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Saturday: Things that make you go “hmmm”, episode 2

I used to be an NPR junkie, that is, until TalkingPointsMemo became my gateway drug to blogging about 5 years ago.  I used to wake up to Bob Edwards and drive home to Robert Segal.  Then they started to all sound like my neighbors, moderately Republican and pro-business.  Gone were the days of Maria Hinajosa telling us about “Nine year old Ruiz sits outside the flimsy clapboard house on the outskirts of this west Texas border town.  He draws his name in the dust with rock.  It’s the only word he knows how to spell because he can’t walk to school and there is no bus provided to this bare enclave of maquilladoros and their families who live without running water or electricity.  Ruiz says he wants to be a surgeon and his greatest wish is to go to school…”  Well, you get the idea.  There I am with Ruiz, sobbing into my Cheerios over his lost childhood dreams.  During the Bush Administration, the bleeding heart liberals took a frickin’ hike and we got stuck with Juan, Cokie and Steve.  Um, no thank you.

What to do to fill up the empty space between commutes?  I listened to music for awhile, then audiobooks, but they tended to lack the immediacy of the moment that news provides.  Then I discovered podcasts and started to load up on the suckers.  My new iPhone gives me the luxury of accessing the iTunes podcast store directly and since most podcasts are free, I indulge greedily.  Yesterday, my faves didn’t have any new material to listen to and I needed to pick something in a hurry.  So, I picked the PopSci (Popular Science) podcast “Who protects the internet?”

So, there I am, driving along, listening to fascinating facts about cables and warehouses and termination points in Miami and NY from across the ocean.  There’s stuff I never new before like, did you know that there is a fleet of ships on the world’s oceans, just floating aimlessly until they get a call about a broken cable?  Then they rush to the site of the break, pull up the cable and repair it.   Those of you who are looking for new careers and don’t get seasick might want to look into this.

Then the PopSci guys start talking about how many lines crisscross the world’s oceans and how much redundancy is built into the system.  The answer is, there is redundancy but not enough to make all transmissions worry free.  Occasionally, the breaks can take whole countries offline for a couple of days.  There are several commercial lines and a government line for secure defense transactions and stuff and the finance industry put in its own internet cable just for their own business…


The finance industry has its own internet?

Am I the last person in America to know about this?  The finance industry has its own separate internet cable system.  It’s a parallel internet system.  What kind of access does the US government have to the finance industry’s internet?  Can the NSA tap into this cable system and record all of the transactions like it can on the regular commercial lines?  And what do they use it for, besides high speed transmissions of trades? Anyone got any info on this?  Speculation?  Tin foily hat theories about how it can be used?

In other news:

  • Ruh-Roh, Krugman has read Geithner’s detailed plan to bailout the banks and it doesn’t look good.  He writes about it in Despair over financial policy.  Let this be a lesson to you, Paul.  Never take your shrillness on vacation to Yurp and leave the Obots to their own devices.  It sounds like the finance industry is going to get everything it wants, sort of like economic terrorists who threaten to bring the world to its knees if we don’t fork over the cash.  Now, what kind of ace would they have to have up their sleeves to pull such a thing off?
  • It’s spring!  Break out the cleaning buckets.  Today is the day I purge the garage and pick up the clutter.  Let us know in the comments about your cleaning plans and what your favorite new cleaning gadget is.  I just ordered a steamer cleaner.  It should arrive on Monday, which is too late for today’s marathon but should be perfect for next week.  Also, if you have kids, what’s your trick for getting them to help out?
  • One of my pet peeves is too much sugar in just about everything from spaghetti sauce to crackers to coffee.  I love Starbucks coffee (Oh, yes I do.  So sue me.).  And I love a good vanilla latte but if you get the regular recipe vanilla latte, the damn thing makes your teeth hurt, it’s so sweet.  But if you ask for half the sugar, you also get half of the vanilla strength.  I like the vanilla taste, just not all the sweet.  I actually had an argument with the last barista.  She said, “Well, you could get the sugar free sweetener instead.”  No, I just want the vanilla not the sugar. “The sugar-free has all of the sweet taste, just none of the sugar.”.  I *know* it does.  BUT I DON’T WANT THE *SWEET* TASTE!!!.  “Well, you sound sure.” {{sniff}}”  Grumble.  If Starbucks cared as much about sugar as it does about how fat your milk is, it would cut the sugar in the syrups in half and leave the damn sugar packets out for people who just can’t start their day without a sugar buzz.  But noooooo, it looks like the sugar problem is only going to get worse.  The NYTimes reports that manufacturers are replacing high fructose corn syrup with real sugar now.  Isn’t that special?
  • Gawd, he is such an amateur.  Can someone please tell Obama that he has a well-respected, well-liked, intelligent Secretary of State to handle relations between the US and Iran.  This video was so badly handled Obama is starting to make bags of hammers look brilliant. (H/T fif)

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101 Responses

  1. There’s stuff I never new before like, did you know that there is a fleet of ships on the world’s oceans, just floating aimlessly until they get a call about a broken cable? Then they rush to the site of the break, pull up the cable and repair it. Those of you who are looking for new careers and don’t get seasick might want to look into this.

    LOL! That’s why I come here again and again. Informative AND entertaining.

    Meawhile, Hopey Changey love-ins about health care are already (surprise!) breaking down. Maybe BO can send them one of his personal “can’t we all just get along” videos like the one he just did for Iran. He’s beginning to look like a naive fool on many fronts.

    Battle lines drawn on health care

    As health care reform moves from conceptual talks to detailed negotiations, what had been a conciliatory tone is turning more confrontational.

    The emerging fault line betwen the parties is the mostly Democrat-backed idea of creating a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers. Proponents and foes of the government option are beginning to raise their voices more forcefully and frequently.

    There are signs in recent weeks that it won’t be easy to keep everyone at the table.


    • They’ll get traction too I’ll bet. Obama’s handling or lackthereof of the economy is going to impact how people view his other initiatives. He needs toquit bumbling and get serious.

      • I know plenty of moderate people who might not be opposed to some govt intervention in healthcare per se, but who will BALK at giving this fool another dime to do a damn thing.

        It’s not that they are heartless, or don’t think something needs to be done, but that they don’t trust this bozo with the money to do it. He has squandered, and Pelosi and Reid have squandered, what good will the Democrats had coming in.

        Of course, the meme will be that anyone opposed is a selfish greedy neocon Bush-lover, but people are getting wise to that tired old accusation. They are wearily saying “Yeah, it needs to be fixed, but you are not going to do it, it’s another bait-and-switch. Call me what you want, but I’m not trusting you morons with another dime.”

      • too late!

    • I will never forget my Buffalo plane ride in ’93 Summer. The fellow sitting next to me was a “researcher” for Hillary Clinton who had asked him to fly to Ontario and find out about the Universal Health care (National Health Care Act l965) of Canada. One thing we talked about, and agreed, was that absolutely not a single bankrupty in Canada was occuring due to ….”medical bills”. When he asked me my opinion on this and why Canada spends only 1/3 of the U.S.’ GDP, I said that universal health care, now the right of every Canadian and the reason for attracting Japanese auto industry investment, etc., was the result of having a Third Party–the New Democratic Party that pushed a Liberal (forget the Conservatives–always neanderthal) “minority” government into accepting Tommy Douglas’ vision. Douglas was a minister from the west where he had seen poor children die in the streets in the Depression as they couldn’t get minimum health care.
      The secret is having a Third party…..so I propose PUMAs. Hillary’s diminishment by the misogynist media and the Obamabot punk establishment have left no doubt in my mind.
      The ONLY way to go while Obummer makes appearances on Leno degrading the most vulnerable.

      Periodically, Obummer will feel down and start launching attacks against the vulnerable (X) to boost his appeal….

  2. Wow, great catch on the special “finance internet,” RD. We need too look into this. I’m not going to do much cleaning today, because I need a day of rest. Maybe I’ll surf around and see what I can find out…

    • I’m guessing that cable has something to do with enabling outsourcing of IT jobs.

      • Yes, the commercial cables are for outsourcing (mostly) and they do go down all the time.

        Truth be told, communication and data transfer is horrible between here and India. I’m not sure there is that much benefit to using technical workers in India since they get a ton more vacation and when they are in the office, the communication lines are down and the ESL is “iffy” at best.

      • Oh, I guess I should say the lines are also for international telephone service too – probably mostly telephone. So, outsourcing has increased the demand and also the number of cables – but originally, it was phones.

  3. Thanks for this interesting info on the cables….I recall seeing a movie about how the first cable was laid…it was really great!

    So, we are all at the mercy of the tides and the repair boats…and the finance system has it’s own lines…well, you know that some day, ours will be “termporarily” out of service while the finance world continues doing things we don’t like or will know about for years!!

    Cheer up…spring is here and I’ve got some pics up of it down here in southern NM…

    Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (March 21, 2009) (Flowers, Fruit and a Miniature Spider Web)


  4. That’s “won’t know about for years” of course…

  5. I purchased a new nozzle from QVC that cost $18.00 and comes in 7 different modes for watering the lawn, flowers, car wash, window cleaning, gutters, etc.

    With a flick of the wrist, you can power this baby to clean the outside windows without having to climb a ladder and risk a fall! Of course the blast of water seemed powerful enough when displayed on tv that it could very easily knock the window out but if all I need is a flick of the wrist to achieve my goal I am ready.

    Is “opaque” a color? ‘Cause that is how I would describe what I am looking at now when gazing out to check the weather.

    • It’s nice and sunny here in central NJ, although a bit chilly.
      How does the water stream from that thingy compare to a pressure washer? I have to do my deck pretty soon.

      • They did a demonstration to show that it cleaned decks as well. It looked pretty handy and for the price I decided to try it.

    • I would worry about the windows too, let us know how it does.

    • Is “opaque” a color?
      Lol, Pat. I guess it must be because my landscape is the same color.

  6. I too used to be a “news junkie”. Couldn’t get enough. Subscribed to numerous periodicals, poured over editorial pages, frequented like minded blog sites, basked in the theory that my side was always correct.

    But last year turned my head and tuned me out. The ever bleating cries of Obama from the MSM and the pundits I had revered left me reeling. On what grounds did they base this unwavering support? He clearly had little experience and his resume was slender so why all the hoopla? I have yet to figure it out.

    I don’t buy into conspiracies, especially when they involve so many. Executing something on such a grand level would be bound to break. The MSM was looking for a “story”, a headline to make the r*ce interesting and also to absolve the theory that the nation was not quite ready to embrace a candidate of color. They pushed that meme with every effort available and many bought into that singular reason without much thought to the aftermath that perhaps the candidate was not quite ready for prime time.

    Slanted news and political pieces surrounding this candidacy was not quite where I was coming from. As a result, I slipped away. When the actual infractions began to set in, this was enough to make me analyze my own positions and conclude that the electorate was being sold a bill of goods.

    A lazy and purposely uninformed electorate gets exactly what it deserves. We saw this with Bush and are watching another rematch with Obama. Both seem to have enjoyed the title but are shy of the responsibilities that are attached.

    A pox on what currently passes for news. We are not well served.

  7. Over here in “sunny” Italy, it’s snowing today (just light flurries and freezing cold gusts of wind)-they don’t call it Marzo pazzo or mad March, for nothing.

    This after a week of perfect, warm Spring weather, with bulbs and cherry trees flowering.

    People did Spring cleaning about 10 days ago, when the priest came round to everyone’s home to sprinkle holy water, and bless their abodes.

  8. I really enjoyed reading this post. Lots to think about. And the last sentence – Obama/bags of hammers take me back to Seriously:

    Seriously, on March 19th, 2009 at 9:46 pm Said:
    Is it possible that bush is paying him off so he will look less buffoonish by comparison?

  9. Actually, it really is a good idea to replace fructose with sucrose (“real” sugar). Sucrose does not fool the brain’s feedback loops quite the same way, so it’s easier to know when to stop eating, and fructose has bad effects on the liver when it’s available in the kind of quantities the food industry provides. Sort of like eating 100 mangoes at a sitting. No matter how much you like them, you couldn’t do it. But when it’s high-fructose added to food, that’s something like what’s slipping under the radar.

    Obviously, pigging out on sucrose isn’t all that great for you either. My only point is that since your brain has a better sense of how much is there, it’s easier to feel satisfied and stop eating. Some of us with well-polished tin foil hats think this is why the food industry adds fructose to everything from corn chips to hamburger buns.

    • Why put sucrose or fructose in food at all??? Unless of course it is supposed to be sweet, why not just leave it out? I can’t even buy bottled spaghetti sauce anymore for a quick dinner. It’s just too damn sweet. Spaghetti sauce isn’t supposed to be sweet. It is supposed to be savory. Same thing with crackers like wheat thins. Crackers are supposed to be flakey and salty. They’re not supposed to be sweet. Cookies are sweet.
      Do you see what I mean? This is what drives me nuts about Starbucks, Sure, I like a little sugar in my coffee but not five tablespoons. And no, the sugar free stuff isn’t an acceptable substitute if I’m still getting a full power sweet taste in my mouth. So, why not cut back on the amount of sugar in the vanilla syrup and allow those of us who want to be gobsmacked by vanilla to get our fix without having it masked by sucrose? It doesn’t stop the sugar holics from loading up if they want to. But nnooooooo. I have to deal with half vanilla in order to avoid sucking on sugar cane.
      And don’t even go tin foily on Starbucks. There are only so many lattes you can afford. Adding more sugar doesn’t make you want to immediately buy another one.

      • Well, since we’re all to follow the lead of MO and plant our victory garden (since that will be the only food we’ll have to eat soon) we can all have canning parties and make our own spaghetti sauce sans sugar.

        • You laugh (or maybe cry!), but that is exactly what we did last summer! Tomatoes are not cheap, so that’s what we planted in an entire half of our garden. I just ran across the last two glass jars of our home-canned tomatoes looking all sad in the pantry. We don’t season what we can, because that way we can use the tomatoes for anything we want over the winter…

      • That high fructose corn syrup thing makes me crazy. I started getting catsup at Whole Foods just to avoid it. But, they only sell it in tiny little bottles. So I finally found Organic Catsup in a large bottle at Hy-Vee.

        It’s no wonder Diabetes is on the rise — avoiding unnecessary sweets is very difficult.

        • KB — Heinz makes an organic ketchup. Do they sell it near you?

        • I know that is also driving me crazy. My contention is with yogurts. The only one I found is the all natural danoon. They used to sell them in more flavors and pack of six, but now they changed and it’s one by one in only 3 flavors. That drive me nuts…

          • What about Stonyfield?

          • I think the Safeway brand is void of all added sugars. If not, it is a cheap brand you would never expect to be the best choice.

            There are 2 brands out there that don’t add the sugar. Some (even the so-called healthier choices) have the first 5-8 ingredients different forms of sugar.

      • Yay for sugar. Before he retired, my Dad worked at the Amstar/Domino sugar refinery in Chalmette. It was (and may still be) the largest cane sugar refinery in the country. They could produce…get this…6 million pounds a day.

        They were hurt when Coke switched from sugar to the corn syrup stuff; Coke was their biggest client.

        Before he retired from there we only bought Domino sugar products. After he retired he bought the cheapest he could find. I asked him about the switch and he laughed and said “Hey, I”m not working there anymore.” Let ’em market it at cheaper prices.” 😆

      • Sugar is a way of preserving food, since most of the canned and processed food sits on shelves for ages or is transported across the world for consumption. Case in point, bread from a real bakery goes stale or moulds in a few days, but commercially packaged bread lasts forever.

        I worked as a commercial photographer and we had to do a shoot for Safeway’s premade deli food–that mac n cheese or lasagna you buy in the hot food section. The marketing people brought it over and we set it up. But the day’s shoot went long, so our food stylist started packing it to go into the fridge. The marketing people said, oh don’t worry, it’ll keep. We were horrified. They explained that it’s so loaded with preservatives that it wouldn’t spoil. And companies use SUGAR (or any ther form of sweetener) to cover it up.

        So that’s why everything you buy now tastes a little sweet, to mask the chemical taste. It’s actually not a conspiracy to make us all have diabetes, it’s a shortcut to making the cheapest least nutritious food possible for profit. It’s all about the money. They spend far more on the marketing and packaging of food than the actual contents. Then they feed us studies that there is no correlation between sugar and chemicals and ill-health, smiling all the way because it just means we’ll pay through the nose for drugs when we do fall ill.

        We wonder why our nation is so unhealthy, why now even pets are getting diseases of civilization, why diabetes and obesity is on the rise? It’s actually the same reason why we’re getting reamed by the banks: the government is not looking out for the best interests of the people. My boyfriend is visiting his native country of Denmark right now. There and in many European countries, all livestock must be pastured. Hormones and antibiotics that are flooding our milk and meat supply are not allowed. Many countries will not buy our food exports because they’re so contaminated. The government has passed laws in order to ensure their food supply is healthy–in the interest of public health. Maybe it’s because their government also supplies healthcare, it’s a win win situation.

  10. Eliminating High Fructose Corn Syrup is a positive step in fighting diabetes and obesity. Food manufacturers turned to this ingredient for it’s ability to manipulate hunger mechanisms and it’s relatively cheap price. Unfortunately it adversely affects our metabolic systems. There is plenty of medical research to back this up but until diabetes and obesity costs began to trump the wishes of the food manufacturing industry, you rarely saw a blip on the screen. Here’s one such study but there are stack and stacks of similar research:


    To avoid this ingredient you literally have to read every label or eat only organic processed foods.

  11. Hillary, The Movie at the Supreme Court

  12. Courtesy of the Swamp-Barack Obama-Dreams from My Teleprompter


  13. Evan Bayh, and 15 other Dems, are forming a cohesive block of “moderates” who want some prudence and oversight. If they are successful, they could become like the Democratic version of the gang of 14, who injected some sanity into the Republican free-for-all back in the day.

    He announced it on Morning Joe. I already called his office and left a message commending him for this effort, and wished them well.

    Video here:


    • If our senators have not joined, we should be writing with encouragement that they consider getting involved.

  14. I’m trying to conquer the overwhelming depression by engaging in spring-like behavior and starting my seedlings indoors. I so look forward to fresh herbs and veggies.

    It appears I may need them more than want them this year however.

  15. WMCB, on March 21st, 2009 at 11:02 am

    That is a very remarkable event….like a Dem Barry reject antibodies gathering . Even if they weren’t to oppose Barry and Co, it’s a smart move. You have to have something Barry wants to get any kind of benign behavior out of him . Just doing what he wants without something to trade leads to the bus undercarriage Evan may also be thinking of 2012 natch

  16. I’m no fan of Matt Taibbi, since he helped push the Obamanation into office to start with, but this quote from his Rolling Stone article cracked me up:

    The best way to understand the financial crisis is to understand the meltdown at AIG. AIG is what happens when short, bald managers of otherwise boring financial bureaucracies start seeing Brad Pitt in the mirror. This is a company that built a giant fortune across more than a century by betting on safety-conscious policyholders — people who wear seat belts and build houses on high ground — and then blew it all in a year or two by turning their entire balance sheet over to a guy who acted like making huge bets with other people’s money would make his dick bigger.

  17. From The Independent UK:

    “G20 protesters ‘will try to bring London to standstill’

    Police fear anti-capitalist groups will seek violent confrontation on streets”

    ( funny Brit left wing comments thread)


  18. The Finance Industry has to wire money back and forth from banks and such, they do it through the FED primarily through FED WIRE. FED WIRE is completely off line from any of the main internet/telecommunications wires, etc. It’s run by the FED and all the banks use it. Just FYI. It’s how the FED transmits auctions, etc and keeps all the interbank transactions. Actually the Treasury is the only group besides the FED that watches it. They have an office in every Fed Branch and any transaction by any individual over (as I remember 10,000) will trigger a report that goes to them and they watch for money laundering and stuff from it. It’s like more secure than the Defense Department Computers. I had some responsibilities for it during my tenure at the FED, parts of it were housed in the accounting/ Treasury Functions because we transferred things over it too. Mostly it has an ACH and wiretransfer applications but even the biggest of the biggest banks have to use it. Like I said, the Treasury monitors the transactions for money laundering and other illegal transactions. Just FYI.

    and on another topic, I’m going to go eat some lunch with Kat 5 in about an hour.


    • Hey, that’s great! Have fun. I didn’t realize she was in your area.

    • When you say FED, are you referring to the Federal Reserve, a privately owned and operated organization?

      I think those guys should be forced to change their name because Federal Reserve makes it sound like it is a gov’t owned and operated group.

  19. THEY HAVE their own INTERNET?

    Unbelievable. Oh brother.

    Oh brother.

    ps: RD — funny thing about this new deal the Kindle. Why, your old stomping grounds sells it by subscription on there. And so does Huffypoo. You know something? I bet the CONFLUENCE could ummm… well…?


    “Go Mobile!” with the best of them, m’dears.



    (Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see which blogs are in there…)


    your SoCal pal…..

  20. Serious photo:
    “U.S. Marines bow their heads in prayer before the arrival of President Barack Obama at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina”


  21. In other mind-boggling news, the Cheetos have officiously pronounced that Obama’s Special Olympics remark was in no way offensive. And their reasoning? Because the audience laughed.

    No lie, that’s their logic, here. The audience laughed, ergo it was only a joke, ergo it is not offensive.

    • CNN reported that Sarah Palin made a harsh statement regarding O’s stupid remark.

      Must confess, I gloated a bit at her poking him, hehe

    • Gotta admit, I’m still p!ssed about the Special Olympics remark (okay, it’s personal for me–I have an autistic kid).

      What a crock that it wasn’t offensive because the audience laughed! There are audiences that would laugh at a r@cist joke–does that make the joke unoffensive?

      • The audience laughed when he gave Hillary the finger too, and when he called Sarah Palin a pig. He’s disgusting and so is anyone who thinks he’s funny.

        I’m still offended too. The man hasn’t got an empathetic bone in his body!

        • So true, BB. As I said on a previous thread, my son has more empathy than Obama. At least he (my son, that is) shows concern when he hears a baby cry.

    • Betcha you could get a big laugh with an Obama joke at a KKK meeting. Would that then be offensive?

  22. RD, I have worked in alternative health for 20 years and have controlled diabetes with diet for the last 8 years. One approach to the overload of sugar in refined foods is to research the makers of syrups and find a vanilla syrup that’s made with one of the natural (milder & less harmful) sugars like rice syrup or real maple syrup (ie, google natural vanilla syrup). The food giants are having to change back to real sugar from high fructose corn syrup because of the worldwide unstoppable epidemic of obesity that sets those of us who are prone to diabetes up for some real problems. But know that because something is labeled “natural”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the ingredients aren’t laced with sugar. I have had to become a fanatic label-reader but the stable blood sugars are well worth the effort.

  23. Obama’s sheep do not actually listen to what he says. If he’s smiling and laughing, they reflexively smile and laugh too.

    It reminds me of the video we’ve seen again lately where Obama is at a campaign rally saying this country needs a national civilian army as large and as well funded as our military. The people in the audience are cheering and applauding wildly.

    I thought to myself – is that microphone even on? Are they hearing the actual words he’s saying? Who the hell would cheer for that? Mindless sheep.

  24. oops. moderation

  25. We just can’t trust the bankers.

    AIG Worker Bonuses Were More than Disclosed, $165 M, CT AG Blumenthal

    “March 21 (Bloomberg) — American International Group Inc., whose compensation policies before and after its U.S. bailout are being investigated, turned over information on its executive bonuses to Connecticut’s attorney general, who said the insurer paid out $218 million. ”


  26. I linked to the “obama deception” movie through Sugar’s site yesterday. And now today word that
    the financial world has its own parallel internet?
    You might really want to check out the Obama deception. Some of it seems rather out-there, some of it seems dead-on, some of it raises a lot of questions.
    After watching the film, in answer to RD’s question, “does the NSA have the ability to tap into the financial internet” ?: The filmmaker seems quite convinced that those two entities are one and the same.

  27. edgeoforever, on March 21st, 2009 at 9:14 am Said:

    Bringing this from downstairs – will Obama veto the tax on bonuses?


    Good grief. The hypocrisy turn around is barely 24 hours these days.

    • Okay, I truly don’t want to see the tax payers fund these bonuses (and believe the employment contracts for all employees of companies that receive a government bailout should be subject to renegotiation) but, I’m uncomfortable about using the tax code in such a punitive manner. I don’t like the idea of congress thinking they can pick up their pitch forks in faux outrage and use the tax code to penalize who ever they want or who ever they can successfully focus the anger of the masses on. For the most part, I agree with the sentiments of Rep. Thaddeus McCotter on this issue (they should have read it, and anyone who voted for the bill without reading it is responsible for all of its provisions and should be held accountable).

      • I completely agree. I don’t want taxation used as a selective weapon – it’s a BAD precedent.

  28. Around 1959 a bunch of us went on a diet involving unsweetened grapefruit juice. Everyone else did too, so one day there was no unsweetened grapefruit juice. Five or six of us piled into some wreck of a car, and finding nothing in Manhattan, headed for New Jersey where, in some small town we stopped at a grocer’s, went in, finding a grumpy old man, an otherwise empty store, and a repressive atmosphere, and asked did he have unsweetened grapefruit juice. Yes, he said. Are you sure we asked, we were shocked, had already given up. Yes I’m sure he snarled, if people want sugar they can add it themselves. We were speechless. What a hero.

    • great story
      did the diet work?? 😉

      • I can’t remember…I do remember that it invited us to pig out on all of our favorite foods, like bacon, and ignore the obligatory foods. And it gave me gout (gout! I was 20!). God did that hurt.

  29. stinky bot on previous thread, yuck.

  30. RD: on the issue of Starbucks making your teeth hurt, I always order the drinks with an “extra shot” – it really cuts the sweetness.

  31. Seem to remember a pre-internet electronic transaction network called EDI. Nothing as secure or extensive as the Fed system dakini describes or the DD’s ARPnet.

    How many strawmen does it take to put out a fire. As many as it takes to keep from burning. Admit I’ve never seen the wizard of oz all the way thru.

  32. EDI is still used to today for credit cards and other billing and payment transactions. The banks use a system called EFT (electronic funds transfer). EFT is a data definition where transactions are formatted in a certain way for different types of financial records. There are shipping forms, billing forms, payment forms, etc.. EDI is the means of data transfer.

    I wonder if that is what the special financial internet is referring to? If it is, it has been around for a long, long time and it is a central system for parsing the EFT records to the right financial company for processing.

    I worked as a programmer on both EDI and EFT systems.

  33. Sorry, off topic:


    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of war protesters from across the country gathered in Washington on Saturday to mark the sixth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

    Organizers from the ANSWER Coalition said more than 1,000 groups sponsored the protest to call for an end to the Iraq war. Holding signs that read “We need jobs and schools, not war” and “Stop the war!” they rallied around noon across the street from the Lincoln Memorial and by 1:30 p.m., were beginning to march across the Memorial Bridge to the Pentagon.”

    • My impression from listening to the podcast is that they were referring to modern fiber optic Internet cables just like the ones that the commercial interests and the government use. Except these are dedicated to financial transactions, presumably stock trades and hedge fund stuff and who knows, maybe credit default swaps. We’re not talking about credit card transaction networks, which presumably any waitress can access. We’re talking high speed money management.
      It’s a separate line, all for the finance giants. Is it part of the parallel banking system or is it just a convenience for a parallel banking system?

      • it’s for fed wire RD (look at my post up there) it’s for wiretransfers of money and batch ach processing.

        that’s been around for years, they just went fiberoptic…

  34. Just saw a clip on Fox. BO and MO were heading to the chopper for a weekend at Camp David sans the kids. I guess Granny has them at the W.H.

    He wanted the job so damned bad, so why can’t he stay there and work?

    • I don’t think he’s spent a single weekend at the white house. He will blow Dubya’s record as Most Vacationed President (MVP?) very quickly.

      • I laughed out loud when he made the trip to LA and it was stated it was good for him to get away from Washington. 😯

        That’s what he wanted, was to **be** in DC running the country and already he’s got to get away from it?

        Jesus! Talk about lazy-ass.

        • Turns out his decision to go on Leno’s show wasn’t such a good thing for him, afterall. He exposed a pretty ugly side of himself on that broadcast.

    • Funny. I want to scream when I read that people thinks he is such a great daddy. I see absolutely NO evidence to support that. Even when he reads things like “girls, I love you more than you know” off the teleprompter, there’s not an ounce of sincerity in his voice.

      He must be doing all the bowling, basketball, and partying during the work week, Fredster!

  35. I was a radio news junky for 50-plus years, Pacifica, PBS, NPR etc. Day and night. By the time Air America was thinking to be born I was totally fed up with all of them. Then it was Air America day and night. Then it went Air Obama and I stopped listening. Bad for my blood pressure. I still wanted the radio on but really needed soothing so turned to –a first–a classical radio station. Pretty good station, KDFC 101.2, SF-Bay Area. All music, no talk, except to announce selections. Still doing it.

    And now that I have both broadband and a more robust PC, I’m spending as much time doing u-tube music videos as I do reading political blogs. To fill the void left by the many blogs I no longer read, I guess. Finding the songs and singers that have lodged in my mind over the decades. It’s wonderful. Am bookmarking the ones I love. Have about 30 now. If General Inertia ever recedes into the background I’ll start putting them on my blog.

    Here’s two versions of a great song, My Lagan Love. It’s sung by many fine Irish singers, but Margaret Barry is special. Her voice send me into transports.

    And here’s Sinead O’Connor’s stunning version, live performance.

    • Good Lord! He’s going on 60 Minute this week? Talk about overexposed. Does he ever work?

      • It’s gonna get to the point that whenever he’s on the teevee people will just flip him off. 😉

        • I already flip him off every time I see him on TV.

          Oh. You meant turn the TV off. My bad.

      • Why would we expect him to work on our behalf when we all know he is in his element and happy place only when he’s talking or writing about himself.

    • Tacky, tacky. And the markets hate such playground BS. You either make the change or STFU. With that statement, he has guaranteed failure for Geithner. Maybe the toxic plan balloon popped early this morning. Or maybe, he really is shorting the nation, as dakini has mentioned before. Something must be done.

    • I just remembered, isn’t he preempting American Idol this week too? Now that type of stuff will get people annoyed.

      Oh, and I just realized today, that his main stream media enablers are covering for him by using his special olympics gaffe as a teachable moment for the masses. Now we have to listen to all these lectures about why we should be more sensitive to special olympians and others with special needs. I certainly hope he doesn’t have any more seriously gaffes, because by now I’m sick of the lectures (let’s hope more are picking up on the re-frame, pivot, deflect and lecture the masses approach).

  36. The advantage of playing dumb and above the fray is that you avoid culpability. Great example, George W. Bad example, Jimmy Carter. BO is very green, only understands Chicago rules, but he is not dumb per se. As SM says, he just wants badly to be Reagan, the man who started all this dereg bullsh!t, the man with the 10 to 4 workhours.

  37. This OFA Pledge Project Canvass video is actually a little scary, especially when it comes to the make sure you get and can read all of their information including their email address part.

  38. http://www.cfnews13.com/News/Local/2009/3/21/thousands_rally_against_stimulus_plan_at_orlando_tea_party.html

    “ORLANDO — Thousands gathered at the amphitheater along Lake Eola for a Boston Tea Party-style protest against President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan.

    Police estimated about 3,000 people attended the rally against what some of them called “taxation without deliberation.””

  39. http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/mar/21/1cz21jobs201456-seniors-are-retooling-re-enter-wor/?zIndex=70400

    “SAN DIEGO — She’s 78 years old and in good health. But Re Johnson has no illusions of spending her days playing bingo, knitting or traveling. Instead, she’s looking for a job and expects to work for the rest of her life.”

    Its nice to see there are programs to help seniors find work, yet sad that so many feel they have no option but to work for the rest of their lives.

  40. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5huMMPNr5VdTibnqbqMIse2rqq2-QD972H6V80

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Barack Obama’s optimistic campaign rhetoric has crashed headlong into the stark reality of governing.

    In office two months, he has backpedaled on an array of issues, gingerly shifting positions as circumstances dictate while ducking for political cover to avoid undercutting his credibility and authority. That’s happened on the Iraq troop withdrawal timeline, on lobbyists in his administration and on money for lawmakers’ pet projects.”


    I can’t believe an AP article is critical of Obama (although they do seem to be making a lot of excuses for him).

  41. http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23253:hundreds-protest-administrations-actions&catid=46:rfd-local&Itemid=778

    “Flags-wavers, bell-ringers, some in colonial military get-up, others wearing American flags as capes: angry Americans gathered 200 to 300 strong at Ridgefield’s Ballard Park Saturday morning to vent their frustration.

    “Dump Dodd now!” and “We’re not Europe!” and “It’s not your money!” they chanted.”


    I’m not sure what to make of these tea parties yet, but do find the reference to “angry Americans” interesting. Its almost like the media is trying to belittle the protesters.

    • I would not jump to any conclusions on what the media is trying to accomplish with the term “angry Americans” just yet. They could be trying to open that door for people to join in on the anger without fear that they are going to stand out as different.

      Obama is not as popular as some want us to believe. There is no way to know how many people sat out the election in protest, but for how much more money he had to spend over his opponents, the huge number of people who simply don’t know how to vote anything but the “D”, and how much they had to cheat to get the election to come out in his favor we really can’t know the truth of his popularity.

    • “………there is a desperate need for patience and rationality.”

      Too bad that has never been an Obama apologists strong suit. Obama’s appearing “calm” was so “presidential” pre- election.

      Weren’t we avoiding a catastrophe by passing a stimulus package immediately? Oh, I forgot leading by example, has never been Obama’s strong suit.

    • Excuse me, but didn’t Obama actually sign the bill that included the amendment which had been purposely changed by members of his administration to allow for these AIG bonuses to be paid?

      Shouldn’t a president be held accountable for bills and amendments that he signs?

  42. http://www.newsweek.com/id/190243

    “A Presidential Wake-Up Call
    The AIG mess should be a warning to Obama that even popular presidents can squander good will.”

    Now I understand, the media is being gently critical of Obama, but if you take the time to read the stories, you find they’re twisting themselves in knots to make excuses for him (it happens to all of them, all leaders find they cannot keep their promises, oh poor little Barack is so troubled by all of this).

  43. http://www.businessinsider.com/protest-bust-20-vans-of-media-just-one-bus-of-protesters-2009-3

    “At this point, we’re waiting outside of AIGFP HQ, and still waiting for another bus to arrive. But we’ve heard that that bus is being followed by 20 vans of media. Once again, it seems the media is much more interested than anyone who’s actually protesting.”

    • It’s a clear, beautiful first day of Spring. Sure the reporters are enjoying themselves on their outing to charming Wilton. Roll a little film, then picnic, though there isn’t much public space over there. No wait, taxpayers own 80% of AIG, so they own the town. To hell with those private lawns. Bring tents.

  44. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/20/AR2009032001820.html

    “Although Obama would come close to meeting his goal of cutting in half the deficit he inherited by the end of his first term, the CBO predicts that deficits under his policies would exceed 4 percent of the overall economy over the next 10 years, a level White House budget director Peter R. Orszag yesterday acknowledged would “not be sustainable.”

    The result, according to the CBO, would be an ever-expanding national debt that would exceed 82 percent of the overall economy by 2019 — double last year’s level — and threaten the nation’s financial stability.”

    Shouldn’t that “not be sustainable” part worry people a little more. I mean, even if the CBO is being pessimistic in its estimations, I hope the concept of potentially threatening the nation’s financial stability causes the dimwits in congress to at least start reading bills before they blindly sign off on them due to pressure from the administration.

  45. Riverdaughter’s got it right! “Economic Terrorists”–and the insurgency is led by Hopey Changey OBummer!….

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