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July 28, 2011

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I was hiking Camelback mountain a few years back. On top of a rock I came across a white chuckwalla. He smiled at me and winked. He said, "your kind will not be welcome in the desert much longer. You would be wise to move north." I asked, "Chuck, should we start a church too?" "Nah" he said. "It's been tried. Your kind screwed that up too."

True story. Cross my heart.

Remember all the cheering and hoopla when the Berlin wall came down and the Soviet Union collapsed? We won! We beat the commies! And that was the beginning of the end of the America we grew up in. Lacking an opposing political ideology-one that scared the crap out of the Capitalists to the point of sacrificing our children (never their own)in Viet Nam just to protect their own interests-there was no incentive for them to any longer pretend that "we're all in this together." I'm pretty sure the only reason we ever had a strong, prosperous middle-class after WWII was because the rich were terrified of Communism. History's biggest, longest propaganda campaign.

I'd prefer you were wrong, too, but there's nothing short of blind optimism to suggest you are. One of the problems here is that the flirtation with mob rule doesn't simply go away. A scandalous success becomes a baseline for even sleazier behavior. Zealotry is rewarded, then enhanced. The institutions that buffered America's flawed if virtuous citizens from direct democracy crack at their foundations. Eventually public trust recedes to the searing sunshine of Fox News directing us to hate liberals because they think rich people should be taxed.

We are not going to vote our way out of this impasse. That's impossible given the invincible ignorance of the average citizen. That's why I reserve my contempt not for the zealots so much as our decadent media that told us these zealots were "concerned citizens", like refugees from a Vermont town hall who suddenly turned up in well-organized demonstrations. They had trouble in the beginning spellchecking their overtly racist signs but their tricorn headgear and Uncle Sam suits persuaded our pundits just how serious they were about runaway spending.

You don't flirt with the devil thinking it's innocent fun. You don't undermine trust in government without that government becoming worthy of your cynicism. You don't mock knowledge, science, and empiricism without also harming our ability to reason our way out of collective delusions. Everything we're doing now is a conspiracy of good people not holding each other to account. It's infected almost all of our society, from President Obama to some Tea Party congressman flaking out on his child-support payments. It's you, me, and the impaired roadmaps of political language. We stopped shaming bullshit and now it's everywhere. We're drowning in it.

Hard but slowly. One day we wake up and find ourselves living in Idiocracy made real, Super Sad True Love Story or whatever else the dystopian culture of our times have come up with. These are the fruits of decades of fear - the inability to think and act clearly. The manufactured debt crisis is a manifest proof that decline is a choice.

75 years ago:
http://youtu.be/SUZGkNAUSvY

Of no great import, perhaps, but this circus has driven me to become a political agnostic. I've been headed this direction in a while but seeing the almost complete ineptitude has put on the finishing touches. Neither party shows an ability to govern.

To see the future a look at the past and Cicero might help

Awinter is right again. The debt crisis is manufactured. And the plan is working. The big plan includes starving about 5 billion people to death. Of course among the survivors will be the current 5000 bankers that run the world.

Old Hazmatguy. Good observation. From, Cal Lash an old retired PPD guy still hanging out in the shithole called Phoenix. Did you know Pat Catteleme’s dad hated him being a union guy? And I’ll bet you didn’t know in the early 50’s I was the paper boy for Brunacini’s parents.

Soleri, Mixed results? Outside of you, me and Jared Diamond, everyone one else thinks it’s a laugher.
I would not absolutely call civilization bad but with the help Ray Kroc we have supersized it. I favor the small fries small village concept. Coupled with a little competing village warfare on occasion and few fatal diseases all in order to keep the population down. How many Roman bathes does one need to take before and after sex with chemically treated water? Sex in the river sounds good to me.

AZRebel, The white lizard Native Americans used to combine with Missouri River bank wild Marijuana will not work with a Chuckwalla. That concoction was mildly psychedelic and very calming. A fact not lost on an epileptic Joseph Smith. And if you saw an All White Chuckwalla, what kept you from capturing it. It had to be worth millions to all the folks we could get to fall on their knees to a new god head prophet. Speaking of which I have currently read 2 books on the LDS and 5 books on the FLDS. I called the Warren Jeffs martyrdom currently months ago. What seems odd to me is that the “Lost Boys” and their families have allowed baby raper Warren and his child sodomizing brothers to live?

The poor Lost Boys were brought up in the FLDS/LDS church. They are peaceable fellows and are only saddened and heartsick from their parents' betrayal of the them. They are truly lost. I hope they find their way in the real world with cruelties of its own. I'm going searching for that Camelback peyote and talk to the white Chuckawalla!

The current debt ceiling show underscores that there is no political left in the US. The Democratic Party starts at the center and proceeds right. The Republican Party starts on the right and goes to ultra-right.

Does anyone believe that the Republican Party can't control the Tea Party faction? It has a history of party discipline. It serves the Party leadership's interest to disrupt Obama's effort to lead the country on economic matters and weaken his chances of re-election. Another recession and continued job loss is apparently worth unseating Obama.

Obama has responded to a radical political opponent with an olive branch and appeasement. How has that played out in history?

Obama's compromise is a default of leadership.

The US economy is going down hard. At best, the economic policy options being considered will ensure years of significant unemployment and stagnant growth. A depression is not out of the question as the policies implemented will greatly decrease aggregate demand.

Jmav you are right as is Talton, AWinter, Emilpulisfer, Soleri and a whole lot of smart folks. However take it from an uneducated ole farm boy that was cast out onto the streets to survive once we left the farm and from an old white guy that knows some of these radical right kooks. Their goal is first to get rid of that “black boy” (and that’s not the word they use most often) in the White House. Second they would like to see a minority riot as the good ole boys think they got enough gun toting troops to take out a whole lot of people and since its too expensive to send them back where they came from they will send them to the devil. In the US we got thousands of people that think like the Norway gunman and would relish another civil war but with a different outcome. White extremism is alive and running well in the US. From the good ole boys in the South to a racist religion in the west the anti multi culture phobia is thriving. Babel is just around the corner. I have recommended to my kids and grandkids a small piece of fertile property with good water not in an urban setting.

I am sure U all saw the latest stats that Hispanics lost 75 percent of their wealth and blacks lost 55 percent and whites lost 16 percent. But when you are a millionaire you can still eat on the 84 percent you have left. Fat people dont riot.

THE DEFICIT:

The deficit is about 10 percent of GDP right now, mainly because government revenues are at the lowest level (as a percentage of GDP) in 50 years; that's because the economy (particularly worker incomes) has yet to recover from the Great Recession. The deficit is budgeted to fall to about 4 percent of GDP by 2015, though the White House and Congress (Congressional Budget Office) have different projections.

In any case, a tax increase on the wealthy can easily eliminate the deficit, if that's what you consider important, because the deficit is 10 percent of GDP whereas the top 25 percent of earners get 69 percent of taxable income (and that's just the income of individual and household filers, and doesn't include the business income portion of GDP, e.g., corporate revenues). Furthermore, the amount of income potentially subject to taxation is actually much higher, since tax law determines what constitutes "taxable income", and the wealthy get the lion's share of such tax breaks: these can be reduced or eliminated for higher income brackets by a simple congressional vote.

Remember, it's the wealthy who (institutionally or individually) fund the deficit NOW, only as a loan to the government: and what can be obtained as a loan of funds used for "investment" rather than consumption can be obtained through taxation instead; furthermore, it isn't strictly necessary that the entire deficit (or any) be eliminated; merely that the deficit as a percentage of GDP decrease to a manageable level and not exceed this except in emergencies (such as the present one).

Federal spending as a percentage of GDP is predicted by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to increase by less than 5 percentage points of GDP between now and 2035, almost all of it due to healthcare expenditures. Of that, about 3/5 is due to healthcare inflation and the rest to an aging population, as reported by the Wall Street Journal (see the graph titled "Old Money" in the link provided below).

So, in addition to either targeting tax breaks for the wealthy, or increasing their marginal tax rate, or both, the best way to get federal spending under control is to get rising healthcare costs under control.

U.S. debt to the public (the only part that counts since it is the portion that is owed to domestic and foreign individual and institutional holders of U.S. Treasuries) is about 63 percent of GDP at present. That's comparable to the debt load of Canada and the strongest economies of Europe (in some cases below them), and far below Japan's.

The sky isn't falling.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy11/pdf/hist.pdf (see Table 1.2 in Section 1 for historical data on the deficit as a percentage of GDP; and Section 7 for debt to the public as a percentage of GDP)

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-soi/08in06tr.xls (individual/household tax return data: note that "adjusted gross income is the same as taxable income)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304584404576442333568582222.html (see "Old Money" graph for federal spending as a percentage of GDP projected to 2035 (CBO))

I haven't included a link comparing countries by debt to the public as a percentage of national GDP because I haven't been able to find the information in a satisfactory format in a single website. The definition of debt used varies considerably and a discussion of the technical issues would take considerable space.

I would like to hear Emils take on population and natural
resources?

I would like to hear Emils take on population and natural
resources?

cal, you've developed an echo.

counting government spending as part of GDP is like counting the calories of shit in a shit burger and claiming it makes the burger one of your restaurants best buys for the money.

Our whole economy is based on smoke and mirrors.

May I have my burger with onions, lots of onions.

There is some agreement that one of our President's most egregious crimes is "governing while black". I hear the racism from "Got Mine" in my age cohort. One even counted the blacks vs. whites on the basketball court in an NBA game and had the chutzpah to report this aloud in MY living room! We become mesmerized by the political machinations but often fail to appreciate the prejudices that underlie efforts to discredit Obama. Jon is understandably tough on his shilly-shally tactics but I'm looking at the cast of potential adversaries and seeing WORSE!

Morecleanair, I agree with you that racial fixation is a right-wing habit, and also the means to indulge in a majoritarian sulk: white people are the real victims! But is it raw racism or merely their obsessive disdain for the opposing team? I tend to think the latter since conservatives love Hermann Cain, Clarence Thomas and Allen West. Obama's lighter skin tone ought to be a positive if racism is the core issue here. So, what is the core issue? Obama's different team, the D's. Think back to the Clinton era and the extraordinary vitriol shown him. Everything they could imagine or grab out of thin air was weaponized against the Evil Other (liberal Democrats). It was Total Political War based on a Total Explanation: good vs evil.

Political extremists are indistinguishable from fundamentalists in this regard. It's why they tend to place belief above rationalism. It's why they reject nuance and ambiguity. If everything comes down to a Manichaean strategy of pitting light against dark, you'll find the devil in quite literally ANY feature of the other side. If necessary, you'll find it the other guys's DNA. But you're not limited to it or even understood by it. Absolutely everything is on the table. Like deficits but only when a Democrat is president. Or the First Lady's do-gooder projects. Or that president's quasi-Republican policies like Cap and Trade or a health-care reform policy dreamed up by the Heritage Foundation. Obama hatred, like Clinton hatred, is little more than the projection of people too psychologically unaware to notice their own shadows.

Off to Canada. See you all in a week.


Everyone, remember this: Our government wants to kill us.

Our government is run for ONLY the benefit of the very rich and corporations.

The purpose of the US government is to make sure that rich people and corporations don't have to pay taxes or pay people to work.

The Republicans **LOVE** this Depression. They LOVE the horrible job market. That keeps wages down and corporate profits up.

You are SUPPOSED to starve to death quietly. That is what your government wants. Shut up and die, but work very hard for the privilege. WORK FASTER!! WORK HARDER!! Don't complain that you can't buy food.

The Republicans are among the most evil people who have ever walked on planet earth.

I support a revolution. We would need to get millions of Americans who were fully committed to changing the government and annihilating the Republicans and the corporate leadership.

Opposing Teams
While I understand the “obsessive disdain” theory purported by Soleri I tend to think this is an over intellectualization of the folks I have mentioned above. This isn’t basketball where you got referee’s calling fouls. This is gladiator roller ball and kill is the name of the game. I see racism practiced on a daily basis and have for seventy years. It is practiced not just by white Republicans but white liberals as well. I know a number of “democrats” that get fear in their eyes if you suggest eating at the home cooking café at 24 Street and Roser road or ask if they would like to cruise South Central at night and maybe stop in for a margarita at Poncho’s (Bill Clinton’s liked it). I know a number of white conservatives that believe Clarence Thomas regardless of his “conservatism” think he is a black man not deserving to fill a white mans chair. After all this is the state where a white man that kept blacks from voting because they were inferior became the leading Supreme Court Justice of the US.
And in this western part of the world there is one of the richest and most political active religions in the world. This is a cult that calls blacks, the mark of Cain and un-worthy human beings destined for hell.
I think racism by non intellectuals who would want to do away with the blacks and the Soleri’s of the world is alive and thriving. And not limited to the UN educated. I know a substantial number of well educated people that have very low opinions of non white people.

In 95-96 I backed packed from Arizona to Washington DC arriving on earth day. I had occasion to venture deep into Texas twice as a result of Hiatus where I had to fly back from Marshall Town to get divorced. While in Texas as an old white guy talking to old white guys I noted the following. To a man they all hated blacks. Mexicans were ok as long as they were kept in place. I noted when I ordered Mexican food in a Texas restaurant it came with Texas Chili Hash on top. The interesting thing was to a man I could not get those same white guys to say anything bad about Indians. However the Indians I met, in particular Big Jim the Musician did not have much good to say about Whites.
Soleri, I hear Canada has its share of prejudicial folks, also. Hope you can see the forest for the trees.

Soleri says: "But is it raw racism or merely their obsessive disdain for the opposing team? I tend to think the latter since conservatives love Hermann Cain, Clarence Thomas and Allen West." But I'm more in tune with cal Lash's broader interpretation of how racism permeates a pretty good cross-section of our society. I'm shaped by having spent 60 years around jazz musicians. Many were black. Having a place in Mexico for 30 years, I've come to have great affection for most of the people. Being in the retail business forever, I interacted with gays and Jews for 40 years; they were a key part of the business. Without those enriching experiences, I'd probably be hinky about the whole subject of diversity.

Mick, I hear the Echos. The British, dressed as Tea Baggers are coming to fix Humpty Dumpty and all the Kings men. Well at least the white ones.

Patti, you seen my combat boots? And dig out your strap on mattress pad. We are off to war.

"I have been very much struck by what one might call the current of opinion, by its rapid evolution, its power of contagion, which is that of a real epidemic. People allow themselves suddenly to be invaded by a new religion, a doctrine, a fanaticism. ... At such moments we witness a veritable mental mutation. I don't know if you have noticed it, but when people no longer share your opinions, when you can no longer make yourself understood by them, one has the impression of being confronted with monsters-rhinos, for example. They have that mixture of candour and ferocity. They would kill you with the best of consciences."

"I can easily picture the worst, because the worst can easily happen."

Eugene Ionesco, January 1960 in Le Monde

Cal, I'm going to get back to you on the question of natural resources and population, after I give it a little more thought.

Azrebel, government spending falls into four general categories: (1) contracts in which private companies (e.g., aerospace and defense firms) are paid for goods/services or for research and development; (2) wages and salaries for government employees, such as mailmen, soldiers, doctors and nurses at VA hospitals, etc.; (3) payments to individuals in the form of cash benefits or reimbursements (e.g., Social Security, medical bills, etc.); (4) grants to institutions (e.g., police departments, schools and universities, states and local governments) who use them to pay wages and salaries and purchase goods and services, including construction and maintenance services.

In every case, spending by those who receive these funds is no different than spending by citizens receiving funds from non-governmental entities. It may not come from the private sector but it enters the private sector by way of wages and salaries (those of engineers, builders, manufacturers, teachers, doctors, etc.) and retiree pensions, whether paid by the government (e.g., a defense contract, Social Security) or by a private corporation.

That said, I believe that transfer payments (e.g., Social Security and unemployment insurance) are excluded when calculating GDP.

It's often said by conservatives that government cannot create wealth, but only redistributes it. This is false. When wealthy individuals and institutions choose to park excess money in government securities (U.S. Treasury bills and bonds) and the government spends that money, it ultimately goes into the hands of those who use it to purchase goods and services from the private economy, which it wouldn't otherwise have done (ipso facto, since it was parked in government securities as a safe place for unused cash).

When government obtains money via taxation, from wealthy individuals and institutions, that those individuals and institutions weren't going to use for consumption, the redistributed funds ultimately go to those who DO use it for consumption. This net increase in demand for goods and services in the private sector DOES create wealth because businesses receiving those funds expand hiring, buy equipment, and otherwise react to a "permanent" increase in demand; also, new companies start up trying to get a piece of that consumer demand.

My Plan B for default: deprive the tea party districts/states of federal cash first. Proportional democracy works.

Cal, here's my take on population and natural resources, as requested. I'm going to include some comments on economic matters but (as will be seen) these bear directly on the issue.

When population grows and the economy does not grow at least to match it, then the average individual gets a thinner slice of the economy pie; consequently their standard of living decreases.

(Note that this is true whether under capitalism or socialism. The main difference is that under socialism both gains and losses tend to be more equitably shared; whereas under capitalism -- in the absence of strong unions in the private sector -- workers and the middle-class (in that order) tend to be made to absorb losses from inadequate economic growth, and tend to be underrewarded (or excluded altogether) from economic gains in boom years, which is why real median income for most ordinary folks has stagnated or declined.)

(Only about 7 percent of the private sector workforce is currently unionized, down from a high of about 40 percent in the 1950s. The largest acceleration in union membership declines began in the 1980s: from 1973 to 1979 union membership in the private sector declined 3 percentage points; from 1980 to 1989 the declined was three times as large.)

Economic growth requires increased use of natural resources, or increased productivity/efficiency, or both. Technology and processes are much more efficient than they once were, so that much more can be done with the same amount of water or electricity. The total, inflation-adjusted value of U.S. manufacturing output hasn't declined over the decades, believe it or not: it is manufacturing jobs that have declined, with increased manufacturer productivity taking up the slack. It wasn't until this year that China edged out the U.S. as the world's largest manufacturer.

(Again, this is true under both capitalism and socialism. One difference is that increased productivity, displacing workers, might be more generally welcomed under socialism: the owners of the means of production don't mind a smaller workforce since they make the same money regardless; under socialism, to the extent that workers own the means of production, they too make the same money even though having to work fewer hours under increased productivity; and who doesn't mind working less for the same money?)

Perhaps a bigger indicator of increased resource use, instead of population growth, is economic growth. China's population growth has been kept artificially low via the government's one-child per family policy, which according to the Chinese government affects about 40 percent of the population, and which has been somewhat (though not entirely) successful in its aims. (More about this sort of thing below.)

Yet, because of the increase of total world economic activity, caused by developing nations such as China, the demands made on natural resources have significantly increased, despite population control. (This despite a declined in energy use by the former USSR and Eastern Europe). It isn't merely manufacturing sector activity, it's increased standard of living for the populations of these countries, as they receive incomes from the new manufacturing jobs; air conditioning, heating, motor vehicles, consumer electronics, and all the rest. The top 10 developing countries add about 170,000 new middle-class consumers every day.

You can get a good idea of how economic development affects resource use by examining the graph "Daily Consumption of Energy Per Capita" in the following link. It compares stages of development from primitive, through agricultural, industrial, and technological man:
http://www.wou.edu/las/physci/GS361/electricity%20generation/HistoricalPerspectives.htm

Developing economies tend to sacrifice environmental quality and even efficiency of resource use in their stampede to make money. The same was true of the early industrial age ("dark satanic mills", anyone?); and the same is true of China today, which despite its admirable investments in alternative energy infrastructure, admits that it relies on cheap and dirty coal-burning plants, for example, and that it plans to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

The capitalist class of developed nations like the United States -- and their political servants who determine the framework of the "free market" through trade, tax, and capital investment laws, has seen Chinese development as the ticket to big profits. China is an export driven economy: they couldn't have done this by without the help of developed countries. By facilitating the accelerated use of oil and other limited natural resources, which, as fundamental economic inputs, have the capacity to disrupt consumer spending and slow growth or cause recessions when they become too expensive, may have shot the American economy in the foot.

P.S. Sorry for the typos and incomplete editing: I didn't get much sleep last night.

Thank you Emil. I will spend a while digesting your excellent observations.

Yes, thank you Emil. Your input is appreciated very much.

I was hoping to comment sooner but now can only leave a short comment. I've missed a lot in the last week since I've been gone and only have had time to skim this blog. In regards to the debt ceiling, it may come down to the President invoking the 14th Amendment to raise the limit. Congressional approval was never really needed, but I believe the President may have smartly cause a huge rift within the Republican party, one that will not be placated before the 2012 election.

As for the racist people you all hang around, WTF? Cal, where do you find them. I know they exist but it seems I don't run into them too often. Even in the military, around some rather unenlightened individuals from small, southern towns (usually the males) there was enough mental capacity in them to allow for acceptance of diversity; it even led to some great sex for me. I still hold that the truly hateful people are outnumbered by those of us willing to accept change...more later and ya'll have a great night.

Emil, I have imputed and analyzed your data. My creator would like to meet you.

Phxsunfan, We missed you. How was the LA freeway?
For your eyesa only, I work undercover for the Liberal party. I am glad you are having great sex for it's better to do the screwing than get to get screwed. Laid any Tea baggers lately?

PSF: if we expand the term "racist" to include imbedded prejudice, we embrace homophobia and all its ugliness. My daughter teaches inner city high school, where a gay student just got a poem published about the bullying she gets. The school facilitates annual encounter groups where the kids dialog about their prejudices. It is both eye-opening and saddening. Makes me wish that adults might have access to something similar.
Bottom line: I remain convinced that we live in the Dis-United States of America!

Cal, no tea-baggers, I've heard they are horrible in bed and lack a great sex life...

Morecleanair, you are correct I should have used bigotry instead of racist in my first sentence. But notice how I did say that there are more people in the U.S. "willing to accept change"; they need to be exposed to change and diversity - an effector - in order for that to occur.

The worst forms of "racism" are economic racism and educational racism. Our current situation in this country is the end result of years of these two types of racism.

Now, as Mick points out, economic racism between classes is in full swing. If you are a minority, poor, uneducated and in the wrong place, you better be prepared to make food and water appear out of thin air. Otherwise, you are about to lose a lot of weight. (lower and middle class whites are the new members of the minority class)

PSF: We're blessed with a very progressive young (Phoenix native)pastor who is almost fearless in preaching about "Open Hearts, Open Minds and Open Doors" to a congregation laced with very conservative Midwest transplants. To his credit, he's made good headway, but it has required his rabbi-like teaching skills and a whole lotta patience.

Really great posts folks. Soleri's post about how Clinton got similar treatment I really agree with. Its mostly the Liberal tag that disgusts the Tea Party folks and not race. After all, many Tea Party folks have kids that have intermarried. They had to make nice if they want to see their mixed grandchildren... and they do!

phxSUNs thought about Tea Party folks and sex is interesting as well. I'm pretty sure they hate knowing other folks are less inhibited and less frustrated.

Regarding starving conservative districts of resources...

I noticed very little Federal response to the forest fires in Eastern AZ recently. Is that me thinking Obama was practicing small government on a conservative group of people? Or was that the usual firefighting contingent deployed in such a situation?

LCD, The response to the Wallow fire was exactly the same as all the big fires of the last decade. Too slow, too late, too little equipment, too little recovery assistance. Bush and Obama governments were the same. It is what it is. In the end it is the community, church, Scouts, volunteers who respond the most and the best.

The USFS is a screwed up organization. Has been for a very long time. It is manned by a bunch of wanna-be naturalists, who have been forced into hard-core law enforcement (not what they signed up for) and as a result they are grumpy and hateful towards all they come into contact with. Just human nature I guess. If you travel through life with a burr under your saddle, it has an impact on how you deal with your job and all you come into contact with.

AZREBEL: Forest fire control? Once again man playing god. I want to know if it was a bad thing to not have human response to forest fires. What did earth do before the arrival of man? Of course there were no easily destructible buildings closely surrounded by a lot of trees.
Morecleanair: Hope the "Rabbi" can do miracles with bread and fish. Maybe he can pass out condoms with the food. I am sure SWBIODIV would be happy to supply him. Too bad the Sierra club opted out of the population issue.

Yes cal, you are right. I've always enjoyed the USFS standing by as the raging fire swept past them, then once it was gone over the next ridge, the USFS says "we now have this area contained". Nice try. It's contained because the fire has departed the area.

At least these numb-nuts have the sense not to place their firefighters in front of these fire monsters.

Well Rebel it's like my first Indian wife advised. "We never set our Tepee up in a river bed."
and my second American native wife, said,
"There's just some folks need killing."
I have moved back to Hispanic women.
As my Mexican girl friend, Tilly said, Cal you know why God made Mexican women? And I said No, Why Tilly, She said for -------. I will let you fill in the blanks. And do I love the food.
I dont want to spend anymore money on fire prevention or locking up dopers.

nine months until we reach 7 billion in case anyone was counting.

P.S. I have all of Jon's books lined up on my nightstand to reread again. Very excited to see if they end the same.

On August 26th from 7 to 10 PM Urban Bean is having a Martini Tasting event.
Look forward to seeing you all thar.

cal,

I don't drink anymore.

But, then again.


I don't drink any less.

badda boom, badda bing.

good bye middle class. it was nice knowing you.

psf,
the rift between the teapartiers and the establishment Republicans was there from the very beginning. Why else did they spring up? And who is winning?

Meanwhile, no one is impressed with President Obama's Stockholm syndrome.

as Tiabbi observed, Obama is acting exactly as his owners would expect him to act.

I will vote for any human who runs against him.

Well, Hoover finally did a good thing also picked up some womens votes in his move to provide women with birth control at little or no cost to the woman.
And it's a good move for the planet. A move I have been for since 58. Now if we can get the Gates and Buffington and pals to move there gift bucks into birth control, Kieran Suckling can get back to saving fish.

Well, Obama picked up some votes and did a good thing with his approval of covering the costs for women’s birth control methods. A good move for the planet as I have been advocating since 58. Now if we can just get Gates and Buffington and friends to gift birth control, Kieran Suckling can go back to saving fish.

Awinter, Republicans like Boehner rode the Tea Party wave to Washington. The Tea Baggers have been exposed as a group not compromise even to save the nation (or Medicare and Social Security). That has the possibility of impacting future Tea Party support; especially from the older folk.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Here are my early takes... [link]"

Good stuff.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Here are my early takes... (link)".

Good stuff.

this is really, really sad. I hope that the unemployment figures decrease and that employment takes off in the US manufacturing and retail sectors, especially. I hope that new businesses also continue to hire new people as the credit terms of being eased on homeowners and businesses. I guess the upcoming presidential elections in November of 2012 will be based upon the economic situation

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