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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Heavy Hand of the US Government - Alex Jones


  1. Funny how this guy has all these problems, but ordinary people don't. Crackpot.

    But, Pro-Pure will take all that nasty stuff out of the water that the Globalists are putting in there to make you sick.

  2. It's been a sea of red all week with the exception of Nat Gas.

    Up 30% from the low five or six weeks ago.

  3. Pay attention, Chilluns; this is important.

    Natural‐gas‐fired generation continues to expand its share of total generation at the expense of coal‐fired generation. During the first quarter of 2012, natural gas accounted for 28.7 percent of total generation compared with 20.7 percent during the same quarter last year. In contrast, coal’s share of total generation declined from 44.6 percent to 36.0 percent over the same period.

    MY Note: Combine this with the fact that about 40% of the rigs that were drilling for nat gas have left to go drill for oil in the Bakken, and Eagle Ford, and with the rapid Decline of production from fracked wells, and we're probably looking at completely uncharted waters. We could, literally, run out of nat gas by Feb.
    Source: Clean Technica (

  4. 8/28.7 = .386

    Nat gas's share of electricity generation is UP 38.6%.

  5. Palin was ecstatic:

    Sarah Palin congratulated Deb Fischer for her surprise victory in Nebraska’s Republican Senate primary Tuesday, hailing the state senator as an anti-establishment candidate with no ties to the “good old boys” club.

    “As recently as a week ago, Deb Fischer was dismissed by the establishment. Why? Because she is not part of the good old boys’ permanent political class,” Palin said in a Facebook post early Wednesday. “The message from the people of Nebraska is simple and powerful: America is looking for real change in Washington, and commonsense conservatives like Deb Fischer represent that change.”

    The win by Fischer shows that Palin’s endorsement power hasn’t waned over the last two years.


    A poll released Tuesday by Democratic-leaning automated pollster Public Policy Polling showed Fischer up 10 points on Kerry.

    Kerrey has bigger problems in overcoming this than Fischer does in maintaining it, obviously, but the biggest problem is the anti-establishment mood in Nebraska. It doesn’t look like voters in the Cornhusker State are looking for party drones, especially after watching Ben Nelson reveal himself as just that in his cave on ObamaCare. Even if the voters may not know Fischer as well, they know enough about Kerrey and the Democrats to choose Fischer anyway.

    I thought the Republicans were deep into a 'war on women' and here they go and nominate a female rancher! rather than either of the two perfectly acceptable male Republican party hacks.

    Go Deb!


    1. It is no fun being a member of the GOP establishment these days. Another upstart has pulled off a surprise victory, this time in Nebraska. Shades of Indiana! Even worse, Sarah Palin's endorsement seems to have made a big difference. The peasants are revolting!

      More about Nebraska below -


      Go Peasants!


  6. That Alex Jones video brings to mind how near to the absurd things are becoming down in the Frank Church Wilderness Area.


  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. .

    Western Powers run the International Criminal Court. Does anyone really expect them to convict themselves of war crimes?

    Libya? Small potatoes. Heck, let's just call it collateral damage and forget about it. [Link]

    And Bob smiles, "Chaos. Fear. Disorder. Our Job is Done Now!."


    1. Isn't that why the US has refused to sign on to the ICC? A US person might get prosecuted.

    2. Why in heavens name would we even think of handing over our sovereignty to some international criminal court?

      Ash, what the fuck is wrong with you?


  9. .

    Regarding Elizabeth Warren being 1/32 Cherokee (or not):

    Now the Globe informs us, days after the truth emerged on, that “the document, alluded to in a family newsletter found by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, was an application for a marriage license, not the license itself.

    “Neither the society nor the Globe has seen the primary document, whose existence has not been proven.”

    It’s going to be difficult to prove the existence of that primary document, considering that the Logan County, Okla., clerk told the Herald’s Hillary Chabot on Monday that there was no such marriage application in 1894.

    Chabot broke the original story 21⁄2 weeks ago and has stayed on it ever since. Meanwhile the Globe kept looking the other way. Nothing to see here folks, move along ...

    But what would you expect? Everyone knows, bow-tied bumkissers speak with forked tongue.

    Chalot has spent 2 1/2 weeks and running on this nothing puff piece and the author of this [LINK] article thinks that is real journalism. Nitwit.

    On the other hand, here is something that isn't surprising or new yet still newsworthy:

    MSM Covers for Obama"


  10. Armed Environmental Police shut down ice cream stand. From Drudge -

    Ice-cream spot hits rocky road
    Farmer's Great Brook Park stand shut by state over alleged permit violation
    By Chris Camire,
    Updated: 05/16/2012 09:56:03 AM EDT

    A state Environmental Police truck stands by the entrance to Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle Tuesday. Officers closed the ice-cream stand there Friday over alleged construction-permit violations. SUN / BOB WHITAKER

    Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our MyCapture site.

    CARLISLE -- Looking to hit the spot with a savory ice cream at Great Brook Farm State Park this week?

    You may be out of luck.

    The park's popular ice-cream stand was unexpectedly shut down by state officials over the weekend, after the stand's operator made building improvements at the site without getting permission first.

    Mark Duffy, who has operated the dairy farm at the state-owned park for 26 years and has a lease with the state to run the stand, said armed Environmental Police officers showed up at stand on Friday evening and stood guard throughout the weekend, turning away customers craving delectable sundaes and frappes.

    To make matters worse, said Duffy, the shutdown happened right before the sunny Mother's Day weekend.

    Edward Lambert, commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, said the stand was closed after it was discovered construction had been done without local or state permits. The work, which expanded the stand, included construction on a barn built in 1910 that is adjacent to the stand, he said.

    Lambert said he is trying to protect the public's health and safety while tests are conducted at the site.

    "I like ice cream as much as anybody, so it pains us to even temporarily close what is an iconic property, but we have to make sure people eating ice cream there are safe," said Lambert.

    Duffy said he has made countless improvements to the farm over the years without permission.

    "The reason
    I'm here and the purpose of having me here is to improve the facility and operate a commercial dairy farm," said Duffy, 57, who lives on the farm with his wife. "I make improvements every single day and have for 26 years."

    Calls to George Mansfield, the administrator of the Carlisle Planning Board, were not returned regarding local permits.

    Lambert said it is not known when the stand will reopen.

    Read more:

    This is the first time I've heard the term Environmental Police. And, armed, too.

    We have a new Clandestine Service, too, newly minted to do what I don't know for sure.

    Chaos, fear, disorder....

  11. Those who may think Iran can be 'contained', or even have some sacred rights to their own nukes, take note -

    'Putin said Israel would take care of Iran'
    05/16/2012 13:47
    Spain's former PM Jose Maria Aznar says Russian leader made comments when justifying sale of S300 missiles to Tehran.

    Don’t worry about Iran, Israel will take care of it, former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as telling him years ago.

    Aznar, speaking Wednesday at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs on a meeting he had with the Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in 2002, said Putin’s comments came after he entreated him not to sell S300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.

    “We can sell them anything,” Aznar quoted Putin as saying, because in the end “Israel will take care of it.”

    Aznar, one of the few western leaders to have met Khamenei, said the Iranians made it clear when they met in October 2000, that “Israel was a historic cancer and an anomaly condemned to disappear.”

    Aznar said he found in Khamenei a man not only inspired by faith, but also “more nationalistic than I imagined."

    Aznar said the Iranian leader wanted Iran to flourish in all fields, especially science and technology, in order to attain self sufficiency and independence. It was this desire for self-sufficiency, he said, which has led the Iranians to strive to develop nuclear weapons, rather than buy one from North Korea or Pakistan.

    Aznar said that during their conversation Khamenei said that “an open confrontation with Israel and the US was inevitable,” and that “he was working for Iran to prevail in such a confrontation. “

    Aznar said that Khamenei made clear during their conversation that “it was necessary to eliminate the threat Israel posed." The former Spanish prime minister said this obviously meant Khamenei believed Israel must be “removed."

    Maybe we should hope Putin is right, and Israel does 'take care of it'.


  12. Remember to think of Studs Terkel on this day. He would have been 100 today. Got a law degree but went to work as a concierge at a hotel, then on to fame.



    "Good morning. We want to apply for a marriage license."
    "Tim and Jim Jones."
    "Jones? Are you related? I see a resemblance."
    "Yes, we're brothers."
    "Brothers? You can't get married."
    "Why not? Aren't you giving marriage licenses to same gender couples?"
    "Yes, thousands. But we haven't had any siblings. That's incest!"
    "Incest?" No, we are not gay."
    "Not gay? Then why do you want to get married?"
    "For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each other. Besides, we don't have any other prospects."
    "But we're issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who've been denied equal protection under the law. If you are not gay, you can get married to a woman."
    "Wait a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I have.
    But just because I'm straight doesn't mean I want to marry a woman. I want to marry Jim."
    "And I want to marry Tim, Are you going to discriminate against us just because we are not gay?"
    "All right, all right. I'll give you your license. Next."
    "Hi. We are here to get married."
    "John Smith, Jane James, Robert Green, and June Johnson."
    "Who wants to marry whom?"
    "We all want to marry each other."
    "But there are four of you!"
    "That's right. You see, we're all bisexual. I love Jane and Robert, Jane loves me and June, June loves Robert and Jane, and Robert loves June and me.
    All of us getting married together is the only way that we can express our sexual preferences in a marital relationship."
    "But we've only been granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples."
    "So you're discriminating against bisexuals!"
    "No, it's just that, well, the traditional idea of marriage is that it's just for couples."
    "Since when are you standing on tradition?"
    "Well, I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere."
    "Who says? There's no logical reason to limit marriage to couples.
    The more the better. Besides, we demand our rights! The mayor says the constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. Give us a marriage license!"
    "All right, all right. Next."
    "Hello, I'd like a marriage license."
    "In what names?"
    "David Deets."
    "And the other man?"
    "That's all. I want to marry myself."
    "Marry yourself? What do you mean?"
    "Well, my psychiatrist says I have a dual personality, so I want to marry the two together. Maybe I can file a joint income-tax return."
    "That does it! I quit!! You people are making a mockery of marriage!!"

    1. :)

      He wants to pay the "marriage penalty?" Okey, Dokey.

      A gal in India married a Tree. :)

      I had a mother-in-law, once, that I think might have been a Cobra, post plastic surgery.

    2. .

      Never real thought about it before but if one merely looks at the etymology and history of the word 'marriage' and its biological basis, polygamy is a much closer fit to the meaning of the word than gay marriage.


  14. Surveillance drone over Chicago -


    Something swooshed right past a corporate jet over Denver just recently too.

    But didn't seem to show up on radar.


  15. Texas is the top nat gas producer in the U.S.

    Nat Gas production in Tx, Feb 2011 to Feb 2012 is Down 16.6%

    TRRC (Texas RR Commission) Data

  16. In an April 23 e-mail acquired by National Journal, a staffer for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called on the industry to utilize their partnership to coordinate attacks on the White House:

    Senate Republicans, who led a successful fight this spring against Obama’s proposal to repeal billions of dollars in tax subsidies enjoyed by major oil companies, felt betrayed by the industry’s collaboration with the White House on fracking regulations. The e-mail to top oil and gas lobbyists made that unhappiness clear, and it suggested that the industry was being duped.

    “Moving forward, we—your partners—would kindly ask for better coordination and communication from you to prevent the Obama administration from pulling similar stunts in the future,” wrote Inhofe aide David Banks in the 800-word e-mail to two dozen lobbyists.

    "Partners" is Butt-hurt

  17. I'm having an identity crisis.

    I am so far to the right of Ash that I feel like Karl Rove's secret separated-at-birth twin. (Tom Selleck was on the trading floor this morning to ring the opening bell. Cramer starts in with "That's my twin! We were separated at birth." It was funnier on TV.)

    But I am so far to the left of the Tea Party and the general PM crowd that I inhale several hours of Huffington Post before the shakes settle out.

    The ICC is ... premature ... by about a century or two.

    Civil unions were a more than adequate "solution" to the legal problem of gay partners; but the real problem wasn't "legal."

    In the "Over my Dead Body" mantra of the Tea Party: Increase taxes on the rich. Well blow me. What the fuck else is there? Oh that's right - nuke SS.

    In the "Pry it out of my Cold Dead Hands" Bruce Willis Die Hards of Wall St, Analyst Dick Bove at Rochdale Securities has repeatedly railed against the efforts, saying large institutions are necessary for American competitiveness and as buyers of the hundreds of billions in debt the government issues each year.

    Meredith Whitney thinks the JPM "unwind" could get worse. I also see things are looking up for Greece, which means no sovereign default, which means no huge CDS payout for the Wall St Four.

    On the up side, the "London Whale" is leaving.

    I have to go finish something.

    1. You have to be "Incredibly" stupid to think we can get out of this mess by collecting 15% of GDP.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. .

      You have to be incredibly stupid to think tax 'decreases' haven't contributed to those same problems.


  18. The perception that the American public is adamantly opposed to higher energy costs is at the root of most political opposition to policies favoring the adoption of renewable energy. But a new study of public opinion finds that people are in fact willing to pay to move to cleaner energy.


    That willingness is fairly modest, to be sure. Analyzing a survey they conducted in 2011, researchers at Harvard and Yale found that the average United States citizen was willing to pay $162 a year more to support a national policy requiring 80 percent “clean” energy by 2035. Nationwide, that would represent a 13 percent increase in electric bills.

    The willingness to pay was higher among Democrats than Republicans. More interesting, however, was that support dropped off when the definition of clean energy was expanded to include natural gas or nuclear power.

  19. This goes in the 'good for the judge file' --

    Military Detention Law Blocked by New York Judge
    By Bob Van Voris and Patricia Hurtado - May 16, 2012 2:22 PM PT

    A federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of a section of the National Defense Authorization Act that opponents claim allows for indefinite military detention.

    U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan today ruled in favor of a group of writers and activists who sued officials including President Barack Obama, claiming the act, signed into law Dec. 31, puts them in fear that they could be arrested and held by U.S. armed forces.

    The complaint was filed by a group including former New York Times reporter Christopher Hedges. The plaintiffs contend a section of the law allows for detention of citizens and permanent residents taken into custody in the U.S. on “suspicion of providing substantial support” to people engaged in hostilities against the U.S., such as al-Qaeda.

    Hedges said he could be held in custody by federal authorities just for interviewing such individuals, according to court filings. Forrest’s order prevents enforcement of the provision of the statute pending further order of the court or an amendment to the statute by Congress.

    The case is Hedges v. Obama, 12-CV-00331, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).


    1. .

      Good news.

      When Congess starts using words like "suspicion of" and "substantial" (whatever the hell that means) to claw away habeas corpus rights we might as well throw in the towel.


    2. Another entry in the 'good for the judge file' -

      Judge Andrew Napolitano has warned Congress not to act “like potted plants” regarding the increased use of unmanned surveillance drones without warrants over US skies by military, government, and law enforcement agencies.

      Echoing the recent comments of his Fox News colleague Charles Krauthammer, Napolitano also said that “The first American patriot that shoots down one of these drones that comes too close to his children in his backyard will be an American hero.”

      Be a Hero.

      Shoot them down, says the judge.


    3. "The same Congress that let the president bomb Libya is going to let his Air Force spy in our backyards and like potted plants, they’ll look the other way,” Judge Napolitano urged yesterday.

      “The Third Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment and the Ninth Amendment were written to guarantee us the right to be left alone … Suddenly the government, silently, from 30,000 feet above is violating those amendments,” he added.

      Judge Napolitano


  20. Some of Facebook Inc.'s biggest holders are selling as much as $3.8 billion in extra shares in Friday's initial public offering, a move that could catch the attention of investors buying into the deal.

  21. So: In Indiana, a conservative office holder with the courage to take on his state's senior political figure and establishment icon is victorious; in Nebraska, a rancher and mom sick of the mediocre establishment figures in her state surges to victory; in Arkansas, a young combat vet (from Harvard, no less!) goes back home to fight for a congressional seat and now leads; and in Texas, another bright young conservative taking on a wealthy self-funder who thought he was entitled to the Senate seat has a real chance.

    The merry month of May: so frolic, so gay.

  22. "We can't all start panicking and running to the bank. The country will collapse if we do that, "said Marika Tilanogiannis, a mechanical engineer.


    "This entire situation has got my family extraordinarily worried about our savings, in case we return to the drachma," said Yannis Paleologos, a 40-year-old pharmacist. "We have a considerable amount of money and we're scared to lose it."

    Mr Paleologos was about to go to a bank to discuss how to preserve his deposits in case of an exit from the single currency union.

  23. The protestations by Chinese officials that their country observes the rule of law ring hollow. A couple of decades of spectacular economic growth may have convinced China’s Communist elite that reining in corruption and establishing the rule of law is not necessary.

    After all, China has raised incomes tenfold from $350 in1990 to over $3,000 per capita today. However, a 2003 World Bank study [PDF] finds that “entrenched elites in a country can benefit from a worsening status quo of misgovernance and can successfully resist demands for change even as incomes rise.”

    Under such conditions, economic growth eventually stalls out unless a country transitions to an open access order. As the cases of Bo and Chen illustrate in their own ways, China is still far from the doorstep conditions that would enable a transition to an open access order and guarantee its future prosperity.

  24. On this day in 1948, Chaim Weizmann was elected as the first president of Israel.

  25. If investors needed a reminder not to chase Facebook shares, they got three big ones over the past week.

    General Motors, a major brand advertiser, plans to stop paying for Facebook ads. Some early investors will sell a lot more shares in the IPO than they previously planned. And the growing use of Facebook on mobile devices could, for the moment, eat away at the company's revenue.

  26. **************************

    Moyers: He told shareholders at their annual meeting Tuesday -- they were meeting in Tampa, Florida -- that these were "self-inflicted mistakes" that "should never have happened." Does that seem reasonable to you?

    Johnson: Well, it's all very odd, Bill, and I've talked to as many experts as I can find who are at all informed about what JPMorgan was doing and how they were doing it and nobody really understands the true picture.


    Moyers: Some of his supporters are claiming that only the bank has lost on this and that there's absolutely no chance that the loss could have threatened the stability of the banking system as happened in 2008. What do you say again to that?

    Johnson: I say this is the canary in the coal mine. This tells you that something is fundamentally wrong with the way banks measure, manage and control their risks. They don't have enough equity funding in their business. They like to have a little bit of equity and a lot of debt. They get paid based on return on equity, unadjusted for risk. If things go well, they get the upside. If things go badly, the downside is someone else's problem. And that someone else is you and me, Bill. It goes to the Federal Reserve, but not only, it goes to the Treasury, it goes to the debt.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the increase in debt relative to GDP due to the last crisis will end up being 50 percent of GDP, call that $7 trillion dollars, $7.5 trillion dollars in today's money. That's extraordinary. It's an enormous shock to our fiscal accounts and to our ability to pay pensions and keep the healthcare system running in the future. For what? What did we get from that? Absolutely nothing. The bankers got some billions in extra pay, we get trillions in extra debt. It's unfair, it's inefficient, it's unconscionable, and it needs to stop.

    Moyers: Wasn't part of the risk that Dimon took with taxpayer guaranteed deposits? I mean, if I had money at JPMorgan Chase, wouldn't some of my money have been used to take this risk?

    Johnson: Again, we don't know the exact details, but news reports do suggest that yes, they were gambling with federally insured deposits, which just really puts the icing on the cake here.


    [bold added]


    1. nobody really understands the true picture

      They like to have a little bit of equity and a lot of debt. They get paid based on return on equity, unadjusted for risk. If things go well, they get the upside. If things go badly, the downside is someone else's problem. And that someone else is you and me, Bill. It goes to the Federal Reserve, but not only, it goes to the Treasury, it goes to the debt.

      Sounds like good work, if you can get it, to me.

      More intricate than playing the alfalfa market, to be sure.

      Ash will get to the bottom of it, he's a clipper.

      pun intended


  27. *****************************

    Moyers: Are you saying that this financial crisis, so-called, is at heart a political crisis?

    Johnson: Yes, exactly. I think that a few people, particularly in and around the financial system, have become too powerful. They were allowed to take a lot of risk, and they did massive damage to the economy -- more than eight million jobs lost. We're still struggling to get back anywhere close to employment levels where we were before 2008. And they've done massive damage to the budget. This damage to the budget is long lasting; it undermines the budget when we need it to be stronger because the society is aging. We need to support Social Security and support Medicare on a fair basis. We need to restore and rebuild revenue, revenue that was absolutely devastated by the financial crisis. People need to understand the link between what the banks did and the budget. And too many people fail to do that. "Oh, it's too complicated. I don't want to understand the details, I don't want to spend time with it." That's a mistake, a very big mistake. You're playing into the hands of a few powerful people in the society who want private benefit and social loss.


    But, as I was repeatedly informed, 2008 was "just another credit-bubble recession," slightly deeper than normal, but Nothing to See Here Move Along.

  28. Chris Matthews is a dumb f..k

    video of Jeopardy performance


  29. Somehow being a dumb fuck seems like a benign indictment in the modern milieu.

    Check out the current "hoping for a swift collapse" BC thread.

    1. "hoping for a swift collapse"

      "You go broke slowly, then all at once."
      Ernest Hemingway

  30. For those who smirked at my previous reference to a "Reset."

    May I initiate an informal poll?

    There will be a financial and political Reset in USA within the next five years. (Y/N)

    (Yes I know, what do I mean by Reset - I would be open to specific definitions.)

    1. In five years we'll still be in the "slowly" phase.

    2. We drove the ship into the absolute, pluperfect storm of the ages, and although the ship is battered, and down to half power, it looks like it might make it through.

      But, we have at least one more horrific scare (wave) to get through.

    3. Rufus - you sound like Mal from the Serenity movie :)

      I shouldn't tip my hand this early but my thinking right now is similar. I think the institutional mechanisms for managing change in this country - even as severe as the mess we've gotten into - will prevail.

      Much - much - to the consternation and astonishment of the rest of the world.

      Much. Even Oz.

    4. I deeply believe in this country.

      Unlike others.

    5. Yeah, we spend a lot of time getting bored, and fucking up, but we really are pretty damned good. :)

      Those old assholes did screw around and write a pretty damned good Constitution.

    6. Yeah, the definition of "reset" counts. I think that the bond market will take the US to the woodshed in the next 5 years.

  31. Y - at least political


    1. My thinking is that the 'reversal' will be peaceful (relatively so) and that it will begin with the political class and extend into the financial community. (It sure as hell isn't going to be the other way around.)

      But my sense of things is that others are looking for something more ... 'robust' or exciting.

    2. We won't have a revolution here. Maybe burn down some inner cities, is about it. It's the dumbest idea ever. Though to some it always has that tang of excitement. Just like Europe was bored previous to WWI. We'll just kill a lot of people and make things better, and have a gas doing it!

      Street Fighting Man


  32. Dogs were our first, and best friend -

    Helped us wipe out Neanderthal Man.

    And, since the muslims abhor dogs to this day, maybe it explains why most of muslim lands are such shitholes.

    Rather than a few more generations of acculturation, and being exposed to western male compassion, we could provide them all with an English setter -


  33. Great thread. I have to somewhat agree with Max. My visceral reactions conflict with reality.

    Obama was the non-Bush four years ago. Today less so.

    The system is remarkably corrupt. No budget in three years. A shameless congress and a totally lost and clueless self-promoter playing his fantasy about what it is to be a president. Obama is totally addicted to the office and his presence acidic. He is the unchange.

    We don’t need a firebrand. We are reduced to needing a competent technocrat dedicated to a sensible and incremental reduction of the size and reach of government, starting with The White House Budget, getting rid of the symbols of extravagance and cutting Congress and the Pentagon. I sincerely believe that half the government could vanish and never be missed.

    Most of the change will happen because we have no choice.

    The sixties started with Bull Connors and just may have ended with gay marriage. Good riddance.

  34. The British government is making urgent preparations to cope with the fallout of a possible Greek exit from the single currency, after the governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, warned that Europe was "tearing itself apart".

    Reports from Athens that massive sums of money were being spirited out of the country intensified concern in London about the impact of a splintering of the eurozone on a UK economy that is stuck in double-dip recession. One estimate put the cost to the eurozone of Greece making a disorderly exit from the currency at $1tn, 5% of output.

    Officials in the United States are also nervously watching the growing crisis: Barack Obama on Wednesday described it as a "headwind" that could threaten the fragile American recovery.


    1. We need to tack into the wind. Obama needs to talk to a sailor to learn how.

      O wait, Bill Ayers was a sailor.

      He should know.


  35. Actually, the system is in Gridlock. A Feature, not a "Bug."

    Gridlock gives us time to sort things out, and think'em through.

    It's the advantage of our "two-party system," vs a Parliamentary system.

    1. Agree, gridlock is not the worst thing in the world.

      Going on my usual assumption that a government that doesn't do anything isn't doing much harm.

      Like that governor you mentioned, Rufus, who spent his whole term drunk.

      "First, do no harm."


  36. We've been thinkin' 'em through for 3 1/2 years now.

    1. Yep, and the economy is recovering. We've put paid to the Iraq adventure. We're making some small, preliminary movements on energy. The worst of the housing crisis is behind us. We had a Surplus to the Treasury in April. And, the worst we can find to get upset over is whether Bruce can marry Bobby.

      Another couple of years of gridlock, and we might survive this mess. :)

  37. I would say part of the definition of financial reset would be repealing Obamacare.

    1. Amen. The latest cost estimates are, of course, far higher than originally 'estimated'.

      The pubs might have a chance to do it over, and keep the few better parts, and jettison the rest.


  38. In the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall race, Republicans and Democrats continue to spar over the jobs numbers under Governor Scott Walker's administration. Republicans have been touting the fact that the unemployment rate has declined from 7.7 percent to 6.8 percent since Governor Scott Walker took office.


    As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

    Each state gathers the quarterly census data from virtually all employers in both the public and private sectors, which are mandated to share staff and wage data as part of their tax and unemployment insurance reports. That makes it a more reliable source of employment data, state officials and many economists say.


    The notion that the Wisconsin Department of Worforce Development--the state bureau that released the state's jobs data--"cooked the books" is simply absurd. Dennis Winters, Chief of the Office of Economic Advisors at the department, signed a petition in to recall Governor Walker.

  39. The only way Obamacare can be stopped is by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, in my opinion, that's probably no worse than 2:1.

    1. They've already voted. And, I think Obama knows the result, one of his two appointees having leaked the result. It is going down, is the inside scoop, based on a couple of his comments, that were quite nasty.


  40. As Madrid's borrowing costs spiked to levels widely seen as unsustainable, Mariano Rajoy warned that there is a "a serious risk that [investors] will not lend us money or they will do so at an astronomical rate."


    With recent figures confirming that the Spanish economy has been in a double-dip recession since October and unemployment standing at 24.6 per cent – youth unemployment is even higher at more than 50 per cent – there is little doubt whether Spain falls into that category. Mindful of the woes afflicting the eurozone, the Spanish leader also warned that the "euro needs to be strengthened".

    "I don't want Greece to leave the euro. I think that would be a big mistake, very bad news," he said.

  41. .

    As far as change or a 'reset' in the next 5 years, not a chance.

    In 2008, I said D.C. wouldn't change until a few presidential elections passed and there were significant changes in party make up. As of today, I am even more pessimistic.

    Party leadership on both sides are delusional. They assume that when voters reject the opposing party, that automatically translates to a mandate for their policies. There is still a long way to go before they realize the truth. It probably won't happen until the current leadership is gone, dead or defeated at the polls. That may take a while and there are no guarantees.

    As for a 5 year timeframe, not likely. If Obama and the Dems win, it will pretty much be business as usual. The Dem leadership has been doing things the same way for years and that is unlikely to change.

    If the GOP wins or makes gains, they will, as they did in 2010, take that as a mandate. They are just that stupid. There will be no change. There was some hope that the Tea Party would be change agents but they have disappointed. Of the freshman class, those who have not proven themselves incapable of adult leadership have been co-opted by Boehner and his crew. The young guns in the party leadership, Cantor, Ryan, et al, will merely lead the party into a darker place.

    There will be no revolution. It will be a gradual transition as the current ideologues are phased out or die. The process has started with a number of big names being voted out. However, there is a long way to go.

    With regard to where the reset has to start, Washington or Wall Street, I would say it has to start in Washington. Some will say that Wall Street and K Street control D.C. While that is true to a degree, you can only corrupt the corruptible. Diogenes was a cynic so I doubt in his search for an honest man he was spending much time around politicians. However, out of a country of 320 million we ought to be able to find some who are statesmen, willing to negotiate to get things done, and unlike the famous drinking bird are not continually dipping their beak. Unfortunately, it will probably be quite a while before we have enough of these in Congress to make a difference.

    Once D.C. is cleaned up, we at least have a fighting chance at restraining Wall Street. It's unfortunate that Pelosi's promise to 'clean the swamp' was just talking point and political pap and twaddle.


    1. Given Wall Streets influence on the political class I don't see how Washington can be cleaned up before Wall Street. The only way Wall Street will be contained is through the effects of their own folly and the bond market beating up US debt may be do just that. The two 'factions' are gripped in a death dance and will most probably fall together. Won't be very nice on the common man though.

  42. Max quoted:

    "The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the increase in debt relative to GDP due to the last crisis will end up being 50 percent of GDP, call that $7 trillion dollars, $7.5 trillion dollars in today's money."

    The only references I could find to this on the intertubes were at huffingtonpost and commondreams. How realistic are those big numbers?

    Re reset - as I stated above I think the bond market will take the US to the woodshed in the next 5 years and that will have a profound effect. Does that amount to a "reset" - you be the judge.