“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, August 13, 2007

Rove to Roam

Big Whoop.


  1. It really is a big whoop, as another of the President's men, another that has been with him for decades takes a powder in the home stretch of the marathon.

    The bubble around the President grows ever smaller, his long term advisors abandoning the ship.

    Rove, Bartlett, Miers ...

    He's left with Gonzo and Mr Cheney by his side.

    Let the quacking begin?

  2. Let the bombing begin? Wildest of speculation--Bush is going to bomb Iran and Karl think's it wrong, or more likely, foolish, and wants no part of it. Park this under the wildest of speculation column.

    Guy sure knew his precincts, though, and loved politics.

  3. An interesting story at NRO entitled Welcome to Ramadi

    Which describes the improving situation, for US, in Anbar. It tells of the US Ambassador, Mr Crocker, speaking with the Mayor and local Sheiks. Discusses the meetings and councils held, very up beat, positive spin, presentation.

    What was not described was that no representitives of the central government were to be seen. The Anbaris throwing in with the US, not greater Iraq.

    The tactical improvement seems legitimate enough, but there was no description of intra-Iraqi reconciliation, nor any indication that any Iraqi faction is even on that trail.

    So view Mr Crocker's visit from Mr Maliki's position, well, there were no central government represetitives at those meetings. Mr Crocker was consorting with the enemy, as an "honest broker", or attempting to undermine the central government?

    Press reports indicate that Prime Minister Maliki sees the latter.

  4. Karl's a dead ringer for my life insurance agent, could almost be twins, which is spooky, as my insurance agent is already a twin.

  5. You know the Chinese Finger Trap has US firmly in it's vice when the NYTimes editorial concludes with:

    "In Basra — after four years of British tutelage — police forces are infiltrated by sectarian militias. The British departure will cede huge areas to criminal gangs and rival Shiite militias. Without Iraqis capable of taking over, the phased drawdown of British troops has turned ugly. The remaining British troops hunkered down in the city at Basra Palace are under fire from all directions. Those at the airbase are regularly bombarded.

    And Basra should be easier than Baghdad. Most of the population is Shiite, and neither Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia nor other Sunni insurgent groups have a significant presence. Elsewhere in Iraq, where internal rivalries are overshadowed by the Sunni insurgency, sectarian civil war and rampant ethnic cleansing, a reduced American force might find itself in an even worse predicament. The clear lesson of the British experience is that going partway is not a realistic option.

    The United States cannot walk away from the new international terrorist front it created in Iraq. It will need to keep sufficient forces and staging points in the region to strike effectively against terrorist sanctuaries there or a Qaeda bid to hijack control of a strife-torn Iraq.

    But there should be no illusions about trying to continue the war on a reduced scale. It is folly to expect a smaller American force to do in a short time what a much larger force could not do over a very long time. That’s exactly what the British are now trying to do. And the results are painfully plain to see. "

  6. Funny as a Scoop Jackson Dem I think I support the President more than most GOP'ers..

    I dont read to much into Rove, or for that manner any of the staff that has left, including Karen Hughes...

    As for Iraq, we aint leaving, we may adapt, move troops around and even go to basesin the desert, but we aint leaving.

    As for Iran, war is on the horizon, if you think that we can seek "calm" and get through the upcoming mess you are mistaken, Iran, Syria, Hamas, Moslem Brotherhood & al qaeda mistakenly smell weakness.

    No matter who drives the USA ship, ms clinton or another gop'er we are not running home...

    As for china and the $$$ meltdown, it may be ugly, but i am an positive, in the long run china will get more burnt than the usa...

    The weaker the usa dollar, the stronger our exports get, the more expensive cheap underpriced "dumped" consumer goods are..

    One of the FUN things about russia, china and iran trying to change the unipolar world into a new multipolar word is that with being #1 comes being a target...

    I expect china to have problems with: pollution, medical costs, masses of poor people rioting (75,000 riots last year alone) ISLAM, aids and yes chinese nationals being taken HOSTAGE

    Russia has awoken with petro dollars and a giant blue pill woodie and really thinks it'sself a stud, seeking to grab MORE land that it cannot control (artic) look at a map, russia is hugh, and it's problems are far from easy to fix.. again aids, shrinking populations, islam, nationalist groups, and so much more.....

    yep it's going to be interesting...

    but ya know what?

    I think america will be fine, even with 6 dollar a gallon fuel and more expensive underware

  7. Election coming up. Time to "Play."

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  9. For those of you interested in the recent subprime problems Asia times has a good long article on it. It also addresses some of the ideological issues in an interesting manner, for example:

    "Much like pregnant ghetto teenagers, they say that those suffering in the subprime crisis are there wholly through their own misguided actions, specifically, their greed. No government actions, including anything by the Federal Reserve, should be taken on their behalf. They must suffer the pain that is the rightful and just consequence of their imprudent actions. An editorial in Saturday's Wall Street Journal summarized this philosophy very succinctly.

    "No one wants to see someone lose his home to foreclosure. But many of those most at risk bought their homes with little or no money down, and so have very little at stake economically. Bringing in the feds to bail them out would send precisely the wrong message - that risky or overly aggressive borrowing will be rewarded by the government rather than punished in the marketplace. To the extent that bad loans were made, the market needs to clear, not be propped up by federal aid programs ...

    With the current market turmoil, Mr Bernanke faces his first big test as chairman of the Federal Reserve. The biggest favor he could do for himself and the markets is not to give in to the temptation to do favors for Wall Street or anyone else, and to remain focused on his price-stability mandate."

    What this editorial is trying to say is that the markets must be disabused of the notion that some institutions are, like those that lent billions to hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management in 1998, or the banks that lent to Mexico in 1982, "too big to fail". Much as the ghetto teenager who loses her welfare benefits and so, like a modern-day Flying Dutchman of the service sector, is sentenced to push a broom at McDonald's for all eternity, those who make mistakes must forever pay for their actions.


    With this as intellectual background, you might have expected the conservative-libertarian economic community to have decried the Federal Reserve money-market interventions. After all, if a few or more primary dealers had imprudent connections, even if they were once, twice or more removed, with the subprime market, their insolvency and bankruptcy could only have a proper disciplining effect on the market. The example of their misery and penury will act to ensure that future market participants eschew the next upcoming financial-market inanity.

    Not on your life. While it's true that these economic conservatives are cradle-to-the-grave misanthropes who decry everything from government funding of infant inoculations to Meals on Wheels for elderly shut-ins, still they are proving themselves to be a lot more sanguine about the prospect of government assistance if the assistance is directed at members of their own elite class."

  10. I don't see how Olmert stays in power in Israel, with a 9% approval rating, and big doubts about his ability to defend the country. You'd think there'd be a no confidence vote...

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  12. 'cradle to grave misanthropes who decry everything from government funding of infant innoculations to Meals-On-Wheels for elderly shut-ins'---now there is well written propaganda.

  13. yeah, it does hammer at ideologues anywhere on the spectrum. I don't know if you read the article but it helps shed light on the liquidity problems arising from the subprimes. The Wall Street Journal editorial represent the ideologues on one side of the spectrum and the problem of 'letting the markets deal with it' becomes pretty apparent - market liquidity is seizing so the central banks are stepping in and intervening in the market. This has the perverse effect of bailing out the rich folk who took undue risk dealing with these financial products while leaving the poor homeowner out in the cold. Sure the poor homeowner stupidly took on more debt then they could handle but so did the rich but it is the rich getting bailed out.

  14. Being a fan of neither the banks nor the Wall Street Urinal, like a lot of small farmers , I say let them all eat meals on wheels for awhile, a worthy program, which is run here by a friend of my wife. Always looking for drivers, and you get a free meal out of it yourself. Got to go to the bank and make a credit card payment.

  15. you can do that payment online and save some gas bobal

  16. Doug,

    I'm reading through Radical Son...his parents bring to mind Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer".

  17. The Space Shuttle seems to have a real problem, a hole going all the way through the tiles. It's time to ground it and not risk the lives over very little gain. We need a whole new system. Now they are probably going to have to go out there and try to patch repair the hole, caused by flying foam on takeoff caused by the idiocy of substituting the original spray cause it contained fluorocarbons for something inferior. You got to hand it to the astronauts takes the right stuff to get on that old jalopy. Where are they if they determine it can't be repaired?

  18. Send up the Russian Soyuz, bring 'em down, two at a time.

  19. P. 133,

    "He informed me that my London flat was situated next door to the house of Ralph Miliband, a lecturer in sociology...Miliband was one of the leading Marxists of the Labour Party Left...Like me, Miliband viewed his intellectual mission as an effort to rescue Marxism from the Stalinist debacle..."

    Interestingly enough, Miliband's son is now the new British foreign secretary. The good news is that although he has little foreign affairs experience, he does have a blog. The bad news is that for about 3 years, it covered almost nothing besides global warming. How far our allies have fallen...

  20. "The bad news is that for about 3 years, it covered almost nothing besides global warming."

    For reference, I read every single entry of it for work. Pedestrian, to say the least.

  21. BEIJING (Associated Press) -- The head of a Chinese manufacturer whose lead-tainted Sesame Street toys were the center of a massive U.S. recall has killed himself, a state-run newspaper said Monday.

    Cheung Shu-hung, who co-owned Lee Der Industrial Co., committed suicide at a warehouse over the weekend, apparently by hanging himself, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

    "When I rushed there around 5 p.m., police had already sealed off the area," the newspaper quoted a manager surnamed Liu as saying. "I saw that our boss had two deep marks in his neck."

  22. 08-13-2007


    Associate Attorney General Giuliani Was Frustrated With Lack of Focus Justice Leadership Had Shown On Immigration Issues. Giuliani: “As you know, for too long those in positions of leadership in the Department have ignored the immigration area – policy, law and budget. Reversing this lack of emphasis and tackling problems long neglected are necessary …” (Associate Attorney General Rudy Giuliani, Letter To Nina Rao Cameron, INS District Counsel, 11/3/81)

    In July 1982, Giuliani’s Office Commissioned A Report Of INS Headquarters In Order To Review Productivity And Efficiency Of The Agency. (Renee Szybala, Memo To Associate Attorney General Rudy Giuliani, 7/9/82)

    In 1982, Giuliani Argued That The Federal Government Should Focus On Improved Border Security And Potentially Criminal Illegal Immigrants. GIULIANI: “And in a situation where we have enormous ongoing immigration problems, wouldn’t that be a terrible waste of our resources and a diversion from the kinds of things that the President has been doing and the Attorney General has been doing over the last six or seven months that have begun to restore control of our borders.” NEWSCASTER: “Giuliani says the Administration stands behind its policy of deterring those who come to the United States illegally by holding illegals in detention camps, increasing border controls, and implying sanctions against employers who hire illegal aliens.” (Miami’s Channel 10 News, 2/25/82)

    Giuliani: “In The Last Decade, Our Policies Intended To Make Immigration Fair And Orderly Have Failed. We Truly Have Lost Control Of Our Borders.” (Associate Attorney General Rudy Giuliani, Remarks To Seventh Annual Baron De Hirsh Meyer Lecture Series, Miami, FL, 4/16/82)

    Giuliani Noted It Was Lax Enforcement Of Immigration Laws That Led To An Uncontrolled Border And The Illegal Immigration Crisis. Giuliani: “This country has neglected to enforce our immigration laws. As a result, we have lost control of our borders. This Administration is committed to enforce its laws – firmly and fairly – so that all people who choose to come here, from whatever nation, will do so in accordance with our laws.” (Associate Attorney General Rudy Giuliani, Statement, 6/14/82)


    Giuliani In 1995: “[T]he Federal Government Should Be Doing More About Illegal Immigration.” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Joint Press Conference with Governor Pete Wilson (CA), New York, NY, 3/29/95)

    Giuliani Said INS Failed To Deport Most Criminal Illegals, Even Though NYC Officials Gave Them Names. Giuliani: “We just happened to check the numbers and in this part of the state, there were only about 776 deportations last year of people. … Now we send thousands and thousands of names of illegal and undocumented aliens to the INS who have committed crimes. Either accused or convicted of committing crimes. So literally sitting at the INS is a pile maybe this big of names of people who have committed crimes and last year they got around to deporting seven to eight hundred of them. So before there are obligations placed on [city of New York], to turn over the names of children in school or their parents or people who use public hospitals, I’d like to see the Immigration and Naturalization Service dealing with people who commit crimes.” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Joint Press Conference With Governor Pete Wilson (CA), New York, NY, 3/29/95)

    In 1996, Giuliani Said The Federal Government Should Do More To Combat Illegal Immigrants, With Regard To Border Patrol As Well As Foreign Policy. GIULIANI: “What I say is illegal immigration is wrong. We should do everything we can to cut it out, to stop it. The federal government should do a lot more about it, both with regard to foreign policy, border patrol, things that are done with regard to deportation, in which a lot more resources should be put into it.” (CNN’s “Evans & Novak,” 7/6/96)

    Giuliani Said The Federal Government Should Focus More Of Its Resources On Deporting Illegal Drug Dealers. Giuliani: What the federal government could do is to deport more of the illegal drug dealers that we have in our city which … unfortunately, very few deportations take place of the people who are actually selling drugs who are illegal immigrants …” (CBS’ “Face The Nation,” 9/22/96)

    Giuliani: “There Is No One That Is In Favor Of Illegal Immigration. I’m Against It. It’s Wrong For People To Violate The Law.” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Remarks At The Conference On The New Immigrants, Minneapolis, MN, 9/30/96)

    Giuliani Said The Federal Government Does Not Do Enough To Deport Illegal Immigrants. Giuliani: “[T]he reality is, the Federal Government doesn’t deport them. In New York City, which has 400,000 undocumented immigrants, only about 1,500 a year are deported. Under the new legislation, that number would -- at most -- double to about 3,000 out of 400,000.” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Remarks At The Conference On The New Immigrants, Minneapolis, MN, 9/30/96)

    Giuliani: “Preventing Illegal Immigration Is The Job Of The Federal Government. The United States Has To Do A Lot Better Job Of Patrolling Our Borders.” Giuliani: “[P]reventing illegal immigration is the job of the Federal Government. The United States has to do a lot better job of patrolling our borders. If we can’t stop illegal immigration, then we can’t stop drugs and weapons from entering the country, either..” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Remarks At The Conference On The New Immigrants, Minneapolis, MN, 9/30/96)

    Giuliani: “[P]reventing Illegal Immigration Is The Job Of The Federal Government. The United States Has To Do A Lot Better Job Of Patrolling Our Borders.” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Remarks At Harvard University’s Kennedy School Of Government, 10/10/96)

    In 1997, “At A News Conference, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Repeatedly Called For A Tightening Of Immigration Policy And Barring Aliens Who Admit They Have Been Accused Of Terrorism.” (Richard Pyle, “Source: FBI Links NYC Ploy To Hamas,” The Associated Press, 8/1/97)

    Giuliani Called For INS To Focus More Energy On Deporting Illegals Who Commit Crimes And Endanger Society. Giuliani: “Along these lines, I believe that Congress should also encourage the INS to focus more of its energy and resources on deporting illegal immigrants who commit crimes and endanger the rest of society. New York City spends approximately 36 million dollars to jail illegal immigrants who are criminals. Of the 4,400 illegal immigrants who pass through the jail system only approximately 160 are deported each year. If the federal government is serious about stopping illegal immigration it should work diplomatically with other governments and make our national borders more secure.” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Testimony, 8/11/97)


    “Giuliani Said The Federal Government Needs To Secure Borders And Address Concerns About Security Before It Can Handle Questions About Immigrants Already In The United States.” (Brad Branan, “Giuliani Taps Into Valley Funds Again GOP Presidential Hopeful Attends Fresno Fundraiser,” The Fresno Bee, 6/29/07)

    Giuliani Said Arizona Was Enacting Its Own Immigration Laws As A Result Of The Government’s Failure To Address The Issue. “Asked about a new Arizona law that will require suspension or revocation of business licenses of employers which [knowingly hire] illegal immigrants, Giuliani said it appeared to be a response by the state to the federal government's failure to address the issue.” (Paul Davenport, “Giuliani: Focus Immigration Efforts On Border Enforcement,” The Associated Press, 7/26/07)

  23. Wonder if Rove's jumping on to a presidential candidate's campaign?

  24. Ed,

    That article is at odds with one Rufus posted a few days back basically stating his pro-illegal immigration stance.

  25. That may be why the Gulliani camp has produced all those old quotes.

    It is why I posted it.

    I have heard "America's Mayor" cite those deportation numbers of 4,400 reported to INS and only 160 deported before.

    What else is a Mayor to do but turn criminals in to the Feds? Then if as he says, the Feds won't deport criminals, why create make-work for school adminstrators by turning in school kids?

  26. I heard Giuliani in the last couple days in an interview say much the same as those quotes, but then he shocked by saying, and I know I heard him right, if we get contol of illegal immigration we could increase legal immigration.

    Michael Savage may have those S.F. supervisors by the balls. One of them basically was calling out the mobs on him. He had that Danial Horowitz on his show, noted lawyer. Don't know much about the guy but he was reading the statutes. If you are in government you best mind people's 1st Amendment.

  27. Har, har--the mark of Rove, an
    R on the backside of many a democrat.
    George Schultz had a Princeton tiger tattooed on his ass.

  28. Fires getting worse out west. Just what we need a storm coming with lightning, wind and no rain.

  29. Things not so bad in Jalalabad according to the WSJ reporter.

  30. We could increase legal immigration, bob. There is no reason why we couldn't, anyway.

    There are reasonable arguments for increasing the quotas, especially if the economy was judged in need of more legal workers and the flow of illegals was stopped.

    An entirely different issue than securing the border, it really is.

  31. desert rat:

    Send up the Russian Soyuz, bring 'em down, two at a time.

    I said on another forum that we should consider building and flying our own version of the Soyuz under license, since it's a tried and proven spacecraft.

    But NASA is a government agency, and they could never bring themselves to eat humble pie on such a scale.

  32. Last I heard they are coming down with no repairs. But if they were stranded, and came down on Soyuz, it would be a neat symbol for the Russians and us, maybe help relations out a little.

    Sure we can increase legal immigration, but sometime enough is enough, in my mind. Images of China, India come to mind. I can't believe we have the 300m we have now. I recall 140m- 150m.

  33. Bob,

    A-ha! The Hewitt column. Nice catch.

  34. The brackets that hold the liquid oxygen feed line to the tank are particularly troublesome. NASA is switching from foam-covered aluminum alloy brackets to titanium ones that would require hardly any foam, but not until next spring.

    That leaves three more shuttle launches at risk for shedding bracket foam.

    John Shannon, chairman of NASA's mission management team, stressed Sunday that there will always be some risk of launch debris, no matter how many improvements.

    Shuttle Damage

  35. 'the gouge penetrates through the protective thermal tiles'--sounds like Russian roulette. A news report I heard said NASA was worried that in trying to patch it they might make it worse.

  36. Brilliant Design, side by side:
    The Ruskies come out on top by being on top of the Bomb.
    Just like the Faultless Apollo and all the rest that came before.

    After all these years, NASA is FINALLY going to do it right next time.

    Maybe they have the same DNA as GWB?

  37. DOH!

    Motorcyclist rides 2 km unaware of losing right leg

    SHIZUOKA, Japan, Aug. 14 (AP) - (Kyodo)—A 54-year-old man continued to drive a large motorcycle about 2 kilometers Monday after hitting the center divider on a national highway and losing his right leg below the knee in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, police said Tuesday.
    Kazuo Osada, a salaried worker, was unaware of the loss of his leg until he drove the distance apparently because his attention was focused on the strong pain he felt from the crash, the police said.

    The police said Osada failed to negotiate a left turn and hit the center divider in a west-bound lane of Route 1's Hamana bypass in Hamamatsu at around 6:30 a.m. Monday.

    Osada, who was on his way to Gifu Prefecture in a group of about 10 friends, did not fall in the accident and continued the ride before noticing part of his leg was missing, the police said.

    ...Guess none of the 10 friends did either!

  38. Stay the Course!
    More GWB DNA!

  39. The official plan if they decided to jump ship would be to wait for the next shuttle, which is pretty close to launch-ready.

    Forget time frame.

  40. The Russian Ship uses the same Rocket Motors that sent Uri Gagarin into orbit!
    ...and everything else, I'd bet.
    Too easy.
    It'd be like us strapping Delta Rockets together, and having a cheap, reliable booster again.

    That ain't NASA.

  41. Horowitz's wife was bludgeoned to death at home while Horowitz was defending some spouse killer!

  42. (Rudy had it wrong:
    Some selfish, unpatriotic pigs ARE all in favor of illegal/exploited immigrants)
    Legal, but immoral.
    AlJazeera English to air special on Asian labourers

    DOHA • On August 18 at 1430 GMT, AlJazeera English will take a revealing look at the appalling conditions facing many of the 10m Asian labourers in the Gulf most of whom come from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, a channel release said yesterday.

    During a three month investigation, Blood Sweat and Tears, AlJazeera English reporters gained unprecedented access to labour camps and workers in the region, demonstrating how the labourers' desire to help their families and improve their financial situation is exploited as they are forced to work in inhumane conditions far from home.

    "I ask that my family not grieve for me…the financial pain I face here is too much." So read the suicide note of Selva Kumar Thangavel, an Indian labourer in Dubai who killed himself in 2005 after revealing that he was unable to repay the $1,200 illegal finder fee to the agent who recruited him.

    According to the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, in 2006, 109 Indian labourers committed suicide in the UAE alone.

  43. You left out Candy, 'Rat:
    Stayin to the bitter end.

  44. Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Shara dismissed on Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent allegations about existence of tension between his country and Iran.

    Shara made the denial at a lecture on the occasion of the Journalists Day here, underlining that there is mutual understanding, agreement and common point of view between Damascus and Tehran.

    Syria enjoyed strategic relations (with Iran), which are based on understanding and accordance in visions regarding regional issues, he added.

    Tension with Iran