“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, January 09, 2008

The Black Sheep and the Republican Cardinals

Looking for guidance

If there is a national conservative pundit that supports John McCain, someone will have to help me out. I do not know who it is. Romney seems wobbly at best and Rudy is a puzzlement. Is it possible that it will be Huckabee or McCain? It certainly appears that it could be McCain. Based on Hillary's victory speech in New Hampshire, she is going left and populist. The Democrats are going to fracture with the blacks feeling like their moment was taken from them. The Republicans will be faced with a breakup or a makeup. Steady as you go, interesting times ahead.


  1. I'll stick with my one prediction made long ago. Hillary//Obama ticket. Might as well, been wrong on everything else, and I've still got a shot at this. Besides, Ed Koch agrees with me, and I didn't take it from him. ggrnite

    Everybody will be happy, cept us older republican white males:(

    Happy, in the short term at least.

  2. If Rudy takes Florida, where he is in the polling lead, he vaults to first place in the delegate count.
    This regardless of all the caucuses and primaries prior.

    Unless either Romney or Huckabee win in both Michigan and South Carolina. Which does not seem likely, given the States, the polling and the candidates.

  3. Israel and Palestine strive to rescue stalled peace talks

    Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed to begin tackling the core issues of a final peace agreement in a last-minute push to breathe life into stalled negotiations before US president George Bush's arrival in the Middle East today.
    But negotiations have made little headway, marred by Israeli building plans in disputed territory and Palestinian militant attacks in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
    Israeli vice-premier Haim Ramon said today the sides were belatedly beginning to discuss the most contentious subjects, and that he believed Mr Bush's visit would help the sides reach an agreement.

    What can Israel do, but put a stop to its' contentious building plans, in disputed territory, over which Mr Olmert has already critized Israeli behaviour, himself.

    Looks like the Israeli will retain the Golan Heights, at least during this round of concessions.

  4. Rummaging through boxes of school memorabilia last night, I came across a bumper sticker, unused and in pristine condition:

    Reagan 84

    My daughter's putting it on her car.

    Wonder how many double-takes that'll elicit.

  5. bobal,

    Maureen Dowd also expressed what I was trying to about Hillary's tearful moment:

    "There was a poignancy about the moment, seeing Hillary crack with exhaustion from decades of yearning to be the principal rather than the plus-one. But there was a whiff of Nixonian self-pity about her choking up. What was moving her so deeply was her recognition that the country was failing to grasp how much it needs her. In a weirdly narcissistic way, she was crying for us. But it was grimly typical of her that what finally made her break down was the prospect of losing."

  6. Saw one of Rudy's ads on TV yesterday for the first time. Nothing but imagery of terrorism, terrorists and war, one of the spooky photos of the remanants of one of the WTC towers looking like a bombed out Dresden cathedral, and a little jihad kid in camo.

    Tagline was "Tested. Ready. Now."

    It was the best scare-mongering I have seen since old people were told they were going to have to eat cat food if the republicans won and socialist insecurity was tweaked.

    If you have ever seen the Starship Troopers movie, that ad was one step removed from something out of that movie.

  7. A quick Google search would indicate that Lam Luong is a Vietnamese name, originating from the Hoa Binh Province of northern Vietnam. Not a historicly Islamic area of the world. This fellow obviously another crazy, with a dysfunctional family life.

    Perhaps a Christian or a Buddhist

    BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (Associated Press) -- Authorities searched Wednesday for the bodies of four children believed to have been thrown off a bridge by their father.

    Lam Luong, 37, of Irvington confessed Tuesday night to driving to the Dauphin Island bridge, stopping and tossing the youngsters off the span, which is as high as 80 feet above the water in places, Detective Scott Riva said. Luong faced charges of four counts of capital murder and was due in court Wednesday, Riva said.

    Missing and presumed dead were 4-month-old Danny Luong; 1-year-old Lindsey Luong; 2-year-old Hannah Luong; and 3-year-old Ryan Phan. Phan is not the man's biological child, but Luong raised him from infancy, authorities said.

  8. It is a heck of an ad, isn't it Bro D-day.

    More images of Osama than Obama.

    I like the guy in the white, hooded KKK style uniform towards the end of the piece.

    Hope vs Fear
    Be afraid, be very afraid.
    Or soar to the mountain top

    The US will decide

  9. It is a politically foolish ad. Rudy has already made his bones that he is the tough guy. He has those voters. If something happens, he will have more. Rudy should be looking at the early results and polling to see why those voting for the leaders are doing so. It seems to me it is the economy stupid II. How come he is not getting that?

  10. I haven't seen the ads, but if Rudy can combine these with a message advocating energy independence, that would be very effective, I think.

  11. Rudy Giuliani (Parody) Ad: A Question Of Security

  12. The other point of both Iowa and New Hampshire, Romney went after both Huckabee and McCain on their immigration positions. Hammering McCain on "Amnesty", pretty hard in e-mails and flyers, as well as during the debates.

    Mitt lost in both States, in NH losing amongst the Republican Party members. Not sure how the Iowa caucusers broke down, Party vs Indi.

    Secure the border, that's a popular stance, but to widen it, to mass deportations, not to popular a vote getter.
    Not with the Party faithful, nor the "others".

    I'm not sure what Rudy's economic policy is going to be. Tax cuts assuredly, but PayGo?
    Or greater budgeted debt?
    The Congressional Budget Office scoring methods were never changed, in all the years of GOP dominance of the Congress.
    They will not change now that the Dems hold the majorities. Tax cuts mean higher deficits, that's the scoring. So that's the Governmental reality of it. Truth or not.

  13. There's no reason that the trillions of dollars going to Jihadi oil thiefdoms should not be going to US companies producing alternative energy in the US. This will not only provide for political and military security, but it also provide for economic security and economic well being.

  14. There are lots of reasons why the US does that, mat.

    One of which, we support our allies in the Middle East through trade, Free Trade.

    Our allies, the Saudis, need that revenue, to put a damper upon Iranian political expansion. The Saudi are also funding the purchase of the weapons that are being used by the Awakening Movement, in Iraq.

    These are core Republican values.
    The basis of both the Party and US positions in that region of the World. Mr Kissinger, a senior statesman of the GOP, in weekly meetings with Mr Bush, has made that clear, time and again.

    The Saudi being US allies, before there ever was an Israel. Their position established and cemented by FDR. Making that alliance a core Democratic Party value, as well.

    The Saudis are also needed to supplement US investments in the Pakistani Army, back to future of Charlie Wilson's War. Where the Saudis matched US funding, dollar for dollar.

    No, the Saudi and the Gulf States are intergral to the bi-partison global-zone of percolating violence policy formulations the US has embarked upon.

  15. The map of the bi-partison global-zone of percolating violence.

    As explained by the once and future National Security Advisor -Zbigniew Brzezinski

    “As in chess, American global planners must think several moves ahead, anticipating possible countermoves. A sustainable geostrategy must therefore distinguish between the short-run perspective (the next five years), the middle term (up to twenty or so years), and the long run (beyond twenty years). Moreover these phases must be viewed not as watertight compartments but as part of a continuum. The first phase must gradually and consistently lead into the second — indeed, be deliberately pointed toward it — and the second must then lead subsequently into the third.”

    -Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, 1997)

    Mr Kissinger explains, in 1982 what's up in the Zone.

    “The southern rim of Asia — Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan — is a region of the world that may seem remote and strange to Americans, and yet it is a pivot of the world’s security. Within a few years of my 1973 journey, it became an area of upheaval. From the Iranian revolution to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the Iran-Iraq war, events dramatized the vulnerability of the Persian Gulf — the lifeline of the West’s oil supply. The vital importance of that region had been one of the themes of the shrewd strategic analysts I was to visit next: Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai.”

    It is US policy to maintain a global-zone of percolating violence.
    Gotta pay the players.

  16. "There are lots of reasons why the US does that, mat."

    And none of them make much sense.

  17. That is neither here, nor there.

    We are on course, we will stay the course.

    It's a bi-partisan policy.
    It will continue, McCain, Rudy or Clinton or Obama.

    The US Government HAS come together on foreign policy.
    Moving to the 2 million mussulman Army and 100 A-Teams as an extension of US power.
    Bringing the conventional troops home, to as great an extent as possible.

    Could be any number of explanations why, but that it is what the US is doing, beyond debate.

  18. Securing Jihadi regimes and oil supply from these despotic Jihadi regimes should not be a vital US security interest. Not when it does not need to be.

  19. What exactly do you plan to do with that two million mussulman army? Blow up some more US cities?

  20. Looking to the Democrats, much more muscular on the issue of Pakistan and Afghanistan, no pull back in either locale.

    Whether Clinton or Obama is selected

    Rudy or McCain, a bit more muscular in the Persian Gulf, with ever more need of the Gulf States and the Saudis

    You guys are the loose end.
    To be compressed, as part of the payoff. The tail not waggin' the dog much longer.

    When critical mass is reached and there is an explosion, in Israel, who wins but those supporting a global-zone of percolating violence?

    Who are they?

  21. Not US cities.
    They are not on the map, not in the global-zone of percolating violence.

    You have rejected the reasoning I've advanced, but the facts remain the same.
    Seems pretty obvious to me.
    Figure out your own reasons for it.

    Then let us know what they are.

  22. The Saudis have you by the balls, and you're screaming in pain. Everyone knows you're screaming in pain. No amount of "global-zone percolating violence" or "freemason conspiracy" nonsense is going to convince anyone that these screams of pain are screams of pleasure.

  23. Anyway, the realities of the past are not the realities of today. And the realities of today are not the realities of the future.

  24. Funny stuff, mat
    Mexico and Canada sell US the same amounts of oil, as do the Saudis.

    No more, no less on average.
    Canada supplies abit more
    Mexico a bit less

    So the Sauds have no more influence, no less. We allow the US to be safety valve for Mexico, and don't do much for Canada, but leave 'em alone. Which may be all they desire.

    But if you are right, we'll trade Israel for Saudi oil, better believe it.

    So either way, you're in the shitter.
    So it goes

  25. After Thompson goes down I could use a Goldwater, or even better, Calvin Coolidge bumper sticker.

  26. Get myself a Model T to go along with it.

  27. "So the Sauds have no more influence,.."


    You win. Enjoy.

  28. Even if your reasoning is correct, Israel is up shit creek, with out a domestic paddle.

    Never cut the puppetmasters' strings, now it's to late, nuclear parity has been reached 300 to 3, being an equal MAD exchange.

    The Wahabbi mussulman conspiracy having access to 100 warheads.

    More than enough to get three to their targets. Maybe that is where the extra Saudi influence is derived.

    It's not the oil the Saudis sell to China and Japan, nor even India. Unless we want it to be.
    Free Trade is king.

  29. I'm the proud owner of quite a few "I LIKE IKE" buttons, from when my aunt was on the Latah County Republican Central Committee. Sounds like an important position doesn't it? It wasn't, but I got a lot of buttons. I don't remember any bumper stickers though. These are small tasteful buttons, maybe an inch and a half across. I'd vote for Ike, if he were around today. Wonder what he'd make of this all.

  30. Like I said, the realities of the past are not the realities of today. And the realities of today are not the realities of the future. China, Japan, India, etc., would rather not buy that oil. Everyone understands the danger. There's an opportunity now to change the game. Everyone should realize this.

  31. All that is granted
    But the course is not changed.

    Everyone of the GOP candidates, but Huckster, said the energy challenge could not be met or solved in ten years. To a man.

    That is, as we have all discovered, thanks to rufus and his educational efforts, not true.

    The US could replace all of the Saudi imports within five years, if we moved aggresively in that direction, with an ethanol program. Not having to be based on corn ethanol, but a variety of other marginal land crops.

    We don't even try.

    You have not offered a reason why that is. Instead just getting more boisterous about the problem.

    Never addressing the question of who and why the challenge is left to fester.

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. Then when reason and motives for the lack of action are advanced, you deny them.

    Becoming even more vindictive about the problem, without advancing an alternate cause.

  34. In the interview I watched, Giuliani said that from day one of his presidency he would start to move aggressively in the direction of energy independence. He also said that he would get the DOS bureaucracy, and that of the CIA, under control. I believe him. And I believe he's got the smarts to accomplish it.

  35. He'd start ...
    Bush started ...
    Clinton started ...
    Bush started ...
    Reagan let lay
    Carter was big on alternate fuels

    Where's the beef?

    Rudy said in the debate, in New Hampshire, that the problem could not be solved in ten years.

    Heard it myself, I'm sure that there is a transcript, somewhere on the web.

  36. In the interview I mentioned earlier, Giuliani said that he thinks of this project in parallel terms to that of the "man on the moon" project. As you say, this has been an ongoing project of many different administrations. What I think is different now, is the sense of urgency that Giuliani will bring to it. (As did Kennedy).

  37. That's his line in the debate, too, but that it couldn't be done in a decade. Huckabee and the rest all agreed on the program, but Huckster set a time frame, ten yeas. No one else agreed.

    They were hittin' on Huckster for sayin' it could be done in a decade.

    A telling exchange. A sit up and take notice moment.

    Thompson and Romney in the transcript, Rudy's denial of a ten year schedule lost in the "cross talk" and Ron Paul blaming high prices on inflation, as the price of oil, he said, in gold has remained steady. Not even venturing into supply dislocations or peak oil.

  38. tape of the debate

    I'm a bit in error, our man Rudy DID NOT say it could be done. Had no time but four Presidental terms
    Ike, JFK, LBJ, Nixon.

    Romney firm that it cannot be done.
    Big John, quiet on timelines. Romney must have biased me against the whole Team.

    The wonder of YouTube.

  39. Look, I have no doubt it can be done in 4 years. The main problem is getting the bureaucracy to go along with it. To my thinking, Giuliani is one of the few candidates that can do it.

  40. I agree it could be done
    It has not been
    It's been six years that the problem hs been in our face

    Who made the decisions
    What was not done
    Where did it not happen
    Why is that
    How did that happen

    Who and why are the pertinent questions, not a debate over future unknowables, when there is agreement about what should be done.

    But it has not
    Maybe it will be, but if the "bureaucracy" kills it, who is that. Where are they from, Why would they kill it

  41. I have a W'04 Bumper Sticker on a Metal Locker I have for computer junk to remind me WHY I have PTSD for those times that my alzheimers kicks in and I can't remember.

  42. Total Delegates:

    Romney 30

    McCain 10

    Huckabee 21

    Giuliani 1

    Thompson 6

    Hunter 1
    Left out Hunter:
    He campaigned in Nevada while the rest were in NH

  43. Who made the decisions?

    I think it was President Bush. I think he decided he had enough on his plate. He didn't push, knowing the bureaucracy is against him, and knowing he spent all his political capital on Iraq.

  44. In The Shadow Of The Moon (2007)