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May 26, 2009

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narciso

When you miss that first dose of soma, the whole day goes badly, it's either thatm or some one gave him the glasses from "They Live"

clarice

CAR scans at Kink's? Count me IN.

clarice

**CAT scans**
(You can always count on me to step on the punchline. It must be pyschological.)

clarice

Ahem psychological.

Danube of Thought

David Brooks makes me sick no matter what he has to say.

GMax

Financiers vow they will build an entirely new banking industry that doesn’t rely so much on loan repayment.

Isn't this the business plan for FNMA? Something like lets focus on homeownership, not so much on qualifying by being a solid prospect to repay the mortgage. How did that work out again, cuz I have been busy and distracted?

Neo

This is satire at it's best.

Business lies down with government. Management embraces labor. You call it what you will ...

It seems to have all the earmarks of one of the Saddam Hussein photo-ops with the American hostages visitors.

Neo

More bad news ....


Governor Martin O'Malley, a dedicated class warrior, declared that these richest 0.3% of filers were "willing and able to pay their fair share." The Baltimore Sun predicted the rich would "grin and bear it."

One year later, nobody's grinning. One-third of the millionaires have disappeared from Maryland tax rolls. In 2008 roughly 3,000 million-dollar income tax returns were filed by the end of April. This year there were 2,000, which the state comptroller's office concedes is a "substantial decline." On those missing returns, the government collects 6.25% of nothing. Instead of the state coffers gaining the extra $106 million the politicians predicted, millionaires paid $100 million less in taxes than they did last year -- even at higher rates.

fdcol63

And as they group together for a photo, Obama is the one standing on the Left side of the picture holding the sign with the arrow pointing to the right that says "I'm with STUPID!".

maryrose

Neo:
You have just said it all. Leaving the state, Swiss bank accounts-this is just the beginning folks. The rich will flee and take their money with them They are not about to finance the Obama boondoggle.

Charlie (Colorado)

And as they group together for a photo, Obama is the one standing on the Left side of the picture holding the sign with the arrow pointing to the right that says "I'm with STUPID!".


Winner.

PDinDetroit

ChaCo - I assume you saw this - LUN.

Dave in OC

Hmmm, wasn't Brooks accosted by 3 WH aides for wandering off the reservation a month or two ago? The column really is quite funny. Unfortunately it appears that Chrysler bankruptcy judge Gonzalez has been rolled by the WH, and that's no laughing matter. I for one had hoped he would not go along with this theft. There was good press regarding how he handled Enron and WorldCom, but it appears that Zero has had him in the bag all along. We'll see if GM gets the same treatment. Anyone think Zero can keep the zombie Chrysler and GM going until after the 2012 election? I sure don't think he can. I hope Ford keeps humming along while the other 2 flounder.

Thomas Collins

See LUN for an article on Sonia and eminent domain.

daddy

Is there a "there" there at the core of Brooks?

For Krauthammer, Cheney, Rush etc, it's evident almost every time they open their mouths.

For Sully it's Gayness, for Gergen its a paycheck for lugubrious apologies. But for Brooks, if there is a consistent "there", where the heck is it. Anybody know?

fdcol63

Oh, Brooks' core is there .... flowing with the political breeze and the "conventional wisdom" of the punditry.

pager

O/T but not unexpected.

"Tea Party Protester Visited by Joint Terrorism Task Force of the FBI"

Note-in the comments, that he has already received the IRS notification also.

LUN

JM Hanes

"And yet there is a moment during each of the ceremonies when the spirit of the Almighty descends upon the congregation."

Brooks has a uniquely informed perspective on this. You call it what you will, I'll say he's done his share of sucking up.

Neo

Life imitates Art

Michael
These events have heralded a new era of partnership between the White House and private companies, one that calls to mind the wonderful partnership Germany formed with France and the Low Countries at the start of World War II.

Looks like the 'holy bonds of mutual fantasy' aren't what they used to be; some say marriages have those moments. Thanks for wading into the NY Times to bring us this.

Rick Ballard

Speaking of the "holey bonds of mutual fantasy""

Maybe the final climactic event is upon us. Maybe the final bubble to burst is the US Treasury market and maybe we are on the verge of a financial Krakatoa which will realign financial markets.

Jansen isn't given to extraordinary hyperbole. He disclose his trades as they are made.

Thomas Collins

Rick, don't worry about a potential implosion of the Treasury market. The real threat to our well being is that we eat too much lamb shish-kebob. Don't believe me? Then see LUN!

Pofarmer

Maybe the final climactic event is upon us. Maybe the final bubble to burst is the US Treasury market and maybe we are on the verge of a financial Krakatoa which will realign financial markets.

Then, whazup with the Dow?

Oh, and the Dollar looks like hell, too.

Rick Ballard

"Oh, and the Dollar looks like hell, too."

It's just resting, Pofarmer. It's been wounded by over application of Uncle Ben's Miracle Grow and fain would lie down and bleed a while before rising to fight again.

OTOH - the long end of the bond market looks like its in for some strong arterial bleeding and the vice like compress on the short end isn't helping much.

Don't worry though - consumers are reporting great confidence. If they had any money or credit they would probably spend like drunken sailors.

jorod

Chairman Mao would be proud...

Ignatz

--the long end of the bond market looks like its in for some strong arterial bleeding and the vice like compress on the short end isn't helping much--

Rick,
Since by nearly every account Europe and Japan are in even worse shape than us and because of your above mentioned rise in interest rates brought about by the drop in bond prices, seems to me the dollar may be set for a rally, as the best of a bad lot?

ajacksonian

David Brooks is becoming a disillusioned Hamiltonian who now gets to see what a 'robust' federal presence does to a 'moderate' society in search of a Statist agenda. The Hamiltonians made their pact with the Progressives long ago, as both sought more power to the State. Now, after decades, comes some buyer's remorse in finding out that a 'robust' government presence in the economy is not 'moderate' it all nor even moderating, and is a detriment to the liberty of individuals building society.

Perhaps he can find a 12-Step program for recovering Hamiltonians. Or some on whap him upside the head with a copy of Common Sense saying: read this as you don't have any.

Good Lt.

Your boy, Dave.

DrJ

Recovering Hamiltonians? Are those convalescing theoretical chemists? /ducks/

cathyf
...whazup with the Dow?
Looks to me like the market has already started applying inflation to stock prices.
Rick Ballard

Ignatz,

I'm much worse at currency than I am at bonds but the results of the heavy application of Uncle Ben's Miracle Grow seem to have any number of people in far off lands rather concerned.

You're absolutely correct wrt to the parlous nature of the economy for the EU and Japan. China too, once you take a peek behind the facade. The dollar is still the benchmark and them dammed furriners are watching both of Ben's hands as he pulls those trillions out of the hat. Some of them are undoubtedly wondering whether he will be as skilled at stuffing them back in as he was in pulling them out. Some of his fellow Fed governors have voiced the same concern. Rather loudly.

It's an interesting game to watch. From the sidelines. I spend my spare time pondering the Latin root of credit.

Terry Gain

I'm not so sure this is humour. Brooks penned an ode to Obama which someone pasted at Pajama's Media. It ended with this sickening quote.

Obama has taken many of the same policies Bush ended up with, and he has made them credible to the country and the world. In his speech, Obama explained his decisions in a subtle and coherent way. He admitted that some problems are tough and allow no easy solution. He treated Americans as adults, and will have won their respect.

Do I wish he had been more gracious with and honest about the Bush administration officials whose policies he is benefiting from? Yes. But the bottom line is that Obama has taken a series of moderate and time-tested policy compromises. He has preserved and reformed them intelligently. He has fit them into a persuasive framework. By doing that, he has not made us less safe. He has made us more secure. — DAVID BROOKS

Se we are safer because Obama has done a better job of explaining Bush's policies to the media than Bush did? If that was humour it's the best satire I've ever read. So when Brooks writes what I've pasted below, is it satire or the man at his unctuous best?

These executives have been invited to make these donations in the same spirit that the Cossacks invited my ancestors to emigrate to the Lower East Side. And yet there is a moment during each of the ceremonies when the spirit of the Almighty descends upon the congregation. It usually happens while the president is describing the glorious future. He’ll be describing how, in three years, he will slash the deficit by cutting taxes and doubling spending. He will be describing how, in three years, he will create millions of jobs by raising energy costs.

Has Brooks lost his mind? Is Brooks the only person in America who thinks Obama is a disaster on the economy but a genius on defense. Could someone please enlighten me?

clarice

Please listen to me.

It has been obvious for some time that the NYT poisons whoever they hire as a "conservative" commentator.The evidence could not be clearer. After a very short time, they all go completely batso.

It's either something they spray in the air or put in the water.

starevacantlyandontalk

Obama's global poverty tax is back from Washington where they expect evermore tripled foreign aid for their mercy and other pals on the intelligence committee. Obama killed mortgages with his ACORN law suits, GM with his socialism and AIG as the idiot in Congress who 'didn't know.' Maybe they'll shave their underarms if we notice Obama finally said we're broke; after he tripled foreign aid outside the regular budget for five year terms.

The Obama global poverty tax is paid whether you like it or not as part of the GDP/GNP.

Terry Gain

Thanks Clarice. Can you explain why these people are stll called conservative when it's clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that they've gone bat-shit liberal, or worse?

clarice

They are still in the same shells in which they entered the building..the poison just sucks out their brains and replaces them with pablum.

Danube of Thought

It all began with Kevin B. Phillips, now unquestionably a lunatic but still described as a "conservative" for something-or-other he said forty years ago.

JM Hanes

Have I told you lately that I ♥ you, Clarice?

daddy

Since this Brooks thread doesn't seem to be raising many comments, let me slip in this OT discussed on Local Talk Radio today about a proposal to re-open the Adak">http://www.thealaskastandard.com/content/send-gitmo-detainees-adak">Adak Alaska Prison for the Gitmo boys. During the show the author said she knows that within the last few days it was presented to the White House where it was supposedly given a serious lookover. I don't know, but having been to Adak Island multiple times, and knowing it's size(@200 Square miles) and horrendous weather, I am sceptical. The near by island of Kiska had been occupied by the Japanese in WW2, yet the occupying force evacuated under the nose of a US Fleet which then bombarded the island a few hours later with the biggest Naval Barrage (at the time) so far in the War. What that tells me is that, unlike Gitmo, it would be a very difficult place, sizewise and weatherwise, to successfully monitor for any intruders intent on trying to free the prisoners and cause mayhem. (I seem to recall that at 1 point in WW2 we had over 50,000 troops on the island though I can't verify that at the moment.) I may be wrong, but it seems to me that it would take a huge input of unhappy personnel to that garden spot(current population about 300) to adequately guaranty the integrity of the island...plus, it's earthquake prone. And would transferring them from Gitmo to Adak supposedly win back the hearts and minds of the Arab Street? Not hardly.

Anyhow, am just putting this out there so that if Adak does get floated as an option, we'll have some ideas of what questions the Brook's of the world won't ask that need to be answered before it's a fait accompli.

PD

daddy, sounds like it would be an absolutely nuts idea to substitute Adak for GITMO. Therefore it probably is getting that "serious lookover" by this administration.

narciso

Why would they be so eager to house Gitmo detainees at Adak, just like cutting the F-15 complement at Elmendorf, as well as orders of the F-22, Delaying OCS drilling. I van't quite see the common elementm but it will come to me, any day now.

clarice

Heading to L.A. for my grand daughter's 4th birthday. Behave!

clarice

Youhaven't jmh--but I just KNOW inside that you do---and it's mutual.

clarice

Adak sounds Perfecto, daddy. I can't imagine the white shoe lawyers who are volunteering in droves to help the detainees, rushing thru blizzards to do so--I mean Gitmo is nearby, balmy, easy to get to...

(Years ago I held with others the lease on Dutch Harbour--first storm knocked out the piers and made it virtually impossible for the crabbers to work. Except for some sheep that was it. Never renewed it.)

Martin

The General gets Obama's back:

RADIO FREE EUROPE: As you know, General, the debate over Guantanamo and enhanced interrogation techniques has become "Topic A" in Washington. In your view, does the closing of "Gitmo" and the abandonment of those techniques complicate the U.S. mission in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in the overall struggle against violent transnational extremist groups or does it help it?

PETRAEUS: I think, on balance, that those moves help it. In fact, I have long been on record as having testified and also in helping write doctrine for interrogation techniques that are completely in line with the Geneva Convention. And as a division commander in Iraq in the early days, we put out guidance very early on to make sure that our soldiers, in fact, knew that we needed to stay within those guidelines.

With respect to Guantanamo, I think that the closure in a responsible manner, obviously one that is certainly being worked out now by the Department of Justice -- I talked to the attorney general the other day [and] they have a very intensive effort ongoing to determine, indeed, what to do with the detainees who are left, how to deal with them in a legal way, and if continued incarceration is necessary -- again, how to take that forward.

But doing that in a responsible manner, I think, sends an important message to the world, as does the commitment of the United States to observe the Geneva Convention when it comes to the treatment of detainees.

AlanH

As I wrote elsewhere,

well, thank God our President can discuss Niebuhr off the cuff. /s

People like Brooks can't be trusted for the most part because their views too often aren't grounded in intelligent principle. The fact that he is right today (and very right) only highlights how wrong he was 9 months ago.

Terry Gain

This is madness. Aside altogether from the fact the Geneva Convention, by its terms, does not apply to terrorists here is what we are up against. Excerpts from the GC dealing with captives:

Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information.

No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.


I suggest we change the name of this conflict from Overseas Contingency Operation to:

THE HEADCHOPPERS VERSUS THE PANSIES.

Call the book/movie.

THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL OVER STUPIDITY

Martin

Crap, just realized the general I quoted is that GENERAL BETRAYUS traitor. I thought we'd put him to death for his treasonous lies to Congress but I guess he's just another war criminal who's escaped justice for now.

Please disregard that part of my prior comment.

But Obama still deserves high praise for handling terrorists in exactly the same way that the evil Consistution-shredding Bush did, though, because Obama is doing so in a responsible manner.

boris

Rather bold statement.

narciso

Sarcasm this late in the day ,Martin, no, yous see the military commissions after September 11th, and those in the Military
Commissions Act were based on case law, Ex parte Quirin, and Johnson v. Eisentrager, which in turn reach back to ex parte Milligan and Merryman, the civil war tribunal cases. Who knows whar principle Obama will adopt, although the REd Queen from Alice in Wonderland is a good guide; Words can mean anything I want them to mean, who nows he might use Korematsu as a basis for decisions (Japanese internment for those unclear on the subject)Gen. Petraeus is well intentioned but wrong the
American Army Field Manual is unlikely to operate in the redoubt of the ISI and Saudi General Intelligence, where Salafism was been simmering for thirty years now

fdcol63

The whole point of the Geneva Conventions was to create a RECIPROCAL agreement wherein each party to a conflict has agreed to certain modes of civilized behavior regarding the treatment of prisoners of war and the conduct of opposing forces in the conflict, including actions that impact the civilian populations in the theater of conflict.

There are 2 problems in applying these Geneva Conventions to the current conflict:

1) Islamist terrorists are stateless, and have never signed or agreed to the Geneva Conventions.

2) The Geneva Conventions were based on Western and European values and concepts of war, while the Islamist terrorists we're currently fighting are Muslim jihadists seeking to overthrow and destroy Western and European culture, and are fighting with completely different values, traditions, tactics, and strategies of war.

Too few in the world, especially liberals, understand that there are very real and very basic differences between the following:

1) Basic human rights

2) Rights, privileges, and obligations pertaining to POWs and combatants enjoyed and prescribed as a consequence of being a signatory to the Geneva Conventions.

3) American legal rights and privileges enjoyed as a consequence of American citizenship.

They are not the same, nor are they interchangeable.

Nor should they be.

ajacksonian

We do, indeed, distinguish between lawful and unlawful war, and it is one that is understood as the basis OF civilization, as the description of the difference goes back as far as at least the late Bronze Age. The laws of war, not written down but adhered to over the centuries, were clearly understood as separating those that fought for a State or Nation and those who did not. It is to be noted that the term 'pirate' includes those attacking on land, also, the sea is only a means of movement, not a defining difference, and that, too, has been known since the dawn of civilization. Even into our modern times we have known this difference between the World Wars when a described 'army of thieves' was roaming central asia and the USSR needed to declare no war to stop them... via the first use of paratroops on record.

What developed via Grotius was the Laws of War and the Laws of Peace, as well as his understanding of the Laws of the Sea. He built upon the Black Book of the Admiralty and understanding of how war was fought as he was living in the midst of the 30 Years War and knew full well how wars were waged and should be waged honorably between Nations. That foundation was built upon by the Law of Nations, by de Vattel assisted by Blackstone and others, which was published decades before the United States came into being and was a touchstone work on the Constitutional debates during the ratification period.

These works were utilized by Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Hamilton, Monroe, Jay... and later by Jackson and Lincoln. This was what served for the armed forces of the Union for over 30 years:

Art. 82.

Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers - such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates.

That is a clear and succinct description of 'terrorism' as done today, and has basis going back into pre-Revolutionary times and the Common Law as commented on by Blackstone when speaking of piracy:

LASTLY, the crime of piracy, or robbery and depredation upon the high seas, is an offense against the universal law of society; a pirate being, according to Sir Edward Coke,10 hostis humani generis [enemy to mankind]. As therefore he has renounced all the benefits of society and government, and has reduced himself afresh to the savage state of nature, by declaring war against all mankind, all mankind must declare war against him: so that every community has a right, by the rule of self-defense, to inflict that punishment upon him, which every individual would in a state of nature have been otherwise entitled to do, any invasion of his person or personal property.

Before that is de Vattel in Law of Nations:

"§ 67. It is to be distinguished from informal and unlawful war.

Legitimate and formal warfare must be carefully distinguished from those illegitimate and informal wars, or rather predatory expeditions, undertaken either without lawful authority or without apparent cause, as likewise without the usual formalities, and solely with a view to plunder. Grotius relates several instances of the latter.5 Such were the enterprises of the grandes compagnies which had assembled in France during the wars with the English, — armies of banditti, who ranged about Europe, purely for spoil and plunder: such were the cruises of the buccaneers, without commission, and in time of peace; and such in general are the depredations of pirates. To the same class belong almost all the expeditions of the Barbary corsairs: though authorized by a sovereign, they are undertaken without any apparent cause, and from no other motive than the lust of plunder. These two species of war, I say, — the lawful and the illegitimate, — are to be carefully distinguished, as the effects and the rights arising from each are very different.

§ 68. Grounds of this distinction.

In order fully to conceive the grounds of this distinction, it is necessary to recollect the nature and object of lawful war. It is only as the last remedy against obstinate injustice that the law of nature allows of war. Hence arise the rights which it gives, as we shall explain in the sequel: hence, likewise, the rules to be observed in it. Since it is equally possible that either of the parties may have right on his side, — and since, in consequence of the independence of nations, that point is not to be decided by others (§ 40), — the condition of the two enemies is the same, while the war lasts. Thus, when a nation, or a sovereign, has declared war against another sovereign on account of a difference arisen between them, their war is what among nations is called a lawful and formal war; and its effects are, by the voluntary law of nations, the same on both sides, independently of the justice of the cause, as we shall more fully show in the sequel.6 Nothing of this kind is the case in an informal and illegitimate war, which is more properly called depredation. Undertaken without any right, without even an apparent cause, it can be productive of no lawful effect, nor give any right to the author of it. A nation attacked by such sort of enemies is not under any obligation to observe towards them the rules prescribed in formal warfare. She may treat them as robbers,(146a) The inhabitants of Geneva, after defeating the famous attempt to take their city by escalade,7 caused all the prisoners whom they took from the Savoyards on that occasion to be hanged up as robbers, who had come to attack them without cause and without a declaration of war. Nor were the Genevese censured for this proceeding, which would have been detested in a formal war."

Of course terrorists are human! They have reverted to savagery by reclaiming all their liberties and recognizing no civil power over them. They have abjured civil government and the restrictions that civilians adhere to so as to be protected from our own savage nature. They are not just criminals: they are outlaws in the oldest sense of being outside the protection of any law.

It is not WE, the civilized peoples of the planet, who did this to them. They declare themselves by their actions and deeds. To get the protection of civil law all al Qaeda members have to do is turn themselves in to those Nations they have attacked and subject themselves to civil scrutiny and accept that their place as citizens is to adhere to this common agreement we have to protect ourselves against our savage nature. That is what Captain Morgan did to clear himself of piracy charges: submit to civil law and present his case and accept civil judgment which was pretty harsh if found guilty.

Terrorists have broken with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: they have violated it completely and cannot be given any sanction as law abiding civilians under it. They do not place themselves under civil authority to be held accountable. Thus they revert to the Law of Nature and Nature's God, red of tooth and claw where the strong subjugate the weak. I would much prefer them to submit to civil law, but they do not, thus the Laws of War are plain for those fighting in this venue. That tradition does not start with Rome nor even Greece, but goes back to Egypt, Babylon, ancient China... any who want to do different today ARE breaking with civilization as this is the FOUNDATION of what it means to be civilized: submitting to civil law to protect yourself and society.

Being human doesn't get you much when you take up the animal's position and seek to oppose all societies and Nations. Do that and you are outside the framework of any law, any civil order, any protection at all. I do not place them there, nor do our Nations: you must do those things to lose those protections, and once done you are in a world much harder, much nastier and one that runs red with blood. I have zero sympathy for terrorists, pirates, brigands, and roving bands of marauders no matter what their era or background. They are in the mode of attacking for themselves, not to uphold society of any sort. Their actions declaim their destiny: and a brutal one it is.

Strawman Cometh

I don't think that word means what you think it means. Burris's attorney, while defending Burris on msnbc, just said that Burris "had the moral turpitude" to not take the money.

Meta Pale

Beyond the Palisades, aj.

narciso

Yes, the Princess Bride, seems aninvaluable guide to understanding the current state of events, so again is Spinal Tap, and more often than not; Monty Python

Pofarmer

Speaking of one finger salutes-

IRS tax revenue falls along with taxpayers' income.

Federal tax revenue plunged $138 billion, or 34%, in April vs. a year ago — the biggest April drop since 1981, a study released Tuesday by the American Institute for Economic Research says.

When the economy slumps, so does tax revenue, and this recession has been no different, says Kerry Lynch, senior fellow at the AIER and author of the study. "It illustrates how severe the recession has been."

For example, 6 million people lost jobs in the 12 months ended in April — and that means far fewer dollars from income taxes. Income tax revenue dropped 44% from a year ago.

LUN

Extraneus

Did you guys see this stuff?


Only GOP-donor-owned Chrysler dealers were shuttered?


Big Dem Donor Group Allowed to Keep Their 6 Chrysler Dealerships Open ...Update: Their Local Competitors Eliminated!!


Did Team Obama Target Red Counties?

Pofarmer

For corporate income taxes, receipts were off 89.6% (from $32.6 billion in March 2008 to $3.4 billion in March 2009).

OUCH.

PDinDetroit

Po - Buy more ammo! Helps you and the government at the same time.

Your tax dollars hard at work funding the socialist revolution, which will bring a libertarian revolution all in due time.

Extraneus

Same thread from Gateway Pundit...

Hope, Change & Marxism: Did Obama Target GOP Donors In Chrysler Dealer Closings?

That's pretty explosive if true. Seems like these people would have some sort of legal recourse.

Pofarmer

Seems like these people would have some sort of legal recourse.

How? A lot of them just lost their livlihood. How do they have the time and money to go through the courts for 5 or 6 years?

Pofarmer

Buy more ammo!

Well, I do need to go into town later today anyway.

Extraneus

Wouldn't some enterprising knight like to take a case like that pro bono to show off his gleaming armor?

Danube of Thought

AJacksonian: Much of the doctrine you recount has been superseded by Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which imposes restraints on all signatory nations regardless of the nature of the people in their custody.

Pofarmer

Would YOU like to cross the Obama administration in THEIR courts?

fdcol63

Just like Louis XIV, Obama seems to be saying:

"L'etat, c'est moi" — "I am the state."

At what point do people begin to believe that, instead, he's an enemy of the state?

jean

This Chrysler deal if true seem to have an easily understood narrative."You didn't donate to DEMS-you get shut down."Something the American public can get it mind around

Danube of Thought

"Nice dealership you got there. Hate to see sump'n happen to it."

Jane

Extraneus,

Yesterday on the radio Dick told me a guy in Florida was told by the government rep that they had to get rid of a bunch of cars and if he wasn't willing to take them, they would close him down. He got it on tape. That sort of goes along with that you are talking about. I don't know if it is true and I have no idea where he heard it.

narciso

Like I said, Monty Python, and the Precotti Bros, seem to sum it up. Although looking at that IRS data, isn't possible that having a tax cheat as the IRS head, might affect collections at least at the margins. This whole thing runs afoul of the Phillip Roth principle, too wit in the late 80s, Roth stopped writing fiction, because reality just beat him cold.


jean

Maybe I'm being unrealistic,but I can't imagine the general public would be anything but outraged if the dealerships are being closed down because of who you donated to

PDinDetroit

Being around the auto business, I decided to look into some of those 789 Chrysler Dealerships being closed.

I was very surprised to see some of them on the list from the Metro Detroit Area. These specific dealers are profitable from all accounts, have new facilities, have great CSI numbers (Customer Satisfaction Index), and meet their APR Commitments (Area of Primary Responsibility). They are not mom-n-pop shops or have too many dealers within a specific area or have overlapping APR's with other dealers.

At this point, I guess I am not surprised if this is true that the government had a hand in deciding the closures. I am just waiting for this administration's house of cards to come crashing down...

Has GM released it's list of dealers to be closed?

laura

has anybody read the Post article on a possible VAT tax? LUN

Neo

OBAMA: What I’m looking at is not the day-to-day gyrations of the stock market but the long term, uh, ability for the United States and the entire world economy, uh, to regain its footing. Uh, and y-y-you know, the stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics. It bobs up and down day to day, uh, and if you spend all your time worrying about that, you’re probably going to get long-term strategy wrong.

... you're also not going to see revenue ...

Federal tax revenue plunged $138 billion, or 34%, in April vs. a year ago — the biggest April drop since 1981, a study released Tuesday by the American Institute for Economic Research says.

fdcol63

VAT - well, they made it clear that they wanted the US to be just like Europe.

The American people are getting just what they elected.

Unfortunately, the rest of us will suffer with them.

fdcol63

Obama and the Dems don't care if overall tax revenue goes down.

They still believe that they can increase taxes on the "filthy rich", and that the wealthy will do like the frat pledges in "Animal House" - bend over and say:

"Thank you, sir! May I have another??!!"

Pofarmer

Fox radio just reporting that the Feds could wind up with SEVENTY PERCENT of GM.

Pofarmer

Maybe I'm being unrealistic,but I can't imagine the general public would be anything but outraged if the dealerships are being closed down because of who you donated to
Who's going to report it? And how?

Pagar

Is there any advantage to Chrysler closing well run privately ownedChrysler dealerships, and if so, what would it be? It looks to me like the dealer is carrying the inventory, building the facilities, paying the employees, etc. Also, it looks like the dealers are the ones that buy advertising, donate to the Boy/Girl Scouts and/or ball teams.

What I'm thinking is that all of this stuff is just like the targeting of Republican politicians like Gov Palin. If the Democrats can identify the businesses who donate to the Republicans and bankrupt them, they can insure that the Republicans can never come up with the campaign funds to win elections.

Pofarmer

Isn't that how you would attack an enemy Pagar? Isn't that one of the ways we were supposed to be fighting Islamic extremism? Rush is right. The Progressives think the enemy is within this country.

Pofarmer

"Everybody who understands our long-term budget problems understands we're going to need a new source of revenue, and a VAT is an obvious candidate," said Leonard Burman, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, who testified on Capitol Hill this month about his own VAT plan. "It's common to the rest of the world, and we don't have it."

We. Are. So. Screwed.

Tom Bowler

I would be inclined to doubt that the administration would target Republican owned dealerships for closure by Chrysler. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if dealers who are big contributors to the Democratic party were exempted from it per order of the White House. The effect is about the same I suppose.

Bill in AZ

The Progressives think the enemy is within this country.

That's one thing they are right about - the news media in this country is the enemy.

Ignatz

If I'm reading things correctly, the new plan at GM, now that the bondholders rejected GM's plan, is the gov gets 70%, the UAW 17.5% and the unsecured creditors the rest. However, the secured bondholders (JP Morgan, Citi etc) will be paid off in full, to the tune of $6B.
No wonder they were so immediately compliant with their Chrysler debt; they knew they were going to get paid off in the GM deal, since no one believed the unsecured creditors would go along with GM's plan.
To summarize;
The big banks agreed to get screwed with Chrysler, but are now apparently going to be rewarded for that by getting 100c on the dollar with GM, so it is essentially a wash for them compared to going through straight bankruptcies.
But the smaller creditors, secured in the case of Chrysler and unsecured in the case of GM, get screwed in both cases.

It seems a little hard to understand the disparate treatment of secured creditors in the two cases as anything other than a backroom Chicago payoff.

Jane

Everything feels like Chicago politics today. It's the only way Rahm knows how to do business. (I'm not sure the President knows any way to do business but if he did, it would be the Chicago way too.)

Too bad we don't have a press...

RichatUF

Ignatz-

What collusion, price fixing, insider trading...from a Chicago thug administration with a pay-for-play, failed publisher, Auto Czar calling the shots...bring the comfy chair.

Pofarmer

Ya know, maybe I'm just being pessimistic on a gloomy dreary day, but, I never though anything could diminish this country, now I'm not so sure. We've got a President that we don't know where he was born, or what his citizenship was when he was in college. We've got Chicago thugs in the white house and pay to play politics ramapant. We've got huge deficits built into the budget and a tax picture getting bleaker by the day. I always thought a collapse of this country was unthinkable, today I'm not so sure. It won't take much a perfect storm to push things over the edge. The Soviet Union didn't see it coming, either. I hope we're still at least a first world country whenever this clown show gets out of office.

Neo

Steven Chu, the Nobel prize-winning physicist appointed by President Obama as Energy Secretary, wants to paint the world white. A global initiative to change the colour of roofs, roads and pavements so that they reflect more sunlight and heat could play a big part in containing global warming, he said yesterday.

How about he just try holding his breath for 30 minutes or so.

Bill in AZ

I suppose if there is a silver lining in the VAT balloon they floated, it is that Chairman Zero's administration is coming to the realization that the Crap n' Trade tax is going nowhere because globull warming is being recognized for the hoax it is.

Pofarmer

How about he just try holding his breath for 30 minutes or so.

I could help him with that!!!

Can you imagine driving on a white road in the winter?

Brilliance!!!!

cathyf
It seems a little hard to understand the disparate treatment of secured creditors in the two cases as anything other than a backroom Chicago payoff.

Ignatz, it's not that clear-cut. There is a big difference between Chrysler and GM in that if one of them is viable and the other not, then it's GM that's viable and Chrysler that's not. The Chrysler bankruptcy is fundamentally hinky -- and the whole point of arguing that the bondholders got screwed because they got X% while the union got Y% assumes that they got X% and Y% of something worth more than zero (because, of course, any percent of nuthin is nuthin.)

I'm thinking that the hinkyness of the Chrysler deal is more about the fact that they are not liquidating the company. If they liquidated, the secured creditors would get maybe 50-60-70 cents on the dollar, and nobody else gets anything. This way, the secured creditors get stock, which WILL be worthless, and soon, when the UAW finishes the job of bankrupting the company. But there is the fig leaf that if the government-UAW partnership really turns the company around (stop laughing!) then those bondholders could possibly end up holding something that is worth money.

RichatUF

Neo-

Should make for a nice ad.

The Obama Administration is asking us to paint our roofs white to maybe save a few nickles on our energy bill, while oil, gas, and electricity go up in dollars (so much for the Obama "tax cut"). But at least you can feel good about "saving" the environment by coating a large surface with toxic paint...Obama's energy policy is a whitewash, of, by and for radical environmentalist special interests.

Lots to work with.

bad

The Obama Administration is asking us to paint our roofs white to maybe save a few nickles on our energy bill.....

Wait till someone sues for all of the paint particulate in the air... Inevitable!!

Ralph L

The guidelines in my Historic District specifically prohibit light-colored roofs. Let's pit liberal groups against each other.

PDinDetroit

The Network Broadcast Satellite Trucks are lined up in front of GM World Headquarters as of about 1 hour ago...

pagar

Pofarmer, "The Progressives think the enemy is within this country."

It is not just here either.

"in case you haven’t been keeping tally, El Mono Loco has, since 2006, taken over Venezuela’s telecommunications, electricity and steel companies as well as four of Venezuela’s oil projects.

I wonder if Chavez will do for Pfizer what he has done for his “agrarian revolution,” that is, as an example, turn the 32,000 acre cattle ranch, El Charcote, where four years ago 2.6 million pounds of beef were produced and now produces no beef at all, into a weed-choked bean field where poor farmers grow their food.

This should come as no surprise: The Once and Future Simian King has taken over 5.4 million acres of farmland from private citizens in the name of his reform and since then has imported THREE times the amount of food as before his awesomely successful takeover. (To simplify this number- food imports went from $75 per person to $267 per person.)"

LUN

RichatUF

Chu really jumped the shark with that remark. Dig up some footage of glassy-eyed activists from the darkest days of the Carter Administration saying we needed to paint the ice caps black and wear warmer clothing because we were heading into and ice age and had an energy crisis "because we're using too much energy and running out".

Another ad idea could be having a paint crew painting over in white all the 1970's and 80's hysteria slogans. Then have them airbrush in neon colors the new crisis vocabulary, "green energy" "climate crisis" "cap-and-trade"...a voice over "the crisis always changes, but its the same tax-and-spend solutions and anti-freedom agenda". Could even have the painters in "green collars"...

If the GOP weren't also bitten with the green virus they could get some mileage out of this seeing as how oil has ticked back up over $60/bbl and gas (at least in my area) has gone up about 85 cents. But alas we've just got to do something for Mother Earth.

sbw

Hasn't Christo already done it?

Ignatz

--then it's GM that's viable and Chrysler that's not--

Perhaps cathy, but that still doesn't explain why secured Chrysler creditors holding $6.8B were given 29c on the dollar in the form of probably worthless stock by Barry while GM's secured creditors holding $6B are being offered 100c on the dollar in cash, while the unsecured ones are being offered chump change in stock just as in the Chrysler BK.

PD

I wonder if Chavez will do for Pfizer what he has done for his “agrarian revolution,” that is, as an example, turn the 32,000 acre cattle ranch, El Charcote, where four years ago 2.6 million pounds of beef were produced and now produces no beef at all, into a weed-choked bean field where poor farmers grow their food.

Seems to be common with communist dictators. From Against All Hope (Armando Valladares), some observations on Castro's terrific sense about agriculture (p190):

We passed the airport. To the right there were miles and miles of mango fields. That was Castro's very own idea. Millions of pesos were spent on that plan, and it turned out to be a complete disaster. The land wasn't right for that kind of crop, but none of the agronomists who were advising him dared contradict the dictator. Only a few of the trees ever bore any fruit. Exactly the same thing had happened with that mad campaign of his for planting coffee inside the cities. In parks, in vacant lots, in private gardens and yards, and on balconies and terraces -- you had to plant coffee trees anywhere there was a square yard of dirt. Castro announced that there would be a virtual cornucopia of coffee, coffee for everyone. Coffee trees were planted in a belt all around Havana. On one occasion, exuberant over the brilliant scheme he had conceived and put into action, the Commander in Chief sought to impress a group of foreign diplomats he was meeting with in the middle of what was called the Havana Cordon. With evident self-congratulation he showed them the newly planted green belt of coffee trees. But an English diplomat, assigned to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, told him flatly that they would never harvest a single bean. That was his expert opinion. Castro reacted as though the man had slapped him. There ensued such an argument that the other diplomats had to step in to calm the situation.

The expert from the Food and Ariculture Organization was right. No one ever drank a drop of coffee made from those plants. And the matter was never talked about again. It was consider taboo in Cuba. But whenever that English diplomat ran into Cuban delegations in London, he we always ask them, with a sarcastic grin, how the coffee was coming along in the Havana Cordon.


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