“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."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thompson for President. What do you think?


  1. Shows well, can deliver a line and hit his marks, but a thin resume when it comes to executive experience.

  2. I think Fred Thompson's Wife should be able to keep Fred out of airport restrooms.

  3. One of the commentors there said Fred is on wife #3.
    It seems he trades up.

    I do not know of any negatives of substance regarding Fred, some lobbiest stories, but nothing illegal.

    Just millions of USD earmarked for a breeder reactor that went nowhere. That seems par for the course, successful manipulation of the "System". Want a President that understands what the "Deal" is, but not one corrupted by it.

    With the first Primaries in January, he should announce on the historical timeline, right around now.
    A week or so, after Labor Day, aye,

  4. Depends.

    If a bunch of hacks from Bush's administration glom on to the guy, then I won't vote for him.

    I've had enough of the Ford/Reagan/Bush/Bush II retreads.

    Need some fresh blood in the RNC. People with principle that won't defend twist-offs and perverts to preserve a hold on the senate, shove more socialism down our throats and leave the border open for invasion.

    Oh, and get us into dumb wars with screwed up strategies and an ever changing end-state.

  5. Letterman fans will be ticked at This

    Tough choices a candidate has to make.

  6. Undecided and waiting.

    Sounds good on federalism, illegal immigration, and a number of things - but also wary of a potential empty suit a la Obama. So far as I've seen a lot of people this side of the aisle have flocked to him because they want anything but another moderate, compassionate conservative, and he became in the process the great hope of salvation.

  7. I think he's only been married twice, though, with a number of high profile romances in between.

  8. I do not know, as to his marriage history. Just what some anonymous poster said at bob's link, with all the pictures of he and his wife.

    Puts him on par with RR, Rudy or me.
    At two or three.

    Just saw this, referencing Pakistan

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (Associated Press) -- Islamic militants ambushed a large convoy of military vehicles in troubled northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, kidnapping more than 100 soldiers after seizing their weapons, officials said.

    The soldiers were traveling in 16 trucks and providing security for trucks carrying food between Wana, the main town in South Waziristan and Ladha, another town in the region, two intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because of agency policy.

    One of the officials said nearly 100 soldiers were kidnapped, while the other said there were between 100 and 120 soldiers taken. There was no indication if there was a battle or if anyone was wounded in the incident, they said.

    "We confirm that several military vehicles were ambushed, and scores of our soldiers are missing, but we have no further details," said an army official based near the capital, Islamabad, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

  9. RE: Nothing Lives Long in a Vacuum

    As Michael noted, Nothing Lives Long in a Vacuum.
    That apparently includes “taking up arms against the occupiers.” Muqtada al-Sadr has announced a six month suspension of Mahdi Army activity in Iraq. The question is why, and at least part...

  10. Rudy can say:
    Fred Played a Prosecutor,
    I was one.

  11. 'Rat,
    Good thing neither Waziristan nor Syria nor Iran have any significant impact on our prosecution and imminent victory in the WOT.
    Say the Curse!

  12. From a May article I wrote for FrontPage Magazine
    titled “Turning The Corner In Iraq,”
    I noted that the rivalry between Sistani and Khameini is significant and that Iranian support for groups killing Sistani’s following was a decisive factor in the split.

    It was through those open channels that the United States clearly shared evidence of Iranian material support for specific Sunni groups engaged in targeting Shi’a Iraqis in attacks. And it was clearly compelling enough to cause Iraq’ largest Shi’a political party to seek guidance from the traditionalist (and pro-democracy) al-Sistani instead of the revolutionary Iranian leaders.

  13. From RCP
    The Fred Has Landed
    Posted by TOM BEVAN | E-Mail This | Permalink | Email Author
    Randy Enright, the national political director for Fred Thompson, just announced on a conference call with supporters that, "next Thursday on September 6 Senator Thompson will officially become a candidate for President of the United States."

    Enright said the announcement will come via webcast on Thompson's site and will be immediately followed by a two-part grassroots tour that will begin in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and eventually get to Florida before winding up on September 15 with a "welcome home" rally in Thompson's home town of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.

    Enright said the goal of the campaign was to position Thompson as the "mainstream conservative in this race" and take advantage of the grassroots support and Fred's ability to "powerfully deliver his message."

    Campaign manager Bill Lacy addressed the group briefly, thanking supporters for their patience as they worked through the busy period of "taking it to the next level" and assembling a team to move forward with a presidential campaign.

  14. Idaho's anit-immigration folk just want Craig Gone

    Restroom, shmestroom--Craig hasn't represented us for a long time.

  15. Doug said...
    From a May article I wrote for FrontPage Magazine

    Are you saying your wrote that article doug?

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. I think he is saying that Steve Schippert at threatswatch wrote that article and doug cut and pasted the notice, written by steve, in its' entirety.

    But that's is just how it appears to me. Unless of course, doug is steve, which I doubt. Since I've corresponded with steve in the past, and he's not doug.

  18. Steve used my notes, I prefer annonymity.
    'Rat is correct, I am not Steve, merely his source.

  19. One might imagine the reader cliking on through to the source at Frontpage.

    Then again...

  20. I thought a fella named 'I' wrote the article.

  21. That was I HOP.
    He's busy flippin Pancakes.

  22. "Michael Douglas confesses soft spot for Hillary Clinton"
    All you folks that laughed at Kirk in his victimhood should wish that his son possessed the post-stroke wit of his father.

  23. Maybe mom was a well-endowed Moron?

  24. Eric Martin at

    Shrodinger's Iraq
    Eric Martin Aug 30 2007 - 2:01pm

    Kevin Drum links to a story about Rep. John Porter's (R-NV) trip to Iraq, where he met with Petraeus, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Iraqi Deputy President Tariq al-Hashimi and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh. According to Porter:

    "To a person, they said there would be genocide, gas prices in the U.S. would rise to eight or nine dollars a gallon, al-Qaida would continue its expansion, and Iran would take over that portion of the world if we leave."

    To which Drum responds:

    "There are two possibilities here: (a) Petraeus and Crocker really did say that stuff, or (b) Porter is lying. If it's the former, then Petraeus and Crocker have pretty plainly decided to become frothing administration attack dogs on Iraq, not honest brokers. If it's the latter, Petraeus and Crocker ought to be plenty pissed. Which is it?"

    I don't see many other options myself, but if this mixed bag of scare tactics really did come from Petraeus and Crocker, then they are not only dishonest but shameless as well. The simple fact is, many of these predictions approach mutually exclusive status.

    For example, how would Iran take over that portion of the world, yet al-Qaeda continue to expand? Now, Iran and al-Qaeda may be able to come to some limited accommodation in connection with a few common goals - but a long term modus vivendi is simply out of the question. al-Qaeda's entire raison d'etre is to take down the Sunni regimes in the region because those Sunni regimes are not quite, for lack of better term, "Sunni" enough. That is, they do not adhere to a rigid, orthodox version of Sunni Islam as practiced by the Taliban (a regime that famously persecuted and repressed Afghanistan's Shiite population).

    The conflict arises, you see, because not only is Iran not devoutly Sunni - it's not Sunni at all! It's the biggest Shiite nation on the planet. Again, limited cooperation, in pursuit of limited and discrete goals may be possible. But if Iran took over that part of the world, they would have little need for this band of Sunni terrorists whose long term goal is the destruction of Iran. They can't occupy the same space for very long, when each is essentially committed to the destruction of the other. It doesn't add up.

    The genocide claim is equally incoherent. The Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq are too evenly matched - with too many foreign patrons - for genocide to occur (absent some unforeseen and unusual chain of events). An intensification of the civil war, coupled with more aggressive ethnic cleansing, is certainly possible (but then, that's been the trajectory in Iraq for years anyway).

    But genocide? Which side would be committing genocide anyway? Would the Sunnis dominate the Shiite to such an extent that genocide was possible? Or vice versa? Porter never does say. If it's the numerically superior Shiite group, though, then Porter would have to explain why the Iraqi Shiites would be ruthless and thorough enough to commit genocide on the Iraqi Sunni population but would, curiously, leave Sunni al-Qaeda alone even as al-Qaeda is expanding its presence in Iraq. Think about it. The Shiites would try to kill all the Sunnis - other than al-Qaeda.

    If it's the Sunnis committing the genocide, though, how would that square with Iran taking over that part of the world? The Iraqi Sunnis would kill almost all of Iraq's Shiites, but still Iran would take over despite the annihilation of its Shiite allies in Iraq?

    If this self-refuting nonsense really did come from Petraeus and Crocker, then we have just cleared the board, and are entering the next level of World O' Hurt.

  25. Pentagon won't make surge recommendation to Bush
    By Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers

    * Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    * email
    * |
    * print

    tool name
    tool goes here

    WASHINGTON — In a sign that top commanders are divided over what course to pursue in Iraq, the Pentagon said Wednesday that it won't make a single, unified recommendation to President Bush during next month's strategy assessment, but instead will allow top commanders to make individual presentations.

    "Consensus is not the goal of the process," Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters. "If there are differences, the president will hear them."

    Military analysts called the move unusual for an institution that ordinarily does not air its differences in public, especially while its troops are deployed in combat.

    "The professional military guys are going to the non-professional military guys and saying 'Resolve this,'" said Jeffrey White, a military analyst for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "That's what it sounds like."

    White said it suggests that the military commanders want to be able to distance themselves from Iraq strategy by making it clear that whatever course is followed is the president's decision, not what commanders agreed on.

    Bush has said on several occasions that he will follow the recommendation of Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, but the Pentagon plan makes certain that other points of view are heard.

    Morrell said the commanders will make their presentations to Bush at around the same time that Petraeus appears before Congress to assess progress in Iraq in mid September.

    Morrell said that those making presentations to the president would include Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William Fallon, the commander of U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for U.S. military actions in the Middle East, Army Gen. George Casey, the chief of staff of the Army, and Petraeus. In addition, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will share his opinion with the president.

    Pentagon commanders are known to be divided over how to proceed in Iraq.


    I *BET* they are.

  26. Aha!
    Poor Drum is so outclassed, he doesn't even ATTEMPT to refute the Gas Station Owner's wet dreams!
    My bet it's a bit of "DC Politicos" license.
    Accusing such saints of LYING is beneath contempt.

  27. Panel Will Urge Broad Overhaul of Iraqi Police
    An independent commission is expected to recommend remaking the Iraqi police force to purge it of corruption and militants suspected of complicity in sectarian killings.

  28. My bet it's a bit of "DC Politicos" license.

    - Doug

    Mine, too. (And "Lying" anyway is too ugly and frank a word for the thankless, everyday business of shoveling someone else's patent bullshit. In my house, it's called "dissembling.")

    But that last line ("If this self-refuting nonsense really did come from Petraeus and Crocker, then we have just cleared the board, and are entering the next level of World O' Hurt.") was darkly funny.

  29. Saw three Democratic Congressmen on CSpan, couple hours ago. They had just returned from Iraq, where they met with General P, Mr Crocker and the Sunni Deputy Prime Minister. They also toured Fallujah, etc.

    Sounds like they were all on the same tour.

    The Dems related the outstanding service that the US troops are providing to the Iraqi people and the dismal job the Iraqi politicos are performing as well.

    They did not mention anything of the sort from their briefing by Mr Crocker, General P or the Iraqi politico.

    Sounds like Mr Porter has lost leave of his senses and is fabricating material out of thin air, as the Dems would surely have mentioned if such dire consequences were mentioned.
    In fact they related how little the Iraqi had to say about the results of a US withdrawal.

    Perhaps it was the Kurdish politicos, Iraqi Deputy President Tariq al-Hashimi and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh that are spreading the tales of genocide. I saw a Kurdish tribal leader telling that tale on television yesterday or the day before.
    Tales of doom from Kurdistan, perhaps that is the explanation.

    The ReviewJournal piece says that General P :
    Petraeus and Crocker offered a "blunt" assessment of the situation, Porter said.

    Although Petraeus did not discuss the much anticipated Iraq status report he plans to release in September, Porter said the general told him the U.S. troop surge was working.

    Does not sound like that means $9 dollar gasoline, but what the hey, aye?

  30. The only guy who can both conceptualize & deliver solutions for the USA for the 21st century imho is newt.

    he's the only pubbie that floats my boat. I'll go with the flow on the rest.

    the notes I've heard fred strike of late suggest that he's talked to newt.

  31. James Wolcott refers to Fred Thompson as Wilford Brimley. You don't have to be a liberal to find that exceptionally funny.

  32. Hashimi, Sashimi, it's them Blood Curdling Kurds.

  33. The Grape Nuts King of my youth.

    Currently would like to interest you in diabetic testing accoutrements. Covered, I believe, by Medicare and Medicaid.

  34. A Miss Teen South Carolina contest is roughly what we have in our campaigns for President. (Rudy in Foreign Affairs: 'When it comes to Iran, we must have sticks as well as carrots. Carrots alone are insufficient. We must not fear negotiation, but negotiation is not an end in itself.' Thank you, Chancey Gardener.)

    So long as this is the case, I want a swimsuit AND talent competition.

  35. Steve Schippert

    Steve served in the U.S. Marine Corps from June 1985 to June 1993, including service during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to liberate Kuwait. Steve's career has included being a program director for a television station, and eventually a move into information technology and a career as an instructor for a significant IT product certification program.

    Steve began writing online in August 2004 primarily on issues of foreign policy, national security and media coverage of the War on Terror at his personal blog, The Word Unheard, which has been closed as his efforts have moved to ThreatsWatch. Steve has also written on political and social issues at The Blue State Conservatives, and provided regular reports on the War on Terror for Winds of Change.NET. Most recently, Steve has also been published online at the Weekly Standard and the National Review.

    At ThreatsWatch, Steve will focus on the strategic and operational impact of policy decisions and events, particularly with regard to emerging threats, such as Iran and Syria or the democratization efforts in Lebanon. Steve will also contribute significantly on the Arab/Israeli conflict, North African conflicts and the War on Terror's progress.

    Steve is a co-Founder of ThreatsWatch and of the Center for Threat Awareness where he serves on the Board of Directors. Steve is the Managing Editor of ThreatsWatch.


    None of which necessarily means that he never knows what he's talking about.

    He just doesn't seem to know what he's talking about.

  36. No, Babbin was just making shit up. You know: Lying.

    Schippert just doesn't know what he's talking about.

    If you want to defend Babbin's virtue, or Schippert's insight, you certainly may.

  37. I'll leave the Pundit Grading to you, Trish.

  38. Garner was supposed to be head man in Iraq.
    You eqate that with your Hubby getting the same treatment, therefore Garner is on an ego defense mission?

  39. I thought you meant this Steve Schippert
    ( Steven Schirripa)

  40. Say what?

    SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- U.S. President George W. Bush said in an interview broadcast Friday that he would be concerned about China's military if the country ever turned hostile, and he urged U.S. allies to complete the work still left in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  41. He left out South Africa and the Children.

  42. "Garner was supposed to be head man in Iraq."

    No, he fucking wasn't and he said so himself in a goddamned interview last year. He knew when he went that he was going as a placeholder.

    He complained, according to you, of a DOS Iraq specialist being yanked away from him after State verbally granted his request. This is not an uncommon occurrence within and between organizations. It certainly doesn't require some kind of vendetta. THAT was my point.

    If Garner, or anyone else, asserts that there were two distinct and agency-specific (or individual-specific) plans for Iraq in the run-up to war, they either were too far removed from the planning process to know anything at all (and not familiar with the doctrinal planning process anyway) or they are deliberately hawking a whole cloth fiction. The latter is not the special province of any particular individual, or group of individuals, or organization, or political affiliation. All's fair in love, war, and politics.

    Garner probably has a couple more years of being called on as the guy who DIDN'T have that suck-ass job in Baghdad and who would have surely created a bed of roses otherwise, every impeding fact - not least being direct dictation from the White House - unmentioned or unknown.

    Bah. Humbug.

  43. He complained, according to you, of a DOS Iraq specialist being yanked away from him after State verbally granted his request. This is not an uncommon occurrence within and between organizations.
    It just seems that when he was going to be in charge in Iraq, it might have been helpful to give him access to anyone with knowledge of same.

    To me, at least.

    Not like he was being entrusted with being the local dogcatcher, or the like.

  44. Do you assert that a real leader as POTUS could not overrule the Bureaucrat Lifers?
    ...or would that be a bad thing?

  45. "Do you assert that a real leader as POTUS could not overrule the Bureaucrat Lifers?"

    Overrule them on what?

  46. Giving Garner what he needed, who he needed, no questions asked.