“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, October 06, 2007

Jettison Bush Legacy: Open Borders, Globalism, Interventionism and Big Government Conservatism.

October 05, 2007
A New 'New Majority' for GOP?

By Patrick Buchanan

With President Bush reaching new lows in national polls, Christian conservatives threatening to bolt if Rudy is the nominee and the Iraq war bleeding support in Middle America, Republicans are in a funk about 2008.

And understandably and deservedly so.

The war, a product of hubris, born of the smashing triumph in Afghanistan, and ideology, a Wilsonian vision of democratizing the Middle East, has been a disaster for the country, and the party that plunged us into it. And the Bush amnesty for illegal aliens ignited a rebellion that dealt the establishment its worst thrashing in many moons.

Free trade has cost 3 million manufacturing jobs, sent the dollar plunging to peso levels, denuded America of productive capacity and left us dependent on Chinese loans to finance $800 billion trade deficits.

So, are Republicans doomed to defeat in 2008? By no means.

For the performance of the Congress and Democratic field of presidential hopefuls should be troubling to any Democrat with visions of winning back the White House.

Congress has failed to end U.S. involvement in Iraq, or to contain the surge, or impose its formula for fighting the war, leaving the party base in sputtering, exasperated, impotent rage.

Why has Congress failed? Because it is terrified of the possible consequences of imposing its policy. Congress fears Bush may be right -- that a rapid troop withdrawal risks a strategic disaster and humanitarian catastrophe. Having been lacerated for the loss of Eastern Europe to Stalin, of China to Mao, and of Southeast Asia to Hanoi, they desperately do not want to be held responsible for losing Iraq to Islamic radicalism.

On social and cultural issues, Democrats seems to have learned nothing.

In the last presidential debate, at Dartmouth, Bill Richardson said that, as president, he would refuse the honorary chairmanship of the Boy Scouts. Why? Well, the Boy Scouts does not allow homosexual scoutmasters to take Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts on camping trips.

All the Democratic candidates but Hillary favored a federal law banning smoking in public places. Would that mean U.S. attorneys prosecuting bartenders for letting patrons puff away. Are Democrats going to take the nanny state national? Do they think Middle America is Mike Bloomberg's Manhattan?

All the Democratic candidates except Dennis Kucinich favored the Federal requirement that states outlaw drinking by 18-year-olds, which means high school kids who join the Marines can't have a night of beer with their buddies before heading to Anbar.

All the Democratic front-runners favored second-graders being read stories in school about a homosexual marriage between a pair of princes. This would result in the absurdity of 6-year-olds, forbidden by the U.S. Supreme Court from learning about God, Adam and Eve in school, being introduced to sexual unions between Adam and Steve. America is just not that far down that road.

Following the debate, Hillary Clinton proposed giving a $5,000 "baby bond" to every child born in the United States. This would add $20 billion to federal spending yearly, with the main beneficiary being illegal aliens who average more than three babies each.

The message that would go out to the world: If you're pregnant, get a visa and fly to the United States -- or, if you can't get a visa, get across the Mexican border. Because if your baby is born here, you hit the jackpot. The baby is an automatic U.S. citizen and entitled to a $5,000 Hillary "baby bond" you can take back to Mexico, if the feds catch you and boot you out.

In short, Democrats sense their vulnerability on the war and security issue, which is why they are frustrated and floundering in Congress and stiffing the antiwar base of the party. And they remain vulnerable on social and cultural issues, if Republicans have the nerve to hammer them, as Bush's father did in that miraculous summer of 1988, when he turned a 17-point deficit to Michael Dukakis on Aug. 1 into an eight-point lead by Labor Day that he never lost.

If Barack is the Democratic nominee, nervousness over a president three years out of the Illinois legislature will play to the GOP's advantage in wartime. Hillary as the nominee, with 45 percent of the country saying it would never vote for her and the nation given eight months to reflect on whether they want to watch a four-year rerun of the Bill and Hillary Show, would also work to GOP advantage.

Republicans may not have The Gipper around to unite them, but they do have Hillary, which is an excellent second best.

Moreover, of the front-running Republican candidates, all are fresher than Hillary. All could campaign as a "change agent" in the current cliche. But they would need to jettison the Bush legacy: open borders, globalism, interventionism and Big Government Conservatism.

While the battleground states will be the same, the battleground constituency in 2008 is independents and Democrats earning $25,000 to $50,000. Before Bush embraced neoconservatism, they used to be known as Reagan Democrats. Though alienated, they are not yet lost.


  1. Arnold for Senate!
    Grey Davis' last Budget:
    $95 Billion
    Arnold's latest:
    $140 Billion, financed with Bonds!
    Another George Bush Fiscal Conservative.

  2. I am hesitant to post an off topic link so early in the thread but Doug does it all the time so...

    This article is so sensational one needs a caliope and a marching band to read. These scientists have created artificial life, can change one species into another and could possibly reverse global warming. It's at the Guardian via Drudge.

    BBC reports big news

    Gen Pervez Musharraf has won a vote to be re-elected Pakistan's president, officials say, even though it is unclear if his candidacy was legal.

    He won all but five of the votes cast in parliament's two houses and swept the ballots in three of four provincial assemblies, election officials said.

    So now, whether he won it or stole it, we'll have to wait to see whether he can hold it.

  3. Doug: Arnold for Senate!
    Grey Davis' last Budget:
    $95 Billion
    Arnold's latest:
    $140 Billion, financed with Bonds!
    Another George Bush Fiscal Conservative.

    Meanwhile Bush asks for $190 billion for his occupation and vetoes a measure to get health care for millions of American children, paid for by degenerate smokers. He just handed the White House to Hillary, and maybe a filibuster-proof Senate too. Your buddy the Decider.

  4. No, heath care for America's children should be paid for by squawking degenerate pantyhose wearing womyn. Certainly not by their parents.

  5. Go here and listen to Lyse Doucet's BBC interview with Syria's Bashar Assad.

    She asked him some very direct questions. He's a "peace loving man", wants stability, Syria has no interest in anything nuclear, is not complicit in deaths of Lebanese. He's just an unfortunate victim of George Bush.

    He's smooth. Very good.

  6. I’m going to pass on the douchebag BBC Lyse Doucet.

  7. I can't stand listening to the BBC.

  8. Must be nice for the Beeb, not having to worry about delivering a good product, because instead of charging advertising rates (or being answerable to sponsors when you call someone a nappy-headed ho) they go around with vans looking for evidence of people watching the telly who didn't pay.

  9. "Meanwhile Bush asks for $190 billion for his occupation and vetoes a measure to get health care for millions of American children, paid for by degenerate smokers. "
    (Media Matters?)
    Bush was for this REPUBLICAN BILL as Gov.

    ...the Dems are simply tripling it's cost by defining NEEDY as below $83,000/yr, and
    As ANYONE 25 or Younger!

  10. Free Dental for all AID's sufferers younger than 40!

    ...the Mat Ammendment!

    "No Mask Mat"


  11. Doug,

    With the pantyhose tight around the head, it's all good.

  12. These guys, they take some of the fun out of winning ...

    SULAIMANIYA, Iraq: Worsening a deep divide with Iraqi leaders, the Kurdish regional government has struck four new oil exploration deals over the strong objections of the Baghdad central government. The deals are the latest effort by the Kurds to jump-start their oil industry as national oil legislation languishes in Parliament.

    The new deals follow an agreement last month between the Kurds and Hunt Oil Co. of Dallas that was criticized as illegal by the Iraqi oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani. Kurdish officials, who have said they want to be producing at least one million barrels of new oil daily within five years, say all the deals are consistent with the Iraqi Constitution.

    But the deals have aggravated tensions with the Arabs who dominate the national government, calling into question whether Iraqi politicians will ever be able to work out differences on how to develop the huge petroleum reserves.

    The Kurds want the Iraqi Parliament to pass draft legislation governing new oil exploration and the allocation of oil revenue between the country's Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite regions. But many in Parliament object to the version favored by the Kurds, and it is unclear how the Kurds' own regional oil law, approved in August, will conform with whatever might ultimately be approved by the central government.

    In particular, many Sunni Arab leaders object to the production-sharing agreements being negotiated by the Kurds, which call for companies to invest large sums to find and produce oil and then award the companies a portion of the profits later generated by the oil fields.

    The Kurds' new oil and gas exploration production-sharing contracts were signed with Heritage Oil Corp., a publicly traded Canadian concern, and Perenco SA, a privately held French company. The total initial amount invested is expected to be $500 million, the regional government said, and two other deals with "experienced international companies" will be announced soon.

    Heritage was awarded an exploration license for a 1,015-square-kilometer, or 392-square-mile, area in the Sulaimaniya Province of Iraqi Kurdistan. Perenco was awarded a license for 2,358 square kilometers along Iraq's northern border with Turkey.

    If the exploration leads to oil production, Kurdish officials said that in rough terms the deals call for the companies to recover their costs and split profits, with about 15 percent going to the companies and 85 percent to the government. A Kurdish official said it is expected to take three to five years before any oil is produced.

    In addition, the Kurdish government announced plans to complete, within two years, two refineries that are each capable of processing 20,000 barrels a day, or enough to meet 30 percent to 40 percent of the current demand in Iraqi Kurdistan for gasoline and other refined products - easing reliance on imports from Turkey and Iran. "We are desperate for fuel and fuel products," a Kurdish official said.

    In Baghdad, a spokesman for the Oil Ministry criticized the new oil production contracts and warned companies not to sign deals without the blessing of the national government.

    "Any contracts signed before the approval of the oil law will be ignored or considered illegal,"

    30,000 Troops Home for
    4th of July Victory Parades

  13. Bush thinks the emergency room is where the uninsured little people should get their primary health care: “I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room.” (Cleveland, July 10)

  14. Damned Kurds!
    Coming to a Profitable AGREEMENT!

    ...not the Arab Way.
    Milk them Camels.

  15. A new composite plastic built layer by layer has been created by engineers at the University of Michigan. This transparent plastic is as strong as steel. It has been built the same way as mother-of-pearl, and shows similar strength. Interestingly, this 300-layer plastic has been built with 'strong' nanosheets of clay and a 'fragile' polymer called polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), commonly used in paints and glue, which acts as 'Velcro' to envelop the nanoparticles. This new plastic could soon be used to design light but strong armors for soldiers or police officers.

  16. Who would deny people Emergency Room access?

    There's a time to live
    a time to die.

    The poorer a person, the earlier the death. Life expentency is shorter for those with less income.

    Income increases substantially with better education.

    The Government controls the schools

    In AZ, the Emergency Rooms are closing, especially along the frontier. Emergency Room babies, forcing some hospitals from providing services to anyone.

  17. In socialist Israel, people are required to subscribe to their own medical insurance plans and associated clinics. The government subsidizes a basket of basic medicines (mostly used by the elderly) and some services not covered by HMOs, such emergency vaccination for communicable disease control and long-term hospitalization.

  18. Soldiers & Policemen
    of the world...

    Where one man's revolutionary guard
    is another man's indepedent actor.

    Build a better body armor, everyone will have it.

    Like building a VW. If you can do that, you can build a nuke.
    It's just rocket science. There are lots of engineers, out there...

    The answer to the ideological battles of the 21st Century are not technological, despite the best hopes of the free energy crowd.

    The recent turn of society and culture, the mass migration north, in Europe/Africa and the Americas.

    Reconciliation, Unification, disempowered Federalism.

    Just what the Americas need

  19. Desert Rat: Who would deny people Emergency Room access?

    Assuming that Hillary and Rudy are the picks in 2008, both candidates are anathema to those who have gays and guns as their biggest issue. Then Rudy loses ground on the God front because Hillary attends services once a week while Rudy hasn't been able to take communion (without incurring mortal sin) since he married his second wife, let alone his third. Finally, when Christian voters consider that the gospel also talks about looking out for the poorest among us, Hillary just becomes a better candidate.

  20. "Yet history constantly reminds us that we do not know as much as we think about how the future will "naturally" unfold.

    In 1999 few pundits would have believed that religion would be the dominant subject of international relations in the 21st century.
    Were we not at the End of History?

    - Wretch

  21. Ms T is really a Closet Librarian.

  22. "Hillary just becomes a better candidate."
    Socialism always brings out more poor among us!

    Socialist Creationism:

    The poor are our most important product.

  23. Voting one's religion.
    It's done wonders for Iraq.

    It'll do the same here.

    But the making the Government a substitute of religion, then voting for it.

    It's not any better.

    Democracies fail,
    Republics stand a chance.

    Those early 20th century reforms ...
    Forever transformed the Americas.

    Making the Federal Government accountable to no other Institutions in the land.

    Just the rabble, the masses.
    Easily manipulated and controlled.

  24. Yeah, take ........
    For instance!
    Aw, nevermind!
    What would a Bunch of
    Old Dead White Guys have ever known?

  25. "I think the WHOLE Country
    Outta be run by

    TVA today,
    North American Union tommorrow.

  26. “Finally, when Christian voters consider that the gospel also talks about looking out for the poorest among us,..

    Fine. Let donations to the Church cover that.

  27. The Church of Big Govt.
    Born agin, lovin Big Brother.

    "In fact, based on their own projections for this fiscal year, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Rhode Island and New Mexico will spend more SCHIP money on adults than they do on children," Bush said.
    "And that is not the purpose of the program."

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. If it was not the purpose of the Program, it'd not have been written into it.

    That Mr Bush opposes one of the purposes of the Program, which is to provide Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Rhode Island and New Mexico with ways to fund adult healthcare, is laudable.

    But instead of developing a pro-individual, free market approachs to "health care" financing and management, the "Compassionate Conservatives" of the GOP merely advocate for slower expansion of Federal Authority.

  30. Always gauranteed to gallop into a faster Federal expansion of Authority.
    See Arnold, above, for state expansion.

  31. California is a "whole 'nother country", hoss ...

    It is not the California of yesteryear.

    They've come a long way, baby.

    From "Death Valley Days"
    and 20 mule team Borax.

    The San Andreas is going to shift, sure as night follows day.

    North or South
    Like nothing that has ever been seen before, by any living eyes.

    Mythical scales of destruction.

    Or Istanbul, as assuredly.

  32. Taqqiyya General via CNN:

    The United States and its allies can "live with" a nuclear-armed Iran.

  33. We could

    That has never been in doubt.

    The United States and it's allies could live with a nuclear Iran.
    We were going to sell Iran 24 reactors, back when Mr Cheney was Sec of Defense.

    That has always been true, mat.
    The Iranians having a small nuclear capability is not a mortal threat to the US.

    We could live with it.

  34. dRat,

    No, you couldn’t. That bomb making knowledge would be disseminated to every jihadi terrorist on the planet. You’d be finished before you even know it.

  35. No, you couldn’t. That bomb making knowledge would be disseminated to every jihadi terrorist on the planet. You’d be finished before you even know it.

    You can't refine weapons-grade material without the infrastructure of a whole state. There's hundreds of delicate centrifuges to make and lots of power needed to spin 'em up.

  36. It's looking like the "War" might be shaking out okay.

    Right now, I'd say the biggest danger for the Republicans is a Recession caused by high ($100.00/barrel +) oil prices, and a FF Rate Target held too high by the Fed.

    The "Old Money" Big Bonds, Strong Dollar Crowd is in Full Cry, Screaming against Bernanke cutting the FF any further. He will probably give in. He's weak, and he's, basically, an "Academic." If he gives in and stops, here, we Will go into recession within a quarter, or two.

    Four Dollar Gasoline, and a rising unemplyment rate, and the Pubs a sunk motherhumpers.

  37. You can't refine weapons-grade material without the infrastructure of a whole state.


    Anyway, weapons-grade material will be available. Already is. And even more so, with Jordan Saudia Egypt Syria and a host of others going nuclear.

  38. 186 mph in less that 8 sec in the 1/4 mile?

    In a 1.9 Liter, 4 cylinder?

    Whew! Wonder what kind of fuel she's running. :)

  39. Cutler,

    If it’s true, you really have to wonder what’s going on in the CIA or whoever is in charge of finding out this information. Same basic question applies as regards the US Department of State, and the reason for blocking the operation.

  40. Damn, Ruf!
    Even Kudlow thinks it's safe to defend the Dollar at this point:
    Didja see those revised figures?
    Says half-point plus those bode well for quite some time, and will include a Dollar Rally as the Euros have to lower rates.

  41. Teresita, I don't know if everybody caught it, but that PVA Plastic is made with ethanol.

  42. - employment figures.
    Up net 200k or some such.

  43. She thot it was her arch Enema:
    Polly Vinyl Ahole.

  44. Doug, Kudlow cut his teeth at Bear Stearnes, a "Bond" house. He has a real "Blind Spot" as regards this subject. I'll let you make your own judgement, "Why."

    The Dollar is only effected in a peripheral way by interest rates. One or two percent, and done. What's "Really" affecting the Dollar is the rapidly rising oil prices. We'll Soon be Importing a Billion Dollars worth of Oil Every Day. And, it will go higher.

    The Dollar has to fall. It's "Nature's" Way of getting back to balance. A weaker dollar makes our exports more affordable to the rest of the world. This increases jobs, and salaries. At the same time it discourages "marginal" imports.

    Every Country in History that's ever tried to "Prop Up" it's currency by way of higher interest rates, etc. has had a sorry, and bloody reckoning in store.

  45. Doug, the smartest people in the world have set the Free Market Rate for the 91 Day T-Bill at a little less than 4%. In light of this, a FF Rate of 4.75% is ludicrous. It WILL put us in Recession; Larry Kudlow be damned. BTW, I'm right on these things way more often than Larry is.

  46. Euros have to import Oil too.
    ...and GAS from evil Ruskies!
    ...and their economies ain't as dynamic:
    No argument there, right?

  47. He says Fed woulda blown that half-percent, 'cept for a phone call by old Bobbie Rubin.

  48. What Euro Real-Estate doin?

    Bein right, you don't have to be a TV Star to make money like Kudlow!

  49. Anyone that can manufacture a VW can manufactur a nuclear weapon.

    The "technology" required is 1943.

    That geni is out of the bottle. If the NorKs can do it, anyone can. Given the facilities of a Nation State.

    If Syria can assemble the components, anyone can. The threshold of technical capacity limiting proliferation is well behind US.

    We can live with it, we have been.

    If the NorKs were in Syria, bet your bottom dollar, they've been to Iran, too.

    rufus, get beyond listing the qualifiers, with hesitation ...

    The "Battle of Iraq" is over
    Peacekeeping and policing has commenced.
    Local autonomy has become the paramount concern of the US.

    Victory Parades of the 4th of July
    30,000 Troops Home to Participate

    Get on Board - The Victory - Peace Train

    Americans love a winner

    Don't be last on the bandwagon of patriots.

  50. I read life expectancy is longer in Canada than the USA. But the reason wasn't health care, rather much higher auto accidents, and higher homicides, and the fact we eat drink and drug ourselves to death.

    Also I read that private clinics, illegal, are sprouting up like mushrooms in Canada.

    Also that there are services to get your ailing ass into the United State, with an appointment with a doctor,when the system is failing you in Canada.

  51. Private Doctors are now legal in CA, Bobal:
    Pols knew too many were dying just waiting.

  52. Most countries, esp the Towelheads, CAN'T make Nukes yet, 'Rat!
    We was better in '43 in a lotta ways than now, brain-wise.
    Same for Apollo vs Space Station.
    Big Govt, Big Govt education SUCKS.

  53. I was thinkin of the H-Bomb bein beyond most folks abilities:
    Maybe the simple nuke isn't?
    ...and Bio is almost free...

  54. Doug, the Euros have a BIGGER potential mess coming down the road than we do. It's true they use quite a bit less oil per capita than we do, and they've been riding a pretty sweet teat in the North Sea for awhile, but now, things are taking a turn for the worse on'em. The North Sea is producing less (their last hole turned out drier than Hillary's Nasty,) they've ridden the "conservation" wagon about as far as they can ride it, and they're hopelessly "buggered" when it comes to biofuels.

    Yes, Doug, the positively sloping yield curve is a "Good" sign. It means the economy "Wants" to normalize, and with just a bit of "Relief" from the Fed it Will.

    Doug, these Pointy-Headed old men grew up studying books by Keynes (a Socialist, damned near full-fledged Communist) and CANNOT adapt to a situation where the Proper interest rate is less than 5%. They think it's some kind of strange "anomaly," when in reality it's the norm in a future where Billions of people are jumping into productive labor, and "Saving" money (consuming less than they actually produce.)

    Times have changed, and Keynes is as irrelevent as Karl Marx.

  55. Talk about dying--my pastor's younger brother has died.

    "When I was in seminary (along with Martin Luther and Melanchthon and the boys) most of us were pretty sure that we would never be able to cope with all the grief and sorrow and fear that would surely come with the funerals. Death and dying, we thought, were fine things to study and converse about, theologize and pontificate on, but not with the actual people involved. It was a little like Woody Allen who said he didn't mind dying, he just didn't want to be there when it happened.

    The second year of seminary they let us students roam about in real parishes in the city with real people, some of whom were mortal, and proved it. We began to learn in those real peoples' lives and with their families and friends and at their funerals, that death was not simply a blow to the soul. It was also, in more ways than one, a door.

    And while the blessed dead clearly went through such a mystical door, we learned that survivors go through one, too. After all, here we are, even though the old world behind us will never be the same.

    My younger brother, as you might know, took that first door in September. The rest of us took the second. And sure enough, the world is quite different now. It's been tenderized some.

    I never quite imagined back in those seminary days how necessay and wise it is for us to celebrate the mystery of such love in our funerals, and at the Table, and in our songs, in those holy, amzing promises in Scripture.

    We are encircled even these days, by a precious cloud of witnesses cheering us on, hoping we hear, helping us somehow see what life holds. And we don't even have to wait till we die to live it with them!

    So grab hand with your favorite witness, in the cloud of the blessed dead, or in the flesh, and do some heaven today."

    That's one thing I really like about my pastor, his short letters to us, a little humorous, a lot serious, cheering and inspiring, and sharing.

  56. Monkey around with Mother Nature you may Make a Monster

  57. "(their last hole turned out drier than Hillary's Nasty,)
    My vote is for the Proprietor's to Delete that from it's presence, and essence, from the Bar!

  58. "where Billions of people are jumping into productive labor, and "Saving" money (consuming less than they actually produce.)"
    ...but what about sky-high Oil?

  59. I know:
    Infinite human genius will give us Free Energy.

    ...just like the book my dad gave me in the Fifties:
    "Our Friend the Atom"

  60. ...AlBob invites Larry over for a Group Late-Nite Session on the Energy Crisis.
    Globe warms 2 degrees, overnite.

  61. Well there you go, I get all sappy about my Pastor, then a few pages into the bulletin , here it is, again--
    THE WEEKLY MOSCOW PEACE VIGIL, Fridays 5;30- 6;30pm at Friendship Square. Every single Friday since November of 2001, people of diverse backgrounds and faiths have gathered on the square to pray, to demonstrate resistance to war and encouragement toward non-violent alternatives, to share information, to be a contact point for others. Begun as a mostly silent, prayer vigil on the square by Emmanuels Lutheran Peace Fellowship, The Palouse Peace Coalition now oversees the vigil, a local radio show on issues of peace and justiced, numerous panels, film series, rallies, parades and a peace band!(and unending thoughtlessness--added by bob)

    See the site, or write to sperrine@potlatch .org or call 209-882-7067

    I have made miss sperrine my contact point, sending her stuff from JihadWatch, DhimmiWatch, etc. Just to give a little balance.

    They turn a church into a political party. People like this voted recently to boycott Israel.

    It just pisses me off.

  62. This comment has been removed by the author.

  63. Scares the Hell outta me,
    Maybe they're onto to something:
    It is a Church, ya know!
    Demons OUT!

  64. Well at least he is not homeless any more

  65. Has health insurance and everything.

  66. Finally had a Cool Retort to Nahncee, thanks to AlBob:

    Let's just say Carter got Subbed out of his mind:
    Larry Craig Wants To Share His Super Submarine Sandwich.

    Here’s the most beloved recipe of Gay Larry Craig, the beloved “Super Tuber. ... I think this recipe needs some work.. maybe instead of a regular hot dog, ...

  67. BAGHDAD (Associated Press) -- Two of Iraq's most powerful Shiite leaders agreed on Saturday to end a bitter rivalry in a bid to end months of armed clashes and assassinations in the oil-rich south that have threatened to spread into a wider conflict.

    Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the largest Shiite political party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, promised to stop the bloodshed and enhance cooperation between their two movements.

    An official in al-Sadr's office in the holy city of Najaf called the agreement a "fresh start

  68. WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- The White House said Saturday that if Costa Ricans vote against joining a U.S.-Central American free trade agreement, the Bush administration will not renegotiate the deal.

    The Costa Rican government scheduled a referendum Sunday on the accord. A newspaper poll published Thursday showed that voters were poised to reject it.

    The White House also suggested it may not extend trade preferences now afforded to Costa Rican products and set to expire next September.

    "The United States has never before confronted the question of extending unilateral trade preferences to a country that has rejected a reciprocal trade agreement," White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement.

    Costa Rica is the only one of the six Latin American signatories to the trade deal, known as CAFTA, that has yet to ratify it. The deal is in effect in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

    A minimum of 40 percent of Costa Rica's 2.6 million voters must participate for Sunday's vote to be valid.

    The White House urged Costa Ricans to recognize the benefits of the agreement. It would "expand Costa Rica's access to the U.S. market, safeguard that access under international law, attract U.S. and other investment and link Costa Rica to some of the most dynamic economies of our hemisphere," according to the statement.

    But Perino also warned about the implications of turning down the pact.

    "If the free trade agreement is rejected, the United States will not renegotiate the agreement signed by the government of Costa Rica as it is part of an agreement with a broad group of Central American countries," she said. "The United States has never renegotiated a free trade agreement that has been approved by the Congress."

    She said she issued the statement to "dispel any confusion that may have been created by communications from other sources in the United States." She did not say who these sources were.

    A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reference was to some Democratic members of Congress and union leaders.

    "Voters in Costa Rica should be aware that many of those assuring Costa Rica of continued access to the U.S. market have consistently opposed measures that would open the U.S. market to goods from Costa Rica and other countries, whether through trade agreements or through trade preference programs," Perino said.

    Costa Rica's Congress failed to approve the pact under former President Abel Pacheco, who had argued that lawmakers needed to pass a series of fiscal reform measures before considering it.

    Current President Oscar Arias, who took office last year, is a strong supporter of the agreement.

    Much of the opposition stems from requirements under the pact that Costa Rica open its telecommunications, services and agricultural sectors to greater competition.

  69. Used to be a common practice in the old days, drop the charges, if you join the army.

  70. Now it is a news worthy exception to common policy, bob.

  71. "On a four-day tour through Iowa this week, Mr. Obama continued to draw large crowds. He sharpened his message about his early opposition to the war, he devoted more time to voters’ questions, and he talked increasingly about the need for Democrats to choose a candidate who is honest and, ultimately, able to bring about change." Obama in Iowa

    'The need for Democrats to choose a candidate who is honest'---:), that always helps, but an honest man(or woman) is hard find.

    Everybody knows Hillary is dishonest. Iowa is a flat, honest land.

    Maybe he'll win there, give the bitch a little more run for her money.

    (I'll bet Hellery took note of that comment, and filed it away, she always takes note, that woman)

  72. I just have this picture in my mind's eye of an eager young staffer sitting on top of a pile of "Obama" real estate dealings saying,

    "Now, Bill, now?" And, Bill saying,

    "No, not yet, a little closer to the causcus. The first of December, maybe."

  73. Brooks: "Wordy" asshole of the day.

  74. Any little league coach can tell you what's ailing the Pubs. They need to "Win" a couple.

  75. "However, they cannot do so using any resources of the church, such as church letterhead, newsletter, outdoor bulletin boards and so forth."

    Hmmm, I wonder....see 2:28 pm above.

    Take a look at the material in the website, it is nothing but political.

  76. In what is an interesting irony to all this, one of the reasons the IRS cites for increased scrutiny of the political activity of churches and other nonprofits is concern for the viability of the whole nonprofit enterprise. "The potential for charities, including churches, being used as arms of political campaigns and parties will erode the public's confidence in these institutions."

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  78. It gives the Pubs a law to go against the Jihadi organizations with, Bob. The Dems will let it stay on the books as long as it's not invoked against them.

  79. A thousand points of Federal funding, bob.

    A thousand points of control

    Shine a little more light on that, will ya?

    If the oceans rise a foot, how does that effect the surf at Jaco Beach?

  80. pissing in the wind
    betting on a losing friend
    making the same mistakes
    we swore we'd never make again
    pissing in the wind
    and it's blowing on all our friends
    we're gonna sit and grin
    and tell our grandchildren
    that the answer my friend
    is not pissing in the wind ...

    the answer is pissing in the sink

  81. Infamous Senator to be inducted into Hall of Fame

    The non-sense of this story just keeps on ticking.

    I'd think they might want to see if the Senator can 'clear his name' in the Senate Ethics Invetigation, or if the story gets worse, which it well might.

    Bad timing all around.

  82. Idaho Senator induced into stall of fame?...

  83. At least it leaves the Primary an open event, That's better than nothing.

  84. Doug: Here’s the most beloved recipe of Gay Larry Craig, the beloved “Super Tuber.

    Golly, I beat you to the punch by three days Doug. Posted it here and it was the inaugural post of my blog.

  85. BOBAL: They turn a church into a political party. People like this voted recently to boycott Israel.

    If praying for peace and demonstrating resistance to war makes a church a political party, what does lining the streets with pro-life banners and demonstrating resistance to gay marriage make it?

  86. There is a difference, Tes.

    One belongs in the private domain (deviant sexual behavior), the other belongs in the public domain (issues of war and peace). What belongs in the public domain is politics, and where applicable the Church should be sanctioned for getting involved.

  87. What I object to is taking over of an organization that by birth and also some sentiment I happen to be associated with, and putting the name of that organization out to the world, making it thereby represent me before others.

    The only thing that really happens with all this taking of position in the public square and thumping ones moral chest and sticking the name of a church on it is it always pisses off a good half or more of the rest of the church.

    Our group has been down this road before. Let us talk about things in church, argue and persuade ourselves, then go to the polls on Tuesday. And stay friends.

  88. I quess the answer to your quesion is--a political party.

    I full well realize secular law and secular and religious insight from the ages are intertwined. A sacred space one day a week, and for me it means about one day a year, being a Christmas Christian, is all I ask.

    And I pray for peace too, though I might have a differing opinion of how best to proceed towards it. Besides, they have the whole smorgasbord of issues in the bag, down there at Friendsip Square.

    How would they like it if I and some mates showed up calling ourselves Lutheran Peace/Justice Militiamen United in Resistance to Jihad and Dhminnitude, and Illegal Immigration, and Supportive of Israel, passed out literature in the public square, about a whole range of issues, wrote the paper, took over a good part of the church bulletin?

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  90. Bobalharb: What I object to is taking over of an organization that by birth and also some sentiment I happen to be associated with, and putting the name of that organization out to the world, making it thereby represent me before others.

    A church that indulges in peacemongery isn't the problem.

    The problem is snake handlers, Jehovah's Witlesses, Mormons, Moonies, squabbling Southern Boobtists, roll-in-the sawdust, babble-in-tongues gibbering Pentcostals. primitive rockin' back 'n forth, eyes rolled back in their heads fundies, whacked out TV and Radio "send us yer money Thank Yewwww Jesssssuzzzz!" crooked evangelists, weird cults in the desert, beat yer kids and wives, vicious word o' the Lord Christian whackos like Jimmy Bakker, Tammy Bakker, Jim Jones, Bob Larson, Jimmy Swaggart, Peter Popov, Reverand Ike, prosperity preachers grubbing $20.00 from little old ladies on Social Security, thieves, frauds and pedophiles Anti-semitic remark of the day ala Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, et al. White man's nation, white man's religion white power preachers, skinheads, Klansmen, White Citizens Councils with their Whites only religious schools. Backward masking, demons, secular humanism, creationism, black helicopters, commies under every bed, UN is going to invade us, militia joining, tax resisting, Harry Potter fearing hysterical creeps and loonies.

    Churches that pray for peace and have candlelight vigils against the war don't even make the needle twitch.

  91. Thankfully I don't see the Lutes or Catholics on your list. I would object to the inclusion of the Mormons, as currently organized.:)

    But I see we have a lot of enemies, and maybe forming a militia might not be such a bad idea.

    By the way the Mormons are taking this opportunity of having one of their men run for Pres. by reaching out to the press, and other groups, for question and answer sessions about their religion. They are staying away from endorsing anybody or anything, just answering questions. So I heard their new third man in command(can't recall the name) say in an interview today. Seemed like a well spoken fellow. We pretty much know where they stand on most things anyway, at least out in these parts.

    If one is out of work, and goes through the process of joining the Mormon church, they will find you a job, I think I can assure you of that, if one is willing to work at all.

    Coast to Coast time. Nite.