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Marwan to be 'freed' as part of Shalit deal
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
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Africa Subsaharan
'Stop giving aid to Africa. It's just not working'
Posted by: tipper || 03/06/2009 18:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I recall an interview in Der Spiegel a few years back. I'll have to dig to find it, but the gist of it was this: the reporter was talking to a high official in the Kenyan government (Ag Minister?), and the reporter asked what she, the minister thought of the foreign aid that Kenya received. He doubtless thought that she would talk about the importance of it and ask for more.

Instead, her words were simple. "Stop."

What, the reporter asked?

Stop, the minister said, and then related how foreign aid was killing her country. The grain given to her country was stolen almost before it came ashore at the docks, and the farmers there couldn't compete with free (stolen) grain, so they quit farming. The donated clothing from the west killed the domestic market. And so on, and so on.

An eye opener.

We ought to think about stopping the aid and instead help the African nations with markets. Let them sell whatever it is they can create or grow. That would not only build their economies but also foster rule of law, the courts, and so on.
Posted by: Steve White || 03/06/2009 18:54 Comments || Top||

#2  whole heartedly concur.
Posted by: Whineper Prince aka Broadhead6 || 03/06/2009 18:58 Comments || Top||

#3  Old but relevant essay on the subject by Kim du Toit
Posted by: Uning Munster3399 || 03/06/2009 19:21 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Threaten to Double
Posted by: tipper || 03/06/2009 18:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:


North Korea: Curbing Missile Diplomacy
The Hermit Kingdom has been getting awfully crabby in recent headlines, and Bellum proposes that it’s time to step back and formulate a recourse to the inevitable: Parallel to intimating that it will shoot down South Korean aircraft that enter its airspace during the course of war games with the United States and that it will confront the “puppet state” on its disputed western sea border, North Korean authorities claim that they will soon launch an innocuous “communications satellite” that it has been preparing since January. Of course, as with most snarky announcements out of DPRK’s state-run Korean Central News Agency, the noise has got analysts up in arms on suspicions that the object-in-question may instead be a malevolent Taepodong-2 missile capable of reaching the western United States (and thereby picking up where Yasuyo Yamazaki left off in 1943, harrying Aleut-Americans just trying to go about their business). Upon further inquiry, NK’s spokesman betrayed juche by responding with a Buddhist coan, legacy of an earlier subjugated age: “One will come to know later what will be launched”. Zen indeed.
Posted by: Croluck Clock6129 || 03/06/2009 14:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [287 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: Politix
Obama's Radicalism Is Killing the Dow
It's hard not to see the continued sell-off on Wall Street and the growing fear on Main Street as a product, at least in part, of the realization that our new president's policies are designed to radically re-engineer the market-based U.S. economy, not just mitigate the recession and financial crisis.

The illusion that Barack Obama will lead from the economic center has quickly come to an end. Instead of combining the best policies of past Democratic presidents -- John Kennedy on taxes, Bill Clinton on welfare reform and a balanced budget, for instance -- President Obama is returning to Jimmy Carter's higher taxes and Mr. Clinton's draconian defense drawdown.

Mr. Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents -- from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.

To be fair, specific parts of the president's budget are admirable and deserve support: increased means-testing in agriculture and medical payments; permanent indexing of the alternative minimum tax and other tax reductions; recognizing the need for further financial rescue and likely losses thereon; and bringing spending into the budget that was previously in supplemental appropriations, such as funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The specific problems, however, far outweigh the positives. First are the quite optimistic forecasts, despite the higher taxes and government micromanagement that will harm the economy. The budget projects a much shallower recession and stronger recovery than private forecasters or the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office are projecting. It implies a vast amount of additional spending and higher taxes, above and beyond even these record levels. For example, it calls for a down payment on universal health care, with the additional "resources" needed "TBD" (to be determined).

Mr. Obama has bravely said he will deal with the projected deficits in Medicare and Social Security. While reform of these programs is vital, the president has shown little interest in reining in the growth of real spending per beneficiary, and he has rejected increasing the retirement age. Instead, he's proposed additional taxes on earnings above the current payroll tax cap of $106,800 -- a bad policy that would raise marginal tax rates still further and barely dent the long-run deficit.

Increasing the top tax rates on earnings to 39.6% and on capital gains and dividends to 20% will reduce incentives for our most productive citizens and small businesses to work, save and invest -- with effective rates higher still because of restrictions on itemized deductions and raising the Social Security cap. As every economics student learns, high marginal rates distort economic decisions, the damage from which rises with the square of the rates (doubling the rates quadruples the harm). The president claims he is only hitting 2% of the population, but many more will at some point be in these brackets.

As for energy policy, the president's cap-and-trade plan for CO2 would ensnare a vast network of covered sources, opening up countless opportunities for political manipulation, bureaucracy, or worse. It would likely exacerbate volatility in energy prices, as permit prices soar in booms and collapse in busts. The European emissions trading system has been a dismal failure. A direct, transparent carbon tax would be far better.

Moreover, the president's energy proposals radically underestimate the time frame for bringing alternatives plausibly to scale. His own Energy Department estimates we will need a lot more oil and gas in the meantime, necessitating $11 trillion in capital investment to avoid permanently higher prices.

The president proposes a large defense drawdown to pay for exploding nondefense outlays -- similar to those of Presidents Carter and Clinton -- which were widely perceived by both Republicans and Democrats as having gone too far, leaving large holes in our military. We paid a high price for those mistakes and should not repeat them.

The president's proposed limitations on the value of itemized deductions for those in the top tax brackets would clobber itemized charitable contributions, half of which are by those at the top. This change effectively increases the cost to the donor by roughly 20% (to just over 72 cents from 60 cents per dollar donated). Estimates of the responsiveness of giving to after-tax prices range from a bit above to a little below proportionate, so reductions in giving will be large and permanent, even after the recession ends and the financial markets rebound.

A similar effect will exacerbate tax flight from states like California and New York, which rely on steeply progressive income taxes collecting a large fraction of revenue from a small fraction of their residents. This attack on decentralization permeates the budget -- e.g., killing the private fee-for-service Medicare option -- and will curtail the experimentation, innovation and competition that provide a road map to greater effectiveness.

The pervasive government subsidies and mandates -- in health, pharmaceuticals, energy and the like -- will do a poor job of picking winners and losers (ask the Japanese or Europeans) and will be difficult to unwind as recipients lobby for continuation and expansion. Expanding the scale and scope of government largess means that more and more of our best entrepreneurs, managers and workers will spend their time and talent chasing handouts subject to bureaucratic diktats, not the marketplace needs and wants of consumers.

Our competitors have lower corporate tax rates and tax only domestic earnings, yet the budget seeks to restrict deferral of taxes on overseas earnings, arguing it drives jobs overseas. But the academic research (most notably by Mihir Desai, C. Fritz Foley and James Hines Jr.) reveals the opposite: American firms' overseas investments strengthen their domestic operations and employee compensation.

New and expanded refundable tax credits would raise the fraction of taxpayers paying no income taxes to almost 50% from 38%. This is potentially the most pernicious feature of the president's budget, because it would cement a permanent voting majority with no stake in controlling the cost of general government.

From the poorly designed stimulus bill and vague new financial rescue plan, to the enormous expansion of government spending, taxes and debt somehow permanently strengthening economic growth, the assumptions underlying the president's economic program seem bereft of rigorous analysis and a careful reading of history.

Unfortunately, our history suggests new government programs, however noble the intent, more often wind up delivering less, more slowly, at far higher cost than projected, with potentially damaging unintended consequences. The most recent case, of course, was the government's meddling in the housing market to bring home ownership to low-income families, which became a prime cause of the current economic and financial disaster.

On the growth effects of a large expansion of government, the European social welfare states present a window on our potential future: standards of living permanently 30% lower than ours. Rounding off perceived rough edges of our economic system may well be called for, but a major, perhaps irreversible, step toward a European-style social welfare state with its concomitant long-run economic stagnation is not.

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 03/06/2009 11:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [311 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Charles Krauthammer has this to same about the Chosen One:
"At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the banking industry. One can come up with a host of causes: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed by Washington (and greed) into improvident loans, corrupted bond-ratings agencies, insufficient regulation of new and exotic debt instruments, the easy money policy of Alan Greenspan's Fed, irresponsible bankers pushing (and then unloading in packaged loan instruments) highly dubious mortgages, greedy house-flippers, deceitful home buyers.

The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-ass MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe."
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/06/2009 15:53 Comments || Top||

#2  Krauthammer's point is the same one we've been making here for months. Barry doesn't give a damn about the economy or the market, it's his social welfare programs and the CONTROL they bring that is central to his efforts. Everything else is secondary.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/06/2009 16:00 Comments || Top||

#3  I am hoping the public anger & disgust over the economic crisis will overwhelm and discredit Obama's irrelevant & harmful socialist agenda. The Dow may wind up killing Obama's radicalism after all.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/06/2009 16:27 Comments || Top||

#4  Usually the socialist take advantage of economic disorder or backwardness to get into the positions of power and control. However, they've yet to succeed in a country where people were the year before relatively well off and then they pull the screws to make the economy go into full tailspin. Too close to the blame line and events to not avoid being among the villains of the production. With the Porkout Act of '09 and the degree of either cluelessness or intent in killing the market, it will be the 'Obama Recession/Depression'.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 03/06/2009 17:22 Comments || Top||

#5  So at current rate of fall - we have what, 28 days til Dow hits zero? There's little incentive at moment to get back in to the market so what's to stop this?
Posted by: Rex Mundi || 03/06/2009 17:24 Comments || Top||

#6  But at least Obama will have a colorful military parade on May 1st.
Posted by: DMFD || 03/06/2009 19:18 Comments || Top||


Rosanne Barr: Israel Firing Rockets at Itself so They can Kill More Palestinians.....
You say that twelve rockets were fired into israel since the end of the "war" (ethnic cleansing). Not one Israeli was hurt or killed by these rockets, and now you say you are going to go back and kill more palestinians to teach them a lesson!!!

I think rockets are being fired by your own sources, since less than ten israelis have been killed by them. You are bullshitting the world as you pocket money made from arms sales, along with bibi and your agents in Hamas. step down all men in power!

(Roseanne's World)
HT Drew
Posted by: Icerigger || 03/06/2009 07:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [403 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That picture has to be photoshopped. No way in hell does Rosanne look that good!
Posted by: Cornsilk Blondie || 03/06/2009 10:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Hire enough stylists and surgeons, and the results can be surprising, even if underneath one is still the same no-class, unamusing, pig-ignorant stupid bitch one walked in as.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2009 10:22 Comments || Top||

#3 
Ethnic cleansing. I hate that nonsense. It was the palestinians who kicked jews out, in gaza and the west bank.

Israel and the Palestinans have been going at it for maybe 40 years? Who needs 40 years to clean out a small patch of dirt?

Posted by: flash91 || 03/06/2009 10:50 Comments || Top||

#4  my haiku in response to the assassin of the National Anthem:

disgruntled sow
no man will talk to
wants attention
Posted by: Andy Ulusoque aka Broadhead6 || 03/06/2009 10:55 Comments || Top||

#5  And you mean to tell me that there's not a spot for this woman in the Obama administration?
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/06/2009 10:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Damn, Rosanne, that's a good idea!
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 03/06/2009 11:36 Comments || Top||

#7  Gotta be desperate to retread this old tire.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/06/2009 11:44 Comments || Top||

#8  Open Kimono for Redneck Jim ONLY!
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/06/2009 11:54 Comments || Top||

#9  Ummm, No thanks, My wife is far better looking.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 03/06/2009 13:04 Comments || Top||

#10  If she cheated on her taxes, she's a shoo-in for a national security billet.
Posted by: Mike || 03/06/2009 13:18 Comments || Top||

#11  Remind me not to get on trailing wife's bad side ...
Posted by: Steve White || 03/06/2009 14:03 Comments || Top||

#12  I never liked as a comedian, now I really dislike her as a person.
Posted by: lena || 03/06/2009 15:11 Comments || Top||

#13  disgusting that she's even getting air time for this garbage.
I guess the Obama believers are getting desperate to explain the $900 million bail out for Gaza.
Posted by: Jan || 03/06/2009 16:29 Comments || Top||

#14  She has also seen the future. And it is the Apocalypse or...sumthin.

February 24, 2009
tevel is the world of the righteous

and that is what is occurring now. The evil ones are confounded. they sputter and unwind because their programming has become obsolete. Many many of them are awakening and turning away from the lies. Meditation nullifies the chips that were implanted in the brain.

A GREAT FLOOD IS COMING!!! THE POLAR ICE CAPS WILL DROWN THE WORLD WITHIN TEN YEARS!!! in 2012 the righteous will inherit the world. (read seeking contact--archives here). noah is us.

i rewrote/am rewriting "seeking contact" and will include the finished version in my book.

that poor noah guy got raped by his own crazy ass son after the vessel they were riding out the storm in opened and they all went nuts having to see what they had survived. noah is a story about survivor guilt. Noah is a story about how the animals saved R N A....the animals gathered at the water and pushed the ark into the stream so that it could be saved. on the ark was the blueprint of all living things, which is RNA. rna is god and it is immortal! It replicates itself over and over forever and forever again. it has no beginning and no end. it is god almighty itself! immortality now! immortality now! immortality now!! please let us be done with lack!!! there is actually nothing missing! We have the answer to every problem on earth within our hands and it is so simple. find the balance between should be and is!!! that third thing is called "and so it must be done"......thank jesus for these words that floated through me today. elijah was here too and so was abraham and isaac and moses and david the king of my tribe. the third thing is gimmel the camel---the world of formation...we are god and she is us


All righty then...
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/06/2009 16:31 Comments || Top||

#15  Dayam, tu3031, that is some sweet, sweet crazy. The whole site's like that! I'm thinking Roseanne is trying for something like the Weekly World News. No, wait, that was better-written.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 03/06/2009 18:52 Comments || Top||

#16  TW, a beautiful comment. Perfect. Short, sweet, and to the point (upon which she (RB) is impaled). Art.
Posted by: Whiskey Mike || 03/06/2009 21:51 Comments || Top||

#17  Whiskey Mike, such praise from you is a rare and precious thing. I'm overwhelmed.

the third thing is gimmel the camel

No, it's Gamel the camel. Or Gamal... it's a transliteration thingy. Gimel is the Hebrew version of our letter G, the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Clearly Ms. Barr has no gift for language in addition to her other handicaps. Did she have children?
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2009 23:00 Comments || Top||

#18  Geishas the world over should be up in arms over this c-unit disgracing their uniform.
Posted by: Mike N. || 03/06/2009 23:08 Comments || Top||


Obama's Enemies List: Orwell Told Us So
Character assassination is a favorite Democratic political tactic. Barack Obama echoes themes in George Orwell's novel 1984 in his "Two Minutes Hate" style attacks on private citizens.
Posted by: Age Of Pericles || 03/06/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [436 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "HE does not know what HE is talking about"

Gibbs.
Posted by: newc || 03/06/2009 2:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Perfectly normal behavior in African politics.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/06/2009 4:26 Comments || Top||

#3 

The interesting connection here is that Nixon's list was the subject of much swooning and handwringing amongst the elite left, and Obama's is not, even though they are equally repugnant by any objective standards.

The irony? Nixon was hated and pursued with an inhuman gusto by the elite in the press and the academy because they never forgave him for taking out Alger Hiss - the politician who the left had hoped would be the Obama-like figure to lead this country into socialist paradise fifty years ago.

How the worm turns.


Posted by: no mo uro || 03/06/2009 8:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Any reference to Orwell or "Nineteen Eighty-Four" should include the footnote that the police state concepts of the novel never stopped, but continued to develop. In the year 1984, IBM sold the PC-AT. Computers are more advanced today, so why not the technologies, and viciousness, of the police state?
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2009 9:00 Comments || Top||

#5  just make sure if you throw a tea party it is a green tea party; better for the environment.

(poor attempt at snark/off)
Posted by: Whineper Prince aka Broadhead6 || 03/06/2009 9:05 Comments || Top||

#6  I know this is long and should probably be a separate posting under non-WOT but it is on topic and very relevant to The One's MO:

Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" out of print. Look particularly at rule 5 and 10 as they apply today.

RULE 1: "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." Power is derived from 2 main sources - money and people. "Have-Nots" must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)

RULE 2: "Never go outside the expertise of your people." It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don't address the "real" issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)

RULE 3: "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid "un-fun" activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)

RULE 7: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists' minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

RULE 10: "If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management's wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)

RULE 11: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)


Posted by: Jack is Back! || 03/06/2009 9:47 Comments || Top||

#7  Jack -- thanks for that! -- I've often considered doing a search for Alisnky's rules, and just never did.

Thanks again
Posted by: Sherry || 03/06/2009 10:40 Comments || Top||

#8  After listening to pelosi and reid and gibbs, the only thing I can come up with why Obama is considered charismatic is because the previously mentioned set the bar so low. Listen to his speeches - it has all the zeal as a grade school English classroom book reading exercise. He is the only democrat who can move their eyebrows so he stands out.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/06/2009 12:46 Comments || Top||

#9  Seems to me, that Alinsky's rules would work just as well against the Left if properly applied. Maybe we should just start applying their own tactics against them. It would be only fair.
Posted by: Black Charlie Clinegum5078 || 03/06/2009 23:34 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Pakistan is bleeding to death
By Nadira Naipaul

My country is bleeding to death. It is heart breaking and it augurs the twilight of a nation.

I am mourning the loss of Pakistan's pastoral mountain "state" of Swat with its fair, gentle people. Pakistan's continuous dalliance with Islamists, the machinations of politicians and the greed and strategic intrigue of its army have delivered these peaceful people into the hands of the vermin-like Taliban, whose flinty hearts match the stony terrain they descended from.

The shame of it. It is a challenge to and very possibly the end to the constitution of Pakistan. At best it is a consequence of the apathy and operational paralysis of the Pakistani army. At worst it is the harbinger of a future in which the Islamists and our "national" army, which brokered the deal with the black-turbaned Taliban, will spread their tentacles through the rest of the country.

How did we get here? Years ago the Taliban warlord and commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar predicted this event, quivering with rage when he was ordered to leave Pakistan. I was then a journalist covering these events and sensed his desperation. He had sent thousands to their deaths, for a jihad funded by the US, and was now trapped like a rat, along with rival mujahideen groups now fighting each other for power in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan has played the whore," he said on his expulsion. "It took the money while we gave our blood. We rid Afghanistan of the Russians and one day we will descend from the mountains and put you right." Used to the ravings of egotistical generals and deranged politicians, I dismissed his threat. The evil has, a decade or so later, seeped over the mountains and infested Pakistan. Their carefully chosen target this time was the Sri Lankan cricket team.

I got the news while sitting in the forests of Gabon, Africa, and began to pray that this atrocity is some internal Sri Lankan affair with Tamil terrorists taking revenge on the national team for their recent losses. But the immaculately planned and executed attack, in which eight people died and seven members of the team were injured, demonstrates that what remains of civil society has lost the battle. It may be only a matter of time till the black-turbaned menace will pour on to the plains and make us another Iran.

There is no end to the corruption of Pakistan's political parties, both the PPP and the Muslim League. The former promises a secular agenda, while appeasing the Turbanators. The latter promises civil rule with the veneer of Islam: religion for the masses and rich pickings for the party leaders and their camp-followers.
I have been away from the country for 13 years but I can see that we asked for it. There is no end to the corruption of Pakistan's political parties, both the PPP and the Muslim League. The former promises a secular agenda, while appeasing the Turbanators. The latter promises civil rule with the veneer of Islam: religion for the masses and rich pickings for the party leaders and their camp-followers.

And the army has never had its hand far from the levers of power and profit. It is the other leg of our one-legged democracy. After 11 years of the dictatorship of General Zia which enriched the corps' commanders and their favourites, while promising the masses riches in heaven, the army will not relinquish its access to wealth.

General Musharraf appointed nephews to sensitive positions and fell into the way of all dictators, demanding sycophancy above truth. Musharraf became willy-nilly the guardian of the army's industrial empire. The army had become and is today a huge business mafia. It, and its officers and ex-officers, owns the cement factories, spices and fertilisers; it bakes bread and makes cheese.
The Nawaz Sharif government that succeeded was a mere changing of the guard. His family were greedy if petty industrialists. Under his watch the Islamic element grew. His government passed the infamous blasphemy law, which can still be used as a death warrant on any dissident. Mrs Bhutto Buggins'-turned her way back to power and then we had the merry-go-round of the return of Sharif and the last coup by General Musharraf. For the first time the people of Pakistan welcomed the military coup. They wanted a rule of law which the "democrats" had eroded. The corruption and nepotism of all the political parties had defeated the very idea of a nation. Some even questioned whether democracy was alien to us and ought to be suspended till we were ready for it. In a largely illiterate population votes are bought, traded and meaningless.

General Musharraf appointed nephews to sensitive positions and fell into the way of all dictators, demanding sycophancy above truth. Musharraf became willy-nilly the guardian of the army's industrial empire. The army had become and is today a huge business mafia. It, and its officers and ex-officers, owns the cement factories, spices and fertilisers; it bakes bread and makes cheese.

The army is forced by operational paralysis to negotiate with the Taliban, and has handed over Swat to these thugs to administer according to the Sharia, letting them bomb and burn schools to stop, at first, girls being educated and now to prevent all modern education in their territory.

The assault on the Sri Lankan team in the heart of our greatest city, the fact that none of the assailants, who had rifles, grenades and rocket launchers, have been apprehended, has demonstrated to the world that our government is a trussed rather than a lame duck.
Posted by: ryuge || 03/06/2009 08:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [312 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "...bleeding to death."

Die! Die! Die!
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 03/06/2009 9:00 Comments || Top||

#2  promises civil rule with the veneer of Islam: religion blah, blah, blah for the masses and rich pickings for the party leaders and their camp-followers.
Now it describes pretty much all politics.
Posted by: Glenmore || 03/06/2009 9:11 Comments || Top||

#3  From self-inflicted wounds.
Posted by: mojo || 03/06/2009 11:03 Comments || Top||

#4  Pakistan is eating a giant Islamic D-Con burger, a bite at a time. That is why she is bleeding to death.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 03/06/2009 11:23 Comments || Top||

#5  As it could be expected she spins it: Hykhmatyar spent more time fighting Ahmad Shah Massood than fighting the Soviets. Then after the Sovietws withdrew and the fall two years later of the regime they sponsored he bombarded Khabul causing thousands of victims trying to wrestle power from the coalition whose strong man was (untermensch aka Tajik) Massod. Hykhmatyar, a Pshtoon and a supremacist one at that was soundly defeated alongside his pakistani protectors dozens of them (it was found they were not ven Pakistani Pashtoons but Punjabis) falling into the hands of Massood's men. At this point since his defeats and the bombarding of Khaboul had made he was "burned" even in the eyes of Pashtoons Pakistan drew Mullah Omar out of its sleeve.
Posted by: JFM || 03/06/2009 12:12 Comments || Top||

#6  Since when Pakistan is a country?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 03/06/2009 14:17 Comments || Top||


Science & Technology
Facebook jihad
By Robert Spencer

The jihad against Israel rages not just in Gaza, but worldwide, including on the Internet -- and even on Facebook, as a 14-year-old American Jew named Todd Snider recently discovered. In July 2008, Snider started a Facebook group called "I Wonder How Quickly I Can Find 1,000,000 People Who Support Israel." This group quickly grew to become the largest pro-Israel group on Facebook, with over 180,000 members. But then, unexpectedly, this group gave this enterprising and dedicated young man a lesson in jihadist intimidation and thuggery -- including an unpleasant taste of how Western bureaucrats abet that thuggery, whether out of indifference or complicity.
Posted by: ryuge || 03/06/2009 06:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [343 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I suspect complicity, masked by indifference.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 03/06/2009 8:12 Comments || Top||

#2  If anonymity were ever to acquire an age, surely it is now.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/06/2009 8:20 Comments || Top||

#3  Young Mr.Snider ought to consider migrating himself, the group, and his entire social circle to Facebook's competition.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2009 13:35 Comments || Top||


Sri Lanka
How US 'war on terror' emboldened Sri Lanka
The Army appears on verge of crushing Tiger rebels.
By Simon Montlake

Colombo, Sri Lanka - In 1992, Lt. Col. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa retired from the Army after two decades in uniform. A year later, he moved to Los Angeles and began working in IT. In 2001, he heard President Bush declare that "you're either with us or against us" in the global war on terror.

"The lesson that I have learned is that peace talks will never go anywhere.... Tell me a place where this has worked."
Mr. Rajapaksa didn't need convincing. The decorated officer -- today Sri Lanka's defense secretary -- had long ago concluded that his own country's fight against extremism, which broke into civil war in 1983, required a military solution by a united front. "The lesson that I have learned is that peace talks will never go anywhere.... Tell me a place where this has worked," he says.
Every place you find a working government of national unity you can find productive peace talks with formerly murderous enemies.
After a massive buildup of troops and equipment, Sri Lanka appears on the verge of victory against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. If successful, It will have succeeded where others in the region, such as India and Pakistan, have failed in putting down an armed rebellion by force.

Behind Sri Lanka's war machine is Chinese military hardware, foreign intelligence sharing, and a focus on military professionalism. "They've insulated the way the Army operates. It's purely military logic," says a Western diplomat in Colombo.

The government has also tried to clamp down on LTTE overseas funding, with limited success. While the United States has frozen two Tamil charities as terrorist fronts, European countries have dragged their feet, say Sri Lankan officials.

Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Steve White || 03/06/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [329 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Peace Talks apear as the guerrilla is on the verge of winning or at least cannot be defeated and, in a kind of war where the morale and politic aspect is everything, greatly strengthens it. Also you can bet the guerrilla will use the time for reinforcing itself.
Posted by: JFM || 03/06/2009 2:35 Comments || Top||


Terror Networks
Let's put Iran back to 1850s
The "Money Shot":
But what if we turned the tables? Iran's most dangerous weapons are all dependent upon the same computer-driven systems as ours. Their nuclear plants, uranium enrichment systems, missile launch systems, radar control, etc. are all as vulnerable to the EMP destruction of microchip-driven computers as ours are.

So, why sit around and wait for our known enemies to put us technologically into the 1850s? I think we should "do unto them before they do unto us." In the final analysis, such an act of boldness would save millions of lives on both sides. Israel, I especially hope you are listening.
Posted by: Uncle Phester || 03/06/2009 08:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [502 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Hal Lindsey even looks like Barney Miller.
Posted by: Jack is Back! || 03/06/2009 11:01 Comments || Top||

#2  I call BS on the EMP scare. The B-29 aircraft that delivered the atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not lose power due to damage to their electrical or electronic systems. Some systems may be affected, but odds are most stuff will still work fine. Anything shielded with metal mesh is well protected, I suspect the steel rebar in most concrete buildings would be sufficient.
Posted by: Scooter McGruder || 03/06/2009 11:14 Comments || Top||

#3  The B-29 was pretty much an 'analog' device, switches, wires and 'hard contacts' like relays, solenoids, etc. Not really adversely affected by magnetic pulses (except maybe solenoids and relays for the duration of the pulse) when enclosed in a ferrous container and properly grounded.

The newer electronics utilize ICs, MOSFETs and the like for switching and controlling power. These gizmos really don't like large magnetic pulses as these induce 'extra electron flow' in semiconductor substrates that aren't designed to handle them, unless specifically made to do so which most commercial-market devices aren't. The mesh will help, but it wouldn't be 100% effective for the first few microseconds if the device activated next to it.

A relay, mechanical switch or 'hard wire connection' can withstand a short 'surge' of electrons, but a standard semiconducting device can't.

After a big EMP burst, I'll still be driving my '79 1-ton analog pickup (took out the HEI ignition a few years back and replaced with a 'point' system) while my neighbors nice new EFI vehicles with LCD Dashboards will be dead in the water.

My radio might not work, though.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 03/06/2009 12:55 Comments || Top||

#4  Does anyone know if the diodes in auto alternators are affected by EMP? Decent info on the scope of EMP damage is hard to find.
From Wiki: "Karaganda suffered the most severe electromagnetic pulse effects ever observed in history, when its electrical power plant was set on fire by currents induced in a 1,000 km long shallow buried power cable by Soviet Test ‘184’ on 22 October 1962. The test was part of ‘Operation K’ (ABM System A proof tests), and consisted of a 300-kt nuclear explosion at 290-km altitude over Zhezkazgan. Prompt gamma ray-produced EMP induced a current of 2,500 amps measured by spark gaps in a 570-km stretch of overhead telephone line to Zharyq, blowing all the protective fuses. The late-time MHD-EMP was of low enough frequency to enable it to penetrate the 90 cm into the ground, overloading a shallow buried lead and steel tape-protected 1,000-km long power cable between Aqmola and Almaty, firing circuit breakers and setting the Karaganda power plant on fire [1]."
Sounds like one system that would definitely be damaged is the electric grid & power plants. If thousands of the electric company's trucks were put out of commission, I suspect the juice would be out for a very long time. People who have come to depend on cell phones would be out of luck, also. Etc.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/06/2009 16:22 Comments || Top||

#5  Diodes are pretty tough because they're so 'simple', but they're not indestructible.

The alternator diodes would be affected if the blast was close by and the car was running (with current flowing through the diodes during the blast). You would lose your alternator's charging capacity, but continue to run on the battery if you had a 'analog' vehicle (and a battery in good condition). You'd then better find a way to re-charge your battery or carry a spare diode pack (hint, they're pretty cheap and easy to change on the older alternators).
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 03/06/2009 16:37 Comments || Top||

#6  Back to the 1850's? I suppose if you are talking about technology..

these guys are like tribal cave men in living in the 21st century. It's more like taking rocket launchers away from the monkeys at the zoo.
Posted by: Gluting Fillmore6653 || 03/06/2009 17:27 Comments || Top||

#7  Master Mechanic speaking here, the normal flux in and around alternators exceeds any EMP Pulse by around a thousand to one, there's so much flux I carelessly fried my wristwatch buy getting within a foot of an idling alternator (Car was at idle) I forgot to take it off.

I doubt seriously any damage at all will occur,Having said that the Voltage regulator IS succeptable (If NOT mounted inside he alternator, those are pretty safe.)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 03/06/2009 22:14 Comments || Top||

#8  It's more like taking rocket launchers away from the monkeys at the zoo.

Cool! Monkeys with rocket launchers. At last, a reason to go to the zoo.
Posted by: phil_b || 03/06/2009 22:46 Comments || Top||

#9  I suspect Jim is correct. The voltage regulator is likely toast. The GM internally regulated alternator that Mullah has in his formerly HEI ignited truck would stand a better chance.
Posted by: Mike N. || 03/06/2009 23:04 Comments || Top||

#10  Master Mechanic speaking here

Rantburg U. is once again in session! But what about Iran's missile launch systems and such? Please explain in words of one syllable or less, Professor R. Jim, as electrical physics was the course I kind of failed, back in the day.
Posted by: trailing wife || 03/06/2009 23:08 Comments || Top||


Home Front Economy
Obama's economic saviour savaged as Keating lets rip
Posted by: tipper || 03/06/2009 19:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [293 views] Top|| File under:


Is the Bottom Near? Viet-Nam considered better risk than Warren Buffet
Have investors gotten so pessimistic that there are no bears left to sell and we are therefore due for an oversold bounce?

Consider this: Berkshire Hathaway credit default swaps are now trading wider than Vietnam, according to Bank of America/Merrill strategist Michael Hartnett. Meaning that Berkshire bondholders need to pay more to protect themselves against default than those holding sovereign debt issued by Vietnam. Hartnett holds this up as just one example of the extremes he's seeing in the credit markets.

Let me point you to an article in The Economist that states that some people in Vietnam are so scared about their economic prospects that they've resorted to drinking the blood of snakes, which is supposed to enhance "good fortune and sexual prowess."

I do not see Warren Buffett resorting to such a tactic. But I do see that he has $24.3 billion in cash sitting around.
Posted by: Frozen Al || 03/06/2009 12:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [279 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Maybe this was his strategy to leave nothing to his kids.
Posted by: no mo uro || 03/06/2009 20:56 Comments || Top||


When Will the Bull Return?
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/06/2009 11:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [381 views] Top|| File under:

#1  When the Bull in DC stopped.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/06/2009 11:56 Comments || Top||

#2  January 20th 2012
Posted by: JFM || 03/06/2009 12:00 Comments || Top||

#3  Add a year, JFM.
Posted by: tu3031 || 03/06/2009 12:41 Comments || Top||

#4  The bull will return when
a) the governments currency monopoly is managed by bank supervision rather than global regulation.
b) the government stops punishing people for working.
c) the government stops rewarding people for doing stupid things.
d) A property value tax stops rent-seeking.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 03/06/2009 13:32 Comments || Top||

#5  BPtf,

Could you explain why you think a property value tax stops rent seeking?
Posted by: AlanC || 03/06/2009 13:49 Comments || Top||

#6  An LVT tends to make land be owned by the most productive user.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles the flatulent || 03/06/2009 14:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Seems like there's bull everywhere.
Posted by: no mo uro || 03/06/2009 15:39 Comments || Top||

#8  cows may come and cows may go
but the bull in this place goes on forever
Posted by: Querent || 03/06/2009 17:09 Comments || Top||

#9  DRUDGEREPORT > CHAVEZ CALLS ON OBAMA TO FOLLOW THE PATH OF SOCIALISM; + KRAUTHAMMER: DECEPTION AT THE CORE OF OBAMA'S PLANS [covert "Big Bang" Federalization/Nationalization].
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 03/06/2009 18:21 Comments || Top||

#10  Some estimates I've heard put the DOW at between 800-1500 for about 10 years. The biggest variable is how long it will take the USG to give up and default on the national debt.

That will kill most international trade, require a balanced budget, end government largesse such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and reduce the size of the USG by over 50%.

The recovery will begin in earnest with the rebuilding of the US industrial infrastructure that has been outsourced.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 03/06/2009 18:58 Comments || Top||

#11  The recovery will begin in earnest with the rebuilding of the US industrial infrastructure that has been outsourced.

Amen and amen.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/06/2009 19:13 Comments || Top||

#12  "reduce the size of the USG by over 50%"

While I'd resent the loss of all the SS money they've stolen from me over the years, reducing the fed gummint by 50% might make it worthwhile. :-(
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 03/06/2009 19:22 Comments || Top||

#13  Good. Tired of watching pigs build houses of straw.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/06/2009 20:08 Comments || Top||

#14  The recovery will begin in earnest with the rebuilding of the US industrial infrastructure that has been outsourced.

So we could add millions of more unemployed Americans rather than millions of unemployed Chinese.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 03/06/2009 22:27 Comments || Top||


The Big Dither
By PAUL KRUGMAN
You know things are bad when Krugman starts to be critical of the Administration.
Nah, they just want Bambi to channel his inner Lenin more productively ...
Last month, in his big speech to Congress, President Obama argued for bold steps to fix Americas dysfunctional banks. "While the cost of action will be great," he declared, "I can assure you that the cost of inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that sputters along for not months or years, but perhaps a decade."

Many analysts agree. But among people I talk to theres a growing sense of frustration, even panic, over Mr. Obamas failure to match his words with deeds. The reality is that when it comes to dealing with the banks, the Obama administration is dithering. Policy is stuck in a holding pattern.

Heres how the pattern works: first, administration officials, usually speaking off the record, float a plan for rescuing the banks in the press. This trial balloon is quickly shot down by informed commentators.

Then, a few weeks later, the administration floats a new plan. This plan is, however, just a thinly disguised version of the previous plan, a fact quickly realized by all concerned. And the cycle starts again.

Why do officials keep offering plans that nobody else finds credible? Because somehow, top officials in the Obama administration and at the Federal Reserve have convinced themselves that troubled assets, often referred to these days as "toxic waste," are really worth much more than anyone is actually willing to pay for them -- and that if these assets were properly priced, all our troubles would go away.

Thus, in a recent interview Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, tried to make a distinction between the "basic inherent economic value" of troubled assets and the "artificially depressed value" that those assets command right now. In recent transactions, even AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities have sold for less than 40 cents on the dollar, but Mr. Geithner seems to think theyre worth much, much more.
And they would be if you'd suspend the 'mark-to-market' rule and let banks and investors carry them at their previous value for a while. They could then revalue and sell/buy them in the market at prices closer to what they were worth a year or two ago.
And the governments job, he declared, is to "provide the financing to help get those markets working," pushing the price of toxic waste up to where it ought to be.

Whats more, officials seem to believe that getting toxic waste properly priced would cure the ills of all our major financial institutions. Earlier this week, Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, was asked about the problem of "zombies" -- financial institutions that are effectively bankrupt but are being kept alive by government aid. "I dont know of any large zombie institutions in the U.S. financial system," he declared, and went on to specifically deny that A.I.G. -- A.I.G.! -- is a zombie.

This is the same A.I.G. that, unable to honor its promises to pay off other financial institutions when bonds default, has already received $150 billion in aid and just got a commitment for $30 billion more.

The truth is that the Bernanke-Geithner plan -- the plan the administration keeps floating, in slightly different versions -- isnt going to fly.

Take the plans latest incarnation: a proposal to make low-interest loans to private investors willing to buy up troubled assets. This would certainly drive up the price of toxic waste because it would offer a heads-you-win, tails-we-lose proposition. As described, the plan would let investors profit if asset prices went up but just walk away if prices fell substantially.

But would it be enough to make the banking system healthy? No.

Think of it this way: by using taxpayer funds to subsidize the prices of toxic waste, the administration would shower benefits on everyone who made the mistake of buying the stuff. Some of those benefits would trickle down to where theyre needed, shoring up the balance sheets of key financial institutions. But most of the benefit would go to people who dont need or deserve to be rescued.

And this means that the government would have to lay out trillions of dollars to bring the financial system back to health, which would, in turn, both ensure a fierce public outcry and add to already serious concerns about the deficit. (Yes, even strong advocates of fiscal stimulus like yours truly worry about red ink.) Realistically, its just not going to happen.

So why has this zombie idea -- it keeps being killed, but it keeps coming back -- taken such a powerful grip? The answer, I fear, is that officials still arent willing to face the facts. They dont want to face up to the dire state of major financial institutions because its very hard to rescue an essentially insolvent bank without, at least temporarily, taking it over. And temporary nationalization is still, apparently, considered unthinkable.

But this refusal to face the facts means, in practice, an absence of action. And I share the presidents fears: inaction could result in an economy that sputters along, not for months or years, but for a decade or more.
The silliest part of all this is that a mortgage cramdown measure will further devalue the assets backed by mortgages so the administration is implementing policies which will make the gap between the theory and the reality even wider. Some adults are required but no-one will take the jobs because they applicants have to answer questions about their taxes. Monty Python??.
Posted by: Omoter Speaking for Boskone7794 || 03/06/2009 10:08 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So basically, Paul Krugman is on track to become Obama's very own Father Conklin - a fanatical election-year supporter who turned on the punative Saviour of the Left because he wasn't leftist enough, fast enough?
Posted by: Mitch H. || 03/06/2009 11:42 Comments || Top||

#2  Its what happens when a peson stands on the fence post of decision and instead of falling on one side or the other, chooses a little of both and falls straight down.

I don't like the idea of nationalizing the banks even if the arguement could be made to do so because I have zero confidence in who would be the decision makers; also do you really want the people who are in charge now deciding your health concerns? Back to the topic, why in the world do it with failed banks (ex. nationalize the energy industry under the name Enron) - the only way it would have any confidence with the people is if were successful in the first place before a state takeover - but if they are successful its because they didn't bite into the government apple.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 03/06/2009 12:39 Comments || Top||

#3  So Geithner really, really believes the cost of an average home in southern California should be $1 million? Yippee! As soon as he can get me that much for my house I'm outta here.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 03/06/2009 12:50 Comments || Top||

#4  Ebbang, after a few days of Zimbob-style inflation your house will easily be worth that million you want. And Zero's working on it.
Posted by: Glenmore || 03/06/2009 14:04 Comments || Top||

#5  I don't like the idea of nationalizing the banks even if the arguement could be made to do so because I have zero confidence in who would be the decision makers;

Yah, if we're going to have socialism, we need socialism run by someone who's at least tried to run a small business and failed, and knows that things can go astray of your best intentions.

All the democrats seem to have in the way of real businessmen are the people who made sweetheart deals based on their personal influence, like Terry McAuliffe or Hillary Clinton.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 03/06/2009 14:58 Comments || Top||

#6  Ebbang, when that happens, your grocery bill will average a grand a week.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 03/06/2009 15:28 Comments || Top||

#7  Suspending the MTM rule is an even dumber idea than anything the Obamanauts have yet come up with. Our troubles will not go away if the toxic waste is given an imaginarily high value, either. A lot of the big banks are truly insolvent, need to be taken out back & shot in the head. Housing is still ridiculously overpriced, even in places like Detroit & Cleveland.
do you really want the people who are in charge now deciding your health concerns? That is on the topic, very much so. I sure don't want the pirates & thieves who have run the world banking system into the ground to deciding to dig their holes even deeper. Sometimes I think chimps could make better decisions than the Best and the Brightest® have done.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 03/06/2009 16:10 Comments || Top||

#8  Although mark-to-market is a problem where there is no legitimate market, the whole MTM notion is not the full story. It emanates from FASB157 and applies only to assets held for sale. If a bank makes a loan which it holds on its books to maturity MTM has no relevance. There is the need for annual write down provisioning which is different. So the MTM issue is a bit of a red herring and not fully understood. [See Steve Forbes in the WSJ today - he gets it wrong as well]. But it is legitimate where there is no market - which should be defined as a ready and willing buyer meeting a ready and willing seller. At the moment the only buyers are hedgefunds who want to pay fire sale prices so that doesn't fit the definition. It is a mess and not easily susceptible to a silver bullet.
Posted by: Omoter Speaking for Boskone7794 || 03/06/2009 16:24 Comments || Top||

#9  "Some adults are required but no-one will take the jobs"

The adults won't take these jobs because the White House staff studiously ignores whatever they have to say. There are stories about Paul Volker wandering the halls of White House trying to find someone to speak to while the political types make policy decisions without any input from the economic advisors.
Posted by: Frozen Al || 03/06/2009 16:38 Comments || Top||

#10  These declinations are of no consequence. The One's devoted Leibstandarte primary staff will find the right people. There should be no concern, no concern at all.
Posted by: Besoeker || 03/06/2009 16:52 Comments || Top||

#11  Our troubles will not go away if the toxic waste is given an imaginarily high value, either.

Way to demolish that straw man. The problem with mark to market is that it has effectively destroyed the ability of anyone to make a market in the "toxic waste" that is an incredible long term opportunity but would result in an immediate short term GAAP loss for any purchaser without creating any tax benefit. Listen to John Allison's presentation to understand how a responsible banker views mark-to-market.

A lot of the big banks are truly insolvent, need to be taken out back & shot in the head. Housing is still ridiculously overpriced, even in places like Detroit & Cleveland.

Great non-sequitur.

Mark to market should be reversed. We've had it for two years. Let's repeal it for two and see what happens.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 03/06/2009 17:35 Comments || Top||

#12  I'm with NS. MtM is no secret anymore. Nobody is going to get 'suckered' into buying some overpriced crap because it's no longer marked to market. In a market and economy like this, investors are deciding for themsleves what things are worth, they're not trusting anyones word on values.

Suspend it for a couple years and see what happens.
Posted by: Mike N. || 03/06/2009 19:40 Comments || Top||



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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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Meet the Mods
In no particular order...
Steve White
Seafarious
Pappy
lotp
Scooter McGruder
john frum
tu3031
badanov
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ryuge
GolfBravoUSMC
Bright Pebbles
trailing wife
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Two weeks of WOT
Fri 2009-03-06
  Marwan to be 'freed' as part of Shalit deal
Thu 2009-03-05
  ICC issues arrest warrant for Sudan's president-for-life
Wed 2009-03-04
  Lanka troops in last Tamil Tiger Towne
Tue 2009-03-03
  Lanka cricketers shot up in Lahore
Mon 2009-03-02
  Hariri tribunal gets underway in The Hague
Sun 2009-03-01
  Mighty Pak Army claims famous victory in Bajaur
Sat 2009-02-28
  Bangla sepoy mutiny: Mass grave horror stuns nation
Fri 2009-02-27
  Paleofactions agree to form unity govt
Thu 2009-02-26
  Bangla: At least 50 feared dead in sepoy mutiny
Wed 2009-02-25
  Lanka: Troops enter last Tamil Tiger-controlled town
Tue 2009-02-24
  Mulla Omar orders halt to attacks on Pak troops
Mon 2009-02-23
  100 rounded up in Nineveh
Sun 2009-02-22
  1 European killed, 9 others wounded in Egypt blast
Sat 2009-02-21
  Handcuffed JMB man pops grenade at press meet
Fri 2009-02-20
  Tamil Tiger planes raid Colombo

Better than the average link...



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