Archives for: July 2011

Gunrunner update: AP covers the story

While the AP tries real hard to remain neutral – funny how that always happens when the story hurts the left, huh – the fact remain that they have been the only ones covering the”Gunrunner” scandal and the involvement of the DOJ & the WH in the whole sordid affair. The rest of the MSM has simply been ignoring this to cover for team Obama. Breibart news has another in the latest & greatest AP stories covering “operation Fast & Furious a.k.a. Gunrunner”. It’s a must read (and read it all), because it is damning.

I however want to focus on the latest and newest revelation that came out of this story, and that’s the role played by gun dealers and their reaction to demands from the ATF – which got its orders from the DOJ and they got theirs it now looks from the WH – to basically ignore their concerns that these weapons could not be tracked and would end up in the hands of the Cartels:

But soon, the agents weren’t the only ones voicing concerns. Gun dealers also grew wary as more and more weapons were sold. Speaking on condition of anonymity because of ongoing inquiries, one dealer described the pace of the sales as “unprecedented … It had never happened like that before.”

Still another said that because of the volume, “our sales people would go behind the door and have a direct dial to ATF, speak to somebody and they’d say, `Yup, they’re on our list. Go ahead and make the sale.’ Otherwise, we probably wouldn’t have.”

One dealer even met with Voth and the lead prosecutor on the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Emory Hurley, to seek assurances that guns weren’t going south of the border. That same dealer emailed Voth in June 2010, saying he was worried for friends who were Border Patrol agents. “I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of (agents’) safety,” wrote the dealer.

What this revelation tells me is that despite the left’s constant attempt to paint dealers as part of the problem when they where selling the whole “weapons are to easy to get in the US, and these weapons are being sent south where they are used in the Mexican drug war” meme, that the problem lay with them and this scandalous operation. Dealers seemed to be far more responsible and concerned about what was going on than most at the ATF, or those driving the operation from higher up levels like the DOJ and the WH, and when you apply Ockham’s razor here, the only reason left why this could be the case simply leaves you shuddering.

The attempts to cover-up and misdirect, from the Obama Administration, are in high gear, and most in the LSM are ignoring the story, but the facts are coming out. I am starting to think that it’s time for a special prosecutor.

Best of Lee: In Their Own Words

Just to take a breather from the ongoing (but hopefully ending) nightmare, I thought I’d put up a Best of Lee. I was digging through some old posts from before the Archive Event Horizon and ran across a couple of posts from Lee that cracked me up. Don’t know if they’ll amuse you too, but we need some uplifting from recent evens.

First, on Iran’s weaving of the world’s largest rug (from a post appropriately entitled “Rug Munchers“):

Yes, my friends. In addition to oil and terrorism, Iran also contributes carpet to the world, showing us just how indispensable they are on the global stage. “Allah be praised, we will one day create a carpet so big it will smother every filthy subhuman pigdog infidel inhabitant of the Zionist entity! For while the infidel Jews may have a functioning nuclear weapon, Allah be praised, we have carpet! And a big carpet at that! And soon, when we too have a functioning nuclear weapon, we will be superior to the Jews because they will not have the carpet!”

And then this one, when Hurricane Dennis hit Cuba, possibly splashing water on some prison Qurans:

“This is an insult to Allah himself,” remarked Muhammad al Muhammad bin Muhammad Sheik Yerbouti, Grand Mufti of the Islamic Council to Prevent Desecration of the Holy Word of Allah by the Zionist Infidel Pig Dog Crusaders and Jews. “It is obvious that the forces of the Zionist infidel pig dog crusaders and Jews are conspiring to torture our blessed Islamic martyrs by soiling the word of Allah.”

Immediately the combined forces of the United Nations, the NAACP, the ACLU, the Nation of Islam, and al-Qaeda were mobilized on the communist island nation to demand justice for the incarcerated. “The Cuban people have been affected by this terrible national disaster,” shouted al-Qaeda spokesman Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Sharpton. “But that sort of flooding and loss of life is expected. It is the will of Allah. But what we are dealing with here is another kind of inhuman torture. Rainwater has defiled the sacred word of Allah almighty, and the filthy inhuman apes and pigs of the crusader Army dared to remove the droplets of water with a common paper towel without first covering their infidel hands with a surgical glove. I ask you, my Islamist brethren, when will the global community wake up to the truth of the inhuman activities that are taking place behind these walls?”

The reason these amuse me is because they sound exactly like the kind of stuff we always do hear from various and sundry nuts. Mocking fools in their own words was one of Lee’s best skills. I can only imagine what he would have made out of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama triad. We would be laughing our way through this entire ridiculous mess.

A Portent Of Greatness?

The reasons behind dismal congressional approval ratings are rather obvious, not only is finding D.C. types that “get it” harder then what Lot went through in his search for 10 righteous men in Sodom, but it is clear to everyone that getting anything done is secondary to sticking it to the opposition and looking good doing it. I don’t think there has ever been a time in my lifetime where universal derision has not been higher and the confidence of the people in the system has not been lower. But just when you think we are beyond saving and start looking at Canada or Australia (yeah, I have) someone comes along that could be “the one”, Marco Rubio is looking real good right now:

It’s been obvious for a while now that congress critters don’t make speeches in the chambers to convince or persuade, impossible, but they do it for dissemination to the folks, constituents and normal people out there who they can possibly inform and impress, voters.

I like the fact that Rubio covered many of the topics we have discussed here, the MIA Senate in passing a budget, the duplicity of the pres and VP wrt their waffling opinions of raising the debt ceilings in the past, the truth about what is really motivating the credit agencies and their threats of a downgrade, the way business in done there in general and the politics behind it, but mostly that stuff is broke. The system, the tax code, S.S., medicare, medicaid, the uncontrollable size of government, all broke, and even when you have a consensus that something needs to be done, nothing gets done.

Rubio is young, inexperienced, and a neophyte, a stranger in a strange land, but it appears that he is learning quickly.

I have heard several appeals in the blogosphere and from media types that although the presidential candidacy is wide open, the VP slot is a lock, and that better go to Marco Rubio. I need to do more research on the matter to formulate an opinion on whether that would be a wise move or not. But one thing is clear, the Tea Party has given us 4 or 5 young guns, people that get it and want to fix Washington, and no star is brighter than Marco Rubio.

Dumping Tea

One of the best pieces of advice that I learned and adhere to over the years about investing is this ,”Don’t fall in love with any stock, it’s business, remember that”. No matter how attractive the stock looks now, a regular application of due diligence is essential where you evaluate not only it’s balance sheet and quarterly statements, but you continually ask yourself why this deserves to be in your portfolio. Lesson number two, apply the exact same rule to political parties and political movements:

These people are really pissing me off!!

I was a big Tea Party supporter from the beginning, I liked their message and their sense of urgency that we can’t be dicking around too much longer, we need to start fixing our problems now. Between the push for smaller government, less governmental intrusion in our lives, less reliance on what they can give us and more on what we should be doing for ourselves, all this resonated with me. But lately they have not only been acting like spoiled brats, too big for their britches, and totally clueless about how things work in politics, but have proven so divisive within their own ranks, that it is painful to watch.

I understand them not liking Boehner’s plan, it is pretty weak cheese:

Cutting not even $1 trillion from the debt.
Establishing a joint committee of 12 to work out future deficit cuts (yeah, like that always works).

It has some good stuff in it too:

Raises the debt ceiling by only $900 billion, not the $2.9 trillion that Obama wants.
It requires a later vote by both houses on a balanced budget amendment (another dead on arrival procedure with this Congress, but maybe they will be more successful with a different one come next year).
And it does not raise any taxes.

But we can’t get too bogged down in the details because this plan is dead at the Senate anyway, it is nothing more then the first move in a political chess game.

These Tea Party loud mouths somehow think that since they had a fairly successful mid term result last year, that now they got the political heft to start bullying folks, just quit it.

It does not take a frickin’ genius to figure out that folks are mad as hell at those out of control spenders, this is the sentiment the Tea Party tapped into last year, an easy hook, now if they want to build on that they will tone down the rhetoric, get realistic about what they can and can’t accomplish, and don’t stab themselves in the eye with a pencil and bleed on everyone. Some of us are ready to send them to their room without supper.

In Your Court, Harry

The Boehner bill barely passed the House. It’s now up to Harry Reid to pass his plan. Then, hopefully, a reconciliation bill will move us forward.

Ignore the media hype about “slashing” spending. This is only binding on … well, never.

Update: The Boehner bill went down in the Senate. That was fast. Now Reid wants a vote on his bill by the GOP is going to filibuster. You can probably guess my reaction to that.

Gunrunner update: WH was in the loop..

You heard that right. As we predicated when this story started breaking, only to be attacked by people that acted incredulous and could not believe Saint Obama and his people – whom all feigned ignorance while blocking the investigation at every point – could be involved in something like this, implying that to ask about the role of or imply the WH was involved, was conspiracy mongering gone awry, we now find out that the WH knew:

Scandal: A former ATF special agent tells Congress a National Security Council staffer was informed about Operation Fast and Furious before guns allowed into Mexico wound up at the murder scene of a U.S. agent.

The latest evidence that both the White House and attorney general knew and approved of Project Gunrunner and its deadly offshoot, Operation Fast and Furious, came this week in the testimony of William Newell, ATF special agent in charge of the Phoenix office, before Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

There you have it. Not just the DOJ, but the WH too. They knew. Long before the guns crossed the border. I have to rub it in some more: both the DOJ and the WH knew this was going on. They knew! Now does that put the stonewalling and outright attempt to avoid providing details into perspective? Not yet? Well then this aught to do the trick.

That the “stench of cover-up,” as Fox News analyst Brit Hume described the administration’s handling of the matter, may reach even into the Oval Office itself was evidenced by Newell’s testimony that he communicated with Kevin O’Reilly, a staffer on President Obama’s National Security Council, about Operation Fast and Furious in September 2010.

O’Reilly was national security director for North America tasked with monitoring the activities of Mexican drug cartels. We are asked to believe he inquired about a program that was providing the cartels with guns but kept what he found out to himself.

That date, by the way, is three months before weapons permitted to “walk” into Mexico were found at the scene in Arizona were U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered. Newell said O’Reilly had inquired about the status of Project Gunrunner to brief administration officials before a trip to Mexico.

Newell sent O’Reilly the requested information with the caveat, “You didn’t get this from me.”

Why was a National Security Council staffer asking about an operation that no one in the upper echelons of the administration was supposed to be aware of? We find it hard to believe it was for O’Reilly’s personal amusement. Why would Newell request that he not be acknowledged as the source?

I bolded that last part for emphasis. Sure, you can go on and argue that even if it is quite obvious that O’Reilly asking and Newell was trying to cover his ass, this still doesn’t immediately implicate or mean Obama knew about this operation directly. But the point remains that the WH staff knew about this and had an interest in following this, and that was because they requested information.

I would be very curious to know how the timing of this request and Obama’s announcement that “they had something in the works”, to deal with the whole negative turn of events and the set backs in court after court that the left’s campaign to deprive law abiding citizens of weapons to defend themselves with had been enduring and still is being beat down by, correlate. I suspect there is a lot more here than we know, and hopefully we will find more out.

Certainly the whole area of drug cartels, cross-border violence and gun trafficking are matters of national security. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made a cause celebre of blaming the easy access to U.S. weapons for Mexican violence.

That cause célèbre wasn’t by accident, I tell you. The LSM will ignore it until they either find a way to lie the crooks out of being associated with this, or they simply can not. But enough of the truth will come out to prove the point. And as this drags out, those of us that where accused of being crazy conspiracy theorists for believing this was no accident and part of a plan that goes all the way to the WH, are going to get vindicated. Our own government ran a covert operation that cost lives to sway public opinion their way on gun ownership. I don’t expect an apology will ever come, but I will rub it in.

UPDATE: Looks like we might need a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of this, since the DOJ is doubling down on

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Fuck the Both of Yous

This really captures how I feel:

Over the course of history, Congress and the White House have seen highs and lows. Times that can be remembered with pride and other times when politicians failed to meet the American people’s expectations. Right now, we are at a very, very low point—the worst I’ve seen since I moved to Washington in September 1972. Never in my memory have both parties and both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue appeared as dysfunctional as they do today. The stakes are so high and the performance is so utterly disappointing. The goals of most of the debt-ceiling proposals being debated are so modest that victory would really be a defeat in terms of what needs to be done.

My wife told me recently about a Facebook post by an acquaintance that held Congress up to ridicule. Apparently, the sentiment was enthusiastically endorsed by people who spanned her entire network of friends—from the most liberal to the most conservative. My wife couldn’t recall anything else that had been so universally embraced by such a politically diverse group of people.

I’m sympathetic to the points made by Krauthammer and Carney that we are dealing with fundamental philosophical disagreements. “Acting like adults” is not going to erase these serious differences of opinion. However, fundamental political difference is not new. Reagan’s vision for America was quite radical in its day; we still got budgets passed.

No, this is political. Republicans don’t want to give Obama any kind of “victory”. And Democrats want to kneecap the only competent Speaker the GOP has had since Early Gingrich. Why else would they not give Boehner any votes on the current bill, even though it’s similar to the Reid bill that they will vote for? (As McArdle said on Twitter: If Harry Reid is the only thing standing between us and disaster, it’s time to break out the asbestos underwear.)

The problem is especially glaring when the long-term solution is obvious and has been for a long time. As this thing drags on, the wisdom of the Simpson-Bowles proposal — with tax reform, retirement age hikes and defense cuts — becomes clearer. It’s at least the basis of what a reasonable compromise between the competing political philosophies. But right now we have two parties who seem to be more interested in placating their own internal sects than working out a deal. Their big worry is being primaried by the Tea Party (if they’re Republicans) or everyone else (if they’re Democrats). But by trying not to piss off anyone, they’re only succeeding in pissing off everyone. If we have a financial crisis, they’re going to get primaried anyway. The choice is no longer between winning re-election and not winning. It’s between going down while accomplishing something or going down while accomplishing nothing. The Democrats got hammered in the last election; but that didn’t unpass Obamacare. Who cares if the GOP loses in 2012 if they’ve made huge inroads on our debt problem? I would gladly take four more years of Obama if it got us something like Simpson-Bowles.

The thing is that … hang on … I’m preaching to the choir. Let me address Congress directly for a moment. Later, I’ll put up a post on normal-people stuff.

Dear Gasbags:

We don’t like politics. I know it obsesses your every waking moment. You go to bed dreaming of political victory and wake up thinking of humiliating your enemies. But most of us don’t care that much. I’m a political junkie and even I don’t care that much. Here is a short list of the thing that have occupied more of my brain space than your petty games just this morning: my daughter, Disney princesses, astrophysics, booking plane flights, the Braves-Pirates series, the NFL lockout, how good Harry Potter 7B was, how awful the Battleship trailer looks, what I’m going to do on vacation, what I thought about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, what I thought about the Comedy of Errors, where I should have lunch, whether we can make Sal 11000 Beta’s gymnastics class, how I’m going to get tickets to a minor league baseball game and how much moss I can scrape off a picnic table with an empty Coke can.

See? We do a lot out here. We work, we play, we spend time with our friends and families. Washington, to most of us, is an occasional annoyance. We tolerate your stupid childish games because it serves a purpose. Government helps create the space in which we can enjoy the things we do care about. And politics keeps people like yourselves out of important jobs where you might be able to cause real problems. But we don’t care about your little internal snits and quarrels and re-election prospects any more than we care about inter-office gossip at the cable company. You’re a utility, not family.

You’ve been trying very hard to get our attention lately. From regulating our jobs to death (20% of jobs now need government permission) to making our taxes ever more complicated to sending the stock market and then the housing market on a roller coaster. We’re paying attention, sort of. But really, we mostly want it to just go away.

However, you’re getting close to end of our patience. If you don’t figure out a solution to this; if you run headlong into the most preventable financial crisis in history, you’ve had it. Personally, I will wash my hands of both of yous. I will vote for fucking Ralph Nader before I vote for either of you. Hell, I might vote Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before I give the keys back to your competing fleets of clown cars.

The deficit was not invented when Barack Obama became President. Nor was it something that was sprung by surprise on him by the Republicans. Of all the people in Washington, there may be a handful that have no blame in what’s happened. You don’t really need to waste all this time and effort blaming each other. We’ll happily blame both of you.

The framework for a solution was laid out before you a year ago. Yes, if you support something along the lines of Simpson-Bowles, your base will erupt and you might get unelected. But that’s going to happen anyway. We didn’t elect you to get re-elected. We elected you to make hard and possibly unpopular choices that may piss us off, may turn us against you but are necessary for the country to function. We elected you to fall on your swords, not to position yourselves for 2012. This is bigger than whether or not Barack Obama gets re-elected next year.

If we have to pay more taxes, we will. We’ll do it rather than let our children pay those taxes with interest. If we have to wait a couple more years to retire, we will. We’ll do it rather than bankrupt our nation. If we have a few less tanks to keep those Canadian hordes at bay … well, we’ve all got guns. We’ll be fine. My home state of Pennyslvania fielded one of the world’s largest makeshift armies last year and won a decisive victory over several hundred thousand deer.

Just fucking do it. If you have to temporarily extend the debt ceiling to work out the details, fine. We’ll manage. But quit playing these bullshit political games because we don’t fucking care about your petty little rivalries and ambitions and Fox News/MSNBC talking points. Quit kicking the can down the road. Turn off the cameras, log off of Twitter and do it. You don’t need another commission — you had a great commission last year and have so far ignored it. Start with that framework and build from there.

Because we would really like to go back to ignoring you.

LA Times’ preemptive strike against Chris Christie

Yeah, the left is worried. They held the reigns of congressional spending for 7 of the last worst spending years, caused an economic implosion after their various schemes to make palatable the shit sandwich that their ideologically motivated government mandate to force lenders to give money to high risk people to buy homes came crashing down – but albeit successfully used the media to convince people to a large degree to blame Bush, whom granted, didn’t do enough to derail that freight train going off a cliff when he could but warned us of the coming disaster only to be labeled a racist for doing so, for that economic disaster – threw massive amounts of money into a pit, well at their donors, friends, lobbyist groups, corporate buddies, and of course their own campaign coffers, declined to pass a spending bill in order to mitigate the backlash sure to follow in the 2010 election, and left us still unable to get that done, and have been running annual deficits between 1.5 and 2 trillion dollars, just to name a few things. But they are not stopping there. Now they are playing a game of chicken with the other side in a political maneuver they hope will let them both score cheap points and finally straddle job creators and other in the productive sector with yet another punitive levy on their wealth production, in order to keep spending like drunken sailors. And as a consequence of all that enlightened left wing politicos and economics, with the 2010 elections indicating the direction things are going in, the prospects of another humiliating defeat at the polls in 2012 seem to be all but given.

And that’s why you are seeing hit pieces like this one from the LA Times which is obsessing over how good one of the most promising republican candidates “looks”.

To be president, do you have to look presidential?

And if so, does that mean Chris Christie should forget about a run for the Oval Office?

New Jersey’s governor, considered a rising star in the Republican Party, was hospitalized Thursday after having trouble breathing (he suffers from asthma), The Times reported. The story takes note of Christie’s weight issues:

The governor has acknowledged leading an unhealthy lifestyle. In a recent interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Christie said he feels “guilty” about his weight.

“I’m really struggling, been struggling for a long time with it, and I know that it would be better for my kids if I got it more under control. And so I do feel a sense of guilt at times about that,” he said.

Presidential image control is nothing new. As a candidate, Barack Obama took pains to downplay the fact he was a smoker. Bill Clinton, an admitted fast-food junkie, tried to tone down his late-night McDonald’s runs. George W. Bush was an avid runner; his dad, George H.W., still skydives on his birthday. Ronald Reagan beat back questions about his age by happily clearing brush on his Santa Barbara ranch. John Kennedy famously hid serious health problems. And, of course, Franklin Roosevelt mostly managed to avoid public scrutiny of the fact that polio left him unable to walk.

The guy is obese! Unhealthy! Who wants a fat guy for president huh? We would much rather have a good looking fast talking used car salesman or a nice looking community organizer for president. After all, looks are more important than policies it seems according to these LA Times writers:

So Republicans (and others) may like Christie’s politics. And the good folks of New Jersey elected him governor.

But is America ready for a president who, frankly, doesn’t look healthy? Or, given that more and more Americans are themselves obese, would Christie’s weight not be an issue?

What do you think? Take our (unscientific, informal) poll:

I took the poll, simply because these people need some perspective. At the time I did the results looked like this:

I am glad to see that the majority of people are smart enough to not let the LA Times “high school clique” politics and these collectivist twits idiotic looks over substance beliefs distract them from something as important as getting rid of the left’s current disastrous policies in favor of some like the ones implemented by Christies, whose policies and economic agenda grounded in reality. Maybe they need to run a poll next on whether Steven Hawkins, whom is wheel chair bound, should be taken seriously as a scientist, since he is you know, a cripple and all that.

Seriously, these people are the ones in charge. Are you frightened yet?

Guess who the collectivist policies of our first black president have hurt the most?

Or is he really the second black president, since Bill Clinton already laid claim to that whole “first black president” meme? Heck, I have even heard several African Americans make the claim that Obama wasn’t a genuine black man anyway with that “honkey” mother of his. But that’s not the point of this post, this sad bit of news is:

The unemployment situation across America is bad, no doubt. But for African-Americans in some cities, this is not the great recession. It’s the Great Depression. Take Charlotte, N.C., for example. It is a jewel of the “new South.” The largest financial center outside of New York City, it’s the showcase for next year’s Democratic National Convention. It was a land of hope and opportunity for many blacks with a four-year college degree or higher.

According to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, in Charlotte, N.C., the unemployment rate for African-Americans is 19.2 percent. If you add in people who have given up looking for jobs, that number exceeds 20 percent, which, according to economists Algernon Austin and William Darity, has effectively mired blacks in a depression. “You’re looking at a community that is economically depressed in my opinion,” Austin said. “And we need action that will address that scale of joblessness.”

And while this piece then even brings up issues of race while discussing this effect on the African American workforce – of all things by comparing how frequently black criminals are called back for a second interview compared to white criminals, which I simply can not fathom as an indicator of anything other than a warning not to be a criminal if you want to hold a decent job – the fact remains that the massive economic downturn that these leftists & their policies & priorities have assured will be around for a long while still, are behind the abysmal job situation, impacting middleclass blacks the worst.

Less jobs, as the reference to the Pew Research Center pointing out does, currently means that black middleclass households are the ones losing their accumulated wealth and assets, as a percentage of overall worth, the fastest.

The recession – or depression — in the black community is rapidly eroding the black middle class. At its convention in Boston this week, the National Urban League released a troubling report on that topic. It found that the recession has virtually wiped out all of the economic gains blacks made in the past 30 years.

And a new report from the Pew Research Center drives home just how bad things are out there. It found that in 2005, the average net worth for white households was $134, 992. For black households, it was $12,124. (That’s not a typo.) In 2009, the number dropped to $113,149 for whites and a paltry $5,700 for blacks.

In the mean time the first black president and the democrats are busy focusing on growing big government and expanding the amount of private sector money they can get their hands on and control at the cost of everything else. It’s not like the middleclass black community will have a choice. Now that they are poorer, they are going to need government handouts even more, so it’s a win-win for team Obama. I hope that wasn’t the plan from the start. I wonder when MSNBC will talk about this issue. Maybe the African American caucus in congress can enlighten us….

Snatching Defeat

The House failed to vote today on the Boehner debt ceiling bill. There are, apparently, too many Republicans holding out as well as all the Democrats. As a result, credit default swaps on US treasuries are at the highest they’ve been since the 2008 financial crisis.

I tweeted this some time ago and the more I watch this unfold, the more I’m convinced it’s going to happen. Three years ago, Congress failed to pass TARP. When they did, the financial markets freaked and nearly melted down. Congress then rapidly passed a TARP bill that was worse than the one they defeated.

This is going to go down the same way. Tomorrow or Monday, the markets are going to freak. They’ve been holding back, hoping for a deal. But until the freak, Congress is going to continue to fuck around, living in their little sound bite fantasy world. When they do finally get the message, we’ll get a rapid deal that will be far worse than what we could have gotten weeks ago. Such is the price of ideological purity.

The thing is, even passing a deal many not spare the rest of us from the pain. Interest rates will still go up — effectively erasing any budget cuts. Treasuries may even be downgraded. At this point, it feels like we’re just going to stave off disaster. We could have had much more.