“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."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong to run for US Senate. He has what it takes.

Cycling Legend Loses Titles

[image]AFP/Getty Images
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from competition after the racer said he wouldn't contest charges he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Lance Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles late Thursday after he refused to fight allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Mr. Armstrong notified the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that he wouldn't fight the charges the agency brought against him in June, a move that, according to USADA, immediately strips him of all of his athletic titles going back to Aug. 1, 1998, roughly a year before his first Tour de France victory. USADA said Mr. Armstrong is also banned immediately from competing in Olympic and other elite-level sports for the rest of his life.
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in 2010.
In 2010, The Wall Street Journal was the first to report that a former teammate had accused Mr. Armstrong of doping, which eventually led to the investigation by USADA.
USADA, a nonprofit organization charged with policing doping, doesn't have the authority to bring criminal charges, but it can sanction athletes by stripping them of their titles and banning them from competition for doping.
Mr. Armstrong had until midnight Thursday to officially decide whether to fight the agency's charges, which alleged Mr. Armstrong had participated in a conspiracy to cheat.
In a statement, Mr. Armstrong didn't admit that he cheated, but said he won't fight USADA, an organization Mr. Armstrong has said for months has treated him unfairly.
"Say what you will about what I did or didn't do ten years ago, they're not playing by the rules," Mr. Armstrong said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal earlier this summer. "Here's the deal, athletes cheating in sport, that's bad. But what these guys are doing is far worse. The levels they have gone to try to f— me and rig this thing are far worse than any athlete taking a transfusion or some EPO. This is far dirtier."
By opting not to fight—a move that took many by surprise—Mr. Armstrong gave up the chance to defend himself against the charges in an arbitration hearing.
The governing body for the sport of cycling, known as the UCI, could appeal the sanctions, though it has never appealed a sanction handed down by USADA. The UCI could also refuse to acknowledge USADA's sanctions, though that would be unprecedented.
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough,'" Mr. Armstrong said in a statement Thursday. "For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999."
Mr. Armstrong's lawyers Timothy J. Herman and Robert Luskin wrote in a letter Thursday to USADA that Mr. Armstrong's decision didn't reflect "any belief that USADA's charges have merit or any fear of what a fair proceeding would establish."
Throughout his career, Mr. Armstrong was dogged by allegations that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. In 2010, Mr. Armstrong's former teammate, Floyd Landis, sent a series of emails to cycling officials in which he made allegations of doping on Mr. Armstrong's former cycling team and accused Mr. Armstrong of doping during his career. The existence of the emails was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.
AFP/Getty Images
Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line of the 91st Tour de France cycling race in 2004.
Mr. Armstrong has always firmly denied the charges, often lashing out at his accusers and asserting that he had passed more than 500 drug tests. USADA's case against him rests largely on the testimony of at least 10 former teammates who USADA has said stand ready to say Mr. Armstrong doped during his career.
Mr. Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996. He came back to win the sport's biggest race—the Tour de France—in 1999. He went on to win six more Tour de France titles in a row, beating the previous record of five. Mr. Armstrong's autobiography, "It's Not About the Bike," was a best seller.
Mr. Armstrong retired in 2005 and came back to the sport for the 2009 season. Initially, he agreed to enter into a special blood-testing program to prove that he was racing clean. He ultimately ended the program, citing high costs and logistical problems.
Mr. Landis's allegations led to a federal criminal investigation that was dropped in February. In June, USADA announced it was bringing doping charges against Mr. Armstrong and five other people affiliated with his former team.
Write to Vanessa O'Connell at Vanessa.O' and Reed Albergotti


  1. But was he a legitimate Doper?

    ...if not his body would not have been affected, anyway.

    Scientific fact.

  2. One for Rufie to have an orgasm over:

    James Hansen and Eliot Spitzer say carbon-emitters should pay up.

    Climate scientist extraordinaire James Hansen has the solution to climate change.

    It’s a tax, of course – a carbon tax. Paid by carbon-emitting companies, and not to the government but “distributed to the public.”

    As Hansen told Eliot Spitzer,

    If we would just make fossil fuels pay for their true cost to society, we could begin to move to different energies and energy efficiency.”

    Sure, no problem. After all, we make lots of things “pay their true cost to society,” don’t we? Let’s see, there’s…no, wait, how about…OK, here’s an example…no, never mind.

    Let’s first note that a huge swath of America, together with the political movement that caters to it, doesn’t believe in “society.” But even if we get all nostalgic and take as a given the existence of a “common good,” paying for our “true cost” just isn’t in our DNA as Americans...

    ...If we’re going to rely on the idea of people or institutions paying their “true cost” for what they consume – consume economically or otherwise – we’ll fall flat on our faces.

    And from that position it’s hard to do certain things – like, oh, I don’t know – preserve the Earth as we know it for future generations?


    The Sky is falling!
    The Sky is falling!

    Hansen tells Spitzer it's even worse than we thought:
    Fires, Hurricanes, Earthquakes!
    (Spitzer: Unchallengeable Scientific Observations)!

    (Haven't had any out here in Paradise to speak of since '93!)
    Guam had some really rough years one after the other around then and has
    also been relatively serene, since.

    Hansen One-Ups Gore's "Earth has a temperature"

    with a giant pair of loaded dice.

    ...and predicts mass species extinction of 50%!

    Glad Spitzer is still on his campaign for truth.
    ...and such a charmer!

  3. How about the first doper?

    The Obama administration will pressure European governments not to let Greece fall out of the eurozone before November's Presidential elections, British Government sources have suggested.

    Representatives from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission are due to arrive in Athens next month to assess Greece's reform efforts.

    They are expected to report in time for an 8 October meeting of eurozone finance ministers which will decide on whether to disburse Greece's next €31bn aid tranche, promised under the terms of the bailout for the country.

    American officials are understood to be worried that if they decide Greece has not done enough to meet its deficit targets and withhold the money, it would automatically trigger Greece’s exit from the eurozone weeks before the Presidential election on 6 November.

  4. There's always more money to be mined from the masses.

    As I said, we've had no significant hurricanes here since '93...

    After Iniki devastated Kauai in 1992, a special Hurricane Relief Fund was set up in which homeowners paid into via a tax for that purpose.

    Fund built up over the years, but one of New Governor Neil Abercrombie's first acts to "balance" his budget was to raid the fund!

    The more things change...

  5. August 24, 2012
    Dems Better Put Some Ice on That 'Rape' Talk
    By Jack Cashill

    The other day I received an e-mail from the suddenly famous Sandra Fluke under the simple heading "Legitimate rape." Presuming that the message was not exactly personal, I deleted it, but I could have guessed its tone and tenor.
    Indeed, I had heard more about Rep. Todd Akin's unfortunate choice of words on the subject of rape in the last few days than I had heard about the actual commission of rape in the last decade, including rapes and other sexual abuses by members of a certain political party.

    Mimi Alford's recent book, Once Upon An Affair, details a few such incidents. No one who has read the book doubts its veracity. Alford's "affair" with John F. Kennedy began when she was a 19-year-old virgin working in the White House. To her great surprise, Alford found herself being given a private tour of the family quarters by a president whom she barely knew.

    "He placed both hands on my shoulders and guided me towards the edge of the bed," she writes. "I landed on my elbows, frozen between sitting up and lying on my back. Slowly, he unbuttoned the top of my shirtdress and touched my breasts." It goes on from there. The emotionally overwhelmed Alford did not resist, but if this isn't rape, it is something damn close -- a flagrant abuse of power, what the French might call droit de seigneur, the right of the master.
    To flaunt his power, Kennedy later had Alford perform oral sex on one of his aides. "It was a pathetic, sordid scene," Alford writes. "He had emotionally abused me and debased Dave [Powers]. For what? To watch me perform for him and to show Dave how much he controlled us?" To her credit, Alford refused to comply the next time the president urged her to do the same for his brother Teddy.
    Teddy, of course, had his own sordid history. In his exhaustive 1988 book, Senatorial Privilege, Leo Damore tells what happened the night the married Kennedy took an inebriated young aide, Mary Jo Kopechne, out for some casual sex on a Chappaquiddick beach.

    They never got there. Their car went off a bridge. Thinking career first, Kennedy left Mary Jo alive, trapped in the car and gasping for air. He bypassed homes near the bridge, from which he could have called the police, and walked over a mile back to the house where he had been partying.

    1. Once there, he sought out his lawyer friends, Joe Gargan and Paul Markham, to help him work out his alibi. Compromised by a presumed lawyer-client relationship, they had to wait for Kennedy to call for help. Kennedy never did. He may have been hoping that Gargan, the family fixer, would take the rap. Mary Jo, meanwhile, struggled to survive for perhaps an hour, even more.
      Afterwards, being a Kennedy, Teddy requested and got all three networks to give him 15 minutes of prime time for an unprecedented bit of public dissembling. "There is no truth whatever to the widely circulated suspicions of immoral conduct that have been leveled at my behavior and hers regarding that evening"...and he continued lying from there. Droit de seigneur.
      Although Ted was never tried for rape, his nephew, William Kennedy Smith, was. On Good Friday 1991, Kennedy took Smith and his son Patrick out for a long night of drinking. The young men brought two young women home with them. Hoping perhaps for his share of the action, a drunken Ted Kennedy, nearly 60 now, wandered without any pants on into the room where everyone had gathered. "I got totally weirded out," said one of the women. She got up and told the others, "I'm out of here. I'm leaving." The woman left behind the woman who would accuse Smith of rape. He would be acquitted.

    2. Robert Kennedy behaved better. He was too busy tidying up for his older brother. In his new, exquisitely researched book, Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years, celebrity biographer Keith Badman tells how Robert and his pimp brother-in-law Peter Lawford showed up at Monroe's home unannounced one afternoon, told her to shut up about her affair with the president, ransacked the house looking for her diary, and left her in hysterics. She died of an overdose that night. Lawford knew that Monroe was in a bad way but failed to check on her for fear that the attendant publicity would damage the president.
      If you asked a Democrat to name the most four most respected members of the party over the last fifty years, he would likely name John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and, yes, the unsinkable Bill Clinton. There are any number of female Democrats, however, who would disagree, Juanita Broaddrick among them. In the Ken Starr investigation, Broaddrick emerged as "Jane Doe No. 5." The woman Clinton abused or assaulted had to take a number. After years of keeping quiet, Broaddrick tearfully told her story to Lisa Myers on NBC's Dateline in February 1999.
      Broaddrick: "And he came around me and sort of put his arm over my shoulder to point to this little building and he said he was real interested if he became governor to restore that little building and then all of a sudden, he turned me around and started kissing me. And that was a real shock."
      Myers: "What did you do?"
      Broaddrick: "I first pushed him away and just told him 'No, please don't do that,' and I forget, it's been 21 years, Lisa, and I forget exactly what he was saying. It seems like he was making statements that would relate to 'Did you not know why I was coming up here?' and I told him at the time, I said, 'I'm married, and I have other things going on in my life, and this is something that I'm not interested in.'"
      Myers: "Had you, that morning, or any other time, given him any reason to believe you might be receptive?"
      Broaddrick: "No. None. None whatsoever."

    3. Myers: "Then what happens?"
      Broaddrick: "Then he tries to kiss me again. And the second time he tries to kiss me he starts biting my lip (she cries). Just a minute ... He starts to, um, bite on my top lip and I tried to pull away from him. (crying) And then he forces me down on the bed. And I just was very frightened, and I tried to get away from him and I told him 'No,' that I didn't want this to happen (crying) but he wouldn't listen to me."
      Myers: "Did you resist, did you tell him to stop?"
      Broaddrick: "Yes, I told him, 'Please don't.' He was such a different person at that moment, he was just a vicious, awful person."
      Myers: "You said there was a point at which you stopped resisting?"
      Broaddrick: "Yeah."
      Myers: "Why?"
      Broaddrick: "It was a real panicky, panicky situation. I was even to the point where I was getting very noisy, you know, yelling to 'Please stop.' And that's when he pressed down on my right shoulder and he would bite my lip."
      In his book, Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story, Michael Isikoff relates how Clinton, then Arkansas governor, had sex with former Miss America Elizabeth Ward Gracen.
      "It was rough sex," Isikoff writes, "Clinton got so carried away that he bit her lip, Gracen later told friends. But it was consensual." Isikoff missed the lip-biting connection. He also failed to acknowledge that at least one of Gracen's friends, Judy Stokes, had told the Paula Jones legal team that the sex was not consensual at all.
      "Do you believe Clinton raped her?" investigator Rick Lambert asked her. "Absolutely," Stokes replied. "He forced her to have sex. What do you call that?"

    4. Hillary Clinton deserves a place in the Democratic pantheon as well, if for no other reason that saving her husband's candidacy during that memorably dishonest 60 Minutes appearance in late January 1992.
      "Bill talked to this woman every time she called, distraught, saying her life was going to be ruined," Hillary told Steve Croft about Gennifer Flowers, "and he'd get off the phone and tell me that she said sort of wacky things, which we thought were attributable to the fact that she was terrified."
      Although he and Hillary denied it on 60 Minutes, Clinton would later admit the affair with Flowers under oath but lie about the details. During those years, Hillary served as his enabler-in-chief, ready at 3 any morning to suppress those "bimbo eruptions" -- a Clinton staffer term -- and silence, through carrot or stick, women like Broaddrick and Gracen.
      You'd think the Dems would forgive Akin his ignorance on rape. He does not have anywhere near their hands-on experience. Bill Clinton, by contrast, always knew what to tell a rape victim: "You better put some ice on that."

  6. August 24, 2012
    The Sideshow at the DOJ
    Selwyn Duke

    Step right up, folks! We have here behind these mysterious walls curiosities to amaze and astound. See the lawyer with anger issues who'll scream at the court like Sam Kinison and then put a take-down move on the bailiff. See the attorney who'll sue on your behalf because American Airlines didn't hire your legally blind self as a jumbo-jet pilot, and then become the judge when in court and rule in your favor. See the voting-rights attorney who can divine guilt or innocence based solely on skin color! It's all here, for a measly $28.2 billion a year.
    What this is all about is a story right out of the You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up file. The Department of Justice is now pulling out all the stops to hire, writes the PJ Tatler, "attorneys and staff who are dwarfs or who have "psychiatric disabilities" or "severe intellectual disabilities." This includes people with schizophrenia (as if the liberalism afflicting DOJ employees isn't enough mental disorder for one person). Welcome to One Flew Over the Shyster's Nest.
    And there's more. These "targeted disability" hires can "self-identify" their disability. Moreover, they won't have to compete with other civil-service applicants but, rather, can be hired before a position is advertised or prior to its closing date, and they also can receive a special dispensation from the requirement that new DOJ attorneys have a year of practicing law under their belt. Heck, it's even rumored that these quota hires won't have to know there are 50 states, how to spell "Ohio," how to pronounce "corpsman," or what state or century you're in when giving a speech. (Okay, that last line was a joke. With a story this ridiculous, people may confuse fact with fiction unless that's pointed out.)

    1. What's responsible for a policy so unfathomable? Some may figure it'll allow the matching of Attorney General Eric Holder with the right employee so the DOJ can finally have a complete idiot. Perhaps, though, Holder is merely using a variation on a technique Rodney Dangerfield articulated in Back to School. To wit: if you want to look thin, surround yourself with fat people. No chance of being outshone by your psyche-ward underlings, huh, Eric the Red?
      Anyway, Holder is fit to be the top dog in his asylum. I mean, he's not disabled -- he's differently abled! Who else can play a voting-rights shell game where states get sued for requiring voter I.D., menacing Black Panthers get off for intimidating voters, and residents of a New York town get six votes each so as to increase minority representation? Watch the cups now! Where's the fairness? Nope, wrong again! So now you stand over there with the military -- no vote for you!
      This policy is a modern college try at bringing radical egalitarianism to full flower, and it's a good example of why I've often said that those advocating such things have equality on the brain. Yet this is predicated on the assumption that gray matter is extant at the DOJ. This is thrown into question for many reasons, not the least of which is that the DOJ sideshow barkers omitted from their list the tattooed, live-animal-eating geek, the bearded lady, and the microcephalic. Although the DOJ certainly does seem to have an abundance of pinheads.
      If you're wondering about my tone, no, I don't really think this is a joke. It's just a situation where if you don't laugh, you'll cry. And all I can say is, beam me up, Scotty. You may be going where no man has gone before, but it can't possibly be any weirder than this place is becoming.

      Read more:

  7. The Big Theme for the Democrat's Convention will be The GOP's war on Women.

    Headlined, of course, by women's great protector:

    William Jefferson Clinton.

    1. Clinton knows Obama's gonna lose and is hoping for it.

      I kind of expect him to nudge the conversation in the direction of the economy, to subtly undercut Obama.

      If they put the old rapist up there talking about women, they must think people have no memory at all.

    2. If you could ask Obama a question what would it be?

      Can you recite Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the United States Constitution?
      And for extra credit -
      Can you name the members of your own Job's Council?
      What have you done with those 10 million unemployed Americans that you no longer count as unemployed?
      How many of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff can you name?
      What did you get on the Math SAT?
      How many of the 57 states can you name?
      Do you know Joe Biden's date-of-death, I mean birthday?

      FeralCat we must be accurate. We do not want to confuse the President. The President knew full well that Oregon was the 57th State he had been in during the previous 15 months. Furthermore, he knew that he had 1 more State to go. He also knew that his Staff could not justify his going to two other States(Alaska and Hawaii). So don't try to confuse the President with any of this 57 States nonsense. Your President knows that there are 60 States. If we could only get a glimpse of his college transcripts, I am sure we would see an A in geography.

  8. On Lance Armstrong

    Posted by Erick Erickson (Diary)

    Friday, August 24th at 4:47AM EDT

    If you haven’t heard yet, Lance Armstrong has given up on fighting the US Anti-Doping Agency. He’s throwing in the towel.

    I don’t really have a dog in the fight. I’m never cared much for competitive cycling. But it really does seem horrendous and un-American to me that a quasi-government agency, mostly funded by the government, gets to pretend it is not a part of the government and throw out due process to harass an athlete after he’s largely left the sport and all prior investigations turned up in his favor.

    The USADA has gone back decades to reinvestigate doping allegations against Armstrong who is probably the most tested athlete in history. He’s surrendered blood and urine and everything else they’ve asked for over and over at frequently unannounced visits and somehow, if you believe the USADA, beaten them every time.

    Most stories have two sides. Sometimes even three or four or more.

    1. My story has more facets than the Hope Diamond.

      ...priceless if I could write.

  9. Armstrong has the resources, could raise the money and form a dream team of lawyers. His brand is broken without a fight. I don’t buy it.

  10. Even Worse Than California

    Claims that British Columbia is worse!


    Heaven on Earth awaits Rufus in retirement.

  11. .

    I have no opinion one way or another on whether he actrually did it. If he did it, he is very very good. He has been tested over 500 times and never been caught. On the other hand, you have five other guys from the team (trying to cut deals to save their own necks by the way, guys unlike Armstrong who never got the attention or made the money) who say he did it. Witnesses versus actual physical evidence. Who knows, and frankly if Armstrong doesn't care enough to continue fighting it, who cares?

    What I can see is that after fighting these charges for going on 15 years a person would get tired of dicking around with it. For Armstrong, the only reason to keep fighting these guys is to save your spot in history. You have already enjoyed your fame. You have made your money. Why screw around with these dicks?

    It continues to amaze me that the government is willing to spend millions upon millions and enumerable hours going after guys like Armstrong and Roger Clemons; yet, banksters Dimon and Diamond are still walking the streets. The FEDs worry about the integrity of sports but could give a shit about the country, maybe the world, going down the tubes. There's some screwed-up priorioties for you.

    The story above on DOJ hiring the mentally "disadvantaged" says it all. They will finally have someone to blame their insane actions on.

    This country is going to shit.


    1. .

      Not that I am trying to defend Armstrong after he pulled a Newt Gingrich with Sheryl Crowe. And from the stories you read, Clemons was the biggest dick in baseball.


    2. He sure was fun to watch throw a baseball.

    3. Country is going to hell in a handbasket.

  12. I have zero fake followers on my Twitter Account. Look at these dicks --

    Aug 24, 2012
    Obama has millions of fake Twitter followers --

    By David Jackson, USA TODAY
    Updated 45m ago
    President Obama's Twitter account has 18.8 million followers -- but more than half of them really don't exist, according to reports.

    A new Web tool has determined that 70% of Obama's crowd includes "fake followers," The New York Times reports in a story about how Twitter followers can be purchased.

    "The practice has become so widespread that StatusPeople, a social media management company in London, released a Web tool last month called the Fake Follower Check that it says can ascertain how many fake followers you and your friends have," the Times reports.

    "Fake accounts tend to follow a lot of people but have few followers," said Rob Waller, a founder of StatusPeople. "We then combine that with a few other metrics to confirm the account is fake."

    Notes the Times:

    If accurate, the number of fake followers out there is surprising. According to the StatusPeople tool, 71 percent of Lady Gaga's nearly 29 million followers are "fake" or "inactive." So are 70 percent of President Obama's nearly 19 million followers.

    Republican opponent Mitt Romney has far fewer Twitter followers -- not quite 900,000 -- but it's a good bet that some of them are fake as well.

    Both campaigns have denied buying Twitter followers.

  13. California is now, consistently, producing over 1,000 Megawatts from Solar during "prime time."

    Ca ISO

    That's up about 250% from last year when they were in the low 400's.

    1. They have another 2,200, I believe it is, under construction.

  14. If I were to try and fashion some sort of Stimulus/Survival program for the U.S. it would include some sort of program to get the lower income folks in Newer, Higher MPG (flexfuel, of course) Vehicles.

    Right now, they're driving the old Low MPG castdowns, waiting for the "New-Car Buyers" to trade in their first tranche of high-mpg vehicles.

    1. And I don't want to hear any bullshit about "socialism" from anyone who's ever deducted their Mortgage Interest from their tax bill.

    2. Or from anyone who's ever benefitted from Employer-paid (before taxes, natch) Health Insurance.

    3. Please let us all know when you give your flexfuel Impala to one of them "lower income folk."

    4. What do you mean "Them" lower income folks? :)

    5. Maybe a pair o' Roller Skates w/ a Wind Sail. :)

    6. You put a whole new meaning to the term: propeller head.


    7. Glad you got some good sleep, Ruf.

      You're breaking out like gangbusters this morning.

    8. The propeller being stationary, and Ruf spinning.

    9. Romney said you can't "put a windmill on a car." He didn't say anything about a pair o' roller skates. :)

    10. What good would it do to put a pair of roller skates on a car?

      I can see putting a dog on the roof of a car, but a pair of roller skates?

      What for?

      Have you been drinking again, this early? It's not even noon here.

  15. Regardless of all your bullshit, CA is bankrupt and going down fast, Rufus.

    Responding to my British Columbia link at Belmont Club, a resident responded:


    44. stevesmith

    35. Doug

    Here in BC (British Columbia) we are about to have a close encounter with the Great God of Arithmetic. Our current oil rent seeking ROCINO (right of centre in name only) Premier Christie Clarke will almost certainly get bounced at the Provincial Election next May. If she is replaced it will be by a NDP (flamingly socialist) Provincial government whose far left leader reads books with titles like “Buddhist Economics”.

    So Provincially, BC will be Obamacised. The only good part is that the ROCINO and her party will probably be lost in a structural re-organization of the political right in our Province. After about four years out of power, this should eventually produce a new conservative Party.

    As soon as he takes to the stage, the Buddhist Economist elected to replace the ROCINO lady will be punched in the mouth by the God of Arithmetic. Common sense might re-appear in four or five years from now (we have fixed four year terms for the Provincial Government in BC).

    If this was not enough misery and tomfoolery, the Hockey season will be postponed and shortened because of an upcoming lockout of players by owners. A new agreement is being negotiated between NHL owners and players.

    Our only hope is to get heavy snow on the ski-hills this winter. There at least, we can go downhill in style

  16. Rufus thinks that the arithmetic of the Growth of all our Big Government Programs can be ignored forever.

    Even as we accelerate toward bankruptcy.

  17. Yep, California's been "goin' bankrupt" since the fifties. I'm sure they'll make it someday.

    Maybe we should kick'em outta the Union.

    Oh, wait . . . . .

    if we did that then they'd be fine, and all those (red) states they've been sending checks to (like Mississippi, Arkansas, and Alabama) would be bankrupt . . . . . . never mind.

    1. Isn't it amazing how those "socialist" states have such high median incomes, even After sending checks to the Republican low median income states?

    2. I like Obama's direction; he's cutting the growth of the biggest Gummint program of all - The MIC Foreign War Machine.

      1) out of Iraq)

      2) getting out of Assfuckistan,

      3) ignoring Republican calls for "action" on Syria.

    3. Of course, we could make Romney bring his money home from Bermuda, and the Caymens, and pay tax on it (and, not at some phony 13.9% rate, either.)

      That could pay for a couple a programs.

    4. And, then, we could drop the "Mortgage Interest Deduction" on that new multi-million dollar home he's building in CALIFORNIA - you know, the one with the "Elevator for his Car!"

      That's pay for another program, or two.

    5. British Columbia? CANADA?

      We just "wish" we had their problems.

      I mean, when your no. 2 gripe is that the freakin' hockey season is going to be messed up . . . . . . . . .

    6. I wonder who's going to be in better shape in 20 yrs,

      California with their "Paid For" Solar Farms, or

      Ms, and our aging fossil fuel burning power plants?

      I know what sunshine is going to cost in 20 yrs.

      I wonder what coal, and nat gas will cost?

    7. BTW, 85% of the cost of coal is the "shipping," which is dependent on, you guessed it, the cost of diesel.

    8. Percentages are stupid, dollar amounts are what's really important.

      Kind of like these dollar amounts. Of course, none of these folks have any money parked overseas, no, of course not.

      Ballotpedia has compiled data on the average net worth of our elected officials for the years 2004 to 2010. As the average net worth of Congress has increased since 2004, and held about even from 2007 to 2010, the average American family net worth dropped 40 percent from 2007 to 2010 to an average of $77,300.

      In 2010, the average net worth for a U.S. senator was $13,224,333. The average net worth for a Democratic senator was $19,383,524, compared to $7,054,258 for a Republican senator. That’s a difference of $12.3 million.

      The top ten richest senators, the highest seven of which are Democrats, from this Ballotpedia table:

      Top 10 Senators in 2010

      Senator Average Net Worth
      John Kerry (D-Mass) $231,722,794
      Mark Warner (D-Va) $192,730,605
      Herb Kohl (D-Wis) $173,538,010
      Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) $99,057,011
      Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) $85,572,116
      Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) $73,151,590
      Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) $69,046,622
      Bob Corker (R-Tenn) $59,550,022
      James E. Risch (R-Idaho) $54,088,026
      Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) $27,213,024

      Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) came in as the caboose with a -$32,500 net worth.

      The Republicans rule the House, however, in terms of average net worth. The 2010 average net worth was $5,992,869 for a Congressman overall, but the Republican average was $7,561,133, compared to the Democratic average of $4,465,875, which is a difference of $3.1 million.

      Ballotpedia’s table of the highest net worth congressman reveals Nancy Pelosi and “Colorado Model” originator Jared Polis in the top ten, with Darrell Issa standing out as the highest net worth public servant in Congress:

      Representative Average Net Worth
      Darrell Issa (R-Calif) $448,125,017
      Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $380,411,527
      Jane Harman (D-Calif) $326,844,751
      Jared Polis (D-Colo) $143,218,562
      Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla) $136,152,641
      Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) $101,123,032
      Alan Grayson (D-Fla) $93,896,519
      Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) $49,340,275
      Gary Miller (R-Calif) $46,008,028
      Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) $42,900,594

      Another democrat is deepest in the red in the House; Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) has the lowest negative net worth at -$4,732,000.

      We have never been a country to bemoan the success of others; the wealth of others offers hope for us and the next generation. This wealth gap does provide a backdrop for understanding our legislators and their influences, or lack thereof.

  18. LOL, Republican Platform to Study "Return to Gold Standard."

    So far the only thing left is a "Flat Earth" plank.

  19. "Rufus IIFri Aug 24, 04:07:00 PM EDT

    LOL, Republican Platform to Study "Return to Gold Standard."

    Yup, that's the pure Ruf for ya.

    If a suggestion is made to actually dispassionately STUDY some subject, he is agin it.

    It is much preferable to ignorantly spout off!

    Cause nobody else knows nothin'.!

    I like the idea myself. Why not study it? Who knows what dreadful suggestions might flow from a little study?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Is The Bernanke Standard any better?

  20. Armstrong has passed over 500 drug tests, some of them random.

  21. His biggest accuser (Landis) DID flunk the doping test.

  22. 2 drunks & 1 tremens Fri Aug 24, 06:48 PM EDT

    Lookie at this, intanets fredom who neds it n they call this an poleeticca par4ty, wahsss

    EXCLUSIVE: GOP Platform includes Internet Freedom, language indicates influence of Rand Paul and libertarian-Republicans
    Published: 11:00 AM 08/24/2012
    By Josh Peterson

    Republicans could soon champion the protection of Internet Freedom as an official party issue, The Daily Caller has learned. Language in the final draft of the Internet freedom proposal was obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.

    The language was finalized on Tuesday, a source in the Republican Party told The Daily Caller, but it awaits party approval next week at the upcoming Republican National Convention.

    Approval of the newly finalized draft language, however, would make the party the first of the two dominant political parties to fully and officially embrace Internet freedom. It also signals what Republicans view as important and necessary to keep the Internet open and free.

    “Internet Freedom”, according to the finalized draft language, would entail the removal of “regulatory barriers” for technology businesses, resistance to international governance of the Internet and the “constitutional protection” of personal data.

    “We will remove regulatory barriers that protect outdated technologies and business plans from innovation and competition, while preventing legacy regulation from interfering with new technologies such as mobile delivery of voice and video data as they become crucial components of the Internet ecosystem,” said the finalized draft.

    “We will resist any effort to shift control away from the successful multi-stakeholder approach of Internet governance and toward governance by international or other intergovernmental organizations,” it said.

    “We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties,” it said.

    Progressive and Democratic proponents of a regulation-laden approach to the Internet have long dominated the direction of the tech policy discussion in Washington.

    Having tried to make a claim over the term with their own brand of freedom from corporate influence over the Internet, some progressive and left-leaning libertarian advocacy groups have even gone so far as to promote a Declaration of Internet Freedom that codifies those principles.

    Republicans have only recently ramped up efforts to dominate the conversation in bold fashion in recent months.

    The GOP efforts are currently being modeled on the recent stance taken by the Ron Paul-founded Campaign For Liberty’s Technology Manifesto, as well as more right-of-center libertarian tech policy voices.

    These voices include TechFreedom president Berin Szoka, Mercatus Center senior research fellow Adam Thierer, Associate Director of Technology Studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute Ryan Radia, and Netcompetition president Scott Cleland.

    It is also modeled off of the efforts of Republican politicians in both chambers of Congress.

    California Republican Representatives Mary Bono Mack and Darrell Issa, Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul and Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton are some of leaders in the House on Internet issues.

    Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul have lead Republican efforts in the Senate.

    Read more:

  23. 2 drunks & 1 tremens Fri Aug 24, 07:01:00 PM EDT

    ah ain't feerd of Ag holder sppookin' on me, cudn't find me haaha

  24. Gainers of his Jerseys will go to dopers like Landis who have settled things with the Anti-Doping Agency after admitting it.

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