“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Friday, March 04, 2016

Bootlicking for Dollars: Israel’s US Sycophant, Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio Is Running Out of Time to Deliver Middle East Return on Investment for Big Donors

   Florida Sen. Marco Rubio speaks to voters before the Michigan presidential primary. (Steve Lagreca / Shutterstock.com)
This column is the first in a series about the presidential candidates on Israel and Palestine.

Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that he’d like to be “kind of a neutral guy” when it comes to Israel produced a lot of seething and squirming among the extreme pro-Israel GOP crowd (read: nearly every member of the party), especially those accustomed to loyalty oaths that would make Joe McCarthy blush.  

One of the indignant sycophants, Marco Rubio, will never be accused of neutrality, evenhandedness, reason, or any other value that might actually contribute to a meaningful solution in Israel/Palestine. Trump’s position “is an anti-Israel position,” Rubio spat during the debate in Houston. “You cannot be an honest broker in a dispute between two sides in which one of the sides is constantly acting in bad faith.”
West Bank Jewish settlers tripling since the beginning of the Oslo “peace process”? Arab East Jerusalem surrounded by 17 Jewish settlements? A 400:1 ratio in civilian casualties in the 2014 Gaza war? Israel’s explosive power in that war equal to 1,500 times that of all the Hamas rockets fired into Israel? No matter. Of course, Sen. Rubio is talking about Palestinian bad faith.

This is hardly a surprise. Rubio is a prime candidate in the so-called Sheldon Adelson primary, also known as Bootlicking for Dollars. The billionaire casino mogul, funder of settlements and of GOP candidates, who once advocated nuking Iran, is now said to be favoring Rubio.  
But Rubio does not even need Adelson’s support to achieve front-runner status as Bootlicker in Chief.  For years he has happily had his pockets lined by Paul Singer, another neocon billionaire and a board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which is strongly allied with Benjamin Netanyahu and the hard right in Israel. Singer, principal of the hedge fund Elliott Management, was the second-largest source of Rubio’s campaign contributions between 2009 and 2014, according to Eli Clifton of the excellent Lobelog. Rubio, in turn, did Singer’s bidding in Argentina, where the billionaire’s hedge fund stood to make more than $2 billion by maintaining a hard line on the country’s debt crisis. (Argentina negotiated partial repayment with nearly all creditors, but the Wall Street hedge funds, led by Singer, held out for full payment—even though they had bought the debt for pennies on the dollar—earning them the lovely moniker of “vulture funds.”)  

Singer’s strategy, according to Lobelog, involved demonizing leftist President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who had pledged not to repay the “vulture funds” in full. Rubio, recipient of more than $122,000 from Singer, repaid him with a Senate resolution accusing the Argentine president of conspiring “to cover up Iranian involvement in the 1994 terrorist bombing” at a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, and calling for a “full and transparent” investigation into the alleged Iranian connection.
Five months later, Singer endorsed Rubio for president. And on Monday, with a new, more conservative president in place in Argentina, Singer’s hedge fund finally got the deal it wanted, cashing in at $2.28 billion, or 369 percent of what it originally paid at the height of Argentina’s debt crisis in 2001.

Yet the billionaire nearest and dearest to the Rubio family is neither Adelson nor Singer. It’s a Miami car dealer, Norman Braman, former owner of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, who donated more than $300,000 to bolster Ariel, a settlement of 20,000 Israelis smack in the center of the Palestinian West Bank. Ariel has long been one of the single biggest obstacles to a peace deal.  

Braman has been underwriting both the settlements and the Rubios for years. A New York Times profile of Braman declared that the billionaire “has bankrolled Mr. Rubio’s campaigns … financed Mr. Rubio’s legislative agenda … [and] subsidized Mr. Rubio’s personal finances.” Braman, the article continued, “hired Mr. Rubio, then a Senate candidate, as a lawyer; employed his wife to advise the Braman family’s philanthropic foundation; helped cover the cost of Mr. Rubio’s salary as an instructor at a Miami college; and gave Mr. Rubio access to his private plane. The money has flowed both ways. Mr. Rubio has steered taxpayer funds to Mr. Braman’s favored causes, successfully pushing for an $80 million state grant to finance a genomics center at a private university and securing $5 million for cancer research at a Miami institute for which Mr. Braman is a major donor.”

And of course, there is Braman’s love of the Israeli settlements, a love he has helped foster in Rubio. On Rubio’s first trip to Israel, shortly after his election to the Senate in 2010, Braman and his wife were there to show Marco and his wife around. “Specific details” of the trip, Rubio’s people said, “will be kept private.” Oh. Sorry for asking. It’s really not that important. The fact that a just-elected senator was to be escorted through the Holy Land by an extremist representative of the hard right of one side of a conflict that pits the U.S. against most of the world—sure, that’s really none of our business. Pardon us for the inquiry.  
So we can’t say for sure where the billionaire car dealer and ex-NFL owner took the incoming tea party senator on his first trip to the Holy Land. But there’s little doubt that the billionaire schooled the senator-elect on the ways of the settlements. Now, when Rubio takes to the Senate floor to denounce Palestinians and praise Netanyahu, he uses settler language—“Judea and Samaria,” rather than the occupied Palestinian territories, or even just “the West Bank”—to prove his allegiance, and his disdain for neutrality.

In the end, really, it doesn’t matter which Marco billionaire you focus on. Like politicians everywhere, Sen. Rubio is well trained in the art of political indebtedness. His predictable hard lines—more weapons for Israel, roll back the Iran deal, silence Israel’s critics, and end Palestinian dreams of statehood by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem—are straight out of the neocon playbook. And no one will be a more loyal player, and more deeply on the hook, than Marco Rubio.


  1. I had eliminated him but I'll have to give Marco another look.

  2. How about Trump/Webb ?

    1. Trump/Melania Trump ?

      I'd vote for that.

  3. .

    Turkey was better off under the Generals like Iran was better off under the Shah

    Right, we see how well it has worked out in Egypt under Sisi.


    1. Much much better than under the MB Morsi, thankfully in prison, who was beginning to remilitarize the Sinai, among other nefarious acts.

      You with your limited knowledge may not know it but Sisi has been trying to reform the education system in Egypt, taking away influence from the preachers.

      My old girl friend's high class friend from Egypt, now living in Vegas, is quite open about it.

      "My people, the Egyptians, aren't ready for democracy."

      For my part, I often wonder if the majority of the people of Michigan are ready for democracy.

    2. .

      You with your limited knowledge...

      You dolt. This, coming from you, is hilarious.

      In my post above, I quoted you. It's your response from the last stream on regarding the attacks on freedom of the press by Turkey.

      Take a look the headlines of the stories on Egypt at this site

      Reporters Without Borders -- Egypt

      Here's a bit from the first link,

      The situation of journalists in Egypt is unacceptable

      Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has written to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi requesting the release of journalists who are detained arbitrarily in Egypt. As violations of freedom in general and media freedom in particular continue to grow, the letter also voices concern about the safety of media personnel and stresses the need to combat impunity for violence against journalists.

      President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi
      Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt
      Cairo, Egypt

      Paris, 22 February 2016

      Dear President Sisi,

      Respect for the fundamental freedoms of Egyptian citizens and foreign residents has unfortunately declined since you became Egypt’s president in 2014. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) would like to draw your attention to the very disturbing situation of Egypt’s journalists, who are only too often persecuted on national security grounds.

      In 2015, Egypt became one the world’s biggest prisons for journalists. At least 24 journalists and bloggers are currently imprisoned in connection with their reporting. In most cases, their only “error” was to have covered demonstrations or protests or to have spoken with members of the Muslim Brotherhood (which you have declared to be a “terrorist organization”) in the course of their reporting.

      These journalists, who RSF defends, are held on trumped-up charges unrelated to press offences, charges such as membership of a terrorist organization, participating in an illegal demonstration, spreading false information or disturbing public order. Many of them have been subjected to unjust trials that violate Egypt’s 2014 constitution and international human rights law, demonstrating the Egyptian justice system’s lack of independence...

      You don't gain 'knowledge' reading JihadWatch. You just get brainwashed.


    3. .

      You with your limited knowledge may not know it but Sisi has been trying to reform the education system in Egypt, taking away influence from the preachers...

      Of course, they are. It's called brainwashing. The Israeli papers have been putting up articles lately of the the right-wing education ministers efforts along the same lines. You love to pull shit out of your ass about Israel and Egypt all the time. Why don't you try reading their papers once in a while rather than Jihadwatch. The Palestinians do the same thing. The tendency toward fascism is strong in every government. Some just take it further than others. Left free to do it, they will do. And how much freer can you get than being the winner after a military coup?

      The principle is straight out of 1984. Get them while they are young.


    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. .

      My old girl friend's high class friend from Egypt, now living in Vegas, is quite open about it.

      High class friend?

      It's hard to believe you are real at times.

      Why don't you suggest she comes on this blog and tells us all about it sometime rather than having a cracked vessel like you carry the message?



  4. This comment has been removed by the author.


  5. Freedom in the World Index - 2015 put out by from Freedom House.


    2015 Scores (1=Best, 7=Worst)

    Status: NOT FREE

    Freedom Rating: 5.5

    Civil Liberties: 5.0

    Political Rights: 6.0




    2015 Scores (1=Best, 7=Worst)

    Status: PARTLY FREE

    Freedom Rating: 3.5

    Civil Liberties: 4.0

    Political Rights: 3.0



    Turkey is rated better in every measure than Egypt. By going to the links you can get details on the ratings.



  6. There there Quirk. Calm down. Now calm down.

    One can't think clearly, and you clearly aren't, when one is in a whirl and a turmoil...in a tizzy my grandmother used to call it.

    I'll get back to ya on it tomorrow, when you are rested. I'm going down to the Food Store now.

  7. Sisi tries to reform Islam

    With this as a background, Egyptian President Sisi may be a pioneer in the sense that he has preceded all other Arab leaders and clerics in addressing and confronting the issue of jihadism. No political figure before him, nor any Muslim religious thinker, had previously dared to deal with the issue and voice calls for change.

    “We Are in Need of a Religious Revolution” President Sisi visited Al-Azhar University on January 1, 2015, and addressed Egypt’s religious leadership. Sisi said, inter alia:

    I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing – and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It is inconceivable that the thinking (fikr – in this context it is “wrong” ideas) that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma (Islamic nation) to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

    That thinking (fikr) – I am not saying “religion” (din) but “thinking” – that corpus of texts and ideas that we have held sacred over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.

    It’s antagonizing the entire world! Is it possible that 1.6 billion people (Muslims) should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants – that is 7 billion – so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

    I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema (learned men) – Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I’m talking about now. All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective. I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You imams are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move…because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands.

    1 Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 22, 2015, the Egyptian president had tough words against global terrorism and Islamic extremism. Sisi condemned the plague of terrorism that spilled blood across the globe, saying that blood in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Mali, Libya, Lebanon, Canada, and France was “of the same color.” But he used cautiously chosen words to describe Islamic terrorism as the action of a “minority” that “distorted religion.”

    1. Sisi continued, “I assert with all firmness that Islam is a religion whose values of tolerance, embraced by more than a billion followers, should not be evaluated through the acts of criminals and murderers.” Sisi added that Muslims must “seek reform” and “re-evaluate their positions” so as not to allow a “minority” to “distort” their history, jeopardize their present, and threaten their future on the basis of a “mistaken understanding or inadequate interpretation of the principles of religion.” As for Western nations, they had to refrain from confrontation and from “hurting Muslims’ feelings” in combating terrorism, for this would play into the hands of those seeking to show that conflict was inevitable.

      In a brief interview held following his address at Davos, Sisi was asked to elaborate on what he meant at al-Azhar by “a religious revolution.” Sisi explained: “Islam’s teachings of tolerance weren’t always clear to the rest of world over the last 20-30 years. Terrible terrorist attacks and the [resulting] disastrous portrayal of Muslims led us to suggest taking a hard look at the religious discourse to weed out erratic ideas that led to violence and extremism.

      ”2 In fact, there is nothing new in what Sisi said. His speech was but another expression of his view of Islam, a view that has been out in the open from the very beginning of his public exposure. In a speech at the Department of Moral Affairs of the Armed Forces in 2013, Sisi declared that “religious discourse is the greatest battle and challenge facing the Egyptian people,” and pointed to the need for a new vision and a modern comprehensive understanding of the religion of Islam, rather than relying on a discourse that has not changed for 800 years. Sisi further “called on all who follow the true Islam to improve the image of this religion in front of the world, after Islam has been for decades convicted of violence and destruction around the world, due to the crimes falsely committed in the name of Islam.”

      3 In this context it is worth recalling the words of American scholar and president of the Middle East Forum Daniel Pipes: “No matter how fine Sisi’s ideas, no politician – and especially no strongman – has moved modern Islam. Ataturk’s reforms in Turkey are systematically being reversed. A decade ago, King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan gave similarly fine speeches on ‘the true voice of Islam’ and ‘enlightened moderation’ that immediately disappeared from view. Sisi’s comments are stronger, but he is not a religious authority and, in all likelihood, they, too, will disappear without a trace.”

      4 However, unlike his Western counterparts who make-believe that the current wave of violence has nothing to do with Islam, it is of some comfort to hear the head of the largest Arab country speak once more so directly about Islam and how it is being used to terrorize the world. This is not a big surprise to those who have followed Sisi.

      5 Yet true reform requires scholars of Islam, not “strong” politicians. Islam is in need of innovators who can cope with the reality of the 21st century and repudiate its misinterpretation carried out by jihadi Islam. Sisi is not likely to be that reformer.

      Recognizing the limitations of his power, Sisi admitted that the issue of “revolution” had been referred to Al-Azhar’s ulema because “they were the ones in charge of the state of the Islamic nation” and, as such, “responsible for bringing the religious discourse in harmony with the spirit of the times.” - See more at: http://jcpa.org/article/sisi-calls-for-reform-of-islam/#sthash.JYPkiTFt.dpuf


  8. Morsi moves to remilitarize the Sinai

    I'll let Quirk read up on it for a day or two. Morsi, in a marvelous culbate generale now sits in the same jail cell recently occupied by Mubarak.

    Search only for Morsi moves to remilitarize the Sanai

    Egypt looking to remilitarize Sinai - WND


    Dec 15, 2012 · Egypt looking to remilitarize Sinai ... the Egyptians began to move more troops into the area after Egyptian police ... a legal adviser to Morsi, ...

    Morsi seeks to develop Sinai - excuse to...


    Morsi seeks to develop Sinai ... He cited a $263 million plan by Morsi to develop Sinai’s infrastructure as ... “This requires Egypt to move to amend the ...

    Egypt's Provocative and Dangerous Remilitarization...


    Egypt's Provocative and Dangerous Remilitarization of ... Mohammed Morsi was first ... Hitler used to remilitarize the Rhineland in 1936: Move in the ...

    Mohamed Morsi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Mohamed Morsi محمد مرسى; 5th ... supported Morsi. [104] The move was criticized by ... to implement jihadists in Sinai. [176] On 29 January 2014, Morsi faced ...

    The Saga of Sinai: A Neglected Hotspot Egypt’s Morsi Must Not ...


    “We have both a security crisis and a development crisis there and we’ve had them for a long time.” The stakes for Sinai’s ... stick moves by Morsi ...

    The Root of Egypt's Coup: Morsi Giving Free Hand...
    › Middle East News

    Home > Middle East News The Root of Egypt's Coup: Morsi Giving Free Hand to Sinai Islamists . A series of interviews by AP with defense, army, and intel officials ...

    The military - Home - Fanack Chronicle
    › Egypt
    › Governance

    The Armed Forces are much more than simply the military branch of the ... Morsi assumed power in ... to believe that Egypt wishes to remilitarize the Sinai.

    Egypt’s Morsi: Warmongering Savage! |...


    Sep 09, 2012 · ... President Mohamed Morsi had already blatantly violated the cardinal principle of the peace treaty with Israel–the demilitarization of Sinai–by ...

    Sinai Peninsula - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Most of the Sinai Peninsula is divided among the two governorates of Egypt: South Sinai (Ganub Sina) and North Sinai (Shamal Sina) ...

    Is Morsi Preparing for War? - Commentary Magazine


    Commentary Magazine. Home; Login; Subscribe; Donate; About; Contact; Politics. Campaigns & Elections; Conservatives & Republicans

  9. In a rational World, Obama would suspend Turkey from Nato and then drum them out. The problem is he can’t because of the horrible mess the US has made with the refugee crisis in Europe with our disastrous policies and war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt and Syria. All that as a result of our insane policy of Militant Zionism Enablement in Israel.

  10. Trump was right to tell CPAC to cram it. The votes are in Kansas, Ohio and Louisiana not Washington. Why give the anti-trump activists a target? Now, he should get it on and Turf out AIPAC.

  11. New poll shows Donald Trump retaining lead in Kansas

    Trump sits at 35 percent support, Cruz at 29 percent, Rubio 16 percent

    Donald Trump remains in the lead in Kansas among likely caucus-goers, according to a new poll released as Kansas Republicans prepare to make their pick on Saturday.

    The poll, by the Trafalgar Group, shows that among likely Republican caucus-goers, the billionaire businessman holds 35 percent support, Sen. Ted Cruz sits at 29 percent and Rubio has 16 percent support.

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich has about 12 percent support, with only 6 percent undecided. The poll had a margin of error of 2.96 percentage points.

    The poll, conducted earlier this week, comes a week after a poll by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs and Fort Hays State University. The Docking poll also had Trump leading with Cruz in second and Rubio in third. But the poll showed a much higher percentage of undecided voters — a full third of Republicans.

    Kansas has shone brightly in the GOP presidential race this week. Cruz campaigned in Overland Park on Wednesday, and Rubio stopped Friday in Topeka, as well as Overland Park and Wichita.

    Meanwhile, Trump announced a Saturday morning rally in Wichita ahead of the start of GOP caucuses at 10 a.m.


  12. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's dominant start to the presidential primary process looks like it could continue over the next several weeks, according to polls surveying upcoming state's contests.

    Thirteen states hold primaries or caucuses over the next two weeks. Of them, Trump is leading polls in nine, according to the RealClearPolitics average, including some of the most important, winner-take-all states.


    1. Polls have been accurate in predicting Trump wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Vermont, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Tennessee.

  13. Trump leads in all major demographics except The GOP Likuds Force:

    Trump’s Triumphs Demolish Netanyahu’s Fortress GOP Strategy

    The N.Y. tycoon is decimating the three legs of blanket Republican support for Israel: Evangelicals, Jews and interventionist hawks.

    In their Super Tuesday speeches, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio tried to use an Israel hammer to bash Donald Trump. Cruz sneeringly lambasted him for saying he would remain “neutral” while Rubio trounced Trump for trying to stay “impartial”, as his audience booed accordingly. And Trump? Trump was racking up victories, amassing delegates and laughing all the way to the top of the Republican presidential field.
    In this way, the New York billionaire is decimating the conventional wisdom, one of many, that in 2016, total and unconditional support for Israel is a prerequisite for any aspiring GOP candidate wishing to run for president; that such a pledge of allegiance to Israel, in general, and to Benjamin Netanyahu, in particular, is a threshold requirement for gaining the support of Evangelicals, who set the tone during primary season; and that the flow of sympathy for Israel from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans is inevitable, perhaps even desirable, and in any case unstoppable.
    But exactly a year after Netanyahu took this logic to its extreme and stood on the podium of Congress as Leader of the Republican opposition to President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, the conception is falling apart. The notion that the Republican Party is a monolithic bastion of support that will withstand the test of time is evaporating. The belief that any Republican president who will follow Obama will be better for Israel is eroding with each passing day. Faced with the Trump phenomenon, Netanyahu’s Fortress GOP strategy is collapsing like a house of cards.


  14. USA Pays to Feed, Shelter Cuban Migrants -- in Costa Rica.......DRUDGE

    I think I recall Deuce sold all his units he built, but if not Deuce you might make a buck from Uncle Sam..........

  15. On my foreign affairs, I am more interested in Poland, Estonia and Belgium these days.

  16. Trump’s statements on Israel predictably prompted the groveling Marco Rubio, in the running for the “Sheldon Adelson primary” of dollars, to suggest that the billionaire candidate didn’t “understand the enduring bond between Israel and America.”

    Indeed, Trump’s unorthodox, unpredictable and ever-shifting positions, including those on Israel, have sent shivers up and down neocon spines everywhere. Max Boot, the superhawk who believes the U.S. should “unambiguously embrace its imperial role around the world,” recently declared in USA Today: “I have been a Republican my entire life, but I will never support Trump.” Bill Kristol, he of we-will-be-welcomed-in-Iraq-as-liberators fame, is assaulting Trump head-on. Kristol’s arch-right Emergency Committee for Israel recently released an ad accusing Trump of “kissing up to anti-American dictators.” Added Kristol in a press release: “If you’re pro-Israel, you shouldn’t be pro-Trump. Apologists for dictators aren’t reliable friends of the Jewish state.” Um, didn’t Israel have a cozy secret relationship with the Shah of Iran? And Mubarak’s Egypt? And the genocidal regime in Guatemala? Somoza’s Nicaragua? Does anyone remember the Contras? Ah, but I digress.

    Back to 2016: Some neocons and ardent pro-Israel Republicans are already climbing aboard the Hillary bandwagon. Robert Kagan, a principal of the now-defunct Project for the New American Century, the intellectual architect of the Iraq War, said if Trump were the GOP nominee, he, Kagan, would support Clinton. For Kagan and other conservatives and wealthy donors, Clinton is preferable to the volatile billionaire they cannot control. One of Clinton’s biggest backers is Haim “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel” Saban, a Democrat. The multibillionaire entertainment mogul, a strong advocate of silencing Israel’s critics, has already doled out $6.4 million to Clinton’s campaign. Clinton, who long ago proved her fealty on all things Israel, recently upped the ante by declaring she would host Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “in my first month in office.”

    Trump’s “neutral guy” comments, by contrast, have created an outbreak of handwringing in pro-Israel circles. Trump’s comments lend credence to his image of looking people in the eye and telling them the truth, even if they don’t want to hear it, simply because he can’t be bought. He told the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting, “I don’t need your money.”


  17. Very very bad report card on The Donald -

    Donald Trump, the Great Betrayer

    David Brooks MARCH 4, 2016

    Now, at long last, the big guns are being brought to bear. Now, at long last, some major Republicans like Mitt Romney are speaking up to lay waste to Donald Trump.

    For months Trump’s rivals and other Republicans have either retreated in silence or tentatively and ineptly criticized him for exactly those traits that voters like about him: for being a slapdash, politically incorrect money-hungry bully.

    But now finally — at long last — major Republicans are raising their heads and highlighting Trump’s actual vulnerability: his inability to think for an extended time about anybody but himself.

    He seduces people with his confidence and his promises. People invest time, love and money in him. But in the end he cares only about himself. He betrays those who trust him and leaves them high and dry.........


    I may vote for Kasich.

    1. This:

      his inability to think for an extended time about anybody but himself

      is a major failing of nearly everyone.


      Nobody spins neocon failures as artfully as David Brooks. Who else could write a column titled "The Postwar Election" and be taken seriously? Stripped down to its essentials, his basic argument is that since the surge is such a success, voters are turning their attention away from the war in Iraq. Consequently the 2008 election will be decided on other issues. It's his backhanded way of insinuating - without saying - that the occupation in Iraq is a success, and that a Democratic landslide will not be a referendum on the war.

    3. Makes sense to me. After the Surge, all was calm, all was bright, till O'bozo and Hillary got in and took the troops out of Iraq, messed around in Libya, and the entire Middle East is up in flames.

      Always be humble and kind.

  18. March 5, 2016

    What Pagliano’s Immunity Deal in the Clinton Email Scandal Reveals

    By Jonathan F. Keiler

    While I tend to believe that a grand jury has not yet been convened, a grant of immunity in any federal case is a pretty big matzo ball and not given out lightly. The question of immunity is only relevant where criminal activity is afoot, and given only when a witness’s testimony can incriminate other people. Such grants can be utilized as fishing expeditions by prosecutors, but they are not supposed to be, and in a closely watched case like this one, it is highly unlikely. So Pagliano’s immunity is almost certainly connected to what the FBI considers real criminal wrongdoing by bigger fish -- at a minimum Clinton’s personal aides and likely the former Secretary of State herself.

    Even more compelling is the fact that Pagliano’s testimony is not necessary to prove the basic case against Clinton for violating either federal record laws, or those pertaining to handling classified material. In either case the evidence already on the record is sufficient to secure convictions on multiple counts on the basis of gross negligence. But politically, mere negligence is perhaps not sufficient to support a prosecution -- thus Clinton’s legally irrelevant and untrue but persistent statements that she never sent any emails marked classified at the time. Pagliano’s testimony might well show conscious intent on Clinton’s part, which while not technically necessary to the case against her, makes it stronger, and thus more politically persuasive.

    Finally, the most damaging potential testimony that Pagliano might offer, and perhaps the reason it has taken this long to do an immunity deal, is that he offers the FBI a chance to make a case on the basis of obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Pagliano is usually described as the IT guy that set up Clinton’s private server (which is true) but as a State Department employee he did double duty for Clinton and the government between 2009 and 2013. Thus he was not only around to set up the private server, but to delete emails from it when Clinton left office, and possibly prepare it for shipment to Platte River, the company Clinton eventually contracted with to store the device. I’ve long believed that the key to a successful prosecution of Clinton is pairing evidence of obstruction of justice with the classified documents and federal records violations. Evidence of obstruction, means evidence of direct intent and a guilty mind, that cannot be sloughed off mere carelessness, honest mistake, or the foibles of various underlings...


  19. The joke of the week was Mitt Romney in his virtual varsity letter sweater telling the teachers in the Republican Party about Bad Ass Donald.

  20. Trump Seriously: On the Trail With the GOP’s Tough Guy

    ”I’m owned by the people. I’m no angel, but I’m going to do right by them.”

    By Paul Solotaroff September 9, 2015

    Rolling Stone

    ...In all the hysteria, however, what's often missed are the qualities that brought Trump here. You don't do a fraction of what he's done in life — dominate New York real estate for decades, build the next grand Xanadus for the super-rich on the far shores of Dubai and Istanbul, run the prime-time ratings table for more than 10 years and earn a third (or sixth) fortune at it – without being immensely cunning and deft, a top-of-the-food-chain killer. Over the course of 10 days and several close-in encounters, I got to peer behind the scrim of his bluster and self-mythos and get a very good look at the man. What I saw was enough to make me take him dead serious. If you're waiting for Trump to blow himself up in a Hindenburg of gaffes or hate speech, you're in for a long, cold fall and winter. Donald Trump is here for the duration — and gaining strength and traction by the hour.

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/trump-seriously-20150909#ixzz4221hyNKX
    Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook


      It's worth noting that Trump was nearly a train wreck himself as the son of wealth in Jamaica Estates, Queens. An indifferent student who was "mouthing off to everybody" and carrying around a switchblade in his pocket, he was yanked out of prep school by his disappointed parents and sent to the New York Military Academy upstate. "He thought he was Mr. America and the world revolved around him," says Col. Ted Dobias, his former instructor and baseball coach, a barrel-chested man who's now nearing 90 but whose memory is diamond-drill sharp. "I had a lot of one-on-ones" with the 14-year-old Trump, adds Dobias, some of which got physical, both men say. Whatever it took to seize the eighth-grader's attention, Dobias seemed to turn him around. By ninth grade, Trump was a model cadet; as a senior, he made cadet captain, says Dobias, and was the star first baseman for Dobias' varsity squad. “He was good-hit and good-field: We had scouts from the Phillies to watch him, but he wanted to go to college and make real money.”

      Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/trump-seriously-20150909#ixzz4222r8qtZ
      Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

  21. Trump in no Democrat nor is he a Republican. Trump is an old fashion nationalist and a political street fighter. He scares the remains of the living Jesus out of the Neocons and if Sanders falters to Clinton, I’m in with Trump.

  22. CPAC? Does anyone still take “conservatives” seriously, anyone? Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt,


  23. Lancaster) -- The Pennsylvania primary election is less than two months away on April 26.

    A new Franklin and Marshall College poll shows Donald Trump leads the Republican field and Hillary Clinton has a big lead over Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side.

    Poll Director Terry Madonna says Pennsylvania’s numbers are largely reflecting the national trends because many voters here have yet to fully commit.

    "Because our primary is so late, the voters can sort of wait-and-see," he says. “There's no urgency to it."

    Trump has 22 percent on the GOP side, with Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Ted Cruz behind him in that order.

    "It's not as big as his lead is nationally or in many other state," Madonna says. “There's still a fair number of Republican voters who have not made up their minds."

    Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 21 points on the Democratic side -- 48-27.

    "It shouldn't be a suprise that Hillary has a big lead (in Pennsylvania)," Madonna notes. "Her husband carried the state twice, she beat President Obama in the Democratic primary in 2008, she has Scranton roots, (and) she's very popular down in the southeast."
    Madonna says there's still a lot of time for those numbers to change, but notes the question is whether the nominations will be decided by the time Pennsylvanians cast their ballots.

  24. .


    There, there, Bob. You are screaming hysterically again. You need to calm down. Settle back. Put a cool wash clothe on your forehead. Pop another Xanax. Maybe take a nap.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. .

      If you don't want to 'introduct' her here, it's fine.

      (Where's Ms. Doug when you need her?)


  25. So Xanax is what you use.

    I've wondered.

    You read like you've been using all night, really mellow yellow. You ain't makin' no sense.

    Are you going to be OK ?

    You got one of those Medical Alert devices in case your heart goes whomp whomp stomp stomp stop stop ?

    Any other adults in the house ?

    The wife maybe, a relative, a professional caregiver ?

    1. Cause I ain't drivin' out from Idaho to save your sorry ass, not after the way you left me pocketless of a dime in that phone booth in Vegas.

    2. Maybe you ought to call Emergency Medical right now to be on the safe side and salve my conscience.

      There, I've done all I can do and am going back to bed.

    3. .

      Ah, taking that nap I suggested, good, good.

      I suggested the Xanax because I own stock in Phizer but there are plenty of generics available for what I presumed was your massive panic attack. However, perhaps I was too hasty. Maybe it was just one of your frequent manic episodes. If so, you might want to increase your lithium dosage and try some self-help coping techniques. Bi-polar swings can be scary.

      Rest easy, old timer.


  26. .

    He scares the remains of the living Jesus out of the Neocons and if Sanders falters to Clinton, I’m in with Trump.

    Trump is a Nathan Thurm clone who has learned how not to sweat.




    Trump says something outrageous and then when called on it first doubles down but if he eventually gets too much heat he denies he ever said it. Then if the lie is documented by a tape showing what he had previously said, he obfuscates like Nathan Thurm to buy time and then later puts out a statement saying the exact opposite of his initial statement.

    The latest example is his comment that under his administration he would not only kill the terrorists but also their families. When called on the statement during the last debate he hemmed and hawed. When asked what he would do if the troops refused to obey that order, he said

    “They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse me, believe me,” he said. “If I say do it, they’re going to do it. That’s what leadership is all about.”

    Today his campaign put out the following statement,

    “I will use every legal power that I have to stop these terrorist enemies,” Trump said. “I do, however, understand that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws and will seek their advice on such matters.”

    One has to assume the same applies to his preference for waterboarding and other 'enhanced interrogation' (read torture) techniques.


    1. .

      The second 'HERE' above is



    2. .

      Nathan Thurm is Donald Trump without the Monster energy drinks.


    3. Mike Wallace lived to be 94.

      He was friends with Nancy Reagan and her family for over 75 years.

      Nancy Reagan is 94.

      9+1+1 = 11

    4. Harry Shearer played Mike Wallace, accusing Thurm of being involved in corporate corruption. Thurm of course denied everything and nervously tried to turn the tables on Wallace.

  27. How liberals drive income inequality.


    1. Can't read the article with no subscription


    He'd rather be IRRESPONISIBLE.

  29. Today's Inspirational Quote from Quirk:


    1. Who is Nathan Thurn ?

    2. .

      This is the guy you were going to put in charge of remedial spelling, Doug.

      You better hang on to the job yourself.


  30. JS_FLA •
    A former Taiwanese military officer I worked with in Grad School had the following insight expressed to me thusly: The genious of the American system is that it channels the natural ambition and aggressiveness in young men toward peaceful and constructive endeavors. Instead of warlords, America gets corporate titans. While we complain often about the latter, we should count our blessings that we don't have the former.

    Needless to say, young men -- regardless of social status -- are, more often than not, innately energetic, resourceful, inquisitive, creative, imaginative, clever, ambitious, arrogant and fearless. Free market capitalism offers broad scope and outlet to vent this energy, creativity, and willingness to take risks, in a peaceful albeit highly competitive manner. New riches tend to dissolve social heirarchies allowing upward movement of the ambitious, a movement that relieves social pressures that otherwise might lead to rebellion and violence.

    Social Justice Warriors may believe they can, by indoctrination, construct new, morally-superior "socialist men" (aka New Soviet Man). However free market capitialism is the economic system that successfully harnesses companies of young men for socially harmonious, constructive purposes -- the actual unreformed young men (warts and all) that God and nature gave us.


  31. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson tells US that after the "surge" all was calm ....

    He fails to note that the 'bad guys' just scampered across the Syrian border, where they transformed themselves from "al-Qeada in Iraq" to ISIL and then the Islamic State.

    They were never defeated, the 'surge' was a dismal failure.
    It was never supported by the "Purple Fingers of Freedom".

    And that is who constitutes the current government of Iraq, with or without US assistance.

    1. Dead Beat Dad focuses what energy he has left into stalking, and creating super secret security projects, of which he is the lynchpin, in his mind.

  32. .

    Simple minds require simple explanation.

    And if it supports the boy's confirmation bias, well, that's the cherry on the cake.


    1. Quirk, still defending your idiotic correlation doesn't equal causation non sense as it applies to the collapse of Iraq ?

      All I can do is yet once again point you to Gary Kasparov and many other fine minds - how many time have I done this, sigh ! - with the expectation that it will move your needle not at all.

      A tired old noodle equals an unmoving needle, as has been said from the long ago.

  33. Trump presser coming up !

    He will crow like a rooster and blah blah blah.

    I'm getting tired of the man.

    1. Actually his lead is shrinking in Kentucky...

    2. His pants are bulging.

      Giving a pretty good press conference.

    3. Good presser by The Donald.

  34. Judge Jeanine Pirro just tore Mitt Romney limb from limb, blood gushing from his severed arm and leg joints, and ripped off his package as well, sarcasm dripping from her lovely fangs.

    I love that woman !

    1. I gave Mitt more leeway than many until now.
      Now he's worse than dead to me.

  35. Cheer up, geezers.....we got it the best.....

    March 5, 2016

    Is Age Linked to (Un)Happiness?
    By Peter Warr

    Editor's Note: This article was provided by The Conversation. The original is here.

    If it’s no fun getting old, then why do surveys of national well-being show that older people are happier than younger people?

    Recent research into happiness, questioning people about their lives as a whole, their jobs, family, social activities and other aspects, has started to reveal some intriguing patterns. New data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that older people tend to be happier rather than more miserable than younger people. But looking at ONS data in more depth reveals an even more interesting pattern.....


    Take a look at that graph !

    Now the secret is we must hold it right there on that high sunny blue plateau, fellows....

    1. The high sunny blue plateau was followed by a cliff, in my case.
      Something about losing my wife, perhaps.
      Not made better by also losing my sister, brother, cousin, and assorted other loved ones.
      The worst thing about getting old isn't being old, it's about losing loved ones,

    2. I was think about you Doug when I put that up and nearly didn't.

      About losing loved ones.....I certainly agree.

      I'm starting to feel like the last one standing, and I don't like the lonely feeling of it...

      But I continue to preach the other side as well.

      Birth is a mystery.

      So is death.

      There is only life in the bucket, always something more....

      The high blue sunny plateau comes from Roethke.

  36. Humble and Kind


  37. So, the little bootlicker lost.Too bad, he had such high dreams and promises for our vital, greatest and indispensable ally.

    In a question-and-answer session following his 17-minute address, Rubio said he felt he had no choice but to start firing back at Trump.

    “Where I grew up, when someone keeps punching people in the face, eventually someone’s going to have to stand up and punch them back,” he said to cheers from the crowd.

    Trump has been savaged by Rubio and Cruz for past statements supporting abortion rights and government-sponsored health care — and for past political donations to Hillary Clinton, likely to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

    “If you had told me a year ago that the frontrunner at this stage of the Republican campaign would be a supporter of Planned Parenthood, who says he doesn’t stand with Israel, who has a long record of supporting government-sponsored health care, I would say on what planet would that be?” the senator said.


    “Super Saturday” ended up being a Saturday night massacre for Marco Rubio. The establishment’s landslide choice to win the GOP nomination no longer seems capable of even finishing in second place. If the Florida senator wants to salvage his political career, it is time that his quixotic quest for the White House comes to an end.

    After Iowa, Sen. Rubio promised his supporters he would rocket to the nomination on the strength of his 3-2-1 strategy. But one month later, he finished tonight’s contests 3-3-3-4. As Paul Begala said of Rubio, “Everybody likes him but the voters.”

    In Kansas, Rubio lost to Ted Cruz by 32 percent. In Kentucky, he trailed Donald Trump by 20 percent and by 30 percent in Louisiana. And in Maine, the “Future of the Republican Party” was trounced by almost 40 points.

    We always hear about how much ordinary US citizens love, adore and worship Israel. Well, they don’t. They are just afraid to state their feelings.

  39. Turkey’s biggest newspaper, Zaman, has published an edition carrying pro-government articles, two days after being taken over by authorities.

    On Friday, a court ruled that Zaman, previously linked to an opponent of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, should now be run by administrators.

    Its last edition under old ownership on Saturday said Turkey’s press had seen one of its "darkest days".

    Meanwhile, a newspaper set up by former Zaman staff was launched on Sunday.

    Police raided Zaman’s Istanbul offices late on Friday hours after a court ruling placed it under state control, but managers were still able to get Saturday's edition to print.

    No reason was given by the court for the decision.

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the takeover was “legal, not political".

    "It is out of the question for either me or any of my colleagues to interfere in this process," he said in a television interview.
    Water cannon and tear gas were used against some 500 Zaman supporters gathered in front of its headquarters on Saturday.
    Zaman journalists who arrived to work on Saturday said their access to internal servers had been denied. Its editor-in-chief Abdulhamit Bilici and a leading columnist were also fired.

  40. Defense Secretary: National Guard May Join Fight Against ISIS

    Ash Carter told reporters that the reserve force's cyber squadrons could play a larger role.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the National Guard's cyber squadrons will play an increasingly important role in assessing the vulnerabilities of U.S. industrial infrastructure and could be asked to join the fight against Islamic State.

    The National Guard - a reserve military force that resides in the states but can be mobilized for national needs - is a key part of the military's larger effort to set up over 120 cyber squadrons to respond to cyber attacks and prevent them.

    One such unit, the 262nd squadron, is a 101-person team that includes employees of Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc's Google. The unit is "famous throughout the country" for several high profile vulnerability assessments, Carter said at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, Washington late on Friday.

    He told reporters the squadron was not currently engaging in offensive cyber missions but could be in the future.

    "Units like this can also participate in offensive cyber operations of the kind that I have stressed we are conducting, and actually accelerating, in Iraq and Syria, to secure the prompt defeat of ISIL, which we need to do and will do," Carter said. "We're looking for ways to accelerate that, and cyber's one of them."

    1. The 262nd squadron's work includes a study last year on the control system used by Snohomish County Public Utility District in Washington state, which helped the utility strengthen its security, and a 2010 case in which the U.S. Air Force briefly lost contact with 50 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.

      The 2010 assessment cost about $20,000, much less than the $150,000 that a private sector company would likely charge, said Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Borchers, deputy commander of the 252nd Cyber Operations Group, which oversees the 262nd squadron.

      Borchers said the squadron is the only National Guard group that currently assesses industrial control systems, but it is now looking to train others. It is also studying the security of big weapons programs, such as the B-52 bomber.

      Using National Guard units for such work made sense because it allowed the military to benefit from private sector cyber experts, Carter said.

      "It brings in the high-tech sector in a very direct way to the mission of protecting the country," he told reporters. "And we're absolutely going to do more of it."

      Huffington Post