March 26, 2009

You have run out of our money - the sequel

Real politics:


Engrossing stuff, but Hannan misreads Obama's effect on America's brand. The multi-racial President as talisman stuff is fluff. Putin, Khameini, Chavez don't make decisions on that. Obama's brand is weakness and inexperience. There's real doubt whether he's Presidential timber at all. Hannan's right that the Obama victory is forcing the GOP to re-think the fundamentals - boy, do they need to - and the amazing thing is that Hannan, despite being ignored by the BBC and the rest, now has an influence on that. Isn't the internet wonderful?

Bonus track - "Please defect":

March 25, 2009

AIG, I quit!

This is a letter sent on Tuesday by Jake DeSantis, an executive vp of AIG’s financial products unit, to Edward M. Liddy, the chief executive of AIG. While quitting AIG Mr DeSantis delineates the disgrace of Liddy, who wants to perform a civic duty in winding down AIG, but simply lacks courage to stand against the political storm from Congress and the Attorney Generals of New York and Connecticut. Congress passed an unconstitutional, confiscatory, retrospective law against the AIG employees, convenient scapegoats lest popular rage turn against the criminals in Congress. The Attorney Generals threatened to publish the home details of AIG employees who kept what they had earned - which everyone understands is blackmail.

I am proud of everything I have done for the commodity and equity divisions of A.I.G.-F.P. I was in no way involved in — or responsible for — the credit default swap transactions that have hamstrung A.I.G. Nor were more than a handful of the 400 current employees of A.I.G.-F.P. Most of those responsible have left the company and have conspicuously escaped the public outrage.

After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company — during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 — we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. My intent is to keep none of the money myself.

I take this action after 11 years of dedicated, honorable service to A.I.G. I can no longer effectively perform my duties in this dysfunctional environment, nor am I being paid to do so. Like you, I was asked to work for an annual salary of $1, and I agreed out of a sense of duty to the company and to the public officials who have come to its aid. Having now been let down by both, I can no longer justify spending 10, 12, 14 hours a day away from my family for the benefit of those who have let me down.

Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Charlie Rangel, Nancy Pelosi, Andrew Cuomo and the rest are scum. The US President, who preens as Lincoln's successor, could have protected citizens against mob rule. He serenaded the mob instead. Liddy could have stood up for those he well knew were morally and legally in the right, but he'll have to live with his weakness. I hope when I am tested, I do the right thing. Honour does not move sideways like a crab.

You have run out of our money

This morning the UK gilt auction failed. That means there weren't enough bids to cover the amount the government wants to borrow. Actually the situation in America is worse since we'll get a centre-right government within 2 years, but the malign dunces who run your government will be in power for at least 4, maybe 6, 8, 12 years longer what with Acorn and the growth of the state-dependent electorate. The UK has better democratic accountability for its Chief Executive. Our press are not lapdogs and Gordon Brown has to hear the charges against him face to face in public. Imagine Barack Obama in this video instead of Gordon Brown:


Daniel Hannan is a journalist and blogger as well as a Member of the European Parliament. This is a strange world; the same Daniel Hannan who stripped the PM's flesh off his bones and pecked his eyes out in the clip above, this same avenging carrion crow, won't disown Obama yet for the weakest, drippiest reasons:
So, have I changed my mind? Well, I won't deny that Obama has done plenty of irritating things, ranging from the idiotic stimulus package to the way he dissed the Prime Minister (yes, I know the man's a clot, Mr President, but he's our clot; and, tired as you may have been, I suspect the Royal Marines in their Forward Operating Bases in Helmand, fighting a war that few of your allies will touch, are pretty drowsy too).

On the other hand, the US remains more popular than it has been for years, and Obama's own approval ratings, though fallen, are well above the vote he received in November.
This is a question of psychology rather than politics. It shows the power of the moralistic fallacy, the conceit that what ought to be, is. Many ultra-bright people and many ultra-dim people want Obama to be who they think he should be and it will be a bereavement as well as a defeat to admit that they were too in love with their idea of Obama to see the bleeding obvious.

Update: Daniel Hannan's reaction to the reaction to his speech to Gordon Brown.

March 24, 2009

To hell with niceness

Kenneth Minogue:
Many social conditions have been identified as part of the change, but behind most of them, I suggest, is a massive change in our moral sentiments: notably, a rise in the currency of politicised compassion. This is a sentiment so much part of the air we breathe that it does not even have a name of its own..........."Nice" and "nasty" began to surface out of the deeper waters of moral thought and sentiment to become actual tokens of political discussion, so we may for convenience call this whole tendency by the unlikely name of "the niceness movement". In these terms, the supreme moral virtue is compassion.

This sentiment is not, of course, the niceness and decency that we rightly admire when individuals respond helpfully to others. It is a politicised virtue, which means that it is focused not on real individuals but on some current image of a whole category of people. Correspondingly, it invokes hostility towards those believed to have caused the pain and misery of others. Public discussion thus turns into melodrama. A very powerful version of this doctrinal compassion maps the distinction of oppressor and oppressed on to almost any social or international situation, and this mapping automatically directs our sympathies. Further, our sympathy for the oppressed is a demonstration to ourselves of our own benevolence. The fact is, of course, that political exponents of niceness may or may not be personally generous and benevolent. Doctrine is not character.

Mediocre But Arrogant

= MBA. Quite unfair; we all know MBA's and they're perfectly pleasant. That none of them is Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Lakshmi Mittal, Richard Branson or the guy who runs whelk stall down the road is co-incidence. Make your own list. I pinched mine from a mea culpa by a Harvard MBA.

I dunno. My beef with graduates in general, especially men, is that the years spent on someone's curriculum in protected surroundings are the years most people aged 17-23 complete the foundation of their spiritual and worldly souls, but that takes risk, failure, self-invention, recovery from error and courage. You don't get an adult soul by living an adolescent life and college, for all its stresses, is prolonged adolescence.

March 22, 2009

Declaration of Dependence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are evolved servile, that they are endowed by their Government with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Abortion, Gay Marriage and the pursuit of Hope and Change. That to secure these rights, Mainstream Media are instituted among Men, deriving their just opinions from the indoctrination of the Academy, That whenever any Form of People becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the Government to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new People, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its Speech in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Sinecures and Self Regard.

March 21, 2009

Home, sweet home


Google now has Street View for London. Apparently some poor sod drove around most London streets and snapped 360 degree views every 20 seconds. Here's a typical slice of London life. You can tell it's not Salt Lake City.

The reindeer antlers are a nice touch. I hope you'll all visit London soon. If you're interested in London, this snappy video (not mine) samples the complexity of my native city. It may not be wholesome, but it is addictive, especially to photographers like me.

March 20, 2009

Pillow talk can be complicated

Ace!
Update: at Ace a comment asks:
What happens when the teleprompter calls at 3am and needs a cuddle?

There's no business like no business

US politics these days is a scene from Hieronymus Bosch. The bill of attainder against AIG employees which tears up contract law is the worst legislation I've ever seen. Ok Roe v. Wade is even worse morally and intellectually, but this just makes me gape. Let the names of the 85 Republican congressmen who voted for this go down in US history as bywords for political cowardice. As well as the sheer evil intent of this legislation, it plumbs new depths in stupidity. The story leads the FT:
Bankers on Wall Street and in Europe have struck back against moves by US lawmakers to slap punitive taxes on bonuses paid to high earners at bailed-out institutions.

Senior executives on both sides of the Atlantic on Friday warned of an exodus of talent from some of the biggest names in US finance, saying the “anti-American” measures smacked of “a McCarthy witch-hunt” that would send the country “back to the stone age”.
There were fears that the public backlash triggered by AIG’s payment of $165m (€122m) in bonuses, which followed the US insurer’s taxpayer-funded rescue, would have devastating consequences for the country’s largest banks.

“Finance is one of America’s great industries, and they’re destroying it,” said one banker at a firm that has accepted public money. “This happened out of haste and anger over AIG, but we’re not like AIG.”

The banker added: “This is like Russia 15 years ago. It’s like a McCarthy witch-hunt . . . This is the most profoundly anti-American thing I’ve ever seen.”
That's Barney Frank on the high stool, bottom right, dreaming of a windfall tax on Big Oil.

The US is now unpredictable. Change the government and contracts can be voided, alliances disrespected, terrorists rewarded, sheriffs who protect US borders investigated, our descendants suddenly loaded with a mountain of debt. Right now America's best hope is China and China's best hope is to start selling US debt to crash the price ASAP as a piercing alarm to the US government to change course now, right now. I'd buy Credit Default Swaps on the USA except that it's hard to imagine a counter-party with non-correlated risk. That's why gold is strong.

March 18, 2009

Morning rant #7



This guy is running your country. The people who manage his teleprompter are his back-up. The economy's imploding, Russia's re-arming, Iran's going nuclear and, and, and...and you pick a President to make you feel good. Hell's bells! Read and weep:

By the way I don't see this story in the US msm so far and don't see the clip on YouTube. Altogether now...."What if this had been Bush?" Or Palin? Oh la la! If this had been Palin there wouldn't be bandwith in all the optic fibre in America to cope with the sneers and condescension.

March 17, 2009

To boldly split

Mick cites Mitt:
the Obama administration was wrong to initially defend the bonuses
I hiccupped over this split infinitive and began a post titled "Mitt Romney, you are dead to me", but on reflection it's ok; "was wrong initially to defend" is unclear and "was wrong to defend the bonuses intitially" sounds weaker. Therefore Romney remains my preferred conservative for 2012. Phew!

I don't care about grammar. English doesn't care about grammar. Grammar is a means to an end. The end is clarity with euphony. If infinitive splitting serves that end, well fine, but it rarely does. "To boldly go" well emulates the plonking bathos of Star Trek and works in context, but "boldly to go" is better both for euphony and emphasis. English is not a prescriptive language and Shakespeare is the least prescriptive of writers, yet he split an infinitive but once and that was a special case.

I do not prohibit split infinitives; I prohibit dull language. We use language to think; dull language, dull thought. Keep your tools sharp. I am not that purist of whom the revered Raymond Chandler wrote:
By the way, would you convey my compliments to the purist who reads your proofs and tell him or her that I write in a sort of broken-down patois which is something like the way a Swiss-waiter talks, and that when I split an infinitive, God damn it, I split it so it will remain split..

March 16, 2009

''Shard reaches for the sky amid office sector gloom"

FT:
Construction of western Europe's tallest building will begin in London today amid the gloomiest market for commercial building in decades, thanks to backing from a group of Qatari banks.
Designed by Renzo Piano, the Shard of Glass will tower 1,016ft above London Bridge station and stand nearly three times as high as St Paul's Cathedral.
In this flat schematic The Eiffel Tower looks magnificent alongside The Shard and The Chrysler Building, but look at this video (again) for an impression of how the Shard will enhance London. Qudos to the Qataris for appreciating that a trough in the market is a less risky time to build.

The Russia Tower project, the competition for tallest building in 'Europe', is frozen, likely cancelled. London will certainly recover thanks to its diverse advantages, such as distance from capricious dictators, but Moscow is a bigger risk. 

A deeper risk than the economic cycle is 'What is the point of commercial office space anyway?' Virtual office space is cheaper, more malleable, more interconnected, cuts out commuting ('Man was born free but everywhere is in trains'), and is in some ways more 'present', meaning communication is simpler and more configurable.  The argument about energy revolves around questions like 'Is it green?', 'Should we live sparser lives?', ' Will oil run out?', and so on, but the issue may simply become moot by adopting the virtual office as the norm.  Half our journeys would vanish, both local commutes and long-distance business travel. If a flat-screen isn't 'present' enough, well just beam me up in 3d and I'll join you round a virtual conference table in a virtual corporate HQ.

March 13, 2009

'Turning cod into PhDs'

Michael Lewis (Liar's Poker) has written a long, entertaining, instructive piece on the Icelandic Saga, Boomandbust. This gives me several opportunities:

1. I'll try out Scribd - it seems to work ok below.

Iceland

2. It prompts me to publish "What I Learnt In Iceland", doggerel dashed off on my first visit to Iceland in 2007:
Rhubarb's a stem and not a fruit,
Prunes and muesli make you toot,
But snorchestras will drown out wind.
Allegedly (I'm not convinced)
Box jellyfish aren't jellyfish and
Greenland is further east than Iceland.
A Minister of Elvish Matters
Defines the routes of roads and detours.
Dottirs and ssons of Irish slaves
Kill foxes, whales, whatever moves,
And there's a certain charm in grimness,
Tax evasion, drunken primness,
Strapping horses, strapping women.
Real men who smell of fish and semen.
Volcanic science,
Car-mangling giants,
Fire and ice,
I think it's nice.


3. I can link my gallery from Iceland. These days my edits aim for a less sharpened, more 'liquid' image surface than here.

4. I can promote the gallery service called Phanfare. It's free, handles full-screen slideshows, accepts music uploads and is ergonomic. It's hard to find this combo.

5. I can promote the great value trek I took with Sherpa Expeditions:Sherpa

Morning rant #6, peak oil = peak technology

The deep reason that oil production has not peaked is that technology has not peaked. It's not just a matter of cutting edge techniques in applied geoscience or directional drilling or high pressure, high temperature operations. With experience costs can be cut dramatically with slimmer engineering and less 'gold-plating'. For example deepwater expro has much further to go, not least in the Western Hemisphere in both the US and non-US Gulf of Mexico and the Santos Basin off Brazil. As well as the giant Tupi and Jupiter finds, today comes news of another "very huge" result on an Exxon operated well. Add the untapped potential on the Alaskan North Slope, offshore California and offshore Florida. Then add the gargantuan shale oil deposits onshore the USA and Canada. Then add middle distillate synthesis of natural gas to very pure heating oil and kero. Natural gas is already available in giga-gargantuan quantities. It's a logistics play more than an an expro play.

Peak oil is a completely bogus argument for wrecking landscapes with windfarms and destroying the Amazon forest for corn-for-ethanol production. Of course by the time Exxon hits first production in Brazil, its many billions of annual corporation tax may be paid to the Swiss government rather than the USSA government. Does anybody on Planet Obama get it that oil exploration and production in the USA is stimulative? So is building nuclear power stations. When we're borrowing from our children for present spending, shouldn't the spending be on capital projects to benefit the economy which they will inherit, rather than bullshit boondoggles for teachers' unions, Acorn and the other jackal packs that make up the Democratic interest groups gorging on America for as long as China will lend more money?

Trivia: Where was the first discovery of a giant oil field? 'Giant' means > 500 million barrels. Answer - offshore NW Peru. How come? Because The geographic setting for much of the world's oil is the palaeo-deltas of giant river systems like the Mississippi, the Rhine, the Tigris/Euphrates and the Amazon. "The Proto-Amazon delta flowed westwards into the Pacific, before the Andean uplift in the late Tertiary." Stick that in your pipe and fractionate it.

March 12, 2009

Sanford and more

"What you're doing is buying into the notion that if we just print some more money that we don't have and send it to different states, we'll create jobs," he said. "If that's the case, why isn't Zimbabwe a rich place?"
I'm impressed. Romney/Sanford or Romney/Palin in 2012 works for me. If Sanford has the knack of reducing complex clusterfucks to simple truths, then let's not wait for 2012. Let Romney, Palin, Sanford act together right now like a loyal opposition, loyal to the USA, the City on the Hill, rather than loyal to Harvard Law School. Talk about a toxic asset; Harvard Law School, take a bow. You're in the spotlight riding a unicycle and the wind's blowing.

Afterthought: I'd also be happy with Palin top of the ticket. She is a natural leader. I think of her tonight with the news that her eldest daughter, a new mother, is breaking up with the father. In our multi-choice answer culture marriage is an act of will anyway. It's a little harder with multitudes sneering and gossiping.

Here's an averagely repulsive piece of sociology:
"Within her base, I think this will just increase sympathy and support," said Gary Alan Fine, a Northwestern University professor of sociology who studies political reputations. "It will make her seem more like a person who has to confront the challenges of life, and this is one of them. If you're a fundamentalist or a devout Christian, you don't believe you're living in a world without sin, you don't believe people don't make mistakes."
And for those who love to hate Palin, this is another arrow in their quiver.

"It just adds a kind of frisson of joy, a little pleasure," Fine posited. "It confirms the kind of Beverly Hillbillies aspect, the lower-middle-class qualities that people saw in Sarah Palin."
The professor knows what he's talking about in the latter case, but when he characterizes Palin's support as fundamentalist and devout Christian, he's projecting his own fantasy onto the world outside the academy.

Action, reaction, punchline

Action:



March 11, 2009

Morning rant #5


Charles Freeman, an anti-Israel Hezbollah apologist with financial ties to the Saudi government and the Chinese government was nominated to head the National Intelligence Council. Obama's not to blame as Freeman was nominated by someone who reports to Obama. Obama is only the ceo. Then Freeman withdrew in the face of Senate opposition, blaming the Israel lobby. The immediate scandal is that Obama's 2nd tier appointments are a disgrace. The long-run scandal is that this Obaman rabble have fubarred everything they've touched. Has anything been well executed? Anything? The head of Britain's civil service says of his US counterparts that:
Downing Street was finding it "unbelievably difficult" to plan for next month's G20 summit in London because of problems tracking down senior figures in the US administration. "There is nobody there. You cannot believe how difficult it is,"
Fifty days after President Obama was sworn in, every senior post in the US Treasury Department remains vacant, with the exception of Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, who should have 17 deputies.

In Buffett's phrase this is America's economic Pearl Harbour and the metaphorical war is being commanded by a Harvard Law Graduate who has never run anything. What will happen when He and his tenured turnips face a non-metaphorical war? America has the finest military it's ever had run by a matinée idol without so much as a cub scout's badge. Whoops, there goes Tel Aviv. Whoops, there goes Delhi. Whoops, there goes Seoul. Whoops Apocalypse. It's hard to credit the nightmare and farce we're living thru. Obama makes Biden look presidential. Et tu, Newsweek ?

Caption your own Obama poster here.

March 10, 2009

The Manchurian Candidate


You are what you do, not what you think of yourself while you are doing it. 'His motives were good' may excuse a child who lights a match from curiosity. The fault that the house burnt down belongs to the adult who allowed the unqualified child access to matches. So, yes, if you never grow up, how you feel about yourself trumps all outcomes other than dying in the fire.

Kevin Hassett:
Obama is giving us the War on Business. Imagine that some hypothetical enemy state spent years preparing a “Manchurian Candidate” to destroy the U.S. economy once elected. What policies might that leader pursue?
The column continues by fleshing out how a sophisticated enemy might wreck America:
He might discourage private capital from entering the financial sector by instructing his Treasury secretary to repeatedly promise a brilliant rescue plan, but never actually have one. Private firms, spooked by the thought of what government might do, would shy away from transactions altogether. If the secretary were smooth and played rope-a-dope long enough, the whole financial sector would be gone before voters could demand action.
...
you need to initiate entitlement programs that are difficult to change once enacted. These programs should transfer assets away from productive areas of the economy as efficiently as possible. Ideally, the government will have no choice but to increase taxes sharply in the future to pay for new entitlements.

A leader who pulled off all that might be able to finish off the country.
...
No More Deferral

On the tax hike, Obama’s proposed 2010 budget quite ominously signaled that he intends to end or significantly amend the U.S. practice of allowing U.S. multinationals to defer U.S. taxes on income that they earn abroad.

Currently, the U.S. has the second-highest corporate tax on Earth. U.S. firms can compete in Europe by opening a subsidiary in a low-tax country and locating the profits there. Since the high U.S. tax applies only when the money is mailed home, and firms can let the money sit abroad for as long as they want, the big disadvantage of the high rate is muted significantly.

End that deferral opportunity and U.S. firms will no longer be able to compete, given their huge tax disadvantage. With foreign tax rates so low now, it is even possible that the end of deferral could lead to the extinction of the U.S. corporation.

If any firms are to remain, they will be festooned with massive carbon-permit expenses because of Obama’s new cap-and- trade program.
But it's ok, his motives are good:
It’s clear that President Obama wants the best for our country. That makes it all the more puzzling that he would legislate like a Manchurian Candidate.
Actually it's not clear that Obaman motives are good. 'Feel good', yes; 'save the world at others' expense', certainly; 'look cool', tick; 'bring in a Brave New World', uh huh. But in the Obaman mind these are good motives, a magic mix of pseudo-science, group-identification, superstition and Robin Hood. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but the signs on the road are 'hope' and 'change' and 'look at me.'

Amen, sister!

The New York Times interviews Ann Coulter:
Do you consider yourself as speaking for the conservative movement, or just someone who has attracted many conservative fans? Something else?

I THINK I SPEAK FOR ALL AMERICANS WHO THINK NEWSPAPER EDITORS WHO PRINT THE DETAILS OF TOP-SECRET ANTI-TERRORIST INTELLIGENCE GATHERING PROGRAMS ON PAGE ONE IN WARTIME SHOULD BE EXECUTED FOR TREASON.

March 09, 2009

"The Reader"

I'd gleaned that this movie had sex and Auschwitz, so, despite the say-so of a liberal Jewish acquaintance, I didn't see it. This Powerline post - The Oscar For The Worst Excuse For Sex In A Film - reinforces my instinct that leveraging the emotional power of atrocities into jejune books, films and politics is one of the more disgusting traits of those who lead wholly protected lives.

I put up a quick slideshow from Auschwitz for this post.

Sinister and foggy

Venice pix:

I rented an apartment from a lady from Ohio on VRBO.com .

March 07, 2009

It takes a village idiot

One of my young American children is learning 'affirmative names' at public school, eg 'Wonderful Wendy', so her generation may be responsive to therapy-speak in power politics:


Is 'Hilarious Hillary' affirmative? Let's hope Vulpine Vladimir feels the same way about relationships.

I've thought for a while that the sheer jaw-dropping awfulness of this mob - Obama, Biden, Hillary, Geithner, Reid, Pelosi. Frank. Rangel and a vast cast of clowns, morons, moronic clowns and clownish morons - is a gift from God. If this can't inoculate America against what they represent, then nothing will.

Hot Air:
Can we get a re-set button ?


It occurs to me that the Administration got their gifts mixed up. The DVD box-set of American Classic Films was meant for Russia, but the re-set button was meant for the UK. 'Re-set, limeys; we believe in relationships, just not the Special Relationship.'

Afterthought: Cute -
The real views of many in Obama administration were laid bare by a State Department official involved in planning the Brown visit, who reacted with fury when questioned by The Sunday Telegraph about why the event was so low-key.
The official dismissed any notion of the special relationship, saying: "There's nothing special about Britain. You're just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn't expect special treatment."
You know what, he's right. It isn't Britain and America now that have a relationship. It's British Obamans and American Obamans as opposed to British adults and American adults. The thing is while the Obamans work thru their infantile journeys of self-gratification, self-congratulation, libertinism, nannyism, socialism, authoritarianism, atheism, superstition and the culture of death....the world still turns and Auden's lines on the fall of Rome sound ever more sinister:
The piers are pummelled by the waves;
In a lonely field the rain
Lashes an abandoned train;
Outlaws fill the mountain caves.

Fantastic grow the evening gowns;
Agents of the Fisc pursue
Absconding tax-defaulters through
The sewers of provincial towns.

Private rites of magic send
The temple prostitutes to sleep;
All the literati keep
An imaginary friend.

Cerebrotonic Cato may
Extol the Ancient Disciplines,
But the muscle-bound Marines
Mutiny for food and pay.

Caesar's double-bed is warm
As an unimportant clerk
Writes I DO NOT LIKE MY WORK
On a pink official form.

Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city.

Altogether elsewhere, vast
Herds of reindeer move across
Miles and miles of golden moss,
Silently and very fast.

March 05, 2009

Notes from Venice

I'm here on a chess, whisky and photo trip with an old friend who is a Brooksian moderate squish who used to call himself variously 'conservative' and 'libertarian'. He calls me 'right-wing extremist', ideologue' and 'tosser', oh and now 'spawn of Sarah'. Naturally an old man's thoughts in Venice in the spring turn to US politics. My friend voted for Obama so I'm grinding him into dust with every tick of the stock market and every game of chess. That's the local colour. Now a couple of thoughts:

1. I guess that the market will bottom at about 4,800. It's hitting new lows now at 6,645, down about 46% since Obama permanently took the lead in polls last October.

2. Billary must be grinding their teeth that Hillary accepted SecState. That's gagged Bill. His cutting commentary on Obama was a pleasure of the Nomination contest. If the Harvard Law School dismantling of America goes on much longer, then Hillary would be favourite for Nominee in 2011 except that she's part of the wrecking crew.

Morning rant #4

Not one of mine, alas, but I do feel his pain; Jimmy Cayne, the former Bear Stearns CEO, on Geithner:
The audacity of that p—- in front of the American people announcing he was deciding whether or not a firm of this stature and this whatever was good enough to get a loan,” he said. “Like he was the determining factor, and it’s like a flea on his back, floating down underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, getting a h—-o-, saying, ‘Raise the bridge.’ This guy thinks he's got a big d—. He’s got nothing, except maybe a boyfriend. I’m not a good enemy. I’m a very bad enemy. But certain things really—that bothered me plenty. It’s just that for some clerk to make a decision based on what, your own personal feeling about whether or not they’re a good credit? Who the f— asked you? You’re not an elected officer. You’re a clerk. Believe me, you’re a clerk. I want to open up on this f—-r, that’s all I can tell you.
This was before Geithner's elevation to Tax-Cheat-In-Chief.

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