“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, December 04, 2006

Baker Study Plan - DOA

Robert Kagan and William Kristol say that the Baker Study Group has been a waste of time and money, and is dead on arrival as President Bush has essentially already rejected it. Worse, the Baker Group leaks have been detrimental:
It's not as if the Baker commission has accomplished nothing, however. Although its recommendations will have no effect on American policy going forward, they have already had a very damaging effect throughout the world, and especially in the Middle East and in Iraq. For the Iraq Study Group, aided by supportive American media, has successfully conveyed the impression to everyone at home and abroad that the United States is about to withdraw from Iraq. This has weakened American allies and strengthened American enemies. It has exacerbated the problems in Iraq, as all the various factions in that country begin to prepare for the "inevitable" American retreat. Now it will require enormous efforts by the president and his advisers to dispel the disastrous impression that the Baker commission has quite deliberately created and will continue to foster in the weeks ahead. At home and abroad, people have been led to believe that Jim Baker and not the president was going to call the shots in Iraq from now on.
Lowry has already voiced the observation, shared by many, that the President is adrift. The question was asked on Brit Hume's panel discussion tonight whether the President is out of touch with the reality of the war in Iraq. I have said that the President seemed to be waiting too long for the various reports. It's not good for the country for the Executive to be seen as "fiddling." Fortunately, in the past few days, Bush has made some emphatic statements concerning his resolve to establish a democratic government in Iraq. Today, Kagan and Kristol responded.
We remain dissatisfied with the way the president has allowed his Pentagon and top military officers to persist in what has proved to be an ineffective strategy in Iraq. We hope that he will now take the steps necessary to accomplish his stated objectives in Iraq, including a substantial increase in the number of U.S. forces in Baghdad and throughout the contested parts of the country, as well as a long overdue increase in the total size of American ground forces so that higher force levels in Iraq can be sustained. But right now we can only applaud the president's courage and determination and his willingness to resist the pressures of those who would now sound the retreat.

--Robert Kagan and William Kristol

"The Queen", currently in theaters is about the 7 or so days immediately following the death of Princess Diana. Diana was no longer a member of the Royal family and the Windsors felt that her funeral arrangements were a matter for her family, the Spencers, to handle as they saw fit. Unfortunately, for them, the English people felt that her death was a matter for the state. Large crowds gathered daily outside Buckingham Palace and wanted the family flag flown at half-mast. The public began to see the Royal family as cold and indifferent to the death of Diana. The Royal family sequestered themselves at Balmoral thinking that the bad publicity and ill feelings toward the Queen would pass as the country realized that the "grieving hysterics" were wrong. They reasoned that the flag had never been lowered to half mast in 400 years and indeed wouldn't be even when the Queenmother died. It was up to the new "modernising" Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to convince the Queen that the Royal Family must go against everything that she had been taught and practiced her entire life about English reserve and the "stiff upper lip." Blair told her that polls showed 25% of the English people were ready to abolish the monarchy. The Queen realizing that she was out of touch with her constituency, "modernized" and breaking with tradition, the Royal family made a public display at the gates of Balmoral and Buckingham palace. Crisis averted.

Is the President out of touch or does he know more than I do about the situation in Iraq? Of course he does, and besides, I get my information from the MSM. But time is short. Too short to wait for more studies. We know what needs to be done and the first step is to begin restoring resolve in the country. The best way to do that is to start taking names and kicking ass in Iraq.


  1. Nice post. I think Bush looked very desperate with Brit Hume tonight. He does not give the impression of believing as much as he gives the impression of having to believe. Staying with your film metaphor, I could see the scene being shot with everyone politely listening and then awkwardly looking at the floor. Bush looks as if he needs a rest, and honestly I feel sorry for him.

  2. 2164th said, "I think Bush looked very desperate with Brit Hume tonight. He does not give the impression of believing as much as he gives the impression of having to believe."

    Bush says he "believes" the al-Maliki government is serious about ending murder. Okay. Is this a blind faith, or is it based on evidence? And why would Bush have to reveal in an interview a belief about something that should be implicit in the very concept of a "government".

  3. WC said ...blind faith....
    I say viva revolution and

    The short-lived classic-rock supergroup Blind Faith's sole album has aged remarkably well. In 1969, Blind Faith fused the psychedelic blues of Eric Clapton and the soulful vocals and keyboards of Steve Winwood with the polyrhythmic, Afrocentric leanings of drummer Ginger Baker. "Can't Find My Way Home" is one of the hippie era's most lyrically poignant, sonically subtle tunes. The record has a lot of surprises; "Presence of the Lord" is rousing and melancholy at the same time, while the way the bass and guitar double-team on the introductory melodic line to "Had to Cry Today" makes a hard-rock cliché fresh again. The 10-minute drum solo on "Do What You Like" is pretty good as 10-minute drum solos go. This 2000 reissue of the album omits the unreleased jams and mixes that fill the second disc of the deluxe reissue that appeared earlier in the year.

  4. I forgot on the last do-wa.

    Catherine,please stay,oh Catherine,please stay.

    Stay Catherine please,Catherine please stay.

    Cathy,Cathy,Cathy,please please me oh yeah like you please me.Please..Inever meant to not ask you to please stay so please stay oh please, no more sleeze just wine and cheese so please stay please please.

    Fight and kill Muzzies,kill.

    Momentum For More Troops Building
    Over the last few weeks, a momentum appears to have built for the deployment of more troops to Iraq within the White House, rather than beginning a withdrawal from the country and its efforts to provide security for itself. The departure of Donald Rumsfeld and the nomination of Robert Gates, a member of the Iraq Study Group that is expected to recommend a slow retreat, supposedly signaled an exit for George Bush. Instead, as the Wall Street Journal reports, it may have freed him to try one big push to secure Baghdad:

    Outside the military, most of the debate is focused on a U.S. troop withdrawal. But inside the Pentagon, the recent dismissal of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has given some new life to arguments by military officers who say the U.S. must pour more troops and money into the country to expand the Iraqi army -- the one institution in Iraq that has shown some promise -- and stabilize the capital.
    Right now there are about 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Though there are no firm plans for an increase, some military officials said that as many as 30,000 more troops could be needed. Most of the U.S. troops would be focused on patrolling Baghdad and training the Iraqi Army. ...

    The push among the uniformed military to do more in Iraq is being driven, in part, by a small study group working for Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The group's work, which is classified, lays out several options for Iraq. But it seems to favor a temporary increase in U.S. forces as part of a broader effort to build the Iraqi Army, says an officer familiar with its work.

    The officers' recommendations largely run counter to Mr. Rumsfeld's own ideas, which were revealed in a leaked memorandum written by Mr. Rumsfeld in early November and published yesterday by the New York Times. In the memo Mr. Rumsfeld suggests a pulling back of U.S. forces to bigger bases and possible withdrawals of U.S. troops "so the Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country."

    Most military officers, however, seem to believe that a pullback of U.S. forces would only trigger more violence and make political compromise in the country impossible. These officers argue that 20,000 U.S. troops are needed to bring order to Baghdad. Another 10,000 U.S. soldiers would also be needed to work as advisers with the Iraqi Army, which currently numbers about 134,000 troops and might need to double in size.

    This option has gained more credence since the election. Rumsfeld apparently opposed the idea, not because he wanted to withdraw from Iraq but because he wanted to keep a small footprint there. His field commanders backed him on that strategy, but John Abizaid and George Casey may be replaced when Gates takes office. The incoming Secretary of Defense might decide to replace them with commanders who see a use for a larger force in Baghdad.

    The key will be the dedication to the mission by the United States. As General Jack Keane, a retired commander, tells the Wall Street Journal, the American military can certainly secure Baghdad if it chooses to do so. So far, however, we have not seen that level of commitment. We would have to build an overwhelming force and impose our will on Baghdad in a manner we have not yet appeared willing to contemplate. The US would also have to find the wherewithal to attack Moqtada al-Sadr aggressively, even if it defies the wishes of Nouri al-Maliki.

    Can we find that will to win? If the recent reports are accurate, it looks like the White House may be willing to try. They will have their work cut out for them, especially with the new Democratic majorities in Congress. They will have to acquire materiel and reposition troops, all expensive propositions that will have to find funding in the budget process. They will also have to extend some deployments, which does not require Congressional cooperation but which can get very complicated without it. Democrats will press hard to stop it, mindful of the impression they gave the American voters that they would stop the Iraq war once elected to majorities.

    It may set up a no-win situation for the White House, where the will to win still exists but the means remain out of their reach. It will make for a difficult two years.

  6. Isay let the junkies shoot themselves into death..

    Afghanistan Opium Crop Sets Record
    U.S.-Backed Efforts At Eradication Fail

    Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world's heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing U.S.-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday.

    In addition to a 26 percent production increase over past year -- for a total of 5,644 metric tons -- the amount of land under cultivation in opium poppies grew by 61 percent. Cultivation in the two main production provinces, Helmand in the southwest and Oruzgan in central Afghanistan, was up by 132 percent.

    White House drug policy chief John Walters called the news "disappointing."

    The administration has cited resurgent Taliban forces as the main impediment to stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, and the U.S. military investment has far exceeded anti-narcotic and development programs. But U.S. military and intelligence officials have increasingly described the drug trade as a problem that rivals and in some ways exceeds the Taliban, threatening to derail other aspects of U.S. policy.

    "It is truly the Achilles' heel of Afghanistan," Gen. James L. Jones, the supreme allied commander for NATO, said in a recent speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. Afghanistan is NATO's biggest operation, with more than 30,000 troops. Drug cartels with their own armies engage in regular combat with NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan, he said. "It would be wrong to say that this is just the Taliban. I think I need to set that record straight," he added.

    "They have their own capability to inflict damage, to make sure that the roads and the passages stay open and they get to where they want to go, whether it's through Pakistan, Iran, up through Russia and all the known trade routes. So this is a very violent cartel," Jones said. "They are buying their protection by funding other organizations, from criminal gangs to tribes, to inciting any kind of resistance to keep the government off of their back."

    Any disruption of the drug trade has enormous implications for Afghanistan's economic and political stability. Although its relative strength in the overall economy has diminished as other sectors have expanded in recent years, narcotics is a $2.6 billion-a-year industry that this year provided more than a third of the country's gross domestic product. Farmers who cultivate opium poppies receive only a small percentage of the profits, but U.S. officials estimate the crop provides up to 12 times as much income per acre as conventional farming, and there is violent local resistance to eradication.

    "It's almost the devil's own problem," CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told Congress last month. "Right now the issue is stability. . . . Going in there in itself and attacking the drug trade actually feeds the instability that you want to overcome."

    "Attacking the problem directly in terms of the drug trade . . . would undermine the attempt to gain popular support in the region," agreed Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. "There's a real conflict, I think."

    The Afghan government has prohibited the aerial herbicide spraying used by U.S. anti-narcotic programs in Latin America. Instead, opium poppy plants in Afghanistan are destroyed by tractors dragging heavy bars. But only 38,500 of nearly 430,000 acres under cultivation were eradicated this year.

    Because of security concerns and local sensibilities, all eradication is done by Afghan police, and corruption is a major problem at every level from cultivation to international trafficking. Although the drug trade is believed to provide some financing to the Taliban, most experts believe it is largely an organized criminal enterprise. According to a major report on the Afghan drug industry jointly released last week by the World Bank and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, key narcotics traffickers "work closely with sponsors in top government and political positions."

    The report drew specific attention to the Afghan Interior Ministry, saying its officials were increasingly involved in providing protection for and facilitating consolidation of the drug industry in the hands of leading traffickers. "At the lower levels," the report said, "payments to police to avoid eradication or arrest reportedly are very widespread. At higher levels, provincial and district police chief appointments appear to be a tool for key traffickers and sponsors to exercise control and favor their proteges at middle levels in the drug industry."

    Opium cultivation was outlawed during Taliban rule in the late 1990s and was nearly eliminated by 2001. After the overthrow of the Taliban government by U.S. forces in the fall of that year, the Bush administration said that keeping a lid on production was among its highest priorities. But corruption and alliances formed by Washington and the Afghan government with anti-Taliban tribal chieftains, some of whom are believed to be deeply involved in the trade, undercut the effort.

    Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently noted that "once we thought terrorism was Afghanistan's biggest enemy" but said that now "poppy, its cultivation and drugs are Afghanistan's major enemy."

    Eradication and alternative development programs have made little discernible headway. Cultivation -- measured annually with high-resolution satellite imagery that is then parsed by analysts using specialized computer software -- is nearly double its highest pre-Karzai level.

    "There is supposed to be a tremendous energy associated with this," Jones said of the counter-narcotics programs, "but it needs a fresh look because . . . we're losing ground.

  7. Habu said, "Cathy,Cathy,Cathy,please please me oh yeah like you please me.Please..Inever meant to not ask you to please stay so please stay oh please, no more sleeze just wine and cheese so please stay please please."

    What's that flower you got on?
    Could it be a faded rose
    From days gone by?

    And did I hear you say
    He was a meetin' ya here today
    To take you to his castle
    In the sky?

  8. Since the Arizona Legislature recognized me as a Hellraiser a few years ago, I have to raise a modest amount in regard to Charles Bowden's well-written piece on the Mexican exodus. I agree with his analysis almost whole cloth, yet he concludes, "We either find a way to make their world better or they will come to our better world." Yes, there must be a change—by us. We're buying the drugs. We're exploiting the agriculture. We're making the waters non-potable. Our boardrooms and congressional markup sessions have to quit putting Mexico over the hitching rail and taking turns going at her. Without question, this side of the border is a place to earn a better livelihood, but it is not necessarily a better world.
    None of the bills before Congress will decrease the number of migrants coming through the desert. They come because we reward them with employment. However, even if we had full economic parity with Mexico (as is the case with Ireland), we'd still have migrants coming because of social and cultural reasons (as is also the case with Ireland). Bowden tells a good story, but it lacks hope. I hope the United States will one day share because it wants to, and not just out of economic necessity. Until then, Humane Borders will man the largest network of watercoolers on the way to the U.S. jobs. But if they come illegally then I say kill them on site. They will take our jobs and infiltrate us with that commie Chavez crap. Kill them

  9. 2164th said...
    Nice post. I think Bush looked very desperate with Brit Hume tonight. He does not give the impression of believing as much as he gives the impression of having to believe. Staying with your film metaphor, I could see the scene being shot with everyone politely listening and then awkwardly looking at the floor. Bush looks as if he needs a rest, and honestly I feel sorry for him.

    Mon Dec 04, 09:50:35 PM EST

  10. jUst bEFOre wEtnesS

    Nancy Pelosi, political genius
    Before last month's elections, I'd never really given Nancy Pelosi much thought. But since then, I've found myself learning a great deal about her. And I'm coming to a conclusion -- that this woman is a political genius the likes of which comes about maybe once a generation.

    People often talk about George W. Bush and Karl Rove as an amazing team -- Bush the bumbling, incompetent, incoherent idiot and Karl Rove as the evil, diabolical mastermind behind it all. Pelosi somehow manages to combine both traits in one -- she is seen as a far-left, gaffe-prone loony embodying "San Francisco values" while, at the same time, engaging in some of the most brilliant political maneuverings I've seen in a long time.

    Let's just look at what she's done since the elections -- and leading up to them.

    One of the main points of her push was to end the "culture of corruption" in Congress. The Democrats successfully hung the majority of the weight of scandals around the Republicans' necks, and the voters turned on the Republicans last November. That became one of their big selling points.

    But, of course, corruption is not the sole property of either party. It is notoriously bipartisan, and the Democrats should clean up their own house (and Senate) too.

    This is where Pelosi's genius shines through. She's getting rid of (or, at least, heftily diminishing the power of) some of the most corrupt and venial Democrats in the House. At the same time, she's also cutting down some of those who might contest her leadership. And she's doing it all very publicly, in a way that in no way can be seen as a betrayal:

    She's using her political enemies to eliminate her rivals.

    Think about it for a moment.

    John Murtha makes no bones about his desire for leadership. At the same time, he has some extremely hefty baggage. He just barely evaded indictment in the ABSCAM scandal. His pronouncements on the war (such as redeploying from Iraq to a quarter of the globe away in Okinawa, where the Japanese already don't care for our presence). And so on.

    Pelosi backs him for Majority Leader, raising his profile. Then she just has to stand back while the partisans and pundits do her dirty work for her, shredding his ambitions.

    The Congressional Black Caucus has a lot of clout in Democratic circles. They were notoriously upset with the investigation into Congressman William Jefferson Clinton and his apparent corruption (I'm sure most people keep $90,000 in their freezer, and ANYONE who could have would have commandeered a National Guard unit to rescue their money from Katrina's depradations), so they wanted a little "payback" from Pelosi for another of their members. They pushed -- hard -- for Alcee Hastings to be given the chairmanship of the House Select Committee on Intelligence.

    But Pelosi knew that the CBC needed to be kept in check, so she stole a page out of Bush's playbook and gave them precisely what they wanted. She let it be known that she was backing Hastings for the job, and that unleashed the partisans and pundits yet again.

    Because among all his other qualifications and distinctions, Hastings was a federal judge until he became only the 6th such judge in history to be impeached and removed from office by Congress (and many of today's movers and shakers voted to convict him of corruption back in 1989). He promptly ran for Congress (the Senate thought he was going to be convicted of criminal charges, so didn't bother to impose the "ban from future public office" penalty along with the "removal from office" penalty, the only two possible penalties for conviction after impeachment) and barely dodged the criminal conviction.

    A lot of people -- a LOT -- thought he idea of someone who had been found guilty of serious enough corruption to be removed from a lifetime appointment to the federal bench being in charge of some of the most sensitive intelligence and resources our government has appalling. They made their voices heard -- loudly -- and Hastings was passed over. And the perceived clout of the Congressional Black Caucus took a hefty hit.

    There goes another possible threat to Pelosi's power.

    And now another corruption-clouded Democrat is reaching for power.

    Representative Alan Mollohan (D-WV) is currently under FBI investigation for some rather astonishing coincidences. It seems that a lot of individuals and companies who benefited tremendously from budget earmarks Mollohan arranged for are, oddly enough, the same individuals and companies who have been a tremendous boon to Mollohan, both personally and through his campaigns. "Tremendously" meaning in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

    And Mollohan is in line to chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Science, State, Justice, Commerce and Related Agencies -- which sets the budget for the Department of Justice and its subsidiary, the FBI.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that Mollohan will, after a suitable furor has developed, be passed over for the chairmanship. Pelosi will hold off long enough for the public pressure to build, long enough to be seen as "loyal" to Mollohan, before the hullabaloo grows too great -- and then Mollohan will fall.

    And thus another potential rival of Pelosi's will be disgraced.

    As Pelosi slowly cleans up the Democrats in Congress, she's starting to look more and more like Tom Sawyer and the fence as she manipulates others into doing her work for her -- and her hands remain clean.

    I find myself hoping that, when she's done, she moves on to the Senate and does the same thing there.

  11. I thought he did great with Hume. Sharp, snappy, upbeat, and very clear that he wasn't weighed down with his troubles.

  12. dEUcE pLEasE stoP it
    Brit Hume
    Nice post.

    I think Bush looked very Brit Hume tonight.




  14. rufus (-shhh-) the junk is helping quiet the euro yute mobs--

  15. 2164th said...
    I have no idea where this Litvinenko thing is going. If it were a book, I would throw it down. When I found out he wanted to be buried as a Muslim, I no Longer care who wasted his sorry ass

  16. Les junquies no le burnay les carros.

  17. Oh . . . . . . .

    Sorry . . . . . .

    I didn't understand . . . .

    I'll be quiet, now . . .

  18. Thanks for the pathetic song, WC. I'm not down, just trying to get away from that crap. So quit the kicking. Kick Bush some more or something

  19. rufus--of coursae i was making le joque.

  20. joke time!

    Rodney Dangerfield was talking about his first girlfriend--said, he called her and she said to come on over, nobody was home.

    He went on over, and nobody was home.

  21. He went on over, and nobody was home!

  22. y'see, he thought, when she said that, that she would be home, but her parents wouldn't be. But then when he got there, she. wasn't home, either!!!

  23. and then he slipped on a banana peel!

  24. dum te dum tee dee
    diddly dum tee dee....

  25. Buddy,

    Apologies. I've tried to get out of this conversation over here, and yet find myself not being able to take a cheapshot when I leave.

    Please disregard what I sent Deuce in an email. I clearly don't understand anybody here. Life is good elsewhere and I would like to disengage without bipolar personal snark undoing the nice things others of you have said.

    Tough back and forth on politics and the record I don't mind the least, in fact think it important, but not this kind of shot. You don't seem to mind it all, so why don't you be a stand-up guy and let her aim it at you, instead, since you're here and a part of the thread?

    I don't wish to be.

  26. Maybe she has a "Buddy" song on you being a desperate pathetic old man, which you aren't, but it would be cute and funny, I suppose

  27. Damn right that opium crop broke all records. It was back in Habu's day when the "Company" ran Air America and in went the guns and spooks and out came the "retirement" deposits.
    Good work Habu. Making money and keeping the "War on Drugs" alive with BNDD agents trying to figure out their ass from a hole in the ground.

  28. Catherine said, "Thanks for the pathetic song, WC. I'm not down, just trying to get away from that crap. So quit the kicking. Kick Bush some more or something"

    I think I fit in better here at the Elephant Bar, and it all boils down to being able to take the heavy rolls without puking while the boys eat their sardines and blow cigar smoke in my face. The song (A "Delta Dawn" ripoff), like 99% of my posts, was not meant in any mean spirited way.

  29. Whatever happen to Habu? He just up and quit?
    Intelligent, funny ,creative,woman,granny,Santa,Energizer Bunny... blogsphere...some do some don't..guess we'll never know.

  30. Catherine,
    WC says she wasn't being mean spirited.
    I believe her.
    If she wanted to she knows how better than a Delta Dawn redux.

    Now I have to go back down the rabbitt hole so thay can catch me.

  31. Catherine,
    Don't ever underestimate what a "desperate pathetic old man" Buddy is.
    This for Habu, it was his way.

    "Needle And The Damage Done"

    I caught you knockin'
    at my cellar door
    I love you, baby,
    can I have some more
    Ooh, ooh, the damage done.

    I hit the city and
    I lost my band
    I watched the needle
    take another man
    Gone, gone, the damage done.

    I sing the song
    because I love the man
    I know that some
    of you don't understand
    to keep from running out.

    I've seen the needle
    and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every junkie's
    like a settin' sun.

  32. I had to go eat a pizza and missed all the great insults. But, yep, cat, that was "Delta Dawn"--no meanie thingie.

    In fact, a compliment, as it means you aren't getting mixed up with dung the human hawaiian.

  33. Neil Young. His high lonesome quavering tenor so reminiscent of Blue Grass vocal stylings.

  34. "Blind Faith" was (is) the hardest hard, hard rock. Not so psychedelic as much as a venture to the limits of the beast. The leslie on "Had to Cry Today" perhaps the highwater mark of 60s rock.

  35. WC,
    I hang with the guys with my work with never a problem. It’s always fun, and those boys do the cigars, drink, crude jokes, political heat, come-ons, everything. Fortunately, none of them have ever thought it a cute thing to call me smelly and imply I’m a drunkard and don’t wear underwear and mess up the seat, etc. like your hilarious barbs at me the other day. They’re smart enough to get that serenading a woman about being a crazy old loser-dreamer (yes, I know the lyrics) would not be cool or considered clever. Smart guys, they are, and still they’re the kind of boys who will be boys. Anyway, they know me and that I’ve never been rebuffed and forgotten by Zena.

  36. Xena? I'm not the kind to really like her enough to spell her correctly. Anyway, too much ado about your parting song that was just "good humor"!

    "The song is about a woman from Brownsville who earned the nickname "Delta Dawn" in her youth for her unmatched beauty and grace. After being dumped by a deceptive suitor, she lost her splendor and went insane, and now spends her days waiting for the return of her lost love." Wiki

  37. As you can see, Buddy doesn't look half Bad when he's cleaned up, and carries the weight he's put on quite well.
    Also nice of him to carry that gene that gives the rest of us superior brains.

    Who knows, if we all get wiped out, perhaps another hardy moron will make it through along with him and they can spawn yet another dawn of human intellect.

    You'll have to ask him why he gets off flaunting that revealing neckline.

  38. Although the Baker Boys’ report on the whole may be DOA, there is one section which will certainly garner the undivided attention of the State Department: Israel must become more conciliatory. On that score, some thoughts follow.

    Offering Video, Israel Answers Critics on War

    Israel thinks the “international community” cares, without accepting such realities as,
    “The fighting stopped Aug. 14, shortly after the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which reaffirmed an earlier resolution calling for Lebanese militias to disarm.”

    Because that whole disarming thing is applicable only to Israel, like ceasefires, such statements as, “Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu: Instead of restraint, Israel should topple the Hamas government”, are occasionally made to little effect by the enlightened or merely politically ambitious.

    Yes, the Baker Boys’ report has serious implications, just not for Iraq.

  39. Catherine said, "Fortunately, none of them have ever thought it a cute thing to call me smelly..."

    Guilty as charged, but there is one mitigating factor: I was being attacked by someone named "Oui Oui" and I decided to fire back.

    "...and imply I’m a drunkard and don’t wear underwear and mess up the seat, etc. like your hilarious barbs at me the other day."

    Implication is the perfect crime, because it requires the victim's willing participation connecting the dots to complete the offense.

  40. Allen said, "Although the Baker Boys’ report on the whole may be DOA, there is one section which will certainly garner the undivided attention of the State Department: Israel must become more conciliatory."

    Yeah, instead of just the whole Gaza Strip that Sharon gave them and the whole West Bank that Olmert has offered, the Israelis have to concede the entire country and start wading out into the Med.

  41. WC,

    I think the plan is to march all Jews into the sea, after first charging them for the environmental clean-up.

  42. Woman "Catholic",

    You have only been slammed for your politics or for changing them or for "listing" people on your blog, intentionally misquoting me on your site, etc.

    To you there's no distinction 'tween the rough and tumble above-board and the foul personal slander, crappy cheapness. You took a nice gesture on the part of others here and gave it a grace note of manure. Obviously, you realize that the guys would be OK with it. The few who apparently aren't are the real men.

  43. BTW, Oui Oui was a goof name on the French I started using on the “To Be or Not to Be” thread at Belmont, which I believe you read. I posted on different topics with the tag, without bothering to change it.

    Hey, I've been slimed by a Woman Catholic. There's irony in that, but the gutter stuff is more the point, not your religious calling.

  44. Israel must become more conciliatory.

    They gotta be out of their fucking minds. Israel has done everything it could possibly do to live in harmony with their neighbors, ALL of who want her blown apart.
    Baker is out of his fucking mind and Bush isn't too far behind. My God, I ask myself, how do these Bakers and Carters see the world? Through what distorted prism?
    I can understand Jimma, a redneck cracker who won after Watergate and Bush with the secret society thing which is damn Klannish.
    Fuck 'em...but then as a Republican where do I go for representation? or do I become what?
    This entire thing is getting way fucked up.

  45. Catherine said, "You have only been slammed for your politics or for changing them or for "listing" people on your blog, intentionally misquoting me on your site, etc."

    I did try to apologize for the out-of-context quoting, but a hell of a lot of good that did. Assuming you do not post more slams on my politics as anonymous or use another personality, not only will there be no further response from me, but I won't even mention you obliquely, or in passing. You may continue to slam my politics as one of your known personalities if you choose, it will be easier to keep this promis.

  46. Where do you go for representation? The best thing would be to infiltrate the Democrats, and subvert the Reds from the inside.

  47. You gals should continue--it is fun to read, and no doubt healthy venting for you both. The only venting I can do is on dung, the human hawaiian pinapple coconutjob.

  48. It's like "Point, Counterpoint" --a great show, even better as parodied on SNL with Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin.

    "Jane, you ignorant slut!" the immortal line.

  49. uh, that wasn't aimed at anybody, I hasten to add. just, trying to remind what a great response is humor, when toes get stepped on. Duh....

  50. I did try to apologize for the out-of-context quoting, but a hell of a lot of good that did. Assuming you do not post more slams on my politics as anonymous...

    I never saw any apology for out-of-context quoting, WC. I think you’re being loose with the record, again. Didn’t see any apology for you calling me a liar for saying I misattributed quotes to you which I clearly did not, or for denying WC was Teresita and for “listing” people for mentioning the fact, or for lying at Belmont that I kept a directory on everything you said and then ridiculing it? Thing is, I never expected apologies from you, but the sewer level of retort from you was too much the other day.

    Last night I was just trying to leave here. Told you as much. Told you why. Could you please show me how I offended you by mentioning your politics under a goof name which I didn’t do (and which is apparently worse than gratuitous crotch, sexual insults in your world) between the last nice thread that 2164 put up and this one? Between when you “acted” almost civilly and then out of the blue twisted poor batty Delta Dawn into Cath-er-ine as your buh-bye?

    You are never consistent or sincere, politics included, except maybe when you’re in your evil America mode.

    Last, and I won’t check in here to see your final twist on the facts so go for it, my goof names were never frauds in the sense of saying “I quit! I’m listing you! You’re fascists!” and then immediately popping up with a new name and persona to which one (you) don’t cop until really, really cornered. I’ve always been willing to identify goof names if anybody asked, and even volunteered clarification several times, when there seemed to be any question.

  51. Buddy Larsen said, "You gals should continue--it is fun to read, and no doubt healthy venting for you both. The only venting I can do is on dung, the human hawaiian pinapple coconutjob."

    I have no anger to vent, Buddy.

  52. re: "I have no anger to vent, Buddy."

    Now, that there is a real bad sign, kinda like when that first yella jacket lands on your nose and looks you in the eye. Just sayin, runnin' is not necessarily a bad thing.

  53. "I have no anger to vent, Buddy."

    "It's nothing personal, just business."
    --Don Corleone