“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."

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Canada Demands Backup In Afghanistan or They Leave.

Will the Nato coalition last in Afghanistan?

Canada's demand gets attention

NATO defence ministers set to discuss Kandahar mission ultimatum

Jan 30, 2008
OTTAWA–Canada's Afghanistan ultimatum will be at the top of the agenda when NATO defence ministers meet in Lithuania in one week's time, a spokesperson for the military alliance said yesterday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said this week that Canada's 2,500 soldiers in Kandahar must be backed up by an additional 1,000 troops from another country or he will pull out of the Afghan mission in February 2009.

NATO spokesperson James Appathurai said he is optimistic NATO can find more soldiers, but indicated that Harper's threat has caused some alarm at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

"Clearly there is an issue in Kandahar and this will certainly be discussed in Vilnius," he said, referring to the Lithuanian capital where defence ministers will gather on Feb. 7 and 8.

The comments came as Washington endorsed Harper's criticism that NATO's efforts have not been adequate in Afghanistan, particularly in Kandahar province.

The Pentagon has long complained European militaries are not sending enough soldiers or sharing enough of the risk in Afghanistan, and a spokesperson said yesterday that NATO could not count on the U.S. to carry a heavier load.

The U.S. is deploying 3,200 marines to Afghanistan in March, 2,200 of whom will be sent to Kandahar and other dangerous southern provinces.

But that rotation will only last seven months, Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell said in Washington. "That's as much and as deep as we're going at this point," he said. "We've done, as I made clear, what we can do."

Harper has vowed to lead a diplomatic effort to convince Canada's NATO partners to make greater contributions to the multinational force, and his efforts are focused on a major meeting of the alliance in Bucharest in April.

But Canada will also get help from Washington, Morrell said.

"You will hear from us, as we get closer to Vilnius and Bucharest, a desire to have our allies who are providing combat forces to the efforts in Afghanistan ... see what more they can do," he said. "So, hopefully, we'll make some progress there that will help the Canadians extend their commitment to the mission."

Last week's report by former Liberal minister John Manley on the future of the Afghan mission painted a gloomy picture of disjointed United Nations and NATO efforts and of poor co-ordination of aid and development dollars. But it also said the Canadian mission was bound to fail, and should be ended, if Canada did not get military help, plus transport helicopters and unmanned aerial surveillance craft.

"We obviously have taken good note of what Harper has said and we have read the Manley report very carefully. We share the view that Afghanistan needs long-term support, and that includes military support," Appathurai said.

He said 10 countries have already promised to boost the number of soldiers they have on the ground in Afghanistan, including Poland.

"I don't think there is any reason to call into question NATO's credibility. The mission continues to increase in size and continues to achieve success," he said.


  1. Well, good for the Canadians. Let's *everyone* go home while they're at it.

    Lemme see, what're we on? Year seven now of OEF. And no end in sight. That's not just a hard sell; that's some damned expensive, high profile squatting masquerading as a plan.

    I said it once, I'll say it again: The only thing worse than a long term presence in Iraq, is a long term presence in Afghanistan.

    Stick to your embassies and training outposts. Leggo the rest.

    Cuz brother you have no idea what's comin' down the pike.

  2. but, but, I thought everyone wanted to go into Pakistan as well?

    One of the key recommendations/criticisms that came out of the Manley report is that the government needs to BETTER EXPLAIN to Canadians WHY we need to be there in Afghanistan. This hasn't occurred yet and I'm waiting for the answer.

  3. "the government needs to BETTER EXPLAIN to Canadians WHY we need to be there in Afghanistan."

    Or just sell you an ill-thought 15 year policing/peacekeeping operation on the six-month (rainbows and kittens if you do/civilizational annihilation if you don't) installment plan. Works for us.

  4. that's been the approach so far but the natives are getting restless.

    I came across this funny little story at Perrin's blog regarding McCain:

    "Whenever I appeared on Alan Colmes' late night radio show in New York, I'd hear this uttered by Alan and his many liberal guests. One night it got really gooey. I was on with Peter Bales, some history teacher/stand up comic who boomed and blustered about his "superior" intellect and deep grasp of American history, and with Jaid Barrymore, mother of Drew and walking soap opera, who also informed me of her massive brain power. Between these two, the studio was a tight fit. But I did manage some breathing space.

    At one point, Colmes (who I mercilessly teased about being Sean Hannity's punching bag -- "Is it the money, Alan? The screen time?") asked the panel if John McCain was a war hero. Bales puffed out his chest, tilted his head to the side, weighed the issue, then pronounced that, yes, McCain was indeed a war hero. Barrymore quickly chimed in, adding her assent, while Colmes breathlessly spoke of how honored he was to have personally met McCain and basked in his glow.

    Then they all turned to me.

    "Well," I said, hesitating a moment, for I knew my answer would elicit some hostility, "I'm not sure how heroic it is to incinerate Vietnamese children."

    "OHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" was the collective reply.

    Colmes told me I was tasteless. Barrymore said I should be ashamed of myself. Bales puffed out his chest yet again (he did this a lot during the three-hour show) and demanded to know whether I considered McCain a war criminal.

    "No. Not personally. McCain didn't create the policy. The war criminals were in Washington."

    Still, I added, that doesn't exonerate McCain for dropping bombs on the Vietnamese.

    "Oh!" squeaked Barrymore. "What should he have dropped instead -- birthday presents?"

    The slagging went on for a little while longer. Here I was, in the middle of three Clinton liberals, reminding them why McCain ended up in a POW cell. Not that I supported torture or reprisal beatings, but some context was in order. The Vietnamese didn't sneak into the States and kidnap McCain from his snug bed. The three couldn't care less. What's more, they defended the U.S. bombing of Vietnam, at least so long as McCain was doing the killing. It was a handy reminder of how crazed liberals become when they taste a little blood.

    Afterward, in the building's lobby, Barrymore took me aside and said that if I wanted to have a career as a media talking head, there were certain things I shouldn't say. At the time, she was a regular on Howard Stern, so Barrymore knew of what she spoke, or so she told me. Bales, who had been hitting on Barrymore during the commercial breaks, waited impatiently for her to finish advising me. Finally, they both left, and as I waited for the car service to arrive, two words kept spinning in my head.

    "Birthday presents?""

  5. COIN on the cheap and safe havens on the western and southern borders do not a good match make.

    We have done this one the dumb way.

  6. Barry raised 33 million in January!

  7. Ash,

    How did McCain's plane get shot down?

  8. ...if things continue this way, polling places will be over-run w/dems.
    But of course, if Hill gets the nomination, maybe they'll feel like us!
    Viva McCain!
    Viva La Raza!

  9. I mean, how did those Vietnamese children manage such an accomplishment as to shoot down a modern US fighter jet?

  10. Don't mention the Chicoms or the USSR, Mat, he'll be puzzeled out of his Gourd!

  11. Mat,

    I put your question into google and came up with:

    "Shot down
    On Oct. 26, McCain would fly his 23rd run over North Vietnam, joining a 20-plane mission to bomb a power plant in the capital city of Hanoi, which had been off-limits to U.S. attacks.

    An officer warned McCain to be careful, that some of the pilots might not return.

    "Don't worry about me," McCain said.

    Hanoi was well-defended against air attacks. As McCain approached his target, Russian-made surface-to-air missiles the size of telephone poles filled the sky. Suddenly, his instrument panel lit up. A missile had locked on to his plane.

    McCain dropped his bombs and began to pull up. Then, a missile sheared off his right wing, sending his plane spinning toward earth, out of control.

    "I pulled the ejection handle and was knocked unconscious by the force of the ejection - the air speed was about 500 knots," McCain would write in 1973 for U.S. News & World Report. "I didn't realize it at the moment, but I had broken my right leg around the knee, my right arm in three places, and my left arm. I regained consciousness just before I landed by parachute in a lake right in the center of Hanoi, one they called the Western Lake. My helmet and my oxygen mask had been blown off.""

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I'm not aware of anyone suggesting children shot down his plane rather that some children got bombed by him.

  14. Just curious, what does it mean to be a "War Hero"? Does simply being shot down qualify?

  15. Ash,

    So if the children didn't, who did?

  16. Have you watched any of the McCain videos, re: His service in the Navy, Ash?
    Helluva Hero,
    Shitty, corrupt, politician, but that's just me.
    et du?

  17. Hint,
    JFK2 is a Faux Hero, Mac not.

  18. I think Ash is suffering cognitive dissonance.
    But that goes w/the territory.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. But definitely not cognitive dissidence

  21. I have no knowledge of McCain's war service other then he was shot down and was a POW. I've heard many say he was a true "War Hero". I'm curious as to what that means, what one does to be a hero. I presume it entails more then bombing folk, getting shot down, and held prisoner.

  22. Ash,

    And why should we answer that for you?

  23. Why don't you answer the questions that were posed to you?

  24. Imagine yourself sitting in a Jet on a carrier deck, getting hit by friendly fire, then saving a fellow Warrior.
    But, what's the point in asking a question like that before you've even taken the effort to explore the subject of your question?

  25. Let's follow the logic:

    McCain bombs children and mysteriously his plane gets shot down. Israelis bomb children and mysteriously 10,000 rockets fall on Israel. I want to know why Ash hasn't resolved this mystery.

  26. Setting aside the fact I've agreed with you for a long time, Trish - where do you get the majority of your Afghan news?

    I ask because I'm writing a pretty dense paper on the topic, specifically regarding disagreements within NATO and its effects on strategy.

  27. To date, Iraq has paid a little over $50 Billion towards it's own "reconstruction." Afghanistan, a country approx the size of Texas, with a pop of 25 million, or so, can't pay a nickel.

    The only crop they can grow that's of any value, at all, is poppies.

    Just ain't no way, kiddies. It's almost impossible to imagine them being anything, 10 years from now, more than they are, today.

    Afghanistan will, for as long as you dare foresee, be a barren, poverty-stricken place where we go to fight Islami Crazies.

    Maybe, as we draw down our forces in Iraq, we should station the 10th Mountain, or one of our Marine Expeditionary Forces there. Great Mountain Training.

  28. Cutler @ 01:35:00 PM EST

    Here and there.

    I did have a wonderful time schmoozing with the Canadians the other night. The conversation was largely limited to the best Central American countries in which to retire.

  29. Be sure to include a link to the Herding Cats video in your paper, cutler.

  30. Former President Bill Clinton was in Denver, Colorado, stumping for his wife yesterday.

    In a long, and interesting speech, he characterized what the U.S. and other industrialized nations need to do to combat global warming this way: "We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions 'cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren."

    At a time that the nation is worried about a recession is that really the characterization his wife would want him making? "Slow down our economy"? newsreport


  31. I'm just quessing but I'd quess the reason we might want to be in Afghanistan is cause if we aren't the Talibans will take over again and invite Osama back?

  32. Costa Rica's getting a little pricey. Guatemala has much to recommend it. Panama is an agreed-upon favorite.

  33. Hillary better look good in this debate tonight or she might lose, as Ash has predicted. I wouldn't have thought it possible.

  34. a lot of expats in Costa Rica are selling and moving to Panama, but then a lot of Columbians and Venezuelans are going to Costa Rica.

  35. Well. Money laundering do make the world go 'round.

  36. Noriega deserves a chance to fully air his arguments that any French extradition is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions protections for prisoners of war and that Noriega instead should be repatriated to Panama, U.S. District Judge Paul Huck said.

    Noriega, 73, was declared a POW by the federal judge who presided over his drug racketeering trial in the early 1990s. The U.S. announced that France wanted to extradite him just before Noriega completed his 15-year prison sentence in September.

    In France, he could face 10 more years behind bars if convicted of laundering $3 million in drug money through French banks.

    Noriega can Stay

  37. If you want that in America, if you want the millions of jobs that will come from it, if you would like to see a new energy trust fund to finance solar energy and wind energy and biomass and responsible bio-fuels and electric hybrid plug-in vehicles that will soon get 100 miles a gallon, if you want every facility in this country to be made maximally energy efficient that will create millions and millions and millions of jobs, vote for her. She'll give it to you. She's got the right energy plan." big Bill Clinton

    They just can't say that word, 'nuclear'.

    Hillary will give it to you.

  38. Archivists have been sorting through 80 million pages of documents and 20 million e-mails at the library from Bill Clinton's two terms, but few records have come out of the library in response to Freedom of Information requests since it began accepting them in January 2006. The library processes requests based on when they were received.

    After the documents are processed by archivists, they must be reviewed by former President Clinton's representatives and the White House before their release. There is no fixed timeline for that review, the National Archives has said.

    The archives has said 10,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's daily schedules as first lady will be forwarded to longtime Clinton adviser Bruce Lindsey for his review. Lindsey has 30 days to review the documents _ and possibly longer, if he requests an extension _ before they are passed on to the White House for its review.

    Health Records

  39. "Be sure to include a link to the Herding Cats video in your paper, cutler."

    That's actually my tentative title.

  40. Auto suppliers in Canada have cut more than 10,000 jobs over the past two years as their Detroit customers reduced output and a higher dollar made their parts more expensive. Last November, their trade association urged the Ontario and federal governments to set up a $400-million emergency loans fund that suppliers could tap to replace bank financing it said is no longer available.

    GM announced nearly three years ago it would create the Automotive Centre of Excellence as part of its $2.5-billion Beacon expansion project. It is expected to provide an update on the plan on Friday.

    Company executives have hinted in recent months that GM is aiming to boost research and development work in Canada, in such areas as cutting vehicle weight and developing lithium-ion batteries to power cars, because such work is less cost-sensitive than assembly. The loonie's rise against the greenback over the past year, and new union deals signed with U.S.-based workers, has made it more difficult for GM of Canada to win new vehicle assembly investment.

    Higher Education

  41. Watch tonight's Democratic Debate Here

    Match of the year. Only two candidates standing. Clinton vs. Obama. History being made. Democrats to nominate a black, or a woman. Both socialists. Both terribly, terribly flawed. Police presence high. Security tight. High tension. High stakes. Insightful questions. Carefully crafted answers. Woooolf Blitzer moderates. Bring barff bag.

    Who can do more for you?
    Who can do more to you?



  44. Damn, I can't view due to company firewall. Thanks anyways, Bob. Please post interesting happenings.

    Wolf Blitzer - puke city.

  45. Obama's got to knock her off her pedistal.

    With Clinton, you're getting the better half of the Clinton duo.

    Sam, count down, it's about 3 and 1/2 hours till fight time. Maybe you'll be off work. Clinton already at arena site.

  46. Hey, Sam, I'm wrong, debate starts in 40 minutes. Where's Obama?

  47. No, I have 5 hours to go. I'm just going to miss it. I saw an article that Obama was voted the most liberal in Congress by his voting record.

    What a choice. I don't know who to pull for now between those 2. Liberal and liberaler.

  48. Oh, well I'm going to miss it for sure now.

  49. Hulk Hogan comes out for Obama. Says he's the real deal.

  50. Yeah? Well, I'll see your Hulk and raise you a Terminator.

  51. Sam, Wolf Blitzer has been immersed in facts, figures, and research. The questioning promises to be sharp, well crafted, insightful.

    Obama backers waving signs 'hope', 'change.'

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. Both campaigns concede that a clear winner in the Democratic contest is not likely to crystallize immediately after Feb. 5, since the states award delegates proportionally. That means the candidate on top after Feb. 5 may only lead in the delegate count by a slight edge, pushing the campaign forward to the late February and March primaries.

    Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said the campaign was not concerned about Obama’s fundraising haul in January, though the campaign would not release its own January numbers.

    “We will have all the resources we will need to compete and win,” he said.

    California Debate

  54. Those are awfully dark clouds, Doug.

    The Hillary campaign thinks it's already got California, as voting has been going on absentee for some weeks, and they bin trackin'.

  55. Maybe Artistic License, Albob?

  56. Or a harbinger of the future.

  57. Celebrities everywhere, Sam. Cept Spears, who's involuntarily in the padded room today. Which is sad, really, she's not making it up.

    There, over there, it's Rob Reiner!

    People are chanting. End the War. End the Occupation. Impeach Bush. 9-11 inside job.

  58. Bob found himself chanting, bring back the smoke filled room!

  59. The excitement is unbearable, overwhelming. 2 minutes to showtime.

    There, there's Speilberg!

  60. Don't know about Soros. SHOWTIME!

  61. Everybodies clapping. Hillary is clapping. Obama is clapping. I'm clapping. This focuses the mind of voters everywhere.

  62. Don't know Sam. But everybody is there that counts.

    There are no rules. Obama gets opening statement.

  63. Says he's still friends with Hillary, thinking vp to himself.

    The country is at war, the planer in danger....the whole issue is backwards or forwards, which way do you want to go?

  64. planet is in danger

    hillary up--gonna clean up the mess that bush left

    global warming, problems we don't even know about, got to have a pres like me who can grab the opportunities

    we need to roll up our sleeves!
    Let's have the conversation.

    I can't keep this up. Getting nauseated already.

    What are the big differences between you two three dollar bills...

  65. I want to go back to the 50's!

  66. :)

    Take a break, Bob. Before you wind up in the hospital. You've done well. Turn over to ESPN.

  67. Hillary basically said there's not a dimes worth of difference...but not in so many words.

  68. Obama says hillary will have a health police

  69. ok, I'll do that very thing:)

  70. Obama. I can see him calculating now.

    Take the VP for 4 (or god forbid) 8 years then the throne.

  71. I believe Obama just said immigration isn't(is not) hurting American employment opportunities black or white.

    what the hell

  72. If you don't like this kind of psycho-babble, well, tough. The Clintons have committed themselves now to campaigning as a couple and Bill Clinton has committed to making news.

    A potential Clinton II administration must be assessed with that in mind. And with couples, you have two psychos to babble it, not just one.

    Psycho-babble is one way most people sort out their votes. It is legitimate.

    Legitimate Issue

  73. hillary says the vast majority that's here should stay, if they just do x,y,and z finesses the drivers license issue

    two babbles two babbles two babbles for one
    double mint double mint double mint gum

  74. hillary came out with a pretty good line about criminalizing the good samaritan and jesus christ himself--talking about immigration still

  75. but, Obama asks, why not give them drivers licenses? damned good question--hung by her own petard

  76. hillary looks nice, has a nice necklace and ear rings

  77. hillary says she gets up every day trying to change people's lives...

  78. Luckily, I'm busy!
    Instead of subjecting my life to that, I'll READ about you guys!

  79. I bet that brought a tear to Wolf's eye.

  80. She changes her make-up and large-sized panties.

  81. That brought a tear to my eye!

  82. everyone has a people meter, to show how you think it is going--neat!
    and here I'm stuck here blogging

    and a political ticker too--everyone is saying there ain't no diff--

    one person says I'm so torn between these two...

  83. Iraq--

    says she will take em all out, bringing the Iraqi who sided with us with us--hooray

  84. now she's saying as many as possible as soon as possible, called hedging

  85. Keep blogging, Bob. I for one am grateful. Just the interesting stuff.

  86. barrack says he's going to bring em home too and fast-o

  87. no permanent bases for barrack
    now he's saying will leave enough behind to protect the embassey our folks etc called hedging

  88. they is up gainst a tough one here cause they can't cause it too lose

    There, over there, Maxine Waters! Hillary is pointing her out.

    No good options Hillary says we need to send several messages at once, which she ought to be good at

  89. blah blah blah about diplomacy
    wants to prevent bush from making a deal about permanent presence
    bring up McCain's talk about 100 years

  90. Howard from Pittsberg has written in asking about Hillary's previous votes--

    she says, well, Howard, like he's right here:)

    Now shes pawning it-the vote to go-off on the UN, Bush deception, etc. Bush abused the authority she voted to give him:)


    Now about Petraeus she is being asked--

  92. What's the deal with SOFA's, anyways? Can Bush do that alone or does he have to go through congress?

  93. WTF?! She is totally fucked up in the head. She voted to go to war on the evidence she had. What a spinning fucking slimeball.

  94. says she is in favor of 'coercive diplomacy' meaning she didn't think bush would go I quess, hard to figure out what the hell she means

    what are we going to do going forward, that is what Americans are focused on she says

    Wolf asks are you saying you were naive to trust bush? good try wolf she says but nononono

  95. she talking around in absolute circles now

  96. Lord, I can't follow her and now Barrack is saying it was
    'an authorization to use force' which means go to war and he is right and he is hitting her on the experience on day one thing and saying its important to be right on day one Barrack is being effective here
    break time

    point to Obama on this last Iraq round

  97. Wish I could see the round card girls.

  98. Now we've moved to the 'spin room' during break which doesn't have 'the usual buzz' with only two candidates--damn i love the spin room

  99. the only thing better than the spin room is the showcase on price is right

  100. Is there too much sex and violence coming out of hollywood barrack?
    primary responsibility is with parents not in favor of censorship says B. Need to put more power in the hands of parents, more filters, etc. industry should show a little thought to who the crap is going too
    doesn't like violent slasher trailer during nickelodean

  101. asking hill about bill can she control bill--oh Lord that hacking hillary laugh

    This is my campaign i can control bill there's bill right over there!
    The buck stops with hill not bill
    "it's a lonely job in the White House"

  102. last question ,run on same ticket?

    big difference between obama clinton and clinton obama says obama everybody laughs
    it is premature to speculate he says then blahblah doesn't want a yes person as vp

    yes, or no--yes, she would be on my short list

    hillary agrees with everything B just said then blahblahblah but will have a unified dem party, pumping her town hall meeting on Hallmark, join the conversation

    THE END!

  103. Thank you, Bob!

    That was good from Obama about the same ticket deal. Funny.

  104. Giving this a little historical perspective--and understanding how it is that HillyCare and much else may be coming our way--

    "The Antifederalists also enjoyed the rhetorical advantage of representing the preference of a clear majority of the populace. Altough there is no way to know for sure, it seems highly probable that a popular referendum would have produced a negative vote on the proposed Constitution. In Virginia, for example, John Marshall, a staunch Federalist,(and Supreme Court usurper of power,bob) acknowledged that the population at large opposed ratification, but the ratifying convention itself was evenly split because voters had chosen the most prominent state and local leaders regardless of their position on ratification. The Antifederalists could therefore claim, with considerable plausibility, to speak for the majority of 'the people.'...the Antifederalist could and did argue that they were protecting ordinary Americans from a hostile takeover of the American Revolution by an elite minority who had themselves lost the true republican faith."

    from American Creation

    The spirit of '76 got pushed aside by the spirit of '87. At least we got some states rights out of the deal, though much diminished by now. It seems most people did not want a strong central government, thinking it was George III by another name. And it has grown ever since.

  105. Thank you for the article, cutler.

    Properly understood, the problem is not Pakistan. The problem is an extremely weak central government in Afghanistan. It has NO REACH beyond Kabul, not even among Pashtuns. The old ideological influences are coming back and the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians...well, we're not the only ones operating.

    The Afghan government can't compete, especially given the drug trade.

    The Canadians are completely dependent now on help they may not get; their effort, without it, CANNOT be sustained beyond 09.

    The Afghan govt would need extremely generous outside assistance to turn matters around. But the pledges of assistance made years ago never materialized. Because the countries that pledged do not feel threatened. Were there serious spillover into Pakistan that might change. Pundits think they're looking at a crisis across the border, but it's not enough in reality to move governments to act where acting matters.

    Herding cats in an invaluable experience, BTW. And not a common one. If you ever get the chance, take it up.

  106. Time for another revolution?

  107. The United States and other western nations have ignored rights abuses in Pakistan, where President Pervez Musharraf has tilted the electoral playing field by rewriting the constitution and firing the independent judiciary, the Human Rights Watch charged on Thursday.

    In its annual report, the group criticised the US and Britain for refusing to condition assistance to the government on improving pre-electoral conditions and for ignoring undemocratic acts by President Musharraf because of his support for the “war on terror”.

    It charged that Mr Musharraf imposed an emergency in November to head off a Supreme Court ruling on the legality of his re-election and crack down on a movement for judicial independence.

    Support for President Criticised

  108. CNN did a good job with the debate and their focus on McCain and Romney was appropriate. Having the question posed to the candidates appear on the screen as candidates answered--or chose not to--is a great idea, as voters can see just how far afield some of the responses go.

    Perhaps the moment of the night came immediately after the debate. Within minutes of its conclusion, CNN had a "breaking news" alert across the screen touting Arnold Schwarzenegger's endorsement of McCain tomorrow.

    So although I thought Romney had a strong performance tonight overall, the Schwarzenegger news will step all over it. With more big endorsements for McCain coming in the next few days, I'm told, Romney could have trouble winning a news cycle before Super Tuesday.

    Valley Showdown

  109. I don't think we can put the tiger back in the cage, Sam. Best thing we can do, is try to tame the tiger a little, feed it as little as possible. It's not the late 1700's or 1800's anymore. Those days are gone.

    My wife was going through the family tree today. I got people in Virginia in 1748 named Sehorn. Anybody know the Sehorns from Virginia, circa 1748? Have no idea who they might have been.

  110. Dick Morris writes to me every day--

    Stop the presses! The very latest polling data from California indicates a sharp trend for Obama and against Hillary. Preliminary indications in other states are that the trend is very widespread and not just concentrated on the west coast.

    Pollster Scott Rasmussen's three day tracking survey, conducted on January 28-30, shows Hillary with a bare and dwindling 3 point lead over Obama in California. He has Hillary at 43%, Obama at 40%, and Edwards (two of the three days were before he dropped out) at 9%. This data compares with a 20 point plus Hillary margin in most polls in California just a few weeks ago.

    Other polls have Obama winning Georgia (O-52 H-36) and Alabama (O-40 H--35) with their sizable minority populations, but also very close in Massachusetts, trailing there by only H-43 O-37 and in Montana by only H-40 O-33. National polls also indicate a sharp closing of the race. Gallup has Hillary just six ahead and Rasmu ssen's national data is even closer.

    Edwards' withdrawal will help Obama in all likelihood and, with these poll numbers, he is more likely to endorse Obama.

    Of course, a lot will hinge on how well each candidate does in tonight's Democratic debate.

    But there could be a wrinkle. In most states, the most of the delegates are awarded by Congressional District where the two slates compete and the one with the most votes wins all the delegates from that district. Even if Obama were to carry California by, say 53-47, he might win the black districts by 80-20 and lose most or all of the white districts, giving Hillary the vast bulk of the delegates. Obama would have to get his margin of victory up to 8-10 points to be sure of sweeping the delegates in a given state.

    Yet, when all is said and done, the trend lines for Obama are unbelievably positive just a few days before Super Tuesday.

    McCain looks like a done deal. He is beating Romney in all five states with recent polls, winning California by 32-28, Illinois by 34-26, Georgia by 35-24, and Tennessee by 33-25. Huckabee is in second place in Tennessee with Romney running last.

  111. Wow, that's tight (for the dems).

  112. New study finds some evidence some hydrocarbons may be Abiotic In Origin

  113. PAPER: Dem say McCain nearly abandoned GOP...
    This story should be a blockbuster, but will be buried if the blogs don't swarm it.
    Names and places, including statements by Tom Daschle of extensive discussions.

    PAPER: Dem say McCain nearly abandoned GOP...
    This story should be a blockbuster, but will be buried if the blogs don't swarm it.
    Names and places, including statements by Tom Daschle of extensive discussions.

    Daschle said that throughout April and May of 2001, he and McCain “had meetings and conversations on the floor and in his office, I think in mine as well, about how we would do it, what the conditions would be. We talked about committees and his seniority … [A lot of issues] were on the table.”

    Absolutely not so, according to McCain. In a statement released by his campaign, McCain said, “As I said in 2001, I never considered leaving the Republican Party, period.”

    Some of the meetings Daschle referred to are detailed in the former senator’s 2003 book.

    Other senators who played major roles in the intense recruiting effort, according to Democrats, were then-Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) as well as Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

    “John [Edwards] at that time was working with McCain on a couple things and there was a sense that because of his relationship that he might be a good person to talk to him,” Daschle said. “He was clearly one of those that we thought could be helpful.”

    A source close to Edwards said Daschle’s comments are accurate.

  114. Obama thinks EVERYONE has a right to live in this country, and be given the famous "path to citizenship."

    Also FAVORS Drivers licenses for illegals.

    Question from a Black Woman:
    What can be done about the decimation of jobs and wages for blacks and others by illegals?

    Barrack blows it off as scapegoating and prattles on, throwing Blacks under the bus.

    Terry Anderson gives a black man's perspective. Says Barry's an out of touch elitist, that it is discussed all the time in many black churches.

    I'm sending an mp3 of that part of the Kevin James show.

    I would appreciate it if you could forward it to as many others as possible others.

  115. Ann Coulter, a perfected truth teller. And damn sexy at it. :)

  116. You have really great taste on catch article titles, even when you are not interested in this topic you push to read it

  117. This is my first visit here, but I will be back soon, because I really like the way you are writing, it is so simple and honest

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