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April 14, 2012



In other news, Hastings went into the "Underverse' cand came back and has become the 'devils advocate for the Awlaki clan,


Yeah Jane....you & Kevin stood out. You've got a wonderful easy going banter style. You & Dennis Miller are naturals for the radio. Wish you had been on more.
I'm at Dulles airport &....they have a dingy smoking lounge! Praise the Lord!!! Who cares if the TSA are mean here (they weren't for us this visit) as long as there is a smoking lounge.

Jane (get off the couch - come save the country)

Where ya going? (I think I knew)

Frau Regentropfen

Cheers, Jane!

Servus, DoT.

CH - I am now convinced that troll-husks Cleo (Dana), Sylvia, bubu, and Dave all live in my town and share their dirty feathers.


That's amazing, Janet. The University of Texas just went "tobacco-free." I assume that means no chewing tobacco?

It definitely means no electronic cigarettes which I think is such BS because there's no tobacco in those. That shows that their policy is not just about health, it's about aesthetics and not even having anyone LOOK like they're smoking. Too low-class I guess.



I'm at Dulles airport &....they have a dingy smoking lounge!

Yup, Janet. On the end of each concourse in the place. It can be quite a hike! And free wifi works more often than not.

Captain Hate

Frau, my condolences. That must be like being at a picnic invaded by houseflies and other useless vermin. I think even in my own little Potemkin village any Vanilla Slush using the term "Afro-American" would get a beatdown by the brothers just for being cluelessly obsequious.


TK @11:59AM.
I would think if American Thinker had fallen it would be more in line with the NYTs, not the WND. WND publishes meaningful stuff. IMO, the NYTs publishes nothing unless it has been approved by the CPUSA since the 1930s.

I wasn't too thrilled with this article.
The thought started out good:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/04but w/the_democratic_party_is_rotten_through_and_through.html

I agree the Democrat Party is rotten through and through, but we need to go back a lot farther as to why it is rotten to the core.
Here would be a start:
"The agent, who is not identified by name in the reports noted by Mitrokhin, had a wide circle of influential contacts in the Democratic Party: among them Governor Jerry Brown of California, Senator Alan Cranston, Senator Eugene McCarthy, Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator Abraham Ribicoff, Senator J. William Fulbright and Congressman John Conyers, Jr."

"During the 1976 Presidential campaign the agent was able to provide inside information from within the Carter camp and a profile of Carter himself, which were particularly highly valued by the Centre since it had so few high-level American sources. On one occasion he spent three hours discussing the progress of the campaign at a meeting with Carter, Brown and Cranston in Carter's room at the Pacific Hotel. His report was forwarded to the Politburo. During the final stages of the campaign the agent had what the KGB claimed were 'direct and prolonged conversations' with Carter, Governor Brown and Senators Cranston, Kennedy, Ribicoff and Jacob Javits.


Just as bad or worse, IMO:

"John F. Kerry, with his connections to International Communists during his membership, leadership role in VVAW and his voting record as a Senator raises some very interesting questions as to who does John Kerry work for, both then and now. Because as a leader of VVAW he was working for the International Communists that were paying the bills and giving directions to the VVAW to defeat the United States of America."


As long as I have been aware of the political system of the USA, IMO, the Democrat Party leadership has been rotten to the Core.

Frau Regentropfen

Janet, don't fly to Seattle. SeaTac has *all* smoking areas outside and only in designated outdoor spots. It's usually cold, brutish and nasty outside in the wind and rain. I stood next to the shivering smokers to show their smoking didn't bother me. I remember flying to Europe with the line down the middle of the plane with smokers on the left and non-smokers on the right. Kinda biblical in concept but still silly.




Thanks DrJ!



((My great-grandmother was born into a C.S. family who were early members of the church))

Thanks for sharing that bit of your family history. What horrible behavior on the part of the C.S. family. Mrs. Eddy herself stated plainly that she had more respect for honest medical physicians than she did for dishonest and unloving C.S.ists. My maternal great grandmother and grandmother were also C.S. When my grandmother married a Roman Catholic, he was cut off from his family. My grandmother eventually was accepted by one of his sisters, but that was the extent of it. C.S. skipped a generation, my mom and dad were not the least bit interested in it. Our home was non religious and I didn't know a thing about C.S. until I found an old copy of Science and Health tucked on a bookshelf and started reading. It enfuriated me at first, and still does at times. The thing I am most grateful to C.S. for is that it got me interested in the Bible, which has become a source of deep comfort to me.


Byron, they never give up;



A better perspective of the Iceland story (with a little some-something for us to think about):

The IMF has said that targeted household debt reduction policies - including mortgage write-downs - can deliver significant economic benefits.

The International Monetary Fund made the comments in its latest World Economic Outlook.

The IMF said such policies can substantially mitigate the negative effect of household deleveraging on economic activity.

The report noted the well established link between high levels of household debt run up during a housing boom, and the effect of a high debt overhang on economic recovery.

It found that countries, like Ireland, that saw house prices and household borrowing skyrocket, saw a longer than average period of recession after the bursting of the housing bubble.

A large part of this protracted recession it said is due to households trying to reduce their debt levels, which in turn leads to less spending in the economy, driving the recession deeper and further.

"Because debt is acting as a brake on economic growth, it is important to unstick the brake" said the report's author Daniel Leigh.

The IMF has studied the response of a number of countries to situations where large parts of the population are burdened with high mortgage debt in a recession, and finds that such programmes can help prevent self-reinforcing cycles of falling house prices and lower aggregate demand.

"Such policies are particularly relevant for economies with limited scope for expansionary macroeconomic policies and in which the financial sector has already received government report", notes the conclusions. Ireland meets both these criteria.

The report highlighted what it calls the "bold " household debt reduction programmes implemented in the US in the 1930's and in Iceland in this crisis, which it said can "significantly reduce the number of household defaults and foreclosures and substantially reduce debt repayment burdens''.

It contrasted these examples with others that have not been successful, such as the current response to the crisis in the US and Hungary, and the policies pursued in Colombia and the Scandinavian countries in the 90's.

As well as the "bold" approach, it said that ensuring a strong banking sector is crucial during the period of household deleveraging. It stated that the policies in Colombia and Hungary were not a success as they placed too much burden on an already fragile banking sector.

It also said the policies must be designed to have incentives for both banks and borrowers to participate, notably by offering a viable alternative to default and foreclosure.

The IMF noted that government support for household debt restructuring programmes involves clear winners and losers. "The friction caused by such redistribution may be one reason why such policies have rarely been used in the past, except when the magnitude of the problem was substantial and the ensuing social and political pressures considerable",' it stated.

It cited another study which found that political systems tend to become more polarised in the wake of financial crises, and raised the question of collective action problems - that distressed mortgage borrowers may be less politically organised than banks - and this can hamper efforts to implement household debt restructuring.

In the US in the 1930's the Roosevelt administration introduced the Home Owners Loan Corporation, which bought distressed mortgages from banks with government bonds, with federal guarantees on principal and interest. It then restructured these mortgages to make them more affordable to borrowers.

80% of the restructured loans (some 800,000) were protected from repossession by the measure, and the mortgages were subsequently sold on over time for a nominal profit at the time the programme was brought to an end in 1951. The mortgage purchases amounted to 8.4% of 1933's GDP in the US.

The IMF said "a key feature of the HOLC was the effective transfer of funds to credit constrained households with distressed balance sheets and a high marginal propensity to consume, which mitigated the negative effects on aggregate demand" caused by the recession and need for household deleveraging.

The main mechanism to make loans more affordable was to extend the term of the mortgage -sometimes doubling the term - and converting it from a variable to a fixed rate. In a number of cases the HOLC also wrote off part of the principal to ensure that no loans exceeded 80% of the appraised value of the house.

In the case of Iceland the situation was more difficult, due in part to the much bigger proportion of the population that was affected, and to the wide presence of foreign currency mortgages.

The government and the newly constructed Icelandic banks developed a template to be used in case by case restructuring discussions between borrowers and lenders. The templates facilitated substantial debt write-downs designed to align secured debt with the supporting collateral (i.e bring the loan into line with the value of the house) and align debt service with the ability to repay.

The IMF found that such case by case negotiations safeguard property rights and reduce moral hazard, but they take time. As of January of this year, only 35% of the case by case restructuring applications had been processed. To speed things up, Iceland has introduced a debt forgiveness plan which writes down deeply underwater mortgages to 110% of the households' pledgeable assets.

It noted that only when a comprehensive framework was put in place and a clear expiration date for relief measures announced that debt write-downs finally took off. As of January 2012, 15 to 20% of all Icelandic mortgages have been or are in the process of being written down.

However, it said the jury is still out on Iceland's plans, and said the extent to which Iceland can put its citizens back on their feet and minimise moral hazard remains to be seen."


Having no assets is the best way to get ahead. How do you say "Joe the Plumber" in Icelandic?


That was a long one.


Captain Hate

narc have you ever heard of "I the Supreme" by Augusto Roa Bastos? I bought it years ago when a translation was in print and then promptly put it aside unread while I read library books which had due dates (an unfortunate habit I have) and it disappeared into a box in the storage part of my attic. I ran across a strong recommendation of it in a book by Paul West and was unable to find it and also found out that the library's copy was either missing or sold off. Anyway when Mrs H was going through one of her periodic purges of things to give Easter Seals yesterday (which I dread) I located it after all this time (the receipt was for new year's eve 1987).


THat was the one set in Paraguay, I believe,
not that familiar;




I predict that Maher will go the way of Olbermann one day, it's the inevitible fate of chronic haters


When Obama and the Democrats are defeated at the polls in Nov, I would like to see millions of exit interviews cite Obama keeping the million dollar donation from Maher as the reason for them not voting for Obama or any Democrat.


pagar, maher's million dollar donation is paltry compared to the goodwill cost that maher's mouth will cause obama to lose. obama's campaign is are probably already regretting taking the million


It would be interesting to know how much of government grants are eaten up by administrative costs. I have heard some really disturbing comments that 45% goes to administration.


President Obama goes to South America and complains that illegal aliens are being asked for their papers in Arizona and that Romney is bad for supporting such action



The picture makes it looks like thinking about the USA makes him ill.

Anyone want to guess how many countries in Central/South America welcome people with no papers? Anyone want to guess how many of these countries have laws saying their police cannot ask for your papers anytime they want? As far ask I can determine the answer is ZERO.


th answer is none, they were the ones that came up with the 'cedula' the ID one carries
along at all times,


It would be interesting to know how much of government grants are eaten up by administrative costs. I have heard some really disturbing comments that 45% goes to administration.

Do you really want me to get into the details?

A typical research grant (namely, science and engineering) has about 50% overhead when the employee fringe benefits are treated as a direct cost. That overhead counts *everything* that is not a direct cost, and is pooled campus-wide. So that is the share of grant administration, grant winning (the sponsored projects office), general administration, buildings, security, legal, the tech transfer office, and undoubtedly diversity and "green" overhead.

The point is that there is a lot more in it than just administrators. You would be surprised how quickly 50% goes, even at a pretty lean company (like mine).


Student loans!

"On the other end of the spectrum, there are 191 schools where graduates had negative ROI. At Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, where only one out of three students graduates in six years, in-state grads earned $289,000 less over 30 years than a high school graduate earning at the 75th percentile, after deducting the cost of the degree. For out-of-state graduates, the figure is $338,000."


Some students might need to make some changes in their college plans.


Very silly people, Bre'r Rabbit is not meant to be a plan of action



Found a fun comment on John Derbyshire's home page about how he has no hard feelings re NR's decision.

They have some great young writers at National Review — check out Kevin Williamson — (I hope my endorsement doesn't blight your career, Kev) and my departure gives them more space

Too bad I didn't see that soon enough for Jane to use it.

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