“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."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bush says "Kennedy is one of the Best"

As George Bush wrapped up his six day tour of central and south America, he stood by as Felipe Calderon demanded "much more" and then pledged to work with Teddy Kennedy to pass a "comprehensive" immigration reform bill. Calling Kennedy, "one of the best legislative senators there is." President Bush has very likely sealed his fate as one of the loneliest lame ducks in US Presidential history.

When the President said "My mood is optimistic because the mood in Congress seems like it's changed," he showed how out of touch he is with the American people and especially conservative Republicans. Mr. Bush's middle of the road, "make no vetoes approach" has won him no friends and allies in Congress or around the world. Although this AP story says "The president was generally warmly received throughout his travels, and streets were packed with curious onlookers," the story seems to contradict the reports of very large anti-Bush, anti-
America protests
which greeted him at every stop along the way.

When he first took office, he said, "I am a uniter, not a divider." Sadly, it appears that he hasn't learned a thing about politics in Washington D.C. or the world-at-large. Teddy Kennedy has called him a "liar" for years now and George W. Bush goes back for more even as the Democrats savage his administration at every opportunity. The President, trying to please everyone, has pleased no one, including the conservative members of his own party. It is a sad spectacle to see Alberto Gonzales hung out to dry for firing Democrat prosecutors but that is the price you are going to pay when you do not stand true to your party's ideals. As Bush is increasingly hounded by the Democrats in Congress, you can expect to hear pins dropping from the Republican side of the aisle in Congress. Conservative Republicans recently held their CPAC conference and notably missing was Bush's handpicked Chairman of the RNC, Florida Senator Mel Martinez. It seems Senator Martinez was not invited.

The Democrat base is driving it's primary candidates farther to the left. So far, the Republican candidates have not been encouraging. Conservatives in the party are tired of electing RINOS but the party apparatus is solidly controlled by the Bush machine. Soon, we'll begin to see how much clout the conservative wing of the Republican party still has.

Bush and Calderon


  1. The President is many things; however, he is not a Republican and he is not a conservative.

    Oh, he has less than two years left in office.

    Of the three major contenders for the "Republican" '08 nomination, none are Republican and none are conservative.

  2. Allen,

  3. Rufus will say no harm,
    no foul.
    I say he's one F'ed Up POTUS

    ...done more damage than Clinton, closing in on Carter.

  4. How do folks here like Fred Thompson?

  5. McCain missed CPAC too,
    but then he's missed 3 other conservative events this month.
    "One of the Best"
    (by New Age "Christian" standards)

  6. Republicans are mindful of the 2006 post-election polls in which voters blamed them for not fixing the problem. Moderates and Latino voters also were turned off by the harsh, anti-immigrant rhetoric that symbolized the House's enforcement-only approach.

    McCain is just one Republican who would like to reach those voters.

    With Democrats also internally divided on immigration -- some want it pulled to the left -- Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has another fear. "Now the Democrats are in charge, and I think it's going to be a lot harder for them to come up with a bill that Republicans are going to like than it would have been for us to come up with one last year," Cornyn said.

    Immigration Reform

  7. "The President is many things; however, he is not a Republican and he is not a conservative."

    Can you give us a little more support for this view?

    "done more damage than Clinton, closing in on Carter"

    With regards to conservatism or liberalism?

    - I'll take the keep...another Hefe Weizen please

  8. Elijah,
    The Rule of Law:
    Respect for law.
    Compliance with laws in DC and across the country.

    Respect for Truth:


    "Kennedy is one of the Best"

    Care to defend those two?
    Like Kennedy CAIR is treated as "One of the Best"

    Orwellian Newspeak

  9. Franziskaner, an earthly delight. What I would give for one (or six) now.

    As to proving Bush's lack of bona fides, I think I'll pass on a fool's errand.

  10. A Trillion Dollar War matched with 2 bit leadership.

  11. Bet you did not expect to have to line out W's "conservative" credentials, Allen!
    Allen takes a pass.

  12. Americans want rule of law; Mexicans want open immigration. Americans want fences; Mexicans want drug demand cut.

    Americans want Mexican responsibility on illegal immigrant costs; Mexico wants the U.S. to soften NAFTA provisos on corn and beans.

    And protectionist sentiment is rife in both countries.

    Men at Work

  13. Ya nailed it there, Bobal.
    All that and more.
    I find Kennedy's look perhaps less hard to take than W's.

  14. W knows he's just one of the funniest guys on earth.
    ...unless you happen to be part of the vast majority of Citizen/Victims.

  15. Black is White Rufus.
    Up is Down.
    ROP etc etc

  16. Yon thinks we're losing in Afghanistan, still a chance in Iraq.
    'Rat can engage a lively debate about what constitutes "victory."

  17. Personally I beleieve that Mr Bush represents the heart & soul of the Republican Party.
    He and his dad.

    If you do not fit into their Party, it is you that is the RINO, not the Bush family.

    As to damages, they are to the US, not any particular political Party.

    The explosion in volume of the illegal infiltrators, in the past 6 years has been devastating to the border region of the US. Especially to the people in the lower economic stratas here.

    Health care, education & employment opportunities for citizens and legal residents all have been diminished.
    Much worse than during the Carter years, measured by the sheer volume of people crossing the frontier.

    Enforcement prosecutions, at the employer level, were higher during the Clinton years, than during BushII.

    The US has been invaded by an asymetric force of from 12 to almost 20 million people, the majority arriving during the BushII era.

    It seems the ultimate in irresponsibility to the Presidents' oath of office, that the infiltrations continue, as we live & breathe.

    That's an opinion based upon the signs I see.

  18. Gateway Pundit writes:

    Democrats Force American Energy Companies to Flee

    That’s way too partisan. The Republicans bear much guilt for having been mute or muted.

    “It's not just Halliburton. Exxon last week announced 32 new projects for 2006-09. Only three are based in the U.S., and just one is in the Gulf of Mexico…

    Nine projects are in Western Europe, eight in sub-Saharan Africa, six in the Middle East, three in Central Asia and two in Southeast Asia. Given the size and scope of Exxon, this amounts to a proxy road map of where world opportunities lie for developing energy. In short, they're not here.”

  19. Please don't misunderstand, no fan of politicians, I just enjoy the debate

    and so we begin...

    1) "The Rule of Law:
    Respect for law.
    Compliance with laws in DC and across the country."

    By all means then, if the POTUS has broken the law, someone, some entity should prosecute him to the full extent of the law. Until they succeed...yours is just another opinion. To add complexity, if he was prosecuted, it is a constitutional gray area whether a sitting POTUS can pardon themself.

    2) "Truths" - more likely your truth is more precise
    ...similar to opinions and facts I believe (beliefs too)
    - The truth is always a compound of two half-truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say.

    3) "ROP"
    - don't know this acronym

    4) "Kennedy is one of the Best"
    - deeds, not words my friend (but wait...I've already been told by 1 EBer that I am the enemy.
    - I can give you an extended argument (just let me know if you want it) that the current POTUS has done more to damage the ideology of Kennedy and his ilk than any other POTUS in the history of the country

    5) CAIR is treated as "One of the Best"
    - Similarly, deeds not words.
    Tell us...which POTUS has had more jihadists killed than the current one. Have you read my posts that the current POTUS lies to suit his needs.
    - Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.
    - All warfare is based on deception. There is no place where espionage is not used. Offer the enemy bait to lure him.

    Sorry, I am a slow typer.

    Barkeep - Maker's Mark on the rocks


  20. Austin's a funny guy.

    He compares Baghdad to Selma.

    That is no rightous comparison, Selma was populated with US citizens, Baghdad definately is not.

    The US owes NOTHING to the Iraqi, not a damned thing. They DESERVE nothing more from US.
    As Austin says, they have their democratic government, now.
    That was gift enough.
    The gift we bestowed upon them has been squandered and misspent.

    That is the Iraqis' own fault, not ours. If we stay in Iraq, it must be because of what the US deserves, not the Iraqi.

    No one makes a convincing case that staying on at the current or higher troop levels and on the current course is in the best interest of US.

    Mr al-Hakim and al-Sadr still represent the backbone of the Federal Islamic Iraqi Government.
    They are both Mohammedan extremists, enemies in the Global War. They are also our allies.

    No wonder we feel decieved.

  21. Austin says empowering US enemies in Iraq is "an astonishing achievement"

    I agree, I've been astonished at the ineptitude the US has displayed in permitting US enemies such power in Iraq, after displacing Saddam and his people.

  22. Saddam was going to build the largest nuclear arsenal, in the WORLD?

    Get serious, rufus.

    We have hundreds of warheads and the capacity to build thousands more.

    Saddam could not get to the magic number of 1. Let alone the 48 the Pakistani have.

    The discussion is not about Saddam, any longer. He has been gone from power almost four years.

    We are no longer debating the Invasion, but what will be a decades long Occupation.

    To occupy Iraq at the current levels unsustainable for even another year. Or so says the military. In a War the head General on the ground says his troops cannot win.

  23. bobalharb,

    re: he might drive to Chicago in a diaper all of a sudden.

    Can this White House keep nothing secret!

    In fairness, though, no one has ever accused the President of mistaking a car for a submarine.

  24. Send the illegals back to Mexico and process them back in, legally, if we need them.
    Temporary work visas have been used in the past, they could be utilized again.

    Congressman Pence made such a proposal, seems quite reasonable.

  25. "Fought tooth & nail"

    He's had majorities in both Houses of Congress, he vetoed NO bills

    He didn't fight, he obliged.

    Mr Bush has been protected from Congressional oversight for six years. After less then 70 days of adversarial politics the wheels are falling off his White House.

    The US Attorneys dismisal the perfect current case in point. Let alone the War effort being backstabbed.

    Mr Bush has not yet had a fight, but one's comin'. Read the signs.

  26. Well, rufus:

    US and Iraqi security forces cannot end the violence in Iraq without political action and reconciliation with militant groups, the new US commander in Iraq has said.

    Gen Petraeus said reconciliation was key
    Speaking at his first press conference since taking control of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, urged the country's leaders to put aside sectarian rancour and warned there was no "military solution" to the nation's conflict.

    Now, rufus, you can take the General seriously, or not.
    I do.

  27. Reconciliation, not coombat, because there is no military solution.

    US troops CANNOT WIN the War.

    So says our best General.

    You think he is lying?

  28. Rufus said...Missile Defense

    Revisiting how the Chinese did the U.S. a favor and thoughts about microsatellites and network centric warfare, I found the following very interesting...

    US Working On Satellite Defenses In The Shadow Of Chinese Test
    by Jim Mannion

    The US military has been quietly working on an array of defenses against attacks on its satellites, including tiny new satellites that could one day be armed for wars in space, analysts say. That may explain the muted US response to China's anti-satellite test two months ago.

    Experts said the test came as no suprise to the US military, which had anticipated that China would develop an anti-satellite capability to put US spy satellites at risk in the event of a conflict over the Taiwan Straits (seems the Taiwanese have been testing a new cruise missile - the Hsiung-feng 2E - wonder if its nuclear capable).

    The US military has been preoccupied by the vulnerability of its unprotected networks of satellites at least since 2001 when a commission led by Donald Rumsfeld warned of the danger of a space "Pearl Harbor."

    John Pike, director, said he believes the stealth satellite program was put in place around the turn of the century in response to the anti-satellite threat from China. The Pentagon's virtual silence about the Chinese test "is hard for me to understand except to conclude they already felt they had already dealt with this problem some time ago," he said.

    Budget documents unearthed by Hitchens and her colleagues also point to intriguing military research into other exotic, dual use space technologies.

    These include work on maneuverable micro-satellites and nano-satellites weighing less than 10 kilograms.

    A projected funded by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) aims to develop ways to quickly put "small, hard-to-detect nanosatellites" into orbit to "perform rapid response reconnaissance on any spacecraft," according to budget documents.
    These nano satellites would have "advanced robotics technologies that would allow satellites to reconfigure on demand." "It sounds like these things could go from taking pictures to actually taking action by reconfiguring themselves into something that could do damage," Hitchens said.

    ...and now the Japanese, Indians, and Americans are conducting joint naval exercises

    I imagine not only the entire planet (but the space above) is now a "battle space for the American military."

  29. "Reconciliation, not coombat, because there is no...military solution."

    What's good for the goose -

    Get serious, DR.

    Let's suppose the jihadists or Iran utilized some black market nukes on our troops or use them to sink an aircraft carrier.

    The U.S. could erase any city in the region (and its inhabitants) off the face of the planet (without even utilizing nukes). Tell me I am wrong. It is not capability but willingness to employ violence.

    "US troops CANNOT WIN the War.
    So says our best General.
    You think he is lying?"

    ...If he is defining the war as limited warfare he is teling the truth; if he is defining warfare as total, he is lying.

  30. If the Iranians escalate, it's another War, elijah, not the current war.
    The US is not at war with Iran.

    The War that was being discussed is the War in Iraq. Which is not a "Total War", nor will it become one, because of US actions.

    The General was discussing Iraq
    We were discussing Iraq

    Iran is another subject.
    Per the Administration, we are not engaged in a Regional War. Per the Hamadan decision by the SCotUS and the other Branches reaction to it.

    Each of the Mohammedan Wars is localized and selfcontained, not part of a greater conflict. So say the Supremes and the President and Congress.
    That is the Law of the Land.

  31. "ROP" = Religion of Peace
    Islam, Mohammedanism, Muslims
    Shia or Sunni

    Islam is the Religion of Peace, per Mr Bush.

  32. Playing by US rules, the US cannot win.

    No one in authority is advocating changing the Rules, especially General P.

  33. In an interview, the senator said that she would keep a reduced military force in Iraq to fight Al Qaeda.
    Text: Transcript of Interview

    Mp3 Hillary on Iraq

  34. "Kennedy's look is kind of hearty, good-natured. Bush looks a little--screwy, almost deranged--like he might drive to Chicago in a diaper all of a sudden."

    Bravo, Bobal

  35. Allen,
    Car for a Submarine:
    It was and Oldsmobile "Rocket 88"
    How was he to know when he launched it off that bridge that the engine would not immediately go in to thruster mode?
    More like that Manpad launch Video Deuce linked a while back.

  36. Elijah,
    Wed Mar 14, 08:41:00 PM EDT
    High School honors student stuff:
    Allen was right.
    The laws of the USA are NOT
    simply my opinion,
    whether the good fair prosecutes POTUS or not.

  37. "The US is not at war with Iran."

    ...Perhaps you better consult your SOF friends who are currently serving DR, you are incorrect.

    "Which is not a Total War, nor will it become one, because of US actions."

    ... Not a function of U.S.actions, but of mohammedans miscalculations.
    Is AQ in Iraq?

    "Per the Administration, we are not engaged in a Regional War."

    ...How many times deception - Horn of Africa, The territories, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Phillipines, Thailand, Indonesia, etc.

    "Each of the Mohammedan Wars is localized and selfcontained, not part of a greater conflict."
    ...see above

    "That is the Law of the Land."
    ...Well, law dog's bark is worse than it's bite it seems

  38. Allen,
    One of GWB's first Disasterous actions was to outlaw drilling in the Gulf to help brother Jeb.

    Then spend the rest of his time whining about Dems and Alaska.
    ...Gulf filled with Oil, right offshore, China, Castro, Mexico, venezuela all drilling away, not BushII

  39. Yeah, I've looked at it that way a lot of the time:
    Now we got the problem of very high dependence and very high risk of a decent portion being cut off from the World Pumps by some Assymetric Asshole.

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

  41. Try as they might to make President Bush utter the name of his chief Latin American nemesis, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, reporters who covered Mr. Bush’s five-nation trip through South and Central America could not succeed.


    Even Mr. Bush’s friends in the region displayed an uncomfortable unpredictability in their public comments this week. The prize for the most off-color commentary during one of Mr. Bush’s joint news conferences goes to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil.

    Appearing with Mr. Bush in São Paulo last week, Mr. da Silva was asked about the prospects for a conclusion of the Doha Round of trade talks, important for nations like Brazil that seek freer access to American and European markets.

    According to the real-time translation pumped into the ears of the American visitors, Mr. da Silva said, “We’re moving on solid ground to find a chance for the so-called ‘G-point’ to come to an agreement.”

    Surprising Phrase

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

  43. From Jules Crittenden:

    “Friedman sees this very much as two weakened players trying to make the best of a bad lot. It could be that way, but I’d suggest the militry and political developments we’ve seen at home and in Iraq and Iran in the last two months indicate Bush’s political and military hand re Iraq is strengthening considerably. The conditions for settlement have not been fully established yet, but it is his to lose. “

    Something getting little attention that could prove disastrous for Iran:
    Iran is missing another ranking officer

    Moreover, look for a larger American military, something that “should have come long ago.”

  44. Tourists dining at sidewalk cafes watched the protests curiously, some snapping photographs and or taking videos with their cell phones.

    Erin Graham, a 24-year-old student from Houston was in the square with her husband and two small children when the riot police suddenly arrived and began fighting with the protesters. She said she ran over to see what was happening, while her husband stayed behind with the children.

    "Studying Mexican history, I have read about this a lot," she said as police vans sped by, their lights flashing, "but I wanted to see it in person."

    Mexican Protesters

  45. Well, elijah, as long as those with Authority are lying, they're liars.
    "Bush lied, people died."
    You say it's true.

    Quite the Bush Syndrome leftist position.

    Me, I tend to believe in my oath, that of defending the Constitution. There is no War.

    There may be covert operations, all over the World, but that is not War. Those operations are almost always deniable, just part of the game, but not a War, for US.
    Been there, done that, myself.

    Believe the Supremes, the President and the General, they're just some of the most major signs, easy to read.

    All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest ...

    Wheat and chaff, when the General speaks of "no military solution" in Iraq he speaks of the wheat.

    Believe what you will.

  46. Bob,

    How far are you from Boville? My dad used to tell me stories about how he and his buddies used to do the 'Boville Run' while in WSU in the early '60's. He took me on the run one time a few years back. Fun stuff.

  47. As long as a case can be made for necessity on grounds of national security, troops remain deployed. We tend to forget, in the heat of the moment, that the United States mans humdreds of facilities across the globe: some born as the result of long dead wars and barely recalled agreements and treaties.

    Although most notorious for the moment, the move of Haliburton is not unique. Are major market players betting so heavily on the stability of a region, without credible assurances from the various governments of and in the region? Do not ignore the role of the US as "a" or "the" player in the region, as well. No, for years to come, the Persian Gulf will be the big oil show and the gigantic investments situated there will be protected.

    If every single petroleum substitute mentioned on this site - everything from wind, bio-fuel, nuclear, etc. - were to gain the full support of all the requisite jurisdictions, as well as ample funding, it would still take at least a decade to bring any of these substitute power sources on line in even a limited way. For the time being, the US is stuck with an insatiable need for petroleum products. Consequently, wherever petroleum is to be found, the US will be there in force to guarantee its unhendered distribution.

    The US will be in Iraq for a very long time.

  48. Calderon expressed his hope that the customs controls on the Mexican border would not be a barrier to goods or people. He denied reports that he had agreed on an alliance with Bush to topple Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a strong critic of the Bush administration.

    Bush's seven-hour visit to Colombia was the shortest of the trip, and the 48-hour stay in Mexico was the longest.

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who was on a rival tour during the same week, said that Bush's plan was hypocritical and that the U.S. president had only sought to divide the region.

    Free Trade

  49. My disputes with Mr. Bush's Iraq policies (if they may be called that) are myriad.

    If Senator Clinton becomes president, she will not escape my wrath.

    However, whether Bush or Clinton, I will not support the breaking of daily contact with the enemy or the off-site withdrawal of American troops.

    Neither party, once entrusted with assests of such nominal and strategic value will disappoint me.

    The US will be in Iraq for a long time.

  50. Why is "no military solution" so mystifying?

    There was no military solution to Southern Reconstruction, Post WWII Germany, or Post WWII Japan. In every instance, military force had a role to play; but in the last analysis, reliance on locals, regardless of how sullied, was essential to "relative" normalcy. For this cause, history shows Klansmen, Nazis, and Immerial sympathizers placed into postitions of authority.

    Life is imperfect. Military solutions, whatever those may be, will not perfect the world. Now, they can expedite, when judiciously and occasionally ruthlessly applied. But, politics will have its place.

  51. The Iraqi commentors, if that's what they are, on that thread, rufus, certainly cover a wide range of opinion, concerning life in Iraq preInvasion.

    To continue to beat the Saddam dog is not a way forward, for US or the Iraqi. Reconciliation will not be found as long as Saddam is the subject of aa discussion about Iraq.

    I agree that the US may be in Iraq for a long while, but not as we are today.

  52. It is not "mystifying", allen, it's altogether enlightening.

    But your current oulook not at all the attitude you had last summer, when an Army General, I forget which, testified to Congress, when asked if the US was winning:
    "Well, I can say we are not losing"
    to paraphrase.

    You thought it a morale buster and worse. Now it's "right on" target

    All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear
    And disregards the rest

  53. Mica mountain. We went up through there on the old logging roads. Dad had been there before, a long time ago and was looking for that mine you're talking about. Couldn't ever find it. He knew we were close to it 'though. Near Elk Run I think we were?

  54. President Bush expressed confidence in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on Wednesday, but he acknowledged that "mistakes were made" in the dismissal of eight federal prosecutors and said it "troubles me" that lawmakers believe his administration provided misleading explanations for its actions.


    On Tuesday and again Wednesday, Gonzales accepted responsibility for the "mistakes" that have triggered a congressional investigation into whether White House officials and other Republicans exerted political pressure in the dismissals but said he would not resign. His remarks followed the release of e-mails and other documents that show the White House began the process in early 2005 that led to the prosecutors' dismissal.


    Some of the prosecutors who were fired have said they felt pressured by powerful Republicans in their home states to rush investigations of potential voter fraud involving Democrats.

    Attorney General

  55. Elk Run? No, Elk River, I think.

  56. "Some of the prosecutors who were fired have said they felt pressured by powerful Republicans in their home states to rush investigations of potential voter fraud involving Democrats."
    Yeah, they wanted them to do their jobs and prevent the Dems from CHEATING their way to one more victory.
    Seattle being the best example.

  57. Elk River, yep. We stopped in Boville at the tavern, had a beer, then kept on going to Elk River. I bought a fishing lure from the Boville tavern. I remember they had them pinned up on some board behind the bar. Anyhoo, when we got to Elk River, that's when we started to climb up the mountain. Not sure if it was Mica, or not. But I do remember dad looking for a mine.

    Don't know about the crapper. Doug's not the crapper, is he? I'll ask mom. She went to WSU also.

  58. It took two years to fire those fellows, or gals?
    Just another chapter in the long story of this Administration getting the job done, "later".

  59. The Washington Times last month reported that a group of women from Tecalpulco have created a Web page urging the United States to enforce its immigration laws, forcing their husbands to return home.

    "You said you were only going to Arizona to get money for our house, but now you have been away and did not come back when your sister got married," one woman wrote to a man she called Pedro. "Oh how I worry that you have another woman! Don't you love me? You told me you love me."

    Immigration has been a dominant issue in conversations between Mr. Bush and Mr. Calderon in this city on the Yucatan Peninsula over the past two days. Mr. Calderon chided Mr. Bush publicly Tuesday for approving the construction of 850 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, and yesterday he said he is worried about the rights of illegal aliens crossing the border.

    Calderon Relatives May be Illegal

  60. Bob,

    Ok. Makes sense now. Probably why we couldn't find the mine. It had been a long time since he had been there. Thanks.

  61. Mr. Calderon chided Mr. Bush publicly Tuesday for approving the construction of 850 miles of fence

    WTF? Who's runnin' this show, anyways?

  62. DR,

    You should read my comments more closely. There is no inconsistency.

  63. DR,

    As a matter of basic logic, confusing apples with oranges isn't helpful either.

  64. U.S. military officials said death-squad killings have fallen by half in Baghdad, but high-profile car bombings have risen.

    But Biden said that as violence has fallen in Baghdad, Sunni insurgents have moved to Diyala province, where U.S. commanders are reinforcing troops.

    The senator dismissed signs of progress, saying the entire effort is "like pushing a water balloon."

    Upping Ante

  65. Man, I hate to read this:

    Burglar's Pants Keep Falling Down During Heist

    Sandy’s friends really need to intervene. This is no longer funny.

  66. Crapper takes the Pledge
    (no skull and bones joint this)
    Later I’m dragged into the fraternity house living room – a recipe for disaster. I awake to a stream of urine hitting my forehead. The room empties and I go to the bathroom to check the damage. Marker all over my body, shaving cream and urine. I walk home, only to return a few hours later to receive my weekly yelling and beratement (I was not a good pledge).

  67. The next night I see her again and we somewhat make up. I see a killer t-shirt which reads, “Rehab is for Quitters”. I offer to buy the t-shirt from the gentleman wearing it. He refuses.
    I offer him the chance to make out with my girlfriend.
    He accepts and she complies.
    On the way home we drove through the Burger King drive-through naked.

  68. March 2004, Costa Rica. A pretty tame spring break, save being on Costa Rican national television. We took a trip to this town where they have a tradition, which is half bullfight, half running of the bulls. They tie a rope around the nuts of a bull, electrocute it and then send it loose into a bullfight ring filled with the town’s young men. All the men wore white pants and shirts – I was told this was a very special and formal event. Drunk as I was, I entered the ring in my flip flops, board shorts and Kelly green t-shirt and began taunting the bulls. Given my size and ridiculous garb the announcer had said that Arnold Schwarzenegger had entered the ring. Something about a “gringo baracho”. It made the local news that night I was told. Brought a Jimmy Eat World CD to every club dj and commanded them to play "The Middle" at least 4 times each night. Streaked the restaurant on my last night

  69. Mexico's power brokers, not America's, must want to change that country's economic profile, to open it to the dynamics of a free market that would lower consumer prices, raise demand and create jobs. Calderón and like-minded reformers will have to loosen the grip of the few who hold most of the wealth -- the monopolies and oligopolies, the labor leaders and the politicians who are doing quite well, thank you.

    The Mexican president proposes reforms both to encourage private investment and to improve tax collections, the latter to pay for essentials such as education and universal health care.

    Progress will be slow. But U.S. immigration reform will have to be matched by Mexican economic reform to have noticeable effect.

    No Fences

  70. From the moment I first read it, it has continued to make more sense:

    The idea that energetic, young, hard-working men coming up here and sending money back to Mexico is what is
    "Saving the Mexican Economy"
    has it exactly backwards:

    The Economy/Culture will NEVER be reformed as long as the very people with the energy and drive to do it are removed until they are too old for the corrupt US System are replaced by young NEW Illegals, and are discarded.

    They should be down there applying their energy, and demanding the reforms that must be made.

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  72. Well, rufus:

    US and Iraqi security forces cannot end the violence in Iraq without political action and reconciliation with militant groups, the new US commander in Iraq has said.

    Gen Petraeus said reconciliation was key
    Speaking at his first press conference since taking control of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, urged the country's leaders to put aside sectarian rancour and warned there was no "military solution" to the nation's conflict.

    Now, rufus, you can take the General seriously, or not.
    I do.


    " Reconciliation, not coombat, because there is no military solution.

    US troops CANNOT WIN the War.

    So says our best General.

    You think he is lying?"

    This rhetoric that Petraeus thinks this is mission impossible is complete nonsense. I'm personally pretty pessimistic and Petraeus himself has been doing his best to lower expectations (because he knows any victory would be a long-term effort), but he doesn't think it is mission impossible. He's never said so and would never have taken the job if he did think so. In fact, he's said the opposite.

    He's simply smart enough to know that counter-insurgency/stabilization efforts are mostly political. We can't clamp down on the place indefinitely or physically eliminate the enemy populations. So he needs carrots as well as sticks. That doesn't mean that 'combat is useless' or hopeless, simply that it isn't stand alone.

    As for Bush and Kennedy - disgusting.