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November 28, 2009



I really thiunk he needs to take a breath, call in his many czars and jaw jaw about this for a while..

Gregory Koster

Slightly off topic, but at the orgy where the reality wannabees crashed through the Secret Service, George Soros gave a talk on economic recovery. The Once was greatly impressed, particularly when George called Turbo Timmy up to demonstrate what this technique could accomplish. I couldn't get the entire talk, but I did manage to link to an excerpt. Pay particular attention starting about forty seconds in, and tell me if this isn't the soundest explanation of Obamanomics you've seen.

Dave (in MA)

Soros appears on the White House visitor logs 4 times. SEIU head/ACORN guy Andy Stern is there 22 times as of mid-Summer. McChrystal does not appear.


Towering Barbarian

A pair of phony guests for a phony President? o_O

Somehow that seems appropriate. :P


How come in the pictures Obama's not bowing to these guys?

What's up with that?

Jack is Back!

How about the fact that Obama has known the Salahi's for over 5 years and that at one time Salahi was on the Task Force for Palestine? Pictures, damn it, don't lie. They do mix in some interesting company. More proof that this was an American Idol election not one of intellectual pursuit.


G' morning Comrades,

Have been gone a bit from stateside and am just catching up, but the papers in the undisclosed country I am currently in say Tiger's doing okay and as I've always liked him I certainly wish him well.

It's kind of humerous thinking I'm a better driver than Tiger. Too bad tho' that I can't generally give you guys particulars of our driving or our routes etc as I'm unsure if we're s'posed to be blabbin' about such stuff. But at least I feel comfortable giving non-descript, generic info which you might find interesting on this slow-news morning.

Took off eastbound last midnight from a country which frankly I'd prefer not to mention for "loose lips..." reasons.

My co-pilot this trip "Joe", is an awful guy with new zeal and energy, but he's sort of a right wing conspiracy whacko and thinks spies are always everywhere giving away info to our nations enemies, so it's somewhat of a chore traveling with him, and I distinctly remember thinking "Man, this 5 hour 47 minute flight at 557 knots is going to take forever."

When I met him last night "Joe" was coughing pretty heavy, so I was more reserved than normal. As we achieved cruise altitude, he finished a frankfurter and offered me his hand to shake but I didn't want his germ any, so I declined. This seemed to anger him a bit, so I tasked him with doing a fuel paperwork drill 15 minutes later, (which in the business we happen to call a "Prog Check").

This seemed to quell his suspicious nature a bit, so I left the cockpit and took a slow valk back to the galley to see about our catering. Surprisingly, at just about 1 hour and 3 minutes after take-off I discovered I was hungry. Who would have thought it. I asked if "Joe" wanted anything tossed in the oven for himself, but he was just a rude pest, going on so much about double agents and all, that I decided to leave him and his paranoia be. Obviously angered he said that if I had a compulsion to move around, maybe I should just go in the back and get this 'rome mania' out of my system. Instead I just quietly sat back in my seat and turned my head way northward out the left window, and if you crane your neck in that fashion sometimes, way off in the distance, you can see some interesting terrain russhin' by.

Anyhow, I mentioned to "Joe", that in the fridge in the galley, down on the bottom right, was something that looked like grease. I suggested that he not eat it as it might bulge area where he didn't want bulging, and better to simply stay Hungry until time for a drink of water. He agreed, especially when I told him about the wondeful big plates of Turkey I had found which I had stuck in the oven.

I am not like you wonderful JOM cooks, but I found if you're hungry, putting on Black Seasoning's for about 30 minutes before getting your Turkey from the oven is a good practice. Simply set the timer at 37,000 seconds on a heading, err temp, of 140 degree's, and sit back and dispel conspiracy theories.

Anyhow, the Turkey came out exquisite. Started nibbling at the outer edges of the plate, then right over the big mound piled high in the middle, almost like mountain ridges. Took maybe 600 miles to finish the whole thing. Tried to make small talk with "Joe" about my Aunt Kara's stuffing recipe' while chowin', but he wasn't interested.

Then I racked my brain wondering if I was going to be in the sad situation of having to say "I ran out of Persian spices for my Turkey dinner!"

Luckily that didn't happen, but "Joe" noticed my discomfort and said something poetically snotty like, "Keep it all in a bag, Daddy-o."

This angered me and I told him that "decent snarky Hai-ku wait's for better lines than that", and that his critical misreading of me and reality was simply an example of an aspersion gulf on his part.

"Bah, rain on my parade" he responded angrily, but I just let his bad feelings and paranoia drain into the qutter.

Meanwhile the sun was just now coming up and blinding us, so when I wondered out loud what Emir's ate for breakfast, "Joe" didn't respond, so we just came in and landed in this undisclosed location I'm currently at.

"Do buy something while you're here!" intoned the cab driver, as he whisked us to the hotel.

"Can't", I responded, "I'm broke."

"What a coincidence, so is our country, as of yesterday", the cabby responded.

"Please concentrate" I answered, "and do a better job of driving than Tiger Woods."

Finally a rise from Joe. "The Tri-lateralists were probably behind it!"


"They do mix in some interesting company"

Mostly Anti-American company it seems, IMO.

" McChrystal does not appear."

Anyone seen anyone on the list of visitors that believes in America?


Gawd Daddy, that was worth waking up for.


You're hilarious, Daddy!
What's the definition of a bhurka?
The solution to a bad hair day.


Daddy, Another great Post! You always make the day a lot brighter.


Excellent, daddy!

Jim Ryan

Yesterday I was driving from Charlottesville, VA, to Greensboro, NC. In Danville, VA, I bought something at some crap convenience store. Got my change, some quarters and such.

Got to Greensboro. Tried to buy a soda from a machine. Didn't take one of the quarters. Huh? It's a perfectly good quarter! Try again. No good. Wha-? Look. It's a UAE quarter.

Never seen one before in my life. A UAE quarter, right when they're going broke, in Danville, VA.



hit and run

Wait. You're where, Jim?!!???!!??!

You still in Greensboro,or did you already head back home?

If you're still around,and you've got any time,you really should stop by. Or we could meet somewhere for coffee or drinks or something.

Manuel Transmission


After doing a couple of 1000 piece mystery puzzles over the long weekend, your clues were right in line. What was fun was reading it all to the other clue solvers and having them laughing out loud at every phrase.

ps. Years ago, I won a bottle of Aussie champaign on a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Perth by guessing (calculating) the time over the Great Bight. Used the map in the airline magazine and watched when we first saw water. Best case of DR I ever pulled off.

Jim Ryan

Ga! Hit, you're in Greenboro? I'm here for another hour or so with the whole fam damily.

Jim Ryan

We're in northwestern suburbs. Can have coffee at Borders books? I don't know this town well, only vague idea of layout. At hotel now.

Jim Ryan

Check your email, hit.

hit and run

Got it...responded....


You must have been in Sinatrastan....Dubai, Dubai, Doo, daddy....

as for Tiger, seems his ole lady went getto on him according to the tabloids....


Wow, daddy, still snookered? :-)


Speaking of taking charge, the Swiss, have told their government they can take their Islamic minuets and shove them.


Don't dance around the minarets,pagar.


Clarice, I was following the JOM rule not to correct a spelling error if I didn't remember how to spell it even after I saw the error.

Speaking of errors, I downloaded the HTML toolbar, but don't remember how to use it as my 01:32 post clearly shows. Would someone be so kind as to refresh my memory on the subject.


pagar, LUN is a whole lot easier and faster because the new version of typepad frequently holds up posts with html code in the text.


According to the LUN, the Obama Administration is taking charge of the dangers of people going around asking about Obama's birth Certificate.

Rev Manning says he expects to be arrested.



Copy the URL
Select your link words in your post
Click the round icon with the paperclip thinggy
Paste your URL in the box that appears
Or do as Clarice says!


Thanks, Caro!
PS- I've found out it is always best to do what Clarice says about almost everything.


Here's what looks to be a fascinating article by Niall Ferguson: An Empire at Risk: We won the cold war and weathered 9/11. But now economic weakness is endangering our global power.

I've only started skimming it, but this graf caught my eye:

But if the United States succumbs to a fiscal crisis, as an increasing number of economic experts fear it may, then the entire balance of global economic power could shift. Military experts talk as if the president's decision about whether to send an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan is a make-or-break moment. In reality, his indecision about the deficit could matter much more for the country's long-term national security. Call the United States what you like—superpower, hegemon, or empire—but its ability to manage its finances is closely tied to its ability to remain the predominant global military power. Here's why.

the new version of typepad frequently holds up posts with html code in the text.

Not my posts, and mine are often packed with html. It's all in the wrist action with mouse and keyboard.


Dear pagar, It's because I was the eldest sister in the family.
anduril, I'll give you wrist action--*THWACK*


Heh. Ferguson can't resist a shot at Krugman, in their running feud:

Now, who said the following? "My prediction is that politicians will eventually be tempted to resolve the [fiscal] crisis the way irresponsible governments usually do: by printing money, both to pay current bills and to inflate away debt. And as that temptation becomes obvious, interest rates will soar."

Seems pretty reasonable to me. The surprising thing is that this was none other than Paul Krugman, the high priest of Keynesianism, writing back in March 2003. A year and a half later he was comparing the U.S. deficit with Argentina's (at a time when it was 4.5 percent of GDP). Has the economic situation really changed so drastically that now the same Krugman believes it was "deficits that saved us," and wants to see an even larger deficit next year? Perhaps. But it might just be that the party in power has changed.

I find that lots of formatting helps the reader's eyes move through the post and helps his mind--if he has one--digest the content. Lacking lots of formatting people won't get past the 5th line of a long post, but with judicious use of formatting the sky's the limit as far as length goes.

Another way to deal with links, albeit less elegant than html, is to simply paste in the link, like this:


Doesn't matter if it runs off the page. Just double left click on it, open a new tab and middle click in the url space. If you're using Linux that's how to paste it. For that other OS you may have to do a tad more clicking.


Middle-click is X11 only, as far as I know.


OK, here's the nub of what Ferguson's saying. I've skipped the setup, but here's the conclusion (note how with the judicious use of formatting the reader's eye skims almost effortlessly through the lengthy post, picking up the gist (jist?) of it:

It's not inconceivable that something similar could happen to the United States. Foreign investors might ask for a higher nominal return on U.S. Treasuries to compensate them for the weakening dollar. And inflation might continue to surprise us on the downside. After all, consumer price inflation is in negative territory right now.

Why should we fear rising real interest rates ahead of inflation? The answer is that for a heavily indebted government and an even more heavily indebted public, they mean an increasingly heavy debt-service burden. The relatively short duration (maturity) of most of these debts means that a large share has to be rolled over each year. That means any rise in rates would feed through the system scarily fast.

Already, the federal government's interest payments are forecast by the CBO to rise from 8 percent of revenues in 2009 to 17 percent by 2019, even if rates stay low and growth resumes. If rates rise even slightly and the economy flatlines, we'll get to 20 percent much sooner. And history suggests that once you are spending as much as a fifth of your revenues on debt service, you have a problem. It's all too easy to find yourself in a vicious circle of diminishing credibility. The investors don't believe you can afford your debts, so they charge higher interest, which makes your position even worse.

This matters more for a superpower than for a small Atlantic island for one very simple reason. As interest payments eat into the budget, something has to give—and that something is nearly always defense expenditure. According to the CBO, a significant decline in the relative share of national security in the federal budget is already baked into the cake. On the Pentagon's present plan, defense spending is set to fall from above 4 percent now to 3.2 percent of GDP in 2015 and to 2.6 percent of GDP by 2028.

Over the longer run, to my own estimated departure date of 2039, spending on health care rises from 16 percent to 33 percent of GDP (some of the money presumably is going to keep me from expiring even sooner). But spending on everything other than health, Social Security, and interest payments drops from 12 percent to 8.4 percent.

This is how empires decline. It begins with a debt explosion. It ends with an inexorable reduction in the resources available for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Which is why voters are right to worry about America's debt crisis. According to a recent Rasmussen report, 42 percent of Americans now say that cutting the deficit in half by the end of the president's first term should be the administration's most important task—significantly more than the 24 percent who see health-care reform as the No. 1 priority. But cutting the deficit in half is simply not enough. If the United States doesn't come up soon with a credible plan to restore the federal budget to balance over the next five to 10 years, the danger is very real that a debt crisis could lead to a major weakening of American power.

The precedents are certainly there. Habsburg Spain defaulted on all or part of its debt 14 times between 1557 and 1696 and also succumbed to inflation due to a surfeit of New World silver. Prerevolutionary France was spending 62 percent of royal revenue on debt service by 1788. The Ottoman Empire went the same way: interest payments and amortization rose from 15 percent of the budget in 1860 to 50 percent in 1875. And don't forget the last great English-speaking empire. By the interwar years, interest payments were consuming 44 percent of the British budget, making it intensely difficult to rearm in the face of a new German threat.

Call it the fatal arithmetic of imperial decline. Without radical fiscal reform, it could apply to America next.


That's what I thought, but it's been years since I've used anything else. Damned convenient.


Another fascinating article: The Geopolitics Of The Dubai Debt Crisis: It's Iran vs. The United States


Here are two more excellent articles. The first one is very much in line with the series of links I've posted on Afghanistan that focused on intra-Pashtun rivalries. This article deals with the really big division in Afghanistan: Tajik Grip on Afghan Army Signals New Ethnic War. Money quote: "The warlords have already started rearming."

And back home, the Daily Beast is publishing some common sense about our own army: Why We Should Screen Muslim Soldiers


Damned convenient.

Yes, but not all applications honor the X11 buffer. Firefox is one that does not.


Hmmm. I do middle-click in Firefox constantly. Are you saying I shouldn't be able to?


No, but it does depend on what is in the buffer. You can't combine left-button pasting with middle-button pasting. The buffers are handled differently, and the left-button buffer "wins".

If nothing is in the paste buffer it does not matter.


Sorry I'm this dense. I typically highlight with left (click or drag), paste with middle click. But I can also highlight with left then use the right button to copy and paste. Not even sure what "left button pasting" would be.


anduril, I meant the "other left". Namely, the right button. Oops!

This actually is pretty well known -- look around on the web.



You never told me that. Now I'm trying it.




thing is, we've already printed too many dollars. There is a huge overhang right now. The only thing keeping the Chinese and Japanese in dollars is that there really is no other "safe" haven.

If Obama continues to print money they will eventually act, which is one reason we've seen oil and commodities like gold rising. We had Dubai last week. Where will the next default be?


Greece, or so say some.


That's what I've seen called CMT, or Cockroach Market Theory. Where there's one there's gotta be more.


anduril, we've got the commercial real estate mess coming up, and then rate resets on ARM's. It's gonna be lovely.


7 stories Obama doesn't want told...

  1. He thinks he’s playing with Monopoly money
  2. Too much Leonard Nimoy
  3. That’s the Chicago Way
  4. He’s a pushover
  5. He sees America as another pleasant country on the U.N. roll call, somewhere between Albania and Zimbabwe
  6. President Pelosi
  7. He’s in love with the man in the mirror

Newsweak is claiming that the White House gatecrashing is all the fault of Desiree Rogers, wife of Obama crony and frequent White House visitor John Rogers, chief executive of multi-billion-dollar Ariel Capital Management.

I what could only be described as "shades of TravelGate," non-political staff was booted in favour of a Michelle BFF for White House social secretary.

But don't get me worng, the new White House social secretary, Desiree Rogers, isn't completely stupid ..

“We don’t feel we have a need for that anymore.” Rogers’s explanation, according to Hargraves: “In these economic times, I don’t think we’re going to have very many lavish expensive dinners. It wouldn’t look very good.
Rogers got that right.

Patrick O'Hannigan

Thanks for that pithy summary, Tom. Related thoughts:

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