“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."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pelosi Maneuvers for Power

Robert Novak reports on a story that broke Friday
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is planning the establishment of a "select" committee on the environment and energy that would undermine the authority of Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who was first elected in 1954 and is the senior member of Congress.

Dingell, a Detroit congressman closely tied to the auto industry, is reported by congressional sources to be furious about the Energy and Commerce committee that he heads losing jurisdiction to Pelosi's new creation. The select panel would also supplant the House Natural Resources Committee headed by Rep. Nick Rahall, who as a West Virginian is sympathetic to the coal industry.

The prospective chairman of the new committee would be Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, one of the most flamboyant liberals and uncompromising environmentalists in Congress.
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times Neutering a bull is a speakers job writes:

The new speaker is eager to eliminate global warming within the next 100 hours, so she will create a "special committee" to assist in drafting legislation to cut so-called greenhouse gas emissions, which are the unfortunate byproduct of how everybody else makes a living. Unlike congressmen, most of us work at jobs making things. Congress only makes trouble for everybody else, and Mzz Pelosi, eager to get her way right away, wants her "special committee" to devise ways to get around regular committee chairmen who have ideas of their own

The point man for her uber-committee will be Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts. Mr. Markey doesn't like cars and trucks or the oil companies that refine the gasoline that makes cars and trucks go. Cars and oil, not the gassy emissions of congressmen, are the vilest villains of global warming. She must neuter John Dingell as quickly as possible because, representing Michigan, he likes cars and trucks. He understands that this is how a lot of people make their living. Since congressional bulls, like other bulls, rarely stand still for emasculation, Mzz Pelosi's scheme to cut American industry down to the size of a San Francisco garden party could spill a lot of blood. Not all of it will be bull's blood.

Global warming hysteria is a favorite flavor of the 110th Congress, only slightly less addictive than noisy opposition to finishing the war in Iraq. Like much hysteria, it's a European import, where it's only slightly less popular than paralysis. Our congressional hysterics could take a cue from Prince Charles, the heir to the throne of England, whose fave flavor of this season is also global warming. He's coming to America to get an environmental award and just to show what an average Joe he is he will forgo his usual private jetliner to ride with commoners.

From On the Issues
Ed Markey on Energy & Oil
Click here for 7 full quotes on Energy & Oil OR background on Energy & Oil.
  • Voted NO on scheduling permitting for new oil refinieries. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on authorizing construction of new oil refineries. (Oct 2005)
  • Voted NO on passage of the Bush Administration national energy policy. (Jun 2004)
  • Voted NO on implementing Bush-Cheney national energy policy. (Nov 2003)
  • Voted YES on raising CAFE standards; incentives for alternative fuels. (Aug 2001)
  • Voted YES on prohibiting oil drilling & development in ANWR. (Aug 2001)
  • Preserve Alaska's ANWR instead of drilling it. (Feb 2001)
Ed Markey on Environment
Click here for 5 full quotes on Environment OR background on Environment.
  • Voted YES on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted YES on barring website promoting Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump. (May 2006)
  • Voted NO on deauthorizing "critical habitat" for endangered species. (Sep 2005)
  • Voted NO on speeding up approval of forest thinning projects. (Nov 2003)
  • Rated 100% by the LCV, indicating pro-environment votes. (Dec 2003)


  1. Nice link, Rufus.
    Our side plays by W's Rules,
    they make em up as needed.
    State reigns in the ever dangerous ex-cowboy George.

  2. With regard to Pelosi, the Imams at the Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham England may be on to something when they say that Allah created the woman deficient

    In any case, visit the link and see what Saudi Arabian Wahabbis are fomenting in England. You have to view at least 8 or 9 minutes into the video to meet the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia. He is very Speilburgesque. Very reminiscent of Emperor Palpatine of the Star Wars series. Life mimics art. Good and Evil are strikingly clear.

    Doug, I ROFL at a recent post of yours that stated simply "God speed WC". Thanks for the laughs.

    H/T to Gates of Vienna for the Green Lane Mosque link.

  3. Too bad they aborted the Mission.

  4. Lord Acton deserves credit for tasking her w/it.

  5. Global warming could just end up being another way of saying, "Fuck the Saudis, and the Mullahs, too."

    I preffer to think of it a sign of Zog.

  6. What is the meaning of is, trish?

    Liberating a people that voted 99% for the past President.

    Unfair and biased elections, not like empowering a President that recieved the minority of the General vote.
    Because of archaic election rules and decisions of a Supreme Federal Court in regards local State elections.

    That is the Standard that all banana republics must be held to.

  7. > We have "liberated" for instance Iraq and Afghanistan - as if these two countries had been occupied by foreign powers.

    Both countries were tyrannies of the minority, tyrannies which came through military force instead of valid elections. This can be seen by how much the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan and the Shiites & Kurds in Iraq helped us in overthrowing the central government, and how they don't allow Sunni / Taliban infiltrators in their parts of the country.

    Hitler and Stalin were not "foreign oppressors" because they were natural born citizens, but they still oppressors, men who ran evil dictatorships. The fact that Saddam was an Iraqi doesn't mean his government ruled with consent of the people.

    > Did we not intend to "liberate" Iraq as part of a "forward strategy of freedom"?

    We didn't liberate Iraq to make it a democracy. Like all US wars it was fought for self-defense. The reasons are listed in the Authorization of Force resolution, and include WMD capability, attacks on US aircraft, etc.

    If we go into Iran it will not be to make them a better democracy, but in order to protect ourselves. Protect ourselves from weapons of mass destruction and the surrogate armies Iran sends against us all over the world.

  8. Wu, at what cost? Iraq was to cost us $50 billion. For that we were to eliminate WMD's, rid Iraq of Sadaam and launch Iraq into a democratic future. The bonus would be that democracy would spread to other countries.

    The results are off by 2000% in costs and other than eliminating Sadaam, there is not much to show for the venture. 1,800,000 Iraqis have left the country. Why would you assume the same model will work in Iran?

    All evidence shows that any form of military occupation is unsustainable unless there is an agreement with a strong ruling elite, who are mostly repressive and un-democratic. If the stated purpose in Iran would be to eliminate the regime, we had an opportunity to arrest President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while he was in Central America.

    IMO, any attack on Iran has the mostly likely outcome of doing more damage to US security than not. Iran poses no credible military threat to the US that requires us to make a preemptive attack. We could accomplish far more with a policy that returns to using the economic and diplomatic strategies that have served prior and wiser US presidents.

  9. The Jihadis invested in alJazeera, the Commies invested in the BBC, and the US invested in?

  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. "The Jihadis invested in alJazeera, the Commies invested in the BBC, and the US invested in?"

    Mohammed Cartoon Network

  13. Whoa, sorry about that. I browser stalled and I was getting error msgs.



    GE, is that MSNBC?

  14. Whoa, sorry about that. I was getting error msgs.

  15. Something screwy is going on here:

    12:50:24 was posted prior to 12:48:31

  16. All of NBC, mat.
    Cable and broascast
    I do believe.

    Also the US invested in Mickey Mouse, owner of ABC.

    Multinational corporate US and Japanese interests own the MSM, in the USA.

  17. That's good to know. MSNBC is one of the few cable channels I actually watch. That, and the History Channel.

  18. Teresita,

    Cartoon Network = CNN ?


  19. mat, i removed the duplicate an triplicate post.

  20. Thanks Deuce.



    It was not a bad strategy. It was a not bad concept. It is a bad war.

    The plan was sound, and still is, from a strategic point of view. The tactics used are not. The execution of this war, was and still is, worse than bad. The massive US military footprint is not only unnecessary and extremely wasteful, but in many ways it is also extremely destructive to the mission. The analogy would be using a sledgehammer to squish a fly. You just don't do that. And the General that recommend doing so should be disgraced.

  21. The tactics worked smoothly in Afghanistan so they are good, yet there were more problems with the same tactics in Iraq, so they bad? Seems like a double standard, that they are good and bad at the same time. In Afghanistan we called the warring tribes "warlords" and in Iraq "militias", but it was the same thing, and they both fought for control. In Afghanistan they managed to settle down after choosing Karzai and having a loya jerga. The difference in Iraq is the local people, not us. Talk to people in Southern Afghanistan near the Pakistani border, and they'll say that they want the Taliban back and that the US chose the candidate of one faction, Karzai.

    We went into Afghanistan for the same reason as world war II -- the enemy bombed us on our own soil. What if the Afghans had ended up fighting a full fledged civil war instead of mostly settling down? Would we have concluded that because the Afghans used their freedom to shoot at each other, that we shouldn't attack a country whose government bombs us and is planning to send more?.

    The justification for the Iraq war is a separate question, separate from tactics.

  22. The reason we want to spread democracy is to protect ourselves, not out of the goodness of our hearts or in order to feel warm inside. History shows that in the long term spreading democracy, capitalism, and therefore wealth stabilizes countries and makes wars less frequent.

  23. As far as the reasons for invading and whether we would fight a ground war in Iran, I see Iran and Iraq as being too very different situations. The democratic process is Iran is partially real, partially rigged, with some opposition parties and dissent being allowed. There is the real possibility of change within the system. We also have just started putting the economic pressure on with sanctions, and it is starting to have a real impact.

    Iraq on the other hand was totally different. It had a dictator with perhaps the most powerful police state in history, the closest the world has ever come to the "1984" book. Over a decade UN resolutions said Saddam was a threat to the world, his people, and the US specifically. Economic sanctions didn't break his grip on the country. His people weren't able to break free even after the first Gulf War, and when they tried to revolt, Saddam killed tens of thousands. Even with US troops on his border and ready to invade, Saddam still refused to fully comply with the UN resolutions.

    So that question is whether any other means could have removed Saddam from power? Some have called Iraq a preventative war for the US. I see it as being the answer to the question "What does a country do when the UN fails to act?" The whole idea of the United Nations is that each country voluntarily gives up some war powers because the UN promises to fight for it instead. Collective security is no security at all when all UN military action is prevented by countries like France and Russia which were bought and paid for by the evil country.

    If the UN fails to act, perhaps countries will need to take their war powers back and have the freedom to fight whenever they feel threatened.

  24. Trish

    The reason Iraq, Syria, Iran, etc., are dictatorships, is because that's the only way to keep these artificial countries together. When these countries were put together, tribal, ethnic, and religious divides were rarely considered. Instead of using a small military force to break up the authoritarian control over these places, and then allow the ethnic minorities to naturally carve out their borders and then allow them to come together under a democratic confederation, US Generals went in with a huge military force trying to keep together what should not been put together in the first place.

    We should have now been talking about the break up of Iran and Syria, and not the breakdown in Iraq, or the horrendous cost to US treasury in keeping together what should not been put together in the first place.

  25. Trish, Wu,

    If you want democracy in the ME, the lines need to be redrawn, it's that simple. The US should serve as a catalyst for the process and encourage democratic anti Jihadist movements with supplies of arms and air cover, but it should not get itself heavily involved in large ground campaigns.

  26. Trish,

    Re: Yugoslavia. Attacking Serbia to placate Jihadist Saudi Arabia and stick it to the Russians, would not have been something I would have done. I believe our common interests lie with the Russians, not with the Jihadists.