“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."

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Chavezistas Have Greater Chance at Democracy Than the Russians.

Putin snarls,"jump"and the Russians do so with glee. No, you can accuse the Russians of many things, gleefulness, is not on the chart. They are glee resistant.

I confess that I have only been to Soviet Russia. I doubt it differed that much from Czarist Russia, Russia Russia, or Czar Putin's Russia. The multi-culti crowd is pitifully wrong about human nature and generalizations. We all fit in categories. Embedded within all of us are pre-programmed traits and dispositions. Russians don't do democracy. They are herd animals.

Latins are different. They are cursed with great poverty and a frightening gap between rich and poor, but their nature allows them to celebrate the basic joys of life, and tolerate what many would not. Democracy can work for them. I doubt they will sustain the paranoia being sold by Chavez, that it is the world against Venezuela. We will see. They sometimes make poor voting choices, as I did twice, but hey, who is counting?

Today, we will learn what both societies will do with their democratic choice.


  1. I won't accept either outcome as valid until Jimmy Carter blesses them.
    Nonstop Theft and Bribery Stagger Iraq
    There is a growing sense that Iraq has slipped to new depths of lawlessness even as security has improved.
    He sounded proud. He spends long hours scrubbing cars for $4 each in an empty lot with a clear view of Baghdad’s main soccer stadium. His customers praise him for being thorough. But like many Iraqis who have made a choice to bend the rules, he seems still unsure of his moral footing: a little bit ashamed, a touch defensive.

    “This job is better for us than doing things that are forbidden,” he said, his voice getting louder. “It’s better than stealing or using people.”“The more honest the job is and the harder we work, the better.”

  2. question is...

    how many people will die by hugo's hands to win this election?

  3. Is Kasparov out of the bastille, big cage, big house, big school, black hole*, booby hatch, brig, bucket, bull pen, caboose, cage, calaboose, can*, cell, clink*, concentration camp, cooler*, coop, county hotel, death house, detention camp, detention centre, doing time, dungeon, fish bowl, freezer, inside*, jailhouse, joint*, jug, keep, limbo, lockup, mill, pen, penal institution, penitentiary, pokey, pound, prison, rack*, reformatory, slammer*, solitary*, statesville, stir*, stockade, tank yet?

  4. Putin got him out, Aliens immediately snatched him to use for illicit purposes.
    Game, set, match!

  5. Any asshole can vote, dear host.

  6. now putin will kill many, thats a fact...

  7. In order to have any chance of working, you have to have an ascendant middle class.

  8. Where do you get an ascendant middle class?

  9. From a descendant upper class.

  10. Cato has still an invaluable primer on the progress (and not) of nations toward democracy - which I will dig up.

  11. The way forward is social benefits for wage slaves.
    Deal with it.


  13. Some Ideologies Are More Sympathetic Than Others
    Appeasement, pacifism, globalism:
    Those are the Big Three principles of the Democratic left.
    Bush qualifies on 2 out of three.

  14. "Appeasement, pacifism, globalism..."

    You want?

  15. Russia clears away some old Cold War clutter

    Taking one more opportunity before tomorrow’s parliamentary election to display to Russia’s voters his efforts to restore Russian military power, President Vladimir Putin just signed into law a bill that suspends Russia’s participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty. The Washington Post fills in a few details:

  16. hardeharharhar--"Lordships for Loans"-- scandal o' the day--somthin stikes me as hilarious about that--'Well, your Loanship,er, Lordship'--Princes for a Price, one and all.

  17. I tell you, I was in London once, it ain't worth it.

  18. Where do you get an ascendant upper class in Russia? From the remnants of the KGB, of course. From the guardians.

  19. And in America, Co-President Seeks Third Term

    Betty Ford for President!(if she's still alive)

  20. Chavez City

    Carrizales, a retired Army colonel like the president, added, "I think that with the president's intuition - the president is a man of great intuition - he perceived that you could develop something there, so we started in November of 2006."

    Chavez, The Decider

  21. trish said...
    Where do you get an ascendant middle class?

    Sun Dec 02, 08:59:00 AM EST

    whit said...
    From a descendant upper class.

    Sun Dec 02, 09:03:00 AM EST


  22. If you don't read the Cato pdf, trish is not coming back.

  23. The act of voting and the correlation to being an asshole is open to proctological examination.

    The choice made in the election booth can be indicative of a national need for preparation H.

  24. For the next six weeks available to her.

  25. Did not come on line, dear lady.

    Just a blank page, starin' at me.

  26. Both of you, now.

    Sending me to no-where, me takin' the ride.

  27. I got it. Rule of law, property rights first, vote later. Then, with the passage of time, Kelo vs The City of New London.

  28. You couldn't busy yourself with some other pessimistic activity this morning, bob?

  29. bob is celebrating the American way, truth and justice.


  30. If only we all knew and agreed upon what the American Way is.

  31. Looks like there is snow in Iowa, FOX is announcing that Obama is now leading the race for caucus victory.

    It rained here for almost an entire day, refreshing thing it was.

    Snowed in Iowa, happy I'm here.

    Read a piece, just today, that if Clinton loses in Iowa, Biden is then "the Man". A candidate that could win, for the Dems, in November.

    Now, in the San Fransico Chronicle, there is "Rat's Plan" for victory.

    In determining the need for U.S. forces, the key question is not whether they can bring peace to Iraq - they cannot - but rather when can Iraqi forces contain insecurity more or less as effectively as U.S. forces can?
    Provided the U.S. and Iraqi governments place their highest priority on improving the Iraqi army, its brigades should be able to replace ours without making things worse - at this point, a diminished but realistic definition of success.

    Because improvement of the Iraqi army - the main variable - is programmed and fairly predictable, it is possible to plan the withdrawal of U.S. forces, except for residual training, advisory, logistics, and quick-response capabilities. The Bush administration will not announce a fixed timetable, believing that it would constrain our commanders and encourage our enemies. But it would not be imprudent to announce an interim target. Unless the steady progress of the Iraqi army is derailed, it is feasible for U.S. forces in Iraq to be half their current level of 168,000 by, say, Inauguration Day, 2009.

    Such a target would have important advantages: U.S. withdrawal would be, and be seen worldwide as, the result of (limited) success, not defeat in Iraq or pressure at home. Iraqi politicians would feel more pressure to end their current standoff. Additional forces would be available for Afghanistan, where they are badly needed. The rebuilding of the U.S. Army could begin in earnest. The president would not be seen as leaving his biggest problem entirely to his successor - hardly a noble legacy. And the country could unify around a reasonable if imperfect plan.

    David Gompert is a senior fellow at the Rand Corp. and former senior adviser for national security and defense in the Coalition Provisional Authority. He just returned from a visit to Iraq.

    Mr Gates has said we'd be down to 100,000 by Jan '09, Mr Gompart thinks 84,000 would be a better number. Such a spread, aye...

  32. As long as the Judges can agree, trish, that's all the Boners need.

    One wonders why Mr Taft is not credited as one of the most influential, if unsung, politicos of the 20th century.

  33. Godammit, Rat, you can't keep shoveling out doom, despair, and misery on me.

  34. It is none of those things, trish. It's history

    and current events

    Central Mexico is in the midst of its' cultural modification, as is California, Sur y Norte.

    Colombia just may get its' Trade Deal, especially if Hugo gets his Constitutional Amendment.

    We'd be better off if his militias and he just siezed power, if he loses the election

  35. The Germans are no longer giving Putin a free ride:

    DW_ German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, Dec. 2, criticized the Russian elections in a radio interview, citing the limited numbers of election observers present. Russian opposition leaders called the poll a "farce."
    Merkel said she had noticed how difficult it had been for civil rights activists to be heard in Russia.

    "I also regret that OSCE observers will not be able to take part in the elections there," Merkel told Deutschlandfunk public radio.

    The Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Europe's main elections watchdog, called off its observer mission for the election, citing a lack of cooperation, a charged that Moscow dismissed.

    Merkel says she keeps talking to Putin about her concerns when they meet

    "We surely have a responsibility to again argue at length" to call for Russia's approval for free parties and for the respect of human rights, Merkel added. She hoped that Russia would choose to move towards being more open to different opinions.

  36. Were insane if we do not make a free trade deal with Columbia.

  37. Okay, I finished the "required" (CATO) reading. It's obvious (at least to me) that we have neither the resources or the will to stand up a functional liberal democracy in Iraq. Not being experienced colonizers and occupiers, we made mistakes from day of the "occupation." Personally, I have never subscribed to the Pottery Barn principal, so as far as I am concerned, our goal should be as it appears outlined in Rat's reference. The thought of being stuck interminably in Iraq hemorrhaging blood and treasure is unacceptable. We should provide a basic security and get out...

  38. ...mistakes from day one...

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. found an interesting tidbit of gossip:

    And, by the way.....the Clinton plant, was not in fact a Brigadier General and served only in the reserves.

    "The plant, Kerr was retired from the INACTIVE ARMY RESERVES in the grade of colonel. With the exception of a few years served on active duty as a lieutenant, his entire service was in the reserves in california. He was placed in retired reserve status with the california national guard reserves and promoted to brigadier general in that federally unrecognized status.

    "This is considered an 'honorary' title similar to the PhD awarded by universities as honorarium."

  41. Sistani to bring peace, prosperity to Iraq. Grand (I like that Grand, like a piano) Ayatollah issues Fatwa Against Murder Sistani, who owes his life to western medicine, rarely ventures out of doors.

  42. Dear friends and readers of PMBComments,

    Over the last weeks I have spent a great deal of time responding to many individual calls and emails. The single subject of all exchanges has been one: What will happen in Venezuela in the next couple of days?

    I have generically touched on that question in a number of my recent mailed comments, but I have not been too enthused about circulating a "scenarios" paper. The main reason is that I believe there are as many variables as there are constants in the complex equations (i.e. mess) one must resolve to assign any sort of credible probability to one or other scenario. So beyond stating that there are almost no good scenarios for the short term governability (i.e. peace and stability) of Venezuela, I think the best contribution is to share with you some "factoids" that you must keep in mind as you try to build scenarios or assess developments in the days to come.

    The vote that will take place in Venezuela tomorrow is the most momentous election since the fall of Venezuela's previous dictator in 1958. The fact that it is taking place at all is a testament to the obtuseness of Lt. Col. Chavez, BUT the fact that all polls now project a massive turnout a is result of the contagious courage and uncorrupted freshness of the student movement - a previously unknown phenomena.
    By now you should all be aware that Hugo Chavez is not a crafty politician but an amoral, mid level military officer devoid of the requisite tools to confront the gargantuan political crisis he unleashed on 26 million Venezuelans. To him there are two options: glorious victory or humiliating defeat. There is no grey in this paint palette and to negotiate is to lose. Keep this top of mind at all times.
    Anyway, there is nothing to negotiate. What is being voted on is a radical document that cannot be altered in a smoke filled room. This is not Chávez's campaign platform or wish list, this is now a "take it all" or "leave it all" proposition that can hardly be imposed without a sizeable mandate.
    Every single credible poll shows the NO (against the proposed Constitutional Reform) ahead. All of them indicate that the higher the turnout the larger the margin of victory over the SI (for whatever Chávez says). There is not a single scenario in which the SI can win by more than a couple of percentage points. It is impossible for the SI to win by the type of margin implied in point 3. above.
    Polls notwithstanding, let's be serious, Hugo Chavez CANNOT afford to lose this election. It was always critical for him and much more now that he has turned it into a plebiscite. The political, economic and legal implications of losing are immeasurable and the world has watched an uncouth man lose what remained of charisma and decorum in the past weeks. This is not a sign of confidence.
    Cheating - even at the risk of being caught - might be better than letting the will of the majority be known a few hours after the polling stations close. As per point 3. above, the cost of losing is TOO big, so they might simply say "why not take the risk and see what happens".
    There are NO arbiters in this contest. No OAS, No EU. No Jimmy Carter. Disputes will likely be settled in the streets. And yes, there will be disputes whatever the outcome.
    Do NOT count on the Armed Forces to do their "traditional" duty. The Venezuelan military ceased to be a monolith a long time ago and the fracture lines within renders it useless for the SI, and for the NO (i.e. this equates to virtually the whole country). Venezuelans – and some foreigners who pay attention - have witnessed Hugo Chavez's reckless manipulation of this all essential institution of the state. If Chavez were to order them to defend the indefensible, they would split in various inoperative factions and the result could indeed be tragic, actually VERY tragic. Rebuilding this Humpty Dumpty might be comparable to rebuilding the battered oil giant PDVSA.
    Any scenario in which the NO wins would lead - sooner rather than later - to an implosion of the regime. Opportunists would jump ship faster than rodents and the legitimacy of various institutions: National Assembly and Supreme Court, first and foremost, would be called to question instantaneously as unrepresentative of the revised popular will. The Executive branch could hardly exist in a vacuum, much less when those fleeing the sinking ship might bear gifts in the form of valuable evidence of wrongdoing.
    A narrow victory by the SI leads to an impossible scenario as the losing side might be resigned to accept the loss but not the consequence: the imposition of the new constitution. It is difficult to imagine a forceful enactment of a "social contract" that would have been opposed not only by almost half of the country, but by the most democratic, productive and resourceful half of the country. Governability would approach zero in a nanosecond.
    Rest assured that: a) the opposition has no common game plan beyond voting NO and b) there are probably dozens of competing plans for "who does what if and when". No "shadow" government exists, no political infrastructure or leadership is respected and there is no filter in sight for rival ambitions.
    There is no doubt that "por ahora" the students are in the driver's seat. They changed the balance of this process, they confounded the regime and its apologists, but they too will have to navigate the treacherous terrain of Venezuela's political maze. Inspiring as they have been to millions – and they have impressed all - they are simply seen as facilitators by others - less pure and potable - waiting to pounce on the prize.
    Do NOT forget the foreign elements that have made Venezuela their sanctuary or their cash machine. Too many non Venezuelan have "velas en este entierro". The prospect of losing Hugo, or his cash, or both, is daunting as Fidel's scribes have clearly stated in the latest "Reflexiones" attributed to the infirm dinosaur. Just imagine what the fellows from the FARC, their rivals in other drug cartels, Ahmadinejad boys, Joe Kennedy, Rosoboronexport and the Kirchner couple might be ready to do.
    Finally, undoubtedly Venezuela was blessed by God in so many ways. Even though in the last couple of decades it might seem that we have had to pay a dear price for being so nonchalant about our fortune, there is a scenario in which God forgives us all and endows us again with the fortitude of spirit and purpose to do what is right and begin the long task of reconstructing a battered society and a wasted mountain of opportunities.
    So there you have it, a lot of ingredients for you to keep in mind when building your own scenarios. Ignore them at your own peril. While the first 13 could give you good reason to project a dark future, do add a bit of 14 to the mix as worse moments have been conquered in history. Hopeful, yet extremely cautions and concerned, PMB

  43. Can't remember where I read it but I read yesterday where Gorbachev was saying Putin was such a fine fellow, democracy, liberal institutions will be abuilding in Russia, etc. Gorby plays along.

  44. Huchabee, Obama. Surprises in Iowa. Mormophobia coming out in Iowa, I think. Read that Obama was ahead with the ladies. Never discount Oprah.

    Snowed in Lewiston, Idaho too, really unusual for here.

  45. Mormophobia--irrational fear of becoming and assuming the responsibility of a god.

    bob's revised intergalactic dictionary

  46. Global Oil Production is at a "functional" Peak; and, Iraq is, as Allen was wont to say, the most vital, strategic real estate in the world. Bar None.

  47. "Mr Gates has said we'd be down to 100,000 by Jan '09, Mr Gompart thinks 84,000 would be a better number. Such a spread, aye..."

    The original goal was to be down to a couple dozen thousand by Winter, 2003.

  48. Rufus: Global Oil Production is at a "functional" Peak; and, Iraq is, as Allen was wont to say, the most vital, strategic real estate in the world. Bar None.

    Except for Iowa. If Hillary wins Iowa it's all over on the Donk side, and independents will come in as Republicans at the NH primary. They will support Giuliani at the expense of both Romney and Huckabee. If Hillary loses Iowa the independents will stay as Demos in NH, which will tip NH to Romney, and SC to Huck, which kicks Rudy to the curb.

  49. Iowa's making me a bit Grumpy, right now. The Party of the Stupid (in Iowa) is getting ready to vote for the only Republican that would cause me to vote for Hillary, or Obama. Huckaberry.

  50. Plans do, cutler, sometimes have the wheels fall off.

    I'm not entirely sure that withdrawal by 2004 was ever in the cards, based upon actions, not words.

    We started pouring concerete, not filling sandbags, from the get go.

  51. Bush never, at any time, had any intention of leaving Iraq. Without the Saudi oilfields the world is absolutely in the shit over it's head. The "Starvation" would be Pandemic. Cain't let it happen.

  52. "I'm not entirely sure that withdrawal by 2004 was ever in the cards, based upon actions, not words."

    Combat was supposed to be over, legacy (garrison) forces remain.

  53. Cobra II is suggested reading.

  54. Rufus: Bush never, at any time, had any intention of leaving Iraq. Without the Saudi oilfields the world is absolutely in the shit over it's head. The "Starvation" would be Pandemic. Cain't let it happen.

    Yeah, imagine instead of one person driving 40 miles to work in a mega SUV every day, eight people cramming into a van. I shudder to think of the horror.

  55. Damn russkies voted en masse for Putin of course.

    You mention jolly latinos. Its not just the climate. Iceland (Iceland!) now has the highest standard of living in the world. The folks who have been there swear that Siberia is just fine, its the Russians/USSR that spoiled living there.

    Mind you, now that Putin has eliminated any legitimate/credible opposition or non-centralized governmental structure the other choices may well be immediately worse. Dictatorship sucks, but warlordism and anarchy sucks harder. Ask the average Iraqi or Afghan.

    And they don't have to survive -40 degree winters, even tho' living in Kabul with no gas, electricity, firewood or glass in the windows during winter is no joke either.

  56. Don't get me wrong, T; we'll have to utilize solutions such as the one you mentioned fairly soon. It's just the changing over, "Overnight," that would be the bitch.

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. The wheels fell off the cobra II plans, cutler, if those were ever Mr Bush's "plan". Matter of debate.

    Any more than his approval of Mr Bremmer's "plan" was really an approval.

    When the US did not allow the Iraqi to hold elections, on 28Jun03, there was no further chance of leaving, by '04.

    Team 43 made it's first, major error then, on that date certain.

  59. If Huckabee aces out Romney in Iowa, and Rudy keeps getting hammered by the New York Press, McCain's star will rise. That will be interesting.

  60. I would, then, have to decide whether, or not, to throw McRino in with Huckleberry, and vote Democratic. The answer is: probably, yes.

    McCain seems, to me, to be completely oblivious to the seriousness of the "energy" issue that's getting ready to smack us right upside the head.

  61. My thinking on the Huckleberry is that the handful of republican senators would be much more likely to fight a democratic President on "Silly" spending than they would be to oppose a "populist" republican President.

  62. Craig Faces New Round Of Scandal

    Boise-- David Phillip, MIke Jones, Greg Ruth, Tom Russell.

    Four gay men whose allegations have not been disproved, have come forward since news of U.S. Senator Larry Craig's guilty plea. They say they had sex with Craig or that he paid them unusual atention.

    They are telling their stories now because they are offended by Craigs' denial...


    Big news item in the local fish wrap, on a Sunday, of course. Six full length page columns filled with sordid details. Too long to quote. If I was Larry I'd head for Bali too. Just too hot here in Idaho this time of year:)

    Very, very sordid. Craig's a sick man.

    A least the press is doing its job.

  63. "Were insane if we do not make a free trade deal with Columbia."

    Well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, anyway. God knows what the present Congress will want in return for their approval of it. Know what I mean?

  64. BTW. Thanks, cutler, for squaring me away on Heinlein. Learn something new every day.

  65. And it's COLOMBIA.


    Pronounce it as they do and you'll remember.

  66. Iceland has lots of Geo-Thermal Power

    Also a very high rate of alcoholism due to genetics, and boredom. Claims to be the oldest democracy in the world. Or modern world.

  67. For Russia's increasingly isolated opposition movement, the election was more evidence of Russia's drift away from political pluralism and democracy.

    "The fact is, they're not just rigging the vote. They're raping the democratic system," said former chess champion and opposition leader Garry Kasparov.

    Kasparov, who was jailed for five days after a protest last weekend, spoiled his ballot by writing on it "Other Russia," the name of his opposition umbrella group
    Drudge Report

    Pooty's boys get over 60%--I can believe that.

  68. Two other pro-Kremlin parties—Vladimir Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party and Just Russia—also made it into parliament with 8.8 and 8.4 percent of the vote respectively. The nationwide poll was commissioned by the state-controlled Channel One television.

    Wasn't Zhirinovsky the guy that wanted to take back Alaska?

  69. "Yeah, imagine instead of one person driving 40 miles to work in a mega SUV every day, eight people cramming into a van.
    I shudder to think of the horror.
    Yeah, Rufus forgot to mention Cannibalism.

  70. "In April 2002 the largest popular demonstration ever seen in Venezuela, some 700,000 strong marched in the direction of the Venezuelan Presidential Palace, only to be shot at by Chavez’s snipers. Earlier in the day Chavez ordered the armed force to repress the marchers the military refused and, instead, asked him for his resignation. Chávez opted to step down and asked for forgiveness from his senior officers and accepted that he had erred in the handling of the demonstration and was therefore responsible for the consequences – more dead people under his belt. Three high ranking Catholic bishops witnessed all of this and guaranteed his well being, that alone might explain the continuing attacks on the church hierarchy. "
    How come the "Catholic church hierarchy" is forever doing dumb-shit stuff like that?

  71. "Bush never, at any time, had any intention of leaving Iraq."

    Well, that's a big fucking score for us, oak leaf. No matter how you cut it.

  72. Looking forward to many more "resource security" grabs in the future.

  73. Pick and choose what you want to believe, if Mr Bush lies as to his Iraq Goals.

    Lots of folk fell for them, the lies of Mr Bush, if rufus is to believed, instead of Mr Bush.

    If he'd lie about the war goals, what else would he lie about, if not everything or anything.

    Which would make the GOP, ever less deserving of support. Since Mr Bush and his dad personify the GOP.

    doug once mentioned the labor law, passed here in Arizona, to combat hiring illegal aliens.

    In the paper, today, there is no money budgeted to fund enforcement.
    GOP legislature, Democrat Governor.

    Slice that spin, any way one wants

  74. Romney Giving "The Speech"
    Mormonism is a touchy subject with the Mitt Romney campaign. Whether or not the candidate should deliver a speech explaining his widely misunderstood faith, a la John Kennedy, has been a hotly-debated discussion within Romney circles.

    Now, Romney is set to deliver an address on faith in America this week at former President George H.W. Bush's library at Texas A&M University, his campaign announced today.

    "This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor's own faith would inform his Presidency if he were elected," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said in a statement today.

    Romney aides have gone back and forth on whether to hold the speech, as AP's Phil Elliott reported in November. Some who opposed the idea said something as dramatic as an explanation of one's faith could only be done once, and argued that in an atmosphere as crowded as the last month of two open primaries a single speech would not be able to cut through the noise.

    Romney, though, appears to have overruled those advisers. He personally decided to give the speech last week, Madden said.

    A wise idea? A foolish concept? My colleague Jay Cost has discussed the issue at length. But because Washington media types have publicly speculated on the possibility of a speech, it is almost certainly going to be big political news next week.

    Romney has decided the Mormophobia has to be faced, due to Huck's upswing. Maybe sign of desperation. Big gamble.

  75. That surely would piss one off, Rat. Really frustrating...pass the bill, don't fund it...

    Sun 12.02 >>
    Taxation Special
    Former IRS Special Agent Joe Banister will discuss the current tax laws and the possibility they may be unconstitutional. Also joining in the conversation will be Bill Spillane, Sherry Jackson, and Tom Cryer. Host: George Noory
    Coast-To-Coast tonite

    If you are looking for a rational not to pay your taxes, here's your chance. Not recommended not to pay however. unca sam has a big stick, and the courts have ruled many times against arguments like those to be heard tonite.

  76. The last war that you want to fight, dear Rat, is the war that nobody agrees upon or understands reason-wise. Simply put, it's very bad business.

  77. And bad for business, to boot.

  78. I can defend a good war gone bad.

    I can't and won't defend OIF.

  79. As I've been saying for years, trish. The Goals that Congress set, they've been achieved, more than achieved.

    Beyond that, if good old allen was right, the President should tell US that, not lie to the public about war and peace.
    Or the Religion of Peace, for that matter.

    The President personifies the United States, the President as a liar, says a lot, about US.

    To lie about war, as the CiC, much, much worse than falsely testifying in a sex harassment case.

    Much much worse.

  80. As I've been saying for years, trish. The Goals that Congress set, they've been achieved, more than achieved.

    - Rat

    Well it wasn't about the stated goals.

    And here we are.

  81. To lie about securing the border and welcoming criminals and terrorists is not so hot, either.
    Or to lie about the fence, Johnny Sutton, and etc.

  82. That certainly seems true, trish & doug.

    Compassionate lying ...

    So, so sad.

  83. Is there something compassionate about it?

  84. Yeah, like McCain said, they're God's Children, too, so compassionate George figures giving them Hard Labor at 1970's era slave wages is what compassion calls for.
    ...and Gringo Women and Children for the Rapists and Child Molesters.
    And Freeways to Hell for the Drunk and Drugged Drivers.

  85. Welll of course, trish.
    It's always compassionate to keep those that can not handle the truth, from it.

    Now who needs the compassion, the liar or the lued to, that's a matter for Christians to debate. As it is often done in the name of god.

    The Muslims can lie, to further their cause, as can Christians. especially those that transit the birth canal, twice.

  86. Lying, for the greater good

    That's the essence of compassion, ask any liar

  87. And rufus, the blue dog Republican, says he'll dump the GOP, if they go for Huckabee...

    Where is that damned beach, anyway?

  88. (Third, and last, time for a while!)

    Compassionate George's Beneficiaries:

    THE migrant farm workers who harvest tomatoes in South Florida have one of the nation’s most backbreaking jobs. For 10 to 12 hours a day, they pick tomatoes by hand, earning a piece-rate of about 45 cents for every 32-pound bucket. During a typical day each migrant picks, carries and unloads two tons of tomatoes. For their efforts, this holiday season many of them are about to get a 40 percent pay cut.

    In 2005, Florida tomato pickers gained their first significant pay raise since the late 1970s when Taco Bell ended a consumer boycott by agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound for its tomatoes, with the extra cent going directly to the farm workers.

    This month the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, representing 90 percent of the state’s growers, announced that it will not allow any of its members to collect the extra penny for farm workers.

    Reggie Brown, the executive vice president of the group, described the surcharge for poor migrants as “pretty much near un-American.”

  89. Wonder why Burger King's not worried about the consumer group that brought Taco Bell to heel?
    (temporarily, it now turns out)
    They are headquartered in Florida, together with their buddies, Big Tomatoe.

  90. Bobal sums up Larry Craig: Four gay men whose allegations have not been disproved, have come forward since news of U.S. Senator Larry Craig's guilty plea. They say they had sex with Craig or that he paid them unusual atention...Very, very sordid. Craig's a sick man.

    Some time ago they removed homosexuality from the list of mental disorders, basically lumping it in with a preference for using the left hand. The only sick and sordid part is how Craig continues to maintain he is not gay. False advertising, you know. Eye-duh-ho is a red state, they don't cotton to that Brokeback Mountain stuff over there.

  91. Florida, where Jeb spoke Spanish, that proves that he was compassionate, don't it?

  92. "Welll of course, trish.
    It's always compassionate to keep those that can not handle the truth, from it."

    You have a national security society grown so immense're not going to be able to make heads for tails.

    The grand (bob?) lion's share of it is DOD.

    Whaddya wanna do?

  93. Ingraham has sound bytes of one of the Bush nephews cavorting about in his undies with similarly clad Victoria's Secret Girls on some TV show.
    She especially likes the silly girlish giggle she says should never emanate from a male's mouth.

  94. Craig's sickness is not homosexuality, it's an inabiility to tell, even recongnize the truth.

    Lying as a way of life. Epidemic amongst the politicos of the Americas. It gives rise to mental illness or it is a mental illness.

    Either, or.

    Matters not much at all.

    Go Huckabee!!!

    But a bee in their bonnet.

  95. Promiscuity with strangers with money passing hands when one is married and an elected official is sick.

  96. What do I wanna do?

    Head for the damned beach.
    Fish, scuba, surf, get a sunburn, maybe a five star hang over.

    Dump the billing, collections and product development on someone that could handle it, but there are no applicants, let alone qualified ones.

    But everyone wants a steady, ready check.

    Know anyone that wants to beat their head into a wall, earning a more than reasonable living, let 'em give me a call.

  97. Hanging around rest rooms tapping one's toe hoping for blow jobs with total strangers--that's sick in my book.

  98. Fuck me,

    Huckabee isn't worth a piss in the wind.

    If Republicans would go back to concentrating on something other than any man of the moment. And their shallow, scatter-shot ideas.

  99. Is Chavez winning or losing?

  100. Don't be, trish.

    Just not enough Jaigermiester, or to much.

    The Republic, the Constitution, I swore to defend ...
    Chewed to pieces, from my perspective, by those even more, seemingly, invested in it's defense than me. So either I'm wrong or the Country leaders are.

    Figure it to be me, at least for the balance of my life. The majority of the citizens having their say, but not lining up in my column. So ...

    Good luck in Colombia, the US a positive force down there...
    The US Army well representing "goodness and light", at least when I was in it, assume they continue in that vein, now.

  101. Jaegermeister is for lift rats, Rat. (Those that ski.)

  102. "Good luck in Colombia, the US a positive force down there..."

    Jesus, I'm hoping so.

    I really am.

  103. Huckabee's Fair Tax is basically a national sales tax, right? And he wants to do away with all other taxes? If I was super rich I'd sure favor that, from the financial point of view, I'd think. Let the proletariate pay.

  104. Trish: Huckabee isn't worth a piss in the wind.

    He's got Chuck Norris on board. In fact, Huckleberry's new campaign slogan is "VOTE FOR ME OR CHUCK NORRIS WILL KICK YOU IN THE HEAD"

  105. Depends, bob, on whether stock transfers are taxed, as they should be.

    Every transfer of wealth, every sale, should be taxed.

    Figure the daily New York Stock Exchange sales, then figure 4% to 8% of that value, for the Federal share, to support the Governmental infrastructure to support the trades.

    Not just sales of consumer goods, but of ALL assets. The rates wouldn't be all that high, if ALL transactions were included in the mix.

  106. Venezuela Looks like maybe Chavez' boys are having trouble twicking the count.

    Corporate profits are taxed twice now. Once when the corp makes a profit and then when the stockholder gets a divedend.

  107. Bobal, Chavez has a narrow lead. He's gonna win. Putin won big time. These things come in threes, so get ready for a PMS'n POTUS.

  108. The sale of goods, services, labor and equities, taxed at the same, equal rate.

  109. Fun times.

    Clintons so soiled the White House and "public service" with their antics, that Rudy's philandering and Craig's perversions are just white noise. Rudy will get a pass. Craig, who knows? He just seems weird. Bobal, you Idahoans will have to sort him out. He's all yours.

    Cato article. So we need a Sukarno that will build 7-11s all over Iraq and then they will "get it". A little authoritarian capitalism will bring them into the enlightened age I guess. Was Lincoln our Sukarno? TR? FDR? So who is the guy (or gal) in IRQ?

    Would not that theory then make Mush the enlightened one in Pakistan? Where are the 7-11s? Are the call centers moving from Bangalore to Swat yet?

    Fair Tax is good stuff. Surprised Huckaberry is behind it. Makes me think he's just being a politician and will do nothing if elected.

    It gets rid of all the embedded taxes currently in all goods and services. Not a national sales tax at all. If something costs $100 currently, it'll cost $100 with the Fair Tax. Not $123, or $130 as some of the opposition states. Check out the book by Linder and Boortz. It's all in there.

    FairTax would be the largest transfer of power away from the .gov to the normal folks since, well, like, forever. Therefore, it won't happen. Not without guns.

    Speaking of guns, I'm going to finish building my coyote rifle now. Damn things have made deer season quite unexciting. With all of the turkey feathers all over the hunting preserve, that season is looking dismal as well. 50gr. bulets at 3400fps will do the trick. Pelts for everyone for Christmas.

  110. Sure they are, bob, as they always have been, since I was old enough to know.

    But stock sales are not taxed. There is no Federal or State or Local sales tax of those assets, just consumer goods.

    If Mr Gates were to sell a million shares of Microsoft, he should pay the sale tax, Federal or Local.

    If funiture, sold from a store front, is viable for a sales tax, why not other assets sold in the marketplace?

  111. Newt offers himself as VP material.

    Newt slams Clinton as "fundamentally dishonest," leaves door open for VP slot
    December 2, 8:20 PM

    Speaking on C-SPAN's "In Depth" Sunday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich issued a strong condemnation of President Bill Clinton's character, Clinton's recent comments against Gingrich over the 1998 impeachment and the former president's recent claim that he was always against the war in Iraq.

    "He is fundamentally dishonest on a routine, regular basis," said Gingrich. "It's just his personality. He tells you the version he needs to be who he is to get through this week. And he just did it in Iowa over whether he used to be against the war in Iraq."

    Clinton told a crowd gathered in Iowa on Tuesday that he that he "opposed Iraq from the beginning." This statement doesn't perfectly square with previous statements by Clinton, including one in 2003 when he said, "I supported the president when he asked for authority to stand up against weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."

    Gingrich also took exception with Clinton's recent characterization of the impeachment proceedings (Clinton told C-SPAN's Brian Lamb earlier that Gingrich thought the impeachment of Clinton "was something where he could manipulate the press in the present and the historians in the future. And maybe spook the Democrats into running me off. And I think he knew me well enough by then to know that he couldn't spook me and run me off.").

    "Clinton is a wonderful story teller and he's a very charming man," said Gingrich. "But he has the greatest ability to rewrite his own life of anybody I've ever seen. ... Perjury was committed, perjury is a felony. ... He should have been impeached for breaking the law. ... President's should not be above the law. That's a very dangerous precedent."

    Gingrich fielded a question about whether he'd accept an offer to serve as vice president of the United States. "Depending on the circumstances, I'd be honored to be considered and under some circumstances I'd probably feel compelled to say 'yes.'"

    I'd be hard pressed to put much faith in the count in Venezuela. If they've actually voluntarily fairly voted away their own rights, what the hell can you say?

    hex, pex, and vex threes


    Gates would pay capital gains?

  112. "So we need a Sukarno that will build 7-11s all over Iraq and then they will "get it". A little authoritarian capitalism will bring them into the enlightened age I guess. Was Lincoln our Sukarno? TR? FDR? So who is the guy (or gal) in IRQ?"

    Oh, fuck off. It's a warning, if anything, against our present business as usual.

  113. I'd be honored to be considered and under some circumstances I'd probably feel compelled to say 'yes.'" Newt

    Same with me :)

  114. All I know about taxes is the government has plenty of ways to always get in my pocket. I'm tuning in to Coast-To-Coast tonite for the tax seminar!

  115. trish said...

    "Oh, fuck off. It's a warning, if anything, against our present business as usual."

    Damn Trish. I was honestly asking the question. Not trying to fire you up. Who is the source of the rule of law, followed by capitalism in IRQ?

    I'm not seeing that person in anyone we're "officially" supporting right now. Maliki and his ilk are bad news.

    Seems like some charismatic tribal dude is where we will find the person to energize the Iraqis. The current "elected" government ain't it.

    Like supporting Mush in Pak. True to American 20th century tradition, we're supporting the wrong team.

  116. (Clears throat.)

    Well, my dear gentleman...

    That deserves a thoughtful response.

  117. If the barrios didn't turn out big time, the government's fixing it now.

  118. I'll have to come up with it on my own, as my dear husband is away.

  119. "Who is the source of the rule of law, followed by capitalism in IRQ?"

    The Shiite ruling class of Baghdad.

    "I'm not seeing that person in anyone we're "officially" supporting right now. Maliki and his ilk are bad news."

    Badder than what?

    "Seems like some charismatic tribal dude is where we will find the person to energize the Iraqis. The current "elected" government ain't it."

    It's what we've got.

    "Like supporting Mush in Pak. True to American 20th century tradition, we're supporting the wrong team."

    What team would you rather support in Pakistan?

  120. For Venezuela, Tension Mounts With Close Vote

    Hours after the polls closed Sunday, the government still had not released official results, causing political leaders to speculate that the vote was too close to call.

  121. Try Sistani, though he's too old.

  122. Craig taps but does not Mount.
    ...according to Craig.

  123. Ya beat me Bobal.
    The worst Inoyue was ever accused of was the old younger woman thing.

  124. Too close to call, close enough to fix.

    We have a Mt. Borah here, how about a Mt. Craig?

    (Borah was a famous senator)

  125. Ms T thinks sleeping around at 60 ain't sordid!
    Is if it's with the opposite sex, at least.
    I'll have Sonia and no-one else!

  126. Mt. Borah

    Come to think of it, we a Craigmont, Idaho, a small town.

  127. If it was only Craigmounts, Idaho.

  128. We KNOW, Albob:
    Torah Borah.
    You just brought that up to embarass us Bush Cheerleaders!

  129. I used to farm near Here at Nez Perce, Idaho.

  130. I don't think Jerry Bremmer had anything to do with Tora Bora, Doug.

    Who was it?

  131. You DO know 'Rat roots for Huckleberry simply because he's Rudy's Stalking Horse, right, Trish?
    Or Trojan Horse, or reserve condom, or something like that.

  132. You can't blame us for everything.

    All kidding aside, Doug.

    Who was it?

  133. The cool thing about the FAIR tax is that Seniors pay their taxes all their life, and then they make up for that by paying a big surcharge on everything in their "declining years."
    He says, stoutly.

  134. "Firmly"
    was searchin for the word.

  135. Your Jooish?
    No wonder you break out into yiddish from time to time.

  136. Somebody has been messing around with the Nez Perce, Idaho Guestbook.

  137. Who was in charge of that op?

  138. I figure it's that famous Book Publishing General.
    And you, Trish?

  139. No wonder she never posts on Saturday.

  140. Uh, oh, the top secret kid just arrived, gotta download the payload.

  141. You oughtta see how she wears her skullcaps, Albob!

  142. Fuck, I don't know.

    Worth investigating, don't you think?

    Right up your creek.

  143. Who fucked up your perfectly good war, Doug?

    More question than anwser.

  144. A common view among those interviewed outside the U.S. Central Command is that Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the war's operational commander, misjudged the interests of putative Afghan allies and let pass the best chance to capture or kill al Qaeda's leader. Washington Post

  145. trish said...

    "The Shiite ruling class of Baghdad."

    Fair enough. Will they dispense the rule of law with respect (which they never got) to the Sunni and Kurds? Can they be Iraqi first and Shia second? Don't know if the Kurds can. The Sunni seem to be warming up to the idea, now that they are calming down.

    "Badder than what?"

    Iraqi Army is getting it together, but the Iraqi Police are sectarian as hell and corrupt. Thoroughly infiltrated by Mahdi Army. Seems like a solid precondition for a civil war. When will Maliki move to clean it up, if at all?

    "It's what we've got."

    Tribal dude? Yes. Charismatic leader? No. Looks like sheikhs from the big tribes will be the ones that will keep it together. Self-interest over fealty to the central government and Maliki. A repudiation of the Bremmer school of thought. An Iraqi identity with a heavy does of tribal federalism (weird).

    "What team would you rather support in Pakistan?"

    Us supporting military dictators is counter to the 2004 policy outlined in Bush's inauguration speech. We have a bunch of lawyers and professionals out in the streets in Pakistan wanting the government to follow the rule of law. Mush was elected to a new term as President while the State of Emergency was still in effect. Fair and free? Who knows. Another case of the US talking out of both sides of its mouth in a region where walking the walk would mean a whole hell of a lot to the people watching. Is Bhutto perfect? Khan? Sharif? No. But if they didn't come to power in a coup, that's a little more in line with what the US supposedly advocates.

    OK. Gotta run. 0430 wake up call looms, and I'm tired. Trish, you beat a guy up good.

    Nite all.

  146. hdgreene said...
    Perhaps I posted too soon. It's close. Jimmy Carter may have to decide this one. Can Hugo count him in?

    If Chavez can't steal this one he will embarrass the left all over the world. My advice: stage a few riots and declare martial law.

    at BC--my thoughts exactly

    nite d-day

  147. "Us supporting military dictators is counter to the 2004 policy outlined in Bush's inauguration speech."

    Well, look, I didn't write his goddamn speech.

  148. Vice President Jorge Rodriguez said the vote was "close", but opposition leaders questioned government data that put Chavez slightly ahead and one called on the anti-U.S. leftist leader to accept an unprecedented defeat if he loses.

    Preliminary data collected by the opposition showed the "No" vote ahead by 8 percentage points, Alejandro Grisanti of the Justice First party told reporters. Reuters

    Looks like the vote won't be fixed until tomorrow--nite

  149. "Tribal dude? Yes. Charismatic leader? No. Looks like sheikhs from the big tribes will be the ones that will keep it together. Self-interest over fealty to the central government and Maliki. A repudiation of the Bremmer school of thought. An Iraqi identity with a heavy does of tribal federalism (weird)."

    We did in a weakened Iraq the day we crossed the ready line.

    What else made it so attractive?

  150. It sure as shit wasn't its strength and coherence.

  151. "Figure it to be me, at least for the balance of my life. The majority of the citizens having their say, but not lining up in my column. So ..."

    So what? Really, Rat.

  152. So the beach beckons, trish, the beach beckons.

    The States will come to include all of North America, with time.

    Or North America will come to include the States.

    Oil or ethanol, both ...

    Four bucks a gallon

    get me a sailboat...

  153. Trish,
    Hard to see why you are not bothered by the 40k killed via the illegal invasion on Bush's watch, but claim to be VERY bothered by the cost of our botched excercise in Iraq.
    Does not compute:
    4k vs 40k, and the scarred and wounded for life is no doubt an equal multiple of that, just as in Iraq.

    That's what, in my book.
    Damn Shame.