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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The liberal elite has betrayed the middle class people that they claim to help.

The report below is one year old, but what has changed?
For the American middle class, nothing. 
America is the richest country on Earth. We have the most millionaires, the most billionaires and our wealthiest citizens have garnered more of the planet's riches than any other group in the world. We even have hedge fund managers and flash traders who make in one hour as much as the average family makes in 21 years!
This opulence is supposed to trickle down to the rest of us, improving the lives of everyday Americans. At least that's what free-market cheerleaders repeatedly promise us.
Unfortunately, it's all bullshit, one of the biggest piles ever perpetrated on the American people.
Our middle class is falling further and further behind in comparison to the rest of the world. We keep hearing that America is number one. Well, when it comes to middle-class wealth, we're number 27.

The Lost Decade of the Middle Class
Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier

As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some—but by no means all—of its characteristic faith in the future.
These stark assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey that includes 1,287 adults who describe themselves as middle class, supplemented by the Center’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
Fully 85% of self-described middle-class adults say it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living. Of those who feel this way, 62% say “a lot” of the blame lies with Congress, while 54% say the same about banks and financial institutions, 47% about large corporations, 44% about the Bush administration, 39% about foreign competition and 34% about the Obama administration. Just 8% blame the middle class itself a lot.
Their downbeat take on their economic situation comes at the end of a decade in which, for the first time since the end of World War II, mean family incomes declined for Americans in all income tiers. But the middle-income tier—defined in this Pew Research analysis as all adults whose annual household income is two-thirds to double the national
median 1 —is the only one that also shrunk in size, a trend that has continued over the past four decades.

In 2011, this middle-income tier included 51% of all adults; back in 1971, using the same income boundaries, it had included 61%. 2 The hollowing of the middle has been accompanied by a dispersion of the population into the economic tiers both above and below. The upper-income tier rose to 20% of adults in 2011, up from 14% in 1971; the lower-income tier rose to 29%, up from 25%. However, over the same period, only the upper-income tier increased its share in the nation’s household income pie. It now takes in 46%, up from 29% four decades ago. The middle tier now takes in 45%, down from 62% four decades ago. The lower tier takes in 9%, down from 10% four decades ago.
For the middle-income group, the “lost decade” of the 2000s has been even worse for wealth loss than for income loss. The median income of the middle-income tier fell 5%, but median wealth (assets minus debt) declined by 28%, to $93,150 from $129,582. 3 During this period, the median wealth of the upper-income tier was essentially unchanged—it rose by 1%, to $574,788 from $569,905. Meantime, the wealth of the lower-income tier plunged by 45%, albeit from a much smaller base, to $10,151 from $18,421.


  1. The liberal elite have also betrayed the poor by making them dependent on government largess. Just enough to live, not enough to prosper.

    "The poor ye shall always have with thee."

    Especially with the liberal elite.

    “A GREAT deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep"

    Saul Bellow

  2. As the discussions continue ...

    Q objects to the Federals discovering that there are income variations and that those effect housing values, in the United States.

    He did not, though, tell us what the message to the people of Detroit should be. One assumes that the message is they should not have elected corrupt politicos?

    He mentioned school busing, does he think that the Federals are going to force folks in Dearborn to move to Detroit?

    boobie must, as he has written about and linked to stories that told us that the United States was a gulag nation, as well as an apartheid one.

    The hyperbole is ballistic.

    12% of the population of Scottsdale is not black.
    It is not Hispanic, either.

    Property values keep lower income folks out of the city. City policies, buying large swaths of land and making it into a "Preserve" keep the land off the market, manipulating the market value of the private land remaining.

    Arizona only has 15% of the land in private hands. The rest is held by various governments, local, state and federal. The Indian lands counted amongst the federal, or those lands could be in a fourth category of governmental holdings.

    The various governments are manipulating land values across the west. Keeping those values artificially high, by limiting supply.

    Whether this could be remedied by HUD is doubtful.
    But the market manipulations by the varied governments, by limiting the land available to private use, is much more destructive to the concept of fair and affordable housing then a HUD rule or study.

    The Federals are going to study the populations of cities and towns, even villages, by ethnic and/or racial categories and come to a political assessment that will not change a thing.

    As long as there is a HUD, a Fannie and Fraudie, government manipulation of the mortgage markets, well, we'll get what we voted for.
    Just as the people of Detroit have.

    Government policies keep land values artificially high, boobie applauds those policies and I do not think that Q understands the full ramifications of the varied forms of governments holding 70% of the western lands off the market.

    How those land management policies keep people out of the ownership and opportunity society that the Republicans gave lip service to in the Gingrich era.

    1. .

      Q objects to the Federals discovering that there are income variations and that those effect housing values, in the United States.

      Good lord, rat, are you saying that they are so stupid they don't know that? If they want to do so, let them do so. Maybe it will prevent them from causing other mischief. What I object to is a 'Hud regulation' that set's up 'goals'.

      He did not, though, tell us what the message to the people of Detroit should be. One assumes that the message is they should not have elected corrupt politicos?

      Once again, rat, you distort and change the subject. I gave you a list of major reasons that have contributed to the condition Detroit finds itself in today; some political (lack of mass transit) some societal (the '67 riot), some judicial (forced busing); some economic (decline of the Big 3); the growth of crime, political corruption (Young, Kwame K, Ms. Conyers, et al), failed federal programs (HUD), all resulting in a population decline from 2 million down to 700,000 which in turn led to a decline in tax revenue and subsequent imposition of stifling taxes while trying to maintain services in a city whose geographical size has remained the same. And yet, he demands of me, a white guy from the suburbs to give Detroiters a message (unspecific as to subject).

      Hell, the problems of Detroit are legion and yet you demand of me their solutions. I'm not sure anyone has the answers. However, if you have a solution or two, I'll see if I can forward them on to Kevin Orr.

      He mentioned school busing, does he think that the Federals are going to force folks in Dearborn to move to Detroit?

      Either your reading comprehension is degrading to that of an English major or you once again indulge in a red herring. The forced school busing foisted upon Detroit in the 70's was mentioned in connection with the new HUD regulation. It was used as an example of an ill-conceived program whose implementation resulted in causing more harm than it resolved.


    2. .

      The hyperbole is ballistic.

      What hyperbole?

      Good lord, rat, look at the evening news. It is very difficult to be 'hyperbolic' about Detroit. For god's sake, 60 years ago it was one of the premier cities in the world and today it's facing bankruptcy.


    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. .

      Government policies keep land values artificially high, boobie applauds those policies and I do not think that Q understands the full ramifications of the varied forms of governments holding 70% of the western lands off the market.

      Admittedly, I don't. (But that has never stopped me from jumping in before.)


      All I was saying is that I don't like the idea of HUD involvement as it was described in Deuce's initial post. And while I do not know a lot about government land policies in the west, I do know a lot about how bureaucracies work.

      You agree with half my argument, that is that any HUD regulation will not do any good for the problem you are describing. You do not seem to have accepted the truth of the second half of my argument, that in many cases, when the government tries to change things through mandate it can actually exacerbate the original problem.

      And I do not mistakenly use the term mandate. In a huge bureaucracy like HUD, 'goals' when not achieved will soon lead to 'targets' which when not achieved will eventually lead to 'mandates', just as the goal of getting more women into combat roles will ultimately lead to a weakening of standards in the military, just as the need to increase self-esteem has ultimately led to a weakening of standards in schools, just as the mandate on busing to help the segregation problem led to even more segregation as well as a host of other problems.


  3. It is not just the liberal elites that have failed the Middle Class, it is the conservative elites, as well.

    The governing class has screwed the pooch, attempting to protect their pay masters.

    John McCain is no "conservative" and Harry Reid is not a "liberal".

    Both are Federalists, to the deepest depths of their core values.

  4. boobie denounce socialism, for everyone but himself. He being fully deserving of the Federal largesse that was gifted to his forebears.

    Not wanting any of those successful policies of the past replicated in the present.
    He desires an opportunity society for himself, but would deny granting empty lands in the west to those that would move to and improve them.

    It would interfere, he's told us, with his fishing and mental contemplations.

  5. I'm not so sure that NAFTA was such a bad deal(after all, we have, basically, balanced trade with both Canada, and Mexico,) but I'm quite positive that our China policy has been a blunder of Catastrophic proportions.

    As for the "Liberal Elites," Dostoevski was making the same gripes in 1866, and I imagine someone was doing the same in 1766.


  6. "He did not, though, tell us what the message to the people of Detroit should be. One assumes that the message is they should not have elected corrupt politicos?"


    "....well, we'll get what we voted for.
    Just as the people of Detroit have."

    rat, in the same post


    Confusion reigns in the ratmind.

    Q, it does look as if ratt is agreeing with you, though not realizing that he is agreeing with you.


    Remember rat, you stole that 360 acres of rich bottom land, or bought it from someone who did. Just as I bought my 160 acres of hardscrabble from someone who did.


    You are a land baron, I am not.

    Yes, it is true I think for the mental health of the entire nation we should not sell off those wonderful lands to Ted Turner.

    If you would ever get off your arse and come really use them as so many millions of Americans do, your mental health, at least we can hope, might improve markedly.

    1. I do not wish the USA mountain west to turn into the USA east.

      East of the Mississippi the quality of life drops dramatically, finally ending up with the gunfire in Chicago, Philly, any Big Town.

      Also along the west coast USA and in southern California, even Phoenix, things are basically the shits.

      At least that is how many, including myself, and my eastern USA wife too, generally feel about things.

  7. It only takes a few gushing articles in the New York Times or a Sixty Minutes piece to Coloradoize Idaho.

    1. I hate the New York Times, and it is happening.

    2. But slowly, as we have all that wonderful National Forest, and considerable Wilderness Areas, too.

  8. So there it is, boobie is an enemy of free enterprise, an enemy of private property and wishes to socially engineer the economy of the United States, to suit his own personal proclivities.

    As to agreeing or not agreeing with Q ...

    I see no harm in HUD studying housing patterns in the US. It will disprove boobie's assertion that the US is an apartheid nation. There is integration of the population, all across the land. That boobie has expressed distress at this reality, an easily verifiable fact.

    Does the population of each city, town and village mirror that of the nation, as a whole?
    Of course not. But there is freedom of movement, based upon economic capacity of the resident, all across the US. There is no where a person of means cannot reside, if they so wish.

    That the governments of the country artificially manipulate real property values, another verifiable fact.

    boobie defends this economic manipulation, as it protects his own economic interests, I deplore it, even at the expense of my own interests. I have and will again stand ready to sacrifice for the good of my country, boobie never has and whines at the very thought that he may be put in the position were he'd have to relinquish any portion of the proceeds of the Federal largesse bestowed upon his forebears. Or to have his own welfare payments cut.

    As I have previously stated, I do not know who "owns" the land, just that I enjoy the opportunity to use it.
    That is enough for me, obviously, boobie want more than that. He wants to enjoy the lifestyle of wealth and privilege, while not allowing others to enjoy the same opportunities the Federal government bestowed upon his family.

    1. Charles Barkley, a fellow that was highlighted here at the Libertarian is a resident of Scottsdale.
      Same as Sarah Palin.

      The only color line that has to be negotiated, to live in Scottsdale, is green.

  9. It is amazing to me that all you hear on business channels is business models, market disrupters, executive compensation, high frequency traders, cost controls and teeth gnashing about job creation. There is no interest in worker compensation and there won’t be until all hell breaks loose. The American public has been so dumbed down. They need a fire breathing take no prisoners son of a bitch to scare the living shit out of the real bond holders.

    1. Where's the Kingfish when you need him?


    2. CNBC is just a shill for the gambling, . . . er, investment industry. Not for the investors; for the "industry."

      They have been going to great pains, for quite some time now, to ignore the absence of all top-line growth.

      The plutocrats have rounded up almost all of the paper money. Now, with a good depression, they can turn all that play money into property. That's how it worked in the last depression, and, I would assume, every depression before that.

      That's why they scream so pitifully every time the Dems do something that might put off their longed for cataclysm.

  10. The funny thing, the boobies of the world, the tea bag partiers, deplore subsidized medical care for everyone but themselves.

    Nothing being funnier than to hear them complain that the Affordable Care Act may lead to a "cuts" in Medicare spending and their benefits. Typical of the hypocrisy of what the MSM call "conservatives", when all those tea bagging complainers really are is Federal welfare drones.

    Recall that for the most part Fleming v Nestor is unknown amongst the tea bagger "patriots", even while it has been settled law for over sixty years. The SCOTUS decision, in Fleming v Nestor, makes Medicare and Social Security benefits nothing more than Federal welfare, bestowed upon the recipients without there even being means testing before those Federal welfare benefits are bestowed upon an individual.

    Social Security and Medicare being nothing more than what Terisita calls income redistribution, from those that labor for wages to a group of residents that the politicos seek to favor because of the group's perceived political influence.

  11. As for Detroit, is it the city or the county that owns all the abandoned property?

    Why not a program that clears the debris and the vacant property granted to a new generation of owners?

    Owners that could use the property, build new homes and revitalize the city?

    They could sell off the art collection to build houses, fire stations and effective schools.

    There seems to a problem with priorities, in the politicos of Detroit City.

    1. .

      Moonbeams and bubble-gum, rat, moonbeams and bubble gum.

      Supposedly, there is a federal grant that will allow all the abandoned buildings to be torn down starting in about 30 days.

      The problem is that the blight is not confined to one section of the city. It is scatted throughout the city. That's why the current mayor's plan to turn huge swathes of the city into farmland is having a hard time whipping up any interests. It's why resources are stretched. It inhibits and limits how far you can cut the bureaucracy and services, water, electric, police, fire.

      It is one thing to say 'Build it and they will come'. However, until some of the major issues, crime, services, taxes, etc. are resolved it is unlikely. Besides, if you want a house in Detroit right now, it is not a problem. There are a number of areas, Indian Village, Palmer Park, etc. where you can get beautiful homes dirt cheap. Unfortunately, these areas are surrounded by areas that are falling apart.

      The word is that young professionals are moving back into these oasis areas.


    2. offer it to the Palestinians as a homeland...

    3. Why?
      They already have Palestine.

      All those Europeon Palestinians, living in the Israeli portion of the country, have already moved once, why would they want to leave their socialist Club Med and move to Detroit?
      If they left Palestine, they'd still be ethnic Russians, though their status as strangers in a strange land would remain unchanged, in Detroit City.

    4. Great idea, WiO.

      Offer Detroit to the Palestinians. With all the aid money the Palestinians get from suckers around the world, Detroit could solvent in no time.

      Unfortunately, the aid money is never spent as it is intended to be spent, but ends up in Paris, or Swiss bank accounts.

    5. So that is where all the money sent to the Israeli goes, boobie, Swiss banks?

      Little wonder then that so many here in the US want to cut off aid to all the peoples of Palestine, including the Israeli portion of that country.

    6. Sorry Herr Rodent if you do not understand, Jews, had that term stolen in 1948 by the a-rabs...

      Now if you think you're clever? Ask deuce's lady friend what she thinks about you calling Jews "Palestinians"

    7. Israel is a portion of Palestine, all Israeli are Palestinians
      Not all Palestinians are Israeli.

      Nothing clever about it.

      It is a matter of both geography and language, little matter what a friend of Deuce's thinks about it.

    8. Repeating propaganda does not truth make.

      Th Israeli use of the "Big Lie" continues.

      Your calls for genocide against the Arabs of Palestine, your denial that there ever was a Palestine, well ...

      Hitler, Quot wrote, was right.
      Telling us that tidbit just two days after the Patriot Day bombing in Boston.

      You are so steeped in Israeli propaganda that the truth escapes you.
      You are still in denial of the murder of 20,000 Jews each year, financed by the state of Israel.
      Leaving you to denounce those that support the position of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as being anti-Semitic.

      Anyone that would deny that the state of Israel has financed the murder of over 250,000 Jews in the 21st century is anti-Semitic.

    9. No one takes you seriously on anything anymore, rat.

      Your credibility is shot.

      All anyone sees in you anymore is a nasty man, a schoolyard bully that never grew up.

    10. Calling that good Lady Trish 'den mother' for years, for instance.

      Just a nasty schoolyard bully that never grew up.

  12. .

    Detroit (the Daily Show)|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

    I had to laugh when I saw that they were joking that all the reporters that were reporting on Detroit were actually standing on street corners in Chicago. I noticed that myself with the TV reporting.


  13. .

    Detroit will be hiring 3,000 new salaried workers most at their WHQ.

    Not much but a start.


  14. .

    As for the middle class, the county I live in was rated the 4th most affluent county in the US not too long ago.

    Now, since the recession, incomes have dropped from somewhere over $100k to the low $60k. It's the middle class that was hurt most (percentagewise).


  15. Further evidence that the US is not an apartheid nation

    On Monday, a federal appeals court rejected a controversial law imposed by a Dallas suburb that would have banned illegal immigrants from being able to rent homes there.

    1. Tell the President's butt buddy, Jesse Jackson that...

      He's got the President's ear...

  16. With regards to US involvement in Syria ...

    If ordered by the president, General Dempsey wrote, the military is ready to carry out options that include efforts to train, advise and assist the opposition; conduct limited missile strikes; set up a no-fly zone; establish buffer zones, most likely across the borders with Turkey or Jordan; and take control of Mr. Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile.

    “All of these options would likely further the narrow military objective of helping the opposition and placing more pressure on the regime,” General Dempsey wrote. But he added: “Once we take action, we should be prepared for what comes next. Deeper involvement is hard to avoid.”

    A decision to use force “is no less than an act of war,” General Dempsey wrote, warning that “we could inadvertently empower extremists or unleash the very chemical weapons we seek to control.”

  17. "They could sell off the art collection"

    Ah, God, rat has never met a thing beauty, be it art, or a primeval forest, or a beautiful river, or desert, that he didn't want to "sell off".

    Hobos have a better aesthetic sense.

    1. "a thing of a joy forever.....whose loveliness increases....."

      rat would sell off even the Grecian Urn for, basically, a bowl or porridge.

      A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

      A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
      Its loveliness increases; it will never
      Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
      A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
      Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
      Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
      A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
      Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
      Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
      Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
      Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
      Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
      From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
      Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon
      For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
      With the green world they live in; and clear rills
      That for themselves a cooling covert make
      'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
      Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
      And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
      We have imagined for the mighty dead;
      All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
      An endless fountain of immortal drink,
      Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

      Nor do we merely feel these essences
      For one short hour; no, even as the trees
      That whisper round a temple become soon
      Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
      The passion poesy, glories infinite,
      Haunt us till they become a cheering light
      Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast
      That, whether there be shine or gloom o'ercast,
      They always must be with us, or we die.

      Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
      Will trace the story of Endymion.
      The very music of the name has gone
      Into my being, and each pleasant scene
      Is growing fresh before me as the green
      Of our own valleys: so I will begin
      Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
      Now while the early budders are just new,
      And run in mazes of the youngest hue
      About old forests; while the willow trails
      Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
      Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
      Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
      My little boat, for many quiet hours,
      With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
      Many and many a verse I hope to write,
      Before the daisies, vermeil rimmed and white,
      Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
      Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
      I must be near the middle of my story.
      O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
      See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
      With universal tinge of sober gold,
      Be all about me when I make an end!
      And now at once, adventuresome, I send
      My herald thought into a wilderness:
      There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
      My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
      Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.<<<<


    2. John Keats. 1795–1821

      625. Ode on a Grecian Urn

      THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,
      Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
      Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
      A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
      What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape 5
      Of deities or mortals, or of both,
      In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
      What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
      What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
      What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy? 10

      Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
      Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
      Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear'd,
      Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
      Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave 15
      Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
      Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
      Though winning near the goal—yet, do not grieve;
      She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
      For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! 20

      Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
      Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
      And, happy melodist, unweari├Ęd,
      For ever piping songs for ever new;
      More happy love! more happy, happy love! 25
      For ever warm and still to be enjoy'd,
      For ever panting, and for ever young;
      All breathing human passion far above,
      That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy'd,
      A burning forehead, and a parching tongue. 30

      Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
      To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
      Lead'st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
      And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
      What little town by river or sea-shore, 35
      Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
      Is emptied of its folk, this pious morn?
      And, little town, thy streets for evermore
      Will silent be; and not a soul, to tell
      Why thou art desolate, can e'er return. 40

      O Attic shape! fair attitude! with brede
      Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
      With forest branches and the trodden weed;
      Thou, silent form! dost tease us out of thought
      As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral! 45
      When old age shall this generation waste,
      Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
      Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
      'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
      Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

  18. rat, dear, I wasn't entirely being serious when I said USA was an apartheid nation. I was mocking the argument that Israel proper is an apartheid nation. Arabs sit in the Knesset there, for instance. Can vote, etc.

    But if Israel is an apartheid nation then I maintain we are too.

    The correct answer is: we aren't, neither is Israel.

    1. Israel is, right down to the identity cards that folks are forced to carry.

      All totalitarians want to be able to demand that a persons papers are in order.

    2. You ae correct, boobie, I do think that entities that are bankrupt should sell their stuff, to folks that will appreciate it and can afford to own it.

      The fact is that I appreciate beautiful things, which is why I realize they have value. Folks that are bankrupt, but do not want to divest themselves of their assets are living in a fools paradise.
      Worse than living in denial, they are stealing from those they have borrowed money from and those to which they have contractual obligations. This while holding assets that are readily convertible to cash, with which they could pay their bills, rather than looking for Federal handouts or cheating those they have financial obligations to.

      We know now that you would cheat your creditors and employees, rather than sell assets that you can no longer afford, just because those assets are pleasing to your hedonistic senses.

    3. Rather than to fulfill a debtors financial obligations you would let others take the loss while the bankrupt and irresponsible party maintains their art collection.

      That is a morally bankrupt position.
      Little wonder you support it.

    4. While I don't know the specifics of the Detroit Museums art ownership there are a number of complicating factors that paint it in shades of grey versus Rat's black and white.

      Most art works are donated to Museums. They are not donated to cities. It would be a cruel joke to those that donated the works of art to a Detroit Museum to have those works auctioned off to pay off some bureaucrats fat pension.

      Does the museum operate in the black? Are those assets actually the cities versus the museums? Those are shades of grey worth considering.

    5. Israel has the most unique security situation in the entire world. Surrounded by people who wish to push the Israelis into the sea, and by people who were making it a habit to infiltrate the area and blown up pizza shops, buses, crowds of people and other stuff, it is only surprising to a few that they might wish to know who this person or that person might be.

      Now rat is calling Israel a 'totalitarian' state, in addition to being a 'city state' and an 'apartheid state', when it is not, and not, and not.


      Ash makes some very good points. We must turn to QUIRK on this. Quirk do you know details on these matters?

      rat is the type of guy that would 'sell off' the family heirloom silverware at the first opportunity, and feel great about it, thinking, after all, it had no real utilitarian value. Plastic spoons serve as well.

    6. desert ratTue Jul 23, 07:34:00 PM EDT
      Israel is, right down to the identity cards that folks are forced to carry.
      All totalitarians want to be able to demand that a persons papers are in order.

      This coming from a nation that wants to USE the IRS to enforce Obamacare, create a database to track your compliance, income, where you live so community organizer and tell if your suburb is properly race mixed...

    7. Ahh, but if you want, here in the US, a person CAN stay off the grid.
      Regardless, the government here has not financed the murder of Jews, year in, year out, every year of the 21st century.

      The Israeli government has.
      They are socialist totalitarians.

      Here in the US, we have amateurs, what we call wannabe totalitarians in charge, by comparison to the Israeli.

    8. The art belongs to the city, the way that Q told the tale.

      When it was donated to the city museum, title transferred.
      If the city owns that art, it should be sold, to cover the moral and financial obligations of the city.

      If the city does not own it, well then, the city does not own it.

      The buyers of the art, they would appreciate it, at least as much as the people that it was donated to.
      People that have no financial investment in it, if it was donated, and the city owns it.

      That the Federals are going to count beans, well, let 'em.
      Sure can't stop 'em from doing it.
      Of all the things that the Federals do, that is objectionable, a housing survey is not high on the list.
      Funding Israeli apartheid, that is objectionable.

    9. 55 MILLION American souls murdered and paid for by the government and the people of the USA since roe v wade....

      No matter how you slice it?

      America IS the murder capital of the world....

    10. .

      We must turn to QUIRK on this.

      Well, my first observation would be that no English major worth his salt would try to modify an absolute as with the use of "most unique".

      With regard to the art, I now hear that the bankruptcy laws covering municipalities are different in some ways from most of the bankruptcies we are used to. Cities are not required to sell all their assets. Schuette, the Attorney General, has ruled that the art at the DIA can't be sold as it is held in trust for the State of Michigan. One judge has agreed with him although a couple of bankruptcy lawyers have said on tv that's not so. We shall see.

      If any of it were to be sold, Kevin Orr, the emergency manager would have to decide which pieces would be sold. Not all of it can be sold. Some is just loaned to the museum and others were donated with strings attached. Obviously, anything the city bought outright could be sold.

      I am hoping something can be worked out to keep everything intact.

      Orr's job is to come up with a plan that assures when Detroit comes out of bankruptcy it will be able to sustain itself and provide adequate protection and services for the citizens of Detroit. All the players are likely to suffer, retirees, bondholders, unions, and likely some of the 'jewels'. For instance, it wouldn't surprise me to see the water department privatized or taken over by the affected counties. The state has already offered to take over Belle Isle on a ninety-nine year lease, maintain it and put in improvements. The zoo and the DIA are currently run by independent outside non-profit authorities and the three counties surrounding these two institutions contribute to their upkeep. I'm optimistic that some deal can be worked out to save them both if required.

      The judge appointed to the Detroit case will take a look at the plan Orr comes up with and determine if the proposed 'New Detroit' will be able to stand on its own before he agrees to allow it to exit bankruptcy.


    11. >>>>Schuette, the Attorney General, has ruled that the art at the DIA can't be sold as it is held in trust for the State of Michigan. One judge has agreed with him although a couple of bankruptcy lawyers have said on tv that's not so. We shall see.<<<<

      This is good news.



    Carlos Danger to hold presser. If you haven't known who Carlos is you haven't been paying attention.


    >>>Ed Morrissey Show

    Open thread: Carlos Danger to hold press conference at 5 p.m.

    In a better world, Andrew Breitbart would be there live on the scene, preparing to step to the podium and run this show. In the world we live in, we’ll have to settle for this squirrelly little horndog once again fielding embarrassing media questions about his sexual psychodrama.

    Two reasons to tune into cable news and watch. One: If 2011 was any indication, this guy’s willingness to lie desperately in hopes that he can make the story go away is almost inexhaustible, even if he has reason to think some of those lies will be exposed. E.g., the mystery woman who was sexting with him probably has more damning stuff that she’s preparing to reveal. Will Weiner admit to everything up front right now, so that none of it’s a surprise later, or will he dissemble in hopes that he won’t get caught? A rational man would do the former, but we’re not necessarily dealing with a rational man here. Two: There is, I think, at least a slight chance that Weiner’s going to, er, pull out. Maybe the mystery woman has something so embarrassing on him that there’s simply no way to keep it from being a huge humiliating distraction to his campaign, even if it turns out that this all happened before the scandal was exposed in 2011. Or, maybe Huma’s simply had enough and demanded that he pull the plug. High drama, coming right up.

    Exit question via Ace: Does Weiner really know people at Politico who’d be willing to hire his mistress, or is that Carlos Danger, international man of intrigue, blowing smoke to impress her?

    Update: NBC has a livestream.

    Update: Oof.<<<

  20. Video already of Shameless Liberal Elite Carlos Danger's Presser here-

    >>>>Video: Weiner’s creepy press conference

    The big revelation: The sexting continued long after he resigned from Congress in 2011, on into the summer of 2012. Right up until the time, in fact, that he was telling People Magazine how awesome his family life was as part of his image rehabilitation effort:

    “I’m very happy in my present life,” Weiner told People in the July 18th profile.

    “Anthony has spent every day since [the scandal] trying to be the best dad and husband he can be,” his wife said. “I’m proud to be married to him.”
    He has?

    Watch the vid of the presser. Two years ago, Kirsten Powers called Weiner’s endless lying spanning weeks of scandal “sociopathic.” You get a better sense of that watching this than you do from any of his pressers back then. There’s not a whisper of real remorse or embarrassment here even though this isn’t the first time he’s had to cop to sleazy behavior at a press conference and even though the fact that he went on sexting for a year after leaving office gives voters every reason to think he’s compulsively reckless. The whole thing has a pro forma “let’s get this over with” check-the-box feel to it.

    And to add to the creepiness, his wife not only ended up at the podium next to him, she delivered her own statement in his defense. “Anthony has made some horrible mistakes,” she said, “but I do strongly believe that it’s between us in our marriage” — a claim that would be perfectly fair if he wasn’t running for mayor of New York City. Chris Matthews made a (rare) good point on MSNBC: This was, in a way, Huma’s introduction to the public. I follow politics regularly and I don’t think I’ve ever heard her speak before. He was content to keep her in the background until he needed a human shield against the latest round of sexting revelations. And to top it all off, she didn’t seem particularly perturbed by the circumstances either. She flashed a big bright smile when they walked out together and seemed perfectly relaxed throughout, just like Carlos Danger himself did. The media naturally finds her brave and dignified; I think the two of them together put on one of the creepiest shows of careerism since whenever Charlie Crist’s last presser was. I’d vote against him for that reason — not because he’s “flawed” but because we need fewer people in office whose political ambitions have left them literally shameless. Creepy, all the way through.

    Exit question: How recent is “recent”?<<<<

    Hillary's Huma stood by her 'man'.

  21. Once-rising Republican star has been dogged by revelations about gifts and loans from a political donor.

    WASHINGTON -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday he has repaid more than $120,000 to a political donor and apologized for bringing "embarrassment" to the state.

    "Being governor of Virginia is the highest honor of my 37 years in public service," McDonnell, a Republican, said in a statement. "I am deeply sorry for the embarrassment certain members of my family and I brought upon my beloved Virginia and her citizens."

    For months, McDonnell has been dogged by headlines in The Washington Post and other news outlets about his ties to Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams. Among other revelations, Williams picked up the $15,000 catering bill for the 2011 wedding of one of McDonnell's daughters and financed a $15,000 shopping spree for Maureen McDonnell, the governor's wife, at Bergdorf Goodman. Williams is also said to have paid $6,500 for a Rolex watch that Maureen McDonnell gave to her husband.

    Federal and state authorities are investigating McDonnell and his ties to Williams, whose company makes dietary supplements. The disclosures have damaged the reputation of McDonnell, a prominent Mitt Romney surrogate in 2012 who was once touted as a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

    The repayments include $52,278.17 to cover a loan Williams made to Maureen McDonnell and $71,837 loaned to a real estate business co-owned by the governor and his sister. The repayments cover the principal of the loans and interest. McDonnell said the funds for the repayments came from him, the real estate business or his family.

    The statement from McDonnell represents a shift for the governor, who had previously criticized the news accounts of the gifts from Williams. McDonnell, who cannot run for another term in 2014 under state law, has resisted calls from Democrats to resign.

    1. ...once touted as a potential 2016 presidential candidate ...

      Typical Republican politico, taking money under the table, then getting incensed about it, when caught.
      If that is the best the GOP can offer, in 2016, their voters may as well stay home.

  22. The only color the developer card about, was green.

    The condominiums at Kierland Commons are sold out.

    The final sale of the Plaza Lofts building took place last month. With the sale, Woodbine Southwest is no longer involved in the project.

    Woodbine has been involved in the development of the Kierland area since it was conceived in the early 1990s.

    “It has really worked out well,” said Buzz Gosnell, president of Woodbine Southwest.

    Kierland Commons, best known for its retail space, has been open since 2000. The condos, the final piece of the 38-acre project, went on sale in 2005 with 30 available units.

    The tower building, nine stories with 54 additional condos, went on sale in 2008.

    Gosnell says his company was able to weather the recession because of patience and luck.

    Patience had to do with not being too eager to sell everything within a set amount of time. The building took five years to sell out.

    “We had good commitments on phase one,” he said, referring to the initial 30 units. “It didn’t take too long to pay off our loan, and we decided to be patient.”

    As a result, prices in the upscale building did not drop, at least not too much.

    “We ended up not having to reduce prices, although maybe there was more room for negotiation,” he said.

    The upscale nature of the condos helped, with customers who probably were not as severely affected by the recession. Prices for the condos soared to close to $3 million for a 4,000-square-foot penthouse unit.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. BobTue Jul 23, 11:31:00 AM EDT

    The liberal elite have also betrayed the poor by making them dependent on government largess. Just enough to live, not enough to prosper.

    "The poor ye shall always have with thee."

    Especially with the liberal elite.

    “A GREAT deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep"

    Saul Bellow

    Lordy, lordy, lordy,

    The irony is rich and deep that you, boobie, of all people, should publish THAT Saul Bellow tought, multiple times.

    Why don't you put that other foot of yours in your mouth and swallow hare?

  25. oh, and folks, I know Israel has problematic policies. I've been harping on that for decades now and I am very happy to seem some "conservatives" come to the that side of the equation. But, really, that is old news.

    How about focusing more closer to home. To the 'problematic' and 'idealistic' policies of the US? How about a little more examination of just how deep the corruption goes in the US political system. Just how fucking flawed the US political system is? I haven't seen a peep here on the NY Time article of how Goldman Sachs fleeced all in the aluminum market.

    1. There is only so much one can say about Goldman Sucks, ash.

      No one defends 'em, so there is no discussion.

      It is just another case of crony capitalism, old school banking regulations having been gutted by the Federals, that now allow banks to rape and pillage Main Street, figuratively speaking, of course.

    2. It sounds to me like an aluminum Enron, an economy based on financial engineering, about as economically useful as high frequency trading by the high frequency mutherfuckers and their lawyers. Another massive collapse in the making.

  26. It is truly wonderful to have you back, Ash.

    This place needs all the humor it can get.

    I was beginning to be concerned that your sailboat may have sunk, like Obama's polling numbers are doing, or that you had gotten brained by a golf ball.

    Great to know you are still alive and kicking!

  27. I submit, Deuce is an art lover, rat is not.

    One dead giveaway sign is that Deuce has often mentioned art, while rat never has, not even once.

    People tend to speak and write about the things they love. On this premise, rat loves horses and cattle, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. But not art.

  28. Replies
    1. That's better than loving cattle, I'd say.

  29. Isael, boobie, is a city state.
    It is the same size as the metro Phoenix area.

    It is an apartheid state, with separate villages and areas for each of the varied religious groups, with separate and distinct civil and property rights for each disparate group.

    It is a totalitarian state, one that has been in violation of the Article 4 of the Geneva Accords since 1967.

    You may disagree, but never tell us why. Other than to tell us of your "feelings" which, like must socialist liberals, you cannot quantify. You have your feelings, and wish you could impose them upon others.

    1. Blah, blah, blah.

      "You have your feelings, and wish you could impose them upon others."

      Heh, that's really ripe, coming from you.

      What I want is to be left alone, and leave others alone, and not pay all my extra money in taxes.

      Pretty damn simple.

      While you, just the other day, wanted to confiscate the handguns of all and sundry. So you and your bubs in the Militia would be the only ones to have guns, or be able to protect themselves.



      Ash, you came back at the perfect time. Right when we were discussing how the policies of the liberal elites - that's you, sonny buck - have nearly destroyed the middle class, made welfare permanent, utterly destroyed Detroit and are working hard on many other places.

      You were wise to escape to Canada.

      Again, welcome back, Ash!! Our cross the border comrade!!

    2. This socialist liberal voted for Romney.

    3. But this socialist liberal's first choice would always be the Divine Sarah.

      Second choice: maybe Judge Jeanine Pirro

  30. On this day in 2000, Tiger Woods – at 24 years old – won the British Open, becoming the youngest golfer to win a career Grand Slam.

  31. Let me chime in here on the Detroit art collection. It is fairly reasonable to expect that some part of Detroit is going to survive. Any city must have a reasonable amount of cultural anchors. The art collection offers an opportunity to develop a museum that, properly located to other reasonably attractive municipal assets, could generate a development hub, far more valuable than the money received at auction. The proceeds of an auction will be a drop in the leaky bucket, where a museum could be a repair to the bucket.

    Detroit needs micro solutions in a general macro plan. Declaring Detroit, all of it, a federal and local enterprise zone, would do far more good than selling cultural capital.

    1. .

      That is one of the key arguments being made here. Surprisingly, its being made by many of the suburbs surrounding Detroit. And even though many of the citizens of Detroit and their elected officials previously refused to even listen to any plans offered by the state and others to help for fear of losing their 'jewels', now few seem to care since the only thing they are concerned with right now, and understandably so, is their own survival.


  32. .

    A federal appeals court Tuesday found unconstitutional a law that gives thousands of Americans born in Jerusalem the option of listing Israel as their birthplace on U.S. passports...


    In a separation-of-powers dispute centered on Middle East politics, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that the law passed by Congress in 2002 “impermissibly intrudes” on the powers of the president.


    The court’s opinion cited submissions from the department that argued the law “runs headlong into a carefully calibrated and long-standing executive branch policy of neutrality toward Jerusalem.”

    Since Israel’s creation in 1948, Henderson wrote, U.S. presidents have “steadfastly declined to recognize any foreign nation’s sovereignty over that city.” The executive branch has made clear that the status of Jerusalem must be decided not unilaterally by the United States but by all the relevant parties.

    This should clear up one point of argument that has arisen here before.