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

Monday, December 10, 2012

The 6-year-old gray wolf, a tourist favorite known as 832F, was the alpha female of Yellowstone’s “highly visible” Lamar Canyon pack is shot dead.

‘World’s most famous wolf’ shot and killed outside Yellowstone

A wolf so popular that she was referred to as a rock star by rangers was shot and killed in Wyoming just outside Yellowstone National Park late last week, wildlife officials told the New York Times.

The 6-year-old gray wolf, a tourist favorite known as 832F, was the alpha female of Yellowstone's "highly visible" Lamar Canyon pack, according to the Times. She had been fitted with a GPS collar that allowed researchers to track her movements. According to the newspaper, she was the eighth wolf fitted with the collar to be shot during this years hunting season.

Last fall, Wyoming removed wolves from its list of endangered species, allowing them to be legally hunted on the Yellowstone Park border for the first time in decades.

On Friday, the Humane Society filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist wolves in Wyoming. At least 50 wolves have been killed in the state since Oct. 1, the lawsuit claims. (According to the Times, at least 87 wolves have been shot in Montana this season, and 120 shot or trapped in Idaho.)

"The decision to strip Wyoming wolves of federal protection is biologically reckless and contrary to the requirements of the Endangered Species Act," Jonathan Lovvorn, the Humane Society's lead counsel for animal protection litigation, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. Wyoming's regressive wolf management plan is reminiscent of a time when bounties paid by state and federal governments triggered mass killings that nearly exterminated wolves from the lower 48 states."

Ranchers say wolf hunting is necessary to protect livestock. According to National Park Service estimates, there are more than 1,700 wolves living in the Rocky Mountain region—most in Idaho. In Yellowstone alone, according to the park's annual wolf report, there were at least 98 wolves in 10 packs—plus two loners—at the end of 2011. And none was more popular than 832F.

"She is the most famous wolf in the world," Jimmy Jones, a wildlife photographer, told the Times.


  1. BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana wildlife commissioners closed down the state's gray wolf season in some areas north of Yellowstone National Park on Monday, in response to a spate of recent shootings of animals that had been collared for scientific research.
    The move shuts down hunting and trapping in areas to the east and west of the town of Gardiner, just days before trapping season was set to begin.

    Read more:

  2. Killing a wolf or coyote is the same as killing a dog.

    This is the typical mindless nonsense that comes from the extremist gun nuts and these assholes have no idea what they've just let themselves in for. The ones who masquarade as "sportsmen" (all laugh here) .... They think that wolves and predators shouldn't eat wild game that belong to them……These fake sportsmen are targeting these Yellowstone Wolves with electronic pup in distress call signals. Killing an animal from 100 yards away with a high powered rifle and a scope isn't sport. It’s a rigged game for macho asshats and GOP stamp tramps. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out the hunters were undoubtedly tracking the collars. It’s easy to do. Almost anyone with basic knowledge can track the transmitters put on animals. They're rarely encoded.

    There are more elk in the NRM than there were in 1995 when wolves were reintroduced…..95,000 in Montana in 1995 and over 140,000 now.

    Soon we will hear from the brainless that the wolves are not natural and were reintroduced. Not like the natural hunters and the fucking hormone bloated cows bred with a rubber glove.


  3. Soon we will hear from the brainless that the wolves are not natural and were reintroduced.

    Wrongo. They are not natural and were introduced. Not reintroduced. Introduced from Canada. They have run the local natural lobos out of here.

    Save the buffalo! Save the elk!

    See Bergman's Rule:

    "A little knowledge is a fearsome thing."

    Mark Twain

    1. Even PETA agrees with me on this!

    2. By the way, right about now is a good time to put a little poison out at the farm, the cougs and bears having gone sleeping for the most part.

    3. That's the upper reaches of the Gallatin there, smooth and clear as the waters of Paradise. I had to hike in ten miles, then wrap up in grandfather's old buffalo robe and go on all fours the last 500 yards to get that extreme photo for you. Cherish it. I risked my life for it, and your viewing.

    4. They have run the local natural lobos out of here.

      I thought lobos were from Mexico.

  4. Replies
    1. "Those that don't know should remain quiet and guard their secret."

      Mark Twain

  5. That's right, Jenny. You have no idea how much alfalfa just one wolf can eat.

    1. That's true. No one seems to know how much alfalfa one wolf can eat. But, they have run the elk and most of the deer out of there. Sometimes they kill them and just leave them. It's fun, for them, and keeps them in practice. Not so much fun for the poor elk, however.

  6. Jenny, I spoke to my 101 year old aunt not so long ago, who grew up on the farm. One thing I asked her was if there were ever any wolves out there. She thought carefully a moment and said, no, no wolves, not out there. But there are now, for the first time. A friend Wayne has lost a horse, two calves, and recently a steer to the critters. They don't leave much behind, after they chew even the bones. Bingo, all the evidence eaten.

  7. Now you are worried about horses?

    n 1970 there were over 1,000,000 wild horses.There are now approximately only 25,000 left in the wild in America. Currently 37,000 are in holding pens, awaiting a grime fate. This year alone, 12,000 more will be rounded up. Just this year, $67 million of our hard earned tax dollars was spent on the senseless round ups, $ 40 million on the round ups, holding and feeding alone.

    Horses don’t have a wolf problem.

  8. Hold on Bob, the wolves kill the elk but don’t eat them but when they get a horse they eat everything including the bones?

    1. Actually didn't eat all the horse, but the calves and the steer, nothing left hardly at all. They eat the elk too, sometimes they will leave one.

      There doesn't seem to be a hard rule.

      Don't lose sleep over the wolves, Jenny. Idaho Fish and Game has sent out helicopter gunships four times or more now with miserable results. They just duck into the trees. They are not going to get them out of here without using poison, and they are not going to do that. Unless of course they start taking down the children, then attitudes would change. It's an old myth that wolves never kill people. Not so much here, we have the 2nd Amendment and most folks are armed, and the wolves seem to know it, but in Europe and Russia there are records going back centuries of the numbers of people killed by wolves, the peasants being defended only by their pitchforks. There was a picture recently of some old Russian peasant woman who had got the better of a wolf with a shovel, I believe it was.

    2. .

      There doesn't seem to be a hard rule.


      Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

      The fear is built into your rustic heritage, Bob, you and all those other peasants "defended only by their pitchforks".



    3. Haaaoooowwllll

      The reason, I have a hunch, why the wolves sometimes don't eat the prey, is they may not be hungry at the time. !

    4. Russian woman kills wolf with ax --

    5. Europe
      A 16th-century engraving depicting a wolf attack from Johann Geiler von Kaisersberg's Die Emeis (1516)

      In Scotland, during the reign of James VI, wolves were considered such a threat to travelers that special houses called spittals were erected on the highways for protection.[8] In France alone, historical records indicate that between the years 1580-1830, 3,069 people were killed by wolves, 1,857 of which were non-rabid.[9] Italian records indicate that between the 15th-19th centuries, 440 people were killed by wolves in central Po valley.[10] In Imperial Russia 1890, a document was produced stating that 161 people had been killed by wolves in 1871.[8] During the First World War, starving wolves had amassed in great numbers in Kaunas, Vilnius and Minsk and began attacking Imperial Russian and Imperial German fighting forces, causing the two fighting armies to form a temporary truce to fight off the animals.[11]

      After the fall of the Soviet Union, those within the new administration discovered documents indicating that a number of wolf attacks had occurred in villages during the Eastern front. This information was apparently suppressed by the Soviet government in order to hide the consequences of the mass confiscation of firearms during the war.[5]

      A hypothesis as to why wolves in Eurasia historically acted more aggressively toward humans than those in North America is that in the past, Old World wolf hunting was mostly an activity for the nobility, whereas American wolf hunts were partaken by ordinary citizens, nearly all of them possessing firearms. This difference could have caused American wolves to be more fearful of humans, making them less willing to venture into settled areas.[12]

    6. .

      The following trailer features Bob's 101 year old aunt.

      Tales From The Idaho Woods



    7. Aishat Maksudova, Russian Woman, Kills Wolf With Ax During Attack (PHOTOS)

    8. :) heh

      Lon Chaney Jr. ...
      The Wolf Man (as Lon Chaney)
      Claude Rains Claude Rains ...
      Sir John Talbot
      Ralph Bellamy Ralph Bellamy ...
      Col. Montford
      Warren William Warren William ...
      Dr. Lloyd
      Patric Knowles Patric Knowles ...
      Frank Andrews
      Bela Lugosi Bela Lugosi ...
      Maria Ouspenskaya Maria Ouspenskaya ...
      Evelyn Ankers Evelyn Ankers ...
      Gwen Conliffe
      Fay Helm Fay Helm ...
      Jenny Williams
      J.M. Kerrigan J.M. Kerrigan ...
      Charles Conliffe
      Forrester Harvey Forrester Harvey

      All the greats!

    9. .

      Well, at least, old Aishat Maksudova had the balls to take on the wolf mano a lupo unlike the pansies in Idaho or the peasant farmers there who prefer poison.


    10. I knew you'd say that.

    11. That second is a good video. 'They hardly ever attack prey in their prime'.

      Just the old, the weak, and the young, like ObamaCare.

    12. Think of it as nature's version of death panels. Culling the herd, if you like.

    13. .

      The wolves are animals, Bob, not Democrats.

      I doubt Cindy would buy any of your arguments.

      I remember Cindy from the comments section of one of those articles you posted on the subject.

      She pointed out that the only people who seemed to be spotting those fierce Idaho wolves were hunting outfitters. That particular article talked about a guy who had spotted wolves hanging around a school bus stop just after the kids had been picked up. He was the only eyewitness to see those particular beasties, and oh yea, he was a hunting outfitter and guide.

      She went to say it was all a scam being run by the outfitters, Idaho Fish and Game, guides and others who make money off the tourists that come to hunt elk.

      From the comments I read on the various articles you've posted, it appears that the women in Idaho are the only ones there who have any balls.

      Just saying.


  9. Instead of rounding up the horses and killing the wolves why doesn’t the government spend our money to get rid of the stink bugs that came from china in untreated job-killing shipping pallets?

  10. They bred'em to hyenas before they turned'em loose.

  11. .

    Several protests have arisen to the World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai. One of the most articulate opposing voices is that of Vint Cerf of Google, an Internet pioneer. His critique has two parts: first, that voices other than those of nation-states need to be heard; second, that it is the very lack of governmental controls and sheer openness of the Internet that creates value and drives the information age forward.

    Protest has also taken the form of insurgency. It seems that the hacktivist organization Anonymous may be involved in disruptive cyber acts that have slowed, and at one point stopped, the operations of the conference's official website. This group and many people of like mind around the world see much to worry about when it comes to closed-door meetings of government representatives.

    The United Nations couldn't control the Internet even if it wanted to.


  12. .

    Almost all IT is dual-use. Any laptop can be used to wage cyberwar. But it is possible to craft agreements not to use such weaponry first, not to use it against civilian infrastructure or in acts of "cybotage," as in the case of the Stuxnet worm attack on Iran. Many of the nations that have signed the chemical and biological weapons conventions can still make these terrible weapons, but promise not to do so, or to use them. If the United Nations wants a role, it should seek a similar behavioral approach to arms control in cyberspace. Russia first proposed something like this at the United Nations back in the ‘90s. The United States opposed it. Now the Russians are among the best cyberwarriors in the world, and American cybersecurity is in a parlous state.


    1. 'Parlous' is a wonderful word.

      Full of danger or uncertainty; precarious: "the parlous state of the economy".
      Greatly or excessively: "she is parlous handsome".
      adjective. perilous - dangerous - hazardous - unsafe - risky
      adverb. extremely - very - passing

      . Obsolete Dangerously cunning.

  13. The Perils of Parlous Pauline

    If you haven't seen some of these you haven't lived --

  14. Tax to hit job creators

    By Boston Herald Editorial Staff
    Monday, December 10, 2012 - Updated 14 hours ago

    EmailE-mail PrintablePrint Comments(23) Comments LargerSmallerText size Bookmark and Share Share

    The Internal Revenue Service released its final rules last week on that Obamacare medical device tax that is expected to hit Massachusetts like a freight train. And, yes, it’s every bit as bad as we expected.

    Knowing how hard it will hit some locally-based firms in this innovation-driven region, ((((even some members of the state’s all-Democrat House delegation have pledged to work for repeal (the House has already voted for repeal, but the Senate has not).)))) But barring repeal, the tax is set to kick in on Jan. 1 and raise at least $29 billion over the next decade.

    So while state lawmakers are attempting to control health care costs in this state, the new federal tax will increase the costs of everything from tongue depressors to pacemakers.

    The only things not subject to the 2.3 percent tax will be items sold over the counter directly to consumers — eye glasses, contact lenses, hearing aides. Prosthetic devices were also exempted, ((((but not experimental cancer treatment devices.))))

    Generally the rule of thumb under the law is that devices marketed to, used by or implanted by medical professionals will come under the tax. ((((Surgical sutures, knee and hip replacement implants — absolutely.)))) Still unresolved apparently by the IRS are dual use products like, say, latex gloves. We’re also thinking that with more and more Americans paying more and more taxes, those home blood pressure cuffs ought to be on the exempt list for sure.

    Or better yet, kill this tax in its cradle.

    Don't break you hip on New Year's Eve.

  15. Those wolves are part of our cultural heritage and anyone that would shoot one for sport, the m?oral equivilent of Osama bin Ladeen

  16. Bwahahahahaha

    Those wolves were part of the Canadian national heritage. Our heritage here, our own natural heritage, our own local wolves, got done run outta here. Not to mention the elk and deer and moose are part of our own natural heritage here as well.

    And people don't shoot them for sport. There was never any big brohaha here before the imports showed up. And started really harming the elk herds, which had been more or less managed successfully for a long long time.

    Who is this Osama bin Ladeen?

    Three out of four of your nasty posts lately are aimed at me. Do you really think anyone wants to read that stuff?

    As to cultural heritage, I don't know how that applies to wolves. The Bible, for instance, is part of our cultural heritage. As are the works of ancient Greece, English common law, European literature, etc and etc....A natural heritage from Canada is not part of our cultural heritage.

    1. You don't make any sense at all. You were the one that wanted to sell off the National Forests and National Parks to the highest bidder to pay down the debt, before you came up with the Trillion Dollar Platinum Coin nonsense. That is really doing away with a national heritage, not some wolves from Canada.


  17. Benghazi security unarmed when attack started?
    posted at 8:01 am on December 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

    How well prepared was the security team at the Benghazi consulate on the night of September 11th, in an area known to be rife with terrorist activity, on the anniversary of the al-Qaeda attacks that killed almost 3,000 people eleven years earlier? According to a source who heard the closed-door testimony in the Senate about the attack, they hadn’t even armed themselves — and had to race to find their weapons when the attack started. Kerry Picket reports at Breitbart News that the decision to remove the military security in August didn’t prompt State to ramp up their own security at all:

    A source with personal knowledge of the security situation in Benghazi told Breitbart News that Senators who listened to closed door testimony about the Benghazi attack were shocked to learn State Department security personnel agents were not immediately armed.

    Additionally, agents separated from Ambassador Chris Stevens left to retrieve their M4 weapons in a separate building. Only one returned to protect the Ambassador, while the other two hunkered down in the barracks, the source relayed.

    “From the accounts I read, those guys were not ready. When the attack came that night, they had to go back to the other room and grab their weapons. Then the worse part about it was they never even returned to be with the Ambassador. One returned to be with the Ambassador with his rifle. The other two went back to where there were [sic] barracks. And two stayed in that same building where there were radios and other weapons and the safe and other stuff was there.

    There were no shots fired in return. On the embassy property, just the embassy property, none of those security agents blasted a single bullet from a single pistol or rifle at all in defense of the Ambassador—nothing.”

    Even if they had been armed, they wouldn’t have known how to coordinate a defense, Kerry’s source explained:

    According to the Breitbart News source, the State Department security agents are “six week temporary duty assignments.”

    The source explained, “When they’re there, they are not working together. They don’t know one another. They probably all got there and one guy had been there for two weeks another guy had been there for four and then another three came in from Tripoli. None of them ever worked with each other before. So when a shooting incident occurs, they hunker down and hope and pray that it goes away instead of reacting like a military trained force.”

    Let’s refresh our minds on the context in which this attack occurred. Riots had erupted at the US Embassy in Cairo, a fact that the Obama administration used to insist that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous demonstration run amok rather than the planned terrorist attack it turned out to be. It was the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The consulate was in eastern Libya, where Islamist terror networks were well known to operate with impunity, especially after the fall of the Qaddafi regime and the collapse of internal security in the region. And the US Ambassador had arrived to conduct diplomatic talks and events, who had been pleading for more security resources for months.

    With all that going on, no one thought to arm the security staff and prepare for trouble that evening?

  18. There is reason to believe that if the GOP will agree to raise the taxes on the super rich, President Obama will agree to cuts in Medicare. It is morally abhorrent to cut benefits to any current or future seniors before much greater efforts are made to stop large scale raids on the Medicare coffers by nefarious corporations.

    Take the revealing and far from atypical case of Health Management Associates (HMA). According to its own ER doctors, HMA requires that 20 percent of people who step into the ER are admitted to one of HMA's hospitals -- and 50 percent of seniors. When a person visits an HMA Emergency Room, company software loaded onto the ER computer automatically orders a bunch of tests, whether they are needed or not, before the person is even seen by a doctor. When doctors try to discharge a patient from the ER, the computer intervenes, presenting them with a warning that the patient is a candidate for admission. If the doctors go ahead and override that warning, they must face the wrath of hospital administrators. Docs are continually evaluated on the basis of how many patients they admit and how many procedures they order. If not enough, they are warned -- and if they still do not comply, they are fired.

    Medical Misadventures

    1. HMA is the subject of the episode because of the limited scope of a single investigative news program. However, it is far from alone in its malfeasance. A previous episode of 60 Minutes reported that the Medicare fraud industry in South Florida is now larger than the cocaine industry. A recent report by the prestigious and non-political Institute of Medicine found that the estimates for Medicare fraud and abuse fall at around $75 billion, and other studies show $98 billion in fraud.

    2. I say do not cut anyone's benefits until the government triples its accounting staff, quadruples the number of corporate crooks in jail, and reduces Medicare shortfall by cutting fraud at least by half.

      I agree.

    3. All you really have to do is look at the VA. They deliver very good care to the oldest, sickest, and most beat up among us; and do it at probably half the cost of "private" medicine.

    4. Dissecting the psychology of criminal behavior is a murky exercise in futility but, on the face of it, without researching the numbers, health care fraud is slimier than other types of fraud. These people are sick, for Christ sake, probably elderly, many of whom have marginal insurance coverage, and are likely to get more sick if victimized by some of the fraudulent activity described by the author. At a very minimum, the knowledge base is expanding to support the case for regulating the hell out of this industry, an argument I have made before, but I now think health care should just be nationalized.

    5. But, then, Doris, you look at articles like the one we were oohing, and aahing, over yesterday - Would we get those wonderful new drugs, and procedures from a "totally" nationalized industry?

      Can we do some sort of hybrid system?

      (I really don't pretend to know; I'm just throwing it out there.)

    6. The GSE's don't seem to work. The F/F fraud is similar if not identical to the Medicare fraud - too few government employees to monitor the private sector submissions.

      The private sector alone pretty much busted my bank account over the last six years. Ash stopped in to inform me that the cost escalation was "complicated." What do I care? The end result is the same. I belong to a "risk pool" and the risk "is what it is" regardless of how responsible I am.

      And why are drugs purchased in Canada mind-numbingly cheaper than stateside?

      All I really know so far is what doesn't work. I think there is a technical solution - a suite of changes in series and in parallel but I would have to get my graduate student glasses on. I also think there is a prosecution solution (catchy ring) but that extends across the entire public-private interface - the revolving door and crony capitalism. As I have written before, health care sits right in the middle of all these tangled knots of institutional dysfunction.

      It's a mess.

    7. One of the founding principals of the Canadian Heath Care System is that everyone deserves equal care. Rich people don't deserve better care than poor people.

    8. Why are drugs cheaper in Canada?

      "Cost Control

      The Canadian government had established the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB,) which overseas prescription drug prices and sets limits. Each province is also allowed to implement additional cost control measures specific to that region.


      Millions of dollars are spent advertising prescription drugs in the US, which adds bulk to the cost. Such advertising is not allowed in Canada.


      As with any other type of product, many US consumers are drawn to 'name brands' that they trust more. This is especially true in the case of prescription drugs. Since advertising of prescription drugs is not allowed in Canada, many people may be less familiar with the name brand and more willing to purchase generic, forcing the name brand to price itself competitively.


      Many generics in the US are almost as cheap as they are in Canada, but companies wanting to make these drugs must wait until the patent expires on the original name brand drug.

    9. The Canadian National Healthcare System bargains for the best price (as does the French, British, German, etc., etc.)

      Medicare IS NOT allowed to bargain for the best price. Idiotic.

      VA bargains, and if they don't like the price they don't buy (as long as there's a reasonable substitute.)

    10. BUT, as I mentioned, most of the great advances are made in the U.S., where we pretty much allow the "animal spirits" to run wild.

      Simplistic Solutions need not apply.

    11. One unexpected problem of Provincial Health Care bodies 'bargaining' for purchase of drugs has been that bargaining often leades to a single company supplying the drug. If that company should have delivery problems (which happened recently when they had problems as a Sandoz plant) there is a shortage in supply. They've started moving to non-sole-sourced contracts.


    12. Simplistic Solutions need not apply.

      True ... up to a point.

      Ref the modern intellectual movement towards "Smart" this and that, as in Smart Policy, Smart Management, etc, etc. Sometimes the "old" ways still work, and work best. Prosecuting fraud is one of the old mechanisms - and it's still effective. People don't want to pay fines or go to jail. This country needs to start prosecuting, whether it's Wall St or Medicare. The pendulum needs to swing Victorian Straight for awhile. It would at least be a good start. Fear of God and all that.

    13. True. Whoever the asshole was that came up with the idea of a "Corporate Felony" should be shot (after a good ass-whipping.)

  19. Replies
    1. :)

      1965 was a Very good year.

      A double-damned good year. :)

      I want a do-over. :)

    2. 1988

      Camille would have a heart attack.

    3. 1966

      Turning Taylor (Swift) into trailer park trash, we are.

    4. How did we ever get from '65 to "here?"

      A Pirate Turns 40

      whut a ride.

    5. Please, no. :)

      The perfect antidote for idiotic SE Asian extended vacations

      California Dreamin'

    6. Bonus Question:

      Jimmy Buffet, and Ishmael came up with the same antidote for a common malady

      What was the malady?

      What was the antidote?


    7. Allrighty then you old cuss.


    8. I see you that Jorge and raise you one Carmelita.

    9. .

      If you are talking the 60's you can't forget the Beatles

      And I Love Her


    10. She was going to be a Movie Star; I was going to learn to Fly

      Harry Chapin - Taxi

    11. .

      The Modern Jungle

      What's new is old again.



    12. Shakira

      Don't ask me why; I don' know. :)

    13. OK

      Are we there yet?

      Where were we going?

      Do I know you?

      Is that your spaceship?

      Oh look! Glitter ponies!

      Are those men coming for you?

      Are you sure?

      I'm warning you. I have People!!!!!

    14. The Pusher reminded me of Tito & Tarantula.

      The Dance Version.

    15. Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac Coffin

      As many times as I've watched that movie, I can't recall the song.

  20. That rreport wildly inccurate.

    Describes the compound as both a consulate, then as an embassey.

    since those details aree unaccurate, one can assume the rest is as well. Perhaps a total fabrication, a work of fiction

    1. .

      The report may very well be inaccurate. Let's faced it, its been three months and even the administration has put out multiple versions of what happened.

      However, your continued fixation on the word consulate has become a source of amusement. Only a newbie or a naif wouldn't realize that every embassy or consulate houses its share of spooks, CIA or others. Libya was no exception, especially given its precarious political situation, the tons of weapons floating around, and the vacuum created by the war.

      That being said, your fixation on discounting any story because it uses the word 'consulate' verges on the anal. The building was used by the ambassador for conducting State Department business. The State Department called the building a consulate. I've probably read 20 to 30 stories on Benghazi and they all referred to the building as a consulate. There has got to be hundreds of stories out there on Benghazi and I would bet almost all of them refer to the building as a consulate. To date, I haven't seen any stories including those in the foreign press that call the building anything but a consulate.

      Going by your skewed logic, we should disregard all the reporting that is out there on Benghazi, hundreds of columns and reports, because they all continue to call the building a consulate.

      You are losing it my friend.


    2. More than a small amount of business is done in Whorehouses; do we call those "consulates," also? :)

    3. .

      You have a point. When you run across a story that calls a whorehouse a consulate, get back to me.



    4. Why does the word "Colombia" keep crossing my mind? :)

    5. .

      I don't recall that one.

      Nothing new for me.


    6. .

      Ah, now I remember. For some reason, I kept thinking Mexico when talking the Secret Service busts.

      It's hard to distinguish how much business and/or negotiations went on there.

      However, as I recall the Secret Service reports to Treasury and Treasury is about the only administration law enforcement agency that wasn't involved in Benghazi. Are you sure you want to go there?


    7. ummm, dude, I think he was referring to the Secret Service guys who got busted in Colombia over the hooker price dispute.

    8. .

      Yea, I know Ash. Thanks.


    9. .

      Dude, eh. I like that.

      I watched The Big Lebowski again the other night.

      "The dude abides."


  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Enough of this fun stuff.

    Serious conversation going on here.

    1. I admit I didn't get much past "sleazy little anonymous moron" before doing a coffee spill. I think I'm psychologically regressing.

    2. .

      The add for Far Cry 3 was helpful though.

      I've been thinking of getting it for Xmas.


  23. .

    Since it's fun time at the EB.

    I pulled this up when I saw Jennifer Lawrence's body flash across the screen.

    Never been all that impressed with her face but with a body like that who really cares.

    iVillage Beachbodies


  24. Fernald identifies a slowdown in capital investment, particularly in IT, and the CBO's analysis of this problem finds that the flow "capital services" -- the pace of productivity-boosting inputs from our capital stock -- increased by 4.7%/year in the 1990s and only 2.4% in the 2000s.

    And remember, tax rates on such investment were considerably lower in the latter decade than in the former. The whole "lower-taxes-on-job-creators-and-capital­-wait-for-the-magic" is a big bust. It's supply-side, trickle-down wishful thinking and economies don't run on wishes.

    I mentioned the need for stimulus to offset both the still-weak recovery and fiscal contraction in the near term. Not only will that help lower unemployment and boost stagnant paychecks. It can send critical demand signals to employers to gear up, which in turn gets investors' juices flowing again and brings idle investment cash in from the sidelines. There's even, I suspect, a full employment productivity multiplier wherein employers look for cost-saving productivity gains that they'd otherwise leave on the table when there's so much slack in the job market (and thus little pressure on wages/prices). Yet stimulus ideas don't even make Politico's list!

    And jeez, even if private investors' animal spirits are in the dumps, with Treasury yields at historic lows and unemployment still way too high, is this not a great time to invest in productivity-enhancing public infrastructure? Have you tried to get around this country lately (at least the Northeast)? As my old WH colleague Peter Orszag put it the other day with Haiku-like precision:

    Treasury yields at 1.6% on one hand...Kennedy Airport on the other...doesn't make sense.

    Conventional Wisdom is Dumb

  25. With a shrinking share of total income and wealth, the middle class and poor simply don't have the purchasing power to get the economy back on solid footing. (The wealthy don't spend enough of their income or assets to make up for this shortfall, and they invest their savings wherever around the world they can get the highest return).

    As a result, consumer spending -- fully 70 percent of economic activity -- isn't up to the task of keeping the economy going. This puts greater pressure on government to be purchaser of last resort.

    The dilemma isn't just economic. It's also political. As money concentrates at the top, so does power. That concentrated power generates even more entrenched wealth at the top, and less for the middle class and the poor.

    A case in point is what's now happening in Michigan. In the state where the American labor movement was born -- and where, because of labor unions, the American middle class once had the bargaining power to gain a significant portion of the nation's total income - Republicans and big money are striking back.

    Legislators in the Michigan state House, followed almost immediately by Republicans who dominate the state Senate, voted Thursday afternoon to eliminate basic union organizing and workplace protections for both public and private-sector workers. Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder says he'll sign the measure.

    This anti-labor blitzkreig was launched and coordinated by "Americans for Prosperity" -- a group developed and funded by the right-wing industrialists and billionaire campaign donors Charles and David Koch, to "pave the way for right to work in states across our nation."

    It ain't lookin' good

    1. Failure by Design, if Noam Chomsky is to be believed.

      The difference with a distinction being between a Vision and a Plan.

    2. I don't believe that. The rich bastards aren't That smart.

    3. .

      As I've said before, they are all dicks.

      Legislators in the Michigan state House, followed almost immediately by Republicans who dominate the state Senate, voted Thursday afternoon to eliminate basic union organizing and workplace protections for both public and private-sector workers.

      No, that's not what the law does. The unions have the right to organize and they will keep it. In this case, federal law trumps anyhting MI would pass. As for safety and workplace protections, OSHA and the feds also set the minimum on that.

      What it does do is take away union houses. A person would no longer have to belong to a union or pay dues to work for a company. The unions are going to have to change their message to workers if they are to succeed in convincing them to pay dues for the services the unions provide.

      In a way, it is unfair. If I understand labor law correctly, even though a worker is not a dues paying member of the union, he still falls under the terms of the existing contract between the union and management. If a non-member can cite the contract clause that applies, he can ask the union to defend his grievance and they have to do it. Also, the non-member benefits from any gains the union is able to negotiate.

      This would be a non-issue in MI as long as no one rocked the boat. Rick Snyder came out and said this change was not on his agenda, that Michigan was not Wisconsin.

      However, the unions, primarily public-service unions, pushed Prop 2 which would have changed the Constitution and thrown out 70 or 80 existing labor laws and have voided existing and future laws restricting workers' ability to organize unions, or to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions. But it still would have permitted lawmakers to pass legislation prohibiting public employees from striking. The measure would have also overridden state laws regulating hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflicted with collective bargaining agreements. And it would have pre-empted any right-to-work laws.

      Rick Snyder met with the unions while they were still trying to get the proposition approved. He warned them at the time this would only stir up a hornets nest. They ignored him and Prop 2 got shot down in flames on Nov. 6.

      Most polling indicated Prop 2 was shot down because it changed the constitution and the people weren't sure what the repercussions would be. The GOP (which controls House, Senate, and Governor), as is their wont, ignored the opinion polls and read the vote as a mandate to institute right-to-work.

      Snyder rode the fence for a while but when the big boys like the Chamber of Commerce came out in favor of RTW, he folded.

      Again, I say, they are ALL dicks.


    4. It's going to be a good couple of election cycles for Democrats in Michigan, I imagine. The Republicans just can't help themselves.

      Maybe there's something to that "80 IQ" stuff.

    5. .

      Hard to say, ruf.

      Remember, it was the GOP that redrew districts there after the census. I saw a story on the national level indicating that the Dems might have problems holding on to any of their gains in the House from this election.

      I don't know. I don't follow it that close.


    6. The rich bastards aren't That smart.

      Maybe there's something to that "80 IQ" stuff.

      A couple threads back someone linked to a SNL parody of Obama and Boehner announcing their fiscal cliff deal: The Republicans agreed to tax two gazillionaires and the Dems agreed to dissolve SS.

      Huffington Post has articles, almost daily, describing the "civil war" within the Republican Party. The latest angst-laden defection seems to be Bill Kristol who very recently gave his support to "tax increases on the wealthy." The WSJ apparently removed his name from their A-List. And guess who's back bloviating on FOX News?

      Nobody is taking this Congress seriously.

      I may have swung too far upthread, or else it was just too damn early in the morning, but I turn on the TV to CNBC and there's Warren Buffett's favorite talking head (Becky Quick, not Rebecca, but Becky - Camille would have a field day with her) leading a "special news segment" on the loooooooooooming FC opening with Grover Norquist who couldn't stop blathering that this country can "grow its way out of debt" - iff we don't raise taxes, which of course dampens the animal spirits and pretty much lights out The Party. I think it was this interview where he fixated his spine in a Grim and Determined manner to lend the weight of historical importance to the consequences of "impure thoughts" being entertained by Republican legislators. He wasn't talking about Fannie Fox.

      Upthread you said something about simple solutions need not apply. Hell, if Congress can' do something this simple, how can it even begin to shape future health care legislation in any meaningful way?

      This is a clown circus. The music above was appropriate for the dyspeptic carnival atmosphere that has consumed what little gravitas was left in Washington.

    7. Did you make your lip bleed resisting the urge to make that "head-job?"


    8. Nah - I save the 10-4 Big Momma stuff for a more casual forum.

      Oh wait, this is the only place where I post.

      I'm in the downward arc of my life. Trying to clean up my act, just in case.

      Honest to Pete. Will we have to listen to this stuff all through 2013?

      My guy, Jim Paulsen expects the "negotiations" won't go beyond the middle of January. Got my fingers crossed.

      So Jimmy Buffett and Ismael?

    9. Depression

      the cure: going to sea (fishing in "A Pirate turns 40.")

      There really is nothing "new under the sun," or in literature.

    10. Life is tough. And then you die. A person has to work at joy with focus, determination, discipline and faith that tomorrow is a new day. (It never is but that's why faith is so hard.) I understand where he's coming from. I hope he got to a better place than Ismael.

      One of The King's better efforts, closing music for the movie The Skeleton Key, one of Kate Hudson's better efforts.

  26. Why gays are gay --

  27. Well, Q, it is simple, really.

    Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.
    The basics of journalism and story telling.

    If the 'Where' is not accurately reported, the rest of the story becomes fiction. No matter how many stories that you read that relate inaccuracies, those inaccuracies do not become reality.


    The stories that boobie continues to foist upon us are rife with inaccurracy. His last had the gunfight on the Embassy grounds.

    The embassy is in Tripoli, was the fight?

    If something so basic to the truth is misrepresented, time and again ....
    ... welll ...

    That is the REAL story.

    Why has the inaccuracte story become the 'Company Line'?

    What truth is being hidden, by the 'Consulate' storyline?

    Who benefits from the misrepresentation?

    1. .

      What truth is being hidden, by the 'Consulate' storyline?

      It's your issue, rat. What truth is hidden? You tell me.

      Let's see if it's worth fixating on one word, consulate.


  28. Breaking: There may be hope for the crapper yet.....

    The healing power of maggot slime

    Maggot slime and healing balm are not usually associated with each other. But ScienceNOW reports there's growing evidence that maggots not only help remove necrotic flesh, but also that their excretions can reduce inflammation by suppressing the immune system.

    Maggot therapy works essentially by having the larvae consume infected and necrotic flesh while largely ignoring healthy tissue. Of course, patients are discouraged from attempting the treatment on their own, as it can lead to uncontrolled maggot infestations and infections.

    1. Crapper was doing so good there for a while, now relapsing.

  29. Bar to Pot Smokers: Go Ahead--Light Up!


    Does that apply here? Maybe we all ought to toke up, join Ash, drop out, giggle and chant.

    Blow the ill vapors right on out of here.


    Ruf, you in?

  30. I mentioned Joseph Campbell had said he couldn't write fiction. Yet, his well run literary estate has come out with some short stories from his youth.

    'Strictly Platonic - The Romance of a Bookworm Who Lost His Goat and Found Himself Famous'

    Across the campus from the Gothic gym was the Georgian, redbrick Philosophy Building, where Old Dittman spent his office hours filling an oblong book-lined room with a stinking brand of tobacco smoke. By a window he sat with his long thin legs crossed; a saxophone pipe curled down against his silky graying beard.

    Jim Weston sat in a hamstrung chair, watching him, a big shouldered young fellow, threadbare in his dark suit, his shoes down at the heels.

    Old Dittman said: "So I can't advise you, Weston, to bet too stubborn about this thing."

    Old Dittman frowned. "I like your ideals - and - well - your spunk; but, just the same, Weston, your attitude seems to me to be altogether injudicious."

    Jim opened his broad hands. "But why is it injudicious?"

    The old smoky man smacked and rumbled. "Because Weston, those fellows have the power and will to break you." He pointed with the moist stem of his pipe, rounding his eyes.

    "This football crowd's been closing around our throats here like a garrote. You ought to know, Weston - you played for them yourself once. They're fanatics. They've a stadium now worth more than any three buildings on the campus. They've a coach - my Lord, they pay him more than any ten professors. They've the alumni, the students, the trustees on their side; so they're the masters that's all......

    ....We're the hired bits of camouflage stuck around here to give the athletic club the complexion of a college....."

    You like?

    J. Campbell played football and ran track in college.


  31. By DEVIN DWYER (@devindwyer) and DANA HUGHES (@dana_hughes)
    WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2012

    In a diplomatic shift, President Obama said today his administration now formally recognizes the newly-formed, leading coalition of Syrian rebels who are fighting to topple Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad.

    "We've made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime," Obama said.

    The announcement, made during an exclusive interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters, grants new legitimacy to the rebel group and marks a new phase in U.S. efforts to isolate the Assad regime.

    "It's a big step," Obama said of the decision. The United States follows Britain and the European Union, both of which last month recognized the Syrian opposition group.

    The diplomatic designation will allow the United States to more closely support rebel efforts, including the organization of a future post-Assad government, administration officials said.

    "Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities," Obama said of the young coalition. "To make sure that they organize themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, [and] that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women's rights and minority rights."
    Concern Grows Syrian Regime Will Become Desperate Watch Video
    President Assad on Violence in Syria Watch Video
    England's Rail System Warns Holiday Travelers Watch Video

    The move does not include the provision of weapons, but it opens the door for that possibility in the future.

    "Providing arms has to be done in a way that helps promote a political solution," one senior Obama administration official said today. "And until we understand how these arms promote a political solution, we do not see how provision of arms is a good idea."

    But the official added, "the president has never ruled out in the future providing arms."


    Obama Recognizes Syrian Opposition Group...

    Rebels Pledge Allegiance to Al-Qaeda Group That Killed U.S. Troops...Drudge


    1. .

      "Providing arms has to be done in a way that helps promote a political solution," one senior Obama administration official said today. "And until we understand how these arms promote a political solution, we do not see how provision of arms is a good idea."


      What was Benghazi all about?


  32. The last thirty years of American history have witnessed, at least rhetorically, a battle over the size of government.1 Yet that is not what the history books will say the next thirty years of American politics were about. With the frontiers of the state roughly fixed, the issues that will dominate American politics going forward will concern the complexity of government, rather than its sheer size.

    The next decade of American politics will see greater attention placed on the substantial amount of government action that redistributes resources upward to the wealthy and the organized, to the disadvantage of the poorer and less organized. Connected to this, greater attention will be placed on the rickety, complicated and self-defeating complexity of public policy across multiple, seemingly unrelated areas of government activity.

    Conservatives over the last few years have increasingly claimed that America is, in Hayek’s terms, on the road to serfdom. This is ridiculous, for it ascribes vastly greater coherence to American government than we have ever achieved. If anything, we have arrived at a form of government with no ideological justification whatsoever.

    You can’t solve a problem until you can name it. We have names for one axis of our politics — right vs. left, big versus small government. But voters and politicians have no name for what should be an equally important set of questions that cuts straight through those ideological divisions, which is complexity versus simplicity. The name, for a lack of a better alternative, is kludgeocracy.

    The dictionary tells us that a kludge is “an ill-assorted collection of parts assembled to fulfill a particular purpose…a clumsy but temporarily effective solution to a particular fault or problem.” The term comes out of the world of computer programming, where a kludge is an inelegant patch put in place to be backward compatible with the rest of a system. When you add up enough kludges, you get a very complicated program, one that is hard to understand and subject to crashes. In other words, Windows.

    “Clumsy but temporarily effective” also describes much of American public policy.">Kludgeocracy

    h/t Marginal Revolution

    1. I noticed something extremely interesting, and important I think, a few minutes ago.

      The Pubs have a problem. They are raising holy hell about a problem that is about to go away. Nature is about to (actually, already has, but the enumerate assholes at the white house haven't noticed, Yet) deal the stupid party a blow to their raison d'etre.

      To Wit: Spending is, now, down to 22.4% of GDP (and falling.)

      Spending in 2012 was $3.54 Trillion, and GDP is at $15.8 Trillion.

      3.54/15.8 = 0.224

      22.4% is, basically, inline with our long-term, average ratio.

      We have a Revenue Problem; we no longer have a "Spending" Problem.

      Does anyone have a Phone Number for anyone in this idiot admiistration?

    2. :)

      Good, giv'em a call, will you?

    3. Well, sheeeeiiit, who woulda thot bidness was so easy!!

    4. I will be surprised if Spending is much more than 21% of GDP in this Fiscal Year.

      Doesn't ANYBODY in Washington run numbers any more?

    5. And, there's just no way that you would want spending to fall below 21% in the middle of a recession.

    6. Maybe this is part of the problem:

      Ha[r]vard students get near-perfect SAT scores. These are smart, smart kids. So they shouldn't have trouble with a simple logic question, right?

      Try the following puzzle:

      A bat and ball cost $1.10.

      The bat costs one dollar more than the ball.

      How much does the ball cost?

      You probably answered 10¢. That's what most Harvard students answered. But the real answer is 5¢.

      Behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman explains why most people get this wrong:

      A number came to your mind. The number, of course, is 10: 10¢. The distinctive mark of this easy puzzle is that it evokes an answer that is intuitive, appealing, and wrong. Do the math, and you will see. If the ball costs 10 ¢, then the total cost will be $1.20 (10¢ for the ball and $1.10 for the bat), not $1.10. The correct answer is 5¢. It is safe to assume that the intuitive answer also came to the mind of those who ended up with the correct number—they somehow managed to resist the intuition.

      Many thousands of university students have answered the bat-and-ball puzzle, and the results are shocking. More than 50% of students at Harvard, MIT, and Princeton gave the intuitive—incorrect—answer. At less selective universities, the rate of demonstrable failure to check was in excess of 80%. The bat-and-ball problem is our first encounter with an observation that will be a recurrent theme of this book: many people are overconfident, prone to place too much faith in their intuitions. They apparently find cognitive effort at least mildly unpleasant and avoid it as much as possible.

      This excerpt comes from Kahneman's 2011 book, "Thinking, Fast And Slow," which posits that we have an intuitive mental system and a logical mental system, and we often use the wrong one at the wrong time.

    7. This is the exact problem that Rufus has with his economic numbers. Always intuitively wrong.

    8. Like this for instance -

      We have a Revenue Problem; we no longer have a "Spending" Problem.

      At the same time as some call for selling off the National Parks and BLM land, and printing Trillion Dollar Platinum Coins.

  33. 20 brand new F-16s to Egypt!

    Reward for Sharia!

    1. While we help loan billions to Egypt -



  35. RS
    Herding Hemingway’s Cats

    Ernest Hemingway’s ghost lives in Key West. His home is now a museum.

    There he teams with fifty-five six-toed cats, the progeny of his own polydactyl cat.

  36. I'd think a six toed cat would have an evolutionary advantage. Even better, if you had ten toes on each paw, you'd have twenty toes on the front feet. How many mice would escape from that mousetrap?

  37. Papaya Leaf Papaya Tree Papaya/Pawpaw apaya (Carica papaya) originates from tropical American countries. Today Papaya is cultivated in most tropical countries around the world.


    The story of how Stan Sheldon cured himself of cancer by drinking the boiled extract of pawpaw leaves was first told in the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1978. Now research in the United States has given scientific support to his claim, isolating a chemical compound in the pawpaw tree which is reported to be a million times stronger than the strongest anti-cancer drug.


    “I was dying from cancer in both lungs when it was suggested to me as an old Aboriginal remedy” he said. “I tried it for two months and then I was required to have a chest x-ray during those compulsory TB checks they used to have.


    That was in 1962. The cancer never recurred.


    Mr Sheldon’s involves boiling and simmering fresh pawpaw leaves and stems in a pan for two hours before draining and bottling the extract. He said the mixture could be kept in a refrigerator though it may ferment after three or four days.


    The leaves have also been reported to be used successfully when dried and ground. The astonishing effects of the pawpaw have also been proved in tests on mice.


    However, pawpaw should not be used with any kind of thyroid stimulators (e.g.: KC-X) or with CoQ10 (coenzyme Q10). For cancer patients taking Laetrile, it is important to consume paw paw and pineapple each day, as the natural enzyme strips the coating on the cancer cells, so that the B17 in the kernels can work.”

  38. New ways of stealing:

    A man at a local restaurant paid for his meal with his credit card.

    The bill for the meal came, he signed it and the waitress folded the
    receipt and
    passed the credit card along.

    Usually, he would just take it and place it in his wallet or pocket.
    Funny enough,
    though, he actually took a look at the card and, lo and behold, it
    was the expired
    card of another person.

    He called the waitress and she looked perplexed.

    She took it back, apologized, and hurried back to the counter under
    the watchful eye of the

    All the waitress did while walking to the counter was wave the wrong
    expired card to the
    counter cashier, and the counter cashier immediately looked down and
    took out the real card.

    No exchange of words --- nothing! She took it and came back to the
    man with an apology..
    (This scenario actually happened to me at a local restaurant- Falls
    Terrace-between the waitress
    and the front desk cashier.)

    Verdict: Make sure the credit cards in your wallet are yours.

    Check the name on the card every time you sign for something and/or
    the card is taken
    away for even a short period of time.

    Many people just take back the credit card without even looking at
    it, 'assuming'
    that it has to be theirs.


  39. Keeping the wolves away -

    And then there were NONE! (No-Carry States, that is)

    By: Dave_A (Diary) | December 11th, 2012 at 11:15 PM

    The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Illinois’ total ban on defensive firearms carry outside ones private property is unconstitutional.

    For those not following the gun-rights issue, this means that unless the Supreme Court reverses said ruling (which is unlikely in light of their recent decisions in the DC and Chicago cases, which finally settled in precedent that the 2nd Ammendment means what it says) there will now be NO states left where it is absolutely illegal for a private citizen to carry a firearm for protection.

    Now, there are still battles to be fought – mostly in states like CA and NY that allow carry but only if you are ‘connected’ enough to be approved by a judge or the local sheriff…

    But it’s amazing how far we’ve come since the 80s campaigns to abjectly ban handguns, and the 90s ‘assault weapons’ scare….

    This is one issue where the Right has unequivocally won.