobs and his cohort do not understand capitalism.

    That government's "only" has to "get out of the way" of private equity, to create jobs.

    It is a disingenuous and dangerous talking point for the Republicans to promote. Mr Romney's own experiences at Bain proves that government is instrumental at creating corporate profits and market success.

  11. Teresita said...
    But you didn't answer the question, WiO. Who got the axe?

    Your reputation got the axe.

    Now everyone knows what a liar you are.

    You have admitted it.

    You might as well post as "anon" as your words would be better received.

  12. The current stream of liberal media thought, echo'd by some here, is that the power structures represented by the "Army" is going to lose in these countries where civil strife is rife.

    Christian Science Monitor

    Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh gave a farewell speech and is now headed for the United States where he will receive medical treatment for injuries received in a June 2011 bombing amid a year-long uprising against his regime.
    With many relatives and allies still remaining in high-ranking positions, some expect Saleh to wield significant influence from behind the scenes. But with an extremely volatile situation, where protesters have called for the ouster of Saleh's entire regime (not just the head of it), it's not certain the country will long be in their hands.

    It certainly is not certain that in the country of _______ there is going to be significant "change".

  13. If the Iranians have any cajones, they'll follow this fella's advice.

    A member of Iran's influential Assembly of Experts, former intelligence minister Ali Fallahian, says Tehran should respond to an EU decision to impose sanctions on Iran -- some of which come into force in July -- by stopping oil sales to the bloc immediately. This would deny the Europeans time to arrange alternative supplies and damaging their economies with higher oil prices.

    "The best way is to stop exporting oil ourselves before the end of this six months and before the implementation of the plan,"
    the semi-official Fars news agency quoted him as saying, Reuters reports.

  14. If the Iranians do not shut off sales to the Europeons, they will not close the Straits.

    They've always been incrementalists.

  15. You might as well post as "anon" as your words would be better received.

    I stand by everything I post, and if by some fluke I didn't, I myself would take it down, rather than wait for Deuce to do it.

  16. US Senator Rand Paul refuses to allow the TSA to "pat him down", so they refuse to allow him to board the plane. He is now, reportedly, detained at the airport.

    Unable to return to the current session of the US Senate.

  17. Could be a piece of planned political theater.

    Or ...

  18. Teresita said...
    You might as well post as "anon" as your words would be better received.

    I stand by everything I post, and if by some fluke I didn't, I myself would take it down, rather than wait for Deuce to do it.

    I am sure you do!

    Your lies, your distortions, your anti-semitism says it all.

  19. Market demand is only one factor in trade.

    If one side "cheats" on the trade rules or the currency value?

    then it aint free trade.

    China doesnt play fair.

    But neither does America. Hence the qe1, qe2, qe3, qe4 etc.

    Economics is warfare.

    No surprise there.

    China makes a lot of the world's goods. It also is poisoning it's own people at an unchecked rate.

    I wonder 30 years from now the cancer rate in China?

  20. In 1997, this piece was written, describing how the Egyptian Army would be the driving force for secularization of their society.

    US policy, has stayed the course.

    The Role of the Egyptian Military in Domestic Society

    The National Economy

    . . . A military establishment comes as close as any human organization can to the ideal type for an industrialized and secularized enterprise.11

    Since the 1970s, the Egyptian military has had an expanding role in economic issues in Egypt. Both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and former Egyptian Minister Of Defense Field Marshal Abu Ghazala12 (1980-1989) shared a vision of the beneficial role the military could play as an engine for economic growth and development. This led to what Robert Springborg13 refers to as a horizonal expansion in the role of the military into the national economy. There are probably a number of factors that led to this shared vision: a widely-held belief that the organizational attributes of the military could provide an effective engine for economic growth and development; the potential to exploit the comparative economic advantages of the military (low salaries, heavy equipment infrastructure, etc.) in fostering economic growth; the military's goal of self-sufficiency; and a need to effectively employ large numbers of soldiers in meaningful activities when defensive requirements are low, but there is an interest in maintaining a large force structure for deterrent purposes.

  21. Well, I must not need an Iphone cause I dont have one.

  22. .

    US policy, has stayed the course.



  23. Currently NPR, not a "conservative" source tells us...

    "The military wants stability above all," Springborg says. "It's not focused on war fighting; it's focused on consumption."

    One of the few glimpses we have into the role of the Egyptian military in the economy comes via a 2008 diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks.

    The cable discusses the various businesses the military is involved in, and considers how the military might react if Egypt's current president, Hosni Mubarak, were to lose power.

    The military would almost certainly go along with a successor, the cable's author writes, if that successor didn't interfere in the military's business arrangements. But, the cable continues, "in a messier succession scenario, it becomes more difficult to predict the military's actions."

    The "succession" has not been very messy, not at all.

    The Generals hold a major interests in the tourism business, which is down 30%.

    So while they have taken a financial hit, they have allowed political dissent to become public, rather than fester into a revolution.

    But the Egyptian military controls at least 30% of their economy.

    Government created jobs.

    Assisted by US, all along the course.

  24. TSA detains Sen. Rand Paul...

    Refused patdown...


    Guess you might need an Iphone to call the lawyer.....


    Both father and son are ass holes. You don't want the pat down, don't fly.

    This is all political grandstanding at an appropriate time to get daddy Paul some Florida votes.

    As crapper says, scum, both of 'em.

  25. Well, "o", the policies of the Russell Company and Chinese trade have been entwined with the Federal government since the Opium Wars, culminating in the US having the largest merchant fleet in all the whirled, in 1858.

    Transporting opium and tea in Chinese waters, under our "neutral" flag.

    The reason that Teddy Roosevelt sent the Great White Fleet to Tokyo in 1908.

    China has always been an integral part of US wealth creation, since even before we achieve continental status.

  26. Rand Paul is just a smart ass headline grabbing punk.

  27. .

    As crapper says, scum, both of 'em.

    Yet, it was Rand Paul who spoke out against the NDAA provisions you were incensed about the other day while any other buddies you have in Congress went along.


  28. The JPost reports

    The Egyptian army’s invisible hand

    01/16/2012 14:01

    Its vast business interests hold economy in tight grip and deter it from ceding power.

  29. Deuce said...
    bob said...
    Rand Paul is just a smart ass headline grabbing punk.

    You approve of a government make-work program where security guards, with all future government welfare payments attached, waste tax dollars on patting down a US Congressman because they think he is likely to hijack an airplane?

    The same federal government that refuses to use security guards to stop illegal gun and drug running on our southern border?

    If you are as good a marksman as you are at selecting your governmental targets of indignation, the wolves should sleep well tonight.

  30. It is not clear whether the localized shortages of food and the nationwide shortage of gasoline reflect a buyers' panic, or large-scale theft, or an effort by the central bank to conserve foreign exchange by slowing essential purchases - or all of the above.

    Nearly half of Egyptians are functionally illiterate. Nine-tenths of adult women have suffered genital mutilation. Almost a third of Egyptians marry first or second cousins, the fail-safe indicator of a clan-based society. Half of Egyptians live on less than $2 a day, and must spend half of that on food.

    Egypt's heading for a major crisis...

    Might I suggest this would be a great time to turn those guns into butter?

    Oh yeah, Egypt spends most of it's money on the military (even after a so called peace treaty with Israel)

    SO I guess starvation will be the arab world's most important past time soon.

  31. As for reports that tourism is only down 30%?


    That's funny.

  32. Feeding them folks, takes foreign exchange, green US dollar bills, the currency of the whirled.

    That means tourism, for a country Egypt.

    So the government, there, steers a moderate course, through compromise amongst the various factions, or yeah, they starve.

    In either case, it is only of passing interest, if Egypt more mirrors Sudan.

    The Romans, French, Brits and even the Israeli proved, long ago, that seizing control of the canal is easy pickin's with a military force structure like US maintains.

  33. .

    You approve of a government make-work program where security guards, with all future government welfare payments attached, waste tax dollars on patting down a US Congressman because they think he is likely to hijack an airplane?

    And there are frequent stories of celebrities, hollywood types and others, who are hustled through the lines without the checks.

    Funny stuff.


  34. Iphones are really nice devices, as are other Apple products.

    I doubt they would be as good as they are if they were made by a bunch of lazy lard ass American union members.

  35. You got a point there, Quirk.

  36. Yes, I think all this bitching about airport security is a bunch of crap. You don't have a constitutional right to ride on a plane in the first place. You have to play by the rules, even if you think they are o so disgustingly intrusive.

    You don't want to play by the rules, walk, take the bus, drive. The first time a bomb goes off the government will be blamed for not checking closely enough. This ass sets off the detector, then refuses the pat down. What the hell are they supposed to do, let him on the plane after he set the detector off?

    He's just another pain in the ass showboat.

  37. John Paul II: "[The Church] deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism directed against the Jews at any time or from any source."


  38. According to a voter profile report I was reading, Romney is getting the over $200,000/year, post grad educated and folks that think religion is not at all important crowd. That last kinda stunned me as whatever Romney is, he is a good Mormon and a sincere one, and it seems odd the agnostic/atheists flocking to him.


  39. That's something to take to heart, Miss T.

    Say, shouldn't you be in radiation therapy about this time of day?

  40. .

    This ass sets off the detector, then refuses the pat down.

    I didn't see anything about setting off a detector in the post(s).



  41. An evolving story

    Christian Science Monitor - ‎42 minutes ago‎

    Sen. Rand Paul refused a pat down by TSA agents after a scanner found an 'anomaly' on his knee. Rand Paul is a critic of TSA practices.

  42. heh now the crapper's hero Rand Paul is saying he is protected from arrest by the Constitution. He might be, isn't there something about immunity going to and coming from Congress? Though it didn't seem to do Wide-Stance much good.

    What Rand doesn't have the right to do, Congressman or not, is bend the rules and exempt himself from the common herd and demand to be let on the plane after he set the alarm off. His father is such a known nut case, they at TSA might be legitimately fearful of a son who sets off the security apparatus.

  43. Top left hand corner of Drudge in one of the articles --


    Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul was held by TSA officials at Nashville International Airport Monday morning after an "irregularity" was found during the security screening process.

    Paul lives in Bowling Green, KY., and is the son of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.

    Aides to the senator said Sen. Paul set off a full body scanning machine going through airport security. Sen. Paul claimed it was a "glitch" and wanted to keep going.

    An aide told NBC News that Sen. Paul told the screeners he doesn't have any metal. Apparently it was his right leg that was setting off the scanner. He raised his pant leg and showed them his leg, according to the aide. Paul said it was "clearly a glitch."

  44. Maybe he's got a titanium hip like me.

  45. He is protected, boobie. from arrest while traveling to DC.

    He is not "like everyone else".
    He does have "special" Constitutional privileges that the President's appointees may just have violated.

    May not have, tambien.

    Just more entertainment, from the DC follies.

  46. I agree about the arrest, crapper.

    But he doesn't have a right to refuse a pat down. Least I can't see how.

    If he wants to ride.

    Being elected to Congress isn't a ticket to ride.

    He has a right to walk on outta there.

    But, what if they did find or see a bomb, or a gun? What then?

    What if he had a pistol up under his armpit for self protection? I'd be armed, if I were in Congress. I'm armed now, and I am not in Congress.

    Could they arrest him then?

    Or just disarm him, or diffuse the bomb, and let him walk?

    "Congressman tries to hijack plane, is disarmed, takes bus to D.C."

  47. (CBS/AP)

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A former CIA officer who told reporters he participated in the interrogation of terrorist Abu Zubaydah has been charged with leaking classified secrets about CIA operatives and other information to reporters.

    Forty-seven-year-old John Kiriakou of Arlington was charged with violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and the Espionage Act. He is scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court in Alexandria on Monday afternoon.

    Prosecutors launched the investigation after defense lawyers filed a classified legal brief in 2009 that included details that had never been provided by the government. Authorities concluded that Kiriakou had leaked the information to reporters, and that reporters had provided the information to the defense.

    The charges also state that Kiriakou leaked information about the identity of another CIA officer who participated in Zubaydah's interrogation.

    In December 2007, while discussing the waterboarding of Zubaydah, Kiriakou told CBS News that the practice is torture, but sometimes necessary.

  48. It's nitwittery all around --

    White House sides with TSA in Rand Paul standoff
    By Keith Laing - 01/23/12 01:24 PM ET

    The White House is standing by the Transportation Security Administration in its standoff with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his father, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)

    The elder Paul called the TSA a "police state" Monday after Sen. Paul was reportedly detained by TSA after he refused to take a pat-down from TSA officials at the Nashville International Airport.

    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday that he didn't have any reaction to Paul's comment about "police state."

    But Carney sided with the TSA saying, "I think it is absolutely essential that we take necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe."

    Rep. Paul, who is one of four remaining Republican candidates for president, disagreed Monday afternoon. Paul said after he confirmed the incident involving Sen. Paul on his Twitter page that it showed why the TSA should be eliminated.

    "The police state in this country is growing out of control," the elder Paul said in a statement released by his presidential campaign.

    So Ron Paul wants to let just anyone hop on any plane, the TSA doesn't have the good sense, unless there is something we don't know, to let him walk, and the moron son refuses a simple pat down, which anyone in the same circumstance would, and should, be required to undergo.

    You set off that beeper, you get patted down, or you go home.

    Nitwittery all around.

  49. (Reuters) - The U.S. Marine sergeant accused of leading a 2005 massacre of civilians in Haditha, Iraq, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of dereliction of duty in a plea deal that eliminates court-martial proceedings on manslaughter and other charges.

    Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich faces a maximum sentence of three months of confinement, forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for three months and a reduction in rank when he is sentenced on Tuesday at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base north of San Diego, a base spokesman said.

    Wuterich, 31, had been on trial charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and dereliction of duty stemming from the November 19, 2005, death of two dozen Iraqi civilians. He initially was charged with murder.

    The court-martial was suspended last Wednesday by the presiding military judge, who ordered prosecutors and defense lawyers to seek a negotiated plea deal. The trial resumed on Friday for one day, and the plea agreement was announced on Monday morning.

  50. And the White House backs TSA.

    It's not a democratic Senator, after all.

  51. If only the standoff would end in some kind of circular firing squad.

  52. A powerful solar eruption is expected to blast a stream of charged particles past Earth on Tuesday, as the strongest radiation storm since 2005 rages on the sun.

    NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory caught an extreme ultraviolet flash from a huge eruption on the sun overnight (10:59 p.m. ET Sunday, or 0359 GMT Monday), according to

    The solar flare spewed from sunspot 1402, a region of the sun that has become increasingly active lately. Several NASA satellites, including the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Solar Heliospheric Observatory and the STEREO spacecraft, observed the massive sun storm.

    A barrage of charged particles triggered by the outburst is expected to hit Earth at around 9 a.m. ET Tuesday, according to experts at the Space Weather Prediction Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

  53. Warren Buffett blames federal law for Mitt Romney's 15% tax rate

    "It’s the wrong policy to have," Buffett told Bloomberg TV Monday. "There’s nothing wrong about him paying that. He’s not going to pay more than the law requires. And I don’t fault him for that in the least. But I do fault a law that allows him and me, earning enormous sums, to pay overall federal taxes at a rate that ‘s about half what the average person in my office pays."

  54. Buffet is right, er, correct. I agree with him.

    Does anybody here at the EB pay more taxes than they are asked to?

  55. As Newt gains momentum, the MSM and liberal talking heads ratchet up their attacks and down play his ability to beat Obama.

    I think they are afraid of Newt, not so much Mitt.

  56. harhar Gag

    Rufus might be a candidate, though. I recall him volunteering to take a Social Security cut for the team.

  57. bah! neither Gordon Gek...errrr, Mitt Romney or foot in mouth Newt will beat Obama. The radical wing of the 'pubs is attacking itself softening up whomever will be the candidate in the end.

  58. Mind you, Colbert could actually win...

  59. You forget Sarah, Ash, she is preparing to come riding into the deadlocked convention on a white snow machine to be crowned saviorelle even as I type.

  60. She'll gut Obama like a dead moose.

  61. Naw, Sarah wouldn't have a chance in hell of winning.

  62. Man Posts his Gruesome X-ray to Facebook in an Ambulance

    There is the brain and, then, there are brains.

    How does America keep losing jobs? Hmm

  63. Teresita said...
    John Paul II: "[The Church] deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism directed against the Jews at any time or from any source."


    Start with the man/woman in the mirror

  64. Teresita said...
    John Paul II: "[The Church] deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism directed against the Jews at any time or from any source."


    Start with the man/woman in the mirror

  65. "Safeguarding classified information, including the identities of CIA officers involved in sensitive operations, is critical to keeping our intelligence officers safe and protecting our national security," said Attorney General Eric Holder. "Today's charges reinforce the Justice Department's commitment to hold accountable anyone who would violate the solemn duty not to disclose such sensitive information."

    In light of the indictment, CIA Director David Petraeus reminded agents of the essential need for secrecy in their work.

    "When we joined this organization, we swore to safeguard classified information; those oaths stay with us for life," he said "Unauthorized disclosures of any sort — including information concerning the identities of other Agency officers — betray the public trust, our country, and our colleagues."

  66. Atlanta paper owner quits over Obama hit article
    By JTA
    01/23/2012 21:42

    Andrew Adler, publisher of 'Atlanta Jewish Times' had suggested Netanyahu deploy Mossad agents to assassinate US president.

    The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times has resigned and is seeking a buyer in the wake of a column he wrote speculating that Israel would consider assassinating US President Barack Obama.

    Andrew Adler, in an email obtained by JTA, announced Monday that he is "relinquishing all day-to-day activities effective immediately" following the publishing of his opinion piece saying that Obama's assassination was among Israel's options in heading off a nuclear Iran.

    buy buy nut job...

  67. Also in January, hundreds of Hong Kong citizens rallied outside an outlet of the Italian luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana after the store’s security told local citizens that only visitors from China’s mainland could snap photos of the shop.

    Tensions between China and Hong Kong have heightened since 1997, when British authorities returned Hong Kong to China after more than 150 years of colonial rule. Hong Kong residents, who speak Cantonese, not the mainland’s Mandarin, and drive on the left side of the road, have been eager to preserve their own culture.

    Many are afraid that businesses are slowly pushing them aside, discriminating against them in favor of wealthy mainlanders with whom they feel they do not identify.

  68. GOP pollster Whit Ayres, who supported former candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. but now is backing no one, said the results defied the tradition of South Carolina going with the candidate of the establishment.

    "There's obvious discomfort with Mitt, but I still believe that discomfort with Mitt doesn't mean he's unacceptable,'' said Mr. Ayres. "Does he light people's candle—does he get them ready to march through a wall of flame?

    No. Will he come across as a competent potential president and turn the election into a referendum on the Obama administration?


  69. While the roots of conservative, anti-elite sentiment are at least partly grounded in substance, the reaction to it is all identity politics. In his victory speech Saturday night, Gingrich -- a millionaire former party leader and corporate lobbyist now living in McLean, Va. -- railed against "Washington elites," to thunderous applause.

    Given his record, it may be implausible that Gingrich can pose as anti-establishment. But the establishment is certainly anti-Newt.

    And for South Carolina's voters, that was an endorsement enough.

  70. Even though earnings season has been spotty so far, with some high-profile misses from the banking sector, the big-picture stuff has been breaking in favor of the optimists lately: The ECB has tamped down the euro-zone crisis with its LTRO, the U.S. economy still seems to be plowing along, and suddenly nobody sees a hard landing in China (until it lands on top of them, that is).

    It's a fairly quiet day today, the first day of China's lunar New Year, which means there's nothing on the calendar that looks likely to stall the market's momentum.

    This morning European finance ministers are meeting all over the place, creating lots of opportunities for optimistic statements and news leaks that could move the market. The real action, though, is the Greek debt talks, which if unsuccessful could crack the market's perma-grin a bit.

  71. While China celebrates the New Year, residents of Pitcairn Island in the Pacific celebrate Bounty Day, the day in 1790 that mutineers from the HMS Bounty, newly arrived at the island that would be their permanent home, burned the ship in the bay.

  72. Meanwhile, the Republican race is suddenly a race again, given Gingrich's resounding win in the South Carolina primary over the weekend. Romney, who appeared the strong front-runner coming into that primary, is now focusing on Gingrich more than Obama as the GOP contest unfolds in Florida.

    Vice President Joe Biden, in an interview with radio host Ryan Seacrest, said Monday there is no ideological difference between any of the Republicans seeking to challenge Obama. He said the campaign will offer the clearest choice in which direction to take the country since the era of the Great Depression.

    Polling shows Americans are divided about Obama's overall job approval but unsatisfied with his handling of the economy.

  73. A manure spreader! We used to use those on the farm!!!!

    Great one, Sam.

  74. I know, I know, let's play, who has endorsed Obama for President 2012, one each day.....

    Today's endorsement --


    Go for it, Rufus!

  75. The Latest Scandals


    What does it matter that Gingrich released one year of his tax records? Any candidate can prep them a year in advance.



    The Marianne Gingrich Nightline tell-all was a bust. In theory, we must sympathize with her: 60-ish, without much income, suffering from MS, forced to watch her ex — now soaring, both financially and politically, without her and without apparent acknowledgment of her long support for his career that must now be evident in his success — with insult added to injury as Newt parades around a younger, more attractive third wife as if he were a perpetual honeymooner.


    Romney’s money:

    Cannot Romney explain that, to be blunt, he does not have, and does not need, a regular day job any more? And therefore he does not pay taxes on income?

    Election Circus

  76. The Atlanta Jewish Times, a weekly focused on the Atlanta Jewish community, was founded in 1925 as the Southern Israelite.

  77. Adler has not closed the Atlanta Jewish Times, he still owns it and will still profit from the increased attention his rag is receiving.

    A faux resignation, without immediate divestment, is nothing more than a sham, like his apology.

    According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Adler named staff writer John McCurdy as interim managing editor...

  78. Adler is just trying to profit from his truth telling about the Israeli-first Movement.

    According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Adler is "relinquishing all day-to-day activities effective immediately" and is seeking a buyer.

    The "Jewish Community of Atlanta" should demand Adler closes that vile piece of propaganda propagation.

    Not run it from his kitchen.

  79. dem dam jews faw resignin' and shit we know better here


    What's happened to Rowdy Paul? Still at the airport? He deserves the latex glove full body search.

  80. Though the book was about China, Salon couldn't resist having Brzezinski toe the "progressive" line about Israel.

    Brzezinski has both praise and criticism for the president: “He was an improvement by a very large score over his predecessor, but he could have been better.” He thinks the Obama administration “should have stuck to its guns in promoting a fair settlement” in the Middle East.

    A longtime foe of Israel’s partisans in the United States, he says the Obama team “fumbled by getting outmaneuvered by the Israelis.” Then he gets blunter: “Domestic politics interceded: The Israelis have a lot of influence with Congress, and in some cases they are able to buy influence.”


    He taught the president that those Jews to often claim Antisemitism when people uses anti-Semitic slogans such as Jewish-power controls foreign policy.

    Former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski says that the pro-Israel lobby in the US is too powerful, while the slur of anti-Semitism is too readily used whenever its power is called into question.

  81. These folks see an opening in the Atlanta Newspaper market.

    ATLANTA, GA, January 23, 2012 – Atlanta Jewish News LLC, publisher of, has announced plans to add a print format newspaper to its existing online media. The company has published its online Jewish news website for over two years, and the addition of a print edition will complement and expand upon its reporting on the local Jewish community.

    “The time is right for Atlanta Jewish News to publish a print edition,” said Marcy Levinson-Brooks, founder and editor-in-chief. “Atlanta benefits from a quality, comprehensive Jewish newspaper with insightful content, and our online success has laid the foundation for our move to print.”

    Levinson-Brooks has not set an official release date for the print edition, and welcomes input from the Atlanta Jewish community.

    We are NOT affiliated with "The Atlanta Jewish Times"

  82. On a frigid January evening in 2009, a week before his Inauguration, Barack Obama had dinner at the home of George Will, the Washington Post columnist, who had assembled a number of right-leaning journalists to meet the President-elect. Accepting such an invitation was a gesture on Obama’s part that signalled his desire to project an image of himself as a post-ideological politician, a Chicago Democrat eager to forge alliances with conservative Republicans on Capitol Hill.


    Obama was not exaggerating the toxic battle that has poisoned the culture of Washington. In the past four decades, the two political parties have become more internally homogeneous and ideologically distant.


    As a new President, Obama did not anticipate how effectively his political opponents would cast him as a polarizing figure. Despite the bonhomie at Will’s house, most Republicans viewed him as a wily Chicago politician cosseted by a sympathetic liberal media.

  83. What if the GOP primary, with its staggering number of debates and sheer length of the campaign, has managed to weed out all of the good, solid candidates and left us with the worst and weakest ones?

    Consider the candidates who either declined to run due to one issue or another, or who have dropped out:

    1. Successful governor of midwestern state, known for being strong enough to battle the government unions, and conservative and steady in his temperament. Declined to run for family reasons.

    2. Successful tw0-term governor of midwestern state, known in office for cutting taxes and vetoing bad legislation. Helped change his state from blue to reddish.


    3. Successful governor in his second term of a southern state. Known for cleaning up his state’s politics and fostering policies that promote free enterprise, and for battling with Obama admin over BP oil spill aftermath.

    Bleak Thought

  84. A few days after the appointments, the Justice Department made public a memo defending the move. The Office of Legal Counsel contended that the pro forma sessions were not legitimate periods of work for the Senate, and could be ignored for the purpose of recess appointments.

    The president's move is already being challenged in court, as the National Right to Work Foundation has filed a motion challenging the legality of the move. Other business groups have suggested more court challenges questioning the legitimacy of the move could be forthcoming.

    The White House defended the moves, calling them a necessary step to allow those agencies to be fully up and running. Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that created the CFPB, the agency cannot fully realize its powers without a director, and NLRB membership had fallen below the quorum needed for it to function.

  85. “There I was walking along in Philadelphia minding my own business and wham . . .”

  86. Will allen move his advertising to the "New" newspaper?

    The Atlanta micro media market is in flux. No doubt of that.

    But the "Official Jewish Community" supports Adler and his attempt to "cash out".

    Adler will immediately convene an Advisory Committee comprised of community members and leaders of Jewish communal organizations to ensure best practices are invoked and to provide guidance re: any contemplated or necessitated change of control of the Atlanta Jewish Times.

    • Absent immediately staffing the aforementioned editor-in-chief function with an experienced professional and the establishment of the community Advisory Committee, Adler will seek a buyer for the Atlanta Jewish Times, so that this resource to our community will remain viable.

    The Community thinks Mr Adler's propaganda sheet is an asset to their local culture.

    They should demand it's closure, now that there is an alternative in the marketplace. Rather than assist Adler is profiting from his diatribe of hatred towards the United States and its' President.

    It is Despicable that they'd attempt to assist him, now!

  87. This comment has been removed by the author.

  88. For years, the standard line of thinking in regard to fat was that it enhanced foods texturally, but did not in itself actually add any kind of flavor or taste to a meal. While previously, scientists have recognized only 4 basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter, recent research from Purdue University suggests that not only does fat have a taste, it could be considered a fifth type of basic taste too.

  89. It is unbelievable that the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is going to assist Adler in cashing out.

    Help him find a buyer.

    That's just fucking outrageous!

  90. Mr. Dodd spoke with barely concealed anger at what he called a “really gratuitous” statement delivered by what he had presumed was a sympathetic administration, which came after the blocking provisions had effectively been killed in Congress.


    The companies, Mr. Dodd said, are “rethinking everything,” not just about the bills, but about their relationship with an estranged Silicon Valley.

    That need for rapprochement, he said, “has come home in a way that no rhetoric of mine could express.”

  91. desert rat said...
    It is unbelievable that the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is going to assist Adler in cashing out.

    Help him find a buyer.

    That's just fucking outrageous!

    Mon Jan 23, 07:27:00 PM EST

    First, I thought you were not a potty mouf...Or so you said...Then, again, you say so much it’s hard to keep up. Perhaps like Terrance, you have taken on a whole “new you”.

    Would you prefer they have him assassinated?

    The paper could serve a good and useful purpose, in the right hands...unlike you.

    May we expect to see added to your resume, "Atlanta Expert"?


  92. There is only one possible solution to it.

    crapper can vet the buyers, and allen can handle the paperwork and close the deal.

  93. FLorida debate below, Sam

  94. Somehow I dont remember Rat calling for those that wrote plays, movies and opinions that Bush should be killed put out of business.

    One standard for Jews that cross the line, no standards for anyone else.

    Rat's pov about jews is well know.

    He hates them.

  95. desert rat said...
    It is unbelievable that the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta is going to assist Adler in cashing out.

    Help him find a buyer.

    That's just fucking outrageous!

    Wow, really must be off his meds today...

    He dropped the "f" bomb.

    I guess Mr Potty Mouth cannot scold others for use of foul language again...


    Too fuckin funny... the jew hater blew his top...

  96. Ash, You Might Find This Interesting

    Locked in syndrome and the right to die in England.

  97. bob said...
    There is only one possible solution to it.

    crapper can vet the buyers, and allen can handle the paperwork and close the deal.

    Mon Jan 23, 08:24:00 PM EST

    The vetting must include both the Chief Rabbi (but which one) of Israel and DR.

    I'll do the contract gratis so long as I have sole distribution rights to the video of the Chief Rabbi and DR negotiating.

  98. Sixteen percent say they’ve already voted and, as expected, Romney leads among them — but only by a margin of 43/40, which is much narrower than analysts expected.

    Nastiest Debate Yet Starts Now

  99. By Chris Frates
    January 23, 2012 | 6:54 PM | 37 Comments
    Share Share
    Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson plans to give the pro-Newt Gingrich super PAC Winning Our Future another $5 million, Jon Ralston reports. That money will help the super PAC compete against the pro-Mitt Romney Restore Our Future PAC, which has already spent $4.4 million hammering Gingrich in Florida. Winning Our Future has yet to spend a dime in Florida, according to ProPublica's tally.

    Ralston reports in the Las Vegas Sun:

    Gondolier Numero Uno Sheldon Adelson, through his wife, will give Newt Gingrich's SuperPAC another $5 million, a source close to Adelson confirmed today.

    That makes $10 million from the man who built the Venetian (in Vegas and Macau!) to help his old friend, the former speaker.

    My guess is so long as Gingrich stays competitive, Adelson, the eighth richest man in America, will be there to help through Winning Our Future. And in so doing, he will keep Gingrich, whom he has known for a decade and a half, competitive with Mitt Romney's money machine.


    Nomination for sale.....

    Winning Our Future v. Restore Our Future

    O Sarah we need you.....the people call......

  100. What does Romney have? Good hair? Consultant-generated, poll-tested mush? "I believe in this country SO much, I park my money in the Caymans."

  101. Grinch just said he has never, ever lobbied anybody.

    Romney is now on the attack. Freddie Mac, Freddie Mac, Freddie Mac.....


  102. Romney seems to be drawing some blood here.

    Influence peddler

    Grinch lives on K street, etc

  103. What a wonderful farce the whole thing is!!

    Newt's Freddie Mac contracts 'go missing'.


    The Republican hopeful’s first contract, spanning 1999 to 2002 and worth between $1 million and $1.2 million, according to two people familiar with the agreement, wasn’t released because officials at the Center for Health Transformation can’t find it


  104. Thanks for the debate link, Bob. When does it start? Hour and a half from now?

  105. Why does Romney always have his hands in his pockets?

  106. How come Ryan's eyebrows never move?

  107. One of the world's greatest export engines is running out of steam.

    For decades, Japan used the combination of manufacturing might and an export-oriented trade policy to shower markets around the world with its cars and consumer electronics and semiconductors.

    No longer.

    The Japanese government is expected to announce Wednesday that the country recorded its first annual trade deficit since 1980. If the yen remains strong and global demand weak, economists warn that Japan could run trade deficits for years to come.

  108. Cause Romney doesn't really have hands, he has claws, and Paul is really a Muppet.

    I'm not sure who'won' but I don't think it was Gingrich. Or Paul.

  109. From Ms T's part of the world....

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Gunmen in the restive southern Philippines opened fire on three boats and killed 15 fishermen in what a military spokesman said Tuesday was likely an attack by a rival group protecting its fishing grounds.
    The fishermen were aboard three small, wooden-hulled vessels off Sibago Island in Basilan province when attackers in speedboats fired on them Monday morning and then sped away, military spokesman Lt. Col. Randolph Cagangbang said.
    Basilan is a stronghold of Muslim rebels, who have been fighting for minority self-rule in the predominantly Christian nation for decades, as well as criminal and kidnap gangs. But Cabangbang ruled out their involvement.

    Gots to love those moslems....

    But now that Ms T aint a lesbian I guess she aint going to go and retire there with her "Miss Fely"

  110. Well, I saw a picture of Miss Fely, once.

    She can come and live with me.

  111. Given all that, it's no wonder Romney is running for president more as a former businessman than as a former governor. On the stump, he spends far more time discussing his business career and job-creation record than he does his time as governor.

    Indeed, at an election-eve rally in North Charleston, S.C., Romney discussed details of how he helped start the office-supply firm Staples but never once mentioned that he had been a governor.

    It all stems from that single decision, many years ago, to live in Massachusetts rather than Michigan, or Utah, or some other less liberal state. Now, it's part of who Romney is, and it can't be undone.

  112. "President Obama can tell a very positive story about his energy policies," said Daniel Weiss, a senior fellow at the liberal think tank, Center for American Progress.

    Heather Zichal, a White House adviser on energy and climate change, released an editorial last week highlighting rising domestic oil and natural gas production, as well as falling oil imports under Obama.

    Zichal highlighted proposed fuel economy standards that would push average fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon across U.S. fleets in the coming decade, cutting oil consumption by an estimated 2.2 million barrels a day by 2025.

  113. Did the local Israel First "Community" come to the defense of the Jewish Community, in Atlanta, for helping Mr Adler to cash out?

    I don't read much o what they write, after a line or two.

    Are they sympathetic to the financial plight that Mr Adler put himself into?

    Trying to turn the tables and justify the Jews of Atlanta providing him a Golden Parachute, and legal defense fund?

    Just wondering.

  114. I didn't seem to realize Adler was the owner and the writer, I thought some scribe wrote the article.

    Adler I think is in deep do-do of his own deep do-doing.

  115. WASHINGTON— J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami issued the following statement in response to an editorial written by the publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times calling for Israel to consider assassinating President Barack Obama:

    “J Street condemns in the strongest possible terms the editorial in the Atlanta Jewish Times, written by the paper’s own publisher, that included a call for Israel to consider the assassination of President Obama.
    Andrew Adler’s remarks are un-American and decidedly not pro-Israel. An apology is insufficient and we welcome news that the US Secret Service is taking the ‘appropriate investigative steps.’

    Words can’t express the repugnance that all Americans – Jewish and other – must feel toward someone who could use language like this. It is out of keeping with American and Jewish values.

    This incident should serve, however, as more than an opportunity to join in condemning a lone extremist. It should be a wake-up call for the Jewish community that the discourse around the President and Israel, generally, has gotten far out of control.

    One problem is that we have allowed the portion of American Jewry who disagrees with President Obama’s policies to too freely call him ‘anti-Israel’ without adequate pushback from the leaders of our largest communal institutions, who know that charge to be untrue.

    Further, the extremism evinced by the Atlanta Jewish Times’ editor is enabled by a broader communal atmosphere in which critics of Israeli governmental policy are regularly called anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.

    While we welcome the outrage that is being focused around this latest incident, we hope that the American Jewish community will take this opportunity to consider the state of discourse over Israel more broadly.

    We need to temper the rhetoric and recognize that disagreements over policy do not justify the vilification and smears that they too often bring.

  116. Abe Foxman et al would be quite content with a world without Israel as long as the shekels kept pouring in.

    He belongs to that subset of Jews who, in a generation or two, will be silent because they will be absent. Spengler at the Asia Times has written at length and well on the inexorable death of the cosmopolitan Jew. They love the wealth that comes from Jewish connections, if only that "shitty little country" would go away. They are also the first to hit the life boats when persecution arises.

    ...sorry, I seem to have forgotten: Abe Foxman is a "Piss Christ" fool...

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