“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, May 28, 2008

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan Skewers Bush

Disloyalty meets Dishonesty

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes in a surprisingly scathing memoir to be published next week that President Bush “veered terribly off course,” was not “open and forthright on Iraq,” and took a “permanent campaign approach” to governing at the expense of candor and competence.

• McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.

• He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.

• He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”

• The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.

• McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff — “had at best misled” him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

A few reporters were offered advance copies of the book, with the restriction that their stories not appear until Sunday, the day before the official publication date. Politico declined and purchased “What Happened” at a Washington bookstore.

The eagerly awaited book, while recounting many fond memories of Bush and describing him as “authentic” and “sincere,” is harsher than reporters and White House officials had expected.

McClellan was one of the president’s earliest and most loyal political aides, and most of his friends had expected him to take a few swipes at his former colleague in order to sell books but also to paint a largely affectionate portrait.

Instead, McClellan’s tone is often harsh. He writes, for example, that after Hurricane Katrina, the White House “spent most of the first week in a state of denial,” and he blames Rove for suggesting the photo of the president comfortably observing the disaster during an Air Force One flyover. McClellan says he and counselor to the president Dan Bartlett had opposed the idea and thought it had been scrapped.

“One of the worst disasters in our nation’s history became one of the biggest disasters in Bush’s presidency. Katrina and the botched federal response to it would largely come to define Bush’s second term,” he writes. “And the perception of this catastrophe was made worse by previous decisions President Bush had made, including, first and foremost, the failure to be open and forthright on Iraq and rushing to war with inadequate planning and preparation for its aftermath.”

McClellan, who turned 40 in February, was press secretary from July 2003 to April 2006. An Austin native from a political family, he began working as a gubernatorial spokesman for then-Gov. Bush in early 1999, was traveling press secretary for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign and was chief deputy to Press Secretary Ari Fleischer at the beginning of Bush’s first term.

“I still like and admire President Bush,” McClellan writes. “But he and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war. … In this regard, he was terribly ill-served by his top advisers, especially those involved directly in national security.”


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. ... unless he forgets to maintain the act. Only the best actors will be suitable and electable.

    But even when they play to the script, reality interferes.

    Mr Clinton was said to govern as if it was an "endless campaign", now, from the inner circle of Team43, the truth becomes known, reality pokes its' head from the spin.

    Mr Bush took a “permanent campaign approach” to governing at the expense of candor and competence.

    Which some of us thought we saw, contemporariously, but it was claimed we seers suffered from a psuedo Derangement Symptom.

    When in fact ...
    we had up chucked the kool-aid.

  3. Man, you better believe it. The Kool-Aid was brought into the BC in tanker truck loads. DR, you should put your burkaa up on ebay.

  4. Well I don't find it amazing that Bush was dogged and dogged by allegations of cocaine use in his youth, while Obama, who openly admits it, saying he used cocaine whenever he could afford it, along with the booze and maryjane, gets a total walk. Talk about your teflon messiah. It's one reason the college kids vote for him, I think, he's up front, he used. He gets a total walk, whereas really, commiting felony after felony, should disqualify anyone.

  5. Even if you think you know best, and dislike the drug laws. Change the law, don't break it.

    Time after time, messed up kids come into court here and say, "Judge, the law don't make any sense." Judge Hamlett's decade long answer, "Change the law."

    If every man is his own legislator on all things, things break down.
    And it becomes hard to collect the taxes.

  6. The only real complaint I've got against Bush is the open southern border. Iraq may work out. There hasn't been another terrorist attack. He cut taxes. I'm with Whit, I've never seen the big deal about Katrina. It's the dems, by and large, and the enviros, that have done the energy mess. Bush would have drilled
    Anwar and the coasts long ago. If McClellan thinks
    Bush is so bad, you'd think he would have quit. He's just trying to sell another book, make some money. Got to make it controverssial, get headlines, sell, sell.

  7. The southern border, and not bombing Iran. Big mistake, I believe.

  8. He did quit, bob.

    There are none so blind as those that will not see. When the blinders are lifted, the loyal aide, who discovers he has been lied to, repeatedly, loses faith.

    Then tells the world, as he's been trained.

    Telling the truth as he sees it.

    Bush had no real desire to drill, off shore. His brother opposed it.
    As to Alaska, the GOP held the White House and the Congress for six years, there is no excuse for their inaction, on ANWAR, they controlled the Government.

    That they made poor decisions and performed poorly, domesticly and abroad, well, performance counts.

    As do public perceptions.
    Katrina was botched at the local, State and Federal levels.
    Mike Brown was a hack, no more qualified to run FEMA than my daughter.

    The man was both incompetent and a corrupting influence in his previous job, running a horse show registry.

  9. You're right, I see he did quit.

    Wasn't Anwar locked up back in the Clinton days?

    Admit this much, Rat, he didn't get blow jobs from the interns in the White House:)

  10. It was not the BJs, bob, it was lying about them that got Bill to lose his law license.

    The crux of Scott's skewring is that Team43 believed their own bullshit, even when the realities were clear to see.

    General Sanchez tells the same tale, from a different perspective.

    Both McClellan and Sanchez were there.

  11. "locked ip"

    There are Presidental Pardons, bob.

    Any law made can be overturned or amended, by the current Government.

    The US can withdraw from Treaties, when it chooses to. Unilaterally.

    It can definately change domestic laws, when it deems it required for economic or national security reasons.

    But even John McCain, the GOP candidate for President, does not favor drilling in "pristine" ANWAR, because of National Security. He opposes the exploitation of that energy resource. He'd rather depend on Mexican and Saudi imports.

  12. Bobal said, Well I don't find it amazing that Bush was dogged and dogged by allegations of cocaine use in his youth, while Obama, who openly admits it, saying he used cocaine whenever he could afford it, along with the booze and maryjane, gets a total walk.

    It's just a hypocrisy issue, and how one lines up with their party platform. It's the same reason Larry "I Am Not Gay" Craig gets pinged for tap-dancing in the St Paul airport, but Barney Frank gets a walk for being an uncloseted Congressman.

  13. Didn't like McClelland, or the toy soldier (Sanchez,) then; don't like'm now. I'm with Bob. Other than the border, I think he did great.

    You never "Control" the government unless you "Control" 60 Senators; and McCain was biting his ankles all the way.

    Bush protected the oil (while trying to get us off the imported stuff) from Day 1. McCain fought him on biofuels all the way.

    Google: John McCain/Dutko worldwide

    Dutko Worldwide/Saudi Arabia

    Dutko worldwide/exxon

    Dutko worldwide/shell


  14. Scott's gotta get that book out there now, while he can still claim insider status, and before the news cycle is totally dominated by the presidential election, to make some bucks.

    Why wouldn't Bush want to drill Anwar, being in the pocket of the oil companies like every one claims he is? The oil companies have been clamoring for it forever, also the State of Alaska.

    Senate Votes No On Anwar

    A Tough Drill to Swallow | Grist | News | 29 Apr 2008A Tough Drill to Swallow. President Bush stumps for ANWR drilling and dirty-energy expansion. Posted at 3:17 PM on 29 Apr 2008. Bush. In a speech Tuesday, ... - 39k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

    The Crypt: Senate rebukes Bush on energy policy - Politico.comMay 13, 2008 ... Senate rebukes Bush on energy policy .... Where did the "I will not drill ANWR," "Global warming, green candidate," Seems like McCain is ... - 96k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

    YouTube - Bush: ANWR Drilling Is Solution to High Gas PricesApr 29, 2008 ... I don't think drilling in ANWR will solve the problem of high gas prices. .... Obama Responds to Bush and McCain Foreign Policy Attacks ... - 121k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

    The Swamp: Bush: Oil-drill foes 'scream' for Saudi aidMay 17, 2008 ... Bush said he had made a plain case to the Saudi monarch for the need to contain the ..... New GOP energy policy -- drill ANWAR now! ... - 96k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

    Why the Bush Oil (Energy) Policy Will FailThe Bush oil policy hinges on four assumptions about our energy situation: ... Assumption #2: Oil from ANWR will reduce our vulnerability to OPEC decisions. ... - 13k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

    Crooks and Liars » Bush Press Conference: ANWR and Economic “Magic ...Tell Bush that he can drill in ANWR when Exon pays up for their “spill of the century.” Maybe he can take his magic wand to pay for the eco-carniage that ... - 276k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

    Bush: ANWR Drilling Is Solution to High Gas Prices - Brijit ...Bush: ANWR Drilling Is Solution to High Gas Prices. in YouTube by Veracifier, 29 April 2008. In this clip from a presidential news conference, ... - 66k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this


    Senate rejects ANWR drilling: Alaska News | adn.comTed Stevens, as the leading advocate in the Senate for drilling in ANWR. ... President Bush has said he does not support the proposal and has called for ... - 44k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this Politics | ANWR drilling, and conservation tooANWR drilling, and conservation too A preview of Bush's energy plan reveals ... for the president by his internal National Energy Policy Development Group. ... - Similar pages - Note this

    and on and on

  15. McCain represents the GOP, now
    McCain opposes drilling in ANWAR

    The GOP opposes drilling in ANWAR


    Yesterday, the did not approve drilling in ABWAR, while the GOP controlled the Congress. They did not horse trade or bring enough pressure to bear, on those Senators that were opposed.

    Like McCain.

  16. Maybe he had to horse trade some to get money for Iraq. Left to his own, I think Bush would have drilled Anwar, but, both parties have been remiss for decades. Our politcal system doesn't think ahead very well.

  17. Look betond ther rhetoric to the actions, fellows.

    ANWAR was never campaigned for, as part of the "War of Terror".
    It was not presented along with the Patriot Act, in October 2001.

    You see the staging, but missed the play. A lot of smoke and noise, but nothing happened, for six years.

    That is not Dan Rathers' fault.

  18. On the other hand, it does seem to make sense to me, to drink the other fellows oil as long as we can, if we can afford it, saving our own for later. But those days seem to be passing, and a transition is on us. Somethig's got to get down now, or our economy goes to hell.

    $4.00 gas does wonders keeping jet boats off the rivers here, I can report. Pickups for sale all over, and the car lots are filled with them, used and new, prices falling.

  19. I cast a vote for Ron Paul just yesterday! After I get the morning paper, I'll report the results.

  20. In the UK, FOX reported that diesel costs $9.00 per gallon.

    Causing a bit of a downturn, for the truckers. Seems they did a drive on London type of a protest.

    Regardless, a leaveling of the world economy is underway.
    It's becoming globalized.
    Leveled & Equalized.

    Disruptions ahead !!!

    But all for the good, some say.

  21. Well, bob, the three hour each way drive to the Ash Fork base camp has definately reduced its' market value. Combined with the overall credit challenges, no telling what the property is really worth, now.

    Housing, trucks, RVs, boats and mountain retreats, all coming under downward pricing pressures.

    If the 14% decline already seen in residental housing values where carried across most all of the real and personal property US residents hold, how great the loss?

    I'd venture to guess my Ash Fork piece is down a lot more than 14%, from September 2006, when I sold 12 raw acres for $20,000 and the ajoining 11 acres sold for $19,000, each sale for cash.

    Today, I doubt the 20 acres and base camp would bring $25,000, if I held the paper and financed it.

    Just imagine if you were in the middle of building out your RV resort ...

  22. I may have dodged a bullet on that RV deal. I am rezoning -put in the application- some land, which has delayed our trip a bit.

    Here's the Idaho results--or rather the Nez Perce county results, as the paper doesn't seem to have the Idaho totals--

    Obama--786 votes 45.91%
    Clinton 770 votes 44.98%

    I don't understand this, as I thought they already held a caucus, which Obama won handily earlier, so why this voting?

    McCain 1,470 votes 77.29%
    Paul 325 votes 17.09%

    US Representative (Rep)

    Bill Sali(incumbent republican) 1142 votes 64.48%
    Salisbury 629 votes 35.52%

    US Senator (dem)
    Larry LaRocco 1,328 votes 80.98%
    Archuleta 312 votes 19.02%
    (LaRocco is an old timer, used to be representative, infected with the political virus)

    Republican US Senate

    Jim Risch 1,297 votes 71.78%
    All seven others took the remaining 29% with one guy getting about 10%

    Hard to beat those inside boys. They should have run only one candidate against him, but that's not the law.

    Jim Risch will beat Larry LaRocco, and is our next US Senator. He is or was Lt. Governor.

    Idaho Supreme Court Race too close to call.

  23. Interesting that 17% of those voting do not support McCain.

  24. Turnout was a whopping 18.47% of those eligible to vote. I was the only one there, when I voted. People don't seem to give much of a shit.

  25. In 2007, US corn production rose to 349 million metric tons. Of this, about 62 million tons were used to produce ethanol, of which 21 million tons of dried distillers grains were returned to the grain market. This left a whopping 308 million tons available for consumption and export -- an increase of 110 million tons, or about 82 percent, over the 1995 figures.

    During these years, the US population increased by about 14 percent, from 264 million in 1995 to 301 million in 2007. We needed only about 25 million additional tons of corn to meet our rising domestic, non-ethanol consumption and export requirements. In fact, we produced an additional 126 million tons. Obviously, the notion that our increased use of corn for ethanol has "caused" food shortages is false.

    From This Article in American Thinker. A very well thought-out article on biofuels/ethanol. A MUST Read.

  26. Bobal,

    Canada's far from perfect but don't believe everything you read on the internet - especially some comment in a forum somewhere (i.e. Marijuana being the largest B.C. industry).

    Those Human rights commissions are under fire for their silliness. Hopefully they will get their wings clipped. On the third party Campaign advertising stuff - Parliament once passed a law banning any advertising except those put out by the official parties within 90 days of an election (or something like that) but the courts struck it down. Constitutions are a good thing!

    Regarding Canadian views of America an old time Captain that I sailed with (I race sailboats) just wrote me regarding some cruising I'm planning this summer:

    "Start at Wilson and go east to all the harbours with 6 Ft. They are americans, very friendly and generous. We had many memorable visits.
    Old Captan Rick"

  27. Now, I must admit, that I never did think much of McClellan as the Press Sec. Thought he did a poor job of presenting the President's case.

    Perhaps I was wrong and what he was working with was much worse than I had thought, at the time.

    Optimist that I am.

    In any case that is now history, with a new beginning in the offing.

    I do think that Newt is right, that an "anti-Obama" campaign will fall flat.

    I know that opening the campaign to include the "First Wives Club" will hurt McCain at least as much it will Obama.

    She is much dirtier than Mr Ferraro ever was.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. This is kind of funny:

    "Does Dunkin’ Donuts really think its customers could mistake Rachael Ray for a terrorist sympathizer? The Canton-based company has abruptly canceled an ad in which the domestic diva wears a scarf that looks like a keffiyeh, a traditional headdress worn by Arab men.

    Some observers, including ultra-conservative Fox News commentator Michelle Malkin, were so incensed by the ad that there was even talk of a Dunkin’ Donuts boycott."

  30. May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert faced increased pressure to step aside while police investigate his finances.

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the leader of Olmert's biggest coalition partner, said the premier should step down or face elections after U.S. businessman Morris Talansky yesterday told a Jerusalem court that he transferred about $150,000 to Olmert over almost two decades, sometimes in cash-filled envelopes.

    ``Events are slowly closing in on him,'' said Shmuel Sandler, a professor of political science at Bar Ilan University. ``The question is only how much chutzpa does he have.''

    The collapse of Olmert's government threatens to cost Barak his job as the Likud Party, the leading opposition group, leads in public opinion polls. The current probe, one of five into the prime minister since he took office, comes as Olmert pursues peace talks with the Palestinians and Syria. He travels to Washington next week to meet President George W. Bush.

    ``I don't think the prime minister can simultaneously run the government and deal with personal issues,'' Barak, who is leader of the Labor Party, said at a news conference in Jerusalem today.

  31. The "Other" strike, again

    Poll says majority of Californians back gay marriage
    By LISA LEFF – 1 hour ago

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — More California voters now support allowing same-sex marriage than oppose it, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

    The results mark the first time in over three decades of polling by the Field Poll that more California voters have approved of extending marriage to gay couples than have disapproved, said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo. The survey of 1,052 registered voters was conducted over the phone.

    "I would say this is a historic turning point or milestone," DiCamillo said. "We have speculated in the past there would be some time in the future when a majority would support same-sex marriage. Well, the lines have crossed."

    The poll found that 51 percent of respondents backed legalizing same-sex marriage and 42 percent opposed it, DiCamillo said.

    In 2006, when participants were asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of their own sex?" 44 percent said they approved and 50 percent objected. In 1977, the first year Field posted the question to voters, 28 percent approved and 59 percent were opposed.

  32. I never did believe that about marijuanca being the biggest B.C. industry, though I've read that a hundred times. A lot is grown there, though. Must be mostly inside. Hope you're right about their censorious wings getting clipped, Ash.

    Raceboats and golf in Arizona? Ash, you need your taxes raised!

    By the way, what do you do all winter long, clip buds?

  33. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A general-election race for the White House between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain would feature vastly different approaches on the thorniest political issues, from Iraq and diplomacy to taxes and health care.

    Their recent sparring over Obama's willingness to speak to hostile foreign leaders was a warm-up for what could be a rancorous five-month run-up to November's election.

    "It will be as clear a choice as there has been in a generation," said Doug Schoen, a Democratic consultant and former adviser to President Bill Clinton. "You've got two very different views of the world presented in stark relief."

    Obama has almost clinched the Democratic presidential nomination over rival Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and McCain has wrapped up the Republican nod. Both have focused on each other in recent weeks.

    The contrasts between McCain, 71, a white former Navy pilot and Vietnam prisoner of war, and Obama, 46, a black Harvard Law School graduate and former community organizer, go far beyond the personal.

    Their ideological gulf is most evident on two issues usually ranked in opinion polls as the top concerns of American voters -- the Iraq war and the faltering economy.

    "On the two big-ticket issues, they couldn't be farther apart," said Dan Schnur, a California-based Republican consultant and a McCain aide during his 2000 presidential bid.

  34. Well, THIS does it for and Ralph--

    No Nukes.

    It was the battle cry in a successful anti-nuclear movement Ralph Nader led in the 1970s.
    Now, nuclear power is resurgent.


    Because politicians like McCain, Obama and Clinton all want to keep nuclear power on the table.

    All three support legislation that would provide government taxpayer subsidies and guarantees to power companies to build nuclear power plants.

    Nader/Gonzalez take nuclear power off the table.

    Nader/Gonzalez oppose government subsidies and guarantees to the nuclear industry.

    The billions are far safer and better spent supporting energy efficiency and solar energy projects than building these nuclear national security risk boondoggles.

    Tomorrow (Thursday, May 29, 2008, 12 noon) Ralph Nader and the Nader/Gonzalez team will be outside the nuclear power lobby's headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C. to call for a halt to the head-long rush to nuclear power.

    Once again, we will be saying loud and clear - No Nukes.


    One. There's no safe place to put the waste. The waste from nuclear power plants will be toxic to humans for several hundred thousand years. Where will it go? Not Nevada. Any other ideas?

    Two. Accidents. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Browns Ferry, Fermi.

    Three. National security. Nuclear reactors present an attractive target for terrorists.

    Four. Costs. The average nuclear power plant will cost a average of $10 billion to $18 billion - before the inevitable cost overruns - guaranteed by the taxpayers. Because of safety, security and environmental concerns, the industry can't find investors to build them, so it is turning to Washington for corporate welfare in the form of subsidies, guarantees and insurance. As the Nuclear Energy Institute puts it "100 percent loan coverage [by taxpayers] is essential ... because the capital markets are unwilling, now and for the foreseeable future, to provide the financing necessary" for new nuclear power plants.

    Four strikes and you're out.

    McCain/Clinton/Obama want to keep nuclear power on the table and support legislation to subsidize the building of nuclear power plants.

    Nader/Gonzalez would keep nuclear power off the table, oppose subsidies, and would instead invest to transform our centralized fossil fuel economy into a decentralized solar energy and energy conservation economy.

    Once again, the choice is as clear as night and day.

    Bring on the sun.

    Stop the waste.

    Support Nader/Gonzalez.

    The protest tomorrow at the nuclear industry lobby is the fourth in our series of protests inside corporate occupied territory.

    If you are in the neighborhood of corporate occupied territory (read: our nation's capital), tomorrow, please come out and join with us in saying no to nuclear power and yes to a stepped up transformation to a solar energy, energy conservation economy.

    If not, please donate now to help put Nader/Gonzalez' No Nukes platform on as many state ballots as possible.

    Thank you for your steadfast dedication and support.


    The Nader Team

    PS: We invite your comments to the blog.

    Your contribution could be doubled. Public campaign financing may match your contribution total up to $250

  35. for me and Ralph

    Honeymoon's over. Never even began. Can't get no satisfaction. Can't get nuked.

  36. Dang, a guy could spend a fortune at all those dude ranches and golf courses. Only Ash could afford it. I've always wanted to float the Grand Canyon. If it's like around here, the rafters are lined up like at a turnstile, in the summer.

  37. Bobal wrote:

    "By the way, what do you do all winter long, clip buds?"

    hehehe, nope no bud clipping here - time spent in jail is not something I have on tap for the future. As to winter activities Squash and Snowboarding are my fun things.

    And nope, not rich either (well I'd like to be but am unwilling to do 'what it takes'). A working wife, health care provided by the gov., and a small business of my own keep me and the kids in enough clover to be active. Dragging the kids and wife about the golf course with me certainly upped the cost of a round but at least I can now get out and play again. Boats, well its a buyers market right now for sure, but I've got an older one (good value) that has enough of them around to form a level racing class and its big enough to sleep on. Hardly a luxury yacht though. A nicer yacht is now moored beside me and the ole wife looked at it longingly but she ain't keen on splashing out the cash even with the deals currently found in America.

  38. Sounds like a good 'cover' you've got going there, Ash.:) Family man, sports enthusiast, entrepreneur(if they only knew), working wife, who would ever suspect, you'll stay out of jail...

  39. Must be that "can do" american spirit I was born with.

  40. JERUSALEM, May 28 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert plans to stay in office despite a public call by his top coalition partner, Defence Minister Ehud Barak, on Wednesday to step aside over corruption allegations, an Olmert adviser said.

    "The prime minister was not considering resigning, nor taking a leave of absence, nor any of the other suggestions raised at that press conference," Tal Silberstein told Channel 10 television, referring to Barak's appearance before reporters.

    "I can tell you that the press conference changed nothing," added Silberstein, a strategic consultant for Olmert who said earlier in the day he was in regular contact with the premier.

  41. LONDON, May 27 -- Hundreds of truckers shut down a central London highway Tuesday, French fishermen blockaded ports and French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed cutting European fuel taxes as already high gasoline prices soared even higher.

    "It's hard to find words to describe the severity of the problem. It's not even a problem really; it's a meltdown," said Peter Carroll, a trucking industry spokesman who, like hundreds of other drivers, parked his rig on London's A40 highway Tuesday morning, shutting that key commuter artery for most of the day.

    The truckers, who eventually delivered a petition to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's office at 10 Downing Street, were protesting as Britain's national average pump price for diesel hit the equivalent of $9.56 a gallon and regular unleaded hit $8.61 a gallon, according to the Automobile Association.

    The protests spreading across Europe signal a growing agitation at skyrocketing fuel prices in nations already accustomed to paying dearly at the pump.

    Most European countries long ago chose to heavily tax gasoline, partly to encourage use of public transportation. The British government, for example, charges a $3.77-a-gallon fuel duty and a 17.5 percent consumption tax on top of that -- the highest levels in Europe.

    By contrast, U.S. drivers pay an average combined federal and state tax of about 47 cents on a gallon of unleaded and 53.6 cents on a gallon of diesel, according to API, a U.S. trade association.

    The current pricing crisis, which has pushed crude oil above $135 a barrel, is pushing even more Europeans out of their cars. The Automobile Association said a recent survey found that 37 percent of its members were using their cars less because of fuel prices.

    But for fishermen, taxi drivers, truckers and other people in businesses where using less fuel is not an option, frustration is turning into anger.

  42. A Profile For The Ages

    G-dammit, I just learned I got to host a neighborhood meeting for this zone change, before it gets even to the planning and zoning committee. I can tell ya, this is a load of shit, another idiotic hurdle, I got to host, so they can come and piss and moan. Thankfully, there aren't all that many neighbors, and some of 'em want to profit from the project, cause they are landlocked, and my land constitutes the key. There's an old retired math professor though, who will give me hell, if he is still alive, which I hope he isn't. You got to have a sense of humor, and keep your wits about you around here, and hire a good lawyer.

    Let's see, I'll serve iced tea, and selective poisons...

  43. A Preview Of What's To Come If The Dems Win

    Tip of the iceberg.

    All these issues basic to the survival of our nation will be front and center. Meanwhile, keeping a military able to defend the country will take a seat at the back of the bus.

  44. Bobal: Meanwhile, keeping a military able to defend the country will take a seat at the back of the bus.

    You don't defend this country by attacking countries that had nothing to do with attacking this country.

  45. No, Ms T, we invaded Iraq to maintain the Saddam regiemes oil production levels.

    According to rufus.

    If that is the case, we spent $Trillion or so USD and 4,000 lives to maintain the status que.

    So I hope that he's wrong, about that.

    We have improved Iran's position in the region, we have destabilized Iraq for five years and we have lost our frontman in Pakistan.

    How goes the "War on Terror"
    How close are the Islamic radicals to nuclear, biological or chemical weaponry, now, as compared to 2001?

    Wretchard links to a story that tells us aQ has lost the ideological war within Islam, we've won, it seems.

  46. Even after the moderates "won" the election, the buerocrats remain.

    There you have it, bob

    "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose"

    Or so Kris wrote

  47. It's all about the future, bob.

    Have Hope!

    It'll be all that's left

  48. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't so hot to go in, but we're there, and we best get out with some forethought, if we are going to do that. I'm the guy that thinks Iran is the problem, and Pakistan too, as you point out. We're in a position of damned if we do something, damned if we don't, with arguments on all sides that have merit. Least we all agree pretty much about the imiigration problem.

    :)Hope, the last thing in the bottom of the Pandora's box!

  49. Rat, from what I can tell, seeing some more results, it looks like Ron Paul did a little better in the rural areas than the cities here. 20% or more in some areas I think. Which is quite a lot, considering the race has been over for a long time. Maybe, given the low turnout, Paul's folks are the more motivated.

  50. They care, bob.

    And read deeper than the headlines

  51. Can you tell a candidate by the band?

    Only in a place like Portland would people idealize the good old USSR Decembrists

    Article says the name comes from when Nick I took the throne, rather than during the revolution of 1917.

  52. Looks more like a parody act, with lyrics like

    ... Decemberist lead singer Colin Meloy endorsed Barack Obama in an unfinished song with communist-style lyrics that begin, "Barack Obama. Alas, Barack Obama. His prophetic luminescence, it will shatter the putrescence and complacency of the bourgeoisie. …"

    Playing Letterman and the Colbert Report
    Or maybe they're real Bolsheviks.

    An interesting side note:
    Obama drew 75,000 people
    When JFKerry held a similar event,
    50,000 were in attendance

  53. Hope it's a parody.

    Obama got 56% Clinton got 38% in the non-binding democratic primary statewide here yesterday. Caucaii were held earlier.

  54. Squashed her in Idaho, home of the whitest of whitemen, by 18%!

    Where is the racial prejudice I've read so much about?
    Racism, overwhelmed by Sexism, I'd have never guessed.

    Learning new stuff, every day.

  55. The funny thing is, the democratic party, here in Idaho where it's all white, and elsewhere too, has quite a majority of female voters. Sexism! she cries, as the sisters flock to Obama.

  56. 92% of the black bloc, in Idaho, is what, about 92 votes?

  57. "The base of many of these Western states has changed a lot," said Rick Johnson, executive director of the Idaho Conservation League, an environmental group that is known for working both sides of the political aisle in its efforts. Johnson is more of the Schweitzer mindset, believing that successful candidates are those who talk about issues germane to the lives of a region's people, not just to traditional party-line talking points.

    "You have to be reflective of issues that actually matter," Johnson said. In a growing, expanding West, he said, candidates who can address the questions of growth and change will be able to attract voters from all political stripes.

    Which may be precisely what the Democratic National Committee may have been shooting for when they chose Denver over New York City as the host for the August party convention. Emboldened by their gains in the region, the party of Obama and Clinton is now turning to the West, for a bit.

    Real Western

  58. Eight years ago it was--

    The number and proportion of Idaho's voting

    age population that is non-Hispanic White is projected to be 886

    thousand or 91.4 percent in 2000. Comparable figures for the

    other race and ethnic groups are 4 thousand and 0.4 percent

    for non-Hispanic African Americans
    , 12 thousand and 1.2

    percent for non-Hispanic American Indians, Eskimos, and Aleut,

    10 thousand and 1 percent for non-Hispanic Asians and

    Pacific Islanders, and 58 thousand and 5.9 percent for persons

    of Hispanic origin.

  59. “Barack Obama has only visited Iraq once — and that was 871 days ago,” RNC Chairman Mike Duncan said.

    “Obama has done shockingly little to educate himself firsthand about the war in Iraq. Instead, he displays an arrogant certainty gained on the campaign trail.

    Obama’s failure to visit Iraq, listen and learn firsthand and witness the surge’s progress demonstrates weak leadership that disqualifies him from being commander in chief.”

    McCain Challenge

  60. Here's the official Ron Paul vote--
    29,741 or 24%

    Twenty four per cent!

  61. The current requirement to claim the Democratic presidential nomination is 2,026 delegates, a formula that does not take into account delegates from Florida and Michigan, whose contests were not sanctioned by the party because they moved them up on the primary calendar.

    But if those votes were counted as cast, Hillary Clinton would still trail rival Barack Obama in the overall delegate count.

    The former president said Sunday that the media had unfairly attacked his wife since the Iowa caucuses, repeating an often-used charge that press coverage had made him feel as though he were living in a "fun house."

    Clinton's Chances

  62. "He's just trying to sell another book, make some money. Got to make it controverssial, get headlines, sell, sell."

    I agree. The guy looks to me as a despicable weasel.

  63. "The crux of Scott's skewring is that Team43 believed their own bullshit, even when the realities were clear to see.

    General Sanchez tells the same tale, from a different perspective."

    No, dRat. Both Sanchez and this clown were incompetent at their post. This is a sad attempt to shift the blame on to Bush.

  64. n short, the Vienna conference resolved no issue between the United States and the Soviet Union. On the contrary, if anything, it precipitated crises that were resolved through the display and use of military force.

    What harm can possibly come of a meeting between enemies? There are many, like Obama, who say that no harm can come from talking.

    To paraphrase JFK's June 1963 Berlin speech, let them come to study the Vienna conference.

    Conference for Dummies

  65. Dana Perrino's 2010 book will skewer Bush as well, but her job right now (just as it was Scott McClellan's job in 2003) is to toe the line.

  66. He is a weasel. That is for sure. Washington is the weasel den.

  67. Here is Hugh Hewitt's take on our previous post:

    " It has become obvious in a very short period of time that Senator Obama attended some very fine schools and learned almost nothing of American history. He has, however, hung out with radicals for the past few decades, and their view of America and its history has sunk in, leaving Obama not only gaffe-prone, but wholly unprepared to be the Commander-in-Chief. He's a product of his years and years in the Chicago machine with its nonsensical view of why things are the way they are and how the county and the economy works. This takes us back to the Rev. Wright and Obama's two decades of listening to and reading the pastor's worldview, and before that to his college years in California and New York, and working as a "community organizer" in Chicago. Senator Obama has lived his entire life in places where the distorted history of left-wing radicalism prevailed, and the consequences of this long immersion in pseudo-history and pseudo-economics are easy to see and will be disqualifying for most voters."

    Hugh Hewitt is more optimistic about American voters than I. McCain needless to say, needs to body slam the messiah. I think McCain's suggestion that the community organizer go with Mac to Iraq was genius.

  68. But weapons experts also noted that Western intelligence has had a mixed record on the reliability of leads provided to U.N. inspectors. "U.S. intelligence has had a serious credibility problem on weapons of mass destruction for a decade," said John Pike of, adding that "they have been known to be right on occasions."

    Weapons experts also noted that IAEA inspectors face a difficult task in assessing claims about Syria's program. After the Sept. 6 bombing, Syria bulldozed the ruins of the Al Kibar facility and erected a new building on the same spot.

    "I think by now they've had enough time to cover their trail," Pike said.

    Nuclear Sites

  69. Quit picking on me and my wife.

  70. Welcome, Hussein, if I may take a line from deuce. You will learn a lot about yourself here.

    I think McCain's suggestion that the community organizer go with Mac to Iraq was genius.

    So do I. Just what I thought. What do you say, community organizer, you up for a trip? You could talk to the troops you want to command.

  71. And it is, "my wife and I", not "me n ma wife."

  72. Obama is a black hole that lives in the memory hole.

  73. Although polygamy is illegal in the U.S. and most mosques try to discourage plural marriages, some Muslim men in America have quietly married multiple wives.


    Still, Muslims practice polygamy in the U.S., despite state laws prohibiting it.


    In the past decade, Muslim clerics began to notice that some men who wanted a religious wedding were already married to someone else.

    Engaging in Polygamy

  74. Geez, not another fool who thinks the CIA is the "Company" and not the "Agency"