“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, September 22, 2007

Is Fred Dead? (politically)

Put me in the pragmatic column on the next national election. The Democrats controlling all branches of government seems very likely. The Republicans under Bush have not impressed a majority of American voters. That self-inflicted damage is possibly terminal for Republican chances. It took some real talent to make Democratic rule look desirable to the majority of American voters, but that is where we are.

I doubt Thompson will make the cut and if he does I do not see how he can win, but I did not see how Clinton could win the first time.

Thompson is Clearly in Over His Head
By Dick Morris

He may be the tallest candidate in the race for president, but Fred Thompson is clearly in over his head! In both his fumbling pre-candidacy period and his hesitant, attenuated post-announcement campaign, he's given the clear impression that that he is ill-informed, inarticulate, badly briefed and downright lazy.

Consider the news his candidacy has generated:

•He refuses to take a pledge not to raise taxes;

•He lobbied for an abortion advocacy group before becoming a U.S. senator;

•He employed his son in a no-show job for $170,000 for four years at his political action committee after leaving office;

•As a lobbyist, he helped the attorney representing the Libyan terrorists who blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie,
Scotland, to fight requests to extradite them to the U.K. to stand trial;

•His other lobbying clients included Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the leftist Haitian dictator who, but for a lack of oil, would have been the Hugo Chavez of the last generation;

•He skipped and is skipping the first two debates of his presidential candidacy and said he was looking forward to attending the Oct. 14 New Hampshire debate -- the one that was cancelled weeks ago;

•He is taking this week off from presidential campaigning;

•He does not know enough about the details of the Terry Schiavo case to comment.;

•He is also unfamiliar with the proposal to lower soaring insurance premiums Floridians must pay for home storm coverage since the hurricanes;
•He said that Iraqis were supporting us because of al Qaeda's ban on smoking;

•He's run through three campaign managers and as many communications directors in just three months;

•He fell short in the fundraising competition, coming up with only a net of $2.8 million by the end of July;

•After leaving the Senate, he picked up his lobbying career by representing Equitas, an insurance company he helped dodge paying for asbestos/cancer claims;

•After negative publicity about his comments suggesting that Cuban immigrants were potential suicide bombers, he blamed Hillary Clinton for causing the publicity by "releasing a statement that she made trying to capitalize on something when she knew better";

•He didn't know enough about drilling in the Everglades to comment.

Not bad for the first two weeks of a presidential campaign!

Thompson is counting on his conservative positions on social issues and the wunder-dust generated by his "Law & Order" stardom to propel him into the lead in the presidential race. But, as Harriet Miers's failed candidacy for the Supreme Court suggests, one does not just need to be conservative to prevail. It takes a little talent, too. Thompson seems to lack the interest, energy, will, ability and stamina to compete at this level.

Hillary is probably the next president anyway. But there is only one way to defeat her -- to nominate a candidate whose anti-terrorism credentials are so deep that if Americans return to their senses and grasp the nature of the dire and continuing threat we face, he can prevail in November. There are two candidates who fill that bill: Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. Neither Thompson nor Romney approach it.

But beneath his casual, disorganized and ill-informed way of running for president, one suspects an arrogance lingers -- a sense of not needing to prepare and a lethargy in the face of challenges that perhaps indicates a failure to appreciate how daunting a task running for president really is. Whatever the cause, the opening weeks of Thompson's candidacy are, perhaps, the least auspicious of any candidate's in recent history, and certainly the worst of the 2007-2008 electoral season.

Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of ““Outrage.” To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to


  1. I like Fred Thompson, but I just do not see him as a contender.

  2. Fred seems a nice enough fellow, but has no executive experience and a lot of K Street baggage.

    Bet he's at least carry TN, which Mr Gore failed to do.

    Just cannot see him organized to beat the Clinton machine.

    Nor flip or spontaneous enough to win the duels of televised debates, but htere I could be off. Fred may hae done time at the Improv.
    Not in his resume, though.

  3. "The Republicans under Bush have not impressed a majority of American voters. "
    Has the country gone mad with BDS?

  4. Did you feed Meowie to the dog?

    Recycle it's component parts amongst your other animals, or did you just bury it and feed the worms?

  5. We buried her to honor our souls,
    and hers!
    F...... Brutish Pig!

  6. So what if I fed your
    F....... Brutish Pig Ass
    to my Lion?

  7. Is "Fred Dead"
    and therefore PC

  8. "I like Fred Thompson, but I just do not see him as a contender."
    You see him DEAD!
    Just fess up and admit it.
    Otherwise you would not have used those CS Parenthesis Thingies.

  9. "I like Fred Thompson."
    Get Bonus points in the GWB/Mr Rogers
    New World Order

  10. So the worms are feasting ...

    While it is to soon to say the same of Fred ...

    Thompson's campaign plagued by errors
    By: Mike Allen

  11. Ms T,
    Fred chose her for her mind,
    and Bill must feel a direct connection to THAT.
    "I feel your Brain"

  12. I'll have to give that one a try, haven't yet, but got close, when rubbing our cat's ears.
    (name withheld because of insensitive Bar members)

  13. Newt would have made a good POTUS.

  14. Fred may be dead, but is it birthing time for bob? Yes, the rumors are true, I'm thinking of 'throwing my J. Deere hat in the ring' by writing the governor a letter announcing 'I'd be willing to serve' as a replacement to disgraced Senator Craig, who is scheduled to be inducted into the 'Idaho Hall of Fame', whose mission is "to introduce the greats of Idaho's past and prresent to the greatest resource Idaho has to offer....its youth", in two weeks. I would join 24 other republican rubes who have written 'the letter' to the gov, and the local paper of course, offering to serve. Latest entrants are Charlie Pottinger of Lewiston, who worked at Potlatch Forests, and Charlie Cline of Lenore, an anti-tax activists. Now I know i'm smarter the Charlie Cline.
    " Craig, 62, will get his hearing on Sept. 26.

    And, he's hedging ever more about going through with a planned resignation four days later.

    " 'I just don't know yet', Craig told (his favorite newspaper) the Idaho Statesman when asked whether he'd be out of office in 10 days.

    If he resigns, the senator would leave office two weeks before he is slated to be inducted into Idaho's Hall of Fame."

    I just don't know if I have the 'wide-spread' support to make the run and be effective in the office.

  15. One of my priorities in the Senate would be to introduce a bill creating 'National Fly Fishing Month' for either August or September of each year, mandating that the entire economy be shut down, and we all go fishing somewhere. Kinda like the whole nation of Franch shuts down in August.

  16. France, not Franch, or if you don't like fishing, you could go to a ranch somewhere for the month.

  17. Mobs succeed in shutting down Hawaii's superferry again.

    'opponents shouted down the republican governor'---Hawaii has a Republican governor? what's going on over there?

  18. Bob, what are some of your other stances besides fly fishing?

  19. We got to get Kucinich back over to Syria to tell them to knock This

    Deuce, I think the youth of America should help out in harvest a little, and I think your 'honest odds of winning' ought to be posted in all the Indian casinos across the land, with federal inspectors too, on penalty of closure.

  20. I'd get America 'headed' in the right direction, Mat.

  21. Youz already talking like a politician. :P

  22. The folks that manage 'The Idaho Hall of Fame' are in a delicate stance at this time. They had voted to induce--er, induct--Craig before all the shit hit the fan. What to do now, o what to do?

  23. Bill Clinton had an interesting bit on the Daily Show, about the time taken by fund raising. Says that sleep depravation was the cause of crankiness in washington.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. Get the youth of Ameirca pickin' & grinnin', aye bob?

    Used to call that child labor, verging upon abuse, what with the long hours & short pay.

  26. In the south we used to call that "Cotton" Vacation. Along about the first of October schools shut down for 3 weeks so the kids could help get the crops (mainly cotton) in.

    It was very popular. The farm kids got to make some money (of their own,) and the town kids got a three week vacation during a nice time of the year. Some of the farmers with teen-age sons and daughters actually got some work out of them.

    It "Wasn't" a bad thing.

  27. The Pubs have got themselves in a hell of a pickle with this health care deal. Hillary's come out with a "workable" plan, and they've got Bush in the position that he'll have to Veto a Health Care for "Children" bill. Forget the fact that it would cover 27 year olds from households making up to $80,000.00/yr. +. The American people won't see that. And won't half-believe it if they do see it.

    Romney had a shot at cutting her off at the pass, but he got afraid of the Right Wing Nutters and chickened out.

    The problem is, the more people understand about Hillary's plan the more they're going to like it. I got a "Bad" feeling about this.

  28. And the Universially recongnized symbel of the oppressed peon, the serf ... the sickle.

    And not because non-mechanized farming is so pleasant an experience. Yor own experiences, rufus, exemplifying that US exceptionalism that proves the rule.

  29. Well, rufus, fighting a rear guard action for the status que of an employer pay based system that was designed in the 1950's.

    While the economy moved on, the System did not. Becoming a high cost maintainence service, focusing on the wrong end of Health Care.

    Regardless, the lack of innovaative alternatives to the Dems old single payer proposals by the GOP. left them vulnerable to Ms Clinton's move to force individual responsibility, under Federal authority.

    Really is calling for a revamping of the entire System.
    As it'll flesh out. How and where can individuals be guarenteed "affordable" access?

    Smooth ..., I'll have to read their proposal in more depth, if it gets legs.

  30. The proposal, called the American Health Choices Plan, would:

    Require all residents to obtain health insurance;

    Require large employers to contribute toward the cost of health insurance for employees and provide tax subsidies to small businesses to help cover the cost of coverage for workers;

    Provide tax breaks to ensure that health insurance premium payments do not exceed a certain percentage of household income;

    Mandate that health insurers cannot deny coverage to applicants because of pre-existing medical conditions;

    Allow residents without health insurance or with inadequate coverage to participate in a program similar to Medicare or the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; and

    Expand Medicaid to cover low-income adults without children (Thomma, McClatchy/Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/18).
    Clinton estimated that the proposal would cost $110 billion annually and said that she would finance the plan in large part through the elimination of tax cuts proposed by President Bush and approved by Congress for households with annual incomes of more than $250,000 (McAuliff, New York Daily News, 9/18). According to Clinton, the proposal would expand health insurance to all residents and improve "health care by lowering costs and improving quality" (Carey, CQ HealthBeat, 9/17). She said, "This is not government-run: There will be no new bureaucracy," adding, "You can keep the doctors you know and trust. You can keep the insurance you have, if you like that. But this plan expands personal choice and keeps costs down" (Healy/Toner, New York Times, 9/18).

    Seemingly Knowledgable

  31. Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) during the development of her proposal to expand health insurance to all U.S. residents "considered doing away with the employer-based system but concluded that people like it," the Wall Street Journal reports.

    The proposal, which Clinton announced on Monday, would require large employers to offer health insurance to employees or contribute to a federal fund that would help workers purchase coverage. In addition, the proposal would provide tax subsidies to small businesses to help cover the cost of health insurance for workers. The proposal also would allow employers to select health plans from a network of private plans part of the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program or a public plan modeled on Medicare.

    According to the Journal, many analysts "say the employer-based system isn't the most efficient or logical way to deliver insurance," but "one of the lessons Mrs. Clinton said she drew" from the failure of her 1993 health care proposal is that "insured Americans get nervous if they think their coverage will have to change." Clinton said, "We looked at every permutation of how you get to universal health care," adding, "There's a great attachment to the employer-based system, even though it is eroding."

    Many employers "want to be making ... decisions" about health insurance for employees, Clinton said, adding, "It may be because it's the only thing they know; it is something that has always been done, so they don't want to give it up. But that came as something of a surprise to a lot of us." In addition, many employees remain "adamant" that they retain employer-sponsored health insurance, Clinton said.

    Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign said that the proposal, which would require residents to obtain health insurance, currently does not include punishments for those who do not obtain coverage but added that Clinton might consider such a provision (Meckler, Wall Street Journal, 9/19).

  32. What if you are a Jehovah's Witness, are over 21, and want to rely on prayer and the Lord for your health care? What then? I don't like the word mandatory. I'd think a person would have a constitutional right to opt out of the medical care world, if one wants to. After all, the women say, it's my body.

  33. Thompson's sharper than he's being given credit for. He has a good mind, and is a good communicator. He had a couple of less than flattering evaluations of some appearances a couple of months ago.

    I think the Morris article is part of a concerted effort to "head him off at the pass." He's also taken a lot of flack (I think unfairly) because he didn't get into the race already which is odd because people were complaining about the campaigns starting so early.

    I suspect that his being a southerner is a drawback for him plus, as with Reagan, actors are automaticallly suspect.

    If you can raise enough money to get his message out, his numbers will rise.

  34. If hecan raise enough money...

    Ya'll knew what I meant but Doug is so picky...

  35. The problem is Bob, that a lot of those uninsured, 21 year old Jehovah's Witnesses end up in the "Emergency" Room; and then, Guess who Pays? Me, and Thee, old chum - through our taxes and higher health insurance premiums.

    If we can force him to carry car insurance we can force him to "guarantee" his own Medical Bills. And, since those can run in the Millions, well, what can I say?

  36. That is because when you lead him to high expectations, he drinks it in.

  37. Oh, Good Info on the Hildebeest Plan, Rat. She just, basically, took Romney's Mass plan (which he crawfished away from, stupidly,) added a few bells and whistles, a few tweaks, and . . . .

    To tell you the truth I think it's a pretty good idea. I think it might get her elected President.

  38. Thompson would be my last pick among the Republicans. I don't think he's quite what a lot of people think he is; and, I don't trust his healt at all. President of the United States is an incredibly stressfull 24/7, 365 job. It just isn't the type of position I would put an old man with Cancer into. But, that's just me.

  39. He looked sickly at those county fairs, not at all the healthy imgae projected on the TV show.

    Without make-up he seemed pale and drawn,

  40. Taxes are mandatory, bob.

    Death and taxes.

    Mandated health insurance, another way to tax. A large portion of those people that are uninsured are not insured because they are young and healthy. They escape the "health tax" that the majority of the society participate in.

    Those that are economicly disadvantaged, but not impoverished, should have acess to the system, one way or the other.
    Many are not poor enough for Edicaid, but cannot afford private insurance.

  41. I think that's why he "stayed out" so long. He wanted to avoid the Heat of the Summer. He's, already, taking a week off from a somewhat lackadaisical schedule.

    He "Popped" at 28, and he's already down in the 22 - 23 range. I still think it'll be Giuliani, or Romney. I wouldn't get in an arduous "rasslin" match over either one.

  42. Just remember, she hasn't put a plan out there,just an outline of a plan. The actual plan is left to bureaucrats and politicians. Also, how do you force people to provide their own health care and how do you penalize them when they do not? The plan is to not give them the tax rebate which they didn't pay in the first place. Admittedly, applying it to insurance is better than simply giving away money but it's still wealth redistribution anyway you cut it.

    Also, politically, is there not a cost to be paid for advocating mandatory insurance on young people? OTOH, old codgers will go for it because for the most, they are already covered.

  43. Now, THIS is what I want to hear.

    He keeps this up for three months, and he'll Cruise with the Nomination.

  44. It is another tax, whit, make no mistake.
    But upon a segment of the population that is not paying
    "A Fair Share"

    The young do not vote, the poor do.
    The poor are organized by social welfare folks. The young are footloose, one reason why they are uninsured on the job.

    Students, self-employeed, temp workers ...

    They need to be payin' in, only fair.

    If medical treatment and health care are a public, not private, concern.

  45. He said the reason he was staying out so long was because he didn't have the money to get in so early and pointed out that the campaigns were twice as long as before.

    I'm not on anyone's bandwagon but the reactions against Thompson have been puzzling to me. I think his poll numbers before he had announced his candidacy scared a lot of people. I know Hugh Hewitt was very critical of Thompson. Other Talking Heads also took some shots at Thompson.

  46. Whit we Treat EVERYONE in the U.S. The only question is how efficient we are in paying for it. What happens a lot of times is a poor person without Health Insurance will put off going to the doctor, or taking prescription drugs until a minor ailment becomes a "Million Dollar Problem." Then, they show up at the "Emergency" Room, and treatment commences.

    You, and I, Pay for that treatment. The difference is, "We end up Paying MORE."

    Nobody Wins.

    I sense that the American people are "Ready" to make a move. I've never had that feeling, before. I know, deep in my gut, I'm ready to spend a little less money in Iraq, and a little more, "At Home." I don't think I'm Alone.

  47. Also, keep in mind folks that there are a LOT of middle-class, self-employed folks out there that CAN'T GET Health Insurance. They waited too long and came down with a "Health Condition."

    They live in Abject Fear of getting sick. Absolutely Necessary, is the condition that all people will be "insurable."

  48. American Thinker Article

    I wish we could 'self-medicate' a little more than we are allowed to do. In my case, I began maybe five or six years ago to have an occasional gout attack--it hurts like hell--but indomothicin(sp) is a wonderful drug. I've controlled it through diet,etc, but still every once in a while....I'd like to be able to just order the stuff up myself because I know exactly what I need, but no, I got to crawl, almost literally over to the clinic, have an exam for $100, to get the prescription, if I haven't been in there for six months, otherwise I can call it in. I know they have lawsuit problems so I understand but...

    I'm sure we're going to rework the health system. I just hope we can be creative about it.

    I'm a Mitt fan, but I don't think he could beat Hillary. I don't know if he could win the south. So I best hope for someone else. Giuliani or Fred seem like they could put up the best battle.

    The slave driver is calling me to the driveway work work again....

  49. It is a hugh market, rufus, the uninsurable self-employeed.

    Know folks that take poor jobs but that provide access to group medical, or the wife takes the job, to cover the husband.

    This proposal is hugh in its' ideological implications, but those won't hardly be discussed.

    The "small employer" obligations and sanctions, as well. More room for the buerocrats to roam.

    Big changes afoot.

  50. I think insurance drives up costs. Mandating "universal coverage" isn't going to reduce insurance costs. I always thought it was interesting that one of the first things auto-body shops wanted to know was whether I had insurance coverage. I assumed that I could get the work done cheaper if I was paying for it personally. Also, my auto insurance premium certainly hasn't gone down and I live in a state where coverage is mandatory.

    Something else, how are you going to force 20 million illegals to get coverage? And how are you going to deny them treatment when they show up at the emergency rooms?

    Mark my words, first we mandate coverage (those that actually pay taxes will pay for those who don't) then, when that is shown to be untenable, we'll get some new form of entitlement system which could be an even bigger fiasco like the single payer plan. And just wait til Uncle Sam starts hammering on the insurance companies as Florida has done with property insurance. Guess what? The people of Florida are now on the hook for a potential $30 billion liability because the new populist Republican Governor rushed to get something done instead of letting the market work.

    I remember when Health Maintenance Organizations were touted as the cure for escalating health care costs. Well, what happened? We should be on easy street by now. People should have become much healthier, instead we've become fatter and more unhealthy. Obesity has even been named as a disease.

    Listen, letting government mandate anything is dangerous.

  51. Whit:
    What about Dick the Licker's piece?
    One of his best, I think, and rather devastating.
    I was gonna ask what Dobson was so upset about, now I don't have to.

  52. "Listen, letting government mandate anything is dangerous"

  53. ...almost always a one-way street, downhill.

  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

  55. Whit, Everything you say is True; BUT, the "Civilized" Tribe has always taken care of it's sick, and injured. The Deal is coming. The Best thing we can do is get out front, and "cut as good a deal" as we can. The main thing is to keep it out of "Single Payor" mode.

  56. Not having insurance is not the end of the world. If something happens, you go to the hospital, you get the treatment and you arrange a payment plan. It may be $20 a month or it may be $200 but as long as you continue to pay what you agreed to, everyone is satisfied.

  57. "I think insurance drives up costs."
    I KNOW it does.
    Just had it proven by my wife and I in the last 3 years.
    Hawaii is special, in that a lot stuff got mandated back around '93.

    As a consequence, the wife and I have coverage we would never have chosen on our own.
    That led to some expensive test costs that we would never have chosen to pay on our own.

    The argument is this is preventive, and therefore saves money in the long run, but how would that be possible if I had not gotten one test and was now dead?

    Woulda saved the cost of that test, and the ongoing costs of keeping my sorry ass alive, right?

    Point being, Farts much older and sicker than me start sopping up all the health care dough, in order to preserve their lives (sometimes) at the expense of the rest of the population, many of the younger who might well get more benefit from that Dough if the costs AND prices had not been driven up by expensive old farts.

  58. Whit,
    When we were young, and happened to have a bit of cash in the bank, we did the prudent thing and got catastrophic coverage.

    Before that, when we had no money in the bank, we lived uninsured, spending almost nothing on healthcare, except when I just about got killed, and workmens comp paid for that.

  59. I do think Ruf is right about the f...... inevitability of it all tho.
    Good old George caved w/o a fight.

  60. ...pretended to "cave" so all his cheerleaders would give him credit for getting out in front, when in fact, he's just ANOTHER GD Liberal Globalist in Drag.

  61. "I think his poll numbers before he had announced his candidacy scared a lot of people."

    I got the same impression. Whether he gets dragged into it or not, Thompson did not begin as an establishment candidate.

  62. The majority of health care expenses occur in the last six months of live, or some such statistic.

    The Blackwater boys, there was a video of the incident, static camera at the National Police Headquarters caught the scene.

    We all know that video doesn't lie. I can get an anonymous Israeli to so testify, if need be.

    Then the gun running started coming into the light of day,
    Bad Day at Blackwater.

  63. Letting government mandate this makes one thing inevitable:
    Those who pay taxes will pay more to subsidize who do not pay taxes. The funny thing is, we already do this but without the friggin government getting their hands on the money. As I said earlier, everyone gets treated, those without insurance get generous payment plans. This works because the rest of us are already paying for the deadbeats and the unfortunate. Otherwise, the payment plans wouldn't be so magnanimous.

    There is no free ride. Someone is going to pay for it. Which reminds me of something from long ago;
    "Gas, grass or ass. Nobody rides for free."
    It may not be applicable to our topic but the mind goes where it wishes to go.

  64. So what did the video reveal, Rat?

  65. Some of the Docs have a say about what should be done.

  66. I thought you were supposing to be working. What are you doing back in the bar? Don't let 'she who must be obeyed' catch you.

  67. lots of fumble fingered typos today.

  68. Now Bob if you're going to be bringing that left-wing trash in here, I am going to have a word with you.

  69. Yeah, Bob; I noticed he didn't say anything about the people in Canada that are waiting 4 months, and up, to see a specialist, or get an MRI, or the people in Britain that are pulling their own teeth.

  70. The video, which has not been made public, but the US says existis, is cited by Iraqi officials as evidence to indict the Blackwater boys, or at least the three Iraqi Blackwater employees that were there.

    The other, nonIraqi, Blackwater contractors have an immunity clasue, as far as Iraqi justice is concerned.

    That will be changed, post haste.

  71. Rat, I guess we'll wait for the "film at eleven," but I can't help but be skeptical. These guys were guarding State Dept employees whick, I assume, means they are some of the most qualified of the Blackwater Bunch.

    I'd just betcha they'll be exonerated.

  72. Want to see a beautiful car? the French Citroen C6, not available in the US. Go to this link and open the video at the top right. Use the full screen mode. Very Cool nd slick presentation

  73. I knew they shoulda called it

    Bad day at Blackrock for Blackwater.

  74. Yeah, buy that and one of them low flow washing machines, and you got two beautiful, expensive pieces of shit!

  75. At least the washer usually ain't French!

  76. Physicians would be paid fee-for-service according to a negotiated formulary or receive salary from a hospital or nonprofit HMO / group practice. Hospitals would receive a global budget for operating expenses. Health facilities and expensive equipment purchases would be managed by regional health planning boards.

    A single-payer system would be financed by eliminating private insurers and recapturing their administrative waste. Modest new taxes would replace premiums and out-of-pocket payments currently paid by individuals and business. Costs would be controlled through negotiated fees, global budgeting and bulk purchasing.

    "a negotiated formulary"
    "hospitals would receive a global budget"
    "recapturing their administrative waste"
    "regional health planning boards"
    "modest new taxes"
    "global budgeting"

    I'm not sure what they're talking about:)

    I'm 'on stirke' from the driveway.

  77. Yep, we Definitely need to invite THIS Sonofabitch To "Ground Zero."

  78. Yes, they most likely will, whit.
    But the RoEs for the contractors will change, the authority they operate under will change.

    Much more important than the incident, eiither way that goes.
    The arms smuggling and "above the law" perception they present to the Iraqi.

    The Rules they operate under are not "peacekeeping" rules, they will be, from now on.

    They'll be accountable in the future, to Iraqi justice. It'll get progressively more so, as they "stand up"

  79. Kaplan stresses the importance of operating beneath the MSM spotlight.
    Another advantage of small, special forces, affairs.

  80. It doesn't make much sense that these guys, while carrying State Dept personnel around, would start a firefight with the local police. I'm just not buying it. On the other hand, there should be some evidence of bulletholes, bomb-blasts, etc. Also, has anyone heard from the SD folks that were being transported?

  81. Charlie Pottinger of Potlatch is Proceeding w/his Political Predilections?

  82. I'll just stick with the Copper Clappers.

  83. Miller was talking about when Johnny laughed the hardest:
    An American Injun Comic opened with:

    How are ya?

    How are ya?

    How are ya?

    In the old Tom Tom Cadence,

    ...and Johnny was struck dumb in awe and appreciation of the masterpiece he got to observe.

  84. The stray car started the incident, that and an explosion outside the threat zone.
    The first explosion hightens awarness, a straggling car is elevated fom a nuisance to a threat.

    But that was the storyline the Iraqi started with.
    Blackwater fired in the car, first.

    Then did they take fire?

    Before the rest of the boys fired and people on the street were hit. Including a uniformed Iraqi soldier and the policemen.

  85. Rufus,
    (And Bobal, but he's done sold out)
    Kaplan said there were a diproportion number of rural farm boys in the special forces.
    That was always my theory about bein one of the important reasons we won WWII.
    Says it WILL be a loss when we the supply runs out.

  86. Seems like the firing in the car mighta been the thing to do, but why did so many stray bullets take out so many?

  87. King Herod died at the good age of 70. Herod suffered from chronic kidney disease complicated by Fournier's gangrene. During his dying days Herod had maggots growing from his testicles. The eggs are laid in decaying flesh, animal dung, manure, or pools of stagnant water. The use of maggots as a form of field improvised debridement has been documented since at least the American Civil War and is currently taught to US Army Special Forces medics.

  88. The Blackwater boys either then were fired uponm by persons unknown and unshot, and returned fire hitting the bystanders, like the Marines in Afghanistan, Or they just fired on the crowd, lit up if they thought the lead man fired. 15 or so shooters, hundreds of rounds in just seconds.

    a mad moment or a moment of madness.

    Depends upon the perspective

  89. Doug, even those little old crappy, glorified bb pistols they use have enough oomph to go through a couple of pieces of glass, or richochet off a car hood and hurt someone, I would think.

    Also, we don't know how many people were hit by stray AK-47 bullets. Seems to me that there might be few of those.

  90. It seems to me that if there was an "explosion" there was an "ambush."

    Also, since the MSM isn't jumping all over the guys, yet, I assume they think there's something "hinky" about the Iraqi story. I don't trust that fucking Maliki any further than I'd trust Acmablowjob, himself.

  91. I know what they'll go through 'Ruf!
    Back on the farm, one gal came to visit w/a Black guy from the Bay Area.
    Brought his Civilian 223 or whatever it was.
    One day a Bobcat started takin our chickens, so I ran into his room, started messing with the mechanism to see how it worked, and found out it was LOADED!
    MAN that was loud inside the little 6 foot square porch.
    Bullet proceeded to go through the porch, bathroom, kitchen, and canned stuff in the pantry!
    I put the rifle down and stumbled around in shock!

  92. The explosion was not near theconvoy, it was heard but not seen. Couple blocks away, at least. Though the article was not specific,

    It was peripherial but contemperaneous. The convoy could have been set up for just this scenario. The Blackwater boys could be in the right, but the policy changes will be made, regardless.

    Shofting from a combat stance to a peacekeepting one. There's gonna be a new attitude. Especially if Ms Rice indicates Mr Maliki is not being accomadating, after their upcoming meeting. Then Mr Maliki meeting with Mr Bush.

    This whole Blackwater episode is set placement for the big show, if they were so amatuerly ambushed.

    Or so successfully stage managed.

  93. Everythings just icing on the cake made of W's dreams and Maliki's plans:
    Sourdough Cake.

  94. Well, maybe they did "lose it," Rat. It wouldn't be the first time it's happened. That car - Did it have the "family" in it?

    Ah, it just sounds hinky.

  95. From the national review

    A common misconception here is that former Iraqi Ambassador L. Paul Bremer issued regulations effectively making contractors above the law. When I profiled Blackwater last year for The Weekly Standard, Blackwater representatives were emphatic that this was simply not the case.

    “Everybody says that Ambassador Bremer signed a piece of paper that makes contractors immune. They can’t be charged with crimes in Iraq,” Chris Taylor, Blackwater’s then-vice president for strategic initiatives said. “Horse doo-doo. That’s not what Order 17 said.”

    Order 17 (.pdf link) is the Coalition Provisional Authority rule Bremer issued that governs security contractors. According to Order 17, contractors are subject to registration with the Iraqi ministry of the interior. However, the order also says that in fulfilling their contracts, PSCs are not subject to Iraqi law. That may sound shocking, but Taylor explained it’s anything but.

    “[Order 17] said — and this where everybody moved the language around and thought that they were being sneaky — it said any action that is required to fulfill an authorized and or legal contract cannot be considered a crime under Iraqi law,” Taylor said. “Okay, rape, murder, smuggling, sex abuse, child molestation, are never actions that are required to fulfill a contract. Therefore they could be tried under Iraqi law, under a military territorial jurisdiction act, under the war crimes act, under the victims of trafficking and violence protection act — I can go on. . . . It made nobody immune to the law.”

    There’s no debate really about whether or not Blackwater can be held accountable if it did in fact wrongfully or recklessly target innocent civilians during the incident this past weekend. But it would have to be determined that Blackwater used excessive force — beyond what was necessary to protect the diplomatic envoy they were providing security for at the time. And that’s certainly a relevant question that should be investigated. Contractors in Iraq have a well-established reputation of being aggressive. On the other hand, Blackwater can say with some degree of pride that in a country rife with I.E.D.s and vehicle ambushes, they’ve never lost a principal on one of their security details. Only if an investigation produces evidence of criminal wrongdoing should charges be filed.

    The Post article further raises the question of whether the State Department gave Blackwater too much deference and latitude, noting that the State Department allowed Blackwater to operate without a license from the interior ministry even though having a license was part of the terms of their contract with the Department of Defense.

  96. Confederate Yankee and the early Iraqi Police Reports tell a much different story.

    Our guys that came in 30 minutes, later, report a Couple of Cars Destroyed, etc.

    I don't believe the freakin Iraqi/Iranians. They're upset that we're making progress in Sadr City, and they're trying to slow us down. You watch; the Shia will end up being a bigger enemy than the Sunni. Well, heck, I guess they are alread, come to think of it.

  97. "You watch; the Shia will end up being a bigger enemy than the Sunni"
    You got that right:
    My hope all along before OIF, was that Iraq's secular society would be preserved.
    The DeMonsterized tm Army would have been the glue, in that it was highly integrated, had a good deal of NATIONAL Pride, and many many members were there because they had to be, or had few other options, not that they were all Mini-Saddams in waiting.

    Women already had rights, away from the Shiite madhouses, and many parts of Baghdad had nearly a First World Lifestyle, which would have spread, in the absence of Saddam.

    ALL PART OF THE GD PLAN, til Wolfie, Feith, and Bremer, with the Blessings of the great Deluded Decider, were given the chance to FUBAR the works, almost before it got started.
    The rest, as they say, is history, the monotonous, violent, oppressive history of Whackjob Muslim Madhouses.

  98. I can't help but believe the Maliki govt was looking for a headline "American DIPLOMATS Killed in "Insurgent" Attack."

    I know the longer we stay the better it'll be in the long run, but I'm really, really tired of these worthless mf'ers. And, if it costs us a Dem. President, and less than 40 Senators we are so screwed.

  99. Blackwater was an easy target for media warriors

    In order to salvage the existence of private security contractors in Iraq, whose presence is currently vital to the U.S. government’s civilian operations, the U.S. State Department announced that it is forming a joint commission with the Iraqi government to examine and review the procedures of these firms.
    Enemies of the U.S. in Iraq, those who have survived the Darwinian struggle to this point, must be considered perceptive and adaptive. They would know that the American private security contractors are held in low regard in both Iraq and in the U.S. Yet U.S. civilian operations outside the Green Zone cannot occur for the most part without them. Thus setting up Blackwater and its peers for an embarrassing media debacle would represent the exploitation of a particularly vulnerable and damaging point of failure in the U.S. arrangements in Iraq. It was only a matter of time before this sort of incident occurred.
    But there are many Shi’ite actors who would most desire the end of the American presence in Iraq. Last year Westhawk discussed the uncomfortable political vise Prime Minister al-Maliki found himself in (see also here). Seeing the backside of the Americans would be a solution to many of his problems, as we explained at that time.

  100. I wonder if they were trying to kill Crocker?

  101. According to Confederate Yankee those bombs were up close, and personal. The first one was 75 ft. and they seem to have destroyed at least two cars.

    I think this was a full-fledged attack, designed to kill a couple of "Diplomats."

  102. We've been putting more, and more heat on the Quds. I think they were trying to back us off by creating a "shit-storm" back home. There's no doubt in my mind (any more) that Iran's calling ALL the shots, now. Always was, of course.

  103. I guess I wuz just "wishin and hopin" that it wasn't necessarily going to be the case.

  104. hmm,..

    'Commandos captured nuclear materials before air raid in Syria'

    Sep. 23, 2007

    Soldiers from an elite Israeli unit captured nuclear material originating in North Korea from a secret Syrian military installation before IAF jets bombed it, a report by Britain's Sunday Times wrote Saturday night, quoting "informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem."

    According to the sources quoted by the report, the alleged IAF attack was sanctioned by the US on September 6, after the Americans were given proof that the material was indeed nuclear related.

    The sources confirmed that the materials were tested after they were taken from Syria and were found to be of North Korean origin, which raised concerns that Syria may have been trying to come into possession of nuclear arms.

    The report said that the commandos, from the legendary General Staff's Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal), may have been disguised in Syrian army uniforms. It also stated that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who used to head the unit, personally oversaw the operation.

    Israeli sources admitted that special forces had been accruing intelligence in Syria for several months, the report said, adding that evidence that North Koreans were at the site was presented to President George Bush during the summer.

    The report said North Korean and Chinese diplomats believed that North Koreans were also killed in the subsequent "IAF air strike."

    Meanwhile, Newsweek quoted Binyamin Netanyahu adviser Uzi Arad as saying, "I do know what happened, and when it comes out it will stun everyone."

  105. Trish was upset about the rampant speculation, but this report seems to indicate that the Americans had to confirm the information, prior to the IDF getting the go-ahead.

  106. Trish is upset with any indication we have any enemies out there, unless it's a CIA exclusive.

    Preferably of the Slam Dunk kind.

  107. As one observer put it so succinctly, mat, it's a MacGuffin.

    And speculation of the sort it is intended to produce among the booboisie, is nothing if not endlessly amusing.

  108. Trish,

    I don't find proliferation of atomic weapons and scientific knowhow to sworn enemies of my countrymen (see Iran and Syria) all that amusing. Not even the hint of it. Neither do I find that self-satisfied self-confident constant crude insinuation that this is all nothing but a depraved neocon plot to unseat the good and righteous regimes in Damascus and Tehran all that charming.

  109. Of course you don't, mat.

    What your government has done is staged a MacGuffin. That is my point.

    Will anything come of it? No.

  110. You sound more and more like a 9/11 Troofer. You have inside knowledge you care to share?

  111. Nope. Not me. Bibi's aide has it.

  112. Bibi's aide has inside info that the reason no official comment has been made by the Israeli government is because the Israeli government has staged a MacGuffin?

  113. Sorry, it's an adviser:

    Newsweek quoted Binyamin Netanyahu adviser Uzi Arad as saying, "I do know what happened, and when it comes out it will stun everyone."

    So the inside information is held by the Israelis. Certainly not by me.

    The Israelis, according the adviser, will soon stun everyone.

  114. Or if not soon, someday. Kemosabe.

  115. How does that relate to a staged MacGuffin by the Israeli government?

  116. The incident is staged, because? And it was staged, exactly for what purpose? What's the inside info you're holding out on us, Trish?

  117. There's no There *there*, mat.

    It's a story made out of nothing.

  118. What's the *there* that was not there?

    1/ No Israeli air incursion deep into Syria
    2/ No Israeli ground incursion deep into Syria
    3/ No nuclear related material to be found in Syria
    4/ No bombing of such nuclear related material
    5/ No Korean connection to such nuclear related material

    Be specific.

  119. Oh, they went into Syria. They do that regularly. They dumped tanks. They do that regularly.

    But NO on 2,3,4, and 5.

  120. Rather: You went into Syria. You do that regularly. You dropped tanks. You do that regularly.

    But you did not do 2,3,4, and 5.

  121. Ok. Let's follow up on your line of thinking..

    They fly over Syria and dump the fuel tanks there all the time. What's so special about this time?

  122. Ok. The Israeli overflights are a regularly scheduled program. Why is the foreign press trying to make something out of nothing?

  123. Because the MacGullin's being offered them. It's provocative. And they're receptive.

  124. Well, I guess we could call it a MacGillin: A combination MacGuffin and Mulligan.