“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."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Guest Post From Barack Obama

Barack Obama was unfairly accused of illegal and indecent behavior by a fraud. His accuser, Larry Sinclair is a blackguard. I gave the story a lot of coverage.

Barack Obama will receive a lot more tough coverage here at the EB. I will do my best to make it fair.

Barack Obama makes some reasoned arguments for his economic views.

February 24, 2008
Obama's Economic Remarks in Lorain, Ohio Real Clear Politics
Barack Obama

LORAIN, OH - Our economy has been struggling for some time now. And as I've traveled across Ohio, I've seen the face of this economy - a mother who told me she can't afford health care for her sick child; a father who's worried he won't be able to send his children to college; and seniors who've seen their pensions disappear because the companies they gave their lives to went bankrupt.

I don't have to tell you about this. Folks around here have been directly impacted by the changes in our economy - whether it was the loss of steel jobs over the past few decades, or the closing of the Ford plant that was here for so long. And folks in this area are still worried about whether they're going to lose their jobs and how they're going to make ends meet if that happens.

Now, if we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that we can't stop globalization in its tracks and that some of these jobs aren't coming back. But what I refuse to accept is that we have to stand idly by while workers watch their jobs get shipped overseas. We need a president who's working as hard for you as you're working for your families. And that's the kind of President I intend to be.

I've proposed a job-creation agenda that starts with making sure trade works for American workers. We can't keep passing unfair trade deals like NAFTA that put special interests over workers' interests.

Now, Senator Clinton has been going to great lengths on the campaign trail to distance herself from NAFTA. Yesterday, she said NAFTA was "negotiated" by the first President Bush, not by her husband. But let's be clear: it was her husband who got NAFTA passed. In her own book, Senator Clinton called NAFTA one of "Bill's successes" and "legislative victories."

And yesterday, Senator Clinton also said I'm wrong to point out that she once supported NAFTA. But the fact is, she was saying great things about NAFTA until she started running for President. A couple years after it passed, she said NAFTA was a "free and fair trade agreement" and that it was "proving its worth." And in 2004, she said, "I think, on balance, NAFTA has been good for New York and America." One million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio. And yet, ten years after NAFTA passed, Senator Clinton said it was good for America. Well, I don't think NAFTA has been good for America - and I never have.

I didn't just start criticizing unfair trade deals like NAFTA because I started running for office - I'm doing it because I've seen what happens to a community when the factory closes down and the jobs move overseas. I began my career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, fighting joblessness and poverty in neighborhoods that were devastated when the local steel plant closed.

And it's because of this longstanding commitment to working families that I will not sign any trade agreement as President that does not have protections for our environment and protections for American workers. And I'll pass the Patriot Employer Act that I've been fighting for ever since I ran for the Senate so we can end tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and give those breaks to companies that create good jobs with decent wages here in America.

It's also time to let our unions do what they do best - organize our workers. If a majority of workers want a union, they should get a union. It's that simple. We need to stand up to the business lobby, and pass the Employee Free Choice Act. That's why I've been fighting for it in the Senate, and that's why I'll make it the law of the land when I'm President of the United States.

We can also invest in American jobs by investing in America, and rebuilding our roads and bridges. I've proposed a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank that will invest $60 billion over ten years. This will multiply into almost half a trillion dollars of additional infrastructure spending and generate nearly two million new jobs - many of them in the construction industry that's been hard hit by the housing crisis we're facing.

In addition, we've also got to do more to create the green jobs that are jobs of the future. My energy plan will put $150 billion over ten years into establishing a green energy sector that will create up to 5 million new jobs over the next two decades - including jobs right here in Ohio that pay well and can't be outsourced. We'll also provide funding to help manufacturers convert to green technology and help workers learn the skills they need for these jobs.

We know that all of this must be done in a responsible way, without adding to the already obscene debt that has grown by four trillion dollars under George Bush. We cannot build our future on a credit card issued by the bank of China. And that is why I'll pay for every part of this job-creation agenda - by ending this war in Iraq that's costing us billions, closing tax loopholes for corporations, putting a price on carbon pollution, and ending George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

But in the end, enacting this agenda won't just require an investment. It will require a new spirit of cooperation, innovation, and shared sacrifice. We'll have to remind ourselves that we rise and fall as one nation; that a country in which only a few prosper is antithetical to our ideals and our democracy; and that those of us who have benefited greatly from the blessings of this country have a solemn obligation to open the doors of opportunity, not just for our children, but to all of America's children. That's the kind of vision I have for this country, and that's the kind of vision I hope to make real as President of the United States.


  1. Well I'll start out. I'm not among the wealthiest Americans. Not even close. And what I have was gathered together over many years. But a lower capital gains tax rate has helped me a lot. Everyone's situation is different, but on economics, that does it for me right there.

    Capital gains on real property = a tax on inflation = a tax on time.

    A tax on time past.

    And I don't have all that much time left.

  2. Barack Obama is not just a liberal politician, he is a radical liberal. A radical to achieve his agenda must make an argument that both persuades and accomplishes his goals. On the surface his goals are appealing. The problem is in the details. Here he argues for his ideas on investment:

    "We know that all of this must be done in a responsible way, without adding to the already obscene debt that has grown by four trillion dollars under George Bush. We cannot build our future on a credit card issued by the bank of China. And that is why I'll pay for every part of this job-creation agenda - by ending this war in Iraq that's costing us billions, closing tax loopholes for corporations, putting a price on carbon pollution, and ending George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans."

    The problem is that he as President has no money to invest. He argues that he will not borrow the investment money, so in reality he will tax to invest. What he is arguing for is a transfer tax. He will make a decision that one class of the economy deserves to keep less of what they earn and that should be taken from them and given to what he determines as a more worthy class.

    When government promises a spending program, called an investment program, and funds it with taxation, they always forget to mention the efficiency of the transfer. The "loop holes" that he closes, will take an indeterminate amount of money away from one group of producers and transfer that money to a "more worthy" group. The amount is determined by the state. Any extra will go to other state spending programs.

    What is revealing is an attitude that a President Obama would feel more competent about making decisions on spending other people's money with more efficiency than they do. Nothing new there from a politician. Not much change.

    Barack Obama has never worked in industry. he has no business experience except as a real estate speculator. I have not heard how he financed his way through elite universities. I do not believe that he used the GI bill.

  3. It just so happens that Thomas Sowell has an article on the subject today---and there's not much new under the sun--

    A Lesson from Venezuela
    By Thomas Sowell

    People on the left often use other countries as examples of things that we should do. If other countries have a government-run medical system, then we should have one too, they say. If other countries control prices, then we should control prices -- or so the reasoning goes.

    Almost never is there any suggestion that we should first find out whether the actual results of the policies we are supposed to imitate are better or worse than what we already have.

    There is in fact a lot that we can learn from other countries if we look at the actual consequences of some of the things we are being urged to do, instead of just assuming that we should automatically imitate what others are doing.

    Studies have already shown that the waiting time before being able to get surgery is several times as long in a number of countries with government-run medical systems as in the United States. Modern medical technology like MRIs and CAT scans are also rarer in such countries.

    Venezuela is currently giving us a lesson on the consequences of price controls. The government of leftist President Hugo Chavez has imposed price controls -- and seems to be surprised that lower prices have lead to reduced supplies, even though price controls have led to reduced supplies in countries around the world and for thousands of years.

    There were price controls back in the days of the Roman Empire, under the Pharaohs in Egypt, and in ancient Babylon. There is plenty of history to look at, if we bother.

    Price controls under the Roman Emperor Diocletian led to a decline in the supply of goods. The same thing happened under President Richard Nixon's price controls in the 1970s. It has happened in Zimbabwe within the past year.

    Rent control laws led to housing shortages in Cairo -- and in Berkeley, Hanoi, Paris, and other cities around the world.

    When price controls in Venezuela led to food shortages, Hugo Chavez accused companies of "hoarding" food. The emperor Diocletian was similarly accusatory when his price controls reduced supplies, many centuries ago.

    Political leaders always find someone else to blame for the bad consequences of their own policies.

    Hugo Chavez has blamed foreign owned companies for Venezuela's food shortages and threatened to "nationalize" them. This too is an old political game that seldom does the people of the country any good.

    What is remarkable is how little interest there is among the media and among the public in how often and how consistently this has happened in the wake of price controls.

    When politicians today say that they are going to "bring down the cost of medical care" or make housing "affordable," what are they talking about other than price controls?

    Do we want a shortage of medical care? Do you want to have to wait for months for surgery -- and suffer needlessly in the meantime, as people do in Canada and Britain?

    Behind these wonderful-sounding political "solutions" to our problems is the notion that businesses are just ripping us off with arbitrarily set prices, and that the government can make them stop.

    It makes a nice story and it can get votes for politicians who play the role of saviors. But it makes little economic sense. Why do so many businesses have losses, and even go bankrupt, if they can set their prices wherever they want to?

    It is not uncommon for companies on the Fortune 500 list to operate in the red. Back during the days of the Great Depression of the 1930s, corporations as a whole operated in the red two years in a row.

    They were trying to keep from going under while Franklin D. Roosevelt was denouncing them as "economic royalists." FDR knew how to win elections, even if he didn't know how to get the country out of the Great Depression.

    That political lesson has been learned all too well, as much of the strident, anti-business political rhetoric of this election year demonstrates.

    Now if only the media and the public had some interest in learning the economic lesson!

  4. ...I'll pay for every part of this job-creation agenda - by ending this war in Iraq that's costing us billions, closing tax loopholes for corporations, putting a price on carbon pollution, and ending George Bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    On one hand he proposes a new program of subsidies and tax breaks for his green industries, on the other he derides tax loopholes for corporations.

    The really disturbing part of his EB guest-post is the "price" that he says he will put on carbon pollution. In other words, a tax on every single American that uses public transport, private automobiles, and electricity. This tax will affect not only our travel but the cost of goods which must be manufactured and transported using methods which generate "carbon pollution" which is as we all know, carbon dioxide. (BTW - Remember to thank to the Supreme Court for ruling that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and therefore subject to the EPA.) I suspect that a "carbon tax" will do more harm to the American public than NAFTA has done.

    As far as his support for the unions, remember, the crux of the argument has been whether the vote to unionize would remain a secret vote or as the Democrat want an open one where everyone's position is known. "You vill wote ze vay ve tell you or..."

    It's a sad day when the Democrats can make the charge stick that Republicans are fiscally irresponsible. But the frigging Republicans have only themselves to blame for that predicament!

    So, welcome back the good 'ol days of tax and spend by a liberal elite who not only are more concerned about the little man but sure as hell know better than you how to run a government.

  5. There you have it.

    The infrastructure, roads, bridges, rail network, etc. will need to be upgraded. Huck told US that, and a sizable portion of the GOP has been voting for him. Carried the "South" with that rhetoric.
    What does that transportation net run off, but carbon based fuels. That network also supports the entire society, so the costs of the improvement shuld be spread across the entire breadth of the folk.
    A carbon tax does that.

    The "loop holes" are just a small part of the tax code. They open and close with each successive administration. They are symptoms of the Tax Code, not the cause. I recall when all interest charges were deductable, then that loophole was closed. Changed to only 1st or 2nd home mortage interest being deductable. It changed the way folks with means financed their cars and paid their credit card bills.
    It has been long established that using the Tax Code for social purposes was within the proper venue of US Government.
    Those that disagreed with that concept could have voted for Ron Paul in the primaries, only 5 or 6% of the GOP voters did.

    So using the Tax Code for social purposes is supported by the majority of both the GOP and the Dems. If that were not the case, Team43 could have radically modified the Code, while controlling the Executive and the Congress. It did not.

    If the US voters want to spread the "pain" across the whole of society, by voting for a candidate that advocates for a carbon tax, well, elections matter.

    Now that it looks as if a Dem, a radical one at that, could gain the White House, with a Dem Congress, to boot, many are SHOCKED, really SHOCKED, to discover how the US system operates.

    When the balances are not checked, as they were not for six years of Team43. Those years, now seen as a wasteland of lost opportunities.

  6. Great article on Turkey Cutler! It is somewhat sad that much of the problems discussed regarding Turkey/Kurds was put forward BEFORE the invasion of Iraq.

    Maybe Obama will look to the recent legislation in British Columbia Canada for an example on how to do a carbon tax:


    February 22, 2008

    VICTORIA -- History was made this week in British Columbia, because the Gordon Campbell/Carole Taylor budget was the most important provincial one in Canada since Saskatchewan's CCF introduced medicare.

    Nothing was ever the same in health policy after that CCF budget. Public medicine became the marker planted by reformers. It took years, and in the teeth of much opposition and hesitation, but that CCF idea became the norm for the whole country.

    So it will be, over time, for the Campbell/Taylor budget. With the crowd that's running things in Ottawa, and in Edmonton, the battle for a coherent approach to climate change will be a long, difficult one. But what the budget did by introducing a carbon tax, offset by recycling the revenues into lower personal and corporate taxes, will become the template for climate-change reformers everywhere.

    This decision took courage. But something amazing happened within minutes of the budget: The unimaginable became the norm.

    You could see this amazing change in how critics reacted. They essentially had nothing to say, no alternative to propose, nothing coherent at all.

    It was painful to listen to the NDP going on about large emitters being exempt, when anyone who'd taken a nanosecond to read the budget would have seen that the cap-and-trade system would target them. The smart business spokesmen were muted in the criticism. The only people fulminating were the public-sector unions, but they always fulminate in B.C. and are taken seriously by very few people.

    History has almost never been made in B.C., meaning that very few ideas have bubbled up in the province and washed back across the country. British Columbia has never played in Canada the role of California in the U.S. - the incubator of new ideas and the place for experimentation that grabbed attention elsewhere.

    At federal-provincial tables, until the Campbell government arrived, B.C. was considered lightweight or irrelevant. British Columbia just did its thing, didn't pay much attention to the rest of Canada, and vice versa. Now, B.C. has done its thing, and the rest of the country will pay attention.

    The bane of federalism is the search for a unanimous position; the joy of federalism is allowing provinces to try new approaches that, if they work, are copied in other jurisdictions.

    The Campbell/Taylor budget did many things, but two were of overriding significance. First, this government committed more political capital, money and urgency to combatting climate change than any other in Canada and, with the carbon tax, arguably more than any in North America. Second, it broke with all the failed policies of Ottawa (and Alberta), and clearly said that only by using economic tools - taxes, regulations and markets - can greenhouse-gas emissions be substantially reduced.

    The budget started B.C. down a long path. The carbon tax, beginning at $10 a tonne and rising to $30 a tonne, will not make much of a dent in emissions. It will have to be, over time, at least double and probably triple that price to bring about the changes in production and consumption required to bring down emissions. But the path had to start somewhere, some time.

    The tax was supplemented by additional measures, some of which will be more useful than others. But when the tax goes high enough, a cap-and-trade system is in place, California vehicle emission standards are applied, and renewables start coursing energy into the grid, then B.C. will have come to grips with what needs to be done.

    Mistakes of design are going to be made. There was no policy need to send a $100 cheque in June to every British Columbian as a prepayment for future higher fuel costs, when other taxes were being cut. This payment was all about politics, softening people up for the new tax. At least it's only a one-time payment.

    We take medicare for granted now, but we forget how hard the battle was at first in Saskatchewan, then across the country. The heresy that was medicare became a national icon, almost impervious to change.

    A carbon tax will never be an icon. But the way it was done in B.C. will be the gold standard from now on."

  7. Obama is the pendulum swinging away from the Bush/DeLay mismanagement of the Federal Government.

    Many of US will learn to yearn for Clinton/Gingrich.
    But both of those have been rejected by their perspective party establishments.

    With many here at the Bar, applauding a Team43 pushed its' spending priorities over the top of Ms Pelosi. Not taking into account the backlash that was sure to follow.

    A major misjudgement on 28Jun03 playing havoc on US politics in 2008.

  8. The real cost of the failed War to Restructure Iraqi society, not 3,500 dead US soldiers, not
    $800 Billion dollars, but a President Obama in the Oval Office.

    The US swings like a pedulum do
    Soldiers in humvees, two by two
    Washington DC and the Power of the Pen
    Rosy red cheeks on little children

  9. Political leaders always find someone else to blame for the bad consequences of their own policies.

    As do their constituencies and supporters

  10. Of the things he mentioned, I only know the details about one.

    The employee free choice act is not a free choice act, it is about taking the secret vote away from people when a union is trying to organize them within the union. There are many reasons why workers might not want to be part of the union. For instance, they might like and respect their employer and dislike but fear the union organizers. Why would a union be against secret ballots when it comes to voting in or voting out a union? Why are secret ballots a threat to unions? I thought the story was that employers threatened workers to make them vote against the union, and that the secret ballot was a protection? But now the unions don't like the secret ballot. Why not?

  11. Hillary and Obama claim that free trade undermined US prosperity because foreign nations don't have the environmental laws we have.

    The logical implication of this is that these two people think that the value of the benefit of our environmental laws is not worth their cost. That is, if pre-regulation pollution from some product costs $10, and the regulation costs $8, then we get a $2 benefit. If foreign countries "subsidize" their exports by accepting the pollution, then their society is suffering the $2 loss and passing the benefit along to us.

    So when they imply that their societies are coming out ahead by accepting the pollution, they are really saying that the cost (including quality of life costs) of the pollution is less than the cost of ending it.

    Ideally, each nation creates such laws as makes their economies most efficient, and the law of comparative advantage will work out the ideal balance between nations.

  12. The WSJ draws this comparison, my oh my.

    "More than anything else, I want my candidacy to unify our country, to renew the American spirit and sense of purpose. I want to carry our message to every American, regardless of party affiliation, who is a member of this community of shared values . . . For those who have abandoned hope, we'll restore hope and we'll welcome them into a great national crusade to make America great again!"

    So Ronald Reagan proclaimed on July 17, 1980, as he accepted his party's nomination for president at the Republican National Convention in Detroit, Mich.

    Earlier that day, the New York Times ran a long profile of Reagan on its front page. The author, Howell Raines, lamented that the news media had been unsuccessful in getting Reagan to speak in anything other than "sweeping generalities about economic and military policy." Mr. Raines further noted: "political critics who characterize him as banal and shallow, a mouther of right-wing platitudes, delight in recalling that he co-starred with a chimpanzee in 'Bedtime for Bonzo.'"

    Throughout his campaign, Reagan fought off charges that his candidacy was built more on optimism than policies. The charges came from reporters and opponents. John Anderson, a rival in the Republican primary who ran as an independent in the general election, complained that Reagan offered little more than "old platitudes and old generalities."

    Conservatives understood that this Reagan-as-a-simpleton view was a caricature (something made even clearer in several recent books, particularly Reagan's own diaries). That his opponents never got this is what led to their undoing.
    In the end, Mr. Obama is simply campaigning for office in the same way he says he would operate if he were elected. "We're not looking for a chief operating officer when we select a president," he said during a question and answer session at Google headquarters back in December.

    "What we're looking for is somebody who will chart a course and say: Here is where America needs to go -- here is how to solve our energy crisis, here's how we need to revamp our education system -- and then gather the talent together and then mobilize that talent to achieve that goal. And to inspire a sense of hope and possibility."

    Like Ronald Reagan did.

    Which would put Mr McCain in the Jimma role. Is he flexible enough to not fall into the same trap?
    His history as my Senator says no, but maybe, at 72, he'll discount his 50 years of experience and adapt to the unexpected challenge that Obama presents.

  13. This piece in the American Spectator describes how McCain is being hoisted on his own pitard, Campaign Finance Reform.

  14. From the American Spectator article:
    "If McCain is locked into the system, he will be limited to spending a total of $54 million until he formally receives the nomination at September's Republican National Convention. Since he already has spent roughly $50 million, he would effectively be handcuffed for six months."

    McCain can turn the PR against Dean and the Democrats for seeking to stifle the general campaign using tecnicalities of a poorly thought out (common occurence) law.

    The "Count every Vote" Party is seeking to suffocate the baby in the crib.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. If he's adaptable enough, that's true, whit.

    That really becomes the question, can McCain maneuver inside the Obama/Dean loop?

    It is a very questionable proposition, based upon his past behaviour.
    The "tecnicalities of a poorly thought out (common occurence) law" are of his own making. Technicalities he is the champion of.

    The pride and principles of John McCain will have to bend, or break to turn inside the Democrats propaganda loop.
    Not in his nature, experienced as he is at trusting in staff decisions and being holier than thou.

    My personal experience with his office stands in testament to that. Took a Federal Judge to get him to see the light, in the case of enforcing the Wild Horse Preservation Act, against the proposed actions of the US Forest Service.

  17. And then the assisstance of the Democratic Congressmen from Arizona.

    Good riddence to Rick Renzi.
    Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., will not resign, the embattled lawmaker said Monday, following announcement Friday of his indictment on 35 federal counts, ...

    He'll be gone come January.

  18. The US Army, stretcheddd

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- The Army's top general said Tuesday he wants to reduce combat tours for soldiers in Iraq from 15 months to 12 months this summer _ and hopes that sticks.

    Gen. George Casey, the Army chief of staff, told a Senate panel he would not embrace going back to the longer tours even if President Bush decided to suspend troop reductions for the second half of the year. The Army is under serious strain from years of war-fighting, he testified, and must reduce the length of combat tours as soon as possible.

    "The cumulative effects of the last six-plus years at war have left our Army out of balance, consumed by the current fight and unable to do the things we know we need to do to properly sustain our all-volunteer force and restore our flexibility for an uncertain future," Casey said.

  19. "The cumulative effects of the last six-plus years at war have left our Army out of balance, consumed by the current fight and unable to do the things we know we need to do to properly sustain our all-volunteer force and restore our flexibility for an uncertain future,"

    28JUN03, more ramifications of the poor decisions made in regards that day, in Iraq.

  20. Listening to the pundit Laura Ingraham who is saying that her pundit sources in Texas are saying that the massive early voting is being brought out by Obama Chrysostom, and that Hillary's lust for Power lies in the dust, her dream of Ascension foiled. Tonight might be your last chance to she Hillary on a national stage.

    Ash, we are not the world's policemean. If we were we'd be in a good portion of the third world, Cuba, Zimbabwe, parts of Asia, all over hell. The world needs a good honest cop, but we aren't it, only reserve officer once in a while.

  21. Peter Sellers Foretold Obama

    And then there is “Yes we can” – the phrase that was so inspirational that it inspired of hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas to make his infamous video , backed up by film stars and musicians such as Scarlett Johansson and Herbie Hancock.

    The strumming of guitars and crooning drowns out Mr Obama on the musical version. So I had to consult the text to find out what exactly it is that we can do.

    “Yes we can to justice and equality.
    Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.
    Yes we can heal this nation.
    Yes we can repair this world.
    Yes we can.”

    This sounds to me like a man doing an impression of what he thinks a great speech might be like. It is the kind of empty exhortation that usually gives politicians a bad name.

    Peter Sellers, a British comedian of the 1960s, caught the genre nicely in a parody speech:
    Let us assume a bold thrust and go forward together. Let us carry the fight against ignorance to the four corners of the earth, because it is a fight that concerns us all.”

    Mr Obama might easily give a speech like that – although he would probably strip out some of the detail.

  22. Republicans in Texas are voting for Obama over Hillary.

  23. Thanks for having me on. I don't deserve it. I, myself, can't really believe how easy it has been to bamboozle the masses. The truth is, like Gideon Rachman says, Really, I'm A Shitty Speaker, and he's right, giving up the Camels lowered and deepened my voice. Well, that bitch Hillary is toast after Tuesday. Man, am I going to have a fun four years. Thanks again, BO

  24. Who's this Doug fellow? He seems to know what to read. Have him contact my campaign offices. BO

  25. Peter Sellers had a near death experience.

  26. "So using the Tax Code for social purposes is supported by the majority of both the GOP and the Dems. If that were not the case, Team43 could have radically modified the Code, while controlling the Executive and the Congress. It did not."
    The reason W didn't do any number of things that he could have done is not because he couldn't but
    Over and over he supported "Moderates" like Spector over more popular conservatives.
    Thus the disarray on the right is not a barometer of how conservative the right was or is, but how divided, demoralized, and disgusted they are.
    ...and then having the Nominee be decided at the giddyup by Northeast Rockyfeller Repubs was the topper.
    As we have both said, Bush could have vetoed Cain/Feingold, but he did not.
    He didn't have to triple federal spending on Education, but he did.
    He didn't have to prohibit drilling in the Gulf, but he did.
    He didn't have to have his Gazillion Dollar Drug Plan, but he did.
    I could go on, but the point is not difficult to make.

  27. Obama aint going to be POTUS, McJaws is. Shouldn't we look at what's in the offering with McJaws roaming 1600 Pennsylvania Av?

  28. Welcome To Your Brain This fellow was interviewed on C to C last nite, was interesting. A caller asked, does your brain actually speed up, when you are in say, a near fatal traffic accident, to cause the sensation of time slowing down?

    This was an interesting question to me, as I nearly got bounced out of here when a guy on a snow slick two lane slipped sidewise right at me. I manuevered around him to the left in my pickup truck as he wizzed by, rolling over into a ditch, and I can testify time really does seem to slow down in such a situation.

    But its not because the mind is speeding up. This guest said experiments had been done on that very question, by having, among other things, people go on big roller coasters, and falling straight down, see if they could identify more numbers flashing by on a little tv screen.

    They couldn't, so the implication is the mind doesn't speed up under stress. What causes the slowing down of time sensation is currently unknown.

    The guy behind me during my near miss said, I don't know how you got around him to the left. I don't either, it was all reaction, with a great slowing down sensation.

  29. Welp, if time flies when you are having fun then I've got to conclude that you simply weren't having any fun.

  30. No, no, you are having fun. But it may not be the having fun making the time fly:)

    from Maggie's Farm(we got really shittn candidates all around this year)...

    Mrs. Clinton's record in politics
    We hate to kick a man when he's down, but this summary of Hillary Clinton's record came in over the transom today. We suspect this has something to do with why she is not finding the support she desires:

    Hillary Clinton has been telling America that she is the most qualified candidate for president based on her 'record,' which she says includes her eight years in the White House as First Lady - or 'co-president' - and her seven years in the Senate. Here is a little reminder of what that record includes:

    As First Lady, Hillary assumed authority over Health Care Reform, a process that cost the taxpayers over $13 million. She told both Bill Bradley and Patrick Moynihan, key votes needed to pass her legislation, that she would 'demonize' anyone who opposed it. But it was opposed; she couldn't even get it to a vote in a Congress controlled by her own party. (And in the next election, her party lost control of both the House and Senate.) -

    Hillary assumed authority over selecting a female Attorney General. Her first two recommendations, Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood, were forced to withdraw their names from consideration. She then chose Janet Reno. Janet Reno has since been described by Bill himself as 'my worst mistake.'

    Hillary recommended Lani Guanier for head of the Civil Rights Commission. When Guanier's radical views became known, her name had to be withdrawn.

    Hillary recommended her former law partners, Web Hubbell, Vince Foster, and William Kennedy for positions in the Justice Department, White House staff, and the Treasury, respectively. Hubbell was later imprisoned, Foster committed suicide, and Kennedy was forced to resign.

    Hillary also recommended a close friend of the Clintons, Craig Livingstone, for the position of director of White House Security. When Livingstone was investigated for the improper access of up to 900 FBI files of Clinton enemies (“Filegate”) and the widespread use of drugs by White House staff, both Hillary and her husband denied knowing him. FBI agent Dennis Sculimbrene confirmed in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 1996 both the drug use and Hillary's involvement in hiring Livingstone. After that, the FBI closed its White House Liaison Office, after serving seven presidents for over thirty years.

    In order to open “slots” in the White House for her friends the Thomasons (to whom millions of dollars in travel contracts could be awarded), Hillary had the entire staff of the White House Travel Office fired; they were reported to the FBI for 'gross mismanagement' and their reputations ruined. After a thirty-month investigation, only one, Billy Dale, was charged with a crime - mixing personal money with White House funds when he cashed checks. The jury acquitted him in less than two hours.

    Another of Hillary's assumed duties was directing the 'bimbo eruption squad' and scandal defense:

    ---- She urged her husband not to settle the Paula Jones lawsuit. ---- She refused to release the Whitewater documents, which led to the appointment of Ken Starr as Special Prosecutor. After $80 million dollars of taxpayer money was spent, Starr's investigation led to Monica Lewinsky, which led to Bill lying about and later admitting his affairs. ---- Then they had to settle with Paula Jones after all.---- And Bill lost his law license for lying to the grand jury ---- And Bill was impeached by the House. ---- And Hillary almost got herself indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice (she avoided it mostly because she repeated, 'I do not recall,' 'I have no recollection,' and 'I don't know' 56 times under oath).

    Hillary wrote 'It Takes a Village,' demonstrating her Socialist viewpoint.

    Hillary decided to seek election to the Senate in a state she had never lived in. Her husband pardoned FALN terrorists in order to get Latino support and the New Square Hassidim to get Jewish support. Hillary also had Bill pardon her brother's clients, for a small fee, to get financial support.

    Then Hillary left the White House, but later had to return $200,000 in White House furniture, china, and artwork she had stolen.

    In the campaign for the Senate, Hillary played the 'woman card' by portraying her opponent (Lazio) as a bully picking on her.

    Hillary's husband further protected her by asking the National Archives to withhold from the public until 2012 many records of their time in the White House, including much of Hillary's correspondence and her calendars. (There are ongoing lawsuits to force the release of those records.)

    As the junior Senator from New York, Hillary has passed no major legislation. She has deferred to the senior Senator (Schumer) to tend to the needs of New Yorkers, even on the hot issue of medical problems of workers involved in the cleanup of Ground Zero after 9/11.

    Hillary's one notable vote; supporting the plan to invade Iraq, has since been disavowed.

  31. Speaking of bad records and Doug's contention that Bush isn't a conservative maybe the whole damn GOP really isn't conservative - or maybe the mantra of 'de-regulation' doesn't produce much of a good record...

    "The accounting scandal now haunting the National Republican Congressional Committee was preceded by a series of decisions over the past decade to relax internal financial controls at the committee, according to numerous Republican sources familiar with the NRCC’s operations during those years.

    Under Virginia Rep. Tom Davis and New York Rep. Thomas Reynolds, who chaired the committee from 1999 until the end of 2006, the NRCC waived rules requiring the executive committee — made up of elected leaders and rank-and-file Republican lawmakers — to sign off on expenditures exceeding $10,000, merged the various department budgets into a single account and rolled back a prohibition on committee staff earning an income from outside companies.

    These changes gave committee staffers more freedom to spend money quickly and react to a shifting political landscape during heated campaign battles, and House Republicans were able to claim larger majorities after the 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections.

    But the actions also may have contributed to a perceived lack of oversight within the NRCC, especially over financial records, a failure that outside observers blame for an accounting scandal that could go much deeper than the allegedly forged audit a former treasurer sent to the committee’s principal lender in January. NRCC officials contacted the FBI soon after discovering that the former employee, Christopher J. Ward, had submitted what they believe to be a fake internal audit to Wachovia as part of a loan application by the committee.

    House Republicans are still awaiting the completion of an outside audit of the committee, since at this time they are unsure of the scale or nature of the financial problems at the committee. Current NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) has publicly stated that there were “accounting irregularities” at the committee that “may include fraud.”

  32. MRAPs Ramp Up
    When Tommy Pruitt , the communications director of Force Protection, joined the company in 2005, it was making “from one to four vehicles a month,” he said. “Now it’s a hundred plus.”

    Force Protection moved into a 550,000-square-foot campus in 2006, once home to a General Electric turbine engine plant. The plant has about 500 workers.

    The 4-by-4 Cougar and MaxxPro are Category I, the smallest of three MRAP classifications, while the 6-wheel, 10-passenger models are Category II. The 45,000-pound, six-seat, six-wheel Buffalo occupies Category III by itself.

    During construction, the Cougar is turned upside down and bolted to a 330-horsepower Caterpillar C7 turbodiesel and an Allison four- or six-wheel-drive transaxle. Unlike the MaxxPro, the vehicle’s padded seats are mounted to the floor.

    Aside from burly windshields, the front third of the Cougar looks remarkably like any International truck, from the raked hood with shark-gill-style air slots to the trademark split grille. The thickness of the ballistic glass is classified, but Sergeant Spurlock’s Cougar was once attacked by insurgents with AK-47’s.
    “We just pressed up against the glass and watched the rounds hit,”
    he said.
    Diesel-Sipping Motorcycle for the Marines

  33. U.S. COIN doctrine meets the Korengal Valley

    At the same time Ms. Rubin was at Captain Kearney’s forward operating base researching her story, Colonel Chip Preysler, USA, commanding officer of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, gave an interview by video-conference with the Pentagon press corps.
    The transcript of the interview confirms Ms. Rubin’s descriptions of challenging mountainous terrain, a determined enemy, and hard fighting. As to the mental state of his soldiers, Colonel Preysler keeps his own counsel.

  34. The policies of GWBush/DeLay that you mentioned, doug, go to my point.

    There is/was no "conservative" power base that supported rolling back the Federal Government. No, indeed it was expanded to "do the right thing".

    If the "small governemt conservatives" were a power base, then Mr Paul would have scored much better, as would have Mr Thompson. Both went down in flames, Mr Paul raising money, but not a lot of votes. No, the main GOP vote getter, was McCain, he who exemplifies where the GOP stands. On defense, immigration and campaign reform.

    I think you are overly optimistic, mat. But even if you are correct, the Congress will be much more dominated by Democrats than it is now. The Army staffers, along with Mr Murtha and Company will force a withdrawal from Iraq of most all of the combat compenents. This is exemplified by General Casey's statement posted earlier, today. The tours are going to be rolled back to 12 months. Whether or not the number of troops remains constant, or not. Politically it'll have the same effect.

    McCain will, if elected, be a four year man, will little prospect of reelection, as Chuch Norris said, it is a debilitating job, and John will be 72 years young when entering it. He may be ready on Day 1, but on Day 1,460, he'll be toasted.

    Who will be his heir apparent, that's the "real" question for the Convention.

  35. I posted that transcript a couple threads back, Doug.

  36. You know, when Obama wins, and he pulls everybody out. What's to stop AQ from moving in and totally fucking that place up?

    What's the policy going to be then?

  37. Like Johnny Mac, doug is known for an occasional "Senior Moment", sam.

    Or you'd have gotten the hat tipped. fer shor

  38. Support the natives, from afar.
    The 1920 Brigades, the Badr Brigades, the Mahdi Army and whatever elements of the Iraqi Army function.

    Spend money, not blood.

    Since it has been the people of Anbar that have defeated aQIraq, why would they not continue to maintain local soveriegnty?

    Why would they surrender, just because we leave.
    They fought US, and won.

  39. Would aQ be a more difficult enemy to defeat than the US Marines?

  40. Anbar didn't defeat AQ until we surged. When we're out, they're fucked.

    I think.

  41. We have spent six years training the Iraqi Army to stand up. If they cannot, by now, they never will be able to.

    There was a cadre of Shia veterans, as NCOs, from the Iran/Iraq war, Six years is two enlistments, even a civilian can become a Staff Sargent in six years.

    If we'v done our job, per President Bush's stated mission, the Iraqi Army should be capable. They've had more than enough time to git-r-done

  42. Amit Singh, 32, of Arlington, is also seeking the Republican nomination. His platform is “libertarian leaning” and advocates reducing the size and scope of the federal government.

    Singh, born and raised near Richmond, graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in electrical engineering. He now owns his own engineering firm that primarily serves federal agencies.

    This is his first foray into politics.

    VA 8th District

  43. Your timing is off, sam.
    The Anbar Awakening began in September of 06, a full six months before the "Surge" began, almost 10 months before the full combat component was in place.

    Most of the "Surge" troops went to Baghdad, not Anbar. Fact of the matter. Just keep the guns flowing, the indigs will do fine, aQ cannot defeat the Tribes, no more than we could.
    They subverted them, first. To fight the US occupation, when the natives came to learn the truth of the aQ mission, they turned on them. After we stopped operating against the Tribes.
    Bob W had a post on the subject, from a Captain, since KIA, well over 18 months ago, now.

  44. From 27DEC06, from Bob W.
    CPT Patriquin was killed in Iraq the thread that links to This report in PDF format.

  45. Well shee-it, missed BW's post, didn't I?

  46. Institutional memory, sam, usually that task is left to elijah

  47. Yeah, he is good at that stuff.

  48. I had read that. Forgot about it. You're right, timing off. Good to be reminded of that stuff now and again.