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Sunday, December 27, 2015

There is no candidate running less qualified, more dangerous and less deserving to be POTUS than Hillary Rodent Clinton

SATURDAY, DEC 26, 2015 09:30 AM EST

Is Hillary Clinton a neoconservative hawk? What Iraq and Libya decisions tell us about her foreign policy

Hillary got Iraq vote wrong, and Libya and Syria too. If she were setting the policies, what would they look like?


Two election cycles after losing the Democratic Party nomination because of her Iraq War vote, Hillary Clinton finally seems to have put it behind her. In fact, with the latest wave of ISIS hysteria, her hawkishness is seen by some as a plus. At the same time, striking a balance, a good case can be made that, though she did vote to authorize the Iraq War, she would never have started it herself if she had been president.

John Kerry made that very same argument back in 2004, in fact. As Kevin Drum described at the time, the media was echoing the Bush campaign spin, presenting Kerry’s position as confused and ludicrous at best, and as inconsistent flip-flopping at worst. But actually his position was a familiar one to them:

[T]hey know very well that there are lots and lots of liberal hawks and other former war supporters who have exactly the same position: pressuring Saddam was good, inspections were good, and eventually war might have been good too.

But Bush blew it: he failed to rally world opinion, he failed to get the Arab world on our side, he failed to let the inspections process run its course, and he failed to plan properly for the postwar occupation. The result is a loss of American power and prestige, a diminished chance of Iraq becoming a pluralistic democracy, and an al-Qaeda that’s been given a second lease on life thanks to George Bush’s Queeg-like obsession with Saddam Hussein.

You’ll note that there’s nothing new in the idea that invading Iraq benefited the Jihadi cause. Liberal hawks may have been mistaken, but not nearly as much as the neocons, whose trap they fell into. So has the liberal hawk position finally been fully vindicated? Is Hillary Clinton finally in the right place, at the right time?

Electorally, perhaps. But in terms of actually having a working policy? That’s a whole different story. After all, Clinton herself pushed hard for a similarly flawed regime change strategy in Libya—Conor Friedersdorf even compared her role in Libya to Cheney’s in Iraq. Hyperbolic? Yes. But he did have a point. As summarized by Joel Gillin at the New Republic, she did get carried away with questionable intelligence, over-focused on deposing a long-time U.S. bogeyman, and failed to give sufficient consideration to the depths of difficulties that would follow afterwards. All of which allowed the broader jihadi threat increased opportunity to spread.

In particular, the key claim that something genocidal was about to unfold was entirely unfounded, according to a lengthy review of the Libya intervention at the London Review of Books, which noted that “in retaking the towns that the uprising had briefly wrested from the government’s control, Gaddafi’s forces had committed no massacres at all; the fighting had been bitter and bloody, but there had been nothing remotely resembling the slaughter at Srebrenica, let alone in Rwanda.” Given that Libya had normalized relations with the West in 2003/2004, renouncing its former international outlaw role, including an active WMD program, it was strikingly counterproductive to turn on Gaddafi like that, if you want to coax other “rogue states” into the community of nations.

So, more than a dozen years after the Iraq War vote—which she’s finally semi-apologized for—the vote itself is less important than the broader framework in which she cast it, how she explained herself, and how she’s acted since. What really matters about her decision back then is what it tells about how she’d try to shape the future. With Rand Paul all but disappearing from sight, the GOP is now unified in its commitment to war, war, war. They will fight fire with gasoline until the last oil well runs dry. If there’s going to be any learning from past mistakes, any chance at all, it’s entirely up to the Democrats.

So what are the chances with Hillary? Not very good, I’d argue. But they can only improve by better understanding past mistakes. So let’s begin with her Iraq War vote and how she justified it at the time. Here are the main problems that jump out from it:

Clinton’s mind was far removed from the terrorist threat that made the Iraq War even conceivable in the first place. Her Senate speech (video/text) ran almost 2,500 words, but she never mentioned “terrorism” even once, and mentioned “terrorists” just three times:

He [Saddam Hussein] has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

Once the battle is joined, however, with the outcome certain, he [Saddam Hussein] will have maximum incentive to use weapons of mass destruction and to give what he can’t use to terrorists who can torment us with them long after he is gone.

Secondly, I want to insure that Saddam Hussein makes no mistake about our national unity and for our support for the President’s efforts to wage America’s war against terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.

The last quote simply echoes the neocon conflation of rationales. It’s not about actual terrorists at all. The second quote is also primarily about WMDs; the unidentified terrorists are an imagined afterthought. The first quote, therefore, is the only realistically al Qaeda-related reference Clinton made in justifying going to war—albeit as a last resort. She made no attempt whatsoever to talk about the larger context of responding to 9/11. She was essentially silent about what should have been the utmost concern. This was—and remains—her most fundamental mistake.

What should she have been thinking and speaking about? Consider what Gen. Anthony Zinni said just a few months before, in advising strongly against the invasion of Iraq. Zinni began by saying that military leaders see it one way, while those who’ve never been to war are gung-ho to go fight. Then he said, “You need to weigh this: what are your priorities in the region? That’s the first issue in my mind,” and he proceeded to tick off a list:

The Middle East peace process, in my mind, has to be a higher priority. Winning the war on terrorism has to be a higher priority. More directly, the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Central Asia needs to be resolved, making sure al Qaeda can’t rise again from the ashes that are destroyed. Taliban cannot come back. That the warlords can’t regain power over Kabul and Karzai, and destroy everything that has happened so far.

That’s pretty much a list of most of the major things we’ve ignored, neglected, or failed to follow through on. If we’d tackled Zinni’s list of problems, how much better off would the world be today? Can we even imagine how different it would be? But then he got really serious:

Our relationships in the region are in major disrepair, not to the point where we can’t fix them, but we need to quit making enemies we don’t need to make enemies out of. And we need to fix those relationships. There’s a deep chasm growing between that part of the world and our part of the world. And it’s strange, about a month after 9/11, they were sympathetic and compassionate toward us. How did it happen over the last year? And we need to look at that — that is a higher priority.

I’ll have more to say about this below, but one has to ask, how could a retired general be so aware of this problem, while a senator like Clinton did not even consider it in the framework of her argument? Finally, there was one other area of concern Zinni highlighted, before turning to the problems that invading Iraq would unleash:

The country that started this, Iran, is about to turn around, 180 degrees. We ought to be focused on that. The father of extremism, the home of the ayatollah — the young people are ready to throw out the mullahs and turn around, become a secular society and throw off these ideas of extremism. That is more important and critical. They’re the ones that funded Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. That ought to be a focus. And I can give you many, many more before you get down to Saddam and Iraq.

This part of Zinni’s speech is particularly haunting, since it represents the lone area in which we’ve belatedly made some progress in dealing with the wide range of challenges he laid out—and it’s taken an incredibly fierce political fight to make that progress real. It’s also an area where Clinton has clearly done some long-term good.

Instead of taking the broad, multi-faceted view of all the challenges we faced that Zinni laid out, or, alternatively, focusing on fighting al Qaeda and the terrorist threat, Clinton instead argued her case solely in terms of Iraq, and the logic of how to proceed against Saddam Hussein’s regime. She first presented a “factual” account of U.S.-Iraqi history that validated questionable Bush administration claims, and then she argued that her vote was a force for moderation and stability—building bipartisan support for Bush would show strength, and thus save us from war! Let’s look more closely at how that went.

“I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt,” Clinton said, and devoted 411 words to summing up U.S.-Iraq relations through 1998, when the UN inspectors left and the U.S. and Britain responded with a four-day air assault. Her account up to that point was relatively straightforward and “not in doubt.” But then she said this:

In 1998, the United States also changed its underlying policy toward Iraq from containment to regime change and began to examine options to effect such a change, including support for Iraqi opposition leaders within the country and abroad.

However, President Bill Clinton’s signing statement for the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act falls far short of a vigorous commitment to regime change—as the neocons pushing to oust Hussein were sharply aware. From there, Clinton’s account became dramatically less free from doubt:

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.

Now this much is undisputed.

We now know unequivocally that Iraq did not rebuild its WMD capacities, as Clinton had claimed. There were already ample reasons to doubt it at the time, so she was clearly lying when she said “this much is undisputed.” But she was also expressing a common elite consensus view. And her stress on elite consensus was another troubling aspect of her speech for us to consider—which we’ll return to below. First, however, we need to focus on Clinton’s claim that Saddam had “given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members.”

Of course, Saddam, as secular dictator, had no reason at all to behave as Clinton described. He and bin Laden were bitter ideological enemies, and the only thing that could bring them together was necessity and a common enemy they hated and feared more than each other. That would be us. And although both Saddam and bin Laden are dead, their followers have joined together to fight us. That is, in fact, the origin story of ISIS—or at least a crucial part of it, as counter-terrorism expert Malcolm Nance has explained, talking to William Arkin, for example. They spoke a week after the death of former Saddam General Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, and Nance said:

What we didn’t know until 2006 was that Saddam knew he would be defeated and used al-Douri to organize an armed insurgency led by the Saddam Fedayeen to recreate the Great Arab Revolution of 1920, where the British were kicked out of southern Iraq after a multi-year insurgency.

Al-Douri and the Revolutionary Command Council also had deep relations with Hafez al-Assad and the Syrian Baath party. At al-Douri’s urging, Saddam opened oil pipelines to Syria and built a cash relationship with the al-Assad family.

In the run-up to the U.S. invasion in 2003, Saddam and al-Douri “Islamicised” the coming insurgency, allowing foreign terrorists into the country. Syria became the pipeline for al-Qaeda foreign fighters and al-Assad happily let them cross the border, using his intelligence agencies to distribute weapons and facilitate travel.

One key group to arrive was that of Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his men of Tawhid wal-Jihad (Monotheism and Holy War). They hated the Baathists but could not move freely through Iraq without their assistance. A partnership was formed, and they worked symbiotically. Soon afterwards, Zarqawi’s group became al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

AQI, through various twists and turns, eventually became ISIS. The process by which ISIS emerged was long, bloody and messy, but what got it started and kept it going was the U.S. invasion of Iraq (starting as a threat) and its consequences. The marriage of the two forces was created by our own imagining of it—and Hillary Clinton participated in that creation process, along with everyone else in the bipartisan consensus she consciously invoked.

After her misleading presentation of “the facts” about Iraq, combining real ones with Bush-generated speculation, Clinton went on to craft an equally misleading picture of the policy options, and what a responsible, bipartisan approach would look like.

“Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster,” she first said. “However, this course is fraught with danger…. If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us,” she argued, citing the possibilities of Russia invading Georgia to attack Chechen rebels, India launching a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan, or China (implicitly) doing the same vs. Taiwan. All of which led her to conclude that “for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option.”

She then turned to the other “extreme position,” as it were: “Others argue that we should work through the United Nations and should only resort to force if and when the United Nations Security Council approves it,” which is, of course, what international law says that we have to do. But we’re the cops of the world, as Phil Ochs put it, so the laws don’t apply to us. And so Clinton argued, in her balanced, bipartisan way:

But there are problems with this approach as well. The United Nations is an organization that is still growing and maturing. It often lacks the cohesion to enforce its own mandates. And when Security Council members use the veto, on occasion, for reasons of narrow-minded interests, it cannot act.

Even worse, she added:

In the case of Iraq, recent comments indicate that one or two Security Council members might never approve force against Saddam Hussein until he has actually used chemical, biological, or God forbid, nuclear weapons.

Meaning that Russia or China might actually stand up for respecting the UN Charter, rather than letting us use it as a fig leaf for attacking Iraq first. (Note, too, Clinton’s cute little Condi Rice impersonation.)

She then outdid herself in recasting the nature of the vote she was about to cast:

[T]he question is how do we do our best to both defuse the real threat that Saddam Hussein poses to his people, to the region, including Israel, to the United States, to the world, and at the same time, work to maximize our international support and strengthen the United Nations?

Again, we see Clinton running together distinctly different things: Saddam’s very real (but hardly unique) threat to his own people with a vague-at-best threat “to the region, including Israel,” and a nonexistent threat “to the United States, to the world.” How any of these are supposed to be related to 9/11 and the threat of international terrorism does not even come close to making it onto Clinton’s radar—although she does claim to want to “maximize our international support and strengthen the United Nations”— both of which would certainly be much more likely if we’d stuck to focusing on al Qaeda and fighting terrorism, rather than settling old scores.

But, Clinton, as much as Bush, was still too fixated on Iraq to even begin thinking clearly about that, even a full 13 months after 9/11. And so she concluded, “I believe the best course is to go to the UN for a strong resolution that scraps the 1998 restrictions on inspections and calls for complete, unlimited inspections with cooperation expected and demanded from Iraq.” She was not completely satisfied with how Bush was proceeding, but hey, close enough for bipartisanship, right?

President Bush’s speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier. Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.

Clinton apparently thought Bush’s Cincinnati speech was just great. A critical reading by experts leaves a very different impression. Consider Bush’s wild-eyed fear-mongering claim that Iraq might threaten the U.S. with drones (unmanned armed vehicles—UAVs):

We are concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using UAVs for missions targeting the United States.

In response to which, author Rahul Mahajan said, “The claim that these UAVs have ranges that would enable attacking the United States, and that they could reach it undetected, is a startlingly new one, and entirely untenable. No one has ever produced evidence of Iraqi capability or intent to target the United States directly.” Not only should the drone claim been seen as a wild-eyed threat exaggeration, at best, it should have cast all other publicly unsupported threat claims into very serious doubt as well.

Mahajan and other experts critical of Bush had a much better read of what he was up to than Clinton did, and comparing their critical analysis to her uncritical acceptance shows just how much her elite bipartisan insiderism blinded her to what was actually going on. Note, in particular, this part of Bush’s speech, and Mahajan’s critical comment:

[Bush:] Some citizens wonder: After 11 years of living with this problem, why do we need to confront it now?

There is a reason. We have experienced the horror of September 11. We have seen that those who hate America are willing to crash airplanes into buildings full of innocent people. Our enemies would be no less willing — in fact they would be eager — to use a biological, or chemical, or a nuclear weapon.

Mahajan: “Invoking September 11 without showing any kind of link between the government of Iraq and those attacks is just transparent manipulation. What he really means is that after September 11 he thinks he can get away with such a policy.”

Clinton went along with this nonsense, accepting its lack of logic as a form of logic, because it was what elite insiders were doing at the time. As with Kerry, there’s no reason to think she would have pulled the trigger on going to war without WMDs being found—and yet, as the case of Libya (cited above) reminds us, she remains very willing to use force based on questionable intelligence, without fulling thinking through the alternatives, the long-term consequences, or the other problems facing us which ought to rank a good deal higher in our list of concerns.

Make no mistake, there’s no one in the GOP who wouldn’t eagerly make things much much worse when it comes to pursuing a war against terrorism. But that’s a truly terrible yardstick for us to be using. Terrorists want war. War creates more terrorists. That’s what the Iraq War clearly demonstrated. We need to think about going beyond that, finding a different way. In his conversation with William Arkin, Malcolm Nance proposed a multi-faceted approach to combating ISIS, with different strategies in different theaters of struggle, but first and foremost he called for taking on their ideology:

Launch an integrated global counterideology war against ISIS/Al-Qaeda: I call it Counter Ideology Operations and Warfare (CIDOW). We need to confront the belief system head on. The global jihad movement ideology is a destructive religious cult. It is so un-Islamic that it is virtually anti-Islamic. Soon enough, ISIS will do something that enrages the entire Muslim world and it will force them to act. Burning the Jordanian pilot came close, but we shall see what lifts the veil from their eyes.

The last 14 years have seen America completely lose track of what its own core ideological strengths are. If “they hate us for our freedoms,” then fine, we’ll get rid of them. That’s been our response in a nutshell. We’ve been taken so far out of touch with our own values that it might seem like a pipe dream to turn the tables on ISIS and exploit their contradictions. But that’s exactly what we need to do. And nothing in Hillary Clinton’s record shows any capacity for engaging ISIS on those terms.

To the contrary, Clinton’s just like Bush and the neocons in fighting the last century’s wars. She’s much smarter about it, in theory at least. But we’re in a whole different ballgame now, and none of our foreign policy elites seem to have a clue about that, despite a growing chorus of experts trying to point to a different way.

Paul Rosenberg is a California-based writer/activist, senior editor for Random Lengths News, and a columnist for Al Jazeera English. Follow him on Twitter at @PaulHRosenberg.



    Hillary Clinton would be a third term for the Neocon team of George Bush and Barack Obama.

  2. I would take my chances and vote for Cruz or Trump before I would vote for Clinton. I would vote for Bernie Sanders before any Republican. I would not vote for Rubio or Clinton.


    Hillary has already sworn allegiance to Israel's ethnic cleansing and begun threatening Iran, declared Iran guilty for future "violations" of an agreement that's not even in place. She also pressed Obama hard to escalate the war in Afghanistan and to maintain the troop presence in Iraq.

  4. Replies
    1. Oh, I see you answered my question, above.

    2. I don't think I will be voting for "let's go back and get the oil" Trump, or "let's make the desert sands glow in the dark" Cruz.

      I don't like her foreign policy all that much, but, domestically, Hillary has it all over the crazy squad.

      I'll be voting "D."

    3. Cruz is the worse kind of Bankster ...

      Clinton is in the pocket of "Big Media", with CBS & NBC funneling millions of dollars into the coffers of her family.

      Rubio is not a "Natural Born" US citizen. An issue which was trumpeted by our very own "Draft Dodger" in the past two Presidential cycles.

      Trump is not to be trusted, his use of the Bankruptcy Code exemplifies that even if he makes a promise, he does not feel "Honor Bound" to fulfill it.

    4. Yeah. Frankly, I wouldn't want to "come down, and have breakfast" with any of them. :)

  5. According to Trump, Obama did not "build it"

    Washington (CNN) Donald Trump is taking credit for the Obama administration's reported plans to step up deportations of families early next year, ...

  6. Now it is on to Mosul ...

    Reuters - ‎20 minutes ago‎

    BAGHDAD Iraqi forces on Sunday took control of the government complex in central Ramadi, the last Islamic State stronghold in the western city, a military spokesman said.

    1. And, they did it Without Shi'ite Militias. Not insignificant.


  7. ISIS is on the defensive, and even in a state of withdrawal. The group is losing territory in Iraq and Syria. According to US President Barack Obama, ISIS has withdrawn from some 40 percent of the vast, mostly desert territory it held. Its capital, the city of Raqqa in northeast Syria, has absorbed a severe series of bombings, especially at the hands of the French air force in the aftermath of the Paris terror attack.


  8. Some Holiday Cheer for Obamacare

    From Slate:

    So, I wanted to flag some news that dropped Tuesday while I was busy pondering the semiotic significance of General Tso's Chicken. With the deadline for Jan. 1 coverage having just passed, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that 8.2 million Americans have signed up for health plans on the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges, compared to about 6.4 million at the same time during last year's open enrollment period. The number of first-timers has grown too—about 2.4 million customers who picked plans on the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, were new, versus 1.8 million last year.

    Since open enrollment is still going, this all seems to suggest that HHS's original estimate that 10 million people would ultimately sign up and keep a health plan bought via the exchanges through the end up 2015 was a bit of a lowball number—though, as always, it's hard to make predictions (I'll leave that to Charles Gaba).
    The other interesting news: More young people are signing up. So far there are 2.1 million enrollees on healthcare.gov are under 35 (about 35 percent of the total), up from 1.1 million last time around (or about 33 percent of the total).*

    This is a very positive development for the health reform law. One of the big questions lingering over Obamacare has been whether enough young adults, who tend to be healthier, would sign up for coverage, in order to support older, sicker customers and make plans sold on the exchanges profitable and sustainable. So far, many insurers have been losing money on their exchange plans. But these new numbers suggest that the market is gradually becoming more balanced (as Sarah Kliff at Vox notes, the goal is to eventually have 38 percent of enrollees younger than 35). One potential reason why: The tax penalty for not having insurance finally went up to a full $695 this year. I'd also guess more people are simply learning about the law, and deciding to take advantage of it.


  9. (IraqiNews.com) Anbar Operations Command announced on Sunday the killing of eight ISIS elements as well as the dismantlement of 260 explosive devices north of the city of Ramadi.

    The commander of Anbar Operations, Maj. Gen. Ismail al-Mahalawi, said in a brief statement received by IraqiNews.com, “A force from Anbar Operations, with support from the international coalition aviation, had managed to destroy two booby-trapped vehicles and kill the suicide bombers inside them in the northern axis of the city of Ramadi,” adding also that, “A force from the army had killed eight elements of the ISIS and dismantled 260 explosive devices during an operation to advance into the Euphrates River as well as the international road near Albu Faraj Bridge north of Ramadi.”

    260? Yikes

  10. Love the head line of the thread if not so much some of the article and the following comments.

    Who is Gary Johnson ? Never heard of him. The latest incarnation from the perpetual fantasy island of USA's political children ?

    Debunking The Myth of The Great Pacific Ocean Plastic Garbage Patch Two Times The Size of The Continental Untied States -

    December 27, 2015
    The 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' myth
    By Thomas Lifson

    Many, perhaps most, Americans believe that a vast accumulation of (mostly plastic) garbage is floating somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean, a non-biodegradable stain on humanity, choking and deforming fish. But apparently, that is just a myth. Kip Hansen writing in Watts Up With That? cites NOAA’s Ocean Service — Office of Response and Restoration:

    “The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Carey Morishige takes down two myths floating around with the rest of the debris about the garbage patches in a recent post on the Marine Debris Blog:

    1. There is no “garbage patch,” a name which conjures images of a floating landfill in the middle of the ocean, with miles of bobbing plastic bottles and rogue yogurt cups. Morishige explains this misnomer:

    “While it’s true that these areas have a higher concentration of plastic than other parts of the ocean, much of the debris found in these areas are small bits of plastic (microplastics) that are suspended throughout the water column. A comparison I like to use is that the debris is more like flecks of pepper floating throughout a bowl of soup, rather than a skim of fat that accumulates (or sits) on the surface.”


    2. There are many “garbage patches,” and by that, we mean that trash congregates to various degrees in numerous parts of the Pacific and the rest of the ocean. These natural gathering points appear where rotating currents, winds, and other ocean features converge to accumulate marine debris, as well as plankton, seaweed, and other sea life.”

    Hansen’s essay is long and complex, and worth a read. Here are his conclusions:

    We each need to do all we can to keep every sort of trash and plastic contained and disposed of in a responsible manner – this keeps it out of the oceans (and the rest of the natural environment).

    Volunteerism to clean up beaches and reefs is effective and worthwhile.

    1. Responsible boating includes keeping your trash (and especially plastics) under control and disposed of properly ashore.

      The “floating rafts of plastic garbage”-version of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a pernicious myth that needs to be dispelled at every opportunity.

      Have a little more faith in “Nature” – the natural system finds a way to use most everything – in the case of oceanic plastics, as homes and food.

      The “missing 99% of the plastic in the oceans” has been eaten, mostly by bacteria and other microbes. These little critters will continue to eat the plastic and if we reduce the amount of plastic going into the oceans, they may eventually eat it all up.

      So, the interesting question is where did the “pernicious myth” of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch come from? Hansen cites propaganda posts from the likes of the Guardian:

      And notes:

      The Guardian is atypical in that it states, in the caption, that the photo is of Manila Bay, Philippines – garbage forced by the wind into a raft near shore after a tropical storm washed all the trash from the city streets and slums into the bay.

      Also at Watts Up With That? reposted from the Fabius Maximus website, Larry Kummer does some detective work on the origins of the myth.

      The first recorded sighting of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch was by oceanographer Charles J. Moore (heir to oil wealth, now an environmental activist) when sailing home after a race in 1999. Here is how he describes it (from “Trashed”, Natural History, Nov 2003). Too bad he did not bring a camera to record it!

      Day after day, Alguita was the only vehicle on a highway without landmarks, stretching from horizon to horizon. Yet as I gazed from the deck at the surface of what ought to have been a pristine ocean, I was confronted, as far as the eye could see, with the sight of plastic.

      “It seemed unbelievable, but I never found a clear spot. In the week it took to cross the subtropical high, no matter what time of day I looked, plastic debris was floating everywhere: bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, fragments. Months later, after I discussed what I had seen with the oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, perhaps the world’s leading expert on flotsam, he began referring to the area as the “eastern garbage patch.” But “patch” doesn’t begin to convey the reality. Ebbesmeyer has estimated that the area, nearly covered with floating plastic debris, is roughly the size of Texas.

    2. Much of this seems odd. There are patches of debris, but no such masses of plastic “as far as the eye can see”. There is much plastic, but most is barely visible to the eye — and lies under the surface.

      Like all good stories, it grew over time. From “Choking the Oceans with Plastic” — his 2014 op-ed in the New York Times: “We even came upon a floating island bolstered by dozens of plastic buoys used in oyster aquaculture that had solid areas you could walk on.” Again no photo of the floating island, let alone of him walking on it.

      Moore becomes somewhat more accurate when confronted by a knowledgeable journalist, such as Suzanne Bohan in this 2011 article: “It’s not something you can walk on, or see from a satellite. We’ve always tried to dispel that fact,” Or in this quote of him from The Independent: “The original idea that people had was that it was an island of plastic garbage that you could almost walk on. It is not quite like that. It is almost like a plastic soup. It is endless for an area that is maybe twice the size as continental United States.”

      From the presumably guilt-ridden oil heir with plenty of free time on his hands, the myth exploded, because, well, journalists love scare stories that indict the technological capitalist society that doesn’t reward them as highly as they think they deserve.

      Kummer’s tale is even more entertaining than Hansen’s. There is so much exaggeration and credulousness that it reinforces the notion that yuou should always be skeptical of predictions of doom emanating from the nonprofit and media sectors.

      Face it: people who are not anchored to a belief in God have a gnawing insecurity at their core, and must find some external demon to blame for it.

      Hat tip: Clarice Feldman


    3. Lesson #1 to always remember:

      Never believe anything you read in The New York Times

  11. .

    The current leaders in the Democratic party presidential primary reflect the sorry state of the Democratic party today.

    The current leaders in the Republican party presidential primary reflect the sorry state of the Republican party today.

    Unless there is a major shift in the polls, the next president will offer the same ill-advised foreign policy adventurism the US has indulged in since WWII. We will continue to spend more than we take in. The income gap will continue. The rich will continue to get richer, the poor (hopefully) won't get much worse. Low growth (not either candidate's fault) will continue. Washington will continue to be driven by special interest, the MIC, NRA, AIPAC, AARP, NEA, SEIU, Adelson, Steyer, Koch, Bloomberg, etc.

    Whether you vote for a corrupt, aging, pantsuit wearing, neocon liar or a crass, big-mouthed, race-baiting, buffoon who is also a liar, you will only be perpetuating the travesty that constitutes the American political scene today.

    This is the worst I have ever seen it.


    1. "This is the worst I have ever seen it."



      1) Vote for the Hare Krishna folks chanting at the air ports.

      2) Write yourself in

      3) Write in Mr Snoots Superiority, aka "Q"

    2. .

      None of the alternatives you have suggested could be worse than what we are being offered so far for 2016.


  12. Short list of some of the wonderful articles found in today's American Thinker in their perpetual quest to enlighten the mobs:

    Circus atmosphere as judge sworn in on Quran December 27, 2015 (Ahem) The Koran forbids allegiance to non-Muslim authority More

    Woman falsely accused of burning Koran ripped apart by Afghan mob December 27, 2015 None of the police who stood by was substantially punished. More

    Iraqi army on the verge of big victory in Ramadi December 27, 2015 Is the myth of ISIS "invincibility" falling away? More

    Obama's former intel chief: The president's strategy is 'not working' December 27, 2015 While Obama has claimed “we’re on track” with fighting ISIS, Flynn says here, “we’re not on track.”

    'We can't vet Syrian refugees': Ridge December 27, 2015 The former DHS secretary says a pause in allowing refugees into the country is "appropriate." More

    Why does Amnesty International use such different language describing civilian casualties for Russian and Israeli airstrikes? December 27, 2015 There’s a simple answer to the question in the title of this blog, and it is very ugly. So I am very interested in what AI has to say for itself More

    Democrat Jim Webb mulls independent run for president December 27, 2015 One huge question remains. More

    Many Trump supporters express doubts about participating in Iowa caucuses December 27, 2015 Take this with a grain of salt. More

    Disneyland 'Taliban supervisor' shows that Trump is right on Muslim Immigration December 27, 2015 Just look at the alternatives. More

    ((remember the Moslem 'Disneyland Kids' bunk bandied around here at EB ?))

    Syrian colonizer in Germany would sell his parents to advance the Caliphate December 27, 2015 Imagine sitting on a train and finding yourself surrounded by Muslims chanting a war song while they try to convert you. More

  13. .

    One (possible)positive I have noted.

    Paul Ryan.

    I disagree with Ryan on his very conservative agenda and his priorities. However, I am impressed that he seems to be trying to instill a more open and inclusive approach in the House.

    The recent history in Congress whether run by the Dems or by the GOP has been winner take all with zero negotiations and the minority pretty much cut out of any voice at all in setting the agenda. The terms Bicameral and Bipartisan have become oxymoronic. As part of the deal in taking over as House Speaker, Ryan has vowed to change that.

    We'll see how he does.



  14. Gary Johnson tosses hat in White House ring for 2016


    The Five Differences Between Gary Johnson And Rand Paul

    - See more at: http://alibertarianfuture.com/2016-election/the-five-differences-between-gary-johnson-and-rand-paul/#sthash.bhsHZIXc.dpbs

    1. Rand Paul, at about 0%, and looking the under-card debate right in the eye, best get back to Kentucky and begin tending to his re-election.

      My son voted for Rand.

      I always did kinda like Rand's idea of using Air Force drones to blast our domestic liquor store robbers right in the act here in the good old USA, 'collateral damage' be damned.

      Somebody's got to properly defend our great nation's liquor supply.

    2. Latest polls are showing Gary Johnson running at -83% %.

    3. Mr Gary Johnson will be on the ballot in November of 2016 in more states than Dr Ben Carson will

  15. You really like Paul Pelosi ?

    Figures, sort of....


    Can't find the link right now, but it was at Hot Air.

    The Bern, aka Senor Sanders, our current one world commie candidate, says he will, by 'executive order' legalize all 11 million illegal 'residents' of the USA.

    Hopefully this coming election will put once again this kind of horse shit back in 'the dustbin of history' where it properly belongs.


  16. A Chicago police officer arriving at the scene of a domestic disturbance fatally shot two people on Saturday, including a 55-year-old mother of five who authorities said was “accidentally struck and tragically killed.”

    In a statement released Saturday offering scant detail, Chicago police said they “were confronted by a combative subject” that resulted in “the discharging of the officer’s weapon.”

    But the families of Bettie Jones, who had just hosted relatives for Christmas, and Quintonio LeGrier, 19, a college student home for holiday break, say police violently overreacted to a controllable situation, according to CBS-affiliate WBBM-TV.

    [A year of reckoning: Police fatally shoot nearly 1,000]

    Both individuals were pronounced dead at hospitals within an hour of being shot, according to the Associated Press.

    “He wasn’t just a thug on the street, he was an honor student in college and high school,” LeGrier’s mother, Janet Cooksey, told WBBM-TV. “Seven bullets were put in my son. Seven.”

    1. He also had mental problems, and, I think it was, a baseball bat.

      Not defending or criticizing the Police in the instance, just adding some facts as I've read to be.

      Don't know what really occurred.

    2. I believe it was the kid's family that called the Police.

  17. I am motivated by, essentially, the same things that propelled me to vote Democratic in the last cycle: Healthcare, Renewable Energy, and a Higher Minimum Wage.

    I'm also beginning to realize the importance of a whole panoply of "women's issues" - Childcare, Primary and Secondary Education, and Family Planning.

    Hillary will be my girl. She might not be the prettiest filly at the prom, but she'll be mine.

    1. God Bless You.

      "I'm also beginning to realize the importance of a whole panoply of "women's issues" - Childcare, Primary and Secondary Education, and Family Planning."

      These, are, indeed, as they should be, the primary concerns for any Commander - in - Chief of the United States Armed Forces.

      Things like totally fucking up Libya, killing its ruler who had given up all his WMD programs, and was behaving quite nicely, thank you, and being responsible for the death of our Libyan Ambassador, and three others, and blaming it on some video out of LA that nobody ever watched, are of lesser import, among many other life and death issues easily cited.

      Hillary has famously said that any female survivor of sexual assault, like, say, that Broadrick (sp) lady that Bill fucked over, has the right to be believed.

      Certainly, who can disagree on this ?

      Much more important than Hillary created chaos in the Middle-East.

    2. Since Hillary has basically admitted that her old goat, Bill, is a disgusting old humper without permission, one wonders why she hasn't divorced the son of a bitch.

      Yes means Yes.

      No means No.

      But not in Bill's case.

      Hillary has tried to destroy his accusers, she is so c o n c e r n e d about 'women's issues'.

  18. SOUTHWEST ASIA, December 27, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Syria

    Attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted five strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Manbij, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units, destroying an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL weapons cache and wounding ISIL fighters.

    -- Near Raqqah, two strikes destroyed three ISIL excavators and two ISIL bulldozers and damaged an ISIL excavator.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Fighter, attack, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 28 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Albu Hayat, one strike destroyed two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL explosives cache.

    -- Near Mosul, seven strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units, destroying 15 ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL bunker, four ISIL assembly areas and three ISIL command control nodes, as well as cratering two ISIL roads and denying ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Ramadi, four strikes destroyed two ISIL tactical vehicles, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, a factory and a staging location for ISIL vehicle-borne bombs, an ISIL building, two houses ISIL had rigged with explosives, an ISIL staging area and an ISIL fighting position. The strikes also denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Sinjar, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, destroying two fighting positions, two bridges and two culverts ISIL had used.

    -- Near Tal Afar, seven strikes struck four bridges and a culvert ISIL had used and destroyed 12 ISIL bunkers.

    -- Near Fallujah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun position, bridge ISIL had used, an ISIL bunker and an ISIL beddown location.

    -- Near Kisik, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL tunnel.

    Operation Inherent Resolve officials also provided details of four Dec. 25 strikes that were not included in yesterday’s update:

    Near Manbij, Syria, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit. Near Ramadi, Iraq, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL anti-air artillery position, five ISIL staging locations, two houses ISIL had rigged with explosives, three ISIL weapon caches, three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, two ISIL resupply locations and an ISIL vehicle. The strikes near Ramadi also cratered five roads ISIL had used, damaged an ISIL tactical vehicle and wounded ISIL fighters.

  19. Short essay on what must be, given the arc of his career, one of Quirk's favorite Melville works -

    (for all the John's out there)

    December 27, 2015
    Paging Melville's Ghost: The Top Swindle of 2015
    By Robert Oscar Lopez

    Herman Melville's Confidence-Man is a classic novel about serial swindles by sundry charlatans on a Mississippi riverboat (complete with scenes that take place in Rush Limbaugh's hometown of Cape Girardeau).

    Now's the time to reread Melville. This was the Year of the Swindle. Melville's Confidence-Man depicts all the chicanery of cultural and political discourse in the U.S. today. Consider the money quotes from Melville's book alongside the biggest con games played this year. (Spoiler – it's not Trump.)

    Show Us Your Good Side So We Can Screw You Over

    'who in thunder are you?' 'A cosmopolitan, a catholic man; who, being such, ties himself to no narrow tailor or teacher, but federates, in heart as in costumes, something of the various gallantries of men under various suns.' (pg. 177)

    Think of the middle-American everyman, someone with strong moral values but struggling. Let's call him John. He wants his country to be moral and God-fearing, but he also might need a helping hand from the government despite all his efforts to take care of his family without asking for handouts. He's the one person nobody cares about in politics. Democrats think he's a homophobic bigot, and Republicans don't consider him a "job creator."

    Think of how much John got screwed this year. On New Year's Day, the suicide of Leelah Alcorn roused Dan Savage out of his slimy lair and energized a movement to help youths with gender identity issues. John doesn't want teenage boys who want to be girls to throw themselves under trucks, so John supported trans politics in theory. Then by the end of the year, John saw Bruce Jenner in a Betty Grable dancing suit on Vanity Fair, invading every corner of the media world until nobody had a choice but to applaud "Caitlyn" or be publicly admonished and shamed.

    Then came a rash of legal actions like Houston's HERO bill, forcing cities to allow transgender people into the bathrooms of the opposite sex, and even threatening to fine school districts that would not allow male adolescents unfettered access to naked girls in changing rooms.

    It's not just trans issues. Whether it was immigration, Islamophobia, gay marriage, campus rape, racial diversity, or the environment, a similar pattern played out ad nauseam in 2015. John reacts with compassion and concern when he sees suffering. He trusted authorities who told him:

    1. [1] If he stands behind amnesty for immigrants, he won't see any negative consequences, and instead, he'll be helping needy refugees like a good Christian.

      [2] If he looks past alarming stories about Islamic terrorism and shows tolerance to Muslims, no harm will come to society.

      [3] If he salutes gay marriage, the tumult gay debates caused will subside, and gay people will find happiness on their own without making personal demands on John.

      [4] If he rallies behind efforts to combat sexual assault on college campuses, he can trust the authorities to use expanded investigative powers and streamlined due process without abusing their position and persecuting innocent people.

      [5] If he acknowledges that black lives matter and racism is wrong, he will contribute to good-faith efforts to heal his country from past injustices and will see an increase in harmony and goodwill among races rather than strife and turmoil.

      [6] If he cares about good stewardship of the natural world God has given man, he can trust authorities to pursue anti-pollution policies.

      John trusts people. And it's exactly people like John whom con men target, as happened in 2015.

      'whether I flatter myself that I can in any way dupe you, or impose upon you, or pass myself off upon you for what I am not, I, as an honest man, answer that I have neither the inclination nor the power to do aught of the kind.' (pg. 148)

      John saw lawless drifters and traffickers stream across the border and feed a burgeoning under-the-table employment system.

      John watched as Muslim communities responded to goodwill from their neighbors by fostering hateful rhetoric and sheltering cold-blooded killers who wrought terror on Texas, California, and other states.

      John discovered that gays had no intention of quietly withdrawing from debates after winning "marriage equality," and in fact gays have gone wild filing complaints against John's friends, suing the cities and schools in John's area, and overwhelming all of John's favorite TV stations and cinemas with filth that becomes ever more pornographic yet ever more boring.

      John sees that the colleges around him are charging higher tuitions. Colleges are concentrating less on studies and more on controlling young people's sexuality and erecting a shadow police state with gender equality investigators who restrict free speech and due process.

      The more John supports racial equality, the more aggressive the people of color around him become and the more stressful the stories about mass protests in inner cities and on campuses turn.

      Lastly, John finds that those who combat pollution waste much of their funding on global projects with questionable evidence and vague, unquantifiable goals.

      'The pick-pocket, too, loves to have his fellow-creatures round him.' (pg. 183)

      John got swindled. If he decides to say to Hell with everyone and vote for Trump, I can't blame him. (I wish he'd vote for Cruz, but by now John probably won't trust anyone in government on anything.)

      The rise of Trump has intrigued many people not so much because he reveals anything about the left, but rather because of what he reveals about the sense of betrayal people like John feel about the promises made by the Republican Party.

      'As for Intelligence Offices, I've lived in the East, and know 'em. Swindling concerns kept by low-born cynics, under a fawning exterior wreaking their cynic malice upon mankind.' (pg. 153)

    2. How many times have we been told to trust the "fiscally conservative but socially liberal" crowd? The story goes like this: the future of the movement lies in the natural constituents of Reason magazine, the mythical hordes of young people who admire Mary Cheney and want free-market economic policies without church ladies telling them what to do.

      A few conservatives in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, and Washington control the right-wing media. It seems that every week this cadre unveils another aerobically cross-trained, elite-educated, and telegenic spokesperson, describing the optimistic future that ostensibly awaits us if only we could stop caring about traditional family structures, chastity, and the sanctity of life.

      If it isn't S.E. Cupp nagging us to support gay adoption, it's another well-groomed editor spryly coming out as gay. Soon stories that sound too churchy get spiked all over town.

      'To the devil with your principles! Bad sign when a man begins to talk of his principles.' (pg. 152)

      We're supposed to trust the direction they want to take conservatism, because they are, to quote Taylor Swift, "livin' in a big ol' city," and all we'll ever be is "mean." The message is the same: If you fake it, victory will come. Just pretend you are okay with sodomy and abortion, and this time it will work; all those fiscally-conservative-but-socially-liberal people who've been holding out will rush into the arms of the conservative movement, and singing angels will descend from the heavens.

      Perhaps nobody embodied this call for trust, and won our trust, more than Paul Ryan. And we all saw how that budget bill turned out – the biggest "achievement" in his early months as the supposed "Tea Party favorite" speaker of the House. It turns out that conservatives who will cut family activists loose on an issue like gay adoption find it easy and natural to betray fiscal and social conservatives in one swoop. The swindlers who sell us libertarianism by vowing we can get ahead by not offending feminists or gays…end up not wanting to offend poor people, social justice warriors, or anybody who likes government benefits. Which means the fiscal right ends up under the same bus that ran over the social right. Even if those libertarians are "livin' in a big ol' city," all they'll ever be is mean, too.

      'I have confidence in nature? I? I say again there is nothing I am more suspicious of.' (pg. 142).

      Young people who cry out for gay marriage also want free cell phones. They want to buy iPods instead of making payments to Fannie Mae. Pro-choice and pro-gay marriage positions win purveyors social approval with no sacrifice. People who want a quick fix of political chic by jumping on such bandwagons are rarely going to switch gears when it comes to "small government" to endorse a classical Republican model of low taxes and reduced entitlements.

    3. They want high taxes on other people and heightened entitlements for themselves. This deflection of concern and sacrifice coupled with a need for easy social standing is largely why they don't care about the unborn, God's commandments against sin, or the right of children to a mother and father.

      'That's your Confession of Faith is it? Confidence in man, eh? Pray, which do you think are most, knaves or fools?' (pg. 142)

      Conservatives who want to lose big should keep channeling Paul Ryan and follow advice from pretty faces like Stacey Dash.

      During my years as a pro-family activist, the vastness of the socially conservative, and especially Christian, population really surprised me. Many of them, though, are poor and distrust corporate elites. This "fiscally liberal but socially conservative" set composes the bulk of the Republican constituency but constantly gets sacrificed.

      When my travails at Cal State Northridge blew up, for instance, four different petitions were started by other people who supported me: the liberal Change.org, and the conservative ActRight, CitizenGo, and LifeSiteNews. A total of 12,738 signatures were collected from people calling on Cal State University to drop its charges of anti-gay "retaliation" against me over a conference I organized at the Reagan Library.

      My case at Northridge gave me a glimpse into what was really going on. I was on blacklists by both GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign. A clique of activists including New York City professor Claire Potter had sought for years to make trouble for me at my job. Yet despite their influence with elites, their constituents never materialized. No groundswell of petitioners came forward supporting the Title IX investigator against me, and even liberal outlets like Huffington Post and Daily Sundial ended up implicitly favoring me.

      Con games depend on illusions and bluffs. It is an illusion that free-market social liberals have a mass of people who agree with them. The election of 2016 will be, I think, a time of falling masks and bluffs being called. When alerted to the ruses and deceits to which they've been subjected, people like John may feel exhilarated and empowered, or consumed with blind, destructive rage. Trump is not the problem or even a symptom. He's just the whistleblower on a sinking steamboat. I wish Melville could rise from the grave and advise us what we should do next.

      Robert Oscar Lopez authored a book based loosely on Melville adaptations, called Melville Affair (warning: contains vulgarity). He can be followed on Twitter at @baptist4freedom, at English Manif, or on Soundcloud.

      Melville, Herman. The Confidence-Man. 1857. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.


  20. OOPS, It Looks like Bibi's wet dream of attacking Iran is getting its wings clipped

    Russia will begin delivering the S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense system to Iran next month, a Russian news agency reported on Friday.

    “The process of delivery of the first regiment of the S-300PMU-2 air defense systems is planned to begin in January and to be completed in February,” an unnamed source was quoted by TASS as saying.

    “Iran is due to receive the second regiment of these systems in August or September 2016,” the source said, adding that “Russia will thus fulfill its obligations” to Iran.

    Some 80 Iranian specialists will travel to the Mozhaisky Military Space Academy to train on using the system for four months as part of the contract.

    The first regiment of S-300 system was sent to the Kapustin Yar range in southern Russia, near the border with Kazakhstan in September, to be tested. From there, they will arrive at the port of shipment in the Russian part of the Caspian Sea from where they will be delivered to Iran by maritime transport, Russian officials said.

    Iran signed an $800 million deal with Russia for the system but in 2010 Russia banned its delivery due to international sanctions against Iran, and returned Tehran’s first payment. But Iran sued Moscow for breaching the two countries’ contract, seeking $4 billion in compensation.

    Earlier this year, following the agreement reached by Iran and world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted the ban. The nuclear deal signed in July in Vienna paved the way to resume the sale and earlier this month Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters that as the first installment of the S-300 is delivered, Iran will revoke its lawsuit.

    The S-300 is a system capable of engaging multiple attacking aircraft at long range and is intended to protect sensitive ground installations. It is widely held to be one of the top systems of its kind in the world.

    Israel strongly opposed sale of the system to Iran, arguing that it is meant to defend Iranian nuclear facilities. Tehran has consistently insisted that its nuclear facilities are intended for peaceful purposes.

    In May this year, IAF pilots conducted joint drills with Greek pilots and the Greek army, and later media reports quoted military officers as saying that some of the training included the Israeli pilots learning how to “trick” the S-300’s radars. The system in use belongs to the Greek army and is deployed on the island of Crete.

    Greek officials later denied the report.

    Earlier this year, the commander of the IAF Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said the challenge posed by the S-300 to Israeli fighter jets was “formidable but not insurmountable.”

  21. Israel will soon have F-35's, which renders the S-300's moot.

    Not that it matters. Israel knows that if Iran needs bombing, Uncle Sugar will do the deed. All the other shit is just loud noise for the cheap seats.

  22. (IraqiNews.com) Anbar – On Sunday, Khalidiya Council in Anbar Province announced, that all elements of ISIS organization had withdrawn from the center of Ramadi to the eastern areas of the city, while pointed out that the organization had taken hundreds of civilians as hostages and human shields.

    The head of Khalidiya Council Ali Dawood said in a statement received by IraqiNews.com, “The intelligence information revealed that all ISIS elements had escaped from the center of Ramadi areas to Khalidiya Island east of the city, along with hundreds of civilian hostages,” pointing out that, “The cells of ISIS organization were completely collapsed during the cleansing battles.”

    Dawood added, “The organization has taken hundreds of civilians as hostages and human shields during their withdrawal from Ramadi, while the security forces are pursuing the elements of the organization to liberate the abducted civilians.”

  23. I'd think the USA and its Armed Forces should have built up tons and tons of goodwill among Iraqi Shias by now, what with getting Saddam off their ass, which made them the easy electoral victors, turning the government over to them, giving them guns and money, helping them out in fighting ISIS and doing such things as allowing them to retake Ramadi, and sooner or later Mosul too.....

    It not they are a truly a bunch of ungrateful assholes --

    Iraqi army declares first major victory over Islamic State in Ramadi 2 / 16

    Iraq's army declared victory over Islamic State fighters in a provincial capital west of Baghdad on Sunday, the first major triumph for the U.S.-trained force since it collapsed in the face of an assault by the militants 18 months ago.

    The capture of Ramadi, capital of mainly Sunni-Muslim Anbar province in the Euphrates River valley west of the capital, deprives Islamic State militants of their biggest prize of 2015. The fighters seized it in May after government troops fled in a defeat which prompted Washington to take a hard look at strategy in its ongoing air war against the militants.

    After encircling the city for weeks, the Iraqi military launched a campaign to retake it last week, and made a final push to seize the central administration complex on Sunday.

    "By controlling the complex this means that we have defeated them in Ramadi," said Sabah al-Numani, a spokesman for the force leading the fight on the government side. "The next step is to clear pockets that could exist here or there in the city."

    State television broadcast footage of troops, Humvee vehicles and tanks advancing through Ramadi streets amid piles of rubble and collapsed houses. Some districts appeared to have been completely destroyed by the advance.

    A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State was unable to confirm at this point whether the militants had been cleared out of the the government complex.

    Television also showed nighttime celebrations in mainly Shi'ite cities south of Baghdad for the victory in Anbar, with people dancing in the streets and waving Iraqi flags from cars.

    Officials did not give any immediate death tolls for the battle. The government says most civilians were able to evacuate before it launched its assault.

    1. Anbar provincial council member Falih al-Essawi called on the government to restore services to Ramadi quickly and start rebuilding the city to allow the return of the displaced.

      "It will not be easy to convince families to return to a city that lacks basic human needs," he told Reuters.

      Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, swept through a third of Iraq in June 2014 and declared a "caliphate" to rule over all Muslims from territory in both Iraq and Syria, carrying out mass killings and imposing a draconian form of Islam.

      Iraqi rapid response forces inspect military equipment distributed by the Anbar police directorate in the southern Ramadi neighbourhood of Tash, west of the capital Baghdad, during military operations conducted by Iraqi pro-government forces against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, on December 27, 2015. Iraq's elite counter-terrorism service (CTS) and the army have advanced steadily through the devastated capital of Anbar province clearing the Hoz neighbourhood in central Ramadi completely, according to spokesman Sabah al-Numan.© STR/AFP/Getty Images Iraqi rapid response forces inspect military equipment distributed by the Anbar police directorate in the southern Ramadi neighbourhood of Tash, west of the capital Baghdad, during… Its rise was aided by the swift collapse of the Iraqi army, which abandoned city after city, leaving fleets of armoured vehicles and other American weapons in the fighters' hands.

      Since then, the battle against the group in both countries has drawn in most global and regional powers, often with competing allies on the ground in complex multi-sided civil wars.

      A U.S.-led coalition is waging an air campaign against Islamic State, but rebuilding the Iraqi army to the point that it could recapture and hold territory has been one of the biggest challenges.

      In previous battles, including the recapture of former dictator Saddam Hussein's home city Tirkit in April, the Iraqi government relied on Iran-backed Shi'ite militias for ground fighting, with its own army mainly in a supporting role.


      Ramadi was the first major city recaptured by the army itself, without relying on the militias, who were kept off the battlefield to avoid sectarian tension with the mainly Sunni population.

      The government, led by a Shi'ite Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, said Ramadi would be handed over to local police and a Sunni tribal force once it was secured, a measure meant to win over the community to the fight against Islamic State.

      "We have trained hundreds of tribal fighters, their role will be holding the ground," said Brigadier-General Yahya Rasool, spokesman for the joint operations command.

      "Seeing their own tribes responsible for security will be a relief for the civilians" and will help convince those who have been displaced to return to the city, he added.

      The strategy echoes the "surge" campaign fought by U.S. forces in 2006-2007 against a precursor of Islamic State, when Washington also relied on winning over local Sunni tribes and arming them to fight militants. Anbar province, including Ramadi, was one of the main battlefields during that campaign at the height of the 2003-2011 U.S. Iraq war.

      The government said the next target after Ramadi will be the northern city of Mosul, by far the largest population centre controlled by Islamic State in either Iraq or Syria.

      "The smooth victory in Ramadi should be happy news for the residents of Mosul," spokesman Numani said. U.S. officials had hoped Baghdad would launch an assault on Mosul during 2015, but this was put off after the fighters swept into Ramadi in May.

      Dislodging the militants from Mosul, which had a pre-war population close to 2 million, would effectively abolish their state structure in Iraq and deprive them of a major source of funding, which comes partly from oil and partly from fees and taxes on residents.

      (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Peter Graff)


  24. Quotes of the Day


    Some might take that as a backhanded compliment. Can the GOP really be so out of touch with the legions of out-of-work Americans — many of whom don’t show up in the “official” unemployment rate because they’ve given up looking for work in the Obama economy? With the returning military vets frustrated with lawyer-driven, politically correct rules of engagement that have tied their hands in a fight against a mortal enemy? With those who, in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino massacres by Muslims, reasonably fear an influx of culturally alien “refugees” and “migrants” from the Middle East?

    With those who fear for their own families’ futures and the future of the country as founded?…

    In the movie business, there’s something called the “cheer moment,” when the long-suffering hero finally decks his tormentor with a satisfying right cross. What the Beltway Republicans fail to understand is that their conservative base — which gave them stunning congressional victories in 2010 and 2014 and has nothing to show for it — has been longing for precisely that moment since Reagan crushed Mondale 49-1 in 1984.

    The Trumpkins are sick of winning and having nothing to show for it, and their vengeance will be terrible. Maybe the Establishment should stop belittling them and listen instead.



  25. When Obama's first budget went into effect there were 706,000 "Discouraged" Workers.

    BLS Archives

    Today, there are only 594,000 Discouraged Workers.

    Employment Situation Nov. 2015

    1. It must be fun to write for a bunch of idiots that you're convinced will never have enough sense to fact-check your silly shit.

    2. :)

      Only a silly shit would take the guv'mit's figures on anything at these days.

      See: The Saga of Poor John above -

      John got swindled. If he decides to say to Hell with everyone and vote for Trump, I can't blame him. (I wish he'd vote for Cruz, but by now John probably won't trust anyone in government on anything.)

      Idaho BobSun Dec 27, 04:37:00 PM EST

      Short essay on what must be, given the arc of his career, one of Quirk's favorite Melville works -

      (for all the John's out there)

      December 27, 2015
      Paging Melville's Ghost: The Top Swindle of 2015
      By Robert Oscar Lopez





    3. December 27, 2015
      Who is Killing off Political Science?
      By Richard Winchester

      from Comments:

      VonMisesJr AR1476 • 16 hours ago

      As we were taught to question and think for ourselves, "A few days ago I had a conversation with a student attending our local university." She was studying "Women's Studies" and "Sociology" last time I saw her at a Christmas gathering but had changed "Majors" from "Sociology" to something I could only uncover was some form of "Political Science," although it was not anything Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Locke or Montesquieu would recognize.

      A lovely young girl proceeded to tell me about her studies relative to the "Second Industrial Revolution." I was perplexed. I have read dozens of related time-period books from economics Professors and Philosophers and never heard of such a thing. So I first asked for the definition and timeline. Well you see, the first Industrial Revolution description and timeline were correct that began early 18th century and ended about 1840. But the rise of Progressive Totalitarian, statist government and Information age are whitewashed from history. Instead, the Second Industrial Revolution allegedly started in 1840 and is a history of how Big Cities have changed America. Of course, upon further investigation, it was "Victimology" of how chicks are being screwed but not screwed by the same guy anymore as college age boys do not want to marry them? They are not providers and do not have property such as a home.

      But as I read this article, I also understood exactly what the colleges are doing in that it is how they set back economics for a couple centuries. Cantillion and Turbot were onto proto-Austrian economics in the early 18th century. But the Classical Economics prevailed that was the writings of Adam Smith, Ricardo and J.S. Mill that was morphed into Marxism and Keynesianism. It was done through converting economics to mathematical models and advancing econometrics. Instead of individual "Human Action" that is NOT, I REPEAT NOT subject to mathematical formulas as it is the arbitrary results of 315M people today in America making individual choices daily. But today we are constantly bombarded with U3 Unemployment rates, "Core Inflation" and CPI, GDP Growth and Government Investment that for all intent and purposes is absolute malarkey. So the elite's Plan is apparently to reduce "Political Science" to equations and then to define Political Science out of existence.


      Rather than do a little work and take even leftist political science 'studies', it's a lot easier to protest, and have some fun, and if necessary, burn the village down.

      "It's takes a village" (Hillary quote) seems no longer so true, when burnt out buildings are so much more fun.

    4. Which is basically exactly what that true dimwitted black female Mayor of Ferguson, Missouri said.....

    5. It must be fun to write for a bunch of idiots that you're convinced will never have enough sense to fact-check your silly shit.

  26. Just got back from Wal-Mart to buy some anti-virus protection for my new Christmas computer.

    Honest clerks do exist.

    The honest guy at Electronics there talked me out of it.

    Just use this he said:


    It' free, won't muck your computer up, and all you have to do is re-register annually.

    So all I ended up buying was broccoli and Texas Bread.

  27. James Knowles, III, The Mayor of Ferguson, Mo. would probably not like being referred to as a "woman."

    Official Site: Mayor of Ferguson

    1. Alrighty then, the dumbshit from Baltimore, Maryland, if you insist.

      The comments in the article I cited above are excellent. A very intelligent and interesting discussion is going on there. I recommend it, but am terrified of posting any more of it, as I recall being drummed out the universe by Quirk for once posting comments, somewhat in the same manner as he drummed me out of the universe by accusing me of being 'a war monger' when I suggested 'safe zones' and 'no fly areas' in Syria before the Russkies took over, and the whole nation is nearing 100% bombed out.

      I don't want to go through that experience again, ever.

      I have never understood what is Q's problem with 'safe zones'.

      All the university kiddos are for them today.

      Q lags behind the times.

      Or maybe he's just been driving and drinking around Detroit too much, where there are no 'safe zones', and has a death wish, or just likes the excitement of it all, probably the latter.

  28. "We’ve had these kinds of conversations before, and I made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate and that’s what you saw this evening."

    Madam Mayor of Baltimore

  29. Thank you so much, Laggard R. That should clear that up.

    I, like Rufus, am approaching 70 years of age.

    Like Rufus, I too sometime err.

    Just the other day, Rufus posted the very same comment about 10 minutes apart.

    I made no 'big deal' about it. In fact did not even mention it.

    I attribute such minor errors on Ruf's part, not to ill will, or severe memory loss, but to Ruf's drinking habits.

    He might have been seeing double at the time, and hence, occasionally, posting double as well.

    In my case it is usually lack of sleep.

    No big deal.

  30. .

    Russia’s new underwater nuclear drone should raise alarm bells

    The atomic bomb as a city-buster has always inspired terror. Fortunately, in the past two decades, these massive stockpiles have been radically reduced. So why would anyone want to go back to the era of nuclear fear? That is the question that hangs over the disclosure that Russia has been developing a nuclear-armed, underwater, unmanned drone. The new weapon was revealed when Russian President Vladimir Putin met with military chiefs in Sochi in November and television news footage captured a page being used in the briefing. The Kremlin later said the video showing “Ocean Multipurpose System ‘Status-6’ ” should not have been broadcast, and the video was deleted, but by that time it had gone viral — and global.

    Russia appears to be creating a tactical nuclear weapon that could be slipped into a harbor, unleashing a tidal wave as well as the devastating effects of a nuclear explosion. It might be used to attack a military target, such as a submarine or naval base, but cities and industry could also be hit. According to the video, the mission of the proposed system is: “Damaging the important components of the adversary’s economy in a coastal area and inflicting unacceptable damage to a country’s territory by creating areas of wide radioactive contamination that would be unsuitable for military, economic, or other activity for long periods of time.” There are no arms control treaties in place to stop this; smaller tactical nuclear weapons have never been limited by treaty. And it is true that the United States, Russia and China are all modernizing nuclear and conventional forces...

    The Donald seems to admire Putin. Unfortunately, while Putin plays chess Trump struggles with checkers.

    Trump's likely solution to counter the Russian move, "I will build a wall around the US. It will be huuuuge! The best wall ever. And I'll make Russia pay for it."

    And the sheeple bleat, "All right, all right, all right."


    1. Obammy doesn't even play checkers.

      Obammy plays Russian Roulette.

      With about 4 bullets in the 6 shooter.

      And you have to pull trigger 4 times.

      Look what Hillary did in Libya.

      Entire middle east is chaos now.

      Art Linkletter could do better, if he were around.

    2. (I'm thinking of writing Quirk in for President. He seems to have all the issues firmly in hand, all the moves thought out 45 years in advance. I recall when I asked Q what he would do. After about three long densely packed paragraphs, the only decipherable answer seemed to be.....kinda like Obammy's doin', I guess)

    3. .

      Other than Lindsay Graham (and we know how he did), none of the GOP nominees have offered a single solution that differs significantly from what Obama is doing right now. However, in offering nothing new they do it in an especially 'butch' way.

      And their supporters shout "ooray".


    4. I think Trump has said no to lots of troops in Iraq, but that he'd 'bomb the shit out of them.'

      Cruz has wondered if desert sand glows in the dark. This doesn't seem to be a reference to nukes, but to, again, bombing the shit out of them.

      Bush has said he'd simply turn the military loose. He seems perhaps amenable to going back in with troops.

      Dr. Ben has said we got to take back the land, whatever that means.

      Don't know about Carli and some of the others.

      Fatso says he's the guy because he's dealt with terrorism before.

      So there you are.

      I think ISIS is slowly losing its grip in Iraq.

      Let the Russians take care of Syria.

      You haven't offered a single solution other than doing what Obama is doing yourself.

      Support Israel.
      Support the Kurds, who have not yet killed any Americans. At least give them the weapons they have been begging for.

      Support Sisi. Obama supported the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt.

      Stick with the bombing in Iraq, increasing it, and don't be so kind and tentative.

      Lives would probably be saved in the long run.

      And you ?

      Here's another chance to give your prescription.

    5. Obama, the asshole, has dissed Israel every chance he has gotten.

      Trump is right about shutting down Moslem immigration.

      The majority of Americans agree with him.

    6. .

      I think Trump has said no to lots of troops in Iraq, but that he'd 'bomb the shit out of them.'

      Gee, bomb them. Why hasn't Obama thought of that? Oh sorry, 'bomb the shit out of them'. Saying the same as Obama but saying it in a truly butch way so as to appeal to his low-information supporters.

      Cruz has wondered if desert sand glows in the dark. This doesn't seem to be a reference to nukes, but to, again, bombing the shit out of them.

      Same as Trump above but even 'butcher'.

      Bush has said he'd simply turn the military loose. He seems perhaps amenable to going back in with troops.

      He seems perhaps... Why the hell don't you look it up before opening your mouth? I heard him talking of special forces (the same as Obama) but I don't recall him talking about introducing more troops.

      Dr. Ben has said we got to take back the land, whatever that means.

      Not even Ben Carson knows what the hell Ben Carson is saying.

      Don't know about Carli and some of the others.

      then why even mention it? Is this your attempt to rebut my comment that the GOP merely bitches and haven't offered up a single thing that Obama isn't doing?

      If so, it's a piss poor attempt.



    7. .

      So there you are.

      Geez, you are clueless.

      Again, you don't think. You emote. As long as these guys shout their bullshit loud enough you think they are actually offering something new.


    8. .

      Support Israel.

      We've been supporting Israel to the tune of over $3 billion per year for decades. In fact, Obama has provided Israel with more aid than any president in history. It's a US law that we provide Israel with a qualitative advantage in weapons systems to keep them ahead of others in the region. They are the only country we do that for. We don't even do it for our real allies. And what has all this gotten us? Zip. Or worse. Open your eyes.

      Support the Kurds, who have not yet killed any Americans. At least give them the weapons they have been begging for.

      They have been getting weapons and using them to kill the so-called moderate Arabs we have been supporting. Russia and Israel aren't the only ones killing our allies in the war on ISIS.

      Support Sisi.

      Sisi is a prick and the Egyptian equivalant of Assad. Torture, disappearnces, jailing the press, attacks on NGO's, you name it they are the same. Yet, we continue to provide them with billions in baksheesh. And like Israel, the only interests they pursue are their own.

      Stick with the bombing in Iraq, increasing it, and don't be so kind and tentative.

      So you would do the same as Obama but just more of it and don't worry about the collateral damage.

      Ah hell, let's forget about the euphemisms. You would do the same as Obama but just more of it and forget about the women and children you bomb, after all, they are just Muslims.


      You sit here complaining about the war in Syria/Iraq on a daily basis; yet, your solution is to do what Obama is doing but just do more it.

    9. .

      Trump is right about shutting down Moslem immigration.

      The majority of Americans agree with him.

      More nonsense. The majority of his supporters might agree with him but polls taken around the time he made the statement show the majority of Americans sensibly reject his race-baiting and scare-mongering.

      What I find most interesting is the Tea Party support Trump gets. These are the same people who are 'supposedly' the key defenders of the Constitution. They are the people who blast Obama's cool disregard for the Constitution; yet, when Trump suggests interfering with the internet, he supports the use of torture, he proposes invading other countries and stealing their natural resources, he would deport the American-born children of illegal immigrants, he talks of shutting down mosques and creating a database of Muslims. He praised FDR’s internment of Japanese Americans in World War II, and he has even suggested that the relatives of terrorists be killed.

      And his Tea Party supporters love it proving the obvious that their appeals to the Constitution have nothing to do with principle but are merely a cynical hammer to use against Obama.


  31. .

    A Century After Sykes-Picot - The Sellout of Sharif Hussein and the Arabs

    George Antonius: “The Sykes-Picot Agreement is a shocking document. It is not only the product of greed at its worst, that is to say, of greed allied to suspicion and so leading to stupidity: it also stands out as a startling piece of double-dealing.”

    The postwar partition of the Ottoman Empire was the subject of intense negotiations between the Allies that ran the length of the war. In hindsight, each of the partition agreements only makes sense within its wartime context: the Constantinople Agreement of 1915 when the Allies anticipated the quick conquest of Istanbul; the Hussein–McMahon Correspondence in 1915 and 1916 when the British needed a Muslim ally against the Ottoman jihad; the Balfour Declaration in 1917 when the British wanted to revise the terms of the Sykes-Picot Agreement to secure Palestine for British rule. These outlandish agreements, which were only conceivable in wartime, were concluded solely to advance Britain and France’s imperial expansion. Had the European powers been concerned with establishing a stable Middle East, one can’t help but think they would have gone about drafting the boundaries in a very different way.

    The borders of the postwar settlement have proven remarkably resilient—as have the conflicts the postwar boundaries have engendered. The Kurdish people, divided between Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria, have been embroiled in conflict with each of their host governments over the past century in pursuit of their cultural and political rights. Lebanon, created by France in 1920 as a Christian state, succumbed to a string of civil wars as its political institutions failed to keep pace with its demographic shifts and Muslims came to outnumber Christians. Syria, unreconciled to the creation of Lebanon from what many Syrian nationalists believed to be an integral part of their country, sent its military to occupy civil war Lebanon in 1976—and remained in occupation of that country for nearly thirty years. Despite its natural and human resources, Iraq has never known enduring peace and stability within its postwar boundaries, experiencing a coup and conflict with Britain in the Second World War, revolution in 1958, war with Iran between 1980 and 1988, and a seemingly unending cycle of war since Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the 2003 American invasion of Iraq to topple Hussein.

    Yet the Arab-Israeli conflict, more than any other legacy of the postwar partition, has defined the Middle East as a warzone. Four major wars between Israel and its Arab neighbors—in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973—have left the Middle East with a number of intractable problems that remain unresolved despite peace treaties between Israel and Egypt in 1979 and between Israel and Jordan in 1994. Palestinian refugees remain scattered between Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan; Israel continues to occupy the Syrian Golan Heights and the Shebaa Farms in southern Lebanon; and Israel has yet to relinquish its control over the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank. While Israel and its Arab neighbors share primary responsibility for their actions, the roots of their conflict can be traced directly back to the fundamental contradictions of the Balfour Declaration...


    1. F the Palestinians.

      They are exactly as they were way back in Martha Gellhorn's day, insane.

      A Palestinian state would just become another launching pad for rockets, like Gaza.

      Deep down there, you know this, too.

    2. .

      I've argued right along the Palestinians are silly looking for a two-state solution. They should do away with the PA and turn all security responsibility and administration for the territories 100% to Israel. Do away with the kabuki that is the so-called 'peace process'. It would bankrupt Israel. It would do away with the facade of the Israeli democracy. And would increase world pressure on Israel.

      They have been foolish using terrorism as a tool. General strikes and sit-ins would have given them their own nation decades ago.


    3. Showing your love for Israel, yet once again.

      The 'facade' of democracy ?

      You jest.

      It's the only true democracy in the entire middle east.

      Moslems sit in the Knesset.

      You're like Dr. Strangelove.

      That damned right arm is impossible, finally, to keep down.

      Hail !

    4. General strikes and sit-ins would have given them their own nation decades ago.

      Alas, general strikes and sit ins are mentioned in the Koran.

      Exterminating the Jews is called for in the Koran, mandated.

      We are dealing with Moslems here, Quirk, not anti-war protesters.

      Grow UP !

    5. Alas, general strikes and sit ins are NOT mentioned in the Koran.

    6. "Dear Moslem brothers, sit in and strike for the infidel to convert to Islam ! Do this relentlessly, for 1400 years if necessary ! No beheadings, no stonings, no rapes, no violence. Treat the Jews with respect"


    7. If these Gentlemen were in the middle east they would not be in jail, would be filing no 'lawsuit' and would have stoned the wonderful lady to death long ago -

      December 28, 2015
      Incarcerated Muslims sue Pamela Geller for wearing a bikini
      By Carol Brown

      Pamela Geller has been sued by at least one, and perhaps two, Muslim prisoners in Michigan. And while Geller is no stranger to lawsuits (frequently challenging her First Amendment rights), this one’s a real doozie. Here’s the gist, as reported at Breitbart:

      Muslim prisoners in Michigan filed a lawsuit against Pamela Geller for “wearing a Poke a Dot Bikini In Front of our eyes. We are offended.” They demanded their freedom claiming their civil rights were violated….

      David Yerushalmi told me [Geller] that I had been sued by one or possibly two Muslims apparently who appear to be guests of the Michigan Correctional Hotel and Spa. “They sued you because, inter alia, you wear a bikini to distract them…the court dismissed the complaint on its own because plaintiff(s) failed to file the requisite filing fee or file the correct form to have the fee waived.”

      Hurray. It was thrown out. Not based on its merits (or lack thereof), but because of a bureaucratic detail. Yeah, that’s the problem with this lawsuit. The filing fee deadline.

      But in all seriousness, these people are serious. And as foolish as this lawsuit is, no one should underestimate the drive behind it: Islamic supremacy.

      Holy cow (or should I say, pig)! The list of accusations against Geller is quite long:

      · Serving pork to Muslim inmates.

      · Writing cartoons in their Koran.

      · Having a name that rhymes with Pen and Teller.

      · Mocking the beards of Muslim men and mocking their ankle pants.

      · Planning to eat in front of them during Ramadan.

      And if these egregious affronts to their delicate sensibilities weren’t enough, these pious men were forced to see a picture of Geller in a bikini. “In front of our eyes.” (gasp!)

      And then came the inevitable: “We are offended.” Which was the prelude to the grande finale:

      Pamela Geller is Anti Islamic She has Anti Islam tufted on her naval area and Islam with a pig on her inner thigh Pamela Geller was born in Mecca We are denied Haj to Mecca our 5 pillars. We are scared Pamela Geller put a hit on us with the Aryan Brotherhood We seek Immediate release from prison. Our civil rights are violated. Respectfully, Rick Tocket Muhummud and Wayde Albright.

      By this point in America, we’ve heard a lot of gripes from members of the Muslim community based on fabricated victimhood (crock boy comes to mind as a recent example), but this one really takes the halal cake.


      Nice pic of Pam in bikini, and photo copy of two page 'lawsuit' too.

    8. .

      General strikes and sit-ins would have given them their own nation decades ago.

      Alas, general strikes and sit ins are mentioned in the Koran.

      Once again, you prove your ignorance. You are blinded by your phobia of Muslims. Hamas and Hezbollah are political movements. There is no doubt that they are both bad boys and employ terrorist tactics but they are driven by political considerations, i.e. their hatred of and resistance to Israel, not the Koran or Islam. That is why fanatics like ISIS who use Islam as an excuse and a recruiting tool hate and oppose them.

      Hezbollah was formed as a resistance group opposing the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. They not only oppose Israel's continued occupation of the Golan Heights, they also support the fight against ISIS in Syria.

      Hamas was formed as a resistance group to the Israeli occupation of the occupied territories. They are currently the only ones keeping ISIS out of Gaza. ISIS opposes Hamas and has accused them (as well as the PA) of apostacy for carrying on negotiations with Israel.

      If you read the Israeli newspapers (The Times of Israel, Ynet News, Haartz, etc) instead of Jihad Watch and AM, you might actually learn something about what is going on in Israel these days.

      Through their fight against ISIS, both Hezbollah and Hamas support US interests in the ME. What exactly has Israel done for us lately?



  32. SOUTHWEST ASIA, December 28, 2015 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Syria

    Attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Hasakah, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL building.

    -- Near Raqqah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

    -- Near Manbij, eleven strikes struck seven separate ISIL tactical units, damaged an ISIL fighting position, cratered two ISIL-used roads, and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

    -- Near Mar’a, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL staging area.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Coalition forces used rocket artillery, along with fighter, attack, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 21 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Baghdadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache.

    -- Near Fallujah, a strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL building and an ISIL bunker.

    -- Near Kisik, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL bulldozer.

    -- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL vehicles, six ISIL fighting positons, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL checkpoint, and an ISIL tactical vehicle.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, denied ISIL access to terrain, wounded 12 ISIL fighters, and destroyed seven ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL rocket-propelled grenade positions, an ISIL bulldozer, two ISIL buildings, an ISIL staging area and an ISIL vehicle bomb staging area.

    -- Near Sinjar, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Tal Afar, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL assembly area.


  33. Jeb! is getting frantic....

    The Hill - Jeb Bush challenges Trump to one-on-one debate

    Hot Air

    It's ironic.

    Trump the Billionaire has spent almost nothing on his campaign. My wife is on his mailing list. He has never asked her for anything.

    Jeb!, also wealthy but much less so, has a 'war chest' of $100 million, has spent over $50 million.

    Trump's at nearly 40%

    Jeb! struggling to stay over 3%.

    Who says money is everything in politics.......

    Ben Carson hasn't much money in his 'war chest' either and he's still way ahead of Jeb!, even though he has slipped some lately.

    1. (Jeb! certainly didn't write his campaign a $100 million dollar check from his Florida bank account. It came from other people)

  34. Obama's Economic Performance Is Even Better Than It Looks

    —By Kevin Drum | Mon Dec. 28, 2015 2:48 PM EST

    Paul Krugman presents us today with an updated version of his chart showing private employment gains during the Obama administration compared to the Bush administration:


    But Obama's performance is even better than it looks. Here's an updated version of my chart showing total government expenditures for both the Bush and Obama administrations measured since the end of the recessions they inherited:


    Bush inherited a mild recession and got a huge fiscal boost. Obama inherited a deep recession and got a huge fiscal headwind. Even so, Obama's employment performance has been far better than Bush's.

    As it happens, I don't think presidents have a dramatic effect on the economy. But they have some. John McCain wouldn't have fought for stimulus spending or extensions of unemployment insurance. He would probably have appointed more conservative members of the Fed, who might have tightened monetary policy sooner. He would have insisted on keeping the portion of the Bush tax cut that goes to the rich.

    So Obama deserves some of the credit for this. George Bush squandered his political capital on tax cuts for the wealthy and soft regulation of Wall Street. We saw the results of that. Obama spent his political capital on stimulus and health care and the social safety net. The result has been a sustained recovery despite a net decrease in government spending over the past six years. Not bad.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/12/obamas-economic-performance-even-better-it-looks">Mother Jones

  35. I asked my daughter who she is backing for President.

    She has never been much into politics or politicians.

    I take this as a sign of intelligence.

    He answer was some person or entity named:

    Dez Nuts
    Des Nuts
    Dez Nutz
    Des Nutz

    I am uncertain of the spelling.

  36. RCP '16 Republican Presidential Nomination:

    Trump +18.7

  37. Trump vs. Clinton:

    Clinton +5.5