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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

OPINION Obama lays out ambitious agenda, but who will follow?

Updated 10:28 pm, Tuesday, January 20, 2015

President Obama, exuding confidence and more than a touch of defiance, laid out an agenda for “middle-class economics” Tuesday night that he knew would be a tough sell with Republicans who now control both houses of Congress.

His State of the Union address included tax increases and new programs such as tuition-free community colleges and paid sick leave for American workers. In other words, Obama made plain that he had no intention of being a lame duck in the last two years of his presidency.

 The annual speech was an opportunity to make his case to the American people that gridlock is costing them action on matters they care about. Not surprisingly, Republicans were drawing lines in the sand even before the president spoke. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested the president needed to “turn the page” from a period of confrontation.

 Obama used the phrase “turn the page” in his speech too, but in a very different context: He portrayed this as a moment for a nation emerging from years of war and recession to embrace an economic populism that would restore a society of opportunity.

 Republicans have been especially critical of Obama’s proposal to raise $320 billion in new taxes on wealthy individuals and big financial institutions. He also has proposed free community college tuition, a widening of the availability of broadband Internet access and up to seven days of paid sick leave for workers.

 Barring a welling up of public pressure, Obama’s tax and spending initiatives face grim odds in the Republican Congress. However, his agenda did include areas where bipartisan support was likely.

 One was his pledge to seek congressional consent for military force against the Islamic State. This is a welcome turn from the pattern of presidents stretching their executive authority to commit U.S. troops into overseas missions that often prove more difficult and costly than they appeared on the drawing board.

 Another area of common ground with Republicans — albeit with pockets of Democratic resistance — was his request for trade promotion authority. Obama rightly noted the potential global customer base in the 21st century economy, and the importance of having the United States involved in writing the rules.

 On the environment, it was heartening to see Obama reiterate his commitment to addressing climate change, especially with the talks for a global agreement coming up in Paris. Obama seems to have regained his footing since the November elections. He pushed forward with executive actions to ease immigration rules on deportation and to expand relations with Cuba.

His approval ratings have improved markedly in recent weeks. His comfort and eloquence on the national stage was on full display Tuesday night. It was encouraging to see the president lay out a robust to-do list at this point in his tenure, but the results will be distressingly slim without Republican cooperation. The speech is the easy part of Obama’s daunting challenge.


  1. Obama is doubling down on his agenda. This should please Deuce, Rufus and Rat.

    Meanwhile Yemen has fallen, with Iran's help, Obama is threatening to veto sanctions on Iran as he says they will cause the talks to fail, even though the sanctions do not go into effect if the talks succeed, the sanctions only are enacted IF the talks fail. Iran is building more and more reactors both light water (plutonium path to a bomb) and continuing to finish the heavy water reactor and helping the syrians build a reactor, and Iran's ballistic missile program has no restrictions, coupled with Iran's accumilation for at least 2 bombs and another's work by June Iran will have enough material to construct 3 nuclear weapons by July and a delivery system to match. Of course Iran says it's a force for civilization in the world.

    Obama release 1/2 dozen more Islamists from Gitmo, to join others, including the leader of Yemen's Iranian back rebels that just seized a military base including advanced missiles that the Yemen military had.


    It's rosy...

    1. We can always count on Iran to "fight for civilization".

  2. The REAL news of yesterday is that it is looking like the Patriots WERE playing with deflated footballs:

    NFL: PATS DOCTORED BALLS................Drudge Headline

    1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg sleeps for us all -


      Wonderful pic of the Supreme Court Justice offering an appropriate response to the bullshit State of the Union Address.

  3. Yemen is suffering from a history of corruption, colonial rule and the civil war between Sunni and Shia. What can Obama or any US president do about that? IMO: mind our own business.

    ...Yemen's Shiite rebels pressed ahead Wednesday with their power grab in the capital, Sanaa, holding President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi captive a day after seizing the presidential palace.

    Presidential advisers said President Hadi "cannot leave his house" after Houthi rebels removed his guards and deployed their own fighters at the premises.

    One of the advisers says the situation in Yemen has reached the "point of no return," that the military is in shambles and the country's security apparatus has been "crippled" after the rebel blitz.

    Early Wednesday, the Houthis also seized the country's largest missile base on a hilltop above Sanaa, consolidating their grip over the city, which they seized in September after spreading out from their strongholds in the north. A day earlier, they shelled the presidential palace.

    The developments further erode the powers of United States-backed Hadi, who was unharmed during the shelling Tuesday.

    Meanwhile, a lull settled over the capital after two days of fierce gun battles during which the rebels swept into the presidential palace and looted its weapons depots, took over the TV building and the country's official news agency, and besieged the house of Prime Minister Khaled Bahah.

    "This is a coup. There is no other word to describe what is happening but a coup," Col. Saleh al-Jamalani, the commander of the Presidential Protection Force, which guards the presidential palace, told The Associated Press. He said insiders likely aided the rebels.

    The Houthis’ leader, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, described the dramatic escalation in an address to the nation broadcast late Tuesday as a "revolutionary" move aimed at forcing Hadi to implement a United Nations-brokered deal that effectively grants the Houthis a bigger share of power.

    Yemeni military officials said there was no resistance as the Houthis took the base housing ballistic missiles in western Sanaa. The rebels demanded that the commanders hand over control of the base to them, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    In his speech, al-Houthi listed as his main demand the shakeup of a commission tasked with writing a review of a new, draft constitution to ensure bigger representation for his group. The draft has proposed a federation of six regions, something the Houthis reject.

    The Houthis are a group within the Shiite sect of Zaydism, whose followers make up a third of Yemen's population of 25 million and live mainly in the north. The rebels are believed to have the backing of Shiite powerhouse Iran, a claim they reject. Sunni Yemenis live mostly in the country's south and make up two thirds of the population.

    The chaos in Sanaa prompted the U.N. Security Council to hold an emergency meeting Tuesday to condemn the violence and call for a lasting cease-fire. In a statement approved by all 15 members, the council asserted that Hadi "is the legitimate authority" in Yemen.

    However, deep uncertainty loomed over the city and Hadi's future. Outside his house, security guards that previously manned a post made up of sandbags and metal barricades had disappeared and were replaced by Houthis, armed with Kalashnikov rifles, standing at the gates. Other rebels stood outside shuttered shops or monitored traffic.

    Analysts say the Houthi sweep could further fracture Yemen and incite other disenchanted and rival groupings across the Sunni-Shiite divide. Analysis and background from Aljazeera

  4. In 1952 the whole world acknowledged that Mohammad Mosaddegh was the Premier of Iran.
    Then the US and England made sure he was not.

    That's Civilization for you.

    1. No, the whole world did not.

      Cold war days if you can still recall that far back.

      The Roosians had their own plans for the area at the time.

      Past history.

      High school reasoning on your part.

      The world is dealing with the Mullahs now in one way or another.

      Take it up with Jimmah Carter.

    2. What would Mr Carter have to do with what happened in 1953, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson?

      Of course the entire world acknowledged that Mohammad Mosaddegh was the Premier of Iran. To claim otherwise, beyond inaccurate, it is a lie.

      Please post the plans that the Soviet Union had for Iran. References would be appreciated.

      The discussion, really though, is about Civilization what it entails, who is expanding it and how.
      Can savagery and barbarity extend the reach of Civilization?
      Can continued disregard for international law be considered a hallmark of Civilization?

    3. If Civilization is under assault, if it is need of defense, where is that assault happening?

      The real question, what is Civilization?

    4. Past history, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson is what forms the present.

    5. How's the new hush hush work off the coast of Panama going?

      Out for now.......

      Cheers !

  5. In 1967, southern Yemen's world was transformed. After 128 years of British occupation in the area, revolutionaries' cries for freedom were finally heeded.

    It is no secret that the current state of affairs in the South rest on implosive ground, with constant discussions of succession and transfers of leadership. To this present situation, many are forced to reflect on the ways British colonialism shaped the South's trajectory, for better or worse.

    1. SANAA (Reuters) - Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was expected to yield to demands on Wednesday for constitutional change and power sharing with Houthi rebels who took up positions outside his home after defeating his guards in two days ...

  6. .

    He did, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, he fired David Howell Petraeus as a result.

    You have offered this theory before, rat, but as far as I know you have offered zip to back it up. If you have anything, I would like to see it.

    Petraeus was/is an incompetent womanizer and a security threat. That should be sufficient to fire his ass. In fact, the FBI and DOJ prosecutors have recommended that felony charges be brought against him for passing on classified information in bed. The decision as to whether the charges will be brought is now sitting on Holder's desk.

    Any actions by the CIA that involved arms and events in Syria would have to be signed off at the HIGHEST LEVEL. Even if you have evidence (which I doubt) to support your assertion then all that represents is a case of Obama scapegoating to cover his ass. I don't think that is really what Bob had in mind when he talked about Obama doing something.


    1. What we have, Q, is a series of dots, which when connected lead us to the informed opinion that Mr Petraeus was the Administration's lead man in Benghazi.
      That operations in Benghazi were in his portfolio, the vetting of the local forces that the US contracted for security was done by his Agency.
      Which is not to say that Mr Obama was unaware of his activities, but that Mr Petraeus was the head of operations in Benghazi.

      Whatever Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson had on his mind, it certainly was not conveyed in his written words, except as another slight towards the United States, its government and institutions.

    2. Now one can believe that US policy in Libya and Syria on a grand scale is ill conceived and detrimental to US interests. That the arming of radical Islamists with the weapons that had been stockpiled by Colonel Q was a terrible thing to do, but that is another issue, entirely, from the responsibility for the security of US facilities in Benghazi.

    3. .

      That operations in Benghazi were in his portfolio, the vetting of the local forces that the US contracted for security was done by his Agency.

      You missed a dot. The CIA was handed a list of local forces it could choose from, a list pulled together by State in conjunction with the interim government. In addition, the ultimate security for State Department personnel rests with the State Department. State can call upon the military to provide additional security support when needed; yet State leadership (in the US) refused the request of local security personnel to bring in additional military support. This despite the series of attacks that had taken place across Libya leading up to the 9/11 anniversary.

      Your attempts to blame this FUBAR on the CIA and Petraeus in particular fall short.


    4. There is no attempt serious being made, as for it falling short, in your estimation, who really cares?

      The complex was a State Department Consulate in name only. It was, in all reality, part of the cover story for CIA operations in Benghazi. That is another of the dots.

    5. .

      State Department personnel died. They were on State Department business in a State Department facility. Their safety was the responsibility of the State Department.

      It's as simple as that your attempts to pass the blame not withstanding.


    6. .

      As for estimations, best look at your own what with your 'connecting the dots'.

      When it comes to assigning responsibility for the security of those in Libya, there is nothing in my comments that is a matter of 'my opinion'. The responsibility for the security for State Department personnel is clearly explained on the State Department website along with specific responsibilities of the various people in the chain from those on station in the various countries around the world right up through those at the State Department and right up to the SOS. Links outlining those responsibilities per provided here at the time of the Benghazi incident.

      If State requires additional security assets they have the option of asking for that help from the military, in fact the military has special teams set up for that exact contingency.



  7. As Yemen’s Government Falls, So May a U.S. Strategy for Fighting Terror

    The strategy in Yemen tracks the strategy Obama has used for the past few years in fighting terrorist groups. It has its proponents and its detractors, its benefits and its limitations.

    Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the world but it is strategically placed and important to the fight against terror. In Yemen, the various governments have been fighting al Qaeda for years. Beyond that is the government’s ongoing friction with the Shia Muslim minority over representation and the content of the constitution.

    The US has been involved with Yemen on a small scale. They provide aid, both economic and military. Lately, the one area were we have increased our efforts is in the fight against al-Qaeda. We’ve provided special forces trainers to the Yemeni military and have been directly involved in the fight against al-Queda through our drone strikes there.

    Last year, Obama cited Yemen as one of the countries that illustrate the success of the US strategy against terrorists.

    “This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama said on Sept. 10, 2014.

    The advantages of the drone strikes are obvious, at least the short term advantages. The downside of the strategy not so much.

    Using drone strikes saves American lives and treasure. It is war on the cheap. It has also been an effective tool in taking out terrorist leadership. That being said, there is also a downside to the strategy. Yemen illustrates both sides of the argument.

    US military intervention in Yemen has been minimal and other than a small amount of military aid and training to the government has been confined to drone strikes on al-Qaeda, a policy supported by the Sunni dominated government.

    The drone strikes have been effective in taking out hundreds of al-Qaeda militants including key leaders. No doubt this disrupts al-Qaeda operations if only temporarily. However, the usual complaints about drones are also evident. Any dead al-Qaeda leader is quickly replaced by another as are the foot soldiers. It is hard to argue there are less militants today than when the fighting started.

    It is also true that the strikes are opposed by the general public and US favorability there is in the tanks. Regardless of who wins the sectarian war there this is unlikely to change.

    Lastly, both sides in Yemen, the Sunni-dominated government and the Youthi militants, have been fighting al-Qaeda. Yet, the current conflict there is the ideal breeding ground for al-Qaeda mischief.

    Undoubtedly, Obama’s characterization of Yemen as a success story for US policy has been overrun by events on the ground. However, Yemen does once again bring into focus the pros and cons of current US policy and whether it is actually working in not only the short term but also in the long.


    1. Obama's comments on 10SEP2014 were accurate.
      It is referencing the fight against al-Qeada.

      That the country of Yemen is not much of a country, historically, the cause of the current strife.
      With little or nothing to do with US involvement, there.

      As written, both sides of the civil strife are opposed to al-Qeada operating in Yemen.

    2. .

      Obama's comments may have been true on September 10, at least in his mind. However, it is hard to argue that it is a success today. That is why many question the current strategy which is centered on short term results and ignores the long war.


    3. The current strife, in Yemen, has nothing to do with the US.
      The US is not, has not been, committed to the current government against 'all comers'.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. .

      You are wrong.

      We were specifically talking about Obama's terrorist strategy in Yemen. We were not talking about our overall commitment to either side in the current civil strife there. However, our terrorism strategy there was being deployed with the support and assistance of the current Yemeni government. Were the Shia militants to take over there they may assume the same role with the US as the current government. On the other hand they might not.

      However, more important that whether we have a partner in Yemin or not, the current fighting there aids al-Qaeda which is what we were talking about.


    6. Does the fighting aid al-Qeada?

      This is the first you have mentioned that, so it is doubtful that is ... what we were talking about.

      It is not what I was discussing, at all.

    7. .

      This is the first you have mentioned that, so it is doubtful that is ... what we were talking about.

      This from my initial post

      Lastly, both sides in Yemen, the Sunni-dominated government and the Youthi militants, have been fighting al-Qaeda. Yet, the current conflict there is the ideal breeding ground for al-Qaeda mischief.

      In a subsequent post, you referenced the sentence that was right before the bolded one. Perhaps, you weren't talking about it but I was.



    8. But that statement is irrelevant, as Yemen was certainly an ... ideal breeding ground for al-Qaeda mischief. prior to the current civil strife in Yemen.

      Which is why the US was operating there, with targeted drone strikes, for the past few years.
      The current strife does not change that equation, in the short term..
      You provide no evidence that the threat emanating from Yemen has increased because of the current civil strife. Provide no commentary on why the current strife will improve things in Yemen for al-Qeada.

      A throw away line is all you provide, and it was thrown away.

    9. .

      I merely echo and agree with the opinions of others commenting on the current situation in Yemen. For instance, the AP

      The weakening of Hadi, a top U.S. ally, also undermines efforts by America and its allies to battle al Qaeda's Yemeni affiliate, which claimed responsibility for the attack on a Paris satirical magazine earlier this month. Washington has long viewed Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP as the Yemeni branch is known, as the global terror network's most dangerous affiliate.

      The Houthis' blitz in Sanaa and expansionist aspirations in central Yemen, where Sunni tribesmen dominate, also threatens to transform the current conflict into a sharply sectarian one, pitting Sunnis against Shiites. Al Qaeda in Yemen, which has waged deadly attacks targeting both the Houthis and Hadi's forces, stands to benefit.


      Anyone who has been paying attention would have seen the growth in terrorist militias and activities that have resulted from vacuums created by civil strife and failed states across the ME. Libya and Syria come immediately to mind.

      Al Qaeda is the biggest terrorist group in Yemen but CNN was just reporting that ISIS operatives are now in the country following the sectarian civil clashes there. Terrorists seek out power vacuums and exploit them.

      I'm surprised you don't realize that.


  8. WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress was a departure from protocol, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday, according to reports from Air Force One.

    Earlier Boehner announced the Feb. 11 speech at a press conference, saying he wanted to hear Netanyahu's views on grave threats of radical Islam and the threat that Iran poses "to not only the Middle East but frankly the world." Boehner said that President Barack Obama had papered over these issues in Tuesday's State of the Union speech. Later, Earnest told reporters that the White House only learned of the speech shortly before Boehner announced it.

    He said typical protocol would be for a country's leader to contact the White House before planning a visit. Earnest talked with reporters as Obama flew across the country to give a speech in Idaho. Obama and Netanyahu have had a tumultuous relationship.


    Netanyahu, as is his privilege being Israeli, is exempt from normal protocol. Boner is still the asshole he always was.

  9. The Speaker of the House broke the protocol.

    Got a problem with that? Take it up with the 3rd Highest Ranking American Johnnie "the tanned man" Boeher.

    Maybe some in DC know that the President's empty threats concerning "sanctions against Iran" that would not be PUT INTO PLACE unless no agreement was reached deserves Israel's side of the argument.

    Obama's failed policy in regards to Iran is clear. Iran has cheated on every agreement, partial agreement and understanding since the bullshit of negotiations started.

    Just how many additional delays, passes and turning the other way will Obama give to the ever increasingly armed Iran?

    Russia now is openly selling s300's and s400's to Iran!

    Not to worry, Israel will tackle the s400's with the same zeal the used when figuring out how to make the s300's worthless and share with America.

    Israel has your back...

    Are you not lucky????

    1. .

      US foreign policy does not require input or assent from other nations or their leaders.


    2. Certainly not from our client states, states that would not even exist without US benevolence.

      That benevolence and its importance to Israel's very existence commented upon by past Israeli Prime Ministers.

    3. Quirk, not talking policy, talking technology.

      Israel has lent a hand to it's big brother, "America" numerous times, just as America lends a helping hand to her.



    4. Jack HawkinsWed Jan 21, 04:05:00 PM EST
      Certainly not from our client states, states that would not even exist without US benevolence.

      That benevolence and its importance to Israel's very existence commented upon by past Israeli Prime Ministers.

      Jack, been hitting the bong again? Take it easy, you don't have brain cells to spare.

      Obama has done a brilliant job in teaching other nations (including Israel) not to rely on America..

      Under Obama, israel has seen munitions shipments and weapon systems stopped or delayed, the word of the United States become much less trusted and or course the USA supporting Hamas, Fatah and the Moslem Brotherhood was enough for Egypt to cut off all arms purchases from the USA and to start dealing with the Russians again…

      So what was in the 1950 thru the early 2000's may just not be the accurate picture of the world anymore.

      But Jack, you keep hitting that bong…

    5. .

      Boehner's invitation to Bibi is not only ill-advised and inappropriate it is also raw politics at its worst. Obviously, the only reason he is doing it is because of the current testy relationship between Bibi and Obama.

      The move is inappropriate not only because of the foreign policy implications in the US but also because of the domestic implications in Israel given the upcoming election. Boehner is not only attempting to publicly embarrass Obama he is interfering in the domestic politics of Israel. There are already complaints coming out of Israel.

      Boehner is a dick.


    6. Manual Noriega, Ngô Đình Diệm and Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi all depended on the US, well before Barack Obama was involved in politics. All were illustrative of US standing with others, after the national interests of the US shifted.

      To ignore those three illustrations, purely intellectual negligence.

    7. But what else would be expected, of a Zionist shill

    8. Shill? Hardly.

      However Obama has already interfered with Israeli politics. Several times in several elections. Karma is a bitch.

      but the fact that the so called sanctions do not go into effect if the talks with Iran succeed is missing from the dialogue.

      Bibi will drive that point home.

      Most Americans, by a large % LIKE bibi and LIKE Israel.

      Most Americans do not like the mullahs of Iran or Hamas head cutters.

      Most Americans are getting fed up with making accommodation for iranian sensibilities..

  10. "The June war of 1967 confirmed this impression, and from 1967 on the United States emerged as the most distrusted if not actually hated country in the Middle East."

  11. Legendary A-10 'Warthog' sends ISIS fleeing

    “The aircraft sparked panic in the ranks of ISIS after bombing its elements and flying in spaces close to the ground,” Iraqi News reported last week after a sortie took out several terrorists in ISIS-controlled territory near Mosul. “Elements of the terrorist organization targeted the aircraft with 4 Strela missiles, but that did not cause it any damage, prompting the remaining elements of the organization to leave the bodies of their dead and carry the wounded to escape …”

  12. NEAR MOSUL DAM, Iraq (Reuters) - Kurdish forces in northern Iraq said on Wednesday they had cleared Islamic State insurgents from nearly 500 square kilometres of territory and broken a key IS supply line between the city of Mosul and strongholds to the west near Syria.

    An al Qaeda splinter group, Islamic State took Mosul, the biggest northern city, and wide swathes of northern and western Iraq in June, humbling weak government forces. But regional Kurdish peshmerga forces have since regained considerable ground with the help of U.S.-led air strikes on Islamic State.

    Assisted by air strikes that began the night before and continued during the ground attack, peshmerga fighters advanced from five directions and took a commanding position above a critical crossroads at Kiske, 40 km (25 miles) west of Mosul.

    A fleet of bulldozers followed, building berms and digging trenches to secure their gains.

    If the Kurds manage to keep the route blocked, it would help isolate Mosul from the city of Tal Afar, an IS bastion 70 km to the west, and the Syrian border another 100 km further west. Islamic State also controls much of eastern Syria.

    Masrour Barzani, head of the Kurdish Security Council, told a news conference that Islamic State fighters could still travel between Mosul and Tal Afar but said it would take longer and make communications more difficult.

    "Mosul is more isolated from north, east and south than it was before. There is more heat on ISIS," he said at an operations centre, using another acronym for Islamic State.

    The Kurds recaptured the Rabia border crossing with Syria, astride the main highway to Mosul, in September and last month rescued hundreds of minority Yazidis trapped by Islamic State on Sinjar Mountain.

    However, confronted with Iraq's long border with Syria, the Kurds have struggled to deal Islamic State a decisive blow to overcome their remaining outposts in northwestern Iraq.

    Barzani said the bodies of at least 200 IS insurgents were found during Wednesday's offensive; he declined to say how many peshmerga fighters were killed.

    He said Islamic State had sent 14 car bombs to front lines for attacks but they were destroyed en route by air strikes or anti-tank missiles. Barzani added that some fighting continued in the region on Wednesday night.

    A Reuters correspondent on one front saw through binoculars the black flag of Islamic State flying from a pylon near the village of Hassan Jallad, 25 km northwest of Mosul.

    Moments later a puff of grey smoke followed what the peshmerga said was an anti-tank missile hitting an IS suicide bomber approaching the village. Though IS responded with mortars of its own, one Kurdish fighter said ground attacks and coalition air strikes had weakened the radical jihadist group.

    "They are not as strong as they used to be," he said.

    Not as strong as they used to be

    1. They're dead men walking ... if they do not get back to Syria.

    2. Then they have to pray that they don't get drafted into the "Kobane Brigade." :)

    3. When the curtain goes up on the Mosul show, they're going to look up, and see A-10's to the Right, Apaches to the Left, and all the rest of the various types of planes in the known universe directly overhead.

      It's going to be a serious "oh shit" moment. :)

    4. It has been what, three, four months since the Iraqi Army began to reorganize, under the new Prime Minister?
      They should be about ready to make that push into Mosul.

      I see where it is the Canadians that are getting up close and personal with Daesh, calling in the air strikes.
      Go Team Americas!

    5. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/01/19/canadian-soldiers-get-into-firefight-in-iraq.html
      Better them than US.

    6. Canada’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia shrouded in secrecy

      This controversial 2014 agreement to ship made-in-Canada light armoured vehicles to the Mideast country is coming under increased scrutiny after much-publicized incidents of torture and mistreatment by Saudi authorities, including the videotaped beheading of a woman in Mecca this month and the flogging and jailing for blasphemy of a writer who has Canadian ties. Raif Badawi, sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, has a wife and children who’ve been granted asylum in Canada.

      The Harper government calls the export contract a major success, one that will sustain 3,000 advanced manufacturing jobs for the 14-year length of the deal as well as thousands of other jobs for suppliers across the country. Ottawa went to great lengths to make the transaction happen, taking on contractual obligations for the sale through a Crown corporation. It’s by far the largest export deal ever brokered by the government’s Canadian Commercial Corp. and the manufacturer is General Dynamics Land Systems Canada in London, Ont

    7. Not a bigger deal than the USA made for 60 billion to the Saudis...

      Nor bigger than the AWACS 2 decades ago America sold the Saudis..

  13. .

    The official website for House Republicans has posted on YouTube a version of President Obama’s State of the Union address which cuts out comments where the President was critical of Republican rhetoric on climate change, ThinkProgress has learned.

    In the website’s “enhanced webcast” of the State of the Union speech, President Obama’s comments criticizing Republicans for saying they are “not scientists” when it comes to climate change are erased...


    Boehner is a dick.


  14. As 'military analysts' Rufus and d. rat are really jayvee.

    Dream world jayvee.

    1. The man who would have his country lose a war, rather than have a black President win one.

      Leave me alone, you pathetic old racist; I haven't said a damned word to you.

    2. July 4th 2015 draws ever closer you old racist gasbag.

      You can't give a cogent reason we are fighting ISIS in the first place.

    3. Oil, and two beheadings on youtube.

      Don't try to project your racism onto me. We all got a good look at your soul the night of Nov. 2nd, 2008.

      It was pretty ugly, bubba.

    4. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson wanted to kill every airman in the 162nd Fighter Group of the Arizona Air National Guard. Then he wanted to butcher them and distribute the meat derived to the poor.

      What would lead a reasonable man to advocate for genocide, butchery and cannibalism?
      The answer, Nothing
      Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has proved, time and again, that he is not reasonable, or not a man.


    5. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has forgotten the raid on NYCity on 11SEP2001.

      That is the primary, cogent reason that the US is involved in the battle against al-Qeada and their progeny, which the Daesh are.

      Perhaps he does not believe that al-Qeada was the true organizer of the 11SEP2001 raids.
      Perhaps he thinks it was someone else.

      Regardless, the Congress has authorized the President to use military force against those that he, the President, determines instigated that raid. If Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson gets elected President, then he can make the determination, until that improbability occurs, he is merely a "Draft Dodger", a coward that hid from his responsibilities to his country, his people and himself.


  15. Good News:

    A Shocking Number of Americans Under 30 Have No Religion — This Country Is Going to Change
    Americans are abandoning religion in droves.
    By Amelia Thomson-Deveaux / The American Prospect January 19, 2015

    1. Sounds good - but, haven't we heard this before?

    2. We need to give religion all the disrespect that it has earned and deserves.

    3. I'm on your side, but I'm not hopeful.

      That weed is hard to kill.

    4. Nazi Germany had no religion see how that worked out for them...

    5. Communist Russia (USSR) had no religion, just how many millions did they starve to death and or kill?

    6. Deuce you state your dislike for "religion" but I don't see you discount the moslem claim to lands of the middle east based on that....


    7. .

      I suspect when the time comes for Deuce to take that final leap into darkness he will be clutching those rosary beads in his hand, that or looking for them in that old box of junk left over from his days in school at Our Lady of the Purple Haze.

      Rufus will probably be humming the chorus to 'Rock of Ages'.



    8. G-d, and yes, G-d, is always in the foxhole.

      Not Thor, not unicorns, not the earth goddess or bail, but the G-d of Israel.

    9. Rufus will be enjoying his favorite fantasy one last time: ...giving Obama a blowjob.

    10. .

      I doubt Deuce would be praying to any god of Israel.

      That would be a bridge too far.

      Besides the very idea of a G-d of Israel is so very 19th century BC.


  16. By the way, I have been following the 25th Anniversary of Hubble. It is astounding at what has been discovered during the past few years. It is a real treat watching the various ‘Hubble Hangouts” on youtube. I

    t is heartening to see young people looking to the stars and science for inspiration instead of old hallucinating killer’s from the Bible and the various religious fanatics lusting for another war to fix things up.

    1. Maybe the internet will live up to its "promise," yet. :)

    2. But Deuce, Hamas and Iran, your pals, LUST to genocide the Jews.

      All based on ole Mohammed...

      What no comment about that?

    3. Because it is a half-truth, at best, "O"rdure.

    4. Now now, Jack, you drool for the death of Israel and all those folks you lambast as "fake jews"..

      Now you are shy about your blood lust to see those folks impaled on spikes?

    5. No one is lambasted, "O"rdure.

      “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings.
      Have they forgotten how to converse?”

      - Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel

  17. But Deuce, Hamas and Iran, your pals, LUST to genocide the Jews.

    Here is the way it is and the way it is going in the future with Americans between Israel and Hamas:

    Among Americans ages 18 through 29, 29 percent put Israel at fault, versus 18 percent who put the blame on Hamas

    Why are Millennials less supportive of Israeli policy? According to Alec Tyson, a senior researcher at Pew, the answer may have to do with religion, as young people are less likely to be members of denominations that tend to support Israel.

    “For age, we know that younger people are much more likely to be religiously unaffiliated,” he says. “And white evangelical Protestants are really bolstering American support for Israel.” (and there numbers are in a downward spiral)

    Similar divides fall along racial and ethnic lines: While 47 percent of whites see Hamas as the instigator and 14 percent blame Israelis, 35 percent of Hispanics side with the Palestinian group on this issue, versus 20 percent with Israel. And blacks were split on the question, with 27 percent faulting the Israelis and 25 percent faulting the Palestinians.

    Those numbers, a majority of Hispanics, a split amongst blacks and a majority of young whites under thirty point to a big change in how Americans view Israeli behavior in the Middle East.

    Nobody wants to kill you, but they don’t approve what you have become.

    1. Bullshit. Not to worry Hamas will continue to be savages more and more, doing more and more head cutting bullshit that will wake up Americans every day.

      Hamas? They are ISIS of Gaza.

      It's a matter of time before the world wakes up and sees them for the savages they are..

      Most likely when terrorism hits the USA... (again)

      "Nobody wants to kills you"

      really? are you on crack?

      do you live in this world where your pals, spend a BILLION dollars on tens of thousands of rockets? a billion on terror tunnels?

      are you for real????

  18. Save the drama, nobody wants to kill you. They disapprove of your killing and your apartheid state.

    1. Deuce, sorry to burst your "bubble" The arab world, Iran, Islamic headcutters et al do want to kill us.

      they bomb our community centers, the shoot at our schools all over the world.

      So no offense, your "drama" line? Is bullshit.

      hamas calls for the genocide of ALL JEWS. Not just the destruction of Israel, are you sincere in your misguided belief that this is JUST about Israel?

      Were the Crusades, the Czarist pogroms, the Holocaust, the arab massacres of Jews of Hebron in the 1920's, the expulsion of 850,000 jews from the arab world, the mass deportations from spain, england and poland about "disapprove of your killing and your apartheid state."

      Bullshit Deuce. Bullshit.

      Did the attack in Mumbai that went after the Chabad Rabbi and his wife have anything to do with Israel? Daniel Pearl, Nick Berg?

      How about the Palestinian murder of Meir Kahane in NYC?

      I could go on for hours...

      Your point is bullshit.

      That's why I pray for the day your friends that seek us out and attack? Are dispatched with cool clam efficiency. Unlike the palestinian today that stabbed 11 folks on a bus in tel aviv, they only shot the savage in the leg.... dam.

  19. The Atlantic:

    Since 2007, the number of white evangelical Protestants nationwide has slipped from 22 percent in 2007 to 18 percent today.

    A look at generational differences demonstrates that this is only the beginnings of a major shift away from a robust white evangelical presence and influence in the country. While white evangelical Protestants constitute roughly three in 10 (29 percent) seniors (age 65 and older), they account for only one in 10 (10 percent) members of the Millennial generation (age 18-29).

    Thank you Jesus.

    1. The decline in traditional church numbers is true, don't let that fool you....

      things go in cycles.

    2. You would assume that the number will be 16%, or thereabouts, by Nov., 2016.

      Demographics is a bitch (if you're a Republican Presidential hopeful.)

    3. I bet many of those Hispanics that are voting do not like the pro-abortion stance of the democrats. Catholics I hear they are...

      But in the last 2 elections the Democrats have had their asses handed to them.

      Truth be told?

      The reason the GOP lost the last election for the POTUS was that the far right stayed home.

      There is only a 34% voter turnout in America. Now Blacks did turn out in high numbers, it's doubtful that they will be as enthusiastic about some old white woman (hillary) or some old white guy/

    4. Yeah, the Hispanics gave the anti-abortion guy a whopping, what?, 27%? 28%? of the vote?

      Hillary probably won't get an iota over 93 or 94% of the black vote.

      Her Jewish vote will probably top out at 70%, or so.

    5. You miss the point.

      Jews are leaving the Democrats, while not in droves, it's down to about 60%, that's historic.

      I would not bet the farm on an automatic democrat victory...

    6. yeah it is..

      I see the real reports... remember? I got the secret decoder jew ring

    7. First, some raw facts. In the 2006 midterm elections, 87 percent of Jews voted for Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives. Last week, in the 2014 midterm elections, 66 percent cast ballots for Democrats. That's a 21-point drop in eight years—and, it might seem, a major cause for celebration among the likes of the Republican Jewish Coalition and philo-Semitic political strategists everywhere.

      it's even better or worse than that.. :)

      The democrats have jumped the shark when it comes to the jews.

    8. First: 66% ain't 60%.

      Second, '06 was a Democratic Landslide year; '14 was a Republican Landslide year, and neither was a Presidential Election year.

      Third: Hillary isn't Obama

      She'll get closer to 70% than 60%. Probably closer to 70 than 66%.

    9. And, Fourth, it doesn't really matter whether it's 60 or 70%, anyway. The Jewish population is just too small.

    10. The Jewish population is just too small?

      listening to you? The Jewish population regardless of it's numbers boxes way above it's rank.

      As for it not mattering?

      You keep telling yourself that as ex-democrats, like myself, are now FUNDING GOP candidates across the nation that stand up against Democrats...


      If you only knew.

      America. It totally legal and ethical for us motivated American Jews to find candidates across the lands...

    11. Hillary? the same gal who swapped spit with Mrs Arafat when she was accusing the Jews of poisoning wells?

      We don't forget...

      Hillary? LOL

      No friend of Israel or the Jews. Her #1 assistant? A moslem brotherhood family gal...


      What a bitch

    12. Saleha Mahmood Abedin, the mother of Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, reportedly served in the women’s division of the Muslim Brotherhood alongside the wife of Egypt’s new president, the Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi.

  20. Meir Kahane, I always like Meir, a man that said what he thought and didn’t care about what anyone else thought about the truth as he saw it. However he did ironically step in dog shit when he said,”No trait is more justified than revenge in the right time and place.”
    Maybe I’ll think of Meir on my way out. The rosaries always bored me to tears but Meir was entertaining.

    1. Meir, knew of the crimes of the centuries the Arabs had done to the Jews of the middle east.

      And it didn't start with Islam but that's a convenient place to start...

      The arabs via Mohammed slaughtered and enslaved the Jews of Arabia and things went down him for 1300 year that followed.

      Then Israel was reborn.

      All those centuries upon centuries of arab rapes, murders and theft towards the Jews of the middle east are not forgotten.

      What Israel has "done" as crimes to the arabs since 1948? Would not fill thimble of Arab slaughter of Jews JUST from the year 640 ce.

      The proof that Israel isn't the criminal nation you so wish it to be?

      1.2 MILLION arab citizens of Israel. who refuse to leave. who are equal citizens of Israel.

      The arabs? in the other 899/900th of the middle east?

      Ethnically cleansed 850,000 jews, stole their lands and businesses which number GREATER than the so called palestinian's loss.

      But Jews don't want revenge, they want to live.

      Maybe your pals the palestnians, the iranians et al, will someday love life as much as they love to murder Jews.

    2. Yeah ole Meir, noone but a palestinian with a gun was after him... put a bullet in his head in NYC...


      Jews, safe as your beauty queen wife in a locked room with Bill Clinton.

    3. Ever self-reflect and ask yourselves, what is it about Jews that stir up so many people in so many places over so much time? A “Jerusalem we have a problem” moment.

    4. Is there some primitive socio-biological issue where the Jews stepped into it? Getting between a dog and his bone?

    5. Did the “West” miss something and do the same thing with Islam? Is there an Occam’s razor hiding in plain sight?

    6. A case in Point

      Israeli tourists have been the victims of a violent antisemitic attack in the southern Patagonia region of Argentina, which has led to the targeted hostel being closed down by its owners.

      The attackers screamed “You shit Jews, you are trying to take over Patagonia,” said Yoav Pollac, the 38-year-old owner of Onda Azul in the town of Lago Puelo, where many young Israeli backpackers stay.

      “They came in throwing stones, smashing windows. They chased after three cars in which some of our guests tried to escape and wrecked them. They injured me, my brother and my father, who is almost 70 years old,” Pollac said.

      The attack comes amid a growing hate campaign against Israeli tourists, who are described as Israeli soldiers by antisemitic groups in Patagonia. Authorities are increasingly concerned about the appearance of posters calling for a boycott of “Israeli military tourism” in the region.

      The young Israeli backpackers at Onda Azul were awoken in the early hours of Monday morning by a shotgun round fired against one of the hostel cabins. Three men, ranging in age from their 20s to their 40s, wielding broken bottles and large sticks, occupied the hostel for four hours.

      Six policemen who arrived on the scene 45 minutes into the attack had to withdraw unable to control the situation. Three of them were hospitalised with serious blows to the head. “One had his jaw broken and lost two teeth,” Pollac said.

      The antisemitic campaign has attracted the attention of the government’s National Institute Against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism (Inadi).

      “These anonymous deeds that try to generate a climate of persecution against Israelis or persons who profess the Jewish faith are worrying,” said Julio Accavallo, the Inadi delegate in the Patagonian city of Rio Negro.

      Pro-Nazi graffiti and the stamping of two-peso bills with the legend “Jews out of Patagonia” has also been reported by Inadi in the Patagonian ski resort of Bariloche, notorious for being a safe haven for Nazi fugitives after the second world war.

    7. Jewish Times
      Residents of small Guatemalan town want Jews to leave
      There are 10 Jewish families in San Juan La Laguna. Indigenous Mayans want to ‘defend their rights’ against the ‘ill will’ they’re purportedly causing
      BY NATALIE A. SCHACHAR May 28, 2014, 1:45 pm

      Read more: Residents of small Guatemalan town want Jews to leave | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/is-a-small-guatemalan-town-expelling-its-jews/#ixzz3PXX4kquR
      Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook

    8. Ryan Silver · Top Commenter
      Horrible article. These are the people that were also expelled from Canada and Israel and your calling them Jews ? Its a cult.
      I sometimes think you people at times of Israel are yourselves massive antisemites (or just real dumb?). Are you begging for Jew hatred to the point of fabrication? This is almost as bad as "The Jews are claiming rights to Led Zeppelin song" . Stop and think before publishing. You have a huge readership now. Maybe I should be your editor.
      Reply · · 5 · May 28, 2014 at 7:08am

  21. As to the Islamist killers, you can dispose of them anyway you see fit.

    1. Thanks. Many of us will not hesitate to do so.

    2. Just think of the news story at that Kosher market in France if ONE employee had a concealed carry...

      that's what it is going to take.

      The taking down of the terrorists by normal folks. On the spot with extreme prejudice. :)

    3. Will not happen in Europe.
      But then who really cares about Europe, other than Europeans?