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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Update on Ukraine talks


Latest update : 2015-02-12

The leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France will sign a document following all-night talks in Minsk on solving the Ukraine conflict, a diplomatic source told Reuters on Thursday.

The source would not provide details of the nature of the document.
The tortuous talks had dragged on till dawn as the four leaders tussled over a plan to end 10 months of conflict in east Ukraine that has killed over 5,400 people.
The negotiations opened on Wednesday evening with a brief handshake between arch-foes Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who were meeting for the first time since October.
The four-way meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande in the Belarusian capital was the climax of a frantic European diplomatic drive aimed at stopping the worst East-West crisis since the end of the Cold War from escalating.
Underscoring the urgency, the number of those reported killed in the hours before the make-or-break talks rose to at least 49 as rebels said another civilian was killed when a hospital in their bastion Donetsk was shelled as the leaders met, following the earlier deaths of 16 people in a devastating rocket attack.
“Today the peace process for Ukraine is all about Minsk and I hope that the meeting will fulfil our best expectations,” Poroshenko told host Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko ahead of the talks.
By 6 am local time (0300 GMT) the marathon negotiations had passed the ten-hour mark and the four leaders remained shut in an ornate meeting room in Minsk’s opulent presidential palace without their advisors.
“Everybody is yawning but they are still arguing,” a source close to one of the delegations told AFP shortly before the agreement was announced.
France’s Hollande had said prior to the meeting in Minsk that he and Merkel would “try everything right to the end” to try to get something from the last-ditch meeting.
Earlier, a senior Ukrainian diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity that the talks were making “progress” but also proving “very hard”.
'Too soon for ceasefire'
If the talks fail, US President Barack Obama has warned that Washington may decide to start providing arms to Ukraine, a step many European leaders have been desperately trying to avoid.
On Tuesday, Obama spoke to Putin by phone and sought to pressure him to rein in the rebels and embrace the chance for peace.
"If Russia continues its aggressive actions in Ukraine, including by sending troops, weapons, and financing to support the separatists, the costs for Russia will rise," the White House said.
Western diplomats, however, warn the warring sides remain deadlocked over key issues, and that there is no guarantee of reaching a conclusive accord that might end resurgent fighting.
"Nothing is certain yet, and holding a summit does not mean it will lead to success," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.
The plan to be discussed is based largely on flouted peace agreements between Kiev and the rebels in September. The hope is that, at minimum, a ceasefire to halt fighting that has killed hundreds of civilians in recent weeks can be agreed upon in Minsk.
In lower-level talks in the city on Tuesday ahead of the summit, the separatists submitted their settlement proposals but warned that "it is too soon to speak about a ceasefire".
A key sticking point is whether a new deal will extend rebel control over some 500-square kilometres of territory seized over the past month.
As the peace bid headed to the wire, fighting has raged on the ground with both sides trying to strengthen their hands at the negotiating table.
Ongoing violence
Just hours before the talks in Minsk were set to begin Wednesday, a shell hit a bus station in the centre of the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, killing at least one person.
At least 19 soldiers have also been killed in fighting in east Ukraine since early Tuesday, a Kiev defence official said on Wednesday, including five in a rocket attack on regional capital Kramatorsk.
"Nineteen soldiers were killed in the last 24 hours and 78 wounded," military spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov told journalists in Kiev, after officials had already announced the death of five troops in Tuesday's attack on Kramatorsk.
Insurgent fighters have been battling for weeks to take the key transport hub of Debaltseve, while Ukrainian forces on Tuesday captured ground around the key port city of Mariupol.
Kiev is desperate to get Putin – who has watched Western sanctions and low oil prices batter the Russian economy – to put pen to paper on a deal.
The former KGB spy has consistently told Kiev it needs to reach an agreement with the rebels, not with him.
Moscow is pushing for the separatist-held territories to be granted a large degree of autonomy, while Ukraine is demanding it gets control back over some 400 kilometres of its border with Russia.
Kiev and the West accuse Putin of pouring soldiers and troops into Ukraine to spearhead the insurgency, but Moscow flatly denies it is behind the fighting.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

147 comments:

  1. Ukraine’s president has warned that the separatist conflict in east Ukraine will spiral out of control if there is no de-escalation and ceasefire.

    Petro Poroshenko was speaking as he arrived in Minsk for talks with the leaders of Russia, France and Germany aimed at hammering out a new peace deal on Ukraine.

    “Either the situation goes down the road of de-escalation, ceasefire … or the situation goes out of control,” he said.

    With Washington warning Putin that the costs of failure at a summit in Belarus would starkly increase for Moscow, and Barack Obama describing the Russian leader as a KGB veteran nostalgic for the days of Soviet empire, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the French president, François Hollande, as well as Poroshenko and Putin, went to Minsk to haggle over the details of a proposed ceasefire and the status of the pro-Russia separatist region of eastern Ukraine.

    “There is a glimmer of hope, but no more,” said Merkel’s spokesman, as European leaders played down hopes of a breakthrough.



    Both sides redoubled their efforts on Wednesday to control key territory in the contested region around Donetsk and Luhansk, since a new demilitarised zone was a key element being negotiated in Minsk. More than 20 people were killed.

    The number ocasualties has jumped as a result of the intensification of the conflict, which has claimed at least 5,400 lives. The United Nations reported 263 civilians were killed between 31 January and 5 February.

    Poroshenko was reported to have told a government meeting in Kiev that he would not flinch from declaring martial law in Ukraine if the peace talks collapsed and resulted in an escalation of the conflict.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep, that's what the US should be doing, not a whole lot.
    Letting the Europeans deal with the problems of Europe

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ben Carson For President

    "What this country needs is a great brain surgeon"

    Vote Ben 2016

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thje Roosians are breaking into someone else's house.

    The Roosians should not be doing this.

    The Roosians have no right to do this.

    We should send lethal arms to the Ukrainians so they have a chance of chasing the burglars away.

    If your house was being broken into by Roosians would you not appreciate a little help ?

    If your Limo, Duece, was being broken into by Roosians, wouldn't you like a little help shooing them away ?

    What about your very bedroom ?

    What if a Roosian was snoring in you very bed ?

    What would you feel then ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, the Russians are not breaking into someone elses house, there was a coup in Kiev and an illegitimate government installed, from the perspective of those in the eastern part of the country

      Delete
  5. ISIS is gaining more recruits each month than they are losing in battle.

    Rufus is FULL OF SHIT.

    Deuce says "We must do something".

    But what?

    I've outlined my program - help the Kurds.

    What program does Deuce recommend ?

    In the 'conflict zone' ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your outline was for the US to invade Iraq, again.

      To sacrifice US blood to protect 'clit clippers'.

      The discovery of widespread FGM in Iraqi Kurdistan suggests the assumption to be incorrect that FGM is primarily an African phenomenon with only marginal occurrence in the eastern Islamic world. FGM is practiced at a rate of nearly 60 percent by Iraqi Kurds, then how prevalent is the practice in neighboring Syria where living conditions and cultural and religious practices are comparable?

      Why should a single US soldier die to protect this horrid cultural practice,
      Answer US that Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson

      Delete
  6. I await a cogent, I hope, reply.

    A

    B

    C

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yemen is in utter chaos.

    This is another victory for the "Rufus foreign policy".

    Th US Embassy has been evacuated.

    Another victory for the Floppy Ears Foreign Policy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. :)

    Deuce ?

    The entire world awaits your solution....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should have been :(

      not :).

      :(:(:(:(

      Delete
  9. Deuce just rumbles and bumbles.

    He has, obviously, no real solution to anything.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is not obvious what the best solution is. Hotspur failed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. It is obvious that our reactions and actions over the past, with our ignorant politicians, our mercenary military and our missionary foreign policy has been a total ignominious disaster.

    We made China stronger, our middle class weaker and killed and wounded more people for nothing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We were a prime motivating force for ISIS. Our personal freedoms are in shambles. Government and the police have been more militarized beyond recognition. Washington is detached from us: US. The politicians are no longer ours but are owned by their foreign and corporate masters.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I’ll contemplate while you celebrate the genius of Lincoln.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hotspur was brought home too soon. It may have been best that he were never sent but he was brought home too soon.

    Our personal freedoms may be in a shambles but it is our own lazy fault.

    We need to legislate. It is not impossible.

    Lincoln made possible a wonderful man like Ben Carson.

    Let's celebrate that progress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or would you rather have Ben pour your tea?

      Delete
    2. "I say, boy, a little more tea for the Lady."

      Delete
    3. As you die of brain cancer.

      Delete
    4. .

      Stop, Bob.

      Go take your meds.

      Now.

      .

      Delete
  15. There is only one way to non-violently hurt the enemies of the people and the nation of the United States of America.

    DEVELOP natural gas and convert the USA truck, bus and car usage to LP and export for sale it to all freedom seeking nations.

    Just this one thing, would drive the price of oil down to a level that would make middle eastern, iranian, russian and other's that hate us to an unprofitable level.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Some interesting photos in the winners of World Press Photo contest:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/multimedia/winner-of-the-2015-world-press-photos-contest/article22941805/

    ReplyDelete
  17. WASHINGTON - US-led forces hit Islamic State targets in Iraq with 12 air strikes and three air strikes in Syria since on Wednesday, the US military said.


    Four strikes near Mosul and three near Kirkuk hit Islamic State tactical units, bulldozers, vehicles, buildings and heavy machine guns, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement on Thursday. It said that the other strikes hit tactical units in Makhmur and Tal Afar, a mortar position near al Asad and earthen berms used to control water near Falluja.


    The strikes in Syria destroyed six militant fighting positions near Kobani and multiple oil pump jacks near al Hasaka, the statement said.

    More Dead Men - No Longer Walking

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It looks like the ground offensive is going to start in Northern Iraq (Mosul, Kirkuk.)

      Delete
    2. After they train the new Army.

      4 1/2 months left till July 4th, 2015....................

      Tick, tick, tick.......

      Delete
    3. Meanwhile, Assad with 50 t72 tanks is seeping up towards the israel border with hundreds of Shia Iraq Fights, Hezbollah troops and Iranian revolutionary guard commanders.....

      Hezbollah gave a speech vowing to put a Hezbollah/Iranian base on the Golan Heights regardless of whether Israel approves or not....

      the attack is named after the Iranian General that was killed 2 weeks ago while on the Golan Heights, with other commanders of Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guards that were planning attacks on Israel from Syrian territories.

      Also today, another Iranian proxy, in Yemen, took control of the US embassy.....

      Now Iran has 3 arab capitals it controls...

      Delete
    4. .

      ...with hundreds of Shia Iraq Fights...

      One would think they were busy with other matters at the moment.

      .

      Delete
    5. One would think, but they are the property of Iran. They do as their masters instruct

      Delete
    6. .

      Ridiculous.

      Check under your bed for those Iranians before you turn off the light tonight.

      .

      Delete
    7. .

      Iraq is trying to get their army up to speed to take back Mosul and Falluga and to defend other areas and you think they are going to be taking troops away from that effort to be sending forces to harass Israel.

      That's like rat suggesting that Baghdad would send their army to Kobane to help the Syrian Kurds.

      .

      Delete
    8. Quirk, Iraqi Shiias, Hezbollah and Iranians are fighting in Syria.

      Why is that so hard for you to understand?

      Delete
    9. Quirk, did I SAY IRAQI ARMY?

      No I said Iraqi Shiias.

      there are tens of thousand of shiite militias in iraq, all with sworn allegiance to iran.

      stop playing checkers man...

      it's CHESS

      Delete
    10. The majority of those militias are part of the Iraqi Security Forces.

      The US Marines are not in the US Army, either

      Delete
    11. Nor is the National Guard, although they are an integral part of the US Security Forces.
      Often deployed with and under the command of the Army.

      As is the USMC.

      Delete
  18. "Robert McNamara's 11 lessons from Vietnam:

    From Robert McNamara's 1995 book "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam".[9]

    1.We misjudged then — and we have since — the geopolitical intentions of our adversaries … and we exaggerated the dangers to the United States of their actions.

    2.We viewed the people and leaders of South Vietnam in terms of our own experience … We totally misjudged the political forces within the country.

    3.We underestimated the power of nationalism to motivate a people to fight and die for their beliefs and values.

    4.Our misjudgments of friend and foe, alike, reflected our profound ignorance of the history, culture, and politics of the people in the area, and the personalities and habits of their leaders.

    5.We failed then — and have since — to recognize the limitations of modern, high-technology military equipment, forces, and doctrine. We failed, as well, to adapt our military tactics to the task of winning the hearts and minds of people from a totally different culture.

    6.We failed to draw Congress and the American people into a full and frank discussion and debate of the pros and cons of a large-scale military involvement … before we initiated the action.

    7.After the action got under way, and unanticipated events forced us off our planned course … we did not fully explain what was happening, and why we were doing what we did.

    8.We did not recognize that neither our people nor our leaders are omniscient. Our judgment of what is in another people's or country's best interest should be put to the test of open discussion in international forums. We do not have the God-given right to shape every nation in our image or as we choose.

    9.We did not hold to the principle that U.S. military action … should be carried out only in conjunction with multinational forces supported fully (and not merely cosmetically) by the international community.

    10.We failed to recognize that in international affairs, as in other aspects of life, there may be problems for which there are no immediate solutions … At times, we may have to live with an imperfect, untidy world.

    11.Underlying many of these errors lay our failure to organize the top echelons of the executive branch to deal effectively with the extraordinarily complex range of political and military issues."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fog_of_War

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      With old age comes wisdom.

      Well, sometimes.

      Occasionally?

      .

      Delete
    2. Nothing has changed, except Washington is more greedy, arrogant and ignorant.

      Delete
  19. The 'new' Iraqi army is still 'practicing' without bullets........

    And they are thinking of storming Mosul..........

    With General Rufus in the lead, carrying the flag..........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tick tick tick the clock continues to tick tick tick...

      Delete
    2. Mosul is a big place.

      Over a million.

      They have had forever to look to their defenses.

      They can fight block by block.......

      Delete
  20. One must admire McNamara for going on his mea culpa tour.

    He was right, they had no idea what they were doing, and he admitted it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad I was able to stay out of it by going to college and reading Shakespeare and then getting a high draft number in the lottery.

      I had no more business over there than Rufus, who has admitted he had Zero business over there.

      I respect those that went and fought.

      I also respect those who did not.

      It was a very confusing time.

      Stay on the ranch or farm, if you can.



      Delete
  21. McNamara was of those termed 'the best and the brightest' at the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He certainly had well combed hair.

      Delete
  22. Fox News is saying we are pulling out of Yemen.

    Calling it creating 'a window of vulnerability'.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Replies
    1. Other than in Iraq, no lives of US troops have been lost.
      No government that the US supported has been lost.

      In Yemen, the government that resigned, was not a US client or ally.
      It did allow the US to operate in Yemen, the new government probably will, as well.

      Delete
    2. In Ukraine there was also a coup that deposed the 'legitimate' government ...

      Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson does not list that potential quagmire, the one that the US has, thus far, avoided.
      Though it did cause the current conflict there, by supporting the coup.

      Delete
  24. Oh, and we're all going to die of Ebola.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That, of course, is the great thing about being a headcutter; you're virtually guaranteed Not to die of Ebola.

      Delete
  25. .

    One must admire McNamara for going on his mea culpa tour.

    Geez, Bob, you are an English Lit major. Show me where he has ever said it was his fault in more than just a collective sense. The pronoun 'I' doesn't seem to be in the man's vocabulary. It is always 'we' failed and 'our' misjudgment. When asked about whose responsibility the war was, he says the president's. It's as if he was just a cog in the wheel rather than one of the 'best and the brightest'.

    .

    .

    ReplyDelete
  26. .

    Though you may disagree with Biden, it's hard to dislike the guy.

    Biden Calls Out His Old 'Butt Buddy'

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One hand off away from the nuclear button.

      So restful................

      :(

      Delete
  27. O well have it your way, Quirk.

    Sounds like he 'fessed up' to me but I will leave it there.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Iraqi Shiites join Syria war - this from 2013

    On his Facebook page, Saad al-Matlabi — a member of the Baghdad Provincial Council from the State of Law Coalition — appeared happy to see a video showing the arrival of a leader of the Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, Mohammad al-Tabatabai, to fight in Syria.

    Matlabi commented on the video, “May God greet everyone who cares about our holy places, may God have mercy on the soul of our martyrs and may God bless all resistors fighting terrorism and al-Qaeda.”

    Immediately after the outbreak of fighting between the Syrian opposition and the regime in 2011, the former accused Sadrist leader Muqtada al-Sadr of sending fighters to Syria to support the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. But the Iraqi government quickly denied that Sadr was involved in the Syrian crisis, emphasizing, “Iraq is keen not to be a party to the conflict in Syria.”

    After more than two years of fighting between the opposition and the Syrian regime, and the evolution of the conflict into a civil war in some areas in Syria, the Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki acknowledged that Shiite militias are fighting in Syria on the side of the Assad regime. But Iraq has repeatedly denied that this is happening as part of “Iraqi government policy,” according to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.



    Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/10/iraqi-shiites-join-syrian-war.html##ixzz3RZyelNTJ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hezbollah, Syrian forces and Iranian officers approach Israeli border in fight against rebels

      The Syrian forces were attempting to gain control of the area from rebels such as the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, who have made advances in southern Syrian in recent months.

      Hezbollah, Syrian army forces and Iranian officers have drawn close to the border with Israel in the Golan Heights in their fight against Syrian rebels, AFP reported on Wednesday, citing state media reports and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

      "Regime troops and their Hezbollah-led allies are advancing in the area linking Daraa, Quneitra and Damascus provinces," the Observatory stated.

      "The operation launched by the Syrian army is being fought in cooperation with... Hezbollah and Iran," a Syrian army officer told state television, in what AFP reported was the first time that Syrian television had acknowledged such cooperation.

      The Syrian forces were attempting to gain control of the area from rebels such as the Nusra Front, al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate, who have made advances in southern Syrian in recent months.

      Six Hezbollah operatives and six Iranians, including a general were killed last month in an air strike in the Golan Heights in Syria that was widely attributed to Israel.


      Now Quirk, look under your bed, for your brains.

      Delete
  29. I rely on the idea that the use of the word 'we' includes Bobby his very self.

    Think what you will..........

    ReplyDelete
  30. MISST - More Israeli State Sponsored Thievery

    HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israel has earmarked around 2,000 dunams (500 acres) of private Palestinian land for annexation in the Hebron district, local activists say.
    Muhammad al-Halayqa, an activist in the village of al-Shuyukh northeast of Hebron, told Ma’an that Israel’s Civil Administration has posted warning notices on the land slated for confiscation.
    The land belongs to the al-Halayqa, Rasna, and al-Hasasna families.
    The Mayor of al-Shuyukh, Sharif al-Halayqa, says Israeli forces have prevented locals from accessing their land, adding that the areas slated for confiscation are likely going to be used for settlement building.
    The village council will liaise with Palestinian officials and legal groups to try to prevent the annexation.
    A spokesperson from the Israeli Civil Administration told Ma’an that the land in question was designated as “state land.”
    On Jan. 27, an Israeli court issued an order to confiscate hundreds of dunams of land northwest of Hebron in the village of Beit Ula. The land is located in Area C, under full Israeli security and administrative control.
    Last December, Israeli authorities declared a vast area of private Palestinian land in the northern Jordan Valley a closed military zone in preparation to confiscate the land, an official said.
    Ribhi al-Khandaqji, the governor of the Tubas district, said in a statement that the land was located in the Ein al-Sakut area and measured about 10,000 dunams (2,500 acres).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 500 whole hundred acres?

      How many acres of Hebron land did those same families STEAL from the Jews they murdered in the 1920s?

      Delete
    2. The Hebron massacre refers to the killing of sixty-seven Jews (including 23 college students) on 24 August 1929 in Hebron, by Arabs The event also left scores seriously wounded or maimed. Jewish homes were pillaged and synagogues were ransacked. Soon after, all Hebron's Jews were evacuated by the British authorities. Many returned in 1931, but almost all were evacuated at the outbreak of the 1936–39 Arab revolt in Palestine. The massacre formed part of the 1929 Palestine riots and brought the centuries-old Jewish presence in Hebron to an end.

      Of course, Jews have lived in Hebron for almost 3600 years, the arabs are recent to the area.

      Delete
    3. So if the Arab come in and steal the Jew's land, subjugate them for centuries, then slaughter them and drive them out, if Jews come back in 18 years later and declare the open lands "state lands" how is that theft?

      Can you steal your property back from thieves?

      Delete
    4. Now the arabs? Have stolen or conquered almost the entire middle east.

      899/900th of it...

      a point of fact never refuted.

      why should Israel not have it's 1/900th?

      unless the arabs are in fact the greedy bastards they seem to be...

      not enough to ethnically cleanse the 899/900th of all Jews that live there for more than 2000 LONGER than the arabs, but now? Tiny little Israel has 20% arab citizens..

      But how dare Jews build in their historic lands?

      Check your bible...

      it's not the "west bank" it's Judea and Samaria....

      Delete
    5. .

      Check your bible...

      Daffy.

      .

      Delete
    6. The Arabs/Moslems accept that the Jews are the People of the Book, it's only been 50 years that the current meme that the Jews don't belong here has been populated

      Delete
    7. .

      Daffy is claiming land rights based on some verbal contract between an itinerant sheep herder and an omnipotent being whereby that omnipotent being promises the shepherd land that belongs to other peoples based evidently on the presumption that the omnipotent being being omnipotent can do pretty much whatever he wants; and this contract is detailed for the People of the Book in the Bible, a book written over a thousand year period by unknown authors based on oral history going back thousands of years before a guy named Moses wrote the first part.

      .

      Delete
    8. .

      Sounds like you have a rock solid case there.

      .

      Delete
  31. Real median annual household income has shown some improvement since the low point in our household income series that occurred in August 2011. Median income in December 2014 ($54,417) was 3.3 percent higher than in December 2013 ($52,692), and 5.7 percent higher than in August 2011 ($51,459). The period since August 2011 has been marked by an uneven, but generally upward trend in the level of real median annual household income. Many of the month-to-month changes in median income during this period have not been statistically significant. However, the cumulative effect of the various month-to-

    Some Improvement

    ReplyDelete
  32. We'll return to the larger agenda behind the challenge. But first, a quick observation about interest groups that aren't urging the destruction of Obamacare.




    Large corporate lobbying outfits, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, often file "friend of the court," or amicus, briefs in Supreme Court cases affecting business and the economy. This time, they haven't joined the assault on Obamacare. The reason can be inferred from the amicus briefs of more narrowly focused insurance and health-care interests that have filed to support the White House. With a significant portion of its constituency urging the justices to leave Obamacare in place, the Chamber couldn't very well join the attack. (In response to my inquiry, the Chamber promised to comment on its non-filing but hadn't done so as of publication).

    Among those filing amicus briefs defending health reform are HCA, the American Hospital Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, the National Alliance of State Health Co-ops, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the American Cancer Society, and the National Association of Community Health Centers. The insurance and medical industries share the administration's goal of seeing millions more people covered because that translates into millions more customers seeking the services of carriers, hospitals, and doctors.

    Beyond additional customers, health-care businesses argue that they also care about consumer welfare. "We will not mince words," the American Hospital Association declares in its brief. The plaintiffs' position, "if accepted, would be a disaster for millions of lower- and middle-income Americans. The ACA's subsidies have made it possible for more than 9 million men, women, and children to have health coverage—some for the first time in years; some, no doubt, for the first time in their lives. That coverage allows them to go to the doctor when they are sick, and to do so without fear that the resulting bill could leave them in financial distress."

    On the other . . . . .

    Bloomberg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      The insurance and medical industries share the administration's goal of seeing millions more people covered because that translates into millions more customers seeking the services of carriers, hospitals, and doctors.

      Of course, they do. It's a honey pot for them.

      Whenever I write about Obamacare's expansion of health insurance, most of the e-mails I get from readers include some version of: Sure, the premiums may be low, but who can afford to see a doctor?

      A survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation, tracking 2015 deductibles and copayments across most exchange plans, says those complaints are at least half right. For all but the most generous Obamacare plans, out-of-pocket payments are usually higher than for employer-based insurance -- in some cases, drastically so...


      http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-02-11/yep-obamacare-costs-a-fortune

      .

      Delete
  33. The arab world is 3,264,000,000 acres.

    that's over 3 BILLION acres.

    Most of it stolen from other peoples....

    Deuce bitches about Israel "taking" 500 acres of state lands back from local arabs who claim it...

    The arabs stole over 3 billion acres, millions from the jews...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which jews, where?
      Names and locations are required, or you are just rambling

      Delete
    2. Jack, how is the home you live in? Still living stolen Indiian lands?

      Do you KNOW the names of the people you stole it from?

      otherwise you are just rambling..

      Delete
  34. That’s how it is with the chosin bulldozin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about Manifest Destiny ?

      Where are the Injuns in Philly ?

      Neither the long gone Injuns in Philly, nor the Philly-ites have ever written a truly great book.

      That is only for the literate.

      Of which you are not one.

      Before the Creation, there was.....

      O well, you are not listening.

      Delete
    2. The One broke into the Many............

      An old old story............

      Delete
    3. .

      What are you rambling about?

      .

      Delete
    4. See below: pics of Blake

      Delete
    5. .

      Man you are deep into it tonight.

      .

      Delete
  35. What I want to know is there more evidence to come out ? Is there a silent witness out there ? Will it all be litigated ? What about Twitter ? Is anyone going to touch this with the longest stick ? Who is in hiding ? Who is honing the message ? Are there spies inside the camp ? Did Bill have a hard on with a 15 year old ? Where was Quirk during the time period in question ? Where was Deuce ? Rufus ? Ash ? How close to Wall Street does this go ? Why are they distancing themselves from the Republican Party ? Is it a slam dunk ?

    Inquiring minds wish to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob, you can be accused of many thing and have been, but an “inquiring mind”? No.

      Delete
  36. And just where was The Great Deuce when The Lord laid the parameters of the Creation ?

    hmmmm ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pictures of William Blake -

      https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrTcdJfn91Umr4A6mcnnIlQ;_ylu=X3oDMTB0c2puYm1xBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2dxMQR2dGlkA1lIUzAwM18x?_adv_prop=image&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&sz=all&va=william+blake&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

      Delete
    2. .

      And just where was The Great Deuce when The Lord laid the parameters of the Creation ?

      He was operating the compass and the transit.

      .

      Delete
  37. Tom Hurndall's death. Tom was a 21-year-old British student and photographer who went to Gaza in 2003. On April 11, he watched as children playing nearby suddenly came under Israeli rifle fire. Most of the children fled, but three of them, aged four to seven, froze with fear. Tom rushed one to safety. When he returned for two little girls, an Israeli sniper shot him in the head.

    Israeli officials delayed his transport to specialized medical care for over two and a half hours. Tom remained in a vegetative state until his death 9 months later. Learn more: http://cnif.us/1FQZAUb

    Watch an extremely moving report from a British TV news team that went to the scene shortly after his shooting: http://cnif.us/17EgBl3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tom was an activist.

      Thomas "Tom" Hurndall (27 November 1981 – 13 January 2004) was a British photography student, a volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), and an activist against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. On 11 April 2003, he was shot in the head in the Gaza Strip by an Arab Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sniper, Taysir Hayb. Hurndall was left in a coma and died nine months later.

      Hayb was convicted of manslaughter and obstruction of justice by an Israeli military court in April 2005 and sentenced to eight years in prison.[1] On 10 April 2006, a British inquest jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing meaning "illegally killed", or, in the opinion of the Hurndall family's QC, "murdered".[2][3]


      Sounds like Israeli justice sentenced the Arab of the IDF to jail.

      Maybe if you go to a war zone? Where you don't belong? You might not like the consequences....

      Delete
  38. Deuce ☂Fri Feb 13, 12:26:00 AM EST
    That’s how it is with the chosin bulldozin.

    Pure racism, but you know that...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The chosin are activist racists, but we already know that.

      Delete
  39. .

    The AUMF Obama has requested from Congress is basically a a confused blank check from a president whose Bush-lite foreign policy is insufficient to the goals he has set.

    It sucks on many levels.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps, then, the Republicans that control the Congress will not pass it.

      Then Mr Obama will be left with the AUMF of September 14, 2001, which is already a blank check.

      Delete
    2. .

      Don't be silly, rat. Of course, the GOP will pass it. They may push to make it a more bellicose document but it fits perfectly with their guiding principles, it once again offers a weasel-worded authorization for perpetual war without constraint on either geography or who can be attacked. It is a blank check. The MIC will love it.

      If anything, the GOP input may drive the document wording to a closer match between means and objectives which IMO will not necessarily be a good thing.

      Obama's foreign policy strategy as reflected in his latest request looks like something out of Hamlet. It reflects a confused individual driven by politics unwilling to match means to objectives yet unwilling to yield power previously provided the office by the dolts in Congress.

      .

      Delete
    3. I don't see the "perpetual war" in it - isn't it supposed to last just 3 years and then have to be renewed? It seems a pretty good feature in my books.

      Delete
    4. .

      Perhaps, you are just inattentive Ash. Perhaps, you are unfamiliar with Obama. Perhaps, you are unfamiliar with the entire request.

      That particular feature of his request was a throwaway. First, it is self-serving. Obama is now able to say he suggested a time limit on the authorization; however, that is actually a meaningless sop thrown to those who have campaigned against the open-ended nature of the original AUMF's issued in 2001 and 2002.

      It is meaningless because Obama, going in, has stated that he doesn't need this authorization. This is merely a political ploy to show unanimity on the war effort going forward. He already has the 2001 AUMF which he has expanded way beyond its initial intent. Oh, Obama mouths support for modifying and eventually doing away with that initial authorization but then how many times have we seen Obama say something only to see his opinions on that subject eventually 'evolve', change because of 'circumstances'. It is hard to imagine any president willingly giving up any power granted to the office. Basically, what Obama is doing is asking for a further expansion of his war-making powers.

      That is not to say there is no value in the fact that Obama is now requesting authorization for this new adventure. First, although late to the party, he is at least following the law. In addition, it is likely that the request will launch an extended debate on our policies in Iraq/Syria and also on the powers Congress grants to the president and how they are interpreted by the WH. Finally, while a little far-fetched, there might even be some good that comes out of this exercise. Perhaps, there are a few islands of sanity in Congress that can force some limits on the insanity.

      .

      Delete
    5. If you accept that the 2001 AUMF is valid authorization for the current action, then no, he doesn't need this new AUMF. I don't think the current AUMF is valid but what can I do about it?

      I think they should grant the new AUMF and rescind the 2001 AUMF. I think Obama is challenging them to do this. The poor little congress critters are being bullied by Obama, as they need be. It'll be interesting to see how they respond.

      Delete
  40. E-mail from Niece today.

    Who cares about foreign policy when one has a Niece at the Max Planck Institute of Brain Research in Dresden, Germany?

    There are lots of wonderful young people out there....and she is among the very best of them......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The irony of it all, Bob, is she isn't even your Niece, now is she?

      Delete
    2. Adopted, mutually adopted, Ash.

      Best kind of Niece ever....

      :)

      Delete
    3. Did I ever mention she is a fantastic looking Hindu with the best brain on the planet and a heart of pure gold ?

      Delete
  41. BobFri Feb 13, 01:33:00 AM EST
    What about Manifest Destiny ?

    Where are the Injuns in Philly ?

    Neither the long gone Injuns in Philly, nor the Philly-ites have ever written a truly great book.

    That is only for the literate.

    Of which you are not one.


    In this tense climate, the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia with the intention of voting for independence from England. In anticipation of this vote, the Congress selected a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The committee, composed of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman, in turn instructed Thomas Jefferson to write the declaration.

    Jefferson began his work on June 11 and toiled in seclusion writing a number of drafts. After presenting his final draft, the committee further revised the document and submitted it to the Continental Congress on June 28. On July 2, the Continental Congress voted for independence and refined its Declaration of Independence before releasing it to the public on July 4th.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson refuses to acknowledge history.

      He cannot learn from it, so it does not matter, to him.

      Delete
    2. As wonderful as that secular political document may be, and it is up to us to keep it, I'll take the Bible in my right hand. It has an arc of meaning that makes the heart beat.

      One can, for instance, with Abraham, argue with the Master of the Universe.

      Which is no small argument, after all.

      Delete
    3. No literally, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      Delete
    4. Not literally, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      Delete
    5. You keep your bible and your rapture. I’ll keep Hubble and science.

      Delete
    6. One can, for instance, with Abraham, argue with the Master of the Universe.

      Idiotic nonsense. A babbling psychopathic arguing in terms of a slave/ master relationship within a universe that is 13.7 billion years old on a planet around a star that is one of a hundred billion stars in a galaxy that is one of a 100 billion galaxies. This psycho babble occurred in a field 3000 years ago in an era with bronze tools, with the master of the universe who’s was asleep at the wheel for 13.7 billion years? It is stupid beyond belief.

      Delete
    7. Ignorant horse shit and people kill and die over such astonishingly simplistic crap.

      Delete
    8. God says, “Abraham, I have entire galactic clusters colliding into each other taking out planets and stars by the billions but I am really worried and concerned if you love enough. Maybe I’m just having a bad day and thought we needed to talk. Just to show me you care, grab your son, let’s seriously fuck him up and carve his dumb ass. By the way, the foreskins on your male servants have been giving me some major angina. Handle it. "

      Your Master and Lord.

      Delete
  42. Fuck off, rat.

    You are an idiot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. rat dominates your mind of mush, what's left of it.Fri Feb 13, 11:24:00 AM EST

      We all know it's true

      That desert rat character, now he has developed a real depth of interest, amongst some of the contributors, here.

      Delete
    2. Bob looks forward to desert rat's writings ...

      rat has retired from doing any significant posting.
      It may have become tiresome, for him.

      bobal Mon Sep 01, 05:20:00 PM EDT

      Rat's a gentleman.

      With his own way of thinking about things.

      Habu has his own way of thinking about things too, but is so corrosive, that after a while you don't want to read him anymore.

      While with Rat, you are always eager to hear what he has to say.

      http://2164th.blogspot.com/2008/09/progressives-reveal-their-motivation.html


      {;-)

      Delete
  43. Replies
    1. While with Rat, you are always eager to hear what he has to say.
      bobal Mon Sep 01, 05:20:00 PM EDT - http://2164th.blogspot.com/2008/09/progressives-reveal-their-motivation.html

      Delete
    2. Really, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson ...
      Your own words illustrate that you are either a liar, or your mind of mush, it is confused.

      Anonymous has your number, no doubt.

      Delete
    3. You do, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, have an observable decline in your cognitive ability, from 2006 through to today.
      It is very evident when reading the archives.

      The decline accelerated after October of 2008, a steady decline in your writings. Illustrative of your losses.
      They have been "realized"

      You should seek professional help, ASAP.

      Delete
    4. The turning point seems to be that incident involving your daughter.

      Delete
    5. That is when you started with the incestuous fantasies, with the 'nieces'.

      Get professional help, Robert, before you sink any lower.

      Delete
    6. .

      Get professional help, Robert, before you sink any lower.

      This from a blogger who posts under various persona and who often actually has one of his persona reflecting on his other personas. This reflects an anima with some serious issues.

      Get professional help, rat, before you sink any lower.

      .

      Delete
    7. Rat remains a figment of your imagination, LegionnaireFri Feb 13, 12:43:00 PM EST

      .

      Delete
    8. “A truth that's told with bad intent
      Beats all the lies 'they' can invent.”
      ― William Blake

      Delete
    9. An apology, sincerely written, of course, is all that it would take to satisfy the requirements for a 'Cease Fire'.

      Without that apology, the low level conflict will continue, the archives will be mined for nuggets of truthiness.

      {;-).

      Delete
    10. .

      Rat remains a figment of your imagination, Legionnaire

      Funny that, especially when Jack and Anon and all the other little rat personas respond to comments about their alter ego, even put up posts about him, while all the while insisting he is a figment of 'other people's' imagination.

      Seriously weird.

      Seriously funny, though troubling.

      .

      Delete
    11. .

      Without that apology, the low level conflict will continue, the archives will be mined for nuggets of truthiness.

      The puerile pursuits of the juvenile mind, childish and petty.

      And unsurprising.

      .

      Delete
    12. Well, there you have it.
      The demand has remained constant, as has the lack of cooperation from Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson.

      The game goes on, until the field closes or he complies with what is just and right.

      Delete
    13. That there could be incremental escalation, almost most a guarantee.

      There are multiple buttons to push, they are all in the archives.

      Nothing that I wrote, but there are many things there to quote.

      Delete
    14. .

      Look at your last few posts.

      The ramblings of a troubled mind.

      It is obvious Obumble got into your head. By refusing to do anything, he draws you on like a puppet.

      .

      Delete
    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    16. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    17. Jack, you going to apologize to the owners of Chocolate Emporium for stalking them for almost a decade

      Delete
    18. .

      The worst part, of course, is having somebody like Bob in your head.

      :o)

      .

      Delete
    19. No, it provides me with an entertaining and pretty mindless diversion from work.

      {;-)

      Delete
    20. Well you are a mindless diversion...

      Who knew shoveling shit would be so mentally taxing for you...

      Delete
    21. Because I know he will not apologize, but leaving the opportunity there for him to end it ...

      That gnaws on him.

      Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson has asked for what he calls 'name calling' to end, but refuses to pay the price.
      It is entertaining for me, do not think it is for him.

      Not that it matters, because I enjoy reading the archives, enjoy catching the Dimwitted Duo in their lies, and then posting them. Finding it a distraction from the 'real world'. Better than TV, Dancing with the Stars or Brian Williams.

      Delete
    22. .

      No, it provides me with an entertaining and pretty mindless diversion from work.

      Well, no doubt you are qualified for the activity.

      .

      Delete
  44. .

    Joe Scarborough rips Howard Dean for his elitist comments on Scott Walker's qualifications based on the lack of a college degree.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/02/12/howard_dean_bashes_scott_walker_for_not_having_a_college_degree_calls_him_unknowledgeable.html

    .

    ReplyDelete
  45. (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces on Friday repelled an attack by Islamic State insurgents against an air base in Anbar province where U.S. Marines are training Iraqi troops, Iraqi and U.S. military officials said.

    Militants from the jihadist group had attacked the Ain al-Asad base and the nearby town of al-Baghdadi a day earlier, leading to sporadic clashes in the town overnight.

    Al-Baghdadi has been besieged for months by Islamic State, which captured swathes of northern and western Iraq last year, prompting a campaign of U.S.-led air strikes and the deployment of hundreds of U.S. military advisers to the country.

    A U.S. defence official said the Iraqi forces had stopped the attack and re-secured the facility.

    "Coalition forces were several kilometres from the attack and at no stage were they under direct threat from this action," the official said.

    About 320 U.S. Marines are training members of the Iraqi 7th Division at the base, which has been struck by mortar fire on at least one previous occasion since December.

    Iraq's Defence Ministry said on its website the Iraqi army killed eight assailants near the base, which is about 85 km (50 miles) northwest of Ramadi.

    An Iraqi military official in Baghdad told Reuters the insurgents had taken advantage of a lull in the air strikes caused by poor weather to launch the offensive.

    He said Islamic State had been cleared from most of al-Baghdadi, with the remaining fighting centred around a police station.

    That conflicted with reports from a tribal leader who said the jihadists were still in control of much of the town.

    Ongoing clashes and poor communications in the area made it difficult to confirm such reports.

    ReplyDelete
  46. We Palestinians hold the key to a better future

    I am a proud Palestinian who grew up in a refugee camp and raised a large family. I want peace and prosperity for my people. I want an end to the misery and the destruction.

    After 66 years of mistakes and missed opportunities, it is time for us Palestinians to create the conditions for peace and to work for a better future. It is time that we stopped pretending that we can destroy Israel or drive the Jews into the sea. It is time that we stopped listening to Muslim radicals or Arab regimes that use us to continue a pointless, destructive, and immoral war with Israel.

    Our sad state of affairs

    Let’s be realistic. We Palestinians are not doing well.

    In Gaza, our schools are controlled by Muslim fanatics who indoctrinate our children, and Hamas uses our civilians as human shields in a losing battle against Israel. Hamas maintains power through violence, and it ensures that money is spent on its arsenal rather than on making the Palestinians’ lives better. While President Abbas is quick to denounce Israel whenever it attacks Hamas, he has absolutely no ability to stop Hamas from provoking Israel.

    In the West Bank, while Abbas has been incapable of stopping the construction of Israeli settlements, the only good jobs are with Israeli companies, and the BDS (Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment) movement is doing its best to take those jobs away from us. Abbas runs a corrupt dictatorship that uses international funds to consolidate its own administration rather than to develop the Palestinian economy.

    In East Jerusalem, the PA is so mistrusted that most Palestinians would prefer to live under Israeli rule than under PA rule, and yet some of us seem unable to live in peace with the Jews.

    In Palestinian camps in Arab countries, our human rights are constantly being violated, and we are simply used by our Arab hosts to further their own goals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The facts about Israel

      Despite what we tell ourselves, Israel is here to stay. What’s more, it has a right to exist. It is the nation of the Jews but also a nation for Israeli Arabs who have better lives than Arabs anywhere in Arab countries. We must accept these facts and move on. The antisemitism promoted by Hamas, Fatah, and the BDS movement is not the answer for us Palestinians.

      The answer is to live in peace and democracy, side by side with Israel. We missed many opportunities to do that. We missed it in 1947 when Arab regimes encouraged us to refuse the UN partition plan. We missed it between 1948 and 1967 when we refused to create a state next to Israel. We missed it again every time after that when we refused a two-state solution presented to us.

      Yet we know that Israelis want to live in peace, and that the vast majority of Israelis are friendly and neighborly. We know that Palestinian violence results in Israelis being discouraged about peace and electing ever more right-wing governments. We know that Egypt was able to secure a very favorable peace deal with Israel because Egypt agreed to accept Israel and to give up on violence. We know that the soft approach works with Israel, and yet we continue to use violence and extremist rhetoric.

      Israel will never accept a large influx of Palestinians that would change the Jewish character of Israel. This means that insisting on the return of millions of refugees into Israel is pure delusion. In addition to this, the villages that we tell Palestinian refugees that they will one day return to no longer exist. We are simply lying to ourselves.

      A new approach

      To make peace with Israel, we need to change our approach. We need to accept that the right of return will be resolved through financial compensation that will allow Palestinian refugees to settle either in Arab countries or in Palestine. We need to accept that Israel’s security is a key to any solution. We need to accept that East Jerusalem may have to remain part of Israel.

      Our most important change in approach, however, and one with which we need the help of the international community, is that we need a democratically elected and secular government that responds to the needs of our people. As I wrote in August 2008 with Nathan Sharansky, a former Soviet dissident and the author of the book “The Case for Democracy”, there won’t be peace without democracy. As long as the so-called Palestinian leader is able to use international funds towards consolidating his own network of corrupt cronies, Palestinians will not trust him and will look to the alternative, which sadly happens to be Hamas.

      Delete

    2. As Sharansky and I wrote in 2008, the Israeli and international rationale that strengthening a non-democratic corrupt leader will ensure that he is “able to fight Hamas and forge a final peace with Israel” does not work. Almost seven years later, it is even clearer that this approach leads nowhere. President Abbas has no credibility among Palestinians, and even if he wanted a peace deal (which seems doubtful), he has no ability to sell it to the Palestinian public.

      What we Palestinians need is a strong civil society and strong democratic institutions, and we need an end to human rights violations, including those perpetrated by Palestinians and other Arabs. Well-meaning international donors must ensure that their money is spent towards this goal, and not towards propping up either Hamas or Fatah. There is no doubt that much work is needed, but at the very least we need to reverse the current trend that is causing Palestinian society to drift even further towards corrupt and brutal rule, both in Gaza and in the West Bank. Ironically, it is only in East Jerusalem, under Israeli rule, that most Palestinians feel adequately represented by their politicians.

      Hope for the future

      Despite our current predicament, I believe that our future will be bright if we do what is needed to achieve peace. We can have a secular democracy that pursues our own best interests. We can live in peace with Israel and the Jews, and we can benefit from Israel’s economic success and democratic values. We have it within our power to transform a long-time enemy into a friend. We have a choice, and we can exercise that choice towards a better future for our people.

      Delete
    3. So now "O"rdure admits he is a Palestinian, how quaint.

      Delete
    4. It is some of the best writing he has ever done.

      {;-)

      Delete