“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wondering Why Republicans are Having a Problem?


  1. For NATO to support it's military operations, in Afghanistan, they will need to rent equipment from the Russians.
    NATO, a true paper tiger.

    On Afghanistan, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates will push European allies to deploy more troops, putting the focus on military training teams that allied commanders see as vital to an eventual exit strategy for international forces.

    Gates is also expected to seek helicopters, transport planes and quick maneuver troops to fill shortfalls in NATO's 40,000-strong Afghan force during the talks in the North Sea resort of Noordwijk.

    Gates criticized some European members of NATO on Monday for failing to provide the extra troops that their governments promised last year for the force.

    "I am not satisfied that an alliance whose members have over 2 million soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen cannot find the modest additional resources that have been committed for Afghanistan," Gates said Monday during a visit to Ukraine.

    As part of efforts to fill gaps, ministers will consider a plan to lease transport helicopters from private companies _ possibly from Ukraine or Russia. To allay safety fears, diplomats say the leased aircraft would be used only to carry equipment and supplies, freeing up NATO's military choppers to transport troops.

  2. 2164th, I've been murmuring about Bush's profligrate ways for a year now, and all I get from the righty blogs is "9-11 changed everything" as justification.

  3. Teresita, I think that is a large overstatement.

    Certainly, to an extent people point to the rise in defense spending - but I don't think there's been a conspiracy of silence on Bush's spending habits. I know I've seen a lot of people bitch for a long time, me included.

  4. Notice Bill Clinton is not on the list.

  5. That's why the Budget had gone into surplus, under Clinton. The GOP adversarilly controlled spending.

    It does not include Mr Nixon, or Bush 41 either.

  6. It does not include the Medicare Prescription enhancement enacted at the urging of Mr Bush, either.

  7. Which is the worst of all of it.

  8. My Rights!
    Life, Libertines, and the pursuit of Viagra!

  9. It's not quite as bad as it looks. The War has added a bit over 1% to that number.

    Reconstituting an eviscerated military (cut to the bone by Clinton) another chunk. Creating a "Homeland Security" Dept adds more. Katrina was a "hit."

    Take out the War, and return to Clinton's Defense Budget (do you Really want to do that?) and we're about $150 Billion in Surplus.

    We were only up 2.9% Last Year. We'll probably be up about the same this year.

    Like I said: Not quite as bad as it looks.

  10. Did that line of reasoning work with the IRS, rufus?

  11. Don't be "Mean," Rat.


  12. That's what I thought ;(

    The Jena Six story, claims that we're all afraid to offend ...

    Ignorance of the facts, rather than fear of offense, seems more appropriate.

    Media myths about the Jena 6
    A local journalist tells the story you haven't heard.

  13. From Forbes

    There's no sign of a bottom as the bad news keeps coming from the country's worst housing slump in 16 years.

    On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors announced total existing-home sales fell 9.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.0 million in September from a 5.5 million pace in August.

    September’s decline in sales was worse than the 3.6%, or $5.3 million, decline Wall Street expected.

    Analysts blamed the slump on the turmoil that hit credit and mortgage markets in August, as worries increased over rising mortgage foreclosures.

    September’s decline was also the largest to show up in records dating to 1999. The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate of 5.0 million existing homes was also the slowest pace on record.

    September’s drop was also 19.4% lower than the 6.2 million reported in Sept. 2006.

    Still, the 5.42 million annual rate of existing-home sales was a little stronger than the 5.38 anticipated by the NAR.

    “Mortgage problems were peaking back in August when many of the September closing were being negotiated,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, “and that slowed sales notably in the higher priced areas that rely more on jumbo loans.”

    John Buckingham of the Prudent Speculator, said there is still no indication of things bottoming out, with the trend now turning to a standoff between buyers and sellers, with sellers having to bring prices down.

    "Eventually it will happen," Buckingham said, "but we don't know when." Looking into the future though, Buckingham noted, due to demographics, housing growth will resume its upward orientation.

    "But I don't see any signs of the bottom has been reached," Buckingham reiterated, adding "if anything it seems things are getting worse."

    Seller capitulation may already have started, as the falling rate in home sales has also led to a drop in the national median existing-home price, which came in at $211,700 for September, a 4.2% drop from last September’s $220,900 total.

    Regionally, home sales went from a bad 6.0% decline in the South, to a worse 10.0% drop in the Northeast. ....

    Bad To Worse At Merrill
    Andrew Farrell
    After a $7.9 billion write-down, what's next for Stanley O'Neal's financial powerhouse?

    Bank Of America Derailed

  14. Commenting on the previous thread about the fires--check your insurance rates!!! My wife and I had been with Farmers Insurance Company for years--always about the same premiums. Then, a few months after Katrina, we noticed the rates went up for us over a third. What the hell? We have never made a claim. Called the insurance guy, he finally admitted they are trying to recoup the loses from Katrina on my back. Said I will go somewhere else. He said I have a little wiggle room, but not much. Parted friends, but check your insurance rates, for sure.
    Buy a good policy, but be a good shopper.

  15. Dr. Wattenberg, KGO radio, 810 on your AM dial, hater of eviro frauds, said the other night, that the enviro freaks had filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to stop the helecopters and planes from dropping retardent on the fires. Said they don't know shit. The retardent used is enviro friendly, wasting away in a few days, and in addition, did you know that the retardent also has fertilizer in it to help with the next growth?
    Dr. Wattenberg makes the sane comment that if we are not going to fight the fires and let nature take its course, as the enviros want, why have a Forest Service at all?

  16. In Idaho, I've mentioned this before, it was discovered that we had more Idaho Fish and Game Department pick up trucks than employees, counting the secretaries, janitors, and everybody else. And we are the reddest of the red states. jeeeeez!!

  17. O.J. Goes Down I won't make a comment, for fear of Doug the Hangman:), on how O.J. is taking it on the chin, when legally he is, or was, a free American with no convictions.:)

  18. Re: Rat's link to the Untold Jena 6 story.

    The race merchants are hard at work because Black people have "suffered enough injustice" after nearly eight years under the oppressive boot of a Republican Presidency and two decades of increased prison capacity and mandatory minimums. They are determined that someone is going to pay and aided by a willing media they are determined to get their pound of flesh, one way or another.

    I believe the Jena 6 case and the Martin Lee Anderson case in Florida are part of the NAACP's cynical, last ditch efforts to avoid irrelevancy. Duke Lacrosse, Michael Vick, Martin Lee Anderson, the Jean 6. Unfortunately, the truth and facts keep getting in their way as they find no satisfaction in the Judicial system. Despite the fact that the media help them obtain convictions in the court of public opinion, things do not go their way in the courts of law. Simmering and frustrated, they appeal to the US Justice Department.

    In the sixties, everyone knew that the "outside agitators" were responsible for racial tensions. Today, I believe that is truer than ever.

  19. "I don't care who you know, you never start out at the top, no matter what business you're in.
    First you're given oil wells, then you're given a baseball team, and then, and only then, are you given the White House."
    Dennis Miller

  20. Whit,
    Vick was denied his inalienable rights to abuse animals based solely on the color of his skin.

  21. F16s, Cobras and Super Cobras are flying over Iraq and striking targets, with neither Iraqi or US pilots aboard.

    Those US supplied aircraft are being flown by Turkish proxies of the United States.
    Or are the Turks rouges, now

    On the border

    Turkey, which has moved troops to the Iraq border, warned Iraq and Western allies on Tuesday that a large-scale incursion was imminent unless the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad takes action against the rebels. The Turkish government said there would be no cease-fire with the fighters, who seek autonomy in Turkey's heavily Kurdish southeast.

    After the meeting Wednesday, Cabinet officials and military leaders decided to recommend the government "to first take necessary economic measures against those groups directly or indirectly supporting the separatist terrorist organization in the region," a statement said.

    The target of the economic measures was not made clear in the statement, but Turkey has been pondering sanctions to force the Iraqi Kurds to cooperate in its fight against the separatist rebels of PKK, the acronym of Kurdistan Workers' Party.

    The self-ruling Kurdish administration in Iraq's north has benefited from Turkish investment for construction works, including airports and housing projects. Ankara is also selling electricity to northern Iraq, and much of the imported food and other supplies comes from Turkey.

  22. Cops in LA took out a suspected Arsonist!
    Home address AZ...
    (another DR!)
    Score one for the good guys!

  23. Funny stuff, the Kurds didn't even mention the Armenian Genocide.