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January 20, 2008

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windansea

go Chargers

maryrose

Go Packers! I have relatives in Wisconsin...

Jane

Go Pats!

See you after the game - sulking or gloating - whatever!

anduril

Some of us don't have a team in the hunt, so we spend our time differently. The WSJ today has an editorial on the current credit crisis: The Panic Stage. Here's a few teaser grafs--the WSJ is clearly downplaying greed and fraud, and claims to have been warning about the situation since 2003:

In his book "Manias, Panics and Crashes," the economic historian Charles Kindleberger describes the stages of financial boom and bust. Students of the good professor will recognize where we now are in the current credit crisis: the panic stage. It isn't a pretty sight, but a crash is far from inevitable if political and economic leaders keep their wits about them and focus on the proper remedies.

Amid the daily market turmoil, and to help prevent a crash, it helps to step back and remember how we got here. With the benefit of hindsight, everyone can see that the U.S. economy built up an enormous credit bubble that has now popped. Our own view -- which we warned about going back to 2003 -- is that this bubble was created principally by a Federal Reserve that kept real interest rates too low for too long.

In doing so the Fed created a subsidy for debt and a commodity price spike. The price spike contributed to "excess savings" in countries with a low propensity to consume and which channeled that money back to the U.S. That capital flow and debt subsidy, in turn, became fuel for smart people in mortgage companies, investment banks and elsewhere to exploit. In a sense they created a new financial system -- subprime loans, SIVs, CDOs, etc. -- that is enormously efficient and brought capital to new places. But thanks to low interest rates and human enthusiasm, this debt spree also got carried away. This was the mania phase.

Thus we were told that rising housing prices were no problem, even as they climbed by 20% or more a year in some markets. Demographics and immigration could explain the boom. Credit spreads narrowed to unheard-of levels, but neither lenders nor investors seemed to mind. The rating agencies added their AAA blessing, and financial CEOs basked in rising earnings from investments they little understood.

The political class now attributes this to greed and fraud, and there is some of that in any mania. But most was the product of creative Americans responding to the incentives for debt that the Fed created. The politicians also enjoyed the boom while it lasted, spending the tax revenues, feasting off Fannie Mae campaign dollars, and celebrating the spread of home ownership. No one wanted it to end, which is why there was so much caterwauling once the Fed did begin to remove the debt-subsidy punch.

............

Enter the panic stage. The desire for debt has turned into a stampede to quality, especially Treasury bills. The same folks who never predicted the economy would recover in 2003 are now cheerleading recession. Any bank writedown or deal to raise capital -- no matter that it is part of the healing process -- is taken as a sign that there is more bad news to come.

Meanwhile, the politicians plot to "stimulate" the economy by dropping dollars from the Capitol dome. We are also told the Fed funds rate must chase the 90-day T-bill rate down to the levels it reached when we had negative real interest rates -- never mind the anemic dollar and soaring commodity prices. The danger now is that this panic becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy and talks us into a crash.

There are two ways in which a crash could happen. The first is insolvency of one or more financial institutions that triggers a systemic failure. The second is a loss of global confidence in U.S. financial management and the dollar. Neither has to happen.

............

As for the other crash scenario, we wish the Fed hadn't squandered so much credibility this decade. Then it might be better placed to reduce interest rates as fast and as far as Wall Street and Donald Trump are demanding. But with prices rising and the dollar as weak as it's been since the 1970s, the Fed has less room to maneuver.

Expectations of further easing have already caused oil and other commodity prices to surge in a way that robs much of the stimulus from lower rates. Higher food and gas prices have hit consumers hard and are part of the reason for reduced consumer spending. The worst case would be a global run on the dollar that left the Fed no choice but to tighten money dramatically.

* * *

So what to do? Pass a tax cut that is immediate, marginal and permanent. In the "stimulus" grab bag that President Bush is contemplating, the only growth driver is bonus depreciation. Congress will be worse. As for the Fed, continue with the regulatory triage, but ease as little as it can get away with and slowly restore the monetary credibility that was so painfully earned in the 1980s.

Other Tom

I have never felt that the term "greed" was a useful one in any discussion. It really means nothing more than normal desires, felt by people you don't like.

Funny, Jane--I love the Pats, and particularly Tom Brady. All year long I've been touting them as the greatest team of all time, and hoping they'd go 19-0 (and I still think they will). I never dreamed that our Chargers would be in their path.

I now prepare to watch the Bolts absorb a savage drubbing. But at least it's 68 degrees, bright and sunny here in Coronado.

glasater

Gee Anduril--Where is the fraud showing up in the sub-prime mess?
Everyone is just suing everyone else and will give attorneys full employment:-)

clarice

EXCLUSIVE: OBAMA RIPS INTO BILL CLINTON MONDAY DURING ABC INTERVIEW WITH 'GOOD MORNING AMERICA' HOST ROBIN ROBERTS... SAYS HE FEELS LIKE HE RUNNING AGAINST BOTH CLINTONS... Bill 'has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling. He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts. Whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas. This has become a habit and one of the things that we're gonnna have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's making statements that are not factually accurate'... DEVELOPING....


vnjagvet

If Hillary! wins, looks like Bill will have a name which will have bi-partisan support:

"First Liar"

hit and run

EXCLUSIVE: OBAMA RIPS INTO BILL CLINTON

This hurts. It really does. I mean, my sides, my sides...stop it dems, you're killing me.

hit and run

Bill 'has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling. He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts.

I'm said it yesterday...Obama's soon to be labeled a Republican -- saying he admired Reagan...

...but now calling Bill a liar? Well, he'll soon be a part of the VRWC to boot.

glasater

Read this elitist tripe from a commenter in PUK's link in the former post.

All of my white, university educated friends who are married and live in Michigan, New York, Los Angeles, Iowa City, Boston, Chicago, and the East Bay in Calif are supporting Obama. The majority of these have kids. We think the Clinton campaign, with us, has been 95% unsuccessful in forcing Obama back down into a "black identity." Nearly all of us voted for Bill Clinton twice. None of us ever carried any negative feelings for Hillary. That is, until this campaign really got going last Autumn. That's when HRC went south in a big way for us. I know this is anecdotal. But, this meme that the Clinton camp is going to polarize black voters for Obama, well, we just don't see that happening.
Hillary Clinton as a structural machine behind her. Can't argue with that. But if that cracks, it all falls away.
Posted by Kenneth | January 19, 2008 8:35 PM

I wonder what those "educated" folks are gonna do when all those "uneducated" folks take to the voting booths.

Patrick Tyson

Obama has to close the gender gap that's opened up among the substancial female majority voting in the Democratic contests to have any chance of getting the nomination. Going after her isn't likely to help. Him? Maybe.

centralcal

While out and about in the car today, I heard a snippet of Rush (a replay from earlier this week before the Saturday primaries). A lady had called in and in the course of her conversation, says suddenly that she would vote for Hillary Clinton before she would vote for John McCain. Taken aback, Rush asks her to explain that and she basically says that is the country is ruined, it is better that is the Dem party, not the Repub party. Rush humors her and says in effect that Repubs could then come in, pick up the pieces, and clean up the mess.

Then, he says that he thinks there are one or two on our side that could be as bad as Hillary, but that he isn't going to say anything UNLESS it looks like one of them is getting too close.

I'm wondering what "too close" is? I suspect McCain and Huckabee are the two he has in mind. His program should be interesting next week.

JM Hanes

vnjagvet: "First Liar"

I think we can safely say the naming contest is now officially over! You even managed a four letter word starting with L. It just doesn't get better than that.

centralcal

A sign that maybe Fred's departure from the race is imminent? They have taken down the red truck and gas pump showing donation totals to date (it was still up earlier this morning). In it's place is a slide show of Fred with Vets.

I wondered why they would continue to take contributions if he was planning on getting out of the race. I pray to God that he doesn't do something awful -- like endorse John McCain!

anduril

I sure like this:

From Drudge:

EXCLUSIVE: OBAMA RIPS INTO BILL CLINTON MONDAY DURING ABC INTERVIEW WITH 'GOOD MORNING AMERICA' HOST ROBIN ROBERTS... SAYS HE FEELS LIKE HE RUNNING AGAINST BOTH CLINTONS... Bill 'has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling. He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts. Whether it's about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas. This has become a habit and one of the things that we're gonnna have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he's making statements that are not factually accurate'... DEVELOPING....

hit and run

From Jeff Goldstein, trying to determine what he would do should McCain or Huck win the nomination:

So, what to do? Well, my first thought is to buy some remote land in Idaho and try to hole up for the next decade or so, learning to sustain myself with nothing but a Bowie knife and some animal pelts. And maybe Dish Network and a HD DVR receiver.

I think it's premature, Jeff, but should such measures become necessary, I know just the right place.

JM Hanes

Patriot Nation!

anduril

We just got off the phone with our daughter. She's in a graduate program in a major metro area (not one of the top 10, but a major city). As part of her assistantship she has to participate in outreach type programs. This week she's been going out to "magnet" schools, talking to kids about careers and so forth. Somehow, while trying to elicit feedback from the kids, she was asking the question: what can you do when you're 18? She was trying to get the kids to say: vote. The response she got instead was: get your food stamp card.

Just thought I'd share that. She's always been a very idealistic kid, and these experiences over the last couple of years have been somewhat traumatic for her. Not that she's been blind, but she wants to see good in everyone if she can. She's particularly appalled by the teachers at these "magnet" schools.

Other Tom

Bolts did themselves pretty proud.

I enjoyed reading about Teddy Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel imploring Bubba to shut the f*** up. It's an astonishing spectacle for an ex-president. But that low, trashy pair has no concept of shame.

I'd love to see blacks stay home, or even go with the GOP nominee this time around.

PeterUK

Clintoon

Jane

Well OT, your prediction was correct. It certainly wasn't the prettiest of games, but Bill Bellichick actually smiled at the end, something nearly as rare as 19 and 0h.

maryrose

Russert played the tape of Bill talking about how the Vegas union bosses were going to over-schedule people who didn't vote for Hillary. Said he had proof..as of 10:30 this morning no proof and all panelists just laughed it off on MTP. Blatant lies by the good cop {Hil } andhe bad cop Bill only work until someone calls you on it. I'm glad Obama is going to expose Bill and Hill for the frauds that they are. Have to go eat birthday cake as I hit the big "58".

hit and run

Other Tom:
It's an astonishing spectacle for an ex-president.


OK, knowing that you yield to no man in your disdain for ex-president Carter...

Worst ex-president...Carter or Clinton?

5 years from now?

20 years from now? (you may have two Clintons competing for the same dishonor, of course)

hit and run

TM:
Still Dark
The Sunday open thread.

What a nasty swipe at Obama.

Stupid rethuglicans Clintonites are all the same.

maryrose

I see Wolfson the Clinton's attack dog says Obama's disappointed over his loss in Nevada..Last time I checked 13 delegates beats 12 delegates. He got additional delegates close to Hil in NH as well. Clintons-politics of personal destruction is the only game they know how to play. Obama has to stomp them now. Here's hoping...

hit and run

From Marc Ambinder:

David Plouffe, in a succinct statement appended to a released quotation from his boss, Barack Obama, said the Obama campaign was investigating more than 200 reporters of irregularities in Nevada.

“We currently have reports of over 200 separate incidents of trouble at caucus sites, including doors being closed up to thirty minutes early, registration forms running out so people were turned away, and ID being requested and checked in a non-uniform fashion. This is in addition to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to confuse voters and call into question the at-large caucus sites which clearly had an affect on turnout at these locations. These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week’s worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself."

Plouffe asks Nevadans to call a toll-free number, (866) 675-2008, and report any other problems.

That number again is EIGHT SIX SIX, SIX SEVEN FIVE, TWO ZERO ZERO EIGHT.

Once again, the number is EIGHT SIX SIX, SIX SEVEN FIVE, TWO ZERO ZERO EIGHT.

Act now, supplies are limited. At participating locations only. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental. Allow four to six weeks for delivery. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Batteries not included. Contents may settle during shipment. Use only as directed. No other warranty expressed or implied. Do not use while operating a motor vehicle or heavy equipment. If condition persists, consult your physician.

Operators are standing by...

centralcal

Thanks Hit for a great belly laugh!

Porchlight

Have to go eat birthday cake as I hit the big "58".

Happy Birthday, maryrose! Hope you have a great evening!

hit and run

OK, the Democratic race so far...

Summary:
Obama wins IA
Hillary wins NH, MI and NV
Uncommitted shows strong in MI
Edwards is still well-groomed.


By the Numbers:
Edwards -4 | Obama 0 | Clinton 0 | Uncomitted 1 | Cynicism 10.43^7

hit and run

Maryrose, you don't look a day over 27 from here.

Jane

Happy Birthday Maryrose!


~~and many more~~

hit and run

Did you ever think to yourself, self, John McCain might just be too old to be president? If you did, you're in the same company as Offical Huckabee Celebrity Campaigner Chuck Norris:

NAVASOTA, Texas - Campaigning for Mike Huckabee, actor Chuck Norris said Sunday that Sen. John McCain is too old to handle the pressures of being president.

"I didn't pick John to support because I'm just afraid that the vice president would wind up taking over his job in that four-year presidency," said Norris, who was hosting a fundraiser for Huckabee at his Lone Wolf Ranch.

hit and run

More from that article:

Huckabee also blamed late snowfall in parts of upstate South Carolina.

"The snow not only froze the streets of the Greenville-Spartanburg area, the votes kinda stopped once it started snowing," he said. "That was an area we were looking forward to having a significant vote margin."

"You know, the same power that turned five loaves and two fishes also controls the weather, so I suppose Jesus didn't want me to win this race," said Huckabee. He continued, "Jesus calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, and He caused this one. I get the message."

That last paragraph may not have been in the original article.

glasater

I just love this comment --but there is no question that Hillary was running a scorched-earth, no-holds-barred campaign in which all of her surrogates were instructed to cheat in every way possible from two precinct captains at a casino reporting to kos.

Elliott

Happy birthday, maryrose!

hit and run

"You know, the same power that turned five loaves and two fishes ***into enough to feed five thousand*** also controls the weather"

My apologies for misquoting an nonquote of Huckabee.

Rick Ballard

Happy birthday, Maryrose.

hit and run

Hillary keeps her eyes on the prize...

maryrose

Thank you, Rick Ballard, Elliott H&R,Jane and Porchlight. Your comments have brought me great joy, understanding and many laughs this past year!

glasater

I second your comments Maryrose and wish you the best.

What a game the Packers and Giants are having. All tied up in the 4th. And the cold looks to be staggering. Both teams are just doing an amazing job.

centralcal

Happy Birthday, Maryrose and may you have many more!

maryrose

Thank you glasater!

maryrose

Thanks centracal and don"t worry about the repubs.. they will choose the right candidate to get rid of The Wicked Witch of the west and King Lear...

SunnyDay

Happy Birthday maryrose.

Rick Ballard

Gee, the WaPo backs off the recession drumbeat.

I wonder why in the world they would do that?

glasater

I would like to make a small prediction--that the field goal kicker for the Giants will not be invited back to work after this season.

Soylent Red

the field goal kicker for the Giants will not be invited back to work after this season.

His wife/ girlfriend/SO may not invite him back to bed for a year.

clarice

Happy Birthday Maryrose. Here's hoping you get your wish--a Republican president.%^)

RichatUF

Rick-

Your WaPo link wouldn't load-anything interesting.

Can't believe that the game is in OT and low and behold Farve just throws an interception.

Soylent Red

OK...

Wife/girlfriend/SO gives in...

Holy smokes. What a finish.

RichatUF

Maryrose-Happy Birthday

And the Giants win, looks like the kicker will be allowed to catch the plane out of Green Bay.

glasater

"I would like to make a small prediction--that the field goal kicker for the Giants will not be invited back to work after this season."

Maybe not......

sbw

Tyne puts Giants into the Super Bowl. Kicker may be coming back after all.

andy

"I would like to make a small prediction--that the field goal kicker for the Giants will not be invited back to work after this season."

He was sandbagging, waiting for the opportune moment to be a hero....

Ann

Happy Birthday Maryrose, and here's to many, many, many more!

Sorry, for the Packers, I was was hoping they would win, too.

maryrose

Thank you Sunnyday, clarice{ yes I do want a republican president}Ann,RichatUF and yes I hope for many more. Hit and Run; I haven't been 27 since the seventies...but I still have a lot of living to do.

Ann

I missed the half time show. Did they really show this:

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Porchlight

Well, both my preferred teams lost. Ah well. Congrats to Jane, OT and all the many Pats fans, and to our host on the NY Football Giants win. No Giants NFC victory can hurt any worse than the one I was unfortunate enough to have witnessed in person, when they clobbered my beloved Vikings 41-0 in January 2001.

But anyway, football aside, it's been an enjoyable day watching the continuing struggles of the Clinton campaign. May their discomfort persist unabated until defeat.

Bill in AZ

WaPo backing off recession: "I wonder why in the world they would do that?"

There is time for 2, 3 more recessions before the elections, each one worse than the last. For libs, history began this morning, so it doesn't matter if non of them actually occurred.

RichatUF

And in other news-Pentagon Weighs Top Iraq General as Chief of NATO

that could be an interesting move.

MayBee

Happy B-day, Maryrose, you sweet thing!

Ann

Rich,
The NYTimes are the ones that gave Moveon.org a great price for their ad: General Petraeus or General Betray Us?

Now why would they be promoting the General Betray Us Guy?

Hmmmm, Very intesting in deed!!!

narciso

It's still to soon, to move Petraeus, to NATO of all places; the only area where they matter is Afghanistan, and increasingly
they matter less. McChrystal would be an interesting choice since he's been running Special Ops; ran the Somalia resistance to
the Islamic Courts militant; whose rise to power was just checked last year. Of course,
the Tillman matter would be hashed up unneccesarily and at length. Chiarelli's already Gates's assistant; a little discouraging considering the good Dr's Iranophile and generally appeasing nature toward Iran, the closing of Gitmo, et al.
A choice that would really be 'clymer' to all concerned parties would be Gen. Jerry
Boykin, the evangelical spec. forces official; painted by the likes of MSNBC's William Arkin as a counterpart to Osama
Bin Laden. An unrealistic expectation, I'll
admit. I'd settle for Gen. Mattis as a compromise pick.

JM Hanes

Ann:

The NYTimes article on Petraeus was written by Michael Gordon who is about as straightforward on Iraq & the miitary as they come. It's a shame that the Times editorial board doesn't read his dispatches more often.

anduril

Still Dark, eh? Well, consider this item at Belmont Club: The ghost in the machine

America has been under foreign cyber attack before. But the Washington Post reports that recent attacks have become serious enough to issue a "rare public warning to the power and utility industry ... a CIA analyst this week said cyber attackers have hacked into the computer systems of utility companies outside the United States and made demands, in at least one case causing a power outage that affected multiple cities." Although at least some of the reported intrusions were by "computers belonging to foreign governments or militaries", the targets this time were, significantly, commercial. "Cyber extortion is a growing threat in the United States, and attackers have radically increased their take from online gambling sites, e-commerce sites and banks, which pay the money to prevent sites from being shut down and to keep the public from knowing their sites have been penetrated, said Alan Paller, research director at the SANS Institute."

And there's more for those who follow the link, like this:

In late 2007, France reported it was under attack by Chinese information assault forces, just after other Western governments had reported the same thing.

"French information systems fell prey to cyber attacks "involving China", similar to those reported by the US, British and German governments, a top French security offical told AFP on Saturday. "We have indications that our information systems were the object of attacks, like in the other countries," the Secretary-General of National Defence (SGDN) Francis Delon said, confirming a report published in French newspaper Le Monde.

"We have proof that there is involvement with China. But I am prudent. When I say China, this does not mean the Chinese government. We don't have any indication now that it it was done by the Chinese People's Liberation Army," he added.

If it was the Chinese government -- and the centralized control of computer resources in that country make it unlikely to be anything else -- then the attacks would have been the work of what the Strategy Page called the "Three Headed Monster": the "NET Force" corresponding to a general staff; the "Red Hackers Union" (RHU). These are several hundred thousand patriotic Chinese programmers and Internet engineers who wished to assist the motherland -- all behind the Golden Shield Project (also known as The Great Firewall of China) manned by 30,000 Ministry of Public Security employees to keep the targets from repaying Beijing in kind. But whether it was China's Three Headed Monster or the more shadowy, but presumably equally formidable Russians, the attacks on France and other Western countries represented the intrusion of a major force which the average denizen on the Internet would be hard-pressed to resist.

Terrorist organizations, Russia and China, to name but a few, have clearly grasped the potential for information warfare and have developed sophisticated doctrines for its employment. Unencumbered by legacy newspapers, huge television networks, and an entertainment industry still divided into guilds -- institutions used to wage "information war" in 20th century style -- China, Russia and Islamic radicalism were free to invent new modes of information combat. Both the "NET Force" and the cyber-Jihad come at a time when the American concept of public diplomacy still focused on scheduling interviews on talk shows. The true beneficiaries of revolutionary technology may be those who were free of the weight of the old.

anduril

Jane, for the latest news on the Hillary Papers, check Captain Ed--that is, if you consider "The Hillary Papers Get Ignored By The Media" to be news. Well, old news it is.

Jane

Yeah I read it Anduril, with disappointment. Maybe they are saving it for the general election - yeah right.

anduril

Well, if that's too depressing to bear much thought (waiting in hope for the General Election), there's always this:

FLASH: RASMUSSEN Florida poll to be released: Romney 25, McCain 20, Giuliani 19... Developing...

This thang ain't over yet.

MikeS

They say a stopped watch is right twice a day, and even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. Today Paul Krugman came up with an idea I like. He wants to re argue the merits of what he calls progressivism vs Reaganism (liberalism vs conservatism to me.)

I think a campaign based on ideology offers the best chance to keep a Republican in the White House and the only chance of regaining a majority in the Senate.

I would much prefer to see a Republican candidate for President attacking an ideology rather than attacking a woman or a black man.

RichatUF

JMH-

I'm not sure Gen Petraeus would consider NATO as a promotion and there is some political downside risk that he would become a target of various "human rights" organizations. If the DOD wanted him to make a difference, they would shift him to Central Command, not send him to Gen. Clark's old post.

Rick-

I found this, Highly Skilled And Out Of Work, at the WaPo today. Interesting choice of people just like you and me, a lady with a college degree that has worked for DC area foundations [one for 16 years].

Hit the gas the world is coming to an end [especailly tomorrow]

Other Tom

I think the NATO job is, by law, a four-star position, and Petraeus currently has three. So at least technically it would be a promotion.

Patrick R. Sullivan

If Obama can annoy Paul Krugman that might be worth the price of admission to the Oval Office.

Historical narratives matter. That’s why conservatives are still writing books denouncing F.D.R. and the New Deal; they understand that the way Americans perceive bygone eras, even eras from the seemingly distant past, affects politics today.

And it’s also why the furor over Barack Obama’s praise for Ronald Reagan is not, as some think, overblown. The fact is that how we talk about the Reagan era still matters immensely for American politics.

And Paul only wants to talk down:

...where in his remarks was the clear declaration that Reaganomics failed?

For it did fail. The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen.

When the inevitable recession arrived, people felt betrayed — a sense of betrayal that Mr. Clinton was able to ride into the White House.

Given that reality, what was Mr. Obama talking about? Some good things did eventually happen to the U.S. economy — but not on Reagan’s watch.

Maybe now that Dr Phil has lost Britney he could turn his attention to NY Times columnists in denial.

RichatUF

OT-

Gen. Petraeus as commander of MNF-I is 4 stars [he might be frocked] but I thought his confirmation hearing came with a 4th star. Moving him to NATO wouldn't do much good, unless the Europeans are deciding to get serious about military affairs and want to re-organize, re-train, and re-equip their militaries. Again the downside to sending him there is also the European "human rights" agitators, and with a possible Dem administration looking to brunish his/her image in human rights circles, would he/she fish or cut bait on the senior ranking US military commander in Europe.

clarice

Rich, I found that article interesting..the two key figures, the foundation lady and the part time fed worker, both had jobs paying far more than they had been holding, both voluntarily quit (no reason given for her, stress for him) and can't find new ones. Boo Hoo.

I have to tell you the DC area is booming. The problem is not with this economy--at least here, where your misery is our gain.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

I noticed that oil and gas have dropped over ten per cent while the dollar is gaining sharply against the euro (and everything else). "Weak dollar", my butt.

We could see the market go extraordinarily oversold this week - lots and lots of people with private pension plans could try and move to the sidelines forcing the mutual funds to raise cash. A real Buffett buffet.

Mr. Andrea Mitchell sure was one hell of a Fed chairman.

Porchlight

Interesting choice of people just like you and me, a lady with a college degree that has worked for DC area foundations [one for 16 years].

I'm certainly willing to believe that the job market is tightening. But it was interesting that both of the unemployed people spotlighted in the article had quit their last jobs after only nine months. This doesn't tend to look too good on the resume. In the woman's case, she claimed the job was a "bad fit" - often (but not always) a euphemism for personality conflicts at work. If that's the case, good references may not have been forthcoming. In the man's case, he was trying to finish a degree, had trouble with a sleep disorder which caused him to miss a lot of work, and also had trouble with the commute - all of which could make finding a new job more difficult.

This is all just speculation, of course. But considering the source (WaPo), I think I'd want a little more information before I could view either of those stories as representative.

Porchlight

Clarice, looks like we were on the same page.

I'm no expert so I don't know what to make of the long-term unemployment numbers, generally speaking. But if the reporter has to rely on a tiny number of anecdotes about people who may or may not be representative (as with our old friends the Frosts), it's not too convincing.

RichatUF

Rick-

Looking at the futures today, it is looking like the Dow is going to open at least 500 points to the downside. Wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow the sell off in the 5%-7% range [batten down the hatches]. Right now I'm looking at how to exploit this little bit [and sure I'm late to the party]. I've got 6 issues that I'm looking at and want to winnow it down to about 2 or 3 with a small position in each to build it over the next couple months.

And PRS, nice find with Krugman. I wonder when he is going to start wearing his Red Witch button for his official picture.

clarice

Exactly, porchlight. I have lived in DC since 1965 and this city has never been richer. (You will also reas of the DC real estate market cratering. Not so--what's cratering is the far oout suburban market especially in areas where there are many sub prime mortgages. In my neighborhood the market is still very strong with anything but McMansions drawing lots of qualified bidders and often they are still selling above the asking price.

Fancy new restaurants (and hotels) are opening at a rapid clip, and you can barely find a table at them even during the week.
Ditto with fancy furnishing and clothing shops.

If you can read, write, have decent work habits and aren't nuts, you can find a job with no trouble.

Jane

Hogs eat acorns? Does that include the cap?

MikeS


Hogs eat acorns?
To be honest I dunno. I was just trying to minimize any credit to Krugman for coming up with a good idea.

RichatUF

Jane-

Hogs eat acorns? Does that include the cap?

Whoa...I haven't ordered my kim translator from the JOM store. Nice find with that memo though. Has anyone dug up the pictures of the broken down bus festooned in red tape that greeted the Hillary! Care Task Force as they began their disasterous whistle stop tour to drum up support? Ahhhh, the memories, and I can't believe that the DNC wants to relive them.

Sue

Jane,

Yes, hogs eat acorns. I'm not sure there is anything a hog won't eat.

Jane

Do they eat the cap?

I'm shocked that I want to know.

hit and run

The definitive State of the Democratic Race analysis.

Well, you've pretty much already read it here, last night, upthread, except for some additional supporting material, but there you go...

Jane

Nice job Hit!

clarice

Excellent, Hit!!

anduril

The very best ham in the world is made with acorn fed pigs. You pay around $100 a pound for it. The Spanish are famous for it, but they do it some places here, too.

kim

Oaken shoat.
======

SunnyDay

With the oak trees in my yard, I could open a feed store!!

How about pine needles? :D

Jane

Some guy told me that the size of the acorns determine how much show you get in a given year. In October he was bragging that the acorns at his house were very small and we would have no snow. Amy said the acorns at her house were huge and we were getting lots of snow. Amy was right. And their houses were about 2 miles apart.

MayBee

The very best ham in the world is made with acorn fed pigs

Yes. A popular dish in Tokyo restaurants was acorn-fed pork- mostly chops. It was like butter.

Sue

Sunny,

Don't joke. Acorn fed hogs are all the rage.

Jane,

I think they eat the entire acorn, cap and all. But I'm not 100% sure about that.

Rick Ballard

Good job, Hit.

Rich,

I'm thinking deeper than 500. There's just too much money too close to retirement and unwilling to wait through regrowth from a 10% haircut. What can the big index funds do when investors elect to swap to money market funds en masse? Vanguard has $121 billion in its 500 Index fund. Today, that is. Tomorrow?

What's extraordinarily strange is that there isn't really a decent reason for this outside of delusional pyschology. The real drop in housing construction happened a year ago - there just ain't much down left unless babies stop being born. It's just herd pyscology, aside from punishing the idiots still left at the foundering banks.

Jane

Oh dear, that's SNOW not show.

clarice

Know kidding,Jane %^)

PeterUK

There needs to be an incantation to ward off Hillarybane

Sue

Something I didn't consider but that was talked about on our local radio talk show this morning. Hispanics are not voting for Obama. If Obama pulls it out, where will the Hispanic vote go?

Sue

Hannity is claiming Hillary has given up SC. Woa....does that means she is giving up the south? Kerry tried that and everyone sees where he is today.

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Wilson/Plame