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January 01, 2009


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Hope everybody is feeling well this morning. Have a great day.


ß â ðàñòåðåíîñòè, êîìó ïîíðàâèëîñü?


Yah. Happy New Year, Everyone!

Welcome to the Neue Ordnung that will take the best of onion peelers to expose.

Hope and Change, anyone?

Meantime, can the Israeli Government screw this up anymore than it has? Stinks like Lebanon already....


Happy New Year to all!


Happy New Year, JOM!

Here's a fond alphabetical look back at '08 from Judicial Watch.

Why stop at only ten?

sbw-Whitman Jane

It already is a better new Year. I haven't had to use my sbw-Whitman Jane pseudonym yet.

Oh, and fireworks were legal here last night. Courtesy of Mike's Fireworks we shock-and-awed the neighborhood.

Two dudes in an F-150 traveled more than a mile to watch what was happening. I'm sure some of the fireworks had Israeli markings they were so big.

Yes. Since, as CharlieCo would assure us, since one can be centered even when surrounded by adversity, we shall watch 2009 unfold in personal peace... peppered with insight, sarcasm, and snark. ;-)


Happy New Year to all at JOM. Missed all the festivities here last night, but it looks like everyone had fun!


Wow, less than three weeks to stop this train. Don't they know the bridge is out?


The best is yet to come!
I want to thank one of my special people in cyberspace for everything that he does to make my visits more worthwhile, enjoyable, and thought provoking.
Never forget!

Best wishes to everyone here at JustOneMinute. I hope all of you have a safe, prosperous, and wonderful New Year.

I dread Barry's upcoming DC ceremony, and having to endure revisionist John Kerry and Hayden spouting more nonsense, but I know JOM will be here to get me through it all. Thanks again.



I'm in the "spam" club.


Now, Kim . . . you could view 3 weeks from now the way Jennifer Rubin at Contentions does . . . Zero will have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, he will be The Man! Evil George Bush will have waltzed off back to Texas.

I am hoping for continuing amusement (in between periods of angst, of course)!


Look, guys. Things might well improve in 2009. In which case, you can give all the credit to Bush's prescient policies.

Actually, I think the cahnge in government will give the impression of a change in underlying conditions, which, given the way economy is part psychology, may really help.


In Gaza the New Year started with a bang. IAF deliver Season's Greetings to Hamas leader.


This is for Narciso. For me the jury is still out, but I like her better and better.


Congratulations all, on this beautiful morning, as I mentioned before, I got a little hangover to make me forget this wretched year past. I'll adopt a more bemused, less agitated attitude, to this
year of "two plus two equals five". We know what the truth is, and we're not taking the
red pill.


Nice link about Tripp, C.R., thanks. The family is in a good place right now.


Happy New Year! I guess that Blago gave me the desire to begin blogging again. Boy, that was so very lame. But I guess the new year is a time to start. We have alot to do us conservatives whom dabble here.


Appalled, I hope and believe you are right, and that things will improve if only from perception and psychology. Part of the problem, though, with such an approach, is that the unreasonable 'hope for change' brought because of fantasized competence of the incoming administration will, in its turn, bring about an untoward psychological reaction such that people will think things are worse than they are.

Actually, all that 'hope' is just denial. We'll have to get through that before any progress can be made. Oh, and best spirits of the season, to ya'.



Yes, they are in a good place which says quite a lot about them.


Wonder if Obama's pal was at Merrill and sold when he was told to get the bailout? BOA, where Merrill went, just bought 'em and SC just took that loan. Loan criteria Merrill, Obama and Fannie and Freddie.


Well, Russia has cut off gas to the Ukraine, but frankly, it sounds more like horse-trading over prices than anything else.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Happy New Year, JOMers from the Gator Bowl in beautiful Jacksonville. The Huskers and Tigers kick off in @ 1.5 hours. I have a Husker daughter and a Clemson son- in- law. We all had a hell of a party last night ringing in the New Year with champagne and home made blackeyed peas.

Something tells me W had a better new year celebration than BHO. There will probably be no more relieved an ex-President than W come January 20.

Rick Ballard

"Actually, I think the change in government will give the impression of a change in underlying conditions, which, given the way economy is part psychology, may really help."


Here's a fellow who had some very decent calls last year who supports your assertion. He gives some credit to Zero for things which are already in the cards wrt housing but otherwise appears on target.

It really doesn't matter what Zero does, the media are all in and the reporting is going to show everything getting better no matter what the reality (and the reality is that the basic economy isn't that bad to begin with).


Obama has been in office for a year. Everyone said the dems shouldn't start running that early, but the MSM saw all that money and it was billions for Obama. So, since he's hiding his using for foreign aid (entitlements voted on before the US government budget and just before the presidential elections on a five year budget) in the early dem start up instead of his painers what's the problem? Well, allot of it was internet money and he won't go near one of those. Yes, check his application he wants to know internet all life on the internet like a true dem; the oppressor.


This may be old news, but I haven't seen any discussion here of "Barack the Magic Negro." Apparently the term has floated around the black community for a long time. Anyway, I thought this March 2007 column, written by a liberal of mixed racial parentage, was interesting both in itself and in shedding light on the artificial controversy about Saltsman. Most of all, it helps to answer my question from a few days ago about why so many otherwise sensible white moderates like Kaus, Althouse, etc., voted for Barack. The kicker is the last paragraph:

Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help, out of the sheer goodness of a heart we need not know or understand. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.


Rick, I saw a float with Citi's name in the Rose Parade this morning.



The "horse trading" that Russia is playing at in Ukraine is more along the lines of imperialistic power surges within the Kremlin. Putin sooo wishes to be taken seriously again. He's bet the farm on an energy "crisis" and all his plans rely on sky high energy prices. Gazprom tower being built in his hometown of St. Petersburg is a good example of his hubris.

We have dear friends in both places, Kiev and St. Petersburg, so we get some of the skinny.


It's not, that's why I coined the 'wurlitzer
of woe' to show how this meme was created. I don't know how anyone can credibly call themselves a financial expert, and not have people snicker after last year. Jim Cramer, I'm beginning to see why you retired from active trading. If he doesn't do anything ill considered, which would be against all his instincts, we should recover nicely. The sales and consumer figures are all over the lot; one week they're recession peak, than midpoint, and entry point. About as reliable as the polls, were and probably as useless.

MK Freeberg, pointed out something about this cycle. They lost four years ago with
a lackluster candidate, but that didn't make them change their approach; they just 'dialed up everything to eleven'; for the next round. The quagmire, global warming, the economy. They had the full collaboration of the media, and yet they were only able to pull 52/46, with 750 million dollars! (insert Dr. Evil gesture here) They won by a respectable margin, but in some corners as he puts it; 'an alien would think that our (Hayekian gal)Sarah had won', I mean they couldn't be more vitriolic if she had right, Who would have thought five years ago, that a former bodybuilder, action star, turned politico, would turn out to be a 'girly man,' yet a hockey mom from above the 48, would turn out to be the one we were looking for. Actually one thinks about it, that last idea would seem more logical, a former sportscaster, hunter, and administrator of the largest state in the Nation. She did point out the total pointlessness of the primary system in selecting candidates, Huckabee, Ron Paul, how drunk does someone have to be before that makes any sense. And turning away Rudy and Fred, and the
unwarranted sliming of Romney. The 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' almost proves the Nietchian proverb about "what makes one stronger,". Which is the one caveat in my analysis, or her future trajectory. Nevertheless, Is there anyone with more courage, more compassion, and/or decency left in the Party. I'm sure they'll be other contenders, remember VanderLeun's remarks, but they'll have to surpass her high standard. My local McClatchy, has her in the people section, a gentle diss to get off the stage; 'go back to whatever she was doing before'. What the AP got something wrong, more properly when did they get anything about her, her family, and any one within spitting distance of her. No, Levi, never struck me as a quitter, a little intemperate, for the big city folks. he didn't quite know the hubbub he was getting; but who could have been prepared
for this brouhaha.


Actually, I think the cahnge in government will give the impression of a change in underlying conditions, which, given the way economy is part psychology, may really help.

Yes, especially when the MSM starts reporting the sunny side instead of the gloomy side of all economic news beginning on January 21. Funny how that psychology stuff works, huh?



Nice blog! See you found the Zorn piece (that is resting comfortably in the spam filter here from an earlier post I tried to make).

Did I get into the filter because I LUNned a blog post from the Trib? The url was kinda long, I admit.


The world's stocks lost 48%. Whew!


Gateway is reporting that Israel took out Hamas leader. Happy New Year indeed.



Happy New year to all!

The MSM is going to be circumscribed by events, I'm afraid. The economy, Barack's unfortunate associations, Blagojevich's antics, ad infinitum will present too many stories with too much juice to ignore.

Now someone is dangling the possibility of a media bailout...and how is that a critical industry to America, exactly? The NY Times, Time, Newsweek,People, Us, and anything Conde' Nast should be allowed to die painful deaths....and some loon of the Left is already calling for a pullback from Afghanistan....

and how is it that Caroline Kennedy's major supporter turns out to be Michael Bloomberg, a purported Republican? Was it his hubris, or was it some Machiavellian plot that drove him?

It's going to be a hell of a year for stories.....

Take care of business, as Elvis would say. Hunker down, and fan the flames of freedom.We'll get through this and hopefully learn some good lessons and get back to the important things.


True enough, Porter, Medvedev, was previously the head of Gazprom, which was Exxon, Con Ed & Halliburton all rolled up into one. Medvedev is the dark specter, that everyone 'right thinking' person thinks Dick Cheney is. After the Russian incursion into Georgia, I really was on a kick about Russia, some of that reading list I mentioned before, the Politskayava
,Baker, Meier, and too many other tales of the last decade. That's when I took up some Tolstoy for some interesting parallels. That was around the time of those lively dialogues with our friend anduril, if one recalls. This background I absorbed made any Russian apologist very hard to take,
from any party one cares to mention. It reinforced my support of anyone with a strong stand on the subject. If you want a dark ultra noir view of what the new Czar has wrought, read Brent Ghelfi's Volk tales, but bring a strong stomach. Daniel Silva's "Russian Rules" is a more refined take on the subject.

This magical meme, is very dissapointing to me. Give me some one of real accomplishment,
who's struggled to change the system;a General Honore, a Colonel West, a Joe Clark, a Michael Steele, or a KenBlackwell,
and I'd vote for him in an instant,without blinking an eye. The only thing stupider is Saltsman, thinking this would help his chances. "Hello, McFly, is anybody home". I once had high hopes for Powell, seemingly so long ago, but he lived down to every possible expectations I might have had about him. Boy do they grow these trolls in a vat or what?


Happy New Year, all. I regret that I mistakenly advised yesterday that Mark Steyn would be doing Rush's show today, based on a comment I thought I heard from Walter Williams. One of us was obviously wrong, and it appears that Steyn has decided to spend his time sorting out his feelings for some of the illustrious ladies here instead.


Well, he's not here..and neithr is you figure it out.HMPH


Thanks, Porter. Not sure what youre asking me though.


About now Hamas leaders are draping their wives and kids all over themselves whenever they want a little shut eye.


Porter, that's probably right. An LUN or hyperlinks are the most likely causes of getting caught in the spam filter.



Why isn't more written about the two members of Blago's team whom did resign? One was John Hughes (COS I think) and there was another, wasn't there?


By Rabbi Meir Kahane, Zt"l
(November, 1988)

Dear World,

It appears that you are hard to please. I understand that you are upset over us, here in Israel. Indeed, it appears that you are quite upset, even angry and outraged! Indeed, every few years you seem to become upset over us. Today, it is the brutal repression of the Palestinians; yesterday, it was Lebanon; before that it was the bombing of the nuclear reactor in Baghdad and the Yom Kippur War campaign.

It appears that Jews who triumph and who, therefore, live, upset you most extraordinarily. Of course, dear world, long before there was an Israel, we, the Jewish people - upset you.

We upset a German people who elected a Hitler and we upset an Austrian people who cheered his entry into Vienna and we upset a whole slew of Slavic nations - Poles, Slovaks, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians, Romanians. And we go back a long, long way in the history of world upset.

We upset the Cossacks of Chmielnicki who massacred tens of thousands of us in 1648-49; we upset the Crusaders who, on their way to liberate the Holy Land, were so upset at Jews that they slaughtered untold numbers of us. We upset, for centuries, a Roman Catholic Church that did its best to define our relationship through Inquisitions. And we upset the arch-enemy of the Church, Martin Luther, who, in his call to burn the synagogues and the Jews within them, showed an admirable Christian ecumenical spirit.

It is because we became so upset over upsetting you, dear world, that we decided to leave you - in a manner of speaking - and establish a Jewish State. The reasoning was that living in close contact with you, as resident-strangers in the various countries that comprise you, we upset you, irritate you, disturb you.

What better notion, then, than to leave you and thus love you - and have you love us? And so we decided to come home - to the same homeland from which we were driven out 1,900 years earlier by a Roman world that, apparently, we also upset.

Alas, dear world, it appears that you are hard to please. Having left you and your Pogroms and Inquisitions and Crusades and Holocausts, having taken our leave of the general world to live alone in our own little state - we continue to upset you.

You are upset that we repress the poor Palestinians. You are deeply angered over the fact that we do not give up the lands of 1967, which are clearly the obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

Moscow is upset and Washington is upset.

The Arabs are upset and the gentle Egyptian moderates are upset. Well, dear world, consider the reaction of a normal Jew from Israel. In 1920, 1921 and 1929, there were no territories of 1967 to impede peace between Jews and Arabs.

Indeed, there was no Jewish State to upset anybody. Nevertheless, the same oppressed and repressed Palestinians slaughtered hundreds of Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Safed and Hebron. Indeed, 67 Jews were slaughtered one day in Hebron - in 1929.

Dear World, why did the Arabs - the Palestinians - massacre 67 Jews in one day in 1929? Could it have been their anger over Israeli aggression in 1967? And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered in Arab riots in 1936-39? Was it because of Arab upset over 1967? And when you, World, proposed a U.N. Partition Plan in 1947 that would have created a Palestinian State alongside a tiny Israel and the Arabs cried and went to war and killed 6,000 Jews - was that upset stomach caused by the aggression of 1967? And, by the way, dear world, why did we not hear your cry of upset then?

The poor Palestinians who today kill Jews with explosives and firebombs and stones are part of the same people who - when they had all the territories they now demand be given them for their state - attempted to drive the Jewish State into the sea. The same twisted faces, the same hate, the same cry of "idbah-al-yahud" - "Slaughter the Jews!" that we hear and see today, were seen and heard then. The same people, the same dream - destroy Israel. What they failed to do yesterday, they dream of today - but we should not "repress" them.

Dear World, you stood by the Holocaust and you stood by in 1948 as seven states launched a war that the Arab League proudly compared to the Mongol massacres.

You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, wildly cheered by wild mobs in every Arab capital in the world, vowed to drive the Jews into the sea. And you would stand by tomorrow if Israel were facing extinction. And since we know that the Arabs-Palestinians daily dream of that extinction, we will do everything possible to remain alive in our own land. If that bothers you, dear world, well - think of how many times in the past you bothered us.

In any event, dear world, if you are bothered by us, here is one Jew in Israel who could not care less.

Captain Hate

Happy New Year, JOMers from the Gator Bowl in beautiful Jacksonville. The Huskers and Tigers kick off in @ 1.5 hours. I have a Husker daughter and a Clemson son- in- law. We all had a hell of a party last night ringing in the New Year with champagne and home made blackeyed peas.

Happy New Year, Jim; no offense but the Gator Bowl has been turrible thus far as has the Capital One Bowl. Not as bad as that 3-0 Oregon State/Pitt snorer yesterday but one thing the BCS has done is ruin the January 1 bowl extravaganza.


Thanks for posting that, Rocco. I hadn't read it before.


You're welcome Ex...I had read that a while back on The Jewish Virtual Library. A great site! On one foot is worth a look.


What a great read Rocco.


: ) bad


About now Hamas leaders are draping their wives and kids all over themselves whenever they want a little shut eye.

That appears to be exactly what they are doing. One report says the Hamas leader was killed with two of his four wives. Another source says all four wives are toast.


BCS has done is ruin the January 1 bowl extravaganza.

I agree.
The quest for a "real" national champion, and the BCS, is not what college football is all about. IMHO.


The mafiosis in times of trouble have their wives start their cars; Hamas just jhides under them.


Speaking of Kahane--who was rather radical himself, don't forget the connection between his assassins and 9/11:
" [D]uring much of this time Mohamed was ... , an operative for the CIA and FBI, and a member of the U.S. Army.(6) ... Mohamed turned up in FBI surveillance photos as early as 1989, training radical Muslims who would go on to assassinate Jewish militant Meir Kahane and detonate a truck bomb at the World Trade Center. He not only avoided arrest, but managed to become an FBI informant while writing most of the al Qaeda terrorist manual and helping plan attacks on American troops in Somalia and U.S. embassies in Africa.(7)

That Mohamed trained al Qaeda in hijacking planes and wrote most of the al Qaeda terrorist manual is confirmed in a new book, The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright, who has seen US Government records.(8) Let me say this again: one of al-Qaeda's top trainers in terrorism and how to hijack airplanes was an operative for FBI, CIA, and the Army.

But what we have heard so far is a fall-back cover-up of even worse truths. Peter Lance, who first wrote the script for the National Geographic special, told about Mohamed's detention and release in Toronto. This important detail, along with others, was cut from the program. Lance withdrew from the project and complained on his website about these and other cuts, such as this one:

"Within days of 9/11 Cloonan ... interviewed Ali, whom the Feds had allowed to slip into witness protection, and demanded to know the details of the plot. At that point Ali wrote it all out - including details of how he'd counseled would-be hijackers on how to smuggle box cutters on board aircraft and where to sit, to effect the airline seizures."(9) ">Kahane to 9/11
"Patrick Fitzgerald knew Ali Mohamed well. In 1994 he had named him as an unindicted co-conspirator in the New York landmarks case, yet allowed him to remain free. This was because, as Fitzgerald knew, Ali Mohamed was an FBI informant, from at least 1993 and maybe 1989.12 Thus, from 1994 “until his arrest in 1998 [by which time the 9/11 plot was well under way], Mohamed shuttled between California, Afghanistan, Kenya, Somalia and at least a dozen other countries.”13 Shortly after 9/11, Larry C. Johnson, a former State Department and CIA official, faulted the FBI publicly for using Mohamed as an informant, when it should have recognized that the man was a high-ranking terrorist plotting against the United States.14 "


Rocco..a solemn reminder that hate is hate, no matter the person, country or religion.
I pray for peace. I pray for enlightenment. I pray for prioritized leadership in decency and truth. I pray that no innocent child is indoctrinated with evil by ignorant parents or caregivers. I pray for the United States of America, my family and friends, for strength, protection and goodwill. Oh, Lord, hear my prayer.

And, please help me to not stress over the idiot losers who make me angry!!

Did anyone catch Bill and Hill doing their "happy dance" last night--it was just like the one on the beach in the Virgin Islands when Bill was going to be impeached and the Monica rumors were flying! OK, I'm stressing over loons I cannot change.Nevermind.. Send some happy thoughts my way, please


The mafiosis in times of trouble have their wives start their cars; Hamas just jhides under them.

Fruedian slip like? Or on purpose.

I first read...Hamas just jhades under them.


Here is a list of the trendy colors for 2009. LUN

Hope you like purple. It's supposed to be everywhere.


Chilling, specially considering he was murdered by one of Sheik Rahman's
congregation, name escapes me right now, two years later. Kind of a grim thought to consider, anyhow if I gave you this line who do you think, I'd be talking about:

"Shrill, publicity-seeking, demanding a good hairdresser": Not it's not a column in the Politico or the Huffington Post,about our dear Sarah, in the 2008 campaign, during 'wardrobe-gate' although he could drop 'diva' and 'rogue' in there, without missing a beat. Actually the rest of it tells the tale," many of Margaret Thatcher’s traits were already shining through in 1978, a year before she entered Downing Street" this appeared in a unlinked comment from an article referring to the release of Thatcher's official papers, in Tim Blair's round up of the news. No the lines, are not from her papers at all, but from liberal politicos commenting on her, a year before she became Prime Minister, a sampling of premature TDS as it were. So O'Sullivan was even more right than even he recalls. One would have thought that someone who entered public office, a decade older than Sarah, would have has an easier time of it. au contrair, mon frair. I imagine this comes from the Guardian or the Independent, although right now even the Telegraph seems to indulge in this level of snark.

Captain Hate

The quest for a "real" national champion, and the BCS, is not what college football is all about. IMHO.

I agree, Maybee; the trouble is that the NCAA already has a *great* playoff system in place for Divs 2 & 3. They can blah-blah all they want about "too many games" or whatever casuistry-du-jour they're using; it's all about money for the bowl cities.


Glenda, I read somewhere in the last few days (wish I could remember where) that there is tremendous pressure to rebuild the trauma center on Galveston Island. The impetus appears to be the need to deal with fire and explosions in the nearby gas and oil facilities.

Stay strong Glenda. God be with you.


El Sayyid Nosair was the fellow's name, who had visitors from Rahman's flock. that last comment, jogged my memory, I try not rely too much on Global Research which has a bit of a truther edge, but Lance is certainly on point, it seems. He's the one that provided the insight that Mohammed had been the source for certainly the first PDB, and it's more deficient cousin. Although I thought he was in prison, for having been involved in the casing of the embassies in Africa.


Will Michelle's inauguration gown be purple? It's a hot new color (supposedly) and one of her favorites. Hopefully it will be more attractive than that ghastly thing she wore election night.


What a lovely prayer for the New Year Glenda. May it find it's way to Heaven!


ts--it might have been a freudian slip, but I think it was just a typo..



a funny one ::wink::


Clarice, your keyboard, usually malevolent, is in this case brilliant. I think we should call the rules of engagement the CIA and the military were operating under during the Clinton administration "Jihide and seek."


Steyn will be doing Rush's show Friday 1/2/09


It's a typo, because for the life of me, I don't know what jhides is.


Elliott:Jhide and seek, if yoiu please.

And who cares about Steyn anyway?


Clarice, I hear Fitzgerald is looking into pay for play allegations on that whole "Jane won" thing.


Clarice, I hear Fitzgerald is looking into pay for play allegations on that whole "Jane won" thing.

Gossip, gossip I tell you!! Our beautiful and brilliant Jane would not stoop to subterfuge and the gorgeous Mr. Steyn, who does not have manboobs, has too much integrity to be tempted.


Mr Doom and Gloom makes his economic prediction for 2009.

WARNING: It's grim.



Now, that is something worth spending a lot of taxpayer $$ on, Elliott. Of course, I didn't feel right bringing it up myself, but since you did.....


An antidote to Golf Digest's Obama hagiography I mentioned yesterday, Dan Jenkins reflects on the Bushes and golf, beginning thus:

If you're a friend or a relative of George Herbert Walker Bush, Prez 41, or George W. Bush, Prez 43, or any other Bushes, then you know an 18-hole round of golf shouldn't take more than three hours out of your day -- there are other important things to do. Like, oh, you know. Overthrow a tyrant. Imprison a terrorist. Expose a saboteur. And those are just the Democrats.

Funny, huh? No? Well, at least try to remember there's a war on, and loose libs sink ships. Just getting your attention, actually. I'll bet you'd be dozing off right now if this piece had started off discussing Nancy Pelosi's new book, How the Snob Sport of Golf Has Ruined America and Everybody in San Francisco Who Didn't Vote for Me.


loose libs sink ships

As opposed to the rallying cry of the "We're melting! We're melting!" brigade: Igloo slips sink ships.


New years res not to get people killed like Larry and Val?

Save yurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr moneyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
Most stores are closed, except 7/11 cause they chose the dark side.

Bears drown daily.


Anyone see this?

Siemens, the German engineering giant, agreed Monday to pay a record total of $1.6 billion to American and European authorities to settle charges that it routinely used bribes and slush funds to secure huge public works contracts around the world...

...Officials at the Justice Department and at the S.E.C., which also investigated the case, said that some Siemens agents in the United States participated in the schemes. But most of the transactions were in foreign countries. Company employees created off-the-books slush funds, used middlemen posing as consultants and delivered suitcases filled with cash to bribe foreign officials.

Linda Chatman Thomsen, the head of the S.E.C.’s enforcement division, said that the company paid an estimated $1.4 billion in bribes to government officials in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

and this related (remember this lady?)

One of four wives of a Nigerian politician who is listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Justice Department's corruption case against Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, is herself accused by a federal regulatory agency of receiving $2.8 million in bribes from a German company.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Siemens AG of Munich has agreed to pay an $800 million fine for making 4,283 bribe payments totaling $1.4 billion to various government officials across the globe between 2001 and 2007. About $2.8 million was paid through a bank account in Potomac, Md., in the name of the wife of a former Nigerian vice president to assist four telecommunications projects that Siemens was pursuing in Nigeria, the SEC said.

The wife isn't named, but the SEC descriptions match biographical information for Jennifer Douglas Abubakar, who is married to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar...

Pal2Pal (Sara)

Hope you like purple. It's supposed to be everywhere.

Oh this will make my daughter very happy. She is a purple freak.


I didn't see that TS,I'll blog it. Thanks.

Pal2Pal (Sara)

Happy New Year everyone!


"happy dance" ... beach

That was my thought, too, when I saw that.


WARNING: It's grim.

Thanks for that one, Bad. So much for New Year cheer. Happy New Year! Anyway, JOM. And yes, Steyn tomorrow.


Thank you for remembering, bad! There is a lot more to the layoffs than just Hurricane Ike, it seems the regents at Texas were worried more about future bonuses and profits than people's lives! And to think, our good money went to UT for my daughter's Bachelor of Science!
Valero, Marathon, BP, Dow, Sterling, Praxair, Monsanto all have plants 1 mile away (as the helicopter flies) from UTMB's former #1 in the nation for survival, trauma center!


ts, we can't go on driving our cars, heating our homes, and prosecuting foreign companies for bribery, and expect the rest of the world will be ok with that.



Some of the bribery was Oil for Food - Saddam too. FYI.


Thanks for the reminder , TS..


from the press conference

QUESTION: You and Mr. Persichini both said that corporate executives were willfully engaged in this practice as standard operating procedure over a period of years widespread. Why does the investigation need to continue? It sounds like you had identified executives who were engaged in this patterned practice of behavior. Why were no individuals charged?

ACTING ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FRIEDRICH: I'll say it's not infrequent that a disposition is reached first vis-a-vis a company and then there are individual prosecutions after that. I'm not commenting on this case in specific. I'm talking about the practice generally. I wouldn't draw the conclusion that you're drawing.

QUESTION: Were there any U.S. officials or people in the United States who were involved in some of the bribe schemes?

ACTING ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FRIEDRICH: In terms of officials, no. If you read some of the factual statements, there may have been agents in the United States who facilitated some of these payments.

QUESTION: In terms of payments coming from U.S. bank accounts, or from Siemens entities in the United States?

ACTING ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FRIEDRICH: In terms of payments from Siemens, ultimately to a foreign official someplace else, by use of agents in the United States, and if you go through the statement of facts, it will spell out what some of that is on a case-by-case basis.


I guess the SEC complaint (or some complaint) lays it out but:

Siemens last week pleaded guilty to violating U.S. anti- corruption laws and will pay $1.6 billion to settle bribery probes in the U.S. and Germany. From the mid-1990s until last year, units of the company paid kickbacks and bribes to win contracts from Iraq’s government in the United Nations oil-for- food program and for projects including commuter rail in Venezuela, mobile-phone networks in Bangladesh, power plants in Israel and traffic-control systems in Russia.

ts--My bet is that any major project conducted by any foreign company in Iraq during the OFF program involved illegal bribes.


Wow Tops, is that what Obama has in mind when he talks about infrastructure projects?



Sorry, out shopping for new appliances for the new house. For the life of me, I can't figure out why LCD TVs and audio equipment aren't just as important as cooktops and refrigerators. Must be me.

More resignations announced yesterday (from the UP):

CHICAGO, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Attorney William J. Quinlan, general counsel to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich for the last four years, said he was resigning to return to private practice.
"We should not let recent events diminish the pride in our accomplishments or the commitment to public service with which we approach our job each day," Quinlan wrote in a letter to his co-workers.

He resigned Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday. His resignation comes three weeks after Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption accusations, including a claim that he tried to peddle the vacant U.S. Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

Quinlan is the latest high-level official to leave Blagojevich's administration, the Tribune said. John Harris, the governor's co-defendant, resigned as chief of staff. Also handing in resignations were Deputy Gov. Bob Greenlee and Jeff Daily, executive director of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

I believe the reason they're not written about is because they've all caught "feditis" (Kass' term, and I'm running with it). In other circles, I believe the term is "witness for the prosecution".

And I poorly worded my question about being caught in the JOM "spam" club, to which Elliott kindly deciphered and told me to mind my run-on urls.

Yes, we bought a new house in October, closes in two weeks. Seller stuck a ridiculously low price up and it had to be grabbed.

And also yes, we now own two.

Rick Ballard


'Broken clock' Roubini has never seen a rainbow. Holiday retail came in at -2-4%, which was better than I had anticipated. Couple that with the 14% drop in container traffic to the west coast in November and I really wouldn't expect a lot more retail bankruptcies. I'd say we exported the brunt of the recession to China.

I certainly don't expect a rubber band snap back and even if the real economy comes back more quickly than anticipated I doubt that it will be reflected very quickly in the market. Too many Wall Streeters have been revealed as unscrupulous blowhard jackasses (as well as the odd megathief or six) for the suckers to line up quickly for The Next Big Thing.

The other side of the equation is the credit issuers jerking the reins in on deadbeats - that's going to be interesting to watch. Mortgage applications are already up very substantially but part of the reason for the surge is the increased number of people being turned away.

In short - Roubini is overestimating the impact of the slowdown on employment in the US and underestimating the hit in the "emerging economies". That will happen when you spend too much time with Wall Street duds who are now polishing brilliant resumes to be sent to a diminishing number of potential employers.

JM Hanes

Back when it was so popular to accuse Rumsfeld of having armed Saddam, I was interested to discover that the Germans were actually near the top of Saddam's list. One of the articles I read made chilling reference to their expertise with gases.

Flipping channels for a moment, Rick Moran points to an important piece on Hamas & Iran by Walid Phares. I wish I'd had that link yesterday when I was trying to distinguish between the limited consequences of Israel's attack on the Syrian nuclear facility and the impossibility of their conducting a "surgical strike" on Iran's nuclear resources without inviting a devastating response. Even if they were to successfully eliminate Iran's nuclear capacity entirely, they would effectively release Iran from the restraints of having to conduct actual operations against Israel covertly -- and all hell would break loose.

Here at home, Phyllis Chesler reports on the disturbing nature of pro-Palestinian demonstrations (backed by the usual suspects). When Richard Perle & Co loomed large on the national stage, I began to worry about the increasingly noticeable trend (imported from Europe, I believe) of using anti-Israel rhetoric as a politically correct vehicle for anti-semitism. Since it is, in fact, possible to fault Israel on any number of fronts without being an anti-semite, this is a particularly insdiious practice -- and it has gone from simple disguise to ubiquitous tool used to paint Jews as paranoid, unreasonable and intolerant of the least dissent if they object.

I'm not sure why, but Comment #8 served as a welcome anti-depressant -- perhaps because it suggests that if you want to protest the protesters, your impact isn't necessarily a function of your numbers -- it's the asymmetry, baby! -- or maybe Gharqads just appeal to someone who already has a thing for trees.


Rick, at least he is consistent in his doom and gloom mode. I recall he did not fare well in previous discussions here.


I LOVE the suggestions of Number 8!!


I don't know about the bribes, but Siemens makes a pretty good washing machine commercial.


Jeeeeez Extraneous!! What a hoot. Mr. bad found that to be highly illuminating.


The Powerline guys weigh in on the Iseman vs NYT case.



You were saying something about having to 'pay to play' being not unique to
Chicago, well that Siemens case certainly proves the point. "Jennifer Douglas Abubakar," you can't make that one up, could one. One could probably find the same if one examined the records of the Turabi/
Bashir regime in Sudan, or if the Sauds were displaced in Arabia, by another
faction. Of course, it proves the superiority of the realists, over those naive people who say democracy is aluxury, until the tiger turns on them. Is it just my impression that the extra pressure to oust Coleman, maybe exactly coming from this corner, since he highlighted the hypocrisy of European businessmen and left
standardbearers like Galloway.

What no comment of the very prescient Maggie/Sarah comparison, the Kahane/Rahman tie, my point about Russia's truly malign nature and our unability to confront it. Or how the 'wurlitzers of woe' alters our expectations. I'm frankly a little tired of Roubini, he's playing his jeremiad of the end, a little too entertainly for my taste, I'm not clicking that list.

On another note, how's that recommended reading list, coming along Glenda. it's a shame, that it seems the whole Houston/
Galveston area just dropped off the map after this year; as far as the media is confirmed. Who are these regents, and where
is their conscience. This was part of my general disalutionment; with everything I had learned about business in my academic period. FASB standards, due diligence, all that tommyrot. After seeing the Cramers, the Burnetts, countless others recommending stocks and funds that they had no clue about; how can we believe anything they say in the future. The same goes for Rubin, Paulson and his boy wonder Geithner. I'm in a hanging mood about their duplicity.

I hate to be a broken record about this, but this is why I'm so positive about Sarah's prospects. It's in part because she's almost too genuine a person to be in this field; because she didn't parse things like her putative partner, that she didn't whine afterwards, despite everything. Did that count against her, actually admitting that he didn't know, everything on all topics, possibly. But one is spoiled against accepting anything or anyone else not so forthwright. Specially the incoming crew. So it's fine if she does a brushup on things outside her immediate experience, but not that it change who she is

I'm sure


Thanks for the link to Phares.


When you mentioned Siemens, I was about to bring up that commercial; but I thought better of it. Then Extraneous you have throw out all standards to the wind.

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