“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."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Portrait of a Coward

Costa Concordia: coastguard 'ordered captain to return to the ship'

Italian newspaper reports claim Captain Francesco Schettino climbed over rocks and caught a taxi away from the scene

The captain of the Costa Concordia was ordered by the coastguard to return to the stricken ship after claiming that the evacuation was almost complete when it had scarcely begun, according to transcripts of radio calls and telephone conversations published on Tuesday.
The transcripts indicate that Captain Francesco Schettino said he was going to return to the vessel. But two Italian newspapers, which published the transcripts, said that he instead walked from the rocks where the liner had come to rest to the port of Giglio and there caught a taxi to take him away from the scene of the disaster.
A witness who boarded the cruise ship Costa Concordia after it grounded has added damning claims about the behaviour of the captain of the vessel. Mario Pellegrini, the deputy mayor of Giglio, said he boarded the stranded vessel at about 11pm.
"I then remained on board until 5am helping passengers leave. Although I asked for the officers I couldn't find one – and I never once saw the captain," he told The Guardian.
A regional parliamentarian who visited Schettino in the jail where he is being held quoted him as saying: "The voice of my conscience cries out the loudest of all."
One of the newspapers, Corriere della Sera, said the crew began preparing the lifeboats 13 minutes before the order was given to abandon ship. It described the action, by some of Schettino's officers, as "a kind of mutiny".
On Monday, the chief executive of the cruise company operating the vessel praised the crew at a press conference in which he placed the blame firmly on the captain. But Pellegrini said: "The crew, many of whom did not speak English, were not professional." He said the only officer he found on board who was helping passengers escape was a ship's doctor.
After hitting a rock off the coast of Giglio last Friday night, the Costa Concordia continued past the port as Schettino turned it around and brought it to rest on a headland known as Punta Gabbianara. According to the transcripts, there, at 21.49, he was radioed by the harbourmaster's office in Livorno, which is a regional headquarters of the coastguard.
"Everything OK?" he was asked.
"Affirmative," came the reply. The coastguard was told the liner had suffered a "small technical failure".
Five minutes later, the coastguard radioed the bridge again. The second newspaper, Il Fatto Quotidiano, which did not provide a source for its information, said that in the meantime the harbourmaster's office had been told by the semi-militarised Carabinieri police of a call from a passenger aboard the Costa Concordia talking about a shipwreck.
This time, the coastguard asked not only if the vessel was in trouble, but also what was its position.
"We've only got a technical problem and we're not able to [give the position]," came the reply. "But as soon as it's resolved, we'll communicate [it] to you."
Thereafter, all radio calls to the stricken liner went unanswered. But at 00.32 the coastguard managed to contact Schettino by telephone.
By then, the evacuation had been under way for only about 40 minutes. The captain was asked how many people were still aboard.
"Two, three hundred," he replied.
Ten minutes later, the coastguard rang him again. By then, said Il Fatto quoting a local fire brigade commander, Schettino had left his ship and was on the rocks at Punta Gabbianara.
He was again asked how many people were still aboard.
"I've called the ship owners, and they tell me that about 40 people are missing," he replied.
"So few? How is that possible?" asked the coastguard, before adding: "But you're on board?"
"No. I'm not on board because the bows of the ship are coming up. We've abandoned her."
"What do you mean? You've abandoned ship?"
"No. No way have I abandoned ship. I'm here," Schettino replied.
The final, and most dramatic call, took place at 1.46am when, after confirming that he was speaking to the captain, a coastguard officer told him: "Right. You are now going back on board. You are going to go back up the rope ladder, return to the bridge and co-ordinate operations."
There followed a long silence, Il Fatto reported.
"You must tell me how many people there are," the coastguard officer continued. "How many passengers, women and children – and co-ordinate the rescue."
Schettino protested that he was on hand.
"Captain," said the coastguard officer, cutting across him. "This is an order. Now I am in command. You have declared the abandoning of a ship and are going to co-ordinate the rescue from the bridge. There are already dead bodies."
"How many?" asked Schettino.
"You're the one who should be telling me that," came the reply. "What do you want to do? Go home? Now, go back up and tell me what can be done: how many people there are and what they need."
"Alright," said Schettino. "I'm going."


  1. I don't think the Roman Empires is going to make a comeback. :)

  2. Obama ain't going down with the ship either.

  3. At least his momma wasn't eyetalian.

  4. Obammie's daddy wouldn't have left the ship (he'd a been in there with scuba gear, going through the safe deposit boxes.) :)

  5. Unsubsidized Iowa Ethanol was selling for $2.12/gal on the CBOT, Friday.

    Front month on Gasoline from Subsidized Saudi Crude is $2.80, as we speak.

    And, we’re Paying Landowners NOT to Plant 30,000,000 Acres.

    And, standing by while the Republicans fight Voluntary Blending of E-15 to a standstill.

    We’re the stupidest species ever to inhabit Planet Earth.

  6. We’re the stupidest species ever to inhabit Planet Earth.

    I dunno, if there was someone smarter'n us they would have mined out all the fossil fuels before we did.

  7. I think they went for a swim in the ocean, and decided they liked it there. :)

  8. And, of course, you knew this was coming --

    Full fathom five[1] thy father lies;
    Of his bones are coral made;
    Those are pearls that were his eyes;
    Nothing of him that doth fade,
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
    Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.

  9. bob said...

    And, of course, you knew this was coming --

    Read this book called the Girl with Dragon Tattoo about Nazi Swedes who rape their daughters and stuff. Now I want to see the movie.

  10. Why does the NEW Danish navy have glass-bottom boats?

    To see the OLD Danish navy.

    What does it say at the bottom of Danish Beer Bottles?

    Open At Other End, Cherokee.

    Two men were sitting on a bench in a park. One of them was drunk, and the other was also Danish.

    Keep Sweden clean - show a Dane to the ferry.

    A Swede and a Dane were sitting on a park bench smoking a cigarette.

    It started raining and then the Swede pulled out a condom and covered his cigarette so he could continue smoking.

    Now the Dane was wondering what it was because his cigarette was drenched and he couldn't smoke it anymore. He asked the Swede what it was and where he could get some.

    "They're called condoms, and you can get them in that pharmacy over there."

    The Dane went off to the pharmacy and asked for some condoms.

    The pharmacist asked him what size he would like. The Dane thought for a while and then replied: "Ones that fit on a Camel."

  11. I'll pass, T. I only like happy stuff.

    Got to have those happy endings.

    War Horse was good.

    Go see that.

    Snow here.



  12. Bob-al-Harb's favorite Christmas Movie: The Nutcracker Swede

    A Swede can have sex at 15, but must be 20 to buy alcohol

    VULVA..Yuppie car made in Sweden

  13. Obama to raise debt ceiling another $1.2T on pace to borrow $6.2T in one term.

  14. Here is a genius for you:

    One pundit is saying Gingrich is finished with black Americans.

    What a disaster, the black vote will go from 95% support for Obama to 96%.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. What a disaster, the black vote will go from 95% support for Obama to 96%

    Yeah, and when Obama canceled the maneuvers with the IDF, the Jewish vote for Obama will go from 90% to 89%.

  17. I'm having my morning baking soda and hot water.

  18. Teresita said...
    What a disaster, the black vote will go from 95% support for Obama to 96%

    Yeah, and when Obama canceled the maneuvers with the IDF, the Jewish vote for Obama will go from 90% to 89%.

    Actually the Israeli government cancelled the joint exercises as it did not want the USA armed forces looking over it's shoulders in the coming months.

    As for the Jewish vote?

    There has been a 35% reduction in support for Obama by the Jewish voters.

    Please do not lie and distort things that can proven very easily.

    You can lie and distort on so many other issues, stick with them.

    Your comments about Jews, israel and Judaism?


  19. Reminds me of Ted Kennedy serial comments in the first few hours post-Chappaquiddick.

  20. Mr Obama received 79% of the "Jewish" vote. There has only been one national election in which ran, his support, well documented.

    There has only been the one. That is the entirety of the data sets.

    The idea that "Jewish " voters are abandoning the Democrats, floated in May of 2008, by the NYTimes, but ...

    “The people here, liberal people, will not vote for Obama because of his attitude towards Israel,” Ms. Weitz, 83, said, lingering over brunch.

    “They’re going to vote for McCain,” she said.

    Ms. Grossman, 80, agreed with her friend’s conclusion, but not her reasoning.

    “They’ll pick on the minister thing, they’ll pick on the wife, but the major issue is color,” she said, quietly fingering a coffee cup. Ms. Grossman said she was thinking of voting for Mr. Obama, who is leading in the delegate count for the nomination, as was Ms. Weitz.

    ... despite the predictions, Mr Obama maintained the historical norm, of "Jewish" support for the Democratic candidate.

    The more things are predicted to change, the more they stay the same.

    Historic reality wins.

  21. In fact, despite the predictions of the "Jewish" ladies in Florida, Mr Obama gained amongst the "Jewish" vote, when compared to their support for Mr Bush, in 2004.

  22. WiO:
    Your comments about Jews, israel and Judaism?


    When David invaded the the land of the Geshurites, the Gezrites, and the Amalekites he left no man or woman alive. He conquered Rabbah and Ammon, and put the people of those cities under saws and harrows and axes of iron and made their dead bodies pass through a brick kiln.

    David committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of a loyal officer named Uriah, and tried to cover it up. When this sin was in danger of being exposed, David him Uriah killed on the battlefield by other officers in order to obtain Bathsheba as his wife.

    On his sick bed he ordered a beautiful young girl named Abishag the Shunamite to stay in bed with him and try to cure his sexual impotence. On David's death bed he broke his promise to Shimei not to kill him, and arranged to have him murdered.

    After reigning over the House of Judah for forty years, and over all of the House of Israel for thirty-three years, King David died in 970 BCE, and he was succeeded by his son Solomon.

    David's harem of forty women also passed to his son. And it was written in the chronicles of the kings of the House of Israel that King David did right in the eyes of El, that David was a man after El's own heart, that he was an angel with a heart perfect with El, and that evil had not been found in David all his days.

  23. The polling, in July, 2008 did not match the actual results, in November of that year.

    The survey, commissioned by the Washington-based advocacy organization J Street, found that only 58 percent of American Jews said they would definitely vote for Obama, an Illinois senator. Another 4 percent said they were leaning toward the presumptive Democratic nominee.

    Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they would vote for U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), with 3 percent saying they were leaning toward the presumptive GOP nominee. That would represent a higher showing among Jews than the 24 percent President Bush drew in 2004.

    Mr McCain garnered 21% of the "Jewish" vote, despite the polling showing he was doing "better", with that subset of the electorate.


  24. bob said...

    I'm having my morning baking soda and hot water.

    Your future's so bright it should be on Jeopardy.

  25. I want to get this on a mug.

  26. boobie, regarding Mr Romney's father being born in Mexico, does Mr Mitt qualify as being "Natural Born", since his father was foreign born, in Mexico?

  27. Mr McCain garnered 21% of the "Jewish" vote, despite the polling showing he was doing "better", with that subset of the electorate.

    A number of voters in West Palm Beach accidentally voted for BuKKKanan in 2000. Like WiO asked rhetorically recently, who said Jews were smart?

  28. Will neither of the candidates, Obama nor Romney, fulfill the Founders prerequisite qualifications, as you have described them previously, to hold the office of President?

  29. Gary Johnson, in 2012, the only Natural Born citizen amongst the candidates of the three National Parties.

    Ain't that something?

  30. Dessert Rat's and Ms T's opinions on anything Jewish, Israel or Judaism is quite suspect.

    They have proven that they have quite the "anti" bias.

    Their opinions on such matters are worthless.

  31. Not an opinion on Israel, Judaism or things "Jewish".

    It is a observation of the actions of hyphenated Americans, member of the electorate, in the US, during US election.

    Things easily quantifiable, despite the protestations of those bigots that wish to deny the truth of that reality.

    Which can also be applied to the behaviors o peoples and politicos in Palestine, its subset of Israel, Syria, Jordon and the rest of northern Arabia.

  32. The "Trash Lady" scores first with this...

    Teresita said...
    What a disaster, the black vote will go from 95% support for Obama to 96%

    Yeah, and when Obama canceled the maneuvers with the IDF, the Jewish vote for Obama will go from 90% to 89%.

    Tue Jan 17, 11:19:00 AM EST

    Of course, WiO, your reply will be pushed to the head of the line. You lose either way.

  33. desert rat said...
    Not an opinion on Israel, Judaism or things "Jewish".

    It is a observation of the actions of hyphenated Americans, member of the electorate, in the US, during US election.

    When the bigot Rat speaks? Nothing worthy is coming forth.

  34. One doe not have to be a mechanical engineer to know that electric cars, dependent upon batteries that do not yet exist, will not perform to the financial predictions of their "Green" advocate.

    Just as one does not have to be an observant Islammic Arab to know that their cultural "system" is flawed.

    Nor does one have to be South African, to comment on the inherent injustices of apartheid.

    Nor does an observer need to be a Rhodesian, to know Mr Mugumbe is a miscreant.

  35. Most things are best observed, from afar.

    Being "close" to the subject, well, it obscures objectivity.

    As in the case of the "o" and the little political subdivisions that the US recognizes in Palestine.

  36. Heh :) Abishag

    Provide, Provide

    The witch that came (the withered hag)
    To wash the steps with pail and rag
    Was once the beauty Abishag,

    The picture pride of Hollywood.
    Too many fall from great and good
    For you to doubt the likelihood.

    Die early and avoid the fate.
    Or if predestined to die late,
    Make up your mind to die in state.

    Make the whole stock exchange your own!
    If need be occupy a throne,
    Where nobody can call you crone.

    Some have relied on what they knew,
    Others on being simply true.
    What worked for them might work for you.

    No memory of having starred
    Atones for later disregard
    Or keeps the end from being hard.

    Better to go down dignified
    With boughten friendship at your side
    Than none at all. Provide, provide!

    Miss T, it is one of the glories of the Bible that they are so damned honest about their heroes.

  37. It's really quite simple....

    thousands and thousands of jew hating trash posts have been spewed on this blog...

    the Rat and Ms T?

    Are just, for the moment, the head-anti-semites.

    I am sure other's will ride to their rescue spewing forth even more anti-semitic, anti-israel or anti-judaic filth.

    I love how they get defensive when they get called on it...


    But it's quite apparent who and what they are...

    You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
    Abraham Lincoln, (attributed)
    16th president of US (1809 - 1865)

  38. It is better to rely on being simply true than to rely on what you thought you knew.

  39. a rose by any other name is still a jew hating scum bucket....

  40. Wasn't aware of that about Romney, crapper, and would have to check it out a little, and read up. Both Romney the Elder's parents were Americans, right?

    The thing about Obama's papa, if he was his papa, is he was a Kenyan, as is confirmed by O himself.

  41. It is really starting to snow here now, Miss T's storm has arrived in force.

  42. There is only one poster here that spews hate, the same one that advocates for mass murder, in an effort to delegitimize another religion.

    Then claims he intends to develop an entire new class of nuclear weaponry, to accomplish the feat.

    Talk about pontificating in ignorance. "o" not even clever enough to do a Google search, before he makes nonviable claims of technological possibilities.

    The claims I made, today, easily quantifiable, with regards election results, trends and norms.

    Only one poster is ranting, hatefully, a bucket of green scum, That sucking sound is a chorus of one.

  43. It just occurred to me, Ron Paul being the constitutionalist he claims to be - what is his view concerning the natural born citizen issue?

  44. No idea, boobie, investigate that for US, will you?

    It is, after all, your topic of preference.

  45. On Paul's website, boobie, the comments run to the question of citizenship of the father.

    If he was a Mexican citizen, then he's have dual loyalties, and Mitt would not qualify as "Natural Born".

    But Mitt's father was, fer sure, a US citizen, though not born in the USA. Which makes Mitt "Natural Born" ... unless... Daddy was a dual citizen, both US and Mexico, as some claim, then Mitt's not "Natural Born".

    Comes down to the citizenship of the father. US only, Mitt's good to go, dual citizen and Mitt is no "Natural"

  46. But ...

    Doctor Paul's websites, like his "Newsletter" is a consolidation of many opinions.

    None readily attributable to the Doctor, himself.

  47. Shit, you may have something there, crapper -

    When Mitt Romney’s father George Romney ran for President in 1968, nobody seemed to care that he was born in Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico. The media just assumed that because his parents were allegedly US citizens he was too. The media never really questioned the possibility that Romney’s ancestors, who voluntarily left the Utah territory for Mexico before Utah became a state in 1896, may not have been citizens within the meaning of the Fourteen Amendment. They, like many other Mormoms, may have left because they opposed the conditions forced on Utah to become a state, like the elimination of polygamy. They, like many other Mormons who were in Utah during the so-called Utah War, may never have accepted the authority of the United States over the Utah territory. Many Mormon settlers tried and failed to set up a theocracy called Deseret. In other words, the Romneys may not have been "subject to the jurisdiction" of the United States such that they were born citizens under the Fourteen Amendment.

    If ol' man Romney was a Mexican, it would seem to put Mitt in the same sort of category as Obama.


    I don't think Jindal, or that guy from Florida, what's his name, are Natural Born Citizens, either.

    It's getting harder and harder to find an authentic Natural Born Citizen, these days.


    This is NOT Donofrio's site, which is down now, and was the one I used to rely on.

  48. Mitt's daddy was born in Mexico, in a Mormon colony. Whether that made his a Mexican citizen, a matter of Mexican law.

    His family left there, as refugees, during the revolution. Back in the day when the border was even more porous than today. When color and ethnicity mattered more than place of birth.

    But we have left those good old days behind US.

  49. Many more incredibly damaging Ron Paul letters found HERE

    He may not be entirely wrong on everything.

  50. With a choice between two ineligible candidates, I may be forced to write in Sarah Palin.


    She was born right here, I'm certain of it, to parents born here the same, in the good ol' US of A.

  51. desert rat said...
    There is only one poster here that spews hate, the same one that advocates for mass murder, in an effort to delegitimize another religion.

    Then claims he intends to develop an entire new class of nuclear weaponry, to accomplish the feat.

    Talk about pontificating in ignorance. "o" not even clever enough to do a Google search, before he makes nonviable claims of technological possibilities.

    The claims I made, today, easily quantifiable, with regards election results, trends and norms.

    Only one poster is ranting, hatefully, a bucket of green scum, That sucking sound is a chorus of one.

    We all know that you lie, distort and twist words...

    We all know your record for anti-semitic semantics.

    All you do is remind everyone that reads your filth who and what you are.

    An anti-semite.


  52. Please, would both of you grow up?

  53. Gag Reflex said...
    Please, would both of you grow up?

    Be happy to, please request those that post anti-semitic, anti-jewish and anti-israel crap to post about anything else under the sun.

    Until such time, I shall remain silent until the trolls post.

    Then I will remind any and all what they are.

  54. Please, would both of you grow up?

  55. I provide quotes and links to articles pertaining to the topics of the day. Whether they be generated by the thread title or the news, or what suits me to post.

    I question things we all "know".
    Like the creed of the sectarian regime, in Damascus, Syria. For years I thought I "knew" that the Assad clan were an off brand of practicing Shiite.

    When nothing could be further from the truth. The four decades of the Assad regime, in Syria, has seen a systematic repression of radical Wahhabi in Syria.

    The US policies toward Syria for the past forty years have led to
    the Russians obtaining a naval base on the Med.

    Jan 10, 2012
    (UPI) -- Russia's only operational aircraft carrier and other warships are visiting the Syrian port of Tartous in an apparent display of support for ...

    So much for the "War on Islam"

    The US is allying with the Wahhabi against those of the Alawi creed, psuedo-Christians. Sectarians with a forty year track record of controlling the radical Islamoids of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.

  56. As Daniel Pipes wrote in 1989

    'Alawis reject Islam's main tenets; by almost any standard they must be considered non-Muslims.

    Some 'Alawi doctrines appear to derive from Phoenician paganism, Mazdakism and Manicheanism. But by far the greatest affinity is with Christianity. 'Alawi religious ceremonies involve bread and wine; indeed, wine drinking has a sacred role in 'Alawism, for it represents God. The religion holds 'Ali, the fourth caliph, to be the (Jesus-like) incarnation of divinity. It has a holy trinity, consisting of Muhammad, 'Ali, and Salman al-Farisi, a freed slave of Muhammad's. 'Alawis celebrate many Christian festivals, including Christmas, New Year's, Epiphany, Easter, Pentecost, and Palm Sunday. They honor many Christian saints: St. Catherine, St. Barbara, St. George, St. John the Baptist, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Mary Magdalene. The Arabic equivalents of such Christian personal names as Gabriel, John, Matthew, Catherine, and Helen, are in common use. And 'Alawis tend to show more friendliness to Christians than to Muslims.

    For these reasons, many observers - missionaries especially - have suspected the 'Alawis of a secret Christian proclivity. Even T. E. Lawrence described them as "those disciples of a cult of fertility, sheer pagan, antiforeign, distrustful of Islam, drawn at moments to Christianity by common persecution." The Jesuit scholar Henri Lammens unequivocally concluded from his research that "the Nusayris were Christians" and their practices combine Christian with Shi'i elements.

  57. allen said...

    The "Trash Lady" scores first with this...

    Another stanza of Deutschland über Allen and the spectators shouted Sieg heil!

  58. The Libyans never got their Russian Naval base deal complete.

    Senor Assad has his hole card.
    Any bets there are tactical nuclear weapon on the aircraft carrier "Nikolai Kuznetsov"?

    (Reuters) - Russia signaled on Tuesday it would not make major concessions over its draft Security Council resolution to end bloodshed in Syria, sticking by its key ally in the Middle East.

    Moscow and Western members of the U.N. body have been deeply divided over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov did little to suggest there was sufficient common ground to agree a resolution with France, Britain and the United States.

    Syria is Moscow's chief ally in the region, one of its biggest arms customers and home to naval base it uses. A Russian-operated ship docked in Syria last week that carried ammunition, Russian and Cypriot sources said.


  59. Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. has “very grave concern” about arms reaching the Assad regime after news reports that a Russian shipment of ammunition arrived in Syria, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said.

    Chariot, a Russian-owned ship carrying bullets, was detained by Cypriot authorities on Jan. 9 and allowed to proceed two days later after agreeing to change its destination to Turkey, the Cypriot national broadcaster CyBC reported without saying where it got the information. Instead, the ship stopped transmitting its automatic-recognition signal and went to the Syrian port of Tartus.

    “Unfortunately there is not an arms embargo against Syria which we certainly think is overdue in part, because as you well know, some members of the council including Russia have indicated opposition to any form of sanctions,” Rice said in New York.

    Russia has weapons contracts with Syria of at least $3 billion, according to the Moscow-based Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. The orders include Yakhont anti- ship cruise missiles, MiG-29 fighter jets and Pantsir short- range air-defense systems. The port of Tartus is the only Russian base outside the former Soviet republics.

  60. On average, households making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay a federal income tax rate of 5.7 percent this year, according to projections by the Tax Policy Center a Washington think tank.


    Overall, the average American household will pay 9.3 percent in federal income taxes - and 19.7 percent in all federal taxes.

    In the 2008 presidential race, Republican John McCain released two years of his tax returns and then-Sen. Barack Obama released six years of tax information.

    Who said he hasn't done anything?

    First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

    First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

    First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States .

    First President to violate the War Powers Act.

    First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico .

    First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

    First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party , a violation of the U.S. Constitution .

    First President to spend a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.

    First President to recommend changing our National Anthem as it portrays and promotes violence and is warlike in its theme.

    First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer Breakfast and activities .

    First President to initiate a Cash for Clunkers Program to clean up exhaust that adds to global warming, then extended it because it was so popular -- wasting hundreds of millions of Tax-Payer dollars.

    First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

    First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.

    First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S. , including those with criminal convictions.

    First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.
    First President to terminate America ’s ability to put a man in space.

    First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

    First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

    First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke-out on the reasons for their rate increases.

    First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which State they are allowed to locate a factory.

    First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

    First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

    First President to fire an inspector general of Ameri-corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

    First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.

    First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 90 to date.

    First President to pledge complete transparency while campaigning, then hide his medical, educational and travel records.

    First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

    First President to go on multiple global ‘apology tours’.

    First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by the taxpayer.

    First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.

    First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

    First President to repeat the Holy Qur'and tells us the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.

    So how is this hope and change working out for ya?

  62. Mitt Romney said he probably pays "about 15%" in Federal Taxes.

    I Pay more than 15%.

  63. That's part of the disinformation campaign, sam, to not call the entire tax payment, to include the 10.4% in FICA, as income taxes.

    It is a marketing sham by the Federals, to sow divisiveness amongst the electorate.

    The Supremes decided, in Flemming vs. Nestor that Social Security/FICA taxes were described a THE TAX PROCEEDS ARE PAID INTO THE TREASURY "AS INTERNAL REVENUE COLLECTIONS," I.R.C., SEC. 3501,

    Which is just exactly the same bookkeeping column as "Income Tax"

    United States Code: Title 26,7809. Deposit of collections | LII / Legal ... › ... › Subtitle F › CHAPTER 80 › Subchapter A
    ... of any internal revenue law, shall be paid daily into the Treasury of the United States under instructions of the Secretary as internal revenue collections, by the ...

  64. The Government is taking in about 10% Less than it was in the 4th qtr of 2007.

  65. Teresita said...
    allen said...

    The "Trash Lady" scores first with this...

    Another stanza of Deutschland über Allen and the spectators shouted Sieg heil!

    Tue Jan 17, 05:49:00 PM EST

    ...lying scum...

  66. Give him a break, Rufus.

    He has to tithe 10% to the Mormon Church or go to hell.

    You don't have to.

    Having been sent backed UNWANTED last time you died.


  67. With Corporations, on average, paying about 10%, and the Rich paying 15% we have no chance of balancing the budget. Or even coming close.

  68. Gary Johnson, anon.

    Because, I certainly wouldn't want to support Mr Obama, for all his faults.

    Mr Romney wants to expand the US ground forces by 100,000, which would be a disastrous policy for US to pursue.

    The only "real" option left, Gary Johnson, Librarian.

  69. I think it's going to be too close to vote "Librarian." I guess I'm stuck with Obama.

  70. Well, thank God he had enough sense to take care of that dog. :\

  71. ...lying scum...

    Allen, next Feast of Trumpets don't even bother to ask.

  72. Never to forgive, never to forget.

  73. I Pay more than 15%.

    Turbo Tax says:

    Adjusted Gross Income $ 86,270.00
    Amount to be Refunded $ 4,782.00
    Effective Tax Rate 9.81%

  74. We all know Ron Paul is right - there should be no Federal Tax at all.

    But the benefits should remain, and the forces get paid.

  75. I see the crapper is swimming away from the untenable and sinking SS Ron Paul, showing his loyalty to the man he has trumpeted all these years by climbing aboard the good ship Johnson, as yet unknown in all his own libertarian follies.

  76. Perry, Gingrich and Santorum "had every opportunity to challenge the various Virginia ballot restrictions at a time when the challenge would have not created the disruption this last-minute lawsuit has," the judges wrote.

    Federal law requires localities to send absentee ballots to overseas military personnel and disabled voters by Saturday.

    Perry lawyer Joe Nixon said in a statement the campaign was "weighing options for appeal."

  77. Rufus
    You should vote for Obama. You tell us every other day you intend to. So you should. Do it. For all your reasons. And I really hope your ethanol ship comes in.

  78. But urbanization, by itself, is hardly enough. Latin America is filled with megacities teeming with shanty towns housing unemployed and underemployed workers from the countryside, whose move didn't stop those nations from stalling economically.


    Moreover, urbanization is hardly the only demographic trend sweeping over China. At the same time as more workers are moving into the cities, the size of the Chinese work force—those aged 15 to 64—is peaking as the work force ages.

    More than 30% of the population is expected to be older than 60 by 2050, producing an increasingly heavy economic burden on those in the work force.

  79. It's tempting to oversimplify the race among the five Republican presidential candidates who gathered on a South Carolina debate stage Monday night. It is, many say, a race between Mitt Romney and a handful of others trying to emerge as the anti-Mitt.

    That's true, but it masks a more complex underlying reality that helps explain why the contest has become so nasty in recent days. In fact, four different camps have emerged among Republicans this year, and each camp has a favorite—or two.

  80. Everything is being taken positively - China's slowdown means China's government will pump more stimulus into the economy. The dreaded European downgrades have come and gone without the earth opening up and swallowing us all, so that's good news, too.

    This state of rampant bullishness won't last forever. You never know - it might not last the day.

    Later we get the Empire State manufacturing survey and earnings results from Citigroup and Wells Fargo, all opportunities for the market's permagrin to waver. Jason Goepfert at Sundial Capital Research notes the market is now heading into a seasonally difficult period, for whatever that's worth.

  81. Today is the 306th birthday of Benjamin Franklin - author, inventor, Founding Father.

  82. The two parties are expected to negotiate an extension of a payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and a Medicare "fix" that would keep payments flowing to participating doctors. A two-month extension of those three items expires in February.

    The good news is that unlike the debt ceiling fight last summer, where congressional approval was in doubt, the latest debate is unlikely to roil the markets, said Mike Tanner, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute.

    "This is just pure politics," Tanner said. "Wall Street is not paying the slightest bit of attention to this."

  83. For conservatives fighting to prevent Romney from winning a third consecutive nominating contest, the Palmetto State is seen as their last stand. A victory here would amount to a knock-out punch for Romney, according to most political observers.

    With polls showing that six in 10 South Carolina voters are evangelical Christians, Romney's rivals view South Carolina as ripe opportunity to expand their support. At this point, Gingrich and Santorum -- and to a lesser extent Perry -- are splitting those conservative voters.

    The GOP White House contenders will debate again Thursday night before voters go to the polls Saturday.

  84. A man walked out to the street and caught a taxi just going by. He got
    into the taxi, and the cabbie said, "Perfect timing. You're just like
    Passenger: "Who?"

    Cabbie: "Brian Sullivan. He's a guy who did everything right all the
    time. Like my coming along when you needed a cab, things happen like
    that to Brian Sullivan, every single time."

    Passenger: "There are always a few clouds over everybody."

    Cabbie: "Not Brian Sullivan. He was a terrific athlete. He could have
    won the Grand Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like
    an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star and you should have
    heard him play the piano. He was an amazing guy."
    Passenger: "Sounds like he was something really special."

    Cabbie: "There's more. He had a memory like a computer. He remembered
    everybody's birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and
    which fork to eat them with. He could fix anything. Not like me. I
    change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out. But Brian Sullivan, he
    could do everything right."
    Passenger: "Wow. Some guy then."

    Cabbie: "He always knew the quickest way to go in traffic and avoid
    traffic jams. Not like me, I always seem to get stuck in them. But
    Brian, he never made a mistake, and he really knew how to treat a woman
    and make her feel good. He would never answer her back even if she was
    in the wrong; and his clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly
    polished too. He was the perfect man! He never made a mistake. No one
    could ever measure up to Brian Sullivan."
    Passenger: "An amazing fellow. How did you meet him?"

    Cabbie: "Well, I never actually met Brian. He died. I'm married to his
    fuckin' widow."

  85. Stratfor views what most people refer to as "al Qaeda" as a decentralized global jihadist network rather than a monolithic entity. This network consists of three distinct and quite different elements. The first is the vanguard al Qaeda organization, which we frequently refer to as al Qaeda prime or the al Qaeda core.


    The second element of jihadism associated with al Qaeda is a worldwide network of local or regional terrorist or insurgent groups. These groups have been influenced by the al Qaeda core's philosophy and guidance and have adopted a similar jihadist ideology.


    The third and broadest element of the global jihadist network encompasses what we refer to as grassroots jihadists. These are individuals who are inspired by the al Qaeda core -- or, increasingly, by the franchise groups -- but who may have little or no actual connection to these groups.

  86. Jerry Yang rode Yahoo Inc.'s swift rise and subsequent decline over 17 years. Now the co-founder of the onetime dominant Internet company has decided to stop hanging on.


    Yahoo denied there was any conflict and people close to Yahoo said Mr. Yang was acting with the board's blessing and that he had retained his own lawyer to advise him on potential conflicts. Another person close to Yahoo said company directors hadn't expressed any concern about Mr. Yang's motivations.

    Within Yahoo, Mr. Yang stepped up his presence after the firing of Ms. Bartz, people familiar with the matter have said. He has attended high-level company meetings and been involved in engineering and corporate development strategy, including Yahoo's $270 million acquisition of ad-technology firm Interclick Inc., announced in November, these people said.

  87. Calpers, the giant California pension fund, is dumping one of its last major housing investments at a big loss.


    The portfolio, which includes 16,300 unbuilt home sites and thousands of acres of additional undeveloped land in 11 states, represents about one-fifth of Calpers' residential land portfolio.

  88. Teresita said...
    Never to forgive, never to forget.

    When one is faced with anti-semitic remarks, flippant anti-zionist drivel and just an around historic blood libel throwing type of person, some of us recognize the true potential of real violence that it causes.

    Jews have seen for centuries these types of people.

    They have caused numerous deaths on scales simply unimaginable.

    The good news is that there is a new type of Jew today, one that will call out the bomb thrower for what and who they are....

    I will never be nice to polite genocidal advocators.

    No matter how sweet the words, no matter how nice they seem, evil still exists and some of us can see it clearly.

    The gentleman rapists is still a rapist.

    Those that politely call for Jews to commit suicide are still advocating the genocide of Jews

  89. Teresita said...
    ...lying scum...

    Allen, next Feast of Trumpets don't even bother to ask.

    Tue Jan 17, 08:46:00 PM EST

    ...lying scum...

  90. For the past two decades, Austrian banks have focused on expanding into Central and Eastern Europe, a strategy that has largely shielded Austria from the effects of the crisis in Western Europe. However, this exposure to countries that have experienced financial instability since the beginning of the European crisis such as Romania, Hungary and Ukraine has had some drawbacks, endangering banks' subsidiaries that operate in those countries and their Austrian headquarters and, most recently, with Standard & Poor's Jan. 13 decision to downgrade Austria's credit rating.


    Despite these recent setbacks, Austria still considers Central and Eastern Europe both a profitable market and key to its efforts to establish a greater geopolitical foothold in its near abroad. It will thus remain a central financial player in the region in the near future while attempting to limit its presence in the riskiest countries.

    Austria benefited from the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union in two ways. First, the country went from being a frontier state at the edge of the Iron Curtain to being the geographic center of the European Union's eastward expansion.

    At the same time, formerly communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe were beginning to open their markets to the world, creating the need for banking sectors that these countries had neither the expertise nor capital to create or maintain by themselves.

  91. Damn, my wife's Nissan always beats my Ferrari, too.

    Nice guilty dog video.


  92. The Feast of the Trumpets sounds like another harvest festival to me, but what do I know.

    In Vegas, the Feast of the Strumpets is when the high rollers hit town. I don't know much about that, either.

    Both feasts sound like fat city, to me.

  93. MeLoDy said...

    Well, thank God he had enough sense to take care of that dog. :\

    Tue Jan 17, 08:00:00 PM EST

    I have finally, finally! figured out what the hell this comment refers to - Obama's wasting 100 grand of your money on a dog trainer. (I think)



  94. Unrest in Saudi Arabia's Shiite-concentrated, oil-rich Eastern Province began in February 2011, when Shiite protesters began calling for the release of long-held Shiite political prisoners. That demand was soon echoed by a call for political reforms, including increased rights for Shia.


    The first anomalous clash between security forces and activists occurred Oct. 3, when a police station in the Eastern Province was reportedly attacked with guns and Molotov cocktails. Eleven police officers were among the 14 injured in the attack.


    The increased aggression in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province is noteworthy, especially at a time when Iran is attempting to consolidate and expand Shiite influence in the region. Since the beginning of the unrest in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province and Shiite-majority, Sunni-led Bahrain, Saudi Arabia has been quick to blame disturbances on Iran.