Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Countercolumn News Ticker 
Exhibitionist Veterans March In Support Of "Ask, Tell" Policy ...

Feds Fines Al Qaeda For Violating OSHA Rules ...
Suicide Bomber Program Cited for Flunking Lockout/Tagout/Blowout Standards ...

Taliban HR Officials Frustrated as Suicide Bomber Turnover Soars ...

Al Qaeda Retiree Pension Fund Continues to Show Surplus ...

Bernie Madoff Attracting Contrarian Investors ...

Buffett Goes Deep On Fargo Area REITs ...

Developing ...

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Biden's Daughter Using Cocaine on Camera? 
Family values, Democrat style. Personally, I don't care. And Biden's family has been through enough tragedy without me having to milk it for more.

But if any libtards want to argue that she ought to be off limits, they can shove it.

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Fiddle blogging 
Two reels from the great Chicago player Liz Carroll:

Also, for a more subtle beauty, don't miss this beautiful slow reel.

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So Hillary, Ms. Smartest-Woman-In-The-World and Ready-To-Lead-On-Day-One, manages to ask the dumbest question possible while visiting The Basilica and the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe:

Who painted it?

How in the world does that come about?

Is Clinton still surrounded by her team of amateur-hour Clinton loyalists instead of career State Department professionals?


First the Russian 'reset' button and now this.

Sprout a pair, Mr. President! Enforce a Stalinist purge of Clinton hacks at State. Clinton won't do it, and they're letting you and the country down.

Can you imagine the media coverage if Sarah Palin did something like this?

Splash, out


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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Countercolumn News Ticker 
Pope confirms Catholicism ...

Dolly Parton sleeps on back ...

Women More Attracted to Men Who Drive Expensive Cars ...

Obvious Tag Gets Another Workout ...

Impacting ...

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Social Security Surpluses Vanishing Fast 
Things look ugly.

It's even uglier when you consider that the drooling ignoramuses who point to the large Social Security trust fund think they can simply liquidate the trust fund and the whole thing is funded with magic pony pellets from some source other than new taxes and the general revenue.

I'm convinced that any moderately informed person who can cooly claim that a Social Security system going cash-flow-negative does not mean that the system is in crisis can only be a pathological liar.

Look for a sharp increase in means-testing, a substantial increase in the taxable wage base, and the raising of the retirement age in the very near future. Taxes will go up. Whether the FICA rate will go up, or whether the costs will be buried in income rates matters little now.

Further, without an operating surplus, the window for a partial privatization is snapping shut.

But at least Obama wants to let terrorists roam free in Peoria.

So that's something to look forward to.

Splash, out


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The latest Obama Administration Brainchild ... 
... is not only to release Guantanamo inmates, but to allow them to live in the United States -- AND pay them to do so.

What could possibly go wrong?

President Barack Obama's intelligence chief confirmed Thursday that some Guantanamo inmates may be released on US soil and receive assistance to return to society.
"If we are to release them in the United States, we need some sort of assistance for them to start a new life," said National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair at his first press conference.

"You can't just put them on the street," he added. "All that is work in progress."

In other news, a regression analysis of CounterColumn tags finds an extraordinarily high correlation coefficient between the tags "Obama" and "Stupid."

Splash, out


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Thursday, March 26, 2009

The military awards system is broken 
Why has the GWOT not produced a living Medal of Honor recipient?

Although numbers don’t tell the whole story, America’s 20th-century wars produced highly consistent rates of Medal of Honor heroism.

From World War I through Vietnam, the rate of Medal of Honor recipients per 100,000 service members stayed between 2.3 (Korea) and 2.9 (World War II). But since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, only five Medals of Honor have been awarded, a rate of 0.1 per 100,000 — one in a million.

A similar disparity occurs on the second tier of valor awards: Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross and Air Force Cross.

Throughout the 20th century, the rate of service cross recipients per 100,000 troops ranged from a low of 19 in Korea to a high of 167 in World War I.

But for the post-9/11 wars, it’s only one per 100,000.


Well, apparently, it's not a war. It's an Overseas Contingency Operation. And we're not fighting terrorists, anyway, but Man-Made Disaster Facilitators.

Splash, out


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What if they gave a government bond auction and nobody came? Part II 
The UK can't sell new debt.

Liquidity isn't infinite. The only reason the US and UK and other sovereign governments have been able to float as much debt as they have is because assets have been fleeing equities, real estate, mortgage pools, structured debt, and other asset classes as fast as they can go, in a massive flight to safety.

When the owners of capital perceive that other asset classes are more appropriately priced, that process will reverse. Government debt prices will fall, yields will rise, and Obama and his crew will find less and less capital available to fund the massive new debt he is committing to.

When yields fall, capital could leave the government bond markets pretty quickly, as traders seek to avoid being the last guy holding the bag.

There's no way out of that problem, and we can't inflate our way out of it. If we try to inflate our way out, then bond prices will fall and interest rates on new debt will rise as markets build future inflation assumptions into interest rates. (Real interest rates cannot stay negative for very long.)

Watch for a steepening of the yield curve if this should happen, combined with an overall rise in yields. We've already seen one. The other will come.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What if they gave a treasury auction 
...and nobody came?

Behold the first prick to the treasury bubble.

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The definitive movie on the war in Iraq 
Turns out the terrorists really are pussies!

Via Ace.

I hope they get raped by tentacles.

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Obama to Special Olympics: Drop Dead 
The One is sticking to his guns on limiting the deduction for charitable donations - essentially sticking a finger into the eye of the donor base.

QUESTION: Mr. President, are you -- thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. Are you reconsidering your plan to cut the interest rate deduction for mortgages and for charities? And do you regret having proposed that in the first place?

OBAMA: No, I think it's -- I think it's the right thing to do, where we've got to make some difficult choices. Here's what we did with respect to tax policy.

What we said was that, over the last decade, the average worker, the average family have seen their wages and incomes flat. Even in times where supposedly we were in the middle of an economic boom, as a practical matter, their incomes didn't go up. And so, well, we said, "Let's give them a tax cut. Let's give them some relief, some help, 95 percent of American families."

Now, for the top 5 percent, they're the ones who typically saw huge gains in their income. I -- I fall in that category. And what we've said is, for those folks, let's not renew the Bush tax cuts, so let's go back to the rates that existed back in -- during the Clinton era, when wealthy people were still wealthy and doing just fine, and let's look at the -- the level at which people can itemize their deductions.

And what we've said is: Let's go back to the rate that existed under Ronald Reagan. People are still going to be able to make charitable contributions. It just means, if you give $100 and you're in this tax bracket, at a certain point, instead of being able to write off 36 percent or 39 percent, you're writing off 28 percent.

Now, if it's really a charitable contribution, I'm assuming that that shouldn't be the determining factor as to whether you're giving that $100 to the homeless shelter down the street.

And so this provision would affect about 1 percent of the American people. They would still get deductions. It's just that they wouldn't be able to write off 39 percent.

In that sense, what it would do is it would equalize -- when I give $100, I'd get the same amount of deduction as when some -- a bus driver who's making $50,000 a year, or $40,000 a year, gives that same $100. Right now, he gets 28 percent -- he gets to write off 28 percent. I get to write off 39 percent. I don't think that's fair.

So I think this was a good idea. I think it is a realistic way for us to raise some revenue from people who've benefited enormously over the last several years.


The Ego-in-Chief is essentially saying he knows better than the charities themselves how to raise money and how they will be affected by his tax increase on their donor base. He's saying he knows the charity large donor bases better than the charity fund raisers who know their largest donors personally.

What the EiC apparently hasn't figured out is that although that provision affects about 1 percent of the American people, that 1 percent of donors represents a HELL of a lot more than 1 percent of charitable donations.

The difference comes directly out of much needed programs for the widows, orphans, the poor, the environment, and a whole host of causes... and yes, the Special Olympics.

Atlas to EiC: I'm getting some mighty twitchy shoulder muscles, if you know what I'm saying.

Splash, out


(It's gonna be a busy for years for the 'stupid' tag, I'm afraid.)

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This is the change we were hoping for ... 
The Obama Administration has quietly directed our general officers to cease and desist using the terms "Long War" and "Global War on Terror" to describe our military struggle against Islamic extremism.

Instead, they are to use the term "Overseas Contingency Operations."

I guess it makes the bitter pill of surrender go down easier with the moderates.

Splash, out


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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Journos clueless about the military attempt to cover military 
Hilarity ensues.

Soules served his first two tours as an active member of the U.S. Army. Now he'll report as an inactive member of the Pennsylvania National Army Reserves, he said, something he didn't expected to have to do.

The reporter is Kate Ramunni, who of course was let down by layers and layers of professional editors.

I suggest you start with Tom Baden, editor, at 203-330-6325. Ask if he has any veterans on staff. If not, why not?

Hat tip: A reader, with my thanks.

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Countercolumn News Ticker 
Wounded Veterans March on Washington in Unprecedented "Million Man Limp" ...

D.C. Transit Authority Beset by Handicapped Seating Crunch ...
City Ramping Up Efforts To Accomodate Disabled ...

Hotel Lobby Hilarity: Dozens of Revolving Doors Damaged in Wheelchair Accidents...

Traffic Snarls as Blind Marchers Move Randomly About City...

BLOOD LUST: Scores of Phoney 'Veteran' Panhandlers Outed, Beaten To Death With Crutches ...

Micah Wright Still Missing ...

Leg-less Vets for Shoe-less Kids files for 501(c)3 ...

Blind Veterans Donating Hundreds of Eyeglasses to Charity ...
...Democrats Complain ...

CounterColumn editor SOOOOO going to Hell for this News Ticker Update ...

Pelosi Receives Keys to AIG Headquarters in mail ...
All Remaining AIG Employees Resign in Protest ...

Border Crossings Closed As Thousands of CEOs and Investment Managers Make A Break For It ...

Massachussets Elects Kennedy Family Trust to Senate Seat ...

Area Horse, Nun, Lesbian and Rabbi Spotted in Local Bar ...
"Just a joke," officials claim ...

San Francisco Tree-Huggers Frustrated by Autistic Plant Life ...

Impacting ...

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About that "reset" button 
...that Hillary Clinton gave to the Russian foreign minister.

It's worse than I ever imagined: It's not that they got the translation for the word "reset" wrong. This carnival of clowns didn't even use the right alphabet!

I can understand missing the translation. Actually, it happens all the time, though it would be unusual at this level. But not realizing that, gee, I've noticed over the years that Russians seem to use some sort of crazy backwards alphabet, but still taking the idea, running with it, and getting all the way up to the Secretary of State without any adult supervision looking at the damn thing even once on the way up the flagpole takes incompetence to a whole new level of stupidity.

But it's not just incompetence. All administrations have teething problems in the early weeks. All administrations make some bad hires and accidentally let morons through the vetting process (though after the Livingstone thing, Hillary seems to have taken that practice to a high art.)

That kind of incompetence is understandable, and will eventually weed itself out as the incompetent staffers are identified, let go, or placed in positions where they can't do any more damage. Like Secretary of Education, for instance.

But this incident belies incompetence for the worst of all possible reasons:

The error appalled some in the State Department, because the button – which was inscribed in Latin script, not Cyrillic – hadn’t been assembled with the help of State’s cadre of Russian speakers and professional translators, but rather by Clinton’s small political team.

Why in God's name does the Secretary of State still have a "small political team" of commissar loyalists? She's the farging Secretary of State, not the President. She's not a politician. She's a diplomat. Apparently, she's congenitally incapable of telling the difference.

And why is she allowing her small, political team of operatives to stick their juvenile, incompetent noses in protocol functions, where they have zero expertise? Why isn't she putting them on a leash and limiting their functions (to, say, making coffee at Foggy Bottom)?

Why? Because Ms. "Ready-To-Lead-On-Day-One" doesn't have much executive experience herself, and apparently doesn't know when to rely on her career Russia experts. Instead, she's allowed herself to be surrounded by Clintonista sycophants who don't know shit from shinola. And as a result, Hillary Clinton, the executive, doesn't know shit from shinola either.

If President Obama has any testicles, he'd tell Hillary to punt her private praetorian guard. Give them their walking papers, pronto. They are on the public payroll now, but they aren't serving the public interest. They are there to serve Hillary's interests, and preserve her option to stab the President in the back should she desire to run again in 2012.

You know they are running roughshod over the career State Dept. professionals, throwing their weight around. If Obama has them ousted, he'll be a hero at State. And Clinton will be a better Secretary for it.

Splash, out


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Obama slowing down anti-Wall Street rhetoric 
And yet the shrugging begins:

Some bankers say they turned the conversations into complaints about the antibonus crusade consuming Capitol Hill. Some have begun "slow-walking" the information previously sought by Treasury for stress-testing financial institutions, three bankers say, and considered seeking capital from hedge funds and private-equity funds so they could return federal bailout money, thereby escaping federal restrictions.

No wonder Geithner and Obama can't staff the remaining top slots at treasury: They are now despised and mistrusted by anyone qualified to hold those posts!

When Michael Froman, a Citigroup Inc. executive and Harvard Law friend of Mr. Obama, joined as a senior official in the White House, he gave to charity his year-end bonus. The White House says it didn't require any Wall Streeters coming to Washington to forgo their bonuses. But, given the political explosion over large payouts to executives from companies receiving federal funds, a White House spokeswoman explains, officials "encouraged executives who come to work here to review their executive compensation."

In other words, come work with us!!! It will only cost you millions!

Splash, out


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Obama Encouraging Terrorists 
Despite sagging poll numbers, Obama is doing quite well among at least one of his core constituencies.

The exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas hailed Sunday the "new lexicon" U.S. President Obama used in relation to the Middle East, adding that an official overture towards his movement is only a matter of time.

"A new language towards the region is coming from President Obama. The challenge for everybody is for this to be the prelude for a genuine change in U.S. and European policies,” Khaled Meshaal told Italian daily La Repubblica in an interview published Sunday.

The Syria-based leader predicted that an "official" opening of U.S. and EU channels for dialogue with Hamas, listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union since 2003, is now "only a matter of time."

The link itself is to Al Arabiya's English-language news service, but a number of news stories around the world picked it up.

What does this mean on the ground? If Hamas believes that Israel is becoming isolated from its US support, and if Hamas believes that the US is likely to weigh in with at least a neutral stance, it has no incentive to grant concessions at the bargaining table with Israel, it solidifies its own support within Gaza and the occupied territories, it discredits the more moderate elements in Palestine, and it has every incentive to press its terror campaigns home, in hopes that Israel will be forced to make concessions of its own.

Splash, out


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Britain apologizes for "third-world health centre." 
I have an idea: Let's spend money we don't have and socialize healthcare across the country right away!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

...On the AIG bonuses 
In a nutshell: Whatever those mid-tier AIG employees are getting in the way of contractually guaranteed bonuses is absolutely trivial when compared with the eventual cost of setting a precedent whereby Congress feels itself entitled to unilaterally, arbitrarily and retroactively abrogate legal contracts.

A Congress that thinks it is at all right and proper to retroactively tax into oblivion the proceeds from any business transaction legally and freely entered into by both parties is a Congress which is a threat to the liberty and prosperity of all Americans.

If the government is big enough to retroactively eviscerate AIG employees - employees who agreed to stay on and keep the company going in anticipation of these bonuses, rather than leave the company with no one to run it - then the government is big enough to go back and rape you for whatever you have, too.

Splash, out


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They'll take my locally-grown Danish ballhead cabbage 
...when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Obama to Wounded Vets: "Drop Dead" 
Not much time to comment today on this one. I didn't believe it when I first heard the rumblings about it. Put this one under the "beyond stupid" column.

The leader of the nation's largest veterans organization says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.

"It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan," said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. "He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it."

The Commander, clearly angered as he emerged from the session said, "This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ' to care for him who shall have borne the battle' given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm's way, and not private insurance companies. I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America's veterans!"

At least there's money for smelling pig farts, ACORN, and deadbeat houseflippers, though.

At least that's something.

What happens when Achilles shrugs?

Splash, out


ADDED: Alright! Aside from frontier defense, independence, freedom of the high seas, expansion to the Pacific ocean, emancipation, civil defense, defeating British imperialism, bringing Democracy to millions around the world including here at home, defeating the Kaiser, defeating Nazism, fascism, Japanese expansionism, a free and prosperous Korean peninsula, protecting the liberty of our trading partners in Europe from Russian domination, defeating Communism, protecting the free flow of oil at market prices, bringing down Saddam Hussein and chasing Osama Bindejo into some God-forsaken cave in Pakistangladesh, WHAT HAVE THE WOUNDED VETERANS EVER DONE FOR US????

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Capital moves to where it is treated best. 
Unfortunately, thanks to Obamapelosipalooza, that isn't here anymore.

The tidy towns and mountain vistas of Switzerland are an unlikely setting for an oil boom.

Yet a wave of energy companies has in the last few months announced plans to move to Switzerland -- mainly for its appeal as a low-tax corporate domicile that looks relatively likely to stay out of reach of Barack Obama's tax-seeking administration.

Must be part of that "change" thing I kept hearing about during the campaign.


Swiss cantons are free to set their own tax rates. For example in Zug, corporate tax is about 16 percent but can fall as low as 9.5 percent for companies that do most of their business outside Switzerland. That compares with an average global corporate tax rate of 25.9 percent, according to consultancy KPMG.

"One trend that we see is that particularly Bermuda-based companies are now moving to Switzerland," said Martin Frey, a partner at law company Baker & McKenzie. "That may only partly be obviously for tax reasons, but also for security reasons and the fact that the Obama administration may go after them."

The fungibility and portability of capital is news to libtards, who are probably scratching their heads over this one.

Splash, out


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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Proof that there is no justice in this world 


Cedarford? Is That You? 
Wow. Thank God we blocked this SOB, huh?

I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.

It's the Jews.

Still, I am saddened by what the controversy and the manner in which the public vitriol of those who devoted themselves to sustaining it have revealed about the state of our civil society.

Yes. And "those who devoted themselves to sustaining it? **whisper** those would be the Jews.

The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired,

"Powerful lobby." Jews. 'Nuff said.

The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth

Did I mention they drink the blood of Christian babies in their Passover rituals?

The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.

They also won't let me wear white after Rosh Hoshanah.

There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel.

Did I mention the Jooos?

I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.

They are a cancer which must be eradicated. Joooooooooos!

The outrageous agitation that followed the leak of my pending appointment will be seen by many to raise serious questions about whether the Obama administration will be able to make its own decisions about the Middle East and related issues. I regret that my willingness to serve the new administration has ended by casting doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the interests of the United States rather than those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.

JOOOOOOOOOOOOOS!!!!! Sehen Sie die Juden?

Honestly... the Obamatards were seriously considering this idiot? He's not even subtle. I can't believe this jerk even thought this was a remotely acceptable public statement. It reads like the work of a sociopath. I've known guys like this. They speak in code all the time... looking for people who will speak the same code back to them. Apparently, the Obamatards like what they hear.

We narrowly avoided this poisonous cur.

Splash, out


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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Compare and Contrast 
How Bush was received when he spoke to an audience of Marines vs. Obama.

H/T. Instapundit

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Smarter Diplomacy 
Let's sell out the Poles, and humiliate the British. Then we'll reach out to "moderate Taliban," whoever the f*ck they are.

Great plan!

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State Department to Our British Allies: Drop Dead 
I'm singling this out from the article below into it's own post because I think it's simply an outrage.

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."

In unrelated news, 296 British military personnel have given their lives alongside U.S. troops in the War on Terror -- more than any other U.S. western ally. An additional 51 British civilian contractors have lost their lives supporting U.S. war aims against terrorism.

Splash, out


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The Wan 
Damn damn damn damn damn.

The Wan.

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been "overwhelmed" by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

British officials, meanwhile, admit that the White House and US State Department staff were utterly bemused by complaints that the Prime Minister should have been granted full-blown press conference and a formal dinner, as has been customary. They concede that Obama aides seemed unfamiliar with the expectations that surround a major visit by a British prime minister.
But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama's inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.
Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president's surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.

Surprised at the volume of business?

What, did he think being President was simply a bunch of ribbon cuttings, photo ops, and state dinners? Well, welcome to the world of actually having executive responsibility, Mr. President.

It's kind of like campaigning, except you don't get to hire a campaign director to run it for you.

Seriously, this is one of many problems with liberals. They think government has to provide solutions for everything, and so they run themselves ragged trying to create government solutions for everything, instead of simply steering the ship and keeping government out of the damned way.

The Wan himself is more arrogant than most... though I'm sure Kerry and Gore both would have given him a run for his money.

Being arrogant, and of course having hired a romper room cabinet, The Wan feels he must micromanage everything. That's how top-level executives become overwhelmed. The feel they have to provide direction and guidance and get in the weeds on every little stupid thing, and they forget that their most important job is to THINK.

The Wan, never having held any real executive responsibility in his life, has yet to learn this lesson.

Hell, not only has The Wan never held any real executive responsibility - he's never been in a position to learn from someone who has!

Who has he worked for or been mentored by whom he could have learned from and observed in action, day to day? Governor Blago? Mayor Daley? All his role models are activists, other legislators, or terrorists.

A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama's inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to "even fake an interest in foreign policy".

This must be that "smarter approach to diplomacy" I've heard so much about.

A British official conceded that the furore surrounding the apparent snub to Mr Brown had come as a shock to the White House. "I think it's right to say that their focus is elsewhere, on domestic affairs. A number of our US interlocutors said they couldn't quite understand the British concerns and didn't get what that was all about."

That's because The Wan's administration is a government of naive and unserious people for naive and unserious people. Don't we have any protocol officers left over on the White House staff?

The American source said: "Obama is overwhelmed. There is a zero sum tension between his ability to attend to the economic issues and his ability to be a proactive sculptor of the national security agenda.

I don't know. Ronald Reagan somehow fucking managed it.

Then again, Ronald Reagan was a lot smarter than The Wan, and a better executive, to boot. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, libtards!

British diplomats insist the visit was a success, with officials getting the chance to develop closer links with Mr Obama's aides. They point out that the president has agreed to meet the prime minister for further one-to-one talks in London later this month, ahead of the G20 summit on April 2.

Good. I hear Target's having a sale on American Flag-themed bathmats!

Splash, out


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Apparently, despite "working hard to get the right word," the Secretary of State doesn't have access to a competent Russian linguist.

God help us.

Despite the shoddy translation work on the U.S. side, Clinton and Lavrov emerged from their meeting a few hours later saying they had accomplished their initial goal—reducing the frostiness in U.S.-Russia relations that had taken hold by the end of the Bush administration.

Wow. A simple meeting could "reduce the frostiness" between the U.S. and Russia?

What the f-ck did we just give away to make that happen?

Can't anyone here play this game?

Splash, out


P.S. Condoleeza Rice was near fluent in Russian.

Hillary's a HUGE step down.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Flying Home 
A moving tribute to a blogger's father, a WWII vet.

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More glurge from the Associated Press 
This time it's all about how Hugo-Bama is the most wonderfulest, bestest dad in the whole world.

From the article:

The Obamas paid for the swing set, which was made and installed by Rainbow Play Systems of Brookings, S.D. The company's Web site says it's the most trusted brand name in wooden swing sets.

Wow! If it's on the company's Web site, it MUST be true!

So in this day and age, this is the kind of story that warrants the time and effort of an AP reporter. This is the best they could come up with?

I think there needs to be a few more layoffs.

Splash, out


P.S., This pathetic licking of Obama's boots by the media calls for a new tag: Obama Glurge!

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Life Imitates Countercolumn 
FDIC Chief says bank guarantee fund could be insolvent by year-end.

You read it here first:

Typically, the FDIC's been able to carve out 50 cents on the dollar of saleable assets from banks it has had to shut down. But that's in an environment where asset prices were overinflated and there were buyers available. It wouldn't get anywhere close to 50 cents on the dollar today. Meanwhile, there would be all kinds of family-friendly entertainment as the FDIC struggled to sell its own assets (mostly treasuries) and rescue what was left of its cash and cash equivalents in its reserve fund to pay off depositors.

The FDIC was designed to pick up the occasional local bank failure, and one or two larger banks, so long as they didn't happen too close to one another.

It cannot absorb the Citigroups. It cannot absorb the Bank of Americas. One of these would wipe out the fund. Once FDIC was wiped out it would cause a run on the others. Congress would have to authorize another 500 billion or a trillion overnight to make good on FDIC promises and recapitalize FDIC. They would HAVE to. And then pray that there were still treasury buyers out there. If there is still a market for treasuries, it's going to be at the expense of the money markets, as public debt crowds out private.

The FDIC promise is paper thin.

Splash, out


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So my tax dollars are going to Citibank 
so that Citibank can subsidize mortgage holders who are recently out of work and 60 days late on their payment.

I did the responsible thing and did NOT buy a place I couldn't really afford three years ago. Yet no one is lowering my rent.

Yo... whassup with that?

Splash, out


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cool military photoshops of famous paintings 
Click here.

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Someone hand this reporter a Kleenex 
I see a bright future for AP reporter Darlene Superville. At Tiger Beat!

Superville is happily smoking a cigarette in bed with a dreamy look on her face after writing this fellative hosannah-in-the-highest about our Dear Leader, Hugo-bama, and his sparkling spectacular balls.

The governors' dinner was "a great kickoff of what we hope will be an atmosphere here in the White House that is welcoming and that reminds everybody that this is the people's house," Obama told the state chief executives after they had dined on Maryland crab, Wagyu beef, Nantucket scallops and citrus salad.

"We are just temporary occupants. This is a place that belongs to the American people and we want to make sure that everybody understands it's open," he said.

At the dinner in the State Dining Room, the Obamas looked comfortable, chatting and smiling with their guests.


Some Obama guests say he immediately puts them at ease. He indulges them and serves cookies, too.


"Sometimes when you're in the presence of the most powerful person in the world, in the most powerful democracy in the world ... I was in awe that I was comfortable," said Honda, chairman of the Asian Pacific American Caucus. "I think that's his style and how he grew up, who he is.


Better get me a bucket I'm gonna throw up.

"He's down to earth and engaging," Honda said.

Fucking Pravda at it's worst couldn't provide an unwitting parody of itself better than the AP.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., was among those invited for the Super Bowl. He said Obama, an avid sports fan, joined his guests for most of the game between the Arizona Cardinals and ultimately triumphant Pittsburgh Steelers.

"It wasn't a circumstance where he came in and said 'Hi' and then left," Franks said. "He actually stayed and watched the game."

Well, golly freakin' gee-whiz! What a guy! Someone make him leader of the free world!

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, said Obama was very cordial, and he and the first lady made guests feel comfortable. The president talked to everyone before the game started, she said, including a 12-year-old boy who asked Obama where the bathroom was.

"My favorite part was when he personally served us cookies—oatmeal raisin—when we were watching the game," she said.

AAAAAAUGGHHH! My eyes!!!!!!!!!!

What liberal media?

Must... inject self... with... insulin!

Splash, out


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Monday, March 02, 2009

The lie of the day (UPDATE/CORRECTION) 
UPDATE/CORRECTION: Reader Dan points out an error I made in writing this post earlier. I thought of it, too, driving around today, but couldn't get back to a computer in time to amend.

The error is this: Taxable distributions represent capital gains to the fund, but are taxed as income to the fund shareholder, not as capital gains. If the Bush tax cuts expire, the point still stands, because Bush cut taxes for all income levels - not just the top brackets. Obama has stated that he supports limiting tax increases to those making over a certain amount. We'll see what actually gets passed and signed into law.

Original post follows, as written.


Obama would like to increase capital gains taxes on anyone making more than 250,000 dollars per year.

So who would that affect? ANYONE who holds mutual funds outside of a qualified plan.

That's not just going to screw the rich. That's going to hurt any diligent saver who invests excess capital in mutual funds.

Why? Because when a mutual fund sells a holding at a gain, that constitutes a taxable event, which they then pass on to shareholders in the form of taxable distributions. Mutual fund shareholders at all income levels are on the hook for this tax, and short of selling their shares (at a captal gain/loss), there is nothing they can do to avoid it, if they own the stocks at the time the distribution happens.

Once again, when Obama targets the rich, he winds up hurting the little guy. (News flash: The rich are in life insurance, annuities, and managed accounts, not mutual funds.)

To add insult to injury, if you bought into a mutual fund high, and the fund had redemptions going into the bear market of the last year, forcing it to sell stocks it had held for a long time, you could eat a taxable exemption, get handed a nasty tax bill, and have to pay taxes ON A FUND THAT LOST YOU MONEY!

Splash, out

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Connect the dots 
26 February 2009: WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's budget proposal would shift much of the tax burden from middle- and low-income families to the wealthy, while increasing taxes on many businesses.

Today: Dow hits lowest value in 12 years, dropping more than 3% before lunch.

The market move on Obama's plans for tax increases is entirely rational. Stock prices reflect nothing more than the present value of future dividends and capital gains for a fractional share of a company. If capital gains taxes go up, then the expected future value of any taxable security declines by the proportionate amount.

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Connect the dots: 

NY Times Columnist Defends Iran 
Did you know that the sponsor of Hamas and Hezbollah and the country that is currently pursuing a nuclear program and whose head of state has repeatedly promised to wipe Israel off the map has not fought a war of expansion in more than 200 years?

Well, you wouldn't know that unless you read the New York Times.

Oh, and Iran's Jews have a few inconveniences, sure, compared to Muslims. But according to Cohen, "to suggest they inhabit a totalitarian hell is self-serving nonsense."

I'm sure these guys will be happy to know that.

Oh, and watch this:

Splash, out


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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Memo to Liberals: 
When it comes to executives,"More analytical" does not mean "smarter."

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Good Piece on AIG 
If you're curious to learn more about AIG and why they required a lifeline of hundreds of billions of dollars, there's a good piece in the New York Times today on the rotten trades they were making.

These guys are the Enron of the insurance world. Not because they committed fraud, mind you. I haven't seen any evidence that their transactions were fraudulent. I'm speaking simply of their sheer hubris and recklessness in their investment decisions, considering the sacred trust they had with thousands and thousands of annuitants and life insurance clients depending on them for one thing and one thing only: maintain their continued solvency so they may keep their promises to their customers in 5, 15, 30 and 50 years.

AIG put their future in doubt for what? A few basis points more for stockholders and a handful of bonus-hungry executives.

For regular folks, the lesson to take home is this:

There are two kinds of insurance companies: Stock companies and mutual companies.

Stock companies are owned by their shareholders. Mutual companies are owned by policy holders.

The advantage with stock companies is that they are frequently cheaper, in the short run. The disadvantage is that there is an inherent conflict of interest within the stock company, between the interests of the policy holders and the interests of the stockholders.

The stockholders are constantly hungry for dividends. They want dividend payments because if the company skips one, then the stock price frequently goes down, since stock prices are simply the baked in value of the expectation of future dividends. The quarterly shareholder report is king. Policy holders are a means to an end.

Large cash reserves benefit the policy holder, whose primary interest is in the claims-paying ability of the insurance company in future years. Large cash reserves do not benefit the stockholder, because they don't kick off much in the way of dividend payments. The stock company does not pay a dividend to the policy holder, but to the stockholder. Stockholders, in turn, pressure management to maximize short term dividends. Managers who resist their impetus are frequently weeded out in favor of management who are more shareholder-friendly - frequently at the expense of policy holders.

A mutual insurance company, on the other hand, still seeks to turn a profit. But when the company is profitable, then earnings are either put to reserves and surplus, which benefit policyholders because they provide an increased margin of safety for tough times, or they are returned to policyholders in the form of dividends.

Premiums can be lower in stock companies - initially, anyway. Because their policies are worth less. They don't earn dividends. Dividends are routed to shareholders, not policy owners.

AIG fell into the stock company trap: They succumbed to the temptation to chase returns on risks they didn't understand, jeopardizing policyholders and the future viability of the company, in order to please stockholders one quarter at a time.

Splash, out


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Libtard; "Your damn right I wanted the war to fail!" 
Don't question my patriotism, man!

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