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100 Below: What you didn’t hear at the SOTU

The President basked in the shower of applauds from the Joint Session of Congress. He beamed at the assembled government of the nation. The television cameras panned the room showing Senators, Congressmen, Judges, Ambassadors and Cabinet Secretaries.

The President wanted to tell his secret. He wanted to let the world know what he knew. But it wasn’t time.

Before heading to the Capitol he secretly contacted his handler, Zegulus of the planet Xpflaxus-Primus. Zegulus told him that the invasion fleet was still organizing behind Mars and it was not time.

Next year. Surely next year.

Wherein I don’t listen to Mrs P

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader found himself disregarding Mrs P’s advice. Some time ago your Maximum Leader complained about a Ruth Marcus op-ed piece in the Washington Post. In the comment section of that past post Mrs P advised your Maximum Leader to not read Ruth Marcus as it was bad for his mind and blood pressure. (Mrs P also advised that if your Maximum Leader continued to read Marcus she might have to review the status of his “man card.”)

Well… Apparently your Maximum Leader isn’t good at following Mrs P’s directions.

He read a Ruth Marcus piece on the Washington Post today. The piece is entitled “Why the filibuster is frustrating but necessary.” The first line of the piece reads thus: This won’t comfort Democrats mourning the loss of their filibuster-proof majority, but the existence of the filibuster is, on balance, a good thing. Ruth then goes on to explain what the filibuster is and why it is being more and more used in the Senate today. She is obviously upset that the filibuster can be used to thwart the agenda she wants to see advanced; but she seems to be able to live with it.

Well… Your Maximum Leader agrees with Ruth Marcus on this. And he’ll go a step further. He not only likes the filibuster, he LOVES the filibuster. Indeed, you will remember he likes gridlock. Frankly he doesn’t understand why more conservatives don’t love it.

NB to Ruth Marcus: You seem to be okay with the filibuster, call your Maximum Leader and he’ll see how he can educate you on the glories of gridlock too.

NB to Mrs P: Sorry.

Carry on.

Quick links and interesting fact

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is preparing for the State of the Union address tonight. For the first time in many years he will watch the address live. He hasn’t watched a State of the Union since the one in January 2002. He didn’t watch Bush’s speeches because he couldn’t stand to listen to Bush’s delivery. He always read Bush speeches. Your Maximum Leader has generally avoided President Obama’s speeches because they are lofty and sound magnificent, but are essentially lots of sound and fury signifying nothing. That said, your Maximum Leader is interested to hear what the President will say tonight…

Speaking of Congress (sort of)… Did you know that on this date in 1791 Congress passed the Excise Whiskey Tax. Passage of the act lead to the Whiskey Rebellion. Your Maximum Leader will have to thank a tweet from the Capitol Historical Society for that little tidbit…

Did you catch the post over on the Volokh Conspiracy about the changing Kibbutzim of Israel? No? You should. Your Maximum Leader was, in a debate on socialism, always willing to concede the point that the Kibbutzim of Israel appeared to be a successful implementation of the socialist idea. While he would quibble with anyone as to how the model would work on a wider scale, he was always willing to say that they seemed to work. (Lucky for your Maximum Leader, none of the socialists he knew - or knows - seem to care much for Kibbutzim and the subject rarely came up in a wider context of socalism.) Apparently now your Maximum Leader will no longer have to concede the point of a successful socialist experiment.

Speaking of Kibbutzim, your Maximum Leader’s mother had a good friend who’s sister married a Kibbutznik and was loving her life there. This friend’s sister came to visit in the US and brought along one of here friends from the Kibbutz. The friend was single and looking for a man. She was also up there on the list of the hottest babes your Maximum Leader has ever spent time with. If your Maximum Leader had been slightly older (he was about 17 at the time - she was about 22) and Jewish he might have tried to pitch a little woo in her direction. He would have failed of course, but he would have probably tried.

Your Maximum Leader, although he doesn’t have the money for it, was shopping around for a laptop computer for himself. The computing needs of the Villainous offspring are increasing and he would like to get a nice laptop for himself. He has been looking at a Mac. But he keeps coming back to an Alienware machine. Yesterday he was sorely tempted to make a purchase he couldn’t afford. Yesterday there was a one day sale on select Alienware machines. They had a M15X that was pretty hopped up for $360 off regular price (total cost $1500). He didn’t bite, but feels like it was a good deal. He’ll likely wait until the M11X comes out and sees how that compares in price to other models.

Apparently much hay is being made about this fellow O’Keefe. You may have heard of him a few months ago when he posed as a pimp and went to various ACORN offices and got advise from the friendly ACORN people on how to avoid taxes and such on his prostitution ring. Well now he has been (rightfully) arrested for attempting to bug a phone in an office of Senator Mary Landrieu. Talk about stupid. One would have hoped that after gaining so much acclaim he might have gotten himself an advisor who might have told him that bugging a phone is a bad idea. An illegal idea in fact. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t have much sympathy for people being stupid. James O’Keefe appears to be stupid.

That is about it…

Carry on.

F.A. pimped out

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is still thinking a lot about his recent banking post and the follow up it has generated.

If you haven’t read it… Your Maximum Leader’s post and comments are here. Then FLG was kind enough to follow-on. FLG’s first post is here, his second post is here, his third post is here, his fourth post is here, and his fifth post is here. Your Maximum Leader has actually been following FLG’s posts quite carefully. It makes him wish he took more finance classes in college. (He is still reading Niall Ferguson’s “Ascent of Money” which is a history of finance and pretty interesting.)

Your Maximum Leader also listened to a very interesting podcast recently from The Economist about increasing capital requirements at banks. It is here:

There is a lot to think about in all of this, and this post is (at best) going to be a clumsy mish-mash of ideas. Your Maximum Leader favors an upward adjustment of capital requirements at banks. How much should that adjustment be, he can’t tell. After listening to the Economist piece his isn’t confident of any number he’s heard out there on news programs. There has to be a number it seems to be a matter of pinning it down.

Then you have the talk of Glass-Steagall and Gramm-Leach-Biley… Your Maximum Leader has never advocated a return to the days of Glass-Steagall. But GLB probably needs to be tweaked some. Again, what do you tweak? Your Maximum Leader knows enough to say he isn’t sure. He would like to see restrictions on proprietary trading by banks, but as Buttonwood and FLG point out in one of the previously linked peices; how do you do that? He would also like to see the riskier elements of the “too big to fail” banks moved to small subsidiaries - or divested altogether to limit the exposure of the taxpayer who still seems to be guaranteeing all these businesses. Again… The devil is in the details here…

Look, your Maximum Leader realizes that the markets will adapt and change faster than any government regulatory regimen. But we are at a point at which there have been events from which we need to learn and make changes to the regulatory regimen. The hand of government will always be clumsy and slow, but we can take the time now to try and attempt to modify the environment to avoid the recurrence of the catastrophic meltdown we have just experienced (and are still experiencing).

In other economic news… Your Maximum Leader would like to see the President go further in his spending freeze. He would like to see Social Security and other Federal entitlements put into the “frozen” spending. He’d also like to see the President urge that the tax cuts passed during the Bush Administration be made permanent. Both of these positions seem to be prudent ones. Especially considering that billions of dollars of “stimulus” money has yet to be spent. That money is still out there hanging ’round…

As much as your Maximum Leader would like to see budget cutting and more deficit control, he feels the most he can (and should) ask for now is restraint. Let’s let things stabilize and then see where we stand.

And because all the cool kidz are posting it…

Thanks to Joan of Arrgghh for the video. Love it.

Carry on.

UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: The Economist podcast he linked above was not the correct one - although it is pertinent to the discussion. This is the one he meant to link:

Carry on.

ANOTHER UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: (NB to Huck Foley: Your Maximum Leader appreciates your comments and is glad that you stepped up to speak on the topic. Your Maximum Leader is in agreement with your point about the Community Redevelopment Act playing a large part in creating the bubble that recently burst. Thanks for the food for thought.)

I’ma pathetic Scottish-American

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a pathetic excuse of an American of Scottish ancestry. Why you may ask? Well allow him to explain…

As you may know, tonight, January 25th, is Burns Night. The night when Scots and those of Scottish ancestry around the world celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Often the night is accompanied with feasting and toasting and poetry reading… It is not uncommon for your Maximum Leader to try and have a fancy dinner and a wee dram with his family (and perhaps a few close friends). Burns would be read and a great time would be had by all…

But tonight…

There was no feasting. Indeed the dinner consisted of the remains of a pan-fried round steak, powdered mashed potatoes, and some re-heated frozen veggies (a carrot, broccoli and colliflower mix). It was eaten in about 20 minutes. There was no toasting, there was no poetry. There was no dram.

It was pathetic.

There is only one promising thing to say about the evening… That is that there is still a chance that your Maximum Leader will have himself a little dram of uisge beatha.

For those of you reading this blog closely you may recall that last 4th of July your Maximum Leader swore off alcoholic beverages of foreign make. (There was one exception - he had a Guinness on Arthur Guinness’ birthday in October.) His promise to himself to forego foreign alcohol expired on January 1. But since January 1 he has consumed two Guinness’, one Chimay Ale, and a few glasses of Italian wine. He’s not had any of the greatest drink in the world, Scotch whisky. That should change a few minutes after he finishes this post…


Carry on.

Are you sitting down?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader hopes that some of you are sitting down. You are? Okay… Here it comes…

Your Maximum Leader might (MIGHT) find himself in agreement with some of President Obama’s proposed bank reforms.

There. He said it.

Your Maximum Leader will have to read more about exactly what the President is proposing but it is possible that your Maximum Leader might agree with not only the thrust but detail of the proposals. At this point the reporting on the President’s proposals is mostly limited to how he wants the banks to have to limit risk and not grow as large. There is a lot of breathless reporting about the proposals and few details. So this “endoresment” is tenative and preliminary and easily revoked.

You may be asking yourself, “Self, what has happened to my Maximum Leader? How could he write this?” Well, allow your Maximum Leader to explain some…

As you know your Maximum Leader is a conservative with some libertarian streaks. He believes we need a government which has clearly defined powers and roles. He is a firm believer that the Federal Government has a necessary role to play in the regulation of commerce in our nation. We are not an unfettered capitalist nation. We have limits on our economic system. Many of the limits are very beneficial, some not too beneficial, and some are a hindrance. Your Maximum Leader believes that we do need to do something about our banks…

Now, your Maximum Leader is not an economist, or a finance major, or any such thing. So he admits he’ll need to grow a little more informed on some of these matters as they move forward. But let him explain where he’s coming from. Your Maximum Leader believes that the purpose of finance (and banking) is to concentrate capital to further (advance) other economic activity. Finance (and banking) is not a means to huge profits in and of itself. This is not to say that your Maximum Leader wants to limit bank profits (or paychecks or bonuses). It is to say that the goal of many finance companies (and banks) of late has seemed to be to make a big profit through investments and devices that mgiht not advance other economic activity. So your Maximum Leader is concerned that banks are behaving like regular corporations that focus on the bottom line, and not behaving like banks have behaved through history.

Take for example various mortgage devices that contributed to our current economic situation. The issuance of a mortgage is the proper role of a bank. The reselling of mortgages from bank to bank is not necessarially a bad thing. It is when you start to commoditize mortgages into instruments that become a speculative tool for investors to shift around from institution to institution only seeking a profit on the transfer that you start to have a problem. Again, don’t misunderstand your Maximum Leader here. If you want to speculate in a specialized instrument and expose yourself to risk and potential payout that is fine, but to have the same institutions involved in all aspects of this deal from the mortgage to the speculation is not wise. Your Maximum Leader isn’t fond of the “too big (and diversified) to fail” concept of a bank.

Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure we should go “back to the future” and repeal some of the legislation that allowed commerical banks and investment banks to merge and own other types of companies (like brokerages and insurance companies). But there needs to be some happy median here.

So, your Maximum Leader will try and figure out what the President is proposing and see if he actually can support the reforms. Perhaps our friend FLG will educate us a little on finance and these recent proposals…

Carry on.

UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: Your Maximum Leader just read a piece by Judah Kraushaar in the Wall Street Journal. It touches on some of the concerns that your Maximum Leader has. You can read the whole peice here: Banks Need Clear Capital Rules. Here is the good part:

There is no silver bullet when it comes to the problem of financial institutions that have become too big to fail. Policy makers have determined that the best approach is to force a conservative capital and restructuring regimen on U.S. banks. In this context, President Obama’s proposed tax on bank assets aligns tax policy with the broader direction on capital requirements being pursued by bank regulators. The ideas he outlined yesterday about limiting proprietary trading will further reduce risk taking and will likely come at the expense of profitability.

There is nothing wrong with increasing capital requirements for the banks. Attacking excessive leverage in the banking system may go a long way toward dampening the boom-bust cycle that has become alarmingly intense in recent decades.

What we need now is clarity. What will future capital requirements look like? What is the plan to return the banks to reasonable rates of profitability? Until that architecture is put in place, banks will have little incentive to sell the problem assets currently clogging their balance sheets—let alone to lend more aggressively.

Protracted congressional hearings on the bank crisis, piecemeal new regulations, sporadic attacks on bank compensation, and an ad hoc approach to taxing banks will only compound the crisis in the American financial service industry.

Right now, investors lack conviction in the ability of the banks to move past the crisis and get back to generating profits. The stocks of the largest bank holding companies now commonly trade at a discount to book value. These discounts illustrate that investors doubt the companies’ wherewithal to earn future returns in excess of their cost of capital. Few financial companies can survive with that sort of penalty, given that attracting fresh capital is their lifeblood.

This isn’t the only concern your Maximum Leader was trying to address, but it is part of the big picture.

Carry on.

Our long national nightmare… Reboots

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that Conan O’Brien will host his last installment of “The Tonight Show” this Friday. It is hard to muster up too much sorrow for a man who is getting a $33 million payout. Your Maximum Leader does think that Conan has been treated really badly. He is sure that Conan will recover and be back on the air somewhere in late 2010. Your Maximum Leader hopes that Andy Richter travels along with Conan wherever the latter ends up.

Fare thee well Conan. Your Maximum Leader will have a beer later in your honor and toast to the complete collapse of NBC.

Carry on.

And so it begins.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is a little surprised that it has taken a little more than 24 hours for a major press outlet to run a “Scott Brown isn’t who you think he is” story. Thanks to the AP we have this: “Brown record doesn’t always match Everyman image.”

According to the AP piece Brown is “to the right” of many of his Massachusetts colleagues. He favors waterboarding terrorists. He has it out for rape victims because he suggested an amendment that would allow Doctors and Nurses with religious objections to refrain from providing emergency contraceptives to rape victims. He didn’t like the federal stimulus bill but said Mass should keep the money. The piece goes on to list other bits as well.

Your Maximum Leader looks forward to seeing more such articles in the future. At least he knows that the tendencies of the press haven’t changed…

Carry on.

Congrats Scott Brown

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was very tenative yesterday. He thought the race would be close. He hoped that Brown would eke out a victory, but thought that Coakley and the Democrats could save the race due to sheer numbers and organization.

Gladly your Maximum Leader was very wrong last night.

Scott Brown won an astounding victory. He won convincingly in a state where many didn’t think a convincing win was possible. Brown is an articulate and charismatic guy. His victory speech last night was great.

Your Maximum Leader hopes Brown is seated in the Senate quickly. He was glad to hear that one of his own Senators (Jim Webb, D-VA) has gone on the record and said that major votes (presumably on health care) should be shelved until Brown is seated. Good for you Jim. That is sense talking.

Your Maximum Leader isn’t going to go all gushy over Brown. We have yet to see how he will actually govern. Your Maximum Leader is encouraged that he seems to be saying all the right things on spending, defence and health care. Your Maximum Leader is all for more fiscally responsible members of Congress. One hopes that Brown will remain as fiscally responsible as he has promised.

Your Maximum Leader will say that if Brown is as charismatic as he seems to be and can stay on track with his campaign promises that boy will go far.

Carry on.

Sad ramblings.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is going to have to buy a another computer or something. It is getting ridiculous at the Villainschloss. Mrs Villain is using her laptop most nights for school. The Villainettes are using your Maximum Leader’s computer for school. So your Maximum Leader who has pithiness to share with you all, is found watching TV and not sharing his pearls of pithiness.

Ah well…

Your Maximum Leader hopes Scott Brown can pull out a win in the Massachusetts Senate special election today. He doesn’t feel quite as confident as many of his political fellow-travellers. But he does feel it will be a very close outcome. Your Maximum Leader has always said that he is a great fan of divided government. And he is. Getting Scott Brown in the Senate will truly divide our government in a way it has not been divided over the past year. And yes, our government has been divided over the past year. It has been divided between the House and the Senate with the President standing by trying to “influence” things. That is not enough division for your Maximum Leader. He’d like to have a Senate with enough Republicans to sustain a fillibuster.

You know… All this talk of how the President has done over his first year seems to be the first stages of setting up for the rash of stories on how the administration hasn’t done much and is likely looking more likely to fail over the long-term. Your Maximum Leader is well aware that there are three years more in the term and that things can change very dramatically and very quickly. So, while your Maximum Leader is willing to say that so far the President and his team hasn’t done anything noteworthy yet (and adding Scott Brown to the Senate soon would not help him at all); he isn’t willing to declare the Obama Presidency over and failed. That is just stupid.

Your Maximum Leader, while not blogging last night, watched the speech by his Excellency Robert Francis McDonnell, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Joint Session of the Virginia General Assembly. It was a good speech. The person operating the teleprompter should be flogged as there were at least three short delivery issues that your Maximum Leader things were all teleprompter related. All in all your Maximum Leader was pleased with the speech and the initiatives laid out therein. (Your Maximum Leader especially hopes that Virginia can lead East Coast states in expanding domestic energy production. He hopes we can auction exploration rights for oil drilling soon. He also hopes we can do more with coal gassification and nuclear power in the state. He’d like to see Virginia be the great energy exporter on the East Coast of the US.) Your Maximum Leader knows that there will be lots of compromises and changes to what the Governor wants. He does have a friendly House of Delegates, but the Democrats have a majority in the State Senate. There will be lots of compromising and wheeling-and-dealing. We’ll see how the 60 day session goes. Your Maximum Leader spoke briefly with the Smallholder last night. Smallholder was pretty critical of the Governor’s plans on changing the teacher pension system in the state. Your Maximum Leader is not unsympathetic towards Smallholder’s position, especially as it will impact Mrs Villain. But, at this stage changes to the pension system are all proposed and there is a lot of negotiating to be done. We’ll see how it goes.

Your Maximum Leader and Smallholder also mentioned Jennifer Love Hewitt. Ms Hewitt has been in the news recently because apparently she has been decorating her “hoo-ha.” Apparently she “be-dazzels” her “va-jay-jay.” Your Maximum Leader is a bit scandalized by this. On the one hand it seems like the dreamy JLH could be a bit more kinky than he suspected. On the other hand she might just be bat-shit crazy. She is likely a bit of both.

Your Maximum Leader should probably start looking around for a new platonic object of his affections. Kristen Bell? Mila Kunis? Who knows…

Be-dazzeled bits… Ewwww…

Carry on.

Friday update

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader lives. He was cut as planned on Wednesday. His doctor did remove a small piece of your Maximum Leader. Biopsy results will likely be a few more days. He is not worried. His side is feeling much better today than it did yesterday. Indeed, yesterday he was a little uncomfortable. He was also cranky yesterday. Funny. Those two might be related. Anyhoo… With each passing day he feels a little better. So that is good.

Your Maximum Leader feels sorry for the people of Haiti. They certainly don’t need nature piling on all of the problems they already have. But pile on nature did. He hopes the aid will help. If it is not too uncharitable to say, he fears that Haiti’s problems are so deep that no amount of aid will really help over the very long term. Aid given now can help end immediate suffering, but that country needs education, infrastructure and political change to make lasting change.

You should donate to help Haiti. It is the right thing to do, regardless of your Maximum Leader’s previous comments.

Carry on.

Wednesday update

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader had a few pithy thoughts he wanted to commit to blog yesterday, but his other computer is still not quite right. Apparently he has a variant of the virtumonde virus in the pc. It makes him want to go to Mac… He hopes to clear that up today…

He might not have a chance to post much today - and possibly tomorrow. He is going in for a minor (out-patient) procedure today to have a couple of (potentially) pre-cancerous growths removed. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but he’ll likely try and milk the cutting for all its worth and get some quality pamper time tonight from the family…

Carry on.

Who cares if it is fair?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader isn’t in the habit of reading “tell-all” books about recently ended political campaigns. He feels that he gets all the good stuff from commentary on various news channels and in various blogs. He doesn’t feel the need to slog though all of the minutae in the whole book to get the point and/or juicy bits. Indeed, your Maximum Leader will not even consider buying/reading a tell-all unless it is positively endorsed by one of a handful of people. (Some of these people are those he knows personally, and some only virtually. And he should say that there is a small crossover of people he first knew virtually and now has met personally… Anyhooo…)

He might actually consider picking up this book from which the recent Harry Reid stuff was excerpted. He will wait for the needed endorsement, but he’ll think about it now…

So the President doesn’t speak with a “negro dialect.” What a joy to learn. Thanks Harry. We all needed to know that.

Frankly, your Maximum Leader thinks that Harry should step aside for Dick Durban as leader of the Senate. He said as much to some gentlemen with whom he had lunch today. They thought it was just your Maximum Leader wanting to be “fair” in as much as this would be a chance to “revenge” what was done to Trent Lott back when…

To be honest, your Maximum Leader doesn’t think that either man should have lost his leadership position over a stupid comment that may (or may not) have given insight into the man’s mind. He does think that he is fed up with the Senate leadership and would be happy for a change. Admittedly Dick Durban is a complete arse of a man and likely a bleeding idiot. But at this point he isn’t Harry Reid and that is enough. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t really care about the whole perception of “fairness” that many are bringing up. Politics aren’t fair. The attempt to make politics and political outcomes “fair” is the root of so much of what ails us socially.

Of course, it would make your Maximum Leader’s day to see Harry Reid actually driven from the Senate entirely. But that isn’t going to happen…

You know something. Off the top of his head your Maximum Leader can likely name more US Senators than the average bear. And right now he can’t think of one that deserves the job he/she has. Not one. Your Maximum Leader has had a soft spot for (Democrat) Mark Warner of Virginia for a while. Your Maximum Leader liked Mark Warner the few times he’s met him. He didn’t think that Warner did a bad job as Governor of Virginia. Indeed, Warner did a pretty good job as Governor all things considered. Sadly, Warner seems to be becoming just another Democrat among 60 in the Senate. At this point your Maximum Leader would be hard-pressed to vote for Warner again for the Senate (it would really depend on the competition he supposes).

But getting back to that book… What is it called “Game Change?” Your Maximum Leader would like to know the scuttlebutt on Bill Clinton. That man. Great jeezey chreezey. He gives hours of salacious pleasure doesn’t he? Your Maximum Leader would actually like to know just how much “thanks” he’s received from “grateful admirers” since leaving office. Hundreds? Thousands? It is a big number no matter how you look at it…

Anyhoo… Your Maximum Leader might read that book…

Or better yet, borrow it from someone who has already read it…

Carry on.

100 Below - The true Rodrigo.

Rodrigo had always thought that if he had someone else’s body and good looks coupled with his personality; he’d be a hit with the ladies. Everyone told him that he was a great guy and had lots to offer someone. It had to be his blandly normal body and face that kept him from getting chicks.

Then he found the lamp.

He made the wish of a lifetime.

Now he looked uncannily like Brad Pitt.

He was Rodrigo’s personality in a Brad Pitt body.

Unfortunately, it turned out that Rodrigo’s personality was the problem all along.

Tech Bleg

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has a problem. One of the computers he uses got infected with some malware. The malware to be exact. He found a number of web sites that recommened the same process for eliminating the malware. Here is one representative sample. He followed these steps. He also uninstalled and re-installed Internet Explorer. He also installed Opera.

Most of the affects seem to be gone, but there is one nagging problem that makes him thing he’s not gotten the whole program out. He keeps getting these pop-up ads in both IE and Opera. And he has checked and double checked to make sure that the pop-up blockers are active.

The computer was still running a virus scan last time he looked at it (it had been running for 6 hours and wasn’t finished).

If anyone out there is familiar with getting rid of this malware and confirming it is gone, please contact me.

Carry on.

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